Before I stripped and cleaned the playfield on my last action hero, I had a phantom ball drain occur a few of times. When I say phantom drain I mean the flippers go dead, end of ball music plays, you are awarded a bonus and then the next ball is served up. I suspected at the time it could be a trough switch needing adjustment and since I was going to look at the ball trough as part of the playfield cleaning, I didn’t bother looking closer at it. Fast forward to post cleaning. I had the playfield back together and began to test. After a couple of games I noticed that the phantom ball drain was now far more common – in almost every game it would occur. I also began to notice other side effects where some playfield features would be activated without hitting the corresponding switch.
After some additional testing during a game, I found a direct relation between the phantom drain and the “R” drop target. When this target was hit, it would instantly believe the ball had drained, award a bonus and continue to the next ball.
Now that I had a suspect switch, I went into switch test mode and explored the switches to see what I could find. This is the switch matrix from the LAH manual: