(Topic ID: 278588)

Question about using SAM/Whitestar transformer in homebrew game

By ThatOneDude

3 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 7 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 days ago by ThatOneDude
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    #1 3 months ago

    I've got a Stern SAM transformer that I'm planning on using for a homebrew project. I don't have a power board, so I'm looking at just building a rectifier board for the various voltages. My first thought is to just rectify the voltages and maybe use something like buck converters to drop them into the right ranges and some capacitors between them and the playfield. Another thought is that it looks like the SAM transformer also has the same plugs as the Whitestar power boards. Those seem to be a lot more prevalent than the older SAM power boards, so I could just run it into one of those and adapt it to my game.

    3 months later
    #2 5 days ago

    Bumping this, since it's back on my mind.
    I have a couple of options:
    1) Use an I/O board with something to control it(like a P-ROC)
    2) Adapt another power board to work with it(like a Sys11 or DE)
    3) Run it through a bunch of discrete rectifiers and capacitors.

    Has someone else done this(or something similar)?

    #3 5 days ago

    I altered the topic, since I have multiple Stern transformers.

    #4 4 days ago


    #5 4 days ago

    I would probably forget about using the transformer and building your own psu. It would be much easier and cheaper to buy something along the lines of:

    ebay.com link » 10w 1500w Dc Regulated Switching Power Supply 3v 5v 12v 24v 48v Universal Psu

    These are much more effecient than a transformer/bridge rectifier solution, will have PF correction and safety circuits and are cheap an easy to expand if you need different voltages or power outputs.

    You could sell the transformers and that would cover the price of the PSUs!

    #6 4 days ago

    I used various switching power supplys for coils, I used a small hammond transformer so I could use regular 6.3 light bulb and LEDs. I did think about what you're trying to do but the price wasn't right

    #7 4 days ago

    Well, I have 4 transformers (3 Stern SAM/Whitestar and 1 WPC-95)(technically, I have more, but those are random ones like Bally home edition, etc). I also have
    1) Sys11 power board
    2) 2x Stern Power I/O boards(whitestar)

    So, ultimately, the easy way to do this to wait for a P-ROC(they are on backorder). It can control the Power I/O board out of the box, I don't need to rearrange any of the plugs and I have all of my power needs met. Add a PC controller and I'm done with the controller/power side.

    A second idea is to use the sys11 power board and a sys11 aux power board. I would have to do some plug adaptation for this, but I would have the same voltages, and no need for a controller board to actually drive the Power I/O board(since it also drives the solenoids/lamps, you need to have a board pulsing the lamp matrix every 50ms or it goes into reset). This would likely be driven from an APC/PC combo.

    I could build an Arduino based board to control the Power I/O board and control it from an APC. I'm actively working on this solution, but it does seem to be overkill. On the plus side, I end up with the ability to drive 48 solenoids(I think) and 144 lamps in a matrix. It's the same APC/PC combo from above.

    Now, in terms of switching power supplies, it was my initial approach. I didn't like it for a couple of reasons:
    1) Need a separate PS for each voltage(50v, 28v, 12v, 5v for most systems to cover flippers, low power solenoids, RGB lamps and logic)
    2) I would still need to condition the power for most of those voltages(one capacitor board per 50v, 28v and 12v at minimum)
    3) I would need to distribute the wall voltage to each of those supplies. I'm less inclined to mess with that side of things. I like what the team doing The Last Starfighter is doing, but I don't have the skills to pull that off solo yet.

    A switching PS solution isn't going to save me much, if any, real estate. And it will come with its own challenges. But this is exactly the conversation I was hoping to happen.
    I would love to have a power supply packaged up for homebrew systems.

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