(Topic ID: 103221)

GUIDE: upgrading early SS rollover switches to microswitches

By swampfire

7 years ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by tktlwyr
  • Topic is favorited by 49 Pinsiders

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#1 7 years ago

DISCLAIMER: The procedure I describe here may devalue your game to some collectors. It could also be described as overkill. If you know how to adjust, file and repair leaf switches, by all means do that instead. I decided that I wanted to bulletproof my Black Knight for league and tournaments, and that's why I've gone down this path.

For each switch, you will need these items:

Microswitch bracket with 3/16" mounting holes (left- or right-handed):
http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/01-12356
http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/01-12356-1

Williams/Bally Rollover Sub-Microswitch 5647-12693-19:
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=829

Williams/Bally #2-56 x 7/16" Microswitch screw:
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=230

1N4004 diode:
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=173

3/16" clear tubing, or heatshrink tubing

#2 7 years ago

Before and after pics of the switch actuators (as seen from above the playfield):

IMG_6113-453.JPG
IMG_6112.JPG

Before and after pics of the switches (under the playfield):

IMG_6105-129.JPG
IMG_6110.JPG

#3 7 years ago

Mounting the microswitch correctly requires very small movements. The switch-side of the actuator should touch the edge of the slot, while still allowing the full range of motion for the switch. Centering it in the slot is important too, to avoid "sticking".

The PBL actuators are a different shape than the stock actuator for my Black Knight, but I didn't find that it made any difference. The inlane switch still works from both directions. Here they are, old in front, new in back:

IMG_6107.JPG

#4 7 years ago

I like to put the switch diode inline with either the drive ("column") or input ("row") wire, and then cover the splice with clear plastic tubing. The banded side of the diode must face the drive side, but it doesn't matter which wire you put it on. Pick the wire that needs additional length, if you face that situation.

Solder the free end of the diode to the Normal Open (NO) lug, and the other wire to the common ("C) lug. If you get them reversed, it doesn't matter - so again, you use this to your advantage if you come up short on wire length (as I did in the picture below).

IMG_6109.JPG

#5 7 years ago

Is this upgrade worth the hassle? I think so, particularly if you have a bad leaf switch that you're swapping out anyway. A microswitch will never need adjusting or cleaning. Also, I think that the signal to the CPU has a longer duration when the ball flies over the switch. I had a perfectly clean and adjusted leaf switch on my left outlane, and there were several times the ball flew over it and didn't give me credit. Not a huge deal for most games, but if "LAST CHANCE" is lit on Black Knight and that switch doesn't work, it's infuriating.

I welcome criticism of my wiring and soldering. I'm not a pro, just sharing what worked for me.

#6 7 years ago

Is it worth the hassle? Most definitely for that era of Williams. Most people never realize how many issues in that era come from leaf switches that were assembled incorrectly from the factory. A lot of them had one leaf upside down, which caused the back side of the rivet to wear off the gold plating, and thus require way too much cleaning to keep them functional.

-Hans

#7 7 years ago
Quoted from HHaase:

Most people never realize how many issues in that era come from leaf switches that were assembled incorrectly from the factory. A lot of them had one leaf upside down, which caused the back side of the rivet to wear off the gold plating, and thus require way too much cleaning to keep them functional.
-Hans

AHA! That's exactly what I discovered with mine. I just assumed it was a bad repair. Good to know!!

#8 7 years ago

Nope, not bad repair, that was a factory screwup.

#9 7 years ago

Bookmarking Just in case

#10 7 years ago

I found several leaf switches riveted (or assembled) backwards; it's crazy that it took me 16 years to figure it out.

4 months later
#11 7 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I found several leaf switches riveted (or assembled) backwards; it's crazy that it took me 16 years to figure it out.

Don't feel bad, Williams shipped tens of thousands of games in that condition.

-Hans

1 week later
#12 7 years ago

What screws did you use to anchor the switch bracket down?
#6 or #8 x 3/8" hex sheet metal? Thanks!

1 month later
#13 7 years ago
Quoted from TimeWarp1:

What screws did you use to anchor the switch bracket down?
#6 or #8 x 3/8" hex sheet metal? Thanks!

I'm pretty sure I used the smaller screw - I didn't want to have any screw pops.

#14 7 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I'm pretty sure I used the smaller screw - I didn't want to have any screw pops.

Cool, I actually just ended up reusing the screws on the old hardware. Either way the game is fun again, thanks!

#15 7 years ago

No kidding, working switches are awesome!!

I can't believe millions of switches were assembled backwards...epic fail. Or perhaps a very devious kind of planned obsolescence.

1 month later
#16 7 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

No kidding, working switches are awesome!!

Since you have done this to black knight, I'm considering the same for mine while I have the pf out, can you post a list of how many of what you ordered to do all of the switches for BK? Thank you swampfire!

Edit:
I just ordered 6 of each... I'll need more in the future, thank you for the how to!

#17 7 years ago

Thanks for posting this!

1 month later
#18 7 years ago

Can you discuss the symptoms you were experiencing that led you to make such a drastic change? I'm missing some context.
thanks,
mof

#19 7 years ago

HAHAHA your right, I never noticed that before.

UpsideDown.jpg

#20 7 years ago

Mof, several switches weren't registering reliably. It turns out the switch stacks were made incorrectly (with the contact facing the wrong way). Also, see my post #5 above. It's not really such a drastic change. The trough switches in the LE models were already microswitch-based. I just extended that improvement to all of the factory-borked switches.

I agree that if your switches were made correctly and they are registering reliably, this mod is not needed.

#21 7 years ago

When you notice a switch is installed improperly, why not just take it apart, and reverse the part?

-mof

#22 7 years ago

But then you won't have a BK LE.

Only other thing the LE had was the decal on the apron if I recall.

#23 7 years ago
Quoted from mof:

When you notice a switch is installed improperly, why not just take it apart, and reverse the part?

I tried that, and decided it was more hassle than it was worth. Purely a personal choice.

2 years later
#24 5 years ago

I know this is an older thread but I have a couple of questions. In post #2 , picture 4 shows the 2 microswitches with the diode bands oriented in different directions. Of the 2 microswitches, which one is correct? Shouldn't the diode band be oriented like the one in post #4 for all microswitches? Thanks.

#25 5 years ago

Good eye catching that, but if will look again you will notice that the OP has the silver band facing the green wires in all cases which is correct.

#26 5 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Good eye catching that, but if will look again you will notice that the OP has the silver band facing the green wires in all cases which is correct.

Thanks for the reply GRUMPY. So the 4th picture in post #2 is correct?

#27 5 years ago

Williams is not the only company that put the switch together wrong from the factory. I would say every classic Stern and most Bally's have leaf switch put together wrong.

#28 5 years ago
Quoted from Talonslair:

So the 4th picture in post #2 is correct?

Yes both switches even tho they are different from each other the band still goes to the green wires.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Yes both switches even tho they are different from each other the band still goes to the green wires.

Understood. Thanks a bunch!

4 months later
#30 4 years ago

Stupid question will this set up work for the upper level multi-ball lock?

#31 4 years ago

I may try this. I added capacitors to the outlane leaf switches on my Eight Ball Deluxe because they’re not reliable. It hasn’t helped. In fact, the caps are causing false triggering of the switches.

4 months later
#32 4 years ago
Quoted from Limited89:

Stupid question will this set up work for the upper level multi-ball lock?

I’ll have to look at mine to see if I did those too. Unfortunately my BK is in storage at the moment.

3 years later
#33 6 months ago

Why not reply EVERY extant leaf switch with microswitches?

#34 6 months ago
Quoted from lothian:

Why not reply EVERY extant leaf switch with microswitches?

It’s doable!

http://villagebbs.com/forum/index.php?topic=43065

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