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TECH: Star Trek TNG ball problem

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July 6, 2005 7:50:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

Hi,

I've finally ditched my old EM machine and have a Star Trek TNG in good
condition. One funny though - after you've switched it on and played a
game (without problems), once the game is over it keeps firing a ball
from the launcher all by itself. A ball then returns down the left
inlane past the left flipper. It keeps doing this until you start
another game (which again works fine) or switch it off.

It only does this after you've played one game - when you switch the
machine on it's fine. I'm new to these "modern" machines having always
worked on EM before (where you can 'see the spark'). From reading
around the group it sounds like I should start checking the optos on
the ball trough, but all guidance gratefully accepted!!

thanks for any help
Mark

More about : tech star trek tng ball problem

Anonymous
July 6, 2005 8:12:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

STTNG will position the balls after a game, so what you're seeing may
be normal.
Give a few seconds and see if it stops.

Good luck
Dan
Anonymous
July 6, 2005 11:48:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

As suggested by the others, clean all the Opts. That is most likely the
problem. I use a Cue tip and a little alcohol. You should also have 6
balls installed in the game.

Another thing that can cause this problem is Sol. 37. Sol. 37, Under
Divertor Top is locking on and has melted. This will keep the balls
from going to the left cannon. If this was the case, you probably would
have noticed by know that no balls are going to the left cannon during
Battle simulations or when you are firing a probe during your skill
shot. However if you do have this problem I am currently updating my
site on how to fix this problem. You can see the work in progress at
http://www.jeffpinball.com/Gameroom/STtNG/50volttieback....

Good Luck,

Jeff
Related resources
Anonymous
July 7, 2005 3:28:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

locustgrovepinball@yahoo.com wrote in news:1120691576.939415.243080
@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

> STTNG will position the balls after a game, so what you're seeing may
> be normal.
> Give a few seconds and see if it stops.

Being a Dwight "masterpiece" of programming, STTNG will occasionally lose
its mind... It will dump one (or all) of the balls out of the under
playfield trough(s), only to immediately load them back up again.

But it'll only do this _once_ after a game over, and only when conditions
X, Y, and Z are met. What X, Y, and Z are is a mystery.



With that said, if the game is -continuously- cycling the balls, then
there is definitely some sort of opto or trough problem going on.


(to the original poster)

The first thing to do is to go into the test menu and have it unload all
6 balls. You'll have to catch them as they head for the outhole,
otherwise you'll get an infinite loop. :)  Also, unload the balls from
the two cannons.

After that, put the game into single switch test mode. Step through
(using + and -) ALL the switches. You'll get a high beep for every
switch that is in what the game considers a "normal" state. (And for an
opto, a normal state means NO BALL THERE.) You will get a low beep for
any switch in a not normal state. (After 4 switches, you'll get it.
Trust me. :)  ) You should be able to go through ALL the ball trough
positions for BOTH troughs, and for the cannon poppers as well. ("Always
closed" will not read normal, which is oddly enough, normal. :)  ) If
any of them read NOT normal (besides 'always closed', and maybe the drop
target if it's down) then you have found your problem! ...Or at least,
one of them. :) 

My _hunch_ is that one of the optos for the under playfield trough is
having a problem and is causing the game to think there are too many
balls there. This test will let you know for sure.
Anonymous
July 7, 2005 4:47:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

Check the optos. Check the resistors on the ball trough for bad solder
joints or broken wires and check to make sure the game has the correct
number of balls in it. The game diagnostic menu has an option to empty all
of the balls.

Mark Hooks
"Mark" <sttng@sunnucks.com> wrote in message
news:1120690242.666885.159310@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Hi,
>
> I've finally ditched my old EM machine and have a Star Trek TNG in good
> condition. One funny though - after you've switched it on and played a
> game (without problems), once the game is over it keeps firing a ball
> from the launcher all by itself. A ball then returns down the left
> inlane past the left flipper. It keeps doing this until you start
> another game (which again works fine) or switch it off.
>
> It only does this after you've played one game - when you switch the
> machine on it's fine. I'm new to these "modern" machines having always
> worked on EM before (where you can 'see the spark'). From reading
> around the group it sounds like I should start checking the optos on
> the ball trough, but all guidance gratefully accepted!!
>
> thanks for any help
> Mark
>
Anonymous
July 7, 2005 8:35:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

additionally, this will happen if you have divots in the trough, a slow
moving ball will hang up on one too high opto, so the game thinks
there's one or more balls than should be in there and causes the
cycling.

one way to test this is to manually trigger final frontier and play -
if final frontier ends and your ball ends with 2 or more balls on the
playfield, you have a trough opto or divot problem.
July 7, 2005 8:47:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

Thanks for the switch tip Korn - it found the problem. It was a dirty
opto (surprise) under the Borg hole. Kept switching open and closed as
I watched it. Was enough to make the machine think another (and
another and another) ball was coming down so it kept trying to clear
the trough underneath. Then it realised it didn't have enough balls
under there and sent another one up. And so on.

All seems well now except for a sound problem that isn't a problem.
I'll post that in another thread.

thanks
MARK
!