(Topic ID: 188548)

Sega Frankenstein DMD and/or power issues

By blondetall

2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by PinballManiac40
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 2 years ago

Howdy guys. Once again, I'm stuck on a pin and need some help. I'll just preface this with the fact that I'm basically scared to death of working on pins now that I've had 2 blow up on me, so go easy on me. There's literally nobody close to me at all that has pins or knows how to work on pins. It's gotten to the point that I'm afraid to turn one on because I'm waiting for it to pop/smoke, so I rarely even play these days. So... the timelines/info may be off on my recollections below.

My Frankenstein had never had issues before, and months ago was turned on for a friend's kid to play one day. When I went back in the room a bit later to turn it off, I realized the DMD was out. Husband (who is good with electronics but has chronic migraines so rarely feels up to messing with complicated electrical things) poked around on it, and due to what looked like burnt areas on the back of the DMD we determined the DMD was probably shot. So a few weeks later I found a used working large DMD here on Pinside, and it then sat in a box in my house for weeks. He finally swapped them out, and it still didn't work. We thought maybe a fuse blew when everything went bad, so weeks later we finally got around to looking for fuses, replaced those, and by that point it wouldn't even boot up and just had a few playfield lights.

We had (major) issues with my Jurassic Park CPU/power supply before, and I'd sent the CPU/power board out to be repaired as back-up after getting it running with new boards. This weekend husband took the repaired JP CPU and put it in Frankenstein to see if that did anything. It would give us the "Frankenstein" callout, then nothing at all, not even the playfield lights like before. We finally realized we needed to open the coin door (DMD still not working to be able to remind us) so after we opened the door it reset and booted. The playfield lights are on an in attract mode, and it appears that we could play a game (without the DMD) if we could figure out how to put it on free play. It reset to pay for play, and there are no coin mechs in it to be able to use quarters, and we can't see the menu of course. If we turn if off, we have to start over with opening the door.

So, for now we have a non-working DMD and a machine that resets every time we power it on. Husband thinks that since the new DMD is in yet still nothing is working that it may not have even been the DMD at all before, and that the issue is with the display controller board/driver board/ROM board or ROMs themselves. We found this http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-5092-01 but it is not available. We were going to try to swap our JP or LAH display ROMs into it to see if that did anything, but they use one board and Frankenstein takes 2.

Husband has been looking around and found on vpforums that "Replacement driver boards are like gold dust; both hellishly rare and hellishly expensive." And also "Sega's large DMD's are very very sensetive to the 5 volts. If it's off at all, it's going to reset." So, I'm guessing the CPU went wonky and messed up the voltage, which screwed up my DMD. So right now we've got the working JP CPU in it, the replacement DMD in it, it boots up resets every time, and we can't see what we're doing to be able to test it past that. We are stuck as to what to do next as we aren't positive on a diagnosis and the parts aren't even available. Any suggestions on what we can do/try with this thing?

#2 2 years ago

When you installed the JP MPU board in Frankenstein did you remember to install the frankenstein CPU chip from the Frankenstein MPU board?

#3 2 years ago

(This is husband) Yeah, the ROM is in. From all appearances, the MPU board is working fine and we could play a game on it if the game took quarters (albeit without any display feedback).

#4 2 years ago

This is a long shot, but the display connectors are known to be weak and fail. Sega has a service bulletin in this. Have you tried replacing the cable?

3 months later
#5 1 year ago
Quoted from blondetall:

there are no coin mechs in it to be able to use quarters

Howdy. Glad to see the JP MPU is working for you. Even though there are not any coin mechs, there should be switches on the coin door that the quarters would hit after it leaves the coin mechs.

I think you have to at least go through the menu and make it reset for it to remember that it booted up with the Frankenstein ROMs if you are using the NVRAM in the JP board that I had installed.

Maybe someone in the Frankenstein club can write down all the switch presses to get you through to set the game for Free Play. Wish I had one.

#6 1 year ago

Can you post a picture of the original DMD? I suspect that one or more capacitors leaked.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from blondetall:

And also "Sega's large DMD's are very very sensetive to the 5 volts. If it's off at all, it's going to reset." So, I'm guessing the CPU went wonky and messed up the voltage, which screwed up my DMD.

That is possible. It is also possible that 5volts on the power supply is flaky. Can you measure 5volts on the test point on the power supply? I think you need to change the C2 (100uf 35v or 50v radial electrolytic capacitor). This is what originally happened to your JP power supply (dipped down below 4.7v) and then had corrupted the RAM on the MPU causing it not to boot. I tested the MPU once I received it and found nothing wrong because you had remove the batteries from the board which cleared the RAM memory.

So I think you can remove your batteries on your original Frankenstein MPU and install any of the game ROMs, then just hold the MPU in the game and only plug in the power connector into CN17 (all that is needed to see it boot up). Once you turn on the game without the batteries, then you should see the Blank LED on and the PIA should be off if it boots correctly. If the PIA LED stays lit, then there is something else wrong.

#8 1 year ago

Howdy. I just saw this while checking for any new mod threads before bed. If husband is alive tomorrow (he's going on 38 hours with no sleep because new migraine trial meds are giving him insomnia) then I will have him help me check things and report back. The original DMD is with pmWolf in Michigan, as he visited and took it back home to test.

#9 1 year ago

Damn. Sorry to hear that. I had migraines last 3 days before and that sucks. Luckily I hadn't needed any special meds in 20 years. Hoping he is better tomorrow.

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