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Author Topic: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)  (Read 5403 times)

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Cenobyte

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STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« on: April 20, 2011, 02:34:56 pm »
Tonight I was playing my "new" STTNG and the pin suffered from a reset 3 or 4 times. It hasn't done that before?!  :-[

It happens when the bal draines between the flippers. I think I might also activated both flippers when it happened, but I'm not sure that happened every time it resets. In the half hour I played it happened 4 times...

What could cause this?

« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 07:51:03 am by Cenobyte »

Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG resets itself while draining
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 03:40:35 pm »
Since the pin had been sitting in a cold & damp barn for the last 2 years before I bought it (2 weeks ago) I think a bad connector might just be the problem. Would it be smart to check all connectors on the power driver assembly one by one? Being a rookie: what would be a smart way to clean these connectors safely & efficiently?

Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG resets itself while draining
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2011, 09:44:01 am »
Reseating the connectors seemed to work perfectly at first -no more resets after an evening playing- but yesterday I had a bunch of friends over and after 45 minutes of pinball fun the machine went totally berzerk. The cannons kept swinging while the machine told the player to shoot a ball that was not there, balls kept coming in front of the plunger and eventually the display filled itself with diagonal lines, followed by a total reboot with everything repeating itself...  :cry:

Running the test mode I could check the switch matrix and I noticed half a column of switches flickering on and off rapidly (I think it was the column which held the opto's) giving me the idea that this too had something to do with voltage not being high enough somewhere.

Since I'm not capable to solve this complicated stuff myself, I'm going to catalog the connectors and remove my power driver assembly board and take it to somebody who knows what he's doing. I mean: soldering two wires together will probably work out fine for me, but I'm not going to risk destroying my board by fooling around with my soldering iron.  ;D

Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 08:15:40 am »
Well, the story continues...

The driver board has received new components and I've checked the connections on all connectors. Still the problems remain, however they're different now:

-opto's in gun (ball detectors) do not work
-4 switches under both guns (detecting closed state and open state) do not register on switch matrix
-opto Borg entry (just in front of the plunger, for ball detection) does not work
-opto Borg just before turn to plunger DOES work
-all optos for ball detection in ball holder DO work
-opto's that detect balls below playfield at the guns do not work (I checked one and it did not register)

Yesterday I had this happen when I blocked the opto in the left gun:
http://gallery.me.com/cenobytez#100583/IMG_1944

Today, this opto did not work anymore...

The big resistors on the 16-opto board get very hot, is that normal?

All in all the opto's seem to cause the problems. Not the opto's themselves (some work on one day but stop working on other days) but the control board (16-opto board). Strange thing with this pin is that the 16-opto board was broken when I bought it. The seller swapped it with another sttng that he had and after that the machine worked for 2 weeks. What I ask myself is: what killed the 16-opto board in the first place? It looks like that problem is still present and now also killed my second opto board. OR the 16-opto board is still fine, but something else is (and was) causing these problems...

smartbomb2084

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 08:56:21 am »
You need to tell us the actual switch NUMBERS of the problem switches as they are labeled in the SWITCH MATRIX.  The numbers make identification a LOT easier....

From what you are describing it seems that ALL of the switches in Switch Matrix Column three are not registering?

Take a digital camera or cell phone camera and point it towards the emitter half of the opto (green board) and see if the emitters are glowing like the sun through the camera. If they aren't take a flashlight and shine it toward the receiver of the opto (blue board) and then block the light and see if the switch works.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 09:08:09 am by smartbomb2084 »

Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 12:39:03 pm »
You need to tell us the actual switch NUMBERS of the problem switches as they are labeled in the SWITCH MATRIX.  The numbers make identification a LOT easier....

From what you are describing it seems that ALL of the switches in Switch Matrix Column three are not registering?
You're right, sorry for that.

It looks like all switches in column 3 are not registering. But there are more:
92 left gun mark (under the cannon?)
95 right gun home (under the cannon?)
96 right gun mark
97 left gun home

Quote
Take a digital camera or cell phone camera and point it towards the emitter half of the opto (green board) and see if the emitters are glowing like the sun through the camera. If they aren't take a flashlight and shine it toward the receiver of the opto (blue board) and then block the light and see if the switch works.
All emitters on the faulty opto's seem to be working!

From your photo, you've clearly got a problem with that column.  You need to investigate all the switches on it.  Check the optos, make sure no wires are grounded out, that kind of thing.  I shorted a wire in the gun handle on my Demolition Man and it closed an entire set like that.
What's a fast way to check for shortages?

I disconnected both cannon harnasses as they are also prone to broken wires, but that didn't change a thing. I did notice that these wire harnasses looked newer than the rest of the wiring, so they look replaced.

I'm beginning to suspect the ULN2803 on the CPU board or the 16-opto board?

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 06:32:30 pm »
When you enter the SWITCH EDGES test do all of the switches in Column 3 immediately close one after the other in rapid succession?

Check the green-orange wire from CPU J207-3 to 16 Opto board J5-10 (Column 3).

Column 9 is driven by the 8-Driver board not the CPU board. Check the violet-white wire from J5-1 of the 8-Driver board to the guns.

Switches that worked yesterday and not today are usually wire/connector related.




Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 05:48:27 pm »
When surfing, I stumbled on this which sounds very familiar to me:
http://pinballproject.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/opto-insanity/

Are the connectors on the driver board all .156 Molex connectors?

smartbomb2084

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2011, 06:12:06 pm »
MOST of the driver board connectors are .156 but there are also .100 headers for the the lamp matrix at J133-J135 but simply LOOKING at the board would answer that question.

Of the +12V power connectors at J116-J119 only J118 connects to the playfield boards.  You could have a problem with this connector but I would think you would have even MORE opto problems like ball trough issues where the game is launching balls everywhere at random like when the cannons have broken wires. Your problem seems to be with switch Column 3.

When you enter SWITCH EDGES test do all of the switches in Col 3 immediately close in rapid succession one right after the other?

Have you checked the previously mentioned switch wires?  You gotta start eliminating possible causes and simple wire continuity is a good place to begin. All the perfectly functioning boards in the world won't work with flaky wiring but you didn't need ME to tell you that. ;)
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 06:16:39 pm by smartbomb2084 »

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2011, 09:06:03 am »
simply LOOKING at the board would answer that question.


It's all very overwhelming to the inexperienced.  I couldn't have IDed a .156 or a .100 when I got my first pin.

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2011, 09:31:48 am »

It is definitely time to learn that much or find a local tech to pay $65/hr plus travel time.

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2011, 01:22:58 pm »
I had a similar issue with switches after replaced the ramps and the trough under the playfield.  After an hour trouble shooting I discovered I mixed up 2 plugs when I putting the plugs back together.  I changed them back to where they are supposed to be and all was well.  Ever since then whenever I take apart a plug I use painters tape and label both end of the plug with the same number.  Also if I pull plugs off boards I label them with painters tape listing the J number off the board.  Make it a lot easier to put back together.  I write the connection number or J number on the tape then cut a piece long enough to go around the wire so it will not come off until I remove it.   
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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2011, 02:27:32 pm »

I learned to do that after swapping the two main cabinet connectors on a Sys7.  They're the same but one has your high power and the other your logic.  Let a lot of smoke out of my CPU board.   :-\

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2011, 08:09:28 pm »
Making sure that the same color wires are on both sides of an in-line connector is also a good habit to get into where applicable.

Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2011, 03:21:01 pm »
Sorry guys, bear a little with me, because I'm very new in the pin scene, I'm not an electrical guru and English isn't my first language  ;D

I don't have the pin at home, it's in my game room a couple of miles away. So I try to collect all the advice given here, print it out and go to my game room to try things out. I was away for a couple of days and want to catch up with testing things as soon as possible, but I also bought a Corvette pin that required some time.  :)

Last week I really sat down to read the sttng manual from top to bottom, especially the electrical wiring part, and a lot of things make more sense now. I WILL test your tips and get back as soon as possible!
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 09:50:09 am by Cenobyte »

Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2011, 05:22:40 pm »
Ok, did some testing tonight, here it comes.

...Your problem seems to be with switch Column 3.

When you enter SWITCH EDGES test do all of the switches in Col 3 immediately close in rapid succession one right after the other?
No, the switches stay exactly the way they appear when I open the Switch Edges screen, like shown on the attached photo.

With the game off, unplug the connector that is associated with column 3. 

Turn it on, go into test mode.  Do you still have a stuck column?  Then you've got a board problem.

As you can see on the picture, I don't seem to have a stuck column. It's a (random?) selection of switches, some of them closed, but I'm not sure which of them are supposed to be closed and which do not.

I disconnected column 3 and column 4 on the 16-opto board (with machine off) and the Switch Edges screen stayed the same after turning the pin back on.

I also looked for misplaced connectors, but the only misplaced connector was a J137 and J138 that were switched and that would not make a difference in my opinion. All other connectors are on the right place.

I also was able to get the machine "playing" by only inserting one ball to prevent a pile up in front of the plunger and I noticed that the machine still resets when lots of plungers fire simultaneously.

When the driver board was repaired, these components were replaced:

-C5, C30, C8
-BR1, BR2
-GI headers

A full test in another pinball (Fish Tales if I'm correct) showed that the driver board was functioning perfectly after that.

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2011, 06:13:31 pm »
First off...  Remember that in Switch Edges Test, optos show up as CLOSED on the display (square) when they are actually OPEN.  The exact opposite of a mechanical switch.

With no balls in the game and in Switch Edges Test the following switches should have squares on the display at idle:

Sw 24 - ALWAYS CLOSED

All of Column 3

All of Column 4

All of Column 6 except Switch 68 ( shooter)

Sw 95 and 97 (Right and Left gun home)  With guns connected

Why is switch 45 closed (dot not square) ?

Switch 57 should be open (dot) but it is likely closed because the Top Drop Target is Down.

Are you absolutely sure the Green/Orange wire from CPU J207-3 to 16 opto Board J5-10 (Column 3) is intact?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2011, 08:24:06 am by smartbomb2084 »

Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2011, 04:46:31 am »
After some nights of eliminating things, we ended up replacing all four LM339's on the opto board and the Star Trek is back to health. God, I missed that machine  ;D

Since this is the second time I had problems with the 16-opto PCB board (first time we switched out the board with another machine), I was wondering: is there's something that might be responsible for destroying these IC's?

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2011, 09:29:59 am »
That is good news.

I would be looking for 50V (more like 70V) coil power that may be intermittently touching one of the opto wires connected to J1-J2-J3 or J4 of your 16 opto board taking out the LM339's.  Since they don't blow immediately, playing the game may vibrate some bared wire(s). Take your time and check everywhere.

Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2011, 07:54:15 am »
That is good news.

I would be looking for 50V (more like 70V) coil power that may be intermittently touching one of the opto wires connected to J1-J2-J3 or J4 of your 16 opto board taking out the LM339's.  Since they don't blow immediately, playing the game may vibrate some bared wire(s). Take your time and check everywhere.

Well, it looks like I cheered too soon...

The problems keep coming back intermittently now. I guess the LM339's are still intact (since it sometimes functions perfectly without any errors on startup) but it keeps doing strange things: switches that do not work one moment and DO work the next moment. Cannons constantly turning one time and doing all right the next..

Oke, back to playing the detective again  ;D

But first fix a defective coil (and mosfet?) in my Stargate  :lol

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2011, 04:00:05 pm »
I imagine it's a dead easy software fix but good luck finding anyone on the planet that can alter the code.   :P

While they're in there, how about reducing the "IN THE PYRAMID!, IN THE PYRAMID!" speech?
WTB: The Grid by Midway (2001), looking for 2 or more complete games, and large marquee

Cenobyte

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Re: STTNG electrical problems (switches/opto's)
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2012, 04:16:49 am »
While they're in there, how about reducing the "IN THE PYRAMID!, IN THE PYRAMID!" speech?
You're right, if you own such a machine you're getting used to pressing the flipper key to start a game and to prevent the speech  ;D

About the STTNG... Man, that was a long story, still not fixed!

The pin kept blowing up LM339's on the 16 opto and on the 7 ball through on an irregular basis. I noticed it was the same ic every time: U3 on the 16 opto and U1 on the 7 ball through. I tried moving the machine off from the carpet that somethimes was quite static, no solution. I replace the molex connecting the 7 ball through because the power led on the PCB was flashing sometimes, not good. But: no solution, it's still eating a couple of LM's a week.

Now yesterday I found a loose connector on one of the PCB's that drives the cannon motors. So it might be induction current from that bad connector? I disconnected it and played 3 games without blowing stuff up. I keep my fingers crossed...