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(Topic ID: 274805)

DoodleBug Advance Target/Match Unit issue


By enpointe

75 days ago



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  • 14 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 18 days ago by enpointe
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#1 75 days ago

Having recently acquired a 1971 Williams Doodle Bug I've been learning how to fix items that were not work on it. I'm having some weird scoring issues now that I've connected up the Match-Unit that previously not connected.

The behavior that I'm seeing is that when the ball lands in the Advance Target Light hole at the top of the play field this does not advance the light. Instead there are several other bumper that when hit advance it along with popup bumpers. See play field photo where I've circled in black the points that advance the target light. The Match-Unit bell will ring each time the ball hits any of these points.

Other behavior noted.

* If the target light "Yellow Bumpers" is lite and the ball gets captured the Yellow Bumpers will light.
* If the target light "Green Bumpers" is lite and the ball gets captured the Green and Purple Bumper will light.

I would expect the correct behavior for the Advance Target Lites is that the target lights advances only after a ball has been captured.

I'm pretty new to EM pinball machines so I'm a bit unsure where to start on this issue. But I think the repair history on this machine may be relevant.

When I acquired the machine the advance target light was stuck at the top at 500 and none of the bumpers would light up.
Which of course make sense if the advance target isn't advancing.

When I bought the machine is had a very loud hum. One of the coils the Lock Relay looked bad so I read up on how to test it and I determined it was bad. I replaced it. I had hoped replacing that would fix the Advance Target issue but it didn't.

After reading the previous discussion on Doodle Bug about the Advance Target Lite Not working
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/advancebonus-lights-not-working

I realized the Coil in the Match-Unit in the head was totally not connected. I check that coil and it was bad. Given the nature of EM machines that you can still move the advance on the match-unit I did play with it back then and I observed the following behavior

* If the target light "Yellow Bumpers" was lite and the ball gets captured the Yellow Bumpers will light.
* If the target light "Green Bumpers" was lite and the ball gets captured the Green Bumpers will light.

I was never ever able to get Purple Bumper to light. So I find it strange that the with the Coil connect now they both light the first time the ball is captured there.

Again I'm not sure where to start on this so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've downloaded the schematics for the machine from the web but I've never really have tried to read schemas before so this is going to be a learning exercise for me. Which is good because that's why I bought an older machine. I wanted to learn how to fix it.

One question, to make sure I didn't solder on the coil wires backwards. As my coil wasn't connected I just used the picture from the previous Advance Bonus Light Not working discussion to help me figure out where to solder the disconnected wires in my head unit to the coil. I just want to confirm that soldered them in the correct spot. I'm not even sure whether it matters but I'd like to rule that out first.

I also replaced the springs on the Match-Unit using a spring kit from The Pinball Resource in case that's part of the problem here and that I need to do some adjustment as a result of replacing the springs.

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#2 74 days ago

Let's start with something simple.

Quoted from enpointe:

when the ball lands in the Advance Target Light hole at the top of the play field this does not advance the light.

Tha Advance Unit advances one step when its Step Up (SU) solenoid fires:
Doodle Bug Advance SU (resized).jpg
That can happen in two situations. The upper line of the schematic shows that a switch on the Advance relay can fire the step up solenoid. The lower line shows that a switch on the Eject relay combined with a switch on the Score Motor can fire the step up solenoid. If your eject hole doesn't change the Advance unit check to see that the Eject relay fires, the Score Motor turns and that both switches close. Visually closing may not be good enough. You'd want to check with a meter or bulb tester to be sure that when they're closed current can flow through the switches.

You mentioned the schematic but there is also a manual on ipdb.org that explains the step units and relays in detail. In particular it shows the Match Unit. If you suspect the Match Unit is giving you trouble you might carefully compare it to the diagram in the manual. It's possible that the wiper arms were removed at some point and installed 180 degrees from where they should be.

In addition to the many good online resources the original Williams Intro to Coin Operated Amusement Games would be a good thing to read through. Links to it and similar documentation are at https://www.funwithpinball.com/resources/parts-catalog-list-page-2#Williams

/Mark

#3 74 days ago

Thank you markg that's some great reference information that I was unaware of, and you've given me a great place to start to trouble shoot this. Very much appreciated.

1 week later
#4 61 days ago

markg I finally had a free weekend where I could try to troubleshoot this again. I tried finding the manual on ipdb.org that explains the step units and relays in details that you mentioned but I couldn't find anything. Could I trouble you for a link to it, if you know how to find it?

Today, I confirmed that the Eject Relay switch fires. It sparks and the ball will get ejected.
The score motor turns during this cycle.

You mentioned the Advance Relay. The advance relay that is mounted under the play field deck doesn't fire when the ball eject sequence happens. I fired it off on it's and and also tried to advance it during the time the eject relay happens. When I did that, it did advance the score targets in the lower section of the play field.

In regard to "You'd want to check with a meter or bulb tester to be sure that when they're closed current can flow through the switches.", how does one do that? I currently just own a multi-meter.
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#6 61 days ago
Quoted from enpointe:

I tried finding the manual on ipdb.org that explains the step units and relays in details that you mentioned but I couldn't find anything. Could I trouble you for a link to it, if you know how to find it?

Go to the Doodle Bug page on IPDB (https://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=703) then scroll down through the text to just before the image section. There is a Documentation section that includes links to the catalog supplement, manual and schematic.

Quoted from enpointe:

Today, I confirmed that the Eject Relay switch fires. It sparks and the ball will get ejected. The score motor turns during this cycle.

You confirmed that the Eject relay fires, or that the switch to the Advance Step Up coil closes? The Eject relay has half a dozen Normally Open (N.O) switches that all do different things. The one that should fire the Advance Step Up solenoid is highlighted in red in this section from the manual:
Doodle Bug Eject relay (resized).jpg
The manual shows you where the switch is in the switch stack, what its wire colors are, where to find it on the schematic and explains what it does.

Quoted from enpointe:

You mentioned the Advance Relay. The advance relay that is mounted under the play field deck doesn't fire when the ball eject sequence happens.

A switch on the Advance relay is one of the two ways that the Advance Unit Step Up solenoid can fire as shown in the schematic above. The Advance relay and Advance Unit are different things. The Advance Unit is a big step unit pictured in the manual. I think we're assuming that when the Advance relay fires the Advance Unit takes a step. That leaves the other path through the Eject relay switch shown earlier to troubleshoot.

Quoted from enpointe:

In regard to "You'd want to check with a meter or bulb tester to be sure that when they're closed current can flow through the switches.", how does one do that? I currently just own a multi-meter.

There are several ways to troubleshoot a circuit described elsewhere in the forum. If you're new to troubleshooting and only have a meter a resistance check is a safe way to go.

First unplug the game. Then clip your meter probes to the green-black and grey-black wires on the solder lugs of the Eject relay switch highlighted above. Put your meter on the lowest resistance setting and read the resistance value. It should be some high value or possibly something like "Overflow". When you manually activate the Eject relay by pushing in on the plastic armature all of the switches will close including the switch you're testing. With the switch closed your meter should read something like 1 ohm or less. That indicates that there is very little resistance between your meter probes, or that the switch is closed. Repeat activating and releasing the relay to convince yourself that it reliably opens and closes the switch. If it doesn't chances are that the switch contacts are dirty, the contacts don't touch, or a wire has broken free or there is some other issue that keeps the switch from closing.

Once you've got the Eject relay switch reliably working move your meter over to the Score Motor switch and do the same test. Once your meter is clipped in, manually rotate the Score Motor in the same direction it turns during the game and watch as the profile of the cam opens and closes the switches in the stack. Convince yourself that the Score Motor 1B switch opens and closes.

For extra credit clip your meter to the yellow wire on the Score Motor switch and to the grey-black wire on the Eject relay switch and repeat the test with both switches between the meter probes. That should demonstrate how both switches need to be closed before that path can fire the Advance Unit Step Up solenoid.

/Mark

1 week later
#7 53 days ago

markg Thank you for your patience and detailed explanation.

I was able to confirm that when the

Eject Relay C is closed the Ohms rating drops < 1.
Score Motor 1B Ohms rating drops to < 1 when the score motor hits that dip in the circle and goes back up. I'm assuming that's an open.
The extra credit check also checked out fine.

One place that I noticed using the same resistance check you that things don't look right is the Outhole Relay switch E - M&B. When I test it via W-R & Y it stays less 1 ohm resistance whether open or closed.

I also noticed that the Advance Unit scoring disk may be not aligned correctly as at times it looks like it's hitting two contact points. I tried changing two of the springs but I think I made things a bit worse as the play field targets on the bottom aren't lighting anymore.

Overall this has been a great exercise. Although I haven't solved my problem and I've think I'm going backwards at least temporarily. I'm really happy with how my knowledge in this space is progressing. I'm really starting to understand how to read the manuals.

I regard to trouble shooting switches I assume what we are looking for is a switch where the the open/close doesn't change things and relate that to the schematics to see how that changes the path.

As my machine has had some overrides to allow it to automatically keep 1 credit on the board how does one avoid going down the wrong path investigating things related to that change?

BTW, I think I might of watched your video on YouTube Mark's Basement Arcade if that's you, on testing the coils and I saw how much easier it makes to pull the board out of the machine. I did that to mine this weekend. It certainly makes testing things a bit easier.

#8 52 days ago
Quoted from enpointe:

One place that I noticed using the same resistance check you that things don't look right is the Outhole Relay switch E - M&B. When I test it via W-R & Y it stays less 1 ohm resistance whether open or closed.

Switches are only effective if they can electrically (not just visually) change state between open and closed. A switch that can't open or close wouldn't be in the circuit because it can't accomplish anything. Beware though that you can't assess switches in isolation. You need to check how they're being used in the schematic. If the meter indicates that your switch isn't opening for example you need to check that there isn't another normally closed switch wired in parallel with it.

Quoted from enpointe:

I also noticed that the Advance Unit scoring disk may be not aligned correctly as at times it looks like it's hitting two contact points.

This is a mechanical issue that needs to be resolved before you spend much time troubleshooting. Read up on cleaning step units. If your stepper is sluggish as it takes steps or resets it likely needs a good cleaning. If it's snappy and still lands between contacts the wipers could be mangled or the contact board might be out of position.

Quoted from enpointe:

I regard to trouble shooting switches I assume what we are looking for is a switch where the the open/close doesn't change things and relate that to the schematics to see how that changes the path.

I don't usually evaluate every switch unless I'm doing a complete tear down restoration. If you're just troubleshooting focus on the issue you're trying to resolve. Find the hand full of devices in the small part of the circuit that's relevant and inspect them carefully, dismissing each as a possible culprit as you go. If you find something suspicious that's unrelated make a note and come back to it later.

Quoted from enpointe:

I'm really happy with how my knowledge in this space is progressing.

There's another learning opportunity coming up later this week:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/an-em-pinball-online-repair-clinic/page/2#post-5823646

Quoted from enpointe:

BTW, I think I might of watched your video on YouTube

Different Mark. My stuff is all on my website at https://www.funwithpinball.com/

4 weeks later
#9 24 days ago

So I think I've fixed the Advance Unit. The spring wasn't tight enough. Now it seems to be resetting itself back to zero. But I can't completely test this as I'm now hitting another issue.

After turning the machine on if I hit the play game button the score motor just runs continuously. Looking at the switches I can see that the reset relay switch is engaged and doesn't let go.

I checked the ohm rating on the Coin Relay C and it's going from 10ohms to > 1 when closed.

Suggestions on where to go from here?

#10 24 days ago
Quoted from enpointe:

the reset relay switch is engaged and doesn't let go.

Do you mean that the Reset relay doesn't let go? The Reset relay stays active until it thinks that the game reset has completed.
Doodle Bug Reset relay (resized).jpg
Once the Reset relay is activated by a switch on the Coin relay (for example) it will hold itself active through its own holder switch until the four Drum Unit (or Score Reel) Zero Position switches open indicating that the Score Reels have reset to zero.

If you block the Reset Relay switch with a piece of paper and the Reset relay doesn't stay on the issue is either with the Zero Position switches or the Make/Break Score Motor Index-A switch.

#11 24 days ago

"the reset relay switch is engaged and doesn't let go." I was implying the Reset Relay moved to it's non default position and stays there. D in that state would be N.O. and C,B,A would be N.C.

I tried putting a piece of paper on the Reset relay to keep it from changing state. The score motor kept spinning during that experiment.

#12 24 days ago

I don't follow your experiment.

The reset sequence from the start should be:
- press the replay button
- replay button switch fires the Coin relay
- a switch on the Coin relay fires the Reset relay
- a switch on the Reset relay starts the Score Motor to reset the Score Reels among other things
- once the Score Reels reset and their zero position switches open the Reset relay should relax
- etc.

Sounds to me like your stuck on getting the Reset relay to relax. Do the Score Reels reset? When the Reset relay is stuck on and you slip a piece of paper between the contacts of the Reset relay switch in reply #10 (blue-brown wire to blue-white wire) does the Reset relay relax? If so that's the path that's holding the Reset relay on and the issue is one of the switches to the left (in the schematic) of the Reset relay switch you blocked.

If you think the Score Motor is running for some other reason you could block the switches that lead to the Score Motor to see if one of them is supplying power to the Score Motor.

#13 23 days ago

Yes I was referring to the relay switch in the attached diagram (photo 1). After pressing the replay position the switch moves to it's non default position and doesn't return to it's default position (photo 2). Pushing a piece of paper Y O-G will stop the score motor.

I tried putting a piece of paper on the score motor switch (see photo) and all the other positions on that first switch and the motor keep running. I tried a different piece of paper in there beside the one in the photo too.

Sadly I used to thick of piece of paper (cardboard) and I changed the contacts as now it won't turn on when I push the red replay button on the front of the machine. Manually activating the reset relay switch (photo2) will get things going though. I'll pull the bottom board out tomorrow so I can see what I altered. It's too hard to see the switch contacts on the score motor.

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#14 18 days ago

markg I just wanted to say thank you for all your help in trouble shooting this. Attending EM Pinball Online Repair Clinic in addition to the information you gave me helped me immensely. From the clinic adjusting the switches for the score motors fixed quite a bit. The 2nd issue we did at the clinic with score motor not stopping I was finally able to trace back to a lose wire on the coil for the game relay switch which I must of knocked lose when I pulled the board out of the machine. Once I got those fixes I went back to the advance unit score motor and fixed the alignment issue that I was seeing earlier. At this point I'm happy to report everything seems to be working. I wasn't expecting the bell to ring as much as it does but I've convinced myself that is the proper behavior.

I still have a few minor issues to fix like a sticking play field roll over button and gate, but it's nice to be able to play it again. Thank you again for you help.

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