6-card Payout Problem on High Flyer

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Case Study Summary
Game High Flyer
Games Applicable To 6 Card, but most others similar
Source phil
Problem Reported no payout - which is kinda vague
Fix not confirmed


High Flyer is a 6-card machine with the double-or-nothing feature.


Practically speaking, an arc of unconnected rows of rivets are needed on games with R or C buttons to provide a dead zone to park the search wipers in when they are locked, so in reality a search disc on R-button games is good for about 45 things.

6-card machines have more than one search disc because each search disc can look for a maximum of 50 things. On a basic 6-card game, a "thing" is a line on the bingo card.

There are five vertical, five horizontal, and two diagonal lines on each card, so you need at 72 rows of rivets on a search disc to check them all - and that doesn't factor in special stuff like corners scoring. Since only around 45 rows are available, the search is done by two or more search discs that scan consecutively.

In the case of High Flyer, there are three search discs due to the three and four number diagonal lines being possible winners, so more search rows are needed for those.

Search disc #1 is located at the normal position on the end of the control unit shaft. Discs #2-3 are on the back door where the mixers normally are. This game has no mixers.

Search disc #1 releases when the C button is pushed on the footrail, and when it completes it's revolution, it trips a release switch for search disc #2. #2 releases #3 in turn.


As usual, we want to try and make some logical guesses where to look before we start poking our fingers in the switch stacks.

High Flyer win detect/payout circuit for card #1

The payout circuits are similar in almost all of the games. The search wipers spin around and are looking at different ways to win by using the playfield hole switches to close the search relays. When enough search relays close, the search index coil will power and stop the search wipers from turning. The replay cams are released and once the appropriate number of credits are added to the replay register, the search index coil lets the wipers go.

Consider whether the problem is winner detection (the search index unit powers and stops the wipers from turning until payout completes), or payout itself (replay cams don't release or replay register/replay counters don't step up). In this case, winner detection seems to be out to lunch.

Inspection Debug Procedure

The first thing to always look at is whether the search index unit(s) is doing anything at all. If the search index coil starts to power and gives up, then the fix is to adjust the position of the search index unit. If the unit looks dead, take a look at the search relays to make sure they are all flapping as the search wipers go around.

High Flyer and other 6-card games give you more information, because there is more than one search index unit. Shoot at least four balls and set up winners on card #1, card #3, and card #5 (or card #1 and card #4 is you have two search discs). Release the search wipers on card #1 by pushing down on the release relay plate and look at the search index units to see if they power.

If all the search index units are dead, then it's almost certainly a problem in the circuits shared between the three search discs. In this case, the top part of the stuff highlighted in blue on the schem - the shutter panel switch, CU cam switch, search relay switches, or the plug connection between the playfield and head (which is how the shutter switches connect to the rest of the game).

If payout works on some cards, but not all, then the shared circuits are fine and the problem is in the search disc, replay unit and/or search index coil associated with the card that's not working.

Voltmeter Debug Procedure

Assuming the search index units(s) aren't doing anything, it's time to get out a voltmeter.

You can start checking without releasing the search wipers. With one voltmeter lead on wire #70 (the fat orange wire connected to almost all the coils), probe wire #23-6 on search relay #3 (point [1] on the diagram) and check for 50V. You should have 50V here all the time.

If that's ok, move the probe to wire #52-2 (point [2]) on search relay #1, #4 or #5, whichever is easiest to get to. Now you need to close three search relays with your fingers and make sure you have 50V. Note that search relay #3 must alway be closed. You have three choices on the other two as shown on the schematic (1-2-3, 2-3-4, or 3-4-5).

If that's good, move the probe to wire #85 (point [3]), which is probably easiest to get to on the search disc and check for 50V. Again, you'll need to hold three search relays closed or use a jumper wire to bypass them (e.g. connect a jumper between point [1] and point [2]).


Not reported back.