(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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#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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

-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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

-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.

-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)).

#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?

-2
#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.

#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.

#111 5 years ago

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

#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?

-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.

#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.

#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?

#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.

#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.

#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.

#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.

#155 5 years ago
Quoted from JimB:

Please clear this up.. I'm confused when you say instead.....

I meant instead of bending the male pins, check or adjust the female connectors. From a few posts earlier...

Quoted from phishrace:

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.

#176 5 years ago
Quoted from flashburn:

Wouldn't a flickering opto mean it would register as a hit? I guess that would be the case if it was the transmitter, so if it is the opto it would have to be the receiver that has the issue.

Also, on mine I checked the current draw to the transmitter opto when pressing the flipper versus not, it didn't change at all. So I doubt its the transmitter.

ST uses transceivers. Both optos can transmit and receive. What problem are you seeing?

#187 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

There is something about this issue that I find perplexing. When the second ball is stuck to the first on the magnet, the flippers will score points. What do you guys think causes this?

I've seen the sticking ball, but never seen the flippers score points. Assuming you can either hear or see the points being scored, try to narrow down what's awarding them. Someone else mentioned their opto board was causing phantom hits on the right ramp. Are you getting Vengeance hits, or right ramp hits? I'm also assuming you've reseated all the opto connectors on both opto boards.

1 week later
#237 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

There are no animations or callouts. The score just goes up every time I flip.

If no dots or sounds, I assume you can see the points being scored. How many points are being scored each flip? That's your clue.

Also, have you put the game in switch test and pounded on the playfield?

-1
#278 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

This is not encouraging news at all. I believe it's the first I have heard of a game without any symptoms at all suddenly developing the problem. This means that no game is immune.

I'm not convinced everyone knows exactly what the problem is. On pros I've played, they've all done it to some degree. Soft shot sticks to the other ball, hard shot knocks both balls loose. So is the problem that it sticks every time and never adds the third ball? Or is it a problem that only happens occasionally? If the latter, is it how it was designed? (with a few bad optos/opto boards sprinkled in)

Either way, it's not a huge problem. Not as bad as balls getting stuck on Hulk, the bad bell optos on the first AC/DC premiums or the hammer issues on MET premiums/LE's. So can we please stop using words like 'immune'? It's a bug at worst, not the black plague.

Quoted from RobKnapp:

I am worried that if I update to 1.42 It may develop Vengeance Multi-Ball issue.

Backup 1.41 first, then update to 1.42. Backup option is in the utilities menu. Doubt the change will do anything to Vengeance.

2 months later
#422 5 years ago
Quoted from steve1515:

Maybe someone should tell Stern they are implementing the fix the wrong way.

I don't think you should assume Stern copied and pasted Kneissl's fix. They have engineers just for situations like this. I would hope that they tested any fix before they switched the assembly procedure.

As for why there hasn't been a service bulletin, it's not that big of a deal. People playing on location don't even notice. The active part of the collector community got the fix here and anyone who calls them will be told what they need to do. And it won't cause a fire if it isn't fixed. No service bulletin needed.

1 month later
#492 5 years ago

Started after 400 games? Have you checked to see if the balls are magnetized? Looking at the other replies, it seems like others need to check too. Remove balls, hold them over a paper clip or safety pin. Simple test.

Factory balls shouldn't get magnetized in 400 plays, but Stern has obviously had problems acquiring quality balls lately. It's an easy test and should be the first thing you check when this problem comes up.

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