(Topic ID: 255248)

Stern Nine Ball - Left Ball Lock issues thread - Fixed!!!!

By Barakawins1

4 years ago


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  • 126 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by slochar
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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There are 126 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
#101 4 years ago
Quoted from frobozz:

That is one of the other classic frequently seen bugs in the game. As you say, it's totally dependent on seeing those targets drop when it pulls the solenoid. If a solenoid or switch is bad, the game is dead. But even if everything is working, the programmer's insistence on seeing the target DROP (switch going from open to closed) rather than just seeing it DOWN (switch closed) causes problems when those transitions are missed in the thick of things. So when a million things are going on - it's counting up a recent 173,000 hit on the single drop, you've just ripped a great maxed-spinner shot, and it clips the #2 target on its way into the lock with #1 still flashing... it missed the #2 target transition, and now it sits in the hole with the #2 solenoid going "click click click click" forever. If you open the glass and reach in and lift up the #2 target and then it drops back down, the game will proceed.

Thanks for describing it farther so I know what to add.

#102 4 years ago
Quoted from slochar:

The slowest thing is the erasing but I can do 40 at a clip so that's not too bad. Eprom emulators are too damn expensive!!

Now, if you have some kind of debugging setup that I can attach to an actual machine, that would be helpful. Although a moot point since I don't have access to a 9 ball machine.

Not wifi, but this is what my old dev setup looked like in Nineball.

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Glad the OP got it figured out! And added the bug to the TODO list...

#103 4 years ago

Just FYI still working on mine but the small drop coil in Drop 7 is bad on my machine.

#104 4 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Just FYI still working on mine but the small drop coil in Drop 7 is bad on my machine.

Fixed coil, everything fine now. Great work everyone figuring this annoying ass issue out for us and everyone moving forward!

#105 4 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Fixed coil, everything fine now. Great work everyone figuring this annoying ass issue out for us and everyone moving forward!

Way to go.. Hey when you get a chance, can you check the ball trough microswitches to see if you have disc caps on them. Also, do you have disc caps on the slingshots?

#106 4 years ago
Quoted from Barakawins1:

Way to go.. Hey when you get a chance, can you check the ball trough microswitches to see if you have disc caps on them. Also, do you have disc caps on the slingshots?

The orange trigger wires on the slings contain one cap each.

The trough micro switches do NOT have any caps.

#107 4 years ago

No caps on lock switches or slings for me. Other machine I play has no caps on slings either.

I believe when looking at the schematics there are only 2 or 3 switches with caps in the machine?

#108 4 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

I believe when looking at the schematics there are only 2 or 3 switches with caps in the machine?

Capacitors are only used on fast activated switches to help the CPU see them activate. They're typically on pop-bumpers, standup targets and rollovers that the ball travels fast over. They're not needed on trough switches.

#109 4 years ago

Interesting. I have caps on ball trough micro switches. Also on slings. My left sling goes off from time to time. I wonder if that’s because of the caps on them

#110 4 years ago
Quoted from Barakawins1:

Interesting. I have caps on ball trough micro switches. Also on slings. My left sling goes off from time to time. I wonder if that’s because of the caps on them

I noticed your trough caps which I thought was weird.

From what I see caps are on adv Spinner stand up, loop under switch, & dead bumper

#111 4 years ago

Looking at the schematics, there's only 3 switch caps: 1 on the dead bumper, 1 on the 7k/skill shot standing target, and 1 for the upper left loop roll-under gate.

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#112 4 years ago

Thanks for this info guys. Gonna be removing some of these caps tomorrow and will report back.

#113 4 years ago
Quoted from frunch:

...1 on the 7k/skill shot standing target,...[quoted image]

Ah yes thank you, spinner tricked me

#114 4 years ago

Hmmm. I have one on my pop bumper as well. Does anyone have one on their pop bumper? Dead bumper has one but the above switch matrix shows it should have one.

#115 4 years ago

I had one on the pop bumper and both slings and found they would often fire multiple times or be too sensitive. I would just install caps at the 3 switches called out on the schematic.

#116 4 years ago
Quoted from frunch:

I had one on the pop bumper and both slings and found they would often fire multiple times or be too sensitive. I would just install caps at the 3 switches called out on the schematic.

Cool.. I'll report back on this tomorrow. Thanks. My left sling goes off more than it needs to and very very sporadically an extra ball shoots out in the shooter lane. I think it's due to these caps.

#117 4 years ago
Quoted from Barakawins1:

... I think it's due to these caps.

Doubtful.

#118 4 years ago

Actually, if I touch the switch contacts for the slings with my fingers, left or right sling, they snap. I thought that was odd.

#119 4 years ago

Have you replaced those caps? They sound too sensitive.

The extra ball coming out in the shooter lane is a symptom of the software issues I'm still looking into.

#120 4 years ago
Quoted from Barakawins1:

Actually, if I touch the switch contacts for the slings with my fingers, left or right sling, they snap. I thought that was odd.

If you're doing that with your other hand touching a metal side rail (that's wired to ground) that behavior is not unusual.

#121 4 years ago

I’ll report back this afternoon. Thanks guys

#122 4 years ago

Update: So I removed the .05uf 100v caps from the ball trough and left and right sling switches. The game currently only has 1 on the dead bumper, 1 on the 7k/skill shot standing target, and 1 for the upper left loop roll-under gate.

Symptom: left slingshot fire sporadically. No difference.

Ok.. So I seemed to narrow it down to the middle ball lock switch. Seems this switch when depressed multiple times will cause the sporadic left slingshot to engage. I changed the diode on this switch stack, seems no difference. The balls lock up as they should and release as they should otherwise. Anyone know why
this is happening? The left sling switches are gapped with no issues and are far apart. The white brown wire from the middle ball lock switch connects to the left
sling switch stack. Here's a video of what I'm seeing and some pics of the middle ball lock switch and left sling switch wiring.

Video of issue:

1st pic is of middle ball lock wiring
2nd pic is of the left sling wiring

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#123 4 years ago

Yesterday played multiple games. No more issues. Not sure what corrected this problem but it's all gone now.

#124 4 years ago

Made a Nine - Ball Free Play card. In case anyone is interested. I printed this on high gloss paper and looks fantastic. I can email over the file.

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#125 4 years ago

After the original fixing it up when I got it Nine Ball was working fine as far as locks and multiball for a couple years. The previous league session it went down where the ball would drain and occasionally not spit out another ball. You would have to power cycle the game in this state. No matter what once it lost the balls it could not find them until a reboot. Seemed like it was only happening in multiplayer games.

I found that the middle lock switch was a bit dirty and sometimes was closing and opening fast when the game vibrated, but the main issue (i think) was the outhole kicker. Sometimes when it would kick a ball to the shooter lane the kicker arm was sticking at full throw and causing the trough balls not to sit on the switches correctly. Cleaned the lock switches and fixed the sticky kicker and it seems fine again and survived 4 sets of four player games and a bunch of other random play.

Another software bug I noticed in Nine Ball is similar to the Meteor sound bug but it eventually resolves itself unlike some meteor versions. If the NVRAM is not filled with zeroes there is a good chance the background will be wrong. The background sound (and test) will be funky until you finish a game. At the end of the game the software corrects whatever RAM value causes the wrong sound. Then it is fine forever unless the ram gets corrupt from booting another game software or whatever reason. I chased that problem around thinking a board had an issue until I let it finish a game.

#126 4 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

After the original fixing it up when I got it Nine Ball was working fine as far as locks and multiball for a couple years. The previous league session it went down where the ball would drain and occasionally not spit out another ball. You would have to power cycle the game in this state. No matter what once it lost the balls it could not find them until a reboot. Seemed like it was only happening in multiplayer games.
I found that the middle lock switch was a bit dirty and sometimes was closing and opening fast when the game vibrated, but the main issue (i think) was the outhole kicker. Sometimes when it would kick a ball to the shooter lane the kicker arm was sticking at full throw and causing the trough balls not to sit on the switches correctly. Cleaned the lock switches and fixed the sticky kicker and it seems fine again and survived 4 sets of four player games and a bunch of other random play.
Another software bug I noticed in Nine Ball is similar to the Meteor sound bug but it eventually resolves itself unlike some meteor versions. If the NVRAM is not filled with zeroes there is a good chance the background will be wrong. The background sound (and test) will be funky until you finish a game. At the end of the game the software corrects whatever RAM value causes the wrong sound. Then it is fine forever unless the ram gets corrupt from booting another game software or whatever reason. I chased that problem around thinking a board had an issue until I let it finish a game.

Added these to the list of things to do. The game should be able to deal with multiple switch closures without going crazy. They test the switch for debouncing and then forget that they did so, and randomly will do it again.

Since I just wrote a 'test_switch_closed' routine for my new meteor code, I'll be able to add that to 9 ball as well - the really large issue is that semi-large swaths of code might have to be written unless all of the switch testing 9 ball currently does in assembly can be converted to my new function I should end up with some space then. After 5-6 switch tests I'll be ahead of the curve since the new function will be 'test_switch_closed switch#' and then a 2 or 3 byte function to react to it, instead of lda $34 ora $39 anda #$03 cmpa #$03 bne somewhere which is what most of the switch tests currently are. (10 bytes). I tagged into the checklamp function to be able to do this but I'll need a free ram byte somewhere.... which I can probably pick up after I rewrite the lamp blinking routines which hog 5 bytes they don't even use (they're as if flags need a blink matrix.... they don't.....)

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