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(Topic ID: 259372)

Inconsistent VUK Kickouts - Ideas For Solutions?


By EaglePin

10 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 20 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by EaglePin
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 10 months ago

Any ideas what causes a saucer or hole VUK to eject the ball inconsistently (different speed and/or angle) from one kickout to the next? And any ideas on solving it to get it kicking out consistently when changes to coil power settings and/or the deflector still get you inconsistent results?

Thoughts & pictures of what’s worked on other machines would be great!

#2 10 months ago
Quoted from EaglePin:

Any ideas what causes a saucer or hole VUK to eject the ball inconsistently (different speed and/or angle) from one kickout to the next? And any ideas on solving it to get it kicking out consistently when changes to coil power settings and/or the deflector still get you inconsistent results?
Thoughts & pictures of what’s worked on other machines would be great!

Usually on saucer holes, the tiny tabs are worn down, causing the ball to sit unevenly. I have seen operators grind the metal kicking arm, put tape or foam on the end

VUK can be the same, worn parts, misalignment when it is exiting, hitting another playfield part.

#3 10 months ago
Quoted from eyeamred2u:

Usually on saucer holes, the tiny tabs are worn down, causing the ball to sit unevenly. I have seen operators grind the metal kicking arm, put tape or foam on the end
VUK can be the same, worn parts, misalignment when it is exiting, hitting another playfield part.

That would make sense, as these VUK inconsistencies seem to have developed over time on my POTC.

#4 10 months ago

What game

#5 10 months ago

OP please add POTC to the thread title

#6 10 months ago
Quoted from KornFreak28:

OP please add POTC to the thread title

I have POTC with the issue, but also my STTNG has had the same issue. Intention is to get thoughts on various solution ideas into one thread since there are probably some common causes & solutions across games.

#7 10 months ago
Quoted from EaglePin:

I have POTC with the issue, but also my STTNG has had the same issue. Intention is to get thoughts on various solution ideas into one thread since there are probably some common causes & solutions across games.

Gotcha

#8 10 months ago

Yes, I have the same issue with my WhiteWater.
I recently replaced the whole VUK bracket with the new "beefier" one, but it didn't really help much.

#9 10 months ago

Things I've tried that didn't work:

• Replacing coil sleeve
• Turning VUK power up or down

I do suspect the problem is somehow wear-related, as it didn't do this when new and developed the issue over time.

My problem is I-lane drains on POTC where the ball hits the gate as if it's a wall, then drops down I. When I manipulate the gate by hand it moves freely, but I haven't (yet) ruled out some kind of weirdness where the ball hits it at an angle causing a brief jam against the lane guide or something.

#10 10 months ago
Quoted from zaphX:

Things I've tried that didn't work:
• Replacing coil sleeve
• Turning VUK power up or down
I do suspect the problem is somehow wear-related, as it didn't do this when new and developed the issue over time.
My problem is I-lane drains on POTC where the ball hits the gate as if it's a wall, then drops down I. When I manipulate the gate by hand it moves freely, but I haven't (yet) ruled out some kind of weirdness where the ball hits it at an angle causing a brief jam against the lane guide or something.

Yep, I just checked my Depths VUK on POTC and I hadn’t done the same fix I did to #STTNG cannon and #JJPOTC Tortuga saucer. Those two are vertical plungers while Depths is horizontal, and I think the Depths opto was closer to the plunger tip too. Here are pictures of what I did to the cannon and Tortuga though. I cut some window weather stripping and duct taped it to the coil rest to give the plunger a more consistent landing & resting spot. It worked instantly on those two and they’ve been 100% consistent since.

5AC3A645-76DC-4C94-8415-22F9D294C826 (resized).jpegE4AC8674-3758-4C96-B6B8-A4E43827A9B8 (resized).jpeg
1 week later
#12 10 months ago

Well I think I jumped the gun declaring victory on my Depths I-Lane drain.

It looks like the ball is rattling down the lane.

What I've done:

- Played with VUK power. Lower definitely improves it, but too low is its own problem as balls get stuck.
- Replaced the coil sleeve
- Cleaned the plunger, tip and landing pad

What I haven't yet tried:

- Bending the Depths scoop so the ball has a smoother trajectory onto the playfield
- Adjust the ball guide up or down (hesitant to do this since any non-VUK entrance to the lane flows perfectly.)

If anyone else has ideas, throw them out there. Ideally I want to be able to run the VUK at the designed power of 14.

#13 10 months ago
Quoted from zaphX:

Well I think I jumped the gun declaring victory on my Depths I-Lane drain.

It looks like the ball is rattling down the lane.
What I've done:
- Played with VUK power. Lower definitely improves it, but too low is its own problem as balls get stuck.
- Replaced the coil sleeve
- Cleaned the plunger, tip and landing pad
What I haven't yet tried:
- Bending the Depths scoop so the ball has a smoother trajectory onto the playfield
- Adjust the ball guide up or down (hesitant to do this since any non-VUK entrance to the lane flows perfectly.)
If anyone else has ideas, throw them out there. Ideally I want to be able to run the VUK at the designed power of 14.

Video looks like that one was more of an issue with how the ball hopped off the end of ball guide. Maybe unscrew the guide and see if you can get the end of it aligned just a fraction of an inch more toward the apron and retighten it there. On my JP2 I was having trouble with the end of the guide being just a bit inside the flipper causing the ball to hop a bit instead of transition smoothly. I didn’t think there would be enough play in the ball guide to move it to fix it but someone suggested I give it a try and there did end up being just the fraction of an inch wiggle I needed.

For the coil, I’ve seen comments on the Monster Bash forum from people who put a spring washer behind the VUK coil and got more consistent results

Don’t know if these ideas will help but thought I’d throw them out as ideas. Good luck.

#14 10 months ago

I did some more thinking and experimenting.

What do we know about the problem?

Fact: The only time it fails is when the VUK chucks it down the lane. Normal entry to the lane always works.
Fact: This issue is somehow wear related, as it doesn’t happen initially and develops over time.
Fact: The nature of the failure is not the gate, but a bounce up into the guard above it.

I’ve replaced the coil sleeve and can eliminate coil wear. So what else could wear here over time?

Hypothesis 1: The lane guide shifts itself out of position over time. I was able to disprove this one, as there really isn’t much play at all. Only a very, very tiny amount. Adjustments here were inconsequential.

Hypothesis 2: The guard over the Depths VUK bends itself upward over time, causing balls to exit airborne and bounce down the lane rather than rolling smoothly.

I bent the guard down a bit and so far things are looking good - I played for about an hour without any VUK drains.

Fingers crossed this puts it to bed.

#15 10 months ago
Quoted from zaphX:

I did some more thinking and experimenting.
What do we know about the problem?
Fact: The only time it fails is when the VUK chucks it down the lane. Normal entry to the lane always works.
Fact: This issue is somehow wear related, as it doesn’t happen initially and develops over time.
Fact: The nature of the failure is not the gate, but a bounce up into the guard above it.
I’ve replaced the coil sleeve and can eliminate coil wear. So what else could wear here over time?
Hypothesis 1: The lane guide shifts itself out of position over time. I was able to disprove this one, as there really isn’t much play at all. Only a very, very tiny amount. Adjustments here were inconsequential.
Hypothesis 2: The guard over the Depths VUK bends itself upward over time, causing balls to exit airborne and bounce down the lane rather than rolling smoothly.
I bent the guard down a bit and so far things are looking good - I played for about an hour without any VUK drains.
Fingers crossed this puts it to bed.

Could you post a Slo mo video when it doesn’t drain? Maybe that could help

#16 10 months ago

In an extreme case scenario, I would slightly smooth out this corner with sand paper.

3E7D8B1B-3B7B-472C-8FC2-6F3F316C15F8 (resized).jpeg
1 week later
#17 9 months ago

I'm still working on this problem.

Gently bending the scoop up or down didn't seem to help much, so add that to the list of things that don't work.

I'm now trying a cabinet bumper on the plunger rest for the VUK. This seemed like a cleaner and less hacky solution than the duct tape thing for reducing plunger travel.

I am currently running the VUK kickout at 13 - 1 down from default, and I don't want to go any lower. Honestly I'd like to find a way to keep it at 14, as multiple sunk balls can get stuck and end your game when it's too low.

So far this is working "ok", I have about 90% success rate out of the Depths, but I don't feel great that the issue is resolved.

It's got to be something wear-related, as I don't recall having this problem on new machines...only after time.

I agree with kornfreak28 that the corner of that lane guide is creating a bounce point for the ball. I'd rather not file that away, at least not without having a backup copy of the part first.

#18 9 months ago
Quoted from EaglePin:

Any ideas what causes a saucer or hole VUK to eject the ball inconsistently (different speed and/or angle) from one kickout to the next? And any ideas on solving it to get it kicking out consistently when changes to coil power settings and/or the deflector still get you inconsistent results?
Thoughts & pictures of what’s worked on other machines would be great!

I just recently had a problem with the throne room saucer on my WOZ. It was a little pitting (dimple) in the saucer deflector (snubber) that was causing it. When the ball gets ejected from the saucer hole it hits the metal deflector to get directed towards the flipper. After thousands of times hitting the ball deflector in generally the same spot after every saucer shot, the saucer deflector starts to show a very small pitted area. Once that gets bad enough the ball will start being deflected in random directions because the area of the deflector is not smooth. To solve the problem I took a sanding wheel attached to my drill and sanded the pitted area of the deflector smooth.

#19 9 months ago
Quoted from zaphX:

I'm still working on this problem.
Gently bending the scoop up or down didn't seem to help much, so add that to the list of things that don't work.
I'm now trying a cabinet bumper on the plunger rest for the VUK. This seemed like a cleaner and less hacky solution than the duct tape thing for reducing plunger travel.
I am currently running the VUK kickout at 13 - 1 down from default, and I don't want to go any lower. Honestly I'd like to find a way to keep it at 14, as multiple sunk balls can get stuck and end your game when it's too low.
So far this is working "ok", I have about 90% success rate out of the Depths, but I don't feel great that the issue is resolved.
It's got to be something wear-related, as I don't recall having this problem on new machines...only after time.
I agree with kornfreak28 that the corner of that lane guide is creating a bounce point for the ball. I'd rather not file that away, at least not without having a backup copy of the part first.

I like the cabinet bumper idea. Definitely cleaner and it might work better on the horizontal depths coil if you have it slightly low off center to force the plunger end to rest just a bit higher and more straight. I'm going to give that a try on mine. I've been running on 13 power setting too. It's been coming out pretty well but I'd like it just a touch more consistent.

#20 9 months ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

I just recently had a problem with the throne room saucer on my WOZ. It was a little pitting (dimple) in the saucer deflector (snubber) that was causing it. When the ball gets ejected from the saucer hole it hits the metal deflector to get directed towards the flipper. After thousands of times hitting the ball deflector in generally the same spot after every saucer shot, the saucer deflector starts to show a very small pitted area. Once that gets bad enough the ball will start being deflected in random directions because the area of the deflector is not smooth. To solve the problem I took a sanding wheel attached to my drill and sanded the pitted area of the deflector smooth.

It's amazing how the slightest thing can change the trajectory so much. Nice fix!

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