(Topic ID: 281933)

Weak coils across multiple games. Is it my house‘s power?

By MikeCP

60 days ago

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  • 32 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 56 days ago by vireland
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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Spike Coil Testing Chart (resized).jpg
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#1 60 days ago


General tech/power question that goes beyond my expertise and experience thus far.

I’ve had a few games in a row in my house that were in great shape, a few of which were NIB Sterns. It seems consistently that my flippers and auto plungers were underpowered. Within 20 minutes of playing a game, I’d start to see fade.

For example, NIB Jurassic Park. Auto plunger would work maybe 90% of the time cold, but get deep enough into one game and it’d start to miss the ramp. And the kicker on this one is that I sold it to someone that said they didn’t have auto plunging issues at all.

Another example is the captain marvel ramp in avengers. From a trap it’s possible to hit the ramp cold, but maybe 10 minutes into a game? Impossible.

Can you offer any avenues of research I can explore? Or perhaps terminology I can have an electrician I can look into?


#4 59 days ago
Quoted from LTG:

IF you know what you are doing. Grab a meter and check power at your wall outlet when they seem weak.
How many games on one outlet and what amps is your circuit breaker ?
LTG : )

I do not, so I will not. Only one game. I can look at my circuit breaker, I suppose.

Quoted from barakandl:

As the coils warm up with use their power decreases. Does not sound like a line voltage problem.
On JP the shooter lane has a metal looking fork with two screws. Take the screws out. Put a small washer under only the left side and then screw back down. That helped my JP to be almost 100% reliable on the auto launch. Keeps the ball on track again the right wall and not rattling around.
The flipper power fade is real. You should want it so even in the worst case scenario it can make all the shots without much trouble. In the test mode there is a flipper power adjustment you can try playing with. Even possibly adjustments to the problem ramp could help. Something like a loose screw can suck a lot of momentum out of a ball.

I'm aware this is a common issue. This is, however, across games. More than just the two I shared. And it's worse than just standard fade. We're talking about being weak to begin with, and fading within 20 minutes. I did a ton to try and dial in that JP shooter lane based on everyone else's tips, but it was clear my issue was more about power than mechanics (as evidenced by game being sold and working in another house no issue).

#7 59 days ago

Using this post:


I can report: 120v. But one thing it says:

"Check if the wiring is reversed.
Place the red lead into the large slot and the black lead into small slot. If you get a reading, the wiring is reversed. This won’t affect simple equipment like lamps but can cause issues for more sophisticated appliances and electronics."

I definitely got a reading of 120v with the leads both ways.

#8 59 days ago

Oh actually:

"Determine if the outlet is properly grounded.
Keep the red lead in the small slot and move the black lead and place it in the ground (Uu-shaped) outlet slot. The reading should remain the same. If it doesn’t, the outlet is improperly grounded."

Reading went to ~0.

#14 58 days ago

Bummer - Well, thanks everyone.

Kinda back to square one. I agree flipper fade is real, but it seems to happen way too fast for me.

#16 58 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

Which spike2 games? Some are worse than others. Here's the chart for the ones I've tested with a temp probe on each coil so far:[quoted image]

Avengers Premium is the latest culprit. Auto plunger is garbage. Left flipper can't hit Capt Marvel after like 10 minutes.

Had similar issues with JP, but that was mainly the auto plunger being an issue.

#19 58 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

Avengers does have issues with coil heat/fade (which the cooling kit fixes), but the temp and fade on that stock machine is a very gradual increase from the testing I've done. What's your playfield pitch? Your room ambient temperature?

Playfield pitch is ~6.5. Ambient Temp ~70 F.

Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

You're having an issue that isn't normal. I've been at many tournaments where the games were played mostly non-stop for hours without the kind of fade you're describing.
A Kill-a-Watt might help diagnose a house power issue. http://www.p3international.com/products/P4400.html

Yeah, and it's the 2nd machine in a row. So I'm at a loss. Considered buying a kill-a-watt. That website is laughably broken.

I hesitate to call an electrician to make my flippers not fade so far!

#21 58 days ago

I cannot describe how annoyed I am to be pulling out the slow-mo video on the auto-plunger for the 2nd NIB game in a row, but I just did it, and it really looks fine. Just...weak. Hey, "Skill Shot" every time, I guess.

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