(Topic ID: 246987)

Zaccaria Universe scoring problems

By padarjohn

2 years ago


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  • 15 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by rolf_martin_062
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#1 2 years ago

I have a Universe that used to work well, but it's started having scoring issues.

The initial problem I started chasing was that the 1,000 pt score was inconsistent. There are drop targets that are supposed to score 5,000, and they will score anywhere from nothing to a random value between 1,000 - 5,000. Ditto the bonus - always a random value. The player doesn't matter, so it's not the score reel. To me, that indicates the 1,000 pt relay in the head. It looks OK, and manually engaging it always seems to work fine.

But while I was checking I noticed a second issue, which is more consistent...

The 100 pt relay engages and stays energized. I've seen a couple of threads on Zaccaria machines with a similar issue, but no resolution.

If someone can give me a clue where to look, on the schematic or otherwise, I'd appreciate it very much.

#2 2 years ago

I would trying to solve the 100 point relay issue first. It may be affecting other things. I'd recommend checking all switches that score 100 points to see if one is stuck closed. BTW...I have the one player version..Ten Stars.

#3 2 years ago

Hi padarjohn +
a great site --- here http://www.zaccaria-pinball.com/em/index.html on the left click on "Games and Documentation" and there are many schematics. The schematics "Universe" is in 5 pages nicely overlapping but not page-4 and page-5. See the top of the JPG (here) - please confirm "I can draw as connecting lines 'my red lines' " --- or write / show a JPG (taken with an mobile phone camera): "Some stuff is missing at end of page-4 / beginning of page-5 respectively".

You must fix Your "second issue" --- a general rule is "a coil on a relay or unit is allowed to faulty, constantly pull for 1 to 2 minutes - we then must toggle-off and let the coil cool down - otherwise the coil overheats, get destroyed --- and we must buy an new coil".
See the bottom of the JPG - when a plunger is moved on a Score-Drum (on most): The travelling plunger at end of travel opens a switch to cut feeding electricity to the "Coil on 100-Point-RELAY". Greetings Rolf

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#4 2 years ago
Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

Hi padarjohn +
please confirm "I can draw as connecting lines 'my red lines' " --- or write / show a JPG (taken with an mobile phone camera): "Some stuff is missing at end of page-4 / beginning of page-5 respectively".

I'm not sure I understand. I have the schematic from the zaccaria-pinball site. It's not easy to find things, even when they're labeled. And some aren't. In the segment you highlighted, for instance, there are two unlabeled switches, one on either side of the "100-pt unit" switch.

If I understand your second paragraph, the end-of-stroke switch on the 100-pt score reel relay is supposed to break the circuit to the 100-pt relay. I'll check that.

#5 2 years ago

Hi padarjohn
I agree with You on "the drawing of the schematics in not very good" --- but I am glad this site exists: http://www.zaccaria-pinball.com/em/index.html .

See the JPG here --- upper part: I will put a gap in my copy and add ??? and add "stuff missing ?" in the gap. (((I think that nothing is missing - but there is a little chance of "missing")))

In post-4 You mentioned "two unlabeled switches" - see the JPG here, lower part: I added "Gottlieb text" --- You kind of agreed and wrote "will check the E.O.S.-Switch on the Score-Reel". Greetings Rolf

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#6 2 years ago

Thank you, Rolf. Sorry for the long delay, other things came up that kept me away from this problem.

Now I understand. It's actually quite simple, the end-of-stroke switches on all 4 100-pt score reels are simply all wired in series. So the only way for the 100-pt relay to stay active is for a playfield switch to be stuck, or for the EOS switch to not close. And, in fact, when I looked closer, the 100-pt drum solenoid wasn't activating, meaning, of course, that the EOS switch is never closed. Which has to be related to the player unit. And now, of course, after poking on that for a minute it's working fine.

My other big problem was the bonus not scoring correctly, and the 5,000 pt events not scoring correctly. I had thought they were related and associated with the score motor, since in both cases it involves advancing the 1,000 pt score reel multiple time. But it looks like I actually have separate issues:

If I manually step up the bonus unit it advances by one until it reaches the maximum of 10 steps. But then when I do the same with the step-down (reset) solenoid it sometimes skips multiple teeth on the gear, moving several positions at once. There's probably something sticking in the ratchet mechanism, hopefully I'll figure that out soon.

Meanwhile, if anyone can explain how the 5,000-pt relay and the score motor work together, it might help me fix that problem, too.

And there are two other similar units under the playfield. I assume one is the "extra ball unit", but I don't know which it is, nor what the other one is. Neither is labeled, and I don't have a copy of the manual (and haven't been able to find one online). Do youknow what they are? I can post a picture if it would help.

#7 2 years ago

Hi padarjohn
to "Bonus Unit faulty resetting" --- You do have some more EM-Pins. Ask a friend to press the Replay-Button and You look how the Replay-Counter steps down a step --- actually two halfsteps --- one tooth pulled back frees the gear BUT another tooth mooves-in to hinder "rushing all the way down". Then look in the "Universe Pin" for sticky grease etc.

The schematics gives me some headaches - before I dig-in into the Drop-Target-Points problem some questions --- here https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2706&picno=37539&zoom=1 on the bottom of the picture I see "Outlanes give 5000 points, Inlanes give 500 points" and on top of the picture I see "100 500 1000 5000 10'000 points when lit" ---
do You always get (reliable) the 500 points, 5000 points ?

From where do You have the information "Drop-Target is worth 5000 points ?

Some units under the playfield --- can we see them in one of the ipdb-pictures ? --- In the "Lights section of the schematics" I see drawn three units --- can You go by "color of wires" and match schematics and "units under the playfield" ? Greetings Rolf

#8 2 years ago

I figured out what was happening with the bonus unit. I've attached some pictures to help explain.
Part of the ratcheting mechanism rotates on a shaft. There's a groove around the shaft where one might have a 'C' clip to hold the assembly in place. In this case, however, they attached a spring there and it holds the parts in alignment.
The spring had moved out of the groove, allowing the parts to become slightly misaligned. You can see in the picture where the spring is supposed to be, and where it was when it was behaving badly.

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#9 2 years ago

Regarding the units under the playfield that I haven't identified, I have a picture of the bottom side. If you can tell from the picture that would help. But if not, it's not important right now.
This is the sort of thing that would normally be described in the manual, but unfortunately I don't have one, and I haven't been able to find one anywhere online yet.
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#10 2 years ago

I seem to have a power issue. Sometimes the playfield lights will flicker, and there are times when the kick-out solenoids on the ball return and the special hole at the top of the playfield don't have enough power to kick the ball out.
I don't see anything in the schematics other than the transformer. Could it be a difference in line frequency (60hz vs 50hz)? Let me know if you have any suggestions.
And thank you very much for your help.

#11 2 years ago

You have a bonus stepper, the extra ball stepper for the 10 step extra ball sequence and a stepper that increases the score of the upper kickout hole.

#12 2 years ago

i had a problem with my bonus randomly working correctly as well. Turned out. Someone high tapped my game. Causing the coils to fire hard. Well the ratchet was kicking so hard on the stepper, that the teeth of the wheel started cutting through the locking bracket. it cut halfway through making it so the bracket couldnt' lock the wheel consistantly. I stole the arm from the credit unit and it worked fine ever since.

#13 2 years ago

Hi padarjohn
great findings - Your post-8. The stepper-units (post-9) --- wear rubber gloves (electricity can kill people) - manually step a unit, then look on the playfield - what light(s) have turned on / off / stepped ? or check color of wires (in the pin vs. schematics). Power-issue (?) in post-10 --- can You live with it for a while ? No, I do not think about 50 vs. 60 Hertz. In the schematics follow the line/wire where power comes out of the transformer - to fuse - switch on Reset-Relay - switch on Game-Over-Relay - switch on Tilt-Relay --- a long wiring in the schematics ending on flipper-coils. There can be a bad solderpoint somewhere or maybe one of the mentioned switches is no good.

I do some theory "making 5000 points" but first some words about the Score-Motor. The Score-Motor is a willing helper but has no intelligence. All a motor can do is: Start running when Initial-Current comes to the motor, turning and actuating ALL switchstacks / switches as designed when the motor was built. When Initial-Current endlessly comes to the motor the motor runs endlessly. The Initial-Current is made to stop flowing at a time but the motor has (early in the turning) built-up its own Self-Feeding circuitry so the motor runs further a bit, then stops on the next Home-Position.

See the JPG - the played ball leaves the playfield through an Outlane worth 5000 points - switch (my green-1) closes - this makes the 5000-Point-Relay (green-2) to pull-in. Several switches do actuate as the relay pulls-in - "green-3a" I call "Self-Hold-Switch on the 5000-Point-Relay" closing and the relay stays pulling, "green-3b" closes, I call it feature switch***. "green-3c" closes and makes the motor to run (Initial-Current flows to the motor (green-4). The motor starts turning, shortly after the motor closes "blue-5a" - this is the Self-Hold-Switch on the motor - the motor keeps running. The turning motor closes five times "blue-5b" - AND through the closed "green-3b" !!! the 1000-Point-Relay actuate five times (((and in an subfeature makes the Score-Drum step, five times). The motor turns, opens "blue-5c" means CUT the Self-Hold-Circuitry of "green-2" (the relay let go and opens its "green-3a, green-3b, green-3c" --- the 5000-Point-Relay no longer pulls. The opening of "green-3c" cuts Initial-Current-Circuitry on the motor - but the motor keeps-on running (through its Self-Hold-Switch "blue-5a") --- turns further, reaches Home-Position so "closed blue-5a" opens - the motor stops.

I must say: There are some faults drawn in the schematics --- for sure faulty is "End-Of-Stroke-Switch on the flippers" (see bottom of the JPG).
About in the middle of the JPG I made a red point, a connection on wires --- (((otherwise I could / can not make the 5000-Point-Relay to pull-in ...

feature switch***: The Motor HAS NO intelligence - ALWAYS ALL switches actuate when the motor does a turn (of 180 degrees) - ONLY when the feature switch*** is closed: THEN the closing of the motor-switch five times (my blue-5b) is allowed to reach the 1000-Point-Relay. When the pin is helping another caller for help: NO 1000ds of points are wanted, guaranteed by "not closed 'my blue-5b' ". Greetings Rolf

0Universe-Work-03 (resized).jpg Added over 3 years ago:

Hi - sorry, I made a fault in writing - PLEASE read the beginning of post-15.

#14 2 years ago

Thanks Rolf.
I found the issue with the lights... I disconnected the playfield from the box by separating the two jones plugs, and when I did, one of the female sockets fell apart - broke in half. Apparently that pin/socket provided power to the lights. I repaired it temporarily, using solder to hold it together, until I can find a replacement plug. The lights don't flicker now.
I still have an occasional issue with the eject solenoids not pushing the ball out, but it's working "well enough" for now. I suspect the jones plug could be the source of that problem, too.
Thanks for the explanation of the 5,000pt scoring. I think I understand.

#15 2 years ago

Hi padarjohn
great - You fix problems (post-14). Grumble, I was carefully writing my post-13 and at the very end I made an typo-error - correct is: ... When the pin is helping another caller for help: NO 1000ds of points are wanted, guaranteed by "not closed 'my green-3b, the feature-switch on the feature relay' ".

Lets think of "the manufacturer did not want to give 5000 points when the ball drains through an Outlane --- the manufacturer only want to give 3000 points". How to be done, implemented ? One solution is - see the bottom of the JPG: We see on the Impulse-Cams when three times switches are actuated - when the third times closing electricity was sent --- instead of cam-5, switch "my blue 5c" to open and so cut Self-Hold-Ciruitry on 5000-point-relay: A switch on cam-4 (maybe cam-3 ?) does open and so cut --- the last two pulses through closing "my blue 5b" cannot pass as the feature-relay no longer pulls, the feature-switch no longer is closed.

Something I love on Williams pins (many do have it) - Your pin also has: See the JPG on the right, somewhat down, orange and green: The Self-Hold-Switch on the Score-Motor (for the Score-Motor to keep running) is OUTMOST Switch on CAM-INDEX. Whenever we chase faults and need a turn of 180 degrees of the Score-Motor: We gently press down*** and let go the outmost blade on Index-Cam - the motor makes a turn. Of course: NO feature relay pulls, no feature-switch is closed - nothing really is happening but the turn of 180 degrees of the motor. We chase faults, use Jumper-Wires, we manipulate stuff - we easily can make the motor to run for to help our testing. I really do love "outmost-switch on cam-INDEX is the Self-Hold-Switch for the Score-Motor.

press down***: For safety reasons please wear rubber gloves (for insulation) - or maybe a rubbered index finger. Greetings Rolf

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