(Topic ID: 291762)

Fish Tales Dreaded Auto Launch Issue

By perryd

3 years ago


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  • 22 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Roamin
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 3 years ago

Recently I restored a Fish Tales Machine for client of mine and upon putting all back to new, I have acquired a unique error of the ball auto launching upon game Start up. If I catch the ball before hitting the shooter lane switch itself it will also launch and it does this pretty consistently.
The game works 100% as normal after ball launch including multi-ball with no errors in reel test.
I have tried both L-6 and L-5 game code chips.

I have read all the previous posts regarding this issue and here is what I have tried to remedy the problem

1) swapped out lane switches and diodes, swapped out ball 2, and ball 3 trough switches as well as shooter lane switch.
2) checked reel housing for short, no short, when disconnected, it still fires upon game start-up
3) banged on playfield on multiple spots, still no switches activate
4) swapped out shooter lane coil thinking it might be short in coil
5) swapped out MPU/CPU board
6) swapped out Driver Board
7) swapped out Opto Board
8) swapped out optos on reel
9) In adjustments, turned off all the auto launch features and outlane features.
10) Checked row and column switches of shooter lane and trough for continuity and diode direction.

I have spent countless hours trying to fix this issue and would appreciate any insight on what to look for next?? What would cause the game to send a signal the exact same time after the game is started to auto launch a ball even though the ball doesn't touch the shooter lane switch?
Very odd and confusing....

#2 3 years ago

i know this probably won't help you, but this is a good thread for anyone else having similar symptoms

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fishtales-auto-launching

#3 3 years ago

There are 2 moments where I know the game will always auto launch and that's if

1) Switch 56 "Ball shooter" is closed while ball is in play.

2) If a trough switch remains closed after feeding the ball shooter, it will feed again and automatically shoot the balls.

When the ball launches, do you hear the casting reel sound effect ? If the trough switches are closed and it kicks the balls you wont hear that sound effect. Also , the plunger will still be "charged" and pressing the cast button will make the reel sound effect , and activate the plunger even without a ball in the lane. Only when pressing cast does it make the sound effect.

You rebuilt this machine, did you change any switches ? Did you verify that the pinout of the switches you changed were the same as the original ones ?

This a crap shoot , but you've swapped all these boards .. Have you tried a different ribbon cable? It has to be something that remained behind during your tests.. The wiring , the switches, the ribbon cable.. I re-wired the 3 trough switches mixing the wires , but the game doesn't seem to care if trough 1 is wired as trough 2 and etc.. it only reacts if a ball is out but a switch remained closed. I had an issue in the past where jet bumpers would close when the others we struck.. turned out the vibrations alone from hitting one bumper was enough to close the leaf switch on other bumpers , causing them to close. I wonder if something similar might happen, where as it kicks out the ball, vibrations make another trough switch close and the game then launches it..

#4 3 years ago

I read the other thread that was posted by creepykenny and tried just that. I disconnected the ball shooter lane switch 56 and it behaves exactly like that. When the ball is fed it is autolaunched. Then it passes long cast switch and the plunger triggers again. At this point I grabbed the ball and placed it back in the shooter lane and nothing happens, obviously , because it doesn't know the ball is there.

Go in switch test , place a ball in the shooter lane and move it a little. You say you issue happens most of the time , so moving the ball around in there might show you a dead spot where the actuator is down , but not closing the switch...

#5 3 years ago

switch 56 (shooter lane) is open until ball rolls over it to close it.
When ball auto launches, I don't hear the casting reel sound effects

When I changed about 8 switches, all of them have diode and wiring in correct position.

I swapped ribbon cables from mpu to driver board and still have same results.

ball switch always closes when I manually place ball in shooter lane.

This one has me scratching my head for sure.....

#6 3 years ago

so, once you start a game, ball enters shooter lane and is auto-plunged, what happens if you catch the ball before it drains and simply put it back in the shooter lane? does it auto plunge again or just sit there?

missing the casting reel sound effects may be a clue that the actuation of launch coil is not being caused by the reel switch me thinks (although clearly I am not very familiar with this title)

#7 3 years ago

Well, your issue definitely isn't from the boards since you changed them. It has to be the wiring, nothing else.. In my machine the second I unplug 56 , I get the exact behavior you mention, auto launch without the reel sound. I would really check the wiring on 56 and all the switches in column 5 and row 6.

How often does it happen ? Every 1st ball ? Every 2nd ? Is there a moment it doesn't happen?

If I had the machine in hand , I would disconnect that switch , run wires to the outside of the playfield to a switch I manually control and hold it closed as I start a game. If the issue persists, I would focus on all switches in the column / row.

You test the switch with a multimeter or with the switch test from the settings menu ?

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from Roamin:

Well, your issue definitely isn't from the boards since you changed them. It has to be the wiring, nothing else.. In my machine the second I unplug 56 , I get the exact behavior you mention, auto launch without the reel sound. I would really check the wiring on 56 and all the switches in column 5 and row 6.
How often does it happen ? Every 1st ball ? Every 2nd ? Is there a moment it doesn't happen?
If I had the machine in hand , I would disconnect that switch , run wires to the outside of the playfield to a switch I manually control and hold it closed as I start a game. If the issue persists, I would focus on all switches in the column / row.
You test the switch with a multimeter or with the switch test from the settings menu ?

Roamin

thanks for the tips, I pretty much replaced all switches/diodes in Row 6, will focus on Column 5 this weekend to see if I can find it. tested switches with switch test and meter as well. When you run the two wires outside the machine, do I attach to switches at MPU or tap into line of a know working switch within that column or row??

thanks again
p

#9 3 years ago

I would do the test with the actual wires that are on switch 56 at first , white blue and green black. Or I would tap from the right outlane for white-blue and left sling for green black. The diode should have the gray band on the green black side. I know I keep mentioning switches and their pinout, but there was a case where the issue was exactly that, the pinout of the switch was different than usual and was overlooked for a while. Also , you didn't answer on how often it happens? Does it not happen at times ?

#10 3 years ago

I had a similar issue on a scared stiff. It ended up being a divot in the ball trough that was keeping the balls from moving freely. I filed it away and it never happened again.

#11 3 years ago

ball trough is fine....

Auto launching is extremely consistent, exact timing, every time now. I tried the outside wire to new switch with wiring from sw 56 and got similar same old results. At my wits end on this one...

#12 3 years ago

Most likely a poorly adjusted Shooter Lane switch or less likely Trough switch.
Those white large micro switch's are the least reliable of all the Playfield Switchs.

As mentioned pay attention to how the ball rolls and sit in the trough. The trough wears out and the switch's need to be adjusted if they haven't already.
I replaced all the Ball Troughs switch's and adjusted them all a long time ago on my White Water.

Also lubricate the Metal on metal parts of the Switch levers.
This is my switch trough from my White water but I'm pretty sure FT will be the same

IMG_2621 (resized).JPGIMG_2621 (resized).JPG
#13 3 years ago

may want to verify you have the flipper button auto shoot turned off, as well as outlane switch auto shoot option is also turned off, if there are problems with any of these switches/optos and the "OFF" option is not selected i believe the auto launch will be a firing away A2 - 01, 02 & 03

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from creepykenny:

may want to verify you have the flipper button auto shoot turned off, as well as outlane switch auto shoot option is also turned off, if there are problems with any of these switches/optos and the "OFF" option is not selected i believe the auto launch will be a firing away A2 - 01, 02 & 03

The obvious things I have tried. Again, every switch and diode in row six has been replaced and column 5 I have testing all switches with meter, reflowed solder, and they test fine in test mode and game plays fine other than the initial auto launching of ball.

p

#15 3 years ago

Start a game, the ball auto launches.
Press the cast button, does the plunger kick again, with no ball in the shooter lane?

Then, intercept the ball in play and place it back in the shooter lane, what happens? Does the ball stay there or does it get launched again?

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from Roamin:

Start a game, the ball auto launches.
Press the cast button, does the plunger kick again, with no ball in the shooter lane?
Then, intercept the ball in play and place it back in the shooter lane, what happens? Does the ball stay there or does it get launched again?

Yes, the plunger kicks again with the pushing of the cast button. Also when I catch the ball and place in lane after play on playfield, it kicks the ball as it should.

thanks again
p

#17 3 years ago

The game is obviously broken beyond repair....

Sell it to me at a discount... I really want a fish tales!

Guys here will help you sort it out. Pinside is amazing!

#18 3 years ago

I worked on an Addams family where the arm that kicks the ball to the shooter lane would stick up sometimes causing strange issues. When I raised the playfield the arm would retract looking normal. Finally I was able to see the arm stuck. I cleaned the shaft with sandpaper and alcohol but it still would bind up. Applied a tiny bit of Teflon grease and all was well.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from perryd:

Yes, the plunger kicks again with the pushing of the cast button. Also when I catch the ball and place in lane after play on playfield, it kicks the ball as it should.
thanks again
p

Q: are you ever hearing the "casting" sound?

#20 3 years ago
Quoted from creepykenny:

Q: are you ever hearing the "casting" sound?

yes, you can hear the casting sound

3 weeks later
#21 3 years ago

to add closure to this thread, problem was a result of the new CPR playfield not being routed correctly/deep enough at the inner corner where the ball launch assembly is installed,
this caused the assembly to be slightly off axis and allowed the ball to roll past the actuator of switch 56 when resting upon the plunger
so in switch test mode #2 one could see switch 56 close & then reopen as ball came to rest on armature/plunger
the solution was to remove the launch assembly, using a flat file - remove the inner corner of playfield wood until the assembly is able to be installed properly
then tweak the bends on the wire form of switch 56
ball now rests centered on the plunger armature/coil is now on correct axis and switch stays closed like it should

sorry no pics, the end

#22 3 years ago

It had to be switch 56, so for anyone with similar issues, even if switch 56 seems good, the auto launching issue comes from that switch alone.

Glad it's fixed and that the real reason (the routing of the new playfield) was identified.

Gone fishin!

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