(Topic ID: 47092)

St:tng owners welcome aboard the uss enterprise


By Pinballgeek

7 years ago



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#4401 8 months ago

Hello, I have an issue with the Borg Lock drop target not successfully resetting. It looks like a pretty complex assembly to work on. Symptoms: target does reset when new ball launched but then the reset solenoid fires several times in a row unsuccessfully try to reset the target. I'm wondering if there is a FAQ or tips to troubleshoot /re and re this particular assembly - it looks a bit daunting. From what I can tell there is too much play in the coil assembly and friction along the entire system, so a through disassembly is required. Is this a common area for maintenance , like cannon harness, optos?? Thanks!

#4402 8 months ago
Quoted from BCpinhead:

It looks like a pretty complex assembly to work on.

It does doesn't it, in reality its actually a fairly simple mechanism. The large coil fires to raise the target by pressing up on the bottom of the plastic target and the target is held in place by a small triangular shaped holding edge. The target is lowered by either a ball hitting it to push it off the ledge, or by the tiny coil firing and engaging the drop lever to push it off its ledge ... that's it in a nutshell.

My guess is if you take it out of the machine where you can hold it and rotate it around you will see how simple it really is. Unfortunately, all the wires for both coils, the target position switch, and the massively important tieback wire are all hard wired to this device. You may want to consider just cutting all of the wires off close to the solder points and use molex connectors for both coils and the target switch so that you can wire everything on your workbench if you decide to rebuild the mech.

Quoted from BCpinhead:

From what I can tell there is too much play in the coil assembly and friction along the entire system, so a through disassembly is required.

So what can go wrong? Unfortunately lots of things ... the ledge can be worn and not able to hold the target, the coil sleeve can be cracked and causing friction, there can be old dried grease on the mech causing things to not operate smoothly, there can be excessive play causing things to not work properly, there can be broken springs, causing the target to not sit on the ledge or the target drop lever to not fully disengage.

Here are the major parts:
Drop Target (resized).jpg

#4403 8 months ago

Thank you so much Captain Pin!! I was hoping you would be able to chime in, I have read many pages of this thread but not the entire thread combing of that EXACT PICTURE!! I have a lot to learn , just gotta get a dedicated space for rebuild and allocate some time. The unit has to come out of the machine. A few months ago I completed a tie-back mod, new tray opto board, played a few awesome games then....click...click...click wtf is that??!!!! Sadly, havent played it since but Im itching to play it now.. I will report back w progress.

#4404 8 months ago
Quoted from BCpinhead:

Thank you so much Captain Pin!! I was hoping you would be able to chime in, I have read many pages of this thread but not the entire thread combing of that EXACT PICTURE!! I have a lot to learn , just gotta get a dedicated space for rebuild and allocate some time. The unit has to come out of the machine. A few months ago I completed a tie-back mod, new tray opto board, played a few awesome games then....click...click...click wtf is that??!!!! Sadly, havent played it since but Im itching to play it now.. I will report back w progress.

Another issue on these drop target can be the micro-switch actuator arm alignment and position (sits below the tab protruding from the back of the drop target) and whether your drop target has the actuator guide (see the blue arrow in the diagram)
Plastic Guide1 (resized).jpg

In test mode, check if the target stays up (if not then this is the problemas pin_guy has mentioned) and check if the switch is correctly activating on dropping and raising the target (if the switch is correctly reporting the target position the game will try raising the target multiple times)

#4405 8 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

Quoted from Pin_Guy:
Very true, this is why I purchased a new translite from Mr. Pinball yesterday ... In hindsight I should have purchased two.

and 77 days (yep 11 weeks) later:

Arrived at facility
UNITED STATES
Date & time Wed 3 Jun • 6:40pm

Just giving a shoutout to MR. Pinball. I liked this translite enough to buy two more for different Bally/Willams machines and both are awesome! I did pay for 1 level higher shipping then the cheapest method and had them in about a week and a half ... I assume Australia Post must have resumed normal shipping once again.

#4406 8 months ago

Thank you for chiming in Manny75 for the advice above. The target does try to reset several times but fails to catch (for a few reasons above) I have to investigate and start by taking out the entire unit.
Q) on reassembly would you recommend using a tiny amount of super lube Teflon gel on the drop target slide (if that makes sense) ? Or leave the plastic channel /slide area dry?

#4407 8 months ago

Lube should be used only on metal to metal contacts like the diverters. Not on plastic drop targets.
Lube on these parts leads to problems including attracting dirt which gum ups the lube.

If it's not catching; it's proably a broken ledge item 14 in the drawing.
The bump near item 9 "catches" on the ledge 14 in the up position.

#4408 8 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

Just giving a shoutout to MR. Pinball. I liked this translite enough to buy two more for different Bally/Willams machines and both are awesome! I did pay for 1 level higher shipping then the cheapest method and had them in about a week and a half ... I assume Australia Post must have resumed normal shipping once again.

Good to hear mate! Can I ask which translites you purchased?

#4409 8 months ago
Quoted from BCpinhead:

Thank you for chiming in Manny75 for the advice above. The target does try to reset several times but fails to catch (for a few reasons above) I have to investigate and start by taking out the entire unit.
Q) on reassembly would you recommend using a tiny amount of super lube Teflon gel on the drop target slide (if that makes sense) ? Or leave the plastic channel /slide area dry?

Yep similar to zitt 's comment, I'd clean all the parts thoroughly and replace anything that is looking worn/broken. There shouldn't be any need for lube on this drop target.

#4410 8 months ago
Quoted from Manny65:

Good to hear mate! Can I ask which translites you purchased?

Sure can, I picked up a Funhouse and a Twilight Zone.

#4411 8 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

Sure can, I picked up a Funhouse and a Twilight Zone.

Yes post is getting better from Australia now

#4412 8 months ago

I just had my first game over 10 billion yesterday and noticed during play it cuts off the billions from the score. After game the score list is correct. Did they really not expect anyone to break 10 billion?

#4413 8 months ago
Quoted from misterman:

I just had my first game over 10 billion yesterday and noticed during play it cuts off the billions from the score. After game the score list is correct. Did they really not expect anyone to break 10 billion?

For real. I did a double take when I first noticed that (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/sttng-owners-club/page/83#post-5552487).

#4414 8 months ago

Nice score! I was one mode away from ff #2, my score would have probably been another 3 billion or so higher.

#4415 8 months ago

Installed an LED strip light in the back. Keep or kill? I have mixed feelings.

20200706_191123 (resized).jpg

20200706_192622 (resized).jpg
#4416 8 months ago
Quoted from sataneatscheese:

Installed an LED strip light in the back. Keep or kill? I have mixed feelings.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

Kill it. The Neutral Zone should be dark and mysterious. Not lit up like Earth.

#4417 8 months ago

+1 to kill it, seems too bright overall.

I tried this as well a while back. I ended up putting some comet matrix leds, under the borg ship to shine down on the alpha ramp only. Ended up adding a inline dimmer as well to keep them from making everything too bright

#4418 8 months ago

I disagree. The whole back of this game is way too dark. The borg and romulan ships just disappear.
Maybe decrease the brightness of the strip.
I really liked my solution... but, never got enough interest to take it into production.

#4419 8 months ago

Rear light strip needs to be dimmed........or you may want to try a UV light strip back there.

#4420 8 months ago

Getting no love in the main forum... Posting here...

Long story short. Bought the game probably 13 years ago, GI was a mess then, just completed a second rebuild of J120 and J121 after re-doing all the caps and bridges. Game plays super fast and amazing...

HOWEVER, J120 backbox GI does not work in the standard configuration. There are 11 pins on the J120 connector. And according to the manual and all pics I've seen (and mine prior to this recent rebuild), The White-Yellow wire goes to pin 9 (third from left), the White-Orange to Pin 8, and then solid Yellow on Pin 3, and Solid Orange to Pin 2.

MY ORANGE - WHITE GI only works when the White Orange is connected to Pin 7 (five from left)!!!

So in the standard factory config with white orange on Pin 8, my white-orange backbox string is entirely out (voltage reads ZERO). Nada. Nothing. However, if I move the white-orange wire to Pin 7 (five from left), I get the full 7.6V or whatever.

More information- I have buzz continuity between pins 9 and Pin 7, and I also have buzz continuity on Pins 9 and 7 to both fuses 109 and 110. I also have buzz continuity from Solid Orange pin 2 to Q10.

Test Point 8 is 16V

WTF? Suggestions?

#4421 8 months ago
Quoted from holminone:

More information- I have buzz continuity between pins 9 and Pin 7, and I also have buzz continuity on Pins 9 and 7 to both fuses 109 and 110.

Sounds right (with J115 connected and the fuses in), for all practical purposes you are measuring wire.

pasted_image (resized).png

Quoted from holminone:

So in the standard factory config with white orange on Pin 8, my white-orange backbox string is entirely out (voltage reads ZERO). Nada. Nothing. However, if I move the white-orange wire to Pin 7 (five from left), I get the full 7.6V or whatever.

Sounds like you broke the thru hole to pin 8 and its making enough connection to pass a continuity check but is unable to pass enough current to light the GI string...

#4422 8 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

Sounds right (with J115 connected and the fuses in), for all practical purposes you are measuring wire.
[quoted image]

Sounds like you broke the thru hole to pin 8 and its making enough connection to pass a continuity check but is unable to pass enough current to light the GI string...

Thank you! Why does the GI light when I connect it to pin 7?

#4423 8 months ago
Quoted from holminone:

Thank you! Why does the GI light when I connect it to pin 7?

They are all the same source voltage, it will likely light when connected to 7, 9, 10, or 11...assuming its not too much load for the fuse, if it is, it will only light for a short period

#4424 8 months ago

Anyone know where to find a replacement spinner?

#4425 8 months ago
Quoted from holminone:

Anyone know where to find a replacement spinner?

Seems everyone is out of stock (except for aftermarket spinner decal) from the searches I ran

Wasn't sure which part you needed to replace - below might help refine what you are looking for

A-17022 Spinner target assembly https://www.pinballspareparts.com.au/a-17022.html
01-11715 Bracket spinner target https://www.pinballspareparts.com.au/01-11715.html
A-17023 Wireform & target assembly https://www.pinballspareparts.com.au/a-17023.html
20-9922 Foil decal spinner target http://www.actionpinball.com/parts.php?item=PDG257 (these are aftermarket and not an exact match of the original)

#4426 7 months ago

Does anyone have a set of the out lane extenders that they would like to get rid of? Or where can I buy a set? Thanks!

#4427 7 months ago
Quoted from MikeSinMD:

Does anyone have a set of the out lane extenders that they would like to get rid of? Or where can I buy a set? Thanks!

I'd like to find a set myself. This place sometimes has them, but their stock doesn't last long when it gets replenished:

https://www.pinball.center/en/shop/pinball-parts-by-game/star-trek-the-next-generation/7607/extended-exit-lane-ball-guides-star-trek-the-next-generation?number=62329

#4428 7 months ago

I have a problem with my right cannon. Any time the cannon is loaded, it shoots properly but the red light stays lit as if the ball didn't launch and will fire again empty if the trigger is pulled. Could this be an opto problem or should I look somewhere else?

#4429 7 months ago

I would start with a cannon test, can also do a switch edge test on the optos.

#4430 7 months ago

Just picked up The Next Generation. Looking for a spinner and bracket. Thanks

#4431 7 months ago
Quoted from FireballAK:

Just picked up The Next Generation. Looking for a spinner and bracket. Thanks

All retailers seem to be out of stock, so hopefully someone has a spare or is parting out a machine. Hope you can find one

#4432 7 months ago
Quoted from Manny65:

All retailers seem to be out of stock

Is this a temporary situation or do you think it's the beginning of "unobtainium" problem?

How many people really need this spinner assembly?

#4433 7 months ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Is this a temporary situation or do you think it's the beginning of "unobtainium" problem?
How many people really need this spinner assembly?

Well Planetary have done a run of the spinners in the past, but you wouldn't think there'd be much demand for the whole assembly. I certainly hate for my spinner to throw it in now, if there are no replacements ...

I think (or would hope) that there are enough STTNG's out there to warrant having these sorts of spares available, maybe we need to start lobbying Planetary to do another run of them??

#4434 7 months ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Is this a temporary situation or do you think it's the beginning of "unobtainium" problem?
How many people really need this spinner assembly?

I'm getting a recently acquired project STTNG up and running and I've been studying this spinner assembly. My spinner rod has too much play left/right in the bracket and usually ends up all the way to the left, causing the end of the spinner rod to contact the switch lever, holding it closed which both prevents the switch from registering and impedes the spin. Not sure how I'm going to address this yet, but I'm sure that a new one would be better.

#4435 7 months ago

On boot my right cannon "re-homes" itself while my left just stays put. Is this a software thing or do I need to fine tune the switches? Everything appears correct in test mode.

#4436 7 months ago
Quoted from Aquapin:

On boot my right cannon "re-homes" itself while my left just stays put. Is this a software thing or do I need to fine tune the switches? Everything appears correct in test mode.

There was a general post about this a while back. Both of mine test on boot, and I tried to remedy this by adjusting, but my switches appear to be aligned correctly. I'd also like to know specifically which adjustment would stop the behaviour.

#4437 7 months ago
Quoted from Aquapin:

On boot my right cannon "re-homes" itself while my left just stays put. Is this a software thing or do I need to fine tune the switches? Everything appears correct in test mode.

Most posts I've read on this subject seem to indicate that this is normal behavior. On my ST:TNG, both cannons cycle/test at power-on about 95% of the time. Every once in a while, the right cannon will stay put while the left tests, but then game play is perfectly normal. I haven't figured out a rhyme or reason yet and generally just let it go. I try not think about it unless something actually fails during actual game play and when that happens, it's usually something that doesn't have anything to do with cycling during power on (wire came off of coil, plunger stuck open, busted plastic crank arm, etc.).

#4438 7 months ago
Quoted from Aquapin:

On boot my right cannon "re-homes" itself while my left just stays put. Is this a software thing or do I need to fine tune the switches? Everything appears correct in test mode.

As long as they both work properly in-game don't worry about it.

#4439 7 months ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

As long as they both work properly in-game don't worry about it.

Quoted from Mathazar:

Most posts I've read on this subject seem to indicate that this is normal behavior.

Okay, thanks...will just leave as is. Both work fine in game.

#4440 7 months ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Most posts I've read on this subject seem to indicate that this is normal behavior. On my ST:TNG, both cannons cycle/test at power-on about 95% of the time. Every once in a while, the right cannon will stay put while the left tests, but then game play is perfectly normal. I haven't figured out a rhyme or reason yet and generally just let it go. I try not think about it unless something actually fails during actual game play and when that happens, it's usually something that doesn't have anything to do with cycling during power on (wire came off of coil, plunger stuck open, busted plastic crank arm, etc.).

I’ve always suspected this is due to poorly written software. I assume it scans the switches on boot and doesn’t find something like the home switch being closed. The switch is in fact closed, but the switch matrix hasn’t fully settled due to a voltage not being present. For instance, the 5V for the CPU is present 100 ms after boot, but the 12V for the switch matrix (or whatever it is) doesn’t fully power up for 500 ms. We used to see this on some PC based control systems I programmed, so I’d delay scanning inputs for a few seconds to let things settle.

If my theory is right, it’d explain the crapshoot nature of the cannons cycling upon boot.

#4441 7 months ago
Quoted from PinJim:

I’ve always suspected this is due to poorly written software.

I have to disagree, and think the opposite is true and its caused by very well written diagnostic code.

If I had to guess why you see this intermittent cannon behavior on startup I would say it has more to do with testing of the cannon switches so if the game hasn't seen a canon switch change from its home in X-number of balls, it test it for potential flagging of cannon failure or stuck switch alerts. IMO, it's fairly obvious that cycling of the cannons are part of the games power on self test routines and unless a factory reset occurs, the game will know how many balls have been played since the cannons HOME switch has opened.

#4442 7 months ago
Quoted from PinJim:

For instance, the 5V for the CPU is present 100 ms after boot, but the 12V for the switch matrix (or whatever it is) doesn’t fully power up for 500 ms. We used to see this on some PC based control systems I programmed, so I’d delay scanning inputs for a few seconds to let things settle.

This is an interesting theory but the lack of on boot switch matrix errors with any WPC machine would say this theory is DOA.

#4443 7 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

I have to disagree, and think the opposite is true and its caused by very well written diagnostic code.
If I had to guess why you see this intermittent cannon behavior on startup I would say it has more to do with testing of the cannon switches so if the game hasn't seen a canon switch change from its home in X-number of balls, it test it for potential flagging of cannon failure or stuck switch alerts. IMO, it's fairly obvious that cycling of the cannons are part of the games power on self test routines and unless a factory reset occurs, the game will know how many balls have been played since the cannons HOME switch has opened.

I’d still call that crappy software. It should monitor the failure of a switch when moving a cannon during gameplay. Why test for a potential failure at startup unless there is already a known issue? If you are going to test the cannons, why not test other stuff too? I guess TZ does test the clock at boot, but not the gumball machine.

One of the unique things I learned as a programmer is that there are many ways to skin a cat. The way I wrote software was different from the next guy. I always had initialization routines that tried to determine the initial state of the machine, but never cycled anything. I’d figure out if something was broken at run time. To be fair, I was programming very large scan conveyor systems, so life and limb could be lost if I randomly turned things on.

Man do I miss they days of written machine control code. It was a lot more fun than management.

#4444 7 months ago
Quoted from Aquapin:

On boot my right cannon "re-homes" itself while my left just stays put. Is this a software thing or do I need to fine tune the switches? Everything appears correct in test mode.

At least one cannon will re-home, this is normal (mine is the same as yours with the right cannon being tested at startup). Pin_Guy posted some time back that this test might be due to all the switches on Column 9 being closed at startup and the game is verifying that the column is working.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/sttng-owners-club/page/89#post-5766429

#4445 7 months ago
Quoted from PinJim:

I’d still call that crappy software. It should monitor the failure of a switch when moving a cannon during gameplay. Why test for a potential failure at startup unless there is already a known issue?

And what if the cannon dosen't move during game play because the player is not be able to complete the sequence events required for this switch to change positions?

Please tell me your professional opinion on how to code the software to verify the function of a switch that may be working but hasn't moved in say 5 games.

#4446 7 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

And what if the cannon dosen't move during game play because the player is not be able to complete the sequence events required for this switch to change positions?
Please tell me your professional opinion on how to code the software to verify the function of a switch that may be working but hasn't moved in say 5 games.

Why verify if it’s working if the code hasn’t detected a failure? Does your garage door open and close after a power loss to make sure it’s still working? Does you car kick on the AC after some many drives without using it, just to make sure the pressure switches are working?

I’m not trying to start an argument. In fact, your point about cycling to test column 9 makes the most sense.

And yes, I am a professional, ha ha. I took great pride in my software. A good handful of it became the standard for my company and I bet they are still using it today.

#4447 7 months ago
Quoted from PinJim:

And yes, I am a professional, ha ha. I took great pride in my software. A good handful of it became the standard for my company and I bet they are still using it today.

Great, I like hearing that ... so your answer to the question on how to verify a potential failure on a switch that hasn't moved without cycling it?

When you come to the realization that there is no other way to determine this you will understand; or you may decide to continue down your narrow line of thinking with your garage door and AC analogy that the operator can decide for themselves which indicates that there is no need for diagnostics at all.

#4448 7 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

Great, I like hearing that ... so your answer to the question on how to verify a potential failure on a switch that hasn't moved without cycling it?
When you come to the realization that there is no other way to determine this you will understand; you will continue down your narrow line of this thinking with your garage door and AC analogy that the operator can decide for themselves which indicates that there is no need for diagnostics at all.

Like I said, to each their own. My diagnostic software would monitor for failures when movement was expected, not force movement to see if something would fail.

I wrote some awesome diagnostic software over the years. I never said there isn’t a need for such software. I fact, I wrote a lot of custom screens to help diagnose and troubleshoot equipment. It saved me from getting phone calls at 3:00 am. Did I mention that my software runs at just about every major retailer you can think up? But I probably don’t know what I’ve talking about...

#4449 7 months ago
Quoted from PinJim:

Like I said, to each their own.

Actually you never said this, I believe you said this instead

Quoted from PinJim:

I’ve always suspected this is due to poorly written software.

You continue to state how amazing you and your software is, and I'm sure it was monumental and changed the way industry works for all time ... yet you continue to dodge the one question I asked you, so I'm going to ask it one more time and if you cannot answer it, please don't bother to respond because the designers of the "poorly written code" were able to both answer the question and to code it.

"Please tell me your professional opinion on how to code the software to verify the function of a switch that may be working but hasn't moved in say 5 games."

#4450 7 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

"Please tell me your professional opinion on how to code the software to verify the function of a switch that may be working but hasn't moved in say 5 games."

Here let me just answer this for you, you're going to cycle it and monitor it for change, if there is no change you are going to flag it as a failure and if there is you are going to reset its counter.

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