(Topic ID: 35047)

FIREPOWER!!! How hard to hit top lock????


By ScottoKong

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by PinballShawn
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 7 years ago

Hi all

I've been getting my FP back to its former glory.

Just wondering how hard it should be to lock the top ball for multiball??
How do people generally hit it??

From a cradle?
1 time on the fly?
Timed through the inlane?

My Playfield is about 6 deg with original spec flippers.
Finding even my best hit shots fall a little short.

Thanks
Scotto

#2 7 years ago
Quoted from ScottoKong:

Hi all
I've been getting my FP back to its former glory.
Just wondering how hard it should be to lock the top ball for multiball??
How do people generally hit it??
From a cradle?
1 time on the fly?
Timed through the inlane?
My Playfield is about 6 deg with original spec flippers.
Finding even my best hit shots fall a little short.
Thanks
Scotto

Yes to all of the above plus a full plunge bounce off the ball gate (if you're lucky). If your flippers aren't right though could be your problem.

viperrwk

#3 7 years ago

I have my firepower at least 6 degrees and i can hit the top lock shot with stock flippers no problem cradled, on the fly, bounce in up top. I had to really get the flippers dialed in. Before messing with the flippers they where not powerful enough and would loose momentum going around the top arch of the playfield. New sleeve, clean plunger, clean EOS and flipper switch contacts did it.

#4 7 years ago

Yep, a clean shot through the spinner should hit the lock every time.

#5 7 years ago
Quoted from SunKing:

Yep, a clean shot through the spinner should hit the lock every time.

Agreed. A good spinner shot should hit the top lock every time.

#6 7 years ago

A clean shot through the spinner should do it most of the time.
You can also tweak the ball gate at the top so a full plunge will bounce it in there.
I have found playing several of these games the top lock is the hardest to get especially if the game has a weak right flipper, even a perfect shot through the spinner won't get it done.

#7 7 years ago

mine is dialed in with new coils, sleeves, bushings, and rubber and I STILL have a heck of a time getting that top lock. it really makes it worth it when you get it though.

#8 7 years ago

Anim8

Check your EOS and cabinet switches. If they are pitted or barley touching closed it can really take the juice out of your flipper power.

#9 7 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

Anim8
Check your EOS and cabinet switches. If they are pitted or barley touching closed it can really take the juice out of your flipper power.

That is also where I would look. Give them and you flipper button switches a good filing or replace. Make certain that they(EOS switches) open only at the very end of the stroke as well.

#10 7 years ago
Quoted from LEE:

That is also where I would look. Give them and you flipper button switches a good filing or replace. Make certain that they(EOS switches) open only at the very end of the stroke as well.

did all that. Puzzling.

#11 7 years ago

My FP is still in a non-working state right now. However, I pride myself on having flippers that work on my games.

Flipper stroke is something to pay attention to. Several(maybe more) years ago, parts suppliers were not providing the proper length plungers/stops for the era. This will have an affect on flipper action. It is not that much of a difference, maybe 1/8", but grinding down the coil stops and re-adjusting your EOS's may solve your problem.

#12 7 years ago

you can have two identical system6 williams machines, both with new flipper parts and clean playfield, yet one machine you can make the lock shot, and the other you cant. (Note this problem isn't just on Firepower, but also on say Black Knight with the long left lower-to-upper playfield shot, along with a few other games of this era.)

The problem with system6/7 games and flipper power has to do with the transformer. in 1980 the way they were wound wasn't technically as accurate as today. That is, you get variances in the windings. This proves to be a problem on some games because the output coil voltage can be a volt or two lower than an identical transformer in another game. (Also if your wall voltage is lower than your friends, that will have an influence too, as the coil power is not regulated.)

This is why Bally used 42 volts for coils. it allows for more variance in coil power. Also it allows better adjustment in the coil power themselves. This is also why Williams eventually went to 50 volts for high power coils.

So what's the answer? Well i've tried all sorts of thing. One thing was to have Steve Young (pinball resource) build me some custom flipper coils with my specs. I would say this helped, but not enough to make it worth the while. The problem is since sys6 games are 30 volt coils, there isn't a lot of room in flipper coil modification. The ohms for the high power side of the coil is darn near a dead short as it is, so you can't take the resistance down much more. This is why 42 or 50 volt coil voltage games are a better idea (and one that Williams eventually did, but unfortunately not until late system7/9 and system11 games.) Swapping transformers is another idea, but that's a crap shoot and who has transformers lying around anyway?

The last resort is actually a somewhat simple one. That is to put the game on "high tap", similar to what we do with EM games. It involes re-tapping the original transformer for 100 (Japanese) voltage. The down side of this is now the GI will be "too hot", and you need to turn the 6 volt power down using a 35amp bridge rectifier (wired incorrectly!) This will drop the GI voltage about 1 volt, making up for the higher transformer output. The 12 and +5 and 100 volt circuits will be regulated, so that doesn't need any work. The CPU controlled lamp voltage will end up a bit higher too, but that's OK, as that circuit is somewhat regulated by design.

Anyways, there ya have it.

#13 7 years ago

Cool Clay, hi-tapping a Firepower! It would be interesting to play one setup like that. To the OP: one other thing to check: the lugs on the bridge rectifier were just the press on type, and must have been a little loose. I soldered all those on and it made a noticeable difference on mine.

#14 7 years ago
Quoted from sysprog:

Cool Clay, hi-tapping a Firepower! It would be interesting to play one setup like that. To the OP: one other thing to check: the lugs on the bridge rectifier were just the press on type, and must have been a little loose. I soldered all those on and it made a noticeable difference on mine.

Absolutely. One way to check is open the backbox and turn off the lights in the room and then turn on the machine. When I first got my FP and did this, I could see arcing on the BR when I turned it on. That's a bad sign.

viperrwk

#15 7 years ago

Thanks for all the replies.

I've tinkered a little today - cleaning contacts and better setup of EOS.
Gained about 10% - making that top lock regularly now.

#16 7 years ago

Great post Clay. I am tempted to see if i can high tap my F-14 now as the transformer is not putting out enough power for GI. Even after beefing up everything on the GI circuit it is only 4.5v under load and bulbs look dim.

#17 7 years ago

personally i wouldn't change the set up to 100 volts on an F14. instead i would look for a dedicated 6 volt transformer, or a different transformer.

#18 7 years ago

I can nail that top lock any time. Now that one on the right can be a thorn in my side! Especially if there are a bunch of people watching.

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