(Topic ID: 138292)

CSI trough issue

By swampfire

6 years ago

Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 22 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by northvibe
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 6 years ago

My CSI has been dogged by a very intermittent trough issue since I bought it, and I finally figured out the problem (but not the solution). Sometimes when I lock a ball in the Skull, the 3 balls still in the trough get into this configuration:


When this happens, trough switches #2 and #3 don't register - because the balls are just beyond the physical switches. Ball 1 registers at the "Trough Jam" switch, but apparently the software doesn't act on this. The game does 2 ball searches, goes to "end of ball", and only then pops ball #1 into the plunger lane. This makes it unfit for league play, of course.

I caught the game "in the act" today when this happened - as soon as it went into a ball search following the skull lock, I opened the coin door and went into switch diags. Only the "Trough Jam" switch was registering.

Since this is a mechanical problem, I assume there can only be a mechanical solution. I don't see anything about the trough mech that looks "wrong". Any advice would be appreciated.

#2 6 years ago

So the scoop coming out is boxed, see if one of the corners cracked. My tron and lwjp were doing this. Had to zip tie the scroop together. I can get pics if you need, but just look down from the top, you should see a crack if that is the issue, at least it is the first thing to try. Mine both were cracked in the upper side near the front.

#3 6 years ago

Yes, the scoop is cracked on both sides:


I also reproduced the ball position with the scoop removed (sorry for the poor focus):


I think what's happening is that the balls and/or the trough have become magnetized. I thought I installed carbon steel balls, but maybe I missed the one magnet in the game. I'll try carbon steel balls and see if I can reproduce the failure mode manually.

How did you zip-tie your scoop to repair it?

#4 6 years ago

BTW, thanks, fellow Duluthian!

#5 6 years ago

I used several layers of foil tape to shore up the scoop, and added a layer of mylar to the trough. I'll reply if that didn't fix the issue.

#6 6 years ago

If the tape holds it should. My tron is still working. I'll go take a pic.

#7 6 years ago

I had CSI years ago. Seemed like the worst ones for the trough switches. Changed out a few. Also had VUK switch fail.

#8 6 years ago

I never had an issue with mine except a wire fell off a coil lug...

Here is mine with a zip tie


#9 6 years ago

Dark enough? Geez

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from northvibe:

Dark enough? Geez

I can see it - thanks for the pic!

#11 6 years ago

The pinballs are not being registered properly by the opto transmitter

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from Cycloneman:

The pinballs are not being registered properly by the opto transmitter

The switches and optos are working fine. The problem is that the game software ignores the "trough jam" switch when it does a ball search. The fix is to avoid trough jams (until I can rewrite the code with a P-ROC).

#13 6 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

BTW, thanks, fellow Duluthian!

Welcome! I bet it is hotter there though

I asked this same Q earlier this year. Llyod answered and you can either buy a replacement scoop, zip tie, or have a local place (or you) weld it back), but this is a very common issue.

#14 6 years ago

Bummer - the problem is still happening (but less frequently). We used CSI in league play Saturday, and it happened twice.

#15 6 years ago

Did you ever try the zip tie instead of tape?

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from northvibe:

Did you ever try the zip tie instead of tape?

I'll try both tonight. Belt and suspenders.

#17 6 years ago



2 weeks later
#18 6 years ago

So tonight, I finally caught the culprit red-handed! I'm certain now that the remaining problem (much more intermittent) is that either the trough or the balls have become magnetized. Two failure modes, both mechanical in nature - and probably due to not using carbon-core balls.


#19 6 years ago

AHHHHHHH. My lwjp did some goofy crap int he trough as well as that game has 2 magnets. Good catch, changing balls out is always a good trick for a magnet game. Hope that is the fix!

#20 6 years ago

I just ordered new carbon-core balls for all of my Sterns. It was about time to replace them anyway.

1 week later
#21 6 years ago

I just proved to myself that magnetized balls were my entire problem. I removed the trough and took it to my desk. Then I used a level to hold it at a 1 degree angle. The balls stuck to the wall! Then I redid the "experiment" with balls that I knew were carbon core. They moved freely.

I really feel dumb for putting Chrome Steel balls in this game - I'm usually more careful about that. Just glad that the issue is resolved!

#22 6 years ago

Man, those must of been magnetized good! Thanks for posting up an update!

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