(Topic ID: 188876)

hot flipper coil

By ryanp

2 years ago

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  • 5 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by brianj619
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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hot flipper coil lwr (resized).jpg

#1 2 years ago

Hi everyone! Recently got my first machine -- a blackwater 100. Fun game! It has 5 flippers- 2 main, 2 upper, and 1 down at the bottom, backwards. Played it for about an hour and suddenly went from 5 flippers to 2. First, the upper left flipper got stuck in the up position and I pushed it back down with my hand (and it stayed down). The upper flipper and that backward lower flipper no longer responded. Then the left main flipper stopped responding shortly thereafter.

I've never looked under a pinball machine field before. I pulled up the play field and the secondary end of stroke switch on the main left flipper (the one that triggers the next flipper) had a completely melted plastic spacer. So the flipper would open the eos switch, but due to no spacer the secondary eos switch would not close because nothing was pushing against it. That would cause the 2nd and 3rd flipper to stop, but why the main flipper? Because the eos switch would open and the metal would get caught on the melted plastic blob, keeping it open, and preventing the flipper from firing more than once. Replacing the secondary eos switch with a fresh one fixed it since there was nothing to get caught on. During installation I left the new switch unconnected to the next flipper so I could verify the flipper worked as expected. Seems ok..

melted (resized).jpg

Ok so we're up to 3/5 flippers. I turned my attention to the 2nd flipper--this is the top upper flipper. The paper around the coil was dark. The flipper plunger would not move freely in and out of the coil. I guess the plastic sleeve on the inside melted and so when the flipper was stuck up, it was because it was physically stuck in there. I replaced the coil and sleeve. The plunger could now move freely. I reattached the main flipper's secondary eos switch to this newly-rebuilt flipper and my flipper count went back to 5. I did not dare hit that flipper button more than a few times to verify everything's connected--there is still the problem of why it overheated and melted everything.

I used an infrared thermometer to track the temperature of the coil. When I used the flipper, and especially when I held it down, the new flipper coil would build temperature. Whereas a working flipper stayed a cool 60 degrees no matter how much I hit or held the button, this coil got up to 160 degrees after a few minutes of button mashing before I shut off the machine. I also heard a decent buzz that I didn't hear on the right side. I compared the wiring of the coil to the others on the table (there was a wide selection for comparison--remember the bit about there being 5?) and determined that it was wired backward. The bundle of 3 wires was going into the center, whereas on all other flippers it was going to the banded-diode side. So I swapped it. Unofficially, I would say the temperature now rises less quickly (I played a few balls and the temp was 90 when I shut it off). But it does rise still. And there is no more loud buzzing, but I feel like still a soft buzzing. What is my next thing to check?

fried (resized).jpg

#2 2 years ago

Usually when a flip coil overheats it's because the pull winding is left powered by a problematic EOS switch. In your first pic, the two opposite switch blades were shorting against each other that could have supplied power to the pull winding erroneously.

hot flipper coil lwr (resized).jpg

In the second pic the coil is only lightly toasted, not burned. If left unattended, an overheating flip coil will char the wrapper black. I assume the 2nd switch on the 2nd flipper feeds the 5th?

#3 2 years ago

Yes, the 2nd switch on the 2nd flipper feeds the last one. Here is the current state of affairs.

The secondary eos switch on the main flipper is new:

The upper flipper has a new coil and sleeve:

#4 2 years ago

After a couple days of using it, it definitely seems better. Had a couple sessions yesterday and today with kids mashing the buttons for a half hour or so each day and the "fixed" coil was at 90 degrees, and I measured another good coil on the machine and got 80. I don't know what numbers to expect. For now I'll keep testing it until something more concrete comes up.

To sum up if anyone hits an overheating coil - check the wiring on the coil.

1 month later
#5 2 years ago

Hey RyanP, I'm getting an error message with this game when I power it on. I couldn't figure out what the trouble code meant when I was working on it. I don't have the machine in front of me right now and I don't even remember what the trouble code was but I'm assuming it can be referenced in the instruction manual. I'm hoping that you have the manual for your machine because mine didn't come with one and I don't think I can get a replacement from Bally Midway since they no longer exist. If you do have the manual, can you please upload it to this site? Thanks!

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