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Skateball Right Flipper Problem

SkateballPaul

New Member
Aug 14, 2021
4
1
3
51
Kitchener, ON
Good day,

I am hoping for some clues for next steps here. My dad had the Skateball since 1990, I've had it since 2006. It has worked well with regular maintenance and regular things like replacing lights, rubber, ball, fuse from time to time. I haven't used it for almost a year and went to try it this week and ran into this issue.

Everything starts up fine but when playing the right flippers do not work. The flipper button will still control the lane selection at the top of the playing field so something good is happening there. I've gone through all the regular things I know to do/read about (fuses, check wiring, clean pins on board, a light sanding between the contacts). But that's about all I know and can't isolate why either of the right flippers won't flip.

I'm not really experienced with all the doo dads under the playing field but the flipper controls/arms/things that should move do so freely. I can't see anything stuck in there either. I did replace the fuse under the playing field just in case and removed F4 but didn't make any difference so put it all back. I've also gone through the test modes, 1-5 without identifying any stuck switches (12 doesn't make any noise so not sure if 12 is supposed to fire something).

As you can imagine, not as fun playing with only the left side flippers! :)

Any tips for next steps are appreciated!
Regards,
Paul
 

sylvain

Active Member
Apr 27, 2013
186
53
28
Ottawa, ON
Issues for one side non-working flipper(s) are usually very simple. Typically, First:
1- check that the end-of-stroke switch (EOS - under the playfield actuated by the flipper pawl) contacts are properly adjusted and clean;
These contacts can be sanded - but do not sand any other small switch contacts as they are gold-plated and sanding those will create issues in the future;
2- ensure there is/are no wire disconnected at the flipper coil's lugs. Easy to verify visually;
3- verify that the cabinet flipper button large contacts properly close and make good contact when pressing the flipper button.

Rarely, could be:
4- connector J2 bad contact, cold solder joint or bad contact in relay on the Solenoid Driver board in the head;
5- bad flipper coil (internal coil wire broken off at lug) or burned (that would be visible).

The small 1A slow-blow fuse under the playfield is to protect controlled solenoids, not for the flippers.

Good luck!
-Sylvain.
 

SkateballPaul

New Member
Aug 14, 2021
4
1
3
51
Kitchener, ON
Good day Sylvain,

Thanks so much for your reply and all the things to try! I really appreciate the tips and what to look for!!!

I tried 1-3 with no luck unfortunately. I've included some pictures in case there is something obvious I am missing?

Main right flipper assembly
20210814_105229.jpg

Same assembly different angle

20210814_105236.jpg

Right flipper (I pressed them altogether manually (with a golf tee) just to ensure proper contact but no joy.
20210814_105254.jpg

Pic of J2 - I pulled each off jumper off to ensure all good, good seat and wires are connected well.
Could be the relay in pic but not sure how to test that (I did see a video but don't have tools for that).
20210814_105726.jpg

Fuse board, definitely not F4 - I pulled it out to see what would happen and it wouldn't start up the game and with it in it does start the game and the other flipper works so I don't think it's fuse related. Shoot.

20210814_105746.jpg

Regards,
Paul
 

sylvain

Active Member
Apr 27, 2013
186
53
28
Ottawa, ON
The normally closed End-of-Stroke switch blades near the flipper under the playfield do not look very good. Worn.
Is there good pressure to keep those contacts closed with the flippers not activated?
Have you tried sanding those contacts (they are the two middle closed together contacts connected to brown wires).

A cold solder joint under the J2 header or relay, will not be visible unless you disconnect the connectors
and remove the Solenoid Driver board and carefully look at those solder joints under the board.
A bad contact inside the relay on the Solenoid Driver board will not really be visible neither.

You would need to use a multi-meter in continuity mode (with the pinball machine unplugged) to troubleshoot further I am afraid.
Definitely not a fuse issue.

Good luck!
-Sylvain.
 

SkateballPaul

New Member
Aug 14, 2021
4
1
3
51
Kitchener, ON
Good day Sylvain, I sure do appreciate all this help and clues! Unfortunately my multimeter doesn't have a continuity mode - should have bought the better one 20 years ago (or get a new one I suppose).

In this picture, are you talking about the contacts with orange or green circle? I tried to get them to match the left flipper contacts and have pushed/pulled (with a golf tee) while on to see if there was any impact and couldn't see any difference. I waited until it was on so maybe there is something that trips if they are not started up properly?

Flipper relay circles.jpg
 

sylvain

Active Member
Apr 27, 2013
186
53
28
Ottawa, ON
Green circle.
Is there good pressure between those two closed contacts while the flipper is at its rest position ?
Did you gently sand or 'flexstone' those two contacts?

BTW, there are good web sites regarding how to test continuity, voltage measurements,
flipper end-of-stroke adjustment and pinball repair out there.
Unfortunately I cannot guide or help much further remotely due to lack of spare time, sorry.

Best of luck!
-Sylvain.
 

GUARD

Active Member
Sep 17, 2016
291
64
28
62
Guelph
Hi Sylvain....im looking at Paul's game right now znd nothing mechanical sticks out to me.

Could he have done something to the board solders last time he folded it? Said it hasn't worked since then?
 

sylvain

Active Member
Apr 27, 2013
186
53
28
Ottawa, ON
Hi Bruce,
Folding the head typically tugs on the harness - so in addition to the possibly suspect EOS,
there could be a broken-off wire on a coil lug under the playfield, a slightly pulled connector
or a cold solder joint on a pin under J2 on the Solenoid Driver.