(Topic ID: 4835)

Really starting to regret my decision - Maybe in over my head


By JohnnyPhatsaqs

8 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 76 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by JohnnyPhatsaqs
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    One image has been uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    DSC01783.JPG

    There are 76 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 8 years ago

    So, as you can probably tell, I finally got my STTNG. I guess this is a case of be careful what you wish for. I would have at least hoped that it would last me more than a couple days before the problems began.

    First, my left cannon starts running like crap. I checked for obstructions and the like, found nothing. When I choose Launch Probe, there are NO lit targets to aim for anymore. After I shoot from it, it SLOOOOOOWLY returns to home then fires again on its own. That causes Data to say the probe has discovered nothing. WTF?

    Now it seems I'm having some software problems. In the middle of a mission, if I fire behind the Borg ship, it causes the "The Borg have entered Federation space" thing. Again, no lit targets to aim for, then it will just randomly go back to the mission I was doing prior to that.

    Then, maybe I'm wrong here, but it seems I get some random multiballs.

    This experience has really dampened my enthusiasm toward pinball. I LOVE to play, but I don't even know where to begin trouble shooting this kinda stuff.

    Way in over my head, methinks

    Sorry guys. I'm frustrated and had to vent. Really feel maybe I got stuck with a lemon. It seemed fine when I checked everything out. Played for about an hour, and all was good. Transport was soft and smooth. I'm stumped

    #2 8 years ago

    too bad, don't let it get to you in the long run buddy. for future reference (and some competition) i'd recommend getting to know some pinballers (if you don't already know of any), and ask for some help. machines are super finicky, any loose parts or wires that may be loose or broken off solenoids, or even just 1 fuse can create what seems to me MAJOR issues.

    check all your fuses first
    take a look at all the parts (in detail) under the playfield)
    run tests through your software (sorry don't know if STTNG has any?)
    if so, reset your setting to 'factory', this sometimes helps.

    like i said, get to know some good pinballers. i have a few friends i can call up, or take my machines to when/if i can't figure it out. beers, and a little money is all most good people will ask for.

    sounds like maybe the guy you bought your pin off 'pawned' it off to you...and its' problems unfortunatly.

    GOOD LUCK, don't lose faith, and don't take apart anything without TAKING PICTURES FIRST.

    #3 8 years ago

    I flipped it open looking for anything obvious, and found no broken solders and the like. Checked fuses, everything was good. Ran the diagnostic/test thing and found no errors. I'm trying to get to know some people, but it's hard in my area. It's all business here.

    #4 8 years ago

    Slow down, it will be all right. I'm sure some body will help you.

    #5 8 years ago
    Quoted from Johnny:

    I'm trying to get to know some people, but it's hard in my area. It's all business here.

    go play in some pinball tourneys. there's TONS of major comps going on ACROSS the US all year long.

    I make it to these to personally;

    http://minimumwageentertainment.com/blog/2011/01/25/pinball/2nd-annual-pinpin-plunge-off-anti-drain-fest-pinball-tournament/

    super fun times, at the pinball hall of fame.
    and;

    http://pinballshowdown.com/

    in Denver, location changed. it's a super big and great event.

    i don't know where you're at, but i know chicago has big tourneys, san fran does, and i've heard there's plenty out east as well. (sorry to get off topic).

    just a good place to play good machines with good people (and get to know people in the industry for help).

    #6 8 years ago

    Put your location in your profile, you may find someone that can help out.

    It can get frustrating, I know. Compared to a lot of people, I don't have that many pins and I'm amazed how much tweaking and fiddling I have to do to keep them 100%. Seems like my kids are always reporting something messed up. It comes with the territory, but it is very satisfying to figure out what is wrong and fix it.

    #7 8 years ago

    Thanks for the encouraging words guys. It would please me greatly to get this pin 100%. I've wanted it for 17 years, and if any pin is worth the pain to be my first, this is the one.

    Adding my location now

    #8 8 years ago
    Quoted from stangbat:

    It comes with the territory, but it is very satisfying to figure out what is wrong and fix it.

    agree

    #9 8 years ago

    We had one of these at work and the optos were always mis aligned, causing all kinds of eerie behavior. My batman forever had a similar issue on the batwing cannon. Swipe a q-tip over the opto receiver and transmitter anywhere there is one. I think that is in the balltrough and one in each cannon. Thats a place to start if you have checked connections and fuses.

    (opto is an optical switch that is activated by the beam being interrupted by the ball.)

    #10 8 years ago

    JohnnyFatsaqs,

    I know exactly how you feel, I know exactly the place you're in. I was in this same place in june/july of this year.

    I bought my first pin, it arrived here, tested good. Then days later it started getting an intermittent problem with the saucer kickout hole. The guy I purchased it from was no help.

    I took out an ad in my local craigslist for a pinball tech, found the right one, spent over $250 for parts and labor, and in the end everything is 100% running, and has been for the past two weeks, knock on wood!

    Hopefully you won't have to pay out any money to have yours repaired, but in my case it was the only way to get it repaired.

    The thing that made me feel better about my situation was after meeting my tech, who is a hardcore pinball enthusiast, was that he had 15 years of fixing pins and he told me he would
    not stop on my issue until it was 100% fixed.

    I reached a point in my newbie-ness with pins that I could only do some much. Calling in the Cavalry was what I needed to get my pin up and running.

    You might reach that point, you might not. Doing as much internet research on STTNG pin you might be able to find the solution to your issue, which doesn't cost you anything. Finding others here that have the same pin is another step to take, seeing if they've had the same issues that you're having.

    Good Luck dude, we're rootin' for ya!

    #11 8 years ago

    http://www.aaarpinball.com/STTNG/STTNG.htm

    Perhaps you can gain some knowledge from this page
    - this fellow has a rather nice blog

    #12 8 years ago

    While I'm still looking for my first pin, I can empathize with you on the "let down" feeling. Certainly there is an expectation in the hobby that there is the maintenance and troubleshooting work that contrasts with the enjoyment the pins offer; still there is going to be higher expectation for that first.

    Most my experience (back in the day) is with EM machines - which are arguably far more finicky what with bad power regulation, more mechanics to get gummed up, etc. The newer systems have software, better designed and more resilient components, self tests, etc such that its even more important to interpret what is appearing normal along with what doesn't. It would seem to me that if a built in test is showing all OK, that may be as telling as the other symptoms. I don't know how deep the test are, but if the software is showing all OK, perhaps its more a "mechanical" problem (including the opto checks mentioned previously) not monitored or controlled by software.

    At the end of the day, don't be discouraged. Assuming you were looking forward to playing as much under the field as on it, this just means you now get to "enjoy" that part of the experience, albeit sooner than expected. Stand on the shoulders of giants here and in your area for advice - and remember that any troubleshooting is a series of observations, tests, and divided and conquer.

    #13 8 years ago

    i went to my garage and snapped a pic of my STTNG to give you a light of hope! led's are a good easy way to make a machine look better. my STTNG still has some issues of its own, it's known to be one of the more finicky machines due to all the cool stuff in it. pm me about any issues you might have because mine likely has em too! just fixed (fingers crossed) a weak upper flipper with a rebuild and new coil but broken pop bumper switch and drop target in the back won't make itself go down either. take it slow, the gun issue is likely the opto. my STTNG was a nightmare at first!! balls everywhere things happening CRAZY!!! cleaned all the optos and underneath the tunnel system and things settled down. few mechanical things left but for the most part its playable now. hope you like the leds in STTNG, definitely something to think about if you get yours up and running nicely.

    DSC01783.JPG

    #14 8 years ago

    I appreciate that Jespo. I am waiting for my led kit to arrive. I have also ordered a couple little things as well. New decals for the pf and the shuttle, have one cracked lane guide so ordered a couple just in case, and the round domes for the cannons. Can't wait to make the thing shine

    #16 8 years ago

    it could be an opto problem on the ball trough.

    #17 8 years ago

    very cool man LED's rock, help is always here on pinside thats for sure. man look at my lame guns with no round dome-age! good call getting those.

    #18 8 years ago
    Quoted from jespo_19:

    very cool man LED's rock, help is always here on pinside thats for sure. man look at my lame guns with no round dome-age! good call getting those.

    Get on them domes!

    Quoted from scooter:

    it could be an opto problem on the ball trough.

    Wait, there's optos on the ball trough under the playfield?

    #20 8 years ago

    Try doing some searches on RGP and see if someone like Lloyd, Cliffy or Cody Chunn has answered. I fixed a seemingly difficult TZ problem (rocket, slingshot and mini-playfield magnet were out) thanks to Cliffy and his awesome advice.

    #21 8 years ago

    A couple of those things sound normal for the rules...do u know how the game works software wise?

    I just fixed my buddies sttng, it is one of the harder games to work on, especially for a noob

    #22 8 years ago

    Was my previous post invisible??

    the problems you're having sound like the machine doesn't always know where the ball is. Clean and align those optos and I bet you'll see a difference.

    you can put the machine in the "clear ball trough" mode in the menu and it will show you how many balls it thinks are there. then move them in and out of position and see if things act as they should.

    So hard to diagnose from a distance. Good Luck. It's a great machine!

    #23 8 years ago

    I have a sttng and can help you - switch edges and levels are your best friend
    . Best thing to do is remove all the balls put it in levels see what switches are in then put it in edges and try all the switches one by one including subway switch opts - hit me up I'll get on the phone and walk you thru sone ideas

    #24 8 years ago
    Quoted from Anim8ormatt:

    Was my previous post invisible??

    the problems you're having sound like the machine doesn't always know where the ball is. Clean and align those optos and I bet you'll see a difference.

    you can put the machine in the "clear ball trough" mode in the menu and it will show you how many balls it thinks are there. then move them in and out of position and see if things act as they should.

    So hard to diagnose from a distance. Good Luck. It's a great machine!

    No no, it wasn't invisible. I just misunderstood. As I explained to Fusion, when you said ball trough, I wasn't thinking about where the balls enter the plunger from. I was thinking the trough under the pf that gets the balls to all the different locations on the machine. Newbie mistake.

    I lifted the playfield last night, and found all the optos, including the ACTUAL balltrough ones

    All the optos, with the exception of the balltrough ones are FILTHY. I didn't take any of them out to clean, but just rubbed a q tip on a bunch of them, and they're nasty nasty. When I get home from work today, I will be performing a proper cleaning on them. Looking forward to it, and thank you for the advice.

    Will post the results when I finish.

    Again, thanks guys. This really is a fantastic community. It's rare that an online community is this supportive, without being arrogant and condescending. Will donate. This level of support, especially for a noob, is greatly appreciated.

    #25 8 years ago

    i always find it amazing how filthy a game can get ?
    like it was never cleaned after it left the factory

    #26 8 years ago

    Welcome to the Enterprise.

    Don't be discouraged. Opto issues are a rite of passage for all STTNG owners. Fixing our pins is a very rewarding part of being a collector for many of us. And it will be well worth it. Fantastic machine!! Its complexity is much of why it is so darn cool.

    If you haven't already, I suggest getting the This Old Pinball videos. Repair guides are available online as well. RGP search feature is also your friend as about every imaginable issue have been previously discussed. (I hope it is ok to mention the "other site" on here)

    Good luck,
    Shawn

    #27 8 years ago
    Quoted from HELLODEADCITY:

    like it was never cleaned after it left the factory

    Probably because it was never cleaned after it left the factory!

    Operators wipe down the playfield, and sometimes make token attempt to clean the orbits. Anything that takes effort to get to? Hell no! You find buried treasure as soon as you start taking off playfield machinery or looking at the subways.

    I've cleaned off close to 1/8th inch thick layer of black crud from the subways on my twilight zone. The optical lock lane had never been cleaned either, and was nearly as bad. The worst part is that that machine still apparently has dirt on some mechanisms (I haven't disassembled the mechanical assemblies). The rubbers I replaced about 30-50 games ago are already showing dirt on the flippers!

    #28 8 years ago

    That is a very tough machine to start out with for a first pin. Fun to play no doubt but a little on the finicky side. Frustration is part of the hobby but if you keep at it I think you will find it is well worth it. People here on Pinside are very helpful especially when they own the same machine. Keep your head up there will be plenty of mistakes learn from them and just keep moving forward. One of the key things is to take your time and meticulously think out what you are going to do before you do it that will help reduce the amount of mistakes made.

    #29 8 years ago

    Hopefully if I can make this one 100%, my future pins will be a cake walk

    #30 8 years ago

    When I got my first pin I didn't know anything about them. It seems you have a better knowledge/background starting off compared to when I started.

    I got so frustrated on my first machine, I hired a very knowledgable tech to come by and help me. 75 bucks an hour is what he charged. I hovered around asking questions, trying to get as much info as possible. I learned a lot that day. Some people might not like all the questions, I was lucky.

    As I got to meet more people as time went on, I now have friends I can call to help who have vast knowledge of things.

    I always recommend trying to fix things first yourself, but if your to the point that the stress is getting too much, and maybe your health, I have had good luck with hiring a tech.

    On the plus side, the tech I hired has been a great resource for scoring pins for me. He runs a route, and calls me all the time asking if I know somebody looking for a pin. A lot of people that hire him ask if he knows anybody looking to buy.

    #31 8 years ago
    Quoted from jimjim66:

    75 bucks an hour is what he charged. I hovered around asking questions, trying to get as much info as possible. I learned a lot that day. Some people might not like all the questions, I was lucky.

    At $75/hr, I think anyone would like being asked questions

    #32 8 years ago

    The "trough" under the playfield which sends balls to other locations is generally called a Subway. Not to be confused with the ball trough which stores the balls ready for launch.

    The Subways get real dirty quick and are rarely cleaned.

    #33 8 years ago
    Quoted from jimjim66:

    I got so frustrated on my first machine, I hired a very knowledgable tech to come by and help me. 75 bucks an hour is what he charged. I hovered around asking questions, trying to get as much info as possible. I learned a lot that day. Some people might not like all the questions, I was lucky.

    I did the same thing and learned a lot in the long run it was well worth the money I paid.

    #34 8 years ago

    Just a question, how much did you pay, because im telling you that this is my number one pin, absolute hands down I want this pin. Im just wondering if I can afford it.

    #35 8 years ago

    My buddy paid 3000CAN for a VERY nice one over in Western Canada...

    #36 8 years ago

    come down and play mine one weekend or night the96stang hamden ct, pm me if you wanna hang out one night...

    #37 8 years ago

    STTNG is not a good Pin to start out with if your a noob.The best thing to do in my opinion
    is to sell it and start with a machine that is not notorious for having issues and
    you are in the Houston area and finding the right Pin is not hard and selling
    STTNG should'nt be a problem.

    #38 8 years ago
    Quoted from the96stang:

    Just a question, how much did you pay, because im telling you that this is my number one pin, absolute hands down I want this pin. Im just wondering if I can afford it.

    You need this pin if you are a fan. Best bargain in Pinball, I always say. A nice example can readily be found for <$2500, and closer to 2K with a little patience/luck.

    Quoted from pinmike:

    STTNG is not a good Pin to start out with if your a noob.The best thing to do in my opinion
    is to sell it and start with a machine that is not notorious for having issues and
    you are in the Houston area and finding the right Pin is not hard and selling
    STTNG should'nt be a problem.

    I don't know the OP's financial situation, but to me it would be well worth the experience of learning to troubleshoot optos, etc. Worst-case scenario is that he hires a local tech to fix it and pick up some tips along the way. Seems like less trouble than trying to sell it, buy another machine, and eventually finding another STTNG.
    Plus, his avatar is the Enterprise! Come on!

    Shawn

    #40 8 years ago

    Finding another STTNG is never a problem theres a bunch out there
    and is not a rare machine i'm just giving my honest advice.He picked
    a hard game to tackle.

    #41 8 years ago

    All true. I just can't imagine giving mine up, but then again I would have no issues with hiring my friendly local tech if I was stumped. Somebody needs to keep him in business, I tell myself.

    #42 8 years ago

    Well, I make a decent living, but I'm not wealthy, and typically can't just throw 1000-2000 around here and there. Today, I cleaned EVERY opto on the machine. Tedious, but it's done. I then was able to separate the top part of the cannon from the shaft. It was FILTHY. A TON of thanks goes to Fusion, he spent well over an hour on the phone with me today. Now the motor purrs like a kitten. Runs GREAT.

    NOW the only problem I have is after I fire the left cannon, it still thinks there is a ball in there. Doing the switch test, the opto functions perfectly. The only thing I can figure now is that when the cannon moves, there is something closing that switch and making the game think there is a ball in there, even though I already fired it. I went ahead and re soldered all the points on those optos, and the result is the same

    Now I'm going to disconnect the cannon from the gear assembly again so I can move it freely manually, the do the switch test. If my thinking is correct, the switch should show closed whenever the issue is rotated to.

    I think.

    Annnnnd, I need a shot and a beer.

    I WILL NOT give up on this machine. Just a little issue now. If I can do what I've done today, technically my first day ever working on a pin, and get done what I did get done, I'm confident I can handle the rest of what's causing my problem.

    Hell, the way I'm looking at it now is if I can handle an STTNG, I can handle most of em

    #43 8 years ago

    Check the alignment on that cannon opto. They can be sensitive. If it thinks the ball is there then the beam is interrupted.

    Sounds like you are making good progress!

    #44 8 years ago

    They're as straight as I can make them. I just don't see how it would randomly go out of alignment when it's turning.

    #45 8 years ago

    glad someone was able to help you get your STTNG straightened out. once those optos are clean and de-gunked things smoothed out for me considerably with mine. your icon IS the enterprise.... sounds like your pumping you way through the issues keep going strong captain!

    #46 8 years ago

    The gunk that was causing me problems was in the shaft from the actual cannon down to the assembly. Just that extra resistance when the game naturally slowed down to fire the cannon was too much for the motor to overcome at the reduced speed. It also sounds a LOT better. Like it should. Frustrating satisfaction on my end. That make sense?

    Alright, the theory was sound, but I don't know why. When I swing the cannon toward the center of the pf, about 1" in to the swing, it triggers the opto like there's a ball in it

    #48 8 years ago

    You may have to pull the opto board and check for a cold solder joint or a previous repair that is making intermittent contact. I'm not familiar with the layout of the game's boards, but off the top of my head this is what comes to mind.

    #49 8 years ago

    I pulled those optos and re soldered them. They're making contact there. Now I am looking at the wiring. The bundle of wires that feeds in to this area is laying RIGHT against a lamp for one of the inserts. Now I'm looking for a wire that may have some damage. Hopefully it's just the wires touching against each other when it starts the turn. That I can fix and just wrap it back up

    #50 8 years ago

    Check the wiring going to that cannon area, it is famous for having wires shorting out. I think you can actually buy a new harness for it online somewhere...that could be your issue, check it

    My buddies sttng has new wiring harnesses/loom on both sides of his..so it is a common problem, you can search for it on RGP as well..its fairly well documented there []

    Great work man, and good luck, it's a great game. Don't sell it []

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 14.99
    Electronics
    PinballElectronics.com
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    From: $ 99.00
    Lighting - Under Cabinet
    Rock Custom Pinball
    $ 15.00
    $ 134.99
    Playfield - Plastics
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    From: $ 6.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Medisinyl Mods
    $ 69.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Pinbotz
    $ 225.00
    Cabinet - (Alt) Translites
    FlyLand Designs
    $ 22.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 12.50
    $ 79.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Hookedonpinball.com
    $ 10,999.00
    $ 229.99
    $ 5.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Pinball Haus
    $ 259.99
    Lighting - Led
    PinballBulbs
    € 339.00
    Displays
    GermanGamingSupplies.com
    $ 9.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 279.95
    Lighting - Led
    Pin Stadium Pinball LEDs
    $ 99.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    From: $ 155.00
    $ 12,500.00
    Pinball Machine
    Great American Pinball
    $ 229.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 84.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 999.00
    Pinball Machine
    Mircoplayfields
    There are 76 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside