Sigma uv1700 Video Slot Machines

First I would like to state that in regards Sigma slot machines, no one seems to be archiving any information on these. It really too bad as these are *great* slot machines for the home. Excellent graphics and game play with good bonus games. And they are fairly inexpensive compared to Williams and IGT models, yet have all the same features (if not more).

Sigma was bought by Mikohn around 2003, and then was sold to Multimedia Gaming in 2005, where the UV1700 was shelved. So most Sigma uv1700 video slots were made between 1999 and 2003. Because of the Mikohn buy, the uv1700 history is a bit hard to track, hence this web page. Though most pinball people hate slot machines, I find them interesting (especially given their reasonable price.) I mean compare a Sigma uv1700 video slot to the industry leader (at the time), the Williams 550 video slot. They are very similar, maybe the Sigma is even superior (better animation, easier to work on). But the Sigma is 1/4 the price of a Williams 550 slot machine. For "bang per buck" the Sigma UV1700 is hard to beat.

The Sigma 1700 slots are generally pre-TITO machines (TITO is "ticket in, ticket out"). Meaning they take coins and paper money, and have a hopper to payout coins. Unfortunately Sigma was the innovator of coin-less slots, and this showed up in the trail end Sigma uv1700 slot machines (TITO with ticket printer and no hopper). Generally speaking, most new slots after 2003 are TITO and don't handle coins, only paper money and tickets. So it makes sense that some of the newer Sigma 1700 models didn't have hoppers. The first coinless slot machines to be installed in a major casino was the Sigma Derby horse racing machine. But to me TITO machines are not a good home slot machine, and is not really the type of slot I would want in my home gameroom. (Though do I really want to "cash out" 800 credits in nickels at home? Heck no, but maybe it's just the idea that I could do that.)

Sigma Gaming Brief History.
Sigma Gaming was actually founded in Tokyo (Japan) back in 1984. They were the first non-U.S. slot maker to gain Nevada Gaming Commision certification. They did relocate to Las Vegas in 1996, but the Japanese touch remained. Sigma was known for technical innovations, and Sigma aggressively marketed their slot machines and poker machines. This spurred competition, and IGT (International Gaming Technologies) decided to take Sigma to court over copyrights. (Sound familiar? See the Williams slot history for details.) In 1989, IGT claimed the Japanese Sigma Gaming had been stealing patented game designs from IGT. This was eventually settled out of court. Sigma is one of only a few manufacturers to hold an unrestricted license to use the Telnaes technology (which IGT holds the patent) that allows for virtual reels and unlimited odds. (Spinning reel only, does not apply to video slots, see Williams slots for more info on this.) The Telnaes technology enables Sigma to offer the ability to provide high-end payouts and progressive jackpots without limitations.

In 1990 Sigma came out with the first "slot top" (sit down) slot machines. Though not a good home slot machine format due to size, these were very popular in the casinos (and still are today). Players loved the comfort of sitting down to play. In 1991 they were honored with the State of Nevada Governor's Industry Appreciation Award for its continued contribution to Nevada's growth. Again in 1996 Sigma received the award again.

Sigma was also the first company to embed a dollar bill validator into their slot machines, which made playing a Sigma slot one-stop shopping. To the casinos it was not about comfort, but to keep players at one machine for a longer period of time. There would be no breaks to go sit down, and no need to run to the cash machine. The ideas worked, and soon IGT was copying Sigma Games. Sigma wanted to build slot machines which were user-friendly. They made their slots easy to use and more comfortable to play, hoping this would lead to player loyalty.

Sigma also released the first red, white & blue-themed game (Patriot), and a patented locking cashbox extractor. The cashbox extractor featured a design licensed to and utilized by two other leading slot machine manufacturers (Bally and Wms), and was offered by JCM.

Sigma Gaming made other slot play innovations too. Though they didn't invent it, early on they were part of the trend to increase the play using big credit bonuses. If you payed the full price to play (all the credits the game would except for one spin, which in some cases was up to 50 credits), the bonus structure made it worth your while. This is standard nowadays.

Around 1999 Sigma jumped on the video slot machine bandwagon with the Sigma uv1700 video slot. The video slot was a market largely developed by Williams (Wms), and one that Wms excelled. Sigma met and I would say surpassed Wms with the uv1700. Animation is more refined on the Sigma, and the machines are far easier to repair.

As for repairs, Sigma slots were easier for casinos to repair (and us too, since these are now in our homes!) For example the UV1700 Sigma slot machines shown on this page are based on 300 mHz Cyrix/Pentium PC computer hardware, using standard 168 pin 256meg SDRam DIMM pc100 or pc133 memory sticks and CD ROM drives. But the PC board is a bit different than those seen in your home computer. Instead of a board with a zillion connectors, the Sigma 1700 slot uses a DPX-80 board from Densitron Technologies and, using a single "ConnectBus" connector. This board eliminates the need to plug and unplug different connectors for power, HDD, FDD, monitor, etc. That is, all power, I/O, and interface signals are routed to a single ConnectBus connector. This makes the board literially "plug and play", allowing Casinos to easily swap a motherboard to fix a machine. Everything is on one board, so it's pretty painless. (Though a hardware "clear" is still required though to change a game.)

Unfortunately this all came to an end in 2005, as Sigma (called Mikohn since 2003) was bought by Progressive Gaming International (PGI). At that time PGI stopped selling the Simga UV1700, and nothing further has come of the Sigma 1700 platform.

The guts of a Sigma 1700. Looks like a regular PC eh?
That's because it pretty much is a regular PC.

Sigma uv1700 and uv1900 (sit-down) Slot Machine Hardware.
The motherboard used in Sigma 1700 slots was a "ConnectBus" Densitron Technologies DPX-80 board, with a single connector for all power and hardware. This allowed a tech to replace a motherboard in about 10 seconds. The processor is a Cyrix MII-333GP (333mHz clock speed with a 83mHz bus 3.0x, 2.9 volts.) Memory includes two SIMM 72pin EDO sockets (not used) and one DIMM socket (SDRam 168 pin 256meg pc-100 or pc-133, depending on how old the DPX-80 motherboard may be.) Interestingly many games can run with 64meg or 128meg of RAM (though Kiss requires the full 384meg, Garfield runs at 288meg or above.) The Densitron Technologies DPX-80 board supports up to 450mHz clock speed using a socket-7 compliant processor. Design features include PCI accelerated Fast Ethernet LAN controller, PCI 64-bit accelerated LCD/CRT graphics controller with digital LVDS/PaneLink interface, PCI Ultra DMA/33 EIDE controller, expansion for PCI/ISA buses, analog video input port, touchscreen controller capable, DiskOnChip flash disk socket to 144 Mbytes, 16-bit stereo sound system, two USB, two parallel, four serial, MIDI, mouse, keyboard, and two floppy disk ports.

The Densitron Technologies DPX-80 as used in the Sigma 1700.
Shown is the board loaded with 256meg of DIMM pc133 RAM.

In 2002 Densitron Technologies introduced the DPX-91 motherboard, which is backwards compatible with their DPX-80 and DPX-81 ConnectBus motherboards. Though I've never seen this used in a Sigma uv1700 slot machine, there is a chance it may work.

Sigma 1700 17" Touch Screen.
The really cool thing about the Sigma uv1700 is the 17" color touch screen. Great resolution and graphics, and a touch screen to boot. It's a nice feature, especially given the price the Sigma 1700 sells at. The touch screen is nicely implemented into the game play too (some games use it more than others.)

The coin door opened on a Sigma 1700. A pretty tight design!

Sigma RAM.
All Sigma uv1700 games have a single DIMM ram socket, usually fitted with PC133 256meg 168 pin SDram. This is the maximum RAM size that will fit in this socket (though some older games may only have a 128meg SDRam card.) I have found some uv1700 boards that want PC100 SDram, and won't boot with PC133 (or vice versa.) Either the game will lock up at boot (no power-on "beep"), or it will beep on and off constantly (signifying a RAM issue.) Reseating the SDRam or replacing usually fixes this problem. Note that Garfield requires pc133 DIMM RAM with Serial Presence Detect (SPD) aka Low Density. This is denoted by a second notch cut into the ram on the sides (the second notch is above the stock notch seen on "regular" RAM.)

There are also two SIMM 72 pin EDO RAM sockets, which will hold 64meg each, and that are not utilized. Only games I am aware of which require more than 256meg of RAM is Kiss and Garfield. These games require the DIMM 256meg SDram plus the two SIMM sockets to have 64meg each, for a total of 384meg (actually Garfield will run at 320meg, but Kiss requires the full 384meg.) Also some brands of PC133 DIMM memory won't address the additional SIMM sockets - The DIMM memory must have Serial Presence Detect (SPD). So in the case of Garfield and Kiss you must have the "right" 256meg DIMM SDram memory with SPD, in addition to the two EDO 64meg 72 pin SIMM memories.

Finally you can run most Sigma games with just the two EDO SIMM memories installed (128meg), and no DIMM memory. So if you can't get a board to boot right with the DIMM SDram, sometimes trying the SIMM memory can get a board working.

Sigma uv1700 board with both DIMM and SIMM memory installed for Kiss/Garfield.

Sigma 1700 Parts and Repair.
Of all the slot machines I've worked on (and I've worked on a bunch!), the Sigma 1700 is probably the easiest to repair. It's more like a PC computer than a slot machine. There's just one board (the "motherboard"), which is basically a PC motherboard. I've yet to need to repair a power supply. The mother board uses PC-100 or PC-133 stick 256meg memory (available at the local computer store), and a standard CD or DVD drive to read the CDs. The CDs themselves are copyable with say Nero, which means backups are a breeze (and I do suggest you keep a backup around.) Memory is kept intact with two standard drug store coin batteries (CR4025).

The only thing I don't like about this platform is the time it takes for the game to boot. Because it's a PC based system, it goes through a memory test at power up (which can be aborted if a keyboard is attached), and the time it takes to check the CD rom. The game reads the entire CD rom and does a checksum against the value stored in the motherboard's PLCC u52 game chip. If these don't match the game aborts. This was done so someone doesn't "hack" the CD rom (easy to do!), changing the game code. So total boot time is probably a minute or three, where most other slot machines boot in 10-20 seconds.

Coin and Dollar Bill Validators.
The coin hardware (if the Sigma has it, not all do) can utilizes two different coin entry systems. An IDX coin comparitor (programmed for the appropriate coin) can be used, assuming it has the correct "personality plug". Also a Micro Comparitor MC-40 (cmi# 66460089) can also be used (12vdc,InHhi,PR7). In either case both of these systems have the coin-in optics built into the comparitor.

Micro Comparitor label showing the proper part number.
This is important as there are many different models of Micro Comparitors.

The bill valiator used is JCM's WBA-13 model, which is a really nice dollar bill acceptor system. If using version 3.75 of the software (it has a 4meg 274001 EPROM built into the WBA transport), it will accept all colored U.S. money with no problems. Note the head is the same on a WBA12 and WBA13, but the transport is different.

Sigma 1700 Game Software.
Software (game changes) for a Sigma uv1700 is pretty easy too. There is a single small PLCC (square) 32 pin 4meg game EPROM chip on the DPX-80 board at U52. And this chip must have a matching game CD ROM. A Dallas "All Clear" chip is run first at U51 (replacing the board's "boot" chip), clearing the memory. Then the boot chip (u51) is replaced, and with the new PLCC game chip (U52) and game CD ROM are installed, the game should run. Upon bootup, the CD ROM is fully read and its checksum compared to the checksum store on the PLCC game chip (u52). If the checksums don't match, the game gives an error and does not proceed.

Interestingly the 4meg PLCC game chip is pretty much blank. It only contains the checksum of its matching game CD ROM, and some general game parameters (like whether it's a nickel or quarter game, etc.) About 200 bytes of actual info is on the game PLCC U52 chip, and the rest of the chip is blank with "00" stored at each byte. So the PLCC chip on the motherboard is really only used to verify the CD ROM (which is where all the game software resides.) Because state regulators don't want to make game swaps too easy for casinos, the PLCC chip's stored checksum is used so no one can put a "hacked" CD ROM in the Sigma.

The PLCC chips (Bios, BdBoot, Game chip) and the two coin batteries.
The socketed "Disk on Chip" provides a solidstate disc work area for the operating system.

Sigma 1700 Progressive Slots.
Sigma made a couple games that were progressive only. That is, they won't run standalone without a networked computer behind them. This is unfortunate as the two progressive games (Lava and Easy Riches) look like good games. (I can load the games and add credits, but they won't spin because of the lack of a progressive network to support them.) If anyone knows how to get around this, please contact me.

What's the "Best" Sigma 1700 Game?
I get asked a lot, "I want a Sigma slot machine, but which is the best one for my home?" That's a hard question to answer, as it's like asking, "which flavor of ice cream do you like the best?" Actually I like all the Sigma 1700 games, but Battleship is my favorite.

Sigma Boot Codes.
There's a two digit LED on the corner of the CPU board. I don't have the error code definitions, but I have managed to write down what a proper uv1700 does upon bootup:

  • c1 c6 c3 - real fast upon initial power on.
  • 06 0d 0e 31 - then game beeps that familar PC boot sound.
  • 31 - stays at this until memory test completes.
  • 3d 6f 42 4e
  • 52 60 62 ff - boot up complete, game should be running, stays at FF.

Sigma Power-On Constant Beeps.
A common boot up error at power on is constant beeping from the speaker, and a C6 error on the LED. This happens when the SDRAM memory stick is bad. Sometimes a simple power off, reseat the memory stick, and power back on will fix this problem. But other times a new memory stick will be required (168 pin 256meg SDRam DIMM pc100 or pc133.) Look at the existing memory stick and see if it is pc100 or pc133 (it should be labeled), and get the correct variety. Using a pc100 memory stick in a board made for pc133 won't work. If the memory stick is unlabeled, best guess is to go with pc133 (which is the most common.) (Yes there are several different versions of the mother board, and the earlier versions use pc100.)

Sigma Game Numbers, Titles, Pictures.
Below is a list of all the Sigma uv1700 video slot machines I have found. The game numbers are important, as the game number on the u52 motherboard chip must match the game number on the CDrom. Note I have some u52 chips but no matching CDrom. If you have a cdrom for any of the game numbers I am missing, I would really appreciate hearing from you.

Double Draw Pokergame #00158   u52 chksum $6f8d
Amigo Roadgame #00222   u52 chksum $????
Amigo Roadgame #00282   u52 chksum $52c4
Amigo Roadgame #00548   u52 chksum $5493
Battleshipgame #00281   u52 chksum $52fb
Big Top Circusgame #00481   u52 chksum $40f5
Cluegame #00421   ??? (no chip or CD)
Double Jokers Wild Poker     game #00356   u52 chksum $6efe
Easy Riches*game #00259   u52 chksum $5992
Easy Riches*game #00497   u52 chksum $7506
Easy Riches*game #00567   u52 chksum $6930
Fortunes for All (no bin)game #00122u52 chksum ?????
Fortunes for Allgame #00178u52 chksum $657e
Full of Sheepsgame #00217   u52 chksum $5069
Full of Sheepsgame #00579   u52 chksum $3d42
Garfield All About Megame #0011   u52 chksum $6264
Game of Lifegame #00403   u52 chksum $5886
Times of Your Lifegame #00664   u52 chksum $5ace
Lava*game #00670   u52 chksum $5b42
For Peanutsgame #00522   u52 chksum $6c37
Ripley's Believe Itgame #00254   u52 chksum $5190
Throw the Doughgame #00280   u52 chksum $5368
Where's Henrygame #00283   u52 chksum $53b1
Yahtzeegame #00258   u52 chksum ????
Yahtzeegame #00273   u52 chksum $5e73
Unknown game (no CD)game #00033u52 chksum $0f87
Unknown game (no CD)game #00168u52 chksum $6125
Unknown game (no CD)game #00275u52 chksum $51a3
Unknown game (no CD)game #00311u52 chksum $7247
Unknown game (no CD)game #00362u52 chksum $5121
Unknown game (no CD)game #00550u52 chksum $????
Unknown game (no CD)game #00558u52 chksum $4b91
Unknown game (no CD)game #00580u52 chksum $5062
Unknown game (no CD)game #00821u52 chksum $4a29
* These games are progressives, and can't be run "standalone".
BD Boot v1.05all gamesu51 chksum $0774
BD Boot v1.06all gamesu51 chksum $d6d0
BIOS v2.00 (27c020)all gamesu46 chksum $fd7b
Clear v1.00all gamesu51 chksum $830b
Clear v1.02all gamesu51 chksum $4681
Set v1.00all gamesu51 chksum $0c3b

Here's a list of games I know are out there, but have not seen:

  • Clue
  • Trivial Pursuit (seems to require a network)
  • Working Overtime
  • Ten Hand Stud Poker
  • Flying Aces
  • Gold Island

Sigma uv1700 Video Slot Machines
Where's Henry? Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Good video slot where you find Waldo type of a theme during the bonus rounds. Cute game with good bonus rounds. Game number 283. Video.
see close-ups.
Full of Sheep Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Good video slot where you collect sheep with different personalities. Bonus round includes playing the wolf in tic-tac-toe. Game was released twice with two different glass graphics. Game number 217 and 579. Video.
see close-ups.

see close-ups.

Amigo Road Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Video slot machine a Mexican flare and with some interesting bonus rounds. Game number 222, 282 and 548. Video.
see close-ups.
Fortunes For All Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Bonus game has the player pick a crystal ball, and the gyspy fortune teller turns the ball into ?x bonus. She can also grant another ball or double bonus. Game number 122 and 178. Video.
see close-ups.
Throw the Dough Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
A slot machine with Italian pizza flare. Bonus rounds include throwing pizzas. Game number 280. Video.
see close-ups.
Big Top Circus Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
The circus in a slot machine. The monkey resides over the slot and has some good animations and bonus rounds. Game number 481. Video.
see close-ups.
Yahtzee Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Licenced from Hasbro, the classic Yatchzee dice game is like a slot machine and video poker rolled up into one. Game number 273. Video.
see close-ups.
Ripley's Believe It or Not Sigma uv1700 slot machine.
Good video slot where in the bonus rounds you answer strange Ripleys trivia questions. Game number 254. Video.
see close-ups.
Battleship Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Licenced from Hasbro, this is a great game. Bonus round includes playing battleship! Great animations. Game number 281. Video.
see close-ups.
Double Jokers Wild uv1700 video poker machine.
Video poker makes with a 'double down' feature. Game number 356. Video.
see close-ups.
Game of Life Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Licenced from Hasbro, the classic Game of Life board game was made into a slot machine. With 10 different bonus rounds, great animations, and very well programmed and thought out. Game number 403. Video.
see close-ups.
Times of Your Life Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Licenced from Hasbro, an update of the "Game of Life" Sigma slot machine. Different music and more with a decades thems with 3 different bonus rounds, great animations, and very well programmed. This is a penny slot, and it doesn't seem to "hit" as often as the original Game of Life version. Still a great game though, with slightly better animation than the original. Game number 664. Video.
see close-ups.
For Peanuts Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Kind of a circus themed slot with a mouse and elephant as the game characters. Excellent graphics and animations. For Peanuts is multi-denominational. Meaning the player selects if they want to play the game as 1,2,5,10 or 25cent. Game number 522. Video.
see close-ups.
Garfield "It's all about Me" Sigma uv1700 video slot.
This game requires 384meg of RAM to run, and that the clear and set chips both be run. Very cool game, especially if you're a Garfield fan. Game number 0011, circa 2003. Video.
see close-ups.
KISS Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
Officially titled "Kiss Rock n Roll All Night". This title was produced by Progressive Gaming (Mikon) on the uv1700 platform. Game number 0051. Video.
see close-ups.
Easy Riches Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
This is a progressive only game and unfortunately won't run standalone. Game number 259 and 567.
see close-ups.
Lava Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
This is a progressive only game and unfortunately won't run standalone. Game number 670.
see close-ups.
Working for Nothing Sigma uv1700 video slot.
No information on this game. Need PLCC chip and CDrom for this title. Game number ?
see close-ups.
Gold Island uv1700 video slot.
No information on this game. Need PLCC chip and CDrom for this title. Game number ?
see close-ups.
Oddie's Revenge Sigma uv1700 video slot machine.
No information on this game. Need PLCC chip and CDrom for this title. Game number ?
see close-ups.

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