(Topic ID: 34583)

Hook blows main fuse in house

By dgasek

8 years ago

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  • 46 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Koos
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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  • Hook Data East, 1992

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#1 8 years ago


I have problem with my DataEast Hook. It blows main fuse in house (not inside pinball). It happens when I switching on the game.
I don't know what could cause such behaviour. The day before I switched off the machine and left disconnected from electricity.

Thanks for help.

#2 8 years ago

By main fuse, i'm guessing you mean circuit breaker, correct?
The main to us electricians is the one that controls the entire panel.

You have what we call a dead short.
Simply put, somewhere along the line the ground or neutral is coming in contact with the hot wire.

Start by disconnecting the cord inside the machine and testing for continuity between any of the conductors, there should be none.

There shouldn't be any instance where the ground has continuity with the

Edit: after a quick look at my high speed (my only pin and the only one i'm familiar with), i'd first disconnect the plug going to the transformer, then try turning it on.
If it works, you know the transformer or later is the problem, if it doesn't look through the cord and line voltage side.

#3 8 years ago

does the power cord have a ground on it?

#5 8 years ago

You probably have to re-wire the entire house.

#6 8 years ago

Before you start digging into the game...please answer a few questions:

Are there a bunch of other devices on the same circuit? Is it possible the circuit is just overloaded?

Is this a new game (new to you)? Did it ever work?

Unplug the game and test the outlet as well as the rest of the circuit. Make sure the outlet and the rest of the circuit is sound. Check for ground fault with a tester (pick one up...they're just a few bucks).


If there's a short... I don't like the fact that the fuse in the machine does not pop. That could indicate something wonky (technical term) in the power supply, transformer and/or main fusing (like shove a leg bolt across the fuse holder).

Stay safe...

#7 8 years ago

Yes , I mean circuit breaker.
Yes , on this circuit are another devices , but this is 16A braker , so I think this is not a problem.
No , machine isn't new, on the same circuit the machine was started many times without problems.

Re-wire house -- this is good
Happily I have eighteen circuits in a hause so one can be changed - I can exchange the braker for slower.

I will read article you send me , and check connection.

Many thanks for help


#8 8 years ago

A 16 amp breaker ??? You mean 15 amp?
You said "Main Fuse" - that would be about 100AMPS or more
(you said you had 18 circuits, so could be 150 amps, or 200 amps)
Did you really blow the main fuse? If so, you have major problems.

There is normally a fuse inside the cabinet that should blow before
the circuit breaker for that circuit (it should be less than 15amps)

Note on above - continuity.

You should have no continuity between the different blades of the plug with
the power to the machine OFF.

When you turn the switch ON, the power cord will be connected to
the transformer, so there should be some continuity (If it is 0 ohms, you
have a dead short after the switch - hot wire touching to neutral or ground)

#9 8 years ago


There is eighteen circuits - each with 10,16 or 25 amps (in Poland there is no 15 amps brakers).

And one of them blows when I turn on the machine. So , I said wrong - not a main which is 32amp.

Do you know what is a power consumption of pinball machine ?


#10 8 years ago

So , I checked the machine and when I turn on the switch there is short on plug. So , I disconneted transformer and there is no short on plug but there is no short on two transformer pins too. I don't understand this

Ok, checked once more . When I disconnected plug between PS and transformer , the short disappear on both sides. But in plug on PS side there is bridge between two pins . When I connect this two pins on transformer side , the short appears on transformer.

Any idea ?

#11 8 years ago

what I would try next is pulling the plug from the wall.
Short the blades together (3 if grounded, 2 if not)

disconnect from the transformer.

Check the pins/plug on the wire for shorts with the switch on
and with the switch off.

Unshort the blades of the plug, and check the pins/plug for shorts
with the switch on and off.

Once you post the results (for the 4 tests)
I will give other things to check.

#12 8 years ago


With the blades connected together on plug side
- swich off -- no short
- switch on -- short

with blades disconnected :

- switch off -- no short
-- switch on -- no short

Short is only when I connect PS with transformer

#13 8 years ago

Below picture : on right plug from PS side , on left plug from transformer.
Short is on transformer side only when plugs are connected or when we make bridge which is visible on bottom right (blac wire).


#14 8 years ago

One of your transformer's secondary windings may be shorted. Unplug the game. Line up the pins on the power supply connector with the corresponding pair on the transformer connector. Put your multimeter on resistance test, connect the probes to each respective pin on the transformer connector, and post what it reads.

#15 8 years ago


If its blowing the house circuit, it is probably the primary winding
(where the mains voltage goes). It could also be a problem
with the primary/secondary shorting together.

Put your ohmmeters probes into the back of the PS connector.
You should see some resistance, but not 0.

While watching the meter, start attaching the plug.

When meter reads 0 stop, and see if you see something "different".
Also try the same thing with the probes in the back of the
power connector (pins that go to PS - looks like the top orange/white and the bottom orange)

#16 8 years ago

It's not the primary winding. Otherwise it would trip the breaker as soon as it's turned on, regardless of whether the power supply is connected on the secondary side or not. But still, holy crap. That's a lot of current for a secondary short.

#17 8 years ago

I must have misunderstood what the problem is then.

I thought the problem was that the house circuit blew when
the machine was powered on and the power was connected
to the transformer.

#18 8 years ago

This is my foult , you think correctly - I mistake some thing .

It trips the braker as soon as it's turned on.

Maybe I named wrong PS . Talking PS I meant this metal box with power switch. I did check anything at secondary side. All my measurements was done on primary side (230V).

Everything from wall plug to the right connector on a picture looks ok (resistance about 0.5 Mohm).

And now when I checking two pins on primary side (those where 230V is connected ) is ok (no short), but when I make bridge (black cable at bottom right) short on primary side pins appears.

#19 8 years ago

Can you post a schematic of the machine power supply?
And please mark/describe where the connectors are you are playing with.

#21 8 years ago

I mark on red pins where is short. When pins 3 and 9 are disconnected , there is no short .
So if there are two coils on primary side , one is broken - am I right ? I don't know how this transformer is built . Is this repairable ?


#22 8 years ago

Thanks FAZ

You are using 220?

I am looking at the schematic on page 44 (Power Wiring Diagram)

It looks like you should have a 4A fuse at IF1 OR 1F1

Was this game working before - Did anyone mess with the connectors?

Does the service outlet work when the power switch is OFF?

#23 8 years ago

*Attachment changed to PNG)
Thanks FAZ

You are using 220?

I am looking at the schematic on page 44 (Power Wiring Diagram)

It looks like you should have a 4A fuse at IF1 OR 1F1

Was this game working before - Did anyone mess with the connectors?

Does the service outlet work when the power switch is OFF?


#24 8 years ago

This game work before. One day I powered it off , and next day couldn't power on.
No one changed nothing. Yes , I am using 230V.

#25 8 years ago

Check the connectors to make sure the pins are in securely, and look
for any signs of heat (blackening, warping)

#26 8 years ago
Quoted from dgasek:

This game work before. One day I powered it off , and next day couldn't power on.
No one changed nothing. Yes , I am using 230V

Could you have lost ground? Gottlieb has terrible history with ground issues...don't know about DE.

#27 8 years ago

Game is set for 230VAC

Game was working fine.

Game now blows circuit breaker when switched on, not when plugged into the outlet.

Varistor or Filter is not shorted otherwise there would be a problem when the machine was plugged in with power switch off.

Power Switch could be shorted. I would examine and check the switch to make sure it isn't causing a short.

Measuring the resistance between the black and white wires going to 1 and 7 you see a short.
3 and 9 are supposed to be connected for 230VAC operation.

Measuring without the 3 to 9 connection opens the primary circuit, so with the machine UN-plugged, the 3 to 9 connection OPEN and power switch ON, measure the resistance of the black and white wires 1-7. If you see a short now, the power switch is the problem.

A short would be 0 ohms.

If your primary winding setup for 230VAC is shorted, transformer repair is possible, however the cost of repair most likely exceeds the transformer replacement cost. The solution is to find a used or new transformer.

I hope it is the power switch. The transformer is one of the most reliable components in the machine.

#28 8 years ago

Is it possible it happen becuse I switch off machine without finishing game ? (I had to leave, one ball is left in hole on playfield).

#29 8 years ago

Please look at picture below - it looks someone before me connected pins in wrong place. Power is connected between pins 1 and 4 , so it means is connected for 206V . Am I right ?


#30 8 years ago
Quoted from dgasek:

Please look at picture below - it looks someone before me connected pins in wrong place. Power is connected between pins 4 and 7 , so it means is connected for 206V . Am I right ?

You said it was working before so why would you suspect these pins are "connected in the wrong place"?...unless someone else has just been working on your machine there is no reason to suspect anything was changed. You are likely hunting for a component failure. Start with disconnecting the transformer and making sure the turning on the switch does not trip the breaker. If it doesn't the problem will be further upstream. Divide and conquer.

#31 8 years ago

Ntc installed??

#32 8 years ago

Yes it was working but on higher voltage - this is 10% more , I remember that feel some strange smell , but I thought this is some dust (the machine was not used for some time).
With transformer disconnected switch does not trip the braker.

#33 8 years ago

No, it doesn't matter if you turned the game off when a game hasn't finished. This will not cause a problem.

If you are counting the pins correctly you are power optioned for 218VAC.

On the transformer, what is the resistance between input lugs 1 and 4. Transformer plug must be connected so that the 3-9 strap is in place.

#34 8 years ago

Resistance between 1 and 4 is about 1 ohm (1.3 on multimeter)

#35 8 years ago

Less than 1 ohm will cause problems

If this is on the input side, you have problems

Amps=Volts/Ohms Amps=218/1 = 218 AMPS
1/2 ohm = 436 AMPS

Is this connected to the transformer, Switch On?

The more info we have, the easier it is to isolate the problem

#36 8 years ago

I checked resistances between all ends of transformer circuits 1-9 , 3-7 , 1-6 , 6-9 , 3-4 , 4-7 - are less than 1 ohm . It looks like complete short

On secondary side resistances are different on all circuits, for example 2.4 , 4.5 ohm.

In my opinion primary side is failed . Do you now if on the primary side is some thermal protection ? Maybe it is failed ?

#37 8 years ago

No thermal protection.

Examining the transformer - sniff test -- does the transformer have an burning type smell.
Do you see leakage or other evidence of overheating?

Make sure you set the voltage option plug for 230VAC before you forget.

I would look for a replacement transformer.

#38 8 years ago

I almost for forgot. You need to check your line fuse. This fuse should be blowing before you trip your circuit breaker. For your home voltage this fuse should be a 4A slow blow fuse, not 8A slow blow.

#39 8 years ago

Thanks for help . I will change option plug. When I remove transformer I will check if it was overheated.

I think someone in Poland will repair my transformer.

Fuse didn't blow - I will check its value.


#40 8 years ago

I checked everything once more , removed transformer (no signes of overheating), so I mount everything.
I connected the machine to another circuit (bigger braker , and no other devices connected) and....... IT works Sometimes simplest solutions are best.

So , if it works , I changed pins on 230V and with this it doesn't work . I back to 206v connection. Maybe there was reason it is connected like this. I don't know history of this machine .

So , now I can diagnose why my DMD doesn't work and why I don't get new ball , after it goes to hole (it looks like the coil cannot move arm).

Once again , thanks All for help

#41 8 years ago

I don't understand the readings from the primary windings on your transformer. Perhaps some windings are failed and that is why the game is set for 206. I would be suspicious of this machine
from the possible dangers of the game starting a fire.

Did you check the the main game fuse?

Check the voltages at the test points on your boards. Starting with the power to the DMD.

Your original post indicated the the machine worked on the original 16A circuit without problems. Then after some time there was a problem and that you hadn't changed anything.

Your solution could be dangerous.

#42 8 years ago

there is a reason your first circuit breaker blew!

Do you have anything else plugged in to the first circuit?
If you do, unplug everything else and try the pin on that circuit.
If it doesn't blow, you are probably just drawing too many amps
for that circuit, in which case moving to a different circuit shouldn't
be a problem.

If nothing else is on that circuit, it could be a weak breaker. Try replacing the breaker.
If you call an electrician, he can check the breaker, and
measure the amps your pin is taking, and how much current
you draw on that circuit.

#43 8 years ago


I don't understand readings from primary side too. From them it looks like nothing should work, even on 206v.

As someone said , on start pinball can generate some high load. On the same braker in my basement I have connected water heater . It has thermal switch , so not always is on and this is why my pinball worked on 16A braker.
I think to everything work ok , there should be braker C16 (now is B16).

Since it work (now) , I try find solution for other things. I know that there is no high voltage on my DMD and F7 fuse is failed - this is easy to replace .

1 week later
#44 8 years ago

When I first got my T2, it would occasionally trip the break when being turned on. One of my many searches talked about the purpose of the thermistor so I opened it up and there was no thermistor on my machine. After installing it, I had no issues with a breaker tripping.

4 years later
#45 4 years ago

From what I hear this problem happens more in Europe than in the USA. I have no idea if this is because of the 110/220V difference, or because of the type of breaker/electrical wiring used.

This problem is caused because when you switch on the game, the transformer (and other parts of the game) suddenly require a lot of electricity. It causes a sudden load, the main breaker of your house thinks there's a short somewhere in the circuit and resets. Bam - your whole house is without electricity..
There's also a reason why it doesn't happen all the time. AC is a wave which goes up and down, 50 (or 60, depending on what part of the world you're in) times a second. When you switch the game on while the wave is at the bottom, you usually have enough margin so the breaker doesn't act, switch on the pinball machine while the wave is at the top and the circuit gets overloaded.

There are two solutions for this. The first is a workaround - you can add more resistance to the wiring (so the main breaker becomes slower to react), try to plug in your pinball machine in a long extension cord instead of directly into the wall. The extension cord can help solve your problem.

The correct way to solve the problem is to install an NTC. NTC stands for Negative Temperature Coefficient, another word for it is thermistor. It's a resistor that changes its value with its temperature. It's job is to limit the inrush of current when you turn on the machine.
Turn on the pinball machine and the thermistor will limit the inrush of current because of its resistance. Once the machine is on, the resistance of the NTC lowers, not influencing the circuit anymore.

Source: http://www.flippers.be/basics/101_sys11_house_fuse_trips.html

#46 4 years ago

Yep! The NTC resistor (thermistor) did the trick!
Hopefully this is helpful for other people in the future as well.

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