(Topic ID: 238855)

Just whining and crying


By maestro

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 27 days ago by gdonovan
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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#1 3 months ago

How come old Bally's are such a pain to get led 555's in the socket? My old Strange Science was like this. Both EBD's I've done were like this. Now doing and Embryon and all I want to do is throw a fit. Pushing incandescent in is a breeze. Putting the led in is a nightmare. I push and wiggle the little bulb in the socket and eventually they go in. But man are my finger tips sore. This is truly an exercise of patience and tenacity. Is there some secret I'm not in on??? Anyways, just whining like a little baby today. Comments? Anyone else have any issues on any games that chaffs your hide and want to cry about it this is the place. Post away.

#2 3 months ago

I don't get into fights with LEDs.

If a game is giving me that kind of trouble I stick in a 10 cent incandescent and call it a day.

I find LEDs can often be finicky whereas regular bulbs aren't. Life is too short to deal with them when that happens.

#3 3 months ago

I know it's a pain but I use an exacto knife to shave off the edge of the wedge bottom if it's a tight fit. I love the look of leds over incandescent so it's worth the effort to me.

#4 3 months ago

You can shave a bit off the bulb base. Or slip a thin flat screwdriver into the 555 socket and gently twist to slightly enlarge the socket gap - of course that's not always an option under the pf.

Funny enough, since I don't have any classic Bally's (although I converted a Centaur for a friend and experienced the pain), I have the *opposite* problem: most of my Williams with twist-off sockets, I have to *close* the socket blades together to get sufficient grip on the LED leads!

Guess there's no one-size-fits-all except for good-ol inca bulbs. Funny how with all these replacement options and competitors and knock-offs, nobody can get the literal base dimensions right.

#5 3 months ago

I experimented with LEDs in some games years ago. I couldn’t ditch them fast enough. I just buy 555s and 47s in bulk, and use them across every game I own. Keeps my “inventory” simpler.

In Gottlieb System 3 games, it eliminates me having to rewire a lamp socket, in Bally’s, it eliminates me having to buy a new lamp driver board (or wire in a gazillion little resistors in series to each socket) in WPCs, it eliminates me from having a seizure any time the GI dims, and subjectively speaking, I think incandescents just plain look better in games. In the home, you’ll never burn a GI connector since the game will never be on long enough, and I only change out a burnt bulb every so often.

Haven’t looked back since.

#6 3 months ago

That's funny, I tried some let's call them "off-brand" LEDs. But they're often loose in the sockets of the DMD games I've used them in. Sometimes it's so bad I have to wrap a piece of electrical tape around them under the contacts. I think these are the ones you probably need!

#7 3 months ago

Comet has a line of bulbs that are fairly thin; they have a “bullet” style that should fit as a normal 555 would. I believe they are being discontinued but they still carry them

#8 3 months ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

nd subjectively speaking, I think incandescents just plain look better in games.

It really depends. I'm kind of like you in some ways, and have adopted a hybrid approach: flashers stay inca'd... colored inserts get LEDs... EM's I don't overdo it; GI gets cool white to make the art visible but not blown out, but controlled areas with complex flashing effects might stay incad'd for the flash rate. And I know what you're talking about with seizure-mode; I unplugged the GI flasher relay on my Torpedo Alley because it was so horrible.

But I prefer LEDs for the lower current draw and heat output. AND on the backbox, it's a must. I don't like backbox art to look like mac-n-cheese casserole. Soft glow be damned; once you've seen backbox art illuminated with proper (i.e. NON-YELLOW) color tones there's no going back.

I do agree, LEDs can be a PITA for the reasons mentioned. But I've found them pretty trouble free once installed. If one was flaky, the socket was the culprit and would have given the same issues with an inca bulb (and in that regard, I've found LEDs can work pretty well and maintain full brightness in some places where an incad might have been dim).

It's 2019 not 2012 though: there's no reason to be using shitty cheap ghosting LEDs. That was solved years ago.

#9 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

I don't get into fights with LEDs.
If a game is giving me that kind of trouble I stick in a 10 cent incandescent and call it a day.
I find LEDs can often be finicky whereas regular bulbs aren't. Life is too short to deal with them when that happens.

Exactly, LED's are not worth the effort most time. And here I thought I was the only one that had this problem.

John

#10 3 months ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

I unplugged the GI flasher relay on my Torpedo Alley because it was so horrible.

My retinas thank you. One DE down, thousands to go.

#11 3 months ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

In the home, you’ll never burn a GI connector since the game will never be on long enough, and I only change out a burnt bulb every so often.
Haven’t looked back since.

Man I beg to differ. I've had clients with burnt gi connectors in there homes from incandescent. I personally used to leave incandescents in my backboxes until one day while playing my BSD I smelled that burning smell. Opened up the back box and the connector for the back box lights was crispy. New connector and pin and swapped to leds and it was cool as a cucumber after that.
I typically use all white, either natural or warm depending on the theme, in my gi and back boxes. Sometimes I use limited colors when it is tasteful. I color match inserts. I don't mind the extra effort as it saves me issues down the road. I like the look. Its just these old bally 555's kill me!

#12 3 months ago
Quoted from maestro:

Man I beg to differ.

Different strokes for different folks!

When done well, I agree, LEDs look great. Good example is the AFM remake. They nailed the LED look on that game, and they have an LEDOCD effect built in as well. That's another expense I'd have to make if I converted anything to LEDs. The instant on/off bothers me.

#13 3 months ago

Be glad it isn't an Elektra! The sockets on the playfield are just cruel. You usually need a band aid after working on those.

#14 3 months ago

I've noticed that some brands of leds fit easier than others it seems. We're these comets by chance you were using?

#15 3 months ago

The green plastic sockets suck all around

#16 3 months ago
Quoted from SDTMinSTL:

I've noticed that some brands of leds fit easier than others it seems. We're these comets by chance you were using?

Comets yes.

Quoted from Robotworkshop:

Be glad it isn't an Elektra! The sockets on the playfield are just cruel. You usually need a band aid after working on those.

YEAH man! These Embryon ones the tabs are all sharp. Some are close to other sockets and its like picking through a thorn bush.

I'll tell you what, Strange Science was the worst. Must have been 500 bulbs in that machine. I don't know how it didn't kick breakers each time I turned it one before I put in leds. And lost of the bulbs required removing playfield parts to get to... not just your ordinary remove a flat piece of playfield plastic either. That was a marathon. But man is looked fantastic when done.

I'll say this about leds. A friend of mine opened a pinball arcade. Was told because the machines were rated at 8 amps could only put two n each breaker. Machines were converted to leds. He was able to show the city board they only drew 2 amps (if memory serves me correctly) each like this. He was allowed to put many more on each breaker.

#17 3 months ago

On the topic of burning GI connectors in a home use setting and as someone that runs system 11 games on all incandescents (which are very notorious for burnt GI connectors), I'll say this: I've never had a connector burn as long as it was replaced. Any game that has its original connector still in it has definitely gotten worse with home use since there was already years of burn to build off of, but the games I've replaced connectors in haven't burned up at all since.

2 months later
#18 27 days ago

That makes sense. But I love my leds.

#19 27 days ago
Quoted from SDTMinSTL:

I've noticed that some brands of leds fit easier than others it seems. We're these comets by chance you were using?

I did a "pepsi challenge" with all the top brands of LEDs...plus a few lesser known companies...in various pinballs. I was doing a big LED switch out in 6 machines at once and I wanted the best.

Comet was the leader by heads and shoulders. The next best (though far behind) was coin taker. Comet fit well in all machines...coin taker had problems fitting in a couple of them.

I am now a committed Comet pinball customer.

#20 27 days ago

The best thing you can do for a Williams/Bally pinball machine is get rid of those stupid incandescent light bulbs. The heat they produce causes damage to plastic parts and the play field inserts. The load they draw hammers the boards and their respective connectors.

#21 27 days ago
Quoted from yancy:

My retinas thank you. One DE down, thousands to go.

I love them in my Time Machine, which is fully LED to protect the GI circuits (which has burned up once)

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