(Topic ID: 58362)

My WoZ experience, first impressions, and lighting


By markmon

6 years ago



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  • 299 posts
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  • Latest reply 6 years ago by GaryMartin
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#1 6 years ago

I got a WoZ today. How I got it is subject for an entirely different discussion (covered here: http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/so-i-decided-to-pickup-a-woz-today-2-in-fact#post-1019860). But in this thread I'd like to actually talk about the game.

Starting with the unboxing, the game is packed very similarly to a Stern NiB game. Opening it up, it felt just like unboxing a stern for the first time. Pleasantly surprised to get some nice felt leg protectors. The initial setup and boot up was rather smooth.

A couple issues out of the box: The center post was not attached. I had to find a 3/8" nut and screw it down. The flippers were not aligned properly. Luckily they are B/W flippers and I was able to align them. The right upper flipper button did not work right. It intermittently triggered. It was simply a leaf switch that needed adjustment. Solved quickly. All in all, the Q/A was fine. This is about how a NiB Stern is as well. It's not no issues, but there were no major issues.

The cabinet is solid, the cabinet artwork is super smooth and looks clear coated. Very nice. I really like the internals. The full pinball 2000-like rails make the game easy to work on. I also like the ball protector (also just like pinball 2000) that allows you to lift the playfield without all the balls falling down.

The game is pretty fun. I pretty well agree with everything Borygard said in his review. I won't repeat all that here. If you want to read it, it's here: http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/wooz-random-thoughts-by-borygard-8. My thoughts exactly.

My gameroom is dark. There's no ambient light. Games need to be self lit in order to play. WoZ is the darkest pinball game I have ever seen. There is no GI at all. There seems to be some sort of RGB fiber tubes, but not many of them. Currently, they are very dim and not intense. However, I doubt they will give off much light even when software cranks them up. In a well lit room, the game looks fine, great in fact. In a dark room, it is completely unplayable. In my case, I could not play the game in my gameroom. I had to play it in my workshop and properly light it up before I could play it.

Here are before/after pictures of the game in my dark room. As you can see, it's totally unplayable in the left pictures, and nice and bright in the right
Woz0.jpg Woz1.jpg
To light this game took 9 spotlights, 1 lightstrip, and a special power supply. See, the spotlights that are included in this game are 12vdc spotlights. Therefore, you cannot just patch into those and run more LEd bulbs (unless you have a bunch of LED flashers). I found several unused 5v connectors under the playfield and was pretty stoked about that. However, LEDs like to run at 6.3v not 5vdc. They typically run well at 5v AC in normal GI. But running 5vdc they were under driven and did not do the job. Once I cranked up the voltage to 6.5v using a separate power supply, the spotlight bulbs did their job and did it well.

I am giving all this to pinballbulbs to make a WoZ brightening kit. Not sure when it will be available. However, if anyone wants to tackle this on their own, I'd be happy to share the very specific details of it all.

#2 6 years ago

But how'd your phone conversation with Jack go? Details on the call, please!!!

#3 6 years ago

Good info Mark.

rd.

#4 6 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

But how'd your phone conversation with Jack go? Details on the call, please!!!

Thumbs up to this one

#5 6 years ago

Nice write up. Will order that kit from PBB if and when my LE ever arrives. Thanks Markmon

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

But how'd your phone conversation with Jack go? Details on the call, please!!!

Yes please, but on other thread.

#7 6 years ago

Also, standard B/W mirror blades fit the game nicely.

-1
#8 6 years ago

Markmon, can you please send me cab dimensions? I am needing to make a dust cover for mine to keep my cats from scratching up the glass.

#9 6 years ago

Nice job with the spotlights. The code due out this week allows you to crank up the GI apparently. Will be interesting to see how much difference it makes

#10 6 years ago

I played woz at the Allentown show and then in the satellite lounge in Brooklyn. I found the same thing about playing in a dark room. Game was great at Allentown - it was very difficult to play at the satellite in a dark room because the LEDs were so bright that it was hard to track the ball on the rest of the playfield. The LEDs didn't bother me at all in the bright hall at Allentown.

#11 6 years ago

Nice ob with the extra lighting. If the code does not fix the GI I will send you a PM for the details to make me a kit for my game.

#12 6 years ago

My resolution for the dark G.I. was to simply add 2 LED spotlights from PinballLife on top of each slingshot. You can easily power them by connecting them to the coin slot light sockets on the coin door. This adds enough light to the lower part of the playfield so that the game is playable in the dark. Just make sure that you are using the special 12v LEDs that the rest of the game uses or else they will burn too hot.

I honestly couldn't believe how dark the G.I. was initially. I thought a fuse was blown or something. I don't think I've seen G.I. this dark since playing Flintstones.

The game is awesome with the current 1.14 code, and LTG & Alex have been extremely helpful with addressing issues.

I was one of those guys that scoffed back when they announced the WOZ theme, thinking I would never be able to get into it due to the theme. However, once I saw it & played it in person, I was hooked. I've been playing it for at least an hour every day since I got it, and I can't seem to get enough. Everything you hear about the superb build quality is true. I've got the back legs jacked up to the max, and it's playing fast the way I like 'em to play. But most importantly, WOZ is FUN!

#13 6 years ago

Nice work Markmon that looks great!
Is there a pre packaged kit that I could order to do this lighting mod?

#14 6 years ago

Night and day difference....wow. I'll be out Friday to get some games on it

#15 6 years ago

Thanks for the review and congrats on your new purchase. WOZ is a great game and is getting better with each software update. Love what you did with the lighting mod and I will definitely be a customer when a a kit becomes available.

#16 6 years ago

Did you try a 12v strip of 5050s on the top of the backboard, Stern-style to add more PF light? I think I am going to do that next myself.

#17 6 years ago
Quoted from GaryMartin:

Did you try a 12v strip of 5050s on the top of the backboard, Stern-style to add more PF light? I think I am going to do that next myself.

Looks like he has one in there already

#18 6 years ago

Excellent write up Mark! Great work on getting the GI to where it needs to be as well and figuring out the voltages.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from GaryMartin:

Did you try a 12v strip of 5050s on the top of the backboard, Stern-style to add more PF light? I think I am going to do that next myself.

Yes but it's pointing down instead of towards the player. The backboard isn't tall enough to obscure those from the eye. The light strip wires to the white light strip in the head off its daisy chain location. The strip is attached to the underside of the glass channel. Works great.

#20 6 years ago

Is there a way to lower the intensity of the inserts in the middle? Obviously can swap in lower powered LEDs, but wondering if there is a setting to lower the intensity. Played it on location and had the same thoughts on the lighting as you do, it needs to be in a well lit room. But the inserts in the middle bothered me a lot, perhaps because there is no GI to balance it. I don't mind LEDs or anything, just felt when those got lit up it made it hard to track the ball.

#21 6 years ago

Hard to believe the GI lighting is so poorly designed and thought out. I have always played WoZ in a well lit room, so I never noticed it. Is this because there simply are not enough lights or is this something that might be fixed in software by cranking the brightness? Now I realize why Stern still is using those damn socketed LEDs for GI; the surface mount LEDs work great for inserts but not for GI. The would work on the back board though. Also, the super bright LED GI lights in the apron of Metallica are a great idea.

#22 6 years ago

WOW! That is such a HUGE difference.

#23 6 years ago

Markmon ...is that strip of white LEDs in the back, or blue? Looks freakin great....please pm w your locations...thanks mark

#24 6 years ago

Man that sucks you had to do all that work; but well done!

#25 6 years ago

I like the idea of what you're doing here... but at least in the photos, the heavy bluish tint seems to suck a lot of the vibrancy and warmth of the playfield away. If I did anything, I'd probably stick with warmer white tones, and I'd try to engineer a way to have it tied into the 12V controlled spotlight circuit so it shuts off when it should.

#26 6 years ago

Terrific before and after lighting, thank you for posting this! I am not sure I would have had the time/patience for that...

#27 6 years ago

Awesome job. How did you even see by the flippers before? lol

#28 6 years ago
Quoted from sturner:

Is there a way to lower the intensity of the inserts in the middle? Obviously can swap in lower powered LEDs, but wondering if there is a setting to lower the intensity.

Not so obvious. In fact, not even possible. The inserts are lit up by surface-mount components on light boards, not socketed LEDs. I imagine future software upgrades will allow owners to adjust average brightness levels of both inserts and GI. (Heck, you can adjust individual coil power, why not 2 brightness settings?)

#29 6 years ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Markmon ...is that strip of white LEDs in the back, or blue? Looks freakin great....please pm w your locations...thanks mark

It's a rgb strip wired to purple with a 150 ohm resistor on red. I have had a few requests for this and am putting something together. How proficient are you folks are soldering and splicing into wiring?

Quoted from TomGWI:

Awesome job. How did you even see by the flippers before? lol

I couldn't. Had to move the game into my workshop and turn on the lights.

Quoted from Sunfox:

I like the idea of what you're doing here... but at least in the photos, the heavy bluish tint seems to suck a lot of the vibrancy and warmth of the playfield away. If I did anything, I'd probably stick with warmer white tones, and I'd try to engineer a way to have it tied into the 12V controlled spotlight circuit so it shuts off when it should.

You could certainly do that and would probably work well with white LEDs.

Quoted from sturner:

Is there a way to lower the intensity of the inserts in the middle? Obviously can swap in lower powered LEDs, but wondering if there is a setting to lower the intensity. Played it on location and had the same thoughts on the lighting as you do, it needs to be in a well lit room. But the inserts in the middle bothered me a lot, perhaps because there is no GI to balance it. I don't mind LEDs or anything, just felt when those got lit up it made it hard to track the ball.

By adding these spotlights, it changed the contrast ratio so the inserts don't seem so bright.

#30 6 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

By adding these spotlights, it changed the contrast ratio so the inserts don't seem so bright.

Yes, as soon as the GI is at a more comparable level to the inserts, the inserts will no longer seem so bright. A JJP employee said some time ago that WOZ's GI was only set at 36.5% of maximum brightness, so there's theoretically a lot more light they could be producing.

#31 6 years ago
Quoted from Sunfox:

Yes, as soon as the GI is at a more comparable level to the inserts, the inserts will no longer seem so bright. A JJP employee said some time ago that WOZ's GI was only set at 36.5% of maximum brightness, so there's theoretically a lot more light they could be producing.

I agree they can be better but it still won't solve this problem

#32 6 years ago

Do you think that if the GI is allowed to be at 100% (presuming it actually does work out to roughly 2-3 times the current light output) it will be bright enough?

#33 6 years ago
Quoted from SteveP3:

Do you think that if the GI is allowed to be at 100% (presuming it actually does work out to roughly 2-3 times the current light output) it will be bright enough?

For myself, I honestly have no idea. We'll have to wait and see.

#34 6 years ago

I am shocked that this modern machine has almost no GI !!!

#35 6 years ago

For the spotlights, here is how I placed mine.

Double spotlight assembly using 2" of 8-32 hex spacer on left nut of left slingshot
IMG_2046.JPG
Double spotlight assembly using 2" of 8-32 hex spacer on top nut of right slingshot
IMG_2047.JPG
Double spotlight assembly using 1" of 8-32 hex spacer on left nut of plastic in front of the first pop bumper
IMG_2049.JPG
3 spotlights under the apron, 2 pointing out of the ball trough area at the flippers, one pointing out at the left outlane pop bumper. Use flex bulbs. I know these look white, but they're really purple. I was out of purple flex so I desoldered the LED portion of white ones off and cut up regular purple bulbs listed below and soldered onto my white flex bodies.
IMG_2054.JPG
I swapped the two existing white spotlight assembly bulbs that point at the two playfields with pinballbulbs.com purple flasher bulbs. (http://pinballbulbs.com/products/flasher-906-purple) I left the one in the very back alone.

As I think I said above, I ran the wires all under the playfield and tied them into my own power supply which plugged into the coindoor and runs the leds at 6.5v. Using this, the purple just pops and activates the blue in the playfield.

If you want a white, not quite as bright, and want an easier install, you can do it using the ablaze 4 smd bulbs (http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=2560) running at the stock 5v. Those bulbs are bright. It won't be nearly as bright as mine but it will still look ok. And the ease of installation is that you can plug into one of the existing 5v connectors that are already hanging under the playfield (I saw two empty ones).

For my set up, I bought something like this:
amazon.com link » I set it to 7.5v (its slightly high, but I think the LEDs can handle it, 6v was ok but 7.5 was slightly brighter).
Then I got a cheap extension cord, I cut off the plug end. I plugged this power adapter into the cut extension cord, then I spliced into the white and black power off the coin door bill accepter. Then I cut off the DC end of the power adapter where you plug in the little round adapters. I stripped the two wires. One is +, one is -, but it doesn't matter because the bulbs are non polarized. Run all the light sockets to one location, twist the wires together along with the two wires from the power pack and use wire nuts or crimp on connectors or whatever. Make sure the cabling is long enough so you can pull up the playfield without tugging any wires. I ran my power adapter along the wire harness so its cleanly run.

For the bulbs, I used these with the frosted cap removed: http://pinballbulbs.com/products/frosted-555-purple
For the apron bulbs these: http://pinballbulbs.com/products/flex-555-purple-non-ghosting-plus

#36 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing the info Markmon.

#37 6 years ago

Nice work Mark. I found the same problem with the one at the Shark club some time ago. It was darn near too dark to play. I will be duplicating your mod when mine shows up. Thanks for the info. b

#38 6 years ago
Quoted from sturner:

Is there a way to lower the intensity of the inserts in the middle? Obviously can swap in lower powered LEDs, but wondering if there is a setting to lower the intensity. Played it on location and had the same thoughts on the lighting as you do, it needs to be in a well lit room. But the inserts in the middle bothered me a lot, perhaps because there is no GI to balance it. I don't mind LEDs or anything, just felt when those got lit up it made it hard to track the ball.

Yes, they're adding controls to the software to let the end user adjust the GI light level and the Insert light levels. You will be able to tweak that to your heart's content. It *may* make the release that's due in a day or two, not sure until we get it.

#39 6 years ago

Thanks for the photos. Those could prove useful in the future. (Man, your two threads are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!)

#40 6 years ago

Great job Markmon! I laugh at this because of the shit I got for having to dremel a small section of ramp on my AC/DC to make it more playable , you on the other hand had to totally rebuild the lighting so you could see the ball. WOW

Not hating just stating the facts as seen here on pinside.

#41 6 years ago
Quoted from Sunfox:

Thanks for the photos. Those could prove useful in the future. (Man, your two threads are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!)

This is why I intentionally kept them separate. One thread was about the process where I received my WoZ. The other (this one) about the game, itself. People seem to think I'm trying to tell lies to cause problems because I hate JJP. It's really not the case. I'm pretty happy with the product.

Quoted from McCune:

Great job Markmon! I laugh at this because of the shit I got for having to dremel a small section of ramp on my AC/DC to make it more playable , you on the other hand had to totally rebuild the lighting so you could see the ball. WOW
Not hating just stating the facts as seen here on pinside.

No kidding If you recall, I was one of the folks that actually liked your solution.

#42 6 years ago
Quoted from McCune:

Great job Markmon! I laugh at this because of the shit I got for having to dremel a small section of ramp on my AC/DC to make it more playable , you on the other hand had to totally rebuild the lighting so you could see the ball. WOW
Not hating just stating the facts as seen here on pinside.

Hard to argue against the GI on WOZ being too dim at the present time. Not sure if what Markmon did is actually necessary, but we'll see what happens when the brightness is turned up in software.

It's a shame I don't have plastic moulding or electronics resources, because I've got a number of "illuminating" ideas I would've liked to prototype for WOZ...

#43 6 years ago
Quoted from Sunfox:

Hard to argue against the GI on WOZ being too dim at the present time. Not sure if what Markmon did is actually necessary, but we'll see what happens when the brightness is turned up in software.
It's a shame I don't have plastic moulding or electronics resources, because I've got a number of "illuminating" ideas I would've liked to prototype for WOZ...

In my gameroom, I have to add several spotlights to *all* games not just WoZ. I assume that GI enhancements will bring the lighting up to par to match more closely other games. But if you take any game stock and turn out the lights, you just cannot see the flipper area well. On top of that, as we age, our vision requires more light...

While it's a necessity for me, it really causes all the games to pop. I've really had a lot of compliments on the lighting on my games.

#44 6 years ago

very nice improvement on that machine. Well done.

#45 6 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

This is why I intentionally kept them separate.

This! Its a pinball so we love it but god forbid someone discusses the painful process of them getting out there or things that will need tweeking. Sheesh its a forum to talk.
Hopefully in a year or two with two games out we can buy them and talk about them. The good and the bad and keep forward with our hobby.

#46 6 years ago

Mark, if you can get the added GI powered from the same source as original GI, I'm in. I'd want the GI to go out completely when it's supposed to during certain modes. Currently it doesn't sound like that will happen. This of course assumes that adjustable lighting settings doesn't solve the problem with factory lights.

--
Rob Anthony
Pinball Classics
http://LockWhenLit.com
Quality Board Work - In Home Service
borygard at gmail dot com

#47 6 years ago
Quoted from Borygard:

Mark, if you can get the added GI powered from the same source as original GI, I'm in. I'd want the GI to go out completely when it's supposed to during certain modes. Currently it doesn't sound like that will happen. This of course assumes that adjustable lighting settings doesn't solve the problem with factory lights.
--
Rob Anthony
Pinball Classics
http://LockWhenLit.com
Quality Board Work - In Home Service
borygard at gmail dot com

I don't believe that will be possible as the lights are controlled.

#48 6 years ago
Quoted from Pinchroma:

I don't believe that will be possible as the lights are controlled.

Yeah I agree, but right now the GI is just way too dim, and if not resolved when lighting becomes adjustable, something like this will definitely be needed in dark rooms.

--
Rob Anthony
Pinball Classics
http://LockWhenLit.com
Quality Board Work - In Home Service
borygard at gmail dot com

#49 6 years ago
Quoted from McCune:

Great job Markmon! I laugh at this because of the shit I got for having to dremel a small section of ramp on my AC/DC to make it more playable , you on the other hand had to totally rebuild the lighting so you could see the ball. WOW
Not hating just stating the facts as seen here on pinside.

Maybe you should change your handle to dremel350 in memory of that sad day.

#50 6 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

But if you take any game stock and turn out the lights, you just cannot see the flipper area well.

On many games that's true, but not all. For example, AC/DC is plenty bright right out of the box. I play mine in the dark all the time.

As for WOZ, I agree that the stock GI lighting is woefully inadequate. Even if they allow you to turn the intensity way up, I just don't see there being enough light to play in a dark room. Kudos to you for addressing the issue and taking the time to explain exactly what you did to the community. Based on your photos, I think the game looks great now. The only negative, as others have already pointed out, is that it's not tied into the existing GI. Thus, your added lights will always remain on. This will definitely take a lot of the fun out of "Lights Out" multiball.

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