(Topic ID: 221410)

WOZ Ball Lock Arm Not Always Raising


By rennervision

9 months ago



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  • 18 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by vireland
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DSC00585 (resized).JPG
0724182350 (resized).jpg
woz ball lock nose (resized).JPG

#1 9 months ago

I've had my new WOZ for a few weeks now. Everything seemed fine until just recently - now when I lock 3 balls to start Emerald City Multiball, about half the time the arm won't raise. The lock arm doesn't seem to be rubbing against anything and it raises OK in the test menu.

I keep trying to diagnose it further but the problem has a mind of its own. I could be in the middle of a game, ECM won't start, the machine goes into search mode and the arm still won't raise, so I release the lockbar to get ready to remove the glass and inspect further. Then all three balls get released and I'm trying to play multiball while using my gut to keep the glass from sliding out. (Maybe it's a special game mode.)

Or I restart a game and the lock arm still won't raise so the game can't start. So I remove the lockbar and glass to try inspect further, and as soon as I begin to pull out the playfield the freaking arm raises as if to say "Oh no you don't! You're not going to see what's going on in here!"

My best guess is that the coil is overheating, but I'm not sure so I don't know if replacing it is the right solution. I tried lowering the time interval the arm raises from 250 to 235 milliseconds, but it didn't make a bit of difference. It's also using the newest software version (6.61).

#2 9 months ago

Sorry - didn't mean to double post.

#3 9 months ago

Check for loose wires right under that area, check the nearby connectors too.

LTG : )

#4 9 months ago

Yeah everything looks connected. It works half the time which is why I thought heat may be an issue. But then my last test had me power on the machine and immediately lock three balls by hand, but the arm wouldn't raise. So I didn't even play the machine for a long time for it to start acting up. (But as soon
as I pulled the playfield out the arm raised.)

I might have to remove the munchkin huts to see what is happening in-game.

#5 9 months ago
Quoted from rennervision:

I might have to remove the munchkin huts to see what is happening in-game.

You might have cold or cracked solder connections on the munchkin solenoids.
This would cause that behavior, or a loose connector underneath.

#6 9 months ago
Quoted from rennervision:

I've had my new WOZ for a few weeks now. Everything seemed fine until just recently - now when I lock 3 balls to start Emerald City Multiball, about half the time the arm won't raise. The lock arm doesn't seem to be rubbing against anything and it raises OK in the test menu.
I keep trying to diagnose it further but the problem has a mind of its own. I could be in the middle of a game, ECM won't start, the machine goes into search mode and the arm still won't raise, so I release the lockbar to get ready to remove the glass and inspect further. Then all three balls get released and I'm trying to play multiball while using my gut to keep the glass from sliding out. (Maybe it's a special game mode.)
Or I restart a game and the lock arm still won't raise so the game can't start. So I remove the lockbar and glass to try inspect further, and as soon as I begin to pull out the playfield the freaking arm raises as if to say "Oh no you don't! You're not going to see what's going on in here!"
My best guess is that the coil is overheating, but I'm not sure so I don't know if replacing it is the right solution. I tried lowering the time interval the arm raises from 250 to 235 milliseconds, but it didn't make a bit of difference. It's also using the newest software version (6.61).

Intermittent connection to that mini solenoid. Had that same super-frustrating problem. Resolder and if that doesn't work, replace the coil. There's an intermittent connection in there somewhere.

#8 9 months ago

DCFAN - I'm thinking that could be my problem as it seems to fit with why it suddenly works when I attempt to move the playfield. (By doing so, I'm jostling the balls a bit and adjusting the angle of the arm where it is suddenly easier to pick up.). I'll give this a shot whenever I have time.

#10 8 months ago

I've had some time to play around with this. First, I can say DCFAN's diagnosis was definitely the issue. (If the arm wasn't lifting, I just needed to raise it a bit to feel the magnetic force take hold of it.)

But I'm wondering if there is something wrong with the coil. I say this because it worked fine when I first got the machine, then after a few weeks it lost it's strength half the time with locked balls, then (after my original post) progressed to the point where it couldn't even successfully perform a test with no balls locked. Now it seems so weak, I have to bend that metal plate attached to the arm to the point where the coil can now grab it, but the arm has to be so high it can no longer stop the balls so the whole fix is kind of irrelevant. I probably spent a couple of hours bending the plate and testing, trying to match things up with the picture showing the solution - but if there's a certain sweet spot I need to find, I haven't found it yet. The arm just doesn't properly catch the ball anymore when lock is lit.

And then there's another concern. If the arm doesn't raise when a ball is locked, I've come to realize the coil just gets hotter and hotter in a continuous cycle of trying to raise the arm - and that doesn't seem like a good thing at all. Do I need to just stop messing with this and get the coil replaced?

#11 8 months ago
Quoted from rennervision:

Do I need to just stop messing with this and get the coil replaced?

See my picture. See the metal nose I circled in red. Bend it up a tiny bit so the metal plate that holds the long arm is closer to the coil and the coil grabs it better.

If you need the end of the arm out over the balls higher or lower, you can bend the whole assembly arm/coils/ and all back or forward to get the arm at a height you like.

LTG : )

woz ball lock nose (resized).JPG
#12 8 months ago

Thanks Lloyd. That does make it easier to bend the arm and experiment, but I'm still not having the same success as others with this trick. In the photo below, that's pretty much the minimum height I've got to set the arm in order for it to raise every time in a coil test. And even at that setting it can't stop balls from just rolling through at the slowest speed and not locking.

0724182350 (resized).jpg
#13 8 months ago
Quoted from rennervision:

In the photo below,

The plate the arm is riveted to is TOO FAR AWAY from the coil.

Quoted from rennervision:

that's pretty much the minimum height I've got to set the arm in order for it to raise every time in a coil test. And even at that setting it can't stop balls from just rolling through at the slowest speed and not locking

Quoted from LTG:

you can bend the whole assembly arm/coils/ and all back or forward to get the arm at a height you like.

See where I posted that ? See my new picture. Red arrow points to metal piece you can bend, yellow is direction so arm is lower to the plastic ramp.

LTG : )

DSC00585 (resized).JPG

#14 8 months ago
Quoted from rennervision:

Thanks Lloyd. That does make it easier to bend the arm and experiment, but I'm still not having the same success as others with this trick. In the photo below, that's pretty much the minimum height I've got to set the arm in order for it to raise every time in a coil test. And even at that setting it can't stop balls from just rolling through at the slowest speed and not locking.

Arm needs to be slightly lower and yet maintain its closeness to the coil.

Bend the entire coil bracket housing forward slightly.
Very slightly.

There is a sweet spot. It's not too hard to reach though.

Properly adjusted the balls climb the end loop and stop no matter how hard they hit it.

If the balls are going through the arm is slightly too high.

If the arm drags on the balls its slightly too low.
Very slightly. Like 1/32"

Once set correctly it actually is pretty stable and will hold its setting for years.

It does take a bit of patience and a couple hours to sort out.

If you need a break from adjusting the arm and want to get back to it later. Just set it to virtual lock in the settings menu.

Then you can play the game while thinking about how it works and observe it.

Make sure the tension spring is attached and not broken.

#15 8 months ago

Alright thanks everyone. Last night, despair was setting in but today I have a new glimmer of hope. I won't be able to work on it for a few days so I'll revisit this next week.

#16 8 months ago

Just wanted to report back for future reference if anyone else deals with this. I believe I finally got it working right, and I agree that bending the entire coil bracket forward makes all the difference in the world. I also had to adjust the metal tab under the arm and the metal plate connecting the arm to the coil housing, but I may have never needed to do this if I started with the coil bracket first.

The coil bracket also only needed a very tiny adjustment forward. (At first I bent it forward too much. I could lift the lock arm with my hand and the balls could clear under it, but the actual coil wouldn't lift the arm this high. Bending the bracket back a bit actually fixed this little problem.)

#17 8 months ago
Quoted from rennervision:

Just wanted to report back for future reference if anyone else deals with this. I believe I finally got it working right, and I agree that bending the entire coil bracket forward makes all the difference in the world. I also had to adjust the metal tab under the arm and the metal plate connecting the arm to the coil housing, but I may have never needed to do this if I started with the coil bracket first.
The coil bracket also only needed a very tiny adjustment forward. (At first I bent it forward too much. I could lift the lock arm with my hand and the balls could clear under it, but the actual coil wouldn't lift the arm this high. Bending the bracket back a bit actually fixed this little problem.)

See I told you you could do it

#18 8 months ago
Quoted from rennervision:

Just wanted to report back for future reference if anyone else deals with this. I believe I finally got it working right, and I agree that bending the entire coil bracket forward makes all the difference in the world. I also had to adjust the metal tab under the arm and the metal plate connecting the arm to the coil housing, but I may have never needed to do this if I started with the coil bracket first.
The coil bracket also only needed a very tiny adjustment forward. (At first I bent it forward too much. I could lift the lock arm with my hand and the balls could clear under it, but the actual coil wouldn't lift the arm this high. Bending the bracket back a bit actually fixed this little problem.)

Thanks for posting the follow up. So important on these help threads for posterity.

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