More LOTR tweaks...

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Jan 11, 2004, 2:43:03 AM1/11/04
I noticed good shots to the center ring sometimes seemed to be getting
stopped at the spinner.. this had been getting worse recently, so I took
a good look at the spinner with the glass off and simulated shots at it.
The spinner had gotten hit enough so that the wire holding the spinner
flap was bent upward ever so slightly to the immediate right and left of
the flap, inside the ramp walls. This changed the center of gravity of
the spinner enough to cause it to hang at an almost 45 degree angle (it
was 'top heavy'), with the bottom angled towards the flippers. This
angle was just right for strong shots at the spinner to "jam" under the
spinner, against the playfield (actually the ramp entrance flap), which
not only robbed most/all of the balls momentum, but also contributed to
bending the spinner wire furthur upward, making the problem worse.

If your spinner is hanging at an angle, with the bottom facing the
player, take some needlenose pliers and bend the wire holding the metal
spinner flap so that the flap hangs "lower" again. Grasp the wire
immediately to the left of the flap (inside the ramp wall) and twist the
pliers clockwise.. grasp the wire immediately to the right of the flap
and twist counterclockwise. It doesn't take much to adjust it.. don't
go overboard and break anything. The spinner should hang almost
vertically. If it's more than 15 degrees off vertical, it may jam the
ball and prevent shots from making it up to the ring hole.

I also tried adjusting the tough eject so that ejected balls would not
roll up the shooter lane as far.. if the ball rolls up far enough, the
game will "lock on" your skillshot when the ball finally comes to rest
on the shooter lane switch, due to the delay between eject and switch
activation. I was unable to totally prevent these roll-ups, although I
did reduce them slightly. Furthur adjustment results in tough miskicks.
I humbly request of Keith that the delay between a trough eject and
the ability to "lock" the skillshot via actuation of the plunger lane
switch be increased by a second or so... that should clear up things
with no real adverse effects on play. Oh, and you could make the
Orthanc skillshot animation flipper-abortable as well if you want ;)

Next mission: figure out how to make strong left orbit shots always
stick in the roght tower saucer.. occasionally get a fast shot bounce
back out. Real annoying when you just got Gollum MB and are trying to
stack a lit FotR on it :)



Jan 11, 2004, 3:19:54 AM1/11/04
So you have to adjust the spinner...what, every 50-100 games?

"metallik" <> wrote in message news:4000fe87$0$12217$


Jan 11, 2004, 4:13:06 PM1/11/04
Don't know.. it got like this after ~130 games or so.. not sure if it
was an anomaly or if it'll keep doing it.

Brett B

Jan 11, 2004, 5:40:26 PM1/11/04
My Balrog wasn't working at all in terms of registering hits. I took
the back plate off and low and behold a small plastic "wheel" rolled
out the back. Apparently the plastic wheel that attaches to the
micro-switch broke off from switch, and wasn't making any contact at

I noticed that Stern is using these micro-switches with plastic
rollers at the Balrog and the sword lock. Seems like the plastic
roller may not hold up well over time. The micro-switch also seemed to
lack some sensitivity when pushed manually as well.

I replaced the Stern micro-switch with an extra SEGA micro-switch with
a METAL roller, and this switch now seems much better in terms of
standing up to the hits to the Balrog and also much more sensitive.

I think the sword lock plastic rollers should fare better over time,
but some may want to check their Balrog micro-switches and change them
for metal roller versions. I wonder why Stern went for a roller switch
in the Balrog in the first place - Why not use a style like that used
in TOTAN or something? That seemed like a reliable and simple design.


"Manic" <> wrote in message news:<KG7Mb.7361$>...

Roy Fash

Jan 12, 2004, 12:10:14 AM1/12/04
This doesn't happen at all on my game. Ejected ball rests right by the
plunger tip. Is your playfield angle set steep enough?


"metallik" <> wrote in message


Jan 12, 2004, 8:32:28 AM1/12/04
Bubble is in the middle of the lines.. I don't have an inclinometer but
it *seems* to be fine. It only rolls up occasionally, most of the time
it serves right up to the plunger. My fiddling with the eject helped a bit.


Jan 12, 2004, 11:53:49 AM1/12/04
Bent spinner rods are result of ball hits to the rod, or possible the
rod got jammed and then spinner hit hard but you didn't mention it
malfuntioning per se...look around the spinner rod and see if thicker
rubber can be put on any posts around it, or double up on them, to
help protect it from hits. May just be a pf design issue where it can
end up getting hit from weird angle, or post is just not positioned in
the best place...Frenchy

Jim S.

Jan 12, 2004, 3:45:49 PM1/12/04
Brent Spiner rods?!?! Isn't that what they use on a ST:NG playfield?

Jim(usually lurking but couldn't resist that one)

"frenchy" <> wrote in message

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