Thursday, January 22, 2015

Target Alpha: score reels fix

When I got it, Target Alpha had 2 score reel problems:  the 3rd player thousands carryover bit was tied to the ten thousands, meaning that when the thousand score reel advanced due to the hundreds carrying over from 900 to 1000, then 10000 score reel also advanced.
And on player 4, the ten thousands just never advanced.   

Player 1 started being unable to rest the hundreds reel.  You could see it struggling, but never had the coil strength to advance.
So this one is the most straight forward:   Game is all at zeroes, but there is this undreds reel stuck at 7.  Open up the back, all of the contacts are open except the middle ones.  Obviously these have gotten dirty.  A quick cleaning and they have the proper contact to advance the reel.

Looking from the back, the first  set of switches is closed on zero.  The second switches are 1-9.  And the third is the carry bit, which is set on at 9 and means the current reel advances, as well as the next in line.

This carry bit will be where our carry problems arise in players 3 and 4.

So let's say we have a reel with 9000 points on it.  Here are 2 scenarios:

Problem:  10,000 point reel is not advancing when we score 1000 points.
Solution: on the 1000 reel the rightmost (carry bit) switch is not making good contact when at 9000.

Problem:  10,000 point reel is advancing multiple times!
Solution:  the rightmost (carry) switch is most likely sticky.  When at 9000 and then you hit a 5000 rollover, the 1000s reel will click up 5 times.  After it moves past 9 the rightmost (carry) switch should separate, but if at all sticky, more than one of those pulses could carry through and advance it.

Another random issue was that a 10s reel wasn't resetting to zero properly.  Cleaned the left-most (zero-position switches) and that fixed the issue.

The reel itself can slide out if you gently push aside the plastic latch at the bottom.  I've never actually taken one all the way apart, but it is useful to just slide them back a tad to make working on them easier.
On the left side there is a plastic protrusion which you can pull towards you to manually advance the reel, simulating the solenoid.  I wish I knew about this before, as it makes checking and adjusting the switches much easier.
There is also a plastic piece on the left you can push in that opens the switch stack, making it easier to clean the heads when in zero position.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

gameroom art update!

I got a few new pieces to show off!  The art is exploding around here.
What's new since last time?
Zig Zag and Time Line backglasses.
STTNG playfield is gone, replaced by Genie and Space Riders playfields.
On the marquee front, Burgertime is out, but new ones include Mappy, Bubble Bobble, Marble Madness (glass reproduction) and Pengo.    Some shuffling has taken place as well.

Right now, I am only looking for a few marquees:  Camelry, I Robot, Space Odyssey, and Gyruss.

Moved a marquee to the MAME setup. :)
Looking for a Very Good Future Spa backglass...

Introducing... Target Alpha!

Back to 4 machines for the time being!  Picked up this cute little Target Alpha and finally have one of these games from the "drop target monster" games, ala El Dorada, Solar City, Canada Dry, etc.

It's a player's quality game.  The playfield is super rough, but the backglass is in very good condition, and the cab is pretty good.  Side of the head is OK.

laser fighter or 70s rock and roller?

One of the super cool things about this specific game, though?  WILLIAMS FLIPPERS CONVERSION!
Williams coils!  Bridge rectifiers!

one assembly, up close.

So with the Williams flipper assembly, this game becomes intense compared to other EMs.  Sometimes I even restrain my flips or else a ball skyrocketing to the upper drop targets will invariably be deflected and bang lightly on the glass. 

A few obvious quirks in the game.  I don't have schematics for it (some on order,) but a few obvious things to start on.
First thing I always do is convert the lights in the head too LEDs to preserve the backglass.  Then upper playfield and beneath the playfield will happen later.

Not all of the drops were being counted properly in the bonus scoring sequence.
As luck would have it, this was covered by The Pinball Ninja in a very recent posting, including a great video on this stepper.  
The site requires a login, but lifetime access is ONLY $20 SO YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST GET A LOGIN ALREADY.
this is in the incorrect end position.  It should step one further, off the rivets.

This is the corrected start position, beginning on the 2nd rivet.

The rightmost drop (on the bottom) is now scoring properly.  The leftmost drop (on the top) is still not scoring as it should, but I will inspect that further later this week.

The lower drop bank also had this top switch erroneously gapped to "always open".  I am unsure what it was controlling, but hey, we fixed it.  I'll check that wire out once the schematic comes.

Other issues:
Player 3 scoring is way off, so will have to clean and gap all of the scoring reel contacts.
Bottom right drop wasn't lighting the circle in front when hit, but fixed that with some switch stack adjustment.
The game has 2 blank drop targets, but I will see if I can get (just 2) proper printed ones from Pinball Resource.
Other than that stuff and verifying the bonus stuff is perfect, I want to try and repairing/reinforcing any cracked plastics, and then we should be all good to go until something new crops up.