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(Topic ID: 87388)

Theatre of Magic TOM help


By marvelusmarvcus

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 41 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by MGMPIN
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 6 years ago

i recently acquired a theatre of magic.
i am having trouble with the balls locking for multiball.

when the lock lights are flashing, you can lock ball 1.
it says ball 1 locked, but sometimes kicks the ball out of the basement, which i don't think it is supposed to do.
sometimes it doesn't kick out of the basement, and loads a new ball at the shooter lane, which is correct i think.

after ball 1 is locked, the lock lights are still flashing, but it doesn't want to lock ball 2.
shooting the loop for lock just keeps kicking the ball out of the basement.
if i keep advancing through the game, after repeated tries, it will eventually lock ball 2.
multiball seems to work fine after that.

i have checked the lower subway and tested to make sure that the switches are all working.
i do not see any disconnected wires or anything not working.
stumped. thank you for the help.

#2 6 years ago

So, one guess is that the game thinks you have more than one ball down there and ejects the extra ball. Can you go I to switch test and get a single ball down there and see how many switches actuate?
Also, any chance you have debris in the subway?

#3 6 years ago

So, I had my TOM apart to replace a switch and looked a bit at the mechanism.

When you get a ball into the trunk, it rolls down the subway and into a row of 3 switches. In front of the switches is a gate that is attached to a solenoid. This controls the flow of balls to the kicker that sends it up and out of the trap door. If the metal gate is not up and blocking the ball, it will flow out to the kicker and then get kicked up. So, you should raise the playfield and take a look at the mechanism down there. Make sure the subway is clear of gunk and that the three switches look good and actuate properly. Then take a look at the gate on the trap door weldment and make sure it's up and blocking the ball. When the solenoid is engaged, it pulls that metal gate down and allows the ball to flow to the popper.

Let me know what you find!

Marc

#4 6 years ago

no debris in subway
tested with a ball and switches check out as far as i can tell
gate is up and blocking the path, also works with coil test

when i manually put the balls in the subway to test, it takes 4 balls before it says ball 2 locked on the display
i would think it would say it after the 2nd ball goes in?
not sure if this is anything worthy of noting

when i drop the 1st ball into the subway, it trips 5 switches
1st in trunk opto, and the other 4 are switches in the subway
is it possible that something with the trunk opto is not registering right?

please forgive any pointless info, i am a total noob with pinball diagnosis
thank you very much for the help, very kind of you

#5 6 years ago

Hey man,

No need to apologize for being a noob! A year ago I had just bought my first pin and I didn't know anything at all. Just read this site and you will learn a ton!

OK; My first guess is a switch matrix issue related to a diode. Here's what I want you to do

Raise the playfield, Go into switch test and actuate the subway switches, one at a time, from left to right. When you do so, look at the display. You should see each switch registering only once. If other switches light up when you're only touching one, you have a problem. Do this for individual switches, as well as the switches in combination. When balls are locked, they lock from right to left, so try far right alone, far right and middle, and all three. Make a note of what the display is showing.

If you start to see phantom switches going off when you actuate the switches, you have a switch matrix issue. As LTG will say: "Switch wired incorrectly, diode broken, backwards or missing."

Once we know what the results of this test are, it should be easier to fix your problem. And I don't think this will be really hard to fix. Those microswitches are pretty simple. Three contacts. A blocking diode across the return path and usually just two wires. My hunch is that one of those switches is wired incorrectly, and/or a diode has come off, or was installed backwards.

P.S. The whole "switch matrix" thing is a little complicated to understand, but it's something worth learning if you want to maintain a pin.

Let me know what you find out!
Marc

#6 6 years ago

In the manual, you can clearly see how the switches are wired:

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 9.43.53 PM.png

The three switches on the lower left side are what I want you to check first. It clearly shows the three legs of the microswitch, the diode (the little pill with the black band on one side) going from contact one to contact three, as well as which wires go to which points. Look carefully for wiring and the direction of the diode. The diode is black, and the band will be silver. The direction the band is facing (right or left) is critical. It has to be exactly as the diagram shows or you will get switch matrix issues.

Hope this helps!
Marc

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from marvelusmarvcus:

when i drop the 1st ball into the subway, it trips 5 switches
1st in trunk opto, and the other 4 are switches in the subway

\

Yeah. This is the issue. When you put a ball in there, it should trip only one switch at a time. Follow my posts above and let me know what you find. Something is wrong with how that's wired.

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from marvelusmarvcus:

when i drop the 1st ball into the subway, it trips 5 switches
1st in trunk opto, and the other 4 are switches in the subway
is it possible that something with the trunk opto is not registering right?

I thought this was the smoking gun to explain your problems, but I talked myself out of the idea. The five switches that could be triggered are subway opto, subway micro, lock 3, lock 2, and lock 1. That's five. I wasn't sure there were two "subway" switches, but there are in the manual. The next switch in that sequence would be the ball popper, but the ball shouldn't get there without the trough coil firing, and that's what I suspected was failing. After learning that there are 2 subway switches, and basically six total switches in the subway and not five, everything you describes sounds like it's working fine.

schonb25 said a lot of stuff that indicates that he knows what he's talking about. A weird switch matrix problem could possibly manifest only when multiple switches are fired at the same time. That could explain why you have problems after that first ball is locked (triggering a switch). In switch test, test all possible combinations of two switches with the subway switches.

Do more testing, thinking, and asking questions. Good luck!

#9 6 years ago

It depends on if there are five switches going in sequence, as in, as the ball rolls down, it actuated them in order and lands on the last switch and stays closed, or you trigger one and other switches close without being hit. It really depends. Your explanation could be totally right and I grossly misread this.

In any case, the questions above will be a good starting point!

#10 6 years ago

i tripped the switches 43, 42, 41
no problems

when in test mode, if i drop a ball down the trunk, is the ball supposed to make it all the way to the popper?
or is it supposed to stop at the gate before the popper?
mine is going all the way to the popper.

i am unsure if the gate is closed or open where it sits now.
maybe this is the issue?

thanks again for all the help. this is helping me learn some new things to look at.

#11 6 years ago
Quoted from marvelusmarvcus:

when in test mode, if i drop a ball down the trunk, is the ball supposed to make it all the way to the popper?
or is it supposed to stop at the gate before the popper?
mine is going all the way to the popper.

I'm about 99% sure it should not make it to the popper. If it does make it to the popper, the hardware of the game has no way to lock the ball.

That's definitely your problem. Something isn't right with that gate.

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from mot:

I'm about 99% sure it should not make it to the popper. If it does make it to the popper, the hardware of the game has no way to lock the ball.
That's definitely your problem. Something isn't right with that gate.

Listen to this man. He speaks the truth. The popper should only go when you lock all three balls and it starts the popping sequence after the lights dim.

Marc

#13 6 years ago

but it looks as if the gate only lowers when the coil fires
its standard position is open?
is a switch supposed to trigger the coil to lower the gate?
grrrrrrrrr

#14 6 years ago

ok, some progress
i noticed that the coil sleeve was a bit larger than it prob should have been, so i replaced with smaller
either that, or something else changed things a bit, it is now locking ball 2 reliably
however, once i get lock lit and get the 1st ball in the trunk, it ejects the ball from basement, instead of locking
it shows the animation of the ball being locked
the 2nd shot to lock, then locks the 1st ball
the 3rd shot to lock, now locks the 2nd ball
then multiball works fine

so at this time, it requires an extra shot in the begining
what would cause that?

#15 6 years ago

I would love to see some pictures of the area in question. In switch test, if you have 3 balls locked, do all three switches appear and closed in the switch test?

#16 6 years ago

Also, I would look at that ball gate assembly and make sure you have all the right parts in there; coil sleeve, plunger, etc.

#17 6 years ago

i took a video of what is now happening
notice that the first ball doesn't lock and is ejected from the basement

#18 6 years ago

It thinks it's locked (it says ball 1 locked when it trips the trunk opto on the way down. The ball is clearly rolling down but the gate is lowered and it rolls to the popper. The popper pops when the switch is triggered. So, I think we need to focus on the ball gate. Let's start by getting the 100% correct coil sleeve in there. I would also look at the mechanism and make sure that the plunger can move smoothly and not bind.

#19 6 years ago

does the coil close or open the gate?
when my coil fires, it closes the gate, or lowers it.
seems like reverse of what is should be.

#20 6 years ago

Do you only have 3 balls in the game?

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 11.19.24 PM.png

#21 6 years ago

Lowering the gate allows the ball to pass. The solenoid pulls it down into the coil.

Mot asked a good question!

#22 6 years ago

yes, 4 balls in the trough

#23 6 years ago

Well then I think it's the ball gate in the subway. It shouldn't be letting balls pass right through.

#24 6 years ago

Time to see some pictures.

#25 6 years ago

So, I looked at my game and the manual. The ball gate is held in the up position by a spring. When the coil is energized, it pulls the gate down, but the spring is there to pop the gate back up when the coil turns off. Do you have a spring in there?

If not, I am starting to be out of ideas...

Marc

#26 6 years ago

thank you for that description, that is exactly what mine does.
spring is in place.
what triggers that coil? cause it should not be getting triggered on the first ball lock shot. it should be trapping the ball.
correct?

#27 6 years ago

Well, the gate is up and trapped when the coil is NOT energized, so, it should not be down, unless the coil is on to keep it down, or something is not allowing the spring to return the ball gate back up to block the path of the ball. It's triggered in a couple of situations:

1) Anytime the ball goes into the trunk when it's not a multi ball situation.
2) After the 3rd ball is locked, it lowers to feed the popper
3) When you hit the jackpot in multiball, it lowers to feed the ball back to you

I am officially out of ideas...

Marc

#28 6 years ago

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#29 6 years ago

pics above.
i took out the coil, spring, and gate. i did not find anything worthy of note.
i played a game after putting everything back together, and it is now back to rarely locking ball 1.
i can eventually get it to lock.
i still do not understand how the gate locks balls.

#30 6 years ago

my theory:
the gate works fine. it is trapping balls. the problem seems to be whatever triggers the gate to open or close.
on the first ball lock, the gate thinks it should let the ball through. why, what switch tells it to open or close?

#31 6 years ago
Quoted from marvelusmarvcus:

pics above.
i took out the coil, spring, and gate. i did not find anything worthy of note.
i played a game after putting everything back together, and it is now back to rarely locking ball 1.
i can eventually get it to lock.
i still do not understand how the gate locks balls.

This is tough issue. My TOM is 13 years young . I had this issue when I got it years ago. And I did fix it. But do not remember what I did. It is a pain but what if you replaced all the switch's in question. I think it is an intermittent switch issue. Or buy Deoxid contact cleaner and spray all the switches that has worked for me in some situations . Thanks to all the pinheads on this thread . This is what is so good about pinside. I would have called my game tech by now. I hope you can figure it out. I no it is frustrating . Peace

#32 6 years ago
Quoted from RobKnapp:

This is tough issue. My TOM is 13 years young . I had this issue when I got it years ago. And I did fix it. But do not remember what I did.

I have experienced the memory blanks also, started to keep a diary of what I did in the coin box area. A small note pad works great.

#33 6 years ago

Can you show me a clearer picture of the wiring of the first switch (closest to the gate?)

Marc

Quoted from marvelusmarvcus:

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#34 6 years ago

The first ball might not lock if the game thinks there are only three balls in the trough. Have you tested all of the trough switches as you add the balls one at a time?

#35 6 years ago

I've seen this same problem in TOM.

The game is confused about how many balls are actually in the trunk because one or more of the micro switches are sticking or are not registering.

Don't bother trying to clean them or adjusting the actuators - Just replace all three of the switches with new ones from Pinball Life. They're about $2.00 each. They're the same switches commonly used in flipper in-lanes. Just make sure the shape of the actuators are correct. Once you do that your problems will go away.

#36 6 years ago

I was able to confirm this. The game thinks you have two balls down there. Last night, glass off, I sent two balls in rapid succession into the lock. It kept one and ejected the second. Replace the switches under there. Might as well do them all since it's a bit of a pain to access. Sorry for going around on this, but it's hard to work on a game long distance

Marc

#37 6 years ago

i am going to take the advice of replacing the 3 switches
i will report back once i have made the change
thank you very much to all of you, especially schonb25
you guys are very kind to help

#38 6 years ago

Let us know how it goes! Happy to help!

9 months later
#39 5 years ago

I have a similar problem with my Subway on my TOM. just wondered if the switch replacement worked here?

2 years later
#40 3 years ago

Hate to bring this thread back up, but it was never resolved and I might have a good thought. You might want to check your "Stopball Feeder" Part#A-19936 Mine looked like this, so it would never lock a ball because of the missing pin:
magic pin missing (resized).jpg
It should look like this:magic pin installed (resized).jpg
Maybe this gets the lock working better. I'm ordering one now...

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from Knox_Amusement:

Hate to bring this thread back up, but it was never resolved and I might have a good thought. You might want to check your "Stopball Feeder" Part#A-19936 Mine looked like this, so it would never lock a ball because of the missing pin:

It should look like this:
Maybe this gets the lock working better. I'm ordering one now...

Look very closely at this stop ball feeder part. Its very common to have the small pin broken off. My TOM had this issue as well as 2 others I've worked on over the years. In my experience its rarely the switches in the trunk trough but its certainly possible.

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