(Topic ID: 53366)

Ablaze 3 LED work, Ablaze 1 LED don't work. Why?


By kid_ego

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Pac-Fan
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 5 years ago

So I bought a bunch of Ablaze bulbs from PinballLife for my Indy500.

None of the 1 LED #555s work when I swap them for regular bulbs, but when I put a 3 LED #555 in the same spot it works great.

Tried the 1 LEDs in the back box, inserts, GIs (anyplace they'd fit) with no luck.

Obviously I'm a noob when it comes to this stuff, so I'm just curious if there's something I'm missing here.

#2 5 years ago

when you speak of 3 LED bulbs are you talking about the flashers? Even though the connection looks the same they will take different voltages to operate correctly.

#3 5 years ago
Quoted from Kawydud:

when you speak of 3 LED bulbs are you talking about the flashers? Even though the connection looks the same they will take different voltages to operate correctly.

In other words, is one type of LEDs 12 volt and the other 6 volt? They are not interchangeable if that is the case.

#4 5 years ago

Some controlled lights need a more complex lamp.

Like in Gorgar, single lamps won't usually work in the pop bumpers, but the 4 chip will.

#5 5 years ago

Ablaze 1 is a single led bulb, Ablaze 3 is a three led bulb. Both of which are the same voltages. My guess will be the way they are built, possible different resistors and diodes are used.

#6 5 years ago

I think the 3 led ablazes are rectified. I know, for example, Gottlieb system threes have polarity issues on the bayonets that require a rectified bulb in about half of the sockets (unless you want to do some resoldering).

#7 5 years ago

I will toss out a completely non-technical observation on this one. Maybe the ablaze 1's are just cheaper bulbs? I am a big cointaker fan, but bought a bunch of ablaze bulbs just because I wanted to get some LEDs into my Fish Tales a while back and didn't want to spend a ton. Just wanted to take the load off of the GI, and with 55 bulbs in the backbox...you know.

Anyway, I spent a ton of time fiddling with the ablaze 1's. They were so touchy. I had a few that just refused to work. I had some ablaze 4's, and I had some cointaker bulbs, they worked with no problem. I tried everything on the 1's from bending the leads out a little to making sure the contacts in the socket were clean, and in the end, I think I got under 50% working.

No idea why, but it's just sharing my experience FWIW.

#8 5 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

I will toss out a completely non-technical observation on this one. Maybe the ablaze 1's are just cheaper bulbs? I am a big cointaker fan, but bought a bunch of ablaze bulbs just because I wanted to get some LEDs into my Fish Tales a while back and didn't want to spend a ton. Just wanted to take the load off of the GI, and with 55 bulbs in the backbox...you know.
Anyway, I spent a ton of time fiddling with the ablaze 1's. They were so touchy. I had a few that just refused to work. I had some ablaze 4's, and I had some cointaker bulbs, they worked with no problem. I tried everything on the 1's from bending the leads out a little to making sure the contacts in the socket were clean, and in the end, I think I got under 50% working.
No idea why, but it's just sharing my experience FWIW.

Totally agree with this! I mainly used Ablaze 1 leds(555) and got sick of fiddling with them to get them to work. They would also stop working with vibration from the machine. I got some from Pinballbulbs.com and they worked perfectly every time.

#9 5 years ago

As one who really likes LEDs, I always found the Ablaze 1's to be way too dim for my taste, Ablaze 3's are the very minimum that I would go with. Never had an issues with the 3's or 4's as well.

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from DeathHimself:

As one who really likes LEDs, I always found the Ablaze 1's to be way too dim for my taste, Ablaze 3's are the very minimum that I would go with. Never had an issues with the 3's or 4's as well.

I have used the Ablaze single-LEDs for clear inserts, especially when the inserts are close to the player. The 3-LED version can be blinding/distracting under clear (or even blue) inserts when viewed directly.

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from floyd1977:

I have used the Ablaze single-LEDs for clear inserts, especially when the inserts are close to the player. The 3-LED version can be blinding/distracting under clear (or even blue) inserts when viewed directly.

This.....

Especially in a lot of the newer Sterns with clear inserts (and even some yellows) the triples are just way to bright.

#12 5 years ago

The ablaze 1 LEDs are polarized. In other words they will only work in certain circuits and are Polarity sensitive. The Ablaze 3 LED are not polarity sensitive. They can work in any polarity circuit and use diodes to "steer" the correct voltage polarity to the LEDs.
So a single Ablaze will usually only work where the base is Negative and the tip is positive.

Take for example a Joker Poker . The circuit for the 1000, 2000, etc lights has the Positive voltage on the lamp base. To turn them on a Negative voltage, Ground, is needed at the lamp tip. So if you put the single Ablaze LED into this circuit it will not work as it expects to see a ground on the base and Positive on the Tip. Putting in a 3 LED Ablaze and it doesn't matter as the built in diodes "steer" the voltages to the LEDs so they will work irregardless of Voltage Polarity.

#13 5 years ago

Polarity issue? Older styles like the 1 could need to be put in a certain way. It would only affect the 555, not a 44. Do 44's work?

#14 5 years ago

Pdman, just beat me !!!

#15 5 years ago

Thanks for all the great info, everyone.

I'll try a few more to see if I come across any that work (per NJGecko's comment) since I only tried 3-4 out of a bag of 50.

But I'll also try them in a different pin to see if that makes a difference (just to see if I'm going to have to return the 1 LEDs.

Either way, I'm going to buy a larger qty of the 3 LEDs. Have liked the way they look so far.

#16 5 years ago

The ablaze 1s need their wire leads bent straight out and then bent slightly to the outsides of the base. Then you need to get them in the right way because they are polarized. Only 1 out of 10 ablaze 1's has ever worked the first time for me. After a little tweaking, 100% of them have worked. That being said, I prefer the 3's and 4's from that company. They work well and are bright without being overpowering.

#17 5 years ago

It's entirely polarity, if you're talking about #44/#47 bayonet type ones.

In my Bally Vector (modded with my soon to be released sub-board(s) to use LED's on a SS Bally without them randomly turning on and off), it used #555 wedges almost everywhere, and I needed to rotate them to get the right polarity in the controlled circuits (since that was GS), but GI worked either way (since that was AC).

Unfortunately, for the 32 lamps around the sides of the backbox (for infinity lighting), they were all bayonets, and none of the Ablaze 1 LEDs light up.

The answer is above: The basic Ablaze are simply passed through a single diode and as such only work in a DC circuit that is already wired with the correct polarity. The reason they still work in AC circuits is because the diode chops half of the AC wave and converts it to DC and then lights regardless of orientation (but at the unfortunate side effect of causing more pulsing based upon the frequency of the AC power and why cheap Ablazes used in GI have a distinct consistent flicker as compared to other LEDs. The wedge version, since rotatable, will allow you to correctly orient it so that it will light; but does nothing to prevent the flicker under AC power.

The only way to prevent polarity issues is to get LEDs that use full rectification (a set of 4 diodes inside). These always send DC power regardless of how it's plugged into a DC or AC circuit, AND have the advantage of using the full up and down portions of the AC wave to power the LED, thus reducing the flicker seen in GI circuits.

The Ablaze LED's have their place--if you are a LED hater of extreme brightness for inserts, they work great. For GI on the PF they will pulse and annoy you; backbox is acceptable. For general PF GI, frosted 2 mini SMD's from CT or single (3 point) SMDs from PBB are the best (in warm white). No flicker, correct color temp. But these can be overpowering for inserts, and at 28c vs 59/69 cents (appx) in bulk, over twice as expensive.

In both of my games, I have a mix of Ablaze 1 LED and CT (or PBB) frosted for a balanced approach.

In agreement with Phetish -- The Ablaze wedges need their wires bent outward to catch the socket connectors. I had to do the same thing with CT and PBB ones; not really any difference.

For bayonets, actually, I have had fewer problems with Ablaze than with CT. Many many CT frosted ones had their assemblies separate when inserting or removing just 1 time, forcing me to rebend wires and superglue tops on -- again with bayonets! Only a couple Ablaze have I had to glue, and never had to rebend wires inside.

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