(Topic ID: 24704)

Data East speaker noise - ideas for a cure

By roc-noc

7 years ago

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  • 507 posts
  • 136 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 days ago by jimgravina
  • Topic is favorited by 129 Pinsiders


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#40 6 years ago

I really wish we could get to the bottom of this. This seems to be one of the most common complaints for 80's and 90's games. Data East and Williams especially.

#72 6 years ago
Quoted from XPinPinball:

My recommendation for the sound board is to replace the 470uf (C31 and C52) caps on the inputs of these regulators with at least 1000uf caps.

C31 (470uf) is 50 volt and C52 (470uf) is 35 volt. Should these voltage specs be maintained when replacing them with 1000uf?

#77 6 years ago

Ok... so I've replaced all the radial electrolytic caps on the sound card with brand new ones. I even replaced C31 and C52 with 1000uf caps. Did not fix it.

I've tried unplugging the DMD to see if it made a difference. Did not fix it.

I've tried unscrewing the sound card and having it float. Did not fix it.

None of these have fixed my speaker buzz.

What to do? There HAS to be a solution.

#79 6 years ago


I did replace C60, C67, C74 on sound board. In fact, I replaced all electrolytic caps on sound board.

I don't think I have ever replaced any caps on the power supply. Which ones would be suspect? Or just replace all?

I'm in Illinois.

#82 6 years ago

I'll try that.

C4 is 18,000uf... not sure I have one of those handy, will have to see.

C1 is 1000uf, I should have a spare new one I can replace.

#88 6 years ago
Quoted from Atomicboy:

I surprised by this thread. This has been a known issue since the early 90s, and no one has ever been able to figure it out. My understanding is that is was just a weak design.

But then why do some Data East's not have the issue?

#89 6 years ago

Was just looking at the Power Supply on my Data East Star Wars...

There is a component on the board labeled VR1. On the schematic, it shows this as being a 7812. On mine, this part looks like it is broken off... it's gone and you can still see the base of the three legs of it.

I looked it up and this is a +12V 1A Three-Terminal Positive Voltage Regulator.

Is this part of my problem? I know 12V is involved with sound.

Or is this something that was removed at the factory?

Here is a link to the web information on found on the 7812:

#93 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.


#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:

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

1 week later
#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!

#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...


... 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?


#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.

1 year later
3 years later
#371 1 year ago
Quoted from ruckster:

Heres an unusual fix that i found on my Batman Forever Sega pinball that i picked up recently. I had tried everything that i could find on this and other sites. Previous owner had even cut the sub wire to reduce the hum sound. I temporarily hooked up an old ATX power supply and did find that it eliminated the hum. I went so far as to only hook up the 12V+ from the ATX power supply and it effectively eliminated the hum. So i assumed it had to be in the 12 V+ circuit from the power supply, so i changed all the capacitors. Wrong , did not help at all. After many hours of diagnosis, i decided to remove the sound board and start testing as per schematics. I still cant believe what i found. The 7805 voltage regulator (VR2) centre post did not have continuity to ground. With voltage attached, the 7805 that converts 12V+ to 5 V+ was showing 7.3 volts on the outpost and ground post. At first i thought i found my culprit, but continued to check the circuits comparing them to the schematics. Low and behold, the Diode (D2) that is attached to the center post of the VR2 was installed backwards (so not letting the VR ground properly). I looked at the soldering work on the D2 and it looked original, or someone did a fine job of replacing incorrectly. I unsoldered D2 diode, re-soldered it in properly and tried the sound board back into the game. Hum 95% gone. Taking test reading, i am getting 5.4 at output and 0 at ground. I will still replace the 7805, as it is slightly out of spec. Still not sure why temporary ATX power supply would work, but hope this may help someone else. Pat.

Nice. Any chance you could post a picture of your board and focus on that diode so I can compare to mine?

#378 1 year ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Unfortunately, that fix is only likely to be valid for the 4 DE games that use this version of soundboard. There were 8 different generations of sound boards spanning some 30 different games. Maverick doesn't have a diode in that circuit at all.

Interesting... so the older sound boards don't have a diode but the newer ones do. I wonder if they added this as an upgrade to help reduce noise?

This schematic is from the Baywatch manual... I've highlighted the two diodes that are not on the older game. Anyone willing to test out adding the diodes? Would it hurt anything?

baywatchsound (resized).png

#380 1 year ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

Nah, that doesn't reduce noise. It bumps the output voltage up by a hair.


I see there is also an additional capacitor in the newer version. Would that possibly help with noise?

baywatchsound2 (resized).png

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