(Topic ID: 124004)

Williams Swinger Restoration and (Eventual) Retheme


By RyanClaytor

4 years ago



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#451 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Neither one of the wires in the cord has any alternate color indication as to what it is. They're both just wrapped in black.
Also, neither one of the prongs are any longer/shorter/wider to indicate neutral or hot:
photo 1.JPG
Here it is from a different angle...
photo 2.JPG
...and another one:
photo 3.JPG
So, does anyone have some suggestions about how to appropriately wire this thing up?

The jacket on one side of the cord should be smooth and round, the other should have ribs running down the outer side and / or with a white stripe running the length of the jacket.

The smooth side is the Hot and the ribbed side is the neutral. This is one reason why I hate flat cords: Most of them don't have colour identification (some do inside the cord when you pull back the outer insulation. I tend to not use flat cord, especially on pins. If a game (pin or video) gets move over a round cord, it tends to roll over it. A flat cord usually gets damages if a foot (or in the case of a video game) or the edge of a cabinet gets on the flat cord, it can tear it up (Replaced a lot of them over the years).

#452 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

After some gentle shaking, not only did I find that tiny black screw I was looking for, but also...

[Picture of Ryan holding mech board and shaking the daylights and two metal parts out of it.]

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

...the elusive metal post I mentioned two months ago!

Ha ha! The missing post finally shows itself! It's really good that you found those metal parts sooner rather than later. Both can short out switches and worse. I had weird problems with Expo when plugging it in after the playfield restoration. It turned out to be a screw that had fallen into one of the set of relay switches.

I am looking forward to seeing pictures of Swinger all fired up and playing like a new machine.

#453 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

copper coil/cone thingies

Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

Those should have stayed inside the plastic caps. You don't need them.

Excellent! Thanks for the confirmation, Mk1.

Quoted from bingopodcast:

the thing to remember is that the left prong is neutral. Regardless of width of prong. The right prong is hot.

Thanks, Nick! This is more great info!!! ...albeit a bit confusing (for me, anyway). Just to clarify for other newbs following along, right and left is relative to the outlet, not the plug. So:

prongs.jpg

Perhaps a bit easier to understand from this next graphic...

revPolarity.gif

...(which I stole...I mean...appropriated) from this website's section on Polarity (another tip of my hat to Nick for directing me here as well):

http://98.233.241.142/electrical.html

Quoted from girloveswaffles:

The jacket on one side of the cord should be smooth and round, the other should have ribs running down the outer side and / or with a white stripe running the length of the jacket.

The smooth side is the Hot and the ribbed side is the neutral. This is one reason why I hate flat cords: Most of them don't have colour identification (some do inside the cord when you pull back the outer insulation.

Ah-ha! There was definitely an absence of any identifying color on the hot and neutral wires, even on the inside. I'll have to look a little closer and see if I can tell a difference in texture! Great tip, Gir!

Quoted from girloveswaffles:

I tend to not use flat cord, especially on pins. If a game (pin or video) gets move over a round cord, it tends to roll over it. A flat cord usually gets damages if a foot (or in the case of a video game) or the edge of a cabinet gets on the flat cord, it can tear it up (Replaced a lot of them over the years).

Makes a lot of sense. I never would have even known to ask for a difference. NEXT TIME!

Quoted from Pecos:

shaking the daylights and two metal parts out of it.

Hulk-Hogan-Swim-Flex-hulk-hogan-gifs.gif

Quoted from Pecos:

It's really good that you found those metal parts sooner rather than later. Both can short out switches and worse.

I was afraid of this. Figured it best to just be safe and find the culprit(s). If I had it to do over again, I'd either remove the bottom board completely for the duration of working on the playfield, or simply get a couple of sawhorses (as has been suggested) and work on the playfield outside of the cab. I shudder to think about all the unmentioned dropped screws I did find over the course of this project. ...life could have been so much easier.

sigh.gif

Quoted from Pecos:

I am looking forward to seeing pictures of Swinger all fired up and playing like a new machine.

Us too!!! My son has been really patient.

#454 3 years ago

Can't remember where I saw this tip originally, but I always lay a towel down over the bottom board before I start to do anything with the playfield. Everything drops right onto the towel where you can easily retrieve it. It has saved me many times.

But don't forget to take the towel out before you fire up the machine and play it. Not that I have ever done that....

#455 3 years ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

But don't forget to take the towel out before you fire up the machine and play it.

And don't forget to put out the fire when the towel catches on...

#456 3 years ago
Quoted from girloveswaffles:

The jacket on one side of the cord should be smooth and round, the other should have ribs running down the outer side...The smooth side is the Hot and the ribbed side is the neutral.

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I'll have to look a little closer and see if I can tell a difference in texture!

I CAN!!!

Ribbed, "Left" and Neutral:

IMG_9374a.jpg

Smooth, "Right" and Hot (...giggity):

IMG_9375a.jpg

Time to give ole' Swingy a new cord!

Neutral (back most pigtail) is soldered, while Hot (front most pigtail) is twisted together and awaiting solder:

IMG_9376.JPG

Neutral=capped, Hot=soldered:

IMG_9378.JPG

Ground=good:

IMG_9380.JPG

Cord=COMPLETE!

IMG_9381.JPG

#457 3 years ago

If you're using wire nuts you're not supposed to solder the wires. The nuts probably won't stay on in the long run. You should either remove the wire nuts and cover the connections in electrical tape, or cut and strip the wires together, twist them together, and replace the wire nuts (the springs inside them are probably damaged from being twisted onto hard solder).

#458 3 years ago

I'm replacing some fuses and while I'm at it I figured I'd clean up that ugly ole' label:

IMG_9387.JPG

Yeesh. So, unscrew...

IMG_9391.JPG

...peel...

IMG_9394.JPG

...then disinfect hands.

IMG_9395.JPG

So here's the scan of the label:

fuseScan.jpg

...and my recreation:

fusesUpdated.jpg

I'll be printing these out tomorrow, trimming down to size, then using some spray adhesive to mount it. In the meantime, I'm curious if anyone knows what this word is:

fuseWord.jpg

I'm guessing "input" but I'm not really sure. Thanks, tech mentors!

#459 3 years ago

Instant would be my guess.

#460 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I'm curious if anyone knows what this word is:

My OXO fuse sticker says "INSERT."

#461 3 years ago
Quoted from cad-kid:

Instant would be my guess.

I'm no tech, so that may be right. But my designer eye is telling me that "INSTANT" would be a pretty tight fit.

Quoted from Pecos:

My OXO fuse sticker says "INSERT."

Ah-ha! That WOULD have been the smart thing for me to do! (I have a Jubilee [another Williams pin produced about 6 months after Swinger] sitting a few steps away.)

Pecos, thanks, as usual, for...

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

...doing my work for me.

You're awesome!!!

- -- ----- -- -

So, I've been wrapping up some final loose ends on Swinger before plugging it in and listening for stuck coils. One such loose end was the Ball Count Unit. Way back...oh, let's see...

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-swinger-restoration-and-eventual-retheme/page/2#post-2467843

...one, two, three, four, FIVE MONTHS AGO(!??!) I left this switch unadjusted when my family and I went for a little out-of-state summer vay-cay:

407620.jpg

The highlighted portion above is the first step on the Ball Count Unit which is suppoed to be closed. After poking around through this thread one more time for good measure, I realized it was left undone. So now, I believe things are functioning appropriately.

Zero position, both open:

switch00.jpg

One position, both closed (this was the position with the slight gap highlighted above):

switch01.jpg

Two position, both closed:

switch02.jpg

With that problem put to bed, I think the backbox is officially done. (Fingers crossed...I guess I'll find out when I turn it on.)

Another crossing of a proverbial "T" was installing...

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

...the elusive metal post I mentioned two months ago!

Luckily I still had its screw bagged and waiting to be reunited:

IMG_9404.JPG

Did a minor polish before installation (some alcohol and green scotch brite pad):

postComp.jpg

...which seemed like it looked better in person than that comparison. Anyway, here it is installed:

IMG_9408.JPG

Finally, I located another missing screw that held together the flipper mech a bit more securely:

IMG_9401.JPG

#462 3 years ago
Quoted from girloveswaffles:

If you're using wire nuts you're not supposed to solder the wires. The nuts probably won't stay on in the long run. You should either remove the wire nuts and cover the connections in electrical tape, or cut and strip the wires together, twist them together, and replace the wire nuts (the springs inside them are probably damaged from being twisted onto hard solder).

Sorry, Gir. Forgot to respond to this in the flurry of fixing. I think the little springs inside the wire nuts came out! Here's a pic from a couple days back:

IMG_9347.jpg

So, I think you're right; I probably need to take those black caps off and electrical tape the ends. (Note to self...)

Also...

Quoted from Pecos:

My OXO fuse sticker says "INSERT."

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I have a Jubilee [another Williams pin produced about 6 months after Swinger] sitting a few steps away.

Another confirmation, this time from the Jubilee on my end:

fuseInsert.jpg

Thanks, again, for your common sense, Pecos.

I also started cleaning up the work area. In my focus to finish this, I get kind of blinded to my surroundings. Little piles like this were everywhere:

IMG_9402.JPG

I started sorting a bunch of stuff, saving what I could and chucking what was broken or would never be used again:

IMG_9403.JPG

Now things look far more presentable:

IMG_9421.jpg

I even tossed my well-loved cleaning rag in the washing machine (by itself).

IMG_9410.JPG

...thanks, Planet Fitness.

I've gotta be honest though, part of the motivation for my clean-up was to find some parts, namely the bolts that attach the backbox to the cabinet. Unfortunately I didn't find 'em anywhere. (It's been about half-a-year since I took them apart.) So I grabbed a bolt and washer from my Jubilee and took it down to the local big box store to buy a few more:

IMG_9415.jpg

The original ones will surely show themselves now that I've purchased a few more.

While I was out, I also stopped by the 'Shack to grab some needed replacement fuses:

IMG_9412.jpg

#463 3 years ago

Finally, I figured while I was replacing that red label on the fuse holder, I may as well add another couple of janky red labels to the print-out. Here's one I spotted:

IMG_9416.JPG

...and another:

IMG_9417.JPG

So off they came. Now scanned:

scan.jpg

...and recreated, along with the corrected ("INSERT") fuse label:

fusesUpdatedFlat.jpg

And last but not least, you're not gonna believe it (I can scarcely believe it myself), but...

IMG_9419.jpg

Swinger is completely reassembled (aside from those few labels shown above) and ready to be turned on. It's pretty late in the Claytor household, though, so the switch-flip is gonna have to wait until morning. Updates later.

Mighty-night.

#464 3 years ago

The switch has been flipped! Here's the skinny.

It lights up and the swinging target works (it swings back and forth...which it wasn't doing after I got it home several months ago...but seeing as though I didn't really touch that mech, I'm not sure why it is functional now).

giphy.gif

The Swing REEL (single red score reel) started counting back down to zero once it was powered up.

There were three credits on the credit reel, so I pushed the start button. At that point it began to zero-out the score reels, but did not start a ball (no kicking a ball into the shooter lane). I pressed the start button again, and the light moved to indicate 2 players, instead of 1. However, still no ball in play. I manually pushed a ball into the shooter lane, but no response from the playfield when roll-overs, targets, pops or slings were hit.

Not really sure where to go from here so I turned it off at that point.

#465 3 years ago

In other news, I multiplied my labels a few times over (just in case I screw up...a few times)

screenShot.jpg

And I now have a high-quality, full-color, laser-jet print that is ready to slice and glue:

sheet.jpg

#466 3 years ago

Excellent, I wish I got all the way into redoing labels.

#467 3 years ago
Quoted from futurepinhead:

Excellent, I wish I got all the way into redoing labels.

I'll likely have a few extras. Other Swinger owners, let me know if you're interested.

#468 3 years ago

Did the score reels get all zeros?

#469 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Other Swinger owners, let me know if you're interested.

Looking for other swingers, eh?

#470 3 years ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

Did the score reels get all zeros?

Yup!

Quoted from futurepinhead:

Looking for other swingers, eh?

(No. Really, not. *LOL*)

#471 3 years ago

Sounds like maybe everything in the backbox is working, everything on the relay board is working, but everything on the playfield is dead? That would explain why the outhole kicker and none of the playfield targets are doing anything. Maybe it is an issue with one of the cable connections?

#472 3 years ago

Have you tried turning it off, and back on again?...

Sorry, little IT humor there. So cool to see the machine all back together again. Good luck getting it playing.

-Andy

#473 3 years ago

Once all the reels zeroed out did the score motor keep turning over? Also, at the end of the startup sequence you should hear the large under play field relay bank resetting itself. (Loud ka-thunk?) If either of these is happening over and over then something is not resetting all the way. The final part of the sequence is the ball going into the shooter lane. Won't happen until everything else does.

#474 3 years ago

Hey Ryan! Are you missing a coin box?

swinger_coin_box.jpg

Found this in OXO. OXO swings.

#475 3 years ago

More updates soon. Getting prepared for a family road trip and pinball pick-up this coming weekend (more on that soon) and working on a cool illustration gig (more on that later). In the meantime, poking around a little each night. No luck getting ole' Swingy started yet, but will report back as soon as I'm able. Thanks, as always, for chiming-in, guys! Much appreciated.

In the meantime,

Quoted from Pecos:

Hey Ryan! Are you missing a coin box?

Wha--? Actually, YES!!!

pecos.gif

(Lesson learned: Stick around this thread long enough and you get your own meme.)

#476 3 years ago

Ha ha! I've finally made it big - my own meme! I didn't even know what a meme was a couple of years ago.

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Wha--? Actually, YES!!!

Well, it's yours if you want it. PM me.

#477 3 years ago

Really busy getting ready for this upcoming long-weekend road trip I mentioned, but in my preparations I've been listening to some podcasts and poking the internet on occasion and I wanted to mention a couple of the good folks in this thread with exciting things happening today.

If you don't get enough of Nick Baldridge on his daily(!??!) podcasts...

http://foramusementonly.libsyn.com/

...he was recently interviewed on an episode of Coast 2 Coast Pinball and gives a great, beginner's introduction to the world of Bingo Pinball gameplay. Here's the direct link:

http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/episode-203-less-friendly-facehuggers-or-the-bingo-whisperer_62757

c2c.jpg

Also, the Swinger thread's most recent meme-ee, Pecos, was the inaugural article post on Pinside's newly revamped website today:

https://pinside.com/pinball/community/pinsiders/pecos/stories/my-first-pinball-oxo-and-my-first-pinball-design-xox

It's an interesting account of his first foray into pinball, subsequent obsession, and eventual interest in redesigning a classic Williams title from the 70's. Congrats, Pecos!

And, finally, Pecos notified me that my illustrated Pinside poster is back in the top line-up on the Pinside Forum homepage

psposter.jpg

...at least it might be, depending upon how many times you refresh the Forum homepage. I believe it's randomly inserted along with another few highlighted boxes. Anyhow, it links you here:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/announcing-the-first-official-pinside-poster

See everyone back here sometime next week,
Ryan

#478 3 years ago

Thanks for the tip o' the hat Ryan! Have a safe and restful trip. I will miss your posts but I would rather see you get a break and come back fresh and ready to take on the battle of the Swinger. Get lots of these:

#479 3 years ago

The Swinger looks absolutely beautiful but now you realise you have to take everything off and scrub all art to then make the art and then to put the art on the playfield to then clear coat it to then repopulate it again
ce9d9e799ac722635a4fd3cdaa0bdbfc.jpg

#480 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

More updates soon. Getting prepared for a family road trip and pinball pick-up this coming weekend (more on that soon) and working on a cool illustration gig (more on that later). In the meantime, poking around a little each night. No luck getting ole' Swingy started yet, but will report back as soon as I'm able. Thanks, as always, for chiming-in, guys! Much appreciated.

I didn't realize you had 5 pinball machines. I just remembered where you're going this weekend. Are you getting a pin from Dayhuff?

#481 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Getting prepared for a family road trip and pinball pick-up this coming weekend (more on that soon)

...as promised:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/my-art-grail-pick-up-or-a-family-pinball-vay-cay-64-bally-hay-ride#post-2790486

#482 3 years ago

So there I was just chillin at the HAAG show. Taking a trip down memory lane in the EM row. Suddenly, I said to myself, "self, this looks real familiar." Took second then DING DING DING!

WP_20151113_13_50_30_Pro.jpg

#483 3 years ago

Ha-ha! Awesome! How'd it play? Probably not as well without the sweaty man in the lower left of the Swinger glass:

Backglass2.gif

...love that guy.

P.S. How are your EBD and SI holding up at HAAG?

#484 3 years ago

It played like a tired em in need of freshening. Kinda cool, different. My three are ok, minor issues and still playing.

#485 3 years ago

If you can tear yourself long enough away from ogling your new toy, now is the perfect time to clean and gap ALL of the contacts on Swinger. Since it isn't working, you can't do too much damage if you are careful and, with any luck, you might even get it working!

I am loathe to discuss this topic but what the hay; I'll jump into the fray. I know this is a very controversial topic. Expo is one of my best playing pins and I credit that to the thorough cleaning I gave it, from playfield to solenoid and relay contacts.

Electricity is the life-blood of any pinball machine. Constrict the flow and the machine will not work to its full potential. When debugging and diagnosing EM problems you can look at a schematic and try to follow the circuit, hire someone else to fix it or check every single contact on every single switch.

I am no good at reading schematics because I never NEEDED to learn how. I started at one end of an EM, with the machine turned off and manually "engaged" each relay and solenoid. I just pushed the plastic piece holding the leaf switches, AKA armature, toward the relay solenoid as if the solenoid were activated. I soon learned what a "make" (normally open) and a "break" (normally closed) switch was. I cleaned each contact with a contact burnisher, pinching the contacts together with my fingers, when possible, to remove the black gunk built-up over the years. This black gunk is oxidized metal, I think, and it's just as bad for pinball machines as calcium build-up in your arteries is for you. Some switches are double stacked and hard to get to. For these, I manually closed the relay and moved the contact burnisher up and down many times to clean the contacts as best I could. I cleaned the burnishing tool often using a paper towel with Windex on it. When done with all contacts on the relay switches, I manually engaged the relay once again and checked that all make switches were closing properly and all break switches were opening properly. If they weren't, I used the contact adjusting tool to properly gap all switches. Then, and only then, I moved on to the next relay. Don't forget to do the switches on the flippers, slingshots and pop bumpers.

If you are careful, and you need to be both careful and thorough, when done you will have an EM that is 98% - 99% working. I've never managed to do it 100% yet, but the problems I end up with are usually different than the ones I started with. Then I debug the problems - with any luck easier to fix than the original problems. A good cleaning of all contacts can be done in two or three evenings and well worth the time if you want that Swinger to Swing!

If you are uncomfortable cleaning the contacts, then, of course, you shouldn't attempt it. But like soldering, it can be daunting at first but an easily learned skill. People who recommend that you don't clean all contacts are aware of the people that do so and make a mess of it - leaving a lot more problems than when they started. A thorough and detailed person like you won't end up in this predicament. Take your time like you are doing with the restoration and you will do just fine.

I wouldn't recommend this for everyone but I have seen enough of your work to know that you could do the contact cleaning without creating more work for you later.

Before I get blasted for not using schematics, I don't recommend NOT using them. It's just how it worked for me and they can be like hieroglyphics to most of us. You CAN get by not using them but they are very helpful if you know how to read them.

Speaking of luck, how in the world did you find your dream machine, one of only 250, in the condition you did and only $150??? I guess you are allowed a little ogling.

#486 3 years ago

Pecos, I will also weigh in - note that I am also loathe to post as I suspect that for both of us, this will ignite discussion for good or ill. Note that this is only my opinion and is only worth the electrons used to display it. Everyone you talk to will have a method to getting a machine going.

Electricity is the lifeblood of any electrical or electronic device and ensuring that there is a clean and unencumbered path will allow the machine to function at peak capacity.

However, this is a “teach a man to fish” moment. 

I could say, “Jump in and clean it from one end to the other. Talk to you in a month.”
Or I could teach you HOW that electricity moves. WHY it moves, and WHAT needs to be done to keep it moving. This is much more valuable.

Unfortunately, I am depriving you of the joy of finding odd timing bugs (slightly misadjusted motor and relay switches), or worse, odd bugs caused by shavings or dirt that has moved during the cleaning process. But in the end, if he does not clean every switch, Ryan will understand the electrical theory behind his machine, and thus any (EM) pinball machine.

Also of note: these machines were not designed to collect dirt and die. They are amazing marvels of engineering. One may view it as a clunking set of switches and cams, but in actuality the machine is self-cleaning with every relay movement. Overtravel, or deflection, is the built-in mechanical method that the switches have to clean themselves. It is rare that the overtravel will not keep the machine in good running order.

Ordinarily, my experience is that some handfuls of issues will be present on a terribly filthy game. Understanding how the feature is supposed to work by reading the schematic helps you to understand which switches are involved and focus your attention on the bad. This gets the machine up and running quicker, while helping you in the future if the feature stops working.

It is overkill to clean all contacts. If cleaning all contacts was the solution, why do problems remain at all? The answer is that you can easily create other problems. The reality is that it is far too much work for far too little payoff.

On one of my first machines, I was told to clean every contact. I could read schematics, but regardless, I dutifully cleaned every contact. This was the worst mistake that I believe I've ever made in my EM life. Almost 100% of the problems I have today with that machine are due to overzealous cleaning during the initial run. My own fault, but why go there? It wasn't necessary to get the game running (and keep it running).

Understanding what the machine is supposed to do is critical to fixing it properly.

I've talked to techs that just read the manual. Well, if that was all it took, why did the manufacturers  bother with the schematic? The schematic is crucial for understanding the current path. If you do not understand the current path, you will never get a machine to be 100% reliable. It doesn't mean that you can't fix it without reading the schematic.

Again, just my opinion. Do with it what you will. Not intending to argue or anything.

Also: I've mentioned it on my show before a couple of times, but I'm working on an Expo (slowly, can't breathe when near it) that was filled to the brim with rodent and cat hair. I removed all the hair, inspected a few spots for rodent issues, and had to wire in a full set of score reels, along with several under-playfield components that were cut. This Expo actually plays very well. And this did not require cleaning of every switch despite the terrible initial condition.

OK last thing: for high power or very visible items, I will clean preemptively depending on era: for example, cabinet flipper switches, pop activation switches, slings and kickout activation switches. For games with DC in those high travel/visible areas I do not bother unless I notice a problem (spark), outside of cabinet flipper switches. DC is a slightly different beast. You've rebuilt the mechanisms, so there should be no binding.

Regardless of the method you choose, you'll have a working game at the end. Troubleshooting by schematic will give you the skill to fix any other machine from the 30s to the late 70s. Solid state machines require a slightly different thought process, but the basics are the same.

In the end, Ryan has done much more by cleaning all the steppers in his game than he would achieve by cleaning all switches. The game will be snappy and play very well.

Again, regardless of method chosen, I'm excited that you'll have brought this dead machine back to life! One of the best thrills in pinball.

#487 3 years ago

Well written bingopodcast. Thank you for sharing your point of view. I think this emoticon is appropriate for this discussion. I am only sharing my experiences here and nothing I say is intended to be the end all to fixing a pinball machine. If someone is helped by my experiences, then great. Otherwise I fear that I am wasting my time and sounding contentious when I by no means intend that at all.

Quoted from bingopodcast:

Also: I've mentioned it on my show before a couple of times, but I'm working on an Expo

Isn't it curious that we both have Expos! I have enjoyed playing mine over the years, even more now that the pop bumpers are actually popping! Congrats on getting that rats nest of a machine working!

I have a Williams OXO sitting next to Expo with the DC powered slings, flippers and pop bumpers and it doesn't play as well as Expo does after what I call "the treatment." Here is a video of Expo playing if you or anyone else would like to see it in action.

No one ever set me down in 1979 and said "Son, this is how you read schematics and this is what you need to do to get OXO working top-notch." There was no Internet. I didn't even know that schematics existed and even if I had known, I had no way to get one. I had to figure it all out on my own. I learned by trial and error what playfield switch triggered what relay and in doing so gained a lot of experience about the general workings of a Williams EM. They are truly remarkable creations, part art, part science, part electronic and part computer!

Cleaning every contact is a fairly new tact for me - a process that I leave for a thorough restoration.

I would suggest this to anyone who wonders whether or not burnishing all contacts is worth their time. Thoroughly clean the burnishing tool with a paper towel and Windex after cleaning one or two contacts and see if any of that black crud shows up. If I recollect, and that is a dangerous thing at my age, my Expo must have had a lot of dirty switch contacts because I could always swipe the contact burnisher through the Windex on the paper towel and find some black substance left behind. If none or little shows up, the game doesn't need the detail cleaning.

I am now trying to learn how to read schematics. The Black Knight I just bought has two non-working left flippers and I am trying to find the possible points of failure. There is a thread about the subject here on Pinside. The OP found that the female connector to the power supply was the culprit. I can use a multi-meter to find the right pin on the right connector or I can try to figure it out from the schematics as that connector is the first place I want to start looking for a fix. If I knew what I was doing reading schematics I could find it in just a couple of minutes, but learning to fish takes some technique, time and patience.

This is a good time to mention all of the wonderful help here on Pinside when debugging a non-working pinball machine. Chances are someone has already had the problem "you" are experiencing and are more than pleased to share their experience and ultimate solution.

#489 3 years ago

Pecos, thanks - I agree 100% that it does take time and patience. However, the end result is that you'll be much faster at repair than previously. I'm happy to help with schematic reading for anyone that needs a hand. I was lucky enough to take some basic electrical theory and engineering classes long before starting into the pinball repair hobby.

The Expo is for a customer and thankfully not in my work space... Otherwise I would not be posting (lack of breath)! It is a fun game, though. The nice mice/rats only nibbled the edges of the schematic. I'm only able to work on it about an hour at a time unless the playfield glass and back door are on.

#490 3 years ago

Hello Esteemed Swinger thread participants,

Pardon my brief intermission as I recently returned from a (previously mentioned) exciting trip...

...and recovered a bit from said trip (with a few evening-time veg-out sessions with my wife).

However, that trip and recovery weren't the only things delaying my progress with Swinger. As followers of this thread know, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to EM repair and maintainence (but I've learned a TON through this thread, receiving a great deal of help from friendly Pinsiders and doing my best to document it along the way). Every once in a while, I run into a subsequent step in the process that has conflicting opinions on how to proceed. This is one such juncture.

A couple of great buddies I've been fortunate enough to meet through this process were each PM-ing me friendly suggestions on my upcoming steps with Swinger, and they didn't match-up with one another, and neither was very interested in voicing their opinions publicly (I'm sure for want of avoiding the typical forum flame-war).

I did my best to convince each of my new-found friends that all of us had done a pretty great job of cultivating a supportive culture here on this Swinger Restore thread, and urged each of them to post their important thoughts publicly. My interest in seeing their thoughts posted here is to make this an educational document for future E.M. neophites, not unlike myself (with little to zero electrical or mechanical knowledge) and allow other hapless newbs (also, like myself) the ability to read alternate opinions and make a decision that is best suited to them.

I'm really excited to see that both folks in question, Pecos and BingoPodcast, have not only posted their differing opinions publicly, but have done so in a diplomatic and supportive way. Thank you, guys! You've each been an instrumental part of this process for me and you're both completely top-notch in my book.

I welcome additional discussion from other parties, and I think it's safe to say that each of these gentlemen would, too. As was hinted above, it's all in the name of education. My hope is that this discussion will stay on an educational and civil track, steering clear of pitfalls like hyperbole, absolutism and negativity.

Regarding my personal decision on how to proceed, this has been a topic to which I've devoted considerable thought over the past couple weeks. As odd as it sound, it sort of feels like I'm being forced to chose between two friends. But then I remind myself that, as in art, we don't critique the person, just the work (which, admittedly, is sometimes difficult to divorce the two, especially as an artist receiving critique). I see this as a similar case and hope that feelings are in tact, regardless of my decision.

Because I'd like to have a greater understanding of Swinger, certainly, but also pin-games in general (and because I'm not in a rush to bulldoze my way through this project) I'm going to be taking some time over the course of this upcoming week to chat with BingoPodcast a bit each night and ideally come to a better understanding of schematics, how electricity operates in these machines, how that might translate into me "eating" for a lifetime, rather than a day (to use the favored fishing metaphor). I figure if that doesn't work or my mind is simply incapable of comprehending electrical theory, then there's nothing to say I cannot then attempt the switch-cleaning method. And for someone not in a position to have a patient mentor like BingoPodcast at their beck and call, perhaps it would be easier to simply go from the front to the back of the machine, cleaning and adjusting everything along the way. I'll be the first to admit, those line-laden maps are not very intuitive, however, I'm going to give schematics-deciphering the ole' college try this week and see how it goes. As usual, I'll do my best to document it along the way.

I look forward to any additional input on this subject that respects alternate methods of working.

Many thanks to all on this thread, especially to folks willing to stick their neck out in the name of education.

Sincerely,
Ryan Claytor

#491 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I welcome additional discussion from other parties, and I think it's safe to say that each of these gentlemen would, too.

Yep. But no one who knows me in the real world would call me a gentleman!

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

As odd as it sound, it sort of feels like I'm being forced to chose between two friends.

No problem here. The last time I checked I am not running for political office, Pinsider of the Month or trying to start a Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlor fan club! You have to leave your egos at the Pinside door when discussing these issues.

I do want to clarify that I only clean ALL contacts when trying to make an EM work as closely as possible to the days gone by when it played like new - because it was new! That usually means a major restoration project. I never clean all contacts trying to fix EM problems.

When debugging EM problems, I trip relays with the power on to track down the problems, being careful of course not to get zapped. At a minimum, I would recommend cleaning and adjusting all score motor switches. Many problems lurk there in those switch stacks and the contacts get dirty. Also, clean and Super Lube all stepper units like you have already done. These two items will likely fix a few problems and narrow down your debugging to relay switches.

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I'm going to give schematics-deciphering the ole' college try this week and see how it goes.

I commend you for your efforts to learn something new. When you figure out what all of those "line-laden maps" mean, you can let me in on the secret!

#492 3 years ago
Quoted from Pecos:

When you figure out what all of those "line-laden maps" mean, you can let me in on the secret!

I hope to!

#493 3 years ago
Quoted from dasvis:

seattle.craigslist.org link

Not sure if this was meant for me or just a fun curiosity.

In the case it was of possible interest to me, Thanks, dasvis, but I've got a glass, it's in decent enough shape (albeit a bit peely), but since I'll be creating a new glass for the retheme, none of this makes a big difference to me (except for the fact that there's enough paint on my glass to take some measurements for the retheme).

#494 3 years ago

My $.02. My experience with EMs is definitely limited but I am in the habit of researching thoroughly and here's what I came up with. I visited every switch in every switch stack from the bottom of the play field to the bottom of the cabinet and all throughout the back box. The first order of business was to check that each has tight screws. I believe the proper order is to tighten the one closest to the switch contacts first, then the one farther away. Once this was done, I verified what type of switch it was by the schematic and saw to it that it was in the proper state. NO, NC or MB. Next I would do a simple continuity check with my multi-meter. If it was good, I left it alone. If it was sketchy, I would clean it with a piece of heavy cardstock and check again. If it was better, great. If not I would hit it with the flexstone until it was good. Lastly I would operate the switch using whatever would normally activate it be it a passing pin ball or a nylon score motor tooth and ensure that either a connection was made or broken.

This seemed to cure most if not all of my ails. Whatever problems I had left were not related to switches.

#495 3 years ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

The first order of business was to check that each has tight screws. I believe the proper order is to tighten the one closest to the switch contacts first, then the one farther away.

I've read this too but always forgot when checking the switches. Thanks for reminding me and everyone else here of "best practice." Clearly, I need to follow this advice. Thanks Mk1Mod0!

#496 3 years ago

UPDATE TIME:

I made a short video to show how things are [not] functioning currently:

For those unable to use the youtubes (at work, child sleeping, running Netscrape Navigator 1.0), things were working slightly differently tonight than my last explanation. The Swing Reel zero'ed-out when I flipped the switch under the cab, however, when I did the ole' Williams start-up with the left flipper button, the score reels did not zero. It appears to be stuck in a 2 player game, yet will not kick the ball into the shooter lane, nor will any of the playfield solenoids function (pops, slings, flippers), nor will any switches register.

So I sent this video to Nick (BingoPodcast) to get our night started, which he said was helpful. Then we plunged into the deciphering of schematics. Here's the schematic for Swinger (in an effort to avoid copyright infringement/toe-stepping/law suits, I'm playing it safe here by obliterating some of the schematic...not sure how protective people are of 70's Williams Pinball Schematics):

SwingerSchematic50dpiSAMPLE.jpg

Nick walked me through the schematic starting from the wall plug (purple) on left side:

schematicColors.jpg

...then showed me how it branches off in a couple of different directions toward a black wire (positive) on top and a yellow wire (negative) on the bottom. I was told that these positive/negative names are not exactly accurate, but good enough for my simple understanding at this point. Evidently the power is still at 120 volts, just as you would find coming out of a wall, so at this point, touching any of these wires would be equivalent to sticking your finger in a wall outlet.

Good to know.

Moving from left to right (just like reading!!!) both wires connect to the transformer (or the taaaaallllll coil-y thing with a line separating another coil-y thing...or the blue section), which steps down the power from 120 v to 6 volts and 24 volts. The 6 volt line leads to and powers everything in the green section (lamps, for the most part?), while the 24 volt line leads to and powers everything in the yellow section (coils, for the most part?).

As we worked our way down the line, I did my best to take notes on each new schematic symbol we encountered:

schematicSymbols.jpg

Which can also be found in a more legible and complete version here:

http://tuukan.fliput.net/emkytkis_en.html

Link sent to me courtesy of James Willing (of The E.M. Dungeon fame [found on The Spooky Pinball Podcast]).

I also took some non-symbol notes in an effort to remind myself of things like the 120-volt-carrying wires are plastic coated, Williams schematics are illustrated with the coils at the top (as you can see from the curly bits located at the top of the yellow section in the color-coded version above), and current flows from negative to positive (really!??!).

schematicNotes.jpg

Ultimately, we made our way through the 6 volt section (ensuring that I understood, conceptually at least, how things were linked together and triggered different events). We did the same for the 24 volt section, at least for a portion of it. About 90 minutes into our conversation, my phone died. By that time I was pretty fried anyway, so it was probably good for me to take a break until tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to pushing through this schematic tomorrow evening and continuing on the path toward a greater understanding of these machines. I'm really thankful that Nick is willing to take the time to educate an electronically clueless artist. Here's hoping I can wrap my head around all this newly begotten knowledge.

I'm barely holding my eyes open as I finish this post, so I'm going to call it a night.

#497 3 years ago

Regarding your professionally shot, edited and narrated hand model video, it appears the game is not in a "game over" state. Normally, if the game powers up in anything but, the score motor will rotate to get it there. But ball one is lit and game over is not which leads me to suspect it is caught somewhere in between. And it will not start a game, zero out the scores or activate the play field until it is in a game over state. Showing two players can play tells me the player unit is not completely reset. The ball unit may be, but should not have power to it. I would start with what switch activates the game over light by starting at the light and working your way backwards. Got to get it in game over before it will do anything.

#498 3 years ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

hand model video

What can I say, they're lily-white mouse-pushing hands, and oh so soft.

Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

it appears the game is not in a "game over" state.

That's great advice, Mk1Mod0. Thanks a bunch for taking the time to poke through my problems over here. Much appreciated.

- -- ----- -- -

Aside from hand flattery, I have more exciting news! SWINGER LIVES!!!

celebration-reaction-gif.gif

Oh my god, I can't believe it works (and things are SOOO SNAPPY...

zoidberg.gif

...rebuilding those pops and flippers were worth every second and penny).

It's not perfect, there are things to fix, but it starts a game, kicks the ball into the shooter lane, playfield items score, flippers flip, and it is PLAYING!!! WOO-HOO!!!

HUGE thanks are due to Nicky-B, who talked me through yet another session of schematics deciphering this evening.

I'll report later on what I learned tonight, the fix, a video of functionality, etc, but again, I'm weary. Thanks for following along and helping me through this project. I couldn't have done it without you guys.

Chat more soon,
Ryan

#499 3 years ago

Way to go Ryan and Nick. Swinger swings like a pendulum do!

#500 3 years ago

Thanks Pecos! In the end, it was not a long battle. I'm sure Ryan will chime in this evening. Now he knows my troubleshooting technique, some basics about electricity and pinball electricity in particular, and how to clean a machine.

Now he needs a bingo.

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