(Topic ID: 141588)

NVRAM experience -- $1.50-$2.00 chips

By lyonsden

6 years ago

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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by pencilneck
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#1 6 years ago

I'm probably late to the NVRAM game, but thought I share my experience. I bought 5 chips of FM1608-120-PG from EBay for about $30. They showed up today. I (gently) took out the batteries and popped out U212 from one of my whitestar pins, put in an FM1608, powered the game back up, changed some settings (e.g., free play), rebooted the game, and everything worked like a champ. Couldn't have been easier!

Link to Ebay: ebay.com link: itm

EDIT: There are some links in this thread for NVRAM (Aliexpress) that costs around $2.50. People have received these and have reported that they work.

UPDATE: July 27 2017
Here is a link for someone selling these for $1.50: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/FM1608-120-PG-FM1608-120-P-DIP/32596337719.html

4 weeks later
#3 5 years ago

Just an update -- I used one of these NVRAMs in my Baywatch. The old chip is socketed, so it took 5 min to replace. No problems and BW is now batteryless. Recently bought some sockets to use in WPC games and will report back.

#8 5 years ago

Just replaced the memory chip in my Theatre of Magic. It is a bit more work than a Whitestar or Sega as you need to desolder the old chip. I added a socket for the new chip too, just in case I need to replace it in the future for whatever reason. Overall, it took about 30 minutes to do, start to finish (but I do have a desoldering gun) and worked without any problem.

Old chip on board in game:

Board out of game. Chip to be removed is the Sharp LH5268A

Old chip removed and socket added

New chip in socket. Chip is Ramtron FM1608-120-PG

#9 5 years ago

In case anyone wants to buy sockets for these chips (10 for $1.50): ebay.com link: itm

#10 5 years ago

Another update: I just added this to Bride of Pinbot without any problems.

Original in game
MOSEL chip to be replaced
Chip removed
Socket added
Ramtron added

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from roc-noc:

Sounds like a good hack. How does NVRAM with no battery handle Time & Date?
Anything else lost when you get rid of batteries?

Everything is saved as it normally does with batteries. Time/date, all settings, high scores, audits, etc. The old chip requires power from the batteries to keep its bits flipped correctly, the NVRAM does not require external power (NV == non-volatile). Of course, that means that everything is lost when you change out the chips, but it it lets someone else be grand champion for a while.

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from roffels:

I read that the game's time moves in real time, but if you cut off power, it stops keeping track of time. If you shut the game off at say 12pm, power it back on in 6 hours, the game still thinks it's 12PM.

You are correct.

#21 5 years ago

I just put in my last chip (NGG). Easy as pie and worked without any problems.

Board in game with old chip (located next to chip with blue tape)

Board out of game with old chip

Old chip desoldered and ready for removal. Definitely check out TerryB's guide to soldering for tips and tricks on how to desolder. I learned several tricks from his thread.

Old chip removed

Socket added

New Ramtron chip installed in socket

#22 5 years ago

So far I've replaced the RAM chip that stores game settings in 5 games with Ramtron NVRAM:

Theatre of Magic
Bride of Pinbot
No Good Gofers

I've had NVRAM in NASCAR for month and the other games were updated this week. So far, no problems. Baywatch and NASCAR has socketed chips so removal and replacement was easy. The WPC games all had the original RAM chip soldered to the board and required more work to desolder the older chip and add a socket for the new chip. You should definitely desolder and remove the old chips slowly and carefully as you don't want to damage the eyeholes. I have a HAKKO FR-300 desoldering gun, which makes the job much, much easier.

For the WPC games, there are photos above for finding the right chip to replace and included CPU board for:

WPC-95 (NGG)

It was interesting to see how the battery placement moved on these boards, with the last design (WPC-95) having batteries placed in the upper left of the CPU board where, if they were to leak, would cause the most damage.

Given that I am very good about replacing all the batteries once a year, I wasn't very concerned about causing damage, but I feel better knowing that I won't have to worry about it any more. Also, since the Ramtron chips were about $6, I'll be cost neutral in 2-3 years, and save a couple bucks every year after that.

One final note is that all of the replaced chips were different. Not sure why, but interesting.


#26 5 years ago
Quoted from pinballshark:

These are for sale in the USA by barakandl on Pinside. They cost a little more, but they are tested and come from a far more reliable source. He gives quantity discounts.

Thanks for posting.

I'm sure he will stand by his product and provide help/replacements when there is a problem, while some random ebay seller from China (or some random guy posting his experiences in a pinside thread, aka me) may not. Also, it is always good to support the pinball community developing these products as they will be the ones innovating the next must-have idea.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

True. In today's climate though, if you don't receive what you should have from an eBay seller.. eBay will take care of the buyer. There's minimal risk IMO. Same goes for some of the HK/China marketplace websites. So if you don't mind waiting a few weeks for chips and they're going in your own games.. not much to lose. With these DIP parts.. anyone importing and reselling them is just doing what everyone else *could* do if they wanted. Import, test them in a tester and offer them for sale at a premium. Nothing against that if the person stands behind what they sell, but there's no *guarantee* the chips weren't remarked or used in harsh environments or in equipment that did an extreme number of writes to the chip.
I'm definitely in favoring of supporting innovators, but reselling imported pulls isn't innovation. Now that the "cat's out of the bag" on where to get imported chips for cheap.. and multiple posts of China sellers whose chips work, then it's just up to the buyer to decide if they want to take a gamble and possibly have to dispute something if they don't get what they expected (but again, minimal risk IMO) or support someone in the community, etc. If you look hard enough you can import DIP RAMTRON parts for $3-4 or less. $6 is actually a bit on the expensive side.

I completely agree. I share what I learn or figure out to give back to the community (and is a small thing that I can do for all that I've learned from others.)

It would be great if you would share your source(s) for even cheaper RAMTRON DIP chips.

#33 5 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

I have lowered my prices since that post too, I need to go back and edit that. You can get a 10 pack of FM1608 for $70 shipped. Plus i have 5101 NVRAM adapters and 6116 NVRAM adapters at good prices too.
Repro boards are in the works. Aux lamp driver is out, Bally -51 sound board coming soon.

Sorry for the misquote -- I'll edit my post and I'm happy to add your prices there too.

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Here's 10x for $23.75
And.. that is now probably the cheapest I've seen DIP parts. Seller has a ton more feedback than the other link.
If someone orders from that seller, post how it works out. I'd do it myself but.. that whole knee deep in nvram thing.. lol.

Thanks! Order placed and I'll report back when the chips come in (2-4 weeks).

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

The guinea pig has been chosen!

Totally. $23 contributed to the greater good.

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

Is 10 billion not many writes or plenty?

Just to put that number in perspective. If the chip was getting one write per second, 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, and 365 days per year, it could handle 317 continuous years of writes. Of course, I have no idea how many writes are happening during an hour of solid play, but considering that games in a home environment aren't getting played too much, I'd guess that 10 billion writes will last at least a few years. If the cost of the chip over its lifetime is less than the cost of new batteries each year (plus the added benefit of no leaking batteries worries), then it seems like a no brainer. Esp. if the chips are $2.50 a pop. Given $1 per year for new, cheap batteries (or $3 per year for "quality" batteries), in 1 to 3 years and you are ahead of the game. Of course, get a couple of bad chips, and the equation changes.

#47 5 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

If the ram was written to every cpu cycle of 1mhz. That is 166 hours to reach 10 billion. 16,666 hours to reach 1 trillion.

Excellent! That comes to 694 continuous days of operations. Of course, who knows how long they will last if they are used chips with an unknown number of writes.

#50 5 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

This one:
ebay.com link » Ramtron Fm16w08 Sg Fm16w08 64kbit Fram Nvram Soic28 X 10pcs
If they are cheep to

Those are surface mounted and require an adaptor board to fit the size of the stock chips.

#54 5 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

I don't normally hock my stuff in these kind of threads

Please hock away. I've done the same thing (Pinduino), and anything to help you, barakandl, others get your products out is a good thing. Nothing is worse than sinking the time into figuring these things out AND not being able to recoup you monetary costs when you decide to assemble everything for distribution to the community.

#61 5 years ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

Chinese brand stuff...beware of pot metal leads. I still prefer buying sockets from AMP. At least you know what you are getting.
OK -- 10 for $1.57
Does anybody have a clue as to how they don't lose money selling these?
First they have to buy the part at 'some' cost.
Ebay List and sell = fee
Paypal fee = $0.30 plus percentage
Pay for packing materials = ?
Pay for postage from china to practically anywhere = ?
Even if they got the parts for free, how can they make anything?
Makes it difficult for non-chinese seller to compete. For us - postage alone starts at nearly $3 and that's for an empty box.

Thanks for this breakdown, GPE. When it comes to buying components and parts from China as an individual, I know that I am taking a big chance that the stuff I receive is total crap. I'm just poking around and having fun, and this thread is to share my experience.

Personally, I have a long order history with your shop, and I am thankful that you have that business as it has saved my ass many, many times. My apologies for anything in my posts that even potentially undermines the great service that you do.

#84 5 years ago
Quoted from maddog14:

Just got this message... Because for 20 cents, worth a shot on an order.

Looks like there is a bottom line they need to make, but thanks for check out that vendor.

1 week later
#100 5 years ago
Quoted from Mrjamma:

I would recommend machine pin sockets for NVRAM replacements. Its not that the standard DIP sockets wont work, but the machine pin sockets are of a much higher quality.

Are saying that something that costs $0.15 from china is questionable? Post a link to what you recommend and share.

#102 5 years ago
Quoted from Taxman:

Does anyone have pictures of good and bad sockets? The would be nice to have as a reference and teaching aid put onto a sheet.

The sockets in my install pictures (earlier in the thread) from WPC games are the $0.15 ones.

#106 5 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

If fishtails wants to clear settings at bootup, i would consider that a problem? It would be interesting to see what the NeoLoch ram tester thinks of that FM1608.

This is confusing -- the game holds the high scores and settings, but thinks it is a reset every time to boot? Does sounds like a problem. What comes up on the display when you turn it on?

#108 5 years ago
Quoted from JBK:

Ram works fine. I forgot to set the time/date when after I installed the new 1608. It wanted me to correct that.

Ah yes -- WPCs and their need to know the date and time.

#118 5 years ago
Quoted from Lindsey:

Here are some Eagle and Gerber files for a single sided 6116 to FM1608 DIP adapter. Should be a pretty easy board to etch at home. That might be a good option for some people.
6116 to FM1608.jpg
Eagle Files:
If you see an error, feel free to point it out.

Thanks for posting these!

#123 5 years ago
Quoted from Lindsey:

And one with an LED because everyone loves LEDs.

Definitely. And nice work. Thanks for designing these and making them available for hobbyists to use. If you want to make sure that people abide by your "not for profit" wishes, please add a license file to your zip file.

This license may work (but I haven't read it carefully): https://opensource.org/licenses/NPOSL-3.0

#127 5 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

has anyone received the $2 nvrams or the 20 cent version?
the $6 ebay ones seemed to have come through, but what about the ones from AliExpress?

My $2 chips are in the mail from AliExpress. I'll report back if/when they arrive.

#141 5 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Looks like lyonsden is the only one to have commented that they ordered the $2 nvrams & he mentioned a few posts ago that the order did not come in yet, but he'd post when it did come in.
Sometimes it can take a few weeks just to get out of China/HK.. the package will literally go nowhere while they're filling up containers or whatever bulk method the stuff is shipped. Actual shipping time is then another week or two at least.. before status gets updated and it arrives in the US. Then you're looking at a few additional days for the US Mail system to get it to you. Any Chinese/HK holidays can also cause delays.. along with normal busier times of the season here. Generally it takes 4-6 weeks to receive the goods... could even be a bit longer that that sometimes tho.

Yep -- looks like my order hit China Post Nov. 27th.


#144 5 years ago
Quoted from cal50:

I have been putting off NVRAM conversion..........

Wait another year and see how the rest of fair. We may be replacing bad, old, used, and worn out chips by that time Or, wait till the next time you are replacing batteries and stick a chip in for about the same cost. YMMV.

#154 5 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

Here's a $5 each listing (lot of 5) plus $2 shipping.
ebay.com link: itm
same source as above, just different price. that seems weird to me...
ebay.com link: itm
And this is the same seller as the $6 version too!

I've seen sellers do that -- list the same item a few times within a few dollars (or cents) of one another. Not sure why -- may for repeat customers with an old link as well as spamming the list of searched items?

#160 5 years ago
Quoted from Gorgonzola:

I bought the same chips from the same seller as the OP of this thread. So far I've tested one in my Getaway and it keeps scores, settings, etc as expected.
I have noticed however that if I set the clock it doesn't behave the way I expected it would using NVRAM. I've found that it keeps the date and year correctly, however the actual time of day is wrong.
Eg, I set 5 December 2015 01:21 PM. I then turned the game off, waited 10mins and turned it back on. I expected the game would continue from 01:21 PM onwards. Instead it showed 5 December 2015 01:00 AM.
I had never actually set the clock to display on the screen in the past (it's disabled by default) so I have no idea if this is a new behaviour or an existing one.
I've socketed the RAM position, however I can't easily test with the RAM re-inserted to compare the behaviour as I removed the old battery holder and threw it in the bin as it was corroded.

That is normal behavior for the clock and NVRAM. Without power, the NVRAM keeps the last state of the system and the clock is not running, so when you turn the game back on, "time" starts up again.

#162 5 years ago
Quoted from Gorgonzola:

That's what I was expecting, however that is not happening. It seems to have gone back to the nearest hour (01:00) and swapped from PM to AM. I would have thought it would just continue on from where it was last powered off (01:21 PM).
Edit: Or have I misunderstood, and the time actually resets to 01:00 as its starting position?

Huh. I don't know. I'll check on some of my WPC games and see what they do.

#171 5 years ago
Quoted from cal50:

You will get a paper envelope with bird flu inside....

Borderline not funny. China makes a lot of great, useful products. Bird flu has as much of a chance of jumping species in China as it does in other parts of the world with massive bird rearing in close contact with human (e.g., US).

#179 5 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

So if you look back at posts in this threads, at other threads.. you'll see how much I've gone out of my way to help people that asked about their options.. to know all of their options when it comes to nvram.

Definitely -- as have many people. All of whom I want to thank for the insight the have added to this thread.

#180 5 years ago
Quoted from Firebaall:

As a community minded hobbyist....I'll buy the parts from Chinese vendors, I'll test them. Then I'll post where I bought them from from. That's what a community-driven person would do. Showing how these can be made for $3.00 is what it's about.

And this is *exactly* what I do with all the DIY guides I post. Both sides -- mods for people and DIY hobbyists -- need and can be supported. Some people would rather solder and make it themselves, others would rather buy a plug and play kit, and have someone else install it. Room for both.

#181 5 years ago
Quoted from cal50:

It's called sarcasm.......

Still. . .

#184 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

I got my box today from UTSource. Packaged relatively well, anti-static foam and bag included. Will try this out in JP shortly.

Let us know how it works and take some photos (helps others).

#189 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

I actually ended up swapping 3 games. Jurassic Park, Baywatch, and Lethal Weapon 3. Everything works without a hitch and verified RAM data is saved after turning off power. I did notice the legs in these are a bit flimsier than the Hyundai ICs that were originally installed so be very careful when installing these Ramtrons!

Great to hear!

#196 5 years ago

I'm still waiting for the $2.30 chips to show (Ordered Nov. 15th).

#198 5 years ago

For China Post, it tracks no problem. For USPS, it does not.



#201 5 years ago

I'm not worried about it arriving eventually -- I've purchased lots of item from Aliexpress and EBay from sellers in China. Just takes 2-6 week to arrive depending on all the factors mentioned above.

#204 5 years ago
Quoted from mrmark0673:

I used the second alibab link (10 for $24). Been a few weeks and nothing yet. Anyone have any success with them?

That is the one for which I am waiting. Soon . . . I think.

#210 5 years ago

Cool. Added to the list of "tested" games linked to the thread.

#226 5 years ago

Bummed -- I was hoping mine would arrive today as well.

#234 5 years ago

I wonder what the folks think who are selling these from China. They probably have some steady trickle of orders, then suddenly a strange burst. The pinball effect.

#237 5 years ago
Quoted from FalconPunch:

So these are b/w only and not for sterns?

They work in Whitestar systems, but not SAM or Spike. Perhaps older ones too.

#244 5 years ago

Turned out that my order did arrive yesterday. My wife had put it on my desk and I missed it. Looks like 9x1608-120-PG and 1x 1608M-120-PG. All of our orders must have come to the US in the same batch.


#253 5 years ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

Those are the worst packaging jobs I have ever seen! Really packed in plastic wrap and shipped in a padded envelope?!?!


#274 5 years ago
Quoted from maddog14:

I was able to get a refund ( and it already posted back) on the wrong chip I was sent... So... yeah me, I guess?

That is good to know that if anyone receives a non-working or the wrong chip, they can get a refund without much hassle.

#282 5 years ago
Quoted from rygar:

Which Ali Express seller did you buy those FM1608-120-PG from?

Check out this post: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/nvram-experience#post-2798845

#288 5 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Guys, here's some other pictures I did (some diagrams from manuals) for location of replacing memory on various games... when I was trying to help a customer with locating memory on their games. Feel free to add to PINWIKI.
Note that on the Sys11 one... the picture mentions a 6116. Early Sys11s could be a 6116 or 6264 -- if it has a 28-pin socket there you can change the jumpers as noted previously in this thread to swap between 6116 & 6264. If it's a 24-pin socket it can only handle a 6116 and these DIP parts won't work in it without modification.

Nice -- thank you!

#306 5 years ago
Quoted from CactusJack:

Looks fine. But I have to Laugh. Those are the ones many of us are building ourselves for around $5.00USD now with parts from China.

Definitely true. You can order 10 pulled ones from China that will fit the socket (no need for the adapter board) for about the same cost. Even if half are bad (which you can get refunded if you catch it early enough), you still have 4 left.

#313 5 years ago
Quoted from Irishbastard:

Yea, just used the Aliexpress link another member posted... Shipped the other day, will see..

So far, for all the AliExpress buys in that price range have shipped and been delivered with *almost* no problems (a couple of bad/incorrect chips).

1 week later
#329 5 years ago
Quoted from Irishbastard:

Well my $2 Aliexpress Nvrams arrived! Same as everyone else, plastic wrapped stack. All the same, look brand new to me, and two week shipping from China during the holidays... Not too shabby!

How many chips did you get for $2 (this has become a long thread and I don't feel like digging through).

#355 5 years ago

Basically, sharing knowledge and experience is the theme of this thread and both of you, Barakandl and Acebathound, have contributed greatly to this thread. When ordering in lots of 1000, I don't see to many people doing the same, and there are a good number of people who have benefited from the kits Barakandl has put together. However, it would be nice to know the supplier and if they were found on AliExpress/Alibaba or through some other means.

#360 5 years ago
Quoted from Dewey68:

Has anyone not received sockets from the Ebay seller that was linked earlier in this thread? The delivery window is listed until the 11th, so I have a few days left. I think it was a whopping $1.56 with shipping, so not a high $$ item if I don't get it.

I've received components from both the EBay seller and one of the AliExpress sellers listed above.

#381 5 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

It looks like my dispute was successful.

Good to hear! Thanks for the update.

#420 5 years ago

I just did a second NGG using one of the $2 chips from AliExpress -- no problem and easy as pie.

#440 5 years ago

Can you post a picture of the possible knock-offs?

#454 5 years ago
Quoted from rygar:

Which socket style is recommended - upper or lower one?

Lower one.

2 weeks later
#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.

1 month later
#516 5 years ago

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

#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.

#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.

#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...

#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.

#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.

2 weeks later
#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.

2 weeks later
#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.

#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.

1 month later
#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.

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.

2 weeks later
#551 5 years ago

Had a chance to put one of these chips in a Williams System 11C. Worked like a charm and easier to desolder the old chip than on WPCs. If you do this, make sure to change the jumper from W5 to W6

Untitled.001 (resized).jpeg

#552 5 years ago

Here it is with the NVRAM chip installed.

IMG_6169 (resized).JPG

#554 5 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

There is factory in China making knock off FM16W08 now. I bought some Aliexrpess "too good to be true price" FM16W08 and they came RAMTRON branded with date codes that should be Cypress. Most of them did work, at least initially, but i did have some dead right out of the tube. I am not using these in my adapters.
I still cannot get anymore FM1608 dip28 package from a source I trust. I am only going to have SMT to DIP28 adapters going forward once what I have left is gone.

Thanks for the update! Can you post a link/name for the bad seller(s) so other people don't end up doing the same?

#556 5 years ago

This is for reference, but if people want to map RAM between 6116 and 6242, I found this diagram.
(From upgrading RAM in a SNES: http://www.dbwbp.com/index.php/10-electronic-projects/6-upgrading-ram-in-snes-cart)

RAMUpgrade (resized).png

#557 5 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

This is for reference, but if people want to map RAM between 6116 and 6242, I found this diagram.
(From upgrading RAM in a SNES: http://www.dbwbp.com/index.php/10-electronic-projects/6-upgrading-ram-in-snes-cart)

This would be for adding one of the NVRAM chips to an older system 11 board that only has 24-pins.

#561 5 years ago

Received 10 more chips. They came stacked and wrapped in cellophane. Definitely pulls. All 10 passed testing with no problems. $2.25 per chip.

image (resized).jpeg

image (resized).jpeg

#562 5 years ago

So far, I've ordered 30+ of these over the past 18 months with no chips testing bad.

#563 5 years ago

For those that are interested it buying these, here is a link to AliExpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10PCS-FM1608-120-PG-FM1608-120-P-DIP/32413906510.html

#577 5 years ago

Very sorry to hear that the replacement didn't go well. I would not do this without a desoldering iron and clipping the legs off of chips -- especially if this is the first time someone attempts this. It cannot be overstated how fragile the traces are for this chip on WPC games. Any force can lift and tear them; applying heat too long to the solder pads can lift and remove them.

That said, the damage in the photos can be repaired. Check out Terry's definitive guide: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/terrybs-soldering-guide-part-1

And this post is in the area for repairing traces: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/terrybs-soldering-guide-part-1/page/4#post-2768534

2 months later
#588 4 years ago

Thanks for the update -- I'm still sitting on 10+ from my last order and continue to use them without problem in various games.

#593 4 years ago
Quoted from Mitch:

Is there any cheap chips for 6116 NVRAM like on sytem 9 and 11a?

No, but you can make/buy and adaptor to get the pin out to work. If you want to DIY, check out this post of mine: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/nvram-experience/page/12#post-3363464

I'm hoping to get some time to document doing this as a DIY over the holiday on a system 11a.

#594 4 years ago

I've had several people asking if I would sell my FM1608 chips. These are my personal stash that I'm saving for upgrading games as they roll through my house. Here is a link to the store on AliExpress where I bought them: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10PCS-FM1608-120-PG-FM1608-120-P-DIP/32413906510.html Right now, their price is $28.88 shipped for 10 chips.

Note that while I've had 1/30 bad chips ordering from them, other's have had a higher fail rate.

#597 4 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

You could do it by stacking IC sockets on top of each other. It might get kind of tedious rerouting the pins manually, but def do able. I made adapters by stacking IC sockets for non jedec pinout ROMs i wanted to dump.

Exactly what I was thinking. Looks like only a couple of wires to reroute.

#599 4 years ago

Both acebathound and barakandl run stores that sell NVRAM, adaptors, etc, and have been incredibly helpful on this thread. If you are looking for tested NVRAM, I highly recommend both of them.

2 months later
#610 4 years ago

Looks like alkaline damage at C59, maybe more on neighboring components. You should definitely remove the capacitor, check for how far it has spread along the traces, clean, etc.

4 months later
#613 4 years ago

Just an update. I found a source selling FM1608-120-PG for $1.32 on Aliexpress: FM1608-120-PG

I ordered 10 and will report back on how they test when they come in.

#621 4 years ago

I finally had time to test my FM1608-120-PG to 6116 adaptor board. This board rewires the FM1608 to the pinout of the 6116 (24-pins) and is needed for System 11A boards which do not have the extra pins slots for the 28-pins of a FM1608-120-PG NVRAM chip. I'm happy to report that the board worked perfectly (currently in a Pinbot).

I've made the boards open source: https://github.com/elyons/professor_pinball_boards/tree/master/NVRAM

If you want to order them, you can just submit the .zip file in the "Gerber" directory to Seeed Studio and get 10 made for $5-10 (plus shipping).

IMG_6074 (resized).JPG
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#622 4 years ago

Someone asked how to place a seeed order for these boards. To do this, go to: https://www.seeedstudio.com/fusion_pcb.html

Drop in the zip file (in the gerber directory) and you can keep all the default options (though I selected red PCB boards).

Fusion PCB Manufacturing Prototype PCB Assembly Seeed Studio (1) (resized).png

#625 4 years ago
Quoted from Drewscruis:

I could swear there are unused pins for the 6116 on a sys11, all that needs to be done is install a new socket and change a jumper. I could be wrong but I will look later.

Quoted from Mitch:

11B and 11C do have the extra holes. 11A does not.

This is correct. 11A does not have the extra holes and you are stuck at 24 pins. The adaptor board is the only way to go if you are going to use a 28-pin NVRAM chip like FM1608-120-PG.

This post has an example of using the extra holes and moving the jumper for an 11C: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/nvram-experience/page/12#post-3362864

And this post shows the mapping of the pinouts that I used for the adaptor board: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/nvram-experience/page/12#post-3363464 (which someone else had made for upgrading ram on a Super Nintendo -- I love how open work in one are helps out work in another -- I guess this is an example of Open Innovation). Extra thanks to barakandl for his constant great advice and ideas.

#626 4 years ago

Another thing. I can't believe I waited so long to get a chip puller: ebay.com link: 1Pcs hot Removal Chip Portable Tool Extractor new tweezers Circuit Board Puller

At $1-$2, I'm kicking myself for not getting one sooner.

s-l1600 (resized).jpg

#630 4 years ago
Quoted from CactusJack:

You folks realize that the black claw is designed to pull PLCC packages (like the WPC ASIC chip), not normal dip ICs.

I did not, but it has worked really well on DIP ICs.

2 weeks later
#634 4 years ago

Just got these in. Came in "typical" plastic wrap and all are pulls. All passed testing. For $1.58 per chip, I'm happy.

IMG_6121 (resized).JPG

IMG_6122 (resized).JPG

#636 4 years ago

Also, as a general update, I've put these in 30 games so far over the past 1-2 years and have had no failures. They have been purchased from different people/groups in China (Ebay/AliExpress) so I assume used/pulls/etc. They do the trick and at under $2 per chip, they are the same price or cheaper than batteries. Between the low cost and removing the chance of battery leak damage, they are a no-brainer. Of course, there is always risk involved with removing old chips from some boards (e.g., WPC) and pulling/damaging traces.

2 years later
#663 2 years ago
Quoted from Irishbastard:

I just use a chainsaw and a blowtorch....Key is to have at least three Heady Toppers first. Looks professional when finished, every time.
No one buys from Aliexpress anymore?

I was going to ask if anyone has tried sellers on Ali. It has been a few years since I purchased these, and the last batch I bought of 20+, all were good (or perhaps one was bad -- I can't remember.) . I still have about 10 left, but just purchased another 10 from this seller: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32596337719.html

I'll report back when I get them and have a chance to test them.

2 weeks later
#673 2 years ago

Receive my 10 NVRAM from the AliExpress link on the first post. All tested good. Appear to be pulls with the legs cleaned and straightened. No idea on the dates given the post above. Photos below are of how they are packed and maybe a shot that lets the date codes be read.

D0A29810-8035-453B-8038-D3B24F43A09F (resized).jpegC34151AD-9662-43CB-8066-7A5216B7A07F (resized).jpeg04C6865A-9064-4994-8FF7-8F959B036B78 (resized).jpeg
#676 2 years ago

Last time I pulled data off from this vendor they were from Ricoh copy machines. Also, the last three orders from them were packed the same way. Stacked chips wrapped in cellophane. Not the best, but for $17 for 10 chips (including shipping), I don't have higher expectations.

Here is a link to the vendor: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32596337719.html

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