Cool! I decapped that Simon ASIC:

The 1977 Battleship sounds are more "analog" than the 1982 sounds- the sonar ping especially is better.

I think it would be tough to put the codebook stuff into an ASIC. I bet that's why they switched to the COP.

My 1982 PCB and switches look as good as the 1977 unit. Maybe the cost-reduced version caused customer service headaches so they went back to the better version? There are still lots of giant solder joints to crack, though.

It'll be interesting to see if the 1979 that I have coming is like the 1977 with the TMS1000 and SN76477, or like the 1980 that you have.

It looks like the 1980 chip has 2 oscillator inputs (both tied to batt- with a resistor, batt+ with a cap).

(Had to use the phone to connect to the forum again.)