Braze Technologies
Innovative solutions for the "classic" arcade collector

Zaxxon    High Score Save Kit

A simple to install high score save kit that permanently remembers the top 6 scores and initials for Zaxxon. No batteries required. Plus extras features such as deluxe Free play, powerup Selftest, and on-screen Settings.

Installs in minutes! No special wiring or soldering is typically required. Simply remove the Z80 chip from your Zaxxon CPU board, insert this Z80 CPU chip into the daughter card (pictured right) and then plug the daughter card into the vacated Z80 socket on the CPU board. Thats it!

High Score Save Kit

Pricing and Availability

Ready to install kits are available today for $45.


Kit installs in just minutes. No board modifications or special wiring is required.
Top 6 high scores and initials are remembered permanently, long after the game has been powered off. No batteries to replace ever.
True "free play". No coins required. No need to open your coin door. Full (standard) attract mode while in free play mode.
Extensive powerup selftest automatically diagnoses your board each time the game powers up.
On screen settings menu allows easy changing of game settings and erasing of high scores without having to crawl into your machine and remember complicated DIP switch settings.

Zaxxon High Score Save Kit -- Free Play

Operates just like you would expect. The text "CREDIT 00" is replaced with the word "FREE PLAY" at the bottom left of the screen. Attract mode continues to operate in its normal fashion. To start a game simply press P1-Start or P2-Start at anytime during attract mode. "FREE PLAY" is indicated throughout the attract mode sequence. No coins required. No need to open your coin door.

z-free1 z-free2
z-free3 z-free4

Zaxxon High Score Save Kit -- Powerup Diagnostics


Zaxxon High Score Save Kit -- Settings

On-screen settings allows you to configure your game without crawling into the cabinet to set dip switches and allows configuration of the extra features. Explanation of each item follows.

To enter settings mode, power cycle your machine. After the powerup selftest completes the game will pause for a few seconds allowing the opportunity to enter setup mode. Press the P1-start button before the count down timer has expired to enter the settings mode.

Once in the settings mode, use the joy stick up and down positions to move about the menu. The current selected item is indicated by a special icon character on the left side of the screen. To make changes to the current selected item, use the fire button. For each press, the current selected field will toggle to the next option.

To save the settings and enter gameplay mode, scroll down to the bottom item, and press the fire button. At this point the currently displayed configuration will be saved and the gameplay will begin.

If for some reason you wish to cancel your changes, you must power cycle the game instead of executing the "save and exit" option.

The very first time settings mode is entered for your game, the default values will be determined from your current DIP switch settings. Once the configuration has been saved, the DIP switch settings are no longer used (except for upright/cocktail and the sound on/off settings, which always uses the DIP switch).

Zaxxon settings

SHIPS: Configures the number of ships granted at the start of the game. Options include the standard 3, 4, 5, ships. Also included is the ability to set the ships to UNLIMITED. It should be noted with the unlimited number of ships, the game never ends, thus cannot be used to generate a high score entry - sorry.

BONUS: Configures the score at which point you are awarded a bonus ship. The standard options of 10K, 20K, 30K, 40K, are selectable.

FREE PLAY: This option controls if FREE PLAY is ON or OFF. When free play is ON, the attract mode screens will show free play and no coins are required, simply press P1-start or P2-start to begin a game. If free play is OFF, then the coinage is determined by how the DIP switch is configured.

ATTRACT SOUND: Controls how often attract mode sound is activated. This is an extra feature above the standard Zaxxon. It can be set to OFF (never), FULL for sound on every cycle through attract mode, or 50 PERCENT, 25 PERCENT, or 12 PERCENT for less frequent use. Note: The Zaxxon DIP switch for enabling sound must be on, otherwise all sounds are disabled. (DSW1, position 7 must be ON).

HIGH SCORES: Used to erase the high score table. Erasing in this case means reverting back to the factory defaults (eg. high score of 8900 pts down to low score of 3700 pts and no initials) Three options are available. KEEP ALL, which preserves all high scores (default). ERASE ALL, which will erase all sixhigh score entries. ERASE 2-6, which will erase high score entries 2 through 6, but preserve the highest score. The erase does not take affect until the "save and exit" option is selected at the bottom of the screen.

FLIP SCREEN: This option is more applicable to boards that may have been installed in non standard cabinets, or when used with, for example, jamma converters. It is used to flip the screen 180 degrees opposite of what it would be normally. The options are NORMAL (most common), and FLIPPED. Note this setting does not apply to test mode, so when set to "FLIPPED", the screen will be upside down during the entire test-mode sequence.

BOOT TIMEOUT: Allows control of how long the powerup selftest results are display and thus how much time you have to enter settings mode before the count down timer expires and automatically enters gameplay mode. Options include 5, 10, 20 SECONDS, and WAIT, "Wait" means never timeout, always wait for a button press before continuing.

Zaxxon    High Score Save Kit -- Installation Guide

Step 0: 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 may not be 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 1: Locate the CPU board

Zaxxon boardset consists of two boards (video and CPU). The CPU board is the top board and has the large heat sink in the corner near the edge connector.
Zaxxon CPU board

Step 2: Remove the Z80-CPU chip

Locate and remove the Z80-CPU chip on the CPU board. Use the images below to assist in locating it. The Z80-CPU chip is a 40 pin (large) chip, located at U24. Do not get this chip confused with the 8255 sound controller located next to the Z80-CPU at U23. Remove the chip gently by using a flat head screwdriver to pry it out of its socket from each end. 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.
Z80 Location Z80 Removed
Zaxxon Z80-CPU location (U24)

Step 3: Insert the Z80-CPU into the daughter card

Insert the just removed Z80-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 Z80-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".
Pin-1 Identification
Z80 CPU Chip
High Score Daughter Card
Pin-1 Identification

Step 5: Insert the daughter card into the CPU board

Insert the daughter card back into the Z80-CPU socket on the CPU board where the Z80-CPU chip was originally removed from. Again, make sure pin-1 of the Z80/daughter card is oriented to correctly match pin-1 on the CPU board. Use the photos as a guide.

The header on the daughter board has pins that are more heavy duty than the original Z80-CPU pins, thus you will need to press very firmly to get the daughter card to be fully inserted into the original Z80-CPU socket.

HS kit Installed
Zaxxon with HS kit installed

Step 6: Double check your work

Review the steps and double check that Z80-CPU is properly installed into the daughter card with no bent pins and that it is correctly oriented for pin-1. (Pin-1 should be on the edge closest to the edge of the PCB). Also check that the daughter card is also installed snug into the Z80-CPU socket at U24 with pin-1 matched up.

Step 7: Powerup and game and enjoy!

Reinstall your board into the cabinet if necessary, 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.

Zaxxon    High Score Save Kit -- Trouble Shooting

A common mistake is not having the daughter card inserted correctly, either hanging over the socket by 1 pin, or in backwards. In this case you will usually just see the powerup garbage on the screen. This garbage is just the random bits that are in the character RAM at powerup, and it indicates the CPU was not able to run.

Another common mistake is for the Z80 CPU to have been inserted incorrectly, either backwards, or possibly with a pin bent that did not insert into the socket properly.

The Zaxxon high score save kit will perform an automatic powerup selftest on powerup. Should the kit detect any failure, the screen will indicate what problem was detected.

If the failure indicates "HIGH SAVE BAD", then most likely that means that one of the socketted chips on the HS daughter card is lose. Check to make sure the 8 pin dip (the smallest chip) on the HS daughter card is fully inserted into its socket.