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ABI boardmaster 4000

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    Posted: 21 Apr 2017 at 4:47pm
Got a ABI boardmaster 4000 with a few problems.

When I first got it, it would turn on, fan spins, and screen flickers yellow and then goes blank.  It would only flicker yellow on some occasions.

Opened it up and found one IC next to the time keeper ram was out of it's socket.  Pushed it in and now it fired up. 

Next problem was that the display was very dim.  You could barely see anything on it.  But when you switch the power off and on a few times, the display would come up fine. 

I had opened it up again but couldn't find any capacitors in the main body of the unit.  I decided to then open up the screen.


Screen is a Hitachi DSTN LMG85160XUFC.  I'm not a massive fan of DSTN panels but for the application you wouldn't except anything more.

On the left side was the screen inverter which looks like it was responsible for turning on the back light.  It's a Hitachi INVC158. 


Tested these two smd capacitors. 47uf 16v @ C6 and 22uf 50v@ C4.  C6 tested open while C4 was in pretty bad shape.


So I had to remove them.


C6 looks like it had begun spewing it's guts out.


Cleaned up the mess with isopropyl and installed some through hole caps as I don't keep any SMD stuff in stock.  I had ordered two Panasonic smd caps in the meantime.


Put everything back together and screen fired right up.  Off and on several times and screen was bright and crisp.  Well as bright and crisp as any DSTN screen goes.

Found that there was a newer version of the Firmware 3.10.  I was on firmware 2.73 which kept reminding me that there was newer firmware available.  Burned two 27C2001s from some roms I stole from Ninja Baseball Batman as one of the original Eproms had failed after wiping it.  I had uploaded a copy of this firmware to Jammacade for safe keeping.

Next thing I noticed was a the time keeper ram looks like the battery has died.  I've ordered one but as it stands, it looks like its passes self test and found some faulty 6502 cpu's and 6116 rams I had laying around. 

Great bit of kit and time to get learning all the other useful functions it can do.







Edited by Monstermug - 21 Apr 2017 at 4:50pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ace` Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2017 at 5:15pm
Nice, I had to do the exact same repair on mine along with some relays. Is this the one that showed up for sale on jammaplus not too long ago?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monstermug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2017 at 5:26pm
Originally posted by Ace` Ace` wrote:

Nice, I had to do the exact same repair on mine along with some relays. Is this the one that showed up for sale on jammaplus not too long ago?

Yup.  Managed to send him a email before another mod removed it =)  Took a bit of time to get hold of it but glad I did now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equites Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2017 at 12:19am
They are a great asset on a repair bench. Takes a while to learn all the tricks to get the most out of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monstermug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2017 at 5:18pm
Originally posted by Monstermug Monstermug wrote:

Next thing I noticed was a the time keeper ram looks like the battery has died.  I've ordered one but as it stands, it looks like its passes self test and found some faulty 6502 cpu's and 6116 rams I had laying around. 

Got new timekeeper ram today.  An original unlike the fake ones with dead batteries in China.  Confirmed that I didn't need to program anything and it worked straight out the box. 

Originally posted by Equites Equites wrote:

Takes a while to learn all the tricks to get the most out of it.

I need to get some clips before I can test anything else on it.  Maybe I can start bugging you for help if I get stuck :)

Does anybody have the pinout for the BDO connector? I seem to be missing that and a 20/40 pin clip. 


Edited by Monstermug - 24 Apr 2017 at 5:19pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin8or Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2017 at 6:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equites Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2017 at 7:05pm
Originally posted by Monstermug Monstermug wrote:

Originally posted by Monstermug Monstermug wrote:

Next thing I noticed was a the time keeper ram looks like the battery has died.  I've ordered one but as it stands, it looks like its passes self test and found some faulty 6502 cpu's and 6116 rams I had laying around. 

Got new timekeeper ram today.  An original unlike the fake ones with dead batteries in China.  Confirmed that I didn't need to program anything and it worked straight out the box. 

Originally posted by Equites Equites wrote:

Takes a while to learn all the tricks to get the most out of it.

I need to get some clips before I can test anything else on it.  Maybe I can start bugging you for help if I get stuck :)

Does anybody have the pinout for the BDO connector? I seem to be missing that and a 20/40 pin clip. 




Bug away! :)

I've never needed to use the BDO clip or the 40 pin clip for that matter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ace` Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2017 at 7:30pm
I've never made the bdo cable either but I did make a more basic version of it with the probes to make use of the short test feature, it's pretty cool. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin8or Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2017 at 8:04pm
If you're actually testing boards then sometimes it's easier to pop the processor or eproms or ram out, or even desolder the crystal rather than disable clocks with the BDO lead, but when you need to use it because those IC's are soldered in, then it's useful .
It's also useful to check that zener diodes are still working properly. What would've been great is if they'd have allowed you to control the BDO leads in testbasic as I think you can sweep between -10v to +10v with the V/I test.
 
As for the continuity function, it's the best I have encountered. The next best is the fluke 8060A.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monstermug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2017 at 1:39pm

Thanks for that.  A few cables made up but am a little confused with the pinouts for the BDO cable. 

It says 2&5 goes to black probe and 7&9 goes to red probe.  As the probe is only 1 wire do I short them together?


Also what does all the colour mean in terms of function?  I assume the probes are the short locator probes?  Tried reading the manual but it's very vague about this stuff.

Also had a little trouble last night trying to run my first in circuit test.  I had disabled the clocks by grounding the crystals and hooked up the clips to a random IC to test.  I connected ground on the Jamma PSU to the 0v terminal on the front panel of the BM.

It kept giving me error of NO GND.  When I removed the 0V plug I get NO VCC!

Scratching my head I decided to make a simple circuit and testing it using the BM internal power supply.  Got the same errors.

Opened it up again and measured resistance between the 0V ground wire and a random IC gnd pin and got several ohms.  When disconnecting the 0v ground wire I got an open circuit.  I figured that a bad grounding wire was in order so I decided to put a connector in. 


This wire was previously just soldered in to the board making hard to work on the board when you needed too.



Testing it using the simplest circuit I can make lol.  Floating pins are because there is nothing connected to them.  Not sure if that has any effect on the result.  Was too lazy to experiment. 

Tested a 74244 in circuit  on a real pcb, with the crystals all grounded, seemed to pass now where as before it was giving me the no gnd error.


While I had the case opened again, I took a pic of the time keeper ram I socketed.  On right side is a missing chip which I read is some sort of cpu to control an external monitor?  I wonder without this would it still work?  I've read it was a normal Z80?  Not sure if I want to risk plopping in a Z80 to try LOL

Also what is this Masterlink software the manual is talking about?  Can't seem to find this anywhere. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ace` Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2017 at 2:17pm
That empty socket isn't for a z80, it's for a CRT9053 chip which they haven't made since they early 90s. You won't get a video output without it and even if you do have it, it only outputs an mda signal. I did a write up here http://notinmame.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/abi-boardmaster-4000-monitor-mda.html as there is a BenQ lcd that works with the signal it puts out. It's more crucial for earlier models that don't have the built in lcd though.

The masterlink software has never been found / released unfortunately.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equites Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2017 at 7:53pm
Originally posted by martin8or martin8or wrote:


As for the continuity function, it's the best I have encountered. The next best is the fluke 8060A.


Never used this feature, how does it work?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin8or Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2017 at 8:57am
I've changed my mind. It's not as good as the 8060A, it's still very good though. If you want to reverse engineer a circuit quickly you can put one probe on a location in the circuit and then quickly drag the other one around and it will beep if it shorts. Some equipment, especially modern stuff is too slow to do this and doesn't latch. (plus the boardmaster lets you do this with the clip leads too.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin8or Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2017 at 9:02am
Pins 2&5 and 7&9 are shorted as you said. These go to multimeter type probes as I'm sure you realise.

Sometimes pulling up the crystal to disable it is more reliable, you just have to double check that you're not going to fry anything.

If you use the V-I tests and select BDO the menu is confusing because it says PIN NUMBER instead of probe colour.
Pin Number 1 = the brown probe
Pin Number 2 = the red probe
Pin Number 3 = the orange probe
Pin Number 1 = the yellow probe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Equites Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2017 at 9:55am
A thread on using the board master would be great, tips etc.

Anyone ever used the V-I curve test, IC interconnection test?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DanP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2017 at 10:43am
I was going to suggest that Nad.   If people are happy and willing to contribute I'll create and maintain an ABI Boardmaster 4000 thread in "Technical".   I think I've only scraped the surface of it's capabilities myself...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Equites Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2017 at 12:38pm
Originally posted by DanP DanP wrote:

I was going to suggest that Nad.   If people are happy and willing to contribute I'll create and maintain an ABI Boardmaster 4000 thread in "Technical".   I think I've only scraped the surface of it's capabilities myself...


That would be great Dan, I will certainly contribute.

PS - You never came back to me regarding coin door.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monstermug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2017 at 12:46pm
Originally posted by Ace` Ace` wrote:

That empty socket isn't for a z80, it's for a CRT9053 chip which they haven't made since they early 90s. You won't get a video output without it and even if you do have it, it only outputs an mda signal. I did a write up here http://notinmame.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/abi-boardmaster-4000-monitor-mda.html as there is a BenQ lcd that works with the signal it puts out. It's more crucial for earlier models that don't have the built in lcd though.

The masterlink software has never been found / released unfortunately.

Thanks again for that.  Nice write up you done on the monitor!  Shame about the masterlink software though.  I wonder if ABI have anything to say about this software.

Originally posted by martin8or martin8or wrote:

Pins 2&5 and 7&9 are shorted as you said. These go to multimeter type probes as I'm sure you realise.

Sometimes pulling up the crystal to disable it is more reliable, you just have to double check that you're not going to fry anything.

If you use the V-I tests and select BDO the menu is confusing because it says PIN NUMBER instead of probe colour.
Pin Number 1 = the brown probe
Pin Number 2 = the red probe
Pin Number 3 = the orange probe
Pin Number 1 = the yellow probe

Thanks again for this!  I've got a few parts ordered so should be able to knock up a BDO cable soon.

I didn't know disabling/grounding a crystal could fry anything?  In which instance would this occur?

Originally posted by DanP DanP wrote:

I was going to suggest that Nad.   If people are happy and willing to contribute I'll create and maintain an ABI Boardmaster 4000 thread in "Technical".   I think I've only scraped the surface of it's capabilities myself...

Great idea.  Not sure if I can contribute much but it surely be helpful.  Feel free to use this thread to avoid confusion? I'm done with the repairs on the ABI LOL 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ace` Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2017 at 5:41pm
I got John to upload all the files I have collected here

ftp://ttl.arcadetech.org/TTL/Test_Equipment/ABI%20Boardmaster/Boardmaster%204000/

The test basic disk image has 2101 / 5101 and PALDUMP on it along with a few other scripts. I used an old Amiga cover disk. Smile

I also had a 4116 ram adaptor pcb made but haven't got around to testing it yet. I'll release it on oshpark once I know it works.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monstermug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2017 at 1:20pm
Originally posted by Ace` Ace` wrote:

I got John to upload all the files I have collected here

ftp://ttl.arcadetech.org/TTL/Test_Equipment/ABI%20Boardmaster/Boardmaster%204000/

The test basic disk image has 2101 / 5101 and PALDUMP on it along with a few other scripts. I used an old Amiga cover disk. Smile

I also had a 4116 ram adaptor pcb made but haven't got around to testing it yet. I'll release it on oshpark once I know it works.


That's pretty cool.  What cable would you need to connect it to the PC for the PAL dump program?

I've also installed the same Fan as Porchy, and the noise difference is night and day!  Only difference I did was to actually crimp it in and used the original fan screws to mount it.  Just have to remember to turn it off now it's so quiet! Highly recommended if you haven' done so.  Original fan makes me just want to turn it off at the first chance I get.

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