(Topic ID: 261069)

Please have pity for a newbie

By Sinballer

1 year ago


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  • 15 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Sinballer
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

I first posted here about a month ago and had some very helpful people direct me to some beginner's resource material. I've checked these out and have been trying to educate myself to the point where I can begin to talk (semi) intelligently on this forum. I'm hoping that I'm at that point now.

I'm trying to breathe the kiss of life back into a Space Odyssey machine that's been dormant for many years.
I've taken it about as far as my limited knowledge allows and am looking for some guidance on what type of things I should be looking at next.

I've done a lot of visual inspection on all of the switches (while manually activating the relays, solenoids, etc.).
I've also rebuilt the 3 main stepper units (which definitely needed it!) and am 99.9% sure these are functioning normally now.

The status of the machine right now is as follows;
-Powers on and most lamps light up (I haven't yet started testing/replacing bulbs - waiting on a parts order).
-Credit unit steps up when I manually activate the coin door switches.
-When I press the START (reset??) button at the front to start the game, the credit unit steps down, the RESET and COIN relays activate and the score counters reset to zeros. At this point, none of the scoring functions, flippers, bumpers, etc. are working.
-If a ball is present at the drain area, the description above applies plus the score motor rotates continuously and the BONUS relay activates once per cycle (twice per revolution).

That's where I am right now. I'm hoping some generous soul will have pity on me and give me some direction on where/what to be looking at next. I've got a fairly strong background in electro-mechanics but none of it on pinball machines. With limited time available to dedicate to this, I'm finding it a bit overwhelming to get into it further.

Any help would be most appreciated. Thx in advance!!

#2 1 year ago

Your Bonus Unit is not going to the full reset position. Or, at least the circuitry is not detecting this. So many possibilities.

Standard electrical and electro-mechanical troubleshooting techniques apply.

#3 1 year ago
Quoted from Sinballer:

If a ball is present at the drain area, the description above applies plus the score motor rotates continuously and the BONUS relay activates once per cycle

What's the Outhole relay doing when this happens?

#4 1 year ago
Quoted from MrBally:Your Bonus Unit is not going to the full reset position. Or, at least the circuitry is not detecting this. So many possibilities.
Standard electrical and electro-mechanical troubleshooting techniques apply.

I may be missing something here. I thought that my BONUS UNIT steps up and steps down, It doesn't reset all at once. Is that correct? When you say "the full reset position", should it be stepping down several times to get there or all at once? I do see the switches changing state when it gets to the reset position (when the plastic post moves the switches).

Quoted from HowardR:

What's the Outhole relay doing when this happens?

The OUTHOLE relay does nothing at all at any point.

#5 1 year ago

Does a ball eject into the shooter lane?

#6 1 year ago

Cool project, I'm working on fixing up my Space Mission that hadn't been played in 30 years. I've spent an unhealthy amount of time studying the schematics in order to understand the flow for troubleshooting. Just the other day I finally got it working 100% (hurrah!) - here is the expected order of operations when pressing the credit button in a game over state (Space Odyssey should be pretty much identical minus the player 3/4 support):

1. Credit button pressed triggers credit unit reset (to remove one credit)
2. Credit unit reset EOS enables the coin relay to fire, which starts the score motor (it will continue running as the relays below fire)
3. Coin relay active and game over active causes the player 100,000 latches to fire (clearing any previously-tripped 100,000 lights) and also fires the reset relay
4. Coin relay active and score motor cam 1 toggling causes the following to fire simultaneously - total play meter, coin unit reset (resetting it back to a single player game), game over relay latch (taking the machine out of the game over state), ball count unit reset (resetting it back to ball 1), player unit reset (resetting it back to player 1)
5. Reset relay active and any score reels not being at zero causes the player 1-2 and 3-4 reset relays to repeatedly fire on the score motor impulse / impulse forward cams (5 times per half revolution)
6. While the above is happening, if the bonus unit is not at its zero position then having the reset relay active will cause the bonus relay to fire
7. Bonus relay active and bonus unit not at zero causes the bonus unit reset to fire on the score motor impulse cam (stepping the bonus down 5 times per half revolution)
8. Once the bonus unit hits its zero position, the outhole relay fires
9. Outhole relay active and score motor cam 3 toggling causes the bonus unit to step up (resetting it back to 1000 for the turn)
10. Outhole relay active and score motor cam 4 toggling causes the ball release to fire (sending the ball into the shooter lane)
11. Score motor cam 5 toggling cuts off the outhole relay and the score motor stops

With the above in mind, you can observe your game and see how far it's getting. From your description it sounds like it's getting stuck around step (6) in the bonus unit reset process. Which lines up with you saying the flippers/bumpers/scoring don't work - those get cut off if the reset relay is still active. And one of the things that keeps the reset relay active is the bonus relay being active. This also lines up with you saying the outhole relay is doing nothing - it won't fire until the bonus reset completes.

What do you see the bonus unit doing during the reset process? Is it trying to step down? Does it ever reach the zero point? If you can confirm how far it's getting in the steps above, we can work from there.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from Sinballer:

I may be missing something here. I thought that my BONUS UNIT steps up and steps down, It doesn't reset all at once. Is that correct? When you say "the full reset position", should it be stepping down several times to get there or all at once? I do see the switches changing state when it gets to the reset position (when the plastic post moves the switches).

The OUTHOLE relay does nothing at all at any point.

I thought that my BONUS UNIT steps up and steps down, It doesn't reset all at once. Is that correct?
That is correct.

When you say "the full reset position", should it be stepping down several times to get there or all at once?
Yes, it should be stepping down via several individual steps of the (usually smaller) reset solenoid.

I do see the switches changing state when it gets to the reset position (when the plastic post moves the switches)
With power off, press the solenoid plunger of the reset bonus solenoid to get the unit to the "Reset" position. Can you physically move the wiper assembly any "farther" in the "reset" direction? If so, you likely have a physical bind or gummed up parts in the bonus unit.
The rivets and fingers should be mated perfectly and not "off center". The bakelite rivet plate is adjustable. But, as you said, the reset limit switch(es) must be properly adjusted and working. After verifying this, which is one of the most wear-prone moving parts on this machine (after all of the score reels on the game) it is time to get the schematic diagram and follow it to find your problem.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from Sinballer:

The OUTHOLE relay does nothing at all at any point.

If the Outhole relay doesn't activate, Inspect and diagnose this circuit with Alligator clip jumper wires
http://www.planetimming.com/Pinball/troubleshooting/EM%20Troubleshooting.pdf
http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#features

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#9 1 year ago

Thanks for these very detailed responses. This stuff is like gold to me (especially LeChuck’s startup flow description!!). This was exactly the type of information I needed to at least point me in the right direction and give me a jumping off point to stay trouble-shooting. I’ll work on it a while a post again when things change.
Incidentally, the ball does not get kicked out of the outhole.
Thank you all again for the help!

2 weeks later
#10 1 year ago

Not sure if it's better to continue to post in this topic thread or to start a new one (any opinions on that?).
I'm going to continue with this one so I don't have to re-type a lot of background info again.

I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out how and where to start trouble-shooting this issue.
From some of these posts as well as some of the reference info I've been reading, I agree that it does have something to do with the Bonus Unit reset not being recognized somehow. I've built a test light (per Steve Fury's instructions - thx for that) but I haven't had much luck using it yet.
I had thought I was going to be fairly competent with this stuff but so far it's proving to be a humbling experience. Hopefully, once I get going a get a little more comfortable with what I'm doing, things should be less frustrating for me.

For now, there are a few questions I'd like to ask of you. One general and one specific.

-The general question is...Is there any reference material (other than the machine manual) that describes what the individual relays are responsible for?
Some are fairly obvious (tilt, reset, etc.) but some of them are still confusing to me. An example would be the Coin Setup Relay. Is there somewhere that explains, in straightforward terms, what all of the individual relays will do when energized?

-The specific one has to do with the startup sequence of my machine.
I wanted to confirm that my Bonus Unit will do a reset properly so I stepped it up manually a few positions before pressing the reset button to start a new game. It did step down properly to it's zero (reset) position. I was about to start my troubleshooting from this point. I turned the power off and jumpered out the Outhole switch (to simulate a ball in the Outhole). I also advanced the Bonus Unit a few steps. When I turn the power switch back on, the Bonus Unit immediately starts stepping down to its reset position. This happens before I even press the Reset button to start a new game.
Is this normal??
I thought several other things had to happen first, especially the pressing of the Reset button to start the whole reset sequence going.
Incidentally, when I remove the jumper at the Outhole switch, it the Bonus Unit does not do its reset until after the Reset button is pressed.
I don't want to go chasing a ghost. I just need to know if this is normal behaviour or if it may somehow be related to my problem.

Thx in advance for any words of wisdom you can toss my way!

#11 1 year ago

http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index1.htm

Have you been here? Lots of great information.

The start up sequence is the toughest thing to troubleshoot for me.

#12 1 year ago

Sinballer, I would look very closely at your Game Over relay. There should be a switch that is normally closed after a reset. Sometimes these interlock relays don't latch properly or the switch maybe open/dirty. This could cause your "no playfield function" condition. This same switch also needs to be closed to complete the circuit to the outhole relay, which may be why your ball isn't kicking out.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from Sinballer:

-The general question is...Is there any reference material (other than the machine manual) that describes what the individual relays are responsible for?
Some are fairly obvious (tilt, reset, etc.) but some of them are still confusing to me. An example would be the Coin Setup Relay. Is there somewhere that explains, in straightforward terms, what all of the individual relays will do when energized?

The manual is probably the closest you'll get to documentation on the various relays/solenoids/switches. I do agree that some of the names are vague and only give you a loose clue as to what they do (like "COIN" or "BONUS"). But once you get used to tracing the schematics, it will become a little easier to see what they do. Especially since a lot of games, even from other manufacturers, use similar naming conventions for everything .. so you can read descriptions and threads about other games and it will usually be similar for your game.

Quoted from Sinballer:

-The specific one has to do with the startup sequence of my machine.
I wanted to confirm that my Bonus Unit will do a reset properly so I stepped it up manually a few positions before pressing the reset button to start a new game. It did step down properly to it's zero (reset) position. I was about to start my troubleshooting from this point. I turned the power off and jumpered out the Outhole switch (to simulate a ball in the Outhole). I also advanced the Bonus Unit a few steps. When I turn the power switch back on, the Bonus Unit immediately starts stepping down to its reset position. This happens before I even press the Reset button to start a new game.
Is this normal??
I thought several other things had to happen first, especially the pressing of the Reset button to start the whole reset sequence going.
Incidentally, when I remove the jumper at the Outhole switch, it the Bonus Unit does not do its reset until after the Reset button is pressed.
I don't want to go chasing a ghost. I just need to know if this is normal behaviour or if it may somehow be related to my problem.

This is normal and actually a good catch - I should probably throw this somewhere in the startup sequence I posted before (around step 6, although it will actually happen almost right away when power is applied and the ball is sitting in the outhole). The reason for it is that the outhole switch being closed provides a path to fire the bonus relay as long as it's not already at its zero position:
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Once the bonus relay fires, it will cause the score motor to move and also close a switch that will lock itself on until it hits the zero position:
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When the bonus unit hits the zero position, the bonus relay will de-energize and the make/break switch below will toggle to try to enable the outhole relay after the score motor stops (step 8 in the startup sequence above). But at this point the game is still in the game over state .. so the outhole relay logic won't fire.
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Note - When reading the schematics, for the most part the switches are shown as if a one-player game has been started. So that is why the game over relay switch above is shown as closed .. but in the case you're describing, it would still be open (since power was just applied and a game hasn't actually been started yet).

I verified on my Space Mission just now that if the bonus unit is already at zero, then turning on the power does nothing and it goes straight to game over. If I manually step up the bonus unit and then turn on power, it steps down the bonus unit and then sits at game over.

I would suggest slowly walking through simpler chunks of the schematics, and using the test light to see how/when things fire. I would agree it sounds like your bonus unit is stepping and resetting correctly .. so you're headed in the right direction. Let us know if you have more questions, or figure out something your machine is doing that isn't in the expected startup sequence.

#14 1 year ago

WHOOO HOOOO!!!
Guess who's playing pinball?
This guy!!!

My Game Over relay wasn't latching.
I cleaned/adjusted the Score Motor switch 1A.
I also had to clean/adjust a switch on the Game Over relay itself, which wasn't turning on the Swinging Target motor.
Everything seems to be functioning correctly now.

I just have a couple of minor complaints right now and would like some advice on dealing with them.
1-My Player relay buzzes loudly, on an intermittent (but annoying) basis.
How serious is this? And is it just a matter of cleaning/adjusting?
2-Loud buzzing when I hold the flipper switches in.
I believe this is EOS adjusting. Correct??
I need to change the flippers anyway (they're scratching up my near-flawless playfield graphics!!) so I will go over the whole assembly as I do so.
3-Loud Swinging Target assembly.
I believe it needs to be lubricated.
Any tips/suggestions regarding type of lube and application?

Now, I can move on to the fun part - making it fast and pretty! New rubber, bulbs, wax, etc.

I am missing a couple of parts and I'm going start a new thread to see if anyone can help me with that but I thought I'd throw it out here just in case.
I know that one of the parts I need - the actuator plate for the Match unit - is as hard to find as rocking-horse sh*t but I'm hoping someone has an extra or a cannibalized machine that still has one and is willing to part with it.
The other part I need, in order to restore this machine faithfully, is the Knocker assembly. I have the connecting cable but, for whatever strange reason, someone has removed the entire knocker assembly from this machine. I can get another manufacturer's knocker from Pinball Resource but they're kind of pricey so they suggested I first try to find one from the Pinside community (likely from a near-junked machine).
Please let me know if you can help with either of these (or, if you can point me in the direction of someone who can).

#15 1 year ago

Oooops.
I forgot to thank all of you who responded and helped me out with this.
The old cliche "I couldn't have done it without you" has never been more true.

Special thanks to LeChuck, whose patient explanations and relevant excerpts of highlighted schematics helped immensely.
It felt like cheating (it probably was) but you saved me hours and hours of frustration (or learning??).

Hey there! Got a moment?

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