(Topic ID: 98819)

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

By vid1900

7 years ago


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    #23 7 years ago

    Damn! That writeup makes ME want to place an order, and I'm the guy selling the things. I am working on assembly jigs to help with assembly until I get the final push done to get the wave solder running. Otherwise they are just about ready to go into production. Once I confirm there are no variations, I'll be handling the keying pins too.

    Assembled sets should be available soon, but I will have to check on a connector change for a couple Stern board PCB versions to clear some mounting screws.

    Vid, You rock! I owe ya one.

    #26 7 years ago

    Glad I could be of service! I'm printing the last assembly jig right now while starting to set up the assembly for the first batch of 48. These will use the bottom entry connections, so they'll fit both Bally revisions of the lamp driver board, but I'm told there are some standoff spacing issues on the Stern LDA-100 Rev B and Rev C.

    Slow going with hand soldering these, so I'll only be able to do a few sets a day. I'll probably have them up on the website tomorrow, but there may be a shipping delay depending on how fast I can get them assembled.

    #29 7 years ago

    Building will be a bit slow, only able to do a couple sets an hours, and not THAT many hours available. Still hand soldering everything. But they are up on the website. First come, first served. I have enough boards on hand for 98 sets, and components for 48. I'll order more if these run out, so don't worry about that. Just be aware the first batch will be trickling out slowly, and there may be a delay between this and the 2nd batch when the time comes.

    Also, the bottom entry connectors will NOT fit the Stern LDA-100 Rev B or Stern LDA-100 Rev C. I'll be taking care of that issue in a week or two with a different style connector.

    Photos later, Vid's writeup gives you more than I ever could on the shopping cart, so I'd rather focus time on assembly right now. I will be trimming the keying pins as I go.

    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=44&controller=product&id_lang=1

    -Hans

    #31 7 years ago

    Fixed the problem on the shopping cart that was preventing orders, so they (really this time) are available for order now.

    -Hans

    #34 7 years ago

    Once I get the time, I only have one thing left to take care of before putting my wave solder into production, and that will speed things up quite a lot for production work. As it is, I am keeping ahead of orders without a problem.

    -Hans

    #37 7 years ago

    I've had a few people ask me about offering these in kit form...... give me a week or two, need to order more parts for that and have to figure out pricing. But yes, I'll offer these as kits.

    -Hans

    2 weeks later
    #40 7 years ago

    Sorry I haven't had a chance to start packaging DIY kits yet. Had a part mixup again and am short on some connectors. Ordering the connectors this weekend.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #41 7 years ago

    Parts for the DIY kits are ordered, should be here in a few days, and I have enough to cover between now and when they arrive. So I'm opening them up for sale now.

    This gives 3 ways now to get your hands on these adapters for you machines.

    Bare circuit boards only for $15
    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=43&controller=product&id_lang=1

    DIY kits, with all parts included, but not assembled for $30
    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=48&controller=product&id_lang=1

    Complete kits, fully assembled, for $45
    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=44&controller=product&id_lang=1

    1 week later
    #44 7 years ago

    I want to make something for the aux driver board, no doubt about it, but have a pair of hurdles to overcome first.....

    1. I don't have one of the aux boards, so I need some community help to nail down the design. I'm not a bally guy.
    2. I need to save up some funding for boards and parts, my last couple projects completely tapped me out.

    -Hans

    1 month later
    #51 7 years ago

    Fall season is upon us, and I'm feeling generous.

    Until the end of 2014, I'll be doing bulk pricing on these.
    4 for the price of 3, 7 for the price of 5, 15 for the price of 10.

    Applies on bare boards, DIY kits, and assembled sets.

    PM or e-mail me to take advantage of it, until I can get the cart set up to recognize this.

    (Also did a permanent $15 price drop on the Williams Bench Displays for 6-7 digit machines, that's already live on the website)

    -Hans

    #53 7 years ago
    Quoted from dothedoo:

    Not to throw a monkey wrench into this, but I put 4 LEDs in one of my Sterns (no Aux lamp driver) and they behave like incandescents until a certain number of playfield lights are lit, like 20 or so, then they begin to flicker and get worse as more bulbs are lit.

    Wait, you're seeing this WITH my adapters, or without?

    Edit;
    Got confirmation on this, it was without adapters installed yet.
    Had to make sure.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #56 6 years ago

    Ordering the stern compatible connectors today, should have those sets available in about a week.

    #60 6 years ago

    Bare boards will be the same, but will use different connectors to give standoff distance. If I sell out and do another board run, I will probably just make it standard. Just one of those quirks that come up when things are in the field that don't always get caught in development.

    1 week later
    #62 6 years ago

    Yep, first sets of the Stern are in the wild, just haven't had a chance yet to put them on the website.
    They ARE available though. Hoping to get the site updated tomorrow.

    Went with right angle male connectors as I don't have exact measurements for vertical clearance, and didn't want to risk the extra height bumping into a display or the light board.

    -Hans

    #63 6 years ago

    Stern styles are up and listed now for both assembled sets and kits.

    The Stern type will actually work for all generations of machines, but if you know it's going into a Bally machine, please buy them up first so I can clear out those connectors. Next run will be universal.

    3 weeks later
    #64 6 years ago

    Since the whole holiday shopping season is about it hit, I'm just re-posting this to keep it on the active page.

    Until the end of 2014, I'll be doing bulk pricing on these.
    4 for the price of 3, 7 for the price of 5, 15 for the price of 10.

    Applies on bare boards, DIY kits, and assembled sets. PM or e-mail me to take advantage of it.

    Good for either style kit, Bally or Stern. There may be some shipping delays, at times I have trouble keeping up with assembling these if a big order comes in. Only able to keep a couple of each style at most assembled at any given time.

    -Hans

    #67 6 years ago

    Yep, on sale for $30 per set through December 1st, part of my Black Friday sale package.

    Having trouble keeping up this week, sale has been very successful so far, so I just had to order a heap of parts for these and other things. So it's basically from the soldering iron to the mailbox right now on these.

    -Hans

    3 weeks later
    #71 6 years ago

    Glad to be of service!

    Only one week left to take advantage of the bulk deal, 4 for the price of 3, 7 for the price of 5, 15 for the price of 10. Have enough boards for 35 more sets right now, definitely been selling very well for me. PM or e-mail me to take advantage of the deal.

    Out of curiosity, how are you guys doing with the length of wire I'm including? Am I including too little? too much? I go through a LOT of 22 gauge wire and am trying to better target how much I'm including.

    -Hans

    #76 6 years ago

    Instructions should be coming soon, just been absolutely swamped the past couple months. Hoping to get them made up during the next week or two. To be honest, I've been so worn out I have basically been running on autopilot and it completely slipped my mind.

    If you guys are finishing with 6-8" of wire left, I won't change it. Gives some room for error, and I would prefer supplying a bit too much than coming up a mm short.

    #78 6 years ago

    It's a pinside only offer, either PM or e-mail me and I can get it set up for you

    #79 6 years ago

    Just a couple days left on the sale....

    #84 6 years ago

    No, these only work for early 'classic' sterns from the 70's and early 80's, based on early Bally designs.
    Modern sega/stern designs are completely different.

    #85 6 years ago

    Now down to 11 Bally and 6 Stern style sets on the initial run. I'm very thankful to all of you who have bought these, and am starting to plan on updates/changes to the second run. Now would be the perfect time to ask you guys for suggestions and requests for things you'd like updated.

    Here's my list of things that I plan on doing already....
    Make some proper instructions.
    Have the keying pins pre-cut.
    Cleaning up the silkscreen.
    Take off the 2nd power header on the 23 pin board.

    Anything else you guys would like to see?

    -Hans

    5 months later
    #87 6 years ago

    I just set these to clearance pricing of $30 per set until I am out of stock. I need to get rid of the last parts in the first batch, so I can start working on the Rev2 run. This is the last time I will be offering them at this price.

    -Hans

    3 weeks later
    #90 6 years ago

    Next run of boards just arrived today, parts will be here in about a week. So I'll open up for orders once the parts arrive.
    MSRP is not changing, still $45 per set.

    -Hans

    2 weeks later
    #91 6 years ago

    Been unbelievably busy the past few weeks, and had to finish up a wholesale order first. Just a few more days and I'll have these up for sale again.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #92 6 years ago

    All the parts are here, one last minute change I want to make is pre-assembled wiring harnesses.
    If somebody could give me the external dimensions of a lamp driver board, I'd be quite grateful.
    I oddly enough don't have one here right now.

    #95 6 years ago

    Much thanks.

    My wrist already hurts from all the crimping. I need a flywheel press.
    Maybe next year.

    #97 6 years ago

    Yep, these are the Rev 2's. All of them will have the Stern style connectors, so universal compatibility. A lot of cleaned up silkscreening, as I really goofed up markigns on the first batch. Pre-cut keying pins. Pre-assembled harness. And Instructions!!!!!!

    I just need to fulfill an open purchase order on them before I can start the general sale on my site.

    -Hans

    #98 6 years ago

    Ok, one last question for the night. I just want to really make sure I get these things right for all of you.....

    From the 23 pin board, to the power tap.....
    Would you guys want 18" of wire? or 24"?

    #100 6 years ago

    New versions will be going live on the website some time this weekend, still struggling to keep up with a backlog of things to assemble, I'm pretty much building to keep up with orders. So they might be a touch slow to ship.

    MB-07-011.jpg

    Edit:
    Up on the website now. Assembly instructions are there for download too. (Found that feature today in the shopping cart)
    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=44&controller=product&id_lang=1

    1 month later
    #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 month 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.

    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.

    1 week later
    #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.

    #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 month later
    #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

    1 week later
    #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.

    #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

    #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.

    1 week later
    #164 5 years ago

    Yeah, that's why I hesitated to go lower than 1k on the SIP resistors. But there is some room for me to lower the resistance if people keep having issues like this pop up. It's uncommon for sure, but it does happen, and that's enough for it to have my attention. I might just build up a few sets with lower ohm resistors in them to hold onto for somebody reporting a problem board set, to see if it does help the issue.

    It's part of the problem with making any kind of adapter, conversion, or accessory for machines as old as these Bally's. Tolerances back then were so much wider, then add in 30 years of performance degradation, and trying to do things that weren't part of the design envelope at the time. It's never easy to get a handle on all the variables.

    I do appreciate the words of support, plus all the honest feedback. It all really helps me to keep making these better.

    Which reminds me, I'll have prototypes on display at MGC of sets for both style aux lamp boards. Unfortunately, they're not ready for Beta testing yet, next small run though will be. Had do a couple of changes already, once I had them in-hand and worked on assembly. Some electrical, some just dimensional.

    -Hans

    #166 5 years ago

    I wish I could, they don't come any longer than the ones I use.

    4 weeks later
    #173 5 years ago

    Freebie offer!

    I have one set now, and two more sets in about a week, of prototypes for the -52 AUX lamp boards. This is the bigger board with dual output headers. Want a set free? You can have one! Just shoot me a PM.

    Here's the catch. They're prototypes, so I'll need some feedback on a few things. Functionality, clearance, and wiring harness length in particular. I 'THINK' they're going to fit and function, but I haven't confirmed it yet. That's why I'm sending them out free. You'll also have to assemble your own wiring harnes. I'll include some cut-down connectors, wire, and crimps .... but you'll have to figure out length and report back.

    -Hans

    #175 5 years ago

    Space Invaders, Xenon, Flash Gordon, Eight Ball Deluxe (all versions), Fireball II, Embryon, Fathom, Medusa, Elektra, Vector, Speakeasy, Mr/Mrs Pac.

    1 week later
    #182 5 years ago

    Ok, I have Vid and Dave down for samples of the aux boards. One more set to allocate here, free if you provide feedback!
    I'll try to get them all out this weekend. I am honestly buried in things to do right now.

    #184 5 years ago

    Glad you like them, and Pinball Life has been real good to me with these.

    All the samples have been claimed, hoping to have them sent out on Monday. Just a matter of finding time to assemble in between paying customers.

    #192 5 years ago

    Vid. .. much appeciated. Hoping to have this on the market soon, Vid got one of the first prototypes for the aux boards. Waiting for some more long term feedback before pulling the trigger, and have two more sets either shipped or about to ship.

    How is clearance on the back side in regards to the those SCR's? Think I need to move the connectors tighter together? Work ok with the lamps?

    -Hans

    2 weeks later
    #196 5 years ago

    Good feedback folks, I really appreciate it. I'm just a bit paranoid about dimensional issues popping up in the future, which bit me a few times on the main adapter sets. So if you have any other machines where that aux board is a very tight fit, and might have some interference, let me know if any problems come up.

    -Hans

    #198 5 years ago

    That's one thing I'm considering. I'm also looking at how close I can get those two connector headers. For a lot of us fishpaper would be perfect, but I just know there will be somebody who leaves it out and then blames me a damaged board.

    -Hans

    2 weeks later
    #207 5 years ago

    It's on the list, right after the aux board adapters for the -17/-35's. I just can't promise a timeframe just yet

    -Hans

    #208 5 years ago

    Found a solution to the issues with the aux board adapters, I hope. I'm going to move away from the SIP resistors and use surface mount instead. This will very nicely clear up a pair of problems with the aux boards that have been my main hurdles.

    First is making it easier to substitute components between the various different adapter board locations. I won't have to use some funky pinout location setup for various SIP resistor sizes. I can put pads for each potential resistor location and just place the parts as needed.

    Second is having thru-hole components on the backside that risk grounding against the lamp driver SCR's. SMT resistors will only have traces on the top side in that area, so the risk is eliminated.

    Some additional benefits are standard fare for surface mount parts. I can stock just a single resistor size for all versions of the aux boards, instead of 3-4 sizes of SIP's. SMD resistors are much less expensive too. Overall this makes a huge difference in inventory complexity and cost. Then there's the reduction in the trace complexity, which lets me shrink the PCB down a lot too.

    So time to get the 2nd set of prototypes ordered up.

    Also decided to stick with .156 headers on the wiring harness, same as the main lamp driver adapters, instead of the .100's. Again mainly for parts commonality and inventory cost reduction reasons.

    3 weeks later
    #209 5 years ago

    Been a busy month, finally some free time, processing the order for the next batch for AUX adapters tomorrow morning.
    The dimensions on this version are going to work out much better and clear up all the issues with the previous version.
    So I'll call this a limited edition pre-production batch instead of prototype, and will put them up for sale as long as there are no assembly issues.

    Only difference between this small run and the production boards are these won't have the green solder mask on them.

    MB-08-010_(resized).JPG

    1 week later
    #210 5 years ago

    Aux pre-production boards are here, parts will be here tomorrow, then we start assembling. These are a very limited run, prior to the main production run which is still a month or two out.

    I've also received the message loud and clear. Clear the docket, time to start my next project.
    6803 LED adapter development has started.

    -Hans

    #212 5 years ago

    That and zaccharia eventually

    #213 5 years ago

    Anybody have a dead 6803 board they're willing to sell cheap? I'd like to do a printout and make sure this fits the headers......

    MB-09_Proto_(resized).JPG

    #214 5 years ago

    Pre-production boards are here for the AUX lamp drivers. I'll be making a couple tweaks on the production version, but nothing signifcant. Just shrinking one side of the PCB for a bit more clearance between the PCB's on the -52 version aux driver. The board house had to extend the vertical dimension by a bit to qualify for the prototyping deal, which gives me a bit more room for silkscreening.

    The only real problem I came across was that I did the pads for 1206 sized resistors, and I ordered 0805's instead, so they're a bit small for the pads. They'll work for this batch, but production boards will be using the correct size resistors.

    Here's what one looks like fitted to a -43 board, and another photo of both the -43 and -52 sets.

    If anybody wants from this batch, I am willing to sell them (wiring harnesses will be included). $10 for the -43 sets, and $20 for the -52 sets. I have parts on hand for 3 of the -52's and 2 of the -43's. Just shoot me a PM if interested.

    Full production boards I don't have pricing for yet, but they will of course have the full green soldermask and silkscreening.

    MB-09_photo_3_(resized).JPGMB-09_photo_2_(resized).JPGMB-09_photo_1_(resized).JPG

    2 weeks later
    #215 5 years ago

    Order went in today for the full production version PCB's, 300 boards, enough for 100 of each set.
    Should be here in 2-3 weeks. I just need to finalize the packaging and make instruction sheets for them.

    Pricing on the -52 sets will be $30 retail, and for the -43 will be $17.50
    Wholesale pricing is also available.

    If anybody wants the pre-production boards, they're still available.

    #216 5 years ago

    Wholesale Pricing Pre-Sale on the AUX board adapters.

    PCB's area already on the way here. I should be shipping within two weeks on the AUX versions of the LED adapters.
    Before giving a full announcement in its own thread, I'm going to offer up a pre-sale on these, at wholesale prices.

    -43 adapters for $12.50, instead of $17.50
    -52 adapters for $21.50 instead of $30.00

    Sale price lasts until they start shipping. Once the first one goes out the door ... price goes to regular retail
    Take advantage while you can ... this price is only going to be around for a week or two.

    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=63&controller=product&id_lang=1
    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=62&controller=product&id_lang=1

    #218 5 years ago

    Trying a new board supplier, in order to reduce cost, and I think the surface mount is going to work out very well for these.
    Game Plan may happen sooner than I expected. I want to fill out the rest of the Bally lineup first then Game Plan, then Zaccaria.

    Which reminds me .... just ordered the prototype run for 6803's this morning as well. Just about to do a separate announcement post for all these things.

    -Hans

    2 months later
    #223 4 years ago

    Just realized I'm running low on PCB's again for the main lamp driver style adapters, looks like I'll be needing to do 4th run of them soon.
    Wow, 4 runs now, that's just crazy. Perfect time to put in requests for things you think need to be updated.

    I'm considering changing over to surface mount resistors like I've been using on the AUX adapter sets.
    This would theoretically reduce labor time, simplify logistics, and reduce the size a bit more too.
    Plus the SMT resistors I've been using are 1/4w instead of 1/8w like the SIP's are, so I can reduce the resistance value a bit more and that should improve the occasional SCR that won't latch with 1k resistors. I've been using 750 ohm on the aux boards.

    -Hans

    2 weeks later
    #225 4 years ago

    Making another call for Beta Testers, if anybody is interested.

    Need 4 testers for 6803 style adapters, AUX adapters, and one or two for the classic style main adapters.

    6803 and AUX adapters, have some more in-depth technical questions I'd like to dig into.
    Or, if you're an electrical whiz and already have an AUX set, I've got a couple oddball questions that may help me tremendously.

    Main adapter style is just to test some potential new connectors, would like somebody that has both Stern and Bally machines.

    E-mail to [email protected] please. Otherwise I have too many places to check.

    -Hans

    #227 4 years ago

    Vid, if you could answer a big question I have on the AUX boards, it'd be awesome. Could you shoot me an e-mail ([email protected]), as it's something that could either be a fantastic change, or could fry some stuff, so I'd rather not say it in the open here in case some random guy 3 years from now tries it out of context.

    -Hans

    #229 4 years ago

    No worries, will be going through my e-mails in the morning on this.

    -Hans

    #231 4 years ago

    Updated version of the base model bally/stern adapters has been ordered, about 2 weeks till delivery. With holiday sales time about to begin I hope they're here in time! Only 13 sets left from the previous run.

    -Hans

    1 month later
    #232 4 years ago

    Let me present the 4th run of the MA-07 LED adapters, new part number MA-07-020. I have two sets left of the previous version, and will be shipping those out before shipping the new ones. With the SMT resistors, I can assemble as a single PCB and ship without breaking them apart. Will make things a bit easier for me to assemble and package. Also marks 600 complete sets sold since I started doing these.

    Trying a different style bottom connector on 10 adapter sets. If they work out well I'll switch completely, if not I'll keep with the Molex connectors I had been using, which do work fine .... just a pain to assemble and manage the inventory since I need so many of them per set. The new ones are 1 connector per adapter board.

    -Hans

    MB-07-020 (resized).JPG

    #234 4 years ago
    Quoted from Coyote:

    Interesting..
    Why didn't you use a resistor array, to help minimize parts? Just curious..

    To give more overhead in the wattage rating. Arrays would only be good up to 6.8v, as that's when you'd hit the 62.5mw rating on the arrays. Too close for comfort.

    Discreet resistors are good for at least 250mw in this size, which will be good to 13.7v with the 750ohm size I'm using in this run.

    I ordered them with the resistors already assembled to the boards as well. Having somebody else do the work via machine is a hell of a lot easier than doing them myself by hand. So it made took the extra parts count out of the equation in this case.

    -Hans

    #237 4 years ago

    Every time I think I have have a chance to finish them up and get samples sent out .... I get more big orders.

    I really want to get these samples out too but I just haven't had a chance. This past two months has been kicking my ass.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #238 4 years ago

    Have had a few reports now over the past year of guys having issues with Stern Meteor machines, and the 'Rocket' lamps. Working with a customer now to try and resolve it but curious if anybody else here has come across the issue, and if they had a resolution I can suggest.

    -Hans

    #240 4 years ago

    Now shipping the updated version. Here's what they look like all ready to install. Will be uploading this photo in a moment to the storefront.

    MA-07-020 (resized).JPG

    #241 4 years ago

    Also working on a repackaged combo-pack with the main set plus the aux set, combined into one package/part number. Pinball Life will be getting those first. Shipping them out to those guys in a week or so. Just need to finish up a complete wiring harness design and instructions. After a few months I'll probably phase out selling the aux boards independantly, but I still want to give people a chance to play catch-up if they need those sets.

    Unfortunately, I can't drop the MSRP at all when I do the combo. Finances are just too tight right now.

    -Hans

    4 months later
    #243 4 years ago

    Suddenly having people report issues with LED's that are not shutting off, just staying dimly lit, when the adapters are installed. I haven't made any changes to the design in months, when I started shipping the surface mount version with the 750ohm instead of 1,000ohm resistors.

    Not sure what's going on here but trying to narrow it down. I know there were issues for a short time with bad crimped connectors. I do wonder if maybe there's a major supplier who recently redesigned their LED's or something?

    Anybody come across this issue?

    -Hans

    #248 4 years ago

    If it's about 20 lamps, then yeah, I'd be looking at probably a bad crimp somewhere. Easiest way to check is while they're installed, and check for resistance between the alligator clip any resistor on the very last adapter board in the string. Should get either very close to 0 ohms, or 750 ohms, depending on which side of the resistor you're on.

    -Hans

    1 month later
    #251 4 years ago

    Max;

    Mid-August most likely I'll have them again, in the middle of relocating, so between houses at the moment until we close on the new one.
    Though I am busting my butt to get a batch sent to Marco in the next week or so.

    Schmoo.... Just replied to your PM that I got yesterday.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #252 4 years ago

    Shipment of 25 sets just shipped to Marco today, so should be available there soon.

    No more parts on hand right now, so won't be able to do more till I'm settled again in the new location in a few weeks,.

    -Hans

    2 months later
    #255 4 years ago

    Honestly, I've been having a lot of issues with my wire processing machinery lately, first thing I'd check is that none of the crimps on the wire harness are bad. This is likely the source of your flicker issues.

    I also did see a blurb on the Altek website regarding Stern machines with speech, but only found that a day or two and didn't have a chance to dig into it too much. It's on my list of things to do this week. May be related to the lights not turning off completely.

    -Hans

    Edit:

    Hmmm, ok, Stern did do something odd with the speech machines, and routed the lamp bus through the speech board. Peculiar, and the schematics don't really show it well. I guess it all ran off some of the same address lines so why not just use the speech board as a pass-through.

    Pins 9 and 10 on the speech board are ground wires.
    Pins 9-10 are listed as 'spare' on the Bally lamp board schematics, not shown on the Stern.
    Looking at photos of Stern lamp drivers I don't see any traces for those two pins.
    So while Altek says to cut those two wires, I don't actually see any need unless somebody else can find one.

    #262 4 years ago

    A mutimeter is your best bet. Check continuity from the alligator clip to either side of any resistor on the boards.

    You should get either 0 ohms or 750 ohms, depending on what side of the resistor you're on, same result for all three boards is what you're looking for.

    -Hans

    #263 4 years ago

    By popular request, I've decided to start selling these as a bare-bones 'builders kits', in addition to fully assembled and packaged sets.

    The difference is, with the builders kit all you get is the PCB with resistors installed. No wiring, no connectors, no fancy box, noinstructions. If you're technically minded with a stocked parts box, these could save you a bunch.

    $5 for the -42 single aux board, $10 for the two-board -53 set, and $15 for the main lamp driver set.

    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=65&controller=product&id_lang=1

    #265 4 years ago

    PM me your address and I'll get a new wire harness sent your way.

    -Hans

    #266 4 years ago

    You know, this is making me wonder if the problem all along was the actual wire.

    Either way, time to make a test rig to check the harnesses before shipping.

    -Hans

    2 weeks later
    #268 4 years ago

    OK, I think I finally found the source of many issues you guys were having, just helped diagnose a problem with another Stern Meteor (surprise surprise).

    Turns out his backbox lamps only had 3.5v going into them. Connected into a playfield lamp with the proper 6v and the adapters kicked in just the way they should.

    I wonder how many other customer problems were the result of low voltage to the lamp bus.

    -Hans

    1 month later
    #275 3 years ago

    Just about out of boards for current stock, will be ordering a new run in the next couple of weeks.
    Now is the time to make any requests for changes, or suggestions for improvements.

    Current plan is to add a voltage test point to each board, but otherwise not anticipating any significant changes.

    #278 3 years ago

    Mr. Sarver:

    Clearer markings for connectors/locations/"top". Definitely can do those, good reminder.

    Power LED, trying to find an easy way to do that actually. But may not be feasible without a steady ground path, which would involve more wiring. Theoretically wouldn't be too hard on the AUX adapters, but will be a while until I need more of them. If I did a single LED tied to a specific output it would work, though would be a 'blinker'. If I can find a way to make it steady, I do like the idea, just not sure how yet.

    An SMT LED on each output is a really cool idea. From a design standpoint not too hard either. But best pricing for LED's would be about 4 cents each, maybe a bit less in bulk. Would also double the machine time on my pick and place. Would increase the cost to customers by $10-$15 per set. Maybe as a future 'deluxe' version, but I don't think it would be as successful for a regular version.

    Mr Flynn:

    The 90 connectors are long gone, that was a bad decision on my part, and I learned my lesson quite quickly with them. The current generation of boards is designed to get all the clearance problems worked out, while using a vertical connector of sufficient height, and I don't believe I've had any customers with issues using the current style connectors.

    The connectors for the AUX boards, I totally feel your pain. I regularly look for different connector options, but the .156 style headers are less and less common all the time. I haven't found any other style of connectors. Even the Molex ones I have been using are sometimes tricky to get.

    With the cable routing, are you saying the wiring needs to be longer? Which section? Getting the right AUX board wiring lengths has been difficult, very little feedback, and there's a LOT of variation.

    And, yes, an instruction re-write is due.

    1 week later
    #280 3 years ago

    Wasn't able to get an LED figured out in time unfortunately. Just had a good sized wholesale order come in and didn't have enough boards to fill it. So I had to get an order done. I did get the markings much clearer as to connector/orientation. There's also going to be a test point you can clip onto with a probe to check voltages if needed.

    Here's the layout image for the newest version, will have to run out the existing boards before I start shipping these direct. About 15 sets left of the current design.

    MB-07-021 (resized).JPG

    #283 3 years ago

    Well, Merry Christmas To Me!

    I think I may have found a different style .156 header without the locking ramps. Have to review the datasheet and get some samples to confirm. But if it fits the way I hope it will this may be what I've been looking for.

    -Hans

    1 month later
    #284 3 years ago

    Only one unit left on-hand of the -020 revision boards for the main LED adapters. After that everybody will be getting the -21 revision, which adds the test points and has the clearer markings. In fact, the current run in-stock at Marco is already the -21 revision. These will all be getting done on my new pick and place machine too. I think I'll do a video of the process to show you guys how they're currently being built.

    I also have some samples of the new .156 PCB sockets on-hand too as of today. No more locking ramp, which makes them much easier to install and remove. Just waiting for a couple checks to come in and I'll be ordering a couple thousand of the 9pin and 10pin sizes. I use so stinking many of these headers, and the price is fantastic, so it's totally worth it.

    #285 3 years ago

    Well, crap. The -21 revision boards got the silkscreens wrong. I mis-marked J1 and J3, which also throws off which side is the 'top'.

    Basically, the board marked J1 goes on J3, and the board marked J3 goes on J1.
    And that also means the 'top' marking for those to is the bottom.

    -Hans

    #289 3 years ago

    LOL no discount, sorry guys. I found an easy way to re-label. And thankfully only a very small number got shipped from Marco before this got caught.

    Though I still do offer the resistor boards, no connectors or wiring, for $15.

    Later Edit:......

    Oh, what the hell, let's balance the karma here.

    $5 off the main adapter set, till midnight on Feb 24th, 2018.
    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=44&controller=product&id_lang=1

    4 months later
    #294 3 years ago

    Gold ball has a different style combo driver, unfortunately, and the adapters aren’t made to fit that machine. Not sure if there is enough demand to make a unique adapter set for that machine.

    Having a photo of the driver would be a start though. Preferably both in and out of the backbox

    3 weeks later
    #307 3 years ago

    Down to 4 pieces of the current run, which has the typo I've been having to re-sticker. Updated version should be available in a week or two.

    Assuming there's no more marking errors, or anything new comes along forcing a design change, I'm hoping there will be no further updates in future versions. It's quite a mature design at this point. After some initial flubs way back in the beginning, it's been a LONG time since anybody has come across a game with fitment issues.

    I'm hoping the absurdly busy summer will start giving me some room to breath in the near future here so I can start working on some packaging improvements and a version for Gold Ball.

    -Hans

    6 months later
    #309 2 years ago
    Quoted from lowbeau67:

    Wanted to order from comet but out of
    stock. Any idea when they might get some
    more. Thx.

    Tracking showed the box in Denver this morning, so if not Today, it’ll be Monday.

    2 months later
    #311 2 years ago

    I have to say, I love you guys. I can't tell you how appreciative I am. Why do I say this so openly? Because sales are strong and GROWING on these still, after 4 years, and I'm estimating 2,000 sets sold at this point. I've had a few hiccups here and there, but you all have been very patient with me, and I've done my best to keep making this product better with every iteration. Latest change is a bit of a packaging update to eliminate the plastic baggies, replaced with a cardboard divider. Same cost per kit but a lot faster to pack. Next change will probably be a sealer for the clamshell boxes I use on the auxiliary kits, they pop open too easy. But the design right now I think is pretty darn solid.

    Just boxing up another order today, and on a random thought I did some internet digging. I was able to find 4 other places now selling their own version of this adapter. But people keep buying mine in big numbers. That speaks a lot, and it's humbling.

    So I just wanted to get in here and thank you all for everything.

    -Hans

    #313 2 years ago

    I don't advertise the 'builders kits' anymore, which was all the resistors installed but no connectors included.
    But right now I have plenty of boards on hand and can sell a few that way for you.
    Those are priced at $15 per 'set'

    -Hans

    5 months later
    #315 2 years ago

    Making a 'product change notice' on these.

    With all the tariff's and such, I'm doing what I can to NOT raise prices at all. So I'm going to be eliminating the little test point clips on each board. The pad will still be there for you to test voltage, but the loop won't be there any more to clip on a test lead. (Unless a bunch of people tell me how awesome the test points are, then I can add them back on, but need to keep the business running too).

    Probably be a bit before anybody see's the change, I have about 40 or so boards on-hand that already have them installed. But once I run out I won't be ordering more of the test points.

    Also going to be changing suppliers on the header connectors. Found a different source for them with the same length and size, but with gold flash on the mating pin, at a non-molex price.

    1 month later
    #324 1 year ago
    Quoted from semicolin:

    It was on a component listed by Digikey, but that said, yeah, these components land all over the map and this usage case is on the margins of their operating range.
    I admit this is not a problem that needs an additional solution; the one we have already works fine.

    A lot of it is also ability and cost levels too. Swapping out all the SCR's on a lamp board is a lot of work, with some risk of damage, particularly if you're inexperienced with rework.

    With a new lamp board, there is the potential for using different SCR's, but I haven't looked into it since there are already a few lamp boards on the market. However there is the cost difference between adapters and full lamp driver boards.

    2 weeks later
    #327 1 year ago

    Ignore this one, put it in the wrong thread.

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