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TECH: Stern SB-300 "Big Game" Sound

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July 27, 2005 12:07:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

I recently got a Stern Big Game that needs work. It is actually in good
condition, but one of the main problems is the sound. I have never heard
any background music from it, and I think that the other sounds may not be
correct, also.

The first problem is that I don't know exactlly what Big Game should sound
like. I tried to use PinMAME to figure out what the sounds should be, but
it didn't seem great for that.

When I go into the solenoid test mode, the manual says that tests 20-29
should be sound tests. On the way from 1 through 19, I get solenoid action.
Though, when I go through, 20 to 29, I only get a quick little "bop" on test
20. Tests 21-29 do nothing at all.

When playing the game, every switch seems to trigger a sound, but I think
that they're not the correct sounds. I don't know how to figure that out
for sure, though.

My SB-300 seems to check out okay, as far as I can tell. I checked the test
points and looked at the schematics and I can figure out what most of the
voltages at the test points should be, but I haven't found a diagnostic
reference for the SB-300 anywhere. Is there any info on the SB-300 sound
board besides the schematic?

I replaced the ribbon cables that run from the MPU-200 board to the SB-300.
It made no difference.

I don't know what else to do to figure out what my problem might be. I
could probablly make a recording of my machine going through the tests if
that might assist anyone in helping me.

Should I have sounds during the solenoid test on each of 20 through 29? The
manual says barely anything about sound.

Should I have obvious background music when I turn DIP switch #8 on?

Cound someone possibly make a recording of their Big Game machine either
during play or during the solenoid test? Then, at least I could know what
mine should be like.

From the SB-300 schematics, the only oddity I found on my sound board was R1
was not reading 2 ohms. It was actually like 45 ohms. I tried a different
resistor in there, but it only affected the volume.

It seems like the SB-300 board is rather simple, and that the real sound
work is done on the MPU-200. Assuming that I should be getting sound on
tests 21 through 29, then I would guess that it's an MPU-200 problem. Can
anyone tell me what I could do to test the sound areas of the MPU-200?

Thanks for your help!
Ed
Anonymous
July 27, 2005 8:10:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

the SB300 is controlled directly through the CPU bus - unless your J5
connectors have problems, it shouldn't be the CPU.

the background if I recall correctly is just some drums. Mine is in
project status right now so can't check it out for you yet. Really
good game from what I remember..... hard to complete all the cards.
Anonymous
July 27, 2005 12:06:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

Ed wrote:
> > the SB300 is controlled directly through the CPU bus - unless your J5
> > connectors have problems, it shouldn't be the CPU.
>
> I don't think that my J5 ribbon cables have any problems, because I replaced
> them. Though, that does not mean that the PCB pins aren't faulty or
> something like that.
>
> I read that a lot of people have problems with the 5101 RAM chips on these
> boards. Could those cause problems like what I'm describing?
>
> My Big Game repair page.
> http://www.personal.triticom.com/~erm/Pinball/BigGame/
>
> Thanks,
> Ed

Ed, Listen to your sound. Sounds like mine. I am assuming you were
hitting the spinner and targets. I currently do not have background
turned on and did not know if there was such a thing. Bill
Related resources
Anonymous
July 27, 2005 12:27:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

It's possible that without the battery installed the 5101 has "garbage"
in it which should be cleared to 0 to test properly.

Every stern 200 I've ever worked on made noise from the sound test part
of the solenoid test.
Anonymous
July 27, 2005 12:33:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

they make noises for most if not all of them. Some of the noises are
generated by some chips on the sound board and others create others. I
don't have a schematics here to look at, but there are 2 distinct
sections, it's possible that you have a problem with one of them on the
sound board. You don't happen to have any other sb300's around do you?
Anonymous
July 27, 2005 1:29:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

Tracing the signal path back from the amp chip (u1), pin 1 is the +
signal, goes back to u4 which is a filter chip. going back furthur, 3
parts of u7 amplify parts of the sounds. I think the signals are mixed
at this chip, you have a couple distinct circuit paths going into u7,
and 2 outputs going to the 3340 u4. By tracing back and forth with the
schematic and the board (and a logic probe) you can see there are
several chips which probably produce differing sounds as needed.... it
would be nice to know if it's a cpu or sound board problem! As to how
the chips interact etc. you can look up datasheets and try to follow
the signals around; I wish there was an easy way to just test the
chips. I don't think any of them are unavailable right now you could
do a shotgun replacement. SB300's are on ebay almost all the time if
you want to pick one up there, or Jim Richards (lastactionjim@aol.com)
might still have some, I got my boards from him, they weren't
expensive. Since there is a void in this area (old stern tech) I
always wanted to take a sb300 and socket all the chips, remove a chip
at a time and observe/record the results to make this easier.
July 27, 2005 6:52:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

I recorded some of my sounds. I put the recording and a bunch of other
info/pictures up on my web site. If you know what Big Game should sound
like, please take a listen and see if mine is anything like it should be.

http://www.personal.triticom.com/~erm/Pinball/BigGame/

I also forgot to mention before that I am missing my battery. Would that
affect anything? I assume that a previous owner removed it so that it
wouldn't damage the boards.

I also re-seated all my MPU-200 socketed chips. It didn't help anything,
though.

Thanks,
Ed
July 27, 2005 6:56:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

> the SB300 is controlled directly through the CPU bus - unless your J5
> connectors have problems, it shouldn't be the CPU.

I don't think that my J5 ribbon cables have any problems, because I replaced
them. Though, that does not mean that the PCB pins aren't faulty or
something like that.

I read that a lot of people have problems with the 5101 RAM chips on these
boards. Could those cause problems like what I'm describing?

My Big Game repair page.
http://www.personal.triticom.com/~erm/Pinball/BigGame/

Thanks,
Ed
July 27, 2005 7:15:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

Try DIP switch 8. It's supposed to be the background sound toggle. The
docs say to turn it ON for background music, but someone told me that theirs
was backwards.

I'm curious if you change your switch 8 if you get any background sounds.
It's supposed to be a "drum beat" sound.

On my recording, you have to go about half-way through the WAV to get to the
part where I "play" the game. The first half is me going through the tests.
Anyway, when I "play" it, I tap all the switches on the playfield and hit
the spinners and such.

Thanks,
Ed

<w-morrison3@ti.com> wrote in message
news:1122476766.755192.134110@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
>
>
> Ed wrote:
>> > the SB300 is controlled directly through the CPU bus - unless your J5
>> > connectors have problems, it shouldn't be the CPU.
>>
>> I don't think that my J5 ribbon cables have any problems, because I
>> replaced
>> them. Though, that does not mean that the PCB pins aren't faulty or
>> something like that.
>>
>> I read that a lot of people have problems with the 5101 RAM chips on
>> these
>> boards. Could those cause problems like what I'm describing?
>>
>> My Big Game repair page.
>> http://www.personal.triticom.com/~erm/Pinball/BigGame/
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Ed
>
> Ed, Listen to your sound. Sounds like mine. I am assuming you were
> hitting the spinner and targets. I currently do not have background
> turned on and did not know if there was such a thing. Bill
>
July 27, 2005 7:29:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

> It's possible that without the battery installed the 5101 has "garbage"
> in it which should be cleared to 0 to test properly.

I'm starting to wonder the same thing.

> Every stern 200 I've ever worked on made noise from the sound test part
> of the solenoid test.

Do they make noise for each of 20 through 29, or do they just make a noise
on 20?

Ed
July 27, 2005 7:49:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

No, this is the only Stern machine that I have ever owned, and I don't have
any extra parts for it, yet.

I do have the schematics, but I don't recall seeing two distinct sections.
I'll look again.

Thanks,
Ed

<seymour-shabow@excite.com> wrote in message
news:1122478415.036236.74220@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> they make noises for most if not all of them. Some of the noises are
> generated by some chips on the sound board and others create others. I
> don't have a schematics here to look at, but there are 2 distinct
> sections, it's possible that you have a problem with one of them on the
> sound board. You don't happen to have any other sb300's around do you?
>
July 28, 2005 6:34:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

Just an update. I talked to a friend of mine that's been into Pinball for
quite a while. Last night, he lent me two new 5101 chips to try. I popped
them in, and I also hooked up 3 AA batteries to my MPU.

The new RAM chips seemed to help out all the accounting test screens. They
were all garbage before. Though, the sounds are still the same and there's
still no background music. The solenoid tests still only have a tiny little
sound on test 20, and 21 through 29 are silent.

The larger problem is that after I installed the new RAM, I left the machine
for about an hour. When I came back and turned it on, only the general
illumination worked. There are some voltages at the boards, but I get no
LED flashes, and I think some voltages are missing.

I guess this means that I should rebuild my power supply board and re-do
some of the connectors before I look into any more problems.

Ed
!