(Topic ID: 322322)

First SS Help, X's & O's

By JRC6000

16 days ago

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  • 14 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by BigAl56
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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IMG_0101 (resized).JPG
XO Schematic Snip (resized).png
IMG_3228 (resized).JPG
IMG_3229 (resized).JPG

#1 16 days 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).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).JPG
XO Schematic Snip (resized).png

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

#2 16 days 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 15 days ago

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


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 15 days 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.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 8 days 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 8 days ago

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

#7 6 days 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 6 days 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 5 days 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).JPG

#10 5 days 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 5 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 3 days 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.

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