(Topic ID: 274252)

Lethal Weapon 3 display issues

By Grebac

12 months ago

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  • 19 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by Grebac
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 12 months ago

Hey everyone. Brand new to this forum and super excited to see if I can get some help. I’ve owned my LW3 pinball for 10+ years without a problem. Then the display stopped working. The machines works great otherwise but no display. I had a local technician look at the machine who diagnosed this as a burned out display. I purchased and installed a new display but still didn’t work. I then installed a new DMD controller board. Still doesn’t work. However when you pull the plug most of the way out with the machine on the full display lights up. So pretty sure this isn’t a display or controller. I then replaced the 14 pin ribbon cable between the control board and the display. Still no display. So I’m at my wits end. I am not an electrician nor have I ever restored a pinball machine, but I am good with my hands and love puzzles. My local tech guy kinda peaced-out. So I’m trying to figure this out and did some research on the web and noticed many people talking about the power supply. I was poking around and noticed that it appears I have a burned out connector to CN1 of the power supply (see photos). My question is, could this be the reason my display doesn’t work? And if so, do I need to replace the power supply and connector? Finally, how difficult is this, given my experience. I will say that I replaced the DMD controller board and work with small plastic models, so hopeful with some direction I can figure this out. Guess I’m going to need to buy a soldering gun? Any help would be appreciated!!

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#2 12 months ago

Yes I would definitely suspect that connector, but first you need to investigate why it burned... do you see any blown fuses?

#3 12 months ago

Replace connector and board pins and check high voltage output to display.

#4 12 months ago

Thanks so much for your reply. Can you explain this as if I’m a dummy. How would I know if there were any blown fuses? Do I need to purchase a voltage meter tool? Also, how would i get instruction on how to replace the connector and board pins? Finally, how would i check high voltage output? Sorry but I’m learning electrical 101 on the fly. Much appreciated!

#5 12 months ago

No problem, I would start here to sort of get the lay of the land for the machine and terminology.


Next yes I would purchase a multimeter as it will help you tremendously pinpoint what is going on.

Honestly, I wouldn't use that local pin tech again if I were you. They should have found that burned connector as part of their investigation. Everything starts with power and until you know what you are working with, there is no point proclaiming a display is dead, a board is dead etc. Good thing is you have some new parts, bad thing is you may not have needed them.

If you don't feel comfortable desoldering/resoldering the pins on the power board, you can buy a new one and swap them. However you will need to recrimp at the very least that one pin in that connector, so you might want to read up on how to do that on PinWiki as well.

We will get you through this, don't stress.

#6 12 months ago

Thanks again. Very cool! I’m excited to try and fix this myself. I’m expecting to have to buy a new power supply so no soldering issues. The reason I reached out before doing this myself was the one burned out connector, which now you told me I need to recrimp the one pin. How hard could that be? I’ll read up and get the supplies and update you when shortly. Thanks again!

#7 12 months ago

Come check out the owners thread


There is an update to the game code being worked on.

1 week later
#8 11 months ago

Thanks everyone for your support. So I gathered up all the supplies. I’m now the proud owner of a soldering set, multimeter, and wire crimper. I checked all the fuses for continuity. All fuses are good. I purchased a new CN1 connector set and watch a bunch of videos. I’m preparing to remove all the connectors and mark their locations. I will then remove the power supply, unsolder the burned out CN1 connector and solder in a new connector. As for the connector plug, I’m going to have to figure out how to remove the old plug and crimped wires, or just cut them. Obviously I’ll mark their location first. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to handle the connector plug replacement considering the wires are still attached to the game? I thought about fishing the wires and seeing if I could remove from the game. But figured I would ask the community first. Thanks again. I’m excited to learn how to fix my game and gain as much knowledge as possible.

#9 11 months ago

If you have a new CN1 connector housing, just cut each wire one at a time as you crimp one and push it into the housing.

There is no reason for removing the whole wire harness out of the game to crimp one new connector.

#10 11 months ago

Thanks Pinballmaniac40. Really good advice!

4 months later
#11 7 months ago

Hey everyone. Long time since I posted here. Wanted to fix the game this summer but got busy and then Covid. Anyway, I’ve been slowly working on this and finally hit a wall today. Hoping someone here can help. From my post above you can see I originally had a dot matrix display issue which was replaced by a local pinball guy. When that didn’t work i self diagnosed that the machine had a CN1 connection that needed to be replaced to the power supply. I put pics of that above. I had no experience soldering or crimping wires. Over a period of time I learned how to do this. I desoldered the old CN1 on the power supply board and resoldered a new CN1. I also cut and crimped the wires on the connector housing. Did them 1 at a time and put them in the same place on the new connector. Reinstalled everything and the game powered on but no sound, music, display or game play. Only lights. I knew there was a chance of this as the back of the original power supply wasn’t in good shape when i was soldering. So I decided to purchase a new power supply. I installed the new Rottendog power supply today, and I’m back to my original issue only. So I have sound, lights, music, and game play, but no display. When i turn on the machine i see the display flicker for a moment and same when i turn it off. Otherwise no display during game play. I’m stumped because I had the display replaced in the beginning of this project. When that new display didn’t work, that’s when I found the burned out CN1 connector. Which brings me full circle. So clearly something else is wrong that created my original display from working, and the new display from working. It can’t be the power supply any longer as this is new. Can anyone help me diagnose this?? Seems like I’m very close but stuck on what would be keeping the display from powering on. All connections appear correct. Let me know if I should upload some pics. Thanks again!

#12 7 months ago

Time to measure all the voltages on the power connector at the DMD. -112vdc, -100vdc, 5vdc, 12vdc, 62vdc. Please report the voltages you measure.

Also, good to post pictures of the MPU with the ribbon cable connected and with the speaker panel laying forward so we can see everything connected there as well.

#13 7 months ago

Pinballmaniac40 - Thanks for the reply. Really sorry but I’m a total novice trying to understand a new language. I learned so much over the last 4 months on soldering, crimping, pinning, etc.. I have a multimeter but don’t know where to find the power connector at the dmd and how to test the voltages. I used the multimeter once to check fuses without issues, but never tested voltages or know how to determine those figures you provided.

I think these pics are correct of the MPU but included a few others just in case.

Couple minor notes - Noticed some minor burning on CN8 on the power supply. See pic 2. Don’t think this is an issue. Also, the new Rottendog power supply appear to have a pin on CN5 with nothing to connect from. See pic 3. The connect has 6 connectors which go on the 6 pins. The extra doesn’t appear to be the issue although I noticed that CN5 appears to come directly from the dmd.

Sorry I know I’m an electrical dummy but trying to learn. Thanks again.

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#14 7 months ago

Ok so I understand that vdc is volts dc. And I understand on my multimeter how to plug in the leads and I have the following dial selections 200m, 2000m, 20, 200, and 500. Not sure which one in should choose on the multimeter? And once that has been determined, where do I find the power connector on the dmd and how would I test and report the volts. Thanks again.

#15 7 months ago

Set it for 200V DC. It will read the voltage correctly up to 200v.

Put the black meter lead on the ground braid wire in the bottom of the backbox and then use the red lead to touch each pin on the power connector on the DMD.
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#17 7 months ago

Thanks again. Will do. One last question, I assume the game should be powered on when testing the volts?

#18 7 months ago

Testing voltage, the game must be on. Be careful not to touch 2 pins at the same time or you will short something out.

When you are testing for ohms (resistance) or continuity, this will be with power off.

#19 7 months ago

Thanks Pinballmaniac40. Will do. Just found out today that my son was playing the game, before i realized the dead dmd display, without my knowledge and said he saw the display start to gas out. I wasn’t aware of this issue. Wonder if the dying display caused another issue? With a new power supply and DMD display, I think we finally have it narrowed down. Back here soon.

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