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(Topic ID: 70559)

Homebrew pinball power supplies

By openpinballproj

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by vid1900
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    switching ps.jpg

    #1 6 years ago

    I've been listening to the pinexpo talks from this year, and one of the guys mentions a new, lighter pinball power supply. He was talking about Skit-B using a 60 pound power supply and made it sound like the person had a source for a 70V supply, high current, and low cost. From an EE standpoint, it should be very easy to do, but I can't seem to find any links on the web for the new supply. Right now, my method (thanks to Joe for pointing out the website to me) involves attaching a bunch of PC power supplies together, and I only go up to 48V. I have bought a couple of 48V power supplies off ebay, and they only produce about 3A continuously. I can parallel them to get more current, but again, too many gets prohibitively expensive.

    I'm assuming the power supply rectifies the voltage, and then uses a buck converter to lower the voltage down to the 70V. Does anybody have any leads on what they guy was talking about? Thanks in advance.

    #2 6 years ago

    Lots of people doing P-ROC machines are getting power supplies from these guys:

    #3 6 years ago

    well I think there is not a "generic" power supply. you have to create a system schematic for all your lamps, coils, optos, features, leds, #44s, etc....and then create a load metric. from that you can decide on what inputAC / outputDC you need for your game, pcbs and design/source the PS and tranny accordingly. that is the "correct" way to do this.

    the rectified 50v AC in will yield you 70v or so for coils (Gottlieb was 24v) on the outputs. Jpop

    #4 6 years ago

    The Antek one is the 60 lb one that is very expensive. Very old technology (essentially the same power supply that is in my EM games.) That guy is a big transformer which of course needs a huge iron core which give you a large cost. I'm looking for a switched mode power supply.

    #5 6 years ago

    Got mine from pinball controllers. 70&24v. Then you get 12&5v from an atx psu.

    #6 6 years ago

    The Antek supplies are ~13 lbs, not 60. I don't think you'll be able to find a hefty switched supply with the voltages and power needed for a pinball machine for a reasonable cost, but please let everyone know if you do.

    #7 6 years ago

    This same thread comes up every month or so and it always ends with a Switching power supply not having enough jizsm for the flippers/coils.

    Crappy service techs often put a switching power supply into pins for just the 5 &12v lines because they don't have the skills to repair the super simple existing circuit.

    Mocean found this gem in his game, lol:

    switching ps.jpg

    #8 6 years ago

    I don't recall a power transformer in a Twilight zone ever weighing 60 pounds! Or even anything near that.

    #9 6 years ago

    As a general rule, an "E" type transformer weighs about 1 pound per amp of capacity.

    So an 8 amp pinball transformer most likely weighs ~8 pounds.

    #10 6 years ago

    A lot of the SMPS don't have the "jizsm". I also know that that I have a meanwell LPP-150 sitting on my bench right now and it is kicking the flippers without a problem. (Note: I'm using MOSFETs which helps some of the current requirements since they have lower RDSon values).

    The flipper coil measures 7.5 ohms cold. Not the strongest flipper, but it is an old EM game that I converted from AC to DC. (The flip and hold solenoids are running in parallel to get as much power as I can from the setup.) As the current flows through the solenoid, the coil heats up and the resistance goes up. What is the resistance at steady state with 48V being supplied? I can't find anybody that has actually published those measurements. I know that it is significantly higher that 7.5 ohms warm because my 3.25A power supply can keep up.

    Here are some quick calculations:
    7.5 ohms, 48V, gives 6.4A

    I don't have a 'scope or I would measure across a known current sensing resistor to get the value at steady state. I'll try and take the time tonight to make up the connectors necessary to use my multimeter to measure the steady state current. I was hoping that somebody might have some measurements handy.

    I found the power supply in the talks. The talk is from Skill Shot Pinball and says the have a 32V high current power supply for a little over $30. Of course they have no info on their website so who knows if it is real. 32V seems low for driving coils, but putting two in series should allow them to do 64V.

    #11 6 years ago

    The 60lb power supply that they were talking about is the one that is used in the Predator machine. I'm not sure if anyone else is using the supply. I think that I saw Ben Heck using a similar supply in one of his pictures of a build. I don't believe that it is really 60lb, but it's probably one of those things where you pick it up and you say, "Man, this thing is heavy. It must weigh 60 lbs." I'm so old at this point that anything over 20 lbs feels like 60 lbs to me.

    #12 6 years ago
    Quoted from openpinballproj:

    The 60lb power supply that they were talking about is the one that is used in the Predator machine.

    I did not hear anything about it being 60 pounds.

    I know they said "no more giant transformer", but I'd take a giant conventional transformer before I'd want a 60 pound switcher, lol.

    #13 6 years ago

    Who would want to service a switching power supply, compared to the simplicity of a conventional PS anyway?

    #14 6 years ago

    Meanwell makes some switching power supplies that can put out upwards of 20amps at 48v DC (43-56 adjustable) in their SE series, for example the SE-1000-48 (or the SE-1500-48 for over 30 amps). Fairly small little units also.

    #15 6 years ago
    Quoted from SteveP3:

    Meanwell SE-1500-48

    $450, it needs a minimum of 180 Volts AC and it has a fan.

    I like the size, but would people be willing to install a 220v outlet for pinball? It the unit field serviceable or does it have a bunch of surface mount parts?

    #16 6 years ago

    Those Happ power supplies that you see hacked into pins all the time are cheaper to replace than repair @$19, who's going to waste time fooling with them?

    #17 6 years ago

    The Meanwell LPP-150-48 runs $9. It's 48V at 3.25A. Universal 120/240V input.

    All my computers are SMPS and when they go bad, it takes me about 10 minutes to switch them out. I don't ever think of servicing them, but just replace with newer/more efficient.

    In the olden days of pinball people didn't fix their boards either. They sent them to a repair shop who fixed them and just swapped out the boards. It is only now that everyone looks at the through hole parts and how simple the cards are and they fix the cards themselves. Everybody now has a multimeter to get good measurements on voltages. (An acceptable one of those only costs $8 or $9.) A good number of pinball people have a good scope that gets you that much further.

    The Happ power supplies look very similar to the Heck power supply. That might be his source and the Predator guys source. Not sure.

    #18 6 years ago
    Quoted from cichlid:

    $450, it needs a minimum of 180 Volts AC and it has a fan.
    I like the size, but would people be willing to install a 220v outlet for pinball? It the unit field serviceable or does it have a bunch of surface mount parts?

    Ok, the 1500 was a poor example, I was just throwing out quick examples of supplies with high amperage output after combing over their site quickly.

    A SE-600-48 running at 120v AC could be used to deliver 12.5 amps @ 48v as an example. Probably somewhere around 100-125 bucks.

    Please note I am not arguing with your logic, just providing some alternative thoughts. I personally would recommend a toroid style; or just use a used pinball transformer, that's what I'm using.

    #19 6 years ago
    Quoted from openpinballproj:

    In the olden days of pinball people didn't fix their boards either. They sent them to a repair shop who fixed them and just swapped out the boards

    This is not true - at all.

    Even when still under warranty, EVERY op fixed their own circuit boards; usually on the spot.

    If a repair was too difficult for the regular route pin-tech, the boards and ROMs were swapped with a spare and the fried board was returned to the shop where the head tech fixed it.

    #20 6 years ago

    Y'up, that was an over generalization on my part. Sorry about that.

    #21 6 years ago
    Quoted from SteveP3:

    I personally would recommend a toroid style


    A toroid is more efficient than an "E" style transformer.

    Here an Antek PS-4N70R5R12 power supply is $125 and has :

    70v @ 5.7A
    12v @ 1A
    5v @ 1A

    No fans.
    Rated for continuous operation.
    No surface mount components for easy field repair.

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