(Topic ID: 1276)

DE Star Wars Sound and Display Issues

By gseador

9 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by KidIcarus08
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 9 years ago

I currently am working on a DE Star Wars machine. The CPU boots completely and the game plays fine, but there is no sound or display on the DMD. When powering on the machine, both the sound board and the display board boot (sound: "may the force be with you" plays; and display shows the version number), then nothing. No display or sounds from that point on. I've replaced all fuses and ROM chips on all the boards and I have checked the voltages to the boards and everything seems fine.


I am thinking there is a CPU issue, because the boards are booting but it appears that they are not receiving instructions from the CPU. I should add that I have checked all the cables to make sure they are properly installed (Pin 1 to Pin 1, etc.)

Any thoughts are appreciated!!

#2 9 years ago

It seems the DMD itself is fine, is getting power and is not outgassed. DE machines have a separate controller on the DMD. I wonder if this might be bad?

#3 9 years ago

Hmmmm no sound, no display.

Could be a bad PIA on the CPU.. But thats a rare problem.
Are the flatcables connected to the sound and display board.

Check all voltages (see your manual)
If all voltages check out right the best thing you could do is to test all the outputs with a testeprom

#4 9 years ago

The ribbon cables are all connected properly and the voltages to the sound and display board are correct.

#5 9 years ago

Perhaps a conector is in wrong ?
happened to me once a WPC just whoever had it before had it in wrong

#6 9 years ago

I got nothing gseador. Sorry.

Usually its the ribbon cables on the DE's, but it sounds like they are connected properly.

#7 9 years ago

I see you recently upgraded the software chips. Did you upgrade the chip on the DMD too? Apparently, if you upgrade the MPU chips but not the DMD chip then the DMD might not work.

From Pinrepair.
The two computers communicate via a ribbon cable. When the main CPU board needs an animation, it does a "call command" to the DMD CPU, which does the animation. You can sometimes see this on games that have mis-matched ROM software. For example if the main CPU is running ROM version 2.x and the DMD CPU is running ROM version 1.x, sometimes the DMD will show "Command 24" on the screen instead of the actually animation. This happens because the animation call number does not exist in the older DMD ROM version. For this reason the main CPU and the DMD CPU should both have matching version numbers (say 2.x for both the CPU and the DMD ROMs). In fact if the ROM versions are mis-matches, some pretty wacky score display screen behavior can be seen.

In addition to the communications between the main CPU and the DMD CPU via the ribbon cable, the PIA 9b on the main CPU board can cause problems too. This PIA (peripheral interface adapter), if damaged, can cause bad "calls" to the DMD computer. This can also show wacky DMD screen behavior and strange "command call" errors (like "command 9c") on the score display.

But this sounds more like your problem here;
Dot Matrix Display works for 5 minutes than goes blank.
This is a very common problem with all DataEast dot matrix displays, and is often related to the connector bring power to the display's computer board (mounted on the back dot matrix panel), or power to the display itself. On the large sized DMDs especially, the 5 volt .156" Molex connector going to the DMD's computer often needs new Trifurcon pins crimped into place (red and black wires usually). Also the 5/12/HV power going from the power supply to the display itself often develops bad .156" connectors pins too (on the display and/or the power supply), requiring new terminal pins.

#8 9 years ago

If the software version of the DMD is wrong is gives you a qoute like "COMMAND 14" or something.

I think you have to look on te CPU board. Starting from the connector down towards the PIA. Best thing is to take a testeprom before replacing all kinds of components.

1 month later
#9 8 years ago

hello, i had this same problem and i found out that the ROM 0 chip was in the ROM 1 socket, i changed the eprom and it worked, also check the ribbon cable the red stripe n the DMD goes from right to left on both conectors. by the way does anyone have a wiring diagram for the HD74LS245P ? i looked on the cpu diagram but the IC thats in the manual has 18 pins while the one installed has 20 pins.. my star wars doesnt boot and i removed this component by mistake ( was kinda drunk, 3 am, no sleep) i was supposed to change the 74LS273 (the one that controls the coils) well the thing is broken and it wont boot up =) if anyone can send a detailed picture or diagram of how this 74ls24p is connected? the board got messed up and i cannot see how to repair the broken lines. Thank you !

#10 8 years ago

Wow don't know what to say.

Here's a link to a datashhet for the chip:

In the manual they may only be showing the chips circuits pins and not showing the VCC and ground pins(supply voltage).

Did you pull up the pcb traces(tracks) or pads?
If you don't have a diagram of the PCB, You can use the schematic and a meter and beep out where each pin of the HD74LS245P is supposed to go to. Each pin may be going to several other components or chips so beep to each one.

I hope this is what info you are looking for.
Good Luck and do the work sober.

#11 8 years ago

The display on my Star Wars is having a similar problem but the sound and everything else works except the backbox flashers and 3 coils. I don't like DE's wiring schematics. Very confusing compared to Williams'.

#12 8 years ago

Yeah, I don't like the DE schematics either. I have fixed virtually everything on my star wars machine except the sound and display issues. I have a DE Test Chip and there is nothing wrong with the MPU. Plus, the game plays fine -- all lamps, flashers, coils, etc. work fully -- just no display or sound. I have concluded that there must be a problem with the display driver board and the sound board. Both have new EPROMs installed. And I have an extra display (that I know works), so I hooked that up that display to the driver board and still nothing (other than the initial version info 1.04). The sound board boots, playing the "may the force be with you" sound, but then it does nothing else. Interestingly, if I plug in the ribbon cable from the sound board into the MPU (and yes it is plugged in correctly - Pin 1 to Pin1), the game won't boot. There must be something wrong with the sound board then. What, I do not know. I have pulled the driver board and sound board from the machine and after I finish shopping out the rest of the machine, I will turn my attention to these 2 boards and see if I can figure it out. As always, if you have any ideas, please let me know!!

#13 8 years ago

Come to think of it, perhaps I should try new ribbon cables first before I go messing around with the boards.

#14 8 years ago

Have you checked the eproms, the checksum? Did you buy or burn them. They may be corrupt, never know until checked.

#15 8 years ago

I bought the EPROMS (from Marco, I think). I have not checked them to make sure they are not corrupt. But, I was having the sound and display issues before I replaced them, so I figured they must not be the problem.

#16 8 years ago

The problem, for me at least, is on the DMD itself. I put it in my LOTR and it still didn't work. Looking at it, it doesn't look like I can replace the EPROMS on it as the solder side is underneath the Glass. I'm new to these DE boards and am still trying to figure them out.

#17 8 years ago

gseador, are all power supply voltages getting to the display and sound boards?
Are there any schematics or service manuals on the web for your game. I can take a look and maybe offer some other suggestions.

You also mentioned that when the "sound board boots, playing the "may the force be with you" sound, but then it does nothing else. Interestingly, if I plug in the ribbon cable from the sound board into the MPU (and yes it is plugged in correctly - Pin 1 to Pin1), the game won't boot".

That's kind of strange.

Can you monitor any of the supply voltages on the MPU with the ribbon cable unplugged and with it connected? Maybe the sound board is loading down one of the supply voltages feeding the CPU.

#18 8 years ago

Check my edited post

2 years later
#19 6 years ago

Did anyone ever solve this problem?

I have a very similar issue. The sound board boots just fine, I get, "May the Force be with you," and then after that, I get no sound, or it continues to reboot throughout the game. The display board works fine, as do some sound effects. But no music or primary sound effects.

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