Below is a list of links to some common issues and solutions we have identified. If your problem is not listed here, or if the solution fails to resolve your issue, please contact us for additional assistance.

I can't upload new firmware to my display.

Installation procedures for new firmware are provided on the firmware SUPPORT page. If the firmware will not install as described, the PROG LED located near the USB port can be used to troubleshoot the problem.

In the event of an error, the PROG LED will continue to blink an error code until power to the board is reset. Pull the power cable from the display and reinsert to clear the error and try again.

Repeated Single Blink

A repeated single blink that begins after holding the left button for 5 seconds indicates that a file with the name CHROMA.ROM (or COLORDMD.ROM, for older controller boards) could not found on the USB drive.

Check the filename on the drive to make sure there are no extra characters (ex. CHROMA(1).ROM) or a hidden double extension (ex. CHROMA.ROM.ROM). If you suspect a hidden double extension, you can delete the visible extension from the name and try to install again.

Repeated Four Blinks

A repeating pattern of four blinks indicates a problem opening the file allocation table on the drive. This error code will normally begin as soon as the drive is inserted in the USB port of the ColorDMD.

The error is generally due to an incompatible drive format or errored sector on the drive. The issue can usually be resolved by repairing or reformatting the drive, or simply trying a different USB flash drive.

When reformatting a drive with a Windows PC, the format must be selected as FAT32. On a Mac, the format must be MS-DOS FAT.

Additional Information

After powering the board and inserting the USB drive the first time, the PROG LED should blink one time to indicate the drive was detected. The lack of a blink could indicate a problem with the USB port hardware/software, or the drive itself. If possible, try a different USB drive to determine if the issue is with the port or the drive itself. Check the port to make sure it is clear and the four internal pins are undamaged.

Check to make sure the USB port software is installed and running. Remove the drive from the port and power the board off and on again. The PROG LED should blink a few times at power up and turn off. If the PROG LED does not show any activity at power up, there may be a problem with the firmware. Please contact us for assistance.

My ColorDMD only displays one color.

Press the right button on the display to enter the menu system. On the first page, check the PRODUCT KEY. If the key shows up as KEY INVALID followed by eight blank spaces, the problem is that a correct key was not detected. The eight digit product key is unique to each ColorDMD board and can be entered manually. Instructions for obtaining and entering product keys are provided here.

If your product key is valid and shows eight digits, check to see if your display's ROM VERSION has been updated to a multicolor ROM from our SUPPORT page. If the version still shows SIGMA, this is the factory installed single-color ROM. Please download and install the game-specific multicolor ROM for your game using a USB drive. Instructions and a video demonstration for installing ROMs are provided on the SUPPORT page.

If the PRODUCT KEY and ROM VERSION are correct, check to make sure that the speaker panel display shield is clear and there is no colored film or gel inserted between the ColorDMD and the speaker panel.

My ColorDMD LCD won't show a picture and the INIT LED on the circuit board is lit.

In normal operation, the INIT LED (located near the gold connector) will flash at startup and then turn off as the DONE LED is turned on. If the INIT LED remains on and the DONE LED is off, it indicates a processor boot failure on the circuit board. There are a few problems that could cause a boot failure.

To troubleshoot the problem, first turn the game OFF and disconnect the power cable from the ColorDMD. Next, disconnect the 40-pin blue LVDS cable from the ColorDMD by releasing the pullbar and gently sliding the connector out of the gold socket.

Turn the game ON and test for proper voltage at the ColorDMD power cable. The black wire is ground. The gray/yellow wire is +12V and the gray wire is +5V. If the voltages are not correct, check for a problem on the power driver board or the connection to the power driver board.

Next, locate the PROG LED near the USB port and observe this LED while reconnecting the power cable. The blue 40-pin cable should remain disconnected. The PROG LED should flash quickly at power up. If the PROG LED fails to flash and the INIT LED is lit, it indicates a problem with the bootloader on the circuit board. Please contact us for service.

If the PROG LED flashes at power up, but the INIT LED still remains on, try reinstalling the firmware for your display. Instructions for installing firmware can be found on the SUPPORT page of our website and a video demonstrating installation is linked to our home page. The PROG LED should indicate proper installation behavior by flashing while the button is held, then turning solid during firmware download, and turning off when installation is complete. If the PROG LED flashes at power up but fails to light during firmware installation, the colordmd.rom file could not be found on your USB drive. If the PROG LED continues to flash and never turns off, a problem was detected during installation. After firmware installation, the board should boot, the DONE LED should be illuminated and the INIT LED should be off.

If the DONE LED is now on, your circuit board should be working properly. Turn the game OFF and reconnect the blue 40-pin connector by sliding it back into the socket and locking the pullbar. Turn the game back ON and make sure the board is still booting correctly. Otherwise, turn the game OFF and try reseating both ends of the blue 40-pin cable.

If the DONE LED never comes on, please contact us for service.

My ColorDMD LCD won't show a picture but the DONE LED on the circuit board is lit.

Try pressing the button furthest to the right to enter the ColorDMD menu settings. If the COLORDMD INFO screen is now visible, the display is operating properly but there may be an issue with the video output from the game. First, check to make sure the 14-pin ribbon cable from the DMD controller board is not reversed. The red stripe on the cable should be on the left side at the DMD controller board and on the right side at the input to the ColorDMD. On WPC games, check to make sure the WPC DMD controller is receiving +12V (Gray/Yellow wire) and that the red LED in the upper left corner of the controller board is lit. Also check the wide ribbon cables from the the processor to the WPC controller board to make sure they are seated properly.

If the COLORDMD INFO screen is not visible, locate the STATUS LED near the DMD input connector on the ColorDMD circuit board. The STATUS LED should illuminate when any of the four buttons are pressed. If the STATUS LED does not light when the buttons are pressed, the board failed to boot properly. Please follow the procedure above (as if the INIT LED is lit) to see if the boot failure can be remedied.

If the STATUS LED is working, but the COLORDMD INFO screen is still not visible, turn the game OFF and try reseating the blue 40-pin LVDS cable at both ends by lifting the pullbar and sliding the connector gently out of the socket. Isopropyl alcohol can be used to clean the ends of the connector before reinsertion.

After I installed my new ColorDMD, there's an annoying tone coming from my speakers.

During our October 2012 release, a few customers reported an issue with an audible hum tone coming from their speakers which changed pitch when the backlight setting was changed in the menus. This issue occurs only for AUO screens shipped during this release for AFM and, in a few instances, MM. The issue has been tracked to ground noise that is created by the PWM switching of the backlight that is used to control dimming. On WPC95 games, the ground noise may be picked up by the A/V board and audible as a weak low-frequency tone during attract mode. The latest colordmd.rom firmware updates include a patch that increases the backlight frequency for AUO screens to prevent this problem.

Weak flipper after installing ColorDMD.

A single weak flipper is a sign of a dirty or failing flipper button opto. The ColorDMD runs off the same unregulated 12V supply that's used to power the playfield optos and motors. Because the supply is not regulated, the additional load of the ColorDMD may cause a small voltage drop (usually around 0.5V). However, the supply should still provide more than 12V needed to drive the optos. If a dirty or failing opto is operating near the threshold of detection, the small voltage drop could be noticeable. Cleaning the problem flipper button opto with alcohol and a Q-tip will is usually all that's needed to solve the problem. If all flippers are weak and the measured voltage is below 12V, it's a sign that the unregulated 12V capacitor or bridge rectifier on the power driver may need to be replaced.

WPC game is displaying vertical stripes.

Vertical columns of dots on WPC games are caused by a problem in data communication between the MPU and WPC DMD controller boards in the backbox (and is unrelated to the ColorDMD). The errored video frames will often be rendered in a single default color by the ColorDMD.

The MPU and WPC DMD controller boards are connected by two wide ribbon cables. A full display test run from the WPC game menus will test reads/writes from the processor on the MPU to the video RAM on the DMD controller board.

The problem is usually resolved by reseating all connectors on the two wide ribbon cables. The cables can also be replaced. Less frequently, the problem could be due to a damaged video RAM chip on the DMD controller board and would require replacement of the RAM. If another WPC game is available, cables and boards can be swapped between games to help identify the problem component.

I installed my ColorDMD and now my trough and opto-controlled circuits are going crazy.

This problem can be caused by a weak or failing output from the unregulated 12V supply on the WPC/WPC95 power driver board. The extra load current drawn by the ColorDMD display (about 0.5A) creates a small voltage drop at the output of the unregulated supply that can cause a weak supply to begin failing. The voltage drop can affect other circuits that run from the 12V supply like optical switches and motors. Symptoms may be more noticable during peaks in the load current when motors are active.

The easiest way to confirm a power driver problem is to try swapping the WPC/WPC95 power driver board with the same board from another game to see if the problem disappears. Another method is to use a digital multimeter (DMM) to monitor the output voltage at TP3 (WPC95) with the motors in test mode. There should be only a small drop (<0.5V) in the DC output voltage when the motor is activated. A large voltage swing indicates a problem with the supply.

If a problem is detected with the supply, try reflowing the solder joints for the bridge diodes and capacitor (D3-D6, C8 on WPC95) associated with the 12V unregulated supply. If this doesn't help, replace these components.

I turned my game on but my ColorDMD is still off.

First check to see if any LEDs are lit on the back of the ColorDMD circuit board. If no LEDs are lit, check for a problem with the 12V unregulated supply or incorrect installation of the power cable.

If the INIT LED is lit, the ColorDMD failed to boot correctly. Try reinstalling the colordmd.rom file for your game. If this is an AFM display from the first production run, the usbdrive.rom file may need to be updated to correct a reset issue that was discovered after shipping.

If the DONE LED is lit but the display is off, check for incorrect installation of the DMD ribbon cable. If it still fails to turn on, turn the game OFF and try reseating the 40-pin LVDS cable that connects the circuit board and LCD display. Raise the pullbar to unlock the connector and gently pull the connector from the socket. Then reseat the connector and lock the pullbar. Wiping the connector with isopropyl alcohol prior to reinsertion can help remove any residue or dirt in the connector.

My ColorDMD screen appears noisy and the colors don't look right.

This is caused by a poor cable connection between the ColorDMD circuit board and the LCD display. Turn the power to the game OFF and try reseating the 40-pin LVDS cable that connects the circuit board and LCD display. Gently raise the pullbar to unlock the connector and gently pull the connector from the socket. Then reseat the connector and lock the pullbar. Wiping the connector with isopropyl alcohol prior to reinsertion can help remove any residue or dirt in the connector.

The *THING* inserts on my Addams Family appear dim.

Because we use the LCD to illuminate the *THING* inserts, they may not appear as bright as when lit by incandescent bulbs. Changing the BACKLIGHT setting to HIGH will increase the brightness of the display and the *THING* inserts. Also try cleaning the backs of the *THING* inserts to ensure maximum illumination by the LCD panel.

What do the LEDs on my ColorDMD controller board indicate?

  • INIT LED is lit when the Xilinx FPGA is reset or fails to boot.
  • DONE LED is lit when the Xilinx FPGA successfully boots.
  • PROG LED is lit when the USB controller is active or detected a problem. At boot time the PROG LED displays a flash sequence indicating which version of usbdrive.rom is running. The first set of flashes indicates the major revision number. Then after a short pause, the minor revision number is flashed.
  • STATUS LED indicates general status and is lit when the menu buttons are pressed.