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View Full Version : Pinball Problem Areas - Generic



MrMaloo
6th August 2009, 07:37 PM
This thread is for generic problem areas common to ALL pinball machines .

Please DO NOT list specific game problems in this thread . Post them in the relevant pinball name thread.

MrMaloo
6th August 2009, 08:21 PM
Quotes from Tony at The Pinball Shed :

Data East games in general. A major problem is the fuse holders, they used a very poor holder which quickly lose its tension. Every time I check the fuses on one of these games, I always get one that snaps off.


Bally/Williams games with the 6 ball trough. What a troublesome design, machine keeps kicking out balls losing track all the time. Most common problem is with the 7 opto switches, switch test will detemine which one is faulty. Finding a lot lately is another trough problem, when the ball is lost and drops into the trough, it just sits and doesn't roll down onto the switch. You have to remove the whole assembly and gently file out any little dents in the ball roll areas to ensure the ball does roll down correctly.


Most types of games. The general lighting, which in tech terms is called the G.I. Nearly every game that I have serviced this year has had some sort of G I fault. Most games have 4 or 5 strings of lighting that stays on most of the time, generally 2 strings are in the headbox and the rest for different sections of the playfield underneath plastics most of the time.
Whether its because we are all using cheaper lamps which tend to burn a lot hotter, I'm not sure but the connectors are getting so hot and evenually burning and melting around the pins causing loss of lights in certain areas.
I just change the connector to the molex type with the most better types of pins, which seem to take the heat a bit better. This heat also is causing a lot of dry solder joints forming on the backs of the circuit boards, these are easily fixed by resoldering the damaged areas, be careful when learning to solder that you don't leave small splashes of solder resting between pins. This can cause problems. Always try and clean up your solder job with a little solvent to remove the flux stain. Shellite with an old toothbrush is handy if you have nothing else to use.

Early Bally solid state games from 1977 to around 1982. Most of the problems with these games of this era, is the power rectifier board which is the small circuit board located beside the actual transformer. Almost every one that I worked on, I had to change every connector as they had become burnt and brittle over the years, most games even had the wires soldered directly onto the pins bypassing any connector. The fuse holders should always be replaced and lastly you may as well change the 3 bridge rectifiers if they are the small original ones. Change them to the larger 35 w type which will do the job much better.
These early Bally's are a pleasure to work on and can be made much more reliable that other games from the same era.

All games, problems with switches not working. Because of the use of a switch matrix, all the switching is done in rows and columns of 8 x 8.
What this means is that each row of switches has 8 switches linked together. Most switch faults are caused by a simple wire dropping off one switch which then causes several others to just go dead. If checking and they all look ok, just give them a gentle touch and make sure that the wires that have the clear plastic tips on the end are not broken inside this small tip making it look like no break, this is very common for them to break there for some reason.

All games, a lot of games coming in from overseas seem to have this fault. Switches just going haywire causing all sorts of other problems, in most cases this has been caused by somebody replacing a switch and wiring the wire back on in the wrong position in relation to the diode. This really freaks out the game play. Always check that the wires go back on in the correct positions.

Games around that 1995 Bally/Williams era :
This was a fault that I found in 4 Theatres, a Whodunnit and Indy 500
A very loud buzz humming type noise coming out of the machine somewhere. Very annoying and some games a lot louder then others. The transformer
position was changed in this year, it was mounted onto the rear wall rather then on the floor of the game.
They mounted it onto metal brackets which for some strange reason created this loud hum. Once the transformer is relocated back onto the floor and secured, this buzzing hum disappeared.

Arcade King
18th August 2009, 05:06 PM
Very common all round problem I've seen is burnt GI connectors.

AskJacob
21st August 2009, 04:07 PM
My most common generic fault: Poor AC wiring and wrong fuses.

Check AC wiring, starting at the plug and work your way to the transformer. Items to keep a close eye on:

1 - damage to power cord
2 - the AC line filter (often where bad/poor connections live)
3 - under any "power boxes" - metal enclosures where high voltage goes - e.g. the fuse and powerswitch boxes in wms/bally machines - lets you see if any genius has bypassed any fuses...

I do this with any new machine I get, as well as am a pain and will do it any chance I get with anyone else's machine :cool:

Cheers
Jacob

sriley50
10th July 2012, 04:25 PM
Very common all round problem I've seen is burnt GI connectors.

Does anyone know where is a good place to get new GI Connectors, mine are burnt out one a TAXI and I want to get some more?
The ones currently are a 7 pin Connectors.

Pinball Warehouse
10th July 2012, 04:49 PM
Scott, pm me your post address and I will get some in the mail for you.