Thursday, October 31, 2013

SF2: VUK mounts + outlane kicker

Problems found, problems fixed!

SF2 has 2 VUK units and they are one of the most heavily used components on the game, after the flippers themselves.  50% of all shots feed right to them.  E Honda, Zangief, Sagat, Ken & Ryu, M Bison, Balrog: each of those shots uses the VUK to get the ball back out.
SO when they are off, you REALLY feel it.  The VUKs were limping a bit so I checked under the PF and the mounting mechanisms for them were loose.  Tightening them up made the kickers play pretty much perfect!

But inspection gave rise to another head-scratcher:  Why are there so many screws missing???


I went to Home Depot with screws from the machine in hand, and a lovely man in the screws isle helped me find replacements.
For your reference and mine, these are the screws that are used:

I added all missing screws and got it all tightened up.  Hopefully with a full set of screws in there things will come loose less quickly.

While playing the game a problem would occur erratically. (and erratic is the WORST type of problem.  Next to "thing catching on fire".)
A ball would enter the outhole, a new ball would be released to the shooter lane and then the machine says "SAME PLAYER SHOOT AGAIN!" over and over again.  Uh oh!

here is the outhole mechanism

2 balls loaded, 3rd ball would depress the switch

This is the kind of issue that I would love to work on with an EM, because you know that by looking at the schematics you can unveil the procession of logic that results in any state.
On a DMD, I was worried it'd be a bit more mysterious.  But luckily, I was able to solve it.

When the "Same player shoot again" would happen, I would note there was a ball still in the outhole.  Why was it still there?  Did the coil fail at kicking it out?  Did the coil fail to fire?
I took off the apron and figured out the issue:  there is a switch under there that indicates if a 3rd ball is loaded.  When a ball is released in to the shooter lane, the other 2 balls are supposed to roll forward.
The switch was bent in such a way that a ball could be precariously balanced in there to have not quite enough gravity to overcome the switch's resistance.  I think this is related to the fact I have the machine now set to maximum slant.
I was able to use needle-nose pliers to bend the switch a bit and so far so good:  the ball is not getting stuck in there any more.

here is ball 3, resting perfectly on the switch, thus causing the issue.  BEND THAT ISH!

Problems solved!

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