AFM shield not resetting

I have an original AFM and it has had this issue for quite a while. Sometimes, maybe every 10-25 games, after you destroy the saucer the shield won’t come back up. The inserts in front of the 3 stand ups in the shield will blink, but you obviously can’t hit them. You can tell when it’s going to happen because the motor won’t even turn on to try to reset the shield bank.

I thought it was the roller switches going bad, maybe the bottom one telling the game “the shield is not down” because it was intermittently failing internally. I replaced those and it is still not resetting the shield on occasion.

If I power cycle the game, the issue clears up for a little while. I’m wondering if that it because when the game boots it turns the motor on until the top switch is activated.

Has anyone ever seen this to have any other items I can look at? It seems like a physical issue, besides the fact that it raises the bank and acts normal with a power cycle.

Do you see any movement on the shield? Like it’s trying to reset? The carriage that the targets attach to can break.

It never attempts to move. Between the black thing that holds the switches (carriage works for me) and the metal pieces that raise/lower/interact with it, the plastic will lose over time. I guess it’s time to replace that and see what happens.

Honestly with mystery stuff like this I usually take the whole assembly out and service it.

Clean and rebuild the whole thing. No need to shotgun replacing parts first.

Half the time during the rebuild you’ll find the issue by identifying a broken part, or something that is out of spec/whack.

If I had to take a guess, I would think it still might be a problem with the roller up/down switches, OR the power to the motor. There could be a flaky connection on another switch that then jumpers the matrix to those switches. Or, the solder joints on the motor could be failing and sometimes it loses power.

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Older games like Data East used a relay to drive motors. AFM uses another PCB which is basically a solid state relay. Since you say the motor doesn’t even try to move, I would check this board closely. Re-flow the solder on the header pins. Maybe also re-pin the connectors. Reconnect all the connectors including J140 and J111 on the power driver board.

Does it work in test ? Switches respond there ? If so I’d check the subway switches under the playfield behind the drop target for broken wires or needing adjusting.

You can check them in test - switch edge - to see if they detect a ball rolled in.

LTG : )