(Topic ID: 341860)

More help needed (STTNG flasher issues)

By Romulus

6 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 4 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by PinRetail
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#1 6 months ago

My Borg ship flashers aren't working anymore, well not the way they should.
A little back story because I don't know if it's related or not. When I first got the machine everything except the shield GI lights worked. There were a few flashers that were out but at the time I didn't even know they existed. I eventually traced the shield GI problem back to a miswired J121, someone before me had put pin1 in the #2 position. When I repinned it, the shield GI lights started working but the flashers (that had worked before) stopped. I found that the Romulan and Right Lane flashers (along with the others that had always been out) were incandescent bulbs that had blown. Replaced those and they work, but the Borg Ship Flashers are still FUBAR. They are 12v LED flashers. I took the ship plastic off and found that on the right ship circuit, one of the SMD does actually blink faintly. I have checked the sockets and they are getting the proper voltage, and all have continunity to their respective pins on J122. This leads me to believe it is a problem on the power driver board. Now, I pulled the board and checked all the transistors and they appear to be good. I did find C11 with a domed head about ready to pop. Once I got the board out and looked at the backside, I decided to just replace the whole thing (alot of homemade trace repairs, shoddy soldering, heat damage, etc). There is a little blue sticker on the board that says "Repaired 6-22."

So I guess my questions come down to, would a bad C11 be causing just those 3 circuits to not work, and is there anything I need to check in my machine before installing the new board so that I don't smoke it? With the board supposedly repair just over a year ago, it seems to me that C11 should have lasted longer unless something else is inducing a failure, but then again, I don't know what all was done during the "repair."

One final note, here recently (a few weeks after the flashers stopped) the Under Diverter top will randomly kick several times in a row. I can't find anything that seems to trigger it, it appears to be random except during Final Frontier, it will kick during the entire time FF is going. Never sticks, just on, off, on, off etc.

#2 6 months ago

So, if ALL your flashers were out, I'd suspect the work that you did in the Flasher Power section. C11, etc.

Test point 7 right in the middle of the board should read around 26.8V (20V unregulated). (That's what it does on my board.)

But you already said that you have DC voltage (20v unregulated) at the sockets, so I do not think this is power.

Of course, the first thing I suspect is that the sockets that were designed for bulbs aren't making good connections on your LED flashers. Pull them out and reverse them, maybe bend the wires to the other side of the flasher.

Star Trek The Next Generation is one of those games that requires the front door interlock (top white switch) to be engaged in order for you to have power.

So make sure your interlock switch on the front door is pushed in (hopefully using your little yellow tool).

Go into Flasher Test. Select Running, make sure you still have your problem, and that it isn't all the flashers, it's the three borg flashers.

Then get an alligator clip jumper wire, and connect one side to the ground terminal right under TP7. Touch the other end of the alligator clip jumper wire briefly to the tab of Q20, Q22, and Q24.

If you do NOT get flash when you ground the tab of the transistors, you have:

Bad Flasher LED's (maybe they are just burnt out? maybe they are just not making good connection in the socket?)

Bad power connection to the flasher sockets (you said you traced power, so this isn't it)

Bad connection between the other side of the flasher socket and the tabs of the driver transistors.

If you DO get flash when grounding the tabs of the transistors, it's a board problem. Let us know and we can help you further.

Weird activation under the playfield in the ramp system is almost always caused by the optos being dirty or dim. Sometimes you go into switch test when it's acting weird and see the optical switch flickering. I would disassemble the optos involved in that section of the ramp system and clean them first, then I would replace them if the problem persists.

STTNG has a bit of a reputation of being hard to keep perfectly working, and a lot of it is due to the ramp system under the playfield losing track of a ball due to dirty, dim optos, or cracked solder joints on the optos.

#3 6 months ago

Well I feel like a complete idiot. I don't know what caused it, but all of the flashers (LED and incandescent) were all dead. I started replacing the incandescent with LED and they all worked. When I replaced the LED ones (in the Borg ship), hey, they also worked.

As for the cap, I'm going to replace C11 simply because it is already on death row with that domed head.

#4 6 months ago
Quoted from Romulus:

Well I feel like a complete idiot. I don't know what caused it, but all of the flashers (LED and incandescent) were all dead. I started replacing the incandescent with LED and they all worked. When I replaced the LED ones (in the Borg ship), hey, they also worked.
As for the cap, I'm going to replace C11 simply because it is already on death row with that domed head.

LOL!

This is my favorite pinball repair! All the bulbs are connected to the Red/White wire. (Spends a half hour troubleshooting the red/white wire.)

Then replaces all the bulbs. Every one was burnt out.

Hehe.

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