(Topic ID: 269260)

Silverball Mania issues. Problem solved

By LocoMecanico

12 months ago

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  • 38 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by Quench
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders


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#1 12 months ago

First issue has to do with the two center rollovers in the hoop. When pushed they light up the following letters on the cabinet in Silverball- ERBA. Plus nothing registers when the ball rolls over them. In switch test mode 02 flashes.

Next issues is the B target when pushed makes the arrow under the Center target or N target light flash rapidly along with the left 1000 when lit above the E target. The B will not register when hit.

The A on the right far out lane makes the I, N and 1000 when lit above the A right target flash rapidly. The A will not register when rolled over.

I have check all the switches and diodes all seem fine. All the boards in this game are about a year old from Alltech Systems from what I was told when I got it. Been working great until recently. This is been a bit of a head scratcher.

Now looking for shorted wires or bad connections on the boards.

Thanks in advance for any help guys.


#2 12 months ago

All 3 boards are Alltek ? got pics of the backbox boards?

Did you do any work to it just before it started acting up? I'm wondering if a rejection key pin is missing off a connector or something ...

Are there capacitors on the rollovers ? those could need to be replaced ( one tech told me to just snip one leg for a quick diagnosis )

#3 11 months ago

No work other than replacing some blown bulbs. Here are some pictures of all the boards.

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#4 11 months ago

Also yes there are caps on them.

#5 11 months ago


Snip one of the legs of the capacitors for the rollover switches & do a switch test to see if it clears the fault.

The boards appear to be in great shape. they all look like they have a screw to ground them.

Is the ground braid attached from the bottom cabinet to the head ?

Some of those splices wrapped in tape I'd probably look at those. Harbor Freight has a cheap heat shrink kit.

There are many other members here who have better technical skills than I. .... when you say "ERBA lamps light on the cabinet" do you mean on the backbox panel behind the backglass ?

#6 11 months ago

Ground braid is attached I checked that earlier. Yeah the ERBA lights in the backbox in Silverball. I feel like when the roll overs are pushed down the power from the rollover switch is back feeding to those 4 lights. I have checked everything that I can think of.

I know how to solder and read schematics. I will try to tackle anything but this is a bit out of my norm. I have 8 pins and only 2 are giving problems. Silverball and Addams Family. Right now I am focusing on SM.

#7 11 months ago

Is the "j1" connector on the lamp board off by one pin ?

Bally Silverball lamp board (resized).jpg
#8 11 months ago

I will check but pretty sure it’s not. I have checked all the connectors don’t think I’m off one pin. I will be home from work around 11 am so I will look at then.

#9 11 months ago

Checked the J1 connector and it is right. Addressing the issue of black taped wires. Soldering then and heat shrinking them.

I cut one cap leg on each rollover. Good news is the lights on back board don’t come on but roll overs still don’t work. I also cut one cap leg on the B target and A rollover so now the lights don’t flash on them either.

Making progress but rollovers and B target still not registering.

#10 11 months ago

Ok so I have gotten the wires that were twisted together with tape on them soldered with heat shrink on them now.

Check continuity from rollover switches up to A4 board all is good there. Switches check out good. They are gapped right at 1/16”. Caps are cut so lights aren’t flashing as stated about. Switches still don’t respond. Trying to figure out my next move.

Thinking now I may have an issue on the A4 board. Going to pull it out and look it over. Will post any findings in a bit.

#11 11 months ago

I forgot I had another Alltek board in six million dollar man. Swapped boards and has same issues. So it’s not the board. Seems it’s something else. I don’t know if I am relieved or more aggravated now.

Also found these 2 wires taped together under the playfield yellow/red and white/orange.

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#12 11 months ago


there are other instances of these colors being used so be best to check continuity from the MPU locations listed. "A4-J2-5" & "A4-J2-10"

Under the playfield I'm a little fuzzy on where they would terminate. but perhaps some hints on the switch matrix pic.

Full manual here if you don't have a hard copy https://www.ipdb.org/files/2156/Bally_1980_Silverball_Mania_Manual.pdf

I dunno if tagging members barakandl or Quench would help as well (those guys are smart )

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#13 11 months ago

found an image in the Pinside gallery https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/silverball-mania/gallery

"service switch on panel for backglass silverball" ?

seems to lineup with the 2 holes you have on your machine.

Bally silverbalmania service switch (resized).jpg
#14 11 months ago
Quoted from chas10e:

"service switch on panel for backglass silverball" ?

Good call chas10e - see below:

O.P, if you're not aware, the "S-I-L-V-E-R-B-A-L-L" lamps on the lower backglass do not reflect the letters the players achieved during their game. It's a carry over feature from game to game - each time a player makes "SILVERBALL MANIA" special or the Kicker special, one of those back glass lamps lights. If a player makes the last lamp, they can be rewarded with a bonus credit. See the cutout from the manual below.

The front playfield switch you're missing that chas10e highlighted allows you to manually step through the backglass "S-I-L-V-E-R-B-A-L-L" lamps.

Other than that, you appear to have some switch matrix issue - can you tell us the current situation you're at?


#15 11 months ago

Well so far I have fixed the twisted together wires that had black tape on them. I cut one leg on each cap to the four switches so random bulbs would quit flashing rapidly when one of those four switches were activated. It appears that someone had a field day soldering on this machines playfield.

One thing that I just thought of was to double check those wires that I soldered to make sure that they are going to the correct position on the board. I would think that if a couple are switched up it could make weird things happen. All of the wires on J3 were cut and a different connector was spliced in. I am starting to wonder if a couple wires could be mixed up.

Current situation is as follows:

Left "B" target does not work
Right out lane "A" rollover switch does not work
Both center rollovers in the hoop do not work

Everything other that those four switches work fine.

#16 11 months ago

Actually come to think of it I should go ahead and check the wires on J1 and J4 on MPU as it looks like the connectors are new. Maybe its just a couple crossed up wires. Could I get that lucky?

#17 11 months ago
Quoted from LocoMecanico:

Left "B" target does not work
Right out lane "A" rollover switch does not work
Both center rollovers in the hoop do not work

So those switches are all on the "I1" switch return line.

Can you go into switch test mode, remove the ball from the outhole and let me know what the game reports. Then activate each of those switches and see if they report as closed.

#18 11 months ago

I can do that when I get off work. I should be home around 4 and will let you know.

I can tell you that when I go into switch test mode right now it flashes 02 which is the 2 center rollovers. All the other switches work except for 02, 18 and 26 but only 02 flashes in test mode.

#19 11 months ago
Quoted from LocoMecanico:

All the other switches work except for 02, 18 and 26 but only 02 flashes in test mode.

Unfortunately it's a flaw with the switch test mode that it only reports the lowest number closed switch found. You could also have switches 03 to 40 all closed yet you'll only see 02 being reported.

Put the game into switch test mode and then disconnect the J2 connector from the MPU board. See if you still get 02 switch reported as closed. If yes, then disconnect the J3 connector from the MPU board. Do you still get 02 switch being reported as closed?

J2 is the playfield switch harness, J3 is the cabinet switch harness, neither of these carry power so it's ok to remove them while the game is on. Removing these connectors will isolate the problem to the playfield or the cabinet.

If removing the cabinet J3 connector fixes the issue, carefully inspect the coin chute switches, one is connected on that "I1" switch return line and might be stuck closed.
If removing the playfield J2 connector fixes the issue, post a couple of clear pictures of the hoop rollover switches - let's see if someones wired them incorrectly or if something else odd stands out.

#20 11 months ago

Ok will do. I was looking over the switch matrix and I think the a couple of the coin chutes have been disconnected. I will do the sequence as you have said and will report back around 5 this evening.

#21 11 months ago
Quoted from LocoMecanico:

I think the a couple of the coin chutes have been disconnected

There's a red-green wire that's common to all three coin chute switches so needs to have continuity from one to the next.
Make sure nobodys connected and taped the secondary coin chute wires to any other wires.
Coin chute 3 which is on the "I0" switch return signal is a red-white wire
Coin chute 1 which is on the "I1" switch return signal is a brown-white wire <-- check this one especially
Coin chute 2 which is on the "I2" switch return signal is a blue wire

Good luck!

#22 11 months ago

Ok I will check them out. Thank you very much. Once I get this one working the real fun begins. I saved the hardest for last The Addams Family. Going to be some real fun.

#23 11 months ago

Ok so here is what I have been able to find out so far. If I unplug the J2 connector the 02 fault goes away. So this means the fault is on the playfield or from the J2 connector down to the playfield.

I mean it could be a pinched wire or a wire that isn’t soldered in the right spot.

#24 11 months ago
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#25 11 months ago

oooh those are diodes , probably be good to check them for shorts & polarity before reconnecting them ....

Quench does polarity matter on these? (my guess is probably)

#26 11 months ago

Yeah they should only flow one way. I checked everyone on the playfield. They all checkout good. I am a bit stumped now. I have looked at everything on the playfield. Heck I even pulled it out and laid it on my pool table to get a better look.

#27 11 months ago

Ok so I have tracing all the wires to make sure they are right on the connectors that have been replaced. In the picture this J4 if you look at pin 7 in the schematic it is supposed to be 25 or blue/white but this one is black/white. Is this a big deal?

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#28 11 months ago
Quoted from LocoMecanico:

In the picture this J4 if you look at pin 7 in the schematic it is supposed to be 25 or blue/white but this one is black/white.

That wire kinda looks like navy blue in that picture.

The diodes are needed for the switches to operate correctly. Having the diodes disconnected means the switches can't return a closed state so there's something else going on that's causing the hoop switches to appear as stuck.

Note that white brown wire whuich is the "I1" switch return line also goes to the four dead bumpers at the top of the playfield and also another 4 rebound switches in the rear half of the playfield. Look in the manual at the playfield switch diagram for locations of switch #34 and carefully inspect those switches too.

#29 11 months ago

I hooked up the diodes like they are suppose to be after I checked them. Yeah looked at those too. Every diode tests good forward voltage they read .560 and the reverse voltage read OL. What is weird is the #34 switches work just fine and they are on I1. I pretty much fried my brain yesterday evening. I worked on it from about 4-10pm.

#30 11 months ago

What happens if you disconnect (unsolder) the white-brown wires from both hoop switches?

#31 11 months ago

Nothing happens. 02 will still flash in test mode.

#32 11 months ago

The switch lugs where two white-brown wires are connected together need to be tied together when removing from the lug so the signal remains daisy-chained.

You'll have to unsolder the "I1" white-brown wires from each other switch one at a time to find out which switch has the issue though normally you should be able to sight an obvious problem.

You could also have a problem that at one of those "I1" white-brown wired playfield switches could be shorted to a lamp socket causing your issue.

#33 11 months ago

Ok I will check that this evening and just go down the chain. Hopefully I find something.

#34 11 months ago

Ok I desoldered all the white/brown #56 wires one pair at a time and the 02 code is still flashing.

#35 11 months ago

Ok I found the issue. Here is a picture. Pinched wire under lamp socket.

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#36 11 months ago

Thank you guys for the guidance on finding the issue. Starting to understand how the matrix works now. So now I move on to the bigger problem machine that I have TAF.

#37 11 months ago

One more quick question what cap do I need to put on the switches?

#38 11 months ago
Quoted from LocoMecanico:One more quick question what cap do I need to put on the switches?

The switches need 0.047uF capacitors, 50V or greater. They only go on switches that are activated fast by the ball. The switch matrix schematic shows which switches have caps on them.

BTW, good find with the pinched wire

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