(Topic ID: 118350)

Black Hole high score save question

By konghusker

9 years ago

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  • 16 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 years ago by hootowls
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 9 years ago

I recently removed the battery pack off my black hole, and added a detached 3 AA battery pack. Now I'm not real technical on pinballs yet, so this was my first attempt to fix anything on a pin. I wired the red positive to the + on the board, and the black negative to the hole in the picture. The machine still doesn't save high scores. Is the negative in the wrong location? The positive was easy to identify, but nothing was labeled ground/- so I tried to wire to where it looked like the second prong on original battery was. Any help is greatly appreciated. Oh, and the high score used to work, then stopped, so I assumed the original battery pack went bad, so then I replaced with this new setup and still no high score. Thanks for any input. Sorry for poor pic quality.

bh1.jpgbh1.jpg bh2.jpgbh2.jpg
#2 9 years ago

That's the correct wiring, however you absolutely must install a blocking diode to prevent the board from trying to charge the batteries. Did you do this?

#3 9 years ago

I did not do this Eric. I had read somewhere that black hold didn't need it when I was researching this. I could have misunderstood what I was reading though, as like I said I'm just learning about these things. Where do I order one from, and why does it still not save high scores? I've gone in and checked all dip switches too, and they should be set up for high score save.

#4 9 years ago

No, Black Hole needs a blocking diode added if you're going to use alkaline batteries. Pull those batteries out of the pack immediately and throw them away as they're likely damaged and could leak.

I usually buy a 4-cell battery pack and install the diode in the 4th position. Banded side of the diode oriented towards the + terminal on the MPU. You'll want to pick up some 1N4004 diodes, as these are used everywhere in solid state pinball. Great Plains Electronics electronics is an awesome online source, or you can buy these locally at a Radio Shack, Fry's, or probably most any electronics surplus store.

Once you have the diode in place, reinstall new batteries and check voltage at pin 22 of the 5101 RAM with the game turned off. Should see about 4V. If this voltage is present and the game still won't hold settings, I would suspect the 5101 RAM is bad.

#5 9 years ago

Ok, thanks a ton. I will give that a try. I really appreciate the detailed description on this. I'll let you know what happens once I have time to get the parts and try it. Thanks again.

#6 9 years ago

No prob!

Found a good pic on Clay's site of how the diode is to be wired into the battery pack:


#7 9 years ago

I think Eric has got you on the right track to get you going on your current setup.

I did want to share a few other options that I've found while researching for myself:

1) Memory Capacitor.
(This one eliminates the batteries all together. Won't keep score if powered off for a long period of time.)

I just picked up a BH on 2/7. I checked to make sure the old DataSentry battery was removed. It was and had one of these memory capacitors applied in its place.
Part number: CERS-1.5F-5V

Some video I found:

2) anypin NVRAM.
(this one also eliminates the batteries all together. Also a good option if your 5101 is indeed bad.)

they have a 5101 version that is a bit cheaper.

Some video:

skip ahead to 4:00~4:35

3) CR2032 coin battery and standard holder.
This option puts a battery back on the board. So, maybe not the best option. It also needs a diode, but I'm not sure how the diode should be installed. Anybody have instructions on how to install the CR2032 battery option?

I also have a MGOW. Not sure which method I will use for "battery" backup, but I just had to get that old DataSentry battery off of there. Luckily, no damage was done.

#8 9 years ago

When using the anypin NVRAM on a Gottleib system 80 or 80b do you just clip the old battery out or is there another step that needs to be taken?

#9 9 years ago

Personally, I would jumper around the blocking diode (CR34 on System 80B schematic) when using NVRAM in System 80 so you get the full +5V going to the RAM, but it's likely not totally necessary. Especially if the NVRAM used is RAMTRON FM16W08. Those parts will work into the ~3V range.

#10 9 years ago

The 5101 ram chip is removed socket soldered in its place and the nvram put in the socket

So if not comfortable with board work is not a great option and until just a few days price to do is HIgH
There are a couple threads now for the adapters for under twenty dollars

I did the memory cap from Ed at Great Plains electronics and has worked out well
You need to have game powered up as over a month and you will lose high score but no initials so not really a big deal

Plain 3aa is what I had prior and yes you need the diode very important

Everyone says to just solder a diode across a 4 bay holder well I have found it is hard to get good solder joints on the spring steel you are better off with the 3 bay pack and just solder a diode (in line) with the positive wire of the battery pack do the the banded side goes to the board. Thus blocking the charging circuit.

#11 9 years ago

Ok, I have it all done, and I'm seeing about 3.61v at the 5101. So I assume it's a bad 5101. I'm kind of interested in that new NVRAM. Anybody use one, and it looks like I have to un-solder my 5101 out, and then solder the new one in correct? What do you guys think about that option? I'm not afraid to solder either, so it's an option.

#12 9 years ago

NVRAM is great, especially now that it's come down in price a bit (and that 5101 is getting more and more scarce). Regardless of what you do, install a socket first. Don't solder the chip itself directly to the board.

#13 9 years ago


Here is the new link recently posted best price I have seen

Since a permanent replacement the socket optional but I would socket too just out of habit

Yeah if your 5101 is bad this is the way to go

#14 9 years ago

Is there an aftermarket board for Black Hole similar to the Altek Board for Bally/Sterns?


#15 9 years ago

Yes pascal,niwumph ?? Spelling but originals are fairly easy to repair and reliable
Pascal has ton of extra features I believe
And the other one you can customize game play like ball save timer and such

#16 9 years ago
Quoted from Xerico:

Is there an aftermarket board for Black Hole similar to the Altek Board for Bally/Sterns?

Fred Swemmer has his own line of Gottlieb boards that are worth a look too. He likes LEDs on the boards.


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