(Topic ID: 190361)

Stern Galaxy - Not booting, first SS

By MaxAsh

4 years ago


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  • 103 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by MaxAsh
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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  • Galaxy Stern Electronics, 1980

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BallySternSDBupgrades (resized).jpg
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Galaxy_Lives_2 (resized).jpg
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Galaxy_1stPlayer_Score (resized).jpg
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MPU_Back1 (resized).jpg
MPU_Front1 (resized).jpg
Lamp_Driver_2 (resized).jpg
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PF_2 (resized).jpg
Battery_Dmg (resized).jpg
Head_Boards_Fullview (resized).jpg

There are 103 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 4 years ago

Hello all - I've finally decided to break out of my EM repair safety zone and try my hand at fixing a SS. I picked up a dead Stern Galaxy that I think will clean up pretty well. I've been reading a lot of previous threads on other Galaxy pins, as well as watching some youtube videos I found on repairing the pin. Hoping you guys can help direct and teach me as I learn about the SS world. Please feel free to ask me for pics or more info as I go, happy to oblige.

What I know so far:

- I don't see much wire hackery or anything strange, in fact most stuff looks completely original
- Battery was still in place, some leakage corrosion, but not anywhere near as bad as others I've seen pics of before. I removed it and started the clean-up process. Corrosion seems to be in one general "drip-down" area beneath the battery, mostly on the surface of a few components, not all over the boards, so that's good.
- Fuses are all good and proper ratings.
- Several connectors/pins look burnt/crispy, but based on what I'm seeing in other threads/videos, this is not uncommon, but clearly need replacing/cleanup.

It was suggested I do some basic voltage testing, starting with the TA 100 board and test points TP1 thru TP5. Here are the not so good readings (proper readings per TP 100 label in parenthesis):

TP1 = No reading (should be 5.4 VDC)
TP2 = 246 VDC (190 VDC)
TP3 = 14.7 VDC (11.9 VDC)
TP4 = No reading (43 VDC)
TP5 = 21.7 VAC (7.3 VAC)

Since the game isn't running, I'm guessing that might explain some of the higher voltages? The complete lack of reading at TP1 and TP4 are obviously not good.

As for what the game does, it emits a series of beeps/tones (2 short, pause, 1 short, pause, 2 longer). One display has a slight orange glow, oddly enough.

I know I have a LOT to do here, and I welcome advice/suggestions. Thanks!

#2 4 years ago

Some pics... I know they're not all pretty

TP_BR_Board (resized).jpg

Head_Boards_Fullview (resized).jpg

Battery_Dmg (resized).jpg

PF_2 (resized).jpg

#3 4 years ago

21AC is really high... Does the GI work?

For the other two voltages, since either the rectifier (which converts the AC to DC) is bad, or it's not getting the AC, so check that the AC sides of the corresponding rectifiers have voltage

As for the mpu, I'd guess from that description that it's getting four flashes or maybe five. Those bong sounds correspond to the led on the mpu flashing. If you watch the mpu you'll be able to get a clearer count. It should first flicker briefly, then start flashing. The first flicker doesn't count, not sure if sterns make a sound for that one or not. The amount of flashes you do get (minus the flicker) can help tell you what component on the board is bad

#4 4 years ago

I don't see any activity on the LED sadly, but maybe it's really dim, I'll try in lower light. I have zero GI or any other activity aside from the sounds I mentioned, and that really dim glow on one of the displays. Should I try various other TP spots on the other boards and report back with readings?

#5 4 years ago

That rectifier board looks pretty rough. The resistors look crumbly and certain spots look almost desoldered...odd. I would start with that one and work it until the correct voltages are obtained. Vids guide is a big help here

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-quick-bally-driver-board-repair-bulletproofing/page/2#post-2113931

#6 4 years ago
Quoted from MaxAsh:

I don't see any activity on the LED sadly, but maybe it's really dim, I'll try in lower light. I have zero GI or any other activity aside from the sounds I mentioned, and that really dim glow on one of the displays. Should I try various other TP spots on the other boards and report back with readings?

If it's actually 21VAC I assume all your gi lamps have blown. You might want to check that the rectifier board is correctly wired to the transformer.

It's possible the led is bad, or part of the other circuit is, since it's near the batteries too.

If the rectifier board doesn't have good voltages, none of the other boards will as they all come from there. I'd focus on getting your rectifier TPs correct as @setzcore says, before worrying about anything else. You may want to disconnect the rest of the boards from the rectifier board for safety while you work on it. It may be more worthwhile to just buy a replacement, but fixing it will be a good learning experience.

#7 4 years ago

Personally I would just go ahead and rebuild that rectifier board first. New bridges, possibly new connectors or reflowing their solder at least. Then you have a solid foundation to start on.

#8 4 years ago

Sounds good, rectifier fix or replacement is my first target. I'll check a few more things before deciding if all new makes more sense. Should I just unplug all the connections from the front of the board until the voltages are correct?

It appears as though the front end had some moisture issues, as I see some rust there, but not elsewhere. The knocker plunger, flipper plungers, and transformer metal parts look rusty, but everything else pretty clean. I'm told this spent some years in a campground "arcade" so that doesn't surprise me.. those are often barns I've found. Will report back soon, thanks all

#9 4 years ago

Okay, so I just unplugged everything from the rectifier, aside from the bottom right plug (as it's the incoming feed from the power/power switch area). I just retested voltages, and check this out:

TP1 = 5.11 VDC
TP2 = 159.92 VDC
TP3 = 12.07 VDC
TP4 = no reading
TP5 = 10.7 VAC

TP1, TP3 and TP5 all look a lot better (though TP5 is still a little high), but TP2 went down and TP4 is still no reading.

Thoughts? I'm curious why unplugging the other connectors from the rectifier would actually cause the 5V to reappear.

#10 4 years ago

Flaky connector.

#11 4 years ago

TP4 is the test point for your solenoid voltage. The game will not boot without this voltage.

I would suggest unplugging the play field connectors, replacing the SOL fuse with the proper value, and see if the SOL voltage holds without blowing the fuse.

If it still blows, you will likely need to replace a bridge on the rectifier board OR just buy a new rectifier board and solder it in.

#12 4 years ago

I found the fuse holder for the 190V section was dirty. Cleaned it up, which stabilized all the readings, but they're still off.

TP1 = 8.1V (too high)
TP2 = 174V (bit short of the 190V)
TP3 = 11.92V (perfect)
TP4 = no reading
TP5 = 10.7 VAC (still a little high)

I'll go over it all again, but I'm leaning towards a new board. This one is pretty beat and flaky.

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from snyper2099:

TP4 is the test point for your solenoid voltage. The game will not boot without this voltage.
I would suggest unplugging the play field connectors, replacing the SOL fuse with the proper value, and see if the SOL voltage holds without blowing the fuse.
If it still blows, you will likely need to replace a bridge on the rectifier board OR just buy a new rectifier board and solder it in.

I checked the TP4 fuse and tested it, it's the proper rating and isn't blown. Tested in-place too on the fuse holders, good connection there as well. So it's probably the bridge like you said. But yea... new board looking like the smart move.

#14 4 years ago

Board ordered, along with a bunch of connectors/pins/etc so I can work on changing those out too. Maybe I'll get lucky and the rectifier is the source of the game's issues ha. I won't hold my breath on that, but here's to hoping.

While I wait for the rectifier, connectors, etc, anything else board-wise I should dig into, or just sit tight for a couple of days while I wait?

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from MaxAsh:

TP1 = 8.1V (too high)
TP2 = 174V (bit short of the 190V)
TP3 = 11.92V (perfect)
TP4 = no reading
TP5 = 10.7 VAC (still a little high)

The TP's are values to be considered "under load". In other words, those voltages will drop when you have everything connected and working properly. TP1 is high though... Not under load, it should be more like 6.5V.

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from MaxAsh:

I checked the TP4 fuse and tested it, it's the proper rating and isn't blown. Tested in-place too on the fuse holders, good connection there as well. So it's probably the bridge like you said. But yea... new board looking like the smart move.

If that's the case, you probably have cold solder joints on the rectifier board.

Good that you bought a new one.

#17 4 years ago

I figured I can always work on the old one and repair it in my spare time. It will likely come in handy one day, and good to practice on. Or someone I know will need/want it I'm sure.

I hate waiting for parts. Maybe I'll do some tear down and clean-up in the mean time... though I do prefer waiting until it's running before going too crazy. I see PBR doesn't have full flipper rebuild kits for this, so that stinks. In particular I really need a new plunger and link... which they don't have. Time to hunt.

#18 4 years ago

While you're waiting you might want to pull off the MPU board and clean all the corrosion - Also pull the light driver board and check the back side. It looks like corrosion on that as well.

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from oldschoolbob:

While you're waiting you might want to pull off the MPU board and clean all the corrosion - Also pull the light driver board and check the back side. It looks like corrosion on that as well.

If the LED isn't even turning on on the MPU you're definitely going to want a corrosion repair kit (think big daddy sells them, or you can source your own parts).

Quoted from MaxAsh:I see PBR doesn't have full flipper rebuild kits for this, so that stinks. In particular I really need a new plunger and link... which they don't have.

Pinball life sells full brand new stern flipper mechs and all the parts in them.

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

If the LED isn't even turning on on the MPU you're definitely going to want a corrosion repair kit (think big daddy sells them, or you can source your own parts).

Would the LED turn on if the voltages out of the rectifier board aren't right? I would think that would cause things like the MPU to not function, LED included, right?

Pinball life sells full brand new stern flipper mechs and all the parts in them.

Thanks - I'll check that out

#21 4 years ago

As suggested, pulled the MPU and Lamp Driver off to take a look. See pics for reference. The Good news is that the Lamp Driver looks good on the back. There are components that have corrosion/leakage on their surfaces, and a little on the legs, but I think all of this will clean-up alright, so Lamp Driver should be okay I believe (tell me if you think otherwise please).

The Bad news is the MPU is not looking great. Reviewing the back, the damage looks a little rough, but I'm new to this kind of corrosion, so I welcome your thoughts. Some of those traces look pretty eaten up. The corrosion is in more places than I expected, as seen in some of the photos. Honest opinions - is this a clean-up and save it situation, or am I in some trouble here?

Lamp_Driver_1 (resized).jpg

Lamp_Driver_2 (resized).jpg

MPU_Front1 (resized).jpg

MPU_Back1 (resized).jpg

MPU_Front2 (resized).jpg

#22 4 years ago
Quoted from MaxAsh:

Would the LED turn on if the voltages out of the rectifier board aren't right? I would think that would cause things like the MPU to not function, LED included, right?

Thanks - I'll check that out

The led only needs the 12V to work. And since you're getting the sounds you know the mpu is at least partially booting.

Since the mpu is getting to four or five, most of the stuff in the corrosion area has to actually be working, so you've got a good chance of getting it to boot, but that looks like it'll be a big job to clean it up for someone without good board repair experience. The number of bleeps suggests U11 or U12 is bad. I'd order one if each and replace them, see if you get more beeps. If that doesn't fix it, you could try replacing the socket for U11, but at that point if it still doesn't work I'd probably give up on it for now.

#23 4 years ago

After chatting with a few folks, I think I'm going to go the route of replacing the MPU, and then in my spare time working on the old one to see what I can do with it (and learn on it). I've done some board work in the past (cap kits, resistors, a few sockets, etc.) so I don't mind giving it a try when time permits. I'd rather spend the time working on the game in other ways, assuming I get it up and running. Hopefully the new rectifier and MPU (and new connectors) will sort out most of the issues.

While I wait for all the parts, I'll continue checking/cleaning other stuff. More to come... thanks all.

#24 4 years ago

If its any help,mine gives off two quick bongs,and then 5 rings when starting up! That pf is amazing! Make sure you LED that pin,it really pops with color! The boards in yours are different than mine,and for gods sake put a NVRAM battery eliminator in there! I used 2 in mine cause it has 2 memories! And be sure to clear ALL former numbers in memories! have fun!!!

#25 4 years ago
Quoted from hawkmoon:

If its any help,mine gives off two quick bongs,and then 5 rings when starting up! That pf is amazing! Make sure you LED that pin,it really pops with color! The boards in yours are different than mine,and for gods sake put a NVRAM battery eliminator in there! I used 2 in mine cause it has 2 memories! And be sure to clear ALL former numbers in memories! have fun!!!

Galaxy and meteor give a quick double tap tone upon power up unlike most other mpu200 games. That + 5 more tones makes me think the solenoid would be blown. See if the MPU TP3 has around 22vdc.

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from hawkmoon:

That pf is amazing!

It does look pretty nice, but it's also clear you will be needing some new flipper bushings. Make sure you get the right size either type 1 or type 2 depending on the mfg date...unless of course you plan on upgrading the mechs as mentioned above.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

Galaxy and meteor give a quick double tap tone upon power up unlike most other mpu200 games.

When I first attempted to boot it up, I got the double tap tone, then a single tone, then a longer double tap. No other signs of life though. Given the wacky voltage readings at the rectifier, I'm surprised I even got what I did.

After cleaning all the fuse holders, which brought a few of the voltages closer to spec, I tried again. No tones anymore, just speaker hum. The 1st player display showed about 1/2 of a single digit lit up, which was odd. That was literally the only thing that happened. Attaching pic for kicks, since it's the most I saw in terms of life to date.

After all that, I decided to go with the new rectifier, and based on feedback, I'll be picking up a new MPU. Turns out the place selling them is literally 30mins from me, so I'll hopefully pick them up tomorrow and have a chance to try things out tomorrow afternoon or evening!

First thing will be to hook up the new rectifier and get some solid (and hopefully correct) voltage readings. Then we'll go from there.

Galaxy_1stPlayer_Score (resized).jpg

#28 4 years ago
Quoted from setzkor:

It does look pretty nice, but it's also clear you will be needing some new flipper bushings. Make sure you get the right size either type 1 or type 2 depending on the mfg date...unless of course you plan on upgrading the mechs as mentioned above.

The plungers are rust covered on the existing flippers, along with some of the other bits and pieces associated with them. It's one of the only areas that has that issue, which is strange. I'm guessing I'll need to rebuild and/or replace them entirely, but I'll worry about that once the machine is alive again. I've already got a growing "to be ordered if it lives" list haha.

#29 4 years ago

Washed the board with vinegar solution as suggested to neutralize corrosion. Dried with compressed air (and left for more drying overnight). Did some testing on the damaged spots, and surprisingly traces that looked rough all test okay. Cleaned up a couple sockets and tested through okay too. I'm sure the quality of the connections aren't great and could cause issues for sure, but I was honestly surprised so much was testing okay path-wise. Looks like this old MPU will be worth working on eventually.

Hopefully picking up the new rectifier and MPU today. I did notice that the TP4 and TP5 on the new rectifier are swapped in terms of marked voltages. My existing TA-100 Ver B has them TP4 43VDC, TP5 7.3VAC, but the info I'm seeing on the new board shows them the opposite. I'll have to be careful of that with wiring up the new board.

Wouldn't that alter my connector pinout too? I need to be careful and check this out a little before hooking anything up.

#30 4 years ago

Okay, new boards picked up. I soldered on the new rectifier and did a test with just the transformer's AC hooked up as suggested (Pins 6 & 7 on J2). All my voltages look good on the Test Points!

I checked my TP1 at the Solenoid Driver as well, and it's showing 5.10VDC, so we're good there.

I was going to install the Alltek Ultimate MPU, but I'm having trouble. Galaxy has a Sound board on the left side, mounted to the side of the head. It's in the way of the two connectors on the far left side of the Alltek board. They're set further to the left than the original MPU-200, it's annoying. I'm assuming plenty of people have installed Alltek MPUs in similar games - did they relocate the Sound board? Change the mounting holes on the bracket for the MPU? Seems like a hassle either way. Anyone dealt with this?

#31 4 years ago

Still need to figure out the above board-mounting issue, but I got it hooked up temporarily to test and... IT LIVES (sort of)!

Got a full boot up with tones and lights, sound working, insert lights rotating through/flashing in attract mode, and head GI nice and lit up. Displays are on, see pic, not sure if this is normal for them to sit there displaying all zeros.

None of the credit switches do anything. When I pressed the credit button, it sounded like the outhole kicker attempted to fire, and the background sound of a game in play started, but nothing else happened. Playfield dead, flippers dead, ball didn't kick out.

But hey... this is a big overall improvement. Thoughts on what's next?

Galaxy_Lives_1 (resized).jpg

Galaxy_Lives_2 (resized).jpg

#32 4 years ago
Quoted from MaxAsh:

I'm assuming plenty of people have installed Alltek MPUs in similar games - did they relocate the Sound board? Change the mounting holes on the bracket for the MPU? Seems like a hassle either way. Anyone dealt with this?

I've stuck allteks in multiple other stern games with the same sound board without issue. Can you take a picture?

Quoted from MaxAsh:Thoughts on what's next?

The P1 display is going to need some major work, or may be a goner from the looks of it. Missing segment on P2 should be repairable. Take all displays out and reflow the solder on the connectors, then plug back in. See if the test button will get the game into test mode so you can get a better idea of what's wrong with the displays, solenoids, etc. Later Sterns can get some weird garbage in their memory in attact mode that can make the displays look like that, but it could also be an issue, display test should make it clear.

#33 4 years ago

Here's the Sound Board issue in terms of space. The sink at the bottom and caps run into the lower connector on the MPU if I try to mount everything as it's designed. Even the way the bulk of the wires are run gets in the way, it can't fit back in the corner between the boards. (Note: wires are all removed from various tie-downs and such because I needed to move them out of the way to get the MPU installed. Normally they're crammed into that corner running up the back of the head)

Also, a pic of the Player 2 display from the back... I think I see a small issue there haha.

Sound_SpaceIssue (resized).jpg
Display2 (resized).jpg

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

See if the test button will get the game into test mode so you can get a better idea of what's wrong with the displays, solenoids, etc.

I took a quick video of the displays during overall burn-in self test mode (also ran the display-only test, same result). Looks like P1 display is hosed as you said. P2 display bottom row needs fixing. Rest of the displays all look good in the test I believe.

- Light test seemed good (aside from lots of burned out bulbs).
- Solenoid test I can hear some stuck/not firing, but most of them did, so that's good.
- Switch test showed a "4" on the display, which if I read the manual correctly means I have 4 closed switches and the rest are open. Not sure if I should have any closed or not? Maybe the outhole with the ball there, if it's included in the count would be one... but is 4 good or bad there?

Video of displays during test

Edit/Update - Game sat in attract mode without issue for a while (easily 5-10 mins) while I checked a few things. Now it seems to randomly reboot, enter attract mode, then reboot again 10-15 secs later. Sometimes it doesn't even fully boot before rebooting. I checked the voltage on the solenoid driver board... holding steady at 5.10 VDC.

#35 4 years ago
Quoted from MaxAsh:

Switch test showed a "4" on the display, which if I read the manual correctly means I have 4 closed switches and the rest are open. Not sure if I should have any closed or not? Maybe the outhole with the ball there, if it's included in the count would be one... but is 4 good or bad there?

That means switch number 4 is closed. There may be more, but it only reports the lowest numbered

Check 12V as well as 5, and make sure to check them via tp on mpu

#36 4 years ago

Have you replaced the capacitor at C23 on Solenoid Driver board?

#37 4 years ago
Quoted from JT-Pinball:

Have you replaced the capacitor at C23 on Solenoid Driver board?

No, so far I've only replaced the rectifier and MPU.

Per the above I'll check the 12V and test points on the MPU next

Thanks in the switch explanation, I'll check that a as well

#38 4 years ago

The filter cap hold the 5V steady on the MPU. The MPU sees things faster than your meter so if the power fluctuation that happen in milliseconds cause the MPU to lose 5V to logic and game crashes. My humble opinion.

#39 4 years ago
Quoted from JT-Pinball:

Have you replaced the capacitor at C23 on Solenoid Driver board?

Try measuring across the cap with your meter on AC, general rule is if you measure over 1/4V you should replace it

#40 4 years ago

I would only trust measuring by ESR. Besides the picture showed looks like an original on that board. It's way past its life expectancy. See vid1900 guides for rebuilding solenoid driver board.

#41 4 years ago

Yep, all original. Guess I'll rebuild that board with a kit next.

#42 4 years ago

I would also recommend you repin all connectors male and female. It eliminates random issues in the game. With issues you are having I would start with driver board J3 and MPU J4.

#43 4 years ago
Quoted from JT-Pinball:

I would also recommend you repin all connectors male and female. It eliminates random issues in the game. With issues you are having I would start with driver board J3 and MPU J4.

Okay,will do. I picked up a bunch of connectors from a localplace, but of course they were out of the connector sizes for the ones you just mentioned, so I don't have those.

Went to order the AS-2518-22 rebuild kit from Big Daddy, but he's running a $100 minimum right now, ouch. Is there another source for these caps/kits? I've been googling, and I can find the 15000uf/35V snap-in one at Digikey/Mouser/etc. Struggling with the other (150uf 350V or 400V, axial). Found one at Mouser, but for $17, which seemed odd.

Advice welcome on a good source for the kit that I may have missed in my searching (my brain hurts) thanks

#44 4 years ago
Quoted from MaxAsh:

Okay,will do. I picked up a bunch of connectors from a localplace, but of course they were out of the connector sizes for the ones you just mentioned, so I don't have those.
Went to order the AS-2518-22 rebuild kit from Big Daddy, but he's running a $100 minimum right now, ouch. Is there another source for these caps/kits? I've been googling, and I can find the 15000uf/35V snap-in one at Digikey/Mouser/etc. Struggling with the other (150uf 350V or 400V, axial). Found one at Mouser, but for $17, which seemed odd.
Advice welcome on a good source for the kit that I may have missed in my searching (my brain hurts) thanks

I've rebuilt mine via Digikey in the past without issue. If you give me a list of what you can't find I'll check my records

#45 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Sterns can get some weird garbage in their memory in attact mode that can make the displays look like that, but it could also be an issue, display test should make it clear.

if you get garbage in the memory had do you clear it

#46 4 years ago

It's working! I did a bunch of testing and something seemed fishy with the connections coming off the rectifier. I had not repinned them all yet since it had booted fine with the existing connectors. Bonehead move. I just repinned and used new connectors... Game booted right up, credit switches work, game started and scoring, flippers, etc all work.

Tons left to do, and I'm still going to rebuild parts of the solenoid driver, but this is awesome. More to come, thanks all

#47 4 years ago

connectors connectors connectors... did you try Great Plains Electronics? He sells caps for the SDB and .100 pins.

#48 4 years ago

I would reflow the header pins on the male side of P1 display. Most of the issues I have seen (short broken glass) with them are broken or cracked solder joints on male connectors. If the glass is not cracked broken or burned. The display can more than likely be fixed.

#49 4 years ago

I'll be reflowing displays first thing in the morning. Then doing all the connectors I have handy. Just ordered the caps and other stuff from GPE, flipper rebuild kit and other parts from pinball life. I have a parts order going to PBR too, so I'll hit them for some stuff as well. Lots to work on, I appreciate all the help, I'm sure I'm not out of the woods yet.

#50 4 years ago

Lol. I get a game I unplug all the connectors in the head and on rectifier. I make sure everything is right at the transformer, then plugging things in one at a time move to the rectifier, then sdb, then MPU. This helps from accidental frying something until you know you have stable voltage. I have still fried plenty! You will make a big difference in those old displays by upgrading the resistors at R1, R3 , R5, R7, and R11 to 1/2 watt. If you have ability to desolder change the .156 male headers. The displays will burn noticeably brighter. I turn the voltage down to 180v on them. Some folks go lower but I wonder what that dose to the power demand? I just got done upgrading 10 displays and have 5 more to do.

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