(Topic ID: 354317)

Twilight Zone rebooting

By oboeman

19 days ago


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    #1 19 days ago

    Starting yesterday (4/1) my Twilight Zone shuts down and reboots itself while the 1st ball is in play. It doesn’t happen after a certain amount of time or specific gameplay. It seems random. When it reboots, it powers up and gets to the point of being ready to start a game. Any suggestions as to where to look to resolve this problem is very much appreciated.

    #3 19 days ago

    It's a common issue with several potential causes. See here for the troubleshooting guide: https://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php/Williams_WPC#Game_resets

    #4 19 days ago

    Common on that era WPC. My Fish Tales was doing the same thing, especially when flipping both flippers at once. I found that reseating all the connectors on the power driver board fixed it for a while, but it always came back. I finally just bought a new power driver board from Rottendog since the original had so many hacks anyway and it solved the problem.

    #5 19 days ago

    Very helpful. Thank you. Is it OK to use electrical contact spray on the board. If so, is there a brand you’d recommend?

    #6 19 days ago
    Quoted from oboeman:

    Very helpful. Thank you. Is it OK to use electrical contact spray on the board. If so, is there a brand you’d recommend?

    Wait, why would you want to do that? You need to repair the board or replace it. The original can likely be repaired though. If you don't have the skills to do so there are some great folks in the community you can reach out to.

    #7 19 days ago
    Quoted from oboeman:

    Very helpful. Thank you. Is it OK to use electrical contact spray on the board. If so, is there a brand you’d recommend?

    Is that in the pinwiki guide? Your +5VDC is low. Contact spray isn't going to do squat because there's no contacts on the driver board. Ugh.

    #8 19 days ago

    Understood. Would ‘you’ be able to suggest a name or two I can contact. This goes beyond my meager skills.

    #9 19 days ago
    Quoted from oboeman:

    Is it OK to use electrical contact spray on the board.

    Sprays, contact solutions, and gels are generally discouraged as a repair method.

    While connector issues can be a contributing factor to a reset issue, it's usually not the root source of the problem on WPC driver boards. When it comes to a suspected connector issue, you need to check for the condition of the pins and cold solder joints (aka cracks) in the solder on the back side of the board--no spray or goop is going to fix that.

    Quoted from oboeman:

    Understood. Would ‘you’ be able to suggest a name or two I can contact. This goes beyond my meager skills.

    ChrisHibler has been the go-to guy for several years now.

    #10 19 days ago
    Quoted from oboeman:

    Understood. Would ‘you’ be able to suggest a name or two I can contact. This goes beyond my meager skills.

    READ the PinWiki guide BEFORE DOING ANYTHING!

    There are several VERY SIMPLE things you can do even with zero knowledge but if you never read it...........well.........nothing more can be said!

    #11 19 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    ChrisHibler has been the go-to guy for several years now.

    I think I recently read Chris is not taking any more work until he catches up, but I'd check on that.

    Quoted from pins4u:

    READ the PinWiki guide BEFORE DOING ANYTHING!

    Amen!!

    #12 18 days ago
    Quoted from oboeman:

    Very helpful. Thank you. Is it OK to use electrical contact spray on the board. If so, is there a brand you’d recommend?

    No, it's not ok to use electrical contact spray on the board.

    I'm very sympathetic to your plight.

    Pinballs aren't much fun when they aren't working, and what you need is a local pinball technician who can come to your house and fix your machine.

    Depending upon your location, this can be expensive, and it can be weeks (sometimes months) before a technician may be available.

    Nevertheless, pinballs break. They break a lot. Usually they break in simple, easy to fix ways. Frequently they break in ways that require specialty or hard to obtain parts. Rarely, but often enough that you should take note, they break in ways that requires a technician to fix.

    I don't fix 'WPC Resets' without soldering, sometimes quite a bit of soldering. If board repair (or at least connector replacement) isn't something you are comfortable doing, find a pinball technician. Maybe start a thread here on pinside with the question 'Technician needed in (your city and state)'

    When the technician comes to your home to fix the reset problem, have them check/replace the 100uf 35v capacitors on the opto board and the motor board under your playfield. This is a frequently overlooked problem that is now causing problems (not reset problems, other problems) on pretty much all Twilight Zone pinballs.

    Good luck!

    #13 18 days ago

    If you can't fix it yourself just buy a new power driver board. They're $450 and will solve your problem forever. A repair will cost you at least $200, take weeks, and you'll still have a 30+ year old circuit board and IC's.

    #14 18 days ago

    There is also the wpc reset board thing.

    https://www.kahr.us/daughterboard.html

    This of course does not fix the root issue. But it can get you playing again in a pinch.

    #15 18 days ago
    Quoted from GoneFishinLvMsg:

    If you can't fix it yourself just buy a new power driver board. They're $450 and will solve your problem forever. A repair will cost you at least $200, take weeks, and you'll still have a 30+ year old circuit board and IC's.

    Actually, that isn't fixing the WPC resets problem for me lately.

    Connectors are getting older, and when I put a new rottendog board in (to allow me to bring the customer's power board into the shop), I still have resets until the connectors are replaced with Crimp and Stuff Trifurcon, at J101, (J102 isn't related, but if the pins of the original board are showing wear or heat I'll replace J102 also...), and J114 (where power goes out of the power driver board to the CPU). Then I eliminate the zipper connector and replace pins and plugs on the CPU board at J210, and THAT gets the game to stop resetting. Lately.

    When I return the customer's power driver board I'll have replaced connectors at J101, and J114. J120 and J121 as needed but they always need fresh pins. J115 as needed, and J107 if the pins are tarnished due to heat. FAR less often J106, but if it's got tarnished pins due to heat it'll get replaced also.

    As Chris Hibler suggests, I replace C2, and C4. I check C5 with a GOOD cap checker and replace it as needed. Then I return the repaired board, and since I have rebuilt the connectors associated with these plugs with crimp-and-stuff trifurcon, I have a pretty good presumption that I've got the problem fixed.

    Of course I'll have done a check of all the other things in the pinwiki's WPC Resets section also.

    It's a lot of marginal connectors contributing to the problem for most WPC resets I've seen in the past year, but it's not just the pins (that could be replaced by swapping the board), it's the connectors in the plugs.

    And of course the WPC resets section covers the thyristor problem, and a fair amount of other things that DO cause WPC resets, and wouldn't be solved by 'replace one board'.

    The resets problem isn't as simple for me as it used to be... as the connectors and other things age on these machines I'm having to do more and more to get a reliable repair.

    #16 18 days ago
    Quoted from PinRetail:

    The resets problem isn't as simple for me as it used to be... as the connectors and other things age on these machines I'm having to do more and more to get a reliable repair.

    I've had 2 machines recently that basically had everything else done, but occasional resets.
    New ribbon cables fixed both. It was crazy how snug the new ones fit compared to the old sets that had been taken on and off probably hundreds of times.

    #17 16 days ago

    Wow!! Thanks for the many suggestions and references. I live off the east coast and can’t find any technician willing to visit. Believe me, I’ve tried. Maybe getting a new board is the way to go. I’m familiar with Marco. Are there other vendors where I might find the board? What exactly am I asking for? Thanks again.

    #18 16 days ago
    Quoted from oboeman:

    Wow!! Thanks for the many suggestions and references. I live off the east coast and can’t find any technician willing to visit. Believe me, I’ve tried. Maybe getting a new board is the way to go. I’m familiar with Marco. Are there other vendors where I might find the board? What exactly am I asking for? Thanks again.

    Pinballlife and Big Daddy enterprises carry boards. And DumbAss builds new boards.

    #19 16 days ago
    Quoted from oboeman:

    Wow!! Thanks for the many suggestions and references. I live off the east coast and can’t find any technician willing to visit. Believe me, I’ve tried. Maybe getting a new board is the way to go. I’m familiar with Marco. Are there other vendors where I might find the board? What exactly am I asking for? Thanks again.

    I wish you were closer. We'd have that board rebuilt in about an hour. Checking C2, C4, C5, J101, J102, Z-connector. There might be other things but that would take care of 95% of the reset issues. I don't believe in replacing boards, but I understand some people aren't comfortable working on boards.

    Did you at least try reseating J101, J102, J114, J210 and the Z-connector? Cost nothing and can temporarily make the resets go away. At least you'll know the connectors and headers will need replacing eventually.

    #20 16 days ago
    Quoted from oboeman:

    Wow!! Thanks for the many suggestions and references. I live off the east coast and can’t find any technician willing to visit. Believe me, I’ve tried. Maybe getting a new board is the way to go. I’m familiar with Marco. Are there other vendors where I might find the board? What exactly am I asking for? Thanks again.

    oboeman I can take care of bulletproofing your Driver board.
    You should send the MPU board also as there are mods I make to it also to reduce the probability of a reset.

    If you would like to send your board(s) to me, the following link provides the instructions and a link to the shipping form (a fillable .pdf) that MUST be included in the box.

    http://www.ChrisHiblerPinball.com/saved-Contact

    Happy to help.
    Chris Hibler

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