(Topic ID: 225496)

Stern Electronics Club (1977-1984).

By Mitch

3 years ago


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Topic index (key posts)

10 key posts have been marked in this topic

Display key post list sorted by: Post date | Keypost summary | User name

Post #227 Various gate tips. Posted by cottonm4 (3 years ago)

Post #269 Hi quality thoughts from Cotton about inlanes. Posted by cottonm4 (3 years ago)

Post #279 Playfield touch up tips. Posted by klr650 (3 years ago)

Post #309 Stern inserts suggestions. Posted by cottonm4 (3 years ago)

Post #310 Seawitch gate flap solution. Posted by frunch (3 years ago)

Post #1033 Bally drop targets on the classic stern, even mix and match. Posted by cottonm4 (2 years ago)

Post #1958 Star Gazer podcast episode link. Posted by DRDAVE (2 years ago)

Post #2587 Link to 3D printed parts available from HHaase. Posted by HHaase (2 years ago)

Post #2590 Link to 3D printed parts by Swinks, available at Shapeways. Posted by swinks (2 years ago)


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#928 2 years ago
Quoted from Mitch:

Also what does everyone have there transformer set to? My stargazer is jumpered for 115ac not 120ac and all the coil are really strong.
Tested my wall outlet and its 119ac.
Surprisingly even with all the wire hacks this thing still plays great [quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

My Lightning was also jumpered for 115VAC. Some of my voltages measured a little high. I changed it to 120VAC and the measured DC voltages are much closer to specs.

#929 2 years ago

My only Classic Stern is Lightning. I bought it as a project. I put about 65 hours into it and about $800 in parts. I recently spent another $120 on a CPR plastic set that I have yet to install. I know this game doesn't get the love of some of the other Sterns, but it has a really unique rule set and I'm digging it. Nothing like ripping the spinner when lit for 1k plus 4x playfield. Hard to set it up but man, 350-400K per spinner rip! I also really like how the bonus maxes at 99k times 5x. That bonus meltdown is sweet!

Here are some before and after pics.

Before:

20180528_173808 (resized).jpg20180528_173829 (resized).jpg20180528_173853 (resized).jpg20180528_173900 (resized).jpg20180528_173908 (resized).jpgDSCF6903 (resized).JPGDSCF6910 (resized).JPGDSCF6922 (resized).JPG

#930 2 years ago

After:

20181201_201120 (resized).jpgDSCF6985 (resized).JPGDSCF6968 (resized).JPGDSCF6994 (resized).JPGDSCF6992 (resized).JPGDSCF7000 (resized).JPGDSCF7002 (resized).JPGDSCF7003 (resized).JPGDSCF7006 (resized).JPGDSCF7009 (resized).JPGDSCF6996 (resized).JPGDSCF6961 (resized).JPG
#933 2 years ago

Thanks Eric! It was a lot of work and my first attempt at bringing one back from the dead.

#936 2 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

I sell hardly any glass. Lightning must of been a good production run.

I might decide to get one from you. Mine has two big scratches and a few bare spots from bulb heat.

20180528_174532 (resized).jpgDSCF6990 (resized).JPG
3 weeks later
#1061 2 years ago

I did every single insert on my Lightning. I used the two part epoxy that you mix together. I read that somewhere here on Pinside and it worked well.

#1071 2 years ago

I don't have a pic but I checked the schematic. Yes, J3 pin 11 is the GI bus, same electrically as J3 pin 10 and J1 pin 5.

2 weeks later
#1286 2 years ago

When I rebuilt my Lightning I had 4 flippers to do. I already had new coil sleeves, so I saved some money by ordering the plunger and links, coil stops, springs, EOS, and bushings. I just re-used the cranks and set screws cause they were fine. I did have to order a couple base plates though because the holes to attach the coil stops were stripped out. In hindsight, I would probably just order the whole assy if I had to do it again. I've rebuilt tons of flippers on all types of games over the years and I found these to be a PITA.

1 week later
#1367 2 years ago

For someone new to pinball repair to rebuild a power board or put new sockets on an MPU is not really possible. Chip, you are gonna need to learn how to repin connectors on these games. You might want to consider buying an Alltek MPU board. They also sell the trifecta(new MPU, Lamp driver bd, ultimate solenoid driver bd). These machines are very old and repairs of course can be made to the existing boards, but sometimes it's just better to get new stuff in there. Great Plains Electronics sells a replacement power board, and another company(Weebly, maybe?)

Also need to learn how to use a meter. Looking at fuses sometimes won't tell you a thing. Removing the fuse and testing ohms with a meter is the only reliable way to test. You can also use a meter set to DC volts to check your voltages on the power board, see if you have voltage at the coil, etc. You can use a meter set to AC volts to check your inputs to the power board coming from the transformer. Also, you will probably get more help in a technical thread rather than a "club" thread. Good luck with your Meteor. Such a great game!

#1369 2 years ago

I'm a 30 year experienced technician and sometimes I just slap 'em in. Just sayin!

2 weeks later
#1439 2 years ago

How can you comfortably fix up a game without the manual? For me it's just a must have. Took me about 15 seconds to find this. You can download the manual and the schematics. These should help you tremendously.

https://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?any=catacomb&search=Search+Database&searchtype=quick

#1442 2 years ago

Wow, that is nasty looking. I have a related question for the group. Has anyone had problems/issues with the repro flipper bats from PBL? I find these classic Stern flipper mechs to be finicky anyway, but these PBL bats leave a lot to be desired. I've had to sand and scotchbright the hell out of the metal shafts just so they turn easily within the bushing. The old bats work perfectly. They are just discolored and faded so I wanted some nice white bats again.

#1445 2 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

I have not had any trouble with the bats from PBL. But I have had a couple of tight flipper bushings.
The flipper shaft measures .250” so I bought a reamer at a used tool store that measures .255” and reamed the bushings.

OK, thanks for the reply. I also took some sandpaper to the inside of the bushing and that seemed to help.

1 week later
#1484 2 years ago

Amazing line-up.

1 week later
#1522 2 years ago
Quoted from getadam:

Picked up Nine Ball from the awesome @warlock in Allentown this weekend. (Great seller!)
It was working great at the show but since we got it home having a crazy issue. The game is kicking a ball into the shooter lane every 9 seconds!
Check out this video. You'll see I'm not touching the game at all except to remove a ball to make room for the ball kicks.

Here's the thing - we really don't think it's a switch issue. We've carefully gone over every switch. The switch test come back clean with the flashing zero. And after that I've tried banging on playfield to see if anything registers - but no, switches are good.
It doesn't eject during attract mode, only during game play. And yes, it's consistently every 9 seconds. It will even try to eject when there's no balls in trough. Like during the 3-ball multiball, I can still here the ball release solenoid firing.

Did you take the head off for transport? If so, you probably have either a connector in the wrong spot, or a connector in the right spot but off by 1 pin. You said switches test ok, but are you sure the switch in the shooter lane is registering properly with a ball(not a finger)?

2 weeks later
#1590 2 years ago
Quoted from JoshPA:

Hello and thanks for reading! I'm looking for advice on the next thing to check in my quest to get a flipper working on a Stingray.
Issue - Pressing the left flipper button yields a flash at the cube relay. Swapped out for a known good factory board, same issue. Swapped in a known good Alltek - blew a fuse. Pulled every pin on every connector in the backbox, re-pinned anything that looked bad. Based on everything I had read, meter readings are correct at the flipper solenoid. Resisters facing the right direction. Compared connections to my other Stingray (its a sickness), looks correct.
Any suggestions for next thing to test? Any specific readings to take, bypass XX, jump YY, ? Newbie when it comes to pin tech. Soldering skills obviously need some work. Pics attached.
Thanks in advance!
[quoted image][quoted image]

What readings did you take at the flipper coil? With power off, check the ohms across each of the two windings in the coil and compare to the other working flipper. Also, those are diodes and not resistors. They could also be shorted. To test them you need to clip one end so they are out of the circuit. Use the diode ck function on the meter. You're looking for .7 volts in one direction, open in the other direction.

3 weeks later
#1746 2 years ago

Wow, that CUE is a real piece of history. Nice find!

2 months later
#2067 2 years ago
Quoted from slochar:

The PBL flipper kits seem to get magnetized really easily. At this point I recycle other copper coil stops from the pop bumpers and put the steel ones there; a long time ago Marco was selling a plunger that was correct (it was some gottlieb part for about $2) but they're sold out. PBR had some links on their specials page and I bought a pile of those.
Not sure what's up with the PBL kits but there's something off on them - slam tilt was talking about having to drill new holes in the plate as it was in the wrong spot.

Yep, I used the PBL kits to rebuild all 4 on Lightning. I kept having an intermittent problem where the lower left flipper would not always return. Drove me crazy for about a month. Finally realized the holes in the coil stop bracket were slightly off. I just installed the original coil stop back in and zero issues since. Thankful that I didn't throw the old ones away.

2 weeks later
#2208 2 years ago

Found some competition video on Lightning, first I've seen. Too bad the spinner is borked but worth a watch.

2 months later
#2514 2 years ago
Quoted from Mitch:

Some parts for sale.
I have 2 populated lightning playfeilds I'd sell parts from.
4 bank drop target $120
Widebody lockbar $150
Some stingrays plastics $?
Pm me if interested

PM sent.

2 months later
#2761 1 year ago

Those all look great, but good Lord, that Trident looks amazing!

2 weeks later
10
#2866 1 year ago

Here's the drops I did for my Lightning. It's the only classic Stern I've restored and it came out better than I expected.

DSCF6961 (resized).JPGDSCF6986 (resized).JPG
2 weeks later
#2924 1 year ago
Quoted from spandol:

Hello everyone. I got a Star Gazer, but it will only go through 3 beeps on startup and then nothing. What should I look at? It has an Alltek MPU and Solenoid board. The rectifier was hacked up, but I replaced with a new one and repined all wires with new housings. I changed out the MPU and solenoid board with the same result. What does only 3 beeps tell you?
Thanks

You might be missing voltages going to the MPU. Check all the test points with a meter and see if any are missing or significantly off from what is labeled on the board.

#2936 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

What is a "finned" lockdown bar? I have not heard of this term. All of my Lock bars look the same.

Finned is the regular type. There is also a type that has pegs instead.

#2945 1 year ago

When I restored my Lightning, I got a set of 9 drops from PBR. They play great on this game. They might brick shot like 5% of the time.

#2989 1 year ago

Of all the classic Sterns I have played, I enjoyed Hot Hand the least. I've played 3 different ones. Just didn't like it. Trident, Galaxy, and Dracula are sweet. Still haven't played Nugent.

#3006 1 year ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

Curious if anyone knows the difference between the v1 and v2 classic Stern flipper brackets? While the layout of the screw holes is a bit different, I can't see why there would be any playing difference. The rebuild kits for both v1 and v2 are the same, but the brackets are indeed different. djblouw?

One version the bracket is totally flat. The other version, the tabs with the screw holes are offset from the main plate, so that the height is different. This means that the flipper bat shafts are longer for the offset version. Now, which one is V1 and V2 I cannot remember.

#3028 1 year ago

One trick I learned years ago when touching up a cabinet. As you know, a lot of paints look slightly different when wet vs. dry. I would mix up variations of a color and paint quarter size circles on a transparency and let them dry completely. Then hold that over the color I was trying to match and see which one was the closest.

#3031 1 year ago

Clearcoat on a cabinet?

#3033 1 year ago

Most of us are not HEP

4 weeks later
#3193 1 year ago

I have a friend looking for the bonus/timer display driver board on Lightning. It is missing. From the manual, the part # is A-866 or also 34C-866-S. I know it's very unlikely that any after market boards are made. Did any other Classic Sterns use this driver board?

Also, after taking the photo, I see it could also be called BTI-100 (bonus timer interface).

20200508_163857 (resized).jpg
1 month later
#3357 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

I just had flipper coil start fluttering. One minute it was playing fine and the next minute it started fluttering. All the external wires are intact. Everything looks in order. I am going to replace the coil because I don't know what else can be the cause.
Question: Can flipper coils just go bad? If so, what would cause this to happen? Am I experiencing a break in the wiring on the hold coil wiring? Or could a diode have gone bad?
Thanks.

I had this exact problem recently on a Gottlieb Hoops. In this case a screw used to hold the EOS to the bracket was too long. The tip of the screw was touching the coil wrapper. Vibration caused the screw to eat through the coil wrapper and eventually the hold coil winding. I was able to find the break, sand the wires and solder together to repair.

3 weeks later
#3444 1 year ago

https://www.pinballlife.com/williamsbally-14-nylon-spacer-03-6047-1.html

Four of these should do the trick. Just move the ground braid above the spacer so you still have contact.

2 weeks later
#3486 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

how many is "a few"?

Trois.... lol for Germaine.

1 week later
#3529 1 year ago
Quoted from Quench:

Getting hard to find now.
You're looking for 25k ohm, 500mW logarithmic (audio taper) potentiometers.
None of the big electronic guys have them anymore.
You could try one of these - probably worth getting a suitable knob for it too:
ebay.com link » Alpha Potentiometer A25k Audio Taper Pot
Confirm with them that you're getting "A25k" pots which are logarithmic, and not "B25k" which are linear. You don't want linear because the volume wont adjust proportionately.

Thanks for the heads up! After checking several of my go to places and seeing nothing, I ordered a couple of these from the Ebay link.

#3531 1 year ago
Quoted from woody76:

what would cause very low volume with pot turned all the way up?

Could be a bad pot but not likely. Check the voltages at the sound board. Could need caps replaced.

1 week later
#3626 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Thank you all for responding. It is numbers game. I used to buy aircraft parts. I could buy you one bolt for $10,000.00 or I could buy you 10,000 bolts for a dollar each.
So far, I could around 15 pairs the might sell. So 30 units. That is not a big number of sales.
Obviously, I don't know what the magic breakeven number is for Kerry not do I know his appetite for risk is, but I will relay this information on to him. What I can say is that I feel from reading his emails that it is something he would like to do.

If he had them available on his website he might sell hundreds over several years. Something to consider over just the initial sales when they first get made.

#3628 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballlife:

I have a Nugent and a Stars and I love them both.
Looks like I may have an opportunity to purchase a (Stern) Freefall.
Any good? Value?
Terry.

I played Freefall in the Stern Pro Circuit finals in Chicago a few years ago. Very cool game with quite a different layout. I would buy one if one came up local to me at a decent price. What is that price? I don't know. $1250? They only produced 1300 of them and they don't seem to come up for sale much.

#3632 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

He might. Or he might not. I do not know what his risk parameters are. And I am pretty sure he will look at all the angles before making a decision.
What about you? Are you a buyer for some?

Yes, I would buy a set for my Lightning. Only Classic Stern I own right now.

1 week later
#3717 1 year ago
Quoted from woody76:

Second ups package with destroyed product this week
[quoted image]

Bummer...

#3729 1 year ago
Quoted from Agent_Hero:

Classic Stern aficionados: which is the better playing game, Hot Hand or Pinball ?

I've played both. Pinball is much better, especially if you can get the EM version.

2 weeks later
#3746 1 year ago
Quoted from livetowin:

Just picked up a Lightning and am having an issue with the flippers. Left upper flipper won’t flip unless both left and right buttons are pushed. Both right flippers and left lower all work fine. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Weird. So if you hold in the left button and then press the right button, the upper left flipper flips?

Could it be some previous owner wired it incorrectly?

3 weeks later
#3920 1 year ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

So I’ll work on Star Gazer more this week, but oddly discovered this weird bit of info about my Dragonfist the other night and forgot to share it.
So here is my Dragonfist cabinet to the human eye. [quoted image][quoted image]
And here is my Dragonfist cabinet when my new Wyze security camera looks at the cabinet under night vision mode.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]
So holy shit kinda made me jump when I just turned on the camera to check on the dogs late from work the other night. So weird that I can’t see it at all under normal lighting conditions. Obviously at some point it was a Catacomb cabinet, anyone able to explain the science behind why the night vision can see it?

That's the special Dragonfist "Toast Edition". LOL

1 month later
#4079 1 year ago
Quoted from Flynnyfalcon:

Hi all, given myself a project today of repairing a QS display. It appears to fire up, there’s an orange glow in the bottom corner, TP1 (180v) & TP2 (4.6v) appear to be within spec but no segments work. I thought it must be the decoder chip, so I replaced that with what I believe is an equivalent chip (CD4543BE) and no change. I’ve inspected the board, reflowed anything looking remotely suspect and nothing. Problem follows the display when I change it to a different position. Where can I check next? Everything I’ve searched for is for repairs when individual segments are out, not entire display.

That is the correct decoder chip. Could just be a bad glass.

From pinwiki:
5.12.2.2 A single display is blank

If you have one display that is blank, it could be the same problems as mentioned above (lack of 170VDC), something wrong on the circuit board, or something with the glass display itself. If you see any light glowing at all on the display, then the glass is most likely good and your problem is elsewhere.

The main cause of a single display being blank is a bad glass. If the glass is good, then your problem is most likely a bad 4543 decoder IC. The decoder on the display driver board is used to decode the digit data from the MPU into signals that light the proper displays. If the decoder is blown, then this could cause the display to be blank. A quick check with a logic probe will help you decide if the decoder is function properly.

Sometimes the solder joints on the display glass needs are cracked and need to be reflowed. Depending on which solder joints are bad, this could cause the display to be blank.

If you can verify there is 170VDc, and the decoder is working, then it may be just a bad display. If there is some light anywhere, then it's probably good. If not, it may or may not be good. A totally blank display is the hardest thing to fix. If everything looks good, but the display is completely blank, then you may just have to chalk it up as a bad display glass. Unfortunately they can not be repaired.

1 month later
#4282 1 year ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

Any chance someone has a spare/used Upper left corner plastic for Stern Lightning?
That's the only broken one and i'd rather bot buy a whole set...

I might. Give me a day or so to check.

#4312 1 year ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

Any chance someone has a spare/used Upper left corner plastic for Stern Lightning?
That's the only broken one and i'd rather bot buy a whole set...

I also installed a CPR plastic set on Lightning. My old ones should be around here somewhere but so far I have been unable to find them.

1 week later
#4349 1 year ago

I had the same problem on my left flipper on Lightning. But I didn't use the assys, I just got all the parts from PBL to rebuild. It would work for days or weeks then go back to sticking. I finally went back to the original bats and haven't had a problem since.

#4351 1 year ago
Quoted from jj44114:

The Stern and Bally flipper bats are slightly different.

The bats I bought were indeed listed by PBL as for Stern Lightning, they just didn't work.

#4355 1 year ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

you bought part for the whole assembly and it ended up being the bats themselves that was making it sticks? I have used them on many assemblies but i assume it may varies just enough in some cases...

Yes, I tried everything I could think of, including what you mentioned of putting a washer between the bat and bushing. Right side worked fine, not the left. I finally just swapped both bats to the originals since having one new white bat and one older discolored bat would look stupid.

4 weeks later
#4525 1 year ago

It's called a push nut, but I've never seen one that big. Not sure where you'd find one.

3 weeks later
#4622 11 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

does any body besides me get confused with hooking up diodes? I always think I have them figured out but then I wind up 2nd guessing myself.
Here is a diode test for everybody This blueprint is for a spinner on Star Gazer. The spinner is connected to a white/red wire and a white/green wire hi-lighted in red and green marker. And there is the triangle and cross line that represents the diode. Which way is the power coming from? w/r or w/g?
[quoted image]
Here is a training aid, mock up switch/wire assembly. The diode band is a little hard to see (cheap manufacturing perhaps?) but the non-banded side is soldered to the white/red wire.
[quoted image]
So, is this switch and diode wired correctly? Or does the diode need be flipped to the other direction?

I am going to say the power wire is the white/green and goes to the banded side of the diode. Correct?

1 month later
#4720 10 months ago
Quoted from lightingnut:

I have a stern Flight 2000 and I just rebuilt the right flipper with a kit and it is now much weaker then it was before the surgery on it. It had a J25 500 coil and I replaced it with what the manual called for a J25 475. Also the flipper travel seams shorter then the right side. No idea what is going on. Any ideas. The EOS switch is closed till about halfway of the flipper travel.
Any ideas?

You want the EOS to open during the last quarter to eighth of the travel. But if the flipper travel is shorter are you sure it was the right kit? Not sure where you purchased but I have had PBR send me the wrong kit more than once.

3 weeks later
#4784 9 months ago
Quoted from lightingnut:

I replaced the right new flipper coil with the old coil, seams a little better but still weak. The flipper has a hard time getting the ball to the top of the playfield. I have the EOS going open just before the flipper stopes. So I do not thing that is the issue. It almost seams the most weak right at the start of the flipper travel. When the ball is at the end of the flipper. Does it change the strength of the flip any if I were to flip the coil around? The left flipper is good.

Do you have the same voltage on both flippers? I once had a HSII Getaway that had one weak flipper. Turns out I had like 70volts on one coil but only like 38volts on the other. Someone had re-pinned a connector and got one of the pins in the wrong slot.

#4786 9 months ago

Just measure from the power lug on the coil to a ground braid.

2 weeks later
1 month later
#5077 8 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Hopefully, this will be my last electronics with my Star Gazer build.
I am powering it with 3 Alltek boards.
[quoted image]
Last night as I was the pin through its paces, it started resetting in the mid-game. All 3 drop target assemblies reset, all my feature lights reset into off position. And where I had been the single player with 13 credits showing on the displays, I find myself in a 3 or 4 player game and 40 credits are showing up on the credit display.
I go into test mode and reset everything and reset the credits to zero.
And then I start playing a single player game, then the game resets while playing , and returns with a 3 or 4 player session with 40 credits on display.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
I have only questions for this kind of action.

Well, that is some strange behavior. My first thought is the power supply. I do remember from my Lightning restore that there is more to the sound board than just sound. You might try unplugging the ribbons from the sound board to the MPU and play some games just to see if that has any effect on the issue.

#5106 8 months ago
Quoted from play_pinball:

I wish I had. I don't even have the supplies to do so. I keep asking my brother for advice on what to order and haven't been able to get it done yet. Mouser & GPE are daunting to me.

Try Great Plains Electronics. Much smaller website and centered around the pinball and video game hobbies.

1 week later
#5164 7 months ago

That Stars looks amazing!

4 weeks later
#5283 6 months ago

Another way around this is to use a slightly smaller diameter rubber ring. Like 1 1/2 instead of 1 3/4, etc. This will stretch the rubber tighter and make it thinner thereby giving just a tiny bit more space between the back of the DT and rubber.

2 weeks later
#5352 6 months ago

Ha ha, it's printed right there on the board. 2N5060 I think. I did this a long time ago on a Harlem Globetrotters and it worked just fine.

1 month later
#5660 4 months ago
Quoted from slochar:Coming soon..... lightning with spinner counter and no-ball relocking during multiball.

Is it possible to have it eject any locked balls at game over?

3 weeks later
#5722 4 months ago

Usually a lamp that stays on is a shorted transistor.

#5726 4 months ago
Quoted from BrotherSir:

Sounds like I had the right general idea. Is there anything i need to know about the transistors? Is there a specific type I need to use?

MCR 106-1 should be the one. That is what was used on Lightning and I assume Meteor is the same.
https://www.greatplainselectronics.com/search.asp

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