Adding Power Sources and Splitters to Pins for Mods

(Topic ID: 220138)

Adding Power Sources and Splitters to Pins for Mods


By KingBW

8 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 11 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 days ago by KingBW
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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    #1 8 months ago

    A few people in a couple different threads and PMs over the past few months have asked me how I added a separate power supply for mods that is switched on with the machine power. There was 3 different ways that I did it … one method on a Stern SAM, another on a JJP, and another on a Stern Spike 2. This initial post could be a novel about it and what I would do different next time. Instead of that, I did a short video stumbling over some words to describe it, but the video would explain it better for people to understand (I think). See the video link first.

    Now to answer where did I get those gadgets and gizmos, here are some links:

    For the power supply, I got one that gives both 12 volt and 5 volt outputs intended for the standard molex connections that most mods are made with. I have yet to see a 5 volt powered mod, but if the standard pinball molex connector has that, maybe it exists. Bottom line is it could be over-kill to also have the 5 volts supplied. I bought that on eBay for about $17 at that time (a few people sell them) and this is one of the current links for those: ebay.com link » New Arcade Power Supply 16a 5v 12v And 5v Great For Jamma Multicade Free Ship

    For the "Normally Open" switched relay for the 110 volt power to the power supply, I found this and it works great: http://www.powerswitchtail.com/
    That is probably very similar to what Mike D used for switching the power on for the ACDC LCD Mod and his CFTBL Mod.

    For the normal molex 8 way splitter, I use the one from Pinball Life at this link: https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4234

    For the power splitter in the video that I'm going to use for the Spike 2 system so that I don't need a power supply and the power wont load down any boards in the pinball machine, I went with this one and like the idea of how it works a lot: https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4392
    Pinball Life has a few other options that you can go with for it, but I liked this one the best. Read the descriptions about them on the Pinball Life website.

    I'm sure some people might not like how I did one or more of these, so I and others would be interested in how you did it in a different way that would not load up the game circuits/boards/etc. I don't like the idea of just attaching mods to other things under the playfield, but sometimes the mod people give you little choice. Then there are some mods that do tap into the service outlet or bill acceptor power that have relays built into the mods - I like that even better. Anyway … how do you do it? Please share. Maybe I will change to the way you do it.

    #2 8 months ago

    Thank you for doing the video and this thread. I'm unclear on something though as I'm not the most electronically inclined person out there. Please forgive my ignorance. I 'm looking to use the service outlet as the power source as my machine does not have a 12V line like on your AC/DC machine. If I didnt want any of the items connected to the 8-way splitter to get power until the machine is turned on, I guess I would plug the switch tail into the service outlet but how would I connect to the switchtail to the splitter? And what would trigger the relay in the switchtail? Does that make any sense?

    #3 8 months ago
    Quoted from KingBW:

    A few people in a couple different threads and PMs over the few months have asked me how I added a separate power supply for mods that is switched on with the machine power. There was 3 different ways that I did it … one method on a Stern SAM, another on a JJP, and another on a Stern Spike 2. This initial post could be a novel about it and what I would do different next time. Instead of that, I did a short video stumbling over some words to describe it, but the video would explain it better for people to understand (I think). See the video link first.

    Now to answer where did I get those gadgets and gizmos, here are some links:
    For the power supply, I got one that gives both 12 volt and 5 volt outputs intended for the standard molex connections that most mods are made with. I have yet to see a 5 volt powered mod, but if the standard pinball molex connector has that, maybe it exists. Bottom line is it could be over-kill to also have the 5 volts supplied. I bought that on eBay for about $17 at that time (a few people sell them) and this is one of the current links for those: ebay.com link » New Arcade Power Supply 16a 5v 12v And 5v Great For Jamma Multicade Free Ship
    For the "Normally Open" switched relay for the 110 volt power to the power supply, I found this and it works great: http://www.powerswitchtail.com/
    That is probably very similar to what Mike D used for switching the power on for the ACDC LCD Mod and his CFTBL Mod.
    For the normal molex 8 way splitter, I use the one from Pinball Life at this link: https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4234
    For the power splitter in the video that I'm going to use for the Spike 2 system so that I don't need a power supply and the power wont load down any boards in the pinball machine, I went with this one and like the idea of how it works a lot: https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4392
    Pinball Life has a few other options that you can go with for it, but I liked this one the best. Read the descriptions about them on the Pinball Life website.
    I'm sure some people might not like how I did one or more of these, so I and others would be interested in how you did it in a different way that would not load up the game circuits/boards/etc. I don't like the idea of just attaching mods to other things under the playfield, but sometimes the mod people give you little choice. Then there are some mods that do tap into the service outlet or bill acceptor power that have relays built into the mods - I like that even better. Anyway … how do you do it? Please share. Maybe I will change to the way you do it.

    Very nice, now you can add my Leg Lights and Volcano Pincup light to your games.

    #4 8 months ago
    Quoted from gac:

    Thank you for doing the video and this thread. I'm unclear on something though as I'm not the most electronically inclined person out there. Please forgive my ignorance. I 'm looking to use the service outlet as the power source as my machine does not have a 12V line like on your AC/DC machine. If I didnt want any of the items connected to the 8-way splitter to get power until the machine is turned on, I guess I would plug the switch tail into the service outlet but how would I connect to the switchtail to the splitter? And what would trigger the relay in the switchtail? Does that make any sense?

    You need to convert 110 volts from the service outlet into 12 volts. In order to do that you need a 12 volt power supply or just a 12 volt transformer that can plug into a 110 volt outlet. What MustangPaul recommended to you in his leg light up thread is probably your easiest and best solution for that. There are similar things out there, but you would need to crimp on a molex connector on the wire end of it to power the input for the molex splitter that Pinball Life sells that both Paul and I have used. Paul might sell one of those with the molex connector on it or can direct you on where you can get one.

    For the source to power the switchtail, you would need to tap into something that turns on when you turn your pin on that is between 3 volts and 12 volts DC. For example, you could run a wire from a general illumination light bulb socket in your backbox to the powertail. The powertail connection is just inserting a bare wire (I like to solder tin them first) into a hole and crimping it down with a small screw connection on the powertail - nothing fancy. If you don't have the means to solder the other end of the wire to the backbox light bulb connector/tabs, Comet Pinball sells a "matrix" system of wire attachments and you could get one that goes into a light bulb socket and get a wire with their matrix connector on it that is long enough to reach where you want to put your powertail switch.

    Hope I didn't confuse you more ...

    Edit: Comet also sells an alligator clip connection adapter for their matrix wiring so you could also connect to a light bulb using that instead of soldering if you want something quick and easy. You would just have to make sure that you have a good connection with the alligator clips to the general illumination light bulb socket wire tabs.

    #5 8 months ago
    Quoted from MustangPaul:

    Very nice, now you can add my Leg Lights and Volcano Pincup light to your games.

    I have beatmaster's shooter rod housing LEDs on 6 of my pins, but still need to save and get some leg light ups, and will eventually ... which is one of many reasons why I'm doing this on some pins.

    Off-topic but someday I need to convince you to make me a set of leg light ups for my ACDC that I can connect up to a 6 volt source, preferably addressable LEDs, or just standard. I've been talking with the PINDUINO guy (Professor Pinball) on using his device to program some light show stuff for a custom interactive topper I want to try and would like to tie in the leg light ups to trigger to flash or stay on when certain things are triggered in the pin. I do some database programming on the side and it is not a big learning curve for me to use his device to program some light shows for add-ons and maybe even add your leg light ups to an attract mode light show also. Very interesting stuff. Anyway ... another topic and probably a pet project for me to work on this winter. I'll bug you later this fall on that.

    #6 8 months ago
    Quoted from gac:

    my machine does not have a 12V line

    What machine are you trying to mod?

    #7 8 months ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    What machine are you trying to mod?

    Data East Back to the Future. Sorry for the delay in responding... I just got back from Pintastic show in Massachusetts.

    #8 8 months ago

    Nice! Thank you for the write up

    8 months later
    #9 8 days ago

    Just thought that I would update with another way to add a separate power source for mods. rock914 has a "Game On Interactive Power Supply" that is powerful enough to power several mods simultaneously. https://www.rockcustompinball.com/game-on I have had a prototype of this installed on my AS powering my Pinstadium lights, some Hooked mods, mustangpaul 's leg light ups, beatmaster 's shooter rod housing light up, flipper buttons, litedpinballmods hinge light ups and a few other small things I will add all with this one power source. It has been installed since last November (2018) and there has been no problems. I recently bought 3 more of these in the final production version with some additional options for my JJP pins as it is the easiest option for those pins that plugs into the service outlet. Let me explain how some of this works by showing a pic and explaining it.

    A) Power Supply that plugs into the service outlet
    B) The relay switch that will turn on the power to the mods when a sensor sees some light. You would put the sensor in the backbox near the translite light so that when the game turns on and turns on the translite, the relay would turn on. (You could put this by a different light source if desired.) There is a sensitivity adjustment on this relay so you can tune it in to your lighting and triggering needs.
    C) The 8-way power splitter with a barrel type 12v connector.
    D) An additional (optional) relay switch. This is intriguing as I could take one (or more) of the splitter leads and attach the relay to that to turn some mods on only when a different light turns on. You can put the light sensor near a flasher to only turn something on when it flashes. Think of the ACDC lightning bolts. It could be cool to only flash Paul's leg light ups when a lightning bolt flashes … or have them individually light up when a flasher flashes. Many things could come to mind with this add on option. Interesting …
    E) A extension cable for the barrel connection (optional) in case you need to reach power further away.
    F) The back panel mod option ($5 more if you buy it with the Game On system). This is a RGB LED strip that you could put anywhere that has it's own inline controller for color, brightness, patterns. Could possibly use with the additional relay controller (D) to flash with a flasher.
    G) A extension cable that converts into the 3 pin Molex connector that some mods still use (like Paul's leg light ups and Beatmaster's shooter rod housing light up). Note that Chris has also added in this cable a inline gizmo to power the middle 5v Molex pin. I don't know of any modern day mods that are 5v, but its there if you need it.

    There are a few more other accessories that you can purchase with this system to support your unique needs. This mod isn't being noticed or mentioned in many threads, but for those looking for an easy plug and play solution that can easily power multiple things and doesn't load down the pinball machines power supply, this is an option. Some of the mod makers have their own power source systems, but I like the clean way this offers to power all of them. What I also do is add the Pinball Life Molex power splitter up near the coin box to one of these power leads with the molex extension cable (G in the pic) to handle all the lighted mods at the front of the pin. https://www.pinballlife.com/8-way-power-splitter-board-for-stern-pinball-machines-using-whitestar-or-sam-operating-systems.html

    There are lots of unique things that DIYers can do with this power source. Another option for those following these types of auxiliary power solutions.
    RockPower (resized).jpg

    #10 8 days ago

    That's cool but you have to be careful when using the service outlet in a game, most are only rated at 2 amp.

    #11 8 days ago
    Quoted from MustangPaul:

    That's cool but you have to be careful when using the service outlet in a game, most are only rated at 2 amp.

    Good to know.

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