Lose ball with WOW lit??

(Topic ID: 208057)

Lose ball with WOW lit??

By amxman

12 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 69 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by amxman
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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#1 12 months ago

For my Gottlieb Ship Ahoy pinball in add a ball or (WOW) mode for some reason if I have only one WOW flag lit I still lose a ball. If I have 2 or more WOW's lit I only lose the WOW. I would have thought that if I have a WOW lit I lose them until no more WOW's left, then I lose balls.

Is what I'm seeing in my game a problem or is it normal to lose a ball along with your last WOW?

If it is wrong I'm assuming I have something wrong with the WOW counter/stepper unit.

#3 12 months ago

Adjusting the WOW stepper, I'm thinking it only needs a very small adjustment correct? I wouldn't want to turn it to a entirely different point, that would change the "WOW" credit's right?

Does anyone know which point or contact determines loss of ball or keep ball/loss of WOW??

And I just loosen the three screws(or maybe two, I forget) and turn the contacting plate?

#5 11 months ago

Was looking at WOW decagon unit and saw a old note wedged by the unit.

The note looks to be printed by Gottlieb, it matches the rest of machine. Thought it was interesting.

Note reads:

Inside SW.
Reset Completed.
Second SW.
Comp. CIR. To Subtract
"Ball Count" Unit.
Third SW.
Opens CIR. To SUB. Coil.

If what I'm reading is correct, when the "second" SW completes circuit it then subtracts "ball count".

Am I to assume the switch stack is what this note is talking about?

I will put some pictures up when I get a chance.

#7 11 months ago

Ok, newbee question... first switch, is this the switch closest to the mount? Or what determines 1-2-3? I want to make sure I'm looking at this thing correctly.

I want to try and scan in my schematic then highlight where I think I should be looking. I'm still learning but the whole Litebox to ball count unit throws me for a loop, I seem to be following circuits in circles and don't know what starts or ends the loop per say. I know its simple, I just get lost when I try and figure it out.

#9 11 months ago

Ok went to Office Max... not to excited about the quality but I outlined where I think I should be looking.

I need to know how to find what decides when to subtract a ball. And when I do find it on schematic, finding it on machine will be my second challenge.

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#12 11 months ago
Quoted from leckmeck:

The first switch should be closest to the peg on the cam.
When the Litebox Advance Unit is completely reset, the peg should push against the first and second switch, closing them both. When the unit steps up, the peg will stop touching the first switch, causing the first and second switch to open and the third to close.

How do you know by looking at the schematic that those are switches 1, 2, 3?

At least I was able to find where to look, I just don't understand where it begins and the "flow".

I will look at this and report back.

#13 11 months ago
Quoted from HowardR:

How much did they charge you? I agree about the quality.

A little over 4 bucks. I'm going to go back and ask for higher resolution, kinda crazy how blurry it came out. It looked good on "his" screen when he zoomed in....

#15 11 months ago

Went back to Office Max and told them I want higher resolution and that the previous one got blurry when zoomed in. They did it again at no charge. Looks better! Should have rotated it for you guys.

I'm still studying the lightbox advance unit, I can find the wires, just need to understand why it looks like it should but is not working when on last WOW. I need to start identifying all the wires on the pins and how they work with the make/break switch.


#18 11 months ago
Quoted from leckmeck:

Look at the ratchet side of the litebox advance unit. Here is how that switch stack should appear in its two states.

Now that I’ve had an actual look at things, I realize my earlier diagram misidentified the second switch. That’s what I get for trusting my failing memory.

I looked at mine, it looks correct in both positions. I cleaned all the contacts in the switch stack(with 1000 grit sandpaper).

Where should I look next?

#24 11 months ago

No when game is reset there are no wows lit. After game play you acquire a wow like normal, but if you only get one wow and loose the ball you loose both the wow and a ball.

#25 11 months ago

I'm going to try the paper to physically break connections and see if there is a problem there, again everything looks to be correct with the switch stack.

#26 11 months ago

Here are pictures of the ball count switch, let me know if this is incorrect, lower picture is zero, upper picture is 1+ balls in play. From what I can tell it seems to be working just fine. The piece of thick material is starting to crack near the stack, can this be replaced with a new piece? I assume it can be but what is it called?

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#29 11 months ago

I put paper between the switches, and found the second one to give me the result I was looking for. After thinking it through and playing with the action back and forth a few times, I come to the thought that maybe the ratchet is off very slightly. My thought is that while the wow subtract is energized the first action of the ratchet the switches advance subtracting a ball at this time. Is it possible to adjust this so the second action of the ratchet when the subtract is de-energized it wouldn't energize the switch subtracting the ball.

I also notice that your picture the "nth Position" in rest the pin is away from the switch stack, mine is just starting to touch the stack.

If this makes any sense let me know how this can be adjusted... it just seems like a timing issue.


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#31 11 months ago

Could I just add washer or maybe a thin piece of plastic to space the whole switch stack away from the pin on the ratchet wheel? I don't want to adjust 7 switch tabs, seeing how it would be my first try at it I don't want to mess it up.

I'm also going to check the mounting tab that the switches mount to, to make sure it is not bent somehow.

#35 11 months ago
Quoted from Bee-barf:

Hope you don't mind, but I am working on a ship ahoy also. I am at a point where, score reels go to zero, the ball count goes to 5 balls, but it does not stop trying to go farther. Stays on 5. Got any ideas on what contacts are not tripping? Thanks

Give us a little more info. Is this when you restart the game? If so, try manually advancing the ball unit, make sure its moving freely. Make sure all the rivets are clean, I clean them with rubbing alcohol... make sure you let it dry and air out, you don't want a fire. Also look at all the sprung contacts between the two reels, when the ball count advances make sure they are making contact with their respective rivet.

I had a problem with my ship ahoy getting stuck in a reset and it seemed the problem was bad connections on the ball count unit.

#43 11 months ago
Quoted from leckmeck:

The fifth and sixth positions on the ball count unit give no power to the playfield. When the outhole throws the ball over to the shooter lane, the closing of the trough switch should step the ball count unit down to the fifth ball or third ball, which gives power to the playfield, but only if switches on TX and AX are adjusted correctly. Check on those two, especially AX.

Smart dude leckmeck! Thanks for sharing your knowledge, some day I hope to be able to help others as well as you.

I'm waiting on a switch adjustment tool and a new Decagon unit from Marco's to tune up my Ship Ahoy. I'll post when I adjust and if I have any comments to add I'll make sure to post them here.

#47 11 months ago

Numbers on the wheel only light up when you hit that corresponding number on the field. The smaller yellow lights spin with the target spinner, depending on how your game is set to play, you can light the number it lands on after it spins.

As for the ball not ejecting, check the switches that sense the ball drain, the ball count switch is somewhere along the track the ball is ejected on. You can reach this just by opening the coin door. Sometimes I have to touch that switch to get the game to either start or to cycle it to "game over" then reset.

#48 11 months ago

If the yellow lights don't spin with the target spinner, check the relay/geared mini stepper unit. This is located on the underside of playfield, about mid board along the left side(facing game normal). Do be careful with this mini stepper, I heard they can be sensitive, make sure it advances and isn't sluggish. Also you can carefully clean the contacts on the stepper. And make sure the spinner is contacting its switch on its upstroke(doubt that's the problem).

#51 11 months ago

I confirmed, my ship ahoy does this upon reset... when everything is zero'ed out ball count is 6th position and the ball then gets kicked then hits a switch which then turns ball count to 5.

What you have to do is figure out why your ball drain/kick is not activating. That may be a bigger deal, a little above my knowledge. Something to do with either the switch itself or what about the whole credit/no credit switch? I haven't had to play with mine any, it was disabled by someone else or I should say it always has credit. But that would prevent the game from reset.

What about the door rattle thingy, doesn't that need to energize allowing the game to proceed with kicking the ball for play?? I always thought it was something to do with credit switch.

Bee-Barf can you take a picture of the switch on the underside of your drain/kick area?? I'll compare to mine.

#52 11 months ago
Quoted from Bee-barf:

The ball doesn't kick out on ball 6 (game start) so manually put ball in play, everything is good until ball drains, then nothing happens? I also have it set on Add A Ball -when it goes threw the spinner, where the yellow light stops, isn't that number to lite on the wheel?

There is a adjustment for how the spinner plays. If the "when lit" is not lit when you hit the spinner you don't get the number... during game play keep an eye on it, does it light for a little while then go out, then come back? It follows score to alternate when lit or not. Again it can be adjusted, on the bottom board on the far right there should be a "spin-n-spot" adjustment. You can move this up or down changing how much the "when lit" light stays lit. I have my always lit by putting the three pins connecting with the three sockets that have wires going to them(furthest back or rear). The arrow points to LIB. whatever that means on the little label.

Let me know if that helps any.

#69 11 months ago


I was able to adjust the switch's away from the WOW ball count gear unit pin, it now works as it should, no loss of ball when on last WOW.

Thanks for your help!

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