Porchy

Apr 132020
 

Yet another Operation Wolf repair and this one gave me trouble.
First test we had watchdogging. All ROM’s checked out fine in the programmer and seeing nothing else obvious I removed the work RAM both of which failed.

Now on boot up I got a screen seemingly running game but all the screen was garbage.

Probing the data lines of the screen RAM show pretty much all of them across two RAM chips were dead. I desoldered and replaced them both.

Now I got a running game but the colours were messed up

There are two 74LS245’s attached to the data lines of the colour RAM at location IC78 & IC90. Probing these revealed stuck bits on IC78. Replacing this gave me perfect results on the colour test screen in test mode but dull colours in game. Other issues in-game showed me all the sprites were missing and the screen doesn’t scroll when entering a game.

Stupidly I chose to ignore the colour issue and concentrate on the other two (I will get back to this later).
The sprite and scrolling issue worried me because these areas are related to the PC080SN and PC0900J custom chips.

Paulcan69 sent me a scrapper PCB so I could rob the customs off it if needed so I started out by replacing the PC0900J.

Replacing this brought my sprites back but the scrolling issue was still present.
I didn’t enjoy replacing that IC so I started checking around to see if the scrolling issue could lie somewhere else.
I found nothing wrong so removed the PC080SN custom and replaced it with the spare but it made absolutely no difference. A lot of work time and effort for nothing.
I spent time over the course of the next few days looking into this but found nothing.
Eventually I got sick of looking at the washed out colours on screen and replaced IC90 to fix the last of the colour issues.
I couldn’t really believe it when this fixed my scrolling issue as well.
I still don’t understand why this chip caused the scrolling issue but I’m really glad it did.
All issue are now fixed on this board.

Onto the sound PCB.
The original sound PCB that came with this board was a complete write off. Every chip I pulled from this board was broken and both amps were also burning hot.
Among all the other boards that Paulcan69 had sent me he also kindly sent me a spare sound PCB for Muddymusic to have.
There was a sticker on this board saying “No Sound”.
On first test I found that the music played but the volume was really low. Turning the volume up to the maximum made the sound audible but not nearly enough.
I checked the resistance of the volume pot and found that if you move the pot off maximum setting then it read megaohms. I tried cleaning it but it didn’t work so I replaced it.
This made the sounds much better but like with most of the others I’ve repaired some of the samples were scrambled and didn’t stop playing when they should.

I quickly found another 74LS688 that was dead. Replacing this made the sounds stop when they should but the samples on channel A were scrambled.
Looking at the schematics shows where the sample data goes.

Using an audio probe I checked the output at pin 10 of the 5205. The sound was the same. This ruled out issues caused by bad caps and things like that.
Next I checked the 574 at IC33. Both the input and output looked good so moved onto the 74LS157 at IC 44.
Probing all the outputs with a logic probe showed pin 9 was stuck HIGH

Replacing this fixed all the samples.
That’s the last one fixed
Big thanks to Paulcan69 for the spares board. Without it this board would be scrap too.

 Posted by at 9:54 am

Operation Wolf repair log #4

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Apr 112020
 

Another Operation Wolf repair!
This one belongs to Frothmeister on UKVAC.

Again, we have a nice little fault label

So to start with there was no sound. I did a couple of signal checks to see if commands were being written to various IC’s but saw none of them so I just removed the RAM which of course failed.

Fitting a new RAM brought the sounds back but the samples were garbage

Samples are all stored in the 40 pin MASKROM.

I attempted to read the MASKROM as a 27C400 EPROM in my programmer but it gave me errors

As I had a scrap sound board here I swapped this ROM out and retested.
Samples were now restored but I had the same issue as in a previous repair where the sounds started playing and never stopped.

Time to check out the comparators.
I quickly found the comparator with a stuck output at location IC18

Replacing this fixed my faulty sample playback for this one but I found another by playing sample 2E.
Using the same technique I found another dead 688 at IC39.

To determine which channel the game uses for various samples I use the wonderful MAME debugger.
If you look at the memory map for the sound CPU in the MAME source you can see the addresses that get written to to set the START and STOP values.

Address ranges $B000 – $B006, $C000 – $C006, $D000 – $D006 & $E000 – $E006 are what we are concerned with so set some breakpoints in the debugger and fire up the Operation Wolf test menu (dont forget to set the debugger focus onto the sound CPU).
Play the sounds that cause issues and see which address gets written to.

Now look at the schematics

From here we need to work out with signal is address $C000.
A15 & A14 give us an address of $C000. the 74LS138 at location IC14 gives us the enable line for the channel. A15 enables the 138 itself and A14 selects the relevant output, in this case its input C which enables (active LOW) pin 11. This in turn enables IC54 which as you can see from the signal names is channel B.
Following the schematics further we find the 74LS688 comparators responsible for this

Probing the only output on those comparators (pin 19) and playing the sample shows me which one isn’t toggling. In this case it was IC39.

All fixed

 Posted by at 3:47 pm

Operation Wolf repair log #3

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Apr 102020
 

Another few Operation Wolf boards in at the moment. This one is from Unit504.

There is a nice little tag on this telling me the faults which really helps me keep all these boards together and where to start looking.

First job was to look into the gun shot register issue.
I did a quick test and could see the screen flash when the trigger was pulled so I knew that wasnt the fault
Following the circuit I come to the 74F74 IC which is used to latch the gun co-ordinates.

I normally wouldn’t start looking at this part but it was already socketed so decided to pull the chip and test it. It failed an out of circuit test.

I replaced this with a 74ALS74 and it seems to be be fine.
Now all the gun shots register as expected.

Next onto the sound.
None of the sounds were working at all and I didnt believe that all the seperate circuits for making sounds would be dead so looked a bit closer at the CPU side of things.
First off I checked the ROM and it dumped out fine.
Next the RAM. An inspection of the RAM showed signs of corrosion

I removed and tested it and thankfully it failed

Looks like that corroded pin has broken contact somewhere. Anyway, replacing the RAM brought all the sound back to life and completed this repair.

Operation Wolf repair log #2

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Mar 272020
 

Got this board set from Paulcan69 to have a look at.
The faults reported were gun shots do not register & there was no sound.
I was told before hand that the gun issue seems to be a very common problem so I focused my attention on that first.
The input from the gun comes in from the sound PCB and passed straight down to the main PCB.
First I checked the signal from the gun was actually reaching where it should do

I confirmed that on a trigger press in game that the signal reaches pin 3 of the 74F74 at IC26 and also that pin 5 output latched.
Using the scope I could also confirm the operation of the 74LS75 at IC38.

The current XY screen draw position is tracked by a set of 74LS161 counters and fed into 74LS373 transparent latches.

When the trigger is pressed the the 74LS373’s are latched and the current XY values are sent to 3 x 74LS257 data selectors.

These selectors are read by the main CPU from address $3A0000 – $3A0001.
Using the scope syncing on pin 15 of the 74LS257’s I confirmed that some of the outputs on these were always logic HIGH.
I ended up replacing IC67 & IC83 which fixed the gun problem.

Next was the sound issue.
This one had no sound at all.
All the signals looked OK from the CPU side but nothing was ever being asked to play a sound.
Given the fact that the board uses the Sony brand RAM I just went right ahead and removed it as they have been very unreliable in recent times.
It failed in an out of circuit test using my programmer

Now the music was back but the samples did not.
I already had a pretty good grasp on how the sound worked from my previous repair so started checking the same areas as before but didn’t really find anything but then I spotted this

This is part of the feedback circuit for the op-amp. Replacing this gave me some samples back but they cut out before they finished playing and some didn’t play at all

I knew exactly where to look for this and quickly found the 74LS688 at location IC41 with its output stuck LOW.

I removed and tested which obviously failed

I initially thought I would have to put this repair on hold as I needed to order some 74LS688’s but turned out I had to wait less than 24hrs for Farnell to deliver.
With the new chip fitted I had my sounds playing for the right duration but all the samples on the A channel were still missing altogether.
Using the scope I traced the sound to the output of the M5M5205 ADPCM Speech Synthesis LSI at IC50 (schematics incorrectly refer to it as IC51)

I could see the signal going into the op-amp but nothing was coming out so I replaced it.

I now had an output from the op-amp but still no sound. Tracing this through on the PCB I came across another damaged capacitor (no idea how I missed this one as well)

Replacing this brought all the sound back and that’s another one complete.

 Posted by at 8:01 pm
Mar 262020
 

I recently got two Operation Wolf boards from Muddymusic to fix.
This board was not booting at all and I got a screen full of flickering garbage

I removed all four of the 27C512 program EPROM’s and verified they were good. All of them matched the “World, Set 1” version in MAME.

I confirmed continuity between all the address, data and control pins of both EPROM’s and RAM was present and correct and it was so I opted to remove the two TMM2063 work RAM chips and test those

As you can see both failed. I replaced them and tested but there was no change.
Next I started looking at the reset circuit.

Here is the main reset circuit taken from the schematics

Using the logic probe I found that signal “/TMCL” (timer clear) was floating. Shifting focus to grid A5 on the schematics we see that this signal comes from pin 13 on the 74LS138 at location IC60.

Further probing found that the A18 signal on pin 2 was also dead. This signal is the buffered MA18 (address bus pin 18) and comes from the 74LS244 at location 65. Checking the signal on the LS244 revealed that it was present so there was a break in the trace some where.
I couldn’t see anything obvious so I patched it with some Kynar wire

No on boot up I get no more resetting buyt the screen is full of garbage still

Next I started looking at the custom PC080 tilemap generators, more specifically the RAM connected to it

Checking both of these with the probe showed me there was no activity on most of these pins and some others were stuck high

I removed both of them and checked them, obviously both failed

Replacing both of these now gives me something to see.
In test mode I get this

I looked into this fault for a good hour or so before I decided the RAM I fitted was too slow. Swapping for a faster RAM type fixed both of these issues.

Now the board would successfully pass the self test in the test mode I could see that I had an issue with colours.

I started off probing the colour RAM at locations IC64 & IC65 and quickly found bit 4 of the address pins stuck low

Using the schematics I could easily trace this back to a 74LS157 at IC52

Replacing this gave me my colours back

Now onto the sound board.
The good news is all the music was present and correct. The bad new was all the voice samples were not.

Again, using the schematics I see that ultimately the addressing for the Maskrom at IC21 gets set by a bunch of 4-bit counters at IC27-IC30.
Probing these I found that the UP counter wasn’t pulsing at all

Checking the 74LS04 at IC32 revealed this inverter was bad so I replaced it and sound was restored but the sounds just carried on playing one after the other (never got a video of this).
The Z80 sets the start and stop data by writing values to address $C002 & $C003 respectively which gets latched by a couple of 74ALS574’s and fed into the B side of a 74LS688 comparator

Using the MAME debugger I could see that the data being written to the 74LS574’s was correct but probing the /A=B output pin 19 of the comparators showed that these were either never matching or they weren’t working.
I couldnt find issues up stream of these so I desoldered them and replaced them with pulls from another board as I don’t have any spares.

I now have working sounds and fully working board set ready to return.

 Posted by at 1:43 pm