(Topic ID: 137802)

Fixing up my (WPC?) Dr. Dude

By BenTheCartoon

8 years ago


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  • 44 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by accidental
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 8 years ago

So, a couple weeks ago, I bought my first pinball machine. It's a Dr. Dude, which is one I fell in love with in college about 10-12 years ago.

IMG_1034.JPGIMG_1034.JPG

Unbeknownst to me upon purchase, the blue apron would indicate that it's one of the WPC prototypes, and not the System 11C version. The display screen would seem to verify this as it says DOMESTIC PROTO 7 in the menu. Does this mean the PDF of the Users Manual is irrelevant, since it's for System 11C?

IMG_1067.JPGIMG_1067.JPG

It's in pretty good condition, with a few weird glitches. I'm very new to pinball repair, but am determined to DIY this. I've already replaced a couple of broken rubber rings (flippers and slingshots) and the slingshot plastics. However, the electronic side of it, I'm a little bit daunted by.

For starters, when it first gets plugged in and turned on, sometimes only the playfield lights come on, and no startup sounds or scoreboard screen comes on (in fact, only a hissing sound from the speakers), until I open the backglass and jiggle some of the wires. This gets it started up, but I have no idea which wires may be the problem as they are all bunched together.

IMG_1030.JPGIMG_1030.JPG

During gameplay, the Gift of Gab gets activated seemingly randomly and repeatedly (though usually while I'm in the Jumper Bumpers) and will start playing the sounds and ejecting the ball when I am nowhere near it.

Some of the lights do not light up, as well. I thought this might be blown bulbs, but ones that were out sometimes come on, and ones that were working fine sometimes do not come on. (In particular, the gift of gab was not lighting and magnetic personality was, but they have switched now.) One of the back jumper bumpers won't light and some of the lights indicating the 3 stages of the personality traits (magnet's third light, for one) do not light either.

I also have these wires which are not connected to anything. One looks like it might go in J119, but I am not sure and don't want to break it.
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Finally (for now), two digits on the right hand scoreboard display do not appear. Is this something that can be fixed, or will the whole display need to be replaced?
IMG_1104.jpgIMG_1104.jpg

Please let me know what my plan of attack should be, and if you're in the Binghamton, NY area, know what you're doing, and wouldn't mind checking it out in person, let me know.

Thanks in advance!

#2 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

One looks like it might go in J119, but I am not sure and don't want to break it.

Neither one of those would fit on J119

LTG : )™

#3 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

Please let me know what my plan of attack should be,

POWER OFF. I'd start be reseating the connectors in the head a couple times each. Do them one at a time and get them back on the same way. Don't turn ribbon cables around.

LTG : )™

#4 8 years ago

Also, forgot to mention the "couch cushion" drop targets on the right are stuck in the "down" position as well. They were up when I got it, but as they got hit, they never came back up.

#5 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

they never came back up.

I hate when that happens. Don't you hate when that happens ?

Soon you'll get to learn about switches on drop targets, and how if one or more isn't working right, the game doesn't know if the targets are up or down.

LTG : )™

#6 8 years ago

J119 is for the cabinet GI circuit.
It might not have been used in the WPC version of the game.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

#7 8 years ago

One more thing: Occasionally the game will all of a sudden shut down, forcing a reset when the Magnetic Personality activates the Mixmaster. This does not happen every time, but enough to be annoying.

#8 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

until I open the backglass and jiggle some of the wires. This gets it started up, but I have no idea which wires may be the problem as they are all bunched together

When you do that, try and hone it on 1 wire at a time and maybe zero in on a bad pin connection. Take your time. A good visual inspection under the PF and in the BB could reveal a hack or 2 which can often be the cause of strange problems.

I have a Dr Dude myself and love the game. Mine is a sys11 like I thought they all were. I learned something new with your thread.

#9 8 years ago

You have a number of problems, focus on one at a time. Fix one then move on to the next. As you fix each problem the repairs will become easier with more experiance. Gift of gab sounds like a stuck or misadjusted switch. Neither of those wire connectors goes to the boards.

#10 8 years ago
Quoted from dozer1:

Mine is a sys11 like I thought they all were. I learned something new with your thread.

See, I thought the blue apron was the "standard" until I did some looking around the forums here. I didn't know about the prototype WPC ones either until I saw others post about them, and realized that's what I must have.

#11 8 years ago

So, after looking at the Error Report, here's what it says
CHECK SWITCHES
SCORE LEFT RAMP - 16
R. DROP 1 (TOP) - 21
R. DROP 2 - 22
R. DROP 3 - 23
R. DROP 4 (BOTTOM) - 24

So, obviously the drop target switch needs being looked at, as does the left ramp.
With that in mind, how do I get to the switches, and what am I looking for? How do I test and/or fix what's wrong with them?

And, just a checklist of the main issues, as stated previously:
1. The "magnetic personality" is resetting the game when activated, not every time, but enough to be a nuisance.
2. The "gift of gab" is randomly and repeatedly activating on it's own.
3. The drop targets on the right do not pop up. (As the Error Report indicates)
4. Certain lights do not light up, or are sporadic. (Issue with bulbs or wires?)
5. Two digits in the right hand display do not appear. (Possible easy fix, or does the whole display need to be replaced?)

#13 8 years ago

Was this on Albany ny cl?

#14 8 years ago

This one was on eBay a couple weeks ago out of Philly.

1 week later
#15 8 years ago

Found this as I was disassembling and cleaning the parts and playfield. The white wire appears to be broken off. The green wire is intact.
Can it be reattached? Where does it go?

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#16 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

Can it be reattached?

Easily.

Reference the pics, here: http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Williams_WPC#Switch_Wiring
for which lug to reattach it to. Strip back about 1/8" of wire, tin it, and melt it to the lug attached to the non-banded end of the diode.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

#17 8 years ago

Speaking of, the only manual I can find for Dr. Dude is the System 11 version. Is there a WPC specific manual or schematic that I can use for this machine? I assume that I can't just use any WPC machine's manual since they are all highly individualized.

#18 8 years ago

I had one of the WPC DD as well! Mine would do random resets and it turned out to be the short ribbon cable between the MPU and driver board. I have a spare playfield if you need any parts.

#19 8 years ago

Thanks! The only parts I'm in need of as far as the playfield goes would be some replacement plastics, and the Big Shot (although I've made a custom figure as a replacement). I'll check out that ribbon, although the resets seem to be consistently happening when the magnet is activated. I was told on FB that it was likely a 5 volt issue.

In the meantime, I have cleaned the drop targets, as well as their opto sensors, and now they drop down a bit faster but still don't come back up.
I did, however, adjust the switch under the Gab, and that seems to have stopped it from activating on it's own.

Any thoughts on how to fix the two missing digits on the scoreboard?

#20 8 years ago

Does any of the segments in each of the digits light at all when you do a display test? Did you do a switch test for the drop targets to see which one of the three targets wasn't working? When the targets are down, did you do a coil test to see if the coil fires and raises them?

#21 8 years ago

No, none of the segments light. As in the picture above, the entire digit does not display at all, even in the Display Test.

In the coil test, (and forgive me, as I'm still very new and learning this as I go) they do not raise up, so it must not be firing. All 4 of the drop targets show up on the Switch Levels test when they are down, and if I raise them manually, they disappear from the list, which seems correct. Then in Switch Edges, if I press them, they are each recognized correctly. So that narrows it down to the coil. The coil test also seems to not have a response for the Knocker, and some of the flashers, which would tell me why those replaced bulbs still aren't working. No wires appear to be broken, (except the one at the top of the ramp) and as far as I can tell, the solders are okay, but I'll have to have someone with more experience with that take a look.

On an odd note, there's another switch that shows up in the Switch Levels menu called Top Left 10 Pts. I can't find any reference to that in the manual or figure out what it's referring to.
That, and the manual and Flasher Test refer to a 1FL Middle Insert that I can't find either.

None of the 6 REFLEX lights ever light (except once when they all did, and then didn't again). I replaced just the X as a test, but it didn't work, so there's something stopping the whole thing from lighting. Again, nothing appears to be loose or broken.

#22 8 years ago

Just discovered by looking at the lamp matrix that everything on the Red-Yel cable is out, as well as some (but not all) of the Red-Grn.
I'm guessing that the Yel-Blk is the reason why the REFLEX lights are out too, since that entire column (except the Big Shot) is out as well.

#23 8 years ago

Start with the coils first, check for DC voltage on the coil lugs. No voltage on either lug, trace wire Yel/Vio to find broken connection. Voltage on one lug, replace coil. Voltage on both lugs, then trace thiner wire with the stripe back to driver board and note which connector and pin number. With this I can tell you which transistor to check. The top left 10 pts. switch info is on page #101. It maybe stuck closed or misadjusted. Look for a broken Yel/Blk wire at switch #30 or #25. Flasher 1FL middle insert is located behind the translight on the insert board. The insert board is the white hinged board with the displays on it. Let me know what you find.

#24 8 years ago

You're right, found the top left 10pt switch, don't know how I missed that. I thought that the middle insert flasher might be that big one in the backbox. Makes sense now. That's a new bulb, too, and doesn't light in the flasher test.

I'll have to look into the coils a little bit later in the week.

And now, as of this morning, the X-Ray isn't popping the ball up hard enough to make it to the ramp. Geez, it's just one thing after another here.

Thanks for your help! I'll be checking those wires and coils with my friend who's more electronics-savvy than I.

#25 8 years ago

If your going to own some pins you will need to buy and learn how to use a multimeter. Most of these repairs aren't to hard with some experiance and a little help from friends.

#26 8 years ago

I actually have bought a multimeter already, and am slowly learning some of these fixes with YouTube videos and friends/family members helping out.

***UPDATE***
We discovered that one of those unplugged wires (the one with 2 Yellows and 1 Purple) is meant to attach to the knocker! Now, whenever a free game is won, it scares the crap out of us, which is maybe why it was detached in the first place, haha.
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#27 8 years ago

Still can't figure out where this one's supposed to go, though.
image.jpegimage.jpeg

#28 8 years ago

Okay, so I don't know EXACTLY what I did, but I fixed something.

I finally followed LTG's advice and reseated the connectors. I didn't unplug ALL of them, since some of them are stuck on there pretty good, and I didn't want to snap anything off. But whatever I did do, it brought all the lights back on for the Red-Yel AND the Yel-Blk wires, as well as fixing my issue with the Right Drop Target coil and the X-Ray!!!

Almost everything is working properly now. My friend took the right side display with him to look into the two missing digits, but as far as the playfield and cabinet go, the lights behind the coin slots are the only ones not working.

The magnet still sporadically resets the game, but I was told that replacing the LM323K with a PSU5 5V regulator should help take care of that. http://www.ezsbc.com/index.php/psu5.html#.VgMK_HjeyQQ What do you think, though? Is it something that requires another connector reseating?

#29 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

The magnet still sporadically resets the game, but I was told that replacing the LM323K with a PSU5 5V regulator should help take care of that

I wouldn't go there yet.
Here is the gold standard for addressing game resets: http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Williams_WPC#Game_resets
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

#30 8 years ago

Chris knows what he's talking about. Use that multimeter and let us know what you have.

#31 8 years ago

Cool looking Dr Dude you have there! I love the blue apron on the WPC versions. I can't offer much technical advice other than keep plugging away and keep asking here for help. Pinsiders are a kickass bunch! When you have your game fully up and running you'll know a ton of new stuff and you'll enjoy your game even more

#32 8 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Chris knows what he's talking about. Use that multimeter and let us know what you have.

Noted. Thanks for the advice, I will be learning how to use the multimeter and following the steps at pinwiki.

Quoted from accidental:

Cool looking Dr dude you have there! I love the blue apron on the WPC versions. I can't offer much technical advice other than keep plugging away and keep asking here for help. Pinsiders are a kickass bunch! When you have your game fully up and running you'll know a ton of new stuff and you'll enjoy your game even more

Thanks! I prefer the blue apron myself, wasn't even aware of the white one until I did some research on it. And I look forward to actually ENJOYING playing the game, instead of playing merely to see what's working and what's not... I do feel like I'm making progress and learning, though.

#33 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

Still can't figure out where this one's supposed to go, though.
image.jpeg

Hope this helps. I've got a dude and shot these pics.
Looks like your connector hooks to a set of gray and black wires (both with Yellow dots/dashes)
These wires make a "loop" to J2, then continue on to top of back box

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#34 8 years ago

Thanks MT,
I'll take a further look at that.

Does anyone know if the playfield magnet is supposed to be hot to the touch? I was running some tests and hitting the magnet target by hand and the magnet nearly burned my finger! After turning off the machine, it is still hot to the touch.

#35 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

Does anyone know if the playfield magnet is supposed to be hot to the touch?

No. It shouldn't be hot.
The driver transistor for the magnet is probably shorted.
The magnet coil itself may now be shorted.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

2 weeks later
#36 8 years ago

Just an update, with the help of some friends and family, I've got everything working great!

We soldered the broken ramp wire and the score display, reseated a bunch of the connectors, and pushed some of the more finicky wires in the backbox behind others so they wouldn't be resetting so much. (At some point, I'll look into rewiring the problem area, but for now the issue is minimized, if not cured.)

The magnet has almost completely stopped resetting the game, and same with the start-up issue. (I say "almost" because it did do it once while my friend was playing, but it hasn't happened to me at all in the week since toying with it.)

The missing digits on the display are back, there are no switch errors, the drop targets and ball poppers work every time, and all the lights are functioning as they should.

I've taken a few more pictures of cosmetic repairs, and want to thank everyone for their continued feedback. I'm sure I'll be back when things inevitably confound me again.

IMG_1404.jpgIMG_1404.jpgSwitched the price card around from the pen scribbled 3-ball side, and I just keep it at 5-ball play anyway.

IMG_1399.jpgIMG_1399.jpgUnder the playfield, it has WPC written on it.

IMG_1397.jpgIMG_1397.jpgIMG_1396.jpgIMG_1396.jpg"Domestic Proto 7"

IMG_1402.jpgIMG_1402.jpgCustom Big Shot figure I made from a miniature Sully from Monsters University and an Incredible Hulk head.

IMG_1394.jpgIMG_1394.jpgIMG_1395.jpgIMG_1395.jpgLooks cool in the dark!

I fixed up the coin door by replacing a missing quarter slot and the lock. I still haven't gotten the bulbs behind the coin slots to work yet, however. That remains the only piece left to the puzzle.

At some point, I may consider a conversion to LED lights, but I'm happy with it as it is. Down the road, I might try to clean up some of the wiring hacks as well, but as long as it's working properly, I'm not in a rush to tear it apart.

One last curiosity: Upon inspecting the backbox, I found this card screwed to one of the boards. It has "Funhouse or BOP?" written on it in pencil.
IMG_1405.jpgIMG_1405.jpg

#37 8 years ago

Great to hear!

You know what, I designed some custom cards for Dr Dude that you should use instead. See here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/dr-dude-shop-job/page/2#post-1546917

However they're white to blend into the Sys11 apron. I can make a blue version for your game if you like? I'll make a test print with blues colour swatches so you can tell me which matches your game the best for it to blend in from your printer

#38 8 years ago

Your connector/header at J121 should be replaced. It has a good burn mark on it. I'd add it to your repair queue.

#39 8 years ago

That's because those are the only two games that used that particular display. Except the sample Dr. Dude of course.

#40 8 years ago

Accidental, I did see that post previously, but the Dropbox link to the PDF no longer works. If you'd like to make a blue one, that'd be great! I don't mind the original ones, but making some snazzy new ones would be fun.

DocRotCod, good catch. I'll have to look into that. There's also a red wire coming out of one of the fuses that I want to look into at some point too. You can see it in one of the pictures near the top of the thread. Must be a hack for something.

#41 8 years ago

The red wire looks like someone bypassed the GI connector.

1 week later
#42 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

One last curiosity: Upon inspecting the backbox, I found this card screwed to one of the boards. It has "Funhouse or BOP?" written on it in pencil.

Dr. Dude, Fun House, and Bride of Pinbot were the first 3 games on the WPC (Alphanumeric) platform. Harley-Davidson also used it.

4 months later
#43 8 years ago

Just for fun, I threw in the custom apron cards that Accidental made up. Looks pretty snazzy!

IMG_1782_(resized).JPGIMG_1782_(resized).JPG

#44 8 years ago
Quoted from BenTheCartoon:

Just for fun, I threw in the custom apron cards that Accidental made up. Looks pretty snazzy!

IMG_1782_(resized).JPG

Cool!

The whole idea is that the apron card assets blend in with the rest of the apron graphics so only a matching blue background would facilitate this on your WPC apron.

I can make a blue version for you. I'd need some way to match the colour though … You don't, by some crazy long shot, have access to a Pantone swatch book?

Alternately I could make a PDF of a bunch of blue swatches for you to print and match to your apron. You could let me know what colour matches most closely then I could set that as the background colour.

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