Eldorado City of Gold now ready on PI-80

 Payment by credit card available at the shows

 Spirit now ready on PI-80

 Recoverable VAT for professional clients within the European Union

 SAD4096 replacement for Bally Centaur reverb sound board

 Multiball Haunted House with speech!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) : Pascal answers!

Click on the questions below to toggle the answers.


             Questions about orders and prices  Technical questions   Questions about the PI-80 board for Gottlieb System80  

 I've got switch matrix problems and some diodes need to be changed. The 1N270 diodes which were used by Gottlieb are obsolete for a long time. May I use any type of diode?

no, because there are many type of diodes with different voltage thresholds.

1N270 diodes have a threshold between 0.2 and 0.3V and my boards are made to drive only this type of diode.
Schottky diodes are a perfect replacement, eg. BAT42 BAT43 BAT85..

1N4148 1N4004 1N4007 diode have a threshold between 0.6 and 0.7V. This means that the switch matrix circuitry may not be functioning properly if they are used
it's a problem which is too often overlooked when the original diodes have to be changed.

 the pinball lights on, the power-on sequence is OK, the playfield is in attract-mode, the displays are OK, but I can't start any game. Pressing the CREDIT button doesn't do anything.

did you plug all the connectors? especially A1J6 (PI-1, PI-1 X4) and A1J5 (PI-80).
and any credits left? check the CREDIT display!

 ALL my displays are off. what should I do?

the displays are powered by the 60V power supply which is protected by a little cylindric fuse (brown or black) on a socket, just right of the A2P3 connector.
if the fuse burnt, it's because one of the displays is dead or consuming too much power.

A replacement fuse was delivered with each board (in a little zipped bag). But we need to find the culprit display before replacing it!
to check the displays, it would be better to have another working game nearby to swap the displays.
otherwise, first turn the game OFF then disconnect A2P3, A1J2 and A1J3 from the CPU, and disconnect ALL the displays from the game!
then a basic check is to probe capacitor C1 (1uf 100V) on each display (one at a time) with your multimeter on "2000 ohms" setting, and see if the measured resistance is higher than this.
if lower, one of the UDN6118 chips is likely to be damaged.
if higher, the display is probably good but it is not a thorough test...

next, only plug ONE display AT A TIME, replace the fuse, turn the game on, check whether the 60V is still good (60V/42VLED is lit).

IMPORTANT: always turn the game OFF before plugging/unplugging any connector, otherwise it would cause further damage to the game!

 one of my displays shows very bright digits

it comes generally from a bad contact on the display connector.
try to shake gently the cables coming to the connector.
if the very bright digits disappear, the problem is confirmed, so inspect the edge connector
else either the connector is badly damaged, or the display itself has a problem.

IMPORTANT: turn off the pinball before unplugging any display or more damages will occur.

 some of my displays are not working properly: missing segments or digits

if the problem shows only on one of the displays, you have to check the display itself (faulty display, dirty edge connector, cut wire ..)
swap it with a known working one to see if the problem "moves":
- if it moved, then the display itself is faulty
- if it didn't, then there is a connection problem (dirty edge connector, cut wire).

if TWO displays show the same problem it may come from the main board or a bad A1J2/A1J3 connector:
on PI-1 and PI-1 X4 boards:
- SEGMENTS a..h of displays 1 and 2 and credit display are driven together
- SEGMENTS a..h of displays 3 and 4 are driven together
- DIGITS of displays 1 and 3 and credit display are driven together
- DIGITS of displays 2 and 4 are driven together
on PI-80 board (most of the games):
- SEGMENTS a..h of displays 1 and 2 are driven together
- SEGMENTS a..h of the credit display are driven separately
- SEGMENTS a..h of the displays 3 and 4 are driven together
- DIGITS of displays 1 and 3 and credit display are driven together
- DIGITS of displays 2 and 4 are driven together

swap the faulty pair of displays which the pair of working ones to see if the problem "moves":
- if it moved, the problem is linked to the display itself
- if it didn't, then there is a connection problem (dirty edge connector, cut wire).

on PI-1 and PI-1 X4 boards, the little display is linked to displays 1 and 3.
Does it work properly?
if it does, the PI-1 X4 board is good, displays 1 and 3 are the culprits.
if it doesn't, either the PI-1 X4 board is damaged or it is disturbed by displays 1 and 3

IMPORTANT: always turn the game OFF before plugging/unplugging any connector, otherwise it would cause further damage to the game!

 my board (PI-80 or PI-1 X4) is working properly but the fuse which protects the +60V power supply of the displays burns regularly, even if the displays seem to work properly. I change it, it works for a while, then it burns again.

the problem is not on the board but one or more diplays has a power consumption which is too high and eventually the fuse burns.
It may lead to a component damage on the power supply part of the board.

do the following:
turn the game OFF then disconnect A2P3, A1J2 and A1J3 from the CPU, and disconnect ALL the displays from the game!
then a basic check is to probe capacitor C1 (1uf 100V) on each display (one at a time) with your multimeter on "2000 ohms" setting, and see if the measured resistance is higher than this.
· if lower, one of the UDN6118 chips is likely to be damaged.
· if higher, the display is probably good but it is not a thorough test...

next, only plug ONE display AT A TIME, replace the fuse (depending on the date of delivery, a spare one might be provided in a separate zip bag), turn the game on, check whether the 60V is still good (60V/42VLED is lit).

IMPORTANT: always turn the game OFF before plugging/unplugging any connector, otherwise it would cause further damage to the game!

 the pinball lights on, the power-on sequence displays an error message, it is impossible to start a play : when I press the CREDIT button, the TILT relay clicks twice, the displays show « TEST » and the play does not start

The error comes from one or several faulty coils or their diode in parallel.
My board detects the error, warns the user about it, and prevents from starting a play to avoid aggravating the problems.

A full description of all error messages and their possible causes & fixes can be found in the PI-1 X4 and PI-80 boards manuals.

In a first step, narrow the failure search by following the simple steps below:

For example for a PI-1/X4 board:
turn game off, disconnect both connectors A3J2 and A3J4, turn the game on
-> there should be no more error
turn game off, reconnect connector A3J2 alone (leave connector A3J4 disconnected), turn the game on
-> if error: culprit is transistor Q1 and/or the knocker coil
-> if no error: continue
turn game off, reconnect A3J4 alone (disconnect A3J2), turn the game on
-> if error: culprit is to be found among transistors Q2 Q3 Q5 Q7 and/or outhole/solenoids 6 7 8.

For example for a PI-80 board:
turn game off, disconnect both A3J4 and A3J5, turn the game on. There should be no more error.
turn game off, reconnect A3J4 alone, turn the game on. If error: culprit is on coils 1 2 5 6 9 or their respective transistors QS1 QS2 QS5 QS6 QS9.
turn game off, reconnect A3J5 alone (leave A3J4 disconnected), turn the game on. If error: culprit is to be found on coil 8 « knocker » or on QS8 transistor.

Once the faulty coil error output has been found, the coils and their associated diode must be checked.

Checking the coils and diodes is pretty easy.
To check the coil, desolder one leg of the diode (otherwise the diode in parallel with the coil would corrupt the measurement), then measure the coil on lowest resistor setting of your DMM.
Refer to Gottlieb coils chart for expected resistor values depending on coil type.
Then, to check the diode, keep its leg removed from the coil, then measure the diode on "diode" setting with red DMM plug on NON BANDED side and black DMM plug on BANDED side: it should read between 0.5 and 0.7V.
Contact me for further details and more help if needed.

 once you turn the game on, the game goes crazy, like turning lamps randomly on the playfield, firing coils or even shooting balls in play. what’s going on?

you must select the proper game upon power-up.
the PI-1, PI-1 X4 and PI-80 boards work in many games, but they are unable to detect which game they are installed in (no board can, no matter the manufacturer).
so you must select the correct game in the available games list upon power-up.
this is explained in the installation leaflet.
otherwise, when the board enters the attract mode, it will turn on/off the playfield lamps or even coils disregard of the game = may cause real havoc.

 what are the numbers and positions of each connector which goes to the board? a picture would help!

 Orders, prices

             Technical questions   Questions about the PI-80 board for Gottlieb System80   

 Can I collect VAT? (for French or European buyers)

yes : the sales tax (VAT) on the sales is refundable and is clearly stated (for French or UE customers only) on the invoice sent by email the day your order is shipped.

 I made a mistake when I placed my order or I changed my mind since. May I return the board and get a refund, or swap it for another board?

Yes it's possible, please contact me thru the contact page.
Only the boards still in their sealed, unopened antistatic bag will be accepted. The refund will be limited to the original board's price (and possible paypal fees, proportionally) and will be issued after reception and control of the returned board.
The initial shipping fees will be obviously not refunded.
You may then place another order on line for another board.
-> Note: no restocking fees will be charged.

 Do boards come up with a guarantee? I purchased a board and installed it in a 3rd party game, does the guarantee apply?

All boards are guaranteed for SIX MONTHS (parts and labour) starting from the date of purchase against all failures of the components and the manufacturing. This guarantee is intended to protect you against the kind of failures that can show up soon after starting during normal use. However, it does not apply if the board has been re-sold to a 3rd party during the guarantee period: in that case, it applies only to the original buyer whom I will make arrangements with.

 As I am not in a hurry at all, may I save on shipping costs and wait till the next pinball expo to purchase boards at your stand?

Absolutely! I always do my utmost to attend as many French pinball expos as possible throughout the year: Sorgues, Le Tréport, Vierzon, Le Fontanil, Ste Ménéhould, Pouilly en Auxois, Chailly en Bière.. My plans to attend an expo or not are displayed on the "Next shows" page.

 Before ordering I need to know about the legalities of using the Gottlieb name/intellectual rights

name: I use it sparingly in my manuals will full credit given to the rightsowner.
boards: I redesigned everything from scratch, both hardware and software. I don't reuse the original roms and game proms unlike other repro boards around.

 I sent several support messages but still no answer after several hours. As a customer I was expecting a much faster reply!

Do NOT send the same message several times in a row!!
It will be processed as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours except under some circumstances (such as holidays) clearly stated on top of the web site.

I have designed, manufactured and programmed these boards as part of my pinball hobby, and not as a business.
I make no profit from these endeavours.
I am more than happy to help people who buy my boards, and I appreciate the feedback from them, especially where it helps to improve the boards.
I do have a real job though, and a big family, and I am not able to provide continuous and/or immediate help on a 24/7 basis.
I hope that you can appreciate this..
If not and you are not satisfied with what I provide, then return the board to me in original condition and I will refund the cost of the board you have purchased from me (except shipping fees).
No restocking fee will be charged if the board is returned in new condition in its original, unopened antistatic bag.

 Technical questions

             Questions about orders and prices   Questions about the PI-80 board for Gottlieb System80   

 Should I get new eproms and/or use the original proms?

No need to: all supported games are built in the main processor. Selection is made by menus upon power-up or by dipswitches (sound boards). No original prom is needed anymore.

The sound/speech replacement board is the only exception. It needs the original sound proms.
As they are copyrighted by Gottlieb Development LLC, I don't sell them.
You need to get them thru authorized resellers (read the following FAQ).

 I'm looking for my game manual and/or the original sound proms for the replacement sound/speech board. Do you sell them? If not, where can they be found?

The manuals and the sound proms are copyrighted by Gottlieb Development LLC. I don't sell them.
You have to get them thru:
- ads (ebay, Mr Pinball..)
- used part resellers
- authorized and licenced resellers in the USA, eg:
Steve Young "The Pinball Resource" : http://www.pbresource.com
John Robertsons "Flippers.com" : https://www.flippers.com/catalog/product_info.php/gottlieb-game-sound-promeproms-p-2802

 Is there a development kit available to develop new games or different game rules for certain games?

Alas, it is likely to never be available, especially because I use a specific cross-compiler which is not freeware and, very specific development tools. However, I gladly take suggestions, so should you have any ideas for improvements, please share them with me!

 Is it possible to update the software by means of an USB key or a simple serial port?

Theoretically yes, but it's not easily achievable. This would require me to add hardware (= additional cost) on top of additional software. I decided that it was not very useful, since a software update is simple and free of charge (except for shipping costs) by regular mail.

 An idea: replace the prom that contains the software by an SD card. SD cards are cheap, easy to program & swap.

No, it is not as easy as it seems. Since the software runs embedded in the main processor, it is not loaded in RAM and does not run from an external memory as old computer systems used to run.

 I would like to keep using the coin slots, is it possible?

For sure! The coin slots still behave as usual and are fully programmable by menu.

 No reliability problems over time?

Not at all, except typical mistakes such as coils (= shorted coils or without a diode) not checked by the user prior to installing my board which may cause driver transistors blow; as would be the case on ANY other electronic board. Worse, the original CPU boards would also be badly damaged, which is not the case on my board. The damage, in 99.99% of the cases, is limited to a transistor.

 Must the game be fully operational before installing the new board?

It is an ambiguous question: a non-working game is one of the main reasons that people purchase my boards! In the manual as well as on top of the quick installation leaflet, I remind users of the most important points to check PRIOR to any installation. It is ALWAYS dangerous to install a new board without performing some basic checks on the game! All my boards embed advanced hardware and software protections against all kinds of failures which would damage the original Gottlieb boards, but it is always wise to check for shorted coils & lamps sockets, damaged displays, blown fuses, broken connector pins, dead diode bridges etc...

 To make things short: I receive the new board, I install it, I turn the game on, and it will work no matter what the game's original condition?

With each board, and in addition to the guarantee, I do my best to help people install and set up my boards by email. But I could not help the user restore his whole game from scratch from distance. I would need a 2nd life to do so! It also goes without saying that in the event that the board is damaged following its installation in a game in unknown condition without making basic checks, then the 6 month guarantee may be invalidated.

 Are Bally/Williams replacement boards being considered as well?

Well, not quite. I would need a 3rd life for that!
Furthermore a brand new 100% french board does exist for Bally 6 and 7 digits games: "NB II".
It replaces the CPU board and the sound boards (on most games).
Everything is here: www.steflip.fr
Please note that this NB II board (like the Alltek "Ultimate MPU") reuses the original, licence-free proms, which can be freely distributed; due to that, no new features are likely to be provided (freeplay mode excepted).

 Are there documents that explain the boards' use, menus/setup, etc..?

All the documents can be downloaded for free from the "Support" section. For the PI-80 boards though, I could not find time yet to write a complete manual as for my System-1 boards (it takes a huge amount of time to write one), so only a quick installation leaflet is available for now.

 Do boards drive the excellent replacement LED displays from Boston Pinball Company ?

Absolutely, although some earlier board revisions may require a minor modification. All details are available on the manufacturer's web page, or simply ask me directly.

 is there a setting to reset all drop targets of the game in one single shot, rather than in sequence?

no this setting does not exist, and I won't add it.
the drop target reset coils are the biggest coils in the games.
energizing them all together would stress too much the electronics and the diodes bridges.

 I got problems on the switch matrix and some diodes must be replaced. The 1N270 diodes used by Gottlieb have been obsolete for ages. May I use any kind of replacement diode?

no, because all diodes are not the same.
to make it short, some diodes have a lower forward voltage threshold than others.

the 1N270 diodes used in GTB system-1/80/80A/80B have a forward voltage between 0.2 and 0.3V
my PI-1 PI-1 X4 and PI-80 boards have been designed to drive this kind of diodes.
schottky diodes are a perfect replacement match, like BAT42 BAT43 BAT85...

"regular" diodes like 1N4148 1N4004 1N4007 have a higher forward voltage between 0.6 and 0.7V
as such, the switch matrix circuitry may not work as reliably as it should = closed contacts may not be detected well
it's a common, often overlooked problem when the original diodes need to be replaced.

 Questions about the PI-80 board for Gottlieb System80

             Question about the orders and prices   Technical questions  

 My game is not among the current list of available games, what can I do?

Register to be informed of its availability. It may already be under programming.

 Will the final board run on all games of both System-80/80A series?

Yes, the board will eventually support all the System-80/80A series.

 Two playing modes exist on James Bond game (timed and bonus), will the board offer both?

Yes, once the software will be available.

 I own a "Grand 8" from Christian Tabard (France), is this board fitted for it?

Yes, the "Grand 8" uses the same rules as "Panthera", and as such works perfectly with my board.

 Regarding sounds, are all sounds of non-speech-capable games driven?

All games run with the exact same sounds as the original games. I drive each game's sound board in exactly the same way as the original Gottlieb CPU board.

 Rather than the sole credit button, can the player enter his name in the high scores tables using the left & right flipper buttons?

Yes: a specific mode allows to reconfigure the coin slots switches to scroll thru the letters when entering a name in the table. A small hardware modification must also be made to the game itself. Please contact me to get the description of the mod.

 Do I need an additional sound board or it is embedded into the board?

You must keep your existing sound board for the present time, until I release my own sound add-on board. If the sound board of your pinball game (refer to the list of available games on the 'Boards' page) does not work, you can replace it by my stand-alone PI-FX sound board. It plugs into the existing sound board connector in the front head and requires no modification to the game whatsoever.

 Does the giant pinball display (that works on PI-1 and PI-1 X4 boards) also work on the PI-80 board?

Yes! I demo it at my stand at nearly every pinball expo. As a reminder, all the details (only in French for now) on my giant display can be found here.

 Can we dream of a speech-capable sound board (or emulating an SC-01 chip..) ?

Yes, I plan to release one.. but when..

 What does the small A24 board, located above the original CPU board, do? What should I do of it if I install a PI-80 replacement board in my game?

the A24 reset circuit board monitors the displays activity on the CPU board.
It resets the CPU in case of display freeze for a given time = a sign that the CPU board has hung (such as after a coil problem).
In arcade rooms, that prevents the CPU from remaining locked up for an extended time, especially in a coil-burn state.
At home, this reset board has little or no use, as the game does not remain powered for long continuous periods.
The PI-80 replacement board embeds similar & improved hardware that makes this reset board useless. Moreover, it cannot be connected to the PI-80 board.

 I would like to install my PI-80 board in a game (80 or 80A) but I had asked the other games series (80A or 80) upon ordering the board. what can I do?
new games and features have been added to the PI-80 board. how to have my board updated?

the PI-80 software updates are free and unlimited.
the small PI-80/MCU daughterboard, bearing the flashing "CPU" LED, must be returned to us alone.
use the contact form below to receive from us the complete return procedure.

 I would like to add speech to my Haunted House while keeping it in single ball mode, how to do that?

There are 2 separate projects around this game :

1. The Haunted House in multiball with speech project comes from a fruitful co-working with the Davroux brothers who added our specific sentences to the existing sounds.
This project only works with our PI-80 board.
It needs a PI-80 board + an original GTB sound/speech board with the specific sound proms, to be acquired directly from the Davroux brothers

2. The Haunted House with speech version (hence single ball) reuses the original CPU to which the Davroux brothers added code to trigger additional sentences
This version work with the original GTB boards ; the PI-80 board software has not be fitted for this yet, due to lack of time and demand
It needs an original GTB CPU board + an original GTB sound/speech board ; both boards require specific game and sound proms, different from the multiball version above, to be acquired directly from the Davroux brothers

 the game in progress ends abruptly and a "STUCK SWITCH xx" message is displayed. what's wrong?

this warning message says that the switch number "xx", pertaining to one of the pop bumpers on the playfield, remains closed permanently.
this message may be turned off by means of COMMON SETTING 28 "CHECK BUMPER" but I don't recommend it, because the rootcause for that closed switch must be found.
it may be an electrical or mechanical problem.
the cup switch of each pop bumper must be checked to find the stuck one.

  No answer to your question?  Please use the contact form below, we'll get back to you shortly.

Your name
Your email address
Your question