May 242018
 

Received from USA this Psycho Soldier PCB:

It was labeled as ‘DEAD’:

And it was so, all I got was a steady black screen but this was not a suprise to me since the boardset (a three stack one) was fully populated by Fujitsu TTLs.First thing I checked was the presence of clock on CPUs, it was missing on both main and sub Z80 (but present on sound one)

I traced the signal from CPU board back to a 74LS367 @10A on bottom board:

Input pin 6 was properly receiving the 16MHz clock from the nearby oscillator but output pin 7 was floating:

As expected the TTL obviously failed the out-of-circuit testing:

Board sprang to life but colors were mostly incorrect and also sprites wrong and garbled during moviments :

I focused my troubleshooting on the bottom board as it contains sprites and background data and circuitry :

For first I checked the EPROMs, some of them were oxidized and corroded:

Afer some cleaning I dumped them, they were all good.So I fired up my logic comparator to test TTLs in circuit and found a couple of them with floating outputs (that’s the way Fujitsu TTLs are used to fail)

This restored the correct sprites :

But colors were still wrong.This was confirmed also in SERVICE mode, none of the them were correctly displayed:

The RGB lookup tables are stored in three 1k x 4-bit bipolar PROMs (Fujitsu MB7122 used here)

Probing the devices revealed that two address line were stuck high, I traced them back to a nearby 74LS174 @1M whose inputs were missing.These came from the outputs of a 75LS153 @1P-The TTL didn’t look very good with rust and corrosion on its pins:

The scope confirmed that both outputs had no valid voltage logic levels:

I pulled it:

Obviously it failed the out-of-circuit testing:

Colors were finally good and game played fine but I noticed there were some horizontal lines on left of the screen during scolling (see from seconds 25 of the below video)

At first glance I thought it was a fault but then I’ve been told by the owner and my friend Corrado that it’s actually a bug of the PCB.MAME Testers site confirmed it too:

https://mametesters.org/view.php?id=2910

I was about to close this repair when during testing suddenly the board failed again.Colors went bad again and lastly most of graphics disappeared:

The affected area was again the colors circuitry.The 74LS174 @1M which was previously tested as good showed floating outputs :

It failed when tested out-of-circuit:

At this point I took the chance to replace all other Fujitsu TTLs in this area :

Some passed the out-of-circuit test but two 74LS153 failed miserably:

Hard work always pays off and finally I could restore this board in all its glory (game was the first to use a fully digitized, full-length vocal sountrack)

 Posted by at 8:58 pm