In Progress Dealer's Choice, Williams, EM

GTB Buckaroo

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Feb 17, 2018
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Kent
#91
Did you clean the pf first? IPA and a magic eraser will do a good job. As its planking a lot, be careful not to remove any more paint than necessary.

I've found that Createx air-brush paint works very well. if you by some, get opaque rather than transparent. Build the coats up in layers using an air brush or bristle brush and do one section at a time and allow good drying times between coats. Remember too that the colours shall darken as they dry. You should seal the new paint with a varnish or lacquer afterward and polish it once completely hardened with a drop of Novus 2 or Farecla G3. Never use T cut as it contains ammonia which bleaches paint.
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
939
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Leeds, West Yorkshire
#92
Did you clean the pf first? IPA and a magic eraser will do a good job. As its planking a lot, be careful not to remove any more paint than necessary.

I've found that Createx air-brush paint works very well. if you by some, get opaque rather than transparent. Build the coats up in layers using an air brush or bristle brush and do one section at a time and allow good drying times between coats. Remember too that the colours shall darken as they dry. You should seal the new paint with a varnish or lacquer afterward and polish it once completely hardened with a drop of Novus 2 or Farecla G3. Never use T cut as it contains ammonia which bleaches paint.
Thanks for this. The pf was cleaned with ME and IPA, I did manage to bring some of the paint off in places, and in other stubborn dark marks just wouldn't come out either. I've got some of the createx opaque colour and an airbrush and have been practicing, but as a total novice with an airbrush, I'm favouring the brush approach at the moment.
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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#93
Took a break from the playfield painting and decided to undercoat the plain front part of the backbox - it was looking very very dirty. I lightly sanded and appled a coat of white stabilising primer. It looks so much better already.

BEFORE:
IMG_9850.JPG IMG_9852.JPG IMG_9853.JPG

AFTER:
IMG_9859.JPG
IMG_9860.JPG IMG_9861.JPG
I haven't filled any of the gaps, and it looks so much better that before with the knocks now painted white, they don't show up as much as before. If I want this looking even better, I could use some filler to square off those damaged corners and fill in the dents and gouges. However, I think I'll leave it like this for the time being as not sure what I'm going to do with the rest of the cabinet. if I leave it as is, then don't want the back box looking too smart, it will look odd if the rest of the cab isn't sorted in a similar way too. The artwork on the cab is probably quite easy to template and repaint, but there is also a certain charm to leaving it original as-is.

Now back to the playfield.............
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
939
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Leeds, West Yorkshire
#94
Playfield painting is a pain in the ass. It's going slowly and I'm learning from all the mistakes I'm making. First, get decent quality acrylic paints. You get what you pay for. The "chiltern" paints are rather thin. Real shame as their neon pink is a great colour. The "studio" one is very opaque, but dries to a dark pink, almost purple. The "Artiste" ones are good coverage too.

Secondly I should have done two coats of undercoat. Too late now unless I strip it all off and restart.

Thirdly - masking is not as good as I though, for me personally I've found it works better to paint by hand.

IMG_9891.JPG


Whilst waiting for paints to dry I'm also getting on with other jobs: Try out the tumbler
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Get shot of some of the rust on the backbox cover and the lock down bar underside
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I put out too much black paint, so decided to use it up on the cabinet:
IMG_9903.JPG IMG_9906.JPG IMG_9905.JPG IMG_9908.JPG
I'll finish these off as an when I do more black painting.
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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Leeds, West Yorkshire
#96
Not a lot to report recently, I've been busy touching up paintwork on the playfield and the cabinet, priming the back box cover, and doing all sorts of little clean up jobs. I'm waiting for another delivery of paints to try get the playfield pink sorted once and for all. Until I get that I'm a bit stuck. I was hoping it would arrive in the post today - but it didn't. Fingers Crossed for tomorrow.

IMG_9917.JPG
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
939
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Leeds, West Yorkshire
#97
Finally got around to putting some effort in to get this thing up and running.
IMG_0044.JPG IMG_0045.JPG
The playfield is far from perfect, but it's now a playable machine. Its pretty fast for an EM. I have a list of teething issues to resolve, mainly some lights not functioning correctly and a few loose sockets. The whole lighting flickers with the action of any solenoid, so I need to track that down. Legs and cab still need work. Replay higt score selector wires need jones plugs adding so they can be used. etc.
 

astyy

Play Flipper Games for Fun and Recreation
Jan 19, 2015
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#98
Wow that's really starting to pop, I really appreciate these unloved machines being brought back to life.

Btw, what did you decide about protecting your playfield paint touch ups?
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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Well, I have left this machine for 7 months. It had a terrible issue with it that really made it unplayable. On a multi player game it would, for some reason, switch from one player to the next mid ball. Not every ball, but more often than not. It could happen to any player, 1,2,3 or 4. It didn't do a full normal end-of-ball - just part of it. E.g. the bonus would not clock up lie a normal end of ball but the target and rollover relay banks resent and the ball trough eject fires. Very odd. On a single player game it would also do some odd things, it was like it had switched ball but yet the ball count doesn't move and again the bonus doesn't clock up like a normal end of ball. . Anyhow I coudn't fix it and then I sort of lost interest in the machine and busied myself with other project.

Today I have finally come to taking a good fresh look at the problem and I have figured out a bit about whats happening with the player switch. It only seems to occur when you have rolled over one of the 9 rollover buttons in the centre of the playfield, but it doesn't do this every time, nor does it do it at the obvious time of say the first one being triggered, or all 9. Hmmmmm....
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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Leeds, West Yorkshire
After hours of investigation I have figured a few things out. I was intrigued why the player switch only seemed to happen when the ball rolled over any one of the centre 9 rollover switches. I discovered that each of these cause the score motor in the cab to turn. The score motor has lots and lots of switches that are activated during a turn of the score motor - so that sort of makes sense. So the player advance is obviously being activated by one of those switchers, but it is not happening all the time - i.e. it doesn't happen every time the score motor turns. I then started to trace back the circuits using the schematics to see when things like the player number advance and also the ball trough kick out coil get triggered.

I have done a load more testing and then - hey presto - I saw something a bit odd. There is a bonus accumulator - that runs from 1,000 points up in 1.000 increments to 10,000. The current bonus is shown as a lamp lit on the middle of the playfield - 10 lamps 1,000 up to 10,000. As I was testing I noticed that sometimes this clocks down by 1,000. That seemed a little odd to me as usually on any game you clock the bonus up, but it never clocks down.

When a new ball starts the bonus starts at 1,000. Not sure if that is correct, should it start at 0? I checked the schematic again and figured out that actually it should start at 1,000 as their is a specific circuit on the new ball setup that advances the bonus counter unit wheel by one just before a new ball is ejected.

So, I started a new game and pressed various scores making sure I didn't press anything to advance the bonus from its starting point of 1,000. Eventually, as I suspected, something triggered the bonus to count down by 1 - therefore the bonus was at zero - none of the bonus lights lit. I then pressed one of the 1-9 rollover buttons, which triggered the score motor to cycle and BANG - there was the problem in it's fully glory - the player unit advances to the next player and the ball trough eject fires too. I confirmed this by looking at the schematic again - an sure enough as a part of the end of ball sequence the player unit advances and the ball ejects. This is only part of the end of ball sequence. Thee first part of it is to count down the bonus that has been scored - this is triggered by the ball being detected in the drain trough.

So, what's happening here is that because something is counting down the bonus from 1,000 to zero, the system thinks that is is part way through an end of ball cycle and so finishes that cycle off.

I did another test and clocked the bonus up to 3,000 and then pressed other scoring swithes until it ccounted down, then pressed the 1-9 rollovers. No problems were encountered until the bonus score went right down to zero, confirming what the schematic implies.

I then went on to find out what is bringing the bonus score down. It is every time the 1,000 score reel is triggered. It can be any players 1,000 score reel. So, that has now sent me on a search for a link between the 1,000 scoring mechanism and the bonus unit count down coil...........
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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I have spent hours and hours on this fault. I had to trace the circuit from the reset coil on the bonus stepper unit. this went through two switches on the score motor then back up to the underside of the playfield through the bonus relay and the double bonus relay. All seemed correct, however there is a short circuit somewhere to the 1,000 score circuit. I have started to disconnect the wiring from the coil and now I am temporarily wiring it back to various points along the circuit. I have unplugged all the jones plugs in the bottom of the cab and I have the wire in question showing a short to another wire right opposite on the jones socket. I had to de-solder one wire to check that the jones socket itself isnt the problem. I was hoping it was, but it wasnt. Grrrr. Seems an odd coincidence that the wire right next to the one I'm interested in is shorted to it. it does appear that the wire I'm shorted to is in the 1,000 point circuit - it's red and blue or black. and that checks out on the schematic.

Next I've been checking the other wires and switches on the score motor - there are plenty of them all stacked up together. So far all looks ok and I can't find anything that is shorted.

I think I need some red wine now to help refresh my brain........

This is a real nasty problem to figure out.
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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OMG - I have fixed it. This is so bizarre. I eventually traced the short back to the switches on the score motor. By checking the schematic with what was physically there, I found something really odd - and not right. There are two switches that were in the part of the circuit I'm interested in ( the bonus unit reset coil circuit) on the score motor, on different cams. One is used for the standard circuit and the other is used when the double bonus feature has been achieved. Anyhow the first one is on the "Impulse" cam. The schematic shows this as a normally open switch. But on my machine it is actually a normally open/normally closed switch. i.e. it has 3 wires instead of just two. ????????? Very very odd - why would a game that should have just a two leaf switch, have a three leaf switch???? Anyhow the extra leaf - the normally closed, has a red wire that then goes to another switch on the score motor - on Cam 4 - this switch is labelled on the schematic as "Pulses 1,000 point RE" (lay). Bingo - so whenever the 1,000 point relay is activated, it is also sending a signal to my bonus unit reset coil - and decreasing the bonus score by 1,000. The wire and the extra lef do not look like they were added at a later date? Anyhow I de-soldered this red wire. and YEY! THE GAME WORKS PERFECTLY NOW - no more decreasing the bonus score, and in turn, no more switch of player mid-ball.

It is not often that the proper solution to a problem is to cut a wire.

Looking back at the shop log, I realized that months ago I commented that I though that the motor on the score motor was not the original one, indeed it was the incorrect model for this machine. I now suspect that the whole score motor unit may have been replaced, many years ago. It is highly probable that the replacement came from a different machine. and that then is a probable explanation for why there was an extra leaf on the switch, and the extra wire to the other switch.

THIS IS WHY I LOVE EM MACHINES. The satisfaction of figuring out the games logic using the schematic and then physically inspecting and testing is just amazing. You cannot do it to the same extent with SS or later machines. @James you deffo need to try one!
 

James

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Dec 29, 2017
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Wow @AlanJ - that is a great story! Glad you have found the issue.

Any more close ups of the playfield?

I love when you nail an issue and fix a game. I am literally out of space now and money with the baby arriving in a month, but if an old banger came up for a couple of hundred quid, everything changes again!
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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Leeds, West Yorkshire
The playfield is terrible. I had a go at painting it, and in a nutshell it's ruined by my crappy efforts. In hindsight I should have just left it. I did that on the next EM project I did.

I have a plan to sort it, but I though I'd first better get the game functioning properly.

Watch this space........
 

astyy

Play Flipper Games for Fun and Recreation
Jan 19, 2015
2,017
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Basingstoke
THIS IS WHY I LOVE EM MACHINES. The satisfaction of figuring out the games logic using the schematic and then physically inspecting and testing is just amazing.
Me too and well done. It sounded like a fun trail in a weird kind of way. I wish I'd started with EMs for this very reason.
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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Leeds, West Yorkshire
Hmmm I spoke too soon, disconnecting that red wire has now resulted in the end of ball bonus no longer clocking up on the score. I think again looking at schematic it should be on the next switch down, ......
 
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AlanJ

AlanJ

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Dec 27, 2017
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Well after a few more hours I finally got it. Turns out the wire I disconnected was in the right place after all. The problem is that what I thought was an extra switch leaf wasn't at all - it was the switch below that is somehow shorted to the switch above it. Anyhow I piece of card in between the leafs of the two switches has cured the problem. It looks like the top leaf switch maybe has moved down a bit or maybe the lower switch's leaf has been moved up a bit too far. Anyhow. I know what to look at to cure it properly.

I have had enough for today, later I need to test out the double and triple bonus features, as I've figured out how these circuits work. The standard single bonus is clocked down by the switch on the "Impulse cam", but this is not used if triple or double bonus is achieved. Instead switches on cam's 1 and 2 are used for the double bonus, i.e. 2 two impulses to the 1,000 score replay for every cycle of the bonus countdown. If the triple bonus relay is on, then a third switch on cam 3 is added to give the triple scoring. Very clever how the EM designers achieved certain features.