(Topic ID: 250830)

(Solved)Bally Vector solenoid driver board troubleshooting..... help please.


By catchlight

44 days ago



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  • 23 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 35 days ago by frunch
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#1 44 days ago

Thanks for taking a look and possibly helping me. I just picked up a Vector and none of the displays work. The F1 fuse was blown on the solenoid driver board. The previous owner stuffed a 3AG 1/4 amp in the 8AG fuse holder. It looked to be making a solid connection but the fuse was blown. I put another 1/4 amp fuse in the holder (3 AG, I do not have any 8 AG) and that blew on start up also. I checked T2 at the transformer board in the cabinet and I was getting 240V. I checked T2 at the solenoid driver board and I was also getting 240V. I got a reading of 240V at the bottom leg of the fuse holder also. I keep seeing these test readings at the solenoid board should be about 175-190 volts. I included 2 pictures of the solenoid board with some suspect heat marks and a solder joint but am not sure how to proceed. If I turned down the dash pot to 190 would it quit blowing the fuse or do I have a bad resistor or cap? Or am I completely on the wrong track (very likely....LOL). I plan on modifying the fuse holder to fit a 3 AG since I have it out of the back box also. Any help guys would be greatly appreciated!
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#2 44 days ago

When R51 is burned up like that it is a pretty much guarantee that all three of the high voltage transistors will be shorted which makes HV input voltage = same as ouput voltage (~230v) and the trim pot will have no effect on HV output voltage control. A V-in to V-out shorted high voltage should not blow the output fuse on the driver board tho so its possible you have a bad display or some other kind of short on the hv output voltage.

I would repair the high voltage circuit... Replace R51 and all three transistors.

Unplug all the displays. Power up and check the HV output. If its now looks correct at about 180vdc. Plug in one display, power up see if things are working. Power down. plug in another display, power on .... until you have all displays working. If you find one display that blows the fuse repair or replace it.

#3 44 days ago
Quoted from barakandl:

When R51 is burned up like that it is a pretty much guarantee that all three of the high voltage transistors will be shorted which makes HV input voltage = same as ouput voltage (~230v) and the trim pot will have no effect on HV output voltage control. A V-in to V-out shorted high voltage should not blow the output fuse on the driver board tho so its possible you have a bad display or some other kind of short on the hv output voltage.
I would repair the high voltage circuit... Replace R51 and all three transistors.
Unplug all the displays. Power up and check the HV output. If its now looks correct at about 180vdc. Plug in one display, power up see if things are working. Power down. plug in another display, power on .... until you have all displays working. If you find one display that blows the fuse repair or replace it.

Thank you so much for the quick reply! I have trouble identifying all three trasistors. I see q22 plain enough, but I am looking at the schematic and I still cant find them. Am I correct in thinking they are on top of the heat fins? I have the part numbers, I just wanted to be sure where they were on the board. Thanks again barakandl !!

#4 44 days ago

in your picture of the back of the board the transistors are the holes labeled E B and C for emitter collector and base. The collector is the case of the big metal can transistor and is electrically connected with the heat sink mounting screw.

#5 44 days ago

barakandl has probably forgotten more than I will ever know when it comes to this stuff, but I would add the suggestion of replacing the Capacitors (C23, C26, C24) for both your high voltage and 5V areas of your board.

#6 44 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

barakandl has probably forgotten more than I will ever know when it comes to this stuff, but I would add the suggestion of replacing the Capacitors (C23, C26, C24) for both your high voltage and 5V areas of your board.

Sounds good. Thanks for the reply. I will order those also

#8 44 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

No problem.
If you are up for a little reading this might be a good reference thread:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-quick-bally-driver-board-repair-bulletproofing

I definitely will, thank you. What is considered to be a good ESR meter(?) these days?

#9 43 days ago
Quoted from catchlight:

I definitely will, thank you. What is considered to be a good ESR meter(?) these days?

Unless you're really interested in seeing how out of spec a 35+ year old capacitor is, I wouldn't bother with one. Recapping the whole board is only a few $.

#10 43 days ago
Quoted from mjalexan:

Unless you're really interested in seeing how out of spec a 35+ year old capacitor is, I wouldn't bother with one. Recapping the whole board is only a few $.

Gotcha, thanks.

#11 43 days ago

If you have a scope you can see the AC ripple in the signal. I've also just measured the AC with a meter although not sure if that's really a valid test.

#12 43 days ago

Probably a good idea to replace the caps but on these driver boards they honestly are fine more often than bad. In this case I doubt the capacitors have anything to do with problems the OP is dealing with. At times I think the rush to replace electrolytics is overblown. Everyone likes a good cap kit job tho.

#13 39 days ago
Quoted from barakandl:

When R51 is burned up like that it is a pretty much guarantee that all three of the high voltage transistors will be shorted which makes HV input voltage = same as ouput voltage (~230v) and the trim pot will have no effect on HV output voltage control. A V-in to V-out shorted high voltage should not blow the output fuse on the driver board tho so its possible you have a bad display or some other kind of short on the hv output voltage.
I would repair the high voltage circuit... Replace R51 and all three transistors.
Unplug all the displays. Power up and check the HV output. If its now looks correct at about 180vdc. Plug in one display, power up see if things are working. Power down. plug in another display, power on .... until you have all displays working. If you find one display that blows the fuse repair or replace it.

I unplugged all the displays and plugged one in at a time and found two that were blowing the HV fuse on the solenoid board. The other 4 displays now work fine with no obvious issues. I then switched one of the working displays to a non working display slot in an effort to check the wire harness and the good displays worked in the new slot, which I think would rule out the harness correct? I took out the two displays and did a visual inspection and they are very dirty with what looks to be mouse poop stuck underneath some of the pins even. I did not see anything burnt up or any obvious cold solder joints but there was some slight corrosion on some of the resistor and transistor leads. What would cause a display to blow the fuse? I have searched for advice on this forum and youtube but most post or videos are about missing digits or segments of digits, not a display blowing a fuse. Also, how can I clean these displays up. The are pretty filthy LOL.

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#14 39 days ago

With high voltage and conductive crud you may be able to blow the fuse. Check resistance of the high voltage rail to ground and compare working to none working, see if the +185v is shorted or low resistance to ground. Check VR1 to see if it is shorted.

You can wash the PCB with soapy water and a tooth brush. Then sit in front of a fan to completely dry. Alcohol or naphtha will displace the water and make it dry quicker. Maybe avoid soaking the glass. They are sealed but solvent or water might contribute to the seal breaking and gassing out.

#15 39 days ago
Quoted from barakandl:

With high voltage and conductive crud you may be able to blow the fuse. Check resistance of the high voltage rail to ground and compare working to none working, see if the +185v is shorted or low resistance to ground. Check VR1 to see if it is shorted.
You can wash the PCB with soapy water and a tooth brush. Then sit in front of a fan to completely dry. Alcohol or naphtha will displace the water and make it dry quicker. Maybe avoid soaking the glass. They are sealed but solvent or water might contribute to the seal breaking and gassing out.

I have re-read this 10 times and it is not helping, LOL. I only half understand what you are saying. (I'm really sorry or my ignorance and really appreciate your patience and all the help you have given me). Do I check for resistance of the high voltage rail on the display? Should I plug in the display with the power off to do this or can I do this on the bench with a working display and a non working one? I see VR1 on the score pcb but dont know how to test it. Again, sorry

#16 39 days ago

Power off display removed from the game. DMM on resistance measure between the HV connector pin and the ground connector pin. Compare to working display.

VR1 check. DMM set to diode check. See if VR1 reads short, 0 on dmm. Compare to working one if you are not sure.

#17 39 days ago
Quoted from barakandl:

Power off display removed from the game. DMM on resistance measure between the HV connector pin and the ground connector pin. Compare to working display.
VR1 check. DMM set to diode check. See if VR1 reads short, 0 on dmm. Compare to working one if you are not sure.

Ok, on the VR1 I get .615vdc on the good board and on the two bad boards I get .605 vdc and .616 vdc. Those should be fine, correct? When checking for a short, I believe the first pin is the high voltage one. I checked on the game harness and the first pin was reading 180 vdc and I believe the the 13th pin next to the key pin is ground. No continuity on the good board or the bad boards. Although on one bad board I did get continuity on the second pin and the ground pin. I can't seem to find a schematic that shows the pin layout on the display pcb's.

#18 39 days ago
Quoted from catchlight:

Ok, on the VR1 I get .615vdc on the good board and on the two bad boards I get .605 vdc and .616 vdc. Those should be fine, correct? When checking for a short, I believe the first pin is the high voltage one. I checked on the game harness and the first pin was reading 180 vdc and I believe the the 13th pin next to the key pin is ground. No continuity on the good board or the bad boards. Although on one bad board I did get continuity on the second pin and the ground pin. I can't seem to find a schematic that shows the pin layout on the display pcb's.

https://www.ipdb.org/files/2723/vector_manual_rev.pdf
Page 53
Pin 1 should be high voltage and pin 13 is ground
Pin 13 is connected to pin 2, see your picture of the backside of the board, the big trace goes to 2,13,14

#19 39 days ago
Quoted from mjalexan:

https://www.ipdb.org/files/2723/vector_manual_rev.pdf
Page 53
Pin 1 should be high voltage and pin 13 is ground
Pin 13 is connected to pin 2, see your picture of the backside of the board, the big trace goes to 2,13,14

I will get on it when I get home from work, thank you for all your help guys!!

#20 35 days ago

Solved, and thank you guys for all your help!

#21 35 days ago

What was the solution?

#22 35 days ago
Quoted from frunch:

What was the solution?

I ordered a Big Daddy high voltage regulator kit and reflowed the pins for the displays.

#23 35 days ago

Nice, thanks! Congrats on the fix!

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