(Topic ID: 123613)

Johnny's Reboot: All my issues in one place

By agodfrey

4 years ago

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  • 263 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by agodfrey
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#1 4 years ago

I am starting this thread to 'document' my 'fixing up' of a Johnny Mnemonic I picked up. I wouldn't call this a restore project (there has been a lot of talk about that lately) as I most likely will go with custom ramp artwork, most likely custom plastics, and I am not going quite as deep as a restore.

That said I will be taking the whole machine apart more or less and going over everything I can. So it's more than just a shop job. We need a few words that can describe the different levels.....

The major things are the machine needs new ramps, cleaning, cab decals (might skip this for now), some plastics missing (I have the pinbits set for a template on some new ones or to apply custom decals), the whole hand/matrix area needs love, and some help. I wanted to post my latest question here in hopes of not clogging up the forum too much. As I answer each question I'll post the Q and the solution (hopefully) below it. My current issue is most likely at the bottom of the post.

#2 4 years ago

SOLVED (more below original Question)
My first big question is why might the images on the DMD look ok when the text looks 'squished' or garbled. It looks like all the text is there just overlapping. The previous owner claimed it was working fine mere seconds before I came in...ha. Seems to me like where ever the images come from is fine but the text section is messed up. Looked at all the connectors but not sure which one I need to look at for the text section if it is a connector or loose wire. Which there are many many of on this game....

Here is a video:

Real solution (added 7/8,) looks like the pic chip socket was cracked making the connection intermittent. New socket and we are gold.

Not sure what fixed it but here is what I did:

Reseat ALL of the ribbon cables in the head. Don't remove them completely. Just wiggle them nearly all the way off and then press them back on. Do this 3 times for each connection.
Remove your MPU. Lay it on a hard, flat surface. Press firmly on the ASIC, which is the 1" square chip in the board center.

Pulled and reseated the game ROM
Checked the ribbon cables from the board to display
Tried wiggling the top/left ribbon connector on the MPU board.

I also cleaned some of the contacts and replaced all the fuses. Unfortunately now my GI and sol aren't working.

#3 4 years ago


Next question is about the high power safe switches. He replaced the coin door with a new one, but didn't re-attach the high power safety switches. How should these be mounted. Should both be depressed when the coin door is closed? Also he gave me this plate (pictured below) and said it was from the old coin door. Should this go on to depress the switches.


#4 4 years ago

Last one of the night. There are a number of broken/missing plastics. What SHOULD go here. ( Just to the left of the matrix, looks like there was something here, it broke and he stuck this here, I think this is a sling plastic)

#5 4 years ago

Looks like a bad 6264. Can you get anything out of the display test? First thing is to reseat all ribbon cables see if that helps.

#6 4 years ago

Yeah that is where I started, I reseated them, and even swapped them out. I'll try it again. It's tough because I can get into the menu but can't quite make out what test I am in. So I am having a hard time running the display test. Suggestions?

#7 4 years ago

I'll of course try reseating the ribbons again, never know.

#8 4 years ago

For your last picture/entry, there is a tiny lil plastic that goes above that rubber. It is immediately to the right of the "RT Jet Lane" insert.

#9 4 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

there is a tiny lil plastic that goes above that rubber. It is immediately to the right of the "RT Jet Lane" insert.

Cool. How about above that where the two lanes merge?

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from Rock914:

Looks like a bad 6264.

I have plans to put a NVRAM in so that might help the 6264 is that is the issue.

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

Cool. How about above that where the two lanes merge?

Here you go. Here are some pictures of what you're missing and where that metal plate goes that posted. I'll try to get some pictures of all the high power switches are mounted on Sunday (later today).

Your DMD being garbled like that can be one of two things: bad ribbon cables/ribbon cable connection or bad RAM. If you can navigate to the "Test" menu, hit your "+" button 10 times. The "Display" test is T11; I just checked to be safe. Enable the display test, and let it go through all of its test.s Near the end of the tests, ti will check the integrity of the RAM. If any "page" or data" errors pop up, the RAM is bad and will need to be swapped on the DMD controller board (not the DMD itself but the DMD controller board). You could also just swap the entire DMD controller board if you can find one =/.


#12 4 years ago

Can you get a pic of how the high powered switches are attached to the cab? Looks like both need to be actuated. I am not seeing an easy way to mount them (no screw holes, no harness, etc)

#13 4 years ago

Here is the display test. Not sure what to look for so let me know what is out of the ordinary:

#14 4 years ago

EDIT **** Used de-oxit to clean all the ribbon cables and the dmd was back to it's smooshed state. Images and sound but text is smooshed. Better than nothing!!***

Well...just got a little worst. While reseating the ribbon cables my flash light happened on these.IMG_20150405_092245.jpg


Now my DMD looks like this (garbage):IMG_20150405_092127.jpg

Looks like on start up there isn't any LED errors BUT D19 (blanking) doesn't seem to be lit:

#15 4 years ago

Looks like the game rom assembly (U6) was one of the uncovered ones and the other was U8 on the sound board which the manual says is unused...hmm...I only see one sound rom on PPS site. Thoughts?

#16 4 years ago

Not that this solves your current issues, but make sure to order yourself a clear playfield plastics protector set from PinBits for when you clean and reassemble the topside.


It will protect the plastics you have left, and at least keep the ball from getting hung up where you're missing original plastics.

#17 4 years ago

Cool. At the very least I can color these and it will take the place of the ones I am missing. Might even be able to print a decal to go on top and have something of a replacement until repros come out! Thanks!!!

#18 4 years ago

Ordered those plastic protectors. Seems I am missing quite a few. So these will be good place holders!!

#19 4 years ago

I had a reset issues with my JM and the garbled DMD...turned out to be C5 Capacitor...I replaced both of them C3 was the other IIRC. Be careful when removing they are notorious for pulling the solder pad with them when they come out.

#20 4 years ago

Take all your ribbon cables off. Make sure you note their orientations, where they go, and what side the red stripe is on for each. Get some sandpaper (mid-range, not too coarse or smooth) and clean as many of the male pins as you can on all the boards where the ribbon cables connect.

If you can, get some DeOxit (http://www.parts-express.com/caig-deoxit-d100l-25c-needle-dispenser-25-ml--341-220) and put one drop down every female end of each ribbon connector. What I did is I put one drop down each end, and then I held the ribbon cables in the shape of a "U" with the female ends pointing straight up, so the DeOxit worked its magic at getting rid of the oxidation. It's expensive at $25, but it is WELL worth its weight and has worked miracles getting rid of oxidation where no tool can get in to work.

Your RAM tested good by what I could see on the DMD. It leads me to believe it's bad ribbon cable connections. Don't quote me as "that is THE problem", but it's certainly the easiest place to start.

#21 4 years ago

Hey Adam, congrats on the Johnny! I'm sure you'll have it sorted out in no time.

A couple things that others haven't addressed yet as far as I can see -

1. Coming off the matrix, there should be a little piece that separates the middle and left feeds. Solution:
I may order one of these once I pick up my Johnny; we could probably order them together and save on shipping.

2. Your camera flash may have corrupted the exposed EPROMS. I would get those ROMs re-written.

3. Was already addressed, but ribbon cables are likely causing your display issues. For the ribbon cables that connect to the display controller board, also try reseating the ends on the MPU, if you haven't already.
Did it say the RAM was good in the display test? Looks like you've at least got a nice, bright display.

#22 4 years ago

It's a project for sure! I have ordered the matrix diverter, I have John over at Super Awesome helping burn new EPROMS, and I am in the midst of cleaning the cables and connections. I want to make sure they are orientated the right way. The power cable? (the one that is connected to a number of boards) is pretty straight forward. The other ones I am not too sure of.


#23 4 years ago

As luck would have it I have some de-oxit, LOVE IT!!

#24 4 years ago

Hey Good news...kinda. After I de-oxit-ized all the ribbons the display is back to some what readable but text still smooshed. So it seems like the ROMS are ok after all, crazy! Still....why is the DMD squished?? I am happy to have SOMETHING good today, yeah!!!

#25 4 years ago

Try pushing on the ASIC chip on the MPU. It's the big square one. I've had it wiggle loose on a couple games after transport and it made the DMD garbled like in your post #14.

With the power off, push on opposing corners a few times.

#26 4 years ago

I have solved the issue in post 14. The DMD looks more like it does in post 2, BUT you never know. I'll give it a go tonight.

On a side note this machine must have LIVED in smoke because it's lousy with cigarette smell and the glass had a visible layer of tar. Made all my towels super brown...ha.

It's so weird that images are ok but text is squished. Like a timing signal is off.

#27 4 years ago

Would someone be able to take a pic with the pf up looking at the coin door so I can see how to attach the high power switches. I'm just not seeing how to do it.

#28 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

Would someone be able to take a pic with the pf up looking at the coin door so I can see how to attach the high power switches. I'm just not seeing how to do it.

Here you go. The switches are mounted into a metal plate. The plate has two pieces bent at 90 degs from each other. One end holds the switches; the other is drilled and held into the inside of the front panel by what look like #10 hexhead screws.


#29 4 years ago

Thanks!! Looks like I need to find a bracket that will hold both switches. Discovered one is the high power, one is the interlock switch. I'll comb through the manual for a part #. I am sure it is pretty standard.

#30 4 years ago

Got it. Part #01-12676.


Thanks!! This is why I started this thread. I will have a BILLION questions and it's best I clog up my own thread. Thanks a billion for your help. At some point I might make the drive down to Dayton to take some reference pics for some decals. BUT first I need to get this DMD sorted and the game more or less functional

#31 4 years ago

Got the high power/interlock bracket installed, rebuilt the left flipper, and fixed the DMD. Now dealing with the lose of the GI and sol (except the two diverters and the left and right flippers. I found out that the system treats the upper diverters as flippers so basically the flippers work, no sol).

Planning on tearing the rest down soon and starting the real rebuild as soon as I figure out the GI situation......arg.

#32 4 years ago

Latest Question:
Bad news is now all the GI, inserts, and about 95% of the sol don't work. As I said no GI or insert lamps and the only sol I can get to fire are the two diverters (on the upper left) and the left and right flippers. I found out that the system treats the upper diverters as flippers so basically the flippers work, no sol.

I swapped out all the fuses so maybe I got something there? They were brand new and I check all of them when they went in. What am I missing?

One step forward, one step back. I guess this goes to show if it's not broken don't fix it! All of the fuses were correct except F114 on the driver board. It was supposed to be a 8amp fuse, and I found a 3 amp in there.

I see 4 lit LEDs on the driver board, one lit on the DMD board, and the CPU LEDs off, flashing, and on as they should be.

OK. So it seems like all my issues.....so far, are ribbon cable related. I wiggled the little interconnect cable between the CPU and driver board and everything seems to be back up now. I have some new ones one order. I might wait to install them, we'll see I just don't want to mess anything else up.

#33 4 years ago

You probably also have some cracked solder joints on the connectors. It would be worth reflowing the connections to the header pins for any connector you think may be a problem.

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from jay:

You probably also have some cracked solder joints on the connectors. It would be worth reflowing the connections to the header pins for any connector you think may be a problem.

I agree. I hear that solves a lot of issues.

#35 4 years ago

I may have very well blown the left flipper transistors. Blinded I guess. Wired the sol backwards. I plan on replacing the diodes and seeing whats what. The left flipper fuse keeps blowing.

I see that transitor (Q3 and Q9) are TIP102 NPN and TIP36C PNP. Are there new/better ones to use? I think there is a better one for the Tip102. Any insight? GPE seems to be out of 36's. Hoping there is a better one for that.

102 and 36 are the best still. BUY THEM

#36 4 years ago

Where would I find housings for that size connector (J207 and J209 on CPU )? Are those .100? I looked on mouser and great plains and I was having trouble finding them.



#37 4 years ago

Ok. Next step is to tear the pf down, clean it, put it all back together, replaces all the nylon sleeves, ramps, replace left flipper coil, rebuild right flipper (new coil too), new spinner/decal, check switches. I KNOW I will have issues with the hand.........and we'll see what pops up next!

#38 4 years ago

One question I have. I need to rivet one of the ramps, just one. And I can't justify getting a rivet press just for that one ramp that will need 4 rivets. Also I do not plan to do a lot of this work so it most likely won't pay off in the end. I may just see who has one around me, head over and do the 4 rivets. I have a read a little about pressless ones but pinbits seems to be out. Thoughts?

I am thinking of doing this since I only need a few.

amazon.com link »

** Update** As of now this is the direction I am going. We'll see how well it works!!

#39 4 years ago

Spend the little time I had this weekend taking the ramps apart, decals off, getting some parts liked up.

As of now I have plans for a few decorative mods and also I plan on putting A LOT of blacklight LEDS into this things. Prob 7ft worth of LED strip lights and one cold cathode UV lights on the center (matrix) ramp.

At this point I am still more or less in tear down mode. I also have a little electronics and wiring to do. Just need to clear my cal to get some work done!

#40 4 years ago

Also I plan on taking and posting some pics. Lots of custom mods planned and some custom decals and plastics~!!

#41 4 years ago

Finally getting around to posting some pictures. I wish I had taken a few when I FIRST got it home. Then you could see how tar stained the glass was. ALl of the ramps were detached more or less which is good and bad. Would have been nice to document what all goes where but it saved me some work.

All in all she doesn't look too bad (this was after I had already taken the ramps and a few other things off). DSC_0100.JPG

Seems like many machines there is a protective layer of dirt.DSC_0117.JPG

Also some pretty expert wiring DSC_0113.JPG

I went back and forth about replacing all of the ramps. The right one needs replaced as the end of the ramp where it feeds the in lane is completely broken off. DSC_0098.JPG

The other two ramps have some cracks but are functional. I took these after I had already started taking the decals off so I can get the dimensions for my custom ones. Might even clean up the original ones....we'll see. DSC_0096.JPGDSC_0099.JPG

But if you are going to do something you might as well do it right. I am pretty happy to see that at least the pf is in pretty good shape. So far I have only seen one small spot where the art is damaged, and then expertly colored in with red sharpie. Maybe a project down the road but not my focus right now. DSC_0106.JPG

Last night I started stripping the pf, taking off wha plastics were left, most have some kind of damage if not cracked or missing completely.

I also took the matrix/hand/back board off to do a Blonde job on it. Thanks for the tutorial! It made taking it off very easy and I lucked out with my matrix!DSC_0118.JPG

The x and y nuts are definitely going to need replaced.....DSC_0119.JPG

Also pulled the trough out before I hit the hay. This picture doesn't really do this justice. It's MUCH worst in person, ha.DSC_0125.JPG

I have SOME electronics stuff to sort out but for now I am focusing on the PF and getting that looking good. SOME of the issues may be solved when I go through the switch, nuts, and bolts.

Not a HUGE task but it took me forever to get the rivets off the right ramp. I'd like to preserve as much as I can of what remains of the center and left ramp. Could be a nice back up or help breath life into another JM. In the end they are usable but with the right one being new out of necessity, me buying all the ramps to save on shipping just in case, and "might as well"-ness.....I will replace them all... Stay tuned for Johnny's REBOOT

#42 4 years ago

Great thread I am keen to see how it comes out. Particularly your decals and download mod!

#43 4 years ago
Quoted from clg:

and download mod!

That one should be fun. I have a bunch of little LEDs on their way from China for that ones. Enough for 10 drives at least. I was also thinking about a ram doubler but......I have enough on my plate...

#44 4 years ago

Be careful if you remove the entire backboard/hand assembly. There are two connectors that are identical for some inexplicable reason. If you plug them in backwards you will take out at least one of the chips in the switch matrix. Not a terribly hard thing to fix but a pain in the ass that can be avoided. Ask me how I know...

#45 4 years ago
Quoted from jay:

There are two connectors that are identical for some inexplicable reason.

I took a pretty decent amount of pictures when I took it off BUT which two am I on the look out for? The jones plugs or the ones on the motor board. I think that was pretty much all except the one that goers to the matrix itself.

Thanks for the heads up. I have them marked and pics taking according to wire color. I triple check before I turn it on!

#46 4 years ago

Not sure what you mean by Jones plugs but two kinda squarish connectors... maybe 9 or 12 pin with thin wires to the matrix. As long as you marked them uniquely you should be fine. Hard to believe that I couldn't find this mentioned anywhere after I fried my game putting it back together, so hopefully this helps get the word out.

#47 4 years ago

yeah. i though the square ones are jones and the rectangle are molex. That's what I call them anyway, ha.

#48 4 years ago

I believe Jones plug usually refers to the type of connectors used in EMs

#49 4 years ago

Ok smartie! So the weirdo square ones. Technical term. Ha

#50 4 years ago

Spent a good portion of my free time today working on decals. REALLY looking good. As far as I can see I have all the mech issues mapped out. Slow process of cleaning everything with the bits of time I have and eventually we'll have a pretty amazing machine

I got a cold cathode UV light that I plan to mount to the center ramp. I also have about 16 ft of UV LED strip coming that will be mounted around the periphery of the PF. This puppy is going to gloooowww.

Still sorting out what I want to do with that plastics. I am hoping to do something unique. Simple. Which I want to tie into the ramps......we'll see.

Really digging this UV stuff. Looks GREAT on this game. And with the few little toys I am building should look even better!

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