(Topic ID: 67480)

Bally Centaur - Many Bulbs Out (Solved!)


By mof

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by mof
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#1 7 years ago

I'm a Williams guy. This is my first Bally. 9 bulbs are out. In many different places. (I've already replaced the bulbs with new ones.)
What a shocker to see how the lamp socket wood screws are soldered to the ground wire. Stupefying.

What's the best approach to get all the lamps working again? I picked up a Centaur that's scoring 100% correct. I've tried changing all the bulbs out and have barely had any luck. A few have come back on, but it's discouraging overall.

GI
1. pops (2/2 out)
2. slings (2/2 out)

Controlled
3. A-B-C lanes (3/3 out)
4. SPL and 50 (2/2 out)

9 bulbs out

What I've tried:
* I tried shaking a few sockets with power on, and sometimes they light up, sometimes they don't.
* I've replaced all the bulbs by bending the sockets back a bit and replacing 'em.

I'm thinking possible sources are:

1) chips/connectors/switches (hoping it's not here)
2) ground wire (figure it's good since in most cases 1 of the bulbs is on except for pops and slings)
3) wood screws soldered to ground. My guess is I should remove the PF put it on the bench and reflow the entire thing? This seems completely bizarre, but is it correct?
4) sockets themselves. I understand they are layered and fragile.
5) connections at the board.

Questions:

1) how should we change bulbs? I have bent these back and replaced bulbs, it makes me NOT want to bend them back to minimize movement in the future.

2) what's my next best step for approaching the different sets of bulbs out? Do people take the time to "reflow" the ground wire solder on Bally machines?

thanks,
mof

---

Solved in another thread!
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tech-request-bally-centaur-some-lamps-are-out

#3 7 years ago

Assuming you have no lamp driver board issues install new sockets. Bally's from that era have crap sockets.

Also, the lamps do not work like Williams, there is no matrix. One buss feeds all the controlled lamps and then a single wire controls each individual lamp. GI is the same as Williams.

#4 7 years ago
Quoted from Marc:

Assuming you have no lamp driver board issues install new sockets. Bally's from that era have crap sockets.

Where do I get them from?
-mof

#5 7 years ago
Quoted from mof:

Where do I get them from?
-mof

Pinball Life has them.

#6 7 years ago

Are the sockets the wedge type? Can't remember when they changed from the bayonet style.

#7 7 years ago

Centaur is 555s everywhere.. and apparently the sockets are extremely hard to find, for whatever reason.

#8 7 years ago
Quoted from Marc:

Are the sockets the wedge type? Can't remember when they changed from the bayonet style.

Wedge. I looked on PBL and didn't find em. =(
-mof

#10 7 years ago

I've never had any issues with my Centaur lamps EXCEPT the pop bumpers. After about 3 games both pop bumper lamps would go out. I did put the older style red Coin Taker 4+1HP LED lamps in each. I'm not an LED guy, but this was my only option. Not had an issue anywhere else.

Might want to try re-seating the connectors on the lamp driver board. If they magically relight after doing this, probably best to look at replacing headers and connectors. Those .100" headers and connectors are crap.

#11 7 years ago

Those wedge base lamp sockets Bally used were all crap. They'd lose the connection at their spot welds.

I would always replace them with a brand new bayonet base socket from Pinball Resource.

#12 7 years ago

You can sometimes get more life out of those crummy 555 base sockets by using a pokey tool and squeezing together the contracts. This adds more tension.

Also, the feature lamps work like this. What you refer to as the ground wire is actually the wire that is hot. All the feature lamps always has 6.3 vdc on them. The lamp driver board, through an SCR, gives a feature lamp a path to ground to complete the circuit and light up the bulb.

Knowing this you can manually apply ground to the lamp socket (the leg with the color coded wire) and see if the lamp lights up. Doing this will test the bulb and socket.

#13 7 years ago

Id say you either have a socket problem and/or a board prob. It is probably both. Id put in an Alltek lamp driver board and see where your at. Plus you can switch to leds as desired. Whatever doesnt work then, is most likely socket oriented. Change those sockets out to the newer 555 style. Sometimes you can bend the wire leads in half to make the bulb thicker to make contact with the socket. Also, with power off, a small flat tip screwdriver can bend the clips in the socket closer together to make contact with the bulb. Most likely some of the sockets will need to be changed.

#14 7 years ago
Quoted from mof:

1) how should we change bulbs? I have bent these back and replaced bulbs, it makes me NOT want to bend them back to minimize movement in the future.

For what its worth you don't really need to worry about those breaking from bending them back and forth.

#15 7 years ago

It could be the crappy sockets but most likely you have some bad scr's on your lamp driver board or aux lamp driver board. I had to replace a bunch of these on my Flash Gordon and a few on my Centaur II. I believe they're a 2n5060

#16 7 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

You can sometimes get more life out of those crummy 555 base sockets by using a pokey tool and squeezing together the contracts. This adds more tension.
Also, the feature lamps work like this. What you refer to as the ground wire is actually the wire that is hot. All the feature lamps always has 6.3 vdc on them. The lamp driver board, through an SCR, gives a feature lamp a path to ground to complete the circuit and light up the bulb.
Knowing this you can manually apply ground to the lamp socket (the leg with the color coded wire) and see if the lamp lights up. Doing this will test the bulb and socket.

Brilliant.
-mof

#17 7 years ago

The smaller SCRs are 2n5060, 2n5064, or MCR100 are all fine replacements

The larger SCRs that can control up to 2 lamps at once are MCR106, C106, and more acceptable part numbers i can't think of off top my head.

I repair these lamp boards. $30 shipped back with new connector pins and every lamp circuit tested/repaired.

3 weeks later
#18 7 years ago

Started a new thread, after doing more diagnostics, and got it solved. Thanks !
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tech-request-bally-centaur-some-lamps-are-out
Solved!
-mof

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