(Topic ID: 68534)

Game resets


By Miknan

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 36 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Patofnaud
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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#1 7 years ago

Have a JD that once in a great while will reset, usually when I push both flippers. The first time this happened I read everything on here I could find and I checked connector (I think) J101 on the power driver board and it seemed loose and fixed it that time. Since then it happens rarely but always at the most inopportune moment, ie friends over, middle of a good game, etc. I check the connectors but they do not seem loose. So it seems maybe those capacitors and bridge rectifiers I read about need to be replaced? If one of those components was bad wouldn't this problem happen more often? Thx.

#2 7 years ago

I've been through exactly the same thing that you're going through right now with my Getaway.

pinwiki has a good write-up of a disciplined process to eliminate game resets here:
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Williams_WPC#Game_resets

I would put my money on the connectors and header pins needing to be redone.

#3 7 years ago

What about replacing the large cap. on the power supply board?

#4 7 years ago

Before actually replacing ANYTHING, it's wise to test voltages, particularly your 5v on the driver board (and the CPU for that matter.)

#5 7 years ago

Heed Collin's advice. Don't replace anything without working through the PinWiki article.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info

#6 7 years ago
Quoted from PapaJohn:

What about replacing the large cap. on the power supply board?

Wrong sir. Don't be a victim of this old advice.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info

#7 7 years ago

Test you wall outlet when running with a amp/volt load tester where you plug the machine into the tester then the wall.

I have went nuts trying to fix my TZ then it happened to my shadow and I knew something was up.

Seems sometimes my power is below 116 volts or 115 and then it resets. Normally its at 120+ all the time but when there is evening loads in my neighborhood in the summer it can dip.

Yes the machines should not do this but if its a temp low voltage at the wall its not worth tearing about the machine to fix.

99% of the time they never reset, but a few times they do and the wall voltage says it all.

#8 7 years ago

And yes always when you use a lot of coil power. On my TZ it was power ball mania it always reset on low wall voltage.

#9 7 years ago

Read the pinwiki link. I'll test the line voltage first. Since the first time it happened J101 was almost disconnected I may start with replacing that and those header pins first. I guess I'll go back to the original question and ask if it was caused by electronic components, would it be so intermittent?

#10 7 years ago

It's always caused by the +5VDC "watchdog" circuit dropping below some value. Now, the causes of this can be a myriad of things in that circuit as well as many things outside that circuit. Pinwiki should have all the culprits listed.

And yes it can be intermittent. It took me 5 years to track down a reset in my TZ it was so intermittent. A WWater I had did it every time I started a game.

#11 7 years ago

The only time I have had that problem it was a burnt connector at j101. Replaced both sides and problem went away.

#12 7 years ago

Fact is is that I had reset problems with two of my early solid state pins and just changing the C23 cap. corrected the problem without doing any other work to the pins. Hard to argue against that.

#13 7 years ago

Check wall outlet voltage for 120v. Reseat transformer connectors in bottom of cabinet and 2 secondary connectors on the right side of driver board. Check voltage at game ROM pin 32 on the CPU board. Lower right pin on the end of the chip. If you're resetting you're probably in the ~4.7v range. Extremely low. If this is above 4.9v though check your flipper coil diodes and make sure they are not open.

If 5v is low get another reading at the 5v test point on the driver board. Still low?

#14 7 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Check wall outlet voltage for 120v. Reseat transformer connectors in bottom of cabinet and 2 secondary connectors on the right side of driver board. Check voltage at game ROM pin 32 on the CPU board. Lower right pin on the end of the chip. If you're resetting you're probably in the ~4.7v range. Extremely low. If this is above 4.9v though check your flipper coil diodes and make sure they are not open.
If 5v is low get another reading at the 5v test point on the driver board. Still low?

This is the one thing that I don't recall being outlined in Pinwiki's guide - checking voltage at pin 32 on the game ROM. Compare that to your 5v test point on the driver board. If they're not within a couple hundredths of a volt, you need new connectors and header pins on the power wires that go between the boards (just below the ribbon cable, if I recall right.)

If both show below about 4.8, look into doing the connectors on the top right of the driver board, and test other components. Also, make sure the board is screwed down properly - the board relies partially on some of those screws for proper grounding.

#15 7 years ago

Thx everyone for the advice. JD my only game but my brother in the Air Force (stationed in Hawaii)came for a visit. I came home from work and found out he had bought a NIB Metallica!!hes leaving it with me until he retires in 18 months! Who hooo. I think it will be awhile before I get back to Dredd.

#16 7 years ago
Quoted from PapaJohn:

Fact is is that I had reset problems with two of my early solid state pins and just changing the C23 cap. corrected the problem without doing any other work to the pins. Hard to argue against that.

Well sir...it is in this case since replacing C23 would be on an old Bally -17/-35 or a Stern MPU-100/200...
This is a WPC game system.
--
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 7 years ago
Quoted from Collin:

This is the one thing that I don't recall being outlined in Pinwiki's guide - checking voltage at pin 32 on the game ROM.

It's there...the step has to do with connectors, including the "Z-Connector" on some games. I've had at least two games where this step fixed the problem, after working through all the prior steps.
--
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

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from ChrisHibler:

It's there...the step has to do with connectors, including the "Z-Connector" on some games. I've had at least two games where this step fixed the problem, after working through all the prior steps.
--
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

Got it. I can't access Pinwiki from work, and didn't recall seeing it in there off the top of my head. I personally would test that before pulling the board to check bridge rectifiers (or probably before even lifting the playfield) in the future; it's so easy to check and a reasonably likely cause.

#19 7 years ago
Quoted from Collin:

I can't access Pinwiki from work

Me neither...makes it a pain when I'm answering questions at lunch...
--
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

#20 7 years ago
Quoted from Miknan:

Thx everyone for the advice. JD my only game but my brother in the Air Force (stationed in Hawaii)came for a visit. I came home from work and found out he had bought a NIB Metallica!!hes leaving it with me until he retires in 18 months! Who hooo. I think it will be awhile before I get back to Dredd.

Nice! As a fellow servicemember, also stationed a few times on the island of Aloha, I can assure you my brother would appreciate a NIB any game. Enjoy and tell your brother congrats on the retirement.

#21 7 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

It's always caused by the +5VDC "watchdog" circuit dropping below some value. Now, the causes of this can be a myriad of things in that circuit as well as many things outside that circuit. Pinwiki should have all the culprits listed.
And yes it can be intermittent. It took me 5 years to track down a reset in my TZ it was so intermittent. A WWater I had did it every time I started a game.

Yes! Check the bridge rectifiers under the heatsink. There should be two, replace both. This is a common problem with WPC systems. The 5V line is at the limit, once it goes over that it kills the game. Each time it happens it weakens that rectifiers ability to distribute maximum necessary power.

#22 7 years ago
Quoted from Jakenjoi:

Yes! Check the bridge rectifiers under the heatsink. There should be two, replace both. This is a common problem with WPC systems. The 5V line is at the limit, once it goes over that it kills the game. Each time it happens it weakens that rectifiers ability to distribute maximum necessary power.

No. No, no, no, NO! NO.

As Chris and I stated, this shotgun repair attempt is piss-poor advice. Do yourself a favor and read through the "Game resets" section on Pinwiki, and stop purporting this myth. It may be the bridge rectifier, but that's one of many things that it could be. Connectors, caps, solder joints are all at least as likely to be the cause of the problem.

If I had to pick a shotgun repair, it would be connectors; that's more likely to be an ACTUAL cause than the bridge rectifiers, but is still foolish to do without actually testing things. Testing and checking out the boards is easy, and it's foolish not to do.

#23 7 years ago
Quoted from ChrisHibler:

Wrong sir. Don't be a victim of this old advice.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.Team-EM.com
http://webpages.charter.net/chibler/Pinball/index.htm
http://www.PinWiki.com - The new place for pinball repair info

Honestly, Chris, how do you keep your cool when this myth is still being purported and you've done so much to make it clear on Pinwiki and on forums so many times that it's bad advice? You must have the patience of a saint.

#24 7 years ago

It's not a myth if the game has a 20 years old capacitor that's been operating 10 years past it's service life, but you're correct check the voltage before replacing, but thinking at least 70% of the reset problems are not the BR and Cap is wrong too.

#25 7 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

It's not a myth if the game has a 20 years old capacitor that's been operating 10 years past it's service life, but you're correct check the voltage before replacing, but thinking at least 70% of the reset problems are not the BR and Cap is wrong too.

I don't believe the root cause of 70% of WPC game resets is the bridge and cap for a second.

Also, the person I replied to just said to replace the bridge rectifiers. That's frankly less likely than the cap, I'd think; caps go bad over time. Bridge rectifiers are either good or bad, and testing them is easy.

#26 7 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

It's not a myth if the game has a 20 years old capacitor that's been operating 10 years past it's service life, but you're correct check the voltage before replacing, but thinking at least 70% of the reset problems are not the BR and Cap is wrong too.

Yes it's not ok to ignore other variables such as connectors and solder joints, but old components has to be the main cause of resets. For example, I had a board with good connectors/joints that was putting out only 4.75v (and the game was running without resets if you can believe that). I replaced "the big four": BR2, C5, 5v regulator, and C4 for good measure. BAM, result is a solid 5.01v. Board work cannot be ignored!

#27 7 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

...but old components has to be the main cause of resets.

I'm going to pick at your assertion a bit Crash. In particular, the word "has".
I'd love to see some scientific data on this, but all we have is anecdotal data, and good engineering judgement. In fact, on a "stock" game, =all= components are old (a relative term). All components are the same age. And, not all components age equally or have the same life expectancy.

In my actual board/game repair experience with WPC game systems, the predominant root cause of resets has been...
1. Poor connections, either from the power/driver board to the MPU or from the transformer secondary to the driver board.
2. "Hackish" attempts to replace BR2/C5 where through holes were compromised
3. C5

Note that even my statement isn't compliant with the scientific method as I used the words "root cause". To truly attribute a root cause to a problem, we would need to reinstall the failed components into the game system, and verify that the failure occurs again. Sometimes that is possible (i.e. with socketed ICs) but sometimes it's infeasible to do so. And, technically, this doesn't 100% prove the component was at fault for all the same reasons that after installing a new component, the game seems to work. This is something only a "scientific process" geek could love.

The idea of "checking the easy things first" is =always= good advice, even though the things you are checking first might not be the highest probability root cause.

For instance, it's always good to replace a socketed IC with a known good example before desoldering anything on a PCB.

If your car suddenly dies, we look at the fuel gauge before we change the fuel pump. Again...start with the easy things.

The PinWiki states, "This order is a derived from a combination of "ease of examination" crossed with "probability of root cause". That's the way any good troubleshooting manual is written, be it for a pinball machine or a modern military aircraft that flies at mach 1.

In reviewing the "Game Resets" section headers below, it's immediately apparent that the Wiki recommends checking the easy things first.

And yes, it is tiring to see folks immediately jump to the BR2/C5 conclusion when the easy possible causes haven't been examined yet, and in general, most pinball owners should leave the soldering iron (or gun) in the tool box.

I hope this provides some insight into why the Wiki is structured like it is, and why I (and others) might bristle when someone leaps to a solution like "replace BR2/C5". And, I don't mean to impugn the opinions of others. Our knowledge is improved by leveraging the knowledge and experiences of others collectively.

Regards all...
--
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

------------------------- From www.PinWiki.com -------------------------

4.8 Game resets
4.8.1 The "Replace BR2 and C5 Mantra
4.8.2 WPC 5VDC Power Derivation Path
4.8.3 Low Line Voltage
4.8.4 Poor Ground Connection for Power/Driver Board
4.8.5 Cracked Power or Ground Header Pins and Cracked Solder Joints at the 5V Fuse
4.8.6 Missing diodes, open diodes, or cold solder joints at the Flipper coils
4.8.7 Poor Connections between the Transformer Secondary and the Power/Driver Board
4.8.8 Poor Connection at J101 on the Power/Driver Board
4.8.9 Poor Connections between the Power/Driver board, the CPU, and other PCBs
4.8.10 Using a Multimeter to Test the Bridge Rectifier and Capacitors
4.8.11 Failed Thermistor
4.8.12 Questionable Prior Rework
4.8.13 Failed Capacitors
4.8.14 Failed Bridge Rectifier
4.8.15 Failed Voltage Regulator
4.8.16 Failed Electrolytic Capacitor on the MPU
4.8.17 The Absolute Last Resort
4.8.18 The Conductive Grease Hack

#28 7 years ago

Just to throw this into the mix, had a road show with reset problems and took me months to find out the plug at the out going cord to the wall socket was sloppy, the one that is behind the plastic housing on the backside of the cabinet. Only after testing the wall socket at 117 and then at transformer did I find the voltage drop. So as these games age don't forget this connection either.

#29 7 years ago
Quoted from silverball0:

Just to throw this into the mix, had a Road Show with reset problems and took me months to find out the plug at the out going cord to the wall socket was sloppy, the one that is behind the plastic housing on the backside of the cabinet. Only after testing the wall socket at 117 and then at transformer did I find the voltage drop. So as these games age don't forget this connection either.

Good one! I've only found one game, where the black/white/green incoming power connection at the rear of the cabinet (and is covered by a rubber "boot") was intermittent. That one took us quite a bit of time to find. But it was so rare, that I didn't include it in the wiki.

I've also found a crappy socket on the MPU 68B09EP at fault too...but only once.
--
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 months later
#30 6 years ago

In anticipation of major soldering ahead of me to fix this problem, I bought a new a Hakko fx-888d, Hakko 808, header pins and connectors, some caps, and bridge rectifiers. At first I wasn't going to follow the Wiki advice because I figured if I had to take the board out to check a lot of these things I might as well changed these components at the same time and I'd fix the problem whether it was a bad component or related problem like bad solder joint. But at the last second I thought "don't be stupid, follow it step by step". Pretty quickly I came to checking the screws that secure and ground the power driver board. They were a bit loose but not terribly so. I tested the machine and no resets. I played many games both normal and Super game, constantly using both flippers at the same time. No resets. Could it really been just that? They weren't that loose. I'm not completely convinced because my problem is intermittent but I played quite a few games and it played great.

In an unrelated JD question, will the ball sometimes fall off the deadworld before the crane picks it up? I don't have the mod. Usually it works as it should but once in awhile it will fall off the ring. Not sure if mine needs an adjustment or if this will occasionally happen even to the most well adjusted dead worlds.

#31 6 years ago
Quoted from ChrisHibler:

1. Poor connections, either from the power/driver board to the MPU or from the transformer secondary to the driver board.

And when folks jump on the bridge mantra first, guess what? A lot of the time it fixes it!!!! Why? Because (drumrolll please) they had to remove the power supply to change it and they had to unplug and reseat connections! DOH!

My mantra is more of a game is intermittent, is power supply a 35 year old virgin? If yes rebuild caps. That gets two variables out right away, caps and connections. If it is still intermittent after that, or if the supply looks to have been rebuild at some time, THEN I walk the pinwikki tree like it is gospel. Most times its faster to recap as it needs it anyway, pay me know, pay me later thing.

#32 6 years ago

I think assuming the caps are bad isn't always necessarily the right approach. I typically replace all the electrolytic caps on all the boards of the machines I get. The machines I get are 20 - 30 years old so I figure they can't be good, right? Well I recently acquired a capacitor tester and tested all the caps I took out of my F14 snubber boards (100uf) and what do you know, they all tested within spec! How they could be good after all these years, I'll never know but they were.

I'm not saying the majority of caps in these old machines are good, just that they all are not bad....

Anecdotally, the caps on the untouched boards in my WPC-S era machine pass the AC voltage test and they are almost 20 years old.

The fix to my WPC reset issue happened to be (I believe, time will tell) a dot matrix controller high voltage section that was drawing too much power. I re-built the HV section because the output voltages were slightly out of spec and it was blowing 3/8 FB fuses (1/2 amp fuses would hold for several days until even they would randomly blow) I didn't take out any other boards and have not had a reset in over a week. I used to be able to get it to reset by hitting both flippers right when I turn on the machine. It would reset every time when trying this during the first game and randomly, infrequently, inside games. I had 5.05 volts at the TP and on the CPU board all along.

#33 6 years ago

Why do you want to replace any? Replace only the most critical logic or audio power filtering caps if you feel the need to because of age, otherwise it is not necessary unless there is a problem. It all depends on not only age, but use, temperature, type of capacitor, stress (rippled current, etc.), and more. In some instances, they will last 50 years. in others, they won't go past 10.

#34 6 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Why do you want to replace any? Replace only the most critical logic or audio power filtering caps if you feel the need to because of age, otherwise it is not necessary unless there is a problem. It all depends on not only age, but use, temperature, type of capacitor, stress (rippled current, etc.), and more. In some instances, they will last 50 years. in others, they won't go past 10.

Correct. I only target the power supply. +/-100V, 5VDC and !2V filters caps. 4 or 5 total.

#35 6 years ago

Does tightening the screws apply to only the Power/Driver board or to other boards as well? My Road Show has a reset problem and I noticed some of the screws were very loose on the CPU Security board. I tightened them and the game hasn't reset latley.

Coincidence?

#36 6 years ago

Could be co-inky-dink but it's always a good rule of thumb to have all screws in place and tight. Normally loose screws manifest itself as a 'hum' in the speakers. It really makes a difference in sound cards as you will tend to hear a lot of hum on poorly grounded boards.

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