(Topic ID: 294238)

I have done something to my Williams Strato-flite.

By blibb

21 days ago


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  • Latest reply 9 days ago by baldtwit
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#1 21 days ago

Hi Pinside!

I bought a project Strato-flite a few weeks ago. The game had been up and running, but with problems. The game would start, and play the first ball, but never advance. I found lots of help for what could be causing the problem. The first was a gummed player stepper in the back box. I cleaned and got that working. That didn't have an effect on advancing the ball though. I checked the action on the ball stepper. It seemed okay. One of the fingers was bent off the copper so I did my best to repair that. Then I checked over all the relays. They seemed okay. Adjusted a couple but very minor adjustments. Then I remember something happening on the coin door where suddenly the game seemed to be endlessly producing credits. I checked all the contacts on the coin mech and again made some adjustments and the endless credits seemed to stop. That's around the last time I remember the game behaving like a game. I may have cleaned the jones plugs somewhere in there too, and removed and inspect the fuses.

Here is where it gets weird.

When you power up my game now, everything produces a credit.

You don't have to start the game. Press a flipper. Credit. Touch a target. Credit.
I've checked, and the game over relay seems to be working correctly.
However there is still power going to the flippers and if I touch anything that scores points on the table. A credit.
If I start the game, the game goes through it's proper start-up. The relays fire. The steppers reset. The ball is ejected. However no playfield lights come on, and nothing scores. Everything just activates a credit +1.

I've been checking relays, messing with the credit reel, examining the coin door. I cannot figure out what I've done.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anyone want to give a noob a helping hand diagnosing this weirdness?

Thank you for anything

Evan

#2 21 days ago

for the lights, is the lock relay powering and staying powered and the tilt relay is not powering?

to narrow down the credits, pull out the play adjust plug or stick it in the extra ball position (so the game doesn't award replays). If still having credits added, is the 25 cent or 10 cent relays powered? If not, are switches with grey and grey/white wires on the blades of either of those relays stuck closed.

just in case, verify the plugs are all in correctly.

-2
#3 21 days ago

Ok, I apologize in advance, but the first image that came to me was a dude with a hole drilled in the side of his game, standing there with his pants down.

Maybe Britany Spears "Oops I Did It Again" playing in the background.

#4 21 days ago

jones plugs crossed or misaligned?

#5 20 days ago

I also vote for jones plug mis-connected.

#6 20 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

for the lights, is the lock relay powering and staying powered and the tilt relay is not powering?
to narrow down the credits, pull out the play adjust plug or stick it in the extra ball position (so the game doesn't award replays). If still having credits added, is the 25 cent or 10 cent relays powered? If not, are switches with grey and grey/white wires on the blades of either of those relays stuck closed.
just in case, verify the plugs are all in correctly.

The lock relay is still.

I will take out the jones plugs and see if that's the problem.

If not, I'll try your suggestions.

Thank you very much!

#7 20 days ago
Quoted from pinzrfun:

Ok, I apologize in advance, but the first image that came to me was a dude with a hole drilled in the side of his game, standing there with his pants down.
Maybe Britany Spears "Oops I Did It Again" playing in the background.

Well, if I can't get it working. You've given me an idea.

#8 20 days ago
Quoted from AndrewP:

I also vote for jones plug mis-connected.

Thanks TwinDavid, AndrewP. I'll take them out, and see if I messed up.

#9 20 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

for the lights, is the lock relay powering and staying powered and the tilt relay is not powering?
to narrow down the credits, pull out the play adjust plug or stick it in the extra ball position (so the game doesn't award replays). If still having credits added, is the 25 cent or 10 cent relays powered? If not, are switches with grey and grey/white wires on the blades of either of those relays stuck closed.
just in case, verify the plugs are all in correctly.

The play adjust pin was in the extra ball position. I moved it to the free game position and the flippers scoring a credit went away. The flippers are now dead. The game starts, but the flippers don't fire at all.

I can also verify that the lock relay is not firing at all, never mind staying energized.

I took out all the jones plugs and put them back carefully, and the game behaves the same.

I did notice that the extra ball relay is firing when you touch a flipper or something on the playfield.

I haven't looked at the 25 cent or 10 cent relays yet. I'll do that next.

Thank you for your help.

If movies or images of any of these things would help, please just ask.

EDIT: The 10c and 25c relays look okay. The very last relay (next to the 10c) is junk. Almost no action, looks like some blades are contacting. I tried to adjust them a bit, but no change. I also noticed there was a bit of solder at the base of one of the blades, of the 10c relay, but again. Not from me. Didn't seem to be causing a problem before.

#10 20 days ago
Quoted from blibb:

I can also verify that the lock relay is not firing at all, never mind staying energized.

I am incorrect about that. The lock relay is energizing when the machine is switched on.

#11 20 days ago

I unplugged and re-plugged the jones plugs again. Same problems. I'm pretty sure they are in correctly. The only doubt I might have is that one of the connections has gone bad with being messed with, but everything else on the game seems like it's working okay. The backboard lights and playfield lights are all working. The lights that are not working are the game lights, like the bonus light. The startup sequence seems fine. All the relays seem to be firing in order and the ball is ejected. Nothing scores on the table though. Everything touched gives free games, and using the flippers does the same. The free ball on the table lights up in time with the flippers as does the back glass free ball light and the free ball relay fires with the flippers. If I change the game mode from free ball to credit, the latter stops happening, but the flippers and the playfield are dead.

I'm dumbfounded.

#12 20 days ago

Good to know the lock relay is on.

I was wondering whether you put the plugs in the wrong receptacles (jones plug A in socket B, and vice versa). This would be the simplest answer why playfield lights are out and the flipper switch scores a replay.

Now you should download the schematic from IPDB. As noted above, if you originally had an issue with the coin switch, check the 10 and 25 cent relays. From the schematic they’re clearly within your path.

#13 20 days ago

if the extra ball relay is powering when you close various playfield switches, sounds like you've got an issue with the red power wire.

got a voltmeter? If yes, stick a probe on the yellow wire on the transformer and the other on the black wire on any handy coil that has it. Got 24VAC?

if yes, with the game reset, move the probe to the red wire on a flipper coil. You should still have 24VAC. If not, check the game over relay, reset relay, tilt relay switches and plug connections as the black wire chanes to blu-y-w-1, r-y-w and finally the red wire (circuit is on the top of the schem ... follow the black wire from the 15A fuse).

you symptom implies you've lost the power someplace but are completing circuits via segments of the disconnected power wire. i.e. circuit path goes thru a couple coils and loops around until it finally gets back to a power wire thru another coil.

in your case, the circuit path is going thru the EB relay coil, so it's always powering.

if you want an quick sanity check, jumper the black wire from the transformer onto the red wire on the flippers after the game is reset and see if the flipper works and the EB relay stops powering. If it does, you'll have to hunt down the break in the power wire daisy chain.

#14 19 days ago

Back to the Jones plugs...if two were swapped into the wrong places is the easiest answer to the problem. Check the wiring colors at the Jones plugs - only takes a few seconds.

THE WIRE COLOR GOING IN SHOULD BE THE SAME AS THE COLOR GOING OUT...if a blue/green (for example) wire goes in on the male plug, does a blue/green come out on the female side? Check a few. If not, does the right pattern exist on another plug?

#15 19 days ago
Quoted from hjh632:

Back to the Jones plugs...if two were swapped into the wrong places is the easiest answer to the problem. Check the wiring colors at the Jones plugs - only takes a few seconds.
THE WIRE COLOR GOING IN SHOULD BE THE SAME AS THE COLOR GOING OUT...if a blue/green (for example) wire goes in on the male plug, does a blue/green come out on the female side? Check a few. If not, does the right pattern exist on another plug?

The Strato-flite jones plugs are 24,20,16, and 12 pin. Your color matching technique mostly works, but there are a couple of reds at the end of the 20 pin that correspond to whites or something that has faded. I'm not saying it isn't a jones plug issue. If it is, it is likely that I've broken a connection that I just haven't seen yet.

Thank you for the color matching tip. I have other machines, and I'm sure I'll use that in the future.

#16 19 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

if the extra ball relay is powering when you close various playfield switches, sounds like you've got an issue with the red power wire.
got a voltmeter? If yes, stick a probe on the yellow wire on the transformer and the other on the black wire on any handy coil that has it. Got 24VAC?
if yes, with the game reset, move the probe to the red wire on a flipper coil. You should still have 24VAC. If not, check the game over relay, reset relay, tilt relay switches and plug connections as the black wire chanes to blu-y-w-1, r-y-w and finally the red wire (circuit is on the top of the schem ... follow the black wire from the 15A fuse).
you symptom implies you've lost the power someplace but are completing circuits via segments of the disconnected power wire. i.e. circuit path goes thru a couple coils and loops around until it finally gets back to a power wire thru another coil.
in your case, the circuit path is going thru the EB relay coil, so it's always powering.
if you want an quick sanity check, jumper the black wire from the transformer onto the red wire on the flippers after the game is reset and see if the flipper works and the EB relay stops powering. If it does, you'll have to hunt down the break in the power wire daisy chain.

I do have a multimeter. I've used it to test fuses. lol.
I think I'm going to watch a few videos on using one before attempting to touch live wires.

I'm going to do my best to digest the advice you've given me.
Thank you very much for helping me.

Evan

#17 19 days ago
Quoted from AndrewP:

Good to know the lock relay is on.
I was wondering whether you put the plugs in the wrong receptacles (jones plug A in socket B, and vice versa). This would be the simplest answer why playfield lights are out and the flipper switch scores a replay.
Now you should download the schematic from IPDB. As noted above, if you originally had an issue with the coin switch, check the 10 and 25 cent relays. From the schematic they’re clearly within your path.

Okay. Thank you.

Does anybody know what that last relay is? The one after 10c. Mine isn't labeled, and the action on it is extremely limited. I don't think I had touched it, so it's unlikely the culprit. It doesn't seem like it's worked for a while.

#18 19 days ago
Quoted from blibb:

Does anybody know what that last relay is?

Can you recognize it from the switch configuration and wire colors in the relay list in the manual?
https://www.ipdb.org/files/2398/Williams_1974_Strato_Flite_Manual.pdf

#19 19 days ago
Quoted from HowardR:

Can you recognize it from the switch configuration and wire colors in the relay list in the manual?
https://www.ipdb.org/files/2398/Williams_1974_Strato_Flite_Manual.pdf

No. I checked the manual and schematics. Visually they seem to indicate the 10c relay is at the top of the board, but I have one relay above that, and it's broken. Even more so now that I've been at it.

I'm sure if one understand these things better, it's apparent.

#20 18 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

if the extra ball relay is powering when you close various playfield switches, sounds like you've got an issue with the red power wire.
got a voltmeter? If yes, stick a probe on the yellow wire on the transformer and the other on the black wire on any handy coil that has it. Got 24VAC?
if yes, with the game reset, move the probe to the red wire on a flipper coil. You should still have 24VAC. If not, check the game over relay, reset relay, tilt relay switches and plug connections as the black wire chanes to blu-y-w-1, r-y-w and finally the red wire (circuit is on the top of the schem ... follow the black wire from the 15A fuse).
you symptom implies you've lost the power someplace but are completing circuits via segments of the disconnected power wire. i.e. circuit path goes thru a couple coils and loops around until it finally gets back to a power wire thru another coil.
in your case, the circuit path is going thru the EB relay coil, so it's always powering.
if you want an quick sanity check, jumper the black wire from the transformer onto the red wire on the flippers after the game is reset and see if the flipper works and the EB relay stops powering. If it does, you'll have to hunt down the break in the power wire daisy chain.

Hi baldtwit,

The 10c and 25c relay are linked to a third relay. Page one of the stratoflite manual has coin setup relay next to them.
I think on the schematic it has a 5c relay next to them. Mine isn't labeled, but it is the last relay on the board. It seems logical if you're telling me to look for something on the 10c or 25c relays, and I have totally broken relay attached to those two, that might be the problem. Strange thing is until I came to Pinside, I hadn't touched that relay at all.

I tried messing with the action of the relay yesterday, and just ended up doing more damage to it. Not sure if you can see from the pic but the leaves are bent like crazy now from me trying to adjust it.

Starting to feel in over my head. Suggestions anyone?

In such a case do you buy a new relay, or is this something that can be reconditioned if removed?

I'm sorry if these questions seem beyond basic.

0 (resized).jpg
#21 18 days ago

are the long blades poking thru slots in the white plastic lifter attached to the armature? (armature is the metal plate that gets pulled down onto the coil top when the coil is powered)

I'm going to the pacific pinball museum warehouse tomorrow and their list says they have a strato-flite parts body. I'll get some pics if those pieces are there.

wires outside a wiring harness are usually suspicious. When a label has fallen off a relay, you normally do what howard said in post 18 and/or look at the schem to see what wire color is on the coil. If the wire on the coil is a going to a switch on the same relay, you may need to look at the wire color on the switch blade (the wire from the switch to the coil lug is a jumper wire with meaningless color).

it was pretty common for the games to leave the factory without all the possible coin related pieces installed. They had the wiring harness and/or terminal strip sitting there and the operator could add a relay/alternator unit if they needed to.

I'd guess your main problem is on the playfield or playfield plugs, and the adding of credits was a side effect. However, the extra ball vs replay adjust plug does interact with the circuits you are having issues with, so the problem could be elsewhere. Did you pull out that plug and see what happens when it's disconnected from the socket?

#22 18 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

are the long blades poking thru slots in the white plastic lifter attached to the armature? (armature is the metal plate that gets pulled down onto the coil top when the coil is powered)
I'm going to the pacific pinball museum warehouse tomorrow and their list says they have a strato-flite parts body. I'll get some pics if those pieces are there.
wires outside a wiring harness are usually suspicious. When a label has fallen off a relay, you normally do what howard said in post 18 and/or look at the schem to see what wire color is on the coil. If the wire on the coil is a going to a switch on the same relay, you may need to look at the wire color on the switch blade (the wire from the switch to the coil lug is a jumper wire with meaningless color).
it was pretty common for the games to leave the factory without all the possible coin related pieces installed. They had the wiring harness and/or terminal strip sitting there and the operator could add a relay/alternator unit if they needed to.
I'd guess your main problem is on the playfield or playfield plugs, and the adding of credits was a side effect. However, the extra ball vs replay adjust plug does interact with the circuits you are having issues with, so the problem could be elsewhere. Did you pull out that plug and see what happens when it's disconnected from the socket?

Yes, pulling out the plug resulted in the same action as the plug in the credit receptacle. No power to flippers or playfield. Startup sequence completes. Ball ejected.

The relay in the picture has the blades pulled from the lifter. That happened while I was trying to get some action from the relay. The relay is locked at the moment. I may have to rebuild or buy a replacement if it's critical.

Thank you again.

#23 17 days ago

the end relay is the "coin set up relay". It's on the schem at ... nowhere.

it's in the manual on page 1 tho, and if you aren't worried about number of plays/coin and the various coin denominations, it doesn't matter.

you want the SPST switch (the one with just two blades) to be open so the coil isn't powering unnecessarily, but otherwise if it doesn't work it won't matter assuming you aren't jumpered for "1 coin 1 play, 2 coins 3 plays" mode

below is a picture of where I'd put a jumper to see what happens ... assuming the relay at the lower end of the jumper is attached to is the tilt relay. Labels fell off in the parts machine also. What that is doing is connecting the red power wire going to the playfield directly to the black power wire coming from the fuse. Jumpers around some switches and a plug connection.

if having the jumper on makes the flippers work, take a good look at the tilt relay switch the jumper is attached to ... the jumper is on a double red wire. Note that one wire segment looks red, the other looks grey/white/something. Either they substituted a piece of wire due to shortage of red wire, or one piece came from a good dye batch and the other came from a bad dye batch.

if jumpering like that doesn't fix the flipper/playfield switch issue, your problem is either in the plug connection or the red wire is broken someplace on the playfield. You can move the jumper end from the tilt relay switch to the red wires on a flipper coil. The red wires on the flipper coil probably look white/grey/something also ... they are on an end lug with no gray plastic wires going to the EOS switch attached.

if you remove the jumper and stick your voltmeter probes on the two places the jumper is, you should get 24VAC

strato-flite jumper test (resized).jpg
#24 16 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

the end relay is the "coin set up relay". It's on the schem at ... nowhere.
it's in the manual on page 1 tho, and if you aren't worried about number of plays/coin and the various coin denominations, it doesn't matter.
you want the SPST switch (the one with just two blades) to be open so the coil isn't powering unnecessarily, but otherwise if it doesn't work it won't matter assuming you aren't jumpered for "1 coin 1 play, 2 coins 3 plays" mode
below is a picture of where I'd put a jumper to see what happens ... assuming the relay at the lower end of the jumper is attached to is the tilt relay. Labels fell off in the parts machine also. What that is doing is connecting the red power wire going to the playfield directly to the black power wire coming from the fuse. Jumpers around some switches and a plug connection.
if having the jumper on makes the flippers work, take a good look at the tilt relay switch the jumper is attached to ... the jumper is on a double red wire. Note that one wire segment looks red, the other looks grey/white/something. Either they substituted a piece of wire due to shortage of red wire, or one piece came from a good dye batch and the other came from a bad dye batch.
if jumpering like that doesn't fix the flipper/playfield switch issue, your problem is either in the plug connection or the red wire is broken someplace on the playfield. You can move the jumper end from the tilt relay switch to the red wires on a flipper coil. The red wires on the flipper coil probably look white/grey/something also ... they are on an end lug with no gray plastic wires going to the EOS switch attached.
if you remove the jumper and stick your voltmeter probes on the two places the jumper is, you should get 24VAC
[quoted image]

Thank you so much! This is exactly the kind of help I can follow.
I've ordered jumpers from Amazon. It'll probably be a couple of days till they get here.
I really appreciate you taking your time for me.

I managed to get the blades from the coin set up relay back into the bracket, and I'll just leave that alone now.

I think I'll also look at the fuse I removed and tested. Seemed like a no brainer, but it was something I monkeyed around with around the time the game stopped working.

Talk soon.

Evan

#25 16 days ago

the usual problem with the fuses is the clips holding the fuse crack/break. When you have a fuse out, squeeze each clip to bend the ears in a little so it clamps the fuse well.

if an ear breaks, it wasn't reliable anyway and you just replace the fuse holder/block. If you can find them cheaply enough, things like omni-bloks are nice since you can snap off as many as you need, but most flipper machines don't have lot of fuses mounted in one block so individual holders work fine.

the entire 24VAC circuit is on a single 15A fuse. If anything works besides lamps, the fuse is ok. Strato-flite does have a separate fuse for kickers and pop bumpers since those are running on DC, but it still comes from the 24VAC power rails.

do the yellow / black / red / R-Y-W wires on the schematic make sense to you - the ones written with the bigger letters? Or the transformer and how the power works in the game?

#26 16 days ago

The only thing the game seems to be missing is an energized playfield and scoring. The ball ejects, the steppers reset, the cosmetic lights both playfield and back glass are lit up. I do have the playfield stripped at the moment except the pop bumpers and lightbulbs. I can't imagine that having any effect. The dmm says the fuses and brackets are okay.

I have a very basic understanding of electricity, and never learned to read schematics.

I will try my best, to learn quickly.

Tonight I'm going to enlist the aid of my wife, and make a video showing you the state of the machine. I'll try to go over the history of what I did to it and how it was/wasn't/isn't working. I'll try to get in close so you can see the state of some of the relays, the door switches, as much as possible.

#27 16 days ago

no worries ... it's a learning process. Recommend when people make suggestions you look at the schematic and try to make sense of what they are saying.

these sites have some good stuff:

https://www.funwithpinball.com/
http://www.pinrepair.com/

I'm sure there's more I don't know about or remember.

if you get stuck, ask and don't be concerned about questions being too basic.

#28 16 days ago

On the front of the motor board there is a jones plug connector that has various positions for selecting different coins per credit options. After having a similar issue resulting in dead flippers on a williams 4 game that was the result of a broken jones plug at this position, it might be worth making sure this plug is secure/clean.

#29 15 days ago
Quoted from bonzo71:

On the front of the motor board there is a jones plug connector that has various positions for selecting different coins per credit options. After having a similar issue resulting in dead flippers on a williams 4 game that was the result of a broken jones plug at this position, it might be worth making sure this plug is secure/clean.

Thank you. I was cleaning jones plugs around the time it happened. I'll take a good look at it today.

#30 15 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

no worries ... it's a learning process. Recommend when people make suggestions you look at the schematic and try to make sense of what they are saying.
these sites have some good stuff:
https://www.funwithpinball.com/
http://www.pinrepair.com/
I'm sure there's more I don't know about or remember.
if you get stuck, ask and don't be concerned about questions being too basic.

Thank you so much! We took a video of various parts of the machine last night, but the resolution is not high enough to really make out any problems. We're going to do a series of close up photos tonight, and see if that goes better.

Amazon says the jumpers should get here on Monday.

#31 15 days ago
Quoted from bonzo71:

On the front of the motor board there is a jones plug connector that has various positions for selecting different coins per credit options. After having a similar issue resulting in dead flippers on a williams 4 game that was the result of a broken jones plug at this position, it might be worth making sure this plug is secure/clean.

I got pretty excited, because I had cleaned that plug, and hoped that I just hadn't plugged it back in securely. However, It was, and I tried various different configurations as well and there wasn't any change. The connections look okay visually, and feel snug. Both on the board and plug. Thanks again!

#32 15 days ago

I'm trying to figure out what the energized coil on the coin door does. Don't think my gottlieb or bally games have it. It seems to stick a metal pin to the door, but as far as I can tell not much else. The reason I'm thinking about it, is this whole thing coincided (see what I did there) with a crazy credit loop that resulted in me turning the power off. While that credit loop was happening, it seemed like there was a loud buzz on the coin door. What I thought it was, was one of the contacts on one of the coin switches was a little too close, and that seemed to be the case as the credit burst had stopped when I turned it back on.

#33 15 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

the end relay is the "coin set up relay". It's on the schem at ... nowhere.
it's in the manual on page 1 tho, and if you aren't worried about number of plays/coin and the various coin denominations, it doesn't matter.
you want the SPST switch (the one with just two blades) to be open so the coil isn't powering unnecessarily, but otherwise if it doesn't work it won't matter assuming you aren't jumpered for "1 coin 1 play, 2 coins 3 plays" mode
below is a picture of where I'd put a jumper to see what happens ... assuming the relay at the lower end of the jumper is attached to is the tilt relay. Labels fell off in the parts machine also. What that is doing is connecting the red power wire going to the playfield directly to the black power wire coming from the fuse. Jumpers around some switches and a plug connection.
if having the jumper on makes the flippers work, take a good look at the tilt relay switch the jumper is attached to ... the jumper is on a double red wire. Note that one wire segment looks red, the other looks grey/white/something. Either they substituted a piece of wire due to shortage of red wire, or one piece came from a good dye batch and the other came from a bad dye batch.
if jumpering like that doesn't fix the flipper/playfield switch issue, your problem is either in the plug connection or the red wire is broken someplace on the playfield. You can move the jumper end from the tilt relay switch to the red wires on a flipper coil. The red wires on the flipper coil probably look white/grey/something also ... they are on an end lug with no gray plastic wires going to the EOS switch attached.
if you remove the jumper and stick your voltmeter probes on the two places the jumper is, you should get 24VAC
[quoted image]

Hi baldtwit,

The jumpers arrived already and we immediately tried your hack. Flippers suddenly came back to life. I think even with the game off they were energized. My wife and I cheered. Then we laughed because we have no idea what it means.

It was really nice to see them move again.
I'll go back and read your posts and move to the next step when I understand what I'm doing.

Thanx

Have a great weekend

#34 15 days ago

okay, here comes the long-winded tmi

below is the entire schematic. Note a couple things:

1] the 24V transformer winding in highlighed in cyan

2] the common/neutral yellow wire is highlighted in yellow

3] the "power" wire changes color along the way, but it starts black-yellow-white to the fuse, then is solid black to a switch on the game over relay, changes a couple more times between switches and finally pops out a tilt trip relay switch as a solid red wire that powers the flippers and a bunch of other things.

for a coil to power, one side needs to connect to the 15A fuse, the other side needs to connect to the yellow common wire.

the 15A fuse is generally easy since most coils are directly connected to it or there's only a couple switches in between. The path from the other side of the coil to the yellow wire is the tortuous part.

also drawn on the schem is where the red jumper in my previous pic is attached. The black wire end of the jumper could have been attached to a lot of places ... I just picked a convenient spot that was easy to clip onto. Since the jumper makes the flippers work, that means the circuit between the black and red wire is open or cruddy enough to limit current. Three switches were bypassed by the jumper.

you can move either end of the jumper to places along the path and you'll find the bad switch. e.g. move the jumper from the black wire on the game over coil the to r-y-w wire on the other coil on the game over relay (should be the double wire). If the flippers don't work, the game over relay switch or reset relay switch is open/cruddy.

however, if the ball is released to the shooter, then the only thing left is the tilt relay switch that one end of the jumper is already on. I just hold down a flipper button and push the switch blades with my finger to force the contacts together more, but it you're not eager to touch live circuits, just jumper the switch or push the blades with something like a wood meat skewer.

the other problem is the cloth covered wires. They fade, grime up and make telling the actual colors difficult. You get used to it. Cocktails helps.
jumper (resized).jpg

#35 15 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

okay, here comes the long-winded tmi
below is the entire schematic. Note a couple things:
1] the 24V transformer winding in highlighed in cyan
2] the common/neutral yellow wire is highlighted in yellow
3] the "power" wire changes color along the way, but it starts black-yellow-white to the fuse, then is solid black to a switch on the game over relay, changes a couple more times between switches and finally pops out a tilt trip relay switch as a solid red wire that powers the flippers and a bunch of other things.
for a coil to power, one side needs to connect to the 15A fuse, the other side needs to connect to the yellow common wire.
the 15A fuse is generally easy since most coils are directly connected to it or there's only a couple switches in between. The path from the other side of the coil to the yellow wire is the tortuous part.
also drawn on the schem is where the red jumper in my previous pic is attached. The black wire end of the jumper could have been attached to a lot of places ... I just picked a convenient spot that was easy to clip onto. Since the jumper makes the flippers work, that means the circuit between the black and red wire is open or cruddy enough to limit current. Three switches were bypassed by the jumper.
you can move either end of the jumper to places along the path and you'll find the bad switch. e.g. move the jumper from the black wire on the game over coil the to r-y-w wire on the other coil on the game over relay (should be the double wire). If the flippers don't work, the game over relay switch or reset relay switch is open/cruddy.
however, if the ball is released to the shooter, then the only thing left is the tilt relay switch that one end of the jumper is already on. I just hold down a flipper button and push the switch blades with my finger to force the contacts together more, but it you're not eager to touch live circuits, just jumper the switch or push the blades with something like a wood meat skewer.
the other problem is the cloth covered wires. They fade, grime up and make telling the actual colors difficult. You get used to it. Cocktails helps.
[quoted image]

Well I had a couple of cocktails so I tried your second example on the r-y-w wires and the flippers were still firing.

Is this narrowing things down very much?

I don't know what I'm doing, but I'm feeling really good that the answer is closer.

Thank you so much!

EDIT: I'm looking at the schematics now and I think the biggest problem I'm having is they don't seem to reflect what I'm seeing on the board. I'll see relays in a certain order then look at the board and it won't be exactly as on the schematic. At least not to my eye. Then mix in labels missing on half the relays and I'm left wondering where to start. Another thing that confuses me is when I see relays listed in other areas of the schematic. This is at the top of the schematic and it shows the game over relay. However you pointed out the game over relay is not there, it's actuall more in the middle of the schematic.

Capture (resized).PNG
#36 14 days ago

Went down to see the flippers work again, and decided to try something on the playfield. I closed one of the target switches and got a loud buzz coming from the machine. Isn't that the sound of a switch that is making contact when it shouldn't be? The jumper is still on the 2nd coil, and I can confirm the flippers are only working when a game is initialized. Think I suggested otherwise in an earlier post. Today I'm just watching videos and reading about circuits and schematics.

Thanks again

#37 14 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

okay, here comes the long-winded tmi
below is the entire schematic. Note a couple things:
1] the 24V transformer winding in highlighed in cyan
2] the common/neutral yellow wire is highlighted in yellow
3] the "power" wire changes color along the way, but it starts black-yellow-white to the fuse, then is solid black to a switch on the game over relay, changes a couple more times between switches and finally pops out a tilt trip relay switch as a solid red wire that powers the flippers and a bunch of other things.
for a coil to power, one side needs to connect to the 15A fuse, the other side needs to connect to the yellow common wire.
the 15A fuse is generally easy since most coils are directly connected to it or there's only a couple switches in between. The path from the other side of the coil to the yellow wire is the tortuous part.
also drawn on the schem is where the red jumper in my previous pic is attached. The black wire end of the jumper could have been attached to a lot of places ... I just picked a convenient spot that was easy to clip onto. Since the jumper makes the flippers work, that means the circuit between the black and red wire is open or cruddy enough to limit current. Three switches were bypassed by the jumper.
you can move either end of the jumper to places along the path and you'll find the bad switch. e.g. move the jumper from the black wire on the game over coil the to r-y-w wire on the other coil on the game over relay (should be the double wire). If the flippers don't work, the game over relay switch or reset relay switch is open/cruddy.
however, if the ball is released to the shooter, then the only thing left is the tilt relay switch that one end of the jumper is already on. I just hold down a flipper button and push the switch blades with my finger to force the contacts together more, but it you're not eager to touch live circuits, just jumper the switch or push the blades with something like a wood meat skewer.
the other problem is the cloth covered wires. They fade, grime up and make telling the actual colors difficult. You get used to it. Cocktails helps.
[quoted image]

Hi baldtwit,

I think I understand the schematics better now, and the differences between relays and switches. I now see that if I see game over relay as a switch it's telling me that line has become active because the game over relay has fired. I'm still having some confusion finding elements on the schematics on the actual game board. I think that has more to do with missing labels. So I think what you're saying is that since the ball is being ejected it's the tilt relay switch. I think you have the jumper attached to the tilt relay. Is the tilt relay switch one of the blades on the relay, or is it somewhere else? Here are a couple of photos of the relay we've jumpered that you probably don't need.

IMG_0065 (resized).JPGIMG_0066 (resized).JPG
#38 14 days ago

I inspected the tilt related mechs on the game. I only see the plumb bob and the slam switch on the door. The wires around the plumb bob all seem good. The connector for the slam switch is secure to it's plate, but there is some rust/corrosion underneath it. Not sure if that could be having an effect? I'll sand it away, regardless. I didn't really understand what you meant when you said

"tilt relay switch that one end of the jumper is already on. I just hold down a flipper button and push the switch blades with my finger to force the contacts together more, but it you're not eager to touch live circuits, just jumper the switch or push the blades with something like a wood meat skewer."

I did notice the contact blades on the left flipper are 1 open and then 2 closed, but the 2 closed don't open when you use the flipper. Is that what you were referring to?

#39 14 days ago

couple things ya mentioned:

- the way things are drawn on the game isn't how the pieces are arranged in the machine. The schem is a "ladder logic" diagram. It's showing loads/things that get powered (mainly coils, motors, lamps) and the circuits that connect/disconnect the power. For example, if you find the coil symbol for the tilt relay, you can look and see all the switches that can cause the relay to power. They are neatly arranged on the schematic, but live all over the place in the machine.

the ladder logic diagram doesn't show plug connections either. Once you get an idea of where most of the stuff is inside the game, you know when there has to be a plug connection.

there's a bad write-up on some of this stuff here:
http://bingo.cdyn.com/techno/readschem/schemtype.html
it's talking about bally schematics, but the ideas are the same and williams switch symbols make more sense.

when you need to find the real device in the game, you hope most of the labels are still attached, otherwise you have to figure it out - usually by looking at the wire colors on the coils and matching them to colors on the schem. It's annoying when you have grimy cloth covered wires.

- missing labels

I took pics of all the stuff in the cabinet and will post some that show the labels tomorrow

- closing a switch makes a buzz

closing a playfield switch usually causes a relay or solenoid coil to power. A solenoid is the tubular coil with a plunger that gets sucked into it like the flippers. A relay or solenoid can buzz. When a switch is only briefly closed, you may never notice. If the relay/solenoid is designed to stay powered for a long time, then buzz is due to wear.

anyway, back to the problem. Below is a pic of the tilt relay. You want to jumper just the switch and see if the flippers work. The switch looks closed, but if it isn't or is cruddy, it won't work.

you have options:

1] attach a jumper to the two switch blade wires like the pic implies (red line)
2] since it's a switch with only two blades and some space, use the jaws of one end of the jumper to clamp the switch blades together at the contacts ... if you can do it without shorting the jaws to adjacent blades. You could stick paper in to make sure the jumper jaw doesn't touch something you don't want.
3] push the short blade against the long blade (blue arrow) using finger or whatever. You want to see the long blade move a little to ensure you have a mechanical connection. Do it when holding down a flipper button and if the flipper fires you know the switch needs cleaning/adjusting.

most of the problems in the game will be switches that look closed but aren't working well.

when looking at videos, did you see any one checking/cleaning stepper units? Cruddy steppers that don't reset or have poor contact between wipers and contact plate rivets is the other common issue on games that haven't been overhauled in years.

all this is assuming the tilt relay is not powering and opening the switch. If it is powering, that's the problem.

strato-flite jumper test 2 (resized).jpg

#40 13 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

couple things ya mentioned:
- the way things are drawn on the game isn't how the pieces are arranged in the machine. The schem is a "ladder logic" diagram. It's showing loads/things that get powered (mainly coils, motors, lamps) and the circuits that connect/disconnect the power. For example, if you find the coil symbol for the tilt relay, you can look and see all the switches that can cause the relay to power. They are neatly arranged on the schematic, but live all over the place in the machine.
the ladder logic diagram doesn't show plug connections either. Once you get an idea of where most of the stuff is inside the game, you know when there has to be a plug connection.
there's a bad write-up on some of this stuff here:
http://bingo.cdyn.com/techno/readschem/schemtype.html
it's talking about bally schematics, but the ideas are the same and williams switch symbols make more sense.
when you need to find the real device in the game, you hope most of the labels are still attached, otherwise you have to figure it out - usually by looking at the wire colors on the coils and matching them to colors on the schem. It's annoying when you have grimy cloth covered wires.
- missing labels
I took pics of all the stuff in the cabinet and will post some that show the labels tomorrow
- closing a switch makes a buzz
closing a playfield switch usually causes a relay or solenoid coil to power. A solenoid is the tubular coil with a plunger that gets sucked into it like the flippers. A relay or solenoid can buzz. When a switch is only briefly closed, you may never notice. If the relay/solenoid is designed to stay powered for a long time, then buzz is due to wear.
anyway, back to the problem. Below is a pic of the tilt relay. You want to jumper just the switch and see if the flippers work. The switch looks closed, but if it isn't or is cruddy, it won't work.
you have options:
1] attach a jumper to the two switch blade wires like the pic implies (red line)
2] since it's a switch with only two blades and some space, use the jaws of one end of the jumper to clamp the switch blades together at the contacts ... if you can do it without shorting the jaws to adjacent blades. You could stick paper in to make sure the jumper jaw doesn't touch something you don't want.
3] push the short blade against the long blade (blue arrow) using finger or whatever. You want to see the long blade move a little to ensure you have a mechanical connection. Do it when holding down a flipper button and if the flipper fires you know the switch needs cleaning/adjusting.
most of the problems in the game will be switches that look closed but aren't working well.
when looking at videos, did you see any one checking/cleaning stepper units? Cruddy steppers that don't reset or have poor contact between wipers and contact plate rivets is the other common issue on games that haven't been overhauled in years.
all this is assuming the tilt relay is not powering and opening the switch. If it is powering, that's the problem.
[quoted image]

Great! Cleaning the contacts on that blade resulted in progress. Flippers now work! The game still doesn't seem to be igniting the playfield lights. Bonus, Kickout hole, etc. I'm also noticing a buzzing rather than scoring when I score elements on the playfield. Sometimes the point scores on the reel. Sometimes no score, and the machine just buzzes until I reset.

Thank you very much for all your help. You are clearly an expert at this. You were pointing to that switch for a while, and I just couldn't believe that a switch that looked like it was behaving fine, and was behaving fine for a week after I got the game, was the problem.

Thank you for your patience.

Evan

Update: I went to see if the credit when flipper use was still happening in extra ball setting, and it was. I started a game, but then it started buzzing. Flippers work, but score credits. Now when I turn it on, there is a feint buzz, and a new game does not start at all. That's got to be easy to figure out, no? Getting the game to begin it's startup must be the first couple of paths on the schematic. The credits being scored when using the flippers or touching the playfield, seems like it is still happening. That one has me very confused.

#41 13 days ago

Game doesn't start any more. Credits in the machine. Should I clean the contacts on the lock relay, now? Slight buzzing coming from the machine that I don't think I noticed before.

EDIT: Cleaned the contacts on the lock relay. No change. Fed a quarter into the game. Game then would boot. Game is set for free play. Very confused. So the coin cleared the blockage in logic? I am going to do a quick video, of the current state of the game and see what you think. The scoring doesn't seem to work very often now. I just seem to get buzzing from the game now when I touch 10 x 100 x 1000 point switches on the playfield. The scoring seemed fine a week ago. I'm wondering if the humidity level in my basement is different than where this game was stored. I run a de-humidifier down there constantly, and my other games aren't suddenly coming down with issues. The video is just going to be very brief. The score reels are dirty as heck, so I imagine one of my next jobs will be cleaning and re-greasing them.

#42 13 days ago

Here is a look/hear at the current state of the game.
I should add that if I switch the play to extra ball, then the credit +1 / extra ball light issue re-emerges and the startup sequence seems to jam until I insert a coin. Which seemed to clear it.

You may need to turn it up after I hit the button to hear the buzz, but there is definitely an audible buzzing of a switch when I hit something on the playfield. Seems to happen with all denominations, but I can say the different chimes are sounding.

You had mentioned the steppers in a previous post. Here is the state of the steppers as I know it.

The bonus stepper seems to be working okay. When the game was working it was doing it's thing, and even when I manually add bonus to it with the game off, it counts them off during the startup process. I keep saying boot up. Sorry about that.

The ball in play stepper had one of it's fingers bent vertical. I could see the scraping action from when it was in place. I did my best to bend it back into it's proper state. I had hoped that would have been the fix to my end of ball issue. It didn't seem to have an effect.

The number of players stepper behind it seems to be working okay.

The active player stepper on the back box was completely jammed. I rebuilt that, and it works when I manually fire it. It also now resets when a new game is initialized. I've never seen the solenoid fire to move it to the next player though. I suspect that's because of the same reason the ball in play never seems to be advanced.

The 0-9 unit seems to working okay.

The credit stepper was looked at and adjusted by me to give the game free play. Seems to be working okay now, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was more work to do on it.

#43 13 days ago

I've been playing around with the Strato-flite. Trying to trace down the source of the buzzing that initiates when scoring happens. I'd swear it's coming from the credit reel. To further test that, I manually switched the active score reels on the active player stepper and re-tested reel 2, 3, and 4 and I got the same freeze and buzzing from the same location. So it isn't a stuck score reel making the buzzing. It seems to be a switch on or around the credit reel. Remember, if I switch the game play to extra ball, the error where the extra ball relay, and credit +1 on the score reel still happens, so I would think that, and this new buzzing may be related. Thoughts?

#44 13 days ago

strato-flite has 10, 100 and 100 point relays. They are usually in the head with the score reels.

easy thing is push the metal armature plate down on the coil top and that should increment the appropriate score reel for the active player. The circuits are around schem D10.

example below using 10pt circuits. There's similar stuff for 100 and 1000's.

to score 10 points the complete circuit is:

yellow wire -> tilt relay switch to w-o-5 wire -> 10 pt relay switch to player unit wiper/contact plate -> coil on player [1-4] score reel

note the w-o-5 wire id. That means it's the 5th time they used a white-orange wire in the game. All in different circuits. Just mentioned to emphasize if you see a w-o wire in one spot and another w-o wire elsewhere, it may not be the same wire.

if you manually close the 10pt relay and it stays powered, that's due to the "hold in" circuit around schem D18 ... the one going thru the E.O.S. (end of stroke) switches on the 10 pt score reels. The idea is the 10 pt relay stays powered until the score reel increments. If the score reel E.O.S. switch doesn't open when the plunger pulls all the way into the solenoid coil, the 10pt relay will stay stuck on and the score reel solenoid will stay powered.

either the 10pt relay or the score reel solenoid is buzzing. Eventually something will let some smoke out, so look for what is being held powered and turn off or tilt the game.

the usual thing is to:

1] reset game and cycle to enable all 4 players
2] shoot a ball and grab it ... may not be necessary on all games to shoot the ball, but it's easier to do it than look at the schem to see if you have to
3] either activate playfield stuff to score 10/100/1000 points or manually close those relays at least ten times each. You want to check the score reels increment and when overflowing from 9->0 they cause the adjacent reel to increment
4] dump ball in outhole to move to next player and repeat for all players
5] go get a bucket of cocktails ... you'll need it when you find out you need to disassemble/clean almost all the score reels.

aren't you glad you bought a 4 player game?

for credits getting added, can ya post a pic of the inside of the head and the adjust plugs for extra ball/replay? High a resolution and best lighting you can manage. Mostly want to see the wire color on the adjust plug and the wire color on the socket. Is the plug connecting to a grey wire or a yellow/black wire on the socket?

for replay button not working, when doing stuff that not the normal game sequence it's possible to get the game in a state where the replay button won't work. Look at the schem around D-3. The goal is to power the coin relay. The coin switch does it directly, while the replay button needs to power the replay relay, and a switch on the replay relay powers the coin relay.

if the player unit is reset and the ball count unit is reset and game over relay is not tripped and the coin unit is at top step, then the replay button won't work. That's not a state the game can normally be in.

#45 13 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

strato-flite has 10, 100 and 100 point relays. They are usually in the head with the score reels.
easy thing is push the metal armature plate down on the coil top and that should increment the appropriate score reel for the active player. The circuits are around schem D10.
example below using 10pt circuits. There's similar stuff for 100 and 1000's.
to score 10 points the complete circuit is:
yellow wire -> tilt relay switch to w-o-5 wire -> 10 pt relay switch to player unit wiper/contact plate -> coil on player [1-4] score reel
note the w-o-5 wire id. That means it's the 5th time they used a white-orange wire in the game. All in different circuits. Just mentioned to emphasize if you see a w-o wire in one spot and another w-o wire elsewhere, it may not be the same wire.
if you manually close the 10pt relay and it stays powered, that's due to the "hold in" circuit around schem D18 ... the one going thru the E.O.S. (end of stroke) switches on the 10 pt score reels. The idea is the 10 pt relay stays powered until the score reel increments. If the score reel E.O.S. switch doesn't open when the plunger pulls all the way into the solenoid coil, the 10pt relay will stay stuck on and the score reel solenoid will stay powered.
either the 10pt relay or the score reel solenoid is buzzing. Eventually something will let some smoke out, so look for what us being held powered and turn off or tilt the game.
the usual thing is to:
1] reset game and cycle to enable all 4 players
2] shoot a ball and grab it ... may not be necessary on all games to shoot the ball, but it's easier to do it than look at the schem to see if you have to
3] either activate playfield stuff to score 10/100/1000 points or manually close those relays at least ten times each. You want to check the score reels increment and when overflowing from 9->0 they cause the adjacent reel to increment
4] dump ball in outhole to move to next player and repeat for all players
5] go get a bucket of cocktails ... you'll need it when you find out you need to disassemble/clean almost all the score reels.
aren't you glad you bought a 4 player game?
for credits getting added, can ya post a pic of the inside of the head and the adjust plugs for extra ball/replay? High a resolution and best lighting you can manage. Mostly want to see the wire color on the adjust plug and the wire color on the socket. Is the plug connecting to a grey wire or a yellow/black wire.
for replay button not working, when doing stuff that not the normal game sequence it's possible to get the game in a state where the replay button won't work. Look at the schem around D-3. The goal is to power the coin relay. The coin switch does it directly, while the replay button needs to power the replay relay, and a switch on the replay relay powers the coin relay.
if the player unit is reset and the ball count unit is reset and game over relay is not tripped and the coin unit is at top step, then the replay button won't work. That's not a state the game can normally be in.

Okay really interesting.

I just did some tests, and when switching the game to extra ball mode. The endless credit loop that started this whole mess came back and I was able to capture a few seconds of it on video. Switching the game to free game ended the issue.

I was taking a video of the extra ball relay firing with the game not started. I then started the game, and it started endlessly giving credits like it had originally.

I also took a photo of the credit wheel. I can take more if you can't see the wire colors.

Here is a video of the extra ball relay firing when flipper touched. Game not started.

Here is a video of the end of the credit loop as I was shutting off the machine. The game did that at the start of these issues.

0 (resized).jpg
#46 13 days ago

Couple more photos.

baldtwit

1 is the last relay on the board. Part of the coin mech. Wondering if it might be guilty of the endless credits?
The relay itself has no action, and I messed it up more. I think the blades are back where they belong.

2 the left flipper switch. I'm not sure what the 2nd switch is about, but I know it isn't doing much at the moment. It's been closed by someone.

IMG_0076 (resized).JPGIMG_0079 (resized).JPG
#47 12 days ago

I was just downstairs doing tests on the machine, and the ball advanced to 2nd ball. First time I've ever seen that! Still getting the weird hum from the credit reel whenever points are scored in free game mode. I get endless credits whenever points are scored in extra ball mode.
I'm going to clean all the contacts in the coin/credit cycle. It's actually a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. I guess that's because machines weren't just 25c machines. After I do that I'm going to try to get close up photos of all the relays involved and post them.
The bonus lights and kick out hole light are still not coming on at start up. Thanks again.

#48 12 days ago

baldtwit I was going over your older posts about the coin/credit issue. You said that you thought that the 2 bladed switch on the coin index relay should be open. I believe in the picture It is closed. I'm double checking this with you, because that relay is locked/jammed, so opening that switch is going to take a bit. Should I proceed to do that?

#49 12 days ago

I tripped all the score relays one by one. They all stick and hum. I guess that's dirty reels? I'll try to see to that today.

#50 11 days ago

Quick update. Cleaned the rest of the relays like I did the tilt relay. Bonus scoring, bonus lights, kickout lights, etc all working now. Bonus scoring working too. All that seems to be left is buzzing I get from all the score relays. I watched videos on the process yesterday. I'm a little intimidated by the complexity, but I've taken one out and put it back to make sure I can at least do that. I've noticed in my fiddling with the score reels that they do clear on startup. So they function that much. They just seem to hang whenever on field points are scored. I think bonus points are still making it through. I guess we'll know more after they're cleaned.

I cannot thank you enough for all the help you've provided, and putting up with my hyperactive squirrel mind. lol You're right. Cocktails really help deal with these things.

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