(Topic ID: 308114)

On Beam - EM Newbie

By Whistler

6 months ago


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  • 27 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 52 days ago by Whistler
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 6 months ago

Hi, I am completely new to pinball (other than playing whenever I had the opportunity in an arcade, pizza joint or bar). I recently picked up this really neat On Beam. The art is in really good shape as far as I can tell for the age (though there is an unfortunate hole in the cabinet where I think there may have once been a coin box).

The seller was very straightforward and a nice guy. He let me know that there is a known issue, after it was purchased from Next Level in Portland, where a red plastic piece on the cam for the score reel is broken (which I understand is a difficult part to source). I thought it wouldn’t be too big a deal and that I could play without worrying about my score until I could figure out a solution (and the price was right for me at around $200 for the machine).

I got it home, put it back together and plugged it in. At first the playfield and back glass lights came on after I pressed the left flipper. What a cool feeling that was! I wanted to try a game, and the start button did nothing. So I put in a quarter.

This is where the problems started. First, the playfield lights went out. I thought that may be normal, so I pressed the start button and the flippers started working. It made some classic pinball machine clunking sounds and the ball popped into the launch. I pulled the plunger and it worked but as soon as it touched one of what I assume are scoring mechanisms in the upper playfield, all of the lights went out and the flippers stopped working.

I tried again with the same result, but my daughter hit the start button again and it came back on in time for me to hit the ball with the flippers, but it cut out again as soon as it hit a pop bumper.

So here’s where I (think I) stand:

1. I need parts for the score reel, can anyone here point me in the right direction to find these?
2. Playfield lights are out, could this just be a fuse?
3. Dies on scoring - is this likely to be related to 1 or is this a separate issue. Any ideas on where to start for diagnosing this issue?

Apologies in advance for not having any idea what I’m talking about/using incorrect terminology (anybody know of a starters guide worth reading?).

And

Thank you in advance for all of the help — I’m really excited to be learning about these awesome machines!

Cool pictures follow…

D1F886CA-A39D-4F94-A5EA-A0B7F94F442F (resized).jpeg6D00DC89-AD82-4F72-95F2-2EFC1939D042 (resized).jpeg1BE53C3F-C78D-4708-915A-A3E0DCD8075F (resized).jpegA0809A21-A2F0-4B7E-8ACB-69997AE7774B (resized).jpeg5208FE5D-C95E-4DDA-97D4-C682A4C9CD64 (resized).jpegEFE841F6-5AF8-49E0-8671-A95965D193C4 (resized).jpeg94C10629-864D-455C-95A6-4349EC41F1BA (resized).jpeg9135EC0B-54BB-43CD-936C-8D9E1142326B (resized).jpegA5CF5552-4087-4FFE-A8CA-2219E49F330A (resized).jpeg3B7A9E33-B195-4AF4-A7D2-869071A10073 (resized).jpeg
#2 6 months ago

Damn that looks nice. You got yourself at least one blown fuse. Rule 1 replace with the correct fuse for that fuse holder. Don't go by what was in there. Go by the writing next to fuse. However, expect a new fuse will blow again. Don't start "filing" contacts. I used to use strips of brown shopping bag paper and 90 per cent alcohol to get the carbon out of the contacts. Hopefully you have schematic or can get one.
Take your time, I know it's hard because you want to play it. Going at it though without full knowledge can make things worse. And, keep the WD-40 as far away as possible.
Again that looks like a peach of a game. Congrats!
Try Pinball Resource for parts, however they are Gottlieb leaning.

#4 6 months ago
Quoted from Seamlesswall:

Damn that looks nice. You got yourself at least one blown fuse. Rule 1 replace with the correct fuse for that fuse holder. Don't go by what was in there. Go by the writing next to fuse. However, expect a new fuse will blow again. Don't start "filing" contacts. I used to use strips of brown shopping bag paper and 90 per cent alcohol to get the carbon out of the contacts. Hopefully you have schematic or can get one.
Take your time, I know it's hard because you want to play it. Going at it though without full knowledge can make things worse. And, keep the WD-40 as far away as possible.
Again that looks like a peach of a game. Congrats!
Try Pinball Resource for parts, however they are Gottlieb leaning.

Thank you! That makes a lot of sense. I should have posted here and given it a once over before trying it out but the excitement definitely got the best of me. I’ll be sure to keep the WD40 far, far away.

Thank you — this will be very helpful!

#5 6 months ago

This site has valuable info!! www.pinrepair.com

#6 6 months ago

I have never serviced a relay board in this position. kinda cool.

image-28 (resized).jpg
#7 6 months ago

Get some close up shots...under the play field and inside cabinet.

#8 6 months ago
Quoted from poppapin:

This site has valuable info!! www.pinrepair.com

Wow! The systematic approach here really appeals to me and it seems to be written for someone with my current knowledge base (i.e. no knowledge). Thank you!

Quoted from iamdrunker:

I have never serviced a relay board in this position. kinda cool.
[quoted image]

That is cool! I didn’t know it did this and found this diagram showing the mechanism https://www.ipdb.org/files/431/Bally_1966_Capersville_New_Lift_Out_Mounting_Board_Instructions.pdf. I didn’t want to unplug anything before the new pictures (below) but will definitely be trying this out in the near future - thank you for showing me it does this!

Quoted from Seamlesswall:

Get some close up shots...under the play field and inside cabinet.

Here are more close up pictures. I am not sure if these are helpful or the right angles, but I can always get more if needed. I did notice that a large piece toward the back of the cabinet looks like it should be screwed down, but currently isn’t and the labels next to it (that are sadly ripped) don’t line up because of that.

Under playfield (front to back, left to right as much as possible):

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#9 6 months ago

Inside cabinet (same order - apologies if some appear out of order):

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#10 6 months ago

I like that Bally "quality inspection " sticker.
Looks in pretty decent shape, especially playfield and backglass.

#11 6 months ago
Quoted from poppapin:

I like that Bally "quality inspection " sticker.
Looks in pretty decent shape, especially playfield and backglass.

Haha — that is a neat sticker. I’m glad it’s still in there and thank you Mr. McSwain for that first inspection ! Yeah, the playfield and backglass look great. There are 2 small chips from the paint in the C and D beams, but otherwise I struggle to find problems with the backglass.

#12 6 months ago

Greetings, Whistler ! That's a very nice looking On Beam you have there.
I do see a problem on your relay reset cam (the long shaft on the left in the bottom of the cabinet) - you might want to check out this thread:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-reset-bank-clutch-fix
Yours is missing a piece on the middle red cam. Both cams should look identical.
Often there are problems with the springs inside the cams, too. It's a tricky assembly to get working correctly.
I suspect there are a lot of On Beams out there that seem to work OK, but actually have malfunctioning reset cams.

There isn't a real "fix" yet for all the issues with the reset cam, but we may be able to offer some advice to help you try to get it working correctly.

Definitely worth fixing - you have a really clean copy of an uncommon game. Mine is pretty nice, too, but not quite as nice as yours!!! Good find!!!

#13 6 months ago
Quoted from DCP:

Greetings, Whistler ! That's a very nice looking On Beam you have there.
I do see a problem on your relay reset cam (the long shaft on the left in the bottom of the cabinet) - you might want to check out this thread:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-reset-bank-clutch-fix
Yours is missing a piece on the middle red cam. Both cams should look identical.
Often there are problems with the springs inside the cams, too. It's a tricky assembly to get working correctly.
I suspect there are a lot of On Beams out there that seem to work OK, but actually have malfunctioning reset cams.
There isn't a real "fix" yet for all the issues with the reset cam, but we may be able to offer some advice to help you try to get it working correctly.
Definitely worth fixing - you have a really clean copy of an uncommon game. Mine is pretty nice, too, but not quite as nice as yours!!! Good find!!!

Thank you DCP! It was a 4.5 hour drive (each way - 9 hours total) for me to pick it up, but so good looking I have no regrets despite the drive and the current issues — but it’s REALLY helpful to hear from someone else who has a nice one that all this trouble will be worth it.

Your thread on the cams is really interesting and helpful - the engineering on these EMs is as fascinating as it is frustrating. I see that thread is a little older but do you happen to still have any of the replacement plastic bits you had 3d printed available to purchase? Based on my reading, I can tell I definitely am not the first/only/last person interested . Alternatively, do you think it’s possible to get it working without that bit? I am definitely interested in any advice you have!

#14 6 months ago

I think the blown fuse is for the back-box lamps & there is another for the playfield so looking for a short in the backbox would be the place to check IMO possibly the jones-plugs ... but it blew when you scored something ... hmmmm

Does the coin door stay closed when you start a game ? there is a "slam-tilt" there and easy to bump open resulting in game ending. ( keep mine closed with a bread-tie )
IMG_2422 (resized).JPG

Good idea to get all new fuse holders a couple there seem to be the originals A lock set for the door to keep it secure

https://www.pinballlife.com/ & http://www.pbresource.com/ are good sources you might need to call Steve @ PBR to ask if he has the holder for that switch ladder on the score motor cam

#15 6 months ago
Quoted from Whistler:

I see that thread is a little older but do you happen to still have any of the replacement plastic bits you had 3d printed available to purchase?

I have a few, and I'd be happy to send you a cam (the larger barrel-shaped part that's missing on your middle cam). PM me your address and I'll send you one to try out.
The biggest problem is the darned springs. If your springs are worn out or "sprung", the cams are not going to work correctly even with all new plastic parts. Your spring looks OK in the picture, but it still could be a problem. I just haven't been able to make a spring that works correctly yet.
The little "tabs" on the spring should be approximately 180 degrees from each other, and the spring should be tight and not have any gaps or spaces between the coils. It should fit on the metal clutch body snugly, and should only rotate freely in one direction when you turn it with your fingers on the clutch body. It should instantly grip and not turn when you rotate it in the other direction. Spring clutches are unique applications of torsion springs, not really using the spring force at all, but only the ability of it to grip or slip on a shaft as needed.
It should look like this picture:
20220116_070040.jpg

Quoted from Whistler:

Alternatively, do you think it’s possible to get it working without that bit?

Not without a major redesign of the part. There aren't too many ways to independently reset each half of the relay bank. You'd might be able to somehow make it use two solenoid-operated reset banks similar to Gottlieb drop target reset mechs.
It would be a major headache, but if someone did it and it wasn't too expensive, we'd all buy it for our On Beams!
Here's another picture of the clutch assembly for reference.

20220116_065931.jpg
#16 6 months ago

if you are blowing fuses, see this topic:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/making-and-using-a-fuse-breaker

ignore the stuff about circuit breaker reaction time and whether amperage needs adjusting to allow for it ... an EM machine is not that sensitive. If you just had 5A and 10A breakers, you'd be ok.

if you want to use spade connectors to attach wires/a fuse to the breaker, the size is usually 6.3mm.

if you can wait a long time for delivery ... stuff like these:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000330217656.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32812446865.html

or search for "thermal circuit breaker" wherever you like. e.g.:

amazon.com link »

#17 6 months ago
Quoted from DCP:

I have a few, and I'd be happy to send you a cam (the larger barrel-shaped part that's missing on your middle cam). PM me your address and I'll send you one to try out.
The biggest problem is the darned springs. If your springs are worn out or "sprung", the cams are not going to work correctly even with all new plastic parts. Your spring looks OK in the picture, but it still could be a problem. I just haven't been able to make a spring that works correctly yet.
The little "tabs" on the spring should be approximately 180 degrees from each other, and the spring should be tight and not have any gaps or spaces between the coils. It should fit on the metal clutch body snugly, and should only rotate freely in one direction when you turn it with your fingers on the clutch body. It should instantly grip and not turn when you rotate it in the other direction. Spring clutches are unique applications of torsion springs, not really using the spring force at all, but only the ability of it to grip or slip on a shaft as needed.
It should look like this picture:
[quoted image]

Not without a major redesign of the part. There aren't too many ways to independently reset each half of the relay bank. You'd might be able to somehow make it use two solenoid-operated reset banks similar to Gottlieb drop target reset mechs.
It would be a major headache, but if someone did it and it wasn't too expensive, we'd all buy it for our On Beams!
Here's another picture of the clutch assembly for reference. [quoted image]

Thank you DCP, I sent you a PM on this!

Quoted from baldtwit:

if you are blowing fuses, see this topic:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/making-and-using-a-fuse-breaker
ignore the stuff about circuit breaker reaction time and whether amperage needs adjusting to allow for it ... an EM machine is not that sensitive. If you just had 5A and 10A breakers, you'd be ok.
if you want to use spade connectors to attach wires/a fuse to the breaker, the size is usually 6.3mm.
if you can wait a long time for delivery ... stuff like these:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000330217656.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32812446865.html
or search for "thermal circuit breaker" wherever you like. e.g.:
amazon.com link »

Thank you baldtwit! This is very helpful info. Apologies if these are dumb questions but:

1. do people just use the breakers for diagnosing or do they just replace the fuses with breakers entirely?

2. I know for old motorcycles, people sometimes replace tube type fuses with blade fuses — do people do this for pinball machines too?

#18 6 months ago

Hi Whistler and welcome to the fun!

In answer to your questions above, I, for one, just use the breaker for testing, then once fixed go back to a tube fuses - more cost effective, and much neater.

The breaker is really useful - as per others on that post, I did not solder a fuse to it, just use crocodile clip leads, like: amazon.com link »
Those leads are super useful for other troubleshooting too.

And yes, pbresource.com is the go to parts shop - at least for many of us here.

#19 6 months ago

to add to what 4max said, the gator clips are also a bit easier since the fuses can be a hassle to solder wire to. The caps like to fall off the end of the tube since the heat softens whatever seals the cap on the end ... tho it does seem to set up again when it cools.

I've never seen a game converted to ATC/ATM/ATX blade style fuses, but I think some recent games use them (jersey jack games?).

the breakers are just for diagnosis ... until you forget to replace one with a fuse when done and then it's there until you find it - after you gave up looking and made another one

#20 6 months ago

Breakers are available domestically too, for example:
https://troxelrepair.com/product/circuit-breakers/

#21 6 months ago
Quoted from Whistler:

do people just use the breakers for diagnosing or do they just replace the fuses with breakers entirely?

As mentioned once the short is found, a fuse goes back in. Another fuse tool I find helpful in some circumstances is a current limiter, which is a light bulb of the same voltage of the circuit you are testing and replaces the fuse as an indicator. If there is a short, it will be bright. If it's normal, it won't light at all or will be dim. I learned this trick building guitar tube amps. After the many hours of building a tube amp, the first test, the 120v hot goes through a 100w light bulb. If all is good, bulb will glow brightly for a second then dim. If the amp is mis-wired, the bulb will glow brightly period. But it will not destroy the amp, it will indicate that you have a problem.
You said your score reel was broken, picture indicates the singles digit is sitting at 1. If that's the case possibly the cam motor won't stop because it can't "see" 0.

#22 6 months ago

Nice looking machine! Congrats! Lots of help to be found here on Pinside! Good Luck

1 week later
#23 6 months ago

I was caught up on some other house projects this week but finally had some time to get to the machine, which I moved into our temperature controlled basement from our surprisingly humid detached garage.

I finally used the lift out mounting board iamdrunker pointed out and got the cabinet cleaned out.

I picked out a few larger items (screws, nuts, etc.).  I also found a broken leaf switch and noticed that a wire coming from a fuse was not connected to anything (I am not sure what this fuse is as there is no sticker next to it). Then vacuumed out the cabinet.

Based on the above, today's cleaning and the pinballrepair.com guide, my next steps include:

1. Ordering/replacing broken switch leaf.
2. Finding out what the mystery fuse is and reattaching the disconnected wire.
3. Repairing cam (thank you again to DCP for leading the charge on this issue for myself and all On Beam owners!).
4. Ordering the fuses/fuse holders/breakers/alligator clips to diagnose fuses blowing (thank you chas10e, 4Max, baldtwit, MarkG and Seamlesswall for the above info on breakers/fuses and diagnosing issues!).
5. Replacing the plug cord for newer and grounded.
6. Adding an on/off switch.
7. Replacing launch springs.
8. Replace lock (thanks chas10e for pointing out this may be an issue!)
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#24 6 months ago

That "broken leaf switch" looks like the top holder of the ladder stack , you may need to solder it along side another leaf switch to repair it. probably have to be a real thin one ... think part # can be found here: https://online.fliphtml5.com/vrtyz/axun/#p=63 ((A-ST-2 ??? ))

That unused fuse holder was probably for the primary or line side of the transformer.

The "emery board" is a "flexstone file" to clean switch contacts. that will probably get lost again ... well that's what seems to happen to mine anyways

On beam ladder holder (resized).jpg
4 months later
#25 53 days ago

Hi all, sorry for the delay in posting. Finally got an order in for some parts and a friend machined an aluminum cam for me. I don’t think there should be, but thought I’d double check with the knowledge base here - are there any concerns in replacing the broken plastic cam with an aluminum replacement (conductivity?)? I like the idea of aluminum because it’s unlikely to break again. Any insights appreciated!

C4616119-372B-4D9A-9BFB-448F141CF634 (resized).jpeg
#26 52 days ago
Quoted from Whistler:

Hi all, sorry for the delay in posting. Finally got an order in for some parts and a friend machined an aluminum cam for me. I don’t think there should be, but thought I’d double check with the knowledge base here - are there any concerns in replacing the broken plastic cam with an aluminum replacement (conductivity?)? I like the idea of aluminum because it’s unlikely to break again. Any insights appreciated!
[quoted image]

That aluminum one looks really nice, I don't think there would be an electrical conductivity problem. I don't know the engineering of why plastic over aluminum.

There is another thread where someone took some considerable time re-manufacturing these parts https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-reset-bank-clutch-fix perhaps the friend who machined that aluminum piece would be interested in the details.

#27 52 days ago

I thought that would be the case. Thank you! I sent him a link to that thread before he started but I’m not sure if/how much he looked at it.

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