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  • Electrical issue with deck lamp

    Ok, I've been having an issue with the deck lamp on lane 8 not staying lit. It would be easier to figure out if there was a rhyme and reason to it messing up, but other than a somewhat consistent pattern, it's elusive. We have A's.

    At first it was just flickering like crazy and I figured the tumestones (where the light plugs in) were bad. I changed out both with a bit of improvement as it would stay on until the machine cycled. Once it cycled, the light will go off and not come back on until a few seconds after the cycle was completed. We found a few loose wires on the relay so we changed that out with little to no improvement other than the light would stay on while using the recycle button on the back of the machine, but once a bowler bowled, the game on off and on again would start. We also changed bulbs with little difference.

    We moved on to the ballast after seeing the light stay lit on both ends, but not light completely up. Changed the ballast and the light would come on and stay on through each cycle. Thought we had the problem solved as it would stay on during bowling as well. However, once it was turned off on the back of the machine, it refused to come on for the customer when they put their names in and were ready to bowl. We were forced to go flick the mechanic's switch to get it come on for a bit, but once a ball was thrown, it would turn off again.

    I am at a loss of where to turn to next. We have not checked voltage as that's the only thing we have not done that I can think of doing, but would not have a clue as to where to start or what voltage we would need to have.

    I've tried my best to outline the problem and what steps we have done, but I probably missed a few as I'm still disappointed/pissed off/frustrated/etc. I'll answer any questions the best I can.

    Please help as league season is only 2 weeks away and lane 8 will be used a lot in my 10 lane house.

  • #2
    Does this pinsetter still have the original A motor contactor? Trace the circuit for the light and find which relay or contactor points control the light and clean them. An ignition point file or contact burnishing tool or even an emery board for filing fingernails will work.
    The wire from the electrical box to the light may be broken internally so it makes and breaks contact as the pinsetter vibrates.
    When you replaced the ballast did you grind off some paint to make sure the housing of the new ballast is grounded?

    You can make a cheater cord with a straight male plug and a twist lock female to help with troubleshooting.

    What ballast and bulb are you using? Some ballasts work best with a 40 watt T12, some are good with 34 or 40 watt T12, some are best with a 32 watt T8. LEDs can be a nightmare depending on what they are designed for.

    Comment


    • #3
      Does this pinsetter still have the original A motor contactor? -- Not sure, I'll get back to this thread when I know.

      Trace the circuit for the light and find which relay or contactor points control the light and clean them. An ignition point file or contact burnishing tool or even an emery board for filing fingernails will work. The wire from the electrical box to the light may be broken internally so it makes and breaks contact as the pinsetter vibrates.

      I agree and have thought about a broken wire. We have BES X scoring so I am able to control the machines from the front desk. I was able to turn the pinsetter on and the light came on like it is supposed to do. Put a game on the pair and as I bowled, it just depended on nothing if it was on or off. Like it was all random. I broken wire or loose connection is making more sense the longer this goes. Luckily the scoring was correct, but the light needs to work.

      When you replaced the ballast did you grind off some paint to make sure the housing of the new ballast is grounded? -- Yes, it is grounded.

      You can make a cheater cord with a straight male plug and a twist lock female to help with troubleshooting. -- I'll keep this in mind.

      What ballast and bulb are you using? Some ballasts work best with a 40 watt T12, some are good with 34 or 40 watt T12, some are best with a 32 watt T8. LEDs can be a nightmare depending on what they are designed for.

      Ballast was for a single light 120V. The light we are using in that deck is a T8 32 watt bulb. It will light up, but turns off for no apparent reason.

      I've thought about the LED route, but nothing has made sense on that route.


      Comment


      • #4
        Hz differnce?
        So it goes.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lampie View Post
          Hz differnce?
          I don't think so as it will turn on and illuminate like it should. It just turns off for no apparent reason.

          Comment


          • #6
            You can quickly eliminate several items with a quick check of the voltage at the receptacle on top of the electrical box. When the pin light goes out, unplug the pin light from the top of the box and check voltage at the receptacle. If you have voltage then your problem is in the light/cord. If you lost your voltage your problem is inside the electrical box.

            You can check this while the pin light is working to see what you get to the terminals if you are unsure. If this is the twist lock connector then the two slots without the "L" shape in them are the lines. Measuring between them should get you around 120 VAC.

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            • #7
              What Serial # are your machines?? They had 208-240 Ballasts for the original setters. Don't know when they changed them, but my 3000's were 208 Volt. I think they may have changed voltages in the early 60's. Help Steve S.
              Everything has to be Somewhere !!

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              • #8
                The light we are using in that deck is a T8 32 watt bulb.

                You should be using an electronic ballast that says it is rated for a 32 watt T8. A magnetic ballast made for T12s may do what you are seeing or sometimes not light at all. Or sometimes it may work okay.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by exMech View Post
                  You can quickly eliminate several items with a quick check of the voltage at the receptacle on top of the electrical box. When the pin light goes out, unplug the pin light from the top of the box and check voltage at the receptacle. If you have voltage then your problem is in the light/cord. If you lost your voltage your problem is inside the electrical box.

                  You can check this while the pin light is working to see what you get to the terminals if you are unsure. If this is the twist lock connector then the two slots without the "L" shape in them are the lines. Measuring between them should get you around 120 VAC.
                  Ok, will check that once I get someone who is a bit more knowledgable than I am on the Electrical.

                  It is a twist lock connector to the electrical box.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mr.badwrench View Post
                    The light we are using in that deck is a T8 32 watt bulb.

                    You should be using an electronic ballast that says it is rated for a 32 watt T8. A magnetic ballast made for T12s may do what you are seeing or sometimes not light at all. Or sometimes it may work okay.
                    I will also check that, but I know it's the same ballast I've bought from Home Depot to change other machines over to T8's.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      UPDATE ON LANE 8 (8-8-18) ... TOO MANY 8'S

                      Anyway, I put a good customer on the lane after asking if he minded being a guiena pig and explained what was happening. He didn't mind so I've had them bowling on lane 8 for about a game each for the 3. I also had to correct another problem back on lane 8 so I stayed to watch it.

                      When the light "goes off" to the bowler, the light itself is not completely off. It still glows on both ends, but most of the middle of the bulb is dark with a faint flash of light. Eventually this will kick back on. It goes "off" when the machine cycles and tends to come back on this way as well. It is not an every ball occurrence as they can go through several times up before it happens.

                      Hope this additional information helps. i do have a buddy who is a bit more of a mechanic than I am and he'll understand all of this better than I do. If he can't get it, I've got an electrician on my bowling team I can call in.

                      Thanks for all the help everybody, I appreciate it.

                      Steve

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Based on the description it sounds like this could be a 24v control circuit issue. If turning on the mechanics override switch affects the problem then I tend to think your your 24v supply is dropping enough to affect the MSR when turned on remotely. It could even be the MSR itself. Yes the contactor "should" chatter if this is the case, but based on what's been explained about the symptoms I wouldn't overlook this.

                        I would look at the contact points inside the low voltage fuse holder and fuse after checking the voltage to the MSR coil with mechanics override switch off, then with it on (all while the computer/managers control switch is on).
                        Factory & Converted A-2 (US, Ger, Jap)
                        Comscore ECT, Matrix & DuoHD
                        Walker B, Sanction Standard, Original K, Flex Walker & Ikon
                        Kegel C.A.T.S

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                        • #13
                          Our pit lights are on stand alone circuit in banks of 10. How does the a dual lamp pit light when powered from the machine switch from white to blue light?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As I understand your post, your machine continues to run and cycle even when the pin light is out. Is this correct? I suspect you probably have a loose connection but if you're uncomfortable with the electrical, it may be time to grab your electrician friend.

                            HP: You can use a double pole double throw relay mounted in the pin light for this. The common poles go to the two wires coming from the ballast. The normally closed contacts go to each end of the white light. The normally open contacts go to each end of the black light tube. Then when the control signal is applied, the relay just switches from the white tube to the black light. This avoids having to add a second ballast. For our control signal we used a single 24 VAC transformer that was powered on when the black lights over the lanes came on to power the relays so when the machines came on the pin light matched the house light.

                            I like having the lights set up on a separate circuit. Ours weren't but I like it. I think this should be done for the magnetic clutch circuit as well. Either that or pull in a neutral wire to each machine and get rid of the auto transformer configuration. Then you could use cheaper transformers and have a lot less likelihood for problems. The system was designed to be balanced (i.e. pin light current matched clutch circuit current). With the changes to LED lights, silicone rectifiers, and other changes, it simply isn't balanced as well as it once was and can lead to problems. In addition, the current system has the risk caused by shorted rectifiers damaging other components. In a neutral system, unbalanced loads are carried back by the neutral but the machines don't use this so the unbalanced current has to go through the other components which is why a shorted rectifier can blow out a transformer.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Finally, someone that agrees with me.... thanks exM !! Now I can sleep at night. That is why it is so important to troubleshoot ALL the electrical components when one of them has obviously failed. The rectifier takes out the transformer fairly often, the pin light ballast can take out the transformer, mag clutch may also go with the rectifier. You Must check every component and then replace ALL damaged components before powering up the machine.
                              Everything has to be Somewhere !!

                              Comment

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