(Topic ID: 158929)

Atari middle earth repair


By thebman80

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 84 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by ethan1082
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders

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There are 84 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 3 years ago

I can almost hear sound when turned all the way up ( aux turned up as well )
When I shut game off it buzzes loud into a fade a way.
No noise when a adjust volume.

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#52 3 years ago
Quoted from jasonp:

I can almost hear sound when turned all the way up ( aux turned up as well )
When I shut game off it buzzes loud into a fade a way.
No noise when a adjust volume.

That is just a terminal strip with a resistor on it.

It looks factory, but I'll check my game photos to see if appears in mine too.

I'm not sure what could be causing the audio issues. Does it seem to work normally when playing a game?

#53 3 years ago

Yes game plays pretty good ... Few minor issues ... Sound has me stumped.

1 week later
#54 3 years ago

You guys are the guys I need to talk to. I bought a ME that is in pretty good shape. I plug it in and everything works. It scores (it scores 10x of the value of things, 200 becomes 2000 etc...I'll figure that out later). The flippers work. The sound works. Everything seems okay. Before long though...it starts firing all the coils as you mentioned above....like something is over heating...or something. Turn it off for a while and turn it back on and it works again for a while, then....BAM BAM BAM! I have read through this thread several times but I'm not getting what you did to make the coils stop firing. Could you please clarify? I really appreciate the help.

#55 3 years ago

Ming, my ME did the same thing. I still don't know what caused it, or what made it stop. Only thing I can offer is to get into the power and re-seat the connectors going to the full-bridge rectifiers. You could have a loose wire that's making poor contact. Once the game warms up, the connector loosens more, causing the voltage to drop out to the logic board, throwing it into a reset loop. I was poking around with the rectifiers on mine when my table stopped freaking out.

#56 3 years ago

I really appreciate any and ALL suggestions...I'll give it a whirl, it must be something simple like that because it works and then it does not. I am a novice at these machines. I started with a RO GO and moved on to FLASH GORDON and now this ME. I am really digging the pinball community....you guys rule. If I can ever help anyone with their Vintage Motorcycle please don't hesitate to ask....I'm really good with those.

Thank you again! I'll see you guys at Texas Pinball Festival

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#57 3 years ago
Quoted from Ming:

it scores 10x of the value of things, 200 becomes 2000 et

This is a normal setting for this pin .... I believe it was done to bring the scoring up to date with the other pins at that time.
Mine had a factory sticker saying all scores multiplied x 10 .... Or something like that.

#58 3 years ago

The scoring is a dip switch (dial? Can't remember now) setting. I changed mine back to score properly.

#59 3 years ago

Middle Earth still has a voltage drop problem, but, it only goes BAM! once or twice and then quits instead of going into an endless reset loop which is a huge improvement. I spent all day cleaning contacts and getting bulbs to work. I decided on black for the legs as they were really nasty. It still needs a LOT of work but I think it's safe to say that it has escaped "paper weight" status.

I really appreciate you guys help. I have a buddy coming over tomorrow that fixes musical equipment for a living and he's gonna have a go. I will keep you apprised.

Thank you again.

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#60 3 years ago
Quoted from Ming:

Middle Earth still has a voltage drop problem, but, it only goes BAM! once or twice and then quits instead of going into an endless reset loop which is a huge improvement. I spent all day cleaning contacts and getting bulbs to work. I decided on black for the legs as they were really nasty. It still needs a LOT of work but I think it's safe to say that it has escaped "paper weight" status.
I really appreciate you guys help. I have a buddy coming over tomorrow that fixes musical equipment for a living and he's gonna have a go. I will keep you apprised.
Thank you again.

Gotta say, compared to mine, that ME is in amazing condition! Wow.

1 month later
#61 3 years ago

FIXED! Had a guy here in Houston redo both the original board and I was able to get my hands on a A006020-02 "Universal" board on Ebay that he also fixed and set up for ME as a back-up, he also did the AUX board. The guy is an Atari fanatic and has all the machines to properly test & burn in boards. Ebay user:ebay.com link

Still needs a bit of tweaking but I'm really happy with it, I love the art and how rare it is, especially in this condition.

I appreciate all the help you guys gave me, thank you!

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#62 3 years ago
Quoted from Ming:

I love the art and how rare it is, especially in this condition.

Great looking example of this one!

1 week later
#63 3 years ago

Hey guys!
I also just scored a MIDDLE EARTH PIN about 3 weeks ago. I shot some video and eventually got it up and running - as it was given to me not-operational!

take a look!! got it from bringing it home all the way to a preliminary gameplay video!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAeWX8MCTjqEp-4k15wG9hg

maybe you guys can give me a better idea about how its playing - its my first pin and I feel I am learning a lot. Now I am just getting the playfield up to spec, making sure everything should be responsive and work as it should.

#64 3 years ago
Quoted from trueno92:

got it up and running

Looks Good ... I need sound on mine

#65 3 years ago

If this thing was just bells and chimes id probably put it down, but I seriously LOVE those old 8-bit sound effects!! I wish there was a knocker for the extra ball however. I am curious to see why no one has mentioned it before that Atari pins don't seem to have a knocker for extra ball or when you hit 50,000 points. There is a longer and louder sound effect to make up for it I guess.

#66 3 years ago

Must be a dip setting... mine does the noise at 100,000.

2 years later
#67 1 year ago
Quoted from trueno92:

If this thing was just bells and chimes id probably put it down, but I seriously LOVE those old 8-bit sound effects!! I wish there was a knocker for the extra ball however. I am curious to see why no one has mentioned it before that Atari pins don't seem to have a knocker for extra ball or when you hit 50,000 points. There is a longer and louder sound effect to make up for it I guess.

Atari coded a knocker output for replays and specials, but they left out the hardware to make it happen. In the manual for Middle Earth, they discuss the modification needed to make this work for audit counters, but the same changes can easily be made to drive a solenoid instead. All you need to do is add a TIP101 transistor, a couple of diodes, and a stolen knocker assembly from another game.

I'm in the process of doing this on a Middle Earth that I bought from the Church of the Silver Ball... I'll take lots of photos and document the modification.

#68 1 year ago

Mod completed and it works great. Every Atari should have a knocker! https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/atari-middle-earth-club-group-all-welcome#post-5305264

6 months later
#70 7 months ago

We’re going to try ME troubleshooting again. The game will power on and display the tests. Test 1, Lamps light. Test 2, No coils fire and the display doesn’t cycle through the numbers either. On test 3, I hear one successful oink when it begins, but then get no switch results when I activate them. Displays look good. Any suggestions for getting the tests to work properly?

#71 7 months ago
Quoted from Boise_D:

Any suggestions for getting the tests to work properly?

how do the boards look? the auxiliary pcb on my Space Riders needed a transistor, capacitor and resistor replaced before I got it working, i don't think the main pcb needed any work. Then the flipper solenoid on the power module/transformer was mechanically stuck and needed to be moved manually a couple times before it worked correctly.

#72 7 months ago

Electrically start and coin switches work but do not appear to have an effect / get detected by the MPU board. Held low ~0.15V then go high ~4V when activated. Debug still in progress.

Flippers work only during the coil test but not the lamp test or switch test. Also not active at game over / attract if I recall correctly.

Test switch itself works so I think it must be addressing all of the switch decode for detection. I don't see a likely way that one would work and all others would be broken.

1 week later
#73 7 months ago

We can see the signal toggle from start button at MPU R4 which is the pull down coming from J10-7. The inverters look good and input to NAND D9-1 does toggle with the button. From the switch decode D9-2 stays low so the output will never show the start button activating.

Followed it back in circles for a little while (looking at it upside down counted pin 1 from wrong side a couple times which lead to confusion) then identified outputs on F6 never seem to toggle. Some inputs held low instead of toggling.

Upstream E10 inverters looks suspect, I forget if I tested all three that go to the 1-of-10 drivers but two definitely showed toggling with the logic probe on one side of the inverter and not on the other.

I have not quite worked out why the test switch works fine yet. It seems like it would be effected but I have not found any other clues yet.

3 weeks later
#74 6 months ago

SO I just replaced the Sound/aux board that took out a bunch of lights when it failed.... unsure about how, anyway it played ok before this last episode but now it plays but has an issue i'm trying to track down. when you hit play ball ejects for play and there is already 1K lit on the progressive lights/counter. If i just reach in and hit one of the advance actions it jumps right to 10K then repeats its count back to 1 to run to 20 if I hit it again. When ball reaches end of game play, it starts counting out the score but before it can get to zero the 10 light comes on again and it resets and just keeps counting forever and ever lol.... All playfield switches appear to work normally except as noted above and all bumpers also seem to function correctly. Anyone have any ideas?

#75 6 months ago

Ok, so got the schemtics and doing a bit more troubleshooting/fault identification.... everything above still holds true.... however I have found a couple new symptoms that seem related... 1st. SW1 Toggle 7 On/Off DOES NOT change the multiplier.... I cannot seem to run the test using the test button. The Start Button appears to work ok on MM, BUT 6 out of 10 times it auto starts a game when I turn the power on.... about 4 times it doesn't and waits for the start button confirmation. I cannot seem to get the coin mech to register a credit on either left or right coin slots.... What I have done so far:

Cleaned all edge connectors, replaced the aux board with what appears to be a good one, Changed and serviced every light and checked and adjusted all switches... I do notice some "dim" bulbs in the progressive stream until they light but the connections are good. I'm pretty sure this is all MPU related in some fashion. I removed the CPU and cleaned all the legs and re-installed... no difference....

Going to try to find my 40 year old Logic Probe lol.... Going to start on that SW1-7 and see why it doesn't appear to be changing the multiple as that is a good as any place to start...

#76 6 months ago

Okay fixed the symptom of it auto starting, was a bad switch... simple. I'm confused on the circuit diagrams... it shows the 2 blocks of dip swithes on the OUTPUT side of a BCD decoder? then it goes through the switches to a common side on the other with what appears to be a pull up resistor. this seems just backwards to me. what am I missing? what good does it do to tie an output of a BCD Decoder to 2 dip with blocks then all the outputs are used for a single switch but the other side is a common? like it should go somewhere else as well but I'm not seeing it? I get the BCD decoder could enable or disable one of the switches by bringing one side to a high or low, but it would need to branch off somewhere and feed that input back to the processor on an input.... I'll study them again, but I only see the one connection to the switches.

#77 6 months ago

Ok, so I went back an read the manual, probably should have done that. SO they are using the Demux units to address a serial bus and monitor for all the switch decode data.... Ok, I get it now... not going to try to decode all the data as most functions seem to work. I'm now stuck on Plug J7 Pins A,1,3 The Green Wire is a common wire used to feed both the Tilt Cabinet and Self Test button. Both these functions do not work. I cannot seem to get it into self test mode. So I chased the green Pin 3 wire ( schematic is hard to read but pretty sure it is 3 since that is where the green wire is. It passes though the audio board, don't ask my why, and then over to the main board. It is an output pin of a 145 decoder chip F9 pin 2. When I monitor it with a logic probe is has noise or something, shows kinda a logic low but not really.... I think I am going to try to probe B+ and B- to see if I can send it into test mode. I'd like to see if the CPU will tell me if there is a switch decode stuck issue. the BUS that switch data rides on is a single line ( aka serial) and i would think by forcing it high or low it would be ok... wish me luck. I have some 145 chips on the way, as this chip had been soldered on before hmmmmm....... but I cleaned and removed it and all runs and pads appear in nice shape. I guess if needed, I can get my scope out to see all the data running down that line, but would prefer not to at this point. I think if I can get it in self test mode, I can make progress... What say anyone out there?

#78 6 months ago

I say check your edge connectors, just in case.

#79 6 months ago

One of the dip switch position one is tied to the same line as the test which I believe. Can you verify you have the settings correct? I think it was pos 1 on one of them but Im not positive.

#80 6 months ago

We have found with a logic probe that two inverters do not seem to propagate the addressing for the switches correctly. E10 looks good (pulses) on pin 9 11 and 13 but on the output 8 and 10 are low but 12 pulses like expected. Any chance I could get you to test your machine and see if it is the same or if we have to hunt down input buffers on the 145s? Thank you.

#81 6 months ago

YeahI can have a look on that Ethan... I think I'm headed for pulling my scope out on this one... lol I saw in the schematic where the with is tied to one of the switches on SW2 switch 1.... FWIW, they didn't put these in order so you have to match the schematics 1-8 crossing to 16-9 unsure why, I suppose to confuse us...if that switch is open then the test never runs.... I'll double check it, but pretty sure I did.... I ordered some spare 145's since they are cheap, I"m going to shotgun in about 8 on by board, along with some of the other mix/demux stuff.... FWIW, I don't seem to get ANY switches to change.... I can't even get it to change the scoring multuplier... I did check the pull up resister R127 I think and it was fine.... the other common items on that line seem fine....

#82 6 months ago

PROGRESS!!!! after getting the scope out and not being able to get any of the switches to respond to any changes.... I ordered up a 9301 AT e11 position, that is the decoder feeding all the 75145 chips and WALLA!!!! My switches now function normally!!! I can change all the dip switches and they are read and work correctly. This has allowed me to now enter the self test modes, and I tested all light and solenoid circuits and everything test A-OK!!!!

BUT my issue persist. When I hit the play button, the first progressive marker automatically lights before any play ( i would think it should light once you get a progressive score" then when I activate ANY switch that would normally count up on the progressive, the first time, it kicks up to Double bonus! then it counts to 6 and Jumps again to Tripple or whatever the next multiplier is.... it plays fine.... when ball hits end play pocket it starts to count down, but as it passes 7 down to 6 it auto lights the double and just keeps counting down then adding a double and counts forever. It is almost like there is a STUCK high bit on the bus that feeds the counter.... Gonna have to dig deep into this one.... anyone have any guesses? FWIW, I could see ALL the data on the serial line from all the 75145 chips as switch data, but toggling the switches didn't change since the decoder 9301 wasn't toggling the input lines properly I guess....

#83 6 months ago

That is good news! Big step ahead. I'll probably become more familiar with the areas you are working on once I can get our machine to enter the switch and coil tests.

1 month later
#84 5 months ago

We replaced E10 and two of the inverters still held low on the output side.

Replaced f3 f5 F6 f7 f8 f9 f10 f11 f12 f13. Checked every 3 parts. Last 3 did the trick. Addressing to the switches should be working now (inverter address line output all follow input) based on the logic probe.

However when testing, everything was constant for the first 4, when we did the next group of 3 the game started oinking repeatedly on power up and never appears to fully boot. We checked for any shorts on the sockets and tested with those parts unpopulated with no luck. We continued and finished the last 3 parts which resolved the address issue but of course now are fighting oinking and no-boot.

We could boot before and cycle through test modes but the coil and switch tests would not work (start button wasn't triggering).

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