Future Spa: Father and Son's Second Restoration [COMPLETE]

(Topic ID: 208174)

Future Spa: Father and Son's Second Restoration [COMPLETE]


By jsa

8 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 553 posts
  • 53 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 hours ago by jsa
  • Topic is favorited by 48 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 348 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

C00BDC88-B25C-4C89-9094-FBA0AD388097.jpeg
waveform_info.jpg
lamp (resized).jpg
before_after_resto.jpg
765DF8E6-ADF9-4FF6-9429-2BC75867DD13.jpeg
66ABFB7B-0EC6-4322-B48D-D1736B792058.jpeg
Transformer3 (resized).jpg
IMG_3259 2.JPG
IMG_3257 2.JPG
IMG_3277.JPG
IMG_3278.JPG
IMG_20181013_015243537_BURST000_COVER_TOP (resized).jpg
IMG_3257.JPG
IMG_3252.JPG
IMG_3258.JPG
072418091133.jpg

There are 553 posts in this topic. You are on page 9 of 12.
#401 11 days ago
Quoted from Quench:

What do you mean about your noise getting lower? There shouldn't be any to begin with.

I was having trouble getting waveforms not to be a mess (you thought that maybe my ground wasn't connected). At first I thought it was noise or something on the machine, but as I played around with the ground lead and got it better connected, the waveforms cleaned up. So my whole rabbit hole about noise may have been a red herring. Did I just mix metaphors? I'm starting the day perfect.

Quoted from Quench:

I see you're using an Alltek Solenoid driver board. I believe their 5 volt power is a switch mode power supply (SMPS) which operate at high frequency and can generate noise.

So, have you have a Bally solenoid driver board you can try - their 5 volts is generated by a "linear" regulator which doesn't generate any high frequency noise.

I do have a Bally solenoid driver board! It's not bulletproofed or refreshed in any way, but it works. I'll put it in today and take some more measurements.

Quoted from Quench:

Isn't this telling us something? When you say "free floating", do you mean not screwed down?

In a conversation I had with Alltek, one of the suggestions was to isolate the LDB from the backplane ground, just to experiment, so at one point I had the Alltek screwed down and the Bally "floating" in front of it loose. Didn't make any difference to anything, but when I was chasing those ugly waveforms I thought maybe it had something to do with it...It didn't.

Quoted from Quench:

One other thing, I think you mentioned earlier at some point that when the game gets warm less lamps flicker. Have you tried using a hair drier to work out what item being heated is affecting the flicker?

I would, but given I've swapped the MPU and LDB in various combinations, I feel like I'm chasing my tail. The only thing I could really try is the rectifier, but why would the rectifier getting warmer impact the voltage from the MPU to the LDB? Anyway, feel free to suggest heating up anything, I'll look like a fancy hair stylist and run around this thing with my son heating every element if that gets us to the solution.

Quoted from Quench:

Sorry which board J2 and J3 you're referring to?

I was talking about the LDB. Maybe I've got my connectors wrong...Top left and bottom left, the only connectors on the LDB we need to perform the test. The lower left brings power, the upper left to the MPU (maybe that's J4).

#402 11 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Dumb question, but do you have the screw or wing nut attaching the head ground to the body ground tight?[quoted image]

Yes, tight as can be. I've also checked and re-checked resistance and continuity between all these ground leads. That being said that is the opposite of a dumb question, because at this point, the problem is something that is going to be completely dumb and silly and we just need to find it.

Maybe something else in these photos will give you a clue:

VH1A6214.JPG

VH1A6216.JPG

VH1A6217.JPG

#403 11 days ago

While we're on that topic, let me present some photos of the machine, outside and in. You might call this the big reveal. Feel free to pick apart the photos if you find anything strange or have any questions, maybe it will also lead to a discovery in our lighting ghost!

VH1A6186.JPG

VH1A6191.JPG

VH1A6193.JPG

VH1A6198.JPG

VH1A6205.JPG

VH1A6211.JPG

VH1A6212.JPG

VH1A6215.JPG

VH1A6219.JPG

VH1A6220.JPG

VH1A6222.JPG

VH1A6223.JPG

VH1A6224.JPG

VH1A6225.JPG

VH1A6226.JPG

VH1A6227.JPG

VH1A6239.JPG

#404 11 days ago

She looks truly amazing, beautiful job!

The ground braid running in front of the transformer cage looks like it's insulated from the cage in some clear blueish tube - or is the braid connected to lugs there? I can't quite tell from the angle.

Quoted from jsa:

I do have a Bally solenoid driver board! It's not bulletproofed or refreshed in any way, but it works. I'll put it in today

Yes, please do.

Quoted from jsa:

I would, but given I've swapped the MPU and LDB in various combinations, I feel like I'm chasing my tail. The only thing I could really try is the rectifier, but why would the rectifier getting warmer impact the voltage from the MPU to the LDB? Anyway, feel free to suggest heating up anything, I'll look like a fancy hair stylist and run around this thing with my son heating every element if that gets us to the solution.

Hold off on the raygun, erm I mean hair drier until there are results on the SDB swap.

Quoted from jsa:

I was talking about the LDB. Maybe I've got my connectors wrong...Top left and bottom left, the only connectors on the LDB we need to perform the test. The lower left brings power, the upper left to the MPU (maybe that's J4).

J4 upper left has ground, 5 volts, the lamp address, data and strobe signals.
J2 lower left has lamp drives only - no logic signals coming in.

#405 11 days ago
Quoted from Quench:

She looks truly amazing, beautiful job!

Thanks, but my son deserves a lot of credit as well. We worked hard.

Quoted from Quench:

The ground braid running in front of the transformer cage looks like it's insulated from the cage in some clear blueish tube - or is the braid connected to lugs there? I can't quite tell from the angle.

It is the lug, which has a blue strip on the crimped area. Basically, anywhere the ground braid was screwed into something, or originally had a yellow plastic covered ground strap, we replaced it with a lug and braid. What's great about this is that the braid doesn't disintegrate over time and it's very serviceable. It's not isolated from the cage, as it's connected to the metal slide base for the lamp panel door, which is also connected to the cage.

IMG_3232.JPG

Quoted from Quench:

Hold off on the raygun, erm I mean hair drier until there are results on the SDB swap.

Not surprisingly, I plugged in the SDB and it didn't work. I'm doing some early tests to see if it's just a fuse or a solder joint. I won't spend too much time on it but I want to see if I can get it working.

#406 11 days ago

Turned out beautiful. A HEP quality job.

#407 11 days ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Turned out beautiful. A HEP quality job.

Wow, thanks for the complement. I think high_end_pins could bang this out in 2 weeks. It took us 10 months. That's experience for you!

#408 11 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

Not surprisingly, I plugged in the SDB and it didn't work. I'm doing some early tests to see if it's just a fuse or a solder joint. I won't spend too much time on it but I want to see if I can get it working.

I got the old SDB working. Unfortunately there are some bad traces and solder joints... and while I want to fix it, I just got it working enough to know I'm getting the identical problem as with the new SDB. We now know the blinking lamps are not caused by anything specific to the SDB either.

I moved the machine to a new location, with power I trust more and better lighting for working. We're calling the restoration COMPLETE, but we're going to keep working on this blinking light mystery here in this thread.

#409 11 days ago

As with all of these restorations, it couldn't happen without all your support along the way, so thank you so much from both of us. There were times when we literally thought we couldn't make it this time (automotive paints, omg) but your encouragement kept us going.

Thanks to this amazing community! I probably forgot a few, but a quick shout out to a few of you amazing peeps:

mustangpaul arcane vid1900 atari_daze bryan_kelly high_end_pins quench barakandl inkochnito mof jethrop @jjsmoth pintechev radium g94 cottonm4 xenon75 bjm-maxx jibmums trk12fire rack-em-up pinzap elicash grnrzr chill lb1 steamfitter joey_n pinkid the4horse pinballinreno tommy-dog tsskinne madmax541 legtod2 roygbev groucho hawkmoon lynnindenver nimblepin squeakman mk1mod0 redketchup wm6929 heni1977 wolffcub skins

You folks are the best.

Now help me find this source of lamp flashing. LOL!

#410 11 days ago

Way to go!

What’s the next restoration candidate?

#411 10 days ago
Quoted from pintechev:

Way to go! What’s the next restoration candidate?

Right now I'm going to quietly put the rotisserie away until I've negotiated more space in the house for pinball machines.

#412 10 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

As with all of these restorations, it couldn't happen without all your support along the way, so thank you so much from both of us. There were times when we literally thought we couldn't make it this time (automotive paints, omg) but your encouragement kept us going.
Thanks to this amazing community! I probably forgot a few, but a quick shout out to a few of you amazing peeps:
mustangpaul arcane vid1900 atari_daze bryan_kelly high_end_pins quench barakandl inkochnito mof jethrop @jjsmoth pintechev radium g94 cottonm4 xenon75 bjm-maxx jibmums trk12fire rack-em-up pinzap elicash grnrzr chill lb1 steamfitter joey_n pinkid the4horse pinballinreno tommy-dog tsskinne madmax541 legtod2 roygbev groucho hawkmoon lynnindenver nimblepin squeakman mk1mod0 redketchup wm6929 heni1977 wolffcub skins
You folks are the best.
Now help me find this source of lamp flashing. LOL!

Your VERY welcome. I REALLY enjoyed watching you two do this, I just wish I had the time to do something like this. I'll follow another of your resto's if and when you decide to do another.

#413 10 days ago

quench and barakandl ... what do you make of this.

Alltek diagnostic board connected, same wiring/setup, either Alltek or Bally LDB, I can light individual lamps or entire SCRs with no blinking, one by one. That's the diagnostic board telling the MPU to light a lamp. MPU tells the LDB/SCR to turn on. No problem.

Game boots up normal code, no diagnostic board, Q14 gets those intermittent wave forms on the gate leg like this:

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 12.45.33 PM.png

I have not re-terminated the power going into the LDB. Before I do, is there a way to measure that and check it to see if there is anything weird arriving there?

If not that, how can this be anything but a game code bug of some kind, related to interrupts or something? Speculation, but if so, maybe something invisible up until now for two reasons:

1) No one restores/messes with a Future Spa. It's like the kid who gets picked last for dodge ball. Maybe I'm the first to see this?

2) In most circumstances, these games have incandescents, and maybe when there is enough draw (the playfield connected, the lamps all 44s) it masks the intermittent off state of these phantom SCRs.

Is that possible? Just throwing it out there.

#414 10 days ago

Get the hair dryer out and start heating stuff to see what improves the situation. Heat the boards one by one to try and isolate it. Don't cook them, just speed up the boards getting warm to see what reduces the flickering.

Have you got an EPROM programmer?

#415 10 days ago
Quoted from Quench:

Get the hair dryer out and start heating stuff to see what improves the situation. Heat the boards one by one to try and isolate it. Don't cook them, just speed up the boards getting warm to see what reduces the flickering.
Have you got an EPROM programmer?

I'll give it a shot. Yes, I have an EPROM programmer...and probably some blank ROMs as well. Note I'm not switching ROMs between boards, the Alltek has all the ROMs in a single chip.

#416 10 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

I'll give it a shot. Yes, I have an EPROM programmer...and probably some blank ROMs as well. Note I'm not switching ROMs between boards, the Alltek has all the ROMs in a single chip.

Ok new information. Remember, we found these bad waveforms with no lamps of any kind attached. So take this all with a grain of salt.

Before I began this next test with a heat gun, I made sure all the lamps that have EVER blinked inappropriately were replaced with 44s. Just because. As you can see below, I never got to a heat gun.

With no warm up period, immediately after powering up, all the lower FUTURE SPA and upper UTURE rollovers lamps now behaved appropriately. Those lamps now never blink in any weird way. Fascinating. All we did was increase amp draw going to 44s from 47s.

Also with no warm up period, the upper rollover F and the center target SPA all blink inappropriately during attract, lamp test, and game play.

After a short period (let's call it 3 minutes), ALL the lamps begin to behave appropriately during attract and lamp test... which is great... but...

During GAME PLAY, the upper rollover F and the center target SPA all blink inappropriately.

What do all of those have in common?

*They are all address 0 on the four decoder chips.*

My goal is to get LEDs back in here and working eventually, so the question is: Why would going to 44s change the behavior? Also, what would effect only address 0 on the decoder chips?

I've also verified that other Future Spas out there do not have this problem, so it's not going to be in the code.

#417 9 days ago

This game turned out awesome...stunning example! Congrats to both you and your son.

I just picked one up tonight...and now you’re making me want to go the distance given how beautiful this game looks when done with as much effort as you put in. Truly fantastic job.

#418 9 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

My goal is to get LEDs back in here and working eventually, so the question is: Why would going to 44s change the behavior?

Incandescents lamps are very low resistance. When they're being switched on by the SCR, there is greater current flow going through the SCR which it needs to latch and stay on.
LEDs are very high resistance. The current they draw when lit is low and causes the SCRs to have difficulty latching on. This is the reason for using resistor solutions with LEDs to increase the current flow which helps the SCRs to latch on. However the resistors being used are nowhere near as low as the resistance of an incandescent lamp. The resistor value we use is "good enough" to solve the issue while keeping power consumption low.
At 6.3 volts, the current through #44 lamps are generally 300ma, while LEDs are generally 20ma - 60ma depending on the type.

Please if you can stay with incandescents for now. The system was designed around them. LEDs practically switch on and off instantly. Incandescents have persistence. Your eyes are not going to notice a brief instant power loss on an incandescent where you will with LEDs.
It's also not uncommon for people who have installed LEDs throughout their game that some of them flicker in lamp test mode but work ok in game/attract mode.
The factory design using incandescents that are flickering right now is the primary issue.

If you look at the waveforms of the lamp power we took (example below), they are what we call rectified but unregulated DC. They basically look like mountains that start from zero volts, rise to a peak around 10 -13 volts then fall back to zero volts and repeats 120 or 100 times per second depending on country.
Bally cleverly designed the system to switch feature lamps on early in the DC phase while the voltage is low (but rising), in order to gently power on the lamps. When the voltage has then dropped back to zero volts at the end of the DC power phase, the current through the SCRs drops to zero and the SCRs switch off. This process resulted in extending the life of the lamps. When the DC voltage has hit zero, this is what we call Zero Crossing. The Zero Crossing detector on the MPU board interrupts the CPU so it can take care of critical system functions which includes refreshing the lamp SCRs.
Lamps are refreshed starting from address 0 through to 16. The problem all along appears to be lamps that are being switched on earliest in the DC lamp power phase with address 0 lamps being worst affected. Why your game is suffering from this is the big question.

FeatureLamp_DC (resized).jpg

#419 9 days ago
Quoted from Quench:

Please if you can stay with incandescents for now.

That's the plan, until this is solved. Note, the majority of sockets didn't flicker, and those higher addressed lamps still have LEDs. I can switch everything out to incandescents but they seem to be operating independent of these tests pretty well without any impact to testing so far. I'm happy to swap more out though.

Quoted from Quench:

It's also not uncommon for people who have installed LEDs throughout their game that some of them flicker in lamp test mode but work ok in game/attract mode.

Yes, but in this case, the incandescents flicker in game mode, and don't in lamp test/attract! Different behavior than you're mentioning there.

Quoted from Quench:

The problem all along appears to be lamps that are being switched on earliest in the DC lamp power phase with address 0 lamps being worst affected. Why your game is suffering from this is the big question.

I'm a network engineer originally. My brain tends to think about signal clarity and things I've seen in the past.

I've definitely seen situations where data being sent worked fine when 1's are sent, but failed when 0's are sent. Or maybe a better way to put it: If you put payload on a line, the payload arrives fine. If you remove payload, and send nothing, noise isn't pushed out by the payload, so you get noise. It makes me wonder if something like that is happening here...Perhaps I have noise, which is drowned out most of the time, but when competing with a 0 addressing, sometimes corrupts that addressing.

Pure speculation. However, it would explain why other games work and mine does not, because I've somehow introduced noise.

#420 9 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

That's the plan, until this is solved. Note, the majority of sockets didn't flicker, and those higher addressed lamps still have LEDs. I can switch everything out to incandescents but they seem to be operating independent of these tests pretty well without any impact to testing so far. I'm happy to swap more out though.

You can leave the higher addressed lights as LEDs.

Quoted from jsa:

Yes, but in this case, the incandescents flicker in game mode, and don't in lamp test/attract! Different behavior than you're mentioning there.

Hang on, I thought incandescents (the low addressed ones) were also flickering in lamp test mode?? The video of the single incandescent lamp you hooked up directly between the rectifier board and lamp driver board was flickering and it was in lamp test mode right?

#421 9 days ago
Quoted from Quench:

You can leave the higher addressed lights as LEDs.

Hang on, I thought incandescents (the low addressed ones) were also flickering in lamp test mode?? The video of the single incandescent lamp you hooked up directly between the rectifier board and lamp driver board was flickering and it was in lamp test mode right?

You are correct, that was the behavior before. At the time I wrote the above post, the behavior was different. It's also colder where the machine is now, which may have an impact on this.

Essentially, before the 44's, more lamps showed flicker, always. After I initially installed the 44's, attract and lamp test were showing no flicker (after warm up) for FUTURE and SPA center target. Game play was showing flicker for F rollover and SPA center target lamps.

Now we're back to before warm up, SPA center target and FUTURE (upper rollover) all flickering, always. After warm up, SPA center target and F (upper rollover) flickering, always. It may be related to the temperature, though.

#422 9 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

Now we're back to before warm up, SPA center target and FUTURE (upper rollover) all flickering, always. After warm up, SPA center target and F (upper rollover) flickering, always. It may be related to the temperature, though.

Do you have good Bridge rectifier resistors so the lamps get their zero cross so the scr will turn off?
Measure them and make sure they are good with solid solder joints
Bridge Resistors

The anode of the SCRs actually need to get a slightly negative voltage for the SCR to guaranty to switch off. That's why Bally put in these resistors to get the SCRs a negative off voltage.

If that doesn't yield any results; I'd suspect either a trace issue or a solder bridge on the Q14 and Q12 lines. Make sure J1 doesn't have any solder whiskers between pins 18 and 19. Likewise; check for uncrimped wire bridges between these pins. If nothing bears fruit; check traces between these traces all the way to U1 on the Lamp Driver schematic. Make sure there are no solder whiskers on U1. Finally; maybe a shot gun to U1 would help. See if replacing U1 solves issue. Before replacing U1; make sure ALL the pullups resistors on the Lamp Driver MPU side are good; solid; with clean solder joints. I's suspect any of the AD0-3 lines, ST (strobe) and PD0. Verify pullups are intact with DVM and while wiggling the multi-resistor package (if applicable).

Check PD0 all the way to MPU Driver. Check pull down caps. Check pullup resistors and diodes. Verify clean MPU U10. Remember; DIP switches on CPU board can be a source of problems. It looks like U10 PA4 is PD0 on the lamp data.

#423 9 days ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

This game turned out awesome...stunning example! Congrats to both you and your son.
I just picked one up tonight...and now you’re making me want to go the distance given how beautiful this game looks when done with as much effort as you put in. Truly fantastic job.

Well if anyone could do it you can.

#424 9 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

quench and barakandl ... what do you make of this.
Alltek diagnostic board connected, same wiring/setup, either Alltek or Bally LDB, I can light individual lamps or entire SCRs with no blinking, one by one. That's the diagnostic board telling the MPU to light a lamp. MPU tells the LDB/SCR to turn on. No problem.
Game boots up normal code, no diagnostic board, Q14 gets those intermittent wave forms on the gate leg like this:

Your o-scope picture looks like the typical SCR not staying latched problem to me.

Just throwing out some stuff...

In testing i have noticed certain MPU200 games are more likely to show your flickering on the lower address lamps like yours. All i change is the MPU board from a bally game to Stern MPu200 and lamps may flicker.

Lowering the feature lamp voltage can make lamps flicker. More lamps on at once lower the voltage gets increasing the chance to flicker.

Extra load almost always can fix a flickering lamp. When i test lamp drivers with 680R load resistors I use a MPU200 game software that shows the most flickering. Then add any extra resistors to increase load as needed to keep a scr latched

Resistance in the connector contact that goes from the LDB connector to an actual lamp will cause flickering. Need a solid low resistance connection to the lamp or it may flicker. After so many insertion cycles on my tester the plating of the female pins starts to rub off and the lamps begin to flicker. I repin the plug and it goes away.

#425 9 days ago

@zitt thank you for the excellent information. I have a couple questions.

Quoted from Zitt:

Do you have good Bridge rectifier resistors so the lamps get their zero cross so the scr will turn off?
Measure them and make sure they are good with solid solder joints

@zitt can you remind me how to best check the resistor values with a multimeter and what they should measure? I'm a complete amateur with this tool and I want to make sure I get it right.

This particular direction intrigues me because I did have to do my own soldering on the back of the rectifier board and this could be where I created a problem.

Quoted from Zitt:

If that doesn't yield any results; I'd suspect either a trace issue or a solder bridge on the Q14 and Q12 lines.

Could this be possible since I've swapped both the MPU board and LDB board without any change? I think that pretty much proves it's not something ON one of those boards.

Quoted from Zitt:

Make sure J1 doesn't have any solder whiskers between pins 18 and 19. Likewise; check for uncrimped wire bridges between these pins.

Are you talking about the J1 connector on the MPU? I can check. Would a continuity test reveal a bridge between those lines?

Quoted from Zitt:

If nothing bears fruit; check traces between these traces all the way to U1 on the Lamp Driver schematic. Make sure there are no solder whiskers on U1. Finally; maybe a shot gun to U1 would help. See if replacing U1 solves issue. Before replacing U1; make sure ALL the pullups resistors on the Lamp Driver MPU side are good; solid; with clean solder joints.

I think swapping LDBs without results also would steer us away from this, right? I've been getting the same result with original Bally board and a brand new Alltek.

Quoted from Zitt:

I's suspect any of the AD0-3 lines, ST (strobe) and PD0. Verify pullups are intact with DVM and while wiggling the multi-resistor package (if applicable).

I've reterminated and recrimped each of the four address lines and the strobe line between the MPU and the LDB, without a change. I was worried there may be attenuation or a short between those wires in the harness, so I've also tried creating a dedicated AD0 line and a dedicated strobe line between the two boards with a separate wire, without a change. Should I bother with verifying the resistors on the LDB and MPU given the board swap yielded no results?

Quoted from Zitt:

Check PD0 all the way to MPU Driver. Check pull down caps. Check pullup resistors and diodes. Verify clean MPU U10. Remember; DIP switches on CPU board can be a source of problems. It looks like U10 PA4 is PD0 on the lamp data.

Same question as above. Thanks @zitt !!

#426 9 days ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

This game turned out awesome...stunning example! Congrats to both you and your son.
I just picked one up tonight...and now you’re making me want to go the distance given how beautiful this game looks when done with as much effort as you put in. Truly fantastic job.

Thank you! In all seriousness, this game is really fun and a fantastic commentary on the state of things in 1979. One of the weirdest years in America to revisit, culturally. In all its glory, this game really is amazing to look at.

Let me know if you run across any issues in the process, I'd love to follow along!

#427 9 days ago

Wow, another stunning job gentleman!!!

#428 9 days ago
Quoted from barakandl:

Lowering the feature lamp voltage can make lamps flicker. More lamps on at once lower the voltage gets increasing the chance to flicker.

I love this, keep throwing stuff out! Since we were able to reproduce the flicker with only a single lamp, one lead connected to SCR Q14 and the other to TP1 on the rectifier (your repro board) during lamp test, I figured it must be voltage related but not specific to draw on the playfield lamps. Is that a false assumption?

Quoted from barakandl:

Extra load almost always can fix a flickering lamp. When i test lamp drivers with 680R load resistors I use a MPU200 game software that shows the most flickering. Then add any extra resistors to increase load as needed to keep a scr latched

Right now, I'm operating with the Alltek board with 6.3vdc rail connected. That adds a 470ohm resistor to every control lamp, by default, whether it's LED or not (and now the lamps in question are 44s). Wouldn't that be enough to make the SCR latch?

Quoted from barakandl:

Resistance in the connector contact that goes from the LDB connector to an actual lamp will cause flickering. Need a solid low resistance connection to the lamp or it may flicker. After so many insertion cycles on my tester the plating of the female pins starts to rub off and the lamps begin to flicker. I repin the plug and it goes away.

The board is new, the connector is new... I doubt it's had more than 15 cycles. I can repin the board/connector but I feel like the above point (flicker with a direct socket attachment to Q14) might have us looking elsewhere?

#429 9 days ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Well if anyone could do it you can.

Yeah Paul, I don’t know about that. Taking it to this level, with a HEP style restoration, would be kicking it up a notch for me. jsa and his son did a phenomenal job on this game. I can’t stop staring at it.

At least I took the first step last night...acquisition. And this one definitely needs some love.

Quoted from jsa:

Thank you! In all seriousness, this game is really fun and a fantastic commentary on the state of things in 1979. One of the weirdest years in America to revisit, culturally. In all its glory, this game really is amazing to look at.
Let me know if you run across any issues in the process, I'd love to follow along!

Definitely a quirky theme. I sold my Embryon last year, and felt the need to pick up another Bally widebody. If I do undertake the Future Spa, I will print this thread and use it as a hardcore step-by-step guide.

85C716ED-FE1A-462E-A340-320C448349D9 (resized).jpeg
#430 9 days ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

Yeah Paul, I don’t know about that. Taking it to this level, with a HEP style restoration, would be kicking it up a notch for me.

I think you could do it, this is the perfect guide for you.

#431 9 days ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

I think you could do it, this is the perfect guide for you.

If I had to do it again, I'd seriously consider borrowing someone else's paint booth. Temporary booths are a total mess! I have a post above about my lessons with painting here:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/future-spa-father-and-sons-second-restoration/page/4#post-4494531

The main reason I went this route of automotive paints (besides the AMAZINGLY cool feel to it when it's done) was because back when we did our BoP restore, I was told over and over again that the colors I wanted didn't exist in traditional paints, and I should go for automotive. The purple we got for BoP was a royal PITA to produce, and professionals all out refused...we got Home Depot to make it in latex and it got really close.

In contrast, when I showed the original pink chips from under the coin door frame and lock down bar to pros (good pros), they said that they recognized the pink and it was based on a DuPont color that had a neon-ish component that was pretty much banned after the 70's. To recreate it would be impossible with photographic paint matching in general, but that I could get close with automotive.

I detailed my experiences up in the thread, but suffice to say I got REALLY close with swatches. The automotive guys laughed and laughed at this because it's a color pretty much reserved for "pimp my ride" type or the dragster world. It's also pricey.

The secondary reason I used automotive was because I wanted to learn how to shoot clear. I think with an amateur hand and amateur booth, as long as you spray on a horizontal/flat surface (next time I'll put the cab on a rotisserie), it can be great. With a pro booth and some experience, spraying sideways isn't that bad.

Anyway, so then I have these automotive paints and jumping into the @high_end_pins type of automotive process with no experience was incredibly fun and challenging. I'll think twice before jumping into that process again in my own garage!

#432 9 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

If I had to do it again, I'd seriously consider borrowing someone else's paint booth. Temporary booths are a total mess! I have a post above about my lessons with painting here:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/future-spa-father-and-sons-second-restoration/page/4#post-4494531
The main reason I went this route of automotive paints (besides the AMAZINGLY cool feel to it when it's done) was because back when we did our BoP restore, I was told over and over again that the colors I wanted didn't exist in traditional paints, and I should go for automotive. The purple we got for BoP was a royal PITA to produce, and professionals all out refused...we got Home Depot to make it in latex and it got really close.
In contrast, when I showed the original pink chips from under the coin door frame and lock down bar to pros (good pros), they said that they recognized the pink and it was based on a DuPont color that had a neon-ish component that was pretty much banned after the 70's. To recreate it would be impossible with photographic paint matching in general, but that I could get close with automotive.
I detailed my experiences up in the thread, but suffice to say I got REALLY close with swatches. The automotive guys laughed and laughed at this because it's a color pretty much reserved for "pimp my ride" type or the dragster world. It's also pricey.
The secondary reason I used automotive was because I wanted to learn how to shoot clear. I think with an amateur hand and amateur booth, as long as you spray on a horizontal/flat surface (next time I'll put the cab on a rotisserie), it can be great. With a pro booth and some experience, spraying sideways isn't that bad.
Anyway, so then I have these automotive paints and jumping into the @high_end_pins type of automotive process with no experience was incredibly fun and challenging. I'll think twice before jumping into that process again in my own garage!

I've enjoyed following your progress. Regarding automotive paints, your practice may come in handy some day since you have children. I raised 3 kids and got pretty good at scrape, dent, and paint repairs on the cars that my kids drove. I'm not afraid of sideways (vertical surfaces) anymore!

#433 9 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

Thank you! In all seriousness, this game is really fun and a fantastic commentary on the state of things in 1979. One of the weirdest years in America to revisit, culturally. In all its glory, this game really is amazing to look at.

That's what makes this game so great! A perfect representative from the era of disco and new wave, Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, feathered hair, airbrushed vans, Logan's Run, and all other things late 70's.

#434 9 days ago
Quoted from jibmums:

That's what makes this game so great! A perfect representative from the era of disco and new wave, Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, feathered hair, airbrushed vans, Logan's Run, and all other things late 70's.

Don't leave out Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century. Come on.

Quoted from Zitt:

Do you have good Bridge rectifier resistors so the lamps get their zero cross so the scr will turn off?
Measure them and make sure they are good with solid solder joints

Here is a good photo of the rectifier board. I assume you mean testing the ceramic resistors? (How exactly should I test them?)

072418091133.jpg

Also, isn't the problem that the SCR won't turn ON?

#435 9 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

I assume you mean testing the ceramic resistors? (How exactly should I test them?)

It's probably correct; Ceramic.
Put your DVM in Ohm mode and measure across the resistor. For correct readings; you usually have to desolder one of the legs to remove it from the circuit.
I'm can't get access to my ballys as they are buried so I cannt give a good representation of what will happen if the you measure in circuit.

Quoted from jsa:

Also, isn't the problem that the SCR won't turn ON?

No.
SCRs work as an open circuit until the gate is brought "positive". Then the SCR will continue to conduct regardless of the gate until the current in the diode is zero. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_controlled_rectifier
Without those resistors to bring the anode "negative" w/ respect to the cathode to bring the diode "portion" of the SCR into reverse bias which cause the current in the SCR to be zero; turning it off.
In your case; as I'm interpreting the discussion... the flicker is caused because the SCR never turns off because the current doesn't approach zero.

And yes; swapping boards should "eliminate" most of what I talked about with regards to solder bridges. That means you've pretty much eliminate everything but your wiring and the rectifier board. That's why I say look closely at your new crimps to see if there is any loose wire freyed and shorting to adjacent connection.

It would help if you could summarize where your at in the debug.
My immediate question:
Does the flickering occur only when the lamp should be energized? IE when its off, it's really off
or does the lamp flicker always 100% time even when the MPU wants it to be off

My assumption is you are getting flickering only when the lamp is "on".. which is typical of a bally design with LEDs (yes; I know the lamp is currently a 44 lamp for debug) because the LED doesn't keep minimum "latching" current flowing thru the SCR and it "drops" the conduction causing the lamp to go out as soon as the SCR gate is dropped by the MPU.

#437 8 days ago
Quoted from Zitt:

I'm can't get access to my ballys as they are buried so I cannt give a good representation of what will happen if the you measure in circuit.

For now, I'll measure in circuit, because the alternative may introduce more problems if I'm not careful. I'll do it if we have no other path to pursue. Meanwhile, the left one measures 27.3 ohms, the right one 600 ohms, I think.

Quoted from Zitt:

That means you've pretty much eliminate everything but your wiring and the rectifier board. That's why I say look closely at your new crimps to see if there is any loose wire freyed and shorting to adjacent connection.

Agreed. This is where I'm focusing right now.

Quoted from Zitt:

It would help if you could summarize where your at in the debug.
My immediate question:
Does the flickering occur only when the lamp should be energized? IE when its off, it's really off
or does the lamp flicker always 100% time even when the MPU wants it to be off

The flickering occurs only when the lamp should be energized. When it's off, it's off.

Quoted from Zitt:

My assumption is you are getting flickering only when the lamp is "on".. which is typical of a bally design with LEDs (yes; I know the lamp is currently a 44 lamp for debug) because the LED doesn't keep minimum "latching" current flowing thru the SCR and it "drops" the conduction causing the lamp to go out as soon as the SCR gate is dropped by the MPU.

That's right. We've been able to verify that if we "hard wire" the SCR to ground, the light stays on solid. When we rely on the MPU to turn it on, it doesn't stay latched and pops on and off. The cables between the MPU and LDB have been re-connectored and re-terminated. The MPU and LDB have been swapped. My gut tells me it's related to power somehow. I did find a loose connector on rectifier J3 pin 4 heading to LDB J4 pin 1. It was not secure in the housing. I got excited for a minute, but it made no difference (and I was testing solid voltage to the LDB anyway). Maybe I need to look closer at a specific pin/wire?

#438 8 days ago

Can you confirm you are using the higher power incandescent bulbs and they still flicker?
IE confirm that you aren't seeing flickering LEDs; but Flickering #44/#47's

The reason I keep asking is I want to make absolutely sure we aren't talking about LEDs in these lamp sockets... because LEDs WILL FLICKER no matter what you do because they won't draw enough current to keep some SCRs latched.

#439 8 days ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Can you confirm you are using the higher power incandescent bulbs and they still flicker?
IE confirm that you aren't seeing flickering LEDs; but Flickering #44/#47's

Yes, 100% confirmed. Also, for LEDs, I have the Alltek hooked into the 6.3vdc rail and they are 100% stable. However, for troubleshooting, they've all been replaced with 44s, with and without the Alltek and the extra resistors.

Quoted from Zitt:

The reason I keep asking is I want to make absolutely sure we aren't talking about LEDs in these lamp sockets... because LEDs WILL FLICKER no matter what you do because they won't draw enough current to keep some SCRs latched.

No, I get it. Believe me, that was my first thought, so we eliminated it from the testing. If you want to see the extent with which we've been troubleshooting this, please visit this thread here:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-as-2518-club/page/25#post-4613339

#440 8 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

Yes, 100% confirmed. Also, for LEDs, I have the Alltek hooked into the 6.3vdc rail and they are 100% stable. However, for troubleshooting, they've all been replaced with 44s, with and without the Alltek and the extra resistors.

No, I get it. Believe me, that was my first thought, so we eliminated it from the testing. If you want to see the extent with which we've been troubleshooting this, please visit this thread here:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-as-2518-club/page/25#post-4613339

Ok, here's a thought. Earlier, I put new connectors on the entire harness. For the rectifier board, I used high current crimped ends for the higher current pins (regular molex for the remainder) and a GPE larger style block connector.

Maybe I should re-terminate all these connectors and stick to Molex and normal .156 trifurcons all around...and while I'm at it be obsessive and see if I can find something goofy, like a bad crimp. What do you think?

#441 7 days ago

At risk of exposing my embarrassingly bad soldering skills, anyone see any obvious problems here? All the test points test fine, but remember we're looking for a ghost. Something that would effect voltage heading to the LDB SCRs.

IMG_3258.JPG

IMG_3252.JPG

IMG_3257.JPG

#442 6 days ago

A lot of the transformer connectors (Exx) look suspect to me... but it could just be a trick of the light/flash.

#443 6 days ago
Quoted from jibmums:

That's what makes this game so great! A perfect representative from the era of disco and new wave, Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, feathered hair, airbrushed vans, Logan's Run, and all other things late 70's.

All I can think about is Logan's Run when looking at the art of this game. There is no sanctuary...

#444 6 days ago
Quoted from Zitt:

A lot of the transformer connectors (Exx) look suspect to me... but it could just be a trick of the light/flash.

Yeah, I think I need to improve the rear solder joints of the board. I'll hit them today and make sure they are perfect.

Also, the original rectifier had a 20amp fuse for the feature lamp bus. This one has a 10amp fuse (but the intention is to go LED eventually anyway). Could that have anything to do with this latching issue?

#445 6 days ago

Just a thought, sometimes it's the components themselves.

I had a Classic Stern lamp board that made 2 of the lamps flicker.

Looking at the SCRs, although they were the correct component, they both had been replaced already.

They tested good on my meter, but I swapped them out anyway and the flickering stopped.

My guess is that the components were a different tolerance or had been relabeled.

#446 6 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Just a thought, sometimes it's the components themselves.
I had a Classic Stern lamp board that made 2 of the lamps flicker.
Looking at the SCRs, although they were the correct component, they both had been replaced already.
They tested good on my meter, but I swapped them out anyway and the flickering stopped.
My guess is that the components were a different tolerance or had been relabeled.

I hear you, but I get the same result with both the original and Alltek lamp board (and same for MPUs). This tells me somehow I’m responsible for this. I just can figure out where. If it was components, what are the chances it would be identical on two lamp boards?

#447 6 days ago

Beyond just voltmeter tests of the rectifier board, are there any ways to test the integrity of the power and that it meets the specifications? Waveforms?

#448 6 days ago

Like Vid mentioned... all SCRs are not equal in latching. There can be small differences from part to part even in the same lot.

Some other tid bits about SCRs i noticed playing around on a test fixture...

The timing of the firing of the SCR in relation to the wave of the feature lamp voltage seems critical for latching. If I run Bally software (0.5mhz naturally) at MPU-200 speed (0.895mhz) the low positions outputs of the decoders start to flicker. If I run Bally software at 1mhz more lamps start to flicker with most likely ones being low positions on the decoders.

If I run MPU200 software at Bally speed pretty much no SCRs will latch and they all flicker baddly.

Aux lamp driver board almost never show flickering with LEDs. I think it is due to the timing of being updated after the main lamp board is and the feature lamp wave is in a spot more current flows.

#449 6 days ago

With incandescents, Q14 lamps did not flicker with either lamp board before teardown.

Since reassembly, with the only components changed being the connector housings, trifurcons and the rectifier, I now get Q14 flicker.

This has to be a mistake I made.

#450 6 days ago
Quoted from jsa:

With incandescents, Q14 lamps did not flicker with either lamp board before teardown.
Since reassembly, with the only components changed being the connector housings, trifurcons and the rectifier, I now get Q14 flicker.
This has to be a mistake I made.

Right at a feature lamp that flickers what voltage do you read on the bare wire? Is it more than a couple tenths of a V lower than what you get at the rectifier board? Perhaps the bare wire chain going around the PF is just hanging on by a thread somewhere and it is dropping voltage.

You can even make a single lamp tester for a sanity check. Take a lamp socket. One end put a wire with gator clip on it. The other end put a 0.100" crimp and put it into a small connector housing. You can then attach the gator clip right to the feature lamp bus somewhere you know is solid and then plug the connector end into a lamp driver male pin, like at Q14 and see if your lamp still flickers.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 30.00
Electronics
Third Coast Pinball
$ 10.00
Electronics
Third Coast Pinball
650
Machine - For Sale
Rochester, NY
From: $ 10.00
Electronics
Third Coast Pinball
$ 16.00
Electronics
Yorktown Parts and Equip
From: $ 155.00
$ 7.65
Cabinet Parts
Third Coast Pinball
From: $ 45.00
Displays
PinballSolutions.eu
From: $ 15.00
There are 553 posts in this topic. You are on page 9 of 12.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside