(Topic ID: 231291)

Stern Flipper Weakness


By wxforecaster

1 year ago



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  • 41 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 days ago by Seelan
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

So my friend and I both have Iron Maiden pros and we are experiencing the same issue with the lower right flipper getting progressively weaker with longer game play. It gets to the point that you can no longer hit the bullseye target behind the center ramp flap (the ball will barely clear the ramp itself). Looking through the settings, there's nothing to really control flipper power directly, and the generic setting that is there is already "maxed out".

These games are too new to have typical "wear" issues that would cause weakness (dirty coil sleeve, mushroomed plunger, mushroomed/broken coil stop), and the EOS switch is properly adjusted (even it's not really used in that capacity).

To complicate matters more, played a mutual friend #3's IM Pro last night. His flipper strength was stronger on all 4 flippers and never lost strength. He said he didn't touch any of the settings either.

I realize there are subtle game to game differences on all copies of the same title, but this would be obvious to any decent player.

What is there to look at for troubleshooting here? I've got an AC/DC, MET, LOTR, TWD, Star Trek and X-Men and I've never had any issue with the flippers no making shots (either initially or after a long game).

#2 1 year ago

We had weird issues with the lower right flipper on ours on location too. It might actually be an issue with the mech from the factory, or a bad cab switch

#3 1 year ago

looking fwd to hearing from some more people about this. my right flipper on Maiden LE definitely gets weak with use. i have turned up the power in the software settings but still not great.

#4 1 year ago

no idea as I dont own the game, but maybe check the 3rd IM and see if the coil is the same as the one in the weak flipper games. Perhaps the wrong coil or different rated one was installed from the factory?

#5 1 year ago

I owned an IM Pro, and both flippers were weaker than they should be. I had to loosen and retighten the flipper bat into the mech, using the proper gap. From the factory, the flipper bat was assembled with zero clearance to the bushing, so it did not move freely. With the glass off, try pulling up on the flipper - see if there's any slack there at all.

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from wxforecaster:

So my friend and I both have Iron Maiden pros and we are experiencing the same issue with the lower right flipper getting progressively weaker with longer game play. It gets to the point that you can no longer hit the bullseye target behind the center ramp flap (the ball will barely clear the ramp itself). Looking through the settings, there's nothing to really control flipper power directly, and the generic setting that is there is already "maxed out".
These games are too new to have typical "wear" issues that would cause weakness (dirty coil sleeve, mushroomed plunger, mushroomed/broken coil stop), and the EOS switch is properly adjusted (even it's not really used in that capacity).
To complicate matters more, played a mutual friend #3's IM Pro last night. His flipper strength was stronger on all 4 flippers and never lost strength. He said he didn't touch any of the settings either.
I realize there are subtle game to game differences on all copies of the same title, but this would be obvious to any decent player.
What is there to look at for troubleshooting here? I've got an AC/DC, MET, LOTR, TWD, Star Trek and X-Men and I've never had any issue with the flippers no making shots (either initially or after a long game).

A flipper that gradually gets weaker is usually a sign of the coil getting hot. This can be due to poorly adjusted (or dirty) EOS or flipper cabinet switches. Test the switches in switch test mode, especially the EOS and look for flakey operation (open/close).

Rob

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from Rob_G:

A flipper that gradually gets weaker is usually a sign of the coil getting hot. This can be due to poorly adjusted (or dirty) EOS or flipper cabinet switches. Test the switches in switch test mode, especially the EOS and look for flakey operation (open/close).
Rob

EOS switches do not serve any purpose in modern Sterns other than as a confirmation to the CPU. It's definitely not that. Switches aren't dirty. These games are HUO and essentially New out of box

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from wxforecaster:

EOS switches do not serve any purpose in modern Sterns other than as a confirmation to the CPU. It's definitely not that.

But if they don’t make good contact, some flips will be weak.

But in your case it’s consistently getting worse with play. That won’t be the EOS. I agree.

Double check the mechs are moving smoothly and you have some up and down play between the pawl and bushing.

Also double check all the parts. I’ve had coil stops break in less than 500 plays.

#9 1 year ago

If your getting weak or spongy flips definitely check and clean the eos switch. I have had the same issue with my Sterns on location on a couple of occasions.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

But if they don’t make good contact, some flips will be weak.

EOS doesn't effect the initial flip strength of the flipper, but if the EOS is flaky it could tell the CPU that the flipper has been hit down while it was being held up, and thus another jolt of power should be sent, which will heat up and weaken the coil. The cab switch can also cause a similar issue if it's 'flickering' slightly instead of giving a constant signal.

Quoted from chuckwurt:

Also double check all the parts. I’ve had coil stops break in less than 500 plays.

I agree here, you can't trust Stern coil parts out of the box. Make sure everything is still good mechanically

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

EOS doesn't effect the initial flip strength

I can’t explain how the modern EOS works, all I can say is that if it’s not making good contact, the flips will be weak as hell. This is from the first flip to the last flip of the session. Has no bearing on how long you’ve been playing. I’m also assuming the eos switches work the same in spike and spike 2.

Doesn’t sound like this is his issue though, as his gets weak the longer he plays.

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I can’t explain how the modern EOS works, all I can say is that if it’s not making good contact, the flips will be weak as hell. This is from the first flip to the last flip of the session. Has no bearing on how long you’ve been playing. I’m also assuming the eos switches work the same in spike and spike 2.
Doesn’t sound like this is his issue though, as his gets weak the longer he plays.

You can just disconnect them though and it'll be nice and strong. Should try that and see if the issue goes away

#13 1 year ago

This sounds a hell of a lot like the old issue in LOTR

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from wxforecaster:

EOS switches do not serve any purpose in modern Sterns other than as a confirmation to the CPU

This is a misleading statement.
While that is the purpose they serve, the reason they are there is to shorten the full strength time. If they are intermittent, or missing/disabled, the flipper will heat up fairly quickly, losing its punch.
To have long lasting flippers that don't degrade, they are absolutely necessary.

-1
#15 1 year ago
Quoted from DNO:

This is a misleading statement.
While that is the purpose they serve, the reason they are there is to shorten the full strength time. If they are intermittent, or missing/disabled, the flipper will heat up fairly quickly, losing its punch.
To have long lasting flippers that don't degrade, they are absolutely necessary.

Source?

#16 1 year ago

hes been in the biz for decades and is a top 50 ifpa pinball player. checks out to me

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from InfiniteLives:

hes been in the biz for decades and is a top 50 ifpa pinball player. checks out to me

Unless he codes node board firmware for Stern that doesn't mean crap. There are people who've been around for decades that use windex to clean their playfields and top players who don't know how to solder

I see no noticeable change in flipper strength when adjusting the eos to open as soon as the flipper starts to move. Every thing I've ever heard about eos in solid state flippers says that they're only for rebound and are ignored for the initial power stroke

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Unless he codes node board firmware for Stern that doesn't mean crap. There are people who've been around for decades that use windex to clean their playfields and top players who don't know how to solder
I see no noticeable change in flipper strength when adjusting the eos to open as soon as the flipper starts to move. Every thing I've ever heard about eos in solid state flippers says that they're only for rebound and are ignored for the initial power stroke

do you code them then? is that where you gained your infallible insight?

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from InfiniteLives:

do you code them then? is that where you gained your infallible insight?

I don't code for them either. But I've at least performed an experiment which supports my understanding of it, and it agrees with common opinion on the matter.

Only Stern can say for sure, and if they haven't said, then that's all we have to go on. Demonstrable examples beat unbased/unsourced claims

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I see no noticeable change in flipper strength when adjusting the eos to open as soon as the flipper starts to move. Every thing I've ever heard about eos in solid state flippers says that they're only for rebound and are ignored for the initial power stroke

This is 100% not the case for spike games. The flipper will be a wet noodle if the EOS is open at flipper rest.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I don't code for them either. But I've at least performed an experiment which supports my understanding of it, and it agrees with common opinion on the matter.
Only Stern can say for sure, and if they haven't said, then that's all we have to go on. Demonstrable examples beat unbased/unsourced claims

DNO is an op who has been in the biz for a long ass time, owns all the new sterns and does his own repairs and plays at a high level so I would not consider his opinion as a "unbased/unsourced claim", we atleast not anymore than yours, i mean you have 1 game newer than 1990 in your collection so not sure how much experience you have with these eos switches //shurg

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I see no noticeable change in flipper strength when adjusting the eos to open as soon as the flipper starts to move. Every thing I've ever heard about eos in solid state flippers says that they're only for rebound and are ignored for the initial power stroke

I know for a fact this is not the case for Whitestar at least, as I've debugged the weak flipper issue below. In fact, it also produced strange symptoms such as apparently seeming to weaken over time according to the player. But it was a faulty EOS verified in diagnostics and on addressing the issue, all symptoms disappeared.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/flipper-gets-weak-as-coil-heats-up-why

#23 1 year ago

I don't have any Spike 2 games, do they have the 3 flipper parameters in config like Whitestar does? I'm guessing not, but it's convenient to use these to debug EOS issues.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

I don't have any Spike 2 games, do they have the 3 flipper parameters in config like Whitestar does? I'm guessing not, it's convenient to debug EOS issues.

I when fixing my GOT, the switch diagnostics would show the eos open, then when it closed. I found out it was flaky when it would not always register as closed. Actually took a couple new eos switches before I finally found one that always registered as closed.

No issues since.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I when fixing my GOT, the switch diagnostics would show the eos open, then when it closed. I found out it was flaky when it would not always register as closed. Actually took a couple new eos switches before I finally found one that always registered as closed.
No issues since.

Yup, from what it seems the algorithms handling the flippers have gotten somewhat complicated over time and use a combination of timing parameters and EOS inputs to control operation. This was neatly (but dangerously) exposed in Whitestar config. Even then (and still now) people claimed EOS does nothing, which I found to be false.

What symptoms were you seeing before your fix?

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

Yup, from what it seems the algorithms handling the flippers have gotten somewhat complicated over time and use a combination of timing parameters and EOS inputs to control operation. This was neatly (but dangerously) exposed in Whitestar config. Even then (and still now) people claimed EOS does nothing, which I found to be false.
What symptoms were you seeing before your fix?

Like every 4-5 flips, when you’d flip, it would be super weak. So if you’re lining up the center ramp on GOT, it would shoot the left orbit and barely touch the spinner. Haha

#27 1 year ago

I've found weak flippers on the new Stern spike machines to be caused by:

1. Mis-adjusted EOS switches
2. Coil stops that have started to break down. The rivets that hold them in can break away slightly, which causes a little wiggle in the back of the coil that can have the plunger bind a little bit. If you see gold dust in the bottom of your cabinet, this is probably the case. Since it's HUO I'd be surprised if this were the case but check anyway.
3. Bad Node board. There are two node boards on Spike systems under the playfield: Node8 and Node9. I believe it's Node8 toward the front of the playfield that drives the flippers. If it's intermittent swap these two boards (be sure to change the jumpers on them) and see if the problem goes away. If so you'll need a Node board replacement for the bad one

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

people claimed EOS does nothing, which I found to be false.

this argument holds no water cause with all the cost cutting over at stern, how do these people think they would leave in a part that does nothing lol

#29 1 year ago

I read it somewhere on Pinside.
Or maybe just the hundreds of EoS I have seen over the years with a wire off, causing a flipper to weaken (and heat up).
Without EoS switch function a game will work fine for short term play, except for crashing when a ball hits it.
Over time flippers heat up and get soggy, without proper EoS switch use.

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Like every 4-5 flips, when you’d flip, it would be super weak. So if you’re lining up the center ramp on GOT, it would shoot the left orbit and barely touch the spinner. Haha

Seems you often get weird symptoms like this because of either intermittent issue or algorithms that are good enough to compensate sometimes but not always, so the EOS is no longer as fail-fast as it used to be. Because it isn't, some think they do nothing. But your description makes it sound like the logic is still similar to what I've observed on Whitestar.

It definitely pays to test them thoroughly in diagnostics like you did. I would do that in this case, and if it still looks fine, you can further verify by switching left/right EOS and see if the issue follows.

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

This was neatly (but dangerously) exposed in Whitestar config.

Can you tell me more about this?

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

Can you tell me more about this?

The "dangerous" might be an exaggeration, as it seems the values are range-limited. I read a lot of nonsense about EOS when I debugged that problem: even Pinwiki has a poor description. You can read some good info in LoTR SB 151. It works, and it works well even to override a flaky EOS, if you understand it. If you don't, probably best to pay attention to the warning and not mess with it.

1 month later
#33 1 year ago

I've been having the described weak flippers on Iron Maiden that I got nib.

Usually seems to be after playing 10 games or so, but it is pretty noticeable when a cradling from right flipper and the ball often can't make it up the ramp and hit the bullseye.

Some potential solutions mentioned in this thread and good to hear I'm not the only one.

Has anyone had these suggestions fix the issue?

Perhaps could someone show a step by step guide on how to adjust or diagnose if there is an issue with the eos switches? Would be much appreciated if as I'm very new to this and this was my first mail machine.

#34 1 year ago

Make sure the flippers are not binding. If they are installed too close to the playfield they will heat up and bind. Grab the flipper and pull it straight up and back down. If it doesn't move up and down at least a 1/16th of an inch or a couple mm, then it is too tight.
Here is the tool made to provide a proper gap when tightening the flipper bat.
https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/03-8194

#35 1 year ago

Thanks John_I. I'll give that a shot.

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from Obed_Marsh:

I've been having the described weak flippers on Iron Maiden that I got nib.
Usually seems to be after playing 10 games or so, but it is pretty noticeable when a cradling from right flipper and the ball often can't make it up the ramp and hit the bullseye.
Some potential solutions mentioned in this thread and good to hear I'm not the only one.
Has anyone had these suggestions fix the issue?
Perhaps could someone show a step by step guide on how to adjust or diagnose if there is an issue with the eos switches? Would be much appreciated if as I'm very new to this and this was my first mail machine.

If your game is really steep too, it will be hard to make the center ramp from a trap on the right. You have to hit that sweet spot and it will go right up there. It’s not the flipper being weak.

If you had the issues noted above, you would hit the center ramp with one flip, then flip at the exact same time on another try and it would go into the pops instead. Haha

2 months later
#37 1 year ago

Someone manage to fix the issue? Any updates? Im having the same behaviour on my machine.
Thanks

1 month later
#38 1 year ago

Same issue too, any help?

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from Hayfarmer:

Same issue too, any help?

Sure. Did you try all the stuff mentioned in this thread? Still no luck? When does it happen? Randomly or worse over time?

#40 1 year ago

My pro, fresh out of the box, had a weak lower right flipper. When if it was hit by a ball when held up, it would deflect down and then return to the up position. Most of the time, from a cradle, it wasn't strong enough to get the ball up the center ramp.

Turns out, the little nub of metal on the coil stop had come loose and was floating in the coil sleeve. It didn't stop the flipper from working, but stole a lot of strength from it. Replacing the coil stop with a new one fixed the issue.

1 year later
#41 11 days ago
Quoted from Daemin:

My pro, fresh out of the box, had a weak lower right flipper. When if it was hit by a ball when held up, it would deflect down and then return to the up position. Most of the time, from a cradle, it wasn't strong enough to get the ball up the center ramp.
Turns out, the little nub of metal on the coil stop had come loose and was floating in the coil sleeve. It didn't stop the flipper from working, but stole a lot of strength from it. Replacing the coil stop with a new one fixed the issue.

So, This is my first post but I want to thank you all for the ideas and answers, and this is EXACTLY what happened to my new fresh out of the box pinball. the left flipper lost strength after something like 30 games. Thanks to the quoted post I found the problem. Now, I got in touch with the vendor but some superglue did the trick in the meantime, at least for the last 5-6 games (5 ball)

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