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Astra/Mab fruit machine

Another Robbie

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Hi All,

I think I qualify for pre-1995 (apologies if not), my machine has a PAT test sticker from 1996...

I collect arcade cabinets and have always wanted a fruit machine, before Christmas I picked up a free one on Facebook Marketplace, "MAB Super X" (Astra variant).

It has a few problems and I was hoping someone can give a few pointers, so far I have made pretty good progress trying to diagnose the issues (or so I thought), but I am now stumped.

The main problem is reels 2 and 3 seems to move about (sometimes too high, sometimes too low) and also the win line is random.

I swapped the reels about  and it made no difference, reel 1 always behaves, reel 2 and 3 are random, so I’m pretty sure the reels are ok (they all work in slot 1).

I have tested for continuity down the reel looms and all wires are fine.

The reels are on an optic sensor, with a blinking led when the bar passes through them (all seems to work at the right time).

Also swapped the connectors on the main board (1 and 2) and got some odd results from doing this (lights not lighting at the right time).

Also when I put it into test mode and play I’ve noticed some odd behaviour.

Each reel has O’s, X’s, Super X’s, a BAR and a MAB symbols, the X’s and Super X’s are hard to test as each reel has a few, but looking at the BAR and MAB symbols (as there is only 1 per reel) it records a win when they’re in weird positions, I started logging them and it went like this:

Position 0 is the win line, -1 is one before the win  line, +1 is one after:

0,  -2, +4

0, -2, +6

0, -1, +2

0, +2, -3 etc…

So basically reel 1 always seems to behave, reel 2 and 3 never do and it changes each spin (if I'm correct the reel position has nothing to do with a "win" anyway, that's decided by RNG in the software?).

I found a manual on the “way back machine” (internet archive) for the upgrade (it was close enough to help with the test settings): https://web.archive....-systems.co.uk/ (rebuild page and the top machine)

I assume the board is shot and is it worth just getting a new one (it’s a soldered on battery, reading some of the other threads this needs to be replaced ASAP, although it hasn’t leaked that I can see - yet)?

Any help will be gratefully received as I am out of my depth but really looking forward to fixing it as it's a beautiful machine.

Also, in regards to the battery can I just desolder the old and a put on a battery holder, or will removing the battery lose any of the code in the security chip?

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I think I figured out the issue by reading a lot of other threads and found the possible cause "in the Club billion reel judder" thread. Reels 2 and 3 do judder when it's doing the power on test (I thought it was part of powering on), so this seems to be the probable cause of why they don't line up (so thanks to all the people that gave advice on that thread).

I just need to find out why they're doing this now, board out at the weekend!



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Upon removing the board, it turns out I might have been slightly wrong about the battery not leaking...

Also found a second issue with some of the chip legs (they're an easy fix if I'm gentle).

Unsoldering the battery is in my skills, but if the board doesn't respond after a clean up is there anyone on here I can pay to swap resistors/fuses (not sure what those are) for me?

1642194724240.thumb.JPEG.931b207ccee259188e7de35a68252541.JPEGAlso does anyone have any clue what spec battery it is on an Astra IO3 board?


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10 hours ago, Another Robbie said:

Think I found the answer, reading it on a battery in another "IO3 repair board" thread, seems to be 2.4volts?

Will this one work, second opinion would be welcomed :)


I'll fly mount it of course.

Hello Robbie, 

Sorry I can’t give you a 100% straight answer as I’m fairly new to boards ect. 
However it does look correct hopefully someone with more experience will give you the Thumbs up 👍🏻 

shame about the battery leak! 
I have a mpu4 board I need to check to see if there’s a battery on there 😞 why they put these things on there I have no idea 🤷🏻 

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Good luck with yours, MPU4 definitely has a battery, I found that in the hunt for the spec of an Astra IO3 lol. 

I've cleaned the board up and it looks ok, run the multi-meter around and the tracks all seems fine, battery is gone and I've soldered on a couple of breadboard leads ready for the battery (battery is ordered and should be here Thursday).

Playing the waiting game now and hopefully this will fix the issues, if not I'll be spamming here again as out of ideas after this :)

Next is doing something with the coin mech to take newer pound coins and removing the bottom box to turn it into a bartop fruit machine.

Ooh I can be reading up on the coin mech while waiting for the battery!

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