(Topic ID: 239846)

DE/Sega/Stern Whitestar Display Driver Board Help


By statictrance

7 months ago



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  • 14 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by statictrance
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 7 months ago

    Hello all - I'm throwing up the tech batsignal on this Display Driver board - hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

    So, just to fill in the backstory - a client I'm working with bought a Stern 520-5055-00 REV-E display driver board off eBay used to put in a reimport game that was gutted (JP:Lost World). He then ordered a ROM chip for it and installed it.

    I'd previously noted the HV board wasn't putting out the required voltages in a prior call, so he ordered and installed a new one. Unfortunately, no display still. I went back through the system and verified all of the voltages are there, and was just about to swap the board for another one from his South Park to test, when I noticed the ROM chip was installed upside down. I tried to flip it, but the damage to the chip is already done and it's roasted.

    First question - That's obviously going to destroy the chip, but could that have damaged anything else? (I didn't think so, but wanted to confirm. Only encountered a flipped ROM one other time, and it didn't affect the board. However it was also a Gottlieb Sys3 Sound board.) Luckily, I have a ROM burner, so burning him a new one is easy.

    Anyway - So I removed the ROM and the board. We tried the board in his South Park and while we did get an output, it was very garbled. It was getting late, so we decided the next best step was for me to take the board home and do some additional testing (I have a VND, so I can run it in my game). When we were packing up for the night, I swear I saw/heard a spark on the board, but I'm not 100% sure. It looked like the 40-Pin Processor, so I kept that in mind should anything else pop up in my testing.

    However, when I got it home and installed it in my VND - the board immediately blows my 5v fuse which of course bricks the game. I replaced the 40 Pin as a precaution due to the phantom spark, but still am blowing the 5v. If I check continuity, I'm getting a buzz between the ground and 5+ line on the connector coming in which seems to indicate a dead short.

    Second question - Any ideas where to begin troubleshooting next? I don't see anything obvious (no burns, no marks, the board looks clean and untouched other than my 40-pin replacement.

    Thank you all for any assistance!

    #2 7 months ago

    So first question. Was the display board a working board? Was it tested before put into this game? A lot of parts on eBay say tested and well we all know how that goes.

    #3 7 months ago

    Truthfully - I have no idea. My client bought the board and put the ROM in himself before I got involved. Neither of us have seen it working in a game. I did try it briefly in his South Park (had output, but it was garbled). That was after the upside down ROM chip (which again, I wouldn't expect lasting damage from, but wanted to ask the question). This was before we packed up, which is why I keep wondering if there was a shock as when we had it in lost world and South Park, neither blew the 5v at that time.

    #4 7 months ago
    Quoted from tonyhoff1:

    So first question. Was the display board a working board? Was it tested before put into this game? A lot of parts on eBay say tested and well we all know how that goes.

    Board was advertised as working and looked absolutely new when I received it. As you mentioned eBay is a bit of a crap shoot and you get what you pay for but I'm surprised that it didn't work.

    #5 7 months ago

    If you put the rom in your working board does it work?

    #6 7 months ago

    Can you post a picture of the display board in the game so we can be sure the display ROM is installed in the IC socket the correct direction and the ribbon cables are oriented correcty?

    At any time, was the display ROM powered up backwards?

    #7 7 months ago
    Quoted from PinballManiac40:

    Can you post a picture of the display board in the game so we can be sure the display ROM is installed in the IC socket the correct direction and the ribbon cables are oriented correcty?
    At any time, was the display ROM powered up backwards?

    statictrance has the board now, so hopefully he can post a picture, but yes I did install the ROM backwards and the machine was powered on.

    #8 7 months ago

    So I have the board right now, and with a confirmed working Viper Display ROM in the correct position, hooked up correctly, in a confirmed working machine - the 5v fuse blows and obviously stops the machine from booting. I took the board out and did some testing... I found that if you put leads on the two power pins (5v and ground) I show continuity, which I believe is seriously incorrect.

    Yes, the board was powered up a number of times with the ROM upside down. I know this will fry the chip, just unsure if there is any effect to the board long term. I've burned a replacement, but haven't installed it (since I'm testing at my house with my Viper)

    Here is a close up for reference on the ROM Location (apologies, not at home this minute and the only pic I have) - but putting the ROM in is straightforward - only one position has the socket, and matching the notch for it.

    20190321_232329 (resized).jpg
    #9 7 months ago
    Quoted from statictrance:

    I found that if you put leads on the two power pins (5v and ground) I show continuity, which I believe is seriously incorrect.

    I am only speaking from my experience (please do not take as gospel). I've had to deal with this TWICE now and just today I went to a friend's place to test his repair of a System 11 MPU and got no boot. Several boards (and no boot) later I finally discovered that I had a +5V to GND short (exactly like you I set the DMM to continuity and put one lead on +5V and the other on GND and got a buzz). I didn't blow a fuse because I was using a switching power supply that was detecting the short and not frying itself. So now this will be the THIRD time I've had to deal with this. For me the short was isolated to the low voltage Rottendog display I was using and didn't damage the MPUs I had connected.

    The only way I know how to deal with this (I'm open to any suggestions) is to literally take off anything connected to +5V and GND to isolate the faulty component. I de-solder components one by one until the short disappears and that's the component causing it. It can be anything from a capacitor to an IC. One of my friends suggested cutting the VCC leg of each IC until you find the short and then soldering the cut leg back onto the IC. This prevents removing too many ICs but it will look really odd once the board is working again.

    Your board looks to be surface mount so it's even more fun.

    #10 7 months ago
    Quoted from Ericc123:

    statictrance has the board now, so hopefully he can post a picture, but yes I did install the ROM backwards and the machine was powered on.

    Powering the game on with a ROM in backwards, normally kills it. Can someone try a different display ROM? It doesn't have to be the correct game, just a Whitestar game. It will display the wrong animations, but it will prove if the original Display ROM is bad or not.

    #11 7 months ago
    Quoted from statictrance:

    Yes, the board was powered up a number of times with the ROM upside down. I know this will fry the chip, just unsure if there is any effect to the board long term.

    Only affect will be the part that was in backwards. Rest of the board should be fine.

    #12 7 months ago

    I have a working board if interested.

    #13 7 months ago
    Quoted from PinballManiac40:

    Can someone try a different display ROM?

    That's why I took it home with me... Tried it with a working VND ROM/machine and it pops the fuse.

    #14 7 months ago
    Quoted from DumbAss:

    The only way I know how to deal with this (I'm open to any suggestions) is to literally take off anything connected to +5V and GND to isolate the faulty component.

    That's the only way I know how to handle it too. That's why I figured it would be better to at least post something and see if the Pinside hive mind could come up with a better solution than the full on shotgun approach.

    I could test a number of the components, but there is still the risk of getting a poor reading with them in circuit. If someone said 'hey, it's likely one of these three parts', no problem... But, especially with the surface mounting, a true shotgun approach could literally take hours (depending how lucky I get on picking the correct component).

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