Troubleshooting (Newgy USA)

I am experiencing a problem with the discharge of the balls from the robot. Balls fly out of the head haphazardly in all directions and angles. How can I correct this?
Try the following in order:
(1) Clean the Ball Discharge Wheel and Friction Block. Assembly/disassembly instructions are shown in your Owner’s Manual. Be sure to scrub (a toothbrush with stiff bristles works well) these rubber surfaces thoroughly with an all-purpose water-based cleaner or our Rubber Drive Cleaner that we sell for this specific purpose.
(2) If cleaning these parts does not solve the problem, then you will need to replace them. Under normal use, these parts last about 2 to 3 years; with heavy use, perhaps only a year. Part numbers are 2000-190 for the Wheel and 2000-192(for models 1000/2000) and 2040-192 (for models 540/1040/2040/1050/2050) for the Friction Block.
(3) If replacing the Wheel and Friction Block doesn’t work, then replace the two halves of the robot head. – Part numbers 2000-172 and 2000-174.

Where is the serial number located on the Robo-Pong®?
The serial number is located on top of the Support Flange, directly below where the Connector Cable is plugged into the back of the unit.

I suspect that the motors may be losing strength/slowing down. What can I do?
From our experience in repairing robots, we suggest several possible solutions for “reduced motor output”.
(1) Check first to be sure you are using the correct transformer. The voltage listed on the back of the transformer should have its output listed as “12V AC, 1.2 amps (or 1200 mA)”. If the amount of voltage going into the control box is less than this amount, all motors will run slower than normal.
(2) The motors may have an accumulation of dirt in them, slowing them down. Buy some electrical contact cleaner and lubricant (found at Radio Shack) and spray it inside the motor while it is running. Often, we will hear an immediate increase in RPM as soon as this is sprayed inside a dirty motor.
(3) The gears or shaft connected to the motor are clogging up with dirt and/or fibers, preventing the motor from turning at full speed. Scrub all the gears with an all-purpose cleaner and a stiff toothbrush. Check for hairs or fibers entwined around the base of the drive shaft coming from each motor. Cut and pull these hairs and fibers away from the shaft.
(4) If you bought your Robo-Pong® between September 1994 and May 1995, it may have a defective part inside the Control Box called the bridge rectifier. The normal symptoms of a bad bridge rectifier is that the robot’s motors start slowing down by themselves without you turning down the power with the knobs on the Control Box. Eventually when the bridge rectifier goes completely bad, no motors will work at all.
(5) If none of the above solves the problem, a component inside your control box has probably gone bad, most likely the potentiometer or voltage regulator. Send in your control box for repair.

When I switch on the robot, the Power Switch light remains off, but I’m still getting power to the robot. Is this a problem? When I switch on the robot, the Power Switch light remains off, but I’m still getting power to the robot. Is this a problem?
The light inside the switch is burned out. This is normally not a big problem because the switch will still function correctly, it just won’t light up. If you want to replace the switch to restore the light, order part #2000-224-17.

The control box started to generate a high frequency tone and the robot quit working. The lower gear, which pushes balls upward, is not working. The tone is so loud that I am forced to shut it down. What is happening?
First of all, your robot is working exactly as designed. The tone coming from your control box is a warning to let you know that there is an obstruction in the Ball Feed mechanism. Almost 95% of the time, the obstruction is dirt (usually hair or fibers), caught in the gears that are directly attached to the bottom of the BF Motor. To clean the gears, first remove the robot body from the net assembly by following directions of your Owner’s Manual. Next, identify the two Ball Feed Transfer Gears. These are the two gears that can get clogged up and should periodically be cleaned. Clean the gears off (an old toothbrush is handy to help clean between the teeth of the gears), reassemble and you’re probably ready to go again. If this doesn’t work, then try some of the other troubleshooting suggestions.

I am having some problems with my Newgy Robo-Pong®. The Ball Feed Motor works okay but the Ball Speed motor does not work. I can tell because I cannot hear the sound of the motor running. If I turn up/increase the speed, the robot head starts sweeping.
These programs are caused by the control box being reassembled incorrectly. There are no assembly instructions in the Owner’s Manual, so the relevant information is below:
(1) Open up the control box by loosening the 4 screws in the corners of the bottom metal plate.
(2) Examine the way that the circuit board is attached to the metal plate. It should be held on by two small “L” shaped metal brackets through which two small machine thread screws pass. Secondarily, it is held by a U-shaped metal bracket that holds the 3 voltage regulators (rectangular shaped electronic components soldered to the circuit board and located at the bottom center of the circuit board). Two longer machine thread screws hold this bracket on. The assembly of this bracket and the related parts is crucial. Be sure to check the following points:
(A) The bracket is “U” shaped. The legs of the “U” should be pointing AWAY from the metal plate.
(B) There is a fabric insulator pad (a thin piece of fabric, rectangular in shape, with two holes in it through which the screws pass) that must be between the voltage regulators and the metal plate. This insulator pad prevents the leakage of voltage across the metal plate from one voltage regulator to another one. There is one voltage regulator for each motor. They should be completely insulated from one another.
(C) The metal “U” shaped bracket should lay flat across the top of the three voltage regulators. It should contact only the hard plastic composite part of the voltage regulator. It should not contact the metal backing plates of the voltage regulators in any way.
(D) The order of parts, when assembled correctly, with all parts in layers parallel to each other are:
(1) The metal bottom plate of the control box.
(2) The fabric insulator pad.
(3) The three voltage regulators.
(4) The metal “U” shaped bracket.
Also check the Connector Cable that goes from the Control Box to the robot. Inside are five wires that carry electricity to the three motors. These tiny wires can break and should they touch each other, electricity could be transferred from one channel to the other. To check, make sure the cable is plugged securely into the bottom of the Control Box and the back of the robot. Turn on power at the Control Box and set the Ball Speed and Oscillator Speed to 10 and Ball Frequency to 0. Then, starting at the Control Box and working your way toward the robot, twist, turn, push and pull on a small section of the cable at a time. If the wires inside are broken they will temporarily make contact with each other and you will hear the motors start up at full speed. If this occurs, then repair or replace the cable. If this doesn’t work, you will have to send in your robot for repair.

When the robot’s side nets are attached to the table net, I notice that the table net is pulled toward the robot. Also balls are falling down between the side net and the table. What can I do to alleviate these conditions?
If your side nets are too tight, it may be because your robot is leaning backward, pulling the side nets with them. To correct the problem, try longer Support Leg Rubber Tips on the Support Legs that fit under the table. Your Owner’s Manual will explain more about this leveling adjustment. Also it is possible that the Left and Right Curved Net Support Tubes have gotten stuck in the “up” position. Grab hold of them and twist them gently downward.
The other possibility is that you do not have a top adjusting string in your net or the string is not adjusted as tight as it should be. If you have a top string (and bottom string on some nets), pull it as tight as you can. If you don’t have a top string, then buy a good net system that does have one.

With all this said and done, even with everything adjusted correctly and with a good net system, just the sheer weight of the side nets will pull the net toward the robot to some degree. But by taking the steps above, the pull should be minimized.
Also you mention that balls are falling between the side net and the table. This is a simple adjustment. Just move where you attach the side net to your table net inward so that the entire side net is above the table, not hanging away from the side of the table.

POWER ISSUES:

PROBLEM: No robot functions work and Power Switch on Control Box does not light up when turned on.
SOLUTIONS:
1. Make sure transformer is plugged securely into a power outlet. Verify that there is power in the outlet. Also check to be sure transformer input (on top of transformer) matches the electricity type in your area.
2. Check that the male terminal of the transformer cord is plugged securely into the female Power Jack of the Control Box.
3. If Control Box has been knocked off the table, a break may have been created on the circuit board. Inspect and re-solder any broken connections. Break is usually where the Power Jack is soldered to the circuit board. See Figure O 1,2.
4. Verify that wires are properly attached to the bottom of the Power Switch: 1–Red, 2–Brown or White, 3–Black. (Model 1929 robots should be: 1–Black, 2–Red, 3–Brown or White.)
5. Power Switch is bad. Replace.
6. Fuse holder mounted to the circuit board is not making good contact with the fuse. If loose, tighten; if defective, replace. See Figure O 1,2.
7. If A, B, C, D, E, and F check out, the Transformer is probably defective and needs to be replaced.

PROBLEM: No robot functions work and the Power Switch lights up when turned on.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Make sure Connector Cable is securely plugged in.
2. Check fuse in Control Box. If blown, replace. See Figure O.1,2
3. Check for a break where the large capacitor is attached to the circuit board. Re-solder if necessary.9 See Fig.OOO.
4. Bridge Rectifier in the Control Box is bad. See Figure O. Replace.1,2
5. Wires inside Connector Cable are broken. See Solution 13E for testing procedure.

Ball Feed/Frequency issues:

PROBLEM: Robot will not pick up balls.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Pong-Master Scoreboard (an optional accessory) is controlling Ball Feed. Turn Scoreboard off.1,2
2. Ball jam. See Owner’s Manual.
3. Ball Feed Motor is not running. See Owner’s Manual.
4. Ball Feed Motor runs backward. See Owner’s Manual.
5. Ball Feed transfer gears are assembled incorrectly. See Owner’s Manual for correct assembly.
6. Pickup fingers may be broken. See Owner’s Manual.

PROBLEM: Ball speed seems to be slower than when new.
SOLUTIONS:

1. See Owner’s Manual.
2. Hair or fibers are entwined around drive pin of Ball Speed Motor. Remove Ball Discharge Wheel and inspect at base of brass shaft. Clean, if necessary. See Figures Owner’s Manual.
3. The brass shaft on the Ball Speed Motor is loose. This brass shaft holds the Ball Discharge Wheel and is supposed to be permanently pressed onto the motor’s drive pin. It cannot be reattached. Replace the motor. Test by holding the rubber wheel with a finger and then turning power on and adjusting Ball Speed to 10. If you hear the motor spinning while you are holding the wheel stationary, then the brass shaft is loose. If the motor does not spin, then shaft is securely fastened. See Figures Owner’s Manual.
4. Ball Discharge Wheel and/or Friction Block are worn. Replace both at the same time. See Owner’s Manual.
5. Ball Speed Motor needs lubricating. Spray inside of motor with an electrical contact cleaner/lubricant.
6. Friction Block tabs are hanging up in their associated slots, preventing the Friction Block from operating correctly. Remove Friction Block and smooth the tabs. See Owner’s Manual.
7. Potentiometer1,2,9 Voltage Regulator1,2,9 and/or Bridge Rectifier1,2 inside the Control Box are bad. Replace. See Figure O.
8. Balls are too small. Be sure you are using approved 1-Star, 2-Star, or 3-Star balls.

PROBLEM: Robot picks up balls, but balls just fall out of discharge opening instead of shooting out.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Ball Speed Motor is not running. See Owner’s Manual.
2. Ball Discharge Wheel has come off. Reattach. See Owner’s Manual.
3. Ball Discharge Wheel is running backwards. See Owner’s Manual.
4. Friction Block is missing or improperly positioned. Be sure Friction Block tabs are in their proper slots. If Friction Block seems to be hanging up in its travel, smooth the Friction Block tabs by filing slightly to remove any rough surfaces. Also clean out the Friction Block tab slots. See Owner’s Manual.

PROBLEM: Robot shoots erratically. Some balls delivered high, others low or off to the side.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Friction Block is dirty, worn or defective. If dirty, clean; otherwise, replace. See Figure Owner’s Manual.
2. Ball Discharge Wheel is dirty, worn, out of round, cracked, or loose. If loose, tighten; if dirty, clean; otherwise, replace. See Owner’s Manual.
3. Ball Speed Motor mounting screws are loose. Tighten. See Owner’s Manual.
4. The brass shaft on the Ball Speed Motor has come loose. See Solution Owner’s Manual.
5. Slots in Robot Head Housings for Friction Block tabs are worn. Replace housings. See Owner’s Manual.

PROBLEM:     Robot shoots more than one ball at a time.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Ball Discharge Spring has come off. Replace. See Owner’s Manual.

Footnotes:
1 Applies to Robo-Pong® 1000 robots only.
2 Applies to Robo-Pong® 2000 robots only.
9 Applies to Model 1929 robots only.

Ball Jams

PROBLEM: Balls jam inside the machine. Ball jams are normally indicated by a humming noise from the Control Box.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Oversize, irregular or out-of-round balls. Check the balls using the ball gauge in the Ball Dams. Discard any balls that do not pass easily through the gauge. Be sure to rotate the ball inside the hole when testing to check all diameters of the ball. Use only approved 1-Star, 2-Star, or 3-Star balls. Avoid any balls that have a rough seam even if they pass the ball gauge test.
2. Head angle may be too severe. Reduce angle so head is not all the way up or down.
3. Using new balls. New balls have a tacky finish that tends to create excess friction as the balls move through the robot. As the finish wears down, there is less friction created. To remove the tacky finish quickly, wash the balls in warm soapy water and then dry them off before using. Running the balls through the robot at high speed also helps.
4. Dented or cracked balls. Anytime balls jam, check to be sure none of them get dented or cracked; otherwise, those balls can cause additional jams. Ball denting may also be caused by build-up of dirt on the Friction Block and/or Ball Discharge Wheel. Periodically inspect these parts and, if necessary, thoroughly clean with Rubber Drive Cleaner and a cloth or an all-purpose, water-based cleaner and an old toothbrush.
5. Foreign objects or loose parts in the ball feed path. Remove the Front Cover and inspect for any objects that are preventing the Ball Feed Main Gear from turning or from balls sliding up the ball feed channel. Also check inside the robot head. Reattach any loose parts or remove any foreign objects.
6. If balls are bridging in the area where the right Ball Return Tray meets the Center Trough, take two strips of duct tape and tape across the 90 degree angle on the inside front surface of the Center Trough where the pivoting table mounting mechanism is attached. When the tape is properly positioned, this 90 degree angle is changed to approximately 45 degrees, preventing balls from hanging on that corner and causing a ball bridge to be created.2
7. If the problem is with a RP1000, request Newgy to send you two free parts to help prevent ball jams inside the 1000’s Ball Bucket: (1) Ball Feed Gear Blocking Screw and (2) Ball Feed Stir Spring. These 2 parts are easily installed and greatly reduce the number of ball jams.1
8. Ball Speed Motor runs backward. See Owner’s Manual.
9. Worn Ball Discharge Spring. Open the robot head and inspect the back surface of the Ball Discharge Spring for wear. Replace if any flat shiny surface is found. This spring should be completely round with no flat spots. See Owner’s Manual.
10. Restricted ball feed channel. Occasionally the walls of the ball feed channel may warp inward enough to keep balls from moving easily upward. Remove the Front Cover and while holding a known good ball (as tested in A above) slide the ball up and down the ball feed channel to verify that it does not hang up. If it does, it is possible to warm the walls with a hair dryer and carefully bend the walls apart at the restricted area to increase the clearance. See Owner’s Manual.

Oscillator:

PROBLEM: Oscillator motor runs, but head does not move side to side.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Check to be sure Control Levers are in a position other than 1,6. Reposition, if necessary. (all models except 1050 and 2050)
2. A gear post, lever, or the Control Lever Adapter has broken. Replace. (all models except 1050 and 2050) See Owner’s Manual.
3. Oscillator has not been assembled correctly. Be sure top pin of Pivot Guide is positioned correctly inside the hole at the bottom of the Oscillator Motor Cover and bottom pin of Pivot Guide is in the corresponding hole of the Ball Feed Upper Guide. (all models except 1050 and 2050) See Owner’s Manual.

PROBLEM: Oscillator operates, but oscillator control levers jump out of place while oscillator runs.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Control Levers are bent or cracked. Levers can sometimes be carefully bent back into shape when softened by heating. Otherwise, replace. (all models except 1050 and 2050) See Owner’s Manual.

PROBLEM: Oscillator operates, but motion is jerky and/or straining noises are heard.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Oscillator Motor Cover is pressing down on the Control Levers, restricting their movement. Remove cover and file or scrape away a little of the bottom edge of the cover that is directly above the levers. (all models except 1050 and 2050)
2. Rough mold parting seams on the top and/or bottom of Oscillator Pivot Guide. Smooth seams with a file or sharp knife. (all models except 1050 and 2050)

PROBLEM: Robot does not deliver the ball all the way to either the left or right corner of the table when spin is set to straight topspin or backspin and control levers are set to positions 3 & 4.
SOLUTIONS:

1. See Owner’s Manual.
2. Make sure fit of Control Lever Adapter to Pivot Guide is very tight. If loose, replace Control Lever Adapter. (all models except 1050 and 2050.)
3. Be sure Clear Front Cover is properly snapped into place.1,2 (all models except 1050 and 2050)
4. Examine plastic pins on top and bottom of Oscillator Pivot Guide. Pins should be straight and exactly perpendicular to the top and bottom surfaces. If either pin is crooked, replace Pivot Guide. (all models except 1050 and 2050).

Footnotes:
1 Applies to Robo-Pong® 1000 robots only.
2 Applies to Robo-Pong® 2000 robots only.
9 Applies to Model 1929 robots only.

General Motor Issues:

PROBLEM: Ball Speed Motor or Ball Feed Motor runs backward.
SOLUTIONS:

1. The 5 Pin Connector is incorrectly wired or the motor connections are reversed. In either case, switching the wires on the motor will correct the problem. See Owner’s Manual.

PROBLEM:     One or two motors don’t run, but the others run normally.
SOLUTIONS:

1. If the problem is either the Ball Feed or Oscillator Motor, check the nylon transfer gears connected to the motor for obstructions. These gears can become clogged with dirt, hair, or fibers. Clean and re-lubricate sparingly with light grease. Replace any gears with worn gear teeth. See Owner’s Manual. (all models except 1050 and 2050)
2. Check the 5 Pin Connector to see if two of the terminals are touching or if a wire is not soldered securely to its terminal. If so, carefully bend the terminals apart to keep them from touching or re-solder the connection. See Owner’s Manual.
3. One or both of the wires to the inoperative motor are broken off or unattached. Reattach.
4. Be sure wires attached to motor are not touching each other. If wires are touching, bend terminals apart to keep wires from shorting each other out.
5. One of the wires inside the Connector Cable is broken. Examine the cable by plugging it in, turning on the power, and adjusting the knob(s) controlling the inoperative motor(s) to 10. Then twist, turn, push, and pull a small section at a time trying to get the broken wires inside the cable to make contact with one another. If the inoperative motor suddenly starts running, you have found the break. If break can be found, repair or replace.
6. Motor is “frozen” (especially likely if robot has not been used for awhile or is stored in a damp environment). Detach all gears connected to the motor. Connect all cords, turn on the power, and turn knob controlling the inoperative motor to 10. Give the brass shaft or gear at the end of the motor a turn with your fingers. If the motor was frozen, motor will start spinning. Lubricate motor with an electrical contact cleaner/lubricant. See Owner’s Manual. (all models except 1050 and 2050)
7. Motor is defective. The motor can be tested by connecting it to a 9 volt battery. (all models excepts 1050 and 2050) Before testing, disconnect the wires attached to that motor and any gears that are connected in sequence to the motor. If the motor does not run from another power source (such as the batteries), it must be replaced. See Owner’s Manual.
8. The voltage regulator and/or the potentiometer inside the Control Box that governs the inoperative motor has gone bad. Replace or send in for repair. See Owner’s Manual. (all models excepts 1050 and 2050)
9. If none of the above solutions work, the problem is likely a short or bad component inside the Control Box. Replace or send in for repair. (all models excepts 1050 and 2050)

PROBLEM: A motor runs, but does not change speed when adjustments are made at the Control Box is turned.
SOLUTIONS:

1. If all the motors run at top speed, check to be sure the wires connecting the Potentiometer Circuit Board to the Main Circuit Board inside the Control Box are plugged in securely. Red wire goes to the #1 terminal.1,2 (applies only to 1000, 2000, 540, 1040 and 2040)
2. See Owner’s Manual.


PROBLEM:
Changing one setting at the Control Box affects a motor other than the intended motor.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Check the 5 Pin Connector to see if any of the wires or terminals touch each other. If so, carefully bend the terminals apart. If there is a solder bridge, cut or melt the bridge between them. See Owner’s Manual.
2. Voltage regulators inside control box are shorting across each other. Be sure insulator pad is preventing shorting via contact with metal bottom of the Control Box. Also check to be sure the Voltage Regulator Bracket is not shorting across the Voltage Regulators. (applies to 1000, 2000, 540, 1040 and 2040)
3. Wires inside the Connector Cable are broken and shorting across one another.  See Owner’s Manual.

PROBLEM: All motors run slow.
SOLUTIONS:

1. Check to be sure you are using the correct transformer. The correct output voltage should be 12V AC, 1.2 to 1.6 amps (1200 to 1600 mamps).
2. Bridge Rectifier inside Control Box is bad. Replace.1,2 Please contact customer service.

Footnotes:
1 Applies to Robo-Pong® 1000 robots only.
2 Applies to Robo-Pong® 2000 robots only.
9 Applies to Model 1929 robots only.

Note: The Australian distributor does not carry parts for the old Newgy models, like the RP1000 and 2000 models.