(Topic ID: 216134)

NVRAM on System 6


By oldschoolbob

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by someotherguy
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 1 year ago

I've searched everywhere to find a photo of NVRAM installed on a system 6 board. I installed mine today and it just don't look right. It over hangs the IC16. It fits but it just don't look right.

Did I do this correctly?

Thanks

Bob

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#2 1 year ago

barakandl will be able to answer that for you.

#3 1 year ago

You have pin 1 headed in the correct direction. If all the pins are lined up, you should be good to go!

#4 1 year ago

Thanks Schwaggs, The socket doesn't have the notch on the pin 1 side. And the board isn't marked for pin 1 so I checked the board assembly drawing and it shows pin 1 in the lower left. But the overlap just didn't look right.

I'm pretty new to this NVRAM stuff.

Bob

#5 1 year ago

TIP - The silkscreen shows the notch!

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from oldschoolbob:

Thanks Schwaggs, The socket doesn't have the notch on the pin 1 side. And the board isn't marked for pin 1 so I checked the board assembly drawing and it shows pin 1 in the lower left. But the overlap just didn't look right.
I'm pretty new to this NVRAM stuff.
Bob

Andrew made those boards for any machine that takes a 5101 to it is likely the board would overlap neighboring chips on some boards. I agree it looks odd. Let us know how things work out!

Quoted from eh97ac:

TIP - The silkscreen shows the notch!

He was questioning which way pin 1 was oriented on the board, not the NVRAM.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from Schwaggs:

Andrew made those boards for any machine that takes a 5101 to it is likely the board would overlap neighboring chips on some boards. I agree it looks odd. Let us know how things work out!

He was questioning which way pin 1 was oriented on the board, not the NVRAM.

The NVRAM is installed properly.

WMS does not silk screen their boards but they indeed do still mark pin one on their PCB with the top copper and top solder masker layers. There is a small one drawn by every IC on the board. You can see it in your picture.

As far as orientation of the NVRAM device it seems to work out best like that. I make one device that can go into many different systems so the fit is not ideal in all cases, but does not cause any problems or even need fussed with. They also hang off the side of a sys80b board which bugs me slightly. The trace routing does not work as well with the FM16W08 nvram chip hanging out to the right. The 74HCT00 chip is under the FM16W08 which will give you a little clearance buffer as the 74 chip body is taller than its leads. A competitor straddles the ram chip over the male socket header strips which creates assembly and other issues as you either are cutting the socket headers flush to the board or forming the fm16w08 leads so it sits higher off of the PCB to clear over the socket header strip.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from barakandl:

A competitor straddles the ram chip over the male socket header strips which creates assembly and other issues as you either are cutting the socket headers flush to the board or forming the fm16w08 leads so it sits higher off of the PCB to clear over the socket header strip.

There's at least one active manufacturer of compact 5101 modules that I know of that does that.. and another that no longer offers nvram products that used flush-cut headers, but it's not what's being done on my 5101 modules if that's what you were referring to.

I'm not going to give away the secret sauce in my own techniques since I've done that enough already through the years as one of the first few pioneers of the nvram products for pinball (since 2013). I will say that on those particular modules the assembly and clean-up time takes longer than any of the other types I sell. I've definitely had a hard time justifying being able to sell the 5101's in a 10-pack to match others bulk pricing on nvram (which is something else that I had started years ago and others adopted). Keeping ahead of inventory on them is always challenging.

The larger board design with the nvram chip to the side didn't look that great to me. It's as compact as you can get though unless you figure out some more creative assembly techniques. I just forced myself to find a way to do a compact module that looked aesthetically nice and was still solid quality. Cutting header pins down and depending on just a tiny bit of solder in the through-holes didn't seem like a very good idea (again, not what I'm doing on mine). Plus you can't even get them flat to the board even cutting with micro-flush cutters and it all adds a ton of time.

Truth be told, I'd actually considered going back to the standard larger board design (as my prototypes were) several times just to speed things up. Never pulled the trigger on that though, which forced me to just get quicker at assembly with the current design. I like the compact design better anyway, they store easier. Assembly is the Achilles on those, definitely not very profitable considering price-point and time invested.. but kind of gets averaged out with the other modules that are less time-intensive to build.

#9 1 year ago

For what it's worth I like the compact design you offer and don't think the price is out of line. People choose what they choose for various reasons, but there seems to be room in the market for both. Please don't change.

Richard

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