(Topic ID: 272899)

New! Pincoder Adapter


By pincoder

10 months ago

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  • 131 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 25 days ago by jjoravec
  • Topic is favorited by 21 Pinsiders

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There are 131 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
#102 64 days ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

This has me concerned (From the Flash Schematics). It appears there may be 2 different layouts for this board (although this one has test points on it so it's not a system 4).[quoted image]

Can you remove the probes so we can see the markings on the board?
Sorry this happened. I'll put a note on the graphic to verify the markings on the board

Cheddar You gave me the correct file a couple days ago. Nothing to apologize for. Flash came as a system 4 early on and then, by the end of the run, it was a system 6. Mine is a system 4.

There are no markings on the board. But the cinched band represents positive if I’m not mistaken.

Thanks for the tip to pull the other roms.
AED1241F-9433-4D95-8A6C-74719F6CFE7B (resized).jpeg

#103 64 days ago

pincoder it looks like it’s working. Sorry for the drama. I’m not sure what happened. I’ll follow up tomorrow once you’ve had a chance to catch up. I’m likely going to start a new thread about this machine. So I don’t hijack this thread.

#104 64 days ago
Quoted from johnboy1313:

cheddar You gave me the correct file a couple days ago. Nothing to apologize for. Flash came as a system 4 early on and then, by the end of the run, it was a system 6. Mine is a system 4.
There are no markings on the board. But the cinched band represents positive if I’m not mistaken.
Thanks for the tip to pull the other roms.
[quoted image]

When in doubt always test continuity from the lead to ground (the screw holes). Glad to hear it's working for you.

I've had it work with the other game roms in and fail. I have no idea why.

#105 64 days ago

Don't worry about hijacking a thread.. especially this one. Working out an issue in public is good for everyone, including future readers.

Here are a few notable facts about these boards:

1 - Sometimes, when the CPU chip crashes, the PIAs let out one last quick blast of outputs through to the connected devices. For all of the PIAs except the solenoid PIA this is not a problem. However, since the sound card is linked to the solenoid PIA outputs on the driverboard, it detects that last blast and because the sound board doesn't crash when the MPU board does, it goes ahead and plays whatever sound it thinks it was told to play. Sometimes the "code" it picks up is invalid and so it doesnt play anything. Sometimes it is valid and thats when you hear a sound. Let's not worry too much about this for now.

2 - 0.5 seconds after power up, the CPU chip is constantly executing instructions. It boots from the IC17 socket, and in the case of the Pincoder Adapter all of the instructions it will need to execute are located solely in the IC17 address space. If for some reason it can't read the next instruction correctly from whatever address it's looking at, the CPU will crash. Moments after this happens, the blanking circuit kicks out and essentially cuts power to all of the outputs (displays, lamps, solenoids, flippers,..).

3 - When working correctly, all of the devices/chips on the MPU and driver board that are connected to the address and data bus lines of the CPU chip should pull themselves off of those busses when they are not being asked to read or write on the busses. If any one of those other devices doesnt "let go" of the busses, the CPU will again crash. So if you're having a boot problem, or a frequently crashing problem and you know your power is good, then pulling as many ROMs, RAM, PIAs, and the 5101 chip out should help reduce and hopefully eliminate the boot/frequent crash issue. Running the 01a-leds test is the best test to experiment with in this case, because it uses the least number of those components possible so removing those components and running the test again should help you narrow down which component is hanging the busses.

4 - You can remove the driver board to run tests 01 through 05. PIA1 cannot be removed for these tests as it is required to run the leds on the MPU board. If you suspect PIA1 you can swap it with another PIA and try again. Most of the time the PIAs are not in a socket, so there's an additional hurdle: remove the PIA without damaging it, then put in a socket and install the PIA.

5 - The "tilt" error is typically caused by IC15 through IC18 being faulty, as they report erroneous switch closures to the PIA, one of them being "tilt".

To me, it sounds like your game possibly:

- Has power problems (you have enough volts, but maybe not enough current, or perhaps the power is noisy or has too much ripple).
- Has bad ROM chip(s), or sockets.
- Has a bad switch PIA (IC11), or 4049 (IC15, IC16), or 7406 (IC17, IC18).
- Has a bad lamp PIA (IC10), or 7406 (IC12, IC19)
- Has one or more bad pins on the 40 pin connector, (I know it was changed by someone else previously)

Don't panic. These are just mere possiblities. No, ditching these boards and replacing them with a third party board isnt necessarily the way to go. You'd be throwing away perfectly good boards, and you will have left all of these questions to the unkown, and where would that get anybody? It's all good.

Assuming good power, let's check for chips pulling down the address and data bus. Here's how to do that:

Remove ROMS/RAMS/5101 from MPU board. Remove as many PIAs from the driver board as possible (if they're not in sockets just leave them for now). Disconnect the driver board completely. Run the 01a-leds test, watch the flash rate of the LEDs and take note of how steady the switch from up to down is. Watch for a stutter in this pattern. If the CPU is crashing at all and immediately restarting, the flash rate of the LEDs will jump for a moment and continue again. You should be able to run it without any stuttering for at least 5 minutes. If there is no stutter and you believe it could run forever, then power down and re-insert a ROM chip. There should be no change. Power down again and Continue (one at a time) with the rest of the chips you've removed from the MPU board. Eventually you should find which chip is causing the crashes, if there is one. When you are done with the chips on the MPU board, connect the driver board (keeping as many chips removed as possible) and try again. Again don't worry about the false sound being triggered during a crash. Keep adding chips back to the driver board and run the test. (of course, always power down between tests).

If, instead of stuttering, the LEDs stop moving altogether, it's still a crash problem.

We need to get you to a place where you are confident on the power, and confident on the MPU board. After that we can deal with driver board issues, and game booting etc. For now, lets get a steady MPU.

Just remembered system 4 could still have tranceivers (IC9, IC10). Those could be the culprit too, and, please (anyone) chime in and correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe they can be removed in system 4 and jumpered, just like they did in system 6a. Is that correct?

Also, I'm not the best for troubleshooting power issues without a scope or a logic analyzer. Does anyone care to provide any tips on verifying good power with limited tools?

#106 64 days ago
Quoted from pincoder:

Don't worry about hijacking a thread.. especially this one. Working out an issue in public is good for everyone, including future readers.
Here are a few notable facts about these boards:
1 - Sometimes, when the CPU chip crashes, the PIAs let out one last quick blast of outputs through to the connected devices. For all of the PIAs except the solenoid PIA this is not a problem. However, since the sound card is linked to the solenoid PIA outputs on the driverboard, it detects that last blast and because the sound board doesn't crash when the MPU board does, it goes ahead and plays whatever sound it thinks it was told to play. Sometimes the "code" it picks up is invalid and so it doesnt play anything. Sometimes it is valid and thats when you hear a sound. Let's not worry too much about this for now.
2 - 0.5 seconds after power up, the CPU chip is constantly executing instructions. It boots from the IC17 socket, and in the case of the Pincoder Adapter all of the instructions it will need to execute are located solely in the IC17 address space. If for some reason it can't read the next instruction correctly from whatever address it's looking at, the CPU will crash. Moments after this happens, the blanking circuit kicks out and essentially cuts power to all of the outputs (displays, lamps, solenoids, flippers,..).
3 - When working correctly, all of the devices/chips on the MPU and driver board that are connected to the address and data bus lines of the CPU chip should pull themselves off of those busses when they are not being asked to read or write on the busses. If any one of those other devices doesnt "let go" of the busses, the CPU will again crash. So if you're having a boot problem, or a frequently crashing problem and you know your power is good, then pulling as many ROMs, RAM, PIAs, and the 5101 chip out should help reduce and hopefully eliminate the boot/frequent crash issue. Running the 01a-leds test is the best test to experiment with in this case, because it uses the least number of those components possible so removing those components and running the test again should help you narrow down which component is hanging the busses.
4 - You can remove the driver board to run tests 01 through 05. PIA1 cannot be removed for these tests as it is required to run the leds on the MPU board. If you suspect PIA1 you can swap it with another PIA and try again. Most of the time the PIAs are not in a socket, so there's an additional hurdle: remove the PIA without damaging it, then put in a socket and install the PIA.
5 - The "tilt" error is typically caused by IC15 through IC18 being faulty, as they report erroneous switch closures to the PIA, one of them being "tilt".
To me, it sounds like your game possibly:
- Has power problems (you have enough volts, but maybe not enough current, or perhaps the power is noisy or has too much ripple).
- Has bad ROM chip(s), or sockets.
- Has a bad switch PIA (IC11), or 4049 (IC15, IC16), or 7406 (IC17, IC18).
- Has a bad lamp PIA (IC10), or 7406 (IC12, IC19)
- Has one or more bad pins on the 40 pin connector, (I know it was changed by someone else previously)
Don't panic. These are just mere possiblities. No, ditching these boards and replacing them with a third party board isnt necessarily the way to go. You'd be throwing away perfectly good boards, and you will have left all of these questions to the unkown, and where would that get anybody? It's all good.
Assuming good power, let's check for chips pulling down the address and data bus. Here's how to do that:
Remove ROMS/RAMS/5101 from MPU board. Remove as many PIAs from the driver board as possible (if they're not in sockets just leave them for now). Disconnect the driver board completely. Run the 01a-leds test, watch the flash rate of the LEDs and take note of how steady the switch from up to down is. Watch for a stutter in this pattern. If the CPU is crashing at all and immediately restarting, the flash rate of the LEDs will jump for a moment and continue again. You should be able to run it without any stuttering for at least 5 minutes. If there is no stutter and you believe it could run forever, then power down and re-insert a ROM chip. There should be no change. Power down again and Continue (one at a time) with the rest of the chips you've removed from the MPU board. Eventually you should find which chip is causing the crashes, if there is one. When you are done with the chips on the MPU board, connect the driver board (keeping as many chips removed as possible) and try again. Again don't worry about the false sound being triggered during a crash. Keep adding chips back to the driver board and run the test. (of course, always power down between tests).
If, instead of stuttering, the LEDs stop moving altogether, it's still a crash problem.
We need to get you to a place where you are confident on the power, and confident on the MPU board. After that we can deal with driver board issues, and game booting etc. For now, lets get a steady MPU.
Just remembered system 4 could still have tranceivers (IC9, IC10). Those could be the culprit too, and, please (anyone) chime in and correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe they can be removed in system 4 and jumpered, just like they did in system 6a. Is that correct?
Also, I'm not the best for troubleshooting power issues without a scope or a logic analyzer. Does anyone care to provide any tips on verifying good power with limited tools?

Thank you @chipcoder. I have a scope coming this week. I think I have a logic analyzer that was given to me by an Electrical Engineer I work with but I will have to get familiar with it. None of my PIA chips are socketed, but I have new PIA chips coming from Great Plains and new sockets too. I did a shopping blitz yesterday and ordered a bunch of parts that I might need. I ordered an NVRAM, some 6810 RAM memory chips, the timer chip, and some 2N4403s. I already have a bunch of stuff that came from the previous owner too, including extra headers and connectors.

I’m halfway through testing the 40 pin for continuity. I’m testing it by finding the next component in line on the MPU and looking for continuity and no resistance between it and a component on the driver board. I can’t remember the exact places for each pin but for example, pin 19 on the 40-pin has continuity to pin 34 on PIA1, as well as pin 34 on PIA2 and PIA5. The PIA pins 34 on both boards have continuity to each other too through that connector. I’ve only made it through connector pins 1-20 so far but so far, they’re all good.

I also ordered a handful of test boards from Siegecraft.

Once my scope shows up, I will check the power supply. I have an extra PSU from the previous owner that I tried in the machine with the exact same results. It was rebuilt by the PO. I also have a Kohout PSU in a working Gorgar machine that I bought at the same time. I’ve been trying to avoid swapping parts because I fear that Gorgar will stop working if I do and then I’ll have two non-working machines. However, there’s probably a reason the PO pulled Gorgar’s power supply and replaced it with a Kohout board.

Thanks again! I would prefer to get this board working rather than replacing it.

#107 63 days ago
Quoted from pincoder:

5 - The "tilt" error is typically caused by IC15 through IC18 being faulty, as they report erroneous switch closures to the PIA, one of them being "tilt".
To me, it sounds like your game possibly:
- Has power problems (you have enough volts, but maybe not enough current, or perhaps the power is noisy or has too much ripple).
- Has bad ROM chip(s), or sockets.
- Has a bad switch PIA (IC11), or 4049 (IC15, IC16), or 7406 (IC17, IC18).
- Has a bad lamp PIA (IC10), or 7406 (IC12, IC19)
- Has one or more bad pins on the 40 pin connector, (I know it was changed by someone else previously)

IC11 is a 7410, IC15 is a 7442, IC16 is MC6810 RAM, IC17 is not on this board, IC18 is PIA1

Is this because I have a system 4 board?

Thanks

#108 63 days ago
Quoted from johnboy1313:

IC11 is a 7410, IC15 is a 7442, IC16 is MC6810 RAM, IC17 is not on this board, IC18 is PIA1
Is this because I have a system 4 board?
Thanks

IC 17 definitely exists somewhere. It holds half of the flipper rom. A nice place to find assembly drawings is pinitech as he has them to highlite the 5101 locations

https://www.pinitech.com/product_images/ram_locations/ramloc_williamssys4.jpg

#109 63 days ago
Quoted from johnboy1313:

IC11 is a 7410, IC15 is a 7442, IC16 is MC6810 RAM, IC17 is not on this board, IC18 is PIA1
Is this because I have a system 4 board?
Thanks

Sorry should have clarified. I'm referring to the chips on the driver board:

- Has a bad switch PIA (IC11), or 4049 (IC15, IC16), or 7406 (IC17, IC18).
- Has a bad lamp PIA (IC10), or 7406 (IC12, IC19)

The other IC17 is on the MPU board. It's where you are running the Adapter from. This IC17 is to the right of PIA2 (IC11).

#110 63 days ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

IC 17 definitely exists somewhere. It holds half of the flipper rom. A nice place to find assembly drawings is pinitech as he has them to highlite the 5101 locations
https://www.pinitech.com/product_images/ram_locations/ramloc_williamssys4.jpg

Yeah, I had a brain fart. It's there.

#111 63 days ago

So with my board on the bench, using the pincoder adapter, it passes all tests before the display test.

I found some cracked solder joints on the driver board, one pin wasn’t soldered at all on the driver board, and there’s a missing 1N4148 diode on the MPU.

3EF76420-34D7-4790-B108-D2AE0C1EF8BE (resized).jpeg51DC0EAE-18D9-44B8-8B02-CF0371C71C0F (resized).jpeg
#112 62 days ago

Nice photo! Which diode is missing?

#113 62 days ago
Quoted from pincoder:

Nice photo! Which diode is missing?

D3. I spoke to the Electrical Engineers where I work and one of them had a bag of new 1N4148s. He was nice enough to give me a few.

#114 62 days ago
Quoted from johnboy1313:

D3. I spoke to the Electrical Engineers where I work and one of them had a bag of new 1N4148s. He was nice enough to give me a few.

Awesome!

#115 62 days ago

Am I correct that it doesn't look like that diode is even needed? On page 15 of the manual, it shows that the bottom set of switches isn't used.

https://www.ipdb.org/files/871/Williams_1978_Flash_Manual_March_1979_no_schematics.pdf

#116 62 days ago
Quoted from johnboy1313:

Am I correct that it doesn't look like that diode is even needed? On page 15 of the manual, it shows that the bottom set of switches isn't used.
https://www.ipdb.org/files/871/Williams_1978_Flash_Manual_March_1979_no_schematics.pdf

Looks like it, I bet someone needed a diode and stole it from there because it's not used.

#117 62 days ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

Looks like it, I bet someone needed a diode and stole it from there because it's not used.

It may not matter, but it might. The switch matrix still round robins the signals on all eight columns and strobes and it might make the difference. Plus, you already have a replacement. Might as well install it and see if it changes anything.

#118 62 days ago

I made a new video using the 01a LEDs on a System 7 test to diagnose and repair a MPU that wouldn't boot because the clock wasn't working.

#119 62 days ago

Way cool.. love the logic probe! Nice to see you did a non working vs. working board as well!

#120 62 days ago

I have always been hamstrung by non booting mpus. Thanks in part to this adapter I've been able to get 3 working. 1 wasn't switching the reset line high and needed a transistor replaced. 1 had a solder bridge under the ram socket. The other was this board. This 01a test is great for this.

#121 61 days ago

I created a quick ref for the adapter settings in a Google sheet so it can be easily filtered. I have commenting enabled if anyone has any suggestions.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1U1iJciLKnU8bdvbBncltru1p38l2qjWKGiijlL4OW68/edit?usp=drivesdk

#122 59 days ago

Trying to understand the Special Solenoid Circuit in test mode so I breadboarded the circuit.

#123 59 days ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

Trying to understand the Special Solenoid Circuit in test mode so I breadboarded the circuit.

Nice! That's a great way learn.. Get right in there and replicate the circuit

#124 59 days ago

Very cool Cheddar
great way to break it down and for people to understand it easier.

2 weeks later
#125 43 days ago

Hi everyone, I've added a new ROM to the pincoder software and generated a new Release version:

https://pincoder.ca/ccn/roms/pincoder_roms_2021.03.31.1434.zip

Changes since the last Release version:

* Updated 09-lamps to include a DELAY feature.
* Renumbered the ROMs to accomodate the new 12-flippers ROM.

Future orders of Pincoder Adapters will contain this version. If you already have an adapter you can update it with a chip programmer using the "pincoder_adapter.bin" file in this release. Adapter users without a chip programmer can PM me to order an updated EEPROM for $15 CAD plus the usual shipping.

Note that the DIP and jumper settings for the adapter have slightly changed as a result so you will need to refer to the updated "pincoder_adapter.txt" file.

Thanks to Cheddar and troxel for pre-testing the new 12-flippers ROM! It's nice to have people willing to check my work

Happy Troubleshooting!

#126 42 days ago

Updated my ROM last night and created another video showing off the number 12-flippers test. I really like this one! I added it the the previous playlist that Cheddar created.

pincoder thanks for all the work on this. Made fixing the MPU and driver board a breeze.

#127 42 days ago
Quoted from troxel:

Updated my ROM last night and created another video showing off the number 12-flippers test. I really like this one! I added it the the previous playlist that Cheddar created.
pincoder thanks for all the work on this. Made fixing the MPU and driver board a breeze.

troxel and Cheddar: Thanks for making these how to videos and managing them on YouTube.

For those looking for the entire collection, you can always find them by going to https://pincoder.ca and under the Support menu select "Community Usage Videos - YouTube".

#128 42 days ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

Trying to understand

Wow. What a pursuit! I look forward to trying to understand these things some day!
-mof

2 weeks later
#129 27 days ago

I got the tester this week and decided to test it out on my Gorgar board. The first 5 tests went through like a charm. But when I attach the driver board and run Test 6 (06-Switches) nothing happens. The top red light will blink for a bit then stay on solid. The bottom red light just stays on solid. There is nothing on the display.

Any idea what the problem could be or what my next step should be?

Thanks

#130 25 days ago
Quoted from jjoravec:

I got the tester this week and decided to test it out on my Gorgar board. The first 5 tests went through like a charm. But when I attach the driver board and run Test 6 (06-Switches) nothing happens. The top red light will blink for a bit then stay on solid. The bottom red light just stays on solid. There is nothing on the display.
Any idea what the problem could be or what my next step should be?
Thanks

The MPU board is unable to boot with the driver board on. Verify/replace 40 pin interconnect. If problem doesnt go away you might have to start removing PIA chips.

Does the game function normally or is this a "project" machine?

#131 25 days ago

It was a project machine, so never had it working. I just started looking at the boards. I am trying to borrow a known good driver board to try it with the MPU. The 40 pin connector looks good but will check it.

Quoted from pincoder:

The MPU board is unable to boot with the driver board on. Verify/replace 40 pin interconnect. If problem doesnt go away you might have to start removing PIA chips.
Does the game function normally or is this a "project" machine?

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