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viriiguy

Randomly losing Flipper Contactors?

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Has anyone else run into this issue?

My contactors for the flippers seem to randomly cut out. A lot of times they won't work at all, until the ball hits the bumpers at the top of a table.. That seems to trigger them and get them going again.. But a lot of times even after that, they will continue to come and go. Sometimes they will work all the time, other times they will stop working for a few seconds. Sometimes just the right one stops, sometimes just the left, sometimes it is both.

The whole thing seems REALLY random.

I thought at first that I had some contactors going bad. So I grabbed some spares and replaced them. No difference. So I though, maybe it is a loose wire going to the contactors. I crimped on Ring connectors and rang the screw thru the rings, so they will always be snug. No change. I have checked and tightened my connections at the ZEB board as well. Everything else seems to work.. Even when the flipper contactors are not working, all my lights, shakers, other contactors.. They all seem to be ok. I can find no rhyme or reason for this.

The only thing I have noticed is my USB cable is loose inside the LEDWIZ's USB port.. not sure why this one isn't snug like the other 3 I have had.. But, I don;t think it is loosing the conection, because everything else works.

Any thoughts? Any experience with this kind of issue?

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I hate these types of problems.

Just a few questions/suggestions:

- Did you re-do the connections on ALL of the contactors or just the flippers?

- Did you check/re-attach the ribbon cable connections on the LEDWiz itself?

- Did you closely inspect the wires to be sure there's no cuts or other flaws that could be shorting them? Same with the ribbon cables?

- Do you have another USB cable you can try, just to rule that out?

Some of this stuff is probably obvious, but had to ask...

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As I am a Tier 3 Server Admin, I know all about having to ask the obvious stuff and why it is so good to do so.. So no worries..

Yes, I redid all my connections.

I took all my LEDwiz connections and tinned the ends of the ribbon cable wires with solder, so I could be sure they are maintaining a good solid connection and I re inserted the block connectors to the ZEB Board to be sure it was solid.

All the wires I used are solid core and I can find no instance of a short. Everything looks good.

I have tried a different USB cable, with no change. I also tried securing the cable in place, just to be sure.

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To rule out the board as the culprit..

swap out the 3rd ULN driver on the bottom right with one of the ones to the left of it. If the problem goes away...the driver is at fault.

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I will give that a shot when I get home again and let you know. I would be willing to bet it is not the board though.

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yup....and I wouldn't bet on anything when it comes to your cab and my electronics....LOL

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Lol! Well it still happens after the chip is switch with the one next to it.

It almost feels like a software thing, except no one else is having the problem.

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can u wire up some simple leds to the ledwiz output and just see if they light when that output should be triggered, then at least you know the software/ledwiz is ok and the problem is further down the line. If they dont light as expected you know its a fault ledwiz or software.

you can buy 12v leds with the resistor all pre wired on ebay very cheaply. Good for testing stuff like this :)

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Thanks Russ and Bill. I will check the VBS file this afternoon and if not that, I will get a 12volt led or just hook up my DMM.

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Well, I REALY think it is software related now.

I do not have that line in my VBS file, so I downloaded the one that does.. from the link provided, just to see. It was even worse than usual. I have not taken the cab apart to test with the multimeter yet, I Will do so later. But the vbs file test, really makes me feel like it is software.

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Well, I REALY think it is software related now.

I do not have that line in my VBS file, so I downloaded the one that does.. from the link provided, just to see. It was even worse than usual. I have not taken the cab apart to test with the multimeter yet, I Will do so later. But the vbs file test, really makes me feel like it is software.

Guess I don't follow your logic. So you introduce a new element into the equation that is known to cause issues similar to yours and the problem got worse, and that somehow reinforces your theory that it's software? That's like saying (edited for better analogy) "my car's engine has been running rough so I threw some spark plugs in that are known to cause engines to run poorly and the problem got even worse, so it seems like it must be my spark plugs causing the problem..."

It could very well be software, but your basis for that theory just seems peculiar. :)

Edited by scottpe

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My logic.... I cannot explain easily..... However, I have not completely ruled out hardware.. But I cannot find a hardware fault. I do have a different motherboard coming, as I have never been happy with the Gigabyte that I installed. The first one caused massive electrical damage when the USB ports decided to pump out more voltage than should have been possible. The replacement one has always been buggy when trying to access the BIOS... And I just do not like it. So I have an ASRock coming.

When it gets here, I will redo my software yet again and see if I am still having this problem.

However, as to WHY I think it is a software issue... Because from years of experience, it just FEELS like one. As for why it was reinforced by adding that one line of code... It is the exact same behavior I have been experiencing.. only magnified by at least double. And by searching google for "LEDControl.FastCom=True" I did see where it is mentioned that people were seeing this very same issue with that line enabled. The puzzling part is why do I see it with it not in there as well.

Maybe the hookey ass USB issues I have seen with this GB board have something to do with it, or maybe the stars are just not aligned properly for me :D

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LEDControl.FastCom=True, sounds like it ups the baud on the usb coms or some thing. If its to fast some data will get corrupt and dropped.

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Which makes sense. My new mobo will be here Monday. Hopefully it will make a difference. If not, well I will start all over with the diag.

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Couple of other things to check viriguy -

Check to see if you power supply is cutting out on overload. If it is, it will drop power for a second then come back on so maybe one particular item is causing a short?

Electronic noise into your LEDwiz. Had one other guy on here a few years back that had his ledwiz a too close to his mains powered stuff. Caused all kinds of problems.

Ensure you have diode protection on your contactors (I think I read somewhere that you are using zebs boards so that shouldn't be an issue)

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I am using Zebs boards, so I do have Diode protection. I do not think I am losing power, because at the very time that the flipper contacts are not working, I have my LEDS and my other contactors still work.. It is just the two Flipper contactors that stop. Electronic noise could be a possibility. My LEDWiz is not near my Mains, but the PC Power supply that runs everything is mounted on the wall of the cabinet above the LEDWiz. However, that PC Power supply should be well enough grounded to not cause such an issue I would think.

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Try changing the flippers to a different set of outputs (which will involve editing the ini) and see if the problem follows. Double check the solder joints on the diodes on the board as well.

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Also is there some software where you can easily test each output? Not playing a table but a simple app that just triggers each output?

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Also is there some software where you can easily test each output? Not playing a table but a simple app that just triggers each output?

That can be done easily with a vbscript.

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Also is there some software where you can easily test each output? Not playing a table but a simple app that just triggers each output?

Try this from the manufactor

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Zeb, I will give that a shot, probably tomorrow when/if I ever get done with the yard work :D

As for testing them, I have a table specifically for testing that runs thru all the inputs and everything works when tested that way.

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Ok, Well I went ahead and tried it. I switched FL and FR with BC and BB, made the needed changes to my config and loaded Attack and Revenge from Mars.

Within just a couple of minutes, I had the same issue again. Flippers randomly stopped working. I has to be something to do with the software, Everything we have thrown at it to rule out the hardware has had the same results. If it were the LEDWiz or the Zeb Boards, the problem would have moved to different contactors. If it were the wiring, the ringed connectors would have solved it. I have tied moving the USB Plug around to different ports with no change, I have tried different USB Cables.. It is like the computer stops firing to those contactors when things get busy on the table... But only to those... And no matter what port they are on.

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Ok, I installed my new motherboard AND just to be safe I went over all the solder joints that have to do with the contactors. They all looked good, but just to be safe I heated each one and flowed a little more solder on.

It still drops the flippers. I also completely rearranged ALL the contactors. It still drops the flippers. As best I can tell everything else works fine.. But the flippers drop out.

On the plus side, I LOVE the new board and the machine boots and runs a lot better. The new board has the same chipset as the old one, but is overall a much nicer running board.

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