(Topic ID: 180370)

How to make electrical connections tighter .


By rskb41

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by pinballaddicted
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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#1 3 years ago

Could anyone help in telling us how to tighten the electrical connectors on the female part of this plug so we get a better connection. The connections are not tight enough causing the lights to be dim, or not on at all. Thanks in advance for any help . Sue

IMG_3381 (resized).JPG

#2 3 years ago

to the best of my limited knowledge, the best way would be to extract the female connectors from the housing and re-terminate them with new female connectors. this requires special extraction and crimping tools. I'm sure someone will jump in with specific sizes and sources, especially if you can provide the exact game and connector location.

#3 3 years ago

Have you reflowed the solder on the pins in the board yet?

If so, pick up some .156" pins and housings along with a crimper from great plains electronics

#4 3 years ago

Replace the IDC with a Molex connector, and crimp new Trifurcon pins. This requires IDC pin removal. If the wire leads are not too short, just cut the connector off, so you have fresh wire for the best electrical connectivity with new pins. I assume you have no colder solder joints on the light board. If you do, address this first, and test afterwords by connector insertion.

My position on the matter is different.
All connectors and pins on pinball machines when there are failing connectors need replaced.
IDC connectors are cheap, and Molex provide maximum electrical connection.
IDC with IDC is repeating the manufacturer mistake.

#5 3 years ago

Your problem is the pins on the light board. Reflow those header pins and your lights will work again.

#6 3 years ago

Better eyes than mine..
I sooo wanted to insert the Jim Carrey scene where he's examining the dolphin tank drain. But I can't find the 3 seconds of the scene that applies. Can only find the 3 minute long version which is a bit too long:


From 0:52 to 0:55

#7 3 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

Your problem is the pins on the light board. Reflow those header pins and your lights will work again.

You may want to consider picking up a .156 IDC insertion tool like the one linked. http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1590 so if you come across an issue where it seems to be the connector wiring, just repunching the wires can go a long way.

I believe the vast majority of these IDC connectors that get replaced are done so needlessly, unless the connector, is corroded, burnt, or damaged in some way, I don't replace them.

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

You may want to consider picking up a .156 IDC insertion tool like the one linked. http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1590 so if you come across an issue where it seems to be the connector wiring, just repunching the wires can go a long way.
I believe the vast majority of these IDC connectors that get replaced are done so needlessly, unless the connector, is corroded, burnt, or damaged in some way, I don't replace them.

Hey Pin_Guy. Thanks for the feedback, I think that is what we need. We will order one of these next time we order from Pinball Life. The connectors are not burnt, damaged or corroded. When you wiggle the wires on the back of the connector, all the lights work correctly.

Con

#9 3 years ago

just redo the plug. Start with resoldering the male pins and crimp on a new molex house.

#10 3 years ago

You can always hot glue the connector.

Seems to be a popular method at the factories.

#11 3 years ago

Why not just use a new molex and be done forever. It's like .75 cents for a 5 pin connector and pins.

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

Why not just use a new molex and be done forever. It's like .75 cents for a 5 pin connector and pins.

This drives me crazy every time I see a post like this as it really doesn't tell you how to go about making this change.

You can do this, but keep in mind that since the plug you are talking about contains thru wires, you are going to have to deal with two wires for 1 Molex pin. Since Molex does not recommend crimping more than one wire per pin, they do not give you any information on how to go about doing so. You have three options:

1) you cut both wires and add a third wire to the bunch, then solder them together with the new wire going to the Molex connector
2) you just do it and crimp multiple wires into the Molex connector, the odds of either breaking the pin, or ending up with a bad crimp at this point are fairly good.
3) you can calculate the new AWG for the pair of wires. In order to do this you need to know the radius of the wire and your old friend pi (π)...as in A=πr^2. Lets assume the wires are 22 gauge and have a diameter of .0253", then the radius (r) of the wire would be equal to half the diameter (D/2), or .01265" the area of this wire would come out be 5.027e-4. We would then multiply that by the number of wires, in this case 2, and come up with an combined area = .001. we can then reverse the formula to determine the diameter of the pair of wires D=2√(A/π) and end up with a value of 0.0357" This would correlate to an AWG equivalent of 19 gague, so in order to properly crimp a pair of 22 gauge wires into a molex pin. you will need a pin that supports your housing and accepts a 19 gauge wire, and dont forget to set your crimp tool accordingly.

It just seems easier to just use an IDC

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

My position on the matter is different.
All connectors and pins on pinball machines when there are failing connectors need replaced.
IDC connectors are cheap, and Molex provide maximum electrical connection.
IDC with IDC is repeating the manufacturer mistake.

A position like this seems to based mostly based on opinion.

I agree with only the point that failed connection points need to have both header and connector replaced, but stating that the type of wire connection used in the connector is at fault is similar to saying that the type of plating on the header pin was the cause of the failure. You have to keep in mind that connection points from both Crimp, or IDC have a limited lifespan. Every time a connector is removed and replaced is two cycles of this lifespan as the friction from this action is having an adverse effect on the plating of both the housing and connector. Over time, and based on the operating environment and number of cycles these connectors endure is what leads to failures.

The most prominent factor that determines the electrical connection has nothing to do with how the wires connect to the connector, but has to do with how the connector mates to the housing. There are both IDC and crimp type (even made by Molex) that do not mate with more than two sides of the housing pin, this is one of the primary factors that causes burnt pins and connectors. If you don't believe this is the case, just look at where the connector burned, did it burn where the wires connect to it, or did it burn where the header mates to the connector?

Since most of the folks on Pinside are home owners, most of the machines they own are on for limited times resulting in limited maintenance to the machines and minimal heat generation; it's my belief that the replacing of failed IDC connectors with a crimp type connector and never having that connector fail makes it appear that the connector type was at fault, but fails to recognize that the environment the machine is now operating in has substantially changed. Replacing the IDC connector with a new IDC in this environment would give you the same reliability as crimp connector assuming the same mating surface with the header.

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from Pin_Guy:

This drives me crazy every time I see a post like this as it really doesn't tell you how to go about making this change.
You can do this, but keep in mind that since the plug you are talking about contains thru wires, you are going to have to deal with two wires for 1 Molex pin. Since Molex does not recommend crimping more than one wire per pin, they do not give you any information on how to go about doing so. You have three options:
1) you cut both wires and add a third wire to the bunch, then solder them together with the new wire going to the Molex connector
2) you just do it and crimp multiple wires into the Molex connector, the odds of either breaking the pin, or ending up with a bad crimp at this point are fairly good.
3) you can calculate the new AWG for the pair of wires. In order to do this you need to know the radius of the wire and your old friend pi (π)...as in A=πr^2. Lets assume the wires are 22 gauge and have a diameter of .0253", then the radius (r) of the wire would be equal to half the diameter (D/2), or .01265" the area of this wire would come out be 5.027e-4. We would then multiply that by the number of wires, in this case 2, and come up with an combined area = .001. we can then reverse the formula to determine the diameter of the pair of wires D=2√(A/π) and end up with a value of 0.0357" This would correlate to an AWG equivalent of 19 gague, so in order to properly crimp a pair of 22 gauge wires into a molex pin. you will need a pin that supports your housing and accepts a 19 gauge wire, and dont forget to set your crimp tool accordingly.
It just seems easier to just use an IDC

Hey Pin_Guy,

We really appreciate the feed back. We have decided to go with new IDC connectors as we have definitely isolated the issue to the connection. As you have suggested, we are going to reseat the wires in all the connections first, and then if the lights still do not work correctly we will fit new connectors. As you have stated there are some wires that continue to other connectors.

Our machines are in a home environment. We do our best to keep as much of the electrical (except for LEDs) as standard as we can. We have purchased the tools and IDC connections, we are waiting for them to arrive in the post. We want everything on all our machines clean and working.

Thanks

#15 3 years ago

Have you reflowed the header to the yet?

#16 3 years ago

No one argues against the improvements of a IDC over Molex, unless the goal is quick and fast. That is the only significant advantage.

After 30 years of technical work, my lesson tells me that I never have needed to replace a connector again after getting rid of the IDCs and replacing them with Molex. The only exceptions are Jones plugs which are repairable, and several other edge connectors that are specialized for manufacturer boardsets. Those connectors need other methods for optimal reliability.

People can make their own judgement.

I am not going into depth describing electrical connectivity calculations based on contact surface area for a classic PinSide TLDR. It does not matter if the game is home use or commercial use. Fix it right the first time, and a person never needs to do it again.

Some things you cannot teach in a text post on the internet, you learn how to do it with practice, such as crimpimg, a person can just "point the way". The male header pin issue was still not directly potentially addressed, so replacing the connector still may not solve the problem with colder solder joints.

I wish the owner the best in repairing the game, as the skills are important in becoming a contented, non-frustrated hobbyist especially early on to prevent people quiting.

If you wish to learn more go to PinWiki, where many technicians write articles for repair, which we add details frequently.
This may be of great use in the future.

#17 3 years ago

IDC plugs do not make sense unless you are mass producing. The wires can rip out of the IDC connection at the end during mating and the solder joints on connectors under the PF crack from vibration. Put your big boy pants on and double crimp two wires into one molex kk or make a Y shape with one crimp at the connector. Neither is hard and you can be neat about it creating a repair that is better than the original factory installed idc connector.

The under PF boards commonly have these problems and the fix really is that simple.

#18 3 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Have you reflowed the header to the yet?

Hey guys,

We reflowed the solder on one pin on our TAF. Problem fixed.

We re seated 2 cables in the IDC connection of the photo above (Getaway HSII). Problem fixed.

Thanks for all your help, much appreciated.

All the lights on or B/W machines work. Finally

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