(Topic ID: 256222)

HOWTO: Easy Setup for WMS system 3 games (no dips!)


By slochar

16 days ago



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  • 11 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 days ago by pincoder
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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hottip options (resized).png

#1 16 days ago

Anyone that's dealt with the williams system 3 games (Contact, Disco Fever, Hot Tip, Lucky 7, World Cup) and one system 4 (Phoenix) knows what a pain it is to set options for the game - the cumbersome approach of setting each option with a dip switch and entering it in.

There's an alternate way to do it if you have the means to burn a new gamerom - the default options for the game are all laid out in the first section of the gamerom. Using the hex editor built into your eprom burner software, you can edit each of the options there, burn the gamerom, and force a reload of the default options (usually by pulling the batteries... nvram would have to use the memory clear of one of pincoder test roms).

While the game would fail the built in checksum test if you hit the test button, it won't affect the operation of the game at all. (Williams games only perform a checksum test when you hit the test button, on regular bootup they do not.)

For example, here is a hexdump of Hottip's options:
0000 74 24 01 24 03 30 03 30 01 28 03 22 01 10 >09 14
0010 20 ff 20 00 02 03 00 00 00 01 01 01 00 02 01 03
0020 03 00 15 00 00< 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

And the options page from the manual is below - read down the default column you can see the default options start at offset $E (marked at > on the hexdump). You can edit the values to whatever options you want, burn the rom, and not have to worry about using the dips to set them. The end of the settable options is denoted by the <, which is the default HSTD.

If you want the checksum to match, you could set the hstd to another value since you'll probably beat it right away anyway. For instance, if you want to set the game to max credits 25, you'd change offset 0012 from $20 to $25, then reduce offset 0022 from $15 to $10 - this way the checksum test would still pass. Or if you set the default # of balls to 5, offset 001F would change from 03 to 05, reduce offset 0022 from $15 to $13. This balancing out of the values is strictly only necessary if you want the checksum to pass. There's not a lot of math going up or down a couple values, but if you go from one decade to another you'd have to enter it as hex - that's not really allowed, so you would try and use the other digits of the hstd instead.

Just a variant on how to set these, might be helpful is you have a board with bad dips or if you're burning a new rom anyway. I'd like to have been in on the planning meeting where they thought using the dips in this fashion was a good idea.

hottip options (resized).png
#2 16 days ago
Quoted from slochar:

While the game would fail the built in checksum test if you hit the test button

What's the deal with this? Is the checksum location unknown or is calculating it not understood?

#3 16 days ago
Quoted from Quench:

What's the deal with this? Is the checksum location unknown or is calculating it not understood?

It's the first byte in the rom if people want to calculate it manually. Really just an offset up or down, but I wanted a gentle start to this type of thing. Getting someone to hex edit a file if they've never done it previously ends up being scary stuff.... people just refuse to do it. Add in the difference between BCD and HEX and they're just going to say "i'll do it the old way, with the dips".

#4 16 days ago

Too bad there isn't a system rom that changes it to the way system 4 through 7 does it: with the coin door switches.

1 week later
#5 8 days ago

Interesting. I didn't know that those games couldn't set the options using the switches on the coin door. What a nightmare!

#6 8 days ago
Quoted from pincoder:

Interesting. I didn't know that those games couldn't set the options using the switches on the coin door. What a nightmare!

No kidding. Would have liked to have been a fly on the wall of the meeting where they decided this.

Sound like a new pincoder rom opportunity - pop the rom in and set the white rom options, pop your rom out, put system rom back in, boom, options set. At least until the white system rom 2 passes beta test that already does this.

#7 7 days ago
Quoted from slochar:

No kidding. Would have liked to have been a fly on the wall of the meeting where they decided this.
Sound like a new pincoder rom opportunity - pop the rom in and set the white rom options, pop your rom out, put system rom back in, boom, options set. At least until the white system rom 2 passes beta test that already does this.

With the information you've posted here, you could easily change settings with the edit-cmos ROM.

What's the deal with the white system rom 2?

#8 7 days ago

I've never looked to see if the white cmos info and the green cmos info are in the same locations and the same format. It's very possible it is; the deal with the beta rom is that it needs to go in some actual games to be tested. Pinmame is fine for testing but sometimes (always, really) the software needs to get into an actual mpu board and game to be tested. Unfortunately for me, my lone sys3 game is in a very inaccessible corner of my basement, at least it's set up, but every single project machine surrounds it. (I used to only have 1 machine more than I have room for.... now I have 5 or 6 I think.....)

Technically, the sys3 machine (phoenix) is also a project, although I should be able to get it going relatively easily once I can get to it. The driverboard might be the only issue.

#9 7 days ago

The Williams programmers around 77 -78 were let go around the time when Atari started their pinball division williams seen Atari had light show code in their pinball playfields in attract mode. the first programmers knew there were being let go and may have altered white rom 2 where there are two versions part # 9008 and 9008-1
9008-1 was only used in World cup which wont operate with 9008 correctly. there is a story where a programmer was holding finished code back until they were paid. around when Ugene Jarvis and Randy Pfeiffer came to Williams, the new way to adjust at coin switches "Green" Utility roms were created.

#10 6 days ago

With the short run stint into Yellow roms, which really are basically the green roms with slight differences.

The Green is definitely miles ahead both from capability standpoint and ease of creating a game for. Still not as good as system 7 Blue.

A fun exercise is to rewrite games into the 'next' system up - white into green, green into blue. Phoenix and Firepower have been done so far, with only Firepower making it into machines. I *REALLY* need to get to my phoenix somehow!!

#11 5 days ago
Quoted from slochar:

A fun exercise is to rewrite games into the 'next' system up - white into green, green into blue. Phoenix and Firepower have been done so far, with only Firepower making it into machines. I *REALLY* need to get to my phoenix somehow!!

That would be some feat. Years ago I spend a considerable amount of time "decoding" the green and Gorgar ROMs. I got far enough to make some mods (personal use only). Finding accurate ways of naming subroutines that might possibly resemble their originals just so they made better sense in the overall picture was like doing a 1000 piece puzzle with my eyes closed. Interesting for a while, but when I reached my goal of making mods I was kind of done with it.

On the otherhand, I can't see the different generations of colored ROMs being significantly different from each other.

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