(Topic ID: 242187)

F-14 Tomcat problems


By TOKYOSANDBLASTER

77 days ago



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  • 61 posts
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  • Latest reply 54 days ago by TOKYOSANDBLASTER
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There are 61 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 77 days ago

Hi all,

I got an F-14 Tomcat about a week ago. It was working great until yesterday. I couldn't get it to start a game, the launcher just popped. I realized there was a ball in the launcher still right as it comes off the initial ramp. As soon as I got it out and drained it the machine loaded up a game fine.

Now, when you launch the ball as soon as it hits either spot off the initial ramp, the game thinks the ball drained. It stays in there but does all the drain sounds and starts another ball.

I feel like theres an easy fix to this but I have no clue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

#2 77 days ago

So a little clarification is needed. The first problem is that the ball was stuck in the first lock. Now when you plunge into the other two locks the game counts it as a drain immediately?

Could you take a video of the problem and post the link? That will give us a better idea of your issue.

#3 77 days ago

You need to get a manual and give a good read. Then ask your question over with correct part numbers so that people can give you good advice instead of a best guess.

#4 77 days ago

I'll do both of these! Thanks for the suggestions. Hopefully won't take long...

#5 77 days ago

Okay here's the video of what I'm dealing with

Thanks!

#6 77 days ago

Start with the switch test in your manual Page 29 in your manual.

#7 76 days ago

Again thanks for everybodys help. If you can't tell I'm a novice.

So I completed the solenoid test. Some of the solenoids made a clicking noise but didn't actually "pop". They were

03A ball popper launch
05A center right eject
07A Right eject
10 Center left eject
12 line of death kickback
13 rescue kickback
14 ac select relay

Would this lead me to believe it's a power issue of some sort? Again, I'm running blind as of right now but I'm learning quick. Thanks again for the help in advance!

#8 76 days ago

Ive seen the red wire break on the Yagov kicker. Hard to see as the coil is under the ramp. This could be your issue if fuses are good.

#9 76 days ago

If you just got the game don't forget the fuse upgrades for the rectifiers in back . Will save your transformer.

#10 76 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

Again thanks for everybodys help. If you can't tell I'm a novice.
So I completed the solenoid test. Some of the solenoids made a clicking noise but didn't actually "pop". They were
03A ball popper launch
05A center right eject
07A Right eject
10 Center left eject
12 line of death kickback
13 rescue kickback
14 ac select relay
Would this lead me to believe it's a power issue of some sort? Again, I'm running blind as of right now but I'm learning quick. Thanks again for the help in advance!

You should not need that test as of yet. Try the switch test. The only switches you should see activated will be the balls waiting in the trough.
11 right ball trough
12 right center ball trough
13 left center ball trough
14 Left ball trough

You can remove these activated switches by taking the balls out of the game.

#11 76 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

Again thanks for everybodys help. If you can't tell I'm a novice.
So I completed the solenoid test. Some of the solenoids made a clicking noise but didn't actually "pop". They were
03A ball popper launch
05A center right eject
07A Right eject
10 Center left eject
12 line of death kickback
13 rescue kickback
14 ac select relay
Would this lead me to believe it's a power issue of some sort? Again, I'm running blind as of right now but I'm learning quick. Thanks again for the help in advance!

This a much better description of your issues. Certain coils is this game are at high voltage (50 volts) and need a relay to activate the high voltage. Since none of them are working I would expect that the fuse is burnt. If you look below the flipper power supply there is a single fuse by itself with a purple/yellow wire on it. Remove and test it.

#12 76 days ago

Also I'm assuming you only have 4 balls installed in the game?

#13 76 days ago

Yes only 4 balls. I'm gonna grab a multimeter tonight and test some fuses. Hopefully that's the issue. I'll try the switch test too.

#14 75 days ago

Yeah, that fuse definitely went. The attached picture Is the one I pulled out of it. I put a new fuse in and it worked great for about 2 minutes than blew again. I'm feeling like this may soon be leaving novice territory but I'm willing to tinker still.

I realized the fuses we're all different in the box. It calls for a 2.5amp fuse. I tried 1a and it worked for about a minute and blew, tried 3a and it blew immediately. Im gonna run back to Lowe's and find a 2.5 now that I know what I'm looking for, if that goes I assume one of the coils is bad?

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#15 75 days ago

From memory that fuse needs to be a 2.5a slo-blow fuse, not a regular (fast) one.

#16 75 days ago
Quoted from koen12344:

From memory that fuse needs to be a 2.5a slo-blow fuse, not a regular (fast) one.

This is correct. You are not likely to find slo-blow fuses at Lowes

#17 75 days ago

Ah see these were time delay. I thought this was the same thing. I'll find some and report back.

#18 75 days ago
Quoted from pinballplusMN:

If you just got the game don't forget the fuse upgrades for the rectifiers in back . Will save your transformer.

Do you have any more info about this? I just got my own F-14 project, so I am very interested I learning more about this.

#19 75 days ago

When you replace the fuse with the correct size and type rerun the coil test. Stop at each coil for half a dozen pulses while watching the fuse. Note which one it burns out on. Report back your findings.

#20 75 days ago
Quoted from Phantasize:

Do you have any more info about this? I just got my own F-14 project, so I am very interested I learning more about this.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-bulletproofing-williams-system-6/page/2#post-945742

The topic title says System 3-6 but the same thing applies to early System 11 games

#21 74 days ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

When you replace the fuse with the correct size and type rerun the coil test. Stop at each coil for half a dozen pulses while watching the fuse. Note which one it burns out on. Report back your findings.

Finding this exact fuse has been difficult. Ordered some. Should be here Wednesday. If I don't find one tomorrow I'll report back then. Thanks for the help!

#22 74 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

I realized the fuses we're all different in the box. It calls for a 2.5amp fuse. I tried 1a and it worked for about a minute and blew, tried 3a and it blew immediately.

After getting a new (old) game one of the first things to do is to check all of the fuse values (amps) and types (fast blow (FB) or slow blow (SB)) and replace them all with the correct fuse (see page 32 of the manual). This is cheap and you know you are starting off right. I usually have good luck calling auto parts stores for fuses.

Also, whenever diagnosing problems look for signs of previous work done, this is usually where the problems are.

#23 73 days ago

Since it's an F-14 odds are one of the lock diverter coils in the top left is fried and is blowing the 50V fuse. These were wired to 50V on most F-14's when they should have been wired as 25V since they don't have a relay or a TIP36 turning them on.

If so you'll likely have to replace the melted coil and blown transistor(s) and possible a chip.

After that see this thread.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/f-14-wiring-differences-on-diverter-coils-50v-vs-25v

#24 72 days ago
Quoted from kbliznick:

Since it's an F-14 odds are one of the lock diverter coils in the top left is fried and is blowing the 50V fuse. These were wired to 50V on most F-14's when they should have been wired as 25V since they don't have a relay or a TIP36 turning them on.
If so you'll likely have to replace the melted coil and blown transistor(s) and possible a chip.
After that see this thread.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/f-14-wiring-differences-on-diverter-coils-50v-vs-25v

Oh man that sounds pretty intensive but I'll definitely try to replace if it comes to it. I finally got the fuses in. Finally got 2.5a aaaaaaand they're too small. I dont understand why they have the same numbers on them. I'll keep trying to find them

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#25 72 days ago

That fuse will fit the fuse holder but it's the wrong type of fuse, you need a slow blow fuse. You can still use it for troubleshooting.

Here are some places to get the correct fuse.

https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=MDL-2-1%2F2

https://www.pinballlife.com/1-14-slow-blow-fuses.html

https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/MDL-2.5

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/eaton-electronics-division/BK-MDL-2-1-2-R/283-2743-ND/954323

#26 72 days ago

That's what I figured. I ordered some from that site so I'll still look for them in the wild but otherwise I'll have an update when they come in.

1 week later
#27 65 days ago

So the fuses finally came in. It now pops as soon as I power up the machine. I looked into running the 25v wire to it but that seems to be over my level right now. I wanted to run the coil test again but if it pops as soon as I power it on I cant.

#28 65 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

It now pops as soon as I power up the machine

So now you have a shorted transistor. Its easy to find if you have a DMM. Remove the 3 connectors that I have circled in the pic below.
Set your DMM on resistance, place the black lead under the ground braid cable stapled to the wood in the backbox.
Use the red lead to test the metal tabs of the driver transistors with the power turned off. There are 22 driver transistors that look like the pic below.
Note the number of the transistor when you get a low ohm reading on your meter. Let me know what you find.

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#29 64 days ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

So now you have a shorted transistor. Its easy to find if you have a DMM. Remove the 3 connectors that I have circled in the pic below.
Set your DMM on resistance, place the black lead under the ground braid cable stapled to the wood in the backbox.
Use the red lead to test the metal tabs of the driver transistors with the power turned off. There are 22 driver transistors that look like the pic below.
Note the number of the transistor when you get a low ohm reading on your meter. Let me know what you find.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Okay, I hope I did this right. I attached the picture of what I think I was supposed to be testing. If so this is the ohm ratings I came up with.

Bottom left, left to right

1-.7
2-.08
3-.7
4-.7
5-.6
6-Not used
7-.68
8-.08

The one to the right of it had no ratings. Multimeter just had OL the whole time. Open loop?

The vertical one on the right, from top to bottom.

1-OL
2-.09
3- not used
4- .09
5- .09
6- .1
7- .1

I hope this made some sort of sense. Let me know how off I am here. And as always a tremendous thank you for your help.

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#30 64 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

Let me know how off I am here

I may have not been as clear as I should of been, you need to test the pins on the board not the wire connector.

#31 64 days ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

I may have not been as clear as I should of been, you need to test the pins on the board not the wire connector.

That's what I thought initially but I didn't get a reading on any of them. All OL. I didn't think I was doing it right but if I got the readings somewhere then I guess I was. I had the machine off that's correct right?

#32 64 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

All OL. I didn't think I was doing it right but if I got the readings somewhere then I guess I was. I had the machine off that's correct right?

This means that the driver transistors are good but a predriver transistor maybe bad causing the driver transistor to turn on when it shouldn't. So retest this time with the power on.

#33 64 days ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

This means that the driver transistors are good but a predriver transistor maybe bad causing the driver transistor to turn on when it shouldn't. So retest this time with the power on.

Hmm, still not getting anything. I included pictures, this is what you're telling me to do right

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#34 64 days ago

Looks like your testing is fine. Did you test all 3 connectors? Could the ground braid be bad? Try retesting with the black lead on a board screw head and the red lead same as before.

#35 64 days ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Looks like your testing is fine. Did you test all 3 connectors? Could the ground braid be bad? Try retesting with the black lead on a board screw head and the red lead same as before.

Tried that too, still nothing. It's not because I don't have the fuse in right?

#36 64 days ago

Put one lead of your meter on ground (corner screw of MPU board). Put the other lead on the metal tabs of the transistors. A shorted TIP102 will beep on the meter.

#37 63 days ago

http://techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/

This is a great site that can walk you though troubleshooting and fixing many problems.

#38 62 days ago
Quoted from Gogojohnnyquack:

http://techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/
This is a great site that can walk you though troubleshooting and fixing many problems.

Wow that's great I can't wait to dig into that.

I'll try again soon but I can't get a resistance reading on the transisters at all. The MM is pretty much brand new so I'm not sure what the issue is.

#39 61 days ago

It may not be a board issue. It might be a pinched wire. Leave the 3 connectors off, replace the blown fuse, turn on the power. Does the fuse still blow?

#40 60 days ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

It may not be a board issue. It might be a pinched wire. Leave the 3 connectors off, replace the blown fuse, turn on the power. Does the fuse still blow?

The 3 connectors that the other poster had circled? I'll try that when I get home I'll let you know.

#41 60 days ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

It may not be a board issue. It might be a pinched wire. Leave the 3 connectors off, replace the blown fuse, turn on the power. Does the fuse still blow?

Nope, left them disconnected and the fuse did not blow. I left it on for about 5 minutes. Fuse is fine.

#42 59 days ago

Try reconnecting one connector at a time to see which one will blow the fuse. This will narrow it down to 8 instead of 22.

#43 59 days ago

So, newest update. I tried the connectors one by one to see which one popped the fuse. Tried all 3 and none popped. Tried them in different combinations, none popped. Tried all 3, and it was fine. Just played two games as if nothing happened. I'm still worried long run but what the heck could have caused it to work all of the sudden??

#44 59 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

what the heck could have caused it to work all of the sudden??

Magic!!

Maybe a pinched wire.

#45 58 days ago

Well I played a game and got the multiball. Both balls stuck in the right solenoid. I checked though and the fuse didn't pop.

Turned it off and turned it back on, all the coils popped and the balls drained. Thought I was in the clear. Played another game, same deal. Looked at the fuse popped. Back to square one. This pinball stuff can be frustrating!

#46 58 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

Both balls stuck in the right solenoid. I checked though and the fuse didn't pop.

Check the adjustment of the switch. Change the diode on the coil, make sure to install it correctly. Silver line toward the purple/yellow wire.

#47 58 days ago

I attached pictures of both solenoids in question. I tested the coils with The multimeter and they all seem fine. I see the diode on the diverters coils but not the upper solenoids.

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#48 58 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

So the fuses finally came in. It now pops as soon as I power up the machine. I looked into running the 25v wire to it but that seems to be over my level right now. I wanted to run the coil test again but if it pops as soon as I power it on I cant.

If your comfortable soldering moving the 25v wire is pretty straightforward. I acquired a f-14 a couple months ago and had to do a lot of the same troubleshooting.

Have you made sure the micro switch on the wireform leading to the kick out is registering. If that switch does not register it will not kick out properly. Same goes for the switch that the ball sits on.

#49 58 days ago
Quoted from TOKYOSANDBLASTER:

I see the diode on the diverters coils but not the upper solenoids.

You will need to add a diode on any coil that doesn't have one on this era machine. The electrical spike when the coil discharges can do damage to other components, the diode allows this electrical spike to drain without causing damage.

Now your pic of the divertor coils shows someone has put lubricate on the plungers. All of this crap needs to be cleaned off and the coil sleeves need to be replaced. Once everything is cleaned then you need only one drop of oil on the pivoting pins. Follow this service bulletin.

https://www.ipdb.org/files/804/Williams_1987_F_14_Tomcat_Service_Bulletin_no_number_undated_to_resolve_binding_diverter_gate_assembly.pdf

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#50 58 days ago
Quoted from GnarLee:

If your comfortable soldering moving the 25v wire is pretty straightforward. I acquired a f-14 a couple months ago and had to do a lot of the same troubleshooting.
Have you made sure the micro switch on the wireform leading to the kick out is registering. If that switch does not register it will not kick out properly. Same goes for the switch that the ball sits on.

That was mentioned one other time. Ive soldiered in the past but I'm not sure I trust myself enough for this type of thing. If I was positive which wires to use I would probably try it. I've read that the red wire is supposed to come from the pop bumper?

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