(Topic ID: 245404)

El Dorado - inserts flickering vs. turning off/on

By GorillaBiscuits

36 days ago

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  • 8 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 14 days ago by GorillaBiscuits
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 36 days ago

I have what I thought was a perfectly functioning El Dorado, which I've owned for about a year, but recently saw another copy of it and noticed a key difference between them.

Issue on mine: when a game is started or a drop is knocked down, the inserts + pop lights quickly flicker. After playing the other one, I realized these bulbs are supposed to slowly turn off and then back on. Not the end of the world, but I'd like to correct this.

It almost seems like they are flickering in sync with the reels as they move. The game itself plays and scores correctly, and has never given me a single issue besides a stuck open slam tilt switch from transit. I'm guessing there is a short somewhere?

Any ideas are appreciated... obligatory "I am new to EMs" disclaimer, cheers.

FYI I have LEDs (comet retro 1 smd) in the inserts, and incandescent in the pops. I experimented with swapping out a row of drop inserts with incandescents, and no change in the behavior.


#2 36 days ago

There is a NC switch that opens on the score motor when it is turning. It turns off the playfield lights for the “WHEN LIT” features that only score when the score motor is stationary. I don’t have an El Dorado schematic, but it is switch 3D on some games. Make sure this switch is opening fully when the score motor turns.

#3 36 days ago
Quoted from leckmeck:

I don’t have an El Dorado schematic, but it is switch 3D on some games

It is indeed 3D.

#4 36 days ago

That sounds a lot more fun than re-wiring the insert chain, thanks wise sages!

I do have the schematic... I’ll check the gap and contacts on 3D, much appreciated.

1 week later
#5 29 days ago

Update: OOOPS

I adjusted switch 4d (3 is not used in El Dorado), and the lights smoothly turned off and on.


After doing that, the startup sequence ended after resetting the 5 bank. Just a couple clicks and then nothing. Pressing start would make the score motor turn 120 degrees and lock into proper position, the lights would turn off an on, and the 5 bank would reset.

The previous score on the reels did not reset to zero (or change at all), a ball would not kick out, and the 10 bank would not reset. I did note I was getting an arc from the 4B switches. Pressing start would repeat this sequence (motor turns 120 degrees, lights off/on, arc in 4B switch, 5 bank drops reset).

-but then-

I made an amateur mistake of looking at the schematics further and fiddling with the 4C switches to make sure they were all opening and closing as intended. I also was moving the motor by hand to note how things were looking.

The 4C switches control (in order from inner to outer)
-Coin chute credit totalizer (NC)
-Actuates P Relay (NO)
-Actuates Ball return. (NO)

-present behavior-

At some point during my fiddling the score reels all reset to zero. I did not see it happen as the PF was up. However, now the motor no longer moves when I press start.

If I lightly move it by hand while powered on it does get set into motion and locks into the proper place. 5 bank no longer resets, no arc in the 4B area anymore, and the lights do not go off and on. Insert and GI lights are all off, backbox lights are on, and I have confirmed that 4D is closed and making contact via a continuity check on the leaf switch. I've tried rotating it a few times by hand to see if anything changes. After going around 360 degrees (all three home positions) there is no change.

The positive thing is this game has always played flawlessly, and the only switches I have touched are the 3X 4C switches and the 4D which controls the lights. So presume the issue has to be localized there.

Aside from finding a local EM tech to fix this mess, are there any simple ideas I could try myself to fix this without digging a much deeper hole?

Not sure if it helps, but here is a slow motion video from when the start button still made the motor rotate, the 5 bank still reset, and I got that arc in 4B which I no longer have.

Also attaching some schematic stuff... which, aside from noting whether switches should be normally open or closed, is basically greek to me

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#6 26 days ago

If the Start (S) relay doesn't activate when you push the Replay Button, Inspect and diagnose this circuit with Alligator clip jumper wires

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#7 25 days ago

howardr this is perfect, cheers!

I truly had no idea where to start... a small part of me is happy this happened so I can dig in and learn.

I’ll have some time next week to get my hands dirty, and will report back to deal with the next hurdle once I get the start button working again, specifically those pesky 4C leafs on the motor.

1 week later
#8 14 days ago

Thanks for the help all. She’s back up and running 100%, including the lights, which now work as intended.

Power tested fine, ended up being a couple switches out of balance in the score motor from when I first went in and started poking around like an ape.

Note to self, be more careful and take your time in the future!

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