(Topic ID: 198437)

Stripping wire with machine off killed power to entire house


By ryanwanger

2 years ago



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  • 31 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by rotordave
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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92d58ee2f18f049495b231bc57f45b4eed469a78 (resized).jpg
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2017-09-19-18-31-03- (resized).jpg

#1 2 years ago

I'm working on a TZ that has been possessed lately. Lots of resetting, fuses blowing, etc.

I am swapping out the coil that kicks balls into the shooter lane (because, oddly, the center of the coil has an unidentified melted mass inside it so the plunger can't be pulled through). I cut off one of the wires, and then stripped it. And the power in the room went out and came back immediately.

It actually happened twice in rapid succession, as I touched the wire twice. Incredulously, I did the same thing again, stripping the wire with my tool, and it happened again. Not only was it the circuit the game is connected to, but power to the *entire* house went out.

(No circuit breakers were tripped).

WTF is going on?!?

#2 2 years ago

#3 2 years ago

Do dee do do, do dee do do . . .

#4 2 years ago

I should note that this TZ was on location having issues, and this is the first time I've tried to work on it since bringing it home.

Quoted from dr_nybble:

Do dee do do, do dee do do . . .

They really went overboard on the theme integration.

#5 2 years ago

2017-09-19-18-31-03- (resized).jpg

#6 2 years ago

Very strange. Is it possible someone messed with the power switch? Maybe it's switching the neutral instead of the hot? Do you have a plug tester? Try it in the service outlet.

#7 2 years ago
Quoted from Shredso:

Very strange. Is it possible someone messed with the power switch? Maybe it's switching the neutral instead of the hot? Do you have a plug tester? Try it in the service outlet.

Tell me more about this. I did have a soldering iron plugged into the service outlet at the time (which was working fine). I don't have a plug tester, but I do have a multimeter.

#8 2 years ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

They really went overboard on the theme integration.

That's the kind of immersion everyone has been waiting for.

#9 2 years ago

There is a demon in your Twilght Zone

#10 2 years ago

Could be a bad circuit breaker and won't trip, instead the main panel breaker tripped to catch the short

#11 2 years ago

I'm really confused about this. I got a text shortly after from my location (about a mile away) saying that I should check on my games tomorrow because they were having power surges. It's possible this was a coincidence...but it was literally two outages about 60 seconds apart...both at the *exact* moment that I was stripping the same wire in TZ.

Our internet shut off and the router restarted itself...but the clock on the stove didn't reset.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

I was afraid to keep working on it, but will probably give it another shot tomorrow.

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

I'm really confused about this. I got a text shortly after from my location (about a mile away) saying that I should check on my games tomorrow because they were having power surges. It's possible this was a coincidence...but it was literally two outages about 60 seconds apart...both at the *exact* moment that I was stripping the same wire in TZ.
Our internet shut off and the router restarted itself...but the clock on the stove didn't reset.
Welcome to the Twilight Zone.
I was afraid to keep working on it, but will probably give it another shot tomorrow.

My TZ has voltage hot even when the game is off. Mine has been rewrired from 220V and the coin door doesn't break the high voltage... so I intend on digging into if they bypassed it when rewiring the transformer. But I still get 60v on the coil when the game switch is OFF. Which it shouldn't be at all.. but maybe yours is similar in someway.. so your shorting is popping the circuit too.

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

My TZ has voltage hot even when the game is off. Mine has been rewrired from 220V and the coin door doesn't break the high voltage... so I intend on digging into if they bypassed it when rewiring the transformer. But I still get 60v on the coil when the game switch is OFF. Which it shouldn't be at all.. but maybe yours is similar in someway.. so your shorting is popping the circuit too.

Keep me posted on this. Mine coin door doesn't break the high voltage either, but I had assumed this was right before coin door interlocks became a thing.

13
#14 2 years ago

Not to be obvious, but I recommend unplugging the game....

#15 2 years ago

It's not like you weren't warned. It does tell you not to open the door.

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

I am swapping out the coil that kicks balls into the shooter lane (because, oddly, the center of the coil has an unidentified melted mass inside it so the plunger can't be pulled through).

The coil has been locked on and melted as a result. You have a short somewhere.

#17 2 years ago

The obstruction in the coil is a melted sleeve, which means it locked on solid. Unless you find some other kind of physical short (frayed wire, or a loose, shorted bracket, etc) I would look at the corresponding transistors on the board. Typically there's no reason a ball kicker should short or stay on that way, so this is a pretty good indicator there are problems upstream.

It sounds like you're still learning the ins-and-whats of troubleshooting these things. Make sure you have the manual and schematic. But even that can only tell you so much and there is a learning curve to understanding it all. So, meanwhile, check every wire in the game, especially the playfield: gently poke, prod, tug for anything loose. Get familiar with what the majority of solder connections look like, so that you can spot any that look different, indicating a previous repair. Compare those to the schematic to make sure the repair was proper.

Obviously you know to post here when you get stuck...

Sometimes weird things just happen. When I was about 12 or so I was teaching myself wiring and repairs on HO scale model trains. All these years later I don't remember what I did in this particular incident, but I remember I was trying to create a signal block, had wired that into an electrically controlled track turnout with junk signal I was trying to get to work, and ALSO was testing a locomotive I'd repaired. I was doing all of this with NO instructions, just experimenting. Well I fired up the power pack and all the lights in the house went off - yep, blew the breaker just like your TZ. That "should" not have been possible, but needless to say after the "oh shit" moment passed I thought it was kinda awesome. I remember inspecting my work and nothing seemed recklessly out of sorts except I internally shorted the loco because I didn't realize it had another feeder circuit... but you can do that all day long on purpose and the only thing that happens is a loco that doesn't move, not a full-structure panel breaker reset. Never happened again in the subsequent 25+ years, but I still fondly recall that incident because who doesn't like some occasional "WTF stories" with their hobby?

You're doing the right thing exercising caution. Unplug the game, look through it methodically, and you'll get it figured out soon enough.

#18 2 years ago

sounds like the wiring to the service outlet is messed up and/or current is passing through the power switch also due to bad wiring or a bad power switch.

#19 2 years ago

found your topper

topper 2 (resized).jpg

#20 2 years ago

Unplug! Dont burn youre house down

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

The obstruction in the coil is a melted sleeve, which means it locked on solid. Unless you find some other kind of physical short (frayed wire, or a loose, shorted bracket, etc) I would look at the corresponding transistors on the board. Typically there's no reason a ball kicker should short or stay on that way, so this is a pretty good indicator there are problems upstream.

Actually, it's not the coil sleeve. There is still a sleeve in the coil, but it won't budge, so I can't get it out. I'll take a pic later when I can.

Quoted from jorro:

Unplug! Dont burn youre house down

That's of course the first thing I did. Will report back later when I start poking around.

#22 2 years ago

Meter set on A/C 200V

One probe in LARGE duplex slot, one probe in ground hole (Hopefully 0v?) if 120v Neutral is HOT (thus wired backwards)

One probe in the SMALL duplex slot, one probe in ground hole (hopefully 120v?) If 0v, ground is open ( thus not grounded)

92d58ee2f18f049495b231bc57f45b4eed469a78 (resized).jpg

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

Actually, it's not the coil sleeve. There is still a sleeve in the coil, but it won't budge, so I can't get it out.

My guess is it is a melted down coil/sleeve. They only melt in the middle sometimes, and it looks like someone shoved gum in it or something.
I would imagine you're transistor is gone too, the replacement coil will probly lock on, till the fuse blows again.

Not sure why that coil would lock on, or maybe the x-istor just failed.

#24 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Meter set on A/C 200V
One probe in LARGE duplex slot, one probe in ground hole (Hopefully 0v?) if 120v Neutral is HOT (thus wired backwards)
One probe in the SMALL duplex slot, one probe in ground hole (hopefully 120v?) If 0v, ground is open ( thus not grounded)

This is a good first test. However, even if this tests good, the game could have the hot and neutral reversed. If either the plug or the game is reversed, the neutral on the game is hot. Most soldering irons are grounded via their power cord. Touching a grounded soldering iron to a "hot" neutral could kill the lights.

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from JimWilks:

This is a good first test. However, even if this tests good, the game could have the hot and neutral reversed. If either the plug or the game is reversed, the neutral on the game is hot. Most soldering irons are grounded via their power cord. Touching a grounded soldering iron to a "hot" neutral could kill the lights.

With the game off, but plugged in, check if your incoming White wire is somehow hot with your meter.

So, meter set on AC 200v:

One probe on White wire, one on Green. Voltage (hopefully 0v)? (if 120v White is HOT, and thus the White and Black are wired in reverse)

One probe on Black, one on Green. Voltage (hopefully 120v)? (if 0v, ground is faulty)

One probe on Black, one on White. Voltage (hopefully 120v)?

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

Actually, it's not the coil sleeve. There is still a sleeve in the coil, but it won't budge, so I can't get it out. I'll take a pic later when I can.

I'd be interested in the autopsy, but I had the same thing on a project pin once. Looked like a wad of gum or something. To get the sleeve out I had to drill through the wad, then pass a coping saw through the sleeve and cut a slot along its length. The slot relieved some of the pressure, allowing other methods to succeed in getting the sleeve out.

What I found was that the coil had gotten so hot: not only did the sleeve melt, forming a hole in itself, but part of the coil's own bobbin melted into the hole.

What was even more astounding was that the coil ohmed out OK and after reaming the bobbin out to accept a new sleeve, it still worked! I replaced it anyway though, no sense in long term risk but it was useful for short term testing. After I replaced the board transistors for that coil, which were shot.

#28 2 years ago

I've had a coil grab the sleeve permanently. Oddly enough it was in the middle of SFGE in Atlanta. I spent about an hour breaking the coil sleeve out of the coil and gently whittled down the diameter of a new sleeve down so it would fit in and not pinch the plunger.

Not ideal but I had to do it in the middle of the show.

#29 2 years ago

any coil that gets hot enough to even minorly melt a sleeve needs to be replaced IMHO. The insulation on the insternal wiring is compromised and more prone to internal short later.

I would just replace the whole coil.

#30 2 years ago

So...service outlet checked out correctly. 120V on hot side, 0V on neutral side.

I recreated the same action with the wire strippers that caused the issue the first time...and nothing happened. So, I'm going to chalk this up to neighborhood power grid issues, which were happening on that same night. Honestly, it's one of the biggest coincidences of my life: neighborhood power goes out twice, each time synced to the exact second that I'm stripping a wire to a bad coil.

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

any coil that gets hot enough to even minorly melt a sleeve needs to be replaced IMHO. The insulation on the insternal wiring is compromised and more prone to internal short later.
I would just replace the whole coil.

Concur. If you can't pull the sleeve out, bin the coil. They're only 5-10 bucks.

rd

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