(Topic ID: 292826)

Molex connector supplier


By LORDDREK

10 days ago

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  • 26 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by barakandl
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #1 10 days ago

    I just picked up a Mata Hari and it has been losing power in the back board. It played good for a bit but then problems started to occur. Turn on it takes a moment then shows high score cycles a few times then nothing on the back display. Turn off wait a few then back on start to play a game all is well then the scores go blank nothing on the playfield works but the flippers and GI. Did this a bunch of times.

    I wiggled all 9 connectors that were removed for transport slightly unseating and reseating then I managed to get 20 games in without issue. I would really like to replace all the connectors to the boards as they are very hard to manipulate and don’t instill much confidence with a solid connection.

    So I scour Pinside for the awesome info it contains and find a picture of this:

    1EF888A7-E34B-4078-9699-D5752CB05619.jpeg

    Where can I find those nice new white connectors? I have briefly looked at GPE and plan to do an order but did not see a selection of connector housings. Did I miss them or is there another supplier to use for that?

    I look forward to crimping myself silly but I just want to make sure I have the best materials for the project. Thanks for any replies!

    #2 10 days ago
    Quoted from LORDDREK:

    I just picked up a Mata Hari and it has been losing power in the back board. It played good for a bit but then problems started to occur. Turn on it takes a moment then shows high score cycles a few times then nothing on the back display. Turn off wait a few then back on start to play a game all is well then the scores go blank nothing on the playfield works but the flippers and GI. Did this a bunch of times.
    I wiggled all 9 connectors that were removed for transport slightly unseating and reseating then I managed to get 20 games in without issue. I would really like to replace all the connectors to the boards as they are very hard to manipulate and don’t instill much confidence with a solid connection.
    So I scour Pinside for the awesome info it contains and find a picture of this:
    [quoted image]
    Where can I find those nice new white connectors? I have briefly looked at GPE and plan to do an order but did not see a selection of connector housings. Did I miss them or is there another supplier to use for that?
    I look forward to crimping myself silly but I just want to make sure I have the best materials for the project. Thanks for any replies!

    https://www.pinballlife.com/molex-crimp-stuff-connectors-and-parts.html

    #4 10 days ago

    GPE is the way to go for connectors.

    I would recommend a ratcheting crimper if you plan on doing all the connectors. Also, take a look at replacing or reflowing the solder on the board headers.

    #5 10 days ago

    That is great! Thank you all for the info and links.

    #6 10 days ago
    Quoted from LORDDREK:

    I just picked up a Mata Hari and it has been losing power in the back board. It played good for a bit but then problems started to occur. Turn on it takes a moment then shows high score cycles a few times then nothing on the back display. Turn off wait a few then back on start to play a game all is well then the scores go blank nothing on the playfield works but the flippers and GI. Did this a bunch of times.
    I wiggled all 9 connectors that were removed for transport slightly unseating and reseating then I managed to get 20 games in without issue. I would really like to replace all the connectors to the boards as they are very hard to manipulate and don’t instill much confidence with a solid connection.
    So I scour Pinside for the awesome info it contains and find a picture of this:
    [quoted image]
    Where can I find those nice new white connectors? I have briefly looked at GPE and plan to do an order but did not see a selection of connector housings. Did I miss them or is there another supplier to use for that?
    I look forward to crimping myself silly but I just want to make sure I have the best materials for the project. Thanks for any replies!

    GPE, contact Ed if you aren't sure what you need, he's a huge help. Hard to tell in your pic, but those look like .156 connectors.
    https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/categories.asp?cat=37

    #7 10 days ago

    I always buy my connector parts from Great Plains Electronics.

    For female connectors: Make sure to get keying pins for 0.156" housings, 0.156" housings for the new connectors, and be sure to get the 0.156" trifurcon connector pins for both larger and smaller gauge wiring. (They have 18-20ga for larger wiring, and 22-26ga for thinner wires)

    All the parts I've mentioned should be available in this section of their website: https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/products.asp?cat=86

    Good luck!

    #8 10 days ago

    I'd also suggest getting a pair of automatic wire strippers. It makes it so much easier to cut off the perfect amount of shielding and not damage the wires underneath. It's a great tool when working in the back box or working on displays and there's a ton of wires going into the connectors.

    41OVicAcQwL._AC_SY580_ (resized).jpg
    #9 10 days ago
    Quoted from frunch:

    For female connectors: Make sure to get keying pins for 0.156" housings, 0.156" housings for the new connectors, and be sure to get the 0.156" trifurcon connector pins for both larger and smaller gauge wiring. (They have 18-20ga for larger wiring, and 22-26ga for thinner wires)

    Get regular non-trifurcon .156's also, they're not really needed everywhere, and the 20 pin display connectors are REALLY hard to pull off when they are all trifurcons. Also you can't use trifurcons on edge connectors if you do gottlieb or williams games.

    #10 9 days ago

    Big Daddy, https://www.bigdaddy-enterprises.com/ Has complete board by board kits with everything you need including the keys.
    Not properly replacing the connector key could be death to a game. When replacing connectors, especially on a power supply, remember to double and triple check the wire positions as you move them to the new connector. Being off by a pin and key is a potentially game fatal exercise.
    My tip is to not replace all the crimps unless they are burned. If there are signs of burning, and there often are, it's best to replace the pin headers too.
    While your at it, is the original NiCad battery still in place? If so remove it and order an NVRAM replacement.

    #11 9 days ago
    Quoted from BigAl56:

    Big Daddy, https://www.bigdaddy-enterprises.com/ Has complete board by board kits with everything you need including the keys.
    Not properly replacing the connector key could be death to a game. When replacing connectors, especially on a power supply, remember to double and triple check the wire positions as you move them to the new connector. Being off by a pin and key is a potentially game fatal exercise.
    My tip is to not replace all the crimps unless they are burned. If there are signs of burning, and there often are, it's best to replace the pin headers too.
    While your at it, is the original NiCad battery still in place? If so remove it and order an NVRAM replacement.

    Regarding connector keys...it was over 15 years ago, but still remember working on a Skateball that was new to me and I had removed one of the connectors on the driver board. Wasn't paying enough attention and after I replaced it, powered up the game and had problems. Someone along the way had repinned the connector, looked like with a pair of vise grips, and didn't replace the connector key. Ouch, lesson learned that day to inspect connectors for keys.

    As far as not replacing crimps, aren't you concerned about the number of connector cycles that a given connector may have already gone through? Especially on the rectifier board. You are already replacing crimps, tools available, the parts are cheap. A typical original connector housing on the rectifier board will show some discoloration, usually will have burn marks. All the wires have to be moved to the new connector housing anyway. Just food for thought.

    #12 9 days ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    Get regular non-trifurcon .156's also, they're not really needed everywhere, and the 20 pin display connectors are REALLY hard to pull off when they are all trifurcons. Also you can't use trifurcons on edge connectors if you do gottlieb or williams games.

    That's good info. I got so used to just buying those pins and i hadn't really considered any of the stuff you mentioned.

    #13 9 days ago

    TTI Inc is an authorized Molex distributor and usually has the best prices in the part numbers I shop. Also check out Arrow as they are known to markdown items low in stock to the price point of what you pay for massive bulk qty count. They have good prices too in general.

    https://www.tti.com/content/ttiinc/en/apps/part-detail.html?mfrShortname=MOL&partsNumber=08-52-0113&customerPartNumber=&minQty=200&customerId=

    #14 9 days ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    Get regular non-trifurcon .156's also, they're not really needed everywhere, and the 20 pin display connectors are REALLY hard to pull off when they are all trifurcons. Also you can't use trifurcons on edge connectors if you do gottlieb or williams games.

    just did my bally kiss displays with all trifurcons so we'll see how bad :-p the old plugs were a pita to get off with corrosion etc too. alway can use a small pry tool to work the connector.

    I go GPE, big daddy and generic stuff pbl, but some of the pins and plugs are getting hard to find. GPE says molex is dropping some series etc.

    With bally/sterns, I just like repinning everything to make sure that isn't the issue, same with gottlieb sys1's......

    #15 9 days ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    TTI Inc is an authorized Molex distributor

    tti are great but please spare a thought for the fact this is where all the small resellers who support pinball get their stock from. Undermining the people who do all the work to gather the parts you need in order to save a buck is just greedy.

    Please support the small businesses who support pinball. Leave tti to their wholesale game

    #16 9 days ago
    Quoted from wiredoug:

    tti are great but please spare a thought for the fact this is where all the small resellers who support pinball get their stock from. Undermining the people who do all the work to gather the parts you need in order to save a buck is just greedy.
    Please support the small businesses who support pinball. Leave tti to their wholesale game

    OP asked for Molex distributor. I let him know what I think is the best one and get called greedy over it. TTI is a big secret? Whatever, buy from whoever you want. sorry I posted.

    #17 9 days ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    OP asked for Molex distributor. I let him know what I think is the best one and get called greedy over it. TTI is a big secret? Whatever, buy from whoever you want. sorry I posted.

    Posting any advice here is often a mistake. Someone always has a problem

    #18 9 days ago
    Quoted from BigAl56:

    Big Daddy, https://www.bigdaddy-enterprises.com/ Has complete board by board kits with everything you need including the keys.
    Not properly replacing the connector key could be death to a game. When replacing connectors, especially on a power supply, remember to double and triple check the wire positions as you move them to the new connector. Being off by a pin and key is a potentially game fatal exercise.

    1) Always insert the location key first.

    2) Always do one wire at a time. Cut one off, strip, crimp, insert into new connector, move onto next.

    3) Once you are done with a single connector, compare color codes to wires in old connector to make sure all is well before moving on.

    Ed at GPE or Todd at Big Daddy are fine vendors with Todd's premade packages being a touch more convenient if you are unfamiliar with what you need in total.

    I use both extensively.

    255f38396f4a1630160fe8027ee4dd0279927eb3 (resized).jpg

    #19 8 days ago

    I fully support the little guy. Thanks for all the info!

    #20 2 days ago
    Quoted from BrianBannon:

    As far as not replacing crimps, aren't you concerned about the number of connector cycles that a given connector may have already gone through? Especially on the rectifier board.

    I feel the risk reward of replacing crimps just for the sake of it is usually not justified. If the game is operating nominally why look to create a problem. Properly crimping is an art and skill that one gets over hundreds of crimps. I just finished rebuilding the power supply crimps on a 45 year old Power Play. After replacing the burned crimps and connector shells the remaining original tinned crimps work perfectly. Not sure how many install remove cycles they've been through, but the original Molex spec we worked off of was in excess of 1000 and I doubt any original game has been close to that number.

    IDC style connectors and shells are another story. Absolutely leave them alone unless you are forced to replace them.

    #21 2 days ago
    Quoted from BigAl56:

    I feel the risk reward of replacing crimps just for the sake of it is usually not justified. If the game is operating nominally why look to create a problem. Properly crimping is an art and skill that one gets over hundreds of crimps. I just finished rebuilding the power supply crimps on a 45 year old Power Play. After replacing the burned crimps and connector shells the remaining original tinned crimps work perfectly. Not sure how many install remove cycles they've been through, but the original Molex spec we worked off of was in excess of 1000 and I doubt any original game has been close to that number.
    IDC style connectors and shells are another story. Absolutely leave them alone unless you are forced to replace them.

    Interesting perspective. I certainly agree that crimping is a skill. I am sure I have well over 1000 crimps under my belt, and my last hundred are much better quality than my first hundred, even the tools I am using today are better than the ones I used 20 years ago with my first crimp. I always thought, and I am sure to have read it on RGP years ago, that the install remove cycle for tin plated connectors was much lower, say closer to 25 install remove cycles? I normally see little to no need to repin display connectors unless there is some sort of problem. Some of them have never been unmated and have a very tight connection.

    As far as IDC goes, I have had as many problems with those connectors on old Bally as any other connector. Just luck of the draw I guess. Whenever the shells are missing, someone has usually been up to no good. Of course, there is that one IDC connector on the auxiliary lamp board that is always toast.

    #22 2 days ago
    Quoted from BigAl56:

    I feel the risk reward of replacing crimps just for the sake of it is usually not justified. If the game is operating nominally why look to create a problem. Properly crimping is an art and skill that one gets over hundreds of crimps. I just finished rebuilding the power supply crimps on a 45 year old Power Play. After replacing the burned crimps and connector shells the remaining original tinned crimps work perfectly. Not sure how many install remove cycles they've been through, but the original Molex spec we worked off of was in excess of 1000 and I doubt any original game has been close to that number.
    IDC style connectors and shells are another story. Absolutely leave them alone unless you are forced to replace them.

    I think one issue is when games are stored in non temp controlled spaces or just humid, where the metal kind of oxidizes/corrodes and then the metal pins go to heck. I've now had classic stern, classic bally and sys1 gottliebs that all were like this and the pins were just ugh, and they don't use tri pins so you really are hoping they make a connection.

    I guess with old 80's games, my thought was, repin all connectors and not deal with those random/ghost bugs, or at least not have to troubleshoot connector/pins.

    #23 1 day ago

    .... Not sure how many install remove cycles they've been through, but the original Molex spec we worked off of was in excess of 1000 and I doubt any original game has been close to that number.

    Durability specs for all Molex 01" and 0.156" KK contacts is clearly stated at 25 cycles. After 25 cycles, the mating resistance begins to go upward exponentially. This covered both IDC and discrete crimp contacts -- the pin mating characteristics were the same for both.

    Durability (resized).jpg
    #24 1 day ago

    If you do lots of 0.156" contacts - watch ebay for a Molex 2445A crimp tool. Can often get serviceable crimpers at about $40.
    Right now, there is a decent HTR2445A $64. Might need new main spring which is pretty cheap.
    And there is one at $25 that needs a replacement locator at about $16.

    There is also one at $40 without locator and is not predrilled for a locator - avoid that one.

    HTR-2445A (resized).jpg
    #25 1 day ago

    I defer to the spec from 2018 as being correct for this century.
    However the spec in 1975 was much different. Anyone have a Molex library from back then?

    Doug MacDonald and I are the actual engineers that conducted the test on the Molex KK connectors in 1976. We spent several hours in the lab on Belmont Ave in Chicago pulling and reconnecting both 156 and 100 connectors. We measured the insertion and removal forces and recorded the connector resistance after each 50 cycles. I remember with .100 connectors although force tailed off, we did not see a significant increase in resistance until around 900 cycles. .156 connectors had lower numbers but overall our tests concluded the connectors should last the expected lifetime of the game.

    These tests were all conducted at nominal room temperature with factory new parts and do not account for long term operational and storage environment. Later, yours truly conducted resistance testing at higher temperatures and that's where we discovered that resistance dramatically went up with ambient temperatures which was the significant cause of connector burn-out.

    Anyway, my point being, IMHO, unless there is a significant visible fault to the connector and crimps, I recommend leaving well enough alone unless the game is exhibiting clear connection issues.

    #26 1 day ago
    Quoted from BigAl56:

    I defer to the spec from 2018 as being correct for this century.
    However the spec in 1975 was much different. Anyone have a Molex library from back then?
    Doug MacDonald and I are the actual engineers that conducted the test on the Molex KK connectors in 1976. We spent several hours in the lab on Belmont Ave in Chicago pulling and reconnecting both 156 and 100 connectors. We measured the insertion and removal forces and recorded the connector resistance after each 50 cycles. I remember with .100 connectors although force tailed off, we did not see a significant increase in resistance until around 900 cycles. .156 connectors had lower numbers but overall our tests concluded the connectors should last the expected lifetime of the game.
    These tests were all conducted at nominal room temperature with factory new parts and do not account for long term operational and storage environment. Later, yours truly conducted resistance testing at higher temperatures and that's where we discovered that resistance dramatically went up with ambient temperatures which was the significant cause of connector burn-out.
    Anyway, my point being, IMHO, unless there is a significant visible fault to the connector and crimps, I recommend leaving well enough alone unless the game is exhibiting clear connection issues.

    I have a test fixture where the molex pins gets absurd amount of cycles. I have some contacts probably close to 1000 cycles and not causing a problem. Might be interesting to check resistance across some of them.

    Low current pins seem to last forever, or until the wiper contact breaks. A little bit of resistance on the switch connector or at display/lamp stuff at MPU j1 is no big deal. The power in to the MPU and the power in/out of the driver board is a different story. Probably around 200 wipes and then the MPU starts to reset randomly. Measure voltage and there is considerable V drop from the regulator to the CPU board. The plating will rub off the connector pins when you look at them.

    Battery damage, wet basement, seaside arcade, high current is going to speed up the connector issues. Unless the game came out of a terrible environment you probably only need to re-pin the power carrying plugs that are known to burn.

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