(Topic ID: 56728)

Gottlieb System 3 Battery

By bearsfan27

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 11 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by viperrwk
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


Linked Games

#1 6 years ago

I have a Cue Ball Wizard and a Shaq Attaq that I have had for over 10 years and never have replaced the batteries in them. They are still working great. Retaining high scores and everything. I see they have the coin type of battery on the board. Now I don't want to jinx myself but why have these not failed yet? I hardly ever play them as I have been buying newer games all the time and never really thought about them to much. I searched the forum and didn't find very many posts about them other then saying you probably shouldn't replace them with a remote battery pack. I have no soldering skills what so ever, so me doing anything about them is not possible. Should I find someone to replace them or just wait until they actually fail. I looked at them and see no corrosion or anything. Could they have been modified somehow in order for them to last this long or am I just extremely lucky? What should I do?

#2 6 years ago

I think the general consensus is buy a coin battery holder and (get someone if you want) to solder it to the board so you can change the batteries easily every yr.

Although a lot less prone those batteries CAN and probably DO leak over time.

(AA holder replacements tend to mess them up iirc)

#3 6 years ago

Leaking Sys3 batteries are much less of a problem in comparison to other battery setups. Can the battery leak? Sure. Does it? Rarely. Lots of Sys3s still have original batteries installed including mine. I see many more posts about people wanting to change the batteries (and the problems people create when doing so) than from people with actually battery problems (low voltage, leaking, etc.)

People have reported success with running lithium AAs in remote battery holders on Sys3. The thinking is the lithium battery has a more stable voltage profile than your standard alkaline.

There is a watchdog chip on the CPU board that will not allow the machine to boot if the voltage on the battery falls below 2v. I would periodically inspect the battery to make sure its ok and not worry about it until the watchdog kicks in. Unfortunately, the bad thing about this design/chip is that it prevents you from using NVRAM unless you were to rewrite the boot code for the machine.


#4 6 years ago

How can the original battery last this long when you have to replace the newer ones every year?

#5 6 years ago

Lithium batteries have a high charge density which is why they have a long life. As long as you don't rapidly discharge the battery which can overheat it, make it expand, leak and rupture, it will last a long time.

There is little load on the battery when the machine is off. For example, the DS1210 watchdog draws only 100 nanoamps. Lithium batteries maintain their voltage over most of their life and the watchdog is looking at that voltage level. The voltage curve on a lithium battery looks a bit like a cliff. When the voltage drops off it's done.


#6 6 years ago

Well I found the thread on RGP were you discussed this in detail last year. You guys are way over my head. LOL. I have a new tech that I have been using since I bought a TOTAN from him that seems pretty knowledgeable. Sounds like the coin holder with the new battery is the way to go so I could replace myself occasionally. I noticed the link to microbattery.com. Could you tell me which holder I should get for Cueball Wizard and Shaq Attaq? And since you are so knowledgeable about these things, I also have a Capcom Breakshot that I have never checked on the batteries for. Is this a similar system or something else entirely. THANKS.


#7 6 years ago

An Omaha guy with a breakshot? Sell it to me!

I am actually looking into the same thing. I just picked up a cbw and the high scores reset periodically. Fyi, radio shack does not sell the battery holder needed, you will have to order it online. Also, my barb wire and cbw have different sized batteries. So either game was hacked at some point, or not all system 3s use the same battery.

And let me know when you get sick of breakshot

#8 6 years ago

Here's the battery holder you can use:


All Sys3s used button cells with solder tabs on them. If the board doesn't have this someone replaced the original.

Once you put a button cell holxer in you can use a standard CR2430.

For Capcom, it uses a special SRAM with integral battery. Given the cost to replace this if it ever failed I would spend the money and replace it with Rob Anthony's anyPin NVRAM solution.

Arguably, Capcoms are built even better than Sys3.


#9 6 years ago

THANKS viperrwk for all of your help. You are truly one of the GOOD GUYS. I have my order placed with Mouser.

#10 6 years ago

Just to clarify I wasn't trying to sound like an a@$hat about the leaking or giving an order to replace often, just that I'd rather have the peace of mind.

Just wish mine wasn't replaced with a rechargeable fruit machine battery! They leak

#11 6 years ago

No worries. There are many different views about batteries in pinball machines and many are passionate about them which is not a surprise (it is your hobby after all.) Sys3 are the only games I leave the stock battery setup in, but if someone wants to change it out that's fine too.

Only othe thing is either tape up the old battery or better yet, cut it off before taking the soldering iron to it. That comment earlier about heat and rupturing applies here as well and also use eye protection.


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