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Tech: TZ won't boot when top ribbon cable plugged into DMD..

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September 21, 2005 12:33:39 AM

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

Hi,

I have a TZ with an unusual problem. Everything worked fine until a
couple of days ago and now the game won't boot up unless I unplug the
top ribbon cable from the DMD board. What occurs is that it tries to
boot and you hear the clicking sound of the boot-up but just before the
middle flashing LED comes on on the CPU - it starts clicking over and
over again. This is the cable the goes from the CPU to the Fliptronics,
Sound, and then DMD. I have tried several things to remedy the problem
without any luck. As soon as the cable is disconnected from the DMD
board it boots fine and all functions work (except the display).

1. replaced all ribbon cables on the game with known working ones. And
the ribbon cables are plugged in correctly and oriented correctly. No
pins are bent or broken.
2. replaced the DMD board with a good working one out of another TZ and
even with a new DMD repalcement board
3. replaced the CPU with a good one from another TZ
4. replaced the sound board with one from another TZ
5. Isolated the CPU from all the other boards by removing all other
ribbon cables - then even when the cable plugs into the DMD and is
disconnected from the fliptronics and sound boards it does not work.
6. checked the DC voltages going to the CPU and they are right on 5 and
12 volts. I even tried powering it up from another working power driver
board.
7. tried a new dmd display and even tried it with the DMD display
disconnected.
8. resetaed all the cables in the cabinet by the transformer. the
voltages are all within specs. The voltages on the DMD board (in and
out) are also in spec
9. checked all fuses on the all of the boards.

I'm running out of ideas here. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Please - e-mail me diretcly if you have any hot leads! bobgto65@aol.com

Thanks,
Bob Antelman
September 21, 2005 1:05:55 AM

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

Looks pretty thorough, Bob. Not sure that TZ boots without the other
boards in circuit (my Creature didn't), but that is about it.

So I would go the other way, move your boards into the good TZ, see if
they still fail. Just one caveat, switching out the transformer is
quick and will eliminate all but the power loom from the equation. Do
all that, only the power loom is left.
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 3:10:30 AM

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

Try a new solenoid driver board Bob, TZ uses everything, and everything may
have stressed that board. Be sure your transformer connectors are good too.
LTG :) 

"bob" <bobgto65@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1127273619.164321.100500@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Hi,
>
> I have a TZ with an unusual problem. Everything worked fine until a
> couple of days ago and now the game won't boot up unless I unplug the
> top ribbon cable from the DMD board. What occurs is that it tries to
> boot and you hear the clicking sound of the boot-up but just before the
> middle flashing LED comes on on the CPU - it starts clicking over and
> over again. This is the cable the goes from the CPU to the Fliptronics,
> Sound, and then DMD. I have tried several things to remedy the problem
> without any luck. As soon as the cable is disconnected from the DMD
> board it boots fine and all functions work (except the display).
>
> 1. replaced all ribbon cables on the game with known working ones. And
> the ribbon cables are plugged in correctly and oriented correctly. No
> pins are bent or broken.
> 2. replaced the DMD board with a good working one out of another TZ and
> even with a new DMD repalcement board
> 3. replaced the CPU with a good one from another TZ
> 4. replaced the sound board with one from another TZ
> 5. Isolated the CPU from all the other boards by removing all other
> ribbon cables - then even when the cable plugs into the DMD and is
> disconnected from the fliptronics and sound boards it does not work.
> 6. checked the DC voltages going to the CPU and they are right on 5 and
> 12 volts. I even tried powering it up from another working power driver
> board.
> 7. tried a new dmd display and even tried it with the DMD display
> disconnected.
> 8. resetaed all the cables in the cabinet by the transformer. the
> voltages are all within specs. The voltages on the DMD board (in and
> out) are also in spec
> 9. checked all fuses on the all of the boards.
>
> I'm running out of ideas here. Does anyone have any suggestions?
>
> Please - e-mail me diretcly if you have any hot leads! bobgto65@aol.com
>
> Thanks,
> Bob Antelman
>
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Anonymous
September 21, 2005 3:25:35 AM

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

I had a similar problem on STTNG and it was the fliptronics board. It
would start with any single board plugged in even the fliptronics but
with any board plugged in at the same time as the fliptronics board it
would not come out of blanking. Socketed and replaced all the IC's on
the fliptonrics board for about $4 in parts and it works like a champ.

HTH,
GregO.
September 21, 2005 12:56:48 PM

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

Greg,

I swapped a fliptronics board that worked fine in another TZ into this
game and it did not solve the problem.I also tsated the fliptronics
board and DMD board from the problem game in another TZ and they both
worked fine.

Bob
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 4:42:43 PM

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

just to be clear, since you seem to have two TZs, have you swapped the
FULL set of boards and ribbon cables in the 'broken' TZ with the boards
from the working TZ and vice versa, and the boot problem stays with the
original machine and the working machine still works with all of the
boards and cables from the broken one? and the broken one, even with a
full set of boards/cables from the working TZ still does not boot? I"m
not sure ify ou done a full set swap or just boards. It could well be
that more then one board/cable has a problem.

It really sounds like an address bus issue on either the DMD,
fliptronics or the cable, but, based on what you have done not sure why
you have not been able to isolate it. I assume when you say DMD board
you are referring to the controller and not the display.
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 5:08:34 PM

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

Bob, Steve ran through a similar problem on Jackbot when we did LAD2.
The problem was a solidly locked up DMD driver board. A logic problem
we believe. Once he swapped it out (the DMD driver) with a repro, he
was up and running again!

Best of Luck
September 21, 2005 11:02:35 PM

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

The problem is fixed. It turns out the DMD board was not getting the 5V
from the power driver board. On closer inspection of the connector on
J117, the gray (5V wire) worked its way slightly out of the connector,
not enough to notice unless you looked at it closely but enough to
break the circuit. Once it was punched in the problem was solved. Kudos
to Mike Frasca for helping me with this!
Anonymous
September 22, 2005 3:25:51 AM

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

Thanks for posting the solution. Surprising that that would keep the
cpu from booting.

Greg
Anonymous
September 22, 2005 8:00:38 AM

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

Not surprising at all.
The ribbon cable brings the 6809's address and data lines
to all the backbox boards. if one of these boards drags
down an address and/or data line, it will lock up the
whole system!

This is why the "minimize and test" procedure is a good one.
Make the system as small as possible, and then add one
board at a time back to the system. This identifies which
board is the problem.

GregO. wrote:
> Thanks for posting the solution. Surprising that that would keep the
> cpu from booting.
>
> Greg
!