(Topic ID: 224305)

Pinbot - Help Please :)


By jag8511

8 months ago



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  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by jag8511
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There are 190 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
#1 8 months ago

I'm new to the pinball world and still trying to learn what I can from a couple machines that I have. I got a Pinbot (GREAT machine, love this game) a month or so ago now and it was playing but had 4 minor (or what I thought was minor) issues.

1) The top Jet bumper wasn't working and had the coil sleeve melted inside of it. The bumper assembly was taken apart but the game still played ok with just the two bumpers

2) Energy flashers don't work

3)The visor sometimes has to open twice to stay open

4)When the ball is put into the shooter lane it gives an energy value and gives 29,000 points

So I decided to tackle the first problem and bought a new coil and rebuilt the lower part of the bumper. Turned the machine on and tested and nothing. The coil wouldn't fire. I then looked at the CPU board and noticed that Q79 and Q78 looked to be a bit burnt. I decided to replace them both. Put the CPU back in and turned the game on. Within about 5 seconds, Q79 started to spark and smoke. I turned the machine off immediately. Thought maybe I had a bad transistor so I replaced Q79 again. Turn the machine on and again it started sparking and smoking. At this point, I'm way beyond my noob knowledge.

I included the before shots of the transistors below. Would love to at least get this thing back up and playable so my main concern is obviously the smoking CPU any help would be great! Please let me know what pictures to post and I will post them ASAP to help.

IMG_3455 (resized).JPGIMG_3457 (resized).JPG
#2 8 months ago

I'm pretty new to, but sounds to me you have a short in your bumpers somewhere. Could be shorting the flashers. I just got done rebuilding my pinbot and with how close the wires are around that area I could see how it could happen. For the visor, make sure brackets are not bent and maybe clean motor. I put a new motor in and now it runs like a champ! The switches may also need to be bent a little (the ones that detect open and close). Good luck!

#3 8 months ago

Dead short on your pop bumper coil. Hopefully you have a manual with schematics. Replace the transistor, then remove the connector on the board that services the pop bumpers. Power up, and if the transistor holds, the problem is a bad coil or short in the playfield wiring. If it smokes, you have a board issue.
Get an ohm meter, and check the coil wire (disconnected from coil), to ground. If shorted, then look for a burnt wire somewhere in the bundle. Also, can't remember if Pop bumpers have diodes, but did you re-wire the coil in the correct orientation? If no diode, doesn't matter the orientation.

#4 8 months ago

Flashers not working can sometimes be missing ceramic resisters that have fallen off their board.

When I had a pinbot, it came with a lot of missing resistors. They were sitting on the bottom of the cab. Replacing them solved the problem

#5 8 months ago

BTW, you have your iron way too hot....you're burning the solder joints.

#6 8 months ago

Post a clear picture here of the wires+coil that you replaced, showing the orientation of the diode.

#7 8 months ago
Quoted from robertmee:

BTW, you have your iron way too hot....you're burning the solder joints.

Those pictures are before I did anything. I noticed they looked burnt, so I replaced them. And that is when I started having the sparking issues. But it could be that I wired the coil wrong. I tried to match what the previous coil was and what the other 2 were.

I'll check for burnt wires around that area. And get some pictures of that area as well after I get home for work. Thanks all! Hopefully I can get this machine back up and running without problems.

I had done some research about the Energy flashers. I did replace the ceramic resisters on the board that runs the flashers but that didn't help. I wondered if all 3 bumpers had to be working for the energy flashers to work? But wasn't sure. I'll get more pictures of that as well.

#8 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

But it could be that I wired the coil wrong. I tried to match what the previous coil was and what the other 2 were.

For future technical pinball clarity... You can't "wire a coil wrong"... You could however, put the wrong wires on the wrong side of a DIODE. The diode orientation is the critical piece here, not what wire was on what side of the coil.

#9 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

Those pictures are before I did anything. I noticed they looked burnt, so I replaced them. And that is when I started having the sparking issues. But it could be that I wired the coil wrong. I tried to match what the previous coil was and what the other 2 were.
I'll check for burnt wires around that area. And get some pictures of that area as well after I get home for work. Thanks all! Hopefully I can get this machine back up and running without problems.
I had done some research about the Energy flashers. I did replace the ceramic resisters on the board that runs the flashers but that didn't help. I wondered if all 3 bumpers had to be working for the energy flashers to work? But wasn't sure. I'll get more pictures of that as well.

Just as a sanity check, did you replace them with like transistors? Not all TIP's are the same. NPN vs PNP.

#10 8 months ago
Quoted from robertmee:

Just as a sanity check, did you replace them with like transistors? Not all TIP's are the same. NPN vs PNP.

I replaced the transistor with what the manual said. I had been working on a Jokerz 11b so I happened to have some spare transistors that I ordered. TIP 122 for Q79 and 2N4401 for Q78. I had got those from Marcos. I will double check when I get home but I'm pretty sure those were the right ones.

#11 8 months ago

I would suggest that you replace the jet bumper coil with light bulbs while you try to find the main problem. 2 flashers bulbs connected in series should do the trick. If the lights are on when the jet bumper isn't supposed to be on you still have a problem, but you will not burn the TIP122 instantly. Still keep the game on for as short as possible if the bulbs are on.

#12 8 months ago

U50 is also responsible for turning Q78 and Q79 on. Check input pins 5 and 6, they both have to be low (less then 0.7 Volt) for the output pin 4 to be on.

#13 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

I'm new to the pinball world and still trying to learn

That's great. Do you have a manual? Do you have a DMM and a logic probe?

Quoted from jag8511:

The top Jet bumper wasn't working and had the coil sleeve melted inside of it.

This kind of damage has done damage to the CPU board for sure. I would also bet that the fuses are not the correct value, when getting a used machine you must check all fuses before you even plug it in.

Quoted from jag8511:

So I decided to tackle the first problem and bought a new coil and rebuilt the lower part of the bumper. Turned the machine on and tested and nothing. The coil wouldn't fire. I then looked at the CPU board and noticed that Q79 and Q78 looked to be a bit burnt. I decided to replace them both. Put the CPU back in and turned the game on. Within about 5 seconds, Q79 started to spark and smoke. I turned the machine off immediately. Thought maybe I had a bad transistor so I replaced Q79 again. Turn the machine on and again it started sparking and smoking.

You need to test first before randomly replacing parts. There is a limited number of times that you can replace a TIP before you damage the board.

Let me know when you have the tools and I will assist you in fixing these minor repairs.

#14 8 months ago

grumpy I have a DMM but not a logic probe - would this work?

amazon.com link »

I will check fuses when I get home. Thank you so much for the help!

#15 8 months ago

I recently fixed the visor problem you describe on my Pinbot, it’s somehat common. The visor motor by design sometimes goes clockwise, sometimes counterclockwise. If it runs into any resistance it reverses direction. There are two switches on he assembly — one triggered when the targets are fully up, and the other when the targets are fully down. In my case when the motor went one direction it hits the switch on the side without triggering it, but with enough force to make the motor reverse. The fix was to adjust the switch arms so they trigger on both directions the motor turns.

Hope that helps!

#16 8 months ago
Quoted from dmcinnes:

I recently fixed the visor problem you describe on my Pinbot, it’s somehat common. The visor motor by design sometimes goes clockwise, sometimes counterclockwise. If it runs into any resistance it reverses direction. There are two switches on he assembly — one triggered when the targets are fully up, and the other when the targets are fully down. In my case when the motor went one direction it hits the switch on the side without triggering it, but with enough force to make the motor reverse. The fix was to adjust the switch arms so they trigger on both directions the motor turns.
Hope that helps!

Ok! I'll check that out once I get the machine back up and running from the pop bumper issue. I read something along those lines as well as what you are saying so I'm sure that is the issue. I'm excited to take a look. THANK YOU! for the tip.

#17 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

I have a DMM but not a logic probe - would this work?

That is perfect!

#18 8 months ago

I got the probe in the mail grumpy

After taking pictures and looking closer I noticed that diode is facing the other way from what the others are. So my wires are indeed wired wrong. Would that cause the transistors to smoke like that? Should I replace the transistors and try it again with the coil wired correctly? Or could this be a deeper issue?

I attached some pictures

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#19 8 months ago

Having the diode backwards creates a dead short...it would absolutely smoke a transistor. It's one of the reasons that on the next Gen wpc boards, Williams moved the diodes to the board to keep operators from wiring them backwards when replacing coils.

#20 8 months ago

Yes this is wired incorrectly. For future repairs you always replace diodes when you replace coils. Also the silver band on the diode always faces the power wire. You can tell which wire is the power wire by a number of ways. It's listed in the manual, the wire is a larger gauge wire then the other and sometimes there are two wires. In this case all 3 are there to let you know that the red/ white wires are the power wires. Now that there has been a dead short you need to replace the driver, predriver, the coil diode and check the coil for the correct resistance. Now when you replace the driver you can upgrade to a TIP102 instead of a TIP122 as they are 60% stronger. As for the diode I upgrade to a 1n4007, these can be used for any 1n400x diodes in the game.

#21 8 months ago

Ok! I replace the pre driver, driver and coil diode. I upgrade to the TIP102. I now have a good coil reading. What should I test with DMM before putting the CPU back in and give it a test?

#22 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

What should I test with DMM before putting the CPU back in and give it a test?

You can test ZR-3 thru ZR-8 for being shorted. But your other issues require the board to be installed in the machine for further testing.

#23 8 months ago

Also when you install the CPU board you need to leave 1J19 connector off the board until you are sure that there is no issues with the pop.

#24 8 months ago

I put the CPU back in to give it a test. Started smoking as soon as I turned on the machine. I decided to disconnect the coil and boot the game back up. It boots fine and plays a game but now none of the pop bumpers work.

I know I'll need to pull the board out and test everything in that circuit and replace everything again. The coil still read 4.1 with the replaced diode after it smoked this time around. Before, it wasn't giving me any reading until I replaced the diode on the coil. But I'm guessing I should just replace them all again.

Is the next step to test ZR-3 thru ZR-8? I'm trying to look at the schematics but since I'm new, I'm not 100% sure what I'm looking for so I don't know what to test and if I did, I'm not sure what the values should be that I'm looking for. Sorry for all the questions, I'm learning a whole hell of a lot in the last couple months since I started getting into this hobby but still ALOT to learn.

#25 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

I put the CPU back in to give it a test. Started smoking as soon as I turned on the machine. I decided to disconnect the coil and boot the game back up. It boots fine and plays a game but now none of the pop bumpers work.

Quoted from GRUMPY:

Also when you install the CPU board you need to leave 1J19 connector off

This couldn't happen if the connector was off. This is a must so that you can power on the game to do the final testing.

Quoted from jag8511:

I know I'll need to pull the board out and test everything

You can leave it in a do testing before replacing the predriver and driver.

Quoted from jag8511:

Is the next step to test ZR-3 thru ZR-8? I'm trying to look at the schematics but since I'm new, I'm not 100% sure what I'm looking for so I don't know what to test and if I did, I'm not sure what the values should be that I'm looking for.

There is two ways to active the special solenoids, the cpu can activate the coil in solenoid test and the game can activate the coil by a switch closing on the play field which applies a ground to the 1J18 connector which will go to U-45 or U-50. The zener diode which is in between the 1J18 connector and U-45 or U-50 chip is tied to ground. If the zener shorts it's the same as the switch being stuck closed, which will lock the coil on and melt it.

#26 8 months ago

I didn't read that last message to unplug the 1J19 connector before I put it back in and tried it

So you are thinking that Zener diode might be bad? How did I test it with a DMM? Do I need to take the diode off the board to get a proper reading? If the coil is being locked on and melting, wouldn't I hear the pop bumper when I first turn the machine on?

#27 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

If the coil is being locked on and melting, wouldn't I hear the pop bumper when I first turn the machine on?

On Pinbot it is hard to hear a locked coil because the visor motor goes into the limit switch test as soon as you turn it on.

Quoted from jag8511:

So you are thinking that Zener diode might be bad? How did I test it with a DMM? Do I need to take the diode off the board to get a proper reading?

This happens often, its an easy test, with 1J18 disconnected set DMM to ohms and place leads on zener, note reading then reverse leads and note readings. If it is shorted it will have a low reading both directions. Since your issue is special solenoid 6 you need to test ZR7. This is on page 59 of the manual. You also need to test if the pop skirt switch is stuck closed which will also lock on a coil, you can do this by checking ohms from the ground braid to the connector 1J18 pin 9. This should be infinity until you press the skirt then it should drop to zero ohms.

#28 8 months ago

When testing ZR7 - I get 5.5 ohms both ways. I assume I could use any braided wire. I used the one on the top of the back box and tested pin 9. I got 5.5 ohms. And then I used an old coil to hold down the pop bumper skirt and tested again to get 5.5 ohms. No change.

I'm not sure if I'm doing the testing wrong or if that provides any good information.

#29 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

When testing ZR7 - I get 5.5 ohms both ways. I assume I could use any braided wire. I used the one on the top of the back box and tested pin 9. I got 5.5 ohms. And then I used an old coil to hold down the pop bumper skirt and tested again to get 5.5 ohms. No change.
I'm not sure if I'm doing the testing wrong or if that provides any good information.

Don't have schematics in front of me, but likely you can't test any diode in circuit...There's parallel resistance around it and that's what you're measuring. But the fact you're measuring something indicates that the diode isn't shorted. Holding down the pop skirt was to test the switch at the skirt, not zr7.

Go back and read what grumpy wrote...make sure the connector is off the board for the diode test as that might isolate it, and test the switch at the connector with it off the board, not at the diode.

#30 8 months ago

I got 5.5 when testing the ZR7 as well as when I tested pin 9 on 1J18 and when the switch to the skirt was down. I got 5.5 on all of that. Which made me think I'm not testing something right.

#31 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

I got 5.5 when testing the ZR7 as well as when I tested pin 9 on 1J18 and when the switch to the skirt was down. I got 5.5 on all of that. Which made me think I'm not testing something right.

I think you misunderstood the switch test...you should be checking the pin on the connector that your holding in your hand after you pull it off the board. Not the pin on the board. If your getting 5.5 ohms between ground and a connector that's free of the board then your meter isn't working. Or you have some serious playfield wiring issues.

#32 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

When testing ZR7 - I get 5.5 ohms both ways. I assume I could use any braided wire. I used the one on the top of the back box and tested pin 9. I got 5.5 ohms. And then I used an old coil to hold down the pop bumper skirt and tested again to get 5.5 ohms. No change.
I'm not sure if I'm doing the testing wrong or if that provides any good information.

Are you sure it was 5.5 ohms or was it 5.5k ohms?

#33 8 months ago

Well, I feel a little dumb I was testing pin 9 on the board. I see what we are trying to do here. The orange and blue wire is what is connected to the switch for that pop bumper. So when I test that the ohms just keep climbing until I press the skirt and it goes to 0 - So I think the wiring for that pin is ok.

I only get 5.5 ohms. I have a DMM that is auto and it doesn't put the "K" on it. So I assume it is saying 5.5 for ZR7

Not sure if this helps, but now none of the pop bumpers work. I disconnected the coil for the top bumper just to see if the game would still work as normal but now none of the pop bumpers will work. Before, the other two would. Which is weird because the coil was still wired up and in the machine when I got it but the bottom half of the bumper was taken apart and laying in the cabinet.

#34 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

I only get 5.5 ohms. I have a DMM that is auto and it doesn't put the "K" on it. So I assume it is saying 5.5 for ZR7

So then test the other zeners to see what they read.

#35 8 months ago

ZR3 - ZR8 are all 4.81-4.82 except for ZR7 which was 5.5

#36 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

ZR3 - ZR8 are all 4.81-4.82 except for ZR7 which was 5.5

This mean they are all bad or your meter is not showing the k ohms. Normally when I test them on board I read 5k ohms both directions.

#37 8 months ago

Luckily I have another tester. Very frustrating to not know what I'm doing and trying to learn and have tester that is bad or I don't know how to use it right. But since it only had an auto feature, I assumed it would work right.

When using the other tester - all read 4.81 K except for ZR7. Which reads nothing. My bet is that ZR7 is shorted and needs to be replaced. Would that solve the issue of all the other pop bumpers not working or do I need to do more testing before I start ordering parts?

#38 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

Would that solve the issue of all the other pop bumpers not working

I was under the understanding that the top was bad and the other 2 pops were ok.

#39 8 months ago

They were - until I had the smoking issues with the CPU board on Q79.

I took the wires off the coil to the top bumper and turned the game on to see if the CPU would still smoke and it did not. So as long as the top bumper isn't wired in, the CPU won't smoke. I was able to start a game but the other two bumpers didn't work now.

Before, when I got the game, the other two bumpers worked, but I still had all the issues that I listed in my very first post. Hope that helps

Sorry if I'm not explaining things correctly. I VERY much appreciate the help.

#40 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

I took the wires off the coil to the top bumper

Did you separate the 2 red wires when you removed them? If so you can wire nut the 2 red wires back together but leave them off the coil.

#41 8 months ago

I did separate them. Do all 3 coils need to be hooked up for the bumpers to work? I'll try it right now

#42 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

Do all 3 coils need to be hooked up for the bumpers to work?

No but the power goes from one coil to the next and so on. If you separated the red wires then the power stops right there and any coil down the line will not work.

#43 8 months ago

Yup! That worked. They are both now working again. Ok! So it looks like I need to replace ZR7. And maybe that will do the trick?

#44 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

When using the other tester - all read 4.81 K except for ZR7. Which reads nothing. My bet is that ZR7 is shorted and needs to be replaced. Would that solve the issue of all the other pop bumpers not working or do I need to do more testing before I start ordering parts?

4.8 k ohms is fine, but ZR-7 is testing funny, so cut it off the board. The board will work with out the zener diodes until you have a replacement. Also there is another way to test the zener diodes if the board is installed in the game.

#45 8 months ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

No but the power goes from one coil to the next and so on. If you separated the red wires then the power stops right there and any coil down the line will not work.

Just to expand a little on Grumpy's excellent help so you'll understand better what's going on....

The coils all have DC+ power to one leg all the time when the game is turned on. That's the red wire...it jumps from one coil to the next. The cpu through the big TIP transistors are switches and they switch ground to the other side of each coil....so that the coils can fire independently, there's a separate switch or transistor with a separate ground wire...usually a banded color wire, to the other leg of the coil. The coil is a big magnet and when the transistor switches ground to the coil it completes the circuit. Current flows through the circular windings of the coil and creates a magnetic field. When the ground is removed to turn the coil off, the magnetic energy has to go somewhere. The diode on the coil keeps it from going back to the board and damaging sensitive logic circuits. The small transistor on the board is just a small switch for the larger transistor. The larger one is capable of handling the higher current to the coil whereas the smaller one is controlled by the logic circuits.

Just a brief 101 of coils and maybe will help you understand how it all works together.

#46 8 months ago

Yes! That definitely helps. I've learned so much just in the few days that you guys have taken the time to help me. I hope this thread will help other newbies who are looking to get into the hobby. Thank you both for being patient and understanding. All of this is making sense as we go.

Quoted from GRUMPY:

4.8 k ohms is fine, but ZR-7 is testing funny, so cut it off the board. The board will work with out the zener diodes until you have a replacement. Also there is another way to test the zener diodes if the board is installed in the game.

Because I'm not getting any reading now with a different tester, does that seem fishy? Even if it is shorted, should it still give a reading?

#47 8 months ago
Quoted from jag8511:

Because I'm not getting any reading now with a different tester, does that seem fishy? Even if it is shorted, should it still give a reading?

There are so many DMM available and they all react a bit different, it does add a bit of frustration when helping people. For me I need to use a meter every day at work so I count on my Fluke 77 meter for over 25 years now. ZR-7 can also be open which will give an infinity reading.

#48 8 months ago

Right now is the board in the game?

#49 8 months ago

Yes - the board is still in the game.

#50 8 months ago

With j-19 disconnected and j-18 connected, turn on the power. Take your logic probe and connect it to the five volt and ground test points on the cpu board. Then probe the j-18 connector, all pins should be a high except for 1,6 and 7 as they are not connected. If this is good then probe pin 2 which is SS #3 and then press the left pop bumper skirt, the high should go low each time you press the skirt. Then repeat this for all 3 pops and both slings.

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