(Topic ID: 153216)

RETROFIT Classic Bally/Stern DIY Plasma-to-LED Conversion Display Kits


By acebathound

3 years ago



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  • 60 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by Wolffdp
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There are 759 posts in this topic. You are on page 11 of 16.
#501 3 years ago

Built a set of displays for a buddies Embryon. They look great.IMG_20161111_210601 (resized).jpg

Chose to leave them white as it looks better than the blue.

#502 3 years ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

Built a set of displays for a buddies Embryon. They look great.
Chose to leave them white as it looks better than the blue.

White does look nice in that backglass! I'm pleasantly surprised to see how often leaving the displays white is working out. In Embryon it seems to pick up on the "bubble" reflections & the white light behind the guy.

It's probably more of the picture than it is in person, but if the white is too bright for your buddy & he wants it toned down a bit -- just remind me next time you place an order for anything & I can throw a set of neutral filters in that will tone those down some.

#503 3 years ago

That's a good call. They are bright but in person, not too bright.

#504 3 years ago

Shopping Cart Link is up @ http://www.pinitech.com/products/ballystern_conversion_led_display.php

  • I'm extending the discounted pricing that I was doing for the 2nd Batch of Kits until I get a chance to refine instructions a bit more.
  • BLUE digit sets are very limited in quantity, 2-3 sets left
  • For right now, you'll have to email/contact me with which color filter you'd like if ordering a WHITE digit set (or if you're able to add comments in the Paypal cart during checkout, that works too)
  • I've added new color filters to the list of color filters available for WHITE digit sets. These are still being tweaked. I've also tried representing the colors as best I could with HTML colors, but note that's just for some ballpark visual representation and not completely representative of actual color.
#505 3 years ago

Created a gallery of pictures that people have posted with displays in games, sorted by game name.

http://www.pinitech.com/retrofit/gallery/

As more pictures are posted in this thread or sent to me, I'll continue updating. Hopefully over time this continues to fill up so people get an idea of what color(s) might look nice in their games.

Keep the pictures coming!

If anyone has a problem with me adding their picture to the gallery at any time, just let me know & I can remove it. Just thought this would be a great way to organize the pictures so people could get ideas for what colors might look nice in different titles quickly.

---
http://www.pinitech.com - "Pinball Inspired Technology"
Kits, upgrades and test equipment for pinball machines

#506 3 years ago

That's a great idea, it will really help people decide what they like, before ordering. I know I had to try and imagine what certain colors would look like in certain games, before placing my order.

Good news, I'm expecting my order to arrive today or tomorrow based on the latest tracking information.

#507 3 years ago

Playing with some filters
1-3 are Green
4 is Blue and Green
Credit is Blue

IMG_20161115_154218 (resized).jpg

#508 3 years ago
Quoted from eh97ac:

Playing with some filters
1-3 are Green
4 is Blue and Green
Credit is Blue

Wow that looks pimp with accenting the backglass & playfield with different colored lamps -- and then with the displays "not orange"

Are you going all one color or going to split blue and green? I like the green for sure, since you have a lot of blue lighting going on already (which looks sweet). Whatever you decide on, snap a picture.. definitely want to get that in the gallery!

#509 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Wow that looks pimp with accenting the backglass & playfield with different colored lamps -- and then with the displays "not orange"
Are you going all one color or going to split blue and green? I like the green for sure, since you have a lot of blue lighting going on already (which looks sweet). Whatever you decide on, snap a picture.. definitely want to get that in the gallery!

Had to use LED's as the BG has flaked in parts...so matching LED to bg color
Leaning towards the blue/green combo on player 4, in person it's more of a sea foam green. I'll definitely post the final results.

#510 3 years ago

Love these kits, so easy especially after a couple of completed boards.
Some tips for newbs and issues I ran into...all my issues

Take a pic of the 1st de-populated board, top and bottom....helps out with the next board in line.
New header pins (minus pin#1 ) solve issues....trust me.
Extra large solder blobs are bad, check your work.
Missing 1 solder point is bad, check your work.

#512 3 years ago
Quoted from eh97ac:

Love these kits, so easy especially after a couple of completed boards.
Some tips for newbs and issues I ran into...all my issues
Take a pic of the 1st de-populated board, top and bottom....helps out with the next board in line.
New header pins (minus pin#1 ) solve issues....trust me.
Extra large solder blobs are bad, check your work.
Missing 1 solder point is bad, check your work.

All good advice. I did all 5 boards at once:
Depop
1 value resistor on all 5 boards
Etc...

#514 3 years ago

I ended up going with Sea Foam Green, blue + green filters

November_15__2016_at_1017PM (resized).jpeg

#515 3 years ago
Quoted from eh97ac:

I ended up going with Sea Foam Green, blue + green filters

Looks great! Got that added to the gallery! I did see some lost paint on the backglass, but regardless.. I think it looks awesome with the colored leds you have in there.

I'll see if I can find a "sea foam" color as a stand-alone filter. Bluish-green, more on the green side.

On that topic, I've been revising some filter names.

  • What was "green" is now "light green" since I've found a darker green that should look more like Gottlieb displays with the green filter on them (though I haven't done any side-by-side comparisons). So now the darker green is "green".
  • What was "amber" is now "deep amber" as I've found a slightly closer match to the plasma colors and finally got a HUGE roll of that color in this past week because practically everyone was out of stock of sheets of those or it was costing an arm-and-leg for shipping. Nothing like spending $140 on a roll of a single color But anyway, now there's "plasma amber" and "deep amber". I actually like the "deep amber" as a set, it's slightly darker which is kind of nice.
  • Red is now "medium red". Yellow is "medium yellow". Blue is "medium blue". Just to allow for some different shades in those colors at some point.

Of course, I need to get pictures up of more of the colors being offered. It's on the agenda Anyone that's done "BLUE" in XENON, if you can take a picture with the backglass in the machine that would be awesome. WHITE with blue filters & also the native BLUE digit displays. Don't have any pictures for any machines with red filters in them yet.

I'm going to be building out more displays myself, I spent so long trying to get things right with these & then assembling/shipping kits that I only built a few sets out lol. I plan to get Mr & Mrs Pac-man up and running over the winter (currently folded up) and throw a WHITE set in.. using Red for the backbox displays & Yellow or Blue for the Maze display.. I think that'd look nice. I'll get Nitro Groundshaker with various colors. Xenon with red/blue/green/yellow/purple/amber.

#516 3 years ago

I just got my last 6 digit kit done. Here is sbm in red

IMG_6783 (resized).JPG

#517 3 years ago
Quoted from Grnrzr:

I just got my last 6 digit kit done. Here is sbm in red

Awesome, that finally gets a picture of a red set in the gallery! Thanks for taking the time to take all the pictures you have.

I'm thinking Red for Dracula. Would also look nice in Strikes & Spares as in the earlier mock-up.

You must be a pro at building these out by now lol. I like the army of displays on top of the machine

#518 3 years ago

Hey on the photo gallery, do you guys want me to put "photo credits"? I can list Pinside names.

Update: DONE

#519 3 years ago

Here is strikes and spares and Dracula in red

IMG_6812 (resized).JPG

IMG_6803 (resized).JPG

#520 3 years ago

And then I had to try blue filters on white digits vs the blue digits. The blue digits are on the left (player 1 and 3), and the white digits with blue filters are on the right (player 2, credit, and player 4)

IMG_6815 (resized).JPG

#521 3 years ago

And all blue filters

IMG_6827 (resized).JPG

#522 3 years ago
Quoted from Grnrzr:

Here is strikes and spares and Dracula in red

Yep, I like the red there on Dracula.. and doesn't look too shabby on Strikes and Spares either!

Seriously, thanks for taking the time to take all these pictures! Those have been added to the gallery along with the Silverball Mania with WHITE + blue filters.

Quoted from Grnrzr:

And then I had to try blue filters on white digits vs the blue digits. The blue digits are on the left (player 1 and 3), and the white digits with blue filters are on the right (player 2, credit, and player 4)

I've been wanting to do a better half-and-half comparison of native BLUE versus the WHITE with blue filters. In-person I think the color itself is pretty close, just that the native blue is more blinding Pictures kind of show that too with the blue aura around the digits on the displays on the left.

My plan is basically to add any photos that anyone posts, doesn't matter if it's the same game/color combination that's already up either. I figure adding multiples for the same game & colors should help average-out different lighting conditions, camera settings, etc. Only catch is, I'd like all the displays to be matching (that is, unless some wacky combo looks nice in a machine lol). I'll link a few of these comparison pictures on a separate page too.. native blue versus WHITE with blue filters, original high voltage plasma display versus WHITE with amber filters, etc.

#523 3 years ago

I agree, the blues are pretty close in person. The blue filters do have a couple advantages in my opinion. You can change the color if you want and the filters hide the digits well when the machine is off.
Here is a couple pics to try and show the difference. One pic has the native blue digits on the left two displays, and blue filters on the right and the other pic is all white digits white the blue filters.

IMG_6822 (resized).JPG

IMG_6829 (resized).JPG

#524 3 years ago
Quoted from Grnrzr:

The blue filters do have a couple advantages in my opinion. You can change the color if you want and the filters hide the digits well when the machine is off.

Yep & now that I have additional filters for the WHITE sets as an add-on, you can pick up a neutral filter or blue filter for the BLUE sets if you wanted to tone down the brightness and/or hide the white segments.

#525 3 years ago

Been thinking of some ways to encourage people to post more pictures here to fill up the gallery.

So how's this -- post or send me a picture of your completed displays in a machine with backglass installed & get an additional free filter set the next time you place an order. One set of filters per picture of different game posted. You can use the same displays you built out if you have multiple games to try the colors in. Max of 3x free sets of filters. So if you go posting 20x pictures, while I'll certainly appreciate it, you only get 3x additional sets of filters Just remind me next time you place an order and I'll hook you up. I don't want to have to keep track of that myself lol. Anyone that's already posted a picture with a complete set of displays already qualifies.

Also, now that I have a closer match to plasma amber, for anyone that already placed an order for WHITE with amber filters (now calling "deep amber") wants to try the "plasma amber" just let me know next time you order anything & I'll throw that in for free. The colors aren't *way off* but the "deep amber" is a bit darker and more orange. I really like the "deep amber" as a full set, but if you're wanting to mix-and-match with original plasma displays I've now got a pretty spot-on match to color IMO. The "plasma amber" also matches native amber led digits.

#526 3 years ago
Quoted from Grnrzr:

I agree, the blues are pretty close in person. The blue filters do have a couple advantages in my opinion. You can change the color if you want and the filters hide the digits well when the machine is off.

Nice pictures and nice results for all those kits.

Must admit that I would not hesitate with blue filters for the same reasons you explained:

- less blinding when on
- either when on or off you do not see the unused segments

congratz!

#527 3 years ago

I like the idea of neutral filters. Maybe an add-on to include them with the kits in addition to other filters. I'd like to add these to my Centaur

#528 3 years ago
Quoted from Cheddar:

I like the idea of neutral filters. Maybe an add-on to include them with the kits in addition to other filters. I'd like to add these to my Centaur

Yep, got the "additional filters" option added to the product page earlier this week. You can now add as many additional filters as you want. If you're ordering a blue set you could even add a neutral or blue filter to the order.

There's now a text-box to type in the color for the free filter that comes with the kit, so no need to PM or email me. If you leave it blank though, I'll be contacting you Only reason that's a text box is Paypal limits their drop-downs to I think 10 items and I'm at 11 color options right now.

#529 3 years ago

Here's some comparison photos of native blue digit displays & WHITE with blue filter. Also of the "plasma amber" and "deep amber" versus original plasma glass, where you can see the deep amber is slightly darker.

http://www.pinitech.com/retrofit/compare.php

I'll say this -- it's incredibly hard to get nice photos of these displays with the filters. I'm finding the colors look washed out unless you knock shutter speed way down and then it's difficult to catch any numbers on the displays.. mainly due to the refresh rate I think. Will keep trying to get some better pictures going forward -- maybe just at the bench with digits locked-on. At least these photos kind of show that the color-matching to the plasma displays is pretty good.

#530 3 years ago

Well, it took a lot longer than I wanted to get the first one done, but it was because of non-pin-related stuff. Overall, I think it took me about two hours to do this first display. I was working very slowly and methodically, and it was broken up into three or four different sessions. And I took lots of pictures too! I imagine the next ones will go significantly quicker. I started with a Bally -21 that was definitely past it's "use-by date".Original display with obvious burnIMG_2258 (resized).JPG
Here's the retrofit kit components:IMG_2259 (resized).JPG
I set up my tablet on the bench with the .pdf instructions.IMG_2261 (resized).JPGIMG_2260 (resized).JPG
I started by pulling the header and old plasma and depopulated and cleaned the board.IMG_2264 (resized).JPGIMG_2263 (resized).JPGIMG_2262 (resized).JPG
Next I installed the new board components.IMG_2275 (resized).JPG
I soldered in a new header, then set my hobby vise up to hold the new display panel up horizontally and dropped in the right-angle pins.Notice I forgot the pin for D6...
Then I aligned the donor board (with the brackets mounted to it) with the pins and started the screws. This worked pretty well.IMG_2281 (resized).JPGIMG_2282 (resized).JPG
At this point I clamped the assembly in my vise by the original donor board and soldered the pins in place. IMG_2283 (resized).JPGIMG_2285 (resized).JPGIMG_2288 (resized).JPGIMG_2286 (resized).JPGIMG_2284 (resized).JPG

Next up was to add the jumper. This was pretty straight-forward. IMG_2291 (resized).JPGIMG_2292 (resized).JPG
And finally I soldered the LEDs in place on the new display board. IMG_2299 (resized).JPGIMG_2298 (resized).JPG

I made up a test plug: IMG_2300 (resized).JPG

And then I tested. I found that D6 didn't work at all - notice that I had forgot to put in the right angle pin in the picture up there... And on D1, b and c segments were out. I found a solder splash in one of the traces and fixed that. They all work! IMG_2301 (resized).JPGIMG_2302 (resized).JPGIMG_2303 (resized).JPG IMG_2304 (resized).JPGIMG_2305 (resized).JPG IMG_2306 (resized).JPG IMG_2307 (resized).JPG

Overall, I'm very happy with how this turned out, and am looking forward to getting the rest of this set done.

Thanks!!

-Brian

#531 3 years ago
Quoted from RocketFromTombs:

I started with a Bally -21 that was definitely past it's "use-by date".

Yeah I'd say! It's great taking displays with plasma glass that toasted and turning them into something worthwhile again.

Nice pictorial overview of the process, thanks for posting! Looks like the first display turned out great, very cleanly converted.

#532 3 years ago

FINALLY got the Stars put together and fired up. These displays are the cherry on top of a six month restore that deserves its own thread. Next up is a Star Gazer that is just a tad less and rough around the edges as this Stars was...and I've got a blue 7-digit kit for that too!

000-pins (resized).jpg

#533 3 years ago

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the price of dead Bally/Stern displays on EBay has gone up drastically since these kits came out?

BTW, I got my kits, just haven't found time to start the process.

#534 3 years ago
Quoted from Billc479:

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the price of dead Bally/Stern displays on EBay has gone up drastically since these kits came out?
BTW, I got my kits, just haven't found time to start the process.

Just like when CPR makes playfield and backglass for a machine. A small change it "what is" can make a big change in demand. One thing people don't seem to understand in a free market economy is demand sets the price. Regardless of what a seller is asking for something price is actually set by what a buyer is willing to pay. Now that "junk" displays are no longer junk price will go up for sure. But don't worry too much -- I am sure there are plenty of dead displays around -- from my experience likely about 20% of this style display are dead and that doesn't account for the ones sitting in "junk boxes".

I had thought about getting a bigger stock pile of "junk displays" before Wayne released these kits but it just never happened. Thankfully I am sure I have plenty of dead ones in project machines I have sitting for what I will need. But this is yet another reminder to think ahead when you know something is about to change. Buy when demand is lower and save yourselves some cash!

#535 3 years ago
Quoted from Billc479:

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the price of dead Bally/Stern displays on EBay has gone up drastically since these kits came out?
BTW, I got my kits, just haven't found time to start the process.

Haha yeah I joked about that at the beginning of this project. I know for a fact a few of the people that were building displays on this thread had bought some extras off of eBay, so it's happening. Ebay sellers can thank me lol. Even some of those "untested" lots -- sure enough times they're non-working anyway, but if the photos don't show the glass is all burnt, etc.. who knows, maybe you get some good plasma displays. And if not, as long as you're happy with the price you convert them.

I also have heard a few people say they picked up some dead displays at pinball shows.

I have to laugh though, just at the thought of someone asking someone else if they have dead displays. The looks people must be getting sometimes would be priceless And the seller is probably thinking .... "idiot."

#536 3 years ago
Quoted from spiroagnew:

FINALLY got the Stars put together and fired up. These displays are the cherry on top of a six month restore that deserves its own thread. Next up is a Star Gazer that is just a tad less and rough around the edges as this Stars was...and I've got a blue 7-digit kit for that too!

Got it added to the Gallery! Thanks for the picture! And if you get a picture with lights dimmed or off in the room I'll swap it hehe.

#537 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Got it added to the Gallery! Thanks for the picture! And if you get a picture with lights dimmed or off in the room I'll swap it hehe.

I will....once I get the game on legs and into its final resting place.

#538 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Anyone that's done "BLUE" in XENON, if you can take a picture with the backglass in the machine that would be awesome.

Native blue digits.

2016-11-23 12.59.10 (resized).jpg

#539 3 years ago

Will glass prices drop as I flood the market with working units? 1 have a whooping 3 7-digits to sell off

#540 3 years ago
Quoted from johninc:

Native blue digits.

Woohoo! Thanks John, been hoping to replace the current pic of the partial set in the gallery. Great pic too!

#541 3 years ago

No one broke away from the relatives to pull a bunch of resistors off displays this weekend?

BLUE DIGITS coming in end of this week, so won't be any shortage of those very soon.

And, might as well announce it now -- I've got native AMBER DIGITS coming in as well! Just got notified those were done and ready-to-ship. Probably have those in by end of next week. The AMBER DIGITS are pretty much a spot-on match with original plasma color. And the WHITE DIGITS with plasma amber filter are pretty much spot-on with both of those. Pricing on display kits with AMBER DIGITS will be slightly less than BLUE DIGIT displays most likely.

Still offering November Discounts on conversion kits. Those will probably stick into December as well as I'm having a hard time getting back to the instructions.

#542 3 years ago

Just playing around some since someone with a Centaur is going to be putting some red filters in & I know that's popular on that game. And I was just wondering if you could get away with anything other than WHITE / RED. I know who would do that?

I'd probably go with RED or WHITE still. But I don't see why you couldn't go with another color either. Maybe just not Magenta on this one Centaurs don't like pink!

centaur_mockups.jpg

#543 3 years ago

The green is interesting on the Centaur!

#544 3 years ago
Quoted from eh97ac:

The green is interesting on the Centaur!

In the back of my mind I thought that might be the case. I'll throw in a LIME filter with your other order and you can snap some pictures hehe.

#545 3 years ago

I like the blue in Centaur as it matches the Guardian inserts.

#546 3 years ago

Blue on Centaur looks fantastic.

Stars made it into the game room. Here's an updated picture for your gallery. Six Million Dollar Man's stock displays are looking kind of drab in comparison.

20161127_143513 (resized).jpg

#547 3 years ago

Try to put some foam strip on the upper side of the led module in order to block the light coming from above.

It will be even better!

#548 3 years ago
Quoted from spiroagnew:

Blue on Centaur looks fantastic.
Stars made it into the game room. Here's an updated picture for your gallery. Six Million Dollar Man's stock displays are looking kind of drab in comparison.

The only down side I see to these displays is just that. Once you have them in one machine you will want them in all your machines! I have been hooked since I saw Wayne's first sample display in person.

What a great way to modernize these great old Bally machines. Some of my favorite pinball art is on Bally machines from this era. Now if there was only a way to modernize the sound on them!

#549 3 years ago
Quoted from too-many-pins:

The only down side I see to these displays is just that. Once you have them in one machine you will want them in all your machines! I have been hooked since I saw Wayne's first sample display in person.
What a great way to modernize these great old Bally machines. Some of my favorite pinball art is on Bally machines from this era. Now if there was only a way to modernize the sound on them!

There is, but it'll run you well over $300 (pinsound)

#550 3 years ago
Quoted from shimoda:

There is, but it'll run you well over $300 (pinsound)

Unless I am missing something it doesn't look like "pinsound" works for these earlier machines. Regardless it is hard to consider spending over $300 to improve sound on a $600 pinball machine. That is the nice thing about these display kits - for about $100 & a little time you can accomplish something that would otherwise cost you almost 3 times as much.

Anyway - maybe sometime down the road someone will come up with a cheaper sound board for these machines - until then I'll just keep loving the art and enjoying the pure & simple game play of these early Bally machines. But Nugent without music is one I will never own again! Love the backglass art but a music theme pin without music just doesn't cut it!

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