(Topic ID: 225496)

Stern Electronics Club (1977-1984).

By Mitch

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 2,346 posts
  • 195 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 days ago by treborlicec
  • Topic is favorited by 101 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

7 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #227 Various gate tips. Posted by cottonm4 (1 year ago)

Post #269 Hi quality thoughts from Cotton about inlanes. Posted by cottonm4 (1 year ago)

Post #279 Playfield touch up tips. Posted by klr650 (1 year ago)

Post #309 Stern inserts suggestions. Posted by cottonm4 (1 year ago)

Post #310 Seawitch gate flap solution. Posted by frunch (1 year ago)

Post #1033 Bally drop targets on the classic stern, even mix and match. Posted by cottonm4 (8 months ago)

Post #1958 Star Gazer podcast episode link. Posted by DRDAVE (75 days ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#1644 4 months ago

Yeah, WPC mechs on the late 6 games, and into 7, don't give you much change other than a replaceable coil stop and smoother return spring. Otherwise they're mechanically the same. Though doing the thorough rebuild does get you a lot better playing machine.

The older style mech, system 3-4, and early 6, without the unified plate? Those see a big difference with the upgrade as it takes out a lot of slop.


3 weeks later
#1782 3 months ago

Maybe a hard top would be an option.

4 weeks later
#1883 86 days ago

Everything I've ever purchased from Phoenix was very high quality. Never cheaps out on material or artwork. He usually does CPO's and side art for arcade games and Phoenix Arcade is very well regarded in those circles.

1 week later
#1932 77 days ago

Check the voltage where you tapped into. Sterns a lot of times have low lamp bus voltage in the back box. I’m guessing you’ll find around 2.5v instead of the needed 5v. May need to look at under-playfield lamps for the better voltage.

#1940 76 days ago

Are all the flickering lamps on the same metal plate? If so, could be a bad voltage input into the plate. Stern seems to have a lot more issues with LED conversions than Bally, and those lamp plates come up a lot in my emails.

#1965 74 days ago

Yay, I'll finally be in the Stern club soon!
Bout time, considering how many of my boards are in your machines.


#1974 72 days ago
Quoted from barakandl:

probably not. I think the non ghosting ones have rectifier diodes and a capacitor inside of them, but nothing to add load.
If someone had LED lamps made with a built in resistor wired across the leads it could make the replacement LED boards with loading resistors not needed.
A software change to make the feature lamps update farther away from the zero cross point when the feature lamp voltage is higher would probably eliminate the need loading for resistors too. The original idea with incandescent was to turn on the lamps close to zero volts as possible to reduce wear on the lamp filaments... but that makes the LEDs not pull enough current to latch the SCR and you get flickering.

The previous owner of Comet tried to develop an LED to do this, but he kept having issues with his supplier getting the design wrong, and eventually dropped the project. I think there was also concern with how LED's that had an internal load resistor would react to other machines.


#1990 69 days ago

Set up in the workshop. Time to truly learn the way of the Stern. Typical battery corrosion right of passage.

Going to take a big cleanup job, I’m convinced this thing has been sitting since the mid 80’s.

I’m going to have fun with this one.

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#1998 68 days ago
Quoted from wolffcub:

I wish my back glass was that nice.

With your machine, I can't say I blame you. That thing is phenomenal looking.
Unfortunately, since BGResto can't do mirrored glasses, and mine isn't good enough for CPR, I don't know what options are out there.
Tried to e-mail mayfair amusements, but the email bounced.

My plastics are actually near perfect though, so I'm supposed to send some photos to Stu tonight to see if CPR may be able to do new plastic sets at least.


#2010 66 days ago
Quoted from chad:

Bump, seeing if any further info is out for this.

Unfortunately I haven't found any further info on it either. Just not enough info available to do a reproduction on it.
I'd need to have one in-hand to sort out the last few pieces of a bill of material.


#2015 65 days ago

Lectronamo plastics are boxed up and heading to CPR this week, looks like mine were good enough to make the cut and get in the queue!


#2017 65 days ago
Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

If I knew they were needed I have 4 playfields and put together a couple perfect sets for a couple complete games. Would of gladly passed them to cpr.

I just figured since mine would be a while until it was ready to try and play, I'd ask and see if they were interested. In this case they were.

#2022 64 days ago
Quoted from wolffcub:

its interesting to see CPR interested in Lectronamo after i always got people joking with me as to why i resorted on when its such a non sought after game. My plastics are mint other than 2 minor scratches on 2 pieces. A back glass would be a cool thing to reproduce.

Their new business model also plays a lot into it I'm sure, since they can now 'build to order', and don't have to risk a full production run on a lesser known title.


#2024 64 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Have they started this yet though? I haven’t seen anything outside of their regular runs.

I think pretty much all the plastics are under this now, and just about any plastic they've ever made is back available to order.

I don't think anything has changed so far with playfields though.


#2026 64 days ago
Quoted from wolffcub:

lets drive them to do a back glass!

Unfortunately, I don't think mine is good enough for a sample.
If it was, I'd have it (and my devil riders outer glass) on the way to them already.


1 week later
#2070 54 days ago

So, had a question from Stu at CPR, as he works on the artwork for the Lectronamo plastics.

The upper arch plastics were used in about a half dozen games during that era, which is why the colors don't completely match the game.
He was asking if the community would like to make a color change on the top two arches, to substitute orange for the blue, in order to better match the other plastics in the game. Figured I'd throw the idea out and see what you guys thought.


#2123 49 days ago

Not comfortable with the way the power switch is so exposed on these games, so I drew up a CAD file for a power switch cover, and put them up for sale on the website. Since the mounting plate is so small, I was able to make these significantly smaller than the Williams version, and priced accordingly cheaper.

I'll also be adding them to my Pinside shop soon too, but I want to get a better photo first.


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#2137 47 days ago

Had a chance to buy a lightning locally last year. I waffled around too much and the opportunity slipped away. Wish I had chased it down when I could.

#2140 46 days ago

CPR has the Lectronamo plastics available now for purchase. Stu came up with a different color scheme that they went with on the generic arches, replacing the blue with orange. It definitely matches much better with the rest of the plastics.


#2163 42 days ago

Well, poop. Almost had my lectronamo running, only one solenoid not firing for the outhole, and actually managed to kinda play a game. Replaced the transistor and it's taken a few steps back.

Some days are just not fun in pinball.


#2192 38 days ago

Out of curiosity, what is the voltage on your lamp power buss? Trying to see a correlation between things when the adapters aren’t quite completely working.

#2238 33 days ago

well, crud, I went and messed up my Lectronamo somehow. Has a new Weebly CPU board in it too.

Had it actually playing a game, except the outhole coil wasn't working. The coil ohm'd out ok, voltage was good, and I could fire it by grounding the transistor tab. I didn't have any transistors to spare, so I pulled an unused one from Q1, and used it to replace Q4.

Well, something happened the game just didn't like!

I get into attract mode, but it doesn't reset the drop target banks during boot, I don't hear the relay clicking during boot, and even testing at the CPU board I don't have any stuck switches but they do show up during switch test. I did re-install Q1 with a fresh TIP102, but no change.

Displays work, controlled lamps are working, I have solenoid voltage.

Not terribly familiar with how the MPU-100 works, so not sure what I should be digging into next. From all I understand, if a PIA is dead, it shouldn't get into attract mode.

#2239 33 days ago

Just to confirm, it looks like I'm able to register switches on the upper header, but not on the lower header.

I can trigger all coils, and the flipper relay, by grounding their respective tabs on the solenoid driver board.


#2244 32 days ago

Might be onto something there. Crimps do look pretty poor, but unfortunately I'm completely out of hand-crimps right now, have to order more.

Goofing around with the connector I did get some momentary clicking of the relay and solenoids..... now my MPU LED just locks steady-on when I try to power it up. So going to dig deeper into that connector.

What an odd design.

1 week later
#2284 23 days ago

Got my Lectronamo fired up today, with the sound working for the first time.

Now I understand SB100 opinions.

What did I do to deserve this?

#2290 22 days ago

Ok, what am I missing here? I keep blowing Q4, for my outhole coil.
I can trip it by grounding the tab on Q4, and it fires nice and strong, so I know the wiring is good as is the coil voltage.
All other coils are working fine.

Last time I replaced Q4, the coil fired 2-3 times during test, and looks like the transistor went dead again now.
Won't fire either in the game or via test mode.

Nothing is shorting out around the outhole, I replaced the old aluminum sleeve with a nylon one just in case.
New diode on the coil, wiring isn't backwards.

Never had this kind of repeated transistor failure before. But I'm also new to the Bally/Stern SDB. So not sure if I'm missing something.


#2296 21 days ago

One of the first things I tried was checking/replacing the coil diode.

Here's where things get weird. It actually worked this morning for a brief time. Looks like if I let the whole thing sit for a while, powered off, I'll get a couple shots with that coil before it rapidly loses strength and stops working. Supply voltage and wiring though are both fine as it fires at full strength if I ground the drive transistor.

I think I'm just going to rebuild the whole circuit for that coil on the SDB, from the 3081 on down.

#2298 21 days ago
Quoted from Quench:

The transistor usually only blows when there's a problem with the diode on the coil preventing the back EMF being blocked, otherwise most other issues should cause the solenoid fuse under the playfield to blow, not the transistor. Check that fuse and make sure someone hasn't overfused it. Should be a 1 amp slow blow. Banded side of the coil diode should be on the yellow wire. Measure the DC resistance of that coil, it should probably be in the 9 - 10 ohm range.

Yep, fuse is fine. Coil is wired correctly. Coil diode has been replaced. Coil ohm's out fine.
All other solenoids are working just fine.

If it sits overnight the outhole will fire fine once or twice, then get super weak, then stop altogether.

Just very odd.

#2299 21 days ago

Looks like one of the previous times Q4 went, it gave U1 a hit. Replaced U1 and CR4, things are working properly now. At least in that area.

Still plenty of work to do and the restoration continues.

I can at least play full games now, with full solenoids and switches.

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