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Bally solid state memory


Railways
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I've been lucky enough to have had a few Bally solid States in my time and my Fathom has had this one off problem for a couple of years now but I've just put up with it.

It's to do with keeping its memory settings and scores.

I change my memory batteries every year on all my games at the beginning of daylight saving but the Fathom has to be twice a year as even though its plugged in and power point on it seems to totally rely on the CR2032 battery to keep settings like high score, score thresholds and sound settings.

So booted game up for the 1st time in 3 months and the 1st giveaway is the solenoid expander relay is rapidly clicking on and off. 2nd give away is the sound option for all sounds has reverted back to setting 01. Put a new battery in with game powered up and it dropped all the high scores as well as the sound again. Turn game off, wait 20 seconds and turn back on and all good now and probably will be for at least 6 months.

My question is what keeps the memory / settings "alive" besides the battery.

This is not a new problem like I say but now its starting to give me the sh.ts.

As always thanks in advance .

Edited by Railways
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nothing else but the battery supplied power to the 5101 ram..   any time its off its all about the battery, any time its on the battery is probably still getting slowly eaten too i suspect..  never looked really but it thinks its chargin a nicad so i cant see it being off..  maybe?

either way ..   battery go flat.. jeff sad.. thats no good.

is it an original MPU? is there a diode?  is the resistor no one ever thinks to remove still there?

Edited by wiredoug
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if its an original MPU and R12 is still there but you have replaced BT1 with a diode and a cr2032 make R12 go away ( put a wire link there or put the diode there)

that will knock 18mA off your drain.. . it all helps

 

 

 

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Thanks Doug, makes sense but my way of thinking has always been that the battery is there only as a backup in case of blackout, moving a game and so on. Not just Bally SS but all electronic games. I thought that's why you had to change the battery with the game powered on so you don't loose any settings while changing the battery.

Or am I missing something ? (besides a few years - LOL)

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It depends on who did the mod for the battery. If they put in a diode then the 5v can supply the nvram while powered on (just plugged in is not enough) saving the battery otherwise if they did some odd trace cut then only the battery is supplying the NVRAM all the time, but I'd be suprised if they did it that way...

 

It looks like you mention leaving it plugged in - that alone won't keep the NVRAM supplied from the 5v - the power switch turns off everything in the cab- the same as unplugging it from the socket

Edited by AskJacob
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5 minutes ago, wiredoug said:

there is no nvram jacob its a 5101

My Bad terminology - it's an sram that is externally backed up by a battery (which in my head is an nvram even if technically wrong 🙂 )

 

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7 minutes ago, AskJacob said:

My Bad terminology - it's an sram that is externally backed up by a battery (which in my head is an nvram even if technically wrong 🙂 )

 

yep just clearing it up for everyone else as they have come to equate nvram to 'no battery needed'

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34 minutes ago, Railways said:

Thanks Doug, makes sense but my way of thinking has always been that the battery is there only as a backup in case of blackout, moving a game and so on. Not just Bally SS but all electronic games. I thought that's why you had to change the battery with the game powered on so you don't loose any settings while changing the battery.

Or am I missing something ? (besides a few years - LOL)

I can send you down one of my FRAMs to try mate. should fix it permanently.

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Battery does the job whenever the game board is turned off. Plugged in or not doesn't matter. 3vDC is what it needs and no game board on means no DC at all to feed the chip.

I don't think you have a problem Mr Railways. The battery you are using for the job is a CR-2032. 3 volt cell with 235mA capacity. (that's from the Energiser data sheet)

Compare that to another Bally battery mode, two AA cells in series....Alkaline AA batteries 1.5 volt with between 1700-2850mA per battery. Put two of these in a battery holder and you get the required 3 volts but depending on brand of battery you'll get 1700-2850mA. A tad more endurance than the 235mA you get from a CR-2032.

I seem to think the original Bally was a couple of 1000mA.

Love the swapping batteries every daylight savings.

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Thanks guys for all the input, much appreciated. I'll have a look at the board tomorrow around the areas Doug mentioned and see if I can see anything amiss. 

There must be sometime different as to why it drains the the battery in a lot shorter time than any other SS I've had by far.

2 hours ago, wiredoug said:

the battery keeps the ram powered when the game is off ( just underneath, not at the wall)

if you change it with the game off then the rams not powered.. and it all goes to mush

Yep but I did change the new battery in with the game turned on and it still dropped the scores and sound

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57 minutes ago, Railways said:

Yep but I did change the new battery in with the game turned on and it still dropped the scores and sound

Quite unusual. If the crazy ever ends I'd happily take a look at it - some hunches but yeah, only guesses without getting handsy.

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1 hour ago, Railways said:

There must be sometime different as to why it drains the the battery in a lot shorter time than any other SS I've had by far.

The current draw from 5101's can vary a lot depending on the brand - the Philips PCD5101 is the most economical in terms of current draw out of all the 5101's made (& the fastest too) I have these in all the Bally games I have. 

I can get about 4 or 6 months memory backup from a 1.5 farad supercap with a PCD5101. 

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I think that there is quite a variance in battery draw for SRAMS.  CR2032 and Super Caps just don't have a lot of storage compared to 3 x AA. 

CR2032 --> 2,400 Joules

Super Cap  --> 1500 Joules  (not sure of this)

3 x AA --> 42,000 Joules

This means that mileage will vary.  Personally for a Classic Bally I think NVRAM is the best option given the 5101 is in a socket (though not without it's problems and expense) .

If your games have a long OFF time, super caps may not hold long enough.

If your SRAM is thirsty,  CR2032 may only last a few months.

If you want to be sure no battery damage can occur, then removing all batteries and using super-caps or NVRAM is a good option.

I you are able to religiously change batteries without fail then 3 x AA is a good option.

 

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54 minutes ago, Tangles said:

I think that there is quite a variance in battery draw for SRAMS.  CR2032 and Super Caps just don't have a lot of storage compared to 3 x AA. 

CR2032 --> 2,400 Joules

Super Cap  --> 1500 Joules  (not sure of this)

3 x AA --> 42,000 Joules

This means that mileage will vary.  Personally for a Classic Bally I think NVRAM is the best option given the 5101 is in a socket (though not without it's problems and expense) .

If your games have a long OFF time, super caps may not hold long enough.

If your SRAM is thirsty,  CR2032 may only last a few months.

If you want to be sure no battery damage can occur, then removing all batteries and using super-caps or NVRAM is a good option.

I you are able to religiously change batteries without fail then 3 x AA is a good option.

 

Be interesting to know the capacity of the original Bally battery. Those things lasted for years on the original ram. Sorry, wasn't aware the ram was not original earlier in this thread.

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The original 3 x 1/3AA NiCads from that era did not have a huge capacity.   I would guess 2,000 to 6,000 Joules  (wild ass guess here).  But they were rechargeable, so this capacity was replenished when power was restored.

 

 

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