(Topic ID: 98819)

Classic Bally/Stern LED Adapter Kit - Vid's Review

By vid1900

7 years ago


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  • Latest reply 4 months ago by northvibe
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    There are 331 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 7.
    #101 6 years ago

    Been selling very well this time around, looks like people like the changes. First batch of 50 is sold and gone, just placed a parts order for another 50. (PLENTY of boards on hand still). Keeping them live on the website, as the parts should be here Tuesday or Wednesday. So a slight shipping delay if you order in the next couple days.

    1 week later
    #102 6 years ago

    Added these to my SI, looks awesome and got rid of the ridiculous flickering.

    IMG_20150826_212205.jpg

    4 weeks later
    #103 6 years ago

    Here's the next question, and I'm willing to fast track this one to try and hit a thanksgiving release.....

    What about 6803 Bally machines? Similar problem and solution? If you guys can help me with the info I can get rolling on a layout.

    3 weeks later
    #104 5 years ago

    Man, if this keeps up, I'll have to order more boards by the end of the year.

    #105 5 years ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    What about 6803 Bally machines? Similar problem and solution? If you guys can help me with the info I can get rolling on a layout.

    Yes, I have a BW100 and it has flicker issues too.

    I can't see why your solution wouldn't work for these machines too.

    rd

    1 week later
    #106 5 years ago

    Heard there are issues coming up with fit into EBD standard cabinets. Anybody have other machines with fit issues? Working on revisions for the next run to correct this. Would hate to have more problems pop up after doing a board run.

    #107 5 years ago

    I've bought about 8 of these things I think so far. They work great! I prefer the current version with instructions/connectors vs the original versions.

    #108 5 years ago

    Ordered my first! Thanks for a great product!

    1 week later
    #109 5 years ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    Here's the next question, and I'm willing to fast track this one to try and hit a thanksgiving release.....
    What about 6803 Bally machines? Similar problem and solution? If you guys can help me with the info I can get rolling on a layout.

    Any Stern game with speech will have issues using angled header pins. I have the first version so I'm not sure if the update is that much different. I'm not really sold on the idea that angler headers are needed. All of my games have plenty of room between the door and boards. Here are some pic with a straight header at J2:

    IMG_20151122_152607.jpg
    IMG_20151122_151845.jpg

    #110 5 years ago

    Been considering swapping back to the vertical headers for the next batch. I just don't have a machine here to verify the measurement. Looking more and more like I'll be making that change. So many variables out there sometimes, hard to catch them all.

    #111 5 years ago

    Perfect time for suggestions on updates to the next run of PCB's. Down to 40 left, so will be having to do another run soon at the rate they're selling. The current batch should last till end of the year unless I get hit with vendor restocks.

    So far I'm going to be trimming down the size a bit, moving the markings around, and swapping back to the vertical headers on the top.
    Taking out the holes for the bottom entry connectors (don't use them anymore). Also going to rotate the 23pin board around 180 degrees, for more clearance.

    Anything else you guys can think of?

    -Hans

    2 weeks later
    #112 5 years ago

    10 sets left before I have to order more PCB's. Almost 250 sets sold at this point. Won't be placing that order till after Christmas as I don't want to take in more inventory this fiscal year for tax purposes.

    Swapped back to vertical headers for all orders now, to help with fit issues. Next PCB revision is going to shrink a bit and a little more alignment tweaking. No functional changes planned otherwise.

    Starting layout work for aux board versions as well, finances are looking good for a new product intro in the January / February time frame. Now is a great time for requests and suggestions before it goes to the board house.

    #113 5 years ago

    Could use some help on layout work for adapters on the aux lamp driver board.

    Most games look like it's going to be easy to do a layout, due to the aux board being located on the back side of the insert panel. But I can't find photos of all games to confirm that's the location. So far I haven't seen photos of the board locations for Kiss, Future Spa, Space Invaders, Eight Ball Deluxe (All versions), Fireball 2, Speak Easy.

    The big question is, how much room is there between the aux lamp board, and whatever it folds up against? I'd need about an inch additional clearance most likely, or I'd have to revert to right angle headers. Mr/Mrs Pac would have to have vertical headers due to clearance issues.... it's a real tight fit in there.

    #114 5 years ago

    Does anyone know if the solutions discussed here also apply for Zaccaria Gen2 (Farfalla)?

    #115 5 years ago

    If they do, I'll heavily consider making a set. I'm told I does work with gameplan

    3 weeks later
    #116 5 years ago

    Got in the 3rd version of the Bally/Stern boards today. Whipped one up real quick to do an assembly verification. Here's a pair of photos to show the updates.

    This shows the whole sets, I kinda mixed them up a bit, whoops. Anyway. You can see all the board sizes were tightened up a bit by eliminating the extra holes originally used for bottom entry connectors. The boards on the right side are the 23 pin adapters, which were having the issue with fit in some machines.

    IMGP5193_(resized).JPG

    The re-arranged layout, and smaller board size, are shown better here. I mounted them both onto a header to measure the amount of change, and it moves that troublesome left edge over 0.6 inches. This should keep it within the outer dimensions of the lamp driver boards. With the male header moved over it should also be easier to plug the wire connector in. Not as easy to see is that I'm also moving to longer pins on the headers as per feedback I've received on the connector sizing.

    IMGP5194_(resized).JPG

    I do have 4 sets left of the old style, and I'll be shipping those before starting to ship the new. But if you have a machine with clearance issues just let me know and I can make sure you get the latest revision. Other than the dimensional changes the two revisions are electrically identical.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #117 5 years ago

    Nice job Hans!

    3 weeks later
    #118 5 years ago

    Any plans for 6803 machine support? I have a Bally / Midway Grand Slam that uses an AS-2518-147 lamp/solenoid combo driver board

    #119 5 years ago

    I've gotten conflicting reports on the 6803's if this is needed or not. I'm working through prototyping right now on an automotive project, then plan on going into adapters for the aux lamp boards in the earlier sets.

    I'm all for making boards to go with the 6803's too ... just want to make sure you guys really need them before sinking all the cash into doing a run.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #120 5 years ago

    Prototype PCB's have been ordered for the AUX lamp driver boards. These were a challenge. I wanted to get a single PCB design that could be for both style Aux boards, which meant it has to cover 3 different styles due to differences in pinouts. Doing this, instead of 3 different PCB layouts, will allow me to reduce the per-unit price of the bare PCB. Helps me keep cost and price down as much as possible.

    So I had to come up with a layout that I could stuff with different components in order to electrically function right for each location. I also had to keep it as small as possible in order to physically fit on the AUX boards but not extend anywhere outside the footprint of the AUX board due to some very tight layouts. (I'm looking at YOU, Mr. and Mrs. Pac!).

    Target price is $15.00 MSRP for the AS-2518-43 Aux board, and $30 for the AS-2518-52 Aux board. Not sure yet on final pricing, or when I'll have them for sale. Should have the protos with me at MGC though.

    bally_aux_adapter_(resized).jpg

    #121 5 years ago

    Nice work Hans!

    1 week later
    #122 5 years ago

    Guys, I've run in to a couple issues with my machine and these boards.
    1. About 1/3 of the lamps continue to flash as though there was no board in place.
    2. A couple lights do not work at all when these boards are installed, but work when removed.
    3. When these boards are installed, they seem to interfere with the game logic, and at some point during gameplay the pop bumpers just die. This doesn't happen when boards are removed.

    Any ideas where to start troubleshooting?

    #123 5 years ago

    Turns out that I had installed the 23 pin connector upside down with the pins facing inwards towards the lamp board. I've corrected this mistake by installing the a new pin where i had snipped incorrectly, and cutting the now correct pin.

    I fear i have caused some damage to the 23pin board as this does not correct my problem with flashing LEDs.

    Also with these boards installed there are 10 lamps (I can list them if it helps) which do not work, but do work when boards are removed.

    When boards are removed there are only 2 lamps which do not work. I traced these in the manual and tested their respective transistors and they appear to be fine. Might be time to repin a few connectors.

    Can anyone assist?

    #124 5 years ago
    Quoted from Sinbad:

    Turns out that I had installed the 23 pin connector upside down with the pins facing inwards towards the lamp board. I've corrected this mistake by installing the a new pin where i had snipped incorrectly, and cutting the now correct pin.
    I fear i have caused some damage to the 23pin board as this does not correct my problem with flashing LEDs.
    Also with these boards installed there are 10 lamps (I can list them if it helps) which do not work, but do work when boards are removed.
    When boards are removed there are only 2 lamps which do not work. I traced these in the manual and tested their respective transistors and they appear to be fine. Might be time to repin a few connectors.
    Can anyone assist?

    Do you mean you installed the 23-pin led adapter board onto the lamp board header, then may have reversed the 23-pin connector when plugging that into the led adapter board? I wouldn't think that would matter -- it'd connect to SCRs either way, just that the wrong lamps would be lighting up.

    Have you checked solder points on all the headers on the back of the lamp driver board? Often those are cracked/cold and you can actually wiggle the pins. The lamps can still work since the solder is hugging the pin, but any temp changes in the backbox will make/break the connection. Just a thought of something to check, even though you said without the adapter board in place the lamps light.

    #125 5 years ago

    I have found that you can get flickering from three issues on the board. First is connectors. Rebuild suspect connectors particularly the red Bally IDC connectors. Second, if there is a group of lights flickering check the schematic and if they all (or most) trace back to the same decoder chip (U1-U4) replace it. Third, if there is one or a few random lights flickering replace the associated SCR. I have found that LEDs are a lot more sensitive to weak components than standard bulbs. I've seen SCRs test out fine but the LED still flickers. Replace the SCR and it is happy.

    #126 5 years ago

    I'm currently at work, so can't dig too much into this right now, but will look into it when I get home later.

    Did I let another set ship without trimming the key pins? I need to figure out a way stop doing that.

    #127 5 years ago

    So to clarify the 23 pin error, I cut the correct pin, however I had the board facing inwards. Harness connector was connected correctly and not upside down.

    Thinking this was the issue, I removed/desoldered the pin that should've been cut in the first place and soldered it into the pin I cut originally. Then I turned the adapter board board 180degrees so the header pins are facing outwards as per the photos in this forum. I'm not sure that this even really matters given we are just dealing with resistor blocks , so long as the harness was installed properly.

    Perhaps the issue lies elsewhere, such as lamp board or even connector pins?

    #128 5 years ago
    Quoted from Superchicken:

    Third, if there is one or a few random lights flickering replace the associated SCR. I have found that LEDs are a lot more sensitive to weak components than standard bulbs. I've seen SCRs test out fine but the LED still flickers. Replace the SCR and it is happy.

    I seem to remember having this same problem and the same fix. Regular bulb worked fine, LED did not until SCR was replaced.

    #129 5 years ago

    I've had a few cases come by where faulty SCR's have caused lamps to still flicker, even with the adapters, and it's been very rare for one to keep flickering even after the SCR's were replaced. If there's a LOT of lamps, then looking at U1-U4 would be in order, which can be a pain to figure out without sitting there and staring at lamps and making a list.

    The only way I can think that having the board reversed like that would damage anything, would be if something on the bottom side was shorted against a something on the lamp driver board. There are a few test points in the vicinity that could potentially cause an issue.
    You are correct that having it reversed shouldn't affect the operation of the board, assuming nothing got shorted out, as all the pins are electrically the same.

    I've also changed connectors, as I did have a few reports that the pins needed to be longer to properly make contact inside the wire harness housing. So if the lamps aren't working at all, you may need to check that everything is fully seated. If you have one with the right angle connectors on it, you can bend them upward a bit to get more depth for the wiring connector. Those right angle connectors didn't work out as nice as I would have liked them to.

    -Hans

    #130 5 years ago

    Why would a selection of globes not work with the boards in place, yet work when removed?

    #131 5 years ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    Got in the 3rd version of the Bally/Stern boards today. Whipped one up real quick to do an assembly verification. Here's a pair of photos to show the updates.
    This shows the whole sets, I kinda mixed them up a bit, whoops. Anyway. You can see all the board sizes were tightened up a bit by eliminating the extra holes originally used for bottom entry connectors. The boards on the right side are the 23 pin adapters, which were having the issue with fit in some machines.
    IMGP5193_(resized).JPG
    The re-arranged layout, and smaller board size, are shown better here. I mounted them both onto a header to measure the amount of change, and it moves that troublesome left edge over 0.6 inches. This should keep it within the outer dimensions of the lamp driver boards. With the male header moved over it should also be easier to plug the wire connector in. Not as easy to see is that I'm also moving to longer pins on the headers as per feedback I've received on the connector sizing.
    IMGP5194_(resized).JPG
    I do have 4 sets left of the old style, and I'll be shipping those before starting to ship the new. But if you have a machine with clearance issues just let me know and I can make sure you get the latest revision. Other than the dimensional changes the two revisions are electrically identical.
    -Hans

    OK. Been busy. What did I miss ? I have 7 sets of these and could not be happier. They are fantastic.... Anything I need to get involved in.

    -1
    #132 5 years ago
    Quoted from Classic_Stern:

    OK. Been busy. What did I miss ? I have 7 sets of these and could not be happier. They are fantastic.... Anything I need to get involved in.

    Sure, could help us diagnose why I'm having flashing LEDs even with these boards installed? Take a quick read of previous posts. Thanks

    #133 5 years ago
    Quoted from Sinbad:

    Why would a selection of globes not work with the boards in place, yet work when removed?

    It's a difference in the "on current" needed for each SCR.. some take more current than others to latch fully on. They weren't really meant for such low current lamps. Using regular lamps there's no issue since they use plenty of current.. over 100ma I think. LEDs use far less current. The adapter boards help in most cases by adding a bit of additional load to help the SCR latch, but some SCRs may still require even more load than what the resistor network is providing. Switching the SCR out gets you a different SCR that may not take as much current to latch.. that's why that works for some people still seeing a few lamps flicker. You could also add additional load by wiring a resistor at the socket for the problem lamps.

    #134 5 years ago

    Thanks for the above that makes sense, I just wonder why others haven't reported this issue prior.

    I did some investigating and have concluded that U1 and connector J1 are probably the culprits here...see attachment.

    IMAG2590.jpg

    #135 5 years ago
    Quoted from Sinbad:

    Thanks for the above that makes sense, I just wonder why others haven't reported this issue prior.
    I did some investigating and have concluded that U1 and connector J1 are probably the culprits here...see attachment.

    IMAG2590.jpg

    It's come up some.. even on old RGP threads & Pinside threads where people were adding resistors to lamp sockets. Basically where these adapters came from was years of people discussing fixing lamp flicker by soldering resistors to lamp sockets to add additional parallel load for the SCR to latch fully on. Eventually someone (Pac-Fan) decided to perf board adapters that connected onto the LDB, to get around soldering a huge number of resistors under the playfield and instead move them to a plug-in adapter board. Then these adapters (Siegecraft) were born from that. Through the evolution, there was never a one-shot resistance value that solved the problem in all cases. It's a compromise. Some people solved it with 1k resistors, some people said 470ohm did the trick. I think these adapters are using 1k ohm? Not 100% sure on that. But in any case, there was never a perfect science to it. A few SCRs sometimes don't play nice and either need to be replaced or have additional load added to them (via resistor on the lamp socket). Bad headers, cracked solder joints at the headers, fatigued pins could also cause problems not fixable by a plug-in adapter.

    I hadn't realized U1-U4 could partially work as others had mentioned. I'd have thought those would either work or not, but then I haven't fixed up 100s of these boards either to know all the failure points.

    #136 5 years ago
    Quoted from Sinbad:

    Why would a selection of globes not work with the boards in place, yet work when removed?

    Try this. With the boards installed, replace the non-working LEDs with regular bulbs. If they work, you'll need to replace the associated SCRs, then try the LEDs again.

    #137 5 years ago

    Thanks for that quick history lesson, appreciated.

    I thinking start with remaining the solder points in the lamp board and repining the connectors, if that fails, I'll replace U1.

    Gives me plenty to do this weekend, I'll report back , hopefully with a fix, by the weekend.
    Thanks all!

    #138 5 years ago
    Quoted from dothedoo:

    Try this. With the boards installed, replace the non-working LEDs with regular bulbs. If they work, you'll need to replace the associated SCRs, then try the LEDs again.

    Very true, instant resistance/load added via regular bulbs.

    #139 5 years ago
    Quoted from Classic_Stern:

    OK. Been busy. What did I miss ? I have 7 sets of these and could not be happier. They are fantastic.... Anything I need to get involved in.

    Electrically, no changes since the first run. All dimensional changes based on customer feedback. Every time I do a new run of anything I do my best to include reports from the field.

    In some games J4 is basically right up against the side of the backbox. So I had to revise the layout to make it smaller, and move it over far enough that the adapter doesn't extend past the edge of the lamp driver board. I also had some reports of the right angle headers making it too hard to fit the connector (Plus making the J4 issue much worse), so I went back to vertical headers. Also went with longer pins on the headers too, due to variations in the depth of the connector housings on the machine wiring harness.

    It's not common, but a few people have had machines with a large number of LED's that still strobe, which is what we're helping Sinbad with. I didn't see mention of which LED's he was using. I wonder if they may be more basic ones, with an extremely low draw. It's really hard to keep up with all the new LED's coming out these days.

    #140 5 years ago

    Oh, forgot to put this in the previous post...

    My sets are using 1k resistor SIP's.

    #141 5 years ago

    LEDs I'm using are basic frosted style warm whites.
    Here is a more accurate list of the data.

    IMAG2591.jpg

    #142 5 years ago
    Quoted from Sinbad:

    LEDs I'm using are basic frosted style warm whites.
    Here is a more accurate list of the data.

    IMAG2591.jpg

    Based on your spreadsheet, I would replace the J1 headers and rebuild the J1 connector. It is really hard to see cold solder joints on the .100 header pins. While I have the desoldering iron out I would also swap out U2.

    #143 5 years ago

    U2 or U1 or both?

    #144 5 years ago

    Might as well do both.

    #145 5 years ago
    Quoted from Sinbad:

    U2 or U1 or both?

    Try replacing the affected led lamps with regular lamps first (with the adapters still plugged in) and see if the lamps then work.

    From your spreadsheet it looks like a good mix of U1/U2 driven lamps.. you may just be dealing with solder joints on headers and/or just differences in SCRs due to manufacturing or age -- as far as the amount of current they take to stay latched on. Of course you can also try a resistor at the lamp socket with the led bulb in there (470ohm or so).

    It'd look like this..
    http://www.jeff-z.com/pinball/startrek/repair/led-001.jpg

    You could probably just hold onto the resistor body itself and have the leads touch like in the picture & see if it stops the flickering. Then you know just slightly more current for that SCR helped it to latch.

    I don't really buy replacing U1-U4 just yet.. mainly because it's not just all U1 or U2 lamps.. it's a mix.. and then there's also U3 driven lamp thrown in there.

    #146 5 years ago

    Well, I'm pretty sure that it isn't any of U1-U4.
    I reflowed the solder on each header pin and U1-4 on the lamp board, and it has corrected some, but not all of the issues. There could be more issues on the lamp board but am unsure at the moment. I'll proceed with repining the connectors and see from there. They need doing so may as well start there.

    #147 5 years ago
    Quoted from Sinbad:

    Well, I'm pretty sure that it isn't any of U1-U4.
    I reflowed the solder on each header pin and U1-4 on the lamp board, and it has corrected some, but not all of the issues. There could be more issues on the lamp board but am unsure at the moment. I'll proceed with repining the connectors and see from there. They need doing so may as well start there.

    Agree. With the chips it is usually all or nothing. What gets missed sometimes with the chips is there are flashing bulbs and the decoding is wrong. Most of my games are Classic Stern and their documentation isn't nearly as good as Bally. Sometimes I've needed to swap the board into a fully working Bally game to troubleshoot. The schematics are much better when trying to connect all of the dots.

    Also, I've noticed on Stern games with voice, the VSU-100 board comes into play. In fact, I can run LEDs on the playfield without the adapter kit and no flicker. The controlled lights in the backbox still flicker though. I guess the VSU-100 board (or added set of connectors) create enough resistance to keep the LEDs latched.

    #148 5 years ago

    ok more testing today, removed the leds that were strobing and replaced with incandescent globes, strobing stops, suprise suprise.
    so i try the resistor trick using a 90k resistor (all i had) but no luck.

    i also repinned a few wires of either strobing globes or non working globes, but that didnt fix anything, so....

    not sure where to from here, how do i fix strobing, unsure.

    regarding dead globes entirely, i'll have to replace a few transistors and see...

    any comments, im starting to lose hope and motivation...

    #149 5 years ago

    Replace the SCRs for the LEDs that are still strobing.

    #150 5 years ago

    90K is not going to add any appreciable load. With the existing 1K, another 1K across the socket would take it down to around 500 ohm's. Which is pretty close to the 470 ohm's some of us already use to stop the flickering.

    There are 331 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 7.

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