(Topic ID: 321218)

Solved: Slingshot switches getting mangled by the ball.

By sparky672

1 year ago


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#1 1 year ago

I have a Gottlieb system 80 Volcano from 1981

Last summer I rebuilt the slingshot switches with new leafs and contacts from PBR. I had them adjusted pretty good at the time. I purchased the new leafs in the same thickness as my originals. I cut to same length as originals and soldered on brand new contacts. They are also stacked the same as the originals. All rubbers were replaced at this time with a kit from Marco.

They saw probably less than 3 months of play since being replaced. A couple weeks ago I notice the slingshots hardly fire because the switches are bent wide open. I bent them back as best I could, and now only two weeks later, I find myself adjusting them again.

This is not an arcade... the machine got played maybe once or twice per day in last two weeks. I cannot believe they would need this much attention even if played more often.

The ball is slamming these switches back pretty far and they are being kinked exactly where they protrude from the playfield. Regular play smashes switches so far back that they kink over? Is this normal?

All the YouTube videos about adjusting slingshots only show how to gap them. There is no information about the stiffer leafs, their purpose, or how to properly stack and adjust. Can somebody look at this configuration and advise me?

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Since taking the photos, I removed all four switches and straightened them as best I could. All leafs are now straight with no bends. The gap is a small as I could get it without it bouncing. Maybe 1/16" or 3/32". The long front leaf is just touching the rubber with no gap and not pushing on it.

EDIT: Ok, so I discovered that I have nails missing behind the slingshot rubbers. But I also have additional holes in places where nails make no sense. Can somebody with a Volcano post photos of all the nails in the left and right slingshot areas? Since I am seeing holes along the bottom sides of the two slingshot areas, please post photos of those areas too. Thank you!

#2 1 year ago

See the hole in your pic there's supposed to be a nail there to prevent rubber from going back too far.

#4 1 year ago

The ball wasn't bending the rear one like that or the stiff blade in front of it. That is the work of someone mucking up a leaf blade adjustment.

LTG : )

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from LTG:

The ball wasn't bending the rear one like that or the stiff blade in front of it. That is the work of someone mucking up a leaf blade adjustment.
LTG : )

Yep... ... that was me two weeks ago trying to adjust without proper tools and without removing from the machine. I have since straightened that out.

However, can you shed any light on how the stack is supposed to be adjusted when correct? All straight and parallel?

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from slochar:

See the hole in your pic there's supposed to be a nail there to prevent rubber from going back too far.

It's been ten years since I got it, I don't recall any nails there, but maybe drywall screws.

What kind of nail? Diameter, length, head type? Can you provide a photo? Thank you!

#7 1 year ago

They're usually just small finishing nails. I have lots of nails around for nailing things when needed and I just kind of sort through until I find one if I've lost one.

#8 1 year ago

The two switch blades should be straight, then adjust for a very small gap. Then adjust the stiff center blade against the short switch blade so you get the final gap you need by testing it with a ball. The stiff blade also prevents the switch from bouncing and reclosing the switch.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from slochar:

They're usually just small finishing nails. I have lots of nails around for nailing things when needed and I just kind of sort through until I find one if I've lost one.

I have a bazillion nails here. However, in this case, I am thinking a stainless steel finishing nail would be better as it's less prone to bending. I also have two tiny holes at the bottom side of the left-hand slingshot area. And one tiny hole at the bottom side of the right-hand slingshot area. By "bottom side of the area", I mean the sides facing the flippers, not the actual slingshot side. I cannot imagine why nails would be here as there is no way for the ball to hit there.

Quoted from frenchmarky:

The two switch blades should be straight, then adjust for a very small gap. Then adjust the stiff center blade against the short switch blade so you get the final gap you need by testing it with a ball. The stiff blade also prevents the switch from bouncing and reclosing the switch.

You're awesome! Exactly what I was looking for.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from sparky672:

All straight and parallel?

Kind of like my picture. See the pink line. That thicker flat blade should be straight up and down against the rear blade like the pink line.

LTG : )

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#11 1 year ago

Best to have the very end of the stiff blade contacting the short sw blade espec. on a sling rubber. You can put a slight bend in it near the end. Minimizes vibration that could close/trigger it again. Many of these type switches were/are made with a bend in the middle of the stiff blade for this purpose.

#12 1 year ago

I believe these were 4 penny (4d) finishing nails.

I found some 4d steel finishing nails here that measure 0.073" x ~1.55", and should be the nominal 0.080" x 1.5", which is standard for 4d. They snugly fit my existing holes without forcing.

At 1.5" long, lightly driven to the bottom of the existing hole, they are the exact length that touches the underside of the plastic (my artwork had a dimple worn where the one nail was). Even though I installed clear thin polycarbonate guards under my original plastic, I did not want nail heads wearing into anything. I ground off the sharp tip of each nail; about ⅛". It's also a proven old carpenter's trick, that a blunt nail is less likely to split wood because it shears fibers rather than wedging. Even though the playfield is plywood, which shouldn't split, I did not feel the need to grind a new point onto each nail.

I tapped them into the existing holes and they fit perfectly snug. Then I gave them all an extra little whack to ensure they were solid. The plastic now has an ⅛" gap over the heads and it feels like these will take a good ball hit without much drama.

There were three nails in each of the slingshot areas. Regarding the two extra nails along the bottom; looks like they were there to protect the lamps, even though it seems a ball couldn't get in that far. Hoping other Volcano owners can show how theirs is setup.

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1 week later
#13 1 year ago
Quoted from slochar:

They're usually just small finishing nails. I have lots of nails around for nailing things when needed and I just kind of sort through until I find one if I've lost one.

What happens if the nail is not enough? If one of the switches is still getting smashed and bent by the ball, I assume the fix is to bend the nail outward towards the rubber to give additional protection?

#14 1 year ago

Just looking at it, appears the the rubber ring is usually going to hit the kicker arms before it hits a nail anyway. But for that one switch sure you can bend the nail a little. Which switch is still getting bent?

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from frenchmarky:

Which switch is still getting bent?

Without taking measurements, at least the bottom switch on the right side. Overall, I’m noticing less response from both sides since I made last adjustments. Meaning, it was very responsive right after, but becoming less and less.

#16 1 year ago

On my Black Hole the nails are a lot closer to the rubbers, and there's FOUR of them, two at each switch. Located appx. at the mid-point of each switch pf hole. Rubber hits the nail(s) before they hit the kicker arm. These are higher powered slings (directly powered by the switches which are tungsten) but the ball is still going to hit the rubber just as hard. And they are headless pins which look thicker and stronger than the nails.

On BH's lower pf 'standard' sling, there is only one thicker pin next to the one switch, but it too is closer to the rubber ring than the kicker arm. Appears the rubber would hit the pin before the switch can get pushed back very far and I've never had problems with it. So I'm thinking if you used the thicker pin in that spot and bent it outward a bit you might be able to get it stable. Or bend those nails you have and try it. On the left you have two switches but only one pin, so I dunno. If was my game I just might just put a second pin in there if nothing else works, seems like an oversight.

Plus that single nail on your left sling looks to be placed too far back, even compared to your other sling and it has TWO pins.

The other headed nails where the ball will never impact, I believe those are the typical ones put under plastics to prevent them from drooping and getting hit by the ball, mechs or pf switches.

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from frenchmarky:

So I'm thinking if you used the thicker pin in that spot and bent it outward a bit you might be able to get it stable. Or bend those nails you have and try it.

The holes tightly fit these nails and they are standing up to the ball so far. I may bend them a bit towards the rubber.

Quoted from frenchmarky:

On the left you have two switches but only one pin, so I dunno. If was my game I just might just put a second pin in there if nothing else works, seems like an oversight. Plus that single nail on your left sling looks to be placed too far back, even compared to your other sling and it has TWO pins.

On both the left and on the right, I only have one nail by the top switch. The bottom two nails on each side are only for protecting that lamp. On closer examination, those two lamps are the only ones on the playfield that are potentially exposed to the ball although the ball rarely hits that location.

I agree about the left nail looking too far back, but so far it seems to be protecting that switch. I will still end up bending the nails towards the rubber a bit.

Quoted from frenchmarky:

The other headed nails where the ball will never impact, I believe those are the typical ones put under plastics to prevent them from drooping and getting hit by the ball, mechs or pf switches.

You're right, those nails and holes are almost exactly the correct length and depth to barely clear the plastics. On mine, I made/installed 1/16" thin clear polycarbonate protectors that are slightly larger than the plastics, mounted under the plastics, and provide a "bumper" for the ball. Polycarbonate can really take an impact.

#18 1 year ago

I have my doubts about one nail being there just to protect the lamp, might just appear that way because it happens to be so close to the lamp. Even without the nail in there, the lamp looks totally safe. That top nail on the right sling (bottom pic, right) is right on the money as far as where it should be to keep the switches from getting bashed. Why one has one nail and the other two, doesn't make sense.

Maybe try posting something about this in the sys1-sys80b club and see if you can get some Volcano owners in there.

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