(Topic ID: 261757)

Williams Aztec - Game has loud buzzing when scoring starts

By The_Great_Man

1 year ago


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  • 18 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by schudel5
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    #1 1 year ago

    Hello All:

    I am another first time owner that bought a Williams Aztec. Game is in pretty good shape. One problem is that the game has a pretty loud buzzing - Must admit I am a bit of a noise freak and most people probably would not find it loud. When the ball gets put into play and starts scoring is when the buzzing starts. The buzzing stops when the ball is out of play and the scoring for that ball finishes. Hard to tell exactly where the noise is coming from but seems to be coming from under the top half of the playfield. Not really excited about taking the game apart and starting to play around inside - But I will if I have to. Any suggestions? Please do not hesitate to say: It is a 50 year old machine you idiot - It is going to make some noise. That might be the proper answer.

    #2 1 year ago

    It is a 50 year old machine you idiot - It is going to make some noise.

    Seriously. It is. On these EMs things like flippers, alternating relays, hold relays, lock relays all make noise. Some more than others. Sometimes you can make the buzzing go away temporarily by pushing on the frame of the relay making the noise. I'm even working on someone's game where the game over/latch relay makes a horrible noise. They even tried isolating the frame from the wood with rubber washers. Doesn't help.

    Get the game to the point where it's making the noise. Open the coin door, remove the lockdown bar, remove the glass, remove the ball and lift the playfield. Find out which relay it is. Push on the relay frame and see if it gets better. Turn game off tighten the screws holding the relay down and maybe clean the contacts on the relay. Honestly not much you can do beyond that. But you might get lucky and tightening the screws that holds the relay down or moving it's position slightly makes it better. Don't be surprised if it comes back.

    #3 1 year ago

    Sometimes an Alternating relay will do that on Gottlieb games, but this is Williams so what you'll have to do is stick your head in and track it down.

    Check what Clay has to say: http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index3.htm#buzz

    #4 1 year ago

    Lift the playfield and start a game. You should be able to point it out real quick. My Central Park has a hold relay that stays energized until the first score is registered.

    #5 1 year ago

    On Williams relays, I've found that blades of the switches can be over adjusted and that can act as sort of an over tensioned return spring on the relay, making the switch harder for it to pull in and cause a buzz. Also as others have said, the frame could be slightly out of spec/ bent. Look at the paper on the relay coil, is it darkened like it's been hot? If so, replacing the coil will likely solve the issue. You can also try folding a piece of 200-300 grit sand paper to just fit between where the coil makes contact with the plate it pulls when energized, and give it a few pulls through there to clean the surfaces up where they meet. There are several reasons coils get noisy, these are what I can think of off the top of my head.

    2 weeks later
    #6 1 year ago

    Thanks for your help. I am going to replace - attempt to replace - 3 relay coils that seem to be buzzing: The Ball Index relay, A Relay and Lock relay. Just bought a soldering station and I am ready to go. Can not wait to see what new problems I create. This fixing pinball game stuff is worse than woodworking for a person without a lot of patience.

    #7 1 year ago

    Buzzing can be caused by a number of things. The armature plate may be dirty or worn, The spring tension on the plate may be too high. The leaf switches themselves may be pulling with too much tension. Replacing the coils might help...might not.

    #8 1 year ago

    Thought I would mention. Out of literally hundreds of machines, here's how many coils I've had to replace due to buzzing.

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    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from edednedy:

    Replacing the coils might help...might not.

    Probably not. Coils don't make noise directly but they do make noise indirectly by vibrating a baseplate or something else connected to them. What will probably happen is that taking the assembly apart to replace the coil and putting it back together may correct whatever is loose or misaligned. If the coil pulls in the actuator there's nothing wrong with it. But I understand the psychology of buying a new coil to fix the issue.

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from The_Great_Man:

    Hello All:
    I am another first time owner that bought a Williams Aztec. Game is in pretty good shape. One problem is that the game has a pretty loud buzzing - Must admit I am a bit of a noise freak and most people probably would not find it loud. When the ball gets put into play and starts scoring is when the buzzing starts. The buzzing stops when the ball is out of play and the scoring for that ball finishes. Hard to tell exactly where the noise is coming from but seems to be coming from under the top half of the playfield. Not really excited about taking the game apart and starting to play around inside - But I will if I have to. Any suggestions? Please do not hesitate to say: It is a 50 year old machine you idiot - It is going to make some noise. That might be the proper answer.

    Try to locate the source of the buzzing first, many times a slight adjustment of the metal armature is all you need.

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Probably not. Coils don't make noise directly but they do make noise indirectly by vibrating a baseplate or something else connected to them. What will probably happen is that taking the assembly apart to replace the coil and putting it back together may correct whatever is loose or misaligned. If the coil pulls in the actuator there's nothing wrong with it. But I understand the psychology of buying a new coil to fix the issue.

    So these are the 2 coils that I want to replace. They both buzz pretty good and when I push down on them the buzzing gets much quieter. I appreciate not having to replace the coils but I do not see much else in there that can be adjusted. When you reference "plate" is that the metal that attaches the coil assembly to the base and is screwed to the wood base?

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    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from The_Great_Man:

    So these are the 2 coils that I want to replace. They both buzz pretty good and when I push down on them the buzzing gets much quieter. I appreciate not having to replace the coils but I do not see much else in there that can be adjusted. When you reference "plate" is that the metal that attaches the coil assembly to the base and is screwed to the wood base?

    The metal base plate, the actuator plate that pulls in to move the switch stack, the spring tension, etc can all cause the buzzing. There typically is a metal piece that can be bent to move the actuator plate closer and father away from the coil that can be adjusted too.

    I have quite a few relays that buzz during certain times. It's the nature of the beast on AC coils. You're not going to get them to be super quiet.

    #13 1 year ago

    When pressing on it makes it quieter, that suggest that there is too much tension pulling the plate back. This could be caused by too much tension from the armature spring. The other thing is the amount of tension being applied by the leaf switches. Especially the one in your first photo. It has six switches. You may have to adjust all of them to reduce the tension. I've seen some that will actually work with no armature spring attached. Just the tension from the switches was enough for them to spring back.

    I've also seen lock relay coils that had the wrappers burnt to a crisp (like yours) and they still worked fine with no more buzz than normal.

    #14 1 year ago

    As I investigate a little further it appears as though the plastic piece on the Lock Relay coil - the piece that the wires are connected to - is broken. I also notice that this coil runs very hot. Does anyone know what this relay actually does and what would happen to the play of the game if I just cut the wires to the coil. The manual says that this relay "Energizes Game-Over Relay Trip Coil". Thanks.

    #15 1 year ago

    Here's what I'd do. Game off. Desolder the green wire on the lock relay coil lug and tape the end of the green wire you just desoldered. Take a thin piece of stiff paper and slide it between the contacts of the switch at the lock coil. Turn the game on and play a few games. Does it play the same? Does it sound different?

    Looking at the schematic, that lock coil is energized as soon as you turn the game on and it opens that contact and stays open when the game is on. Turn the game off, and that contact closes.

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Here's what I'd do. Game off. Desolder the green wire on the lock relay coil lug and tape the end of the green wire you just desoldered. Take a thin piece of stiff paper and slide it between the contacts of the switch at the lock coil. Turn the game on and play a few games. Does it play the same? Does it sound different?
    Looking at the schematic, that lock coil is energized as soon as you turn the game on and it opens that contact and stays open when the game is on. Turn the game off, and that contact closes.

    Ok. So I did go ahead and change the coil. Partly because it was in terrible shape and partly because I need to learn how to do this. I think it went pretty well - see the picture. And the pin definitely got quieter, however, there was still a slight hum because that coil was constantly on. But schudel5's idea really intrigued me.....So I shut the machine off, went ahead and cut the green wire that I had just carefully attached and stuck a credit card in the switch to keep it open. And what do you know - The machine seems to play the same and it is quieter. This pinball machine repair stuff is kind of like witchcraft....Just does not mix with my engineering background.

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    #17 1 year ago

    Played the game and it went great for 2 days. Then I was playing a game and on the 3rd ball all of the lights in the playfield went out. The game still played and kept score. I checked and the 2nd fuse down on the fuse block was blown. Any chance this was related to cutting the wire on the Lock Relay? The only other thing I did was replace a few bulbs on the playfield. Maybe I messed up the wiring. What would cause the fuse to blow like that?

    #18 1 year ago

    The lights are on a completely separate circuit. Shorted socket or old fuse. Fuses can go open without being in an overload or short circuit condition. Make sure there are no lamp sockets close to any other pieces of metal that can cause a short from vibration.

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