(Topic ID: 179140)

TECH: Xenon insert lamps strange behavior

By Vanapult

4 years ago


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  • 50 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by barakandl
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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#1 4 years ago

Having trouble figuring this one out. Most of the insert lamps are lighting up in gameplay, in sync with the speed of the feature lamps on the backbox. Kind of looks like its in attract mode because they light up in rotating fashion. Hoping maybe there is something obvious I haven't thought of. The displays are also all missing the same digit, but its hard to say if that's connected.

Here's what I've done so far:
- Cleaned and neutralized corrosion from MPU, and installed corrosion repair kit
- swapped in a 5101 I'd purchased as a backup, but it wouldn't even boot :/ Boots up fine with old 5101
- repinned and rebuilt all connectors on the MPU and aux lamp driver, as well as J4 on the lamp driver board. I plan to do the rest of the connectors on the lamp driver board, but am waiting for a parts order.
- Tested all SCRs on lamp driver board
- Swapped U10 and U11, no change

Tested the chips on the MPU with a logic probe, and at U16 I found no signal on pins 2, 3, 14, and 15. Will be ordering a replacement for that, but not sure if that could be causing this problem.

Thanks for any advice! I do not have any spare working boards to swap in.

#2 4 years ago

bump

#3 4 years ago

What happens when you put the lamps in lamp test mode?

#4 4 years ago

In test mode, the insert lamps blink on and off properly

#5 4 years ago

Was everything working before you did all those things?

#6 4 years ago

Before I did those things, the game would occasionally serve up both balls into the shooter lane.

#7 4 years ago

Scratch that - the tube light strip has never worked

#8 4 years ago

Mine do this also, I think? I've never owned a Xenon before nor looked at one in detail before...but I just figured it was normal? PLayfield insert lights timed with the sounds, increasing "pulse", and the head lights.

/shrug

1 week later
#10 4 years ago

Ran out of ideas and need this machine to work ASAP, so I've swapped in an Altek mpu and lamp driver board. No change!
1. Wiring error?
2. Under playfield short?

What else could be the issue.

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from Vanapult:

Ran out of ideas and need this machine to work ASAP, so I've swapped in an Altek mpu and lamp driver board. No change!
1. Wiring error?
2. Under playfield short?
What else could be the issue.

Can you post a short video of what it's doing?

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from Vanapult:

Ran out of ideas and need this machine to work ASAP, so I've swapped in an Altek mpu and lamp driver board. No change!
1. Wiring error?
2. Under playfield short?
What else could be the issue.

OK this may or may not resolve your issue.

-Take both pinballs out of the machine. (make sure there are only TWO pinballs. 3 will NOT work....)
-Power the machine on.
-One at a time, add the pinballs back into the machine.
-Assure the first one "kicks over". The second one should stay at the bottom.

I had issues with pinballs not "transitioning" correctly, and re-sequencing made it work.

#13 4 years ago

Here's a video of the game in attract, lamp test, display test, and during gameplay. Just now noticed the odd behavior during display test.

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from Vanapult:

Here's a video of the game in attract, lamp test, display test, and during gameplay. Just now noticed the odd behavior during display test.
» YouTube video

All of those tests are inconsistent with my machine with no LED modifications.

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from Vanapult:

Here's a video of the game in attract, lamp test, display test, and during gameplay. Just now noticed the odd behavior during display test.
» YouTube video

Wow, that is weird, wild stuff! First off they are not working properly in lamp test mode, all lights should go on and off together but some of yours are always on. Same for display test, none of the PF or backbox lights should be on or cycling during that test. Are you sure you don't have a connector off one pin or something, either on the lamp driver or MPU going to the lamp driver? Did you double check that you put all the right wires back in the correct spot on the connectors when you re-pinned them? It would be great if you had a spare working MPU to swap in. Isn't the MPU in Meteor the same as the one in Xenon???

#16 4 years ago

Are you very sure the right connector is in the right place?
Check the wire colors in the schematics.
Get to know the wire color codes.
It looks like you mixed up some connectors.
Put the lock pins in the right place.

#17 4 years ago

IF controlled lamps on the playfield either stay ON or stay OFF but its NOT a wiring issue, lamp socket issue, bulb issue - its the transistors or other issues on the lamp driver board. I had a Xenon that did this and I traced it down to about 5 transistors that were bad and a bad trace on the board as well. The manual has a very clear diagram of what transistors control what lamps so its pretty easy to test them and track this down.

#18 4 years ago

There is more going on than just lamps being constantly on....

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from Inkochnito:

There is more going on than just lamps being constantly on....

Yep, I have to think the lamp address lines going to the lamp driver are crossed up somehow or maybe the strobe line?? I've never seen anything like this, I hope we learn what the root cause is.

4 months later
#20 4 years ago

Still stuck on this! Gave it a break and finished the shop job. Game plays perfectly now, but my controlled illumination issue remains.

Here's where I'm at:

When the game boots, they work properly for a moment, until the backbox and display lights kick on.

Some lamps are permanently locked on.

They definitely seem to be getting the same data as the both the feature lamps and display. Even in the display test some lamps blink on and off in a repeating pattern.

GI ground braid is shorted to the controlled illumination braid, but I'm at a loss as to where to look next.

Power, lamp, power and solenoid boards are new boards. Sound and auxiliary lamp boards are original. I repinned all the connectors on the old boards.

All lamp sockets have been replaced.

All female board connectors repinned.

Double and triple-checked all connectors for wiring errors.

Closely inspected bottom of playfield for shorts.

Just hoping for some guidance as to a logical approach to diagnosing this problem.

#21 4 years ago

Have you swapped the lamp driver board with another from your other Classic Bally or Stern games?

#22 4 years ago

Try disconnecting the aux. lampdriver.
Sometimes this board can mess up the signals.

Another cause can be a faulty decoder on the regular lamp driver board.
Like Vid1900 said, swap with a known working board to be sure.

#23 4 years ago
Quoted from Vanapult:

GI ground braid is shorted to the controlled illumination braid, but I'm at a loss as to where to look next.

I could be wrong since Vid1900 and Inkochnito didn't say anything, but I would think that is a major problem. That would also explain why they work for a moment before the GI kicks in.

#24 4 years ago
Quoted from terryb:

I could be wrong since Vid1900 and Inkochnito didn't say anything, but I would think that is a major problem. That would also explain why they work for a moment before the GI kicks in.

I read that, but I could not understand what he meant to say.

#25 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I read that, but I could not understand what he meant to say.

Yeah, I had to do a little translation, not sure I got it right though.

OP, if you have a short between the GI and the controlled lamps pull the GI fuses and see what happens. BTW, neither of those are grounds.

#26 4 years ago

Appreciate all the input guys!

Braid ≠ ground. Noted.

Pulled f5 (GI fuse), no change.

Swapped in known working lamp board, no change.

#27 4 years ago

Aux. lamp board was already disconnected, no change.

#28 4 years ago

So, the problem isn't the lamp driver board or the aux. lamp board.
That would leave us at the MPU board.
Any chance you can exchange with a working board from another game?
Just to be sure where the problem is.

Any HEF chips on the MPU board?

Is the socket for U10 in good condition?
Verified all connections?
Lamp address, data and strobe 1 is coming from U10.

#29 4 years ago

Swapped alltek MPU with the original MPU, no change.

Triple checked connector at J1 for correct wiring.

#30 4 years ago

Only oddity I can find is that the schematic says I should have an orange wire at A4J2-2. There is nothing there, and no orange wire of the right gauge anywhere near. Possibly related? I will investigate further as soon as I get a chance.

#31 4 years ago

Check out the MPU schematic. Notice how lamps, displays, and switches are all related to each other with U10 PIA ports PA0 to PA7

Untitled (resized).png

If you have a shorted switch strobe, it will muck up the displays and feature lamps. I would rule this out. If you unplug the switch connectors, does the lamp problem resolve? If so logic probe every switch strobe with a wire on it, see if any stuck low or high.

#32 4 years ago
Quoted from Vanapult:

Only oddity I can find is that the schematic says I should have an orange wire at A4J2-2. There is nothing there, and no orange wire of the right gauge anywhere near. Possibly related? I will investigate further as soon as I get a chance.

J4 P2 would be encoded solenoid data bit C. Most certainly you should have a wire there. All games will use all four bits of the encoded data for sound and solenoids.

That is going to be a problem with solenoids and sounds firing out of order, but not the cause of your feature lamp/display issue. May indicate overall connector problems tho. That wire is somewhere, it would be bundled up in the same wire tie are mpu j4. Orange wire with a black stripe.
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#33 4 years ago

Probed all switches, all were pulsing (buzzing). None stuck high.

According to my manual, J2-2 should be orange with no trace and J2-11 should be orange-black. I do have the orange-black at J2-11.

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#34 4 years ago
Quoted from Vanapult:

Probed all switches, all were pulsing (buzzing). None stuck high.
According to my manual, J2-2 should be orange with no trace and J2-11 should be orange-black. I do have the orange-black at J2-11.

Switch strobe 1 (ST1) has no playfield switches according to the switch matrix.
So, it's not strange you don't have any orange wire at J2-2.

Strobe 1 (ST1) however is used for the coin door.
Shorts at the coin door can cause this kind of problem.
Like Baracandl said, unplug J2 and J3 (the switches) and see if the problem goes away.

#35 4 years ago

No change with J2 and J3 unplugged

#36 4 years ago

bad display holding one of the U11 PA0-PA7 ports so when its the lamp driver turn it gets crap input?

I think yo mentioned having a problem with MPU J4 connector pin out. Perhaps something is mixed up at J1?

#37 4 years ago

Indeed it looks like a wire problem at J1.
Perhaps J1-19 and J1-20 switched?

Please re-check the wires at J1.

2 weeks later
#38 4 years ago

Rechecked wires at J1 against schematic, all are correct.

#39 4 years ago

Ok so this may be a long shot and Andrew has forgot WAY more than I know. Unplug all the displays. I was working on a game that I accidentally bridged one of the display pins and the game was way screwed up. Once I back traced and found the short game played fine. Maybe someone worked on displays in past?

#40 4 years ago

U10 is multiplexed to do a lot of things, display, lamps and some switches. If one PIA port is forced low, high or shorted to another port at say a display, then it could effect the lamps and switches. Or not even let the game boot.

So yeah, probably good idea to isolate things . Check the switches and displays too, if you have a problem with everything, look closer to the MPU. If just the LDB focus closer to there.

#41 4 years ago

Same problem even if all displays are unplugged.

All switches work correctly.

During switch test, some of the insert lights blink in sync with the test tone.

#42 4 years ago

Disconnect the sound card

#43 4 years ago

Sound board already disconnected, no change.

#44 4 years ago

Damn!

#45 4 years ago

Still stuck on this one. Any ideas?

#46 4 years ago

Seems like you've got an open circuit on the lamp strobe #1 line (orange-white wire) between the MPU (A4J1-11) to the lamp board (A5J4-13). This would cause the strobe signal on the lamp board that goes to the four 4514 chips to default to a high state which essentially allows any data written to the displays, aux lamp board and switch strobes to also be transmitted through to the SCRs on the lamp board resulting in spurious lamps switching on.

With your logic probe, what does it show on pin 1 of any the 4514 chips on the lamp board?
Can you also tell us what your logic probe indicates at pin 23 on each of the 4514 chips on the lamp board too?

#47 4 years ago
Quoted from Quench:

With your logic probe, what does it show on pin 1 of any the 4514 chips on the lamp board?
Can you also tell us what your logic probe indicates at pin 23 on each of the 4514 chips on the lamp board too?

All of these pins read high

#48 4 years ago

Got it!

Checked continuity on the lamp strobe #1 line: all good
Plugged connectors back in and checked continuity between A4J1-11 and A5J4-13: no continuity

One of the pins on the strobe line was just bent in a way that it wasn't making a connection to the board (most likely due to my own poor crimping). Bent the pin out a little, reinserted, booted up, and all is well.

Thanks very much to everyone for the guidance! I started this thread 5 months ago, so you can imagine that finally having this solved is a huge relief!

#49 4 years ago

Congrats, glad you got it figured out. Must be relieved

#50 4 years ago

connectors connectors connectors.

Hey there! Got a moment?

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