(Topic ID: 107426)

X-Files auto registers file cabinet hits

By Stal8080

5 years ago

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  • 40 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Stal8080
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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magnet opto.JPG

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#1 5 years ago

Ok guys finally got our basement remodel and finally set up our first pinball game I purchased from a fellow pinsider. He took great care of machine and added some nice mods. Bought it in perfect working order and it fired up as such as well. Played a few games no problem. Then the file cabinet just starts registering phantom hits constantly lowering the filing cabinet getting it ready for multiball. He hit the ball in the filing cabinet triggers multi-ball after that it keeps registering hits on the filing cabinet even though the ball is no where close to hitting. So basically the entire game is almost always multi very frustrating not sure what to do this is our first pinball game and I just want to have it working once again. Opto lights in front of cabinet appear to be on

#3 5 years ago
Quoted from JeffF:

Ours did the same and it was traced back to cold solder joints on the opto boards.

Thanks.....pins are totally new to me so I'm hesitant to even start to mess with but I must....Are the option boards easy to remove???

#5 5 years ago
Quoted from JeffF:

It's been a while but I'm pretty sure they weren't bad to get to... but again... it's been a while.

Do you still have the machine??? If so have you had any issues with it since you fixed cold solder

#7 5 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

This sure sounds familiar....
Go to post #23 for the things I did to fix it.

Ok thanks here is an interesting tidbit just fired up game again to try and mess around and choose agent scully game low and behold game played just fine no issues fired up a mulder game and bam issue back-----head scratcher??? Any thoughts

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

Keep playing. Things like this - most of the time - don't just work themselves out. There was a reason it was doing it - most frequently the problem has to do with the optos directly in front of the filing cabinet.
More than likely, it is just the optos are a bit out of whack and the beam does not cleanly project from the transmitter to the receiver after a while. It could also just be that the transmitter needs some Windex applied to it via a Q-Tip to clean it.
But hey, if it is "up and gone", man, thank your stars and play on !

Yep you were right played a little bit longer and sure enough when you start a molder game and Scully game now the multi-ball automatically cues itself up so I'll for start with the cleaning and then looks like I'll try to lift up the playfield and possibly check for cold solder joints. Like I said an original post my game was modeled by the person I bought it from with the new sound system including a sub woofer could the vibration from the sub woofer be causing the Opto's to get out of whack? I turn the volume of the game down significantly so I don't know if that will help

#10 5 years ago

When I pull the playfield up should I just check the opto board itself or the transmitter and receiver or all 3?? Also when I look at my file cabinet where opto's are I notices it looks like the first one transmits (if facing game) right to left and the second one transmits left to right....is that normal? I know they sound like obvious questions but again just want to make sure I'm not doing any damage.

I see the transmitter:


and the opto board itself:


#12 5 years ago
Quoted from JeffF:

My issue was with the IR switches that sensed when the ball entered the filing cabinet area... not the filing cabinet board itself.
I think you're going to have something similar since the game is registering fantom hits... not having problems with knowing where the cabinet is height wise.

whoops I meant to post this link:


is that what you were referring to?

#14 5 years ago

Ok so looks like the first set of optos will both come out when I remove bracket and then the second set I'll have to remove from bracket to get out because the bracket is part of the magnet. Switch 47 popped up on the switch diagnosis screen so I don't know if that is the actually opto board.image.jpg

I have to be honest I don't really know what I'm looking at when I'm in the diagnostics menu it's all new to me. All I know is when I was under certain setting Opto switch number 47 began to flash then I couldn't find that again but I came across this

#15 5 years ago

Ok was finally able to get opto boards out. First pic is the second set with two seperate boards close to the file cabinet ( I kept bracket on back of play field)and the second/third pic I was able to remove bracket.image.jpgimage-405.jpgimage-840.jpg

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

Wow, that first pic looks rough. It looks like someone's been in there with a soldering iron. Is all that grey soldering from someone before you??

That is what I thought too....had an engineer at work resolder everything for me and clean that up. Low and behold no more phantom cabinet hits!!! However my machine is set on Freeplay with 5 balls. From what I remember when I played Pinball at the arcades it was always 3 ball which I need to figure out how to set the Freeplay back to. The only thing I found odd was that after a few ball outs the cabinet will lower and the DMD will say "MULTI-BALL READY". However when multiball triggers or when trying to trigger multiball the game has not register one phantom cabinet hit since board was resolder....fingers crossed!

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

That is the game feeling sorry for you. It is like Bram Stokers Dracula. On the 3rd ball, multi ball is ready.
Free play is somewhere in the options menu. Without being ther3, it is tough to recall how to navigate to it, but rest assured, it is an option.

Thanks for all your help with this.....makes me feel good that it seems issue is resolved but bad that I suck so bad the game "feels sorry for me"---haha.....just need some practice it has been awhile. On a separate note, any recommendation for how you have your leg levelers set up??

#22 5 years ago

Found the setting to switch number of balls from 5 to 3 however the "mercy rule" goes into effect after the first ball out instead of second??? Maybe an adjustment?

2 months later
#24 5 years ago

Well it looks like the dreaded phantom hits is back same issue is happening machine is registering phantom hits?? Thought buy new optos please seeking advice

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

This sure sounds familiar....
Go to post #23 for the things I did to fix it.

I was re reading over your initial thread in regards to your x files issues. I'm abit confused when you started installing leds....it seems initially that that may have triggered the phantom cabinet hits because when you removed a few it corrected itself??? However later after consulting with a few fellow pinside you thought it was misaligned optos ie post 23 in original thread?

I know my machine was modded with LEDs so I'm wondering if that was issue??? Just really want this fixed slightly frustrated because this game is like center piece of game room.....I know part of the hobby

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from stretch2:

Anyone know a good Service Tech in the Erie, Pa. area that could help the OP ?

Thanks for the bump and yes defiantly interested if anyone repairs pins in my area?

#30 5 years ago

Yeah all this talk of these autos is starting to freak me out a little but this is my first pinball game and I'm a huge fan of X-Files both the game and the series I played the game a little bit more tonight when I first fired it up it worked flawlessly for about 15 to 20 minutes then out of the blue the opto it was once again started registering phantom cabinet hits I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not 100% sure how to going to the switchman you to test that I did play around in the menus a little bit and found the following pic. Not sure where to go from here think I might pull the optos and and perhaps replace the LEDs on the Opto boards

#33 5 years ago

Guys thanks again for the advice, it is much appreciated. Fired it up again last night after work. Same issues played flawless for 15 minutes then chaos ensues. Anyway a few things as I'm becoming alittle more comfortable with navigation between the menus.

1. My playfield does not consist all LED's really just in the Alien, **On Top of the Filing Cabinet** and in and around the "X". That is really it. Around the filing cabinet and opto's are incandescent.
2. In the switch menu under active switches (with all balls removed) I am showing two CLOSED switches (see pic).
--One is MAGNET OPTO ( I believe this pertains to the first set of optos in front of file cabinet)
--The other is FILE CABINET TOP (this is not the FILE CABINET OPTO at least I don't think. I honestly don't know where this switch is. I think this because when I run my hand through the set of optos right in front of the cabinet another switch pops up on matrix as "FILE CABINET OPTO" then when the object leaves that the switch goes away---Like it should. Also tested this with the actually pinball as well. However when I break the field of the first set of optos (magnet) nothing happens on test screen, so again I'm guessing it is stuck CLOSED????
3. Not sure if this means anything but I pulled the playfield up to see if the red indicator LED on the bottom of the optos would pop on when there field is broke. BOTH indicator lights (see pic) do pop on when the field is broke. The Magnet OPTOs and the Filing cabinet OPTOs.....not sure if that is what they should do??? What confuses me is that is the MAGNET OPTO is stuck CLOSED then shouldn't the MAGNET indicator LED also be stuck on???

4. One other thing I thought off when reading X-Files threads what putting all my leg levels to lowest position. Currently I have the front all the way down and the back about 1/2 way up. Might this be an issue with alignment?

Again very new to all this so I appreciate the patience.

magnet opto.JPG

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from captainadam_21:

Did you try cleaning the optos in front of the file cab with a q-tip and some rubbing alcohol? That fixed my phantom hits

I did....like I said the game works great at first then gets way crazy with the phantom hits. I can try again

#39 5 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

Now that you are utilizing the switch matrix in your photos there, have you done this?

I did like I said the MAGNET OPTO is already triggered when I start the test. I can trigger the filing cabinet opto by breaking the field however swatting around the play field I was not able to trigger it.

2 weeks later
#40 5 years ago

***Replaced the OPTO LED's both transmit and receiver on both boards and immediately could tell the difference in brightness. Installed back in the game and MAGNET OPTO switch cleared out in test and game played good for 1+ hours.

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