(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 2 of 11.
#51 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

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

Cool, report back.

#52 5 years ago

I had the same problem.. tonight I replaced the front left opto and my game plays normally again.

The opto I removed tested bad, this is the second opto i've had go bad and yes the first one tested bad as well.

#53 5 years ago

I played a ST Premium today, wow it does look great. I personally think it looks better in person than my STLE....

Anyway, on this new game the vengeance multiball started and released full multiball mode at least three times with a soft hit and I am pretty sure the flipper was in the up position. A fourth shot was a solid hard off the back of the vengeance alley hit with the flipper definitely in the up position, the vengeance fired back the ball and started the multiball.

My STLE does not play this way, ball always sticks and the timer times out...

Looking forward to the reply from Stern.

#54 5 years ago

Ever since I was made aware of this problem, I've been extra careful to always shoot the Vengeance release shot with a quick flip instead of holding the flipper up. I was playing tonight, and the ball got stuck. I was very conscious of the fact that it was a quick flip, so it's obviously not entirely dependent on the flipper state. Logic says that it has to be either an opto issue, a software issue, or a combination of both. I'm guessing there were a bunch of optos installed in these games that aren't performing to spec.

#55 5 years ago

I'll be eager to hear the news from Stern. I already had the problem of the second ball sticking up there. Now, I'll shoot a ball under the Vengeance with the drop target down, and it will raise the drop target, register a ball lock, but then not release the ball until a ball search forces the target to drop. I've been too busy to spend time on it, but I expect to test the optos tomorrow.

#56 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Ever since I was made aware of this problem, I've been extra careful to always shoot the Vengeance release shot with a quick flip instead of holding the flipper up. I was playing tonight, and the ball got stuck. I was very conscious of the fact that it was a quick flip, so it's obviously not entirely dependent on the flipper state. Logic says that it has to be either an opto issue, a software issue, or a combination of both. I'm guessing there were a bunch of optos installed in these games that aren't performing to spec.

For me it doesn't work with a quick flip, if you hit the flipper just once, it starts the delay, then after about 3 seconds you can put something to block the opto and it will start the mode, but that's the problem, by the time the delay is over the ball is stuck on the other ball. I also notice that even when the delay is over and it hit the flipper again, it seems to start the delay again.

This is so frustrating, I hope they come up with a fix soon.

#57 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

This is so frustrating, I hope they come up with a fix soon.

Did you call Stern yet? That tech support number I gave you was real, use it. Email is all fine and good, but a phone call is how you resolve things quickly.

#58 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Did you call Stern yet? That tech support number I gave you was real, use it. Email is all fine and good, but a phone call is how you resolve things quickly.

Thanks, yes I will give them a call on my lunch break today, I'll keep you posted.

#59 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Thanks, yes I will give them a call on my lunch break today, I'll keep you posted.

Make sure to tell them that a lot of people are having this same problem. I would even point them to this thread.

#60 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Thanks, yes I will give them a call on my lunch break today, I'll keep you posted.

Ok, I talked to Chas (super nice guy!), and explained the issue, he said he will talk to the programmer to take a look, I also told him I will send a video showing the issue. The video is taking a bit though, I'm trying to get it to a size that I can send to him. I told him that if I can't send it via email, I'll post it on youtube and send him the link.

#61 5 years ago
Quoted from Craig:

I'll be eager to hear the news from Stern. I already had the problem of the second ball sticking up there. Now, I'll shoot a ball under the Vengeance with the drop target down, and it will raise the drop target, register a ball lock, but then not release the ball until a ball search forces the target to drop. I've been too busy to spend time on it, but I expect to test the optos tomorrow.

This was happening to us with due to a bad opto in the lower front right of the Vengeance. Just fixed it last night. What a pain to get to that thing.

#62 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Ok, I talked to Chas (super nice guy!), and explained the issue, he said he will talk to the programmer to take a look, I also told him I will send a video showing the issue. The video is taking a bit though, I'm trying to get it to a size that I can send to him. I told him that if I can't send it via email, I'll post it on youtube and send him the link.

Post a nice HD video on YouTube. That makes more sense than sending the file.

#63 5 years ago
Quoted from DarkWizard:

What a pain to get to that thing.

What does getting to the opto entail? Do you have to remove the entire Vengeance mech?

#64 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

What does getting to the opto entail? Do you have to remove the entire Vengeance mech?

Yeah, unless you have some super small angled screw driver that I haven't seen before to get to the screws that are holding that opto on. I'm only a year and 1/2 into this hobby so I am sure there might be some tools I haven't seen yet.

We had to disconnect the ship enough to move it and remove the metal plate that the opto's are attached to.

Spoiler alert : When you go to remove the side plastic on the Vengeance, when removing the front screw that goes horizontally through a plastic sleeve, have a magnet handy to pick up the washer that's going to fall out.

#65 5 years ago

Great, talking to Chas was definitely the way to go. Surprised they don't know about this yet, hasn't anyone complained to them before? It's obviously widespread.

#66 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Post a nice HD video on YouTube. That makes more sense than sending the file.

Ok, I posted it.

#67 5 years ago

It's odd because during tests it works perfectly using your hand to break opto. In game it happens through natural course of playing though. changing the pitch to 7.2 degrees seems to have cured mine for the most - before it was 6.5

Now the first ball sticks to the magnet and second ball starts multiball.

I can't think this is an opto issue as it wouldn't work at all? Could be a software opto flipper related problem.

#68 5 years ago
Quoted from sillyoldelf:

It's odd because during tests it works perfectly using your hand to break opto. In game it happens through natural course of playing. changing the pitch to 7.2 degrees seems to have cured mine for the most - before it was 6.5
Now the first ball sticks to the magnet and second ball starts multiball.
I can't think this is an opto issue as it wouldn't work at all?

It's not so much an physical problem with the opto, it's a delay issue, I also have the machine up to where the bubble level by the shooter is centered.

#69 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Ok, I posted it.
ยป YouTube video

Great video and good work troubleshooting imo. Interested to hear what the cause/solution is.

#70 5 years ago

Video is perfect, good idea. That looks super frustrating, my Premium definitely doesn't do that.

#71 5 years ago

Thanks for posting the video, nodyeliab! My game is acting exactly like yours. What's weird is that the problem seems to have gotten worse. I could have sworn that the opto failed to register only occasionally when I first got the game, but now it seems like mine is doing it every time when immediately followed by an activated flipper. If it's purely a software bug, I don't see how the problem could have increased in frequency like it has. It's also very curious that some games don't have this problem at all. It leads me back to my theory that some games have optos that are affected, while other games have optos that are immune to this problem. My guess is that swapping out the optos with new ones would solve the problem. It will be interesting to see if Stern can replicate this problem on one of the games they have at the factory.

#72 5 years ago

Mine has definitely gotten worse over time. I have a group here tonight, so we'll see how it goes. I am going to have to warn them about the problem, obviously. Fortunately, it is not a tournament, so the game does not have to play 100% to be useable.

#73 5 years ago

Can someone please explain the add-a-ball rules during Vengeance multiball. I was playing this afternoon, and I locked the first ball in the magnet. The game then launched a second ball into play, and shortly after that it launched a third ball into play. I ended up with all three of them stuck on the magnet.

Is it the Black Hole target that adds a ball, and is it possible to add a ball before dislodging the first ball? I just want to make sure something else with my game isn't out of whack.

#74 5 years ago

Because of the magnet issue I thought the black hole was responsible for adding a ball but that is used to add the fourth one. - shoot all the red matter targets and then black hole to add the fourth.

The third ball is added by shooting vengeance again with the second ball within a certain time after locking ball 1 in the magnet to start the multiball. At least that is what I now believe is the case. It was confusing because nearly every time the second ball would get stuck to the first until the timer ran down and then I was adding a further ball by claiming the black hole award.

#75 5 years ago
Quoted from sillyoldelf:

The third ball is added by shooting vengeance again with the second ball within a certain time after locking ball 1 in the magnet to start the multiball.

That's what I thought, but I added a third ball WITHOUT releasing the first. Was this some kind of glitch?

#76 5 years ago

Black Hole add a ball probably doesn't check for magnet ball status is all.

#77 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

That's what I thought, but I added a third ball WITHOUT releasing the first. Was this some kind of glitch?

You probably did hit black hole. That can add another ball even before you get the additional ball from the vengeance shot (or don't get if your optos are acting up).

#78 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Thanks for posting the video, nodyeliab! My game is acting exactly like yours. What's weird is that the problem seems to have gotten worse. I could have sworn that the opto failed to register only occasionally when I first got the game, but now it seems like mine is doing it every time when immediately followed by an activated flipper. If it's purely a software bug, I don't see how the problem could have increased in frequency like it has. It's also very curious that some games don't have this problem at all. It leads me back to my theory that some games have optos that are affected, while other games have optos that are immune to this problem. My guess is that swapping out the optos with new ones would solve the problem. It will be interesting to see if Stern can replicate this problem on one of the games they have at the factory.

You're welcome, my machine has done it from the first day I got it. On my machine I really don't think it's the opto itself, because if you start the mode and you do not use the flipper, then by hand throw the ball to it, it will start instantly, but you use the flipper you get that small delay where the opto is disabled, thus the opto does not see it in that short delay, goes past it and then sticks to the ball. I think the reason some people are not seeing the issue could be their fw version, the one at our mall is on 1.3 and doesn't do it.

#79 5 years ago

I'm on 1.4.2 on my Premium and don't see it at all FWIW.

#80 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Ok, I talked to Chas (super nice guy!), and explained the issue, he said he will talk to the programmer to take a look, I also told him I will send a video showing the issue. The video is taking a bit though, I'm trying to get it to a size that I can send to him. I told him that if I can't send it via email, I'll post it on youtube and send him the link.

I've had this problem since day one and contacted Chas about it months ago. When I talked to him, he said he hadn't heard of anyone else having the issue. There were a couple posts on here that I chimed in on, but never caught traction. I'm glad this thread now has legs. I'm hoping that if enough of us inform Stern, we might be able to get a solution. Like many of you, I've tried to diagnose the same way. Opto tests, etc... with no resolution. I'll keep checking this thread for additional info.

#81 5 years ago

I checked this evening, and my bottom opto is definitely out. That might not be the sole problem, but it is definitely some part of it. Not looking forward to having to replace it, but you do what you have to do.

#82 5 years ago

nodyeliab,

Did you provide Chas with a link to this thread?

#83 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

nodyeliab,
Did you provide Chas with a link to this thread?

Crap, I forgot to, I'm sending it now...

#84 5 years ago

Mine has gotten worse as well, though it's still not every time...

#85 5 years ago

Just to join in
My LE has same behavior
Two balls get locked till timed out

Will call Stern on Monday as well

#86 5 years ago

For those of you getting it to work by hand, but not with the flipper, something to try:

Hold the flipper bat down when you press the flipper button so that it can't move. Then immediately roll the ball into the locked ball by hand as if the flipper had made the shot (you may need a helper to do all this at once). This will either work fine or still hang both balls.

If it hangs both balls on the magnet, you know there is something electrical / code going on.
If it works now, you have an intermittent connection on one of your optos that is triggered to fail by the vibration of the flipper.

On mine it was auto starting modes on the ball load, due to the vibe of the up kicker causing the opto to flake out momentarily. Reflowing the offending opto fixed mine.

I do believe it's possible that stern adjusted some debouncing timing which has made some of these bad opto problems manifest more often.

#87 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

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.

i think ppl ignored your post, so...QFT? need to test myself

#88 5 years ago
Quoted from caker137:

For those of you getting it to work by hand, but not with the flipper, something to try:
Hold the flipper bat down when you press the flipper button so that it can't move. Then immediately roll the ball into the locked ball by hand as if the flipper had made the shot (you may need a helper to do all this at once). This will either work fine or still hang both balls.
If it hangs both balls on the magnet, you know there is something electrical / code going on.
If it works now, you have an intermittent connection on one of your optos that is triggered to fail by the vibration of the flipper.
On mine it was auto starting modes on the ball load, due to the vibe of the up kicker causing the opto to flake out momentarily. Reflowing the offending opto fixed mine.
I do believe it's possible that stern adjusted some debouncing timing which has made some of these bad opto problems manifest more often.

I just tried that as someone else did here, I taped the flipper up, and tried the mode the same, if I press the flipper, it still sticks to the other ball

#89 5 years ago

I have an idea for an experiment. Try doing the test with the coin door open. This will shut off power to the coils, but the game should still be able to register the press of the flipper button. If the opto still has the same delay after pressing the flipper button, it's definitely a software bug.

#90 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

What does getting to the opto entail? Do you have to remove the entire Vengeance mech?

Gweem I got my lower right opto out with out removing the vengeance. The lower screw that holds the opto on is a PITA to get to! I have a 1/4 drive spring extension with a phillips head that I was able to get the screw out with.

#91 5 years ago

Now that I thought about it some more, I don't think my coin door open experiemnt is possible. As soon as you open the coin door, the magnet will release the ball, and it will trigger the opto. If you don't have the plastic protector that goes over the standup, I suppose you could prevent the ball from falling without opening the opto.

#92 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Gweem I got my lower right opto out with out removing the vengeance. The lower screw that holds the opto on is a PITA to get to! I have a 1/4 drive spring extension with a phillips head that I was able to get the screw out with.

Did it fix the problem?

#93 5 years ago
Quoted from rvdv:

Just to join in
My LE has same behavior
Two balls get locked till timed out
Will call Stern on Monday as well

Robert - I told you about this problem when we set up your game in December ! LOL Opto problem! Stern will hook you up, I'm sure! Hopefully they can send you pre-soldered/wired optos so replacing them is easier.

-1
#94 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Robert - I told you about this problem when we set up your game in December ! LOL Opto problem!

Quoted from gweempose:

I just performed this test, and I learned two things. First of all, my opto appears to be working correctly.

Quoted from nodyeliab:

Ok, I just got home to try out the switch test and found that both opto's are working.

#95 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 have the pro and rare hero is correct once lower opto is tripped mine releases the ball on the magnet 100% of the time.

-1
#96 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

I have the pro and rare hero is correct once lower opto is tripped mine releases the ball on the magnet.

He seems to think it's only an opto issue.

Quoted from Rarehero:

DEFINITELY an opto issue.

Quoted from Rarehero:

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

Quoted from Rarehero:

Robert - I told you about this problem when we set up your game in December ! LOL Opto problem!

Some here have said they had bad optos, but clearly there's also a software issue. The delay on the opto may be due the usual disabling of switches when a ball is launched (done with software, normal), or it could've have been added in case Vengeance MB was started (ball caught on magnet), but the magnet dropped the ball (to prevent early starting of the multiball (cheating)).

#97 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

He seems to think it's only an opto issue.

Some here have said they had bad optos, but clearly there's also a software issue. The delay on the opto may be due the usual disabling of switches when a ball is launched (done with software, normal), or it could've have been added in case Vengeance MB was started, but the magnet dropped the ball (to prevent early starting of the multiball (cheating)).

You seem to think I'm wrong. Which makes you double wrong. Let's disregard your Pro vs. LE theory. I've played Robert's LE. He has an LE. I have an LE. His LE *ALWAYS* catches the 2 balls and waits for the time out...it NEVER awards you that hit EVER, and NEVER kicks out the 3rd ball (reward for hitting the magnet ball). Mine ALWAYS lets the ball go when you hit it - even lightly...becaaaauuuuse - it's TRIPPED BY THE FRONT OPTO!!! ...and then always kicks out the 3rd ball.

Robert clearly has a problem with his front opto. Fact. Nothing to do with code.

#98 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Robert clearly has a problem with his front opto. Fact. Nothing to do with code.

That's fine. I won't disagree with you on that. I just don't want everyone seeing the problem to call Stern Monday morning demanding new optos when that might not solve their problem.

Would you agree there also appears to be a software issue?

#99 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

That's fine. I won't disagree with you on that. I just don't want everyone seeing the problem to call Stern Monday morning demanding new optos when that might not solve their problem.
Would you agree there also appears to be a software issue?

Not for the 1st Vengeance Multiball issue.

I've tried the "hold the flipper" thing...the ball still hits and releases every time. Any issues with the Vengeance magnet problem must be hardware. Otherwise, why are mine and others' games working perfectly?

EDIT...maybe I was using the right flipper....left flipper does indeed cause both balls to hold...hmmmm.

#100 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Would you agree there also appears to be a software issue?

No, because my machine doesn't do it. Software is software, it's the same on every machine. If there's a problem happening to some people and not others then it's hardware. Seems obvious enough to me.

Are the optos bad? Maybe, seems likely. Maybe it's a different issue, and it's upstream from the optos (hence the strange behavior with the flippers).

Everyone should call Stern. It's Stern's problem to figure it out to support their customers, not yours to worry about their opto stocking.

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