Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beat The Clock udpate

After having fixed the bonus kickout hole switch last time, I decided to add some protection.  I took off the surrounding plastics and cut some custom plastic sheeting to go in front of it.  Any place where the ball goes airborne and smacks down, that will inevitably wear.

right flipper switches:  bottom switch can close while the top remains open.  I need to correct this.

The right flipper can be used to alternate which of the S-T-O-P lights are lit, and which top rollover lanes are lit.
You'll see that even when the first switch is closed and the flipper is active, the change-lane switch is still open.  I want them in sync so that any flip rotates the lanes, so I adjusted the gapping to make them sync up.
This way you can reliably rotate the lights with the flipper without having to inspect to see if the lights actually moved.

Top left "A" lane was not registering when the ball would go across it too quickly, so again, fixed the gapping there.
said rollover switch

Then the other day I go to play it, flip the switch on and expect the glorious "BEAT THE CLOCK" squwacking speech.  Except... it just beeped.  And had no credits any more.  And the high-score was all 5s.  What happened?
It looks like the memory got wiped!  Battery was still there, but ummm maybe best to replace it.  Not sure what else could have caused it than battery issues.  So we have one of those on order.
But the game wouldn't play past booting up.  I couldn't coin up at all.   Was something amiss?  Why no "BEAT THE CLOCK" on bootup?  DID SOMETHING GO HORRIBLY WRONG?

our keypad technology is lightyears ahead of yours!

The answer was: not really, but kind of.  When the memory blipped, things went back to the "Factory settings".  I quickly found that "factory settings" contains a bunch of nonsensical register data that was hampering things.
This game has a tiny black button inside the door to go in to test mode, and to get all the way in you have to make sure there are no aberrant switches closed.  It signals them with a beep and a switch number.
Once all cleared, you use a quirky little key-pad on a cable to interface with the test modes.
the offending board battery?

Long story short, I finally figured out the issue was that the "Maximum Credits" register (register #10) was set to 8000.  The value is supposed to be betwen 1 and 40, so altering allowed for proper coin-door operation, and also let the start button work on free play (set register 27 to 65 for that).
I had to set the full sound and speech options to 3 to get to the point where it would say the wonderful "BEAT THE CLOCK" on bootup.

come on... say it... "BEAT THE CLOCK!"

I checked a number of the other registers, and definitely wonky data, even in registers that can't be overwritten.  Games played?  20,000.   Coins insert?  400,000.  Times the high score was beaten?  9,200,000....
At least I found the one bit of wacky data that was actually messing up the game operation.
After other power-ons, I noticed it is not holding on to sound settings or free play settings, but it is not a total memory wipe as it is holding the credits count.
The max credits raised up to something like 8010, but I imagine the system is only looking at the right 2 digits.  So when it was 8000 maximum credits, the system read that as 0.

Remember the small detail that the game is LIVE, and you could easily run current through yourself while touching the game and anything else?
Yeah.  That.
Unplugged the game and found the cord didn't have a ground plug!  UGGGH.
So new properly grounded plug coming.
So when the owner comes the priorities will be:  Line cord, then battery.

while messy, at least the standups work pretty well.

all different springs, and oh hey, one is missing!

So yeah:  new drops are coming.  See above.  :)

I tried putting in LEDs under the playfield but they don't handle the flickering animations well.  And with these old-style 555 sockets, I want to smash my head on the wall.  They are the WORST for accessing.  Give me the rotating bases for the 555s, or go have to 44s.
I swapped LEDs in to the GI but some sockets are a bit flakey though and might need eventual replacement.  This got me some spare 555s.
While I was swapped the LEDs I got some deeper cleaning in, and as well put lexan washers on the sling plastics.  I had hoped to put lexan under each of the plastics, but the rest of the plastics are half fastened by screws in to wood, and so the posts would be higher up, which probably bodes even worse for the plastics then leaving them unprotected.

With a salvaged 555 incandescent bulbs in hand I went to work replacing bulbs under the playfield, but then found a bunch of lights still did not work.  I will have to check voltages later, and see if I need to replace the sockets.

Also got some screws for the pop bumpers.  The pop assemblies snap together, but for when the snaps inevitably break there are little marked holes for where to drill.  I then had to go BACK to the store and get a size zero squaure driver because I've never owned one before.  But at least now the pop bumpers are 100% secured.

A  problem that is creeping up in importance:  The end of ball switch.  At least I think it's that switch.  Some times the ball is live and suddenly the game registers the end of ball sequence.  This of course is extra terrible when you have zero seconds remaining.
But also some times when the ball drains you have to hit the flipper buts for the end of ball sequence to initiate, so it might NOT just be a switch issue.

look in to end-of-ball switch issues
diagnose why the S-T-O-P standups can trigger pop bumper or right sling solenoids
replace drop targets
find why shooter lane eject can trigger left standups or right drop target
loose light socket
outhole lane: sometimes doesn't register until flippers pressed, sometimes signals end of ball when ball in play
adjust S-T-O-P standups to be more sensitive
replace board battery

cleaned shooter rod assembly
fixed bonus collect hole so ball doesn't get stuck
fixed "A" rollover sensitivity
lexan washers on pops
LEDs for GI lighting
secured pop bumperr plastics
right flipper now properly rotating S-T-O-P and upper rollover lights
repalced most lights under the playfield
deep cleaning + waxing
all new rubbers

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