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(Topic ID: 222273)

Bally Old Chicago - No Playfield Lights


By ChipS

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by ChipS
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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There have been 8 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

Old Chicago Jones Plugs04a (resized).jpg
Old Chicago Fuse Bottom02a (resized).jpg
Old Chicago Alternator Relay01 (resized).jpg
Old Chicago hack (resized).jpg
Old Chicago Fuses01a (resized).jpg
Old Chicago Jones Plugs01a (resized).jpg
Old Chicago Jones Plugs02 (resized).jpg
Capture (resized).PNG

#1 2 years ago

I recently purchased a Bally Old Chicago (1976) and am having an issue with the playfield lights - this issue is they won't light. Everything else appears to be in working order. Backglass lights up and all the features on the playfield seem to work. But none of the lights on the playfield are working.

I saw a similar post about this a few years ago and tried the remedies listed: I've checked the contacts on the Game Over Interlock Relay and the Tilt relay. All the fuses and fuse holders appear fine. I've also checked the Alternator Relay - in fact, after filing all the contacts, the coil now fires and seems to emit a humming noise when I start up a game. Not sure if that coil is supposed to fire on start up or not.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! (Keep in mind I'm still relatively new to this...)

Thanks!

#2 2 years ago

The fuse holders appear fine but do you have the correct voltage on both ends? Tried wiggling the playfield connectors?

#3 2 years ago

Check the 6 volt circuit fuse block with the white/green wire and the blue wire. Check both sides of the fuse block with a multi-meter and make sure there is 6 volts AC at the fuse block. Also, check the playfield Jones plug that connects with the main board. Make sure the Jones plug connectors are clean and reseat the plug...

#4 2 years ago

My first reaction is that it is the lock relay, but looking at the schematic it appears that Bally changed gears with Old Chicago and didn’t use the “hit the left flipper to turn on the GI” idea. As far as I can tell the lock relay is energized automatically as soon as power is applied and stays energized all the time. Also there are no lock relay switches in line with the GI like many other Ballys of similar vintage. So really there doesn’t seem to be anything there other than the fuse (I think it should be the one with a blue wire). Freds ideas above should be the best path.

#5 2 years ago

I've had circuits fail at the main Jones plugs too, tarnished or loose female connection well described for Bally.

#6 2 years ago

Thanks everyone! Let me check those and get back to you!

#7 2 years ago

Does something actually run thru the Delay relay?

Capture (resized).PNG
#8 2 years ago
Quoted from currieddog:

Does something actually run thru the Delay relay?
[quoted image]

What do you mean?

#9 2 years ago

Those are 2 separate circuits, top and bottom, its a bit confusing the way it is drawn but they are not related to each other, other than using one common leg of the power supply. It would have been better to stagger those a bit more away from each other to prevent that confusion.

#10 2 years ago

Definitely check the jones plug that provides power - I think it's in the front left side of the cabinet. I actually fixed this exact problem on an Old Chicago a few months ago. The pin on the plug had completely burned up and wasn't making contact.

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

Those are 2 separate circuits, top and bottom, its a bit confusing the way it is drawn but they are not related to each other, other than using one common leg of the power supply. It would have been better to stagger those a bit more away from each other to prevent that confusion.

That's what I thought, but having the 455 bulb there made me wonder.

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from currieddog:

That's what I thought, but having the 455 bulb there made me wonder.

The 455 bulb is a somewhat clever way of making the delay circuit work. When a slam tilt occurs, this will energize the delay relay, which then locks itself on via one of its switches (its the one right above the 455 bulb in the schematic). This switch is connected through that blinking 455 bulb, so for some period of time (not long, just a few seconds) the machine will go dead, but then when the light blinks it will cut off the lock-in and it will come back to life.

#13 2 years ago

I unplugged and reseated all the Jones plugs in the back and the one on the side, no effect.

I also checked the 6 V circuit fuse block white/green and blue wires and got ZERO VOLTS on the multimeter. In fact, I got ZERO VOLTS on all three of the fuses.

There are two 455 bulbs on each side of the board (newbie, not sure of the term) but neither of them light up or blink at all.

Everything on the playfield/backbox works, and lights in the backbox are all working. But no lights on playfield.

Thoughts?

Old Chicago Fuses01a (resized).jpgOld Chicago Jones Plugs01a (resized).jpgOld Chicago Jones Plugs02 (resized).jpg
#14 2 years ago

If you're getting 0v on ones you know work then you must be measuring wrong. One lead should be I'm the yellow common wire from the transformer

#15 2 years ago

As always use caution when poking around in there with the power on! Be careful.

You are looking for 6 volts AC, be sure the meter is set for AC. You can put one lead on the yellow common like zacaj said. either at the transformer or anywhere else you can safely grab it, then the other lead right onto that wire that ties the two 6V fuses together on the left side. You gotta have 6 VAC there!

Then move that lead over to the other side of each 6V fuse, you should also see the 6VAC there as well. This will tell you its getting through the fuses OK.

#16 2 years ago

The third photo of the Jones plug attached to the bottom of the cabinet looks very interesting... It looks like someone just soldered two wires to a female Jones plug. This might be the Jones plug for the coin door assembly. It would be advised to check this Jones plug to see what wiring "hacks" were done...

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from fredsmythson:

The third photo of the Jones plug attached to the bottom of the cabinet looks very interesting... It looks like someone just soldered two wires to a female Jones plug. This might be the Jones plug for the coin door assembly. It would be advised to check this Jones plug to see what wiring "hacks" were done...

Yech, I think you are right. This will need to be checked too. I am pretty sure this is the same connector I put next to the photo from the ipdb. That's pretty ugly looking, would be good to get more pics of that front part of the relay board.

Old Chicago hack (resized).jpg

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

Then move that lead over to the other side of each 6V fuse, you should also see the 6VAC there as well. This will tell you its getting through the fuses OK.

After making sure voltage is getting through the fuses, follow each line up to the top of the Jones plug (Blue and Brown wires, 2nd spots down on the connector if I'm looking at the pictures correctly) and confirm you have voltage there as well. If so, continue tracing those wires to the next connector in the bottom that goes to the playfield. Then go up to the playfield itself. The Bally plugs often break or just don't making good contact.

#19 2 years ago

These Bally Jones pluges are VERY problematic... I like to test for continuity through each connection (very easy and only takes a minute.) The female sides get bent and no-longer make a good connection.
The fuse holders suck just as bad- checking continuity is a safe way to test connections- done with the power off.

#20 2 years ago

Thanks for all your suggestions. Obviously, I'm out of my league here. Let me see if I can get a friend who is more electrically inclined to help with this. I'm away for a couple days but will post some more photos if any of you guys can help diagnose what was done to this. Thanks!

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:You are looking for 6 volts AC, be sure the meter is set for AC. You can put one lead on the yellow common like zacaj said. either at the transformer or anywhere else you can safely grab it, then the other lead right onto that wire that ties the two 6V fuses together on the left side. You gotta have 6 VAC there!

Then move that lead over to the other side of each 6V fuse, you should also see the 6VAC there as well. This will tell you its getting through the fuses OK.

Okay, I checked the voltage with the meter (set to AC, DOH!): the wire connected the two fuses shows 6VAC (actual 6.4 V). I then measured the right side of the middle fuse (the top 6V fuse) and it also showed 6VAC. But when I measured the right side of the bottom fuse (with the blue wire), I get nothing. Like .15 VAC. So I'm guess that's the problem. Suggestions on a solution?

The fuse appears to be intact. Should I simply replace it?

Thanks!

#22 2 years ago

Replace the fuse holders

#23 2 years ago

According to the schematic that's one of two 15 amp fuses in the game. Swap them and see what happens.

#24 2 years ago

Since it was easier to replace the fuse (I just bought an entire set for the game) than the fuse holder, I replaced the fuse and VIOLA - playfield lights lit. So while the old fuse looks intact, there's obviously a problem with it. Anyway, that's now solved.

But two new problems have popped up: There's an intermittent buzzing coming from one of the relays - it appears to be the ALTERNATOR relay mounted to the bottom of the playfield. I power the game up, the relay buzzes. I turn it off and then back on, it's not buzzing. I start a game, it buzzes. Doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. Any guess on the cause and remedy?

Also, when a new game starts, the middle drop target automatically drops down. When I knock down all the targets and the bank resets, either the second or third (middle) target drops down immediately after resetting. Any guess why?

THANKS!

#25 2 years ago

Here's a photo of the Alternator relay.

Old Chicago Alternator Relay01 (resized).jpg
#26 2 years ago

The alternator controls the pop bumper and lane lights. It should be engaged half the time, alternating when you hit 10 point switches like the side rubbers up top.

#27 2 years ago

The thing is I'm not playing the game. I have the playfield up and was just checking the light situation. I should add that the buzzing from the relay isn't new - has been happening intermittently as I've been figuring out the playfield light issue. I've yet to play even a single ball. Just fired it up, knocked down the targets with my finger - that's how I noticed they weren't resetting properly.

I've been searching other posts - most seem to suggest buzzing comes from something loose in the relay, but I'm not sure how to go about fixing it.

Any ideas about the drop target(s) dropping upon reset?

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from ChipS:

The thing is I'm not playing the game. I have the playfield up and was just checking the light situation. I should add that the buzzing from the relay isn't new - has been happening intermittently as I've been figuring out the playfield light issue. I've yet to play even a single ball. Just fired it up, knocked down the targets with my finger - that's how I noticed they weren't resetting properly.
I've been searching other posts - most seem to suggest buzzing comes from something loose in the relay, but I'm not sure how to go about fixing it.
Any ideas about the drop target(s) dropping upon reset?

If you start a game there's a 50/50 chance that the alternator will be active. Buzzing can come from misadjusted switches putting too much pressure away for the coil, or from the coil / plate being worn

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Replace the fuse holders

DO THIS - Bally fuse holders are dog shit.
Save yourself future headaches.

#30 2 years ago

Your alternator relay is well worn from play. It is engaged 50% of the time. Mine was buzzing too. I adjusted the coil in the mount, that helped a bit. You can barely hear it when the playfield is down and the door is closed. If it bothers you that much, replace the coil.

It is a must that you replace the fuse holders. I posted some parts I used to replace mine. If you need more detail, PM me.

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from Skidave:Your alternator relay is well worn from play. It is engaged 50% of the time. Mine was buzzing too. I adjusted the coil in the mount, that helped a bit. You can barely hear it when the playfield is down and the door is closed. If it bothers you that much, replace the coil.

It is a must that you replace the fuse holders. I posted some parts I used to replace mine. If you need more detail, PM me.

Thanks! I saw the triple fuse holder on Marco and will replace.

#32 2 years ago

Can anyone confirm that this is supposed to be an 8A fuse? No indication near the fuse holder and the previous owner had put the wrong fuses in the other three spots, so I'm not trusting what's in there. Schematic seems to suggest (not that I can really read them yet) that it's 8A.

Old Chicago Fuse Bottom02a (resized).jpg
#33 2 years ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

Quoted from fredsmythson:

The third photo of the Jones plug attached to the bottom of the cabinet looks very interesting... It looks like someone just soldered two wires to a female Jones plug. This might be the Jones plug for the coin door assembly. It would be advised to check this Jones plug to see what wiring "hacks" were done...

Yech, I think you are right. This will need to be checked too. I am pretty sure this is the same connector I put next to the photo from the ipdb. That's pretty ugly looking, would be good to get more pics of that front part of the relay board.

Yes, it's definitely been hacked. I found the other Jones plug, wrapped up in black duct tape. The black wire someone connected to the female plug appears to run from the start game button. Any guess why this was done? Just to set the machine to free play?

Old Chicago Jones Plugs04a (resized).jpg
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