(Topic ID: 133535)

Special Force -- outhole ejector activates knocker (solenoid expander problem?)

By Nokoro

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by Nokoro
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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#1 4 years ago

An intermittent issue has started to happen more frequently as of late. When the machine is supposed to activate the outhole ejector and kick a ball to the shooter lane, it sometimes instead activates the knocker. This only happens sometimes, but as I said, it is getting more frequent.

I put the machine in single solenoid test mode, and the outhole ejector seems to work fine then. However, when in play mode, about 50% of the time, the ball does not kick out, and the knocker sounds instead.

What should I look for here? Thanks in advance!

#2 4 years ago

Playing and searching around a bit with it, and I think it is an issue with the solenoid expander relay. Both the outhole ejector and the knocker have the same output wire, so I think that if the relay is not in the right position, the knocker will fire instead of the outhole ejector.

(This is where I should mention that this is all new to me. I just did some reading up and looking at schematics. So, if I misstate something or say something completely wrong, have mercy.)

The relay has a 555 bulb powering it. I read about a test where you put the pin in all lamp test mode. The lamp should blink on and off and the relay should click. My lamp seemed to stay on, and the relay only clicked some of the time. Other times, it was silent or perhaps had a very faint buzz.

I replaced the 555 bulb just in case and started a new game. The same thing happened when the game tried to kick out the ball into the shooter. Finally, after a few tries, it kicked out the ball correctly, and the game played perfectly. I tried several games and it played well. I then decided to do the all lamp test again. Same results as before. I then started a new game, and the ball would not kick out -- just the knocker again. Once the ball finally kicked out after several tries, the game played ok. I did the lamp test one final time, and this time had all clicks, no silence or buzz. I started a game, and it played well.

I hope this makes sense. I am guessing if you are familiar with solenoid expander relays on old Ballys, you will know what I am talking about.

At this point, I guess I should just watch the game and see if it continues to recur. Assuming it does, what are my next steps? I read an article that sounds like it could be any number of problems with the relay. Is there any way to figure this out and narrow down the possibilities?

9 months later
#3 4 years ago

I began having the same problems. Was wondering if you resolved the issues, was it the expander board?

#4 4 years ago

The main problem with the solenoid expanded boards is cracked solder joints on the male header pins.

I have seen people wire them up wrong too when replacing solenoids.

#5 4 years ago

I've only been playing Special Force intermittently, but honestly, I completely forgot about this post and the problem. I believe it resolved itself . . . or at least has temporarily. If it reoccurs, I'll have to dig in deeper.

3 months later
#6 3 years ago

This problem is reoccurring. I can solder wires together but don't think my skills are sufficient to deal with cracked solder points on a board. Should I just try to get a new expander? Would that be the next step, or is there something else I should try first?

#7 3 years ago
Quoted from Nokoro:

This problem is reoccurring. I can solder wires together but don't think my skills are sufficient to deal with cracked solder points on a board. Should I just try to get a new expander? Would that be the next step, or is there something else I should try first?

pull the relay, should be a couple screws and a connector. Visually inspect the solder joints or take a good picture.

#8 3 years ago

Ok. Will do as soon as I get a chance. I'll report back. Thanks.

#9 3 years ago

Well, that didn't take long. The back was filthy. I cleaned it with a paper towel so you could see the joints. If you don't think you can see them clearly, let me know. I took a bunch of bad iPhone pics, but I think you can probably see enough. I didn't see any cracks. What do you think?

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3 months later
#10 3 years ago

Bump for some feedback on my pictures. I have a couple weeks off work and plan to try to get this resolved if I can. Thanks!

1 year later
#11 1 year ago

Had a similar problem on a Special Force. Usually it would work correctly but occasionally the solenoid expander board would buzz, and the wrong solenoid would be energized. After ruling out the usual causes I finally found the problem. The fuse clips for the controlled lighting circuit were corroded, and occasionally the voltage would drop. When that happened the solenoid expander board's relay would not engage, it would just buzz. Strangely enough I didn't notice the bulbs dimming when this happened. Replacing the fuse clips solved the problem.

#12 1 year ago

Cool. Mine was a faulty relay. Marco Specialities finally had some replacement boards in stock and buying another solved my problem.

#13 1 year ago

Excellent! Guess I forgot that was the reason I bought a new board last time. Wonder why these boards go bad and if the new power board would have caused it. Thanks for the feedback!

#14 1 year ago

Now that I have a new one that works, I'm going to try repairing the old board. I don't have any experience with board repair so I was reluctant to try until I got a new one in case I made things worse. Now, I can freely make mistakes and learn from them.

11 months later
#15 9 months ago

Hi! I started having similar issues on my special force. Do you remember/know the part number for the solenoid expander relay?

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