Williams Pinball Controller

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The Williams Pinball Controller (WPC) is an arcade system board used for several pinball games designed by Williams and Midway (under the Bally name) between 1990 and early 1999. It is the successor to their earlier System 11 hardware (High Speed, Pin*Bot, Black Knight 2000). It was succeeded by Williams/Midway's Pinball 2000 platform, before Williams left the pinball business in October 1999.

FunHouse (designed by Pat Lawlor) was the first production game to use the WPC System, although there are prototype Dr. Dude machines that use the WPC System.

Hardware info[edit]

  • Main CPU: Motorola 6809 at 2 MHz, 8KB of RAM, and between 128KB and 1MB of EPROM for the game program.
  • Sound CPU: Motorola 6809 (Pre-DCS), Analog Devices ADSP2105 (DCS)
  • Sound chips (Pre-DCS): Yamaha YM2151, DAC, Harris HC55536 CVSD
  • Operating system: APPLE OS (created by Williams, not related to the company Apple, but "Advanced Pinball Programming Logic Executive")

Variations[edit]

There are six variations of the WPC hardware. The original version is sometimes referred to as WPC-89. The WPC MPU remained the same through all generation up to the addition of the security chip in WPC-S, and then the subsequent WPC-95 board. The variations are as follows:

WPC (Alphanumeric)[edit]

Some Dr. Dude machines were also made using this WPC generation, most were Williams System 11 though.

WPC (Dot Matrix)[edit]

Terminator 2: Judgment Day was the first to be designed with a dot matrix display, but was released after Gilligan's Island, due to T2 having a longer development time than Gilligan's Island. This generation WPC hardware was also used in some of Williams / Midway's redemption games (SlugFest!, Hot Shot Basketball)

WPC (Fliptronics)[edit]

The Addams Family was the only game produced with the Fliptronics I board, which is compatible with Fliptronics II boards, which added a bridge rectifier for the flipper voltage.

WPC (DCS)[edit]

Twilight Zone was designed to be the first pinball machine to use the new DCS system, but due to delays of the new hardware design it was decided to release it on the old hardware (using downsampled sound effects) instead. The redemption game Addams Family Values also used the DCS Sound System.

WPC-S (Security)[edit]

Starting with World Cup Soccer, a security programmable integrated circuit {PIC} chip was added to the CPU board in all WPC-S games at location U22. This PIC chip was game specific making it so CPU boards could not be swapped between different models without changing the security PIC chip.

WPC-95[edit]

In this final revision of the WPC hardware, the dot matrix controller and the DCS sound boards are combined into a single A/V board, while the power/Driver and the Fliptronics boards are combined into a single Power/Driver board, bringing the board count down to three boards.

This generation WPC hardware was also used in the Midway redemption games Ticket Tac Toe, March 1996.

External links[edit]