Pinbot LED Advice

(Topic ID: 113841)

Pinbot LED Advice


By Mastersedator

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 51 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 77 days ago by chaskett
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders

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There are 51 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 3 years ago

Hey guys, I could use some advice as I am new to this. I just bought a Really nice Pinbot and I'd like to convert it to LEDs. I've always bought the $200+ cointaker kits for my other pins and have been happy, but they seem awfully expensive. I'm thinking I could save some cash and try some from Comet this time around. I really like the blue on the left, reds on the right look. Anyone have a shopping list of what I should buy? I also would like to place them in the back glass , too. Thanks in advance!

3 years later
#2 9 months ago

I just got a Pinbot and am planning out how to LED the thing (my first 80's machine and first LED job). I want to make this economical and simple to start, but have a big wow factor. I'm planning to stick with incandescent 89 and 1251 for the flashers as I am not a fan of the bright, epileptic-seizure-inducing flashers of the modern games.

I totally hate the washed out red/blue jobs I have seen, but kinda like the idea of doing the red/blue theme more subtle with using cool and warm whites instead of colored above the playfield.

From what I am reading, I want to use Comet and put in an order. So far the plan is to use frosted SMDs in the back box and above playfield and maybe 2SMD clear color-matched under playfield inserts. I have read that others wished you did some reds under the vortex ramp. Any other special tricks to make the machine pop?

Would love to see some pictures and explanations from people's own LED conversions. If you have any advice or rules of thumb beyond match colors, use frosted bulbs, I'd love to hear them.

Attached are my working diagrams for colors minus above playfield (as I haven't torn the playfield down yet to confirm placement). In the backbox I have an alternate to go full color for the fingers instead of warms/cools and to do a plain bright white at the backbox pinball instead of the slasher (slow flasher). I developed the backbox based on freeze framing TNT episode #85 on youtube.

UNDERPLAYFIELD LED (resized).jpg

BACKBOX LED (resized).jpg

TNT #85 Backglass LED (resized).jpg

#3 9 months ago

You did nice job putting this together. How do you know if they are wedge or bayonet base?

#4 9 months ago
Quoted from Blitzburgh99:

You did nice job putting this together. How do you know if they are wedge or bayonet base?

Thanks! I am not done yet and noticed a couple corrections needed last night.

To answer your question, the manual's lamp matrix diagram shows a delta (keyed as #555) on all the lamps that are wedges.

2018-01-13 08.03.32 (resized).png

#5 9 months ago

This helps me because I’m not detailed enough to pull machine open and look at every bulb and write all down. I was leaning towards just ordering hundreds and hundred of bulbs in multiple types and colors and figuring out as I did the swap. Haha! Maybe using these tools from the manual will save me some money. I have 4 games to do....ugh. Pinbot is one

#6 9 months ago

Nice. I am going to document my process (first time doing an LED conversion) to help others.

#7 9 months ago

I saw my buddy’s whitewater with comet frosted natural white 2smd bulbs in the GI and the game POPPED! That’s what I’m getting for GI.

#8 9 months ago

Guys, no. Only use color in inserts. That color in the backbox or GI looks awful and ruins the art. If you want your game to look nice, choose whether you want warm or cool white, and then use that (frosted bulbs are best) for all your GI. Color match inserts to make the colors deep.

#9 9 months ago
Quoted from Blitzburgh99:

I saw my buddy’s whitewater with comet frosted natural white 2smd bulbs in the GI and the game POPPED! That’s what I’m getting for GI.

I like the Comet OPTIX for the GI. I has a nice light spread. I'd suggest mostly using warm white and cool white with color sprinkled in very lightly if you want. Color LEDs can really saturate a game and ruin the artwork.

Small LEDs work best for the inserts. Large or powerful LEDs will wash out the inserts and make the game look dark due to the contrast.

Add spotlights if necessary.

Here's my White Water using that strategy.

ww (resized).png

#10 9 months ago
Quoted from jar155:

Guys, no. Only use color in inserts. That color in the backbox or GI looks awful and ruins the art. If you want your game to look nice, choose whether you want warm or cool white, and then use that (frosted bulbs are best) for all your GI. Color match inserts to make the colors deep.

Or just do whatever you want since it’s your machine

For what it’s worth I use frosted white in the GI and will add some color in the backbox behind letters or only in areas that are solid and won’t bleed but.... it’s your game do whatever you want lol

#11 9 months ago

Sunlight white is a great option if you don't want a yellow or blue tint.

20170317_234209 (resized).jpg

#12 9 months ago
Quoted from Allibaster:

I like the Comet OPTIX for the GI. I has a nice light spread. I'd suggest mostly using warm white and cool white with color sprinkled in very lightly if you want. Color LEDs can really saturate a game and ruin the artwork.
Small LEDs work best for the inserts. Large or powerful LEDs will wash out the inserts and make the game look dark due to the contrast.
Add spotlights if necessary.
Here's my White Water using that strategy.

Perhaps you meant, Op-Max.....which is what I used too?!?!

#13 9 months ago

Before you do anything with your inserts us alcohol and Q tips and clean the underside of every insert till the swab comes off clean. On my Jack Bot I used Comet white clear dome 2 smd bulbs in every insert, they pop now like a new Stern insert. For my out lane guides I replace the metal screws with clear Phillips head bolts and used blue and red Comet single flex head bulbs pointed up into the zerk fitting under the pf the bolts screw into and now the heads light up. I used the Comet Matrix system to accomplish this. I also put 1 inch wide polished stainless steel strips against the pf black side walls under the plastics and the side drains. They help reflect all the light under the plastics outward to help light the plastics and by the drains they act as mini mirrors.

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#14 9 months ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

clear Phillips head bolts

NIFTY!

Did you by chance write up a separate thread on this so everyone can flatter your genius with imitation?

-mof

#15 9 months ago
Quoted from mof:

NIFTY!
Did you by chance write up a separate thread on this so everyone can flatter your genius with imitation?
-mof

No I didn't.

#16 9 months ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Before you do anything with your inserts us alcohol and Q tips and clean the underside of every insert till the swab comes off clean. On my Jack Bot I used Comet white clear dome 2 smd bulbs in every insert, they pop now like a new Stern insert. For my out lane guides I replace the metal screws with clear Phillips head bolts and used blue and red Comet single flex head bulbs pointed up into the zerk fitting under the pf the bolts screw into and now the heads light up. I used the Comet Matrix system to accomplish this. I also put 1 inch wide polished stainless steel strips against the pf black side walls under the plastics and the side drains. They help reflect all the light under the plastics outward to help light the plastics and by the drains they act as mini mirrors.

Very good advice. Where do you buy the clear bolts...they’re cool?!

#17 9 months ago
Quoted from Frogman:

Very good advice. Where do you buy the clear bolts...they’re cool?!

From me, I had to have them custom made, they are #8's, 1-1/2 inches long.

#18 9 months ago

I did one for my buddy, used Comet LEd's. Played with them until I found what worked best. I don't have very good pic's though. I did use I think orange in the yellow inserts, and white in the orange, or vice versa. It made the colors look the best. Here is the map I used as a starting point for the back box.

277903 (resized).jpg

#19 9 months ago

Only pic I have, the backbox shows up decently.

IMG-20160921-01701 (resized).jpg

#20 9 months ago

Thanks everyone for the advice! My neighbor lit his Space Shuttle will all 1 SMD Comet Bulbs and its the brightness I want. In his inserts he used clear domes which I'll probably use frosted to dial them down a touch.

oldpinguy Do I need to get non-ghosting 1 SMD 5050 ($0.99) for this game anywhere or will the standard 1 SMD 5050 ($0.69) suffice? From what I can tell all the electronics are typical of the original install with no mods. Also going to keep the #89 and #1251 flashers as incandescent.

#21 9 months ago

Sorry, I don't know that answer...I haven't done that game.Anyone else?

#22 9 months ago
Quoted from chaskett:

Thanks everyone for the advice! My neighbor lit his Space Shuttle will all 1 SMD Comet Bulbs and its the brightness I want. In his inserts he used clear domes which I'll probably use frosted to dial them down a touch.
oldpinguy Do I need to get non-ghosting 1 SMD 5050 ($0.99) for this game anywhere or will the standard 1 SMD 5050 ($0.69) suffice? From what I can tell all the electronics are typical of the original install with no mods. Also going to keep the #89 and #1251 flashers as incandescent.

I just used standard bulbs. I didn't use non ghosting. I also changed all the 89's, and have also bought the bulbs to change the 1251's as soon as my buddy gets it set back up.

1 month later
#23 7 months ago

I'm cross posting this to from the Pinbot Owner's Club to close out this thread:
Just finished putting in LEDs on my Pinbot. I'm not a fan of the washed out Blue/Red schemes. I tried adding a few Red/Blue GI's above the playfield and didn't like it, with the exception of 1 red and 1 blue under the slingshot plastics to make the thumbs pop.
This scheme assumes no flasher #89 and #1251 incandescent bulbs will be replaced, so no modifications to your machine are needed... just put in the LEDs and play!
Attached are the diagrams I created if you don't want to spend an extra $100 on a kit. The only thing I did differently was to add 3 purples under the left 3 bank drop target 41,42,43 inserts (to counter-balance the purple feme-bot in the backbox) and I went the cheap route without using non-ghosting bulbs. There is a faint flickering in the bayonet underplayfield bulbs, so I've updated my schedule accordingly. Regular wedge bulbs in the matrix worked just fine for me, so I didn't change those to non-ghosting.
Also, I want to call attention to the 2 red towers below the vortex ramp as they really make the thing glow! Additionally, the slow color change bulb in the back box between "Pin" and "Bot" works well with the color bleed into the red and blue.
Hope this helps people out there...

20180228_094040 (resized).jpgBACKBOX LED (resized).jpgPLAYFIELD LED (resized).jpgLAMP SCHEDULE (resized).jpg

Added 6 months ago: EDIT: The diagrams above are correct, but the Lamp Schedule is not. See below for a corrected version of the schedule.

#24 7 months ago
Quoted from chaskett:

I'm cross posting this to from the Pinbot Owner's Club to close out this thread:
Just finished putting in LEDs on my Pinbot. I'm not a fan of the washed out Blue/Red schemes. I tried adding a few Red/Blue GI's above the playfield and didn't like it, with the exception of 1 red and 1 blue under the slingshot plastics to make the thumbs pop.
This scheme assumes no flasher #89 and #1251 incandescent bulbs will be replaced, so no modifications to your machine are needed... just put in the LEDs and play!
Attached are the diagrams I created if you don't want to spend an extra $100 on a kit. The only thing I did differently was to add 3 purples under the left 3 bank drop target 41,42,43 inserts (to counter-balance the purple feme-bot in the backbox) and I went the cheap route without using non-ghosting bulbs. There is a faint flickering in the bayonet underplayfield bulbs, so I've updated my schedule accordingly. Regular wedge bulbs in the matrix worked just fine for me, so I didn't change those to non-ghosting.
Also, I want to call attention to the 2 red towers below the vortex ramp as they really make the thing glow! Additionally, the slow color change bulb in the back box between "Pin" and "Bot" works well with the color bleed into the red and blue.
Hope this helps people out there...

Thanks for sharing this! I'm about to embark on the same adventure. Do you have any additional pictures or videos showing how it turned out? Curious to see in a darker environment. I'm currently weighing whether to go natural vs warm for the GI, or even to include certain color accents here and there.

#25 7 months ago

Id say you did a more than Perfect Job on this Game!

Please do share this with Ryan, at Comet.

#26 7 months ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Id say you did a more than Perfect Job on this Game!
Please do share this with Ryan, at Comet.

That means alot coming from you. Thanks! Is Ryan on pinside?

#28 7 months ago
Quoted from hayrebear:

Do you have any additional pictures or videos showing how it turned out?

I do not. This picture is taken with the direct overhead can light unscrewed. I typically play this in a dim to dark room. This scheme is meant to be a base starting point.

#29 7 months ago

I made a quick video. At the end you can see how my custom 3d printed backbox light baffle works:

3277f2d54f5d9c69be603fc63b80689e4378b882 (resized).jpg

#30 7 months ago
Quoted from hayrebear:

I'm currently weighing whether to go natural vs warm for the GI, or even to include certain color accents here and there.

Well according to comet, the Natural is as close to neutral light as possible. The Warm White will enhance the red and the Sunlight White will enhance the blue. I didn't want to accent either as the idea was to make the other rainbow of colors on the playfield pop... so I went with Natural White for a neutral white.

#31 7 months ago
Quoted from chaskett:

Well according to comet, the Natural is as close to neutral light as possible. The Warm White will enhance the red and the Sunlight White will enhance the blue. I didn't want to accent either as the idea was to make the other rainbow of colors on the playfield pop... so I went with Natural White for a neutral white.

Are you sure? I though natural white bulbs had the slight bluish tint that enhanced the blue. Sunlight are white-white in comparison.

#32 7 months ago
Quoted from FrankJ:

Are you sure? I though natural white bulbs had the slight bluish tint that enhanced the blue. Sunlight are white-white in comparison.

Sorry - I was thinking cool white, not natural. Too many choices out there now.

#33 7 months ago
Quoted from chaskett:

I made a quick video. At the end you can see how my custom 3d printed backbox light baffle works:

Can we get one of those? Very cool!

#34 7 months ago
Quoted from ChrisPINk25:

Can we get one of those? Very cool!

I am still prototyping for now. But eventually, yes, I hope so. I have the design you see into the printer for now... waiting to get it back.

2 weeks later
#35 6 months ago
Quoted from ChrisPINk25:

Can we get one of those? Very cool!

Pinball Life has something comparable, though without the visor portion:
https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=3928

#36 6 months ago
Quoted from chaskett:

I'm cross posting this to from the Pinbot Owner's Club to close out this thread:
Just finished putting in LEDs on my Pinbot. I'm not a fan of the washed out Blue/Red schemes. I tried adding a few Red/Blue GI's above the playfield and didn't like it, with the exception of 1 red and 1 blue under the slingshot plastics to make the thumbs pop.
This scheme assumes no flasher #89 and #1251 incandescent bulbs will be replaced, so no modifications to your machine are needed... just put in the LEDs and play!
Attached are the diagrams I created if you don't want to spend an extra $100 on a kit. The only thing I did differently was to add 3 purples under the left 3 bank drop target 41,42,43 inserts (to counter-balance the purple feme-bot in the backbox) and I went the cheap route without using non-ghosting bulbs. There is a faint flickering in the bayonet underplayfield bulbs, so I've updated my schedule accordingly. Regular wedge bulbs in the matrix worked just fine for me, so I didn't change those to non-ghosting.
Also, I want to call attention to the 2 red towers below the vortex ramp as they really make the thing glow! Additionally, the slow color change bulb in the back box between "Pin" and "Bot" works well with the color bleed into the red and blue.
Hope this helps people out there...

Just an FYI that I think your schedule count is off on the Under Playfield Section, for the bayonets. The red should be 5 and the natural white should be 6.

BTW...i ended up following your guide with a few mods for mine and it looks awesome so far! Big kudos to you for helping me get organized and thinking the right way.

#37 6 months ago
Quoted from chaskett:

I am still prototyping for now. But eventually, yes, I hope so. I have the design you see into the printer for now... waiting to get it back.

I almost feel like a baffle is needed for the Game Over blue box as well. That's the only section where I see a little blue bleeding over into the Williams logo.

#38 6 months ago

Pinball life Ablaze single clear dome led that costs .89 cents is very bright an is a great value. I have them in the head and the playfield on my Pinbot.

#39 6 months ago
Quoted from hayrebear:

Pinball Life has something comparable, though without the visor portion:
https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=3928

Yep, i bought that and then decided the visor needed it too. I based the height of mine off theirs. PBL's s is also just 3d printed, btw.

#40 6 months ago
Quoted from hayrebear:

Just an FYI that I think your schedule count is off on the Under Playfield Section, for the bayonets. The red should be 5 and the natural white should be 6.
BTW...i ended up following your guide with a few mods for mine and it looks awesome so far! Big kudos to you for helping me get organized and thinking the right way.

Damn, I thought i had gone through those. Looks like the diagram is right and the order sheet is not. Glad it helped. Would love to know your mods.

#41 6 months ago
Quoted from chaskett:

Yep, i bought that and then decided the visor needed it too. I based the height of mine off theirs. PBL's s is also just 3d printed, btw.

Looking at it a bit more tonight, I think I agree in re the visor needing the baffle.

#42 6 months ago
Quoted from chaskett:

Damn, I thought i had gone through those. Looks like the diagram is right and the order sheet is not. Glad it helped. Would love to know your mods.

The only mods are the relative to the GI and the flashers. Still working on those actually (have the backbox and inserts done, with some GI). I have optimax bulbs from Comet for the vortex. They were out of the tower bulbs your schedule had, so I figured to give the optimax a try. Likewise, I think I may experiment a bit with some #89 flashers. Haven't ordered anything yet, but am going to. Once I get through it I will snap some pictures for a comparison.

#43 6 months ago
Quoted from hayrebear:

Looking at it a bit more tonight, I think I agree in re the visor needing the baffle.

Yep, i remember playing it as a kid and only seeing the face occasionally and getting freaked out. With LEDs the lights are so bright that they bleed over and expose the face when you're"re not meant to see it, so it's not as dramatic when the eye 1251s go off an you are meant to see the face. The visor baffle fixes the LED light bleed and gives you the designers' intended effect. Its a must have.

#44 6 months ago
Quoted from hayrebear:

The only mods are the relative to the GI and the flashers. Still working on those actually (have the backbox and inserts done, with some GI). I have optimax bulbs from Comet for the vortex. They were out of the tower bulbs your schedule had, so I figured to give the optimax a try. Likewise, I think I may experiment a bit with some #89 flashers. Haven't ordered anything yet, but am going to. Once I get through it I will snap some pictures for a comparison.

Cool. I actually want to try the taller towers for the vortex and maybe a tall white tower below the left blue ramp.

1 week later
#45 6 months ago

Get your Pinbot backbox Visor Light Baffle here:

https://www.shapeways.com/product/3U4QQ3CS3/pinbot-backbox-visor-baffle-stand-alone?optionId=65240178&li=marketplace

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

This backbox light baffle modification for the 1986 Williams Pinb*Bot pinball machine eliminates light bleed from the adjacent bulbs from lighting up the face, allowing it to light up with more clarity only when intended. I remember playing this machine as a kid, only seeing the eyes behind the visor occasionally light up and getting freaked out. With LEDs the lights are so bright that they bleed over and expose the face when you're not meant to see it, so it's not as dramatic when the eyes light up. The visor baffle eliminates the LED light bleed and gives you the designers' intended effect with modern LED lighting. Its a must have modifcation for the Pinbot collector!

INSTALLATION

Find the midpoint between the two eye light sockets and draw a vertical straight line with a ruler to the midpoint of the middle mouth bulb below. Use the triangular points to center the baffle horizontally on the line. Use the elongated screw holes for minor vertical adjustment. (*screws not included)

pasted_image (resized).png

#46 6 months ago
Quoted from hayrebear:

Just an FYI that I think your schedule count is off on the Under Playfield Section, for the bayonets. The red should be 5 and the natural white should be 6.
BTW...i ended up following your guide with a few mods for mine and it looks awesome so far! Big kudos to you for helping me get organized and thinking the right way.

And here's the corrected Lamp Schedule:

CORRECTED LAMP SCHEDULE (resized).png

3 weeks later
#47 5 months ago

Awesome thread guys - thanks very much chaskett !

About to embark on my own PinBot restoration and this has helped me out massively !

Complete newb, first pinbal/first resto, so HEAPS to learn.

Thanks again

#48 5 months ago
Quoted from Harto:

Awesome thread guys - thanks very much chaskett !
About to embark on my own PinBot restoration and this has helped me out massively !
Complete newb, first pinbal/first resto, so HEAPS to learn.
Thanks again

You're welcome! Glad it is helping. Enjoy the process, don't get discouraged, and know there is an amazing community on these boards to help if you get stuck.

2 months later
#49 3 months ago
Quoted from chaskett:

And here's the corrected Lamp Schedule:

Another quick mod/correction for you: should be 6 orange domes on the playfield (for #89 flashers).

4 weeks later
#50 77 days ago

Finally finished my LED overhaul, using the guide from chaskett as a baseline. Links to pictures/video below.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BmAPp79guq_/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Here are the few deviations/modifications I made along the way:

-2 x Red Op-Max bulbs used in the spiral ramp GI (vs the 4+1 SMD red tower)
-1 x Natural White Op-Max under the Blue ramp on the upper left (vs the standard 1 SMD Natural white GI bulb)
-1 x Ice Blue 1 SMD Frosted GI bulb in the left sling (vs the 1 SMD Blue bulb)
-3 x Red 1 SMD Frosted GI (#555) bulbs in the pop bumpers (vs the 1 SMD natural white)
-2 x 8 SMD #89 warm white flashers for left back-box fingers (vs incandescent)
-2 x 8 SMD #89 natural white flashers for right-back-box fingers (vs incandescent)
-4 x 8 SMD #89 red flashers for energy value insert (vs incandescent)
-4 x 8 SMD #89 orange/amber flashers for sun insert (vs incandescent) --- intention was to use warm white, but a stock issue forced my hand
-6 x 5 SMD #89 warm white flashers for orange domes (vs incandescent)

For the #89 LED flashers, I opted to removed the 330 ohm resistors. Info here, if anyone is looking and hasn't seen it already:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/issue-with-pinbot-flasher-circuit-when-using-led-replacement.

Thanks again for the invaluable starting point, chaskett!

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