(Topic ID: 112137)

The Lord of the Rings LOTR Journey begins here members club

By skywalker

5 years ago

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  • Latest reply 12 hours ago by Pinkitten
  • Topic is favorited by 260 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

4 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #1907 Service bulletin noting lock down bar change Posted by Jarbyjibbo (2 years ago)

Post #4404 The Valinor Strategy Video Posted by CLEllison (9 months ago)

Post #5383 LOTR documentation for silicone rings and LEDs Posted by Daditude (4 months ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#2957 1 year ago

Hi, recently joined the club with a 2003 Pro. One thing I'm finding is that it's pretty tricky to hit the ring shot consistently from cradle. It feels like there's not enough power and I've seen this was a common concern in the history of the table. I've reread as much as I can but I'm not sure what to do. Here's the details:

1) upgraded LOTR coils in place
2) Playfield at 6.5
3) Has lightening flippers (shouldn't affect it i assume?)
4) was used in a tournament recently and had flippers rebuilt or at least confirmed

I'm not sure if I should mess with the Flipper Adj settings (increase setting 53) or if there's something else to try? Or if it's the old play better and make cleaner shots. I've read some stuff saying the magnet could be weak? I do know the magnet works as I can typically make the shot and it works around 1-2 times per game but I'm usually needing momentum or a bounce shot to make it.


#2960 1 year ago

Just was looking into the menus/diagnostics and when I run the dedicated Switch test my Left and Right flipper EOS come up. It's not clear if that means they are activated. Running the normal activated switch test doesn't seem to mention the EOS switches. Does that mean I should check to see that they are not already closed?

#2961 1 year ago

Nevermind I see that stern EOS are closed by default and that's normal behavior. For what it's worth the ramp and spinner look to be fine.

Ultimately I guess the question is how hard should this shot be? Does it need everything to be just right or should it hit the ring and work like 65%+ times you launch it off the ramp ?

Any other tips on power are appreciated - is it worth playing with the flipper adjustments #53?

#2967 1 year ago

Ok so I swapped out one (only had one spare) of the lightning flippers and also made sure there was a bit more up and down play. I think it's made a difference - more the slightly longer length just seems to give it a bit more force. Thanks for all the tips.

Next question, my Balrog was working, then stopped, I opened it up and jiggled the bulb and it seemed to work. (It's a replaced 5 SMD LED type #44) and I closed it up and it was great for like 1 game. Then it stopped again. I'm wanting to test with a different bulb to see if its the wires or the bulb but not sure if there's anything on LOTR that I can use to test as I think this is a special 12v LED where the others are lower power?

#2971 1 year ago

Ok seems to in fact be a bad bulb - I'm thinking of just trying these as the Balrog flasher as they would be cheaper than trying to ship to Canada from the US. Would these work? They look pretty damn close to what I think I have removed currently.

amazon.com link »

#2994 1 year ago

New owner looking for some advice, my inner loop switch (#42 - gate switch) has stopped registering (it may not have ever registered since I got it). Wondering where to start or what to look for to fix this. Is there a loose connector I should check or some other technique? The switch appears to be mechanically sound - I haven't taken it all apart though (yet!).


#2997 1 year ago

Ok I've confirmed the switch for the inner loop is not working (swapped it temporarily beneath the playfield for another switch connection). Now I'm not sure how I can easily get at that switch. How much do I need to remove to get at it? Any tips on gaining access (order of part removal). This table has the white wizard with the blue LED mod which makes it awkward to see/get at.


IMG_20180531_185152258 (resized).jpgIMG_20180531_191044398 (resized).jpg
#2999 1 year ago
Quoted from FlipsMcgee:

Removing the Gandalf plastics

so I assume he's not glued in then? I didn't want to start pulling on it if it's just going to make a mess and I can't seem to find the details on installing him anywhere.

1 week later
#3035 1 year ago

Looking for a little more help - I had posted previously regarding replacing the 5 SMD LED light for the Balrog flasher.

So I got the new LED bulbs finally and went to try but got nothing when I did the balrog flasher coil test. So i swapped the bulb for a Red 5 SMD LED I had in the GI lighting at the back panel and the red LED works just fine in the flash test. I then tried my new white bulb in the socket I had swapped the red LED from and it worked in that GI socket. So what am I missing? I think those back panel sockets are 6v and the Balrog flasher is 12v, regardless I would have expected both bulbs to work in both sockets. Why does the new white bulb not work in Balrog but work in the back socket?

Thanks for any tips or guidance!

#3036 1 year ago

Ok after a bunch of digging I think it's an LED polarity issue. Does that mean the socket is wired incorrectly or that the bulbs I got were bunk?

2 weeks later
#3081 1 year ago

The right ramp gate on my LOTR doesn't seem to swing freely, but it looks like maybe its intended to be like that. It basically stays it position if it swings up then on a weak shot would swing down again. Is that normal?

1 week later
#3093 1 year ago

I know this topic seems to beaten to death but I'm still trying to get my flippers more powerful. I played around with adjustment 53 and set to 30 (up from 20) and found it did seem to make a significant difference. Are there any downsides to just leaving this? Should I adjust my EOS away from the assembly so it triggers later and then reduce this again to 20?

Also in the guide it says default is 10, but I did a factory reset a while ago and it was set to 20 and I've never touched it since. Perhaps they increased the default in later revisions after the manual?

53 FLIPPER ADJ 1: Set between 05 to 40. Default is 10. This adjustment sets the minimum fire time for a flipper coil in milliseconds.
54 FLIPPER ADJ 2: Set between 40 to 60. Default is 50. This adjustment sets the maximum fire time for a flipper coil in milliseconds.
55 FLIPPER ADJ 3: Set between 0 to 10. Default is 3. This adjustment sets the amount of time to fire the coil after the EOS switch is seen in milliseconds.

#3094 1 year ago

One other quick question - when FOTR is lit, or gift from the elves is lit, If I hit the left orbit but it bricks out of the tower shot, or doesn;t make it (drops into pops) I don't get the reward. I assume I have to make the orbit and land it in the tower to count? Or is a switch in the orbit not working properly?


#3131 1 year ago

Looking for some tips on adjusting the ring spinner. Is this hanging ideally? Or should it be leaning forward more like "/"

To remove this and adjust the wire as it catches in one position on the microswitch do I just use pliers and bend the smaller section out? Was planning on using some oil on the metal arms to improve spin as well. Any other tips?

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2 months later
#3327 1 year ago

Looking for some tips - I'm about to swap out the RAM for NVRAM but looking at the existing chip on the board I don't see any notch. Is it marked underneath at all? Any other way to determine which way round to install the new chip?

Also any general tips so I don't mess anything up? I was planning to try prying the old chip out with a flathead screwdriver against the socket.


#3329 1 year ago

It's strange cause on the docs its the only one without a notch it seems. I'll look when I get the chip out.

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#3331 1 year ago

Ok so I'd say that looks like notch down Thanks!

1 month later
#3394 1 year ago

Looking for a bit of advice, I've rebuilt my flippers and they are usually nice and strong. However some times i feel it depends on how i press the flipper buttons (quick tap vs hard press etc). I'm wondering if the cab switches could be making a better consistent connection when pressed. They do look a bit rough and not smooth on the connector tabs (sorry I don't know the correct names). Can I file them down a bit with a metal file? Any other tips? Am I lookling in the wrong direction in terms of improving consistent flipper power?

2 months later
#3647 1 year ago

I've got a nice LOTR that's starting to show some ball trails down the inlanes and outlanes. I'm still relatively new to the bobby but did a bunch of reading on Vid's threads but it's almost too much info. I tried a bit of Novus 1 on the ball trails but they don't really come off. So hoping to confirm here, a little Novus 2 to get rid of the ball trails and then wax. I picked up the P21S blue lid (apparently silver is better) but it's already in the mail. This is a LOTR owner approved course of action I hope? I don't want to do anything that could wreck this beauty

Also do you guys wax the ring ramp? Right ramp? Any other areas for wax recommended?

6 months later
#4683 7 months ago

hey guys, would the magnet sloblo fuse affect the ability of the magnet's power (as in it sucks the ball in more consistently) if it's a 4amp? I have an original non-LE and i'm curious if it just makes it so it works or not, or if i replaced it would it improve the magnet's ability. Do fuses start to lose function/impact performance over time? Or is it more of a work/not work scenario?

1 month later
#4959 6 months ago

Ran into some frustration this morning where my LOTR was resetting. It would do it during attract or in the game. The lights all seemed to stay on but it would just kill the flippers and the display would start at the Stern Lord of the Rings again. I looked at it and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I re-seated J16 based on some other posts but it did happen again. After leaving it on for some time it seemed to be fine and I've had a bunch of games today since this morning without issue. Is there anything to look at? Do pinball machines warm up at all which may have helped the resets stop occurring? I have got a NVRAM chip instead of batteries but that was done over a year ago and has been working well.

It seems that this can be somewhat common. The only change is that is a bit cooler these days! Any advice is appreciated.

3 months later
#5479 87 days ago

Hi guys, looking for some advice, I recently swapped out the rubbers on the slingshots but on trying to re-tighten the right slingshot upper post I'm finding the T-nut not biting into the wood. Now I'm getting a tiny amount of up and down movement and if I try to tighten the bolt it just spins the T-nut. Any advice on how to get this fixed again without a ton of work removing parts?


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#5481 87 days ago

Thanks, I was able to get the T-nut off and the teeth were completely flattened. The wood still looks in pretty good shape so perhaps it had never really bit in. So now that I've got it out and looking to just replace the T-nut and the bolt. the local hardware store doesn't have stuff like this so I want to make sure I order the right parts. I think I need the following:

One of these T-nuts - https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/4406-01118-00

Can I just tap this in with a hammer gently?

The bolt head got a bit mangled trying to get it out so rather chancing it I'd rather replace it. I think it's a 6-32 2-3/4" machine screw correct? I can't seem to figure out a part number from the manual. Anyone know a part number or can confirm? (Again the hardware store didn't have anything to match).

This looks it?- https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/237-5906-00

Appreciate it!

2 weeks later
#5511 69 days ago

Looking for any tips on tightening this post in the picture (middle post). I'm hoping I can do it somehow without removing the whole sword assembly and too many other pieces. I can't seem to figure out how to get at this easily. It screws into a T-Nut under the playfield and it's tight against the sword lock mechanism so not enough room to get at it and put a nut on it.


IMG_20200126_140619 (resized).jpg
#5513 69 days ago
Quoted from WizardsCastle:

I'm curious about the same.

I managed to do it, by removing the two nuts on the sword and the upper nut on the slingshot - then I was just able to get enough light flex on the sword and plastics to move it out of the way and get enough access to the post to successfully replace it. The T-nut had completely lost it's barrel and thread so that all got replaced. Wasn't too bad overall really.

#5527 66 days ago

I'm sure this has already been discussed - but off hand, when in DTR (2-ball) I find it's pretty tricky to actually knock the first ball loose once its in the magnet. It's do-able but multiple nice shots seem to have no effect! Is that typical? Is it really a special direct shot needed to finally destroy it?! Just curious...

#5540 63 days ago

Hopefully an easy question:

The sword lock post is normally in an up position and will fire the coil to let a ball roll by when lock is not lit correct?

I'm having a strange one where every now and again I'll hit the right ramp and a ball will bounce off the post momentarily and back up the sword to switch 2 and get slightly held up there and refire the post which typically sends it on its way. Sometimes this bounce triggers a ball lock when it's not really earned. Any tips on avoiding this bounce or tweaking? It's pretty rare so maybe just part of the fun....?

#5547 62 days ago
Quoted from chubtoad13:

I would start troubleshooting by looking at the switch that is at the end of the wire form.
If the post isn’t being fired when the ball is heading toward the lock, and the ball just bounces off, then I would assume the switch that registers a ball coming down the wire form needs a minor adjustment. It sounds like it might not be reading a fast moving ball, but can register the ball when it hits the switch backwards after it bounces off the post.

I did some more tests and it seems to be good to go from a right ramp shot or gimli hole VUK - post drops nicely timing it just prior to the balls arrival for a seamless shot.

The ring shot and wireform exit cause the bounce. It's like it's too quick when it comes down the wireform from the ring. I did recently put new balls in so perhaps they are just faster for now. I've got a 6.5 pitch on the machine so I'm not sure there's much to do unless I artificially slow down the ball somehow or look at flattening the sword angle. As I mentioned it's not all the time and the bounce isn't too disruptive except for the odd time when a sword lock is ready or it holds up for a second waiting on the second coil fire. Thanks for the tips as I was able to confirm the switches seem good to go.

#5552 60 days ago

What's the consensus on Adjustment #33 - Coil pulse power? Are you typically setting this to Hard? Or leaving it at the default of Normal?

#5553 59 days ago

Did anyone find a power improvement after replacing the cabinet switches? I've seen comments that Stern had issues in early run LOTR and Sopranos. Were these the ones used for replacement? https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/500-6889-01 . Is there a good way to diagnose to see if the current cabinet switches are in fact flaky? The switch test shows them functional 100% but not sure how reliable that is for game play impact.

It looks like they are shorter than stock switches, so what's the best technique to mount them?

1 month later
#5753 5 days ago

Hey guys, still on the quest to perfect my flippers power. I ended up finding some obscure link https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.games.pinball/0sTHsIevz1w which references a code LLLLLR x 4 before a game which then shows you your flipper fire time in ms. It works! But now I'm trying to determine what's "normal". I find if I flip i'm often seeing pretty close to my min flipper time fire (Adj#53) and so this is narrowing it down for me to replacing the cabinet flipper switches.

Looking for anyone whos got some time (in this crazy time) to maybe try the code and let me know the average flipper time they see. In the link they reference low 30s which I don't typically see. Let me know what your Adj #53,54,55 are set to.

Also for any of the wizened pinball wizards out there, if I'm seeing lower numbers - I am correct in thinking replacing the cab switches could help as they may be registering release too early?


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