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(Topic ID: 253300)

Hey Stern! Make some new Ghostbusters Ecto-1 topper!


By Midway-Man

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 96 posts
  • 45 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 20 days ago by freddy
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“Should Stern do another run of Toppers?”

  • I want one. MAKE SOME STERN! 93 votes
    62%
  • I have one. It's expensive but great. Would buy again. 10 votes
    7%
  • I have one. It's not necessary. It's to expensive for what it does. 8 votes
    5%
  • I don't have one. And don't want one. 39 votes
    26%

(150 votes)

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There have been 6 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

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Cheap flash lamp (resized).PNG
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IMG_2610 (resized).jpg
IMG_2608 (resized).jpg

There are 96 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 4 months ago

Here are the two ends that need to connect up. Powerboard in the first photo, topper power cable connector in the second.

IMG_2608 (resized).jpgIMG_2610 (resized).jpg
#52 4 months ago
Quoted from Vitty:

Here are the two ends that need to connect up. Powerboard in the first photo, topper power cable connector in the second.[quoted image][quoted image]

1st
So I can’t tell what size it is, but if you can measure, you should be able to compare, or order and see if it fits.

Pins
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/molex/0366630002/WM11276-ND/3185329

Connector
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/molex/0050841020/WM1242-ND/134710

2nd

Looks like a standard molex .093

Plug
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/molex/0003091022/WM1331-ND/61318

Pins - pretty sure
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/molex/0002091104/WM1101-ND/26386

#53 4 months ago

Here's what I have done. I found some NOS BetaBrite LED signs. Apparently these were used in Stern Spike system for Tournament modes. Unfortunately this is not supported anymore, but the screws in the top of the backbox are still there and they fit. So I manually programmed it with the texts that can be seen on the side of ECTO-1 in Ghostbusters 2:

GHOSTBUSTERS
FOR HIRE
CALL JL5-2020 (not the same number as in part 1
WE'RE BACK
WE'RE READY TO BELIEVE YOU

Nice custom topper for under $50.

1 week later
#54 4 months ago

I have received a number of PM's from people who want to attempt the same.

You need to look for a Betabrite 1036, that's the exact make and model that Stern used for the Tournament Topper, e.g. ebay.com link » Betabrite Led Message Display Sign 3 13 16 H 10361211 New Open Box Nice

Make sure the mounting brackets are included. If not, you need to fabricate something yourself that still makes use of the screw holes on the top of the backbox.

1 month later
#55 86 days ago

Finally ready to share the progress of one of my many quarantine projects . A full write up and parts list coming soon for those who want to build their own...

#56 86 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

Finally ready to share the progress of one of my many quarantine projects . A full write up and parts list coming soon for those who want to build their own...

Looks cool, is it connected to the node bus?

#57 86 days ago
Quoted from Zzap:

Looks cool, is it connected to the node bus?

Yes. It functions exactly like the real topper and uses all genuine or off the shelf parts. You may also fab the components yourself using the spike schematics if you're feeling adventurous and want to save some $$. The only thing that you will need to build yourself is the light bar housing.

#58 83 days ago

Has anyone ever heard of Stern making a fresh run off toppers or parts based on these message boards? I'm losing faith...you would figure for the price of these machines they would come through for the owners, especially when there's a high demand.

#59 83 days ago
Quoted from Ivanhoe:

Has anyone ever heard of Stern making a fresh run off toppers or parts based on these message boards? I'm losing faith...you would figure for the price of these machines they would come through for the owners, especially when there's a high demand.

While in rare cases (like Beatles) they will make another run If they still have the license rights many like GB were a limited run so I wouldn't hold your breath. They actually did come through for their customers on this only you had to order it 5 Years ago when they released the game! Late to the party you often miss out.

#60 83 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

Finally ready to share the progress of one of my many quarantine projects . A full write up and parts list coming soon for those who want to build their own...

thanks for sharing, would love to get more info when you are ready have an idea for this - slightly different take on the topper...

#61 82 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

Finally ready to share the progress of one of my many quarantine projects . A full write up and parts list coming soon for those who want to build their own...

I’m down for a kit when ready

#62 82 days ago

I’m in for a kit also

#63 82 days ago

I’d be in

#64 81 days ago
Quoted from Phatchit:

I’m down for a kit when ready

That's the best thing. All the parts used are genuine Stern or off the shelf components. You'll just need to hook them up. You can spend as much or as little creating the light bar you want. Not really looking to make a buck selling kits but rather help out fellow GB owners stuck in the same situation I am.

#65 81 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

That's the best thing. All the parts used are genuine Stern or off the shelf components. You'll just need to hook them up. You can spend as much or as little creating the light bar you want. Not really looking to make a buck selling kits but rather help out fellow GB owners stuck in the same situation I am.

Would you mind sharing a parts list?
Like what node board is required.
What LED boards are required.

Thanks in advance

#66 81 days ago
Quoted from Midway-Man:

Would you mind sharing a parts list?
Like what node board is required.
What LED boards are required.
Thanks in advance

pretty sure arcadiusmaximus intends to help us out with a guide - let him work his magic

#67 81 days ago

I am working on a guide, but this project has stopped on my end while I wait for plastic to be delivered to construct the light bar. Below is a list of parts you need to purchase as well as a "quick start guide" I pulled together in case you want to jump ahead. You will need to create your own cables to wire everything up however. If you use the spike schematics for the boards listed and search for the CN connectors on Digikey, you'll get a link to the appropriate connection housing and terminal crimps. I can tell you I had a hard time tracking the PCB boards down using the usual go-to's. I ultimately contacted a distributor to get the parts I needed. You may have to do the same.

Obviously before you start please note that even though these are off the shelf parts, there is still a risk of damage to your machine. If you don't feel comfortable doing this work DON'T. Double and triple check your work and connections. I'm no electrical engineer, so I'm not going to tell you what gauge wires to use. If you search on this wonderful site you'll come across quite a few threads discussing pinball machine and choosing an appropriate wire gauge.

Special note regards to the genuine topper: Like many of you I balked at the $500 price tag of this thing. At first it seemed WAY over priced and I can see where you would think that. I can tell you that after ID-ing the (genuine) boards and sourcing just the components alone to make this, you're hovering close to $400 and that's not even making the toppers light bar, ghost sniffer, or siren. I'm sure you can find some deals, and cut corners but there is still some significant work involved. I think the Stern deserves a little more credit with the amount of work that went into this considering all the custom tooling required. Also at the end of the day they have to actually make a profit on the part. So in a sense I can now justify the cost especially when your alternative now is spending $1000-$1500 for one IF you can find it...

Lastly if you found this guide helpful, consider donating to pinside. Its places like this and the vast knowledge found with in the forums that make it possible to share projects like this.

First things first, how did we get to this point? Well it was not easy. It seemed like no one with an actual topper was willing to crack there's open to help us identify these parts. When all hope was lost I happened to stumble upon a random video on YouTube

I cranked up the brightness and watched the video frame by frame paying attention to the boards inside. I then cross referenced the header pins and various other components against all the available Spike systems boards and finally ID'd the main parts. I also used the Johns Arcade video review to help with the connections in the back box. There is also a few shots he shows of the manual that will allow you to see the orientation of the LEDs boards inside the topper.
Use this video if you get stuck with your connections.

The topper consists of (3) main parts: Node 12 - LED Driver - LED Flasher. Costs on these boards vary drastically from resource to resource so don't be afraid to shop around for the best deal.

The Node Board (Node 12): https://littleshopofgames.com/shop/boards/stern-boards/stern-spike-ii-spike-2-node-10-board-for-pinball-machine-520-6976-72/
You will need to purchase a Stern 520-6976-72A node board. This is the main bus controller for the topper. You'll need to fashion your own power connector and attach it to the power distribution connector CN7. You'll also need (2) standard cat5 network cables as well as an RJ45 coupler. Unplug the network cable from CN3 on the CPU board and insert it into the coupler. connect one of the (2) network wires to the other end of the couple then to the Node 12 board. Connect the final network cable from the Node 12 board back to CN3. It does not matter which cable from Node 12 you connect to the coupler or CN3. Lastly. set the the dip switches to "node 12" to have the machine recognize the board.

The LED controller: https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-6831-01
This part is Stern 520-6831-01 ( you can also use 520-6831-00 found in Mustang and similar). This board is essentially a set of shift registers to drive the LEDs. If you've ever done any work with an Arduino, you'll be very familiar with this. The important thing to note about this board is the connections are a little deceiving. Instinct will tell you to connect the 6pin connector from node 12 to the 6pin connector on the LED board, but you actually need to connect Node 12's 6 pin connector to the 7pin header on the LED board (as seen in above video). Make sure the correct pins are wired together. When in doubt use the silk screen on the back of the board as a cheat sheet.

As far as I can tell the pinout and function is as follows, but I still need to test the orientation of the rotating flasher LEDs.

CN1
1 - LED 15 - rotating flasher 1-1 (left end)
2 - LED 14 - rotating flasher 1-2
3 - LED 13 - rotating flasher 1-3
4 - LED 12 - rotating flasher 2-1 (left center)
5 - LED 11 - rotating flasher 2-2
6 - LED 10 - rotating flasher 2-3
7 - LED 9 - rotating flasher 3-1 (right center)
8 - LED 8 - rotating flasher 3-2
9 - LED 7 - rotating flasher 3-3
10 - +5v
11 - +5v
12 - +5v

CN 2
1 - LED6 - rotating flasher 4-1 (right end)
2 - LED5 - rotating flasher 4-2
3 - LED4 - rotating flasher 4-3
4 - LED3 - N/C
5 - LED2 - Rear right red signal light
6 - LED1 - Right blue signal light
7 - LED0 - Left blue signal light
8 - +5v
9 - +5v

The LED Flashers: https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-6785-00
You will need (15) of these. The part number is 520-6785-00. I chose to make these myself using smd LEDs. At almost $16 a pop I couldn't justify spending over $250 on 15 LEDs, but if you want simple plug and play that's your go to part.

Various Other Components:
As stated above you'll need to purchase a few off the shelf items including what ever you want to use as a light bar. You can build your own (like I am) or source one on ebay or where ever.
- (2) Cat5e Ethernet cables
- (1) RJ45 (cat5) straight through coupler
- (1) 48v power cable (need to make CN7 to Node board CN14)
- (1) 6pin to 7pin data cable (Node 12 board CN1 to LED board CN4 - need to make)
- (1) 12pin connector for LEDs and +5v power (CN1 - need to make)
- (1) 9pin connector cable for LEDs and +5v power (CN2 need to make)
- Various lengths of wire in different gauges for 5v and 48v compatibility
- Various molex connector pin housings and crimp connectors.
- Prototype boards if you chose to fab any of your own components (IE, LED flashers)

Good Luck !

#68 81 days ago

After seeing the parts and the associated costs required to do this, the topper at 499 when it originally came out was a steal.

#69 81 days ago

Nice to see some progress on this. I will wait to jump on this until guide has been done. long as the ugly parts are doable i'll fake the pretty parts i be happy with close enough. toppers were sold out before i even saw one and i got my game new in box.

#70 81 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

I am working on a guide, but this project has stopped on my end while I wait for plastic to be delivered to construct the light bar. Below is a list of parts you need to purchase as well as a "quick start guide" I pulled together in case you want to jump ahead. You will need to create your own cables to wire everything up however. If you use the spike schematics for the boards listed and search for the CN connectors on Digikey, you'll get a link to the appropriate connection housing and terminal crimps. I can tell you I had a hard time tracking the PCB boards down using the usual go-to's. I ultimately contacted a distributor to get the parts I needed. You may have to do the same.
Obviously before you start please note that even though these are off the shelf parts, there is still a risk of damage to your machine. If you don't feel comfortable doing this work DON'T. Double and triple check your work and connections. I'm no electrical engineer, so I'm not going to tell you what gauge wires to use. If you search on this wonderful site you'll come across quite a few threads discussing pinball machine and choosing an appropriate wire gauge.
Special note regards to the genuine topper: Like many of you I balked at the $500 price tag of this thing. At first it seemed WAY over priced and I can see where you would think that. I can tell you that after ID-ing the (genuine) boards and sourcing just the components alone to make this, you're hovering close to $400 and that's not even making the toppers light bar, ghost sniffer, or siren. I'm sure you can find some deals, and cut corners but there is still some significant work involved. I think the Stern deserves a little more credit with the amount of work that went into this considering all the custom tooling required. Also at the end of the day they have to actually make a profit on the part. So in a sense I can now justify the cost especially when your alternative now is spending $1000-$1500 for one IF you can find it...
Lastly if you found this guide helpful, consider donating to pinside. Its places like this and the vast knowledge found with in the forums that make it possible to share projects like this.
First things first, how did we get to this point? Well it was not easy. It seemed like no one with an actual topper was willing to crack there's open to help us identify these parts. When all hope was lost I happened to stumble upon a random video on YouTube I cranked up the brightness and watched the video frame by frame paying attention to the boards inside. I then cross referenced the header pins and various other components against all the available Spike systems boards and finally ID'd the main parts. I also used the Johns Arcade video review to help with the connections in the back box. There is also a few shots he shows of the manual that will allow you to see the orientation of the LEDs boards inside the topper. Use this video if you get stuck with your connections.
The topper consists of (3) main parts: Node 12 - LED Driver - LED Flasher. Costs on these boards vary drastically from resource to resource so don't be afraid to shop around for the best deal.
The Node Board (Node 12): https://littleshopofgames.com/shop/boards/stern-boards/stern-spike-ii-spike-2-node-10-board-for-pinball-machine-520-6976-72/
You will need to purchase a Stern 520-6976-72A node board. This is the main bus controller for the topper. You'll need to fashion your own power connector and attach it to the power distribution connector CN7. You'll also need (2) standard cat5 network cables as well as an RJ45 coupler. Unplug the network cable from CN3 on the CPU board and insert it into the coupler. connect one of the (2) network wires to the other end of the couple then to the Node 12 board. Connect the final network cable from the Node 12 board back to CN3. It does not matter which cable from Node 12 you connect to the coupler or CN3. Lastly. set the the dip switches to "node 12" to have the machine recognize the board.
The LED controller: https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-6831-01
This part is Stern 520-6831-01 ( you can also use 520-6831-00 found in Mustang and similar). This board is essentially a set of shift registers to drive the LEDs. If you've ever done any work with an Arduino, you'll be very familiar with this. The important thing to note about this board is the connections are a little deceiving. Instinct will tell you to connect the 6pin connector from node 12 to the 6pin connector on the LED board, but you actually need to connect Node 12's 6 pin connector to the 7pin header on the LED board (as seen in above video). Make sure the correct pins are wired together. When in doubt use the silk screen on the back of the board as a cheat sheet.
As far as I can tell the pinout and function is as follows, but I still need to test the orientation of the rotating flasher LEDs.
CN1
1 - LED 15 - rotating flasher 1-1 (left end)
2 - LED 14 - rotating flasher 1-2
3 - LED 13 - rotating flasher 1-3
4 - LED 12 - rotating flasher 2-1 (left center)
5 - LED 11 - rotating flasher 2-2
6 - LED 10 - rotating flasher 2-3
7 - LED 9 - rotating flasher 3-1 (right center)
8 - LED 8 - rotating flasher 3-2
9 - LED 7 - rotating flasher 3-3
10 - +5v
11 - +5v
12 - +5v
CN 2
1 - LED6 - rotating flasher 4-1 (right end)
2 - LED5 - rotating flasher 4-2
3 - LED4 - rotating flasher 4-3
4 - LED3 - N/C
5 - LED2 - Rear right red signal light
6 - LED1 - Right blue signal light
7 - LED0 - Left blue signal light
8 - +5v
9 - +5v
The LED Flashers: https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/520-6785-00
You will need (15) of these. The part number is 520-6785-00. I chose to make these myself using smd LEDs. At almost $16 a pop I couldn't justify spending over $250 on 15 LEDs, but if you want simple plug and play that's your go to part.
Various Other Components:
As stated above you'll need to purchase a few off the shelf items including what ever you want to use as a light bar. You can build your own (like I am) or source one on ebay or where ever.
- (2) Cat5e Ethernet cables
- (1) RJ45 (cat5) straight through coupler
- (1) 48v power cable (need to make CN7 to Node board CN14)
- (1) 6pin to 7pin data cable (Node 12 board CN1 to LED board CN4 - need to make)
- (1) 12pin connector for LEDs and +5v power (CN1 - need to make)
- (1) 9pin connector cable for LEDs and +5v power (CN2 need to make)
- Various lengths of wire in different gauges for 5v and 48v compatibility
- Various molex connector pin housings and crimp connectors.
- Prototype boards if you chose to fab any of your own components (IE, LED flashers)
Good Luck !

$16 for those "flash lamp" boards is criminal. It's just a pcb with a single resistor and single smd led? Someone should get the dimensions, spend 10 minutes making the pcb file in eagle, order a bunch of them and sell them for half the price. I'd do it myself but I don't have one of these boards, or a topper, or even a Gb anymore... But this looks like a good opportunity for someone to make an easy generic version and make a little money.

#71 81 days ago

Funny how the GB topper was almost universally slammed when it was released and now it is a sought after topper.

#72 80 days ago

would the comet led boards work instead of genuine Stern ones
https://www.cometpinball.com/products/matrix-smd-pcb?_pos=29&_sid=9a08a4935&_ss=r

#73 80 days ago

Those boards look overly complicated for an LED. Looks like there are (3) MOSFETs and (3) resistors on the board (RGB?)?

In the Stern set up the MOSFETs are on the LED driver board right before the output header pins. The Stern flasher has (1) 22 Ohm (SMD 22R0) resistor and the SMD LED. Very simple.

#74 80 days ago
Quoted from seenev:

$16 for those "flash lamp" boards is criminal. It's just a pcb with a single resistor and single smd led? Someone should get the dimensions, spend 10 minutes making the pcb file in eagle, order a bunch of them and sell them for half the price. I'd do it myself but I don't have one of these boards, or a topper, or even a Gb anymore... But this looks like a good opportunity for someone to make an easy generic version and make a little money.

Yea they're pretty easy to make. I used a 22 Ohm resistor and a STW8Q14C-V5W5 SMD LED. No idea if these are the actual LEDs as they seem a tad warmer than the ones Stern uses. As I said I'm no electronics expert, but I measured the actual flasher led with calipurs, used the resistor value (22r0), and just started narrowing down the results.

Below is my cheap solution. All in all 15 of them took me a Jurassic Park and 3/4 of an Austin powers to make ( how I keep track of time ).

IMG_20200803_113510126 (resized).jpg
#75 80 days ago

If anyone plans to make these to sell please let me know!!

#76 80 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

Yea they're pretty easy to make. I used a 22 Ohm resistor and a STW8Q14C-V5W5 SMD LED. No idea if these are the actual LEDs as they seem a tad warmer than the ones Stern uses. As I said I'm no electronics expert, but I measured the actual flasher led with calipurs, used the resistor value (22r0), and just started narrowing down the results.
Below is my cheap solution. All in all 15 of them took me a Jurassic Park and 3/4 of an Austin powers to make ( how I keep track of time ).[quoted image]

If you could post dimensions of the board and components, I could mock up a generic version of the pcb in eagle. I have a reflow oven so I could pump these out easily.

#77 80 days ago

Just fooling around at lunch. If you buy at volume (say 200 pieces), each board costs less than 50 cents. Add a resistor and led and each board is probably less than $1 in parts.

Cheap flash lamp (resized).PNG
#78 78 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

That's the best thing. All the parts used are genuine Stern or off the shelf components. You'll just need to hook them up. You can spend as much or as little creating the light bar you want. Not really looking to make a buck selling kits but rather help out fellow GB owners stuck in the same situation I am.

Love this - thanks for the effort and the sentiment on this... I'm ready!

#79 75 days ago

Friday night update: Made a few brackets out of some spare aluminum for the DIY rotating flashers and rigged up a test rig. Seems to be working pretty well.

*** After slowing down the video I think I reversed the beacons. the ones on the inside need to move to the outside and vise versa ***

IMG_20200807_234619618 (resized).jpgIMG_20200807_234627903 (resized).jpg

#80 75 days ago

great work, looks great

#81 75 days ago

Instead of trying to use LED's to simulate the rotating beacon you could just use the real thing. You would need to take the LED signal from the node board and instead of having it drive an LED you instead have it trigger a relay to activate your beacons of choice. This way the topper still goes on and off via the node board control but you are not limited to just powering LED's. You could also use the LED node trigger to do activate other things like a motor to rotate the red sniffer block in the back.

Using one of the off the shelf light bars also eliminates having to fabricate a clear blue light diffuser.

People criticized the official Stern topper of looking too "toy like". Using something like this coupled with other parts would have a more DIY/garage built look like the real Ecto-1 roof rack in the movies.

https://www.vehiclesafetysupply.com/ecco-permanent-sae-15-blue-rotator-mini-lightbar-5315b-p-15265.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwmrn5BRB2EiwAZgL9oqcK5HW54TExNivPxnbizgngnO-rjRPyltvrZj53QShT01cB2wLQuhoCQ4gQAvD_BwE

https://m.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200593494_200593494

amazon.com link »

If you do a search on places like etsy you will find people make replicas of the sniffer block and federal siren, tanks and other Ecto-1 roof rack parts if you don't want to make your own parts.

#82 75 days ago
Quoted from docquest:

Instead of trying to use LED's to simulate the rotating beacon you could just use the real thing. You would need to take the LED signal from the node board and instead of having it drive an LED you instead have it trigger a relay to activate your beacons of choice. This way the topper still goes on and off via the node board control but you are not limited to just powering LED's. You could also use the LED node trigger to do activate other things like a motor to rotate the red sniffer block in the back.
Using one of the off the shelf light bars also eliminates having to fabricate a clear blue light diffuser.
People criticized the official Stern topper of looking too "toy like". Using something like this coupled with other parts would have a more DIY/garage built look like the real Ecto-1 roof rack in the movies.
https://www.vehiclesafetysupply.com/ecco-permanent-sae-15-blue-rotator-mini-lightbar-5315b-p-15265.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwmrn5BRB2EiwAZgL9oqcK5HW54TExNivPxnbizgngnO-rjRPyltvrZj53QShT01cB2wLQuhoCQ4gQAvD_BwE
https://m.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200593494_200593494
amazon.com link »
If you do a search on places like etsy you will find people make replicas of the sniffer block and federal siren, tanks and other Ecto-1 roof rack parts if you don't want to make your own parts.

Those are pretty cool. So the thing about the signal to the LED is each one is driven separately (3 per beacon). The output pulses to turn on the LED and fade it out. If you were to connect that signal to a relay wouldn't it only run the beacon when the pulse is detected? So wouldn't the beacons constantly be turning on and off rotating only a few degrees at a time with each pulse?

#83 75 days ago
Quoted from TheCnyPinGuy:

Would love to see a GB Extreme Vault edition
With the current Video Display Not DMD
Of what could of been :-/

That would just piss off all the people that spent money on the machines that just have the regular display in them, if they were going to do that they better have an upgrade available for reasonable price that would bolt in.

#84 75 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

Those are pretty cool. So the thing about the signal to the LED is each one is driven separately (3 per beacon). The output pulses to turn on the LED and fade it out. If you were to connect that signal to a relay wouldn't it only run the beacon when the pulse is detected? So wouldn't the beacons constantly be turning on and off rotating only a few degrees at a time with each pulse?

You can make a reaistor capacitor circuit on the input side of to the relay so the pulsing would still produce an active on. Pinsider outcida (Tim's pinball mods https://m.facebook.com/TimsPinballMods/ ) sold relays in the past with that functionality built in them for around $15 or so. Not sure if he still makes them or not though. His relay was designed to detect a flashing/pulsing insert and convert it to a steady on signal to activate his relay to power externally powered mods. I used one of those relays when I made a better version of the Batman66 rotating beacon. My trigger signal was one of the LEDs from the the top of the stern beacon that pulsed when topper was on and used that to trigger the relay to turn on my new beacon.

#85 75 days ago
Quoted from docquest:

You can make a reaistor capacitor circuit on the input side of to the relay so the pulsing would still produce an active on. Pinsider outcida (Tim's pinball mods https://m.facebook.com/TimsPinballMods/ ) sold relays in the past with that functionality built in them for around $15 or so. Not sure if he still makes them or not though. His relay was designed to detect a flashing/pulsing insert and convert it to a steady on signal to activate his relay to power externally powered mods. I used one of those relays when I made a better version of the Batman66 rotating beacon. My trigger signal was one of the LEDs from the the top of the stern beacon that pulsed when topper was on and used that to trigger the relay to turn on my new beacon.

Oh sweet. In that case that would be awesome if you could rig up an actual beacon. I did notice the LEDs flash at different speeds depending on modes and supper jack pots (PWM). So you'd loose a little bit of light show for a more authentic look.

#86 75 days ago
Quoted from pfinny:

That would just piss off all the people that spent money on the machines that just have the regular display in them, if they were going to do that they better have an upgrade available for reasonable price that would bolt in.

No other vault edition so far has done that, I doubt they would start now. The only change has been from wood to metal backbox.

#87 75 days ago

Really loving this progress.. personally I'd keep the LEDs separate to match what stern has done. the spinner interaction is so cool, and I feel you'd loose that effect with real beacons.

#88 75 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

Oh sweet. In that case that would be awesome if you could rig up an actual beacon. I did notice the LEDs flash at different speeds depending on modes and supper jack pots (PWM). So you'd loose a little bit of light show for a more authentic look.

Are you familiar at all with Jurassic Park topper? I wonder if any of your learnings here could be applied to that topper... for the cost of node board one could get access to the Goat Multiball perhaps.

#89 75 days ago
Quoted from roar:

Are you familiar at all with Jurassic Park topper? I wonder if any of your learnings here could be applied to that topper... for the cost of node board one could get access to the Goat Multiball perhaps.

On the Batman66 topper once the cat5 cable from the node board is connected to the CPU the game recognizes it and programs the node board with the appropriate code. A new node board will be "empty" but once it plugged into the game it will be programmed.

So as long as the JP topper is using the same node board and you set the dip switches on it correctly it should enable the goat mode. You would.need someone who has thE JP topper to conform the node board being used and what's its dip switches are set to.

#90 75 days ago

In the research I've done the node board and led driver listed above seems to be the boards used for all toppers in the Spike era. The common node setting for toppers seems to be 12, but you can experiment untill you find the right setting if it doesn't work.

Check the games manual first to see what nodes are active to rule those out first. Then just walk through the settings 1 by 1 untill it recognizes the board. There doesn't seem to be any adverse affect to setting the topper to the wrong node as I accidently had it on 10 the first time I fired it up.

Use the diagnostic menus to verify the board was detected properly and check the outputs 1 by 1 before playing a game just to be on the safe side.

#91 74 days ago

I need another project like I need another hole in my head but I'm adding this to the list, would be interesting to see what kind of topper I could come up with for JP understanding what've you've collected above.

#92 73 days ago

You could really do almost anything. The beauty of using legit boards is you'd no longer have to tap into existing lights and flashers. It makes for a very clean, self contained install.

The only limitation would be the amount of led outputs the actual topper utilizes. To docquest's point above you can get really creative and have the outputs drive motors or solenoids and what not for animations.

1 month later
#93 24 days ago

I’m making this a project in the near future, has anyone put together one of their own yet?

#94 24 days ago
Quoted from Chosen_S:

I’m making this a project in the near future, has anyone put together one of their own yet?

Make an extra one for me too!

#95 24 days ago
Quoted from KingBW:

Make an extra one for me too!

Im planning on doing a non traditional build, not trying to make the full light bar, but rather maybe only use only one 15" rotating light beacon, Im still brain storming all of the parts and such... I guess I need to get the node board and led board and some relays since the light beacons all use 12v

#96 20 days ago
Quoted from Chosen_S:

Im planning on doing a non traditional build, not trying to make the full light bar, but rather maybe only use only one 15" rotating light beacon, Im still brain storming all of the parts and such... I guess I need to get the node board and led board and some relays since the light beacons all use 12v

Maybe a green and red beacon and tie it in with containment unit like top half of containment

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