(Topic ID: 341806)

Gottlieb Spider-Man Tilt Immediately After Power On

By ataube

11 months ago


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#1 11 months ago

Hello Everyone,
I have recently purchased my first pinball machine, so please forgive me if I use the wrong terminology. The game I purchased is a 1980 Gottlieb The Amazing Spider-Man. When I originally purchased the machine, it was playable with the exception of a few bulbs that were burned out and a pop bumper not working. Within a couple of days of playing the machine, it errored in the middle of a game, and I have not been able to play since.

I started reading the PinWiki to troubleshoot the issue. I have replaced the "orange" capacitor original to the cabinet with a 12000uf 40V capacitor as detailed. Checked the power supply voltages via the test points to confirm I am getting the correct 5v/8v/42v/60v required.

Since performing the above repair and checks, when powering the machine back on, the game over relay pulls in momentarily and the tilt relay cycles on and off once a second as the lights on the playfield flash. I have read another thread about a Haunted House doing something similar (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/haunted-house-tilt-on-power-up) and have attempted the following to troubleshoot further.

1. Checked tilt and slam switches to verify they are clean and closed.
2. Powered the machine on after unplugging connectors A1-J5 and A1-J6. - No change
3. Pulled ROM from the MPU and powered on. - No change
3. Tried to enter test menu with ROM pulled from MPU. - No change

I'm unsure what direction to go from here but would really like to learn more and attempt to fix myself. Any recommendations?

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#2 11 months ago

Is it truly stuck in tilt mode? What exactly are you seeing to conclusively determine this?

Do you have the schematics? Do you have a logic probe? It may simply be an issue with a bad logic chip in the switch matrix on the MPU.

Quoted from ataube:

1. Checked tilt and slam switches to verify they are clean and closed.

Tilt switches should be OPEN, not closed. The slam switch is normally closed, therefore being clean is a lot more critical than for a tilt switch. In other words, a dirty slam switch will prevent the game from booting, whereas a dirty tilt switch will simply fail to go into tilt mode when tripped.

Tilt and slam do two completely different things. The slam switch will reset the game. If there are zeros on the displays and they are pulsating/strobing, then the slam switch circuit is open. Otherwise, if the "tilt" lamp is lit, and the tilt relay is pulled in, you're in tilt mode.

Quoted from ataube:

2. Powered the machine on after unplugging connectors A1-J5 and A1-J6. - No change

With A1-J6 unplugged, you've eliminated the tilt switches entirely. Sounds like you need to examine the MPU further.

Have you tried isolating the Driver board from the MPU? You can unplug the harness and try test mode again. Since the tilt relay is activated by the Driver board, it will no longer be in "tilt" mode on the machine, however, whether or not the MPU is truly calling for a tilt is the question.

Quoted from ataube:

3. Pulled ROM from the MPU and powered on. - No change

I presume you mean the game ROM? I never heard about booting without a game ROM as a troubleshooting aid. Where did you read about that?

Just remember to NEVER unplug or plug any connectors while the machine is powered up... you will blow out chips.

#3 11 months ago

I do have a set of schematics, but do not have a logic probe.

Quoted from sparky672:

Tilt switches should be OPEN, not closed. The slam switch is normally closed, therefore being clean is more critical than for a tilt switch.

I was under the impression that the tilt switch (one with a pinball in the metal track) is normally closed and the plumb bob one that hangs should be open. Is this correct?

Quoted from sparky672:

Have you tried isolating the Driver board from the MPU? You can unplug the harness and try test mode again. Since the tilt relay is activated by the Driver board, it will no longer be in "tilt" mode on the machine, however, whether or not the MPU is truly calling for a tilt is the question.

When the Driver board is unplugged from the MPU, I no longer get the tilt relay clicking or flashing lights. All the lights come on but no displays power up. I cannot enter bookkeeping/test mode using the red button inside the coin door.

Quoted from sparky672:

I presume you mean the game ROM? I never heard about booting without a game ROM as a troubleshooting aid. Where did you read about that?

Yes, it was the game ROM. I read that troubleshooting step in the following post:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/haunted-house-tilt-on-power-up#post-2952112

It was in the third response by "blownfuse"

Quoted from sparky672:

Just remember to NEVER unplug or plug any connectors while the machine is powered up... you will blow out chips.

Yes, whenever making a change, I always power the machine off first.

#4 11 months ago
Quoted from sparky672:

Is it truly stuck in tilt mode? What exactly are you seeing to conclusively determine this?

I'm not sure it's stuck in tilt mode, only noticing that the tilt relay is turning on and off with the lights on the playfield. Also, the tilt light on the back box is flashing as well.

#5 11 months ago

This is a quick video of what the machine does while the Driver Board is plugged in.

#6 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:

I was under the impression that the tilt switch (one with a pinball in the metal track) is normally closed and the plumb bob one that hangs should be open. Is this correct?

On the ball track, you can clearly see the switch contacts are open and when the ball rolls forward, it closes the switch.

Refer to your switch matrix chart showing the normally open switch symbol. All three are normally open and wired in parallel; and represented by a single symbol. There is a switch under the playfield that swings left/right on a counter-weight, the plumb bob, and the ball track... these comprise the tilt switch circuit.

Quoted from ataube:

When the Driver board is unplugged from the MPU, I no longer get the tilt relay clicking or flashing lights.

Because by unplugging the Driver board, you are preventing power to the tilt relay coil. In this case, I don't think it matters...

Looking at your video, I don't know what would cause tilt to pulse like that and it's not even mentioned in the Pinwiki. It sure looks like something is wrong with the MPU. Maybe ChrisHibler could jump on here to answer.

#7 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:

Also, the tilt light on the back box is flashing as well.

Yes. You can see on the schematic that the tilt lamp is wired into a tilt relay contact. Why the MPU is pulsing the tilt relay is the whole question.

Quoted from ataube:

Yes, it was the game ROM. I read that troubleshooting step in the following post:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/haunted-house-tilt-on-power-up#post-2952112
It was in the third response by "blownfuse"

Reading the whole post:

"Try booting the game without the game ROM installed and see if the results looks the same as what you saw before. If it looks the same, you can try to force boot the game by holding the test button down for about 15 seconds (without the game ROM). If the CPU board doesn't have any other issues, it will boot to attract mode. You will be able to run tests, you just won't be able to play a game."

What about the second part?

Since you're seeing the same results with the game ROM removed, did you try forcing it to boot into attract mode as he described?

#8 11 months ago
Quoted from sparky672:

Since you're seeing the same results with the game ROM removed, did you try forcing it to boot into attract mode as he described?

Yes, I tried forcing it to boot into attract mode (held test button for up to 30 seconds) while the Game ROM was removed and there was no change.

Quoted from sparky672:

On the ball track, you can clearly see the switch contacts are open and when the ball rolls forward, it closes the switch.

On mine, it appears that it opens the switch when the balls rolls onto it. One picture is with my finger acting as the ball opening the switch.

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#9 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:Yes, I tried forcing it to boot into attract mode (held test button for up to 30 seconds) while the Game ROM was removed and there was no change.

On mine, it appears that it opens the switch when the balls rolls onto it. One picture is with my finger acting as the ball opening the switch.

If so, that’s the opposite of my system 80. Then yes, make sure it’s clean when closed.

What do your schematics show on the tilt switch in the matrix? Normally open or closed switch symbol.

#10 11 months ago

The schematics show the switch open. If that's the case, not sure how it was playing before or how it should be set up normally.

I had cleaned the switch previously, but be sure the closed switch wasn't the cause, I held it open while powering on the machine and there was no change in behavior.

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#11 11 months ago

But as you said before, if the tilt switch was the actual problem, it should have started up when A1-J5 and A1-J6 were unplugged. I'm guessing all things are pointing to the MPU. Is there a possibility that the edge connectors/sockets are causing the problem?

#12 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:

I'm guessing all things are pointing to the MPU.

Yes, I would agree.

Quoted from ataube:

Is there a possibility that the edge connectors/sockets are causing the problem?

Not if it's happening when things are unplugged. However, you probably have edge connector issues unrelated to this issue, unless they were replaced already.

-----

As far as the normally closed tilt switch... yes, correct, not the problem, but curious how that's wired in.

Is it possible that the NC ball-track switch is part of the slam circuit? That would explain all of this.

EDIT: Yep. On your game, the "ball roll" switch is NC, wired in series with the slam switch, and therefore part of the slam circuit ...

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#13 11 months ago

Is there anything further I would be able to troubleshoot if I were to have a logic probe in hand or would I be better served to send the board set to have them looked over by someone with more experience? I would like to learn more and am fairly technical, but not sure if troubleshooting a MPU board would be beyond my skill set this early in the game. I have been watching YouTube videos by Chris Hibler and Ronnie Lyons and the expertise they have in this arena blows me away.

#14 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:

Is there anything further I would be able to troubleshoot if I were to have a logic probe in hand or would I be better served to send the board set to have them looked over by someone with more experience? I would like to learn more and am fairly technical, but not sure if troubleshooting a MPU board would be beyond my skill set this early in the game.

It all depends on your comfort level and patience with PCB electronics repair. Can you solder? Can you de-solder? Do you understand the schematics? Do you understand them just enough? Are you willing to learn? It doesn't hurt to try, and if you exceed your comfort level, then you could hand it off.

My MPU was really messed up but the game ROM and processors were good. Mine had issues with reliability, booting, and restarting.
But personally, I am not entirely sure where to start on yours. I have never seen one toggling the tilt relay. I don't have a ton of experience, but I have been following the Gottlieb System 80 threads on Pinside for a couple years and don't recall an issue like yours before.

With a logic probe, there are places on the MPU you can examine to see where in the boot process it's failing. Various signals at certain points. I believe the Pinwiki spells that all out. I'd refer you to "Clay's Guide", which can be found online, but the various little mistakes and sloppy writing had tripped me up early on. Pinwiki is much more accurate, although more condensed.

I tagged ChrisHibler earlier. Maybe when he has a chance he'd come here and point you in a good direction for troubleshooting.

Otherwise, my advice would be to study the schematics and read the Pinwiki. Don't get too wrapped up in the ground mods though... they are not a magic bullet (instead find/fix the root cause), especially if the issue is internal to the MPU as it appears to be. Replacing pin connections is generally important for Gottlieb System 80, but again, I think you've proven the issue is likely on the MPU, not due to bad connections.

Also, study the MPU front and back under 10x or higher magnification. Look for anything... old repairs, cracked solder, broken or cracked components, dark spots from heat, modifications, etc.

#15 11 months ago

I really appreciate all the advice! I do have a good soldering station and have done some soldering/unsoldering in the past. I think I will get an inexpensive logic probe and do some reading and poking around before handing it off to someone else. I am patient, but it really depends on how long my wife and kids will tolerate the pinball machine being out of commission. They were only able to play it for a couple of days before it stopped working. I did notice that the Game ROM had been switched from the standard double EEPROM to a single one. I assume that's the reason for the blue wires soldered to U2 and U3? I'm curious to know the root cause of this issue as the game was up and playable only 5 days ago.

#16 11 months ago
Quoted from sparky672:

Don't get too wrapped up in the ground mods though... they are not a magic bullet

The only modification to grounding I have made so far is adding the extra ground wire to the MPU/Driver interconnect. It was done after the tilt relay problem started. I have read that the ground mods are more for reliability and making sure coils and other items don't lock on during the game.

#17 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:

This is a quick video of what the machine does while the Driver Board is plugged in.

It's in a test mode to show that the lights are working, just as if you've pushed the little button on the inside of the coin door.

John

#18 11 months ago
Quoted from Dayhuff:

It's in a test mode to show that the lights are working, just as if you've pushed the little button on the inside of the coin door.

It appears that only the general illumination is switching on and off with the tilt relay. None of the lights underneath the playfield come on. During the lights test, wouldn't those flash too?

#19 11 months ago

The pics help some, but are too blurry when enlarged to see some things.

1. The blue wires are a hack to allow replacement of the original U2/U3 ROMs with 2732 ROMs. I'd reverse this hack and install an aftermarket daughter card with the U2/U3 ROM inages installed.

2. The 5101 may be an AMI brand. AMI chips are always suspect.

3. The conversion from 2 ROMs to a single ROM is mostly standard procedure for this vintage board. That is what I do for boards like this that come into my shop. There should be three jumper wires between the two PROM positions on the right, one jumper attached to the 5101, and a cut between the 5101 and the chip immediately to the left of it. Some of this might be different given the U2/U3 hack.

4. Your MPU is booting, but it can't find the game ROM image. Hence the blinking.

5. "BlowFuse" is Steve Charland (RIP). Steve taught me a lot about System 80 games. I miss him often.

6. I don't think this job is for the casual pinball owner. I can take care of the MPU, return it to working factory condition.

7. If your power supply hasn't been updated per the PinWiki, you should do that or have it done.

8. When you send the MPU out, it would be good to send the driver board for complete testing also.

Happy to help. See link below for contact info.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.ChrisHiblerPinball.com/Contact
https://www.youtube.com/c/ChrisHiblerPinball
http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

#20 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:

The only modification to grounding I have made so far is adding the extra ground wire to the MPU/Driver interconnect.

Yes. I reversed all other ground mods except for this one, after completely going through all connector pins on the whole machine.

#21 11 months ago
Quoted from ChrisHibler:

I don't think this job is for the casual pinball owner. I can take care of the MPU, return it to working factory condition.

I think this is sage advice. I bought the machine from someone that had zero knowledge of pinball machines (other than playing them) and no changes have been made to it in ~17 years. Even if I were to find the silver bullet that fixes the machine, it is likely other issues will crop up in the near future. I would like to arrange sending the power, mpu, driver, and sound boards to you if possible so they can be tested for full functionality and any to make any modifications you advise for reliability. Should I PM you to start the process?

I was able to find the .156" Molex bifurcated pins for the MPU/Driver interconnect and plan to re-pin the entire connector. Should I consider re-pinning the rest of edge connectors in the back box? If so, where is the best place to get the correct connectors and pins?

#22 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:

Should I consider re-pinning the rest of edge connectors in the back box?

YES

Quoted from ataube:

If so, where is the best place to get the correct connectors and pins?

Wherever you can find them. Newark, Mouser, Digikey, Jameco, etc. I've even seen genuine Molex on Amazon for good prices, but availability varies greatly. The punch-down style pins can be replaced with crimp-on and used in the original plastic housing.

• Single Sided Edge Connectors (KK 396, KK series 2478, KK 0.156”)

Molex 08-52-0072 (18-24 AWG)
Molex 08-52-0071 (reel strips)
https://www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/crimp_terminals/0008520072

• Double Sided Edge Connector (KK series 4366, KK 0.156”) - MPU/Driver (Qty 66)

Molex 08-03-0304 (18-24 AWG) - OBSOLETE - Docent Electronics kit of 33 replacement wires/pins
Molex 08-03-0303 (reel strips) - OBSOLETE
Check eBay for the clone/reproduction replacements (equipment99.com)
https://www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/crimp_terminals/0008030304

• Header Pin Connectors (original KK 0.156”) - A2 Power Supply, Light Chaser, Pop Bumpers

Replace with (KK Trifurcon series 6838)
Replace round header pins with square
Molex Trifurcon 08-50-0189 (18-20 AWG)
same as Molex Trifurcon 08-52-0113 (better material and higher current rating)
https://www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/crimp_terminals/0008500189
https://www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/crimp_terminals/0008520113

• Round Pin Connectors (series 1189, 0.093”)

Molex 02-09-6101 (02-09-6102 strip) female (14-20 AWG) - OBSOLETE
Molex 02-09-5101 (02-09-5102 strip) male (14-20 AWG) - OBSOLETE

#23 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:

Should I consider re-pinning the rest of edge connectors in the back box?

I'd say as needed, but certainly A1J5 and A1J6. Those are MPU switch matrix connectors.
After that, you can get to them as needed.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.ChrisHiblerPinball.com/Contact
https://www.youtube.com/c/ChrisHiblerPinball
http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

#24 11 months ago
Quoted from ataube:

Should I PM you to start the process?

Yes sir.
See the contact link below for the instructions and shipping form.
--
Chris Hibler - CARGPB #31
http://www.ChrisHiblerPinball.com/Contact
https://www.youtube.com/c/ChrisHiblerPinball
http://www.PinWiki.com - The Place to go for Pinball Repair Info

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