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  • Spark in pit

    On our 70's up until now I have never seen this before. While the machine is running, I can see and hear a static electricity discharge between the bounceboard and the frame of the machine, my guess is from the carpet running- similar to dragging your shoes on carpet to build up a static charge. Now I've seen in the older parts book we have there is a grounding strap that is used to keep this from happening. Of the 50 machines we have not a single one has this ground strap and nobody to the best of their knowledge has seen this happen before. My question is; is there any harm in not using a ground strap and just letting it "spark away" or will this cause a malfunction somewhere or even a fire? Thanks all. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif[/img]

  • #2
    Re: Spark in pit

    I don't really know about how much harm it would do. The thing I really don't like about it is sparks like that in such a highly electrical machine, seems almost like youre tempting fate. We always use the grounding straps where I am. Any other opinions out there?
    All I want in life is to turn wrenches and climb around pinsetters/pinspotters again :/

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    • #3
      Re: Spark in pit

      There is a slight chance of a fire starting if there is an accumulation of dirty oil (or oily dirt?) on the lip of the kickback plate, the most being up by the front roller pivots.

      AMF requires that the strap be present if you have automatic scoring or any other sensitive equipment that can be zapped by static discharge.

      Humidifying the pinspotter area to around 70% relative humidity may help in lieu of the strap.

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      • #4
        Re: Spark in pit

        Autoscoring or triggering is themain concern.....make sure the ins. premiums are paid.

        JK

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        • #5
          Re: Spark in pit

          we had this problem it is the front roller discharging static electricity to the kick back.we put a static strap onto both hinges at each end and a strip of copper over the rubber in the bearing support. works well

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          • #6
            Re: Spark in pit

            It is important that the ground strap always be present. Without it the discharge can jump a good 2 inches or so and this normally occurs near the plows. Several conditions affect this such as humidity, brushes present or not, and carpet wear. Besides being able to jolt the mechanic, it wrecks havoc with scoring and roller bearings. It also produces ozone which does bad things to rubber.

            Mike

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            • #7
              Re: Spark in pit

              Well, If you are running MP chassis, I would be concerned. If the spark ever makes it back to the chassis, you can kiss the MP board goodbye as it will be post toasties. I haven't ever seen 70's without groundstraps on the bounceplates. I do remember before the distributor was grounded though with the steel concentric roller being phenolic. I wouldn't worry too much if something electrical in your chassis hasn't been zapped by now.

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              • #8
                Re: Spark in pit

                I have had a Distributor get a static electricity discharge from the tube to the guide rail. Gotta keep those pinchasers busy. Made them clean the Dist. and no more spark.

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                • #9
                  Re: Spark in pit

                  I have not had a static strap on any of my machines in years.....no scoring problems.....nothing.

                  JK

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                  • #10
                    Re: Spark in pit

                    I'll go with Mikeys advice on this one...he knows his stuff.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tablejam View Post
                      On our 70's up until now I have never seen this before. While the machine is running, I can see and hear a static electricity discharge between the bounceboard and the frame of the machine, my guess is from the carpet running- similar to dragging your shoes on carpet to build up a static charge. Now I've seen in the older parts book we have there is a grounding strap that is used to keep this from happening. Of the 50 machines we have not a single one has this ground strap and nobody to the best of their knowledge has seen this happen before. My question is; is there any harm in not using a ground strap and just letting it "spark away" or will this cause a malfunction somewhere or even a fire? Thanks all. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif[/img]

                      sorry to dig up old stuff but this is my problem here and I have found it tio be affecting my camera. Every time it sparks the leds on the camera board jump around. This is where it gets funny for me though, it only affects the camera if I have the pit motor plugged in through the regular outlet. If I use a jumper cord from the plugs on the back of the machine it still sparks but does not hurt the scoring. I have changed the motor, the chassis,c2(it had a piece missing around the wire for the be motor)and the pit switch. So now i want to put on the grounding strap but do not know where to put it. Pics of where would help.
                      Sometimes we have to do stuff to get by....Just go back and do it right when the "by" has passed!!

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                      • #12
                        The grounding strap came about on Amf installations back in the day when there so many suspicious fires in bowling centers. I personally have run them with the strap if its there and without if its not. I have never seen this occur, but am sure it could happen. The grounding strap or bonding strap as I think its called in the book goes underneath one of the nuts on vibration dampener and then over one of the bolts that the dampener sits on . It would be very easy to make one as its about 5 in long and make sure each terminal end fits over respective bolts. I think almost any piece of wire would work for the ground- the amf one is braided aluminum ( I think ) about 5/16th's wide.

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                        • #13
                          the part number for the strap is 000-025- 622 if you wish to order some

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                          • #14
                            In a centre I worked before there where no straps and yes there where sparks from the bounce board I bought a spray can paint with additive silver and there where no sparks any more a easy solution safes a lot of time on 50 machines to put all those traps in.

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                            • #15
                              Had this problem with the GSX machines, I just made some ground straps out of flexible wire and bolted on machines. I don't know about your machines but mine would wake you up if you put your hand in the wrong place and got zapped before I added the ground wires. Get you a couple rolls of wire and a box of ends and you can do your entire house for $15.00. It was always worst when it got cooler and we ran the heat in the building.
                              For Sale, Parachute. Only used once, never opened, small stain.

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