OK. So this issue wasn't on my Silver Sails, it was on my Golden Gate, which is the same game. I've removed some of the dumb things that I did.
Issue: Game will not award extra balls. When playing on the yellow button, the EXTRA BALL light would lite, as would 1ST and EXTRA, but never BALL. If I manually advance the extra ball unit from EXTRA to BALL and then continue playing on the yellow button, it will advance from 2nd to EXTRA, but never to ball. Same for the 3rd extra ball.
How it should work: At some point, extra balls should be awarded.
0. Locate the Extra Ball step up coil on the schematic. Generally, coils are along the bottom of the schematic; I located it at B26.
1. Get an overview of the circuit. Reading up the schematic from the EB step up coil, there are three circuits that step up the coil. One or two switches in each and they all hit the EB unit. And then up from that I see there is Mixer #3, the adjustment plug, the spotting disc, eb trip relay #1, eb trip relay #2, and a few more switches. OK, so I have a general sense of what elements I may be looking into.
2. Research. I often start with a search of Phil Hooper's site. From reading his excellent explanation here (http://bingo.cdyn.com/techno/howtheywork/extraball/stepup.html), I can confirm my understanding that there are three ways that the EB unit can be stepped up, but what I learned is that two of the three (the right two circuits) are really for show. And given that my EB unit steps up as it should except to BALL, I'm convinced that the two right circuits are working as designed.
3. Probe and (hopefully) fix. So I start with just visually inspecting stuff and cleaning switches with a flexstone, starting from the stup up coil.
-- Mixer & spotting 16 pulse cam #2B is in manual page 21. It is NO and appears to close as it should when it rides over the cam.
-- Start relay is in manual page 28-29. I see from the schematic that I am looking for wires 78 and 75-4. Back to the booklet I see that this is switch A (NC). that switch checks out.
-- Ignore mixer #3 for now.
-- Look on the spotting disc for any broken wires, excessive dirt on the disc, pitted rivots. Tug at the wires on the lugs with my dental pick. Nothing seems out of the ordinary.
-- Keep going up to see the eb trip replay 1, eb trip relay 2, blue score booster. Use the scmeatic and the manual to find the right switches; inspect and clean. All seem good.
4. Stumped, so reach out to friends. Sent email to friends and got this summary explanation.
A. Voltage is provided on wire 18-2.
B. Wire 18-2 is connected to wire 43-5 by position of the spotting disc (There are other “optional” wires but they all end up on wire 43-5).
C. The voltage passes through the spotting disc wiper & contact point to wire 43-5.
D. Wire 43-5 is connected directly to the Extra Ball Unit to a contact point(s) on the unit circuit board. When the Extra Ball unit is at position 1 a circuit is present between wire 43-5 and wire 75-4 (The Extra Ball unit MUST move 1 step during the very first play for extra balls. We know this is happening because “1st” & “Extra” light.).
E. Wire 75-4 connects to wire 78 through a normally closed switch on the Start Relay.
F. Wire 78 goes to one of the 16 pulse switches on the top control unit motor mounted on the back door. The 16 pulse switch closes a circuit to wire 38-4 16 times every rotation of the control unit.
G. Wire 38-4 steps up the extra ball unit.
6. Apply explanation. OK... Let's see what happens when voltage is applied to wire 18-2. I can easily get to 18-2 on the spotting disc; manual page 13 shows me that it is wiper B. So start a game, shoot 5 balls, press the yellow button, go into the head and jumper 18-2 from a spot where I know there is voltage and is easy to reach -- the anti-cheat relay (tip: this relay always has voltage when the game is running). If the EB unit does not advance to BALL, then the issue will be DOWN the schematic from 18-2; if it does advance to BALL, then the issue will be UP the schematic.
The unit did advance the BALL. So if voltage gets to spotting disc 18-2 it will work. But voltage is not getting there... So, I start tracing up the circuit again: eb trip replay 1, eb trip relay 2, blue score booster, etc. There really is no convenient place to apply voltage analogous to how I did on spotting disc 18-2.
But I can at least check for continuity from spotting disc 18-2 up the circuit. Get out the DMM, clip one lead to spotting disc 18-2 (not the finger... the other end) and test for continuity at easy places up the circuit. First stop -- the spotting disc slip ring arm. Looking at the paperwork glued above the slip ring arms on the back of the back door, I see that slip ring arm on the bottom middle is 18-2. No connectivity. What about the slip ring itself? No connectivity there. So... this narrows down the issue to the thin wire that connects from the 18-2 finger to the 18-2 arm.
7. Fix it! Wires from the fingers to the arms are threaded through the disc itself and are often wrapped in electrical tape. Only a small bit of the wires are exposed. Probe what I can with my dental pick; none seem loose. Unwrap the electrical tape; nothing out of the ordinary. But I do notice that all of the wires are solid colors... I'm working with 18-2 (red-black) I thought? Turns out that the wires that connect the fingers to the arms don't match up... they're just solid colors. Look at the 18-2 finger; solder looks good. But on a tip from Lawton, before I take the whole spotting unit apart, I unsolder the wire from the finger, which turns out to be tan. Just to make sure, verify connectivity from the end of the wire that I just unsoldered to the wiper ring; verified connected. Resolder the wire to the finger; verify connectivity; play test to confirm that extra balls are now being awarded.
8. Thank your friends who helped you, have a beer, and play a few games.