Accidentally switched connectors on Williams System 9 - how bad is it?

(Topic ID: 108161)

Accidentally switched connectors on Williams System 9 - how bad is it?


By PinballTilt

4 years ago



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  • 14 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by thedefog
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#1 4 years ago

35nksf.jpg

I've committed a cardinal sin, I messed up. There, the elephant is out of the room. In a rush to get the playfield back into my Williams Comet and play a game, I hooked up the black playfield connector to the white backbox connector, and same with the white playfield connector to the black backbox. They are unfortunately the same size and keyed the same way, but the colors should have tipped me off.

I was able to get some good pointers from this thread -

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/space-shuttle-wont-boot-error-code-7-williams-system-9

But the suggestions were pretty general on what I likely broke. The symptoms now of the game are a 'system failure', or 7, on the MPU. Looking at the schematics, I can't figure out what to start replacing. I would appreciate any pointers anyone could offer that has maybe gone through this themselves or for a customer. I have some experience replacing PIA's and would like to give it a try myself first. Here is a link to the schematic -

http://www.planetimming.com/Pinball/space_shuttle_williams_1984.pdf

Thanks in advance!

#2 4 years ago

bump, anyone have any suggestions?

#3 4 years ago

The System 9 Troubleshooting guide says this, although I don't have specific experience with a 7 on the LED myself.

Capture.PNG

There are also a lot of hits when searching Google groups (alt.rec.games.pinball) though regarding System 9 failures.

Good luck!

#4 4 years ago

There will be a lot of damage. I have made this repair before and will never do it again. I would not touch it. Send it out. Most repair services will not accept this type of repair work if someone has already worked on it.

#5 4 years ago
Quoted from Superchicken:

There will be a lot of damage. I have made this repair before and will never do it again. I would not touch it. Send it out. Most repair services will not accept this type of repair work if someone has already worked on it.

This is excellent advice. The amount of damage is likely extensive and it will only get worse in unskilled hands.

--
Rob Anthony
Pinball Classics
http://LockWhenLit.com
Quality Board Work - In Home Service
borygard at gmail dot com

#6 4 years ago

yeah that is a BIG HUGE OPPS! i remember hearing horror stories of that before whether RGP or marvin 3m. You may want to try and contact Clay, he may have some good documentation or ideas.

i guess you can start by getting the schematics out and seeing what types of lines you crossed. I have a feeling it was some signal lines with power feeds. So you sent power into all the switch inputs.

Also, i remember reading that some games were built with the connector colors the same both black so you had to make sure the same wire colors were on both sides of the connectors.

Well a learning opportunity for sure, not an easy one lots of damage. it is like adjusting pop bumper score switches with power on and then shorting to the solenoid voltage bad things happen.

Not impossible by any means but likely took out several things. Good luck.

#7 4 years ago

I believe what happens in that case is you send high voltage down the logic supply low voltage lines. I found a web site discussing this issue which mentioned these things:

"System 9 games did suffer from an aliment inherited from system3 to system7 games: the dreaded white and black playfield connectors. These can be accidentally mixed, causing severe damage to the CPU board (the game and sound ROMs will die, as will at least one PIA and some TTL chips like the 74154 at U9 display control - nearly any chip that is power sensitive)".

Now I can't say how accurate that is specifically but, yeah, I can easily believe that a lot of the logic could likely be damaged. You've likely got a fair amount of troubleshooting and component replacement in front of you.

I had read of this problem before I went and picked up my Black Knight, so I used a Sharpie to visually "key" the connectors with arrowheads whose points come together when plugged in correctly. That was helpful for me, because I was also in a hurry to get the machine reassembled and I could easily imagine myself making that mistake.

Good luck with the repairs!

#8 4 years ago

For sure, one PIA will be dead, the Sound ROMs, the System ROMs, U9, and then a few random other chips depending on how long power was applied and how overfused the PS was......it's just another example of Williams "quality".

Even worse, sys3-7 games had the same problem, so Williams ignored an obvious chance to fix a severe design flaw during the transition to sys9.

#9 4 years ago

Thanks for the replies everyone, I really appreciate it. I have some PM's in to those who may be interested in repairing it, but keep the suggestions coming.

A little more information. After hooking them up wrong and turning it on, the right flipper locked on. I quickly turned it off (maybe 3 seconds). I reseated all the connectors and checked the flipper switch before trying again. Same issue, another 3 seconds before shutting it off. I fixed the connectors at that point after kicking myself along with checking all of the fuses, none of which were blown.

#10 4 years ago

You are going to need a ROM burner to do the repair, so unless that is something you own (or have at work), you are probably best served sending the boards out.

Someone who does board repair every day will have this back up and running in 1.5 hours because they will have all the parts on hand.

You will probably have to order the ROMs, buy parts, make a second order of parts for stuff you overlooked, buy a logic probe if you don't have one..... it's a big job and thus not to be taken lightly.

#11 4 years ago

I'm assuming this is what happened with the game I picked up. In the case of the SYS9 board I have, just about EVERY SINGLE TTL logic IC was fried, 2 PIAs, both CPUs, EPROMs, RAM. I can only imagine that happening one way, and that is high voltage connected to the +5v rail. I have spent about 30+ hrs working on it and still have not gotten it to post anything other than "7". Major cascading failure. Obviously I labeled them when I got the game after looking into this so that I wouldn't do it myself, but this seems to be possible on all the SYS9 games as well as games like Black Knight.

#12 4 years ago

It has been a couple of years, but if I remember correctly, after I replaced everything I thought needed replacing, it still didn't boot. Then I started replacing these little caps and bingo.

w9.JPG
w9note.JPG

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from Superchicken:

It has been a couple of years, but if I remember correctly, after I replaced everything I thought needed replacing, it still didn't boot. Then I started replacing these little caps and bingo.

Yup, I had to do that as well. A number of them were shorted/blown on mine.

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