(Topic ID: 234015)

Laser Cue has developed issue with drop targets


By cottonm4

10 months ago



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  • 32 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by cottonm4
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#1 10 months ago

I just recently got my Laser Cue up an running. All is working well except the drop targets have developed a small problem.

These 5 drops are the kind that have to dropped in order starting with Number 1 and finishing with Number 5. When #5 drops the cycle is complete, all targets are raised back up and the cycle begins again. Except my Laser Cue does not work correctly.

All 5 targets raise back up as normal. Except, now after I knock #1 down and it stays down as it should, the bell does not ring. When I drop #2 down #1 will pop back up. Then I knock #1 down and #2 will pop back up. It is back and forth like this until I manage to hit some other targets. At some point, I have made the magic combination and the bell rings the nI can go back and attack the drops and all will be normal for one more cycle.

I don't know if it is a micro-switch problem, but my thinking is there is something on one of the circuit boards that is out of whack.

Any thoughts will be appreciated.

Thanks.

#2 10 months ago

Strange! Have you tried hitting the 1-5 drops and then the 6,7&8 shots and then tried the drop targets for the 9-13 shots to see if that works?

#3 10 months ago

after you complete 5 the six ball should light next, it doesn't go right back to 1.

#4 10 months ago
Quoted from henrydwh:

Strange! Have you tried hitting the 1-5 drops and then the 6,7&8 shots and then tried the drop targets for the 9-13 shots to see if that works?

Quoted from zacaj:

after you complete 5 the six ball should light next, it doesn't go right back to 1.

Keep the ideas coming. Today has been a long day. I will check out what you are saying tomorrow.

But here is the circuitry. Switches #33 (drop target #1) and #34 (DT #2) from column 5 and rows #1 and #2 travel to connectors 2J2 and 2J3 on the power driver board.

Laser Cue_2 (resized).jpg

Would the problem be coming from 2J2 and 2J3 in the upper right of the driver board? Can this be as simple as replacing some resistors and capacitors in this area?

Or do I have to also consider IC15, IC 16, IC 17 and IC 18 ?

Laser Cue_3 (resized).jpg

#5 10 months ago

I can't answer that, but thank you for making me get off my ass and play a game of laser cue!
If you need anything verified about game play or anything just hit me up! I may not be much help, but I am glad to help where I can!

#6 10 months ago
Quoted from henrydwh:

I can't answer that, but thank you for making me get off my ass and play a game of laser cue!
If you need anything verified about game play or anything just hit me up! I may not be much help, but I am glad to help where I can!

I bought mine to fix up and sell and now that it is playable, I'm nit sure I want to sell it. It is a blast to play. There is a lot to do here and I don't know half of how it is supposed to work. I'll have some questions soon.

#7 10 months ago
Quoted from henrydwh:

Strange! Have you tried hitting the 1-5 drops and then the 6,7&8 shots and then tried the drop targets for the 9-13 shots to see if that works?

Ok. I think I'm starting to figure it out.

1 Drop targets #1 thru #5 in sequence.

2) Shoot flashing #6/14 stand up target

3) Shoot flashing #7/15 stand up target

4) Shoot flashing #8 up in the back. A buzzer buzzes. A bell rings. This resets the five drop targets so the sequence function is active again.

5) Shoot #9 thru #13.

6) Shoot flashing #6/14 standup target

7) Shoot flashing #7/15 standup target

This completes one rack of 15 balls and lights the 1st of 3 racks.

If I fail to achieve 2), 3), and 4) the drop targets will not reset for sequential dropping.

Is the way this pin is played?

#8 10 months ago

Yes. But typically on the first rack the drop targets spot both 1-5 and 9-13. This is a setting that can be changed.

#9 10 months ago

I would spend some time in the switch test and make sure each 1-5 switch is scoring correctly and also STAYING closed with the target down.

Then I would go into the coil test and make sure every individual drop coil is functioning properly. In laser cue gameplay, the entire drop target bank resets every time a drop target is hit (regardless if it was the next one in sequence) and then it will fire the individual drop coils to knock down the targets that were already scored in order.

#10 10 months ago
Quoted from gutz:

In laser cue gameplay, the entire drop target bank resets every time a drop target is hit (regardless if it was the next one in sequence) and then it will fire the individual drop coils to knock down the targets that were already scored in order.

That's the opposite of how it works. Williams drops have a 'combined' knock down that knocks all the targets down at once, and then individual coils to reset specific drop targets. When you knock a target down, if it was the wrong target it can just reset that specific target.

#11 10 months ago
Quoted from gutz:

I would spend some time in the switch test and make sure each 1-5 switch is scoring correctly and also STAYING closed with the target down.
Then I would go into the coil test and make sure every individual drop coil is functioning properly. In laser cue gameplay, the entire drop target bank resets every time a drop target is hit (regardless if it was the next one in sequence) and then it will fire the individual drop coils to knock down the targets that were already scored in order.

Quoted from zacaj:

That's the opposite of how it works. Williams drops have a 'combined' knock down that knocks all the targets down at once, and then individual coils to reset specific drop targets. When you knock a target down, if it was the wrong target it can just reset that specific target.

Both of you have Laser Cues. Why are there different operation descriptions going on here? It is confusing me.

On mine, if I knock down #1 it stays down. If I knock down #2 in order it stays down. If I knock next knock down #4 or #5 before I knock down #3 they will pop back up.

When the ball drains, all 5 drops go down and the bank resets and any targets that were down will return to down position at the reset.

And then the original reason for this post: I knock down #1 thru #5 in sequence and then it seems the sequencing function for the 5 drops is disabled until I achieve targets #6 , #7, and #8. After #8 is achieved then the sequencing function is made active again. This is how mine is behaving. I don't know if this correct operation but it makes sense that you can't just stand there and keep hitting those same 5 targets all of the time and expect good things to continue happening. And the loss of sequencing is telling you it is time to move to the next flashing target ? As stated, I'm not sure if this is correct operation, but it makes sense to me if it is correct operation.

I thought this pin was going to be a pushover to play but I am discovering that it is rather complex.

#12 10 months ago
Quoted from gutz:

I would spend some time in the switch test and make sure each 1-5 switch is scoring correctly and also STAYING closed with the target down.

You may be right about a switch. I may have discovered a glitch. I'll detail this when I get back home.

#13 10 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

And then the original reason for this post: I knock down #1 thru #5 in sequence and then it seems the sequencing function for the 5 drops is disabled until I achieve targets #6 , #7, and #8. After #8 is achieved then the sequencing function is made active again. This is how mine is behaving. I don't know if this correct operation

To my memory this is correct. I don't have mine set up right now to compare, and never paid much attention to the bank once I had 1-5 completed, but it sounds like what I'd expect.

#14 10 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

That's the opposite of how it works. Williams drops have a 'combined' knock down that knocks all the targets down at once, and then individual coils to reset specific drop targets. When you knock a target down, if it was the wrong target it can just reset that specific target.

You are correct, I looked at some pics. The main coil trips the targets, then each target has its own reset coil. Sorry for the confusion.

#15 10 months ago

I'm starting to figure some things out.

First time thru, the #1 light will be blinking telling you this is the one to hit.

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What happens in next pic is something I don't know how it happens. But now I know how to get out of the situation. In this pic, the #2 and #10 light are blinking to show you that #2 is the active target. Since this is a photo, you cannot see lights blinking, but that are. Trouble is that the #2 target is dropped with no way to get back into sequence. If I hit #1 then #1 goes down and #2 pops up. This will go back and forth like Whack-a-Mole.

I found out how to get out of this Whack-a-Mole trap. You have to go all around the play field and hit stand up targets "B", "A", "L", and "L". As soon as you spell B-A-L-L target #2 pops back up and the sequence mode is in play again.

This part of the post needs to be separate. I'll continue in the next post.

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#16 10 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

You may be right about a switch. I may have discovered a glitch. I'll detail this when I get back home.

What did the switch test reveal?

#17 10 months ago

On my machine, what I have discovered is:

On the first time thru, #1 will be the blinking target to hit. The #9 in back is lit solid. This will progress all the way up to #5. #1, 2,3,4, and 5 will be blinking as the active target. #9, 10,11,12, and 13 will be lit solid.

IMG_9327 (resized).JPG

Also, one the first time thru, after you achieve #5 target, #6 target will be blinking and #14 will be lit solid.

And............................................................................#7 target will be blinking and #15 will be solid.

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#8 acts like a place holder but moves the action to the 2nd round.

The second time thru is a reverse of first time. This time #1 will be solid and #9 will be blinking. It is same way all the way down. #1,2,3,4, and 5 will be solid and #9.10,11,12, and 13 will be blinking.
.
.
.

The third time thru is different.

This time, only the #1 thru #7 will be lit up. And they are not blinking. They are lit solid with no blinking.
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.
.

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.
The 4th time thru is like the 2nd time thru.

I don't yet know what is normal behavior for this pin. But this is the way mine is working. Maybe I have a bad switch or something bad on the driver board. But discovering that I can move around the play field and light B-A-L-L and get out the the 1-2 tag team trap is a big plus.

#18 10 months ago
Quoted from gutz:

What did the switch test reveal?

Have not done just a switch test, yet. I really need to study my manual to understand how to move thru the testing procedure. There is a lot there.

#19 10 months ago

Sometimes the game fails to reset one of the targets and doesn't notice, I'd assume that's what's happening with the 2.

#20 10 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Sometimes the game fails to reset one of the targets and doesn't notice, I'd assume that's what's happening with the 2.

Would that be a bad switch or something on the driver board? I ask because the switch is a micro-switch and I don't know if micro switches have intermittent type problems, or not.

#21 10 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Would that be a bad switch or something on the driver board? I ask because the switch is a micro-switch and I don't know if micro switches have intermittent type problems, or not.

Microswitches can go bad. Sometimes they stop working completely or they can partially/intermittently work. When they start going bad, they will momentarily "close" while the switch is being activated but they will not remain "closed" if the switch is held down.

#22 10 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Would that be a bad switch or something on the driver board? I ask because the switch is a micro-switch and I don't know if micro switches have intermittent type problems, or not.

Physically. I had a drop that's was slipping off.

#23 10 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Physically. I had a drop that's was slipping off.

Mechanically, everything is tight. I had the targets out of the assembly yesterday adjusting the flat copper springs and cleaning things up.

Quoted from gutz:

Microswitches can go bad. Sometimes they stop working completely or they can partially/intermittently work. When they start going bad, they will momentarily "close" while the switch is being activated but they will not remain "closed" if the switch is held down.

I think, in my Joe Shadetree way of troubleshooting stuff, I am going to swap switch #2 with switch #4 and see if the problem moves to #3-#4 instead of #1-#2 where it currently is.

If the problem moves I will know I have bad switch. If the problem stays where it is at then I have a board problem or a wiring connectivity problem.

I am going to have another couple of questions for you all, but I'll deal with one item at a time.

I appreciate you talking about it. Hearing what others say always helps to try and figure out what is going on.

#24 10 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Mechanically, everything is tight. I had the targets out of the assembly yesterday adjusting the flat copper springs and cleaning things up.

I think, in my Joe Shadetree way of troubleshooting stuff, I am going to swap switch #2 with switch #4 and see if the problem moves to #3-#4 instead of #1-#2 where it currently is.
If the problem moves I will know I have bad switch. If the problem stays where it is at then I have a board problem or a wiring connectivity problem.
I am going to have another couple of questions for you all, but I'll deal with one item at a time.
I appreciate you talking about it. Hearing what others say always helps to try and figure out what is going on.

The diagnostic menus will test your switches 10x faster than you can swap switches. It will also prevent you from complicating the problem by potentially crossing wires and creating misleading results.

#25 10 months ago
Quoted from gutz:

The diagnostic menus will test your switches 10x faster than you can swap switches. It will also prevent you from complicating the problem by potentially crossing wires and creating misleading results.

Already swapped. The wiring is straight forward on these switches. Switches are swapped and no change in behavior action. I'm guessing I have something wrong with my power driver board; Somewhere in those drawings I added yesterday.

But i'll study on how to do the switch test before I start ordering parts.

#26 10 months ago

There are settings you can set that control how these drop targets react that might be affecting your results as well. I'd factory reset the settings to start so you know what the expected behavior should be. I also had an issue with the drops on my LaserCue when I got it where one of the drops would get hit out of sequence and it would stay down until I could hit B-A-L-L. That was a worn spring and a badly fabricated drop target reset plate that was rubbing and catching on the housing.

While it's completely possible the issue could be in the board, verify its not something physical first. Especially since you swapped switches and no change in behavior. I've literally taken every piece of my drop target assembly apart and put it back together since buying this machine.

#27 10 months ago

I'd do the switch test first - easy and saves lots of time and guessing. You need these to be working correctly for proper game function.

Then check setting number 34 as this influences how the drops reset when you hit one out of sequence.

The manual and score cards are on IPDB.

#28 10 months ago
Quoted from DorkInAbox:

when I got it where one of the drops would get hit out of sequence and it would stay down until I could hit B-A-L-L.

I finally got to see it in action. This is easier when I know what to look for. Short story: If drop target #2 drops before #1 (out of sequence) it says down instead of popping back up. So, the issue is with drop #2. It works like this: #2 goes down out of sequence and stays down. #1 has the blinking lights and when #1 is hit it drops and the blinking light moves to #2 only #2 is still down and there is nothing for the ball to hit leaving the game stuck until I can light up B-A-L-L.

Quoted from DorkInAbox:

That was a worn spring and a badly fabricated drop target reset plate that was rubbing and catching on the housing.

I had all of the drop targets out of the assembly yesterday. The small coil "pull down" springs are all in good condition and pull the targets down as designed. I adjusted the flat copper "forward locking" tension springs with the least amount tension. The targets drop like stones.

While I had the targets out, I went ahead and loosened the individual drop coils and cleaned the sleeves and plungers. So, basically, I have had the drop assembly all apart and back together.

I wish it was something mechanical, but it is not. I know this because I did create a mechanical malfunction that I had to go back in and correct.

I thought you had it with the action you described with B-A-L-L. I have something different going on.

Quoted from SYS6:

I'd do the switch test first - easy and saves lots of time and guessing. You need these to be working correctly for proper game function.
Then check setting number 34 as this influences how the drops reset when you hit one out of sequence.
The manual and score cards are on IPDB.

Doing that switch will be tomorrow's project.

I'll have to study up to learn what setting 34 is. Thanks for this tip.

I have the factory printed manuals with prints. Thank you.

While I work on this issue I am going to post my other problem.

#29 10 months ago

The other, and possibly, the last issue I have with this Laser Cue is something different.

Across the top of the play field are 4 lights that spell out P-O-O-L. These lights are dark until to you shoot the ball up to the top and hit the inlane rollover wires. Like some other Williams games, using the right hand flipper you can rotate which of these 4 lights are on.

My 4 P-O-O-L lights work OK. But there is a glitch that just started yesterday.

When I turn on the pin, when I make a cold start, one of my POOL lights comes on and stays on. It stays on for about 3-4 minutes or for the first couple of games. Then it goes out and my P-O-O-L lights work as normal.

When I was swapping switches, I went ahead and replaced the diode for that light. It made no change.

So, I'm trying to figure out what it could possibly be that is having a thermal effect with this light. Once the machine heats up all is well. Strange stuff. I'm used to stuff braking down thermally when it gets too hot.
.
.
.I turn on the pin and this light comes on and stays on until the electrics start warming up and then it goes off. Beats me.

IMG_9378 (resized).JPG

#30 10 months ago

Ok, given all that and your issues with the pool lights, sounds switch matrix related. Pool lights should be off until the corresponding roll over switch is hit or you use lane change to bring the next light in sequence on. This game is super fun and has rewarding shots. The light and sound show when you hit the extra ball is awesome and the hit the targets in order for a reward makes my OCD jump for joy!

#31 10 months ago
Quoted from DorkInAbox:

Pool lights should be off until the corresponding roll over switch is hit or you use lane change to bring the next light in sequence on.

Yes, I know, and as soon as the game warms up it behaves normally. This light is only staying on when I first start up the pin. When it is cold.

I'll have to look at the switch matrix and see if this #2 coil and the POOL light have any connection.

I am going to have plenty of time to study. I was playing the pin and had a coil stop break. And wouldn't you know, it is the coil stop for drop target #2.

I don't have any extra Williams parts in inventory. I'm going to have to work up and order for Pinball Life and order some spare coil stops. Geez.

Quoted from DorkInAbox:

The light and sound show when you hit the extra ball is awesome and the hit the targets in order for a reward makes my OCD jump for joy!

Yes, I understand what you are saying. I originally traded for this pin with the idea of fixing it up and selling it. But I'm enjoying it so much that I'm thinking about keeping it. My girlfriend told me to keep it.

I love these 50 volt flippers that kick like mules. I am setting at 7.5% slope. It is playing fast and hard. Great sound sets. Simple rules with lots to do.

1 month later
#32 8 months ago

This thread needs closure.

The problem with the #2 drop target not working turned out to be a bad transistor on the driver board. The P-O-O-L light sort of fixed itself but it is a long story.

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