We're back!

After a disaster in our datacenter took down our server, we are now running Pinside on a brand new server. However, things may not work as expected as we are still polishing the playfield and adjusting some switches! We might be switching to maintenance mode a few times. Please see this forum topic for more info.

(Topic ID: 122433)

Gottlieb Sure Shot - Bonus Score Problem


By pinplayer01

6 years ago

Topic Heartbeat


Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 83 days ago by ChipS
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

#1 6 years ago

I am trying to work out why my Sure Shot bonus scoring is not working properly. Bonus is to be 1,000 points for each lit ball in the rack when the ball is drained. Sometimes the scoring is accurate, but more times than not the scoring is either one or two thousand points too much or too little.

Here are the current observations. When the ball enters the outhole, it activates the Q relay (bonus score control relay). This relay is held in for every 120 degree turn of the score motor (its connection is broken near the end of this cycle by the switch at 2B on the motor). I can confirm seeing the Q relay pulling in and staying pulled in for this cycle. In every 120 degree turn of the score motor, the bonus unit will traverse 5 of the 15 bonus unit contacts. So this means that the Q relay should be pulled in a total of 3 times for the bonus scoring. Upon completion of this, the reset bonus unit coil will activate, thus resetting the bonus unit position back to the beginning. What I see is this happening most of the time, but every now and then the bonus score unit will traverse only the first 2 lots of the 5 contact points (ie. get to about the 10th bonus unit contact point), and then will reset.

Another thing I noticed is the starting position of the bonus unit "spring contact" is not resting on the first bonus unit contact; it is positioned before the contact, resting against the bakelite. Is this correct, or should the spring contact be resting against the first bonus unit contact? The first image is of the bonus unit at its reset/starting position.

The second image shows the position of what I will call the "skate blade" of the spring contact relative to one of the fifteen bonus unit contacts. For this bonus unit, the blade is not centred over the contact, but comes to rest basically as seen in the image. Should the blade be roughly centred over the bonus unit contact? Is this easy to adjust?

The third image shows the final position of the spring contact relative to the bonus unit contacts. Here it is at the 15th bonus unit contact, and this is the position just before the reset bonus unit coil activates. Is this the correct position for the spring contact to finish at (ie. at the 15th bonus unit contact), or does it need to move past the 15th contact? Currently it goes no further.

The spring contact is moved through the 15 bonus unit contacts via the add bonus unit coil. The add bonus unit coil is activated by a combination of a switch on the Q relay and a switch at motor 1A. When the add bonus unit coil's plunger is pulled in, a normally open switch (the on add bonus unit switch) is closed. This in turn activates the Z relay (bonus score relay), which in turn activates the L relay (1,000 point relay), which then gives the 1,000 point scoring.

I noticed that if I manually push in the Z relay as fast as I can, back and forth, the 1,000 point scoring has no issues. For example, if I push in the Z relay 10 times over the course of a very short period of time (a few seconds), the scoring is accurate every time. So the Z relay's operation has no issue. Working back then, I noticed if I manually push in the add bonus unit coil's plunger rapidly, the scoring is not always accurate. I then had a closer look at the on add bonus unit switch. It is observed that the contacts in the switch blades are in physical contact with each other a good percentage while the add bonus unit coil's plunger is being pulled in. The fourth image shows the on add bonus unit switch (here with the switch open), and to the left of the switch, the lever arm that is connected to the add bonus unit coil's plunger. This is at the rest position. When the plunger is pulled in, the lever arm makes contact with the switch and closes the blades. I am thinking though that, because the blades are physically in contact for a large position of the cycle of the plunger, could there be the possibility that electrical contact is not continuous in the switch blades (while they are physically together)? This could lead to a double (or multiple) activation of the Z relay for a single plunge of the add bonus unit coil. Should the add bonus unit switch be adjusted such that it is closed near the end of the plunger pull in, this minimising the duration that the switch blades are together (and maybe then minimising the chances of a double or multiple Z relay activation)?

Sorry for the long-winded post, just trying to provide adequate information. Any assistance greatly appreciated.

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg
#2 6 years ago

This switch looks pretty shot to me:

OnAddBonusSwitch.jpg

Does the longer blade still have a contact point left on it? Looks like it could be worn off. It also looks like the 'fishpaper' insulating strip is torn off at the tip as well.

It might be worthwhile to refurbish this as a starting point.

#3 6 years ago

I agree with DF, that switch could be the main problem.

As far as the reset position, mine goes to the first rivet for the start position. This seems right since the bonus switch closes when the add bonus coil pulls in, then the switch opens and the stepper advances when the coil releases, so it needs to start on the first rivet to count the first bonus points.

You can make minor adjustments to the "skate blade" position by loosening the three screws slightly and rotating the Bakelite while holding the cog wheel in back with your other hand. Adjustments out of the range of the slots in the Bakelite require loosening the two set screws on the shaft (one of them is showing in your second photo).

Hope this makes sense and helps out. I'm still trying to work out why mine seldom counts the full bonus, usually only five steps on each ball drain.

#4 6 years ago

Thanks guys for your responses.

Quoted from DirtFlipper:

Does the longer blade still have a contact point left on it?

Yes, but just. The part of the lever arm that is activated by the plunger makes contact with the very end of this blade. You are right in that the switch blades need to be replaced, I had a closer look at them today, and they do not look healthy.

Quoted from Pinbee:

As far as the reset position, mine goes to the first rivet for the start position. This seems right since the bonus switch closes when the add bonus coil pulls in, then the switch opens and the stepper advances when the coil releases, so it needs to start on the first rivet to count the first bonus points.

This seems to make sense. You are correct, in that when I manually push in the add bonus unit coil's plunger, I can easily confirm that the 1,000 point scoring only occurs for the bonus unit contact the "skate blade" is resting against, not the one it is going to. So it would seem to make sense that the "spring contact" begins on the first bonus unit contact, and not on the bakelite as mine is doing.

DF (or anyone else), can you also confirm that the bonus unit should have its spring contact resting against the first bonus unit contact as the reset position?

Pinbee/DF, can you confirm how around the bakelite the "spring contact" travels as its final position before resetting? Does it get as far as the 15th contact only, or on the final plunger pull in, does it travel past the 15th contact? As mentioned above, for mine it only goes as far as the 15th contact.

Quoted from Pinbee:

You can make minor adjustments to the "skate blade" position by loosening the three screws slightly and rotating the Bakelite while holding the cog wheel in back with your other hand. Adjustments out of the range of the slots in the Bakelite require loosening the two set screws on the shaft (one of them is showing in your second photo).

I may make this adjustment, but want to first improve the on add bonus unit switch and see what that does. But if I get further confirmation that the starting/ending position of the spring contact is incorrect, I will almost certainly change that as well.

#5 6 years ago

I don't have the game or schematic, so can't provide a definitive answer on the bonus unit positioning.

#6 6 years ago

On the final plunger pull in, mine is on the last contact (#14 on schematic), then when the plunger releases it steps onto the bakelite before resetting.
It took me a while to find the bonus unit on the schematic, since it's on the left with the lamps. It calls the first contact "0", which I think means start position. Can you confirm, DF?
image.jpg

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from Pinbee:

Can you confirm, DF?

I'd need to see the bonus unit and full schematic together, and also the positions of the cam posts and switches. Better done with a game at hand.

#8 6 years ago

I now have much improved performance of the bonus unit. I completely replaced the on add bonus unit switch with better condition switch blades, and this made an immediate difference. Not 100% though. But the first thing I noticed is that the total bonus points awarded is never higher than what it should be, which was happening before. I attribute this to the very likelihood that the on add bonus unit switch is now making only once instance of contact for every plunger cycle, rather than two or more (which was likely happening with previous and very pitted on add bonus unit switch).

But I am still getting occasions where the total bonus awarded is sometimes a thousand or two less than what it should be. I manually tested by getting all 15 balls lit, and probably about 70-80% of the time 15,000 points are awarded. Sometimes though only 12-14 thousand points are awarded.

I checked and cleaned the corresponding contacts in the relay bank associated with each of the 15 balls. But I suspect now that while the bonus unit is cycling through the 15 contact points, every now and then one or two of the contacts do not have a full electrical path end-to-end. I did notice that the force provided by the spring in the bonus unit "spring contact" is really not that forceful, and am thinking of removing it, stretching the spring a bit, and putting back together. This would provide hopefully a better connection as it cycles, but not sure if this is the cause.

#9 6 years ago

Also forgot to mention that I repositioned the zero or reset position of the spring contact to commence with the first bonus unit contact. Upon completion of the 15th plunge, the "spring contact" is now positioned past the 15th bonus unit contact, then resets.

#10 6 years ago

Have you cleaned the rivets of the bonus unit stationary disc and added a touch of SuperLube? (helps with the motion of wiper disc).

Rather than stretching the finger contact spring, make sure there's not any dried gunk on it or in the brass sleeve. Some rubbing alcohol can help clean that off.

Checking and cleaning the 15 relays was good. There will be a few more switches in the path though to complete the signal (e.g., On add bonus being one). Look on the schematic for the others and do the same, all the way up through the 1000 point relay and score reel advance (i.e., to ensure the score reel steps for each 1000 points).

It sometimes helps to watch the behavior of the L relay during the bonus countdown. If it seems to miss some 'steps', then you know the problem lies upstream from there.

#11 6 years ago

Problem solved. Well, at least for now.

It ended up being a bad coil stop on the add bonus unit coil (as per the image). Normally the "spring contact" sweeps 5 bonus unit contacts for each 120 degree turn of the score motor. With this coil stop, it was sweeping sometimes 5 contacts, but sometimes up to 6 or 7. So, contacts were getting missed/passed over. With the mangled coil stop, the plunger had a bit more travel, so this likely contributed to it. After replacing the coil stop, all works OK now.

coil stop.jpg
#12 6 years ago

Great fix! Sometimes what should be obvious is awfully hard to find. I'm going to check this out on my machine. As I figure it, 49,000 plus plays on the meter, 5 balls per play, 15 steps at the end of each ball=3,675,000 strokes. It could be showing signs of wear!

#13 6 years ago
Quoted from Pinbee:

Great fix! Sometimes what should be obvious is awfully hard to find. I'm going to check this out on my machine. As I figure it, 49,000 plus plays on the meter, 5 balls per play, 15 steps at the end of each ball=3,675,000 strokes. It could be showing signs of wear!

You're right, it does take a smashing. Just hearing the bonus unit cycle through after each ball, it is obvious from the sounds it makes it is a very physical unit.

By the way, in the troubleshooting I was doing, there is no way I would have known that the bonus unit was skipping contacts by simply draining the ball. What I did was to manually close the outhole switch (but not held down, just a temporary close). This moves the score motor through 120 degrees, and the "spring contact" in the bonus unit should move only 5 positions. It then stops. Another temporary closure of the outhole switch moves the score motor another 120 degrees, and the "spring contact" should move only another 5 positions. Another short closure on the outhole switch completes the bonus unit movement (ie. through the 11th to 15th bonus unit contacts). And finally, a 4th temporary closure of the outhole switch resets the bonus unit and the ball (had it been in the outhole) would be kicked out. Doing it in this way should at least confirm the bonus unit is stepping through as it should do, at least from a mechanical perspective.

You can also manually push in the plunger on the bonus unit while the game is live, and step through each of the 15 contacts, one at a time. This can verify that, for those balls that are lit, each manual plunge is in fact scoring the 1,000 points. If not, it may be any of the electrical path not working (eg. could be switch contact in relay bank, could be the contact on the bonus unit being dirty, could be the "spring contact" misaligned or dirty, etc).

5 years later
#14 84 days ago

I know this is an old thread, but I'm tagging onto the end of it because I used much of what Pinplayer01 did in his last post to try to diagnose my issue.

Here's my problem: When the ball drains, the bonus scoring is sporadic at best. I manually lit up all 15 balls and then drained it - I would get somewhere between a couple thousand and maybe 5,000. I could hear the bonus unit cycle through 3 sets of 5 steps. But it clearly was not scoring 1,000 for each step. Several times I also heard a buzzing from underneath the playfield: It was the Z relay (Bonus Score Relay), still energized.

I did what Pinplayer01 describes above: Lit up all 15 balls and then manually closed the outhole switch just briefly - enough to move the score motor 120 degrees and the spring contact in the bonus unit would move 5 positions. I did it again and it moved another 5 positions. Third time it moved another 5 positions. Then the fourth temporary closure of the switch resets the bonus unit. So the bonus unit appears to be working correctly.

But what I noticed was the Z relay would pull in and then wouldn't let go. So it only scored 1,000 points instead of 5,000. (Sometimes it would do one quick burst, pull a second time and then continue pulling. In that case it would score 2,000 bonus.) Sometimes, the coil would stop pulling and then I would close the outhole again and the same thing would happen. Sometimes the Z relay would "pulse" and I would get 2,000. Other times it would stay energized and not release and I would only score 1,000. Other times it would stay energized through the next cycle and I would only score 1,000 or 2,000 bonus total.

I also did what Pinplayer01 suggested: pushing in the plunger on the bonus unit and manually stepping through each contact. Every one of the 15 contacts worked - and when the Z relay functioned correctly, it would score 15,000 points. But often when I pushed the plunger, the Z relay would energize and stay energized. I had to manually touch the plastic armature to release it.

At first I thought the spring that releases the armature was not strong enough to pull it back into position. But I replaced the spring with another one that was slightly smaller and it didn't help. I now think that something is causing the coil to stay energized, rather than pulsing five times (for each cycle) like it is supposed to. But I'm not well versed in reading the schematic and can't figure out what is causing it to stay energized. Suggestions?

Sure Shot Schematic.pdfSure Shot Z Relay (resized).jpg
#15 84 days ago

For the z relay to stay pulled in the #1 ball switch pulls in the #1 ball latch in relay which powers the zero rivet on the disc , the bonus unit home position. If the normally open blade switch on the bonus unit is closed or shorted ( what looks like in the pic , blade limiter shorting blades) the z relay will stay closed causing the 1000 relay to stay pulled in.

#16 84 days ago

Pinballdaveh - Thanks, but I'm not following you exactly. This is the open blade switch on the bonus unit that you are referencing, correct? That switch appears to be working properly and is not shorted (at least that I can see).

Quoted from pinballdaveh:

For the z relay to stay pulled in the #1 ball switch pulls in the #1 ball latch in relay which powers the zero rivet on the disc

That bank of relays powers all of the rivets, correct? One switch powers one rivet. All of those seem to be working properly and the spring contact is making good contact with the rivets and moving properly from rivet to rivet as it advances.

Sure Shot Bonus unit2 (resized).jpg
#17 84 days ago

A metal blade inside of the switch that needs to be adjusted is shorting the 2 blades. It should be adjusted back towards the shorter blade. If that happens to be the case.

#18 83 days ago

Thanks! Let me check and see...

#19 83 days ago

I checked the switch and it seems to be fine - no shorting. And when I manually work the bonus unit, the switch closes and opens correctly. So I don't think that is the issue.

FYI - I decided to make this a new topic, rather than continuing the old thread. Here is where I moved it: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gottlieb-sure-shot-bonus-count-issue-#post-6085753

Thanks for your suggestion!

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside