(Topic ID: 177366)

Royal Guard - Startup Issue/Coinslot Problem


By BoGart

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by BoGart
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#1 4 years ago

Hello Everybody,

I'm a first timer working on repairing a Gottlieb Royal Guard (1968) pinball that I bought broken. Apparently it had been sitting in some guys garage for a long time, so I've been working through cleaning all the contacts but I seem to have run up against a weird issue. As I understand it - according to the pinrepair website, I'm supposed to plug this thing in, then hit the start button, then (assuming credits) it runs though the startup sequence that has to do with resetting all the reels and banks and whatnot, then it settles down, then you can play.

What happens in my case is I have the coin thing completely unconnected from the rest of the machine, then I plug the machine in to the wall and the score motor starts, actually does reset all the reels and such (aside from the credit reel?), and keeps going. I also have an on/off switch that the machine apparently ignores.

So, I kind of wanted to address the coin slot thing - from what I've read on pinrepair the thing isn't even supposed to start without the coin slot connected to the rest of the machine so I'm not sure what is going on here. It is most definitely completely disconnected from the machine at large, so all I can think of is that there is a wire crossed somewhere that makes the machine think that someone is constantly hitting the start button. It does this regardless of whether there are credits on the credit reel at time of plug-in, though.

I've been reasonably diligent in following the pinrepair site, so I do know that my reels and score counters are all clean and mobile (although the reset sequence does not make the score counters reset as of now), and I am working through things like trying to hunt down the 'home switch' on the score motor to make sure it is clean and comfy (I definitely don't see blue sparks with the light off as it runs so I'm thinking this may be one of the issues at hand). However, I really haven't been able to find a reference or similar problem where the machine has nothing but callous disregard for the coin slot/start button and ignores the on/off switch, so I was hoping for some advice here while I chug along on cleaning and working at the rest of the machine.

Additional information:
My schematic is on the way, but I live in Canada so it is going to be a while.
The only major repairs I have done is replacing the power cord and on/off switch (both had more or less disintegrated with age).
As near as I can figure, the machine isn't set for freeplay.

#2 4 years ago

Hi Bo.
Look for the hold relay in bottom. it may have bent blades, keeping it closed all the time.

#3 4 years ago
Quoted from Dr_of_Style:

Hi Bo.
Look for the hold relay in bottom. it may have bent blades, keeping it closed all the time.

Thanks for the tip, I'm looking into that now.

I was able to get the motor to stop running, but I'm still trying to figure out why the off switch is not really doing much - I guess it means I have a short somewhere? As it stands, now two of my score reels don't want to count, so I'm guessing there is something being bypassed somewhere. Unfortunately most of the paper labels have fallen off this poor old thing, so I'm just going to start by checking every relay.

#4 4 years ago

The power switch, if normal, is in line with the transformer primary. I have seen some in line with the secondary, not sure why.
You may find the wires near the transformer? sounds like much has been bypassed.
the ac power may be runnin to the front door slam switch? some bypassed this switch by unsoldering from switch, and connecting the two wires. others, make the connection mid way on the bottom board, as there may be a slam/drop switch on the bottom.
either way, the schematic will show you the power rout.
For the score reels, there are switches on each one that need to be adjusted correctly to work.
There is a relay for each of the reels, except the highest one, in the backbox next to the reset relays. depending on which player is up, manually closing one of the relays, shud make the reel advance.

#5 4 years ago

Found it! The previous owner had made the interesting decision to wire a light bulb socket in parallel with the power line, and then leave the free ends at the front of the box with taped ends (where I then installed a switch). So the bulb socket was acting as an always on switch. Maybe he was doing a poor mans voltmeter with a lightbulb and never took it out? It took a while to find because I assumed the light bulb must be part of the machine at large, implying that I had lost the thread of the power line.

The reels now all work as well, but the start button is still out of commission, haha. I imagine I must be chasing a problem down stream somehow so I suppose this will all work out soon. As a final question for you, I'm trying to clean each relay/resetbank thing individually with a bit of 400 grit sandpaper (I'm going shopping for a fine file today though), but I want to confirm that they are cleaned properly to function. Should I be able to check this for most things by manually closing the relay? I notice some things I clean for a little while still don't activate when I press them, but I'm not sure if that means they are out of adjustment/still dirty, or if it means they can't be checked this way.

Thanks Style,

#6 4 years ago

Hi Bogart - good progress already!

Someone always points newbies to here, its my turn to do it apparently:

http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index.htm

Its an invaluable read.

Also, a flex stone and switch adjuster tool are almost mandatory with an EM:

http://www.pbresource.com/tools.html

A metal file should only be used on the higher voltage contacts like flipper EOS (see the invaluable read), it will be too harsh on relay contacts.

#7 4 years ago

hi there Bogart..I have a royal guard as well. Do u need a pix of the paper labels for all the relays? If so lemme know..

#8 4 years ago

The 400 grit will work, but I would recommend a dremel tool with a brass brush, works sooo much better.
the switches all must have a wiping motion on each other when the switch is closed.
compare to other switches of the same size for example. if they do not push against each other a little, it is not adjusted correctly, and may not conduct.

#9 4 years ago
Quoted from BoGart:

Should I be able to check this for most things by manually closing the relay?

yes, thats the best way to do it.

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from 4Max:

Hi Bogart - good progress already!
Someone always points newbies to here, its my turn to do it apparently:
http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index.htm
Its an invaluable read.
Also, a flex stone and switch adjuster tool are almost mandatory with an EM:
http://www.pbresource.com/tools.html
A metal file should only be used on the higher voltage contacts like flipper EOS (see the invaluable read), it will be too harsh on relay contacts.

Yes, I've been having good luck with that resource - although sometimes I find it a little intimidating if only because of the breadth of topics he covers trying to hit all the major pinball makers. I actually have a flexstone already for other work, but I find I can't quite get into certain spots, so I've taken to using a nonflammable contact cleaner to loosen grime and polish with sandpaper in those places. Big hands have made parts of this fairly challenging, even using screwdrivers and pliers.

Quoted from hwyhed:

hi there Bogart..I have a royal guard as well. Do u need a pix of the paper labels for all the relays? If so lemme know..

I appreciate the offer! If you can it would be very helpful, but don't put yourself out. I've already come to peace with the fact that I will be cleaning and checking the adjustment of every switch based on how much the machine has suffered in its previous environment, so individual labels may not matter that much in the long run.

Quoted from Dr_of_Style:

The 400 grit will work, but I would recommend a dremel tool with a brass brush, works sooo much better.
the switches all must have a wiping motion on each other when the switch is closed.
compare to other switches of the same size for example. if they do not push against each other a little, it is not adjusted correctly, and may not conduct.

I will look into a brass brush, that could really save my fingers. When adjusting the switches, would a blue spark on activation be considered a an indication that this switch is 100% doing its job?

Interesting Update!
Now that I have cleaned most of the playfield and backbox relays, I have much more lights than I used to! Conversely, previously I was able to activate the game by manually tripping the "30 volt relay", and get some bells to ring and scores to count by hitting things on the playfield - but the bell solenoids would often get stuck on. Now I have no bells or scores at all, but the machine seems to run in a static state better if that makes any sense. I think I have chased the issues to the last sets of relays in the bottom of the machine.

#11 4 years ago

Another interesting update!

I now have about 95% of the machine running. The only issue I'm running up against now is the start button. (I plugged the coin door back in eventually, but the problem persists). By tripping the 30V relay I can basically play a full 6 ball game, right up to where I game over - but from here hitting the start button does not trigger a game reset. I can manually (and so carefully) trigger what I believe to be the new game relay by hand and get the thing going.

My question you you guys: Is this likely still a switch cleaning/adjustment issue, or have I run up against something else? I'm happy to continue polishing and checking (its oddly soothing honestly), but I don't want to do so fruitlessly.

Thanks,

#12 4 years ago

Are you trying to use the start button with no credits on the game? If you are, it won't work unless the zero position switch on the credit unit is permanently closed.

Contact cleaner is no bueno.

A six ball game? This game is not an AAB and the maximum is five balls. Not sure what's going on there.

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

Are you trying to use the start button with no credits on the game? If you are, it won't work unless the zero position switch on the credit unit is permanently closed.
Contact cleaner is no bueno.
A six ball game? This game is not an AAB and the maximum is five balls. Not sure what's going on there.

There is definitely credits on the wheel, but I'm working on cleaning and checking the contacts on that thing since I think it is one of the few weak links remaining.

I use a kind of fancy contact cleaner (non-flammable, no residue, intended for sterile food processing environments) to loosen up and then polish the really gross switches. No chance of exploding my machine, but it could never clean a contact without polishing as well - just makes it easier.

I actually just looked at the number of balls, and I had counted the game over position on the ball counter wheel as one of the balls for playing.

#14 4 years ago

Welp, I just had a very weird revelation. I probably should have seen it coming, but here we are. The machine only takes american coins, not canadian.

I'm not sure why the start button does nothing (I wonder if the machine is set to be free play, and that somehow disabled it), but dropping an american dime in the dime slot starts the game, same with the nickle slot. Neither add credits to the wheel, but I guess that doesn't matter. The quarter slot is an unknown factor at this stage - tripping it adds credits but doesn't start the game.

I'm going to keep chewing on the start (maybe its actually a replay) button, but as it stands I guess the whole thing now officially works - so I will be marking the thread resolved.

I want to thank everybody who took the time to reply and give me a hand, it was much appreciated all around. If I can ever manage to contribute meaningfully to a conversation on this stuff I'll do my best to give back to the community.

As a final note, I'm going to run through my results from the work I was asking about. Nothing makes me rage harder than someone who starts a thread, figures out their problems, and then just abandons ship without passing anything on, so here we go for anyone who gets here with a google search.

- You probably need a schematic, but if you don't have it (or it's still TWO WEEKS AWAY) you'll just have to pull out the magnifying glass and follow some coloured cords. The power switch problem on my end was ultimately solved by finding a lazily spliced lightbulb somebody tried to use as a voltmeter (probably).

- People like http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index.htm a lot, for good reason. Just make sure you know what type and year of machine you have so you can skip some of the reading - also if you hold ctrl and scroll up on your mousewheel it zooms in on page text in most browsers. That was kind of critical for me to not go blind.

- The score motor problem was a dirty contact on the score reels. This is noteworthy for me, because I already cleaned them all before I had the motor running constantly problem. So I just didn't clean them good enough. As mentioned up the page, they need to be shiny and sort of rub against each other.

- The blue spark thing is definitely true. After I really gave it a serious clean, this thing lights up like a sparkler stick when its running. They don't all always spark blue, but if you can't get it to spark at all ever it may still be dirty. Fat hands kept me from using my fluke meter to check individual switches so this helped a lot.

- 400 grit Sandpaper, brass brushes, and (for the brutal ones) a nail file really helped clean contacts. I also used a really expensive contact cleaner I already had, because it was non flammable. The contact cleaner just made it easier, so I would advise against paying the 40 bucks a can unless you have bad fingers or joints that make polishing really hard. People seem to like flexstone a lot, but due to the previously noted fat hands issue, I never really used it a lot. Sandpaper was just easier for me to get into a lot of spots.

- Ultimately the thing that helped me get to the rough solution for the game start issue was sitting with a screwdriver and tapping relays and switches one by one to figure out where they go. Basically I chased it all the way back to the coin slot and finally got into one of those. It wasn't mentioned in thread, but several times I hit a relay that just did nothing, unplugged everything, pulled it apart, cleaned it, plugged it in, and then kept following the line. Not every relay or strip is always active, but with a little time and some spare 10A fuses I was always able to get the machine in a state to check the route of power this way.

Cheers all!

#15 4 years ago

If the start button doesn't work, even with credits on the game, I'm not sure you can say it's working well. I mean, you'll have to drop coins in the game all the time even with credits on it and that's certainly not correct.

#16 4 years ago

True, but I think this is probably an OK place to end the thread. I'm still working on this thing, and will probably be back with more questions and another thread, but for now I can focus on other work like bulbs and waxing. As it stands I noticed a fuse that keeps blowing so I wonder if there is still a short messing things up, so I'll search for that.

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