Repairing Williams System 3
to System 7
Pinball 1977 to 1984
(with help from Mark & Jerry)
Copyright 2002-2003 all rights reserved.
This document is a repair guide for Williams System
3, System 4, System 6 and System 7 pinball games made from 1977 (Hot
Tip) to 1984 (Star Light), and includes the famous Black Knight,
Firepower, Gorgar and Flash pinball games. Updates of this document are
available for no cost at http://www.marvin3m.com/fix.htm
if you have Internet access. This document is three parts (part
one is here, part
two is here, and
part three is here).
IMPORTANT: Before you Start!
IF YOU HAVE NO EXPERIENCE
IN CIRCUIT BOARD REPAIR, YOU SHOULD NOT TRY AND FIX YOUR OWN PINBALL
GAME! Before you start any pinball circuit board repair, review the
document at http://www.marvin3m.com/begin,
which goes over the basics of circuit board repair. Since these pinball
repair documents have been available, repair facilities are reporting a
dramatic increase in the number of ruined ("hacked") circuit boards sent
in for repair. Most repair facilities will NOT repair your circuit
board after it has been unsuccessfully repaired ("hacked").
If you aren't up to repairing pinball circuit boards yourself or need
pinball parts or just want to buy a restored game, I recommend seeing
the suggested parts & repair sources web page.
Table of Contents
to have On-Hand
System Generations Explained
Turning the Game On:
Assembly & the Black/White Connectors!
Power Supply (Explaination, Testing, Fuses, Bridges, Test Points,
the Battery Holder, Battery Corrosion, and the 5101 RAM
- 40 Pin
Interboard Connector (Dead Game or Random Lockups & Resets)
Connectors (Dead Game or Random Lockups & Resets)
Board Sockets (Dead Game or Random Lockups & Resets)
- CPU Board
Upgrades (System 3/4 to System 4/6 ROM Upgrades, etc.)
- CPU/Sound Board
Jumpers, ROM software, Flipper ROMs, DIP Settings.
Board Checks & Upgrades (Burnt Resistors, etc.)
Driver Board Transistors
Illuminatuion Connectors (Burnt GI)
Things Don't Work:
Audit Mode, Funky Score Display Numbers (Battery/5101 RAM
- Fixing a
Dead CPU/Driver Board (CPU LED codes, Test EPROM, Blanking)
(Display test, Lamp test, Solenoid test, Switch test)
Lockups & Resets: What Causes Them & Testing For Them
or Locked-on Coils/Flashlamps
Problems (the Lamp Matrix)
Problems (the Switch Matrix)
Problems & Drop Targets
Bibliography and Credit Where Credit is
Lots of people contributed to this document, and I just want
to say, "thanks!" Below are a list of the resources used in the
development of this guide. Some resources/people may have been
innocently left out, and many of the ideas in this repair guide are not
original. If this is the case, and an idea is here that was originally
yours, please notify me and I will make sure to give you credit!
Some people question whether I
wrote all this material myself. I did, but of course like everyone, my
repair techniques and ideas are gathered not only from my own
experience, but from work that others in this hobby do and share at
shows, on the internet, etc. So if you're the originator of some cool
trick or tip in this document, and I'm not giving due credit, just let
me know and I'll add you to the list of contributors above.
- Mark Orthner (mark at techvantage.net), and his web page at
pinball.flippers.info/system6resources.asp. Many ideas, pictures,
advice came from Mark's site (with permission). Mark was instrumental
in making this document happen, and contributed a great deal to the
cause. If it wasn't for Mark, I would have never written this guide.
Thanks Mark!! (or "damn you Mark!")
Clause. Jerry is probably pretty sick of me asking him a zillion
questions. He was indispensible in writing this guide.
- David Wagler, Des Moines IA (Dwagler at aol.com). David provided
lots of broken boards and parts that were used in the development of
this guide. I could not have done this guide without Dave's donated
broken boards, wiring harness and displays!
- James Koempel, Keasnburg NJ, (j.koempel at verizon.net). James
provided circuit boards used in the development of this guide. Again,
it would have difficult to do this guide without his help.
- Jeremy Wilson. JW also provided a "box of boards" used in the
development of this guide. Once again, it would have been difficult to
do this guide without his help.
- Leon Borré and his system3 to system7 test EPROM at
www.flipper-pinball-fan.be. Leon's test EPROM was great for diagnosing
broken CPU/driver boards.
- Duncan "Scanbe" Brown. Duncan provided lots of tips and tricks.
Did I mention Duncan *hates* Scanbe sockets?
- Frank-Rainer Grahl" (frgrahl at gmx.net).
- Mr. Johnson and his web site at www.aros.net/~rayj/action/tech.
Ray's postings and tips were most helpful.
- Tuukka Kalliokoski's web page at
www.flipperit.net/tkalliok/flipperi/wms_en.html. Tuukka's web page was
also very helpful in making this guide happen.
- Rob Hayes, who's advice and (lack of!) proof reading were very
- David Gersic, who also did proof reading and provided some tips.
- John Robertson and his posts & tips helped mucho grande.
- "Solid State Flipper Maintenance Manual, Gorgor and
later" (Tri-zone, Time Warp, Laserball, Gorgor), Williams
Electronics #16P-496-100, December 1979.
- "Solid State Flipper Maintenance Manual, Firepower &
Later Games", Williams Electronics #16P-497-100, March 1980.
- Pinball Liz Tech Reprints #1 to #6, August 1995 to August 1996,
for their tips and tricks.
* Return to the Pin Fix-It
* Go to Part One System3-7 Repair
* Go to Part Two System3-7 Repair
* Go to Part Three System3-7
* Return to Marvin's