Black Hole status display error

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Chris K
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Black Hole status display error

Post by Chris K » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:15 pm

My Black Hole has been trying to travel back in (back in, back in) time since I brought it home. Upon powering up the table the small status display that shows credits and ball number will read "EE" in each segment, and then change to "88". Each new ball will repeat the process.

Everything else on the table works great, and I saw the status display work before I moved the table. It's obviously not a fatal error, but it's super annoying!

The connectors were of course removed for shipping, and I put 'em all back on. I checked the connectors under the playfield, too. I don't know where to start with this after connectors... does anybody have any tips on where to start?
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IMG_20170403_180129.jpg
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Street Fighter 2, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ghostbusters Pro, Phantom of the Opera, Scared Stiff, Black Hole, World Cup Soccer, Roy Clark yo!, Captain Fantastic, The Games, Star Wars Pro
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ralphwiggum
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by ralphwiggum » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:26 pm

I would check the connectors :D
Actually, I would reflow the joints on that display, and possibly reflow the CPU end as well, but more likely just the display.
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Chris K
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by Chris K » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:49 pm

10 Check Connectors
20 GOTO 10

It took me maybe five loops to break out of that mode, especially considering when I set the table up I forgot to connect the freaking driver board and was scratching my head why all the solenoids wouldn't fire. <facepalm>

Anyway, I dug around a bunch tonight. The board looks good and the contacts look nice even before cleaning (it's a edge connector style, so no solder reflowing on the status display board connectors themselves). I checked continuity on all the pins on the score display back to the control board, and everything was cool.

What I DID find was that the connector in the backbox that feeds the status display board has its ground wire on the display side, but there's no ground wire on the "backbox side".

Phrasing that another way, looking at the schematic, A10J6 has a ground pin #5 that connects to my 1A5J1 status display edge connector (pin #19), and that has good continuity. But A10P6 (which connects to A10J6) has no ground wire connected, which you can see in the attached photo.

I traced all the stuff that was supposed to be connected to A10P6 pin #5 (ground), and came up with the Player 1 and Player 3 score displays grounds, a lamp driver ground, and a power supply ground. All of those measured a good solid ground to chassis, but the A4 bonus display and A5 status display have no ground.

Where the heck is A10P6's ground supposed to go? Was this part of a ground mod?
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IMG_20170403_224912.jpg
IMG_20170403_231928.jpg
Our pinball table breeding stock:
Street Fighter 2, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ghostbusters Pro, Phantom of the Opera, Scared Stiff, Black Hole, World Cup Soccer, Roy Clark yo!, Captain Fantastic, The Games, Star Wars Pro
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BigDaddyBanjo
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by BigDaddyBanjo » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:59 am

Does your bonus display work? It looks like from your picture that you have a pin in the #5 spot that has no wire in it. I don't believe that was part of a "ground mod" (Gottlieb SS guys please check me on that), I suspect that the wire simply broke off and is in the backbox somewhere or got pulled down into the cab. I can take a look at it when I come out tomorrow night.
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by MikeS » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:00 am

Hey Chris,
I'm sorry you're having issues with the score display! I swear I never had the issue when I owned the game :oops: It's probably been around 5 years since I did the ground mods on the game so my memory is foggy about how everything was grounded. I attached the guide that I used to this post. Check out section 2d and verify that everything looks correct. I do know that all the grounds all connect back to the ground plane on the bottom of the cabinet via a single green wire. This green wire has a single molex connector on it so you may want to verify that you didn't miss this when you were hooking everything back up. Other than that I'd make sure that all the connectors are tight and make sure the boards and all the ground connections are fastened tight. -all stuff you've probably tried but I figured I'd mention them. Good luck! I'm sure you'll get it figured out.
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PINBALL Gottlieb Pinball System 80 Repair, Part One.pdf
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Chris K
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by Chris K » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:10 pm

Oh hey, don't worry about it, Mike! I think half the tables I've bought have had something go wrong within a week. We all know the deal with these ancient Rube Goldberg machines going in. It's a great table and I'm really happy with it!

The weird thing is, the bonus display DOES work! It looks like ground goes from bonus --> status --> missing pin --> power supply ground. I'm tempted to just wire that pin up to whereever the other displays' ground is, but I'm such an electronics neophyte that I'm not sure I understand what's going on and I don't want to leap before I look....er, learn.

It's possible the ground wire is in the bottom of the cab... getting to the bottom/back of this cab is a royal PITA with the dual playfields.

Thanks for the PDF, Mike, I'll cross check! And thanks, Garrett! Hopefully this is just a case of a wire getting yanked.
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by BrewNinja » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:43 pm

I can look at my BH tonight and let you know what I see.
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Chris K
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by Chris K » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:05 pm

Hey, that would be awesome, thanks!
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by BrewNinja » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:24 pm

Wish I would have looked at the schematic first, would have been easier than tracing the wire...lol. On A10P6 the ground wire connects to display 3 ground. The wire loops through then up to player 1. Verified on my machine. Hopefully that helps.
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Chris K
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by Chris K » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:25 pm

Woo! That helped a lot, actually! While retracing your wire routing, I found the ground wire (broken off) hiding behind the driver board! I pulled the connector pin and did a crappy crimp and solder (I don't have any spares), and now I get numbers!

Thanks for checking your table, BrewNinja, and thanks for the tips everyone! Time to go drain some balls in the black hole!
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IMG_20170404_191005.jpg
Our pinball table breeding stock:
Street Fighter 2, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ghostbusters Pro, Phantom of the Opera, Scared Stiff, Black Hole, World Cup Soccer, Roy Clark yo!, Captain Fantastic, The Games, Star Wars Pro
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by MikeS » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:19 pm

Glad you got it working Chris! Now you concentrate on trying to get multiball!
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by Hilton » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:35 pm

Chris K wrote:Time to go drain some balls in the black hole!

Why is it that i think you just like tossing these softballs up...
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Chris K
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by Chris K » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:45 am

Tossing softballs, huh? Doctor heal thyself. :)

Almost got multiball twice last night! Woulda had it once if it wasn't for the upper lock releasing after losing my first ball. Man, this game is a killer sometimes! One errant shot into a pop and the ball accelerates to near light-speed.

Next up is switching the under playfield "GI" to 6V. Then I can do cool spacey GI on the lower playfield... hooray for fun projects!
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by ralphwiggum » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:20 am

what color GI are you going with? I have a ton of cool white 12v strips you can cut to any length that would work nicely in that area.

if you want some, just grab some when you pickup WCS.
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Re: Black Hole status display error

Post by Chris K » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:03 am

I'm thinking something between white, blue, and purple would work well down there. I don't want to color bomb it; I don't like what strong light colors do to contrasting playfield colors (although the playfield down there is almost all blue and black). But it seems to be begging for a cool color cast, and I don't think simply putting cool white bulbs in place of incandescents will do justice to the lower playfield.

My assumption is that I'd end up with something like white bulbs around the lower playfield and a blue strip on the player's end, or vice versa. I have no idea how much light I need down there or where to place it to avoid bleed into the upper playfield.... it's gonna take some experimentation

How do you wire up your 12V strips to 6V GI? Those could be pretty handy!
Our pinball table breeding stock:
Street Fighter 2, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ghostbusters Pro, Phantom of the Opera, Scared Stiff, Black Hole, World Cup Soccer, Roy Clark yo!, Captain Fantastic, The Games, Star Wars Pro
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