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(Topic ID: 277134)

What is the Purpose of Memory Protect Switch?


By clodpole

45 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 44 days ago by LTG
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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#1 45 days ago

Williams System 4 Flashes didn't come with one, but later Flashes (System 6) did. What problem did Williams solve by including the switch with later games?

#2 45 days ago

The coin door has to be open to change settings, etc. That way it is less likely to do it accidentally.

LTG : )

#3 44 days ago

What would cause it do do it accidentally? I ask, because I've installed Kohouts boards in the game and it seems like the game has changed a couple of settings all by itself. Weird ones too - like setting the coin slot multiplier up to 81!

#4 44 days ago
Quoted from clodpole:

What would cause it do do it accidentally? I ask, because I've installed Kohouts boards in the game and it seems like the game has changed a couple of settings all by itself. Weird ones too - like setting the coin slot multiplier up to 81!

Board issue. If memory protect is working.

LTG : )

#5 44 days ago

Well, I have the old Flash, with no memory protect.

#6 44 days ago
Quoted from clodpole:

Well, I have the old Flash, with no memory protect.

Board issue.

LTG : )

#7 44 days ago

I'll give a note to the Kohouts brothers and see what they think. Thanks for the help!

#8 44 days ago
Quoted from clodpole:

What problem did Williams solve by including the switch with later games?

From the days when I was a service technician for a route operator:

When the coin door is opened, inserting coins does not increment the electronic bookkeeping coin meters for each coin chute. This way, when a service tech or coin collector for the route operator clears a coin jam, they test the coin chutes running several coins through to make sure credits are placed onto the credit counter of the game.

Some route operators paid their commission split via what the meters indicate. Without the Memory Protect feature, every "test coin" used by the person servicing the game needed to be recorded on a card/notepad in the game so those phantom credits would not be used to pay the commission split to the location owner.

There still was a notebook carried by the collectors listing what the meters indicated the previous collection.

Ironically, we only used a computer (back in the office) to pay splits (actually commissions) for the cigarette machines we had on the route. Checks were mailed.

The "soft meters" in the pins were used to verify that the coin mechs were't being stringed, or a hole was drilled in the cabinet to activate the coin switches, locks being picked etc.

Video games still had hard meters like EM pins. When I worked on the route, All EM's were in storage already and we pulled 20 or so per year and sold them for home buyers at Christmas time. I recall one video game manufacturer had the same sort of memory protect switch that deactivated the hard coin meter with the door open. Not sure if it was Stern (Berzerk, Scramble etc.) or Cinematronics (Dragon's Lair, Space Ace) or maybe Gottlieb Q-Bert, M*A*C*H*3{choke}....

#9 44 days ago

Interesting... as an aside, I have one EM - a Bally Sea Ray with a hard meter, of course.

#10 44 days ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Video games still had hard meters like EM pins.

Keep in mind, too, that at least for WPC machines, the operator could manually install a hard meter -
For WPC/WPC-S, it was connecting it up to the knocker output. (Meaning, no knocker.)
For WPC-95, you had to either (1) Buy a coin-door interface board with a meter installed, or (2) find the model of coin meter and solder it in yourself.

#11 44 days ago
Quoted from MrBally:

When the coin door is opened, inserting coins does not increment the electronic bookkeeping coin meters for each coin chute. This way, when a service tech or coin collector for the route operator clears a coin jam, they test the coin chutes running several coins through to make sure credits are placed onto the credit counter of the game.

I had never heard this before, so I just tried it on a Laser Ball - it still increments the counters. There is something in the schematics concerning addresses with components of $80 affecting the read/write line, to block changing adjustments (adjustments all start at $180 on williams system 6 machines) so it's more so you can't change the adjustments without having the door open.

Quoted from MrBally:

Some route operators paid their commission split via what the meters indicate.

I'm surprised that they didn't just count all the physical coins in, and pay the split based on that. I wouldn't trust coin meters as either the operator or the location.

#12 44 days ago
Quoted from slochar:

I'm surprised that they didn't just count all the physical coins in, and pay the split based on that. I wouldn't trust coin meters as either the operator or the location.

Most ops counted coins in front of a location representative. The business was mainly cash. Im sure all income was properly reported for tax purposes on both sides. Some operators did it by sending checks or taking paper cash on the next trip. Or the funds were used to pay down "Loans" given to the location. Not that there were loan sharks in the amusement, music & vending businesses at one time.

As far as your Laser Ball experiment, maybe my memory is failing and I'm full of shit, who knows? All I remember is that we didn't have to mark "service credits" on games with the non-interlocking switches on the coin doors. Maybe there is a setting with those simple Williams option settings? Dip switches were so nice on Bally, Gottlieb and Stern games.

Bally had the service credit function on 7 digit display SS games. On those we just cut power and held the coin lockout bar to verify coin jams were fixed. But then you had to verify the coin switches were working.
We're going back about 40 years now.

#13 44 days ago
Quoted from MrBally:

As far as your Laser Ball experiment, maybe my memory is failing and I'm full of shit, who knows?

It would have been pretty clever for them to have implemented it the way you remember - everything I'd ever read about what the memory protect was for was to prevent unauthorized adjustments. No doubt your training was do it this way because ______. It's just that the ______ in some cases ends up being completely inaccurate, not your fault. All kinds of rumors about the "way things work" occur at my job daily, and it doesn't matter how many times you tell people (both the end users and the other technicians) that the correct way is this, not some rumor started by someone that might have tried this the one time and it worked, so all problems are solved that way.

Recently when I was looking at code for stern hot hand and realized that it would be possible (however, very unlikely) that if you interrupt the self test at the correct time, you can get yourself lots of free credits. Sparked my interest after reading an old service bulletin from them. I doubt anyone in practice could do a power off consistently to get anything though, but just imagine how that rumor would have spread among quarter-starved kids in the late 70s. You'd have them running up and down the rows of machines flipping the power switches on an off randomly trying to get credits.

Quoted from MrBally:

Most ops counted coins in front of a location representative.

That what I remember from being an arcade rat at the time as well. Also the 'test quarters' marked with red marker that would be filtered out.

Kudos to you for actually testing your work as well. I deal with lots of people that leave coin mechs disconnected and then a duplicate/escalated service call gets put in because 'the guy was here, and it's still not fixed.....' - except that they DID fix it, but because they refuse to drop a penny in the coin mech to test it, they don't realize they forgot to reconnect the power.....

#14 44 days ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Or the funds were used to pay down "Loans" given to the location. Not that there were loan sharks in the amusement, music & vending businesses at one time.

You do have a sense of humor !

LTG : )

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