(Topic ID: 247472)

Playfield hole won't eject on Police Force


By Geetarslinga

1 year ago



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  • 51 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by GRUMPY
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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There are 51 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 1 year ago

Hey all,

Really hoping I can find some help here.

I just purchased a Police Force. I set it up and got about 5 games in before the playfield hole decided it wouldn't eject the ball anymore. It just stays in there and it sounds like there's a very faint clicking.

Did the solenoid die? Or is it something else? I have no idea how to fix pinball machines, but am willing to learn.

Appreciate any help you guys can throw my way.

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#2 1 year ago

I’m guessing that the coil and mech needs a good cleaning . Try taking it apart and with some alcohol clean the coil plunger and the coil sleeve . These games can get gummy and cause the mech to not move smoothly . Try that first

#3 1 year ago

Does the switch score or work in test mode?
Joe

#4 1 year ago

phatchit The coil seems to move okay. I played with the coil arm and it doesn't have trouble moving.

cyroute Forgive my ignorance, but I actually don't know how to run test mode. I know it has something to do with the front switches behind the coin box, but I don't have a manual and I've never owned a solid state machine before.

I've uploaded a video clip of what is happening when a ball rolls into the hole. The switch detects the ball, but the solenoid won't eject it. You can hear a faint click sound which almost sounds like it's coming from behind the translite area.

I have a volt meter. I can try running it on the solenoid?

#5 1 year ago

Looks like the switch is recognizing the ball.

99.9% sure that click is your ramp diverter which is tucked away behind the back panel. It is trying to move but stuck and needs to be cleaned/lubed up.

Back to the saucer - starting with the easiest things first - lift the playfield and have a look to make sure the wires are connected to the coil terminals.

If everything looks good there, next stop - Diagnostics menu.

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from Completist:

Back to the saucer - starting with the easiest things first - lift the playfield and have a look to make sure the wires are connected to the coil terminals.

^^^^^^^^^
One of the wires that are on the coil maybe frayed and only connected by a strand or two. This will not allow enough current to fire the coil. Get each wire a good tug to see if it breaks off.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

cyroute Forgive my ignorance, but I actually don't know how to run test mode. I know it has something to do with the front switches behind the coin box, but I don't have a manual and I've never owned a solid state machine before.

download a copy of the manual here - its better than nothing

https://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?any=police+force&search=Search+Database&searchtype=quick

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from Completist:

99.9% sure that click is your ramp diverter which is tucked away behind the back panel. It is trying to move but stuck and needs to be cleaned/lubed up.

I had a similar clicking on my game and had to replace the worn cam on the diverter. You can see from blackbeard pics just how far the playfield will actually come out if you try

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/police-force-diverter-diagnosis

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from boscokid:

I had a similar clicking on my game and had to replace the worn cam on the diverter. You can see from blackbeard pics just how far the playfield will actually come out if you try
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/police-force-diverter-diagnosis

It was actually Blackbeard’s thread that helped me service my game . Once you pull it out (no connectors removed) its a very easy mech to service.

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#10 1 year ago

The clicking would be the relay on your AUX driver board. This relay clicks on whenever a solenoid needs to fire. So the game is sending power to the kicker solenoid, but obviously it's not firing, and it keeps trying since it knows the ball hasn't been ejected. Like has been mentioned above, check the lugs on the solenoid to make sure no wires have popped off or snapped, which is fairly common. If that's the case a little soldering will get everything working again.

To get into test mode, press the advance button while the center button is in the down position. Once you get to the first test screen, you can press the center button into the raised position, and then use advance to cycle through the different test menus.

#11 1 year ago

Thanks for all your input guys! Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to touch the machine until today (I do shift work and work 12 hr days, so too tired after work days to tinker around). However, I am off work for a few days now and would love to get the machine working, but I'm not that optimistic lol. Feel like a bit of a sucker too, since I paid decent coin for this machine (live in Canada) and was hoping everything worked from the get-go....at least for a bit. This is only my second pinball, and ironically, the 1st machine (an EM) just started having issues the other day too Makes me think I probably shouldn't take on hobbies that I know nothing about lol. But anyway......

I checked underneath the playfield like you guys suggested and the wires are connected to the solenoid. There are 2 red wires soldered to the right prong and one purple one (with blue dots) soldered to the left prong. Gave them all a little tug. Nothing came off. I've attached a pic of the saucer solenoid in question. Hard to get a clear pic though. Traced one of the red wires from the saucer solenoid back to another solenoid that sits inside the drain area. Not sure where the other red wire or the smaller purple wire with blue dots goes? Guessing one of them goes back behind the back glass to the AUX driver board that mystman12 was talking about? It seems the other solenoids are firing fine, just not the saucer one. Is it possible for solder to go bad? Should I add more?

boscokid Thanks, I downloaded the manual. A little apprehensive about putting it into diagnostic mode, mainly because I know nothing about pinball machines, so I'm not really sure what I'm looking for in diagnostic mode or what to do. But I guess I should give it a shot. I also don't want to mess with the current settings. Also, in anticipation of future issues arising, I checked Ministry of Pinball and Marco specialties for the diverter piece. It is sold out everywhere. Hoping someone gets more of these back in stock?

completist Thanks for the pic. Good to know I can take the whole playfield out. Guessing the previous owner didn't do anything about the diverter either.

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#12 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

Makes me think I probably shouldn't take on hobbies that I know nothing about lol. But anyway......

Nonsense!! We were all new once and i don’t know the real stats but i’ll make them up and say 80% of people on here didn’t know anything about repairing pins until they bought one. As long as you aren't afraid to ask for help, and listen anD learn as you go you will know how to fix these things. You already have some heavy hitters on here (I don’t include myself on that list yet) so i’m confident you will get this running. Pinside has a 100% success rate for helping with my tech problems.

You cannot hurt anything by going into diagnostic mode. There are a series of tests to check sounds, music, coil function, lamps, closed switches, detect new closed switches etc. Then you can scroll into audits and game adjustments. Don’t worry about these for now.

So for the next things you will want to have glass off, playfield down and power it up. Pay attention to any messages comin up on the display. Then open coin door. Inside you have the three buttons:

Advance Button - usually closest to door.
Center - auto up / manual down.
Highscore reset. Don’t need to use this one.

First thing is to press center button into the down position. Pressing advance once gets you into music test. Now press center to bring it back to auto up. Now each time you press the advance button you cycle through the various test. Once you find the test you want, push center button back to manual down. Advance now lets you manually move through that test.

The interesting ones for you now are coil test (to see if saucer eject will fire). Switch levels will indicate which switches are currently closed. If you have balls in the game you will expect to see the trough switches come up.

Switch edge test is very useful. Here the display will tell you which switch is closed when you depress it. Use a ball not your finger for best results. If you put a ball in the saucer do you see it one the screen? If so is it the correct switch number as per the manual and is it the only switch registering?

After you do this you will start to develop a troubleshooting roadmap .

Then go mess around with the other tests. You will get the hang of what each one does. I guarantee you will hit wrong button a few times, move to the next test by accident, curse, then reset game and start over.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

A little apprehensive about putting it into diagnostic mode, mainly because I know nothing about pinball machines, so I'm not really sure what I'm looking for in diagnostic mode or what to do. But I guess I should give it a shot. I also don't want to mess with the current settings.

The menu is a little overwhelming at first but entering diagnostics wont change any of your current game settings.

Its actually pretty simple, open the coin door with the game off, press the red button on the door into the down position and turn game on.

Now press the black button closest to the coin door and you will be in diagnostics and the display should read 'MUSIC OFF'
Press the front game start button and you can cycle thru the various background music

After that push the red button again (so now its in the up position) and you can then press the black button closest to coin door again and move to 'DISPLAY TEST',
press the black button again and it moves to 'SOUND TEST',
press again to 'ALL LAMPS',
press again to 'SINGLE LAMPS' in single lamp test you will go back to using the start button to move which lamp is currently lighted.
press again to 'COIL TEST'
press again to 'SWITCH LEVELS' -display will give current status of car, diverter and ball trough switches
press again to 'SWITCH TEST' - you can manually trigger switches on the playfield and it will show on the display
press again to 'SELECTED A-SIDE & SELECTED C-SIDE' - lol I have no idea what this test is for
press again to 'CAR TEST' - will run the car up and down
press black button again and you are out of diagnostics and into audit/adjustment mode.

If you get confused or want to start over just turn the game off and go back to the beginning
After you get familiar with watching the game cycle thru tests you can beginning using the red button inside the individual tests to pause auto advance testing and move them 1 at a time with the black button on coin door

#14 1 year ago

Hey guys, thanks for the detailed diagnostics instructions. They were actually pretty easy to follow. I can confirm that the saucer solenoid does not fire. I watched it cycle through a few times. So not sure what the next step is now?

On a side note, I could see the diverter move, so that's a good thing.

#15 1 year ago

Get a jumper wire like in picture. Connect one side of the jumper wire to the ground braid inside the cabinet. Turn on the power and BREIFLY touch the other end of the jumper wire to the purple/green wire on the coil. Does it fire now?

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#16 1 year ago

Looks like the coil wire has broken. This is a pretty common problem, it was actually the first big problem I had with my first pin! It can be fixed by taking the coil cover off, unwinding a bit of coil, and then wrapping that around the lug and soldering it. You'll need to use some sand paper to remove a bit of the coil insulation at the tip of the wire before you solder it back onto the lug. Once that's finished you can just tape the coil cover back on. This all might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but eventually you'll start to gain some useful new skills and a pretty decent collection of tools!

About the diverter, if it's moving then it should be fine!

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#17 1 year ago
Quoted from mystman12:

Looks like the coil wire has broken.

Good eye! Should be an easy fix

#18 1 year ago

mystman12 Actually, it looks like the coil wire is still attached. I took a pic from a different angle.

I have a volt meter I can try on the solenoid. Is it possible for a solenoid to completely die? It only costs $20 or so to purchase a replacement one.

Also, anybody know the best screw driver attachment and bolt dimension to easy remove these small bolts from the underside of Williams playfields from this era?

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#19 1 year ago

Using your multimeter, test the resistance across the coil by putting one lead on each terminal. That coil should read around 4.2 ohms. If it reads zero ohms there is a dead short. If it reads OL there is a break in the wire somewhere, which may not be visible.

Assuming the coil is still ok, do what Grumpy suggests next (or first, he has a knack for these things). This will narrow down if the issue is with the mpu.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

mystman12 Actually, it looks like the coil wire is still attached. I took a pic from a different angle.
I have a volt meter I can try on the solenoid. Is it possible for a solenoid to completely die? It only costs $20 or so to purchase a replacement one.
Also, anybody know the best screw driver attachment and bolt dimension to easy remove these small bolts from the underside of Williams playfields from this era?[quoted image]

Ah, you're right, my bad. Definitely follow Completist's advice to make absolutely sure the coil itself doesn't have any breaks though.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

Also, anybody know the best screw driver attachment and bolt dimension to easy remove these small bolts from the underside of Williams playfields from this era?

Most of the screws on Police Force are 1/4" - definitely get something magnetic, I use Klein drivers in 1/4, 5/16, and 11/32 and dont recall offhand if I ever needed a different size. Something like this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-7-Piece-Magnetic-Nut-Driver-Set-with-6-in-Hollow-Shafts-Cushion-Grip-Handles-647M/100648072

#22 1 year ago

So, it seems I've gone two or three steps backwards. Feeling pretty defeated

I got the jumper wire as suggested by grumpy and connected it between the braided ground wire and the solenoid in question. Upon firing up the machine, I briefly touched it to the solenoid prong with the purple/green wire attached. The solenoid didn't fire. In fact, there was no noise from the machine. Then I looked up and noticed that the alphanumeric displays weren't on anymore. I put the playfield back down and took the translite off and tried changing the batteries. Turned the machine back on and the alphanumeric displays won't turn back on. Also, the machine won't start anymore. It just does a few beeping sounds. Pressing the start button does nothing. I hope I didn't fry something? I've attached a short clip of what it is doing now. I'm at a loss. Any ideas?

#23 1 year ago

Check fuses - may have inadvertently blown one. Sound board test passed tho

#24 1 year ago

Your CPU isn't booting now. Check the yellow highlighted fuses.

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#25 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

I briefly touched it to the solenoid prong with the purple/green wire attached. The solenoid didn't fire. In fact, there was no noise from the machine.

Was there any spark when you touched the jumper?

#26 1 year ago

No, there was no spark. Nothing at all. Okay, I will check the fuses and report back. Don't have any replacement fuses at the moment, however. Not sure who carries these? Home Depot? Or better to order from Amazon?

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

Not sure who carries these? Home Depot? Or better to order from Amazon?

Great Plains Electronics. You should buy some spares for the whole machine, just in case.

Quoted from Geetarslinga:

No, there was no spark. Nothing at all.

OK so this was just a coincidence that the fuse blew at same time you were testing. That is what I was thinking but just wanted to make sure. The fuse that I think is burnt is for the 5 volt CPU power and has nothing to do with the coil power which comes from the aux power supply.

#28 1 year ago

Okay, I'm a total newbie, but how do I remove these fuses? Just yank with tweezers?

grumpy I already ordered the flat cam in case my ramp diverter acts up. Any other parts that you particularly recommend to keep on hand? I had already thought of purchasing backup pieces, but Marco specialties has about 40 pages of stuff for this machine.

*On second read, I realized you meant just the fuses. Yes, I will get a bunch of backups.

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Your CPU isn't booting now. Check the yellow highlighted fuses.[quoted image]

grumpy Got the 2 fuses in yellow out. They are reading about 0.4 on fluke multimeter with steady beep. So I think they're okay?

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

So I think they're okay?

Good, I didn't know you had a meter. Replace the 2 fuses in the power supply and turn it on. Set your meter to DC volts. Place the black lead under the ground braid in the backbox and use the red lead to check the test points on the power supply. Check the 5, 12 and neg 12 volt test points and report back what you find.

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Good, I didn't know you had a meter. Replace the 2 fuses in the power supply and turn it on. Set your meter to DC volts. Place the black lead under the ground braid in the backbox and use the red lead to check the test points on the power supply. Check the 5, 12 and neg 12 volt test points and report back what you find.

Hey grumpy. Followed your instructions. Here are the measurements:

5 test point read 5.08
12 test point read 11.12
-12 test point read -13.28

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

Hey grumpy. Followed your instructions. Here are the measurements:
5 test point read 5.08
12 test point read 11.12
-12 test point read -13.28

Looks good. What are the 3 leds on the CPU board doing when you turn it on?

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Looks good. What are the 3 leds on the CPU board doing when you turn it on?

Only the +5 VDC one lights up. The other 2 are off.

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

Only the +5 VDC one lights up. The other 2 are off.

Ok, use your voltmeter on DC setting and check the cathode (band side) of ZR-1 on the CPU.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Ok, use your voltmeter on DC setting and check the cathode (band side) of ZR-1 on the CPU.

I think it's about 0.7 in diode mode.

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

I think it's about 0.7 in diode mode.

No, check for voltage with the power turned on. Set DMM to DC volts not diode test.

#37 1 year ago

Okay, so just run the red probe on the cathode side with machine booted up? Dont use the black probe? Sorry, just being extra cautious as I don't know much about electronics.

#38 1 year ago

When testing for DC voltage always place the black lead under the ground braid or board screw.

#39 1 year ago

grumpy

Okay, i think it measured about 11....but something weird happened so I took the probes off. It appears the mpu started back up randomly? The alphanumeric display went back on and it is in attract mode.

I went into diagnostics and switched it back to free play. Exited diagnostics and the alphanumeric display went off again, but the mpu still appeared to be working. It was in attract mode. So I started a game, and the display started again. Same saucer hole issue persists.

Do you think there's a short in the mpu?

#40 1 year ago

No but you do have a few issues to correct. Start by removing the power supply from the back box and posting a good pic of the back of the board. Maybe close ups of the header pins. There maybe cracked solder joints causing one of your issues.

1 week later
#41 1 year ago

grumpy

Sorry for the absence. Been away. Anyway, just removed the power supply. Here are some pics. Let me know if you need more?

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#42 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

Here are some pics.

I don't see any problems with it, might as well put it back in and reconnect it.
Turn on the machine, put it in coil test and stop on solenoid 5a lower right eject.
While this is going on take your jumper and connect one end to the ground braid in the backbox. Then take the other end and briefly touch the metal tab of Q-31 of the CPU board. Does the coil fire when you touch the transistor Q-31?

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#43 1 year ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

I don't see any problems with it, might as well put it back in and reconnect it.
Turn on the machine, put it in coil test and stop on solenoid 5a lower right eject.
While this is going on take your jumper and connect one end to the ground braid in the backbox. Then take the other end and briefly touch the metal tab of Q-31 of the CPU board. Does the coil fire when you touch the transistor Q-31?[quoted image]

Yes, the saucer coil fired when I tried that.

#44 1 year ago
Quoted from Geetarslinga:

Yes, the saucer coil fired when I tried that.

Good, this means everything is working but the CPU. Your other issue is on the CPU also. Do you have a logic probe? Can you solder small parts of a circuit board?

#45 1 year ago

I don't own a logic probe. I could order one though. I've never tried soldering small parts to a circuit board. Would I be better off sending the board out for repair?

#46 1 year ago

The logic probe would be used to determine which parts are bad. If you're not ready for board work I would see if there is another pinsider near you that could help. If you send it off to a pro you don't need to troubleshoot any further.

#47 1 year ago

When you get a logic probe, connect the red lead to the 5 volt test point on the cpu board. Connect the black lead to the ground test point. Set the probes switch to TTL and turn on the machine. Check the probe for correct operation by touching the 5 volt and then the ground test points, it should light up high for the 5 volts and a low for ground. Place the game in solenoid test and stop on solenoid 5a as you did before. Starting at U-19 you need to check pin 3 for a high pulse. If good then check the emitter of Q-27, it should have a high pulse on it too. Let me know what you find.

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1 week later
#48 1 year ago

grumpy

Hi. Logic probe finally arrived. Followed your instructions and put the probe on 5 volt connector and ground of CPU and tested it. Probe working properly. Put game into solenoid test and stopped on 5A.

U19 has 7 pins, so not sure which direction you count from? Q27 is showing a high pulse on emitter pin.

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#49 1 year ago

For U19, if it's the 3rd pin counting from the left, it's showing low. If it's the 5th pin from the left, it also shows low, but jumps to high for a fraction of a second intermittently.

#50 1 year ago

You need to find notch in the chip. Then you start counting in a counter clockwise direction from the notch.

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