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(Topic ID: 275693)

Some idiot wrecked my Firepower!


By MrFancy

65 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 37 days ago by MrFancy
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 65 days ago

I had a dead flipper on my Firepower, and the last time my tech came out he identified a bad coil as the issue. I ordered a new coil and some idiot (who may or may not have been me ) tried to install it but failed miserably. It looks like the idiot soldered the wires to the wrong diodes. He was thinking that since the flipper mechanisms are aligned in opposite directions, the wires would connect to the diodes on opposite ends (i.e. the wires connected to the left-most diode on one flipper coil should connect to the right-most diode on the other flipper coil). But apparently that's not the case- the wires that connect to the left most diode on one coil connect to the left most diode on the other coil and so on. Right?

So anyways after the idiot did this, he pressed the flipper button and nothing happened except for a faint buzzing sound. After holding the flipper button down for a few seconds, the buzzing noise stopped- but then the opposite flipper, which had been working fine until then, also went completely dead. I told that idiot to get out of my house and leave fixing the pinball machines to someone who knows what they're doing. I did some checking after the idiot left and found a blown fuse, shown in the attached images.

Long story short, later on me and the idiot had a long talk and patched things up. He admitted that he's an idiot and apologized, which meant a lot to me. I let him back in the house and he's going to work on my Firepower again.

Is the issue that blown fuse? Also, can the idiot just snip the wires and solder the diodes back to the coil in the right places? I don't want to invest in de-soldering equipment, since the idiot would probably just screw that up too. So the alternative would be to just get another new coil with clean diodes.

Thanks for any help!

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#2 65 days ago

You shouldn't be rearranging diodes, they only go in one configuration on a flipper coil.

#1 is to resolder the wires in the right locations.

#2 replace the fuse

At that point it may just work, or you might have blown the diodes, in which case snip them off and install new ones in the same position+orientation

#3 65 days ago
Quoted from MrFancy:

Is the issue that blown fuse? Also, can the idiot just snip the wires and solder the diodes back to the coil in the right places? I don't want to invest in de-soldering equipment, since the idiot would probably just screw that up too. So the alternative would be to just get another new coil with clean diodes.

Change the fuse. Then unsolder what you did wrong and do it right (copy the other coil diode orientation with the wires). You don't need any desoldering equipment, just met the solder and pull the wire free when it is melted.

If you need any pics of a working Firepower flipper I can take some.

Also, we should play some pinball some time.

#4 64 days ago

Thanks guys. I made that idiot re-solder the wires into the right places, and I'm going to get that fuse once I figure out what else I need to order. On that note, I've got a Xenon that needs a flipper rebuild... how the hell are you supposed to get those Allen bolts out? It's a smaller size than usual, and the two Allen wrenches I have that fit it I stripped out pretty quickly. I also tried verbal threats, which were unsuccessful.

#5 64 days ago
Quoted from MrFancy:

On that note, I've got a Xenon that needs a flipper rebuild... how the hell are you supposed to get those Allen bolts out? It's a smaller size than usual, and the two Allen wrenches I have that fit it I stripped out pretty quickly. I also tried verbal threats, which were unsuccessful.

You need some good quality allen wrenches. I had to buy some specifically for the task.

#6 64 days ago

For future reference, the power wire always goes to the banded side of the diode, just remembering that simple rule can save you a lot of problems!

#7 64 days ago
Quoted from MrFancy:

Thanks guys. I made that idiot re-solder the wires into the right places, and I'm going to get that fuse once I figure out what else I need to order. On that note, I've got a Xenon that needs a flipper rebuild... how the hell are you supposed to get those Allen bolts out? It's a smaller size than usual, and the two Allen wrenches I have that fit it I stripped out pretty quickly. I also tried verbal threats, which were unsuccessful.

Either the bolt head was stripped already or you are using the wrong size wrench. It should never be loose in the bolt. Even if it’s a shitty wrench it should break in half before stripping. The wrench should barely fit in and feel real tight(no wiggle room no matter which way you move the wrench). If the wrench moves one way and not the other the bolt is stripped out. Check the bolt head make sure no dirt is down in it. It is also easy to get confused if the bolt head is not straight up facing you. You will be wrenching the wrong way. Never be so sure someone did not put a metic bolt in a standard bolt hole. I take bolts out every day at my job changing out fixtures and tooling inserts on cnc’s.

#8 64 days ago

Hey MrFancy, that same idiot has been fixing (trying to) my games for years! I too have been cursing him, slapping him, throwing him out, I’ve even offed some games he’s worked on because he couldn’t get it right. He’s stubborn though, keeps trying right?

#9 64 days ago

Use a pick first. Then q tip or tooth pick. Yes I know I have nasty finger nails(needs to be cleaned and trimmed).

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#10 64 days ago

Using a small pipe for leverage. Be careful do not tighten the wrong way!!!!

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#11 64 days ago

Have a bolt stuck in hole and cannot get it out. No magnet tool? No problem thread tape to the rescue!

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#12 64 days ago

Tread tape will also help a little if the bolt head is stripped out. Don’t get me started on using easy outs the right way! Any ways I hope this helps. Happy bolting.

#13 64 days ago

I believe the diodes on the coils usually go bad when they are hooked up and fired "backwards". The buzzing you heard may have been a short around the coil going through the diode.

You can test with DMM for dead short 0 ohms. If so clip diode and see if clears. To check for open diode you would have to lift one leg, then do the DMM diode test on it. Might as well replace diodes on the coil, cheap part may not even be worth the time to test since you are going to have to resolder the wires.

#14 64 days ago
Quoted from Gunnut40:

Using a small pipe for leverage. Be careful do not tighten the wrong way!!!!
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Wouldn't it be easier to break it free with a t-handle or hex bit socket?

#15 64 days ago

This has totally made my day. I had a talk with that idiot before he could come back in lmfao! This is classic.

#16 63 days ago
Quoted from BrianBannon:

Wouldn't it be easier to break it free with a t-handle or hex bit socket?

Why not take a airplane to work? This is simple solution with tools on hand. Might help someone out? Might give them some idea with what they have to work with? These are simple solutions to a problem without spending a dime. Just my thing.

#17 63 days ago
Quoted from BrianBannon:

Wouldn't it be easier to break it free with a t-handle or hex bit socket?

The guy literally said he had 2 allen wrenchs which both stripped out. What are the odds he has a t-handle? The pipe suggestion is great tip for the typical homeowner that has a collection of random ikea tools and a hammer.

#18 63 days ago
Quoted from jgreene:

The guy literally said he had 2 allen wrenchs which both stripped out. What are the odds he has a t-handle? The pipe suggestion is great tip for the typical homeowner that has a collection of random ikea tools and a hammer.

It is possible the OP hasn't had the experience or knowledge of using a T-handle or hex bit socket. If not, he will appreciate these tools over the long run. A whole set of Eklind t-handles will only cost $20, or he could just buy a couple of sizes in different lengths for less than that. The right tools make the job a lot easier and will get plenty of use over time.

I remember working on a game at Pinball Expo back in the 1990s and was fumbling with my Allen wrench. A guy walked up with a set of t-handle Allen wrenches and I was impressed with the ease of using the tools. I had never seen or heard of them. I bought a set when I got home and have replaced a couple of sizes just once in over 20 years as even good tools can wear out. Hex bit sockets work well if you don't have room to turn a 6" or 9" t-handle.

#19 61 days ago
Quoted from solarvalue:

You need some good quality allen wrenches. I had to buy some specifically for the task.

Thanks, this was the answer I needed- I guess those Allen wrenches they give you with Ikea furniture or whatever can't be used for everything! I bought a set at the hardware store and those Allen bolts came right out. Appreciate the creative suggestions though gunnut40 !

I re-soldered everything correctly and let the idiot replaced the fuse on Firepower also. The flippers responded very briefly but then went dead and the fuse was blown again. I realized the fuse that idiot put in wasn't time delay so I'll try that next.

#20 61 days ago
Quoted from MrFancy:

I guess those Allen wrenches they give you with Ikea furniture or whatever can't be used for everything! I bought a set at the hardware store and those Allen bolts came right out.

Ok I can be wrong about this but I guess IKEA wrenches are metric based (like everything in Europe) while pinball screws 'n stuff are inch based, so you wont get a nice snug fit without the proper wrenches. Good that idiot repairman got the screw out in the end

#21 61 days ago
Quoted from Lhyrgoif:

Ok I can be wrong about this but I guess IKEA wrenches are metric based (like everything in Europe) while pinball screws 'n stuff are inch based, so you wont get a nice snug fit without the proper wrenches. Good that idiot repairman got the screw out in the end

Standard is annoying. We should switch to all metric. I guess we have to them tool sales.

#22 57 days ago

Got the fuse for Firepower and put it in today, after re-soldering the wires on the coil to the correct places. It's doing the same thing it was right after I installed the flipper coil with wires in the wrong places- when I tap the flipper button, it makes a faint buzzing sound but doesn't flip. I can replace the diodes as a couple of people suggested but now it seems like that's probably not the issue? I noticed also that when I tap the flipper button the lights get dim and the sound goes out.

Something else I didn't mention before but that seems like it may be relevant is that the game has been having electrical issues for a while. It usually needs about 15 minutes to warm up before it will start a game. Also for a while the lights would turn on but the game wouldn't boot, which was fixed by wiggling the connectors around. Recently the Player 4 display went out and a couple of other digits on the display also starting flickering at the same time. The power supply board is original. Not sure if any of that matters or not.

#23 57 days ago

Post some pictures of how the flipper coil and EOS are wired up on that flipper. Sounds like that guy still has something wired up incorrectly.

2 weeks later
#24 38 days ago

Progress! The idiot did a really lousy soldering job installing the coil, so I changed the diodes, made sure the wires were in the right places, and re-soldered it. Now it works... almost:

1. When I put the flipper back together, something was mis-aligned, and the metal rod that gets sucked into the coil was going in at a slight angle when I push the pawl down. When I put the flipper shaft through the pawl, it was pulling the pawl too far over, causing the rod to angle into the coil. The only way I could get it to go in cleanly was by loosening the nut on the flipper pawl on the side where the rod is. But, I had to make it very loose to get it to go in straight. The flipper will now flip, but only intermittently and I'm sure it won't hold very long without tightening it up. The flippers on this machine look like they were rebuilt fairly recently.

2. Once I got the flipper sort of working, the sound went completely off. This machine has always had electrical issues where it takes a long time to warm up, and sometimes the sound or other things don't work properly until you play a couple of games. So, I'm thinking it's probably related to getting the flipper working, rather than a separate issue that just started to happen now.

Thanks for any help! I'm so close!

#25 38 days ago

Do you have your coil sleeve installed? You shouldn't have the plunger going in crooked.

#26 38 days ago

Is idiot his first or last name?

#27 37 days ago
Quoted from MrFancy:

Progress! The idiot did a really lousy soldering job installing the coil, so I changed the diodes, made sure the wires were in the right places, and re-soldered it. Now it works... almost:
1. When I put the flipper back together, something was mis-aligned, and the metal rod that gets sucked into the coil was going in at a slight angle when I push the pawl down. When I put the flipper shaft through the pawl, it was pulling the pawl too far over, causing the rod to angle into the coil. The only way I could get it to go in cleanly was by loosening the nut on the flipper pawl on the side where the rod is. But, I had to make it very loose to get it to go in straight. The flipper will now flip, but only intermittently and I'm sure it won't hold very long without tightening it up. The flippers on this machine look like they were rebuilt fairly recently.
2. Once I got the flipper sort of working, the sound went completely off. This machine has always had electrical issues where it takes a long time to warm up, and sometimes the sound or other things don't work properly until you play a couple of games. So, I'm thinking it's probably related to getting the flipper working, rather than a separate issue that just started to happen now.
Thanks for any help! I'm so close!

Scratch that... I got the sound to come back on by opening the backbox and wiggling the connectors around. So, that was just a basic unwiggled connectors issue, can't really blame the idiot for that one. The crooked flipper was totally his fault though- I figured out that he had installed the flipper without the metal ring that goes in the hole in the plastic part of the pawl, and that's what was causing the rod not to go in straight. I put that in and mechanically it seems fine now.

But, it still won't work. When I push the left flipper (the one I've been working on) button, there's a little buzzing sound but nothing else happens. Unless I'm also holding down the right flipper button at the same time, in which case both flippers will start flapping around weakly. The right flipper flips normally if I press the right flipper button by itself, although it will sometimes flap a little bit when it's fully extended.

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