Sunday, June 30, 2013

Problem Solved: green joker FIXED!

Since the moment I got this machine, there has been an erratic problem with the green joker:  After the ball reset, there would be about a 30% chance that green joker would trigger, meaning all drops were suddenly 1000+1000=2000 points, the kickout hole was now worth 2000, and green lanes were lit for 3000.
Obviously if this happened on your ball that would be a major advantage.  It wasn't consistent, so would definitely add some chance to match play.
Sometimes, though very rarely, the green joker would trigger while the ball was in play, away from the normal green triggers.

While the green joker went on, no points were awarded.  This led me to believe that the joker relay mechanism itself was at fault:   perhaps mis-lubed, perhaps a spring not pulling in the proper way.

It's hard to see here, but here are two shots of the green joker relay..

Lucky for me, the green relay is the one at the end of the entire unit.  had it been any other of them, I would have given up right away:  No way in hell am I opening that thing up at this point in my pinball training!

But while under the playfield, I checked the green joker rollovers, and oh look what I found:

This is a video of the rollover switch after being hit.  As you can plainly see, it vibrates.
When I hit the adjacent rollover switch, you can see the white plastic piece stay snug to the metal, no vibration whatsoever.

Here is the back of switch:

The bottom wire is the White-Orange one, and that controls scoring.  The Blue+Orange wire is for the relay mechanism.  Since it was that switch that was vibrating, that would explain why it would turn the green on, but not award any points.

I tightened the screws (in one first...) and then got to work adjust the switch blade.  I couldn't get it perfect, such that the white separator was flush to the the adjacent metal piece, but I did give it some space.  
It could be done better, but it all seems to be working:  Played 2 games, not a single green joker relay was activated inadvertantly.


This, and the springboard rejects up the left side, are the 2 biggest problems that were effecting game play.  I am so happy to have solved them!

Right now that leaves a selection of minor drop target issues, each of which happens too irregularly to bother with at the time, and an erratic issue of sometimes the bonus isn't counted proper.
I know for the bonus I need to clean the AS stepper, so perhaps I will get to that in the coming week.

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