(Topic ID: 254620)

Whirlwind sometimes doesn't boot, diagnostic led flashing forever


By zacaj

7 months ago



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  • 17 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by loren3233
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 7 months ago

Working on fixing a whirlwind. The battery had some acid damage which I attempted to clean up. Installed a reset generator per pinwiki, replaced all sockets, burned new roms. Recapped power supply. It worked fine on the bench for all my testing, but when I put it in the machine, usually it boots fine, but sometimes it just sits there blinking the diagnostic led with the blanking off. The blinking isn't the very quick blinking of a properly booting game, it's slower. I assumed at first it was giving me an error code, but it just kept going past 11 blinks. Is this any known issue?

#2 7 months ago

Is it rebooting?

#3 7 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

Is it rebooting?

How would I tell? The flashing seems very steady, no pauses / etc

#4 7 months ago

You know how system 11's boot up and for a split second the led's are solid before they start the flashing? Seems like it might be in a boot loop since it's flashing, but slowly.... so it's booting up, LED solid, then rebooting, LED is off, comes up, LED solid, etc.

When you booted it on the bench successfully 100% of the time was that with the game roms or a test chip?

You've handled all the caps connectors etc. on the power supply already?

I wonder if the reset generator you used is 'too fast' ?

Also, if you put nvram in it, you might have to jumper the 1n5817 diode out my whirlwind when I had it was like that.... didn't like the very tiny voltage drop of the 5817 (.2 volts instead of the standard .6 on a 4004)

#5 7 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

You know how system 11's boot up and for a split second the led's are solid before they start the flashing? Seems like it might be in a boot loop since it's flashing, but slowly.... so it's booting up, LED solid, then rebooting, LED is off, comes up, LED solid, etc.
When you booted it on the bench successfully 100% of the time was that with the game roms or a test chip?
You've handled all the caps connectors etc. on the power supply already?
I wonder if the reset generator you used is 'too fast' ?
Also, if you put nvram in it, you might have to jumper the 1n5817 diode out my whirlwind when I had it was like that.... didn't like the very tiny voltage drop of the 5817 (.2 volts instead of the standard .6 on a 4004)

Booted 100% with test and game roms

I don't know about the reset generator, I just used what was in the guide. MCP120 http://pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Williams_System_9_-_11#An_Alternative_to_Rebuilding_the_Reset_Circuit_.2F_Using_a_Reset_Generator_.28All_versions_of_System_11.29

No NVRAM.

I don't actually know how fast the error codes blink to compare

#6 6 months ago

Update: after 60 flashes of the diagnostics led, the blanking led flashes 10x, then there's a pause, and then it repeats flashing the diagnostics led 60x

There must be some specific code doing this...

I've been able to get it to happen on the bench sometimes too now

maybe this is related to the sound cpu somehow? My sound isn't working. I'm getting the 60 flashes almost all the time while I have leons sound test rom installed, but I get it less often it seems when I remove U9?

1 month later
#7 5 months ago

Update: the game suddenly stopped booting again today. Now after flashing the diagnostic LED 60 times, it flashes this on the display (when the blanking LED flashes)

pasted_image (resized).png
#8 5 months ago

You're going to have to replace parts that were hit with the battery damage. There is no magic cleaning the inside of the parts. It will migrate further.

#9 5 months ago

Looks like this may be a symptom of bad ram. But I know my ram works, since the game has been playing fine. So I'm suspecting something with the CE circuit is not working properly sometimes. My reset signal is reading only 4v while the game is running, seems low?

2 months later
#10 3 months ago

I'm seeing the exact same thing happening. Plays fine for days, then out of nowhere 60 blinks and a garbled message. A power cycle brings it back to life. Did you ever find out the cause?

#11 3 months ago

It ended up being the chip that controls the ram's enable line being slightly faulty somehow. Once I replaced that, and the ram, no more issues

#12 3 months ago

Ok, interesting. I happen to have ordered some ferroram already. I'll just hold off investigating further until that has arrived.

1 week later
#13 3 months ago

Question for you. What chip did you replace on the MPU board (at U what on the MPU board)? I understand the chip that controls the ram's enable line as stated above but where is that at on the board?

If you don't mind letting me know.

#14 3 months ago
Quoted from loren3233:

Question for you. What chip did you replace on the MPU board (at U what on the MPU board)? I understand the chip that controls the ram's enable line as stated above but where is that at on the board?
If you don't mind letting me know.

Looking at the schematic again, I think it was U35. Controls the CE CMOS line which goes to the CE pin of U25

#15 3 months ago

Thank you, I am having a similar issue and hoping this will help.

On boot up mine does the slow flashing on diagnostics but after about 15-20 seconds it finishes the boot up and plays normally. I may try replacing U35 and update if it fixes my issue as well. I will update when completed.

#16 3 months ago
Quoted from loren3233:

Thank you, I am having a similar issue and hoping this will help.
On boot up mine does the slow flashing on diagnostics but after about 15-20 seconds it finishes the boot up and plays normally. I may try replacing U35 and update if it fixes my issue as well. I will update when completed.

If it works eventually, it could also be an issue with the reset circuit potentially... Any acid damage?

#17 3 months ago

No acid damage on the board at all. Battery holdover was removed and NVRAM installed prior to me owning the pin. I have to order a 74SL10 chip at U35 once great plains opens up again as Ed is trying to catch up on orders.

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