(Topic ID: 203874)

*solved* Fish Tales Auto Launching


By allicks

1 year ago



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  • 48 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by cosmokramer
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

Hi There, I have recently purchased a Fishtales that is auto plunging the ball at the start of each ball. In the switch matrix test all switches work as they should including the trough, ball launch, rod, catapult etc. I cannot see anything unsoldered however I feel it must be playfield related despite the switch matrix tests being fine as I've swapped the cpu and driver board and still have this issue. Anyone experience this or have advice where to look? Much appreciated!

#2 1 year ago

If you've swapped the power driver and CPU boards then yes, it's a playfield problem. The plunger coil will only fire if the launch button is pressed. I would take the caster handle apart and check the switch's adjustment as well as all of the solder joints.

#3 1 year ago

In the feature adjustments there is a setting called "timed plunger". I doubt this could be your problem because you swtiched cpu-boards, but make sure that setting is "off".

#4 1 year ago

You've got a switch on the playfield that is getting triggered by the shaking of the trough solenoid. The game kind of has a "still in the shooter lane" mode and a "ball in active play" mode. It thinks you're in the latter, even though you're in the former. It thinks a ball is in active play because a switch on the playfield is being triggered, and that's not supposed to happen unless a ball is bouncing around. So if there's a ball in the playfield, but another ball is sitting in the shooter lane, it needs to autolaunch that ball, because it must be part of a multiball. So shake the heck outta your machine when it's in switch mode, and see what triggers.

#5 1 year ago

Addendum: The guilty switch is usually an opto switch. Not sure if the wheel optos on Fishtales can trigger "active play", but I'd look at them first.

#6 1 year ago

Thanks everyone for the replies. Ok in switch test I've tried shaking things and no switches go off. I'll try shaking harder tonight. In terms of testing the rod, I've tested by removing the rod and the rollover in the shooter lane and the result is the same. I'll report back once I've tried giving it a real good shake. I'll also check the optos a bit closer on the wheel as I did notice they open and close with a slight movement of the wheel.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from CadillacMusic:

You've got a switch on the playfield that is getting triggered by the shaking of the trough solenoid. The game kind of has a "still in the shooter lane" mode and a "ball in active play" mode. It thinks you're in the latter, even though you're in the former. It thinks a ball is in active play because a switch on the playfield is being triggered, and that's not supposed to happen unless a ball is bouncing around. So if there's a ball in the playfield, but another ball is sitting in the shooter lane, it needs to autolaunch that ball, because it must be part of a multiball. So shake the heck outta your machine when it's in switch mode, and see what triggers.

Ok so shook the hell out of the game and no switches going off in the switch matrix. Really stumped. So it's not the cpu, it's not the driver board, it's not the rollover switch at the launch and it's not the shooter rod. Maybe something has gone wrong in the ROM? I'm totally stumped...

151224965861862299807 (resized).jpg

#8 1 year ago

I've noticed that when I first go into the menu (hit the enter button once) the catapult launches. Could someone please see if that happens normally? That is the only odd thing I've noticed. And it only does it on the initial pushing of the enter button, not once you're in the menus.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from allicks:

I've noticed that when I first go into the menu (hit the enter button once) the catapult launches. Could someone please see if that happens normally? That is the only odd thing I've noticed. And it only does it on the initial pushing of the enter button, not once you're in the menus.

Yes, this is normal. Not sure why it was programmed to do this, but it does.

Can you remove the switch from the shooter rod and test it in open and closed states with a multimeter? Make sure the wires are soldered to the correct lugs on the switch. Also check the diode while you're at it, but my money is on the switch being the problem, even though it seems to be registering properly in switch test.

#10 1 year ago

I had this happen to me about 8 months ago. The wire out from the catapult had become loose, so any switches on the line after the catapult didn't work. Because those are normally in "off" position, it didn't show up in the switch matrix, and this was causing the machine to autolaunch. I would recommend checking your connections at the catapult launcher and making sure that both the wire leading to the catapult and leading out are still connected. I ended up resoldering and that fixed everything.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

Yes, this is normal. Not sure why it was programmed to do this, but it does.
Can you remove the switch from the shooter rod and test it in open and closed states with a multimeter? Make sure the wires are soldered to the correct lugs on the switch. Also check the diode while you're at it, but my money is on the switch being the problem, even though it seems to be registering properly in switch test.

I've disconnected the molex below essentially removing the rod altogether but still autolaunching . Would that achieve the same result without the need to disassemble the shooter rod?

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from sugarhillabe:

I had this happen to me about 8 months ago. The wire out from the catapult had become loose, so any switches on the line after the catapult didn't work. Because those are normally in "off" position, it didn't show up in the switch matrix, and this was causing the machine to autolaunch. I would recommend checking your connections at the catapult launcher and making sure that both the wire leading to the catapult and leading out are still connected. I ended up resoldering and that fixed everything.

Interesting. When I got the machine I noticed the catapult wasn't registering. Upon inspection I discovered a diode missing off the switch and put one on. Then it registered and functions normal. Wonder if my issue lies around the catapult somewhere. I'll take another look upstream and downstream on that row/ column.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

Yes, this is normal. Not sure why it was programmed to do this, but it does.
Can you remove the switch from the shooter rod and test it in open and closed states with a multimeter? Make sure the wires are soldered to the correct lugs on the switch. Also check the diode while you're at it, but my money is on the switch being the problem, even though it seems to be registering properly in switch test.

Thanks for confirming the catapult launches! Ok so I've previously disconnected the molex at the shooter rod and had the same result. Would doing that essentially confirm it's not the rod or no?

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from allicks:

Thanks for confirming the catapult launches! Ok so I've previously disconnected the molex at the shooter rod and had the same result. Would doing that essentially confirm it's not the rod or no?

Oh, I didn't realise you had it disconnected. Hmm. Let me fiddle around with my machine tomorrow and get back to you.

#15 1 year ago

Fish tales is the best pinball ever made and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from screaminr:

Fish tales is the best pinball ever made and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong

Now if I could only resolve this autolaunch issue...
I've also eliminated the ROM as an issue as I've updated to L5 last night.

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from allicks:

I discovered a diode missing off the switch and put one on.

Are you sure you have the diode facing the right direction ?

LTG : )

#18 1 year ago

Ok, just checked a few things on my machine.

First, is your reel working properly? The reel optos are both closed in your switch matrix pic. One opto is normally open and the other is closed while the reel is turning, or they are both open (interrupted) when the reel is at rest. Unusual for them both to be closed at the same time unless you stopped the reel mid-turn.

Second, unplugging the rod eliminates the rod switch as the issue. Is the shooter lane switch still installed? I took a pic of mine - is yours wired the same way? Mine behaves in the same way as yours when I unplug this switch so I am pretty sure your shooter lane switch is the issue. Can you test it in open and closed states with your multimeter? I think you might find a fault with it.

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#19 1 year ago
Quoted from LTG:

Are you sure you have the diode facing the right direction ?
LTG : )

Indeed. It is on correctly.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

Ok, just checked a few things on my machine.
First, is your reel working properly? The reel optos are both closed in your switch matrix pic. One opto is normally open and the other is closed while the reel is turning, or they are both open (interrupted) when the reel is at rest. Unusual for them both to be closed at the same time unless you stopped the reel mid-turn.
Second, unplugging the rod eliminates the rod switch as the issue. Is the shooter lane switch still installed? I took a pic of mine - is yours wired the same way? Mine behaves in the same way as yours when I unplug this switch so I am pretty sure your shooter lane switch is the issue. Can you test it in open and closed states with your multimeter? I think you might find a fault with it.

I will check the shooter lane switch tonight and report back. Be awesome if it could get figured out.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

Is the shooter lane switch still installed? I took a pic of mine - is yours wired the same way?

For anybody following along. This switch in the picture is wired right. White wire and black end of diode, green wire, silver band end of the diode. All in the right spots.

LTG : )

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from LTG:

For anybody following along. This switch in the picture is wired right. White wire and black end of diode, green wire, silver band end of the diode. All in the right spots.
LTG : )

Ok removed the switch and still auto launching. I've looked at advert switch underneath and all diodes are directionally correct. Haven't tested each one with a multi meter but they all register properly. Thinking if a diode was faulty the switch wouldn't register. That's correct isn't it in assuming that?

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

Ok, just checked a few things on my machine.
First, is your reel working properly? The reel optos are both closed in your switch matrix pic. One opto is normally open and the other is closed while the reel is turning, or they are both open (interrupted) when the reel is at rest. Unusual for them both to be closed at the same time unless you stopped the reel mid-turn.
Second, unplugging the rod eliminates the rod switch as the issue. Is the shooter lane switch still installed? I took a pic of mine - is yours wired the same way? Mine behaves in the same way as yours when I unplug this switch so I am pretty sure your shooter lane switch is the issue. Can you test it in open and closed states with your multimeter? I think you might find a fault with it.

Optos appear fine. When I move the reel the switches ope. And close. Also as a test I unscrewed the optos bracket and tested each one and they register 100%.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from allicks:

Ok removed the switch and still auto launching. I've looked at advert switch underneath and all diodes are directionally correct. Haven't tested each one with a multi meter but they all register properly. Thinking if a diode was faulty the switch wouldn't register. That's correct isn't it in assuming that?

Test the shooter lane switch with the multimeter. It can test OK in test mode but still be faulty. Test in both open and closed states, and also check the diode. I'm confident this is your issue.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

Test the shooter lane switch with the multimeter. It can test OK in test mode but still be faulty. Test in both open and closed states, and also check the diode. I'm confident this is your issue.

Thanks Arolden I'll do this tonight and report back.

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from allicks:

I've looked at advert switch underneath and all diodes are directionally correct.

Are wires in correct spots ? White wire and what ever color stripe to black end of diode, green wire and what ever color stripe in the middle, silver band end of diode to other lug.

LTG : )

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from LTG:

Are wires in correct spots ? White wire and what ever color stripe to black end of diode, green wire and what ever color stripe in the middle, silver band end of diode to other lug.
LTG : )

Yeah unfortunately I've checked every switch and wiring is correct.

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

Test the shooter lane switch with the multimeter. It can test OK in test mode but still be faulty. Test in both open and closed states, and also check the diode. I'm confident this is your issue.

Switch and diode good. Wired correctly also. I'm super stumped.

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from allicks:

I'm super stumped

Right number of balls in the game ? Not one too many ?

LTG : )

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from LTG:

Right number of balls in the game ? Not one too many ?
LTG : )

Yeah 3 balls...still at it right now. Ugh. Any other thoughts?

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from allicks:

Any other thoughts?

Take a break. Might be something obvious and you just aren't seeing it.

In a day or two, fresh eyes might help.

LTG : )

#32 1 year ago

Well I gotta say I'm stumped, too. Have you tested other switches in the same row and column?

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

Well I gotta say I'm stumped, too. Have you tested other switches in the same row and column?

Yeah I've gone as far as the square and inverse square of the matrix also, however I've realized I'm assuming it's associated with the shooter but it very well may not be as anything on the playfield would cause the shooter the launch if it figured the ball should already be in play, right?

#34 1 year ago

Progress - maybe... I noticed when at the driver board I have continuity between the J107 purple/yellow 50v and all of J130 EXCEPT for violet/ blue which is the left gate at the top. I've then confirmed continuity of the violet/ blue to the coil. The Q66 transistor is fine. Could someone please see if you have continuity from the 50v purple/yellow to the violet/blue of J130? I suspect I should have continuity but don't.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from allicks:

Progress - maybe... I noticed when at the driver board I have continuity between the J107 purple/yellow 50v and all of J130 EXCEPT for violet/ blue which is the left gate at the top. I've then confirmed continuity of the violet/ blue to the coil. The Q66 transistor is fine. Could someone please see if you have continuity from the 50v purple/yellow to the violet/blue of J130? I suspect I should have continuity but don't.

I have no continuity from purple-yellow on J107 to J130-7 (violet-blue) or 9 (violet-silver). Looks like you're OK. Not sure if the lack of continuity to J130-7 is an issue or not.

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

I have no continuity from purple-yellow on J107 to J130-7 (violet-blue) or 9 (violet-silver). Looks like you're OK. Not sure if the lack of continuity to J130-7 is an issue or not.

Thank you appreciate you checking. Odd, I do have continuity on violet/silver to J107. The other thing I noticed tonight is when a ball goes into play from start (autolaunching of course) after hitting 3 unique switches, the autolaunch goes off again. So for instance you can active the "L" over and over or the "L" and "I" but as soon as you hit a third switch (pop bumper, sling "E", left boat, right boat etc. it the autolaunches again (and the lane is empty). It can be a combination of any three switched from what I've tested. So say left pop bumper right pop bumper and any other switch, then autolaunches.

#37 1 year ago

For anyone following this thread, I am still stuck. At a loss really what next to try. Spent another couple hours today but made no progress.

#38 1 year ago

I'm just throwing a few ideas out there; not sure if you've tried any of this or not. Go into feature adjustments. Turn timed plunger (A2 01) off. Turn flipper plunger (A2 02) off. Turn outlane autocast (A2 03) off. Any change in behaviour? Does it make any difference if the shooter lane switch is connected or not? Turn the flipper plunger adjustment on. Any difference?

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

I'm just throwing a few ideas out there; not sure if you've tried any of this or not. Go into feature adjustments. Turn timed plunger (A2 01) off. Turn flipper plunger (A2 02) off. Turn outlane autocast (A2 03) off. Any change in behaviour? Does it make any difference if the shooter lane switch is connected or not? Turn the flipper plunger adjustment on. Any difference?

Great suggestion I will try this today. I've turned off the auto plunger but not sure about the outlane autocast and flipper plunger. I've disconnected pretty much every switch as I've gone as far as to only have the trough and cast button hooked up at the molex on the driver board and the damn thing is still autocasting. I'll report back if any difference tonight when I try it.

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from allicks:

Great suggestion I will try this today. I've turned off the auto plunger but not sure about the outlane autocast and flipper plunger. I've disconnected pretty much every switch as I've gone as far as to only have the trough and cast button hooked up at the molex on the driver board and the damn thing is still autocasting. I'll report back if any difference tonight when I try it.

Nope didn't make a lick of difference. Still autolaunching.

#41 1 year ago

the button on the reel isn't stuck or bad is it?

#42 1 year ago

You might try testing all the diodes in the matrix and change any that are shorted. Shorted diodes on other switches may cause strange things to happen.

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from Atlgills:

You might try testing all the diodes in the matrix and change any that are shorted. Shorted diodes on other switches may cause strange things to happen.

I feel like this is probably the best course of action. We've eliminated all switches normally associated with launching the ball, so time to look further. Test every switch in the same column and row as the rod and the shooter lane. Any weird switch behaviour?

#44 1 year ago

I'm just curious...if you take off the glass, start a game, and let a ball pop out, but catch it before it gets to the shooter lane switch...does it still try to autolaunch?

1 week later
#45 1 year ago
Quoted from CadillacMusic:

I'm just curious...if you take off the glass, start a game, and let a ball pop out, but catch it before it gets to the shooter lane switch...does it still try to autolaunch?

Actually tried that and yes it was. I gave up on the game and my buddy figured it out swiftly. It turns out the lane switch although perfect in function, wasn't making contact on the ball once the ball was coming to rest, creating the auto launching situation. Replaced the switch with a proper lane switch and fixed.

#46 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

Test the shooter lane switch with the multimeter. It can test OK in test mode but still be faulty. Test in both open and closed states, and also check the diode. I'm confident this is your issue.

Turns out this was the issue. The ball would rollover the switch and just sit far enough down to disengage the switch causing the auto launch. I'd have never figured that out as the switch itself was perfect, just had the wrong rollover switch installed. Appreciate all the help everyone.

#47 1 year ago

Hmm. Testing the switch using a ball would have revealed this issue much sooner. Were you using a ball to test at the beginning?

2 months later
#48 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

I feel like this is probably the best course of action. We've eliminated all switches normally associated with launching the ball, so time to look further. Test every switch in the same column and row as the rod and the shooter lane. Any weird switch behaviour?

I was able to solve the same issue on my game using this thread...great work guys

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