(Topic ID: 133577)

Just bought my first EM - Cow Poke - help needed

By mfresh

9 years ago


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  • 40 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by mfresh
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 9 years ago

Well I finally made the plunge and bought my first EM, a non-working Cow Poke.

A couple of questions:
1. Is there anywhere I can download the schematics? And where's the best place to buy them to get them quickly (I am in the UK)

2. Can anyone give me a list of what rubber rings the game uses

3. Nothing happens when switched on so I have started at the transformer. It appears that one side of the mains cable goes to one of the primary tabs on the transformer, and the other goes to the primary fuse. I'd expect that to go to the other primary tab on the transformer, but after the fuse it heads off down to the middle of the cabinet to a switch which looks like some sort of tilt mechanism, and which is normally open. WTF? Anyone have any ideas? I've never seen inside an EM till yesterday so I' trying to learn fast but the schematics would certainly help..

Thanks,

Paul

#2 9 years ago
Quoted from mfresh:

Well I finally made the plunge and bought my first EM, a non-working Cow Poke.

Grats with a new old machine
A friend of mine (and therefore I who is helping him fixing it) is in the same spot sortof, he bought a Bow and Arrow from Bally 1975, and we have some startup issues, and I have never touched the insides of an EM before

Quoted from mfresh:

3. Nothing happens when switched on so I have started at the transformer. It appears that one side of the mains cable goes to one of the primary tabs on the transformer, and the other goes to the primary fuse. I'd expect that to go to the other primary tab on the transformer, but after the fuse it heads off down to the middle of the cabinet to a switch which looks like some sort of tilt mechanism, and which is normally open. WTF? Anyone have any ideas? I've never seen inside an EM till yesterday so I' trying to learn fast but the schematics would certainly help.

I could not see any schematics for cow poke on ipdb.org, but you should read through and follow this guide:
http://www.pinrepair.com/em/ , it gives a very good introduction and guide in what to look for.

First off Id start with checking the fuses. pull them out, test them with a DMM. Then check that the fuse clips are good, or if they need replacing. Regarding the tilt bob, I know on Bally EM's they should be normally closed. Ours wasnt, so we had to bend it until it stayed normally closed. Dont know what is normal on Gottlieb EMs but im sure someone else knows.

Feel free to post some photos of your machine

#3 9 years ago

1. You could check with pbresource.com. Helpful people, quick answers, quick shipments. You may be surprised by the payment methods, but it may be the best place to find pinball documentation (and spare parts, for that matter). Here's a link: http://www.pbresource.com/mansch.html#manaval

2. Not a list, but a quick search produced a link where you can buy a kit: http://www.amazon.com/Gottlieb-Poke-Pinball-White-Rubber/dp/B004DQWB90

3. You're absolutely right, both parts of the main cable should go to the primary side of the transformer. One of the parts should take a detour by a fuse and possibly a main switch at the bottom of the cabinet (don't know if there is a main switch in old Ballys). It should certainly not go to the tilt switch.

Good luck!

#4 9 years ago

Thanks for all your advice. Someone emailed me a schematic (and I've ordered a hard copy from Marcos) and have have identified the normally closed bounce switch was open. So now it starts and the score reels reset, and then the main stepper in the cabinet just keeps going round, and relay TR is clunking open and shut. Progress, but more troubleshooting to do....

#5 9 years ago
Quoted from mfresh:

3. Nothing happens when switched on so I have started at the transformer. It appears that one side of the mains cable goes to one of the primary tabs on the transformer, and the other goes to the primary fuse. I'd expect that to go to the other primary tab on the transformer, but after the fuse it heads off down to the middle of the cabinet to a switch which looks like some sort of tilt mechanism, and which is normally open.

There is a bottom cabinet switch with a rod mounted vertically through a nylon bushing(similar in appearance to a flipper bushing) and looks like some sort of tilt mechanism but, in reality, is a shut off switch. This switch should be normally closed. Is this the switch you are talking about?

#6 9 years ago

Nope, the one I was talking about was the bounce switch. It was bent so it was open, but it should in fact be normally closed. Bending it back into shape fixed the power issue. I did have a look at the one you are talking about and couldn't for the life of me think what it was for. But now I get it - slap the bottom to switch the machine off. Nice.

Now on to the next problem...

#7 9 years ago

Even though the score reels reset to zero, check the '0' position switches on score reels to make sure they making contact...clean switches/contact(s) and make sure adjusted properly. If all good, check the start up sequence for Gottlieb to try and diagnose how far 'it's' getting. Enjoy the game. It's a tuffy.

#8 9 years ago

Excellent first EM! It's challenging to try to make all the numbers. Save the "4" for last, and get four extra balls with four resounding thwacks of the knocker!

#9 9 years ago

+1 on checking the zero position switches on the scores reels. A switch not making contact in this area will send the score motor through and ongoing loop and never start a game.

3 weeks later
#10 8 years ago

Seems like there was a problem with the Z armature. Fixed that. Then the machine would stop, but that was because it wasn't level and the tilt bob was tilting. Then it would go into a mix of continuous scoring and the roto spinning, but tracked that to a switch in the 50 points and roto relay stack being closed with some help from my friend David.

So now the machine works! Just needs rerubbering, new bulbs, new plastics and a few little switch adjustments. Thanks for all the help and encouragement. Wasn't too hard in the end... until the next time it goes wrong.

Now where do I get a rule sheet from...

#11 8 years ago

I could scan and post mine if you need...

#12 8 years ago

The main problem I have now is a loud buzzing coming from the backbox. I think it is coming from near the score reels, and I think it is related to the tens score reel but I am not sure. Any ideas?

Thanks!

#13 8 years ago
Quoted from mfresh:

The main problem I have now is a loud buzzing coming from the backbox. I think it is coming from near the score reels, and I think it is related to the tens score reel but I am not sure. Any ideas?
Thanks!

Need to narrow down which coil or relay is stuck on first, and then can debug further. Check the points relays (N, M, L), and see if one is stuck on. But don't leave it on too long or the coils will get too hot.

#14 8 years ago
Quoted from mfresh:

Seems like there was a problem with the Z armature. Fixed that. Then the machine would stop, but that was because it wasn't level and the tilt bob was tilting. Then it would go into a mix of continuous scoring and the roto spinning, but tracked that to a switch in the 50 points and roto relay stack being closed with some help from my friend David.
So now the machine works! Just needs rerubbering, new bulbs, new plastics and a few little switch adjustments. Thanks for all the help and encouragement. Wasn't too hard in the end... until the next time it goes wrong.
Now where do I get a rule sheet from...

You can print them out from scan.

If you want original , NOS, ( New Old Stock ) , I have cards that I would now sell as I am unlikely to buy the game anymore. They are really, really hard to find!

PM if interested. These 3 all have different score levels.

IMG_8766.jpgIMG_8766.jpg

#15 8 years ago

Here's my card, a lttle rough around the edges...

CowPokeInst.jpgCowPokeInst.jpg

#16 8 years ago

Another problem that's emerged: When the game starts up, the ball is released as it should be. However, when the ball drains, it is then not released again, AND the balls to play light doesn't go down by one.

If I tap the coin door gently then the ball release does operate so a new ball can be played, but the balls to play still doesn't go down.

I have checked the trough switches and they appear to be adjusted correctly, and I have also looked at the decrease balls to play relay which appears to be adjusted Ok

Any idea where to look now?

#17 8 years ago

The Ball Release coil is activated by the Trough switch, and a normally closed switch on F. So as long as F isn't activated, the trough switch closing should be enough to release the ball, except... F is activated by the Trough switch!

F is held activate until either:
- score motor 1B switch opens
- switch on V relay opens
- make/break switch on K switches (to close the path to F)

V activating would be the normal path. It's activated also via a switch on F, and normally closed switches on H, I, and at score motor 1C.

So check if V is activating, and if it isn't, check the switches on the path to V. You'll see them on your schematic at about 12E.

#18 8 years ago

Thanks DirtFlipper. I'll get my head around this and check it out. Any idea why tapping the coin door would trigger the ball release (without decreasing the Balls To Play count)?

#19 8 years ago
Quoted from mfresh:

Any idea why tapping the coin door would trigger the ball release (without decreasing the Balls To Play count)?

It might be vibrating the trough switch? Hard to say, as there's nothing on the coin door directly that's in the path.

#20 8 years ago

So, I did as DirtFlipper suggested, and the NC switch on H wasn't opening properly. I've adjusted that and the problem is now solved so thanks very much for your advice DirtFlipper. A draining ball now decrements balls to play and then the ball release gets activated as it should.

As a total newbie to EMs I don't really quite have the hang of reading the schematic, but comparing the advice to the schematic I am beginning to understand what relates to what.

So the great Cow Poke adventure continues....

1 month later
#21 8 years ago

Can anyone help with a pop bumper problem. One of the bumpers works fine when a ball rolls on to the skirt: down below the spoon is pushed down and activates the switch, the metal bumper ring pulls down, activates the lower switch, and I see the relay for that pop bumper move.

But quite often - maybe 50% of the time - the metal bumper ring stays down. There's no buzzing or noise, and if I give the ring a pull it comes back up again. The weird thing is that the metal ring can move quite freely when the machine is not powered on : if you pull it down it bounces straight up again. Any idea the problem may be?

Thanks!

#22 8 years ago

Coil stop gets (temporarily) magnetized holding the ring down. Replace the coil stop and you'll be good to go. PBR sells but since you is across the pond, scavenge from another game or even swap with one from a flipper.

#23 8 years ago

Thanks! I'm going to Expo in 3 weeks time so I'll see if I can get hold of one there, or get one sent to the hotel there. In the meantime I just received a flipper rebuild kit from PBR which has two coil stops so I guess I can use one of those...

#24 8 years ago

Ah. I just replaced the coil stop with a brand new one, and the problem still exisits. It still sticks down about half the time. But when the power is off it never sticks. Could the plunger itself be magentized? if so, is there any way to demagnetize it?

#25 8 years ago

And the pop bumper relay is not energized when the ring is stuck down?

#26 8 years ago

Well I tested it by turning the power off when the ring was stuck down and it stayed stuck down. Just needed a little nudge for it to pop back up - same as when the power is on.

#27 8 years ago

if there doesnt seem to be any binding...then I'd replace the pop bumper plunger too. this should fix it.

A hack that has worked in the past....put a small bit of electrical tape on the end of the plunger shaft, creating just a little separation between coil stop and plunger. It will last a year or two but a true hack.

#28 8 years ago

I'll give that tape trick a try - thanks for that.

Meanwhile I have ordered new end stops, plungers and springs for good measure from a supplier in Germany, so I should have that in a few days. I'll report back how the tape trick goes.

-1
#29 8 years ago

Can try swapping plungers/stops with another pop bumper that's working too, and see if the problem stays or follows them. Or, a new combination may just work.

#30 8 years ago

I put a little leccy tape over the end of the plunger and it's working perfectly now! Thanks again for the tip. I'll change the plunger as soon as the new ones arrive anyway, and rebuild the others too while I'm at it, but for now it's looking good.

#31 8 years ago

Well I changed the plunger and the stop, and the problem persisted. But then I noticed that the bulb in the bumper cap wasnt working properly either. So I cleaned the lamp socket and changed the bulb, and now the problem with the pop bumper sticking in the down position seems to have gone away. Makes no sense to me at all - can there be any connection between the two?

#32 8 years ago

Completely different circuits, so no, not really.

Just your basic voodoo then.

3 months later
#33 8 years ago

Bumpers rebuilt and all working now! But a new problem has emerged that has me stumped:

The balls to play stopped counting down, so I took a look at the V relay (decrease balls to play) and the spring had come off and a switch leaf had snapped and it was pretty dirty. So I desoldered all the wires, replaced the faulty switch, cleaned it up, soldered it all back and the machine worked fine... for about 10 games. But then when I restarted the machine the score motor just continued turning and the machine wouldnt reset.

What I have discovered is if I manually reset the balls to play unit in the backbox to zero, then the machine starts up and plays fine - except that the balls to play doesnt go down again during play.

If I activate the V relay by hand the score motor runs for a short period and then stops, but the balls to play doesnt go down.

What I don't understand is why the machine worked for 10 games or so when I first restored the V relay before the machine started misbehaving again.

I have looked on the schematic and from what I can see the switch connected to the green with red trace and brown with red trace on the V relay seems to have an effect on the balls to play unit, so I have reflowed the solder on both tabs on that switch and checked that it (and all the others) are correctly gaped, but still no luck.

I am thinking of desoldering all the switches again and trying again, but was wondering if I am overlooking something else. It seems unlikely that something else is causing the same symptom (balls to play not going down) but I suppose it's possible. Anyone got any suggestions as to how I should procede?

Thanks!

#34 8 years ago

Have you taken the ball count unit apart and cleaned/lubed it?
can you manually step it up and down all the way?
look on the schematic and see what signal steps it down, and follow it backwards checkin all those switches involved.
tighten the switch stacks, clean and adjust those switches.
thats a good thing to do on all the switch stacks in general.

#35 8 years ago

Have you confirmed that the coil itself in the V relay is still able to work? (energize). If you press it by hand and it causes the score motor to run, but V doesn't lock on, that may suggest the coil itself isn't able to energize. (Although I've not looked at the schematic yet to even see if V has a lock on path.)

But if it worked for 10 games, and then the coil failed, that would be one possible way to fit the symptoms.

#36 8 years ago

Thanks for the advice DirtFlipper and Dr_of_Style.

The V relay is definately able to energize.

I have made a bit of progress in that I found a wire had come off one tab on the switch on the "add ball" coil in the balls to play unit. And now the game starts up fine, and a manual press of the V relay decreases the number of balls to play.

But when I play a game, as soon as the first ball drains, the balls to play goes down from 5 to 4, to 3, to 2 to 1 to Game Over, and the score motor keeps turning and it looks like the V relay is contuining to go on and off in time with the score motor.

So what would make the balls to play count keep going down instead of just going down by one?

#37 8 years ago

The gate is suppose to open to return the ball. There is a NC contact on the F relay that needs to be closed along with the trough switch. F is "V delay relay" etc

#38 8 years ago

Thanks pinhead52. I've taken the F relay out and checked the switches and cleaned the contacts, and it all seems to be fine. But it definately locks on when the ball drains, while the V relay pulses down to zero balls and then on.

I've been trying to understand the schematic without much luck. What deactivates the F relay?

#39 8 years ago

Ok, I just spent a few minutes with my CP. F gets activated by the first trough switch and should drop immediately once the ball is off the first switch. Ball then rolls to 2nd sw, sitting/resting on the gate where the second trough sw will open the ball gate as long as its not game over etc.

I found if my first trough switch gets stuck (mech binding etc) then the game will count down all the balls to game over...

check that your first trough switch operates freely.

#40 8 years ago

Thanks for that. I checked the trough switch and it seems to be operating freely - but I also took out the tilt option plug and the machine started working properly! What's strange is that I put the tilt plug back in again, and it still works! For now anyway....
Thanks again!

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