(Topic ID: 349415)

Trying to revive a Black Knight

By pindude80

6 months ago


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  • 48 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by pindude80
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 6 months ago

I have had a Black Knight sitting in my basement that I bought about 6 years ago as a project and never messed with it. Well the time has come to give it a go.

I opened it up yesterday and took a look. There are some hacks, see attached picture, but I believe this will only affect the GI.

I turned the game on but it won't boot. There are no batteries in the game and the battery holder looks slightly corroded. Does it need batteries to boot? If not, where / what should I start diagnosing?

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#3 6 months ago

I would start with getting the power supply working - wire wrapped fuse replacement and new caps would be a start. Next to look at would be to figure out where the loose wires are supposed to go. After that, probably replace the 40 pin headers.

#4 6 months ago

When you power it up, is there any numbers on the displays?

#5 6 months ago

Thanks, a lot of info there!

I found this in the link provided: https://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/images/c/c6/07-powerlogic-sys3-6.pdf I've worked on early Bally / Stern boards. Am I supposed to check each voltage in the diagram at the places listed? On the early Bally / Stern boards I would just check the test points and it would point me in the right direction.

#6 6 months ago
Quoted from Billc479:

I would start with getting the power supply working - wire wrapped fuse replacement and new caps would be a start. Next to look at would be to figure out where the loose wires are supposed to go. After that, probably replace the 40 pin headers.

Getting the power supply working first was my thought as well. I will replace the wire wrapped fuse, it's for the displays, but I have a feeling it will blow again. I pulled a picture of another BK and it looks like the two yellow wires go to the bottom right of the board for the GI. When you say 40 pin headers, do you mean just replace all of the headers on the board? I can look into getting new caps or see if anyone sells a rebuild kit.

#7 6 months ago
Quoted from ryan1234:

When you power it up, is there any numbers on the displays?

Yes, a few of the displays work but not all of them.

#8 6 months ago

Generally, if they’re original, some of the female pins have lost their springiness and the male pins have tarnished to a point where the data stream between the boards can get partially blocked.

Usually replacing both sides is a recommended step.

#9 6 months ago

When the batterys are missing or dead- it may give a 04-00 code in the credit window. If it is that, try cycling the power quickly once. Meaning, while it is on, turn it off and back on quickly. It should go into attract mode.

#10 6 months ago
Quoted from ryan1234:

When the batterys are missing or dead- it may give a 04-00 code in the credit window. If it is that, try cycling the power quickly once. Meaning, while it is on, turn it off and back on quickly. It should go into attract mode.

I checked and you are correct; the credit display says 04 00. I tried power cycling quickly quite a few times but it never went into attract mode. One weird thing I noticed is the flippers have power. Not sure if this indicative of another problem or not.

#11 6 months ago

So, good news- you are booting.

Getting it to attract you have to really, really quickly turn power off and back on. Then wait a few seconds.

The 04-00 is a code to let operators know the batteries are not retaining adjustments.
Adding batteries will have to be done- most people mount the batteries in a location off and away from the MPU.

Eventually at minimum the 40 pin should be replaced. Also check all the connector pins for cold/cracked solder joints.

Pinwiki system 3-7 is amazingly helpful. It has a section near the bottom that explains the battery problems and gives solutions.
Section 5.2

#12 6 months ago

As to the flippers having power-
If I remember correctly the flippers have their own relay on the driver board. It could be stuck on, or problems with the 40 pin connection will cause weird issues with coils locking on…
The 40 pin connector is a very known issue with these MPUs. Short term is to check for solder cracks- long term is definitely replacing.
Edit- flipper relay is on driver board.

#13 6 months ago

Also- not sure if you know, the IPDB has the manual you can print off-

The manual-
https://www.ipdb.org/files/310/Williams_1980_Black_Knight_English_Manual_with_paginated_schematics.pdf

#14 6 months ago
Quoted from ryan1234:

So, good news- you are booting.
Getting it to attract you have to really, really quickly turn power off and back on. Then wait a few seconds.
The 04-00 is a code to let operators know the batteries are not retaining adjustments.
Adding batteries will have to be done- most people mount the batteries in a location off and away from the MPU.
Eventually at minimum the 40 pin should be replaced. Also check all the connector pins for cold/cracked solder joints.
Pinwiki system 3-7 is amazingly helpful. It has a section near the bottom that explains the battery problems and gives solutions.
Section 5.2

I appreciate all of the replies and info!

I will probably look into adding a remote battery pack and / or do some research to see about adding NVRAM. Thank you for pointing me to section 5.2 of Pinwiki. Would the batteries or NVRAM and the 40 pin connector be the next steps to getting this machine running?

#15 6 months ago
Quoted from ryan1234:

As to the flippers having power-
If I remember correctly the flippers have their own relay on the driver board. It could be stuck on, or problems with the 40 pin connection will cause weird issues with coils locking on…
The 40 pin connector is a very known issue with these MPUs. Short term is to check for solder cracks- long term is definitely replacing.
Edit- flipper relay is on driver board.

Ok, sounds like 40 pin connector replacement is pretty much mandatory.

#16 6 months ago
Quoted from ryan1234:

Also- not sure if you know, the IPDB has the manual you can print off-
The manual-
https://www.ipdb.org/files/310/Williams_1980_Black_Knight_English_Manual_with_paginated_schematics.pdf

Yes, I do know manuals are available on IPDB for most games but I appreciate you making sure I knew I had access to them there.

#17 6 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I appreciate all of the replies and info!
I will probably look into adding a remote battery pack and / or do some research to see about adding NVRAM. Thank you for pointing me to section 5.2 of Pinwiki. Would the batteries or NVRAM and the 40 pin connector be the next steps to getting this machine running?

If it was me, I would wire/solder a battery holder up to the board and get it to attract mode. This will open up test features that will allow you to see what you are dealing with. You can run switch and coil tests that will help with finding your flipper issue.

#18 6 months ago
Quoted from ryan1234:

If it was me, I would wire/solder a battery holder up to the board and get it to attract mode. This will open up test features that will allow you to see what you are dealing with. You can run switch and coil tests that will help with finding your flipper issue.

Ok, great. I will solder in leads for a remote battery pack. I'll check pinwiki but I think I saw a picture of a game and the leads are soldered on diagonal corners of the battery leads on the board.

I will get batteries wired in and report back. thanks!

#19 6 months ago

After you get the batteries working- the first time you power it up, it will still read 04-00.
It should go into attract made the second time you power it up. Hopefully….

#20 6 months ago
Quoted from ryan1234:

After you get the batteries working- the first time you power it up, it will still read 04-00.
It should go into attract made the second time you power it up. Hopefully….

Ok, this is good to know. Thanks for the heads up.

#21 6 months ago
Quoted from ryan1234:

After you get the batteries working- the first time you power it up, it will still read 04-00.
It should go into attract made the second time you power it up. Hopefully….

Unfortunately, it still will not go into attract mode after adding the battery pack. I power cycled it many times but never made it into attract mode.

#22 6 months ago

Well crap… that is a bummer.
I am not doubting your skills- but are you sure you soldered to the correct locations?

We may need some good picks of the battery area of the board. Maybe some hidden damage from leaking batteries…?

#23 6 months ago

The coin door needs to be open if it has a memory protect switch.

#24 6 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

Unfortunately, it still will not go into attract mode after adding the battery pack. I power cycled it many times but never made it into attract mode.

If it boots up into audit mode every time that's a good thing. The game is booting. System 7 games you can scroll all the way to the end of the audits (50) with the advance button, as long you are going forward, when you hit 50 and go one more, it will go into attract mode without the power flicking.

If it doesn't, that tells you your 5101 ram is bad. So best to replace it with nvram and not worry about batteries.

Hold off on all the other things until you get this solid - for instance, it's not going to be the 40 pin connector for this, the symptoms of bad 40 pin connector are random stuff happening and lockups.

#25 6 months ago
Quoted from ryan1234:

Well crap… that is a bummer.
I am not doubting your skills- but are you sure you soldered to the correct locations?
We may need some good picks of the battery area of the board. Maybe some hidden damage from leaking batteries…?

I installed the negative wire to the bottom left post and positive wire to the top right post. I can grab and post a picture of it the battery pack connections and the area near the battery pack. I didn't look close last night but didn't notice any battery acid damage. I will look closer.

#26 6 months ago
Quoted from gutz:

The coin door needs to be open if it has a memory protect switch.

I'm not sure if it has a memory protect switch or not but I'll check. Thanks for mentioning this.

#27 6 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

If it boots up into audit mode every time that's a good thing. The game is booting. System 7 games you can scroll all the way to the end of the audits (50) with the advance button, as long you are going forward, when you hit 50 and go one more, it will go into attract mode without the power flicking.
If it doesn't, that tells you your 5101 ram is bad. So best to replace it with nvram and not worry about batteries.
Hold off on all the other things until you get this solid - for instance, it's not going to be the 40 pin connector for this, the symptoms of bad 40 pin connector are random stuff happening and lockups.

If it shows 04 00 on the credit display does that mean it's booting into audit mode? I will do as you mentioned and try to go through the audits and see what happens.

Is the ram going bad a typical problem with system 7 games?

I appreciate you letting me know it's not time to worry about the 40 pin connector because that is one of the next things I was thinking of doing.

#28 6 months ago

Bk does have a memory protect which would also prevent the 5101 from initializing. Yes the display indicates you are booting into audit mode.
5101s are static sensitive so it's relatively common for them to go bad.

#29 6 months ago

Pinwiki has a couple of paragraphs on the D17 diode. It is part of the battery circuit. If it goes bad, it will not allow battery voltage to get to 5051. Maybe a long shot, but easy to check.

#30 6 months ago

The next step is to bypass the memory protect line by disconnecting IJ4 (circled yellow)

Turn game on Press the Diagnostic switch (red arrow) game should boot into attract mode

No?

an error # will show on the diagnostic display
System 7 (resized).jpgSystem 7 (resized).jpg

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#31 6 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I installed the negative wire to the bottom left post and positive wire to the top right post. I can grab and post a picture of it the battery pack connections and the area near the battery pack. I didn't look close last night but didn't notice any battery acid damage. I will look closer.

Here's a picture of how I soldered in the battery pack and also the surrounding area.
20240103_193207 (resized).jpg20240103_193207 (resized).jpg

#32 6 months ago
Quoted from gutz:

The coin door needs to be open if it has a memory protect switch.

I tried door opening and door closed, doesn't make a difference.

#33 6 months ago
Quoted from PINTEC:

The next step is to bypass the memory protect line by disconnecting IJ4 (circled yellow)
Turn game on Press the Diagnostic switch (red arrow) game should boot into attract mode
No?
an error # will show on the diagnostic display
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

I appreciate your post, picture, and information.

I removed the connector in the picture I have attached. I turned the game on, pressed the diagnostic button but it did not go into attract mode. A zero came up on the little display for about one second then went away.

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#34 6 months ago

It's really looking likely that the 5101 is bad unless something silly like the memory protect switch is bad or hooked up to the wrong connector

#35 6 months ago

I don't know if this tells us anything or not but I replaced the 2.5 amp slow blow fuse on the power board and turned the game on. As soon as I turned it on I heard a solenoid fire and then the fuse blew.

This might be further down the line in the diagnostic procedure but I thought I should mention it.

#36 6 months ago

Zero flash on then off:

Re connect IJ4

close door power up then press the diagnostic button

does a 9 show?

Suspect 5101 Replace

Before replacing the 5101 remove the driverboard and reseat it to the cpu then re check for attract mode

#37 6 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

It's really looking likely that the 5101 is bad unless something silly like the memory protect switch is bad or hooked up to the wrong connector

Memory protect is bypassed when connector IJ4 is removed eliminating any possibility of a Memory protect incorrectly connected or switch short.

#38 6 months ago
Quoted from PINTEC:

Zero flash on then off:
Re connect IJ4
close door power up then press the diagnostic button
does a 9 show?
Suspect 5101 Replace

Yes, a 9 comes on and stays on if I do as you instructed.

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#39 6 months ago

Memory protect circuit functioning ok

Re seat the driverboard to the cpu re test

#40 6 months ago
Quoted from PINTEC:

Before replacing the 5101 remove the driverboard and reseat it to the cpu then re check for attract mode

There is not a ribbon cable or anything connecting the boards. Do you mean I should disconnect and reconnect all the connectors on the board below the one that has the push button and the display?

#41 6 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

There is not a ribbon cable or anything connecting the boards. Do you mean I should disconnect and reconnect all the connectors on the board below the one that has the push button and the display?

Correct it unplugs as a long 40 pin connector.
40 pin connector (1) (resized).jpg40 pin connector (1) (resized).jpg

40 pin connector (2) (resized).jpg40 pin connector (2) (resized).jpg
#42 6 months ago
Quoted from PINTEC:

Correct it unplugs as a long 40 pin connector.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

Thanks for the picture. I've never worked on one of these games before and didn't know what the 40 pin connector is, but I do now!

I removed all connectors, separated the boards, put back together, and rechecked the game. It is now going into attract mode!!

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#43 6 months ago

Some of the pins on the 40 pin connector do look tarnished

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#44 6 months ago

I appreciate everyone's help and input getting the game to get into attract mode!

What would be the next suggested thing to do to get it to play a game? It takes credits but one thing seems kind of weird to me is that it didn't make any sound when I put credits on it. However, it does randomly make sound when it's in attract mode.

I'm thinking one of the next things to do would be to figure out why it is immediately blowing the 2.5 amp slow blow fuse for the solenoids or replace the 40 pin connector and pins?

#45 6 months ago
Quoted from pindude80:

I appreciate everyone's help and input getting the game to get into attract mode!
What would be the next suggested thing to do to get it to play a game? It takes credits but one thing seems kind of weird to me is that it didn't make any sound when I put credits on it. Maybe this is related to the 40 pin connector?
I'm thinking one of the next things to do would be to figure out why it is immediately blowing the 2.5 amp slow blow fuse for the solenoids.

If you actively hear a solenoid fire when you power on and it blows the fuse, find that coil, you likely have a bad driver transistor

#46 6 months ago

Suggest sending the boards out to have them serviced and updated and request correct GI plugs replaced on the power supply board.

#47 6 months ago

YES! You are in attract!
The 40 pin really needs done- it is not so much the male side that go bad as the female looses tension, or bad solder joints. This 40 pin can cause such weird problems…
The fuse problem- You can disconnect all the solenoid connectors- I think there are 3 or 4 connectors on the left side (check manual to be sure.) each connector has about 8 coils that it powers. Plug them in one at a time(with power off.) then power it up. This can help narrow down what coil/transistor is causing the fuse to blow. It could be the transistor, coil, coil diode, shorted wire somewhere or the 40 pin. The 40 pin problem can definitely cause coils to lock on.

#48 6 months ago

Once again, thank you to everyone who helped me get the game to where it's at.

I think my plan at this point is to replace the 40-pin connector (male and female sides) find the issues causing the coil to fire, if it's not the 40 pin connector, replace the GI connector / wiring hacks and then see if there are any other issues that need addressed.

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