(Topic ID: 188762)

Sonic Prospector help please!

By crujones4life

4 years ago


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  • 45 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by crujones4life
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#1 4 years ago

I have a Sonic Prospector I just picked up today from a woman who owned it since the 80s. Hasn't worked in about 15 years according to her. It powers up (lights up) but I cannot get the motor to run or any of the coils to fire or any switches to register. The credit wheel has 30 credits showing. The only 2 relays I can get to work are the game over relay and the tilt relay. I have tried manually activating most of the relays including reset, coin, etc...things that I think would trigger the start up sequence. I have never had a problem getting the motor to work before so not sure what to do. Nothing happens when I press start button. As the machine stands now when I power on is has player 1 lit up and ball 2 lit up.

All the fuses are fine as well. Unless there are more than the 4 in bottom of pin and 1 under the playfield. Couldn't find anymore though.

#2 4 years ago

There's one other fuse for the reset bank, but that probably doesn't matter in this case. Service jack plugged in right? Voltage at all the relay coils?

#3 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

There's one other fuse for the reset bank, but that probably doesn't matter in this case. Service jack plugged in right? Voltage at all the relay coils?

Where is the fuse for the reset bank? What voltage should I be getting at the coils? Also how do I get the motor to turn by hand. Wouldn't move when I tried to spin the plastic discs.

#4 4 years ago

Where is the service jack? On the motor? The plug is in the top hole is that right?

#5 4 years ago
Quoted from crujones4life:

Where is the service jack? On the motor? The plug is in the top hole is that right?

If you can't even spin the discs by hand that might be your problem. Might need to clean the motor/gears. They should be free when it's powered off.

24V on the coils, should be a black wire, measure between that and the yellow wire.

#6 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

If you can't even spin the discs by hand that might be your problem. Might need to clean the motor/gears. They should be free when it's powered off.
24V on the coils, should be a black wire, measure between that and the yellow wire.

Thanks very much! I will check it out tomorrow and report back. Just to be clear the motor will only spin freely when powered off? Cause I tried to move it when it was powered on.

#7 4 years ago
Quoted from crujones4life:

Thanks very much! I will check it out tomorrow and report back. Just to be clear the motor will only spin freely when powered off? Cause I tried to move it when it was powered on.

It should spin freely when powered on too, but can't hurt to be sure

#8 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

It should spin freely when powered on too, but can't hurt to be sure

Well I am not getting any voltage at all...DC right?

#9 4 years ago

Is it safe to test at transformer? If so how would I do this? Why would I be getting 0 volts dc on coils?

#10 4 years ago

Pinballs run most of their coils on AC, which would read 0 volts DC.

#11 4 years ago

Ok thanks! So I have 29 volts a.c. running across 24 volt fuse in fuse block. I am getting like 0.3v across all the coils...what could that mean? What should I check next?

#12 4 years ago

I can now turn motor by hand but it has yet to turn on it's own. And no voltage to coils...

#13 4 years ago

Don't measure across coils, measure from the black wired lug to the yellow wire.

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Don't measure across coils, measure from the black wired lug to the yellow wire.

On transformer?

#16 4 years ago

Black lug on coil, yellow anywhere. Think of the yellow like 'ground' on a DC, you need to measure the voltage at the coil compared to the 'ground'. 38V seems surprisingly high to be coming out of the transformer.

With the game on and the service jack (plug on the side of the motor) in the top position (the one with the wire attached at the base), if you spin the motor at all it should engage and complete its cycle. The same as with the coils, put one lead of your DMM on the lug of the motor with the black wire attached, and the other on any nearby yellow wire, should get 24-30VAC.

Moving the motor out of its 'home' position should close one of the switches (C) on the index cam (closest to the motor). Take a look at your schematics for a diagram of which switch it is. Make sure that that switch is clean and closing properly as you spin the motor, and check that the wires attached to it are fine. The yellow wire on it, in particular, should have continuity all the way back to the yellow wire coming out of the transformer.

#17 4 years ago

Omg. I am an idiot. The 24v fuse position in the block actually had a blown 32v fuse in it...should have removed it to test to begin with...grr. Thanks for your help. I will report back after I replace the fuse.

#18 4 years ago

Replaced fuse and the motor turned for a split second then fuse blew... can I jumper where the fuse goes to temporarily see if it gets game going? Do I have a short or is voltage to high?

#19 4 years ago

I get a loud ass buzzing when I put a ball into play. The buzzing ends after each ball drains. Could this be what us causing the fuse to blow? Any coils or relays like to buzz extremely loud?

#20 4 years ago

Ok noisy coil is ball index relay. It stays activated after anything is scored and deactivated after ball drains. Is this normal behavior? How do I quiet this thing?

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from crujones4life:

Replaced fuse and the motor turned for a split second then fuse blew... can I jumper where the fuse goes to temporarily see if it gets game going? Do I have a short or is voltage to high?

I'd try to find what's blowing the fuse. Test all your coils, make sure the resistance of everything is at least ~3 ohms. Look for any light sockets that may have shorted against another. If you jumper then most likely something will slowly start to get very hot, which would be handy to find it, except sometimes the thing that gets hot is the wires connecting to it instead. When I got mine there were a ton of melted wires in the mess on the score motor

Quoted from crujones4life:

Ok noisy coil is ball index relay. It stays activated after anything is scored and deactivated after ball drains. Is this normal behavior? How do I quiet this thing?

Common for the ball index relay, lock/hold relay, and coin door reject relay to buzz. They're on pretty much all time time, so they get worn. There's basically divots/etc on the coil top and the plate it pulls in making noise from the vibration. It's the same reason that flippers on EMs buzz when they're held in (plunger grinding against coil stop). It'll be a lot less noticable with the game all closed up and the glass on, I usually just ignore it.

You can try tweaking the springiness of the spring on them, or making the switches less strong, to put less of a strain on it, but it usually doesn't work that well. Sometimes I have success just sticking a piece of electrical tape between the coil and the plate, but sometimes that does nothing. Can also try taking the plate off and trying to grind it smooth. The best solution is to just replace the coil and plate, but I don't usually find it worth it.

#22 4 years ago

You are awesome! Thanks so much for all the detailed information. I really appreciate your time and effort in helping me out! I will report back soon.

#23 4 years ago

Flipper that works.

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#24 4 years ago

Flipper that does not. Few things here...no coil sleeve so inside was melted (could this be my short?). Notice the placement of wires (color) is not the same as the left flipper. The black and white wires are switched. Is that wrong or does it depend on brand/type of coil?

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#25 4 years ago

Probably not what blew the fuse, as the flipper button needs to be pushed for the flippers to get power.

Here's a pic of my right flipper to compare

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#26 4 years ago

Thanks! I will try checking the resistance of all the coils and see if I can find the short. Maybe I will find something when replacing all the bulbs that are out. If there is a silver lining this time around it is that all the steppers seem to be functioning correctly and no sticky score reels so far.

#27 4 years ago

So left flipper coil (working) is showing 1 ohm. Right flipper coil (melted) is showing 25 ohm. Also the right flipper coil has a diode on it...it shouldn't right?

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#28 4 years ago

Should these solder blobs on this relay be touching? Does it matter? It is the no.2 alternator relay (which doesn't do anything when manually activated.

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#29 4 years ago

Should any of these wires be connected to something?

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#30 4 years ago
Quoted from crujones4life:

So left flipper coil (working) is showing 1 ohm. Right flipper coil (melted) is showing 25 ohm. Also the right flipper coil has a diode on it...it shouldn't right?

Shouldn't be diodes on ac coils. Dc coils can have them, but that's the slings and pops, not flippers.

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#31 4 years ago

So the black and yellow wires go to knocker...which is missing. The blue wire goes to game play counter. Solder blob is normal. Coil is wrong...please tell me that could cause a short/fuse to blow? Cause I have looked all over this machine and can't find any obvious shorts. Also what should no.2 alternator do when activated? Mine doesn't do anything.

#32 4 years ago
Quoted from crujones4life:

So the black and yellow wires go to knocker...which is missing. The blue wire goes to game play counter. Solder blob is normal. Coil is wrong...please tell me that could cause a short/fuse to blow? Cause I have looked all over this machine and can't find any obvious shorts. Also what should no.2 alternator do when activated? Mine doesn't do anything.

There's a yellow wire and a black wire, coils activate when they're connected to both. If the wires are connected directly without a coil between them you get a short. Usually that happens when two pieces of metal that are near each other touch, or when a coil melts down and shorts itself becoming just like a wire. Try narrowing down the location of the short by unplugging the playfield or the back box and seeing if the fuse still blows.

That coil could maybe cause a short because of the diode, if the flipper buttons were pressed at the time, but it's probably not it.

Both alternator relays are energized when the switch on the match unit closes. In the back of the manual, it had a listing of what each contact on the relays does. The #1 alternator mostly controls lights, if you close it you would see the lit spinner light change back and forth (may need to be in a game though, not sure). The #2 controls which coils are energized when the spinners and rollover stars are hit, so you won't see anything happen unless you trigger them during a game

#33 4 years ago

You have been super awesome! I appreciate the timely help. Any chance you could measure the size of the large spring on the player unit stepper in the backbox?

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from crujones4life:

You have been super awesome! I appreciate the timely help. Any chance you could measure the size of the large spring on the player unit stepper in the backbox?

Disconnected, the outer large spring is 1.5" and the inner is 1.25".
I'm not sure a measurement is the best way to replace it. Pinball resource has kits of the proper springs for different steppers, including the player unit

#35 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Disconnected, the outer large spring is 1.5" and the inner is 1.25".
I'm not sure a measurement is the best way to replace it. Pinball resource has kits of the proper springs for different steppers, including the player unit

Thanks! I ordered a bunch of parts including a spring kit for the stepper. I will report back.

#36 4 years ago

Do you know under what circumstances the middle pop light and scores 1000? I can't get it to do either.

#37 4 years ago
Quoted from crujones4life:

Do you know under what circumstances the middle pop light and scores 1000? I can't get it to do either.

Check out the middle pop light on the schematics. It's tied to the alternator relays.

#38 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Check out the middle pop light on the schematics. It's tied to the alternator relays.

Gotcha. I'll check it out. Thanks!

#39 4 years ago

Broken wire. Looks like I will be taking care of that and a few dim/intermittent bulbs tonight...

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#40 4 years ago

So the Switch on the no. Match unit wasn't making good contact. A little adjustment and I can now get 1000 point pop to light (after fixing broken wire). The only other light I can't seem to get to light is in the top center playfield there is a silver bonus star and left and right gold bonus stars. The right one doesn't seem to be lighting. Should it always be lit when left one is or isn't? It scores fine just never lights and scores gold bonus.

If you have a silver bonus racked up and ball drains without collecting is the bonus value supposed to drop? Cause mine does... and this is after cleaning the stepper.

I cleaned the player stepper so I hope my new spring kit gets it working correctly.

#41 4 years ago

I think the two gold bonus stars at the top alternate, but only when the silver bonus is 2k or less. Haven't quite figured it out though.
There's a third coil on the silver bonus unit which is used to do a full reset back to 0 which should be triggered when you lose your ball. Silver bonus is only collected in the two kickouts, and is lost otherwise

#42 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I think the two gold bonus stars at the top alternate, but only when the silver bonus is 2k or less. Haven't quite figured it out though.
There's a third coil on the silver bonus unit which is used to do a full reset back to 0 which should be triggered when you lose your ball. Silver bonus is only collected in the two kickouts, and is lost otherwise

Oh ok. That explains why the light on gold star goes off when I hit a silver bonus star... I will look into that 3rd coil. When I lose a ball it drops by 1 to 2 places in silver bonus so must still be gummed up. Your knowledge of this pin continues to amaze me! Thanks!

#43 4 years ago
Quoted from crujones4life:

Oh ok. That explains why the light on gold star goes off when I hit a silver bonus star... I will look into that 3rd coil. When I lose a ball it drops by 1 to 2 places in silver bonus so must still be gummed up. Your knowledge of this pin continues to amaze me! Thanks!

Yo be specific, when the third coil is energized, firing the 'step down' coil will instead do a full reset.

I wouldn't know all this if I hadn't been having a hell of a time getting mine up and running

#44 4 years ago

Parts came in today. Replaced all the rubber, new ball, new bulbs, new flipper coil. Game is playing really well now. Tomorrow have to replace the player unit stepper springs and clean/adjust silver bonus stepper and game should be done. This game plays so fast and is beautiful!

#45 4 years ago

She is all done and in her new home. Thanks so much for the help. I greatly appreciate your time and effort!

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