(Topic ID: 200204)

Fireball Classic - Acting Weird


By Mr_Positive

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 11 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Quench
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 2 years ago

Hi Folks. I am having having some trouble with my Fireball Classic. I set it up today after about a month in storage. It seems to be confused about how many balls are in play. When I start a new game, a ball is immediately kicked out into the plunger lane, as expected. Then almost immediately after, a second ball is ejected but the machine still believes it is on Ball 1. Using the diagnostic mode, it seems that all of the switches are working ok (I suspected a bad saucer switch). Overall, it seems confused!

Any help?

#2 2 years ago

Do you have an extra ball in the game?

#3 2 years ago

3, as required.

#4 2 years ago

Check the trough switches so it knows how many balls are in the tough.

Check the shooter lane switch to make sure it knows if gave you a ball.

Check that neither of the two saucer switches are stuck closed. If it thinks you locked a ball it will give you a new one.

Quick way to check the saucer switch theory. Start a game and after the second ball pops out run your finger over the top skill shot switch. If the pops do not start flashing it thinks another switch (saucer) has been hit and the skill shot becomes unavailable.

#5 2 years ago

Well...

- The trough switches seem to work properly.
- There is no shooter lane switch on this game.
- The saucer switches also seem ok.

Some more info: During a game, it seems to be reading/doing things incorrectly. For example, the rollover "Kicker OFF" switch will actually cause the system to alternate between turning the Kicker light both ON and OFF. And, when a ball hits the upper sling switches, the kicker solenoid will actually fire for no reason. WTF?

It all sounds like a ground problem to me, but I have buzzed the ground braids throughout the cabinet and the head and they all seem to tie back to the ground lug on the plug with no problems.

#6 2 years ago
Quoted from Mr_Positive:

...the rollover "Kicker OFF" switch will actually cause the system to alternate between turning the Kicker light both ON and OFF. And, when a ball hits the upper sling switches, the kicker solenoid will actually fire for no reason.

Check for a switch matrix problem.

One more note on switch testing - Pinwiki has an excellent guide at http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bally/Stern#Switch_problems
It might help you narrow it down to a board or playfield problem.

#7 2 years ago

Thanks YeOld!

I have actually gone through all of the switches somewhat extensively. All seem to be ok and work as they are labeled in the manual. Contacts are good and nothing seems to be hanging up or reporting anything other than themselves.

Because I noted that the operation of the machine is a little different than when I had put it away, I am thinking that the dip switches somehow got vibrated out of adjustment during the car ride. Does anyone have a photo of their settings to confirm mine? I have gone through what the manual recommends, but I'm not 100% sure they are correct.

Thanks again.

#8 2 years ago

Quench....from your PM...answers are inserted below:

Hi,

So it looks like you've got a switch matrix problem.
You mention in the thread that switches "seem ok" - can you elaborate on this?
1. Does it mean you can physically see the switches close and open when you press them, or does it mean the switch test mode recognises them when you press them?

ANSWER: Using switch test mode, it reports "0" with no ball inserted. I can manually go through and press every button/switch and it reports as expected from the manual.

2. When all balls are removed from the machine, does switch test mode report "0" in the ball in play display?

ANSWER: Yes

3. Do you have a multimeter and know how to test diodes with it?

ANSWER: Yes and Yes.

4. Any chance you can post clear pictures of the three trough switches, two saucer switches and the outhole switch on your thread?

ANSWER: Yes...will post below.

5. Any more weirdness in switches activating the wrong thing will help pinpoint the issue.

ANSWER: It seems to vary. Sometimes, similar to below, when the upper slings are hit, the lower trough kicker will fire (the one that pushes the balls into the right side of the trough.

6. You mention this: "when a ball hits the upper sling switches, the kicker solenoid will actually fire for no reason." When this happens, if you then remove all 3 balls from the machine out of the troughs etc, does the upper sling then operate correctly?

I will need to try this.

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#9 2 years ago

Nothing looks out of the ordinary with switches.
.

Quoted from Mr_Positive:

3. Do you have a multimeter and know how to test diodes with it?

ANSWER: Yes and Yes.

Ok, so check the diodes on all three trough switches, outhole switch and both saucer switches.

When you go to solenoid test mode, do they activate in correct order as per the manual?

Switch matrix issues manifest themselves when more than one switch is held closed (i.e. like a stuck switch/shorted capacitor on a switch, a fallen drop target or balls sitting in troughs/saucers - likely your case). Unfortunately the Bally switch test doesn't report all switches it senses as closed, only reports the lowest closed numbered switch.
So in switch test mode and with all three balls sitting in the trough you should be seeing switch 28 reported as closed, if you now activate all switches from 25 downwards one at a time, do any switches report the wrong number?

Report your findings to number 6. above.

#10 2 years ago

Well, I have a few things to report.

1. The problem identified in #6 above could not be reproduced, so I can't report back on what you asked me to do.
2. Just for kicks, I removed the MPU board and swapped U10 and U11 (as recommended in a separate FBC thread) and cleaned up the connectors for J2 and J3. The board is in pretty rough shape. Acid damage on the lower right corner and a lot of general corrosion everywhere. I then put the board back in.
3. Gameplay after the board work was BETTER, but still some oddities occasionally. Such as 20 points immediately scored once the ball was put into the shooter lane. Lots of random points being scored, for instance, whenever I flip the flippers.
4. Then I realized that it was the vibration of the playfield that would cause the scoring. Whenever I tapped on the playfield, I would get 30 points. (I wish I could send a video here.)
5. Used the test mode again to test the various switches. Noted that the "Kicker ON" switch was not registering.
6. Cleaned the switch contacts with an emory board and it then registered OK.
7. Entire pin seems to be working fine now. Played about 10 games so far and it seems ok.

I am baffled. I can't believe that a flaky switch contact on one particular switch would cause all of this. I still suspect a bad ground connections somewhere. Given the corrosion on the MPU board, I wonder how well it is really tied to the ground plane.

Plan on playing a few more games tonight.

A separate question....I noticed that hitting the "new game" button in the middle of a game will reset to a new game at Player 1. That seems odd. And yes, it is still doing this.

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from Mr_Positive:

A separate question....I noticed that hitting the "new game" button in the middle of a game will reset to a new game at Player 1. That seems odd. And yes, it is still doing this.

This is normal. So long as there's credits, hitting the start button any time on the first ball will add players. Once the game has reached ball 2 or higher, pressing the start button will cancel the current game and start a new game at Player 1.

Quoted from Mr_Positive:

Whenever I tapped on the playfield, I would get 30 points. (I wish I could send a video here.)
5. Used the test mode again to test the various switches. Noted that the "Kicker ON" switch was not registering.

Good find!

Quoted from Mr_Positive:

6. Cleaned the switch contacts with an emory board and it then registered OK.

Be careful. Gold plated switch contacts shouldn't be cleaned with anything abrasive as they'll decline from there on with poor contact. To clean them, just swipe a business card between the contacts while holding the switch closed. Use Isopropyl if you want.
Abrasive cleaning should only be used on tungsten contact switches which carry high current. These contacts are silver colored and larger in size - usually found on flipper cabinet and EOS switches of that era game.

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