(Topic ID: 269507)

STTNG: Drop Target/Multiple Lock Issues

By Dellis

4 years ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by JDinNOVA
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

928E1F39-EEC5-4E11-A9EC-9AB7706E92C4 (resized).jpeg
29292D61-2B75-4B2D-AB91-88A6B5EA9360 (resized).jpeg
FF854CFE-FCA5-49A3-9CF8-A8DAFA0D512B (resized).jpeg
IMG_8213 (resized).jpg
1122 (resized).JPG
pasted_image (resized).png
#1 4 years ago

Got an issue with my STTNG that has stumped me and stumped the repair tech I call in when I'm stumped. Long post...but I wanna give you all the details.

My drop target was not working well--wouldn't always drop when it should, and it turned out to have a piece broken off the reset assembly. I ordered a brand new, assembled drop target assembly from Pinball Life. I installed the assembly myself and, when I switched the game on, the right flippers engaged and blew F103. Figuring I might have done something wrong, I called in my expert.

He re-soldered all the connections, replaced the fuse, tested the solenoids, and replaced the 8-Driver Board with a new Rottendog board (in case I had blown transistors). Solenoids all test fine. Drop target up and down work. The switch functions as it should. The positioning of the target is flush with the playfield when down and doesn't catch.

Now, when starting a game, selecting Lock on ball launch locks the first ball. The target pops up as it should...but, when the next ball is auto-launched, the drop target tries to pop up a few more times, then drops. The next ball then locks. Repeat. Ball 3 locks. Multiball ensues.

Here's what we've tried so far:
* Checked the voltage on the UR 12 volt--just under 14 (about 13.6-13.9). I have a color DMD, but even with the DMD unplugged there's no significant change.

*Swapped the original 8-Driver Board back in. No effect. (I didn't blow transistors after all.)

* Checked all the optos. Found one trough opto out and replaced both trough opto boards with new ones. No effect (other than that all 7 trough switches now work).

* Fixed a sticky kicker in the Borg ship. No effect (other than that it doesn't stick anymore).

* For good measure, we even rebuilt the connectors at the bottom of the MPU board which showed some old acid damage (the MPU board itself was replaced with a Rottendog board with NVRAM).

The only other weird thing we've seen is that occasionally the Borg Lock opto (Switch 31) blinks in test when it shouldn't but it's infrequent, and wiggling the wires etc. doesn't trigger it. Tests fine when manually activated.

So, here we are. We're stumped. Any suggestions what to try next?

#2 4 years ago
Quoted from Dellis:

replaced the 8-Driver Board with a new Rottendog board (in case I had blown transistors).

Not sure why this was done has this has nothing to do with flippers or the drop down target.

Quoted from Dellis:

Now, when starting a game, selecting Lock on ball launch locks the first ball. The target pops up as it should...but, when the next ball is auto-launched, the drop target tries to pop up a few more times, then drops. The next ball then locks. Repeat. Ball 3 locks. Multiball ensues.

Could be a mechanical issue, run through the drop target up down tests to see how it behaves.

#3 4 years ago

Sometimes if the spring is too heavy or stiff the drop targets have a tough time resetting. The coil isn't strong enough to push the target up.

1 week later
#4 4 years ago

It doesn't seem to be a mechanical issue. Drop target up and down work fine in the solenoid test, and the switch is registering properly (solid in both open and closed) in the switch edge test. The down coil and switch on the drop target assembly are both brand new.

Here's precisely what happens:

* Game starts normally. I select Light Lock as launch bonus.

* Drop target gets a drop signal and goes down (or stays down if it's already down).

* Ball 1 launches and locks.

* Drop target goes up. (All good so far.)

* Ball is fed to the shooter lane.

* As the ball launches, the drop target "twitches" in place once (as if trying to raise again) then drops. The solenoid that drops the target then activates twice as if the target is trying to go down again.

* The second ball reaches the hole and locks.

* The drop target pops up.

* Sequence repeats. Third ball locks. Multiball.

What seems to be happening is that the drop target is getting a signal to drop the target again (multiple signals based on the multiple times the coil fires) when it shouldn't--as if it thinks lock is lit when it isn't.

All of the optos associated with ball lock have been replaced with new ones. There was a bad opto on the trough board, so I replaced those with new ones as well.

Not sure what to try next.

#5 4 years ago

My drop target sounded like it was activating several quick times in a row for no reason.
The micro switch was faulty, if I wiggled connection or tapped it in switch test it was switching quickly without the lever being moved.

#6 4 years ago

I tried that on the switch that was on the new assembly I installed. It tested fine and showed no phantom switching issues. Just to be safe, I replaced it and the diode with a new switch which also tests fine. The problem is still there.

The malfunction that prevents the game from playing properly is directly tied to the lock--both as described (when choosing Light Lock as the launch bonus) and when locking the ball during normal play. Once a ball has been locked--either in the Borg ship or in the more common fashion--Lock lights on its own as soon as the next ball is launched from the shooter, dropping the target as described.

I was testing other modes today as well and watching the behavior of the target. It always goes up when it needs to, but it pulses a few times when it gets to the up position (just as it pulses multiple times when the target drops).

#7 4 years ago

Make sure the Drop Target is in the up position, put the game in switch test mode, close the coin door and bang on the playfield with the palm or your hand and ensure no switches are getting triggered.

#8 4 years ago

For the most part there are only two switches in the game that are going to enable the second lock, they are the drop target and right orbit switches, I would focus my attention on these two switches. Keep in mind a bouncing orbit switch (possibly from vibrations) is going to be detected as multiple hits and enable the next lock as well as drop target for the next lock.

#9 4 years ago

bobukcat gave it a try. No false readings from any switches due to vibration.

Pin_Guy Lock is lighting as soon as the ball leaves the shooter lane switch (as the shooter fires it). Today as I was testing, I was getting a new symptom where, instead of the already-up drop target pulsed up as many as a half dozen times before dropping.

I kind of figured those two switches are the primary contributors to lock. Both of those switches test fine, and moving them, shaking them, etc. doesn't give me phantom readings in the edge test. Both of those switches are brand new--I replaced them both in the last week as part of my ongoing trouble shooting.

it's like the drop target up AND down are getting all kinds of crazy signals when Lock lights...and Lock is lighting for no apparent reason.

#10 4 years ago

There really is a lot of potential here for a switch matrix issuer being behind this with the almost always closed Trough up opto and the drop target, shooter lane, and right orbit switch.

When you select the Lock mission the drop target will fall, this will cause switches 57, 67, and 68 all to be closed which is you have a switch matrix issue in this area could cause a phantom read on right orbit switch 58; an issue like this would result in the behavior you are seeing as the game would enable a lock as soon as a ball enters the shooter lane.

pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

If you wouldn't mind humoring me real quick try doing this:
Start a game, but dont select a mission, just open the coin door and go into switch test with the ball still in the shooter lane. then with your finger hit the drop target to make it fall and see if switch 58 registers. If nothing happens, raise the drop target from the test menu, go back into test and hit the right orbit switch to see if the drop target registers down; if this is happening then in game you would see the drop target coil attempt to raise the already raised drop target.

If you have a bad switch diode in the shooter lane you would see both of these things happen as switch 58 would cause a phantom closure of 57 and 57 would cause a phantom closure of 58.

EDIT: Dangit ...this didn't work how I thought it would, I put a jumper across the switch 68 matrix diode in my machine and the game didnt care until switch 57, 58, and 68 were all closed at the same time, I then got phantom closures of EVERY switch in column 5

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from Dellis:

What seems to be happening is that the drop target is getting a signal to drop the target again (multiple signals based on the multiple times the coil fires) when it shouldn't--as if it thinks lock is lit when it isn't

The signal to fire that coil goes through the ribbon cable that attaches between the CPU board and the driver board. Reseat that cable (both sides) or try a known good one.

The ASIC chip on the CPU board can also sometimes cause odd problems like this. Does the game have a Rottendog CPU board? If yes, you may want to remove the ASIC and inspect it for bent pins. Need a chip puller to remove it.

#12 4 years ago

I wouldn't recommend pulling the ASIC until all other options have been exhausted.
That part is expensive and too much risk of damage.

#13 4 years ago

Pin_Guy, the next thing on my list of stuff to try is the switch matrix--I'm guessing that checking the switches and diodes in both Column 5 and Row 7 would be where to start. I do know the switch and diode on 68 are good (checked those), and the top drop target switch (57) and diode have been replaced with brand new ones. 58 has also been replaced recently--the lug that the playfield sits on when fully up was partially unscrewed when I first got the game, and that switch was getting repeatedly bashed. (That's rectified now.)

phishrace I actually did try a new ribbon cable and it didn't change anything. But I'm also going to check (and probably replace, for good measure) the IDC connector that goes to J4 on the 8-Driver since that's where drop up and drop down get power.

My game has a year-old Rottendog CPU board. The ASIC appears to be fine--no bent pins.

#14 4 years ago

It’s a mechanical issue. The only action is UP. The fact that it is dropping means the lip isn’t catching and it’s falling down.

Don’t get me started on the rottendog replacement....

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from holminone:

It’s a mechanical issue. The only action is UP. The fact that it is dropping means the lip isn’t catching and it’s falling down.
Don’t get me started on the rottendog replacement....

Unless the blue solenoid is charging to unhinge the lip.... hmmm. I would throughly check the mechanical action around the little blue solenoid.

#16 4 years ago

holminone The target isn't just falling on its own. It's falling as a result of the the drop target down solenoid knocking it down. In test, both up and down function normally, with zero problems. The height of the target is adjusted properly (flush with the playfield) and its not catching on the playfield as it goes up or down.

When you chose "Launch Probe" on ball launch, the target comes up and stays up, but there is other weirdness. It doesn't just pop up once...the up solenoid continues to fire repeatedly while the target is up until you fire the ball from the cannon, at which point it stays up and behaves normally.

There's something sending erroneous up and down signals to the drop target.

EDIT: Ah...I just re-read your second post. I was thrown off by the "blue solenoid" bit--mine's yellow. Yes...that's what's happening. The down-target solenoid is dropping the target.

#17 4 years ago

Did you figure it out? Is one of the cannon switches triggering the solenoid in the upper area?

Might be able to test with some tape.

#18 4 years ago

Thanks for everyone's input. The problem is fixed! I documented the whole saga on my site: https://www.davesclassicarcade.com/tng-drop-target-saga

But, the TLDR version is that it turns out that the blade on the drop target switch on the replacement assembly I bought (as well as the one on I replaced that one with) was the culprit. On close examination over the weekend, I realized that the plate that pushes the drop target up was sometimes getting on top of the switch blade so that, when the plate dropped back down after pushing the target up, it was re-engaging the switch.

I compared the new switch to the one on the original assembly and the original blade was a good half inch longer than the one on the new switch--long enough to prevent that plate from getting past it! Replaced the blade on the new switch with the longer one from the old switch and the problem disappeared.

Thanks again for everyone working through this with me. It's insane that it was something so simple (yet hard to observe) at the heart of this three-week ordeal.

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from Dellis:

compared the new switch to the one on the original assembly and the original blade was a good half inch longer than the one on the new switch--long enough to prevent that plate from getting past it! Replaced the blade on the new switch with the longer one from the old switch and the problem disappeared.

Thanks for documenting the repair actions.

Just to add a tittle more info to this; I've actually seen this type of switch issue before but its usually caused by installing the clear plastic cover upside down and allowing the switch actuator to move to the side as this plastic is there to prevent what you are describing from happening. I actually cut about 1/2" off of the actuator arm that was on my machine (may not have been the original) as it was way too long and was hitting the spring.

I did replace the plastic with one that wasn't scratched before I installed the restored mech in my machine.
1122 (resized).JPG1122 (resized).JPG

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from Dellis:

Thanks for everyone's input. The problem is fixed! I documented the whole saga on my site: https://www.davesclassicarcade.com/tng-drop-target-saga
But, the TLDR version is that it turns out that the blade on the drop target switch on the replacement assembly I bought (as well as the one on I replaced that one with) was the culprit. On close examination over the weekend, I realized that the plate that pushes the drop target up was sometimes getting on top of the switch blade so that, when the plate dropped back down after pushing the target up, it was re-engaging the switch.
I compared the new switch to the one on the original assembly and the original blade was a good half inch longer than the one on the new switch--long enough to prevent that plate from getting past it! Replaced the blade on the new switch with the longer one from the old switch and the problem disappeared.
Thanks again for everyone working through this with me. It's insane that it was something so simple (yet hard to observe) at the heart of this three-week ordeal.

So true- its usually the obvious- which is why I went to mechanical issue so quickly. So glad you fixed it.

#21 4 years ago

Good to hear you figured it out. If the drop target assembly came from Pinball Life with a short actuator, you should drop them a line and let them know. Didn't check, but they usually have that switch with an extra long actuator.

I believe that same drop target assembly is also used on TNA. Not a great assembly. Would be nice if someone revisited it and improved it.

#22 4 years ago

Pin_Guy Here's a pic of my original assembly. You can see how long the switch blade is here.

What was happening in my case was that the plate that pushes up the drop target was getting in front of the switch from time to time as it went up. It had just enough play to move sufficiently to drop down on the switch when it fell back down. I wish I had a pic of the new assembly as it was when I received it to confirm the length of the switch...but I'm certain it was shorter than this original. I'm also sure the clear plastic piece was right-side-up. I definitely would have noticed when soldering.

IMG_8213 (resized).jpgIMG_8213 (resized).jpg

#23 4 years ago
Quoted from Dellis:

but I'm certain it was shorter than this original. I'm also sure the clear plastic piece was right-side-up. I definitely would have noticed when soldering.

Of that there is no doubt as you would not be able solder the wires to the switch without removing this plastic if it was upside down

There is one more piece of information I failed to mention ...

WARNING: Way more information than anyone ever needs or wants to know is listed below:

First I have no doubt that my drop target is no longer "as built" from the factory. Part of this is because the original Cherry DA3 switches are obsolete and very expensive if you can find them. The other part had to do with the restoration and testing of this sub assembly.

I do not buy switches that have actuator arms, I buy bare switches and use the actuator I have as the actuator is a solid piece of metal and should rarely fail, and in the rare cases that it does fail/break, it's usually because of a something that someone did to it.

When I installed the original actuator from the DA3 to the DB3 I put it on the same postilion (inner) as it was on the original switch, this is a high arc position that requires a lot of movement to close, it also resulted in the switch hitting the spring AND jumping over the drop targets switch tab as I did not have the switch guard installed yet; this turned out to be one of those "good to know" experiences.

I believe I know the theory behind the design as the switch would read closed UNLESS it was all the way up; but honestly I don't really understand why you would want this. The other issue here is this is only true if you have a DA3 switch installed as this switch has a taller pin actuator, the DB3 is shorter and will open if the drop target is part way up.

I changed this on my assembly, I moved the actuator arm to the outer mounting point resulting in a shorter movement between open and closed and adjusted the switch appropriately to only read closed when the drop target is actually down far enough for a ball to pass over it ... in theory, should my drop target spring break, the game will not try to fire the drop target down coil forever but will acknowledge it as a drop target switch failure before burning up the coil or blowing the drive transistor. With the drop target switch now adjusted in this manor the actuator arm was far longer than it ever needed to be and I cut the excess off to match the mechanical drawing of the assembly that was linked by Dellis in a previously post in this thread.

2 months later
#24 3 years ago

I’m having these same symptoms. It looks like my switch may have been replaced at some point and has a shorter actuator arm than shown above.

Does anyone sell a switch with the XL actuator arm?

29292D61-2B75-4B2D-AB91-88A6B5EA9360 (resized).jpeg29292D61-2B75-4B2D-AB91-88A6B5EA9360 (resized).jpeg928E1F39-EEC5-4E11-A9EC-9AB7706E92C4 (resized).jpeg928E1F39-EEC5-4E11-A9EC-9AB7706E92C4 (resized).jpegFF854CFE-FCA5-49A3-9CF8-A8DAFA0D512B (resized).jpegFF854CFE-FCA5-49A3-9CF8-A8DAFA0D512B (resized).jpeg
#25 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinless:

Does anyone sell a switch with the XL actuator arm?

https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/614-1234

#26 3 years ago

https://www.pinballlife.com/sub-microswitch-with-31-straight-flat-actuator.html

You can cut off as much of the actuator as you want. I never buy switches with the "correct" actuator on them, because I'm cheap. I either bend it myself or re-use the old one.

1 month later
#27 3 years ago

Want to think the contributors to this post, especially Dellis. I fell down the same rabbit hole with a PBL assembly that had the short actuator. You all saved me a lot of time and frustration. Many thanks!

Promoted items from Pinside Marketplace and Pinside Shops!
$ 35.00
Cabinet - Other
Rocket City Pinball
 
$ 173.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Sparky Pinball
 
$ 449.00
Cabinet - Decals
Mircoplayfields
 
$ 399.00
Cabinet - Decals
Mircoplayfields
 
6,250 (Firm)
Machine - For Sale
Portland, OR
6,000
Machine - For Sale
West Chester, PA
$ 250.00
Lighting - Interactive
Professor Pinball
 
$ 64.99
$ 10.00
Playfield - Decals
Pinball Haus
 
$ 49.99
Cabinet - Toppers
Lighted Pinball Mods
 
$ 29.00
Cabinet - Other
Filament Printing
 
$ 20.00
Playfield - Decals
Pinball Haus
 
6,600
Machine - For Sale
Clovis, NM
$ 599.00
Cabinet - Toppers
Juz PINBALL Mods
 
$ 85.00
Boards
Pinball Haus
 
$ 1.00
Pinball Machine
Pinball Alley
 
From: $ 25.00
Playfield - Decals
Pinball Invasion
 
$ 22.50
Playfield - Decals
Pinball Haus
 
$ 25.99
Lighting - Led
Lee's Parts
 
$ 1,059.00
Pinball Machine
Mircoplayfields
 
$ 63.95
$ 79.99
Cabinet - Armor And Blades
PinGraffix Pinside Shop
 
$ 19.95
Lighting - Led
Mitchell Lighting
 
7,500
Machine - For Sale
Homer Glen, IL
$ 9.99
Eproms
Matt's Basement Arcade
 
$ 85.00
Great pinball charity
Pinball Edu

Reply

Wanna join the discussion? Please sign in to reply to this topic.

Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

Donate to Pinside

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, subscribe to Pinside+!


This page was printed from and we tried optimising it for printing. Some page elements may have been deliberately hidden.

Scan the QR code on the left to jump to the URL this document was printed from.