Twilight Zone shutting down - repaired

(Topic ID: 210064)

Twilight Zone shutting down - repaired


By GregCon

8 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by irobot
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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2018-02-21 20_18_07-Twilight Zone shutting down - repaired _ Pinside Forum - Internet Explorer (resized).png
TZ25 (resized).jpg
TZ26 (resized).jpg
TZ14 (resized).jpg
TZ failure 2 (resized).JPG
TZ box failure (resized).JPG

#1 8 months ago

I have a TZ that I bought about half a year ago but never used. I finally got it 'installed' in the house and powered up, only to have an intermittent issue with the machine going dead then going back to the 'start screen'. This would happen with no relation to flipper use or other action but it was happening a lot....it was hard to play a full 3 ball game without a drop-out.

I looked online for guidance and checked various items but found nothing wrong. I even powered the machine off a CVT to try to eliminate any voltage supply issues.

Finally, I looked in the 'power box' where the On/Off switch is located. I was surprised and pleased to see a lot of smoke residue and the varistor that goes between the legs of the EMI filter was split open. The thermistor was also not-too-great looking. I went ahead and replaced the EMI filter and the varistor and thermistor and the machine is working great.

I'm posting this in case it helps someone else....why didn't I check the power box to start with? This machine is 'minty' - home use only since new and clean enough to eat off .... from looking at the outside of the box you'd never guess the inside was so smoky. So much for outward appearances!

TZ box failure (resized).JPG

TZ failure 2 (resized).JPG

#2 8 months ago

looks like the MOV did its job of protecting the pin from a lightning strike!

Good find, I thought these are designed to fail shorted so that the main power fuse blows, but it apparently did its job.

#3 8 months ago

Yes, I also thought the fuse would blow but it didn't.

But...today it shut down again (once) and that seems to go along with the left flipper staying up so I am thinking the problem might be coming back. Gotta do more research...maybe the flipper staying up is the cause or the effect?

#4 8 months ago

Try changing coil diodes. Check coil resistance. POwer supply ever been serviced? Could need a rebuild including replacing components and reflowing solder joints on pins.

#5 8 months ago

I'll check the diodes next week.

I should add the left flipper stays up but it will also come down after you re-tap the button. And it will usually not stay up 'forever' but rather for 3 or seconds.

The power board is a Rotten Dog board and I assume it's good but haven't dug into it. Is that what you mean by power supply? Or do you mean the transformer?

#6 7 months ago

I replaced the diodes on the flipper coil....so far the flipper has not stayed up but the reset/shut downs continue. Dang.

#7 7 months ago

What part of Houston are you in? I'm in West Houston, just east of Katy. Just wondering in case you need a helping hand in person.

#8 7 months ago

I'm in Cypress near 290 and Fry Rd. I just might need help yet, thanks!

#9 7 months ago

Try reseating J101, J102, J114, J210 to see if there is any improvement. As you remove them, can you look for discoloration on the connector housings?

#10 7 months ago

Will do, thanks. The problem with this machine is it looks 'nearly new' and nothing jumps out as looking discolored or overheated.

#11 7 months ago
Quoted from GregCon:

Will do, thanks. The problem with this machine is it looks 'nearly new' and nothing jumps out as looking discolored or overheated.

Also, look to see if the pins look dark/tarnished, which is also a sign the pin connection has overheated.

#12 7 months ago

My STTNG looks new too, but 3 years ago, it was resetting just sitting in attract mode. I could play games without it resetting, but randomly during attract mode resets occurred about every hour. I finally had to repin male/female pins on J101, J114, and J210 since they were pretty dark/tarnished. Hadn't had resets since then.

#13 7 months ago

If you know how to use a multimeter/voltmeter, check the +5v supply *at the MPU*, NOT the power driver board. Likely, it is running low.

If you do NOT know how, learn.
Seriously though, try splitting and re-plugging the Z-connector that feeds the +5v and +12v power to the MPU board. J210.

The flipper sticking is likely a red-herring - meaning, it's a mechanical 'sticking', not an electrical sticking.

#14 7 months ago

I'll check the voltage tomorrow when I get time. I'm 99% sure the flipper sticking is electrical as it is glass smooth when I manually swing it through its arc. Not the slightest bit of sticking or friction.

My input voltage to the machine is plenty high....the CVT is putting out over 120v always, usually around 122v. Even if I plug the machine directly into the wall the voltage is at least 120v.

#15 7 months ago

Is it still resetting? I did in fact mean the power supply board and not the transformer. Since its a rottendog replacement its probably ok but you can check make sure its getting good ground to the system. Do this by making sure all boards are securely screwed down. I even pull the boards and give the rails a good cleaning and the traces that touch the rails I clean as well. When you re mount the boards make sure the screws holding them in are nice and snug. Previous post about checking the 5V is correct. Forget testing at the power supply. Find the test point on the board by looking in the manual at the mpu schematic. For ground use the test point ground.

#16 7 months ago

I did not check the voltage yet but I did check/reseat the pin connectors as above. The RottenDog board is dated Oct 2014 and looks brand new. Even the other original boards look brand new. In any case, when I restarted the machine it did the usual reset one time almost immediately but since then I've played about 15 games with no reset and no flipper sticking up. So at least for now it looks positive. I'm not counting my chickens yet but it's promising. Thanks to everyone for the help!

This game is one that was advertised on this board last year...it's been well cared for and has a lot of upgrades including a color DMD, Invisiglass and RottenDog main board. It probably has some other upgrades I'm not aware of, too.

TZ14 (resized).jpg

TZ26 (resized).jpg

TZ25 (resized).jpg

#17 7 months ago

Nice game. In order to keep the MPU board in nice shape, please change out those Duracell alkaline batteries with Lithium batteries.

Also, this connector was mentioned by another person, try reseating it as well. Hopefully, it will also lessen how often the game resets. 2018-02-21 20_18_07-Twilight Zone shutting down - repaired Pinside Forum - Internet Explorer (resized).png

1 week later
#18 7 months ago

Thanks, I have changed the batteries out to lithium type.

As an update...the machine seems to work well in stretches which are punctuated by resets. But, I have now run about 4 days without a reset and I think I have narrowed the issue down to the Z connector. I think. The last time I went into it, I pulled the connector apart on both sides and re-seated the pins. Since I did nothing else, and the game has been working well, I am assuming and hoping that was "it". Time will tell. I'm tempted to cut it out entirely and replace it with a Weatherpack type connector since those are available in 6 pin configuration. But for now I will try to keep the machine 'stock'.

#19 7 months ago
Quoted from GregCon:

I have narrowed the issue down to the Z connector.

I can help you to remove that out of the game if you like. Should be able to take the connections straight to J114 if I recall correctly. It is a useless extra 2 connections that I need to remove out of my game as well. Repinning J101, J114, and J210 resolved my resets in TZ.

3 weeks later
#20 6 months ago

Thanks. I continue to have flipper sticking issues on the lower right which I am confident are related to the rest issue. And I'm fairly confident that it is the Z connector. I'm going to replace it then see if it helped.

#21 6 months ago
Quoted from GregCon:

I'm fairly confident that it is the Z connector. I'm going to replace it then see if it helped.

I am looking at removing my Z connector completely.

#22 6 months ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I am looking at removing my Z connector completely.

Once I removed my Z connector and added a Kahr Daughter Board, my resets stopped. It's been over a year without any issues.

#23 6 months ago
Quoted from Dante:

Once I removed my Z connector and added a Kahr Daughter Board, my resets stopped. It's been over a year without any issues.

I repaired my resets on all my WPC without having a Kahr board. Just looking to get the Z connector out as this is just extra connections that do not need to be there.

#24 6 months ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I repaired my resets on all my WPC without having a Kahr board.

Can you elaborate on the repair? I know the kahr is a band aid and I'd prefer to fix it correctly if possible. Thx

#25 6 months ago
Quoted from Dante:

Can you elaborate on the repair? I know the kahr is a band aid and I'd prefer to fix it correctly if possible. Thx

Your original posting makes it sound like the Kahr board is required. Have you even tried your game without the Kahr board since removing your Z connector out of the game?

#26 6 months ago

I had the exact same issue with my old TZ. I reseated all the ribbon cables and that got rid of my reset issues.

#27 6 months ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Nice game. In order to keep the MPU board in nice shape, please change out those Duracell alkaline batteries with Lithium batteries.
Also, this connector was mentioned by another person, try reseating it as well. Hopefully, it will also lessen how often the game resets.

If you own a game with this z connector in it, get out the soldering iron and get rid of it

my TZ reset constantly until I got rid of it

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