(Topic ID: 185573)

WPC - weak lower left flipper

By u2sean

4 years ago


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Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by WH20_Buzz
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 4 years ago

Alright, this one has me stumped. It's on a Road Show, and I'm hoping someone might have an idea as to what else I can try.

Right flipper is strong, and the middle and upper left flippers both work as I expect them to.

I've done everything I can think of:

1. New coil / full flipper rebuild / bushing / flipper bat / EOS switch
2. Confirmed 70vdc at every lug on the coil
3. Swapped flipper optos (L/R)
4. Swapped in a different Fliptronics board
5. Connectors on the Fliptronics board all look good, no discoloring

None of the change done made any difference.

I put in a stronger 11429 coil and I can now make the ramp shot (barely), but it's still soft and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't make the shot as the coil heats up during play.

The only thing I *haven't* replaced is the flipper plate itself. The plunger moves freely and doesn't get hung up.

I've been at it for 2 weeks now and am fresh out of ideas. So, what I have missed? Any other thoughts on things to check? I'd like to try to get this running properly and bring it to MGC in a few days. Thanks for any ideas!

#2 4 years ago

What color have your opto interrupter plastics? Black or white, if black they tend to vibrate a bit which has the same effect as if the optos are dirty.
I know it sounds crazy, but try the white ones and all will be good.

#3 4 years ago

Look carefully over the coil stop and the other bracket holding the coil. Make sure they aren't misformed, leaning in or out. And the whole assembly is kind of in a straight line.

LTG : )

#4 4 years ago

Thanks for the responses!

The opto interrupter plastics are black. I just put the optos (boards and plastics) in an ultrasonic cleaner - no change. They're tight and not vibrating. I also put new flipper buttons on in case they weren't pushing the interrupters out far enough an also took some rubber rings and put them on the button shafts to make sure they were pushing out further and not vibrating. Left is still slightly weak.

Lloyd, the other bracket holding the coil and flipper plate are the only two things I haven't replaced. They look straight, but I'm wondering if they may be just slightly out of alignment and I can't see it. At this point I think I'm going to just swap those out with new parts and see what happens.

This isn't supposed to be that difficult!

#5 4 years ago

It certainly sounds like a mechanical problem given all of the tests you have described. With the glass off, if you manually move the flippers do you notice any difference in terms of resistance or when you let them drop?

#6 4 years ago

Manually moving the flippers with the glass off, I don't feel any difference in terms of resistance moving them up or letting them drop back down. I think I'm going to just swap the brackets on the upper/lower left flippers and see what happens (since I don't have a spare plate around)!

3 weeks later
#7 4 years ago

Finally got around to replacing the plate and coil mounting bracket so the entire mech is brand new. It's smooth, so it's not mechanical at this point. Only thing left I can think of is replacing the female connector on the fliptronics board that powers the flipper, but I have a feeling that's not going to do anything.

Any other thoughts? I'm all ears!

#8 4 years ago

I would check the wiring to the left flipper for any frayed wires or bad solder joints. Also check the connectors for any corrosion or loose crimps.

#9 4 years ago

Might want to check the flipper bat itself. Could it be moving on the shaft under load?

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from whthrs166:

Might want to check the flipper bat itself.

I put in a new bat and flipper bushing - no change.

Quoted from terryb:

I would check the wiring to the left flipper for any frayed wires or bad solder joints. Also check the connectors for any corrosion or loose crimps.

Solder connection to the coil itself is new, with freshly stripped wire. I swapped the Fliptronics board already with no change. Voltage tests good going to the coil. I think all that remains is rebuilding the connector on the Fliptronics, which is what I'm going to do next.

Thanks for the suggestions!

#11 4 years ago

Is it possible that you have wired the coil incorrectly since you replaced it? Low power side and high power side reversed? High power is used for the initial flip and the low power side used to hold the flipper up so it doesn't overheat the coil.

8 months later
#12 3 years ago

Did you ever get this figured out? My flintstones is having a similar issue

2 years later
#13 1 year ago

Same problem here as well on a Popeye.... Really can't find the reason for the problem...

#14 1 year ago

One thing to try is to swap left and right coil stop, and see if the problem moves. I once had the same issue with a T2, changed everything related to the flipper, but it was still week. Even if the coil stop was new, the problem went away when it was replaced by a another new coil stop from another batch/supplier.

#15 1 year ago

Interesting about the coil stop - I might just try that. With the stronger coil it's working mostly. Now, I did have a similar problem with a TZ after installing a ColorDMD. Weak left flipper. Thought it was due to a low 12v - nope. After replacing the bridge, cap and even the header pins still had a problem. Reflowed solder on flipper optos - nope. Then I swapped the flipper optos and they both worked again (but putting the board back on the left flipper caused it to go weak). My hunch at this point is there's a failing component on one of those flipper optos that is dragging down voltage on the other since they're chained together. At some point I'm going to buy replacement opto boards. Just another thing to try.

7 months later
#16 10 months ago
Quoted from u2sean:

Interesting about the coil stop - I might just try that. With the stronger coil it's working mostly. Now, I did have a similar problem with a TZ after installing a ColorDMD. Weak left flipper. Thought it was due to a low 12v - nope. After replacing the bridge, cap and even the header pins still had a problem. Reflowed solder on flipper optos - nope. Then I swapped the flipper optos and they both worked again (but putting the board back on the left flipper caused it to go weak). My hunch at this point is there's a failing component on one of those flipper optos that is dragging down voltage on the other since they're chained together. At some point I'm going to buy replacement opto boards. Just another thing to try.

Any updates on this? I've got a Road Show with a slightly weak lower left flipper as well. It's not terrible, I can still make the right ramp, but usually only on the fly. But it definitely feels a little weaker than the right. I rebuilt the flippers recently as well, so most of the parts are new.

#17 10 months ago
Quoted from DakotaMike:

I rebuilt the flippers recently as well, so most of the parts are new.

Clean the optos on the flipper button opto board ?

LTG : )

3 months later
#18 7 months ago

Brand new flipper opto boards - same issue. Replaced coil stop / bushing (again) / plunger / etc - same. EOS switches properly adjusted, and even completely disabling them didn't help. I said "I'm done with it" and put in a stronger coil which is working well enough - really frustrating.

#19 7 months ago
Quoted from u2sean:

Interesting about the coil stop - I might just try that. With the stronger coil it's working mostly. Now, I did have a similar problem with a TZ after installing a ColorDMD. Weak left flipper. Thought it was due to a low 12v - nope. After replacing the bridge, cap and even the header pins still had a problem. Reflowed solder on flipper optos - nope. Then I swapped the flipper optos and they both worked again (but putting the board back on the left flipper caused it to go weak). My hunch at this point is there's a failing component on one of those flipper optos that is dragging down voltage on the other since they're chained together. At some point I'm going to buy replacement opto boards. Just another thing to try.

That's interesting because I just purchased a RS. I put in a color dmd as well upon receiving the pin and now I have a weak left lower flipper.

#20 7 months ago
Quoted from Indypin:

That's interesting because I just purchased a RS. I put in a color dmd as well upon receiving the pin and now I have a weak left lower flipper.

Seems like a coincidence to me. Transmitter optos are on all the time and will burn out over time. Game is 25+ years old after all. Time for the transmitter optos to start going out.

Start with swapping the flipper opto boards between left and right side to see if the problem follows. I expect it will. I shaped optos are available as well as the whole board.

#21 7 months ago
Quoted from Indypin:

I put in a color dmd as well upon receiving the pin and now I have a weak left lower flipper.

Unplug power to the color dmd. Play a game blind. If it works, get a separate power supply for the DMD.

LTG : )

#22 7 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Unplug power to the color dmd. Play a game blind. If it works, get a separate power supply for the DMD.
LTG : )

Never had to get a separate power supply for any of my 13 ColorDMD games, not even for reset issues. Nor for any games I install for others as well. I installed over 50 over the last few years at the Houston Arcade Expo.

#23 7 months ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Never had to get a separate power supply for any of my 13 ColorDMD games, not even for reset issues. Nor for any games I install for others as well. I installed over 50 over the last few years at the Houston Arcade Expo.

I had one. Original MM. Weird switch issues. Random, not always the same. Finally tried playing it with power to the color DMD unplugged. Played it blind. Worked perfect. Installed a separate power supply for just the color DMD. Haven't had an issue since.

And I like things working, for my customers.

LTG : )

#24 7 months ago

The Color DMD can and will put noise on the 12 VDC unregulated supply about 150 mv. Not enough to cause problems but it doesn't help either.
This is the same rail the Opto's run on.

Did the Flipper Coil you replace have new diodes?

As for the Flipper I'd pay attention to J104 on the Driver Board J901, J902, J907 on the Fliptronics Board.
I bet you anything one of these connectors and or wiring is bad

Check the Voltage at TP 1 on the Driver Board, make sure you have no more than 300 MV AC. Check the Voltage is above 12 VDC.
A bad 15,000 uf cap C30 is worth replacing if you have plenty of AC on that rail

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