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Old 11-24-2013, 02:43 PM
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Default Gottlieb "control board error low battery or bad U3 or U6" at startup

I need some help. I have a 1993 Gottlieb Cue Ball Wizard pinball machine and after not being used for a while, I went to use it today and now I'm getting "Control board error low battery or bad U3 or U6" on the display at start up.

I have a blue capacitor where the battery would be. If I push SW1 reset, the machine works fine and I can play all day as long as I don't turn it off. Does this indicate the blue capacitor that is in place of the battery is bad? If so, where would I purchase a new one?

Logically, I was thinking that if either the U3 or U6 chip was bad, the machine would still not play after pushing the reset button? Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:32 PM
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It makes sense that the machine works fine after the first reset. By then the capacitor is charged by the game. I imagine when the game is off the capacitor would loose its charge after some days(Maybe longer with a lot a Mfd's) and the start up glitch would come back . My 'Pinbot' machine had the same problem/modification . That circuit backs up so many things that adding an off board battery holder was one of the first things I did...C_S

P.S. What is the value of your back up capacitor? I see them online with like 5V @ 5 FARADS !!!
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Last edited by Coil_Smoke; 11-24-2013 at 10:17 PM. Reason: PS
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:26 AM
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Not sure about the capacitor - it is labeled 360-2P-M3.
I am leaving it powered up today to see if that helps it recharge.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:37 AM
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That is the kinda stuff I remember my capacitor had stamped on it. Still wondering about those values. After reading a bit, I saw stories of these high value caps holding a charge for over six months in backups. I wondered about the surge of current drawn by a discharged capacitor in this circuit. It seems a 180-470ohm resister should be in series with the capacitor to limit charging current.
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Last edited by Coil_Smoke; 11-25-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:12 AM
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Default gottlieb system 3 cue ball wizard

gottlieb system 3 cpu boards use a lithium battery as a memory backup. lithium batteries do not re-charge only lithium ion. so putting in a memory capacitor will not recharge on a gottlieb system 3 cpu board. memory capacitors can only be used on boards that have a re-charge circuit. lithium batteries can be used on boards with a re-charge circuit but a blocking diode must be wired in series with it to keep it from trying to re-charge, just like the remote 3 AA alkaline battery pack needs a blocking diode when used in a gottlieb system 1 for example. great plains electronics part# CR2450 looks like an good replacement for the original lithium battery. if you want to go with an off-board battery pack a 2 maybee 3 alkaline battery pack might be used since the lithium battery is only 3 volts, and no blocking diode is needed. the memory capacitor you installed prob. had a charge in it when it was tested at the factory but got used up by the board and could not be re-charged. when installing a memory capacitor on a re-charge circuit board you must leave the machine on several hours to fully charge the capacitor , and turn the machine on once a week for a couple hours to keep it charged.
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for the additional info, but now I'm confused. I was thinking the previous owner installed the blue capacitor was in place of the lithium battery. Is there a lithium battery somewhere else in addition to the capacitor that needs to be replaced?
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:24 PM
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I don't see any batterys in your photo. Pinballdaveh's suggested battery is 3volts. (Primitive Pete Temp Fix)Since your capacitor doesn't charge from MPU board...Clip a couple batterys to it and charge it back up 'til you can fix it.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:29 PM
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Can ? Should ? Back up batterys be replaced with game power on ? Does having the power on save settings on all games?
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:29 PM
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in theory changing the batteries with the power on should save the settings. ive never heard of it being done, all the manuals ive read say nothing of how batteries should be changed. ive always changed the batteries with the power off, and then change the settings back to where you want them. one manufact. might say that its alright to change the batteries with the power on , but i havent found it yet. if someone has changed the batteries with the power on and done it successfuly, i would like to know what machine and manufact. it was done to.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:46 PM
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I have "Hot Swapped" the batteries on Williams Star Trek TNG and Bally's Dr. Dude. Those games retained everything in memory. All my other games lost their settings and custom message when the batteries were changed while powered down. Changing batteries as fast as possible doesn't seem to help.
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Last edited by Coil_Smoke; 11-30-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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