One of the first things you have to do when you get an original Gottlieb System 80 game is deal with their on-board NiCad battery pack, if it has not already been addressed. Gottlieb installed these batteries on the actual MPU board itself and like on other games, it’s a common cause of serious problems with the game. The batteries begin to leak after awhile, releasing electrolytes that corrode the MPU board and the components on it. This can happen even if you don’t see any obvious leaks. The batteries need to be replaced. There are a few options you have to do this: a remote battery pack (3 AA batteries along with a blocking diode to keep them from being charged if they’re not rechargeable batteries), a 2032 lithium coin cell, or my favorite, a 5.5v 1.5F memory capacitor. The memory cap will last the longest and will not destroy any components on the board. It will keep a charge for at least a month or more without power. Here’s a video of me adding this fix to a Gottlieb System 80B MPU
Now that I’ve got space to pull more of my project machines out to work on them, I’m diving into Sys80 stuff. The first order of business is to work on a “Jacks To Open” machine, which is a solid-state remake of Gottlieb’s popular wedgehead, “Jacks Open”. This game came with the battery removed (or maybe I removed it when I got it – I don’t remember honestly) but the MPU board was in good shape, but the game wouldn’t remember any settings because obviously, there was no battery-back-up.
This is a simple fix, and for these games it makes more sense to add a memory capacitor than a remote battery pack, so in this 4-part series, I go over adding the memory capacitor to the machine. Check it out:
As many of you know, one of the biggest problems with pinball machines and repairing them is dealing with leaky batteries on solid state machines, that cause corrosion and all sorts of damage. I’m going to go over how you can completely eliminate this from happening by replacing old-style rechargeable batteries with a high-tech “memory capacitor” that will last longer and not have the same problems that batteries do.
Now lets test the new memory capacitor in the game:
Here’s source info on the caps:
1.5f 5.5f “super capacitors” at Mouser Electronics.
Specific item I used:
You can also get these from Great Plains:
Product ID: CER-1.5F-5V
Capacitor, Radial Electroltyic, 1.5F, 5V
Capacitor, 1.5F, 5V, 85C, Radial Electrolytic
Manufacturer Part Number: EECF5R5U155
Diameter: 21.5mm, Height: 8mm, Lead Spacing: 5