(Topic ID: 242040)

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


By Pinball_Gizzard

7 months ago



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#1 7 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?

#3 7 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?

#5 7 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?

#7 7 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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#10 7 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 7 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?

#14 7 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?

#16 7 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.

#19 7 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.

#22 7 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 7 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.

#25 7 months ago

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

#27 7 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 7 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 7 months ago

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

#35 7 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.

#37 7 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.

#40 7 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 7 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 7 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?

#44 7 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!

#46 7 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?

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#48 7 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.

#50 7 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.

#52 7 months ago
Quoted from DumbAss:

You can prove that the header and/or trace is the problem by installing jumper wires. I try to figure out the cause of the problem. If after installing the new board your issue still exists the new board hasn't solved the problem. You still have the problem to deal with.
On the other hand you have a brand spanking shiny new board in the machine that will last for years to come.

I thought about that, would you just solder a wire from the fuse over to the pin on the back of the board then?

#55 7 months ago
Quoted from Blackbeard:

Without reading The Whole thread:
I had this same issue. It turned out to be a little relay at the bottom of the pf underneath. Cold solder joints.

I looked at that relay already and reheated those joints. Any other way to check?

#57 6 months ago

It’s ALIVE!!!

New board came in today and all is well after installation. I ran out of blue for the back glass so I have some placeholder LEDs in there until I make my next order from Comet but you get the idea:

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