(Topic ID: 189621)

GI OCD for System 11 - Available Now

By herg

5 years ago


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  • 33 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 89 days ago by infrarad
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    #1 5 years ago

    I have a new project, and I would like to get a bit of feedback. Basically, it’s a GI OCD for System 11 games. I started with the GI OCD for WPC and stripped it down to replace a System 11 GI relay board. It includes a microcontroller to do active fading control, and it is programmable just as the GI OCD for WPC is.

    20170519_210945 (resized).jpg

    Compared to the kits that I currently sell, these are a bit more difficult to install. Since they need to be connected between the transformer and the string being controlled, a wire has to be desoldered, a connector added, and another wire with connector added and soldered into place.

    First, here’s the back of the backbox light board in my Whirlwind.

    20170505_175455 (resized).jpg

    There are three separate strings of lights here. The one on the top is on constantly. We want to leave that as-is. That string then runs into the relay that is shown to allow the string on the left to be controlled. The string on the right is also controlled by the same relay board, but it is a bit simpler since it doesn’t have an “always-on” portion. We’ll start with that one.

    The solid green wire already runs through the relay, but the white-green one is connected directly to the GI string. We need to disconnect that, and run it through the new board. Here is where it’s connected.

    20170505_180517 (resized).jpg

    I desoldered this wire and added a new wire that will be used to return power from the new board to the GI string.

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    The same sort of thing needs to be done with the controlled portion of the purple string.

    20170505_180217 (resized).jpg

    I then added connectors to the other end of the wires. Both of the original wires, which come from the transformer, go into the input side of the new board, so they need to share a connector.

    20170505_182023 (resized).jpg

    The two newly added wires will carry the controlled power from the new board to the GI strings, so those will also share a connector.

    20170505_182147 (resized).jpg

    We’re now ready to install the board. It’s really pretty simple once the wires have been modified.

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    Whirlwind has a total of three GI relays. One is on the back of backbox light board, and the other two are under the playfield. Those ones under the playfield only control a single string of lights, but they are much more difficult to track the route of the wires since they are bundled in the harness. I also had to lean down into the cabinet to desolder and resolder the wires. It was not especially fun.

    Here is the location where I tapped into the string. As you can see, there were two white-yellow wires connected there, and only one of them was replaced. I had to find the one that was coming from the transformer. The other one runs to the next lamp in the string, and it needs to remain there. In order to make sure I had the right one, I disconnected the wires and measured the GI voltage on one of the wires. If I got this wrong, I could burn something up, so I triple checked my work.

    20170519_213040 (resized).jpg

    Here is the board after replacement.

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    ...and finally one more board to replace. Here's where the connection was made.

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    Like the GI OCD for WPC, I can program default values or use the GI OCD GUI software on a Windows machine to reconfigure it. I decided to leave the USB-serial part off the board and use a inexpensive converter board for programming. This saves a little bit of space and cost. I only bought one and was able to use it to reconfigure all three boards.

    Fullscreen capture 5222017 102410 AM (resized).jpg

    I know the next question is “Can you post a video?” Well, maybe. I tried to record one, and as always with lighting, it is very difficult to show the effect. The resulting video kinda sucks. I’ll give it another try later.

    Now for my question. I would like to offer these for others, but I don’t want it to result in a bunch of support requests or people burning up stuff in their machines. Are people interested in this, and do you feel like you have the skills to install it? Comments?

    #2 5 years ago

    I would love to test this on my ES. I am not worried about the install. Can you pm me with a price?

    #3 5 years ago

    I'm waiting on a quote for contract assembly now, but I'd expect it to be slightly higher than a GIzmo, so probably about $55. That would put it at $165 for 3 to do all of them in a WW. It's also possible to leave the original relay on certain ones. In the case of WW, I could have left the backbox stock and only replaced the two under the playfield. I'm not sure about the number of relays in any other games at this point.

    I'd love to keep it below $150 for a game, but it's going to depend on what the quote comes back. I could also keep them cheaper if I didn't have to spend as much time on support and/or deal with replacement boards due to failed installations. With the potential to mess things up, I don't realistically see that happening, though.

    Edit:
    It will also be around 2 months minimum before I could have these ready for sale.

    #4 5 years ago

    I received the quote, and it's a little better than I expected. I would probably be able to sell these for $50.

    I also looked up a couple more games. ES could use 3 of them. Taxi could use 2.

    There doesn't seem to be much interest so far, but I'll probably have a small batch made, even if it's just for friends' games and a few hardcore guys like lapean111.

    #5 5 years ago

    I'm interested, so can this be used to bypass the GI relay on early 11 power supplies?

    #6 5 years ago
    Quoted from GRUMPY:

    I'm interested, so can this be used to bypass the GI relay on early 11 power supplies?

    No, at least not easily. It's intended to be a replacement for the separate GI relay boards (C-11998-1 and C-11902-1) in late System 11; Big Guns and later.

    #7 5 years ago

    Ah, so it's unlikely this'll be any good for, say, HS? I'd love to get rid of that LED flicker that's persistent across the GI (and all the inserts, but I know how to fix that ).

    #8 5 years ago
    Quoted from GRUMPY:

    I'm interested, so can this be used to bypass the GI relay on early 11 power supplies?

    Quoted from Shaneus:

    Ah, so it's unlikely this'll be any good for, say, HS?

    So, I took a look at the schematic for those games, and although this board wasn't designed for that, it looks like it would actually work well with a couple of cables and/or adapters to bypass the power board and use one of these instead. It may need a different resistor value to handle the higher relay control voltage, and I'd have to look into the current capacity.

    #9 5 years ago

    It looks like it can control two GI strings. So can two be used together on early system 11. Ofcourse the connector would have to be remade.

    #10 5 years ago
    Quoted from GRUMPY:

    It looks like it can control two GI strings. So can two be used together on early system 11. Ofcourse the connector would have to be remade.

    Correct, it has two separate drivers. Only one control input, though. You could use two in parallel if it was necessary to handle the current. I don't think it would be necessary, though. Since you're only using it if you go to LEDs, your current draw will be much less than before. Combining two strings on a single pin won't be an issue with LEDs. The main question would be the bridge that's built into the new board, and the more I think about that, I'm nearly certain that will be fine as well. It's the same diodes that I use on the GIzmo, and that has 4 strings running through it.

    #11 5 years ago

    I could be your tester on this as I am able to make the needed cables and connectors. Also the control voltage is the same for the relays.

    #12 5 years ago

    Ok, I'll get in touch once I get more of them. I guess I could send you one of the prototypes, but I'm loving them in my Whirlwind now.

    I could have sworn the schematic said 34V vs 28V, but I guess it makes sense that it is just the low power coil voltage.

    Does anyone want to use it for the application I designed it for?

    #13 5 years ago

    The more games it works in the more people will buy thus lowering the cost for everyone.

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from lapean111:

    I would love to test this on my ES. I am not worried about the install. Can you pm me with a price?

    I'm trying to understand what this would do in ES. Normally the GI is either all on or all off. Would this be to add a fade? Or is it simply to smooth out any flashing/blinking of GI LEDs?

    #15 5 years ago
    Quoted from GRUMPY:

    The more games it works in the more people will buy thus lowering the cost for everyone.

    True. I was just joking.

    Quoted from Mike_M:

    I'm trying to understand what this would do in ES. Normally the GI is either all on or all off. Would this be to add a fade? Or is it simply to smooth out any flashing/blinking of GI LEDs?

    It will add a smooth fade on/off as well as eliminating any strobing. It will still turn on/off at the same times as it does without the board, but it will now do so smoothly rather than sharp transitions. If you look up GI OCD for WPC, it's basically the same function.

    It also gets rid of the clicking relay, which could be good or bad depending on your preference. Finally, it could be used to replace a failed relay board and for a bit more cost than standard replacements, you'd get something that works well with LEDs that also be less prone to failure than a mechanical relay.

    #16 5 years ago

    The insert lights are where something like this is needed. I have LEDs in all of my games...except the inserts of my system 11 pins. LEDs just look horrible there.

    #17 5 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    It also gets rid of the clicking relay, which could be good or bad depending on your preference. Finally, it could be used to replace a failed relay board and for a bit more cost than standard replacements, you'd get something that works well with LEDs that also be less prone to failure than a mechanical relay.

    I would not be upset with this functionality! I'd most certainly be in to test, but I'm sure the shipping and cost once converted to Australian dollars would be quite the killer.

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from tamoore:

    The insert lights are where something like this is needed. I have LEDs in all of my games...except the inserts of my system 11 pins. LEDs just look horrible there.

    That's LED OCD, and it has been available for System 11 for quite a while now.

    #19 4 years ago

    Does this work on Card Whiz?

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from tamoore:

    The insert lights are where something like this is needed. I have LEDs in all of my games...except the inserts of my system 11 pins. LEDs just look horrible there.

    http://ledocd.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=23

    #21 4 years ago

    Nice idea. I had a real problem when I installed LEDs in my WW, I damn near had a seizure when multiball started and all the GI started to flash.

    I eventually went with a solution of using a different product, the EnerGI Maestro, to control the things in a smoother fashion. I also had to modify the backbox wiring to separate out lights into two strings similar to what was done here, with the Whirlwind letters on one and the rest on another. After some custom cables to connect to this up, and bypassing the existing relays with some jumper plugs, it works reasonably well. The major downside is that this device only supports a single trigger line, rather than independent ones for each string. With Whirlwind, the upper playfield string is one trigger and the lower playfield and backbox main lights are another, so I lose some of the visual effects such as when one half of the playfield turns off and the other stays on, but it definitely got rid of the very fast flashing and strobing.

    I like your approach in that you can decide how many to use, and also keep the independent flashing. I wonder if a centrally located solution in the backbox would work and keep the parts count down, rather than replacing individual relay boards?

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from algum123:

    I wonder if a centrally located solution in the backbox would work and keep the parts count down, rather than replacing individual relay boards?

    I thought that through during the design process. If I had went with a single board in the backbox:

    1. You'd still have to remove the relay boards and jump the solid wire side of each string, like you mention doing with the EnerGI Maestro
    2. For the Whirlwind letters, you would have to run a completely separate set of wires to keep them solid while controlling the others
    3. You'd have to find a spot to install the board in the backbox, rather than replacing the relay boards
    4. You'd need more complex cables to tap into all the signals, adding to the cost
    5. Some of the the control signals are on different solenoid drivers depending on the game, so there would not be one universal cable set
    6. You'd need to include the maximum number of drivers on the board, so for a game like Taxi, you'd be buying drivers that wouldn't get used

    There are trade offs either way, and I'm happy with the results of the way I decided to go.

    #23 4 years ago

    Which is why if you do get this into production, I would likely back out the approach I am using and instead go with this.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from algum123:

    Which is why if you do get this into production, I would likely back out the approach I am using and instead go with this.

    I did place the order for 50 of them today. It will be about two months before I have them.

    Honestly, though, if I were you, I'm not sure I'd be in a hurry to switch over. You be in for about $150 more than you are already, and you would only be gaining the independent control, a different method of programming, and a slightly different fade algorithm. You've already done the work to integrate Craig's board.

    BTW, if you'd like to drive out west sometime to see mine, you're welcome to visit.

    #25 4 years ago

    I checked High Speed power supply to be sure and its @ 32 volts. Then I checked a GI relay in Pinbot and got @ 37 volts. I also checked a Police force and got @ 38 volts. So there are some slight differences between Systems 11 11A 11B. Will this 5-6 volt difference cause problems with your board?

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from GRUMPY:

    I checked High Speed power supply to be sure and its @ 32 volts. Then I checked a GI relay in Pinbot and got @ 37 volts. I also checked a Police force and got @ 38 volts. So there are some slight differences between Systems 11 11A 11B. Will this 5-6 volt difference cause problems with your board?

    I just did some calculations, and it will be fine. With the current resistor value, it could go up to 45V and still be operating within typical range for the photocoupler on the input. Thanks for checking.

    #27 4 years ago

    Ok, I just didn't know if the 32 volts would be enough to still trigger the opto with the current dropping resistor. I think this will be great in Pinbot to stop the BB relay noise too.

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from GRUMPY:

    Ok, I just didn't know if the 32 volts would be enough to still trigger the opto with the current dropping resistor. I think this will be great in Pinbot to stop the BB relay noise too.

    Yeah, it should be good down to about 12V.

    When you're talking about the BB relay, you're still talking about GI, correct? You don't want to use this to replace a relay that drives a coil.

    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    When you're talking about the BB relay, you're still talking about GI, correct?

    Yes sir. Its a iconic part of Pinbot attract mode.

    #30 4 years ago
    Quoted from GRUMPY:

    Yes sir. Its a iconic part of Pinbot attract mode.

    Sad to say it's been long enough since I played one that I don't remember it.

    #31 4 years ago

    I would try them for sure!

    1 month later
    #32 4 years ago

    Just a quick note that these are available on my website now.

    4 years later
    #33 89 days ago

    I hate to bump an old thread but if anyone has a couple of these for sale, hit me up! I'd love to at least replace some backbox relays with a quieter solution.

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