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(Topic ID: 102450)

Does this describe/sum up EM repair?


By nagamitsu

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by o-din
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

Is it safe to say, an EM pin, if all coils and relays work and everything is getting power, that all that's really left in way of what can cause things to not work, is dirty contacts?

Just with troubleshooting my machine with two odd issues, I've summed up that absolutely every coil/solenoid and relay work properly. Does it make sense that some leaf switches somewhere are not getting proper contact, hence two symptoms that shouldn't be there?

Trying to make sense of the process, as I swear I've gone over everything obvious.

Tim

#2 6 years ago

Mostly thats true. Sometimes youre missing an entire wire, sometimes you have a break in teh middle of a wire stack. Sometimes the Gods are just f*cking with you
.
If you approach each problem methodically and systematically you will track down your issue in no time.

Now....

Whats the machine and whats the issue? Got a schematic?

--Jeff

#3 6 years ago

And yeah, sometimes it is also a switch that is stuck closed that shouldn't be. What I have found in my short EM experience is that the problem is right there in front of me just waiting for me to understand it. Once I do the fix is easy.

#4 6 years ago

I think the Gods are messing with me. All wires appear to be completely intact, there's not one switch, coil, relay or light bulb that is NOT working. Everything has power and functions.

No schematic, schematics just confuse me more trying to read them. It's a Zaccaria Supersonic.

Two issues. Bonus stepper works one way (activates bonus), while it is active, and ball drains, it doesn't kick out the ball again (unless assuming the ball draining should reset the bonus). If that's the case, the bonus stepper simply isn't getting triggered to reset. Manual activation of its relay to reset works fine.

Second issue, is another stepper or reel under playfield that was resetting fine the other day, but now does not. It advances/activates, but upon reset of game, it does not reset. Manually activating its relay resets it fine.

Even with the schematic, all the wires (braided material) are hard to see their colours, quite faded and hard to differentiate.

Tim

#5 6 years ago

There are several other things you need to look for:

Cold solder joints
Creased/broken wire
Jones plugs not clean or seated properly
Mis-adjusted springs on steppers/relays
Steppers passed 'stop/start' position
Loose screw on switch stack
Some unscrupulous person could have rewired something wrong
Misadjusted pop bumper parts

Mike V.

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

And yeah, sometimes it is also a switch that is stuck closed that shouldn't be. What I have found in my short EM experience is that the problem is right there in front of me just waiting for me to understand it. Once I do the fix is easy.

Thanks! I guess schematic would tell me whether certain switches should be open or closed in a reset state? Crap, already feeling like trying to find needle in haystack! Lol

Tim

#7 6 years ago

A lot depends on the history of the game. Some more fun things you might find working on EMs:

Solder splash shorting across a switch stack.
Missing fish paper, or nylon spacers/lifters on blade stacks.

Wrong parts used:
Wrong length Pop Bumper Rod and Ring
Wrong Coil stop.
Wrong Plunger length (not all stepper plungers are created equal!)

Someone put it back together wrong:
Switch stacks on wrong side of mounting plate (steppers)
Switch stacks in wrong position (forward/back) on score motor.
Switch blades in the wrong slots in relay armature/ladder.

The list goes on and on. But then, that's half the fun!

#8 6 years ago

I think you should just say screw it and drive it down to SE Wi. I'll take it off your hands. In fact i'll trade you straight up for either of my EM's I have up for sale right now.

#9 6 years ago

I think my issues now lie in the score motor. There must be switches in it that are not sending the signal/power to the relays that reset these two components. That's the only thing I can think of that could be causing these two symptoms.

Seems obvious to me, but still learning EM repair!

Tim

#10 6 years ago

Why oh why did I get an EM. Lol! Second issue fixed, leaf switch must have somehow stopped coming into contact, adjusted it and now that advance feature resets.

Back to the original bonus stepper not resetting issue, maybe I will pinpoint what should be triggering it. (as only assumed right now that is ball drain, outhole switch)

Tim

#11 6 years ago
Quoted from way2wyrd:

Sometimes the Gods are just f*cking with you

Only sometime, your lucky!!

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from nagamitsu:

Thanks! I guess schematic would tell me whether certain switches should be open or closed in a reset state? Crap, already feeling like trying to find needle in haystack! Lol

It would be a good idea to get a schematic, we will help you read it. But without one, you will chase your tail for Days > Weeks!!

3 weeks later
-1
#13 6 years ago

check out my youtube videos on em repair. type, airaces1 in the search of youtube. Start by cleaning and ajust all contacts. check and clean all steppers. I never plug a game in til i go over everything in the game, 95% of the time the game fires up and play like it came out of the factory.

#14 6 years ago

If you can understand current flow, follow it through the schematic and have a base knowledge of mechanics (how steppers work) you can repair any EM. I always start with the steppers. Clean all the old stiff grease out and re-grease with white lithium. Then follow the schematic to see when your current is stopping. EMs are just a big chain reaction. It only takes one domino slightly out of position to stop the whole thing.

#15 6 years ago
Quoted from Airaces:

check out my youtube videos on em repair. type, airaces1 in the search of youtube. Start by cleaning and ajust all contacts. check and clean all steppers. I never plug a game in til i go over everything in the game, 95% of the time the game fires up and play like it came out of the factory.

Quit trolling for hits on your videos, dude.

#16 6 years ago

I'll keep banging away on it. Am in midst of trying to arrange/pay an OP here to come to my home to adjust/fix it properly. $75 for first half hour, $55 each hour after.

Steppers are all clean and AOK. There's no break in flow of current, the issue (bonus not handing out on ball drain, and bonus stepper resetting to zero), with help from a friend only doing some switch adjustment and cleaning, we did get it to work once properly.

I know it is an easy fix somewhere, just with adjustment and cleaning in the switches, I just can't pinpoint exactly what ones to concentrate on.

Tim

#17 6 years ago

EMsInKC what is your problem. I trying to help somebody. I guess you have issues.

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from nagamitsu:

I'll keep banging away on it. Am in midst of trying to arrange/pay an OP here to come to my home to adjust/fix it properly. $75 for first half hour, $55 each hour after.
Steppers are all clean and AOK. There's no break in flow of current, the issue (bonus not handing out on ball drain, and bonus stepper resetting to zero), with help from a friend only doing some switch adjustment and cleaning, we did get it to work once properly.
I know it is an easy fix somewhere, just with adjustment and cleaning in the switches, I just can't pinpoint exactly what ones to concentrate on.
Tim

One of the advantages of working on EMs is that you can visually see the cause of a problem most of the time. That said, the flip side to this is that you can't always necessarily trust what you're "seeing". For example, even though you may have cleaned a specific switch multiple times and the two contacts appear to be touching, you cannot assume that it is actually conducting electrical current.

When first looking at EM games, the typical plethora of wiring and mechanical components can be overwhelming. You need to keep in mind that these are just a collection of individual circuits - each designed to accomplish a specific action or set of actions. Accordingly, the tried and true method for repairing EM games (and I learned this the hard way after much initial frustration and subsequent advice from other EM collectors) is to identify the particular applicable circuit from the game's schematic and take the time to physically confirm that each involved switch or connection in the circuit is actually making electrical contact. This can usually be done by simply bridging the two switch blades in question with the blade of a screw driver or utilizing a jumper cable at two points within the circuit wiring.

Observing experienced EM pinheads fix games, doing your homework on EM repair basics (via a multitude of online sources), and personally working on games are the best ways of improving your EM tech skills. There are no easy short cuts to becoming proficient at EM repair, but it will get a lot better as you gain more experience. These games are truly electro-mechanical marvels, but can be real hair pullers to work on sometimes. Don't get discouraged, keep methodically plugging away, and you'll get it working 100%!

- Tim

#19 6 years ago

Thanks! I've just been having trouble with the pinpointing part of it, and schematic just making it more frustrating. Am sure I'll get it working 100% soon!

Tim

#20 6 years ago

I find that most of the, the score motor itself is usually not the problem. Seems most problems are somewhere else.

#21 6 years ago

Yup, I've triple checked the score motor, all contacts opening and closing correctly and clean. There's about 5 other spots that could be causing my problem at the moment, and I continue to adjust to see if it fixes the issue. Friend and I had it working once during cleaning/adjusting, so clearly an adjustment in some switch is not quite right.

Tim

#22 6 years ago

Start at the component that is not working (the bonus stepper?), does it not move on its own? Is the actuator solenoid working to get the steeper to the zero position or does the wheel just not move? If the solenoid is not working start there and work back through the schematic to see what send current to that stepper solenoid. (That's what I was trying to say about current flow)

#23 6 years ago

A good set of long jumper wires with alligator clips are your best friend when braking down ckts on EMs

#24 6 years ago

Thanks! Got it working. Technically all components functioned, was a switch on the bonus stepper itself, that as much as it looked to be making proper contact, it was not. Cleaned further and adjusted, and now game working perfectly.

Tim

#25 6 years ago
Quoted from nagamitsu:

Thanks! Got it working. Technically all components functioned, was a switch on the bonus stepper itself, that as much as it looked to be making proper contact, it was not. Cleaned further and adjusted, and now game working perfectly.
Tim

Now THAT sums up EM repair. So, so many times, it's a switch that looks like it is making, but isn't.

#26 6 years ago
Quoted from nagamitsu:

Thanks! Got it working. Technically all components functioned, was a switch on the bonus stepper itself, that as much as it looked to be making proper contact, it was not. Cleaned further and adjusted, and now game working perfectly.
Tim

Exact same issue I had with a Card whiz I worked on. I fought that thing for hours. Dammit, it LOOKED like it was making good contact!

#27 6 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

Now THAT sums up EM repair. So, so many times, it's a switch that looks like it is making, but isn't.

Hmmm. Sounds familiar.

#28 6 years ago

I totally LOVE reading these EM repair threads. Since multiple Tim's have chimed in, I'll do the same...

I'm new to EMs as well, and I have gone through the kind of situation you did in August. My Space Odyssey went for 13 days without working properly due to 2 separate issues with leaf switches. One was fused shut and just needed some cleaning from a flexstone and the other was bridged by its leaf stiffener causing the switch to be "made" at all times. Both problems were caused by my own attempts to "fix" other issues.

*The fused contacts were on my Tilt Relay. This was causing the game to be constantly in "Tilt" and cutting power to all my playfield scoring.
*The bridged switch caused by the bent stiffener was on the ball eject switch. This meant that the circuit was being told that the ball was still in the drain hole even after the solenoid had kicked it into the shooter lane.

So I had a game that was not scoring AND the ball eject solenoid was firing over and over every time I turned the sucker on and started a new game. However, this situation (as those with more experience than me likely could have EASILY seen and backtracked through) was causing the score motor to work through the reset sequence over and over again when I fired up the game. It was driving me absolutely nuts and I reached a point where my frustration led me to just give up. At that point, I told myself that I wasn't going to ever be able to fix the thing and I was on the verge of considering calling in a tech or whatever to get the table working again. All I can say is that I'm glad I didn't. Why?

Because it was only by settling down, taking a breath and listening to some great, helpful people on here like chrisbee and SteveFury that I got to the bottom of the issue. I had gotten myself so worked up, being new to the hobby, that I was forgetting exactly what so many people have said in this thread - it is usually very logical and basic with an EM. Settle down, reference the schematic to find out what switches and relays are "in play" for the specific issue, and methodically work it through. It was a huge lesson for me to learn and I'm glad I stuck with it.

Glad you're up and running again! Every time you (or me or anyone else new to this) take the time to work the logical steps out and find the source of the problem, it makes you that much better at EM repair. It amazes me what I've learned in my first six months with my machine, and hopefully you're feeling the same way. I feel like the confidence gained through sticking it out and fixing such issues makes things less stressful down the road when other issues pop up.

Cheers,

Tim in Motown

#29 6 years ago

Gremlins

#30 6 years ago

Shhhhhh

Gremlin.JPG
#31 6 years ago
Quoted from SilverBallKid:

I totally LOVE reading these EM repair threads. Since multiple Tim's have chimed in, I'll do the same...
I'm new to EMs as well, and I have gone through the kind of situation you did in August. My Space Odyssey went for 13 days without working properly due to 2 separate issues with leaf switches. One was fused shut and just needed some cleaning from a flexstone and the other was bridged by its leaf stiffener causing the switch to be "made" at all times. Both problems were caused by my own attempts to "fix" other issues.
*The fused contacts were on my Tilt Relay. This was causing the game to be constantly in "Tilt" and cutting power to all my playfield scoring.
*The bridged switch caused by the bent stiffener was on the ball eject switch. This meant that the circuit was being told that the ball was still in the drain hole even after the solenoid had kicked it into the shooter lane.
So I had a game that was not scoring AND the ball eject solenoid was firing over and over every time I turned the sucker on and started a new game. However, this situation (as those with more experience than me likely could have EASILY seen and backtracked through) was causing the score motor to work through the reset sequence over and over again when I fired up the game. It was driving me absolutely nuts and I reached a point where my frustration led me to just give up. At that point, I told myself that I wasn't going to ever be able to fix the thing and I was on the verge of considering calling in a tech or whatever to get the table working again. All I can say is that I'm glad I didn't. Why?
Because it was only by settling down, taking a breath and listening to some great, helpful people on here like chrisbee and SteveFury that I got to the bottom of the issue. I had gotten myself so worked up, being new to the hobby, that I was forgetting exactly what so many people have said in this thread - it is usually very logical and basic with an EM. Settle down, reference the schematic to find out what switches and relays are "in play" for the specific issue, and methodically work it through. It was a huge lesson for me to learn and I'm glad I stuck with it.
Glad you're up and running again! Every time you (or me or anyone else new to this) take the time to work the logical steps out and find the source of the problem, it makes you that much better at EM repair. It amazes me what I've learned in my first six months with my machine, and hopefully you're feeling the same way. I feel like the confidence gained through sticking it out and fixing such issues makes things less stressful down the road when other issues pop up.
Cheers,
Tim in Motown

Which is why I posted what I did about "going through the entire game" method. It's fine if you're an experienced hand at fixing EM games. If you're just getting started, diving in and messing with every single switch on the game is way more likely to end in disaster than in success.

Clay himself said in his guides that it happened to him when he started out. Get some experience in before you start trying to clean and adjust every single switch on a game. Even then, it's basically not really necessary the vast majority of the time.

#32 6 years ago

I have found that some manuals are better than others. My Bally wizard! manual actually states where the cycle starts, goes to and so on until the start up was complete. It made repair much easier than the Gottleib High Hand I am working on that does not have a detailed account of the start up sequence.

#33 6 years ago
Quoted from BMHouze:

I have found that some manuals are better than others.

manuallabor.jpg

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