New! Dark mode!

Browsing Pinside at night? Getting tired of all the white? Switch to dark mode using the button in the top right (or CTRL-B)!

(Topic ID: 274643)

Bally Rocket III - Tilt when #1 or #3 pop bumper fires


By MFDChief

78 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 57 days ago by troxel
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 9 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

Rocket III Parts List (resized).jpg
Bally Thumper Bumper (resized).jpg
Rocket III Thumper Bumpers (resized).jpg
Capture1 (resized).PNG
IMG_3778[1] (resized).JPG
IMG_3776[1] (resized).JPG
IMG_3775[1] (resized).JPG
IMG_3734[1] (resized).JPG
IMG_3669[1] (resized).JPG

#1 78 days ago

Hi Y'all,
I have an interesting problem on a Bally Rocket III machine. The machine was extracted from an open garage where it sat for probably 20 years. It was mouse infested and was a bear to clean up. After more hours than I can count, I have most everything working, however, I have an issue with the #1 & #3 pop bumpers.
Whenever #1 or #3 pop bumpers fire, the machine will "tilt". It doesn't happen every time, but occurs often enough to where you cannot play the game. (Sometimes the bumpers will work fine for 3, 4, or even 5 hits. On hit #6, it tilts. Other times it will tilt on the first hit.) I have cleaned, adjusted and checked all switches on both pop bumpers and on the 1 & 3 pop bumper relay. I've also looked for solder drippings and loose washers, screws. Oddly enough, according to the schematics, pop bumper #2 & #4 tie into some of the same circuitry, but the machine does not tilt when #2 or # 4 fire. I have a fuzzy set of schematics, but I am still new enough to repairs that I occasionally get lost when I tracing out circuit paths. Any help the forum can provide is appreciated!

IMG_3669[1] (resized).JPGIMG_3734[1] (resized).JPGIMG_3775[1] (resized).JPGIMG_3776[1] (resized).JPGIMG_3778[1] (resized).JPG
#2 78 days ago

Did you check the gaps on the tilt switches under the playfield? If the gap is too small, the vibration from the pop bumpers could be causing the tilt switch to close.

#3 78 days ago
Quoted from Peruman:

Did you check the gaps on the tilt switches under the playfield? If the gap is too small, the vibration from the pop bumpers could be causing the tilt switch to close.

Hi Peruman!
I did check the gap on the tilt switches. I also went as far as to jumper them to take the switches out of the equation. Still went into tilt when #1 or #3 pop bumper triggers. Looking at the schematics, I believe it may be something in the circuit from the pop bumper switch to the relay. That's about the only point where the #1 & #3 pop bumpers are separated from the #2 & #4 pop bumpers. I also wonder if one of the two solenoids on the #1/#3 circuit are going bad and causing a power drop that causes the tilt relay to drop out. I did have to replace a 5v 15 ohm resistor on the tilt relay before I first fired it up. (The old ceramic one was broken in half)

#4 77 days ago

Do you own a multimeter? I would measure the resistance on the #1 and #3 thumper bumper solenoids to see if one or both are a low resistance and possibly compare to a measurement of #'s 2 & 4.

Also inspect the 1 & 3 thumper bumper relay closely and make sure the moving yoke with the metal plate is not hanging up or getting stuck in the pulled in position. While you are in there, check all the soldered wires to make sure none of them are touching an adjacent wire.

#5 77 days ago

If this were a solid-state machine; I'd say look for a stuck closed switch in either a row or column tied shared by the tlit switch.
But this looks like an EM; so unsure the same logic would apply.

On my bally Star Trek Mirror universe project; a stuck closed switch would cause an occasional tilt for this reason.

#6 77 days ago

Thanks Runbikeskilee and Zitt!
I will check the resistance on the coils to see what they draw. I did notice that the GI lights dim when the bumpers fire...
I did check for stuck switches on the relay stack, however I didn’t notice anything abnormal when they operate. (Although there is an arc on a switch stack when it tilts.)
The pop bumpers and the tilt relay really do not share any common circuitry that I can see, and the tilt issue is sporadic. I wonder if the issue is related to the current draw and a weak relay...

Thanks again! Appreciate the help!

#7 77 days ago
Quoted from MFDChief:

Thanks Runbikeskilee and Zitt!
I will check the resistance on the coils to see what they draw. I did notice that the GI lights dim when the bumpers fire...
I did check for stuck switches on the relay stack, however I didn’t notice anything abnormal when they operate. (Although there is an arc on a switch stack when it tilts.)
The pop bumpers and the tilt relay really do not share any common circuitry that I can see, and the tilt issue is sporadic. I wonder if the issue is related to the current draw and a weak relay...
Thanks again! Appreciate the help!

The GI lights are on the 6v side so they don't have anything to do with the bumpers. I agree with Lee. Check the resistance on those coils. I once put yellow dot coils in my Atlantis and they caused this same issue. As soon as I went back to stock coils that took care of the issue.

#8 77 days ago

The schematic is on ipdb. The way I interpret the schematic, the tilt relay energizes at start of game and remains energized during the game through its own lock-in switch. Closure of any of the tilt switches then shunts current away from the tilt relay solenoid so that it relaxes and changes state on a make/break switch and tilts the game (see schematic column 29).

Likely, one of 3 things is happening:

1) Either or both of the #1 and #3 thumper bumper solenoids is at a very low resistance and is drawing high current which is depriving other circuits and letting the tilt relay de-energize.

2) The lock-in switch on the tilt relay is gapped too wide and vibration (from the #1/#3 thumper bumper) is causing it to momentarily open up and drop out the tilt relay (as Peruman mentioned)

3) (Least likely) Possibly the switches on the #1-#3 bumper relay are sticking closed or the EOS switch on the #1 or #3 bumpers is not opening and are causing an excess current draw that lasts too long.

See if you can check those out.

#9 77 days ago

Thanks Everyone!
I hope to get a chance to dive into it tomorrow evening! I'll keep ya posted on what I find!

#10 75 days ago

Hi mfdchief fellow Rocket III "garage find" restore owner here. Your playfield looks great, what's the backglass like?

I like how the alternate pops fire together (I guess to save on relays), you probably have read from the schematic it is a 4.2 and 28 Ohm coil. I'd be thinking to insulate with card the 3x Tilt switches that de-energise the Tilt relay to rule in or out vibration.

Let me know if I can be of any help with info from my working machine.

#11 74 days ago

You could also maybe try disconnecting the 1 and 3 solenoids allowing the relay to trigger but not fire the actual solenoid. This might rule in/out vibration or power drain being a cause.

#12 74 days ago
Quoted from MFDChief:

I did notice that the GI lights dim when the bumpers fire...

What happens if you block this switch?

Capture1 (resized).PNG
#13 68 days ago

Hi All!
Sorry I haven’t replied on a couple of days....
I haven’t tried blocking the make/break switch on the tilt relay.... I will try that tonight... Thanks Currieddog!

I did take part in the online EM repair forum, where their techs worked with me for about an hour. I isolated the switches on the 1-3 relay with paper and triggered the pop bumper switch. The relay operated normally with no tilt. I then removed the paper from the switches, one switch at a time and triggered the pop bumper. Everything worked normally for all switches. I then removed two pieces of paper at a time. The machine finally recreated the tilt condition when the two switches that operate the pop bumper coils fired.
I checked the resistance on both the low power and high power side of all the pop bumper coils. (Hi power side 1.3 low power side 7.5. This is similar across all 4 pop bumper coils.) I also checked the resistance on the 1-3 relay. It dialed in at 0.7 and 60.1. (The relay for 2-4 pop bumpers was nearly the same at .8 and 60.7)

I will also try isolating the switches that actuate the tilt relay. Thanks Astyy! (The play field turned out great after a LOT of cleaning and waxing. The back glass is flaked in several areas and is lifting in many more. I plan to triple thick it to save what is left. I could use some pics of the paperwork that shows things like the switch stack for the reset motor, option pins for number of balls, replay option, etc. that are inside the cabinet if your machine has any. Mice ate every last shred of paper in the cabinet and back box.)

As stated previously, I will isolate the make/break switch for the tilt relay and see what happens. I will also isolate all the tilt switches and check for a vibration issue, but I have already jumpered these switches earlier to eliminate a vibration issue. (This included pounding on the play field to see if that triggered a tilt. It did not.) I will also disconnect the pop bumper solenoids to check for an issue there. (Thanks Geofflove!)

Thanks to everyone for the advice! I’ll work on it over the weekend and report back on my progress.....

#14 68 days ago
Quoted from MFDChief:

I did take part in the online EM repair forum, where their techs worked with me for about an hour.

One theory that was discussed was the possibility that the 1 and 3 pop bumper EOS switches are either not opening or are shorted.
Rocket III Thumper Bumpers (resized).jpg
The 1 and 3 pop bumpers always fire together. If neither EOS switch opened at the bottom of the pop bumper stroke that would leave the two high power coils (~4 ohms each) each drawing over 10 amps for longer than the fraction of a second that they're supposed to.

That kind of load (20+ amps) on the 50 volt transformer output could put a strain on the transformer which would drop its output voltages. That might explain the dimming of the GI lights and the releasing of the Tilt relay which is usually active but operates at a lower voltage than the other relays and may be more sensitive to a voltage drop.

/Mark

#15 67 days ago
Quoted from MFDChief:

Hi All!
Sorry I haven’t replied on a couple of days....
I haven’t tried blocking the make/break switch on the tilt relay.... I will try that tonight... Thanks Currieddog!
I did take part in the online EM repair forum, where their techs worked with me for about an hour. I isolated the switches on the 1-3 relay with paper and triggered the pop bumper switch. The relay operated normally with no tilt. I then removed the paper from the switches, one switch at a time and triggered the pop bumper. Everything worked normally for all switches. I then removed two pieces of paper at a time. The machine finally recreated the tilt condition when the two switches that operate the pop bumper coils fired.
I checked the resistance on both the low power and high power side of all the pop bumper coils. (Hi power side 1.3 low power side 7.5. This is similar across all 4 pop bumper coils.) I also checked the resistance on the 1-3 relay. It dialed in at 0.7 and 60.1. (The relay for 2-4 pop bumpers was nearly the same at .8 and 60.7)
I will also try isolating the switches that actuate the tilt relay. Thanks Astyy! (The play field turned out great after a LOT of cleaning and waxing. The back glass is flaked in several areas and is lifting in many more. I plan to triple thick it to save what is left. I could use some pics of the paperwork that shows things like the switch stack for the reset motor, option pins for number of balls, replay option, etc. that are inside the cabinet if your machine has any. Mice ate every last shred of paper in the cabinet and back box.)
As stated previously, I will isolate the make/break switch for the tilt relay and see what happens. I will also isolate all the tilt switches and check for a vibration issue, but I have already jumpered these switches earlier to eliminate a vibration issue. (This included pounding on the play field to see if that triggered a tilt. It did not.) I will also disconnect the pop bumper solenoids to check for an issue there. (Thanks Geofflove!)
Thanks to everyone for the advice! I’ll work on it over the weekend and report back on my progress.....

I'm confused. Pop bumpers don't have high power and low power windings. What exactly were you doing here?

#16 67 days ago

Why does a pop bumper have two windings? Never seen that before

#17 67 days ago

I tend to agree with Mark. Vegas odds are with the EOS switch(s).

A 2-part series coil for a pop bumper is new to me, but the schematic shows that the only way power to the thumper bumper solenoid gets completely cut, is when the switch on the thumper bumper RELAY opens back up again, and the opening of an EOS switch is also necessary for the thumper bumper RELAY to drop out.

If the EOS switches are not opening, the instantaneous current draw per bumper solenoid is closer to 12A, possibly higher if on high tap or if line voltage is high.

#18 67 days ago
Quoted from MFDChief:

I checked the resistance on both the low power and high power side of all the pop bumper coils. (Hi power side 1.3 low power side 7.5. This is similar across all 4 pop bumper coils.)

Chief, does your machine have the original E-184-190 bumper solenoids?
According to the schematic, they should have a resistance of 4.2ohms/28 ohms on the high-power/low power sides.

#19 67 days ago

Bally apparently used dual winding flipper solenoids in pop bumpers in games from the 1960s to 1970. The pop bumper drawing in the 1966 parts catalog shows a single winding (two terminal) solenoid but mentions that starting with '63 Hootenany that the dual winding E-184-190 solenoid was used instead. The drawings used in later catalogs all show a dual winding, or three terminal solenoid like the one below from the '68 catalog. Later catalogs point out that they switched back to a single winding solenoid starting with '70 Big Valley.
Bally Thumper Bumper (resized).jpg
The Rocket III parts list also shows that the pop bumpers and flippers used the same solenoid:
Rocket III Parts List (resized).jpg

#20 67 days ago

Mark, maybe you can answer the million dollar question.

Why would they do this? What is the possible reason for needing two windings in a pop bumper? I mean it's on and off, not like a flipper than needs a hold to keep from burning up the coil.

I have a 1967 Surfers. I don't recall it having this type of bumper coil but I haven't looked under there for awhile. . I'll be where the game is later today, I'll take a look. For certain I have never seen this on either a Williams or a Gottlieb.

#21 67 days ago

I dug out my Surfers schematic. It does indeed have this setup. I never even noticed. Not even when I rebuilt the flippers. LOL.

I'm just going to guess that it had something to do with the fact that Bally used 50v at this time. But it's just a guess.

#22 67 days ago

I've created a new topic to continue the dual winding solenoid discussion to avoid further hijacking this topic:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-coils-with-dual-windings

#23 67 days ago

Good Evening All!
I appreciate all the help! I worked for several hours today checking the recommendations that everybody passed on. Several of the switches needed tweaked, but I believe I found the problem when I disassembled the #1 pop bumper. As I was removing the coil, I noticed that the center lug connection was poorly soldered. Only about half of the strands of the wire were connected to the coil, and several loose strands were very close/touching the left lug. I removed the center wire, cleaned up the connection, and properly soldered it back into place. Since doing that, I've been able to play 10 games without an issue. The GI lights still dim a little, but nothing like they were when the tilt issue was present. I still have a couple of little things to address, (credit reel sticking at times and triple thick the back glass) but I believe we have found the cause of the intermittent tilt problem and the reason I started this thread.
BTW, the coils on the pop bumpers were marked A-5141, which is a Gottlieb coil. (All four pop bumper coils are A5141. Apparently, someone had a batch of spare Gottlieb coils laying around!) The readings I got when I checked the coils fell within spec of what I found at https://www.flippers.com/coil-resistance.html.
Once again, Thanks to everyone who offered their expertise. A special shout out to MarkG for his (and the other techs) help in the online repair clinic and recommendations they provided. I'm certain that this won't be the last time I post a question... It's nice to know that there is a group that is willing to share their knowledge in repairing and maintaining these awesome machines!

#24 66 days ago

Wow. The thumper bumper coils on your machine must have a serious kick to them!

A Gottlieb A-5141 solenoid is spec'd for resistances of 1.9/6.1 ohms, compared to the factory Bally E-184-190 solenoid which was designed to have 4.2/28 ohms.

When paired with the Bally 50V transformer power supply, each A-5141 would draw approximately 25A when they are initially energized and the draw would only fall off to about 6A when the EOS switch functions properly. The high power side of the 5141 entails twice the current of the original design. They must have behaved more like a turbo-charged 25V DC design used by Williams in the 70s.

If you continue to have any issues, I would think about replacing those 5141's with something closer to factory spec. Unfortunately, the performance would then probably seem lame to you

#25 66 days ago

Congrats.

Even though it was “just a poor solder” problem, we all learned a lot about some of the strange circuitry on this of game.

#26 66 days ago

I think there’s a clue being overlooked.
The resistor was a crispy critter and needed replacing. When a power resistor starts to go bad it might have an effect on the coil resistance, impedance, and current draw.
The schematic shows the coil as kk-332 100 ohm. Check if it’s the correct # and consider changing it.

#27 66 days ago

Well done finding the short. I'll admit that having both EOS switches stuck on seemed like a long shot. But I think having all four pop bumper coils not only wrong, but designed for 25 instead of 50 volts is an even longer shot.

I'll echo runbikeskilee's recommendaton to replace those coils. Over time they'll increase the wear on other parts of the game (playfield, pop bumper parts, plastics, ball, transformer, etc.).

#28 66 days ago
Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

Wow. The thumper bumper coils on your machine must have a serious kick to them!
A Gottlieb A-5141 solenoid is spec'd for resistances of 1.9/6.1 ohms, compared to the factory Bally E-184-190 solenoid which was designed to have 4.2/28 ohms.
When paired with the Bally 50V transformer power supply, each A-5141 would draw approximately 25A when they are initially energized and the draw would only fall off to about 6A when the EOS switch functions properly. The high power side of the 5141 entails twice the current of the original design. They must have behaved more like a turbo-charged 25V DC design used by Williams in the 70s.
If you continue to have any issues, I would think about replacing those 5141's with something closer to factory spec. Unfortunately, the performance would then probably seem lame to you

Yeah those need to go and need to go soon. I'm surprised the fuse can even withstand that draw even with the other issue solved.

#29 66 days ago
Quoted from pinballdaveh:

I think there’s a clue being overlooked.
The resistor was a crispy critter and needed replacing. When a power resistor starts to go bad it might have an effect on the coil resistance, impedance, and current draw.
The schematic shows the coil as kk-332 100 ohm. Check if it’s the correct # and consider changing it.

Those are the specs for the tilt relay coil. The specs on the resistor in the tilt relay circuit are
15 ohm, 5 watt. Nonetheless I recall the owner stating that he had indeed replaced the resistor, although I don’t recall an effort to verify it’s resistance.

#30 66 days ago

Hi All!
I am ordering replacement coils tomorrow! Will replace all four, so I will forward a post after I get them installed.
I did verify the resistance of the resistor that I installed on the tilt relay and it checked out at 15 ohm 5 watt. It’s hard to tell how long the wrong coils were in place, but I’d bet that was the reason the old resistor was cooked.
Thanks again for all the help!

#31 66 days ago

Sounds like you have this odd fault resolved. I must admit that when I was watching you go through the fault on the clinic, I too had never heard of such a coil being used on a pop bumper before. And certainly, I'd take those 5141s off and fit the correct ones. Likely to be a bit tame afterward but you'll get used to it!

1 week later
#32 58 days ago

Hi Everyone!
Once again, thanks for all the help!
I replaced the 5141 coils with the correct compatible coils (Thanks Steve Young @ The Pinball Resource!) and the tilt issue has disappeared. Game is now operating at 100%. I appreciate all the assistance and expertise! Never would have figured it out without y'all!

#33 58 days ago

Good to hear. Thanks for the follow up.

#34 57 days ago

Nice work. Enjoy the game!

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
Wanted
Machine - Wanted
Hackettstown, NJ
From: $ 18.00
Apparel - Men
Pinside Shop
$ 6.00
Electronics
German-Pinball-Modular
$ 40.00
Gameroom - Decorations
Arcade Arts
From: $ 69.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
From: $ 15.00
Playfield - Other
YouBentMyWookie
$ 369.00
Cabinet - Decals
Mircoplayfields
$ 21.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
UpKick Pinball
From: $ 9.99
$ 90.00
Lighting - Under Cabinet
Rock Custom Pinball
$ 12.50
Playfield - Decals
Pinball Haus
$ 239.99
Lighting - Led
PinballBulbs
$ 149.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 175.00
Lighting - Interactive
Professor Pinball
$ 14.00
Electronics
Yorktown Arcade Supply
From: $ 99.99
Cabinet - Other
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 18.95
$ 25.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
G-Money Mods
$ 29.50
Playfield - Plastics
Pinball Haus
$ 28.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
The MOD Couple
From: $ 9.99
Eproms
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 26.00
Playfield - Other
Pin Monk
$ 26.50
$ 109.99
$ 48.00
Cabinet - Other
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 54.99
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 11.95

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside