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.
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.
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.
I desoldered this wire and added a new wire that will be used to return power from the new board to the GI string.
The same sort of thing needs to be done with the controlled portion of the purple string.
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.
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.
We’re now ready to install the board. It’s really pretty simple once the wires have been modified.
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.
Here is the board after replacement.
...and finally one more board to replace. Here's where the connection was made.
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.
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?