(Topic ID: 138193)

Flash Gordon Strobe Light

By allknowing2012

7 years ago

Topic Heartbeat

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  • 41 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Skins
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders


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#1 7 years ago

I realize this is a pretty common problem - strobe is not working - never has since I had the machine. Can anyone point to some basic tests I can do to troubleshoot what might be the problem. It hasnt worked for years - but figured why not take a look at it.
So I pulled the bracket off - the board and bulb are intact - wasnt stripped by the previous owner .
I replaced the 1A slow blow fuse - didnt appear to be bad but replaced anyways.

Any simple test to determine the repair strategy? Or do I just buy a replacement board/bulb and be done with it.

(Novice electrical work - I have a multi-meter and I am not afraid to use it - I have read that there is some serious shock hazzards in there so please help a fella out on anything with that to be ware of)

#2 7 years ago

I am not familiar with that board but you should check to see if you are getting the correct voltages at either the test points (if it has them) or connector.

#3 7 years ago

Yes, high voltage will remain on this board even after powering off the game. Normally it's a bad strobe lamp. You can find cheap strobes here:


#4 7 years ago

Any pointers as to not getting zapped? Again a novice around these high voltage things.

#5 7 years ago

Leave it off overnight, that should be plenty long enough to bleed out the caps. Then just replace the strobe lamp.

I bought one like this and took the lamp out of the housing. They have more 'nude' strobes but I'm not sure which ones will work....


Get the new strobe in there and if it works you're finished. If not, then we can start poking around with a meter and trying not to get zapped.

#6 7 years ago

You can get a new strobe assembly with modern components fron Pinpoint Electronics

#7 7 years ago

Thanks folks .. I will order away and update when I get the part. May take some time as I am in Canada .. and things seem to get stuck at the border..

#8 7 years ago

Seems the assembly unit is sold out everywhere .. if you can point me to one that has them I might go that route.

#9 7 years ago

I yanked one out of an old Polaroid from my local thrift store.....not a perfect fit, but it worked fine.

#10 7 years ago

Yeah, just about any 3-lead strobe will work. The one I linked I planned on using the whole housing, but when it couldn't be made to fit I took the bulb out and replaced the old one. Not exactly the right length, but it sits in there OK and has been working for around 15 years now.

No need to dump a lot of money into it. Those strobes are CHEEP and easily replaced.

#11 7 years ago

The replacement board/unit is available through Big Daddy Enterprises. They're a really great supplier. I replaced my strobe bulb with an electronic goldmine xenon strobe tube, and had no luck. It happens! I also replaced the capacitors, no dice.

#12 7 years ago

I was a beta tester for the Pinpoint unit. The thing was very well made, and I had only one minor
Suggestion about the mount. It's been running in my FG for a few years now with no problems.

2 weeks later
#13 7 years ago

I replaced the bulb with G19123 from Electronic Goldmine - no luck., no flash
Going to jimmy-rig up the G13603 and see if that will flash.


#14 7 years ago

The second one is very similar to the one I used. I didn't try any nude strobe lamps.

Hope it works!

#15 7 years ago

Neither bulb worked .. anyone provide any bench tests I can perform with a multimeter? If its a simple component swap, I am up for that. Worst case is $150Cdn to purchase a replacement board.

#16 7 years ago

fixed one of these yesterday!
needed new 330r resistor that feeds opto LED, new opto (used MOC3010) and new triac, used a BT137-600 to replace original SC141D. Worth checking the two big are still OK.
BE careful of the high voltages - i connected a household lamp across the caps to discharge, check with meter to ensure they have discharged before working on.


#17 7 years ago

Are the opto the long rectangular components? How to test?
The Capacitors are the cylinder components .. and I can test those (carefully) via a multimeter..

#18 7 years ago

The capacitors read 35microF and 32.5microF so I think they are good.

#21 7 years ago

the opto is the little 6-pin dil package, probably not very easy to check, best to just replace using a socket if possible. The triac is the other side of the two big watty resistors and you should be able to check that with your meter in diode mode, most likely your find a pair of legs shorted. The 330r resistor you can easily check with your meter, not sure why my one went open circuit!!
Also reflow header pins as these often crack causing intermittent problems

#22 7 years ago

I replaced the moc3011. Still no flash. BTW, is there a test mode that would flash it? Does it flash during the lights test mode? I just assume it flashes in game when it says "Flash".
Going to replace the diodes and capacitors even though I feel they are testing out ok.

#23 7 years ago

It flashes a few times when the ball goes in the saucer.

#24 7 years ago

OK, meter on AC Volts, 200V range. Measure strobe board connector from pin 1 to pin 3. 115VAC there?

Meter on DC Volts, 50 volt range. Measure pin 8 to ground. About 6-7 volts there?

Start up a game - CAUTION - high voltage present!

Move red meter lead from pin 8 to pin 7. Drop the ball in the saucer. Do you see the reading fluctuate up and down?

#25 7 years ago

"Measure strobe board connector from pin 1 to pin 3. 115VAC there?" -- not reading anything it seems here??

#26 7 years ago

"Measure pin 8 to ground. About 6-7 volts there" - yes 6.99
Red probe in 7 & black on ground (green wire on the bracket) .. around 0-0.2, never any movement when ball in saucer or during "flash" vocals.
*This was done just with the connector *NOT* connected to the strobe unit - looking at the diagram perhaps di I need to have it all connected to get any reading on pin 7??

#27 7 years ago

I wonder if I am getting anything out of my "transformer" on the bottom cabinet. Doesnt appear to be 115v going to the 1&3 pins from there. There is connectivity thru the fuse and wiring. Transformer doesnt get warm or any sign of life by touching it etc. 115v on the wires coming from the switch into the transformer wire block.

#29 7 years ago

Check your transformer assembly. Look for J5. It should have two red wires coming in to a connector that change to solid orange and solid green. There should be 115 VAC measured from pin to pin. Without the 115VAC input, the strobe is not gonna work.

[Edit] "F1" is shown in the strobe schematic on the supply side, but I think that's the AC main fuse.

#30 7 years ago

I have 115 coming in from the switch, passing thru the fuse.
I stcuk a probe for AC on the one red wire coming out (just one proble) and it read 8,
I then moved the probe over to the other red wire (again just one probe, other black probe left not touching anything) and it too read ~8.
That doesnt seem right - unless I am testing it incorrectly.

#31 7 years ago

No, with your meter set to ~AC Volts 200 volt range, put one lead on each of the red wire connector pins (or orange and green on the other side if that's easier). Should measure 115 VAC.


#32 7 years ago

Thanks cody -- I wasnt doing that .. I did find that one of the red wires was broken off the pin and getting a 0 reading on the resistance. So I will repair that tonight and retest.
PS Nice Artwork

#33 7 years ago

+1, you got a Pictionary winner there!

#34 7 years ago

It's the best I could do with a touchpad and paint...

#36 7 years ago

Well it turns out it was a bad wire to the connector. I replaced that and using your diagram verified I had voltage. It was a bit high at 128VAC but best of all - I HAVE A STROBE!! Woohoo!
Thanks guys for all your patience. I guess the lesson here is dont wait weeks for parts - check the basics like power inputs first.

#37 7 years ago

Yes, we should have verified operating voltage first...I jumped to the assumption the strobe lamp was bad. Hey, at least we fixed before you bought a whole new unit.

now "Try again, Earthling!"

2 weeks later
#38 7 years ago

But its still off during gameplay and at start up test

Whitch cablefrom mpu board controlss the strobe?

I am out of ideas

#39 7 years ago
Quoted from DEN:

Whitch cablefrom mpu board controlss the strobe?

None. It's controlled by the Aux. lamp driver board. Check aux. lamp driver for cracked solder joints on all of the header pins. Common problem.

#40 7 years ago

That was it. Thanks -)

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