(Topic ID: 237153)

Center Target on Evel Knievel Direct Hit Not Registering


By AdjustFailure

8 months ago



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  • 14 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by AdjustFailure
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#1 8 months ago

My Evel Knievel has had this problem for years - if you "nail" the center stand up target with a hard direct hit, the ball bounces off but does not register a hit. However if it is hit by the ball a bit less directly, a bit softer or at an angle, it always registers the hit with chimes and scoring. I have cleaned and adjusted the switch behind the target but still no change. I am now thinking it is something else, on the boards or the electronics that are the problem. Anyone have any ideas how to diagnose where the problem is that prevents recognizing a fast/hard/direct hit ?
Evel Knievel

#2 8 months ago
Quoted from AdjustFailure:

My Evel Knievel has had this problem for years - if you "nail" the center stand up target with a hard direct hit, the ball bounces off but does not register a hit. However if it is hit by the ball a bit less directly, a bit softer or at an angle, it always registers the hit with chimes and scoring. I have cleaned and adjusted the switch behind the target but still no change. I am now thinking it is something else, on the boards or the electronics that are the problem. Anyone have any ideas how to diagnose where the problem is that prevents recognizing a fast/hard/direct hit ?
Evel Knievel

Either the small ceramic capacitor on that switch is missing, or has failed. The capacitor is there to stretch the pulse produced by the switch closure, meaning even with a very hard/direct hit it will still get picked up.

#3 8 months ago

Yup, capacitor definitely the most likely culprit but, I have to ask, how did you clean the switch. Did it involve filing contacts like you would do for an EM?

#4 8 months ago
Quoted from MrArt2u:

Yup, capacitor definitely the most likely culprit but, I have to ask, how did you clean the switch. Did it involve filing contacts like you would do for an EM?

Well, it could be that it's one of the 155 EM Evel's, but unlikely!

#5 8 months ago

Well it is a SS Evel, and I did clean the switch contacts with fine emery and contact cleaner, however the suggestion re capacitor does make sense to me, I will check this tomorrow. I had the feeling the root cause was too-brief a signal based on a fast and quick hit and rebound off the switch contact, given that it works otherwise fine with a slower or angled hit.

#6 8 months ago

It's supposed to have a .05 uf (or .047 uf) @ 50 volts ceramic disc or mylar capacitor connected across the switch. It stretches the switch closure pulse so the switch will register quick hits.

#7 8 months ago
Quoted from AdjustFailure:

Well it is a SS Evel, and I did clean the switch contacts with fine emery and contact cleaner, however the suggestion re capacitor does make sense to me, I will check this tomorrow. I had the feeling the root cause was too-brief a signal based on a fast and quick hit and rebound off the switch contact, given that it works otherwise fine with a slower or angled hit.

Inspect the switch contacts closely the gold plating is most likely gone or compromised. Don't use emery on gold plated switch contacts. The most aggressive you can get is a pencil eraser, and most of the time whatever dirt is on a gold plated contact can be cleaned with a business card or other piece of paper.

You still need the capacitor though.

#8 8 months ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

It's supposed to have a .05 uf (or .047 uf) @ 50 volts ceramic disc or mylar capacitor connected across the switch

So the target switch does have a flat disc-like round capacitor attached. It is labelled AE R05M 100V. I have not tested the capacitor on its own.

I do have a spare capacitor in hand which I was considering as a replacement, I believe it may be the right kind -- the new one is
more of a rectangle shape, semi-glossy green coating and labelled 473J 100V which should be .047uf capacitor ?

There appears to be a negative polarity mark to the left of the label (an elongated octagon with a vertical bar inside it).

Would this be the right capacitor to use?

Is polarity a factor? If so, the original capacitor does not appear to have a polarity marker ... at least not that I can see ....

IMG_6310 (resized).JPGIMG_6317 (resized).JPG
#9 8 months ago

Ceramic capacitors have no polarity. The first pictures shows a different type of capacitor than the second. The flat capacitor shown in the second picture is not original and is not installed correctly. The capacitor should be across the switch contacts not the diode.

#10 8 months ago
Quoted from BigAl56:

Ceramic capacitors have no polarity. The first pictures shows a different type of capacitor than the second. The flat capacitor shown in the second picture is not original and is not installed correctly. The capacitor should be across the switch contacts not the diode.

Thanks for the advice -- just to ensure I understand you -- which one is ceramic ? The green one ? The one in the machine I will remove and install the green one but across the switch contacts not the diode contacts if I understand correctly (assuming the green one is a good replacement and polarity is a non-issue?)

Sorry for asking such basic questions, I have not worked with capacitors much before and don't want to screw things up.

#11 8 months ago
Quoted from AdjustFailure:

Thanks for the advice -- just to ensure I understand you -- which one is ceramic ? The green one ? The one in the machine I will remove and install the green one but across the switch contacts not the diode contacts if I understand correctly (assuming the green one is a good replacement and polarity is a non-issue?)
Sorry for asking such basic questions, I have not worked with capacitors much before and don't want to screw things up.

The original ceramic cap (brown/disc) is incorrectly installed: Should NOT be in parallel with the diode, but across the two blades of the switch (at least one leg needs to be on the right-hand blade, and likely it should be the left-hand leg moved to the right-hand blade). Possibly your original cap is not faulty, just mis-installed.

#12 8 months ago
Quoted from Dr_Dude:

The original ceramic cap (brown/disc) is incorrectly installed: Should NOT be in parallel with the diode, but across the two blades of the switc

Ok I did the change moving the one leg over to the other switch contact -- then the target switch became unresponsive when game powered up. Perhaps the existing capacitor is defective.

So then I just removed the capacitor, and the target works as well (if not slightly better than before) in terms of responsiveness to direct hits.

Meanwhile, I guess I can just leave the capacitor off for now, and order up a .047 uf @ 50 volts ceramic disc capacitor and that will hopefully improve things further. I saw the advice above the ceramic capacitor has no polarity, so that seems to be the simplest part to install.

Thanks to those who responded with advice, I now have a better understanding of how things work with capacitors.

#13 8 months ago

You should be able to use your green capacitor, or if you can stand missing a few quick direct hits, leave it off. As mentioned, what you had was not original equipment and was installed incorrectly.

#14 8 months ago
Quoted from Billc479:

You should be able to use your green capacitor

Ah, thanks for suggesting that. I had meanwhile figured out the green capacitor is a polyester part with no polarity. I just installed it and everything
works absolutely perfectly. No matter how fast or direct the target hit, it now always registers. That's awesome to fix that after having that nuisance
for years and years with this game. Thank you.

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