(Topic ID: 255272)

Surf Champ Slummin Spinner


By fixintoplay

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 50 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by frenchmarky
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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SC new spinner pushrod (resized).JPG
0Aladdins-Castle-Work-26 (resized).jpg
0Surf-Champ-ipdb-image-12 (resized).jpg
jumper (resized).png
0Surf-Champ-Work-38 (resized).jpg
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#1 5 months ago

I don't know if this behavior is normal for Gottlieb EMs -- it's the only GTB machine I own with a spinner, so I have nothing to compare it to. My '75 Bally spinner mech works great and scores with every contact no matter how fast it spins. I checked and cleaned the spinner switch contact, linkage & weight -- all in great shape and work fine at slow speed, but it seems like the machine is incapable of handling high speed scoring for this feature. I also cleaned, gapped and checked the 2 sets of "C" relay contacts that control scoring and bonus lights. I also removed and serviced the related 00-99 stepper unit (FS) which works fine and rotates the bonus lights during play as it should. None of these measures has had any effect. This happens on all four player modes.

#2 5 months ago

Sometimes that FS relay can be a bear.

#3 5 months ago

What about the M/B on 6B?

Capture (resized).PNG
#4 5 months ago

What's the 10 Point (N) relay doing when this happens?

#5 5 months ago

This seems to be pretty common with most Gottlieb spinners that use those A-8934 and A-8933 boards. The faster they spin. the less they score. Although some are better than others, they never seem to count every spin.

#6 5 months ago

Another thing to check is the scoring display unit. They can get sticky and can miss quick scoring events.

#7 5 months ago

To currieddog and HowardR's points, I serviced the contacts and checked operation of both the 6B and 10-point ("N") relays. No change to the behavior. My crummy video shows what HowardR asked about. This is the N relay in action -- fast spins, then single spins, then fast spins. It works, but the missing chime tones give away the high speed, no-scoring phenom.

#8 5 months ago

This would be counter to normal thinking but what if your N relay contacts are gapped too close?

When viewing your video in slow motion it appears that sometimes the relay isn't fully opening before closing again due to another score in rapid succession. It needs to open completely in order to close again on the next one.

Unfortunately there's not much room for gap adjustment on those little Gottlieb relays before it goes the other way and stays open.

I would try to open the switches as much as possible or maybe try more tension on the return spring. Don't know if it will help but worth a try.

#9 5 months ago

I'm open to all suggestions, especially counter-intuitive ones. I'll experiment with gaps and spring tension on the N relay. I was hoping someone would chime in if their SC/Surfer spinner behaves like this or not (or on any other comparably-equipped Gottlieb.) It could confirm or eliminate whether it's endemic to this species.

#10 5 months ago

Like I suggested, the decagon score reel action can become sluggish and any rapid scoring events for that point value can be ignored. This has happened to me on a couple of Gottliebs.

#11 4 months ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:Like I suggested, the decagon score reel action can become sluggish and any rapid scoring events for that point value can be ignored. This has happened to me on a couple of Gottliebs.

Thanks for your suggestion. I tested that theory by tapping several playfield 10-point switches very rapidly, and they spun equality fast without missing a beat. The problem has to be in the spinner scoring circuit that is not delivering the quality of pulse that the score reels need to do their job.

#12 4 months ago

Hi fixintoplay +
to Your post-9: The video You show in post-1 could be filmed on MY SURF CHAMP --- same behaviour. It takes me a while to "compose" text - most likely "I never felt more like singing the blues (Guy Mitchell)" with adapted text ... Greetings Rolf

#13 4 months ago

Hello Rolf! Greetings to you, too. Thanks for the note. I forgot you had a Surf Champ. How about that! Gottlieb must have used 1000 meters of wire for just that one circuit! (Current can only travel at 186,000 miles per second.)

#14 4 months ago
Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Hi fixintoplay +
to Your post-9: The video You show in post-1 could be filmed on MY SURF CHAMP --- same behaviour. It takes me a while to "compose" text - most likely "I never felt more like singing the blues (Guy Mitchell)" with adapted text ... Greetings Rolf

Rolf, I will not give up completely. If I or someone ever finds a remedy, you won't be singin' the blues any longer.

#15 4 months ago

Hi fixintoplay +
this text I write "not yet having studied the schematics" --- we all have watched a pin many times "resetting the Score-Drums" (actually stepping them forward until they reach Zero-Position) - the speed is so-so. I do not recall having read about "bringing a pin that was equipped with "24 Volt 50 Hertz Score-Motor for european current 220Volts 50 Hertz" - bringing the pin (back) to the USA - putting in another transformer (for 110 Volts) and then starting a new game - how about the speed of "resetting" - does the resetting works --- the stepping is about 20% faster - does the resetting works ?

I believe the manufacturers did not build the pins "maximum possible speed" for resetting - I also believe "near maximum speed". The Points-Relay and the Score-Drum work together - work hand in hand - action - reaction. The plunger on the Score-Drum must travel quite a distance - until tooth on plunger hooks in behind tooth on Score-Drum --- then the plunger must be pulled back , travelling the same length, distance (and so the Score-Drum does a step).
The stepper for the spinner is a mini-stepper - shorter distance to travel forth and travel back (plunger) - this shorter distances travelling takes less time (than on "Score-Drums travel") - but even the moved light (made happen on the mini-stepper) does not fully, smooth, fast work --- I believe it is impossible to have the EM-Score-Drum stepping as fast as the spinner turns --- I think: Yes in an SS-Pin it is possible as there is not an mechanical device (Score-Drum) - just a computer program handling "lights".
Having just a quick look at the schematics - I have seen stuff to study in detail. Greetings Rolf

#16 4 months ago

I have a Super Soccer that behaves much the same way. I also have an Outer Space that does miss on hard spins but it isn't as bad. So there is room to improve it but I don't see any difference, just one seems to score a little better.

I haven't messed with them for years. I just learned to accept it, like, when you hit two 500 point drop targets at the same time.

#17 4 months ago

Hi pinsiders
here is the relevant stuff from the Surf Champ schematics.
edednedy and others - Surf Champ, Super Soccer are bad - Outer Space is (maybe) a bit better - can You name others (Gottliebs, Williams, Ballys) - hopefully "good in giving spinner points" - so we can compare the schematics (?).
The Surf Champ schematics shows "lousy design" --- the "acting together of N-10-Points-Relay pulling and switch on 10-Points-Score-Drum cutting the Self-Hold-Current of the N-Relay should not be disturbed by "early, another pulling-in of the C-Spin-Target-Relay sending Initial-Current to the coil on N-Relay" Greetings Rolf

0Surf-Champ-Work-38 (resized).jpg
#18 4 months ago

Rolf, I've had a couple of Williams games with spinners, 3 or 4 Bally games with spinners and even a Chicago Coin game with spinners. They all worked better than the Gottlieb's.

#19 4 months ago

Rolf: To answer your question in post #15 - the score reel resetting works great at high speed on my Surf Champ, as do all other 10-point scoring functions except for that %#& spinner (which I noted in my post #11). Fast and crisp. I am of the firm belief that this "lousy design" can be redesigned with a hack. We'd give it a name, like the "Rolf Hack" or whoever comes up with the best design. I am not the guy to do it. But I'm confident we have more than enough collective experience and grey matter on this EM Tech forum to do it. I'll even offer up my Surf Champ as the beta test guinea pig.

#20 4 months ago

fixintoplay: For testing purposes. What if you jumper a wire from C to N as shown or from the BR+WH side of the spinner switch to N (whichever is easiest).

This should cause the 10 point relay to fire every time the spinner switch itself closes, instead of when C closes.

C will still be closing so it may actually score more points than it should but if they fire at the same time maybe not.

This isn't a fix. It's just to see if the switch itself can count each spin as opposed to going through the C relay.
If it works with this jumper, we can eliminate things like the 10 point relay and the score reel itself as a source of the problem.

jumper (resized).png
#21 4 months ago

Hi fixintoplay
now and then a rookie starts a topic and writes "The 10-Points-Score-Drums do not work when playin a ball - BUT when I manually put some points on the drum and then start a new game: The 10-Points-Score-Drum works means will be resetted means will be stepped forward until it reaches Position-Zero - how come ?". We then write about "10-Point-RELAY and 10-Points-Score-DRUM work hand in hand --- when starting a new game and the pin does resetting the Drums: No 10-Point-Relay involved - the turning motor (with some help) does the stepping of the drums --- look if the 10-Points-RELAY does pull-in when You play a ball.

To "our" problem - there is some time needed for the plunger on the drum to travel forth (then tooth on plunger hooks-in behind tooth on drum, drum-coil quits pulling and plunger is pulled back by the retaining spring) - about the same length in time needed for the plunger to travel back --- then the action can be done again. I believe that the pins are built so the stepping forward when resetting is close to maximum possible speed - just enough "length in time plus length in time" synchronuous with the pulsing*** of the score-motor-switch***. The same with "making 50 or 500 or 5000 pints with the help of the turning motor" (((I know making 50 points has the "10-Point-RELAY and 10-Points-Score-DRUM work hand in hand" subfunction in the action of making 50 points)))

When we disturb this "length in time (forward, pulling-in)" and/or "length in time (backwards as retaining spring pulls)": Points cannot properly given.

In post-19 You volunteered "Your pin and You" as a beta tester. I ask You to be a beta tester - look at the JPG - I have marked standup-leaf-switches worth 10 points. Prepare for a test: In the backbox locate the 10-Point-Relay - a short wire runs from one side of the coil to "switch mounted on the relay. Sneak-in a stripe of paper into this switch - in-between the two contact-points / switchblades --- You have disabled the "Self-Hold-Switch on 10-Point-Relay" --- then (stripe of paper save in the switch) start a new game - then with a finger do "machine gun" on the playfield-standup-leaf-switch - how fast can You machine gun ? Do You really get all the points ? Then try the spinner - how is the making points by rapid spinning spinner ?

pulsing*** of the score-motor-switch*** --- I do not know if "a bit faster" also works - thats why I asked in post-15 about "european 50Hertz-Score-Motor brought back to the USA - now must run on 60 Hertz - runs faster - does the resetting of the Score-Drums work on faster speed (?)". Greetings Rolf

0Surf-Champ-ipdb-image-12 (resized).jpg
#22 4 months ago

Thanks edednedy and rolf. I will be testing both of your suggestions today on my surfing guinea pig. Will post results.

#23 4 months ago

Test results:

Jumper wire from "N" to "C" coils as depicted in edednedy's drawing did not work. As soon as I hit the first 10-pt PF switch, I heard one chime, no score was awarded, and no other switches or spinner worked at all -- everything froze with a hum.

"N" coil hold switch disabled with paper: machine-gunned PF switches kept pace nicely and awarded 10 points with every hit - never missed a score. This is identical to what it did before the paper was inserted. So, no change. Then the high-speed spinner test -- barely turns the 10-point score reel -- slummin' -- but does award score at very slow turns. No change whatsoever. I found this very odd.

I then went back to edednedy's suggestion in post #8 by widening the gaps of the 2 high current "N" switches, then played with several different coil springs. No change.

The guinea pig survived, but we're out of ideas.

#24 4 months ago

Have you checked for "floating contacts," ie-slightly loose contacts on the relevant blades? Give a good squeeze with needle nose pliers to all involved in the circuit from C to N.

#25 4 months ago
Quoted from currieddog:

Have you checked for "floating contacts," ie-slightly loose contacts on the relevant blades? Give a good squeeze with needle nose pliers to all involved in the circuit from C to N.

Have not, but will do. I think Rolf is right, tho. This is a design flaw if other GTB EMs are behaving the same way. If you have the schematic, take another look at that circuit. It only happens with the spinner scoring. Rolf's SC does exactly the same thing. There has to be a way to disable and reconfigure that function's circuit, but I can't see it. Maybe add a new stack switch or rebuild a relay. I had an Aladdin's Castle with a stock spinner that was a huge part of the fun because it worked so great. If that Bally could do it... well, you get the idea. I'll name it the "Currieddog Patch". You'll go down in pinball history.

#26 4 months ago

Does the 100 score reel get stuck between numbers like that when the spinner is lit for 100 as well? That 10 reel is getting stuck like that somethimes even when it is scoring relatively slowly. You sure you never see it get stuck like that if you score fast or slow on other features?

#27 4 months ago

Can you take pics/video of the actual spinner switch while going thru an entire rotation? I don't know if Gottlieb specifies the proper gapping of those(?) but I could see where if that was out of whack it would cause problems.

#28 4 months ago

I have a Surfer and the spinner exhibits the same problem

#29 4 months ago

Fixintoplay - I was hoping that the jumpers would show conclusively what I think we already know. The spin unit disc is the problem. I'm not sure why the jumpers didn't work. The idea was to let the spinner switch itself trigger the 10 point relay directly, bypassing the C relay. Maybe because the C relay is still being triggered by this same switch. It sounds like it's pulling in one time and never releasing (hence the buzz). Not sure why it's not opening again through that spinner switch. I don't have the whole schematic so maybe I'm missing something.

I just tried my Bally Quarterback again and that spinner rattles off like a machine gun. Used to have a Williams Grand Prix that worked just as well. This seems to be a Gottlieb exclusive.

#30 4 months ago

Well, I have a Top Score and don't have this issue. I never have seen this. It's not supposed to do this. Something is sluggish in the chain.

#31 4 months ago
Quoted from frenchmarky:

Does the 100 score reel get stuck between numbers like that when the spinner is lit for 100 as well? That 10 reel is getting stuck like that somethimes even when it is scoring relatively slowly. You sure you never see it get stuck like that if you score fast or slow on other features?

To your 1st point @frenchymark, I ran a 100-point high-speed spinner scoring test: that function is also sluggish, but not as bad as the 10-point spinner scoring. The "N" relay was not involved or activated.

To your 2nd point, yes I'm sure. As I've said several times in my posts, the 10-point scoring behaves nicely for all other 10-point switches.

Which leads me to believe there could be an inherent issue with the design of the spinner/switch mechanism itself. I'll try experimenting further with that. Maybe I should try replacing it with a Bally spinner! Seriously.

#32 4 months ago
Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

Well, I have a Top Score and don't have this issue. I never have seen this. It's not supposed to do this. Something is sluggish in the chain.

D-Gottlieb: Might help if you provide a photo/video of your Top Score spinner/switch in action beneath the PF? Also, how is that spinner's circuit wired that's different from SC and Surfer?

#33 4 months ago

D-Gottlieb. How many points is a Top Score supposed to score with each spin? Looking at a picture, it looks like it scores 500 which means a spin would start the score motor running.

#34 4 months ago

Hi fixintoplay +
maybe the spinner in Aladdins Castle works well because of steepness of playfield and power of flipper coil and weight of the actual spinner --- happens to be (by chance / poor luck) that a powerful shot through the spinner lane makes the spinner turn as fast as so that the turning is close to "speed of resetting by Score-Motor turning" ? (pulses made by spinner switch the same frequency as pulses made by turning Score-Motor ?)

Probably the spinners work better when the switch on the spinner (as on Aladdins Castle) directly makes the Points-Relay to pull-in - instead of (as in Surf Champ): The closing of the Spinner-Switch makes an relay to pull-in - a switch closing on this relay then makes the Points-Relay to pull-in. But in Surf Champ the manufacturer wanted to have the lights at the top lanes to be switched / stepped --- mounting TWO switches on the spinner is not possible. Greetings Rolf

#35 4 months ago

Hi fixintoplay +
an idea for You to check (reading the schematics) --- I believe "with this wiring / modification" we can get rid of one of the two main faults in "lousy counting / acting spinners". Greetings Rolf

0Aladdins-Castle-Work-26 (resized).jpg
#36 4 months ago
Quoted from edednedy:

D-Gottlieb. How many points is a Top Score supposed to score with each spin? Looking at a picture, it looks like it scores 500 which means a spin would start the score motor running.

The spinner in Top Score scores 10 pts five times, then the score motor scores 500 the spinner is still going after that. I will provide a video.

#37 4 months ago

Rolf: I’m a bit confused by your post #35. What are you proposing specifically?

#38 4 months ago

Gentlemen, I present to you my latest GTB Surf Champ spinner redesign. Tests show spins on both 10-point and 100-point modes. As Steve Young would say, "Put your damn schematic away; this is a mechanical problem!"

Will post pic of solution shortly. Enjoy.

#39 4 months ago

The spinner's plunger and switch had to be the culprit of the "lousy design". To test that theory, I eliminated them by clipping alligator leads to the switch's two solder tabs and then machine-gunned the hell out of wire ends. That confirmed it.

There are actually two mechanical issues that really do show poor design, both of which needed to be addressed:

1. the factory plunger only applies force to the switch blade in one direction: down. The plunger' shaft also interferes with switch movement as it scrapes against the leaf's hole edges. Whenever I tried to adjust the moving switch leaf for greater upward force, it caused the spinner to lay flat and not work. There was no happy medium. So I removed the old wire & weight and formed a new plunger with loops at both ends, one of which hooks permanently into the hole at the end the switch leaf. (I know some Bally designs do it this way, which is probably why they work so well.) That allowed me to bend the switch leaf as far as needed to balance much stronger up and down forces that offered a wider contact gap. I removed the entire assembly to do this. The picture shows the side by side comparison of the plungers (factory on right).

2. the switch blade contacts need to be gapped at least 1/8" - 3/16" apart. The plunger makes such deep sweeps up and down that a normal gap will not allow enough clearance and dwell time, particularly at high speed cycles.

If someone is not happy with the scoring of their Gottlieb spinner, this is a solution. It takes patience to adjust the tension and get it right. But it works.

SC new spinner pushrod (resized).JPG
#40 4 months ago

I'm still bugged by the initial video where the reel is basically sitting there, and then just barely edging forward with each spin. I don't currently have an EM game with a spinner so I'm wondering if this would happen if the spinner switch gap was just way way too close, just close enough to not be stuck 'on'. Wouldn't it act like that, not giving the reel enough time to actually fully retract and latch between pulses until they are ridiculously slow like in the vid? And he said the 100 pt spin is doing the same thing though not as bad. Both don't go thru N but they do go thru the spinner switch. Have owned lots of Gtbs with spinners though and never saw them do that stuff, they looked normal like the vid with the spinner mod above. You want the spinner switch to close at close to the top of the spinner rotation, the reel will pull itself in by itself even if the spinner switch opens again first at high speed (as long as its end of stroke switch is not broken off.)

#41 4 months ago

Sounds great. As soon as I clear room to access my two Gottlieb spinner games, I'll give this a try. I forgot those Gottlieb spinners had that weight on them. This makes sense.

So I shall dub this Fixintoplay's Alternative Spinner Trigger... F.A.S.T for short

#42 4 months ago
Quoted from frenchmarky:

I'm still bugged by the initial video where the reel is basically sitting there, and then just barely edging forward with each spin. I don't currently have an EM game with a spinner so I'm wondering if this would happen if the spinner switch gap was just way way too close, just close enough to not be stuck 'on'. Wouldn't it act like that, not giving the reel enough time to actually fully retract and latch between pulses until they are ridiculously slow like in the vid? And he said the 100 pt spin is doing the same thing though not as bad. Both don't go thru N but they do go thru the spinner switch. Have owned lots of Gtbs with spinners though and never saw them do that stuff, they looked normal like the vid with the spinner mod above.

Point taken, and that's what tried first and got nowhere. In fact, after I installed the mod and ran a test, there was no change -- until I really started messing with bending and gapping. The new mod allowed me to get a gap wide enough and a dwell long enough so that the spinner would stay vertical when idle and score correctly when called on, which was impossible with the factory set up. The physics is tough to explain in writing, and the video can't show what really happens new vs old. Like I said, Bally got the push-pull concept right.

#43 4 months ago
Quoted from edednedy:

Sounds great. As soon as I clear room to access my two Gottlieb spinner games, I'll give this a try. I forgot those Gottlieb spinners had that weight on them. This makes sense.
So I shall dub this Fixintoplay's Alternative Spinner Trigger... F.A.S.T for short

Hehehe. Love it!

#44 4 months ago

Of course I'm thinking of Gtbs I'd shopped out and the spinner worked fine in play but of course if I'd spun the thing harder than a ball would normally hit it you'd eventually get close to the limit of the time needed for the reel plunger to go all the way in and out. How long that takes would be an interesting test with a camera - the absolute maximum theoretical counting speed of a Gtb decagon unit!

#45 4 months ago

Hi fixintoplay
congratulations - You could fix the problem(s) in Your Surf Champ. Funny - You write in post-39 negative about the weight --- in here https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/what-does-on-add-1st-tens-mean#post-3467572 I point out "You must have a weight" ...
I do not understand (post-39) "1. The factory plunger only applies force to the switch blade in one direction: down." (I did not yet check it in my pin but) I believe the plunger lifts the moved blade (?).

Anyway - it looks as if I have to adjust the spinner in my Surf Camp again - after some 2 years. Greetings Rolf

#46 4 months ago

Looks like later Gottlieb switched to a spinner rod with a hook on the end that pulled the switch blade, not quite a loop. In the 60s it ended in a straight bend which locked into the switch blade hole.

#47 4 months ago

Good thinking, man.

#48 4 months ago

Thanks!

#49 4 months ago

Oftentimes design decisions are made based on production efficiencies. This Gottlieb design is a "slip-in" -- easier to install than the Bally or my version.

#50 4 months ago

What is the supposed reason for them going with the weight on the rod in the first place, all their spinners before or after did not have these, correct? What if the weight were just permanently fastened to the switch blade instead of being able to move, would that make it work better or worse?

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