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(Topic ID: 179183)

Capcom Airborne sudden ball end


By mgpasman

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by mgpasman
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 3 years ago

Since about half a year, I am the owner of a Capcom Airborne. It has not been flawless, but until now I have been able to tackle everything myself (as in: broken wires, switches and short ground). Recently, a new problem surfaced:

During the game, it randomly seems to "end the ball", as if it was drained. It does not happen every ball, but during one game (3 balls), at least one of them will end this way.

What have I done so far?

0. Enter diagnostics. There are also no warnings indicating a switch, row or column is out. (just 2 lamp warnings).

1. Enter switch test, all opto's and switches that register where a ball could be locked (trough, jet lock, R lock, L lock, work. I also tried to lock balls, to see if hitting another switch would cause a whole row or column to register (which could indicate a short row/column/blown diode).

2. I have replaced the switch indicating a ball is in the shooter lane, because it was faulty, but this did not fix the problem.

3. Then I suspected the opto's in the trough to be faulty (thinking, if blocked, it could detect a ball, ending the game). So, I cleaned them and all connectors, but the problem remains. Also, during glass-off tests, it does not end the game if trough opto's are blocked during game play.

Two things I will mention, because they might be related:

1. I have upgraded to the latest ROM version (1.6), I do not remember I had this problem with the old rom.

2. The micro switches for the drop targets seem fiddly. During switch test, they seem to keep on registering intermittently: If I drop S, it registers S, then I drop H, it registers H, and also it registers S again a few times. Might be far fetched, but maybe the hyperactive drop target switches throw off the software, resulting in ending of the ball?

I am hoping someone recognizes the problem, or could point me in the right direction?

#2 3 years ago

Put it in switch test and smack your hand on the playfield repeatedly. See if that triggers one of the optos in the trough.

Resolder all the optos in the trough.

Understand you may have a switch with a broken diode or the lugs are shorting. This can cause all sorts of weird behavior where if an unrelated switch in the column or row of another may trigger make the board thinks it is triggered.

#3 3 years ago
Quoted from dung:

Put it in switch test and smack your hand on the playfield repeatedly. See if that triggers one of the optos in the trough.
Resolder all the optos in the trough.
Understand you may have a switch with a broken diode or the lugs are shorting. This can cause all sorts of weird behavior where if an unrelated switch in the column or row of another may trigger make the board thinks it is triggered.

Thanks, I did get the feeling the "ball end" is triggered upon ball impact or flipper action, so the loose opto theory makes sense!

Edit: just tried it. The opto's do not register upon impact on the playfield. But, it does register some of the droptargets (the ones that are down).

Edit2: just disconnected all droptarget switches. Now I am able to finish a few games without sudden deaths!

I think I will start with replacing the microswitches on the droptargets.

1 week later
#4 3 years ago

I replaced all drop target switches, and although it fixed some other problem I had, the problem with sudden ball ends is not fixed. But now, when I put it into switch test, whacking my flat hand on the playfield immediately triggers all trough switches. I did not see that before (probably because at first, whacking the playfield would also trigger some of the droptarget switches). Removed the apron, and tapping the opto receiver board in the trough does the same.

Now on my way to do a reflow of that board. My very first reflow

#5 3 years ago

We running a Airborne also in our gameroom. We had exactly the same problems with the microswitches from the droptargets and the sudden ball end. We also replaced all the microswitches at the droptargetbanks. One of the transmitters in the trough was bad; replacing it cured the sudden ball end problem. We put the game in testmode, reading the switches without balls in the trough. Then from time to time one of the opto's in the trough was registering. It could take 30 minutes or more before this was happening. This revealed our bad opto.

With this kind of problems it is also worth to inspect the 0.100 connectors at the optoboards and the switch input board.

Marco

#6 3 years ago
Quoted from MarAlb:

We running a Airborne also in our gameroom. We had exactly the same problems with the microswitches from the droptargets and the sudden ball end. We also replaced all the microswitches at the droptargetbanks. One of the transmitters in the trough was bad; replacing it cured the sudden ball end problem. We put the game in testmode, reading the switches without balls in the trough. Then from time to time one of the opto's in the trough was registering. It could take 30 minutes or more before this was happening. This revealed our bad opto.
With this kind of problems it is also worth to inspect the 0.100 connectors at the optoboards and the switch input board.
Marco

So the droptarget switches might be related to the opto problem!

Anyhoe, reflowed both opto boards TX and RX (and adjusted switch belonging to droptarget A), and now it seems to work. Had one of my best games ever (well, glass-off that is .

#7 3 years ago
Quoted from mgpasman:

So the droptarget switches might be related to the opto problem!

No.....they were just 2 problems on their own not related to eachother. But we both encounter the same problems in our Capcom games. Weak spots in Capcom games?

Marco

2 weeks later
#8 3 years ago

Can anybody help me. Just picked up an airborne last night. Very clean game. Lights work, dmd works, sound works, But none of the solenoids are working no flippers, no drop targets, nothing. All the fuses are good but I noticed that most of the red leds are out on the fuses. Wondering where I should start to test issues or what the issues might be. Any help would be appreciated.

#9 3 years ago

How do you know the fuses are good. The LEDs being out suggest otherwise. Have you pulled them and tested the fuses with a meter?

#10 3 years ago

Yes I pulled them all and tested them with a meter they all tested good.

#11 3 years ago

Note that if the coin door is open, the high voltage circuit is turned off and hence the LEDs would be off on the power board. That doesn't explain why your game doesn't work, of course, but just make sure the coin door is closed when you're checking the LEDs - it has fooled me before!

#12 3 years ago

Thank you that solved the issue. Next question can you use LEDs in this machine I put a led in the back board in a 89 and the led stayed on while the other regular 89 bulb flashed they are non ghosting premium bulbs from pinball life so they are not ebay specials. But I also noticed that every single regular bulb has a very faint flicker to them that is constant and it's the whole playfield. What would cause that? It's like there power getting to all the bulbs when they should be off.

2 years later
#14 1 year ago

Trying to get back on topic, my original problem still exists. Long story short, the game experiences sudden ball ends, due to optos registering a ball in the trough, caused by shocks on the playfield (flipper/sling activity).

In the mean time, I found someone willing to change all the opto and receivers, basically, rebuild the opto boards for me. That did not solve the problem. I then swapped the boards with my recently acquired Pinball Magic, and the problem stayed within Airborne. So I think we can rule out the opto boards. My next suspect would be the connectors to the opto boards, but tapping them, even wiggling the wires, does not reveal any problem.

I created a video (3 minutes) showing exactly what I mean: https://photos.app.goo.gl/giU2XyWErrWbap7b8 (excuse my Dutch accent .

Any input is greatly appreciated!

5 months later
#15 1 year ago
Quoted from mgpasman:

Trying to get back on topic, my original problem still exists. Long story short, the game experiences sudden ball ends, due to optos registering a ball in the trough, caused by shocks on the playfield (flipper/sling activity).
In the mean time, I found someone willing to change all the opto and receivers, basically, rebuild the opto boards for me. That did not solve the problem. I then swapped the boards with my recently acquired Pinball Magic, and the problem stayed within Airborne. So I think we can rule out the opto boards. My next suspect would be the connectors to the opto boards, but tapping them, even wiggling the wires, does not reveal any problem.
I created a video (3 minutes) showing exactly what I mean: https://photos.app.goo.gl/giU2XyWErrWbap7b8 (excuse my Dutch accent .
Any input is greatly appreciated!

Knock on wood, but the problem seems to be solved by remounting the wires in the connector to the opto-sender (even though tapping/wiggling the connector would not show a problem).

Last night, after more than two years, I was able to finish a full game

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