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(Topic ID: 142036)

"Flash" Williams 1979 Strobe light question plus other questions.


By Scrooloose

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 8 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by DavidC
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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There have been 8 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

ssr2.jpg
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strobe.png
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#1 5 years ago

I am getting ready to pump some life into a Flash pinball machine. This is my 2nd pinball machine restoration project. The first one I did about 15 years ago was basically a cleanup and swap out each piece for piece. Pretty easy.

Now this one is different. Mind you I have very little electronics background but build computers all the time. I know there is a big margin there. This game that I picked up has all the schematics, prints and parts manuals.

So far I have a LED kit, lighted flipper buttons, 2 sets of LCD scoresboards, plunger. Will I need a new power supply for the LED"s?

Ok for the strobe question. I was in high school when this machine came out. Our local Malibu Grand Prix had one but what was different that it had a strobe light attached at the top of the back glass. Everytime the flash would go off the strobe would also flash. What would be needed (besides the strobe) to make this happen?

Thank you for your time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am a noob when it comes to this. Enclosed is pictures. I have another question. The image with the 2 boards I notice that there is a maple coloured board that looks like either 3 fuses or batteries go in those slots. Which is it?

Again thank you all. =)

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#3 5 years ago

The mpu has three battery holder put remote pack in or get rid of batteries all together.

LED use less power so no extra supply needed.

Lot of issues with those early williams system 3-6 boards. Look up vids guide or pinwiki on all the issues.

Add fuses for solenoid and lamp bridges.

I think you are talking about adding Bally strobe unit from FG into Flash. I thought about it but never did it.

#4 5 years ago

I would like to know how to put a strobe light in Flash as well. I remember when Flash was new at the arcade it had a strobe light on top of it. The brown wood box type I am sure allot of us had back then.

#5 5 years ago
Quoted from alimerick:

I would like to know how to put a strobe light in Flash as well. I remember when Flash was new at the arcade it had a strobe light on top of it. The brown wood box type I am sure allot of us had back then.

It looks like someone mentioned that the mod may have been featured in an old Star Tech Journal.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.games.pinball/kseDU1QCQdk

[edit]: Looks like it might be Volume 2, Issue 1 titled "Williams Strobe Light Hook-Up for Flash"

http://www.startechjournal.com/back_issues_files/masterindex27.pdf

http://startechjournal.com/Back_Issues.html

[edit 2]: I'm having a hard time finding any actual information on how to hook up a strobe. I wonder if anyone has an old issue kicking around...

#6 5 years ago

I also remember when Flash came out seeing ones with the strobe on top but was never able to find out the original circuit. The magazine article mentioned would be useful, but have not been able to find a copy.

I figured out a somewhat kludgy approach that is relatively cheap and works quite well. It is also not that complicated in that it does not require a special strobe light or any modifications to an off-the-shelf one. The one I bought looks like this:

strobe.png

This was found at Spencer's Gifts for about $25, although I think it is on sale for $15 right now. What I used to power and trigger the strobe was something like this:

ssr.jpg

Hook up an extension cord with one wire cut and connected through the AC side of the SSR, plugging the cord into an outlet and strobe into the other end. Then simply connect the flash lamp under the playfield crescent insert to the DC side.

I found that just plugging the strobe into the wall would make it start to flash instantly, and the pulse width of the trigger and power going on and off from the SSR appears long enough to trigger the lamp to flash. You do have to fine-tune the adjustable flash rate on the strobe to fire exactly once: Too low and it may not fire at all, too high and it may fire more than once (which may not be a problem), but there is a sweet spot where it is 90% of the time firing exactly one time.

Probably not the approach used originally, but it works great. Also not sure if long term turning the strobe on and off like this will hurt it, but I have several hundred games on this design and it still works fine.

One down side is that in attract mode flash fires the lamps every couple of seconds and that can get annoying to have the strobe going at the same time, so I upgraded to this kind of SSR:

ssr2.jpg

This one has two switches, although you only need one. It also requires a 5v and ground connection, which sounds like more work, but it does allow you to connect ground through the flipper relay at the flipper button, so only when the flippers are active during a game does the relay fire. You do have to find a 5v source; I have to run a wire to the backbox for that.

#7 5 years ago

Wow thank you all for the responses. =) I will let you all know if I blow up or made it work. I will keep posting the progression.

I am glad that others have seen the strobe attached. I have asked others who are pinball repair people and they look at me like I am nuts. lol

2 years later
#8 3 years ago
Quoted from CNKay:

The mpu has three battery holder put remote pack in or get rid of batteries all together.
LED use less power so no extra supply needed.
Lot of issues with those early williams system 3-6 boards. Look up vids guide or pinwiki on all the issues.
Add fuses for solenoid and lamp bridges.
I think you are talking about adding Bally strobe unit from FG into Flash. I thought about it but never did it.

Can you please tell me how to add fuses for solenoid and lamp bridges?please...

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