(Topic ID: 82803)

Stern Star Trek multiball magnet *Solution found*


By nodyeliab

5 years ago



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  • 539 posts
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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by paul_8788
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There are 539 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 11.
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#101 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Otherwise, why are mine and others' games working perfectly?

The problem is mostly on pros. The original poster has a pro and his optos work fine. gweempose has a premium/LE and his optos are working fine, yet he was able to replicate the switch delay the original poster is seeing.

-1
#102 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Software is software, it's the same on every machine.

Then why are there different software files for pro and premium/LE's? Not the same at all.

#103 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Then why are there different software files for pro and premium/LE's?

Because the small point updates fix issues with the kickback and warp ramp optos (for the ramp lights), and the Pros don't have those things?

The exact same problem is happening to both Pros and LEs, as evidenced by this thread.

#104 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

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.

Just out of curiosity, are you both running the same FW on your LE's?

#105 5 years ago

If it was a software issue I would expect this to be occurring to way more owners. This is the first time I've read of people having this issue and on my Pro have never had this problem. None of the 5 other ST machines of different models have had this issue. That leads me to believe the problem lies with the hardware and not the software. I've been wrong more times then I care to remember though so perhaps I am here as well. Best thing to do is contact Stern directly and see what they say.

#106 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

The problem is mostly on pros.

You're basing this on what? First time I ever encountered it was on an LE.

#107 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

If it was a software issue I would expect this to be occurring to way more owners. This is the first time I've read of people having this issue and on my Pro have never had this problem. None of the 5 other ST machines of different models have had this issue. That leads me to believe the problem lies with the hardware and not the software. I've been wrong more times then I care to remember though so perhaps I am here as well. Best thing to do is contact Stern directly and see what they say.

But we have to remember, what versions of the firmware are people running, this could be why some are not seeing the issue and some are.

#108 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

But we have to remember, what versions of the firmware are people running, this could be why some are not seeing the issue and some are.

I would hope anyone having issues would be updated to the latest code update. If not I'd highly suggest updated to the newest available code update to see if that clears things up.

#109 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

This is the first time I've read of people having this issue and on my Pro have never had this problem.

From 163 days ago:

Quoted from WeirPinball:

...One of the two machines would hold two balls on the magnet....

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/st-pro-is-here#post-1136988

You posted later in the same thread here:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/st-pro-is-here#post-1136988

I played the ST pro at Sunnyvale Golfland today and both optos were out. I think it's a combination of bad optos and software. I could be wrong though.

#110 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

I could be wrong though.

As always

#111 5 years ago

Can a moderator please remind Rare that changing quotes in that manner breaks the first rule here? Thanks.

#112 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Can a moderator please remind Rare that changing quotes in that manner breaks the first rule here? Thanks.

Yes, please...you seem to have a quote that is different than what I wrote

#113 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Can a moderator please remind Rare that changing quotes in that manner breaks the first rule here? Thanks.

I dunno what your hardon for Rarehero is about, but what exactly would the moderators be noting that he changed?

couldbewrong.jpg

You on the other hand don't seem to have a problem editing quotes ...

#114 5 years ago

When you guys get around to it, I think the original poster directed the question below to you:

Quoted from nodyeliab:

Just out of curiosity, are you both running the same FW on your LE's?

#115 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

When you guys get around to it, I think the original poster directed the question below to you:

I've played RVDV's STLE on early firmware and new firmware. It's always been the same.

I'm not sure why you're so convinced it's software and why you refuse to believe me based on my experience with the game. These issues are hardware. The Pro vs. LE thing is irrelevant. When a Pro and LE have the same feature - the games are using the same code between them. Think of pinball code as somewhat modular. Since both versions have the same optos & magnet, that area is coded the same. I played tons of Pros at Expo with old code. I've played a Pro with newer code. If this was a code issue, it would be consistent. All Pros would have the problem. This is clearly not the case....so, please....this isn't a fight where someone comes out a winner. There are just facts here. If the ball doesn't release when another ball crosses the front opto beam - there's something hardware related happening.

-1
#116 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

If the ball doesn't release when another ball crosses the front opto beam - there's something hardware related happening.

Then how do you explain the following posts?

Quoted from nodyeliab:

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

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.

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.

Have you even mentioned what version your game is running? The original poster quoted you specifically when he asked that question. It seems like you're more bent on proving me wrong than helping folks.

#117 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Then how do you explain the following posts?

Have you even mentioned what version your game is running? The original poster quoted you specifically when he asked that question. It seems like you're more bent on proving me wrong than helping folks.

I'm trying to help folks and you're deadset on giving them irrelevant information.

I'm running 1.42, current code.

I just did the hold the left flipper test...and in fact it does hold both balls when I did this. Still doesn't mean it's a code issue...there could be some hardware thing...perhaps something installed incorrectly at the factory. Aurich's machine doesn't do this. I'll Email Stern.

Whatever this "left flipper" ball hold is, it's different than what's happening on machines like RVDV's.

OK - I have a new test for you guys to try. Here's something that I assumed as a code issue but maybe it's hardware as well:

When you start the 2nd or 3rd Vengeance mode (where the ball is held behind the target to start) - press both flipper buttons repeatedly. When I do this, I get "free hits" on the Vengeance before the ball is released...I can finish the mode before the ball is even released. Aurich tested this on his machine (Premium) and it doesn't do this...the left flipper thing doesn't affect his game either.

#118 5 years ago

Just tested the left flipper hold thing again.

If the ball hits lightly (only the bottom opto is crossed), both balls are released.

If the ball hits hard (ball crosses the top opto), that seems to cause them to both stick. Even so - the 3rd ball kicks out into play....and if that ball crosses the lower opto, they'll be released.

Hmmmm....

#119 5 years ago

I cannot get the balls to hold on my Premium, 1.4.2, no matter how I hold up the flipper or how hard or light I hit the ball while doing so.

#120 5 years ago

Well mine does it when I hold the right flipper but if I roll the ball manually they both release normal and a third is ejected. Both optos register normal in diagnostics.

So should I replace both the lower optos - if so what is the part or description I am looking for. Can't see it in the manual.

#121 5 years ago
Quoted from sillyoldelf:

Well mine does it when I hold the right flipper but if I roll the ball manually they both release normal and a third is ejected. Both optos register normal in diagnostics.
So should I replace both the lower optos - if so what is the part or description I am looking for. Can't see it in the manual.

I think it's pretty obvious there's a general issue Stern needs to address. I can confirm that they're being talked to about it already but IMHO it wouldn't hurt to call Chas anyways, make sure they understand it's widespread so it's taken seriously. If it means they need to send a new opto board out or something then fine, it's better than Metallica's hammer still.

On the other hand maybe the problem isn't even the opto itself, and you shouldn't waste your time swapping it. That's why they need to get to the bottom of this.

#122 5 years ago

Ok, tonight just for laughs, I swapped the vengeance opto board with the one next to it, and now it's working! I haven't had time to put a bunch of games on it, but with the few test was I able to do, it no longer sticks, it starts the mode instantly. Now with that said, I'm not sure that just the act of moving the opto boards changed a bad connection or something else. It does show it working in the switch matrix test as it did before.

So if someone that is having the same problem could try this too, that would be great. I'm going to test it some more tomorrow. I will keep everyone posted...

#123 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Ok, tonight just for laughs, I swapped the vengeance opto board with the one next to it, and now it's working!

Nice. Just to be clear here, did you swap the opto (amplifier) boards under the playfield? Or did you change the tiny boards the actual optos are soldered to on top of the playfield? Big difference.

#124 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Ok, tonight just for laughs, I swapped the vengeance opto board with the one next to it, and now it's working!

Wow! Let's hope this is truly a long term fix. Keep us posted.

#125 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

Nice. Just to be clear here, did you swap the opto (amplifier) boards under the playfield? Or did you change the tiny boards the actual optos are soldered to on top of the playfield? Big difference.

I swapped the boards under the playfield.

#126 5 years ago

That's a pretty darn easy fix. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

#127 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

I swapped the boards under the playfield.

WOF had a bad batch of those boards. Perhaps they got another bad batch.

On the pro, I'm not even sure what the other board is used for. Was anything plugged into it?

#128 5 years ago

The only thing I worry about is that some people, myself included, have indicated that the problem has gotten worse over time. If there is some sort of power surge damaging the opto board, it could eventually damage the new board as well.

#129 5 years ago

Could you post a pic of what you swapped to where. I would like to try this.

#130 5 years ago

The problem on the WOF boards was excessive switch hits. Hundreds in no time, which resulted in 1B+ high scores. That doesn't appear to be the problem this time.

When the board is working properly, an LED on the board should light for each of the 4 LED's it controls. If one of those LED's is out, either the opto or the board is bad. To narrow it down, turn the game off and swap connectors. J1 with J3 and J2 with J4. If the problem moves, your opto(s) is bad. If the problem doesn't move, the board is bad.

Those boards also have flaky connectors. Reseating the connectors can often 'fix' them. Before you call Stern, reseat the connectors.

#131 5 years ago
Quoted from sillyoldelf:

Could you post a pic of what you swapped to where. I would like to try this.

Follow the wires from the optos under the playfield to the board. Once you find the first one, you'll know what the second one looks like. Boards diagrams are shown in the yellow section of the manual. Opto amplifier board. Maybe 2" x 2" square.

#132 5 years ago

Ok, so last night I switched the opto boards, ran some test, and it was working, now today at lunch, I go and try it, guess what, back to doing it again! So when people on this thread say it has been getting worse I can see what they mean.

So tonight I’m going to try to switch out the actual sensors themselves with others on the game. But first I’m going to check and see if the connectors on the optp plugs aren’t partially faulty.

#133 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Ok, so last night I switched the opto boards, ran some test, and it was working, now today at lunch, I go and try it, guess what, back to doing it again! So when people on this thread say it has been getting worse I can see what they mean.

Shit. That sucks.

#134 5 years ago

The thing I don’t understand is why it’s only happening when the flippers are activated. If I don’t use the flippers it works fine. And I know it’s not vibration because I can tape the flipper in the up position, activate the flipper with no movement and it fails. This make me wonder if it’s power draw+bad opto somehow. Because even with the flipper taped in the up position, I’m still pulsing all that current through the coil on the flipper. More testing tonight… 

#135 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

This make me wonder if it’s power draw+bad opto somehow.

Are you any good with a multimeter? Perhaps you can see what's going on with the power to your optos, and compare it to someone who has a game that is unaffected.

#136 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

The thing I don’t understand is why it’s only happening when the flippers are activated. If I don’t use the flippers it works fine.

It may be both a hardware and software problem.

You can adjust the connectors on those optos. They are edge connectors, and if they're not properly tensioned, they could cause problems like you and others are seeing. Use a safety pin or some other small point to push down on the thin tab that holds each connector in, then pull it out the back of the connector. Once you have it out, bend the 'edge' that connects to the pin out slightly. Then slide it back in and try again. Do one (wire) at a time, so you don't mix anything up.

#137 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Are you any good with a multimeter? Perhaps you can see what's going on with the power to your optos, and compare it to someone who has a game that is unaffected.

Yes, I was thinking about hooking up my scope to see what’s going on, I might do that after checking the connections. I’ll keep you posted.

#138 5 years ago

I agree that it's probably a combination of hardware and software. My guess is that you will see a temporary drop in power to the optos after the flipper coil is engaged.

#139 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

The problem on the WOF boards was excessive switch hits. Hundreds in no time, which resulted in 1B+ high scores. That doesn't appear to be the problem this time.

had exactly this problem with the switch at the warp ramp. After a longer playtime (>1 hour) the switch didn't stop hitting, so i had to stop playing. Switched two opto-boards and the problem moved to the vengeance...
Got a new board from Stern and everything worked fine (for the moment
After this i had the problem with the vengeance-magnet not releasing the add a ball and stuck ball. Checked the optoboard and found one connector not plugged in right. Fixed it and seems to work now (hopefully)

#140 5 years ago

ok, so I tried something different (simple) before going too deep. I took the connectors off the bottom opto board and pushed the connectors (prongs) a little bit outwards on the board to give a little bit different connection to the plugs, and it is now working again. I have played 3 games so far and the ball has not gotten stuck once.

Can someone here try this too and see if they get the same results?

3-10-2014 6-23-15 PM.jpg

#142 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

What board number is it?

Sorry, I will take a picture when I get a chance, but It's the one on the left side closest to the ship.

#143 5 years ago

I've played it some more tonight, still no problems I think this could be it! Before this, it never worked.

#144 5 years ago

I believe the boards have stickers next to them with numbers.

#145 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

I have played 3 games so far and the ball has not gotten stuck once.

I hope that lasts for you but I suspect it won't. The way the edge connectors are orientated, pushing the pins towards the center of the board would probably work better. I still recommend removing the female connectors and increasing the tension on those instead.

Quoted from gweempose:

What board number is it?

520-5239-01. You can see it printed on the bottom right corner. Too small for a sticker. That board has been used for years. Spidey, Pirate's, FGY and WPT all have at least two, if you want to try a known good one.

#146 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

I believe the boards have stickers next to them with numbers.

There are no stickers on the top of the boards, they all have the same printing on the top mask. But here is a picture.

20140310_212655.jpg

#147 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

I hope that lasts for you but I suspect it won't. The way the edge connectors are orientated, pushing the pins towards the center of the board would probably work better. I still recommend removing the female connectors and increasing the tension on those instead.

Yes, I agree, this was just a quick test to test my theory, I will remove the connectors out of their plastic case and pinch them so they fit tighter to the pin and then I will retest.

520-5239-01. You can see it printed on the bottom right corner. Too small for a sticker. That board has been used for years. Spidey, Pirate's, FGY and WPT all have at least two, if you want to try a known good one.

#148 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

There are no stickers on the top of the boards

Interesting. It must be different on the LEs. On my game, every board has a yellow sticker next to it indicating Board 1, Board 2, etc ...

P1060452.JPG
P1060455.JPG
P1060453.JPG

#149 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

It must be different on the LEs.

You LE buyers get all the good stuff. d

Same board though. You can see the part number in that last pic.

#150 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Interesting. It must be different on the LEs. On my game, every board has a yellow sticker next to it indicating Board 1, Board 2, etc ...

Ah, I see, sorry I was looking at the board for a specific number. Yes the board number is on the sticker

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