(Topic ID: 48888)

Centaur Club.....Members Only!

By vster23

8 years ago


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#851 3 years ago
Quoted from Rat:

STILL trying to troubleshoot the crazy sound my Centaur sometimes makes that I linked to earlier, I have replaced all the boards with repros and it still does it so it must be wiring. I have been replacing diodes everywhere and rewiring new connectors in with no change until just now when I rewired a couple more connectors on the MPU board, not the sound is totally stuffed.
I thought I might have done a bad crimp but they seem ok, then I checked the schematic and on J3 on the MPU board I have a wire missing at position 12.
I have checked through the cab a couple of times and can't see it anywhere, I'm wondering if it was ever there on my game?
Could someone check their game please and tell me what this wire does and where it goes from the J3 as I am struggling to work it out on the schematic.
Pic of my connector and the schematic below

I heard the restored Centaur at TPF last weekend make the same sound and mine has made it on occasion too.

#852 3 years ago
Quoted from Rat:

I checked the schematic and on J3 on the MPU board I have a wire missing at position 12.

Your missing wire goes down to pin 4 of the coin door connector on my machine, but ends there. It shows up in the cabinet schematic, but looks to be unused.

image (resized).jpg

#853 3 years ago
Quoted from Rat:

STILL trying to troubleshoot the crazy sound my Centaur sometimes makes that I linked to earlier,

Mine does it occasionally. It just starts up, goes for a few months it seems then stops. Has been normal for a while now.

As other people have experienced this too & you have replaced the boards it looks like it is just an anomaly with Centaur. Must admit I hate it when it starts up, it's really annoying & I would like to know if their is a fix for it too.

#854 3 years ago
Quoted from Timmo:

Your missing wire goes down to pin 4 of the coin door connector on my machine, but ends there. It shows up in the cabinet schematic, but looks to be unused.

Thanks very much for that Timmo, I will now assume that wire was never part of my loom as I can't see it anywhere and assume this does not cause some weird matrix issue, but I will hook up a wire to pin 4 of the coin door to test, just in case.

Quoted from Joydivision:

Mine does it occasionally. It just starts up, goes for a few months it seems then stops. Has been normal for a while now.

As other people have experienced this too & you have replaced the boards it looks like it is just an anomaly with Centaur. Must admit I hate it when it starts up, it's really annoying & I would like to know if their is a fix for it too.

Joydivision, you may be correct that it is just a Centaur thing, in fact I hope you are because then I can give up looking for a fix. But I can't help wondering why more people didn't report that theirs does this and why one person said they stopped theirs from doing it? Perhaps theirs was intermittent and they didn't play enough for it to do it again?

It would be great if a few Centaur owners could do this test for me and see if theirs makes the sound. I find that if I take off the glass and start a game and repeatedly activate the top rollover and the left bumper at the same time it will make the sound. Sometimes it will take a couple of minutes to start doing it but then it will do it multiple times in a row. If the Queens chamber drop targets are down while doing this test it will do it much sooner. That is why I have been directing my attention to these areas and have replaced all the diodes on those switches. That is my way of forcing it to make the sound for troubleshooting testing, but it will make the sound sometimes during normal gameplay it just takes longer to test as I can often play 3 or 4 games before it does it.
Here is the link to the sound again, does it a couple of times at about 10secs and a couple at the end 22secs.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0tKYkpAaQsQZGNLaVJmZkZFVmc

Now that I know it still does it with new boards and new connectors I have been wondering if it is something to do with EMI through the wires as others have reported for ghost pop bumper activations. Mine had ghost pops also which I have stopped almost completely by running new power wires to the pop bumpers.

It seems the sound happens when the soundboard is overloaded by too many sounds happening at once, so yeah it could be a code issue, but why are more people not reporting it as normal if that is the case?

I have another issue that has me wondering, when I use my original soundboard the speech callouts work normally. But when I put the new "myPinballs" S&T board in the speech call outs cut out when I press the flippers. I asked applejuice about this and he suggested looking at J4 on my MPU board, but I have put a new connector there and it does it with the original board and the new repro MPU board. I have run new wires from the flipper solenoids to the new Solenoid board and put new diodes on the flipper buttons and the flipper mechs and solenoids are new and I have tried to separate the wires from the loom and used ferrite core31 snap ons to reduce possible EMI so I am running out of options.

Perhaps if I can get others to confirm that the weird sound above is a common thing with Centaur then I will just go back to using my old soundboard which doesn't cut out and forget trying to fix it and see if I can put up with knowing I can't fix it. (Would be a shame as the new soundboard sounds much better apart from cutting out speech)

Unfortunately at the moment this is sucking all the fun out the game for me and I'm not playing it just troubleshooting. In fact it's sucking the fun out of my games room altogether I am even considering giving up and selling it at a loss and buying a different game which would be a shame as Centaur was a grail pin for me and I looked for one for ages and I have put a heap of time and money into fixing it up.

#855 3 years ago

Don't give up Rat! Just take a break for a while. I listened to your sound file, and I have heard mine do that sound before I think...I will see if I can make it happen on purpose next time I play it.

#856 3 years ago
Quoted from Rat:

Now that I know it still does it with new boards and new connectors I have been wondering if it is something to do with EMI through the wires as others have reported for ghost pop bumper activations. Mine had ghost pops also which I have stopped almost completely by running new power wires to the pop bumpers.

One thing to try if you haven't is add capacitors to the flipper switches, this should help to eliminate interference causing phantom pop bumpers going off.

Post #218

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pop-bumper-fires-with-flipper-activity/page/5

Should be able to find them easily, like the ones from Jaycar for example. They dont have to be the ceramic type.

https://www.jaycar.com.au/100nf-100vdc-polyester-capacitor/p/RG5125

#857 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

I heard the restored Centaur at TPF last weekend make the same sound and mine has made it on occasion too.

Thanks for that dothedoo, I missed your reply earlier, as both the restored one at TPF and yours does it also then it seems more and more like it is a very common thing with Centaur.

I wonder if new Centaurs did it or if it's something they develop, if they did it new then perhaps it is something that could be fixed with a hacked code update to either the MPU roms or soundboard roms. It does seem like it happens when there is an overload of signals, so maybe the code could be changed to only accept sound input every "X" amount of time and ignore others, if that is possible. That would mean the occasional sound effect would not be produced when a switch is activated but if it stopped the crazy sound then that would be worth it. Anyway such code mods are out of my league so I won't be holding my breath for it to happen, does anyone think it's worth mentioning it to a code guru for investigation?

Thanks for the encouragement Tominator, I am interested to see if you can force your game to make the noise the way I can do with mine, that will help build the case that it is a common issue.

Thanks again Joydivision I will try caps on my flipper button switches soon and let you know how that goes. I have some 47p 50V from jaycar here already which is what vid1900 recommends in the link you provided. The 100V you recommended might be better, I dunno, but I will try these first anyway.

#858 3 years ago
Quoted from Rat:

I will try caps on my flipper button switches soon and let you know how that goes. I have some 47p 50V from jaycar here already which is what vid1900 recommends in the link you provided.

The .047uf caps vid is referring to is for the general switches, for the flipper switch it should be a different value - .1uf/100nf 100 volt as far as I know.

The .047uf caps rated at 50 volts, for a flipper switch, it would be best to use a high voltage cap rated at 100 volts or more.

#859 3 years ago

OK yeah Jaycar is only 10mins away so I should go in and get some of the ones you recommend rather than pissing about wasting more time first

#860 3 years ago

Hello to the club !

I had a very very worn out playfield, the worm had also fun with it. With a friend of mine we rescreened it. Due to the bad wood we had to print all the playfield. Here is the result.

If you are located in Europe and need a rescreen , just contact me. Outside USA is too expensive in shipping.

1 (resized).jpg

3 (resized).jpg

2 (resized).jpg

#861 3 years ago

On the sound issue. I'm thinking it is possibly normal and more likely a buffer overrun in the original code. I own the restored Centaur at TPF (got 1st place for best 80s BTW) and haven't noticed the sound enough to comment for sure how often it happens or when. That game ran all weekend (tried to wear out the flippers) and had close to 800 plays on it so any intermittent sound issue due to bad code was bound to show up, but I didn't hear it specifically (was off playing other games).

Just for reference my game has an Altek MPU, Altek power, Altek light boards, an original sound card and new Say It Again board and new under playfield boards. I essentially went with a ground up build more so than a normal restore.

So if the sound issue was heard it's due to the original sound board or the original ROM code on the MPU (which Altek uses). My guess is to fix it (I'm a software engineer) you will have to rewrite the ROM code in the sound board, not the MPU. The MPU simply sends signals over to the sound board, but the sound board would be keeping track of which sounds are playing (it tries to play multiples), the speech etc. The sound problem may even be out in the say it again, but that's more of a reverb board so I don't think that would be the source.

If you haven't repinned the connectors going into the sound board, I'd make sure those are done and that may limit the problem. It's possible a bad connection on the input line to the sound board could make it worse which may be why some report it more than others.

Again if it was heard at TPF, then I don't think it would be anything to do with wiring to the original speakers, because we did a custom speaker enclosure and custom amplifier. I have not changed all the caps and diodes on the entire playfield so can't rule that out though.

#862 3 years ago
Quoted from TomDK:

Hello to the club !
I had a very very worn out playfield, the worm had also fun with it. With a friend of mine we rescreened it. Due to the bad wood we had to print all the playfield. Here is the result.
If you are located in Europe and need a rescreen , just contact me. Outside USA is too expensive in shipping.

That looks awesome! Good job and looking forward to seeing it all put back together.

#863 3 years ago

Hi guys, looking to join the club. Let me know if anyone is selling in Central US. Near Denver. Thanks!

#864 3 years ago
Quoted from TomDK:

Hello to the club !
I had a very very worn out playfield, the worm had also fun with it. With a friend of mine we rescreened it. Due to the bad wood we had to print all the playfield. Here is the result.
If you are located in Europe and need a rescreen , just contact me. Outside USA is too expensive in shipping.

That looks fantastic, do you have a thread anywhere to describe what you did? Did you have artwork to start with?

#865 3 years ago

When I first got my Centaur, I made a set of custom cards that used the typeface from the flyer and the color scheme of the apron, and also detailed the various "feature" callouts from attract mode. Shoot me a PM if you'd like a PDF file to print them out.

Centaur custom cards (resized).jpg

1 week later
#866 3 years ago

Just added convolux plastic protectors. Happy with the look.

IMG_20180402_171141 (resized).jpg

IMG_20180402_182950 (resized).jpg

#867 3 years ago

If anyone has a couple pictures of the trough wiring including the solder tabs and diode placement, I would appreciate it. Mine has a battlefield repair that includes wire nuts and diodes soldered to the switches directly. Last thing I need to sort out on my playfield swap. Here is the before picture.
Thanks

IMGP0636 (resized).JPG

#868 3 years ago

hope it will help

IMG_5709 (resized).JPG

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#869 3 years ago

IMG_5723 (resized).JPG

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#870 3 years ago

Thanks Redketchup !

These are excellent pictures and I appreciate the quick response. Now understand what they were doing and have something to do tonight.

#871 3 years ago

Hi Centaur Club:

I'm proud to be here and to read all the posts refering my absulute favorite "Bally Centaur". I would like to dig up the topic "Centaur Magnet protection" again with another solution. I have developed a circuit that works as follows: During normal gameplay, the magnet is activated by the MPU over the Q18 of the SDB for about 3 to 4 seconds. After this the MPU deactivates the magnet. That means: If the duration of the activation exceeds about 5 seconds, then we have an error. In this case my circuit works as follows: If Q18 on the SDB turns on, the magnet is also activated. If the MPU disable Q18, the magnet will also be turned off, but if Q18 does not turn off the magnet due to a defect, then the board will shut off automatically after about 7 seconds and the magnet will be protected against overheating damage. In addition a red LED on the board will switched on to signal the fault for the operator. The board does not need an external power supply as it is built into the regular circuit of the magnet, which means: 2 wires in from the SDB and 2 wires out to the magnet. No more and no less. I have already offered this board in a German forum and some Centaur owners are already using it. If anyone is interested, you can contact me via pm message.

BR holli

Here a pic from the board:

29687353ci (resized).jpg

1 week later
#872 3 years ago

I would like a solution to fix ''weak'' magnet when hitting the target for multiball release.

#874 3 years ago

Not sure it's an original, it look like the repro from the 90's.
Lot of people mix the two versions.
Repro doesn't have the light block layer printed in the back.

1 week later
#875 3 years ago
Quoted from HPR:

Not sure it's an original, it look like the repro from the 90's.
Lot of people mix the two versions.
Repro doesn't have the light block layer printed in the back.

This and few other titles (Paragon, Kiss, Captain Fantastic and Dolly Parton) were purchased from an elderly gentleman who worked an operators warehouse in the 70's and early 80's. He stuck them away hoping one day to find a game for them. I doubt he's BS's me.

#876 3 years ago
Quoted from tomdrum:

This and few other titles (Paragon, Kiss, Captain Fantastic and Dolly Parton) were purchased from an elderly gentleman who worked an operators warehouse in the 70's and early 80's. He stuck them away hoping one day to find a game for them. I doubt he's BS's me.

Either way, I bet it looks way better than a CPR glass... I finally found a NOS one about 18 months ago (similar story an elderly man that was an operator/repairman) and the difference was dramatic from the CPR mirrored and regular I had. I still kept the regular CPR glass in case something ever happens to my NOS one, but I was amazed at how much higher definition the original was.

#877 3 years ago
Quoted from SilverballNut:

Either way, I bet it looks way better than a CPR glass... I finally found a NOS one about 18 months ago (similar story an elderly man that was an operator/repairman) and the difference was dramatic from the CPR mirrored and regular I had. I still kept the regular CPR glass in case something ever happens to my NOS one, but I was amazed at how much higher definition the original was.

And ironically a week after making the deal for the then BG's a local guy offered me a Centaur in response to a wanted ad on Mr Pinball. Been looking for a year. Mint BG, rescreened CPR PF and nice cabinet. Getting it next week.

#878 3 years ago

I saw this and thought you guys may need at some point.

Oh and maybe let the copy cat drama start, definitely not my intentions.

Clive has a great channel and does a lot of cool stuff, gives me lots of ideas.

Give him a sub and send him some pink crap he loves it.

3 weeks later
#879 3 years ago

Finally got a Centaur. Been looking a long time. Turned out I found one local. Rescreened PF, nice BG working 100%, needs some TLC.

69f16eee5a2168fc4cd9c32f2b28de1d7a1e8d57 (resized).jpg

a08854eca3521dd5764fa082325a2ae826bfbe21 (resized).jpg

#880 3 years ago

Quick rules question: What are the best shots to take while in multi-ball? Is there any scoring benefit to being in multi-ball mode?

mof

#881 3 years ago

Does anyone in the club use a playfield protector on their game? Any ball hang ups or annoying behavior? I'm considering ordering but I'm on the fence.

#882 3 years ago

It will work but you have to work on the rollovers. I brought a piece of mylar over the rollovers, so the contact closes but the ball can not get stuck on this point, all other will work great and give the playfield a shiny touch.

#883 3 years ago

Thanks for the input TomDK. I bought one for my fathom and I get the occasional hangup that requires me to pull the glass. A friend has them on a few titles and they seem to work well on his later 80's/90's games. It is a great product but I may pass for this title.

#884 3 years ago

It depends always what you are going to do with the pin. On my new machines is mostly no protector. But I had a Centaur with a new playfield but I knew that this machine will not stay too long at my gameroom. Therefor I installed the protector. So the buyer could decide to cut it away and has a brand new dimplefree playfield. Same actually on a ES with new playfield. If I sell it the new ownert has the chance to get a new playfield.
My keepers are not fitted with protectors ... I play my machines but know for sure , if I ever sell them the price is lower as if I had installed a protector before the first ball ...

Cheers
Tom

#885 3 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Quick rules question: What are the best shots to take while in multi-ball? Is there any scoring benefit to being in multi-ball mode?
mof

There is no scoring benefit other than x number of balls bouncing around hitting targets.

Typically, it's such a flipper frenzy that you can't really aim for anything, but I shoot for drop targets. Bring orbs up to max and keep trying to launch balls as balls drain. Hopefully you can get the 1-4 targets in order and light the Release target for another big launch.

#886 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

1-4 targets in order

What does 1-4 in order do?

#887 3 years ago
Quoted from mof:

What does 1-4 in order do?

Lights the upper right release target.

#888 3 years ago

Can anyone tell me if there is a way to turn off the attract mode sequence where it shoots the ball around after being left on for awhile? I'm looking thru the manual and don't see it. Thanks

#889 3 years ago
Quoted from Thrillhouse:

Can anyone tell me if there is a way to turn off the attract mode sequence where it shoots the ball around after being left on for awhile? I'm looking thru the manual and don't see it. Thanks

SW. 30

#890 3 years ago

I’m having a small issue w my centaur. If I have a long game the flippers get weak. Should I presume it’s the EOS? I thought it was odd that it was both flippers and both weaken up at about the same time

1 week later
#891 3 years ago

Centaur Stainless Ball guides:

Looking for interest to get these made. These have been done for Fathom, Star Gazer and Seawitch. You can find links to those threads below and store links. If you’re interested please post here and you will be added to the list. We need 25 orders to start production. The price should be close to that of the other guides.
Fathom:
http://tinyurl.com/y7y5e7ys
http://tinyurl.com/y9tq3n94
Star Gazer:
http://tinyurl.com/y7tgw9vb
http://tinyurl.com/yc7lq8ur
Seawitch:
http://tinyurl.com/y867cmxg

2 weeks later
#893 3 years ago

I am still looking for a Centaur Apron, if anyone has one, maybe after they've upgraded. I'm using the wrong apron as a placeholder. Thanks

#894 3 years ago

Hey all - working on my Centaur restoration - does anyone have a photo of the queen's chamber with the plastic off? I need to know what hardware should be there.

Second question - my playfield is missing the cover in the shooter lane where multiball is launched. What exactly is it, and is there a place to get a new one?

Ignore the horrendous playfield. I have a PBR replacement ready to go. Thanks!!!

IMG_6481 (resized).JPGIMG_6482 (resized).JPG
#895 3 years ago

Cliffy sells the ramp flap.

Best pics I have

IMG_20160916_082841 (resized).jpgIMG_20160916_082848 (resized).jpgIMG_20160916_082903 (resized).jpg
#896 3 years ago

Perfect, thank you! Yeah, I have the plastics set and I see now that I have those. Any idea what size posts those are? I'll see if I can find them on Marco.

#897 3 years ago
Quoted from MtnFrost:

Perfect, thank you! Yeah, I have the plastics set and I see now that I have those. Any idea what size posts those are? I'll see if I can find them on Marco.

I reused mine after tumbling them, I have never see those for sale.

#898 3 years ago

Hi all, hoping someone could help me with installing the home roms from this site: http://www.pinball4you.ch/okaegi/pro_soft.html

I have a Centaur and a Flash Gordon I've been trying to get working with them.

I patched and confirmed the CRCs, then I used a GQ4X to burn the images onto some M2732A eproms. I don't have an external power supply for my burner, but the writing seemed to go smoothly, no errors and the chips all verified.

I put the chips into both games and I can't get either game to get past a solid green LED from boot. I replaced the U2 and U6 in Centaur, and just the U6 in FG.

I've pulled the chips and read them and they seem to verify OK.

I figure I'll start with Flash Gordon since I only have to deal with writing one chip at a time. The U6 I pulled from FG was also a 2732, so I believe the jumpers should be correct. Do I need to order a different model of 2732?

I've also ordered an external power supply for the burner, just in case. Any other ideas?

#899 3 years ago
Quoted from Largemann:

Hi all, hoping someone could help me with installing the home roms from this site: http://www.pinball4you.ch/okaegi/pro_soft.html
I have a Centaur and a Flash Gordon I've been trying to get working with them.
I patched and confirmed the CRCs, then I used a GQ4X to burn the images onto some M2732A eproms. I don't have an external power supply for my burner, but the writing seemed to go smoothly, no errors and the chips all verified.
I put the chips into both games and I can't get either game to get past a solid green LED from boot. I replaced the U2 and U6 in Centaur, and just the U6 in FG.
I've pulled the chips and read them and they seem to verify OK.
I figure I'll start with Flash Gordon since I only have to deal with writing one chip at a time. The U6 I pulled from FG was also a 2732, so I believe the jumpers should be correct. Do I need to order a different model of 2732?
I've also ordered an external power supply for the burner, just in case. Any other ideas?

One possibility is the M2732A eprom(s) you are using & the programming voltage &/or lack of external power supply could be the issue.

Assuming the Flash Gordon MPU was booting up before you removed the 2732 eprom at U6?

If you are using new "ST" M2732A eproms bought from ebay it's probably not a genuine "ST" but a different new 2732 that has been made in china & has a ST stamp, essentially a "clone". The "fake" ST M2732A eproms are still 2732s & should still work fine but are a bit different & have to be programmed at 25v not 21v as stated on the chip itself. An original ST M2732A would be programmed at 21v but not the clones.

With the external power supply added, set the GQ-4X device selection to the "all (generic)" setting & select "2732 (25v vpp)" & this should work for these eproms, if not it's a different problem. Maybe try a different brand of 2732s?.

If you have a few of the 2732s on hand or an eraser, may pay to burn an eprom first with the known good factory Flash Gordon U6 programme & try that before trying to burn any custom eproms just to see if your PC & programmer are all working ok.

I had trouble creating custom roms for Centaur, everything was set up ok with the burner, the roms burnt & verified ok, but just didn't work. I had the solid LED as well. I re-tried a few more times starting again from scratch & then burning more eproms, doing everything the same, then one lot finally worked. Not sure what was wrong. Once everything is set up & known to work, if still no luck, may pay to try the whole process again, you should get there. Well worth having the custom roms - love them!

#900 3 years ago
Quoted from Joydivision:

One possibility is the M2732A eprom(s) you are using & the programming voltage &/or lack of external power supply could be the issue.
Assuming the Flash Gordon MPU was booting up before you removed the 2732 eprom at U6?
If you are using new "ST" M2732A eproms bought from ebay it's probably not a genuine "ST" but a different new 2732 that has been made in china & has a ST stamp, essentially a "clone". The "fake" ST M2732A eproms are still 2732s & should still work fine but are a bit different & have to be programmed at 25v not 21v as stated on the chip itself. An original ST M2732A would be programmed at 21v but not the clones.
With the external power supply added, set the GQ-4X device selection to the "all (generic)" setting & select "2732 (25v vpp)" & this should work for these eproms, if not it's a different problem. Maybe try a different brand of 2732s?.
If you have a few of the 2732s on hand or an eraser, may pay to burn an eprom first with the known good factory Flash Gordon U6 programme & try that before trying to burn any custom eproms just to see if your PC & programmer are all working ok.
I had trouble creating custom roms for Centaur, everything was set up ok with the burner, the roms burnt & verified ok, but just didn't work. I had the solid LED as well. I re-tried a few more times starting again from scratch & then burning more eproms, doing everything the same, then one lot finally worked. Not sure what was wrong. Once everything is set up & known to work, if still no luck, may pay to try the whole process again, you should get there. Well worth having the custom roms - love them!

They are the ST branded ones from ebay. I have an eraser as well so troubleshooting is a bit easier. Both machines (thankfully) still work when I put the old eproms in.

I tried to burn a few unmodified U6 with the 25v vpp setting, and without the external burner. The writes completed and verified every time, but none would boot in the machine.

It's really strange that the chips read and verify, isn't it? The power supply is usually recommended when the writing process is failing, would it possibly solve this?

I'll order some different chips while I wait for the power supply to arrive.

Maybe these? ebay.com link: 4PCS HITACHI HN482732AG 482732 2732 32KBIT UV EPROM

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