Friday, July 2, 2010

PIA Error

You may recall that my display, the "J" segment to be exact, was not working on the Player 1 and Player 2 LCDs.  I fixed it by cleaning up corrosion on the board.

Well, it was always my intention to remove the chips, clean up all of the corrosion, then solder in sockets and hopefully reuse the chips again.

I was playing the game one night as Chad and I were deciding what to work on next, when both P1 and P2 displays started to flicker.  I shut the game down, reseated the cables, the started the game up again.  I got a "PIA ERROR" on the screen.  PIA stands for Peripheral Interface Adapter.  It's a common chip in many games. 

I knew that my time had finally run out.  I had to replace the chips that night.

I removed the board from the game and commenced work.  First, I tried to nicely unsolder the chips so I could reuse them, but I didn't get as far as the 3rd pin before I gave up on that idea.  The first two pins were very difficult to remove, they were a little mangled, and I had another 78 to go.  I just broke down and cut the pins like the Pinrepair guide told me to do.

Here is U41 with the pins cut.

After the chips U41 and U42 were removed, I cleaned the board some and then Chad helped me desolder all of the chips.  It required four hands so there are no pictures of that.  However, once the pins were all removed, I used my desoldering tool to remove all of the excess solder from the holes.

Here I am heating up each hole and using the vacuum bulb to remove the extra solder.  Doing this a few times is no problem, after 80 desolders, my fingers were cramping a bit.  Some day, when I can afford it, I'll get the really nice tool with the automatic solder sucking vacuum.  It's about $300.

After the solder was removed, I used some vinegar to neutralize the alkaline of the battery corrosion, and then some alcohol and a toothbrush the get the board nice and clean.

The board is clean and ready to receive new parts.

This picture has no real significance.  I just thought it looked cool.  This is the bottom of the board with a 100w lamp shining on the other side.

Here are the new sockets, installed and soldered.  The advantage of this is that if there are any other problems with those chips I can just swap them out instead of desoldering 80 points and resoldering them.

Here it is, all finished up with the new chips installed.  When I put it all back together, it fired up with no errors.  I don't think this problem will return.  I think it took me about an hour to get this all done from beginning to end.  Having a friend help you by heating the pins as you pull them out with pliers really helps the job go much faster.  Friends are good.  Thanks Chad!

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