(Topic ID: 115344)

Gottlieb EM Tech Tip: Mystery Stuck Switches

By DirtFlipper

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 6 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by xeneize
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders


Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 2 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).


    #1 4 years ago

    Every now and then we see posts about games that have a locked on score reel. There are various possible causes, but one debug path involves suspecting that a scoring switch on the playfield is stuck closed. Unplugging the playfield is often suggested as an isolation technique, and sure enough the score reel no longer is stuck on (or the associated points relay).

    So then the requisite suggestion is made about checking all the playfield switches for being gapped too close (contacts touching) and/or back tabs touching. All of this is dutifully examined, and nope, there are no switches stuck closed, all the contacts look correct, all the back tabs are fine.

    And yet there's still a stuck switch causing a score reel and/or points relay to lock on...

    Here's another possible cause:

    Backing blade shorted against switch blades

    The middle blade that's used to stop the switch blade from bouncing back up too high can short against the two blades that are supposed to be open, if it's out of adjustment (Gottlieb actually calls this a 'backing blade'). If just looking at the switch blades, sure enough, the contacts are open, as they should be on this example of a normally open switch pair. But with the backing blade touching both, electrically they are stuck closed.

    It's fairly easy for this to happen. The backing blade can be bent upwards when using a blade adjustment tool on the adjacent blade, and not even notice. Sometimes on switches behind rubber rings, the backing blade is more difficult to see, and when adjusting the switch gaps against the ring, a little too much finger pressure pushes the backing blade too far (again, unnoticed). When staring at the switch contacts to get the gap just right, the position of the backing blade can be missed (I know; I've done it myself).

    So maybe the next time a seemingly invisible stuck switch is encountered, this might be one other possibility.

    [Hat tip to John for the photo!]

    #2 4 years ago

    Thanks for the tip!

    #3 4 years ago

    Yea nice graphics

    #4 4 years ago

    Thks DF. It is terrific to get these tips that reside in the brain locker for the next time something is array.

    9 months later
    #5 3 years ago

    To revive this great thread by DF, look at this picture.

    Stop blade looks ok.........

    But bell was permanently stuck on.

    DF suggestion - hole in fish paper?



    4 months later
    #6 3 years ago

    Awesome thread that deserves a bump to the top!

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 24.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    From: $ 175.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Pinball Photos
    $ 369.00
    Cabinet - Decals
    $ 18.00
    Cabinet - Decals
    Top-Notch Target Shields
    $ 17.99
    Playfield - Decals
    $ 239.99
    Lighting - Led
    $ 89.00
    Pappy's Pinball Palace
    $ 19.95
    $ 129.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 25.00
    Apparel - Women
    The Flipper Room
    From: $ 7.00
    $ 76.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 35.00
    Cabinet - Decals
    Pinball Haus
    From: $ 42.00
    Playfield - Other
    Pin Monk
    $ 14.00
    From: $ 42.00
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 99.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 100.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    $ 26.50
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 209.99
    From: $ 11.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    $ 85.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 65.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    G-Money Mods
    From: $ 40.00
    Lighting - Interactive
    Professor Pinball

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside