Intermittent Infinite Multiball in Johnny Mnemonic

July 22, 2019

The Intermittent Infinite Multiball is a special mode in George Gomez' Johnny Mnemonic. Some of my friends posted some amazing scores on my Johnny Mnemonic. I started to notice that there was a multiball without a mode started. Here's the video... Story below. 

Almost like it was based on a William Gibson story, albeit a shitty one considering how well Johnny Mnemonic stands the test of time... 

 

Intermittent Infinite Multiball is the term I came up for this error. At random intervals, the machine would eject ball after ball after ball. It was not in a multiball mode. It was not indicating a "Reboot" or "Mnemonic Recovery" condition. This condition could last 20 to 40 seconds at a time. It really causes problems when more than one ball gets stuck in the magnet under the glove, like this.

This is irritating, and makes me think I'll get hurt with that magnetic force. Sometimes, it might stop after about 20 minutes when the machine warmed up. But, after a while, it stopped going away. So, here's the trouble shooting.  

  • I replaced some fuses, but that didn't work. But, it was cheap. 

  • I called in for a repair, and we replaced some fuses, but that ultimately wasn't the problem. Also, it wasn't cheap...

  • I talked to some local repair experts and they suggested that I should reseat some of the cables on the main power board that supplied power. That didn't cure the intermittent infinite multiball.

  • I narrowed the problem to the "Trough Jam" switch on the opto board. 

I figured this out on a hunch, combined with some help from my daughter. I happened to have the switch test for the Trough Jam on when she asked me to help out with something. About ten minutes later, the switch test started beeping, registering a phantom closing and opening of the switch. 

So, I knew at least one offending switch.

 

Since I was getting tired of this problem, I wanted a 100% fix, so I ordered the Trough Opto Transmitter/Receiver Board Set from Pinball Life. I probably only needed the receiver. But, since I was taking a trough apart for the first time, I figured I'd replace them both and avoid the need for a second order, with double shipping, and losing three days. The transmitter might be bad, but that receiver looks battle damaged for sure.

So, the mystery is solved, and Johnny Mnemonic is back in working order. Let's take a look at the machine. 

As you look at the Brite Buttons, you'll see that there are two sets of buttons on this machine. I bought two sets and spliced them together to create a single set that shares the same flashing pattern. You might see the second harness in another project soon... 

 

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