(Topic ID: 294882)

Williams Strato-flite. Ball in play not advancing.

By blibb

6 days ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by blibb
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

cam stacks (resized).jpg
ab22fab819cfc3cfcf485e96c1e5cb293be5190c (resized).jpg
strato-flite sanity reality2 (resized).jpg
strato-flite score motor 3E (resized).jpg
IMG_0082 (resized).JPG
strato-flite ball index relay hold (resized).jpg
strato-flite sanity reality (resized).jpg
strato-flite sanity (resized).jpg
strato-flite ball index relay (resized).jpg
strato-flite ball count2 (resized).jpg
strato-flite ball count (resized).jpg

#1 6 days ago

Hi Pinside!

I bought a project Strato-flite a few weeks ago. The game had been up and running, but with problems. The game would start, and play the first ball, but never advance. I found lots of help for what could be causing the problem. The first was a gummed player stepper in the back box. I cleaned and got that working. That didn't have an effect on advancing the ball though. I checked the action on the ball stepper. It seemed okay. One of the fingers was bent off the copper so I did my best to repair that. Then I checked over all the relays. They seemed okay. Adjusted a couple but very minor adjustments. That's when I broke everything!

Over the past couple of weeks, baldtwit has helped me go over the possible causes, and ultimately as I assumed. I was responsible.

That's okay! I've learned a ton along the way, and I'm excited by the fact that I have a lot more to learn.

Oddly enough, the ball in play started working to some degree when the scoring wasn't working. I'm not sure if that's connected, but when I say it started working. It did, but with issues. Issue #1 You could start a game in the middle of a game and it wouldn't reset. Just added another player. Think it still may do that. #2 The game didn't actually end. It got to ball 5 and then ball nothing and kept feeding out the ball.

Not sure if that helps diagnose anything.

Any help would be appreciated!

Evan

#2 6 days ago

is there a stalker emoji?

here's how I'd approach it:

1] look on the schematic to see what controls the "ball in play" lights.

it's the ball count unit, which is a stepper unit on the bottom board in the cabinet.

2] look at the schem to see how the step-up coil on that unit powers.

the coil is near schem 6E and is called "ball count S.U."

the circuit has coin unit, player unit and a few relay/score motor switches in it, but notice the circuit branches and also controls the player unit step-up coil.

so if the player is changing reliably when the ball drains, a big chunk of the circuit is fine. If the player doesn't advance, you've likely narrowed the problem down to three switches on 3 different relays, or the ball index relay isn't powering.

since the ball release is working, you know the outhole relay switch works (green highlight - follow the "to b-w-6 @ c-13" arrow/circuit to see why. Not on schem below, but it goes to the ball release coil thru a score motor switch).

want more details?

strato-flite ball count (resized).jpg
#3 6 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

is there a stalker emoji?
here's how I'd approach it:
1] look on the schematic to see what controls the "ball in play" lights.
it's the ball count unit, which is a stepper unit on the bottom board in the cabinet.
2] look at the schem to see how the step-up coil on that unit powers.
the coil is near schem 6E and is called "ball count S.U."
the circuit has coin unit, player unit and a few relay/score motor switches in it, but notice the circuit branches and also controls the player unit step-up coil.
so if the player is changing reliably when the ball drains, a big chunk of the circuit is fine. If the player doesn't advance, you've likely narrowed the problem down to three switches on 3 different relays, or the ball index relay isn't powering.
since the ball release is working, you know the outhole relay switch works (green highlight - follow the "to b-w-6 @ c-13" arrow/circuit to see why. Not on schem below, but it goes to the ball release coil thru a score motor switch).
want more details?[quoted image]

When it worked the player changed accurately.
When it stopped working, it doesn't. Stays on player 1, ball 1 no matter the # of player.

I'll check over the two steppers later tonight.

If you can identify the switches on the relays involved, it would be a huge help.

Thank you

Evan

So the ball index relay has to close. The extra ball relay has to remain closed, and the ball has to be in the out hole?

One question I have, is how you know which blades on which relay to look at. That still seems like wizardry to me.

In the meantime, I'll attempt to find the 3 relays on the board. The extra ball relay I know well because it was going crazy before. I'll look there first. Do you know what? The ball index relay is the relay I was trying to find when I touched the tilt relay. Someone had suggested I check it. Can you point to the ball index relay on those photos you took on my previous thread? I bet that's it.

#4 6 days ago

ok, so with that info you have the below.

green works (ball releases)
yellow doesn't work (1 player game highlighted)
red is the common part that makes both yellow circuit branches not work.

one of three things is wrong:

1] the extra ball relay switch C (per manual using wire colors on schem and manual description) is open. Check or jumper it. It should only be open when the extra ball relay is powered (player got an extra ball)

2] ball index relay switch B isn't closed when the ball index relay is powered. Check it by manually operating relay with power off and looking for switch overtravel. Clean switch if necessary.

3] the ball index relay didn't power. It should power when the 10/100/1000 relays power and keep itself powered, so before the ball drains take a look and make sure it's powered.

then it gets messy because you have to work with the score motor timing to the try and figure out how the ball index relay is supposed to behave and what it's actually for. For a first pass, it's easier to just notice outhole relay switch F and score motor switch 3E are in the circuit so check those.
strato-flite ball count2 (resized).jpg

strato-flite ball index relay (resized).jpg
#5 6 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

ok, so with that info you have the below.
green works (ball releases)
yellow doesn't work (1 player game highlighted)
red is the common part that makes both yellow circuit branches not work.
one of three things is wrong:
1] the extra ball relay switch C (per manual using wire colors on schem and manual description) is open. Check or jumper it. It should only be open when the extra ball relay is powered (player got an extra ball)
2] ball index relay switch B isn't closed when the ball index relay is powered. Check it by manually operating relay with power off and looking for switch overtravel. Clean switch if necessary.
3] the ball index relay didn't power. It should power when the 10/100/1000 relays power and keep itself powered, so before the ball drains take a look and make sure it's powered.
then it gets messy because you have to work with the score motor timing to the try and figure out how the ball index relay is supposed to behave and what it's actually for. For a first pass, it's easier to just notice outhole relay switch F and score motor switch 3E are in the circuit so check those.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Yes, I've checked it several times. The ball index relay is not powering.
Strangely enough. It did seem to be powering when the game wasn't scoring.
Was it drawing power from unspent power from the tilt relay? That has me puzzled, or is this some really strange coincidence?

I know the out hole seems to be performing correctly. Maybe I should look at the extra ball relay now.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for your help!

Evan

EDIT: I re-cleaned the Ball Index Relay, Out hole relay, and Extra Ball relays. No change with the Ball Index Relay. Still not powering at end of ball. Side note. The kickout hole had never scored the point value on the 3 selections that have 500, 500, and 5000 points on them. Cleaning the Out hole relay got those points scoring. It's something!

#6 6 days ago

The ball index relay must be locked on to advance ball count. Try manually pushing in the ball index relay, does it hold in? Does the outhole relay now advance ball count?

#7 6 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

ok, so with that info you have the below.
green works (ball releases)
yellow doesn't work (1 player game highlighted)
red is the common part that makes both yellow circuit branches not work.
one of three things is wrong:
1] the extra ball relay switch C (per manual using wire colors on schem and manual description) is open. Check or jumper it. It should only be open when the extra ball relay is powered (player got an extra ball)
2] ball index relay switch B isn't closed when the ball index relay is powered. Check it by manually operating relay with power off and looking for switch overtravel. Clean switch if necessary.
3] the ball index relay didn't power. It should power when the 10/100/1000 relays power and keep itself powered, so before the ball drains take a look and make sure it's powered.
then it gets messy because you have to work with the score motor timing to the try and figure out how the ball index relay is supposed to behave and what it's actually for. For a first pass, it's easier to just notice outhole relay switch F and score motor switch 3E are in the circuit so check those.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Great news. I re-read you post and noticed that you said points had to score before the ball index relay fired, and to my surprise. It was firing. So I think it must be one of the contacts on that must still be dirty? My wife has me doing garden work at the moment. I'll have another go in an hour. So excited! Ball index relay switch B? I'll look for it.

#8 6 days ago
Quoted from pinballdaveh:

The ball index relay must be locked on to advance ball count. Try manually pushing in the ball index relay, does it hold in? Does the outhole relay now advance ball count?

The ball index relay is locked. The contacts have been cleaned a few times. The spacing seems good. The out hole relay does not advance the ball count.

#9 5 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

ok, so with that info you have the below.
green works (ball releases)
yellow doesn't work (1 player game highlighted)
red is the common part that makes both yellow circuit branches not work.
one of three things is wrong:
1] the extra ball relay switch C (per manual using wire colors on schem and manual description) is open. Check or jumper it. It should only be open when the extra ball relay is powered (player got an extra ball)
2] ball index relay switch B isn't closed when the ball index relay is powered. Check it by manually operating relay with power off and looking for switch overtravel. Clean switch if necessary.
3] the ball index relay didn't power. It should power when the 10/100/1000 relays power and keep itself powered, so before the ball drains take a look and make sure it's powered.
then it gets messy because you have to work with the score motor timing to the try and figure out how the ball index relay is supposed to behave and what it's actually for. For a first pass, it's easier to just notice outhole relay switch F and score motor switch 3E are in the circuit so check those.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Hi,

I jumpered extra ball relay switch C, and then tried the other closed switch too. No change.
Ball index relay switch B seems to be closing and seems to be two nice clean contacts. No change.

You suggested doing a cleaning on Jones plugs. Maybe I should try that now?

If you can think of anything else to try. Please let me know.

Seems bizarre that disabling scoring via the tilt switch, enabled ball in play counting.

#10 5 days ago

Hi again,

I'm a little confused about the ball index relay. In the manual they list 4 switches A - D. All N.O.

In my game, I think it has 5 switches, the last being an N.C.

Am I even looking at the right relay? It's between the Tilt relay and Game Over Latch relay.

Thanks.

#11 5 days ago

you're looking at the right relay.

the manual diagrams for both the tilt relay and ball index relay are wrong because they added a switch on each relay for the "2 coins 3 plays" function. Those switches are shown on the additional circuits on manual page 1.

on the ball index relay the added switch is on top ... switch E ... so that's relatively harmless. On the tilt relay they stuck the added switch on top of A, so the B-D switches on the diagram are now C-E.

neither of the extra switches are involved in the ball counter or player advancing.

when you have a switch that isn't in the right state, sometimes circuit paths get created that bypass other problems and make things work. Fix the bad switch and something else stops working because the hidden problem is now apparent.

in your case, if you have a break in the common yellow wire, everything "downstream" of the break won't work. Problem is you don't know what's downstream ... the order things are drawn on the schem is not the order the yellow wire daisy chains to all the attach points.

the easy check is jumper directly from the yellow wire on the transformer to any yellow wire segment in the daisy chain. Note the yellow wire is unique ... there's only one cloth covered solid yellow wire so it's all the same one and it's fatter (lower wire gauge) than most wires, so it's harder to confuse it with a faded other color wire.

'course, there's plastic coated solid yellow jumper wires ... sigh. Don't assume those are the common yellow wire ... but a lot of them on the score motor are.

anyway, probably sanity check time.

what I'd do is reset the game, then jumper the yellow "common" wire onto the branch point in the circuit bypassing the outhole relay, extra ball relay and ball index relay switches. See "J" on schem below.

now you want the score motor to run and see if the player and the ball counter advance.

picture below is a reality version of the jumper. The yellow wire goes all over the place, but the tilt relay switch is handy so clip one end of the jumper there. The other end of the jumper is on the B-R wire on ball index relay B.

to get the score motor to run, you can either look at the various ways to give it a kick start on the schem, or you can make it run yourself. There is a "motor run" switch on the first cam next to the motor. It's job is to keep the motor running until the cams have spun 180 degrees to an index notch. Usually you can just push/rotate the cams far enough to close the run switch and the motor takes over from there.

push/rotate the cams at the blue arrow ... or any cam since they are all pinned to each other.

occasionally you'll have a game where the motor gearbox won't let you spin the cams either by design or because the motor rotor isn't popping out of the gearbox when the power is off the motor. In that case, just lift the entire switch stack on the index cam with your finger (green arrow). That will close the run switch and once the stack is clear of the index notch, you can let go.

there's no 120V switches on the index cam stack, so you won't get a shock.

if you aren't comfortable touching stuff with power on yet, you can also just manually close the outhole relay. A switch on that should turn on the score motor.

if the ball count unit and player unit don't step up, you have more than one problem. If they do step up, move the jumper end from the B-R wire back in the circuit toward the yellow wire, manually close the ball index relay, then see what happens when you make the score motor run.

what should happen when the circuit is working is every time you close the ball index relay, it should keep itself closed. Then close the outhole relay and the units should step.

if you can close the ball index relay, it keeps itself powered and the units step when you close the outhole relay, you likely have an issue with the ball index relay not being powered when the outhole relay powers.

you could jumper the ball index relay switch closed and see if player/ball advance works, then it'd be time to figure out the purpose of the ball index relay and why one of it's switches is in the circuit.

strato-flite sanity (resized).jpgstrato-flite sanity reality (resized).jpg

#12 5 days ago

Good morning,

Thank you for your great advice. I'm going to try that hack as soon as I wake up a bit.
I did an audit last night of the table's scoring and playfield elements to see if it was 100%. When the kickout hole started scoring correctly I assumed that was the last of it. There are still a couple of things that don't work correctly, and I'm mentioning them incase they have deeper meaning to you than to me.

#1 Bonus scoring does not work perfectly. I thought it was, but after a few tests I now notice that the bonus does not score if the bonus has not been advanced. Strato-flite always starts with 1000 bonus on every ball, but if you don't advance it to 2000, it doesn't score. Advance it to 2000 it scores correctly. Double bonus will score 4k. Triple will score 6. Same up the ladder. However default 1k bonus or 2x default 1k bonus or 3x default 1k bonus does not score at all. Side Note: I am triggering the Ball Index relay with other points before trying to get it to score the default bonus.

#2 Extra ball does not reset after it's been triggered. This seems like it's probably just the same interruption in the end of ball sequence that doesn't get the ball or player stepper to advance, but I'm mentioning it because the Extra ball relay is involved in this circuit.

Otherwise all the scoring and playfield elements seem to be working as intended. SPECIAL is currently scoring 2 free games, but I'm pretty sure that's just a jumper.

#13 5 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

you're looking at the right relay.
the manual diagrams for both the tilt relay and ball index relay are wrong because they added a switch on each relay for the "2 coins 3 plays" function. Those switches are shown on the additional circuits on manual page 1.
on the ball index relay the added switch is on top ... switch E ... so that's relatively harmless. On the tilt relay they stuck the added switch on top of A, so the B-D switches on the diagram are now C-E.
neither of the extra switches are involved in the ball counter or player advancing.
when you have a switch that isn't in the right state, sometimes circuit paths get created that bypass other problems and make things work. Fix the bad switch and something else stops working because the hidden problem is now apparent.
in your case, if you have a break in the common yellow wire, everything "downstream" of the break won't work. Problem is you don't know what's downstream ... the order things are drawn on the schem is not the order the yellow wire daisy chains to all the attach points.
the easy check is jumper directly from the yellow wire on the transformer to any yellow wire segment in the daisy chain. Note the yellow wire is unique ... there's only one cloth covered solid yellow wire so it's all the same one and it's fatter (lower wire gauge) than most wires, so it's harder to confuse it with a faded other color wire.
'course, there's plastic coated solid yellow jumper wires ... sigh. Don't assume those are the common yellow wire ... but a lot of them on the score motor are.
anyway, probably sanity check time.
what I'd do is reset the game, then jumper the yellow "common" wire onto the branch point in the circuit bypassing the outhole relay, extra ball relay and ball index relay switches. See "J" on schem below.
now you want the score motor to run and see if the player and the ball counter advance.
picture below is a reality version of the jumper. The yellow wire goes all over the place, but the tilt relay switch is handy so clip one end of the jumper there. The other end of the jumper is on the B-R wire on ball index relay B.
to get the score motor to run, you can either look at the various ways to give it a kick start on the schem, or you can make it run yourself. There is a "motor run" switch on the first cam next to the motor. It's job is to keep the motor running until the cams have spun 180 degrees to an index notch. Usually you can just push/rotate the cams far enough to close the run switch and the motor takes over from there.
push/rotate the cams at the blue arrow ... or any cam since they are all pinned to each other.
occasionally you'll have a game where the motor gearbox won't let you spin the cams either by design or because the motor rotor isn't popping out of the gearbox when the power is off the motor. In that case, just lift the entire switch stack on the index cam with your finger (green arrow). That will close the run switch and once the stack is clear of the index notch, you can let go.
there's no 120V switches on the index cam stack, so you won't get a shock.
if you aren't comfortable touching stuff with power on yet, you can also just manually close the outhole relay. A switch on that should turn on the score motor.
if the ball count unit and player unit don't step up, you have more than one problem. If they do step up, move the jumper end from the B-R wire back in the circuit toward the yellow wire, manually close the ball index relay, then see what happens when you make the score motor run.
what should happen when the circuit is working is every time you close the ball index relay, it should keep itself closed. Then close the outhole relay and the units should step.
if you can close the ball index relay, it keeps itself powered and the units step when you close the outhole relay, you likely have an issue with the ball index relay not being powered when the outhole relay powers.
you could jumper the ball index relay switch closed and see if player/ball advance works, then it'd be time to figure out the purpose of the ball index relay and why one of it's switches is in the circuit.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Further, Good morning

I tried your hack and the results are the ball in play unit advance 2 balls. I reset the game. Scored 100 pts on the board. Ended the ball. Went from ball 1 to ball 3. scored 100 pts again. Ended ball again. Went from ball 3 to ball 5.

This is the point where I cheer, but don't realize what's going on. lol

Thanks for your help

Evan

#14 5 days ago

move the jumper end from the B-R wire on the ball index relay to the R-W wire (the other lug on top).

if the ball count is flaky again, you know the issue is either the ball index relay switch or WHEN the ball index relay is losing power.

assuming you've cleaned/checked the ball index relay switch, the most likely problem is score motor 3E switch. 3E is supposed to keep the ball index relay powered until after the ball count and player units have incremented.

quick test ... disconnect the score motor and manually close the ball index relay (or score 10/100/1000 pts), then manually close the outhole relay. If the ball index relay releases, score motor switch 3E has a problem.

you could not bother disconnecting the score motor (tho there is a handy plug to do it) and just watch the ball index relay. It shouldn't unpower until the score motor cams have rotated around 90 degrees after the outhole relay closes.

standard tmi follows
-----------------------

if ya look at the score motor cam/switch chart on the bottom of the schem, you'll see the cams operate the switch stacks in sequence spaces 30 degrees of cam rotation apart. i.e. cam 1 switches fall into and lift out of a notch, then cam 2 switches 30 degrees of cam rotation later, etc.

the circuit below is the ball index relay hold circuit. Note the following:

1] the ball index relay powers when a 10/100/1000 pt relay powers IF the extra ball relay is not powered.

2] both the outhole relay switch and score motor 3E are closed, so when the ball index relay switch on the yellow path closes, the ball index relay stays powered.

3] for the ball index relay to lose power, BOTH the outhole relay switch and score motor 3E need to open at the same time

4] you know the outhole relay needs to change state to complete the circuit to advance the ball count and player per the circuit you've been jumpering.

5] motor 3E is delaying when the ball index relay loses power AFTER the outhole relay has powered.

it's during that delay period that the ball counter and player increment because switches on score motor cams 1 and 2 make the increment pulses, while the ball index relay stays powered until cam 3 switches change state.

so in quasi-english:

the ball drains, the bonus counts down and when the bonus reaches zero the outhole relay powers, but score motor 3E is currently closed so the ball index relay stays powered.

when the outhole relay closes, the score motor gets kicked for another 180 degree turn of the cams, cam 1 and 2 switches increment the ball counter and player unit, and motor 3E opens and the ball index relay loses power. Score motor 5B opens and the outhole relay loses power

sometimes the circuits only make sense when you know the timing of the switches changing state.

strato-flite ball index relay hold (resized).jpg

#15 5 days ago

H

Quoted from baldtwit:

move the jumper end from the B-R wire on the ball index relay to the R-W wire (the other lug on top).
if the ball count is flaky again, you know the issue is either the ball index relay switch or WHEN the ball index relay is losing power.
assuming you've cleaned/checked the ball index relay switch, the most likely problem is score motor 3E switch. 3E is supposed to keep the ball index relay powered until after the ball count and player units have incremented.
quick test ... disconnect the score motor and manually close the ball index relay (or score 10/100/1000 pts), then manually close the outhole relay. If the ball index relay releases, score motor switch 3E has a problem.
you could not bother disconnecting the score motor (tho there is a handy plug to do it) and just watch the ball index relay. It shouldn't unpower until the score motor cams have rotated around 90 degrees after the outhole relay closes.
standard tmi follows
-----------------------
if ya look at the score motor cam/switch chart on the bottom of the schem, you'll see the cams operate the switch stacks in sequence spaces 30 degrees of cam rotation apart. i.e. cam 1 switches fall into and lift out of a notch, then cam 2 switches 30 degrees of cam rotation later, etc.
the circuit below is the ball index relay hold circuit. Note the following:
1] the ball index relay powers when a 10/100/1000 pt relay powers IF the extra ball relay is not powered.
2] both the outhole relay switch and score motor 3E are closed, so when the ball index relay switch on the yellow path closes, the ball index relay stays powered.
3] for the ball index relay to lose power, BOTH the outhole relay switch and score motor 3E need to open at the same time
4] you know the outhole relay needs to change state to complete the circuit to advance the ball count and player per the circuit you've been jumpering, so motor 3E is delaying when the ball index relay loses power.
it's during that delay period that the ball counter and player increment because switches on score motor cams 1 and 2 make the increment pulses, while the ball index relay stays powered until cam 3 switches change state.
[quoted image]

Hi baldtwit,

I switched the jumper to the other lug and then the ball advanced by 1 as long as I score pts first.

I'll try to digest the rest of what you said now.

Thank you

#16 5 days ago

yeah, that wasn't a completely thought-thru test. The bonus counting down will make the ball counter advance since the score motor cams are spinning, but at least that shows the ball index relay switch is ok. The ball count should have advanced twice like before.

definitely check score motor 3E. You can jumper 3E closed if you want as a test. It won't matter if the ball index relay stays powered ... it's only needed when playing extra balls or tilting.

#17 5 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

yeah, that wasn't a completely thought-thru test. The bonus counting down will make the ball counter advance since the score motor cams are spinning, but at least that shows the ball index relay switch is ok. The ball count should have advanced twice like before.
definitely check score motor 3E. You can jumper 3E closed if you want as a test. It won't matter if the ball index relay stays powered ... it's only needed when playing extra balls or tilting.

Does this tell you anything?
I guess it's the one on the bottom. What exactly am I looking for/to do? I've never dealt with these types of switch stacks before.

IMG_0082 (resized).JPG

EDIT: Okay, guess was wrong. I can see from the spacer size that it's the switch on the top. At least that. I'm still not exactly sure what the schematic diagrams suggest for the blades since there are no obvious N.Os etc. Should I just clean all the contacts on it?

#18 4 days ago

Hi there,

I'm trying to digest the info you've shared with me. So you think that 3E is closed when it should normally be open? Is that the blade at the very top that looks like it's making contact? Should I adjust that blade so there is space between it and it's counter contact?

EDIT: I can see the spaces on the schematic now, so I think I understand how the switches should look. To my eye they look correct. The Ball Index Relay lock switch looks closed, and the pulses replay control relay switch looks open. I guess the next thing I should do is clean the contacts, and see if there is a change. I think I'm a little confused. Why put a closed switch at the top of a stack? Wouldn't it just be more closed when pushed? I'll study it some more.

EDIT: I'm definitely having some issues understanding the schematics. OMG! Do these things work like reverse music boxes? Do they suck towards the CAM instead of push out? Okay. I think I can understand this now.

EDIT: Armed with a better understanding of the score motor switches, I attempted to clean the contacts on 3E. Reset the machine. Didn't seem to change anything as far ball in play advance. However, the 1000 pt default bonus that I mentioned a few posts ago, now counts off. Should I try to loosen the tension on 3E? Hopefully lengthen the time it is not connected?

#19 4 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

yeah, that wasn't a completely thought-thru test. The bonus counting down will make the ball counter advance since the score motor cams are spinning, but at least that shows the ball index relay switch is ok. The ball count should have advanced twice like before.
definitely check score motor 3E. You can jumper 3E closed if you want as a test. It won't matter if the ball index relay stays powered ... it's only needed when playing extra balls or tilting.

I think you lost me. I closed 3E with a jumper and ran the machine. I didn't see any difference. I'm confused. I re-read your post. I think you're suggesting that 3E is closed when it should be open? How does keeping it closed, test something?

#20 4 days ago
Quoted from blibb:

Hi there,
I'm trying to digest the info you've shared with me.

there's your problem

3E should be closed unless the switch stack in down is a cam notch. Just to make sure, the green arrow is pointing at it below.

since 3E is a make/break switch, the longer moving blade is always connecting to one of the blades above or below it when the stack is done moving. You have to look at the diagram or wire colors to figure out which blade you care about.

strato-flite score motor 3E (resized).jpg
what my latest nonsense was trying to determine is whether the ball index relay is losing power too soon, so let's find out the easy way.

jumper from the yellow wire directly to the ball index relay coil lug that is the jumper to the grey-blu wire. Blue line in below pic

you could also just fold up some paper, manually push the armture onto the coil top and stick the paper in where the purple arrow is so the armature can't lift off the coil. If you wedge the paper in hard, the armature may buzz. Loosely touching the coil top is fine.
strato-flite sanity reality2 (resized).jpg

either way, the ball index relay will be held in the powered position all the time.

does the ball count and player work now assuming you don't get an extra ball?

#21 4 days ago

Good morning,

I'm very grateful you understand what you're looking at, because my brain still has not quite taken in the complexity of these motor switch stacks. For one thing, I thought the E switch was the closed switch above the spacer. What is the switch above the green arrow for?

With the jumpers as you've shown below. I get the end of ball. I don't even have to score points on the playfield first. Counts the bonus, and ball advances. Still doesn't end game after ball 5, but I'm sure that's another issue altogether.

What is your advice to fix this issue? I have a switch adjustment tool.

Thank you so much!

Evan

#22 4 days ago

Hi there,

I was just downstairs, trying to see if I could get the switch fixed at 3E.

I noticed that the ball index relay sometimes fails.
It seems to hold power, but if you watch long enough. It sometimes de-energizes.

That's probably not good.

Is it possible I'm causing that by messing with what I think is 3E and I'm wrong?
Let me circle what I was messing with.

I was trying to get rid of the space in that circle.

ab22fab819cfc3cfcf485e96c1e5cb293be5190c (resized).jpg
#23 4 days ago

Hi there. I think since it's the ball index relay lock, I'm messing with, chances are that I'm causing this by messing it up. Think I'll wait for some advice, since I may have just made things worse. Let me know if I should photo the area again.

#24 3 days ago

your issue is the ball index relay is unpowering when it shouldn't. If you jumper the middle blade of 3E to the top blade and still have the problem, then it's not 3E.

that leaves:
- ball index relay switch A ... you can clean/adjust it or jumper it.
or
- outhole relay switch F ... you can clean/adjust it or jumper it. It's also a make-break switch. You want to check the middle blade going to the blade it touches when the outhole relay is unpowered - the top blade. However, if jumpering middle to top makes things work, you don't know if the switch is not working well or the outhole relay is powering at the wrong time and opening the switch.

tmi about previous posts
-----------------------------

it'll make more sense if you can figure out the below stuff:

1] switch 3E is a make-break switch. It has three blades - long one in middle, and short ones above and below. All three blades in the purple circle are switch 3E, but the middle blade is only touching one surrounding blade when the stack is not moving.

2] with the cams lifting stack 3 as shown in picture, the long blade of 3E should be connecting to/pushing up the blade above it

3] circled in green is another make-break switch on the index cam. On this picture, the long middle blade is connecting to the short blade below it

4] since stack 3 is lifted, the contacts on the long middle blade and short blade beneath it should not be touching. The lower half of switch 3E in your yellow circle is correctly open.

cam stacks (resized).jpg

the difference between [2] and [3] is whether the switch stack is in a cam notch (red arrow) or lifted up on the cam edge (blue arrow)

to really see what's going on, with the game power off you can usually grab the cams and rotate them in the direction of the yellow arrow and watch what the switches do.

generally, you don't adjust the long blades unless they are floating in space when the switch stack is down.

when a switch stack is on a low point on a cam, all the long blades should be down and connected to the cam follower at the bottom via the white cylinder spacers. On your game, the cam follower is the plastic piece riding the cam edge.

anyway, you almost always want to adjust the short blades. In the case of 3E with game power off:

1] manually turn the cams until switch stack 3 is down in a cam notch.
2] verify all the long blades are down with no gaps between the white cylinder lifters. The long blade of 3E should be down as far as it can go
3] adjust the short blade on the top of 3E so there's a gap around the same size as the gap in the green circle. A little less is ok.
4] rotate the cams some more and watch what happens when stack 3 lifts out of the notch. You want to see the contacts close on the top blade BEFORE the stack is all the way lifted, and the short top blade should get pushed up by the long blade a little as the stack reaches the top of it's travel.

way too much bonus tmi
----------------------------

eventually you reach a point where you have to either shotgun things - check/clean/adjust everything in the circuit it could possibly be - or you need to unplug the score motor and turn the cams by hand with the game power on so you can see what the relays and steppers are doing in sequence. The one gotcha is you can't slow-turn or stop turning the cams if the 120V bank reset coil is powered or the fuse for that coil will blow. That isn't a concern if you aren't hand-turning the cams during reset.

in other words:
1] reset game
2] shoot and grab the ball
3] score 10/100/1000 pts so the ball index relay powers
4] tip up playfield without tilting game
5] pull out the score motor plug
6] manually reset the bonus unit so that's not complicating what happens next
7] turn the score motor cams by hand for a first 180 degrees.

when cam 6 switches fall in the notch, the outhole relay should power and stay powered. The bonus unit step-up coils powers. It may hum/buzz because it doesn't like being powered for a long time, but it can survive a couple minutes without burning up.

keep turning the cams and the cam 6 stack climbs out of the notch and the bonus unit steps up to light 1000. You'll get to the end of 180 degrees of rotation shortly after that. The end is when the index cam switches fall into the cam notch.

the ball index relay should stay powered the whole time.

keep going with the cam turning for another 180 degrees.

- when the cam 1 stack goes down/up the cam notch, the ball count should increment
- when the cam 2 stack goes down/up the cam notch, the player should increment
- when the cam 3 stack goes down/up the notch, the ball index relay should lose power
- when the cam 4 stack goes down/up the notch, the ball release coil fires
- when the cam 5 stack goes down/up the notch, the outhole relay should unpower

other stuff will happen during the above also.

if you really don't like fiddling around in the game with the power on, it's theoretically possible to mount a video camera in a spot where you can see the score motor switches (at an angle you can tell when they go up/down), the outhole relay, the ball index relay and the ball count unit at the same time. Video what happens and then watch it in slo-motion to see when the ball index relay loses power.

if the problem is intermittent tho, you pretty much have to use the shotgun. e.g. if a switch is flaky, the ball index relay could unpower at any time and you don't know which switch caused it.

if the above ever makes sense and you can derive the same thing (assuming I got it right) just from looking at the schem and cam timing diagrams, you'll be able to find problems in pretty much any EM game. Even a bally bingo can't baffle ya for more than a few cocktails.

#25 3 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

your issue is the ball index relay is unpowering when it shouldn't. If you jumper the middle blade of 3E to the top blade and still have the problem, then it's not 3E.
that leaves:
- ball index relay switch A ... you can clean/adjust it or jumper it.
or
- outhole relay switch F ... you can clean/adjust it or jumper it. It's also a make-break switch. You want to check the middle blade going to the blade it touches when the outhole relay is unpowered - the top blade. However, if jumpering middle to top makes things work, you don't know if the switch is not working well or the outhole relay is powering at the wrong time and opening the switch.
tmi about previous posts
-----------------------------
it'll make more sense if you can figure out the below stuff:
1] switch 3E is a make-break switch. It has three blades - long one in middle, and short ones above and below. All three blades in the purple circle are switch 3E, but the middle blade is only touching one surrounding blade when the stack is not moving.
2] with the cams lifting stack 3 as shown in picture, the long blade of 3E should be connecting to/pushing up the blade above it
3] circled in green is another make-break switch on the index cam. On this picture, the long middle blade is connecting to the short blade below it
4] since stack 3 is lifted, the contacts on the long middle blade and short blade beneath it should not be touching. The lower half of switch 3E in your yellow circle is correctly open.
[quoted image]
the difference between [2] and [3] is whether the switch stack is in a cam notch (red arrow) or lifted up on the cam edge (blue arrow)
to really see what's going on, with the game power off you can usually grab the cams and rotate them in the direction of the yellow arrow and watch what the switches do.
generally, you don't adjust the long blades unless they are floating in space when the switch stack is down.
when a switch stack is on a low point on a cam, all the long blades should be down and connected to the cam follower at the bottom via the white cylinder spacers. On your game, the cam follower is the plastic piece riding the cam edge.
anyway, you almost always want to adjust the short blades. In the case of 3E with game power off:
1] manually turn the cams until switch stack 3 is down in a cam notch.
2] verify all the long blades are down with no gaps between the white cylinder lifters. The long blade of 3E should be down as far as it can go
3] adjust the short blade on the top of 3E so there's a gap around the same size as the gap in the green circle. A little less is ok.
4] rotate the cams some more and watch what happens when stack 3 lifts out of the notch. You want to see the contacts close on the top blade BEFORE the stack is all the way lifted, and the short top blade should get pushed up by the long blade a little as the stack reaches the top of it's travel.
way too much bonus tmi
----------------------------
eventually you reach a point where you have to either shotgun things - check/clean/adjust everything in the circuit it could possibly be - or you need to unplug the score motor and turn the cams by hand with the game power on so you can see what the relays and steppers are doing in sequence. The one gotcha is you can't slow-turn or stop turning the cams if the 120V bank reset coil is powered or the fuse for that coil will blow. That isn't a concern if you aren't hand-turning the cams during reset.
in other words:
1] reset game
2] shoot and grab the ball
3] score 10/100/1000 pts so the ball index relay powers
4] tip up playfield without tilting game
5] pull out the score motor plug
6] manually reset the bonus unit so that's not complicating what happens next
7] turn the score motor cams by hand for a first 180 degrees.
when cam 6 switches fall in the notch, the outhole relay should power and stay powered. The bonus unit step-up coils powers. It may hum/buzz because it doesn't like being powered for a long time, but it can survive a couple minutes without burning up.
keep turning the cams and the cam 6 stack climbs out of the notch and the bonus unit steps up to light 1000. You'll get to the end of 180 degrees of rotation shortly after that. The end is when the index cam switches fall into the cam notch.
the ball index relay should stay powered the whole time.
keep going with the cam turning for another 180 degrees.
- when the cam 1 stack goes down/up the cam notch, the ball count should increment
- when the cam 2 stack goes down/up the cam notch, the player should increment
- when the cam 3 stack goes down/up the notch, the ball index relay should lose power
- when the cam 4 stack goes down/up the notch, the ball release coil fires
- when the cam 5 stack goes down/up the notch, the outhole relay should unpower
other stuff will happen during the above also.
if you really don't like fiddling around in the game with the power on, it's theoretically possible to mount a video camera in a spot where you can see the score motor switches (at an angle you can tell when they go up/down), the outhole relay, the ball index relay and the ball count unit at the same time. Video what happens and then watch it in slo-motion to see when the ball index relay loses power.
if the problem is intermittent tho, you pretty much have to use the shotgun. e.g. if a switch is flaky, the ball index relay could unpower at any time and you don't know which switch caused it.
if the above ever makes sense and you can derive the same thing (assuming I got it right) just from looking at the schem and cam timing diagrams, you'll be able to find problems in pretty much any EM game. Even a bally bingo can't baffle ya for more than a few cocktails.

Good morning,

Wow!

I had no idea how complicated the score motor was. Douglas Adams who wrote Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Once said. Paraphrasing. There are some things that are so intrinsically complicated, that they generate a quantum field, rendering them invisible to the human eye. He called it the 'somebody else's problem' field. SEP. I think I've now experienced that first hand. I have 5 pinball machines. They all have score motors. Yet, I've never looked at one. I've fixed issues in all of my games, but my eyes just refused to ever focus on that score motor. Wow!

Since I can't really see with my naked eyes what is going on with those switches. I'm sure I don't need to explain why, since the board hasn't been removed from the cabinet.

I think I'll try to rotate the motor to the positions you talked about, and try to grab a picture. Doesn't really help for timing, but we can at least see if the blades are making contact. If that doesn't really find anything. I'll see what I can do about taking a video. We currently use our ipads for that sort of thing. Might have to buy something a little more portable.

As always. Thank you for taking your time to explain these things to me. I feel like I've learned a ton.

Evan

#26 3 days ago

Good morning,

I jumpered the top of 3E to the middle and the ball advanced like it's supposed to. Does that mean the spacing is wrong between those two blades? One thing. I'm not entirely sure I'm not hitting the bottom blade with the clip as well. The clips are probably 3mm. Not sure there is 3mm clearance to the bottom blade.

I'll try to take some pictures in a few minutes. Thanks again!

#27 3 days ago
Quoted from baldtwit:

your issue is the ball index relay is unpowering when it shouldn't. If you jumper the middle blade of 3E to the top blade and still have the problem, then it's not 3E.
that leaves:
- ball index relay switch A ... you can clean/adjust it or jumper it.
or
- outhole relay switch F ... you can clean/adjust it or jumper it. It's also a make-break switch. You want to check the middle blade going to the blade it touches when the outhole relay is unpowered - the top blade. However, if jumpering middle to top makes things work, you don't know if the switch is not working well or the outhole relay is powering at the wrong time and opening the switch.
tmi about previous posts
-----------------------------
it'll make more sense if you can figure out the below stuff:
1] switch 3E is a make-break switch. It has three blades - long one in middle, and short ones above and below. All three blades in the purple circle are switch 3E, but the middle blade is only touching one surrounding blade when the stack is not moving.
2] with the cams lifting stack 3 as shown in picture, the long blade of 3E should be connecting to/pushing up the blade above it
3] circled in green is another make-break switch on the index cam. On this picture, the long middle blade is connecting to the short blade below it
4] since stack 3 is lifted, the contacts on the long middle blade and short blade beneath it should not be touching. The lower half of switch 3E in your yellow circle is correctly open.
[quoted image]
the difference between [2] and [3] is whether the switch stack is in a cam notch (red arrow) or lifted up on the cam edge (blue arrow)
to really see what's going on, with the game power off you can usually grab the cams and rotate them in the direction of the yellow arrow and watch what the switches do.
generally, you don't adjust the long blades unless they are floating in space when the switch stack is down.
when a switch stack is on a low point on a cam, all the long blades should be down and connected to the cam follower at the bottom via the white cylinder spacers. On your game, the cam follower is the plastic piece riding the cam edge.
anyway, you almost always want to adjust the short blades. In the case of 3E with game power off:
1] manually turn the cams until switch stack 3 is down in a cam notch.
2] verify all the long blades are down with no gaps between the white cylinder lifters. The long blade of 3E should be down as far as it can go
3] adjust the short blade on the top of 3E so there's a gap around the same size as the gap in the green circle. A little less is ok.
4] rotate the cams some more and watch what happens when stack 3 lifts out of the notch. You want to see the contacts close on the top blade BEFORE the stack is all the way lifted, and the short top blade should get pushed up by the long blade a little as the stack reaches the top of it's travel.
way too much bonus tmi
----------------------------
eventually you reach a point where you have to either shotgun things - check/clean/adjust everything in the circuit it could possibly be - or you need to unplug the score motor and turn the cams by hand with the game power on so you can see what the relays and steppers are doing in sequence. The one gotcha is you can't slow-turn or stop turning the cams if the 120V bank reset coil is powered or the fuse for that coil will blow. That isn't a concern if you aren't hand-turning the cams during reset.
in other words:
1] reset game
2] shoot and grab the ball
3] score 10/100/1000 pts so the ball index relay powers
4] tip up playfield without tilting game
5] pull out the score motor plug
6] manually reset the bonus unit so that's not complicating what happens next
7] turn the score motor cams by hand for a first 180 degrees.
when cam 6 switches fall in the notch, the outhole relay should power and stay powered. The bonus unit step-up coils powers. It may hum/buzz because it doesn't like being powered for a long time, but it can survive a couple minutes without burning up.
keep turning the cams and the cam 6 stack climbs out of the notch and the bonus unit steps up to light 1000. You'll get to the end of 180 degrees of rotation shortly after that. The end is when the index cam switches fall into the cam notch.
the ball index relay should stay powered the whole time.
keep going with the cam turning for another 180 degrees.
- when the cam 1 stack goes down/up the cam notch, the ball count should increment
- when the cam 2 stack goes down/up the cam notch, the player should increment
- when the cam 3 stack goes down/up the notch, the ball index relay should lose power
- when the cam 4 stack goes down/up the notch, the ball release coil fires
- when the cam 5 stack goes down/up the notch, the outhole relay should unpower
other stuff will happen during the above also.
if you really don't like fiddling around in the game with the power on, it's theoretically possible to mount a video camera in a spot where you can see the score motor switches (at an angle you can tell when they go up/down), the outhole relay, the ball index relay and the ball count unit at the same time. Video what happens and then watch it in slo-motion to see when the ball index relay loses power.
if the problem is intermittent tho, you pretty much have to use the shotgun. e.g. if a switch is flaky, the ball index relay could unpower at any time and you don't know which switch caused it.
if the above ever makes sense and you can derive the same thing (assuming I got it right) just from looking at the schem and cam timing diagrams, you'll be able to find problems in pretty much any EM game. Even a bally bingo can't baffle ya for more than a few cocktails.

Oh my gosh! You did it again!

I just went downstairs to take some pictures. I pushed down on the stack to see if there was any give. Felt like the stack shifted about 1mm downwards. There was an audible little tic. It felt significant enough that I thought I better test the machine. Thinking I probably broke something else. I'm not sure what happened. The game is ball advancing on it's own. Points have to score, but after that. The ball advances. Oh my goodness!

You are a genius! Thank you so much!

It was 3E.
Hmm. I think I better tighten the screws on that 3rd switch stack.

I still don't think the game is working though. Last time the ball was advancing, it wasn't ending the game after ball 5. That may be next. I'm going to take a few hours and enjoy this. Thank you again! You've been a real friend!

EDIT: I just (sim) played an entire game of Strato-flite. All scoring working perfect! Ball in play, Player in play, and even game over working. Everything is currently working! All it needs now is paint, new rubbers (already have), some bulb work, and it gets added to the line up! Thank you so much! You are the Pinball Wizard of legend!

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside