(Topic ID: 284907)

Target Alpha 5 Bank Complete effect on FS / Alt relays


By srcdube

4 months ago



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  • 9 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by TimMe
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Gottlieb 1976 parts catalog AS relay parts (resized).jpg
Solar City Target Alpha Alternating Relay (resized).jpg
FS_Alt Relay (resized).jpg

#1 4 months ago

I'm documenting all of the relays and switches in my TA, and really can't figure this one out. Seems a bit redundant. FS turns on every time there is a score of 100 points... advances the match number, and then toggles the alternating relay that lights up which rollovers will score the 5000 points. I don't understand what the 5 Position Sequence Completed Alternating Switch is doing. When all of the 5 Bank is knocked down, it switches from taking the signal when FS turns on, to when it turns off. So what? It has the same effect of triggering the Alternating Relay. The only thing I can see, is that it gives one extra flip of the Alternating Relay / Rollover lights when you first complete the 5 bank dropdowns... then just continues toggling for each 100 point score. Why the extra circuitry just to do that. Or am I missing something else here? In one of the other variants does it do something else, and they just left the circuitry the same in TA?

FS_Alt Relay (resized).jpg
#2 4 months ago

If this helps.

On my Solar City, when all of the drop targets are hit and dropped, the 5000 point, alternating roll overs, stop alternating.

#3 4 months ago

Solar City and Target Alpha have nearly identical circuits (Solar City is on top):
Solar City Target Alpha Alternating Relay (resized).jpg
The only difference I see is the default position of the FS relay Make/Break switch in the Alternating relay circuit. Even the wire colors are the same.

The FS relay can have up to two cams to activate switch stacks mounted above them. The cams are available in different profiles to activate switches in different patterns:
Gottlieb 1976 parts catalog AS relay parts (resized).jpg
I think the "FS (1: 1)" notation in the schematic indicates that the Normally Open switch on the FS relay in the 00-90 unit circuit alternates every time the FS relay fires, probably with a C-8752 cam. The other FS relay switch does not have that notation. It may mean that that switch is following one of the other cams that alternates with some other pattern.

If that's the case, the Alternating relay might change how often it's on or off depending on the state of the 5 target bank.

Quoted from Darcy:

On my Solar City, when all of the drop targets are hit and dropped, the 5000 point, alternating roll overs, stop alternating.

I wonder if either your FS relay or 5 Pos. Sequence Completed Make/Break switch isn't closing on one side.

/Mark

#4 4 months ago

I've gone over the schematic, and from what I can tell, you are correct. The entire purpose of the make-break switch on the 5-bank drop targets seems to be to change the parity of when the alternating relay (A relay) is ON or OFF. Nothing else seems to be affected.

So, why go to all the trouble to do this? From what I can tell, the only reason is to make it more difficult to keep track of the position of the FS relay. On this game, the FS relay always moves to the next even match number position at the start of each ball in play, so that each player starts their ball with the same lanes lit for 5000. Because of this, if a player knows the match sequence on a Gottlieb EM (it was always the same), and they make a note of the lit match number just before they start a new game, and they keep track of the number of lane light toggles, they can determine which match number will appear at the end of the game.

So, my guess is that this invisible parity change was included in the circuitry to make it more difficult to keep track of the match number. If all of the 5-bank targets happen to be down, then when the machine goes to the next ball in play, from the player's perspective the lane lights WON'T toggle even though the FS relay has stepped to the next even match number (and vice versa - the lights WILL toggle even though the FS relay hasn't moved at all). Obviously, this parity glitch will cause the player to lose track of the actual FS relay stepper position if they are counting the number of lane light toggles.

That guess may sound far-fetched, but Gottlieb (and the other companies) always had something in their circuitry to obscure the 0-9 stepper so that the match number was difficult to track. That's because, back in the day when these machines were on location, it was fairly common for players to tilt out their last ball on any game where the match number was known in advance. As soon as their score showed the correct match number, they would tilt so they could win a free game by matching. This usually occurred on machines where the 0-9 stepper was stuck, and the machine always showed the same number for match every game.

The manufacturers were well aware that no operator would want a game that let a clever player figure out things like the next match number.

- TimMe

#6 4 months ago
Quoted from Darcy:

If this helps.
On my Solar City, when all of the drop targets are hit and dropped, the 5000 point, alternating roll overs, stop alternating.

I kinda thought that too, but after reviewing further, regardless of which path it takes, FS keeps toggling on and off, so it should still be toggling the Alternating Relay through the lower path when you complete the 5 bank drop targets... you may want to check if the FS and 5 Bank Drop target alternating switches are completely closing through the lower path.

#7 4 months ago
Quoted from MarkG:

Solar City and Target Alpha have nearly identical circuits (Solar City is on top):
[quoted image]
The only difference I see is the default position of the FS relay Make/Break switch in the Alternating relay circuit. Even the wire colors are the same.
The FS relay can have up to two cams to activate switch stacks mounted above them. The cams are available in different profiles to activate switches in different patterns:
[quoted image]
I think the "FS (1: 1)" notation in the schematic indicates that the Normally Open switch on the FS relay in the 00-90 unit circuit alternates every time the FS relay fires, probably with a C-8752 cam. The other FS relay switch does not have that notation. It may mean that that switch is following one of the other cams that alternates with some other pattern.
If that's the case, the Alternating relay might change how often it's on or off depending on the state of the 5 target bank.

I wonder if either your FS relay or 5 Pos. Sequence Completed Make/Break switch isn't closing on one side.
/Mark

Thanks for the screenshot. I'll need to take a closer look at the FS relay. I haven't played much in the head since everything seems to be counting. Alternating Relay was sketchy for a bit, so I only briefly looked at the FS relay to clean the contacts. Didn't notice the cam's in it. Kewl.

Keep on learnin!

#8 4 months ago
Quoted from TimMe:

From what I can tell, the only reason is to make it more difficult to keep track of the position of the FS relay. On this game, the FS relay always moves to the next even match number position at the start of each ball in play, so that each player starts their ball with the same lanes lit for 5000. Because of this, if a player knows the match sequence on a Gottlieb EM (it was always the same), and they make a note of the lit match number just before they start a new game, and they keep track of the number of lane light toggles, they can determine which match number will appear at the end of the game.

That guess may sound far-fetched, but Gottlieb (and the other companies) always had something in their circuitry to obscure the 0-9 stepper so that the match number was difficult to track. That's because, back in the day when these machines were on location, it was fairly common for players to tilt out their last ball on any game where the match number was known in advance. As soon as their score showed the correct match number, they would tilt so they could win a free game by matching. This usually occurred on machines where the 0-9 stepper was stuck, and the machine always showed the same number for match every game.
The manufacturers were well aware that no operator would want a game that let a clever player figure out things like the next match number.
- TimMe

I like that... but man... lotsa keeping track of stuff while your trying to play, and then trying to hit a 10 point target a few times, without hitting another 100 point target to line up your score with the match number...just to save a quarter . Maybe there was cannabis involved.

Sidebar: I was having problems with my coin unit triggering correctly a little while ago, and found the match lights were on during the game (coin unit stays in 0 position). So for interests sake, when I was trying to finger out this FS thing, during a one player game I reached in through the door, and triggered the coin unit relay to go back to the zero position. I wanted to see if the match numbers were progressing through each of the 100 point scores, for a 500 point rollover, and of course they were. Try it!

Also, I figured the alternating rollover lights should also toggle back and forth throughout a 500 point score, but a switch on the motor (3D) turns off those lights during the scoring cycle, and they come back on after... and because it's and odd number of toggles, the opposite lights are on. When time permits, I'm going to short out the 3D switch to keep the lights on during scoring to see if they toggle back and forth 5 times... expecting they should.

#9 4 months ago
Quoted from srcdube:

When time permits, I'm going to short out the 3D switch to keep the lights on during scoring to see if they toggle back and forth 5 times... expecting they should.

Yep, they will, except when you knock down the last target on the 5-bank drop target unit. Then you'll see that the lights end up in the same place after the 500 score is counted. Under normal circumstances, with the lights blanking out during the scoring cycle, this parity glitch would be very easy to miss - and even if you noticed it, from the player's point of view it would be difficult to know what it meant. The logical assumption would probably be that the FS relay had stepped either four times or six times, but both guesses would be wrong. Thus the upcoming match number would be (hopefully) obscured.

- TimMe

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