(Topic ID: 21203)

** FIXED **: TFTC Doesn't Search for Ball After Multiball Anymore!


By NPO

7 years ago



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  • 33 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by TheHueManatee
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#1 7 years ago

** Scroll to my most recent post to see the progression of the problem I am diagnoising. I am leaving everything untouched from previous "trail and error" progression posts. **

So I have the typical "game looks for ball and trips all solenoids after multiball is over" deal on TFTC, and I've always wondered how to test the switches. I've read up on this, and I know one of my ball trough switches is bad - my question is: how do I test them and determine which one it is? I have 3 new switches, and I don't feel getting another 3 and replacing all 6 is the efficient way to do things. I want to know what I should look for - open circuit, infinite resistance, no voltage, etc - to determine which switch is bad so I can go in, take the old one out, and install a new one.

Thank you for your time.

#2 7 years ago

Good thinking on not just going in and replacing switches. Especially since being part of your switch matrix, you could have a broken wire elsewhere killing a switch. Or a lot of work to find out one just needed adjusting. Or something on top of coin chutes is hitting switch wiring.

I would remove the apron and ball trough cover, go into switch test, and roll a ball along the switches and see if they all work.

Then roll all the balls in and see if they stay closed.

That should help you on what needs attention.

Also be sure you have the right number of balls in the game.

LTG

#3 7 years ago

Good place to start, LTG. Thanks !

#4 7 years ago

Just had the same thing on my Jurassic Park happen . It was not registering trough #4. It turned out hat a wire from a drop target had come loose . Check your switches win a ball , find out which switch isn't working and track that colored wired back to all the spots with the same colored wire . It's time consuming but I bet that's your problem. Hopefully this helps. PEACE!

#5 7 years ago

Ok, so here's where I am at with this situation. All the switches worked and register as they should.

The coil that kicks a ball from the trough to the shooter lane (the coil in the 6-Ball Switch Assembly, part # 500-5683-01 in the manual, is sometimes not firing strongly enough. This causes the ball to sit on the solenoid. Once multiball is over, the game sees there are only 5 balls but 6 switches, so it goes into "auto find ball" mode, and then the solenoid pops the ball strongly enough into the shooter lane.

I have also noticed this problem with the super VUK in the back right of the playfield (part number 500-5116-06); however, at least the this one keeps trying to kick the ball up and out of the habittrail, whereas the coil in the 6 ball assembly just stops trying until the "auto find ball" mode.

I already played with Adjustment 36 and set it to "hard" on coil pulse level. It had no effect.

My guess is something is keeping those coils from energizing strongly enough. Anyone got any ideas?

#6 7 years ago

How do you know the coil isn't firing hard enough? Perhaps the mechanism is binding. Have you taken the whole mechanism apart and cleaned it? It's seldom that it is actually a coil issue.

#7 7 years ago

I have never disassembled a VUK/Super VUK/coil mechanism before. This is new to me, and I'm going on strictly my observations. I have never, ever, ever seen the 6-switch ball mechanism coil struggle with launching a ball into the shooter lane at startup - never - not one single time. That lead me to believe that when multiball is happening and the game is acting like hell is breaking loose that there must not be enough current getting to the coil to energize it.

Are there any kinds of "how to"'s for disassembling a coil mechanism/VUK/Super VUK ? I'm not scared to try it; I'd just like some "veteran" advice or cautionary tales of anything I should be aware of before jumping into this.

Thanks!

#8 7 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

I have never disassembled a VUK/Super VUK/coil mechanism before. This is new to me, and I'm going on strictly my observations. I have never, ever, ever seen the 6-switch ball mechanism coil struggle with launching a ball into the shooter lane at startup - never - not one single time. That lead me to believe that when multiball is happening and the game is acting like hell is breaking loose that there must not be enough current getting to the coil to energize it.
Are there any kinds of "how to"'s for disassembling a coil mechanism/VUK/Super VUK ? I'm not scared to try it; I'd just like some "veteran" advice or cautionary tales of anything I should be aware of before jumping into this.
Thanks!

Another possibility is that there are divots in the ball trough so the balls never make it all the way to the proper position to get fired into the shooter lane. Are you sure the balls are all the way in position and it settles there? It would be more obvious in MB as there are less balls pushing their way forward. Almost all the older data east machines I've gotten have had this issue. Each time, I have had to remove the trough, file them smooth, and reinstall the trough which solved it.

As far as disassembling the mechanism, it's pretty simple. You may want to download the manual for your game and it should show a parts breakout for it. Have you tried moving the mech with your hand? Is it loose, any binding? Compare it with the one on your Jurassic park.

#9 7 years ago

Interesting - I definitely appreciate such suggestions! For the ball trough, I took off the apron and played the game while it was going into multiball mode and watched the coil that pops the ball into the shooter lane, and I saw it launch some balls but just not strongly enough to get the ball into the shooter lane.. HOWEVER, I have also taken note that both the Super VUK and the 6 ball trough shootering assembly have solid metal troughs that the balls roll in and out of - SO....

What did you use to file down your ball trough? I would assume sandpaper, and if so, what grit did you use? I will definitely give sanding my ball troughs down a try. Thanks!

#10 7 years ago

Well hang on. If you took off the apron you'd be able to see clearly if this is the issue or not. Did the balls all make it and settle into position to be fired out? Or we're some getting stuck along the way? The divots will prevent the balls from moving into position. If the balls settle into the VUK and must cant fire out them I would say take the mech apart, replace the coil sleeve, and clean it. There could be dirt and grime built up enough to take peer away from the whole thing. Again, comparing it with your JP as I think both are the same.

#11 7 years ago

Gotcha - yeah I had the apron off while I was playing and it definitely was settling into the VUK, then it went to fire it, and the ball didn't make it all the way so it'd fall back into the VUK and just settle there.

I'm working on trying to determine what size coil sleeve goes in the 6-ball trough lane coil. Anyone happen to know right offhand, or is this something I can judge by looking?

For the super VUK, I could disassemble it and use this kit: http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/565-0029-01

I cross-referenced all the parts in the kit to the Super VUK, and even though the kit is for VUKs, all the part numbers line up. Using this kit to rebuild the Super VUK would probably solve my problem.

Whatcha think?

#12 7 years ago

Ok so here is where I'm at now,

I disassembled the 6 ball trough coil. I swapped coil sleeves, and everything else on that coil assembly was flawless. Coil looks to be the factory original: 090-5001 was what it said on the label. I re-soldered the joints just to ensure there was no cold solder joints. So the coil assembly is solid and the problem still is occurring. BUT....

Here is what I observed. If you let the machine just keep firing balls during electric chair multiball, 2 balls sneak past the lock ball assembly coil. So there's something not quite right with the lock ball assembly coil. My understanding is when the coil is activated, the lock bar is moved, allowing a ball to roll to the 6 ball trough coil ready to be shot into the shooter lane. So, if I'm thinking this through correctly, the ball lock coil has too much play in it - either because of a loose/worn out spring or a worn out coil sleeve. OR....

Maybe the Lock ball cam assembly is needing a thorough cleansing and is not functioning right... Thing that really gets me is with 6 balls in the trough at the start of any ball, the machine works fine - it is ONLY during multiballs does this happen... hmmm

What does everyone think? Anyone think I'm on the right track? Man, the things I do with pinball at 4:30 in the morning D: ...

#13 7 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

What does everyone think? Anyone think I'm on the right track? Man, the things I do with pinball at 4:30 in the morning D: ...

Sounds good. At least keep eliminating things.

And coil wires are daisy chained together from coil to coil back to board, be sure you don't have a crappy solder joint elsewhere.

The VUK - be sure it's switch is working, and again no poor connections for those color of wires at other switches around the game. Especially the tongue/trigger switch that shoots the ball into play.

LTG

1 month later
#14 7 years ago

FINALLY.... I fixed it!

Ok, so I did some internet scouring to find the fix to this problem - took me quite a while - this was probably easily the problem that has taken me the longest to diagnose and fix.

I wanted to give credit to the website that finally helped me get my gears going, but unfortunately I can't find it anymore. If I find it, I'll post it in hopes it'll help others down the road.

My problem was exactly what PostMaster had with his old TFTC in this previous thread:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tftc-cant-count-loses-count-of-balls-during-multi-ball

So, what was my problem? My ball launching switch was bad/old. Just to clarify, that switch is 90 degrees from the launch solenoid (this solenoid shoots the ball INTO the shooter lane, I am NOT referring to the door handle shooter solenoid). In the TFTC manual, it is on page 50 - item # 22 part # 180-5119-00. That switch was just old and beat to heck. What was happening was the coil that has the bracket bar that allows balls to move through the trough during multiball was too fast for the launch switch, so everytime multiball occurred, one extra ball basically got through the bracket bar, and the switch in essence, couldn't keep up. At least that's my understanding so far.

So, if you put that part number in any pinball website search engine, you're going to get the ball trough roller switch - which not only has the incorrect arm extension (the wrong switch has a roller ball on the end and not the triangle shaped arm you need), but it also has the incorrect mounting holes so you couldn't even install the cross-referenced switch if you wanted to.

So, what do you do ? You install this switch: http://bayareaamusements.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=SW-180-5034-00

It will read as a "Data East ramp switch" - now I don't know exactly what "ramp switch" is to suggest, as I didn't see it ANYWHERE in TFTC's manual, but trust me - it works just like the previous switch - triggered the switch is closed - untriggered the switch is open, and it does the job it is supposed to do.

Now, if you install that switch, you'll have to make one small modification. Take some wire cutters and clip the very very end of the arm right after the triangular bend. If you don't, that part of the arm will catch on the ball trough, and the switch will not function correctly. Just clip the end of the arm so the full triangular bend is the VERY end of the switch arm, and you'll be good to go.

Install the switch, putting the wires exactly in the same locations that they were on the previous switch. All the male spades are in the exact same places, so it should be a plug and play job - take pictures if you don't think you'll remember which wires go where; I know I took pictures.

The balls launch SO much faster with this switch. It was like - not a whole new machine - but it was like if you took your stock engine and installed a turbo on it - just a great feel and a wonderful improvement.

Anyhoo, hope someone somewhere down the road benefits from this post. Life is Good

1 year later
#15 6 years ago

I hate to bump this old thread but I have a very similar issue. During multiball if I lose a ball (ball save kicks in) often the ball will remain in the shooter lane and will not auto-plunge. Using the door knocker doesn't launch it. Eventually if I get a jackpot or something it will launch. The game waits so long that I can end up with a single ball in multiball before it fires that ball again, bringing the ball count back up to 2. The shooter lane switch is working or multiball would have ended when I get down to 1, also if I see an air ball jump back into the shooter lane the ball gets kicked back out so that tells be the switch is good. I'm running the first software version. Would updating fix this? Only happens during multiball with ball save.

1 month later
#16 6 years ago

Thanks NewPinOwner. I was having the same issue with my Data East Last Action Hero. I couldn't figure it out until I read your post. I swapped out the switch just as you described and it's working great! Thanks for posting your solution!

#17 6 years ago

This is a good thread. This is a common problem and anyone with a Data East game with similar ball trough should read this!

Can someone list all the DE games that have this style ball trough? So far it's TftC, JP, and LAH.

Also, for archival purposes... since the internet changes often, here is a picture of the switch from the link above. Who knows if that link will ever die.

SW-180-5034-00L.jpg

Also, it looks like Marco sells the same switch:
http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/180-5101-00

#18 6 years ago

Hmm...I think I'm going to have to go though this process on my JP. I'm not 100% sure this is what's causing the problem, but this sounds promising. The game always starts out fine but as the OP says the coil that kicks a ball from the trough to the shooter lane does not fire and the ball sits on the solenoid. At that point other things get screwed up including all of the other solenoids popping randomly or constantly. Pretty much from then on the game is unplayable. Even if I start a new game the problem seems to persists--it's not until I reset the machine that things seem to return to normal.

#19 6 years ago

Does anyone have a picture of this switch on a Jurassic Park. Looking at mine there is a short black wire hanging there and I'm not 100% sure where it goes.

Thank you,

#20 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

This is a good thread. This is a common problem and anyone with a Data East game with similar ball trough should read this!
Can someone list all the DE games that have this style ball trough? So far it's TftC, JP, and LAH.

This is indeed a super-duper thread. I appreciate the step-by-step, non-shotgunning approach.

Add GNR to that list. Same ball trough. And I've seen the same issue in the past on it - I'll have to pop it open and try the fix.

#21 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Also, it looks like Marco sells the same switch:
http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/180-5101-00

No, that is the wrong switch (although it may indeed work). Marco sells the exact replacement switch which uses an activation blade rather than a wire:

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/180-5118-00

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#22 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

I hate to bump this old thread but I have a very similar issue. During multiball if I lose a ball (ball save kicks in) often the ball will remain in the shooter lane and will not auto-plunge. Using the door knocker doesn't launch it. Eventually if I get a jackpot or something it will launch. The game waits so long that I can end up with a single ball in multiball before it fires that ball again, bringing the ball count back up to 2. The shooter lane switch is working or multiball would have ended when I get down to 1, also if I see an air ball jump back into the shooter lane the ball gets kicked back out so that tells be the switch is good. I'm running the first software version. Would updating fix this? Only happens during multiball with ball save.

Hey Crash. I just saw this thread getting attention again - so I'm sorry it took me a while to get back to you.

My thought after looking at the door switch assembly: maybe your switch isn't being properly tripped just due to old age/being used.

I think the switch is on page 53, bottom left-hand corner, part # 180-5073-00. Marco has a substitute for it: http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/180-5129-00

Thing I noticed in the picture is there is no diode on this switch, whereas in the manual there is one installed. No worries, it is a 1N4001 Diode, very standard in the electronics world:

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/1N4001

So you could order the switch, solder the diode on the correct prongs AND in the right orientation, and then swap out your old switch with a new switch.

Picture of the TFTC door switch here for comparison purchases (out of stock ):

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/515-5936-00

That is assuming that the switch is just old/needs replacing.

The other thing I think may be giving you trouble is the switch that the ball rolls over once it has left the ball trough and is rolling backwards into the shooter lane RIGHT before it is fired out of the shooter lane. It is on page 49 of the TFTC manual - part # 180-5057-00 - and available at Marco: http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/180-5057-00

Once again, the diode would need to be soldered. Here at Marco: http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/1N4004 (same one as mentioned earlier).

To me, THAT switch I would check first before going through the risky trouble of disassembling the door handle switch. Easiest way to find out, when the ball sits in the shooter lane and doesn't fire like it should, open your coin door and use something like an insulated wire to grab the tip of the switch's trip blade. If you pull it down and the ball fires, you know it either needs to be adjusted or replaced.

#23 6 years ago

Just wanted to send a quick "thank you" to everyone for the kind words. I am really glad this thread ended up helping some people. I remember a year ago saying "Hopefully, someday, this will help others...." - that's great that it is!

At one point I had JP and TFTC side by side. Unfortunately, I don't recall any black wires. I am looking at my TFTC now. The solenoid that pops the ball from the trough into the shooter lane has two wires: a thick brown wire and a thin purple wire.

But what I can do is provide pictures of the various switches around the area of the ball trough and shooter lane:

So below is the switch that trips the solenoid to fire the ball out of the trough and into the the shooter lane, where it waits for a different switch to fire the ball into the playfield (seen in next picture). Wire config from left to right: female plug with two wires (P/W and black), middle female plug is a green/red wire, top right is the other end of the black wire that originated at the 1st female plug - this wire will have a diode that in essence connects the 1st male spade to the 3rd male spade.

DSCF0208.jpg

Next, two switches in this picture. First one to the left is the switch reviewed in the previous picture. The other one here is the switch the trips the shooter lane to fire the ball out of the shooter lane and onto the playfield. Crash, I am thinking this may be the switch you want to replace first as it is easier to access than the door handle switch, and it would be more likely to be causing you trouble as I would think this one would see more wear/use in gameplay. Wire configuration: first male spade closest to the doorknob launch assembly has a purple/white wire attached as well as one end of a diode. Middle male spade has a green/red wire. Last spade is the other end of the diode from the first male spade. The silver stripe on the diode is CLOSER to this last male spade.

DSCF0207.jpg

Next, here we have two solenoids. To the left is the right flipper solenoid. To the right is the ball trough solenoid; we went over this one in the very first picture - just a different angle.

DSCF0210.jpg

Next, shooter lane to playfield launching switch. Crash, this is once again the switch that I think is giving you trouble.

DSCF0209.jpg

Finally, here are up-close and personal shots of the switch I installed to make all of my problems go away. Please note, it does look like my triangular arm is indeed a thin wire and not a solid and flat metal arm. Both switches that everyone has brought up in this thread should - in theory - work. I know mine works - just experiment at your own risk.

DSCF0212.jpg

#24 6 years ago

I just finished replacing this switch and it works like a charm - thanks, NewPinOwner, for taking the time to pinpoint this fix! My original switch appeared to be working/testing just fine, so it wasn't even on my list of potential culprits. I guess this switch just gets sloppy and gunked up over time?

I used the 180-5101-00 with the wire actuator and just bent/trimmed that wire into shape, but I did pull the blade actuator out of the original switch and held onto it - I figure I'll transplant it into the new switch at some point if needed, but from what I can see so far the wire should hold up and work fine for as long as that switch mech does.

#25 6 years ago

Great stuff, Blackjacker! I'm glad anything I did in the past is helping people now!

That's what the hobby should be about - not investment hoarding or treating this community like a stock market trading floor -____-...

2 weeks later
#26 6 years ago

Hey all, I posted a video about this fix. Thanks NewPinOwner for figuring this all out!!!

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/data-east-ball-trough-fix-video-jplahtftctommywwfrrgnr

5 months later
#27 6 years ago

Love this fix! On my Frankenstein machine I had the same problem. I'm a pinball newbie. In my case the switch wasn't hard to be closed, however, the weight of the ball wasn't enough to always fully close the switch. Since i'm a newbie (no plugs on the connections) soldering is a thing I'll rather avoid for now. I folded up a piece of ducktape and placed it tight on the top of the triangliar arm. Now every loaded ball closes the switch and it plunges into the shooterlane.

Much appriciation to the OP!! Just got Frankie, and now all gameplay errors are gone

3 weeks later
#28 5 years ago

Awesome !!! I'm glad this thread just keeps helping more and more people!

4 months later
#29 5 years ago

i just sold my franky having a major problem that could not be fixed. i spent 340 dollars just to tell me to sell the game, the problem was in 6 multiball the machine would reset. not always but enough to sell it i bought a power supply board with no luck what could it have been is anyones guess ps no codes ever came up

4 months later
#30 5 years ago

sorry, wrong Topic.

2 years later
#31 2 years ago

Hey I wanted to thank everybody that contributed to this somewhat aged thread because it totally helped me fix my TFTC ball trough problem. My game actually had the switch disconnected when I got it. The balls would fire into the shooter alley but slowly, which is what caused the problem with multi-ball. When I connected the switch (180-5118-00) the ball would hit the switch and the solenoid would misfire. The ball would not go into the shooter alley. So, I got a brand new 180-5118-00 and...same thing!!!! I bent the damned arm every which way until Tuesday with no effect. I even rebuilt the VUK thinking maybe the problem was there. Nada.

So after reading this thread I ordered the 180-5101-00 switch from Marco. This is NOT the switch that the Tales manual cites. It cites and shows the 180-5118-00 switch (also sold by Marco) on page 29 as the correct switch for this game. I was not too optimistic but...voila! I installed the 5101 last night and it worked like a champ. I had to bend it slightly down, but otherwise it works fine. So, a belated thanks to all who provided the very useful (and timeless!!!) info. Cyrus

4 months later
#32 2 years ago

HI.

I have a teenage ninja turtle. The game has a 3 ball trough.
In the middle of playing a game. a second ball and sometimes a 3rd ball is shot onto the field.

Then the game starts looking for the balls.

Is this a switch problem as described in all of the above threads?

thanks

Steve W. Vaughan Ontario

#33 2 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

Just wanted to send a quick "thank you" to everyone for the kind words. I am really glad this thread ended up helping some people. I remember a year ago saying "Hopefully, someday, this will help others...." - that's great that it is!
At one point I had JP and TFTC side by side. Unfortunately, I don't recall any black wires. I am looking at my TFTC now. The solenoid that pops the ball from the trough into the shooter lane has two wires: a thick brown wire and a thin purple wire.
But what I can do is provide pictures of the various switches around the area of the ball trough and shooter lane:
So below is the switch that trips the solenoid to fire the ball out of the trough and into the the shooter lane, where it waits for a different switch to fire the ball into the playfield (seen in next picture). Wire config from left to right: female plug with two wires (P/W and black), middle female plug is a green/red wire, top right is the other end of the black wire that originated at the 1st female plug - this wire will have a diode that in essence connects the 1st male spade to the 3rd male spade.

Next, two switches in this picture. First one to the left is the switch reviewed in the previous picture. The other one here is the switch the trips the shooter lane to fire the ball out of the shooter lane and onto the playfield. Crash, I am thinking this may be the switch you want to replace first as it is easier to access than the door handle switch, and it would be more likely to be causing you trouble as I would think this one would see more wear/use in gameplay. Wire configuration: first male spade closest to the doorknob launch assembly has a purple/white wire attached as well as one end of a diode. Middle male spade has a green/red wire. Last spade is the other end of the diode from the first male spade. The silver stripe on the diode is CLOSER to this last male spade.

Next, here we have two solenoids. To the left is the right flipper solenoid. To the right is the ball trough solenoid; we went over this one in the very first picture - just a different angle.

Next, shooter lane to playfield launching switch. Crash, this is once again the switch that I think is giving you trouble.

Finally, here are up-close and personal shots of the switch I installed to make all of my problems go away. Please note, it does look like my triangular arm is indeed a thin wire and not a solid and flat metal arm. Both switches that everyone has brought up in this thread should - in theory - work. I know mine works - just experiment at your own risk.

Where did you get the plastic protective covering for the trough switches? Did it come with your TFTC?

Mine doesn't have one. I'm wondering if the previous owner removed it when he installed Stern rails under the playfield....?

**I favorite this thread for future use

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