I wanted to start this topic so it wasn't buried in the owners thread.
I just received a NIB Jurassic Park Premium last week that I had ordered at the end of June. It was a July 19 build. While this is not my first pinball, it is my first Stern (coincidently, we got an IMDN a couple days before this arrived. JP3 is still technically our first Stern). I've been repairing machines for a few years now. So, I know my way around them pretty well. I researched JP for awhile to know what to expect when I got it. I have read all the Pinside forum posts on the subject of the t-rex mech. I've gone through all the key topics. I adjusted the biases and checked the wiring. I've seen the PDF's. I've read Keith's posts. It came with version 1.02 already installed, but I reloaded it anyway. I've reset everything to factory defaults.
The problem is the t-rex seems to forget where its center is sometimes. I have tracked the problem to most often occur after the t-rex throws the ball in "RAMPAGE". It will turn its head directly over the left wire form thinking it's in center position. During that event, it pushes its head down on the wire form instead of centering and lowering on the ramp which kind of indicated to me its not a bias issue since that adjustment is for minute changes even though I have the right bias now set at -7. It will continue this malfunction until the game has ended. Upon starting a new game, the head will correct itself and function properly until after the next throwing ball or RAMPAGE session then the problem occurs again. The only solution that I have gotten to work, for the most part, is to turn off "throw the ball". However, it will still occasionally error with this setting off. I also unplugged and reseated all the connectors to the t-rex head, checked for free motion in the back. All wires move freely. I checked the micro switches to see if maybe it might be losing the signal to know where it is. They all test good.
I contacted Stern and after the initial reply trying to get me to do things I already tried, I sent them this video. They replied that the engineering department has determined that it is a mechanical failure and not software. If no one else has had this problem in the code I will be inclined to agree its mechanical. Maybe the motor is overheating? They are sending me a new stepper motor on Tuesday to replace the one I have. I will update this thread if that works or not. I'm skeptical this will fix it.
The questions I still have are:
If the micro switch is there to tell the mech where center is, why doesn't it alert or stop the mech from moving up and down when it is so far away from the center?
Could the board on the back of the playfield that the horizontal motor plugs into be faulty as well?
If anyone else has had a similar issue, input would be appreciated.
The video begins at the start of RAMPAGE. The in game sounds are turned down so I could try and hear the mechanics.
:00 T-rex catches the ball and begins the throwing motion. It moves freely left, center, and right.
:20 The t-rex now thinks center position is over the wire form. It will only move to the left as far as the center ramp.
:42 The head pushes down on the wireform trying to open its jaw.
3:22 the t-rex resets itself at the start of a new game.