couple of noob questions pinball repair

(Topic ID: 171832)

couple of noob questions pinball repair


By Star_Gazer

2 years ago



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  • 35 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Star_Gazer
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#1 2 years ago

- try to turn on my Lightning Stern Pinball

what doesn't work:

- there is a ground wire in the cabinet does it need to be connected to the backbox also? and is the only purpose of the ground wire not have have a shock while playing?
- self test does not work
- insert coin does not react
- in the display i read 0 0 0 instead of 00000
- no "blinking" lights on playfield

what does work:

- power on
- general lights playfield/backbox is on
- mpu lights 2 times slow , then 5 times fast (including beeps)
- ball ejects coil fires when ball drains

how to begin testing?..how to make the playfield "active" any tips appreciated!

#2 2 years ago

Yes the ground braid is just for safety, it's not required to make the game operate.
Read though the online repair guides and check it all systematically. Fuses, power supply test points should all be checked. You'll probably need at least some connector repinning, adding the various reliability mods, and replacing the +5VDC logic supply filter cap.

http://techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/ballyss/rep/index1.htm

#3 2 years ago

@wayout thanks for this, any more help apprecated!

#4 2 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Yes the ground braid is just for safety, it's not required to make the game operate.

Actually, it's required for operation as well.

In some cases it causes games to behave erratically if the grounding braid/wire isn't connected between the cabinet and backbox.

Normally, there is a bolt that you fasten the grounding/braid wire to in the backbox.

#5 2 years ago

Check to make sure there is no alkaline battery leakage (post photos if unsure). Usually connectors are a big problem, so you'll need to learn how to repin and aquire the tools if you have never done that before. Start with getting the power supply in spec first (measure with a voltmeter/DMM) make sure all the fuses are the correct value and functional. Post about any further questions you need answered.

#6 2 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

Actually, it's required for operation as well.
In some cases it causes games to behave erratically if the grounding braid/wire isn't connected between the cabinet and backbox.

I am unsure what you experienced there, as all the voltage sends and returns are through the harnesses. I've also had several Ballys in this series that had both the braid disconnected from the backbox and the ground prong missing from the mains cord. They ran well for many months before I found that the braid wasn't even connected.

#7 2 years ago

Well it actually states on a piece of paper inside the backbox: all boards must be bolted down for ground return for proper operation. (altough the main power cable didnt had a ground wire) so the allumiun piece in the backbox "flows": the ground then?

#8 2 years ago

Also the slamswitch should be closed..right?

#9 2 years ago
Quoted from Star_Gazer:

Well it actually states on a piece of paper inside the backbox: all boards must be bolted down for ground return for proper operation. (altough the main power cable didnt had a ground wire) so the allumiun piece in the backbox "flows": the ground then?

No, the metal backplane on the backbox is not the return itself, but is technically the ground "shield". This has more to do with noise reduction. Ideally, you don't want current to flow through the shield (i.e. the metal backplane). Bolting the boards to the metal shield helps reduce noise. The short answer to the question "will the game operate without the shield?" is yes. But it *possibly* can have noise issues - the degree of how much they can affect your logic, or more commonly - the audio performance - of your game can vary. There is some in-depth information here which can better explain the grounding practices:
http://www.rane.com/note151.

Quoted from Star_Gazer:

Also the slamswitch should be closed..right?

I believe most slam switches are normally open, at least the ones I am familiar with. They are usually a part of the switch matrix (this is true for Stern Quicksilver, so should be the same for Lightning)

#10 2 years ago

quick picture of the "battery" situation. te previous owner said this board should be fine. but after 7 blinks form the led it does not go in to attract mode.

IMG_0071 (resized).jpg

#11 2 years ago

does this wire have to look like this?

IMG_0068 (resized).jpg

#12 2 years ago

The battery area area doesn't look bad, a bit difficult for me to tell in the pics. Usually there are no diagnostic LED flashes if there is a problem with the reset circuit in the vicinity of the battery. Check the +43vdc power, if that is not present, that could be a problem.

As far as the 2nd pic, I don't see a problem there. Cab you explain your question?

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from Star_Gazer:

does this wire have to look like this?

Yes, it has to.

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from Star_Gazer:

does this wire have to look like this?

Looks like the end of the run. You might want to make sure it can't touch the hinge/bracket or whatever that is.

#15 2 years ago

thanks for the tips guys! small update; put some lightbulbs in the backboard and then suddenly...all went out.

#16 2 years ago

Go back to my first post and click the link

#17 2 years ago

step 1..measurement the voltage and they are all oke Hurray! (and this was a firsty!) used this video:

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from Star_Gazer:

quick picture of the "battery" situation. te previous owner said this board should be fine. but after 7 blinks form the led it does not go in to attract mode.

This is a multiball game. It may not go into attract mode if it can't detect all of the balls.

#19 2 years ago

hmm i have the balls in there, although te playfield is standing up...maybe when i push the connectors..thanks for the tip!

#20 2 years ago

where to solder this line...? you would say similar as the button below, but when i try that the game doesn't pass the mpu test.

IMG_0002 (resized).JPG

#21 2 years ago

No the test switches have a different wire pattern even though they're the same colors. That wire should go to one of the coin switches.

#22 2 years ago

- soldered that wire: repaired the test button, yay! (all solenoids kick and displays work)
Tested all boards for the right voltage, they all seems to be just right.

But still no attract mode...any tips?

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from Star_Gazer:

But still no attract mode...any tips?

MPU status LED test flashes...how many/what's it doing there?

#24 2 years ago
Quoted from Star_Gazer:

But still no attract mode...any tips?

Can you coin up and start a game? Sounds like the game still isn't seeing all balls in the trough.

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Can you coin up and start a game? Sounds like the game still isn't seeing all balls in the trough.

If it isn't getting to attract mode, it won't be polling the switches, so it won't be able to read the switches for the trough or coins.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

MPU status LED test flashes...how many/what's it doing there?

It flashes 7 times in total, that should be fine right? ive pressed the ball switches manually with cardboard (since the playfield is standing up)

Quoted from dothedoo:

Can you coin up and start a game? Sounds like the game still isn't seeing all balls in the trough.

No, cant coinup, does the attract mode not work without any balls, could that be the only reason? coindoor is still open as is the backbox door, could that affect the game (dont see any switches)

#27 2 years ago

I think Dothedoo is right about the balls. Now you have me questioning the presence of balls to start attract mode.... I'm not at my game to verify.

How about coin door switches to put test mode? This would verify the MPU is at least running - then from there you could enter switch test.

#28 2 years ago

update: It's alive! (checked all cables and fixed 2 shorts, checked out the ball assembly ) and suddenly i could insert coins and press the start button. not perfect yet..some displays flicker and only GI lights work..but hey! its awesome!

- some weird stuff:

- MPU stayed on red after i did some work at the playfield...could not get it back to the 7 flashes, i was like ..then i pressed the test button a couple of times and suddenly the machine rebooted normal.phew!

- apparently the game can "work" and boots without balls, it will just start looking for them and start firing coils

- the game will work without a working lamp driver board (maybe its working, could be a broken wire for the lights) , but you will have no attract mode and lights on targets. (it will count points..)

thanks for the tips wayout440 & dothedoo!!!

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from Star_Gazer:

- apparently the game can "work" and boots without balls, it will just start looking for them and start firing coils

If it's like F2K it will go into ball search right after boot. It won't go into attract mode until all balls or found or the search times out. Then it should go into attract and let you coin up.

Quoted from Star_Gazer:

- the game will work without a working lamp driver board (maybe its working, could be a broken wire for the lights) , but you will have no attract mode and lights on targets. (it will count points..)

You need 5V at TP2 for the lamp driver to work and 6V on the lamp braid under the playfield. Are the bulbs good? I've worked on a game where EVERY feature lamp was blown.

#30 2 years ago

checked some bulbs, seems to be fine, also the test points on the driver board have 5.2 volts. So it should be the 6v on the lamp braid, how can i test that? (red on the braid and black on ground with my multimeter? where is the ground in the playfield, the metal side rails?

#31 2 years ago

I checked the relationshio of attract mode to presence of balls on my Bally Space Invaders. This is the only -35 MPU game I have right now. When I powered up with the ball out of that game it went into attract mode just fine, and found that the ball is not required to either enter attract mode or start game. That's interesting because this board set is used on a lot of games...so is it software dependent? Who has some different early Bally/Stern that can check and comment?

Quoted from Star_Gazer:

checked some bulbs, seems to be fine, also the test points on the driver board have 5.2 volts. So it should be the 6v on the lamp braid, how can i test that? (red on the braid and black on ground with my multimeter? where is the ground in the playfield, the metal side rails?

Usually I take a jumper over to a GND test point on one of the boards. I find the side rails inconsistent, more often under the playfield I would use the ground braid (always make certain that the ground braid has a connection up to the backbox metal plate behind the boards - as often this one gets disconnected or broken when removing backbox heads to move games)

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

I checked the relationshio of attract mode to presence of balls on my Bally Space Invaders. This is the only -35 MPU game I have right now. When I powered up with the ball out of that game it went into attract mode just fine, and found that the ball is not required to either enter attract mode or start game. That's interesting because this board set is used on a lot of games...so is it software dependent? Who has some different early Bally/Stern that can check and comment?

Bally and Stern act differently with their boot up ball searches. Space Invaders is a single ball game so no ball check. It will boot, coin up and start a game without a ball in the outhole.

Centaur on the other hand will boot up with all 0's in the displays and will not coin up or start a game if it can't find all balls. So, kind of similar behavior, but Stern (at least F2K), will eventually go into attract mode.

#33 2 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Bally and Stern act differently with their boot up ball searches. Space Invaders is a single ball game so no ball check. It will boot, coin up and start a game without a ball in the outhole.
Centaur on the other hand will boot up with all 0's in the displays and will not coin up or start a game if it can't find all balls. So, kind of similar behavior, but Stern (at least F2K), will eventually go into attract mode.

Totally backwards from what I think it should be.

Think about this: Let's say you have those two games on location, one is a single ball (like Space Invaders) and one game is a multiball (like Centaur). The single ball game is essentially dead without a ball, so if it didn't still go intto attract then it would be easy to know it isn't going to play and requires service. If a multiball game, it could potentially play with less balls (of course, this would depend on programming it to acknowledge missing balls and adjust gameplay to accomodate less balls than normal) and thus the multiball game could potentially still earn money for the operator...even with a lost ball.

#34 2 years ago

That's true. How many times have you put money into a single ball game only to find out the ball is stuck and nobody available to free it for you. I know I have.

#35 2 years ago

Hurray! A poor connector from the main power to the playfield/braid did the trick (as dothedoo mentioned: the 6V). Now also the mpu control lights are working! even better...they all work! was scared that i had to do some soldering on the lamp driver board and replace some stuff.. But i had to clean some lamp sockets.

Neat little trick i found out: get an alligator clamp, and use that on the spring connector in the lamp socket and rotate cw & cc for some quick cleaning and connection checks.

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