Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sarge's Wednesday Night Tips

Sarge here with a little insight on arcade pcb issues.

What do the following arcade games have in common?

- Gaipolis/Entapous
- Monster Maulers
- Martial Champion
- Metamorphic Force
- Mystic Warriors
- Violent Storm

If you answered "They're all made by Konami!" then you're correct. If you also answered "They all have custom hybrid ICs!", give yourself a pat on the back. A hybrid IC is an integrated circuit contains both digital and analog components. The fine folks over at Konami decided back in the 90s (around 1991 to 1994)decided to use certain IC's that contained their own capacitors on top (See photo- IC 054986A).

Well, these little capacitors over time have a habit of leaking and damaging the traces on the pcb. Known issues after significant leaking are errors on the boot screen and dreaded sound issues ranging from low sound to no sound at all. Now, the games listed above aren't the only ones that are affected. Since Konami used similar chips out there and similar configurations, there are other popular boards that may run into potential issues (The Simpsons, X-Men, Bucky O'Hare, etc). You could try to replace the capacitors on these ICs. However, chances are that the damage has already been done and getting another chip from another board may be the easier route to go with this issue. If you need a list of Konami ICs, you can find them over at System 16.

In conclusion, I hope this helps you out and be sure to stick around for more of Sarge's Tips in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Sarge, this article is outstanding. Thank you for caring enough to help us out! I plan to learn how to fix arcades one day, and you are helping me.