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(Topic ID: 269404)

Molex Connectors on Solenoids?


By iamabearsfan

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by KenLayton
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 5 months ago

    I am doing a swap of my TZ playfield. One thing that makes that project brutal is the hard soldering of almost every solenoid. Is there any reason I wouldn't put Molex like connectors on them so I don't have to deal with that again? Plus if I want to do any maintenance down the road, it would make it a ton easier.

    I am also open to anyone that has any links to kits to buy to accomplish this.

    Also, what is the max gauge wire I have to support? I am guessing the thickest wire is the stuff going to the solenoids.

    Or thoughts of using something like these?

    amazon.com link »

    I like these as an idea, but am worried about the gauge being wrong...

    amazon.com link »

    #2 5 months ago

    Mo connectors, mo problems.

    Seems like a terrible idea to me.

    #3 5 months ago

    You are not going to be replacing solenoids all that often, so I would question if there is anything to be gained by adding a connector.

    If you mean all of the solenoids and switches, then you would save a lot of desoldering and re-soldering effort. But you would also be adding another point for potential failure in the circuit.

    If you are going to do this, use connectors sized specifically to the wire size. You can purchase these at Home Depot or any hardware store.

    I wouldn't do it myself.

    #4 5 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Mo connectors, mo problems.
    Seems like a terrible idea to me.

    Maybe Levi's not all that crazy.

    #5 5 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Mo connectors, mo problems.
    Seems like a terrible idea to me.

    Agreed, stick with what the manufacturer did.

    #6 5 months ago
    Quoted from iamabearsfan:

    I am doing a swap of my TZ playfield. One thing that makes that project brutal is the hard soldering of almost every solenoid. Is there any reason I wouldn't put Molex like connectors on them so I don't have to deal with that again? Plus if I want to do any maintenance down the road, it would make it a ton easier.
    I am also open to anyone that has any links to kits to buy to accomplish this.
    Also, what is the max gauge wire I have to support? I am guessing the thickest wire is the stuff going to the solenoids.
    Or thoughts of using something like these?
    amazon.com link »
    I like these as an idea, but am worried about the gauge being wrong...
    amazon.com link »

    Why introduce more problems like resistance with connectors. I see more people adding these molex connectors and I think why? Just solder.

    #7 5 months ago

    I believe HEP adds molex to coils.

    #8 5 months ago

    I molex the drop target assemblies in my pins. Some are in a position that is hard to service when switches need adjusted.

    I also replace my pop bumpers with the Data East style of pops and molex these so I can remove them for easier switch adjustments.

    Stern uses them without issue and I have no problems with my conversion, either.

    #9 5 months ago
    Quoted from cottonm4:

    I molex the drop target assemblies I my pins. Some are in a position that is hard to service when switches need adjusted.
    I also replace my pop bumpers with the Data East style of pops and molex these so I can remove them for easier switch adjustments.
    Stern uses them without issue and I have no problems with my conversion, either.

    I do the same. Especially on drop target assemblies. Makes servicing them so much easier.

    #10 5 months ago

    I've had some WPC games with spare connectors on the solenoids. I thought it was pretty handy.

    #11 5 months ago

    I generally believe that "more connectors = more trouble".
    But considering that solenoids are intermittently used as opposed to power connectors that are constantly used, I don't think these will introduce many problems into the grand scheme of things. And these are easy to troubleshoot and fix if/when they go bad.

    #12 5 months ago
    Quoted from iamabearsfan:

    One thing that makes that project brutal is the hard soldering of almost every solenoid.

    I'm going to assume you have a rotisserie for this projects? If not, you should seriously consider it as you don't need anything fancy and can easily get by with a home made one using portable saw horses as a minimal cost.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-swap-without-rotissary/page/2#post-2901464
    I love Vids comment in this thread...its priceless

    With the playfield upside down on your rotisserie, the coils are going to be no harder to solder in then they would be on your workbench.

    #13 5 months ago
    Quoted from Pinash:

    I've had some WPC games with spade connectors on the solenoids. I thought it was pretty handy.

    It is, but they fall off over time. Those spade connectors were used on the latest wpc95 and pin2000 machines for speed of assembly, not for long term reliability. Spade connectors really suck I've grown to hate them as they lose tension and pull off connectors all the time at work (not pinball, though) They used to be good but it's hard to find a good brand anymore.

    If you think you have to pull the assembly it's on into/out of the machine a lot, by all means, add a connector for ease of removal/assembly. Location machine you're servicing, high usage, high wear, etc.

    For home use how often are you REALLY going to pull out that entire assembly once you rebuild it? For instance.... outhole coil assembly on old games. Those are annoying because the wire comes through the PF and then gets soldered.

    One you do your initial rebuild on this area, it's going to be decades before you have to do it again (unless you did it wrong), if ever. Clean everything well, new coil sleeve, maybe new spring, teflon lube on the metal to metal junction, done. If it gums up you used too much lube.

    Drop target mechs would be the worst offenders and probably should have connectors on them, it is usually easier to have the assembly on the bench/flat surface for replacement of drops.

    #14 5 months ago

    I'm a big fan of molex connections. If the machine is a forever keeper, I'll put them on any assembly or solenoid. If it's a flip then I just use solder.

    #15 5 months ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    If you think you have to pull the assembly it's on into/out of the machine a lot, by all means, add a connector for ease of removal/assembly.

    I've never done a swap on a TZ, but if its anything like STTNG most of the coils in assemblies are already going to have a molex connector; other than the flipper coils, there were very few coils that were actually hard soldered to the solenoid wiring harness.

    #16 5 months ago

    How often are you replacing coils or rebuilding mechs where this effort invested now would make up for it later?

    #17 5 months ago

    I'm giving it a try with the same connector arrangement I found on the knocker. I like having these assemblies I can tinker with at the workbench before moving it all back to the game.

    shop-07 (resized).jpg

    #18 5 months ago
    Quoted from JeffZee:

    I'm giving it a try with the same connector arrangement I found on the knocker. I like having these assemblies I can tinker with at the workbench before moving it all back to the game.

    FWIW you only need a single wire to each leg of the coil, there is no reason to have two, this being said, since you are using 3-pin connectors can always daisy chain your coil power wiring through the unused pin, this would likely make them easier to build vs stuffing two wires into a single crimp connector.

    #19 5 months ago
    Quoted from iamabearsfan:

    I am also open to anyone that has any links to kits to buy to accomplish this.

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/538-03-09-1032 - 3 CIRCUIT RECEPTACLE
    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/538-02-09-1119 - CRIMP SKT BULK 18-22 0.93"
    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/538-03-09-2032 - 3 CIRCUIT PLUG
    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/538-02-09-2118 - CRIMP PIN BULK 18-22 0/93"

    This will cost around $30 for 25 connector pairs and 100EA crimp pins and sockets.

    Note: These are right at the edge of tolerance for carrying MAX flipper current...if you are going to socket your flipper mechs, you may want to consider using a bigger size and have around 6" of wire between the coil and socket to minimize vibrations. In reality these would likely work fine due to the short duration MAX flipper current is applied.

    Good luck with your swap!

    #20 5 months ago
    Quoted from Pin_Guy:

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/538-03-09-1032 - 3 CIRCUIT RECEPTACLE
    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/538-02-09-1119 - CRIMP SKT BULK 18-22 0.93"
    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/538-03-09-2032 - 3 CIRCUIT PLUG
    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/538-02-09-2118 - CRIMP PIN BULK 18-22 0/93"
    This will cost around $30 for 25 connector pairs and 100EA crimp pins and sockets.
    Note: These are right at the edge of tolerance for carrying MAX flipper current...if you are going to socket your flipper mechs, you may want to consider using a bigger size and have around 6" of wire between the coil and socket to minimize vibrations. In reality these would likely work fine due to the short duration MAX flipper current is applied.
    Good luck with your swap!

    May I suggest Great Plains Electronics?

    https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/products.asp?cat=83

    Ed's prices are competitive. And he supports the pinball hobby. And electronic idiots like me.

    When I have been in a jam and need an answer, Ed has been good to return my email. And with the pinball related answer I needed. You won't get that at Mouser.

    #21 5 months ago
    Quoted from cottonm4:

    May I suggest Great Plains Electronics?
    https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/products.asp?cat=83
    Ed's prices are competitive. And he supports the pinball hobby. And electronic idiots like me.
    When I have been in a jam and need an answer, Ed has been good to return my email. And with the pinball related answer I needed. You won't get that at Mouser.

    I just ordered the from Ed. Thanks for the idea. I am going to go forward with some connectors based on how hard they are to work on. I just think it will be simpler in the long run. Don't plan on selling this one.

    #22 5 months ago
    Quoted from Pin_Guy:

    I'm going to assume you have a rotisserie for this projects? If not, you should seriously consider it as you don't need anything fancy and can easily get by with a home made one using portable saw horses as a minimal cost.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-swap-without-rotissary/page/2#post-2901464
    I love Vids comment in this thread...its priceless
    With the playfield upside down on your rotisserie, the coils are going to be no harder to solder in then they would be on your workbench.

    Just got done building Vid's rotisserie. I think his design was awesome.

    1 month later
    -1
    #23 3 months ago

    I recommend doing connectors on solenoids when doing a playfield swap. Then you are able to move the wiring harness without all of those assemblies dragging from it. Finally , it makes major maintenance of assemblies easier down the road. That's if the game is a keeper. But if it's not a keeper, why would you be doing a playfield swap?

    I just do 2 pin connectors except flippers which are 3.

    #24 3 months ago

    I do this on all my machines I rebuild for the reasons stated (easier to manage and service).

    Quoted from JimWilks:

    I just do 2 pin connectors.

    I also use 2 pin 0.093" Molex connectors.

    Quoted from Pin_Guy:

    since you are using 3-pin connectors can always daisy chain your coil power wiring through the unused pin, this would likely make them easier to build vs stuffing two wires into a single crimp connector.

    I hate putting two 18 AWG wires into a single 14-20 AWG 0.093" Molex pin. This is a good idea to make it easier to build the connector but there's a drawback that I can see. If you disconnect the solenoid you will break the power wire daisy chain since the daisy chain connection is made at the actual solenoid (in this configuration). If you put the two power wires into a single pin that maintains the daisy chain of the power wire.

    You can see this very same issue at the flipper opto boards. If you disconnect the right side the left side does not work. If you disconnect the left side the right side still works. The ground wire daisy chain is made on the right flipper opto board.

    -1
    #25 3 months ago
    Quoted from DumbAss:

    I hate putting two 18 AWG wires into a single 14-20 AWG 0.093" Molex pin.

    I agree it's a pain, but with a bit of care it's certainly do-able to crimp 2 wires in 1 pin.

    #26 3 months ago
    Quoted from DumbAss:

    If you disconnect the solenoid you will break the power wire daisy chain since the daisy chain connection is made at the actual solenoid (in this configuration)

    Quoted from DumbAss:

    You can see this very same issue at the flipper opto boards. If you disconnect the right side the left side does not work. If you disconnect the left side the right side still works. The ground wire daisy chain is made on the right flipper opto board.

    Can't you just make a jumper wire with the correct Molex pins? It is just for testing purposes, correct?

    Quoted from DumbAss:

    I hate putting two 18 AWG wires into a single 14-20 AWG 0.093" Molex pin.

    If you are talking about needing a larger wire for the 14 AWG, when I built aircraft and was certified to build and repair wire harnesses, doubling up two smaller wires to fill a larger connector was per specification. The extra filler wire would just have the extra wire cut off. Installing two wires was allowed. But no more than two wires.

    #27 3 months ago

    Atari games used a spade connector on coil lugs. Like a spade connector WMS used on the bridges in system 3-7 games. Found them to cause some problems in a middle earth and ended up soldering some in place.

    #28 3 months ago
    Quoted from barakandl:

    Atari games used a spade connector on coil lugs. Like a spade connector WMS used on the bridges in system 3-7 games. Found them to cause some problems in a middle earth and ended up soldering some in place.

    I have NEVER been able to remove a spade connector from the bridges on a WMS 3-11 when I go to add the inline fuses. I'm guessing its just the time/heat that seizes them on there, but sometimes I swear they were welded on lol

    #29 3 months ago
    Quoted from JimWilks:

    I agree it's a pain, but with a bit of care it's certainly do-able to crimp 2 wires in 1 pin.

    I prefer to solder the two wires to a single wire, shrink tube it and then just crimp the single wire to a terminal.

    #30 3 months ago
    Quoted from Completist:

    I have NEVER been able to remove a spade connector from the bridges on a WMS 3-11 when I go to add the inline fuses. I'm guessing its just the time/heat that seizes them on there, but sometimes I swear they were welded on lol

    I worked on a laserball in dark ass bar once where the solenoid where losing power. Finally i noticed with the power off I could see blue arcing happening in the backbox when solenoids fired. Traced it to the spade bridge lug connector. Sparks enough I think they could weld together. It happens with relay contacts so probably can with lug connectors. Ended up soldering all eight to both bridges in place. I think i was lazy and just let hot solder flow into the spade lug connectors to get out of there.

    #31 3 months ago
    Quoted from yaksplat:

    I prefer to solder the two wires to a single wire, shrink tube it and then just crimp the single wire to a terminal.

    I've done that on occasion too, but in this case simply crimping 2 wires onto the same terminal works well too. Really comes down to personal preference.

    #33 3 months ago
    Quoted from Completist:

    I have NEVER been able to remove a spade connector from the bridges on a WMS 3-11 when I go to add the inline fuses. I'm guessing its just the time/heat that seizes them on there, but sometimes I swear they were welded on lol

    Truth.

    #34 3 months ago
    Quoted from Completist:

    I have NEVER been able to remove a spade connector from the bridges on a WMS 3-11 when I go to add the inline fuses. I'm guessing its just the time/heat that seizes them on there, but sometimes I swear they were welded on lol

    That's because some of the terminals were soldered to the bridge rectifiers.

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