(Topic ID: 143516)

What did you learn from your last repair?


By swampfire

4 years ago



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  • 215 posts
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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by MrWizzo
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There are 215 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 5.
#151 3 years ago
Quoted from markp99:

I have a gremlin in my workshop that keeps hiding my tools each and every time I put them down.
Damn, I just had that hex driver; where'd it go this time?!

Just cursing that gremlin yesterday.

#152 3 years ago

I have learned that it is a good idea to check these boards for a similar problem to what ever you are having because it may save you hours of trouble shooting!

#153 3 years ago

Check ALL fuses before you waste hours on other troubleshooting options

#154 3 years ago

Before you replace that 9-year-old microwave oven that suddenly "died", make sure there's actually power at the outlet. I was really disappointed in myself when I plugged in the new one and it didn't work either...hello, it's a GFI outlet and it tripped.

#155 3 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

Before you replace that 9-year-old microwave oven that suddenly "died", make sure there's actually power at the outlet. I was really disappointed in myself when I plugged in the new one and it didn't work either...hello, it's a GFI outlet and it tripped.

I did the same thing with a GFCI on a new house. Reported a dead overhead can light to the builder. He came out...said, "YUP, it's dead". He called the electrician. The ELECTRICIAN looked at it and said, "YUP, it's dead".

The electrician pulled the fixture out of the ceiling, then the switch. Then he yells DAMN!! I was right there, saying, "did you get shocked". He said, "that would not be possible"... and proceeded to hit the GFCI reset switch.... the limp fixture lit up.

Turns out there's an electrical code saying ANY component within six feet of water (a can light over a sink) must be GFCI controlled. The electrician tied it to the load side of an outlet.

Oops!
faz

#156 3 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

Before you replace that 9-year-old microwave oven that suddenly "died", make sure there's actually power at the outlet. I was really disappointed in myself when I plugged in the new one and it didn't work either...hello, it's a GFI outlet and it tripped.

Hehe. I recently called a plumber because my hot water had gone cold. Turns out the breaker tripped, and I never thought to check for that because it's never happened before. I DID end up replacing the breaker though, it was old and busted and tripped again twice that week. Def the breaker, not the heater.

In the pinball world, TIL that when rebuilding the upper flipper on No Fear, it's really hard to keep it aligned perfectly when tightening everything, since there is no toothpick hole on the upper ramp. It went ok though.

#157 3 years ago

Lesson not learned on my last repair...but learned a long time ago...

Never assume the last person that reassembled something did it correctly.

#158 3 years ago

You'll never learn to repair anything yourself if your first reaction is always to call for help.

With regard to the reaction to try and catch something that's just been dropped - butchers and bakers soon learn to let it hit the floor!

#159 3 years ago

I learned that I now know enough about our Solar Ride that, when it comes on with no playfield GI, and no flipper power, in less than 10 minutes I had it back up and running. (Pulled MCU connector to driver board, burnished contacts on one end with pink eraser, made sure connector contacts are tight on board, problem solved.)

#160 3 years ago

ALWAYS look for the obvious first and then look again. VUK on Scared Stiff was intermittent. I assumed a dirty opto. Turned out to be a broken wire on the coil.....doh.......

#161 3 years ago
Quoted from WJxxxx:

You'll never learn to repair anything yourself if your first reaction is always to call for help

Well, there's a difference between asking for advice/guidance and asking someone to do it for you.

#162 3 years ago

Lessons from my last project so far:
1) just because a game is working 90% doesn't mean the last 10% won't be a real pain.
2) pay really close attention to wire color.
3) even when you don't think it is the connectors, it is probably the connectors.
4) buy a freaking crimper.

#163 3 years ago
Quoted from anthony691:

Lessons from my last project so far:
1) just because a game is working 90% doesn't mean the last 10% won't be a real pain

The last 10% is usually 90% of the work

#164 3 years ago
Quoted from anthony691:

4) buy a freaking crimper.

Best learned early, less wasted money, time, and finger agony.
In fact buy BOTH MAJOR TYPES of crimpers, for every common set of pins, and don't forget about investing in proper extractors as well.

Right after that lesson, a collector should be lining up his next purchase of saving pennies in the piggy bank of a proper solder/desolder station which is temperature controlled.
Radio Shack is not going to get you that far...

#165 3 years ago

Data East fuse holders SUCK!!!!!!!!!

#166 3 years ago
Quoted from cdnpinballer:

Data East fuse holders SUCK!!!!!!!!!

Stern Classic fuse holders have "challenges" as well.... not my last repair, but my last repair on my Catacomb.
faz

#167 3 years ago

Weak kick on coil. Thought it would be mechnical nope. Loose wire. Nope. Measured the coil and a solid 14.7 ohms while the others were 4.4 ohms. So besides shorting and melting down it can go the other way towards open and become weak. Going to pull the wrapper and see if defect near the top. Otherwise junk.

#168 3 years ago

Reading lots of stuff on this forum sinks in. Problem with a solder joint and an opto turned out to be a broken trace. If I hadn't been reading about what to look for "when things don't work", I would have been buying new optos. Instead I fixed the trace and everything is fine.

#169 3 years ago
Quoted from rwarren28806:

Reading lots of stuff on this forum sinks in.

That's a great point!

Back in the day, I read ALL of clay's guides. There was a bit about adding fixing a broken through hole plate by adding a stitch. About two years later the exact issue occurred when I attempted replacing a cap. I recognized the issue and fixed within 10 min..

I feel lucky that there are so many resources out there to help keep our games going.
faz

#170 3 years ago

You can never have too many spare parts......

#171 3 years ago

Tonight I learned that B/W pins can have trough issues, even without magnetized balls. I just ordered a pack of PinBits trough sleeves to fix Dirty Harry, and prevent problems on my other B/W pins. I also learned that during a switch level test, most of the optos will register as closed. So they are "active low" from a logic standpoint. I pulled out some hair, but I'm really happy that I found the root cause of my Dirty Harry 1-ball multiball.

#172 3 years ago

If you procrastinate long enough, you will eventually forget what you thought the problem is.

#173 3 years ago

I learned while servicing the lower playfield on my AC/DC Premium that you can remove 3 nuts that hold the ball kicker in place to allow the ball to easily roll out. Previously I kept removing the entire lower playfield just to replace the ball. It just shows you that reading the manual can sometimes lead to enlightenment.

#174 3 years ago

There's more to soldering than heat, flux and solder.

#175 3 years ago
Quoted from Fishbeadtwo:

You can never have too many spare parts......

Actually you can.

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#176 3 years ago

Do you need my address?

#177 3 years ago

I learned that my start button was not actually the problem on my Iron Man. I had to hit my start button really hard for a credit to register, despite the switch and wires functioning correctly. Turns out the diode on the shooter lane rollover was broken and intermittently connecting. I did not expect the two problems to be related.

#178 3 years ago
Quoted from Fishbeadtwo:

Do you need my address?

"What do you need" is the better question.

#179 3 years ago

That there's a hole in my spinout, dear Liza. This explains why I still can't get above 75k, even after replacing the launch assy.

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#180 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

"What do you need" is the better question.

I can prepare a list !

#181 3 years ago

Just repaired my mystery castle and it stumped me for awhile. The ball kicker to the shooter lane stopped working. So I start with the general stuff:

Check voltage at coil - 20v check
Ground lug...nada. Mist be a bad coil
De solder coil and diode.
Coil measures 24 ohms - check
Diode measures good
Wtf?

I had also grounded mosfet...nada
I had also grounded connector wire....nada

Hmmm....there's an under pf fuse for this coil so I jumper across fuse even though I'm reading 20v....coil still doesn't fire

Go into test mode and check the 20v coils/flashers....all work but this solenoid. Now in MC this is the only coil and it's a high ohm one at 24. The other loads on this 20v circuit are flashers and relays which are low ohms...that might give you a hint.

I check the main 20v fuse and measure 20v on both sides so I presumed the fuse isn't blown.

I take a jumper from a nearby coil on the 70v circuit and voila the coil works. So it's got to be the voltage.

Pull the main 20v fuse I'd check before and visually it looks fine. Measure it with my meter and the damn thing measures 70 kohms. So it was intact enough to pass voltage and enough current to click the small relays but not enough to pass the current required to magnetize a coil. So moral of story don't always rely on voltage to check your fuses...it's easiest and quickest but not the most foil proof.

#182 3 years ago

That installing nvram to make the battery pack obsolete is a snap.

That the hakko desolder gun was a sweet sweet purchase. Already knew this, but desoldering a 28 pin chip in like 60 seconds underscored the fact.

#183 3 years ago

I leaned what NOT to do to cause said repair.

#184 3 years ago

I learned that, given the option, a Bally playfield will always come crashing down on your head. I outfitted all of mine with bungie cords screwed into the back after learning that painful lesson for the third time.

#185 3 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I learned that, given the option, a Bally playfield will always come crashing down on your head. I outfitted all of mine with bungie cords screwed into the back after learning that painful lesson for the third time.

Deja Vu Round #2 - ONE MONTH AGO.

"Here is another one.
I once had a Haunted House main playfield that was not secured properly, fell forward, and hit me on the back of the head when I was working on the "cellar" playfield.
Knocked me unconscious with my arms inside the cabient for 5 minutes.
Woke up with blood on my face and a nasty headache as I struggled to lift the playfield back up.
Remember these Gottlieb System 80b games have no locking rails to ride on, and they are heavy in that awkward position.
ALWAYS secured non-locking playfields with bungee cords to the backbox and a towel from that point on AT MINIMUM.
No exceptions.
It could have been a lot worse.
No, the game was not "on", thank god, I was at least smarter than that with old games and no power interlock."

#186 3 years ago

I should just attach bungee cords to the wall, at the nearest stud, about 6" below the head so they're out of sight.

My right arm agrees with "NO EXCEPTIONS" today. Looks like I was attacked by a wolf.

#187 3 years ago

Soldering a wire to the wrong side of a diode can yield some curious results.

#188 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

Soldering a wire to the wrong side of a diode can yield some curious results.

Yup. Fuses blow. Coils stop working. All because of a .05 diode.

#189 3 years ago
Quoted from rwarren28806:

Yup. Fuses blow. Coils stop working. All because of a .05 diode.

Diode Corollary: A single $0.05 diode can knock out the entire HV leg of a power supply! ...and a 5 minute repair can bring it all back to life!

#190 3 years ago

That a circuit breaker fuse is worth its weight in gold when you're tracking down a shorted lamp socket in a GI string.

#191 3 years ago

I learned a new cause to weak flipper power on a Fire pin about a month ago. The left flipper would not even bit a ball half way up the playfield. I found nothing mechanically wrong with the flipper assembly and even changed the coil sleeve as there was a decent difference in how much resistance there was when compared to the right side. The flipper test showed no difference in how quickly the left flipper engaged/sprung back compared to the right. Upon pushing down on the flipper bat during the flipper test, I noticed the issue.

Yep, a cracked flipper bat. Being I was doing a pinball repair for a guy an hour away and not having any flipper bats with me, I dug around in my tool box and whipped out my electrical tape and stretched it tight as I could. Would you believe that it is strong as a new one? I was amazed so I left knowing I had his game up and working for Christmas. I shipped him a couple of new flipper bats and flipper rubbers so he can change them out at his early convenience. Even after 3 weeks, the owner is still enjoying the game with the temporary fix.

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#192 3 years ago

I have learned that necessity is the mother of invention. And so was Frank Zappa.

#193 3 years ago
Quoted from markp99:

Diode Corollary: A single $0.05 diode can knock out the entire HV leg of a power supply! ...and a 5 minute repair can bring it all back to life!

Sounds like I lucked out - no blown fuses or burnt transistors. After replacing a broken standup target on my TOTAN I found that hitting it during play activated the left ball save.

#194 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I learned a new cause to weak flipper power on a Fire pin about a month ago. The left flipper would not even bit a ball half way up the playfield. I found nothing mechanically wrong with the flipper assembly and even changed the coil sleeve as there was a decent difference in how much resistance there was when compared to the right side. The flipper test showed no difference in how quickly the left flipper engaged/sprung back compared to the right. Upon pushing down on the flipper bat during the flipper I noticed the issue.

This machine desperately needs new flipper rubbers. If the rubber maintain its shape when removed, well...

#195 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

This machine desperately needs new flipper rubbers. If the rubber maintain a it shape when removed, well...

Needs a good scrub with a cleaner / polish too. Looks kind of like someone dumped an ashtray across the PF. A good cleaning will make it seem like a new game.

#196 3 years ago

Today I also discovered that sometimes flippers buzz not because of bad links or old coils but because the springs are a little too tight.

#197 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

This machine desperately needs new flipper rubbers. If the rubber maintain a it shape when removed, well...

I covered that in my post. I shipped the owner a new pair of flipper bats and flipper rubbers.

Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I was amazed so I left knowing I had his game up and working for Christmas. I shipped him a couple of new flipper bats and flipper rubbers so he can change them out at his early convenience. Even after 3 weeks, the owner is still enjoying the game with the temporary fix.

#198 3 years ago

I got lazy when I repaired the GI connector for my Time Fantasy last year - replaced the female connector but not the header pins. My nice new connector burned again. This time I did the job right (replaced both).

#199 3 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I got lazy when I repaired the GI connector for my Time Fantasy last year - replaced the female connector but not the header pins. My nice new connector burned again. This time I did the job right (replaced both).

Been there, done that.

#200 3 years ago

My "Time Fantasy" displays have been flaky for quite a while. I tried swapping out the display driver board, to no avail. I finally decided to try wiggling the "BCD Input" edge connector (4J7) during the display test - root cause found! To fix this, I cleaned both sides of the connector with Emery paper, painted the landing pads with solder flux, and added a small ridge of solder to each pad. Works like a champ now!

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