(Topic ID: 41343)

Need a little help understanding LED Bulbs Mine are flickering


By Kzooandy

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by John_I
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

First off, could somebody define GI lights? I searched and think i'm seeing "General Ilumination". Just need a confirmation or correction.

I'm working on my Fireball Classic, and have used some new LED lights behind the backglass, and in a few spots on the PF. I'd call these areas "GI" if my guess is correct.

Heres what I'm seeing though. If I use the lights in a Pop Bumper that only lights up if certain PF goals are met (like the rollover switch wire), or if i use them for the bonus numbers, 5, 10, 20, 30 etc up to 100 and 150 They are plenty bright, but they flicker like mad. Very annoying. All the regular incandescent filiment type bulbs just burn a steady state, but all the "feature" lights flicker.

Like I said the general lighting is fine, but the bonus, and special sockets cause the same brand of light to blink.

Any thoughts? Thanks for your help everyone.
Andy

#2 6 years ago

You need one of these lamp driver boards:

http://www.allteksystems.com/products-mpu-replacements.html#lamp

Your existing lamp driver board is not compatible with LED's.

#3 6 years ago
Quoted from Kzooandy:

First off, could somebody define GI lights?

GI or General illumination are lights that are always on and do not blink or change during gameplay. Most backbox lights, and lights that are under plastics or slingshots are examples.

"Feature lights" have to be activated and are only lit at certain times of gameplay, like if you roll over a switch, or hit a target, or indicate something like extra ball.

#4 6 years ago

I thought you could place a 470 ohm 1/4 watt resistor across the socket to get rid of the LED flicker when used in the controlled lights of older games.

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from blownfuse:

I thought you could place a 470 ohm 1/4 watt resistor across the socket to get rid of the LED flicker when used in the controlled lights of older games.

Yes, you should indeed be able to do just that.

However, a lot of people do not want to spend the time to do so and putting in a new board can be much easier.

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from LEE:

Yes, you should indeed be able to do just that.

However, a lot of people do not want to spend the time to do so and putting in a new board can be much easier.

Depends on your budget - New board = $100 VS handfull of 20¢ resitors and some solder. Now if the board had other problems yeah, no brainer.

#7 6 years ago

This sounds easy enough. Is 470 Ohms the magic number for any particular reason? I think for the money, I can solder in a few resistors fairly quickly. I like the lower cost option. I've been getting boarded out lately... lots of problems with the older Bally boards, and the "easy button" is to buy nice Alltek replacements.. but I've been bottom feeding a bit, and it seems every game needs at a minimum of one, and sometimes three boards.

Does it hurt if you had the resistor on the Incandescent socket, or do you have to install and remove resistors every time you switch bulb styles?

#8 6 years ago

From what I understand of the problem, you only need the resistor with the LED if it flickers, not on a regular bulb. If you change from an LED back to a bulb, the resistor goes away too.

#9 6 years ago

The circuit is designed to drive at least a #44 bulb that draws 250ma.

The resistor will draw about 13 ma (I = V/R, 6/470). If you use a #47 instead, this only draws 150ma, so you would be well under 250ma total (150+13=163ma) using a #47 and leaving the resistor installed.

If you want to use a #44 though, you'd need to look up the current capability of the SCR on the Fireball Classic lamp driver board, and see if it can safely provide 263ma.

EDIT: I looked up the 2N5060 SCR, and it is rated for 800 ma max, so should be OK to leave the resistors mounted, even when using #44 lamps.

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from KenH:

The circuit is designed to drive at least a #44 bulb that draws 250ma.
The resistor will draw about 13 ma (I = V/R, 6/470). If you use a #47 instead, this only draws 150ma, so you would be well under 250ma total (150+13=163ma) using a #47 and leaving the resistor installed.
If you want to use a #44 though, you'd need to look up the current capability of the SCR on the Fireball Classic lamp driver board, and see if it can safely provide 263ma.
EDIT: I looked up the 2N5060 SCR, and it is rated for 800 ma max, so should be OK to leave the resistors mounted, even when using #44 lamps.

This has the 555 style lamps, but it looks like they are rated for the same amp draw about .25Amps at the 6.3 volts. Should also be ok.

Thanks for the tips.

#11 6 years ago

Ok after mulling it over, I broke down and put the new ALLTEK lamp driver in that I had set aside for Strikes And Spares. It required a short grounding cable be attached to the thick braided wire on a Tilt or Ball in play wire. I soldered it in lightly, and the flicker......is gone.
Looks like the problem is solved. I will save the other board for Strikes and Spares I guess.

Thanks for the tips everyone.

#12 6 years ago

I actually have a Strikes and Spares and ran into the exact same issue as you with the LEDs. I didn't want the expense and hassle of swapping the lamp driver board so I put LEDs in the GI and put #47s everywhere else, which don't generate a lot of heat. The combo works great.

Incidentally, I experimented with several kinds of LEDs to find out what would look best. I use mostly Cointaker warm white frosted in the playfield GI, with a few warm white "retros" in places where the lamps were visible (like under the clear plastic by the kickout hole). This combination looks really nice to my eyes. I also used warm white super brights in the backbox.

#13 6 years ago
Quoted from KenH:

The circuit is designed to drive at least a #44 bulb that draws 250ma.
The resistor will draw about 13 ma (I = V/R, 6/470). If you use a #47 instead, this only draws 150ma, so you would be well under 250ma total (150+13=163ma) using a #47 and leaving the resistor installed.
If you want to use a #44 though, you'd need to look up the current capability of the SCR on the Fireball Classic lamp driver board, and see if it can safely provide 263ma.
EDIT: I looked up the 2N5060 SCR, and it is rated for 800 ma max, so should be OK to leave the resistors mounted, even when using #44 lamps.

Yeah when I bought my xenon many bulbs had resistors and LEDs. I also bought it with two of the light not working. I troubleshot and found two bad scr's. replaced them and another one went. I ended up taking them all out and put #47s back in. I haven't had a problem since.

Can adding resistors cause scr's to go bad?

#14 6 years ago

Nooo

I cringe every time someone says they put LEDs in the GI. I dunno. To me i think GI LEDs look terrible.

#15 6 years ago

If the resistor you add that pulls to much current it can make an SCR fail.

Normally with a component like and SCR i would not push its max output over 75% for extended use.

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

I cringe every time someone says they put LEDs in the GI.

I used to too, but the cointaker warm whites are not too bad. They're like a tiny little, warm fluorescent light. I like to use them in weird places that you never want to have to get to again. Used sparingly, I like them in some places. They look pretty decent in space-themed scenes.

The cool whites are just too blue for most applications.

#17 6 years ago

Would this 470 ohm resistor mod work on a WPC machine with the same LED flicker issue?

#18 6 years ago

No, you most likely already have them and your seeing ghosting. Do a search on LED ghosting, may topics on it. Fixes range from new code (if available) to more expensive LEDS.

Post edited by Patofnaud : Eye dun spellz guud.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

Nooo
I cringe every time someone says they put LEDs in the GI. I dunno. To me i think GI LEDs look terrible.

Somewhere a puppy dies every time someone puts LEDs in GI.

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