(Topic ID: 156129)

Sys 11 Whirlwind automatic tolls/C-side issue


By Oldgoat

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 42 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Oldgoat
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 3 years ago

Was playing a game with my wife when suddenly, the game had a mind of its own. Tolls accumulating, points scoring, Jet bumper going off. Here are the current symptoms. Start a game and it will immediately, but sporadically accumulate tolls. The top right jet bumper (special solenoid) will also fire sporadically. If you nudge the game, even lightly, you can trigger the tolls and jet bumper. Diagnostics all fine except for coil test where the top right jet bumper will fire on any C-side test (in addition to the correct coil). I had an issue with the Top Right jet bumper in the past, so I checked and replaced the transistors and PIA in that circuit, even though everything tested OK. It did not help.
I disconnected all of the toll switches since it was an easy test but it made no difference. I can still collect tolls by starting a game or by giving a nudge. I assume it must be MPU or a short somewhere but am at a loss as to what, where and how to localize the problem. Another bit of info, which is probably not related, is that several weeks before this, my display started showing commas between every digit. Not always but sporadically. Thoughts on where how to track down the issue? Thanks

#2 3 years ago

The biggest clue I see is nudging the game has an effect. That really points toward something responsive to an external vibration. The first thing I would try to do is to see if I could isolate that further by specific movements in specific places. Could you slap the top of the playfield to trigger this error? If you can, this might point to an intermittent switch, cracked diode or playfield short. Perhaps wiggling the wire harnesses in the backbox trigger this error? This might point to a connector or wiring problem, or flexing a harness could tug on a board indicating a problem there.

Have you also tried putting the game in switch edge test and then nudging it to see if any switches trip?

#3 3 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Have you also tried putting the game in switch edge test and then nudging it to see if any switches trip?

Thanks...I've run the switch edge test but didn't think about nudging to see what may trigger. Great idea. I'll give that a shot and keep my fingers crossed. Question, you mention a cracked diode. Would a cracked diode potentially register OK with my DMM but then go sideways as a result of a vibration?
Thanks again

#4 3 years ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

Thanks...I've run the switch edge test but didn't think about nudging to see what may trigger. Great idea. I'll give that a shot and keep my fingers crossed. Question, you mention a cracked diode. Would a cracked diode potentially register OK with my DMM but then go sideways as a result of a vibration?
Thanks again

It could. Your meter leads could press the crack together, plus a leaky diode is harder to diagnose with a meter
Keep in mind that it is mush more likely to be something simpler, such as a fault in wiring or a flaky switch. The fact that it responds to vibration is a strong clue, especially if it can be duplicated consistently. Using the self tests repeadly helps isolate problems too. If you can run switch diagnostics consistently it can help rule out or point out switch matrix faults

#5 3 years ago

OK, so here is what I discovered. When poking around, I happened to notice the ground braid hanging down from the backbox into the cabinet. I then noticed the end of the ground braid in the cabinet was badly frayed and not fastened (simply held in place by the mass of wires goig into the backbox. So, I figured that the ground braid must have gotten pinched when raising and lowering the playfield. I tied the two pieces together and fired it up. Not only was I still having the issue with the top jet, but I also now had a switch matrix error on two circuits, both of which were tied to the coin door. In looking at the manual, it seemed to suggest that this type of error could occur if things were grounding to the coin door. Given that the braid went to the coin door, this made sense. So, I taped off both ends to avoid any contact and fired it up. Coil test and switch edge test were perfect this time. The first 'game' I played I got the extra tolls, but not on subsequent games. I am confident that this post offers further proof of my ignorance and lack of understanding of pinball electronics. Should those two ground braids be independent of each other and, if so, where should each terminate since I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to be left dangling.
Thanks

#6 3 years ago

Well, I can still get tolls to add up and things to fire with a nudge. I'm thinking it may be all related. I will continue to 'play' with the cables to see if I can localize it; however, I still would like the definitive answer on the ground strap.

#7 3 years ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

Well, I can still get tolls to add up and things to fire with a nudge. I'm thinking it may be all related. I will continue to 'play' with the cables to see if I can localize it; however, I still would like the definitive answer on the ground strap.

The ground braid has nothing to do with the games performance. It is there for safety only, you could rip out (but don't) all the ground strap and the game will still run flawlessly. Grounding for the game operation is within signal wires, of which are usually color coded black. The ground braid is only to tie all metal components together to the third pin ground prong of the electrical mains plug, so that if a high voltage fault occurs the chassis does not become dangerously electrified.

#8 3 years ago

Thanks for the info. When the two braids are connected, triggering the coin door switches cause one of the bottom jets to fire and the display indicates an error on the row that coin door switch is on. Seems like this is a clue. Another potential clue? When the braids aren't touching, there is a high pitched noise coming from the lower right side of the backbox. It appears to come from the huge 30000 uf capacitor. When the braids are touching, the high pitched buzz goes away, but the switch error appears. Does that suggest the braid originating in the top box is touching a frayed wire(s), which is causing a short and my problems with the top jet bumper and the registering of tolls? Then connecting the top box braid in the cabinet braid introduces that short into the coin door circuits?

#9 3 years ago

The 30000 uF cap is for filtering the lamp +18VDC supply. The ground on the bridge for the lamp supply should have continuity to the backbox metal backplate, then this backplate is tied back to the mains supply ground at the power entry filter, and from the filter back to the 3 prong plugs ground pin. The ground braid to the coin door is only for safety, so I really can't tell from online troubleshooting why you would have a coin door switch causing other solenoid activity. Which switches are giving you the error? The test switches? The coin chute switches? All of them or only specific ones? Perhaps there is a short or frayed wire touching the coin door metal plate? Many times I have seen games with the coin door braid completely disconnected and have no problems at all...people don't even realize they are missing the safety ground to the coin door.

#10 3 years ago

When I run the switch edge test, I get two errors. They occur when triggering the coin door switches. One is White/Yellow row 4 and the bottom left Jet fires (also on row 4 of the switch matrix table). The other is the left coin chute. It displays white/Blue row 6 and when this switch is triggered, the top bottom jet fires. None of this seems to impact my initial issue of the Top Jet firing and tolls adding up. I figure it has to be a short? The Top Right jet is on the same row as the A/C relay and the L Ramp Score switch, which adds to the tolls.

#11 3 years ago

I would first attempt to isolate that to a playfield or CPU problem by performing the following tests. If it passes, the problems are related to the playfield or cabinet (could be wiring/short, broken/bad/leaky switch diode etc...) If you have switch matrix problems such as a phantom switch error, that could explain the tolls and the pop bumper firing errors.

See "Testing the Switch Columns (all system 11 revisions)"
and "Testing the Switch Rows (all system 11 revisions)"
http://techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/wms11/index3.htm#switch

Also see section "Phantom Switch Closures: a Shorted Switch"

#12 3 years ago

I ran through all of the tests on the board (jumping from J8 to J10 and visa versa). Everything tested OK, so I assume this means the boards are ok and the issue is in the wiring. Based on the behavior, it sounds like it may be the dreaded phantom switch issue. I have tried to localize the bad switch but am not having much luck since the other things will randomly fire. I suspect part of the issue is that the vibration from a coil firing can trigger the bad switch. At this point, I'm thinking my best option is to try to eliminate the non-coil switches from contention. Does that make sense? Thanks again for your help

#13 3 years ago

I would really look into those pop switches and diodes thoroughly, maybe even just replace the spoon activation switch anyway. I had a bunch of phantom tilts happening on my F14 Tomcat.... Could not find the problem, until I replaced a round target switch. There was nothing wrong with it that I could determine, until after I removed the switch. Then I could wiggle the blades a little and get a short to occur while reading it with a DMM. It was really strange.

#14 3 years ago

OK, I'll give that a shot. Yes, this certainly falls into the really strange category. I hope I find it soon since I'm running out of hair to pull out.

#15 3 years ago

I figured I would start with the Jet Bumper giving me fits. Everything seemed fine, tested fine, leaf switches in good shape, etc. So I thought I would move on and since the playfield was up, the first one to check was the outhole switch. At first it did not register a connection. Then it did. I thought it made sense to look at it a bit more and removed the wires on one lug. Started to remove the wires from the second lug. Had my cheap pencil/vacuum remover up there while I heated the wires when viola, the tab that the wires were soldered two broke in half. Now understand I wasn't putting any pressure on the tab, it simply broke off at the middle of the tab. Adding further intrigue, it is the tab that the wht/red is attached to...the same row that my problematic jet bumper is. I have no idea if this is the cause of my problems, but I do know that it needs to be replaced and that it likely had a very 'iffy' connection. So, I'll try to call PBR to get a replacement switch. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one!

1 week later
#16 3 years ago

I changed the outhole switch, a couple of others, diodes, etc. Nothing changed. Then as I was trying to localize the issue, I discovered something interesting. Of course, this may be another one of my 'flaunt my ignorance moments'. When slightly shaking the machine to trigger the issue, I noticed that if the pressed back on the backbox, the top right jet stopped firing and things behaved OK. So, I swung open the backbox door so I could push on the door, thereby causing the backbox to tilt back ever so slightly. I then 'played' one handed and the machine worked flawlessly. It seems that pushing back would increase the tension to any wires going into the cabinet, so does that implicate a wire that is shorting when slack but the extra tension means it no longer can short? Any thoughts on what to look for and how to localize it?
Thanks

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

I changed the outhole switch, a couple of others, diodes, etc. Nothing changed. Then as I was trying to localize the issue, I discovered something interesting. Of course, this may be another one of my 'flaunt my ignorance moments'. When slightly shaking the machine to trigger the issue, I noticed that if the pressed back on the backbox, the top right jet stopped firing and things behaved OK. So, I swung open the backbox door so I could push on the door, thereby causing the backbox to tilt back ever so slightly. I then 'played' one handed and the machine worked flawlessly. It seems that pushing back would increase the tension to any wires going into the cabinet, so does that implicate a wire that is shorting when slack but the extra tension means it no longer can short? Any thoughts on what to look for and how to localize it?
Thanks

Well, if moving the backbox causes the problem to appar/reappear I would look at those IDC connectors for the switch columns and rows (J8, J10) If there is no problem with the connectors such as frayed or loose wire, it could be cracked solder joints on the mainboard. Maybe resistor packs failing? Moving the box is most likely causing the wiring harnesses to pull/relax, so now it would seem that you just need to identify what is getting pulled when you push on the backbox.

#18 3 years ago

I would say either the IDC connections are loose (I just had to redo the ones on the Toll lights under the playfield on mine with trifurcon pins and they work flawlessly now). The other possibility is that you have a nicked/cut wire or two causing the connection to become grounded. When you moved the backbox you separated the touching wires.

That 20-22 gauge wire can be easily cut by removing/replacing the CPU, stretching the connectors, screwing down the boards, etc...

You should be able to put the game in switch levels test and watch the entire column/row turn on/off as to check these two things out.

#19 3 years ago

That's the other strange thing. There is absolutely no issue with any of the tests...coil, switch, etc. Another point I forgot to mention is that you cannot recreate the issue, until a game is started. In other words, I could shake the devil out of the backbox and nothing fires. Once I start a game, the slightest nudge causes top jet to fire, tolls to accumulate, etc. I don't have to actually put a ball in play. Obviously, there is something that happens electrically upon pressing start. I did wonder about a cracked trace on the MPU. I know with an old jukebox I was restoring, if I pushed on a tube to make sure it was seated, while the amp was on, I could eliminate an issue. That turned out to be a bad trace. However, running the tests with the jumpers worked fine. Then again, I did not test when a game was started. Should I do that? Or do you think a bad connector is the more likely culprit?

#20 3 years ago

Ahhh that is a HUGE piece of information. In test mode, the switches are controlled directly to fire them, solenoids, etc...
In game play, the vast majority of these items are CPU controlled. Do you have a compiled list of all the things that fire??

U38 and U54 definitely suspect and their traces.

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from wxforecaster:

Ahhh that is a HUGE piece of information. In test mode, the switches are controlled directly to fire them, solenoids, etc...
In game play, the vast majority of these items are CPU controlled. Do you have a compiled list of all the things that fire??
U38 and U54 definitely suspect and their traces.

Nice of me to leave that little bit of info out, huh? OK, I'll check those out
Thanks

1 week later
#22 3 years ago

I pulled the board, everything checked out. Yeah I touched up a couple of areas where I had replaced a transistors. Put it back in and no change. Flexing the board did not make things fire, so a broken trace seems unlikely. I tried looking at the wiring and tried to make a couple of paths for the wires going to the playfield a bit more direct so I could trace them better. For jollys sake I fired it up and everything worked fine. Played about a dozen games over the past week or so. Played last night, first game was fine, second game, all hell breaks loose. I was tempted to keep the game as it was wracking up over 25 million. Doesn't have to be a frayed wire some where? What else could cause this? Arghhhhh

2 weeks later
#23 3 years ago

Are you still looking for a solution for this? If so, I had the same symptoms with mine... Game went apeshit and was basically playing itself!! The U3 optoisolator on the interconnect board failed and somehow shorted the transistor for column 8 (Q46 if memory serves) I replaced those 2 components and that problem was gone. But in my case, running a switch test directly on the MPU (bypassing the interconnect board) showed as a short on every switch in column 8.

You may also want to check your U1 optoisolator on your interconnect board, it controls the A/C relay switching.

In my case, I still have a deeper problem with both U2 & U3 iptoisolators, as my game will NOT register either flipper switch in test mode altho all the flippers work just fine, but I cannot enter initials for a high score.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from TheOnlyest:

Are you still looking for a solution for this?

Yes, still looking; although I haven't had a chance to work on it since my last post. I hope to get back to it next week. Thanks for the suggestion. It is driving me crazy and has taken up far too much time. So, was your issue also sporadic? One minute it is playing fine, the next it is going bonkers?

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

Yes, still looking; although I haven't had a chance to work on it since my last post. I hope to get back to it next week. Thanks for the suggestion. It is driving me crazy and has taken up far too much time. So, was your issue also sporadic? One minute it is playing fine, the next it is going bonkers?

Yep, it usually started really going berzerk when I launched ball 2. It would even suddenly think the game was over while I was still playing! If you havn't been looking at the interconnect board for this issue, that's where you need to start. If you have any other system 11b games, or you know someone that does... Try swapping in a known working interconnect board, and see if all returns to normal.

#26 3 years ago
Quoted from TheOnlyest:

If you havn't been looking at the interconnect board for this issue, that's where you need to start.

Looked for something obvious, like a bad connection, broken trace, that sort of thing, but have not focused on it at all. Alas, I don't have another one to try. However, I do think you are onto something, so I'll delve into it.

#27 3 years ago

OK, so I did not find anything wrong with the interconnect board. However, to either fix my problem or eliminate that variable, I purchased a new one from Marco. Put it in and it is doing the same thing. The new board has some leds on it. One, labeled A/C relay is glowing solid red. I assume this is not a good thing and indicates it is stuck (or shorted I guess). Is my assumption correct? And if so, are there some obvious things to check or is this typically indicative or a bad relay?
Thanks for the help troubleshooting this!

#28 3 years ago

I also have that same replacement board in my WW, but the previous owner replaced it. I am pretty sure my LED stays on too, which means A is active, only when the relay kicks to C does that LED go off. Go into test mode and test the A/C relay, that LED should go off when you hear the relay switch to C. Have you run a switch test? Do you get any switch or short errors when you press advance?

#29 3 years ago

You are correct, the LED is on for C, off for A. All tests check out...switch, switch edge, not an error to be found. Any other thoughts?

#30 3 years ago

I'm going to have to look at my game after work today, I could be totally wrong, but I have this funny feeling that your A/C relay is working backward or your A/C relay is sticking closed. By your description, your game should be in A mode under most circumstances, and yours is in C? A/C is for solenoids and flashers, so you likely dont have a switch matrix issue, but a solenoid issue. For example, U1 on your interconnect board is integrated into column 1 of the switch matrix, if your relay is stuck in C, then switch column 1 is stuck closed and because the relay is on column 1, row 2, any other switch on the same row or column can randomly trigger the solenoid (coil or flasher) OR switch on the same channel, because the ROM is tripping out on why 2 or more switches are closed at the same time. I dont know if this is making sense, but you need to check solenoid driver transistors Q6, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, & 33 and switch matrix transistor (Q45) for starters.

#31 3 years ago

When it is turned on, the LED comes on. When I run the coil test, it comes on when testing any 'c-side' and off when testing 'A-side'. I found something else. When I was doing the A/C test (as you know just cycles back and forth testing A and C), I found that if I shook the backbox, the top right jet bumper fired multiple times. Shaking the backbox while on the A_side, had no impact. So the issue would seem to be isolated to when the C-side is active. I've checked all the transistors before and they all seem fine. When I play a game the issue is not just the jet bumper firing but is also adding tolls automatically, (of course, there could be other things happening that I just don't notice). The left ramp score switch is on the same row as the jet bumper so I guess that makes sense. The manual says something about a faulty relay on the Aux Power Driver board as a potential cause of problems. Seems like shaking the machine could cause a bad relay to make contact,,,but I am truly groping here.

#32 3 years ago

When my game is just on, in attract mode, the A/C light is on solid, which is what you say yours is doing, so that is correct, but that 4N25 at U1 does not control the relay. In the simplest terms, those 3 4N25 are "signal splitters", they take an incoming signal like a switch being closed and then send a signal to 2 different places, often in different forms, example 1 high voltage & 1 low voltage... Or a 5v signal and a ground signal. Just because the light is working and its switching doesn't mean the signals its putting out get to the intended target, or that the target is working. Its possible a relay is bad, but before I spent more money on parts, I think i'd be reflowing pins on the MPU. And like someone mentioned earlier, I would start a game and then start wiggling MPU connectors to see if anything consistent happens.

Clearly our problems had similar symptoms, but obviously a completely different cause... My problem is solved, replaced 1 2N2304 @ Q26, and it turns out all 3 of my 4N25's were bad, I though it was only U3, but then I replaced the other 2 also, and all was perfect again. I feel bad that you blew $140 on an interconnect board for nothing.

#33 3 years ago

I have checked the MPU board multiple times. When I first had this problem and was not able to resolve it, I sent it to John Wart. He didn't find any issues with it. When I put it back in, it worked fine for awhile, but then started doing the same thing. Hence, why I kind of doubt that the issue is with the MPU. I have tried the 'wiggle the connections' technique, without success; however, I will try it again. I think I may also see if wiggling the relay on the aux power board causes the behavior. As for blowing $ on the interconnect board, while I wish I hadn't, at least it has eliminated one possible cause of the problem. So, I figure I've saved several hours messing with it and never really knowing if that was the source of the problem.

#34 3 years ago

Well, it sounds like we need to get into the aux power board and good ol RLY#1. It certainly couldn't hurt to replace the relay, and at least they're cheap! http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/5580-09555-01

#35 3 years ago

First, thanks for helping me on this...I admit this whole thing is really starting to frustrate me. While I know my diagnostic skills ain't that great, I've about reached the point of having zero confidence in my ability to definitively diagnose a blown fuse!

Anyhow, I think I will see if I can induce the issue by wiggling the relay. If so, I'll pull the board and see if there is a solder issue on the relay (haven't done that). I am really hoping I can recreate the problem at the relay.

2 weeks later
#36 3 years ago

OK, finally had a chance to work on this issue some more. Here is the current status. Replaced the auxiliary power board. Same issue as before. Top right jet fires. At one point, while the top right jet was locked on, the fuse on the aux power board blew (as it should). This resulted in the top jets not firing, as you would suspect. I replaced the fuse and am now quick to turn it off if the top jet locks on.

I thought perhaps it was the switch for that jet bumper, so I unsoldered the switch as a way to eliminate it from consideration. So, here are the current symptoms. When you turn the machine on, the up ramp solenoid fires approx. 3 times then stops. Switch tests fine, switch edge test fine. Running A/C side tests results in top right jet firing for every C-side coil being tested (in addition to the correct coil). Now to add a bit of weirdness, if I press the start button during this test, the lower right jet fires! Am I dealing with a wiring issue? Or is it, in fact, something related to the MPU?

Please, please, help before I either A) run out of hair to pull out or B) have a nice bonfire in the back yard

#37 3 years ago

I believe what I am facing is a series of independent issues, which is why diagnosis is so difficult. Prior to installing the new aux power board, moving the relay on that board caused the random firing. That does not seem to be the case now. The switch for the ramp was not working properly, so I have corrected that issue and no longer get the multiple clicks. Now, when I was removing the micro switch, I just about had it off when I heard and saw something fall. I figured it was the washer but lo and behold, it was a metal tab that had broken off something. I have no idea where it came from originally as I did not see any broken tabs. Could have been a repair from many years ago. More importantly, where was it before it fell? Was it balancing somewhere causing intermittent shorts?

In tracing the start button firing one of the top jets, I checked the slam switch on the coin door with my DMM and got a short. It does not look like that switch has ever been touched before; however, when I unscrewed it and looked at the back side of the switch, I noticed that the wire soldered to the back tab extended beyond the tab and looked like it would be precariously close to touching the coin door. So I kept it off while I played a couple of games and everything seemed fine with the obvious exception of the top right jet not firing (obvious since I disconnected it). I will play some more games to see if I can induce any odd behavior. If not, I'll resolder the top jet and check some more. I have my fingers crossed that I have managed to find and fix all of the contributing factors.

#38 3 years ago

OK, put the top jet back into play and played several games everything now works fine...except...I have no insert lighting. This problem actually surfaced as I was going back and forth between interconnect boards, so I suspect it is a connector, fuse or similar. A cursory check doesn't reveal anything. Guess I'll search old threads to see what the most likely cause is. Given that the issue is catastrophic, meaning none of the inserts fed by 1J6 or 1J7 on the MPU work and these route to the a single connector on the interconnect board, it should be easy to find the issue....famous last words, I know

#39 3 years ago

Well, it was as I hoped, the 8 Amp fuse that is hidden on the inside lower right side of the back box.

Hallelujah! Played several games everything worked fine! Hopefully it stays that way. Thanks to all for helping me through this.

3 weeks later
#40 3 years ago

21 days of flawless operation (knock on wood) suggests to me that the problem has been solved. What was it? I do think it was a combination of several items. Bad relay on the aux power board. Intermittent short on the slam switch on the door and a broken tab from something hidden in the bowels of the wiring of some component. Interestingly, when I first got the game, there was a completely fried coil from the top right jet bumper and a 'new one' in the bottom of the cabinet. Looked like it had been hooked up and removed. I had to replace some fried transistors, diodes and put the coil back in. It worked, sort of, for awhile, then the issues would resurface. So, I'm thinking this issue existed for a long time before the previous owner just gave up on it. I take some solace in that, given how much time it took. I just hope I did not jinx myself.

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

Intermittent short on the slam switch on the door

this was your problem

#42 3 years ago
Quoted from pincredible:

this was your problem

Maybe so; however, if I jiggled the relay on the aux power board, the jet would fire and tolls would accumulate. I could shake other areas of the backbox and not have this happen. I'm not looking at the switch schematic now, but I don't think there is a direct relationship between the two (could be wrong). Regardless, I am just happy it works.

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