(Topic ID: 231367)

Williams System 6 Firepower won't boot

By rlbohon3

2 years ago

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  • 32 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by Brewchap
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders


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#1 2 years ago

I bought a Firepower recently that is physically in great shape but will not boot up. IDK the history of this particular game because I bought it at an auction, but I believe it was home use only, likely very little use, no battery corrosion, no playfield wear, etc. Aside from needing new rubbers, lights and a polish/waxing of the playfield, it "looks" just about mint. However, powering it up results in the GI lights coming on and the two LEDs on the MPU light up solid. Nothing on the displays. It doesn't appear to boot. I also found that the ball ramp thrower solenoid was burned up.

Here is what I've tried so far based on @vid1900 's helpful bulletproofing tips, my own exploring and advice from others:
1) Replaced 40 pin headers on MPU and 40 pin socket on driver board w/ parts from Great Plains Electronics.
2) Replaced all Scanbe sockets for the 6 game ROMs (IC26, IC22, IC21, IC20, IC17, IC14) and CPU socket (IC1) with SIP sockets. I haven't replaced the Scanbe socket on the RAM IC13 yet because I ran out of SIPs. More on order.
3) Tested all pins in #1 and #2 above for continuity and shorts (solder bridges w/ adjacent pins); found no issues.
4) Found shorted power transistor (Q29) driving the burnt up ramp thrower solenoid. Replaced w/ new TIP120. Also replaced solenoid/diode. Fuse F2 for solenoids on the power supply would blow prior to fixing this every time game was turned on. Now not blowing after replacing transistor & solenoid/diode.
5) Replaced all 4 axial caps on power supply. 5V, ground and ~12V measured at 3J6 on power supply.
6) Reflowed all connectors on MPU, driver board and power supply.
7) Removed battery holder and wired in external battery holder.
8) Added fuse mod for lamp and solenoid rectifiers for safety.

No change in behavior. Turning on game results in GI lights coming on, two LEDs on MPU coming on solid and that's it. Nothing on the display. If I hit the test button on the sound board, it goes through all the sounds; that seems to indicate the sound system is working but doesn't tell me why the game doesn't boot.

So I'm not sure what to do next. I'm not sure what to test/diagnose, or what would be the next likely cause of failure. I did notice that when I had the game ROMs out, many of the pins looked blued and tarnished possibly due to heat. Maybe a ROM is dead? I am wondering if it makes sense to remove the 4 game ROMs (IC26, IC22, IC21, IC14) and replace with a combo ROM on IC14 from someplace such as Action Pinball. Also IC20 and IC17 flipper ROMs, maybe replace them too.

Also, would it make any sense to swap out the 6808 CPU (IC1) and the 6810 RAM (IC13) since they were socketed chips and easy to replace? Replacing the ROMs and RAMs isn't too terribly expensive, but then again I may just be throwing parts at it w/o knowing for sure there is a failure. On the other hand, with the other things I've addressed to this point, I'm looking for the next likely candidate. Any advice?

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#5 2 years ago

zacaj I don't have a logic probe and have never used one; only a standard multi-meter. I just did a quick search and they look pretty straight forward to verify highs, lows and signals. So I'm guessing w/ a logic probe and the schematic indicating which pins are a constant voltage, which are ground, which are not connected and which are some other sort of signal, I should be able to determine if there are signs of life going to and from each IC?

pinballtoys I'll double check that spot for a solder bridge, but I'm guessing it's something weird in the photo as I checked each earlier. Could be something though; thanks for pointing that out.

grangeomatic Thanks for the tips! I'll see what happens w/ the driver board removed tonight. Thanks for the links too.

#6 2 years ago

Just an update...

1) I checked the pins in the socket that looked like a solder bridge in the last pic I posted. No issue; must have been a weird reflection in the image.

2) I disconnected and unmounted the driver board then powered up the game. Same behavior. Both LEDs on MPU turn on solid.

3) I glanced at the game ROMs again. Visually, the only one that has the blued and tarnished pins is in IC14. The other game ROMs look normal. I haven’t found a logic probe locally so I may just order one to test.

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#8 2 years ago
Quoted from iamdrunker:

I'am sure there are 3 balls loaded in the game. It would mess with me a bit while I was getting mine up and running.

Yep, I know what you’re talking about. Ran into that while helping a friend bring his Grand Lizard back to life. Not the issue in my case.

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from Grangeomatic:

Just an idea..what’s your reset signal doing? Does it go high? You can check that with a normal meter.

Ok, I'm not sure I know exactly what that is or how to check it.

#12 2 years ago

Got it. It's measuring 4.9v. That's with the driver board still disconnected and unmounted.

#13 2 years ago

Wait a sec... what’s this on IC9 and IC10? I saw this earlier and thought it was just a soldered jumper of some sort, but shouldn’t these be IC’s 8T28?

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#15 2 years ago

Ok good to know on IC9 and IC10. Looked like they were done on purpose, but hadn't seen that in the schematics.

The PIA in IC18 is currently surface mounted, not socketed.

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#17 2 years ago

No problem and I appreciate the help. I've checked the CPU and it seems properly seated. I have a logic probe on it's way but I caved for now and pulled the trigger on a Rottendog board. After the basic things I've already tried, I'm concerned there could be a number of other things not functioning (PIA, ROMs, RAM, CPU, etc) and would like to get this game up and running soon. Cost to send it off and have someone fully repair possibly both the MPU and driver board starts to make the aftermarket option more attractive. That said, I'll probably hang on to the MPU and driver boards and might look at them again at some point. Again, thanks for the help.

3 weeks later
#23 2 years ago

Just to follow up with where I ended up with my game, the Rotten Dog fixed things. Well, not at first. I did everything right to set it up but on the first play, as soon as it hit the pop bumpers, apparently a diode was about to fail. One of the diodes shorted so it took out a power transistor on the new board right away. Dangit... Looking back at it, I probably should have replaced all the solenoid diodes before running the game. I did put 1N4004 diodes on all solenoids after the failure, replaced the transistor and all is well now (especially after gapping standup target switches and a lane rollover switch out of adjustment). I still have the old boards. At some point I may dig deeper with fixing them with the test ROMs and fixtures out of the backbox.

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