(Topic ID: 134865)

cradling the ball

By henrydwh

8 years ago


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  • 50 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by newpinbin
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 8 years ago

I have always been told that if you cradle the ball with your flipper, you will burn up your coil from keeping it energized! While I suspect this is false, I wanted to get some experts advice on it!

#2 8 years ago

Sterns I have blown fried the diode on the power driver board twice. (LOTR and METLE) I think that's what it was. It was a cheap part but I did pay someone to solder it for me as I am not good with boards. It was a royal pain and I replaced the fuse and blew it a few times before figuring it out. I recommend NOT cradling for more than a minute or so. Mine fried after about 5 minutes I think.

#3 8 years ago

False. Your end of stroke switch cuts the power to the main windings on the coil when the flipper is all the way up and uses the weaker winding to hold it up till you release it.

#4 8 years ago

Would it be hard on the coil sleeves? The reason I ask is I just rebuilt my flippers and my sleeves are frozen in my coils and I am going to replace them, but trying to figure out why the sleeves would be stuck. This machine was out in the wild for a lot of years, so not sure how it's been treated!

#5 8 years ago
Quoted from Imeh:

False. Your end of stroke switch cuts the power to the main windings on the coil when the flipper is all the way up and uses the weaker winding to hold it up till you release it.

Actually - new sterns pulse the power they are not double windings.

#6 8 years ago
Quoted from pinchamp:

Sterns I have blown fried the diode on the power driver board twice. (LOTR and METLE) I think that's what it was.

Nah, it can just happen. My METLE had that too, definitely wasn't from cradling.

#7 8 years ago
Quoted from henrydwh:

Would it be hard on the coil sleeves? The reason I ask is I just rebuilt my flippers and my sleeves are frozen in my coils and I am going to replace them, but trying to figure out why the sleeves would be stuck. This machine was out in the wild for a lot of years, so not sure how it's been treated!

Do a search for stuck coil sleeves. You can push them out with a nut driver if it's just stuck, if it gives me enough grief to where I'm physically exerting myself I just replace the coil. If the sleeve is actually melted, check for a shorted transistor before installing your new coil so you don't burn up your new coil.

Also if cradling balls broke machines, operating pins on location would be a nightmare. Keep in mind these are commercial machines designed for the pants-on-head stupid public to beat on, not delicate little collectors to polish up and display in a corner.

#8 8 years ago

C

Quoted from WeirPinball:

Actually - new sterns pulse the power they are not double windings.

I'm sure you are correct, I do have one Stern but haven't messed with it, all the rest of mine have double windings and end of stroke switches. Op, if your sleeves are stuck in the coil, it's likely the coil was overheated at one time or another. That can be caused by a faulty end of stroke that fails to cut the power, or an issue on the board. What game are you working on? Helps to know what style flipper we are talking about.

#9 8 years ago
Quoted from henrydwh:

Would it be hard on the coil sleeves? The reason I ask is I just rebuilt my flippers and my sleeves are frozen in my coils and I am going to replace them, but trying to figure out why the sleeves would be stuck. This machine was out in the wild for a lot of years, so not sure how it's been treated!

The coil has likely swollen. Sleeve should slide in an out with ease. If that is not the case, it's time for new coils.

Quoted from henrydwh:

I have always been told that if you cradle the ball with your flipper, you will burn up your coil from keeping it energized! While I suspect this is false, I wanted to get some experts advice on it!

No, if that happens, then something isn't working correctly. The diode(s) might have failed, the coil might be shorted, or most commonly, the EOS is filthy/carbonized or not adjusted properly.

If this is the state of one of your machines, it might be best to look at flipper rebuild kits and coils where appropriate. I usually get them from PBResource.com, some out-of-stock parts from marcospecialties, and for folks who have 90s-era games, pinballlife.com is usually the place to go.

#10 8 years ago
Quoted from DefaultGen:

Do a search for stuck coil sleeves. You can push them out with a nut driver if it's just stuck, if it gives me enough grief to where I'm physically exerting myself I just replace the coil. If the sleeve is actually melted, check for a shorted transistor before installing your new coil so you don't burn up your new coil.
Also if cradling balls broke machines, operating pins on location would be a nightmare. Keep in mind these are commercial machines designed for the pants-on-head stupid public to beat on, not delicate little collectors to polish up and display in a corner.

I had the coils sleeves out, they were hard as hell to get out, I could not get a new sleeve to go in without putting way more force on it then I wanted to! I figure just replace the whole setup, coil and sleeve.

Good point about the "pants-on-head public" lol

#11 8 years ago
Quoted from Imeh:

What game are you working on? Helps to know what style flipper we are talking about.

Sorry, I should have stated that in the beginning! Williams 1984 Laser Cue

#12 8 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Nah, it can just happen. My METLE had that too, definitely wasn't from cradling.

Both mine were a result of cradling. Held ball, took phone call and a few minutes later the flipper lost power. Replaced fuse with no luck. Diode gone. Happened exact same with LOTR and METLE. I don't cradle for long anymore.

#13 8 years ago

ST breaks when you cradle for a while with over a billion (at 31:00)

#14 8 years ago

My LOTR is the only pin I have had which failed from cradling too long. Only had it happen once.

My BK2000 flipper coil sleeves would not come out. So I bought new coils thinking the old ones overheated. I had a hard time getting new sleeves into the new coils too. So I left the old coils on the game but cut out the old sleeves and shoved new ones in. The flippers were fine for at least two years before I moved away and lost track of the game. I am not the only one who had a problem with this. Your coils may be fine and just really tight.

#15 8 years ago
Quoted from pinchamp:

Mine fried after about 5 minutes I think.

Yup, my Tron blew the flipper transistor when a player held it for about 5 minutes.

#16 8 years ago

Yikes friends. I have never had issues cradling. I have done it for at least 20 minutes before. Stern, Bally, Data East, Gottlieb, Williams, Sega, never an issue on 20+ pins. I am of the opinion that something is broke or not wired correctly if a problem occured. Like someone already mentioned, these things are designed and built for an abusive environment. Especially teenagers! I would chevk all coil wiring to a known accurate schematic. Also double check household current to make sure it is not running high. Make sure you use a surge suppressor too!

#17 8 years ago

I must admit that those stern diodes are a known problem. When better ones are out in the cradling should be fine. However I have not tested that theory but after researching I did get the better ones put in

#18 8 years ago

This is the longest running question I had too but never made a thread for: But is this any different on EM's? The very-audible buzzing sound kind of makes you not want to do it and I know it is just one coil, so is there a bigger risk for doing it on EMs than SS machines and beyond? I think it is the AC and DC voltage difference but still. Any harm to be done?

#19 8 years ago

The only games this is a risk on are games with broken/stuck eos switches or the modern stern Sam games with the undersized flipper transistors. Became a common problem during the ac/dc games and later. But usually happens when it's held for many minutes at a time

#20 8 years ago
Quoted from pinchamp:

Both mine were a result of cradling. Held ball, took phone call and a few minutes later the flipper lost power. Replaced fuse with no luck. Diode gone. Happened exact same with LOTR and METLE. I don't cradle for long anymore.

Exactly same happened to me from cradling on my METLE except just blew the fuse.

As far as I know:

Sam sterns - Single wound coils. Should just blow fuse if activating flipper coil for too long (which is why the flipper coils are are fused - to stop the coil overheating).
90's Williams - dual wound coils - low voltage on hold, regular voltage on activation therefore you can cradle for as long as you want.
New Spike Sterns - use similar system to the 90's Williams - (if not the same).

Older games Im not 100% sure, but I think 80's are also dual wound.

#21 8 years ago

The problem with the recent sterns is the transistor used on the board is not up to the task.. so the transistor was getting blown even before the fuse was.

The design should handle long term holds without blowing the fuse, but heat causes the resistence to go up, drawing more load, and other failures could ultimately melt the coil hence the need for fusing. The fuse isn't there for dealing with normal holds on the coil. It shouldn't ever blow the fuse just from a flipper hold.. but the transistor was failing before even the fuse threshold was hit. Hence the tales of 'flippers dying due to craddling' and being a real PITA because it's a board level repair to fix and get the game operational again.

The same board design has worked for a long time - it was a component issue and why since many have advocated replacing the part with a beefier one to avoid the failure.

17
#22 8 years ago

I usually only cradle long enough to drink from my beer and then point out to everyone standing nearby the next shot I will easily make. I will then miss the shot, cradle the ball, drink some more and explain how it wasn't my lack of skill but some other intricate and hard-to-explain factor that caused the miss.

#23 8 years ago
Quoted from GSones:

I usually only cradle long enough to drink from my beer and then point out to everyone standing nearby the next shot I will easily make. I will then miss the shot, cradle the ball, drink some more and explain how it wasn't my lack of skill but some other intricate and hard-to-explain factor that caused the miss.

LMAO I can see myself doing that!

Thank you all for the great info!

#24 8 years ago

A few observations:

If your EOS is misaligned or removed (which happens), your coils will remain at full "stroke" power most of the time. It's also possible that the stroke and hold lugs are wired backwards on just about any machine, and then yeah you'll probably fry the coil. Machine-gunning the flippers is probably worse than cradling in most cases.

I believe 90s Williams machines (not sure about fliptronics, fliptronics II, what have you- it's a thing though) and Sterns should have an auto cut-out that drops the power to the flipper after the button's been depressed for a second or two to compensate for a bad EOS. The thing with the last generation of Stern machines is that they use a pulsed full-power signal to keep the flippers from dropping, and the transistors they used haven't held up that well to that kind of pulsed use.

In most cases, I don't think it's something you should need to worry about. I have heard of collectors instructing people not to cradle on their personal machines, so if someone asks you not to then... don't? Up there with "don't nudge my machines" from my perspective.

When people are talking about "new" Sterns here, they're not talking about the "newest" Sterns. As far as I know, Stern has gone back to double-would coils with the SPIKE platform (WWE, KISS) instead of the PWM driven single winding ones that caused problems.

#25 8 years ago

Double post

#26 8 years ago

Got a phone call while playing AC/DC. After about 2 or 3 min. of holding the flipper up the transistor burnt.
I know plenty of others who have had this happen as well.

#27 8 years ago
Quoted from DefaultGen:

ST breaks when you cradle for a while with over a billion (at 31:00)
» YouTube video

That's awesome! Yet possibly infuriating! Good video, and good score!

#28 8 years ago

I don't consider holding the ball for excessive time (like to take phone calls) normal cradling. What I consider "cradling" is when you hold a ball or balls in normal game play for control shots or multi ball control. This rarely results in holding more than a minute or so at most, and very rarely results in damage. I don't believe they were ever designed to hold up indefinitely, with the possible exception of TZ as it is designed to hold the ball hands free in the software.

#29 8 years ago

I have the coin door ball saver feature enabled on all my modern Sterns. If I am in the middle of a game and need to take a break, I just open the coin door and let the ball drain. This seems like a better idea than keeping the flipper coil engaged for an extended period of time.

#30 8 years ago
Quoted from Imeh:

I don't believe they were ever designed to hold up indefinitely, with the possible exception of TZ as it is designed to hold the ball hands free in the software.

That's hacked code that does that, not original

#31 8 years ago

Ok,, with the title of this thread, was I alone in thinking it was about Jack Black in Tropic Thunder and the 'cradle the balls' scene?

Just sayin,,,,

d3204c4c3c2448101e5ab13a4efaad2b.jpgd3204c4c3c2448101e5ab13a4efaad2b.jpg

#32 8 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

I have the coin door ball saver feature enabled on all my modern Sterns. If I am in the middle of a game and need to take a break, I just open the coin door and let the ball drain. This seems like a better idea than keeping the flipper coil engaged for an extended period of time.

Thats a great tip.....never knew that was in the options. Does it pause the timing of whatever timed mode is running (ie 2*multiplier etc)?

#33 8 years ago
Quoted from cooked71:

Thats a great tip.....never knew that was in the options. Does it pause the timing of whatever timed mode is running (ie 2*multiplier etc)?

Typically yes I believe, but I would refrain from using it unless you have to - I have had instances where multiballs or modes get confused and the wrong numbers of balls get served up, or timings get kinda messed up

#34 8 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

The problem with the recent sterns is the transistor used on the board is not up to the task.. so the transistor was getting blown even before the fuse was.

The design should handle long term holds without blowing the fuse, but heat causes the resistence to go up, drawing more load, and other failures could ultimately melt the coil hence the need for fusing. The fuse isn't there for dealing with normal holds on the coil. It shouldn't ever blow the fuse just from a flipper hold.. but the transistor was failing before even the fuse threshold was hit. Hence the tales of 'flippers dying due to craddling' and being a real PITA because it's a board level repair to fix and get the game operational again.

The same board design has worked for a long time - it was a component issue and why since many have advocated replacing the part with a beefier one to avoid the failure.

This is spot on, the transistors(22NE10L) are the problem, they are not strong enough to handle the load for an extended period of time. This is why you replace with the heavier transistor(IRL540N), which is all most pinball parts places carry. Here is the description from Terry's website:

This transistor (IRL540N) is a more durable replacement for the easily blown 22NE10L STP transistors located in positions Q1-Q16 on the I/O power driver board of all White Star System games.

Stern reference numbers 110-0106-00 & 20N10L STP.

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=190

#35 8 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Nah, it can just happen. My METLE had that too, definitely wasn't from cradling.

Can happen either way. But I blew left flipper transistor on ACDC and 2x on Transformers LE, both times from cradling.

#36 8 years ago
Quoted from Pin_Crazed:

This is spot on, the transistors(22NE10L) are the problem, they are not strong enough to handle the load for an extended period of time. This is why you replace with the heavier transistor(IRL540N), which is all most pinball parts places carry. Here is the description from Terry's website:
This transistor (IRL540N) is a more durable replacement for the easily blown 22NE10L STP transistors located in positions Q1-Q16 on the I/O power driver board of all White Star System games.
Stern reference numbers 110-0106-00 & 20N10L STP.
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=190

Agreed. But believe it or not, I blew an IRL540N from cradling as well. I now pop heat sinks on them just to help out a bit.

#37 8 years ago

False. If your coil burns out from cradling, then you have something *wrong* and need to repair it. No brainer. Chill.

#38 8 years ago
Quoted from hawksfan:

That's hacked code that does that, not original

I'm sure it NOT hacked code. It's a HEP TZ , 9.4H roms and it came out with pause as one of the additional functions.

#39 8 years ago
Quoted from Imeh:

I'm sure it NOT hacked code. It's a HEP TZ , 9.4H roms and it came out with pause as one of the additional functions.

9.4H was distributed by Williams as a "legal" ROM but it was an unsanctioned developer project that was done in free time, more-or-less. A hacked version that removed the free play restriction was circulated at one time.

#40 8 years ago

I agree 9.4h was licensed by Williams, and I know of two other hacked versions, one to add coin play and I forget the other.

#41 8 years ago

Lot of people talking about cradling while taking a phone call. I finish out the ball before I take the call. Lol
There are priorities, you know.

#42 8 years ago
Quoted from Imeh:

I'm sure it NOT hacked code. It's a HEP TZ , 9.4H roms and it came out with pause as one of the additional functions.

it is hacked code, it wasnt the "official"release since it was non-coin, pause-able and LITZ cheated, although williams did allow it, it wasnt a "normal" release. 9.4ch is hacked to put coin play back into 9.4h

#43 8 years ago
Quoted from scottslash:

False. If your coil burns out from cradling, then you have something *wrong* and need to repair it. No brainer. Chill.

Take a stern from the last 3-4 years, and cradle for 2-3 minutes, and see if you have something *wrong* as well.

#44 8 years ago
Quoted from JafCo:

Take a stern from the last 3-4 years, and cradle for 2-3 minutes, and see if you have something *wrong* as well.

OP was not talking about a Stern from the last 3-4 years, nor was I. Further, the Sterns are blowing a transistor. Not burning up the coil as the OP was inquiring about.

#45 8 years ago
Quoted from Arcade:

Got a phone call while playing AC/DC. After about 2 or 3 min. of holding the flipper up the transistor burnt.
I know plenty of others who have had this happen as well.

Don't answer the phone while playing pinball. Problem solved.

#46 8 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Don't answer the phone while playing pinball. Problem solved.

When I get a call I put them on speaker, set the phone on the apron, and continue playing. From what I've been told it's pretty loud.

#47 8 years ago
Quoted from Law:

When I get a call I put them on speaker, set the phone on the apron, and continue playing. From what I've been told it's pretty loud.

I bet it would be! LMAO

3 years later
#48 5 years ago

Yes, just blew a fuse on my ST prem., as well as Q12 transistor from cradling the ball for two min. The fuse and transistor was replaced now and the game works. Shocked this happened. Have seen people in tournaments cradling the ball on Stern games with no issue.

#49 5 years ago
Quoted from newpinbin:

Yes, just blew a fuse on my ST prem., as well as Q12 transistor from cradling the ball for two min. The fuse and transistor was replaced now and the game works. Shocked this happened. Have seen people in tournaments cradling the ball on Stern games with no issue.

.

2 years later
#50 2 years ago

Anyone else had this issue?

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