gtb "as" match stepper rebuild - step by step


By ccotenj

3 years ago


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  • 34 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by ccotenj
  • Topic is favorited by 16 Pinsiders

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    #1 3 years ago

    lots of fear surrounding this, no good directions on how to do it... match steppers are likely the simplest variant of the beast (no switches/cams), but they all work the same...

    the patient...

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    broken armature and wasted gear...

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    #2 3 years ago

    unscrew the circuit board on one side...

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    lift it off...

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    slide the points and the washer out from underneath... note that washer goes in between points and bracket thing...

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    repeat on other side, then pull the bracket things off the board... easy does it...

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    #3 3 years ago

    unscrew the coil... make sure you catch the copper washer that is in between the coil and the bracket... slide the coil out...

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    note the way that the relay mounting bracket goes on the coil bracket...

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    #4 3 years ago

    remove the screws from one of the gear bearings...

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    remove the bearing... pay CAREFUL attention to which way the gear teeth go...

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    remove the gear... note that the override stop goes over the ratchet spring with the screw holes to the top...

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    #5 3 years ago

    "Gottlieb AS Stepper" is a trigger word for me that my therapist says I should avoid at all cost. Nevertheless, I'll be monitoring this thread closely. Thanks for breaking it down OP.

    #6 3 years ago

    clean everything...

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    slide the new gear into the bearing that didn't get taken off... ENSURE you have the gear in the correct way...

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    slide the other bearing on the other end and screw it in...

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    slide the override stop onto the ratchet spring, then position it between the bearings... i put a couple screws in there so it wouldn't move around, probably not necessary...

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    #7 3 years ago

    slide the armature into place and hook it with the spring...

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    put the coil back in... don't forget the copper washer...

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    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    simplest variant (no switches/cams)

    Not exactly true. Many games use the Match unit to develop the "alternator" function for playfield features. Therefore, they do have an "every other step" cam and usually a normally open switch. It is this leaf switch that often causes additional friction on the system and prevents it from advancing.

    Thanks for the nice picture-by-picture guide so those out there won't "fear" working on Gottliebs like some do.

    #9 3 years ago

    Thanks for the photo illustrations. I've had lots of experience with these, and they still can be frustrating.
    I usually do one side at a time. The nylon ratchet gear has a worn look even when new. The type without extra cams and switches (usually an alternating switch, or a zero position) are easier to get working properly because they don't have as much drag on them. Conversely, the ones that have two additional cams and switch stacks are the hardest to get working correctly. You can spend hours on those dang things! There are many subtle adjustments, including the little spring steel piece that is used as an anti-reverse and the armature stop plate that needs to be adjusted so that it allows only one increment of travel by the contact points. These can be a real bear to get working right, but practice and patience will make you an ace with these. Getting everything cleaned, aligned and running with as little drag as possible is key.

    #10 3 years ago

    place the circuit boards back over the gear spindles...

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    points next...

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    washer...

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    bracket... push bracket (gently) back into circuit board, and screw in...

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    #11 3 years ago

    beer time!!!

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    #12 3 years ago

    Ah, additional photos since I posted. New parts are of course very helpful! I've had to replace the wafer boards themselves due to burned off sections, but I usually scrounge parts from junk I have around. Thanks again for posting this.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from CactusJack:

    Not exactly true. Many games use the Match unit to develop the "alternator" function for playfield features. Therefore, they do have an "every other step" cam and usually a normally open switch. It is this leaf switch that often causes additional friction on the system and prevents it from advancing.
    Thanks for the nice picture-by-picture guide so those out there won't "fear" working on Gottliebs like some do.

    i despise the one on my pro-football for that reason... it wants to hang on the last position when advancing the ball down the field, and that switch adjustment is VERY finicky... i'm gonna rebuild that one next, hopefully it will make it somewhat less finicky...

    i guess that is why i looked at this one as "simpler", since i didn't have to mess with those danged switches...

    #14 3 years ago

    It's assembled, but is it adjusted? There are many subtle adjustments to these critters. They can act balky if not properly adjusted. The armature stop must not allow too much travel, or the unit can increment two or more steps. The anti-reverse spring must be adjusted (it is slotted), so that when the ratchet gear is stopped against it, the slots in the ends of the gear shaft are aligned so that the contact points are centered on the copper traces on the wafer board. The boards also have oversized holes so that you can align them. Again, make sure that the contact points stop on the center of each contact land as you manually increment the unit. Adjust the board position as necessary to accomplish this, then gently snug the screws. The bearing arms need to be exactly parallel to minimize the drag on the nylon shaft. Coordinating all these adjustments is the hardest part to making these units work properly. Find a junker one and play around with it until you feel comfortable. Practice makes perfect. Now go and have that beer!

    #15 3 years ago

    Yeah, those are nothing to rebuild without the switches....

    #16 3 years ago

    I find it much easier to take the relay coil off (set it aside somewhere) and then soak the entire "AS" unit in Mean Green and scrub with a toothbrush. Then rinse off with hot water. Gets the whole unit clean without having to take it apart. Naturally, if there are worn parts then you'd need to disassemble it.

    I clean all the gunk off the circuit boards with lighter fluid on a cotton swab or on a paper towel. Then I use 150 grit sandpaper on the copper foil then finish that with a quick swabbing of the fiberglass eraser pen.

    I smear a thin coat of the Radio Shack clear lube gel on the copper foil.

    #17 3 years ago

    ^^^

    yea, i used superlube on the board, i forgot to mention that...

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    I find it much easier to take the relay coil off (set it aside somewhere) and then soak the entire "AS" unit in Mean Green and scrub with a toothbrush. Then rinse off with hot water. Gets the whole unit clean without having to take it apart. Naturally, if there are worn parts then you'd need to disassemble it.
    I clean all the gunk off the circuit boards with lighter fluid on a cotton swab or on a paper towel. Then I use 150 grit sandpaper on the copper foil then finish that with a quick swabbing of the fiberglass eraser pen.
    I smear a thin coat of the Radio Shack clear lube gel on the copper foil.

    That's cheating! Real techs disassemble!

    #19 3 years ago

    I had one once on a "Sheriff" that was totally not working. It was the one that controls the horseshoe lamps. IIRC, it had two cams with two switch stacks. One was to increment the bonus level up when the unit completed a cycle, and the other was a home position runout that returned the horseshoe lamp to the first position at the start of each new ball. That one was a bee-eye-itch to get working right!

    9 months later
    #20 2 years ago

    I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to say thank you! I took my FS Relay (00-90 unit) apart today, cleaned it, and put it back together. It wasn't working before but now works well!

    Thanks for this!

    #21 2 years ago

    Dude, that carpet...

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from CactusJack:

    Not exactly true. Many games use the Match unit to develop the "alternator" function for playfield features. Therefore, they do have an "every other step" cam and usually a normally open switch. It is this leaf switch that often causes additional friction on the system and prevents it from advancing.
    Thanks for the nice picture-by-picture guide so those out there won't "fear" working on Gottliebs like some do.

    I'm having trouble with this exact function on my Flip a Card.

    2 issues. The extra friction you talk of really is there and it seems to hang things up.

    But I believe the center bumper should alternate on and off with one pt scores.

    It only lights on 9.

    I'm guessing something is amiss on this simple relay.

    But tHe match function works fine.

    Nice job Chris. I've done this a few times, but it's always nice to have your instruction to follow.

    #23 2 years ago

    Make sure the armature return spring isn't too tight. I had this happen with a Top Card. Someone had shortened the spring and it was too strong. The plate wouldn't pull in enough to move the gears close the n/o switch and make the alternating relay do its thing. I put a proper spring on there, case closed.

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    Make sure the armature return spring isn't too tight. I had this happen with a Top Card. Someone had shortened the spring and it was too strong. The plate wouldn't pull in enough to move the gears close the n/o switch and make the alternating relay do its thing. I put a proper spring on there, case closed.

    Great tip EMsInKC. I had exactly the same thing occur on an Abra Ca Dabra AX relay. It took a while to diagnose but now an early point of call!

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    Dude, that carpet...

    it's actually a towel...

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    it's actually a towel...

    Dude, that towel...

    #27 2 years ago

    I've had issues with this match stepper on three several games lately, Fast Draw, Royal Flush and Target Alpha. I wasn't even thinking this was the issue, but it also is used to trigger the alternating relay. Had to take it apart and clean each one like you show.

    #28 2 years ago

    This stepper on my El Dorado often lights two match numbers at the end of a game. If I actuate it by hand, I can never recreate this, as it always steps through properly and lights one number at a time, but it must be slightly mis-aligned or half-stepping or something. Has anyone seen this before? Does anyone have any recommendations for what to look at?

    I disassembled and cleaned this stepper last year.

    #29 2 years ago
    Quoted from mot:

    This stepper on my El Dorado often lights two match numbers at the end of a game. If I actuate it by hand, I can never recreate this, as it always steps through properly and lights one number at a time, but it must be slightly mis-aligned or half-stepping or something. Has anyone seen this before? Does anyone have any recommendations for what to look at?
    I disassembled and cleaned this stepper last year.

    Probably misaligned. The screws that hold the arms that puts pressure on the wipers can be loosened. The bakelite pieces, with the traces on them, can be rotated slightly. Make sure the wiper arm is centered on the trace before tightening the screws.

    #30 2 years ago

    The metal wipers wear slots in the Nylon ratchet wheel. Then their is play and they align incorrectly, sometimes bridging two circuit traces, sometimes one. Check if the wipers can be moved without the Nylon ratchet wheel moving to see if yours are have excess movement. You can buy the new ratchet wheels from PBR, which cures the problem.

    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Probably misaligned. The screws that hold the arms that puts pressure on the wipers can be loosened. The bakelite pieces, with the traces on them, can be rotated slightly. Make sure the wiper arm is centered on the trace before tightening the screws.

    ^^^ this... even with brand new parts, careful alignment on re-assembly is critical...

    #32 2 years ago

    Thanks, folks!

    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    it's actually a towel...

    . . . and as any HHGTTG fan knows: "You should always know where your towel is".

    Thanks Chris for an excellent tutorial.

    #34 2 years ago
    Quoted from zaphod:

    . . . and as any HHGTTG fan knows: "You should always know where your towel is".
    Thanks Chris for an excellent tutorial.

    nice pull...

    you are welcome... as jr pointed out in an earlier post, "adjustin' on 'em" is a topic that still remains to be explored...

    that being said, CAREFUL re-assembly seemed to work for that particular rebuild (knocking on wood)... i have to believe it helps to start with new "wear parts" and making sure everything else is cleaned well... the parts to rebuild aren't "cheap", but if it means you never have to mess with the little &$@?$& again, they are well worth it...

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