(Topic ID: 35965)

Vid's Guide - Bally/Stern Driver Board Repair / Bulletproofing.


By vid1900

6 years ago



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Topic index (key posts)

3 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #2 Bally -22 driver board section Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #81 Stern SDU-100 board section Posted by vid1900 (4 years ago)

Post #96 Rectifier board section Posted by vid1900 (4 years ago)


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There are 200 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
13
#1 6 years ago

So, I'm on the road, at a bar that has a Funhouse and a KISS game. I play a few games and go back to my laptop. A nosy guy apparently is watching me type and says:

Guy: So you are Vid1900?
Me: Eh, no.
Guy: I recognized Pinside a mile away - you are logged in on it!
Me: Yeah, Pinside is great.
Guy: I'm xxxxxxxx on there, glad to meet you!
Me: (we shake hands)

So we drink and the guy tells me he loves pinball, has 2 non working machines and is looking to buy another.

He wants me to come fix his machines, he lives one block over. I tell him my hourly price hoping to scare him away. I also tell him I'm on the road for work and have only basic parts in my van. He cons me into following him to his house.

His favorite game is Bally Supersonic and he also has an EM with a missing backglass (some kind of western theme).

#2 6 years ago

Supersonic is blowing fuses. I open the backbox and see Transistor Q3 damaged on the driver board.

Q3 is the knocker, I believed, so we lift the playfield to see what it looks like.

Q3.jpg

If we wanted to test all the transistors, this would be the process. Remember this test procedure is only 95% accurate, but it does allow you to quickly find some bad eggs.

Testing TIP102 style of Transistors :

Meter in DIODE mode, game power OFF.

Black lead on center tab of transistor (there is a hole in the center tab - it's right on top of the transistor).

Red lead tests each outside leg.

Readings should be between .4 and .6

If you reverse the set up and put the red lead on the center tab, the outer legs should read 0.

Test your work by checking other transistors of the same type on the board.

#3 6 years ago

Inside the cab there are a pile of CPU and Driver boards. I guess somebody decided that it's cheaper to keep replacing them, than to fix them. Two of the driver boards have the same Q3 transistor blown, yeesh.

I cut the knocker out (clipping one coil lead), before it can do any more damage.

#4 6 years ago

The associated 120 and 330 ohm resistors are nicely blackened, as is the 1N4004 diode.

Believe it or not these resistors still test good!

I pulled them and the diode out. Even though they work now, there is no sense in leaving a ticking time bomb.

The TIP102 transistors are much higher rated parts than the originals, always good to have on hand.

The diode has a band on it that has to be installed in the same direction as the original.

RESISTORS.jpg REPLACED.jpg

11
#5 6 years ago

Any time you have a Bally Driver board out for service, there is some bulletproofing to do.

Job number one, ALWAYS replace the capacitors C26 and C23.

The new caps are always smaller in size, even though I always use higher voltage parts.

Parts made to withstand higher voltages will last longer when used at lower voltages.

C23 was a 11,000uf 20v cap - I replaced it with a 15,000uf 35v unit.
C26 was a 150uf 350v cap - I replaced it with a 150uf 450v unit.

(uf is pronounced "micro farad" )

CAPS.jpg

#6 6 years ago

I can hear you guys now, why replace a cap if it is still good?

Caps have about a 12 year life span, and these caps are almost 3x that age, and have had a very hard life.

Lets look at the 11,000uf unit, C23.

It tests good as a capacitor & it looks good on the ESR meter.

For how long is anybody's guess, but right now it's good.

good-cap.jpg

#7 6 years ago

Now we look at the 150uf cap, C26.

The capacitance reading is good, but look at that high ESR reading!

Your normal VOM meter would have said this cap is good, but the ESR meter tells the whole story. This cap is on its way out.

For reference, the replacement cap had an ESR of .06 ohms.

You can use the ESR test in circuit. I tested these caps really as an afterthought. From experience, I would have replaced the caps no matter the reading.

bad-cap.jpg

#8 6 years ago

Next on the bulletproofing is to tie C26's NEG leg to ground.

These Bally boards had some strange designs and we can make them more reliable .

Note also the completely vaporized board trace. I replaced that trace with a wire, hot glued to the board.

C26-GND-MOD.jpg

#9 6 years ago

We also need to tie C23s NEG leg to ground.

Just scrape off some of the conformal coating and solder in your jumper.

Note the not too bad solder joints on the transistors that have been replaced in the past.

I checked all the transistors on the board before reinstalling it.

C23-GND.jpg

#10 6 years ago

Next we always tie Test Point 1 to Test Point 3.

Otherwise the voltages take a crazy run off the board and back through the connectors.

Before you tie them together, you will see that they are often different voltages.

Don't mix up TP1 and TP5 or you will cause lots of damage!

TP1.jpg

#11 6 years ago

So back to the knocker coil. I sure did not have one with me, and the existing one did not have a diode on it - probably taken from the EM machine next to it.

The coil did not smell burnt.

It did have a puncture through the wrapper that had chipped off the red insulation.

I removed the wrapper and looked at the chip, it seemed that maybe the chip was shorting the coil (the coil resistance was something like 2 ohms).

After snipping the end of the wire off, I unwound the coil until I was passed the damaged part.

Then I scrapped off the insulation and wrapped the bare wire around the lug. I tested the resistance and we had a good coil again.

COIL-REPAIR.jpg

#12 6 years ago

Next I stuck in a new diode and wrapped its legs around the lugs.

I soldered both lugs and the coil was ready for action again.

DIODE-INSTALLED.jpg

#13 6 years ago

So we put everything back together again and played ourselves some Supersonic.

He still needs to install a remote battery holder (I did not have one with me) and needs a new speaker (the old one is completely torn all the way around).

He paid me and gave me all the dead boards from inside of the game (very cool).

#14 6 years ago

Not one of my usual guides, but a good launching point should you have to repair a Bally Driver board.

A little extra effort can go a long way towards Bally reliability.

#15 6 years ago

love the read with visuals.
I'm glad you helped the nosey guy out Vid, sure he was tickled pink. you're a cool dude.

I'd love to see you do some work on my Barracora boards.

#16 6 years ago

Many folks don't realize/don't know about the mods for these classics. This puts it right out there with the pics. Cheers!

#17 6 years ago

Money, AND boards.

Nice!

19
#18 6 years ago
Quoted from Prmailers:

Money, AND boards.

Nice!

I know, right?

When I was younger, I dreamed only about Money and Broads.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from RawleyD:

I'm glad you helped the nosey guy out Vid, sure he was tickled pink.

He was indeed happy. He told me he did not want his name used as I was taking pictures of the repair process. I suspect he was the one that put the EM knocker in, and kept replacing boards - I'm not 100% sure though.

He was a good player, I know that for certain.

#20 6 years ago

I have a supersonic, I love it.

It's heading for my daughters room soon to make room in the office.

I did those mods to my lost world sdb, as well as clays recommended mods to the rectifier board when I replaced the BR's.

That machine is rock solid now. I think it would work under water.

#21 6 years ago
Quoted from RawleyD:

I'd love to see you do some work on my Barracora boards.

If you still need work in about 6 months, PM me. I'm really backed up with working on the road the last few months.

From running a route for so many years, I'm used to doing "on site" service - but nothing beats sitting at a well lighted bench with a complete rework station.

If you are in a hurry, hit up: http://webpages.charter.net/coinopcauldron/brepairs.html

#23 6 years ago
Quoted from Prmailers:

I have a supersonic, I love it.

It's a real player's game.

Fast and rewarding.

#24 6 years ago

Nice, thanks for the guide. Bookmarked, as always.

#25 6 years ago

That ESR meter is pretty cool. Can you tell us more about it? Is that model the best bang/buck right now?

#26 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

That ESR meter is pretty cool. Can you tell us more about it? Is that model the best bang/buck right now?

As electrolytic caps age, their ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) increases.

The higher the temps and ripple, the faster the caps age.

Of course, the higher the resistance, the higher the temps, so the problem becomes a downward spiral.

As you could see from the C26 example, even though a cap's capacitance value is within spec, the high ESR tells us that the cap is not functioning properly.

99% of the time, the ESR meter can read a cap while still installed in the circuit. Although, when you have a bank of caps installed parallel to each other (like in an unregulated CNC stepper driver power supply), you have to pull one leg.

An ESR meter is not perfect. It will not read really tiny caps (like anything below .01uf), and there is not a perfect go/no-go line. You quickly learn the acceptable ESR ranges for different cap values. Just probing through your junk box will give you a crash course in ESR in about 15 minutes. Bad caps will often just say "Leaky" on the display.

As far as which ESR meter to buy, there are many that cost more than the Atlas ESR70+, but I don't think any have the all the features that it has. If you repair lot's of boards, it is a great tool. If you just poke around a few times a year, you can buy lots of replacement caps for the $129 that the meter costs...

#27 6 years ago

...and then you through down a smokebomb and vanished? Oh wait, wrong repair guy.

I appreciate these posts, Vid.

#28 6 years ago

So did the shorted coil kill the game, or was it the lack of a diode on the coil?

I don't understand what was the final determination.

#29 6 years ago
Quoted from cichlid:

So did the shorted coil kill the game, or was it the lack of a diode on the coil?
I don't understand what was the final determination.

I can't be sure. The guy was a little evasive about history of the game. It worked, then it broke, but it still worked...I could not really nail down the timeline or who worked on it and when.

I'd guess that the old knocker shorted, killed a replacement board, then was substituted with a knocker from that EM (thus no diode), and maybe the lack of diode killed another board or two.

Somehow the knocker coil became damaged with a short in the windings, certainly killing anything in its path. That transistor was cracked wide open.

#30 6 years ago

Here was another fix that I had forgotten I had taken a picture of.

One of the traces from the Q3 transistor had lifted from the heat of too much current being run through it, but it still had continuity.

I used clear nail polish to "glue" it back down to the circuit board. Nail polish dries very fast, so put some under the trace, wait about 20 seconds and then hold it down with the tip of a resistor lead.

Put some polish over the top also, to help insulate it.

The other trace in the picture was not so lucky. It completely burned up.

I use a wire to replace it, and latter glued it down with hot glue.

LIFTED.jpg

#31 6 years ago

Nice story and very good information. Some over my head but still enjoy reading and learning.

#32 6 years ago
Quoted from pinij93:

Some over my head

Don't be afraid to ask for clarification.

My Ohio dialect does not always translate nicely with the rest of the country.

And of course, sometimes I assume too much and skip the foundation that is required by some readers.

3 months later
#33 6 years ago

Vid, as always, your "guide" posts are awesome! Thanks so much for taking the time to do these. Especially with all the pictures...really helps. You're really helping out us new guys in the hobby! And we appreciate it!

Mike

#34 6 years ago

Already did most of this as advised by the PinWiki. Good stuff all around.

#35 6 years ago

Sweeeet! Thanks for taking the time! You may be taking some of the pressure off of the pinball ninja! I am sure he will appreciate it!

#36 6 years ago

I have the same ESR meter and really like it.

#37 6 years ago
Quoted from johnwartjr:

I have the same ESR meter and really like it.

I've not found a better one.

#38 6 years ago

MCM Electronics has that model on-sale for $146, I found a coupon code "AFC909" for another 15% to get it down to $126 and change.

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/72-9912&utm_medium=Affiliate&ref=cj&utm_campaign=CommissionJunction&utm_source=CommissionJunction

#39 6 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

MCM Electronics has that model on-sale for $146, I found a coupon code "AFC909" for another 15% to get it down to $126 and change.
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/72-9912&utm_medium=Affiliate&ref=cj&utm_campaign=CommissionJunction&utm_source=CommissionJunction

That page leads to the model ERS60 which is below the ERS70.

The lowest price I see on a quick search for the ERS70 is $138 shipped:

ebay.com link » Esr70 Latest Version Peak Atlas In Circuit Capacitor Tester New Meter Esr 70

#40 6 years ago

Thanks for the link Vid, sold and shipping. I needed to retire my old 'cats eye'... And yes I still have one of them on my bench.

2 months later
#42 5 years ago

Vid - this is just what I needed. I've been fixing up my first pin (a $200 garage sale Bally Midway 6803 machine). I'm still collecting techniques and ran into an old hack that had me perplexed...burnt connector on the power board from the transformer where a previous tinkerer hadn't replaced the connector. Instead they just pulled out the trace, all floppy-like, and soldered a wire direct from the transfer to the free trace. Which worked fine, I guess, but there was no strain relief on the wire.

Now I know: clear nail polish on the trace and hot glue for the wire. Awesome!

#43 5 years ago

Just reworked my Bally "Star Trek" Driver board as you suggested. New caps, ground jumpers, and TP1 - TP3 jumper. Also adjusted the score board voltage down to about 165V and reflowed the relay contacts and some of the connecter contacts that looked questionable. These mods and adjustments should give me a better performing board. Also hope that the new capacitor will cure my intermittent problem of the game just shutting down or resetting every so often. I think I may have had a slightly out of spec 5V coming off that C23 capacitor that may have been causing the problem. We will see over the next few days if everything has become more stable.

Just wanted to thank you for the great advice that you have given in this thread! THANKS!!

#44 5 years ago

You are very welcome.

Keep us posted on how your game now works.

#45 5 years ago

As of today it does seem to be a bit more stable although it didn't boot up on the first power up this morning. Second try it started right up. So far no shut downs or resets. In the past it seemed that once it warms up it would remain a lot more stable but it would usual shut down or reset at least once or twice during the first half hour.

Also discovered that after doing the board mods I now get a slight buzzing sound in attract mod that changes with the changing of the display from hi score to last score. Seems that it is a ground loop problem with the sound board as once I unscrewed the sound board mounting screws the buzz went away. Decided to isolate the sound board from the mounts by using a thin nylon washer as a spacer and also 8-32 nylon screws to mount the board. Solved the buzz problem. I'm an audio engineer and I'm very familiar with ground loop buzzes.

Can you tell me what capacitor C24 does and is it advisable to replace it? It came in the kit with the other 2 big caps.

I'll report again in a few days.

Thanks!

#46 5 years ago
Quoted from Jags:

Can you tell me what capacitor C24 does and is it advisable to replace it? It came in the kit with the other 2 big caps.

C24 is part of the 5v circuit, bottom right of big heatsink.

It is originally an electrolytic style cap, and is often replaced with a much better Tantalum style.

#47 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

C24 is part of the 5v circuit, bottom right of big heatsink.
It is originally an electrolytic style cap, and is often replaced with a much better Tantalum style.

Tell Ed to update his kits to put tantalums there:

http://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BALLY-P22E1-KIT

Of course if there's already a tantalum cap there as Ed suggests you should leave it.

And he sells out of those kits fast!

viperrwk

#48 5 years ago

This is the kit I got off ebay:

ebay.com link

How can you tell if it is a Tantalum cap?

Since it is part of the 5V circuit I guess it's a good idea to replace it. Let me know.

Thanks again!

#49 5 years ago
Quoted from viperrwk:

Of course if there's already a tantalum cap there as Ed suggests you should leave it.

Ha, I've never noticed that!

#50 5 years ago
Quoted from Jags:

How can you tell if it is a Tantalum cap?

It is not.

Quoted from Jags:

Since it is part of the 5V circuit I guess it's a good idea to replace it. Let me know.

Replace it, unless your old one looks like this:

tant.jpg

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