(Topic ID: 217113)

Hokus Pokus help


By DCRand

5 months ago



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  • Latest reply 47 days ago by DCRand
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#1 5 months ago

Was making my first attempt to get a game going from a single coil click when plugged in, to running, without posting for help here. Did search the forum several times for tips and info. But, didn't quite make it to not having to ask for help. This was literally a barn find, lots of rust, mouse nests, etc, and literally no sign of life but for one coil that clicked when plugged in and turned on. Have checked and adjusted pf and back box switches, stripped the pf, cleaned and polished everything, and put it back together. Have not pulled the score reels. Replaced the power cord which had a dead short, and found several wires broken or loose, and a few switches seriously out of adjustment. Also, most labels inside the cab were chewed up for mouse nest material. Do have pics of a machine with labels so can make new when have time.

Now down to: Game will start, although score motor turns three or four times before stopping. All score reels reset. Flippers work. All pf switches, sling shots, and pops work. Game will set up and start for one or two players. The back box will light, but there are no play field lights, and haven't even tried to track that down yet.

The problem I can't track down is that any 100 score pf switch engaged will start the 100 score reel turning and it won't stop. Either for first or second player. When the 100 reel is turning, it turns over the 1000's reel at each roll from 900 to 000. Also, the score motor turns the entire time as well. This doesn't start at game reset, just after clicking any 100 point switch anywhere on the pf. If you score 10 points to roll the 100, no problem, works as it should through 100, 200, etc. The only ways I have found to stop it are to turn off the game, or run the ball through the drain trough 5 times to reach end of game, or to unplug the back box (with rubber gloves) jones plugs. Unplugging the coin door has no effect. I do have pretty full documentation including schematic. But still being a newbie, struggle with reading the schematic to track down problems. Soooo, any ideas and help would be appreciated.

#2 5 months ago

I'd start by closely looking at the 100 point relay. Make sure all the switches are clean and adjusted properly. Also, make sure the switch stack screws are tight. Check all the switch lugs on the relay to make sure none of the wires are shorting...

#3 5 months ago
Quoted from fredsmythson:

I'd start by closely looking at the 100 point relay. Make sure all the switches are clean and adjusted properly. Also, make sure the switch stack screws are tight. Check all the switch lugs on the relay to make sure none of the wires are shorting...

Thanks, thought of that and looked at switches, but will look closer. wouldn't be the first time missed something obvious.

#4 5 months ago

The no lights on the playfield is probably something on your HOLD/TILT relay if not the obvious answer of the GI 6v line itself or the fuse to the playfield, or fuse holder.

As for 100 point switches, they are designed to directly pulse the score relays without even running the motor. A lot of times this signal will run through the switches on the motor (which is normal as they are normally-closed and the motor is still) to ensure you don't have another action in progress, but it by no means has any relation to running the motor, UNLESS the switch also performs a secondary action/reward like adding bonus or something of the sort. The fact that they are starting your score motor (like a 500 point switch would as it needs the multiples) is troubling.

To confirm this for your game, I looked into your machine's specific schematics. Since it is a Bally game and not a Gottlieb (damn trademarks) you can acquire a free digital copy here: https://ia800700.us.archive.org/10/items/hokuspocusmanual/Hokus_Pocus_Manual.pdf

Here are the following things that will make the score motor spin:

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As shown in the image above, the 100 point relay ITSELF does not start the score motor turning - it just cannot do that. So something else is, unless you have a plug plugged in wrong which totally messes with where everything is supposed to go and then obviously the schematic would be largely incorrect to the current state of your machine and "anything goes."

An interesting little factoid is if the motor is endless looping due to some other fault (or rigging it up that way) and you activate an 100 point switch, sometimes I have seen that while the 100 point relay is live the pulsing will cause it to ring up 500 points or maybe even the effect of "infinite points" that you are seeing in a weird scenario where all the stars align. Naturally, the score motor is not supposed to be, nor is expected to be, turning at certain parts of the game. So when it does turn erroneously and other switches are activated that "think" the score motor should be stopped, weird things can happen and "anything goes" yet again. The switches acting weird when the score motor is locked on is not a problem in itself nor something you can fix, rather the focus is on fixing why the score motor is turning erroneously in the first place.

Like I said above, the 100 point relay itself or an 100 point switch that solely awards 100 points CANNOT activate or lock on the motor (unless the "reason" of the equation goes out the window: major wiring fault, plug plugged in wrong or upside down, yadda yadda), even if misadjusted or dirty. So the problem lies elsewhere than in those relays.

It could either be the vibration causing the score motor to activate and lock on through a switch that is gapped too close. But also, are you absolutely sure you are pressing the 100 point switches and not the 500 point switches, or a switch with a "double feature" that gives 100 points AND does some other kind of action? It would make a lot more sense if it was initiated by a switch that is supposed to turn it on, and THEN faulting, rather than magically coming on when not supposed to at all.

I don't know Hokus Pokus well enough to know the answer by heart, but according to the schematic and the image shown above there is nothing that I feel like you could mistake for this except for if the A-B-C-D rollovers give 100 and you are pushing those, which would explain the motor activating.

Lastly, two things. Adjust your score motor's "home position" switch which is what tells the score motor is has completed a revolution and to stop spinning unless there is something else telling it to keep going. This will make the fault a lot smaller and also let us know if the score motor is running itself into oblivion and something is just turning it on momentarily, or if something else is running it into oblivion. My final statement for this post is a question, when the reels do this problem and keep clacking away, are you hearing bells/chimes (assuming they function and the score relays are adjusted and cleaned well), or rather, are the point relays that control both the reels and bells/chimes firing or is it straight to the score reels?

The reason I ask this is because if the bells/chimes aren't firing (again, assuming they work normally), this means the point relays aren't the things firing the reels, which means the problem might lie more in the reset section (which pulses the reels in their own circuit directly rather than using the score relays as this would set off a horrendous bell palooza during every reset.)

#5 5 months ago
Quoted from Otaku:

The no lights on the playfield is probably something on your HOLD/TILT relay if not the obvious answer of the GI 6v line itself or the fuse to the playfield, or fuse holder.
As for 100 point switches, they are designed to directly pulse the score relays without even running the motor. A lot of times this signal will run through the switches on the motor (which is normal as they are normally-closed and the motor is still) to ensure you don't have another action in progress, but it by no means has any relation to running the motor, UNLESS the switch also performs a secondary action/reward like adding bonus or something of the sort. The fact that they are starting your score motor (like a 500 point switch would as it needs the multiples)

Thanks, lots to think about and look at. A couple notes; the chimes do fire, makes for nice noisy rhythm. And tested multiple times, it is any 100 point switch - roll over. Not just abc lanes or Star roll overs. And always starts score motor spinning. Before this problem, as was getting game working, did have a situation where score motor spun endlessly on start up. Now have it to where it just spins 3 or 4 times before machine gets to new game reset position. Not sure if that is normal or if it should just spin once.

#6 5 months ago

It should spin as long as things are "happening" and maybe one extra for things you can't see or hear. Four is not normal. Considering it was looping endlessly on start, then 4, makes me think you have a dirty and/or misadjusted score motor home position switch.

#7 5 months ago

Also, will try to look at it tonight, but if can’t. Will be a few days as will be at Golde State pin fest over weekend, then on bzness trip for two days.

#8 5 months ago

Hey, no rush on my end.

#9 5 months ago

Ok, will check home switch first. Did clean but not adjust all score motor switches.

#10 5 months ago
Quoted from Otaku:

Hey, no rush on my end.

Would be on mine but darn work / life keeps getting in the way. Lol btw you going to be at GSPF this weekend?

#11 5 months ago
Quoted from DCRand:

Would be on mine but darn work / life keeps getting in the way. Lol btw you going to be at GSPF this weekend?

Nope, I'm East Coast.

#12 5 months ago
Quoted from Otaku:

Nope, I'm East Coast.

Ok, wasn’t sure. Hey what’s a coast to coast plane ride for pins. Lol course I didn’t go to Allentown either.

#13 5 months ago
Quoted from DCRand:

Ok, wasn’t sure. Hey what’s a coast to coast plane ride for pins. Lol course I didn’t go to Allentown either.

Come to the york show. Best show.

#14 5 months ago
Quoted from Otaku:

Come to the york show. Best show.

Sure, my wife’s idea of a perfect vacation. Not. Just glad she supports my addiction to the level she does.

#15 5 months ago

The crack addicts and crumbling buildings are very scenic. Two years ago we even got a fire. Nobody was inside playing pinball, everybody was outside watching the fire down the street.

#16 5 months ago
Quoted from Otaku:

The crack addicts and crumbling buildings are very scenic. Two years ago we even got a fire. Nobody was inside playing pinball, everybody was outside watching the fire down the street.

Cool!!!! Lodi is a little less exciting. But about 80 wine tasting rooms in the area.

#17 5 months ago

Took a few minutes this morning to check score motor switches. Not sure which is break switch si cleaned them all. Seemed to just turn about 1.5 or two times at start up. But same 100s problem. Got it to stop by pulling back right jones plug in bottom of cab. Will have to trace where that set of wires go later. For now off to day job.

#18 5 months ago
Quoted from DCRand:

Took a few minutes this morning to check score motor switches. Not sure which is break switch si cleaned them all

Sorry but that was a mistake. This forum is full of posts from people who tried shotgun cleaning & adjustments, and caused more problems than they were originally trying to solve.
What to do instead: Slowly and carefully diagnose one problem at a time and then fix only that.

#19 5 months ago
Quoted from HowardR:

Sorry but that was a mistake. This forum is full of posts from people who tried shotgun cleaning & adjustments, and caused more problems than they were originally trying to solve.
What to do instead: Slowly and carefully diagnose one problem at a time and then fix only that.

I agree. Maybe if you are an experienced collector that way works well for relays and units but even then those score motors are the worst to get everything perfect on. Especially the non-Gottlieb non-Chicago Coin horizontal looking cylinder ones.

#20 5 months ago

Thanks for both comments. Tried to be careful not to change any adjustments, just do a light clean of contacts. Will see when I can look at it again tonight. Prior to this problem did have to clean a number of pf contacts and adjust some because the game was a complete mess. Had two broken leaf switches, multiple wires broken at solder joints, and at least a few switches closed that were supposed to be always open. But only fixed what I could see broken or wrong. Which is why haven’t touched score reels yet.

#21 5 months ago

OK, so I am dumb as a post sometimes. It wasn't 100 point scoring, because it was the 100 point reel, I made a dumb assumption. It is actually any contact that scores 500 and advances bonus. Thank you Otaku, it was your post showing the section of schematic noting which relays trigger the score motor. The 500 and advance relay is sticking on, even pushing it off manually doesn't work, it is still energized by the white black wire feeding the coil. Used heavy paper to slip between contacts to check all contacts that are connected to the white black wire that engages this coil. No switches were stuck on. Looked at the tabs on the back of these switches and couldn't find anything shorted. I did find that manually clicking on the ABCD relay disengages the 500/bonus relay coil.

In addition, found fairly serious wiring problem that may be cause of the 500 point and maybe pf light problems and don't have time to fix it tonight. Hopefully tomorrow. See pics below. Earlier had noticed a disconnected white brown wire with insulation melted near game counter and thought it was an abandoned wire from previous work. However, in tracking the white black wire, found a section of wires, including the white brown wire, behind the score motor switches melted together. So will need to separate and insulate them before doing anything else. Will re-post with progress once get this wiring mess cleaned up.

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#22 5 months ago

Glad I could help. Feels good even from afar just like troubleshooting our own games! You might want to just cut out that rats nest of wiring going to the counter as it is not needed. Be careful, that is near the service outlet and power switch (although 120V wires are throughout the entire game), and it looks like some of that might be 120V high voltage especially given the colors. UNPLUG (not switch off, etc.) the game before working on that or you could seriously hurt yourself.

Best of luck!

#23 5 months ago

Once you sort out the lower board wiring by repairing any burnt or broken wires, you can de-solder the BLK/WH conductor at the jones plug that is located on the lower board. This may help to prove what direction the continuous point scoring is showing. The other thing to look at is the Zero Position Bonus Unit switch, which is located on the underside of the play field. Pic attached.

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#24 5 months ago

Update: The good news, playfield lights are lit, bad fuse holder. Bad news, 500 point / bonus problem still with me, and have been sorting burned wire rats nest and need advice. See attached pics. It looks like the white brown wire melted along a long length, connecting through a few relay switch sets, and took an orange wire with it. Although who knows which one started the problem.

re 500 point problem, connected meter to white black wire at 500 / bonus advance relay with pin unplugged. Have continuity at one or two switch sets on about every other relay switch set. Don't know if that is normal, or indicates a short somewhere. With power on, unplugged back box jones connectors, no effect on score motor. Unplugged right side cab jones plug, stopped score motor, and stayed stopped. Unplugged left (looking from front) cab jones plug and score motor stopped, but restarted as soon as plugged it back in. Also desoldered one of the "D" pf switch white / black wire connections, no effect. And due to jones plug tests, think problem is in cab not pf. but ??????

re melted wiring: A, think maybe it is the reason the white black has continuity so many places. Opinions???? And, need advice on what to do about melted wiring as haven't had this problem before. My ideas: A: cut all wire bundle ties holding these wires, pull the wires, and replace with new from start to finish. B: Don't cut wire bundle ties, but cut out melted wires, cap, and run new wires beside the wire bundles. C: Cut wire bundles, but just use tape or heat shrink to cover all bare wires so keep original colors as much as possible. D: Any better ideas from pinsiders who actually know what they are doing. See pics for what I have found so far re melted wires.

Finally, also attached pic of bonus unit at game reset position. I think it looks ok, but if I am wrong, please let me know.

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#25 5 months ago

OK, so the WH/BLK is carrying 50 volts from the 500 Bonus Advance Relay, (F17 on schematic), that runs to a N/O switch on the same relay to a BR/WH. That might be the conductor that you see melted. Gently start separating the bundles to try and trace that conductor.
That being said, the same WH/BLK also runs to the top rollover switches on the playfield, (located at the jones plug towards the back of the lower board on the left).
The WH/BLK also continues to the Alternating Relay to a M/B switch, (WH/BLK, Y/BR, Gray), and also runs to the Balls Per Game Adjustment located on the center of the lower board.

I would follow the burnt Br/Wh you have and see if it runs back to the 500 Bonus Advance Unit switch. I hate cutting bundles but you can isolate the damaged conductor and splice in new wire.

#26 5 months ago

Check the Bonus Unit switch stack screws for tightness. This area proved to be a problem on mine and also found a broken soldered connection there. Just manually rotate the unit and watch the leaf switches open and close. Adjust if necessary.

#27 5 months ago

That BR/WH looks like it runs from the N/O switch on the 500 Bonus Advance Unit back to the Outhole Relay N/O switch then to score motor 8B.

#28 5 months ago

Thanks for all the advice. Will be later next week probably before can get back to it. Next two days are at Golden State Pin Fest, then a business trip. Was hoping to get it done this week, but looks like a lot of rewriting ahead. Thanks again.

2 weeks later
#29 4 months ago

Three weeks ago, I, too, bought a basket case of a Hokus Pokus. I learned one valuable lesson; learn how to read schematics. I was tracking and fixing disconnected wires in minutes. Further, to diagnose any issue. I start by finding the wire color and start tracing the path. Playfield is across the top, scoring in the middle, and lighting on the bottom. The thick black lines, left to right are the sources of power. Keep the schematics on the table, keep looking at them, and things will make sense. My machine is very close to being finished. Please update this post. I may be able to help you.

#30 4 months ago
Quoted from Mpellicano:

Three weeks ago, I, too, bought a basket case of a Hokus Pokus. I learned one valuable lesson; learn how to read schematics. I was tracking and fixing disconnected wires in minutes. Further, to diagnose any issue. I start by finding the wire color and start tracing the path. Playfield is across the top, scoring in the middle, and lighting on the bottom. The thick black lines, left to right are the sources of power. Keep the schematics on the table, keep looking at them, and things will make sense. My machine is very close to being finished. Please update this post. I may be able to help you.

Thanks, and I have been slowly learning to read schematics, and do have the one for this game spread out on the games sitting next to it. Like you, tracked down and fixed quite a few problems tracking wires, checking contacts, etc. Just finally ran into the problem(s) my limited skill set couldn't solve. I will be updating the post, but have been traveling for business, and for a weeks vacation the last few weeks, and on the run every weekend in between. So sadly, the machine has been sitting with no work on it since my last post. Hoping to get to it again one evening next week. Thanks again for the post.

#31 4 months ago

Mine is now up and running, as of 2 hours ago. The main problems with this one were the stepper units, filthy contacts, and very dirty jones plugs. There's a walk around video on Youtube that I posted last night.

#32 4 months ago
Quoted from Mpellicano:

There's a walk around video on Youtube that I posted last night

His video is at

#33 4 months ago

ABCD inserts were put in today. Thank you for sharing my video HowardR.

1 month later
#34 3 months ago

OK, amazing how life gets in the way of work on pins. So appx two months later, and three other pins with problems taken care of first. Back to Hokus Pokus. One bit of good news. Have tracked the spinning 100 point reel down to the ABCD relay's. Not that it is actually the relays, but it is definitely the ABCD sequence. Working with the playfield tilted up, and the ABCD relay board below the pf:

When any A pf target hit, or the A relay switch stack manually moved to "on" the 100 point reel and score motor run endlessly. When all of the B,C, and D sequence is completed by either pf targets or relays below pf manually tripped, A relay resets and scoring stops.

After reset, when any B,C,D pf target or rollover is hit, it also trips the A relay and endless scoring starts. finishing B,C,D sequence again stops it.

After reset, when manually tripping the relays below the pf, tripping C or D turns off the C or D pf lights, but doesn't score any points or trip the A relay. Manually tripping B, somehow trips A and the endless scoring starts. Either manually pushing the switch stack off for both B and A at the same time, or completing the sequence by manually tripping C and D, stops the scoring.

Checking the schematic, the ABCD contacts are in line with the normally closed 1A switch on the score motor. Can't find any problems with the 1A or other score motor switches. Traced wires, and don't see any crossed, shorted, or otherwise obviously bad wiring problems. But of course they could be hidden in bundles, or I am just being blind. Have previously checked most or all pf switches, and can't find any closed or otherwise bad, but or course could again be being blind.

Any ideas?

1 week later
#35 86 days ago

Hi, bumping this up. Still stumped.

#36 86 days ago

I'll need to see a high quality scan of the schematic from (for example) Staples ($2) or Kinkos ($6)

#37 84 days ago

I'll need to see a high quality scan of the schematic from (for example) Staples ($2) or Kinkos ($6)</

Will try

#38 83 days ago

Sorry if my reply is specific enough. Check the opening/closing of the switches on the A relay, the ABCD Relay, the Bonus Unit Stepper and Bonus Unit relay.

#39 81 days ago

Thank you both. Checked every switch again and the back of every switch stack. Switches all looked right. But two had wires connections onthe back of the stack that looked like they might be touching so seperated them slightly. Started game and looks like that did it for the never ending 100 point problem.

Of course this is a barn find game, so still scoring problems. Won’t score thousands, hundreds just roll from 900 to zero. And outlane rollovers don’t do anything. But the hour I had to work on it was up, so another day. Probably several before can get back to it. And will still try to get that scan.

Thanks again.

#40 80 days ago

If you have a jumper cable, try jumping the switches one at a time on the rollovers that don't work to eliminate the possibility that the switches are bad (or need cleaning). For the scoring problem, I'd look at the 100 point score reel. I believe there are a set of contacts on the reel when the reel is on 9 that enables the next reel (1000's).

#41 80 days ago

Left and right outer lane rollovers are controlled by the alternating relay. It is seen in the schematic at 24D. The circuit gets a bit confusing as you follow it up on the schematic. The 6 volts lamps for each are also controlled by the Alt Relay on the bottom left of that relay. Right outer lane lamp is green conductor, left outer lane is Brown-Yellow. However, for these lamps to work, the "Extra Ball" relay must be closed.

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#42 80 days ago

Thanks for the help n suggestions. Will be Wed at earliest before I can look at it again. Will let you know what I find. Thanks again.

#43 78 days ago

Well, had a couple of hours to go at it again tonight. Cleaned contacts in all score reels, checked to make sure gaps correct, pulled out each reel, and completely cleaned the reels and metal parts, and removed rust and corrosion from brackets that hold reels. On first player thousands now roll over correctly as hundreds pass 900. And for some unknown reason outlanes are working too. Yea. Second player not so lucky, as thousands roll from one number to the next correctly based on hundreds position, but ten thousands roll over randomly with thousands. Will tackle that another day. So progress, and thanks again for suggestions and help.

1 month later
#44 47 days ago

Going to mark this post as solved. Most of problems resolved, still have melted white brown wire, but used shrink tube so re-insulate it. Still have couple scoring and extra ball problems, but will start a new thread if can't figure those out.

Thanks again for all the help.

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