Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rollergames diverter replacement

So the diverter was a bit of an issue.  It had built up some pitting and would not close the gate the entire way.  This meant the ball would get stuck along the top area.  Well, sometimes it would rattle a bit and roll down, sometimes the machine would need a shove.
Either way, this classic game by Steve "king of flow" Ritchie was not flowing at all.

Note the pitting in the bar, dug in by the solenoid slamming the roll pin against it

These diverter bars were considered Unobtainium, but amazingly someone on pinside had reproduced them.  (they apparently still have a few available, so best stock up!)
And the guy that owned the game had already got his copy:


 Only problem is, once it was installed the gates STILL were not closing all of the way!  What's up with that?

Turns out, this diverter bar is the SECOND take on the diverter mechanism.

First version, from the manual:

Second version, via a tech bulletin:

A crucial difference is that the revised version used a special coil stop that was a bit shorter than the normal one.  Part code subcode B, or something like that, and it was no longer around to order.
Luckily it is far easier to subtract than add, so I took to grinding it!  Not on an electric grinder, nope that'd be too easy, I got it in my head to just use the tools I had and grind it by hand.
Not recommended.
(edit: it is Solenoid Bracket Assembly B-13488 revision 'A')

Another look at the diverters:

This is not properly closed...
If the coil stop is too long, the solenoid can't pull in the entire way, and you don't get the proper curve

This smashed corner is an example of the damage that can happen when the diverter is not hitting the correct spot.

And last but not least, I want to mention how annoying games are when the playfield just has a pivot point.  No sliding it up + forward, and therefore no easy access to disassemble the back end of the playfield apparatus.

So what to do?  First, struggle like hell to lift the playfield up off the pivot brackets.  Then get a board and slide the playfield forward, resting the flipper solenoid brackets on to it.  Thanks to the pinsiders for the tips on this.


It should never have come to this.

And Rollergames is gone as well, now!  Back home to it's owner with many a problems solved.
Oh, what to do with all of this sudden space????

Stars: finishing up

The last bulb in the game was a connector wire, loose up at the board.  That had all of the lights working fine for a while, until this happened:
look out below!

As it turns out, lights that snap off don't work so well!  Replaced that light socket.

During a few nights of heavy play it was noted that sometimes when some drops were down, they would continue to score 500 points.  Either by themselves, or when a flipper solenoid fired, but it was erratic.  I cleaned the contacts with a flexstone, and hopefully that problem won't return.
new drops and springs were added

cleaning the contacts seemed to help the repeated scoring issue

One issue that does return periodically is the right flipper getting stuck in a halfway position.
This occurs when the up/down rod gets rotated a bit, and sits improperly on the switch beneath the playfield.  I tightened the metal bent around it with needlenose pliers, and hopefully it will sit there properly for a while.
Eventually, that might need to be swapped out with an unbent switch plate.
wire from above is nuzzled between the edges of the switch plate.  Imagine the displacement if that 90 degree metal wire was rotated and sitting on top of the switch's channels.  That would mean the spinner is sitting at the half-rotated position.

And that is IT!   With that I say goodbye to this lovely Stars, back to it's home looking and playing lightyears better than it did when it arrived.

Jurassic Park: ramp hopping

One problem with having games a bit steeper than there normal settings is that sometimes the new physics aren't taken in to account.
The major issue here was that the ball would hop OFF the wireform ramp and in to the right outlane.
right through that gap
Sometimes from the VUK, sometimes if it had a lot of spin coming from the upper left of the playfield.
I got a tip on pinside to just close the gap with a bent paperclip, but I chose to use some 19 gauge wire, and that seems to have done the trick.

It's not classy, but it works.

One of spots the ball would jump off:  When you hit the ramp hard and the ball is being diverted to the right of the playfield, sometimes the ball would jumble around and fall off on to a pop bumper.
This is not mission critical, seeing as how the ball is still in play, and not straight in to the outlane.

check that post in the center, near the top
The support post, center, top, holds the ramp in place along the left side, but it doesn't feel like it is secured to anything.  Because of the wobble, that is why the ball is falling off there.
I will have to take the ramp out and inspect that piece.
These "jumping off the ramp" problems started occurring more when I installed superbands on the flippers, as those seemed to give me far more powerful shots.  No way I would compromise on those now, though.  The game plays far better with those flipper rubbers.  I'd much prefer to address the issues with the ramp itself.

While playing, on 2 different occasions, we had a slam tilt which then resets the game.  Only happened twice, but a bug to check up on.  Inspected wires, went through the switch tests, all seems good, for now...
The slam tilt resides in the same Swith Matrix column as a bunch of the front door switches, but the same row that also contains the "Herrerasaurus - Top" switch, which seems like the most likely culprit.  It's in that three target switch bank I've fiddled with before.  The center red target in the photo below.

And last but not least, I will have to get around to shaving the chasis of the two green targets at the pop bumper entrance.

These get hit from all angles and the outer edge gets caught on the metal backing of the switch, which makes it impossible to depress and register.
It's been recommended to dremel out the side body of the targets to keep the game playing smooth.  I'll get to it, some day...