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Author Topic: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems  (Read 60793 times)

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Ken Layton

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If anyone is seriously considering buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, you should check out this link about their many problems being experienced lately:

http://www.vendoramusements.com/bbs/nph-YaBB.pl?num=1165873842

Vendor Amusements is a large Canadian game route operator.

EDIT:

Here is some more:

In return, I expect to see the following from Wells Gardner:
1) Some more realistic troubleshooting documents available from Wells Gardner. Charts showing waveform diagrams and voltage checks at test points. Troubleshooting flowcharts that consist of MORE than the most basic problems solved by replacing a large number of components.
 
Surely your techs deal with these problems everyday, and know the problem spots. 
 
2) Above mentioned documents available sooner than years after the model has been on the market.
 
3) A SERIOUS effort at designing a chassis that has about 1/2 the components the current models have. Drop the on-screen-display. Use capacitors that are known for quality (i.e. Nichicon, etc) NOT what is the cheapest available.
 
And have the plant at whatever third world country you are getting your chassis built at FIX THEIR GODDAM SOLDER FLOW MACHINE.
 
In return, I won't tell our distributor NOT to ship us any equipment that has a Wells Gardner monitor in it. Imagine our next order for 50 Big Buck Hunter Pro's or Golden Tee LIVE's, but ONLY machines that don't have WG monitors in them. Might tweak the interest of someone at Raw Thrills or IT.
 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 12:50:11 pm by Ken Layton »

modessitt

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 02:05:42 pm »
 :applaud:

The third world country appears to be Malaysia, according to the label on the latest POS to come to my shop.

a 13" D7700 arrives new in box from Happ and blows as soon as it's powered up.  Found the Horizontal output transistor blown.  Replaced it.  Still doesn't work.  Call WG tech support.  They tell me that they're having a problem with the oscillating frequency being improperly set at the factory, causing monitors to go down.

Just another example of poor quality control.
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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 02:31:30 pm »
Posted before, but this probably warrants a sticky just to save people from making bad decisions in monitor purchases.

Any mods want to put this up top for a while?

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 03:46:06 pm »
I'm probably going to sound like a dumbass for asking this.

In the post at Vendor Amusements
Quote
And here's a happy thought - have a look at those nice new flatscreen monitors in the Golden Tee LIVE. Left corner of the chassis - it says 279200.... I also heard a story about the shadowmask inside the picture tubes falling off. 

What is 279200 referring to? A WG9200 monitor?

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 04:55:30 pm »
And I was under the impression that Wells-Gardner was an arcade standard..

definitely good stuff to know...

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Ken Layton

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 06:28:42 pm »
I'm probably going to sound like a dumbass for asking this.

What is 279200 referring to? A WG9200 monitor?

Yes, a Wells-Gardner D9200 series.

modessitt

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2007, 03:00:18 pm »
And I was under the impression that Wells-Gardner was an arcade standard..

The older WG's are very reliable and that's how WG got to be a "Standard" in the first place, but the newer stuff being outsourced to Malaysia (and maybe other places) has had a lot of quality issues, while increasing the degree of difficulty of repair and minimizing the amount of paperwork available to help the common tech.

Can't remember the last time I got a WG monitor new in box that actually included any paperwork....
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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2007, 05:02:19 am »
Sony CRT monitors made in Malaysia have a bad habit of being plagued with problems too.

Maybe it is the same factory   :dunno
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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2007, 02:52:50 pm »
I was also under the impression that WG were the best...  Since you guys are clearly more knowledgeable than I, can you recommend a good arcade monitor to use in a MAME cab, possibly hooked up through ArcadeVGA?  I'm trying to plan my project, and since this is the most expensive component, I really want to get it right.  Thanks for any help!

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2007, 10:01:54 am »
And I was under the impression that Wells-Gardner was an arcade standard..

The older WG's are very reliable and that's how WG got to be a "Standard" in the first place,

How old are we talking about?  Did they just recently change, or has it been a couple years?

-Stobe

Ken Layton

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2007, 10:35:07 am »
The problems started about 12 years ago. This is now a long standing problem with quality control and bad design.

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2007, 11:07:22 pm »
IMHO, the ONLY WG model that don't break down as often as others is the K4600's  :dunno
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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2007, 11:43:09 pm »
Having owned a WG9200 (lasted 1.5 years) a Betson 27" (really bad picture problems) and a billabs (2 years and no issues).  I will only ever recommend the Billabs, it's just a great stable product.
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Ken Layton

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2007, 12:33:59 am »
The Billabs is actually a Wei-ya brand. Billabs is a distributor/importer of Wei-ya complete monitors.

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2007, 04:43:54 pm »
Is there anyone around Milwaukee that works on these monitors?

I bought one for my Mame machine and had warranty work done on it back in Oct. 06

Now the monitor is non-functional again.  I get the first windows screen but when it should switch to the windows logo it just sits there and clicks for a few times and then shows a blank screen.  Seems like it can't switch resolutions...

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2007, 04:44:36 pm »
sorry...WG9200 monitor... :-[ :-[

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2007, 10:20:46 pm »
Having owned a WG9200 (lasted 1.5 years) a Betson 27" (really bad picture problems) and a billabs (2 years and no issues).  I will only ever recommend the Billabs, it's just a great stable product.

Aw crap.   My cab's D9200's blue gun went out.  Just bought a replacement D9400 for $495.  I didn't realize these mothers are so bad.  Why does it seem like all the other msg brd's and sites talk about how WG's are so good?

argh.   I hope the D9400 lasts for a while.

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2007, 10:26:54 am »
The Billabs is actually a Wei-ya brand. Billabs is a distributor/importer of Wei-ya complete monitors.

I placed a Wei-ya chassis on a 25" Wells Gardner, and it works fine now!  :laugh:

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2007, 11:10:42 am »
Just thought I'd share my experience with my WG D9200.  Bought it in 2004, didn't install it until 2007.  After less than a month of use, the screen went green on me - images still visible, but no red or blue components to the image.  The OSD was displaying colors fine.  Tried it with a different computer with the same problem.  Tried the existing computer with a different monitor and colors were fine.  Went into the service menu (holding down sel and down) and adjusted the color bias to no effect.  I called WG and left a message for a tech.  He called back and I walked him through what I already tried.  Without hesitation he said that I needed a new IC103.  Called one of their distributors from the WG website that happened to be around the corner from me and ordered 2 (they were < $4).  Found and desoldered IC103, soldered in a socket (suspecting that this might happen again), popped in the new IC103 and everything is back to working (colors are fine).  I'm disappointed that this happened and I'm no monitor tech,  so I'm glad I was able to fix it.  It definitely sounded like the tech had seen this problem enough times to be confident in his statement regarding needing a new IC103.

Ken Layton

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2007, 12:05:45 pm »
What was the generic chip number type of IC103 for other people's reference so they can buy it too?

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2008, 05:07:58 pm »
Ken,
Looking at the schematic and parts list it appears to be a Serial EEPROM, 24C02.  They specifically list KS24C02, but I forget what manufacturer is KS.

ST and I'm sure other manufacturers offer a Write Protect version of the chip.  When Pin 7 pulled is high it disables writes.  Might be worth it to get a few of versions of those chips and put a toggle on the pin to see if it helps.  That way you can set it to disable writes after you configure the monitor, which I am currently assuming is the only time it writes a value.  I also assume the chip is getting erased during start up and the 5V line hasn't settled.

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2008, 02:27:15 am »
Happ has WG monitors on sale right now (are they clearing out ?) They're even cheaper than the Vision-Pro's right now.

http://happcontrols.com/monthlyspec/a1207.pdf

Is the K7000 series as bad as described above ? I can get any Happ products through Suzo's head-office here so I might be tempted.....

[Edit] Weird that these still require an isolation transformer ! Pretty old-fashioned !
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 02:46:00 am by Level42 »

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2008, 04:18:27 pm »
Thanks for bringing this to everybody's attention. I was recently looking to purchase a monitor and noticed those. Luckily, I did quite a bit of research and noticed the wide variances in quality between users. I ended up buying another brand.

That company should be ashamed!  :angry:

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2008, 08:59:46 pm »
In regards to the Serial EEPROM...

I had a Wells Gardner 27D9200 (in a Golden Tee 2005) that you could adjust the on-screen menu parameters, namely the screen width and position, and then if you powered the game down and back up, the monitor would forget whatever it was that you had adjusted before.

Not too big a deal, but the golf game's picture would be shifted too far to one side for the player's liking.

It wasnt obvious at first because you would adjust the monitor, and all would be well then you would leave the location. The next day they would call and say "Hey the golf game's picture was all shifted over too far"

Replacing the Serial EEPROM fixed the problem as this is where the monitor writes its adjustment parameters to. It's little pea brain if you will ...LOL

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2008, 09:44:18 am »
Just a quick note on the D9200 EEPROM problems:

Like others I have run into situations where the EEPROM data gets corrupted resulting in usually a dark screen/dim picture. It's a EEPROM "corrupt data" problem if the screen is dim BUT the OSD displays displays fine.

I usually replace the EEPROM with a new one, programmed with data from a D9200 that displays OK. However, it may not be necessary to replace with a programmed EEPROM (maybe a completely blank one will load default settings?) but I have never tried this - D9200s are problematic enough without any help from me!

The retarded thing is that the original EEPROM (IC103) is soldered, not socketed. I usually install a socket as well.

My speculation is that either power glitches or static (ESD) causes the contents of the EEPROM to be corrupted.

However the generic "el cheapo" non branded EEPROMs that WG seems to use could very well be the cause. I have had good results replacing these with non-generic chips, which has severely reduced instances of EEPROM corruption. (So much so that I haven't needed to resort to plan B, which is installing a switch to disable EEPROM writes during normal operation).

Anyway, I just want to echo the original theme that the WG D9200 monitors are pretty crappy in terms of reliability and too damn complex in terms of parts. Yes, tri-res is cool but not if it's going to be more unreliable than a >20 year old K 4900 series (which for my money was the MOST reliable WG monitor model ever - I don't think I've every seen a voltage reg or flyback failure on one of these!).

The most recent monitors the company I work for purchased were Makvision 24.8" Tri-Res. While these seem to be nice we'll see how these hold up in the long term. I was rather disappointed that there was no schematic in the box tho (manual yes, but it didn't have a schematic).

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2008, 02:51:22 pm »
I have a chance to get a 25" Wells Gardner 25k7193 for $80.

It was pulled from a Neo Geo. This would be my first arcade monitor purchase and I don't want to buy something that's no good.

Is this a good monitor to use with the arcadeVGA?


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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2008, 06:09:35 am »
If anyone is seriously considering buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, you should check out this link about their many problems being experienced lately:

http://www.vendoramusements.com/bbs/nph-YaBB.pl?num=1165873842

Vendor Amusements is a large Canadian game route operator.

EDIT:

Here is some more:

In return, I expect to see the following from Wells Gardner:
1) Some more realistic troubleshooting documents available from Wells Gardner. Charts showing waveform diagrams and voltage checks at test points. Troubleshooting flowcharts that consist of MORE than the most basic problems solved by replacing a large number of components.
 
Surely your techs deal with these problems everyday, and know the problem spots. 
 
2) Above mentioned documents available sooner than years after the model has been on the market.
 
3) A SERIOUS effort at designing a chassis that has about 1/2 the components the current models have. Drop the on-screen-display. Use capacitors that are known for quality (i.e. Nichicon, etc) NOT what is the cheapest available.
 
And have the plant at whatever third world country you are getting your chassis built at FIX THEIR GODDAM SOLDER FLOW MACHINE.
 
In return, I won't tell our distributor NOT to ship us any equipment that has a Wells Gardner monitor in it. Imagine our next order for 50 Big Buck Hunter Pro's or Golden Tee LIVE's, but ONLY machines that don't have WG monitors in them. Might tweak the interest of someone at Raw Thrills or IT.
 

Ken.

Do you have any recommendations of monitor brands?

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Ken Layton

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2008, 11:46:36 am »
In no particular order have been good reports on these:

Makvision
Pentranic
Nieman Displays (Amusements Plus stocks this)
Kortek (Betson-Imperial)
Wei-Ya (sold by Alva Amusement)
Billabs (actually a Wei-ya that's been Americanized)
Tovis (Happ Vision Pro is a rebranded Tovis)

Kortek and Tovis have been used in the demanding video slot machine market.


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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2008, 12:54:53 pm »
In no particular order have been good reports on these:

Makvision
Pentranic
Nieman Displays (Amusements Plus stocks this)
Kortek (Betson-Imperial)
Wei-Ya (sold by Alva Amusement)
Billabs (actually a Wei-ya that's been Americanized)
Tovis (Happ Vision Pro is a rebranded Tovis)

Kortek and Tovis have been used in the demanding video slot machine market.




Thanks.

This whole VGA, CGA, ect. issue was getting confusing and I was hoping to get specific model numbers from game owners with experience.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2008, 02:24:20 pm by D_Harris »
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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2008, 11:47:28 pm »
darn it, I just purchased a Wells 9400 :(

It was recomended to me by the site I bought my cabinet from :(

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2008, 11:54:18 pm »
darn it, I just purchased a Wells 9400 :(

It was recomended to me by the site I bought my cabinet from :(

from what I understand the problems are with the older 9200 model...but don't quote me...I'm new here...maybe someone else can chime in

jon

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2008, 02:17:37 am »
All the "digital" models have problems.

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2008, 03:02:49 pm »
So does that mean 9400 included?


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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2008, 04:51:37 pm »
All the "digital" models have problems.

what's that mean?

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2008, 12:07:07 pm »
It means yes. 'Digital' means any of their multi-syncs that retain geometry settings. The 9200 and 9400 are digital models.
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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2008, 11:42:06 pm »
How do you know it wasn't fixed after the 9200 was decommissioned?

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2008, 10:07:03 am »
How do you know it wasn't fixed after the 9200 was decommissioned?

Ken works on hundreds of monitors a year.  I'm sure he's seen the problems many, many times.

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2008, 01:48:09 pm »
Well, of course I'm bias because I am a wholesale distributor but the reason I chose to sell Nieman Video displays is because I think they are the most reliable.  I was an only Wells guy till they outsourced their production.  Rick Nieman was an engineer on the Electrohome team.  The GO-7 IMHO was the best CGA monitor ever built.

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2008, 11:31:51 am »
Just an FYI

I spoke to Loran at Wells Gardner and she said yes, they had some problems with their chassis but according to her they resolved the issue.  Whether that is true or not I can't say with 100% certainty, but at least they did acknowledge there was a problem and they claim to have resolved it.

As far as us private consumers go, I asked about any warranties they have.  The WGM2794-U0FS05S 27" has a one year warranty where they will fix it at no cost.  That's not entirely true... you have to pay to ship it to them and then they pay for return shipping.  Not really anything uncommon and I had the same scenario with my Sharp projector.  The one big difference is I am sure my projector was much cheaper to ship than this guy will be!  Still though, it does have a warranty.  For the first 90 days if anything happens they will do a complete replacement.  It was unclear whether they would ship the new monitor with return shipping for the broken one or if you have to send it to them like stated above.  I can call back to clarify that though.

I'm not trying to debunk anything here, just pass on some information I got when I spoke to them.   It seemed odd that a company that's been around and long as Well Gardner wouldn't resolve what sounded like a major issue some people were having.  Again, according to the company they have resolved the production issues that the earlier models were having.

A one year warranty seems fair to me as well.  I realize it could break 13 months after a purchase, but then again so can anything a person buys.

I am still deciding on which way I want to go but thought this was good information to pass along.  I definitely will be getting a 27" monitor because the 21" Trinitron I am using just looks too small in my cab, I just haven't decided on which brand to go with yet.

retrometro

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Re: Before buying a Wells-Gardner monitor, read about their problems
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2008, 09:20:05 pm »
I should add that when my D9400 came in, the frame was bent.  But I took some photos, sent it in, and they mailed a replacement immediately.



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