(Topic ID: 214241)

LED's for 5 cents each!

By JethroP

4 years ago


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  • 110 posts
  • 55 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Spyderturbo007
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders

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    There are 110 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 4 years ago

    I just posted a Youtube video on how I'm making my own LED's for a few pennies each. Salvage your old, burned out #44 or #47 bulbs, pick up some LED's (available for less than $2 per 100), and some resistors, (also available for less than $2 per 100). Your finished LED's will almost be free! I can solder one up in a couple of minutes. You can too. Hope other Pinsiders find this useful.
    [broken link removed]

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    #2 4 years ago

    Link does not work for me.

    #3 4 years ago

    Me either

    #4 4 years ago

    I guarantee figuring out the correct YT link is easier than making your own LEDs.

    #5 4 years ago

    How long does it take you to make 1 led, would you say?

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from Friengineer:

    How long does it take you to make 1 led, would you say?

    Quoted from JethroP:

    I can solder one up in a couple of minutes.

    21
    #7 4 years ago

    I'm not sure about anyone else, but I'd rather not spend my time custom making 150 LED bulbs for each game.

    It might be a handy alternative for a specialty one-off bulb, though.

    13
    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I'm not sure about anyone else, but I'd rather not spend my time custom making 150 LED bulbs for each game.

    I wouldn't want to be doing half the wackadoodle things Pinsiders do with their time, but you never know.

    #9 4 years ago

    I am too lazy and they are cheap enough, I would rather just buy them.

    #10 4 years ago

    what third world country do you live in that this would be worth your time?

    #11 4 years ago

    Functional — but not too pretty or practical...

    #12 4 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I wouldn't want to be doing half the wackadoodle things Pinsiders do with their time, but you never know.

    Ha ha! Call me a Wacky Doodle then. I think this is a great idea and I would like to try it out. I've got thousands of old bayonet style lamps just sitting around doing nothing.

    Quoted from pezpunk:

    what third world country do you live in that this would be worth your time?

    Yeah, not worth the time for most people, including me, but part of the fun of pinball restoration for me is making my own parts.

    Wouldn't it be easier and a lot faster to solder the resistors to the lamp socket lugs? You would have to solder both LED leads, but that should be easy enough.

    If you had 6V LEDs, could you put these in an EM without the resistors? And if you were using 6V LEDs instead of 3V LEDs, couldn’t you use a 750 Ohm resistor on early SS pins? I have a bag of those.

    JethroP, thanks for sharing!

    #13 4 years ago

    tough crowd. Seems like a good idea to me.

    -1
    #14 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pecos:

    I've got thousands of old bayonet style lamps just sitting around doing nothing...pinball restoration

    If you are doing pinball restoration you have exactly what you need: original lamps. Just sayin'

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from JethroP:

    I just posted a Youtube video on how I'm making my own LED's for a few pennies each. Salvage your old, burned out #44 or #47 bulbs, pick up some LED's (available for less than $2 per 100), and some resistors, (also available for less than $2 per 100). Your finished LED's will almost be free! I can solder one up in a couple of minutes. You can too. Hope other Pinsiders find this useful.
    [broken link removed]

    I like your enthusiasm!! It's been along winter I could use some.

    #16 4 years ago

    Thanks for the thread OP, nice job.

    #17 4 years ago

    You've got a job waiting for you at PHoF! Tim Arnold's been looking for you!

    This is awesome. I no longer feel like all the crap I do on my machines is a waste of time, thanks!

    But seriously, my mom spends hours knitting/crocheting (don't even know what it is) slippers to sell for charity, I could see a retiree leisurely doing this...

    I'm drawing the line on this one though... ha...

    #18 4 years ago

    Are they easy to get in and out of the sockets ?

    #19 4 years ago

    Awesome concept, but i'm going to go with Comets for the time being

    #20 4 years ago

    Not sure if this link works. May have to cut and paste into your browser. Or if someone else knows how to paste the link here please be my guest. The title of the video on Youtube is " DIY Pinball LED's for less than 5 cents".
    I'm not saying this is for everyone. I'm retired and have more time than money (plus I enjoy the hobby)...and it only takes a couple minutes anyway to solder up one of these. I can sit and do a dozen bulbs in about half an hour. I enjoy the work. Are they pretty? Not really, but they are under the play field and you don't see them. You only see the effects, which are as good as any commercially available LED I've seen. Can you just purchase LED's and resistors and solder to the lamp socket wiring directly without the use of the old bulb base? Yes, that makes them more permanent. LED's and resistors cost about 2 cents each! For me it's fun to experiment to find the colors I like!

    11
    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from mcclad:

    I am too lazy and they are cheap enough, I would rather just buy them.

    Totally understand, but this is my hobby, I'm retired, and I enjoy it! Besides, like the fact I can make up 150 LED's for about the cost you spend to buy just 5. Isn't retirement great?!

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from jorro:

    Are they easy to get in and out of the sockets ?

    Yes, just push and twist. It's the same old #44 or #47 base.

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    You've got a job waiting for you at PHoF! Tim Arnold's been looking for you!
    This is awesome. I no longer feel like all the crap I do on my machines is a waste of time, thanks!
    But seriously, my mom spends hours knitting/crocheting (don't even know what it is) slippers to sell for charity, I could see a retiree leisurely doing this...
    I'm drawing the line on this one though... ha...

    Hey, thanks for the job offer at PHoF! But I just retired from my engineering career and bought 5 pinball machines that are keeping me busy...and I am totally enjoying working on them in my new free time.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pecos:

    Ha ha! Call me a Wacky Doodle then. I think this is a great idea and I would like to try it out. I've got thousands of old bayonet style lamps just sitting around doing nothing.

    Yeah, not worth the time for most people, including me, but part of the fun of pinball restoration for me is making my own parts.
    Wouldn't it be easier and a lot faster to solder the resistors to the lamp socket lugs? You would have to solder both LED leads, but that should be easy enough.
    If you had 6V LEDs, could you put these in an EM without the resistors? And if you were using 6V LEDs instead of 3V LEDs, couldn’t you use a 750 Ohm resistor on early SS pins? I have a bag of those.
    JethroP, thanks for sharing!

    Hey, if you want to get rid of a few hundred of those old bayonet style bulbs PM me. I'd be interested.

    You are asking about 6v LEDs? ...well, if you go shopping for just the bare LED component, you won't find 6V. The commercially available LED's made to plug or twist into your pinball game sockets are actually (usually) a 3V LED component(s) with a small resistor you don't see. The resistor is required to limit the voltage across the diode to 3V, because the game power is around 6V. In other words, if you are buying a commercially available LED for your game from a pinball parts supplier and they are called 6V, the actual LED component is most likely rated for 3V.

    -14
    #25 4 years ago

    i would bummed and/or pissed if i bought a machine and it turned out to be full of a bunch of home made hack bulbs.

    43
    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    what third world country do you live in that this would be worth your time?

    I live in the United States. I am a retired engineer. I have plenty of money to go out and buy all the LED's I could ever want from any pinball parts supplier anywhere in the world. I happen to enjoy being creative and solving problems. I have plenty of time and enjoy what I do. I just wanted to share my idea with others in the hobby. Some may find it helpful. I never expected anyone would insult me for sharing.

    #27 4 years ago

    Got some before and afters of a game done with these?

    -15
    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from JethroP:

    I live in the United States. I am a retired engineer. I have plenty of money to go out and buy all the LED's I could ever want from any pinball parts supplier anywhere in the world. I happen to enjoy being creative and solving problems. I have plenty of time and enjoy what I do. I just wanted to share my idea with others in the hobby. Some may find it helpful. I never expected anyone would insult me for sharing.

    i didn't insult you. i merely questioned the practical utility of making one's own LEDs.

    #29 4 years ago

    Fair enough OP - bit of background helps build a context. Thanks for sharing— if you have time on hand these could be methodical/therapeutical to build ..I could see that. Still young in my engineering career so more money than time but I can see the enjoyment of finding a cheap solution and saving $150 on a full game.

    #30 4 years ago

    This is a good alternative for some older games that have fitment issues. Didn’t some guy start a thread bashing Comet for not fitting in his pin and blowing up a bunch of stuff? And then he methodically measured all of the LEDs available? This is for him
    I appreciate the OP for showing some ingenuity and sharing it rather than trying to take old bulbs and flip them into the “perfect” LED and charging a premium.

    #31 4 years ago

    That's really interesting. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Got some before and afters of a game done with these?

    I'll take some stills and post them in the next few days. Meanwhile, there is video of the bulbs in the games at the end of my YouTube video. I'll tell you that I can't see a difference in my assembled builds vs the store bought ones. Not surprising, they use the same components!

    #33 4 years ago

    Time is money, how much to make me a thousand? I can supply’s the incandescent bulbs

    #34 4 years ago

    Wouldn't these flicker like mad on any game with strobed lamps?

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from JethroP:

    I'm retired and have more time than money

    Quoted from JethroP:

    I live in the United States. I am a retired engineer. I have plenty of money to go out and buy all the LED's I could ever want from any pinball parts supplier anywhere in the world.

    Hmmm?

    #36 4 years ago

    Good job! Just a question... the GI is VAC, LEDs are in DC... no flickering?

    #38 4 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    what third world country do you live in that this would be worth your time?

    I think he lives in Virginia.

    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from JethroP:

    Totally understand, but this is my hobby, I'm retired, and I enjoy it! Besides, like the fact I can make up 150 LED's for about the cost you spend to buy just 5. Isn't retirement great?!

    I can appreciate The ingenuity, and the work that you are willing to put into making them, but as for me I am LAZY. LOL. I can't give you my opinion on retirement because I am not quite there yet. Hopefully when I am there I will have the get up and go to work on my machines. Its cool that you are enjoying what you do, and you were sharing some LED info with the pinball community.

    #40 4 years ago

    Basically, this is what Tim Arnold was doing over ten years ago. He didn't even bother with the old bulbs. He jus soldered the LED's to the lamp sockets or wires. Added a bridge rectifier to make the AC into DC and put one resistor in series on his EM's.

    #41 4 years ago
    Quoted from Theonlylilo:

    Good job! Just a question... the GI is VAC, LEDs are in DC... no flickering?

    There is no flickering in the AC applications. There were some that flickered in specific places on the game which were solved with adding another resistor to the bulb (making two total resistors), and they're all encased in the hot glue. You can't tell one bulb different from the others...that is the no flicker bulb from the standard bulb. Next versions I will be using smaller resistors too, making the entire assembly smaller.

    #42 4 years ago

    Funny about the time wasting comments. Everything about pinball is a gigantic time waste. Constant trouble shooting, learning repair and restoration, finding games, trying to unload games. I totally enjoy it but it is a time killer from A-Z.

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Basically, this is what Tim Arnold was doing over ten years ago.

    That's cool. Is there a link where I can read up on that? Thanks.

    #44 4 years ago
    Quoted from JethroP:

    That's cool. Is there a link where I can read up on that? Thanks.

    He stopped doing it because pre assembled leds are so cheap in bulk now. Especially if you buy direct from china.

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from pindel:

    Funny about the time wasting comments. Everything about pinball is a gigantic time waste. Constant trouble shooting, learning repair and restoration, finding games, trying to unload games. I totally enjoy it but it is a time killer from A-Z.

    Hey...you understand! I just bought my first pinball machine a few months ago when I retired and now I have 5. Not a one of them worked when I bought them! Now they all work, but I am constantly working on them, finding one issue after another. Learning about them and fixing them. I love it. And I like saving money, thus the LED thing.

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from JethroP:

    There is no flickering in the AC applications.

    You might not notice it now, but there is certainly strobing unless you have added a bridge rectifier. The way you are assembling them, they are polarized, so they only light for half of the AC wave.

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from JethroP:

    Totally understand, but this is my hobby, I'm retired, and I enjoy it! Besides, like the fact I can make up 150 LED's for about the cost you spend to buy just 5. Isn't retirement great?!

    Let's safely assume you value your time at zero dollars per hour (which is fine, you enjoy this as a hobby in retirement). The problem here is that you are inferring a 30 ratio of the cost of commercial bulbs to one of yours. So if your bulbs cost 5 cents, as you say, a similar commercial bulb is $1.50. That's no where remotely near true. In fact, having watched your video using straight LEDs out of a harbor freight lamp, the parts you are using are comparable to 1 LED bulbs that are available at COMET, for example, at $29 per 100, or roughly a 6 ratio.

    I get it, and I'm not trying to dissuade you, but I LED games for customers all the time. The days of $200 or even $150 LED jobs are over (unless someone is overpaying for a premade "kit"). Even using the preferred SMDs over LEDs, I'm spending around $80 on an entire game (including backbox and GI), and if I need to use non-ghosting lamps in the inserts on certain titles, I'm barely over $100 in pure bulb costs.

    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from Mitch:

    He stopped doing it because pre assembled leds are so cheap in bulk now. Especially if you buy direct from china.

    Dang, too bad I wasn't into pinball when I was working. I did 9 trips to China over the past few years. Could have really stocked up! But I understand. I'm just into saving money on a few machines. If I restored or repaired games for a living I would be buying them commercially too. As someone else said, "time is money".

    #49 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballer22:

    Time is money, how much to make me a thousand? I can supply’s the incandescent bulbs

    I charge $250 per hour. You probably want to buy them from your current supplier!! Haha

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from JethroP:

    That's cool. Is there a link where I can read up on that? Thanks.

    No link. Tim is quite the recluse. Simply go to the Pinball Hall of Fame and find a machine open to observe it. I was watching him install this set up on machines I'm Different visits to both the original Hall and the current one.

    There are 110 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.

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