Jump to content
ianoid

Sea Wolf II arcade board questions

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

These questions are probably directed at Adam as much as anyone.

 

I grabbed the recently listed Sea Wolf II motherboard on eBay. It's missing a bunch of chips.

 

It seems to be missing a lot of RAM chips. These are not tough to find. Of the other three chips, two are easy to find (74L245), and I could order on eBay for less than $3. The last chip is called C2719A on the schematic. Is this a custom chip? Will it be a pain to find? Is there an easy replacement?

 

Should I even bother restoring the RAM? Ideally I'd want to shoot for a date code specific restoration, but I'm find with whatever I can find, best match available. I'm not dead set on using the board. I'm not a soldering savant, although I've restored a few dozen pieces of hardware and built some boards, so I can do OK work, not museum quality or industrial quality work, I'd say.

 

Is this a JAMMA compatible board? (I doubt it)

 

What is the "characterization board"? Is it interchangeable with other games?

 

You have mentioned in the past that this is considered to be similar to the Bally Astrocade II planned design. Where is the info on this?

 

I looked around the 'Alley a bit without finding what I wanted, but I'm sure Adam would know exactly what is up there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grabbed the recently listed Sea Wolf II motherboard on eBay. It's missing a bunch of chips.

I presume these chips were soldered to the board and not socketed to it. Is that right?

 

The last [missing] chip is called C2719A on the schematic. Is this a custom chip? Will it be a pain to find? Is there an easy replacement?

The C2719A is the Astrocade's custom data chip. It's also referred to as the AMI C2719A-0. I don't know where to buy one. Of course, you can always get one from an Astrocade. This chip is socketed on the Astrocade's motherboard, so it is easy to remove.

 

Should I even bother restoring the RAM?

By "restoring the RAM," I presume you mean should you convert the Seawolf II's motherboard to use more modern RAM. First, I'd try to get the board up and running with its original parts.

 

I'm not dead set on using the board.

If you don't want to use the Seawolf II board, then why did you buy it?

 

Is this a JAMMA compatible board? (I doubt it)

JAMMA came about in about 1981, which three years after SeaWolf II was released.

 

What is the "characterization board"? Is it interchangeable with other games?

What is the "characterization board?" Unlike the later games like Wizard of Wor and GORF, I thought that Seawolf II was all on one board? Does it actually have additional boards that plug into the motherboard?

 

You have mentioned in the past that this is considered to be similar to the Bally Astrocade II planned design. Where is the info on this?

I'm not sure I remember seeing any designs for a so-called follow-up to the Astrocade. However, when the Bally Arcade was designed in 1976/1977, it had two purposes. One version would be for use at home (dubbed the "consumer" model) and one would be for use in the arcade (dubbed the "commercial" model. The home model has 4K of screen RAM (with no additional RAM). The commercial model has 16K of screen RAM. The consumer model became the Bally Arcade. The first use of the commercial mode is the Seawolf II arcade game.

 

All of this information about the two different versions of the Astrocade chipset is spread across many different documents in the machine language programming section of BallyAlley.com, here:

 

http://www.ballyalley.com/ml/ml_source/ml_source.html

 

Most all of it can be found in the "Nutting manual:"

 

http://www.ballyalley.com/ml/ml_docs/ml_docs.html#NuttingManual

 

Finally, if you can understand them, then the Bally Arcade patents provide all the copious details about how the custom chips can run in high-res and low-res modes:

 

http://www.ballyalley.com/documentation/Astrocade_Inc/Astrocade_Inc.html#BallyArcadePatent4301503

 

I hope that this helps you get your Seawolf II up and running. If (when?) you restore the board, then I'd love to see a video of it running. Also, could you provide hi-res photos of the Seawolf II board in its current state?

 

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a couple of chips are socketed on the board. The two controller chips I ordered were socketed, that's easy.

 

The RAM has been overwhelmingly desoldered. It appears from the schematics in the manual that it did have a full complement of RAM. The RAM is not too tough to get, 4k x 1 bit, which corresponds to the first commercially available RAM package by MOS, then copied by every other fab soon after. i should count, but I'm guessing the board had 16K. I wonder if that makes sense?

 

It has some pins and the schematic mentions a characterization board. This board didn't come with that.

 

As far as using it, you can see it's going to be tough to get the board whole again, and then tough to find the appropriate controls to mess with it. I'm a collector. I don't HAVE to use everything I collect. I would love to see it used, but I'm not an arcade guy so it's probably going to be beyond what I can stomach. It has a lot of edge connectors that would require a power supply, monitor, and probably some unique controls.

 

I will try to post some pictures of it for you. It's a bit dirty, so be forewarned.

 

Well, I'll either try to harvest that chip from a very dead Bally or search for it on eBay in the coming years in case one pops up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to make a minor contribution/correction here.

 

The Jamma standard was first implemented into the arcade industry in late 1985; or more accurately, 1986. Certainly not 1981, as was stated above.

 

(sorry but Im a big Jamma board collector and I had to address that) :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...