Laser War not fully booting


By joetechbob

4 years ago


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#1 4 years ago

I picked up a non-working Laser War a few months ago, with heavy battery damage to the original MPU board. Not wanting to invest too much time on a basically hopeless board, I picked up an allegedly working rev 3 MPU off of Ebay (pulled from a LW3).

As you may know, a rev 3 MPU board will not work directly in Laser War, for a few reasons (27C256 ROM vs 27C512; extra pins on C12, etc.). Anyway, I'm currently running through the "conversion" process laid out by an old DE service bulletin but am not having any luck getting fully through the boot process--or so it seems.

Basically what I'm seeing is that the board goes through the basic self check portion of the boot successfully (+5/PIA flash to Blank/+5 solid) but then basically nothing happens (nothing on the display, no sounds, no controlled lights, etc.)...However, I can see ghosting in some inserts if, e.g., I hit the coin switches, start button, etc., so it seems like *some* software might be running???

I verified that my installed EPROM is valid (matches V1 ROMs on Stern's site)...

Set jumpers using info from the following:
http://www.sternpinball.com/downloads/sb6.pdf
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Data_East/Sega#CPU_Jumper_Settings

Set on: J4 (32KB ROM), J5A (no clue), J6A (single ROM?)
Set off: J5 (64KB ROM), J5B (no clue), J6B (dual ROMs?)

The pinwiki guide said to set J7A instead of J7B, but I skipped that setting as my original Laser War MPU had J7B set. I have no idea what J7x controls, however...

Surely I've screwed something up here...Anyone have any ideas?

#2 4 years ago

Should clarify: Game says "Laser War" at start up, but that happens even if the MPU isn't present.

Also--looking again it appears that J4/J5 may control single or dual ROM configuration...I thought I'd read elsewhere that J4/J5 controlled addressable ROM size...Ugh, the documentation for the jumper settings is awful.

#3 4 years ago

This is where I read that J4/J5 control installed ROM size:

http://techniek.flipperwinkel.nl/desega/index2.htm#testroms

"CPU Jumpers.
Early DataEast games (Laser War to Batman) may require the CPU board to be rejumpered to use a 27512 EPROM at position 5C. The two jumpers used in all DataEast/Sega games are J4 and J5. These two jumpers dictate the maximum size of the CPU EPROM at position 5C. Games Secret Service to Batman were released with a 27256 EPROM as the largest EPROM usable at position 5C, and jumper J4 installed and jumber J5 removed. Star Trek 25th Anniversary to Batman Forever were released with a 27512 EPROM as the largest EPROM usable at position 5C, and jumper J5 installed and jumper J4 removed. Use jumper J5 installed and J4 removed when utilizing the diagnostic test 27512 EPROM at position 5C. Jumpers are discussed in the section titled Getting Started: Different Board Generations, CPU Jumpers. "

#4 4 years ago

J5B and J6B should be out
J5A and J6A should be in
EPROM in 5C is the config of the service bulletin - is that how you've got it set up?

One thing you could do.. double up the ROM image and program it on a 27512 at 5C, then rejumper the MPU as it was for LW3.

#5 4 years ago
Quoted from johnwartjr:

J5B and J6B should be out
J5A and J6A should be in
EPROM in 5C is the config of the service bulletin - is that how you've got it set up?
One thing you could do.. double up the ROM image and program it on a 27512 at 5C, then rejumper the MPU as it was for LW3.

Yes--plus J4 instead of J5 to config for 27c256 instead of 27c512

#6 4 years ago

I ran the test rom from http://home.scarlet.be/~fb054529/dataeast/edataeast.htm. Outputs from all PIAs appeared to be correct and in general the test program appeared to be running successfully per the instructions, though I forgot to do the RAM check portion (was late last night). I will run through the tests again on my test bench to double check.

I popped in a 27C512 with the Laser War ROM image doubled up (used copy /b command in windows command prompt). I get the same result as I did with the 27C256...The CPU partially boots but appears to hang...A thought I had was perhaps the software is performing some hand shaking with the sound or display boards and the software is written such that it will block until the hand shake is made...Anyone else seen/heard of this on older Data East title? I haven't seen any DataEast "circuit theory"/start-up doc out there so I'm not sure what the boot sequence should be or if there are any by-design blocking mechanisms in the software.

Anyone have any other good test ROM recommendations? Looks like there may have been another one out there but it's pretty scarce--found it on vpin forums but haven't tried it or found doc for it.

#7 4 years ago

leon is the best test rom for data east or sys11
data east boards are reverse engineering of sys11 without the speech sound section ,, a sys11c can be fit in a data east game

laser war has 6116 ram as the version 0 LW3 has 6264 ram you have to make some research on that ,,,,,,,

#8 4 years ago

Thanks doctor_pinball--I'll look into the RAM differences. I actually hadn't checked the type of RAM on the MPU as I was assuming the RAM type was the same through all rev 3 boards and the DataEast service bulletin calls out the RAM differences between Rev1/2/3. (i.e., their prescribed jumper settings would address the difference)

I ran through the Leon flavor test ROM again (http://home.scarlet.be/~fb054529/dataeast/edataeast.htm). All PIA tests pass and the RAM check passes.

I tried the original DataEast test ROM ("detest"/"de_test") that I downloaded from the vpin forums but the PIA light gives me no flashing. I'd run this on my test bench instead of in the machine--perhaps the program blocks if it's not hooked into the machine???

These are the instructions I found elsewhere that I believe are for the same ROM:
"The test EPROM for DataEast/Sega CPU boards has the following functions. When the Test EPROM is installed into a CPU board and power applied, the CPU will perform power-up self tests and then immediately go into burn-in cycles with no intervention. It is not required that the Test button be pressed in order to initiate burn-in cycles.

The power up self-test will check major components on the CPU board and flash the LED as each one appears normal. If any fail, the LED will stay on. The tests consist of a checksum test of the ROM and read/write test of the RAM and the PIA's. The PIA test will NOT check both sides of all PIA's since certain PIA ports are designed to be inputs and the loading on those ports will determine the data seen by the CPU. However, those ports designed to be outputs will be written to and read from in order that basic go/no-go functionality can be checked.

Flash Chip Location Tested
----- --------------------
1 C5 (ROM checksum) 2 D5 (RAM read/write) 3 5F (PIA1 solenoid read/write $2100) 4 8H (PIA5 switch read/write $3002) 5 11D (PIA2 lamp read/write $2402) 6 11B (PIA3 display2 read/write $2802) 7 9B (PIA4 display1 read/write $2C02) 8 7B (PIA6 sound read/write $3402)

The burn-in test will cycle through the solenoids, lamps, display and sounds like the present burn-in, with the following exceptions.
- The solenoid cycling will go through all the solenoid matrix positions.
- The lamps will go through all the patterns of rows and columns, as well as individual lamps; any shorts or opens will be easily seen on a test set lamp matrix board.
- If any matrix switches become closed, the lamp patterns will stop for a time. The lamp(s) corresponding to the matrix position of any closed switch(es) will be turned on. This faciliates testing of the switch matrix. A short time after the switch matrix becomes clear the lamps will go back to patterns. This also means that if any switch matrix position appears closed on power-up, the corresponding lamps will be turned on after the power-on self tests for a visual indication of where problems are located.

Neil Falconer, DataEast 1/6/93"

#9 4 years ago

Looks like the 6264 and 2064 (latter called out by service guide) are compatible.

#10 4 years ago

Jumper table for future reference

DECPUJUMPTBL.jpg

#11 4 years ago

Update

I tried moving the board from my bench to inside the machine with all cables connected. Leon's test ROM had (unless I overlooked something) all flashers and solenoids firing sans two (left flipper and kick back solenoids). No controlled lights were operating. I also ran DataEast's official test ROM. All 8 of the core MPU tests pass, however shortly after the burn in test appears to hang after switching the relay off for the pf GI (hear the relay click on the power supply -> pf GI is off)...I'm not sure if this is due to the software hanging because it's in an older/incompatible machine or what. I also don't see any controlled lights here either--not sure if this is normal.

Question: Does anyone know if I should be seeing any of the controlled lights (insert lamps) firing during Leon's test or early on in the DataEast test?

At this point it appears the v3 MPU (from LW3) is *at least* "mostly" good and there is maybe some undocumented incompatibility with Laser War, *OR* Laser War's software is hanging for some reason unknown to me...Potentially due to some external component not responding.

I'm not sure what the overall state of the machine was (basically trashed when I got it)...Anyone ever see DataEast software hang due to an external component failure? (I'm wondering just in case this was common to their software...Even the official test ROM appeared to hang/block when not installed in the pin.)

#12 4 years ago

The audio section will say "Laser War" on power up regardless of the MPU's state. I also had one that had some nasty alkaline damage, but I was able to somewhat easily repair the blanking circuit area. There are only a few parts there in total, a few resistors, a cap, 555 timer, and a special transistor for it. I just cleaned traces, replaced everything but the blanking transistor and it booted up fine, also socketed the CPU and replaced the CPU, only had a single bad trace under it. I also looked into possibly getting a v3 board and converting it, but I remember reading there were some other differences between the boards other than jumper settings and RAM that would be necessary to get it to work, and decided to rebuild the original board instead since that looked like the easier route. My board also had a faulty flipper enable relay and needed new sand resistors.

I think I remember reading there were some grounding mods needed for a v3 board to work properly, not totally sure about that though. If I come across the information I read on it, I will link it here.

#13 4 years ago

That would be great if you had additional info. The bulletin from dataeast calls out that it's possible--perhaps it's incomplete, however.

The original MPU was trashed with extensive damage to components along the ground plane around the entire board. I may have been able to fix it, but elected to go the less stressful route of using a 'new' clean board. My original board was actually rev 2 but with a smaller rev 1 RAM chip.

#14 4 years ago

Update: Success--I discovered and repaired a short on the MPU and now it is fully booting.

The steps that I outlined above--which are fully documented in the linked Stern/DataEast service bulletin--are correct for converting a rev 3 board into a rev 1/Laser War compatible board.

Now on to the next problems: Dead display and ball trough not sensing balls (can't start a game as ball search kicks in when pressing the start button).

#15 4 years ago

I should also mention: The additional steps referenced by thedefog are for converting a *Sys11* MPU, which requires several more steps of a higher degree of difficulty. If I had to do this again on a known working rev 3 board set it would easily take me less than an hour to do the Laser War conversion--very simple.

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from joetechbob:

I should also mention: The additional steps referenced by thedefog are for converting a *Sys11* MPU, which requires several more steps of a higher degree of difficulty. If I had to do this again on a known working rev 3 board set it would easily take me less than an hour to do the Laser War conversion--very simple.

Ahh, that's where I read it. At least I wasn't making things up. Good work.

If the high-voltage section looks good and you suspect the display driver, I have a working board I'm selling for $25 shipped right now I pulled from my Laser War if you need a replacement one and don't wanna deal with that.

#17 4 years ago

Excellent--high voltage is good so another board would be great even for debugging purposes. PM me your info and I'll paypal over the funds. Thanks!

#18 4 years ago

Consolidated v3 conversion steps:

1) Follow the core of the conversion guide in bulletin #6: http://www.sternpinball.com/downloads/sb6.pdf
....a) Remove jumpers J5B and J6B at location D8
....b) Install jumpers J5A and J6A at B7 and D7
....c) Add 3 pins to CN3 (top-right of board)
....d) Remove the EPROM from the socket at position B5 (if any)

2) Install Laser War ROM (http://mirror2.ipdb.org/files/1415/Data_East_1987_Laser_War_ROMs_V1_00.zip)
....a) *IF* using 27512 (64KB) EPROM
........i) Remove jumper J4 and install jumper J5
........ii) Double up Laser War ROM using the copy /b command in the Windows' command prompt
............1) copy /b LWARv1.C5 + LWARv1.C5 LWAR64.C5
........iii) Burn ROM (LWAR64.C5) to a 27C512 or 27512 and install into socket at position C5
....b) *IF* using 27256 (32KB) EPROM (not recommended)
........i) Remove jumper J5 and install jumper J4
........ii) Burn ROM to a 27256 or 27C256 and install into socket at position C5

I went with option 2.a as it permits me to easily swap in test ROMs such as Leon's ROM or DataEast's test ROM. Use these ROMs for extensive diagnostics of your v3 MPU board.
1) Leon's ROM and instructions: http://home.scarlet.be/~fb054529/dataeast/edataeast.htm
2) DataEast's in-houes test ROM (search for detest.zip if link is broken): http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=811

Instructions for using DataEast's test ROM:

"The test EPROM for DataEast/Sega CPU boards has the following functions. When the Test EPROM is installed into a CPU board and power applied, the CPU will perform power-up self tests and then immediately go into burn-in cycles with no intervention. It is not required that the Test button be pressed in order to initiate burn-in cycles.

The power up self-test will check major components on the CPU board and flash the LED as each one appears normal. If any fail, the LED will stay on. The tests consist of a checksum test of the ROM and read/write test of the RAM and the PIA's. The PIA test will NOT check both sides of all PIA's since certain PIA ports are designed to be inputs and the loading on those ports will determine the data seen by the CPU. However, those ports designed to be outputs will be written to and read from in order that basic go/no-go functionality can be checked.

Flash Chip Location Tested
----- --------------------
1 C5 (ROM checksum) 2 D5 (RAM read/write) 3 5F (PIA1 solenoid read/write $2100) 4 8H (PIA5 switch read/write $3002) 5 11D (PIA2 lamp read/write $2402) 6 11B (PIA3 display2 read/write $2802) 7 9B (PIA4 display1 read/write $2C02) 8 7B (PIA6 sound read/write $3402)

The burn-in test will cycle through the solenoids, lamps, display and sounds like the present burn-in, with the following exceptions.
- The solenoid cycling will go through all the solenoid matrix positions.
- The lamps will go through all the patterns of rows and columns, as well as individual lamps; any shorts or opens will be easily seen on a test set lamp matrix board.
- If any matrix switches become closed, the lamp patterns will stop for a time. The lamp(s) corresponding to the matrix position of any closed switch(es) will be turned on. This faciliates testing of the switch matrix. A short time after the switch matrix becomes clear the lamps will go back to patterns. This also means that if any switch matrix position appears closed on power-up, the corresponding lamps will be turned on after the power-on self tests for a visual indication of where problems are located.

Neil Falconer, DataEast 1/6/93"

#19 4 years ago

Any luck?

#20 4 years ago

Yes--the consolidated steps (in my last post) represent the way to successfully convert your working v3 board (and how to run two different diagnostics programs).

I ended up getting the red Xpin display set (which is completely amazing) and fixing the ball trough issue. I'm currently down to just a handful of minor issues (weak left flipper, overly-sensitive "A" switch and a non-working switch on the ramp).

Thanks for the guidance everyone!

#21 4 years ago

Thanks for the help joetechbob. Can't wait to get mine going. Wrote Jim at Rottendog and he feels that if my laser war used a factory ver. 2 board, then his MPU004 new board would work right out of the box. Do you know of any reason it wouldn't work?

#22 4 years ago

He needs to have a way to set the jumpers mentioned above...My original board was actually rev2 with less RAM and 'modified' jumpers (factory configuration).

A 'regular' Rev 2 wouldn't work OOB, similar to a rev 3.

Worst case scenario you may be able to cut traces and run jumper wires. I would say go rev 3 unless they can guarantee a non-hack conversion path.

Note that you also need the extra 3 pins on CN3. Make sure they have that or your display won't work right.

3 years later
#23 54 days ago

Just found this thread today. Hoping some of you are still around to clarify what may be wrong in this setup that I have. I have a Laser War with a version 3 mpu in it. The game is fully playable. All sounds, lights, and solenoids are working properly and playing it is a blast.

There is nothing displayed on any of the displays though.

I just rebuilt the HV section on the power supply and have proper voltage on the power supply at connector cn5 for the displays, and on all 5 of the connector pins (pin 2 and 12) for each of the displays attach to it. 3 of the displays (player 3,4, and the ball/credit display) were tested in my Black Knight and all work great. I cannot test the 2 DE displays for player 1 and 2, but have tried with them plugged in and unplugged with no difference. I have the extra pins added at cn3 on the mpu for the ball/credit display as well.

There is no chip at B5.
What looks to be the original Laser War game rom chip with original factory lable is installed at C5.
There is a 6264 installed at D5.

Do I need to burn a different game rom chip to work with the 6264, or can I just swap it out for a 6116 as per the original version 1 mpu?

Someone was messing around with the jumpers on this board for some reason and had a couple of them crossed j4/5 each had one end of a jumper attached on each one, as did j7a/b. J6b was installed but not j5b.

I don't know if that would damage anything or just send game information or partial information to the correct/wrong place.

Currently I have the jumpers installed as follows:
J1B, J3, J5, J5A, J6A, J7A, J8.

The following are NOT installed:
J1A, J2, J4, J5B, J6B, J7B

With the original game rom at C5, is having J5 and J7A installed correct?

Will that original game rom work correctly with the 6264 installed at D5 or do I need to install a 6116?

I don't know what the original game rom is as far as what type of chip. Do I need to burn a new game rom on a different chip to have it work with the 6264 currently installed?

Just trying to clear up some confusion on this board and hopefully that will get the displays to display information!
If not, then I suppose I need to look into something else on the mpu maybe not putting out signals to the displays? I would think everything should be good through the PIA though since the power up lights are correct every time.....

Thanks in advance!

#24 54 days ago

Have a 27256 at 5C. Changed jumper j5 to j4. still no displays.

#25 53 days ago

OK. I did a search for Laser War game rom. The original Laser War board had 2 chips one at B5 and one at C5. B5 was a 27512 or 27256 and C5 was a 27256. Since there is only one chip on this board, the 27256, I'm assuming that the other chip is missing. I see K's Arcade has a new 27512 that would replace the pair of chips. I'm thinking there is information missing from the missing chip and it must have to do with the displays.

I'm going to order the new single rom game chip, remove jumper J4 and install jumper J5 and see if this resolves the issue of all the displays not displaying any information. Obviously, when someone put this version 3 board in here, they didn't know what they were doing anyway since all of the jumpers had been messed with and several were crossed between 2 jumpers. Maybe they got rid of a chip that needs to be there too, since there should be 2 chips if your using a 27256 at C5 instead of a 27512 with all of the game info on it. Ugh.........

I will update in a few days when the new chip arrives.......

1 week later
#26 46 days ago

Installed the new 27512, game plays, but there is STILL nothing on the displays.

After poking around with a probe, testing voltages at all the chips on the display driver board, and trying to think some more, I compared RA1 ,RA2, and RA3. RA2 and RA3 control digit strobes, according to the schematic, and RA1 controls numerical segment drives. RA2 and RA3 gave the same readings for each and RA1 gave no readings at all. So, how can anything be shown on the displays if the segments aren't being driven? Probably can't..... right?

The schematic says RA1 is a 18Kx9 resistor array. Is there any other information or specs I need to know to get the proper one to replace this with? Mouser sure comes up with a lot of results and options.......

Any +/- on if this could possibly be the issue?

#27 46 days ago

UGH!

I just put the MPU from Laser War in my Monday Night Football. The MPU is putting out the display signals just fine because it came right up on the display with data east presents laser war........ MPU VERIFIED GOOD. DONE.

It's got to be somewhere on the display driver board.

There is activity on all 3 of the display connectors on the mpu at cn1 cn2 and cn3, and the ribbon cable on cn22.

There is even activity on all of the player display connections on the display driver board AND voltage at the same connectors for each display.

Something is keeping them all from actually lighting up and displaying the information.

I don't think it is the RA that I mentioned above anymore. I noticed that the other 2 RAs have +5 to pin1 and this one has ground to pin1, so they should be measured in reverse (switch black and red leads from meter) and they read the same reading as the other to RAs. correct?

I've even removed the ribbon cables with the displays and tested player 3, 4, and the ball credit in my black knight, all of them work just fine. Ive swapped the main ribbon cable from cn22 on the mpu to the driver board with the one from monday night football, and no change. the ribbon cable works just fine in the monday night football too. no cable problems, no voltage problems, and the displays work in other games.

MPU verified good output for displays in MNF.
Ribbon cables all verified good in black knight.
player 3, 4, ball/credit displays all verified good in black knight.
all 3 voltages present on display driver board.
all ics have proper voltage at voltage pin for each chip
all voltages present at all display connectors (1,2,3,4, and ball/credit)
activity at all display connectors with logic probe

why won't they just light up?!!?

#28 45 days ago

This was just mentioned to me in another thread.

>>>>Here is a test for two of the chips! Do this w everything off! http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Williams_System_9_-_11#Display_Panel_Problems<<<<&lt;

Perfect. I removed the board and tested the UDN7180/UDN6116 on the display driver board. The 3 7180's tested good. All 4 of the 6118's tested bad. Looks like I've got some sockets to install on this board

How can I test the 4050BE and 4001BE? There are 4 of each on this particular board.

#29 45 days ago

OK, so I just tested the 4050's with the board removed from the game. Had one lead on ground and other lead probing each leg of each chip. All 4 of the chips gave the same readings on each leg, meaning pin 1 of all gave the same, pin 2 of all gave the same, ect. when each of the same pin was compared to the reading of the same pin on the other chips. Is this the correct way to test those? I have a digital meter so I can't see any "bounce" as mentioned in the old pin repair guides.

#30 40 days ago

Some progress today! UDN6118s arrived in the mail and were installed with new sockets on the display driver board. We now have some digits that light up, but most are still out.

Player 2 and 4 have both the ten thousand and hundred thousand digits light up. The 1st of the 2 digits in the balls display and the first of the 2 digits in the credits display light up. I can now see when I'm in the display test and the digits that light up work for all numbers.

Now, what's next to figure out what's not lighting up the other digits?

How can I test the 4050be and 4001be?

#31 40 days ago

Few more updates:

Looks like the 4001's control the digits, and the 7180's and 4050's control the segments. I ordered some of each, but I'll be replacing all 4 of the 4001's next and putting them in sockets as well.

Something did a doozy on this display board.

Also was able to finally verify that player 1 and 2 glass displays are good.

Update again in a few days.

IMG_0554 (resized).JPG

#32 36 days ago

Excellent.

FINALLY, we have full operation of all displays! I replaced all 4 of the 4001's on the display driver board and everything is now up and running 100%. Wow. New transformer, rebuilt HV on power supply, proper jumpers, new C5 rom, replace and socket all 4 UDN6118's on display driver board, replace and socket all 4 4001's on display driver board, and we finally have full display operation.

That's got to be the most extensive display operation project ever.

Thanks for everyone's patience, help, and suggestions along the way. It is much appreciated!

Now, it's game time.

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