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Flim-Flam (1975) Pong Clone PCB by Meadows Games Inc


Kaizen
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I purchased the PCB for this game off Ebay a couple of weeks ago and it arrived today.

 

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I'll hook it up later this evening and see if it works but I'm not expecting it to be fully working, hopefully it will throw up an image.

 

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Flim-Flam is a Pong variant for 2 or 4 players with a special feature called "Flim-Flam".

 

The joystick controller allows players horizontal, angular and vertical movements of the paddle. Players can rush the net, miss the ball, retreat and attempt second hit. The ball may also be hit two or three times on each side of the net.

 

"Flim - Flam" button allows a player to alter speed and course of ball.

 

The game offers three paddle sizes. As the skill of players increase, the paddle size selection can be reduced by choosing either "expert" or "pro" sizes.

 

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Flim-Flam was the first game released by Meadows Games Inc. It also must have been one of the first pong game to allow the paddle to move in all directions using a "Joy-Stick".

 

 

I've found these pots/joysticks for it on Alibaba and Ebay which should work well.

 

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https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2-axis-potentiometer-joystick_226771336.html?spm=a2700.details.maylikehoz.15.6bf316a1riRt8C

 

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If I can get it working I'd like to make a cabinet for it

 

Edited by Kaizen
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I quickly knocked up a test harness connecting power and video and powered the board up but no image on screen.

 

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I went straight to the crystal and the 7404 next to it and there was a clock signal. From there I checked the video output and it was dead. There's a 4.7uF electrolytic between the video pin and the combined video and sync signal. I could see the sync and video signals were there and there was also plenty of activity all around the board so I pulled the cap and put it in my tester.

 

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It read way out of spec so I robbed one off an old parts board and soldered it in.

 

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The board was powered up again and I was delighted to see a working attract screen.

 

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I'll wire up the buttons and start with a 10k pot to see if I can get the bats on screen.

 

Edit: Just tested the credit, 4 player game and start buttons...

 

Edited by Kaizen
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After letting it run for a couple of minutes, the ball disappeared. I did a quick check of the 7400's around the board and I found one at [7D] with nothing on all four outputs.

 

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I piggybacked it and the ball came back. :)

I'll swap it out tomorrow when I wire up the pots.

Edited by Kaizen
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I swapped the dud 7400 out, fitted a new 4.7uF cap and wired up some 5k pots.

I found they only moved about 1/4 of the full distance and after some trial and error worked out it needs 25k pots.

Everything else seems to be working, all three bat sizes are selectable, the ball speed increases at hits 4 and 12 and the 'Flim-Flam' also works on both sides.

The output pin to control the four flashing lights during attract mode is low when in attract and goes high when a credit is clocked up so that has also been confirmed.

 

Attract Light Circuit Diagram

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The board is now tested and fully working.

 

I'll grab a pair of 25k pots from Jaycar and confirm that's the right value before sourcing a set of Joysticks.

I'll more than likely go with the ones from Alibaba as they can customise them to whatever value is required.

 

For the monitor I'll just use a colour 20" TV with AV input, the audio should also be able to be connected directly to the TV.

The cabinet design and build may have to wait a little while though.

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You not going to build a replica table for this?

 

I will build a replica table.

I just need to source the panels.

The only woodgrain I have is 30" wide and the top of the cabinet is 36".

 

I think we'll have to start calling you King Pong.[emoji6]

Great work Adam.

Cheers Trev

 

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

 

I like the sound of it..

Better than The King of Pong.:lol

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Sweet, I'll take it. :)

 

I tried a 25k pot but the bats travel too far.

I worked that they need around 17k to travel correctly from top to bottom and left to right.

I connected a 68k resistor in parallel across the pots reducing them to around 18k total and that seems to have got it pretty close.

I hooked the board up to a CRT TV and the audio tested fine.

One issue I've found is that the resolution is greater than what the TV needs and with most newer TV's with AV input, there's no ability the adjust the screen size.

I may look at using a 20" arcade monitor and separate the sync and video outputs.

Edited by Kaizen
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I went through my stash of 21" CRT TV's and found one that had pots to adjust the screen size rather than using one that you have go through the Service Menu (I don't have remotes for them) to adjust the screen size.

A slight tweak of the vertical and horizontal size pots and the border is now brought into view.

The audio is amplified well through the TV so no need to run a separate amp.

I've used a dual gang pot for testing so the bat will only move diagonally.

 

 

I'll use this for the cabinet build.

Edited by Kaizen
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Now that I have most of the things needed to build a replica cabinet I thought I'd have a go at building the Attract Light PCB.

The schematic was provided in the manual.

 

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I had a tiny piece of Vero board left over from a previous project so I designed the layout on DIYLC. I miscounted the number of rows on the piece of Vero board so the 5W resistor was wired off the board and I moved the bottom row up one.

 

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The two transistors listed in the schematic date back to the early 70's so rough equivalents were substituted with what I had on hand.

I didn't have a 5Ω 5W resistor but I found a 4Ω 5W one on an old parts board so that was used instead, the lights are just a bit brighter and a bit more current is flowing though the circuit.

 

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The Attract Light PCB in action...

The flash rate is pretty much the same as the video of the original cabinet in the first post so I'll call that a win. :)

 

 

Edited by Kaizen
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I loved 555 timer projects! Talk about the most useful I.c. you could do almost anything with them. Just brilliant.

 

Yep, quite a versatile little component and has been around for donkeys years.

 

I've noticed that the serve timer isn't working and the ball is served without delay each time so that will have to be looked at.

I've located a copy of the schematics for the board which has saved a bit of time working out which of the 555 timers controls the serve.

 

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Looking at the serve timer circuit there were two likely causes, either the 555 itself or the cap controlling it.

The the 555 was outputting a signal so I went straight to the cap.

It was exactly the same as the one that had failed on the video output (4.7uF) so I was pretty sure that was the culprit.

I removed it and put it in my tester and once again it read way out of spec.

 

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I had none on hand so again, I used one robbed off a parts board.

 

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The board was powered up and the serve timer is now working correctly.

 

 

I love how easy these boards are to repair, the three different faults that the board had were all diagnosed and repaired in a matter of minutes.

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Gotta love the 555, its one of the corner stones of electronics that one little chip. Nice work sussing out the sus cap.

Footnote: with the attract flasher, I now use a chip called a picaxe 08m, its a great little chip for things like the attract flasher, as you would basically have the chip a resistor and a transistor, no other external components and you could have all sorts of spiffy flash rates going on. Its the future....but having said that stick with the 555 as they will be around another 30 years, the picaxe may not

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Gotta love the 555, its one of the corner stones of electronics that one little chip. Nice work sussing out the sus cap.

Footnote: with the attract flasher, I now use a chip called a picaxe 08m, its a great little chip for things like the attract flasher, as you would basically have the chip a resistor and a transistor, no other external components and you could have all sorts of spiffy flash rates going on. Its the future....but having said that stick with the 555 as they will be around another 30 years, the picaxe may not

 

For this project I wanted to do it justice and kick it old school by recreating the original circuit and maintain the same flash rate as the original cab.

It would have been easier to just use an electronic automotive flasher can or flashing LEDs however I had all the components on hand or on parts boards and I really enjoy doing things truly DIY.

 

Got to say you have a real connection with TTL 80's circuits. Keep up the great work your doing..:)

 

Thanks mate, I have another discrete logic board on the way.

 

TANK (1974) by Kee Games, the Atari 2600 version was one of my favorites as a kid.

This one may prove to be a little more challenging...

 

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I'm also negotiating a deal with a KLOV member for the following discrete logic PCB's for around US$15 each:

 

Digital Games Inc. - 574 (spare for my 'SCORE' cocktail cab)

Midway - Winner IV

Allied Leisure - Paddle Battle

Unknown PCB SC-003-IA

Unknown PCB, C.D.I. 444-31

Unknown PCB Serial No. 10700J

Edited by Kaizen
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Thanks mate, I have another discrete logic board on the way.

 

TANK (1974) by Kee Games, the Atari 2600 version was one of my favorites as a kid.

This one may prove to be a little more challenging...

 

DFTRC05.jpg

 

 

 

 

Tank Battle is my most favorite game. I love it.. heres mine.

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  • 1 month later...

I ordered one of the Joysticks a couple of weeks ago and it arrived the other day.

They come with a choice of either 5k or 10k pot, both weren't suitable for this application so once it arrived I pulled it apart to see what size/type the shaft was.

To my disappointment they turned out to be a 3.18mm D-type shaft which from my research do not exist or are not commonly available. It looks like they were custom made for this application.

When the pot is fitted to the joystick it only moves a fraction of the 270 degree travel.

I started with modifying a standard 25k 16mm pot with a 6mm spline shaft by cutting one half off and sanding the left over to match the original.

 

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It mounted in the joystick okay but the value still didn't give the range needed, I then modified a pair of 50k pots and fitted both of them but found there still wasn't enough travel when hooked up to the board.

I had a spare 100k pot laying around so I left the 50k pot for the horizontal motion in and fitted the 100k pot to the vertical input.

I now have full range on the vertical movement.

I'll order another 3 joysticks and set to work modifying another seven 100k pots.

 

Sorry about the shaky video, it's not easy to play with one hand and focus on keeping the camera steady with the other.

 

 

I reckon this is one of the best versions of Pong.

You get 2/4 player game, a choice of small/medium/large bats, horizontal movement, the ability to hit the ball more than once to change the trajectory at the last minute before it leaves your side of the court and the Flim Flam button which speeds the ball up and also changes the trajectory.

Edited by Kaizen
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