(Topic ID: 153216)

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


By acebathound

4 years ago



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#351 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Vid, did you drag those vise grips through the ocean on your way back to the States?

They are from my plumbing tool box.

That's all I had handy, lol

Quoted from dothedoo:

Do you have a link for the lead forming tool? Cheapest I saw was $5.95 (which I'm fine with BTW), but why pay that if you can get it for $.99, right?

I'm on my phone, so my search is limited, but look on Alibaba.com. $6 is too much, cheaper even on Amazon

4 piece one for $5.25 at PE:

http://www.parts-express.com/parts-express-component-lead-bending-tool-set-for-resistor-capacitor-diode--390-772

#352 3 years ago

Had a request to change the holes where the right-angle header pins fit into to make them slightly larger. I had actually thought about shrinking those slightly to see if I could have it so the pins would insert tighter, thinking that might make it easier to pre-insert the pins. I can see merit to making the holes bigger though -- that'd let the pin drop vertically easily even if you pre-inserted pins at the edge of a table.. then keeping the board tilted back some and positioning it over the plasma holes on the component board. I tried to document but apparently didn't make sense to many people Anyway, I can also see slightly larger holes helping if mounting the digit panel first & then inserting the right angle header pins as Cheddar had shown pictures of.

Is the vote for slightly larger holes there then? I'm not planning on much bigger.. like bump up the drill hole size by 0.1mm.

Any other changes to the PCBs at this point or were they otherwise looking good? I plan on getting another board order in soon.

#353 3 years ago

I'd make the holes tighter, so the right angle pins would be easier to keep straight.

BUT, if you put some through plated slots below the pin holes, users could use the existing leads from the old displays. If the leads could be inserted into slots, that would become the easiest connection by far.

#354 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I'd make the holes tighter, so the right angle pins would be easier to keep straight.
BUT, if you put some through plated slots below the pin holes, users could use the existing leads from the old displays. If the leads could be inserted into slots, that would become the easiest connection by far.

Oh you're bringing back the slot idea form earlier in the thread

Yeah I liked that idea... except I had concern over a few things. The first being any shorts to components near the back of the digit panel if there's solder points down that low on the board. On some model displays, resistor and transistor legs are right there and if anyone replaced them or they were just mounted a bit high from the factory, there's a chance for a short. The other concern was clearance on the 7-digit Bally boards because the transistors sit pretty much flush against the back of the digit panel PCB when its mounted. So if you had soldered connections there, they'd push into the transistors.

Here's the post where I showed a picture of the transistor clearance on a 7-digit board.. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/interest-check-diy-bally-led-displays-using-old-boards/page/3#post-3070668

#355 3 years ago

Well, was really busy getting my pins ready for the Cleveland show, but took a break and put one of these together last night, I didn't bench test and went right into my embryon, fired up but I had some segment problems, after pulling my hair out, I find I put 2 of the zero ohm resistors in the wrong spot, my silkscreen on the board was off a bit,and it was late, swapped them into to right place and replace the
original resistors I pulled and all was good, dumb ass mistake! Kind of felt like putting and old Heathkit kit together. One thing I did have to do was add a spacer washer the the little bracket as it pulled the board crooked without it. great work Wayne, I love the blue color and I think the satisfaction of doing it yourself makes it a winner, Good tools are a must for this job though, not for a beginner. 1 down and 4 to go

20160902_211237_resized (resized).jpg

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#356 3 years ago
Quoted from 80spit:

One thing I did have to do was add a spacer washer the the little bracket as it pulled the board crooked without it.

Interesting.. did you try reversing the bracket? One side is a bit longer believe it or not. From the picture it looks like you *may* have the longer side mounted on the component board and the shorter side on the digit panel. Could just be the picture though.

What I do is stand the brackets up on a desk side-by side and then flip one. That helps you find which is the short side and which is the long side. The long side gets screwed to the digit panel. Short side gets screwed to the component board.

#357 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Interesting.. did you try reversing the bracket? One side is a bit longer believe it or not. From the picture it looks like you *may* have the longer side mounted on the component board and the shorter side on the digit panel. Could just be the picture though.
What I do is stand the brackets up on a desk side-by side and then flip one. That helps you find which is the short side and which is the long side. The long side gets screwed to the digit panel. Short side gets screwed to the component board.

I just assumed they were square and just put a washer in, Ill have to check that on the next build

#358 3 years ago

Personally, I feel a smaller hole so the right angle square pins push in and hold snug without the need to solder to hold them in place for assembly is the way to go. Not bigger. Of course, you then follow up by soldering them in place once the led board is married to the driver board.

#359 3 years ago

I do remember that now.

Seems like if there were thru-plated slots, we could solder from the front, trim flush on back and slip in a fishpaper.

#360 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Had a request to change the holes where the right-angle header pins fit into to make them slightly larger. I had actually thought about shrinking those slightly to see if I could have it so the pins would insert tighter, thinking that might make it easier to pre-insert the pins.

Did one board yesterday. Oh boy! I did the full replacement. Took me way longer than expected as I fumbled on a few things.

As for the size of the hole; i think it could be one size smaller but should not be tight as this is a through hole and the solder has to flow to the other side. I was impressed by the design and quality of the board.

I have no idea how you packed everything in the shipping box. That's a real puzzle to put it back in that i did not even tried. You have more patience than I do. . Well done!

#361 3 years ago
Quoted from Andyball:

I have no idea how you packed everything in the shipping box. That's a real puzzle to put it back in that i did not even tried. You have more patience than I do. . Well done!

Me neither. I took it all out when I got it to look at everything......couldn't fit it back in the box.

#362 3 years ago

Here is the depopulation guide for the Stern DA-100 RevC.

This will make it easy to just look at the picture and desolder the components:

DA100-small (resized).jpg

#363 3 years ago

Here is the population guide for the Stern DA-100 RevC:

DA100-POPULATION-GUIDE (resized).jpg

#364 3 years ago

Finally here is the 5V location for the Stern DA-100 RevC:

DA100-BACKSIDE-5V (resized).jpg

#365 3 years ago
Quoted from Andyball:

I have no idea how you packed everything in the shipping box. That's a real puzzle to put it back in that i did not even tried. You have more patience than I do. . Well done!

Quoted from dothedoo:

Me neither. I took it all out when I got it to look at everything......couldn't fit it back in the box.

It's funny seeing this mentioned. Yeah, I found probably one of the only ways to fit everything in the box -- it only worked on single kits obviously

#366 3 years ago
Quoted from Andyball:

I was impressed by the design and quality of the board.

It's always great hearing this. A ton of time went into the PCB design to get things just-right... tolerances, bracket positioning, plasma footprint & smd pads.. spacing of the digits, etc. Even the rounded corners on the top of the board which I think are a nice touch. I like things to look professional. I like when everything lines up. I know some of those things wouldn't really matter to some people that just need something to function and don't care as much about the aesthetics. But I like putting the extra bit of time into some final touches. Something like the rounded corners.. man those edges are sharp on boards and for a vertical board it's nice not having a sharp edge at the top. So why not?

I'm sure some people will get kits, build them and wonder what all the fuss was about. But a lot went on behind-the-scenes to simplify all of this stuff, create boards that mated well with the old displays, get them efficient and even trying to stream-line assembly / instructions. I do that, just my nature. If I'm going to do something like this, it makes no sense to just throw things together without thought. It's going to look damn cool, it's going to work well. So it's just awesome when people see that and appreciate it..each and every time So thanks to you & others that have had good things to say about this project and the kits, etc. It's appreciated. Glad to be hearing positive feedback!

#367 3 years ago

Did the 6 digit tonight and will be doing a 7 digit tomorrow.

Thoughts: well packaged kit!!! It's appreciated having each boards bracket hardware in a separate baggy. While the resistors not being "labeled" wasn't a big deal at all, I could see some people might not like having to look up the color codes lol.

Instructions were clear. When I did my depopulation I went off the component list, and did one row at a time, placed the new parts in and then when I was done with all of the components in soldered them in on the original board.

Time spent on the first board was about an 1.5hrs. Being extra careful and reading/rereading so that I made sure no mistakes were made. I fully expect the next one to take 45min or less.

Thanks again for your hard work and great product acebathound!

I'll definitely be recommending these to friends.

#368 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

It's always great hearing this. A ton of time went into the PCB design to get things just-right... tolerances, bracket positioning, plasma footprint & smd pads.. spacing of the digits, etc. Even the rounded corners on the top of the board which I think are a nice touch. I like things to look professional. I like when everything lines up.
I'm sure some people will get kits, build them and wonder what all the fuss was about. But a lot went on behind-the-scenes to simplify all of this stuff, create boards that mated well with the old displays, get them efficient and even trying to stream-line assembly / instructions. I do that, just my nature. If I'm going to do something like this, it makes no sense to just throw things together without thought. It's going to look damn cool, it's going to work well. So it's just awesome when people see that and appreciate it..each and every time So thanks to you & others that have had good things to say about this project and the kits, etc. It's appreciated. Glad to be hearing positive feedback!

You' re welcome! We appreciate too. I enjoy beta testing and provide feedback.

Today, i built the last 4 of the Bally 6 digits. Here is my feedback(one of my rare long post):

The equipment used was; full Pace soldering/desoldering station with flux dispenser, a microscope, compressed air and microminiature tools.

Before i started, i did a colored layout of all the component placement(see attachment in next post)

I did the following for the full mod method;
A. Removed old gas displays (10 mins)
B. Cleaned the boards with isopropyl(5 mins)
C. Desoldered all the components (75 min. One board was really bad to desoldered. Took me over 30 mins and 4 pads damaged. Usually less than 15 mins to do)
D. Installed and Soldered the Led displays to boards (20 mins)
E. Install the angled pins (20 mins. Use rubber band to hold them in place until ready to mate and solder)
F. Formed and soldered all the components( 120 mins)
G. Mated and soldered the display boards to the main boards(45 mins)
H. Re-clean all the boards(5mins)
I. Verify all solder joints under microscope and rework bad/missed joints(30 mins)
J. Installed in pinball and tested. (5 mins). All worked flawlessly!

Time to do 4 displays as per above: ~6hrs
Time to do layout(attachment): 45 mins

Mod/kit comments:
1. The instructions seems to be written for beginners in mind and provide great details that may not be for everyone. Would suggest to do 2 parts, a beginners, and an experienced to solder such as the cheat sheet but with succint steps. A layout is a must to know what is changed at a glanced.
2. Add a few spare resistors/transistor for each value in the kit. I came short on 2 of them. I might have lost them. I know that i had another type that i cut short and had to replace. Luckily, i had my own spares. There was a spare transistor in the kit. It was nice to have as it is not as common
3. The instructions should recommend that the 90 degree angle screws be locktite.
4. Some old main boards are a real pain to desolder/solder due to their built. I had one. Hope you don't have 5 to do.
5. The bench test should only be recommended for troubleshooting. It may scare away people and doing it in the pinball is pretty safe as long as J1 pin 1 is removed
6. Time to complete. Well, i went pretty full bore on this so I could provide feedback, minimize debugging and keep my pin value. I wanted the boards to look great in case I ever sell my pin in the future. The piggy back method may be acceptable for some, however, if i were to be buying a pin with displays done this way, i would de-value the pin as it would look like a hack. The full method take quite some times and the parts count to replace is high making it hard to be less than 60 mins per board not including troubleshooting when required. Note that i am including part forming.
7. I still have to permanently put the filters and light blockers.

Note that i did the "fifth" board the day before and took me over 4 hrs to understand and do the board. I got stucked on the boards mating, soldering/desoldering sequence and following the instructions.

Summary: the kit is of excellent quality and extremely well designed. The finished product done as a full replacement is fantastic, looks great and work flawlessly. I would build it again.

Other comments:
1. I checked under the microscope the long pins and the hole fitting: contrary to my comment this morning, the ratio pin to hole is already tight leaving very little space for the solder to flow to the other side. I do not recommend to go smaller as there is very little space left when the pin is inserted. Would suggest to stay the same or go next size up to help the solder flow. Sorry should have tried to take a photo but not sure it would have worked out

Do you have beta testers that have little soldering/desoldering experience?

I will post the attachment and photos shortly.

#369 3 years ago

Photos of the modified board. Trying to upload the board layout document. Doesn't look like i can do from ipad...

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#370 3 years ago
Quoted from Andyball:

The piggy back method may be acceptable for some, however, if i were to be buying a pin with displays done this way, i would de-value the pin as it would look like a hack.

It looks like all of the people that have been assembling boards so far have done the full component removal. I haven't seen anyone using the parallel resistor method [yet]. Maybe full removal should just be the only method & it's just left as a high level difficulty kit. I'm really not sure. I didn't think the parallel resistor option as that big of a deal because quite a few displays I had did have parallel resistors soldered on the back to increase the wattage rating on some of the resistors that when used with plasma displays would heat up / burn over time. But I also do understand that for people with the tools/experience, it just makes sense to completely remove and replace components for a cleaner looking conversion.

Quoted from Andyball:

Do you have beta testers that have little soldering/desoldering experience?

Not really. Part of that was by my own request, knowing the initial beta test wasn't going to be a complete step-by-step guide for beginners. But I doubt there's really any way of achieving instructions or methods suitable to someone with very little experience soldering/desoldering on this type of kit. That's mainly because of the desoldering of old boards. A kit with all new boards only requires the person assembling to be using a lower wattage iron & very little soldering experience. Can't mess *too much* up. Working with old boards though, having to remove components.. you're immediately in a higher level of difficulty. It's the nature of the beast.

There's that kind of thing with kits for anything though.. model cars and planes, furniture, etc. Not everything is suitable for people with limited experience. I think the best thing I can do is assign a difficulty rating for this kit on any product description -- "HIGH LEVEL DIFFICULTY" and just make it clear what to expect. You save $$$ this way, but it does require better tools & soldering/desoldering experience. It's definitely not for everyone.

#371 3 years ago

This feedback is good guys! Keep it coming I don't expect it to all be sunshine and rainbows. These aren't super-easy DIY kits and I'm sure there's been some frustrations in getting some of the displays converted. It seems like everyone so far has been happy with the end results, even if the conversions have taken longer than expected for some people.

That's what this beta test is all about -- getting some feedback on whether this is considered an attractive option -- if saving $50 over a full kit is worth the trouble. Or if it's too time-consuming, too much of a PITA to bother with? The only way to know is to actually have some people building out full sets weigh in on whether they'd "do it again" or if once was enough.

I wish there were less components to replace and these were accessible to even people with limited experience, but there's always trade-offs in this stuff -- same with programming/coding. Usually referred to as "fast, good or cheap -- pick two". In this case, it takes time to save a bit of money and have a good display. I can get you a "working" cheap display faster if you don't replace the segment drivers & don't add the pull-ups on the digit drivers, but the 4543 outputs will be over-driven and the digit drivers will be left in a "floating" state when digits aren't being enabled -- in other words, it won't be a good display. I can get you a good display that's cheap, but assembly won't be fast (ie. the current conversion kit). I can get you a full kit with all new boards that will be fast to assemble & create a good display, but it won't be as cheap because of the higher material cost.

#372 3 years ago

Piggy backing done correctly may look nice. I am not sure it is a "HIGH LEVEL DIFFICULTY" but would definitively list the equipments and skills required. Cost saving is the main factor to buy this kit(and attract the "do it yourself" crowd).

I think you mentioned in another post that you may look into a new main board and sell as a kit. This would probably have a lower part count thant the current mod and would ease the display mating.

#373 3 years ago

Am I the only one that used the old plasma leads? I wonder why, it was pretty simple.

#374 3 years ago

Here is my thought on the plasma lead usage. It's sorta like SMT technology, and in a pinball there is a lot of vibration. I know the chances of it coming loose are slim, but I preferred to use tin coated solid wire as it is a more solid connection. Just a matter of opinion I guess.

#375 3 years ago
Quoted from johninc:

Am I the only one that used the old plasma leads? I wonder why, it was pretty simple.

4 of my boards already had the glass removed. I removed the glass from the 5th for consistency

#376 3 years ago
Quoted from Drewscruis:

I know the chances of it coming loose are slim, but I preferred to use tin coated solid wire as it is a more solid connection.

Fair enough, I just hope you're wrong.

Quoted from Cheddar:

4 of my boards already had the glass removed. I removed the glass from the 5th for consistency

Well, that makes sense.

#377 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

It looks like all of the people that have been assembling boards so far have done the full component removal.

All the boards I converted were so hacked up by **techs** over the years, that I did not even try to mess with adding more components on top of the existing mess.

And when someone else has to service the boards 40 years into the future, they would look at all those components on the bottom of the board and say WTF is this???

^^ On the above note, we should think about adding a new schematic page to the manuals with the new display circuits.

#378 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

^^ On the above note, we should think about adding a new schematic page to the manuals with the new display circuits.

I don't mind adding a schematic to the instructions for these displays, that was in my thoughts. Then the people buying them have the schematic to see what the changes actually where. I don't see adding an alternate schematic to game manuals if that's what's being suggested though? That doesn't make sense to me since the conversion kit is a separate product in a sense, not public domain info on how to create an efficient led display out of the old displays. It's not like any other aftermarket display or mods get added to game manuals, so why should this? There's a website on the board, there's some writing indicating it's a conversion display.. it's something different, not a stock display. It'd be treated like any aftermarket board where the person that has an issue goes to the website or tries to track down information on it.

Maybe I'm reading that suggestion wrong? In any case, I can get a schematic added to the instructions.. no problem. Not really going to support doing something that makes what I've created look like public domain though -- just far too much time, effort and energy spent on this project to see that happen.

#379 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

I don't see adding an alternate schematic to game manuals if that's what's being suggested though?

A page for the manual would be important for future generations.

Back in 1978, Bally told us that a game is designed to last 3 years, then be disposed of.

Yet, here we are 40 years latter, still looking at those ancient, hand drafted schematics printed on yellow paper.

Quoted from acebathound:

It'd be treated like any aftermarket board where the person that has an issue goes to the website or tries to track down information on it.

40 years from now, is your website still going to be up as a reference?

Or will it have disappeared like all those websites we used to love (Psycho Dave's Dark and Scary Place, GeoCities, TechTV, Gawker, Ogrish, Megaupload, Angelfire, and many other sites that we somehow expected to always be there for us).

-

I serviced a recording console in a studio a few months ago.

They of course had the schematics for the desk, but the first 12 channels had some high end microphone preamp boards piggybacked on them. No amount of web searching could turn up the schematics or any information about them at all.

They only thing I know is that the preamps were made in West Germany, and the company is no longer in business.

I had to swap 2 of the channel boards with channels 47 and 48 to get them back up and running, but now they only have a 46 channel desk.

#380 3 years ago

I'm ready to mount the new display to the original board, but I'm confused about the number of pins from the right angle header that are needed. The instructions say 15x pins for a 7 digit display, but there are 22 connections on the display board and all pics I've seen - except Andyball's - show all connections used.

So do I connect all of them? Or don't connect the ones silkscreened in parentheses?

#381 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

I'm ready to mount the new display to the original board, but I'm confused about the number of pins from the right angle header that are needed. The instructions say 15x pins for a 7 digit display, but there are 22 connections on the display board and all pics I've seen - except Andyball's - show all connections used.
So do I connect all of them? Or don't connect the ones silkscreened in parentheses?

The ones in parentheses are redundant connection points. As long as you have good pads on the plasma header for the non-parentheses digit signal pads there's no need to connect those.

#382 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

The ones in parentheses are redundant connection points. As long as you have good pads on the plasma header for the non-parentheses digit signal pads there's no need to connect those.

Now I see this paragraph after reading back through the instructions:

6. Any of the leads corresponding to digits with parentheses around them are
OPTIONAL to solder. There's no harm in soldering them, but they're duplicate
connections. In other words if you have a good connection for “D1” there's no
reason to solder “(D1)” unless you really want to. Notice the parentheses.

I saw this in section 8A (reusing plasma leads), but not in section 8B, which was what I was doing. I would suggest adding this step in 8B.

#383 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Now I see this paragraph after reading back through the instructions:
6. Any of the leads corresponding to digits with parentheses around them are
OPTIONAL to solder. There's no harm in soldering them, but they're duplicate
connections. In other words if you have a good connection for “D1” there's no
reason to solder “(D1)” unless you really want to. Notice the parentheses.
I saw this in section 8A (reusing plasma leads), but not in section 8B, which was what I was doing. I would suggest adding this step in 8B.

Looks like I have it listed as a "TIP" on STEP 4 in section 8B.

"TIP: Any of the digits marked with parentheses around them are optional (ie. you don't have to install a pin into “D1” AND “(D1)” – you only need to make a connection to one of those."

I'll probably update that and make the verbiage similar in both sections though.

#384 3 years ago

Anyone using the foam tape on these? Wondering how that's working out. I know it's not incredibly ideal, especially when using color filters since the filters would need to be cut to fit within the edges of the digits. But it's better than nothing

Also, how about usage of the extra 2N5401 transistors yet due to a weak digit? I wasn't finding I had to replace many of those. I may drop it down to 2x extra per individual display kit (10x per set). Even if you aren't having to replace those often, it's probably nice to have some extras on-hand during the builds.

#385 3 years ago

Wayne, I used the foam, I needed it to block out the brightness from the led's in the back box, major improvement, also prevents scratching the backglass

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#386 3 years ago

I have used the foam and sized the filter to fit the leds. Foam is very soft and blocks 99% of the lights. It does the job. With the glass on, it looks great.
Did not need any of the transistors. Maybe only a few should be included. Other than a strip of resistors and 3 inches of foam, nothing left.

Looks sharp, i prefer this look over the gas display

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#387 3 years ago
Quoted from Andyball:

I have used the foam and sized the filter to fit the leds. Foam is very soft and blocks 99% of the lights. It does the job. With the glass on, it looks great.
Did not need any of the transistors. Maybe only a few should be included. Other than a strip of resistors and 3 inches of foam, nothing left.
Looks sharp, i prefer this look over the gas display

Great to hear! Displays look awesome in your Strikes & Spares!! I preferred the look myself as well once I got a full set in a machine, was hoping others would feel the same way

#388 3 years ago

I didn't get along well with the foam, and ended up trashing it. I can't tell on Xenon where it would make any difference. Didn't use any 2N5401s, but nice to have a spare or two. I did need one U1, but that's not something I'd expect in this kit.

#389 3 years ago

I used the foam it it helps a lot. I didn't use any of the 2N5401s. 5 displays later now I have a whole bunch of them

#390 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Looks like I have it listed as a "TIP" on STEP 4 in section 8B.
"TIP: Any of the digits marked with parentheses around them are optional (ie. you don't have to install a pin into “D1” AND “(D1)” – you only need to make a connection to one of those."
I'll probably update that and make the verbiage similar in both sections though.

I don't know why, but I skipped over it. Maybe it was the smaller font. Anyway, sorry to call it out, it was there and I just missed it.

#391 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

I don't know why, but I skipped over it. Maybe it was the smaller font. Anyway, sorry to call it out, it was there and I just missed it.

No problem, instructions are text-heavy at this point.. seems a few people were saying they missed something that was there, and that's probably why. Lots of text to get through. I just wanted to get something out there so people weren't building these out blind, so there's definite need for some fine-tuning.... more pictures showing some of the steps that would break up the text.

I'm just glad for the most part, it seems like the instructions worked well-enough. I haven't really had many questions via PM or this thread. People are building out the displays successfully. That's exactly what I want to see

I thought a cliff-note version of the steps seemed like a good idea. Once you've got the basic idea of steps down, no need for the complete guide. Just the list of components being replaced & cliff-note steps to remind you. I like having alternate ways for people to do things, then you just pick whatever works for you.

#392 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

I'm just glad for the most part, it seems like the instructions worked well-enough. I haven't really had many questions via PM or this thread. People are building out the displays successfully. That's exactly what I want to see

The well thought out kit did all the work.

Usually when I'm beta testing something, it has 3 sentences of instructions, does not fully work "hey, see if you can figure out why the ___ does not always reset upon power-on", an unmasked circuit board, and a 10 page NDA.

This seemed like a finished product.

Great job!

#393 3 years ago

First one done, and looks exactly as I had hoped. Crappy iphone camera makes it look washed out, but the reflection on the playfield glass is what it really looks like.

IMG_8544 (resized).JPG

#394 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

First one done, and looks exactly as I had hoped. Crappy iphone camera makes it look washed out, but the reflection on the playfield glass is what it really looks like.

Looks great! I love seeing how different colors look in all these games. I'm all for non-traditional at this point, so many of these backglasses are looking awesome with complimenting and contrasting colors for the displays. Can't wait to see the full set in there!

#395 3 years ago

I'm going to get another PCB order in within the next few days. Should have another handful of kits available then in a few weeks as long as some other materials come as well.

I'm not going to change much with the boards, haven't really seen any need to. I'm at this point planning to increase the drill size ever so slightly on the through-holes above the plasma footprint SMD pads. I'm talking 0.02mm, so not very much at all. Just to see if it gains anything. I think we're pretty good on that [for now] as it seems the holes aren't too tight and aren't too loose and there's reasons to increase or decrease hole size as much as there are reasons not to.

Here's a change I think will be good though. Just silkscreen, but hopefully will help with future "WTF is this?" thoughts on these boards..

repair_note (resized).jpg

A few other silkscreen changes on the back, but everything else is staying the same. I'll be identifying the COMMA/DECIMAL enable smd pads on the back of the 7-digit board to make that easier to locate too.

solder_blob (resized).jpg

#396 3 years ago

One other thing you might add is slightly larger solder pads for the LED displays themselves. The existing pads were really small (so small I had to change tips to get some solid contact).

For future repairs, you could add component values to the artwork on the back of the display board. A burnt component is hard to determine what value it was, especially in the field when you don't have time to study the circuit.

The brightness resistors could have a * informing techs that "R13, R15, R17, R19, R21, R23, R25 should all have identical values"

#397 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

One other thing you might add is slightly larger solder pads for the LED displays themselves. The existing pads were really small (so small I had to change tips to get some solid contact).
For future repairs, you could add component values to the artwork on the back of the display board. A burnt component is hard to determine what value it was, especially in the field when you don't have time to study the circuit.
The brightness resistors could have a * informing techs that "R13, R15, R17, R19, R21, R23, R25 should all have identical values"

Might have to do the led pads at a later time if it ever presents a problem, I tried resizing those but I'm already throwing board errors because of clearance issues just with slightly larger pads. I remember playing with size of traces and pads to get things to route nicely without *too many* vias. I'll definitely consider it though in a future revision of the PCB if traces are being rerouted for something else, or if the current size of the pads turn into some ordeal at some point.

Unfortunately there's limited room for text on the board, so doubt I'll be listing component values.. especially considering the silkscreen markings differ per display model. There's 5 or 6 identical circuits to look off of if something did burn, as long as the repair tech has some common sense it really shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

#398 3 years ago

Any way to get notice when the kits are ready? Missed out once and don't want to miss out again.

#399 3 years ago
Quoted from shimoda:

Any way to get notice when the kits are ready? Missed out once and don't want to miss out again.

Probably best anyone interested in the upcoming batch of pcbs PMs me with their request. 6-digit or 7-digit set, white or blue digits. How many sets of each. I'll create a list, first come first serve. Then I'll just contact everyone in order and if no longer interested or no response for a week, kits get offered to others. It'll be a somewhat limited run again because I have about half the limited qty of digits I had started with. Working on another digit order but that will have a lead time of a few months.

At this point I'm not sure what the 2nd run pricing will be just yet. May still do some slight discounts on the kits for feedback on some refined steps in the instructions, that was my initial plan.

#400 3 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Might have to do the led pads at a later time if it ever presents a problem, I tried resizing those but I'm already throwing board errors because of clearance issues just with slightly larger pads.

I'm certainly no board designer, but maybe elongate the pads like they did on this PinLED Bally board that I was repairing a few days ago?

pinLED (resized).jpg

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