(Topic ID: 82803)

Stern Star Trek multiball magnet *Solution found*


By nodyeliab

5 years ago



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There are 539 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 11.
#1 5 years ago

Update:

A solution to this problem has been found. It appears that EM interference from magnet was messing with the optos. The solution is to twist the wires going from the optos to the boards underneath the playfield. This will make the game behave normally.

----------------------------------------------------

Hello, I was wondering if anyone else is having the same issue and if there is a fix. When the ball locks on the magnet for vengeance multiball and I try to hit it with the other ball, it either sticks to the ball or it bounces off, but doesn't start the multiball, it ends up timing out and then starts the multiball.

#2 5 years ago

It has happened to me once or twice. The game knows you got a second hit with the optos under the ship. When the first ball is there and locked, it blocks an opto. The second ball is supposed to kick the first ball up and the opto registered the change, signaling the game to release the magnet and give you the third ball. Try it with the glass off and see if it's just a soft hit that failed to move the locked ball up enough. A solid hit has always worked for me, and, yeah, it's a bit of a bummer when you don't get the extra ball

Marc

#3 5 years ago

If it's happening pretty much every time, there's most likely some kind of issue with your lower opto. As soon as the ball trips it, both balls should release and another ball should kick out for 3 ball Multiball.

#4 5 years ago

Yeah, definitely the opto. You don't have to actually hit the other ball to drop it, a soft hit that just kisses inside the opening to trigger the bottom opto will release the other ball.

Is this a Pro or Prem/LE? What software version are you on? Seems like they keep tweaking optos in the code. I doubt that's your problem, just curious.

#5 5 years ago

This just started happening to me, as well. Mine is an STLE with the latest software.

#6 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

If it's happening pretty much every time, there's most likely some kind of issue with your lower opto.

Not the lower optos. You need to hit the ball on the magnet hard, so it bounces up and triggers the upper optos. A weak shot (which triggers the lower opto) doesn't release the ball and will hold the second ball there until it times out.

When working properly, a hard hit will release both balls and add a third. If both balls get stuck on the magnet and it times out, you only get a two ball multiball. I had this wrong at first too. You can nail it hard enough to release from either flipper, but it's harder from the left flipper. Short answer: Aim better so you hit it harder.

#7 5 years ago

Can someone explain this mode to me. Are you supposed to try to release the ball as soon as you can, or are you supposed to try to hit the lit ramps first?

#8 5 years ago

You have 15 seconds from the time the second ball is launched to hit the locked ball. Doing so will reward you with a 3rd ball.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Can someone explain this mode to me. Are you supposed to try to release the ball as soon as you can, or are you supposed to try to hit the lit ramps first?

The lit ramps damage the ship, which you can see by the damage gauge on the DMD. I usually try for both ramps, then the ball on the magnet.

If you can get 2 balls cradled, you can use your torpedoes to damage the ship until only one hit is needed to finish it, then hit a ramp (to start a combo) and collect your 10M by hitting the final shot.

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Not the lower optos. You need to hit the ball on the magnet hard, so it bounces up and triggers the upper optos. A weak shot (which triggers the lower opto) doesn't release the ball and will hold the second ball there until it times out.

I'm pretty sure I've released it with just hitting the lower opto. I could be wrong, seems easy enough to test with the glass off.

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Not the lower optos. You need to hit the ball on the magnet hard, so it bounces up and triggers the upper optos. A weak shot (which triggers the lower opto) doesn't release the ball and will hold the second ball there until it times out.

Absolutely wrong. The ball just barely tripping the lower opto will release the magnet ball & start your multiball. Getting a dead on whack is fun, but you don't have to do it. If you need a video for proof, I'll make you a video for proof. I own the game, and this is how it behaves. I've played another ST where the ball got stuck on the magnetized ball every single time and you had to wait for it to time out. That's abnormal behavior and there's something wrong with the lower opto.

#12 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Absolutely wrong.

You played a pro lately?

I sure hope they didn't make the premiums and LE's intentionally easier.

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Absolutely wrong. The ball just barely tripping the lower opto will release the magnet ball & start your multiball. Getting a dead on whack is fun, but you don't have to do it. If you need a video for proof, I'll make you a video for proof. I own the game, and this is how it behaves. I've played another ST where the ball got stuck on the magnetized ball every single time and you had to wait for it to time out. That's abnormal behavior and there's something wrong with the lower opto.

I can confirm this as having worked on one with a bad lower opto and the magnet ball will not release no matter how hard you hit it and you end up with 2 balls stuck to the magnet. OP might have a dieing lower opto, we had (or have really, still needs to be fixed) a DEAD one. STLE

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

You played a pro lately?
I sure hope they didn't make the premiums and LE's intentionally easier.

I don't think it matters if it's an LE or Pro. They both have lower and upper optos and should be coded the same. Having the lower opto trip the Multiball isn't "intentionally easier"...it's functionally necessary so you don't get into situations where the ball is stuck to the other ball.

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I don't think it matters if it's an LE or Pro. They both have lower and upper optos and should be coded the same. Having the lower opto trip the Multiball isn't "intentionally easier"...it's functionally necessary so you don't get into situations where the ball is stuck to the other ball.

Agreed, the other way just doesn't make sense. If your game is playing like that, Pro or otherwise, I suspect you have an opto issue.

#16 5 years ago

Thanks for all the input, I will check the opto when I get home. This is a pro version and it came from STERN with 1.4 installed.

As far as hitting it hard enough to trigger the other opto, I've hit it so hard that it moved the ball on the magnet up and my other ball took it's spot on the magnet, so it sound like an opto issue. I will let everyone know if that was it.

#17 5 years ago

Mine does this so will be interesting to find out what the solution is - replace the opto?

#18 5 years ago

mine does this too from time to time...can't believe we all have opto-problems...

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Thanks for all the input, I will check the opto when I get home. This is a pro version and it came from STERN with 1.4 installed.
As far as hitting it hard enough to trigger the other opto, I've hit it so hard that it moved the ball on the magnet up and my other ball took it's spot on the magnet, so it sound like an opto issue. I will let everyone know if that was it.

DEFINITELY an opto issue.

#20 5 years ago

Mine does this as well on my STLE.

I was going to post a similar post asking the same thing.
Just seems like it should work like Bank Bust on Spider-Man. However it seems like I hit the second and sometimes third ball up there and it just gets magnetized to the other balls already up there.

Not sure exactly if it's registering as a hit. I'll need to investigate that further. I will say beside this my drop target and every other hit in that area seem to work correctly. I'm leaning towards it's a code issue that is not releasing the balls.

#21 5 years ago
Quoted from hassellcastle:

Mine does this as well on my STLE.
I was going to post a similar post asking the same thing.
Just seems like it should work like Bank Bust on Spider-Man. However it seems like I hit the second and sometimes third ball up there and it just gets magnetized to the other balls already up there.
Not sure exactly if it's registering as a hit. I'll need to investigate that further. I will say beside this my drop target and every other hit in that area seem to work correctly. I'm leaning towards it's a code issue that is not releasing the balls.

Its not code. It's your F***in' optos!

If you start Vengeance and get 2 balls stuck there without the 3rd launching - the front optos are NOT recognizing the hit. That's why the 2 balls are sticking and not releasing until the DMD countdown is over.

That's how the game rules work. If you don't hit the magnetized ball off in time, it will release and you only get a 2 ball multiball. If you hit it, they both release instantly and a 3rd ball is launched.

#22 5 years ago

Okay, I wanted to just confirm how things should work since I was sure I'd released the ball without even touching it.

Pop the glass on your machine. Start a game and catch the ball. Tap the targets to fill up your photon torpedoes and bang the button until Vengeance is ready. Roll your ball up and let the magnet grab it. Catch new new ball that's launched. Now break the bottom opto beam with a pencil or something. Ball on the magnet should release. If it doesn't your opto isn't working right. It's that simple, take you 2 minutes tops to test it.

I just tested this, works fine on my machine. Rarehero's fix for my drop target seems to have been the answer to my phantom hits too, haven't seen that once since I tried it. So my opto appears fine.

You do not need to knock the ball off the magnet, you don't have to even touch it.

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Pop the glass on your machine. Start a game and catch the ball. Tap the targets to fill up your photon torpedoes and bang the button until Vengeance is ready. Roll your ball up and let the magnet grab it. Catch new new ball that's launched. Now break the bottom opto beam with a pencil or something. Ball on the magnet should release. If it doesn't your opto isn't working right. It's that simple, take you 2 minutes tops to test it.

I just performed this test, and I learned two things. First of all, my opto appears to be working correctly. As soon as I broke the beam with my finger, the magnet released the ball and multiball began. I also discovered that my middle weapons target is not working.

#24 5 years ago

Ok, I just got home to try out the switch test and found that both opto's are working. This is really strange though, so if I start vengeance multiball, and stick my finger in front of the first opto, it starts the multiball with no problems. I even tried it again, but this time I used the ball throwing it up there with my hand and it works. So the next time I tried the same test but with the flipper, and guess what, no go, it does not trigger the opto. So if I use the flipper to get the ball up to the opto it will not work, it's very very strange. I've thought about downgrading to 1.3 and to see if it has the same issues, because the one at our mall has 1.3 and does not do this.

#25 5 years ago

Found the problem, and please someone else confirm. So I just tried it again doing the same test, once by hand, and it worked, then I tried it again, with my hand, but this time held the left flipper in, and it did not work, the ball just stuck to the other ball! So it looks like this is a firmware issue.

#26 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Found the problem, and please someone else confirm. So I just tried it again doing the same test, once by hand, and it worked, then I tried it again, with my hand, but this time held the left flipper in, and it did not work, the ball just stuck to the other ball! So it looks like this is a firmware issue.

Ha, welp. That would at least explain why it's intermittent, probably depends on how fast you drop the flipper after your shot. I'll try and test that.

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Its not code. It's your F***in' optos!

You might want to look through the pro readme. I think it might be all software.

V1.30 - October 30, 2013
=======================

- Vengeance awards now occur on the first opto hit.

V1.40 - December 24, 2013
=======================

- fixed a Vengeance multiball bug where no balls were kicked into play.
- fixed a Vengeance multiball bug where the mode would end while 2 balls were still in play.
- fixed a bug where Vengeance awards were not being scored when extra ball was lit/awarded.
- fixed center lane light issues vengeance multiball.

Other Vengeance changes in there besides those. Don't own one, but if I did, I'd check the feature settings. May be a Vengeance MB difficulty setting. Easy is first optos, hard is second optos. Feature settings aren't listed in the digital manuals.

Testing the optos is simple. Put game into switch test. Knock down drop target. Slide screwdriver handle up to break the optos. No way this is all bad optos.

#28 5 years ago

Yes you are correct, it appears to be a timing issue. I just tried it again, started the mode and held the flipper, I moved my finger over the opto, and it did not see it, I continued to move my finger, then after a short moment it finally saw it. I tried it again without the flipper engaged and it saw my finger immediately.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

May be a Vengeance MB difficulty setting. Easy is first optos, hard is second optos.

No. You're wrong. They would never make a setting that would punish the player by having sticky balls time out for a "light hit". That's insane. It hurts my brain to debate this.

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Yes you are correct, it appears to be a timing issue. I just tried it again, started the mode and held the flipper, I moved my finger over the opto, and it did not see it, I continued to move my finger, then after a short moment it finally saw it. I tried it again without the flipper engaged and it saw my finger immediately.

I just tested with the flipper up, works fine. So I think you've got an issue with your opto not registering when your flipper is up.

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I just tested with the flipper up, works fine. So I think you've got an issue with your opto not registering when your flipper is up.

Maybe a short somewhere?

#32 5 years ago

No offense, I know you're trying to help, but if you don't even own the game it's a bit much to tell the people who do and who are telling you how it works that we're wrong. Not just from play experience, from testing with the glass off. We know how to test optos, thanks. Break the bottom one and the ball releases, as intended. Some people obviously are having issues with it, looks like a production bug. I'd encourage anyone having this problem to test with the flipper up and down and see if that's the common problem.

#33 5 years ago

It could be that when the flipper coil is activated, it's drawing enough power away from the opto to make it unreliable.

-2
#34 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

No offense, I know you're trying to help, but if you don't even own the game it's a bit much to tell the people who do and who are telling you how it works that we're wrong.

I've played the game more than you have. I've probably played more examples of the game than you have. I operate lots of Stern's and people pay me to fix their games. I actually gave up helping you because you never mentioned running switch test. The only reason I got back in the thread is because incorrect info was being given and somebody asked a strategy question.

Quoted from Aurich:

We know how to test optos, thanks.

With a pencil while multiball is running. Check.

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

The only reason I got back in the thread is because incorrect info was being given

What, that breaking the lower opto releases the ball? What incorrect info?

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

What incorrect info?

Quoted from Rarehero:

If it's happening pretty much every time, there's most likely some kind of issue with your lower opto.

This isn't an outbreak of bad optos. People have been complaining about this since they first started shipping. Hard to imagine you guys haven't seen the complaints. The optos may be briefly disabled via software at the start of multiball, but they aren't all bad.

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I just tested with the flipper up, works fine. So I think you've got an issue with your opto not registering when your flipper is up.

It's strange though, I can flip the flipper, let it go back down and it will still cause a delay in the opto, it's just enough of a delay to allow the ball go past the opto and cling to the other ball. It's a very small delay too, maybe 2 - 3 seconds. And it does it with both flippers.

Are you running 1.4?

#38 5 years ago

I imagine Stern knows about this, but has anyone sent an email to them with this issue? It's very frustrating. I was going to downgrade to 1.3 and see what happens, but I can't find 1.3 on their site, they now only have 1.4.

#39 5 years ago

I just did some experimenting, and I was able to replicate nodyeliab's results by keeping the left flipper raised. When doing so, the opto doesn't trigger, and the ball ends up stuck to the other ball. This is more complex than just a flaky opto. There is definitely something funky going on here.

#40 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

This isn't an outbreak of bad optos. People have been complaining about this since they first started shipping. Hard to imagine you guys haven't seen the complaints. The optos may be briefly disabled via software at the start of multiball, but they aren't all bad.

Yes, of course they have, I've seen it happen myself. Not on my game, someone else's LE. So? Something is wrong at the opto. Doesn't mean the opto is defective per se, perhaps it's this flipper issue and is simply a design flaw that can manifest as this problem.

Are you claiming the problem isn't at the lower opto?

#41 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

I imagine Stern knows about this, but has anyone sent an email to them with this issue?

You didn't mention if a hard hit to the ball on the magnet, so that it triggers the upper optos, turns off the magnet and launches another ball (starts the multiball properly). Have you tried that?

Quoted from Aurich:

Are you claiming the problem isn't at the lower opto?

You guys are the ones telling the original poster his game is broken. I told him his game is fine. Read my first reply.

#42 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

You guys are the ones telling the original poster his game is broken. I told him his game is fine. Read my first reply.

So his lower opto not working right when the flipper is up is normal? Just to be clear, that's your position right? I say that's broken, you say that's normal, working fine.

And the people who own the game, and don't have this problem, and release the ball with the lower opto, flippers up or down, what? Our game *are* broken? Or we just haven't turned on the setting that isn't in the manual for "super hard upper opto sticky magnet ball mode"? nodyeliab did you turn that on?

Just making sure we're clear, because you aren't making any sense to me. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your position, but you keep repeating it, so I'm not really sure.

nodyeliab, I suggest you call Stern's technical support. If they tell you that's all normal, and just whack that ball harder, or drop your flipper faster then let us know. Call 1-800-KICKERS, talk to Chas. Worst that can happen is you have to sit on hold for a little bit. It's a new game, he'll be happy to talk to you and help.

It's pretty obvious Stern has some opto issues with this game, be it hardware or software. 1.4.2 was purely about optos. Maybe it's a code problem, that would be great, next update could fix it for anyone having the problem.

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

So his lower opto not working right when the flipper is up is normal? Just to be clear, that's your position right?

Did I say that anywhere?

Quoted from Aurich:

And the people who own the game, and don't have this problem, and release the ball with the lower opto, flippers up or down, what? Our game *are* broken? Or we just haven't turned on the setting that isn't in the manual for "super hard upper opto sticky magnet ball mode?

The original poster owns a pro. You don't. You shouldn't assume his game should work exactly like yours.

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

You didn't mention if a hard hit to the ball on the magnet, so that it triggers the upper optos, turns off the magnet and launches another ball (starts the multiball properly). Have you tried that?

You guys are the ones telling the original poster his game is broken. I told him his game is fine. Read my first reply.

Yes, there are only two sets of opto's when the ball is stuck on the magnet it is blocking the second set of optos, I can throw the ball hard enough to move the ball up and my second ball will then sit on the magnet with no results.

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

So his lower opto not working right when the flipper is up is normal? Just to be clear, that's your position right? I say that's broken, you say that's normal, working fine.
And the people who own the game, and don't have this problem, and release the ball with the lower opto, flippers up or down, what? Our game *are* broken? Or we just haven't turned on the setting that isn't in the manual for "super hard upper opto sticky magnet ball mode"? nodyeliab did you turn that on?
Just making sure we're clear, because you aren't making any sense to me. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your position, but you keep repeating it, so I'm not really sure.
nodyeliab, I suggest you call Stern's technical support. If they tell you that's all normal, and just whack that ball harder, or drop your flipper faster then let us know. Call 1-800-KICKERS, talk to Chas. Worst that can happen is you have to sit on hold for a little bit. It's a new game, he'll be happy to talk to you and help.
It's pretty obvious Stern has some opto issues with this game, be it hardware or software. 1.4.2 was purely about optos. Maybe it's a code problem, that would be great, next update could fix it for anyone having the problem.

Thanks, I will give Stern a call today and see what they say.

#46 5 years ago

I have had this issue with vengeance multiball on my STLE since new. (code 1.3 then 1.4 & 1.41) With info from posts above I have tried several controlled experiments in a basement labratory setting and have conducted a long list of tests containing very tight tolerance limit testing, all being observed by my 9 and 11 yr old assistants. We have concluded that our machine will release the ball on the magnet with a light "pass" across the first opto. With either flipper in the up position the pass across the opto will not release the ball.

If the ball is hit hard enough to push the first ball up, the second ball would usually stick on the magnet even if the first ball was hit hard enough to bounce off the back of the vengeance alley then stick to the top of the second ball that is now on the magnet...

I have not installed the latest version, 1.42 of the software.

#47 5 years ago

So it's pretty obvious that there is some sort of flaw in the game that is causing this. The question is, why is it happening on some games and not others?

#48 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Did I say that anywhere?

So are you saying it's broken or not? I said that's not normal, aka broken. Now you're saying it is broken?

The original poster owns a pro. You don't. You shouldn't assume his game should work exactly like yours.

I've seen this exact behavior on an LE. And yes, I assume it works exactly the same across all models. Why would you assume otherwise? Same optos, same setup, same rules.

#49 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

So it's pretty obvious that there is some sort of flaw in the game that is causing this. The question is, why is it happening on some games and not others?

I think it depends on what version you're running.

#50 5 years ago

I sent an email to Stern, now I'm waiting for a response...

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