(Topic ID: 203395)

EM machine LED Flickering


By mcbPalisade

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 13 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by ryanwanger
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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#1 2 years ago

Replaced all the bulbs with LEDs on Williams Blue Chip.

Now when a solenoid fires you can see lots of the LEDs come on slightly.

Has anyone solved this?

If I were to try I'd probably start with a big inductor in series with the lighting circuits.

#2 2 years ago

Isn't this why people end up using non ghosting leds?

That what I ordered to try out, but they haven't arrived yet. If it was me and they did this though I would be switching back to incandescent bulbs.

#3 2 years ago

Good quality non ghosting fixed this on one if mine, but at least one brand of nonghosting still had the problem (can't remember which though)

If I wasn't putting the game on location I would have just switched back to incandescents for all the controlled lights

#4 2 years ago

From what I've read "Ghosting" is where the bulbs are always sort of on.

Mine are dark until some coil fires then they come on slightly for an instant.

#5 2 years ago

check your connections. When coil fires and your lamps come on, it’s probably because it’s jaring the loose wire or broken lamp socket.

#6 2 years ago

LEDs draw way fewer amps than incandescent bulbs. This requires the LED bulbs contact to the socket to be cleaner.

#7 2 years ago
Quoted from Electrocute:

LEDs draw way fewer amps than incandescent bulbs. This requires the LED bulbs contact to the socket to be cleaner.

This seems backwards to me but I appreciate the suggestion. Did this solve the problem in an EM machine you know of?

#8 2 years ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

This seems backwards to me but I appreciate the suggestion. Did this solve the problem in an EM machine you know of?

Premium non ghosting bulbs will solve your issue. Had the same thing in my odds and evens. Non ghosting fixed it.

#9 2 years ago

OK then, the worst seems to be the prominent "Double Bonus" insert, I'll try one in that. Thanks all.

#10 2 years ago

This is a non-ghosting issue in my experience.
I'm not certain but to my understanding because LEDs require so much less to light, the voltage can leak over to them when a solenoid fires. With incandescents it didn't matter, but with LEDs it becomes an issue as you now see.

To solve it they usually have some resistor or something built into the LED bulb.
This is my understanding of it, so anyone can correct me I'm wrong.

#11 2 years ago

I've noticed it on a few ems that have leds. My guess is momentary current backfeed when the relays open, seems to be related to score motor controlled activity, as it doesn't appear when a single solenoid fires once from a scoring event or flipper use.

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

This is a non-ghosting issue in my experience.
I'm not certain but to my understanding because LEDs require so much less to light, the voltage can leak over to them when a solenoid fires. With incandescents it didn't matter, but with LEDs it becomes an issue as you now see.

Old pinball machine wiring is a testimonial of how not to do things. All those nice wire bundles cause lots of inductive coupling due to large quick-switching currents. Bulbs get pulses too but they aren't big enough to heat the filaments so you can see them light.

In modern control circuits high voltage/current circuits are always run in separate cable trays, otherwise the cross-coupling kills you.

#13 2 years ago

Non-ghosting bulbs have a resistor in them, so they don't illuminate at all until the voltage reaches around 2-3v (which solves the problem of flickering in a bulb that should be off...generally a problem in inserts). If the issue is that inserts are briefly flickering when you flip, these will solve your problem. http://www.cometpinball.com/category-s/1819.htm

There is another type of bulb that goes one step further. Flux bulbs have a capacitor in them, so they briefly hold a charge if the voltage drops (which should solve the problem of flickering when the bulb is supposed to be lit solidly). They're expensive though, roughly $1 more per bulb, and you'll see them listed as well at the link above. You probably wouldn't need these in your case, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

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