(Topic ID: 66172)

F14 Tomcat Owners Club Fans Also Welcome.


By Hellfire

6 years ago



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There are 4107 posts in this topic. You are on page 61 of 83.
#3001 2 years ago
Quoted from ajfclark:

That's a 26v circuit, isn't it? Are you using the right bulbs? The manual says #1683 (eg http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/04-1683 )
Pretty sure a #89 will fit in the socket as they're both BA15s, but as it's a 12v bulb it'll be really bright and then blow. #89 only work as flashers at 24v because they are only on such a short time, as soon as they are on for a while, they'll fail. Same deal if you put #89s where the manual calls for #1531s on my Space Station:

Thank you... I bet your right. I just threw in a bulb that I had which fit.

#3002 2 years ago
Quoted from ajfclark:

That's a 26v circuit, isn't it? Are you using the right bulbs? The manual says #1683 (eg http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/04-1683 )
Pretty sure a #89 will fit in the socket as they're both BA15s, but as it's a 12v bulb it'll be really bright and then blow. #89 only work as flashers at 24v because they are only on such a short time, as soon as they are on for a while, they'll fail. Same deal if you put #89s where the manual calls for #1531s on my Space Station:

Thank you... I bet your right. I just threw in a bulb that I had which fit. I need to pay attention.

#3003 2 years ago

Take care, I suggest the beacon bulbs running in series connection!

#3004 2 years ago

You can edit your post if it's new. No need to double post!

#3005 2 years ago
Quoted from scampcamp:

Thank you... I bet your right. I just threw in a bulb that I had which fit. I need to pay attention.

Don't rush out a buy a new one just yet.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/f-14-tomcat-beacon-diy-step-down-voltage-regulator#post-3044401

#3007 2 years ago

Can anyone tell me.how to remove the diverter linkage from the long diverter shaft?

Just joined the club last night and the machine has a lot of promise... Just a few minor issues to resolve. Only issue I haven't fixed is - top diverter is binding... If I loosen the coil guide and stop... It wrks, but that's not a long term solution... I think it's mainly just crudded up, but I have to get it off to clean the damn thing...

15139699332762035557428 (resized).jpg

#3008 2 years ago

I think there was a service bulletin about divertor binding. I stuck at work but can find it later.

#3009 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

I think there was a service bulletin about divertor binding. I stuck at work but can find it later.

This one? http://mirror2.ipdb.org/files/804/Williams_1987_F_14_Tomcat_Service_Bulletin_no_number_undated_to_resolve_binding_diverter_gate_assembly.pdf

#3010 2 years ago

I found the service bulletin, but it primarily has you tinkering with the front one... It's the back one that's binding.

Oddly, if I loosen the coil stop and the coil guide brackets, it works well enough to play... That leads me to think it's some sort of mechanical issue (coil and plunger move through the coil easily without the guides... Seems almost like the link itself is slightly bent, which is why I'm trying to take it off/bend it if needed

In other news, I'm on cloud nine cause I de-mylared in half an hour with zero paint loss... Ridiculous for a system 11 game. Any tips on raised inserts other than heat from behind, lower, and apply epoxy from the back? (Heat gun temp setting?)

#3011 2 years ago

I'm doing mine now. I'm actually removing the inserts by heating and tapping from back. Basically what you said but instead of just leveling I'm removing the junk glue and wood bits that remain.

My insert decals were shot though so I wanted to clear off the face to apply new.

I did try to just level a few but had little luck so I removed those too.

Fingers crossed it turns out ok!

Good luck with yours, no paint peel is a great start!

#3012 2 years ago
Quoted from statictrance:

Any tips on raised inserts other than heat from behind, lower, and apply epoxy from the back? (Heat gun temp setting?)

Thats pretty much the drill. Sounds like you know what you need to do !

1 week later
#3013 2 years ago

Well, looks like I’m starting a new round of troubleshooting my VUK/ball popper.
It will not work during a game or during the coil tests. Fuse tested fine in and out of circuit, then I replaced it just to be safe...so, not the fuse! Switch is fine as the game calls “Fire, fire, fire” over and over until I shut it off.

Any ideas?

#3014 2 years ago

Check for voltage on the purple/yellow wire. In coil test do you hear a relay clicking when it should fire?

#3015 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Check for voltage on the purple/yellow wire. In coil test do you hear a relay clicking when it should fire?

Yes, the relay appears to click.
Can’t get the voltage reading for some reason (I’m using the cheapest DMM). Appears to be reading 4.6 ohms though across the lugs.

#3016 2 years ago
Quoted from shirkle:

Can’t get the voltage reading for some reason (I’m using the cheapest DMM).

Check voltage on another coil that works, this will tell you if its your DMM or if there is actually no voltage on the purple wire. If the purple wire indeed does not have voltage then follow it back to the coil before it and look for a broken wire. If its the DMM, throw it away and buy a Fluke. It will be the last meter you buy. I have had mine since 1986.

#3017 2 years ago

Fired it up today and the ball popper worked in tests(not sure what the difference was from yesterday to today!), but while playing I ran into the same issue I had a few weeks ago with the popper not firing when I’ve got 3 balls locked and shoot it to “release” them.
I checked the diode that I replaced last time (shooter lane/plunger) thinking it was a switch matrix issue and it tested bad again both with power on and with power off. So, I snipped a leg and tested it and that diode tests good when out of that circuit.
That’s where I now stand. It’s frustrating.

#3018 2 years ago

Possibly related...while testing I noticed that switch 55 (top left loop) registered as both switch 55 and switch 56(kill Yagov) in testing. The Yagov switch works on its own too.
The shooter lane, top left loop, and ball popper are all the same row of the switch matrix (row 8, 1J10-1).

#3019 2 years ago

But when it didn't work you didn't have voltage on the coil. You may have a couple of issues. I would look for the bad connection on the purple wire first.

#3020 2 years ago

Found one loose wire...probably making contact sometimes. Want to guess where....the Yagov kicker in the hardest place to get to under the ramp. Resoldered that, and reflowed all other connections. Went through tests again and all coils fire.
In game, same result- popper won’t fire when 3 balls are locked (but will leading up to it) and the leftloop scores as the Yagov roll over switch and as itself.

#3021 2 years ago

Seen the Yagov wire break before as it has lots vibration. Now one problem fixed and one to go. Now you will need to check some diodes for shorts. Clean some switch contacts and retest.

#3022 2 years ago

Do you know of a reason why the shooter lane diode keeps testing bad in the game?

#3023 2 years ago
Quoted from shirkle:

Do you know of a reason why the shooter lane diode keeps testing bad in the game?

If you want to test the diodes with out lifting a lead, disconnect 1J8 and 1J10 from the cpu board. Has there been any corrosion damage in the past as I have seen it run down the board and collect on 1J8 header and cause all kind of issues, and not hardly be seen any where else on the board.

#3024 2 years ago
Quoted from shirkle:

Possibly related...while testing I noticed that switch 55 (top left loop) registered as both switch 55 and switch 56(kill Yagov) in testing. The Yagov switch works on its own too.
The shooter lane, top left loop, and ball popper are all the same row of the switch matrix (row 8, 1J10-1).

Have you checked other switches in row 8 for proper operation during a game. Most of these switches wouldn't be noticed during game play.

#3025 2 years ago

Sorry to leave the club. Sold yesterday for 1800 USD.

Will return some day probably. Miss it already.

#3026 2 years ago
Quoted from aerobert:

Sorry to leave the club. Sold yesterday for 1800 USD.
Will return some day probably. Miss it already.

That is an impressive price.

Just did the wpc flipper spring upgrade on mine..

Also added a couple spotlights. Finding the best placement is tricky... not sure if im doing it right.

Screenshot_20180103-190003 (resized).png

#3027 2 years ago
Quoted from aerobert:

Sorry to leave the club. Sold yesterday for 1800 USD.
Will return some day probably. Miss it already.

Nice deal, but miss it already, that stinks.
I'm surprised every day how much I actually like this machine. Never expected it.

What's next?

#3028 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Have you checked other switches in row 8 for proper operation during a game. Most of these switches wouldn't be noticed during game play.

From what I can tell, the only switch giving me problems during play is switch 56(left loop) which registers as itself and also as 55(Yagov kicker). All other switches in row 8 work fine. Event he ball popper switch works fine, as it registers that the ball is on it, it just won't pop it up at that one point of play (three balls locked and ready for release).

#3029 2 years ago
Quoted from shirkle:

it just won't pop it up at that one point of play (three balls locked and ready for release).

Well you need to start with these switch diodes first as this is a combination of switches that cause trouble also #55, #56 and the ball popper. Do any of these switches have a pink quick disconnect? If so cut them off and solder wire directly to the switch.

#3030 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Well you need to start with these switch diodes first as this is a combination of switches that cause trouble also #55, #56 and the ball popper. Do any of these switches have a pink quick disconnect? If so cut them off and solder wire directly to the switch.

Grumpy....I'm thinking 55/56 might be a wiring issue now. I noticed that I get a switch problem almost 100% of the time when the playfield's lowered, but have a hard time recreating the problem when the playfield's raised. I'm wondering if a wire is being tugged or if something is shorting. Does that seem likely? I'll test that some more to be certain, but it was pretty consistent tonight- 55 would read as 55 and 56 with the playfield down, but only as 55 with the playfield up.

#3031 2 years ago
Quoted from shirkle:

Grumpy....I'm thinking 55/56 might be a wiring issue now. I noticed that I get a switch problem almost 100% of the time when the playfield's lowered, but have a hard time recreating the problem when the playfield's raised. I'm wondering if a wire is being tugged or if something is shorting. Does that seem likely? I'll test that some more to be certain, but it was pretty consistent tonight- 55 would read as 55 and 56 with the playfield up, but only as 55 with the playfield down.

This is a good place to start.

#3032 2 years ago
Quoted from RonSS:

Nice deal, but miss it already, that stinks.
I'm surprised every day how much I actually like this machine. Never expected it.
What's next?

I just threw the price out there and someone took it. To be fair, you don't see one fully working in good condition for sale very often here in Sweden, even if it sold incredibly well. They were played hard and scrapped. Mine was OK but not nearly in the shape of the one posted above. I had led GI and the display was from a Millionaire.

I replaced it with a very nice Baywatch and Tales from the Crypt, both which have Chads new codes running. Completely transforms them in to perfect games.

#3033 2 years ago

I noticed F14 only has L-1 code, so they never released an update to it. Not that I have any major gripes with the code or ruleset as is - are there any updated/improved ROMs out there for this game?

#3034 2 years ago

Anything special about the sling switches on f14?

I'm running out of hair to pull..

I can get a strong sling kick if the ball hits to the right or left of the kicker but if the ball lands square in the middle of the sling, the kick is kinda dull...

It depends on the force of the ball coming at it but i notice the kick isn't super strong... is it just cleaning switches? I've gapped and cleaned and regapped but I gotta ask is something different here? I noticed my upper sling switches have a cap and diode on them similar to the pop bumper. I can't find anyrhing in the manual if this is normal...

#3035 2 years ago
Quoted from trueno92:

Anything special about the sling switches on f14?
I'm running out of hair to pull..
I can get a strong sling kick if the ball hits to the right or left of the kicker but if the ball lands square in the middle of the sling, the kick is kinda dull...
It depends on the force of the ball coming at it but i notice the kick isn't super strong... is it just cleaning switches? I've gapped and cleaned and regapped but I gotta ask is something different here? I noticed my upper sling switches have a cap and diode on them similar to the pop bumper. I can't find anyrhing in the manual if this is normal...

They're special solenoids which I'm pretty sure only activate as long as the switch is closed. I guess that when the ball hits where the switch is, it's able to hold the switch closed longer which translates to an increase in force vs when it hits where the kicker is, the rubber doesn't push back and close the switch for as long. Narrowing the switch gap might change things, but it might make them machine gun too.

#3036 2 years ago
Quoted from ajfclark:

They're special solenoids which I'm pretty sure only activate as long as the switch is closed. I guess that when the ball hits where the switch is, it's able to hold the switch closed longer which translates to an increase in force vs when it hits where the kicker is, the rubber doesn't push back and close the switch for as long. Narrowing the switch gap might change things, but it might make them machine gun too.

spent some alone-time wit it and gotnit going pretty good but i find it interesting that the kick force seems to be stronger if only one of either switch makes contact. If both do at the same time, the force seems like a bit less... or maybe its in my head...

In the picture, is this cap correct? I'm wondering if its installed backwards as it looks like the negative side of the cap is on the positive wire for the switch...?

Screenshot_20180104-205537 (resized).png

#3037 2 years ago

I'm not sure it's critical - I think it's a debounce circuit? Kind of like this with the resistor in a different place:

from http://www.ganssle.com/debouncing-pt2.htm

The kickers on my Space Station are the opposite of your but my jet bumpers the other way like the picture above. You could check with the jet bumper for consistency or someone with more experience might chime in?

I played a few games and watched the way the slings behave. I see the same behaviour with the kickers on Space Station as you - occasionally there's a really flat response when the ball hits in the middle of the sling. Radical, which is CPU controlled slings with a set pulse length, seems to behave differently with the kicker moving the same amount every time - not that that means the ball comes off with the same speed though. Depending on spin, angles, initial force, etc it's all over the place.

#3038 2 years ago

Thanks Clarknfor giving this a good shake. I don't have another sys11 to verify the switch orientation but I don't remember Big Guns doing this, but acting more like wpc slings and being really impressed with their response... but I never took a look at the switches... since they seemed great as is.

#3039 2 years ago

I've read the Bigs Guns was done as both a System 11A and System 11B. System 11A had directly controlled special solenoids. System 11B was where they started moving away from special solenoids being directly triggered and moved to CPU control. Some machines seem to use direct switching and some are CPU control. I haven't picked a pattern in which is which. All System 11C had CPU controlled special solenoids.

Big Guns was right on the change from 11A to 11B and I've seen notes that Big Guns System 11B was one of the first to use CPU controlled special solenoids. The Big Guns backbox internals shot on ipdb is a System 11A so the special switches connector (1J18) is populated. Maybe the 11B version is what you played?

[edit: just found a picture of a system 11B board with 1J18 in use so maybe not: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/for-sale-big-guns-williams-1987-1991 ]

#3040 2 years ago

Decided to experiment here and added a 0.33 50v microfaraud cap in parallel to the existing 22 uf cap as the next smallest value on hand was 1000 uf.

The difference is clear.. replace the caps or even start stacking them... everything is nice and punchy.

#3041 2 years ago

Adding to my growing list of minor issues....today it won’t start a game. Boots fine, but won’t eject a ball to start a game. I have 4 balls in it and all of the trough switches register in the switch test.

#3042 2 years ago
Quoted from shirkle:

Adding to my growing list of minor issues....today it won’t start a game. Boots fine, but won’t eject a ball to start a game. I have 4 balls in it and all of the trough switches register in the switch test.

Does it have any credits or are you sure it's set to free play?

#3043 2 years ago
Quoted from trueno92:

Decided to experiment here and added a 0.33 50v microfaraud cap in parallel to the existing 22 uf cap as the next smallest value on hand was 1000 uf.
The difference is clear.. replace the caps or even start stacking them... everything is nice and punchy.

I was thinking yesterday that might work, but wasn't 100% sure I understood the circuit so I didn't want to suggest it.

What you are saying lines up with my understanding though. While the cap is charging, the signal is pulled to ground. The bigger the cap, the longer to charge and the longer the minimum pulse of the signal and hence the coil.

#3044 2 years ago

Can someone tell me which shooter rod is the correct OEM part for the F14?
I just joined the club and my shooter rod is missing the end and outer spring.

I seem to be in the market for a new one..
LMK if you have one to spare for a reasonable price as well.

#3045 2 years ago
Quoted from shuyge:

Can someone tell me which shooter rod is the correct OEM part for the F14?
I just joined the club and my shooter rod is missing the end and outer spring.
I seem to be in the market for a new one..
LMK if you have one to spare for a reasonable price as well.

http://ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=804&picno=4624&zoom=1 shows the standard black plunger.

Currently on special at pbresource for $5.20. They will also have a barrel spring, the correct shooter spring (WLL-10-148-2), etc. http://www.pbresource.com/shooterrod.html

#3046 2 years ago
Quoted from ajfclark:

I was thinking yesterday that might work, but wasn't 100% sure I understood the circuit so I didn't want to suggest it.
What you are saying lines up with my understanding though. While the cap is charging, the signal is pulled to ground. The bigger the cap, the longer to charge and the longer the minimum pulse of the signal and hence the coil.

This is how I also understand the circuit. The cap just acts as a reserve to hold a charge once a contact is made. Its now gotten me curious on how much room we have to play with cap values. The old caps are probably lacking and the values may have been dialed back for commercial use... so lets see how I can improve this!!! Is there a downside to using too large of a cap? I guess it would take too long to charge between quick repeating ball-strikes?

I'm going to double up the pop bumper tonight and report back, the slings kick a lot more consistently now, even on light bounces which is where i want it to be.

#3047 2 years ago
Quoted from trueno92:

This is how I also understand the circuit. The cap just acts as a reserve to hold a charge once a contact is made. Its now gotten me curious on how much room we have to play with cap values. The old caps are probably lacking and the values may have been dialed back for commercial use... so lets see how I can improve this!!! Is there a downside to using too large of a cap? I guess it would take too long to charge between quick repeating ball-strikes?
I'm going to double up the pop bumper tonight and report back, the slings kick a lot more consistently now, even on light bounces which is where i want it to be.

I'm used to seeing a debouce circuit being used to send a single pulse to a circuit when normally you'd see a bunch of flutter as the contacts almost close. The higher the capacity of the cap, the longer the switch appears to stay closed and multiple closures within that period are read as a single event.

From that logic, if you used too big a cap multiple hits in quick succession might be missed or the mechanics of the mechanism being in the way of the switch being closed (eg the bumper ring staying down too long). Way too big a cap would result in the coil staying energised too long and blowing a fuse, transistor, coil, etc, just like the switch being held closed.

The cap only needs to be big enough to give the coil enough time to complete its action and 22uf seems to have worked for years. I'd be hesitant to fiddle with them too much and would look at mechanical issues first (coil sleeves, gummed up pivot points, etc) first.

If you had a solenoid saver (http://nvram.weebly.com/repair--conversion-kits.html) in place or another method of individually fused specials it'd be less scary to fiddle with the values.

#3048 2 years ago

Thanks for the heads up!! 0.33 uf seems to do the trick but thats only a very small increase... I would have hoped it was just worn switches or contact but my stacks are all close to new condition or only slightly worn

#3049 2 years ago

As we guessed, the 0.33 uf x2 in parallel with the existing cap makes for great pop action. If your pop in f14 is unusually weak and the switch/spoon is in good shape, feel free to add these.

For the slings, I'm really happy with how they trigger now with good force behind them.

#3050 2 years ago

So here's a question... WTF is the regular switch for? When I close it - the switch edge marks is as R/L EOS flipper (one each lower side)... But the high current is the real EOS. There is no Lane change that I know of, and they aren't tied to the upper flipper function. It isn't standard on system 11 (checked two others here in the basement)... I even played a game with one bent to not contact no issue.

Ideas?

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