(Topic ID: 245928)

Haunted House- Sound Locks Up or Cuts Out


By pindude80

4 months ago



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  • 41 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by pindude80
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#1 4 months ago

I just got my HH playing a couple days ago. I've been trying to put some test games on it and the sound is problematic and intermittent. So far what I have experienced is: the sound won't be on at all at the start or during a game, the sound will be on at the start of a game then go off in the middle of play, or it will just lock up. If I reset the game it will be the same cycle as above.

I checked out Clay's HH and BH video and in the sound board section he doesn't go over sound board issues. I checked on Pinwiki, not much there in ways of diagnosing.

Anyone know where I should start? I noticed the sound board has 4 small orange caps on it. Not sure if these are problematic like the large orange caps everyone tells you to replace.

#2 4 months ago

Make sure to re-pin the connectors between the mpu and sound board. Outside of that, check any other connectors running to/from the sound board. I had a similar issue a while back and it was a pinched wire between cab and head (or something like that--it was a bad connection somewhere). Drove me nuts because background sound would work fine then cut out. Hopefully yours is an easy fix! Good luck!

#3 4 months ago

I wanted to re-pin that connector but the crimp contacts aren't available anymore from what I've read. Any suggestions on what to do or a way to clean the current contacts? I tried a trifurcon for the ground and 5v on that harness, per Todd Tuckey's video, and it fit like complete crap. I'm ok with it on those 2 since they are in addition to the factory contacts.

I hope it's an easy fix also but at this point I don't even really know where to start.

#4 4 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I wanted to re-pin that connector but the crimp contacts aren't available anymore from what I've read. Any suggestions on what to do or a way to clean the current contacts? I tried a trifurcon for the ground and 5v on that harness, per Todd Tuckey's video, and it fit like complete crap. I'm ok with it on those 2 since they are in addition to the factory contacts.
I hope it's an easy fix also but at this point I don't even really know where to start.

Could you post a pic of the board and connector you're specifically talking about?

The big 2-sided connector between the mpu and driver board uses a type of edge connector that's no longer available (well, they can be gotten at Docent Electronics as a kit), but the replacement pins and housings for the other *single-side* edge connectors are still available.

Here's the difference:

Single side edge connector pin: https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=08-50-0106-C&cat=77

Double side edge connector pin (NLA): https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=08-03-0304

I'm pretty sure the connectors on the sound board are single-side edge connectors, so the pins and housings from GPE should be the ones to use. If you can post a couple pics i can tell for sure.

#5 4 months ago

You're right, I misread your post, I thought you meant to re-pin the connector between the MPU and driver board. I will have to look and make sure the connectors to the mpu and sound board they are single sided but I'm pretty sure they are. I have seen the single sided contacts from GPE and actually added 150 of them to my cart just this morning to have on hand!

#6 4 months ago

Frunch, you were definitely onto something with the connectors to the MPU and Sound board. I pulled those connectors and the one going to the sound power supply board. All are IDC connectors so I took a small jeweler's screwdriver and pushed all the wires down really well and used a fine nail file to try and clean the contacts in the connector, hooked everything back up, and played a couple quick test games. The sound quality was still kind of poor but it didn't cut out or lock up so definitely a step in the right direction!

I noticed one of my pop bumpers isn't working so I'm going to take a look at the board, see if I need any parts then place an order with GPE for connectors, contacts, and anything I might need for the pop bumper. I think I'm going to go ahead and replace all of the caps on the sound board to see if that will help clean up the sound but I guess the speakers could be trash; I need to pull them and look them over to see what their current condition is.

#7 4 months ago

That's great news! I'd go ahead and replace the connectors eventually, and be sure to re-flow the solder joints on the headers they plug into. Replacing caps is probably a smart move as well.

What kind of trouble are you having with the pop bumper? Have you tried swapping pop bumper driver boards to see if it's a pbdb issue or otherwise?

#8 4 months ago

Oh yeah, definitely going to replace the connectors. Ok, good idea to reflow the solder joints as well! I figured replacing the caps is easy enough to do and won't hurt anything; hopefully it helps with the quality of my sound!

The pop bumper won't fire; I tried using a jumper wire on both contacts of the activating switch and it won't fire. I grounded the ground lug on the coil and it fired so coil seems fine. I haven't had a chance to figure out what board it was yet; I'm going to try and match up wire colors to the board it goes to but good suggestion on swapping to a known working board!

#9 4 months ago

Definitely sounds like you're on the right track. There is a series of recommended upgrades for those boards, you may need to perform those if it hasn't been done already. Keep me posted!

#10 4 months ago

Someone wrote "modified" on the pop bumper boards but I want to check and make sure they did them right; it's on my list of things to do eventually but might be sooner than later now that I have the problem with this one.

I will make sure to update as I go along. Thanks for the replies, suggestions, and help!

#11 4 months ago

Are there specific caps that should be replaced on the sound board? I wanted to replace them all; there are a lot on that board, but when I went down the list in the manual GPE only showed listings for about 75% of them. I wonder if there are some caps that are more "critical" than others?

#12 4 months ago

It may be worth your while to try replacing the speaker, connectors to/from the sound board and possibly a new volume pot first--i never had to re-cap the sound board on my Black Hole. Not saying you won't have to--but it may be worth trying a couple other things first...

#13 4 months ago

I was just thinking today that I might have some cabinet speakers I swapped out of modern Sterns that I might try if they are the right ohms. I have an order put together that I'm getting ready to place with GPE for all of the electrolytic caps, connectors- at least all of the ones available that go to and from sound board, and new bifurcated contacts. Good call on the volume pot; thought about that this morning but forgot to see if GPE carries.

#14 4 months ago
Quoted from frunch:

Definitely sounds like you're on the right track. There is a series of recommended upgrades for those boards, you may need to perform those if it hasn't been done already. Keep me posted!

I figured out which PBDB went to the pop bumper I had not working and I put that connector on another board and the pop bumper worked. I then pulled the board to check the metal-cased resistor and header pins and upon removal I noticed one of the connector pins was bent over and wasn't in the connector which was probably why the pop bumper wasn't working. Since I had it off I tested the transistor, it was ok, reflowed the connector pins, cleaned and added solder to the copper pad that that transistor makes contact with per Clay's video.

I checked and even though someone wrote modified on the PBDBs they didn't change the caps to the higher value only added the jumper that I could tell so I'm ordering them.

#15 4 months ago

Nice!! Good catch on that pop bumper board. Another tip I'll share about system 80 pop bumpers: they are prone to magnetized coil stops. Don't know why, just how it is. Even brand new ones aren't necessarily safe. I worked on getting the pop bumpers all working poppy and responsive for over a year before i finally realized i had some magnetized coil stops--even new ones were doing it. It was a simple matter of putting a couple small pieces of scotch tape over the top of each of the pop bumpers coil stops. Instant difference in responsiveness! I found most were working ok generally, but sometimes wouldn't pop on a direct hit or multiple quick hits. If you suspect any further trouble with the pops, do yourself a favor and tend to those coil stops. It may surprise you how big an impact it might make.

I'd say order whichever caps gpe has for the sound board, but I'd try the other stuff before installing them.

#16 4 months ago

Yeah I'm glad it was an easy fix on the pop bumper board! Thanks for sharing that tip and insight about the pop bumpers. I did notice that the pops don't seem really strong but a little slugish. I wonder if I should add a couple small pieces of scotch tape to each coil stop as you mentioned to see if it improves their performance? I guess it wouldn't hurt anything to add it and see if it boosts their performance.

I ordered all of the electrolytic caps for the board from GPE; plus a lot of other components to build an inventory. Unfortunately GPE doesn't carry volume pots so I have to hold off on that or get from somewhere else. I will probably try and swap in speakers today. I'm not sure if I have 2 or not. Do you know if I need 2 or if I can just take both the wires off the harness and plug into one speaker? I don't know if that will mess anything up or put a heavier load on the amp because I want to make sure I don't screw the amp up because I think they are difficult or impossible to find.

#17 4 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I wonder if I should add a couple small pieces of scotch tape to each coil stop as you mentioned to see if it improves their performance?

I would try it out, for sure. The magnetism may not be enough to hold the plunger down, but could still give the spring some fight as it starts to retract the plunger. Like i said, i was pleasantly surprised at how effective it was. You really just need something between the plunger & stop to break the magnetism--some people use little pieces of cardboard or paper, but tape works just as well. If it ever wears out, just replace it with another piece or 2.

As far as the speaker question, not too sure. I completely agree with your approach though--better to wait for an answer before trying anything like that. Hopefully someone else can chime in! (Or just get 2 speakers and replace them both at the same time)

#18 4 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

Unfortunately GPE doesn't carry volume pots

When you adjust the volume pot, if the sound doesn't cut in and out like it has a bad internal connection then it might be safe to say it's ok. If it does, you can open the volume pot up (there are 4 tabs that hold it closed and you can bend them to pull it apart) then bend the internal wiper blades a little so they make better contact and/or give them a clean if there's dirt in there.

#19 4 months ago
Quoted from frunch:

.
As far as the speaker question, not too sure. I completely agree with your approach though--better to wait for an answer before trying anything like that. Hopefully someone else can chime in! (Or just get 2 speakers and replace them both at the same time)I dug up 2 speakers I took out of modern Stern machines, checked both with a DMM, both 4 ohm, just like the factory Gottleib speakers. Hooked them up and the sound wasn't much if any better. As soon as my GPE order gets here I'm going to replace the electrolytic caps on the sound board and the contacts for the connectors that go to an from the sound board.

#20 4 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

When you adjust the volume pot, if the sound doesn't cut in and out like it has a bad internal connection then it might be safe to say it's ok. If it does, you can open the volume pot up (there are 4 tabs that hold it closed and you can bend them to pull it apart) then bend the internal wiper blades a little so they make better contact and/or give them a clean if there's dirt in there.

I haven't messed with adjusting the volume much but will experiment around with it and if it does cut in and out I will do as you suggested. Thanks for the tip and instruction!

#21 4 months ago

I replaced all of the electrolytic caps on the sound board as well as installed new crimps in all of the connectors that go to and from the sound board.

When I first turned it on there was no sound. I wiggled all of the connectors, turned the game back on and had sound. Then it cut out in the middle of a game then it would keep playing music after the game was over. Luckily I wasn't lazy and smart enough to take pictures of the connectors before I installed the new contacts and found a wire in the wrong place. I put it back in it's correct position and the sound ended when the game ended but the sound cut out another time or two so I thought I would start a game and wiggle all of the wires individually to see if I have a short because I wanted to save as much of the factory wiring as possible and didn't cut off what was in the IDC but just stripped the top portion and some of those wires had some pretty tight bends in them when I took them out of the IDC. When I was wiggling the wires on the connector that goes into the side of the driver board the sound cut out a little bit and made some weird noises.

I wanted to replace the caps on the board that supplies the power for the sound board since they are probably original but the big cap on it is 2200uf and 50v, the closest thing GPE had was 2200uf but 35v, would it be a bad idea to install the 35v cap in place of the 50v cap?

I was hoping my re-cap job on the sound board would clean up the sound some but it still sounds pretty "raspy" but maybe that's just how the audio is on these games.

Since I'm still getting some bizarre sound behavior and found a bad connection on the driver board do you think I should pull it, and flow some solder on the contacts and wipe off with a paper towel that I read about?

#22 4 months ago

We tried to play a few games and the sound kept cutting out on the first ball. I pulled the connector that goes to the driver board and reseated it slightly crooked. We played at least 5 games and the sound didn't cut out once.

#23 4 months ago

Definitely time to replace or re-flow the male connector and you may need to double check your crimps on the new female connector. At least you know at this point that it's definitely a connector problem.

#24 4 months ago

I didn't know you could replace the male header. I will double-check my female crimps. Is there a special procedure to redo the male connector or do I just flow some solder on the contacts, maybe flux them first, and then wipe off the solder while it's still in a liquid form?

#25 4 months ago

Could you send a pic of the connector? Maybe I'm not thinking of this correctly. If it's a edge connector, then you can only replace the female connector. You could re-tin the male side pads with solder, but usually they just need to be cleaned with a pencil eraser. If it's actual male pins the connector slides on, those can be replaced. Re-flowing may be sufficient in that case though.

#26 4 months ago

Yeah I can send a picture later but it's definitely an edge connector. All of the contacts have been cleaned by someone in the past and they look pretty good so I didn't got messing with them but I can take an eraser to them or just go ahead and reflow. Does it matter if it's a white or pink eraser on the pencil? I kept seeing people say a pink pencil eraser but I looked and the only pencil erasers I have are white.

I can get a picture of my actual game later but I'm pretty sure it's the connector I circled.

board (resized).png
#27 4 months ago

Ok, i was thinking it was a pin-style connector for whatever reason. But yeah, i would definitely replace the female edge connector. If the solder pads on the board look clean and shiny, you probably don't need to bother with them. I'd recommend not only replacing the pins, but also replace the connector housing--only because i find extracting those pins from the housing can be very difficult (but still doable, if needed). The edge connector pins should be the ones you ordered, iirc.

#28 4 months ago

I reused the factory connectors and installed crimps in place of the IDC contacts it had before. The contacts on the board look somewhat shiny; not as shiny as fresh solder but not super dull and dingy either. Yes, I did order and install the bifurcated edge contacts. I can pull the board to see if I can get the contacts to shine up a little more with an eraser or with some fine sandpaper if you think I should.

#29 4 months ago

I wouldn't use anything abrasive, any pencil eraser is probably sufficient. Did you also re-pin the other side of that connector? I think you said you had... If so, there's not much else i can recommend. Did you play with the volume pot at all?

#30 4 months ago

I'm not sure where the other end of the connector I'm having problems with goes; I would imagine it goes over to the sound board but it goes into a harness and I didn't look too close at it yet. I re-pinned the connector on the sound power supply board, the one that goes into the sound board, and the one that goes to the driver board.

I have played with the volume pot and it doesn't cut in or out when I change the level and when the sound goes out I mess with the volume pot and nothing happens besides I hear a slight hum out of the speakers if I crank the volume up high.

What do you think about me replacing the caps on the power supply board and replacing the one big one that is 50v with a 35v cap?

I think at this point I'm going to look closely at all of the crimp contacts on that connector, make sure they look good and see if I can add a little more spring tension if any look like they could use it.

#31 4 months ago

I pulled the connector that was acting intermittent, put a fresh set of batteries in my headlight and took a close look at the connector. I noticed one of the crimps somehow came unlocked and was part way out; I know it wasn't like this when I put it back together because I tugged on all of the wires individually. I put the wire back and pulled all of the others in that connector to make sure none got smashed or bent but they all looked good so I plugged it in. My sister and I played about 20 games and the sound worked flawlessly the whole time!

I'm still thinking about replacing the caps on the sound power supply board but don't know on the 35v vs 50v cap.

#32 4 months ago

Awesome!! Good job! As far as caps, you can always go higher with volts, but you really don't want to go lower.

#33 4 months ago

Good job, I enjoy following progress like this.

Now enjoy your Haunted House, what a great sounding machine!

#34 4 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I'm still thinking about replacing the caps on the sound power supply board but don't know on the 35v vs 50v cap.

That capacitor needs to be 50 volts.

Drop Ed at GPE a line and see if he's got any not listed on his site.

Otherwise you can get them from Mouser, Digikey etc.
I'm not sure of the dimensions of your original cap, but the specs on this one look good - maximum operating conditions are up to 10,000 hours life, 105 degree temp and high ripple currents (3.15A):
https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/United-Chemi-Con/EKYA500ELL222MLP1S?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtZ1n0r9vR22YT02h%2F38Wmxc0G8NZqJA6U%3D

#35 4 months ago
Quoted from frunch:

Awesome!! Good job! As far as caps, you can always go higher with volts, but you really don't want to go lower.

Ok, cool. I was guessing that might be the case but wasn't for sure. Thanks for letting me know and thanks for your advice and help along the way through this.

#36 4 months ago
Quoted from sneakerpin:

Good job, I enjoy following progress like this.
Now enjoy your Haunted House, what a great sounding machine!

Thanks! I'm glad you like the thread and hopefully I put enough detail in it in case someone has the same or similar problem in the future. My sister and I have been playing the heck out of it trying to figure out how to get big scores and having a lot of fun along the way.

#37 4 months ago
Quoted from Quench:

That capacitor needs to be 50 volts.
Drop Ed at GPE a line and see if he's got any not listed on his site.
Otherwise you can get them from Mouser, Digikey etc.
I'm not sure of the dimensions of your original cap, but the specs on this one look good - maximum operating conditions are up to 10,000 hours life, 105 degree temp and high ripple currents (3.15A):
https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/United-Chemi-Con/EKYA500ELL222MLP1S?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtZ1n0r9vR22YT02h%2F38Wmxc0G8NZqJA6U%3D

Ok, thanks for the info and link. I can shoot Ed an email and see what he says. It might not even need to replaced but I was trying to be preventative and fortify the game. Do you know what the symptoms would be if the cap was bad? Last night during one of about 10 games we lost the background sound for the remainder of one game but started a new game after without power cycling the game and the background sound didn't cut out again the rest of the time we played it.

#38 4 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

Do you know what the symptoms would be if the cap was bad?

Looking at the schematics, I imagine you will notice hum from the speaker since it filters the 30V power rail going to the amplifier chip. If you're measuring 30 volts DC at pin 2 of the sound power supply board connector it's probably ok for now. If you're measuring lower than 30 volts, the closer to 24 volts the worse it is.

If the background sound cutout during game then sound restarted ok on a new game, that to me says it's likely a logic signal problem either onboard or through connectors (i.e. not amplifier or power issue).
Clean the edge connectors on those boards with a pink eraser and then wipe any eraser residue off with some isopropyl (alcohol).
Looking at the schematics, the connectors all relating to sound are P1 at the sound power supply board, P1 at the sound/speech board, J4 at the MPU board and J1, J2 and J5 at the driver board.

#39 4 months ago

Thanks for all of the info! I will have to check the voltage at pin 2 on the power supply board per your post.

The edge connectors all looked pretty good on the sound board but I can pull the MPU and sound power supply board, clean with a pink eraser and then isopropyl alcohol. I re-pinned the connectors on the sound power supply, sound board and one going to the power driver board. I'm thinking if the sound continues to cut out after the eraser cleaning I should re-pin J4 on the MPU board and the other connectors on the driver board that haven't been re-pinned yet, what do you think?

#40 4 months ago

I went ahead and re-pinned all the edge connectors on my Black Hole when i got it just because those connectors have a reputation for being problematic after so many years. Might be worth your while, though it's admittedly a lot of work. IDC connectors seem less prone to needing replacement (depending on where they're being used, of course), but there's very few used on these games.

Note some of the edge connectors are double-sided though--those connector pins are not easy to find. I left those connectors alone, except for the big double-sided edge connector between the mpu and driver. There was a re-pin kit for that connector i bought a while back from Docent Electronics. (Though i think they're temporarily closed atm)
It's also suggested to add the extra wires to that big double-sided connector for 5v and ground, as Clay mentions in his guide and video.

Did you change out the tall orange cap in the cabinet? Have you done any of the ground mods (or were they already done when you bought the game?)

Has it been playing well otherwise?

#41 4 months ago

I'll probably hold off on replacing all of the edge connectors, at least for now, and maybe go ahead and do the ones Quench mentioned to see if that helps my intermittent sound cut-out issue.

Initially I wanted to do the connector between the MPU and driver board as Clay mentions but Molex quit making those double-sided crimps and I think they are extremely hard to find at this point. I did read where people said you can use a Jamma contact as a substitute but have to solder all of the contacts to their wires. I also noticed some off-brand crimp contacts but I was told they aren't genuine Molex and don't hold up as well. I was going to leave mine alone unless I have a problem that is related to or believed to be related to that connector. I did add the 5v and ground to that harness between the mpu and driver board.

The tall orange cap had been changed out by someone previous to me although they put a 12000uf cap in and Clay recommends a 6500uf to 10000uf so I may replace that somewhere along the line. I did all of the ground mods as soon as I started working on the game.

Other than the sound cutting out randomly here and there it's been playing great other than a sticky flipper on the bottom pf, which I think someone oiled all of the flipper plungers so I will need to address that and the upper flippers on the main playfield seem a little weak but they could be sticky from the oil someone put on them as well or maybe they are even supposed to be less powerful. I'm pretty happy with it so far, the way it's progressed, and I really appreciate your and everyone's help in getting it to this point. I had my best game ever on it last night- 840,000 I was pretty impressed with myself.

I need to get some various parts like a display cover for the credit / ball in play display, edge trim for backglass and some of the mechanics for the backglass locking system.

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