(Topic ID: 99164)

Black Knight repairs

By Toyguy

4 years ago

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  • 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...


#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?


#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

#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!

#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.

#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.

1 month later
#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.

2 weeks later
#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.

#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.

3 years later
#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.

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