(Topic ID: 251358)

In A Perfect World - Test Equipment Question for EM Machines

By MD_Pinball_Dude

5 months ago

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  • 11 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by MD_Pinball_Dude
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    #1 5 months ago

    I was wondering what test equipment you use on EM machines for trouble-shooting that you find invaluable and also what items you would love to have if they existed. As a new owner of a 1977 Williams game, trouble-shooting relays, cams, switches and such by myself is tedious at best. One thing I would love to have is a plug in buzzer that you use in place of a 6.3 V lamp that would make a noise if a switch is made, or a buzzer that connects across a coil that would beep if energized even for a moment. Any thoughts? Do these exist now? I have a 3D printer and have started thinking that making some EM testing tools might be fun.

    #2 5 months ago

    I honestly just use jumper wires and a voltmeter.

    Something that plotted multiple switch states as a function of time (like a multi channel o scope) would be useful.. or even something that visualized the state of 5 or so things as lights (simulating the switch test you get in a modern pin) could be useful.

    I don’t know if old tone generators would actually work well in an em to trace wires... but that would be useful due to the horrid fading common on most cloth wiring.

    Something that easily clipped onto tabs to replace a switch could be useful for troubleshooting... as are your ideas about visualizing or using sound.

    #3 5 months ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    I honestly just use jumper wires and a voltmeter.

    I agree. Since you can manually activate any switch or device in the game even with the power off a meter can get you pretty far. Knowing how to use it properly is important though (e.g. measuring pulses, resistance vs. continuity, etc.).

    A bulb tester is handy for seeing transient events that happen quickly:


    A handy tool would be something to pinpoint where an unwanted short is. A circuit simulator would be helpful too for some elaborate sequential circuits like reset, bonus counts or player unit advances.


    #4 5 months ago

    Hummmmmm..... all good replies. I was just thinking that a common, non-contact voltage tester might work around coils since it IS AC. I like the two-bulb tester and will have to make one. My old Fluke 77 meter has been getting a workout lately in my basement.

    klien (resized).jpg
    #5 5 months ago

    Flashlight, magnifying glass, reading glasses and a full schematic. Though the problems are electrical, the solutions are all almost always looking for and fixing a broken wire or switch adjustment.

    #6 5 months ago

    I think the biggest boost is addressing the "I thought it was making contact... but wasn't" scenario. That's why I like the idea of something confirming an effective switch closure

    #7 5 months ago
    Quoted from MarkG:

    A handy tool would be something to pinpoint where an unwanted short is.

    I’ll take one if you find this! Man would that be nice!

    #8 5 months ago

    Just built a LED-based 24V AC tester! I'll let you know how it works. It's two 12VAC @ 1AMP lamps in series.

    Picture 1 (resized).jpg
    #9 5 months ago

    Works great! Here is a video of my game trying to index back to Player 1. The flash is fast here due to the frame rate of the video capture, but it really lingers in the eyeballs! Now I have to clean the stepper motor gear set.

    #10 5 months ago

    Looks like that video is currently set to private.

    #11 5 months ago
    Quoted from tjw998:

    Looks like that video is currently set to private.

    Sorry. Fixed now.

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