May 2014 - Slot Tech

Slot Tech Magazine
Page 3-Editorial
Page 4-One Volt Too High
Page 12-Don’t Get Caught With Your Lamps Down
Page 16-Quick & Simple Repairs #106
Page 22-Subscriptions
To the tune of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John
“Goodbye CCFL”
When are you gonna light up?
When are you going to glow?
You’ve been on the floor for three,
Maybe five years or more.
I know you can’t hold up forever,
With your electrons stripped away,
From your cathodes, coated with oxides,
This lamp’s too old to continue. There’s no blue.
So goodbye CCFLs,
You’re made of such very thin glass,
You can’t be replaced very easily,
So fragile, with low-pressure gas.
I’ve found a much better source for my light,
A semiconductor’s just swell,
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies,
Beyond the CCFL.
What do you think you’ll do then,
Where do you think you’ll begin,
To repair the backlight,
So it is working again?
Maybe you’ll get a replacement,
There’s plenty like these to be found,
LEDs that just cost a penny,
Lighting your world all around.
So goodbye CCFLs,
You’re made of such very thin glass,
You can’t be replaced very easily,
So fragile, with low-pressure gas.
I’ve found a much better source for my light,
A semiconductor’s just swell,
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies,
Beyond the CCFL.
With apologies to Bernie Taupin
Randy Fromm
Randy Fromm's
Slot Tech Magazine
Randy Fromm
Technical Writers
James Borg, Jason Czito,
Vic Fortenbach, Diana
Gruber, Henry Kollar, Chuck
Lentine, Craig Nelson,
Kevin Noble, Pat Porath
Slot Tech Magazine is published
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Copyright 2014 under the Universal
Copyright Convention. All rights reserved.
TechFest 29
Mystic Lake Casino
May 13-15, 2014
Enrollment is open at
One Volt Too High
By James Borg
he other morning,
a never-ending
night, one of my work
colleagues was busy cleaning out the slot machines
before the casino opens
when I heard him uttermore like shout-some
words, in an angry sort of
way, words, which you will
certainly not be reading on
these pages.
He ran up to me, whitefaced, still looking flustered
and obviously pretty upset.
He told me that one of the
machines had given him a
nasty electric shock and
that I should check it out.
Since I was busy doing
something else at that
moment, I just acknowledged his request and
solemnly promised him I
would have a look at this
hazardous machine as soon
as I could. He mentioned
that the machine was still
on and seemed to be working fine but it still gave him
a shock. It’s not ideal to
have clients (or staff for that
matter) receiving electric
Page 4
Once I finished what I was
doing, I went to find the
cleaner so he could show
me exactly which machine
it was that made him jump.
He pointed toward a bank
of Casino Technology machines, one in particular.
These machines are very
popular here in Malta and
hardly give me any hassle,
apart from the usual button
replacement after some
extremely delightful customers beat the blazes out
of them. They sometimes
pop up weird errors but a
RAM CLEAR usually solves
the problem. I have found
them to be physically robust and can take quite a
bit of punishment. So far,
these machines have
mainly suffered from monitor problems (namely their
power supply goes FUBAR)
but other than that, it’s all
systems go.
I approached the machine
with extreme caution, just
Slot Tech Magazine
in case a lightning bolt
decided to strike me but
nothing happened. I think I
have been watching too
many sci-fi films lately or
that nightmare about Van
der Graff Generators must
have affected me more than
I imagined. However, I
didn’t feel very brave that
morning, so I reached into
my shirt pocket and pulled
out my little neon tester. I
touched its screw-driver tip
to the chassis and earthed
the other end with my
finger while I gazed at the
neon in the plastic housing. The neon didn’t come
on. This can mean two
things. Either the
machine’s chassis wasn’t
sitting at hazardous potentials or my tester’s neon
died a death.
Not taking any chances,
since we’re only granted
but one life and I don’t
think it’s time for me to go
and meet my maker as yet,
I popped the tester into a
May 2014
May 2014
Slot Tech Magazine
Page 5
live electrical outlet, earthed the other end
and I could then see its neon light glowing. So, this little test confirmed that the
neon tester was working fine. Using my
super powers of deduction, I concluded
that the machine could never have hurt
the cleaner. The neon in the tester would
only strike when the potential across it
reaches a voltage greater than about 90
volts. Whatever the machine was pumping
or leaking out, it was obviously less than
this voltage.
After having second thoughts, if the
cleaner had wet hands which made his
skin resistance a great deal lower than
normal and he happened to touch the
machine’s chassis, I could then imagine
how an electric shock could have assaulted
him and even prompted such flowery
verbal comments to come out of the poor
chap’s mouth. However, if the machine
was properly earthed, than only minute
voltages would be present on the chassis,
if any.
flash of light dart across my eyes and
expected all my muscles to contract but
none of these things happened. It was as
safe as it could be. So how on Earth did
the cleaner receive the jolt, and why? Lost
in a multitude of thoughts and enjoying a
cup of tea in the process, I tried to figure
out just what could have taken place. I
leaned on the machine as if expecting it to
talk to me, to confess, to tell me what
happened and then I accidentally touched
the machine next to it. I wish I hadn’t
done that.
On touching the adjacent machine, a
lightning bolt flashed through my eyeballs, which blinded me for a second and
all my muscles contracted rapidly in the
process. I unwillingly found out just how
far my neon tester could fly. It seemed that
I had found the problem and then deduced that THAT is what the cleaner must
To follow up on my theory, after a quick
inspection of his hands, there was nothing
obvious which could have contributed to
his dilemma, which made the mystery
deepen even further.
Just to make sure, I pulled out the
machine’s mains plug and checked its
earth pin to the machine’s chassis using a
multi-meter set on Ohms. It was a dead
short. That totally eliminated the mains
cable being damaged or if the earth wire
had been yanked out of its place.
It felt safe to actually poke the machine
with my finger. I was still a bit wary but it
was something I needed to do. I braced
myself for the worst. I waited to see a white
Page 6
Note to readers in North America: This is the standard 13
amp UK mains plug, also used in Malta. The pin at the top
is the “earth” (we call it “ground”) pin. Note the solid brass
pins and internal fuse, far superior to the system used in
North America, especially when you consider that 13 amps
X 240 volts equals over 3kw where we are limited to 20
amps X 120 volts or 2400 watts. At maximum current, our
plugs get hot. Theirs remain cool with less current and
WAY better contacts.
Slot Tech Magazine
May 2014
May 2014
Slot Tech Magazine
Page 7
have experienced and why he uttered
those nice words, with good reason, I
might add.
not to damage the machine in any way
and that also includes applying excessive
force on the mains power cable.
I picked up my tester from the carpeted
floor and touched it to the next machine.
Lo and behold, the neon came on! Hmmm
. . . Now that makes sense. THAT makes a
great deal of sense. It seemed that the
nasty machine wasn’t the one I tested in
the first place but the one next to it.
So, just what did actually happen to the
cleaner, where did the 100 Volts come
from, and how on Earth does a neon tester
Just for the sake of it, I set my multi-meter
on the Volts AC range and with one probe
I touched the machine on which the tester
came on and with the other probe, the
machine I had checked originally. It measured a nice and juicy 100VAC potential
across. Just to make sure that I was on the
right track, I also took as reference the
machine on the other side of the one on
which the tester came on, with the same
100V result.
This potential is what the cleaner must
have copped and I couldn’t really blame
him for being upset. This type of jolt, is not
pleasant in the least.
I followed the mains cable to the plug, a 13
Amp type, and found the earth wire pulled
out of its place.
Hardly surprising with all the machine
we’ve had to
carry out
lately. Not all
who move slot
machines tend
to do it with a
great deal of
TLC. Only a
select few, the
ones directly
involved with
keeping them
alive and kicking, are the
ones who go
the extra mile
Page 8
The measured 100 Volts is basically leaked
voltage and the current flows to ground as
best as it can. This being true if there is a
circuit to ground, preferably hard wired.
However, in the absence of such a wire, a
good conductor, this voltage will hover
around the surface of the unit, with evil
intent, until it finds a circuit to take it to
ground. This circuit could be some innocent individual, like a cleaner busy cleaning the equipment or it could be you,
while resting on an earthed object and at
the same time touching the equipment
with this malicious voltage present.
Such a tester basically consists of an NE-2
neon lamp, in series with a 1 Megohm
The screwdriver part connects to the point
under test, namely a potentially hazardous
voltage, the mains, for example. This can
be 120VAC, or 240VAC, depending on
which part of the globe you come from.
Inside the plastic semi-transparent case,
the metal point is connected directly to
the neon, in series with the resistor,
which is itself connected to a spring
which makes contact with the top bit (an
external metal tail, if you wish) which is
the part that you touch with your finger.
Slot Tech Magazine
May 2014
TechFest 29
May 13-15, 2014
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Final Appearance at Mystic Lake!
If your property is in the area, I suggest you
make plans to attend TechFest 29 at Mystic
Lake Casino Hotel, near Minneapolis, Minnesota. While the TechFest program itself may be attended at any venue, Mystic Lake
Casino has some super-special things going for it:
* It’s a wonderful hotel with luxurious rooms and really comfortable bedding.
* The food they serve to us at TechFest is some of the most tasty you’ll ever eat.
They bring us mountains of salads, meat, potato, pasta and deserts that will
knock your socks off.
* Most importantly of all, they have the finest casino slot shop in the world and
we get to take a back-of-house tour of the entire operation. You will see how one
of the largest casinos in the world covers their huge slot floor of close to 5000
machines with 99% uptime. You will leave with many new ideas on how to set up
and run your own shop.
Technical presentations from:
To Enroll:The enrollment
Casino Air Products-Air Filtration Systems
for Slot Machines
Ceronix LCD-Monitor Repair
Transact Technologies-Ticket Printers
JCM-UBA and iVIZION Bill Validators
3M Touch Systems-Touchscreens
FutureLogic Ticket-Printers
MEI-Bill Validators
form is now available on the website at Please
download the enrollment form and
return it by fax (if you’re still working with twentieth-century technology) or e-mail. We have a special
rate at the hotel so be sure to
mention that you are attending
TechFest also includes instructions on LCD
monitor repair, power supply repair and
more, presented by Randy Fromm, publisher
of Slot Tech Magazine and your host for the
For more information, please visit
the website at or
contact us at or call 619.838.7111 to
speak to Randy Fromm directly.
Free Digital Multimeter Included!
Free CCFL Tester Included!
Free Textbooks and Handouts Included!
May 2014
Slot Tech Magazine
Page 9
Should the screwdriver part
be making contact with a
high voltage (over 90 volts)
the neon will not come on
unless the top bit is actually touched with your
finger. The reason behind
this is that you yourself
have actually completed the
circuit and a little bit of
electrical current will flow
through you, to earth.
Your body conducts electricity, even though the
skin resistance is in the
order of hundreds of
Kilohms. This resistance is
reduced drastically if the
hands are wet or if the skin
is damaged in any way. The
less resistance, the more
current will flow through
you. Many people have, at
one point or another in
their life, experienced an
electric shock. This can be
a little sting or it can be a
full blown major shock. I
have been the victim of
both of these on more than
one occasion so I have a
pretty good idea of how it
feels. For obvious reasons, I
try and avoid these situations as much as I can. It’s
no fun jumping up and
down and reciting words
which you don’t normally
find in religious publications. At that point, you
obviously have come to the
conclusion that there is
something wrong with the
appliance or in this case,
the slot machine.
For electricity to flow, for
you to feel the jerk, and for
the cleaner to jump ten foot
in the air while saying
Page 10
some awful words, is because a circuit has been
made. No circuit, no electricity flow and no shock.
The circuit is usually made
to ground. If you are not
making contact to any
ground, you can carry
millions of volts on you
without a single hair of
your body rising but once
you touch ground, well . . .
That’s not really recommended. The cleaner and I
had touched an unearthed
machine with one hand
and at the same time,
touched one which was
properly earthed with the
other hand. A circuit had
been made and the 100V
passed through us with
distasteful results.
For the sake of discussion,
should both of these machines have not been
earthed, should the earth
wire been pulled out of
both of them, touching
them both at the same time
would not have induced
any hair-raising experiences because the equipment would have been at
the same potential, hence,
no current would flow.
However, if somebody decided to touch an earthed
machine and touch YOU at
the same time, then the
two of you would receive an
electric shock as this somebody would have made the
circuit to ground, through
Under normal conditions,
when your body is making
the circuit through one of
these neon testers, a
Slot Tech Magazine
minute current (in the
order of a few microamps)
will flow, which for all intents and purposes, is very
safe and not in the least bit
Having said that, some will
have their hair stand on
end at this thought and
would never, not even in
their worst nightmare, ever
think of using such a piece
of test equipment. I even
heard cries of “Ban these
neon testers!” Personally,
I’m never without it and I
also have one as a spare,
should the need arise.
Using a multi-meter is, of
course, a more professional
approach as not only will it
show you there is a high
voltage present but you can
actually know just how
high this voltage is, where if
you just use a neon tester,
this voltage can be anything, within reason of
course, over 90 volts. These
testers are rated not to be
tested on voltages exceeding a certain level, for obvious reasons. The one I use
is rated at 220 – 250 V AC
I have come across a particular and extremely rare
case, where a multi-meter
had totally misled the conclusion of whether a mains
voltage was present or not.
It was a case where a friend
of mine was checking out
an electric outlet after
appliances were not working. The same appliances
worked fine in a different
area but not from this parMay 2014
ticular outlet. He checked, using his
multi-meter to see if there was a live wire
present, by holding one of the meter’s
probes on the Live, and the other meter’s
probe to the Neutral and then to Earth.
There was no reading at all, and he
thought that the problem was lack of Live.
He was already on his way to check the
distribution box for a tripped switch or an
open fuse along the line.
As luck would have it, I happened to be in
the vicinity. I have a habit of being at the
wrong place at the right time or in this
case, to be at the right place at the right
time. Just for kicks, I applied my neon
tester to his ‘dead’ Live wire and the neon
came on. My friend’s jaw dropped to the
floor. It turned out that both the Neutral
and the Earth wires were broken, so his
multi-meter was totally useless in this
case, even though it’s generally a much
better instrument to use than my 99 cent
To advertise in Slot Tech Magazine,
contact Randy Fromm at
619.838.7111 or email
What I had concluded was, that after some
structural work in the area, somebody
could have decided to play at being Tarzan,
using these mains cables hanging from
the soffit, which broke two of the three
conductors, leaving the Live wire the only
one intact. Weird? Strange? Fantastic?
Unbelievable? Yes, all those but so very
true and so very dangerous. I thanked my
lucky stars I always go around with my
trusty neon tester in my pocket as it has
proved to be a very handy piece to always
have close at hand and you really never
know when you might need it.
- James Borg
For schematic diagrams, service
manuals, diagnostic software and
more, visit the Slot Technical Department at
May 2014
Slot Tech Magazine
Page 11
Slot Tech Feature Article
Don’t Get Caught With Your
Lamps Down
By Bill Mikulski
his article pertains to
casino LCD monitors,
what to look for and
information about the
lifespan of these monitors.
We’ll also be taking a look
at Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFLs) and
upgrading them to the
latest LED backlighting.
It has been a while now
since the casinos have
switched to LCD monitors,
approximately five or six
years. By now, most of us
have learned how to keep
them going by changing
inverter boards and power
supplies and we have even
learned what an A/D board
is and how to fix it too.
Now we’re getting to a point
where we are seeing different symptoms in these
monitors. Replacing and/or
repairing the A/D boards,
the inverter boards and the
power supplies do not bring
life back to our LCD moni-
Page 12
tors anymore. Now we are
noticing something different. After changing these
sub-assemblies, we still
have a black screen or,
perhaps the monitor lights
for a few hours, then goes
out again or we see a dim,
faded monitor.
Firstly, let’s look at some
facts about CCFLs and their
lifespan. These lamps in
our monitors have a rated
lifespan of 40,000 to 50,000
hours under normal conditions. This is approximately
five years. If you take a look
at the back of your monitors, there is a sticker with
the date of manufacture. If
you are seeing a date of
2008 or earlier, you are
probably already seeing
some of the symptoms I
described above as the
CCFLs in the monitor are
nearing the end of their
lifespan. Also the lifespan
of 40,000 to 50,000 hours
are what they describe as
“normal conditions.” In our
casinos, we have dust and
heat issues, especially with
some of the video slot machines with two monitors.
The top monitor often gets
extremely hot, just from the
Slot Tech Magazine
fact that heat rises. These
conditions are not what you
would call “normal.” This
can shorten the life of our
Okay let’s move on to what
can be done to resolve
these issues, using LEDs to
bring life back to our monitors.
Let’s talk first about the
lifespan of an LED which
are anywhere from 60,000
to 100,000 hours. Also,
LEDs use far less energy
and create less heat. There
are benefits you will see
with with your own eyes as
well. Once these monitors
are converted to LED, you
will notice brilliant image
quality. Contrast is enhanced, colors are richer
and black has more depth.
LEDs have advanced significantly in the last five years.
I have tried various LED
strips to convert these
monitors, some with success but some not all. Some
of these strips were much
too wide for the channel,
making them difficult to
install. Some were too
narrow and many of them
had the LEDs too far apart,
May 2014
May 2014
Slot Tech Magazine
Page 13
causing a “spotlight” effect
on the monitor screen.
Finally, help has arrived
and someone has created
an LED strip specifically
designed for casino LCD
monitors. Harry Iversen at
Pacific Illumination has
been making replacement
CCFLs for casino monitors
for many years. He has
designed a new LED strip
to replace the existing
lamps, making life a little
easier for techs like you
and me.
New LED Strip for 22
Inch LCD
These LED strips have been
designed from the ground
up for casino LCD monitors. Design considerations
include the spacing and
size of the LEDs themselves, their color intensity
and brightness and the
diameter of the strip for
easy installation and conversion.
I’ve been lucky enough to
work with Pacific Illumination and have installed
many of these LED strips
on our monitors at
Greektown Casino with
great success. Not only do
these strips look fantastic
but they’re easy to install.
One of my favorite features
of this strip is having the
ability to make any size you
want. For instance, you can
have an LED strip that is
Page 14
designed for a 22 inch
monitor and cut it to size.
You can cut it down to fit a
15 inch monitor, a 17 inch
monitor, a 19 inch monitor
or a 22 inch monitor simply
by cutting the strip along a
section that is clearly
marked. In other words,
you will never be out of
stock by doing it this way.
By purchasing an LED strip
for a 22 inch monitor, you
have stock for all these
monitors; you just simply
cut it to size.
The strips are also available
in 32 inch length. They are
installed in the monitor
pictured at the end of this
article. They are also available for Bally Iview, IGT
NexGen & Aristocrat Sentinel 111 6.2 inch LCD displays. OEMs take note:
Pacific Illumination will
even custom make an LED
strip if your project needs
Another new
feature that
Pacific Illumination has
provided is a
tape on the
back of the
LED strip.
This holds
the LED strip
in place for
easy installation. The LED
strips are
made narrow
enough to fit
two LED strips in one channel if you want or need
more brightness for the
Basic Installation
By now, you have had some
experience in taking apart
a LED monitor down to the
panel itself. Most of these
panels are made by
Samsung, keeping the
dimensions quite the same.
For instance, if you have a
17 inch monitor, the panel
will more than likely fit in
all of the manufacturers’
For ease of installation,
Pacific Illumination makes
their LED strips to run
directly on 12 volts DC
which is available in all
machines. The easiest place
to locate 12 volts is on the
A/D board of most of your
monitors or you can pick
The LED strip can be cut to fit any size monitor
Slot Tech Magazine
May 2014
up the 12 volts from your
power supply if preferred or
anywhere else there is 12
volts available. Current
requirements are low and it
generates no noise (EMI) as
it is all DC.
Another money-saving
feature is that you will no
longer need your CCFL
inverter board, since the
Pacific Illumination LED
strips work directly on 12
volts. You can save this
inverter board for another
LCD that needs it, saving
your casino money again.
Nowadays, the casinos love
these words “saving your
casino money.”
So basically (keeping it
simple) you are going to
pull out your old cold cathode lamps from the display
panel and install new LED
strips in the metal channel
that held the CCFLs. Pacific
May 2014
Illumination LED strips all
come with a male, 2 pin
make JST connector attached to the LED strip and
a separate wire assembly
with a matching female JST
connector. If you ever
needed to replace the LED
strip then you just unplug
the LED strip from the
separate wire
which you
will have
wired to any
12 volt source
in the machine, preferably the A/D
board, As you
see, with this
set up you do
not need the
extra “controller” that
other LED
strips often
Slot Tech Magazine
If you haven’t changed out
lamps in an LCD monitor, I
suggest that you read one
of the articles about this in
slot tech magazine for more
- Bill Mikulski
Greentown Casino
Detroit Michigan
Page 15
Slot Tech Feature Article
Quick & Simple Repairs #106
By Pat Porath
Aruze “Game ROM Error”
or some reason or
another, we have had
a few of our Aruze
games lock up for small
hand pays. It seems the fix
is to reprogram the printer
Page 16
to a different version, then
back to Aruze software,
then it works properly. On
the bench, I reprogrammed
a spare and simply wanted
to swap the printer on it. It
didn’t quite work that way;
no such luck. Please don’t
get the wrong impression, I
personally do like Aruze
games, the history behind
the company, also the
games run very well.
Anyway, after the ticket
printer was reprogrammed
Slot Tech Magazine
and swapped, during boot
up a “ROM read error” and
“game ROM authentication
failure” appeared. A couple
more reboots of the game
only resulted in ROM errors also. Now it was time
for plan B (Bash it! Naw . . .
Just kidding). As I tried
different techniques to
open up the CPU door to
reseat it, I had to resort to
using heavy duty pliers just
to get the darn door open. I
have no idea what caused
that ordeal.
May 2014
Once the CPU was pulled out a little, the
blue “media dongle” was reseated too. The
CPU was put snugly back into place, the
CPU door lock paddle was adjusted so it
closed easily and it was finally time to
power up the game. This time it loaded
past the text start up screen like it was
supposed to. Things were looking good.
Now the screen showed the normal DOOR
OPEN message, along with “MEDIA REMOVED DURING POWER DOWN” and
POWER DOWN.” Hoping only a turn from
the reset key would clear all of the errors it
was turned slowly. “VERIFIING MEMORY”
appeared, after a moment the game lit up
beautifully. It was ready for play, the bill
acceptor bezel and all. A ticket was inserted then cashed out, which worked too.
The game did not lock up for a hand pay.
Aristocrat Slant Top-Distorted Game
I’ve heard a few complaints about very
distorted game sound from a slant top
Aristocrat game. It sounds similar to a
blown speaker or a very poor speaker
connection on a home stereo system. It
seems that whenever I had some free time,
the game was being played or I would get
sidetracked and forget about it until I was
reminded again. When the game did get
looked at, the audio connections were
reseated on the sound amplifier board and
both the left and right speakers were
disconnected one at a time to see if it
helped the problem, however nothing
seemed to help thus far. In the logic door
area, the I/O board was reseated and the
main board was removed for inspection.
There sure was a lot of dust buildup on the
cooling fan for the processor chip. Sure
enough, it didn’t spin very freely so it was
checked with a flashlight with game power
ON. No doubt the fan was faulty because it
didn’t spin at all; it was replaced with a
new one. After the main board was put
back into the game and it booted up, I
heard a normal Aristocrat door open signal. To make sure game sound was norMay 2014
Slot Tech Magazine
Page 17
mal, promo cash was downloaded. When
playing it like a customer (testing the
sound effects) everything sounded totally
normal. The cooling fan was definitely bad
which would have caused the processor
chip to get hot which may have caused the
problem or it may have been reseating
both the I/O board along with reseating
the main board. Either way, the game was
fixed and didn’t sound like crap anymore.
IGT Trimline AVP 3.0 “Fatal Error:
Non-volatile Memory Failure”
In our slot tech log book, the game had
had the power supply replaced along with
the I/O card replaced in the brain box;
neither had any results. If my memory
served me correctly a similar error was
fixed by reseating both of the memory
sticks which are located in the brain box. I
also asked the opinion of a co-worker to
get a second opinion. My associate said it
may be a bad hard drive so after reseating
the memory sticks, a new replacement
hard drive was put in it. No such luck
there either.
We had downloaded OS390, that had
displayed “preparing Hard Drive…Hard
Drive is detected…Formatting Hard
Drive…and so on. Everything looked pretty
good so far. But when rebooting the game
and having USB KEY 7 inserted, the same
exact failure re-appeared.
What the heck was next to try to repair or
replace? This time with the “USB diagnostic key” we wiped (cleared) the hard drive,
cabinet memory AND safe storage. Moreor-less a total RAM clear of everything.
Once again, the failure appeared during
boot up. Maybe something else was bad
inside of the brain box? We both looked for
a spare but we didn’t find one. A different
tech that was coming in for their shift said
there should be two in storage. The replacement brain box was installed, OS and
game software was loaded the next morning. Then I got the call to verify information on it which meant the game tested
Page 18
Slot Tech Magazine
May 2014
fine. After verification, the
game was finally running
once again. Only after a
power supply replacement,
reseating memory sticks, a
new hard drive, a full RAM
clear, and finally finding
out the main brain box
board was bad, it was repaired.
Editors Query to Readers: Troubleshooting like
this is sort of a crap shoot
(metaphor intended). You
try to follow some sort of
logical procedure, based on
deduction combined with
experience and/or perhaps
a bit of research through
the Slot Tech Forum, Slot
Tech Magazine and the
manufacturers’ websites.
Would YOU have approached this repair any
differently? If so, what
would you have done?
Remember, you DO NOT
have the benefit of 20/20
hindsight here. Explain
what you would have done
and, most importantly,
7-SEG LEDs DISCONNECTED- The display may
not have power. Check
cable connections around
the reel glass and connections on the upper reel
backplane board.
BEZEL DISCONNECTEDThe main door bezel may
not have power. Check out
the bezel board to make
sure the jumper is correct
for one or two bezels. Also
check connections.
CLEARED-Shows the “bill
acceptor rejected” problem
had been cleared, game is
EXCEEDED- To clear, open
and close main slot door. If
it doesn’t clear, cycle power
on the MPU. If it still
doesn’t clear, replace the
bill acceptor and clear RAM
on game.
game lost communication
to the bill acceptor. Check
connections, check for bent
pins on both the bill acceptor and the game side,
check DIP switches to make
sure they are in the correct
positions or possibly replace bill acceptor.
BILLVAL DEVICE ERRORTry reseating the bill acceptor and cashbox, possibly
swap bill acceptor and
cashbox with game next
door to see which one may
be bad. If needed, replace
bad bill acceptor or cashbox
with spare.
BILLVAL PORT ERRORShows a problem with the
bill acceptor communication port. See if there are
any loose connections. Test
the UART on I/O board
using the “diagnostics
menu” and replace if
needed. A main door open/
closed reset should clear it.
error is displayed, there is
an incompatible software
COIN ACCEPTOR TAMPERPossible unusual use of
E-mail to All responses
subject to publication.
Bally “Alpha 2 Wave”
Troubleshooting Tips
“AWAITING PLAY COMMAND” message: A newly
installed game may display
the message until info is
received from the tracking
system or “host.” It’s a
message that shows the
status of the game, not an
error or tilt.
May 2014
Slot Tech Magazine
Page 19
coin acceptor. Make sure
coin acceptor and coin in
path are clear of coins,
paper, dust, or something
blocking a coin in optic.
messages-M=main door
L=logic door t=top box
d=deck access door
U=upper door C=middle
door, D=drop door B=belly
door V= bill acceptor door
S=stacker door
FAIL- The backplane battery may be low. The nonvolatile door status circuit
uses power from the
backplane board battery
when the game power is
turned off. The circuitry
does not use the battery
when power is on. Under
normal conditions, the
battery provides backup
power for up to one year
when power is off. To resolve, replace the battery
on the backplane board.
EEPROM DEVICE ERRORTry a power cycle of the
game, check for bent pins,
make sure EEPROM is
compatible with other game
software, replace if bad.
EEPROM SYSTEM ERRORIndicates a malfunction of
the EEPROM process,
power cycle game, check
compatibility with other
game software.
amount of credits accepted
and dispensed in relation
to games that were played,
to clear main door open/
close reset.
HOPPER IDLE COIN ERROR-Indicates that the
hopper dispensed coins
Page 20
when they should not have
been dispensed, check
hopper optics, knife, perform hopper test, replace if
battery voltage on MPU,
check for a plastic battery
insulator that may not have
been removed, replace
battery if bad.
MACHINE DISABLEDPossibly a host communication problem, SAS communication, software, protocols. Check interface cable
from game to tracking system.
communication to the reels.
Check USB connections,
try a door reset. Also check
the RCU board and chip,
check all of the physical
reel connections and that
they are firmly in place
with no loose pins or bent
ERROR-Turn reset key to
reboot game. If the error
clears, the game will be OK
If the error happens again
after the restart, a RAM
clear is needed.
problem with the tracking
system communication.
Check game settings, interface cable, address identification number.
RAM error, should clear by
turning reset key twice to
reboot game.
the ticket printer and bill
acceptor validation type,
such as “enhanced.” This is
located in the “protocol
Slot Tech Magazine
select SAS setup” area.
ticket printer communication. Check connections
and host system communications in diagnostics.
PRINTER RECEIVE ERRORPrinter communication
error from host, check
POWER OFF-No power to
printer. Check printer for
More information can be
found at
WMS Bluebird Buzzing
Sound From Chair
A slot attendant stated a
slight buzzing type noise
was coming from the speakers on a WMS sound chair.
Once at the game, it sure
was. It was something like
the 60Hz hum you hear
when an audio cable isn’t
plugged in all the way to an
amplifier. As I was taking a
look at the sound chair, the
problem was quite obvious.
The chair had became
partially disconnected from
the slot base; it was simply
a loose connection. Firmly
pushing it back into place,
the noise stopped. When
pressing the “selectable
volume level button” which
was located on the game
screen, everything sounded
as it should. The chair
simply wasn’t firmly in
place and had a poor connection with the slot base.
May 2014
Slot Machine Base
Lighting Power Problem
Currently on our gaming
floor, there are 1,212
games. The majority have
house slot base lighting
which are basically blue
color LED strips, fired up
by a 12VDC power supply.
A work order was printed
from a slot attendant that a
game had a base light out
on it. The floor was slow in
the morning and I didn’t
have much going on at the
moment so the slot base
was checked out. When I
arrived, the whole bank of
base lights were out, only
totaling four games but it
still needed attention.
What could cause all of the
lights to be out? The answer: a main power source
problem. No juice, no light.
Just by glancing at the
power supply, I could tell it
was dead; the power light
wasn’t on at all, not even
dim. The dead power sup-
ply was easily replaced with
a spare. Instantly when it
was plugged in, all four
base lights lit up great. In a
nutshell, no power, replaced bad power supply,
Slot Tech Magazine is an
official publication of the
- Pat Porath
Slot Manager!
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-Power Supply Repair
-LCD Monitor Repair
No previous electronics knowledge required. It’s easy and fun to fix casino
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ADVERTISEMENT - Power Supply Repair
May 2014
Slot Tech Magazine
Page 21
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lot Tech Magazine is strictly technical. As such, the magazine's contents are not time
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