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(Topic ID: 235960)

Surf Champ KS Relay not working

By ChipS

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 31 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by ChipS
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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There have been 20 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

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#1 1 year ago

My Surf Champ is almost completely functioning! One last issue:

Only one of the top five rollovers is supposed to be lit at a time - the light is supposed to rotate in order after the spinner is hit. (Each flip of the spinner advances the light by one rollover - at least that's the way I think it is supposed to work.) But on mine, the top left rollover remains lit all the time - never advances.

I believe this movement is controlled by the KS relay ("Advance Unit Relay"). So I turned the game on with the playfield up and spun the spinner. The KS relay coil didn't energize. And the wiper didn't move at all. I looked at both sides of the relay and they looked the same, as if the metal leading the the wire had worn off over time. I figured this was likely the reason why it wasn't working.

But then I looked at the AS relay ("00-90 Unit Relay") in the backbox. It is just as worn and dirty. But when I fired up the game and turned the spinner, the AS relay energized and that wiper did move. So now I'm thinking it's not because the metal on the KS disc is worn.

Any suggestions on what I should check now?

Surf Champ_KS relay1 (resized).jpgSurf Champ_KS relay2 (resized).jpgSurf Champ_AS relay1 (resized).jpg
#2 1 year ago

Both units have switches that are a total pain in the ass to get in and clean and adj., but that's what needs to be done.

#3 1 year ago

Gotcha. So the wear on the metal parts of the disc (A-9017) is normal? Doesn't impact its operation? At first I was thinking I needed to replace that part.

Best way is to clean/adjust the switches just take the whole thing apart?

#4 1 year ago

You need to clean the Bakelite disc and tracers. Green Scotch Brite and alcohol. Others may suggest sandpaper and a different cleaner. That’s just what works best for me. I put just a TINY dab of superlube on the disc and advance mini-arm around to spread so to speak when done.

Make sure the mini-arm that spins around is adjusted properly...not to tight/loose. I would clean the contacts on that arm(I use a flex stone file). Don’t adjust that arm till the end and only if you have to. Can be a bit tricky.

In the middle is a switch that is hard to see/adjust but it can be done. 1st make sure switch stack screws are tight. If loose, adjust the one closest to the blade 1st. I always check proper operation of switch w/continuity tester to make sure working correctly. Such a tight spot it’s hard to see by eye...for me anyway. Make sure that gear and cog move freely.

Hopefully that’ll get you going.

#5 1 year ago

Chip, First, the two relays you pictured should actually be the KS (Advance Unit relay) and the FS (00-90 Unit relay). AS just designates the generic type of relay Gottlieb used (Second, the KS has one of the filthiest copper circuit boards I've ever seen in a working game.

You pretty much understand how the bonus unit advance circuit is supposed to work.

So when you manually rotate the spinner with a game enabled, does the C relay (Spin Target relay) energize?
The C relay should have 2 normally open switches on it. The closure of one of those switches (one switch terminal has a red & white wire going to it) should result in the coil for the KS relay stepper getting energized.

If the C relay pulls in, but the coil of the KS relay NEVER energizes, then the switch on the C relay should be checked for adjustment and cleaning. Also check the switch tab ends to make sure the solder connections are intact and a wire has not broken off. If the KS relay coil still does not energize, the coil itself may be discontinuous.

If the C relay never pulls in, then the switch on the spinner is not functioning OR the wiring between the spinner and the C relay is not continuous.

I cannot recall: is the KS relay located in the backbox? If so, then the wire comes to it through a Jones plug. Check the wires on the Jones plugs and try reseating them.


#6 1 year ago

The copper traces on the KS relay circuit boards are filthy, but they have nothing to do with the KS relay coil not energizing. Need to solve that problem first and also "carefully" clean the copper on the circuit boards.

#7 1 year ago

Sorry - my mistake in labeling the photos. You are correct - they are both AS relays. The "Advance Unit Relay" is KS on the schematic. The "00-90 Unit Relay" is FS on the schematic.

The first two photos are of the KS "Advance Unit" Relay - there are two bakelite discs on either side of the coil. I only included one photo of the FS relay, which is in the backbox (that's the one that is really dirty).

The KS relay is located underneath the playfield.

Let me do a little testing tonight and I'll get back to you.

So is the best way to clean that disc with a Green Scotch Brite and alcohol? Is that general consensus?

#8 1 year ago
#9 1 year ago

Did some testing. The C relay does pull in when the spinner is activated, and it does also energize the KS relay. But it seems as if the KS relay is sticking - the coil energizes and it pulls, but then it stays in that position, even when the spinner stops spinning. (And it doesn't seem that the coil is remaining energized.) The mini arm rotates the first time, but then stops.

If I turn the game off, and then manually move the plate away from the coil, and start it up again, it does the same thing. I spin the spinner, the coil energizes, it pulls the plate in, the mini arm rotates a bit, and then everything stops.

So I'm guessing something is gunked up and getting stuck? So I should take it apart and clean it? (Thanks for the link to the step-by-step, DaMoib!)

#10 1 year ago

Can the KS relay be removed from the machine simply by unplugging a jones plug? If so, maybe remove the KS and examine it under a good light, try to advance it by hand. Compare it to:

Anything misaligned, out of spec?

Read the info regarding servicing an AS relay and then decide... go slow, maybe clean and then *lightly* lube the circuit cards... is the action any easier? If not, take the next step...

#11 1 year ago

Yes, it can be removed by unplugging the jones plug. I'll do as you suggest - thanks!

Do you have a suggestion on best way to clean those circuit cards? Is the fact that they are dirty affecting anything?

#12 1 year ago

Those cards are definitely screaming for a good degreasing! As cash_riprock suggests, alcohol will do the trick.

They could be so gummed up that they could be binding up the mechanism. Also the switch stack riding on the cam in the center of that relay can be contributing to the problem.

Observing the unit while working the mechanism by hand should give you some clues.

Also... forum search can be your best friend

Also also... take pictures while you work... they can be a big help.

#13 1 year ago

Thanks! Yes, I did a forum search first, but made a newbie mistake - searched for "Gottlieb KS relay" and didn't find a whole lot of help. Now realize I should have searched under "AS relay" to find the right answer. Life and learn...

Thanks again everyone! I'll report back once I've checked it out.

#14 1 year ago

Good work. You were able to determine that the KS relay is actually "trying" to energize, but the mechanism isn't moving well. In that case, the filthy circuit boards and maintenance state of the relay are most likely the cause of the malfunction.

As others have suggested, clean and degunk the unit and see if you can get it stepping reliably.

If you really run into a brick wall, perhaps I could make a housecall and see if 2 heads are better than 1. We probably live about 20 min apart.

#15 1 year ago

Thanks for the offer, Lee! And I may eventually take you up on it, if I can't get it working.

Quick question: I've never cleaned one of these before, but I do have a scotch brite and rubbing alcohol. Should I gently scrub the entire board (outlined in yellow)? And then put a tiny bit of superlube on the area in the red circle, where the arm traces?

FS Relay01a (resized).jpg
#16 1 year ago

You are on your way to a fully working game. You will get that AS relay figured out I'm sure.

FYI at the start of each ball, the #1 lane (behind the drops) should be lit. And yes each spinner revolution will advance the lit light among the 5 lights. Also keep in mind however that on 3-ball setting the #2 lane (the leftmost of the top 4) will always be lit, regardless of spinner hits.

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from ChipS:

Thanks for the offer, Lee! And I may eventually take you up on it, if I can't get it working.
Quick question: I've never cleaned one of these before, but I do have a scotch brite and rubbing alcohol. Should I gently scrub the entire board (outlined in yellow)? And then put a tiny bit of superlube on the area in the red circle, where the arm traces?
[quoted image]

Certainly the red circle should get the treatment you describe... the rest of the yellow area is optional. If you do the outer area, an old toothbrush might work better.

#18 1 year ago

I had one of these not working in one of my games. The contacts on the leaf switch inside the assembly was horribly pitted. It works after using a flex stone file to smooth it out, but I'll replace it soon

#19 1 year ago

I recently had similar issues on this unit in a Spin a card. I removed mine and throughly dismantled it, cleaned the circuit boards and rebuilt it . I'm fairly sure there is instructions on correct set up for these on PBRs website. Take decent pictures of it before you begin if in the slightest doubt.

So that you dont tear your hair out, I suggest that you test with a continuity meter on each segment so that you are certain that each one is not making contact - tracking over -with its partner or it will never work. I used alcohol, a magnifying glass and a sharp blade to clean between each one to remove debris and copper particles, etc. Obviously, make certain you dont leave any high spots after this work or the wiper arm could lock up. And a tiny amount of PBR grease or similar on the board to help it along its travels. Worked perfectly for me afterward.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from tandem2:

The contacts on the leaf switch inside the assembly was horribly pitted.

Those definitely need to be done as well.

#21 1 year ago

Do I scrub the area inside the red circle with alcohol, and then put a little lube on it?

#22 1 year ago

Scrub with alcohol until clean, repeat on other side, dry both sides, lightly lube both sides, test the action and report back....

#23 1 year ago

Finally got around to this. So I dismantled the KS relay, took off the two circuit boards and observed the action when I manually activated the coil. And I think I found the problem.

The KS relay is slightly different than the AS relay in the backbox (the "00-90 Unit Relay"). The KS relay has this black rubber piece that keeps the switch closed for most of the coil activations. Each time the coil energizes, it moves the ratchet along the rubber piece until it gets to the bump, which opens the switch. I took a series of photos which shows the action.

The first three times I manually energize the coil, the ratchet rotates fine. But when I do it the fourth time, as the rise in the black rubber approaches, the metal armature doesn't push back up - as if the resistance in the rubber is too much to overcome. (It makes it look like the coil is still energized - see photos 4a and 4b). I have to manually push the metal armature back up to advance the ratchet (photo 5a). Same thing with the last advance - it gets stuck and I have to manually push the armature up to make it advance.

When it gets "over the hump," it works fine again. Every time I click it, it advances one spot. But when I get to the fourth click, and the black rubber mound approaches, it stops and I have to force the metal armature up to get the ratchet to advance.

Could the issue by the armature spring? Perhaps it's not firm enough to push the armature back up when the coil de-energizes?
KS Relay Ratchet00 (resized).jpgKS Relay Ratchet00a (resized).jpgKS Relay Ratchet01a (resized).jpgKS Relay Ratchet02a (resized).jpgKS Relay Ratchet03a (resized).jpgKS Relay Ratchet04a (resized).jpgKS Relay Ratchet04b (resized).jpgKS Relay Ratchet05a (resized).jpgKS Relay Ratchet05b (resized).jpgKS Relay Ratchet06a (resized).jpg

#24 1 year ago

Nice pics.

As you have learned these are finicky devices and you need to clean every moving/contacting part. After everything is cleaned if it still does not get over the black hump I would lessen the bias of either or both outer switch blades so as to lessen the friction at the rising black hump. At the same time you need to ensure that the switch openings and closings are still happening.

Do you have a switch adjustment tool? Tighten the screws in the switch stack and then slightly bend the blades as needed at the base of the blades.

#25 1 year ago

Here's the note on servicing these relays, 2nd paragraph from the bottom details the adjustments for that switch:

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from ChipS:

Could the issue by the armature spring? Perhaps it's not firm enough to push the armature back up when the coil de-energizes?
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

A possibility, but clean, adjust the switch and re-check first.

Adding the cleaned/lubed circuit cards and wipers to both sides will also increase the drag on that armature... a new spring may be considered after everything is cleaned, adjusted and re-assembled.

#27 1 year ago

Thanks - I'll give it a try and report back.

#28 1 year ago

I dismantled it, and cleaned all the dirt/grime off the ratchet. As soon as I put it back together I noticed a huge difference - it moved smoothly through each click. I didn't even have to adjust the switch.

I cleaned and lubed the circuit boards and put it back together, reconnected it to the game and it's working like a charm!

Thanks everyone for your help! Much obliged!

KS Relay_Dirty (resized).jpgKS Relay_Clean01 (resized).jpgKS Relay_Clean02 (resized).jpg
#29 1 year ago

Well done! Looks like it's right off the assembly line!

#30 1 year ago

Hi ChipS
great - You could fix the problem. The JPGs I show are not needed, but maybe of interest. You were talking about the KS-Relay (Stepper) and the FS-Relay (Stepper) --- different types of the Gottlieb AS-Relay (Stepper) - see the information in Schematics, Manual and Gottlieb-1978-Catalog-Volume-P. Greetings Rolf

0Surf-Champ-Work-33 (resized).jpg0Gottlieb-1978-Catalog-P-page-58 (resized).jpg0Gottlieb-1978-Catalog-P-page-59 (resized).jpg
#31 1 year ago

Rolf - thank you so much for posting those pages! Very helpful information. So helpful, in fact, that I'm going to purchase the Gottlieb 1978 Parts Catalog from PBR.

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