(Topic ID: 113116)

FS: GIzmo - LED GI Smoothing for Stern


By herg

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 62 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by PinRob
  • Topic is favorited by 13 Pinsiders

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    There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 4 years ago

    In response to a few requests, I decided to design a simple board to smooth LED GI lighting for Stern games. This is little more than a bridge rectifier and some capacitors, and is nowhere near as complex as GI OCD. Still, it works well, and it is far cheaper to build than GI OCD.

    It is available for purchase on my website:
    http://ledocd.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=19

    Here's a short video of it in action:

    ...and a couple of pictures:
    GIzmo
    Installed

    #3 4 years ago

    Can you post a video of with vs. without the board installed? Great work. I would be a customer for sure.

    #4 4 years ago

    What's the use case for this one? Stern GI doesnt really do any fades or anything I can think of.

    #5 4 years ago
    Quoted from mmuglia:

    Can you post a video of with vs. without the board installed?

    I'll try. My camera kinda sucks, and you might not be able to see anything.

    Quoted from Aurich:

    What's the use case for this one? Stern GI doesnt really do any fades or anything I can think of.

    You're right; they don't do any fades, and there is only one relay. The only thing that bothers me is cases where the game turns the GI on and off really fast. For example, hit a spinner during Zuse mode on Tron. Others in the LED OCD thread said they could see strobing due to the AC, but I can't myself. I probably would not have built anything if others had not requested it.

    #6 4 years ago

    If you think it will be quite cheap to produce vs. the fully programmable GI OCD, could you at some point make a "GI OCD Lite" that just does non-programmable fading like this board?

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    If you think it will be quite cheap to produce vs. the fully programmable GI OCD, could you at some point make a "GI OCD Lite" that just does non-programmable fading like this board?

    I doubt it. The reason this works is that there is only one control for Stern GI. One rectifier and one capacitor bank takes care of all of it. That means I can keep it small enough to just plug directly between the power driver board and cable. No extra cables is a big part of the cost savings.

    WPC, you'd need 5 of these to keep the strings separate. Plus, the TRIACs work much faster than the Stern relay does. The caps would stay charged most of the time, and you'd lose all the dimming.

    #8 4 years ago

    Put me down for one, can't wait to try it on my Tron Pro.

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from mmuglia:

    Can you post a video of with vs. without the board installed?

    Here you go.

    #10 4 years ago

    Wow that IS a huge difference!

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    Here you go.
    » YouTube video

    So the gizmo causes you to miss the side ramp?

    #12 4 years ago

    Looks great! What do you estimate the price to be?

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from mmuglia:

    Looks great! What do you estimate the price to be?

    I'm still trying to settle on exactly what parts I'll be using on it, but for a rough estimate, I'd say about $50.

    #14 4 years ago

    If you build or just buy a buck converter,

    ebay.com link » Buck Converter Step Down Adjustable Converter Power Module Regulator Lm2596

    which as you can see are very cheap and take the pot off that is used to for the reference voltage and put in something like a parallel pot with a cap and you have a circuit that has adjustable dimming speed. The buck converter sets the duty cycling of the pulse width modulation by comparing the reference voltage to the output voltage to determine if it should be on or off. With this, you don't need big caps even because they are just used for reference and are not supplying your GI.

    The alternative you could do for your circuit is to use large caps and just parallel them with pots that can increase the draining speed of the caps or the dimming of your GI. I would recommend the above just because the boards are probably cheaper than you could build them yourself and you could drive a lot of external LED lights under the pinball or in your topper with the same board but both methods would work. One is elegant and more flexible and the other is just straight forward with bigger components.

    540x405.png

    The voltage into the comparator is the only thing that you would really be playing with.

    #15 4 years ago

    Yeah I was looking at the step down buck regulators prices, and I don't know how whoever is putting these boards together and dumping them on ebay and a bunch of other sites is really making anything. I can't buy all the parts on it for what they sell for, even if I bought in bulk.

    #16 4 years ago

    Go ahead and make and market your own Det... Free country.

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from Det_Deckard:

    If you build or just buy a buck converter

    So, where would you get your input DC from?

    1. You could add a separate DC supply and run cables from it to the regulator.
    2. Maybe you find a DC supply already in the game to steal a few amps from... plus you'd need a cable.
    3. You could generate it from the GI AC like I'm already doing.

    If you wanted to use the cheap regulator, you have to modify it, add cables and an input DC supply. At that point, you would have something that doesn't install easily.

    1 month later
    #18 4 years ago

    Any status update on these?

    #19 4 years ago

    I have built 3 of them. I'm running one in my Tron. A friend has one in his POTC, and I'm going to his house this evening, so it will be a good chance for me to see it. I sent the third to another Pinsider.

    I'm not aware of any showstoppers yet. The biggest nit I have with it is that the lights still dim when I hit the flippers, though I'm not sure anything can be done about that short of a completely separate power supply. If all continues to go well, I'm planning to run a batch of them around the end of Feb, so they'd be ready early April.

    #20 4 years ago

    It is working nicely. I installed it in my ACDC Pro, and it really is noticeable now that I put LEDs in BDK last night. It doesn't do what the OCD board does, but it really does smooth things out a bit. I've had it installed for a few weeks now with no issues. I would just sell it with all 4 caps installed. Great product.

    #21 4 years ago

    Thanks for the update. I would love to have just one configuration, but when I had one with all 4 caps installed in my RBION, the fade off time was way too long. It is dependent on how much current is being pulled by the GI. Since it's easier to add caps than to remove them, I'm planning to ship with 2 uninstalled caps.

    #22 4 years ago

    How about including a DIP switch bank or jumper that connects or disconnects caps based on the game and how many lamps it uses? That way if you have a game that needs only two or three caps and one dries out or something you can always flip the fourth one on to compensate before doing a cap kit on it. Or even crazier, would a variable capacitor work at all?

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    How about including a DIP switch bank or jumper

    I had thought about it, but I haven't dug into the specs yet. The amount of current we're talking about is almost certainly too much for a DIP switch, but jumpers might be an option. Also, I'm trying to keep cost and size an absolute minimum.

    #24 4 years ago

    I installed one in my Potc and it's working great. Super easy install too!

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    The amount of current we're talking about is almost certainly too much for a DIP switch, but jumpers might be an option.

    BTW, this is confirmed. DIP switches won't handle the current. Jumpers will, and I have updated the design to include them. I'm still planning to start a good sized build at the end of the month.

    #26 4 years ago

    Sweet. I want like 10!

    4 weeks later
    #27 4 years ago

    Big build coming in soon?

    #28 4 years ago

    They should be shipping in the next week or so. I have 4/15 for availability on the website, but it might be a bit earlier.

    #29 4 years ago

    Sold out? Or just not listed yet?

    #30 4 years ago

    I haven't received them yet, and I'm not doing pre-orders or anything like that. I added them to the website so that people could request notifications, see pricing, etc.

    #31 4 years ago

    Cool, thanks!

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    Others in the LED OCD thread said they could see strobing due to the AC, but I can't myself.

    Here in Europe, where we have 50Hz AC, the strobing is much easier to notice.

    1 week later
    #33 4 years ago

    #34 4 years ago

    The boards have arrived, and they're available on the website now. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to ship, so I hope I can send some partial refunds for the ones that have already ordered.

    1 week later
    #35 4 years ago

    Not sure how I missed this, but this is great! I just picked up a Whitestar-based Sega game. Much like the Data Easts that came before it, the strobe effect is way too much to take, especially with LEDs, so I am looking forward to trying this out. I just placed an order along with another LED OCD so I will provide my results after it is installed.

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from akm:

    I will provide my results after it is installed.

    Sounds good. This thread has been fairly low profile, so I'm hoping more people start to see it. Maybe I just overestimated the demand for these.

    #37 4 years ago

    I think the demand will be there when more people find out about it. The great thing it is that the price is low and installation is pretty much non-existent from what I can tell.

    2 weeks later
    #38 4 years ago

    Just a quick heads-up. I plan to be at Pinfest (Allentown) on Saturday. I won't have a booth, but I can bring these if anyone wants.

    If paid cash at the show:
    GI OCD $140
    WPC LED OCD $140 (Assuming I have the new batch in stock by then)
    Stern LED OCD $120 (Assuming I still have them in stock)
    GIzmo $40

    Please PM me if interested.

    2 weeks later
    #39 4 years ago

    Now that I have had this board in my game for a couple of weeks, I can say it's a nice feature to have. My Goldeneye was extremely hard on the eyes with the LED GI due to how often it flashed on and off, but now I don't even notice it due to the smoothing of the fading. It's very subtle, but it makes all the difference. This board comes highly recommended from me.

    #40 4 years ago

    Herg,

    Any chance of a programmable GI board for stern, that'll allow for configurable high frequency dimming?
    I'd love to dial back the GI LEDs on one of my games.

    Maybe something crazy doable with the Williams GI OCD board and some crazy cables?

    #41 4 years ago

    Ordered. Exactly what I was looking for for my Tron. Thanks!

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    Herg,
    Any chance of a programmable GI board for stern, that'll allow for configurable high frequency dimming?
    I'd love to dial back the GI LEDs on one of my games.
    Maybe something crazy doable with the Williams GI OCD board and some crazy cables?

    I decided to go the simple route with this one since there is no dimming on Stern games and only one relay. I felt there wouldn't be enough functionality to warrant the cost of a fully programmable board.

    That said, there is a board that I think you could use. Another Pinsider, caker137, designed a programmable board to use in DataEast games. See here:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/led-gi-smoother-for-data-east

    While his was designed for DE, and mine was designed for Stern, the GI of each of these is nearly identical, down to the pinout of the main GI connector. The connector where he gets input power and where you "hook into" the control signal is different, though. I believe you could use his board with some customized cables for programmable operation in a Stern game. I also believe you could use the GIzmo with no modifications in a DE game.

    Quoted from akm:

    Now that I have had this board in my game for a couple of weeks, I can say it's a nice feature to have.

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad to hear it's working well for you.

    #43 4 years ago

    Thanks, Herg.

    #44 4 years ago

    DOes this work with white star?

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from pinballnut3:

    DOes this work with white star?

    Yes, it has been confirmed to work in RBION (Stern branded Whitestar) and Goldeneye (Sega branded Whitestar). It should also work in the others, but these are the only ones I'm aware of it being tested in.

    3 months later
    #46 4 years ago

    Will Gizmo take out the flickering in when the LED turn on /off or do I have to go with LED OCD for that. Sorry for the question but I just can't see the differences between both videos.

    #47 4 years ago

    GIzmo does remove the flickering and smooth the on/off transitions for GI. This is ONLY the GI. It does not do anything for inserts, and that is where the LED OCD comes in.

    GIzmo - GI
    LED OCD - Inserts

    You can use either separately or both together.

    #48 4 years ago

    So you need led OCD for inserts and gizmo for the GI. Is there one that does both?

    #49 4 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    Is there one that does both?

    Sorry, but no. Do you have a game that you have LED'd and have complaints about? For OCD newbies, I usually suggest trying it without OCD first, then decide whether they need anything based on how the game looks.

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    Sorry, but no. Do you have a game that you have LED'd and have complaints about? For OCD newbies, I usually suggest trying it without OCD first, then decide whether they need anything based on how the game looks.

    I started putting LEDS in my Tron. Can't stand the flickering in the inserts. GI is fine. I guess LED OCD it will be once the CDN dollar comes back a little....paying 30% extra all the time is starting to hit the wallet pretty hard.

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