Gottlieb Solar City Alternating Relay


By jackblotto

7 months ago


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  • Latest reply 7 months ago by jackblotto
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#1 7 months ago

Another pin that is almost 100% working, but have some demons to track down still. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to get the 500/5000 points roll-over switching to work correctly. At the top right the are 2 lanes that work together and then the lower left and right outlanes work together sort-of. If the light is lit you get 5000 and if not 500. The scoring works for all the lane switches finally. But the scoring between 500 & 5000 is supposed to alternate between lanes after rolling over the switches from the way I understand it. There is a Relay "A" on the underside of the playfield that seems to control the light and the scoring for this function. If I engaged the relay, hold it in, the lights and scoring switches to one lane and if I don't do anything the light and scoring is in the other lane. What doesn't seem to be happening though is the Relay never engages on it's own. There is a coil on the relay and maybe it's bad, need to check that next. Not sure after the coil though what could be happening. The is a switch on the Motor and the A Relay seems to connect to a switch at position 2C. Hard to get at that switch, wondering whether that would be the next place to look after checking the coil or somewhere else?

Ideas?

Thanks

#2 7 months ago

is that relay the one that has a switch buried inside that does the alternating?

#3 7 months ago

The alternating "A" relay gets energized via the make-break switch on the FS relay (and for some reason, the "5 pos.sequence completed switch" at the 5-bank).

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You can jumper from the 25V fuse to the A relay's lug with the slate-green wire (the non-black wire) to check the coil. I'd pull the FS relay in the backbox (as BBC hinted) and see how well that unit advances and whether the make-break switch inside it is toggling on/off.

#4 7 months ago

First off, let me say that my lack of knowledge is clearly showing here again I suspect.

The A relay has multiple switches on it, as I recall 4. I think 2 go to the top two inlanes and the other 2 go to the bottom 2 outlanes.

Let me take a look at the FS relay. What and where is the "'5 pos.sequence completed switch' at the 5-bank"? I saw the switch call-out too but am not sure what/where that is.

WRT to the jumping from the 25V fuse, I always am fearful of jumping coils. Can you explain that a little better for me? Are you simply saying while the game is on, touch one end of a wire to the 25V fuse and touch the other end of it to that lug on the coil to see if it energizes?

Also, you both mention the "switch inside" the relay. What do you mean by that? There are switches as part of the relay, but what whats is considered "inside"?

THANKS

#5 7 months ago
Quoted from jackblotto:

...What and where is the "'5 pos.sequence completed switch' at the 5-bank"? I saw the switch call-out too but am not sure what/where that is.

It is on the top of the switch stack on the outside of the cage that encloses the 5-bank of drops. The '5 pos.sequence completed switch' is a make-break switch with 3 lugs (slate-green, orange-green & orange+green). The middle (slate-green) blade will either contact the outer (orange-green) blade or the other outer (orange+green) blade, depending on whether the 5 drops are all completed or are not all completed.

File Feb 16, 3 00 07 PM (resized).jpeg

Quoted from jackblotto:

...Are you simply saying while the game is on, touch one end of a wire to the 25V fuse and touch the other end of it to that lug on the coil to see if it energizes?

Yes. This simply jumps from the right side of the schematic, over the potentially troublesome switches and to the coil directly.
Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 1.35.22 PM (resized).png

Quoted from jackblotto:

...Also, you both mention the "switch inside" the relay. What do you mean by that? There are switches as part of the relay, but what whats is considered "inside"?

Have you located the FS relay in the backbox? For convenience you can remove it entirely from the game using the small jones plugs and the relay frame's tiny cotter pin. It looks like and operates like this:
» YouTube video

He doesn't show it, but yours will have switches between (i.e. inside) those side PCB plates. The FS switch that we are concerned with is its only make-break switch. It is a make-break switch with 3 lugs (red+white, orange-green & orange+green). The middle (red+white) blade will either contact the outer (orange-green) blade or the other outer (orange+green) blade, depending on the position of the rotating cam inside. It should toggle with each rotating step.

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#6 7 months ago

Sweet, thanks the info and pics Jeff! Just got my son home, so probably will not get back to this until late tonight or tomorrow, unless I can sneak off for a little. Will be back right after that though with status.

R/ David

#7 7 months ago

Well, couldn't stand not taking a look right away. Tested the coil, works fine. Checked out the 5 pos switch stack, think that was good though I did adjust a little. Checked out the FS Relay, kinda dirty, cleaned the wafer board (terminology?) a little bit not much else. Noticed the wiring had been worked on. Started the game and the alternating bonus was working, kinda on and off. The "A" Relay seemed to be functioning, at least I saw the coil working now. Alternating got worse though. Pulled the FS Relay off the holder and tapped it while trying to make the bonus alternate. I could here the relay click and the bonus would alternate. Going to adjust and clean the switches and the fingers and wafer board on the FS Relay a bit next. That seems to be the problem.

Report back soon.

Thanks

#8 7 months ago

Jeff, what causes the FS Relay to run? After doing a few things to it, like adjusting the switches you mention above, seems like it never runs. Ideas on that? What's weird is when the 5-bank gets knocked down the bonus moves to a different lane, when it does that I see the "A" relay run. According to the above portion of the schematic the FS Relay must be running I just am not seeing it since it is part of what makes the "A" relay run too. But it still won't alternate each time the ball goes through the lanes. Seems like it worked for a few minutes earlier today though. Maybe I'm not understanding how it should work.

Taking a break to clear my head. So close I think!

Thanks

#9 7 months ago
Quoted from jackblotto:

what causes the FS Relay to run?

Refer to your schematic and find FS relay in the table of relays. Note that FS relay has an index of 3E which is where to find it on the schematic, where you will see this:

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 9.13.33 AM (resized).png
There are 2 paths to energizing FS. The lower path is through the depicted normally open (NO) switch on the M-relay, (red+white and slate-green). The M relay is the 100 pt relay in the backbox. Each time the game scores 100 points (including during a 500 pt. scoring event), M relay energizes and closes that M switch. That closure energizes (and hopefully steps) the FS unit. There will be 6 NO switches on the M relay, as the relay table's "contacts" column indicates (where A=#ofNO, B=#ofNC, C=#ofMake-breaks). Acutate the M relay by hand during a game and observe that NO switch's closure. Clean if needed.

The upper path to energizing FS occurs only 50% of the time (FS 1:1) when the next ball is served (during the 'on add "player" unit' event). This depicted NO switch on FS is the other one inside the FS unit which closes for 1 step then opens for one step, i.e. 1:1 open:close).

By the way, the PCB discs on the FS unit are responsible for the match functions which will suffer if FS does not operate properly. Not critical, but solving your alternating lane problems may also fix your match problems.

Quoted from jackblotto:

What's weird is when the 5-bank gets knocked down the bonus moves to a different lane, when it does that I see the "A" relay run. According to the above portion of the schematic the FS Relay must be running I just am not seeing it

Looking at the A relay schematic snippet again you can see that the arrow tells you that 1 of the 2 FS make-break switch gaps will always be closed, even if the FS relay never ever energizes/'runs'. So one of these 2 parallel paths always provides continuity to the 5 pos make-break switch. Therefore completing a path to A is possible via toggling of the 5 pos make-break switch. So your game's behavior is correct. But I don't know why the designer decided to tie the 5-bank completion into the A relay's functioning.

#10 7 months ago

If the FS relay is sluggish you could have a problem with the plastic gear that is inside the 2 plates. Edges get rounded and it doesn`t advance. PBR sells replacements. If you want to take it apart to clean it better,remember how everything came apart.

#11 7 months ago
Quoted from TK2012:

...If you want to take it apart to clean it better, remember how everything came apart.

If you do choose to take it apart for cleaning, read this thread:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gtb-as-match-stepper-rebuild-step-by-step#post-2373303

and also make sure you adjust it following the back page of your manual. Steve Young and others suggest only taking 1 side apart at a time.

#12 7 months ago

Tried to adjust the FS relay a number of times, cleaned it etc. Even tried putting a fresh spring on it, which helped a little. Think the problem is that white plastic cog is worn out. One of the things they call out in that thread above, thanks for that too as it will be ncie to have. Going to order what new parts I can get from Steve/PBR and just rebuild. Looks like everything else is working now at least until I find something else.

Will report back once I get some parts and rebuild the relay.

Thanks Jeff, you're more than welcome to drop down sometime and check out my little collection. I'm in Manassas but on the eastern side, only about 6 miles from I95.

R/ David

#13 7 months ago
Quoted from jackblotto:

Tried to adjust the FS relay a number of times, cleaned it etc.

Finicky things these AS relays. And in your case having 2 switches adding extra resistance makes it that much harder to get adjusted right. One other tip I've heard is to add some superlube to the switch/cam interface to help lower that resistance. Good luck.

Quoted from jackblotto:

Thanks Jeff, you're more than welcome to drop down sometime and check out my little collection

Thanks! If you don't get it working you could trade your FS unit for mine sometime.

#14 7 months ago

I will try the superlube, thought about that but didn't do it. May trade you too as it really does sound like these things are tough to adjust just right. Thanks!

#15 7 months ago

100% of the ones that I have worked on bind at the circled point below due to dirt/grease. Clean both the switch blade and the gear it rides on with alcohol. Adjust tension as necessary. Bet your problem goes away.

alternating (resized).JPG

And in the off-chance that this machine may one day end up in my collection, DON'T LUBE!

#16 7 months ago

Ok, well it looks like this FS Relay and "A" (alternate) Relay are working now. Will put some games on it to see if the adjustments and cleaning hold up. Like you'll said, that thing is quite finicky.

Have a couple of other gremlins I need to work on so might be posting those to a separate thread if not ironed out shortly.

It seems like reading the schematics correctly and understanding what it showing is still not (and may never be) a strong suit for me. Some of the logic of why circuits go this way and that, from one relay to a switch to another relay or switch stack that is being used for some completely different bonus or scoring or whatever just eludes me still.

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