AFM/MM Remake Flipper Delay


This guy has clearly made some mistakes. I notised a few things and concluded some more as outlined in post #245 over there.

The amazing thing is, that this has made all the news as solid proof and been seed to so much speculation and false information about how the system(s) work. Let alone the whole human perception and reaction time thing. Unbelievable.

Sad thing for CGC. As this flipper timing slobby-story might stick no matter how much corrected information may come to the light of day.


Lots of mistakes and misunderstandings everywhere!

I didn’t specify it on pinside, but as I mentioned here, WPC flippers get serviced every 4ms as stated in Josh’s quote. I completely agree with him that there should be an AVERAGE delay of 2-3ms for WPC games in terms of flipper response, just like I think there should probably be 1-2, maybe more, for our games.

Something is definitely wrong with all the timings thrown around because like I said, no one complains about the 2.5ms AVERAGE, INCONSISTENT delay on WPC. I’m expecting them to find that the delay is much much worse on remakes based on the OPs measurements.

I haven’t seen Pinball 101 and their timings and the 8ms difference that was mentioned, but that seems hard to believe to me that it’s that quick. But I don’t have any reason to actively disbelieve them, either.


Which WPC are we talking about here? Are we implying WPC95?

Power to the coils should be being filtered by the capacitors on the driver board, providing a fairly even voltage level, shouldn’t it?

In the end, isn’t it when power actually reaches the coil that matters though? I agree that it would be nice if we could also get a reading at the gate of the transistor/fet that drives the coil, but the difference in delay should be on the ns level.


Anything without those fliptronic boards or whatever. Anything with CPU-controlled flippers.


If he measured between two coil windings instead of from the power (or hold) to ground, this would explain the 0ms delay on WPC95 (assuming @sk8ball is correct about WPC firing both windings at the same time): since WPC95 uses both windings, you would get no delay whatsoever. So the poster wasn’t measuring delay from flipper button to power, but the delay from when the flipper is pressed to when the power is turned off (and only hold remains). Which implies to me that MMR is, for some reason, not firing the hold coil immediately, but instead switching from power to hold? Assuming I’m understanding the poster right about how he connected things.

Wish I had a digital oscilloscope so I could just check this myself


We do the same thing so that mismeasurement makes sense for us as well.


Naa. Under the load of even the hold coil, that capasitor does little.

Its only purpose, as far as I can tell, is to provide a steady voltage reading with no load. And perhaps that the LED on the board is not flickering (the general coil power system same-same).

We were all better off, if they’d saved the cost. I think I have blown three switch matrix drivers and three additional logic ICs, with the game off, because of shorting to that damn thing still energised.


It’s always funny to see the “think of the business!” posts. Think about the players! I know we in the pinball world sometimes think about all the sob stories with Midway closing down their pinball division and THAT killing pinball, but my stake in this thing is as tertiary consumer of these games. I’m the player. I’m not the distributor. I’m not the operator.!/vizhome/PinballWorldChampionships/Welcome

Here’s some data. Only 10 players crack 4 billion on AFMR in qualifying. Compare this and the player names to the PAPA A division AFM. Why is Steve Bowden getting 9 billion on AFM and 3.5 billion on AFMr. This should be an easy way to gain points, right?

Still, the technical reasons are over my head. The player problems, and some solutions are clear to me.

MMR: When in doubt shoot the left ramp. You’re more likely to die shooting the Merlin shot than qualifying all the other awards.
AFMR: Total Annihilation is the only thing you get. If you want the main multiball you will have to pay the price of losing a few balls.


Why is that? We have one on location here in MD, and I’ve not noticed any increased difficulty in shooting the lock shot.


I’ve only played one AFMr extensively, but the lock shot was incredibly difficult to hit from a rolling inlane feed vs my ability to do so on every AFM original I’ve ever played.


Could be alignment related. AFMs with flippers aligned parallel to the inlane guides instead of the holes (slightly lower) will make for awkward angles on the orbits and lock shot. There is an original AFM in town here that plays exactly like this. Sweet-spot for the lock shot seems almost non-existent.

They could be setting them up like this at the factory, or maybe the new playfields have alignment holes slightly higher than the originals?

I don’t have one to look at, but maybe someone who does can check.


Could not resist it. Did some testing on my Fish Tales.

@keefer’s reasoning is smack on.

Latency from 0.8 to 4.2 ms observed. With most of them in the midrange of 2-3 ms. Smack on. This is button signal to power coil timing. Both test points made on the Fliptronics board.

Also. The coil pulse is not synchronised with the oscillation of the power signal. This may, as mentioned previously, vary a couple of ms of effective latency.


Fish tales isn’t wpc95 though is it?


Tim beat me to posting these, but yes - I think hard tournament data speaks for itself. The fact that ~700m held for meaningful points in HERB is a sign of something amiss.

Re: AFMR lock shot: the one at BPSO had the same issue I have seen on the other two I’ve played - the lock diverter (once qualified) does not meet flush with the left ball guide. This causes shots to rattle around, and not stick in the lock and forces the player to make a VERY specific trajectory shot to lock a ball. Any and every AFM I have played has never had that problem and you can basically place a ball in the general vicinity of the lock and get one.

All that to say, it’s probably adjustable, but I don’t really know as I have never owned an original or remake.


I have seen AFM with the same issue as well. That is not to say the remake is not more prone to it, but the original is not immune to it.


This is a poor conclusion. Even the same game at different events can be set up differently or have something malfunctioning to cause a different range of scores.

This does say “hey, maybe we should look into this and see if something is there”.


One factor that hasn’t been mentioned is that the AMFR games are all relatively new, with a lot of clear on the playfield. They should play faster and harder than an older game. Also, the scoops aren’t blown out and they have a mantis-type protector. Blown out or not, with that protector, I suspect the opening is smaller than the original. Cliffy’s epic protector probably has a bigger opening than what they’re shipping with.

Not taking a side. Haven’t spent much time on an AFMR. But all other things being equal, a new game should be harder than an older game IMO.


For now I’m going to continue blaming myself for my poor accuracy skills . . . just as I have for the last 30 years.

I do look forward to being able to pass that blame off to some other factor :slight_smile:


I really don’t care if AFMR plays harder or easier than AFM. I don’t think it’s realistic to believe the remake would ever be identical to the original, and if you’re playing on the same machine, everyone else will have to deal with the same flipper alignment issues, etc.

I am interested in if there is actually something wrong with the flipper mechs, and if it exists can it be fixed? If it has delay that is non-variable or at least variable but in line with other machines, it’s not a big deal in my opinion. It sounds as though there may have been methodological problems with the OPs experiment so hopefully some more rigorous testing goes on.


Not making a AFM lock shot from a rolling ball is WAY WAY more indicative of flopped flippers than button->coil latency.

The most common games for flopped flippers I can think of are TOM, TOTAN, and especially SWE1 which just absolutely murdered any ability to play that game well since you couldn’t shoot the damn middle of the screen which you were supposed to constantly shoot. It was the #1 complaint of every single person in engineering, so John changed the play sample game, everyone shut up and enjoyed it, then it shipped flopped anyway.

Flopped flippers make outside shots a lot easier to make and center shots a lot harder. The effects of this would be evident if you could find a game that you could shoot a pinball from super close to pivot and not wind up with a post-pass. Some notable examples would be Deadly Weapon, Stargazer, and Doodle Bug (lol).