The BLACK HOLE (model #668) Pinball that we own has been improved and has now new functions. The main amendment carried out is the SYSTEM 80A translation, with replacement PROM U2 and U3 by a new single EEPROM and the rewiring of the displays.
Features of the Black Hole:
- Talking US version with animated backglass.
- Display on 7 digits.
- Legacy of improvements of the SYSTEM 80A:
- Quickstart (equivalent to the FASTBOOT).
- Improved test mode & bookeeping.
- New configuration of the DIP (moneyers...).
- Limitation of the high-scores (overflow protection).
- Deleting of the service printer.
- Shifting of the top lanes, by action on the right flipper
- Captured ball ejection bug fix
- Lighting of the tube during the ascent of the ball
Black Hole modified CPU board:
This photo is the first version where you can observe an additional wire cable to the EPROM (on U3). A new version with EEPROM (on U2) replace it, on which this wire was removed.
New CPU board for Black Hole:
This single PROM adapter replace all ROM and EPROMS (U2, U3 and GAME PROM) of the CPU board.
For a long time the rumour ran on the existence of a Black Hole in 7 digits. This is not a myth, the flipper has indeed existed!
A prototype designed to test the new SYSTEM 80A was directed, and in principle, never should have left the workshops. Except that, this unique model has been one day delivered by error in France...
Unfortunately, later, during troubleshooting, this Pinball was recovered by the manufacturer and handed over to the standard SYSTEM 80. His owner did not have the time to copy the PROM before, thought that this version was permanently lost.
One of the peculiarities of this pinball machine was to be equipped with unconventional 7 digits tubes. These first models had rounded shapes while those used later on the 80A series will be much more angular.
Reconstruction and portage in SYSTEM 80A
We decided to rebuild this prototype from a US Black Hole, changing the wiring of the displays and creating a new game PROM adapted to the SYSTEM 80A.
In the end, our model works even better than the original. Indeed, the portage to SYSTEM 80A allowed us to discover some defects very certainly suffered by the prototype:
- Attract mode is different and not the best effect.
- Inter ball animation doesn't works (brief high-score display).
The first is a change made by the SYSTEM 80A. While in SYSTEM 80 the attract mode is a simple chase on 5 lamps, from the SYSTEM 80A is much more random. The second is due to a bug in the 7 digits display that does no more allow to toggle the display to high-scores when a party is in progress. This animation was most likely removed on the prototype.
On our Black Hole, these two defects are corrected. The initial attract mode thus inter ball animation are put back in place.
During attract mode, the erratic movements of the wireform ball gate (located in the outlet of the tube) has also been removed.
Improvement of the bonus
The display and operation of bonus suffer from several shortcomings on the orignal Black-Hole. Even if they do not notice at first glance, it can be seen that:
- The permanent display of the bonus, even when it is zero, is not very aesthetic.
- During the countdown, useless zeros are added to the display.
- This countdown is not progressive (for example, 10000 points are counted faster than 9990 points).
We have therefore improved functioning and corrected these defects.
Video demo of the bonus countdown:
(on bench fixture)
Function "Right Flipper Rotate"
We have added in the game PROM, a feature that allows to scroll up through the right flipper button, the three top corridors. Like that which exists for the Mars God of War, simply add a switch in parallel on the right flipper EOS contact and link it on the SW36. If it does not wish to use this feature, simply do not connect this contact.
We start by adding a 1N270 diode on STROBE 3 of the switch matrix, in order to avoid current feedback. The wire at the output of the diode will go to the switch added below.
We then set up an isolated switch, behind the EOS of the right flipper. We connect the wire coming from the diode, and the second wire will be connected to the RETURN 6. This signal can be easily retrieved from the playfield TILT contact, which is located near the left flipper.
Fix for the "hole kicker" ejector bug
On the main playfield, the ball captured in the "captive" hole should normally be ejected when the other ball is lost during play.
The problem is that the pinball machine only drives the ejector reel once, without ensuring that the ball is actually released. If there is a mechanical problem, or if for various reasons the ball gets stuck in the capture hole, there is no new attempt to eject it. The pinball machine then waits indefinitely for the balls to return to the magazine and the only way out is to turn it off and on again.
This bug was well known to operators and it was not uncommon to encounter pinball machines completely blocked in cafes. Present on all versions of the original Black-Hole, we have corrected this defect on ours: from now on, attempts to eject the log are repeated as long as all the logs have not returned to the magazine.
Although it is technically feasible, no fixes will be made to this old version which we do not maintain.
"laser tube" mod
It is a visual improvement which is particularly aesthetic. When a ball raise from the lower playfield by the tube, this one is illuminated for a moment.
As the Black-Hole did not have any spare lamps available, this kind of function was not normally possible to implement. The solution we have found is to re-use the same assembly as the one installed in le CAVEMAN. This additional module makes it possible to control up to two additional lamps.
Improved pop-bumper boards and installation of low voltage contacts
All original pop-bumper boards have been replaced with a new model. This is driven by a µ-controller, which gives it greater stability and increased reliability. Small in size, it also has a test button and LED power indicators.
Its main use is of course for controlling bumpers.
The second use of this board is, the low voltage control of solenoids, such as slingshots and kicking targets.
On the one hand, this improves the longevity of the contacts which are only traversed by low currents. On the other hand, it removes the sparks that were clearly visible on the slingshots and it is visually much more pleasant to play without.
Following the modifications made, the DIP configuration of the CPU board must be modified. New adapted documentation has therefore been drafted.
This achievement is available in our shop.
This version SYSTEM 80A of BLACK HOLE only works with our unique PROM adapter.
Consult the distribution conditions for this assembly.