(Topic ID: 64167)

Metallica LE - GI flashing/strobing BADLY?


By bemmett

6 years ago



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  • 34 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by Dallas_Pin
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

Hey I wanted to check with other owners first, does your METLE have the GI flicker/strobe a ton throughout the game? Not like minor, it is intense, on/off repeatedly like 60 flashers going off and on. Mine flashes and strobes so bad while I'm playing it is almost hard to get through a game without a headache. I just wondered if this was normal or maybe I have a board issue or something? I was going to even try and get a short video, it just doesn't seem right to me at all.

#2 6 years ago

Doesn't sound right to me.

I get flicker only when the Sparky MB is starting and the ball somehow doesn't get held and is being bashed around the playfield.

I seem to see strobing on all other LED games I see, where others seem fine with them.

#3 6 years ago

Nope never saw that on my METLE ever...

#4 6 years ago

I didn't think so I am going to grab some quick video and try to post here for a few more comments to confirm I'm not crazy. It just didn't seem right to me.

#5 6 years ago

Ok if people can take a look, shot a quick video, you can see the flickering of the GI(it is 5 times worse in person). Tell me that isn't normal?

http://sdrv.ms/18UFl7b

#6 6 years ago

Def not normal , call stern

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

Ok if people can take a look, shot a quick video, you can see the flickering of the GI(it is 5 times worse in person). Tell me that isn't normal?
http://sdrv.ms/18UFl7b

It's 5x worse than that in person?!

Can you still see?

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

It's 5x worse than that in person?!

Can you still see?

Man I tell you it's bad. I don't think it was always this way cause I don't think I would be able to see anymore, it must have slowly gotten worse or just started a few weeks back, not sure to be honest. But ya I think the conclusion is, something is definitely wrong. Has anyone ever seen or heard of something like this, could it be a bad board or any thoughts on what would cause that?

Already put an e-mail into Stern, hopefully hear back soon.

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

Already put an e-mail into Stern, hopefully hear back soon.

Your distributer may be able to help as well. When I had a DMD problem with Tron, Stern had me go through the disto.

#10 6 years ago

Check connections on the large independent bridge rectifier in the BB mounted on its own heatsink. This is for the GI. I had a similar issue with AC/DC. One of the connectors was loose. I could wiggle conn and issue went away. Soldering to bridge solved the issue They use crimp connectors on the bridge.. JR

#11 6 years ago

Check connections on the large independent bridge rectifier in the BB mounted on its own heatsink. This is for the GI. I had a similar issue with AC/DC. One of the connectors was loose. I could wiggle conn and issue went away.

Stern offered similar advice and also to unplug and replug the data cable that goes from the CPU board to the GI driver board under the playfield. I did all and at least my early impressions is, ITS FIXED! It's amazing what can be done when I can see again, got my new high score 2 games in! I hope it continues to work and thanks for those with feedback.

20130925_194053.jpg

3 years later
#12 3 years ago

Thanks, I just had a similar problem on mine and the great advice here fixed it.

1 month later
#13 3 years ago

I've had a similar problem the last few weeks and have had t reseat the data cable every time. I might get a new one, but do I have to get a Stern one or will any generic data cable work?

4 months later
#14 2 years ago

I had this too on my AC/DC. Wasn’t the data cable but the wire connector to the board. Literally wiggled it and it fixed the issue, but I still reseated it just to make sure. Works great! Thank you for the tip!

1 month later
#15 2 years ago

Need some help -- I have this same problem (

), but it's intermittent. I can go a game or two with no issues, then in the middle of the third, it'll go nuts. Sometimes it strobes slowly, sometimes it's seizure inducing.

I went in the back box and pushed all of the cables back together that I could find, but it didn't seem to help and I don't know which one I should be focusing on.

Or could it be a connection under the playfield?

Pictures would be great as I'm still really new at this.

Thanks!

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from Fezmid:

Need some help -- I have this same problem ( » YouTube video ), but it's intermittent. I can go a game or two with no issues, then in the middle of the third, it'll go nuts. Sometimes it strobes slowly, sometimes it's seizure inducing.
I went in the back box and pushed all of the cables back together that I could find, but it didn't seem to help and I don't know which one I should be focusing on.
Or could it be a connection under the playfield?
Pictures would be great as I'm still really new at this.
Thanks!

Try reseating the 3 pin connector on the GI driver board. It’s located dead center of the under playfield. The plug to check is on the upper right corner of that board. I had a faulty connector there. Stern sent me a new harness for a permanent fix.

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from JB-7X:

Try reseating the 3 pin connector on the GI driver board. It’s located dead center of the under playfield. The plug to check is on the upper right corner of that board. I had a faulty connector there. Stern sent me a new harness for a permanent fix.

Thanks! I reseated everything on the board (just in case), and it seems like it's fixed. I'll keep an eye on it to see if it comes back, but I played 3 games and it was fine, so fingers crossed!

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from Fezmid:

Thanks! I reseated everything on the board (just in case), and it seems like it's fixed. I'll keep an eye on it to see if it comes back, but I played 3 games and it was fine, so fingers crossed!

No problem! It’s nice to actually have some small thing to contribute around these forums once an a while and that’s pretty much been the only issue I’ve had to tackle on my machine.

#19 2 years ago

Hi all, am having similar problems with my AC/DC premium. The flicker is so bad it's hard to play to be honest.

I've tried wobbling the lugs on the BR and this doesn't seem to have any affect.
I've tried unplugging and plugging back in all connectors and on the GI controller board.

What I've done for now is disable the under playfield GI and this has the effect of (a) stopping any flicker and (b) losing the hell section red GI underneath.

There are connectors for RGB extensions on the board (2 pin connectors) for the Red, Blue, White GI and the under table which are Red. They can be tested in the DIAG/ACDC/RGB Ext.

Note that if I disconnect any of the above, the flickering stops but obviously you lose the associated GI circuit. Of all these the under table GI is the least seen so I disconnected that (unplugged it).

All the GI circuits above work, and the flickering disappears if one of them is disconnected.

I've added a trough light to the game, this has no effect in the flicker whether connected or not.

So I believe I'm looking at a board fault or more likely a power/voltage problem as it seems to fail when all connected.

Could it be possible that the large capacitor on the board has failed 10000uf 16v?

#20 2 years ago

Does lowering GI brightness a ton fix it?

If so add an external power supply for your mods

1 year later
#21 1 year ago

Mine started doing it after the code update. I’ll have to try reseating that connector as well. I thought it was some new GI setting, and thought to myself, why would they do something that’s so incredibly annoying like this!

9 months later
#22 7 months ago

Was having the same issue with my MET. Simple re-set of the CAT 5 cable in the back box and under the play-field and FIXED!!!

4 months later
#23 70 days ago

Having the strobing problem myself now. Tried re-seating all the cables as mentioned above but no joy.

Bought a new CAT 5e cable but the plugs are different on the Stern cables (that would explain why the sheathing is removed on the end of the stern cables).

Strobing stops if I pull one of the GI connectors from the board on the bottom. I pulled the spot light GI so game plays normally but I want to get this working.

Unless someone has a better idea than buying another cable off stern I guess that is what I am going to do for now.

#24 69 days ago
Quoted from Sammy31:

Having the strobing problem myself now. Tried re-seating all the cables as mentioned above but no joy.
Bought a new CAT 5e cable but the plugs are different on the Stern cables (that would explain why the sheathing is removed on the end of the stern cables).
Strobing stops if I pull one of the GI connectors from the board on the bottom. I pulled the spot light GI so game plays normally but I want to get this working.
Unless someone has a better idea than buying another cable off stern I guess that is what I am going to do for now.

I'm in the same boat as you and I've tried just about everything at this point. I have:

Replaced the 3-pin connector that plugs into the top right of the GI board
Replaced the male header pins for the 3-pin connector on the GI board
Replaced all four 2-pin connectors that plug into the GI board (not the header pins though)
Replaced both connectors in the backbox that connect the bridge rectifier to the GI board
Replaced the bridge rectifier
Unplugged all lighting mods
Turned the GI brightness down

The only thing I haven't done is replace the data cable. I'm going to email Stern to see if I can get a replacement, unless someone knows where to find this data cable? Short of that, I may have to replace the GI board to see if that's the issue.

Any other ideas out there?

#25 69 days ago
Quoted from dgposter:

Replaced the bridge rectifier
Unplugged all lighting mods

The cap on the main node board would be highly suspect to me.
I forget what's on Star Trek; but IIRC it's a single 10000ufd cap...
Is the data cable just a CAT6 ethernet cable?

Quoted from Sammy31:

Bought a new CAT 5e cable but the plugs are different on the Stern cables (that would explain why the sheathing is removed on the end of the stern cables).

Check for alternative CAT networking topologies. I know there are at least two in common use.
It might also be configured for "?RS485?" differential signal transmission.
If you can see the color of the strands of wire... should be easy enough to re-crimp a new connector.

#26 69 days ago
Quoted from Zitt:

The cap on the main node board would be highly suspect to me.
I forget what's on Star Trek; but IIRC it's a single 10000ufd cap...
Is the data cable just a CAT6 ethernet cable?

Check for alternative CAT networking topologies. I know there are at least two in common use.
It might also be configured for "?RS485?" differential signal transmission.
If you can see the color of the strands of wire... should be easy enough to re-crimp a new connector.

Thanks for the reply.

It's a Cat5e cable with what looks to be an RJ12(?) plug. As @Sammi31 mentioned above, the plugs are different (smaller) than on regular ethernet cables. Seems it would be be easy to reproduce with a couple parts and a crimper from Amazon. I'll order the stuff today and let you guys know if this solves it!

MetDataCable (resized).jpgMetDataCable1 (resized).jpgMetDataCable2 (resized).jpg
#27 69 days ago

That's an RJ-11 plug... pretty common.

I've always found the GI flickering issue is caused by the power connector to the main GI board - this connector is IDC and doesn't seem to deliver quite enough power to drive all the GI, especially if you've increased brightness. Reseating the connector fixes it for a bit but problem eventually returns. Likely just need to replace with a trifurcon connector for permanent fix

#28 69 days ago
Quoted from metallik:

That's an RJ-11 plug... pretty common.

Unsure that's a RJ11... but I never did understand that terminology so you may be right.
Basically, its the same family of connectors as a Plain Old Telephone and Ethernet style connector... where as the POT connector is a 4pin and the Ethernet is an 8pin.
Stern is using a 6pin apparently.

It's unclear from the photos; but I'm guessing the stern cable uses 3 bundles of 2 twisted pairs... actually; they are using CAT5e ... so it's 4 pairs of 2... only using Green, Blue, Orange bundles. Looks like the brown pair is cut off at the sleeving/jacket. I'm about 90% sure to the correct isle of Lowes would yield a X#foot length of Cat5E and and "rj" crimper/connector set... with a variety of connectors including the 6pin connector ... probably for under $15.

I would tend to agree with metallik.... it's probably not the cable; unless stern had a crimp quality problem. I'd look at the connector he suggests... maybe wiggling both the RJ-11 and the power cable separately to see if it margins the LED flicker problem. i'd be more inclined to believe there is a bad solder joint on the "RJ" plug on the board rather than a bad crimped connector.

#29 68 days ago
Quoted from dgposter:

I'm in the same boat as you and I've tried just about everything at this point. I have:
Replaced the 3-pin connector that plugs into the top right of the GI board
Replaced the male header pins for the 3-pin connector on the GI board
Replaced all four 2-pin connectors that plug into the GI board (not the header pins though)
Replaced both connectors in the backbox that connect the bridge rectifier to the GI board
Replaced the bridge rectifier
Unplugged all lighting mods
Turned the GI brightness down
The only thing I haven't done is replace the data cable. I'm going to email Stern to see if I can get a replacement, unless someone knows where to find this data cable? Short of that, I may have to replace the GI board to see if that's the issue.
Any other ideas out there?

After pulling out what's left of my hair, I have finally solved my strobing issue! I realized that my AC/DC BIBLE uses the same GI board as Metallica. The only difference is that AC/DC had a Rev. D version and Metallica had a Rev. C version. The board from AC/DC has fixed the problem! I've ordered a new one from Pinballlife and will have both games up and running soon.

In my case, it looks like this was not a data cable issue at all, but more likely a bad cable connector on the board or a bad capacitor like Zitt mentioned above.

Thanks for the help guys!

@Sammi31 I see you have an AC/DC in your collection, so you can try the same thing to help narrow down the issue. Let us know!

#30 68 days ago
Quoted from dgposter:

After pulling out what's left of my hair, I have finally solved my strobing issue! I realized that my AC/DC BIBLE uses the same GI board as Metallica. The only difference is that AC/DC had a Rev. D version and Metallica had a Rev. C version. The board from AC/DC has fixed the problem! I've ordered a new one from Pinballlife and will have both games up and running soon.

Just be aware... swapping the boards meant you re-plugged the power connector, which has always fixed the strobing for me (temporarily). The board version may have nothing to do with it working right now. Let us know if this is a long-term fix.

#31 62 days ago

Had this issue pop recently myself, I bought NIB pre
reseated connectors hasn't returned yet...

3 weeks later
#32 36 days ago
Quoted from dgposter:

After pulling out what's left of my hair, I have finally solved my strobing issue! I realized that my AC/DC BIBLE uses the same GI board as Metallica. The only difference is that AC/DC had a Rev. D version and Metallica had a Rev. C version. The board from AC/DC has fixed the problem! I've ordered a new one from Pinballlife and will have both games up and running soon.
In my case, it looks like this was not a data cable issue at all, but more likely a bad cable connector on the board or a bad capacitor like Zitt mentioned above.
Thanks for the help guys!
@Sammi31 I see you have an AC/DC in your collection, so you can try the same thing to help narrow down the issue. Let us know!

Thanks I will try that!
Because I tried everything else including a new cable and pulling most of the bulbs looking for a short...

#33 29 days ago

Swapped the boards and still have the strobing

So it's not the CAT cable and it's not the small GI board under the playfield... I guess I will have to check all the bulbs again for a short that I may have missed the first time round.

BTW... the strobing usually stops when I pull the white GI connector... so I am assuming it is one of those bulbs unless someone knows any better...

3 weeks later
#34 2 days ago
Quoted from Sammy31:

I guess I will have to check all the bulbs again for

Any update? You pull the bulbs?

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