(Topic ID: 313923)

Williams "Blast Off" (1967) lights up but will not play

By KodakerCoop

4 months ago

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  • 22 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by pinballdaveh
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Blast Off 1967 (resized).jpg
Outhole switches (resized).jpg
outhole 1 (resized).jpg
Schematic Section 3 (resized).jpg
Schematic Section 2 (resized).jpg
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Schematic Section 2 (resized).jpg
Schematic Section1 (resized).jpg
Schematic Section 3 (resized).jpg
Schematic Section 2 (resized).jpg
Schematic Section1 (resized).jpg
Score Motor (resized).jpg
Ball Circuit Board (resized).jpg
Relays that activate (resized).jpg
Blast Off lighting (resized).jpg

#1 4 months ago

I just received a Williams Blast Off game as a gift from my daughter and son-in-law (they thought it would be a good retirement project for me). The game came from an estate sale, and family members remember it working but it may have sat idle for 20 or 30 years. In any case, before I plugged it in, I checked fuses and wiring for any obvious problems. Other than cob-webs and dust, all looks good inside the body and the back field.

Coin box had been removed and a door-bell type button installed to start the game for free play. I plugged the game in, pushed the button and the play field and back field lights lit up - no smoke, no sparks, no burst of flames. I considered that a success!

Internally, there is clattering and clanking. I discovered that the Score Motor runs constantly, some relays lock in, and the Ball Count unit and circuit board are activated. I assume that the Score Motor relay is supposed to unlatch rather than run contantly and that is causing the Ball Count problem.

When the unit is powered on and the Score motor starts, the following relays are energized:

1) Coin Relay
2) Reset Relay
3) Lock Relay
4) Two other relays that are unlabeled right next to the Score Motor. There might be others, but I didn't spot any others that latched or unlatched when I powered it on.

In the back field, the relay for the Ball Count also activates, it looks like it returns to the start position but the relay continues to activate as if it were resetting.

I have the schematic for the game but, quite honestly, I'm having trouble locating the relays and tracking the wiring on the schematic. I'd appreciate any guidance on how to get this working. I'm attaching pictures of the areas I've described.

Ball Count Unit (resized).jpgBlast Off lighting (resized).jpgRelays that activate (resized).jpgBall Circuit Board (resized).jpgScore Motor (resized).jpg
#2 4 months ago

The coin relay should de-energize when the ball count unit is reset. Check that the switch on the unit opens correctly at zero.

#3 3 months ago

This page on score motor circuits might help: https://www.funwithpinball.com/learn/animated-score-motor-circuits
MarkG runs the site and does repair clinics online from time to time.

#4 3 months ago

I'll need to see a high quality scan of the schematic from (for example) Staples ($2), Fedex ($6), or Office Depot

#5 3 months ago

Thanks for the responses, much appreciated. dr_nybble - I'll have to check more closely on the coin relay tomorrow. Since the score motor keeps running and the cam continues to trip the reset for the ball count, I'm not sure if the coin relay is opening and closing repeatedly. YeOldPinPlayer -I'll also check out the score motor link and see what that leads me to. Howard - can you use a multi-page scan of the schematic? The one I have is about 5 feet long...

Thanks again!

#6 3 months ago

A few good photos of the schematic should do.

#7 3 months ago
Quoted from KodakerCoop:

Howard - can you use a multi-page scan of the schematic? The one I have is about 5 feet long...

Quoted from dr_nybble:

A few good photos of the schematic should do.

For me to help you I'll need the high quality continuous scan.

#8 3 months ago

A bit more information - I manually cycled the ball count solenoid in order to be sure it reset to zero when the machine powered on. I plugged the game in and manually energized the coin relay. The score motor cycled to the next position and stopped and the ball count reset to zero. The coin relay stayed energized (did not release).

I powered the game off, manually cycled the ball count relay, then powered the game back on. When I pressed the start button, the score motor started to run constantly, the ball count reset to zero (but the solenoid continued to fire), and the coin relay stayed energized. Powered the game off and the coin relay released.

I was unable to get a high resolution scan of the schematics today, but have attached pictures of the schematic is three sections. I know that probably isn't ideal, but thought it might help until I can get a full scan.

My thought is that the ball reset should cause the coin relay to drop out - Is that correct? I'm looking at the schematic and trying to determine how they interconnect and my old brain hasn't found it yet.

For what it is worth, I did check for any disconnected wiring and didn't find anything. All the wiring looks to be the original, except that the coin mechanism has been removed and there is a push button to start thr game - That is the only change I've seen.

I really appreciate the help, will try to get out tomorrow and get the complete scan.

Schematic Section1 (resized).jpgSchematic Section 2 (resized).jpgSchematic Section 3 (resized).jpg
#9 3 months ago

Could you rotate the photos?

#10 3 months ago

Check if the game relay is latching during the reset cycle. If it is latched check the switch on this relay with a red wire and a orange connected to it. Switch should be open when relay is latched. Adjust switch if needed. Unplug machine this is a 120v circuit.

#11 3 months ago

Pinballdaveh - Thanks for the info on the game relay - will check that out. I'm a firm believer in "Power Off and Checked". When I was much younger and much more foolish I got tagged with 480V because a disconnect didn't break when I threw it and I didn't check it. Luckily, it only hurt....

Schematic Photos are rotated below.

Schematic Section 2 (resized).jpgSchematic Section 3 (resized).jpgSchematic Section1 (resized).jpg
#12 3 months ago

First image is upside down...you should be able to Edit your post to fix it.

#13 3 months ago

Let me try that again and put them in the right order

Schematic Section1 (resized).jpgSchematic Section 2 (resized).jpgSchematic Section 3 (resized).jpg
#14 3 months ago


I'm definitely new at this, never worked on an electromechanical before, so I'm feeling fairly stupid. I've looked at the schematic to locate the Game Relay and I'm not sure where it is. What I have found on the schematic is a Game RE (Latch), a Game RE (Trip) in two different locations. I didn't spot a switch with red and orange wires on either of those, but I'm probably looking in the wrong place. Any guidance would be great.

#15 3 months ago

The game relay has two coils, one to latch it and one to trip it. That way the game does not need to continuously energize a coil for it to be in the “game” state.

#16 3 months ago

Progress Report! I have actually been able to get the game on and playable. Flippers, targets, bumpers all work, most of the lights come on. Needs new rubbers all the way around. Your comments helped me dig my way through this, so far. Thank you.

Where I stand right now: the switch in the outhole that I think is supposed to sense when a ball is there and trigger the kicker to put the ball in the launch position does not do anything. If I roll the ball to the launch position, the switch for the ball count switch trips and the ball count advances. I tried manually closing the outhole relay and checking if the switch to detect a ball does anything, but it doesn't seem to. I can install a momentary contact switch to fire the kicker, if necessary, but think that I am, again, missing something obvious.


Outhole switches (resized).jpgouthole 1 (resized).jpg
#17 3 months ago

Is the mini ball in the bagatelle device sitting on and closing its rest switch? If not the outhole relay won’t pull in. There are other switches in this outhole relay circuit that also might need checking. Just my 1st guess.

#18 3 months ago

Pinballdaveh - Got it! One set of contacts on the bagatelle were dirty. Looked closed but not contacting - cleaned and kicker and ball counter work. I thought I had cleaned all the contacts, but keep finding new ones. Thank you!

New question: Ball count resets on game start up and advances when ball goes into outhole and is kicked to launch position. Game appears to be set at 7 balls, but I do not get an "end of game" at any time, just keeps kicking balls into the launch. Outhole relay or ball count mechanism/circuit?

#19 3 months ago

It’s part of the game over relay (trip) circuit we need to look at. It consists of score motor cam 3 switch B that might need cleaning and adjustment and the ball count unit disc. In your pic it looks dirty and inspect wiper finger tension on the disc.

#20 3 months ago

I will look at the score motor cam and switch. I did wipe the ball count disc and wiper fingers down with alcohol and I will re-clean and check the pressure on the wipers. Thanks again.

#21 3 months ago

Hello all - Wanted to let you know that the William's "Blast Off" is alive and well. Almost everything seems to be working as it is supposed to and I appreciate the help you provided to me. The one issue I'm still working on is that the "Game Over" lights don't always come on. They will come on at the end of the game once and then not again for two or three games, then they might come on for the next couple of games. However, the game does stop after the correct number of balls have been played, so it is "Game Over" even if the lights don't come on.

Gives me something to puzzle over. Thanks again for your help to a newbie.

Blast Off 1967 (resized).jpg
#22 3 months ago

If you have the game over switch adjusted correctly the only other things to look at are jones plugs connections and the bulb socket.

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