(Topic ID: 224952)

Question about a potential Bally Vector repair


By ClarkWGriswold

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by BigAl56
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 1 year ago

I am inching ever closer to making my first pin purchase and although I think I have decided that Firepower will be the pin I buy first, there is a Vector for sale in my general area.

I realize that opinions on Vector vary much more than on Firepower, in general; however, the Vector pin intrigues me. The Vector that is for sale apparently has a ball trough switch issue.....it won’t serve up a ball. As a brand new guy to this I have a question. I suppose that issue could be BOTH a board issue and a mechanical issue with the trough switch itself, yes?

I was also wondering if trough switches are a plug and play item amongst most pins of the same era....or would you be locked in to finding a specific OEM switch for a 1982 Bally Vector?

#2 1 year ago
Quoted from ClarkWGriswold:

I was also wondering if trough switches are a plug and play item amongst most pins of the same era....or would you be locked in to finding a specific OEM switch for a 1982 Bally Vector?

Looks like leaf blade switches all over the bottom :

https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2723&picno=50400&zoom=1

Should be available or something else easily used. All kinds of leaf blade switches available. Worst case scenario you might have to make new screw holes if you need to adapt something.

LTG : )

#3 1 year ago

Ball trough switches I wouldn't worry about. It could also be that the kickout coil is bad, or the transistor that controls it on the driver board is bad. Not a big problem either if you can do basic board work but not quite as easy as a ball trough switch.

If you could get it into switch and coil test you could find out for sure where the problem is

#4 1 year ago

Fair enough. I am a little puzzled as to why the current owner hasn’t addressed what does not appear to be a major issue on what appears to be a pretty damn nice pin. Maybe he is more of a check-writer than a wrench-turner...like me. Thanks for the feedback. I really do like the look of that Vector.

#5 1 year ago

To further comment on what zacaj said, if a coil was replaced on this game it may have easily been replaced with the wrong coil.

Vector used a solenoid expander board to be able to add more coils than the driver board was capable of. The SEB is a tiny board under the playfield with a light bulb on it. If the bulb burns out, the coils controlled by the board will no longer work. Also, all coils controlled by the SEB require TWO diodes instead of the normal single diode coils used everywhere else. If one of these special coils was replaced with a normal one it would cause very strange game behavior and could even damage components on the driver board.

This can be difficult to troubleshoot because the symptoms can be very different than the problem that was just "fixed". If the owner doesn't understand how the SEB circuit works they will never figure out where the problem lies. And if they had to replace driver board components they won't understand why the same components keep going bad.

The outhole coil is one of the coils controlled by the SEB.

If you buy the game (I've owned both Vector and Firepower and FP is the better game by far, IMO), come back here and we'll help you fix it.

#6 1 year ago

Interesting stuff. Thanks for the feedback. The relative rarity and fact that the Vector is essentially local piqued my interest, but I imagine that Firepower will be my entree into the hobby.

#7 1 year ago

check there is 3 balls in the game, and make sure the 3rd ball is registering on the switch wire that protrudes out of the apron

#8 1 year ago

This game does have unique trough switches that protrude out of the apron. I’m sure there are replacements out there, but I’ve never searched for them.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

This game does have unique trough switches that protrude out of the apron. I’m sure there are replacements out there, but I’ve never searched for them.

They're not the same that are used on fathom, elektra, etc?

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

They're not the same that are used on fathom, elektra, etc?

Not sure. Never seen another game use them. Well flight 2000 has similar ones, but not the same as vector.

#11 1 year ago

There are so many reasons to not buy Vector. Go with the Firepower.

#12 1 year ago

Here is some trivia about Vector from my days in the Bally Lab,
Designed by my good friend Greg Kmiec, Vector was so packed with targets and features I coined the phrase, 'Vector Syndrome' to describe games with so many objects on the playfield there was physically no room for the ball to roll. Bally wanted to clear out the parts warehouse so the designers were given freedom to throw anything and everything they could think of on the playfield.
Enjoy!

#13 1 year ago

I kinda dig all of the stuff on the Vector playfield but I understand I am in the minority. Now I just gotta find a Firepower in decent shape.

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from ClarkWGriswold:

I kinda dig all of the stuff on the Vector playfield but I understand I am in the minority.

It's a cool game, don't get me wrong, but the play is very herky-jerky due to the 'Vector Syndrome' as BigAl mentioned.

#15 1 year ago

Vector can be a very challenging game, lots to shoot for, biggest problem I found were the flippers didn't have the strength it needed.
upgrade to Williams FT's and what a difference! Ball fly's!

#16 1 year ago

Vector trough switches can be problematic if someone has been bending them every which way

If you get the game, ask here for some photos of how they are supposed to look.

#17 1 year ago

Might want to inspect the Vector game. A person not that familiar with pinball may say "won't serve the ball up" when the game is completely dead and just the GI turns on.

#18 1 year ago

Well, just to keep the thought process going...seller says the Vector will boot up and go into attract mode but will not serve a ball. Says you can put a ball in the shooter lane and the pin will function correctly otherwise and keep score. Apparently it has a new MPU board and some aftermarket ROMs as well.

#19 1 year ago

What's he asking?

Do you own a meter?

#20 1 year ago

1500.00. Do I have a multimeter? Yes

#21 1 year ago

New MPU board is good, but you could buy a working Vector for 1500

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Vector trough switches can be problematic if someone has been bending them every which way
If you get the game, ask here for some photos of how they are supposed to look.

Can you post pics of how they are supposed to look so I can compare to my vector.

#23 1 year ago

Agreed. It’s a bit overpriced for not being fully operational based on my limited research. If possession is nine-tenths of the law, then it seems to me that fully operational ought to be nine-tenths of the price; however, I am not sure that rule applies all that often in arcade and pinball pricing/buying.

It would be nice to have enough technical experience with pinball machines to be able to hypothesize on possible issues and have some educated guess on their costs to fix. I enjoy the feedback and nuggets of wisdom anyway.

#24 1 year ago

I'll say that fixing the switches costs $10 max

Rebuilding the other things like the flippers, and pop bumper another $100

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

New MPU board is good, but you could buy a working Vector for 1500

This is true. I just sold one in KY for 1400

#26 1 year ago

Cool. I am new enough to this to not understand the technical process of elimination when approaching a problem like this. If, for instance, this is indeed a trough switch issue...how do you begin to determine whether it’s an electrical/mechanical issue with the switch itself or if it’s a board issue?

I was also concerned about parts availability for a pin like Vector versus something mass-produced like Firepower, for long-term maintenance sake. I don’t have a lot of room in my place for pinball machines, probably two at the most. I am going to find and purchase a Firepower, but those pop up relatively frequently. Not too many Vectors for sale out there and this one is in driving distance.

A dirty, unshopped Space Shuttle popped up yesterday locally and I really wanted to pull the trigger on it but would have had to do so sight unseen. If I was experienced technically, I would have jumped on it. Aaaarrgh.

#27 1 year ago

You should be able to get any parts you need for any of those machines, except maybe an MPU for Space Shuttle.

For Vector, put the game in self-test and run the coil test. Make sure all coils fire and they match the numbers listed in the manual. If some don't fire at all and others fire more than once, check the lamp on the SEB under the playfield to make sure it lights. If all the coils fire properly, then run the switch test with all balls removed and drop targets up. Manually press the trough switches and see if their switch numbers pop up on the display.

#28 1 year ago

2 possible problems, the ball feed solenoid is bad or a bad trough switch. Either should be an inexpensive repair.

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