(Topic ID: 65622)

Doctor Who weak left flippers

By freds13

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 13 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Dreambox
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 2 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).


#1 6 years ago

Hi !

On my DW, the bottom left flipper is weak, sometimes work almost normally and then won't flip at all. The upper left flipper is nearly dead, sometimes moves just a little.

I've checked quickly (didn't had much time) the solder joints seem ok, the EOS are normally open and when moving manually the flippers they slide easily, no rubbing or forcing, so I assume the sleeve is ok. Plus the flippers where working perfectly just yesterday.

Strange thing : in test mode every flipper works just fine...
Could the problem happen only when both left flippers are used simultaneously ?

Thanks for your help !

#2 6 years ago

Check your diodes on both upper and lower coils.

#3 6 years ago

Thoroughly clean the flipper switch optos mounted under the flipper buttons on the cabinet.

Do you know how to do that?

Dirty optos can cause an intermittent, fluttery signal that robs the flippers of power.

If cleaning doesn't help, swap the opto boards from Left-Right and see if the issue moves with the board to the other side.


#4 6 years ago

I agree with Russ. Its your optos. The test mode bypasses the optos so you will get a strong flip. Clean as Russ suggested. If that doesn't work then swap them and it will prove its the opto.

#5 6 years ago

Thanks for the leads !
I'm coming back with some news but no solution yet.

I've cleaned the optos of the left flipper board, no good.

I've tested the diodes, but did not do it the right way... I thought it could be tested on multimeter diode mode on one way open and the other closed, what i got with all 6 diodes from 3 coils, but now I see that I have to desolder or cut one leg and then test the diode. Will try it later.

I've resoldered all connexions on the left flipper board, no good.

I've swaped the two flipper boards, still the left side not working ! So it's neither the optos nor the board solder.

I've checked the main flipper control board for loosen wires or blown fuses, nothing there.

One thing I noticed is that in test mode, the hold function moves the right and upper left flippers only a few millimeters away but the bottom left flipper moves all the way up, not very fast but to the top.
I've tried this test a few weeks ago when everyting was functional and the three flippers had the same behavior at this time, moving only a few millimeters in hold.

Do you have any other ideas, besides the diode test I must do ?

#6 6 years ago

Can you swap in a known working fliptronic board?

#7 6 years ago

Well, There is a thread on pinside where a pinsider relayed sage advice he received from a seller claiming that he had been working on pins for 35 years. It describes in detail the nature of the repair. Perhaps this will have some value for you.

Quoted from dankme:

Cool stories...
My favorite is when I went to look at a Whitewater. I played a test game and noticed the right flipper was a little sluggish and I pointed it out. Then the guy says to me oh it does that sometimes and proceeded to take the glass off, lift the playfield and literally soak the flipper assembly with WD40. It was dripping everywhere.
I politely asked him if you are supposed to do that? I could tell it was sprayed may times looking at the gunk build up everywhere. And he says to me, "Son I have been working on games for 35 years, I know how to fix them." I bit my tongue!

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from TaylorVA:

Can you swap in a known working fliptronic board?

Yes, I also have a Flintstones and I think it's the same fliptronic board.
I'll try this tomorrow (almost midnight here) after re-checking the diodes the right way.

Maddog, this is an incredible story, and kinda sad at the same time
Fortunately, this is not my DW case, no sign of any lubricant on the flipper assemblies.

Have a good evening !

#9 6 years ago

I'm stuck on the diode testing. Put away the upper left flipper coil but I need advice : what are your tricks to desolder a coil diode, as the lugs are all turned around the place where it is soldered.
Sorry, I'm missing vocabulary to explain this, 2 photos will be better than words.

I can't cut the legs cause there's not much length available to resolder after.
I think i should use solder wick to clean the place but I don't have it, only a solder pump but it's not efficient enough.
Gonna have to find a place nearby to buy this and new diodes, a replacement won't hurt while they are desoldered...

20131008-00015.jpg 20131008-00016.jpg

#10 6 years ago

one of the ways I have removed diode leads is by heating the lug and using a "chicken stick" to start unraveling the lead while it's hot. After I remove most of the solder using wick.

#11 6 years ago
Quoted from freds13:

I've checked the main flipper control board for loosen wires or blown fuses, nothing there.

I had a similar issue on my STTNG and did everything you tried (except check fuses) and my last resort was to replace the LN339N Comparator chip on the Flipptronics board. I didn't think to check the fuses because my left flipper would work great and then after some time it would get weak to the point where it went limp. I pulled the Flipptronics board and noticed on one of the fuses one side was sort of browning and showing signs of stress. I pulled it out and used my meter to test and it was fine but noticed it was a 2.5A fuse. I checked the manual to see and it calls for 3A on all four and 2 out of 4 on my board were 2.5A and the others right ones. Swapped in the proper fuses and problem solved.

1 week later
#12 6 years ago

Problem solved !

In fact the problem was related to the optos as suggested, but not the optos themselves, it was the button !

Recently I changed many parts all around the pin and it was off during several days. When I lit it up again and had this weak flipper problem, I thought an instant about the left button I changed (changed it cause it was transparent red instead of yellow) but I had checked them before mounting and they were the same length. So i began searching for something else.

The difference occurs when the button is pressed, it pushes further and triggers the optos more, simply.
I realised that by triggering the optos directly on the board manually, which made the flippers working fine.

Hope it will help someone not going to far in the other tests I've done...
At least I have one coil with new diodes and learned a few things.

Thanks for all your help and suggestions !

3 years later
#13 2 years ago

Hi, I had the same problem. Out of the blue Fuse 904 was blown, and left upper flipper did not work any more.
Replaced the fuse but after a few games it was blown again.
I tested the flipper with the left button a felt a shocking movement, tested it in the testmenu and I had full power.
Then I cleaned the left opto and the flipper is working like a new one.
Problem solved, and perhaps I can beat my old record now!

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside