(Topic ID: 141588)

NVRAM experience -- $1.50-$2.00 chips

By lyonsden

6 years ago


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There are 708 posts in this topic. You are on page 11 of 15.
#501 5 years ago

Just for an update on my side -- I've ordered chips from both Ebay and Aliexpress, and have had them in six machines for four months. All are in a home use environment, but have been on for full days (parties, league, just because I like having all the games on) and haven't had any problems.

#502 5 years ago

System 11 question...looking to add this to a high speed board however u25 is only a 24 pin chip and the nvram is 28. Is this the correct location on a system 11 board?

#503 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballer22:

System 11 question...looking to add this to a high speed board however u25 is only a 24 pin chip and the nvram is 28. Is this the correct location on a system 11 board?

If it is an 11B or 11C game there is four extra pads and a jumper to change. 11 and 11a only use 24pin 6116 style ram/nvram.

#504 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballer22:

System 11 question...looking to add this to a high speed board however u25 is only a 24 pin chip and the nvram is 28. Is this the correct location on a system 11 board?

High Speed is one of the first System 11 games, so likely has the first revision of the MPU (ie. "System 11" not 11A, 11B or 11C). That'd be a 24-pin footprint on the board at U25. You would need the 6116 nvram there.

Here's a picture of the location of U25:
ramloc_williamssys11_(resized).jpg

#505 5 years ago

Updated compatibility charts with ram location diagrams for 5101s now too over at http://www.pinitech.com/products/5101_adapter.php just as I did with the 6116 and 6264 compatibility charts. I've always found the Williams Sys3-7 the more confusing boards because they moved chips around so much on the revisions. Separate diagrams on those to show location of the RAM on the board.

Should help a lot of people figure out where to look for the RAM -- seems locating the RAM on these boards accounts for a large amount of the questions.. along with, do I need a socket, what jumpers do I need to change, etc. Hopefully this format helps people figure that out.

Not that it's really helping sales any lol. But I'm linked on a message board in France where people have referenced the new ram location diagrams I've been putting up, so it's apparently helping the greater good in all countries sell their nvram haha.

#506 5 years ago

See you at the bottom fellas.

I just received another package of NVRAM. I got it from this link http://www.aliexpress.com/item/FM1608-120-PG-FM1608-120-P-DIP/32596337719.html
I got 20 to my door for $32.61. At the time they had a $1 off coupon for over i think 25 bucks. so that made it $1.63 per chip.
They all look in great shape. I haven't tested them yet though. My order date was jan. 16th. I think they finally shipped it out to me on jan 23rd.

nvram_(resized).jpg

#507 5 years ago
Quoted from maddog14:

See you at the bottom fellas.
I just received another package of NVRAM. I got it from this link http://www.aliexpress.com/item/FM1608-120-PG-FM1608-120-P-DIP/32596337719.html
I got 20 to my door for $32.61. At the time they had a $1 off coupon for over i think 25 bucks. so that made it $1.63 per chip.
They all look in great shape. I haven't tested them yet though. My order date was jan. 16th. I think they finally shipped it out to me on jan 23rd.

That's awesome, they look really nice! Test them and post back

#508 5 years ago

a few chips had legs that felt a little flimsy, but all read fine and took a zero image on my GQ-4X no problem.

#509 5 years ago

Busted out all the nerdy solder gear tonight and did my first one. Was a bit worried about ESD and the shoddy packaging I received these in, but it worked!

I was a bit embarrassed how long it took to get the chip out. I was trying to cleanly get the original out just in case it didn't work out. Next time gonna use the desolder gun for an extra second to try to get through to the top. Then finish it off with the hot air station.

DSCN2836_(resized).JPG

1 week later
#510 5 years ago

Main, what a pain. I spent the last 90 minutes reworking my CPU board. Desoldering lifted a couple socket pads and thus, traces. Fortunately, I saw it happen and took a picture. Traced it to the schematic and bridged the gaps.

Anyone have any detailed technique they use?

I used my Hakko 470 on 4.5/6 heat to desolder real quick (<2 seconds) perhaps too hot?
Then I used the hot air gun to loosen the chip as I pull from the top

#511 5 years ago

I use a soldering iron and a simple pump. Heat the IC-side, have the pump on the other side and suck the solder when it's melted. Does take some getting used to, but it works fine with me. Did my second PCB yesterday, but I can't find a 1,5kOhm resistor, so I'll have to wait before I can test it.

#512 5 years ago

Grabbed 10 at the $21.50 price shipped

Took a couple minute to clean up the legs even though they looked clean.

All 10 passed RAM test...although one seemed to be a little iffy. Took a couple of reseats to get it to pass.

At that price..it's almost cheaper to replace these every year that batteries. Certainly safer!

#513 5 years ago
Quoted from dudah:

Main, what a pain. I spent the last 90 minutes reworking my CPU board.

Shouldn't be that hard with a Hakko. My first guess would be you're not wiggling the lead as you hit the suction on the Hakko. I would also suggest you use a spudger (covered in the article) to break free that last little bit of solder that sticks the lead to the side of the through-hole.

See the following article which covers the Hakko desoldering gun, but the technique is the same.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/terrybs-soldering-guide-part-1/page/3#post-2753805

Also make sure your setup has been properly cleaned and is cleaned fairly often while in use. Dirty filters, clogged tips, etc. will drop the suction power dramatically. The manual will provide the proper cleaning techniques and the following post will give you an idea of how often you need to clean the unit (this covers the FR300, but the frequency of cleaning is the same).

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/terrybs-soldering-guide-part-1#post-2728526

P.S. - The entire article is suggested reading before replacing RAM chips.

#514 5 years ago

Ordered 10 w/5 sockets from barakandl on Tues. showed up today. Tested & true, $60 with shipping. Plus he couldn't be more helpful. Thanks brother.

3 weeks later
#515 5 years ago

Just for giggles I bought a few lots of these cheap DIP nvrams from Aliexpress and what I received, I'm not very impressed with. I do think caution in ordering this stuff is DEFINITELY needed. You'll probably get some working chips, but for sure what's being sold is mostly remarked/recycled scrap that doesn't seem like it's even being tested after the chips are "refurbished". Depending on pure luck you may have quite a few non-working chips in the lot. My interest was seeing what was being purchased by others & whether the lots came working & appeared genuine at all. These were sellers other people had ordered from in this thread.

RAMTRON DIP PARTS

The first lot of 30x chips -- 8x of them completely failed. I tried with the Neoloch, I tried using the GQ-4X.. I pressed down on the chips and re-positioned them in the ZIF several times. Even tried putting them in their own sockets. The legs looked fine. 2x chips also had legs that were so bent they were unusable. All chips were very obviously sanded/remarked as they all had the same lot/date codes and the print was crap.. very inconsistently heavy and light on a single chip. Some chips, the circle indents had been nearly completely sanded away.

Example of one of the worst with the inconsistent print/remark:
nvram2_(resized).jpg

Example of indents being nearly sanded off on a few chips:
nvram1_(resized).jpg

The 2nd lot of 32x chips was a bit better.. only a few failed. Same exact lot/date codes on the chips. Apparently I purchased from the same seller that was using 2 different usernames (probably more) to sell these chips.

I'm disputing both orders and found out the seller is the same business/person because I was asked to ship the lots back to the exact same name and address.

RAMTRON SMD PARTS
I also bought a lot of RAMTRON SMD parts earlier this year for use with testing some other assembly/build methods (easier to waste cheap chips than it is $7-8 genuine chips). Most of the lot was BAD right out of the package. Normally these chips come on tape-and-reel packaging, and instead they were shipped in soic ic tubes, vacuum sealed in an anti-static bag. If they weren't vacuum sealed I'd have gotten into testing them sooner, but I left them sit for a while and eventually got around to testing them. More than half of the chips failed testing when using a ZIF socket in the Neoloch. Luckily I got a refund on those even though I was out of the dispute period, only by telling the seller I would be leaving bad feedback if I did not receive a refund.

Everyone's opinion will differ here, but knowing that a number of these failed right out of the gate along with seeing they were remarked, I would not be trusting at all in using these in a product I was selling & I would hesitate putting them into anything I cared about even for personal use.

It's Not Just Expensive Chips..
Something else worth noting, some of the very cheap generic chips that you wouldn't think would be worth anyone's time to counterfeit or sell junk chips are also possibly suspect. I ordered some 74hc595 chips, 10x of 30x failed. I attempted to use them in something and they were causing issues because data was not shifting thru the bad ones correctly.. it was as if the output pins were mapped slightly wrong or one of the shifts wasn't happening. Swapping chips out from the same lot until I hit a working one did the trick.

They are even counterfeiting "rice" using resin: http://althealthworks.com/7761/plastic-rice-from-china-is-real-and-it-can-cause-serious-health-problemsyelena/ -- something that seems so incredibly cheap that it would never be target for counterfeiting.

USE CAUTION
I'm going to stand by my previous reservations about ordering expensive chips from sites like Aliexpress or eBay from China/HK sellers. Be VERY cautious and learn what to look out for. There are plenty of counterfeit examples on Pinside or a quick Google search. They have obviously perfected the art of faking things because it's worth their time to fake cheap chips or products that amount to fractions of a cent that when sold in volume amount to big bucks.. even if it's rice!!! Products that we would never think anyone would fake because it'd cost just the same (if not more) as creating the real deal.

Sometimes you don't have a choice when building products but to source certain parts from overseas sellers to remain competitive with pricing, but for things you can't see inside of, you can be sure if there's profit in faking them then there will be a high percentage of fakes out there. 3M ZIF sockets are faked, voltage regulators are faked, capacitors are faked, cheap logic chips are faked. In some cases that's okay (ie. you need a cheap ZIF socket and the cheaper ones on eBay/Aliexpress are "faked" 3M sockets.. and you know you're buying a fake for a cheaper price). But if it's a matter of saving a few cents over buying from an authorized distributor, your money is likely better spent buying from a distributor. There could still be a chance of receiving fake parts from some distributors, but if you buy from the larger reputable dealers (ie. Mouser) or trusted vendors like GPE that do their product sourcing on the up-and-up, you at least know they did their best sourcing only genuine parts.

#516 5 years ago

This message was out of line (my fault) and has been deleted.

#517 5 years ago

For $20 shipped for 10 there is little risk....Zero issues with any of mine (one tested "bad" but worked fine in machine. All looked brand new with zero pin issues. It's a no brainier, if you want to save money on overpriced Nvrams Aliexpress is the way to go!

#518 5 years ago

My source has told me the used pull market for FM1608 is getting tapped out. I won't be able to import any more FM1608 after the batch i have now, so I am glad I stocked up when I did. There isn't much left, what is left is pretty rough so they are getting sanded, black topped, and remarked. You can spot remarks because the font is wrong. It is close, but some characters are not correct. You risk getting a different RAM like FM1808 remarked to fm1608 which may not work in all situations. I made a post a while back about spotting remarks.

If i got FM16W08-PG and it didnt come in taped reel package i would be concerned that they are used pulls. Brand new FM16W08 should read blank too. They are probably recycling the SMT parts too.

#519 5 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Ace -- that seems like a lot of effort to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). You do sell a competing product, right? Also, speaking of ripoffs, whose art is on your's and Cliffy's websites?

Screen_Shot_2016-03-23_at_5.41.25_AM_(resized).pngScreen_Shot_2016-03-23_at_5.41.04_AM_(resized).png

Didn't really see his post as an underhanded shill for his products, just an extended statement of what he ran into.

#520 5 years ago
Quoted from shimoda:

Didn't really see his post as an underhanded shill for his products, just an extended statement of what he ran into.

Perhaps, but statements like this:

Quoted from acebathound:

They are even counterfeiting "rice" using resin: http://althealthworks.com/7761/plastic-rice-from-china-is-real-and-it-can-cause-serious-health-problemsyelena/ -- something that seems so incredibly cheap that it would never be target for counterfeiting.

Basically falls straight into the FUD category. Yes, it may (likely) have happened, but in a country with 1 billion people, some people do really horrid things. It doesn't take much effort to find abhorrent behavior in the US (or any country) and it is disingenuous to then use that information to make sweeping statements about the country.

#521 5 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Ace -- that seems like a lot of effort to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). You do sell a competing product, right? Also, speaking of ripoffs, whose art is on your's and Cliffy's websites?

Screen_Shot_2016-03-23_at_5.41.25_AM_(resized).pngScreen_Shot_2016-03-23_at_5.41.04_AM_(resized).png

The image is from a plastic on Strange Science.

http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2396&picno=33286

image-23_(resized).jpg

#522 5 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Ace -- that seems like a lot of effort to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt).

I'm not sure what you mean by a lot of effort, just writing about what I received & attempting to get the "full story" out there. I get that I invite criticism because I sell nvram products -- and maybe I should just stop selling the nvram products completely so that people know that I could care less about nvram in terms of driving sales. Apparently that's not been evident enough by being the person to link the original Aliexpress sources for cheaper nvram in this thread (working completely against any financial best-interests) and even posting a thread on cheaper quality adapters from people I should consider competitors (ie. DENIKAR, PINFORGE, etc) or in-general mentioning competitor's products.

I do things differently than other people. It's going to be *very hard* for some people to understand that, but I'm more interested in putting valid facts out there, putting a full story out there and educating people on what their options are and in some cases the risks in those options. I enjoy creating things and helping other people.. and we're in a community that helps each other out. I've both helped people find cheaper nvram sources & have helped people be aware of their risks in those options, it's up to everyone to individually decide what works for them.

Quoted from lyonsden:

Also, speaking of ripoffs, whose art is on your's and Cliffy's websites?

I'm really not sure how the art plays into counterfeit products? I'll change that though, since it obviously bothers some people and it'd probably be for the best anyway to not be using it there.

Yeesh.. wouldn't have thought just posting an experience of chips bought and some info to help others make a better informed decision would stir up more drama. Buy whatever you want.. that goes for anyone. I just wanted to post my own experience with these parts.

#523 5 years ago

Don't let one naysayer deter you. I've always appreciated the information that you have taken the time to share.

#524 5 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

I'm not sure what you mean by a lot of effort, just writing about what I received & attempting to get the "full story" out there. I get that I invite criticism because I sell nvram products -- and maybe I should just stop selling the nvram products completely so that people know that I could care less about nvram in terms of driving sales. Apparently that's not been evident enough by being the person to link the original Aliexpress sources for cheaper nvram in this thread (working completely against any financial best-interests) and even posting a thread on cheaper quality adapters from people I should consider competitors (ie. DENIKAR, PINFORGE, etc) or in-general mentioning competitor's products.
I do things differently than other people. It's going to be *very hard* for some people to understand that, but I'm more interested in putting valid facts out there, putting a full story out there and educating people on what their options are and in some cases the risks in those options. I enjoy creating things and helping other people.. and we're in a community that helps each other out. I've both helped people find cheaper nvram sources & have helped people be aware of their risks in those options, it's up to everyone to individually decide what works for them.

I'm really not sure how the art plays into counterfeit products? I'll change that though, since it obviously bothers some people and it'd probably be for the best anyway to not be using it there.
Yeesh.. wouldn't have thought just posting an experience of chips bought and some info to help others make a better informed decision would stir up more drama. Buy whatever you want.. that goes for anyone. I just wanted to post my own experience with these parts.

Thanks Ace. The generalization about the whole country comment is what rubbed me the wrong way and detracted me from the rest of your message. I have to take a big step back and give you an apology. You have provided great information in this thread and I will delete my post. It was out of line.

#525 5 years ago

Something else I want to say..

Despite Andrew and I having some drama on the forums in the past, I think the chips he's been selling that are noticeably used with scratches and have different lot numbers and date codes are at least LEGIT parts compared to these POORLY re-stamped and refurb'd chips. And they come guaranteed to work or you get a replacement/refund versus having to deal with disputing chips even though the seller has received plenty of good feedback in what they're selling from buyers that either don't know what they got or are accepting of what was received.

Even though Andrew and I don't see eye-to-eye on some things, at least with nvram products there's more of an attempt with what he's sourcing and re-selling in getting genuine used parts.. and I'd personally rather something scraped up that I knew was genuine than some refurb'd parts that may or may not work when I get them.

There I go again, talking good about a "competitor" -- an obvious attempt to steer sales toward my own products

#526 5 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

There I go again, talking good about a "competitor"

That is the kind of behavior that makes me suspicious...

#527 5 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Thanks Ace. The generalization about the whole country comment is what rubbed me the wrong way and detracted me from the rest of your message. I have to take a big step back and give you an apology. You have provided great information in this thread and I will delete my post. It was out of line.

It's okay, no harm done. I wasn't trying to make any generalizations about the country as a whole & didn't mean to suggest everything from China/HK was junk. There are good parts too. Even "good enough" parts (like the 3M zif sockets I mentioned that are fakes but work well). In some cases they wouldn't need to fake the manufacturer if people knew the parts were quality, but I'd suppose that helps them get it out there easier than a no-name brand on them since people are searching for the branded stuff.

I'm okay buying fake Oakley's as long as the quality of the glasses are decent & I'm aware what I'm buying isn't the real deal. The problem is when those same Oakley's are imported & sold as genuine for a higher and higher cost in the supply chain and in many cases, the distributor and consumer may not be aware. But in terms of getting what you paid for, if you know what you're buying and are happy enough with it, that's what counts. Some people just wouldn't know unless they saw some examples or info on what was out there.

Quoted from lyonsden:

That is the kind of behavior that makes me suspicious...

Yeah it always throws people There's some fun in doing that though as most people think you're up to something!

Creatively I've just always been like that. Not really the "toot my own horn" guy -- I have to do that sometimes with products just to get them out there initially, but much prefer after the first few sales that people just naturally talk about a product and it sells itself. If that can't happen, then onto creating something else!

#528 5 years ago

I just added a socket and chip to STTNG (Aliexpress batch) with no problems. That is 6 or 7 games with a mix of chips from Ebay and Aliexpress with no bad ones. Also, I don't have a tester, so either the game state is saved or its not. Maybe i've been lucky and will eventually hit a bad chip in my batches.

#529 5 years ago

I just got 50 in from Ally express and 14 of them tested bad. And I tried everything to get them to work. I think it's just getting low on their inventory, bottom of the barrel type thing. Tested so many of these with the Neo tester that I can pretty much tell right off ones that are just position poorly in the socket, and those that are just plain bad. I'm glad I got a bunch of these while the getting was good. The last batch they were $1.55 each, which is incredibly inexpensive. Looks like the party is over though.

#530 5 years ago

With the $2 chips looking bad, and the original ebay link I posted long gone, has anyone tried other links on EBay. E.g., this one: ebay.com link: 5PCS FM1608 120 PG Encapsulation DIP

Back to $6 chips.

#531 5 years ago

Mine are $6 each, clean, -PG type, date codes 2005+, original imprints, straight clean legs, in game tested + neoloch tested, ship in tubes with esd protection.

Untitled_(resized).png

#533 5 years ago

All 10 from barakandl are installed & working 100%. Even the legs looked spotless. Buy with confidence while you can. Thanks Andrew!

2 weeks later
#534 5 years ago

For what it's worth I grabbed another 20 of the RAM linked above ($20 for 10 shipped)

Every one booted in a WPC game.

Basically just cleaned the legs and installed. My were packaged the same way (stacked and wrapped). Had some very minor legs bendage...barely worth mentioning

#535 5 years ago
Quoted from Monster_Bash:

For what it's worth I grabbed another 20 of the RAM linked above ($20 for 10 shipped)
Every one booted in a WPC game.
Basically just cleaned the legs and installed. My were packaged the same way (stacked and wrapped). Had some very minor legs bendage...barely worth mentioning

Awesome to hear. That is the same experience I've had with them.

1 week later
#536 5 years ago

Probably just a few bad lots that I got. Just wasn't a happy camper with the one lot having so many failures so just wanted to warn people that that *could* happen. Some bad SMD lots were mentioned in this thread. A few bad DIP parts as well. I really wasn't trying to steer people either way -- I could have received perfectly working lots and wouldn't have said a darn thing even if they looked new/refurb'd. It's all the same anyway in the sense of not having a good idea of the history of the chips. And taking a closer look, even some of the obvious used ones coming over from China/HK look like they could have been sanded at some point.. it's odd that some of the indents are near flat in the photos.

This discussion could happen with any of the chips being reimported -- 6821 PIAs, CPUs, 5101 RAM, etc. Cheaper prices on eBay/Aliexpress for sure. You either let someone else (be it a pinball parts distributor, Jameco, etc) reimport and mark up the chips or you take the risk yourself. If it's not brand new parts coming from an authorized distributor then it's probably all essentially the same anyway. It either just looks more like new because it was completely refurbished.. or less like new if legs were just straightened and re-tinned.

Anyway, just some rambling. Continue buying them up $20 for 10x is a good price & as long as working chips are still coming in, it's very much worth the gamble.

#537 5 years ago

Figured I'd give a 6 month update -- I have had these chips in several games (8) which I obtained from both ebay and aliexpress. So far, not a single problem.

#538 5 years ago

Just ordered 10 more from Ali for <$19 shipped. Looks like they have over 9,000 in stock at the place I ordered from. No shortage there.

#539 5 years ago
Quoted from JeffF:

Just ordered 10 more from Ali for <$19 shipped. Looks like they have over 9,000 in stock at the place I ordered from. No shortage there.

Post the link and let us know how they look/work.

#540 5 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Post the link and let us know how they look/work.

I just used a link from above...
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/FM1608-120-PG-FM1608-120-P-DIP/32596337719.html

And I'll let you know what shows up in about a month or so.

3 weeks later
#541 5 years ago
Quoted from JeffF:

I just used a link from above...
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/FM1608-120-PG-FM1608-120-P-DIP/32596337719.html
And I'll let you know what shows up in about a month or so.

Received the chips yesterday and all 10 tested good. They arrived shrink wrapped in the typical envelope and basically looked new.

0523161412_(resized).jpg

0523161412a_(resized).jpg

1 week later
#542 5 years ago

Thought I'd ask here since you guys seem to know a lot about NVRAM.

On my Twilight Zone the clock does not save/keep time with the NVRAM installed. If I were to take it out & put batteries back in (off the board) would the time/date stay accurate? Thanks

#543 5 years ago
Quoted from scampcamp:

If I were to take it out & put batteries back in (off the board) would the time/date stay accurate?

With the original RAM installed and batteries, I would say yes. Confirmation from others would be good.

#544 5 years ago

The "real time clock" needs a battery or it will not advance when the power is off. With NVRAM the real time clock does not advance when the game is powered off.

Most games this is a who cares, maybe twilight zone is an exception.

WPC computers notoriously keep terrible time in a standard setup, so you are not missing much with NVRAM.

#545 5 years ago

Yep -- no batteries, time is not advancing in your game. NVRAM just keeps the last state of your game (e.g., time and settings) in memory without being lost when the power is off.

#546 5 years ago

I'm so happy I got into the pinball hobby. You guys are awesome!

3 months later
#547 5 years ago

Time for another update: 10+ months and all installed NVRAM is working great. Also, just installed a chip in a Data East Jurassic Park (one from a batch from months ago). Install was super easy (CPU Board is socketed for this chip). Took 1 min and works perfectly.

#548 5 years ago

Also, just ordered this: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10PCS-FM1608-120-PG-FM1608-120-P-DIP/32413906510.html

$2.75 per chip. I'll report back on how they look as I last ordered these 6+ months ago.

1 week later
#549 5 years ago

I like this thread, lot of good info here, thanks to the guys who are reporting back with their results.

#550 5 years ago

I bought a lot of 50 SMT ramtrons from Ali.

3 of 50 were good. Yes, 6%!

Bought another lot from a different seller. It just arrived.

Haven't tested them all yet, but the first few are good!

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