(Topic ID: 272899)

New! Pincoder Adapter


By pincoder

7 months ago



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  • 83 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by pincoder
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There are 83 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 7 months ago

Hi Everyone,

While I'm still developing my ideal pinball troubleshooting board for your Williams system 3 through 7 pinball machines, I have come up with an intermediate solution for those who need to get their machines up and running today.

It's called the Pincoder Adapter, it comes preloaded with the Pincoder diagnostic software, and is ready to go out of the box. You do not need a chip programmer or any chips to use it.

You can find out more and also purchase the adapter here:

https://pincoder.ca/index.php/2020/07/10/adapter-2020-06-23-0506/

Of course, if you have questions you can certainly ask them here and I'll be happy to answer.

Thanks and happy repairs!

#2 7 months ago

Any plans to produce these for use in early Gottlieb system80's?

#4 7 months ago

This is great .....cant wait to try it out.

#5 7 months ago

What exactly does it diagnose? Things like blown transistors, solenoids, open switches?

#6 7 months ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

What exactly does it diagnose? Things like blown transistors, solenoids, open switches?

Yes, much in the same way as the Leon and Andre ROMs.

The software on this adapter also verifies all functions of the CPU, RAM, 5101, LEDs, displays, etc. The RAM and 5101 tests verify every single address available in the respective chips, and with multiple bit combinations. The Williams built-in code has been known to produce false positives because it only tests chips on a few addresses to see if it responds.

There is even a switch bounce test that allows you to find switches that produce more than one pulse (typically due to dirty or worn contacts). Completing this test is good for ensuring accurate scoring.

This adapter will also allow you to test the signals going to the sound card, but not the sound card itself. Since the sound card has it's own CPU, a new test needs to be written such that this adapter could also be placed into the appropriate socket of the sound card. A future version of Pincoder software will contain code compatible with this adapter to run those types of tests.

Also, If you have a chip programmer that can write to an ST39SF040 chip you can fill the unused portions of the EEPROM on this adapter with any image you like, include the Andre and Leon test ROMs.

#7 7 months ago
Quoted from RWH:

Any plans to produce these for use in early Gottlieb system80's?

Yes. I've been buying project machines and writing tests as I repair them. When the opportunity comes up for other games I'll build support into the pincoder software. If they use the 2726 or 2532 chip, you'll be able to use this adapter on those games.

Behind the scenes, I've created a development environment for myself that allows me to create ROM images for other games using existing code (for the most part) so including future games should be faster.

#9 7 months ago
Quoted from Stretch7:

This is great .....cant wait to try it out.

You're not too far from me at all! Send me and email with your shipping address and I can get one out to you today

#10 7 months ago
Quoted from pincoder:

Hi Everyone,
While I'm still developing my ideal pinball troubleshooting board for your Williams system 3 through 7 pinball machines, I have come up with an intermediate solution for those who need to get their machines up and running today.
It's called the Pincoder Adapter, it comes preloaded with the Pincoder diagnostic software, and is ready to go out of the box. You do not need a chip programmer or any chips to use it.
You can find out more about the adapter here:
https://pincoder.ca/index.php/2020/07/10/adapter-2020-06-23-0506/
At the moment, online purchase is not available, however see the link above to find how how you can obtain one.
Of course, if you have questions you can certainly ask them here and I'll be happy to answer.
Thanks and happy repairs!

I can't wait to try this out!

#11 7 months ago

Good News! Online purchase now available everywhere (click and scroll down to "HOW TO GET ONE" here):

https://pincoder.ca/index.php/2020/07/10/adapter-2020-06-23-0506/

Thanks again for your support!

#13 7 months ago

Excellent! How do you like it?

#14 7 months ago

Got mine today too but havn’t had a chance to try it yet.

#15 7 months ago
Quoted from pincoder:

Excellent! How do you like it?

I haven't had much time to try it out. I threw it in a sys 7 board, moved the jumpers, set it up for LEDs1a and it worked perfect first try!

#16 7 months ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

I haven't had much time to try it out. I threw it in a sys 7 board, moved the jumpers, set it up for LEDs1a and it worked perfect first try!

Awesome! Good to hear!!

2 months later
#17 4 months ago

pincoder .. received my Adaptor the other day. Thanks, it's great.

Trying to get my Firepower working again. I was getting intermittent issues of games stopping and GI going out, typical things I've seen on the forums. Decided to finally break down and bulletproof according to vid1900 guide. All new interconnect, new sockets, new trifurcon connectors instead of the IDT, NVRAM module and special solenoid saver boards from barakandl . When I finally got it all back together the diags told me I had a ROM/PROM error. I thought I had a solder bridge or bad trace or something, but checked and rechecked all the sockets, tested continuity on ALL the lines and everything looked good. Popped in the Pincoder adaptor to see if I could narrow things down. Got to the switch tests (06-switches) and discovered EVERYTHING in the special switches/solenoids to be non-responsive, so.... left and right slings, all pop bumpers, right flipper advance. I have tested continuity from the board connectors to each device and they are good (just in case I screwed up the wiring in the connectors).

I assume the Pincoder adaptor CAN test the special switchers, right?

Not sure where to go next. I tried sticking a DMM on the board end of the left sling, both on the switch matrix and on the special switch, then closing by hand but see nothing. I'm assuming there is more to testing these switches than that? I put the DMM to the coils and measured 34.5 VDC so it isn't a power issue.

#18 4 months ago

Special switches aren't part of the switch matrix. (The right flipper lane change switch IS, though). Normally you ground the activation switch to fire the special solenoid, then it activates a secondary switch which are part of the switch matrix.

You're likely missing your ground from the activation (or you have it unplugged right now for testing), or the pincoder rom itself blocks specials from activating in that test.

#19 4 months ago
Quoted from mdhawkeye:

I assume the Pincoder adaptor CAN test the special switchers, right?

Answering my own question here..... Pincoder adaptor CAN test the special switches, but as a side effect of testing the solenoids...duh! To activate the special solenoid you just hit the corresponding switch. Works great.

#20 4 months ago
Quoted from mdhawkeye:

Answering my own question here..... Pincoder adaptor CAN test the special switches, but as a side effect of testing the solenoids...duh! To activate the special solenoid you just hit the corresponding switch. Works great.

Sorry for the delayed reply.. Glad you got your adapter and thank you again for your purchase!

One of the key differences between the switches and solenoids tests is that:

1) The switches test DISABLES the flipper relay and the special solenoids circuitry.
2) The solenoids test ENABLES the flipper relay and the special solenoids circuitry.

Because the special switch trigger lines are not routed into a PIA on the driver board, it is impossible for software to detect these switch closures.

Interestingly enough, thanks to IC6 and IC7 (OR gates) on the driver board, software CAN fire the solenoids independent of the special switch triggers. Currently the solenoids test does not handle firing special solenoid on its own. That will come in a later release of pincoder software.

Getting back to your original problem, occasional game crashing could be caused by intermittent power or a bad blanking circuit. Since you've already tested your blanking circut, and the fact that your GI also goes out, I'd say it has more to do with the power supply.

Does the GI go out and stay out, or does it go off and come back on again?

#21 4 months ago
Quoted from mdhawkeye:

Answering my own question here..... Pincoder adaptor CAN test the special switches, but as a side effect of testing the solenoids...duh! To activate the special solenoid you just hit the corresponding switch. Works great.

Sorry for the delayed reply.. Glad you got your adapter and thank you again for your purchase!

One of the key differences between the switches and solenoids tests is that:

1) The switches test DISABLES the flipper relay and the special solenoids circuitry.
2) The solenoids test ENABLES the flipper relay and the special solenoids circuitry.

Because the special switch trigger lines are not routed into a PIA on the driver board, it is impossible for software to detect these switch closures.

Getting back to your original problem, occasional game crashing could be caused by intermittent power or a bad blanking circuit. Since you've already tested your blanking circut, and the fact that your GI also goes out, I'd say it has more to do with the power supply.

Does the GI go out and stay out, or does it go off and come back on again?

1 month later
#22 3 months ago

Are there any videos that shows how to use this? Like a step by step tutorial? This would be helpful to see it in action.

#23 3 months ago

Yes there are.. cheddar made some videos and posted them here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtGB2hX0oWQT_eIL4mvQg1mNrVZWnpJz5

You can also read the official Pincoder software support thread:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/new-williams-system-6-in-game-test-roms

From there you will find questions and answers from other pinside members, and can post your questions about the software there, and you questions about the adapter here.

#24 3 months ago

Thanks

1 month later
#25 59 days ago

Thanks for making the Pincoder adapter. What a great and easy tool for troubleshooting non functioning, including non-booting WMS boards. Have used it on a handful of MPU and Driver boards, and was able to get each board fixed and working again.

#26 58 days ago
Quoted from geschelbeck:

Thanks for making the Pincoder adapter. What a great and easy tool for troubleshooting non functioning, including non-booting WMS boards. Have used it on a handful of MPU and Driver boards, and was able to get each board fixed and working again.

Thanks! I really appreciate that! I'm glad they're helpful

#27 57 days ago

Just placed my order earlier today for the Pincoder adapter. In less than an hour I received an email with shipping information and a tracking number. Great customer service Pincoder. Thanks!

Looking forward to fixing my locked up board.

#28 57 days ago

Thanks for buying! Unfortunately, being New Years Day today, I could't actually hand it off to the shipping company, but it will be on it's way tomorrow!

Let me know how the diagnostics go

2 weeks later
#29 41 days ago

I have a question about the adapter. Since I have the boards out of the machine and on the bench, I can't do the display and switches test. I'm working on a locked up system 7 board. Can I skip over these tests and continue or put them back in the machine and stay in order? I've passed all of the tests up to this point.

#30 41 days ago

While waiting for a response from my previous post, (and not sure if this is the right place to ask), is this a labeling error on the flipper roms? Flipper rom 1 says IC17 and flipper rom 2 says IC20. According to the schematic, flipper rom 1 should be IC20 and flipper rom 2 should be IC17. The game used to work before and I know these 2 roms were never switched. I do notice that one of the roms looks repaired with a leg that is soldered. I did plug in the Pincoder adapter in IC17, (according to the schematic and not the sticker), and have not had any issues running the tests.

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#31 40 days ago

If you're sure the game runs with the chips in those locations then you have a labelling error. Those are the original stickers too so rather strange to have this happen.

The ROMs must be installed in their correct locations. If the socket for IC17 has the wrong chip installed, the game will not boot. If one or more of the other ROM sockets doesnt have the correct chip, the game may boot, but will definitely not function correctly if it does boot.

If you suspect it's NOT a labelling error you can swap those two ROMs, put them in their correct locations, and see if your board boots in the game. This will not hurt anything. I would say this is quite likely the issue with that board.

As for your original question, the tests are designed to run in order so that you can verify certain aspects of the game (like displays etc) because the later tests use more functionality (like displays etc). However, if you think you need to jump to another test down the line, then it doesnt hurt anything to do so and then jump back. It just depends on what your theory of the problem is and whether you think jumping to a later test for a moment will help you prove or disprove that theory.

You could run all of the tests on the bench or in the game - you just have to be aware of the limitations of either scenario. Running a test that shows results on the displays won't be very useful on the bench unless you have a set of displays connected on the bench.

I would swap those ROMs and install the boards into the game and see if it boots into attract mode. Either way you could then finish the remainder of the test ROMs in game just for the sake of completion. You may find other smaller issues that you wouldn't otherwise find out until after playing the game for a while.

#32 40 days ago

yes it is well known williams mislabelled a bunch of system 7 roms.

#33 40 days ago

Thanks for the reply Pincoder. I have tried swapping the 2 roms on the bench and still get the same results, not booting. I'm positive the chips were in the locations pictured and the game did boot before. I'm leaning towards one or more roms being bad as the leg on the one that is soldered looks iffy. It actually has a soldered leg on the opposite side as well. As for the tests, I will most likely put the boards back in and continue when I get some time. I do remember that I do have power to the displays. I can see a dim light at the bottom of each display.

I did skip ahead and read about the rom tests that would follow. Unfortunately, I don't have a burner to do the tests that require a second EPROM chip to be programmed with a pattern of numbers. Props to your adapter for getting me this far. It has worked great!

#34 40 days ago
Quoted from Astill:

yes it is well known williams mislabelled a bunch of system 7 roms.

Thanks. That would explain some things

#35 39 days ago
Quoted from Talonslair:

Thanks for the reply Pincoder. I have tried swapping the 2 roms on the bench and still get the same results, not booting. I'm positive the chips were in the locations pictured and the game did boot before. I'm leaning towards one or more roms being bad as the leg on the one that is soldered looks iffy. It actually has a soldered leg on the opposite side as well. As for the tests, I will most likely put the boards back in and continue when I get some time. I do remember that I do have power to the displays. I can see a dim light at the bottom of each display.
I did skip ahead and read about the rom tests that would follow. Unfortunately, I don't have a burner to do the tests that require a second EPROM chip to be programmed with a pattern of numbers. Props to your adapter for getting me this far. It has worked great!

There is a mistake in the README.txt of the current documentation. It talks about using the PATTxxxx.bin files to use with the "12-ROMS-ICxx" tests. These tests were removed from the current release because the requirement to have a programmer and extra chips greatly outweighed the usefullness of the test.

Since those tests only tested the ROM sockets and not the ROM chips themselves, it is easier to just replace a questionable socket than test and have to replace it anyway.

The next release version will have that part removed from the documentation. The ROMS-ICxx test images are not on the pincoder adapter anyway.

Let us know how things progress

#36 39 days ago
Quoted from Astill:yes it is well known williams mislabelled a bunch of system 7 roms.

That's quite a blunder. Did any of the other pinball manufacturers have this problem?

#37 39 days ago

Want to order an adapter but the website is down?

#38 38 days ago
Quoted from JT-Pinball:

Want to order an adapter but the website is down?

I saw that. It's up now. Please try again. Thanks.

#40 38 days ago

Done! Can't wait to try it out and fix a few boards...

#41 38 days ago
Quoted from JT-Pinball:

Done! Can't wait to try it out and fix a few boards...

Thank you! I'll drop it at the carriers today.

#42 38 days ago
Quoted from pincoder:

Thank you! I'll drop it at the carriers today.

Fast Shipping!!!! Check. Thanks Craig!

#43 38 days ago
Quoted from JT-Pinball:

Fast Shipping!!!! Check. Thanks Craig!

No problem

Please let me know how the repairs go

Craig

#44 37 days ago

Another quick question: for the "interrupts" test, I passed the first test,(hard IRQ), but my board does not have dip switches for the soft IRQ test. What should I do next?

I went ahead to the solenoids test while waiting for my previous question. When I powered up the machine, the left slingshot activated right away. I powered the machine down immediately. Edit: I noticed one of the switches in the left slingshot was making contact. I adjusted this switch and upon powering up the game the left slingshot does not fire.

#45 37 days ago
Quoted from Talonslair:

Another quick question: for the "interrupts" test, I passed the first test,(hard IRQ), but my board does not have dip switches for the soft IRQ test. What should I do next?
I went ahead to the solenoids test while waiting for my previous question. When I powered up the machine, the left slingshot activated right away. I powered the machine down immediately. Edit: I noticed one of the switches in the left slingshot was making contact. I adjusted this switch and upon powering up the game the left slingshot does not fire.

If you dont have DIP switches I'm guessing you don't have the COMMAND_ENTER button either. My system 7 board (Hyperball) does not have them either. Without those you won't be able to test the soft IRQ. However, it is quite likely okay to skip this part of the test. I say that because hard IRQ's are generated by other circuitry on the MPU board and it is very unlikely that the Williams code would need to generate one by software. If you make it through all of the other tests, and game play seems normal, then you're good to go.

I just wrote the soft IRQ test because it is part of the CPU chip functionality in general, and it is better to have the ability to fully certify a chip. I'll update the documentation to reflect this.

Thanks!

#46 36 days ago

Ok. Thanks. No dip switches and no COMMAND_ENTER button either.

I went through the other tests. On the "lamps" test, and according to the procedure: "This test starts out in state 04 (shown on CREDITS display) and lamp number 00 (shown on MATCH display, 00=ALL lamps in the matrix)".
Mine starts out at 03 and I can only cycle to 02, 01, and 00 and back to 03. So I get fast blink, slow blink, steady on, and off(not sure of the order). All single lamp tests were good.

For the "solenoid" tests, I can get all solenoids to fire except for any of the flippers. I'm not sure if I have to be on a certain number in the display to do this or not.

I ran the "clear cmos" test successfully. After that I put the rom back in it's place and the machine still doesn't boot.

This machine is a Black Knight LE if that helps.

#47 34 days ago
Quoted from Talonslair:

Mine starts out at 03 and I can only cycle to 02, 01, and 00 and back to 03. So I get fast blink, slow blink, steady on, and off(not sure of the order). All single lamp tests were good.
For the "solenoid" tests, I can get all solenoids to fire except for any of the flippers. I'm not sure if I have to be on a certain number in the display to do this or not.
I ran the "clear cmos" test successfully. After that I put the rom back in it's place and the machine still doesn't boot.
This machine is a Black Knight LE if that helps.

That sounds like a bug in the test ROM, I'll verify that.

The flippers are only fired by pressing the flipper buttons. In the earlier tests they are not "enabled" and so will not fire. The solenoids test does "enable" them. The flipper relay on the MPU board will be energized in this case and you should be able to fire them.

If you get through all of the tests and the game still doesnt boot you likely have corrupt/dead ROMs, or bad rom sockets. Check the soldering job on the remaining ROM sockets and if you're in doubt replace the sockets with new ones. If they are "scanbe" sockets definately replace them as they are known to be bad.

#48 33 days ago
Quoted from pincoder:

That sounds like a bug in the test ROM, I'll verify that.
The flippers are only fired by pressing the flipper buttons. In the earlier tests they are not "enabled" and so will not fire. The solenoids test does "enable" them. The flipper relay on the MPU board will be energized in this case and you should be able to fire them.
If you get through all of the tests and the game still doesnt boot you likely have corrupt/dead ROMs, or bad rom sockets. Check the soldering job on the remaining ROM sockets and if you're in doubt replace the sockets with new ones. If they are "scanbe" sockets definately replace them as they are known to be bad.

Ok. Thanks for the reply and your help. I did order a burner(GQ-4x4) and eraser. It is supposed to arrive sometime tomorrow. I'll at least be able to check the roms with it. The rom in IC17 that I mentioned earlier looks suspect because it was repaired. I don't believe the sockets are scanbe, but I'll check again to be sure. I did make it through all of the other tests. It felt great to see the displays come to life.

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#49 33 days ago

Yeah if IC17 is bad it definitely won't boot. You might want to find a replacement EPROM chip, or, since you now have a burner, you could add the contents of the ic17 chip to an empty slot on your Pincoder Adapter and be done with it

If you can't read your ic17 chip at all, you can download the image from here:

http://www.planetarypinball.com/mm5/Williams/tech/roms.html

#50 32 days ago
Quoted from pincoder:

Yeah if IC17 is bad it definitely won't boot. You might want to find a replacement EPROM chip, or, since you now have a burner, you could add the contents of the ic17 chip to an empty slot on your Pincoder Adapter and be done with it
If you can't read your ic17 chip at all, you can download the image from here:
http://www.planetarypinball.com/mm5/Williams/tech/roms.html

I received my burner today. I'm not sure when I'll get the chance to check the rom. Been busy lately starting a new job. I'm probably going to order a new chip and program it fresh,(if the old one is bad) and keep the Pincoder Adapter as is. It really is a good tool to have for troubleshooting. I've also had a sound issue where one of the words is garbled during speech. It is weird. When it is a damp day it's garbled. When it is a dry day it's fine. I'm thinking it may be a socket issue but at least now I'll be able to test the sound rom with my burner. I appreciate all of your help with this and am grateful for your contribution to the hobby creating this wonderful tool. Thanks for the link too.

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