(Topic ID: 139167)

Meteor Help... Update: Getting There

By popeboy

8 years ago

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Topic Stats

  • 53 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by Lysurgeon
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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  • Meteor Stern Electronics, 1979

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There are 53 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 8 years ago

Working on a meteor... replaced a coil that resets the drop targets on the number "2" set of 3 drop targets that was completely burned. Put in a new coil and after you drop all three 2's again the coil that resets them is still staying locked on.
Thoughts on what I should check?


#2 8 years ago

Transistor that drives it.

LTG : )™

#3 8 years ago

You mean the coil is staying energized after it tries to reset the bank? Or is the reset mechanism just jamming in the up position? If the transistor is bad, the coil will usually pull in as soon as you turn on the power. Rick

#4 8 years ago

If the coil stays locked on - is it getting hot, or turn the game off. Then you'd know if it's an electrical issue or a mechanical one.

LTG : )™

#5 8 years ago

I dont think ive ever seen a momentary driver kick on and stay on like an SCR. Lets see what he says. Of course we gotta remember the coil was burned to start with.

#6 8 years ago

I'm helping my brother-in-law with this issue (who is not on Pinside). I believe he is saying it energizes at power on and stays on. I will clarify with him later today and get back to you.
If it is energizing immediately and staying on, then it looks like the controlling transistor is the culprit if I am hearing you guys right.

Thanks for the input so far.

#7 8 years ago

yes and thats about the most common problem you can have on those. Since the old coil was burned up, you will need to replace the shorted driver. should be transistor Q5 if this is the upper left bank, and you should be good. Check make sure you have correct fuses on the solenoid power cause it should have blown instead of smoking the coil. may be a fuse under the playfield too.

#8 8 years ago

Great info... thanks so much.
I will report back and let you know if that works for us!

#9 8 years ago

Found the bad transistor and ordered a replacement. Will let you know.

#10 8 years ago

Transistor replaced and now everything works as it should. Thanks for the help!
That Meteor should be making its way to my house tomorrow... I am pumped!

#11 8 years ago

Alright... now I really need some help.
Machine got to my house last night and everything worked as it should. Fired it up again this evening and worked for a little bit, then I got trouble.
Now when I turn it on the displays all show "4 263", then it will show the high score as normal. Everything works in attract mode for a short period of time, then quits. All displays go blank, only a few insert lights stay lit, but GI lighting stays on.

You will also hear some crackling through the sound system when this happens.

Thoughts on where to start?


#12 8 years ago

Further info to help with diagnosis:

When attract mode craps out, I hear a noise coming from the clear plastic box on the Solenoid driver board that I can see contains a spring and appears to be trying to do something physical. I have it circled in the picture here:

Solenoid Board.jpgSolenoid Board.jpg

Then when it craps out, the red light is lit on the MPU board that I have circled in this pic...

MPU Board.jpgMPU Board.jpg

Let me know what you are thinking...

#13 8 years ago

That's the flipper relay

#14 8 years ago
Quoted from Raff:

That's the flipper relay

Beat me to it.

Am I the one who has to point out the damage on the CPU? It's obvious that there's battery damage along the bottom of the board.
Someone has put the battery off board apparently, but didn't do a very neat job. Also, it looks like U14 is burnt.

#15 8 years ago
Quoted from girloveswaffles:

Am I the one who has to point out the damage on the CPU? It's obvious that there's battery damage along the bottom of the board.
Someone has put the battery off board apparently, but didn't do a very neat job. Also, it looks like U14 is burnt.

I did notice the damage to the bottom of the board, my brother in law moved the battery holder off board before he brought it over.

Just double checked the U14, wiped off the top of the chip which was covered in dust and it looks ok, I think the picture gave it that burnt look.

So if the flipper relay kicking on is what stops normal operation and lights the led on the MPU board, what is my first logical trouble shooting step?

I'm assuming replacing the entire board with the modern Ultimate version would work... but didn't know what else was in the chain of failure events.


#16 8 years ago

Took the Solenoid Driver board out and examined the back... didn't see any obvious cracked solder joints.

#17 8 years ago

Further info: Put the board back in and fire it up. It says 4 263 in the displays then I get 5 beeps instead of the normal 7.
Then attract mode starts and the displays vary between the saved high score in display 1 and 4 263 showing in all four displays.

#18 8 years ago

I don't think your flipper relay i is an issue, maybe more of a symptom. I'd be more concerned about the MPU board. There's quite a bit of damage around U8. For example: look at the corrosion at C80.

#19 8 years ago

Thanks, need some pointing in the right direction. I certainly don't want to purchase a replacement board and have it not be the culprit... or worse, have it be something different and end up ruining a new board.

#20 8 years ago

You have some MPU bus issues as well as some connector problems. Your MPU may need a rework. Try carefully reseating chips on the MPU with the battery removed. Connectors to suspect are lower left on MPU, and both connectors on the right side of the regulator driver board. If any of these reseats change things, you probably need to replace some terminals in those connectors and reflow the pins on the boards. There could be some old battery damage that is just starting to affect some components. U8 and U13 cause strange symptoms in that stern system since it uses them in a different function than bally or earlier stern boards (not just for memory backup, like it stores controlled lamp status data during operation, etc)

#21 8 years ago

I bit the bullet and ordered a replacement MPU board. If there is corrosion damage in multiple places (and the board does look pretty toked in spots) I don't want to throw a ton of hours (that I don't have) into running each of these issues down.
Once again, I will update when it is in and installed.


#22 8 years ago

You will probably still need to repin connectors, certainly the MPU connectors and the rectifier connectors if they haven't been done.

#23 8 years ago

Cool. I have repinned a connector before... pain in the butt.

#24 8 years ago

new board will last you years, that old board still looked ok

#25 8 years ago

Hmmm... well it's not the MPU board. Before putting in the Alltek I tested the solenoid driver board as instructed and got just under 5V.
Put in the board and power up. The MPU test led lights up green but does not start going through test pulses, just stays solid lit. The red over voltage led does not light up. The green +5V dc led does light up.
I check voltage on the Alltek boards at the test points. 5V test point reads 4.9, which I believe should be ok. The 43V test point is almost right on.
At this point I swap the old board back in and fire it up. It comes on and goes through the test beeps correctly and the game goes into attract mode.
Play a few games and notice that the back board lights flicker slightly when I hit the flippers. Eventually the bottom half of the lights (they are split in two halves which are fed from separate wire pairs) go out, but it continues to play. I play about 5 or 6 games then shut it off for the night.
This morning I go down and flip it on and we are back to GI lights come on but it never starts the self test beeps and does not go into attract mode.
So at this point, what is my next logical culprit? Should I start trying to re-pin some connectors... if so which would you suggest starting with?
I did not test anything on the rectifier board as of yet.


#26 8 years ago

Reading up on pinballrepair.com and he addresses the led coming on and staying on instead of flickering through the self tests, but all of the solutions proposed assume that the problem is on the MPU board itself. Since I am getting the same result from the original board and the brand new Alltek board I have to assume the problem is coming from outside the board.

#27 8 years ago

Did you set the dips properly for the game on the Altek? Also sometimes you need to do a memory clear on the Altek and then set the dips back for Meteor. I had to do the memory clear on the Altek before I could get it to work in my Metoer even though I set the dips properly it needed a clear then it started working. Just a suggestion.


#28 8 years ago

I triple checked the game setting dips. Pretty sure I tried clearing the memory as one of my steps last night, but I can certainly try again.

#29 8 years ago

Probably the game dips are fine but just suggesting, I seem to remember when I did mem clear for it, I had to leave it in the reset for a minute or two. The first time I reset the dips too fast and it didn't work... Just something to add...

Great game, I love mine! Once you get it dialed in you'll be good for a long time I'm sure...

#30 8 years ago

Put the new board back in and fired it up in the memory clear setting, left it on for a few and was able to get into test mode.
Set the dips back to Meteor and was able to get it working with the Alltek board.
I still have some electrical issues as I still have the flcikering backboard lights when flipping, half of the back board lights turn themselves off while playing.
I will definitely not be surprised if it doesn't boot again tomorrow when I turn it back on. Going to try to test some voltages from the rectifier board tomorrow.

Any suggestions are of course welcome!

#31 8 years ago

Well day two and the machine is still working. Thanks for the tip on leaving the memory clear longer on the Alltek board homebrood.
I am definitely going to replace the rectifier board, after taking a closer look at it today, parts of it are literally crumbling!
Compared to the MPU board that board is inexpensive and since it does all the power conversion for the machine I think it will clear up a lot of the remaining issues. Just need to resolder the twelve wires on to the back if I am correct?
My brother in law found this machine at a great price so I definitely had room to put some money in to it without ending up under water.

Thanks for all the input so far. While I am waiting for that to come in at least I can still play the game. Leveled and waxed it alredy plays pretty good already.

#32 7 years ago

Alright... got my Rottendog rectifier board today, came home and put it in. Great references here and on the pinwiki that made soldering all the transformer wires on to the new board in the right spots fear-free (well, 99%... you're always a little worried you will flip that power switch the first time after installation and smoke something).
Definitely solved some of the wonky power issues.
1) Backboard lights all come on every time you turn it on.
2) All four displays seem brighter and more reliable.
3) Boots every time you turn it on... before even with the Alltek MPU it would occasionally not go through the boot sequence.

Little things I will continue to chase down:
1) Spinner does not make any sound. Machine goes quiet when you rip it until the spinner stops (since I am assuming these can only play one sound at a time).
2) Backboard lights still flicker a little when hitting the flippers during play... I have to assume that is not normal for these machines?
3) Left flipper occasionally sticks up for a second when you have been cradling the ball and then release the button.

Here's a few pics.

First, my new Rottendog rectifier board installed...


The old rectifier board... which has seen better days!


Finally, Meteor looking happier than it has so far...


#33 7 years ago

Next step is to re-pin the connectors to the new rectifier board. I'm researching now, but does anyone know what size connectors and crimp terminals I will need to replace those three plugs?


Edit: Nevermind, found the entire re-pin kit for this board on Marcos.

#34 7 years ago

Yes, .156 pin crimp terminals. Just be sure you buy a quality crimping tool....for your sanity. This is a nice tool that won't break the bank.

#35 7 years ago

I will check that out, thanks.

#36 7 years ago

Took apart the left flipper and cleaned the plunger and sleeve. Now the left flipper is not sticking up for a second after you cradle the ball.
Will definitely have to be rebuilt in the future.

#37 7 years ago

See Ed at GPE for the correct pins, and crimper. Good guy.

#38 7 years ago

this one crimps .156 and .100

#39 7 years ago

My kit to repin the rectifier board came in today from Marcos. Just got that done and it seems to have fixed the issue where half of the back board lights would go out (or not come on in the first place).

Remaining problems:
Display 3 is really flaky. Sometimes shows only a few digits, sometimes none, sometimes it's ok.
No sound from the spinner. I assume that I am getting the rest of the sounds, but not having a Meteor before I'm not 100% sure.

Got non-ghosting LED's coming this week, so that should really make this pop.

#40 7 years ago

Display 3 sounds like cold solder joints, try reflowing them.

#41 7 years ago

I noticed last night (and this morning) that when it is on for a few minutes display 3 starts working fine. Does that support the cold joints thought?

#42 7 years ago

Does it happen when you wiggle the display?

#43 7 years ago

I didn't try that with it on... those "Danger High Voltage" labels over the display boards scare me

#44 7 years ago

if you are having trouble with your display then have a look here

#45 7 years ago

Alright, got my LED's in and of course I have flicker in all the controlled feature sockets. Was reading up here and found some threads from a couple of years ago addressing LED's in old Bally / Stern machines. Are there any new options available or am I still looking at installing an Alltek lamp driver board or soldering a resistor on to each lamp socket?

#46 7 years ago

I installed these in my Meteor, they work great!


#47 7 years ago

Perfect! I was hoping there was a solution for less than $100. Thanks!

#48 7 years ago

Back at it... got my Siegecraft LED adapter kit today. Come down and start plugging it in.
Comparing the instructions to what I have in front of me... turns out I am missing the third two port plug that connects the third circuit board before daisy chaining off to the alligator clip that powers it.


I swear a little bit, then start looking at it. Ok, just appears to be normal crimps and plug. I dig the old connectors out of the basement garbage (thank god nothing too disgusting in there... strangely there are a lot of empty beer bottles and cans) that I cut off last week when I was re-pinning the connectors to the rectifier board. Split the wire between the last two prong female connector and the alligator clip, strip it, crimp both ends and use the last two openings on the old 9 port connector.

It works and I am back in business.

Here is a link to a short video of the LED lights not flickering:

Last things to solve:

Some sounds missing... definitely spinner, maybe others, not sure.
When starting ball one, a drop target or two will fall and give the appropriate points before plunging the ball. Perhaps from the violent shake when the ball is kicked out???

#49 7 years ago
Quoted from popeboy:

Some sounds missing... definitely spinner, maybe others, not sure.

Spinner sound problem is usually 5101 RAM issues. Make sure you have a matched pair and they are the fastest chips you can get. I think the fastest are 100ns or 150ns. From the pic above it looks like you have a matched pair of Intel 300ns chips, unless something has changed.

Quoted from popeboy:

When starting ball one, a drop target or two will fall and give the appropriate points before plunging the ball. Perhaps from the violent shake when the ball is kicked out???

The METEOR bank is notorious for this. You have to tweak the lift bar so that the targets furthest away from the coil are raised high enough to catch on the ledge. You may also have to put stronger springs in to help pull them forward onto the ledge.

#50 7 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Spinner sound problem is usually 5101 RAM issues. Make sure you have a matched pair and they are the fastest chips you can get. I think the fastest are 100ns or 150ns. From the pic above it looks like you have a matched pair of Intel 300ns chips, unless something has changed.

Are those on the MPU board? (asking because I now have the Alltek board in there and I don't have a picture of the sound board posted).

I will look in to your suggestions on the drop targets. Maybe all the springs are getting a little stretched out because it has happened on each of the 1,2,3 banks as well.


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