(Topic ID: 112137)

The Lord of the Rings LOTR Journey begins here members club


By skywalker

5 years ago



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#2001 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

So, I bought a 2003 LOTR a couple of months ago and decided to do a bit of a restoration job on it....
-Installed full cabinet decals
-Full brass armour
-Re-painted the inside of the cab black
-POTD mod
-Installed Comet LED kit with LED OCD board
-And a few other things
It turned out great! I'm very happy with the result.
There are a few issues however. When I first got the game it would do a ball search on start-up every single time. Also it wouldn't register drains and kick two balls into the shooter lane about 50% of the time. Did some research and found that it could be the optos or another switch on the ball trough that went bad. Anyways, I decided to buy the entire trough assembly from Marco because I have no patience and figured it would be easier to just swap the entire thing out...problem solved. I finally get everything back together a couple of days ago and right off the bat...ball search on start-up. I was thinking that maybe this is what 'older' Sterns did since I only have experience with their newer games. Played a few games and I'd see a message once in a while on the DMD saying that a ball is missing and now I'm getting two balls kicked into the shooter lane from time to time. It's basically the same issue I was having before....nothing has changed. I'll have a game here and there where there are no problems at all so it's not consistent with every game. The one constant though is the ball search on start-up. That happens 100% of the time.
Any thoughts?

Check the wires that connect to the ball trough and see if any of them are damaged or not inserted well into the connectors. Also, go into switch test and see if any of the switches are in the incorrect state.

#2002 2 years ago

Easiest way to troubleshoot this would be to put the game in "ball clear" mode. Cycle through ejecting balls while watching the display. You should see a problem.

#2003 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Yes, 4 balls are in the game.

Everything normal in the switch test?

When you drop the balls in to the trough, does that look normal? Try it a couple times.

Is the switch test OK, when you turn it on first thing also?

(love that shinny armor!)

#2004 2 years ago

Out of random curiosity, does the LE use a bidirectional relay board to control balrog like the standard version does?

#2005 2 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

Check the wires that connect to the ball trough and see if any of them are damaged or not inserted well into the connectors. Also, go into switch test and see if any of the switches are in the incorrect state.

Yeah, I was thinking there might be an issue at that connector perhaps. I will check that tonight and see if a wire may be loose.

Quoted from LOTR_breath:

Easiest way to troubleshoot this would be to put the game in "ball clear" mode. Cycle through ejecting balls while watching the display. You should see a problem.

Never thought of that....good idea, thank you, I'll give it a shot.

Quoted from Neal_W:

Everything normal in the switch test?
When you drop the balls in to the trough, does that look normal? Try it a couple times.
Is the switch test OK, when you turn it on first thing also?
(love that shinny armor!)

Thanks!

I have not tried dropping the balls in the trough with the game on. I will try that slowly one by one to see what happens. Thing is that it's a brand new assembly and does exactly what the old one did so that would tell me that the issue lies somewhere outside of the ball trough itself. I will test that though, you never know.

Thanks for the responses guys. Hopefully I can figure it out tonight. I'm dying to get a decent round of games in without having these problems.

#2006 2 years ago

So I went into the menu and tried to run a ball clear and it wouldn’t let me. This is what I found. Switch 13 is not registering at all. I checked the connection where the trough connects to the harness with a multimeter and that seems okay. I’m guessing it might be where the harness connects to the board in the backbox? Any idea how i can figure out where exactly switch 13 runs from on the board?

30796174-4CC7-447E-B582-11E75AC1EC8E (resized).jpeg

#2007 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

So I went into the menu and tried to run a ball clear and it wouldn’t let me. This is what I found. Switch 13 is not registering at all. I checked the connection where the trough connects to the harness with a multimeter and that seems okay. I’m guessing it might be where the harness connects to the board in the backbox? Any idea how i can figure out where exactly switch 13 runs from on the board?

The drive comes from CN5-P3 and returns on CN7-P5.

790717BB-016D-412C-9B38-078C69DF29BE.jpeg

#2008 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

So I went into the menu and tried to run a ball clear and it wouldn’t let me. This is what I found. Switch 13 is not registering at all. I checked the connection where the trough connects to the harness with a multimeter and that seems okay. I’m guessing it might be where the harness connects to the board in the backbox? Any idea how i can figure out where exactly switch 13 runs from on the board?

Looks like stoptap pointed you to the correct wires and connectors in the back box. Also be sure to trace the wires underneath the playfield from the trough to the back rear edge of the playfield where it slides along the left rail. My LOTR had two wires that were cut when the wiring harness got snagged along the playfield sliding mechanism as the playfield was lifted and lowered in the cabinet. I stripped and soldered the broken wires, applied some heatshrink, and made sure the harness was better secured away from the slide mechanism to prevent it from happening again.

#2009 2 years ago
Quoted from stoptap:

The drive comes from CN5-P3 and returns on CN7-P5.

Great, thank you!

Quoted from AUKraut:

Looks like stoptap pointed you to the correct wires and connectors in the back box. Also be sure to trace the wires underneath the playfield from the trough to the back rear edge of the playfield where it slides along the left rail. My LOTR had two wires that were cut when the wiring harness got snagged along the playfield sliding mechanism as the playfield was lifted and lowered in the cabinet. I stripped and soldered the broken wires, applied some heatshrink, and made sure the harness was better secured away from the slide mechanism to prevent it from happening again.

I’ll definitely check that, thanks.

#2010 2 years ago

Figured it out!

That switch matrix came in handy and was a great help. I did a switch test and checked everything in the rows and columns that are associated with trough switch 13. I found that all but two switches in the row were not registering. Followed the white-green wire down the line and sure enough it was disconnected at the Palantir switch. Soldered it back on and done! She’s working perfectly now...very exciting!

Thanks for all the help guys.

#2011 2 years ago

I’ve been idly toying with the idea of trading my LOTR. I played a game on it today and realised why that is a stupid idea. It’s just such a balanced, beautiful game. It is probably the best realisation of a theme ever in a pinball machine.
I think it is the only game I have owned where the score means nothing. I play to get further than the last time.

#2012 2 years ago
Quoted from stoptap:

I’ve been idly toying with the idea of trading my LOTR. I played a game on it today and realised why that is a stupid idea. It’s just such a balanced, beautiful game. It is probably the best realisation of a theme ever in a pinball machine.
I think it is the only game I have owned where the score means nothing. I play to get further than the last time.

Based on what I’ve read on this forum over the past year that I’ve been here, it seems that the vast majority of people that get rid of their LOTR end up regretting it. I hear that with this particular game more than any other. IMO, it’s a special game that was made at a special time. It doesn’t feel as though any corners were cut and I get the sense that every effort was made by Stern to produce a quality game. That’s something you can’t really say about most games. This one is a keeper.

#2013 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Based on what I’ve read on this forum over the past year that I’ve been here, it seems that the vast majority of people that get rid of their LOTR end up regretting it. I hear that with this particular game more than any other. IMO, it’s a special game that was made at a special time. It doesn’t feel as though any corners were cut and I get the sense that every effort was made by Stern to produce a quality game. That’s something you can’t really say about most games. This one is a keeper.

You are right of course. It is probably Stern’s most complete game in terms of stuff in it, code and art.

#2014 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Based on what I’ve read on this forum over the past year that I’ve been here, it seems that the vast majority of people that get rid of their LOTR end up regretting it. I hear that with this particular game more than any other. IMO, it’s a special game that was made at a special time. It doesn’t feel as though any corners were cut and I get the sense that every effort was made by Stern to produce a quality game. That’s something you can’t really say about most games. This one is a keeper.

I spent a year without a LOTR. I had one, and a friend bought a HUO copy of it that was amazing. We instantly made a deal that I would buy that one from him when he was done with it, so I sold mine. It felt like forever waiting for the new one a year later. LOTR is a special game. Honestly, I don't play it as much anymore. However, when it comes up to the top of the rotation in my house, I just love the damn game. Beating one of the multiballs, destroying the ring, all of the integration with the modes. Freaking awesome game.

#2015 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Based on what I’ve read on this forum over the past year that I’ve been here, it seems that the vast majority of people that get rid of their LOTR end up regretting it. I hear that with this particular game more than any other. IMO, it’s a special game that was made at a special time. It doesn’t feel as though any corners were cut and I get the sense that every effort was made by Stern to produce a quality game. That’s something you can’t really say about most games. This one is a keeper.

Agreed, LOTR is a great game. Deep rule set, satisfying shots, excellent software and super callouts.

#2016 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Based on what I’ve read on this forum over the past year that I’ve been here, it seems that the vast majority of people that get rid of their LOTR end up regretting it. I hear that with this particular game more than any other. IMO, it’s a special game that was made at a special time. It doesn’t feel as though any corners were cut and I get the sense that every effort was made by Stern to produce a quality game. That’s something you can’t really say about most games. This one is a keeper.

Yup, I sure regretted it --> so it's back now and not leaving. And hopefully, I won't be dumb enough to let it go this time around.

#2017 2 years ago

So, my Balrog is starting to take longer and longer finding its "home" spot when starting the game or after Fellowship multiball is over. It is taking 2- 3 tries routinely to get where it is supposed to go(can hear the motor going, but Balrog does not move...just kinda flutters until it "catches"). Does this mean it is time to order a new motor, or is there something that needs to be tightened?

#2018 2 years ago
Quoted from Crile1:

So, my Balrog is starting to take longer and longer finding its "home" spot when starting the game or after Fellowship multiball is over. It is taking 2- 3 tries routinely to get where it is supposed to go(can hear the motor going, but Balrog does not move...just kinda flutters until it "catches"). Does this mean it is time to order a new motor, or is there something that needs to be tightened?

There is a controller board for Balrog underneath the playfield. If you follow the cabling you should find it. You've got cold solder joints on that board. Reflow the solder on the connections and he'll stop his jitterbug dance.

#2019 2 years ago
Quoted from Dewey68:

There is a controller board for Balrog underneath the playfield. If you follow the cabling you should find it. You've got cold solder joints on that board. Reflow the solder on the connections and he'll stop his jitterbug dance.

This. Called the bidirectional relay board. It's a 2" by 2" board with a relay on it. Almost certainly your problem.

#2020 2 years ago

Thanks! I'll look into it tonight.

#2021 2 years ago

I'm super excited to join this club. It's been my grail pin for years. And thanks to robertstone0407 he found me a steal on a routed one. Picked it up for $4100. Complete and working, just needs a few small things like palantir switch, adjustments, sound board, and legs.

Can't wait to get to it and converse with you guys.

FB_IMG_15105331259901 (resized).jpg

#2022 2 years ago

https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/13/16644782/the-lord-of-the-rings-amazon-television-show

This is a bit outside the pin-realm, but definitely thought people in this club might enjoy this news. Let's hope Bezos and his mega-empire don't tarnish this awesome world of Tolkien by just throwing an insane amount of money at it, all in the name of feeding his ego!!

#2023 2 years ago

Yea I read that. Hopefully they start at the beginning, some of the stories from The Silmarillion would be great!

#2024 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

I'm super excited to join this club. It's been my grail pin for years. And thanks to robertstone0407 he found me a steal on a routed one. Picked it up for $4100. Complete and working, just needs a few small things like palantir switch, adjustments, sound board, and legs.
Can't wait to get to it and converse with you guys.

Congrats on the pick up and the sweet deal. Such a great game!

#2025 2 years ago
Quoted from Dewey68:

There is a controller board for Balrog underneath the playfield. If you follow the cabling you should find it. You've got cold solder joints on that board. Reflow the solder on the connections and he'll stop his jitterbug dance.

Quoted from RVApinballer:

This. Called the bidirectional relay board. It's a 2" by 2" board with a relay on it. Almost certainly your problem.

Sounds like a common issue. Good to know for future reference.

#2026 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Sounds like a common issue. Good to know for future reference.

Happened to me, fix was as described - problem solved.

#2027 2 years ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Looks like stoptap pointed you to the correct wires and connectors in the back box. Also be sure to trace the wires underneath the playfield from the trough to the back rear edge of the playfield where it slides along the left rail. My LOTR had two wires that were cut when the wiring harness got snagged along the playfield sliding mechanism as the playfield was lifted and lowered in the cabinet. I stripped and soldered the broken wires, applied some heatshrink, and made sure the harness was better secured away from the slide mechanism to prevent it from happening again.

I had this same thing happen. It was tough to figure out, but oh so satisfying to fix.

#2028 2 years ago

anybody make a overlay for the balrog dragging across playfield?

#2029 2 years ago

Anyone have issues with the ball rejecting in the top scoop, my game plays super fast as I have it jacked and there are a ton of rejections on that scoop. Any ideas on how to fix this.

#2030 2 years ago

Remove the small post and screw, then put drop dead foam or some weather stripping on the metal catch. No more bounce outs!

#2031 2 years ago
Quoted from bcrage88:

Anyone have issues with the ball rejecting in the top scoop, my game plays super fast as I have it jacked and there are a ton of rejections on that scoop. Any ideas on how to fix this.

Remove the suped up flipper coils? I had them in for a while but they were way too strong so I swapped them back out.

#2032 2 years ago

Does anyone have any shopout or top side tear down pictures? This games been routed and I can tell they improvised in certain areas. If I can understand how items are supposed to be assembled I can fix mine. Ideally an album on Dropbox or something

#2033 2 years ago

Okay I will try this...

Quoted from msarac:

Remove the small post and screw, then put drop dead foam or some weather stripping on the metal catch. No more bounce outs!

Yikes this is a little more extreme, You sure can get it up the ring ramp with these super coils thou you get a ton of rejections. Going to add lightning flippers and big fatties rubber on the right ramp and try the drop dead foam on the scoop and then re-evaluate.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Quoted from Jarbyjibbo:

Remove the suped up flipper coils? I had them in for a while but they were way too strong so I swapped them back out.

#2034 2 years ago
Quoted from bcrage88:

Okay I will try this...

Yikes this is a little more extreme, You sure can get it up the ring ramp with these super coils thou you get a ton of rejections. Going to add lightning flippers and big fatties rubber on the right ramp and try the drop dead foam on the scoop and then re-evaluate.
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Lightning flippers???? YUCK!!!! Our local pinball place has them installed on an MMR and ST Pro....and they play like crap now compared to regular flippers......

#2035 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Does anyone have any shopout or top side tear down pictures? This games been routed and I can tell they improvised in certain areas. If I can understand how items are supposed to be assembled I can fix mine. Ideally an album on Dropbox or something

It isn't complete but here is what i have from my recent rebuild

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s8e3fh12s15ed2w/AAB8NbDmoxStqQCizFFBqnTQa?dl=0

#2036 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Does anyone have any shopout or top side tear down pictures? This games been routed and I can tell they improvised in certain areas. If I can understand how items are supposed to be assembled I can fix mine. Ideally an album on Dropbox or something

Here are the ones from my top-down teardown about 6 weeks ago, they should be in order.....

http://s34.photobucket.com/user/fw_fw/library/Pinball/LOTR

#2037 2 years ago

Ha, well just going to try them out my machines are all setup for competition play, just want to see if it hardens gameplay as my games tend to be very long even on three ball with extra as points and the machine jacked and outlines ripped out. Not saying that I will keep them on but if it serv a the purpose then with go with it.

Quoted from AUKraut:

Lightning flippers???? YUCK!!!! Our local pinball place has them installed on an MMR and ST Pro....and they play like crap now compared to regular flippers......

#2038 2 years ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Here are the ones from my top-down teardown about 6 weeks ago, they should be in order.....
http://s34.photobucket.com/user/fw_fw/library/Pinball/LOTR

Thank you both!

#2039 2 years ago
Quoted from bcrage88:

Ha, well just going to try them out my machines are all setup for competition play, just want to see if it hardens gameplay as my games tend to be very long even on three ball with extra as points and the machine jacked and outlines ripped out. Not saying that I will keep them on but if it serv a the purpose then with go with it.

lotr_breath had his LOTR set up for a tournament that was held recently that made LOTR play NASTY without any actual playfield changes except the outlines being wide open!!!! It was a real challenge to get ANY multiball, all done by settings changes. Things like the KEEP lanes turning off when they were rolled over when lit.....Maybe he can share those settings with us????

#2040 2 years ago

Would be great I am trying to see if I can get it tournament ready for our show in May and have been messing with settings and playfield to make it worthy. It is getting there but with the rejects and still longer ball times needs a few more tweaks before I would consider putting it in. Any advice would be great.

Quoted from AUKraut:

lotr_breath had his LOTR set up for a tournament that was held recently that made LOTR play NASTY without any actual playfield changes except the outlines being wide open!!!! It was a real challenge to get ANY multiball, all done by settings changes. Things like the KEEP lanes turning off when they were rolled over when lit.....Maybe he can share those settings with us????

#2041 2 years ago
Quoted from bcrage88:

messing with settings

LOTR has the 'Installs Settings' that globally changes ALL the difficulty settings for you. Just select X.HD for extra hard.

Untitled (resized).png

#2042 2 years ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

lotr_breath had his LOTR set up for a tournament that was held recently that made LOTR play NASTY without any actual playfield changes except the outlines being wide open!!!! It was a real challenge to get ANY multiball, all done by settings changes. Things like the KEEP lanes turning off when they were rolled over when lit.....Maybe he can share those settings with us????

For that tourney I had the outlane posts removed and the inlane posts rubber removed. Tight tilt. Game cleaned and waxed. Fresh bouncy red flipper rubbers. I had all three MB's set to either hard or extra hard. Of course EB's turned off, Specials set for points. I have the extra strong PBL coil on the left, but the normal coil on the right. It was still the longest playing game but it was very reasonable. I set a bounty score of 40M and only two players broke that. The HS was about 52M.

#2043 2 years ago

Awesome thanks for the feedback I will try it out with the other adjustments it should be pretty mean, I just want to make it fair and with the rejections on the scoop need to be addressed for sure, might look at changing that coil on the RHS.

With a pump and dump format need to make sure we don’t create long lines if it is put in.

Quoted from LOTR_breath:

For that tourney I had the outlane posts removed and the inlane posts rubber removed. Tight tilt. Game cleaned and waxed. Fresh bouncy red flipper rubbers. I had all three MB's set to either hard or extra hard. Of course EB's turned off, Specials set for points. I have the extra strong PBL coil on the left, but the normal coil on the right. It was still the longest playing game but it was very reasonable. I set a bounty score of 40M and only two players broke that. The HS was about 52M.

#2044 2 years ago

Thanks to this thread I was able to diagnose my ball trough issues by replacing the opto boards.

Also, here's a video of my LOTR with the pinduino stadium lights installed. The attract sequence ends at around the 30 second mark.

#2045 2 years ago

Installed NVRAM and lost my setting. Anyone know off hand what setting it is for the flippers to help with them not getting week after long games.

#2046 2 years ago

Added a pad and it helps for rejects on the scoop but does not eliminate them, look to put some foam in there to see if I can truly deaden those bounce outs. Looks like even with hard settings (thanks for the info on this) I am going to have to put fatter rubbers on the ramp (thinking putting in TOTAN lamp rubbers on there) and change to lightening flippers still getting 60M scores with tight tilts, normal flippers, wide open outlanes, rubber off of inlanes, getting a bit tougher for sure. With those adjustments I am pretty confident I can transform the game into a good tournament machine for the weekend.

Quoted from bcrage88:

Awesome thanks for the feedback I will try it out with the other adjustments it should be pretty mean, I just want to make it fair and with the rejections on the scoop need to be addressed for sure, might look at changing that coil on the RHS.
With a pump and dump format need to make sure we don’t create long lines if it is put in.

#2047 2 years ago

hi guys is it possible to install longer times for the modes like war of the ents, gandalf vs saruman, etc. or is the standard of 30 sec. fix?

best regards ralf

#2048 2 years ago
Quoted from flipper73:

hi guys is it possible to install longer times for the modes like war of the ents, gandalf vs saruman, etc. or is the standard of 30 sec. fix?
best regards ralf

I don’t think so, during gameplay though obviously you can extend with certain shots.

#2049 2 years ago

Was actually about to put my LOTR up for trade and then thought I'd give it one more play. Well, finished Fellowship multiball for the first time (awesome!!), was one mode away from there and back again, and destroyed the ring in 29.27 sec! So, now instead of putting it up for trade, I've just placed an order for Pingraffix art blades. Hooked on it all over again!!!

#2050 2 years ago
Quoted from Crile1:

Was actually about to put my LOTR up for trade and then thought I'd give it one more play. Well, finished Fellowship multiball for the first time (awesome!!), was one mode away from there and back again, and destroyed the ring in 29.27 sec! So, now instead of putting it up for trade, I've just placed an order for Pingraffix art blades. Hooked on it all over again!!!

Good job avoiding a serious case of instant regret, lol.

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