(Topic ID: 86229)

F14 Tomcat display help needed


By mstire

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Pac-Fan
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 5 years ago

My lower left 7 digit display doesn't work. The other three work great

Here's what I checked - Looked at all the header pins and display pins with my USB microscope, all good.
Flipped the ribbon cable around, no difference. Checked continuity of the ribbon cable, all good.
Power supply voltage at 3J5 pin 3 = -104 v , 3J5 pin 4 = +98 v
Voltage at display, pin 7 -95.4 v, pin 31 -95.7 v, pin 6 80.1 v, pin 34 80.4 v

Is there a way to tell for sure if this display is out gassed or is there any thing I missed?
I just picked this machine up and it looks like the other three displays have been replaced at one point. This one looks original.

Does anyone have a working 7 digit display in their stash they would like to sell?

Thanks in advance for any help.
f14 display.JPG

#2 5 years ago

With the lights off is there any glow?

#3 5 years ago

I was working on this in a dimly lit area and it looked pretty black.

Are you thinking that if it has even a little glow it's probably out gassed? No glow might mean something else?

I'll check it again at lunch time and focus more on seeing a slight glow rather than glaring numbers.

#4 5 years ago

Looked again for a faint glow in darker conditions, none.

Anything else to look for or does anyone have an extra display they would part with?

Thanks again for any help.

#5 5 years ago

I would pretty much say the display is dead. I can't see the picture really good but it does look like you have some burn marks in the display.

#6 5 years ago

1) Look really close in the display. I've seen a lot that are blown (have a physical break allowing the gas to escape) having little white specs everywhere. Just having burns alone does NOT mean it's dead, I have a few really burned that work just fine at 100V, but the more burns, the more apt it is old/and possibly dead.

2) Desolder it and hold the back of it up to a toy plasma ball. Does it produce any orange glow anywhere? If not, it's completely outgassed. DO NOT DO THIS WITH IT ATTACHED TO THE BOARD (it will fry the IC's). Don't believe me, check this thread and video: http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/testing-displays-with-a-plasma-ball

#7 5 years ago

Maybe this pic is better. Is this what burn looks like?
new-1.jpg

#8 5 years ago

It's definitely burned, and not consistently so (not entire segments) -- that happens when it is burning when the gas is at lower levels, only part of the segment lights and burns instead of the whole thing.

You will notice I only circled SOME spots on the P3 display but almost the entire display, other than some of the center segments, is burned. But at the same time some segments on P1 and definitely the first two on P2 are burned as well, but they are still working. So burning alone does not guarantee death. Partial segment burning and across almost all segments and all digits generally will be an outgassing situation.

_213011.jpg

#9 5 years ago

What's my options? Send it to someone to have this display replaced I guess.

I read in another thread about some upgrades on these boards to lower the voltage and possibly increase the display life. At the price of these replacement glasses it seems like a wise thing to do.

I don't mind doing some simple board work like re-flowing header pins but these tiny traces intimidate me a little and I'd rather not do this work myself and risk disaster.

Anyone have a good recommendation for this?

#10 5 years ago

The good thing is that the numeric display is easier to obtain vs the alpha-numeric version. Many machines were made that have seven digit displays that can be retrofitted into your application if you can do the work yourself. If you send it out a new one will be the option unless your fixer has an old one available.

Your best option is purchase a new LED display set and sell yours to defray the cost of the new replacement set. The reason this is the best option is that it will not be long before another of your displays goes out. The older the display, the more use, the more likely the display will reach the end of its life cycle.

#11 5 years ago

Just buy a new display, desolder the existing one, and solder in the new one. Cost: About $60 shipped for a new one on average ($53+ship at PBL: http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=538 ). Yes, doing these suck even if you have a good vacuum desoldering station like I do, but the pain is more in the installation of the new one -- getting everything to line up just right before soldering the first lead and hoping the others don't pop out. I've done it 4 times so far on 16 character long alpha displays. These smaller 7 digit ones will be a bit easier. In fact I have to do this same repair myself in the next couple nights on the P4 display. I already have the new glass but have to desolder the dead one first.

Alternately if you dont want to buy a new glass, you could look at finding a used display panel of all 4 (would run typically $125-$150 if all 4 are tested working). But at that point you could look at the ~$200 LED replacement boards instead and sell off this one to someone else at 75% working but used/burned. Note: you have the earlier build of the F14 board with the excess (unused) twist lock light openings on the bottom. This requires a special board due to the different size/configuration of it but PINSCORE makes one.

Yes, just replace 2 zener diodes from 100V versions to 91V versions on the power board. I did that on my High Speed and Jokerz already and will do on my F-14 shortly. It does slightly dim the display but gives them a longer life before they burn out. It does not prevent gas eventually leaking out, but does prevent fast burning of the display segments.

PS: If you do drop the voltage on the power supply, it MAY make one of the other displays too dim to view, and that one too would need replacing. So then it would almost be better to just upgrade to LED and offset the cost by selling the used one. I had this happen on the ball/match display on my high speed -- it flickers a bit on a few segments since it was the most burned, but it's still usable at 91V. The other 4 look fine just a hair dimmer.

#12 5 years ago

Thanks for the input guys,

This display is one of the old ones with the lamp holders on it. It's hard to find a replacement LED one for this and the ones I've seen are around $340. Anyone seen it cheaper?

Guess I didn't do my research very well when I bought this game. I'm going to be really upside down on this game before it's finished.

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from mstire:

Guess I didn't do my research very well when I bought this game. I'm going to be really upside down on this game before it's finished.

That's quite common for most of us. I have the same early F14 display board. Facing the same dilemma as you, I replaced a alpha-numeric display. I believe it is possible to fit the newer display board with a bit of work.

Check with Rob of Lock-When-Lit to explore your options coupled with costs if you are uncomfortable in replacing the display yourself.

http://www.lockwhenlit.com/contactus.htm

#14 5 years ago

I'm in deep on my supposed "complete, working but disassembled" f14 I bought here 6 months ago too. Lots of rare stuff was missing (a reflector/pullies for the center beacon, one of the special hinges holding up the PF, all the clear plastics on top of the PF, etc...) so I know the feeling. Mine was worse as the entire upper playfield was in a single box and I had to reassemble from other peoples pictures online or simply guessing Oh and scrape a layer of yellowed polyurathane off the playfield and level the inserts before even starting! So I feel your pain!

#15 5 years ago

If someone had a F-14 display panel for the more common style displays, would it be easier to retrofit the readily available $150 Rottendog boards?

Meaning the wooden display board itself?

I *think* this is from a F-14 I parted probably 10 years ago. Maybe someone could confirm - F-14 is the only game that I parted that used a display board that would be big enough to fill this opening?

If so, I'd be glad to donate this to the OP of this thread, or *ideally* send it to someone who has access to a CNC rig to duplicate it, as it sounds like multiple people could use them.

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#16 5 years ago

As other mention, bad display. Had to replace one myself not that long ago and wrestled with the option of buying a new glass or switching to the LED display. Ended up going with the glass as I prefer the OEM look.

Be aware though that there are differences in the displays when it comes to the nipple position on the back. The Pinball Life one would not work with my board according to the nipple position graphic they have. I ended up buying from Pinball Resource as it had the nipple location on the other side.

http://www.pbresource.com/brddis/dis-7n.jpg

BTW - I tested my display first before ordering to make sure - I just removed the right one and installed it in the left position and it lit up fine so that meant the board was good.

#17 5 years ago

I had 3 bad displays on my Millionaire. Being the cheap ass I was at the time, and having a bunch of Sys 7 and early Sys 11 displays on individual circuit boards lying around like these, I decided to modify my display panel.
Pinbot displays.jpg
I removed all displays from the Millionaire board, then stripped one end of each ribbon cable and soldered them in place of the displays. I made new standoffs and attached the displays with double-sided foam tape. It was a very tight fit and it looked pretty ratchet, but now if a display goes bad you simply unplug it and plug in a replacement.

I don't think I would do that again, I would just go with LED displays.

#18 5 years ago

That makes me feel less worse Pac. Mine is complete and mostly working. Just need to deal with a little cabinet damage, broken plastics, display and raised inserts. But I paid too much for it! Live and learn.

Quoted from johnwartjr:

If someone had a F-14 display panel for the more common style displays, would it be easier to retrofit the readily available $150 Rottendog boards?

JohnW thanks for the most generous offer. My wood speaker/display mount was kind of beat up so I machined a new wood one in my work shop. It came out really well and everything fits perfect. I also fabricated new steel speaker grills to replace the plastic, warped ones. Just need to stencil on the "W" logos.

Are the newer style LED displays wired different than the old ones like I have? If they are plug and play interchangeable and the newer style display will fit your panel with my machines wiring then that would be great.

I'm not afraid of woodworking so making a new speaker panel to fit the newer LED displays is an option as long as I know they are compatible. I guess I'll be calling Rottendog tomorrow to see if they can help.

photo.JPG

Quoted from LongJohns:As other mention, bad display. Had to replace one myself not that long ago and wrestled with the option of buying a new glass or switching to the LED display. Ended up going with the glass as I prefer the OEM look.

I want to make this pin a keeper and think I should bite the bullet and go LED if I can retrofit the newer style. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before the other 3 displays start giving me grief.

Thanks for all of your support.

#19 5 years ago

The display part should be identical electronically from one F-14 to another. I think the issue is the actual physical panel and mounting locations. But it would be nice if someone with an F-14 could confirm.

It's been a LONG time since I parted that F-14, and would like someone to confirm that the board I posted a picture of is the correct one for F-14 LED displays, too.

Don't want to assume I remembered *anything* correctly after 10 years

#20 5 years ago

John, here's a drawing I made to remake my speaker panel. Does yours measure out the same as these dimensions?

I'm getting some conflicting information between the manufacturers about the plug and play compatibility. Not how it physically mounts but wiring and function.

I'll post when I find out.

spanel.JPG
#21 5 years ago

I talked to Jim at Rottendog and Brett at Xpin and they both confirmed to me that their later style display boards will will also work in the early F 14 machines. It sounds like the speaker/display panel may need to be modified to accommodate the later style display but I believe it's only a matter of mounting hole placement.

I think I'll go ahead and order one and should know in a week or so.

#22 5 years ago

Once you get it all set up and working, I may be interested in your old display board if you're willing to part with it. If so, please drop me a line.

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from LongJohns:

As other mention, bad display. Had to replace one myself not that long ago and wrestled with the option of buying a new glass or switching to the LED display. Ended up going with the glass as I prefer the OEM look.
Be aware though that there are differences in the displays when it comes to the nipple position on the back. The Pinball Life one would not work with my board according to the nipple position graphic they have. I ended up buying from Pinball Resource as it had the nipple location on the other side.
http://www.pbresource.com/brddis/dis-7n.jpg
.

+1 the PBL 7 digit numeric glass did not work in my early F-14 display. The Pinball Resource glass was a perfect fit.

#24 5 years ago

I just finished desoldering my dead P4 and replacing it with a new one. The new one had no nipple. However the leads were about 1/4" too short! To get the most length, I had to basically keep them just level with the bottom of the board, and then solder flat The original stand offs (which all were broken anyway) caused it to be way too tilted out on the top and angled and a bit low on the opening. I will have to use something a bit shorter and just have it a bit more recessed instead. I don't know where mine came from (was included in the box of parts) -- the original had 2 sets of 16 leads, this one had almost half that.. all of the double connections were just a single one of the pair. Everything worked. This one had a weird spiral metal loop inside on the bottom between 2 digits, visible when installed if you are close enough.

Now at least I can see the ball # and a few other things. But of all the displays to go out P4 definitely is the least useful.

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