(Topic ID: 289641)

I can deal with a pandemic, but no more #455 blinking bulbs?

By curtisdehaven

1 year ago


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  • 74 posts
  • 42 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 12 days ago by jackd104
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There are 74 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 1 year ago

Gotta' 1966 Williams Hot Line machine.

I just installed my last #455 blinking bulb and understand from Pinball Life that they're no long manufactured. Really? Ugh... Terry from PbL tells me there are some "new old stock" (NOS) sources out there, but they don't have them.

So, I'm curious how the pinside community has dealt with this dilemma. What have y'all done?

The EE in me has noticed that the bulbs I've used in the past burn out relatively quick - I guess from all of the on/off cycles of it blinking. I wonder if one existed, whether an LED version would have longer life. Are there any and if so, has anyone tried them?

No more 455s... Ugh... The world is so coming to an end!

Thanks for any thoughts.
Curt

#2 1 year ago

I have a few trays of GE 455 flashers. I can send you a few if you like ...

#3 1 year ago

Steve Young still has them at a $1.00 each. My friend just order 30 last week.
http://www.pbresource.com/lamps.html
CB5197B8-B004-4995-AE79-A1D4B44F5D4F (resized).jpeg

#4 1 year ago

Well you can go LED if you have to..although not ideal.

I remember switching over to 545s on a game a decade ago becasue they were cheaper...I don;t even know if they are available anymore.
Edit: Or scratch that, I think it was the other way around

#5 1 year ago

I never really liked the newer 455s anyways. They tended to be off more than on in their blinking cycle. The older GE brass base 455 lamps were the best as far as being on and off about the same.

That said, I've started to use the warm white fast blink 455 LEDs from Comet. They look fairly good with incandescent and they are on more than off. The slow blink version is off more than on and if you have a bunch in a game behind the backglass, sometimes they're all off at the same time.

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from chad:

I have a few trays of GE 455 flashers. I can send you a few if you like ...

Chadd, that's really nice of you. Thank you!! I just ran out - got enough on the machine right now. I'm looking for a more longer term solution. Thanks, again!!

#7 1 year ago

I wish I knew this last week, I woulda added some to my PBR order.

Thanks for the info on the comet flashers. I expect they will be the way of the future.

Dave

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from ibuypinballs:

Steve Young still has them at a $1.00 each. My friend just order 30 last week.
http://www.pbresource.com/lamps.html
[quoted image]

Just talked to Steve. Wow... Interesting outfit. Never heard of them before. Order a couple of bags (10 ea) though. I think I may have found a new source for me...

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from curtisdehaven:

Just talked to Steve. Wow... Interesting outfit. Never heard of them before. Order a couple of bags (10 ea) though. I think I may have found a new source for me...

One of The best vendors for sure!!

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from curtisdehaven:

Just talked to Steve. Wow... Interesting outfit. Never heard of them before. Order a couple of bags (10 ea) though. I think I may have found a new source for me...

All first phone calls to Steve should be recorded and shared. It’s magical.

#11 1 year ago

I don't like the LED blinker bulbs since they blink at the same rate consistently with no variation. Incandescent bulbs don't always blink at the same rate. A might blink faster or slower, or stay lit longer or shorter. There's a lot more variability, which looks more interesting to me.

If you use LED blinker bulbs, sometimes they will cycle through and start all blinking together for a short time before falling out of sync with each other again. You don't really see that with incandescent bulbs.

If I need a blinker bulb, I'll use the older GE incandescents. The blink rate for the eiko incandescent bulbs wasn't very good...they would remain in the off state for much longer periods of time than the GE bulbs.

I'm hoping someone comes up with a good LED blinker bulb at some point that behaves more like an incandescent where the blink and light rates are more variable.

#12 1 year ago

So can anyone clarify whether the Elko 455s are still being made?

I thought it was known that the original GE bulbs have long been out of stock but if the Elkos are too that’s a different story.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from Gotemwill:

So can anyone clarify whether the Elko 455s are still being made?
I thought it was known that the original GE bulbs have long been out of stock but if the Elkos are too that’s a different story.

Looks like their website says discontinued.

https://www.eiko.com/category/77/455

#14 1 year ago

What about situations in which a 455 bulb is used as a delay in EM circuits? Can an led bulb work in these instances?

#15 1 year ago

When I learned I couldn't get 455 anymore, I ordered some of these from Comet:

https://www.cometpinball.com/products/455-blinking-bulbs

From their recommendation, I'm using both fast and slow bulbs in the same machine. This does make the blinking seem more random if you alternate them. The warm white color isn't a yellow as the incandescent bulbs. But these might be the best option available right now.

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

All first phone calls to Steve should be recorded and shared. It’s magical.

I swear some people must be clueless when they call because people have been saying this for years and my first phone call with Steve went great and was uneventful. I was nervous from all the horror stories I read only to find out it could not have been any further from the truth. Maybe it's because I been in the hobby for quite some time and did my research on the parts I needed before calling however it was my first EM so I really didn't have that much experience with games from that era.

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from chooch:

I swear some people must be clueless when they call because people have been saying this for years and my first phone call with Steve went great and was uneventful. I was nervous from all the horror stories I read only to find out it could not have been any further from the truth. Maybe it's because I been in the hobby for quite some time and did my research on the parts I needed before calling however it was my first EM so I really didn't have that much experience with games from that era.

I think he has mellowed out over the years. 20 years ago, it could be a rough phone call. Now, meh...

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from schudel5:

I've started to use the warm white fast blink 455 LEDs from Comet.

Are you feeling OK? I thought you were pretty hardcore anti-LED. Figured you would manufacutre your own incandescents before givivg up and going LED.

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from RCA1:

Are you feeling OK? I thought you were pretty hardcore anti-LED. Figured you would manufacutre your own incandescents before givivg up and going LED.

Routing games pretty much broke my spirit. Getting a service call because an "important" light isn't working made me cross over to the dark side. With that said, 90% of my games are incandescent. But with the quality of the 1SMD in warm white with frosted domes and non-ghosting control, I'm coming around...slowly.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from Wmsfan:

I think he has mellowed out over the years. 20 years ago, it could be a rough phone call. Now, meh...

My first call was a few years ago maybe he was mellowed out compared to 20 years ago.

#21 1 year ago

If I'm using 455's behind the game name (which is mostly all I do), I'll use half 455's and half 47's which WAS to keep the name partially illuminated at all times and NOW is to conserve 455's.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from JRC6000:

When I learned I couldn't get 455 anymore, I ordered some of these from Comet:
https://www.cometpinball.com/products/455-blinking-bulbs
From their recommendation, I'm using both fast and slow bulbs in the same machine. This does make the blinking seem more random if you alternate them. The warm white color isn't a yellow as the incandescent bulbs. But these might be the best option available right now.

Here is what my River Boat looks like with the alternating fast and slow as I described above. The guy's tie tack has a slow blinker behind it.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from chooch:

My first call was a few years ago maybe he was mellowed out compared to 20 years ago.

As a PBR customer for 20+ years, Jimmy is doing most of the interactions I've had lately via email orders. Same great pricing and service, always my 1st choice.

#24 1 year ago

I replaced all the lamps in my FH backbox with Comet LEDs in sunlight with a combination of fast and slow blinkers. The combo makes the blinking seem more random.

#25 1 year ago

There will NEVER be anything like the randomness of GE 455s!

#26 1 year ago

Theres a 455 delay lamp in a Bally that I'm working on. Would a flashing led still be as effective?

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from JRC6000:

Here is what my River Boat looks like with the alternating fast and slow as I described above. The guy's tie tack has a slow blinker behind it.

That actually looks pretty good IMHO. As well as the Fun House one also shown.

Do you find with the LED technology to last longer, if not infinitely? I find that the Eiko 455s I've been running the last several years burn out fairly quickly. I can't imagine that being the case back in the day - geez, the tech would have been at our bowling alley a couple of times a week just replacing blinking bulbs... lol

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from Classicpinballs:

Theres a 455 delay lamp in a Bally that I'm working on. Would a flashing led still be as effective?

A valid point. I'm thinking that an LED would not work in this circuit, since the incandescent lamp literally acts as a self opening switch, using heat to change the orientation of the bi-metal.

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from curtisdehaven:

That actually looks pretty good IMHO. As well as the Fun House one also shown.
Do you find with the LED technology to last longer, if not infinitely? I find that the Eiko 455s I've been running the last several years burn out fairly quickly. I can't imagine that being the case back in the day - geez, the tech would have been at our bowling alley a couple of times a week just replacing blinking bulbs... lol

In my experience, the Eikos have always been inferior especially in the blinking variety but it’s all we had. In addition to burning out prematurely, they do not cycle as often.

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from Classicpinballs:

Theres a 455 delay lamp in a Bally that I'm working on.

What exactly is that? I assume the lamp is in series with something? What gets "delayed"?

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from curtisdehaven:

What exactly is that? I assume the lamp is in series with something? What gets "delayed"?

It can serve as a simple method for the delayed release of a relay.

https://pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=EM_Repair#Delay_Relay

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from curtisdehaven:

What exactly is that? I assume the lamp is in series with something? What gets "delayed"?

Deactivaion of the "Over the Top" relay which sounds a small alarm horn and operates a light when you roll over a Bally EM from Hokus-Pokus forward for about the next ten released machines.

Also used on the Delay Relay with the slam switches to prevent abuse on location when someone kicks the machine or lifts and drops it.

#33 1 year ago

What about other bulb manufacturers. Did they also discontinue 455 bulbs?

Has anyone tried finding 455 bulbs on alibaba or aliexpress?

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Deactivaion of the "Over the Top" relay which sounds a small alarm horn and operates a light when you roll over a Bally EM from Hokus-Pokus forward for about the next ten released machines.
Also used on the Delay Relay with the slam switches to prevent abuse on location when someone kicks the machine or lifts and drops it.

I just watched a video yesterday with Ronnie from Joes Classic Video Games explaining this on a Bally Freedom. Blew my mind that a bulb was used to control switch relays, freaking brilliant.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from curtisdehaven:

Gotta' 1966 Williams Hot Line machine.
I just installed my last #455 blinking bulb and understand from Pinball Life that they're no long manufactured. Really? Ugh... Terry from PbL tells me there are some "new old stock" (NOS) sources out there, but they don't have them.
So, I'm curious how the pinside community has dealt with this dilemma. What have y'all done?
The EE in me has noticed that the bulbs I've used in the past burn out relatively quick - I guess from all of the on/off cycles of it blinking. I wonder if one existed, whether an LED version would have longer life. Are there any and if so, has anyone tried them?
No more 455s... Ugh... The world is so coming to an end!
Thanks for any thoughts.
Curt

Steve Young was warning me about this years ago, but then he always says this about every part.

Still, I did buy tons of them and still have a dozen or so left so I'm probably good till the end of time. Most games only use 5 or 6 of these.

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Steve Young was warning me about this years ago, but then he always says this about every part.
Still, I did buy tons of them and still have a dozen or so left so I'm probably good till the end of time. Most games only use 5 or 6 of these.

For quite awhile, Gottlieb EM's only used one. The Game Over Light on the backglass.

#37 1 year ago
Quoted from MrBally:

For quite awhile, Gottlieb EM's only used one. The Game Over Light on the backglass.

I usually like to stick a few behind the title as well.

#38 1 year ago

Are Wiko and Eiko the same company? Their catalogs always looked similar back in the day.

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Blew my mind that a bulb was used to control switch relays, freaking brilliant.

Yeah... I just saw the wiki link someone posted above. Amazing... And yes, quite a solution. I was thinking Rube Goldberg. lol.

2 weeks later
#40 1 year ago

Found these FWIW - original NOS GE 455's....not cheap but I saw on ebay overseas/inferior manufactured replacement 455's going for $55 for box of ten - these folks will sell various quantities- -anyway I only needed a few- and what I received was legit. I posted in tech earlier but should have posted here instead/ as well

https://www.tedss.com/Catalog/Browse?searchString=2099004851&inCategory=-

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from JeffThanksYou:

Found these FWIW - original NOS GE 455's....not cheap but I saw on ebay overseas/inferior manufactured replacement 455's going for $55 for box of ten - these folks will sell various quantities- -anyway I only needed a few- and what I received was legit. I posted in tech earlier but should have posted here instead/ as well
https://www.tedss.com/Catalog/Browse?searchString=2099004851&inCategory=-

Thanks! If anyone is curious but reluctant to click it: $9.99 each, minimum order quantity 2.

#42 1 year ago

Just received ten from PBR, that should do 2-3 ems. Which will finish out my collection. Still hate to see them go.

#43 1 year ago

A friend just bought a bunch from Pinball Resource.

#44 1 year ago
Quoted from phil-lee:

Just received ten from PBR, that should do 2-3 ems. Which will finish out my collection. Still hate to see them go.

Agree - didn’t think PBR had then anymore. Was pleased when I found these as they were not cheap- but the EIKOs etc all kept needing to be replaced all the time so the extra cost ( if you don’t need lots ands lots of them) seems worth it for the quality -

#45 1 year ago

I picked up an Aladdin’s Castle that had a normal bulb instead of a 455 that was part of the circuit for the buzzer and over the top relay. Perhaps the previous owner never got many points otherwise they’d have had to shut off the machine to stop the incessant buzz! Or I suppose it could be used as proof that they scored over 100k.

And what about the poor souls in a few decades who are trying to repair the circuits in an EM that uses a 455 bulb as a delay and can’t find any incandescent 455s? How will they hack it?

#46 1 year ago
Quoted from tfduda:

I picked up an Aladdin’s Castle that had a normal bulb instead of a 455 that was part of the circuit for the buzzer and over the top relay. Perhaps the previous owner never got many points otherwise they’d have had to shut off the machine to stop the incessant buzz! Or I suppose it could be used as proof that they scored over 100k.
And what about the poor souls in a few decades who are trying to repair the circuits in an EM that uses a 455 bulb as a delay and can’t find any incandescent 455s? How will they hack it?

I seem to recall that using a #44 or #47 in a Bally delay will just cause the bulb to blow immediately - so suspect the buzzer (and delay relay) would not work properly at all (I think!)

#47 1 year ago

Instead of a fast blink and a slow blink LED, I wish there was one with two little trimmer pots on it; so you could have adjustable on and off periods.

Might be a pricey bulb, but I'd buy a few.

#48 1 year ago

Just got my PBR order, complete with some 455s that I ordered. I've always loved those random blinking lights from seeing my first ever machine back in the day and nothings changed. Ah, the magic of an EM, lit up in a darkened room!

#49 1 year ago

Would adding anything simple to the lamp socket, say different resistors like a low ohm in series or a high ohm in parallel have any effect on the blink rate of the LED blinkers yet still be about as bright? Or is the rate going to stay essentially fixed no matter what?

Those little tealight candle LEDS that flicker extremely randomly are only 3 or 4 cents apiece in bulk, seems like somebody could create a bigger brighter 47 or 44 version that blinks with a little randomness? If real blinkers are vanishing there'd be more incentive to come up with one.

As far as the color I think if you started with a pure white or warm LED and got precise with the physical color filtering in the lens, it would be pretty hard to distinguish it from the color of an incandescent. Seems like currently they are only relying on the actual color of the LED's light (where it seems it's very difficult to exactly recreate the color of a lamp) and the lens is always white or clear. I've used multiple color filter layers on extra bright pure white LEDs to light some faded inserts on a couple of games so the color of the original insert is what I'm aiming for and so they look incandescent-y instead of LED-ish, with good results. On the other hand I recently saw Comet's side by side comparison of a lamp and their 'retro' warm LED and I can't see any difference but haven't tried one.

#50 1 year ago
Quoted from JeffThanksYou:

I seem to recall that using a #44 or #47 in a Bally delay will just cause the bulb to blow immediately - so suspect the buzzer (and delay relay) would not work properly at all (I think!)

I'm sure somebody in here could or has come up with a very simple transistor/chip version the size of a quarter that would work for the timer application. Definitely not me though.

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