(Topic ID: 286901)

Trouble shooting stuck one-point relay on Gottlieb EM

By beatclub

8 months ago


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  • 36 posts
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  • Latest reply 8 months ago by beatclub
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#1 8 months ago

Hey guys -

With a little help from you lads at Pinside, I have my Flying Circus just about 100% up and running ... just a couple of little things to tweak.

Mainly, the one point relay in the head is stuck on. It stays at zero, but is humming (and on) upon start of game.

Wondering what the is the best path/order for troubleshooting this stuck relay might be.

Any advice appreciated!

Thanks - G

#2 8 months ago

It has to be a one-point switch somewhere on the play field is stuck closed, unless..
A switch blade on the relay is making contact or closed.

#3 8 months ago

Thank you!

That was kind of my thinking ... it’s not a switch on the actual relay, I did check that.

Will check playfield next ... hoping it would not be a score reel issue.

G

#4 8 months ago

Have you re-rubbered the playfield and the tighter rubber is now closing a switch?

#5 8 months ago

Yes - I actually did check that. (Secretly hoping that was the problem!)

Thanks!

G

#6 8 months ago

There are a few paths to the N/1 Point relay:
Flying Circus 1 point relay (resized).jpg
A few things to try:

If you manually deactivate the 1 Point relay does it let go, or does it fire right back up again? If it fires back up again that eliminates the lock in circuit (2nd rung from the bottom above).

If you unplug the playfield jones plug(s) does the 1 Point relay relax? That would implicate something on the playfield as opposed to some of the other relay paths.

Have you checked all eight 1 point switches and both kicking rubber switches including their solder lugs and tension adjusters (if present) between the switch leaves?

If you manually advance one or both 1 point score reels does anything change?

/Mark

#7 8 months ago

Great troubleshooting list, Mark!

Will check all out.

Thank you.

G

#8 8 months ago

Observations: (please forgive any rookie misconceptions)

1. It appears none of the one-point switches on playfield are unintentionally closed. (Checked all eight)

2. One-point relay in head is not stuck at game start - it sticks after manually activated. (Unplugging playfield does not release it) It only releases when entire machine is powered down.

3. Also, when this relay is stuck, the solenoid on the 0-9 unit (continuous rotation unit?) also energizes and will not release until machine is powered down. (Not sure if this is normal with a stuck point relay)

4. While the one-point relay is stuck, the ten and one hundred relays are able to manually advance score reels, while the one-point relay remains stuck.

5. Also removed player one score reel (ones) and manually advanced with internal solenoid - movement/advancement seemed normal.

6. New game resets all score reels correctly at start up.

7. Also noticed that pop bumper relay below playfield is energized (and stays energized/does not release) at game start. (Maybe this is normal, (?) but it sounds a bit louder than it should.)

Thanks for all of your help - I’m really trying to take my steps carefully here and not bark up the wrong tree.

G

#9 8 months ago

I don't know the game. If the pop bumper scores 1 point. Sounds like that is your issue. Check the pop switch below the playfield. You might try slipping a piece of paper or thin card board between the contacts on the pop switch before game start. You can also try this with the other 1 point switches. One other possibility. Check the solder lugs on the back of all the switches, once in a while the switch blade solder tabs get bumped and make contact. Even had a loose strand from a wire make the jump to the back of the solder tab.

#10 8 months ago
Quoted from beatclub:

Also, when this relay is stuck, the solenoid on the 0-9 unit (continuous rotation unit?) also energizes and will not release until machine is powered down. (Not sure if this is normal with a stuck point relay)

Did you check the coils on the 0-9 and the 1 pt. relay with a multimeter?

Quoted from DCRand:

If the pop bumper scores 1 point. Sounds like that is your issue.

I was thinking so too, except the OP says that the 1 pt. doesn't stick til activated and also that unplugging the PF doesn't make it stop.

#11 8 months ago

your pop bumper relay should not be energized on start up.

the only time your pop bumper relay will energize is when the contacts under the playfield on the pop bumper assembly close by movement of the pop bumper skirt onto the pop bumper spoon.

can you post a clear close up pic of the pop bumper contact set up?

#12 8 months ago

Thanks guys. It’s a Gottlieb Flying circus.

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#13 8 months ago

If your 1 Point relay (N) isn't stuck when you start a game but locks on when you activate it manually, check the end-of-stroke switches on your 1 Point score reels.

pasted_image (resized).png
#14 8 months ago
#15 8 months ago
Quoted from beatclub:

Also, when this relay is stuck, the solenoid on the 0-9 unit (continuous rotation unit?) also energizes and will not release until machine is powered down.

See what happens with the 1 pt relay if you remove one lead from the 0-9 coil.

#16 8 months ago

Thanks guys - will check out all advice ... might take a couple of days, as my twin seven-year old girls and my wife (not in that order) keep me pretty busy!

#17 8 months ago

FYI
Pop bumper coil - 7.0 Ohm
One point coil - 3.3 Ohm
0-9 unit coil - 3.5 Ohm

All within normal range (?)

G

#18 8 months ago
Quoted from beatclub:

FYI
Pop bumper coil - 7.0 Ohm
One point coil - 3.3 Ohm
0-9 unit coil - 3.5 Ohm

What are the coil numbers? I just had a coil on an 0-9 unit (Williams) check out ok, but it was shot.

#19 8 months ago

Which numbers on the coils do you mean? Model numbers?

FYI - Removed one lead from the 0-9 coil and one-point relay still stuck. (No change.)

#20 8 months ago
Quoted from beatclub:

Which numbers on the coils do you mean?

The # on the paper that covers each.

#21 8 months ago

I just noticed this. You might want to try a new resistor, which you can find on eBay.

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#22 8 months ago
Quoted from beatclub:

Thanks guys. It’s a Gottlieb Flying circus.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

thanks for the pics but I wasn't clear on my question, I wanted to see the switch set up on the pop bumper assembly itself, but it worked out well what you did post, as what's the red wire 'looping' the 5 point top pop bumper assembly? that's a concern.

also when the 1 point relay is stuck 'on', is the score motor continually running?

#23 8 months ago
Quoted from Rikoshay:

what's the red wire 'looping' the 5 point top pop bumper assembly? that's a concern.
also when the 1 point relay is stuck 'on', is the score motor continually running?

That red looping wire is not connected to anything, (or have metal contact) it appears to a fix from a previous owner to secure the assembly. Seems stable enough - should probably just leave it alone I think. (See picture)

The score motor seems to be acting properly ... I was having an issue with that, but solved a couple of weeks ago. (Was a misalignment on wheel that was not closing a switch.)

Thank you!

G

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#24 8 months ago

That red wire looks to have secured your pop bumper in the down position. That is definitely not correct and most likely your issue.

I have had this era pop bumper bracket break before. Wondering now if this was a not very well thought out way to correct that?

#25 8 months ago
Quoted from AlexF:

That red wire looks to have secured your pop bumper in the down position. That is definitely not correct and most likely your issue.
I have had this era pop bumper bracket break before. Wondering now if this was a not very well thought out way to correct that?

Hmmm - it does look like it is keeping the mechanism from working ....

Note the machine did work for a year after I bought ... then it sat for a while (after my twins were born) and when I fired up, it had developed multiple problems.

As far as the red wire issue, I probably wouldn’t have noticed the lack of “bumper” caused by the rigging.

My knowledge of pinball and the general functioning of the machine has increased tenfold as I have researched how to fix my machine.

So, should I explore the dubious red wire fix? (Keeping in mind that the machine seemed to operate correctly with it, previous to its current issues.)

G

#26 8 months ago
Quoted from beatclub:

So, should I explore the dubious red wire fix? (Keeping in mind that the machine seemed to operate correctly with it, previous to its current issues.)
G

The pop bumper wouldn't have worked as designed with this setup. I suppose the machine could have been playable otherwise? Maybe the pop switch was originally adjusted open enough to not score. Anyway, this hack needs to be undone even if it isn't contributing to the one-point issue. It always feels good to correct this type of repair.

#27 8 months ago

Actually the mech with the red wire looks to be some type of ball lock for the captive balls? Sorry I didn't realize that. It may not be related to a scoring issue as I don't know if there is a scoring switch in that assembly?

#28 8 months ago
Quoted from AlexF:

Actually the mech with the red wire looks to be some type of ball lock for the captive balls?

Check out video link ...

https://vimeo.com/508526696

There is nothing attached to the shaft ... also no hole for access to playfield. And notice the worn area above it ... maybe it’s a playfield knocker?

Also note that those captive balls never get released ... you hit the bottom one with the play ball and it knocks them side to side ... all five on one side wins points.

G

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#29 8 months ago
Quoted from HowardR:

If your 1 Point relay (N) isn't stuck when you start a game but locks on when you activate it manually, check the end-of-stroke switches on your 1 Point score reels.
[quoted image]

Howard - without disassembling the score reel mech, I was able to put a piece of cardboard to open the circuit on EOS switch on the “ones” score reel.

With the EOS switch left in open position, the one-point relay does not stick! It advances the point reels and the 0-9 stepper does not stick. (Seems like normal operation.)

I’m a bit reticent to take the reel apart to see why it’s not being activated (cue the flying springs across my basement lol) ... did I read somewhere that the reel can actually operate without an EOS switch? If so, a bad idea?

Is reel tricky to disassemble ? ... I found a description on Clay’s site (pinrepair.com) but it was a hair vague.

G

#30 8 months ago
Quoted from beatclub:

There is nothing attached to the shaft ... also no hole for access to playfield. And notice the worn area above it ... maybe it’s a playfield knocker?
Also note that those captive balls never get released ... you hit the bottom one with the play ball and it knocks them side to side ... all five on one side wins points.
G
[quoted image]

Sorry getting off track from solving your problem but was suspecting it is a ball lock based on this IPDB pic.

image-7 (resized).jpg
#31 8 months ago
Quoted from AlexF:

Sorry getting off track from solving your problem but was suspecting it is a ball lock based on this IPDB pic.[quoted image]

Good catch. Those two rods that look like a pop bumper ring are probably ball traps. As the game was working before, this hack isn't causing the new problem, but definitely something that should be fixed.

#32 8 months ago
Quoted from beatclub:

I’m a bit reticent to take the reel apart to see why it’s not being activated (cue the flying springs across my basement lol) ... did I read somewhere that the reel can actually operate without an EOS switch? If so, a bad idea?

The only problem with leaving paper in the EOS switch is that score reel might not give points when the player earns them. Or the paper might fall out.
You should be able to fix the problem by adjusting the EOS switch instead of taking the reel apart:

For a switch to work 3 things are necessary:
1) When open, there should be a small space between the contact points (duh)
2) When closing, the long blade's contact point should push the short blade's contact point enough to move the short blade
3) The contact points should be clean, which they usually will be if #2 is happening

#33 8 months ago
Quoted from HowardR: You should be able to fix the problem by adjusting the EOS switch instead of taking the reel apart

Switch is kind of hard to get to (circuit board is in the way) but I will give it a shot.

Thank you!

G

#34 8 months ago
Quoted from AlexF:

Sorry getting off track from solving your problem but was suspecting it is a ball lock based on this IPDB pic.

Well, I’ll be damned - it is a ball lock ... the coil controls a little gate that traps two balls at a time.

The red wire was defeating the gate it but holding spring down, keeping in in its lowered position.

I removed it and the little gate popped right up!

The think one on the leads to the coil had been lifted ... I ended up soldering it back on the lug recently, as I noticed it was loose and thought I had knocked it off during my troubleshooting explorations.

The coil must have been already disconnected when I bought the machine and played it for a year, yes?

In other words, the person who defeated that ball capture feature would have done it physically (wire restricting spring loaded gate) and electronically. (Removing a lead from the coil.)

Anyway Alex, good eye!

Removed the restricting wire did not change the locked pop bumper coil, though. (that is next focus)

Thanks again guys!!

Greatly appreciating the help and support, as so am gaining more confidence to dig into areas that were too intimidating not so long ago.

G

#35 8 months ago
Quoted from currieddog:

What are the coil numbers? I just had a coil on an 0-9 unit (Williams) check out ok, but it was shot.

The only coil with an issue now (stuck on at start) is the pop bumper control relay, marked R20-5 #30.

All switches on this relay seem to be adjusted correctly.

Okay - dumb question: this stuck pop bumper control coil (or any stuck coil) is stuck because on an accidentally *closed* switch/circuit, not an accidentally open switch/circuit, yes?

That being said, I’m not exactly sure how to troubleshoot quickly ... makes sense to trace all wires back to next immediate switch in series, and check for misadjusted switch (stuck closed?) will also check for errand solder that may be accidentally closing a circuit.

Does that make sense? (The best way to troubleshoot?)

Thanks - G

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#36 8 months ago

Ok - did some more research and I think I know what to do ... thank you all for your help and advice. Greatly greatly appreciated.

G

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