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(Topic ID: 238654)

El Dorado, 1 big problem: Score Reel Short (RESOLVED!)

By goingincirclez

1 year ago

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  • 4 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by goingincirclez
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100-9 (resized).jpg
100_1-8 (resized).jpg
100_zero (resized).jpg

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#1 1 year ago

Been resurrecting an El Dorado that many many folks (even here!) said I should have burned - that thread has been here ongoing for two years. TLDR I'm an idiot, I rebuilt the (literal!) rat's nest and restored the playfield; it took too long but at long last it's almost done; the game starts and mostly works, and I'm familiar with EMs (having fixed a few including a WMS Grand Prix and Sonic Prospector, both complex late 4-player EMs) so I'm reasonably competent, maybe... BUT I've run into a few bugs:

1) The rollover "move spot" switch shorts a relay and basically "ends" the game because the Q relay and Hundred / Thousands reels (I am not sure I recall which ATM) lock on, and the only way to clear this is to turn it off. EDIT THIS IS SOLVED (see post 3)!

2) The hundreds reel is... borked. It works mechanically. It's set up like the other 3. BUT on "9" it locks on and won't release.

Here are some pics of the mech; First the switches at Zero:

100_zero (resized).jpg

Then switches are 1 thru 8:

100_1-8 (resized).jpg

Finally at 9:

100-9 (resized).jpg

I discovered something very weird: that second ("runout") switch, which is normally open EXCEPT for "9", is actually shorted! I have continuity (tone) between its terminals. And yet only when it closes, the coil fires (?!). No other reels do this. Normally the numbers advance so the coil releases BUT the "9" closes that switch, so... we have a lock.

So I have to spread the middle switch apart to get the reel to work at all. But then the pawl's upswing on "9" closes it anyway and it's back to the problem.

It's apparently been a problem for a while: one of the contacts on the 100s relay was almost burned off and loose. I resoldered it in place for now to regain a reliable connection. And of course inspected gaps, etc:

100relaycontact (resized).jpg

100relaystack (resized).jpg

100relaystack2 (resized).jpg

Always so difficult to photograph those, but hopefully it's clear enough.

If there's a short it's not in the PF: happens when the PF is disconnected. The "short" is not in the head either, it only appears when I connect the bottom panel. Trying to trace via schematic - which I may not be reading correctly - the only place I can see is the score motor and reset relay. But everything looks good to me there (I unbent one questionable terminal on Motor 3 that "might" have been grounding to the bracket; no fix though).

3motorshort (resized).jpg

resetstack1 (resized).jpg

resetstack2 (resized).jpg

While futzing with this I eventually got it tuned (by opening the middle switch wide) to where it would "skip" the 9 en route to zero but that meant the Thousands reel would not advance. But it proves the unit is mechanically functional, more or less. I also made sure the EOS switches were no longer stuck closed, as the 100 and 1000 reel EOS switches were when I first looked that them. Still, the problems remain.

This is a real head scratcher. I spent far too many hours on it yesterday. It seems like I'm so close, arrgh! So I come to the experts...

#3 1 year ago

SOME SUCCESS.... Problem #1 - the shorting "move spot" rollover and target - is solved!

I actually forgot about the standup target that is also used to "move spot". And it did the same thing: caused a lockon in the Q relay. Hmm. So I started looking at the schematic and traced things to a new realization: I had never really paid attention to the Advance Unit under the playfield. You know, the GIANT FREAKING STEPPER UNIT. D'oh! But it looked really nice and worked mechanically so, meh? And on the schematic, whenever I saw "advance unit" I thought that was the dual-disc "AS" style relay in the head... you know, the type of relays for advancing counts and bonuses and which are infamously known trouble points.

But nope. Tracing a common wire from the standup to the rollover led to that stepper unit. Which looked fine! But then I realized it wasn't working. And suddenly the function of the "Q" relay - "advance lockout" - made definitive sense. So I looked closer. And holy crap, this one was so stupidly @!&^@&^! devious:

20190318_182735 (resized).jpg

See that coil? That yellow one? One of the very few coils to have its wrapper intact? No reason I should have thought to look there... but I finally did... and one of its red wire leads was broken between the wrapper and the bracket! So it wasn't connected. Which meant the "Q" relay was locking on because the Advance Coil couldn't fire to advance the spots and release the relay.

So that was an easy fix: I can move the spots and confirm all of the controlled lights (save one apparently bad socket) work now!


That Hundreds reel though? Eff that thing. I still can't figure out what's wrong. But I've not really tried since I fixed the Advance relay. One thing at a time.

#4 1 year ago

Just to follow up: I did solve this one, a few days ago. It was a nightmare of confusing wiring, schematics, and this game's legacy cursed history which was full of potential distractions I was forced to ID / recall / unravel.

I posted the solution in my main restore thread here:

So I'll mark this thread closed.

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