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WMS Model 40x Dotmation Alternate Upper Power Supply Fix Using ATX Power Supply


This is a re-post from the old NLG message forum.  This is a fix I used on my WMS 40x Dotmation slot machine which was displaying a "DOT FAIL" message on the LED displays due to a bad upper (Dotmation) power supply.  The power supplies on the WMS machines are prone to failure. 

If just your upper (Dot Matrix Display/DMD/"Dotmation") supply is bad, the solution from this post is less labor intensive than some other fixes out there, and you don't have to modify any of the factory wiring.  If your lower power supply is bad, follow CFH's post (link) for a solution that will fix both supplies for good.

Credit for this fix goes to member Azslot.

Originally posted by Azslot.com on 6/24/2006

--- Quote ---The Cheapest and most reliable replacement power supply you will find to use for the WMS dotmation is an ATX power supply from a PC. Actually ANY supply that puts out 8 to 10 Amps on the 12VDC side will work fine. You probably even have an old ATX supply laying around somewhere from that old PC that you don't use anymore. Now you can be a good citizen and Recycle it and put new life and reliability into your machine. We have been using cheap ATX supplies for the WMS dotmation machines and I honestly cant remember any that ever failed again after replacement! Wanna know why? Because they have cheap fans built into them which keep them relatively cool. The main cause of most any switching power supply failures can be traced to TOO MUCH HEAT...+ the lack of any air circulation or air flow at all which is what happens when you have no  fan to move the air.....DAH!!! HELLO!! Whats wrong with these game designers? As clever and creative as they can be I wonder what planet they came from with p/s that has no way to cool itself. Add a metal enclosure box, a florescent light fixture and basically you have alot of problems!.
Both the dot display and the dot controller need 12VDC to run and will draw about 8amps (or less). Now before you ask...Heres how its wired up: (Older ATX supplies may slightly differ but you will get the idea)
1st remove the factory WMS dotmation p/s thats screwed in the metal dotmation box and throw it as far as you can! (Preferably at someone you don't like or care for.)
The ATX p/s has several connector plugs with groups of wires coming from each plug. First locate the largest connector plug with the most wires in it and Cut and strip the units power on wire (this is usually gray colored and about 4 wires from the end) Then cut any 1 of the black colored ground wires in the same large molex connector. Connect these 2 together.  Note: If you have a white colored wire in this connector on the opposite side of the gray wire that you cut you will need to also cut it and also splice it in with the other 2. With that done your p/s should come on along with the rest of the machine when it is powered on from the switch. (Unless you screw something up)
For the WMS Dotmation application you will only be using the 12VDC connections coming from the replacement unit.  The 5VDC or the -12VDC or any other wiring wont be used here. With that in mind plug any of the 4 pin molex pigtail connectors directly into your dotmation display. - Should plug right in but you need to cut the RED wire since the display doesn't use 5VDC. Now cut the RED and black wires coming from your dot controller board and splice into any yellow and black wires coming out of replacement supply. Red coming out of controller goes to yellow in supply and Black to black. Now plug your AC power cord into p/s and route cord down behind the reels and plug it into either of the 2 plugs in the main supply below the reels. Thats it! Double check all connections and you're done...If all went well the unit will power up at same time as rest of machine using the switch. Hope this helps someone down the road. I think its time for a drink now ...
--- End quote ---

I walked a friend through this via e-mail -- here is my "translation" of the above post, which explains how to do the conversion with no damage/modification to the original factory wiring on the WMS machine:

- Buy a cheapie ATX (computer) power supply.  The original WMS power supply was rated for 9 amps, so make sure that the +12V output on the power supply is rated for at least 9 amps.

- For the display itself, select any of the rectangular 4-pin molex connectors from the ATX supply.  Snip off the red wire (+5v, which you don't need or want going to the display).  Insulate (electrical tape or the like) that wire you just snipped so the wire doesn't touch any metal inside the top of the machine.  Plug the connector into the back of the Dotmation display.

- For the processor board inside the Dotmation box, you're going to use the square 4-pin connector from the ATX supply (the one with the two black wires, and the two yellow with black stripe wires), but, ***VERY IMPORTANT*** DO NOT JUST PLUG IT IN!  THE WIRES ARE REVERSED FROM WHAT YOU NEED!  If you look at the original WMS harness that plugged into that processor board, you'll see that the black (common/ground) wires are in the opposite place as the ATX wires.

Snip all four wires going to the square connector, leaving enough room to be able to strip and re-connect wires to that connector.  Reverse the wires.  Connect black to yellow, black to yellow, and yellow to black, yellow to black.  The end result is that your black wires from the ATX supply will now go where the black wires from the factory harness went, and the yellow (+12v) wires will go to where the red (+12v) wires from the factory harness went.  Once you've done that switch-a-roo, you can plug in the square connector into the processor board.

- On the large 24-pin connector, snip off the gray wire, the green wire, and any two black wires (pins 8, 16, and any two black wires -- 17 and 18 are fine).  Jump (connect) the gray wire together with one of the black wires.  Jump the green wire to the other black wire. (The gray and green wires in the 24-pin connector must be spliced with the ground (black) wires from the 24-pin connector in order to tell the ATX power supply to turn on.)

That's it.  Once you plug in the power supply, the Dotmation screen should come to life.

You can plug in the ATX supply to one of the outlets on the side of the lower power supply -- then it will turn on and off with the machine.  If you want, you could snip the connector off the original power wires going to the Dotmation box (the green, white, and black wires) and add an outlet in the top box of the machine to plug in the ATX up there.

I would suggest using velcro or double-stick foam tape or something on the ATX supply to prevent it from sliding around when the game is moved.

The best part is that I didn't have to hack up the factory harness at all -- it's still 100% intact, should I ever decide to switch to a factory power supply (no need to at this point, but still).  The +12V2 4-pin connector that came with the ATX power supply is the same style as the connector that plugs into the Dotmation processor board.  As such, I was able to hack that off the ATX, attach the correct wires to it in the correct places, and then use that to plug into the board, while using one of the "hard drive" molex plugs to power the Dotmation display.  No hacking of the factory wires necessary at all.


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