Friday, August 26, 2011

Black Hole cpu is working

After a few days of not doing anything pinball-related, I continued working on my Black Hole this week. Learning a lot about Gottlieb Sys80 games now, as I have almost no repair experience with it. I only have experience repairing more recent games, there I know immediately what each connector is for, how to troubleshoot problems, .. with this game I have to search the schematics each time, find my way under the playfield and in the cabinet trying to locate the part, ..

Tested the cpu board in my Haunted House. It had been fixed by Leon (of many years ago.. but as there still was battery damage visible on the board which never had been correctly repaired, I expected the board not to work anymore by now. I do have a kit to replace most of these boards, bought once from GPE.

Much to my surprise the board still worked and booted ?!
I had put it in my Haunted House (not connecting the cable going to the driverboard) and all displays show 0000000 so it boots. Nice !
I still intend to neutralize the battery damage and install the parts of the kit - but for now I can continue testing to get the machine working.

Next step was to replace the connector going to A1J6. This is the connector at the bottom left of the cpu board, right under the battery. This had been replaced by a universal jamma connector. Put a correct type of connector housing on it, made sure al wires were in the correct position, ..
In the past this jamma connector may have been installed incorrect (reversed, or maybe a position shifted), so this may have damaged some of the ics that deal with the switch inputs.. not sure yet but it's an option I have to take into account when troubleshooting things.

Connected everything, turned on the game. Machine boots correct. Displays work. Put a credit on the game, this works, the machine even makes sounds.
Press the start button.. yes, a ball gets kicked into the shooter lane. Excellent ! For a moment I had hope this machine could be played real soon..

Then the good news ended. Flippers don't work, popbumpers don't work.
Simulated a game by closing targets and switches, most of them worked.
Drop target banks reset when all targets are down.
Then went into the switch test. Some switches don't seem to work :(
Still have to investigate if it's located on the cpu or on the playfield.

Then started a game again. Weird thing was suddenly almost nothing worked :(
Score stayed at 0 points, closing a switch didn't do anything, droptarget banks didn't reset when all targets were down ? :-(

Went into the selftest. All 6 controlled coils work.
Tested the switch matrix again. Most register.
One weird thing is that switch 34 doesn't work always, which is seen by the cpu as one switch but are physically more switches on the playfield.
It works behind the center triangle plastic at the bottom left and at the bottom right. But in the middle of the playfield it's also located behind a rubber, and also at the top behind the droptarget banks, and there it doesn't register ? So I hope it's an easy problem like a broken wire on the playfield (well easy - may not be easy to trace and detect where it is broken.. we'll see..)

Have to work on this switch problem later and double check each switch if it works..

Noticed something else weird in the selftest and audits - going through the audits (nr 1 to 15) it shows junk on the display. No real numbers, just random segments lit. But at bootup it correctly shows 000000, so probably this is because there's no battery installed in the game, and the cpu has random data for audits ?

Also have to find out why flippers and popbumpers don't work. Had inspected all fuses and they seem fine, so will now trace from the bridge rectifier to check for power and continue further..

My goal is to have this game working by the end of the months, only one week left.. so I expect some late nights coming up.

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