(Topic ID: 66172)

F14 Tomcat Owners Club Fans Also Welcome.


By Hellfire

6 years ago



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#1777 3 years ago

Just got my F-14 this week. Seems to be working fine now with one exception I noticed last night:

When I drain a ball with the lock lit, the next ball gets plunged and diverted straight to the right side lock. Then it releases another ball which gets plunged straight to the left-center lock. Finally, a third ball is released and it also gets plunged and diverted into the left-center lock. At that point the game just goes through the 'revving up' light sequence and about a minute later shoots out all 3 balls.
What's going on there?

#1779 3 years ago

Passes the switch test. If a ball goes in there any other time, it kicks it right out. That was my first thought, too.

#1781 3 years ago

All of those are good.

What *should* it be doing if I drain while "locked on" is lit? I don't even know what it's supposed to do.

#1784 3 years ago

Figured it out once I knew how it was supposed to work. All three of the "ramp" switches were not registering in the test. I traced it back to a ground wire that was loose in the quick-disconnect connector on the first switch.

So, the problem was that it didn't know a second ball was coming down the same ramp.

1 week later
#1791 3 years ago

Can anyone help me out with a picture of the launch hole/eject hole in the top right? Mine is surrounded by a bunch of wood screws behind it to stop the ball from going past it. I assume that's not original and that some op threw them in there in a pinch. I'm mainly looking for pictures of behind the hole- the eject works fine, I just noticed these ugly screws when investigating why I'm getting some shots bouncing out of there.

#1794 3 years ago

Yes!

I think I even found that piece in the cabinet!

#1795 3 years ago

It turns out I had the metal stopper, but I'm missing the wire ball guide on the left. I wonder if those are available anywhere.

1 month later
#1807 3 years ago

Has anyone else bought the insert set? I bought them and, even though I haven't installed them yet, I feel like the blues are a little too translucent. Just curious if others felt the same. Still going to use them since they're way better than my faded originals and I had already planned to do a full restore with clearcoat.

8 months later
#2055 3 years ago

I think red would look better than yellow. I probably prefer the original look though.

3 months later
#2281 2 years ago
Quoted from TomDK:

Important Information !!
The beacon motors from all the different shops will not work properly in F-14 !
I bought a motor from marcos but it was only able to run 2 beacon ight, if added the third it starts stuttering.
Today I got my fixed original motor back and it works.
The difference is 5 watt. The repro has 3 watt, the original 8 watt ... it seems that the repro motors are only useable in Highspeed.
Just as an information that you dont spend money for the crappy motors !
I payed with shipping and taxes a hell lot of money for this motor.

I got a repro from Marco and it fully works. I don't know how many watts it is, but I can check.

3 months later
#2526 2 years ago
Quoted from StylesBitchly:

I really did a lot of prep work on the cabinet before installing the decals. It turned out almost perfect. I used the dry method. They aren't kidding when they say every little flaw shows! Then of course the legs have to dig in. Oh well. No biggy.

Which art did you use (from which company)? The only part of mine that truly needs redone is the front, but stenciling it is tough because it keeps pulling up original layers of paint. I even clearcoated it, but then when I used frisket and cut it, it cut through the clear and still pulled up previous layers. It's pretty frustrating. I'm considering decals now, but my sides are nice enough to just touch up.

1 month later
#2613 2 years ago

I think there were a lot more "early" F14s than people realize. I have one with Proto Roms, clear back flashers, wiring for the extra flasher, and I'm sure some other details as well. Not sure on my production number, but those things don't seem all that rare as some others on here have said they have the same thing.

3 months later
#2874 2 years ago

My VUK on the upper right of the playfield isn't working. The switch makes contact and I can hear the relay clicking, but the coil is not firing. All wiring is intact. It did have a blown fuse (2.5A, slow blow) that I replaced, but still nothing. Any thoughts before I start tearing it apart?

#2876 2 years ago

Slight update- the VUK seems to have magically started working over night. However, I've noticed the 2.5A fuse under the playfield blew again. Now, I've noticed the pop bumper and slings aren't working correctly. I did test the pop bumper and it worked very briefly with a new fuse, maybe 3-4 "pops"(which seemed relatively weak, also), and then blew the fuse and stopped working. I can test the coil by jumpering the single-wire lug to ground and it does work. Switch edges appear fine and not touching/making contact.

I'll also state that this is a new playfield- the game was working before the swap, so it's possible that I've messed something up in the swap. I'm only just now noticing issues as I test it now that the swap is complete. Based on that, I don't think it's a board issue....but I don't know what else to look for. Any ideas?

#2880 2 years ago

Sounds like we've got a similar issue(see my post a couple above yours)! I'm curious why these three are out. Is your issue also taking out that under playfield fuse?

#2908 2 years ago

Finally got mine 100% (as far as I can tell). I wanted to post a quick picture. I put in a pop bumper LED disc from Comet (I think...I ordered it a while ago). It adds a decent amount of light to the upper playfield.

All of the inserts are also colored LED, but I'm not sure if I like that or not. I've always been an incandescent fan, which is what I left in for the GI.

Love the new playfield- it plays so fast and smooth. I'm kind of considering a protector for it just to keep it mint, but that's probably overkill for how little I get to play my games.

IMG_0892 (resized).JPG

#2948 2 years ago

I'm not sure what's going on with mine now.
I've only played a few games since the play field swap, so I'm slowly working out the kinks with that.
I just played a game and locked 3 balls. When I shot my 4th ball into the "Release" lane and the upkicker, it releases the other 3 balls, but holds that 4th ball on the upkicker. After draining all 3 balls, it finally kicked it up.

I then replicated this whole thing with the glass off and it did the same thing, but instead of finally kicking the ball up after draining all 3, it just kept giving me another ball in the shooter lane. So, the game never ends.
I had to power off and back on, and when I did that, it kicked it up.
Any idea what's going on here?

With all those lights flashing, I didn't even notice this issue at first. It was only when I shot a ball up there to "land" and it can right back down because the upkivker was already occupied.

#2951 2 years ago

The ball popper switch does work and registers with a ball in it during the switch edges test.

#2953 2 years ago

I did not replace the switch, nor did I clean it with a bill. However, the switch seems to work at all other times during gameplay. I locked at least one of the other balls that way.

#2956 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

If this is the only time the switch doesn't work then there maybe a switch matrix problem or a ROM problem.

Seems that way. Is there a good way to track that down? This is my first time stepping through that kind of problem.

#2958 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Start with the simple things first, clean the switch contacts. If that doesn't help then it maybe a switch matrix problem which are not easy to find because it usually a combination of switches to cause the issue. You must make sure you don't have any stuck closed switches by removal all the balls and check switch test for any closed switches. If that is good then test the diodes on the 4 switches that are involved in the multiball. Make sure that the diodes are facing the correct direction. Was there any wires that were removed from switches during the swap, always a good place to start.

No closed switches in test. Diodes all facing the correct way, and all wiring is good. I'll have to check the diodes next. All switches and coils function normally until that moment during multi ball release, so I think the diodes are probably fine. I'm guessing it's a board/ROM issue.

#2962 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Most switch matrix problems come from a couple of shorted diodes, so unless you test them with a DMM you wont know.

Probably been covered a million times, but just double checking- I have to pull up one leg of the diode prior to testing, correct?

#2969 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Remove 1J8 and 1J10 from the CPU board, remove the 4 balls. Now all switches are open and wires disconnected you should be able to test without lifting a leg.

All 4 of the diodes involved in the issue I'm having tested fine.

#2971 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

That's the trouble with switch matrix problems, it's not the switch that causes the problem it's another switch somewhere else that's bad and when the two of them are closed together it causes a problem.

The only closed switches in the game at the time of the issue are the 4 I tested(the 3 locked balls and the 1 in the upkicker hole). No other switches would be closed then. Should I just check every diode in the game? Is there a way to narrow it down?

#2973 2 years ago

Very nice video. I've never had a switch matrix problem and I've owned my machines for about a decade. Learning something new!

#2974 2 years ago

So, a switch matrix problem could show up in the switch test as a false closed if I close the right combination of switches. Is that correct? Since I know where the game is still playing well (3 balls locked), I could close those three and then one by one close the others in same row and see what happens(open them if they're normally closed)? I believe both EOS switches are in those rows, so that where my suspicion is now.

#2977 2 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Correct, but could you have hit a flipper switch (l/r lane change switch

I found a bad diode on the ball shooter lane, which is the same row as the ball popper on the switch matrix. Replaced it and it seems to have solved the problem!

I played a bunch of games and did some testing by hand as well. At one point it did put two balls in the shooter lane, so I'll have to see if I can recreate that problem and tackle that next.
For now, I'm excited to have solved the ball popper issue.
Thanks grumpy!

1 month later
#3013 1 year 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?

#3015 1 year 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.

#3017 1 year 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 1 year 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).

#3020 1 year 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.

#3022 1 year ago

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

#3028 1 year 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).

#3030 1 year 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.

#3041 1 year 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.

#3052 1 year ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

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

My game's still not starting. I really can't find the issue. Here are the details:

-Yes, it's on free play.
-Four balls are installed, and I even tried putting them in one at a time with it powered on.
-All 4 trough switches test fine in diagnostics. Only switch issue I have is that switch 55 registers as both 55 and 56, but that seems unrelated since it was doing that before this new problem.
-Three trough switches are closed when the four balls are in there: L, LC, and R. I believe this is correct.
-All coils pass the coil test in diagnostics, though the ball popper doesn't pass consistently, but I don't think that's related because that was an issue prior to this one as well.
-Upon hitting start, it fires all of the kick-out coils (where ball would be locked during game play)
-Attract mode and lights all work as normal.

#3055 1 year ago
Quoted from ajfclark:

I'm pretty certain all four trough switches should read closed when there's 4 balls in the trough.

That's ball hunt. It thinks it's a ball short and will not start a game. That lines up with the trough switch not being closed.

You’re absolutely right. I found one not closed even though it showed up as closed in diagnostics. I closed it with my finger from below the play field through the coin door and it started up. I adjusted the switch actuator (I think that’s the term) and it’s back to just my normal issues. Thanks!

1 month later
#3116 1 year ago

I’m still sorting through all the issues with my F14 and I think I’m almost there. Just played a full game after replacing two more diodes and everything worked.....

Until the game ended. After the game, as my last ball drained, it kicked two balls to the shooter lane. I can’t do anything about it unless I take the glass off and put the balls in the trough by hand.

#3119 1 year ago

I’ve played it some more and it’s not very consistent. Sometimes 1 ball, sometimes 2, other times none. Sometimes it happens during the game- I had a never ending ball 3 one time. It would drain and kick it right back out.

I think there are still a couple other mysteries as well. I got random tilt a couple times.

#3126 1 year ago
Quoted from damageinc55:

I had this same problem almost every time I drained. The outhole kicker was sending a new ball into the lane. If you watch it closely, it created a bit of a swirl on the next ball (hard to explain). Anyway, I found that tightening up these two walls fixed my problem.

I believe this solved it. I think the ball was being kicked hard enough to knock others in front of it over the ball that was next in line into the shooter lane. I straighten those sides, which were bent pretty wide, and had no more issues.

On to the phantom tilts. My tilts seem to occur when hitting the slingshots, but I haven’t been able to recreate them outside of playing the game.

#3128 1 year ago

I thought the playfield tilt switch was below the left flipper. That’s where it appears to be on mine. The gap is about a mile wide on it, so I don’t think it’s making contact.

#3130 1 year ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Just checking every possibility. Did you change SRC-6?

Nope. From what I've read, that's a pretty common reason for random tilts. Seems easy enough to swap out, too. I guess that'll be my next step.

8 months later
#3547 1 year ago

I’m having some issues. Mine does one of these three things upon boot-up:
1. Loud beep and displays IRQ FAILURE.
2. Just plays garbage or random sounds.
3. Boots, but when playing it automatically locks the first two balls when launched, and the third ball is perpetually locked if I capture it.

Any ideas?

3 weeks later
#3550 1 year ago
Quoted from shirkle:

I’m having some issues. Mine does one of these three things upon boot-up:
1. Loud beep and displays IRQ FAILURE.
2. Just plays garbage or random sounds.
3. Boots, but when playing it automatically locks the first two balls when launched, and the third ball is perpetually locked if I capture it.
Any ideas?

As a follow up to my previous post...
No progress yet. However, I did notice that the 2.5a slow blow fuse mounted in the back of blows upon powering on the machine.
Any ideas on that one?

2 months later
#3659 10 months ago
Quoted from shirkle:

I’m having some issues. Mine does one of these three things upon boot-up:
1. Loud beep and displays IRQ FAILURE.
2. Just plays garbage or random sounds.
3. Boots, but when playing it automatically locks the first two balls when launched, and the third ball is perpetually locked if I capture it.
Any ideas?

Wanted to follow up on my own post. Finally had time to mess with this a little. I noticed that the symptoms changed the longer the game was on, occasionally booting completely into a game.
This morning I checked 5v and found it at 2.9v. I pulled the PS board, reflowed the solder on almost the entire board, plugged it back in and boots up perfectly now.

The game is now playable except for one issue, which is quite frustrating to get to:
If you achieve multiball, it releases the 3 locked balls, but it will not kick the 4th ball up. It has to go into search mode and then it kicks it up (so the coil is working). It makes the call out for a successful landing, so I know the switch is working. But it won’t kick up the ball.

#3660 10 months ago

Here is a video of the issue I’m having in the last post. I can’t find any errors in the switch tests either, and I’ve tried plenty of combinations to mimic this problem.

#3661 10 months ago
Quoted from shirkle:

Here is a video of the issue I’m having in the last post. I can’t find any errors in the switch tests either, and I’ve tried plenty of combinations to mimic this problem.

After fighting this problem for wat too long, I finally fixed it tonight. I ran out of ideas for what could possibly be causing such a strange problem. I replaced both roms (U26, U27), and it is now working perfectly. The old Roms were original and even said “proto” on them since it’s an early game.

#3681 9 months ago

Can someone tell me which direction the diode on the plumb bob tilt goes? Is the banded side connected to the wire or the metal bracket of the plumb bob assembly? Mine only registers on my switch test when I short it at the wire(bypassing the diode), so I was curious if it’s on there backwards.

#3683 9 months ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

The white striped wire connects to the non banded side of the diode.
Can also be a bad diode to.

Thanks! Somehow it’s on there backwards. I know it’s not bad because I just replaced it...unfortunately I replaced it in the same direction it already was. Might account for why I was getting phantom tilts occasionally, which is why I was checking it in the first place.

1 week later
#3700 9 months ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

This is more of a common problem then you know. SCR6 has been know for phantom tilting before.

You’re probably right. I thought turning that diode around would work, but I got another phantom tilt last night. Time to replace SCR6.

#3701 9 months ago

Ball popper issues again....
The ball popper coil won’t fire. The fuse tests fine and I replaced it anyway. Passes switch test, but not the coil test. All other switches associated with the ball popper’s transistor (Q44) test fine in the switch edge test, so I don’t think it’s a transistor issue.
Any ideas?

#3704 9 months ago

Here’s a twist...
I left F14 on for about 5 or 6 hours before noticing the problem. Usually I turn it on, play a few games and turn it off.
This morning I turned it on after being off all night and the ball popper worked as it should.

So, what does that indicate? Think I have a power supply issue maybe?
I ordered a bunch of the driver transistors just in case. I’ll install that this weekend.

1 week later
#3712 9 months ago
Quoted from shirkle:

Here’s a twist...
I left F14 on for about 5 or 6 hours before noticing the problem. Usually I turn it on, play a few games and turn it off.
This morning I turned it on after being off all night and the ball popper worked as it should.
So, what does that indicate? Think I have a power supply issue maybe?
I ordered a bunch of the driver transistors just in case. I’ll install that this weekend.

As a follow-up, I have replaced the driver transistor and now the coil seems to work except in that one circumstance: once all 4 balls are in place for multiball, if I hit the bell popper it will not pop the ball up.
I had this issue a few weeks ago and it went away briefly when I put in new ROM chips. Now that it’s back, I have no idea what’s going on.
I’m kind of sick of the game at this point. I’ve been chasing this issue on and off for a couple of years.

3 months later
#3800 6 months ago

I’ve been chasing an issue with F14 for what seems like a couple years.
Basically, when 3 balls are locked and I shoot the VUK for “release”, the VUK doesn’t work. It works at all other times. During this issue, sometimes it’s weak(too weak to pop it into the wireform), other times not at all.
I was trying to think of what is different during that time than all other times in the game when the VUK does work: the beacon lights are on.
So, I unplugged the beacon lights and it worked fine for about five tests in a row.

Is it possible my beacons are pulling power away from that VUK coil somehow? Or was it just coincidence that it worked again when the beacon lights were unplugged?

#3802 6 months ago

Thank you for pointing me in the direction of the snubber board. It's almost certainly the culprit. When I removed it to check the solder joints, I found that it had been hacked pretty bad- one of the through hole pads was missing and it had a couple jumper wires connecting different sides of the relay. The relay itself had been replaced.
I just ordered a new board from pinballpcb.com. I'm hoping that does the trick.

I can't believe I didn't think of the beacons before as a possible connection. I played one game earlier where the ball got stuck in the VUK....I reached into the backbox, unplugged the beacon, and it fired instantly.

1 week later
#3816 5 months ago
Quoted from shirkle:

Thank you for pointing me in the direction of the snubber board. It's almost certainly the culprit. When I removed it to check the solder joints, I found that it had been hacked pretty bad- one of the through hole pads was missing and it had a couple jumper wires connecting different sides of the relay. The relay itself had been replaced.
I just ordered a new board from pinballpcb.com. I'm hoping that does the trick.
I can't believe I didn't think of the beacons before as a possible connection. I played one game earlier where the ball got stuck in the VUK....I reached into the backbox, unplugged the beacon, and it fired instantly.

Just wanted to follow up on this in case anyone else ever has this particular issue. Again, my VUK wouldn't work specifically, and only, during multiball. It was the snubber board that was bad. I replaced it with one from Pinballpcb.com and the game is finally working 100%.

3 weeks later
#3828 4 months ago

Anyone with a tape measure handy able to tell me how tall F14 is at the top of its beacons? I'm planning a basement and curious if it will fit under a soffit/bulkhead. Mine is disassembled and shrink-wrapped right now while I'm working on the space.

#3830 4 months ago

Thank you!

Edit: Wait a minute.... can we see that whole game? I've never seen one with a while backbox before!

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