(Topic ID: 322322)

First SS Help, X's & O's

By JRC6000

1 year ago


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  • 26 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Quench
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#1 1 year ago

Hi, I've been an EM guy and someone gave me my first SS, a Bally X's & O's. I was really intimated by it and have done my best to figure it out. Turns out it was in pretty good shape, and mostly needed the same cleaning I would have given an EM. I learned how to trace a couple lights that were out and resolder a little. I'm down to two things and need advice. I hope there is some help out there.

1. The machine works and there isn't any damage from the battery, but I've read there can be and I think I need to make that fix. I think the white part the size of a AA battery at the bottom of this board is it. Is that right? From what I've read, I should take that off, and replace with a separate AA battery holder with diode. Am I on the right track?

IMG_3229 (resized).JPGIMG_3229 (resized).JPG

2. None of the "O" lights work. There are nine spots on the center tic tac toe board, plus the 3 more at the left, right, and top on this picture. All of the "X" work, but the "O"s don't come on. The game plays fine, just the lights. I think it's more than bulbs and soldering on the tic tac toe board since the other 3 are independent of that mechanism. I found this part of the schematic, and It looks to me that they are all tied together and maybe there is one spot that needs to be addressed for all of them to work again. Problem is, I don't know where these connect on either side. Does anyone have any ideas?

IMG_3228 (resized).JPGIMG_3228 (resized).JPG
XO Schematic Snip (resized).pngXO Schematic Snip (resized).png

Thanks for any assistance. I'm a complete beginner on SS.

#2 1 year ago

Yes, get that battery off and replace the 5101 with NVRAM so you don’t need any batteries. It is socketed, so you don’t need to solder. Just make sure you orient the chip correctly.

For future reference, Pinwiki is a good read for solid state machines. I haven’t looked lately, but there may be a section about the X & O light box. All else fails, do a google search or UTube search.

#3 1 year ago

Well I'm glad I asked. I didn't know about NVRAM. Looks like this will work

https://www.pinballlife.com/anypin-nvram-battery-eliminator.html

On the "O" lights, I don't think the problem is in the light box since three of the lights are outside of that. In the schematic part I circled, I think there must be one common point for all of those, but don't know where. I'm used to EM schematics

#4 1 year ago

Looks like the Auxiliary Lamp Driver is responsible for controlling those lights. The text A9J2 on the schematic near the non-working lamps means board A9 (auxiliary lamp driver board) connector J2. From there, each pin on that connector is specified. For now though, try re-seating connector J2 on the lamp driver board. There's only 2 connectors on the aux lamp board, which I circled here: image-18.jpgimage-18.jpg

You can also try re-seating the other connector on that board and see if it helps. If anything, it may be a matter of re-flowing the solder to the header pins on the aux lamp board. I know I've had issues specifically with the ground pins on that board, flexing the connectors a bit with the game on would cause the non-working lights to come on temporarily...

Good luck on your first SS game!

1 week later
#5 1 year ago

Marking this complete and saying thank you so much.

Billc479 - Got the chip and made the switch. Was super easy. Thanks, didn't know about NVRAM before this!

frunch - that board you circled was the issue. I wiggled the connectors a little bit and got the O's to come on. Have two that are still finicky so trying to get them sorted, but this definitely helped.

#6 1 year ago

JRC - I am guessing that there is re-pinning connectors and soldering the headers on the aux board in your future.

#7 1 year ago

Billc479 - Yeah I'm thinking so. A couple of those lights are not reliable. I'm looking into it and it seems there are a couple sizes of pins. How do I know what size I need? I think the male side seems fine and may try a little resoldering on the board. So maybe the female side may need to be redone. Only 3 are giving me trouble.

#8 1 year ago

Those look like .156 contacts, KK series. Since you had to wiggle to get the lights on, I think the pins are likely worn out. You can either piecemeal them or do them all at once.

Great Plains Electronics used to sell the stuff you need, but Ed has retired. You will need crimpers, wire strippers, new pins, and likely a new header (on the board) to insure reliability. There are several threads here and many Utube videos on how to do this job. There are also several vendors who still have the pins and headers - again, do a search for Molex connectors and KK series pins.

It would not hurt to try and resolder the header on the board first - you may have cold solder joints - that is the easiest avenue to try first.

#9 1 year ago

I have found that I have good connectivity from the bulb to the silver pin on the board. So I don't think I have any cold solder joints. I have 2 of the Os that are still finicky. They will come on in bulb test mode when I wiggle the wires, so I'm thinking that maybe the female parts of that connection need to be redone. On mine, the red/black connector is shown in the picture. Is this a molex? All the searching on the web shows molex connectors as white. Any idea what female pin I would need inside that red part?

IMG_0101 (resized).JPGIMG_0101 (resized).JPG

#10 1 year ago

that is an IDC (insulation displacement connector) and IMO they are crap

if you're sure you want to change it, i suggest using a crimp pin type

you may just need to slide the black cover off and if you have the insertion tool great, but if not try pressing on the wires with a small screw driver, once you take the cover off you'll understand.

#11 1 year ago

Didn’t realize those were 555 twist in lamps. Swap the lamp in the holders around and see if the problem stays at the socket or follows the bulb holders.

#12 1 year ago

If wiggling the connector makes the lamps cut in and out resolder the pins. The solder tends to get cold over time, especially the pins on the ends.
Although the IDC connectors have issues, avoid replacing the connector unless you absolutely have to. The KK style replacements are becoming hard to get as they are manufacturer discontinued.

#13 1 year ago

Rikoshay - thanks. I'm trying to work on those two wires with a small screwdriver. I think I got one and still working on the other. I think I have a friend who might have an insertion tool. May ask to borrow if I can't get it.

Billc479 - yeah, that was the first thing I checked. One wasn't good so replaced it, but those aren't what the issue is. Thanks for the suggestion.

BigAl56 - I've checked for continuity from the end of the pins to the panel that the bulb holder touches and gotten good results. Could the solder be a problem even if the continuity check seems OK?

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from JRC6000:

I've checked for continuity from the end of the pins to the panel that the bulb holder touches and gotten good results. Could the solder be a problem even if the continuity check seems OK?

Yes, it's an intermittent connection as you have observed. Heat up the iron and reflow those pins. That's always the #1 go to in these games.

1 week later
#15 1 year ago

So things were good, soldering the connections have helped a lot, one of the O’s is still giving trouble here and there, but it’s something to keep messing with.

New problem, I had the machine on Friday night, all seemed fine. Saturday comes and it won’t boot up. When I now flip the switch, the GI lights come on, then a tone and quick flash on the score board, then nothing. It just sits there with the GI lights on. I didn’t touch anything from Friday to Saturday. Any idea or advice where to look first?

#16 1 year ago

Does the MPU boot? There should be seven flashes on the led on the board.

Check the power supply fuses - you may have a blown one.

Check the voltages on the rectifier board test points. Check the voltages on the SDB test points

Check the voltages on the MPU test points.

Use Pinwiki Bally procedure for a step by step process on starting a Bally for the first time.

1 week later
#17 1 year ago

Welp, I did nothing but leave it alone for a few days, and now it boots and plays fine. Very strange and not sure what could have been the problem

1 month later
#18 1 year ago

Circling back for some more assistance, hopefully. I ended up having to replace a chip on the MPU board. Got a little help from a friend.

The issue I have now is with the score displays. They seem to have a short somewhere. Most of the time, they all don’t come on at all. Other times, they come on, but go completely out during the first game

When they are out, there is a very small orange glow in the display for the credit/ball count. Since it’s on and off, I figure some wire isn’t connected well. I just can’t figure out where. What is the best way to tackle this? Thanks in advance

#19 1 year ago

assuming your running gas displays, have you checked the test points on the player 1 display, ground, +5VDC and about 185VDC depending what you set the output at on the solenoid driver board?

#20 1 year ago

It's a good idea to change the filter caps on the driver board, along with tying the grounds together for improved reliability. One of the caps on the driver board is the filter cap for the display voltage. The driver board takes 230v from the rectifier board and turns it into 190v to power the displays. Commonly I've seen resistors burned up and the voltage adjustment pot basically falling apart in the high voltage section.

If you haven't checked the solder joints on the driver board and displays you should do that as well. All Bally boards will have at least a few cracked solder joints each if they haven't been serviced. You should also verify the voltage at TP2 of the rectifier board, then TP2 and TP4 of the driver board.

Voltages: http://www.techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/ballyss/rep/index1.htm#tp
Ground mods/upgrading driver board: http://www.techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/ballyss/rep/index1.htm#cap
Cap kit for driver board: https://www.arcadepartsandrepair.com/store/pinball-kits-parts/pinball-kits/bally-as-2518-22-solenoid-driver-pcb-105c-cap-kit/

#21 1 year ago

OK, so I reflowed the solder on the pins of the driver board and all 5 of the displays. The displays all come on at start up then go out. Sometimes right away, sometimes during the first ball.

I checked voltage while the machine was on but the displays were off. All five of them seemed to be correct: 5.2 at test point 1, and 173 at test point 2.

When they are working, they look great. Since they are all on or all off, is there a single connection that causes all of them to work or not? Could there be a single wire, or something else that is kind of working that would cause this behavior?

#22 1 year ago

Your voltages seem ok, 173VDC is on the low side but it is preferred by some as it keeps the displays alive longer but puts stress on the 2 transistors in HV section. I learnt that from @Quench

The commands and digit enables etc. come from J1 on the mpu board. You could try sliding the cover off and pushing on the wires in the pins?
Also checking the rear of the mpu board where the headers are soldered, looking for any dry joins or you could reflow them all, time consuming but worth it.
Also what condition are the pins like in the headers on the mpu board?
I did mention earlier, but I hate IDC's as a connector, but it's possible some of the pins have lost their tension and are causing an intermittent join to the header pin?

You could also try reseating or even swapping U10 and U11 on the mpu board, making certain you replace them with the notch on the PIA to the left.

Or before all that, with the game on try wiggling the J1 connector on the mpu board carefully side to side and looking through the rear of the backbox door at the displays you will see if they come on or not?

#23 1 year ago

More things check:

Make sure your ground to the displays is good. You should measure zero volts at test point TP3 on the displays.

When you power on the game, after the last LED flash on the MPU board the LED should then go dim and say that way. Does the LED go completely off when you lose displays?

If you have a logic probe, probe the display blanking signal at pin 6 of U14 on the MPU board and then downstream at any of the displays at pin 10 of the display connector. From memory it should be mostly low with high pulses.

#24 1 year ago

Well I feel like I'm getting somewehere:

Quoted from Rikoshay:

The commands and digit enables etc. come from J1 on the mpu board. You could try sliding the cover off and pushing on the wires in the pins?

Now knowing that J1 on mpu is important, I'm getting flickering when I wiggle those wires and the plug itself. I've pushed the wires in again, but not solved yet.

Quoted from Rikoshay:

Also checking the rear of the mpu board where the headers are soldered, looking for any dry joins or you could reflow them all, time consuming but worth it.
Also what condition are the pins like in the headers on the mpu board?
I did mention earlier, but I hate IDC's as a connector, but it's possible some of the pins have lost their tension and are causing an intermittent join to the header pin?

I resoldered them. Looks OK to me. Pictures attached. Little bend in a few posts.

IMG_3511 (resized).JPGIMG_3511 (resized).JPGIMG_3512 (resized).JPGIMG_3512 (resized).JPG
#25 1 year ago
Quoted from Quench:

More things check:
Make sure your ground to the displays is good. You should measure zero volts at test point TP3 on the displays.

I don't know if I did this right, but I measured from TP3 to the ground on the driver board. I read 0.017 on all of them. So pretty much zero?

Quoted from Quench:

When you power on the game, after the last LED flash on the MPU board the LED should then go dim and say that way. Does the LED go completely off when you lose displays?
If you have a logic probe, probe the display blanking signal at pin 6 of U14 on the MPU board and then downstream at any of the displays at pin 10 of the display connector. From memory it should be mostly low with high pulses.

Well I thought so. I would have said it goes completely out when the flashes are over. But I closed the door most of the way so it was dark inside and there is a very faint glow on the LED. Is that what you meant? Is that little glow an issue? Again, it's REALLY faint. I don't have a logic probe.

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from JRC6000:

there is a very faint glow on the LED. Is that what you meant?

Yes a faint glow is fine.

Quoted from JRC6000:

I'm getting flickering when I wiggle those wires and the plug itself.
Now knowing that J1 on mpu is important, I'm getting flickering when I wiggle those wires and the plug itself.

You probably have a bad connection at the J1 pin 10 position which is the display blanking signal.
The connector housing has a black cover over where the wires are inserted. You can slide the black cover up or down to remove it and see how well the wires are holding in the connector. Post a picture so we can see.

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