(Topic ID: 249638)

Old Chicago Bonus Problems - please help!


By pinheadpierre

7 months ago



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  • Latest reply 7 months ago by pinheadpierre
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0Old-Chicago-Work-26 (resized).jpg
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0Old-Chicago-Work-24 (resized).jpg
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oc bunus unit segment 2 (resized).jpg
oc bunus unit segment 1 (resized).jpg
oc jack label (resized).jpg
oc plugs 1 (resized).jpg
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#1 7 months ago

I really need help with an Old Chicago that I am working on. I have spent tens of hours on my own trying to resolve bonus score problems to no avail. Here is a summary of the various items that have left me knocking my head on the wall the past couple of weeks:

* When the game starts up, everything seems to reset normally but then the game puts 1000 points on the score reel and increments the bonus ladder by 1 position just before kicking the ball out.
* The game puts another 1000 points on the reel and increments the bonus ladder by 1 position just before kicking out each subsequent ball.
* On ball three (which lights the double outhole bonus) when the ball drains, the bonus ladder INCREMENTS and scores indefinitely. I have to turn the game off at this point.
* Bonus collection when the ball drains is slow, erratic and always too much, though there does not seem to be a predictable pattern to the incorrect amount.
* The middle “collect bonus” saucer INCREMENTS the bonus (adding to the score sometimes the same amount that it increments by, other times some other amount) rather than scoring the lit amount and leaving the bonus ladder unchanged
* Every second drop target dropped is increasing the bonus ladder by 1 position. (Based on videos, I don't believe the drop targets should affect the bonus.ladder)
* Dropping the 5th target will increment the bonus 5 more times.
* The collect bonus saucer increments the bonus by 5 positions.
* The top hole (when not lit supposed to score 500 and increment bonus by 1) scores 1500 and increments bonus by 1 or 2 positions. When lit (for 5000) it scores 7000.

The wipers on the bonus unit had clearly been messed with by a prior owner. They were bent poorly. I did my best to straighten and properly tension them. I also cleaned and adjusted the switches on the bonus unit.

I have cleaned and adjusted darn near every switch contact on every relay on the motherboard as well as each cam on the score motor. I have done this on several EM projects with good results, simultaneously clearing up gameplay issues and making everything snappier in the process. This time not so much. All that work and the issues I started with are still there.

Help please!

#2 7 months ago

What is the 1000 Point relay doing when this is happening?

#3 7 months ago
Quoted from HowardR:

What is the 1000 Point relay doing when this is happening?

As far as I can tell it is pulsing in unison with the 1000pt chime and score reel coils. It's just not pulsing the expected number of times or at the speed/rhythm I would expect.

#4 7 months ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

and increments the bonus ladder by 1 position just before kicking the ball out

This part sounds normal. Yes?

(resized).png
#5 7 months ago
Quoted from HowardR:

This part sounds normal. Yes?[quoted image]

I believe, based on the section of the manual you quoted and from youtube videos of the gameplay that having the bonus ladder increment to the first position is normal, but it should not award points when this occurs. Mine adds 1000pts to the score reel along with moving the bonus ladder to the first position.

#6 7 months ago

If the 1000 Point relay is pulsing when it shouldn't, you're going to have to look at each of the circuits that can cause it to pulse. Looking at the 1000 Point relay coil at F46 on the schematic, there are 12 different circuits that can cause the 1000 Point relay to pulse. Try putting slips of paper in the various relay switches shown as connected to it.

Does this help?

#7 7 months ago

Hi pinheadpierre
how is Your Captn. Fantastic doing ? I assume You have Your Old Chicago set to "3 balls per game" (?). In the manual https://www.ipdb.org/files/1704/Bally_1976_Old_Chicago_Manual_no_schematics.pdf on page-6 (ori-5) I read: Can be set to "Double-Bonus in FIRST and third ball" - please set it this way --- I wonder if You get TWO thousand points when the Bonus-Ladder is stepped-up, first ball is kicked-out - or maybe another weird fault (?). At what time the "Double-Bonus" lights-up in FIRST ball ? Before the first ball is kicked-out ? Greetings Rolf

#8 7 months ago

Sound like something is left on related to the Bonus unit Step Up. I would check to make sure the Normally open switch are open.
pasted_image (resized).png I would check the ones related with a motor switch in the sequence 1st. Top Hole re, Out hole Re and 3000 re.

#9 7 months ago

Thank you, everyone. I will follow these suggestions and report back.

Quoted from HowardR:

If the 1000 Point relay is pulsing when it shouldn't, you're going to have to look at each of the circuits that can cause it to pulse. Looking at the 1000 Point relay coil at F46 on the schematic, there are 12 different circuits that can cause the 1000 Point relay to pulse. Try putting slips of paper in the various relay switches shown as connected to it.
Does this help?

I will do my best. I get the idea. I am still prone to errors reading schematics. Knowing the number of circuits to test helps. I will start by marking up a copy of the schematic and then try slipping paper between the appropriate contacts. Should I do just one at a time, or should I start with one and leave the paper in and do the next one, blocking off more and more until it (hopefully) clears up to account for the possibility that it could be more than one set of contacts causing the problems?

Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Hi pinheadpierre
how is Your Captn. Fantastic doing ? I assume You have Your Old Chicago set to "3 balls per game" (?). In the manual https://www.ipdb.org/files/1704/Bally_1976_Old_Chicago_Manual_no_schematics.pdf on page-6 (ori-5) I read: Can be set to "Double-Bonus in FIRST and third ball" - please set it this way --- I wonder if You get TWO thousand points when the Bonus-Ladder is stepped-up, first ball is kicked-out - or maybe another weird fault (?). At what time the "Double-Bonus" lights-up in FIRST ball ? Before the first ball is kicked-out ? Greetings Rolf

Hi Rolf! The Captain is working very well - thank you! Such a fun, good looking game. After my last adventure with the Captain, I was determined to get through this on my own but there comes a point where one must admit that they have not learned enough yet and reach out for more help.

I have Old Chicago set up for 5 balls, double bonus on 3 & 5. I will switch it to your suggested setup and report back on the test result.

Quoted from ArgosySK:

Sound like something is left on related to the Bonus unit Step Up. I would check to make sure the Normally open switch are open. I would check the ones related with a motor switch in the sequence 1st. Top Hole re, Out hole Re and 3000 re.

The Bonus incrementing when it should be counting down is particularly vexing and perplexing for me. I will check the areas you suggested.

#10 7 months ago
Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Hi pinheadpierre
how is Your Captn. Fantastic doing ? I assume You have Your Old Chicago set to "3 balls per game" (?). In the manual https://www.ipdb.org/files/1704/Bally_1976_Old_Chicago_Manual_no_schematics.pdf on page-6 (ori-5) I read: Can be set to "Double-Bonus in FIRST and third ball" - please set it this way --- I wonder if You get TWO thousand points when the Bonus-Ladder is stepped-up, first ball is kicked-out - or maybe another weird fault (?). At what time the "Double-Bonus" lights-up in FIRST ball ? Before the first ball is kicked-out ? Greetings Rolf

OK - I have set the game to 3 balls, 1-3-5 (which for a three ball game would be only valid for balls 1 & 3?) double bonus. Here is a picture of how my adjustment jacks look on the bottom board (chimes intentionally unplugged during testing):

oc plugs 1 (resized).jpg

Note that the label strip is offset to the left. This initially confused me until I stared at it awhile and realized the labeling was off (maybe missing some paper towards the left side?) Here is the corresponding diagram on the cabinet:

oc jack label (resized).jpg

Set this way, the double bonus light comes on immediately when I press the start button. Manually triggering the outhole switch (playfield up so I can watch stuff), the bonus ladder increments 1,2 or three times adding a corresponding number of thousands to the score. The ball count does NOT advance, playing a perpetual ball 1 game.

The same is true if I change it to 5 balls / 1-3-5 double bonus.

Setting the game for 3 balls / 3-5 double bonus yields the following:
* Ball 1 drains - ball in play increments normally, 2000 points added to score (presumably 1000 bonus + 1000 extra (wrong) when 2nd ball kicks out.
* Ball 2 drains - same as above except that double bonus light comes on just before ball 3 is kicked out
* Ball 3 drains - 2000 points are added, bonus ladder increments 2 positions, ball count does NOT advance to game over
* Ball 3 drains 2nd time - 6000 points added to score, bonus ladder increments by 3 positions, ball count still does not advance
* Ball 3 drains 3rd time - 2000 points added to score, bonus ladder increments by 2 positions, ball count still does not advance
* Ball 3 drains 4th time - 1000 points added to score, bonus ladder increments by 1 position, ball count still does not advance
* Ball 3 drains 5th time - 5000 points added to score, bonus ladder does not increment, still on ball 3
* Ball 3 drains 6th time - 2000 points added to score, bonus ladder increments to final position, still on ball 3
* Ball 3 drains 7th time - 3000 points added to score, bonus ladder DECREMENTS by 1 position, still on ball 3
* Ball 3 drains 8th time - 3000 points added to score, bonus ladder unchanged, still on ball 3

Here I stop the test. I went through all those balls to see what would happen once the bonus ladder was full.

Now I change the setup to 5 balls / 3-5 double bonus:
* Ball 1 drains - 2000 points added to score, bonus ladder unchanged, ball count increments normally
* Ball 2 drains - 2000 points added to score, bonus ladder unchanged, ball count increments normally, double bonus light turns on
* Ball 3 drains - 2000 points added to score, bonus ladder INCREMENTS 2 positions, ball count does not change
* Ball 3 drains 2nd time - 1000 points added to score, bonus ladder increments 1 positions, still on ball 3
* Ball 3 drains 3rd time - 3000 points added to score, bonus ladder increments by 1 position, still on ball 3

End of test

This is different behavior than I was getting at the time of my initial post. I attribute the change to the removal of male plugs from the 2 sets of adjustment bars immediately to the left of the adjustment for 3/5 balls per game (2nd and third coin chute) since I was not sure they were set right and because I only have two coin chutes. (For that matter, I'm not sure if the proper wire in in the proper spot on the first adjustment plug next to the jack for the door which is why I included a photo of the entire jack bottom board jack setup. It looks to me to be a coin adjustment currently set for quarters.) Does that provide any helpful diagnostic information?

#11 7 months ago

With limited time each day, I am working through the previous suggestions, starting with the easier items first. Today I begin a renewed hunt for a potential closed normally open switch.

#12 7 months ago

Posting results here to share progress and as a visual log for myself of what I have checked. Also logging any other adjustments along the way. I put the game back to 5 balls / 3-5 double bonus.

oc bunus unit segment 1 (resized).jpg

Started with this circuit. It looks good.

#13 7 months ago

This looked okay except I didn't like the way one of the contacts was bent on the spinner unit. Partially disassembled the spinner, cleaned contacts, bent one arm that rides on disk to be sure it was not occasionally shorting in the middle of the arm. Put back together and tested. No change.

oc bunus unit segment 2 (resized).jpg

#14 7 months ago

This one looked fine, too.

oc bunus unit segment 3 (resized).jpg

#15 7 months ago

Left target switch looks fine. From an educational standpoint, one of the good things about a process like this is that it forces me to look at individual items both as a physical reality and as a symbol on a schematic. Now I know what the symbol for a switch with two normally open contacts looks like.

oc bunus unit segment 4 (resized).jpg

#16 7 months ago

Almost forgot the outhole relay. It looks fine, too.

oc bunus unit segment 5 (resized).jpg

I think that's all of the circuits in this section. So what could be causing the incorrect firing of the bonus unit step up solenoid? Hmmmmm.....still stumped. That's it for my time this morning. If I'm lucky, I'll have a chance to look into other circuits later today.

#17 7 months ago

Hi pinheadpierre
Your Old Chicago pin is an modern EM-Pin --- every new ball given starts with "one bonus given". This is a feature I do not like. Well, the fault in Your pin is: You also get (FAULTY) 1000 points given when the pin steps (correct) the Bonus-Ladder from Zero up to 1bonus.
So You must look on the connection-wirings on the 1000-Point-Relay (coil). See my (redrawn a bit) JPG --- simplified said: "My marked-red lines" is POWER-SIDE connection (to the coil on 1000-Point-Relay), "my marked-yellow lines" is Common-Return-Side-Connection, "my marked blue lines" are beginnings on various connections towards "common-yellow". My "marked blue" lines end marked-blue at the first switch on the connection towards common-yellow. I have "encircled brown" some Score-Motor-Switches --- I believe the fault happens with the help of the turning Score-Motor. I have "encircled blue" the switches I would check first (the switches on connection having a Score-Motor-Switch in its wiring) --- sneak-in a stripe of paper into ALL these "encircled blue" switches - then start a game --- big question: Fault shows up or doesn't show up ? Greetings Rolf

0Old-Chicago-Work-24 (resized).jpg
#18 7 months ago
Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Hi pinheadpierre
Your Old Chicago pin is an modern EM-Pin --- every new ball given starts with "one bonus given". This is a feature I do not like. Well, the fault in Your pin is: You also get (FAULTY) 1000 points given when the pin steps (correct) the Bonus-Ladder from Zero up to 1bonus.
So You must look on the connection-wirings on the 1000-Point-Relay (coil). See my (redrawn a bit) JPG --- simplified said: "My marked-red lines" is POWER-SIDE connection (to the coil on 1000-Point-Relay), "my marked-yellow lines" is Common-Return-Side-Connection, "my marked blue lines" are beginnings on various connections towards "common-yellow". My "marked blue" lines end marked-blue at the first switch on the connection towards common-yellow. I have "encircled brown" some Score-Motor-Switches --- I believe the fault happens with the help of the turning Score-Motor. I have "encircled blue" the switches I would check first (the switches on connection having a Score-Motor-Switch in its wiring) --- sneak-in a stripe of paper into ALL these "encircled blue" switches - then start a game --- big question: Fault shows up or doesn't show up ? Greetings Rolf[quoted image]

Rolf - thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to create such a detailed markup of the schematic. I followed your instructions. The only area where I ran into uncertainty was choosing which switch to slip paper into on the 5000 Bonus Hole Relay. On the schematic, it looks like I would be looking for a green/red wire like on the Target Down Relay. My 5000 Bonus Hole Relay does not have a green/red wire. It does have a green/black wire, so I went ahead and slipped the paper in that one.

I started a game and for the first time, it started normally - NO 1000 points when the bonus ladder resets!

I am hoping that this is a good clue. I am going to bed soon. In the morning, I am going to start by trying to understand the thinking behind how you came to choose these particular switches to block with paper. Also, am I correct in guessing that the next step would be to recheck all of the score motor switches circled in brown?

Thanks again - I really appreciate the help.

Peter

#19 7 months ago

Update - I don't know if or was a fluke or because it was late at night and I made a visual error (perhaps mistaking a nearby light for the bonus ladder from beneath the playfield) but this morning when I tried the test again the game reset without scoring 1000 points but also did not advance the bonus ladder. I suspect this was also the case last night since when I started experimenting with removing one slip of paper at a time and resetting the game I found that the only switch circled blue that made a difference was the limit switch on the bonus unit.

Removing the slip of paper from the bonus unit limit switch allows the bonus ladder to advance but also to turn the score motor one more time and score 1000 points. During this, I also see the outhole relay pulling in followed by the ball index relay.

#20 7 months ago

I wouldn’t rule out the left target switch yet.
A closer inspection may be needed.
Unscrew switch from playfield.
Check for shorts in between blades.
Check wire connections for shorts.
If the 2 non yellow wires are touching each other, that would cause this problem.
Reinstall switch and test.

#21 7 months ago
Quoted from pinballdaveh:

I wouldn’t rule out the left target switch yet.
A closer inspection may be needed.
Unscrew switch from playfield.
Check for shorts in between blades.
Check wire connections for shorts.
If the 2 non yellow wires are touching each other, that would cause this problem.
Reinstall switch and test.

Thank you! Interesting - I removed the left target and looked at it closely. It looked fine.

target1 (resized).jpg

target2 (resized).jpg

I even took the screws out of the stack and partially disassembled the stack(pictures above are before stack disassembly). It all looked good so I put it back together. Put the switch back in the game and tested it. It worked! WTF? I wonder what the change was??

I also noticed that the bonus unit was not always clicking all the way into the final tooth which was preventing the riser on the switch stack from operating the switches. I added some fresh lube to the gear and pawl. No change. I then shortened one of the return springs by two loops and replaced the other with a new spring several turns shorter. Much better. I did the same for the ball count unit since there seemed to be an irregular non-advancement of the ball count. So far, that seems to be performing better too.

Now the game seems to play almost correctly. I have played a few games glass off, sometimes just flipping the ball with the flippers sometimes manually actuating things with a finger.

The only remaining issue that I can detect at this point is that the bonus countdown seems slow and the scoring of double bonus is off (scores 3000 per increment rather than 2000). I'll take a video in a bit to show what I mean.

#22 7 months ago

I posted a video to youtube showing what the bonus countdown is doing.

#23 7 months ago

I think I'll have a bit of extra time to work on this again later this afternoon. Seems like a score motor adjustment issue to me. I think I'll revisit my contact cleanliness and adjustments on the score motor switch stacks. If anyone reads this and has reason to think otherwise, feel free to let me know if you think I'm barking up the wrong tree!

#24 7 months ago

After the weird experience with the left target switch which looked fine but clearly (somehow???) was not, my confidence is a bit shaken with visually evaluating suspect switch gaps. That said, I feel fairly confident that the score motor switches are okay.

I am suspicious of the Out Bonus Score relay, however. I'm wondering if this is supposed to hold in during the bonus tally? I devised this theory by popping the hood on my Captain Fantastic (similar vintage, same manufacturer, similar bonus idea in that it is possible to score double bonus under certain circumstances).

I started a game on CF, maxed out the bonus, manually activated the outhole and watched. The out bonus relay pulled in and stayed pulled in until the end of the cycle. On OC, the out bonus relay pulses irregularly, once for each registration of points.

Does anyone know if the out bonus relay on OC is supposed to stay energized through the bonus countdown? If so, how?

#25 7 months ago

So I figured out that it's the first switch on the relay tied directly to the coil that holds it on. I adjusted the gap a bit closer on it. No change. Next I revisited the associated switch on the bonus unit. It was already clean and polished. I decided to make the gap smaller for greater tension. That improved things somewhat (partial hold in of the out bonus relay). Next I filed the switch on the bonus unit. Now the out bonus relay holds during normal bonus countdown and sounds closer to what I would expect.

Double bonus is still wrong, though. It still scores 3000 per bonus light.

#26 7 months ago

I am guessing I am looking at areas c,d,e at 44-45 on the schematic to diagnose double bonus?

#27 7 months ago

I'm closer but not perfect. Double bonus counts down at a normal sounding pace. It always scores too much still, but not the same as it used to. It seems to count down correctly, pause briefly and then tack on 3000 more.

I've been looking at the schematic a lot and cannot really understand how the double bonus feature works.

#28 7 months ago

Hi Peter
I am surprised - a stuck playfield switch (to me) does make the 1000-Point-Relay to faulty constantly pull (also the Score-Drum) --- anyway, You could fix the issue.
Great - You had an idea - and You checked with the Captn. Fantastic --- a relay faulty dropping out.

Counting down the Bonus at the end of a ball: Synchronuous stepping down the Bonus-Unit and stepping on the 1000-Points-Relay (to make the points on the Score-Drum) - until the Out-Bonus-Score-Relay drops out
toc toc toc toc toc --- fast five times in single bonus on points and on Bonus-Unit
pause toc toc pause toc toc pause on the 1000ds in Double-Bonus
pause pause toc pause pause toc pause on the Bonus Unit in Double-Bonus
So Double Bonus is slower stepping - but fascinating rhythm

Do You have a better schematics --- on top of the JPG --- do You have "5D" as the Score-Motor-Switch ? Greetings Rolf

0Old-Chicago-Work-25 (resized).jpg
#29 7 months ago
Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Hi Peter
I am surprised - a stuck playfield switch (to me) does make the 1000-Point-Relay to faulty constantly pull (also the Score-Drum) --- anyway, You could fix the issue.
Great - You had an idea - and You checked with the Captn. Fantastic --- a relay faulty dropping out.
Counting down the Bonus at the end of a ball: Synchronuous stepping down the Bonus-Unit and stepping on the 1000-Points-Relay (to make the points on the Score-Drum) - until the Out-Bonus-Score-Relay drops out
toc toc toc toc toc --- fast five times in single bonus on points and on Bonus-Unit
pause toc toc pause toc toc pause on the 1000ds in Double-Bonus
pause pause toc pause pause toc pause on the Bonus Unit in Double-Bonus
So Double Bonus is slower stepping - but fascinating rhythm
Do You have a better schematics --- on top of the JPG --- do You have "5D" as the Score-Motor-Switch ? Greetings Rolf[quoted image]

My copy is no better, but cam 5 is only a 3 switch stack so I'm guessing it's 5B. (5A - normally open, 5B - normally open, 5C - normally closed.)

#30 7 months ago

Oops - it looks like maybe you were asking about a different cam switch. From far left to right I am reading (and making best guesses where the print is unclear): 2D, 2C, 5B, 8A?, ????, 4D, 8C?, 7B?

Assuming the letter is a "D", the ???? switch must be on one of cams 1,2,3,4, 6, 7 or 8 since those are the only cams with four or more switches on the stack.

Would it be possible for someone to write a verbal description of how the double bonus works? I understand the rhythm part, but I still can't translate the schematic into a pulsing switch reality in my head.

#31 7 months ago

Hi Peter
in single bonus within a turn of 180 degrees (half a revolution) the (five) teeth on cam-2 actuate the switchstack on cam-2 five times --- one switch on the switchstack on cam-2 actuates the bonus-stepping --- another switch on switchstack on cam-2 actuates the thousands stepping - synchronuous stepping.
In double bonus within a turn of 180 degrees the (one) tooth on cam-4 actuates once, ditto cam-5, (cam-6) cam-7, cam-8. A switch on cam-5 makes the bonus step-down a step, a switch on cam-8 makes the bonus step-down a step --- but in this turn of 180 degrees: A switch on cam-4 adds 1000 points, a switch on cam-5 adds 1000 points, a switch on cam-7 adds 1000 points, a switch on cam-8 adds 1000 points. Within a turn of 180 degrees there is room for stepping down the bonus unit two steps --- at this turn of 180 degrees there can four steppings on the Score-Drum be done --- two thousand points given for one step down on the bonus unit. Greetings Rolf

0Old-Chicago-Work-26 (resized).jpg
#32 7 months ago

Slow bonus countdown - This solved the issue on my old Chicago
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.games.pinball/Mg6fA8gUbu0

Read the whole post, the solution is at the end

#33 7 months ago
Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Hi Peter
in single bonus within a turn of 180 degrees (half a revolution) the (five) teeth on cam-2 actuate the switchstack on cam-2 five times --- one switch on the switchstack on cam-2 actuates the bonus-stepping --- another switch on switchstack on cam-2 actuates the thousands stepping - synchronuous stepping.
In double bonus within a turn of 180 degrees the (one) tooth on cam-4 actuates once, ditto cam-5, (cam-6) cam-7, cam-8. A switch on cam-5 makes the bonus step-down a step, a switch on cam-8 makes the bonus step-down a step --- but in this turn of 180 degrees: A switch on cam-4 adds 1000 points, a switch on cam-5 adds 1000 points, a switch on cam-7 adds 1000 points, a switch on cam-8 adds 1000 points. Within a turn of 180 degrees there is room for stepping down the bonus unit two steps --- at this turn of 180 degrees there can four steppings on the Score-Drum be done --- two thousand points given for one step down on the bonus unit. Greetings Rolf[quoted image]

Thank you, Rolf for that explanation and great illustration. I will need to sit with that a bit to fully understand it. I'll be away for the weekend but look forward to turning my attention to this again on Monday. Thanks as always for your generous help.

Quoted from dasvis:

Slow bonus countdown - This solved the issue on my old Chicago
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.games.pinball/Mg6fA8gUbu0
Read the whole post, the solution is at the end

Yes! I had found a similar discussion here on an old pinside thread. I cleaned, filed and tensioned the bonus unit zero switch the last time I worked on this. That fixed the slow single bonus count. Double bonus rhythm is still off but closer. If I fill the bonus ladder all the way (10k single/ 20k double) I consistently get 23k on double bonus.

#34 7 months ago

Okay - I have sat and looked at and thought about the above score motor diagram and the accompanying explanation of double bonus scoring. It kinda makes sense but not totally. One thing I'm stuck on is exactly what makes the actual circuit path of bonus count differ from regular bonus count? Is it nothing more than the double bonus adjustment jones plug on the motherboard?

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