Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dragon: further work

1st rollover light not working in the upper rollovers?  Just a loose bulb/socket.

Issue with the game not starting up properly?  The player unit in the back has a HARD TIME getting warmed up and moving. 
I am going to bring someone in who knows a thing or two about european motors to take a look at it. 
The similar motor under the playfield moves fine.  That one is used for scoring multiples and such, so gets lots of activity.  The one in the head moves for players only, so far less activity.  I think it might be lagging due to ceased grease somewhere.

Then the other major issue is the sustained beeping of the sound board.  2 things could be at play here:  The sound and scoring are controlled by point-awarding solenoids.  Those could be sticking on:  CM, DM, ML, CE each connect to trigger a point sound, then release to score, which is happening.
I cleaned each of them and it definitely reduced the occurrences of the issue, but not perfect yet.  Apparently I can get some relevant contact cleaner to make sure they stick less.

in the head:  the scoring relays are easily accessible here, right up the middle.

Failing that, perhaps the occasional target switch is sticking on?  That would also cause the same issue.  Will remember to go clean those eventually.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Target Alpha: player 3 redux

Player 3 had a bit of a confounding issue.
All reel advance fine under normal circumstances, but when the 10k reel is NOT on zero (1-9) and the Score Control Relay (D) or Score Control Relay (C) are used to add points, the 10k reel advances each time as well.
So if the 10k reel is as 2 I can sit there and advance by 1000 points all day long and it will advance a-ok.
But if I hit a 500 point target or 2000 point targets, those are added via the Score Control Relays (to add a value >1 times) and the 10k reel advances.

If the 10k reel is at 2, and I hit a 500 point target, the hundreds will advance by 5 and so will the 10k reel.
If the 10k reel is at 8, and I hit a 500 point target, the 10k reel will advance to 9 and then 0. It will not erroneously advance when in the zero position.

This ONLY happens on player 3.

Here is the 10k reel:

Not many switches on it  At zero, the left stack is closed, part of the reset sequence.  On non-zero right stack is closed and left is open, so obviously I trailed that right cable.

click to embiggen

 So check the "Add 3rd Ten Thousand" solenoid.  Main option for incrementing is via the L relay and the thousands reel being in the "Carry" position, aka "9".
Other option is  Z2, which is part of the reset sequence, reseting it to zero during a game restart. 

The issue only occurs when the motor is chugging, via the Score Control Relays.  Scoring a digit a single time is easy, but to score a hundred 5 times, or a thousand twice, require these extra relays which advance the motor.

It turns out that Z2 switch needed to be regapped.  Each time the Score Control Relays advanced, the motor pulse traveled through the improperly closed switch and was advancing the reel towards zero.

Player 3, now perfectly working.

Still, player 4 issue is there:
As the thousands reel moves to "9", it is not strong enough to get it there completely in to the proper position, clicked all the forward. I think this is because in the 9 position the switch stack has flexed all the way to the right and maybe the spring is not strong enough to draw it back to it's proper position? That's all I can think of.
The result is that the next thousand fires the advance solenoid (and advances the ten thousand) but just gets the 9 to the proper position. Next thousand advance puts it to zero, but has also advance the ten thousand reel.

This machine is SOLD though.  I hope I can get it all working before it goes, but it was sold with the knowledge that only players 1 and 2 were currently A-OK.  Now, at least we have 3 that are aces!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Back to Corvette

Hey, remember this game?  I haven't written much about it.  Guess I've been too busy just playing it?
OK, kinda.  I had tried to get in to it at one point, but lifting it up I felt one side of the playfield wasn't properly supported at the tilt axis point.
I finally got someone in to help me and they quickly found the issue:  A bolt had fallen off and in to the cab.  Got that properly connected and in we could go!

oh hey we might need that.

ayyup, there it goes!

I had thought the "light kickback" diode needed replacement since it wasn't registering well, but that turned out to be cracked solder joint.  That got fixed.

I've written about the right inlane alignment before, and this finally got fixed in a more permanent way by threading in so toothpick wood.  Here is to hoping that holds!

Coming up for Corvette, I am going to have a support for the entrance gate on the LT5 fixed up.  Right now it's kind of sloppily tied to the VUK wireform since the LT5 ramp is cracked.
This is and always will be a player's copy, but I will do whatever I can to have it playing as 100% as possible!

Introducing... Dragon!

 No no, not the Gottlieb one from 1978, the InterFlip one from 1977, duh!
I was loaned this machine to take care of it's various issues.  This copy is HUO, I think, and is absolutely beautiful, inside and outside.
The game itself isn't that incredible, but it is fast and furious and would be great in a larger lineup.

The owner was complaining of prolonged squeals from the digital sound card, and scoring that would jump between reels on a single player game.
I went through it as well and came up with a list of issues and tasks:
- sound sometimes pulses on, stays on squealing until a flipper is hit
- bottom right dragon's corresponding rollover lights is always on
- "Ball In Play" reel seems to struggle a bit at times
- add LEDs in backglass
- swap LEDs in playfield
- Top #1 rollover light is off.  Should turn on at start, off when collected.
- Polarity of power probably incorrect, resulting in "live" playfield when turned off.
- Left flipper flutters slightly when compared to right
- lockdown bar is very difficult to move

Apparently this machine was under a blanket in a workshop for 30 or so years.  The counter on it only has 5000 games registered.

you could eat a meal off of it, it's so clean.

OK, new rule, no food on the games.

I went straight to the issue of scoring.  The game had no lights in the head, so tossed in some vital LEDs.  I could then quickly see that in a 1 ball game it was proceeding as:
P1 B1
P3 B1
P1 B2
P3 B2
P1 B3
then over.  I guess that after P1 B3 the game does a scan to check if that was the last ball, and since only 1 player registered, it ends.
My assumption was correct:  J1 to J4 are latch relays that indicate if a player is in.  I tested the latches, and manually unlatched P3.
The game then played through a 1 player game no problem.  My guess is that this is something that was just heavily unused and needs some love.  I heard the biggest problems with EM machines come from disuse, so after sitting for so long, J3 just couldn't unlatch without help.
I plan on having many more 4-player then 1-player games to stress it a bit and see if the issue reoccurs.

There are 5 rollovers on each the left and right side.  100 points each, 1000 points when lit.  Each corresponds to one of the 5 dragons.
The schematic is kind of cute, using this odd symbol to indicate "hey this happens on the dragon".
Checking that bottom right dragon's assembly, it was easy enough to spot the always-closed switch stack and regap them.  Problem solved!

I brought someone in to look at the power issue, since I am actively trying to avoid line voltage in my body.
We quickly found that it wasn't that the polarity was swapped (as was the case in my Out Of Sight,) but that in the plug itself the ground had detached.

yeah that's not quite right.

We also worked on the lockdown bar, which was really binding, but got it to loosen a touch.
Does this photo add anything to this post?  No, not really.

Next up?  I think the top rollover is solved via the P relay assembly, but dang that one is going to be hard to get to.  It is all the way at the back of the cab!
And the sticking sound issue?  I think I've isolated it to physical rollover switches sticking on the playfield.   Will get around to cleaning those eventually.

Note the "& advance" at the standup target...

Oh and I think this machine is also a prototype.  Note the "5000 & Advance" on the far left and far right standups.  There is no bonus add for these in the schematics.  They do not advance bonus.
Checking IPDB, all other machines just have "5000" for them.  I can see the "5000 & Advance" in the advert for this game on IPDB, and it even mentions the advance as a feature.  I am unsure if this is a prototype that was also used as the basis for advertising, or if a bunch of these exist and they then realized they had forgotten the bonus circuit, or something like that, and so changed the playfield.

This game has also been made somewhat notorious for it's hilarious Classic Games Room review...

And this funny gameplay video from PAPA pros where they are probably a bit drunk and the machine basically eats them alive.

More cool shots:
A simple plug allows you to adjust flipper voltage!

The Gottlieb score motor is not here.  We have this really cool motor in the cab, and a similar one in the back.  Very nice designs.