(Topic ID: 58247)

Firepower - a couple of issues - kickback, knocker, slingshot, jet bumpers, etc.


By Geocab

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by ironmaidenpin
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#1 6 years ago

Hi there,

Still working on my Firepower and need more guidance please on how to proceed with a couple of topics.

***KNOCKER*** SOLVED - just traditionally quiet unlike the real loud scare you type knockers

I do not hear my credit knocker when the coin door is closed. Is that normal? I've read that the Firepower knocker is traditionally weak, but is it really supposed to be this ridiculous? I still have the rubber grommet, although it is a bit rotted. And the nylon sleeve is still attached as far as it looks to me. Is this knocker assembly http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=708 compatible with Firepower? I see it is a different coil. If I attached it to the back box and used the old knocker's wires, would that make an improvement? Or is this not possible? Or can mine be fixed and a mod won't be necessary?

***KICKBACK*** SOLVED (just not strong)

My kickback seems weak. I know when adjusting flipper coils you have to get he EOS switch right or they will be weak. But how do you adjust the kickback? Do I just need a stronger coil?

***JET BUMPERS*** SOLVED - wire must have broke in the past, reattached the way it was originally and bumpers fire as intended.

My top two jet bumpers fire at the same time. Underneath the playfield someone has jumpered them together, but I can't imagine why. The top right bumper should use orange/black and blue/orange I believe. I see these wires underneath, but they are too short to reach the bumper's contacts. Can anyone post a photo of the way their pop bumper assemblies are wired for me? I haven't tested for continuity to see if the wires are broken anywhere else yet, but I will.

***Right slingshot***SOLVED - bad transistor at Q10

My right sling shot is dead. How do I measure voltage? Do I have to have the machine in test? What else should I check? All wires look like they are making good contact.

***Strange lockup*** SOLVED (eh, not really yet) New RAM chip.

Today I replaced the caps on my power supply. Now I am getting random lock ups. Does this sound like a connector issue? I will be changing these eventually, but haven't yet. Or could one of my new caps be causing an issue? Or since my ROM chip is rigged because I broke a leg off and am waiting on the replacement, could that be causing intermittent issues? When that pin wasn't connected the board was simply dead until I rigged it. Not sure if there is change in resistance or anything because I have a jumper wire on one leg.

#2 6 years ago

Knocker - does the knocker work in the coil test mode?

Kickback - disassemble and look for mechanical issues (mushroomed plunger, bad coil sleeve, etc.) if the coil sleeve isn't easily removed from the coil, the coil may be swollen and need replacement. Replacing the coil usually isn't needed.

Slingshot - put your meter on VDC and measure between the coil and ground, should see 50+ volts on both sides of the coil. If it's getting voltage, something's up with the control circuitry or wiring on the control line.

#3 6 years ago

The knocker fires but is super quiet.

Is the voltage always present at the slingshot? Or do I need to place in test to get a voltage reading?

#4 6 years ago

Voltage always present, check other coils to confirm.

Later games kill the coil voltage when coin door open, don't think FP does though.

#5 6 years ago

If you go with a higher power coil, you will draw more current, be sure to verify the drive transistor can take the extra juice.

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from Geocab:

Hi there,
Still working on my Firepower and need more guidance please on how to proceed with a couple of topics.
***KNOCKER***
I do not hear my credit knocker when the coin door is closed. Is that normal? I've read that the Firepower knocker is traditionally weak, but is it really supposed to be this ridiculous?

It's more of a thump than a knock. With the door closed I barely hear it, with it open it sounds like a rubber ball on the ground.

***KICKBACK***
My kickback seems weak.

Yup. Mine typically fires the ball gently into the POWER targets... sometimes it catches just right and hits the 5 or 6 target, sometimes it ends up right in the right outlane.

Keep in mind (for both the knocker and kickback) these are NOT the 50V coils of a system 11 game. Williams were I believe the last ones to adopt high voltage coils.

***JET BUMPERS***
My top two jet bumpers fire at the same time. Underneath the playfield someone has jumpered them together, but I can't imagine why.

Probably because either wires broke, or something failed in one of the switches causing one not to operate well on its own.

Keep in mind power is daisy chained (I'm not saying your setup is or is not correct yet) from coils all over the game (I think it's blue wire on FP?) My guess without looking at a wiring diagram is that your pop bumper issue and your slingshot issue are related. By stealing power and ground from another pop bumper, the previous user may have inadvertantly disconnected the slingshot power.

***Right slingshot***
My right sling shot is dead. How do I measure voltage? Do I have to have the machine in test? What else should I check? All wires look like they are making good contact.

DMM set to something like 200V DC. Put one lead on the power lugs of the coil and the other lead on the ground braid in the cabinet. Should see ~30V I think? You can also try manually grounding the coil with a jumper wire from the GROUND side of the coil. Do it quickly don't hold it on - and don't ground the power side of the coil. If the coil fires, you have a switch problem. If it doesn't, fire but voltage is present you have a coil problem. If there's no voltage, you have wiring issues.

***Strange lockup***
Today I replaced the caps on my power supply. Now I am getting random lock ups. Does this sound like a connector issue? I will be changing these eventually, but haven't yet. Or could one of my new caps be causing an issue? Or since my ROM chip is rigged because I broke a leg off and am waiting on the replacement, could that be causing intermittent issues? When that pin wasn't connected the board was simply dead until I rigged it. Not sure if there is change in resistance or anything because I have a jumper wire on one leg.

Could be any of the above. The 40 pin can cause all sorts of problems - replace it. Are you sure your new caps are correct? You could be getting AC noise into the 5V line if the caps are imporoperly installed or are the wrong values. A poor connection on the ROM chip or any socketing could also cause it.

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from adalogue:

If you go with a higher power coil, you will draw more current, be sure to verify the drive transistor can take the extra juice.

Great point! Thanks for the tip.

#8 6 years ago

Thanks for all of your reply, Purple.

I have been following the Bulletproofing thread and so far have replaced the sockets on the MPU board and the 40 pin. I'm sure the caps are correct, I double checked before I took the old ones out. The polarity is also correct. I have a new ROM chip on order so I guess I'll see what happens when I replace that. I still have to order new connectors, but I'm thinking maybe I should replace the headers as well. I'll look at my soldering again to make sure the caps are installed well.

Thanks for the advice guys!

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from Geocab:

Thanks for all of your reply, Purple.
I have been following the Bulletproofing thread and so far have replaced the sockets on the MPU board and the 40 pin. I'm sure the caps are correct, I double checked before I took the old ones out. The polarity is also correct. I have a new ROM chip on order so I guess I'll see what happens when I replace that. I still have to order new connectors, but I'm thinking maybe I should replace the headers as well. I'll look at my soldering again to make sure the caps are installed well.
Thanks for the advice guys!

Reflow the solder on the headers if you don't replace them.

One thing you can try is carefully physically pushing on the boards and flexing them to try and cause the issue. It seems silly but it often works to find cold solder joints or poor connectors. You only need to have the 5V line cut for a fraction of a second to confuse the game. A bad solder joint or a flakey ROM connection could easily do that.

I noticed in your video you had the game boot up in audit mode as well - this is either a battery issue or a RAM issue. If your RAM is flakey it may or may not help cause a lock up - someone else would have to chime in on that one.

#10 6 years ago

As far as the lockup goes if one of those ROM chip pins is not making contact it will screw something up and cause issues like what you're having. I pulled, cleaned and reinstalled every chip on mine. I thought I had checked every pin for conductivity. Must have missed one and it wasn't making contact. Game wouldn't boot into attract mode. Found it. Cleaned and reseated it again. Checked all pins for conductivity again. Game working. And when I say conductivity, I don't just mean chip leg to socket leg. Check chip leg, follow trace to next component and buzz it there.

#11 6 years ago

The knocker on FP (and other games of that generation) is referred to as a "credit knocker." It's not really designed as a knocker knocker.

To move it to the backbox would require reworking/rewiring the harness - doable but not trivial.

Remember in free play mode the knocker will never go off on FP so if you are planning on using free play moving the knocker is moot.

The coil is a 23-900. The coil you linked to above on the PBL site is either a 23-800 (stronger) or 26-1200 (weaker.) You shouldn't have a problem running a 23-800 for the knocker but I also don't think you will hear much of a difference either.

viperrwk

#12 6 years ago

Thanks, Viper, I misunderstood what the knocker was for in FP. I assumed it was like the newer Williams machines. Not to be confused with the disgusting sound the newer pins make nowadays. I guess mine is ok because I hear it fine when adding credits. Haven't gone to free play yet, trying to fix the other stuff first before I can just play.

#13 6 years ago

Yeah don't set freeplay if it boots into audit mode. Frustrating to have that disappear every time

#14 6 years ago

Right sling shot, checked the voltage. I read 10V by sticking one lead on the ground braid, the other on each terminal of the coil. Same reading on the left coil which does work.

Also, both switches read closed with a lead on each terminal and me manually closing the switch.

#15 6 years ago

Right slingshot seems to be my only issue. Powered by Q10. Could that be my issue? Reads almost 10V at idle. The slingshot, that is.

#16 6 years ago

The voltage should be much higher than that, what's the voltage on the left slingshot?

#17 6 years ago

The voltage read the same on the left sling shot. Maybe I need to get a better meter. I am using a craftsman.

But, the good news is, I took a wire to the metal tab on the Q10 transistor and to the ground braid and the slingshot fired. Replaced Q10 with a new TIP102 and it is now working!

I'm finally at the point I can work on some of the cosmetics. There's still a little work to do with the boards and adding safety fuses to the rectifiers, etc., but overall my Firepower is now payable.

3 weeks later
#18 5 years ago

that sucks i wondered why my knocker did not work on free play there is no way to change that?? my Big guns has one mounted in back box and when it goes off at the bar everyone in the room jumps LOL its priceless!!

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