(Topic ID: 220348)

F-14 - Prototype or Possessed?


By dearliza98

1 year ago



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  • 11 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by GRUMPY
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#1 1 year ago

Hey all. I picked up a weird F14 Tomcat today. I’ve had one other one and it was my understanding that these used the #555 light boards underneath the playfield in several locations. This one is 100% individual #47 lamps underneath every insert.

Also, the row of flasher domes on the back are clear on this one when they are usually red. Finally, the game plays pretty well but the MPU lights never come on. When I test diagnostic button on the MPU it says Mem.Protect Fail.

Here are a couple photos of the serial. The date of manufacture is either worn off or blank. Any thoughts on this machine? Is it really a prototype or just a really early production? Thank you!

Here are some photos of the serial, etc.

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#2 1 year ago

The one I just sold had only 1 555, under the pop bumper.

#3 1 year ago

Probably just an earlier production run. There were a lot of "prototypes" of F14, though. A few clues I remember off the top of my head were the ROMs on the MPU have stickers on them saying "proto" (mine has these). Also, they will have wiring to the flash bulbs that were originally under the domes near the top right loop. Mine had the wiring, but it had been cut, presumably at the factory after realizing it presented a risk of shorting the MPU.
The clear domes you pointed out, as well as a clear center beacon, are from early production runs as far as I know.

#4 1 year ago

ronss
shirkle
Mine is the same with the #555 for the pop.

There’s also two odd #555s that I have near the back right corner that look factory but don’t really make any sense.

I also have the clear beacon in the middle.

#5 1 year ago

Just checked my production number- 96080. So, mine was roughly 100 before yours and had the "proto 5" chips in it.
Another difference I remembered was that display board on prototypes had holes for 555 lamps. Mine has those as well, but again, I think some things from the "prototypes" ran over into regular production. My production date was 87114 (I think is November 4, 1987, which is 8 months into production, which is listed as starting in March that year.).

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from dearliza98:

ronss
shirkle
Mine is the same with the #555 for the pop.
There’s also two odd #555s that I have near the back right corner that look factory but don’t really make any sense.
I also have the clear beacon in the middle.

I think everyone had the clear middle light, it's just that some were nicotine stained.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from RonSS:

I think everyone had the clear middle light, it's just that some were nicotine stained.

They changed them to white later in production. The number of minor changes that F14 went through makes it tought o tell what's a production game, but can roughly tell you where it was in production.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from shirkle:

They changed them to white later in production. The number of minor changes that F14 went through makes it tought o tell what's a production game, but can roughly tell you where it was in production.

Was it yellow to begin with?

I love the game, so fast, so addictive. Just one more, , ,

#9 1 year ago

My f14 had individual lamp sockets in place of the four light boards... so i upgraded my game to the later model version with these boards. I bought them of a parted out game

#10 1 year ago

This particular machine plays pretty much 100% but NONE of the red LEDs illuminate on the MPU. I've never seen this before. I can't find any documentation why this could happen or if I should be concerned.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from dearliza98:

but NONE of the red LEDs illuminate on the MPU.

They could have burned out.

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