(Topic ID: 66172)

F14 Tomcat Owners Club Fans Also Welcome.

By Hellfire

6 years ago

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  • Latest reply 5 days ago by GRUMPY
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2 months later
#138 5 years ago
Quoted from pinballfan:

if the ball stuck on this place, we must make a gate like that, the holes are already made, I do not know why Williams d ont put a gate in factory and drill the hole...

I just doubled up the rubber when that was happening. Problem solved.

2 months later
#194 5 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

ok, question for all you Tomcat players out there? Im very good at this game but my brother is even better . wanna know why ? No matter how much i tell myself not too i keep going for the center kill after lighting the side light kills to advance the alpha /bravo etc kills to light extra ball and ultimately center drain and he resists the urge !!! Why cant i stop doing this ??????? lol

Avoid the center kills, tell yourself this will most definitely be your demise. I pass/cradle to the right flipper and blast Yagov repeatedly for kills to get to extra ball right from the beginning of the game, get the ball up top and shoot the advance multiplier, try to "work the upper playfield loop shot", by then my locks are usually all lit - lock up all the balls and go for multiball, fighter bonuses.

1 month later
#239 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinball_Nate:

Hmmm, sound, how about some nice rocket launch effects??

As soon as I have enough ceiling clearance for the topper, I'll work on it


3 weeks later
#254 5 years ago

Here's mine. Great details on these. ebay.com link » Maisto Tailwinds Grumman F 14 Tomcat


#256 5 years ago
Quoted from Jumping-Box:

My pop-bumper has stopped working. The coil works, I think it's just not sensitive. Is there a quick way to fix, or do I need to completly take apart?

No, you don't have to completely take it apart, but if the mechs are really dirty it will help.


4 weeks later
#349 5 years ago
Quoted from HOOKED:

Is there a good vid with correct sound on youtube? cant seem to find one

This is a pretty good example:

#350 5 years ago
Quoted from HOOKED:

I have always eyeballed F14 but have never played one - other than half working at auctions.
Looking forward to 2:30pm today when I can join this club.

When it's dialed in and fully working it's great (except when it kicks your butt hard)

1 week later
#376 5 years ago

One thing I learned from Tomcat is the switches need to work consistently and accurately - every time & all the time. The switches monitor locations of all the balls - shooter lane, trough switches and locks are extremely important. If one of those is even the slightest bit flaky, this game program will lose track of the balls and weird things begin to happen. Making certain that your Tomcat passes the switch test and switch edge test repeatedly is important for troubleshooting these kinds of errors.

#380 5 years ago
Quoted from SteveW:

With replacement playfields coming out soon, I plan on doing a full restore. Has anyone tinkered with different colored side rails, lock bar, and legs? Possibly chromed out? I'd love to see how it looks with a combo of black side rails and lock bar. Please post some pics if you've done anything other than stock.

Check out Snux's "second sortie" thread. I kinda like the red.


#388 5 years ago
Quoted from graystarsfan1:

Ok, so I'm missing the sound at the very beginning when a ball is waiting to be plunged, the jet revving up sound.

Hmmm. I'm not at my game now, but for some reason thinking this particular sound might be triggered by the plunger lane rollover switch. If you get to it before I do...run a switch edge test, set the ball in the shooter lane.

#390 5 years ago
Quoted from graystarsfan1:

Yea, I have a few issues with my machine right now. And I've been slowly getting things fixed and getting it going again. I haven't had the chance to get that switch off and looked at yet. Take a look here at my original post with a few issues I'm working on if you don't mind and see if you have any thoughts. Thanks.

I was thinking there is a second switch for the "blast-off" sound, maybe #20 Ramp Entry?
So you have gone through switch test for no stuck switches AND switch edge test to test switch activation with the ball. Absolutely zero switch errors before we proceed further?

Quoted from graystarsfan1:

I've already taken the sound board off and looked at it and it looks totally fine.

By "looked at" do you mean visually? ...or did you check all your data/audio paths with meters and logic probes?

#392 5 years ago
Quoted from graystarsfan1:

I can't get into switch test mode. This is my headache. If I can finally get into the mode, I could figure out where all of my main problems are.

That would be the way to go. Have you tried to use an alligator clip lead, wire or paper clip to short pins 2-3 of 1J14 to get into the audits & adjustments menu so that you can get into diagnostics?


#400 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Looking for confirmation on a working machine... After you start a game, before the ball is launched, if you press a flipper button do the flashers light up?

Yes, and you should get explosion sounds.

Quoted from wayout440:

Hmmm. I'm not at my game now, but for some reason thinking this particular sound might be triggered by the plunger lane rollover switch. If you get to it before I do...run a switch edge test, set the ball in the shooter lane.

Confirmed. Engine revving/idling sound effect is constant until ball is shot and moves off the rollover (Switch #16) . The second switch 3/4 up the playfield in the wireform (#20 ramp entry) triggers a blast off sound effect. Your sound system could be entirely working correctly - if these switches are not working right it would falsely appear to be a problem with the sound system.

#403 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Thanks. Trying to track down some issues.
My right eject and right flipper coils are causing one of my GI 5amp fuses to blow. Could that be a snubber issue?

Your welcome. The 5A GI fuses are only protecting branch GI circuits. Coils firing causing the fuses to blow: likely either miswiring or short between GI (probably a socket) and coil circuit.

Quoted from mbott1701:

Also the lower flashers for #2 and #3 are not flashing, but the corresponding flashers in the row at the back of the game work. Checked resistors and non are missing or loose.

The other flasher working tell you flasher power is good. Make sure flasher power is getting to the flasher sockets. Do the corresponding solenoids 02A and 03A work? If they work and power is getting to the flasher, then all you have is wiring/flasher resistor board and socket that could be the problem. Besides checking the resistors on the flasher boards, the connections to them are often a problem with wires breaking the solder from heat over time. Check the wires where they enter those boards and reflow them. Look for possible broken traces too.

#409 5 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

F-14 is sold. I'm leaving this club and joining the Starship Troopers club.


#414 5 years ago
Quoted from volkdrive:

Garage painted! Matching walls to rest of house, flat black for ceiling, figuring to line pins on each side started with some Steve Ritchie HS, and F14! HS2 will be beside the F14 so Ritchie trio here...my F14, LEDs, Pinballpro, new plastics etc, playfield is still pretty decent this game is so fast I love it....used some headlight lens restorer on the domes worked great!

Great looking game. I must comment though: You probably need to leave some ambient lighting on in the room to play it well. I am getting up in years and a well lit F-14 gets difficult to play in the dark

#418 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

Looks sweet. I like how you kept the red and blue them at the slings and apron. How do you like the Pinball pro speakers in the Tomcat? Was thinking about getting them.

Your quote is what I quoted off Volkdrive's quote, just to be clear. His is the game with Pinball pro speakers. I have stock speakers and a 100W sub and it sounds great, BTW.

#420 5 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

What brand of sub did you put in there? My stock speakers sound, I dunno, tinny and crackle so I was thinking about replacing them or at least do a cap kit on the audio board.

It's an older model Optimus 100 watt subwoofer. I found it at a flea market. The seller said it worked and wanted 10 bucks for it, so I took the gamble. It works fine for a pin. I soldered the audio feed directly to the speaker terminals to the high power input on the sub and ran AC power for it tapped after the game power switch so the sub turns on with the game power. Both cables run through a corner of the rear cabinet floor vents and the sub sits under the game.

You'll probably want to clean up the crackle first and then add in a sub. Check your local garage sales and flea markets, I see stuff like this all the time. It doesn't need to be extravagant for pinball.

1 week later
#441 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Sick! That looks sweet! I cannot wait until I'm done shopping my F-14 so I can get to this fun stuff! How did you mount the jets? Where did you buy those jets from? They look very clean. Do the wings open on the F-14?
I'm hoping to buy an F-14 and hook it up to a motor. I want the wings to be open during normal play. When the Release light is triggered I want the wings to close. Basically I want closed wings as long as the beacons are spinning.

Sounds to me like you've got a lot of work ahead of you

1 week later
#467 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

Vids guide to bullet-proofing Sys3-7 has some useful advice in for Sys11. Things still wear out, so it's a good read. For Sys11 the particular one to take care of is adding the 2 missing fuses to protect against rectifier failure. Direct link to that is here:

+1 Can't argue with putting those fuses in. Game fires (and house fires) are no joke.

System 11s are fairly robust, but these games have been around a very long time - much of the bulletproofing tips cover items of concern that are most likely to fail, helping to make/keep your game reliable into the future.

#474 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

I love (and hate) finding things like this.

Muttering "wtf?" while laughing is my standard response when I find these things. Good detective work.

2 weeks later
#496 5 years ago
Quoted from NightTrain:

Is it weird that I have a brand new Iron Man and I can't stop pressing start on F14 all night????

F-14 is a great game. There's a certain uniqueness about it, a distinctive fast flow, the lighting/sounds/theme are the icing on the cake - a good reason that approximately 14,502 Tomcats were produced. Now press that start button again.

#502 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Does anyone else have a bitch of a time getting the landings during multiball? I've had the game for 6 months, and I don't consider myself a novice, but I have yet to put my name on the high scores. I have failed…

Yeah, it's not too bad a shot, until the multiballs are flying around. Do yourself a favor and lower the high score defaults via the adjustments menu. Then get your name in lights and just keep knocking your lowest scores out as you beat your own scores - that will still set a benchmark for your skills and your game's unique qualities.

#505 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

This is on my larger "to do" list. I just haven't gotten there yet.
Lowering the high score defaults sounds like a great idea.
While I have everyone talking, what do you guys think I should do to fix this;

After 27 years of pinballs hitting it the metal guide that leads to the flipper has been flattened. There is actually a bit of a dip and then just before the flipper bat you can see the corner is flattened. I've actually gotten a ball stuck between the post side of the flipper and the bracket. Nothing a tiny nudge didn't fix, but this piece of metal is affecting gameplay as it slows the ball sometimes when it comes down the inner lane. Not always, but sometimes.
Any ideas to fix this? I can't hammer it flat.

I would say the best fix is probably obvious, replace it if you can source up the part. My suggestion for a "semi-permanent" workaround would be to get a piece of sheet scrap that can be cut and ground to have the edge where you need it to be. You would just need a piece large enough for the section with the posts, accurately drill it where the posts should be, and lay it directly on top of the original guide. You might also want to grind down on the topside of that edge on the original guide for a close fit. I don't know for certain if this would work, but it might be something I would try.

1 week later
#529 5 years ago
Quoted from NightTrain:

Anyone have any NOS, repro, or nice used F14 slingshot plastics they'd be willing to part with? I suppose I only really need the left, but would prefer a pair. Maybe they're still for sale somewhere but I couldn't find them.

If you find them let me know...I've been looking for a few years now.

2 weeks later
#567 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

This was my assumption too, but any idea how it adds up?

I'm not at my game, couldn't you just shoot through the orbit and see what amount it adds to your score? Then I assume as this amount passes 1K it lights the 1K blue arrow, then 2K lights the 2K cblue arrow and so on. I guess I never really paid attention that close.

#569 5 years ago

Just got home. Found out that the orbit doesn't advance it all. Inlanes, Outlanes, and the tomcat targets advance it.

#571 5 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Hahaha, whooops.

No sweat Wolfy. I had to look as I didn't know either.

#573 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Check out this new pop bumper ring! The upper PF is much brighter now!

That pic of the pop ring is fabulous, chief. I might have to get me one someday.

#577 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Finished LED'ing my F-14 last night. Holy crap it is bright! Fire up my first LED game and ended up getting my 2nd ever Fighter Jackpot. End score was 3.6M which was good enough for 3rd on the high score list at my house.
Overall, I find the 1 SMD incredibly bright. I cannot imagine using anything brighter. When I walked away from the machine my eyes were wide open. I didn't have a headache or anything, but I felt... uh, off. I'm guessing that it is the flicker of the LED's bothering my eyes. My wife has better vision than I do so I brought her down to take a look. She's able to read the thoughts in my head so seeing flicker isn't a problem for her. She says it's flickering.
I really like the look of the LEDs so I'm keeping them. I've decided to go ahead and purchase a LCD OCD board. There's supposed to be a batch of Sys11 released in Sept so hopefully I'll end up with one.
Oh, and my bumper ring broke. Part of the soldered connection came right off the board and it went dead. Art is going to replace it at no charge. Lastly, I still haven't warmed up to the new orange LEDs. I need to change them out for yellow or try another companies version of orange.
Photos to come I promise!

CT premiums in mine and no flicker. Make sure your power supply is good too. Mine is quite bright with all the LEDs and standard bulb flashers along with the added in missing flashers. I can't play in total darkness, but with enough ambient light it's awesome.

#579 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

How do I test the power supply? I'm getting power therefore it is good?

Not quite. There's a system 11 bulletproofing thread on Pinside, I put a list of the readings you should be getting with a DMM/Voltmeter.

Quoted from Fifty:

Are these the ones you bought?
These are more than twice the price I paid. I know I went cheap though. I think my entire order with the bumper ring was under $80 shipped to Canada. The money I saved on bulbs I can put towards the LED OCD PCB.
How do you find the orange?

Yes those are the CTs. Yes, premium price but I felt they were worth it. On some sys 11s I experienced ghosting with the standard bulbs. Not with the premium supers. Do realize the difference between ghosting and flicker. I did not notice flicker on mine either.

The orange look good.


#581 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Your blue and whites look very similar to mine. Your orange is definitely better, but I'd wager my red is deeper. It could be the photo, but your red looks more white than mine. You would think LEDs would all be the same seeing as they are all coming from China.
I don't see any ghosting on mine. Ghosting is when an insert is lite up or partially lit up when it shouldn't be - correct?
Flickering I relate to the refresh rate on an LCD monitor. Some people can see a computer monitor refreshing the screen and others cannot. A decent video camera will always capture a low refresh rate.
Strobing is the one that confuses me.

I'll bet it likely photo related. I can take the same picture with my camera, my wife's camera, or my mobile phone and each one will look different - a lot. The ambient light in the room and the types of bulbs there can play havoc with good photo representation of what you see in person as well.

You have the ghosting definition correct. It was so bad on my Taxi, that I had to yank all the CT standard bulbs out.

Flickering like you have said, is also similar to a strobe light. Bad flicker can make it hard to track a moving ball as well. Usually caused by using LEDs in an AC circuit that just can't handle the changing direction. They'll have that subtle 60 times a second flicker, often enough to give you a headache. Strobing can be causes by overdriven LEDs. Flicker and strobing are about the same thing - a "stroboscopic" effect (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroboscope)

1 week later
#598 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

4004 for the flippers it is. Thanks.
In the F-14 manual is states that the banded side of the diode should be connected to the solid blue wire and the non-banded side goes to the trace wires. On mine, none of the bands are connected to the solid blue wire.
Should they be?

Add: If they were installed backwards, you'd pop your solenoid supply power fuse.

#601 5 years ago

The note is not necessarily wrong, I think the flipper assembly note only pertains to the EOS switch wiring to the coil on the assembly, which does not show the wire color on the schematics.

The coil wires from the harness, however, are not solid blue, but should be Blue/Grey for the left, and Blue/Violet on the right are the sides of the coil back to the cab buttons. The power side of the flipper coils should be Grey/Yellow for the left, and Blue/Yellow for the right. If the colors do not match these, then whatever color they are it should match the wire colors coming from the flipper power supply connector I5P3 pin 6 (L) and pin 1 (R)


#603 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

I'll take another look tonight to see if the blue wires to my flipper coils have a trace colour on them. I didn't see any, but I'll trace it back even further. The blue wires I'm talking about are soldered to the middle terminal on the coils.

I looked at mine, I have solid black wires on the left EOS, and solid orange on the right EOS, so these were probably replaced at one time ( they were probably solid blue from the factory)
The blue with trace stripes on them, are the ones that travel into the harnesses back to the cab switches and power.

2 months later
#668 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

One of the #47 bulbs burnt out on my divertor. When I pulled off the blue condom it ripped (crap!) so I ordered a bunch from PinballLife. I put the new condom on today and turned on the game and the new condom with the bulb lit up looks completely different from the other two. Almost green. It looks like crap.
I installed a blue LED and it looks fine, but the bulb condom doesn't fit the bulb properly and the LED is shorter than the 47 bulbs.
Where do you guys purchase replacement bulb condoms?
What should I do?

I would replace the diverter lamps with frosted blue and red LEDs and forget about the condoms.

#673 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Those bulbs look too short to be installed into the divertor. #44 bulb types stick out further, I'd prefer a taller bulb.

I have them in mine, I'll have to get a pic out here.

#676 5 years ago

I don't get the obsession with the longer bulb, and why anyone would want/need big pointy long bulbs sticking out of the diverter sockets. Must be an inferiority complex

#681 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

For me it's the look. The short bulbs are too hidden in the black divertor plastic.

I guess your sockets are not right. Mine are just fine with the short bulbs.

#688 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

What? They're fine. I'm just more particular than you are.

OK, but what you are being particular about I don't know. I'm just making the point that the standard CT frosteds are not "hidden" in the diverter. I can see mine from across the room.

#690 5 years ago

Saw your thread Curb, that's a good one. When I see the work involved in leveling inserts it makes me really appreciate buying one where that was already done for me.

#696 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_erie:

Looks like I'm selling mine. $1400, prototype machine with the original flashers and original boards. It was Fatdirks machine a year ago. PM me your email for pics

Is that a true prototype with the black cab and "X" in the serial number? There were only 10 prototypes made, you would be priced wayyyyy low. I think you mean early production.

#702 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_erie:

Upon looking at it, there is no x in the SN. It does have all the prototype roms, clear beacon, added flashers. I was told it was a prototype when I bought it. Either way it's a FAST machine in great shape.

According to IPDB, there is some ambiguity about which of the games were the original 10 prototypes that Steve Ritchie knew about. PROTO5 labeled ROMs, kind of hard to say. I have PROTO6 labeled ROMs in my Marilyn Taxi. Who really knows how many ROMs are labeled that way? The other characteristics about the flashers and domes are very common through early production. The X serial numbers and plain black background cabs seem extremely rare. Only 2 are actually registered on the Internet Serial Number Database. I think those would fetch something more if marketed properly, but how much more I couldn't say. Maybe it's nothing but an interesting backstory.

You are right, though, you do have a nice, clean looking example there. And I think it is priced fairly. GLWTS.

1 month later
#819 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

I don't think I have foam behind ANY of the targets (?).

Yes- that may be the problem right there. See the pic below.

#820 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

Another question: Is there supposed to be "stop pins" or something behind the lower flippers? I see a couple of holes with a sleeve in the hole and wonder if there used to be stops.

You mean like the holes below the flipper in the pic below? These "flipper alignment holes" are used to align the flippers, you would stick a toothpic, or maybe a small finishing nail in the hole and adjust the flipper so the bat rests on in. In theory, the flipper would be then aligned correctly. Often you will find that you might have to adjust it a little from there manually to make sure the ball makes a smooth transition from the inlane to the flipper without bouncing.

#827 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

New problem. I'm getting a random ball ending tilt periodically and often during multi-ball which really stinks! It's essentially happening during high activity but the machine isn't moving or being shaked at all. I have the underside playfield switch set somewhat wide (I think?) and lowered the swinging pendulum mechanism in the cabinet. I also have the tilt warnings set to the max quantity whatever that value is (I don't remember). So, what else could be causing this?

I had the exact same problem. It turned out to be an upper target switch shorting.

See "Phantom Switch Closures: a Shorted Switch"

#842 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinball_Nate:

Anyone know what the heck hitting one of the center "123456" targets while lit does????

Hitting lit 1-6 targets lights Fly By Bonus X and Spinner

#857 4 years ago
Quoted from Bok013:

Check this out. I had the same issues and it drove me crazy. Kvan on here sent me this link. It's a cracked SIP resistor. I checked mine and sure enough it had a hairline crack in it. I replaced it and it plays perfect now.

There's some good info about phantom switch closures and the SIP resistors here in the section:
"Random/Phantom Switch Closures: a Shorted Switch.
-Or- One Switch Activates Multiple Switches.
-Or- Many Switches Activiate the Same Switch."

#862 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Hi guys, my VUK seems to be double firing. I'll send the ball up the right side of the PF into the VUK and it'll kick the ball into the upper habitrail. As the ball rolls into the divertor and passed the lower habittrail switch I'll hear and see the VUK activate again. This doesn't effect play at all, but I would like to fix it. I'm thinking it has something to do with the lower habitrail switch.
Has anyone had a similar issue before I bust out the manual and start digging?

If I remember correctly, the VUK switch is a "forked" flat copper switch actuator that gets pushed down by the weight of the ball to trip, I think the double firing of the VUK is often related to how loose/tight the tolerance of the VUK trip switch is. It seems that after firing, the VUK can trip itself again if it is adjusted to be too sensitive. You might look into starting a switch edge test and adjust so that the switch trips only when it is all the way down with the weight of the ball and no sooner.

#867 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Sorry, I didn't explain my issue very well. "Double-firing" was not the correct term I should have used. It is not rapid firing, machine gunning, or double-firing. Here is what happens;
I will send a ball up to VUK, I'll hear "Fire" and it will launch it into the upper most habitrail. As the ball gets to the divertor I hear "Fire" again and I can see the VUK activating. So it is not an issue where the VUK is activating twice in rapid succession. There is a delay between the first "Fire" and second "Fire".
Has anyone experienced this sort of thing? Sorry for not being clear in my original post.

There will be a delay, even in this situation. Any time that the VUK switch activates, the CPU announces the "FIRE!" again before telling the VUK to launch (I've had this not only happen twice, but sometimes a third, or even a fourth time before the switch settles down) It's never going to rapid fire or machine gun because of the CPU involvement, the switch is not directly connected to the VUK coil.

#870 4 years ago
Quoted from mbott1701:

it turned out to be the role pin

I REMEMBER that PITA pin! I had to grind mine with a dremel grinding tool

#875 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

Guess I should search before posting:
But now I'm lost on potentially diagnosing my "phantom tilt" issues. Let me know if anyone has any ideas.

First you need to diagnose whether your switch problem is on the CPU or playfield. If it does turn out to be a problem on the board, SR10 is also a possible resistor network that can cause this failure. Now go back and read the section of the repair docs I posted earlier:

Quoted from wayout440:

There's some good info about phantom switch closures and the SIP resistors here in the section:
"Random/Phantom Switch Closures: a Shorted Switch.
-Or- One Switch Activates Multiple Switches.
-Or- Many Switches Activiate the Same Switch."

#877 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

Yes. Sorry. Once I saw the "wrong" board I started stressing. I have to stop evaluating late at night and panic posting! I started reading everything again after I posted and need to slow down a bit! Thanks again.

#885 4 years ago
Quoted from Jumping-Box:

Look what Gen. Yagov did.

Check adjustment #45 in the adjustments menu:
01 - Weak Kick
02 - Hard Kick
03 - Weak Kick w/Flight Ins
04 - Hard Kick w/Flight Ins
05 - Kill Flipper

#887 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

What's the default setting? Minus the kill flipper option.

Factory setting is 03. To be honest, I've had the ball go over the flipper, even into the shooter lane on the default setting. I've never tried a hard kick setting, I'd be afraid of the results...like the broken flipper

#897 4 years ago
Quoted from koen12344:

This makes me want to buy them even though mine arent broken

I snatched up the used right sling plastic on Ebay. I just didn't want to buy an entire set to replace my only broken one.

#914 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Connections look fine.

Sorry but "look fine" doesn't cut it here, you'll have to break down and get some batteries for that meter. It's almost never just a fuse

The schematic below shows the connectors 6P4 at the backbox, 3J8 at the power supply board, and offboard 5A SB fuse that serve the brown & brown/wht circuit.

#916 4 years ago

If a switch is not activated in 30 games, or is permanently closed, it activates this startup report. This is the secondary scoring switch for the sling it is talking about (below playfield). If the top pair on the rubber fires the sling coil you know those are good.

Go to switch levels test. If switch is showing up there, then it is being seen as permanently closed - possibly it is shorted. If not, go to switch edge test and operate the switch by hand to see if it is not being activated at all (which would cause the 'switch not activated in 30 games' condition)

#919 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

Ah yes. Always makes perfect sense after someone explains it! The slings are working fine so its the under playfield coil switch. What does that switch actually do? Confirm that the coil fired? I might have thought that it signals the coil activated and then "shuts it off" but I don't really think it does. Is it for scoring or ? I'll run the tests described. Thanks!

Scoring, sound effects and/or diagnostics, depending on the game. It basically reports to the game computer that the sling has fired.

#921 4 years ago
Quoted from Lame33:

I've been toiling away on my project F-14 and while I hate painting and upon close inspection it's full of flaws, I think it's a bit better than it was.

A bit? No it's a LOT better than it was and looks fantastic. Good job!

#929 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

Thanks to all on the sling switch fix & more importantly an education on actually doing the switch test. Turns out both sides were not working too well. I used to get a phantom tilt I was suspecting coming from a shorted sling switch (as previously discussed in this chain) and hope that issue doesn't come back!
Sure seems to be an art to bending the touchy leafs. Where can I get a good detailed description on exactly how / where to bend, at what angle, arc, etc. should they be in? I know the principle of when they should touch but getting the correct working spring / bends is tricky.


2 weeks later
#948 4 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

Try pulling the ribbon cable from the back of the display and putting it back on again. Same with the other end on the MPU board. Sounds like you've got a slightly dirty contact there somewhere and that can cause the effect you're seeing. Also check to see if you have any dry/cracked solder joints on the display board.

+1. ...Or sometimes just a flaky ribbon cable. After all the unplugging and plugging they wear, lose contact tension with the board pins.

#953 4 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

Welcome to the obsession !! Ive had my F14 almost two years and still love it.!!

Glad you've been able to hold on to your love affair. I might be thinking about trading mine.

#958 4 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

Yeah, its the one i will never sell. I notcie you have a Pinbot, im looking for one. How long have you had it and is it still fun to play after a longer period of time ?

Yes it is. In my particular situation, my brother has dibbs on my Pinbot if he really wants it. I would miss it more than F-14.

#962 4 years ago
Quoted from GixerEd1:

Looks nice! My F-14 still has regular bulbs, but seriously thinking about changing to LEDs.
Should I buy the "complete kits" or buy separate bulbs as-needed? I read somewhere that the pins made at different times (years) may have used different light sockets at various locations, so the "complete kits" may not have all the LEDs I may need.

Yes, kits offer a starting point in most games that are consistent - but F-14 is not one of them so you should buy bulbs ala carte. Check especially under the arrow inserts. Sometimes these are individual #44 sockets, and sometimes they are long PC boards with 555 sockets.

#969 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

For the GI, I've been hesitant to switch to LEDs. I'm worried about ghosting or flicker. For those of you that have switched the GI to LED have you had any issues?
Oh, and sort of on topic off topic, has anyone found a decent orange? I ended up trying orange, amber, yellow and white LEDs under my orange inserts but I didn't like the colour and switched back to incandescent.

Cointaker premiums. They're awesome! No ghosting or flicker (Ghosting is a controlled lamp problem, not a GI problem) You can see a few places with orange in both the controlled lamps and the GI, such as under the numerical target bank

#973 4 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

Dont be scared to do it. (its a pretty simple part to re and re ). Just be lazy ...

+1...don't be scared. It is monotonous. Just have a place next to you to set all the parts your remove, put some good listening music on, make sure you have plenty of time not to be rushed and go to town.

#977 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Cointaker premiums are $2/bulb. I haven't counted the GI bulbs, but there have to be 50 of them no? So that's $100 plus shipping/taxes for me. Hmm... I'll check Comet.
Did you order frosted bulbs for everything? 1-SMD or what?

Well, you get what you pay for. The best thing about the Cointakers for me was zero issues with ghosting or flicker. They also have the best customer service when it comes to taking care of any after sale problems. I'll pay more for CTs any time.

#982 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Did you order frosted bulbs for everything? 1-SMD or what?

Frosted and retro's mixed on top of the playfield and in backbox, under the game inserts are premiums - these have no cover.

#985 4 years ago

There becomes a point at which, with serious damage like this, that there really is no great way to make it "pretty". The best you can hope for is to make the connections secure and trace repairs or jumpers are thick enough to handle the maximum current in the circuit. Sometimes people forget that the components must be secured from movement or vibration. When the board is badly damaged the via holes and traces often don't have enough structure to hold the components securely. This can be remedied by adding a drop of Tak Pak or hot melt glue to the component body to secure it in place.

#987 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

I've decided to place an order for GI LEDs. Anyone know how many bulbs I'm going to need off the top of their head? Thank you.
Oh, and is there a #1683 equivalent in LEDs? Beacon LEDs?

Yeah, there is some equivalents out there for the beacon bulbs. IMO these are real aircraft beacons and last a long time, and are super bright - so I've left mine as is. The thing is bright as hell with all the standard flashers and premium LEDs in it anyway.

#989 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Good to know. I'll leave them as is.
For the GI bulb count, I checked the manual but it doesn't include GI under the "Lamp" section. It just goes over the inserts and flashers. I've counted the bulbs in the backbox using pictures people have provide in this thread, but it looks like I'll have to count the GI bulbs on my pin.

Unfortunately, there isn't a GI bulb list in the manual. They show dashed lines which means "more than what we have illustrated". Your best bet is to count them yourself and buy some extra. And maybe a few extra on top of that. Many times I swore I had enough and came up short, usually because I assumed what base of bulb I was dealing with and then found differences later

#1004 4 years ago
Quoted from kilmarnock1350:

Some have mentioned it's a lamp matrix issue, some have mentioned using non-ghosting LEDs.
Are coin taker non-ghosting LEDs the same brightness as the regular super bright?
Thoughts appreciated on how ya'll solved this problem. It's ANNOYING!

I used Cointaker premiums (non-ghosting) in my F-14 and have no problems with inserts ghosting. When I used the CT regulars/supers in Taxi's inserts - very bad ghosting. I could have bought premiums, but instead I decided to just put regular incandescent bulbs back in that game. The premiums are a brighter, for sure.

#1014 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

- Is there a preferred vendor / anyone sponsor this great site? Seems like pinball life is popular.
- Is there a full replacement all inclusive prebuilt upgrade option for F-14 flipper mechanisms? I know I can get the simple rebuild kit but I need to flip my diodes which are on the wrong side and all and if I'm doing it all anyway I'm thinking it might just be easier to replace all in one assembly.
- What specifically would cause the lack of "pop"? They return fine and shoot fine when the ball is rolling down the slot gently.

I get most of my Sys 11 parts from Marco Specialties.

These are the bats:

These are the flipper kits:

Kits do not come with cabinet switches or bushings, so I would strongly recommend ordering those:

Replace all that, and you'll likely solve all your flipper "pop" problems.

#1024 4 years ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

Planning on also doing my F24 soon.

1 week later
#1080 4 years ago

You want the L-1 ROMs.

31 Tomcat memory
32 Rescue timer
33 Multi-ball adj.
34 Kill memory
35 Rescue init.
36 Special spots
37 Launch spot TC
38 CT kill spot TC
39 Kill spots
40 Insur. thresh.
41 Insur. min. time
42 Lite fl. lanes
43 Bon. mult. xtra ball
44 Kill extra ball
45 Yagov kicker <<<-----------------
46 (unused adjust)
47 Attract beacon
48 Attract sounds
49 Custom message
50 Sw. alarm knocker
51 English text
52 (unused adjust)

31 Tomcat memory
32 Rescue timer
33 Multi-ball adj.
34 Kill memory
35 Rescue init.
36 Special alt.
37 Launch spot TC
38 Ex. ball memory
39 Kill spots
40 Insur. thresh.
41 Insur. min. time
42 Lite fl. lanes
43 Bon. mult. xtra ball
44 Kill extra ball
45 CT kill spot TC
46 (unused adjust)
47 Attract beacon
48 Attract sounds
49 Custom message
50 Sw. alarm knocker
51 English text
52 (unused adjust)

31 Tomcat memory
32 Rescue timer
33 Multi-ball mode
34 Kill memory
35 Rescue init.
36 Spec. alternate
37 Launch spot TC
38 Ex. ball memory
39 Kill spots
40 Insur. thresh.
41 Insur. min. time
42 Lite fl. lanes
43 Bon. mult. xtra ball
44 Kill extra ball
45 CT kill spot TC
46 Adjust #16
47 Attract beacon
48 Attract sounds
49 Custom message
50 Sw. alarm knocker
51 English text
52 (unused adjust)

#1084 4 years ago
Quoted from Shiny_balls:

Maybe do a coil custom work?

Why?...kind of the point of the kicker isn't it?

#1093 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

I am finding that my left and right kick out (the ones to the left and right of the pop) aren't strong enough, I know I know this game is nuts already, I just had some people over this weekend and they commented how EASY my F-14 is. The Yagov is good, everything else seems to be pretty quick, just those kick outs aren't what I think they could be.
Is that a matter of replacing the plunger/link....sleeve, coil? One of the kick outs seems ok. The other can JUST make it around the bend when it kicks out. Seems like it should be a little stonger.

99% of the time a kickout like this simply requires a disassembly, cleaning, and replacing the coil sleeve - can make a huge difference. Very rarely will you need to replace the coil, other parts just consider replacement if they are significantly worn out.

#1109 4 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

you see this part is very necessary in that area.
My Tomcat is very very fast because not only the playing field has become very fast, I also have strengthened the coils, in addition, with condensers.
It's no compare to the normal coils or the weak green one
Now, the game is as quick as it should be.
A problem is the yagov kicker, the backfire is so hard, that the ball almost smashes the glass. That needs an adjustment, then this F-14 is perfect.

That shouldn't be. Make certain that the Yagov Kickback adjustment #45 is set to 01 or for weak kick, and your coil is part #AE-23-800-11

Anything else and you have a big problem.

#1116 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

I've never seen any info on how to hook up an external subwoofer. Are there things to know, or can you just clip to the speaker leads?

Not much special. If you clip to the speaker leads, you must run this pair to a high level or speaker level input of your external subwoofer - not a line level input. I have one on mine, it's a powered external Optimus subwoofer. I also Y tapped off the games mains power at the output of the line filter so that the subwoofer gets power turned on and off with the games power switch.

#1117 4 years ago
Quoted from kerokero:

Hi fellow F-14 owners. I'm looking for a replacement lift channel molding for the backglass on my F-14. I tried using a WPC lift channel from BAA, but it's too narrow and the plexiglass and translite won't squeeze in very well. The blue parts catalog on Planetary's website (page 2-14b) seems to indicate it's part "#03-8045-1 Bottom Molding" but I haven't found a parts vendor that sells it. Any suggestions? Anyone have a spare?


#1120 4 years ago
Quoted from kerokero:

That appears to be the same one I ordered from BAA, same reference part #:
I tried, but it was too tight and was thicker than the original so I couldn't put the backglass back into the backbox with it on; too tall.

Sorry, I thought that was it. Mine is tight too, kind of have to fiddle with it just right to get it in and out over the speaker channel lip sometimes. I don't have a simple solution since I can't be certain of the mechanics that are holding it up. Perhaps the channel is too high on the speaker panel, and that's what is preventing the glass from being installed? Maybe the panel could be sanded down a little on the bottom or something to provide clearance?

#1121 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

I have on oldie but goodie Optimus subwoofer, but it isn't powered; would that work? Trying to put my head around it...

No, that wouldn't work - at least not well. A non-powered (called "passive") sub is expecting to recieve an amplified subwoofer channel....bass frequencies which require more power to amplify. Even if a passive would work at at, it won't be loud enough and could put a serious strain on the Tomcat's amplifier and even damage it.

You are best off getting a powered subwoofer for the purpose. If you want to use the Optimus, you'll need to get a speaker to line level converter and an appropriate power amplifier. The connection then would be: tap off the speaker leads-->>line level converter -->>amplifier -->>passive subwoofer.

#1123 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Thanks Wayout - you always give really solid tech advice. AND, thanks to your comments on the PinBot thread, now I feel like I have to take on the whole damn mylar removal project on my F-14 (shakes fist)

LOL thanks! And good luck!

1 week later
#1161 4 years ago
Quoted from ShootForSlrValue:

Would anyone happen to have a list of the caps on the sound board? I lost all of my sound and I'm going to attempt to re-cap it to see if that fixes it.

Oh my, no! Don't recap it all yet, unless you are extremely bored - because I doubt that is your problem. What troubleshooting have you done to this point?

The background sound board complete parts list is on page 38 of the manual...there are 35 caps on this board.

Perhaps it would be better to start with some basic troubleshooting? Have you replaced the sound cables?
See "3d. When thing don't work: Power-On Tones and Sound Diagnostics/Problems"

3 weeks later
#1200 4 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

No Beacons on top - no Tomcat!

Like Fire without the bell or Whirlwind without the fan, this is kind of a prime feature of the personality of the game.

They'll be a hangin' for sure...even if it is your personal preference.

#1218 4 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

. I had to remove the beacons partly out of personal preference and partly because my pins are on the main floor and at night it was scaring the whole neighbourhood, lots of old people around.

OK, that makes a little more sense now. I seem to remember running across a High Speed that had it's beacon removed because it was in a bar, and the patrons were freaking out because they thought the cops were raiding the bar.

#1225 4 years ago
Quoted from Hess:

Hi guys. My upper flipper EOS switch / leaf broke off. So I need to order another one and replace it obviously. Can I temporarily jump the high and low or ? so I can still play the game this weekend? Obviously would need to make sure were not holding the flippers too long or it will overheat the coil. But could I temporarily do this to get by until I get the switch? If so, what's the best way to jump them? Or is it too risky and going to cause major damage... and overheating... and then burn my house down... and the neighbors house too.

Not adviseable to bypass the EOS. You can't really control the power delivery since the coil will be getting full power all the time at the end of stroke...and you risk more damage. Patience, grasshopper. Do some cleaning and inspection while you wait for parts.

#1233 4 years ago

I keep seeing folks that are changing the targets out for custom designs, I just have to say that I am not a fan...yes, it's your game so do what you will. It's odd, I've modded my games but there's something disturbing to me about changing the targets. Am I the only one?

#1238 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

I am not a fan either. There have been some nice ones designed, but having all the targets done up with a custom design to me is just as boring as them all being stock. Either way they are all the same. There have also been some that have the letters T-O-M and C-A-T, but I am not a fan of this either as there are already inserts on the PF for this. To each their own.

However, if they came out with OLED screen targets...I could be persuaded. Could you imagine targets that spell out T-O-M on the target face, then hitting them a small explosion of color, perhaps evolving into other pictures? An F14 plane flying "through" your targets sequentially during attract mode? Hey, if they can do it with slot machine buttons that folks are hammering on all day, why not a pinball machine target?

#1247 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Tech help needed!
Last week a friend came by and we were playing F-14. When I stared the game, the knocker kicked a bunch of times and "Adjust Switch 44" came on the displays. I've seen this happen periodically since owning the game a year and a half ago, and it's always just been this weird thing that came and went. (Quite odd as switch 44 is just a playfield spot target). Anyway, at some point we got sidetracked for 10 minutes or so while the ball sat in the shooter lane. When we came back to the game and shot the ball into play, the diverter didn't work (ball fed to the right hand lock, not the one of the center locks like it's supposed to). Alarmingly, a minute later i was smelling hot electronics and seeing smoke! The coil burned itself right out.
I replaced the coil yesterday (the old one had gotten hot enough that the plunger couldn't be moved manually) and started up the game. The "Adjust Switch 44" error came on but the game started when I hit the start button. But the problem was still there; the diverter didn't activate, the ball fed to the RH lock, and, weirdly, then it called this a drain and kicked ball 2 into the shooter lane. I didn't have much time to contemplate this before a hot electronic smell started emanating from...somewhere. It wasn't the coil this time. I pulled the back glass the hot smell was coming from somewhere in there. I was overwhelmed by a sinking feeling.
I didn't seen anything obviously burnt on any of the boards, but of course the problem might not be that immediately visible. Any ideas? My inclination is to try to figure out which board(s) have the problem and just send them out for repair.

Start with troubleshooting the switch problem. Adjust switch 44 error is likely happening because the switch isn't working (meaning, either switch itself, or wiring, bad diode etc...) If a switch is never activated in 30 games, you will get this error. Start by going into diagnostics and checking all the switches - without the balls in the machine, no switch should be active (stuck on). Then advance to the next switch test, called the switch edge test. Manually operate every switch in the gamei to see which of them work and which do not.

Also, if switches are getting stuck on they can cause other problems, including component or coil failures. If you assume a board is bad, and don't do the legwork of troubleshooting - you can end up right back at square one. It certainly *could* be board failure, but we have to do some investigative work first. See what is being reported by the game's diagnostics and we can help you determine what is going one.

#1252 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

OK, so the first switch test didn't indicate any stuck switches. Switch edges indicated contact everywhere except for the pop bumper, slingshots, and flipper buttons (though it did register the EOS switches).

So what happened with switch #44 in edge test, did it work or not?

Don't worry about the "black thingies" (transistors) for the moment. The soldering doesn't look great, but doesn't appear to be obviously shorted from the pic shown. Let's focus on the switch error. Is it still happening?

#1257 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

So what happened with switch #44 in edge test, did it work or not?
Yes. I think I've actually checked it in the past and it worked then also. Additionally, when I turned the game on this time there was no adjustment "knocker" warning. Like I said before, that warning has happened before but has gone away so I just shrugged and kept playing.

Then you probably have an intermittent switch problem. If it starts to work, then the message will go away at the next restart. It could be a number of things, if it is slightly out of adjustment, such as contacts too far apart or dirty, it may not work all the time, for example. Make sure you use the ball to thoroughly test the switch in edge test to make sure it trips every single time (because if you use your finger you might be putting more pressure on the switch than what occurs when the ball hits it during play) Other things to do would be to replace the diode and resolder all the switch and diode tabs. Broken wire strands within the insulation jacket are possible, and other possibilities. It's just more difficult to diagnose an intermittent until you can duplicate the failure with some regularity.

#1259 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

I'll get on looking at the target connections this weekend if there's time. Any guess how this is connected to the non functioning diverter? Also, is there nothing amiss in the slings, flipper buttons, and pop bumper not working during switch edges test?

All the switches should register in the switch matrix, numbered 1-63 (64 is not used). You may have to manually activate some (I forget) if the coil doesn't fire for the pop bumper for instance - then you will have to manually move the mechanism, from the underside of the playfield - to see if the movement of the mechanism engages the switch. I believe this is the same for slings, and the EOS switches on the flipper mechanisms. Go through the table and indicate the switch numbers of any that do not work. This may help in troubleshooting, as multiple switches failing in a row or column can indicate other types of problems, such a broken wire. The switches daisy chain from one to the next, so a broken wire would cause all the switches after that switch to fail as well.

#1261 4 years ago
Quoted from Curbfeeler:

Random tilts on F14 is pretty well documented as being SCR6 as suggested above.

That's only one of the potential problem resistor networks, all of them listed below:

Here are the different resistor networks used in the system 11 switch matrix (listed in general order of failure):

SR9/SR10* = 1k ohms x 4 resistors isolated/discrete (8 pins). Used for the switch returns (rows). Mouser part# 652-4608X-102-1K. Easy to test in-circuit.
SR11* = 560 ohm x 9 resistors bussed (10 pins). Used for the switch returns (rows). Mouser part# 652-4310R-101-560. Easy to test in-circuit.
SR3/SR15/SR17* = 4.7k ohms x 9 resistors bussed (10 pins). Used for the switch drives (columns). Mouser part# 652-4310R-101-472.
SRC6* (1k/470 pfd) = resistor/capacitor network for switch matrix columns. Has 1k ohm resistors with 470 pF caps in a single package. Can not be tested in-circuit. Replace with a 1k ohm x 9 resistor bussed (10 pins) with no capacitors. Cut off pin 10 (important!), and install pin 1 (common) in pin 1 of the board. The cut pin 10 of the resistor network does not go into the board's pin 10 position. See notes below for more info on this. Mouser part# 652-4610X-1LF-1K.
SR14 = 3.3K ohm x 9 resistors (10 pins) bussed. Used for the opto switch returns (rows). Not used in any game for switches directly, but if this SIP is bad will cause switch matrix row problems. Mouser part# 652-4310R-101-3.3K. Easy to test in-circuit.
SR8 = 1k ohm x 9 resistors bussed (10 pins). Mouser part# 652-4610X-1LF-1K.

* Most commonly failed resistor networks in system11 boards.

All these Bourns resistor networks (except for the SRC6) can be ordered from mouser.com or greatplainselectronics.com.

#1265 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisG78:

Before I go with the suggested repair wanted to see if anyone could send me some pics or confirm this is right. The sling switch stacks mine have a 22mfd run cap and unknown resistor but no diode just wanted to make sure that's correct.

The special solenoid playfield switch trigger has a 100 ohm 1/2 watt resistor and a 22 mfd 100 volt electroylic capacitor (the positive lead connected to the resistor) in parallel to the switch. This is different than CPU controlled coils that use a switch matrix switch to turn them on (switch matrix switches only have a 1N4004 diode on the switch).

#1267 4 years ago

So have you tried replacing the diode on the scoring switch for the slings?
I had a letter target on my Tomcat that was causing tilts. Even after changing the diode and pulling the target out to test it, I could not find anything wrong with it...I replaced it with a new one and that fixed it. It must have been shorting on the rivets somehow, go figure.
The switch matrix enables the circuitry to be simplified for addressing a large quantity of targets, otherwise you would have a boatload of components and huge bundles of wire

#1269 4 years ago

If the tilt is random, it could be a resistor pack, but having a specific switch trigger it repeatly is more likely to be something directly related to that specific switch. The only certain way to test a diode is to lift one end and check forward and reverse conduction, even then a marginal or leaky diode can be difficult to ascertain. The part is very inexpensive, I just replace it.

#1274 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

OK, so I just did another switch edges check. The cabinet switches (flipper buttons) aren't registering, but the EOS switches are. (If you turn the game on and start it up the flippers are totally unresponsive)

Cabinet buttons won't indicate on a switch test. How it works: First the cabinet button fires the solenoid, then the mechanical action of the flipper mechanism trips the EOS switch stack pair, one switch is for the high power cutoff and the other is the scoring switch that reports back to the CPU. Flippers totally unresponsive is a separate problem. lanechan.jpg

Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Also the upper playfield EOS switches are not registering.

Not sure what you mean by this.

Quoted from sethbenjamin:

The pop does register, just had to move the ring physically instead of just the skirt. Same with the slings.

OK, that is part of the reason the pop won't work, it needs to be able to register by the ball hitting the skirt. Pop switch is likely dirty, oxidized or otherwise needs adjusting. There is a good thread on Pinside to look up:

Quoted from sethbenjamin:

All was well until the ball was left in the shooter lane for ~10 minutes while the game was on.

Something went haywire with the connection between the ball trough switch and the diverter solenoid; the solenoid burnt out in a major way, I replaced the coil and everything is physically connected properly now, but it still doesn't activate and the game is confused. What next?

Ignore this fact, you should be able to leave the ball in the shooter lane for days without any damage to the game. Things were already wrong with this game. The coil burned out because of something else, so it is no big surprise that replacing the burnt coil didn't solve anything. The firing transistor for the diverter solenoid is probably now shorted, or more. See:
3b. When thing don't work: Checking Transistors/Coils (locked on coils)

#1277 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

For god's sake. I just tried going to the techniek page and half the links are dead. Is the stupid war still going on over this info or is there just a screwy internet connection somewhere?

Just tried it, worked fine for me.

#1286 4 years ago

I used Cointaker frosteds in my backbox and like it very much


#1289 4 years ago
Quoted from Shiny_balls:

Get some with concave lens from Pinball Life.....170 degrees wide angle!!

You do realize that a standard frosted bulb is 180 degrees, which is wider side dispersion than a 170 degree concave lens, right?

#1292 4 years ago
Quoted from tonedef131:

This is the first time I've used a RBG color changer and been happy with the result.


To each his own, but classic radar was always green.


#1302 4 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

Can someone tell me the winning lottery numbers for tonight, so I can retire and finally find some spare pinball time again?

Tell me about it. Dang work interferes with pinball time. So does yardwork, children, laundry, eating and sleeping. Not enough hours in the day

1 month later
#1373 4 years ago
Quoted from koen12344:

After playing my F14 for about a year without any major problems, something was bound to go wrong at some point. The fuse for the solenoids (rescue, ejects, yagov, kickout) had blown. I replaced it, and after a few games it was blown again. I measured all the coils, none of them seem to be shorted, and all affected coils fire fine in the coil test.
Does anyone have some insights? Thanks!

Most of the time a solenoid fuse is not blown because of a bad coil, but often because of a switch problem (something in the game "telling" a momentary coil to stay on too long - which hopefully will blow the fuse before damaging the coil driving transistor or coil.)
Always run a good battery of switch tests, repeatedly - both the levels and edge tests - before assuming something else.

1 week later
#1380 4 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

However that said, the pop bumper on F14 is quite well known for not being very powerful.

I have heard this was intentional, along with less powerful choice of upper flipper coils. The reason being the close quarters of the target area, and the potential to break targets there.

#1382 4 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

the reason is, to prevent danger of a short circuit to the switch line board if the prototype flashers are installed.
Just take a look at the service bulletin SS41 and you'll understand.

Yes, I have read it, and if you read the service bulletin - it says clearly:


#1388 4 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

Yes, it's right.
But this is not the reason - in fact, this improvement is just to keep warranty for Williams and take the game as long as possible in play with low costs to earn money!
The design of the playfield with the prototype flashers was wrong and took effect in the short circuit of the switch line board, caused by contact of backside target and lamp socket.
I never saw a F-14 with damaged targets, I only know damaged machines due to short circuit.
Trust me and try my modification and you'll see - it's impossible to destroy a target or the switch line board.
It doesn't matter if with or without the flasher installed.

Williams removed the flashers when the early games began to have problems with the target switches shorting them out. With the flashers removed, there was no possible way the targets could short them out - regardless of which strength of coils are used....so with the troublesome flashers removed, why would you then bother to change to weaker coils? Williams intentionally chose the weak strength coils for close in upper flipper shots on many games, not only F-14. Games such as Grand Lizard and TZ are also designed specifically with weaker version coils in these positions to avoid target breakage.

Hobbyists including myself, have reversed the original mod which adds the prototype flashers back to the game, but using proper insulation methods, and leaving the coils at the weaker version for correct playability...but if you want to juice up your game and change to higher powered coils - by all means go ahead...It's your game.

1 month later
#1448 4 years ago
Quoted from FLASHBALL:

Having a strange problem happening while playing my f14 tomcat. During multiball the game just stops like as if the ball were to drain and the game over sound plays. This is not a tilt problem, at least the displays dont say the game tilted like it normally would. Is there any probable areas to start looking for this issue?
Thanks for any leads. I'm a bit confused on this one.

Start by running through the game diagnostics, especially look for stuck switches on the level test (with all balls out of game) and use the ball to operate every single switch on the edge test - then report any oddities.

#1454 4 years ago
Quoted from scampcamp:

F14 Price Check? I'm going to be checking one out here locally. He says it plays well & looks good. Any ideas what I would be safe to offer? Thanks

Difficult to pin down a price check without a lot of detail of the condition. The electronics sound ok if everything plays without error. "Looks good" is very vague, you really need to see condition of inserts on this game, check if raised or not. I've heard people use this term describing games worn to the wood.
With all that said: I'd estimate a base price range on this game in fair to good condition and fully working is probably something around $700-$900. If you find there is significant playfield wear or raised inserts you would probably go down some from there. Again, tough to really price without details and pictures...I just feel that would be about the price you might be looking at from what was said.

#1457 4 years ago

Mine was $700, but that was around 3 or 4 years ago, I just had to do some reassembly. So I guess you are right, they've gone way up in price in recent years. This is the condition as it was then.


1 week later
#1462 4 years ago
Quoted from FLASHBALL:

Does this sound like a ball trough switch possibly? I checked the switch edge test and all three ball trough switches are actuating correctly.

There are 4 ball trough switches, not 3. Switch numbers 11, 12, 13, and 14.

1 week later
#1485 4 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

Prototype have these two red flashers in the upper playfield...

Quoted from erak:

Well i guess mine is a prototype because it has everything you mentioned. Cool to know, thanks for the info.

No, you probably don't have a prototype. A correction to terminology...these are characteristics of EARLY PRODUCTION units. Not prototypes. The prototypes will most definitely have plain "unstriped" black cabinets and *probably* an "X" in the serial number. Actual prototypes will be very rare indeed. Contrast this with early production games, of which there were very many. I have one. (Early production characteristics include: clear back panel flasher lenses, clear dome, proto marked ROMs, individual 44 bulb sockets instead of a 555 socket PCB for the red and blue inserts)
"Steve Ritchie tells us that there were 10 prototype games made. He also says that, while the X in the serial number means "prototype", this was not used consistently at Williams. One of these games is pictured in this listing with serial number 554-X 94222. The cabinet art design was deemed too plain and was changed for production."


#1487 4 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

My information about Earlys was, there have been about 80 units, but I can't believe it.

More like thousands. Not even including those with some characteristic parts changed. Mine was built in March 1987.

#1489 4 years ago
Quoted from Averell:

Mine is S/N I100470

IPSND S/N Formats:
Production Game 554106928, 554106931, 554107066
International Game 554I110520, 554I102627, 554I101281
Experimental Game 554X094222

Yeah, there are quite a few IPSND submissions with only five suffix digits after the I (ex: I96751 - Germany; I97189 - Austria.) as compared to your six digits. I'd say probably an early production box. There's also no real solid cutoff date - who really knows when in the production process things like changing the domes to opaque were implemented? Maybe not all those changes even happened at the same time, either.

Experimental (prototype) games are either going to have an X, or probably only be 5 digit serial number suffixes if there were truly only around 10 of them made as Steve Ritchie has been rumored to say. There's only 2 of the X serial numbers recorded at IPSND.

#1491 4 years ago

Now those bajillion flashers must be quite blinding!

#1497 4 years ago
Quoted from LongJohns:

I don't think there should be an issue.

+1 how it works is going to be the same in this type of application. We're talking about repairing one or a few machines...but f you were building 1000s of machines then the choice may be a concern.

#1499 4 years ago

"When replacing a TIP122 on a system 11 game, always replace it with a TIP102 instead. The TIP102 is a more robust version of the TIP122."

"If you replace a coil's TIP122/102 transistor, it's a good idea to also replace its corresponding pre-driver."

...just a couple of things to be mindful of from the repair docs. http://techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/wms11/index1.html

I would replace these again, leave the solenoid driver connector off so you don't (hopefully) blow anything out. From there you should be able to verify again with test measurements that all is working correctly. You can verify against another adjacent solenoid circuit to make certain all is the same. Test your coil and replace diode too, to make sure those are good before plugging the solenoids back in.

#1513 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

I use my logic probe to measure U20 pin 3. I get a low pulse.

Don't you mean a high pulse?


#1515 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Well that's a handy schematic! No I mean a low pulse. I'm using a LP610 logic probe like this;
All I'm seeing is the green LED which is low. When the pulse happens the red LED doesn't go on, it's more like the green LED is just taking a break.

Hmmm. Just looked at the manual, Green LED is logic level low (solenoid would be inactive, as it should be, provided everything else is correct)
However, the red LED not going on appears suspicious to me. If all the LED go off means bad level or open circuit according to the manual.

#1517 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

The green LED doesn't really turn off. The pulse happens too quickly. The green LED doesn't really even flash. I can hear the pulse clearly though.
I have a DMM that measures TTL. I'll try it and see if I can see the high.

Makes sense...I agree that is sounds like it is probably working correctly. I just use a DMM.

#1519 4 years ago

There's a range for logic level "1" that extends well below the 5VDC, there is also a range for the logic level "0" and the "fuzzy" area where the signal is not reliable right between the two. (see diagram below)

The "STS4D" is just the name of the signal to distinguish it. It's a special solenoid driver circuit that is the 4th transistor in the group of special solenoid drivers, and the long line across the top indicates it is "active low".


#1521 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Thanks. It's been 16 years since I took Digital Logic in school.

over 30 years ago for me.

#1523 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

I need a beer.

Get two

When were you measuring the 7VDC? While the coil was locked on?
You don't need to measure the coil for DC power if it locked on because you already know it has power. Turn your focus as to why the circuit path is being completed to ground. Most of this time, this is because of a transistor switch that is stuck on, and that is usually on for one of two reasons - the transistor is damaged or somebody (MPU or switch) is sending a signal to turn that transistor on.

#1525 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

I put the coil in test mode. Nothing. I take a measurement and it's 7VDC on each lug.

...when you got to this, what you needed to do was find out why the voltage isn't present. The transistor completes the ground path, but with no voltage at the coil, there is certainly no electricity at the transistor so it doesn't matter if the transistor works or not, heck it wouldnt even matter if the MPU worked or not.

The power is daisy chained, so you need to find where you are losing the voltage at the next upstream coil. This coil is in the middle of the chain - I know that because it has two wires on one of the lugs. If power is not getting to this coil, all the coils downstream from that are not getting power either. You need to follow each of the power wires back to the other coils. Chances are, you have a weak solder connection or other damage to a power wire coming off of another coil. Sometimes it is just the secondary distribution wire off of a coil, so the coil where the problem is can look fine, but that secondary wire isn't getting power to the next coil.

#1528 4 years ago
Quoted from FugTM:

That doesn't sound good. Did you maybe blow the fuse while taking measurements? I have done that before.

Possible but unlikely. There shouldn't be 7VDC present if the fuse is blown, but it could be partial damage. Only certain check is to pull the fuse and measure it, but if the other coils are still working or not is also a clue.

#1532 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Is your MPU getting a good, spot-on +5V DC power?
pin 4 = 4.886V

That's a bit low. Probably not a cause of the specific problem, but look further, at least check the AC ripple. Mine is +5.03 VDC @8.1 mV AC ripple.

Forget about U20 for a moment. A possible cause of the fuzzy reading is the pullup resistor SR6 out of spec. But forget about it for a moment-
Is the signal out of U29 (base of U33) locked on? compare to signal at base of Q25.

There's not much left in the circuit to be the cause. Signals in to U20 look good and you replaced it, so it wouldn't be upstream. You've already replaced the pre and driver transistors. If it is locked on out of the pre-trans then you only have resistor packs left to look at.


#1534 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

pin 3 = 4.471V

That's not good. If U20 pin 3 is stuck high, as you can see from the diagram below, that will put the circuit permanently enabled - causing the coil to be locked on. It should be low and pulse only when triggered during test. Sanity check: make certain pins 1 & 2 are not both stuck high.

Quoted from Fifty:

Now this would seem like a problem but it makes sense. Q24 exhibits a HIGH out of its base as well.

Q24 "A" side is an unused spare. Q24 "C" side is flasher 4 (right side red lower flasher) I would expect this flasher to be locked on any time "C" side flasher power is enabled.

Quoted from Fifty:

Q29E has some voltage leaking out, but it's under .5 volts.

That's fine - I get the same type of measurement on some of mine, around .35 Vdc. It's not enough to turn on the transistor.


#1536 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

The +28VDC is touching GND. The +28VDC wire must have gotten so hot that it desoldered itself and slipped onto the GND where is soldered itself once I turned off the pin.

NOooooo! That's the A/C relay, do not repair it. it is supposed to be wired like that


#1539 4 years ago

That seems awkward. I could see the helmet alone.

#1543 4 years ago

That's better - perhaps it is intermittent upon boot so I would recommend checking a few times to make sure it is consistent if you have not already.

I feel like we have gone in circles here and need a sanity check. With Q33 base indicated as low in your last post and the transistor replaced, I don't see any reason for it's output to be turned on. Is it still locking on? Measure resistance from the connector 1P11 pin 1 to ground with the game off. Then turn it on and see if the resistance drops off.

#1545 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Resistance to GND (game off) = 14.78K
Resistance to GND (game on) = 16.6K

Should be infinite resistance here, game off or game on. Suspect either a final output transistor short@Q33 or board short. There's nothing else there and the other measurements are good.

#1546 4 years ago

Pull Q33, measure again. Should be infinite resistance. If it isn't, you have a short (or partial short) somewhere on the board. If it is now infinite after you pull Q33, then Q33 is the problem

#1548 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Infinte resistance? So I'll see OL on my DMM?

Yes. OL means the reading is over the scale on the meter. A typical DMM has 20 meg Ohms internal resistance. The equivalent of an open circuit, but not truly infinite to be more accurate.

#1551 4 years ago

It's possible that the loose pad was touching an adjacent pad on top of the board. The top side is not used - no trace goes to it, so it doesn't matter that it is gone. Make certain there is no solder splashes or conductive material between any of the pads by gently running an x-acto knife between them. Slightly enlarge the hole with the tip of the x-acto knife so it is clean. When you reinstall the transistor, carefully fold the middle lead down onto the pad before soldering. Trim all the leads properly before soldering. The middle lead should look similar to the photo below. Double check your work with the meter when completed.


#1562 4 years ago

If you saw U51 failure and you also have pulsing when you shouldn't, I would agree with the likelyhood that U51 is flaky.

#1575 4 years ago
Quoted from BrewNinja:

I just bought a F14 to keep my Black Hole company. Its in fairly decent shape with the normal F14 problems. Got parts coming to fix most of the stuff. It had perfect plastics until Yagov had his way with the right sling plastic. I even had a plastic protector set in my cart to buy later If anyone has a right sling plastic, let me know. The lights on this are crazy!

I've needed the right sling plastic forever. Then I found one, replaced it, and broke it again...so now I have one and need it forever again. It's not common to find, so if you find two, please let me know.

#1580 4 years ago
Quoted from koen12344:

Yagov is not supposed to shoot towards the slingshots is it?

No, but even on the standard strength setting he jets the ball fast enough for a ricochet off the flippers that will often propel it off the flipper bat to the right if your not fast enough on the flip. This is why everyone gets right side slingshot plastics broken and not the left. Sometimes the ball will even go right over the flipper, and I've even had them fly over the sling and into the shooter lane!


#1584 4 years ago
Quoted from FLASHBALL:

Hey guys,
I've got an issue with my f14 tomcat. My ball launch solenoid locked on and burnt up the diode during a game. I changed out the solenoid and put in a new diode. Tried to turn it on and the coil energizes and locks on until the fuse blows. So I changed out the fuse and the Q32 transistor that drives this coil. Still no change.
Any ideas? I have a multimeter but I'm not sure where to look next.

First, run a switch levels test and make certain that the switch #24 ball popper is not stuck on. It's probably not, but a good thing to check anyway. When you changed the Q32 driver transistor, it's always a good idea to change the predriver transistor at the same time.

#1608 4 years ago
Quoted from nerdygrrl:

I am getting 25V all around on all of my coils and continuity between the lugs.

That's quite low...should be +32 to +35 VDC. Flippers should be around +65 to +75 VDC

#1614 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Shit. I figured as much. Now I have to figure out why U49 is acting stupid. I've already replaced it so it. Hmmm.... Maybe the SR? Feck...
Thank you for checking this.

You indicated earlier you were getting a fast pulsing high on the output of U49. The only way this could be happening is if you have a short to another line that is pulsing.

#1615 4 years ago
Quoted from FLASHBALL:

I cannot get the yellow cover off of this relay for nothing. If I ground Q32 transistor with an alligator clip to the ground strap should the relay activate and click? I have not tried yet and won't until I get confirmation.

Q32 has nothing at all to do with a relay itself. Q32 activates the Ball Popper (when the A/C relay activates the solenoid "A" power") or activates flasher #3 (when the A/C relay activates the flasher "C" power. See the solenoid table in the front of the manual.

#1619 4 years ago
Quoted from FLASHBALL:

Wayout, my ball popper coil is locked on when I turn on my game. I think the snubber relay may be my culprit. Possibly stuck on in the "A" position. But I can't get the old yellow cover removed. Is there a way to manually test the relay?
I have already checked the Q32 transistor and it's predriver and they both read .6 on my digital MM.

It doesn't matter about the A/C relay. Think about it: It can only supply A side solenoid power or C side flasher power. One or the other. Never off. If a transistor is stuck on or the circuit is grounded somewhere, you'll either get the coil or the flasher locked on, one or the other. Why wouldn't ALL the A coils be locked on if the relay was stuck on A? It always sits on A or C.

To manually test the A/C relay (best to not call it a snubber, that's not what it is - it's a multiplexing relay to allow transistors to drive 2 devices) Enter the coil diagnostics with the playfield up. You should hear a click when the A/C relay is tested. If the game is toggling between coils and flashers you can be reassured the A/C relay is functioning. Typically, A/C relay problems cause no power-no operation of coils. Not stuck on.

Now if it really were your problem, you could pull the relay, apply power to the relay coil, and ohm out the contacts, but in this case you'd be wasting your time.

In your case, I would first rule out a trigger wire short by testing resistance to ground with the game off, and rule out an output transistor short with the game off. If that checks out, you'd have a motherboard issue and it would be time to play divide and conquer with the output circuit to see if the logic is telling the transistor to turn on.

#1621 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Ya, but the problem will be finding it. I've already used my DMM to see if any of the pins are shorted to each other and buzzed the hell out of the board.

The IC could also be shorted internally. If any other pins are doing the same way I would cut the offending pin with micro shears. If you find the pin is still pulsing, the IC is shorted. If you find the disconnected trace is pulsing, you have a short elsewhere.

#1625 4 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Maybe I'm check for shorts on U49 with the board powered up.

You can't check resistance/continuity reliably with power applied. You could look for similar pulse in neighboring components and traces, and then if one is found identical, it is suspect. You'd still have to locate the physical short, it could be something very small like a hairline of solder, a fleck of copper, some other component touching something else etc...

Good luck

#1629 4 years ago


#1632 4 years ago

Great work, Fifty. I used to see this kind of thing a lot on our commercial products when they were manufactured with double layer boards and trace patterns that run between legs of through hole ICs. Well done, let's play some pinball!

#1636 4 years ago
Quoted from FLASHBALL:

I do not know the purpose of the "snubber relay" but I know that my power to this locked on coil comes directly from it.

The purpose is to allow drive transistors to operate some higher power coils. To test it, remove the DRV wire. (this is what comes from your MPU coil firing transistor). Power the game on, and then momentarily ground the DRV pad and the coil should fire once without staying on. That's all the test you would need, then solder the DRV wire back on.

#1641 4 years ago
Quoted from FLASHBALL:

So am I correct in thinking my MPU transistors are more than likely working correctly since my circuit was complete with no DRV wire and my coil is being grounded somewhere else?

Yes this is correct. The next thing I would do is the wire off the "coil" tab on the snubber. Use a DMM to check for continuity from the coil tab to ground (game off), and then also check continuity from the end of the grey coil wire you removed to ground. This will further rule out a problem with the snubber, or confirm if the coil wire is being grounded somewhere else.