(Topic ID: 214993)

Gottlieb Playball - game wont end, XB relay not engaging.

By Beatnik-Filmstar

1 year ago

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  • Latest reply 4 months ago by shaundburch
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#1 1 year ago

Hopefully short backstory:
Picked up a Gottlieb Playball a few weeks ago. Started another thread here because I wasn't sure about how the scoring was supposed to work, which made troubleshooting it's issues difficult. Someone sorted me out with that, and I was able to proceed with trying to get it up and running 100%. This is only my second EM, but things went well - the handful of issues were getting fixed rather quickly for me. The umpteenth "How to read a schematic" article finally made the light bulb go off a bit in my head. It's dim, but I'm happy to say that the dreaded mess of lines is making a lot more sense.

Blah blah blah, I've got the machine basically running. Resets just fine, all switches are scoring right, score and run reels increment as they should, and the base lights that I was initially having an issue with are operating correctly.

But the game just won't end.

What's happening:
If you play a game (It's a single player) things proceed as normal.
Launch the first ball, hit a 10 or 100 point switch and drain.
Ball count unit increments to ball 2.
Launch ball, hit a 10 or 100 point switch and drain.
Ball count unit increments to ball 3.
Launch ball, hit a 10 or 100 point switch and drain.

Regardless of which setting you have it set to - 3 or 5 ball game - the ball count unit increments to ball 4.

Launch ball, hit a 10 or 100 point switch and drain.
Ball count unit increments to ball 5.
Launch ball, hit a 10 or 100 point switch and drain.

Even when on 5 ball play, the ball count unit tries to increment, but it's already at the end of the stepper, so it still says ball 5.
Repeat as many times as you'd like.

What should be happening from the manual.

I've been testing things in 3 ball play just to get to the expected end faster.
If I'm not mistaken, the Q and P relay portions should be happening regardless of ball just as a normal part of operation.
When the 3rd ball drains, the Q relay pulls in as expected, the P relay pulls in and the motor spins. But no game over. It just advances to the next ball. Or stays on 5 if you're already there.

Here's the schematic for the game over XB relay. (Sorry - it's uploading blurry. Not sure why.)

A couple notes / things I've tried.
I forgot to highlight the line in yellow, but this is a game where tilting ends the game and not just your current ball. And tilting does trigger the XB relay as expected. Since this is the case, I think I can rule out the normally closed switch within the XB relay itself.

If I'm reading things right - the remaining suspects are:
A single NO switch in the motor (1A switch stack) not closing while the motor runs.
A single NO switch in the motor (2C switch stack) not closing while the motor runs.
Either of two NO switches in the P relay no closing fully. (Or is that the same switch listed twice?)
Some issue with the ball count unit when it's in the 3 or 5 position.
Some issue with the jones plug when set a 3 ball game.

The jones plug for the 3/5 ball game selector is three pronged. The female socket for the brown/black wire prong isn't connected to anything on the five ball side. Since the issue still happens on a 5 ball game, I assume I can rule out the issue being there. (I guess there could be an entirely different issue there, but still.)

I have checked, double checked, cleaned, and triple checked the switches on the P relay and the two in the score motor.
Both of the score motor switches are easily visible and accessible without having to take anything apart.
The P relay has six NO switches. Also easy to access and clean. It's the add ball count unit relay. It they weren't adjusted right I would assume I'd have far more issues.

That leaves me thinking that It's something with the ball count unit itself. I've removed the moving disc, cleaned all the rivets and tips of the snowshoe connectors, spread a little super lube on the rivets and reassembled. The reset coil resets the stepper nice and quickly. The add ball coil steps it up nice and smooth. Along the top of the stepper are five rivets with a single snowshoe. I believe this just controls the ball in play light on the backglass. Lines up right for each step and the lights work as expected.

Along the bottom of the stepper are five more rivets and two snow shoe connectors that are connected by a wire. Four of the rivets appear to be in pairs - two for the ball five position and two for the ball three position. All seem to be making good contact.
Ball three position.
Ball five position.
I honestly have no idea what that fifth rivet it doing. One of the snowshoes makes contact with it when it's in the ball two position.
From the backside, it really just looks like it's a placeholder to connect the blue-black wire.
(I realize that that blue-black wire doesn't look that connected - but it is. I'll disconnect it and re-solder if needed, but it feels pretty snug to the touch.)

Absurd thing I just tried. Ran through a game with alligator clips connecting the pair of snowshoes - just in case the wire that's supposed to be connecting them is broken inside of the cloth sleeve. No luck. Also ran through with alligator clips on that solder point for the blue-black wire but that didn't do it either. (I'll probably re-solder it anyway cause I'm going mad here.)

So help me out here, please. I'm either missing something silly, or there's some other possibility that my lack of experience is hiding. I really wanted to get this thing up and running without starting this thread, but I want to actually play this thing even more.

Any ideas? Ways of testing / narrowing it down further? I've read of people diagnosing things with alligator clips, but other than the really basic method above - I'm not positive that I'd know where to start.

#6 1 year ago

Hey guys - thanks for the posts.

To Steve and Rolf - I'd like to try some more diagnostics with my jumpers. As I said - I've read of this technique before and would really like to give it a shot.
Reading through Rolf's post a few times - will be trying later today.

Off to go play with alligator clips.

#7 1 year ago

Oh - to answer Rolf's question - I don't think the machine has any setting to turn off the match replays. Will check again, but I think it does replays by default. There's a separate add-a-ball version of the game of course.

And to curriedog - yeah, the motor runs. To my eye - it's acting identically when draining balls 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. As far as I know, the only differences in the state of the machine would be through the ball count unit.

#8 1 year ago

Well, I found the problem.

Right here. Where I thought I had gapped a switch on the P relay correctly.
nope (resized).png

For any relative newcomers that might stumble onto this - here's what I did explained as best as I can.

Started with one clip on the blue-black wire leading out of the ball count unit.
Since I was sure the switch in the XB relay wasn't the issue due to tilting doing it's job, I connected the other end to the slate-green wire at the Motor 1A switch. The light blue line in this picture.

jumper-clown (resized).jpg

Drained a ball three and immediately it kicked to game over. This ruled out any issue in the ball count unit itself.

I moved one end of the wire a step down the line. From the slate-green wire at Motor 1A to the orange-green wire at one of the switched in the P relay.
Light green line in the picture. Drained a ball three and got an immediate game over. Ruling out the motor 1A switch.

Moved wire another step down the line. From the orange-green wire on one P relay switch to the yellow-black wire that it shares with another switch in the relay. Orange line on the picture. Drained ball three and got game over. First P relay switch (orange-green + yellow-black) ruled out.

Moved wire one more step. From the yellow-black wire on the P relay switch to the slate-green wire on the motor 2C switch.
Drained a ball three and the game continued as it had been. This points the finger directly at a particular switch in the P relay.

A quick additional cleaning and a very slight adjustment to bring the normally open blades closer later and I tested things again. Drained a ball three and the game ended. Since there's a chance that the motor 2C switch was a co-conspirator in this attempt to drive me mad, I pulled the clips entirely and tested again. Game over after ball three. Switched the game to a five ball game and repeated things. Draining ball three got me to ball four. Draining ball five ended the game.

I am a happy guy. A little annoyed that I didn't stop and think out how the alligator clip method worked before starting this thread, but maybe next time. I'm bound to get one of these things working on my own some day.

As I'm typing this, I realize that I didn't even bother to check if any of the match lights went on. I guess there's one more part of the game to check into.

But big thanks again to everyone that posted. Double thanks to Rolf - this is my second EM and the second time you've jumped in with advice. It's really appreciated.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

Glad you got it fixed. I had dug out my schematic yesterday, but got drowsy and never got around to studying it.
Playball is an interesting game. Mine plays a little on the easy side, even with the posts set to conservative and the replay levels on the highest manufacturer's card, but it is still fun. I like that it has both a chime box and a large bell (for the runs scored). It is also not unusual to achieve the replay levels for both score and runs nearly at the same time and be able to hear "pop, pop" at the same time that the large bell gongs. Cool sounds!

Thanks - I'm looking forward to playing it. Cleaned up and waxed the playfield last night and started re-assembling. Will likely finish it today and start banging away. (Still need to clean up the legs and coin door, but there's no way I won't play some before that) I've played a few of the other baseball themed wedgeheads and they do seem relatively basic, but I don't mind. I picked it up relatively cheap and wanted something to tinker with. I'm also a baseball guy, so win win.

Hadn't thought about getting the replay knock twice in a single game, but that makes sense. I set the replays to the highest amounts that I had score cards for. (There were roughly 10 different ones in the coin box.) Don't remember off the top of my head if the posts are set to liberal or conservative. Just placing them back where they were.

Anyway - thanks again to everyone.

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