(Topic ID: 82803)

Stern Star Trek multiball magnet *Solution found*


By nodyeliab

5 years ago



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  • 539 posts
  • 81 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by paul_8788
  • Topic is favorited by 34 Pinsiders

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There are 539 posts in this topic. You are on page 11 of 11.
#501 5 years ago

This issue is a cluster fuck .

Quoted from nicoga3000:

Pat: Do optic switches 33 and 34 register during switch test? Do either of these switches register during switch test if you pound on the playfield?
Me: Switches register during switch test and do not register when I pound the playfield.
Pat: Try reseating the (2) and (5) pin connectors going to the opto amplifier boards under the playfield. Also, inspect the wires going into the connectors for poor crimps.
Me: I checked everything and played a few games. Ball is still sticking. I noticed that it stuck with the right flipper one game, and the left flipper on another.
Pat: Please swap the amplifier boards under the playfield and see if the problem persists

I have done all the above and more. tested every opto wire by taping pounding tugging on wires in switch test trying to get the opto to trip. Nothing . Opto only trip when beam is broken as intended . Swap of amplifier board did nothing to fix flakey issue. I tapped on all boards and pulled on all wires in switch test . Optos will not trigger if beam is not broken as intended. Wire twisted ferrite core beads in place . If all boards work and all switches work . Why does my STLE not work during Vengeance Muti-Ball 45% of the time ? STERN is sending me all new optos (4) and a new amplifier board . But the components that are in my pinball already all work 100% according to hours of trouble shooting testing . Any thoughts I am at my wits end.
Played and documented 35 games regarding Vengeance magnet issues .
1. normal
2.normal
3.flakey = pinball on magnet . Shot second pinball into area breaking opto# 33 but pinball did not stick nor did it release ball on opto#34/magnet. Second hard shot released pinball on magnet and launched 3rd pinball into play .
4.flakey
5. flakey
6.stuck = pinball one and two stuck together timed out then released.
7. stuck
8.normal
9.normal
10.stuck
11.stuck
12.normal
13.normal
14.normal
15. stuck
16.normal
17.stuck
18. flakey
19. normal
20.flakey
21.normal
22. normal
23.normal . got to second Vengeance where magnet grabs pinball. Second pinball stuck timed out
24.stuck
25. normal
26.normal
27. normal
28.flakey
29. normal
30. normal
31.flakey
32. stuck
33. stuck
34. normal
35. flakey
Note : Due to this annoying magnet issue. I increased the time to knock / trip opto#33 . If pinball's get stuck together and you nailed the shot quickly . Do not touch flippers. Machine will go into ball search while the Vengeance timer has not reached zero. Magnet will release stuck pinball's and trip opto#33 on the way out and 3rd ball will be plunged into play. Open to all suggestions. Thanks Rob Knapp

#503 5 years ago

Hi Rob,
Make sure the wires that you twisted together are away from the magnet core. I zip tied them to other wires away from the magnet.
Hang in there....
Doug

#504 5 years ago

It's crazy how some games have this major problem and others don't.

#505 5 years ago

I just installed the new opto control board that Stern sent. Ive played 6 games so far and ZERO sticking!!!

Big thanks to Stern for great customer support!

1 week later
#506 5 years ago

I would say the twisting wires/ferrite core is the step you take after eliminating any cold solder/transceiver/control board/connector issues.

1 week later
#507 5 years ago

So, with the old 1.4 code, I wasn't having any problems really. My wires came twisted from the factory. Under the new code -- which supposedly fixed the problem according to the readme file -- every time I hit the first ball on the magnet with the second ball, the second ball pushes the first ball back and the second ball gets stuck on the magnet trapping the first ball. A third ball still launches, and a shake will release the two stuck balls, but often times creating a tilt warning. What have other people's experiences been with the new code? Anyone having this issue?

#508 5 years ago

New code working better than before in my opinion. I had to do the twisted wires a long time back.

#509 5 years ago
Quoted from Nokoro:

So, with the old 1.4 code, I wasn't having any problems really. My wires came twisted from the factory. Under the new code -- which supposedly fixed the problem according to the readme file -- every time I hit the first ball on the magnet with the second ball, the second ball pushes the first ball back and the second ball gets stuck on the magnet trapping the first ball. A third ball still launches, and a shake will release the two stuck balls, but often times creating a tilt warning. What have other people's experiences been with the new code? Anyone having this issue?

Just like before, if a shake releases the balls, it most likely isn't a software problem but rather magnetized balls. If the software isn't releasing when it should, no amount of shaking would knock them loose.

#510 5 years ago
Quoted from Jediturtle:

Just like before, if a shake releases the balls, it most likely isn't a software problem but rather magnetized balls. If the software isn't releasing when it should, no amount of shaking would knock them loose.

I have the ultragloss balls from pinballlife. Those shouldn't magnetize, should they?

#511 5 years ago

I just did the paperclip test. My balls aren't magnetized.

#512 5 years ago

Ok, here's an update on my game,Star Trek LE #012. My game is still the same as the day I received it. I have only had the playfield open one time, the day I set the game up so it's factory stock under the playfield. Most of the time the magnet worked like it's suppose too but once in a wile the second ball would stick and only release when the timer ran out. With the new 1.5 code for a wile it seemed to be working but then it happened, I had the second ball get stuck just like before. After a wile another ball got stuck but this time something different, the game went into a ball search mode and it appeared the solenoid under the ship might have fired and knocked the balls loose so it appears it's still a problem. I still think I'll wait it out to see if they try another code update fix before I try any of the so called other fixes.

#513 5 years ago

Yeah, just wait, bug fixes are coming.

#514 5 years ago
Quoted from SaminVA:

Ok, here's an update on my game,Star Trek LE #012. My game is still the same as the day I received it. I have only had the playfield open one time, the day I set the game up so it's factory stock under the playfield. Most of the time the magnet worked like it's suppose too but once in a wile the second ball would stick and only release when the timer ran out. With the new 1.5 code for a wile it seemed to be working but then it happened, I had the second ball get stuck just like before. After a wile another ball got stuck but this time something different, the game went into a ball search mode and it appeared the solenoid under the ship might have fired and knocked the balls loose so it appears it's still a problem. I still think I'll wait it out to see if they try another code update fix before I try any of the so called other fixes.

I had no trouble with this before 1.5 but now the shot gets held every time until it times out,I have tested my optos
They test fine but in a game the opto will not sense the ball passing by so now I don't shoot at it and I don't want to change out the working optos and it looks very time consuming also,not sure what to do

1 month later
#515 5 years ago

Clay Harrel would have this solved in 20 minutes.

Still waiting for an idea/fix for this.

#516 5 years ago

My STLE was built in November 2013. I bought it HUO a month ago and thought this was normal for it until I saw this post today. So...I just finished twisting my wires, freeing them up, reconnecting etc etc. The first game I played it worked properly for the first time. I played 5 more games and it screwed up every time. So I ordered the ferrites from Amazon and they will be here wednesday.
However...when I got my game home I found the below pictured ferrite laying in the bottom of the cabinet but do not know where it goes. It appears to be the largest of those that Stern had on the game. I have the pic here of my backbox...can anybody tell me where the factory ferrite is supposed to be?

// Error: Image 300792 not found //003.JPG

#517 5 years ago

Oops...the backbox pic did'nt get thru on the previous post. 004-120.JPG

#518 5 years ago

I called Stern today and they are going to warranty a new opto controller board and the transmitter and receiver. The other ferrites should arrive before that and I'll give them a try first. I'd still like to know where the ferrite in my picture goes to.
There are no factory ferrites on anything under the playfield, and this one was in the lower cabinet. I'm wondering if it was supposed to be on wires going to the magnet?
And kudos to Stern for sending me these replacement parts under warranty on a game that is nearly a year old.

#519 5 years ago

Okay, so here's how my Star Trek goes:

I noticed that I had a flaking opto for the exit part of the left ramp. It wasn't working in game or test, but I noticed that if you bent it, it would. What I also noticed is that this most likely happen as the left ramp aged, as the plastic slightly bent the opto out of the beam/ball path.

Stern transmitter optos are touchy in general. They seem to have to be pretty spot on, and a little movement can make them out of whack or not register at all.

For a long while now, I have been having major stick with the 2nd ball at the magnet- EVERYTIME.
In test, all seems to register okay, as both bottom and top optos register.

Today, I twisted BOTH sets of wires, and routed them as far away from the magnet as possible. I had noticed that in game, whether it was a small roll in or a hard smack, the magnet pulls and holds at great force- which is why number 2 would just get ''stuck on'' the 1st ball. But why?

Twisting the wires appears to have solved the problem, but the question remains why?
Is it because they are re-routed away, (as I have done) to the magnet, creating less pull

or is it because the wires being twisted, creates a slight tension and pull on the optos, making them tweaked back into the correct ball path. Perhaps a combination of both? I believe that the problem is that the front optos need to be just right to detect.

My game went from every single time sticking, to every time releasing now- even if it's a slight roll in...

#520 5 years ago

I am so looking forward to the day when I get this mechanism to work 100%. I'm tired of seeing the balls all stuck together. I'll check the alignment on them tomorrow. The wires are already routed as far from the magnet as they can get (and twisted). I'd still like to know where the ferrite from Stern is supposed to go...

#521 5 years ago

No luck with any of the ferrites I put on. I found the screw loose for the opto board left of the vengence and got it tightened down, but no difference. As someone else said earlier when you play it with the glass off and break the opto beam with your finger or a pencil its fine. But if you manually throw a ball at it your're out of luck and end up with two balls on the magnet.
All that leaves is the transmitter/receivers and controller board all of which Stern is being nice enough to send me.

#523 5 years ago
Quoted from playernumber4:

No luck with any of the ferrites I put on. I found the screw loose for the opto board left of the vengence and got it tightened down, but no difference. As someone else said earlier when you play it with the glass off and break the opto beam with your finger or a pencil its fine. But if you manually throw a ball at it your're out of luck and end up with two balls on the magnet.
All that leaves is the transmitter/receivers and controller board all of which Stern is being nice enough to send me.

This is what I tested and this is why I am so confused,again I had to sticking before new code

#524 5 years ago

Switch the opto boards under the playfield. It completely solved the issue for me

#525 5 years ago

I had a near 100% failure of the captured ball to release. The optos always tested fine in the switch test. I tried twisting the wires, relocating the wires around the magnet, twisting the wires more, adding ferrites etc. without much success. I swapped the optos controller boards several weeks ago, and the problem has completely resolved. I would definitely give that a try if you are still having problems. 8 screws and the problem is fixed. The game is so much more enjoyable without that problem. I hope it lasts.

#526 5 years ago

I want to thank everyone on this thread for the help. I received my new controller board and optos today under warranty from Stern even though my warranty was up.

I chose to take the simple way out and just replace the controller board first and give it a try. The game is now playing perfectly for the first time. I ran it through manually and during actual game play and it continued to function without a hitch.

Wow...what a relief. I am looking forward to seeing how this game actually plays now!

#527 5 years ago
Quoted from playernumber4:

I want to thank everyone on this thread for the help. I received my new controller board and optos today under warranty from Stern even though my warranty was up.
I chose to take the simple way out and just replace the controller board first and give it a try. The game is now playing perfectly for the first time. I ran it through manually and during actual game play and it continued to function without a hitch.
Wow...what a relief. I am looking forward to seeing how this game actually plays now!

Great news!

#528 5 years ago
Quoted from damionrowe:

Switch the opto boards under the playfield. It completely solved the issue for me

Same here,done,bring on code

2 weeks later
#529 5 years ago
Quoted from playernumber4:

I want to thank everyone on this thread for the help. I received my new controller board and optos today under warranty from Stern even though my warranty was up.
I chose to take the simple way out and just replace the controller board first and give it a try. The game is now playing perfectly for the first time. I ran it through manually and during actual game play and it continued to function without a hitch.
Wow...what a relief. I am looking forward to seeing how this game actually plays now!

Hello can you post a pic or part number of the controller board you replaced? Want to make I get the right one since there are two. TIA!

#530 5 years ago

After owning an LE for months and only having the balls stick occasionally, it is now happening constantly. Tried twisting and moving the wires, swapping opto amplifier boards underneath (twice), no go. Everything works fine in switch test and trying to reproduce with glass off works most of the time, holding one of the flippers up does occasionally cause the stick . Just sent an email to Chas, hopefully I will get some response next week. Maybe they have new revisions of the opto amplifier board or something.

4 weeks later
#531 4 years ago

Well I have replaced all the optos and even put a new board in as well...also tried twisting wires and ferrites but to no avail....balls still get stuck as the magnet is still active

I would have thought Stern would have found a solution by now

#532 4 years ago

I finally got around to working on mine this past weekend. After trying everything else mentioned here, I tried bending the pins on the opto amplifer board (that the optos connect to) towards each other to get a better connection (as suggested earlier in this thread, and by Chas when I spoke to him). Too early to say it is 100% resolved, but everything worked fine 5/5 tests, where before I was getting 1/5 if lucky.

1 week later
#533 4 years ago

I think my magnets sticking and not releasing the balls on my ST Pro may be fixed. I bought my pin used last month and knew the previous owner had the magnet issue. He called Stern and got them to send me a new board and I swapped it out to no avail. I went to try the twisted wire trick and realized 2 of the connectors on the board were in the wrong spot and need to be swapped! Duh, on me and the previous owner I guess. It has worked so far and I will keep an eye on it.

I am not implying that this is the answer for anyone else, but check your wires going to the board or try swapping them around because they could be mislabeled.

Sometimes I focus on the more complicated answers, like bad boards and optos, and fail to check the simple things first, like swapped connectors.

Good luck

2 weeks later
#534 4 years ago

Had my STLE for almost a year and this just recently this started, nearly 100% of the time. It happened right after I removed the drop target to implement the washer fix due to the drop target not staying up. Having done that I might have moved the wires so they are closer to the magnet. I'm going to try the twisted wire fix and see what happens. Will update everyone as well to what happens. Good thread for info.

Also, I once did have a bad rear opto, but it simply caused phantom vengeance hits. Replaced it and that worked again but it had nothing to do with the current problem. Those optos are flaky though.

#535 4 years ago
Quoted from paulohotline:

Hello can you post a pic or part number of the controller board you replaced? Want to make I get the right one since there are two. TIA!

Part number 520-5239-01 (opto amplifier board). There are five of them. In the book it shows that they are identical but are on different pages of the book only to show the different colored wires that connect to the plugs based on their application/location. The plugs on each board are identical. And the boards are not very expensive.
You can switch the boards around and see if it solves the problem or not.

Good luck and don't give up! Its a great game but when you have that problem it sure takes some of the fun out of it.

#536 4 years ago

My STLE problem turned out to be the opto amplifier board. I twisted wires and it didn't help. Holding in the Left Flipper and hitting opto wouldn't register the first time, always the second time. Swapped opto boards with the one that controls the vengeance switch and it works perfectly again. Something with the left flipper is causing those opto boards to fail, eh? Maybe energizing something or surging power to it somehow. Very strange. Will get some more boards as a backup and see if another one fails.

#537 4 years ago

When the second ball gets stuck to the first in the Vengeance lock during Vengeance Multiball, is anyone seeing that if they hit the flipper buttons their score increases with each hit? Or am I the only "lucky" one with this issue?

#538 4 years ago
Quoted from Sea-Monkey:

When the second ball gets stuck to the first in the Vengeance lock during Vengeance Multiball, is anyone seeing that if they hit the flipper buttons their score increases with each hit? Or am I the only "lucky" one with this issue?

You likely have a bad solder joint on one of your optos.

#539 4 years ago

Mine started acting up again after a few games, so over the Christmas break I finally manned up and finally replaced the optos and the opto board. All has been fine so far, but only been 10 games or so. The solder job on the old opto boards definitely looked iffy (potentially cold solder joints). Was tempted to reflow and put the old boards back in, but getting at those things is such a pain I just went with the new ones.

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