Poor man's Stadium lighting


By Fytr

3 months ago


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There are 280 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 6.
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#1 3 months ago

I was inspired by the impressive before/after pics of many games that have installed the PinStadium LED lighting mod and wanted to add similar lighting to my Medusa to really allow the amazing playfield art to show.

Being notoriously, uh, "cheap" and the kind that likes to craft my own fixes/mods when feasible I decided to see what I could come up with myself.

Since Medusa is a 1980 Bally there are no flashers to incorporate, nor GI lighting effects to consider, so all that was required were simple Warm-White LED strips along either side of the playfield. Warm white was chosen to keep the warm playfield colors showing as they should via the games original incandescent lighting. The light strips can stay lit whenever the game is on, and only a simple brightness adjustment is required to fine-tune the amount of light being provided.

Here is the parts list I put together (from Amazon):

- SMD5630 LEDs,IP20 Non-Waterproof,Warm White 2800K, 16.4Ft, LED Strip Light + 12V,5A Power Supply: $22 Cdn
amazon.com link »

- Mini Remote RF Controller for Single Color LED Strip Lights Dimmer for 12 V DC LED Light Strips: $7 Cdn
amazon.com link »

- 8ft. length of pre-finished black aluminum "outside corner trim", 1/4" width per side from Home Depot, approx. cost $15 Cdn.

- Velcro 7/8 in. Sticky Back Squares 12 Pack from Home Depot, approx. cost $5 Cdn.

Total cost: $49 Cdn.

1. Cut the aluminum corner trim to 33" lengths with a hacksaw, then filed the cut edges smooth to avoid unsightly or sharp edges.

2. Then I cut the LED strip to the same lengths and attached them to one inside edge of the corner trip via the included glue strips on the back of the LEDs.
IMG_2753 (resized).JPG

3. I added additional wire lengths to the ends of each LED strips to allow enough for the bars to be mounted and the wires to run behind the back of the PF and back up near the front of the cabinet (under the PF). It was a bit tricky to solder the wires to the LED strip connectors due to their small size. I connected the wire from both strips to the single plug that would connect to the remote control adaptor.
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4. I applied the velcro strips down the side of the corner trim evenly spaced down the length of each piece of trim. By attached both sides of the velcro to the bar and then removing the backing to uncover the glue it is straighforward to attach the bar to the side of the game cabinet, pressing firmly to ensure the velcro glue makes a solid connection. The light bars are mounted directly below the pf glass channels.
IMG_2751 (resized).JPG

5. Plug the included 12v power adaptor into the Aux. power plug inside the cabinet, and plug it into the remote control adaptor. Plug the light bar wires into the other end of the remote control adaptor.

6. Plug the game in, and use the remote control to adjust the brightness of the strips to taste.

Overall, this took me about 2 hours to complete, most of the time cutting the bars and and soldering the wires.

I was a bit concerned that the light bars wouldn't be very effective on a classic Bally cabinet due to the shallow space between the pf glass and the top of the pf (vs. a modern DMD or LCD game), but the lighting is very effective.

I'm very pleased with this mod on Medusa. The incredible PF art is now very much on display. An additional benefit is that the PF plastics really light up now showing all the detail of their art and providing the game an overall "golden"/glowing effect that really makes it pop and goes well with the theme. For example, see how the gold/white drop targets at the top shine with the lighting.
Before
After

In the picture, there is a noticeable dimming in the lower center of the PF, but in person it is much more subtle and not really noticeable (looks even better in person).

In order to raise the pf, it is necessary to first remove the light bars via their velcro attachments, which is easily done.

A further improvement would be to source the 12v for the LED strips from the game itself so it would turn on/off with the game. I may or may not pursue this as my game is connected to a switched power plug, so I turn on my games at once with a wall switch, which will also turn the LED lights/on off with the game.

#2 3 months ago

A USB Strip for TVs (5v) about $10, can be driven from GI (6.3v) with full affects.

#3 3 months ago

Not cheap very creative!

#4 3 months ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

A USB Strip for TVs (5v) about $10, can be driven from GI (6.3v) with full affects.

can you find them in rolls?

#6 3 months ago

Been thinking about doing this also.
For effects, was thinking of using RGBW LED's - white is always on, and RGB channels are hooked up to flasher circuits to flash with the game effects.

#7 3 months ago

I made two kits for Baywatch and Big Hurt which both just needed well lit, even lighting, across the playfield. I do own a Pin Stadium kit too, but it's overkill and expensive for each pin, and it's an easy & cheap DIY mod that yields excellent results. For these two games I just used a white LED strip since I knew I only wanted white - no need for a remote for changing colors, etc. The next kit I make will use an RGB LED with remote because it will replace the Pin Stadium installed in Mustang. White LEDs just make the lighting in Mustang too bright and sterile - like walking into a 7-11. For Mustang I found dialing down the white and brightness and adding a tinge of yellow to get a warm feel.

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#8 3 months ago
Quoted from PoMC:

I made two kits for Baywatch and Big Hurt which both just needed well lit, even lighting, across the playfield. I do own a Pin Stadium kit too, but it's overkill and expensive for each pin, and it's an easy & cheap DIY mod that yields excellent results. For these two games I just used a white LED strip since I knew I only wanted white - no need for a remote for changing colors, etc.

#9 3 months ago
Quoted from PoMC:

I made two kits for Baywatch and Big Hurt which both just needed well lit, even lighting, across the playfield. I do own a Pin Stadium kit too, but it's overkill and expensive for each pin, and it's an easy & cheap DIY mod that yields excellent results. For these two games I just used a white LED strip since I knew I only wanted white - no need for a remote for changing colors, etc. The next kit I make will use an RGB LED with remote because it will replace the Pin Stadium installed in Mustang. White LEDs just make the lighting in Mustang too bright and sterile - like walking into a 7-11. For Mustang I found dialing down the white and brightness and adding a tinge of yellow to get a warm feel.

Very nice!

What size channel did you use (1/4", 1/2", etc.) and how did you attach them to the cabinet?

#10 3 months ago

Great color choice too. This is the only color you will need to light a pinball machine. I always stock up on warm white rolls. Use them from time to time. I made my whole fridge light up using a roll of this stuff, since the factory interior lighting burnt out.

#11 3 months ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Excellent work! Here is a link to 5V LED lighting that I quickly found on EBay: ebay.com link » 5v 5050 60smd M Rgb Led Strip Light Bar Tv Back Lighting Kit Usb Remote Control

Those would have been even more cost effective and simple to power directly from the GI circuit.

My next game to do is Metallica Pro. For Metallica I want the ability to set the white and RGB colors using an app on my phone as is possible with the PinStadium kit to a specific color shade and brightness to ensure the best possible effect on the amazing playfield art.

I already ordered a separate Bluetooth controller module and RGB + White led strips for this, but now see I could probably have saved a bunch of $ and used one of these instead: ebay.com link » App Bluetooth Rgb Led Light Strip Brand New 6 6ft Dc 5v Usb Plug 16 Million

I'm not sure how well a straight RGB strip would do vs. a RGB W strip (with dedicated white LEDs intermixed with the RGB ones) though, I suspect it would be better with RGBW LEDs.

I do want to preserve the "Fade to Black" GI fading/blackout effect if at all possible when adding these. I wonder if powering the bluetooth module + strip from the GI directly would work to have them turn of when the GI does? That would be a simple fix.

Alternatively, I also have a Pinduino kit for my Metallica that I am investigating to see if there might be a way I could run the stadium GI LEDs off of that would integrate with the built-in GI fading, etc.

#12 3 months ago
Quoted from Fytr:

My next game to do is Metallica Pro. For Metallica I want the ability to set the white and RGB colors using an app on my phone

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. you don't need teh RGB. don't even give yourself the temptation to make your game look like shit. Stick with the warm white. You are doing great. Plus it's cheaper and looks 1000x's better.

#13 3 months ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. you don't need teh RGB. don't even give yourself the temptation to make your game look like shit. Stick with the warm white. You are doing great. Plus it's cheaper and looks 1000x's better.

Lol! I hear you man!

I have no intention of painting my pf blue or anything, I just think being able to slightly tint the color (a bit tinge more red, for example) would make the PF "pop" a bit more. More for experimentation than anything.

#14 3 months ago

Awesome thread.

#15 3 months ago

Well done

Red Green would be proud

#16 3 months ago
Quoted from Fytr:

Those would have been even more cost effective and simple to power directly from the GI circuit.
My next game to do is Metallica Pro. For Metallica I want the ability to set the white and RGB colors using an app on my phone as is possible with the PinStadium kit to a specific color shade and brightness to ensure the best possible effect on the amazing playfield art.
I already ordered a separate Bluetooth controller module and RGB + White led strips for this, but now see I could probably have saved a bunch of $ and used one of these instead: ebay.com link » App Bluetooth Rgb Led Light Strip Brand New 6 6ft Dc 5v Usb Plug 16 Million
I'm not sure how well a straight RGB strip would do vs. a RGB W strip (with dedicated white LEDs intermixed with the RGB ones) though, I suspect it would be better with RGBW LEDs.
I do want to preserve the "Fade to Black" GI fading/blackout effect if at all possible when adding these. I wonder if powering the bluetooth module + strip from the GI directly would work to have them turn of when the GI does? That would be a simple fix.
Alternatively, I also have a Pinduino kit for my Metallica that I am investigating to see if there might be a way I could run the stadium GI LEDs off of that would integrate with the built-in GI fading, etc.

I've been using the RGB+W for home lighting and really like it (personally, using warm white as I like it for night time lighting better than cooler whites). The RGB mix to white has variation based on the manufacture -- sometimes more blue, sometimes more pink. Otherwise, I've been wanting to do something similar with the pinduino. As you know from the Metallica kit, the idea is very similar, but that I had it set with the LEDs along the apron and backboard. You can easily change make a set for the sides and update the Metallica code with however many LEDs are being used in one strip. Also, since the Metallica code is only using one LED port on the pinduino, you can use the second LED port to power side lighting (and have different effects.) If you go that route, feel free to give me a call and I can help you with the programming.

#17 3 months ago
Quoted from Fytr:

Very nice!
What size channel did you use (1/4", 1/2", etc.) and how did you attach them to the cabinet?

On Big Hurt I used 1/2" angle strips I think. Baywatch has 3/4" strips just because I happened to have them. I use a roll of $5 magnetic tape which works for 3 games. Strips on the cabinet sides and on the angles and the click right in place and simple to remove.

#18 3 months ago
#19 3 months ago
Quoted from Fytr:

Lol! I hear you man!
I have no intention of painting my pf blue or anything, I just think being able to slightly tint the color (a bit tinge more red, for example) would make the PF "pop" a bit more. More for experimentation than anything.

I use RGB for Mustang just because the warm white is too harsh on Mustang's playfield colors. So I dialed down the whiteness and brightness and added a slight bit of yellow to achieve a nice warm white light that makes the playfield colors look super.

#20 3 months ago

It's nice to have a much cheaper DIY option to the currently available product. Nicely done!

#21 3 months ago

How much room is there to lift the playfield if you have mirror blades?

#22 3 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

How much room is there to lift the playfield if you have mirror blades?

I was going to ask about mirror blades as well. Is the magnetic tape ultra thin and do you just put it directly on the blades? I just installed blades on lotr and I don't see room for much else.

#23 3 months ago

Thank you. this is something I might actually be able to figure out how to use on my Crescendo, which is in desperate need of a UV floodlight. I never bought a Pinstadium because they were not sure it would fit in there..I'm not sure this will either, but it's a much easier-to-stomach price with some sweat equity.. I can do that.

@quiddity !!

#24 3 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

How much room is there to lift the playfield if you have mirror blades?

I have mirrors blades on all my games I have the lighting installed on and have no problem with clearing the magnetic tape strips. Baywatch is a very tight game and even with mirrors and tape I can lift the PF. Just be careful when starting to clear the edge of each tape strip.

15
#25 3 months ago

Thanks so much for this. I think pinstadium lighting looks great but the price is absolute robbery for 2 LED strips and a piece of corner bead. I'll be trying this for sure.

#27 3 months ago

I used these and magnetic strip tape. Easy peasy and cheap. I've used the 12v and 5v versions.

ebay.com link » 30cm 50cm Led Aluminum Alloy Shell Under Cabinet Lamp Strip Hard Light Tube Bar

#28 3 months ago

#29 3 months ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

A USB Strip for TVs (5v) about $10, can be driven from GI (6.3v) with full affects.

A simple circuit will do the same thing using 12V lights, which are easier to find, and less expensive if you are doing multiple pins. I use the 5V leds for trough lights and to light dark sections (with gi effects). Your point is spot on, having GI effects is key, otherwise it looks like a mod.

#30 3 months ago
Quoted from PersonX99:

A simple circuit will do the same thing using 12V lights, which are easier to find, and less expensive if you are doing multiple pins. I use the 5V leds for trough lights and to light dark sections (with gi effects). Your point is spot on, having GI effects is key, otherwise it looks like a mod.

Could you share details on the "simple circuit" that can be used to make the 12v leds work with the GI effects?

Quoted from lyonsden:

Excellent work! Here is a link to 5V LED lighting that I quickly found on EBay: ebay.com link » 5v 5050 60smd M Rgb Led Strip Light Bar Tv Back Lighting Kit Usb Remote Control

I received a PM asking a valid question, how do you power these 5V DC LED bars from the 6.3v AC GI lights?

#31 3 months ago
Quoted from Fytr:

Could you share details on the "simple circuit" that can be used to make the 12v leds work with the GI effects?

I received a PM asking a valid question, how do you power these 5V DC LED bars from the 6.3v AC GI lights?

I haven't tried to do this, but this looks like it would work: ebay.com link » Ac Dc 5 35v To 3 3v 5v 9v 12v 24v Buck Step Down Converter Volt Linear Regulator

Note that the output is 600mA at 5V, which is enough to drive 30 single color LEDs

#32 3 months ago

I second the questions of how to tie directly into the GI circuit.

#33 3 months ago

id be a little careful running 6-8 feet of led strips off the GI unless you can calculate the load you are putting on that circuit. you can grab constant 5v at the coindoor on stern games, same place you get 12v and that would work, but they would not be interactive with the game.

#34 3 months ago
Quoted from Lermods:

id be a little careful running 6-8 feet of led strips off the GI unless you can calculate the load you are putting on that circuit. you can grab constant 5v at the coindoor on stern games, same place you get 12v and that would work, but they would not be interactive with the game.

Where on the coin door do you pull from? Does this work for DE/Sega games?

#35 3 months ago
Quoted from maffewl:

Where on the coin door do you pull from? Does this work for DE/Sega games?

there is a connector at the coindoor on sega/de games (right side down from flipper button, bunch of orange wires in a connector). I know there is 12v, but not sure about 5v, check your manual for pinouts. On modern stern games, it is the 3 pin molex connector near the right flipper, ground, 12v and 5v.

#36 3 months ago

Since most of the Ebay stuff is USB - wouldn't this work if you ran a wire from the coin door lights (always on when the game is on - 6.3V) to the female USD breakout mounted on the inside of the cabinet then you would have a couple quick disconnects for the LED strips in the cabinet - all easily wired in. None of this is expensive it is easy and I found the wiring diagram (we would not use data) just the power.

52f29ce3ce395f99108b4568 (resized).jpg

usb-wiring-connection (resized).jpg

#37 3 months ago

I don't think that has a bridge rectifier to covert AC to D.C. It is just a pass through to a USB port so you need to supply 5VDC to it.

Quoted from wamonkey:

Since most of the Ebay stuff is USB - wouldn't this work if you ran a wire from the coin door lights (always on when the game is on - 6.3V) to the female USD breakout mounted on the inside of the cabinet then you would have a couple quick disconnects for the LED strips in the cabinet - all easily wired in. None of this is expensive it is easy and I found the wiring diagram (we would not use data) just the power.

#38 3 months ago

That looks great!

#39 3 months ago

If people are looking to power these things, it is probably best to pull power from the AUX port on Stern/DE/Sega games, or add an external power supply (e.g., ebay.com link » 5v 12v 24v Dc Ac 1a 10a 30a 50a 70a Switching Power Supply Adapter For Led Strip

The only reason why powering from the GI might be preferable is that you get the stadium lighting turning off when the GI is switched off. That can also be accomplished with an external power supply by using a transistor that is controlled by the GI (via a bridge rectifier) to drive the current to the stadium lighting (much in the same way the solenoids and flashers work).

#40 3 months ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

I haven't tried to do this, but this looks like it would work: ebay.com link » Ac Dc 5 35v To 3 3v 5v 9v 12v 24v Buck Step Down Converter Volt Linear Regulator
Note that the output is 600mA at 5V, which is enough to drive 30 single color LEDs

This says step down regulator where you need a step up regulator to go from 6,3V to 12VDC. Like
ebay.com link

And yes, you will need to set a bridge rectifier with a small Elco between the GI and Input of the regulator. Done this several times and no problem for small amount of leds. Also note that if you have replaced GI bulbs with leds this frees powerbudget to add extra leds without straining the existent power source.

#41 3 months ago

So can probably use this.
https://www.mouser.com/productdetail/omron-electronics/g2r-1-ac6?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtSzCF3XBhmW9QHBhVHWko325NV%252bVedlNk%3D

Use the GI voltage to trigger it and connect 12V to the machine supply for the LEDs.

#42 3 months ago

If only someone would assemble all this stuff in an easy to buy single package.

#43 3 months ago

Yeah, with all the modders out there someone should bring a lower cost alternative to the market. Much lower

#44 3 months ago
Quoted from PoMC:

I made two kits for Baywatch and Big Hurt which both just needed well lit, even lighting, across the playfield. I do own a Pin Stadium kit too, but it's overkill and expensive for each pin, and it's an easy & cheap DIY mod that yields excellent results. For these two games I just used a white LED strip since I knew I only wanted white - no need for a remote for changing colors, etc. The next kit I make will use an RGB LED with remote because it will replace the Pin Stadium installed in Mustang. White LEDs just make the lighting in Mustang too bright and sterile - like walking into a 7-11. For Mustang I found dialing down the white and brightness and adding a tinge of yellow to get a warm feel.

Pomc, did you use warm white or cool white strips on that baywatch? Looks awesome.

#45 3 months ago
Quoted from Langless28:

Pomc, did you use warm white or cool white strips on that baywatch? Looks awesome.

Thanks, the box said warm whites.

#46 3 months ago

Love this thread. It was only a matter time until people make their own Pinstadium lights.

#47 3 months ago
Quoted from jwilson:

If only someone would assemble all this stuff in an easy to buy single package.

I think it is call Pinstadium lights

#48 3 months ago

Wonder if this concept is Patented? I too prefer to DIY, since it seems the other option is highway robbery.

#49 3 months ago
Quoted from phil-lee:

Wonder if this concept is Patented? I too prefer to DIY, since it seems the other option is highway robbery.

I also decided to make my own set (which I do not use by the way as I find it either floods the insert lights or dialed down it does nothing for the center playfield) and I used exactly the same system as pinstadium. I used the RGBW strips, RGBW controller, plastic corner profiles and magnetic adhesive tape strips. Also the controllers can be controlled by mobile phone, essentially the same as Pinstadium. I used two relays that turn the strips on/off one for the RGBW ledstrip and one for the flasher ledstrip and the relays connect to the game and turn on an external powersupply.

All in all it was about 65 dollar in parts, but what you have to know it that it takes a lot of time to make these. I think I would be asking around the same as Pinstadium does when I would have to make money on them and I know that the quality of assembly gets better the more you make them.

The ones that Pinstadium makes are as easy to install as you can get them and making that yourself can be a lengthy job or even frustrating. Keep in mind that making these for yourself is not the same as making them for others. You have to provide service, give help installing them for newbies etc. etc. Pinstadium cannot do that for free.

Also if you make them yourself, you do not get such a neat all-in-one solution as the Pinstadium has. It is more like a bunch of different parts that you need to get installed neatly in the cabinet without it catching on something when you raise the playfield.

#50 3 months ago
Quoted from mwong168:

I think it is call Pinstadium lights

thatsthejoke (resized).jpg

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