(Topic ID: 235665)

Star Trek: The Next Generation opto issues...


By mikeflan

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Chuckwebster
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 3 months ago

Dear god. STTNG is driving me mad. In switch test, all optos test fine. I clear out all the balls and bang on the playfield all other and don't notice any phantom switches. 16 opto board looks good. Game plays fine. About every five games or so, it goes apesh*t and starts randomly 1) locking balls, 2) starting multiballs, 3) kicking out extra balls. Any particular place to start? Ball trough optos, even though they test fine? 16 opto board? I really have no idea at this point. Any ideas would help.....

#2 3 months ago

Yep most likely 16sw opto board. I just had a very simular issue with my SS. Same board but it was a GLM 16 switch.
All the switches worked perfectly in switch test until you took one ball out of the trough. Then all the optos on one side of the board went bonkers. Switched out the board all better! STTNG and SS call for the same board. Marco has them.

#3 3 months ago
Quoted from whthrs166:

Yep most likely 16sw opto board. I just had a very simular issue with my SS. Same board but it was a GLM 16 switch.
All the switches worked perfectly in switch test until you took one ball out of the trough. Then all the optos on one side of the board went bonkers. Switched out the board all better! STTNG and SS call for the same board. Marco has them.

Slow your roll. Before you go thru all the opto16 board testing, do me a favor and wiggle the connectors on the opto boards for the trough. I have had more then one STTNG that acted fine and every 5-10 games started loading and unloading balls, feeding more then one ball to the shooter lane, etc. it ended up being the 5v feed to the boards and no banging on the playfield didn't cause it. It ends up being an intermittent drop in voltage and then it the 5v comes back up. Redo the header if this is it and your golden. Easiest check it to grab the wires about 2 inches from the header and just wiggle a bit while in switch edge test with balls in. it will flicker like a strobe light while you wiggling and be perfectly fine after.

#4 3 months ago

Also check that your inlane eddy sensors are properly adjusted. The game gets very confused if it "sees" the ball continuosly at eddy.

#5 3 months ago

Definitely check the trough boards and connectors. I had to replace my trough boards several years ago with the great plains modular boards. I just recently had a weird opto problem where one of the optos would work intermittently. Replaced the faulty opto with no difference. Turned out is was the opto board where a cap had leaked all over the place. Sent it to Eugene Mosh and he fixed it up. I borrowed a 16 opto board out of a JY to test to make sure it wasn't something else.

#6 3 months ago

Totally sounds like trough opto board issues. Probably just a loose connection or flickering emitter.

#7 3 months ago

Trough always a problem on sttng. Make sure diverters aren't gummed up either. That'll cause staging issues later too.

#8 3 months ago

I have had the exact same thing happen on my STNG and have not been able to fix yet. Besides the symptoms the OP states, my game also seems to randomly start modes or load a ball into the cannons....just strange behavior. I did as the Tallon suggested but didn't see any optos flicker on and off in switch test mode. My board connectors are not discolored either, so not sure it's the 5 volts. So the consensus then is to by new through boards?

#9 3 months ago
Quoted from Cudaman:

I have had the exact same thing happen on my STNG and have not been able to fix yet. Besides the symptoms the OP states, my game also seems to randomly start modes or load a ball into the cannons....just strange behavior. I did as the Tallon suggested but didn't see any optos flicker on and off in switch test mode. My board connectors are not discolored either, so not sure it's the 5 volts. So the consensus then is to by new through boards?

I would suggest pulling and cleaning the subway and VUKs in your case. The optos in the subway and VUKs get very dirty and make it act very strange. Since your problem seems to be isolated to the subway area, I would start there. Also check the “stack” opto in the VUK. Dirty or cracked solder in the tiny board can make it read like there is a ball stuck in it and will feed the ball to the cannon to clear the problem

#10 3 months ago

Guys, all the advice I give for this game is assuming you have already CLEANED everything including pulling EVERY opto and either cleaning with qtip and alcohol or pulled the bigger boards and took them to the sink for a good scrubbing. 90% of the problems with STTNG is dirt. Great game when it’s running. Crazy game to deal with when it’s not.

#12 3 months ago

This might not be related to your issue, but it drove me crazy with my ST:TNG and when I learned about it, I've been problem free. My trough optos worked with the playfield raised, but acted strange occasionally in game play.

There was a part of the coin door mech that when close was actually pushing the forward most trough opto board out of position. It was the back cartridge of the far right coin slot. Once I removed it, I've been fine.

May be unrelated to you, but thought I'd pass it on.

#13 3 months ago

One other thing with STTNG. Ribbon cables. When the ribbon cables go bad in this game the cannons do strange things.

#14 3 months ago

Definitely sounds like an opto issue, possibly connection related but can also be:

... low +12VUR on PDB
... failing part on the 16 Opto board or trough boards.
... cracked solder joints on any of the boards mentioned above.

Side Note:
The ORIGINAL 16 opto boards and trough boards are 100% repairable, if you are looking to get these tested and repaired send me a PM, or if you decide to replace them and it fixes your problem PM me as well as I may be interested in obtaining your bad boards.

#15 3 months ago

I had the same issue with my STNG. Ended up being a bad connector on the trough opto board. Repinned it with crimp pins instead of the IDC connector and its working like a charm again. Put it in switch test mode and wiggle the wires on the trough connectors and i bet you'll find your problem.

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