(Topic ID: 210768)

Ghostbusters Flippers Not-Working Randomly


By WilkesE

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by WilkesE
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 1 year ago

I bought NIB Ghostbusters Premium in June. Around November/December started noticing intermittent flipper issues where during a game flippers would just stop working. Both at same time always. Would go into service menu, test them, they would always work on test, then would return to game and they would work. Sometimes they would work for rest of the time I played while other times this would happen over and over and over. Problems have just worsened over time. Now game is almost unplayable as happens so regularly as to make it more frustrating than it is worth. Called Stern tech support and they could only offer possible solutions. The game was 5 months old and not cheap! I am not versed in the tech of pinball machines and cannot diagnose this issue myself. Even the local guy who repairs pinball machines in my area is at a loss. Anybody else have this issue? Help!!!!!!!! First pinball purchase ever and maybe last. Thanks.

#2 1 year ago
Quoted from WilkesE:

I bought NIB Ghostbusters Premium in June. Around November/December started noticing intermittent flipper issues where during a game flippers would just stop working. Both at same time always. Would go into service menu, test them, they would always work on test, then would return to game and they would work. Sometimes they would work for rest of the time I played while other times this would happen over and over and over. Problems have just worsened over time. Now game is almost unplayable as happens so regularly as to make it more frustrating than it is worth. Called Stern tech support and they could only offer possible solutions. The game was 5 months old and not cheap! I am not versed in the tech of pinball machines and cannot diagnose this issue myself. Even the local guy who repairs pinball machines in my area is at a loss. Anybody else have this issue? Help!!!!!!!! First pinball purchase ever and maybe last. Thanks.

Stopping completely or just getting weak? Also, always both at the same time?

If it's both flippers at the same time, and they are stopping completely, it sounds like a node board problem to me, which likely means you'll need to exchange it with Stern.

#3 1 year ago

Yep. Both exactly at same time and stopping completely. Never just weak. Either they work or they don't. Thanks for input.

#4 1 year ago

Trough opto? Try reseating the board connectors.

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from pintechev:

Trough opto? Try reseating the board connectors.

If it kills the ball(s) and they drain, I can see this, but if power is momentarily lost and the balls stay in play, then no.

#6 1 year ago

Literally everything else continues to work. Only thing that is affected is the flippers. It's like the power to the flippers goes out but rest of game continues to operate as usual.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from WilkesE:

Literally everything else continues to work. Only thing that is affected is the flippers. It's like the power to the flippers goes out but rest of game continues to operate as usual.

Does the power to the flippers stay out until the balls drain? Or does the power come back in time to save the ball in play?

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

If it kills the ball(s) and they drain, I can see this, but if power is momentarily lost and the balls stay in play, then no.

Very good call, thanks. This is a strange one.

#9 1 year ago

Confirm the magna slings still work when the flippers die. This will prove the node board where the flippers are connected, still has power and is being controlled by the CPU node.

The flipper switches are connected to the cabinet node board. Maybe the cabinet node board is losing connection with the CPU Node?? Try reseating the RJ-45 connector on the cabinet node board and the one at CN3 on the CPU node board in the backbox.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from Schwaggs:

Confirm the magna slings still work when the flippers die. This will prove the node board where the flippers are connected, still has power and is being controlled by the CPU node.
The flipper switches are connected to the cabinet node board. Maybe the cabinet node board is losing connection with the CPU Node?? Try reseating the RJ-45 connector on the cabinet node board and the one at CN3 on the CPU node board in the backbox.

On my game, the flipper buttons are wired to a node board on the playfield. I realized this when I hade the cabinet node board removed, and noticed the flippers still worked.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

Does the power to the flippers stay out until the balls drain? Or does the power come back in time to save the ball in play?

It stays out. Power does not return to save ball. And does not necessarily return when new ball is put into play. It is so random that it is impossible to establish any common elements on when it goes out and when it comes back on.

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from WilkesE:

It stays out. Power does not return to save ball. And does not necessarily return when new ball is put into play. It is so random that it is impossible to establish any common elements on when it goes out and when it comes back on.

Well, when it stays out, that makes me think trough problem (thinks a ball has drained), but the fact that it STAYS out when a new ball is served to the shooter lane makes me think it's some kind of intermittent vibration problem that is causing node board problems. Did you do the service bulletin update on the two node boards already?

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from Schwaggs:

Confirm the magna slings still work when the flippers die. This will prove the node board where the flippers are connected, still has power and is being controlled by the CPU node.
The flipper switches are connected to the cabinet node board. Maybe the cabinet node board is losing connection with the CPU Node?? Try reseating the RJ-45 connector on the cabinet node board and the one at CN3 on the CPU node board in the backbox.

This is far beyond my limited knowledge of the inner workings of these infernal machines. All kidding aside I think they are powered by one of the node boards under the playfield in the front? Stern had me unplug lights from the very front node board and play to see if could replicate problem with lights unplugged as they thought might be a short?

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

Well, when it stays out, that makes me think trough problem (thinks a ball has drained), but the fact that it STAYS out when a new ball is served to the shooter lane makes me think it's some kind of intermittent vibration problem that is causing node board problems. Did you do the service bulletin update on the two node boards already?

I have not done this update. What is it? I do it within the service menu? The vibration issue is exactly what I was thinking. It has a shaker motor and is so random it seems like it might be something just shaking in and out but I have had situations where i played a full game to the very end with no issues, hit the start button minutes later to start a new game, and they literally won't work out of the gate which seems to undermine my confidence in the random shaking as cause.

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from WilkesE:

I have not done this update. What is it? I do it within the service menu? The vibration issue is exactly what I was thinking. It has a shaker motor and is so random it seems like it might be something just shaking in and out but I have had situations where i played a full game to the very end with no issues, hit the start button minutes later to start a new game, and they literally won't work out of the gate which seems to undermine my confidence in the random shaking as cause.

It stabilizes a diode that can come loose on the node board from vibration:

http://www.sternpinball.com/service-bulletins/service-bulletin-189-core-node-stabilization

While you're at it, ask for this SB kit, too:

http://www.sternpinball.com/service-bulletins/service-bulletin-190-core-node-capacitor-service

The service bulletin isn't the same symptoms as yours, but it may be too late for your node board. You might just need a swap. I'd ask for that.

#16 1 year ago

Thanks for all the input. Will definitely give these a try.

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