(Topic ID: 316072)

Robocop Data East problems

By bonesjustice08

2 years ago


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  • 87 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by frunch
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    There are 87 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 1 year ago

    !!!Help!!!
    Ok, so I got everything back from Chris. All switches worked, but after about the 2nd or 3rd game. The entire switch column went out like before. Tested it with jumpers on the motherboard, connecting the pin to the other set grounded pins with the switch test. That pin gives no response. Chris replaced the transistor and re-soldered that area, and verified it was working. And it was, but very shortly. After talking with Chris, he believes that it had shorted due to high-voltage. He suggested looking under the table, checking the wire isn't touching any coil lug or lamp socket. I went back over the playfield, and verified this wire is not touching anything it shouldn't, not even close. Also made sure all the other coil lugs are clear, everything under the playfield looks good to me. I did order a rottendog board, but he had mentioned that if this older board is shorting, so would the new one. So, I'm frustrated, and have no idea on where the root cause is. If I put a new board in, and this same thing happens, I'm going to lose my shit.

    #52 1 year ago

    I've been looking over the pics of the wiring going to each of the Column 6 switches. One thing that stands out, and I'm still not sure we ever verified this--i had noted a switch that appears to be missing a diode. I never got confirmation that there's one there (that I can recall or find in this thread). This is my post I'm referring to: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/robocop-data-east-problems#post-6957127

    Can you post pics of that switch from a couple more angles? I want to see if we can find the diode on the switch.

    I saw a couple other things that *might* be askew, but let's just try one thing at a time.

    #53 1 year ago

    Here are some new pics, focusing on the switch you mentioned, with a a couple extra of bumper switches. There is a diode for the VUK coil kinda tucked in, had to squeeze my phone in. However, the switch responsible for the spinner, has no diode at all. You can see the pic with my mediocre patch work, from trying to repair it, lol. I did do all the continuity tests like before I shipped it off to Chris. But yea, the fact that this spinner switch has no diode and everything else does, has me thinking. Would that cause the transistor for the entire switch column to cook after 2 games? I dont see a metal tab anywhere on this switch where the diode would go, so maybe its nothing.

    #54 1 year ago

    Ok, turns out that switch does have a diode, was just hard to find. Disregard. Going to post more pics of the switches and whatnot.

    #55 1 year ago

    Took more pics of the switches and everything else.

    After talking with Chris, he believes this switch column is being shorted by high-voltage. Could be a screw or wire making contact with a coil or its bracket. Could also be the wire making contact with a coil. I did verify all of these switches do have a diode. But I am unable to locate the problem. Any help would be much appreciated.

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    #56 1 year ago

    That is a damn nice Robocop.
    Good luck with the repair.

    #57 1 year ago

    Thanks, I hope I can find whats cooking the transistor for that switch matrix. Not trying to get my board repaired multiple times. I'm too noob to find the issue myself, why I posted a million pics. I was told that something, whether its a wire or screw is making contact with a coil or lamp sending too much juice to that pin. But after I keep looking at it, I still cant figure it out. :/

    When I do figure it out, I'll make damn sure everything is wired tight.

    #58 1 year ago

    Can you just summarize in two sentences what exactly is currently wrong? All I could gather was a transistor associated with the switch matrix is blowing up on the driver board? Did you actually test the transistor with a meter to confirm it died again? If it did test bad, You should disconnect that wire connected to the transistor that blew up and look at all the components associated with it, one at a time, to confirm each is wired and testing properly. I didn’t look at any pics and I don’t need any more.

    If I understand, you tried the boards and they only worked properly for a couple minutes in your game but, the set that Chris worked on tested properly when he sent them out?

    I would suggest to stop trying to solve this over the internet by taking pictures. No one is going to “see the problem” with those pics.

    If you can’t resolve it going to each switch and each associated solenoid one at a time, just do yourself a favor and pay someone to come and repair whatever plagues the playfield. I would fix it for free if you lived anywhere near me. These types of problems can take a lot of time to track down and can be very frustrating. I’ve had to repair over 100 Data East machines and they always seem to have some odd issues that other machines do not.

    It’s cool if you are learning from the experience but it would be a lot more efficient if someone can come and show you how to efficiently test and repair a problem like this. It would probably save you a lot of frustration. If you have questions, you can call me on the phone, shoot me a PM.

    #59 1 year ago

    Hey, so this sums it up:
    CN8 pin 7, Green/Blue column 6, three yellow targets, spinner and VUK, Q50 transistor, all went out at the same time after owning this pinball machine for about 5 months. Did the jumper test and diode test, and sent to Chris Hibler for repairs. After putting it back in, switch matix column went out after a game or two. I have not retested the transistor, but I did test the pin. Using a jumper from the pin to the other ground pins with switch test, no signs of life. Back to square one. I have tested all the wiring from the switches to the connector that goes to CN8, all good. I will not post any more pics, my apologies. I would gladly pay you if you could fix my machine. Name your price, that is within reason. I'm in the St. Louis area, still cant find anyone that would come out. All the steps, are kinda in this post, jumper tests, diode tests. Its all very new to me. I dont mind learning new things, but I want to fix this. Its been a headache. Thanks again, any chance you want to visit St. Louis?

    #60 1 year ago

    You say you tested the wiring but a key thing to understand is you need to test the connection “through” to the next point that it hops. That way, you know the signal is getting from the playfield, to the IDC connector, to the pin, to the solder point, to the trace on the pcb, AND then to the next hop in the circuit. So, the most efficient way to test that is to find the solder point on the other side of the next point after the pin on the driver board PCB with one side of the probe, and place the other probe on the end of the wire under the playfield. If you have continuity, you know all points mentioned above are good. If not, you can break it down to a loose wire in the harness, cold solder point, tarnished or dirty connector pin, ect.

    Now if you did all that when testing, that’s great. If not, you should.

    And you should also put your meter on diode test and test the transistor to see if it tests good and go from there.

    Don’t assume a component is bad if you have something in a pinball not working. You should assume FIRST that you have a connection issue, THEN possibly a failed component if the connections all check out. This is true for every single pinball problem, not just your problem in this thread.

    Did you jumper the green blue wire string on the playfield to the “pin” on the driver board and then go to switch test and you got nothing? Or, did you go to switch test, remove the connectors, and then bare wire jumper each pin to check if all rows and columns are functioning for each switch? That is a much better test when troubleshooting a crazy problem like yours.

    #61 1 year ago

    I tested continuity with a multimeter from the green blue wire string all the way to the last switch in that column, everything is connected. After I apparently shorted the Q50 transistor again, I did a switch test, removed the connectors and did the bare wire jumper on each pin. frunch explained how to do it,along with some other testing in this post. All the switches respond besides CN8 pin 7. After talking with Chris, the guy who just repaired my board, he thinks something is making contact with a switch on this matrix causing a high-voltage shortage to the transistor. Told me to check if any wires or screws are making contact with coil lug, lamp socket. But I dont see anything that stands out. :/

    #62 1 year ago
    Quoted from bonesjustice08:

    I tested continuity with a multimeter from the green blue wire string all the way to the last switch in that column, everything is connected. After I apparently shorted the Q50 transistor again, I did a switch test, removed the connectors and did the bare wire jumper on each pin. frunch explained how to do it,along with some other testing in this post. All the switches respond besides CN8 pin 7. After talking with Chris, the guy who just repaired my board, he thinks something is making contact with a switch on this matrix causing a high-voltage shortage to the transistor. Told me to check if any wires or screws are making contact with coil lug, lamp socket. But I dont see anything that stands out. :/

    I understand. Tracking down your playfield problem will be difficult. A trained eye and experienced tech could be needed.

    But, here is something YOU can do with the GAME OFF to start testing this theory. Set meter to continuity and hook one probe on the wire in question with a clip- [on pin 7]. Now, test to see if you have continuity with any/all other points on the playfield where you should not. Like, general illumination, all the coil lugs (hopefully not!), all the controlled lamps, and the main power inputs. I know you may not know what should beep and what should not but, you should ONLY gets "beeps" on all the switch wires that touch that wire. It will take some time but you may find something touching that switch wire that should not be there. Once you do that, if it reveals nothing, you can then test ALL the OTHER switch wires on that wire color (pin 7)/column/transistor that blew up. [The other side wires are the white "row wires" shown in the 2 attachments]:

    You may get lucky and find something touching. Hell, sometimes it's just a hidden gob of solder somewhere or a bent wire. My wild guess is you have a problem around the pop/jet bumpers because of the way those coils and switches are designed on a Data East.

    This is where experience can really speed up the testing but you can use continuity to check these things and see if you can find a "beep" where there should not be one. Oh, and if your meter does not beep when continuity is found, you need a better meter to make these tests easy! Remember, leave game OFF when probing around.
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    #63 1 year ago

    Sounds good, I will give it a go. Wish me luck

    Thanks again, really good info.

    #64 1 year ago

    Went through and did exactly what you said. Everything that beeps, does. And tried literally everything else, no beep. Checked again for anything possibly touching a lamp socket or coil, nothing. I only noticed one thing, and its probably nothing. On left turbo bumper 46, on the solder connection tag that has the White-Blue wire soldered, it does not beep when touching it while connected to a grn-blu switch. On the other two bumpers with the white-vio and white-grey, I get a beep with those. The only thing I am able to find for now. Thanks again.

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    #65 1 year ago

    Wait, you should never get a beep on those switches when checking a white wire to a green wire unless the switch is closed or you have a bad diode.
    They are showing closed when they are actually open? Or did you find a connection when checking the other two pop bumper’s switch wires.

    #66 1 year ago

    Good morning. So I went back through the test of those bumpers. I think it was user error. Double checked white wire and green wire do not beep. Everything is good, false alarm. Still have no idea where the problem is. :/

    #67 1 year ago
    Quoted from bonesjustice08:

    Still have no idea where the problem is. :/

    Well, don't despair because that's really not true. We know exactly where the problem is... it's related to one GRN-BLU wire on the switch matrix. Just imagine if you didn't know that, you would be looking at every wire endlessly for days and discover nothing.

    Without looking at it in person, my next suggestion would be to:
    -replace the .50 cent transistor... leave it "high" on the board so you can easily remove it again and replace it without removing the board. You can solder it in better when everything is completely resolved.. obviously you would order like 10 of them and be comfortable replacing them.

    Then, make certain again that NONE of the metal solder points on the the GRN-BLU switches are touching anything they should not be touching. Look for air separation between all blades.

    As I stated earlier, this is more likely an issue with the pops...If you are able to replace the transistor, and after you do, it will be worth removing the GRN-BLU switch wires from those 3 pop bumper switches and then play a game with no pops and see if the new transistor holds.

    If THAT does not work and the transistor blows up again, replace it again and:

    -remove the GRN/BLU wire from the driver board completely (or just cut it)
    -remove the glass and try to play a simulated game
    -making the ball go everywhere except the VerticalUpKicker. (ball will get stuck without that switch wire connected...)

    The goal here is to see if you can get the transistor to fail manually again triggering everything in the game, with the problematic wire removed. If the transistor holds, you can connect each item on that column one at a time, testing each item as it's connected (this would be VERY tedious and requires a lot of de-soldering and such).

    I realize you may not be comfortable doing all these things but the steps I laid out above are what I would do to track down the problem if I was there in person and I knew something on that line was killing the transistor.

    #68 1 year ago

    Ok, I will try. Do you know where I can order these transistors? I want to make sure I order the correct ones. I had sent my board to someone way better then me at soldering and he repaired that transistor. Not too confident in my soldering skills, guess I better learn.

    I struggled taking the damn thing out, lol

    Thanks again

    #69 1 year ago

    It sounds like the iron was not hot enough or, you didn't just cut the top of the transistor off with some "flush cutters" before removing the "3 legs"... that's the quick and easy way if you know a part is toast already. If you don't have some flush cutters, go to harbor freight and buy some. While you are there, also get a small, super skinny pair of needle pliers and some alligator clips if you don't already have those.

    You should NEVER have to push or pull or pry much at all when working with solder.

    Q50 is a 2N3904. Just order 10 of them...

    https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/2N3904

    Also, it's ok to practice soldering on your broken things before taking the hot iron to your $400 Data East driver PCB. I would practice soldering some of the broken stuff to other broken stuff away from the board and you will get good at it. Even soldering random pieces of wire together and checking for strength can teach you a lot. You know you are getting somewhere once you burn your fingers a few times.

    #70 1 year ago

    Sounds good, will do. I do have a couple more questions. What do you mean by look for air separation between all blades, specifically? Is this on the metal solder points? Also, when I try to replace the transistor, you mention I can leave it kinda high. So it will still work without the three legs being all the way in the hole on the other side, and I don't have to solder the back of the board? My hands are so shaky when I solder, but if I can do it without taking the board out of the cabinet every-time I have to replace it, that would be helpful. Does it matter what direction the transistor is facing when you put it in? I'm assuming the legs need to be making contact with the padding or lighter green color that I destroyed when I tried to replace it the first time, lol, when Chris repaired it, he made a top layer of solder to follow what I damaged.

    Thanks again for all of you help. I will order the items you mentioned and practice my soldering some more.

    #71 1 year ago
    Quoted from bonesjustice08:

    Sounds good, will do. I do have a couple more questions. What do you mean by look for air separation between all blades, specifically? Is this on the metal solder points? Also, when I try to replace the transistor, you mention I can leave it kinda high. So it will still work without the three legs being all the way in the hole on the other side, and I don't have to solder the back of the board? My hands are so shaky when I solder, but if I can do it without taking the board out of the cabinet every-time I have to replace it, that would be helpful. Does it matter what direction the transistor is facing when you put it in? I'm assuming the legs need to be making contact with the padding or lighter green color that I destroyed when I tried to replace it the first time, lol, when Chris repaired it, he made a top layer of solder to follow what I damaged.
    Thanks again for all of you help. I will order the items you mentioned and practice my soldering some more.

    I just meant the solder tabs on the back sides of the switches shouldn’t be touching. One trick is to look for air between them when holding a light behind them.

    Yes, if you temporary solder it high, it will function fine. It does not need to go through the board for testing purposes.

    Yes, the direction matters! the transistor will face the same direction as the other 7 in that same area of the board.

    Remember to cut the head of the bad transistor first. It will be a lot easier to remove.

    #72 1 year ago

    Thank you for answering my questions. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. I do have another question, I know this is probably nothing. But, I'm going to ask just to be sure. I was looking beneath my playfield again, double checking everything. And I noticed the wiring/connector for my switches (on the ones that are not working) has been kinda dangling low and within this power supply block that is mounted to the floor of the pinball base. When the playfield is lowered into its normal playing position, this connector is about 3 to 4 inches from it. I tucked it up and a way. But its been like this the entire time I've owned this machine (about 6 months). Was wondering if this would possible be causing problems. Just thought I would ask, thanks again.

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    #73 1 year ago
    Quoted from bonesjustice08:

    I noticed the wiring/connector for my switches (on the ones that are not working) has been kinda dangling low and within this power supply block that is mounted to the floor of the pinball base. When the playfield is lowered into its normal playing position, this connector is about 3 to 4 inches from it. I tucked it up and a way. But its been like this the entire time I've owned this machine (about 6 months). Was wondering if this would possible be causing problems. Just thought I would ask, thanks again.

    No, that wouldn't harm anything, since the power transformer block is grounded. One thing to check are those connectors though. Make sure the plugs are nice and snugged in the connectors.

    Reading through the thread, I'm leaning towards a defective transistor. It's not the first time, I've heard new part being defective and only work for a couple hours before giving out.

    #74 1 year ago

    Shogun00 Thank you for that answer. So, you dont believe something on this switch matrix is cooking the transistor? Its gone out on me a couple times now. Thanks again.

    #75 1 year ago

    We won’t know until the parts arrive and he replaces it.

    #76 1 year ago

    Replaced transistor (after practicing soldering). Did the diode test = good. Did the jumper test = good. Start the game, it immediately goes into Tilt and locks up the game. Power it down, start it up and play another game. All switches on that matrix are out again. Back to square one. Chris mentioned this board is old and with a lot of corrosion. I had this pinball machine for about 6 months and had no issues. Would just replacing it with a new rottendog just be the better option for now? This is very frustrating. Thanks again for your help.

    #77 1 year ago

    Should I remove both Tilt wires and try again? I do recall a couple months ago, I was getting slam tilt message and was locking up my game. It stopped eventually. Another question I have about replacing the transistors. Do I have to take the entire thing out? Or can I remove the head of the transistor and solder a new one on to the 3 previous metal legs that are still soldered to the board? Would that still work? Thank You

    #78 1 year ago

    Another thing I forgot to mention. Right after I replaced the transistor, before I cooked it. And it is cooked, lol, I can see white residue on it. Recap: I tested the pins with a jumper for those switches and it worked. Played my first game that cooked the transistor. Game locks up in tilt and Outhole (kicks the ball out to the shooter lane) kept going off in a loop. After I restarted the game, game works, no issue, other than that transistor was cooked and the same switch column was out again.

    #79 1 year ago

    It suks because replacing the board with a new one could likely just fry the transistor on the new board…

    If you want to try and resolve it yourself, it can take a long time, especially since it’s looking to be a playfield wiring problem.

    I suppose you could have some higher voltage item coming into contact with the tilt wires but I’m still betting on the pops…. You could try unplugging the coin door, disconnecting the green switch wire on all the pops and then replace the transistor again, leaving those things disconnected. Reconnecting them one at a time might tell you where the problem lies.

    Can you determine at exactly what point the transistor blew? What is during ball one, was it right when you powered the game up? When you pressed start?

    #80 1 year ago

    I believe it blew when I started a game. And when I started the game, I couldn't play, was stuck in tilt while one of the solenoids (I think it was the one that kicks the ball into the shooting lane) kept going off. I then powered it off, turned it back on. And the game worked like before, everything but that switch column completely out. Before I started the game, I tested the pins with a jumper cable and the pin for that switch column was working, all the switches showed up when doing the switch test. Got my hopes up, then started the game, disappointment again. ... :/

    #81 1 year ago

    Wait, the ball kicker to the shooter lane is going off constantly? That sounds like a problem... you didn't mention this before.

    So, when the Q50 transistor is good these condition are true:
    -the ball kicker to trough is "firing again and again"... hopefully not "locking on"?
    -the game is stuck in tilt

    Once Q50 blows, the game is not stuck in tilt and the ball kicker trough coil is fine?

    #82 1 year ago

    Yes, all conditions you mention are true. But the last time it cooked the transistor, (right after Mr. Hibler worked on it it) didn't do any of these things, I was actually able to play a game, then it cooked the transistor,lol. This shit is wack

    Should I proceed to remove the pops like you suggested earlier, repair the transistor and try again? I did remove both tilts. Probably does nothing, but its my pinball machine and I dont kick its ass when I play it.

    Thanks again

    #83 1 year ago

    Hello, so here is where I'm at today.

    Repaired transistor, cut blue/green off of all 3 bumpers. Also removed both tilts.

    Tested problem pin with jumper/switch test, good.

    After I press start
    Ball kicker does not fire, game is no longer stuck in tilt.
    Game does continue to tell me a ball is missing and will not allow me to play a game. I did this 3 or 4 times. Does it every time. Transistor is still alive, didnt fry it.

    Sometimes the transistor will go out because I did a crappy job of putting it in, lol, but when It does not work, no switches on that pin, I can play the game. When the pin is working and transistor does work, ball is missing every-time, cant play game. Sometimes I have to give the transistor a jiggle, and it is alive and functioning again.

    #84 1 year ago

    Ok, so I went back and installed the transistor by taking the board out completely. And putting a new one was a pain, lol, but its in there.

    So, I made sure the balls are in place, and that appears to be the issue with that.

    Now moving on to the next thing. I can verify that nothing is frying the transistor and when I do the jumper/switch test on just that pin, I get a hit on every one of those switches in that column. However, when I plug those to connectors back in and test the actual switch themselves, I get nothing.

    I'm assuming by cutting those 3 bumpers, that is why the transistor is still alive? But why would that pin on my board pass the jumper/switch test, but not respond when I test the switch themselves? I previously did a continuity test for all of those switches all the way to the wire in the connector for cn8. Would that be because I cut all the connection to those pops? lol, this is fun

    #85 1 year ago

    Ok, so I twisted all of the GRN/BLU wire ends for the pop switches after removing them all from their metal tabs. Did a switch test, everything works besides the spinner (it works sometimes if I jiggle the wires, I think I need to re-solder or replace it, but it did go off a couple times)

    I played a couple games, not only does it not cook the transistor, but the pops switch works, it gets points as if its working as normal. So when I play the game, everything works fine, just the spinner and middle yellow target dont work. Does this make any sense to you? Because it does not to me, lol

    If the pops work as normal and it doesn't keep cooking the transistor, can I tin the twisted pair and leave it? Since it does work now, lol

    #86 1 year ago

    Ok, this will be my last post for a while,lol

    I got the spinner working now, anyone who has played this wonderful pinball game knows how important that is in Robo. I'm walking away and taking a break. For the record I tried. Will hopefully find a pinball repair professional in the St. Louis area and have my machine worked on, maybe restored if possible. Guys who work on these things for a living deserve a medal. I'll go back to my IT desk job now. Getting wrist surgery done soon.

    Thanks again for everyone's help.

    frunch
    snyper2099
    chad

    #87 1 year ago

    Glad you guys were able to get this sorted out! I got swamped with work (it's our busy season and I run an appliance repair biz) and when I saw Snyper jump in I knew you were in good hands.

    I'll admit I suspected there could be an issue with the pop bumpers because of the way the switch leaves appear bent in some of the pics, but I chalked it up to the angle of the photos or whatever else. If it's working, it's working and that's what we want

    Well done, gents

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