(Topic ID: 107767)

Disadvantage of Quick Connect Coils?


By Glarrownage

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 48 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Glarrownage
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    #1 5 years ago

    Lets say I have to swap out some coils. Is there a disadvantage to getting the quick connect coils over the regular coils? Soldering is more fun than crimping but it seems to me that the quick connects are much easier to remove from the machine when you want to clean or replace them. I know they are $1 more expensive (no big deal) aside from that, does anyone have any first hand experience working with both?

    http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/FL1-11722

    vs.

    http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/FL-11722

    #2 5 years ago

    Vibration makes the quick connect lugs come loose...

    #3 5 years ago
    Quoted from tamoore:

    Vibration makes the quick connect lugs come loose...

    Well that sounds like a pain in the ass. Is that a frequent occurrence?

    #4 5 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    Well that sounds like a pain in the ass. Is that a frequent occurrence?

    No.

    #5 5 years ago

    I would use solder over quick connects.

    #6 5 years ago
    Quoted from pinballplusMN:

    I would use solder over quick connects.

    Why is that, same reason as above, vibrating off the lugs?

    #7 5 years ago

    Solder. Quick connect means crimping, which means more potential for connectivity issues due to a poor crimp.

    #8 5 years ago

    If you are going to be swapping out coils frequently... they make sense to me. No first hand knowledge. In fact I'm a noob. But you can always add a bit of tension to the female connector with a little pressure from some pliers. Also solder it to the wire.

    If you have a machine that you have your hands in a lot of the time, then it makes sense.

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    Why is that, same reason as above, vibrating off the lugs?

    The vibration eventually causes the solder to break off at the lugs anyways. It just happens to last much longer than the quick connect. Go with the solder, there is no reason you should have to remove the coils. If quick connects had been worth it, they would have been installed from the factory. The fact they never were should be reason enough.

    #10 5 years ago
    Quoted from tamoore:

    Vibration makes the quick connect lugs come loose...

    Which is exactly what I said would happen with WoZ when it was announced that the game would be equipped with quick connect coils. The pitchforks came out and the flock from the Church of Jersey Jack Pinball said I knew nothing and that WoZ would be the "Best built, highest quality" pinball ever. I was labeled a troll, threatened etc.

    How did those quick connect coils work out for them?

    #11 5 years ago

    A lot of route operators in my area used to solder pigtails onto the coils and then put quick disconnects up stream in the wiring. The only advantage to this was they would have a complete set of flipper assemblies ready to go when they did a on-location shop out. It probably saved them a half hour but it was an easy task.

    #12 5 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Which is exactly what I said would happen with WoZ when it was announced that the game would be equipped with quick connect coils. The pitchforks came out and the flock from the Church of Jersey Jack Pinball said I knew nothing and that WoZ would be the "Best built, highest quality" pinball ever. I was labeled a troll, threatened etc.
    How did those quick connect coils work out for them?

    It didn't. They switched over to soldering because of vibration issues, as a staff member at the open house said to me.

    #13 5 years ago

    While I agree with always Soldering any Coil Lug/Wire in general.
    I have NEVER had 1 single issue with ANY of our Bally/Williams Pins that had them installed from the factory.
    IIRC they started with NGG through the Pin 2K Games (NGG, CP, MB, CC, RFM & SWE1) - every Coil in those Games used .125 &/or .250 Molex Quick Disconnects & I've never (knock on wood) had a Coil QD issue (coming loose or a or power problem) with any of those Games.
    Since only six Pins B/W made this way and not as old as many Games made before them so a few more years may tell a different story but so far so good.

    Over the years I've purchased 2 Games from different operators that had put 3-M Bullet type QD in line on the Wiring Harnesses on every single Coil & PF Mech/Toy with no ill effects that I've ever noticed.
    A Fun House & an STTNG, I REALLY expected STTNG (with all the under PF Mechs) to have issues but none to date & I'm going on 3 years of owning this one.

    Kim

    www.KimballsPinballs.com

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from dung:

    If quick connects had been worth it, they would have been installed from the factory. The fact they never were should be reason enough.

    They were on WoZ/Revenge from Mars. I assumed they never were used on older pins or Stern pins was because the solder coils were more cost effective. If that is the case I'm not concerned about cost, only efficiency.

    Quoted from MrBally:

    How did those quick connect coils work out for them?

    My WoZ hasn't had an issue with them, nor have others in my area. Are they known for having issues?

    Quoted from NightFlight73:

    If you are going to be swapping out coils frequently... they make sense to me. No first hand knowledge. In fact I'm a noob. But you can always add a bit of tension to the female connector with a little pressure from some pliers. Also solder it to the wire.

    If you have a machine that you have your hands in a lot of the time, then it makes sense.

    Quoted from Pinthetic:

    A lot of route operators in my area used to solder pigtails onto the coils and then put quick disconnects up stream in the wiring. The only advantage to this was they would have a complete set of flipper assemblies ready to go when they did a on-location shop out. It probably saved them a half hour but it was an easy task.

    That seems to make a lot of sense to me. The only reason I've considered it is because I'm always looking for ways to lengthen the time between shop jobs. Coils tend to spew solenoid dust everywhere both underneath and on top the playfield. I thought the quick connects would make it far easier to remove, clean, then reinstall and then I may not have to tear apart my machines so often. Does that logic make sense? I suppose if I'm going to have more issues reconnecting loose lugs than the time it saves me on cleaning then its not worth it. Also, it wouldn't be worth it if cleaning the coils won't save me time between shopping tables. Like I said, I'm always looking for new efficient ways to maintain the working machines so I can spend more time restoring other pins that need it.

    9 months later
    #15 4 years ago

    I think installing plugs on the coils is one of the smartest things I have done, and in the years I have done it, never once has one come loose. every time I work on that assembly (on my bench instead of upside down on the back of the pf, I hug my self for putting tabs, with plugs or an in line plug. Plus if I was looking to buy a game and I saw the owner did that, I would feel confident that he is not an idiot.
    Just wanted to share.

    #16 4 years ago
    Quoted from kruzman:

    I think installing plugs on the coils is one of the smartest things I have done, and in the years I have done it, never once has one come loose. every time I work on that assembly (on my bench instead of upside down on the back of the pf, I hug my self for putting tabs, with plugs or an in line plug. Plus if I was looking to buy a game and I saw the owner did that, I would feel confident that he is not an idiot.
    Just wanted to share.

    Thanks Ron! It's good to hear someone had a positive experience with this method. It seems like it is such a quick and easy way to keep everything clean, not to mention fast trouble shooting. It's too late to do on my current restoration (BSD) but, I think I'll give it a shot on my next restoration (The Shadow).

    #17 4 years ago

    I think it matters greatly how much play the game gets. A friend of mine bought a routed NGG and put it in a limited access (not open all day) café-type game room. Those spade connectors were vibrating loose almost every week. I would go in, pinch the females down and shove them back on, and a week or two later "Hey, my left flipper died." I cut them off as they failed and soldered them.

    In home use they should be fine, but replacing coils is so infrequent it's wasted effort.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from cody_chunn:

    but replacing coils is so infrequent it's wasted effort.

    It's not so much about replacing coils as it is the ability to remove an assembly and clean it without having to de-solder/re-solder things with the playfield vertical. I don't think I've ever had to replace a bad coil actually. But, if you have ever stuck coils in an ultra-sonic cleaner you know how much dirt they collect and can spew onto the playfield. I've also considered using regular coils and soldering smaller wires to the coil and using molex connectors to connect the harness in order to solve the potential loose spade connector issue. I'm not sure if that would be a better solution or not.

    #19 4 years ago

    I think if you use a quality crimp connector by 3M, etc. then you shouldn't have any problems with them coming loose. I have used the 3M connectors on my pins, and numerous cars I have worked on and never had any problems, even on the starter solenoids (mounted directly on the starter) on some cars, I have never had a problem with a quality connector coming loose, and I think the vibration of an engine would put more stress on a connector then a pin would. I think connectors are like ic sockets, if you use the cheap off shore stuff made of the mystery metal, then you will have problems, but if you use the good quality brand name stuff then you sould be ok.

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from Hammerhead1550:

    I think if you use a quality crimp connector by 3M, etc. then you shouldn't have any problems with them coming loose. I have used the 3M connectors on my pins, and numerous cars I have worked on and never had any problems, even on the starter solenoids (mounted directly on the starter) on some cars, I have never had a problem with a quality connector coming loose, and I think the vibration of an engine would put more stress on a connector then a pin would. I think connectors are like ic sockets, if you use the cheap off shore stuff made of the mystery metal, then you will have problems, but if you use the good quality brand name stuff then you sould be ok.

    Great info, good to know! Do you have a preferred supplier for the 3M connectors?

    #21 4 years ago

    A short pigtail soldered to the coil and a molex free hanging connector would work great. You would not have the vibration issue this way.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from Riptor:

    A short pigtail soldered to the coil and a molex free hanging connector would work great. You would not have the vibration issue this way.

    Perfect, thanks! That was my back up plan if the crimps don't hold.

    #23 4 years ago

    OK, connectors are the bane of pinball machines. So... let's add more connectors.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from G-P-E:

    OK, connectors are the bane of pinball machines. So... let's add more connectors.

    As long as we buy them from you it should be ok, right?

    P.S. love your store, I am a (too) frequent customer.

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    It's not so much about replacing coils as it is the ability to remove an assembly and clean it without having to de-solder/re-solder things with the playfield vertical. I don't think I've ever had to replace a bad coil actually. But, if you have ever stuck coils in an ultra-sonic cleaner you know how much dirt they collect and can spew onto the playfield. I've also considered using regular coils and soldering smaller wires to the coil and using molex connectors to connect the harness in order to solve the potential loose spade connector issue. I'm not sure if that would be a better solution or not.

    Even so, in home use the black dust generation is miniscule compared to routed games. How often would you need to clean them? Every 3 or 4 years? So you spend the time to install quick connects to save the same amount of time it takes to unsolder and solder a few wires so you can save 3 minutes every three years.

    I don't get it, Big Dan, but have at it and more power to ya!

    #26 4 years ago

    It's funny, I've thought about this a lot. One of the reasons I love working on pin2k machines is how easy it is to swap coils.
    And I've often contemplated adapting all machines I work on to either that or like newer WPC95's, the pigtails.

    But a few things hold me back:
    1) The time and effort to do this versus the amount of times I actually need to swap coils
    2) The rule of thumb that any time you introduce another connection you are likely introducing resistance or additional points of failure

    So, if done correctly, I'm absolutely sure it would work. But is it worth the effort? That's a different story.

    #27 4 years ago

    Atari pins are chock full of quick disconnect connectors.

    Early WOZ pins had quick disconnect connectors, but they switched to soldering them because of connectivity issues and cost.

    Gottlieb System 80B and and System 3 have pigtail connectors on some assemblies, such as drop target cages and knockers.

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from G-P-E:

    OK, connectors are the bane of pinball machines. So... let's add more connectors.

    Your right, all pinball connectors are terrible. Lets cut off all of our board connectors and solder the harness wires to the pins......

    Quoted from cody_chunn:

    So you spend the time to install quick connects to save the same amount of time it takes to unsolder and solder a few wires so you can save 3 minutes every three years.

    Yes but when you strip a machine down and remove every component, you have to rebuild everything anyway. I'm not spending any more time during a restoration than I usually would. Hence the question about the disadvantages about quick connect coils.

    Quoted from NJGecko:

    The rule of thumb that any time you introduce another connection you are likely introducing resistance

    This is by far my greatest concern. The whole level of effort is a non-issue since it's done during a full restoration. Everything gets taken apart, cleaned, or replaced. However, if X amount of connectors create a electrical resistance issue then that would absolutely make it a wasted effort. I can't imagine it would be an issue but people with far more electrical knowledge than myself have raised that point in conversation.

    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Early WOZ pins had quick disconnect connectors, but they switched to soldering them because of connectivity issues and cost.

    I knew at some point WOZ changed their connectors but I had always wondered whether or not it was changed for budget.

    #29 4 years ago

    Hate on me all you want. Heck ... even call me a DumbAss.

    I'm with the OP and kruzman.

    Earlier this year I went on a buying spree and ended up with quite a few extremely dirty machines. I pretty much stripped them down to the playfield and removed almost every assembly on each of the games for cleaning.

    On re-assembly I put 18-22 AWG 0.187" fully insulated quick (dis)connects on all the coil wires. I removed all the solder on the coil lugs and the female connects (when compressed with needle nose pliers) fit snugly on the coil tabs. I wiggle them in. I use fully insulated because I don't like taking the risk of accidental shorts - particularly on the high voltage circuits.

    From what I have seen (and I don't have a lot of experience) the FL coils are the original coil lugs. The FL1 coils are the WPC-95 coil lugs. I had actually never seen quick (dis)connects used on coil wires until I saw it done on Monster Bash and No Good Gofers.

    The machines I cleaned were recently available to play at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show for 3 days (Friday full day, Saturday full day and Sunday 1/2 day). Not one of them came apart. On the other hand the No Good Gofers slam ramp post screws came apart frequently and needed servicing.

    I would also add that a Terminator 2 that I had done like this when I rebuilt the flipper mechanism had a melted coil during the show. It was super easy for the technician to disconnect the coil and prevent any further damage. Fortunately for me I had a spare FL-15411 that I was testing in another machine to simply replace the blown FL-11630 with (literally remove the coil stop, insert the new coil, tighten the coil stop and connect the tabs). It quickly got the machine running for the remainder of the day and I replaced the FL-15411 with the correct FL-11630 that I brought in the next day - yes replacing it again was really easy.

    The Addams Family that I had was done like this and here are the weekend statistics.

    1 Player Games: 409
    2 Player Games: 65
    3 Player Games: 2
    4 Player Games: 6
    Left Flipper: 24551
    Right Flipper: 29304

    #30 4 years ago

    For what it's worth, I think Chris is doing that on my HEP IJ. I have no problem with it - I'm figuring he knows his shit, so who am I to argue?

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    Your right, all pinball connectors are terrible. Lets cut off all of our board connectors and solder the harness wires to the pins......

    Maybe a tiny bit facetious?
    Hey, you asked if there was a disadvantage and you got an answer.

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from G-P-E:

    Maybe a tiny bit facetious?
    Hey, you asked if there was a disadvantage and you got an answer.

    If you get quality parts from Great Plains Electronics, you should have no problems with any connectors. That company is awesome. I don't know who you get your parts from that fall off, but that guy over there is awesome. He's got my business for life!

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from DumbAss:

    The machines I cleaned were recently available to play at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show for 3 days (Friday full day, Saturday full day and Sunday 1/2 day). Not one of them came apart.

    First off, I'm glad to hear more people have had success with this method. It certainly seems like its come in handy for you. Do you happen to have pics of your connections? Second, I've never seen you post on Pinside before so welcome! Please post more often, I need a reason to say "I'm with Dumbass".

    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    For what it's worth, I think Chris is doing that on my HEP IJ. I have no problem with it - I'm figuring he knows his shit, so who am I to argue?

    Wow, I didn't know Chris did this. Thats all the validation I would need to proceed. When will you be getting your IJ? If you get a chance to post pics (or if it's in his albums online) I'll be really interested to check it out. I have a lot of appreciation for his work (as I would imagine most do).

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from G-P-E:

    Maybe a tiny bit facetious?
    Hey, you asked if there was a disadvantage and you got an answer.

    Provide a facetious "answer" expect a facetious response. No harm, no foul. I still have a running shopping list I need to order from GPE soon. Maybe you could suggest the best pigtails/connectors for the coils.

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    Wow, I didn't know Chris did this. Thats all the validation I would need to proceed. When will you be getting your IJ? If you get a chance to post pics (or if it's in his albums online) I'll be really interested to check it out. I have a lot of appreciation for his work (as I would imagine most do).

    It's in his "games being restored" album. I think he mentions it in a caption under a picture of coils and stuff from my machine.

    I could be high, though.

    #36 4 years ago

    When I restore a game, I put molex connectors on all of the coils. Makes reassembly a lot easier Makes swapping them out easier too if needed.

    #37 4 years ago

    all my restaurant heating/cooking equipment uses stainless steel spade type connectors. those never ever come off and my staff are hard on that equipment. a little more $$ but way more durable than the aluminum ones the box stores sell.

    #38 4 years ago
    Quoted from Gov:

    When I restore a game, I put molex connectors on all of the coils. Makes reassembly a lot easier Makes swapping them out easier too if needed.

    Nice! Have you ever had any electrical resistance issues (coils slightly weaker etc.)? How long do you make the pigtail? Looks like I'm going to need a better set of crimpers.

    Quoted from ls1chris:

    all my restaurant heating/cooking equipment uses stainless steel spade type connectors. those never ever come off and my staff are hard on that equipment. a little more $$ but way more durable than the aluminum ones the box stores sell.

    Those have big turn screws that clamp down on the spade though don't they?

    #39 4 years ago

    you can get screw and crimp

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from cody_chunn:

    Even so, in home use the black dust generation is miniscule compared to routed games. How often would you need to clean them? Every 3 or 4 years? So you spend the time to install quick connects to save the same amount of time it takes to unsolder and solder a few wires so you can save 3 minutes every three years.
    I don't get it, Big Dan, but have at it and more power to ya!

    An air compressor solves the dust problem really quickly. there should not be anything wet for the dust to stick to (just cover the top of the pf).

    -c

    #41 4 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    Nice! Have you ever had any electrical resistance issues (coils slightly weaker etc.)? How long do you make the pigtail? Looks like I'm going to need a better set of crimpers.

    Those have big turn screws that clamp down on the spade though don't they?

    I just cut the wires about 3-5" from the coil and install the molex plug, so I don't add any length to the wires.

    This is the tool I use and it is fantastic and can take care of all of your crimping needs.

    amazon.com link »

    391593.jpg

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from ls1chris:

    you can get screw and crimp

    Wow, I've never even considered screw and crimp on a pinball table. Interesting.

    Quoted from Gov:

    I just cut the wires about 3-5" from the coil and install the molex plug, so I don't add any length to the wires.
    This is the tool I use and it is fantastic and can take care of all of your crimping needs.
    amazon.com link »
    391593.jpg

    Gov, first off thanks for the pic, I think it looks great and makes a lot of sense. Second, I've been in desperate need for a nice set of crimpers, mine are terrible. Thanks for the link!

    1 month later
    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    Do you happen to have pics of your connections?

    Again ... people can hate on me. It's ok to have differing opinions. That's what makes the world the great place that it is. I can't imagine us all being the same. That would be boring and nothing new would ever get invented.

    Sorry for the delay. I had guests visiting. Life happens.

    As previously mentioned I personally prefer the quick (dis)connects to soldering lugs. I can't solder for sh!t and doing it in a cramped environment is a recipe for disaster. Could easily burn wire insulation not to mention ME! I've also seen some crazy solder blobs from (presumably) multiple / repeated repairs and reconnects over the years of service. It never ceases to amaze me that people seem to think more solder is better. There's so much solder there that I can heat it up and just shake it all off where it falls into a nice "splat" on the ground.

    This is a shot of a kick-back I just put back together.disconnect1.jpg

    This is a shot that I took for a different purpose but shows them for flipper coils and EOS switches.disconnect2.jpg

    For people that say the extra connection(s) cause(s) an increase in resistance that would affect coil power ... I respectfully disagree. When I got this game it played fine. Got it close to 100% functional before starting the teardown and rebuild. I just finished putting it back together yesterday and fired it up. Played like a rocket. 100% night and day difference. Lightning fast. At least 50% faster than the original condition. I wouldn't worry about the added resistance. I would worry that you have a dirty playfield or dirty mechanisms.

    #44 4 years ago

    Well, I too like to adding Molex connectors to the major components under the playfield. I got started doing it when doing playfield swaps. But it seems every time I post about doing it I get bashed...even from the guy I buy the plugs from... Yeah, that's you Ed...hehe.. I have never had one fail. For playfield swaps, I find it amazing how much stuff you can remove from the underside which simplifies the swap.

    #45 4 years ago

    Unfortunately it's really not a black and white issue. Firstly I would not be concerned with any additional resistance being added to the circuit. There are cases where this might be an issue, but not so much in this application. Inline (wire-to-wire) connectors are fine and should be fairly reliable (especially in a home environment). I would never use a spade connector on a coil. There's too much impact/vibration being applied at that point and as Cody pointed out they are going to vibrate loose or the crimp come loose. The vibration issue is mitigated with an inline connector and, in a home environment, should not be an issue.

    Personally I wouldn't swap out every coil setup on my game, but it would not bother me at all to see a game where a few hard to get to coils where setup this way. So to answer your question Glarrownage, yes there is a disadvantage, but I don't think it's a major issue. You could also spend the extra few pennies and get inline locking connectors and reduce the risk even more.

    If woz was having problems with the connectors I would be curious if they where using spade connectors or inline connectors?

    #46 4 years ago

    Thanks for the posts guys. It's funny you would bump the topic, check out the latest Hobbit pictures from a JJP blog post:

    Coils.jpg

    #47 4 years ago

    Yeah... because I'm sure JJP had done years of reliability testing while waiting for the Hobbit software to be done. :/
    For home use; who cares - do what you want. JJP doesn't have a clue how to make a reliable coin op machine. Doubt me? Ask an OP about their maintenance logs for WOZ.

    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    For home use; who cares - do what you want.

    Thanks for your insight.

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