(Topic ID: 77868)

Cirqus Voltaire slam tilt error, unable to locate problem. Any advice would be +

By chrisjens2

5 years ago

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  • 33 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by whthrs166
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#1 5 years ago

I have an early production CV. It was one of the prototypes with "crank" and "tickle the ringmaster" and it only has 125 plays total. The thing is in mint condition because it never gets played. When you are in the middle of a game, the slam tilt error goes off and the machine restarts. This has led to it sitting in the corner because of the frustration factor. I tried opening the door and taping the contacts for the bump / slam tilt switches, didn't work. I removed the plum bob and even disconnected the connector for the wiring loom to the door tilt switch, didn't work either. I can't fix the issue and there are no pinball tech's within 2 hour drive from me. Any advice would be appreciated as it's my wife's favorite pin.

#2 5 years ago

Go into switch edge test and test the two slam tilts there. One is in the cabinet bottom and one on the coin door.

The tilt bob has nothing to do with this.

You might also stay in the switch edge test and manually trigger every other switch in the game and see if one also registers a slam tilt hit. Please report back. We need data.

#3 5 years ago

Ok, I'll try that. I bent the contacts up so there was no way they would connect.....but the error still occurs. You're saying to locate the error by going into the diagnostic test and checking each switch manually.....never thought of that one. Thanks for the insight, I'll try it.

#4 5 years ago

Start by unplugging the connector that attaches from the slam tilt to the little board inside the cabinet
If the slam tilt error goes away when unplugged your harness or slam tilt is the problem
If it doesn't go away when unplugged you might have a more serious issue

#5 5 years ago

I'd put a bet on bad wiring on the left slingshot switch.

You can test it by using switch test and holding the slingshot so the switch is closed, then trying other switches. Immediate suspects would be the saucer and ball locks.

It is almost certainly bad switch / diode wiring somewhere in the matrix. The problem is normally such that two switches have to be closed, which points to the saucer, or juggler or high wire locks.

#6 5 years ago
Quoted from PamPinbits:

I'd put a bet on bad wiring on the left slingshot switch.
You can test it by using switch test and holding the slingshot so the switch is closed, then trying other switches. Immediate suspects would be the saucer and ball locks.
It is almost certainly bad switch / diode wiring somewhere in the matrix. The problem is normally such that two switches have to be closed, which points to the saucer, or juggler or high wire locks.

I had this same problem on a HS2. Only when the left sling AND the shifter was pulled up at the same time it would slam tilt because slam tilt was in the same row. Took me a long time to isolate the problem. Look for what 2 switches may be closed at the same time when the slam tilt occurs.

From your original post I'm assuming that no one has ever done any work as far as replacing switches, etc. Look for a diode with a broken lead on one of the offending switches.

#7 5 years ago

You can get a slam tilt if a switch on that same row or column of the slam tilt shorts. I had the issue on my WCS'94 because the goalie switch had a horrible solder job and the solder was breaching the gap. Anytime it was hit the game would SLAM TILT. Turn the game on and go through each switch and see if one is causing it to happen. Look and see why.

#8 5 years ago

Have you done any work on the game recently?

If you replaced a switch, mis-wired lugs could be your answer.

If it's not what Pam suggested, it's probably a similar easy fix--you just have to find it by scouring every square inch of the game (also check the matrix like Taylor suggested).

Then look for things like something shorting the point blades on switches.

A wiring short (also check the door harness).

Switch lugs, wires, diodes all smashed together and shorting out.

Perhaps even something like a fallen screw behind a board (lower cabinet or head).

Good luck with the hunt.

#9 5 years ago

Test the other switches on that same row. Your whole row may be out.

1 month later
#10 5 years ago

Any update on resolution of this one?

#11 5 years ago

No i tried looking at it for about an hour yesterday and got sidetracked with the kids drama. I'm going to try after work one day this week.

#12 5 years ago

I had this problem on a CV and it was a wire broken off the switch on the ramp to the upper playfield. It was making intermittent contact and visually looked solder on but upon moving the wires I found the problem.

Check that first - if I remember there is only one switch on the ramp on the way up.

#13 5 years ago

Cool; I had this happen last night, and it's only happened once, but I'd like to fix it if I can

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from pintechev:

Cool; I had this happen last night, and it's only happened once, but I'd like to fix it if I can

What happened? Can you describe the error a little bit for me please?

#15 5 years ago

Was in the middle of playing, and the game randomly gave me a slam tilt and I did not slam it, I swear Only happened once so far, but I do want to understand it.

#16 5 years ago

Here's some info from Clay which may help:

Wacky Switch Matrix due to Low 12 volts.
On some WPC games, in particular Theatre of Magic, a weak BR1 or weak 7812 voltage regulator on the power driver board can cause some wacky switch matrix problems. For example, if the game is doing a "slam tilt" or randomly firing the slingshots or flippers or other coils, the power to the switch matrix may be weak. The 12 volt fluctuation for the switch matrix can often be seen when many of the feature lamps are on. Try removing connector J133 (disabling the playfield controlled lamps) and see if the problem goes away. If it does, rebuild the 12/18 volt power secition (BR1, C6, C7, the Q2 7812 voltage regulator), and install jumper wires from BR1 to its associated filter caps (as described in the reset section). This bridge rectifier and voltage regulator supply the power for the switch matrix.
For example, wacky game behavior on Theatre of Magic (ToM) can be caused by low or intermittent 12 volt power (usually due to a bad or cracked traces around bridge BR1). Maybe most all coils fire like slingshots, magnets, pop bumpers, and the low (hold) voltage on flippers, or even a slam tilt.

Phantom Switch Closures: a Shorted or Mis-Wired Switch.
It's a strange problem. While playing a game, the ball goes down the right inlane, and the left slingshot fires! Or when making a ramp shot, the game slam tilts. One switch closes, but a completely unrelated event than occurs.
This is a classic problem of a shorted or mis-wired switch. It confuses the switch matrix into thinking something else has occurred. This can happen from an "air" pinball, that bashes an above playfield switch's contacts together, causing a short. This is very commonly seen on say Indiana Jones, un the front right side of the Path of Adventure, where the switche contacts are exposed and easily bent together by an air pinball. This problem can also occur from an improper repair where the row/column wire is wrongly attached to the switch and/or switch diode. Also a bad switch diode can do this too. In any case, the problem switch needs to be found. Unfortunately, it won't be obvious. The switch matrix is confused, so any diagnostics the game provides will be of limited help.
First, try and find the "phantom" switch (the switch that causes something unrelated to happen). Take the playfield glass off, and start a game. Activate the switches with your hand, and find the phantom switch. Once the switch is found, go to the game manual and find the switch's number, row number, and column number. Say for example, switch 53 (column 5, row 3) is causing the phantom closure. Now get the other three switches that make up the "square" of this row and column. First get the reverse switch number, switch 35 (column 3, row 5). Then get the other two switches: switch 33 (column 3, row 3), and switch 55 (column 5, row 5). The switch short will probably be one of these four switches.
For example, if a row wire is attached to the wrong end of the switch's diode, the following can happen: If the mistake-wired switch (#1) is triggered and another switch (#2) on the same column is triggered at the same time, then another switch

(#3) on the same row as the mistake-wired switch #1 is triggered, the switch (#4) on the same column as switch #3 and on the same row as switch #2 will also shows as triggered, even though switch #4 wasn't actually triggered. (Wow, that was confusing!) For example, row 3 column 3 (r3c3) is mistake-wired as described above. If r3c3 and r2c3 are triggered simultaneously as well as r3c6, then r2c6 will also show as triggered (falsely).

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from pintechev:

Was in the middle of playing, and the game randomly gave me a slam tilt and I did not slam it, I swear Only happened once so far, but I do want to understand it.

Yeah, sounds like the same issue. San Jose isn't too far away, but too far to just swing over. I'll keep you posted of my results and see if I can help you with pictures when I figure it out!

#18 5 years ago

Thank you! So far, it's just been once. Yeah, a little too far away

#19 5 years ago

Ok, I think I found the problem. After checking every switch I have 2 errors. Switch #32, and #43. Switch #32 is ball through #1 and switch #43 is Ringmaster center. I looked at the ball trough and there are 2 boards on either side of the ball trough with opto's on each side. (I think that's what they are called, correct me if I am wrong) The side closest to the player has all clear ones and the side closest to the backbox has all dark colored WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BALL #1 - SWITCH #32. I think that's the issue. I have attached a picture below. The clear out of place opto has been replaced before, you can see the solder differences. What is that part # so I can buy a new one from pinball life? Or should I just take the one board off and send it to a repair person?

#20 5 years ago

Second angle shot


#21 5 years ago

From the second picture, you can clearly see that the first "clear" one has been replaced before

#23 5 years ago

Thank you. Just ordered the replacement and we'll see if this fixes the error. I wouldn't think that one or even 2 switch errors would cause the slam tilt problem, but I think this is the next step in the troubleshooting process.

1 week later
#24 5 years ago

I was able to find the problem on my game. I recently rebuilt the Boom Balloon assembly to clean it and install new yokes, etc, and, whoa did someone hack the switch wiring. There was a lug with no wire on it, but a huge gob of solder. Sure enough, go into switch test and engage the middle jet bumper and the left slingshot and slam tilt lights up as well. It "worked", but in multi ball when both are going, the game will slam. Doesn't happen often, but what a buzzkill when it does!

I am buying a new Boom Ballon switch and will replace it/rewire it correctly. I am hoping that fixes it!

MANY thanks to the Pinbits folks for the clue on the left slingshot. That coupled with seeing it slam last night with the Boom Balloon up made it very clear that there was an issue and made it easy to diagnose. Can't wait to report back on this one.


2 weeks later
#25 5 years ago

Replaced the ball trough board, replaced the middle ringmaster switch, started the game and had a great playing game. THEN, game #2 the game said "Welcome to the sideshow"........then stuck for about 10 seconds then shut down and restarted. I went back into the test mode and all switches are working properly. No tech's anywhere near me so I'm thinking about just buying new boards and starting there.

#26 5 years ago

W/game on, have you tried hitting each target/switch/etc. (rolling ball)and see if any specific switch caused the slam/tilt? Are you still getting slam/tilt error or is the game now just resetting?

#27 5 years ago

Just resetting but I will try manually activating each switch again and see if the slam tilt trips again.

#28 5 years ago

Buying new boards is throwing away money. Which boards are you going to start with, and why?

As others have said above...Pam (who knows her shit) and Clay, (who knows his shit), this is in all probability a switch matrix issue. All the new boards in the world won't fix that. A slam tilt is (to me, and I've been at this a long time) one of the most difficult issues to track down. Once you track it down, it's a simple fix, but it's the getting there that's the problem. You have to take a systematical approach, and Clay outlined it perfectly above. Put the game into switch test, grab your manual, and close every switch on the playfield. Compare the switch number on the DMD to the switch number in the manual for the switch you are manually closing. If you find one that doesn't match up, your issue is probably on that switch, or three others....if the switch that doesn't match is 43, look at 43, 34, 33, and 44.

Please note that a "switch" error, as you described above, does NOT point to the culprit of a slam tilt problem. Switch errors mean two things: the switch has remained closed when it should have opened at some point, or that the game has not seen a given switch close in X number of games. That could mean you are a shitty player, or it could mean the switch is just shot, or the actuator isn't actuating, or a wire has come loose from the switch. You've cleared the switch errors (haven't you?), but you haven't touched the slam tilt issue.

One clue you found is that it happened when the ball in Sideshow. AFAIK, the magnet is activated by the left loop enter switch. The magnet will grab the ball, hold it, and drop it into the left (?) saucer. If the slam tilt occured when the ball hit the saucer, that is an excellent place to start. So start your switch test there. Enter switch edge test, close the switch, and see if the DMD reports the same number as what your manual calls for that switch.

Good luck.

#29 5 years ago

I had a wire come off a standup target on my shadow and foolishly soldered it back onto the wrong tab so it was the wrong side of the diode. Shortly after that particular standup started giving me slam tilts during multiball. My own fault obviously and wasn't emmediately apparent what was causing it at first but I got there in the end and moved the wire to the right tab. The moral of the story is compare all your switches and make sure the wires are in the right place.

#30 5 years ago

forgot to say that is the switch test comes up ok, then look at every switch for a loose or miswired diode...where the silver band is not oriented as the others...the band will always go to a lug with no wires on it. Also, look at each switch, especially exposed ones on ramps, for any of the lugs touching other lugs or a lug touching a diode wire anywhere but where it is attached to a lug, little stray strands of wire that touch another lug or the diode wire where the strands didn't all get soldered to a lug, stuff like that.

#31 5 years ago

Williams sometimes had shortcuts built in that will sometimes defeat testing- sometimes the game itself controls switches (especially 'specials') so if you don't find the issue following above and

If in the games you have played you haven't seen a pattern set up the game in play- glass off and force each mode one at a time till the error appears- Remember what happened just before OR better yet AS the error occurred-

(On Riverboat Gambler I went through lighting CASINO one letter at a time and disallowed other 'shots' to take place)

After an error reset and do just the "thing right before the error" (TrBtE):

IF TrBtE causes reset - check wiring check for short or miswired things or lose connectors ELSE start over and use a timer-

IF TrBte causes reset and no short or miswired issues check Transistors upstream that actuate both the error and TrBte.

IF error occurs at X minutes check capacitors (on power board).

There's a way to narrow down an error backbox OR PF - you might want to check how to do that on CV, it may require alligator clips so I haven't done that yet.

#32 5 years ago
Quoted from chrisjens2:

Just resetting but I will try manually activating each switch again and see if the slam tilt trips again.

I got my machine fixed. It was a mis-wired switch. Buying a new board won't help you. It won't fix this. You need to go into switch test and follow the advice above. I was able to find it in under 5 minutes of testing. Hold down the left slingshot and touch every other switch on the game. One of them will give you an extra slam tilt switch. That will be where you need to start looking. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!


1 year later
#33 4 years ago

I would like say thanks to all the folks in this old thread. I just picked up a CV and it had a slam tilt problem. I have had a lot of Williams Bally wpc machines and I have never encountered a slam tilt problem til now. CV is a very different design in some respects and has some unique problems. The advice given in this thread is valuable and timeless. It kept me going in the right direction even after I was in doubt. I discovered that everytime I hit the left lane target the machine would slam tilt. The LL target was not the problem, matter of fact nothing in the entire row was problem. LL is next to upper ring master switch in the column. The upper ring master switch was shorted and everytime the LL target was hit it caused the slam tilt. I could see where this would be a common slam tilt problem because the Ring master switches are so tight inside the mechanism. If you change out any of those three switches you have to be very careful that you get the new ones back in there just right with wires correctly routed. Thanks again folks for helping another pinhead.

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