TZ mini playfield opto troubles

(Topic ID: 221784)

TZ mini playfield opto troubles

By Scotty_K

6 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 8 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by Scotty_K
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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#1 6 months ago

So I recently removed my mini playfield to do some general maintenance and cleaning underneath. When I put the playfield back and powered it up, I noticed that the magnets weren't working properly. I lifted the playfield and noticed that I had mixed up the two similar sized molex connectors (why did they do that?). I put them in the correct positions and now, while the magnets now work, now the exit and top optos no longer work. I went into test mode and still can't activate them, although when I touch a DMM to them, I'll get them to test, but that's about it.

So my question is, did I fry my optos? I just want to make sure before I order new ones.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

#2 6 months ago
Quoted from Scotty_K:

So my question is, did I fry my optos?


Don't feel bad. I wasn't paying attention and did the same thing once.

This was the cheapest place for the PCBs the last time I checked:

#3 6 months ago

That's what I was afraid of. Oh well, live and learn...

Thanks for the lead on the PCBs; I've done business with Pinball Life before - great people to deal with.

I was wondering, I was also able to locate just the optos themselves, rather than the whole boards; I could just replace those, yes? Although, for the cost of the replacement PCBs, it just might be easier to go that route.

#4 6 months ago

More often than not, the PCB is ruined if it's been re-heated or repaired multiple times, so I usually just get fresh PCBs.

#5 6 months ago

All right then...

I will bow to your wisdom in these matters.

Once again, thanks for your help with this!

#6 6 months ago

I'm not saying it's the case with your game--you'll have to look at the opto PCBs yourself. Usually it's pretty obvious--if they're covered in burnt flux, it's probably time to replace. If they look clean, you might be able to get away with reusing them.

#7 6 months ago

Thanks for the info.

Actually, mine don't appear to have any burn marks on them, but being as both the PCBs and the optos are not that expensive, I'll probably go with both. This way I can practice my soldering skills, but have back-up PCBs just in case things go awry.

I'm going to order the parts tomorrow, and once I get them and do the surgery, I'll let you know how it turns out.

#8 5 months ago

Well, I received my parts for this today, so I went at it this afternoon.

Being as I had ordered both the complete PCBs and the transmitting and receiving optos themselves, I decided to come up with a specific approach. I started with replacing the transmitter opto on the existing PCB located at the mini playfield exit. After reinstalling, it still did not work. I then moved over to the corresponding receiver opto, replaced that on the PCB, and still no dice. I went back over to the transmitter side again, but this time installed the new complete PCB assembly, fired her up, and this time it worked.

Next, I moved to the top opto and repeated the procedure, starting once again with replacing the transmitting opto on the existing PCB. When this failed, this time I replaced the entire transmitting opto PCB, flipped on the power, and now that opto switch worked perfectly.

After this experience, I have determined that one of the following happened:

1) Both transmitting optos and their PCBs were fried when I mixed up the molex connectors, or
2) Both transmitting optos only were fried, and I damaged the PCBs when I was switching out the optos on those boards (a distinct possibility given my somewhat rudimentary soldering skills...but I am learning!).

Regardless, my TZ is now happy again. ForceFlow, I cannot thank you enough for your help and guidance through this. One of the many things I really like about Pinside is how everyone is willing to help everyone else when problems arise.

Once again, THANK YOU!!

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