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MACH 3 problems (from customer email)

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:40 pm
by Matt Ownby
Steve says:
Hi Matt:

I installed the recently shipped Dexter installed in my MACH 3 arcade game. The game powers up properly. The game already had a pre-existing 110VAC plug inside, so the Xfmr power supply for dexter was plugged into that existing plug for simultaneous power up per dexter manual recommendation.

On game power up the frame started at 0000. I adjusted it to 12345 per manual instructions.
I found audio tone good without adjustment of that parameter.
The game started with the proper sequence....
Coins deposited, accepted and game began to start. game selected fighter

Tried trigger to begin play. At that point I found game play could not be commenced.

Thinking there may be a problem with the trigger I went back to check game control panel and found all buttons and triggers registered as and yellow squares on the monitor...

I just don't understand why the game will not commence play.....Particularly when trigger is recognized as working in control panel check menu...

Any ideas why this might be happening?

Any suggestions as to how I might remedy the problem?

Any help or ideas would be much appreciated!
I replied with:

Does it seem like the game hardware is controlling the laserdisc player (Dexter) alright?

Re: MACH 3 problems (from customer email)

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:44 pm
by Matt Ownby
Steve says:
I am not sure where Dexter control begins and game control ends. I am getting imagery on the screen, so that must be coming from Dexter.

Wondering why I could not control the game to start by firing trigger, I was left to confirm trigger signal at game diagnostics. Trigger fire, as well as stick movement and missile fire were confirmed at game diagnostics.

Your question regarding any evidence that Dexter is controlling would seem to be right on point... The answer is NO. I have no evidence that Dexter is functioning aside from the imagery, jet engine sound and pilot dialogue audio. I thought the plug (that I suspect is for control required a noteworthy amount of insertion force, yet it seems to be seated. The game had an F connector, so the bnc to F adapter was essential. The other two audio plugs went on perfectly. As I said in my prior e-mail the machine had a pre wired 110vac plug so I used that for the Dexter power supply in order to synchronize Dexter power up with MACH 3 game power up.

What can you suggest to troubleshoot/comfirm Dexter's control of the game?

Should I remove re-insert the small plug that I suspect is control?

Should I meter or scope the output to look for some voltages or signals? If so, what should I be seeing on the game side and on the Dexter side?

I appreciate the help


Re: MACH 3 problems (from customer email)

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:44 pm
by Warren Ondras
Hi Steve,

The fact that you can get into diagnostics and get 12345 on the frame adjust screen means that the game is definitely controlling Dexter. The game sends a command to seek to frame 12345 and freeze. And yes, the 1/8" plug that takes a fair amount of force to insert is how the game controls Dexter.

I'm not sure why everything seems correct up to the point where you try to start a game. Normally if you do nothing when it shows the fighter/bomber select screen, it will auto-select fighter after a few seconds, and start the game on its own. What exactly does it do at this point? Does it just freeze on the fighter/bomber screen after the crosshairs move over to fighter?

I have two suggestions in order to diagnose further:

1. Connect Dexter to your network via the ethernet jack, and run DexterManager on a PC. It should detect the presence of Dexter, and allow you to see the log. (This will also allow Matt to connect via VPN to troubleshoot if it comes to that.) This will help to determine if the game is sending the search command at the start of gameplay, and if anything strange is happening with Dexter at that point.

2. Run the ROM test in the game diagnostics, and compare the checksums to known-good values. (If you happen to have MACH3 set up in MAME, you can get them there. If not, I will see if I can get a screenshot of it.) This will rule out ROM errors, which can sometimes cause a game to fail at a specific point.