(Topic ID: 208606)

Doctor Who Solenoid problem

By acmeman

1 year ago

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  • 33 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by acmeman
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#1 1 year ago

Okay, so my Doctor Who was fine until last night. Then a bunch of stuff went out all at once. Currently not working are:

Trap Door
Opto Popper
Mini-ply Left Opto Eject
Mini-ply Right Opto Eject
The launch button light
MAYBE the 2nd Chance/Logo(?)

Anyway, I was looking at the manual, and under schematics there's "SOLENOID WIRING" (Page 3-8). At the bottom of the schematic, all the affected parts seem to be part of the same circuit (J130 PLY).

Anyone know how I should go about solving this? I thought it might be a fuse, but they look good (I am a newbie and I only looked at the ones behind the backglass. I don't know if there's others).

Thanks for any direction.


#2 1 year ago

Just because they look good does not mean they are good. Check them with DMM if you have one. Check your Manuel for what fuses controll solenoids and start with those fuses first.

#3 1 year ago

Found a blown fuse! 250v 3a, thick wire inside. Went to Home Depot and found one with with the same numbers, but the wire inside was small, and it burnt out instantly. Novice here, is there something I should know?

#4 1 year ago

Just bought the fuses from Marco. Hope they're the good ones.

#5 1 year ago

They were prob not slow blow. Get plenty of fuses you will need them down the road. Next thing to figure out is why you blew a fuse.

#6 1 year ago

What fuse did you blow? It should be noted on the circuit board usually with a F something. Looking at the manual from IPDB.

#7 1 year ago

Check all solenoids associated with that fuse. Pops, slings, whatever that fuse is tied to and make sure all wireing is good as well as all components move freely. Example....if a pop bumper is tied to that fuse line make sure it can work properly and contacts open and close as they should. Many times a solenoid can get activated and stay activated causing the fuse to blow. Good luck.

#8 1 year ago

F105 is the fuse that blew.

#9 1 year ago

The fuse keeps blowing out so I guess I can assume I have a short? What I'm planning to do is disconnect everything that is run off of that fuse and reconnect it one at a time until I find out what's making it trip. After that I guess I'll just trying use my multimeter after that to try and figure out where the short is.

#10 1 year ago

I had a TAF that shorted the GI on a coil. The GI wire simply lay across the coil lug. Over years of very slight vibration, the sharp edge on the lug cut the GI wire coat.

Your approach seems good, but once you zoom in on the component string causing the issue, visually inspect every wire in the zone (could be a broken wire too) or a wire touching a piece of steel.

Good luck!

#11 1 year ago

Yes it looks like that fuse runs solenoids 1-8 on the PF. Do any of the solenoids lock on when you first turn on machine?

#12 1 year ago

Can you help me with knowing what I would check for to find the short other than broken wires? If I was using the multimeter I'm assuming I would look for continuity where there shouldn't be any. But I don't really know what I would do.

#13 1 year ago

You should also look to see that no copper wire that is around the coil is touching any metal. Check J107 on the cpu. It could also be a transistor on the cpu associated with one of the switches associated with the one of the coils. You should check that as well if you can't find anything wrong with any of the coils.

#14 1 year ago

Have you checked out pinwiki yet? That's a must for being new to pinball. I believe you can check your coils with the power off with DMM set to ohms and get around 3ohms or better. Does not matter where you put your leads.
I agree with Don as well, get a good flash light and look those coils over and make sure no wires have broken and shorting out on something. Could just be a wire came lose and is touching something it should not be.

#16 1 year ago

Agree the DR Who Club thread is filled with info, but it's a mess of overlapping issues.

This tech thread for this tech issue is a GOOD thing

You had a good approach. Disconnect everything hooked up to that fuse. Turn the game on and confirm that the fuse does not blow. Then, slowly and scientifically, change one thing at a time.

Do until fuse blows:
turn off game
add a feature (plug something in)
turn on the game / play the game until the point of failure
assuming the fuse has not blown, continue the loop

Once you isolate the area with the short IMO the problem will be much easier to find.


#17 1 year ago

Thanks Faz. Gotta go do business so I won't get a chance to do the methodical go-through for a week or so. I WILL join the Doctor Who club for those who suggested it...THANK YOU

#18 1 year ago

Um, how do I "join" a club?

#19 1 year ago

You just post in that thread that you have a DW.

#20 1 year ago

Never underestimate a good visual inspection. As several others have mentioned you may get lucky and just find that a wire wore through and as now shorting against a metal bracket. On my Dr who a couple targets weren't working and one of the wires fell off and started hanging. If that happened to touch against something it would have shorted out.

Try to look at all the things that connects to and don't be shy about moving the wire harness slightly. You may just find a broken wire or worn insulation.

I'd also look for signs that any of the coils are burned up. Sometimes it is very obvious.

If the fuse is out then You may want to bring up the switch test to see if all your switches are working as expected.


1 week later
#21 1 year ago

Trap door coil looks burnt. Saw this fellow's blog (http://michpinball.com/blog/?p=61), and I may have bigger problems: burnt transistors, the wrong fuse? I got the flu so I'm still not ready to get going, but we're close now. People who advised a visual inspection, I owe ya one.

1518396898323-1782410820 (resized).jpg

#22 1 year ago

On the Marco website: should I be buying just the coil, or the coil and bracket assembly? Bracket seems ok.

#23 1 year ago

Order new coil and sleeve. There might also be a blown transistor driving the coil. Bracket is fine.

#24 1 year ago

Test the transistor by jumping it to ground before replacing the coil.

#25 1 year ago

How do I find out which transistor drives that coil?

#26 1 year ago

Q82 should be the transistor on the power driver board. Also check R123,124 and 125 as well as Q81.

#27 1 year ago

Thanks ScottSerpa ! Can you tell me where you found that so I don't have to ask every time? I'll admit I haven't dug through the manual looking for it, so sorry if it's there!

#28 1 year ago

Page 3-8 of the manual shows the trap door (sol 1) going to pin 1 of J130. Page 5, (sheet 3 of 3 Power/Driver) of the WPC schematic manual shows the circuit for the transistors for J130.

3-8 (resized).jpg

WPC (resized).jpg

#29 1 year ago

ScottSerpa I see it now, thanks. Very helpful for future troubleshooting! I disconnected the bad coil and stuck in a fuse I had soldered to a 3a breaker and *voila*, everything worked! So I'm gonna have my machine back in service as soon as Marco sends me my coil! So very happy! I even played a game before shutting off. So nice.

#30 1 year ago

Make sure to check that transistor. I would hate to see you burn up a new coil.

#31 1 year ago

I will. Should I generally assume that something *caused* the coil to fail, and therefore I'm not done until I find the culprit?

#32 1 year ago

Not 100% every time but in most cases the coil is bad for a reason. It only takes a few seconds to check the transistor so better to be safe than sorry.

1 week later
#33 1 year ago

Well, I checked the transistors (didn't pull them out, just a visual) and they looked good, and then I changed the coil, and the machine works fine. I'll update if the coil burns out again, but thanks to all who helped me work through this!

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