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(Topic ID: 279589)

Firepower Sound Troubleshooting Help

By Teamhex

41 days ago

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  • 14 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 30 days ago by Teamhex
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    #1 41 days ago

    Hey fellas! I just got my Williams Firepower in and I'm trying to determine if a soundboard replacement would solve my issue. I'd rather buy a $140 sound/speech board with new roms if that's going to keep it from having other issues down the road. I have zero soldering experience, but I did just buy a soldering iron to fix some things on my EM. I'm a computer tech by trade so I'm confident that I can at least figure out the cause(with a little help of course).

    I really hope it's not the driver board...because they are much more expensive to replace lol

    Alright so the symptoms...
    It doesn't say Fire or Power, I feel like the sounds are thin as well. Trebly may be a better word to describe it. Almost no bass to it. Maybe it's supposed to be that way. It sounds pretty normal, but I just feel like it should have a bit more thump to it(me judging it based on youtube videos of these machines).
    I also noticed that the words 2 and 3 don't sound off.

    I did run the built in sound test on the sound board...and I hear the sound effects, but no speech at all. I don't hear a delay either, it just starts right back over again on the sound effects. The game does have some speech working though while it's being played.

    I also noticed the large capacitor was hot glued to the board and is now hanging there by it's wires. This could also be something of concern. I will get pictures of it as soon as I get home.

    I'm going to do the grounding test at the sound board first to see if I get speech. If I do that would likely mean it's the driver board or a connection between the sound board and driver board. If my logic is faulty, please let me know.

    Anyway, I wanted to get this thread going because I figured I'm going to need at least a few people to confirm the cause before I start spending money on repairs or replacement board(s). Any thoughts so far on the symptoms I mentioned? Thanks in advance!

    #3 41 days ago
    Quoted from alexmogil:

    Take a close look at your option switches on your sound board:
    Up top, next to 10J3. See how they are set. Might be a bad connection or bad switches.

    The switches seem to work. Here’s a picture of the connector. There was some sort of cover on it so I took that off. Any wires missing from that?

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    #4 41 days ago

    After playing it I think the sound effects are fine. Im hearing the low sounds better. I think it was in my head lol

    I still feel like there should be a ship idling sound before firing the ball. Sometimes it plays one, but it sounds completely different than the YouTube videos Ive seen.

    Almost all the speech words seem to work except fire, power, and I think it’s 1 and 2. So based on that document it could be a bad rom or possibly a socket?

    5T 4971 contains all the sounds I’m missing. I can't figure out which chip that is based on that document you linked.

    If any point you guys think replacing the sound board will 100% fix it, that's really my goal. It's lazy, but I'd rather future proof it. I just need to hear that "Fire Power" when I start a game.

    #5 41 days ago
    Quoted from alexmogil:

    Take a close look at your option switches on your sound board:
    Up top, next to 10J3. See how they are set. Might be a bad connection or bad switches.

    The switches appear to be working. If I cut the machine off and turn off the voice one, I hear no voices in the game. If I flip the other one I hear chimes sounds. I'm going to try grounding those pins at 10J3 and see if I get anything. I'm wondering what exactly I should hear. There's only 5 pins used there, but I know there's more words than that. I'm assuming the driver pulses a signal to the sound board through those so each one probably does a number of speech calls. I wonder which one would be the "fire, power, 1, 2" channel.

    #7 40 days ago

    Good idea! I don't have a chip puller, but I may be able to find one. Perhaps just reseating it will work.

    I believe you said in some other threads that even if that still want to replace the socket. Not sure how much that would cost to have someone do, but I feel like bullet proofing the sound and speech by replacing them with modern replacements may be the best route.

    #9 40 days ago
    Quoted from alexmogil:

    If you're careful you can get those chips out with a flathead screwdriver, just slowly. It's also worth pulling the board out to look at the solder connections.
    I mean there's also the open of buying a replacement modern board if you're worried about the work, but this also good troubleshooting.
    I'm sure someone smarter than me will chime in soon, or perhaps ask in the FirePower thread, too.

    I found a puller at work after digging through some older tool boxes. Super old, but should do the trick.

    I'm going to pull it and reseat it this evening and test. If that doesn't work, I'll likely just remove both the sound and speech board.
    I just want to confirm it's one of these two boards and not the driver board.

    I may just buy the replacement from Pinball PCBs. Combines both boards into one and there's a list of upgrades that would likely make it more reliable in the long run. I'm just bummed I don't hear "Fire, Power" on startup. I've been watching videos of these and it's very signature.

    #10 40 days ago

    Alright I pulled it and reseated it, no change. Here’s the IC7 chip. Definitely doesn’t look pretty. I may also be missing the word enemy.
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    #12 40 days ago
    Quoted from alexmogil:

    Maybe try swapping next, see what happens.

    I’ll try that. I should technically hear the voices on ic7, but in the place of other voices right?

    The part that makes me wonder is the soundboard test playing no voices. There’s also no delay between the end of the sound effects and start of them. I’ve seen some threads that mention a gap in the sound when voices are missing. I think I’ll try grounding those pins like you mention first just to see. I hope I don’t hear one one of the voices Im missing. If I don’t, I think that a replacement board should do the trick. If it does that would indicate an issue on the driver board or a connection between the two.

    #13 38 days ago

    I went ahead and bought the new sound/speech replacement board with new roms. I’m going to replace it and cross my fingers that it works. I’m pretty sure the onboard sound test isn't reliant on the driver board. So at the very least it would indicate an issue between the sound and speech boards. Replacing with an all in one solution should correct that.

    1 week later
    #14 30 days ago

    Replacement sound/speech board came in today. Luckily it fixed all the sound and voice issues. Super pumped about it.

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