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(Topic ID: 275900)

Light sockets


By popperette

62 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 31 days ago by EMsInKC
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 62 days ago

    Hello,

    I've been working on an early 1960's United Cypress bowling machine and I am having issues with the light sockets. I cleaned the insides of the sockets and removed any corrosion that would accumulate over the years and I ohmed out the bulbs. I also wire wheeled some of the bulb because of corrosion. The lights do light up in every socket but the lights will dim or not light up after a few games have been played in random sockets. Especially the underside lights for Flash. If you move the bulbs, they will come back on. The bulbs seem to have enough spring tension and should work. Just wondering if there are any tricks to get the bulbs to stay on.

    I remember about ten years ago I had the same issue with a 1960 United Falcon bowler and what I did was to slightly squeeze the sockets so the lightbulb would be touching the sides of the socket instead of relying on the little side lightbulb tabs that normally make the contact with the sockets. This worked but I was wondering if there was a better solution than deforming the sockets.

    Thanks,

    Larry.

    #2 62 days ago

    I have had some good results after spritzing in some WD-40 and letting it dry.

    #5 62 days ago

    Replace them and be done with it, or am I missing something?

    John

    #6 62 days ago

    Way over 100 lights. Too many to replace.

    #7 62 days ago
    Quoted from popperette:

    Way over 100 lights. Too many to replace.

    Typical early ss Bally games are over 50 so it's not that big of a deal really. Just think, once it's done it's done and you never have to mess with it again. Never understood why people would not replace them and would rather just keep messing with them trying to get them to stay on. Too each his own I guess.

    John

    #8 62 days ago

    no matter what you do if you don't get all the corrosion off the center spring post on the back side of the light you will be messing with them for a long time.
    the only other way around it is to solder the wire directly to the center post and that's kinda a frowned upon practice unless its a player machine and your really good at soldering and just want the lights and don't care about the semantics of the situation

    #9 62 days ago
    Quoted from popperette:

    Way over 100 lights. Too many to replace.

    There's no shortcuts. You are going to have bulbs going on and off until you replace the sockets.

    #10 62 days ago

    Solder it to the nipple/tit should clear up a lot of them...hopefully

    #11 62 days ago
    Quoted from popperette:

    Way over 100 lights. Too many to replace.

    Two hours of work, maybe three if your a slow solder.

    #12 62 days ago

    Could try soaking them in vinegar for a day; that should remove any corrosion... I'm like 80% sure.

    #13 62 days ago
    Quoted from Dayhuff:

    Just think, once it's done it's done and you never have to mess with it again.

    Make the time & money investment, he's right. Don't mess with crap light sockets. PBR sells them and yes you might have $100+ in new sockets but for the grief factor and the investment, down the road it's worth more. I never swap a PF (early Bally) without replacing them all.

    #14 62 days ago

    And remember, if you don't buy any light sockets, the manufacturers will discontinue them due to low demand.

    #15 62 days ago

    It seems that changing them would be the way to go. I think there was 150 bulbs.

    I’m curious what goes wrong with the sockets. Is it corrosion or do the sockets loosen up somehow and you lose continuity.

    These sockets have the cut out “V” section in the bottom of the socket. The solder tip off the bulb makes contact there. The “V” acts like a spring and pushes the side tips of the bulb into the side slots of the socket. It looks and feels like the bulb and socket are making Contact and should light up. Any idea on what causes these sockets to go bad? I can’t see them wearing out since there are no moving parts?

    #16 62 days ago
    Quoted from popperette:

    It seems that changing them would be the way to go. I think there was 150 bulbs.
    I’m curious what goes wrong with the sockets. Is it corrosion or do the sockets loosen up somehow and you lose continuity.
    These sockets have the cut out “V” section in the bottom of the socket. The solder tip off the bulb makes contact there. The “V” acts like a spring and pushes the side tips of the bulb into the side slots of the socket. It looks and feels like the bulb and socket are making Contact and should light up. Any idea on what causes these sockets to go bad? I can’t see them wearing out since there are no moving parts?

    The plating has done its job
    many metal parts in games have been plated (usually zinc), the plating protects the stronger metal underneath, but eventually the plating oxidizes and the base metal goes rusty

    #17 62 days ago

    As pete says, whether it's the plating or the base metal, ultimately, it oxidizes. Oxygen from the air combines with the metal, creating an oxidation layer which is typically very hard, and very non-conductive. Chemical treatments or files/wire brushes can remove the oxidation layer, but depending on the base metal, the oxidation layer may quickly form again after exposing fresh metal. Like I mentioned above, a vinegar bath may be a quick (potentially temporary) fix. There's actually a solution called 'liquid tin', which is typically used to give copper on PCBs a tin plating, which miiight work on lamp sockets (I have not tried it myself). Tin has a decent resistance to corrosion so I'd give that stuff a 50/50 chance of working.

    #18 62 days ago

    Surely theres nothing worse than a lamp or lamps flickering or just dead. Take the plunge and replace the lot. Demand equals supply equals demand...

    #19 62 days ago

    OK thanks for all your input.

    #20 62 days ago

    I agree that replacing them guarantees nearly 100% success.
    Having said that, here are the alternatives that have worked for me in cases where I didn’t replace the socket.

    If the light is out, and come on when the barrel is moved, I use a soldering gun to solder from the bracket to the barrel. Lots of heat makes quick work of this.

    If the light comes on when a small screwdriver is used to bridge the solder tab to the tip, I will apply CLR to the plunger, inside and out. That covers the oxidation case.

    After that, I replace.

    Dave

    #21 62 days ago

    Another vote for replace. It’s worth the time, money and effort. Bright and tight!

    #22 61 days ago

    Thanks Dave. I will try those ideas. This is for a game that I may not keep. I already have a 13' United Falcon in my basement. The Cypress is 16'. I thought it was 13' when I bought it. With all my other arcade/vending, I believe I can only keep one. I already have more $$ and time into the game than I can get out of it if I had to sell it. It was my dream game, but I just don't like the way the 16' game plays with Flash and Line up. May look for a new early sixties game. Tropics would be my next dream come true. That would match my Embassy shuffle. I could sell the Falcon to make room for that, but the Cypress is just too much additional work and too long. I do like the extra length for all the other five games. I still have to strip the wood and make a wood piece for the lower marquee to even make it presentable to sell.

    Thanks again everyone for your advice.

    4 weeks later
    #23 31 days ago

    Is there a tutorial on how to replace lamp sockets? I’m not so good at working on pins and wanna do this on my cheetah that has a bunch of corroded lamp sockets

    #24 31 days ago
    Quoted from genex:

    Is there a tutorial on how to replace lamp sockets? I’m not so good at working on pins and wanna do this on my cheetah that has a bunch of corroded lamp sockets

    There really isn't much to it. The old socket will have the power bus braid soldered to the lamp base by the screw, and the ground colored wire connected to the socket tab. Unsolder/unscrew the power, unsolder the ground, put in new socket and solder them in again. Honestly sometimes I just screw the power braid under the soxket and don't solder
    Edit: thats assuming we're talking about Stern Cheetah...just noticed this is the EM thread

    #25 31 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    thats assuming we're talking about Stern Cheetah...just noticed this is the EM thread

    Oops yes, thanks for this! I just searched Pinside for lamp socket replacement and jumped into this thread without reading the subject of it, doh!

    #26 31 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    There really isn't much to it. The old socket will have the power bus braid soldered to the lamp base by the screw, and the ground colored wire connected to the socket tab. Unsolder/unscrew the power, unsolder the ground, put in new socket and solder them in again. Honestly sometimes I just screw the power braid under the soxket and don't solder
    Edit: thats assuming we're talking about Stern Cheetah...just noticed this is the EM thread

    The braid is ground and the color wire is power.

    #27 31 days ago
    Quoted from EMsInKC:

    The braid is ground and the color wire is power.

    That is incorrect
    Edit: remember he's talking SS

    #28 31 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    That is incorrect
    Edit: remember he's talking SS

    Oops. Still can't figure why SS people can't figure this is not an SS forum.

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