(Topic ID: 293258)

Gottlieb Cue Ball Wizard - My First Pinball

By ChuckyP

1 year ago


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Topic Stats

  • 13 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by wayout440
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

Hello Everyone,

I am a new member here and I have just taken ownership of a Gottlieb Cue Ball Wizard. I am new to pinball machines but I am a huge arcade fan and am super excited to have my own.

I’ll include some photos, and the machine appears super clean. It doesn’t boot at the moment and the previous owner (who is in the industry) has already taken the basic troubleshooting steps trying to track down a “watchdog” problem.

I can include any addition info anyone would like, but I am hoping the resources available here will help me on the journey to find this fault. I have already found a few threads that may be helpful, but currently I'm just documenting model #’s and trying to get my head wrapped around the system 3 components.

This seems to be a great community.
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#2 1 year ago

Welcome to Pinside! It is a great community and an invaluable resource. A collaboration of minds and experience to assist are available. I used to have a Cue Ball Wizard myself. Keep in mind these games are based around solid state computer electronics, the more experience you have in this arena will accelerate your abilities to repair these games. If you do not have computer electronics experience your learning curve will be greater (but it can be done). Reading the online pinball repair docs such as PinWiki, and discussions here are an excellent starting point to repairing and maintaining your games. Gather the knowledge first before.diving in - as it can save you from making a situation worse. The more specific and detailed your questions are will help the team here make better suggestions to guide you.

#3 1 year ago

Did I see you on FB? Your buddy called you up and said to just get this thing out of his basement or something like that? Nice score!

#4 1 year ago

Thanks for the reply. I do have computer and electronics experience. The machine has all the original documentation and schematics so I have been looking over them to learn about the system.

I have found the PinWiki page and started figuring out what boards I am dealing with. I don’t have any specific questions yet except for how do I get this thing to boot.

I’ll be looking into the preventative maintenance (ground improvements, etc) that is recommended for the system 3 boards and go from there.

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from Haymaker:

Did I see you on FB? Your buddy called you up and said to just get this thing out of his basement or something like that? Nice score!

I don’t think that was me, but that was the basic situation in his case. May have been the same guy.

Yeah I’m stoked to have gotten it.

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from ChuckyP:

Thanks. I don’t have any specific questions yet except for how do I get this thing to boot.
.

Check power supplies and fuses first. Any CPU LED status activity? You can power up the board with a computer power supply +5 DCV to determine if it is dead

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Check power supplies and fuses first. Any CPU LED status activity?

I’m looking at everything slowly and learning what the components are called as I go. I have a multimeter and the schematics but I haven’t started probing for continuity or voltages yet.

It was powered on before we moved it and the Sound Board (A6) and Aux Sound Board (A20) were alternating blinking LEDs, the CPU Board (A1) was blinking quickly and the DMD controller (A8) was on steady.

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#8 1 year ago

Ok I was getting some high readings on the 5v output but changing the battery in my multimeter sorted that out.

I can adjust the pot and dial in a clean 5v which is holding steady. The CPU board is blinking fast with a short pause and then fast blinking again.

The Display board is still on steady.

The fuses check out ok and power is stable across the boards. I haven’t looked into any other details other than this. I have been following the PinWiki System 3 article to learn about common faults and fixes.

It seems the DMD board is the culprit and there are old chips in the bottom of back box which the last owner left for me after trying a few changes. So I’m not 100% sure what has been worked on in the past.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from ChuckyP:

It seems the DMD board is the culprit and there are old chips in the bottom of back box which the last owner left for me after trying a few changes. So I’m not 100% sure what has been worked on in the past.

The chips in the back box are not a good sign. And difficult to trust. Some of these are ESD (static) sensitive and need to be handled with special precautions. If the previous owner has ever plugged and unplugged cables from the DMD controller, that can fry the U8 GAL IC. http://www.pinrepair.com/sys3/#display

#10 1 year ago

Thanks for that link I have saved it and will read it thoroughly. I found a similar article on pinrepair.com and will start looking at that ship as well as the resistors near it. (Edit: it was the same article I have been reading).

Any advice on what programmer to use if I need to verify chips? I don’t have much hope that the chips in the back box are functional, but I’m just giving as much info as I have.

#11 1 year ago

Can't help with troubleshooting but my sister bought that pin new in the 90's and we played the crap out of that machine. Her machine traveled from CA to OR to AL and back to OR and still works great.

I would like to find one of those.

7 months later
#12 4 months ago

Just an update for anyone interested. After checking the boards and looking them over I decided to bite the bullet and send the boards to Coin-op cauldron and let Clive get to work on them.

The work took some time as he was backlogged quite a bit, but it was worth every penny. After putting the newly repaired boards back in place, hunting down the balls and replacing the DMD screen (which was fully lit at all times) I now have a fully functioning Cue Ball Wizard.

What a quirky and fun game this is. My daughter loves it and I’m amazed how much fun the younger kids are having with this machine. All hours of the day I hear “Quit talkin’ and start chalkin’.

Thanks for the advice and hopefully this won’t be my only pinball in the future because it may become a new sickness at my place.
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1 month later
#13 3 months ago

That game is great fun for the shots, especially up to the top corners. I first played this at PAPA pinball and was just having a long and outstanding game, until they pulled the plug on me at closing. The video modes kind of sucked though, and some other small details. Had it for awhile and moved it on to someone else. Glad you got it running, have fun!

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