CLIFF HANGER LASERDISC PLAYER CONVERSION - March 20, 2000
Written by Robert DiNapoli

INTRODUCTION

The arcade game Cliff Hanger used the Pioneer PR-8210.  There is a little known fact that a Cliff Hanger machine will also work with the Pioneer LD-1100 and the PR-8210A.  These two laserdisc players do not have the same physical interface as the PR-8210.  They work by utilizing the IR-LED interface in the front of the player, just like a person sitting in front of their TV using a remote control.  This document will show you how to use the LD-1100 or the PR-8210A in your Cliff Hanger arcade game.

PARTS NEEDED

(1) IR-LED - preferably a 'high output' LED.  Radio Shack part number 276-143 works well.

THEORY OF OPERATION (and other notes)

These laserdisc players use an odd serial protocol.  Well, maybe it's not too odd for an IR remote protocol, but it's not a signal that a PC serial port can generate... (Hmm, maybe a parallel port, but that's a topic for another document.)

Instead of pumping the signal directly into the PR-8210, we put the signal through an Infrared LED.  The IR-LED merely blips on and off at the correct intervals in order to control the PR-8210a or LD-1100 laserdisc player.

CONSTRUCTION

Wire pin J8-1 from the Cliff Hanger main board to the 'short' pin of the LED.  Wire pin J8-4 to the 'long' pin of the LED.  (If this isn't obvious, take a close look at the LED.  One pin will be longer than the other.)  If you already have the 1/8" jack wired from pins J8-1 and J8-4, you can splice the LED into the existing wires, or just cut the 1/8" plug off.

OPERATION

Simply aim the LED somewhere at the control panel of the laserdisc player.  On the PR-8210a, you will see a flash above the detector window every time a command is received.  With the Radio Shack LED mentioned above, I was able to keep the LED at a distance of 2' 3" (68cm) away from the laserdisc player.

OTHER INFORMATION

For info on the Pioneer PR-8210 Command Set, visit the 8210 Command Set page.
For more information on how the PR-8210 communicates with the games, see the PR-8210 / PR-8210A page.

This hack should also work fine for other games that use the PR-8210 like Goal to Go, M.A.C.H. 3 and Us vs. Them.

DISCLAIMER:

The above is believed to be correct and works fine for the author.  No one is forcing you to do this.   If you break your Cliff Hanger board, it's your fault!


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