(Topic ID: 195946)

Are Rottendog Boards as Good as Original?


By scampcamp

3 years ago



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  • 96 posts
  • 59 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by GRUMPY
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders

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There are 96 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 3 years ago

I have 2 boards out at a reputable board repair guy.. F-14 MPU & a Terminator 2 Dot controller boards. The Dot controller board was sent back to me as repaired but had the same issues after warm up. I sent it back & he says he hasn't had a chance to get to it or the F-14 MPU which has acid damage that he's had for 10 months.

So my question is... should I just go ahead and buy 2 new boards from rottendog and cut my losses? And are rottendog boards just as good as the original boards... would a color DMD work well with the Dot controller board?

Thanks for any input.

#2 3 years ago

No -- there is a known design flaw with HV supply on them. But if you go with an LED DMD then it doesn't matter.

#3 3 years ago

I have had mpu's, power supply's and displays in 3 Williams system 6 and 7's for years. They have all been great but the last mpu gave me a scare. Wasn't working right out of the package but reseated the chips and it straightened out after that.

#4 3 years ago

We can only speak for our TAF. It is currently running Rottondog MPU board, DMD board, flipper board and main driver board. Every board in the backbox is Rottondog except the sound board. Works great! Without them the machine would have been parted out.

No issues with the driver boards. We have been using them in other machines and are in and out quite regularly. The MPU board has been great once we fitted the correct chips. If you are thinking about Rottondog boards especially a MPU board, a quick email to them asking which supplier is preferred will save you a lot of headaches later on. Turned out ours was fitted with an incorrectly burnt chip ($10.00) and the machine would not even start up.

Color DMD is low voltage so when you fit the color dmd you remove the high voltage cables completely from the machine. If you think the high voltage on your dmd driver board is the issue, marco sell a satellite board that goes over the top of your original board as a fix. Saves you replacing the whole board.

We love Rottondog and they definitely have their place in restoring a machine. Our board repair guy prefers to repair an old original board over a Rottondog. You have to remember the rottondog is fairly new technology compared to the originals.

Good luck!

#5 3 years ago

The first issue RD has is with system 11 boards not having the volume level between the back ground and call out sounds being the same as the original. This is because Williams changed resistors on the sound boards and CPU from game to game, a lot of the time not changing the schematics to match. This has caused some trouble on certain games like Pinbot and others. The second issue is they are different, not that this is bad mind you. You can't test the same, you need to stock different parts and a lot of the parts are surface mount technology. Most of us that do there own board work are not equipped for SMT. All in all they are well made work fine and the only option for the future.

#6 3 years ago

Oh, grumpys post reminds me. Some sound triggers are not correct on my Black Knight. Have no idea about f14 or terminator 2.

#7 3 years ago

I don't have any RD boards in any of my games, but I have had my fair share of repairs on them for other people. The biggest issue I've seen with them is they use really crappy fuse holders. They've all had side clips on the holder just break right off.

#8 3 years ago

Used a RottenDog board in my Jurassic Park and it worked fine, DMD included. My ultimate issues was the 60Hz hum was much more pronounced w/RD. I ended up fixing the issue with my original board and swapped it back in.

#9 3 years ago

Had issues with Rottendog boards, switched to Xpin ... No issues!

#10 3 years ago

Have 2 rottendog mpu boards in my system11 games. The sound module on one is bad. Have yet to figure out what could be wrong with it and cannot find schematics online.

#11 3 years ago

Have a Rottendog in my Fish tales. No issues. All good. Not sure who you're using for board work but I really like Clive at The Pinball Cauldron. Great work, offers express repairs for a few extra bucks, communicates very well and is reasonably priced. Just my experience

George

#12 3 years ago

I will say this for the Rottendog DE/Sega flipper board, it works great.

Unlike the PINLED equivalent which I tried first and never worked properly in my Maverick.

#13 3 years ago

I've had Several issues over the years, and some trouble-free. A couple I remember - using a wpc driver on creature, the bowl chase lights never worked. A firepower combo board the slings and pops never worked right. Confirmed it was the boards and not the games by subbing in tested swaps.

One gets the feeling their stuff was never field-tested to the same standard as alltek stuff. I'm sure the longer their stuff is out the better it has gotten.

#15 3 years ago

I have a whirlwind that has a rottendog mpu installed. From the start only half of the sounds worked. Also whirlwind has 6 pop bumpers and only 2 on each set works. Board was pulled to install a orginal. My plans are to send it back in for repair but never got around to it. This was the first board I installed from them but I have plans to purchase from them in the future.

#16 3 years ago

rottendogs are junk, but cheap and plentiful. xpin or original all day, and I think xpin quit making power supply boards?????

10
#17 3 years ago

There are some Rottendog boards i like, and some i don't.

The WPC cpu board replacement by RD works well and i've seen them in some games for years without issues.

The DMD controllers for DE also are good from RD.

RD power supplies for system1 and system80 work very well and have a nice price point.

RD system11/DE power supplies i don't like so much. but they do work. but the originals are easy to fix, don't know why people replace them.

the DE cpu board from RD is nice, works well.

the williams sys11 cpu board from RD i am very wary. same with sys3-7 cpu combo board. much prefer originals. RD version works in a pinch though.

the sys80 cpu board by RD i don't like at all. had problems with it.

The RD wpc driver board i don't like, and it doesn't work well in IJ/Popeye/STNG/Demo/TZ. but i never understood why anyone would replace that original board as it's the easiest thing to fix in pinball!

As for replacement LED score displays, love the RD ones. All of them! They are awesome and have a nice price.

As for xpin/pinLED boards (all/any of them), i would NEVER EVER use their boards. Oh my gawd, talk about unrepairable over engineering that often doesn't even work out of the box. i've been burned by them too many times.

in conclusion, original boards are the way to go. but in a pinch, RD in most situations works well and has a decent price point.

#18 3 years ago

Are newer Rottendog power supplies using better fuse holders? My only experience with one of their power supplies was a DE power supply that came along with a game about 4yrs ago. It looked like new & had just been installed, but the fuse holders were junk & fell apart. Just curious if they moved on to better fuse holders on power supplies at some point in the last 3-4 years.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Are newer Rottendog power supplies using better fuse holders? My only experience with one of their power supplies was a DE power supply that came along with a game about 4yrs ago. It looked like new & had just been installed, but the fuse holders were junk & fell apart. Just curious if they moved on to better fuse holders on power supplies at some point in the last 3-4 years.

A fuse clip is an interesting item to go cheap on. Bussman 15a fuses where are only like 7 cents each when you get a bag of 1000 from an domestic authorized distributor.

I tried a few Asian manufacturers of fuse clips non provided a better value then Bussman or Littlefuse. SUN electric ones where fine and sturdy but basically the same price as Bussman ones. Everything else was brittle or bendy crap with a good chance they where lying about the material / plating.

#20 3 years ago

They have both saved my games and created problems. I had one with the wrong resistors and chased the problem forever - also the Driver board would never make my LOTR work perfectly had a few VUK issues that went away when I changed back. However when your board catches on fire it's great they are an option.

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

A fuse clip is an interesting item to go cheap on. Bussman 15a fuses where are only like 7 cents each when you get a bag of 1000 from an domestic authorized distributor.

Right no-name fuse clips aren't a place to shed costs, esp in high amperage circuits. I looked for a marking on them but didn't see anything. Hopefully different ones are used now.

#22 3 years ago

Had an RD PS in a DE pin - had issues..mostly with the sound board re-setting...switched to an Xpin - never a problem again...in my Creech, the DMD controller went toast - put in a PinLED (at the time no RD or Xpin available) - been fine for 6 years now....I'm not sure I'd brush off Xpin or PinLED ....

-6
#23 3 years ago

New components using new technology with many revisions and updates to their boards, from a company still in business it's a no brainier! I went almost all RD (re capped my sound board) and will never go back! If your boards are numbers matching, your pin is low production numbers or your pin is huo certainly keep your original boards...but if not I say make the switch because soldering on a board daily shouldn't become a habit lol

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#24 3 years ago
Quoted from gmkalos:

I went almost all RD

To each his own. That's a spend road as you start to pick up more and more games. Definitely one I'll never travel down.

I only have two games with Altek MPUs, but everything else is original. I very rarely wrench on any boards. If I do it's typically very minor like connectors.

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

To each his own. That's a spend road as you start to pick up more and more games. Definitely one I'll never travel down.
I only have two games with Altek MPUs, but everything else is original. I very rarely wrench on any boards. If I do it's typically very minor like connectors.

Agreed. Sometimes it takes a bit more to get them working initially but once you replace or update the common failure points, original boards are extremely reliable.

Its nice to have RD or Altek boards as options to replace missing or basket case boards but they need not be your first option.

#26 3 years ago

I have several RD rectifier boards in early SS Ballys ,along w/1 solenoid driver board. Years of trouble free use. Have a RD MPU in a Jokerz! and it works great. All the correct sounds are back.

#27 3 years ago

Thanks very much for all the replies! My plan is now to get the boards back from the repair person who has had them & send them to Coin-Op Cauldron. If he doesn't think the boards are repairable I'll just but Rottendog boards.

#28 3 years ago

I know people here love coin op cauldron and I'm sure they do great work. I bought a machine that they repaired a system 6 mpu and it had a whole burnt thru the board and a mass of jumpers. It lasted about a week and I threw it in the trash. That was just my experience and it was probably not a good example. You can only use what you have but I believe they should have refused that repair.

#29 3 years ago

They are very good. But the prevailing opinion remains that an original board that’s repaired is the way to go if possible. But for the hobby, we owe RD a debt of gratitude as they’ve saved many, many games from being parted out.

#30 3 years ago
Quoted from scampcamp:

Thanks very much for all the replies! My plan is now to get the boards back from the repair person who has had them & send them to Coin-Op Cauldron. If he doesn't think the boards are repairable I'll just but Rottendog boards.

+1 for coin-op cauldron--i sent all the boards from my first game (Black Knight) and for a very reasonable cost (imo) he went over every board and bulletproofed them. That was over 10 years ago. In all that time i had an issue with the displays once (in the past 2 years, just needed a chip replaced), and had to replace a 555 timer chip for a booting issue. By the time i had trouble, i was capable of doing the repairs myself.

I also support the philosophy of keeping the old boards when feasible. There's a multitude of excellent repair manuals out there that apply specifically to the original board sets. I don't have any aftermarket boards in any of my 7 games, and will continue to use and repair the original boards as needed.

Good luck!

#31 3 years ago

I've used them here and there for convenience. I don't think I'd buy a wpc driver board, maybe if it was missing completely, but you're better off finding a good used one which will be a few bucks less, and as mentioned, they're pretty easy to fix.
Sometimes I'll spring for a DE/Williams RD power supply, just because I don't want to chase down the parts to fix the original. The system 80 power supply by RD is a slick little affordable board.

#32 3 years ago

I only use aftermarket boards as quick test boards.

I've heard of and experienced too many quirky things with many aftermarket boards, so I don't rely on too many of them.

Quoted from cfh:

but i never understood why anyone would replace that original board as it's the easiest thing to fix in pinball!

The thing is, a lot of people don't know how to do even simple board work, and would rather spend a lot of money on an aftermarket board. After all, newer is always better, right?

While it's all well and good that you can put a "new" board in, they don't usually have schematics or thorough documentation like the original boards do.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I only use aftermarket boards as quick test boards.

I've heard of and experienced too many quirky things with many aftermarket boards, so I don't rely on too many of them.

The thing is, a lot of people don't know how to do even simple board work, and would rather spend a lot of money on an aftermarket board. After all, newer is always better, right?
While it's all well and good that you can put a "new" board in, they don't usually have schematics or thorough documentation like the original boards do.

All valid points. However, in my case I had multiple points of failure on a couple of 25 year old circuit boards, and I only have one pin (which played heavily into my decision). Did I want to pay for the repair, wait for an extended time, and be with a downed pin for a minimum of 6-8 weeks at the time (I contacted 3 highly reputable repair options based upon Pinside feedback)? Did I want to get the boards back only to wait for the next potentially soon to come failure (at least this was my mindset given recent experience)? Weighing everything, my decision was to go with RD boards from Arcadeshop - http://www.arcadeshop.com/s/1/c_rottendog.htm (best option I was able to find and had positive recommendation from a friend), had them in within a week, and everything has been great ever sense (a year+). However, I did sell one of my old boards and gave away the other to experienced pros who could repair them right on their own time and put them back into circulation. I was happy to recycle instead of just throwing them in the trash, and glad they are able to live on. If I could have had them repaired in 1-2 weeks or if I owned multiple pins (i.e. I could still play while I was waiting to fix the one), then my decision may very well have been a different one.

#34 3 years ago

Chris H. emailed me and said he ended up repairing the Terminator 2 Dot control board but mentioned the F-14 mpu board was beyond repair. So I think I'm going to look for a good used F-14 board before I end up buying a rottendog board.

Is Ebay a good place to look? Or do any of you know some people that sell good used parts? Thanks again for all your posts.

#35 3 years ago

I have had a bunch of quirks with aftermarkets too. Missing sounds that play in test mode, magnets not working quite right and others. My aftermarket power supplies have been perfect but original power supplies are easy as hell to rebuild.

#36 3 years ago

I've got them in 3 of my older games ( TAF,TZ,TAF) .....had a minor problem w MPU in WCS ( RAM issue), others have been rock solid for years....maybe I've been lucky...

#37 3 years ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

there is a known design flaw with HV supply on them

More info on this, please? Thanks!

#38 3 years ago

I have Rottendog boards in a lot of my games. Only issue I ever had was flipper board for data east blew a transitor. Also went with x pin for my GNR as sound kept cutting out in multiball. The 12v would drop out. The x pin power supplies are really well built.

#39 3 years ago

I've had Rottendog for over 5 years trouble free in my Flash. Before that I had numerous issues with the original boards which admittedly were 30 years old. New Rottendogs are definitely better than old originals.

#40 3 years ago

Who is a good supplier of rottendog boards? I see they (Rottendog) will be not available for a while.

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from scampcamp:

Who is a good supplier of rottendog boards? I see they (Rottendog) will be not available for a while.

Got mine from from Curly ( little shop of games).....

#42 3 years ago

They don't sell direct anymore. Arcade shop used to be the cheapest but k's arcade probably is now. Go to rottendogs web page and click on suppliers. You can cross check pricing.

#43 3 years ago
Quoted from andre060:

More info on this, please? Thanks!

High voltage regulators.
The negative regulators they use have an absolute maximum Vin to Vout rating of -40 volts (LM337) ... and they are using them in a -100V environment.

The positive regulators they use have an absolute maximum Vin to Vout rating of 60 volts or 125 volts (LM317AHV or TL783) depending on which generation of board you bought.

If you short out the negative supply with the LM337 negative regulator that they use - the part usually burns up. But not only does shorting them out do this -- just turning the machine power on will do this over time. At instant of turn on - the input voltage goes up before the output voltage goes up resulting in a hefty power surge within the regulator. The National Semiconductor tech rep said this will eventually kill the parts. Clay had a photo on his website that showed what happens to these boards when a kid was switching the power on and off.

Same applies to the positive regulators on boards where they use the LM317AHVT regulators. The latter boards appear to come with the TL783 positive regulators and these tend to hold up better.

If you are putting LED displays in your machines and not using the HV regulators then this is a mute point.

#44 3 years ago

Great info, g-p-e! If you own the board, can you replace components to make it work properly?

Marc

#45 3 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

They don't sell direct anymore. Arcade shop used to be the cheapest but k's arcade probably is now. Go to rottendogs web page and click on suppliers. You can cross check pricing.

$350.. yikes. K's is out of stock.

#46 3 years ago

I don't like Rd for system 11 cpus. Too many oddities. I had a customer with a ww and the sounds were horrible. Additionally, I've had horrible luck getting any support from Rd via email or phone. I try to stick with clean original boards whenever possible.jr

#47 3 years ago

I like the system 6 rd mpu. Don't like the rd driver board on starship troopers... Now putting another rd mpu on system 6, and it didn't boot. Not saying it won't, but wasn't as easy as the first one in gorgar.

Also had a good experience with a rd mpu 89 in twilight zone.

I guess it depends on how repairable your original is, and of course, your preference =)

Oh yeah, Alltek mpu and driver when applicable!

#48 3 years ago

Anybody have any experience with this replacement WPC95 MPU board?

I have a JY where the board had a tiny bit of corrosion damage. Clive's place fixed it but it failed again shortly afterwards...
I'm tempted to give this a try:

http://www.arcadeshop.com/i/690/williams-wpc-95-mpu.htm

#49 3 years ago
Quoted from Manic:

Anybody have any experience with this replacement WPC95 MPU board?
I have a JY where the board had a tiny bit of corrosion damage. Clive's place fixed it but it failed again shortly afterwards...
I'm tempted to give this a try:
http://www.arcadeshop.com/i/690/williams-wpc-95-mpu.htm

I have one in my CV and it's absolutely fine.

Marc

#50 3 years ago

Have a Rottendog MPU in my Judge Dredd, seems rock solid to me. Plus had my OG one serviced and now I have a backup.

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