(Topic ID: 99164)

Black Knight repairs


By Toyguy

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 39 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by Schwaggs
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 4 years ago

My intro post in the General area was getting too technical, so I'll start in here now.

Basically, I bought my first pinball machine and am beginning to work on it. The two major problems are Bonus lights 2-9 being out and a weak, unusable flipper on the lower left side.

Digging through the schematics, it's apparent that Switch Column 7 is not working since that controls bonus lights 2-9. I traced the wiring down from the Driver Board connector to the playfield light string and the continuity is good, so that rules out a harness problem and pretty much points the finger at the Driver Board. The column circuit is basically a couple transistors and IC14, so I'll probably start there. It could be the PIA but some research seems to make that unlikely since all other lamps work fine.

After some light cleaning, I could see that both lower flippers do, indeed, have the same coil. At first I thought they were different. I checked and cleaned the EOS switches but still no luck there. The flipper does not drag the playfield at all. The lower left flipper is still very anemic. I will be rebuilding them all anyway but I just have the nagging suspicion that something else is at play here. The fact that the wiring isn't quite the same on both flippers is making me antsy. I'm going to try Googling around for an under-playfield photo of the flippers so I can see if they are all like mine.

I also identified a couple other minor issues. When the ball gets launched, the horse gallop sound does not play. I think it's related to the switch under the ball while it sits in front of the shooter. That sound does play at other times, so the sound board is OK. Also, the TILT light doesn't work, although the functions do. I tested the slam tilt and the plumb bob. Both worked but never turned on the light even with a new bulb. I'll have to replace that socket next and see if that does it. The roller ball tilt is missing its ball, so I'll have to get one of those.

All the gameplay functions seem to work fine though, so that's a plus. Once the flipper is repaired it will be perfectly playable even with the lighting issues.

Any and all advice is always welcome...

Dave

#2 4 years ago

Did you adjust the EOS switch on your problem flipper? If it opens too soon your flipper will definitely be weak. Check out Vid's guide for some EOS tips:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers

I think wiring will be different on the switch since you have 1 upper flipper, though the coil wiring should be the same (though I don't have a BK so this is speculation). Maybe post pics so we can see the differences.

#3 4 years ago

I did check the EOS adjustment and it looks OK to me - pretty much the same as the right side which works strongly. I'll grab some photos tomorrow when I try what Vid suggested, which was to jumper the EOS closed and see if that beefs it up.

While I'm under the playfield, can you accurately meter the voltage across a coil? I am assuming that the center terminal is common and I should read different voltages across the center and the two outer terminals. Does that sound right?

Dave

#4 4 years ago

I just happened to have my playfield out and heres a couple of pics of flipper coils. let me know if you need more or a different angle20140722_192401.jpg20140722_192438.jpg20140722_192558.jpg

#5 4 years ago

Awesome shots, thanks! Mine does look just like yours, with the 2 gray wires on the left flipper, so that's good.

I did as Vid suggested and basically jumpered across the EOS Switch blades. That did improve the strength but not sufficiently to put the ball up the right and center ramps. The fact that it did improve though means the EOS switch will have to go. I think what I am going to do is replace that left lower flipper entirely, since the coil stop is integrated. I saw the base plate, complete with the coil and switch, somewhere on one of the parts sites, and with a flipper rebuild kit and new bushing that should be as close to new as I am going to get.

I also ordered the parts to try and repair the driver board Lamp Column 7 section. I got a new IC14, new pre-driver transistor and new IRF 9Z34N replacements for the TIP42s so I can pull the 27W resistors and just jumper them. Also got new caps for the power supply and a new 40 pin female connector set.

I think there's also an issue in the multi-ball recording at the upper playfield when balls are left over at game end, but I need to manually walk through the options there to see what's what. Anyway here's a couple of arrival pics
BKField.JPG
BKSide.JPG

#6 4 years ago

OK, here's an operational question. Should the game be remembering locked balls between balls? Mine doesn't seem to. I know there is a setting for Locked Ball Memory or something like that. Is that setting what controls that behavior?

And on the topic of the galloping sound effect, I've gotten that working on the ball launch most of the time - I think I will probably replace that leaf switch too as cleaning it didn't seem to help any. At least I know the circuitry is working.

Thanks a lot for the help!

#7 4 years ago

I don't know about the locked ball thing . mine hasn't been working long enough to get into that lol. I should have it back together tonight after touch up and clearcoating the playfield. I just got my rottendog mpu board back from jim, so hopefully everything goes well. I do know that at end of the game any locked balls remain locked, unlike my xenon at end of the game the are ejected. you might try a switch test in the diagnostics to test your leaf switches and such. but make sure you do it with a pinball in the ball troughs and not your finger. sometimes the ball will rest differently than if you push the switch by hand ive noticed. if you recap the power supply board you should follow vids guide its very good and he knows his stuff. I did everything in the guide except the 5volt regulator which I understand rarely goes bad, but mine did and sent 13 volts to the mpu and burned the clock up. jim at rottendog gives awesome customer support , he repaired it and paid the shipping to send it back to me at no charge. this is the second time hes fixed it and not charged me. anyway that's another post all together. good luck with your BK

#8 4 years ago

Thanks. I'd be interested in your opinion of the Rottendog board. Is that the one that is a combined MPU/Driver in one board? I might consider grabbing one to have on hand just in case I screw up the repair to my driver board.

The locked ball memory is indeed a controllable factor. I went through and reset all the settings last night and upon checking the manual, the default is Locked Ball Memory off, so that explains why I noticed the difference. The previous owner must have had it turned on. I also reset the High Scores last night, which didn't seem to take as I expected but when I powered up tonight, it was set where I wanted it. That allowed me to test all the High Score awards and ssuch, which worked just fine.

I did go ahead and order a full left flipper assembly from Marco, which basically comes with everything but the bat. Hopefully that will put paid to that problem.

#9 4 years ago

I really cant give an opinion of the rottendog because ive only tried it in one machine, mine. and mine has other issues I think than the board itself. I need to replace some molex plugs and some of the plugs that goto the board itself. you will read mixed opinions on the rottendog board but I think its not the board but the machine its put into. I have had several issues with gameplay that will change just by me unplugging plugs and plugging them back in will most of the time fix the problem or make it different somehow. it is very nice not having 2 separate boards and also being able to put it in other games just by flipping dip switches and not having to have the actual game roms. I think rottendog makes a good product and has some of the best customer service ive seen. jim will take time to walk you through any diagnostics needed to fix your problem. im sure he got a few gray hairs helping me lol. an example of one problem I have is in switch test mode all the switches will register properly and when all the balls are taken out of the game I have no swtiches reading closed, which is normal, but when I play a game when I lock a ball in the upper trough it will not kick another one out. it just sits there. last time before the voltage regulator went out I had this problem and it was one bad connection on one of the plugs to the mpu board.

#10 4 years ago

I replaced every single connector in the back box when I got my BK - every single one. That fixed the majority of the issues my game was having.

#11 4 years ago

I put the brand new flipper assembly from Marco in tonight. I may still have some lurking wiring issues, as once I soldered it up and tried to play a game, the left flippers (upper and lower) were completely dead. I raised it back up and checked that everything was connected and in the right place, tugged on the wires on the coil and switches and once I lowered it, everything was working. I'm not convinced there isn't a sketchy wire there somewhere, or maybe on the flipper button. I'll just have to keep an eye on it. For now though, it's nice to be able to get the ball back up top!

Now it's on to the Lamp Column 7 issue. I got some good troubleshooting tips and I have all the parts I could need so it's time to dig into that problem.

#12 4 years ago

Congrats on the flipper job, sounds like a flaky solder connection. Good luck with the lamp fix.

4 weeks later
#13 4 years ago

Hi guys, got a BK yesterday. What's the best way to prop up the playfield for working underneath?

#14 4 years ago

Doesn't it have a prop-rod mounted on the right side of the cabinet under the play field?

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from Boise_D:

Hi guys, got a BK yesterday. What's the best way to prop up the playfield for working underneath?

I seldom use the prop rod on old games because it twists the playfield and can pop inserts.

Stand the playfield up vertically and carefully lean it against the backbox.

There is normally a notch in the cab to hold the playfield at a comfortable angle.

service position.jpg
#16 4 years ago

It does, and that works okay. I've heard you should limit using that as it puts too much pressure on one side. I'm trying to go vertical so I can work underneath. I've been too chicken to remove the whole playfield so far.

#17 4 years ago

I'll go look again for a notch. Thanks Vid

#18 4 years ago

With Black Knight, the playfield is just floating loose. I pull it forward a bit, flip it up all the way to were it rests against the back box, and that's it. I think I may have even removed my prop rod, it worked like crap the few times I tried it.

#19 4 years ago

Yeah, that's what I found and did too. It could slide, but it didn't. Interesting to see the improvements they made later.
I'm getting tempted to take the whole playfield out for work. I'm getting more and more comfortable working on these, with lots of reading time on Pinside. I can't begin to express how grateful I am for this site and the members who post.

What did you do about batteries? Remote holder? With or without diode? Memory holder? They seem to be out of stock at mouser and Great Plains. The battery thing is bugging me for my machines, because I don't know for sure whether or not I need a damn diode. I just read my ops manual cover to cover, and it doesn't say whether or not it uses alcaline or rechargeable.
Black knight
Taxi
Jokerz

#20 4 years ago

NVRAM is the way to go, if you're comfortable with adding a socket (or if you've already got one for the 5101)

Otherwise remote battery holder, no diode needed on these.

-Hans

#21 4 years ago

wow - BK needs lots of work, but what a fun game.
1. I think I have issues with both of my troughs. Are those difficult to swap out for the microswitch ones?
2. Is there a trick to getting under the upper playfield?
3. Is this an original bumper cap? The broken spot in this picture is the only thing wrong.

Post edited by Boise_D: better picture

IMG_4256.JPG
#22 4 years ago

I believe that is an original cap. Too bad that's dinged up. The replacements are not quite the same.

I can't speak to the troughs as mine came to me with the microswitch option already installed. I believe you can still get those kits from Marco, or maybe it was Pinball Resource.

As for the upper playfield, I believe that for some things, it will have to come off. That I do not know anything about yet.

1 week later
#23 4 years ago

My BK needs work for sure. Hopefully this group can help. I've also found a few great blogs out there.
I still haven't figured out how to get to the lower lock hole. I'm sure I'll figure it out when I start removing ramps. I noticed that the kicker that ejects the ball to the shooter lane is sharp and worn. If anyone know where I can find just that part, or the assembly please let me know. Marco is sold out. http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/B-9361-R-5. I'm surprised that these are metal and pointed where they strike the ball. Doesn't that ding the ball, and lead to playfield wear? I thought maybe there would be a hard plastic cap or cover on that thing.

Also, after reading Vids flipper guide several times, I see that Black Knight is exactly the opposite of what Vid recommends. Coils facing the wrong way, and on mine, the leaf switch has the extra support he recommends, but it seems to be supporting the wrong side! It is on the same side as where the switch is struck. My flippers work okay, so I might get away with just replacing links and sleeves, but I'd be missing out on coil stops. Opposite the coil stops, does anyone know where to find the rubber stops? Some of mine are missing. Or, if I were to replace the entire assembly, which kit should I buy?

When I'm trying to assess this project, I can almost hear the black knight laughing...

#24 4 years ago

Hard to believe this thread is quiet. I've been playing my Black Knight more than working on it. This game rocks

#25 4 years ago

Haha, me too! I finally broke a million, which is good for me.

I put my new Kohout power supply in and am slowly re-pinning all of the machine's connectors after starting on the PS. The next big thing will be flipper rebuilds on the upper playfield, as the cranks are too smushed to get new bats installed.

Long term - I have a line on a new playfield and if that comes through I'll probably start a full restore.

#26 4 years ago

A repro playfield would be nice. I was wondering if a good cleaning, followed by clear coat would help even out the bumpy inserts. I know nothing about clear coating.

#27 4 years ago

Fortunately my inserts on the original playfield are pretty good, with only a couple non-critical low spots. If the new playfield does not work out I will invest in a restoration and clear coat on this one to keep the jeweled inserts.

Clear would certainly help your inserts but, like you, I am not sure I'd want to try shooting clear myself. Better to engage an expert for that I think.

#28 4 years ago

Like this?
P1010003.JPG

#29 4 years ago
Quoted from LEE:

Like this?

P1010003.JPG 250 KB

whoa man. that looks delicious...

2 weeks later
#30 4 years ago

Just installed my Cliffys yesterday. On the upper lock cliffy, there is a hole on the left side, that makes me think a screw should be present inside the V of the metal ball guide. Sure enough, there appears to be a mark on the playfield where something was once there. What do you guys have in yours?

#31 4 years ago

Mine has a finishing nail there.

-Hans

#32 4 years ago

Thanks Hans

3 years later
#33 11 months ago

Bought a Black Knight pin last year with LEDs & Topper for $1800. It worked well. Haven't played for several months cuz have epilepsy & the flashing lights are a problem. However, recently put on the market for local sale, & the machine works except for the ball launcher. The balls stay in place after repeated resets. The wire connections look solid, have 3 balls in place & batteries are good.

Please help! Tx - rich (Appleton, Wisconsin)

BK PSCrop Setup Aug 1st 2017 (resized).jpgBK Topper 2017 (resized).jpgBKf3 2017 (resized).jpgBowling Alleycats Dec9th 2017 (resized).jpgBreakFlyingSwords4AcesArk Fronts (resized).jpg
#34 11 months ago

Put it in coil test and see if balls kick out to the plunger lane. If not, maybe a wire came loose on the coil. If that test is OK, remove all the balls, raise all the drop targets and go into switch test. See if all of the ball trough switches register as you roll balls into the drain. If any balls are in the lock, it could also be those switches. It won’t start unless it sees 3 balls.

#35 11 months ago
Quoted from Toyguy:

Put it in coil test and see if balls kick out to the plunger lane. If not, maybe a wire came loose on the coil. If that test is OK, remove all the balls, raise all the drop targets and go into switch test. See if all of the ball trough switches register as you roll balls into the drain. If any balls are in the lock, it could also be those switches. It won’t start unless it sees 3 balls.

Tx much 4ur quick counsel! rich

1 week later
#36 11 months ago
Quoted from Toyguy:

Put it in coil test and see if balls kick out to the plunger lane. If not, maybe a wire came loose on the coil. If that test is OK, remove all the balls, raise all the drop targets and go into switch test. See if all of the ball trough switches register as you roll balls into the drain. If any balls are in the lock, it could also be those switches. It won’t start unless it sees 3 balls.

Original Post: "Bought a Black Knight pin last year with LEDs & Topper for $1800. It worked well. Haven't played for several months cuz have epilepsy & the flashing lights are a problem. However, recently put on the market for local sale, & the machine works except for the ball launcher. The balls stay in place after repeated resets. The wire connections look solid, have 3 balls in place & batteries are good.

Please help! Tx - rich (Appleton, Wisconsin)"

Toyguy: ran Diagnosis ok until Solenoid Test. None of the solenoids fired. Is this a blown fuse or something else? Ur thoughts are appreciated - rich

#37 11 months ago
Quoted from RichPundit:

Original Post: "Bought a Black Knight pin last year with LEDs & Topper for $1800. It worked well. Haven't played for several months cuz have epilepsy & the flashing lights are a problem. However, recently put on the market for local sale, & the machine works except for the ball launcher. The balls stay in place after repeated resets. The wire connections look solid, have 3 balls in place & batteries are good.
Please help! Tx - rich (Appleton, Wisconsin)"
Toyguy: ran Diagnosis ok until Solenoid Test. None of the solenoids fired. Is this a blown fuse or something else? Ur thoughts are appreciated - rich

Could easily be a blown fuse if none of the solenoids are firing. Check F2 on the power supply board. F2 is the bottom fuse in the stack of fuses on the left side of the board. With the game off, remove the fuse and test the resistance of it with a meter. Sometimes you can visually see that it is blown but sometimes they look good but are blown which is why you might need to test it with a meter to know for sure. 2.5 Amp slow blow fuse goes there.

#38 10 months ago
Quoted from Schwaggs:

Could easily be a blown fuse if none of the solenoids are firing. Check F2 on the power supply board. F2 is the bottom fuse in the stack of fuses on the left side of the board. With the game off, remove the fuse and test the resistance of it with a meter. Sometimes you can visually see that it is blown but sometimes they look good but are blown which is why you might need to test it with a meter to know for sure. 2.5 Amp slow blow fuse goes there.

F2 fuse it is!!! Looks good, but no continuity. Tx very, very much Schwaggs - rich

#39 10 months ago
Quoted from RichPundit:

F2 fuse it is!!! Looks good, but no continuity. Tx very, very much Schwaggs - rich

Awesome! Congrats on finding the problem!

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