(Topic ID: 264686)

Stern SAM battery goes dead


By FiatsRUs

10 months ago



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  • 47 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by FiatsRUs
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Family Guy battery issue (resized).JPG

#1 10 months ago

I purchased a HUO Family Guy last October and was a little surprised that the 2430 backup battery on the MPU was dead. I replaced it and everything was good until yesterday (about 5 months after the replacement), when all settings were lost as the battery was once again drained (.35 volts). Other than the dead battery, the pin works great with no issues. I checked the blocking diode at D24 and it is functioning properly.

Since NVRAM does not appear to be a reasonable option for this pin, would it work for me to use either a rechargeable battery or a super capacitor (1.5F, 5V) instead of the coin battery? I realize that I would need to jumper the blocking diode at D24, but is there any other reason that either of those wouldn't work?

#2 10 months ago

I would replace the battery again. There are a lot of crap batteries out there these days.

#3 10 months ago

Something down stream of the battery pulling it down? I've no idea how you'd check that without testing all the components though.

#4 10 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

I would replace the battery again. There are a lot of crap batteries out there these days.

I put in an Energizer battery when I got the pin, but that is probably a good idea to see if it happens again. Three times would strongly suggest something is wrong. I did check Pinwiki and there was an entry there about "Battery draining quickly" and it was due to a bad clock IC at U43. I input some time settings and I don't have the same symptoms that they reported with their bad clock.

From Pinwiki:

7.3 Battery draining quickly

A SAM CPU board was rapidly draining the battery when the game was powered off. Power was getting from the battery to the clock at U43 and the RAM at U11. In other words, the components on the way to the clock and RAM were good (R211, D24, R212) and the diode at D25 was also good. However, when setting the time under the Utilities menu, gibberish would be output when the last entry was accepted. This indicated a problem with the clock IC at U43. The clock is a SOIC-8 150 mil package. A replacement is DS1302Z+ found at mouser.com. After replacing the clock IC the game kept correct time when powered on and off, and the battery no longer drained quickly.

#5 10 months ago
Quoted from RWH:

Something down stream of the battery pulling it down? I've no idea how you'd check that without testing all the components though.

There really isn't that much downstream besides the clock at U43 and the memory at U11. The pin works and plays fine, except for the dead battery. Also, the "modern" boards have surface mount components. A lot tougher for a hack like me to test and work on them.

#6 10 months ago

Rob Anthony talked about NVRAM for SAM CPU boards in another thread. These are surface mount parts and he will only install at his shop due to the equipment he uses, so you would have to ship the board to him if you want to go that route.

#7 10 months ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Rob Anthony talked about NVRAM for SAM CPU boards in another thread. These are surface mount parts and he will only install at his shop due to the equipment he uses, so you would have to ship the board to him if you want to go that route.

I put another button battery in to see if it also dies in a relatively short time. If so, I'll go the super cap route since my machines get turned on and played on a fairly regular basis.

#8 10 months ago

If you use a supercap, connect a diode from +5V to the cap so that it will charge.

4 months later
#9 6 months ago

My Family Guy battery is dead again. It appears that 4-5 months is the life span. I am thinking about putting in a remote battery holder with three AA batteries. Would that present any issue to have 4.5 volts instead of the 3.5 volts with the button battery?

Could I jumper the blocking diode at D24 and put in a rechargeable battery or a super capacitor? The game gets played at least monthly in the summer and much more often in the winter.

I have to believe the memory get 5 volts when the pin is turned on.

#10 6 months ago

Are you losing the high scores or only the date/time?

I removed my coin cell battery out of my Stern POTC since it was dead anyway and it still remembers my settings and high scores, just not the date/time. Been like that for 2 months so I have no plans to install another battery.

#11 6 months ago

I believe NVRam is a super easy swap on these boards

#12 6 months ago
Quoted from Jeffswack:

I believe NVRam is a super easy swap on these boards

No. Rob Anothony says it is a surface mounted part and he can only do it at his work shop. It is soldered directly to the CPU board.

#13 6 months ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Are you losing the high scores or only the date/time?
I removed my coin cell battery out of my Stern POTC since it was dead anyway and it still remembers my settings and high scores, just not the date/time. Been like that for 2 months so I have no plans to install another battery.

Losing all of the settings.

#14 6 months ago
Quoted from Jeffswack:

I believe NVRam is a super easy swap on these boards

I have checked all of the usual suppliers and NVRam is not available for these.

#15 6 months ago

Does anyone know if there is any issue with the super cap or rechargeable options?

#16 6 months ago
Quoted from FiatsRUs:

Losing all of the settings.

2 months without a battery in my POTC and my game is not losing settings. Must be something different about the RAM on my CPU board. I am the 2nd owner of this game and I bought it back in 2010 from an owner who rarely played it.

#17 6 months ago

Thanks for reminding me.. I need to change my battery in my FG. Been 12 years.

#18 6 months ago

What voltage is your battery reading? It should only need 3 volts to keep the settings. Maybe the ram itself is bad, draining the battery prematurely. Or something else in that circuit downstream.

#19 6 months ago
Quoted from RC_like_the_cola:

What voltage is your battery reading? It should only need 3 volts to keep the settings. Maybe the ram itself is bad, draining the battery prematurely. Or something else in that circuit downstream.

.12 volts. Completely dead. The only downstream components are the RAM (U11), the clock (U43) and an oscillator (Y2). There are also some diodes and a resistor that all test good.

The machine works fine with no issues other than the dead battery. I am going to try making an adapter to plug a super cap into the battery holder and then putting a jumper on D24 so the cap charges when the game is turned on.

Family Guy battery issue (resized).JPG

#20 6 months ago

Bad D25? If he's shorted then the battery will see just under a 220 ohm load. Pretty hefty load for a coin battery.

#21 6 months ago
Quoted from FiatsRUs:

I put another button battery in to see if it also dies in a relatively short time. If so, I'll go the super cap route since my machines get turned on and played on a fairly regular basis.

Schematic shows that there is already a small super cap on that board at C255 (0.22F).
This super cap is intended to gloss over small dips in power but the battery is intended to hold up over time. You will get a higher mAH rating with a battery than a super cap. If your battery is not lasting long now, the super cap will be even shorter.

#22 6 months ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

Bad D25? If he's shorted then the battery will see just under a 220 ohm load. Pretty hefty load for a coin battery.

I tested D24, D25 and D26. D24 and D26 read .525 (or so) and D25 read .425 (or so). They are obviously in-circuit so I figured that was OK. Not true? Should I just replace D25 and see what happens?

#23 6 months ago

Easy to test to see if you have voltage going back due to bad D25.
With good battery installed and machine has been turned off for awhile -- measure voltage at anode (non-banded end) of D25. If you see a voltage there then the diode is bad.

#24 6 months ago

No voltage at the non-banded side of D25. The battery reads 2.95 vdc and the banded side of D25 is 2.45 vdc, as is the banded side of D24. I checked the non-banded side of D28 and it was just over 1 vdc. Is that because of the super cap at C255?

#25 6 months ago

Yeah, the voltage at the anode of D28 would be due to C255.
Your readings mean the diodes are doing what they're supposed to be doing.

Next guess - something on board is drawing too much current. Bad RAM or the power control circuit within the DS1310.
Can you measure a voltage drop across R211 when the power is turned off?

#26 6 months ago

Drop is only 2.95 vdc to 2.94 vdc. I metered it with no battery in at just under 100 ohms.

#27 6 months ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

Next guess - something on board is drawing too much current. Bad RAM or the power control circuit within the DS1310.
Can you measure a voltage drop across R211 when the power is turned off?

Do you mean the DS1302 at U43? Here is an entry from Pinwiki for the SAM system:

7.3 Battery draining quickly
A SAM CPU board was rapidly draining the battery when the game was powered off. Power was getting from the battery to the clock at U43 and the RAM at U11. In other words, the components on the way to the clock and RAM were good (R211, D24, R212) and the diode at D25 was also good. However, when setting the time under the Utilities menu, gibberish would be output when the last entry was accepted. This indicated a problem with the clock IC at U43. The clock is a SOIC-8 150 mil package. A replacement is DS1302Z+ found at mouser.com. After replacing the clock IC the game kept correct time when powered on and off, and the battery no longer drained quickly.

I am able to reset the time and date with no hiccups.

#28 6 months ago
Quoted from FiatsRUs:

Drop is only 2.95 vdc to 2.94 vdc. I metered it with no battery in at just under 100 ohms.

Need to measure this one directly across the resistor. Red lead on one end of resistor, black lead end on other end of resistor. Just like you are measuring the resistance but with meter in voltage range.

#29 6 months ago
Quoted from FiatsRUs:

Do you mean the DS1302 at U43? Here is an entry from Pinwiki for the SAM system:
7.3 Battery draining quickly
A SAM CPU board was rapidly draining the battery when the game was powered off. Power was getting from the battery to the clock at U43 and the RAM at U11. In other words, the components on the way to the clock and RAM were good (R211, D24, R212) and the diode at D25 was also good. However, when setting the time under the Utilities menu, gibberish would be output when the last entry was accepted. This indicated a problem with the clock IC at U43. The clock is a SOIC-8 150 mil package. A replacement is DS1302Z+ found at mouser.com. After replacing the clock IC the game kept correct time when powered on and off, and the battery no longer drained quickly.
I am able to reset the time and date with no hiccups.

U43 may still have issues. This circuit has an internal power controller module. This power module selects between the 3V coin cell battery (when machine is turned off) and the 3.3V logic power (when the machine is turned on). It is possible for this to go bad yet still have a functional clock section.

#30 6 months ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

Need to measure this one directly across the resistor. Red lead on one end of resistor, black lead end on other end of resistor. Just like you are measuring the resistance but with meter in voltage range.

9.8 mV

#31 6 months ago

OK -- you have a 100 ohm resistor with 0.0098V across it. This says you have a 0.0098/100 = 0.000098 amp load or 98uA. This is more than 10x what I expected but still not huge (I expect 6uA maximum based on data sheets).

The 24mm coin batteries are rated at 280mAh to 320mAh depending on brand.
280mAh / 0.098mA = 2448 hours = 102 days or just under 3 months. Not very good.
320mAh / 0.098mA = 3265 hours = 136 days or about 4.5 months. Better but still not very good.

The two devices share the same power source so not easy to narrow down which part is drawing excessive current. If the devices were socketed - you could pull them one at a time to see which one is the culprit. But... since these are SMT parts, that isn't really possible. I'm leaning towards the DS1302 - I would try separating pin 8 of the DS1302 from the battery power to see what the current load drops to.

#32 6 months ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

OK -- you have a 100 ohm resistor with 0.0098V across it. This says you have a 0.0098/100 = 0.000098 amp load or 98uA. This is more than 10x what I expected but still not huge (I expect 6uA maximum based on data sheets).
The 24mm coin batteries are rated at 280mAh to 320mAh depending on brand.
280mAh / 0.098mA = 2448 hours = 102 days or just under 3 months. Not very good.
320mAh / 0.098mA = 3265 hours = 136 days or about 4.5 months. Better but still not very good.
The two devices share the same power source so not easy to narrow down which part is drawing excessive current. If the devices were socketed - you could pull them one at a time to see which one is the culprit. But... since these are SMT parts, that isn't really possible. I'm leaning towards the DS1302 - I would try separating pin 8 of the DS1302 from the battery power to see what the current load drops to.

Wow! At this point I think that I will replace the DS1302 and see what happens. Hopefully that is the issue. I will keep you informed.

Thanks a ton for the help. BTW Ed, I am a big fan and order from you regularly (mostly in the winter!). You are a true asset to the pinball community.

#33 6 months ago

Following along and learning...

GPE is great - that is where I get a lot of my stuff!

#34 5 months ago

Replaced the DS1302 at U43. My first time removing a surface mount component and it wasn't too difficult (I used low temperature solder to remove it and copper braid to clean the pads). Everything is reset and working fine. I have measured the battery voltage and will check it again in a week to see if it is holding steady.

#35 5 months ago

You could had installed NVRAM since you had the old one off.

#36 5 months ago

The DS1302 is the RTC, not the RAM.

#37 5 months ago

Thank you. You think that is the one drawing the extra current?

#38 5 months ago

Possible. The DS1302 is a RTC with an internal regulator. The regulator's sole function in life is to select between one of two power supplies (3.3V or battery) to provide power to internal clock and serial comm port. The regulator also includes a trickle charger for batteries. Even though the trickle charger isn't used, the 2 to 1 switch and regulator still provides internal power and can still fail.
As to which item OP is having issues with - it is still unknown. It can be either the DS1302 or the SRAM. Difficult to isolate since both are SMT. It was easier to change the DS1302 than the SRAM (8 pins versus 30/32 pins) so went that route first.

#39 5 months ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

You could had installed NVRAM since you had the old one off.

Is surface mount NVRAM available for this? If I still have an issue with the battery draining (after replacing the DS1302) my next move is to replace the RAM. I might as well do NVRAM if it is available.

#40 5 months ago

Maybe. Don't know as I never looked at that SRAM before.
But since you have the DS1302 providing the real time clock then you will probably always have a battery anyways.

#41 5 months ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Rob Anthony talked about NVRAM for SAM CPU boards in another thread. These are surface mount parts and he will only install at his shop due to the equipment he uses, so you would have to ship the board to him if you want to go that route.

Yes. He mentioned this to me at the Houston Arcade Expo this past November. He does not do the installs at shows.

1 week later
#42 5 months ago

I checked the voltage today and it is holding steady at just over 3 vdc. The battery is a 2032 and was put in before replacing the DS1302 and it drained quickly to 3vdc.

I will continue to check the battery but early indications are that the problem was a bad DS1302. Once that is confirmed over the next couple of months, I will put a larger 2430 in and hopefully not have to deal with batteries again for several years.

#43 5 months ago

I am working on the premise that my battery draining issue is resolved (I will continue to monitor this). My goal is to get rid of batteries that require replacement on all of my pins

That being the goal, is there a rechargeable option for the SAM system? It seems that installing a rechargeable battery with 3.5 vdc and putting a jumper on the blocking diode would do the trick. Not true? Bad idea? Has anyone tried this?

#44 5 months ago
Quoted from FiatsRUs:

I am working on the premise that my battery draining issue is resolved (I will continue to monitor this). My goal is to get rid of batteries that require replacement on all of my pins
That being the goal, is there a rechargeable option for the SAM system? It seems that installing a rechargeable battery with 3.5 vdc and putting a jumper on the blocking diode would do the trick. Not true? Has anyone tried this?

Rechargeable batteries die as well. Stick with the lithium coin cells or go NVRAM.

#45 5 months ago
Quoted from FiatsRUs:

I am working on the premise that my battery draining issue is resolved (I will continue to monitor this). My goal is to get rid of batteries that require replacement on all of my pins
That being the goal, is there a rechargeable option for the SAM system? It seems that installing a rechargeable battery with 3.5 vdc and putting a jumper on the blocking diode would do the trick. Not true? Bad idea? Has anyone tried this?

The SAM system debuted in 2006 with WPT, POTC was next. I've owned two POTC and worked on several. 14 years later and I've never had to replace a battery on any SAM game. Respectfully, I'm suggesting that you are trying to come up with a complicated solution for a problem that really doesn't exist. The CR2430 cells on the SAM MPU last a crazy long time, and when they do die they won't damage the board or cause any harm. I'd concentrate on games that have alkaline cells and not worry about SAM or any other games that use lithium coin cells for memory back up.

Edit to add, I guess I have replaced one battery on a Stern SAM MPU. I'm the guy that wrote the content on Pinwiki about the DS1302 being bad. So I replaced that battery that was on a Spiderman.

#46 5 months ago
Quoted from stangbat:

The SAM system debuted in 2006 with WPT, POTC was next. I've owned two POTC and worked on several. 14 years later and I've never had to replace a battery on any SAM game. Respectfully, I'm suggesting that you are trying to come up with a complicated solution for a problem that really doesn't exist. The CR2430 cells on the SAM MPU last a crazy long time, and when they do die they won't damage the board or cause any harm. I'd concentrate on games that have alkaline cells and not worry about SAM or any other games that use lithium coin cells for memory back up.
Edit to add, I guess I have replaced one battery on a Stern SAM MPU. I'm the guy that wrote the content on Pinwiki about the DS1302 being bad. So I replaced that battery that was on a Spiderman.

Thanks. I'll stick with the 2430. Also, thanks for the Pinwiki entry. That got me headed in the right direction (I hope!).

1 week later
#47 5 months ago

I checked the voltage once again and it has not moved at all. I am going to declare victory and blame the battery draining issue on a bad clock at U43 (DS1302). I will replace the 2032 cell that is currently in place with the appropriate CR2430.

Thanks to everyone for their input and help in resolving the issue.

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