(Topic ID: 223377)

BOP helmet control for use with LEDs

By pellew

2 years ago

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  • 57 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by pellew
  • Topic is favorited by 20 Pinsiders


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#1 2 years ago

Hi all,

perhaps some of you BOP owners has noticed that replacing the helmet light bulbs with LEDs makes them flicker. Since I wasn't happy with this I made my own PCB that is a "drop-in" replacement for the normal chase light board. I know there are other solutions to this problems, but they tend to at least demand that you disassemble and remove parts of the helmet and I didn't want to do that.
The replacement board uses PWM to fade the LEDs to make them behave more like a standard light bulb and there is no need for any special LEDs. The board also creates a new regulated DC supply voltage (~3-9Volt depending on a resistor on the board) for driving the LEDs which is essential to make them flicker-free. This DC supply connects to the LEDs by routing a new cable from one of the previously unused pins on a board connector and attaching it to the free-hanging cable connector leading up to the helmet (white-orange cable).
It is also possible to use the board without the PWM-function (by adding a jumper to the board) and using it as a drop-in replacement for the normal chase light board together with light bulbs. Then there is no need for the extra white-orange cable, just remove the old board and attach this new one.
I'm not quite sure how the legal part is regarding making replacement parts for pinball machines. Perhaps someone can enlighten me, and if there is any problems I will remove this post.
I did this replacement board for myself, but I have some spare boards if anyone is interested and if the legal part is okay?

Here is a video (although hard to shoot) of the board in action together with some purple/pink LEDs:

bop_helmet_control_fitted (resized).jpgbop_helmet_control_pcb (resized).jpgbop_helmet_control_supply_cable (resized).jpg
2 months later
#8 2 years ago

Great job jsa, looking good!

I have some more boards, but they are not ready to ship yet. If you are interested then send me a PM and we'll take it from there.

The board controls the light just like the original board but with added fade and no flicker.
It would be possible though to make a firmware for the board that controls the lights in a different way. Any ideas and I would try it?

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from alveolus:

Can you do the whirlpool and ramp for Creech next?

Would most likely not be a problem to fix, but I don't own a creature so I can not measure on it or test a board in it.
The same goes for the white water topper, it would be possible to do if I had the game.

#11 2 years ago

Some information, the boards are fully populated. No soldering required. You only need to add LEDs and one new cable to feed the helmet with a DC voltage from the new board.

#13 2 years ago

Hi all, the interest for the boards seems to have increased beyond the numbers I have at the moment. I'll respond to PMs later today and I'll see if I manage to fix boards for all.

#15 2 years ago

I've replied to the PM's I got and for those of you that are on the waiting list I've got good news; I've ordered some more boards and components so no one will be left without a board if you want one.

1 week later
#21 2 years ago

First batch of boards sent today. Will try to send the rest within a week.

Boards are tested before shipment, but if there should be any problems just let me know.

#22 2 years ago

First install LEDs in the helmet. Replace the old board with this new board and reuse the plastic spacers. Then you need to add a cable from the new board according to the pictures. I added a white/orange cable which is the same as the original cable feeding power to the helmet. Disconnect the 1 pin cable connector that is under the playfield/helmet and (by using whatever method you like) connect the new cable to the connector piece that is going up to the helmet. DO NOT connect this new cable to the wrong piece of the connector.

bop_helmet_control_cable (resized).jpgbop_helmet_control_connector (resized).jpg
1 week later
#28 2 years ago


MustangPaul sorry for not being clear about this. I think I wrote this privately to the first customer but forgot to mention this in the thread/information sent to you, sorry!
I have not looked up the part number for the connector, but the one ForceFlow mentioned (Molex housing 03-06-1011 together with Molex crimp socket 02-06-1103) seems correct. The wire gauge is not critical regarding current, but 22 AWG would fit the 0.156" IDC-connector going to the board and the crimp socket.

Once again, sorry about not informing you guys about the need for a cable and a connector!

1 month later
#36 1 year ago
Quoted from MightyGrave:

i installed the board with the extra cable.
But i got a strange thing... The helmet LEDs are not correctly working....
I made a Video
I changed q24 and q26 but it din't help.
Don't know what and how to check now.
Maybe you can help me and give me some input
Thank you and Best regards


it definitely looks like problems with the clock and data going into the board (most likely the data). Tried to swap back to the old board to see how it is working?
Are all LEDs on the board steady RED except the one next to the CPU which should be flashing about 1 time per second?
Can you tell me the number written on your board that you received, then I can look at my pictures to see if something seems odd.
All boards are fully tested before I ship them, but of course it's possible that something is a bit "loose" that might have moved during shipment. A cold solder joint for instance.


#39 1 year ago

Ok, can't see anything from your photos and not on my saved photos either. Let me know how it progresses on Thursday. Worst case I'll send you a new board.


5 months later
#41 1 year ago

Vimtoman you've got a PM.

Can anyone else give some feedback on how the boards has been working? I've had one case where two different boards didn't work. Since it is somewhat hard to troubleshoot via email we couldn't find the root cause.


2 weeks later
#47 1 year ago

Hi all, I've had some family issues to deal with but now all PM:s has been replied. I have some boards ready for shipment and can make a few more if needed.

Nihonmasa please send me a PM and I'll give you some more information.

4 months later
#54 1 year ago

Hi all,

I've been busy with work and haven't had time to reply to some of your PMs. I tried to reply to all unreplied messages, but if anyone has tried to contact me without receiving any answer, please sent me another PM.

FYI: I see that some of you thinks that this board is for BoP 2.0 only, but this is not the case. The board works for both original version of BoP and BoP 2.0.


4 months later
#56 9 months ago

Hi all,

I've ordered components for a couple more boards. So if someone is still interested just send me a PM.


2 months later
#57 6 months ago

Made a few more boards today because I had some requests. Anyone else in need of one let me know.

I get little feedback from buyers. This is usually a good thing, but it would be nice to hear if someone has any more feedback.


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