(Topic ID: 31324)

PLEASE HELP (2 problems) - Newbie Owner - Williams System 11


By quadzilla

8 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by SPeD66
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 8 years ago

Hello everyone,

This is my first post. After 45 years on this planet, I finally bought my first pinball machine (I played them religiously as a kid).

The machine is a 1987 Williams Big Guns. She's in excellent cosmetic condition and was recently shopped by the owner. A few days after I got her, a couple of minor problems presented themselves:

1 - The drop three targets in the upper playfield on the right (trolls) are down and won't come back up.

2 - When I first turn the machine on, I get three error messages in a row:

Adjust Switch
41 Left BB
42 Left BB
43 Center BB

Included with the machine was the manual and a schematic. I'm OK with a soldering iron (not great, but can get the job done). I don't currently have a digital multimeter, but plan on getting one this week.

Any help would greatly appreciated!!!!

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I believe that problem #1 and #2 are unrelated as problem #2 started some days before problem #1.

#2 8 years ago

Never owned that game, so couldn't help with sensor adjustments. However, drop targets are operated by solenoids. Sometimes it's as simple as a wee bit of contact cleaner (not WD40 or grease of that kind) on the plunger, where it has been gummed up after years of use. Kind of like working out pots on amplifiers that get gummed up on receivers or guitar amps. If the paper on the coil is burnt or dark looking, then the coil itself needs replacement. Of course, there is always a bad connection issue that could cause this as well, or a bad transistor for the solenoid (though this is less likely). I had a System 1 machine with this problem and, luckily, it was the easier of these options to correct. However, replacing a coil is no big deal either. Just solder one contact at a time, slowly removing the old and inserting the new. Hope this helps some, and I'm sure there could be an addendum to my two cents.

#3 8 years ago

Not sure about the sensor issue. But as far as the drop targets go, they may just need a good cleaning. I had to clean the drop targets on my System 11 BK2K because they would go down about halfway after being hit and then slowly drop. Someone had "lubed" them with lithium grease which ultimately made them slow and sticky. This link goes into cleaning them on a Flash. It should be similar. http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-to-clean-a-williams-flash-drop-target

#4 8 years ago

Lift the playfield and manually pop the targets up.

Did they move smoothly?

Do they fall smoothly when their faces are pressed?

Play with the solenoid, does it move freely through its motions?

If all of the above seems good, check with a meter and see if the solenoid has power.

#5 8 years ago

I may be able to offer some assistance this evening. I'll break out my camera & give you some ideas using my BG as an example.

#6 8 years ago

Thanks for the help guys! Again, this is my first pin (the start of an addiction?!?!?!)!

#7 8 years ago

OH, I forgot to mention that I believe that problem #1 and #2 are unrelated as problem #2 started some days before problem #1.

#8 8 years ago

I'm pretty sure it's telling you there is a problem with the switches, not the "sensors"

Those 3 switches (41, 42 & 43) are in the King's Chamber in the backbox. They are either stuck closed, misadjusted so they won't close when triggered, or simply haven't been hit in a long period of time. Go into switch edge test, manipulate the switches manually and see what happens. Adjust the leafs as necessary. If that doesn't look like the problem, check that the wires are intact, etc.

Everybody else is giving you good advice on the drops - although if it's dirty, take it apart and clean it correctly. Don't spray stuff into it.

#9 8 years ago

I think that you are correct, Examiner. I was going off of memory and I believe the message does say "switch" vs "sensor"! I'll manipulate them (lightly) this evening to see if that helps. Thanks so much!

#10 8 years ago
Quoted from examiner:

Those 3 switches (41, 42 & 43) are in the King's Chamber in the backbox.

Specifically, the middle one & the two to the left of it.
Another method of testing these:
Start a game & manually push the wire triggers with your finger. (Or pull them from the back with a bread tie inserted through the slot for each. Just make a hook.) Turn the game off, then back on & see if the error messages come back or not. If no more errors, the switches work but you may need to bend the wire triggers a bit so that the slightest pressure engages the switch. Or like examiner mentioned, you can try bending the leafs IF your switches are the type that allow it. Mine are all fully enclosed, so only bending the wire trigger is possible. That little ball in the kings chamber doesn't weigh much & it takes a LOT of fiddling to get those switches set up just right.

#11 8 years ago
Quoted from examiner:

I'm pretty sure it's telling you there is a problem with the switches, not the "sensors"
Those 3 switches (41, 42 & 43) are in the King's Chamber in the backbox. They are either stuck closed, misadjusted so they won't close when triggered, or simply haven't been hit in a long period of time. Go into switch edge test, manipulate the switches manually and see what happens. Adjust the leafs as necessary. If that doesn't look like the problem, check that the wires are intact, etc.
Everybody else is giving you good advice on the drops - although if it's dirty, take it apart and clean it correctly. Don't spray stuff into it.

I get suspicious whenever I have several switches on the same row or column come up in an error report. Could be a switch matrix issue.

#12 8 years ago

Where did the pin come from out of curiosity?

#13 8 years ago

JoshMX - I just bought it in a town called Beaver Springs, PA (north of Harrisburg). Are you one of the owners? The guy I bought it from said that he has a partner or two that all own a handful of machines. He had some really cool machines at his place like T2, Cyclone, Space Station etc...

#14 8 years ago

With the game turned off take a small flathead screwdriver maybe 1/4" wide but not too thick and locate connector 1J10 and 1J8 on the CPU board. Make sure the connectors are seated and make sure on 1J10 the 9th 8th and 7th wire are on the connector (White-Brown, White-Red, and White-Orange respectively) and push the wires into the connector with the screwdriver to seat them. On 1J8 its the 7th wire Green-Blue make sure its there and is well seated. Also check the other two switches in the kings chamber and see if they work. If none of them work and all the wires are properly seated and making good contact it could be the Q47 Transistor that is bad. You can look for it on the CPU board with a flashlight they are labeled and the transistor is a 2N3904 . 1J8 connector should be on the lower center of the board and the Q47 is just above and slightly to the left. 1J10 connector is to the left of 1J8. Make sure you turn the machine off when working on it like this. Unplug it if you wish. You can also look online on how to test that transistor with your DMM you might be able to get to it without taking it out of the machine too just to test it. This is all if reseating the wires into the connector doesnt help so you are going to have to test each step of the way! PM me if you need to!

#15 8 years ago

Update:

Issue #1 resolved. Turned out that a wire had popped itself off of the coil (cold solder joint).

Issue #2 still persists. I tried manipulating and adjusting the switches (the out facing wire) and checked the connections. Logically it must be something more as one whole side of the unit went out all at once (3 of the 5 switches) suggestions? Thanks again!

#16 8 years ago

Glad to hear you got #1 resolved so easily.
I made a short video that I'll put here in case future forum searchers find it useful. I'm still learning & just incorporated what I know from troubleshooting my drop targets. Might be good for beginners. Maybe worthy of a thumbs up for effort?

I don't really know enough yet to help you further with #2. My last scrap of rookie advice would be to reseat the 3 connectors in the backbox that I have circled in this photo. (For good measure, reseat all of them on that board.) Just wiggle them half way off then push them back on. You might get lucky.

100_2922.JPG

#17 8 years ago

Wow, thanks for taking the pic and making the video!

Still trying to track down the gremlins with issue number 2.

1 week later
#18 8 years ago
Quoted from SPeD66:

I made a short video

I love how you collected the Special at the end. A true player.

steve

#19 8 years ago
Quoted from sscharf:

I love how you collected the Special at the end. A true player.

Thanks Steve. That made me chuckle.

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