(Topic ID: 241102)

System 7 Project Laser Cue Troubleshooting Thread


By FatPanda

6 months ago



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  • 47 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by FatPanda
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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Flipper Board SYS7 (resized).jpg
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#1 6 months ago

UPDATE***I decided to make this a general troubleshooting thread for the Laser Cue project I picked up. Sometimes, it helps me to think things through if I post up my findings. I did something similar with a Flash Gordon that I picked up a year ago. That game definitely gets more love than this one

I essentially have the same error as seen in this thread
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/laser-cue-won-t-boot-start-stuck-on-the-diagnostics-screen

I've tried all the things listed including installing a new 5101 NVRAM chip, checking all soldering, traces, connections, header pins, grounds, etc. but still no luck. Any thoughts or help would be much appreciated!

#2 6 months ago

If the NVram is good and none of the traces are damaged, socket was installed correctly, then you are looking at a bad coin door switch and or any of the buffer chips used on the board to detect it.

One other remote possibility.
There are two diodes involved with the RAM chip, one from the power supply and one from the batteries, each is there to prevent the two power sources from interacting. With the NVRAM chip and no batteries one diode is useless, but the other one (D18) still needs to work to let voltage get to the RAM chip. I don't recall if the board won't boot at all if the 5101 is missing, but if that diode is bad it would act the same way (as the 5101 wouldn't get any power) With the game on does D18 have voltage on both sides of it?

I ran into this once where a trace was damaged on the back of the board on the RAM socket but it was hard to notice. There are 3 sets of pins that are doubled up on the back of the board (looking at the schematic is shows 4 pairs but I only recall 3). One of the pads on the doubled up circlets was damaged and it didn't look like it was damaged but this caused one of the pins to float and it wouldn't boot until I fixed it.
Schematic shows pins 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 as paired.

#3 6 months ago

Here is the repair done in the past. There are 2 lifted pads, but I've checked continuity and it is good. Where is Bush wire repair is, there are 3 solder spots where the copper dots have been damaged. I dont think that consequential but just wanted to point that out. All traces and pins seem to be connecting to their respective lines.

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#4 6 months ago

There is no continuity in 2 of the 3 spots that I pointed out. It appears that they connect a couple legs of the RAM to another IC.

Could this be my culprit?

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#5 6 months ago

Absolutely.

One broken connection will prevent the game from booting into attract mode.

I should know, I fixed a 5101 socket install on a Laser Cue that had a couple broken connections. One connection must have had a weak through hole because after the repair all of the connections tested good, but after reinstalling the RAM chip and mounting the board in the game, it came up in audits again.

Pulled the board and sure enough, one connection was broken. Fixed it and the game booted perfectly.

#6 6 months ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Absolutely.
One broken connection will prevent the game from booting into attract mode.
I should know, I fixed a 5101 socket install on a Laser Cue that had a couple broken connections. One connection must have had a weak through hole because after the repair all of the connections tested good, but after reinstalling the RAM chip and mounting the board in the game, it came up in audits again.
Pulled the board and sure enough, one connection was broken. Fixed it and the game booted perfectly.

I ordered some wire after seeing this and it should arrive today. Hopefully I dont fudge it up even further and it works.

#7 6 months ago

I repaired the traces and now I can start a game!

Next issue is none of the solenoids are firing. I tried to ground a lug on a slingshot and no go. Am I right in assuming it's a power supply issue? I pulled the board and noticed a capacitor splooging out some crust and a relay that probably has seen better days.

Where can I get a replacement relay?

I'll be ordering a cap kit from ebay, i think is where I saw it. Can someone confirm? Any other thoughts?

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#9 6 months ago

Bump. Any thoughts?

Should I abandon trying to fix this board or just get a new PS board?

#10 6 months ago

GPE Electronics will definitely have the relay and has a 100uF 160v cap which is a suitable replacement for the knackered one.
A cap kit is probably a good idea though as the rest of the capacitors might not be far behind that one.

If these are the only outstanding issues then I would stick with it. It is very satisfying when you finally fix it

#11 6 months ago

Ugh, that's some sloppy soldering job on the 5101 socket. Clean that up.

#12 6 months ago
Quoted from Andy_B:

GPE Electronics will definitely have the relay and has a 100uF 160v cap which is a suitable replacement for the knackered one.
A cap kit is probably a good idea though as the rest of the capacitors might not be far behind that one.
If these are the only outstanding issues then I would stick with it. It is very satisfying when you finally fix it

So I'm not sure what I did, but when I put the PSU back, all of the solenoids are now firing. I did replace the F1 fuse with a 3/4A fuse (calls for 1/4A) and F2 with a 3A fuse (calls for 2.5A). It was what I had on-hand. I'll pick up the correct value fuses at the hardware store if they carry them, or order some.

I'll redo the caps on the PSU anyway as suggested. I'm not sure exactly which relay to get as they are all labeled in a way that I can't understand. I'll also need to set up a new connector for the GI socket, as the wiring on the other end is clipped. Things are looking up!

#13 6 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

Ugh, that's some sloppy soldering job on the 5101 socket. Clean that up.

The person that did the desoldering prior kept the gun on the board too long. What you see is burnt PCB. The solder itself seems fine, but yeah, looks like crap, but it works.

#15 6 months ago

Thanks for looking it up! It looks like he didnt have any cap kits available, but hopefully soon so I can place it all in one order.

#16 5 months ago

fatpanda Order the caps individually

#17 5 months ago

Thanks guys. I'll put in an order and will update. I am getting non-working solenoids again. I'm hoping the cap kit and new relay will fix that. Also getting a blown fuse at F1 (.25A fuse that I installed .75A fuse but still blew). Not sure why this is keeping the solenoids from firing?

I also read somewhere that the 40-pin connectors can cause issues. I reflowed solder to the header pins prior to the .75A fuse blowing and the game was working. I may revisit this once I install the new caps if I still continue seeing issues.

#18 5 months ago

The 40-pin interconnect is the first thing you replace if it hasn't already been done. So many issues related to it that it doesn't make sense to troubleshoot anything else until it's replaced.

#19 5 months ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

The 40-pin interconnect is the first thing you replace if it hasn't already been done. So many issues related to it that it doesn't make sense to troubleshoot anything else until it's replaced.

I ordered a 40-pin "kit" from Big Daddy Enterprises along with a cap kit so it'll get done. And like you said I'll do it first before anything else.

On another note, all of the fuses on the PSU were mixed up, which would cause random fuses blowing. I thought F1 was on the bottom since the top one had an 8A fuse on it. Turns out the one on top needed to be the .25A fuse and the one on the bottom needed to be 8! No wonder the fuse would blow after a short while. Once I figured out the correct fuse values, I've been able to actually play a few games.

#20 5 months ago

Seems as though there is no logical positioning of the fuses, and no labeling of the fuses on the board, only in the manual. Taken from the Firepower II manual since there doesn't seem to be much documentation on Laser Cue.

from top to bottom:
F1 - HV .25A Slow Blow score Display
F3 - Lamp matrix - 8A Fast blow
F4 - Not used in Laser Cue (per Big Daddy Enterprise Word Document)
F2 - Solenoid 2.5 A Slow Blow

F5 and F6 are off on their own - 7A Slow Blow

The flipper board down below has a 5A slow blow fuse
PSU SYS7 (resized).jpg

Flipper Board SYS7 (resized).jpg
#21 5 months ago

The P4 display isn't working either, so I'll have to do some further diagnosing to see if it's the board or the display. So far I've swapped ribbon cables with a working one, and the cables are ruled out. Next I'll see if I can run P2 on that display. Then i'll take a closer look at the display or board if it still doesn't work.

#22 5 months ago

fatpanda I have all my original documentation that came with my Laser Cue, give me a shout if you need anything.

#23 5 months ago
Quoted from henrydwh:

fatpanda I have all my original documentation that came with my Laser Cue, give me a shout if you need anything.

Appreciate it henrydwh ! As long as the Firepower II schematics and charts are the same for LC, the other other thing that I might need is part numbers. I guessed on the coil stops for the target bank...
https://www.pinballlife.com/williams-flipper-coil-stop-a-10821.html

Hope I was right

#24 5 months ago

I replaced my stops on my Laser Cue, I will have to look when I get home from work tonight. I hate it when work gets in the way!

#25 5 months ago

The coil stops that I linked above is incorrect.

Here are the correct coil stops for the drop target bank:
https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/A-8037

#26 5 months ago

I went through my paperwork last night and I did rebuild my flippers, but did not replace my coil stops. So I didn't have the part number. Glad you found the correct one!

#27 5 months ago
Quoted from henrydwh:

I went through my paperwork last night and I did rebuild my flippers, but did not replace my coil stops. So I didn't have the part number. Glad you found the correct one!

Yeah, I was looking through some old threads and saw that you had confirmed that it worked. So I'll have to order them from Marco as they seem to be the only ones that carry them.

I'll have to build up another parts order...

#28 5 months ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

Yeah, I was looking through some old threads and saw that you had confirmed that it worked. So I'll have to order them from Marco as they seem to be the only ones that carry them.
I'll have to build up another parts order...

So I did replace the coil stops! LMAO I can't remember anything anymore!In my defense, I was 3 years ago. lol I must have lost my invoice from Marco.

#29 5 months ago

Titan rings and Pinball Life order is arriving today. Got a notification that my GPE order has shipped. No notifications from Big Daddy Ent. yet, but I'll be expecting that in the next week or so. I took off all of the plastics and star posts and got the star posts in the ultrasonic cleaner for a couple of runs. They look presentable.

Things that still aren't working properly are the GI lights and the 4P display.

For the GI lights, does the blown relay I have pictured above have anything to do with that? I'm not a schematics pro but I didn't see how the GI ran through the relay.

I was able to isolate the 4P display as being bad (moved ribbon cables, connect the display to a known working cable/display, etc). I just did a quick once over of the display while it was off and all of the solder joints looked ok. Nothing was burnt or cracked. The condition of the glass looked good. Any thoughts on where to start with that?

#30 5 months ago

For your GI,check where it plugs into your power supply, I had a lose connection on mine that was causing it not to work.

#31 5 months ago
Quoted from henrydwh:

For your GI,check where it plugs into your power supply, I had a lose connection on mine that was causing it not to work.

The two yellow wires from the pf were cut and are hanging. I ordered 2 (or 3, can't remember) pin molex connectors that I'll use to repin and make a connection. I have already removed the connector soldered to the board and soldered 2 wires directly to it. I did initial testing by twisting the 2 wires together but didn't get anything. So was wondering if the blown relay had any connection to it.

#32 5 months ago

So. many. things. wrong with this game. I swear, whoever had this game before me should never touch a pinball machine again! Messed up soldering jobs, messed up wiring, wrong screws too long, or don't fit properly. I'm seriously surprised this thing plays. They cut off the connector for the GI, and soldered together all of the solid colored wires and the striped wires and put a twist connector on them. Why!? Who the hell knows.

All pops and flippers rebuilt this weekend using the PROPER hardware. I discovered why the screw blew through the playfield. It was because the jackass used an inch long wood screw to secure the coilstop for the upper flipper to the playfield! WOW you dip! lol

Just had to vent. She's slowly coming back together, but it's been a frustrating experience trying to work through all of the previous idiot's hackjobs.

Recapped the power supply and had a helluva time desoldering and replacing the relay. I ordered new connectors for the hacked wires, so I won't know if the GI works yet, since that plug was for the GI out from the PSU. In time it will be done, and working.

One thing I did notice is that after rebuilding all of the flippers, the lower left flipper has a difficult time getting the ball up through the 8-ball shot. There's no binding of the mech, everything is cleaned. I had to clean and readjust the contacts on the flipper switch for that side. I'll have to check the EOS switch also but wondering if that was related? I could probably replace both flipper switches since they're pretty beat.

#33 5 months ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

So. many. things. wrong with this game. I swear, whoever had this game before me should never touch a pinball machine again! Messed up soldering jobs, messed up wiring, wrong screws too long, or don't fit properly. I'm seriously surprised this thing plays. They cut off the connector for the GI, and soldered together all of the solid colored wires and the striped wires and put a twist connector on them. Why!? Who the hell knows.
All pops and flippers rebuilt this weekend using the PROPER hardware. I discovered why the screw blew through the playfield. It was because the jackass used an inch long wood screw to secure the coilstop for the upper flipper to the playfield! WOW you dip! lol
Just had to vent. She's slowly coming back together, but it's been a frustrating experience trying to work through all of the previous idiot's hackjobs.
Recapped the power supply and had a helluva time desoldering and replacing the relay. I ordered new connectors for the hacked wires, so I won't know if the GI works yet, since that plug was for the GI out from the PSU. In time it will be done, and working.
One thing I did notice is that after rebuilding all of the flippers, the lower left flipper has a difficult time getting the ball up through the 8-ball shot. There's no binding of the mech, everything is cleaned. I had to clean and readjust the contacts on the flipper switch for that side. I'll have to check the EOS switch also but wondering if that was related? I could probably replace both flipper switches since they're pretty beat.

New flipper cabinet switches will help. You could also replace the connectors (headers and pins) on the flipper power supply board.

#34 5 months ago

Just finished replacing the 40 pin connector on both male and female sides, put it back together and this starts happening


The lights are fading off/on at regular intervals. At first I thought is this a new feature? Lol

I have to take a look at all the connections again but has anyone ever seen this before?

#35 5 months ago

I wonder if it's possible that because I disconnected all of the GI out wires that it's doing this light pulsing thing.

#36 5 months ago

So I see another thread that did this as well.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stellar-wars-controlled-lights-fade-in-and-out

They said the big 30K uF capacitor was the culprit. I'll have to look it over. Thing is, is that it was working fine before and after I replaced the caps on my PSU. I think it happened after I separated all of the GI wires that were soldered together. I don't think I turned it off after I did this. I'll try to reconnect all of the wiring again to see if the issue goes away, at least until the new housings come in.

I went through all of the connections again and all seems good.

#37 5 months ago

It was the large capacitor as mentioned. One of the wires had broken off. Yay for easy fixes!

#38 5 months ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

One thing I did notice is that after rebuilding all of the flippers, the lower left flipper has a difficult time getting the ball up through the 8-ball shot. There's no binding of the mech, everything is cleaned. I had to clean and readjust the contacts on the flipper switch for that side. I'll have to check the EOS switch also but wondering if that was related? I could probably replace both flipper switches since they're pretty beat.

Yes recheck the EOS. Make sure you have enough endplay between the pawl and bushing. Usual stuff. Also since this game uses 50V flippers as a last resort you can always super-charge it with any later model flipper coils. The original ones should be the same power as the red 11630's, trying popping an orange 15411 but just make sure you aren't going to break plastics and posts.

#39 5 months ago
Quoted from kbliznick:

Yes recheck the EOS. Make sure you have enough endplay between the pawl and bushing. Usual stuff. Also since this game uses 50V flippers as a last resort you can always super-charge it with any later model flipper coils. The original ones should be the same power as the red 11630's, trying popping an orange 15411 but just make sure you aren't going to break plastics and posts.

I won't change out coils unless I need to, but thanks for the suggestion.

I get new flipper switches tomorrow, so I'll see what that does, and I'll recheck the EOS switches. They are new, but may need some adjustments.

I noticed that the flipper brackets are missing the rubber grommet that the flipper plunger rests on when not in use. Can someone send me a pic of what it looks like so I can replace them, or do they not have them?

Something like this I'm assuming:
https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/38-6577

#40 5 months ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

I noticed that the flipper brackets are missing the rubber grommet that the flipper plunger rests on when not in use. Can someone send me a pic of what it looks like so I can replace them, or do they not have them?
Something like this I'm assuming:
https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/38-6577

Search for "grommet" instead.
https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/545-5105-00
Not sure if that's the right one, but pinball life does have the right ones.

#41 5 months ago
Quoted from kbliznick:

Search for "grommet" instead.
https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/545-5105-00
Not sure if that's the right one, but pinball life does have the right ones.

I think the ones I have linked might be the right ones. Thanks! Something should work

The flippers definitely lose power the more games I play. I haven't looked at the flipper board yet, but that will be the next thing I look at. As mentioned above, i changed the capacitors on the PSU but I wouldn't think that it would affect the flippers since they are linked to their own capacitor? I'll reflow solder to the pins and check the switches etc over the weekend. Hope I can get it sorted out.

#42 5 months ago

A lot of those early Williams ss games had holes in the flipper bracket but did not have the rubber bumper. I think if you look close you will see it never had them.

#43 5 months ago
Quoted from Travish:

A lot of those early Williams ss games had holes in the flipper bracket but did not have the rubber bumper. I think if you look close you will see it never had them.

I wasnt sure, which is why I asked. I dont see any evidence of crusty rubber on the holes, at least I dont think I did. But I'll take a closer look to see if there is.

2 months later
#44 3 months ago

progress update?

#45 3 months ago
Quoted from mof:

progress update?

Hey mof I think at some point, someone confirmed that WMS games of this era (at least some) didn't have rubber bumpers on the flipper brackets. If you're referring to something else, let me know and I'll follow up.

#46 3 months ago

fatpanda I was just wondering how the project is coming along...

#47 3 months ago
Quoted from mof:

fatpanda I was just wondering how the project is coming along...

It's playing 100% now. I have some MOSFETs to replace the TIPs that get super hot, but everything else is working out ok! For the weak lower left flipper, I took that coil and moved it to the upper left flipper mech. The lower left flipper works much better now, but I'll occasionally get a weak upper left flipper. My next step is to replace the coil since the problem followed the coil.

I've certainly done a lot to this game. Replaced a lot of components on the boards, the GI issue is resolved, all the mechs are cleaned/replaced, new pop caps, new bats, New wire guides and gates made up etc. Lots of time put into this game, but totally worth it. It's a super fun, sniper's game, that doesn't get the love that it deserves, and it's really likely due to the artwork. Just shows how shallow some people can be it'll be a game that will be hard for me to let go of because it's so fun!

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