(Topic ID: 19476)

Black Knight MPU and Driver Board


By Acampero

8 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 35 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by castlesteve
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 8 years ago

Still having issues with my displays and now the game is shutting off randomly.

I think I have narrowed it down to the driver board and the 40 pin connector. When the game is on if I gently push/wiggle the MPU, the game will glitch out and go off. I tried resetting the boards and all the connectors but I think its going bad and/or shot.

So.....

Looking to replace these boards and I don't want to buy used old boards and be in the same situation. I was looking at pinballpcb.com and rottendog as options. Does anyone have any experience with these?

The rottendog MPU327 has a note that there are some "minor" issues with speech in BK. I have reached out to these folks and need to do a follow up call to see what they mean by that.

Any thoughts on some vets here?

#2 8 years ago

I talked to Rottendog about the sound issues and he said two people have commented that at a certain time a sinister laugh is missing. I assume that would be when you miss a Magnasave on the left or right drain. He said others say its fine so he is looking for confirmation. I have an MPU326 for my Gorgar and it worked fine until recently. Wish I had an MPU327 to try in Black Knight. From what I have seen and read if you are keeping the game long term I might spend the extra $85 and get the set from pinballpcb.com.

#3 8 years ago

Thanks Rusty,
I have a Gorgar as well

What happened to the MPU326?

The appeal of the MPU327 is the ability to pull it out, set a dip switch and stick it in another pin, as well as the price. But I do like the BK and could see keeping it for a least a few years. It's a classic.

#4 8 years ago

The MPU326 and MPU327 both have dip switches to set for different games. The 327 includes all the System7 games. Black Knight is System7 even though many of them had a System6 power supply and the transformer in the head instead of the lower cabinet. The MPU326 has the names and codes for all the System7 games except Pharaoah but doesn't support them. I assume he was trying to recover some costs before everything was completed. Jim from Rottendog did tell me that the code used was not changed from the original so he had doubts about the sound issue.

#5 8 years ago

I was looking at your profile and see you have the limited edition BK. are there any differences or just a late production run? I am picking up one off your wish list this weekend. A good friend found me a BSD.

#6 8 years ago

I had a nuked BK i restored about a year ago i repaired and had the boards 100% on mine but decided once I was gonna sell i would just throw a rottendog 327 in yes it was missing the laugh and also the cabinet bell no longer worked. but i still sold it with the rottendog simply becouse i had less money in the 327 vs the parts invested in my system 7 board lol.
and something else was different as well with the rottendog board vs the oem set.
It has to be something in their program or copy of the software on their multi game chip revision and prolly needs to be revised again.
if you only have the simple issue of an interconnect and possibly rom socket i can fix them problems for you its not worth spend $300-400 to buy aftermarket

#7 8 years ago

Rusty.... I hate you I want me a BSD

Hellfire....Thanks for the offer. What would it entail?

#8 8 years ago

pull the interconnects off and reinstall replacements and would check and replace Ic sockets if need be if they are RN style sockets the plastic cover comes off to the examine the pins ffor corrosion and compression and prolly desolder and resolder all connectors and examine the boards for any other botched or crap repair jobs

#9 8 years ago

Rusty,
My LE is the same as regular BK, just an LE on the apron.

Hell,
I'll send you a PM regarding details.

#10 8 years ago

I have a rotten dog in BK and have no issues.. The bell rings and I have the laugh after you miss magnasave. My note on it is that the OEM boards laugh sooner it feels like..where my rotten dog is delayed a half second in the laugh...otherwise it plays perfect IMO

Always wondered what that "sound issue" was

I replaced my interconnects but lost my ram chip working in it.. Said screw it and got the dog. I have other system 7 so it was not as bad ..and I heart BK so much

#11 8 years ago

Spud do you have the laugh in attract mode? that is the one that is missing on the one i sold

#12 8 years ago

I will make sure attract mode sounds are enabled and listen today and let you know... I actually never thought about that one.. I have all machines on a switched outlet so they come on the same time and all make noise to give the arcade feel... Been a while since I singled out attention.

#13 8 years ago

I was having intermittent problems with my BK (assuming the 40 pin interconnect) and purchased an MPU327.

Upon installing it, not only were there sounds missing, but I could not get the game to start.

After fooling with it for 2 days, I found out that 2 balls had to be in the upper trough, and 1 in the lower trough for it to start, some other switch issues also came up.

I ordered some replacement boards from Lennys and all is well.

On a side note, I installed the MPU327 in my Firepower and it works perfectly.

I also informed Jim a Rottendog of the issues I had.

#14 8 years ago

Why not just spend 7.50 and replace the interconnect? Heck if you buy the parts and pay shipping both ways, I'd change it out for you.

#15 8 years ago
Quoted from Craigmack:

Why not just spend 7.50 and replace the interconnect? Heck if you buy the parts and pay shipping both ways, I'd change it out for you.

In my case, there were other "hack jobs" on the boards as well from one of the PO's, I just felt more comfortable replacing the entire boards.

#16 8 years ago

dam all the money flying around i should start collecting and referbishing all these system 7 boardsets getting discarded for the rottendogs etc and reselling them on ebay lol.
the rotten dog board seems good in every other game or havnt heard of it acting funky it just seems black knight is off for some reason on the rom programming
the altec MPU is also a bit off in some games i dont know if combining all the programs on one rom might be loosing some off the data or what maybe the writing program compresses some of the data or whatever. the Altec also had some issues in Xenon but worked fine in other games.
Either way i rather rebuild or upgrade OEM boards instead of buying a universal one.
there is also a way to make jumpers to bypass the interconnect as well on system 7 i mapped the boards and with modifying 1 trace you can connect the driver throught the unused IC sockets or the 40 pin connector they never used

#17 8 years ago
Quoted from Hellfire:

dam all the money flying around i should start collecting and referbishing all these system 7 boardsets getting discarded for the rottendogs etc and reselling them on ebay lol.

You wouldn't be the first person to think about that

There are at least 3 or 4 sellers on eBay at any given time selling Sys 3-7 driver boards that have had interconnects replaced, resistors replaced, etc.

#18 8 years ago

This will drive me nuts now haha.. Yes I can confirm that in attract I only get the black knight fight and no longer get the "ha ha ha" attract mode.

#19 8 years ago

Big thumbs up for Hellfire!
Just sent my boards off for some TLC.

3 months later
#20 8 years ago

Long story short. I have ZERO luck.

I had to buy a Rottendog MPU327. I ran the diagnostic and everything came up good on the board itself, but when I connected everything else I can get the game to boot into the GI and the start button and flippers work but NO SOUND. Not a peep. Can anyone lend a hand and tell me where on the MPU327 is the sound connector. I could not decipher the schematics for the board and was hoping that someone on the pinside could help me out.
I double checked my toggle switches to make sure it's set for BK and it is and I also went back and checked all my cabling to see if its hooked up properly and I'm pretty sure it is.

Could anyone tell me which connector is for what on this board I would love to know that.

See pics attached.

Help me Obi-Wan...

photo-1.JPG photo-2.JPG photo-3.JPG photo.JPG

#21 8 years ago

The sound board is on the right of the back box, the speech board is in the middle smaller board. Make sure they are all hooked up and fiddle with the volume control it might just be a dirty pot

#22 8 years ago

Tried that Spud, to no avail.
I played with the connections and the pot on the sound board as well as the speaker. When I crank the volume on the speaker I can hear a little bit of noise, so I know it's got a connection but somehow it's not communicating with the MPU.
Is it possible it's a jumper on either the Rottendog or the Sound Board? Looking for other Rottendog board users.
Hoping that the sound board or something on the MPU didn't fry but like I said I tested the MPU with the self test and it said A-OK.

#23 8 years ago

On the sound board, remove connector 10J3 - the sound select inputs that come from the CPU.
This is the the upper far left connector on the sound board.

With the game on, ground some the pins on 10J3, you should hear some sounds from the speaker. If not the problem is isolated to your sound/speech board and is not a problem with your new CPU/Driver combo.

Try reseating the cables to the sound board including the ribbon connector to the speech board.

The sounds from the sound board are routed to the speech board and combined through an OP-AMP on the speech board. The balance between speech and sounds is controlled by the pot on the speech board. The combined speech and sound is routed back to the sound board where it is amplified by the amp on the sound board.

The pot on the speech board could be failed. The op-amp on the speech board could be bad.
Your volume control pot could be bad and so on.

#24 8 years ago
Quoted from Acampero:

Still having issues with my displays and now the game is shutting off randomly.
I think I have narrowed it down to the driver board and the 40 pin connector. When the game is on if I gently push/wiggle the MPU, the game will glitch out and go off. I tried resetting the boards and all the connectors but I think its going bad and/or shot.
So.....
Looking to replace these boards and I don't want to buy used old boards and be in the same situation. I was looking at pinballpcb.com and rottendog as options. Does anyone have any experience with these?
The rottendog MPU327 has a note that there are some "minor" issues with speech in BK. I have reached out to these folks and need to do a follow up call to see what they mean by that.
Any thoughts on some vets here?

Rebuild the boards and bullet proof them and they will be good for years.
40 pin male/female, recap the sound and power boards.
Reflow all cold solder edge connectors.

#25 8 years ago

I verified the sound board works by pressing the sound test button. Doh!
So it looks like either an issue with the Rottendog or the connections between the RD and the Sound board.

#26 8 years ago

We've got a Rottendog and have had next to no problems besides heat and connection issues on the board. In your situation, I'd just get the Rottendog.

#27 8 years ago

Just to clarify. I purchased a Rottendog MPU327.

#28 8 years ago

That's nice you pushed the button, however you have not tested the inputs to the sound board. Check the input controls -- perhaps the input chip on the sound board is failed, pushing the button indicates power is OK, eProm, processor, amps. I suggest you test inputs as previously suggested. If indeed you get sounds that exonerates the sound board at this point, the sound board could be the problem.

If the input controls produce sounds, check continuity on the control cable back to the new CPU.

#29 8 years ago

1J8, pins 9 through 12 are the sound select signals on the CPU. This connector is located as the top connector on the right side of the board.

As these are IDC-onnectors removal can cause the wires to come loose. Slide the cap off of the connector 1J8 and using a small flat blade screwdriver push the wires downward into the blades that split the insulation to make contact with the wire conductor.

After you have verified your sound board acknowledges sound select signals by grounding the input pins, and you have good continuity between the CPU and sound board, and your IDC connectors are OK, and operating the diagnostics of the CPU fails to make sounds as well as in game operation, contact Rottendog.

#30 8 years ago
Quoted from mnpinball:

Rebuild the boards and bullet proof them and they will be good for years.
40 pin male/female, recap the sound and power boards.
Reflow all cold solder edge connectors.

I agree with Jason.

New sockets
New interconnect
Remote battery holder
I don't reflow the connectors on mine - I replace them! I realize this contradicts my 'don't shotgun' approach; but the original round pins kinda suck.

Fuses on the bridges in the backbox, new caps on sound board and PS, and you're pretty much bulletproof... well, at a minimum, as bulletproof as you would be with an aftermarket set of boards.

That assumes you have a solid set of boards to start with, meaning not a spaghetti mess of jumper wires, corrosion all over the place, holes burned in the boards, etc. There are plenty of original boards floating around, I buy them when I see them at good prices for future projects, I always end up needing them

#31 8 years ago

Thank you Minnesota.
I'll take your advice and move forward.

Sometimes just finding a button you can push is a major accomplishment for me, although I'm slowly learning with every issue. Thus far I've got a couple Williams, a Bally, a Data East and a Gottlieb on the way, so I'm smack dab in the center of chaos, albeit a desired one.

#32 8 years ago

Rottendog says it may be suspect chip in IC36. I'll be checking things tonight and report back my findings all.

#33 8 years ago

Big shout out to Jim Knight at Rottendog!
IC36 was the problem. Steven Winslow from RGP forums helped me out and swapped the chip with one from his Rottendog MPU327 and everything works great now.
Happy ending to a long and drawn out nightmare!

2 months later
#34 8 years ago

I have a failing MPU, it crashes after a few minutes even after a new battery and a little cleanup. I've just installed a Rottendog MPU327b and it seems to be missing some code. The upper playfield targets do not score at all. Also, having an issue begining a new game due to the balls location at the start of the game. I even swapped boards back and it restores these game features. I have the same board in my Flash, no problems. I'm wondering if it's a MPU327 + BK issue or if the boards themselves may be inconsistent. Planning on trying the board in my Gorgar (whose getting a little lean in the toothe) and seeing how it runs. Also planning on installing the KoHout board in BK. Is anyone know more about this issue?

Follow Up: Called Jim Knight, very helpful. After putting the machine in test mode and doing a switch test I found that a row of switches were not being read by the MPU. In this case it looks like the board itself. Jim quickly offered to replace or refund my money. I'm really impressed with how quickly he offered his help even though it sounds like his a busy man. Thanks Jim!

Post edited by cwg29 : Update

3 years later
#35 4 years ago

I know I found somewhere that using the MPU327 on BK causes sound issues. On mine, everything works, but some samples are cut off short. I believe the timing between sample playback is somehow controlled with a resistor network on the MPU327. Can someone confirm this ?

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