(Topic ID: 303350)

Pinball Wire and Harnesses from Wire-Bot!

By rockwell

1 year ago


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  • 181 posts
  • 56 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by KJS
  • Topic is favorited by 82 Pinsiders

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    There are 181 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    55
    #1 1 year ago

    I run a small cable business, and we can get decent prices on hookup wire like the style used in pinball machines, so we're going to start building an inventory of solid and striped wire colors common to many pinball machines. The goal is to make the wire available online in small quantities at an affordable price, with fast, low-cost shipping. We'd also have common connectors and pins/crimps available. Bulk would also be available.

    I'm putting together our next order from the manufacturer as we speak! We'll have all the solid colors available in 18AWG and 22AWG arriving first, with other sizes to come if requested. The striped styles will come afterwards, as they take a little longer.

    Is there anything wire/crimp/connector-related that anyone is particularly looking for, or has a hard time tracking down? Maybe that will help us plan what comes first. I'd appreciate any input!

    Thanks in advance! Holler anytime with requests, questions, insults.

    #2 1 year ago

    Not hard to track down, but if you're able to stock some common 0.100 and 0.156" connector pins and housings too so that we can grab them with the wires that'd be super handy.

    From a homebrew builder's perspective, for the striped wire, it'd be nice to have stuff that follows a pattern, eg: sell a white wire with 8 different stripe color options, or sell 8 different color wires with the same color stripe on them so it's easy to group them together (like how williams uses yellow base with different stripes for all their lamp columns).

    Good luck! It'd be great to be able to source some of this stuff reliably from a single place as right now I'm ordering random solid colors off ebay and then hand-striping them...

    #3 1 year ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Not hard to track down, but if you're able to stock some common 0.100 and 0.156" connector pins and housings too so that we can grab them with the wires that'd be super handy.
    From a homebrew builder's perspective, for the striped wire, it'd be nice to have stuff that follows a pattern, eg: sell a white wire with 8 different stripe color options, or sell 8 different color wires with the same color stripe on them so it's easy to group them together (like how williams uses yellow base with different stripes for all their lamp columns).
    Good luck! It'd be great to be able to source some of this stuff reliably from a single place as right now I'm ordering random solid colors off ebay and then hand-striping them...

    Yeah, I think we are on the same page! We will definitely have the appropriate pins/crimps/sockets/plugs/receptacles/housings that are needed for common pinball wiring (0.1 and 0.156 as you mentioned, for example). Being able to get everything one would need for a pinball wiring project or repair in one place would be our goal.

    And yes, we will be ramping up to have all the color/stripe combinations possible. Our initial list is the standard Black, Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Orange, Red, Violet, and Yellow solid colors, followed by striped versions of each (each in the base color with stripes of every other color). In the end, that would be 9 solid colors and 72 different striped colors (per wire gauge)!

    We will also be getting them striped in the older "ring" style, and not the spiral striping that most manufacturers do today. Not that it matters, but I just prefer that look, and that it matches my older machines when I make repairs

    #4 1 year ago

    We'd plan to offer kits as well...so, like all the appropriate wires you need to make a new Bally coin door wire harness (for example), and the connectors/bits with it as well, if needed.

    #7 1 year ago

    Awesome, I was just tearing apart a dirty old harness and sorting wire colors. Easily obtainable wire colors would help a lot with making new harnesses for scratch builds.

    #8 1 year ago

    Following! Great ideas!

    #9 1 year ago

    maybe this is a ridiculous question, but i do that sometimes... but is cloth wire still obtainable, for us that want to clean up some EM's to look original?

    #10 1 year ago

    This is just what the pin doctor ordered! Following this thread for sure!

    #11 1 year ago

    Would love a store like this and would suggest tinned grounding braid. Use to buy from pinrestore but they retired. Both for WPC and old Bally SS.

    #13 1 year ago

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I will keep the thread updated as I start to get wire in the shop and when the storefront goes live.

    Other suggestions always welcome!

    #14 1 year ago

    I’m also interested in some wire for Williams system 11

    Added 15 months ago:

    I’m looking to make a few wiring harnesses with light bulb sockets for PinBot
    I figure about 15ft to make 4 sets
    I don’t know the gauge yet I will have to look on my machines

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from SOBMAN:

    I’m also interested in some wire for Williams system 11

    Cool. Any particular colors/sizes/use-cases you're after?

    #16 1 year ago

    Following! Awesome to see a local support the hobby! I've been using the generic primary wire you can get at HD or Menards. It'll be nice to have a source of wires that potentially could match factory colors.

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    Following! Awesome to see a local support the hobby! I've been using the generic primary wire you can get at HD or Menards. It'll be nice to have a source of wires that potentially could match factory colors.

    Nice one! We have a shop downtown so you could even pick up if you wanted to save a few bucks

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from rockwell:

    Nice one! We have a shop downtown so you could even pick up if you wanted to save a few bucks

    Nice! What shop and where are you located? Might stop by just to shoot the shit and talk pinball.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    Nice! What shop and where are you located? Might stop by just to shoot the shit and talk pinball.

    Sure thing, anytime. I will DM you the details.

    #20 1 year ago

    Are you planning on doing wire harnesses?

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from rockwell:

    Cool. Any particular colors/sizes/use-cases you're after?

    I’m looking to make a few wiring harnesses with light bulb sockets for PinBot
    I figure about 15ft to make 4 sets
    I don’t know the gauge yet I will have to look on my machines

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from Madmax541:

    Are you planning on doing wire harnesses?

    If so, he needs to start with Gottlieb interconnect harnesses. They go for over $100 these days for about 3ft of wire, a plastic housing, and 40 or so crimps. He'd make a killing. If he can find the housings.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from Madmax541:

    Are you planning on doing wire harnesses?

    Yeah, for sure. We'll add things in stages. Build up a wire/parts inventory as we go, and pre-built harnesses as we go as well. In early days, we'd probably just offer harnesses on demand...as in, let us know exactly what you are looking for and we'll do what we can to get it made for you. Once made, we can add it to the store as a pre-built.

    Quoted from PghPinballRescue:

    If so, he needs to start with Gottlieb interconnect harnesses. They go for over $100 these days for about 3ft of wire, a plastic housing, and 40 or so crimps. He'd make a killing. If he can find the housings.

    I'll look into that. I'm not familiar with what kind of connectors those are, but I imagine there is something serviceable that exists. If anyone has an image of the plug, I'd love to see. (Or just get me a specific game and I can try and dig up the info).

    #25 1 year ago

    Excellent plan Rockwell. Looking forward to this.

    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from rockwell:

    iar with what kind of connectors those are, but I imagine there is something serviceable that exists. If anyone has an image of the plug, I'd love to see. (Or just get me a specific game and I can try and dig up the info).

    https://www.bostonpinballcompany.com/system1cable.htm

    I can mail you a spare one from my parts stash if you want to see it in person to make them for sale. I had no idea these were getting hard to come by now.

    Also, a little more info on the harness-
    https://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Gottlieb_System_1#The_CPU_.2F_Driver_Board_Interconnect_Harness

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from PghPinballRescue:

    If so, he needs to start with Gottlieb interconnect harnesses. They go for over $100 these days for about 3ft of wire, a plastic housing, and 40 or so crimps. He'd make a killing. If he can find the housings.

    The housings are why they're so expensive

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    https://www.bostonpinballcompany.com/system1cable.htm
    I can mail you a spare one from my parts stash if you want to see it in person to make them for sale. I had no idea these were getting hard to come by now.
    Also, a little more info on the harness-
    https://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Gottlieb_System_1#The_CPU_.2F_Driver_Board_Interconnect_Harness

    Thanks for the info. I will drop you a message, I would love to get a closer look.

    #30 1 year ago

    As someone asked earlier, is it possible to get cloth covered wire?

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from DennisDodel:

    As someone asked earlier, is it possible to get cloth covered wire?

    Options for cloth or braided high-temp wire definitely exist. I would love to be able to offer that as well, and I have it on my "Phase 2" list for sure.

    #32 1 year ago

    Don’t want to burst your bubble, but if you are going to add connectors and pins, Molex has discontinued a lot of what was used in early SS machines.

    Hope you’re able to get high quality knockoffs of the Molex stuff. Following

    #33 1 year ago

    Great news rockwell Once you have the striped colours available, I'll definitely be placing an order.

    #34 1 year ago

    following for sure

    #35 1 year ago

    Excellent. This would also work great for arcade control panels. It's always a hit and miss looking for quality braided copper wire.

    Following!

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from DoCPooF:

    Excellent. This would also work great for arcade control panels. It's always a hit and miss looking for quality braided copper wire.
    Following!

    Yeah, for sure. I'm less familiar with arcade controls, but I imagine there is significant crossover. Please do let me know if there is anything in particular that is a common need for you. Thanks!

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from rockwell:

    Yeah, for sure. I'm less familiar with arcade controls, but I imagine there is significant crossover. Please do let me know if there is anything in particular that is a common need for you. Thanks!

    WPC harnesses, 89-99. That would be epic. I’d buy these for my TZ, IJ, JD, and DM!

    Ideas on when the store would be ready? Hell, I’ll buy colors, size combos of gauges just to have factory spools in my garage. Tired of all the brittle hack-fests I’ve encountered over the years.

    #38 1 year ago

    It would be nice to have a source for the bare power wire under the PF and on the light boards in em and ss machines. Just tinned copper wire braid but would be nice to order alongside the jacketed stuff.

    There used to be a source but I believe they closed up shop fairly recently.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from rockwell:

    Thanks for the info. I will drop you a message, I would love to get a closer look.

    I've got a Joker Poker with new harness (and one flubbed pin) that I could let you take a look at. The game is stored right now but it would be easy enough to get the interconnect harness out.

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from underlord:

    WPC harnesses, 89-99. That would be epic. I’d buy these for my TZ, IJ, JD, and DM!
    Ideas on when the store would be ready? Hell, I’ll buy colors, size combos of gauges just to have factory spools in my garage. Tired of all the brittle hack-fests I’ve encountered over the years.

    We're working on it, but not sure when the store will open just yet. I already have a PO in to our wire manufacturer, and should hear back on their delivery timeline any day now. We'll probably wait until our first order of wire arrives to open it up. I will keep this channel posted on timing.

    Quoted from drscottsmith:

    It would be nice to have a source for the bare power wire under the PF and on the light boards in em and ss machines. Just tinned copper wire braid but would be nice to order alongside the jacketed stuff.
    There used to be a source but I believe they closed up shop fairly recently.

    For sure! We will have the flat ground strap and bare ground wire available. I have included that on my above-mentioned PO

    #41 1 year ago

    Good idea. I am in for a Classic Stern set of wires or 2.
    If I had all the colors and gauges needed I could just bundle and add connectors my self.

    #42 1 year ago

    //// * UPDATE 11/11/2021 * ////

    It looks like our first batch of wire will be arriving to us sometime near the end of the month. Exciting! In the meantime, we will continue to build out the storefront and get everything ready.

    Our manufacturer will apparently have trouble doing the ring (or banded) style of striping that you see in a lot of old Bally and Williams etc. games, so we'll be proceeding with the "spiral" type of striping that we're all used to. I'm still going to hunt for someone who can do the banded style, but could take more time that I thought so we'll work on that while other stuff stocks first.

    Our first batch of wire will include all solid colors in 18 and 22 AWG, as well as the full spectrum of striped 22 AWG colors.

    Here's a short list of some of the other items we'll have right away:
    - 18 AWG bare bus wire
    - 1/4" flat braided ground strap
    - Ratcheting crimper tool
    - Plastic loop clamps (variety of sizes)
    - 0.100" and 0.156" crimp terminals and housings (as many sizes as we can source)
    - 0.62" crimp pins/sockets and receptacle/plug housings (as many sizes as we can source)
    - #8 ring crimp terminals
    - 0.25" quick disconnect female/receptacle terminals
    - 3/32", 1/8", 1/4" heat shrink (for wire repairs, etc.)
    - 4" zip ties (white and black)
    - Possibly a few simpler, pre-made harnesses as we can

    Items we aim to add over time:
    - Full spectrum of 18 AWG striped wires
    - 16AWG wires (limited variety of colors)
    - Double-striped wire colors for Gottleib needs?
    - Custom harnesses
    - Let us know!

    We'll definitely look to the community to point out what wiring needs exist that we could help with, so don't be shy! We'll definitely do our best to add items as we can (and as our budget allows).

    More updates to come! Thanks again.

    #43 1 year ago

    Talk to Steve Young about the GTB wires.

    A: To make sure he's OK with it.
    B: To see if maybe he'd want to be a bulk buyer.

    My understanding is that GTB bought truckloads of blank white wire and ran it through a house-built wire striping machine to make whatever colors they needed. This eliminated warehousing (no need to store hundreds of colors) and they could just make whatever color they needed for the run they were producing.

    Being that it was a house-built machine, they may have a patent on it, and therefore Steve would be the holder said patent.

    Better to ask him than to be served with a cease and desist letter from his attorneys.

    #44 1 year ago
    Quoted from PghPinballRescue:

    Talk to Steve Young about the GTB wires.
    A: To make sure he's OK with it.
    B: To see if maybe he'd want to be a bulk buyer.
    My understanding is that GTB bought truckloads of blank white wire and ran it through a house-built wire striping machine to make whatever colors they needed. This eliminated warehousing (no need to store hundreds of colors) and they could just make whatever color they needed for the run they were producing.
    Being that it was a house-built machine, they may have a patent on it, and therefore Steve would be the holder said patent.
    Better to ask him than to be served with a cease and desist letter from his attorneys.

    Hmm, interesting. That was always my assumption with the GTB wires...buying white in bulk and striping being an efficiency/cost-saving move.

    They may have a patent on a machine, but striping wires in two colors is not a patented thing. Many manufacturers make it.

    Still would be worth contacting Steve, if only to try and learn more about the GTB wire product itself.

    #45 1 year ago

    Begs the question if you can be the license holder of something as generic as striped wires? Seems like it would be similar to having a license rights to plastic spoons. Or in the pinball world, light bulbs or led bulbs or rubber rings, for example.

    -1
    #46 1 year ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    Begs the question if you can be the license holder of something as generic as striped wires? Seems like it would be similar to having a license rights to plastic spoons. Or in the pinball world, light bulbs or led bulbs or rubber rings, for example.

    I don't think a patent exists for striped wires, but someone might be able to patent a *process* for striping wires.

    #47 1 year ago

    Or the 2 color-1 color identification system.

    4 weeks later
    10
    #48 1 year ago

    We've been quiet, but busy. Things we've ordered are finally arriving so we're getting close! The main hold-up is the wire we ordered. Manufacturer delayed our order a bit, and it is now scheduled to ship out to us sometime next week.

    I'm hopeful we'll have a first shipment in hand sometime the week after but with the holidays, we'll see.

    In the meantime, I will work on opening up the store for some "beta" sales if anyone is in need of whatever crimps/contacts/housings/etc. we've already received. Should be able to have something up this weekend sometime, or early next week. Will make a note here with a link when it's ready.

    Seems a little silly to open the "wire store" storefront without any wire, but hey. It's 2021, all bets are off!

    Thanks again for hanging in there and keeping an eye on the thread.

    some-156-housings (resized).jpg

    #49 1 year ago

    While we wait for our wire and other products to arrive, I'd love some help beta-testing the storefront!

    If anyone is willing to take a couple of minutes to drop a couple of items in your cart and check out, I'll give you a $5 coupon. Hopefully you can find some random loose bits you can use

    (I capped the coupon uses at 5, so after 5 people use it the coupon will expire)

    We've got a few crimp connectors, some cable clamps and zip-ties, and a few other things. The site is still a work in progress (a few images missing, etc.), but everything is up and running so it'd be great to get some feedback. Here's how:

    1. Go to www.wirebot.xyz
    2. Use the password "lolowy" to enter the site
    3. Use the code "BETABUDDY" in the checkout!

    That'll get you $5 towards the order.

    Let me know how it goes for you! Anything ordered today ships out tomorrow. I really appreciate it. Thanks!

    #50 1 year ago
    Quoted from rockwell:

    While we wait for our wire and other products to arrive, I'd love some help beta-testing the storefront!
    If anyone is willing to take a couple of minutes to drop a couple of items in your cart and check out, I'll give you a $5 coupon. Hopefully you can find some random loose bits you can use
    (I capped the coupon uses at 5, so after 5 people use it the coupon will expire)
    We've got a few crimp connectors, some cable clamps and zip-ties, and a few other things. The site is still a work in progress (a few images missing, etc.), but everything is up and running so it'd be great to get some feedback. Here's how:
    1. Go to www.wirebot.xyz
    2. Use the password "lolowy" to enter the site
    3. Use the code "BETABUDDY" in the checkout!
    That'll get you $5 towards the order.
    Let me know how it goes for you! Anything ordered today ships out tomorrow. I really appreciate it. Thanks!

    Done.

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