Brian E. Brzezicki
Copyright 2009
Version 1.01 04/28/2010

Disclaimer
Use this at your OWN risk, do NOT sue me if it breaks your board... if your doing this your board is probably already broken though ;)

Game Board #1 4/28/2010

Problem:

    Sound is weird.. actually sounds fine unless you know what CC is supposed to sound like. CC has 2 distinct sound channels mixed together to end speakers (both speakers play both channels, they are NOT wired seperately). Only 1 channel of sound is working.

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. isolate problem: verify that it's not the AR II board, switch pins J8 and J9 (Brown and white) on the ARII board (you need a MOLEX PIN remover), make sure that still sounds the same. if they sound different... it's probably the ARII that needs repair, rebuild it.
  2. isolate problem: Verify POKEYS (locations 3B and 3D). Swap them to make sure everything still sounds the same, if now the missing sounds are back, but you have have different sounds missing, pull one pokey at a time to see which one is bad and replace.
  3. final step (if not either of the above): replace LM324 chip at location B5. This is the only major IC between the POKEYS and the ARII board. (This was my fix)
Game Board #2 12/25/2013

Problem:

    Game Board won't boot, passing RAM tests, failing on EEPROM 4A and 4B, but not consistantly either one

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. swapped chips with known good chips, no change
  2. replaced corroded sockets, no change
  3. Tested ROM long @ 0x9000 - 0x90FF randomly different errors
  4. Replaced 74LS245@ E5, no change
  5. Pulled POKEYS, game booted
  6. put back cin POKEY @ 3C, game booted
  7. Replaced POKEY @ 3D with another POKEY
  8. Game works!
Game Board #3 12/25/2013

Problem:

    Game Board won't boot, giving 5 high pitched beeps and 2 low pitched beeps

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. According to the manual that's RAM at 6B, replaced
  2. Game works!
Game Board #4 2/21/2015

Problem:

    Game Board won't boot, no video/sync indication.

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. Measured reset line, stuck low. probalby something in the sync circuit.
  2. Started analyzing sync circuit, first 10Mhz signal at pin #2 on 84LS163 @ 7M. nothing.
  3. Touched 10Mhz crystal, made the familiar "I'm physically broken" rattling noise when touched.
  4. Replaced 10Mhz crystal
  5. Board works!
Game Board #5 6/17/2015

Problem: Game boots and passes self test but loud noise all the time and sounds are messed up

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. Swapped POKEYS with known good POKEYS, no change, swapped back originals.
  2. Replaced LM324
  3. Board works!
Game Board #6 7/3/2015

Problem: Game boots and passes self test but there is a white line every other line on the screen

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. Looked at schematics, looks like video output memory is 10A and 10B, 10A was VERY hot
  2. Removed 2147 RAM at 10A, resocketed and replaced with a 2148 RAM
  3. Board works!
Game Board #7 9/6/2015

Problem: Game boots and passes self test but the graphics are totally messed up, but only on the game screen, self test screens OK, so characters are OK, also sprites seem ok, looks like is's a problem with the background generation.

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. Found bad 74LS191 @ 3N - fixed the graphics
  2. found sounds was bad, replaced LM324 with no change
  3. Found bad POKEY - replaced
  4. Game works!
Game Board #8 11/12/2015

Problem: Game board does not work, mostly blue screen with some random dots

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. Noticed bi-polar PROM was missing, replaced with my bi-polar PROM solution
  2. Now I get a bunch of equally space boxes on the screen
  3. Did long Fluke RAM tests
    • 0x0003 - 0x0BFF working RAM (dynamic) 4416s - Bad, changing values while reading in looping mode
    • 0x0c00 - 0x7FFF screen RAM (dynamic) 4416s - bad
    • 0x8000 - 0x8dff - working RAM (static) 6116s - OK
    • 0x8000 - 0x8eff - motion object buf 2 - OK
    • 0x8f00 - 0x8fff - motion object buf 1 - OK
  4. Noticed that the 4416 @ 4E was burning hot to the touch, replaced
  5. Now I'm getting BTS 0x0f errors doing RAM test of 0x0003 - 0x0BFF, BTS 0x0F @ 0x000F
  6. Replaced 4416 @ 4f which is the low bits of "odd" addresses in the range 0x0003 - 0x0BFF , now ram test makes it past address 0x0003 to fail at BTS 0xFF at 0x0004
  7. "even addresses" in the range 0x0003 - 0x0BFF are provided by 4416 RAMS @ 4H (low 4 bit) and 4J (high 4 bits)
  8. replaced 4H and noticed that now I have errors 0xF0 @ 0x0004, which is expected as the chip that provides the low 4 bits was just replaced.
  9. Replaced 4J and now RAM test for 0x0003 - 0xBFFF and 0xC00 - 0x7FFF pass OK!
  10. Game is now booting, but missing lines in sprites
  11. Noted that 2149 @ 10A is also burning to the touch, replaced
  12. Lines in sprites gone, but there is an overwhelming blue color to the game
  13. Pushed down on 7404 @ 11P, noticed the colors become correct, noted someone had replaced 7404 and it looked like the solder job wasn't complete on one of the vias, resoldered.
  14. Game works!
Game Board #9 11/13/2015

Problem: Game boots, but background is all white
There is ALL kinds of replacements and damage and jumper wires on the PCB

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. Noted that one of the 2149s in the video section was replaced with a 21C14, was surprised later to find that it works as a replacement... I learned something today.
  2. Desoldered all the previously repaired/socketed chips in the video section of the PCB, fixed damage
  3. no change
  4. replaced bi-polar PROM @ 10K with my bi-polar PROM solution
  5. Game works!
Game Board #10 12/12/2015

Problem: Board bought untested off of ebay

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. Looked at board it was immeditely apparent that the crystal looked broken. touched crystal to feel it move definitely broken
  2. Replaced crystal with new 10Mhz crystal
  3. Game works!
Game Board #11 03/04/2018

Problem: Game works, but sprites are missing every other line

Troubleshooting/dianosis steps:

  1. Both 2149 RAMs were socketed, one was missing the ground pin
  2. "Fixed" ground pin and resocketed
  3. Game works!