Asteroids    High Score Save Kit -- Installation Guide

Step 0: Make sure your game is fully working

Before installing this kit, make sure your Asteroids game is fully functional. This kit can only work in a fully functional game. This is also a good time to check to see what revision of asteroids the game is (Rev1 or Rev2). How to check revision level. This kit is only compatible with Rev2 vector roms. If you game is Rev1 you will need to install a replacement Rev2 vector rom (provided). See step 6 for vector rom instructions.

Step 1: Turn off power to the game

While it may be possible to install this kit without removing your board from its cabinet, you may find it easier to install the kit if you do remove the board. In that case, pay careful attention (or label), any wire connections as you disconnect your board so that you can correctly rehookup the game PCB afterwards. Take note of which side of the PCB edge connector is facing the parts side of the board and which side faces the solder side, This connector is typically not keyed and can be inadvertantly plugged in backwards - ouch! It is recommended that you label the connector faces with something like "parts side" or "solder side".

Step 2: Locate and remove the game PCB

For Asteroids upright, the game PCB is usually attached to the left side of the cabinet (as viewed from the front). The board may have a screw attaching the boardset to the side of the cabinet, which will need to be removed so that the boardset can be removed for easy access.
Asteroids game PCB

Step 3: Remove the 6502 CPU chip

Locate and remove the 6502 CPU chip on the boardset. Use the images below to assist in locating it. See 6502 Chip Identification for additional information. The 6502 CPU chip is a 40 pin (large) chip, located at C3 It is the only 40 pin chip on the boardset. Remove the chip gently by using a flat head screwdriver to pry it out of its socket from each end. Some of the Atari boardsets have open frame sockets which do not protect the PCB traces. Be careful not to scratch any of the PCB traces underneath the socket. Also be careful not to bend any of the pins. If any pins do get inadvertantly bent, you will need to straighten them out before the next step. Needle nose pliers work the best for this.

6502 CPU Location
Asteroids 6502 CPU location
6502 Closeup
6502 Closeup
6502 CPU Removed
6502 CPU Removed

Step 4: Insert the 6502 CPU into the daughter card

Remove the REV2 vector eprom from the 40 pin socket on the high score kit and set it aside. It was inserted into the kit only for shipping purposes to insure that none of the pins got bent. Insert the just removed 6502 CPU chip into the empty 40 pin socket on the High Score Save Kit. Make sure pin-1 is correctly oriented. Pin-1 is marked on the 6502 CPU chip usually by some type of indentation or circle molded into the plastic. The end of the chip with the marking, needs to match up with the socket on the daughter card that also has a marking on the plastic. Pin-1 is also labelled on the kit pcb with a "1". If the 6502 chip is installed backwards it can cause permanent damage to the 6502 chip.
Pin-1 Identification
Click images for a larger view
Asteroid HISAVE kit
Pin-1 Closeup
Pin-1 Identification
Kit with 6502 installed
Kit with 6502 installed

Step 5: Insert the daughter card into the boardset

Insert the daughter card back into the 6502 CPU socket on the boardset where the 6502 CPU chip was originally removed from. Again, make sure pin-1 of the 6502/daughter card is oriented to correctly match pin-1 on the boardset. Use the photos as a guide.

HS kit Installed HS kit Installed

Step 6: [Optional] Replace the Vector ROM

The asteroids high score save kit is based upon the REV2 software version of the asteroids game. This requires that the vector rom on the asteroids board also be a REV2 vector rom. The vector rom is located at chip location N/P3 and is a 24 pin device on the same column as the 6502 CPU. It is very well possible that you already have a REV2 vector rom on your board in which case you should skip this step. You can check the revision by looking at the number on the chip. REV2 vector rom is identified by 035127.02 or by looking at the copyright notice at the bottom of the screen while the game is running. How to check revision level.

A REV2 vector eprom is included as part of the kit, however it is suggested that you only install this chip if you have a REV1 vector eprom. That is, "If it aint broke, don't fix it".

To install the REV2 eprom, simply remove the old REV1 vector rom at chip location N/P3 and replace it with the one provided.

Again pay close attention to the pin 1 orientation. If this chip is installed backwards it can cause permanent damage to the chip!

Step 7: Double check your work

Review the steps and double check that 6502 CPU is properly installed into the daughter card with no bent pins and that it is correctly oriented for pin-1. And that the daughter card is also installed snug into the 6052 CPU socket at C3 with pin-1 matched up. Apply the same checks to the vector rom installed at N/P3 as part of step 6. REPEAT: If any of these devices are installed backwards it can cause permanent damage to the devices!

Step 8: Powerup and game and enjoy!

Reinstall your board into the cabinet, hookup the edge connector with the original orientation and then powerup your game.

If the game does not come up, turn power off immediately, double check your work, and read over the trouble shooting section.

Easy to clear out the high scores when desired. Simply put the game into selftest (using the cabinet selftest switch). Once in selftest mode, press (and hold) all four of the following buttons (left,right,fire and thrust). The screen will imediately show "ERASED" indicating the high scores have been cleared out. This is the same procedure used by Asteroids Deluxe to reset the high score table. See Clearing High Score table for detailed directions.

As a side note, if you want, you can also remove the old code eproms. These are located at the edge of the board near the 6502 CPU location. See code eprom picture.