Twilight Zone - Which trough switch advances ball count?


By alb0711

1 week ago


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  • Latest reply 1 week ago by alb0711
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#1 11 days ago

I've got a new intermittent problem with my TZ. About half the time it doesn't advance the ball count. Sometimes I'll get 3 or 4 ball 1's. My troubles started when I soldered the connection to the trough eddy sensor that detects the ceramic powerball to correct the "loose connector" issue we all seem to have.

I suspect I just need to adjust one of the trough switches, but in TZ there are 4 trough switches, the out hole switch, far left trough, left trough and right trough.

I've tried disconnecting my eddy sensor, but I get the same odd behavior.

Anybody run into this one before? What switch advances the ball in play?

Thanks!

#2 11 days ago

Take the apron off and during a game use your finger and hit switches to see which one does it, or doesn't work. I'd suspect the outhole. Isn't always working or staying closed too long.

LTG : )

#3 10 days ago

TZ is not an 'EM'. There is no ball count 'advance'.

What happens, EXACTLY, when the ball hits the outhole? Does bonus start counting down? Does bonus FINISH counting down? When does the ball return to the shooter?

My guess is that you adjusted, hit, or bent the ball eject arm, so when the ball in the outhole is kicked into the trough, the physcial energy then knocks out the ball in position 1.

If this is the case, the bonus countdown will be aborted when the program realizes that there's 'not enough balls' in the trough.

Edit to get into more detail:
When the outhole switch is made, the software starts counting through the bonus. There's a delay after the bonus starts before the outhole kicker is fired. After the outhole kicker fires (shoots the ball into the trough), there is about 1.5seconds before the game actually finished the bonus countdown. Up until this point, if there are not enough balls in the trough, the game will stop the bonus and go back into game mode. You can tell when this point is hit, it is when the flippers are shut off. Up until the flippers are shut off (assuming that you have 'No Bonus Flips' setting to 'On' (Factory Default)), if the trough does not have enough balls, it will cancel the bonus and go back into the game. In the game software, the ball incrementer isn't updated until the next ball is actually served, after the bonus countdown finishes. Once the software gets to the point where the balls in the trough are verified (flippers die), it will go to serve ball 2, regardless of what happens after that.
Hence, this is why I'm guessing that, if you're playing multiple 'Ball 1's, then a ball is somehow getting kicked out of the trough when the outhole kicker is kicking the drained ball into the trough.

#4 9 days ago

I think my love of EM's is showing through! Where is that ball count stepper when you need it? ;->

You were right Coyote, the physical energy from the out hole solenoid was knocking out the balls. The reason this was happening was because my newly installed eddy sensor was to far into the ball trough. I moved it back a bit by bending the bracket and my ball count problem went away.

Now the eddy sensor isn't sensing the power ball though. I think I just have to keep playing with it until I find the right place so the eddy can do its job without protruding into the trough.

Thanks LTG and Coyote for your help!

#5 9 days ago

For the sensor, is it detecting *every* ball as powerball, or NO balls as powerball?
If the former, then it's moved too far away. Simple fix - move it back forward. (With PF in down position, ball #1 in trough should be 1/8" from the sensor.
If the latter, then likely your wires - the cable connecting both boards together - has a bad or loose connector. Recommend taking the IDB plugs of, and direct-solder the wires to the boards. (If wires aren't heat-shrink-wrapped together, or twisted, twist them to avoid interference.)

Good luck!

#6 9 days ago

The sensor was working properly when I had it protruding to far into the trough. I just need to find the happy place where it is detecting the powerball and isn't creating the ball kick out issue I was having. I did remove the connector and solder it in, didn't think about interference though. I'll twist the wires as I get this adjusted correctly.

Thanks!

#7 9 days ago
Quoted from alb0711:

I just need to find the happy place where it is detecting the powerball

You do understand it doesn't detect the powerball ? It detects the steel ones. Go into switch edge test and roll a steel ball to it.

Anytime any ball goes by ( meant for ceramic powerball ) and the eddy sensor doesn't detect a steel ball and it goes to the auto launch or shooter lane, the game thinks it's the powerball.

LTG : )

#8 9 days ago
Quoted from LTG:

You do understand it doesn't detect the powerball ? It detects the steel ones. Go into switch edge test and roll a steel ball to it.
Anytime any ball goes by ( meant for ceramic powerball ) and the eddy sensor doesn't detect a steel ball and it goes to the auto launch or shooter lane, the game thinks it's the powerball.
LTG : )

Thanks! I hadn't really put that together.... thanks for the clarification. I'll try the switch test!

#9 9 days ago

If your TZ is having problems with the Powerball sensor (switch # 26) the following thread provides some useful information.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tz-power-ball-sensing-problem#post-29285

Gord

#10 8 days ago

Thanks all - soldered in my powerball sensor and everything is now working.

How would any of us keep our machines running without pinside? Great forum with great people!

Allen

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