(Topic ID: 82437)

Did I kill my Demolition Man?


By Chaos

6 years ago



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  • 24 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by ChrisHibler
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 6 years ago

Very sad today. And also willing to admit I am an idiot.
Recently got my first 2 pins, and have fallen in love with them. I always wanted a pin, and when a High Speed finally came along at a good price, I jumped at it and assumed it would be my first and only one. However a Demo Man came along a week later, and at a fair price, and fell in love with it too...so now have 2 pins in my lounge and luckily a girlfriend who loves them as much as I do.

Did a lot of research, and not being an electronics guy, decided I would be very happy to clean, polish and fix things like rubbers etc. But wasn't going to tackle things out of my league like electronics. We have been cleaning and sorting plastics and changing bulbs etc for 2 weeks and loving it. Both machines work fine..no real errors and mainly cosmetic stuff to do.

Demo Man is my fav, and have been sorting it out mainly.Sourced plastics, have new rubbers coming, and even repaired a faulty flipper. (wire came loose)
All was fine. Until....

Thursday night we did some cleaning with a dry cloth in the back box. Know enough not to move any connectors or short anything out. At least I hope not. Was stupid enough to remove the ribbon cables, one at a time. However I am really sure that we put them back the right way. Red stripe to pin 1. The only one without a pin 1 is the thinner one to the DMD, and that seems to have a little triangle showing pin one I assume? Larger triangle on the ribbon. I am fairly sure we got them back the correct way. Have since checked a few times, and still think they are correct.

Anyways, we also put in some led's and polished the playfield a bit. New bulbs in the back board too. So I am not sure exactly what action caused the result. When examining the back box, I pressed every connector I could see...to make sure everything was seated.

Then I turned the game on. And that's when a little part of me died.
As soon as it turned on, all flippers activated upwards, and there was a hum.The DMD came up with scrambled random dots. In about 3 seconds, I turned the machine off..as I could see this was not right, and I was freaking.

Checked the ribbon cables in case I had flipped one around. Pressed all connectors. Then turned it on again, this time for about 5 seconds. The flippers activated (and maybe other solenoids..I was too freaked to note) and then there was a flash, and a fuse blew. I immediately turned the machine off. There were about 4 LED's still glowing after the machine was turned off. They lit for about a minute after the plug was unplugged.

So this is where I sit. I have checked everywhere to see if there is a short, but cannot visually see anything. The fuse that blew was F112 (secondary solenoids?)
If I turn it on for 2 seconds now, the DMD is scrambled, and I suspect in a few seconds that fuse will blow again since the flippers are activated and it just sounds ominous.

I am depressed as hell. Being in South Africa means that there aren't a ton of repair guys or parts. There are one or 2 good guys I think..but don't want to lose the machine for months and be told that i need to replace boards for tons of money. But I also love this game and want it working.

So here's my dilema. I need to know what can a novice check and do before I am forced to hand it over to a pinball technician? I have a digital MM and can do basic soldering.

Because the flippers/solenoids were activating..does this indicate a short on one of them? Cannot see any lamp's that are shorting, but not to say they aren't I guess.

I am scared when switching it on that i am going to blow more than a fuse. If I leave it on past the fuse blowing, can I do further damage to a board? because if I can leave it on longer than a few seconds, I can check which LED's are lit. I think the 5v one was on, along with the others that are supposed to be...but cannot be 100% certain. I don't want to damage anything more.

Can i disconnect ribbon cables without damaging anything...in order to see if I can get it to start? If so, I would start with the one on the fliptronics II board and only connect the ends to the boards, and not the middle connection?
Or what cables can I disconnect?

I will try and check all the fuses, but since the game was playing fine before...I don't think the problem is there. I should have one 7A slow blow to replace the one that blew (F112?)
I have repeatedly checked all connectors in the back board. Nothing seems loose or disconnected. Pressed the chips and anything else I could find..nothing loose. Not that i can see. Nothing appears burned or shorting. But of course I could have missed things. None of the solenoids look stuck or sticking.
What would cause the flippers to activate on startup until the fuse blows? Something to do with flashers? I have no idea.

I would really appreciate any advice or comments. I know I am an idiot...but I don't think I did anything that was really beyond me. Obviously something was though. My main concern is to prevent further damage. Boards cost a fortune, and finding out if only a part of a board is gone is tricky.

I have the manual, but have to look up everything if told to check cap X or bridge Y etc. Please can anyone help me get what was an excellent condition Demolition Man up and running again?

Thanks in advance

Chaos

#2 6 years ago

Take another look at the ribbon cables. You may find one that isn't on right. I.e. It's not connected to both rows of the dual row connector.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info

#3 6 years ago

fuses probably blew because all the flippers were engaged...

did you check to make sure you didn't accidentally put the ribbon one pin off in some direction?

disconnect all your ribbons turn on the machine and see if all the coils still activate... that will tell you if the problem is on the power driver board itself or somewhere else...

if they don't activate make sure you have one solid light and one blinking light on the cpu board..., plug in ribbons one at a time (powering off the machine when plugging in!) and see where it starts failing

#4 6 years ago

Thanks guys, somewhere to start. That confirms that I can start the machine with any of the ribbons unplugged without damaging anything?
Will try that. I paid particular attention to the ribbon plugs..I don't think I missed any pins. But will check again.
If anyone has any pics of the ribbon cables and the orientation to the red stripe/plugs..that would be a big help.
Sometimes the pin 1 indicator is vague. But I did take care with that. Going to try and unplug the ribbons when I get home from work.
I assume I can plug in both ends of a ribbon cable and leave the middle 2 unplugged too as part of the test?

Any news on whether I have to power off immediately if i see the fuse is about to blow..or if it blows?
That DMD with random dots..is that a symptom of the problem here, or do you suspect there is damage to the DMD too?

Appreciate the advice for us novices. There are a few fields I consider myself an expert at..but pins are not one of them
Now if you have a broken firearm or need info on a Japanese sword..I can help you. But if it plugs in...I'm running the other way.

Chaos

#5 6 years ago

Here are the pics of the ribbon cables, overall one and close ups.

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg
#6 6 years ago

A better quality one.

20140301_104156.jpg
#7 6 years ago

Thanks rygar, that will be a big help.
Can I start the machine with every one of those disconnected, and is there any particular order that would be best to connect one at a time after that?
With the flippers activating, is it likely that the problem is at top left there on the fliptronics board or the ribbon cable connection there? Or is that not "assumable"?

No word from anyone on whether I must switch off the machine as soon as those flippers start up activated or the fuse is blown, or if I can leave the machine on to check what led's are lit up?
It's hard to note the LED's at the same time I am scrambling for the plug to switch the machine off.

Chaos

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from Chaos:

Thanks rygar, that will be a big help.
Can I start the machine with every one of those disconnected, and is there any particular order that would be best to connect one at a time after that?
With the flippers activating, is it likely that the problem is at top left there on the fliptronics board or the ribbon cable connection there? Or is that not "assumable"?
No word from anyone on whether I must switch off the machine as soon as those flippers start up activated or the fuse is blown, or if I can leave the machine on to check what led's are lit up?
It's hard to note the LED's at the same time I am scrambling for the plug to switch the machine off.
Chaos

If you power on any game and immediately any coil locks on, power the game off immediately. Best case you will blow a fuse. Worst case, you will fry board components and coils. You can try opening the coin door and see if the coils no longer lock on.

If the coils are locking on, you have a direct short to ground. It's very bad. In the game, coils are pulsed, never fully powered like that. So it's quite dangerous to the components.

You can power on with any of the ribbon cables disconnected. First step is isolate the CPU board on the lower left. It has 3 LEDs. When properly booted up, one will be in a flashing state. Remove the ribbon cables from that board and power on. If you get the flashing led, CPU booted. Time to attach the next cable.

You sure you didn't get the video and aux cable backwards? The CPU board seems to have those two cables the same size. See the photos above and make sure the cable on the far left of the CPU board is run to the small aux board not the display board.

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from Chaos:

There were about 4 LED's still glowing after the machine was turned off. They lit for about a minute after the plug was unplugged.

Quoted from Chaos:

Anyways, we also put in some led's and polished the playfield a bit.

It way not be a backbox short. It could be under the playfield. This could cause the flipper to stay on. Check around where you moved bulbs and sockets.
The LEDs could be gettting flipper voltage. I have dropped a playfield before and bad things happened.
Good luck

#10 6 years ago

Given the lights were still on after, that makes me wonder if you shorted a gi to something, thus grounding the coils, and displaying the residual voltage as the solenoid circuit drains after turning off which you saw in the string of LEDs being on for a while after. Examine all sockets for this string of gi.

Also for ribbon cables, sometimes people flip both ends so that pin on the board is not with the red stripe, but both ends are like this. This sometimes get you by a faulty ribbon issue, I have done this at least once. I always check both ends now whenever I disconnect them.

#11 6 years ago

Right now checking the fuses and cables. Testing each fuse.
Must be my multimeter, because when set on resistance, most of them jump around...don't settle on zero. Up, down, zero..up, down...zero. But I think they are ok...dead ones stay on O.L right?

One thing I do remember is that with the door open, the flippers didn't power on activated. But the DMD was still scrambled, and as I closed the door, the flippers activated. So the high voltage cutout stops the flippers activating. But that is normal, right..and doesn't get us any closer to a solution? On power-up...my gf seems to think that it wasn't just the flippers that were activated, but flashers were on solid. So a whole bunch of stuff is active on power-up.

Markmon, can you clarify this bit:
Chaos

Quoted from markmon:You can power on with any of the ribbon cables disconnected. First step is isolate the CPU board on the lower left. It has 3 LEDs. When properly booted up, one will be in a flashing state. Remove the ribbon cables from that board and power on. If you get the flashing led, CPU booted. Time to attach the next cable.

Do you mean connect only that cable first, and power on. Then the next one?
Or connect all of them, except that one and power on?

Chaos

#12 6 years ago

Guys,

This kind of game behavior is typically caused by a ribbon installed 1 row off.
There is no short.
The ribbons, with the exception of the thinner dot controller to DMD ribbon, extend the processor data bus. Connecting ribbons one row off will corrupt the data bus, causing this kind of result.

I wouldn't do another thing without checking each of the ribbons one more time. One of them HAS to be installed wrong.

Also, while it will work, the four position ribbon is not for your game. It's for a pre-DCS game, that has a smaller sound board. That's why it's stretched like a banjo string in your game. Maybe that's your TAF ribbon.

Yes, you can boot the game with ribbons removed. Usually, this is benign, but it's possible that something might lock on. Don't let things lock on. Immediately switch the game off. Coils are one thing. Flashers are another. A locked on flasher gets hot fast, and melts domes and plastics.

It looks like you have all the pin 1-to-pin 1 connections right. Find the ribbon connector that is one row off.
If you don't find that, examine each male ribbon header for missing or bent pins.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info

#13 6 years ago

I have seen this a few times and agree with Chris one ribbon is a slightly off. I have done it twice it's really hard to find as you are convinced the game is shot and everything is right check and recheck in both cases the game booted fine when I fixed the issue but I did have to replace a few fuses.

#14 6 years ago

I didn't blow a fuse but had similar issues when I tried to replace the ribbon cables on JD. I put them on and off many times and was sure I did it right although I was afraid I may have bent a pin. Turned out I was off a row and it was spotted immediately by another pinsider who I am lucky enough to come and help me if I really need it.

#15 6 years ago

You guys are a huge help. I have removed and reseated all of the ribbon cables. Checked all the fuses. 3 of the fuses weren't to spec, they were not slo-blo and a few amps off. So tomorrow I am going to try and get the right fuses, and then I'll try another power on. Not going to try it tonight until the fuses are all ok. Eliminate as much as I can from the equation.
I am still thinking the cables were seated correctly, since I paid special attention to that. But you are all correct that it can happen, and I am really hoping that is what it is.
Also going to check as many lamp leads as i can tonight. Make sure none are shorted.
I noticed one flasher had a slightly dark base (on the part that plugs in, it wasn't blown though)....I moved the leads further apart in case they were shorting.
After that, if it isn't working better, I am lost. But i'm still holding thumbs.
Thank you all for your advise and assistance. I really do appreciate it, and it might help the next guy with a problem too.
Keep any advice coming, and I'll update when I have news.

Chaos

#16 6 years ago

Fuses will not have anything to do with your current issue. A fuse is either blown or not blown, the wrong values will make them blow before they should or not when they should. They will not cause your current problem, but you should for good measure replace them prior to turning on the game again, especially with an issue. I will bet in fake bit coins 1,000,000 you have a ribbon cable off a row, you can't see them. I like to think of myself as meticulous but I have done this twice, you can not see it or notice it as good as you would think. Especially when you think you have killed a 2K game, your mind just does not want to wrap itself around it. Pull them all and reseat them, but be even more careful then you think you can be. I did the same thing you did I reseated them, but the ones that are rather stretched tend to want to go one row off by the flipper board to the upper left, they got one row off the first time because its an awkward fit they want to be a row off, don't let them you can fix this!

Also to check for blown fuses use the continuity checker feature it will make a buzz when you touch the two probes together, same logic applies for a good fuse.

#17 6 years ago
Quoted from ChrisHibler:

Also, while it will work, the four position ribbon is not for your game. It's for a pre-DCS game, that has a smaller sound board. That's why it's stretched like a banjo string in your game. Maybe that's your TAF ribbon.

Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info

Good eye . That ribbon cable is from my CFTBL. RS cable is in CFTBL. I am still working out the heat problem on my CFTBL in this thread: http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cftbl-flipper-coils-overheating .

#18 6 years ago

Well...here is the update as promised.
Yesterday, went through as much stuff as I could think of. Reseating plugs and checking bulbs. Took a decent amount of time checking the ribbon cables and examining them for flaws. Plugged them in as carefully as I could.
Decided to switch on with everything connected, and if there is a problem, then go to the "one cable at a time" method.
But the game came on perfectly..all as it was. I nearly fainted with relief.
So if I have to come to a conclusion, I would have to say that in spite of reseating the ribbon cables twice, in all likelyhood there was an error in placement there, just as you guys suspected. If not..then possibly the one flasher was shorting. (Removing and replacing ramps might have made the 2 legs touch?)

In short, all is good. No "murder death kill" of my pin at this stage. I am hugely appreciative of all of your help. For anyone with a similar problem reading this..no matter how much you think you might have connected cables correctly, check again!

Now to tackle the one problem I still have (had from the start, and it's not a huge problem)
At the lower right, the slingshot does not work at all. The 2 switches give no reaction at all when pressed. During the tests, the slingshot activates..so I think the coil is ok. But the 2 switches that activate it do nothing at all. Their gaps look ok, and wires look connected. Any have any suggestions on what to check and where?

Thanks again for the help all. If anyone is ever in South Africa, I owe you a few beers.

Chaos

#19 6 years ago

In the test menus go to switch test do the switches register? Or did you do that already?

#20 6 years ago

No..I don't think they register at all.

Chaos

#21 6 years ago

Triple check slingshots wiring.

#22 6 years ago

Mmmmm....beer......mmmmmmm...
I'm glad the game is back to normal. Nice work!
It is assumptions of correctness that delay finding the issue sometimes.
I learned that well back in my Software Engineering days.

For the switch...
...the coil works in solenoid test. Good.
...neither sling switch registers in switch test.
...no other switch problems. Verify this. If other column or row switches are out, the next steps are different.

Assuming (there we go again) those are the facts...
It's probable that either the row or column wire for that switch is no longer connected to the matrix.
Test this by setting your DMM to continuity. Buzz between the green wire with tracer to another switch in that column with the same colored green wire with tracer. The switch matrix diagram will help you find one quickly. If that test buzzes, next test the white with tracer row wire the same way. If either test fails, find the break in the wire. A quick fix is to add a jumper between the two switches where there should be continuity. Ugly, but expedient.

If both tests buzz, then the switch diode may have failed open. If the diode is open, the switch matrix circuit will never work. Test the diode with your meter. No need to clip a leg.

There are other possibilities, but those are the two most likely.

More about switches...
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Williams_WPC#Switch_Matrix_Problems

--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info

#23 6 years ago

Progress again Chris. I better be careful I don't start getting a bill via email
Getting to grips with a MM.
It was odd....wasn't getting continuity through the diode...are they open somehow? But managed to trace the white/red wire all the way up to the trough connector J1, where it ended as a loose wire.
By looking through the manual, we found out what wires are connected where in that white connector. The white/red came out one side, but didn't go in the other side. We pushed it in securely, and now that kicker is working great. Not sure how those connectors work properly...the wires don't seem removable and can't get to them to solder. Does the wire originally get pressed in and clamped somehow? Anyways, we have it pressed in there, but would like to secure it better.
Thanks again. Great feeling when you can do things yourself without calling in a technician. This game is great and underrated imho. Can't wait for the new rubbers and some led's to arrive.

Chaos

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from Chaos:

without calling in a technician.

Ahem...you mean in person, right?
You've discovered the down-side to IDC connectors (Insulation Displacement Connectors). They are fast to use in original construction, but over the long term, their reliability is not as good as crimp style connectors.

You can try to solder it to the conductor in the connector, but that's a bit of a hack.
The correct solution is to purchase the right sized female housing. It will be a .100 molex housing. You just need to get the number of pins right. Then you'll need some .100 pins, a crimp tool, and some time. This would necessarily involve recrimping ALL of the wires in that connector. And, crimping two wires to a single crimp pin is a tough way to start your crimping career. It takes practice and the right tool to get it right.

Alternatively, you could remove the "other side" of the white-red wire in the connector, solder the two ends together outside the connector insulating it with heat shrink tubing, then "restuff" the wire into the original IDC connector. This method may work for 100 years or it may not work at all. Results depend on how well you can restuff the wire.

This is the .156 stuff tool...you'll need something similar in .100 to restuff the connector. Some folks will simply use a flat blade screwdriver. (Gasp)
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1590
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

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