(Topic ID: 329968)

General approach to drop targets bricking...

By Ollulanus

2 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by swinks
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    #1 2 days ago

    Common problem: drop targets that don't drop on hard, solid hits. Seems particularly an issue w/ newer sterns, or games that have them up front on the playfield (GB, CC). Two questions:

    1. How have you solved this problem on various games? Stronger springs seem an obvious solution, but I just put those "GB Fix" springs on my bond and if anything it's worse. I've heard folks say stretching/weaking springs helps sometimes, though that makes no sense to me. I've seen various other solutions for different games, like triming the ledge on some old games, and of course "play around it."

    2. What sorts of things can really be the issue here? The obvious, and most common I could see would be not enough tension in the down spring to pull it past the lip before it riccochets back on a hard shot, but there must be more going on here. Most games also have a compression spring to push it forward - can you weaken these maybe? A plastic holding lip too long could contribute too. Must be other things I'm not thinking of.

    Looking to solve this aggravation on my fancy new toy, but also to improve my general approach to future battles since it's clearly not as simple as "stronger springs."

    #2 2 days ago
    Quoted from Ollulanus:

    Common problem: drop targets that don't drop on hard, solid hits. Seems particularly an issue w/ newer sterns, or games that have them up front on the playfield (GB, CC). Two questions:
    1. How have you solved this problem on various games? Stronger springs seem an obvious solution, but I just put those "GB Fix" springs on my bond and if anything it's worse. I've heard folks say stretching/weaking springs helps sometimes, though that makes no sense to me. I've seen various other solutions for different games, like triming the ledge on some old games, and of course "play around it."
    2. What sorts of things can really be the issue here? The obvious, and most common I could see would be not enough tension in the down spring to pull it past the lip before it riccochets back on a hard shot, but there must be more going on here. Most games also have a compression spring to push it forward - can you weaken these maybe? A plastic holding lip too long could contribute too. Must be other things I'm not thinking of.
    Looking to solve this aggravation on my fancy new toy, but also to improve my general approach to future battles since it's clearly not as simple as "stronger springs."

    I'll be following this. I have a Rush that has issues with the bottom Bass target not dropping with direct hits. Seems to need a glancing blow to drop.

    #3 2 days ago

    Depending on the drop bank configuration - you can use a smaller sized rubber ring behind the targets to give them more space to be hit and fall. Sometimes the collision with the rubber ring keeps them from dropping.

    #4 2 days ago
    Quoted from Xenon75:

    Depending on the drop bank configuration - you can use a smaller sized rubber ring behind the targets to give them more space to be hit and fall. Sometimes the collision with the rubber ring keeps them from dropping.

    Interesting. As in, smaller diameter so it's tighter (and this thinner), or does someone actually make thinner rings?

    #5 2 days ago

    I made the springs tighter on the Scoleri targets in ghostbusters. Those thing were like little walls even on direct fullpowered hits.

    #6 2 days ago

    Yes tighter and as a consequence a slightly smaller diameter. This tends to work better with real rubber rings and not the silicone version.

    #7 2 days ago
    Quoted from PoMC:

    I made the springs tighter on the Scoleri targets in ghostbusters. Those thing were like little walls even on direct fullpowered hits.

    By shortening them, I presume?

    I'm really surprised I'm having issues w/ bond still. They're in line of fire but back pretty far on the playfield...made sense w/ GB having them so close to the flippers.

    #8 2 days ago
    Quoted from Ollulanus:

    By shortening them, I presume?
    I'm really surprised I'm having issues w/ bond still. They're in line of fire but back pretty far on the playfield...made sense w/ GB having them so close to the flippers.

    Yup, you don't have to cut the springs either, just attach them lower down on the drop target instead of the end of the spring.

    #10 2 days ago

    I’ve always just backhanded the targets on GB. tried the springs and that still didn’t work for me with direct shots.

    #11 2 days ago

    Good call linking that, was actually reading that one this morning.

    I guess the scientist in me figures there must be a way to comprehensively understand the problem(s), and comprehensively fix them. Figure it's a good subject for extended discussion because it's a common problem that seems to have more than one cause.

    #12 2 days ago

    I had the problem on WPT 15 years ago, on the center bank. I put stronger springs on, enough so that I also had to put a bigger reset coil on to reliably reset them. Still bricked.

    Maybe design a target so the back side of it has an angled rib (or that whole area behind the target is angled), so when the target slams back against the pf slot or the back of the mech, it applies downward pressure on the target, instead of the back of the target just being flat. Or some other solution. This should have been figured out 50 years ago.

    #13 2 days ago

    On older games, one thing that helped the bricking on my '81 Stern Lightning - I noticed the edge of the metal target ledges just weren't very smooth from the factory, they of course were simply punched out. You could feel the target roughly dragging on it as you slowly pushed it back with your finger. So I sanded the top edge with very fine sandpaper and polished the whole ledge super shiny on a buffing wheel with a little mag polish on it.

    It helped a lot with the bricking (along with stronger springs). Now when you push the target back with your finger it does not drag, it slides back smoothly and drops. I figure it makes bricking less likely because the target can't get 'snagged' by that rough edge anymore as it rebounds forward.

    #14 2 days ago
    Quoted from frenchmarky:

    This should have been figured out 50 years ago.

    Gottlieb did, but no one wanted to pay them to use Gottlieb's design so came up with their own.

    #15 2 days ago
    Quoted from Ollulanus:

    Good call linking that, was actually reading that one this morning.

    Nope posted a long term update there.... They are back to bricking.

    #16 2 days ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    Nope posted a long term update there.... They are back to bricking.

    Interesting that the problem resolved, but came back. Implies there is a factor that changes over time. Most obvious thing would be springs stretching over time - would be interested if shortening the springs had any effect now. Another thought - sounds like the game had been sitting unplayed a while. *If* the metal ledge is rough, as someone mentioned above, I could see it wearing a groove while sitting that could worsen issues. Just spit balling. If it worked and then stopped working, Something had to change....

    #17 2 days ago
    Quoted from Ollulanus:

    Interesting that the problem resolved, but came back. Implies there is a factor that changes over time. Most obvious thing would be springs stretching over time - would be interested if shortening the springs had any effect now. Another thought - sounds like the game had been sitting unplayed a while. *If* the metal ledge is rough, as someone mentioned above, I could see it wearing a groove while sitting that could worsen issues. Just spit balling. If it worked and then stopped working, Something had to change....

    It did improve mine but it's very difficult to measure exactly how much since it happened with even less frequency after I switched to the better Swinks targets, I'd have to play it for a long time and keep records of every darn target hit and how many of those bricked. But the way they felt much differently pushing on them manually before and after seems to make sense for it to make the targets less likely to snag.

    Also after I did this ledge smoothing, one target stopped staying up upon reset altogether. I was like "NOW what?!?". Turned out the rough ledge + the stronger springs had actually chewed up the target's nib enough that it wouldn't catch anymore. It had only been able to catch before when the ledge was still rough. Happened during the few months where I only had the stronger springs and Swinks targets in it. So an extra benefit should be less wear on the nibs. But only that one target had a damaged nib so perhaps that spot on the ledge was extra rough.

    #18 1 day ago

    The mech engineer in me also believes that the type of plastic - PA12 nylon can be of different grade - soft to hard compound. So when a softer material drop target is hit hard and fast, the softer target flexes back and returns back to shape before it can drop where as a harder compound throws back and drops. I have not done tests in a test rig, but in looking at the different targets, the design is pretty identical apart from the hood which technical should not touch the ball. The softer ones are bricking and harder ones are not - so it then must come down to the material type. The reproduction Classic Stern Hooded targets are softer than say the ones I make and apart from the hood there is no difference in design but the hooded ones brick more often.

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