I'm trying to sort out an issue with my Gottlieb Space Orbit and am in need of a little help from the experts. I'm more experienced with early Solid State machines than I am with EM's, so this has been an interesting learning experience. I've set myself up with a full EM project next (once I complete my current SS project) and am using the Space Orbit as an intro to exploring (and fixing) EM's.
Some background first. I purchased the Space Orbit about 14 months ago - it's mostly run fine, but a few issues slowly set in over that time. Nothing that would be considered a show stopper as I've been able to continue playing it. Space Orbit is an Add-a-ball machine that was exported to Italy, before making its journey here to Australia a few years ago. Two weeks ago I decided to give the machine my full attention and fix the issues that had set in. I spent time researching similar issues people had. I found lots of good information here, google groups, various websites and also watched plenty of videos on the Pinball Ninja Webzine (I subscribed sometime last year - excellent content!) to become familiar with EM's in general. I had also purchased a copy of the schematics to aid with the trouble shooting.
I started working on it, fixing the first couple of issues. The Vari-target had some problems not resetting correctly (required a relay switch adjusment and cleaning of the assembly). The game would serve up an extra ball after game over (related to the ball count stepper). In 5 ball mode the lightbox showing 100K, 200K, etc would not advance when the score rolled (9th position switch issue). I've fixed these (and a few other very minor things) successfuly. I've learn't a hell of a lot over the last couple of weeks doing so. It's been fun
While looking at the 5 ball mode I discovered two issues I wasn't aware of. I actually didn't realise you could switch it to 5 ball mode as first. I had only every played on add-a-ball. Only once I started working on it I found that it could be swapped between add-a-ball and 5 ball mode (I think this can also be called Novelty mode?). The difference being in 5 ball mode you don't get free balls, but bigger points for hitting lit WOW targets. The first 5 ball mode issue I discovered was the lightbox not advancing - as mentioned above, I fixed this (9th pos switch). The second issue is with the number of points awarded when you hit a lit wow target - which is where i'm currently at.
Right now, you will always receive 50,000 points, regardless of the settings on the score adjust jones plug. Even with no score adjustment settings applied, the machine will still award 50,000 points. If I do a similar test in add-a-ball mode, the game will correctly award a free ball at the set scores - or if no scores are set, then no free balls awarded. So the issue is isolated to 5 ball mode. Given that add-a-ball more runs fine, I'm guessing that that majority of the machine is running without issue - I'm assuming that 5 ball mode would also run through all the same relays, etc. But somewhere, there is a small fault that's forcing the score adjust setting to be ignored and override it with 50,000.
Perhaps I'll detail what I know from investigating the issue, then the EM experts here can maybe point out flaws in my searching and/or things I've missed along the way.
I wasn't sure where to start with this issue, but I figured the score adjust plugs were a good a place as any. Here there are two wires running to it - orange and green. Both are connected to a single plug. Each also has an extension to allow for a second score value to be set. Through some testing I found that the orange wire sets the scores for the add-a-ball mode, while green does nothing (I'm thinking that the green wire would be for setting the 5 ball mode wow score adjust - maybe?). For example, in add-a-ball mode, with the orange wire connected to the 10,000 and 20,000 point plugs - the game will award a free ball at 10,000 and then again at 20,000 - but no more after that (unless you roll the score then you will get free balls at 110,000 and 120,000 should you reach those 10,000 thresholds again). I repeated the same test but with the green wire connected to the 10,000 and 20,000 plugs. No free balls were awarded at all. This wire appears to be ignored in add-a-ball. I then switched to 5 ball mode. I connected the orange wire to 10,000, activated WOW mode and hit a lit target - this awarded 50,000. I then swapped to use the green wire and repeated the test - again 50,000. I then did a final test with both orange and green wires removed - 50,000 points were still awarded.
A photo of the score adjust plugs with both wires (when I first started working on the machine, both were plugged in, but as mentioned I've found the green one is ignored in add-a-ball):
The next thing I was interested in was where do the 10 score adjustment wires run to? I traced these to the small circuit board that is connected to the 10,000 point decagon score reel.
Where do the orange and green wires (used to set the score adjustment) run to? I traced these to a make/break switch on a small relay in the headbox. The relay is unmarked, so am not 100% on what letter assignment it has.
The wire connected to the middle blade on the make/break switch must also run somewhere then. I traced this back to a lug on the add-a-ball jones plug.
This wire does not connect to the 5 ball jones plug which sits above it, which makes me wonder how the green wire can be used for setting scores.
The jones plug for the 5 ball mode looks a little different, with some of the lugs having two wires connected and one has a yellow/black wire connecting two lugs together. There are a lot more wires running to this than the add-a-ball jones plug. This looks different to the other jones plugs in the head box. Maybe it's correct? I don't have the EM experience to know.
There are 5 small relays in the headbox. The two on the left appear to be related to the score adjustment (and maybe other features) - while the other 4 are used to activate the 10, 100, 1000, 10000 score relays.
This is where I'm currently at and I'm not sure how to proceed in diagnosing further. I'm assuming that the game allows you to set how many points awarded for hitting a lit WOW target in 5 ball mode. Is this a reasonable assumption to make? (or maybe I'm chasing an issue that doesn't exist? Which would make me wonder about that green wire connected to the settings which is currently ignored). I'm hoping you guys can offer some ideas / thoughts / suggestions from your experience. If more photos are needed, I can take more.
Also, this is my first Pinside post too - so Hello to all