(Topic ID: 272899)

New! Pincoder Adapter

By pincoder

1 year ago


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  • Latest reply 6 months ago by jjoravec
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#87 7 months ago

I received my pincoder today. It was packaged well. The board seems to be assembled well. With everything disconnected except the displays, I was quickly able to run through tests 1-6 by watching the video Cheddar made for YouTube. My board failed test #2 for blanking. Both leds appear to light but the test point doesn’t go high (I’m checking that at pin 37 on the interconect, is that correct?). PIA1 pin 4, pins 10, 9, and 8 on IC7, and pin 12 on IC23 are all not pulsing either. According to the notes for this test, I should replace PIA1, IC7, and Q5. Am I reading that right?

The 40 pin connector is newer but was installed by the previous owner. The board has been converted to three ROMs and was working and then all of a sudden it wasn't as far as I've been told. Occasionally, it will go into a really weak attract mode and will start a game but even when it does, only some of the feature lights light. Then I think it tilts and ends the game shortly after starting. Most of the time it just shows the game number and ROM version on the #1 display.

EDIT: I pulled the batteries and tried test #2 again. This time it passed but the game still won’t boot. I also notice that the newer (not scanbe) socket at IC17 that was holding the pincoder adapter is now not wanting to take the eprom as tightly as it was before. I’m going to replace this socket and have a look at some other things and report back tomorrow.
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#89 7 months ago
Quoted from pincoder:

Glad you got your adapter and thanks for buying one
Having a good ic17 socket is imperative. After you change the socket, use one of the sockets included with the adapter between the board's socket and the adapter itself. This will prevent the board's socket pins from getting stretched.
Then rerun the blanking test and check for changes at the locations you have described.
Also, what game is this for?

It's for a Flash. I tried the sockets but they don't stay put. As soon as I let them go, they fall out as if the legs aren't long enough to actually seat into the existing socket.

#91 7 months ago
Quoted from pincoder:

That's rather odd. You could replace the IC17 socket with one that I shipped with the adapter..

I replaced the socket for IC17. It’s still doing the same thing. When running the blanking test, TP4 starts low at power on, then immediately goes high, and stays high. Pin 4 on PIA1 pulses. Pins 8, 9, and 10 on IC7 pulse. Pin 12 on IC23 starts high at power on but then shows nothing at all, neither high nor low.

#93 7 months ago
Quoted from pincoder:

I'm a little unclear.. according to your first post: "PIA1 pin 4, pins 10, 9, and 8 on IC7, and pin 12 on IC23 are all not pulsing".
Your last post indicates "It’s still doing the same thing" yet also: "Pins 8, 9, and 10 on IC7 pulse".
If the latter post is true then the blanking test is succeeding. To be sure, you can run the 01a-leds test again and take measurements on the same points. The leds test does not pulse PIA1 pin 4, and hence down the rest of the trail to IC7 pin 6. In this case, the blanking signal should be LOW.
To summarize:
- TP4 should be LOW when running 01a-leds.
- TP4 should be HIGH (and stay HIGH once it goes HIGH) when running 02-blanking.
If both of those are true then your blanking circuit is fine. If not, then replace Q5 and possibly IC23.
Also, 1J1 pin 37 (40 pin connector) is the same as TP4, and it's important that you see the blanking signal carry through there to the driver board.
As per your previous message "The board has been converted to three ROMs and was working and then all of a sudden it wasn't as far as I've been told. Occasionally, it will go into a really weak attract mode and will start a game but even when it does, only some of the feature lights light. Then I think it tilts and ends the game shortly after starting"..
- What do you mean by "weak attract mode?". You may have a power supply problem. Ensure you have at least 4.9 volts on 1J2 pins 4,5,6 and at least 12 volts on 1J2 pin 9. This is the required power to the MPU board. Power for displays and lamps are from another circuit and I wouldn't worry about them just yet - wait until you get to the displays and lamps test for now.

I edited the first post at the end. I originally ran test #2 with your individual ROMs before the adapter arrived. At that time, I also checked the PIA and ICs. The first part of that post was what I was seeing at first but then, when I used the adapter, something changed and pin 37 (which I thought was TP4 by the way, apparently I got bad info) started to respond appropriately to the first part of test #2. I didn’t think to check the PIA or any other the ICs again until I had already posted. When I thought about it, I pulled the batteries, checked those pins again, and saw different results. Test #1 passes every time but I haven't checked the PIA or IC pins during test #1.

In regards to the weak attract mode, I mean one or two of the feature lights work and a couple lamps in the backbox will flash in attract mode, when I can get that far. I really have to work for it to get it to even do that. The lamp test on the adapter lights almost all of the feature lights. Most of the time, the machine barely does anything when first turned on. The GI circuit comes on and the two LEDs on the mpu flash once. Nothing else works. If I turn it off and back on one time, it will then also produce the startup sound and will continue to make that sound at power up until I let it sit for a few minutes, then I have to cycle the power one time again. Sometimes the displays work fully, sometimes they show a few digits, sometimes they show the ROM number, sometimes they flash at first but then go blank. The display test passes every time. If I keep cycling the power, eventually one or two feature lights will come on for attract mode but it’s a rare occurrence. When it will go into that weak attract mode, pressing the diagnostic button on the mpu gets the top LED to light and stay on, otherwise pressing that diagnostic button gets no response. If I mess with the start button as I’m cycling the power, I can eventually get a game started but it always makes the tilt sound and dies in the middle of the first ball.

There is always about 4.95v and 11.95v at the connector on the MPU every time I turn it on. The power supply seems to be pretty solid.

Sorry for the confusion.

#94 7 months ago
Quoted from pincoder:

To be sure, you can run the 01a-leds test again and take measurements on the same points. The leds test does not pulse PIA1 pin 4, and hence down the rest of the trail to IC7 pin 6. In this case, the blanking signal should be LOW.
To summarize:
- TP4 should be LOW when running 01a-leds.

pincoder I tried this and it appears my adapter gave up the ghost. With the adapter set to test 1 and the LEDs alternating accordingly, the moment I touched PIA1 pin 4 with the logic probe, a game sound came from the machine, the top LED locked off, and the bottom LED locked on. I shut the machine off and turned it back on, the machine emits a different game sound, and now the top LED locks on. Setting the adapter to any other setting yields the same results. I have the positive clip of the logic probe on the bottom lead of C23 and the negative clip on the top lead. Everything on the adapter was working until I touched pin 4 on IC18 while running test 1a-leds.

Ive even tried running clear_cmos. It ran as designed but tests 1-6 don’t function at all anymore.

Putting the game ROM back in the boards puts the game back to the same state it was in before I got the adapter. Not sure what happened.

Any advice?

#96 7 months ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

Looking at the schematic for system 4 MPUs it looks like the positive lead on C23 is the top lead and ground is the bottom lead.
Fix this, remove the driver board and the other roms and try it again

Cheddar you gave me this file. Bottom lead shows to be positive and top lead negative. This is the way I’ve been running all of the other tests successfully. Up until now.

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#98 7 months ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

Fix this, remove the driver board and the other roms and try it again

I removed the other ROMs and cleared the cmos and the adapter seems to be working again.

#99 7 months ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

can you post a pic of C23?

Cheddar Here you go. Bottom lead is tied to 5V and top lead is tied to ground.

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#102 7 months 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.
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#103 7 months 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.

#106 7 months 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 7 months 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

#110 7 months 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 7 months 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
#113 7 months 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.

#115 7 months 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

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