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Author Topic: Castle Gate Stuck Closed  (Read 1564 times)

Offline philw

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Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« on: February 27, 2020, 11:41:45 AM »

My machine started with this self-test error today. The "gate" (portcullis) won't rise. When it is supposed to rise, it does make the "thud" which sounds like a solenoid firing.

I pushed all the connexions on their seatings as per other posts here and they seemed ok and that made no difference.
I suppose there's something mechanical which is broken in here.


The manual (pages 1-25/1-26) is not entirely clear on this, but the two switches M.EN and C.GT are working correctly, but the test fails presumably because the portcullis doesn't actually rise.


The very satisfying "thud" suggests it's a mechanical problem, but I can't find an obvious diagram for this.
Any ideas please? Not getting into the castle's going to really drop the extra-ball required-score of course... ;-)

Offline philw

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 11:51:45 AM »
Ok, don't need a diagram to see this, although I missed it whilst checking those connectors. This is the solenoid which pushes the portcullis up... and as you can see the metal plate has broken at both sides where it's bent through 90 degrees. Time to lash up a repair and order a new spare part I guess!

Any idea what the replacement part for this is - I can't work it out from the diagram. I think it's 04-10773.1. Which no one has... maybe I'll have to get someone to fix this with some glue or something!

« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 12:18:08 PM by philw »

Offline Lloyd Olson

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 01:25:41 PM »
Hello
Even though it is out of stock, you might contact Planetary Pinball Supply and ask about availability.
Australia has it - You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Yours could be welded too.
Thank you,Lloyd

Offline Lloyd Olson

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2020, 01:27:03 PM »
Mantis amusements has an upgraded version -
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Offline philw

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2020, 12:05:37 PM »
Thanks! I have a ticket with PPS but I guess they don't have them.

The Australia supplier looks like a straight replacement. Is that just a question of pulling the old gate out (downwards, towards the solenoid)? If so it should be straight forward to replace.

The Mantis "upgrade" would be better but costs a lot more and would require more work to replace.

I think I'll go for the Australian option (I have a US$ bank account, but otherwise it's going to get a lot of air miles wherever I order it from).

Meanwhile... I lashed it up with a builders' plastic shim which I cut to size then Araldited across the bottom flange. That acts as a little shelf onto which the two broken "legs" of the portcullis rest. The shim has little "wells" in it which I filled with Araldite, so the legs are relatively secure there, although they seem held down by gravity or spring tension anyway. That appears to work in game play, although it may or may not last long. It's not structural, it's just holding the broken legs on the "shelf" of the broken bottom part of the flange.

I had some trouble clearing the test status. I followed the manual instructions and re-ran the tests multiple times successfully. Maybe it'll clear from the self-test eventually, as it's definitely working in game play. Any ideas on that at all?

Offline Lloyd Olson

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2020, 01:15:40 PM »
There is a switch on the green moat under the playfield, be sure it is on and working.
Whether you replace the gate, or the whole assembly with the Mantis one. It is a bit of work.

Take two castle tower caps off, slide castle front off. Remove the brick/metal decoration right inside the castle. Then from under the playfield, remove the moat., disconnect the connectors for gate and drawbridge, then remove screws and remove the whole assembly. Then take it apart to get at the gate.

Offline philw

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2020, 04:05:49 AM »
Thanks, I'll order one of the replacement parts and prepare to battle the castle from a different angle... ;-)

Offline philw

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2020, 06:02:50 AM »
Well, I ordered one from Australia, one from the US. They both "got stuck" in the current troubles, one spent a month in London being send back to Oz (!), the other spent all of April in SFO waiting to be exported.... but the Australian one arrived today!

I'm following your helpful instructions... but I have this extra part (see right hand part in image below), which looks like the back part of the "cassette" which the portcullis ought to be sliding up and down within. I suspect this is the root cause of my problem, because this looks like it should be bonded to the front part of this cassette, so the portcullis would be supported against hits by the ball from the front.

This is just rattling about, serving no purpose. I think I should bond this back to the front part of the cassette. Any opinions? I can use Araldite (epoxy on it I suppose, but maybe I should augment it for strength, maybe wrapping something metalic around the whole thing to hold it together?

--
(Taking the castle front off is easy, and makes access to a lot of that stuff easy.
I think I will need to remove the solenoid assembly as I can't otherwise poke the portcullis back through the slot there.
Oh, no, with a little effort I can get the gate back into place, probably because the back of that cassette is not attached, so I can wiggle the gate up there at an angle. I now have it in place. Time to think about fastening the back of the cassette back in place.).





« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 06:12:15 AM by philw »

Offline philw

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2020, 09:31:22 AM »
I shimmed the space between the front and the (now completely separate) back of this with some tape, and then clamped the two together with a couple of clips as shown (I removed the stainless parts before reassembly). This seems to be stable, and the portcullis can move freely up and down but not back and forth.

I had to trim the castle moulding a little at the back to make enough space for the clips, which I pushed "completely home" before assembly. The left clip is almost visible once reassembled, but only if you know what to look for.

I went back to the tests menu and ran the "gate test", ensuring it passed several times. The game now plays ok, except every second castle (!) the portcullis is in the "up" state when it should be down. That feels like some sort of software state error - any ideas on how to sort that out, please? I should stress that the gate moves up and down without problems, I'm fairly sure this is a "state" problem, not mechanical at this point.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 09:50:06 AM by philw »

Offline Lloyd Olson

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2020, 11:37:23 AM »
It's not going to be software.
The driver board the castle gate coils wires go to. Unscrew the small driver board, no need to remove the connectors. Unplug the small driver board from the huge board below the playfield. There is a row of ten pins along one edge that plugs them together. Plug the small driver board back into the huge board and push the tops of those pins in to be sure it is seated good into the huge board.
And this - People have had problems reseating the solenoid driver boards due to the huge board flexing away when they push in the pins.   A solution that worked was having them put a piece of foam or cardboard between the playfield wood and the socket on the huge board, to hold it from flexing.   They just have to be careful of nearby LEDs.

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Offline philw

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Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2020, 07:02:54 AM »
Well the good news is that turning the machine off overnight and then cold-booting it appears to have fixed the gate issue completely: the state has been correct for a couple of days now, working perfectly.


At the very start of all this I'd seen other posts with advice regarding the driver boards and connectors and I checked all mine back then anyway, so I'm pretty sure they're good.


This one is done, for now at least!
Stuff I learned:
  • If the "cassette" which the portcullis runs up and down through is broken, you can replace the portcullis without removing the entire assembly because the broken off backplate leaves you enough space to just squeeze the portcullis in there. That leaves the problem of how to replace that backplate, of course.
  • The backplate looks like it was originally soldered (or some such) in place, but as the back-plate takes the force of the ball hitting the portcullis, that joint is taking continual shock loads. This is likely why "Mantis" have a complete replacement for all this. I used binder clips to hold the thing in place, which is working for now. Possibly drilling a few small holes and bolting through the sides would be a better solution.
  • I had to shim where the solder (or glue?) would have originally been with a bit of electrical tape, to ensure that the cassette had sufficient space to allow the portcullis to run up and down without resistance.
  • The binder clips change the "feel" of castle gate when you shoot it. I'm not completely sure if this is just the sound or the actual feel, or both. Well anyway, it seems more damp, which is kind of what I'd expect considering the tape and the binder clips. That may mean I'll break this new gate quickly, as perhaps the "damping" is allowing some movement. We shall see. I have a second gate from PPS which is stuck in SFO.... and then I'll order the Mantis thing if all else fails.
Thanks for the help! Now all I need is some time to get my eye back in: my scores are terrible, I'm playing like a beginner!