(Topic ID: 195896)

Bally Fathom Right Saucer Arrow Lamp Problem - Fixed


By TomGWI

2 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Whysnow
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    #1 2 years ago

    Hi All
    I just recently did a playfield swap on my Fathom.

    I am having an issue with the Right Saucer arrow (green insert).
    If I go into lamp test via the coin door button, all the bulbs turn on and off. So the lamp works in test.

    During gameplay the lamp does nothing - never lights.

    Last night the lamp stopped working in test mode. I tested the SCR Q19 for the lamp and the numbers were not good so I replaced it. The lamp now works again in test but still does nothing during gameplay.
    I have tested the ground of the lamp and I get continuity so My thought is the ground is okay
    The lamp is lighting in test mode.
    I have checked the lamp to make sure nothing is shorting it.
    Any advice.
    I have not tested the resistor associated with the SCR yet but will.
    I am not sure how to check the chip associated with it which is U2 so any advice would be great.
    Thanks.
    Tom

    #2 2 years ago

    I couldn't find a lamp list in the manual on the IPDB....makes me wonder if mine at home does or not.

    #3 2 years ago

    Can you swap in a good known lamp driver board to confirm that it's the lamp board causing the problem? The one in your Paragon would work.

    #4 2 years ago

    Could be controlled by the Aux board...

    #5 2 years ago
    Quoted from TomGWI:

    I am not sure how to check the chip associated with it which is U2 so any advice would be great.

    Confirm the wire color you have soldered to the lamp socket tip is Blue/Yellow. Also confirm this Blue/Yellow wire is present at pin 15 of connector J2 at the Lamp Driver board and not accidentally hooked up to a different pin (probable cause).
    It's unlikely to be U2 if the Blue/Yellow wire is connected correctly and the right saucer arrow lamp is flashing in test mode (and there's no other lamp issues).

    Quoted from TomGWI:

    I have tested the ground of the lamp and I get continuity so My thought is the ground is okay

    The braid wire at the metal base of the lamp socket mount is actually the 6.5VDC power rail to all the feature lamps. The lamp driver board switches the tip of the lamp (where the Blue/Yellow wire is connected), to ground. Jumpering a wire from ground to the Blue/Yellow wire lug should make the light illuminate.

    #6 2 years ago

    Of course my q19 started burning up.

    IMG_2569 (resized).JPG

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Confirm the wire color you have soldered to the lamp socket tip is Blue/Yellow. Also confirm this Blue/Yellow wire is present at pin 15 of connector J2 at the Lamp Driver board and not accidentally hooked up to a different pin (probable cause).
    It's unlikely to be U2 if the Blue/Yellow wire is connected correctly and the right saucer arrow lamp is flashing in test mode (and there's no other lamp issues).

    The braid wire at the metal base of the lamp socket mount is actually the 6.5VDC power rail to all the feature lamps. The lamp driver board switches the tip of the lamp (where the Blue/Yellow wire is connected), to ground. Jumpering a wire from ground to the Blue/Yellow wire lug should make the light illuminate.

    I used insulated wire and solder lugs instead of the braid wire at the metal base of the lamp socket.
    Thanks for the explanation I will try that once I get a new scr in the lamp board

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from TomGWI:

    I used insulated wire and solder lugs instead of the braid wire at the metal base of the lamp socket.
    Thanks for the explanation I will try that once I get a new scr in the lamp board

    New SCR did the same (2N5064) - burned up on bootup this time. Was trying to track down on playfield why bulb would not light when it happened. The thing was it would sometimes light in gameplay but only with vibration and very seldom. Thought it was weird that it would flash fine during test and then at the start of a game would flash and then turn off

    #9 2 years ago

    Did you try changing that socket?

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from RustyLizard:

    Did you try changing that socket?

    No but the socket is brand new I wouldn't think that it would be the issue but I guess you never know.

    #11 2 years ago

    I'm going to post some pictures of my wiring and see if maybe someone can see if I made a mistake.
    I will also the mention that the opposite arrow - the blue arrow on the left works but is intermittent and sometimes goes on/off with vibration.
    No other lights act like this.

    I do have LEDs in the GI and the lights that move around the back curve (control lights)
    All the rest are general 47 lamps.

    #12 2 years ago

    Before I put the wiring harness on.

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    #13 2 years ago

    A few pics

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    #14 2 years ago

    You might have an intermittent short inside the lamp socket (piece of stray junk/wire clipping in there?)
    With the lamp still installed in the socket, what resistance do you measure across the lamp socket lugs? Is it Zero ohms (dead short) or a couple of ohms? #47 lamps are somewhere around 8 - 9 ohms.

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    You might have an intermittent short inside the lamp socket (piece of stray junk/wire clipping in there?)
    With the lamp still installed in the socket, what resistance do you measure across the lamp socket lugs? Is it Zero ohms (dead short) or a couple of ohms? #47 lamps are somewhere around 8 - 9 ohms.

    This is my thought also at this point. You have some funk in a socket.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    You might have an intermittent short inside the lamp socket (piece of stray junk/wire clipping in there?)
    With the lamp still installed in the socket, what resistance do you measure across the lamp socket lugs? Is it Zero ohms (dead short) or a couple of ohms? #47 lamps are somewhere around 8 - 9 ohms.

    Quoted from Whysnow:

    This is my thought also at this point. You have some funk in a socket.

    Quoted from RustyLizard:

    Did you try changing that socket?

    Thanks guys. It will literally take me removing the screw and putting in a new bulb so I will try that and see if the problem goes away. I will check the resistance before I do it. I will do it tonight and report back.

    #17 2 years ago

    I would also track that lamp matrix wire back the whole way to make sure it is not too close to touching ground.

    Games do funny things and the intermittent nature hints to me that it may be just something too close/ nearly touching that once heated up ends up touching.

    Replacing the bulb and socket woudl be #1 step for me.

    If that does not fix it then I would cut out everything down stream from that ground line and see if that fixes it?

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I would also track that lamp matrix wire back the whole way to make sure it is not too close to touching ground.
    Games do funny things and the intermittent nature hints to me that it may be just something too close/ nearly touching that once heated up ends up touching.
    Replacing the bulb and socket woudl be #1 step for me.
    If that does not fix it then I would cut out everything down stream from that ground line and see if that fixes it?

    Thanks Hilton. That's exactly what I thought the problem was. I went back and traced the wire last night but didn't see anything.

    #19 2 years ago

    These Ballys don't use a lamp matrix system - all feature lamps are driven individually.
    If the switched lamp wire is shorted to ground, the lamp will simply be illuminated all the time without damage to any circuit. Grounding is not your issue here.
    For the Q19 SCR to blow, there must be an excessive amount of current going through it and it points to a short at the lamp socket/lamp (effectively causing Q19 SCR to fuse the 6.5V feature lamp supply to ground).

    Only other thing it could be is if that Blue/Yellow lamp wire is shorting to a supply rail somewhere else (damaged insulation during the playfield swap?)

    Try and find out where your short is first to save yourself having to repeatedly replace a blowing SCR. Hopefully it'll simply be the lamp socket or the lamp itself - measure resistance first before replacing anything.
    Good luck!

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    These Ballys don't use a lamp matrix system - all feature lamps are driven individually.
    If the switched lamp wire is shorted to ground, the lamp will simply be illuminated all the time without damage to any circuit. Grounding is not your issue here.
    For the Q19 SCR to blow, there must be an excessive amount of current going through it and it points to a short at the lamp socket/lamp (effectively causing Q19 SCR to fuse the 6.5V feature lamp supply to ground).
    Only other thing it could be is if that Blue/Yellow lamp wire is shorting to a supply rail somewhere else (damaged insulation during the playfield swap?)
    Try and find out where your short is first to save yourself having to repeatedly replace a blowing SCR. Hopefully it'll simply be the lamp socket or the lamp itself - measure resistance first before replacing anything.
    Good luck!

    Thanks. Hoping it is the lamp socket but I doubt I will be that lucky.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from TomGWI:

    Thanks. Hoping it is the lamp socket but I doubt I will be that lucky.

    It could also be the bulb! If you disconnect the lamp+socket completely does the src still burn on power up?

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    It could also be the bulb! If you disconnect the lamp+socket completely does the src still burn on power up?

    that is a good call of what to try.

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    It could also be the bulb! If you disconnect the lamp+socket completely does the src still burn on power up?

    I swapped bulbs with another one from another socket on the game and Nothing changed. Bulb was good as it lit fine in the other socket

    #24 2 years ago

    trying without a bulb in at all could help tell you if any bulb is what is causing the short. i.e. the bulb being pushed into the socket could be the thing allowing that socket to internally short?

    just shooting in the wind.

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from TomGWI:

    I swapped bulbs with another one from another socket on the game and Nothing changed. Bulb was good as it lit fine in the other socket

    Disconnect the socket wires and confirm if the src is still burning up.

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Disconnect the socket wires and confirm if the src is still burning up.

    Replaced the SCR and disconnected the socket and the SCR was fine.

    Quoted from Quench:

    These Ballys don't use a lamp matrix system - all feature lamps are driven individually.
    If the switched lamp wire is shorted to ground, the lamp will simply be illuminated all the time without damage to any circuit. Grounding is not your issue here.
    For the Q19 SCR to blow, there must be an excessive amount of current going through it and it points to a short at the lamp socket/lamp (effectively causing Q19 SCR to fuse the 6.5V feature lamp supply to ground).
    Only other thing it could be is if that Blue/Yellow lamp wire is shorting to a supply rail somewhere else (damaged insulation during the playfield swap?)
    Try and find out where your short is first to save yourself having to repeatedly replace a blowing SCR. Hopefully it'll simply be the lamp socket or the lamp itself - measure resistance first before replacing anything.
    Good luck!

    So I did replace the socket and put and LED in after replacing the SCR and I forgot to measure resistance.

    Went into lamp test, bulb was flicking on and off with the rest of the bulbs.
    Went into game and again the bulb did not light as before but the SCR was fine.

    I went into lamp test and measured resistance (not sure if I was to do this with game on or off) on the shoot again lamp. Fluke DMM said OL. No issues noted.
    Went to the lamp socket for the green Saucer arrow and measured resistance and the DMM was giving me numbers and I noted the scr started to spark.

    #27 2 years ago

    Okay. I have never replaced the molex connectors on this game but I do find it odd that 2 different blue and yellow colors are matching up on different molex connectors. Not sure if this is my problem but it sure seems like it could be.
    On each of them a light blue yellow strip is connecting to a dark blue yellow strip.
    The connectors are different so it could not be plugged in wrong.
    I am not sure if this is how it was from the factory or if someone replaced them and mixed these 2 wires up.

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    #28 2 years ago

    that is odd. Do all the other wires line up?

    #29 2 years ago

    There is only one "blue", so blue with yellow stripes (regardless of light vs. dark blue) is the same: These wire colours fade with time, or were slightly different colours from the factory. So, bottom-line, that doesn't seem like a problem

    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    that is odd. Do all the other wires line up?

    Quoted from Dr_Dude:

    There is only one "blue", so blue with yellow stripes (regardless of light vs. dark blue) is the same: These wire colours fade with time, or were slightly different colours from the factory. So, bottom-line, that doesn't seem like a problem

    Yep they are the same and match up so that is not the issue

    #31 2 years ago

    The other blue yellow wire ends up being the lane change on centaur. "Probably" the same on fathom too. I would check the re-do the wiring to that specific socket. Bad eyelet, bad crimp, oxadized wire. Any of that can raise resistance

    #32 2 years ago

    Run a fresh wire from j2-15 on the lamp board and connect the lamp with a known good wire. See if it blows the 5060 with that

    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from Tallon:

    The other blue yellow wire ends up being the lane change on centaur. "Probably" the same on fathom too. I would check the re-do the wiring to that specific socket. Bad eyelet, bad crimp, oxadized wire. Any of that can raise resistance

    Quoted from Tallon:

    Run a fresh wire from j2-15 on the lamp board and connect the lamp with a known good wire. See if it blows the 5060 with that

    I unplugged j2 and ran a wire from j215 to the lamp. Strangely I am still getting the same result of the lamp working in test but failing to work in gameplay.

    #34 2 years ago

    Then it should be in the board somewhere. No clue what would have changed but you know how pinball machines like to go for car rides

    #35 2 years ago
    Quoted from Tallon:

    Then it should be in the board somewhere. No clue what would have changed but you know how pinball machines like to go for car rides

    That's the problem. I'm not sure where to begin with the boards. Mpu or lamp driver if it's not playfield related which I still think it might be, somehow.

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from TomGWI:

    I unplugged j2 and ran a wire from j215 to the lamp. Strangely I am still getting the same result of the lamp working in test but failing to work in gameplay.

    Was this done with the blue/yellow wire disconnected at both ends to eliminate it from circuit?
    By the way, oddly the pins on the lamp board connectors are numbered from the bottom up, not top down like the other boards in the game.

    If you've changed the lamp plus lamp socket and also run a wire direct to J2-15 at the lamp board then it doesn't look like the issue is on the playfield.

    Here's some checks you can try at the lamp driver board.
    With a wire hooked up at TP2 (GND) on the lamp board, does that lamp illuminate when you connect the other end of the wire to:
    a) the bottom right leg of SCR Q19
    b) the *bottom* of resistor R66 (near the top left of the lamp board) note some other lamps will probably illuminate as well. During the game lamp update process, this will force U2 to switch SCR Q19 on (amongst others) to illuminate that lamp.

    Remove the hookup wire from TP2 and now connect it to TP3 on the lamp driver board.
    c) connect the other end of the wire to the top leg of SCR Q19. This forces the SCR to switch on. Does that lamp illuminate?

    d) Have you noticed any other lamp issues at all?

    e) Was this lamp working properly before the playfield swap?

    Can you post some really clear front and back pictures of the lamp board and also of the J2 wire connector?

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Was this done with the blue/yellow wire disconnected at both ends to eliminate it from circuit?

    no I only disconnected the J2 connector. I did not remove the blue/yellow wire from the socket when I tested.

    Quoted from Quench:

    By the way, oddly the pins on the lamp board connectors are numbered from the bottom up, not top down like the other boards in the game.
    If you've changed the lamp plus lamp socket and also run a wire direct to J2-15 at the lamp board then it doesn't look like the issue is on the playfield.

    d) Have you noticed any other lamp issues at all?

    yes I did note a few more issues with the lamps during gameplay
    - sometimes the double playfield scoring lamp will activate during single ball play as if multiball was started. Usually happens for a few seconds and then turns off.
    - sometimes the blue top Saucer Lane arrow will turn off when it should not.
    - sometimes an extra ball is award when it should not

    The bottom bumper will sometimes fire randomly I was thinking this was just a bad cap or diode. I was trying to fix the lamp issue first as I thought it would be the easier fix.

    I am starting to wonder if I should start looking at the solenoid expander just looking at the schematics but that doesn't make sense or does it.

    Going to do some more testing later today.

    IMG_2610 (resized).PNG

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Was this done with the blue/yellow wire disconnected at both ends to eliminate it from circuit?

    b) the *bottom* of resistor R66 (near the top left of the lamp board) note some other lamps will probably illuminate as well. During the game lamp update process, this will force U2 to switch SCR Q19 on (amongst others) to illuminate that lamp.

    When you say "Game lamp update process" do you mean when the game starts up after turning on the game.

    #39 2 years ago

    The game software has a special routine that handles game timers, system functions and updates lamps, solenoids, sounds - etc. This happens 120 times per second and is driven by what's called the Zero Crossing circuit.

    Simply put, each lamp that should be illuminated is switched on and off 120 times per second (pulsed too fast for your eye to see). There's slightly more going on but basically this is what happens. In other words, the lamps aren't switched on with constant power when needed, and then switched off when not.

    Hope this makes sense

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Was this done with the blue/yellow wire disconnected at both ends to eliminate it from circuit?
    By the way, oddly the pins on the lamp board connectors are numbered from the bottom up, not top down like the other boards in the game.
    If you've changed the lamp plus lamp socket and also run a wire direct to J2-15 at the lamp board then it doesn't look like the issue is on the playfield.
    Here's some checks you can try at the lamp driver board.
    With a wire hooked up at TP2 (GND) on the lamp board, does that lamp illuminate when you connect the other end of the wire to:
    a) the bottom right leg of SCR Q19

    Lamp lights up

    Quoted from Quench:

    b) the *bottom* of resistor R66 (near the top left of the lamp board) note some other lamps will probably illuminate as well. During the game lamp update process, this will force U2 to switch SCR Q19 on (amongst others) to illuminate that lamp.

    When I do this the Blue Top Saucer arrow on the left lights, the lower middle playfield red Special When Lit and the Green Right Saucer Arrow all light up (3 - inserts)

    Quoted from Quench:

    Remove the hookup wire from TP2 and now connect it to TP3 on the lamp driver board.
    c) connect the other end of the wire to the top leg of SCR Q19. This forces the SCR to switch on. Does that lamp illuminate?

    Yes

    Quoted from Quench:

    d) Have you noticed any other lamp issues at all?

    Just what I mentioned above in post 37

    Quoted from Quench:

    e) Was this lamp working properly before the playfield swap?

    Honestly, I am not 100% certain it was or not

    Quoted from Quench:

    Can you post some really clear front and back pictures of the lamp board and also of the J2 wire connector?

    Here are some pics. Let me know if you need anymore.
    Thanks for the help

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    #41 2 years ago

    Is this the lamp in question? Is that the wire you disconnected? :

    That wire looks to be blue/yellow. The reason I'm confused is that connector J2 has no wires that have anything like that color in it.

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    #42 2 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Is this the lamp in question? Is that the wire you disconnected? :
    That wire looks to be blue/yellow. The reason I'm confused is that connector J2 has no wires that have anything like that color in it.

    J2 15 is Blue/Yellow

    IMG_2621 (resized).PNG

    #43 2 years ago

    Ok, which one of these wires is Blue/Yellow?

    This doesn't make sense.

    IMG_6536 (resized).PNG

    #44 2 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Ok, which one of these wires is Blue/Yellow?

    Fathom_A5J2.jpg

    #45 2 years ago

    Thanks for the pictures.
    The jumper wire tests you've done on the lamp board are indicating a possible comms issue between the MPU board and the lamp board. That right saucer arrow lamp is lighting when you tell the lamp board to activate it.

    Can you take a clear picture at the back (solder side) of the J4 connector of the lamp board? And if it's not too much trouble a clear picture at the back (solder side) of connector J1 of the MPU board?
    I have a feeling there may be a short between two lamp address control signals.

    When you go to the lamp test, does every lamp flash, or are some lamps not flashing?

    In the mean time can you remove this minor solder splash on the top leg of Q19 and the trace above it - better be safe and remove it:

    Fathom_A5-Q19a.jpg

    #46 2 years ago

    Just wanted to sa thanks quench for jumping in here and teaching!

    #47 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Thanks for the pictures.
    When you go to the lamp test, does every lamp flash, or are some lamps not flashing?

    Every control lamp flashes on & off (including sol. Expander bulb, credit bulb, pops, all inserts, 3 controlled rollover bulbs on far left loop, 3 bulbs under plastic "blue bonus track" & 4 bulbs in back that have the cut outs under the rail).
    Even the green Right Saucer Arrow flashes on & off.
    Only bulbs that don't flash are the GI bulbs.

    Pictures coming.

    #48 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Thanks for the pictures.

    Can you take a clear picture at the back (solder side) of the J4 connector of the lamp board?

    J4 Pics Lamp Driver board

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    #49 2 years ago
    Quoted from Quench:

    Thanks for the pictures.
    And if it's not too much trouble a clear picture at the back (solder side) of connector J1 of the MPU board?

    Pics of J1.

    I do have a spare Alltek MPU if you want me to put in the game as well but I would like to know what is going on.

    IMG_2628 (resized).JPG

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    #50 2 years ago

    Also I notice the lower left corner did not have a screw. When I took off the mpu I found this.

    IMG_2625 (resized).JPG

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