(Topic ID: 41555)

System 1 Countdown Drop Target Reset Issues

By MikeO

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 4 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by MikeO
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders


Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 2 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).


#1 6 years ago

I was just contacted by a pinside member about issues he is having with his Countdown pinball. To make life easier, and so others can contribute and/or learn from this issue, I'm posting the information here with my initial response.

Here is the problem.

I had a bad power board and was having an issue with my yellow target
reset coil not firing. After reading about other issues with bad grounds
and board problems, I bit the bullet and bought a Pascal Janin all in one
board. I bought this one mostly due to the game enhancements that he added
to it. At any rate I am still having issues with my reset coil not
working. After I installed the Pascal board, at game start the coil would
now lock and stay on, before it would not fire to reset targets. I tried
disconnecting the coil, and then the blue target reset coil locked on and
fried. I've gone back to Pascal to look for help, but he's pretty much
telling me it was something existing in my machine, and I don't doubt that.
He has tried to help me, but the electronics gets lost in translation.

I'm happy to help where I can.

There are two under playfield transistors on Countdown that drive the yellow and blue drop target bank reset coils.

There is a lamp driver transistor that serves as the predriver for each of them. Since you have installed a Pascal all in one board there should be no issue with the predrivers. I would first look at the under playfield 2n5875 transistors.

Clay's System 1 repair guide is your bible for now. It can be accessed here:

I think the link will take you to the solenoid section.

Also, here are pictures of where these two transistors are located on the underside of the playfield near top end of the playfield.


#2 6 years ago


The first thing to do will be to test the transistors.

The guide talks about all the different transistors and how to test them. It also talks about a ground mod that should be done to these underplayfield transistors.

Obviously you need to replace your burnt coil. You need to be looking for coils to lock on every time you turn a game on. A coil that energizes at turn on is your sign to turn the game back off before you cook the coil.

Last but not least, you did not identify if you replaced all the connector pins when you installed the Pascal board. This is a must do if you are unsure at all about the condition of them.

Let us know if this is enough to start on and let us know your progress.

Mike O.

#3 6 years ago


Thanks much for getting back to me, and for this great direction. I will start by going back to Clay's and studying that. I did not replace all of the connector pins based on the hope that if someone else had this problem it could be isolated to an individual pin or pins and not require that...... Hey, a guy can hope can't he?.....
Do I need to do the ground mods even with the new board?
Oh, and lastly, I was surprised by the cooked coil. it happened fast, up until that point I was able to start a game look for locked coils, and immediately shut it down if I saw one. Somehow the Blue reset eluded me.... That was a bit embarrassing..... Thankfully I had a spare.

#4 6 years ago
Quoted from Djude:

I did not replaced all of the connector pins based on the hope that if someone else had this problem it could be isolated to an individual pin or pins and not require that...... Hey, a guy can hope can't he?

Do I need to do the ground mods even with the new board?

Regarding replacement of all of the connector pins, you can get by without replacing all of them depending on their condition. There are two things that occur over time. The first is that they lose their spring tension. So if they appear laid back in the connector body that is the first sign to replace a pin. The second is if they appear to have tarnished. This can come from battery corrosion or just plain moisture/humidity exposure. This will also inhibit the connection. I visually inspect each pin for adequate spring tension and corrosion. If it looks questionable for either I replace the pin. If I'm replacing 50% or more of the pins in a connector I replace all of the pins in the respective connector. If in doubt at all, replace all pins.

As for grounding a PI-1 x4 board, I suspect it could benefit from it. Clay did not show where he would suggest grounding this board in his guide, even though he did show the recommended approach with a Ni-Wumpf board. I'll let those more educated on how to do this speak up.

Mike O.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 49.00
$ 289.00
€ 8.40
From: $ 18.00
Apparel - Men
Pinside Shop
$ 4.49
Yorktown Arcade Supply
$ 69.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 49.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 7.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 87.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
$ 12,500.00
Pinball Machine
Great American Pinball
$ 4.49
Yorktown Arcade Supply
$ 400.00
Great American Pinball
$ 48.00
Cabinet - Other
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 495.00
Cabinet - Armor And Blades
MI Pinball Refinery
$ 6.00
$ 9.99
Cabinet - Other
Bent Mods
$ 15.00
Cabinet - Decals
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 135.00
Lighting - Led
From: $ 10.00
Third Coast Pinball
$ 74.00
Cabinet - Armor And Blades
Id Rather Play Pinball

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside