(Topic ID: 56809)

Please Help.. Firepower boards

By danczaz

6 years ago

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  • 216 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by RudeDogg1
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders


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#18 6 years ago

I just bought a Firepower back in May which had to be brought back to life. One of the reasons I bought mine is the boards had never been touched and there was absolutely no battery corrosion. As some of the other posters had stated, it's a fun game and lots of people like it.

You got the manual and schematics which are a MUST. Check all your fuses to make sure they're the correct amperage. There's a little diagram to the right of the power supply board. Don't forget the two 4 amp slow blo's on the sound boards and the 20 amp in the cabinet for the main. I removed all the boards and cleaned them. I would label the connectors. Especially the driver board. There are 12 not counting the 40 pin, which you'll have to replace, at least, the female side. If the battery holder has any corrosion, remove it and install a backbox mounted remote holder. Clean any corrosion you may find underneath with vinegar or mustard. Wipe off and coat with clear nail polish. Anything burnt, replace. Male or female connector pins. Otherwise clean the male pins. I use 90% alcohol and cheap dollar store qtips. You can also use a fiberglass eraser but nothing harsher. Those lamp resistors gotta go. The cylindrical red things on the driver board. They're toast.

With the boards off, check all the male connector pins. Some probably have cracked solder joints.

That power supply has had some "stuff" done to it. C15 filter cap should be somewhat smaller and mounted to the board under the heat sink and not in the backbox. There should only be one large filter cap in the back box. Not two.

As always, disconnect all outputs from the power supply and check your voltages before connecting the other boards.

Electronic parts. greatplainselectronics.com
Good source of tech info.

#23 6 years ago

I posted a couple threads but nothing compared to the above one. Use that as your guide.

Also, if you donate $20 bucks to Clay Harrell, you'll have access to his pinballninja.com website which documents over 800 repairs. Many for System 6.


Scroll down to the Pinball Ninja Webzine for info.

#26 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

This is a REALLY extensive website for Firepower (I wish every game had such a great resource).
Download the pdfs, don't try to use the strange little reader box (unless you are on a cell phone, LOL).

Forgot about that one. Since the site is probably flash based it doesn't work on ios devices so I saved all the PDF's on my desktop and emailed them to myself to look at on my ipad.

#50 6 years ago
Quoted from danczaz:

So for P/N 5A-8999-1 lamp columns resistors R149 - R156 I am just going to do this as VID recommended..
"Or, if you want to, you can replace the 8 TIP42 lamp matrix transistors (Q63, 65, 67, 69, 71,73, 75 and Q77) with IRF9Z34N MOSFETs"
P/N 5A-8991resistors R165 - R195 under 40 pin (Which one do I use?)
Drawing says: Resistor, FC, 4.7K Ohm 10% 1/4 W
Is this OK...
Product ID: RCF1/4-4.7K
Resistor, 4.7K Ohm, 1/4W, 5%
Resistor, Carbon Film, 4.7K ohm, 1/4 Watt, 5%
Color Code: Yellow, Violet, Red, Gold
P/N 5A-9534 switch column resistors W9-W15
Not sure what to use here

Are you using the original schematics or the one's from Firepowerpinball.com. The original's specify these as R204-R211 which are 330k ohm 1/4 watt resistors. Break out the book and take a look.


I don't know what was going on with the schematic from the website but the original does not specify any part location on the driver board as beginning with a "w".

P/N 5A-8984 switch row resistors R196 -R203
Drawing: Resistor, FC, 1K Ohm 10% 1/4 W
Is this OK?
Product ID: RCF1/4-1K
Resistor, 1K Ohm, 1/4W, 5%
Resistor, Carbon Film, 1K ohm, 1/4 Watt, 5%
Color Code: Brown, Black, Red, Gold

These look like the correct resistors. The only difference is the factory one's allowed a 10% tolerance while Great Plains are 5%. Just to be safe I'd shoot Ed from Great Plains Electronics an email simply asking about the tolerance level but I think you'd be good with those. A link is on the home page.

Look at my note in your quote concerning the unknown resistor.

#81 6 years ago
Quoted from danczaz:

Only two prong...33 year old machine I figured I might as well whole thing...10 bucks..

Yup. I put a new line cord in since a doggy had chewed off the end of the old one and the seller intalled a crude workaround. Just make sure it fits through the notch in back of the cabinet. I bought one at lowes first. Didn't fit and would have had to cut the notch out more. Returned and bought one from Marcos. Cheaper too.


#82 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The hole is just filled with solder, but it's still there.
The other hole is also connected to the same trace (you could verify this with your meter).
So either hole.

I second verifying with your meter. I always check continuity by buzzing out traces at other points on the board after intalling a new component.

#111 6 years ago

How do you power cycle?

Turning the game off and on, off and on quickly and sometimes you can "fool" it into thinking there's batteries installed.

However, here's how to check if you got battery power to your 5101 RAM chip which, in mine, I had the same issue as you. I replaced it and the game booted. With the game off, using your DMM put it in DC voltage, ground the black wire, put the red on the right side of the diode directly above the 5101 chip. Should be getting somewhere around 4.3 volts. Now test the left side. Should be a drop off to around 3.9 volts. Now check the top all the way left pin of the 5101 chip. Should be getting the 3.9 or so volts you got at the left side of the diode above. That means the chip is getting the battery power. Remember, voltages are appx. depending on how good the batteries are. If you don't get the drop off in voltage that diode is probably bad but the RAM is more than likely your issue.

Also, if you battery holder is shot or there's a cracked trace somewhere between them and the diode, that could cause the same issue. Nonetheless, if you're getting 3.9 or so volts at the top all the way left pin of the 5101 chip than, the chip is probably shot. Order new one from Great Plains or Marco's.

Note, DO NOT install your new one like I did. Socket it. I was impatient and soldered it to the board. Not very well I might add. I was inexperienced with chip removal as I had never done it before. I have improved dramatically since then and will deal with the new 5101 if it ever becomes an issue.

Be careful with desoldering the legs. It's easy to damage the plated through holes, especially on the front of the board which should be avoided with the iron as much as possible. Keep your iron's temp as low as necessary.

When installing the new chip, notch will be towards the left.

I've added some photos to help.

image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg

#112 6 years ago

Left side of diode. 3.86 volts. Top left pin of 5101. 3.86 volts.

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#115 6 years ago

Replace and socket a new 5101.

Great Plains Electronics should have them as should Marco's Specialties.

I like the machined pin socket strips that you can cut to length. But some like the all in one type.

#121 6 years ago

My backglass is no better than average with some flaking. With all the other stuff I've bought for the table I'm not gonna invest anymore serious money into it. However, I did buy some Krylon triple thick clear glaze and I'm gonna seal it when the weather is less humid.

#125 6 years ago
Quoted from danczaz:

Put in socket and new 5101.. came up in audit mode....turned on and off twice w/ coin door open and went into game over mode.. set to free play and we had action....TLC time now..looks like all solenoids firing but some switches need some work and a few bulbs... back to life!
Thanks everybody for getting me this far!!!

Good, good. Now, comes the easy part, cleaning.

#135 6 years ago

Light bulbs... should I be using 44 or 47? Also does any one know what those monster light bulbs under the fire and power on the playfield are??

You can go nuts and LED it like I did. More money than you might want to spend though.


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