(Topic ID: 24704)

Data East speaker noise - ideas for a cure


By roc-noc

7 years ago



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There are 507 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 11.
#101 6 years ago

Edit: Ignore, Chad was discussing VR1 on the power supply, not the sound board.

Regarding ChadH's issue, obviously clean power is important. Him switching out the PS has helped prove that. However he's just told us that he's missing the input offset voltage (-5v) to his op-amps. I don't know much at all about amps, but he's missing half of the input voltage to the amp. Perhaps he's picking up noise that wouldn't otherwise be there because the op-amps aren't working properly. I don't know, but IMO the sound board should be fixed and that variable removed. Then continue to proceed down the current line of thinking.

#102 6 years ago
Quoted from stangbat:

Sorry, but your friend is wrong. VR1 is a -5v regulator (7905) that generates voltage used for the LM833 op-amps at U28 and U30. Install VR1.

Just to be clear... in my case, I am talking about VR1 on the Power Supply (not the Sound Board).

VR1 on the Power Supply is a 7812. It is a +12V Fixed-Voltage Regulator.

Here is link to 7812:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062600

I am going to add it back in today and I will report back.

#103 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Just to be clear... in my case, I am talking about VR1 on the Power Supply (not the Sound Board).

Crap, missed that. Edited my posts to reflect my screw up. Sorry.

#104 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

So that means the X-Pin power supply isn't providing a clean voltage source either.

Not necessarily.

If you have a ground loop, no matter how clean the power, you will have hum.

There could be a broken board trace, a cap (new or old) with high resistance, or any other shorted component that could be creating the loop.

Even worse, another board in the game could be supplying the easier path to ground, so it might not be the sound board itself; but the sound board + the power supply completes a different path to ground.

#105 6 years ago

True, but I keep the boards grounded and include all the screws. The hum is still there on Hook.

#106 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

True, but I keep the boards grounded and include all the screws. The hum is still there on Hook.

The fact that the points are grounded could very well contribute to the noise. That's the origination of ground loop problems.

It's why very early in this thread I suggested to start isolating grounds in an attempt to pin point the source of the noise. It went unnoticed as everyone went down the path of sound board design, and that's fine, but I suspected all along that the source of the noise is the power supply, and very likely a ground loop issue.

Wiki's got a pretty good writeup on how ground loops affect audio equipment:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_loop_(electricity)

#107 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

True, but I keep the boards grounded and include all the screws. The hum is still there on Hook.

A ground loop is where one part of the circuit finds a "short cut" or different path to ground.

#108 6 years ago

I thought a ground loop was caused by components having different ground potentials and instead of that current discharging through a ground source it dirtied up the normal circuit lines and caused problems. But you guys have a point.

#109 6 years ago

A few years ago I was playing a Russian mobster in a movie and there was a giant ground loop getting into both the audio feed (boom mic) and into the video (rolling bars).

We were loosing light, and although it's normal for lead actors to come back to overdub their lines, it is normally never done for a one line speaking part, as I had.

Everyone was in a panic so I stepped out of line and suggested to start unplugging things until we lost the ground loop.

It turns out it was the DAT (Digital Audio Tape) recorder for the boom; a very necessary part of the production.

We used a "cheater plug" on the DAT power cord that took a 3 prong grounded and turned it into a 2 prong ungrounded plug. This broke the ground loop and we finished the shot.

Now the same generator, lights, DAT, mixer and camera set up had been used together 100 times before, but on this occasion the DAT deck was somehow finding another path to ground and mucking up everything.

=

Another time a friend had installed a zillion dollar home theater set up and had a 5 channel dedicated amp to run 5 speakers. About a month into using it, just the front left speaker started humming loudly with 60hz hum.

He was blaming the amp manufacturer and swearing up a storm.

After swapping inputs I found that it would only hum when all 5 inputs were in use. Unplugging any of them killed the hum in the left speaker.

Lifting the Comcast feed cable from the rack instantly removed the hum, so we used an isolation transformer between Comcast and the rest of the equipment and all was well.

Somehow in the last month, Comcast had given itself a different ground potential and the symptoms showed themselves in just one channel of the amp.

Strange stuff these ground loops...

#110 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

A few years ago I was playing a Russian mobster in a movie and there was a giant ground loop getting into both the audio feed (boom mic) and into the video (rolling bars).
We were loosing light, and although it's normal for lead actors to come back to overdub their lines, it is normally never done for a one line speaking part, as I had.
Everyone was in a panic so I stepped out of line and suggested to start unplugging things until we lost the ground loop.
It turns out it was the DAT (Digital Audio Tape) recorder for the boom; a very necessary part of the production.
We used a "cheater plug" on the DAT power cord that took a 3 prong grounded and turned it into a 2 prong ungrounded plug. This broke the ground loop and we finished the shot.
Now the same generator, lights, DAT, mixer and camera set up had been used together 100 times before, but on this occasion the DAT deck was somehow finding another path to ground and mucking up everything.
=
Another time a friend had installed a zillion dollar home theater set up and had a 5 channel dedicated amp to run 5 speakers. About a month into using it, just the front left speaker started humming loudly with 60hz hum.
He was blaming the amp manufacturer and swearing up a storm.
After swapping inputs I found that it would only hum when all 5 inputs were in use. Unplugging any of them killed the hum in the left speaker.
Lifting the Comcast feed cable from the rack instantly removed the hum, so we used an isolation transformer between Comcast and the rest of the equipment and all was well.
Somehow in the last month, Comcast had given itself a different ground potential and the symptoms showed themselves in just one channel of the amp.
Strange stuff these ground loops...

thats wacky. Good info though

#111 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

A few years ago I was playing a Russian mobster in a movie ...

As one does .....

Dave.

#112 6 years ago

I spoke with my friend about that missing VR1 component on the power supply, he looked at the schematic and figured that particular component was related to sending 12V to the display and not the sound board.
So now I tried another test... I unplugged the sound board CN2 connecter (the one that supplies +12V, -12V, +5V, and ground) and wired in an external power supply from a PC. With the external PC power supply, the game is PERFECTLY quiet! All buzz is gone! All noise related to the light matrix is gone!
So... where does this leave me? It tells me that the sound board is good for sure. The source of the buzz/noise is NOT the sound board. It MUST be the power coming into the sound board that is being fed from the power supply.
Earlier today I ordered all new capacitors for the power supply. I should get them next week. I will follow up with my findings once I replace all power supply caps.
By the way, here is a picture of the broken VR1 component.

So I pull the sound board from my R&B - I have a bad hum in attract mode. I was planning on changing C30 and check the ROMs to make sure they were up to date and discovered my VR1 looks like this:

SSCN4975.JPG

It was an interesting coincidence that Chad had a problem with VR1 on his PS and I had a problem with VR1 on the sound board. My sound works - just have the DE hum.

Also, turns out that only one ROM - U17 - verified correctly against the version on Stern's website which makes me suspect some form of bit rot.

Anyway, need to order a new VR.

viperrwk

#113 6 years ago

Did that regulator fail under stress or did you drop something on the board? Other people with this issue should check this component on their sound boards to see if it has failed like this.

Back to the ground loop issue though, I'm starting to "get it" now. Basically this means the sound board has more than one path to ground which completes a circuit and it's picking up noise from the other boards? Where would the second path to ground be besides the ground plate? Found a couple of videos if others are having trouble understanding:

#114 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Did that regulator fail under stress or did you drop something on the board? Other people with this issue should check this component on their sound boards to see if it has failed like this.

Don't know what happened before I owned the machine. I never noticed this until I pulled the board, which had all original markings and stickers on it making me think it had not been removed since it was installed at the factory. And there's no indication that anyone has taken an iron to it or replaced any components previously.

As an interesting aside, several of the installed caps are uprated voltage-wise over what's on the schematics - specifically C17, C30, C53, C62, and C69. I suspect this was done to streamline manufacturing and reduce the number of different components used on the board.

Anyway, if the VRs are stressed, it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace them as well - they cost less than $.50 each from Ed@GPE.

viperrwk

#115 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Did that regulator fail under stress or did you drop something on the board? Other people with this issue should check this component on their sound boards to see if it has failed like this.
Back to the ground loop issue though, I'm starting to "get it" now. Basically this means the sound board has more than one path to ground which completes a circuit and it's picking up noise from the other boards? Where would the second path to ground be besides the ground plate? Found a couple of videos if others are having trouble understanding:
» YouTube video
» YouTube video

The paths to ground are likely numerous. You have the ground plate as mentioned. You also have interconnects that carry grounds between boards where other boards are grounded. You also have the main power distribution which is grounded to your wall outlet and the ground braid in the game.

#116 6 years ago
Quoted from robertmee:

The paths to ground are likely numerous. You have the ground plate as mentioned. You also have interconnects that carry grounds between boards where other boards are grounded. You also have the main power distribution which is grounded to your wall outlet and the ground braid in the game.

The ground plate isn't connected to the ground braid? So really what needs to be done is remove all connections to ground but one (the ground braid) and that should solve it?

#117 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

The ground plate isn't connected to the ground braid? So really what needs to be done is remove all connections to ground but one (the ground braid) and that should solve it?

Everything is eventually connected to the ground braid and then the transformer ground and then the incoming ground. The problem is that there are multiple paths with varying impedance to ground. The likely culprit is some ground interconnect between power board and audio board. Both these boards have their own ground via the mounting screws...the ground interconnect between the two (probably the common of a DC voltage), supplies a potential ground loop. That's why when a clean PC supply was installed in one test, the hum went away...you no longer had the ground interconnect between power board and audio board.

You might have success lifting the audio board completely from ground, assuming all the ground points on the board are interconnected and make their way back to the power supply board. I haven't even cracked the schematics so it's all supposition.

#118 6 years ago
Quoted from robertmee:

Both these boards have their own ground via the mounting screws...the ground interconnect between the two (probably the common of a DC voltage), supplies a potential ground loop. That's why when a clean PC supply was installed in one test, the hum went away...you no longer had the ground interconnect between power board and audio board.

I think THIS is definitely the problem. The solution though isn't exactly ideal... eliminating the path to ground through the common DC supply by adding a second power supply for the sound board.

#119 6 years ago

I have an update. I have replaced about 90% of my tmnt bulbs to LEDs. I didn't not see a change until I swapped out the lights in the splinter captive ball. After doing that the noise is almost completely gone. Its now just barely heard. The transformer is actually the only noise you can hear.

So I wonder since these bulbs are located between the speakers, could they cause interference when powered? Or could the low draw of LEDs fix this issue or did I do something else by accident?

#120 6 years ago

interesting... could you have unintentionally nudged a cable while you were replacing those bulbs that might have solved a "ground loop"? What happens when you put the old bulbs back in?

#121 6 years ago
Quoted from Pondwater:

So I wonder since these bulbs are located between the speakers, could they cause interference when powered? Or could the low draw of LEDs fix this issue or did I do something else by accident?

Could be an accident, or the diode of the LED blocked the leaking current.

Swap the bulbs back (I know it's a hassle) and let us all know!

#122 6 years ago

Plus, disconnect the lamp matrix columns and rows from the driver board and see if anything changes. Could the strobing of the lamp matrix be generating the noise? I've listened carefully to various Data East games in attract mode and the noise seems to vary in volume depending on how many lamps are on. Plus, consider the fact that incandescent lamps draw more than 10 times more current than LEDs.

Do you have polarized/non polarized LEDs you can test with?

#123 6 years ago

Noise returns if I replace with old bulbs. (Only replaced ones around speakers) I do have slight hiss from speakers when the LEDs are installed. I'll deal with the hiss over high and low constant noise with the old bulbs. Its only a band aide on the issue right now but its a start.

I used coin takers LEDs not sure if they are polarized or not

#124 6 years ago

Just wanted to follow up with what I ended up doing to fix my Data East Star Wars sound. Last I posted, I said I was going to replace the caps on my power supply board. I pulled the power supply off and took one look at it and realized that it was not worth putting new caps on it. The board had been serviced (badly) over the years and had really bad solder jobs done on it. The circuit board was also bubbling and lifting really badly. It would have been a waste to replace caps on such a chewed up board.

So instead, I ordered a new Rottendog power supply.

I after I put the Rottendog in, the constant background hum (60 Hz?) was reduced quite a bit. But the buzzing coming from the dancing matrix lights and the DMD in attract mode was still there. In fact, this part sounded louder relative to the now reduced background hum.

So I unscrewed the sound board again and let it float free. This time it worked! It reduced the attract mode buzzing noises by about 90%! So I got some nylon screws (8-32) and nylon washers from Home Depot and used those to screw the sound board back in.

As far as I am concerned, my sound problems are resolved. Is it completely quiet now? No. But is it WAY better? Yes!

#125 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Just wanted to follow up with what I ended up doing to fix my Data East Star Wars sound. Last I posted, I said I was going to replace the caps on my power supply board. I pulled the power supply off and took one look at it and realized that it was not worth putting new caps on it. The board had been serviced (badly) over the years and had really bad solder jobs done on it. The circuit board was also bubbling and lifting really badly. It would have been a waste to replace caps on such a chewed up board.
So instead, I ordered a new Rottendog power supply.
I after I put the Rottendog in, the constant background hum (60 Hz?) was reduced quite a bit. But the buzzing coming from the dancing matrix lights and the DMD in attract mode was still there. In fact, this part sounded louder relative to the now reduced background hum.
So I unscrewed the sound board again and let it float free. This time it worked! It reduced the attract mode buzzing noises by about 90%! So I got some nylon screws (8-32) and nylon washers from Home Depot and used those to screw the sound board back in.
As far as I am concerned, my sound problems are resolved. Is it completely quiet now? No. But is it WAY better? Yes!

Thanks...I'll try and removing the screws to see if that helps. If so, Home Depot time for some nylon screws!

#126 6 years ago

Also newer DMDs don't buzz like what you're hearing. I had some perfect working ones that buzzed and new ones are silent

#127 6 years ago
Quoted from castlesteve:

Also newer DMDs don't buzz like what you're hearing. I had some perfect working ones that buzzed and new ones are silent

If the display is buzzing it's about to die...time for a new one! The Cherry ones are terrible IMO...they buzz the worst.

#128 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Just wanted to follow up with what I ended up doing to fix my Data East Star Wars sound. Last I posted, I said I was going to replace the caps on my power supply board. I pulled the power supply off and took one look at it and realized that it was not worth putting new caps on it. The board had been serviced (badly) over the years and had really bad solder jobs done on it. The circuit board was also bubbling and lifting really badly. It would have been a waste to replace caps on such a chewed up board.
So instead, I ordered a new Rottendog power supply.
I after I put the Rottendog in, the constant background hum (60 Hz?) was reduced quite a bit. But the buzzing coming from the dancing matrix lights and the DMD in attract mode was still there. In fact, this part sounded louder relative to the now reduced background hum.
So I unscrewed the sound board again and let it float free. This time it worked! It reduced the attract mode buzzing noises by about 90%! So I got some nylon screws (8-32) and nylon washers from Home Depot and used those to screw the sound board back in.
As far as I am concerned, my sound problems are resolved. Is it completely quiet now? No. But is it WAY better? Yes!

Mine already had a Rottendog when I got it. Like you not much background noise but in attract it was loud. Figured what the hell, it will only take a minute to try and it worked! Game is almost silent now, can't believe it. Bring home some nylon screws tomorrow and I'll consider mine fixed. Thank you.

#129 6 years ago

seems to be the best solution right now, i'm gonna try the same thing tomorrow, unscrew the sound board again and let it float free.

#131 6 years ago

Hmmm... so now I am concerned. But those posts are from one year ago. I would think that those issues would have been resolved. Or should I still be concerned? Anyone know what exactly to check on the board to see if it has been improved?

#132 6 years ago

Just looked at my new Rottendog Power Supply. It definitely looks like something has changed since it first was released.

Compare this original picture at this link...

http://rottendog.us/DPS004.html

... to picture I have attached to this message.

Definitely some heat sinks added... I assume to address the issue?

Also, the schematic and original board have U1, U2, U4... but the newer board has these labeled as U101, U102, U104. And notice how the original has a row of 4 regulators going down in a row in the lower center (U6, U1, U4, U5) but mine has 5 regulators in the same location (U6, U101, U102, U104, U105) and some with added heat sinks. Also, original has a regulator up top left without heat sink and mine has heat sink.

So maybe these issues have been addressed? Anyone have any insight to this?

IMG_4444.JPG

#133 6 years ago

Classic audio ground loop and what we suspected very early on.

#134 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Hmmm... so now I am concerned. But those posts are from one year ago. I would think that those issues would have been resolved. Or should I still be concerned? Anyone know what exactly to check on the board to see if it has been improved?

Rottendog unfortunately isn't fixing the problems. Check your high voltage levels with a meter. I had a friend who installed a Rottendog power supply that caused fuses to blow and a burning smell. Even if your voltages are ok now the regulators will eventually fail since they are driven so much out of spec. I would recommend replacing the Rottendog with an X-Pin. Much better design.

#135 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Rottendog unfortunately isn't fixing the problems. Check your high voltage levels with a meter. I had a friend who installed a Rottendog power supply that caused fuses to blow and a burning smell. Even if your voltages are ok now the regulators will eventually fail since they are driven so much out of spec. I would recommend replacing the Rottendog with an X-Pin. Much better design.

Dang. I checked and everyone is out of the X-Pin XP-DE5047 power supply.

So, the regulators on the Rottendog that are out of spec... wouldn't it be possible for me to swap those out with ones in spec? Has anyone offered up a solution? I'm good with a soldering iron but would just need to know what to do.

#136 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Dang. I checked and everyone is out of the X-Pin XP-DE5047 power supply.
So, the regulators on the Rottendog that are out of spec... wouldn't it be possible for me to swap those out with ones in spec? Has anyone offered up a solution? I'm good with a soldering iron but would just need to know what to do.

Short answer is no. For the long answer, read this:

http://www.greatplainselectronics.com/tech_hv_regulation.asp

I'm not sure how Pinscore's HV section is designed, but it may be a viable replacement if you can't find an X-Pin.

#137 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Dang. I checked and everyone is out of the X-Pin XP-DE5047 power supply.
So, the regulators on the Rottendog that are out of spec... wouldn't it be possible for me to swap those out with ones in spec? Has anyone offered up a solution? I'm good with a soldering iron but would just need to know what to do.

Chad, Jay is right on the money w/ these Rottendog supply's used for this generation of D.E's

I recently purchased a '91 Batman from a pinsider on here and it came w/ a Rottendog supply. I remember hearing a plethora of problems on these when they were first introduced. (Mostly involving the Dmd display.) Initially, it didn't cause any issues but after a couple of days, I noticed flakey issues were coming up - mostly involving the Dmd. I popped it into my buddy's Checkpoint - same result and *more* issues! I'll preface this by saying his Checkpoint was working perfect...

I'm not too familiar w/ third party items such as Rottendog, et. al. - I prefer to fix the original. But, I will NOT be using them on any of my Data East pins... Can't comment on their other products. I don't want to state this as a fact or pure speculation on my part, but I wonder this is why some of the older Dmd displays of this era are now dead? Again - pure speculation!!!

I went w/ the Xpin power supply; I didn't have the original and have been very pleased! Rob aka Borygard is the person I purchased mine from....

#138 6 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Dang. I checked and everyone is out of the X-Pin XP-DE5047 power supply.
So, the regulators on the Rottendog that are out of spec... wouldn't it be possible for me to swap those out with ones in spec? Has anyone offered up a solution? I'm good with a soldering iron but would just need to know what to do.

PinScores are virtually identical to X-Pin stuff, both brands are owned by Brett Davis. X-Pin just expands the selection of boards available and improves upon the already excellent design of the PinScore boards.

#139 6 years ago
Quoted from beatmaster:

seems to be the best solution right now, i'm gonna try the same thing tomorrow, unscrew the sound board again and let it float free.

well did exactly that about 15 min. ago.... wow, about 60% of the noise is gone.
thats nylon screw for me also!
but now all i hear is the dmd... i guess i'll change the dmd anyway i'm missing 2 horizontal lines.

#140 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

PinScores are virtually identical to X-Pin stuff, both brands are owned by Brett Davis.

Kinda.

Brett is being sued by Marco (they own Pinscore) when he started Xpin.

http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/south-carolina/scdce/3:2012cv01274/189905/16/

#141 6 years ago

Should I not buy a TFTC, GNR or any Data East game as my first game because of this reason or constant hum in the game? I just want to know if this will bug me if it's the only game I own.

#142 6 years ago

The don't all have hum. I play GNR all the time and it does not have a loud hum.

Some games hum of any brand (especially sys11 Williams), but if it bugs you, you hunt it down and fix it. It's not the same fix on every game, even two different games of the same title.

#143 6 years ago

So are you saying that the Rottendog PS is going to kill my game? That is what it had when I bought it and have never had a problem except for the hum which is now gone. I don't like the idea of having a time-bomb in my machine though so should I be worried?

#144 6 years ago
Quoted from HFK:

So are you saying that the Rottendog PS is going to kill my game? That is what it had when I bought it and have never had a problem except for the hum which is now gone. I don't like the idea of having a time-bomb in my machine though so should I be worried?

Let's just say if you were me and own one of the smaller Dmd pins - I wouldn't use it.

#145 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The don't all have hum. I play GNR all the time and it does not have a loud hum.
Some games hum of any brand (especially sys11 Williams), but if it bugs you, you hunt it down and fix it. It's not the same fix on every game, even two different games of the same title.

That's what were trying to do in this thread, hunt it down and fix it.

#146 6 years ago

As the OP on this thread I have been busy fighting other problems. I did get a chance to replace all the electrolytic caps on the audio board and it didn't make any difference. I also floated the audio board and still have all the noise.

Unfortunately my TFTC came with a rottendog CPU. The lady that I bought it from paid some fly by night Chicago area pin service guy to come out and freshen it up before she sold it. The batteries had leaked so he sold her the new CPU board and of course he took the original, and left all the noise and a few other problems.

I'll try floating the CPU board. Just wish I had another DE machine from the same era around to swap boards to help troubleshoot.

I do have a DE Simpsons in house right now but the audio board is different.

#147 6 years ago
Quoted from HFK:

So are you saying that the Rottendog PS is going to kill my game? That is what it had when I bought it and have never had a problem except for the hum which is now gone. I don't like the idea of having a time-bomb in my machine though so should I be worried?

I just bought a TFTC and waiting on final things to go through. I was told by a great person who works on pins not to use Rottendog version on this game which makes the game worse and find a DE version if you can.

#148 6 years ago

Just wanted to post my results as well which confirms this is a ground loop issue.

I had bad crackling/hum in my R&B speakers very noticeable in attract and running diags especially during lamp and flasher tests.

Changed out VR1 & VR2 on the sound board. The crackling was reduced - likely because of my busted VR1, but noise was still there.

Changed all the caps on the sound board - noise was still there.

Don't like nylon screws so instead got nylon washers and put one each on both sides of the sound board at the four mounting screws - 8 total. Speaker noise gone.

The problem now is the buzzing Cherry display. I tried a Vishay I have that is partially gassed and the machine is eerily quiet. Except for the buzzing the Cherry works fine so I'll live with the buzz for now.

I should also mention that I have an XPin PS installed so if you have a different config YMMV.

So for about $.25 and 10 min work you can significantly reduce or even eliminate that speaker hum.

Thanks for all the constructive discussion in this thread.

viperrwk

#149 6 years ago

I'll give it a go this weekend, thanks for the updates!

#150 6 years ago
Quoted from viperrwk:

The problem now is the buzzing Cherry display.

Every Cherry display I've ever had buzzed horribly. Get rid of it.

Thanks for the update...I'll try the same on my JP.

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