Making the harness: 1-2 hours, depending on your wiring stripping, soldering, and crimping skills.
Note: This assumes that you already have a backbox panel (see link: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-to-make-an-led-backbox-for-30-for-modern-sterns)
Note: You can also use this harness to connect to external flashers --- under the cabinet, behind the cabinet, on the wall, on furniture, attached to your cat who seems to enjoy spending more time on the pinball machine than you do playing it.
WARNING: Don't do backbox work with your machine turned on. You can short something, damage a board, or shock yourself.
You will need to make two 10 pin harnesses to connect to the I/O board
Step 1: Locate connectors J6 and J7 on the I/O Board (lower right)
Note: J6 is labeled "Flash Lamps" and J7 is labeled "Low Current Solenoid"
Note: pin 1 is on the right; pin 10 is on the left
Note: J6 is keyed (header pin clipped) on pin 9
Note: J7 is keyed on pin 5
Step 2: Record the wire combinations for the flashers.
Go into the system's diagnostics menu and record the wire combinations used for the flashers. This is using the 4 button controller located inside of the coin door. The order to get the the flasher menu is:
Black menu button: -> Service menu splash screen
Black menu button: -> Service menu selection screen
Black menu button: -> Diagnostics Menu
Red Volume + button (2X): -> Select Flash Lamps Menu
Black menu button: -> Flash lamps menu
Black menu bottom: -> Single Flash Lamp Test
Now you can cycle through the flashers with the Red Volume or flipper buttons. To actually test a lamp, the coin door needs to be closed as there are interrupt switches that kill high voltage power. With the coin door closed, select a lamp with the flipper buttons and press the start button to test flash.
Tron flash wiring:
Video game: Org/Vio-Red
Back center: Org/Vio-Org
Lower left: Org/Vio-Blu
Lower right: Org/Vio-Blk
Back left: Org/Blk-Brn
Disc (left): Org/Blk-Red
Disc (right): Org/Blk-Org
Backpanel (x2): Org/Blk-Yel
Red disc (left) (x2): Org/Blk-Vio
Red disc (right) (x2): Org/Blk-Gry
IM flash wiring:
Pop bumper: Org/Vio-Wht
Left ramp (top): Org/Vio-Grn
War machine (front): Org/Vio-Blu
Monger (center lane): Org/Vio-Blk
Iron Monger (x2): Org/Blk-Brn
Right ramp (top): Org/Blk-Red
War machine (x3): Org/Blk-Org
Monger chest light (optional): Org/Blk-Yel
Whiplash (x2): Org/Blk-Grn
Mark VI (x2): Org/Blk-Blu
Left ramp (bottom) (x2): Org/Blk-Vio
Right ramp (bottom): Org/Blk-Gry
Note: The wiring lays out which is the positive wire and which is the negative wire. In all these cases, the orange wire is positive, and the negative wires have two colors: Primary-secondary. So Vio-Grn means a violet wire with a green stripe.
Note: J6 has the orange power wire (pin 10) used for all the flashers. J7's power wire (brown; pin 1). In Tron, it is used for the disc motor relay and disc motor power. In IM, it is used for the left slingshot, right slingshot, iron monger motor. Important stuff to which you want to supply power.
Note: The wiring of these things in not sane. Power is being drawn from one connector and grounded in another; not all the pins are used. I assume that if you have limited board space for I/O, you come up with some creative solutions.
Step 3: Assign connector label and pins to your flasher table. These will be the pins that you will splice long leads in your wiring harness to connect to flashers on your backbox panel.
Tron flash wiring:
Pin 1: Brown Power!
Pin 2: Zen: Org/Vio-Brn
Pin 3: Video game: Org/Vio-Red
Pin 4: Back center: Org/Vio-Org
Pin 5: KEY
Pin 8: Lower left: Org/Vio-Blu
Pin 9: Lower right: Org/Vio-Blk
Pin 1: Back left: Org/Blk-Brn
Pin 2: Disc (left): Org/Blk-Red
Pin 3: Disc (right): Org/Blk-Org
Pin 4: Backpanel (x2): Org/Blk-Yel
Pin 5: Recognizer: Org/Blk-Grn
Pin 7: Red disc (left) (x2): Org/Blk-Vio
Pin 8: Red disc (right) (x2): Org/Blk-Gry
Pin 9: KEY
Pin 10: Orange Power!
IM flash wiring:
Pin 1: Brown Power!
Pin 5: KEY
Pin 6: Pop bumper: Org/Vio-Wht
Pin 7: Left ramp (top): Org/Vio-Grn
Pin 8: War machine (front): Org/Vio-Blu
Pin 9: Monger (center lane): Org/Vio-Blk
Pin 1: Iron Monger (x2): Org/Blk-Brn
Pin 2: Right ramp (top): Org/Blk-Red
Pin 3: War machine (x3): Org/Blk-Org
Pin 4: Monger chest light (optional): Org/Blk-Yel
Pin 5: Whiplash (x2): Org/Blk-Grn
Pin 6: Mark VI (x2): Org/Blk-Blu
Pin 7: Left ramp (bottom) (x2): Org/Blk-Vio
Pin 8: Right ramp (bottom): Org/Blk-Gry
Pin 9: KEY
Pin 10: Orange Power!
Step 4: Take your IDC connector, align it with the board, and mark on the sides with pin numbers 1 and 10. This will help make sure you have it in the correct orientation when you make the harness.
Step 5: Cut 9 short wires that will be used to connect IDC header to connector.
Note: In this example, I'm making the harness for J7 in Tron. For this harness, Pin 5 is the KEY and pins 6 and 7 are not used. However, to be complete for this example, I'm including wires for pins 6 and 7.
Step 6. Cut the appropriate number of long wires that will be used to bridge pins to back board for flashers.
Step 7: Hold 10-pin IDC connector with helping hands
Step 8: Solder 9 short wires to header pins
Note: Make sure that you skip the pin used as the key!
Note: Tinning (putting on solder) the headers and the wires makes attaching them together much easier.
Step 9: Solder the long wires to header pins
Note: Tin the header and wires.
Note: I connect the short wires on one side of the header pin and the long leads on the other side. When soldering the long leads on, the short wires can fall off when the solder melts. Soldering at a slight upside-down angle (short wires on top), helps keep the short wires in place.
Note: If you are using a bundled set of wires (as shown), put the heat shrink tubing on before you attach the leads.
Step 10: Cut and place heat shrink over the wires and exposed pins
Note: Having different size tubes helps for covering pins with or without the long leads.
Step 11: Heat and shrink with heat gun
Step 12: Pin small wires with crimp contacts.
Note: Try to keep all the pins aligned with one another front/back this makes inserting them into the connector easier.
Step 14: push pins/push wires into IDC connector
Note: Needle nose pliers can help pushing the crimp contacts and wires into the connector
Note: Make sure that you have the crimp contacts aligned correctly before inserting into the connector (see pictures)
Step 15: Clip the key pin on the header (Pin 5, in this example)
Step 16. Double check that you pinned the harness correctly
Repeat steps 4-16 for the other harness
Your wiring harnesses are complete!
Backbox flashers or under cabinet lighting (Time 1-4 hours, depending on how involved you make it.)
Time to layout and attach the LEDs to the backboard or under the cabinet
This example is for an LED backbox. I'll do a how-to for the underside of the cabinet in the future.
Step 1: Layout the translite and the LED backboard one on top of one another
Step 2: Sketch out where you want to place lights and the colors you'd like.
Note: Where to place them? Up to you. Be creative. You can always change where you placed things using arts and crafts glue, add more LEDs, change the colors, etc. For Tron, I wanted to highlight features on the translate -- the discs (yellow and blue), the clouds (white), the portal (white), Clu (yellow), etc.
Step 3: Cut LED strip to fit areas
Note: The strips of LEDS are arrayed in sets of threes with very obviously places to cut (exposed metal pads for making contacts). When you cut, cut on the black line to give equal contact space to each side. This is important when connecting wires the the LED strips.
Step 4: Remove backing of adhesive on the back of the LED strips and attach to the backbox board. I ran some LED strips over existing LED strips because it was easier than cutting and having to solder wire.
Step 5: Wire the 12V+ to all the LEDs
Note: Tin your wire and the contact pad on the LED before soldering the two together. This will make it easier and reduce the time the LED strip is heated with the soldering iron
Note: You can wire in series, in parallel
Note: You can wire one end of 12V+ on an LED strip and use the 12V+ on the other side to connect to the next strip
Note: You can wire to the middle of an LED strip by attaching to the exposed contact pad
Note: You can run your wires on the front or back side of the backbox board -- use the small philips screwdriver to poke holes in the backbox board. I usually run wires in the front if they aren't crossing an existing LED strip, and behind if I need to run over an LED strip.
Step 6: Attach Power: Solder J6 pin 10 (Orange Power!) to the LED 12V+ circuit
Step 7: Set the color of LEDs by bridging leads on contact pads:
Yellow: RG (Bridged)
Purple: RB (Bridged)
Cyan: GB (Bridged)
White: RGB (Bridged)
Note: For those interested in the RGB color model: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RGB_color_model
Note: You can connect multiple flashers leads to the same LED strip so that they trigger different colors (e., one triggers blue and another triggers red)
Step 8: Connect leads to control flashers. For the J7 harness of Tron (used in this example), they are all the long leads.
Note: Which flasher to connect to which LED strip? Completely up to you, but try to tie it into the game place. For Tron, I connected the J6 Pin 2: Disc (left) to Clu's disc and J6 Pin 3: Disc (right) to, uh, the good guy; Pin 7: Red disc (left) (x2) to the vertical portal lights and Pin 8: Red disc (right) (x2) the ground below the portal (or the other way around, I can't remember).
Step 9: Connect and test
Step 10: Fix problems.
I missed wiring power or leads to some LED strips in a chain, messed up colors so that one started blue and the next switched to red, and LED strips in the wrong position, didn't like how I set which lead triggers a particular flasher, etc.
Step 11: Mount and enjoy!