(Topic ID: 228672)

Gottlieb System 1 - Boardset Reliability ?


By DRD

8 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by rattmuscle
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 8 months ago

I have just bought a 1979 Genie on eBay in the UK, my first Gottlieb.

Gottlieb System 1 games are rare over here, so very few UK guys know anything about them.

The games is complete, boards and connectors seem tidy with no ugly repairs, but it is non-working. It makes sounds when you power it up, it blows a GI fuse, all the displays are all blank.

The System 1 boards seem to have a very bad reputation. Do System 1 owners try to keep the original boards alive - replacing old capacitors, earthing them properly, replacing connectors etc ..... or do you just replace with modern boardsets please ?

Thank you

#2 8 months ago
Quoted from DRD:

I have just bought a 1979 Genie on eBay in the UK, my first Gottlieb.
Gottlieb System 1 games are rare over here, so very few UK guys know anything about them.
The games is complete, boards and connectors seem tidy with no ugly repairs, but it is non-working. It makes sounds when you power it up, it blows a GI fuse, all the displays are all blank.
The System 1 boards seem to have a very bad reputation. Do System 1 owners try to keep the original boards alive - replacing old capacitors, earthing them properly, replacing connectors etc ..... or do you just replace with modern boardsets please ?
Thank you

I try to make a decent effort at repairing the boards if they are salvagable. If not, there are aftermarket options available.

However, in your case, it might not be a board problem.

Check each fuse with a multimeter and don't rely on just a visual inspection. Does anything else blow other than the GI fuse?

Try disconnecting the playfield. That will help rule out a short on the playfield. Do any fuses blow when you power up without the playfield connected?

#3 8 months ago

Reviving a System 1 takes method and ....money.

Most of the electronics on System 1 are either dead or partially damaged. Spare parts are impossible to find (ok, next to impossible). As ForceFlow indicated, there are a few vendors who have done a fantastic job at replicating (and improving) the System 1 electronics.

Personally, I like the French Manufacturer FLIPPP ( https://www.flippp.fr/boards.php?lg=en ). His boards are just fantastic and will get your machine playing in no time.

But first, you must go thoroughly through the Power Supply board located at the bottom of the cabinet. You must verify each transformer and especially the small one.

Here is a link about the complete restoration of a Buck Rogers which uses identical electronics as the GENIE:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ycv-gottlieb-buck-rogers-restoration-or-the-infamous-system-1

There is plenty of information on this forum and on the WEB on how to repair and fix System 1 pinball machines. Take your time and read.

Yves

#4 8 months ago
Quoted from Arcane:

Most of the electronics on System 1 are either dead or partially damaged. Spare parts are impossible to find (ok, next to impossible). As ForceFlow indicated, there are a few vendors who have done a fantastic job at replicating (and improving) the System 1 electronics.

To clarify, ROMs on the MPU and sound board (if applicable) and the spider chips found on the MPU are next to impossible to find if they go bad or get hit by a short/surge. Pretty much all other components are available or have substitutes available.

However, right now it sounds like there's an electrical issue, rather than a logic issue, so the electrical stuff needs to be troubleshooted first.

Quoted from Arcane:

Personally, I like the French Manufacturer FLIPPP ( https://www.flippp.fr/boards.php?lg=en ). His boards are just fantastic and will get your machine playing in no time.

I like pascal's boards as well--they include a number of extra features to help modernize system 1 games a bit. Normally, I just get the stand-alone MPU, then refurbish/repair the original power supply and driver board. Most people think the power supply is more trouble than it's worth, and just get an aftermarket one.

There is also the ni-wumf board, which is also a good replacement board, but it doesn't have as many extra features available.

Quoted from Arcane:

There is plenty of information on this forum and on the WEB on how to repair and fix System 1 pinball machines. Take your time and read.

Two primary resources for system 1 info include:
http://www.pinrepair.com/sys1/
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Gottlieb_System_1

#5 8 months ago

Maybe I've been very lucky but the only problems I've had with the boards
in Gtb series 1 or 80 were due to bad grounds or the power supply frying
something. I've had a number of these in my collection for 30 years or
so. Keeping the molex connectors and board contact fingers clean
is important.

If you have good digital troubleshooting skills you have a good chance of getting
your board working. The most likely failures are in the battery & reset
circuits followed by a bad 5101 or ROM chip. Be sure the power supply
output is right!!!
Steve

#6 8 months ago

In my opinion Genie is a great game and after market boards add reliability, which adds value. I am a system 1 power supply hater. If it's working go with it till it fails then chuck it. Save the mounting plate for the Rottendog or it will look like it's hanging from a nail. I have used many Rottendog power supplies and Ni-Wumph CPU boards. The system 1 solenoid drivers are fine and easy to fix if there is a fault. I like to replace the old bridge rectifiers with new 25(or better) amp ones. Check all connectors, replace any pins that look faulty and you should be good to go for quite a while. I haven't had the chance to use any of Pascal's boards as I took a pinball hiatus for 10/12 years. 100 million china men can't be wrong though.

#7 8 months ago

Do the ground mods and repin all the connectors and they are pretty reliable. The Pascal boards are great, you still need to repin connectors for reliability with the Pascal.

#8 8 months ago
Quoted from Brypten:

Do the ground mods and repin all the connectors and they are pretty reliable. The Pascal boards are great, you still need to repin connectors for reliability with the Pascal.

I have a Genie, re capped power supply, did ground mods, cleaned all edge connections on boards, and installed a pascal sound board (sound was out) Worked great for about 4 months, now sound cuts out for no apparent reason in the middle of a game. Re booting/resetting game restores sound, only to eventually cut out again. Cleaned edge connectors, still having same issue. Any suggestions on how to clean the molex connectors? I scraped with a razor blade....

#9 8 months ago

I agree with most of everything being said here...

The thing for me when it comes to System 1, is that I dont want to spend time troubleshooting the original boards. I look at the Pascal all in one as something that lets me not have to worry about board problems and move to troubleshooting any other issues in the game... because I KNOW the board is working.

There are some issues where you can blow something up again if theres a problem elsewhere.. not worth it to me to have to go back and replace a component again

#10 8 months ago
Quoted from Heaterguy:

Any suggestions on how to clean the molex connectors? I scraped with a razor blade....

Only use a pink rubber eraser on the PCB contacts. Otherwise, you end up thinning or damaging the material.

If you are having trouble with connector pins, replace them.

Be sure to make sure you are getting the proper voltages from the power supply, and the appropriate voltages are reaching the sound board (sometimes voltages dip with distance and load).

Check for loose connections for the speaker.

#11 8 months ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

Be sure to make sure you are getting the proper voltages from the power supply, and the appropriate voltages are reaching the sound board (sometimes voltages dip with distance and load).

Might be a good thing to check on boot up, then check it again when the sound cuts out. It could be that it's dropping over time.

#12 8 months ago
Quoted from Heaterguy:

Any suggestions on how to clean the molex connectors? I scraped with a razor blade....

I use a fiberglass pen.

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#13 8 months ago
Quoted from Turtle:

I use a fiberglass pen.
[quoted image]

Quoted from ForceFlow:

Only use a pink rubber eraser on the PCB contacts. Otherwise, you end up thinning or damaging the material.

#14 8 months ago
Quoted from Heaterguy:

I have a Genie, re capped power supply, did ground mods, cleaned all edge connections on boards, and installed a pascal sound board (sound was out) Worked great for about 4 months, now sound cuts out for no apparent reason in the middle of a game. Re booting/resetting game restores sound, only to eventually cut out again. Cleaned edge connectors, still having same issue. Any suggestions on how to clean the molex connectors? I scraped with a razor blade....

I clean edge connectors gently with green scotchbrite. Makes them nice and shiny again. It's typically not the edge connectors that fail, it's the pins in the housings that mate to them. If you look at the connector you can actually see the pins, I always replace them.

#15 8 months ago

Yep, hopefully replacing the pins will work. (not something Im looking forward too BTW) I emailed Pascal, he asked me to send him pics of the board (PI-FX board) which I did. He actually had me replace capacitor C10 he said they had a run of defective ones. I did, but It didn't solve my issue. I debated whether to share this in public but in case someone else has the same problem I recommend contacting him and sending him a pic of C10.

#16 8 months ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

Be sure to make sure you are getting the proper voltages from the power supply, and the appropriate voltages are reaching the sound board (sometimes voltages dip with distance and load).

I questioned Pascal on this very thing, I thought irregular voltage (possibly through dirty adjustable pot on A2?) was causing power interruption/A7 failures. Pascal stated that his board does not rely on ANY voltage coming from power supply, it generates its own onboard voltage. I found this very interesting. I did rebuild the power supply (Big Daddy Cap. kit) and did ground Mods when I got the machine. He asked if the green "Heartbeat" LED was still flashing when sound cuts out, which it either locks on solid or off solid. Rebooting the game restarts the A7 to normal operation. nest step is to re-pin connectors, Ima start with A7-J1 and A3-J2 although I have cleaned them all and they fight snuggly.

#17 8 months ago

I have a Joker Poker . I rebuilt the power supply and did ground mods, replaced all caps. I replaced all connector pins to the boards and game has run at least eight years no issue.
As long as spider chips are good and you replace whats needed there should be no issues with the board set.
Pascal board looks great but i would only go that route if spider chips were toast. Or I really wanted features like skill shot. You can make original boards very reliable, connectors would have to be replaced regardless of which way you went, as they cause the problem. Or if someone wrecked gold contacts.

#18 8 months ago

Do the ground mods, repin connectors, rebuildthe power supply and put new bridges in the bottom board is a good start. After that it's troubleshooting whatever the crappy grounds killed as a general rule. My Cleopatra has been running fine for six years now. I rebuilt the power supply and put in a ni-wumph mpu and rottendog driver. It had no mpu and the driver was so shot it was cheaper to replace.

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