(Topic ID: 304699)

Twilight Zone Kick Out Issue

By PinballMGM

4 days ago

Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by PinballMGM
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


Linked Games

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

952CEC8A-5B84-4980-A94B-3D0949BB91C2 (resized).jpeg
7B93DD81-7C06-478C-AE9A-A787B4E722FE (resized).jpeg
DDB9A826-5A2D-4D14-9997-5B997CF42368 (resized).jpeg
D66F7407-D517-45B3-966F-82ECBEEFE1CA (resized).jpeg
IMG_2327 (resized).JPG
IMG_2326 (resized).JPG
IMG_2328 (resized).JPG

#1 4 days ago

Good Morning,

I'm brand new to the hobby and this is my first posting. My recently purchased Twilight Zone machine decided to plunge me head first into the world of troubleshooting. I'm experiencing an issue where the ball no longer shoots out of the slot machine hole, which I believe is called the kick out. At one point I had a ball trapped in there, but I managed to extract it after learning how to vertically position the playfield (important newbie achievement there!)

Anyway, I took a video during the "slot kickout" solenoid test in hopes that someone could listen to it or share video of what it should sound like during this test, but can't seem to upload a video file. I can hear a clicking sound coming from inside the area during the test, but am not hearing anything loud like I'd expect if that kicker is being actuated during the test. I used the parts schematic from the manual (#9) to locate the kicker assembly on the playfield (see photo of actual playfield). Any guidance would be immensely appreciated on where to go from here. I spent a few hours on this last night and am ready for guidance.


IMG_2326 (resized).JPGIMG_2327 (resized).JPGIMG_2328 (resized).JPG
#2 4 days ago

Can you check the brown and purple wire here and see if it broken off or become de-soldered from the lug.
Hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like the lug might be broken off and the wire just sitting there?

Also, welcome and congratulation on your machine.
Great first game and great first post.
D66F7407-D517-45B3-966F-82ECBEEFE1CA (resized).jpeg

#3 4 days ago

It looks like your kick out plunger is locked on.
With the machine off raise the playfield and see if you can manually pull it back.

Turn the machine on with the playfield up and coin door closed.Does the plunger lock back on?If so you probably have a bad coil and or a bad transistor on the power board.

#4 4 days ago

If it does lock on power up turn the game back off quickly.It may further damage the board

The transistor for the Slot is Q82 on the large board in the backbox

#5 4 days ago

Thanks for the speedy reply. I will check those wires this evening and report back. I see what you mean about the purple wire and now I'm not sure if it's the angle of the photo or if the wire is disconnected as you noted. I didn't note any disconnected wires in the area, but now that you mention it I'm wondering if I simply missed it. I would absolutely love for this to be a quick re-soldering fix!


#6 4 days ago

Bball fan, thank you as well for these suggestions. When I pull the kick out plunger back with the power off, should I expect it to stay in place (as opposed to the position it is currently in)? Also, when I turn the power back on should I expect it to stay pulled back? Should it's normal resting position be pulled back? I'm thinking the ball travelling down trips the wire sensor (#11 on the schematic) which then causes the plunger to move forward and strike the ball. Is my understanding correct there?


#7 4 days ago

Yes. The ball rolls down the plastic ramps and stops just in front of the kicker, resting on the metal wire connected to the black microswitch. When the game computer sees the microswitch is closed (on), it will play a sound effect and energize the coil to kick the ball out.

The plunger is stuck in the out position as shown in your pic. It should normally be pulled back. The spring should push the plunger back out of the coil, and the coil energizing will yank the plunger back in quickly to strike the ball.

What is that white stuff in the cutout for the switch wireform? Looks like a blob of hot glue? Something may be jammed against the plunger and keeping it from retracting into the coil.

#8 3 days ago

I'm back with additional information from tonight's investigation based on guidance provided so far. There are no broken wires/solders, so I've ruled that out. I performed the procedures bballfan recommended and found the following:

1. Was able to manually pull the kicker out with the power off
2. It returned to the locked state upon power up

I have located the Q86 transistor on the backbox board. Do I need to remove the transistor to test it? I reviewed a few videos and one showed how to test the resistor without it being soldered into the board. Another showed using the multimeter with one lead grounded and another touching the top of the transistor with the multimeter set to continuity. I might be able to slightly bend the transistor to get the leads on the prongs (there are three prongs, which as I understand are called the base, emitter, and collector).

There was also mention that the "coil" might be bad. I'm not sure where or how to test that though. Greatly appreciate any continued support that can be given. I feel like I'm on the right track based on recommendations so far.

There is a dab of hot glue on the switch wireform. I have the original scoop with broken welds and the previous owner installed this new one years ago with no issues. I assume that little dab of hot glue was applied for a reason, but I am not 100% sure why. I could investigate that aspect further if it's worthwhile.

I did manage to find a replacement kicker assembly if the coil ends up being the issue (https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/A-16434). Not sure how that price sounds, so am open to other vendors if this does end up being a necessary purchase.


#9 3 days ago
Quoted from PinballMGM:

Do I need to remove the transistor to test it?

No. Use your meter. Compare to other identical transistors nearby. Easy to find the shorted one #86 . It's readings will be different from the others.

LTG : )

#10 3 days ago

Thanks, LTG. I measured transistor #86 along with a couple of others near it (see board photo) and the DMM shows 1 when placing the black lead on the middle of the transistor and touching each outer prong individually with the red lead for all of the ones I tested. I've also included a photo of how I have my DMM set, which I believe is correct. Do we think the transistor is good then or am I doing something wrong?


7B93DD81-7C06-478C-AE9A-A787B4E722FE (resized).jpegDDB9A826-5A2D-4D14-9997-5B997CF42368 (resized).jpeg

#11 3 days ago
Quoted from PinballMGM:

Do we think the transistor is good then or am I doing something wrong?

No idea. My meter has a diode setting ( yours doesn't ) I use that to find shorted transistors.

LTG : )

#12 3 days ago

LTG, I have another DMM that does have a diode setting, but I'll have to scare up a 9 volt battery tomorrow for it since it's currently dead (just my luck!).


#13 3 days ago

Transistor has three legs. I check an outside leg against the middle, then the middle against the other leg.

Then compare to other transistors nearby. A shorted one should stand out.

LTG : )

#14 2 days ago

I’m at my wits end with transistor testing after using another DMM. I’ve watched videos online and understand the three legs of the transistor, but all I seem to receive are 1’s or -1 ‘s on my DMM for any transistor I try to test. I have a diode setting on this one and have it set as shown in the photo. Does anyone think perhaps the DMM is rounding up to 1 volt instead of the smaller readings I should be seeing? Is it me? Is it the DMM? Is the universe out to get me?


952CEC8A-5B84-4980-A94B-3D0949BB91C2 (resized).jpeg
#15 2 days ago

I'm confused or really missing something or I need new glasses. It looks like hot glue has glued the switch closed. Also, you are brand new at this and beginning to test transistors? Start simple.

#16 2 days ago
Quoted from PinballMGM:

I’m at my wits end with transistor testing

Get someone to help you. So you don't keep going in circles.

LTG : )

#17 2 days ago
Quoted from metallik:

What is that white stuff in the cutout for the switch wireform? Looks like a blob of hot glue?

Ah yes, mentioned. So I don't need new glasses. Thank you.
Also TZ is a little bit more complex than other games of this era in my opinion.

#18 2 days ago

I know I'm diving head first into things here, but I need to do what the machine demands of me in terms of troubleshooting and remedies. I greatly appreciate everyone's time and guidance thus far and it's been a great learning experience.

Here is my latest update: Well! Well! Well! It's amazing how easy things are when one has a DMM that actually tests transistors properly. The third DMM I picked up and tried a few minutes ago did the trick to properly test what I now know is a Tip 102 NPN transistor (yet another newbie achievement).

Using the black lead in the middle (on collector), I measured the right prong followed by the left prong (receiver and emitter) and received 0.519 V on one and 0.662 V on the other. This appears consistent with the surrounding transistors, so I believe this rules out the transistor as being faulty.

Since I think we've ruled out the transistor, that brings us to the other previous suggestions of the coil being faulty or things somehow relating to the noted glob of hot glue. Any guidance on how to test the coil?

Thus far I have:

1. Manually pulled kicker back with power off
2. Found the kicker plunged forward and remained in that state upon power up
3. Confirmed Q86 Tip 102 NPN transistor is good


#19 2 days ago

Yahoooo! It appears the glob of hot glue may very well have been the culprit. The kicker assembly is now functioning properly! I am absolutely over the moon right now as I desperately wanted to spend a bunch of time playing over the long holiday weekend. Thankful for everyone who chimed in with their thoughts. I'm sure I'll be back when the next crisis arises, but this truly was a great learning experience.


Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside