(Topic ID: 242040)

Question on non-working (very dim) lower GI on Whirlwind


By Pinball_Gizzard

6 months ago



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#1 6 months ago

The lower GI on my Whirlwind has not worked since I bought the machine several weeks ago. I have solved several other issues and finally got around to try to figure this one out. If you look VERY closely you can see the LEDs in the lower GI are VERY dimly lit so there is some current getting there. I have replaced the connector at the interconnect board (was a little brown) and reflowed/reheated the header pin solder on the relay under the playfield that the lower GI wiring goes through. The manual says the lower GI playfield is through a relay at solenoid 16.

Any ideas where to look next?

#2 6 months ago

If you've addressed the GI connectors on the right side of the interconnect board I believe there is another one or two more towards the center of the board. There is also a GI relay under the playfield that can get crispy connectors. Check fuse clips too.

#3 6 months ago

I've checked the other connectors and they don't look obviously burnt or brown. They are ICD connectors so I could replace them with crimped pin connectors but I don't want to just start shotgunning connectors around. Any way to narrow it down?

#4 6 months ago

Try reseating them. That typically makes them change brightness to help identify the bad connections. Once you've determined which ones are bad, you'll need to change the headers and connectors.

#5 6 months ago

Ok so I measured voltage at the J9 header. If I measure Violet/White-Violet (pins 1 and 5 on the header) I get 6 volts. Those wires go to the upper GI which works. If I measure Yellow/White-yellow which is the lower GI (pins 6 and 7) I get 2.4 volts. I also only get 2.4 volts at the bulb sockets themselves. I pulled the board and reheated/reflowed the solder to the J9 connector, no change. I did notice the J6 connector (which I think is the power in to the board for the GI circuits) has been replaced and there looks to be a pretty decent burn to the area. Could it be bad connection there? How would I test for that?

#6 6 months ago

Look down at the transformer in the cabinet. There's a connector there with a bunch of YEL and WHT-YEL wires. That connector might have some evidence of prior excessive heat. If not you can check VAC at that connector to try to isolate where you're losing voltage.

#7 6 months ago

Ok so my transformer doesn’t have that connector? It looks like four yellow and white-yellow wires were soldered together and heat shrink tubing over the joints? Should I take this apart and either resolder or replace with a connector?

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#9 6 months ago

First I do not have a whirlwind but i do own a system 11. If im not mistaken those 4 yellow white wires are for your GI. I would put a connector there myself helps with troubleshooting. First thing to check would be fuses. Find the fuse that is feeding the string that is dim. Pull the fuse and check it with a multimeter. If it tests fine put it back in turn on machine and test for voltage on either side of the fuse. If you get voltage on one side but not the other its a partially bad fuse that needs to be replaced. If there is good voltage on both sides fuse is good. No voltage either side you have a break in the connection back to the transformer (solder joints in pic most likely). Assuming the fuse tests good you have to start tracing the line back to find where the voltage drops. The system 11 I repaired had 2 lighting issues that were from bad pins in connectors and had 1 shorting issue that was constantly popping fuses. Hopefully you get it figured out soon

Edit* didnt see the 2.4v part. Ya trace the wire that is feeding string back to transformer and see what voltage you are getting there. good chance 1 of those 4 wires has a cold solder joint and its not passing proper voltage.

#10 6 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Is the whirlwind playing yet?

It does play and seems to work great. Needs a flipper rebuild and I have to sort out this GI issue. After that it's just switch adjustments I think!

#11 6 months ago

Update: I have 6 volts at the J6 connector to the interconnect board so that tells me the joints on the wires from the transformer are likely ok. I only have 2.4 volts across the F2 fuse with the fuse out. So, it’s either the F2 fuse holder or the J6 connector right? Is there any way to narrow it down further?

#12 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

Update: I have 6 volts at the J6 connector to the interconnect board so that tells me the joints on the wires from the transformer are likely ok. I only have 2.4 volts across the F2 fuse with the fuse out. So, it’s either the F2 fuse holder or the J6 connector right? Is there any way to narrow it down further?

It sounds like it is one of the two. You can take a toothbrush or a metal wire brush and use it on the fuse holder and connector. Also try wiggling them and re-check voltage. If one moves up (or down) in voltage, thats the culprit.

#13 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

Update: I have 6 volts at the J6 connector to the interconnect board so that tells me the joints on the wires from the transformer are likely ok. I only have 2.4 volts across the F2 fuse with the fuse out. So, it’s either the F2 fuse holder or the J6 connector right? Is there any way to narrow it down further?

You state you have 2.4 volts across the F2 fuse holder what voltage do you have coming into the fuse holder? If you only have 2.4 at the front side of the fuse holder then logic would suggest the problem is the connector before the fuse holder itself.

#14 6 months ago
Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

You state you have 2.4 volts across the F2 fuse holder what voltage do you have coming into the fuse holder? If you only have 2.4 at the front side of the fuse holder then logic would suggest the problem is the connector before the fuse holder itself.

Sorry, I’m a bit new to these issues, how would I measure voltage coming into the fuse holder?

#15 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

Sorry, I’m a bit new to these issues, how would I measure voltage coming into the fuse holder?

Just use your DMM to measure the voltage on the incoming wire into the fuse holder. If you have 6v to that point but on the exit lug of the fuse holder you have 2.4v then you know you have a bad fuse holder. On the other hand if you only have 2.4 volts coming into the fuse holder then you know your problem is at the other connector which could also be the problem. At this point you're narrowing down the fuse holder or the other connector where you say you're getting 6 volts into it but just because you get 6 volts into something doesn't mean you're getting 6 volts out of something. Hope that makes sense.

#16 6 months ago

Ok let me see if I understand what you’re saying by wire to the fuse holder. According to the schematics pin 7 on the J6 connector goes to the F2 fuse. I’m not understanding how I measure from pin 7 to the fuse with the connector installed? I tried to get the probe onto the small metal strip on the connector at pin 7 to the fuse and got 0 volts.

#17 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

Ok let me see if I understand what you’re saying by wire to the fuse holder. According to the schematics pin 7 on the J6 connector goes to the F2 fuse. I’m not understanding how I measure from pin 7 to the fuse with the connector installed? I tried to get the probe onto the small metal strip on the connector at pin 7 to the fuse and got 0 volts.

Do you have a picture for reference?

#18 6 months ago
Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

Just use your DMM to measure the voltage on the incoming wire into the fuse holder. If you have 6v to that point but on the exit lug of the fuse holder you have 2.4v then you know you have a bad fuse holder.

For simplicity sake, you take one reading at point 1, say your 2.4V, you SHOULD get the same at point 2 (if your fuse is intact). If you don't suspect a fuse clip or fuse clip solder.

Image courtesy of pinwiki.com of an after market power board
pasted_image (resized).png

#19 6 months ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

For simplicity sake, you take one reading at point 1, say your 2.4V, you SHOULD get the same at point 2 (if your fuse is intact). If you don't suspect a fuse clip or fuse clip solder.
Image courtesy of pinwiki.com of an after market power board
[quoted image]

Ok so what I did was remove the fuse and measure across the fuse, ie one probe at 1 on your pic and the other at 2. I’m asking how I would measure from the header to the fuse itself while the connector is connected to J6.

I’ll post a pic of my board when I get home for reference.

#20 6 months ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

For simplicity sake, you take one reading at point 1, say your 2.4V, you SHOULD get the same at point 2 (if your fuse is intact). If you don't suspect a fuse clip or fuse clip solder.
Image courtesy of pinwiki.com of an after market power board
[quoted image]

Exactly! What he said. You just said visually what I was trying to sputter out verbally very good.

#21 6 months ago

You mentioned replacing the connector at the interconnect board did you also replace the header pins on the interconnect board?

#22 6 months ago
Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

Exactly! What he said. You just said visually what I was trying to sputter out verbally very good.

Ok I may show my stupidity here but what I am not understanding is if you put one probe onto one lug of the fuse holder where is the other probe going to measure the input to the fuse?

#23 6 months ago
Quoted from TomT:

You mentioned replacing the connector at the interconnect board did you also replace the header pins on the interconnect board?

I did not replace the pins as they were not burnt. I did reheat the solder and added a little new solder to the solder points.

#24 6 months ago
Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

ou just said visually what I was trying to sputter out verbally very good.

I don't always get things w/o visual reference but what you said made perfect sense to me.

Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

I’m asking how I would measure from the header to the fuse itself while the connector is connected to J6.

Sorry for swapping images but all I could find on short notice with a connector and fuse clips. So again for simplicity only, let's say this purple wire is your input source, one of your DMM probes goes in here, then you measure at point 2, that is your "known" voltage i.e. fixed... then move the probe from point 2 to point 3. If your fuse is good and your solder joints on the fuse clip are good you should see the same voltage as when you probed #2.

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#25 6 months ago

Ok so just shove the DMM probe into the top of the connector at the wire. Got it thanks!

#26 6 months ago

how about some pics of the connectors at the board for the gi's? did you try to wiggle them to see if lights get brighter? gi connectors are notorious for overheating and creating a bad connection.

#27 6 months ago

Ok, more info:

I measured from pin 7 at J6 to the fuse, got 6 volts at both ends of the fuse. Then I measured from the end of the fuse to pin 6 on J9 (which is the connector I replaced but have not replaced the header) and got 2.4 volts.

Bad header??? The odd thing is the lower GI is the yellow and white/yellow wire but the upper GI is violet and white/violet. Upper GI works, lower GI does not.

Here is the shot of the board, J6 is the connector to the right with all the yellow and yellow/white wires. F2 is the top left fuse. J9 is the 7 pin connector directly underneath the fuses with the new connector on it.

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#28 6 months ago

If it is the header is there anywhere that sells them for a decent price and reasonable shipping? I know Marco has them but seems like they are about 30% above everyone else on parts and I don’t really love the idea of $9 shipping for some $2-3 parts.

#30 6 months ago

Looks like he's out of stock of friction lock 0.156" headers. Doh!

#32 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

If it is the header is there anywhere that sells them for a decent price and reasonable shipping? I know Marco has them but seems like they are about 30% above everyone else on parts and I don’t really love the idea of $9 shipping for some $2-3 parts.

Welcome to the wonderful word of pinball!

#33 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

Ok, more info:
I measured from pin 7 at J6 to the fuse, got 6 volts at both ends of the fuse. Then I measured from the end of the fuse to pin 6 on J9 (which is the connector I replaced but have not replaced the header) and got 2.4 volts.
Bad header??? The odd thing is the lower GI is the yellow and white/yellow wire but the upper GI is violet and white/violet. Upper GI works, lower GI does not.
Here is the shot of the board, J6 is the connector to the right with all the yellow and yellow/white wires. F2 is the top left fuse. J9 is the 7 pin connector directly underneath the fuses with the new connector on it.
[quoted image]

Ok os it just me or just the pic but doesn't that f2 fuse look blackish or like it got hot?

#34 6 months ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

digi-key?
Mouser?

Mouser has some real cheap shipping for small items like this so definitely check with them.

#35 6 months ago
Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

Ok os it just me or just the pic but doesn't that f2 fuse look blackish or like it got hot?

No, it's a brand new fuse so it's just the shiny chrome and the way the pic was taken I think.

#36 6 months ago

Check out micro center, mouser, or tanner electronics locally

#37 6 months ago
Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

Mouser has some real cheap shipping for small items like this so definitely check with them.

Pinball Life had them and I got a couple switch adjuster tools I needed anyhow and paid $5 shipping so not bad. I'll try replacing the header when the parts come in and go from there.

Funny thing is Mouser is located about 45 minutes from my house. Maybe I'll make a run over there and stock up one day.

#38 6 months ago

I've been spreading the word around here as much as possible. Arrow.com has free 1day shipping on parts with no minimum. Some stuff isn't actually delivered in a day depending on the country it comes from, but it's pretty amazing. Most of their prices are really good. They are now my go to for most things unless I need a huge order or am going to pinball life in person.

#39 6 months ago

Ok so if I reading what you did correctly. You tested the incoming from transformer @connector and got 6 volts. You tested with the fuse in and got 6 volts on both sides. Then on the outgoing connector you got 2.4 volts? I feel like maybe your testing things wrong (no offense). When your testing for voltage your ground lead is easiest put on a piece of the braid in backbox. Then you test individual points not across points. So with your ground attached to the braid pull the connector (with machine off), turn machine on and touch each of the pins and make sure you have 6v. Machine back off put connector back in, pull fuse in question. Machine back on test hot/incoming side of fuse for 6v. Machine off replace fuse machine on and test outgoing side of fuse for 6v. From there we goto outgoing connector. So machine off pull connector machine on and test for voltage on the pins connected to the board (be careful here if there is multiple voltages on the connector you could short something touching more than 1 pin) for 6v. If you still have 6v at this point machine off plug connector back in and test at the backside of connector. All of this was done with the black probe attached to the ground braid. We need to find where your losing the voltage. Hopefully my gibberish made sense.

#40 6 months ago

Yea that does make sense and was not how I was testing. I will repeat testing as you suggest and post my results. Thanks!

#41 6 months ago
Quoted from GnarLee:

Ok so if I reading what you did correctly. You tested the incoming from transformer @connector and got 6 volts. You tested with the fuse in and got 6 volts on both sides. Then on the outgoing connector you got 2.4 volts? I feel like maybe your testing things wrong (no offense). When your testing for voltage your ground lead is easiest put on a piece of the braid in backbox. Then you test individual points not across points. So with your ground attached to the braid pull the connector (with machine off), turn machine on and touch each of the pins and make sure you have 6v. Machine back off put connector back in, pull fuse in question. Machine back on test hot/incoming side of fuse for 6v. Machine off replace fuse machine on and test outgoing side of fuse for 6v. From there we goto outgoing connector. So machine off pull connector machine on and test for voltage on the pins connected to the board (be careful here if there is multiple voltages on the connector you could short something touching more than 1 pin) for 6v. If you still have 6v at this point machine off plug connector back in and test at the backside of connector. All of this was done with the black probe attached to the ground braid. We need to find where your losing the voltage. Hopefully my gibberish made sense.

So measured as you suggested I was getting minimal if any readings at any points. Measuring VAC with black probe at the ground braid and then touching any of the points in question I was getting usually 0 and sometimes 0.4 or so. I suspect I was doing something wrong.

#42 6 months ago

Further update, when testing voltage between the fuse and the pins I noticed I got 6 volts at pin 5 and pin 4 which is not used. Pin 6 (which is where the lower GI wire is connected) is the one reading low. So I moved the pin on the connector over to pin 4 just to test it and the lower GI now works.

Two questions. First I assume this clinches an issue at pin 6 which I have a connector coming in to replace. Looking at the diagram is looks like pin 4 is fused off of F3 which is the backbox GI. I will replace the connector and reconnect in the proper positions, I assume leaving the connector there would run a risk of overloading F3?

#43 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

Measuring VAC with black probe at the ground braid and then touching any of the points in question I was getting usually 0 and sometimes 0.4 or so. I suspect I was doing something wrong.

You measure AC by connecting on lead to one wire and the other to the other wire. The reference is between the two points.

You (typically) measure DC by connecting the black lead to ground and the red lead to the point you're testing DC voltage.

I can't remember if one side of the System 11 GI is tied to ground but for WPC one side of the GI is definitely tied to ground on the PDB. The advice you were given above is not generally valid for AC.

#44 6 months ago
Quoted from DumbAss:

You measure AC by connecting on lead to one wire and the other to the other wire. The reference is between the two points.
You (typically) measure DC by connecting the black lead to ground and the red lead to the point you're testing DC voltage.
I can't remember if one side of the System 11 GI is tied to ground but for WPC one side of the GI is definitely tied to ground on the PDB. The advice you were given above is not generally valid for AC.

Ok that explains why I was not getting readings. Thanks!

#45 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

Ok that explains why I was not getting readings. Thanks!

Any updates?

#46 6 months ago

Yeah I got my new headers in today. I removed the old header and noticed that it looks like the backside pad on pin 3 is a bit lifted. Pin 3 is the key anyway, any reason I can’t just solder back onto this pad?

image (resized).jpg

#47 6 months ago

No problem soldering to that pad.

AC on sys 11 is not tied to ground. You must measure with one lead on supply and the other lead on the return and your meter set to AC (I know.... duh but I’ve tripped myself up with that one). Supply and return is each side of the coil on the transformer. Typically all the yellow wires are tied to one side of the transformer and the striped wires are all tied to the other.

#48 6 months ago

So I soldered the new header in and no change at all. Still only 2.4Vac at pin 5. From looking at the board it has been soldered on several times and has some decent burn marks on the back.

I bit the bullet and ordered a new one from K's Arcade rather than trying to continue to salvage this one. Bit of a bummer, but I'd rather fix it right now than have continuing issues with it over the years.

#49 6 months ago
Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

So I soldered the new header in and no change at all. Still only 2.4Vac at pin 5. From looking at the board it has been soldered on several times and has some decent burn marks on the back.
I bit the bullet and ordered a new one from K's Arcade rather than trying to continue to salvage this one. Bit of a bummer, but I'd rather fix it right now than have continuing issues with it over the years.

Sorry to hear it couldnt be fixed. Of course, since you plan on keeping it for many years, I think you are doing the right thing by addressing all issues as well as they can be done.

#50 6 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Sorry to hear it couldnt be fixed. Of course, since you plan on keeping it for many years, I think you are doing the right thing by addressing all issues as well as they can be done.

Well, I'm not saying it CAN'T be fixed, just not by me lol. I figured by the time I shipped it to someone who would fix it and then paid them to fix it I would probably be in it around $100 and a new one is $175 so to me it was worth the extra $75 to have a fully fresh and working interconnect board.

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