Battleship Slot Machine

Battleship Slot Machine – First of all, let me state that no one seems to have archived any information about Sigma slot machines. It’s really too bad because these are *great* slot machines for the family. Great graphics and gameplay with a good bonus game. Compared to the Williams and IGT models, they are quite cheap but have all the same features (if not more).

Sigma was acquired by Mikohn around 2003 and then sold to Multimedia Gaming in 2005, where the UV1700 was shelved. So most Sigma uv1700 video slots were made between 1999 and 2003. The history of the uv1700 is a bit hard to trace due to Mikohn’s purchase, hence this page. While most pinball players hate slot machines, I find them interesting (especially considering their reasonable price.) I mean comparing the Sigma uv1700 video slot to the industry leader (then) Williams 550 video slot . They are very similar, maybe Sigma is better (better animations, easier to handle). But Sigma is 1/4 the price of a Williams 550 slot machine. For “good value for money,” the Sigma UV1700 is hard to beat.

Battleship Slot Machine

Sigma 1700 slots are usually pre-TITO machines (TITO is “ticket in, ticket out”). This means they take coins and notes and have a funnel to pay for coins. Unfortunately, Sigma is the innovator of the coinless slot machine, which is present in the tail end Sigma uv1700 slot machine (TITO with ticket printer and hopperless). Generally speaking, most of the new slot machines after 2003 are TITO, which do not handle coins, only banknotes and tickets. So it makes sense that some of the newer Sigma 1700 models don’t have a hopper. The first coinless slot machine to be installed in a large casino was the Sigma Derby horse racing machine. But to me, the TITO machine is not a good home slot machine, nor is it the type of slot machine I want to use in my home playroom. (Though do I really want to “cash out” 800 credits at home with nickels? Oops, no, but maybe it’s just the idea I can do it.)

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Sigma Gaming was established in Tokyo (Japan) back in 1984. They were the first non-US slot machine manufacturer to be certified by the Nevada Gaming Commission. They did move to Las Vegas in 1996, but the Japanese style is still there. Known for their technological innovation, Sigma aggressively markets their slot and poker machines. This spurred competition and IGT (International Game Technology) decided to take Sigma to court to settle the copyright issue. (Sound familiar? See Williams slot machine history for details.) In 1989, IGT claimed that Japan’s Sigma Gaming had been stealing IGT’s patented game designs. This was eventually settled out of court. Sigma is one of the few manufacturers that holds an unlimited license to use Telnaes technology (patented by IGT) that allows virtual reels and unlimited odds. (Spinning reels only, not for video slots, see Williams slot for more info.) Telnaes technology enables Sigma to offer unlimited high-end payouts and jackpots.

In 1990, Sigma introduced the first “slot top” slot machine. While not a good home slot machine format due to size, these were very popular in casinos (and still are today). Players love the comfort of sitting down and playing. In 1991, they received the Nevada Governor’s Industry Award for their continued contributions to the development of Nevada. In 1996, Sigma won the award again.

Sigma was also the first company to embed a dollar bill validator into its slot machines, making playing Sigma slots a one-stop shopping. For casinos, it’s not about comfort, it’s about keeping players on one machine for longer. There is no rest time to sit down and no need to run to the ATM. The ideas worked, and soon IGT was following Sigma Games. Sigma wanted to make user-friendly slot machines. They make slot machines easier to use and more comfortable to play, which hopefully will increase player loyalty.

Sigma also released its first red-white-blue-themed game (Patriot), as well as a patented locked cash drawer. The design of the cash drawer is licensed and used by two other leading slot machine manufacturers (Bally and Wms), provided by JCM.

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Sigma Gaming has also made other slot game innovations. Although they didn’t invent it, early on they were part of a trend to increase the game with big credit bonuses. If you pay full price to play the game (all the credits the game will earn, except for one spin, up to 50 credits in some cases), the bonus structure makes it worth it. This is the standard today.

Around 1999, Sigma joined the video slot bandwagon with the introduction of the Sigma uv1700 video slot machine. Video Slots is a market primarily developed by Williams (Wms) and one where Wms excels. Sigma met, I would say uv1700 surpasses Wms. The animations on the Sigma are more refined, and the machine is easier to service.

As for repairs, it’s easier for casinos to repair Sigma slot machines (we do too, because these are in our house now!) For example, the UV1700 Sigma slot machine shown on this page is based on 300 mHz Cyrix/Pentium PC computer hardware, using a standard 168-pin 256meg SDRam DIMM pc100 or pc133 Memory stick and CD ROM drive. But PC boards are a bit different than PC boards in home computers. The Sigma 1700 socket uses a DPX-80 board from Densitron Technologies and, rather than a board with a myriad of connectors, using a single “ConnectBus” connector. The 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 virtually “plug and play,” allowing casinos to easily replace the board to fix the machine. Everything is on one board, so it’s pretty easy. (Although changing games still requires a hardware “clear”.)

Unfortunately, this all came to an end in 2005 when Sigma (known as Mikohn since 2003) was acquired by Progressive Gaming International (PGI). At the time PGI stopped selling the Simga UV1700, and there was no progress on the Sigma 1700 platform.

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Internal organs of the Sigma 1700. Looks like a normal PC eh? That’s because it’s pretty much an ordinary PC.

The motherboard used in the Sigma 1700 socket is a “ConnectBus” Densitron Technologies DPX-80 board with a single connector for all power and hardware. This allows technicians to replace the motherboard in about 10 seconds. Processor is Cyrix MII-333GP (333mHz clock speed, 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 the age of the DPX-80 motherboard.) Interestingly, many games can use 64meg or 128meg of RAM (although Kiss requires the full 384meg and Garfield requires 288meg or higher.) Densitron Technologies DPX-80 motherboards support the use of A socket-7 compliant processor with a clock speed of 450mHz. 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, PCI/ISA bus expansion, analog video input ports, Supports touch screen controller, DiskOnChip flash drive socket is 144 Mbytes, 16-bit stereo system, 2 USB, 2 parallel, 4 serial, MIDI, mouse, keyboard, and 2 floppy disk ports.

Densitron Technologies DPX-80 used in Sigma 1700. Shown is a board with 256meg DIMM pc133 RAM installed.

In 2002, Densitron Technologies introduced the DPX-91 motherboard, which is backward compatible with its DPX-80 and DPX-81 ConnectBus motherboards. While I’ve never seen it used on a Sigma uv1700 slot, it’s possible it will work.

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What’s really cool about the Sigma uv1700 is the 17″ color touchscreen. Great resolution and graphics, plus a bootable touchscreen. That’s a nice feature, especially considering the Sigma 1700’s price point. The touchscreen does gaming well too Playable (Some games use it more than others.)

All Sigma uv1700 games have a DIMM memory slot, usually equipped with PC133 256meg 168-pin SDram. This is the maximum RAM size that will fit in this slot (although some older games may only have 128meg SDRam cards.) I found some uv1700 boards that require PC100 SDram and won’t boot with PC133 (and vice versa.) Games will start at boot Locks up (no power-on “beep”), or it beeps continuously (indicating a RAM problem). Reinstalling the SDRam or replacing usually resolves the issue. Note that Garfield requires pc133 DIMM RAM with Serial Presence Detect (SPD) aka low density. This is represented by a second notch cut into the plunger on the side (the second notch is higher than the visible stock notch

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