Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

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Uptown
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Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by Uptown »

Hi All,
I’ve just started doing stuff in the hobby again and am working on a Stern Playboy, the issue is the displays are dead during game mode but are fine during the start up process. Other than that the game is working fine. Also in diagnostics the display is fine but I can’t use the menus.
Any ideas on this one?
I’m not very familiar with the Stern systems.
Thanks,
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by Sparky »

The Stern with the DMD, or the Data East with the alphanumeric displays? Or the 1978 Bally with standard displays? You mention Stern but also mention displayS...
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by Paul »

Sparky wrote:
Thu Sep 09, 2021 12:00 pm
The Stern with the DMD, or the Data East with the alphanumeric displays? Or the 1978 Bally with standard displays? You mention Stern but also mention displayS...
It says stern in the ads.

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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by Uptown »

That’s correct, STERN with DMD.
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by Sparky »

What shows up on the screen at start-up?

Could be the cable going to the DMD that is bad.
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by Uptown »

Hey Sparky,
Thanks for replying.
Attached is a picture of what is in the screen when I turn on the game.
I have no idea what this is.
Mauro
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by cap »

Can you remove the ROMs and check the CRCs?
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by sylvain »

I would suggest to contact Stern Pinball Support directly via their web site:
https://sternpinball.com/

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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by Uptown »

Actually, I did contact them.
They said my ribbon cable or display is bad.
That doesn’t make sense as it’s passing and showing data to the display in service mode so if they were bad I shouldn’t see anything on the display?
Nor did they address why the service menu comes up but I can’t use it.
Are these related or are these two different problems?
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by Uptown »

I’m sure I could remove the ROM’s and check the CRC’s if I knew what they were and what to look for.
It’s been many years since I’ve serviced pinball, last stuff I worked on was Williams system 11, when they were quite new!
If you could give me a quick rundown I would do it.
Thanks,
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by cap »

There is usually a piece of paper in the head that shows where the ROMs are on the boards.
Otherwise, the location is given in the manual.
You need an EPROM programmer to be able to read the ROMs. Something like this: https://www.amazon.ca/PRG-055-True-USB- ... B00HS6EWFS
At $120, it's not worth buying the device just for this, but maybe you know someone close that could do this for you.
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by ToMMy »

Take a very close look at your MPU (main) board below the AA Battery holder and just to the left of it, look for corrosion or discoloration of any components or traces due to battery leakage.
The symptoms you described are on par with mpu boards I have worked on with battery alkaline damage in the past (garbled display, unresponsive service buttons, not fully booting game)

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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by Uptown »

I took the CPU board out of the machine and inspected it closely. Absolutely pristine, no damage.
I also updated all the ROMs but no difference.
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Re: Stern Playboy No Display During Game Mode

Post by ToMMy »

Try unplugging the ribbon cable between the MPU board and the DMD driver board (with the power off of course).
Then turn it on and see if the DMD briefly displays the game name and revision. It will only be displayed for a few seconds then go blank. But it should be readable and not garbled.
If it is garbled then it's a DMD Driver issue, if it's clean then the MPU is at fault.

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