(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
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#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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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?

#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?

#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.

#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.

#51 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

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

Cool, report back.

#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.

#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.

#70 5 years ago

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

#76 5 years ago

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

#79 5 years ago

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

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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 ...

#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.

#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.

#173 5 years ago
Quoted from sillyoldelf:

I don't follow how if the opto is working fine in tests it can still be bad to cause this problem?

Well it seems to be related to the flippers, so maybe there's a current draw on the circuit that's affecting something.

I'll tell you this: I have my games in the garage, on a circuit with the house. Shadow, Scared Stiff, EATPM, when I play them there are no issues. I play Star Trek and the house light flicker (need to get a new circuit run out to the garage). So the game draws some juice!

#178 5 years ago
Quoted from flashburn:

I still think it's a SW issue.

Why would you think that? If it happens on some machines and not others Occam's Razor says it's a hardware issue. I have never even once had it happen to my Trek, running the same software as people who have. Furthermore, people messing with their optos seems to fix it at least temporarily, again, not a software problem.

Now maybe there's a hardware flaw that could be addressed in software, you can fix physical problems with software sometimes. But that's not the same thing.

#210 5 years ago
Quoted from Schabs81:

Has stern said anything to you guys about this? I just ordered one should be here next week getting worried now .

My machine is totally fine. Rarehero's is fine. I've only played one machine that has an issue, there's no saying how widespread it is, I wouldn't worry until after you see a problem. If so I'm sure it's fixable.

#214 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

The opto works perfectly in switch test, always has.

Not surprising, the problem seems to be tied to the optos + the flippers. As has been tested, they nominally work, but with erratic behavior for some when the flipper is held up. So the defect may not manifest itself until the circuit is under load for instance. Did you verify that you have that same issue with the glass off?

#222 5 years ago
Quoted from rvdv:

I am at a loss
Replaced opto's , boards
Ball two still gets stuck on magnet ?
Even a third ball if you put it there
Stern has no answer to this problem
I played several machines from others
Some had same issue some didn't
Send me to the Twilight Zone ??

I'm curious, did you try that glass off test, where you roll the balls up by hand or break the opto with a pencil or something, no flippers involved? Might help to verify your issue is tied to the flippers like other people's seem to be.

#236 5 years ago
Quoted from RobKnapp:

Help me out. What is a RVDV's game ?

The game that belongs to rvdv aka Robert, which happens to be a Star Trek LE.

#250 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Too many people are having this problem. Stern really needs to re-engineer SOMETHING so that this doesn't keep happening to people right out of the box.

How have they not addressed this yet? Are you guys just living with it or calling Stern?

#252 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I dunno, mine works fine except for that thing where flipping both buttons during Vengeance 2 & 3 count as hits. *shrug*

I'd be on the phone to Stern constantly until it was resolved except for the fact that mine works perfectly. I feel for everyone who's having trouble though.

#260 5 years ago
Quoted from Schabs81:

Sucks that they are expecting us to replace these parts on our own time I bought new so I didn't have to replace stuff two days out of box

Realistically what would you suggest? You don't want to pack your pin back up and ship it to Stern I assume? They can't fly their tech to you, they'd go broke and stop making pins if that was the case.

Not that I want anyone to have problems, but this is pinball, if you aren't cool with getting your hands dirty, or at least paying for a personal tech to get dirty for you I guess, then it's not really the right hobby for you. Things are gonna break, that's just inevitable. NIB or not. These are machines crammed with electronics and wires and physical mechanisms with a heavy steel ball smashing around, it's only a matter of time no matter the quality control.

#262 5 years ago
Quoted from Schabs81:

Should be taken care of before they just keep shipping more out.

No argument here, why have they not figured it out yet, obviously enough people are having problems. It's not a 100%, we know that, but it's enough that you'd think they'd have solved it by now. Everyone should be calling them, not waiting for someone else to figure it out. They'll get the message.

#279 5 years ago
Quoted from RobKnapp:

I just purchased a STLE. It does not appear to have the Vengeance Muli-ball magnet issue. But it is brand new. My Question is It has the 1.41 code . 1.42 added a few minor adjustments. I am worried that if I update to 1.42 It may develop Vengeance Multi-Ball issue. Ant thoughts .

It's not a code problem. Update away, I'm running 1.42 without any issues. It may be that there is something in the code that can fix it, adjust how the optos are being read or something, but it's not a pure software bug at the very least.

2 weeks later
#292 5 years ago

Utterly unrelated to the balls. PBL glossies work great with magnets.

#300 5 years ago
Quoted from Jediturtle:

To me, at least on my machine, it seems obvious the magnet is simply too powerful. Even a good direct hit rarely dislodges the ball and instead results in two balls stuck together.

That's not the issue, you're not actually physically knocking the ball off the magnet with the other ball, you just need to break the opto in front of it to release it. The issue is with the opto. Defective boards, something else, but totally unrelated to the magnet strength.

#308 5 years ago

Mine work 100%, latest software, Premium. I knock it loose every single time, don't even have to touch the other ball, just kissing up into the opto beam releases it. Obviously it's a common enough issue, but don't think it happens to all games, because some work just fine.

That to me rules out software completely, bits are bits. It's hardware that varies. Maybe it's not as simple as "bad opto board", I certainly don't know. I suspect it's not that simple, because most people can make it work fine with the glass off and breaking the beam manually, it seems like the flipper engaging is tied to the problem.

#315 5 years ago
Quoted from damionrowe:

When you say twisted your wires, what do you mean?

#327 5 years ago
Quoted from ek77:

hit both ramps once then hit ball it will then release. then hit ramp again the then start hitting ship.

You don't have to touch the ramps to release the ball, I'm not sure what you're getting at. When the game is functioning properly you break the lower opto and the ball releases, that simple.

#335 5 years ago

I wonder what's up with the whole "flipper up" problem with glass off testing, in relation to that fix?

#358 5 years ago
Quoted from NightTrain:

Funny how Stern didn't figure this out first and post a bulletin.

Has anyone emailed them the fix? Surely someone has to have already been working with their tech support on this? Mine is working perfectly, so I'm not going to do it, but someone who can answer any questions they might have should.

1 month later
#397 5 years ago
Quoted from Nokoro:

Does everyone have this problem, or only some? Is it intermittent?

I never have this problem, it seems like you either get it all the time or you just don't. Which given the solution makes sense.

2 weeks later
#464 5 years ago
Quoted from halpain24:

I believe the balls have been magnetized.

No need to guess. Will they pick up a paperclip?

3 weeks later
#496 5 years ago
Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

the problem happens when there is too much power at the magnet, and the shot, not being strong enough to knock it out.

No, that's not the problem. There's this misunderstanding that you're "knocking the ball off the magnet". That's not how it works. You simply have to break the front optos, and the held ball will be released. You don't have to even physically contact the held ball.

I could see a code fix changing how the sequence is handled and fixing it, I guess we'll see.

4 weeks later
#513 5 years ago

Yeah, just wait, bug fixes are coming.

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