(Topic ID: 103786)

Williams Star Pool player/ball advance problem

By z-man

7 years ago


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  • 28 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by Pin-it
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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advance unit ground 4.jpg
advance unit ground 3.jpg
advance unit ground 1.jpg
advance unit ground 2.jpg
out re..JPG
S.t. cred sw..JPG
Williams total reset stepper unit.JPG
Williams total reset stepper unit Illustration 1.jpg
Wms sp coin unit.JPG
st scr. c.u..JPG
wms Star pool.JPG

#1 7 years ago

Hello. I'm trying to troubleshoot why my Star Pool is acting strange and have run out of ideas. The symptom is this - when I insert one coin, the game immediately starts without pressing the start button. I play the ball, drain it, and it cycles to ball 2. If I play ball 2 and drain it, it then switches to player 2, ball 2. If I play that, it "may" switch back to player 1, ball 3, or it may switch to player 3, ball 2. Eventually the game will end, but not without jumping around the players, balls, extra balls (no extra ball light is lit), etc. When the ball drains, the game will trigger the drop down targets twice, although the ball does pop out on the first cycle.

Now, what I have noticed is if I add points without activating a bonus, the ball count and player status will work perfect. But as soon as I activate the bonus wheel or bonus rollover buttons, it will throw the count off. I was thinking it was something with the score motor switches because every "even" game seems worse than every "odd" one (based on the score motor having 2 phases I guess - I'm new at this). So I'm thinking that something with the Bonus unit (or in my case the Advance unit) is telling the player unit to advance once.

There's 2 other things I've noticed - if I just add a bonus using the top of the playfield buttons and drain the ball, the ball count will not advance but the player does, and gets stuck at "Player 4" no matter how many times I drain the ball. Also, as I'm adding credits, the "player count" will advance until I reach 4 players, then it will add credits to the machine. Is that normal? What If I want to only play one player games???

I'm trying not to hire someone because I want to learn the hobby and be able to repair my own machines. Any info or guidance you can offer is greatly appreciated!

Oh, yes, I have disassembled and cleaned the steppers, cleaned just about every contact, and adjusted a couple of switches which were bent up. I've followed the schematic to the best of my ability, but just can't see where my fault is.

One last question - where can I find the diagram and/or schematic that shows the switch positions on the stepper units? The manual shows a picture of the bakelite side, but not the mechanical side.

z-man

#3 7 years ago

Thanks Pin-it, got that printed out already. Looking for a bit of guidance to go with it since this is my very first EM I'm dealing with

#4 7 years ago

OK, I'm getting close & have figured out what is causing my player advance issue, but I'm not sure how to fix it. If I don't advance the "advance" unit, my ball count increments properly, with the last ball causing a "game over". If I advance the spinner lights but don't cause an advance of my "advance" unit (illuminating a red or blue star), I also have proper ball counts. However, if I advance the spinner through a bonus star, one bonus credit is awarded by advancing the "advance" unit one place. Once that happens and the ball is drained, the ball count remains the same and my active player will change to player 2. If I don't cause a bonus while playing the ball on player 2, the game will go back to player 1. If a bonus is awarded, it then advances to player 3 and the ball count will stay the same. I did some other testing with multiple bonuses awarded, but I'll spare the details (unless they're needed) but basically if the "advance" unit adds a bonus, I get my player trouble.

The "advance" unit only has 2 external connections (all others are for the bonus lites). One goes to "extra ball adj." (probably the award for illuminating all bonus lites), and the other goes to the ball index relay. I've checked the contacts & they all seem OK. One circuit on that relay now goes to the player reset relay, which I noticed if I add a bonus this relay will not pull in - it will pull in if there's no bonus though, and this is where I'm stuck. I've gotta be getting close!

#5 7 years ago
Quoted from z-man:

what is causing my player advance issue,

I would start with the coin unit/coin relay. Every time the coin re. is energized it will add a player to the lineup.
The schematic is chopped up on Ipdb so its hard to follow some circuits but from what i see this is what i would look into.
Do you see the player unit actually reset? Is it stuck/bound up in the pl. unit. and causing your issue? Could it be it doesnt get the trigger to reset?
Other possibles are the score motor contacts adding the coin unit thus adding the players your getting as seen in the coin unit snip it shows the amount of players that when lit [1-4]is the amount you get.

wms Star pool.JPG
st scr. c.u..JPG
Wms sp coin unit.JPG

#6 7 years ago

The player unit is working smooth. If I increment the advance unit one position, I'll see the player unit advance one player. If I hit a bumper or anything else but a bonus, the player unit will reset back to player 1. I'm just not seeing where the bonus and players are related - I know there's a relay or switch in there that's causing this because it's probably just ever-so-slightly out of alignment - I just need to find it

I'm going to look at the coin unit and score motor per your suggestions now. I have adjusted a couple of other switches and corrected the start button problem; I've just got to find this one last gremlin.

Would you like pictures or a video of what I'm seeing? I can try to take & upload something if needed...

#7 7 years ago

One other quick note - the player count on the bottom right of the backbox is always at 1 player - the score reels is where I'm seeing the player change. I can correctly add the 4 players if I want to, but the next player won't advance properly.

#8 7 years ago

Best read this to familiarize yourself with part of what you might be experiencing,you should be able to use this method to eliminate any hacked coin door wiring. Then set yourself up for freeplay next to avoid a headache. To see why read the following.

Pinrepair.com section 2c. ← for coin door issues ▬▬ → then for freeplay setup → section 4b.

All my Williams are set for freeplay and they work perfect.

Just one less thing to worry about.

#9 7 years ago

Thanks Pin-it, I'll set it up for freeplay. This is frustrating to me because I look at the relays & they all seem to be fine. I'm almost wondering if there was a wire off at some point & it was put back in the wrong place. Something else I've seen is with using my DVM on tone, it appears that everything is shorted to everything else & there's a very low resistance. I'm probably reading through bulbs & coils though, right?

Something is telling the player unit to advance with that bonus/advance unit, and I don't know what. If I put 7 bonuses on the board, there isn't an issue. But with 8, I run into the same trouble all over again. ugh!

For a little background about me - Associates degree in electronics, and repair commercial fire alarm systems for a living. I'm also an amateur operator & have repaired a few tube-type radios as well as SS in the past. But this is just a whole other animal I've never seen before.

Thanks for all of your help so far - it's very much appreciated

#10 7 years ago
Quoted from z-man:

Something else I've seen is with using my DVM on tone, it appears that everything is shorted to everything else & there's a very low resistance. I'm probably reading through bulbs & coils though, right?

Correct,a meter can fool when trying to check full circuits on Ems,they are useful for finding some things like ohms and tracing though.

Quoted from z-man:

Something is telling the player unit to advance with that bonus/advance unit, and I don't know what. If I put 7 bonuses on the board, there isn't an issue. But with 8, I run into the same trouble all over again. ugh!

It may be your coin unit is maxed out and not resetting with the 2-3-4 player lightbulbs on the backglass burnt out giving us a false reading. In the cabinet there are 2 stepper units ,one being the ball count unit and the other being the coin unit,the mechanisms are a essentially the same but the wipers are different. Either way it sounds like they need a clean and lube which isnt hard to do. Everyone who has an Em does one at one time or another.

Back to pinrepair.com section 2d explains in detail with photos of the Wiiliams units you have that have to be operating correctly for a machine to properly work. Also in the back box is the player unit (player/scoring index) that will most likely need a clean and lube also. The only thing i recommend is take a few photos of the assembled state before teardown and to count the number of turns of the torsion spring for reference when you put it back together.

Here is the business side of those units to explaining the nomenclature of them.
Williams total reset stepper unit Illustration 1.jpg
Williams total reset stepper unit.JPG

Pinrepair.com and http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=EM_Repair are great reference tools for beginners and even seasoned ones. I suggest you read pinrepair first as its a wealth of info,digesting it all at once is not something i would do as a beginner but parts of it are easily understood without confusion.

#11 7 years ago

How about this - the player reset coil (not the player S.U. unit) does not engage when there's a bonus to be awarded. If I just hit a bumper, the relay pulls in & the player will stay the same while the ball count steps once. What causes the reset coil to pull in (or not in this case)?

#12 7 years ago

... coin unit "should" be OK since I've already cleaned that one and the ball count as well. The player bulbs are good since they will light up if I add 4 credits to the game. The only bulbs that are out now are just a couple in the backglass - I ordered 100 of the 47's & I'm almost done. I just can't get my fingers in the small holes...

I haven't seen that graphic yet & I've been on pinrepair a few times reading their writeup. Excellent info there since it showed me the correct setup of the coin unit switch - it had moved to the opposite side & also bent the switches.

#13 7 years ago
Quoted from z-man:

If I just hit a bumper, the relay pulls in & the player will stay the same while the ball count steps once.

What relay? The ball index?

Quoted from z-man:What causes the reset coil to pull in (or not in this case)?

The sequence of operation cycle up above in my prior posts is seen here on the schematic snip.
S.t. cred sw..JPG

When credits or freeplay for that matter are available on the credit wheel and by pressing the reset button completes the circuit described in the manual till the zero out and open.

#14 7 years ago

Next check your reset re. contacts for issues with resetting the ball count /coin /player units is where i would look next if you not getting those to reset. After moving that peg you got on the wrong side righted.

Quoted from z-man:

it had moved to the opposite side & also bent the switches.

Thats an issue that cant be ignored,good now we are getting somewhere.

#15 7 years ago
Quoted from Pin-it:

If I just hit a bumper, the relay pulls in & the player will stay the same while the ball count steps once.

That was referring to the Player Reset relay (or coil - I mean the same thing), and is behaving as it should when there aren't any bonuses. Those relay contacts appear to be OK, with no missing rivets and positioned where they should be. The reset relay contacts you want me to check... the Player Reset and Reset relay both appear to be OK (M/B are making before breaking).

#16 7 years ago
Quoted from Pin-it:

Next check your reset re. contacts for issues with resetting the ball count /coin /player units is where i would look next if you not getting those to reset. After moving that peg you got on the wrong side righted.

At the end of a game it ends normally with the "game over" illuminated after collecting any bonuses, and at the start of a new one everything resets as it should (ball count=1, player=1, score reels all zero, credit decreases by 1, and ball is ejected to shooting lane - although it tries to eject it twice each time the ball is drained and ready to play the next ball).

#17 7 years ago

Here's what I'm seeing if I start a game at player 1, ball 1 and hit a bumper once to lock in the ball play, trip a bonus, then drain the ball (each number is a bonus credit which is added by the Advance unit)... I started the game over at ball 1 for each bonus I wanted to add to keep everything uniform.

bonus number game reaction when ball is drained

1. (always on at the start of a ball play) - advances to player 1 ball 2 - normal
2. advances to player 2 ball 1
3. remains on player 1 ball 1
4. advances to player 1 ball 2
5. advances to player 1 ball 2

6. advances to player 1 ball 2
7. advances to player 2 ball 1
8. remains on player 1 ball 1
9. advances to player 1 ball 2
10. advances to player 1 ball 2

11. advances to player 1 ball 2
12. advances to player 2 ball 1
13. remains on player 1 ball 1
14. advances to player 1 ball 2
15. advances to player 1 ball 2

...so as far as I can tell, there's a pattern here which may mean something and is why I added the spaces after every 5th sequence. I've looked at and cleaned the connections on the Advance unit a couple of times before, and looked at the wiring on the backside of the Bakelite disk - all seem OK. I suppose I need to check all connections for continuity now. There are 5 spaces between a couple of fingers on the spider, and the spider can only be installed 2 ways - each 180 degrees from the other & appear to have the same pattern across the pins.

Does this make any sense or am I just barking up the wrong tree with this? I swear I've cleaned every switch and adjusted any that were bent elsewhere in the machine.

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from z-man:

it tries to eject it twice each time the ball is drained

2 hits to get it to serve the ball i would clean the outhole switch , lube the pivot linkage of the ball kicker and if needed a new coil sleeve.
In addition to checking/cleaning the following on the snip.
out re..JPG

#19 7 years ago

Hmmmm weird that a 2nd player shows up,wonder why that happens just in that pl. 2 ball 1 spot.
The player unit is pulsed by the score motor 2b and the ball count unit is pulsed by the scm. 1b.
Motor contacts issue? or unless a scm. cam/peg is suspect?

#20 7 years ago

When you manually trigger the player unit does it go through each 1-4 player correctly with the wiper fingers set center over each of the rivets?

#21 7 years ago

Yes it does go through each player properly. Also if I have let's say, bonus #2 lit, the player will jump to to player #2. If I do the same thing on the next ball, it jumps to player #3. If I keep going, it will get stuck on player #4 and never end. I hope that makes sense.

Could something be grounded (lamp socket?) and causing false signals to be generated? Heading off to work so I can't tinker until this evening.

#22 7 years ago

Maybe the jones plugs need to be investigated.
Look in the manual [pages 12-14]for the circuit paths on them and make sure no wires are crosstalking. Something is definitely corrupting your player unit. Also the wire color should match male to female jack layout.

Question ,this problem is all happening when just a one player is activated and the coin unit is at the one player configuration correct?

#23 7 years ago

UPDATE...!!!

I disconnected 2 ground wires on the Advance unit & it appears to have corrected the player issue. Now when I add a bonus everything advances properly. But I still have a few questions - assuming that the ground is on thinner wires, would you still play the game? How do I even go about locating a short like this? I can only assume that the short/ground is why I can't trace switches because everything appears shorted together.

Something I probably should mention - when I disconnected the wires & simulated a game, there was a small flash when the ball drained. It seemed to come from the fuse area, but all fuses were good. The only symptoms were that I needed to activate and hold in a switch in order for the score motor to turn (coin door switch) and I could not start a game. That issue was repaired by manually moving what I think is the 25c relay. Since doing that, everything works what seems to be fine to me (time to check out a couple YouTube videos for comparison). After each drain, the reset sequence seems to be a bit longer - not motor speed, but relays pulsing, drop targets resetting, etc - and is more uniform no matter how many bonuses I have collected.

Ideas? Concerns? Or would you just play the crap out of the game now... In the photos it may look like there are 3 wires connected together, when in fact it's just the 2 yellow wires in the terminal. Also, the newer looking relay on the left (forward advance) does have a burnt wire which happened when I originally started working on the game - I need to see if that might've burnt further back. I don't think so because it's cloth, but It's all I've got to go on now.

advance unit ground 1.jpg
advance unit ground 2.jpg

#24 7 years ago

OK, update to the update... Been playing a couple of games and although the player & ball count work fine, the bonus lites all go out for a moment when the score motor runs. Something tells me that if I put some bonuses in the machine & turn the score motor, I can probably see what switch is closing to turn the lites on. Then trace back from there to find the short, ground, or whatever it is. If I connect the yellow ground wires to the advance unit frame, the bonuses go out one at a time which appears to be normal when compared to other machines I see.

Hey, if you're going to learn something, why not jump right in!!!

#25 7 years ago

My bonus light issue is on the Index reel of the score motor, switch B (NC contacts "pulses bonus and outhole relays") which when opened will shut the lights off. However, moving those relays manually with the score motor in "TEST" doesn't shut the lights off. Sounds like my problem is right there.... The outhole solenoid is also only energizing once now, but I'm blowing the 1st bonus light due to overvoltage. OK, I "was" losing the bulb, but I just checked the sequence & there's only one outhole pulse - I thought before there were 2, with the first kick showing a brighter 1st bonus than the second kick. I'll replace the bulb tomorrow & see if that brings back the double kick. Hmmm.. strange stuff!

#26 7 years ago

Looks like you narrowed it down,hard to follow on the cut up schematic and missing sections that are probably what we actually need to see more of this problem. Good work removing the advance out of the link of reset sequence and it works proper now and not affecting the ball and player units,the shorting you describe sounds like the culprit of this whole problem,a good eye and some wire tracing will take some time but follow the manual/schematic best you can to follow what wires are involved to resolve this.

Quoted from z-man:

Hmmm.. strange stuff!

Yes it is.

#27 7 years ago

Can you spot the difference???
advance unit ground 3.jpg
advance unit ground 4.jpg

If you don't see it or don't want to look for it, the problem was the red wire on the reset switch getting caught under the assembly ever so slightly. The only way I was able to see that was by unsoldering every external wire on the Advance unit, tracing it down to the bonus relay, to the score motor, and to the reset relay. Only then did I wiggle that wire & have the tone from my DVM drop out just enough for me to hear it & realize what was going on. I've just played several games and other than a couple of playfield switch adjustments, she's 100% mechanically/electrically working.

Now, where do I start that thread for touching up and clear coating the playfield???

Thank you so very much for your time & effort that was put into helping me along. After this I feel like I can fix "almost" any issue with the machine! I'm still a bit green with reading the schematics, but I'll work on that.

#28 7 years ago
Quoted from z-man:

she's 100% mechanically/electrically working.

Cool you found the broken link,your eyes are your best tool on these Ems.

Quoted from z-man:

After this I feel like I can fix "almost" any issue with the machine!

Pretty much you will get a knack for fixing it, in fact all of them no matter what brand as they are similar in function and diagnosis(more Ems on the way? hint hint ) just apply the same patience /attitude , step by step approach and you can fix anything.

Quoted from z-man:

I'm still a bit green with reading the schematics, but I'll work on that.

One thing with schematics [unlike the broken Star Pool sch. which was hard to follow]is that a relay contacts are scattered among it deceiving you thinking you found all the circuits from within it. Williams manuals used in conjunction with schematics help immensely with operation sequence coupled with the relays description showing you the fast track on the location of where contacts are located on it.
Think of it like ''Wheres Waldo'' when it comes to reading them.

Happy playing.

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