(Topic ID: 99008)

DIY: How to make an interactive backbox flasher kit for $15 for modern Sterns


By lyonsden

5 years ago



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    #1 5 years ago

    This is the second part of my DIY project for making an LED backbox for my Stern games. The first how-to shows how to make an LED panel for your backbox that replaces Stern's florescent tube lighting for ~$30: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-to-make-an-led-backbox-for-30-for-modern-sterns

    Here, I will go through what you need to make interactive lighting for your backbox that ties into the games flashers. This same tutorial can be used to create lighting for your cabinet as well (which I'll do in a future how-to). It will outline the parts you'll need, the required (or very helpful) tools, and step-by-step instructions with photos.

    Like last time, your comments and feedback on how to make this better are appreciated!

    Here are some photos and videos of the final product:

    Testing the backbox flashers:

    Running through a game of Tron:

    IMG_3085.png
    IMG_3110.png

    #2 5 years ago

    Parts:

    10-pin "0.156 header x2 (Molex/IDC -- I don't know the right name for these things, but I'm using IDC because it is easier to type than Molex)
    Great Plains sells a 24-pin header that you can cut ($1.35): https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=26-48-1241

    10-pin "0.156 connector plug x2: ($0.30):
    Part Number: CS156-10-LR at Great Plains: https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/products.asp?cat=81

    Crimp contacts x20 ($0.08):
    Part Number: 08-50-0134 at Great Plains: https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/products.asp?cat=80

    LED strip: 5M with 60LEDs/M strips ~$10: ebay.com link » 1 20m Rgb 5050 Smd Waterproof 300 Led Light Strip Flexible Ir Remote 12v Power

    Note: After posting links to these stores, several have run out of LED strips rather quickly. With some patience, you can find another store on EBay that is selling them (shipped) for about the same price. I've linked to three or four in the backbox panel thread that you can check.

    For the following items, you can find them at hardware stores or Radio Shack. My Ebay links are there in case you hate shopping in stores.

    22 gauge wire: $1
    I like to use the 4-wire bundles for powering the LED lights. You can get this for ~$1/meter if you by 5-10M: ebay.com link

    You can also order 22-gague wire 10M for $5.30: ebay.com link

    Zip ties: $1

    Heat shrink tubing: $1
    Here is a nice set ($9): ebay.com link » 280 Pcs 1 8 Polyolefin 2 1 Halogen Free Heat Shrink Tubing 8 Sizes 5 Color Box

    Post edited by lyonsden: Added photo of parts

    IMG_3053.png
    #3 5 years ago

    Do all those leds make the translite too bright?

    #4 5 years ago

    Tools:

    Scissors: cutting LED strips
    Wire cutters: cutting wire
    Wire strippers: stripping wire
    Soldering iron: soldering wire
    Solder: soldering wire
    Crimping tool/needle nose pliers: crimping contacts to wire
    Helping hands: holding connector and header while soldering
    Heat gun: shrinking heat shrink tubes
    Extra small philips screwdriver: poking holes in poster board

    Note, I highly recommend a ratcheting crimping tool instead of needle nose pliers. This one is $19, shipped: ebay.com link

    Post edited by lyonsden: Added photo of tools

    IMG_3055.png
    #5 5 years ago

    Directions: Abbreviated:

    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.

    SAM systems

    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:
    Zen: Org/Vio-Brn
    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
    Recognizer: Org/Blk-Grn
    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:
    J7
    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 6:
    Pin 7:
    Pin 8: Lower left: Org/Vio-Blu
    Pin 9: Lower right: Org/Vio-Blk
    Pin 10:

    J6
    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 6:
    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:
    J7
    Pin 1: Brown Power!
    Pin 2:
    Pin 3:
    Pin 4:
    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 10:

    J6
    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:
    Red: R
    Green: G
    Blue: B
    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!

    #6 5 years ago

    Making the harnesses: Detailed

    You will need to make two 10 pin harnesses to connect to the I/O board.

    Time: 1-2 hours, depending on your wiring stripping, soldering, and crimping skills.

    Note: This assumes that you already have a backbox panel (see link: )
    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.

    For this example, I'm using Tron (mainly) and IM which are both SAM systems. I'll make a future tutorial for whitestar when I get to my LOTR.

    WARNING: Make sure to turn off power to your pinball machine before working in the back box.

    IMG_3079.png

    Note: When I made these harnesses, I made one with the the long flasher leads attached to the header (J7) or crimped in the connector (J6). Both ways have their plusses and minuses, but I find soldering two wires to the header to be easier than trying to get them to fit in a crimp contact and shoving it into the connector.

    #7 5 years ago
    Quoted from SealClubber:

    Do all those leds make the translite too bright?

    No. I have them in Metallica and ACDC Helen and they're great. Really makes the colors pop without the expense of interactive backbox lighting.

    #8 5 years ago

    Step 1: Locate connectors J6 and J7 on the I/O Board (lower right)

    Note: This is the left board
    Note: J6 is labeled "Flash Lamps" and J7 is labeled "Low Current Solenoid"
    Note: J6 is to the right of J7
    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

    IMG_3022.png IMG_3027.png
    #9 5 years ago

    Step 2: 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:
    Zen: Org/Vio-Brn
    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
    Recognizer: Org/Blk-Grn
    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 is 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.

    IMG_3041.png
    IMG_3042.png
    IMG_3043.png
    IMG_3044.png
    IMG_3045.png

    IMG_3020.png
    IMG_3021.png
    IMG_3023.png
    IMG_3024.png

    #10 5 years ago

    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:
    J7
    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 6:
    Pin 7:
    Pin 8: Lower left: Org/Vio-Blu
    Pin 9: Lower right: Org/Vio-Blk
    Pin 10:

    J6
    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 6:
    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:
    J7
    Pin 1: Brown Power!
    Pin 2:
    Pin 3:
    Pin 4:
    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 10:

    J6
    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!

    Note: J6 Pin 10 is used for powering the flashers

    Note: If people have these charts for other games, please post them. They are very helpful.

    Tron:
    IMG_3022.png
    J6 Tron:
    IMG_3046.png
    J7 Tron:
    IMG_3047.png

    IM:
    IMG_3025.png
    J6 IM:
    IMG_3048.png
    J7 IM:
    IMG_3049.png

    #11 5 years ago

    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.

    IMG_3056.png
    #12 5 years ago

    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.

    IMG_3058.png
    IMG_3060.png

    Reference photo of Tron J7:
    IMG_3047.png

    #13 5 years ago

    Step 6: Cut the appropriate number of long wires that will be used to bridge pins to back board for flashers. In this example, I'm making the harness for J7 in Tron so will need 5 long leads for pins 2,3,4,8,9

    <Forgot to take a photo. Imagine a picture of 5 long wires. >

    #14 5 years ago

    Step 7: Hold 10-pin IDC connector with helping hands.

    Note: I seriously love this thing.

    Note: You can see that one side of the connector is labeled "1" for pin 1. The other side is labeled for pin 10. Constantly check and recheck that you have your pin numbers correct when wiring. Nothing worse than assembling your harness backwards and not have a tool to remove the crimp contacts and having to redo.

    IMG_3057.png
    #15 5 years ago

    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.

    Wires tinned on one side

    Header tinned

    IMG_3062.png

    #16 5 years ago

    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.

    IMG_3063.png
    #17 5 years ago

    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.

    IMG_3064.png
    #18 5 years ago

    Step 11: Heat and shrink with heat gun.

    Note: Hair dryers don't seem to get hot enough.

    IMG_3065.png
    #19 5 years ago

    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.

    Note: A ratcheting crimping tool is your friend. I load the crimp tool, bend one wire 90 degrees away from the rest, insert the wire into the crimp contact, and CRIMP!

    IMG_3067.png IMG_3068.png IMG_3069.png
    #20 5 years ago

    Step 14: push pins/push wires into IDC connector

    Note: Make sure that you have the crimp contacts aligned correctly before inserting into the connector (see pictures)

    Note: Needle nose pliers can help pushing the crimp contacts and wires into the connector

    Showing the correct orientation of the crimp connector relative to the connector. Note the flange at the front of the connector.
    IMG_3066.png

    I work from one side to the other. Looks like one of my wires is a bit long.
    IMG_3070.png

    Partially inserting the crimp contacts before shoving them in fully makes this easier.
    IMG_3071.png

    Shoring the orientation of the crimp connector relative to the header
    IMG_3072.png

    Yep -- that one wire is too long. Oh well.
    IMG_3073.png

    #21 5 years ago

    Step 15: Clip the key pin on the header (Pin 5, in this example)

    IMG_3075.png
    IMG_3077.png

    #22 5 years ago

    Step 16. Double check that you pinned the harness correctly.

    IMG_3078.png
    #23 5 years ago

    Step 17: Repeat steps 4-16 for the other harness

    Your wiring harnesses are complete!

    IMG_3079.png IMG_3108.png
    #24 5 years ago

    Adding backbox flashers : Detailed

    Time to layout and attached the LEDs to the backboard: 1-4 hours, depending on how involved you make it.

    This example is for an LED backbox. I'll do a how-to for the underside of the cabinet in the future. The general idea is the same if you want to do it. Just upside down.

    IMG_3110.png
    #25 5 years ago

    Step 1: Layout the translite and the LED backboard one on top of one another

    IMG_3083.png
    #26 5 years ago

    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.

    <Sorry for the photos with the LEDs already laid out and soldered. I didn't take pictures while sketching.>

    IMG_3035.png
    IMG_3040.png

    I worked in sections to try to get things lined up with the translite
    IMG_3085.png

    #27 5 years ago

    Obligatory cat and pinball photos. I don't think he was impressed with the work.

    IMG_3087.png IMG_3089.png
    #28 5 years ago

    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.

    #29 5 years ago

    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.

    IMG_3094.png IMG_3095.png IMG_3096.png IMG_3097.png IMG_3037.png
    #30 5 years ago

    Step 6: Attach Power: Solder lead from J6 pin 10 (Orange Power!) to the LED 12V+ circuit

    Note: You can attach this anywhere in the circuit.

    #31 5 years ago

    Step 7: Set the color of LEDs by bridging leads on contact pads:
    Red: R
    Green: G
    Blue: B
    Yellow: RG (Bridged)
    Purple: RB (Bridged)
    Cyan: GB (Bridged)
    White: RGB (Bridged)

    Note: Tin contact pads on LED strips

    Note: For those interested in the RGB color model: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RGB_color_model

    Note: For bridging colors, I would tin the pads of the LED strip, strip some wire that would be long enough to make the bridge, tinned the exposed wire, cut it free, and solder it to the tinned contact pads.

    Note: You can connect multiple fashers leads to the same LED strip so that they trigger different colors (e., one triggers blue and another triggers red)

    The RGB color model

    RGB_illumination.jpg

    Making a bridge at the end of an LED strip by first tinning the contact pads of R, G, and B.

    IMG_3101.png

    Bridge complete with small tinned wire connecting all the pads

    IMG_3102.png

    Example of making a bridge in the middle of an LED strip

    IMG_3103.png

    IMG_3104.png

    Bridging R and G to make Yellow, and then bridging between two LED strips that will be triggered together.

    IMG_3100.png

    #32 5 years ago

    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).

    IMG_3109.png
    #33 5 years ago

    Step 9: Connect and test

    Step 10: Fix problems.

    Note: 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.

    #34 5 years ago

    Step 11: Install and enjoy!

    #35 5 years ago

    Hope this is useful to some people. Next up on my list are building a backbox LED and flasher kit for a Stern whitestar (LOTR) and perhaps an under cabinet flash kit. The under cab kits are neat and I am all for excessive pinball LED bling, but I don't think it will work out well for where I have my machines.

    In any case, the parts are ordered, but take a while to arrive (LED strips are coming from China).

    There is one thing I'd like to figure out, but haven't dug into yet: How to add an interrupt for the backbox LEDs that turns them off when the game's GI turns off (nice lighting effect). If someone has already figure it out, please pass it along.

    #36 5 years ago
    Quoted from SealClubber:

    Do all those leds make the translite too bright?

    It is not too bad. I erred on the bright side because you can add remote or inline dimmers: ebay.com link » 12v 12a 3 Key Led Dimmer Controller For 5050 3528 Led Strips Light 12v Anode

    #37 5 years ago
    Quoted from lyonsden:

    Hope this is useful to some people. Next up on my list are building a backbox LED and flasher kit for a Stern whitestar (LOTR) and perhaps an under cabinet flash kit. The under cab kits are neat and I am all for excessive pinball LED bling, but I don't think it will work out well for where I have my machines.
    In any case, the parts are ordered, but take a while to arrive (LED strips are coming from China).
    There is one thing I'd like to figure out, but haven't dug into yet: How to add an interrupt for the backbox LEDs that turns them off when the game's GI turns off (nice lighting effect). If someone has already figure it out, please pass it along.

    Maybe a relay in the GI circuit in the backbox that you wire the orange positive flasher wire through. So when the GI is on the relay is switched to allow flashers to get power. Then when GI is off the relay turns off and cuts power to the backbox flashers. ??

    #38 5 years ago

    Awesome set of tutorials!

    #39 5 years ago
    Quoted from Rickwh:

    Awesome set of tutorials!

    Ditto. I am on my phone or I would have watched the video already

    #40 5 years ago
    Quoted from Rickwh:

    Maybe a relay in the GI circuit in the backbox that you wire the orange positive flasher wire through. So when the GI is on the relay is switched to allow flashers to get power. Then when GI is off the relay turns off and cuts power to the backbox flashers. ??

    I think that is the right track. I think the type of transistors used to control the flashers can be used in the way you describe to control the backbox LEDs: http://bildr.org/2012/03/rfp30n06le-arduino/

    I'll try it and see. . .

    #41 5 years ago
    Quoted from BC_Gambit:

    Ditto. I am on my phone or I would have watched the video already

    Thanks Rick and Gambit

    #42 5 years ago

    This is great! Thanks so much for doing this!

    #43 5 years ago

    I figured out how to switch the backbox LEDs on and off with the GI. The tutorial on how to do it is posted: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/diy-add-a-gi-circuit-switch-to-an-led-backbox

    #44 5 years ago

    Just finished this for IM:

    #45 5 years ago

    With the backbox LEDs on:

    5 months later
    #46 4 years ago

    Thanks for posting this! Recently bought a led strip to make the rear/top of my id4 playfield brighter and having a look made me find this thread which is exactly what I need to learn how to "play around with my strip"....

    / andy

    2 weeks later
    #47 4 years ago

    Just finished building one for my ST Pro last night.
    I did things a little out of order and skipped the GI and went with the flashers first.
    I broke it down to 6 flashers. Kirk and the 2 lower faces have their own flasher. Spock and Uhura share a flasher, then the title Trek and lines before and after share and the ST emblem has its own.
    Oddly my Trek doesn't have a wire on pin 1 of J7.
    I did all my wiring to J6 which worked out just fine.
    It looks much nicer in person than this video will show. You get some nice separation of colors. When the Star Trek emblem is flashing, it lites up the circle targets that are normally dark.
    Kahn isn't always flashing, I just happen to shot the video at a odd moment.
    Now I am going to work on the GI part and build the circuit the OP made to shut the GI off.

    https://vimeo.com/120015666
    20150219_035842.jpg
    20150219_035917.jpg
    20150212_160535.jpg
    20150212_160539.jpg
    20150212_160907.jpg
    20150212_160928.jpg

    #49 4 years ago

    In my second picture it looks like I mounted the leds crooked. Its like that so the GI leds don't overlap the flasher leds.
    When the front glass is on, you don't see that the line is not straight.
    I also removed some of the rubber that encased these leds to get to the solder point pads. Sometimes it was best just to remove the whole thing. Again, it doesn't show when the glass is on.
    I am planning on buying Aurich's translite so I guess I am going to have to go this all again
    If I get this one going with the GI controller I may sell this one and start from scratch on that different background.

    11 months later
    #50 3 years ago

    The layout I made for Ironman was requested and figured I would post it here as well. Hope it helps someone down the road.

    IM-backbox-LED-panel.001_(resized).jpg

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