(Topic ID: 316390)

Gorgar - Driving me nuts - "Me Hurt!"

By MaxAsh

2 years ago


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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by MaxAsh
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#1 2 years ago

Working on a non-booting Gorgar, and I'm starting to lose my mind a little. Here's a rundown. Hoping someone can offer up some advice!

Initial Analysis:
Powers up to GI, no boot, displays have glow, but blank. Checked fuses, Solenoid fuse blown, all others fine. Checked power supply voltages, 5.08V and 12V unreg seem fine coming off the power supply board. When the game is powered up, both LEDs on the MPU light up immediately, and stay lit. Power-cycling on/off quickly produces no change. A few times while turning the game on/off quickly, suddenly the relay on the driver board would click rapidly (insert lights flashed with it) and the displays would go crazy with junk digits/segments. This was rare, but happened a handful of times. A sound was emitted with it briefly. I have a video for reference, if desired.

Actions Taken:
- Verified voltage at CPU power connector 1J2 (under load) as follows:
12V unreg = 10.52 VDC
5V #1 = 4.82 VDC (note when connector is unplugged, this is 5.08 VDC)
5V #2 = 5.08 VDC
5V #3 = 4.82 VDC (note when connector is unplugged, this is 5.08 VDC)

- Interconnect replaced (both Male/Female)
- ROMs resocketed to get rid of dreaded SCANBE sockets
- Replaced RAM IC13 since that was a socketed chip

* No change after performing the above *

Following advice in other threads (including vid's guide, pinwiki, etc), I have tried several other things:

- Swapped in spare Power Supply I had, no change (correct voltages)
- Swapped in a spare System 6 MPU board I had around, same results
- Disconnected the Driver Board completely, and attempted diagnostics tests with MPU-only. Results were erratic, but after trial and error, pressing the Diagnostic switch on the MPU caused the LEDs on the board to flash and go out. Per info I found, this could indicate a Driver Board issue.

- Swapped in a spare, good Driver Board I had and powered up the game

* Game appeared to boot, and Display showed the Game ID, so I thought I solved the issue. Power-cycled the game on/off to get it to boot... and it immediately started doing the same thing it was doing at the beginning. Dead game, just GI, displays blank, both LEDs on the MPU locked on.

... What the heck happened? It's as if the other Driver board solved the issue, but then was immediately murdered somehow? I'm confused.

Help!?

#2 2 years ago

Next step is to grab one of the test ROM chips out there. I had always used the LEON test ROM, but the Andre one is well regarded too. The test ROM chips will run with the absolute bare minimum of the board working, and will test your RAM and PIA's which are the most common culprits. The Leon test rom really only needs the CPU clock and CPU board PIA chip to be good in order to work and help you dig deeper.

Typically, if the sockets and interconnect are good, the culprit will typically be a PIA for a full lock-up like that. The CPU/Driver pair only needs power to boot up, so you should be doing the initial tests with none of the other I/O's connected at all.

-Hans

#3 2 years ago
Quoted from HHaase:

Next step is to grab one of the test ROM chips out there. I had always used the LEON test ROM, but the Andre one is well regarded too. The test ROM chips will run with the absolute bare minimum of the board working, and will test your RAM and PIA's which are the most common culprits. The Leon test rom really only needs the CPU clock and CPU board PIA chip to be good in order to work and help you dig deeper.
Typically, if the sockets and interconnect are good, the culprit will typically be a PIA for a full lock-up like that. The CPU/Driver pair only needs power to boot up, so you should be doing the initial tests with none of the other I/O's connected at all.
-Hans

I don't have access to a burner, can they be purchased easily somewhere? If someone is willing to burn me one, I can paypal/venmo cost+shipping

Also, would one of the potential issues kill a driver/game like that? Seems crazy to see it boot, then die after swapping in a spare driver board.

#4 2 years ago

The pincoder roms could be helpful as well. I haven't used the Andre boot one but I have used the Leon one - the leon one is the most basic you can get.

The pincoder test roms can be tailored to what you need to test in a progression, and you can get them on an adapter board that lets you select which test program to run.

#5 2 years ago

Oh man, this reads just like when I was resurrecting a Firepower - which happened to be my first foray into board work and troubleshooting. Plunged right into the deep end of trial by fire. I had the exact same symptoms, but didn't have good spares to test and guide along. I feel your pain!

If you haven't already done so, absolutely make sure your replaced sockets tone out cleanly: every pin to every line. In my case since it was my first go-round on that type of work, some of my connections weren't up to snuff. I even found a sliver of solder splash that somehow got under one of the connector headers and bridged two pins intermittently. Once I rectified those issues things got a lot more consistent for troubleshooting.

Ultimately, IIRC in addition to Scanbe sockets and bad OEM ROMS, I had a couple bad PIA's and buffers on the driver board as well. I'd used the Leon ROM as well but to my understanding it really only validated the MPU / Driver boards independently, which was still helpful (once I knew the MPU was well and truly good, I could focus on the driver). Prior to that I ended up shotgunning a lot. But I'm proud to say my fixes have been rock solid for 5+ years now so, if I can do it so can you.

#6 2 years ago

Thanks goingincirclez , fitting forum name for this kind of problem too ha.

I'm just concerned that somehow I killed a perfectly good Driver board, which seems crazy to me. I was really excited to see that Game ID pop up, and shocked when power cycling produced the same dead game all over again. I thought I had it sorted. I do have ONE more spare driver (clean, but unknown functionality) I could swap in there, but at this point I'm worried I'll kill it somehow.

I haven't used a test ROM before, but if someone can shoot me one for a little electronic cash, or direct me to an easy place to buy one, I'd be grateful.

#7 2 years ago

Couldn't resist, tried my other driver board. No change, still not booting. I have no idea how it booted to game ID that one time, but I've had nothing since.

IC16 is not socketed, so I guess I could socket it and try a different ram chip there. But after trying two MPUs with the same result, I'm guessing that's not going to be the problem.

#8 2 years ago

Some updates:

I socketed both of the RAM positions IC13 and IC16. I had four different compatible RAM chips, none of them seem to help completely, however with the current combination every now and then (maybe 1 out of 10 tries) I get flickering or random digits on the displays, and the relay on the driver board will lock on. It will sometimes stay that way, other times it will flake out some, causing the displays to flicker and relay to rapid fire.

Attempting to turn the game on or off, or do anything else, will usually put it back to being locked up with two LEDs on the MPU on.

Same results with either driver board I have on hand.

Not sure where to go from here. Can a PIA cause this behavior?

#9 2 years ago

Here is a video of what it does when it doesn't simply not-boot. You can hear the driver board relay locking on as well. Normally I just get nothing, and two solid LEDs on the MPU. Sometimes I get this though:

#10 2 years ago

I gotta echo goingincirclez --you probably will need to do a lot of tedious testing of the new ROM/CPU/PIA sockets and traces on the MPU. I ran into an issue on my BK a while back where it would intermittently lock up. It wound up being one of the ROM sockets. Just a gentle press on it would be enough to make it crash the MPU. What your describing sounds like it's crashing, just hard to say if it's a flaky trace or solder connection (or something else entirely, of course)...

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from MaxAsh:

- Swapped in a spare System 6 MPU board I had around, same results

Quoted from MaxAsh:

- Swapped in a spare, good Driver Board I had and powered up the game

Quoted from MaxAsh:

Couldn't resist, tried my other driver board. No change, still not booting.

Quoted from MaxAsh:

Swapped in spare Power Supply I had, no change

Considering you have swapped in a good CPU, Power board & 2 x driver boards it seems the problem may be elsewhere.

Sounds possibly like a short to ground with the CPU/Driver board? Worth checking the Metal tray the CPU sits in, that the CPU is actually sitting correctly in the tray to check their is not a short to ground there. Maybe insulate the tray it & reinstall to check

Had this happen to me years ago with my Gorgar, when I removed working boards to add a battery (rather 2 x supercaps) to the CPU & re-installing the boards (without screws just to quickly boot up & check) only to now have a short.

I did have a short from the CPU to the tray which caused all kinds of behaviour like this. I think either it had dropped down a bit when mounted without the screws installed or was not sitting in the tray. I reinstalled correctly sitting in the tray & screwed it back in & was all ok.

I remember reading recently someone else with a System 6 game that had this same short to the tray recently too - an overlooked possibility.

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from Joydivision:

I remember reading recently someone else with a System 6 game that had this same short to the tray recently too - an overlooked possibility.

Ah Yes, I remember frunch it was your suggestion for a short to ground with the tray on the other (Firepower) thread.

#13 2 years ago

When you "fried" your driver board did you happen to watch the driver board to see if something blew up on it? If you truly fried your driver board in my experience something is physically blown, like a burned up component.

#14 2 years ago

Joydivision Thanks for chiming in, I appreciate it! I actually put electrical tape along the bottom of the CPUs because of that issue, having run into it with a previous System 6 game.

Going to take the boards over to a fellow enthusiast to have him help me take a look. Fingers crossed I'll have them sorted out by tomorrow night. I'll report back!

#15 2 years ago

Gorgar Speaks! So it ended up being a flaky 5101 RAM. Testing showed something was screwed up in the RAM section, and since I had already taken care of IC13 / IC16, that was the only remaining possibility. It was a non-socketed chip, so it was removed and socketed. The weird part was once the same chip was put back in (using the socket now) everything was fine. I guess perhaps just a cracked/bad/cold solder joint when it was board-mounted. Everything checked and tested out great, zero issues with booting so far.

The speech board was bad too, but I was able to snag a replacement for a good deal, so everything is solid board-wise.

The only remaining issue is the Right Flipper is dead. I checked for voltage during attract and it's there for all 3 lugs on the flipper coil. Cleaned the flipper button switch and EOS, no change. I don't have high or lower power on the flipper when the button is engaged, so I'm not sure what's up. I tested for continuity between the flipper switch (Orange-Violet I believe) and the board connector, good to go there.

I forget, what's the trick for testing to see if a flipper coil will fire. I know I can ground a normal solenoid (or the transistor tab) to fire it and check wiring. There's a way to test fire the flipper coil too, right? Brain not working.

#16 2 years ago

Good work!

You can ground the middle lug or the outer lug that connects to the EOS switch. You just don't want to ground the side of the coil the power comes in on or you'll blow the flipper fuse.

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from frunch:

Good work!
You can ground the middle lug or the outer lug that connects to the EOS switch. You just don't want to ground the side of the coil the power comes in on or you'll blow the flipper fuse.

Perfect thanks. I hate when there's something I've done a couple dozen times and can't remember what it is. Much appreciated. I'll try that and see what happens.

#18 2 years ago

One weird flipper problem I had on a BK (system 7, but essentially the same flipper circuit) a while back that had very similar characteristics: if the EOS, coils, power and ground wiring are definitely good, it's possible it could be a bad connection at the power supply board where the +28vdc for the flipper coils comes from. If all else fails, try replacing the male and female sides of that connector. It drove me nuts because I was measuring ~35vdc at the coils and could get them to fire when grounding the coil (they just wouldn't flip when pushing the flipper buttons in game)...

#19 2 years ago

frunch wouldn't that affect both flippers though? Or are they individually wired to the power supply. I would have to look.

I grounded the proper lugs and the coil fired as expected, so I'm good there. I tested the flipper button switch again just to be sure, and it's making good contact. Guessing I'm losing the ground side somewhere? Wires coming off are Orange-Violet and Blue-Violet from the flipper button side. I need to look over the schematics and see where everything is going, I guess. Very odd.

#20 2 years ago

Flipper ground is at 2J12. Make sure you have good connections there too. Here's the power (3J3) and ground *aka flipper control* (2J12) sides of the flipper circuit. Not a whole lot else to it:

Screenshot_20220608-131220.pngScreenshot_20220608-131220.png

Screenshot_20220608-131229.pngScreenshot_20220608-131229.png

#21 2 years ago

Good connection from 2J12-1 to flipper button switch, good connection from the other side of the switch all the way through the various connectors. Switch continuity good, even if I hook up back at the board end to test when I close the flipper button switch. I can always re-pin the connector, just in case, even though it's testing good. 36V at the coil lugs on both working and non-working flippers. 3J3-4 showing 18V when measured to GND (half of the 36 at the coil lugs, interesting).

Definitely seems like a really basic setup, so where the heck is the gap.

Usually a bad diode on the coil will blow the fuse, right? But that's not happening. I do have a spare new coil, so I could always swap that in just in case. Or I could just pull that diode off the existing and test it I guess.

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from MaxAsh:

Good connection from 2J12-1 to flipper button switch, good connection from the other side of the switch all the way through the various connectors. Switch continuity good, even if I hook up back at the board end to test when I close the flipper button switch. I can always re-pin the connector, just in case, even though it's testing good. 36V at the coil lugs on both working and non-working flippers. 3J3-4 showing 18V when measured to GND (half of the 36 at the coil lugs, interesting).
Definitely seems like a really basic setup, so where the heck is the gap.
Usually a bad diode on the coil will blow the fuse, right? But that's not happening. I do have a spare new coil, so I could always swap that in just in case. Or I could just pull that diode off the existing and test it I guess.

No Flippers and Voltage is arriving to the coils:

Check that the TILT relay is energizing on the driverboard in Test

2J12 Pins 1 and 2 the relay switches ground off and on to these pins

When relay is energized flippers are turned ON

Test flippers:

Ground can be added by jumper at 2J12 1 and 2 for checking flipper operation bypassing relay cut off

#23 2 years ago

Found it! See the pic for the issue, but basically one of the wires that was supposed to be going to the EOS for the right flipper was not connected. It must have come off and when the previous owner didn't know what to do with it, he shoved it into the wire harness clip. I pulled it out so you could see it, but that solder-blob end was literally inside the clip, so you couldn't see it. It was just part of the pile of wires going in there visually.

As for how I traced it out, I realized (duh) that the Blue/Gray (Left Flipper) and Blue/Violet (Right Flipper) wires coming from each of the flipper buttons would have continuity to the coils. When I found that on the Left Flipper, but not the Right, I knew there was a wire break or path issue somewhere on the Blue/Violet.

I saw the Blue/Gray for the working Left flipper went to the EOS, so I looked for the Blue/Violet on the EOS of the right side, and found nothing. I searched through the nearby wire bundles, and found it. A quick tug and there it was, dangling around, and hidden in that plastic clip. I jumpered over to the proper EOS switch lug and sure enough the flipper worked great. Just going to resolder it to it's proper home, and everything should be good to go!

Thanks all for chiming in!

Gorgar_DeadRightFlipper_Fix - Copy (resized).jpgGorgar_DeadRightFlipper_Fix - Copy (resized).jpg
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