Good Morning - Brief report out on Cal EX 2018 and resolution to a problem where two of the Gilligan Island lamp boards would not function.
Attended the Cal EX event on Saturday, arrived around noon. Place was packed, estimating that every machine had at least one person waiting there turn to play. Two rooms full of machines. Layout was similar to the 2017 venue. I believe that there were a few less pinball machines this year and a few more video machines, nonetheless, plenty of machines to have fun with. And in terms of Gilligans Island, just one in attendance.
Other item that may be of interest to Gilligan Island owners is how I resolved a concern in my machine where two of the lamp boards were working intermittently.
Boards in question are the 5 lamp board, Williams P/N A-14530 and the 6 lamp board, P/N A-14531.
Symptoms - one or more of the lights would not come on after the cabinet interior had been accessed or when there was a significant change in ambient temperature. Machine had been updated to LED lighting three years ago, during that event, I ensured that all of the IDC connectors were in good condition. And with the addition of LED lighting, the reliability of the lamps is much higher than the old filament style.
Disconnected and removed both boards for the machine, conducted a stand alone power test using a power supply on my bench. Idea is, apply power to common and then to each lamp, as installed. Confirmed that all lamps were functional. Worked backwards through the circuit (lamps and diodes), localized the problem to the IDC connector pins on the circuit board. Cold or failed solder joints.
Resolved the problem by re-flowing the solder joint to all of the IDC pins followed by a very light brush cleaning to remove any flux or oxidation from the pin.
Retest using a DMM followed by a power test using the bench power supply. Concern is resolved. Boards installed without further issues.
Boards in the the machines from the late 80's and at least the first few years into the 90's, all use through hole technology to mount the components as well as the connectors. A good examination of the solder joints and corresponding mounting pads on the board will reveal that the pad size is minimal and if the board is a single sided board (traces / vias only on once side of the board), there is no material in the mounting hole to build up the solder joint, typical of single sided board construction.
Summary - if you experience odd machine behaviors after accessing the cabinet or back box, which may be tied to the wiring harness being moved, even a small amount, I would take a look at the IDC connectors, both halves to look for solder joint fatigue (board side) or where the wire connection to the IDC socket may be loose. That effort involves a flashlight, maybe putting the system into a test mode and manipulating the wire harness.