(Topic ID: 186640)

Williams Pat Hand - Protracted Reset Cycle

By RetiredPinman

2 years ago

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  • 17 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by guard
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 2 years ago

Pat Hand is a 1975 Williams EM game. It belongs to a friend and I took it on as a learning project to get it working for him. I have some limited experience on EM machines working for a year once a week with a great mechanic that serviced EM machines for a pinball museum in Baltimore. Unfortunately the museum closed in 2012. I bought 4 EM machines from the museum, put them in storage in my garage, and focused instead on my 5 electronic games.

Owner says the game did play at one time, but it stopped working and got shoved off in a corner of his garage acquiring dust and paint/spackle splatters. I brought the game over to my garage, cleaned it up, replaced the incorrect power cord, replaced an obviously burned up Lock Relay coil, and cleaned up the gunked up stepper mechanisms. The game was actually surprisingly clean on the inside given it's poor external condition. Also surprisingly after we drilled out the back box lock because the owner did not have a key for it we found taped to the back box cover a folder with all of the original documentation that Williams packaged with the machine when they shipped it. Therefore I have the original manual and schematic for the game in hand.

I confirmed that the fuses were correct and working. Then I powered up the game and it came up playing. There are some play field switch issues that I will get to after I finish cleaning up the play field. I did have to replace the sling shot kicker arm. The top portion of it had broken off and what was left of it would have directly contacted the ball below the rubber ring, not good. Someone must have recognized that risk and disabled the kicker switches. Amazingly Steve Young at Pinball Resource had the kicker arm in stock so I was able to fully repair the kicker, a real feel good.

Now for my problem that I could use help with. On reset the scoring motor runs a variable number of cycles beyond the point when the 16 scoring reels have reached zero. Most times it one, maybe two or three cycles. I could live with that. But sometimes it seems like it is never going to stop cycling. A couple of times it did it for so long that I powered the game down and re-initiated the process.

When the cycling is occurring the the bonus unit steps down to zero and then up to one, the bonus relay pulls in and drops out, and the two scoring reel reset relays pull in and drop out. Finally the reset relay, which is pulled in solidly during the cycling, drops out and the reset cycle completes properly. It appears that the index reel of the scoring motor mechanism drives switches that should cause the bonus relay and the reset relay to drop out when the 16 scoring reels are at zero. I cleaned up the contacts of all the index reel switches and for good measure also cleaned all the reset relay driven switch contacts. That initially appeared to solve the problem. But after a day or two of occasional playing I noticed that the problem is back. I am thinking that somewhere in the game there are switch contacts that are not making good contact or not fully opening that are causing the machine to think that the scoring reels are not at zero even though they are and therefore keeps the reset cycle going. Does anyone have any ideas?

#2 2 years ago

Hi RetiredPinman
a vague theory - the Score-Motor-INDEX-Wheel-Switch (Make-and-Brake) , SCM-Ind-D: When the Motor starts to run: Yes, the "Make-Part" of the switch closes --- in doubt: Does the BRAKE-Part of the switch (SCM-Ind-D) truely opens ?
Look in the ipdb-schematics - at schematics-A/B-14/15 is the drawing of the Score-Motor-Index-Wheel. NICE - the Switch-D is the outmost / topmost switch --- You should get to it.
Have the pin toggled-off, line cord unplugged (Safety reasons) --- turn by hand the Nylon wheels of the Score-Motor a bit - Switchstack on Index-Wheel does actuate --- question: Does the BRAKE-Part of SCM-Ind-D TRUELY opens ?

Nearby in the schematics - at schematics-14-C/D/E You see this M&B-Switch-SCM-Ind-D and the wiring to "make the Bonus-Relay pull".
(If the fault is somewhere else: We must dig-in deeper into the (I do not love the feature): EVERY new ball starts with one bonus given.) Greetings Rolf

#3 2 years ago

Hello Retired PM,

In EM games that are struggling to complete boot-up, I tend to fall back and refer to the page in the instruction manual that lists the "sequence of operation - reset cycle" and then examine the listed steps to determine where the sequence is breaking down.

If necessary, I start at step 1 and observe the action inside the cabinet or backbox to confirm that the individual step is being fully competed, before moving to the next step in the sequence. I often give a quick look at the schematic and the relay diagrams in the instruction manual, to familiarize with which switches I need to be looking at and then, inspect operation of the called-out switches and clean & adjust if necessary until I am sure the step is being completed. In your case, it would seem the sequence is hanging up somewhere between steps 6 and 8.

It appears that I live up the road from you by 35-40 min. If you get frustrated trying to find the issue, I'd be willing to come down and put our heads together to take a look at it. Maybe between the 2 of us, we could figure it out. Just LMK with a pm.


#4 2 years ago

Thanks Rolf and Lee for getting back to me. Lee I agree with your approach to follow the Reset Cycle Sequence of Operation. I agree that step 6 is the one that is protracting the process. Once it gets to step 7, energizing the Outhole Relay, the sequence completes quickly serving up the ball. I have been "chasing my tail" trying to follow the transition from step 6 to 7 in the schematic. Rolf thanks for your specific suggestions regarding the scoring motor index wheel switches, I will try to check them out. I too have been suspecting scoring motor switches because the motor runs whether switches are functioning properly or not unless it's a switch associated with pulsing the motor. Sequencing steps that depend on relay switches to change state as relays drop out or pull in would just hang up if a switch failed to perform properly. As I said in my original post I already made one pass at cleaning all the contacts on the index wheel switches. After I did it the machine reset a lot better than before I did the cleaning. But after a day or so it reverted to its old protracted habit. So maybe I am dealing with a switch with a contact force issue. I will make a second pass and report back.

#5 2 years ago

In most cases, even though the reels are at zero, the switch stacks still have at least one closed switch. Tighten the screws on the switch stacks. First the screw closest to the contact points, the the screw closest to the wires/solder tabs.
This will usually "adjust" the switch blades to their proper position.

If this doesn't work, You may have to adjust the non moving via score reel cam/lever switch blade(s). All switches (two or three depending on reel) must be open when the reel is at "zero".

After this, then verify other stuff like player up unit is at the "home" position. Same with the Bonus Unit etc.

#6 2 years ago

First thing I would suggest is to observe the Bonus relay during reboot and see if it is pulling in crisply and holding the energized position through it's own hold switch.

The Bonus relay should get energized through a switch on the Reset relay at the B level (with brown/black and green/orange wires) and another switch at position D on the Index cam.

The Bonus relay should then lock in through its own switch at level 2A (with brown and brown/black wires) and through the zero-position switch on the Bonus Unit itself (with yellow & ?? wires).

It might be beneficial to clean and adjust all the switches mentioned above to ensure the Bonus relay is pulling in and remaining in for long enough to complete the bootup.


#7 2 years ago

Just something to check... When the bonus counts down to 0 on the reset it should always step back up one after that. Make sure that this happens consistently and correctly or it will continue the reset process until it does.

#8 2 years ago

Chum43 thanks for your input. Yes the Bonus mechanism steps down to zero and then steps up once to the 1000 bonus level. It keeps doing that during each one of the scoring motor cycles. MrBally I believe that the 16 score reel zero switches that are wired in parallel are working properly. I cleaned and checked the operation of each one. Turns out the switch on each reel is the top one, so they were relatively easy to access.

Lee the Bonus relay does cycle during the protracted reset process. It is pulled in at the start of the 4th step of the Reset sequence by the Reset Relay. The Reset relay remains solidly pulled in during the protracted cycling which I believe causes the Bonus relay to pull back in after it is reset when the Bonus mechanism zero switch opens. Eventually the Reset Relay drops out allowing the Bonus relay to stay dropped out which then starts step 7 of the reset sequence. Once this happens the reset sequence quickly completes as it should. I think the key is to get the Reset relay to drop out when the scoring reels reach zero. I do think the scoring reel zero switches are working and wired properly. I suspect the issue is a scoring motor index wheel switch that I believe steps the reset process, but I am clearly open to other suggestions. Thanks for everybody's suggestions.

#9 2 years ago

I had a Satin Doll, and it did the same thing. So does the one at PAPA.

I don't know what it is about this game but it seems to like to throw in a couple extra CHUNKS before it will reset.

#10 2 years ago

Hi RetiredPinman
in post-2 I asked about the Score-Motor-Switch "Index-Wheel-Switch-D, Brake-Part of the switch" --- the Brake-Part must open when the motor begins a turn - and stay open the rest of the turn. Greetings Rolf

#11 2 years ago

So, you think that the reset relay may be staying engaged when it shouldn't?

Could the metal plate on the plastic yoke be magnetized so that it reluctant to disengage?

Perhaps the lock-in switch on the reset relay is gapped too tightly?

The reset relay lockin switch is also in series with the drum unit zero-position break switch(s). Might want to go through the drum units and be sure the zero position switches are opening completely.

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

The reset relay lockin switch is also in series with the drum unit zero-position break switch(s). Might want to go through the drum units and be sure the zero position switches are opening completely.

The OP said he checked all the switches. However, I stated that the best thing to do on a 40 year old machine Is to tighten the screws on all 16 switch stacks before doing anything else. If not, it's a crap shoot.

Greetings, MrBally.

#13 2 years ago

I have concluded that I am dealing with a race condition associated with the Reset relay not dropping out after the 16 score reels reach zero and the Bonus unit mechanism reaches zero as it should. The Reset relay sets as it should when the Coin relay sets through a normally open Coin relay switch. I have observed their proper operation during the start of the Reset cycle. The Coin relay and the Reset relays are side by side. The Coin relay pulls in and immediately the Reset relay pulls in. Soon after the Coin relay drops out.

Once the Reset relay is pulled in it is supposed to stay pulled in until the 16 score reel zero position switches wired in parallel all open up indicating that the reels are at the zero position and the Bonus unit mechanism reaches zero as indicated by the zero position switch opening. I am 99% confident that the score reel zero position switches are working as designed based on continuity measurements and examination of all of the 16 switches. The protracted Relay cycle would occur when I initiated a Reset cycle with all of the reels at zero. As for the Bonus unit mechanism zero position indication I am also confident that the normally open zero position switch on the Bonus mechanism is working as it should. I even adjusted that switch as conservative as I could to make it open as soon as possible when the mechanism pulses down to the zero position. When the protracted cycling occurs the Bonus mechanism over and over steps down to zero and then up to the one position lighting the 1000 bonus lamp. The Bonus relay is pulled in when the Reset relay is pulled in and the Scoring motor Index wheel switch D closes at the index position. The Bonus relay is held in by the Bonus unit mechanism zero position switch until the mechanism reaches zero and the switch opens causing the Bonus relay to drop out. But the Bonus relay can get pulled back in at the scoring motor index position by index wheel switch D if the Reset relay is still pulled in. Thus during the protracted cycling not only does the Bonus mechanism cycle between zero and the one positions, but the Bonus relay cycles in and out. Eventually the Reset relay drops out after 2-5 extra cycles and the Reset cycle completes.

Meanwhile while all this is going on the Reset relay is supposed to drop out when the score reels are at zero and the Bonus mechanism is at zero. The key here is score motor index wheel switch B. Its purpose is to hold the Reset relay in until the score reels are at zero, all 16 zero position switches open, and the Bonus relay dropped out meaning that the Bonus mechanism did reach zero. Index wheel switch B is open only at the score motor index position. Thus it keeps the Reset relay pulled in except at the index position. Its at the index position that the machine determines if the score reels and the Bonus mechanism are reset. If they are the Reset relay should drop out. However, if the Bonus relay has been pulled back in by the Reset relay still set when the index wheel switch D closes the Reset relay will not drop out as it should when index wheel switch B opens. Hence a race condition between the Bonus relay setting and index wheel switches B and D. I focused in on index switch B. When first examined it appeared to be adjusted so that it would not open much when the index wheel paw dropped into the index wheel slot. With power off I hooked up an ohm meter to the switch B contacts and manually stepped the score motor. Sure enough occasionally continuity was retained at the index position when it should have opened. I adjusted the switch thinking I had solved my problem. After adjusting it and stepping the motor index wheel switch B opened each time as it should. But when I powered up to check it out the problem persisted, maybe a few less extra cycles, but more than two extra score motor cycles too often.

Out of desperation wanting switch B to open as soon as possible at the index position when the index wheel pawl drops into the index position notch to have switch B open with the Bonus relay dropped out, I adjusted index wheel switch B as open as I could adjust it without affecting anything else and gave it a try. Big difference. At most one additional score motor cycle. I have not declared victory yet and indicated the problem solved because I have not tested it enough plus I wanted to hear from the Pinside EM techs to determine if I am onto something. It makes sense to me that a race condition could exist on a 42 year old machine. Sluggish mechanisms and relays plus pitted and burned switch contacts can easily result in a different operating environment from than which existed in 1975 when the machine was built and tested.

1 week later
#14 2 years ago

No one commented on my race condition theory and its been over a week and the machine is resetting as well as I think one can expect for a 42 year old machine. Since the fix I have detected at most 1 extra score motor cycle after the score reels reach 0 and the Bonus mechanism reaches 0. So now its onto taking the Pop bumpers apart to replace the white aprons that are chewed up. Never have taken one apart before, so I am sure that it will be an adventure.

2 years later
#15 6 months ago

Thinking I might have this issue also. My buddy who reads schematics wat better then I is going to look today and see. I did have a pretty successful weekend though....took this $100 "close to parts" machine and got it working fine except for 2 issues. The bonus stepper and ball index relay not on the same page all the time and the Jokers don't register a "hit" on 10 points to light them up. I can manually trigger the coil on each and it does what it should, registers 1000 points and all 4 give an extra ball. So it's not the standups that are the problem.

20190602_161112 (resized).jpg
#16 6 months ago

And several layers of dirt must be the secret to keeping a playfield beautiful.....30 years of crud on this one and it came out really amazing.

#17 6 months ago

Down to one problem....the Joker targets were due to a broken wire between the playfield buttons and the standups. It was at the last coil for the buttons so it appeared to be a problem with the standups as they are all inline. Wire looked connected but definitionally was not.

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