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Messages - philw

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MMR Support [MMR Members Only] / Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« 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!

MMR Support [MMR Members Only] / Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« 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.

MMR Support [MMR Members Only] / Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« 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.).

MMR Support [MMR Members Only] / Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« 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... ;-)

MMR Support [MMR Members Only] / Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« 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?

MMR Support [MMR Members Only] / Re: Castle Gate Stuck Closed
« 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!

MMR Support [MMR Members Only] / 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... ;-)

Final update on this.

The broken carriage (broken at what is the obvious place, if you look at it) looks like I could lash it up, but I ordered one from PPS and that arrived a few days later, about $17 for international post, no taxes or duties into the EU (so correctly labelled). It wouldn't fit on either of the existing troll solenoid plungers however, so I had to ream it out a bit, after which it fits fine.

The machine's back together and the trolls continue to take a pounding.

Thanks - looks like the error handling is working pretty well, then (troll breaks, ... I get error messages). I'll buy a new one and try to lash this one up - I asked PPS for shipping costs to US and UK (I have both options, the machine lives in the UK but I travel).

I'll close this, problem located and soon to be fixed!



Ah, I think I have a clue... I took both trolls out, as the left one (left in this image) was "wobbily". That's not connected to anything, so that probably caused the problem, I'd guess?

It's quite hard to work out how the troll and reed switch is connected to the black metal container. I'd guess it should be glued to it at the top, perhaps?

Ha ha ha, don't you just love internet forums? I couldn't get the trolls up under power, either of them. I was thinking the left one's solenoid power may be broken, but the fact that neither would rise in T20 meant that was not indicative of anything. I followed the instructions in that manual text though, and cycled both trolls a few times, raising them with latext clad hand and then banging their faces a bit. The switches were working perfectly, but I was trying to "reset" the trolls somehow as described in the text.

Anyway, then I rebooted the machine, same L Troll Switch bad test error. I made the trolls come up in the game just to check, and was gobsmacked when they both rose. So that's good news, sort of.

Switching the machine off, waiting, then back on again shows that the self test now runs without error.

Conclusion: you can get some weird troll error which you can clear by manually "testing" the trolls as in T.20


The manual has text as below.

I did all this, and the sensors (troll up and troll hit) are both working fine. What isn't working is that "pressing the down button" doesn't raise the troll. In fact neither troll will raise from this menu. I raised them by hand (using latex gloves...) and that's how I can perform the test. There must be something I'm missing in trying to get the trolls (either of them) to raise in test. Otherwise I suspect the left troll's solenoid may be not working.


This test is used to verify proper operation of the trolls. To test the left troll, press the Down button. The left troll should pop up out of the playfield, and the left troll Up switch should close (a sound is made for this, and the status of the left troll Up switch is shown in the display). Roll a ball at the left troll while he is raised. A sound is made for the switch closure, and the picture of the left troll in the display should quickly invert, then return to normal. To lower the left troll, press the Down button again. "Left Troll Up Switch Bad" errors can be cleared by repeatedly testing the left troll. The test will clear this error when there have been two consecutive successful attempts at raising the left troll (note that the left troll Up switch must close when the troll is raised each time for this to happen)."

My left troll doesn't work, and the start up self-test reports as per the title.

If I follow this thread: [size=78%]You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login[/size]

I can get into "tests" "switch edges". When I flip either the left or the right troll's up-detection micro switch, it works as expected, flashing the on-screen display with the correct switch name etc.

Has anyone any idea what this is - I can't get the trolls if they don't both come up :-(

MMR Support [MMR Members Only] / Re: Castle not rebuilding correctly
« on: September 21, 2018, 12:39:08 PM »
Just for the record... my repair to the main tower there lasted a couple of months, but eventually failed at the join. I replaced the whole base plate with a piece of metal (thin steel from an old metal ski-scraper I had lying around). That's now self-tapped into the old plastic base of the tower and it works ok, for now at least. If anything the tower is more sprightly than before... steel really makes it flap about.

MMR Support [MMR Members Only] / Re: Castle Gate not registering ball hits
« on: September 21, 2018, 12:36:53 PM »
Oh, I thought that was a by-design defect - it's 100% repeatable on mine. That is, get the castle to be one-hit away from blowing, then immediately put the ball through the lock-hole, and the castle blows up. The lock-shot has to go in within seconds of the previous castle-shot or it works normally. I will look at my sensors, if it's a physical light-path issue, the timing thing would not be relevant, no?

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