(Topic ID: 254914)

Bally Grand Tour stepper problem


By gdonovan

4 months ago



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  • 14 posts
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  • Latest reply 4 months ago by gdonovan
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#1 4 months ago

Run across a curious problem with my Grand Tour now that I'm putting some finishing touches on it.

The unit is equipped with a "thumper control" which looks like it reduces the point value on the thumpers and slingshots as you progress in the game.

According to the wiring schematic, the unit is suppose to reset when the start button is pressed and indeed the solenoid kicks in when the button is pressed. Here is the problem though..

The unit has an escapement pawl which is spring loaded against the teeth of the unit it. As the unit advances this looks to be a backup to the main pawl so the unit does not retract while advance the gear. However, if the reset solenoid is engaged which lifts the main pawl out of the way so the unit can reset.. the gear goes no where since the escapement pawl is still locked on the tooth.

So.. what releases the escapement pawl? I'm baffled as heck by this mystery. Anyone have a good picture of theirs? I looked at Bazaar and Dixieland and of course neither has a similar unit.

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#2 4 months ago

I did find some other Bally steppers on Ebay that have the pawl, still no further illumination on the problem though. Slept on it and went out this morning and I see no way for the mech to release so the unit can reset. It does have a cut (missing tooth) so that it can advance only so far (which corresponds with the contacts) and is spring loaded so it clearly is meant to retract back to start or retract back at least one tooth. When at rest the advance mech does slightly lift the pawl but as soon as the advance coil pulls in the escapement pawl has full contact on the gear.

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#3 4 months ago

hi
i played on grand tour near a friend and there is no " town reset " when you press start button.
you on same town each game to next game
gilles

#4 4 months ago
Quoted from gilles89:

hi
i played on grand tour near a friend and there is no " town reset " when you press start button.
you on same town each game to next game
gilles

Carry over of the towns from game to game is different mechanism, and that is correct.

The thumper control reset solenoid clearly is activated on coin up per the wiring schematic.

#5 4 months ago

What you've shown in your original post is a stepper with a Single-Step Reset which means that when it's working properly the reset solenoid takes the gear just one step back, similar to a credit/replay unit for example. If you look at the Full-Reset steppers in the parts catalog you'll see that they don't have the flat Escapement pawl you refer to. Does your stepper successfully take one step back?

Either way there is a disconnect here somewhere. Either that stepper is intended to step back only one step at a time, or somehow an Escapement pawl was incorrectly added to the stepper at some point.

/Mark

#6 4 months ago
Quoted from MarkG:

Does your stepper successfully take one step back?

Not it does not. Either it goes a half step or moves not at all. It doesn't even move a single contact location.

I might not have the correct illustration above, but only one I could find using the online catalog that looked close.. and the online catalog is very slow...

Quoted from MarkG:

Either way there is a disconnect here somewhere. Either that stepper is intended to step back only one step at a time, or somehow an Escapement pawl was incorrectly added to the stepper at some point.
/Mark

Right now the way it is setup after a game or two the thumper unit is at the end of travel.. and when you hit the start button it drops back a half tick at best. I'm tempted to remove the pawl, but have a nagging feeling that I'm missing something. Logically, the thumper unit should reset to the start position at the start of every new game.

I have included a few shots of the wiring diagram, you can clearly see the thumper reset coil is hooked into the same line as the playmeter.

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#7 4 months ago

Did some fooling about tonight, this is what I found.

1) If the machine is in non-replay mode (per the diagram above) the thumper control does nothing. It sits at zero position and always will because the thumper advance coil is never hit on but the reset one is every time the machine is coined up.

2) If the machine is in replay mode, the thumper control advances one contact every 500 points. At a certain point, the thumper control relay kicks in and the poppers and slingshots that are lit for 10 points extinguish and you are only awarded 1 point for each hit.

Sneaky!

3) On coin up, the thumper unit coil will subtract 1/2 a contact at best.

The escapement pawl is working as designed, I even made some minor adjustment to it so that it is fully lifted when the advance unit is at rest. As soon as the advance unit moves, it drops into position as designed.

The million dollar question is did Grand Tour come with it from the factory? Not sure it did. Dropping to zero position during coin up makes more sense and the game gets progressively harder as play progresses.

#8 4 months ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

The million dollar question is did Grand Tour come with it from the factory? Not sure it did. Dropping to zero position during coin up makes more sense and the game gets progressively harder as play progresses.

Given that the only reset pulse for the stepper comes at the start of a new game I think the stepper should have a full reset instead of a single step reset. Here are the relevant pages from the 1965 parts catalog with the escapement pawl shown in red.
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I think the escapement pawl might be removable which would convert it from a single step reset to a full reset stepper. It's worth a shot anyway. Just take lots of photos before disassembly if you're unsure.

#9 4 months ago

Hmm. The plot thickens. Elsewhere in the catalog it does say Grand Tour uses a single step reset stepper:
Bally 1965 catalog stepper parts (resized).jpg
I'd like to understand how that works as far as the rules are concerned.
Either way you'll need to adjust the stepper so that it does take a reset step.

#10 4 months ago
Quoted from MarkG:

Given that the only reset pulse for the stepper comes at the start of a new game I think the stepper should have a full reset instead of a single step reset. Here are the relevant pages from the 1965 parts catalog with the escapement pawl shown in red.
[quoted image]
I think the escapement pawl might be removable which would convert it from a single step reset to a full reset stepper. It's worth a shot anyway. Just take lots of photos before disassembly if you're unsure.

Almost did last night, easy enough to remove the spring on the pawl and just tie back the pawl itself.

Very curious that the thumper control was implemented. The only reason I can think of is to make the game more difficult to win a replay as the game count progresses. Maybe there was a lot of feedback from operators that the games were too easy and Bally decided this was one way to make it harder?

Oh and as a follow up; when the unit advances, it always does so by one contact which is 2 teeth on a fairly fine gear. When it resets, will only drop back one tooth or half a contact.

#11 4 months ago

Preface: My dad owns a functioning Grand Tour. I'll get some plays in this weekend to confirm operation. Without looking at the Thumper Control Unit Stepper in person or having a good picture of the wipers this is my best guess.

Looking at the score motor switch chart the following switches apply to the Thumper Control Unit Stepper:

1A-a: Pulses replay unit and thumper control unit step-up coils or, 100 point relay thru advance feature replay or point scoring unit
1A-b: Pulses replay unit and thumper control unit step-up coils thru match number replay scoring unit
2C-c: Pulses replay unit reset coil, total play meter and thumper control unit reset coil thru start relay circuit

Based on this information, the Thumper Control Unit is controlled by the Advanced Feature Replay Unit, the Point Scoring Unit, the Match Number Replay Scoring Unit and the Start Relay Circuit

The following switches apply to the Advance Feature Replay Unit:

1B-a: Subtracts a pulse from score motor switch 1A-a during replay step-up for multiple play coin circuit and advance feature replay or point scoring circuit.
2C-a: Subtracts a pulse from score motor switch 1A-a during advance feature replay or point scoring circuit.
3B-a: Subtracts a pulse from score motor switch 1A-a during replay step-up for multiple play coin circuit and advance feature replay or point scoring circuit.
4C-a: Subtracts a pulse from score motor switch 1A-a during replay step-up for multiple play coin circuit and advance feature replay or point scoring circuit.

The number of switch pulses per score motor rotation:

1A-a is pulsed 5 times per score motor rotation
1A-b is pulsed 5 times per score motor rotation
1B-a is pulsed 1 time per score motor rotation
2C-a is pulsed 1 time per score motor rotation
2C-c is pulsed 1 time per score motor rotation
3B-a is pulsed 1 time per score motor rotation
4C-a is pulsed 1 time per score motor rotation

Switch 1A-a pulses the Thumper Control Unit Step-Up coil once per score motor rotation due to switches 1B-a, 2C-a, 3B-a, and 4C-a subtracting once pulse each from the 5 pulses of switch 1A-a. This can happen after a players earn a high score or an advance replay

Switch 1A-b pulses the Thumper Control Unit Step-Up coil once the Match Number Replay circuit is activated at the end of a 3 or 5 ball game. This can happen after a players earns a match replay

Switch 2C-c pulses the Thumper Control Unit Reset coil once per score motor rotation once the Start Relay coil is activated. This can happen when a new game is started or when you put money in the machine

To summarize, if a player earns an advance feature replay or a hi-score, the Thumper Control Unit will step up once by way of switch 1A-a.
If a player earns a match number replay, the Thumper Control Unit will step up once by way of switch 1A-b.
At the start of a new game or when money is put in the machine, the Thumper Control Unit will step down once by way of switch 2C-c.

This would appear that the machine is designed to be more difficult based on previous plays of the machine. Given that these machines were made to empty the nickels and dimes from its victims I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. See this post which I believe describes the intent of this setup.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/em-tech-bally-mad-world#post-1998180

As a side note: If I had to guess, your machine hi-score adjustment is set to 500 and that is why it is stepping up when you hit 500 points.

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#12 4 months ago
Quoted from AmptronCS17:

At the start of a new game or when money is put in the machine, the Thumper Control Unit will step down once by way of switch 2C-c.
This would appear that the machine is designed to be more difficult based on previous plays of the machine. Given that these machines were made to empty the nickels and dimes from its victims I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. See this post which I believe describes the intent of this setup.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/em-tech-bally-mad-world#post-1998180
As a side note: If I had to guess, your machine hi-score adjustment is set to 500 and that is why it is stepping up when you hit 500 points.[quoted image]

Thank you for stopping in! It all make sense now and here is some details of what I found tonight and clarification.

1) The thumper may step down one gear notch on start of play (dime drop) but always steps up TWO notches when triggered.

2) You were correct on hi-score, someone had it set at 500/1000/1500 so of course it would trip the thumper one contact up every time those targets were hit during testing. I didn't look at that as I'm still tinkering with the machine getting it 100% again. It did not take well to being parked in the workshop for 2 years while I was waiting to learn how to shoot webbing and finish the paint work. For the moment I have set the high score award to give up a credit if you break 1000.. which on this game is no small feat. Its a money stealer for sure.

3) Thumper also advances if you make the "City 10" shot through the tour gate.. which you can set for 1-2-3 credits won which of course advances the thumper 1, 2 or 3 positions.

I'll let you know how many advances it takes to shut down the thumper and other bonus lamps shortly.

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#13 4 months ago

Awesome restore by the way. I'm thinking about putting some money into rebuilding the pop bumpers and flippers to give it some better action. I also need to look at cleaning up the ball return kicker solenoid as that has been acting weak. I don't see this machine pop up very much so it's neat to see someone give it some love and attention

Quoted from gdonovan:

3) Thumper also advances if you make the "City 10" shot through the tour gate.. which you can set for 1-2-3 credits won which of course advances the thumper 1, 2 or 3 positions.[quoted image][quoted image]

This would make sense based on the schematic:

If you set the Advance Feature Adjustment to 1, then as switch 1A-a pulses 5 times, switches 4C-a, 1B-a, 3B-a, and 2C-a will subtract 4 pulses ultimately pulsing the Thumper Control Unit Step-Up coil one time.

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If you set the Advance Feature Adjustment to 2, then as switch 1A-a pulses 5 times, switches 4C-a, 1B-a, and 3B-a will subtract 3 pulses ultimately pulsing the Thumper Control Unit Step-Up coil two times.

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If you set the Advance Feature Adjustment to 3, then as switch 1A-a pulses 5 times, switches 4C-a, and 1B-a will subtract 2 pulses ultimately pulsing the Thumper Control Unit Step-Up coil three times.

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#14 4 months ago
Quoted from AmptronCS17:

Awesome restore by the way. I'm thinking about putting some money into rebuilding the pop bumpers and flippers to give it some better action. I also need to look at cleaning up the ball return kicker solenoid as that has been acting weak. I don't see this machine pop up very much so it's neat to see someone give it some love and attention

Thanks, the whole story is here if you have not checked it out yet, been heck of a journey on this one.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1964-bally-grand-tour-not-dead-yet

If the ball return is acting funny, make sure the ball count unit is clean too. I had a problem where the ball would kick fine on start-1-2-3 and then when it got to 4 nothing would happen. Traced it to the ball count unit, dirty contact.

Thank you for the detailed breakdown of events, very illuminating! I'm pretty comfortable tracking down problems on EM's even though I might not have a full grasp how they completely work.

The thumper cuts off the lit thumpers and slings on the 9th advance pulse and the unit has 20 positions. I'm going to leave it alone since it is such a low scoring game, now with high score set to something reasonable I doubt it will ever make it to the 9th position.

I do have mine high tapped, didn't really note a large difference in gameplay. I'm still tinkering with it, the bally sockets of this vintage in the GI leave much to be desired and I think I'm going to replace all the playfield ones next week.

Gary

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