(Topic ID: 235463)

Ever made a translite backlit frame for wall display?


By SimpleSam

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by jardine
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #1 3 months ago

    I'm interested in making a wall display using a translite. Since they are designed to be backlit, I want to include backlighting in the frame. I have the skills to build a custom frame but I'm unclear of how to do the lighting. My initial idea would be to use LED light strips using white (or maybe RGB?) 5050 strips, a dimmer/remote as a switch, and an appropriate power supply. Has anybody used something like this?

    The other question is how to arrange the lights inside the frame. One way would be to run them around the inside edge; if the frame size is 18X28 that would give (2*18 + 2*28) about 7.5 feet of light strip; even at 125 lumens per foot, that's almost 1,000 lumens. If that's not enough to reach the center, I could run them up and down the frame and have a full 15 foot strip or even multiple strips. I'm not sure about this as it would seem like the lights would create "hot spots" and be visible through the translite although some kind of diffuser could be used.

    I'm hoping to avoid the cost and headaches of trial and error so has anybody got experience in this?

    #2 3 months ago

    I made my own frames out of pine shelf boards, 4" deep
    and installed a 15 watt LED light bulb and bulb socket with pull chain in the lower middle and ran cord to outlet

    #3 3 months ago

    I was actually looking at creating something like this with actual LED #44/#47 bulbs in sockets powered by a 6v power supply. I'm curious to know how a less elaborate system looks. Got any photos, wdennie?

    #5 3 months ago

    I am thinking of doing the same thing. I would like to keep it authentic; use individual bulbs placed where they would have been in the original head and also add the DMD/Speaker panel. I'd do the DMD clock in the display (obviously using one of the B/W with a DMD translite). I think it would be pretty sweet!

    #6 3 months ago

    That’s certainly the easiest way if the translite is the right size. I wonder how it's lit.

    #7 3 months ago
    Quoted from homegameroom:

    I am thinking of doing the same thing. I would like to keep it authentic; use individual bulbs placed where they would have been in the original head and also add the DMD/Speaker panel. I'd do the DMD clock in the display (obviously using one of the B/W with a DMD translite). I think it would be pretty sweet!

    That sounds awesome for somebody who is more skilled than I am. Maybe start with an original light board and wiring harness.

    #8 3 months ago

    Someone sells a light insert, maybe nano technology (like a printed board circuit rather than individual LED bulbs) like the Stern frames use, it's a kit for custom frames. Maybe it was spotlightdisplays? I first heard about them in a post by them on Pinside.

    On second look, it was these guys:

    This place has some interesting light boxes and this in particular sells just the actual box insert light panel.

    https://www.blueriverdigital.com/lightboxes/LyteBlade-Econo-LED

    #9 3 months ago

    I didn't mention that in my case it's a backglass (not translite) from a woodrail pinball. Whatever lights I pick should probably be "warm white".

    #10 3 months ago

    I found a backlit Miller Beer display at a garage sale and I put in a Cactus Canyon translite. Looks awesome.

    #11 3 months ago

    From the parallel thread:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/lit-frames-led-backlit-translite-frames

    and seeing a Stern panel, I think the ideal solution is a 'light guide panel' or an LED strip edge lit setup that diffuses evenly in into a diffuser panel. Both will give consistent lighting across the entire panel. The light guide panel looks like the ideal setup but finding consumer direct parts seems challenging. I'm sure someone with some expertise in that technology enlighten us all.

    In any case, both solutions looks far superior to simple backlit solution where LEDs shine directly through a diffuser or just the translite, IMHO.

    #12 3 months ago
    Quoted from EarlGrey:

    From the parallel thread:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/lit-frames-led-backlit-translite-frames
    and seeing a Stern panel, I think the ideal solution is a 'light guide panel' or an LED strip edge lit setup that diffuses evenly in into a diffuser panel. Both will give consistent lighting across the entire panel. The light guide panel looks like the ideal setup but finding consumer direct parts seems challenging. I'm sure someone with some expertise in that technology enlighten us all.
    In any case, both solutions looks far superior to simple backlit solution where LEDs shine directly through a diffuser or just the translite, IMHO.

    I'll have to look at this in depth when I have a bit of time; I think it is exactly what I am looking for. The vendor product looks interesting as well as the video on how the other person made their own. I wish I had seen that thread when I googled it.

    #13 3 months ago
    Quoted from PSchwisow:

    I was actually looking at creating something like this with actual LED #44/#47 bulbs in sockets powered by a 6v power supply. I'm curious to know how a less elaborate system looks. Got any photos, wdennie?

    It looks fine, and no need for any elaborate electrical wiring, also provides a very even light with no hot spots that individual bulbs might case. You could also use a 2 foot fluorescent bulb, like what Stern and Sega would use.
    I'll see if I can get any pictures.
    I've done 4 so far, simple to make, paint and looks more like its a thinner back box

    #14 3 months ago

    I made one of these for about 10 bucks with a string of 50 ct white Xmas lights (on clearance, prob $2.00) and a piece of pine. I stocked up on more strings of lights this year because i have about 4 more I want to make, just need the wall space to hang them.....

    #15 3 months ago

    I made one for under $100 bucks. I posted the video and parts needed on my blog and YouTube site.

    Blog Post (Parts and Pics) :
    https://pinballsupernova.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/pinball-related-builds-construction-of-a-light-box-for-pinball-translites-video/

    YouTube Video:

    #16 3 months ago
    Quoted from SimpleSam:

    I'll have to look at this in depth when I have a bit of time; I think it is exactly what I am looking for. The vendor product looks interesting as well as the video on how the other person made their own. I wish I had seen that thread when I googled it.

    Stern has the same:

    https://shop.sternpinball.com/collections/accessories/products/led-back-lit-translite-frame-lcd-game-display-style

    #17 3 months ago
    Quoted from wiggy07:

    I made one for under $100 bucks. I posted the video and parts needed on my blog and YouTube site.
    Blog Post (Parts and Pics) :
    https://pinballsupernova.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/pinball-related-builds-construction-of-a-light-box-for-pinball-translites-video/
    YouTube Video:

    Great video; it's just what I was looking for. It looks like you are using a full (or close to full) 16 foot strip of lights. What type of LEDs did you use (5050, 3528, etc) and density (300 LEDs or 600 LEDs for the 16 foot strip?). Mounting the LEDs to a foam back so it is readily replaceable is a great idea as the LEDs can fail.

    The snap in frame looks like a super slick answer on getting the translite mounted in the frame. The only catch is that they are much more expensive than just building the frame to allow the translites to slide in and out. I'll have to keep that in the back of my mind if building proves difficult.

    #18 3 months ago
    Quoted from SimpleSam:

    Great video; it's just what I was looking for. It looks like you are using a full (or close to full) 16 foot strip of lights. What type of LEDs did you use (5050, 3528, etc) and density (300 LEDs or 600 LEDs for the 16 foot strip?). Mounting the LEDs to a foam back so it is readily replaceable is a great idea as the LEDs can fail.
    The snap in frame looks like a super slick answer on getting the translite mounted in the frame. The only catch is that they are much more expensive than just building the frame to allow the translites to slide in and out. I'll have to keep that in the back of my mind if building proves difficult.

    Thanks for the positive comments, look at the bottom of the blog link I included in the post above. I included the parts list with links to everything I used for the build. The LED's I used are from Amazon and work great. Good luck on the build.

    amazon.com link »

    #19 3 months ago
    Quoted from SimpleSam:

    That’s certainly the easiest way if the translite is the right size. I wonder how it's lit.

    They use a type of acrylic that is lit from the sides. I can't find the acrylic cheap enough to make DIY worth it.
    I made something for a backlight, but my frame wasn't quite deep enough and the light isn't as uniform as I'd like.

    For my translights I'm just going with the stern option or the lit frame option. It is hard to make some for less than $100 yourself.

    #20 3 months ago
    Quoted from SimpleSam:

    I'm hoping to avoid the cost and headaches of trial and error so has anybody got experience in this?

    I have done a few.
    Total cost less then $30 each.

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    #21 3 months ago
    Quoted from Bundy:

    I have done a few.
    Total cost less then $30 each.
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    The way you have built the frame so the translite slides in from the top is what I was initially thinking of. That method is not as slick as the snap closed ones but it would only cost a few dollars. The snap closed style would work well if you wanted to have just one and swap different translites in but they would all have to be the same size. If you wanted two like you have, the snap closed frames alone would be $120!

    The way you have done your lighting is interesting; you are mimicking the original light pattern. I'm assuming the light pattern is different for the two translites. What did you do for the alpha numeric displays; did you cover them with some kind of blue film? I'm not seeing any power cable on the finished product; is that a battery box? If so, how many batteries are you using and how long do the batteries last? How are you switching it on and off?

    #22 3 months ago

    Yes the light is different for each back glass.
    The blue is tinted in the glass.
    I hate power cables running down the wall so they are powered by a 3s Li-Po battery. Current battery last 3 hours, If I want longer time I just use a larger capacity battery.
    The switch is a simple 12v automotive pressure switch mounted flush on the top.

    #23 3 months ago

    The Stern frame is not the same as the Lit Frames version (mine). I have the Stern LCD backlit frame for comparison. Here are a few benefits of my frame over the Stern frame:

    - Stern frames are the unfinished aluminum color vs mine is painted black

    - My frame has an in-line dimmer and on/off switch and I will be offering an adaptor with the ability to link up to 4 frames with 1 power adapter.

    - There are no mounting rings on the back of the Stern frame, you have to screw it to the wall. This defeats the purpose of quick translite swaps. Mine has mini D rings with picture hanging wire to put on a single screw in the wall....NOT 4 holes in the wall

    - Light shines out the back of the Stern frame. My version has a black plexi back panel to prevent light shining out the back

    - I offer a 30 day money back guarantee

    - I don't aim to be the cheapest option, but I do strive for quality, value, features, and outstanding support

    - I will also be offering WPC 90's, JJP Promo, and Sys 11 sizes as demand increases

    Thanks,
    Brad
    Lit Frames

    #24 3 months ago
    Quoted from EarlGrey:

    From the parallel thread:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/lit-frames-led-backlit-translite-frames
    and seeing a Stern panel, I think the ideal solution is a 'light guide panel' or an LED strip edge lit setup that diffuses evenly in into a diffuser panel

    1,000%

    The diffuser panels are crucial for getting even edge-to-edge lighting. If only the pinball manufacturers would adopt them for their games.

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    #25 3 months ago

    I just checked the prices of plastic at the local Home Depot and find that they are not going to be a source; way too expensive. The spotlight displays frame may be the best choice just due to the fact that it comes with front and rear plastic.

    #26 3 months ago

    I used PhotoGlow panels to backlight translites and backglasses. Full size edge to edge. No hot spots.

    https://photoglow.com/products/custom-sizes/

    The ones behind my bar lift up like real backglasses with the light panel behind. Lexan in front of the translites, nothing in front of the backglass.

    The Cinderella glass is mounted with the wood from an old head unit. The left side is removable to slide the glass out.

    These aren’t great pictures- the lighting effect is far softer and more natural than appears in the pictures.

    C9240FB0-85EE-4FD5-BE3A-57DA509F7F13 (resized).jpegEC16F5A7-7A9F-4B29-BB13-E388E264B2E5 (resized).jpeg

    #27 3 months ago

    I made these! Love em. Have them hanging in my room and they look great!

    14054688_818046814963300_1982280074_n (resized).jpg14081008_818046861629962_1326611801_n (resized).jpg14087667_818046914963290_1272481653_o (resized).jpg14088988_818046831629965_30607357_n (resized).jpg
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