(Topic ID: 288684)

EM Bingo shutter motor cycles twice from ball gate

By undrdog

9 months ago

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  • 64 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by undrdog
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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There are 64 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 9 months ago

This is on Williams Hi-Hand.

Had problems with the ball gate not working. Narrowed it down to the C cam on the motor. Resoldered the two C cam switches.(guessing that C is the switch stack furthest from the motor.)

Now the shutter activates when the ball goes through, but it cycles shut and open again.
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#2 9 months ago

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#3 9 months ago

Resoldered the lugs on the cam furthest from the motor. Seems to be working better. Except for the times that the motor cycles twice. Closed and then right back to open.

#4 9 months ago

take a look at the cam profile.

the A switch is the "carry-over" switch. It's job is to keep the motor running until the shuffle board is all the way open or all the way closed, so there should be two notches in the cam. Make sure the A switch opens reliably when it's in either notch.

also verify the gate relay is losing power somewhere along the way of the shuffle panel sliding closed. It needs to be unpowered before the panel is closed or the motor will keep going.

another possibility is the motor isn't stopping fast enough and coasts enough to close the A switch again. Some motors have the rotor/armature pop out of the gearbox when the power is removed so momentum doesn't turn the cams more.

the least likely possibility is someone took a bunch of stuff apart and the open vs. closed position of the shuffle panel is 180 degrees off what it should be wrt to the cams. I don't know what your pieces look like, but on a bally bingo if you remove a pinned arm off the shutter motor shaft, it's possible to install the arm wrong and the panel is open when it should be closed.

#5 9 months ago


Something is powering the motor to keep going an extra time.

At no time does the motor stop with the center switch stack in a notch. Not when it is going around because I trigger the ball gate and not when it is triggered by the coin chute wire. There are two notches the stack could fall into, but it powers past them. Seems like something must be wrong with that.

The notches on the C stack (furthest from the motor, in case that's not C) were a hair away from letting the stack fall completely into the bottom of its notches. I wasn't sure whether it would be better to adjust the position of the notched wheel or adjust the switch. Going with the easy solution-- adjusting the top switch-- seems to have made the gate switch more reliable.

What's my next step?

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#6 9 months ago

can't really see the cam profiles in the pics, and don't know if the panel is open or closed. I'm guessing the panel is closed.


the cam closest to the motor is the A cam. If the switch on that cam is closed, the shuffle motor runs. If the gate relay or start relay is powered, the shuffle motor also runs. The A cam should have 2 notches ... one at panel fully open, one at fully closed.

here's probably the sequence when the shuffle panel is closed to reset the game:

1] close the coin switch, the start relay powers. With the panel closed, the cam B switch with the blue/red wire is closed, so the start relay stays powered.

that turns on the shuffle motor via the start relay switch (and more importantly, keeps the motor power on until after the A switch has closed), and another start relay switch causes the lock relay to power. The lock relay should stay powered forever unless the game is tilted or the power is turned off. If your lock relay is not working, then you should disable the switch on it that powers the gate relay, otherwise when the panel reaches full open the gate relay will power and keep the motor going. The side effect is if you turn the game on or tilt it with the panel open, it won't slide closed. That may effect something else, so you might need to fix the lock relay if it's not right.

2] shortly after the shuffle cams start turning, the A cam switch closes and now the motor is powered via two parallel/redundant circuits.

3] as the shuffle cams spin, the cam B switch opens and the start relay loses power. The motor keeps going because the A switch is closed.

4] when the panel reaches full open position, the A switch opens and the shuffle motor turns off.

the C switch should now be closed, so when the gate switch is triggered by the ball, the gate relay will power and turn on the shuffle motor to close the panel.

you should be able to manually turn the shuffle cams and see the switches doing their thing. If they are opening/closing as makes sense for the profile, then I'd guess the issue is gate relay powering when it shouldn't ... lock relay switch stuck closed, lock relay not working or the gate switch is stuck closed.

1 week later
#7 8 months ago


I've replaced the lock relay with one from another machine. It works.

I've re-soldered the wires to the start relay. During the process, a short piece of thin steel rod fell either out of the relay or from somewhere. I sure hoped that either the loss of a piece of trash or the re-soldering would have fixed it, but it didn't.

On the bright side, the gate switch now works reliably. On start up, the motor doesn't cycle like it did. dropping a coin opens the shutter. Triggering the gate switch cycles the shutter shut and then open again. But at least it stops at that point.

So, it still isn't working right, but it is now much more reliable in what it is doing wrong.

Any ideas?

#8 8 months ago

only the C cam profile can be seen from your pics. I assume it's something like the diagram below, but the B can notches may be shifted. Scribble any corrections and post a pic.

however, for your issue, the only thing that makes sense is the lock relay switch with wires 35 and 45 on the blades is not open when the lock relay is powered, or the lock relay is not staying powered.

once the game is cycled the first time after power on, the lock relay should power and stay powered until the game is tilted or turned off. That's why the lock relay coil usually looks a bit cooked and the paper wrapper - if it has one - usually looks charred.

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#9 8 months ago

baldtwit Thank you for taking the time to do that diagram.

The diagram is correct. A & C have a notch that line up with each other. A has another notch opposite. B has two notches opposite of each other, neither of which line up with A or C.

The motor switches seem to be opening and closing as they should. They've been cleaned.

Yesterday when I was done, the motor cycled once at the start, and the shutter shut and opened back up when the gate switch was triggered.

However, this morning, at the start of the game the motor cycles several times before stopping and again several times when triggered by the gate switch. Also, sometimes the motor cycles several times upon power up, before the game is started.

The lock relay shuts when the game starts and stays shut. The switches on the lock relay open or shut as they should, including switch with (35) and (45) on the blades.

It sure seems like something isn't making a good connection. I've been cleaning the switches with a business card (rough paper) and alcohol. Should I re-do with a light file?

#10 8 months ago

seems like your problem is the motor running when it shouldn't, rather than a poor switch contact making it not run when it should.

your shuffle panel OPENED when the gate switch was closed (closed = balls don't fall thru)? That's wrong. The gate switch should only do something when the panel is open ... it's the trigger to close it. If the gate relay powers when you close the gate switch when the panel is closed, then the cam c switch is stuck closed or the blades/wiring are shorted.

if the gate switch behavior above is just an oops and the gate switch doesn't do anything when the panel is closed, that leaves you with seeing what is powering the motor when it shouldn't be powered.

here's what I'd do:
1] double check the start relay and gate relay switches with the yellow and orange/green wires on the blades to make sure they open with a good gap and the blades/wiring aren't shorted together somehow

2] with the shuffle panel all the way closed or all the way open, the cam A switch should be open - stack is in a notch.

3] close the shuffle panel manually then turn on the game. The shuffle panel shouldn't do anything.

4] turn off the game and open the shuffle panel manually.

5] turn on the game. The shuffle panel should slide closed and stop

6] with the panel closed, watch the start relay and the gate relay while flicking the coin switch. The gate relay shouldn't do anything. The start relay should power. The lock relay should power and stay powered. The start relay should lose power while the panel is sliding open (cam b sw). The panel should stop when it's open.

7] flip the ball gate. The start relay shouldn't do anything, the gate relay should power, but lose power before the panel is done sliding closed (other cam b sw). The panel should stop when closed.

#11 8 months ago

Be sure the motor stops (and does not mechanically run-on) when power is cut via the switch(es). Does the Armature pop out or is it "stuck" allowing inertia to keep the gearbox rotating and then the run-on switch is just doing its job?

The motor should not be the type with a clutch unless someone replaced the original motor Bally [sorry, Williams] supplied.

#12 8 months ago

it's a williams machine, but it does look like the same moto-research motor used on the early bally bingos and williams Long Beach bingo.

iir, the armature didn't pop out of the stator on those ... the mass of the shutter was enough to stop the motor dead when the power was cut off, but it's a great suggestion and worth a look.

one other sanity check is the cam c switch should be closed (stack in the notch) when the playfield is open. The playfield pics from your other post show a pretty similar setup to the bally bingos, so it may be possible to put the crank on the shuffle motor shaft backwards so the playfield state is 180 degrees off where it should be.

however, you game doesn't have "panel switches" operated by the shutter panel, so if your crank was backwards the panel should still slide 180 degrees at the right times ... the holes would just be open when they should be closed and vice/versa.

#13 8 months ago

The motor moves easily; there’s nothing but the friction of the shutter to stop it.

It may be a few days before I can get back to the machine. Thank you for your guidance.

#14 8 months ago

Well, here we go. I've been tinkering with the fool machine for an hour and a half.

With the shutter closed (Cam switch A is in its notch)- nothing happens when the power is on. Triggering the coin wire opens the shutter. So far, so good.

Flip the ball gate switch and the motor cycles one complete rotation- from open to shut (half a cycle) and back to open.

It is pretty consistent, although once in a while it all works perfectly. If I had any hair left, I'd have torn it out.

None of the solder points on the lugs on the motor switches or the relays look to be touching each other.

Is this the point where I re-solder all of the motor switch packs on principle? I have a multimeter... not sure where I should check for shorts, though.

#15 8 months ago

what is the gate relay doing after you close the gate switch?

can you take a video with the shutter, gate relay, and lock relay all in the frame and stick it on a cloud/file sharing site?

#16 8 months ago

I think the gate relay activates briefly and goes back off. I’ll take a look & see if I can capture it all on a video.

#17 8 months ago

you can stick a piece of paper between the cam 1 contacts. The motor should only run when the thing starting it is active. The shutter should stop partway in the rotation and you can manually rotate the cams to see if the motor turns back on before the fully open or closed position.

another thing to check is the switch blade tension to make sure the blades snap into the cam notches, none of the blades are cracked and flopping around, and the contact gaps are easy to see when the switch is open. If the contact gap is too small, arcs can jump the gap and keep the motor going. Too big a gap is easier to debug than too small a gap that intermittently closes.

#18 8 months ago

baldtwit Thank you. I'm tinkering around with it some and if that doesn't get it, I will do the video.

I can pull the switch stacks from a sister machine. Kind of starting to think that might be the best idea. Then again, the other stack may have its own problems.

The cams want to travel just a hair too far, so the cams on A & C are down in their slots, but when it comes to rest they are not at the very bottom of their slots. It looks like the spring that keeps the shutter tight on its mechanism may be the culprit.

#19 8 months ago

the cam notches are ramps on the "lift out side", right?

adjust the switches so they change when the switch is at least 3/4 of the way up the ramp. That'll allow the cam to overshoot a little due to momentum and/or the motor armature spinning down to a stop. i.e. the switch state should be the same with the stack in the bottom of the notch as well as most of the way up the ramp.

the cam switches only need to change state when the switch is out of the notch completely and riding the cam edge.

however, for a switch that closes when riding the cam edge, you want the contacts to touch a little before the stack is out of the notch so you get good "overtravel" when the moving blade pushes the stationary blade a bit after the contacts touch.

#20 8 months ago

One thought - sorry to post but a thought occured to me. You mentioned that one of the relays had a bar that fell out.

It's possible that that bar was supposed to be there to jump between solder tabs. Luckily you have a few copies of the game. I would suggest checking that, then continuing on just in case. I don't know off the top of my head how that would keep the motor engaged without the extra link... But hey, it's a thought.

If the switch is not killing the motor quickly enough, you can adjust the switch to open earlier in the cycle. You're in great hands with baldtwit.

#21 8 months ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

If the switch is not killing the motor quickly enough, you can adjust the switch to open earlier in the cycle.

it sounds like his cam A carry-over switch is closing when it's in the notch.

I don't know how to say that it needs to stay open until it's almost out of the notch, but still have sufficient overtravel on the blades for good contact action.

I'm not sure I understand that previous sentence

#22 8 months ago

I hope to be able to get back to it this weekend.

#23 8 months ago

deleted. still working on it.

#24 8 months ago


Last time, the shutter was making a complete cycle when it should have made a half cycle. Now the motor is running a lot more than it should. You'll see in the video.

The switches look to be gapped wide enough that they won't make contact when they shouldn't. It is almost like there is a problem with the coin switch wire, except the wire snaps back reliably. (Obviously, I'm grasping at straws now. I'm clueless.)

Here is the vid:

Thank you very much for your time and help.

#25 8 months ago

The switch closest to the motor needs adjusting.

#26 8 months ago

the switch closest to the motor is cam A. Notice that the top blade is never moving ... that means the blade below it that is following the cam is either not touching it or barely touching it.

you should be able to manually rotate the cams and when the A switch is climbing out of a notch, you can see the top blade deflect upward a little. That will solve your problem of getting the cams to rotate so the C stack is in the notch. The motor should never stop until the A switch is down in a notch.

when you closed the ball gate, the ball gate relay powered and stayed powered. That's wrong. It needs to unpower. It looks like the blades on the B stack are not moving with the follower.

what does that mean ...

the cam follower is the blade, U-shaped thing and wire that is riding on the cam edge. The switch blades that are moved by the follower blade need to move the same amount as the follower.

for example, on your B stack, the second blade from the top with the green dot is physically shoved by the cylinder lifter attached to the follower. However, when the follower goes down into the notch, a gap opens between the green dot blade and the cylinder. That's the problem.

bend the blade with the green dot down so it always stays in contact with the cylinder top. That will make the gap a lot bigger when the B stack is in the notch, will eliminate excessive arcing, and will let you adjust the top blade down a little so the green dot blade noticeably lifts it when the stack is coming out of the notch. You bend the blade where it enters the stack and you are creating down pressure.

same principle applies all the blades in all the stacks ... if the follower is moving the blade, it needs to stay in contact with the follower at all times - either directly or via the cylinder lifters. In other words, the blades all want to push the follower down, the cam forces them all up. Get to a notch and the blades the follower is lifting all snap down with the follower.

your shutter is not really closing all the way. That could just be a side effect of the playfield being upside down. That's why you get the excessive spring effect.

if that makes no sense, I can make a bad video

#27 8 months ago

baldtwit It makes sense. I’ll be able to get back to it in a day or two and will let you know how it went.

#28 8 months ago


Well, mostly. The shutter doesn't want to close as triggered by the ball gate until the second ball. There isn’t a thing on the machine keeping track of balls. No triggers in the ball chute, nothing. But it likes the second ball.

Anyway, now I know I'm on the right track.

And now the Queen of Diamonds lights up just fine.... for an unknown reason. It wasn't before. Well, all the lights were working. Then the Queen of Diamonds wasn't. Then none of them were working. Now they all work. Can someone please remind me why I'm into this hobby?

Seriously, though, thank you for your help!

#29 8 months ago

if you operate the ball gate with your finger, does it work first time?

the difference with a ball doing it is the ball gate switch closes for a shorter period of time. Look and see if the cams are nudging around a little on the first ball, then the second ball makes them go far enough for the cam A switch to close.

if that seems to be the issue, when the shutter is open you should be able to push the gate relay armature on the coil top, let go quickly and the gate relay stays powered until a cam B switch opens. Does that happen?

another check is when you turn the game on with the shutter open, it should close.

#30 8 months ago

Yes, it works the first time with my finger.

Also, now everything is back to behaving badly as if yesterday didn't happen. The shutter closes and opens. I think the leaf switches have 23 hour memory.

I'll try to get back to it this weekend.

#31 8 months ago

the last video was good, so if ya get stuck make another. Key thing to see is what the switches are doing. You can manually rotate the cams if ya want.

to see/adjust the B switches more easily, you may want to unscrew the C stack and move it out of the way. The stack will usually stay together, but if the bottom retaining wafer falls off, try and keep the rest of the pieces from coming apart ... tho you have enough pics/video to put it back together easily

#32 8 months ago

I can get it to work, but only for a test or two. The adjustments needed to make it work correctly are so minute that no machine under daily use would ever stay adjusted.

The problem is the mechanism wanting to travel just a tad too far when the A switches are down, but only on one of the two slots. That says to me the issue must be on B, not A. But B is adjusted so that when the cylinder is down in the slot, the contacts are open enough there wouldn't be an arc. when it is up on the cam, the switches are closed, of course. Open. Closed. Seems simple enough, only it isn't.

Putting a little pressure on the mechanism so that it doesn't want to over travel works fine. Except I can't keep my finger there all day to slow it down because sometimes I would have to go to the bathroom. Is there an adjustment to tighten up the fool thing?

After I wrote the above, I put the board back in place. It had been standing up, leaning on the head. The machine worked perfectly for three consecutive tests. That's all. Just as it seemed the problem was simply the board being stood up after all, it went back to its old tricks.

Back to square one. WTF ??

#33 8 months ago

After letting the machine sit for about 15 minutes, it worked perfectly. For four tests. Then the machine got confused.

Still having trouble with the ball gate working on a slow shoot of the ball, but not a fast one. And now the whole thing is mucked up. It is chaotic evil-- giving me a brief glimmer of hope before messing up again.

#34 8 months ago

I adjusted the ball gate switch to be a little closer. Now the slow ball / fast ball issue seems fixed.

And everything else is working fine. Tried it several times.

Tune in to our next exciting episode when our hero undrdog says, "Again!? Screw this, I'm giving up pinball for Sweet Polly."

#35 8 months ago

And..... this morning we are back to where we started. Could it be something mechanical rather than switches needing adjustment?

#36 8 months ago

you may need to raise the playfield up on some wood so it's in it's normal laying down position but you can still see underneath. Something like a couple hunks of 2x12.

cams usually lift the switches a big distance compared to some relays, so it should not be very sensitive to gap adjust.

usually the only mechanical issue that still lets the shutter slide - besides trying it with the playfield tipped up on end - is when a switch blade is cracked and won't stay where you adjust it.

to adjust the blades, it's best to bend them too far then bend them back to where you want them ... that'll help overcome any "memory" the metal had of the original position.

if the motor runs continuously, could also be switches on the start relay or gate relay.

if you're back to square one, then the usual test sequence is:
1] with power on, manually rotate the cams so the A switch closes and opens/closes the shutter and stops. Do that a few times to check the A switch.
2] power off and shutter open, turn game on to see if the shutter closes and stops
3] shutter closed. turn game on and nothing should happen. Coin game and shutter should open and stop
4] shoot ball and shutter should close and stop

which of those fails determines where to look.

#37 8 months ago

It works!

Note To Self: In the future, bend the shit out of the leaf switches.

If it is back to its old tricks in the morning, I’m taking an axe to it.

#38 8 months ago

Day Two and it still works!

Many thanks, baldtwit !

#39 8 months ago
Quoted from undrdog:

Day Two and it still works!


#40 8 months ago

note to self ... say this:

"to adjust the blades, it's best to bend them too far then bend them back to where you want them"

and then shut up until a result is posted?

were you originally bending the moving blade to adjust the gap instead of keeping the moving blade connected to the lifter and bending the stationary blade to adjust the switch?

#41 8 months ago

The blades that were next to a stiff piece were bent together, as close to the stack as possible. The ones next to the lifter were kept on the lifter, once you told me to do that.

This last time I bent them way up in the air, in turn, then down. Only one needed additional tweaking.

Now that it works and is all pretty I’m ready to pass it on to someone else. Wanted to get it working, to learn what I’m doing.

Got a Flipper Fair project that looks to be a much more fun game, once it’s working. Only room for one of one of them.

Still needs plastics recreated. No time to do it before the swap meet. If I end up keeping it, I’ll get them made.

#42 8 months ago

baldtwit There is a counter in the back and one on the door.

Unless someone says otherwise, I'm guessing that the one on the door was added later so the vendor could count credits without opening the back. (wired with lamp cord, cut short.)

Where should I wire the one in the back to? My best guess would be to the coin wire switch, but that would mean having to cut it when removing the head, so that can't be correct. Or is the one on the door the real one?

#43 7 months ago

Hi-Hand went back to its old tricks again, after staying fixed for a few days. This time I switched out the B stack from a sister machine. After a few spins while the motor figured out what was what, it worked fine from then on. Next time a set of switches has to be adjusted for the same issue more than twice in the same week, I’m switching them out. Enough was enough.

Good thing the seller wanted to get rid of all three!

#44 7 months ago

the meters were typically in the coin door area or visible from the front of the game for the oddball cases where people scratched an area out of the backglass ink and mounted a meter so the everyone could see it.

a meter in the back would be a pita since you'd need to drag the machine out to get to it. 'course, since hi-hand didn't award replays, meters weren't really needed.

the piece of the schem you posted doesn't show a meter, so whoever added it could be counting whatever they liked. The normal thing would be as your said and connect it in parallel to the start relay so it counts the number of games played.

does the playfield only connect to the head, or is there a plug connection from the playfield directly to the cabinet?

#45 7 months ago

The playfield connects to the head, with two sets of connectors.
The cabinet connects to the head, with a flat, double sided three pin connector. I’m not at the machine, but I think that's correct.

As stated earlier today, changing out the B switch stack fixed it. Took it apart, loaded into the truck, and took it to a swap meet. Probably forty five minutes in the truck each way. Got it home, put on the head and legs, plugged it in, turned it on, tripped the coin wire, and it was back to the same problem! Turned it off in disgust, leveled the legs, turned it back on, and it works just fine.

What ever can account for all this? It makes no sense.

#46 7 months ago

which problem was it?

if the game is temperature sensitive, then usually a switch is barely closing and expansion/contraction helps. Could also be a bad solder joint.

#47 7 months ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

Could also be a bad solder joint.

Or loose switch contact. Peening or squishing the contacts may help in that case. Wost case scenario, you'll need to construct a new switch with parts from PBR. Relatively rare, but it happens. Would be really bad luck to get it with two different switch stacks on the same switch... more likely an adjustment thing like baldtwit mentioned.

#48 7 months ago

The problem is the motor cycling a full circle instead of half . It is a circuit not breaking when it should, rather than a bad connection.

Maybe the problem this whole time is the coin trip switch wire. But if that switch gets stuck, the motor would stay on.

#49 7 months ago

the motor runs when one or more of three things happens:

1] cam A switch is closed
2] a start relay switch is closed
3] a gate relay switch is closed

the easiest thing is identify the switches for [2] and [3] using the wire colors on the schem, and if they look ok based on manually turning the cams, and those relays aren't powered when the shutter is nearing the cam A notches, then stick paper between the contacts to see which one is completing the circuit to the motor.

then figure out why

#50 7 months ago

I’ve been fixing the wrong thing over and over? But, then, why did the fixes work, if only temporarily?

It’s starting to sound weather related.

Like, I don’t know whether I want to keep messing with the fool thing.

Ruled out the coin switch. Cut the wire.

Next to the relays, because I’ve fixed the cam switches over and over.

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