(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 5 years ago by paul_8788
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#3 5 years ago

If it's happening pretty much every time, there's most likely some kind of issue with your lower opto. As soon as the ball trips it, both balls should release and another ball should kick out for 3 ball Multiball.

#11 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.

Absolutely wrong. The ball just barely tripping the lower opto will release the magnet ball & start your multiball. Getting a dead on whack is fun, but you don't have to do it. If you need a video for proof, I'll make you a video for proof. I own the game, and this is how it behaves. I've played another ST where the ball got stuck on the magnetized ball every single time and you had to wait for it to time out. That's abnormal behavior and there's something wrong with the lower opto.

#14 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 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.

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from nodyeliab:

Thanks for all the input, I will check the opto when I get home. This is a pro version and it came from STERN with 1.4 installed.
As far as hitting it hard enough to trigger the other opto, I've hit it so hard that it moved the ball on the magnet up and my other ball took it's spot on the magnet, so it sound like an opto issue. I will let everyone know if that was it.

DEFINITELY an opto issue.

#21 5 years ago
Quoted from hassellcastle:

Mine does this as well on my STLE.
I was going to post a similar post asking the same thing.
Just seems like it should work like Bank Bust on Spider-Man. However it seems like I hit the second and sometimes third ball up there and it just gets magnetized to the other balls already up there.
Not sure exactly if it's registering as a hit. I'll need to investigate that further. I will say beside this my drop target and every other hit in that area seem to work correctly. I'm leaning towards it's a code issue that is not releasing the balls.

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

If you start Vengeance and get 2 balls stuck there without the 3rd launching - the front optos are NOT recognizing the hit. That's why the 2 balls are sticking and not releasing until the DMD countdown is over.

That's how the game rules work. If you don't hit the magnetized ball off in time, it will release and you only get a 2 ball multiball. If you hit it, they both release instantly and a 3rd ball is launched.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

May be a Vengeance MB difficulty setting. Easy is first optos, hard is second optos.

No. You're wrong. They would never make a setting that would punish the player by having sticky balls time out for a "light hit". That's insane. It hurts my brain to debate this.

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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.

Maybe a short somewhere?

#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.

#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.

#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.

#110 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

I could be wrong though.

As always

#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

#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.

#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....

1 week later
#218 5 years ago
Quoted from dug:

If thats the case… I wouldn't change out the opto's too much of a PITA for no reason.
Not really sure how, but I'm not eliminating software issue???
I know some machines don't have this problem and some do so it doesn't make sense.

If it was software they'd all have it. Something physical...board related, opto related, wiring related must be at play here.

#234 5 years ago
Quoted from dug:

Try putting "new" balls in… maybe the old ones are magnetized now?
It really is a head scratcher.

It's not a magnetized ball issue on RVDV's game....it doesn't recognize that you hit the captured ball - that's why it gets stuck...because the captured ball is still captured.

RVDV - now that you've replaced all that stuff, what happens in switch test? Do those optos work normally in switch test?

#240 5 years ago
Quoted from rvdv:

Hi all
I have done some more follow up reading more tips
With the pencil test , game releases first ball and start 3 ball mutliball
No extra scoring when ball 1 is locked and flipper gets pressed before doing the pencil thing
Now in normal game play, shooting the ball in, 2nd ball gets stuck on magnet as well
ones ball search comes both balls are released and no 3 ball mutliball ( arrgggghhhhh)
Looks to me the timing needs to be faster between opto reading and magnet ball release
Hate to say it but its the speed of my balls going into it that they get stuck
any comments ?

I'm not sure what the fix is, but it's still abnormal. Mine will release the captured ball & give you the 3rd whether the ball goes in super fast or super slow.

#246 5 years ago
Quoted from Schabs81:

Just got my game today and it does it everytime so far

Does what? Work correctly or stickyballs?

#249 5 years ago
Quoted from Schabs81:

Sticking everytime

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.

#251 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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

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

3 weeks later
#289 5 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

I've tried everything I can think of, and the problem still persists. I flip flopped the wires, swapped out optos, swapped out boards, bent out the connector pins, etc ... Nothing has helped.

At least you're near Stern...throw the pin in your car and drive it over there lol.

Luckily my magnet has worked well since I unboxed it and still does.

#294 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. I've even seen the ball slightly dislodge only to be grabbed right back because of how strong it is. I think/hope turning down the power is possible in the software and is what they have to do. If they could make the magnets in X-Men so much more powerful in the last couple revisions, I don't see why they can't tone down the power on the ST one now.

It's only going to grab it back if it's turned on. Hitting the front opto shuts the magnet off, so it shouldn't strongly grab anything back. Sorry if it's already been covered in this thread - but when you hit the magnetized ball and it grabs both - is it shooting out a 3rd ball for the multiball? If not - the hit wasn't registered, therefore: Opto problem, not magnet problem.

#307 5 years ago
Quoted from Jediturtle:

Well I tried making some quick and dirty "shrouds" from black construction paper and failed. It may not have been good enough to block all stray light, but more likely that is not the problem.
The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking this might be a software thing. I have never had a Klingon lock miss putting up the drop target whether from a soft, barely making it shot, or a fast hard shot. I am assuming the same opto is being used in that case??? That seems to tell me it's not an opto issue. If it was an opto issue, you would think the Klingon lock would fail at least once in awhile, but it never has (for me), whereas the magnet keeps the ball during Vengeance about 75%+ of the time. Thoughts?

Don't see how it can be a software problem when mine (and others) works 100%. There's definitely a problem though, as too many people have problems...but, I think it's gotta be some kind of hardware issue that will have to have some kind of physical service bulletin fix at some point.

#332 5 years ago
Quoted from mjannusch:

This is exactly how my Premium works, and the ones I've played on location as well. No ramps involved in getting the multiball going - just a shot that breaks the first opto beam in the Vengeance.

The ramps (white inserts) count as hits toward the Vegeance, but only a direct shot to the Vengeance (front opto break) gets you the 3rd ball for the Multiball. While you're in the Multiball, the ramps (white inserts) will give you Vengeance hits for a little bit, but then you have to hit it directly a few times to destroy it.

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