(Topic ID: 99282)

Removing Bally Backbox Any Advice?


By TinyToo

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by dothedoo
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 5 years ago

I'm going to be moving house in a few weeks and I need to remove the backboxes on my Xenon and Centaur to get them into the new property. I've been trying to trace the wires from the backboxes to determine just how difficult this is going to be. It's tricky to see where everything goes without actually starting to disconnect it all.

The wiring harness for the lights and displays is soldered onto the backboxes in quite a few places and so my main question is, does all the wiring from the backboxes terminate in either a junction box or connector somewhere? Basically, will I need to remove the wiring harness from the backboxes and have to resort to de-soldering to disconnect them, or can the wiring harness on the backboxes remain where it is as everything just disconnects?

I plan to photograph everything and label each connector and junction box carefully to make it easier to reconnect, but any additional tips will be welcome. I was able to get them in to my current property without needing to do this, so this will be new to me.

#2 5 years ago

Just write numbers on the harness connectors and on the corresponding connectors on the pcbs in the backbox. Easy.

#3 5 years ago
Quoted from TinyToo:

The wiring harness for the lights and displays is soldered onto the backboxes in quite a few places and so my main question is, does all the wiring from the backboxes terminate in either a junction box or connector somewhere? Basically, will I need to remove the wiring harness from the backboxes and have to resort to de-soldering to disconnect them, or can the wiring harness on the backboxes remain where it is as everything just disconnects?

In my experience, everything ties into connectors. I don't write on the connectors themselves but buy tags for wire labeling and use those. Remove each connector, Tag each one with the corresponding number on the board and then remove back box.be careful when reinstalling, especially the connectors to the littlest pins. Make sure alignment is good and Jo pins bend or are missed.

Stay Puft

#4 5 years ago
Quoted from TinyToo:

The wiring harness for the lights and displays is soldered onto the backboxes in quite a few places

There SHOULD be connectors at the wire ends that push onto the circuit board connectors. Someone may have removed the connectors from the wires and soldered the wires directly to the boards. If that's been done, removing the head is a different degree of difficulty.

#5 5 years ago
Quoted from RCA1:

There SHOULD be connectors at the wire ends that push onto the circuit board connectors. Someone may have removed the connectors from the wires and soldered the wires directly to the boards. If that's been done, removing the head is a different degree of difficulty.

Yes. Normally there is no soldering needed to remove the backbox (or playfield).

#6 5 years ago
Quoted from RCA1:

Someone may have removed the connectors from the wires and soldered the wires directly to the boards. If that's been done, removing the head is a different degree of difficulty.

ugh, I hope that isn't what you are dealing with.

I've removed several heads from my machines to get them into my old house. My best technique was to cut small labels for each connector and label and attach, then remove. I also took extensive photos for reference.

I also labelled any wires/connectors that were NOT connected to anything, spare power, etc, because those always confused me later.

#7 5 years ago

If you are just dealing with narrow doors and no stairs, you can sometimes make it by keeping the game one its legs to carry/slide it in, and unbolting the head, and rotating 80 degrees or so it so the head is inside the width of the body.

Depending on the game, you can sometimes leave one head bolt in, loosen it so as to allow the pivot and then snug it up for the move. Or, use a couple cargo straps to secure it while moving it through the door.

#8 5 years ago

xenon head is 4 bolts and comes right off .. if you get some pallet wrap you can lie it down and wrap it to the top of the machine while its still on legs.
centaur is two bolts and hinges - it will happily fold forward on the rails
you dont actually *have* to undo any wires. hope this helps.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from wiredoug:

xenon head is 4 bolts and comes right off .. if you get some pallet wrap you can lie it down and wrap it to the top of the machine while its still on legs.
centaur is two bolts and hinges - it will happily fold forward on the rails
you dont actually *have* to undo any wires. hope this helps.

This is the easiest way. Sometimes though, the head on old Bally's don't fit through doors though width wise, so measure first. If they have to come off - take pics, label connectors before unplugging anything.

#10 5 years ago

Take a high res shot of all the wiring in the backbox. Just proceed in order of elimination when connecting everything back. It's quite simple really. Looks like a heep of work but once you start connecting one connector in the right place seems like the rest just fall into place.

Then place the wiring inside the cabinet and unbolt the hinges.

#11 5 years ago

I have purchased a few games where the person had taken a marker and put a number on the connector and that same number on the board where the connector goes (i.e. the number 1 on the connector goes where the number 1 is on the board). If you don't like having the numbers permanently on the machine then take a small piece of masking tape and put it on the connector and boards and once done you can peel them back off!

If you're lucky enough where you dont have steps at the new place then getting small furniture dollies are a great idea and cheap! Dollies like these http://www.harborfreight.com/movers-dolly-93888.html allow you to put the machine on the dolly and easily maneuver them around.

Lastly, if you get in a real jam send me a plane ticket and I will come over and help you move!!!

#12 5 years ago

I have a couple machines with marker on the boards and connectors marking where they go. If you don't like it after you get it set back up, rubbing alcohol will take the marker off.

#13 5 years ago

unless someones repinned it and left the locator pins out most all the plugs only fit in one place anyway

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from wiredoug:

unless someones repinned it and left the locator pins out most all the plugs only fit in one place anyway

+1, they are keyed & only go in one way. That & common sense. No big deal

#15 5 years ago

Thanks for all your advice.

When I picked up my Centaur we got it out of the previous owners house by the rotating the backbox whilst still connected method. Trouble here is, we'll be relying on professional movers for our house move and whilst they say that they're happy to move my pins, I'm not sure how happy they'll be fiddling about rotating backboxes going through 2 doors. Also the front door goes into a corridor with a door on the side into the main part of the house. That turn might be difficult to negotiate with the backboxes attached, but if I've taken them off, it'll be easy.

Cheers

#16 5 years ago

TinyToo.... it's not complicated at all to take the heads off. It's easier than you think! Centaur you can just fold the head onto itself. I look at it this way, if you can make it easier for the movers to move the the machines the less chance you have of them damaging the machines!

#17 5 years ago

If the head harnesses have solder hacks, it may be easier to take doors off the hinges than the heads off the pins!

#18 5 years ago

I have a related question. I have a couple of machines with harnesses that would be nearly impossible to disconnect without a great deal of work due to cable ties, clamps & soldered connections. I'd love to be able to remove the playfields & backboxes without going to that extreme effort. My thought was to make a big 1 time job of installing 1,2,3 or more connectors at strategic locations so that anytime I want I can easily remove the backboxs & playfields. Does anyone have any thoughts on installing connectors to mid-harness? If it sounds doable, can anyone suggest a connector (I'd probably need to accommodate around 75+ wires)?

#19 5 years ago

I don't think they're solder hacks, looks to me that the backbox lighting and display harness was originally soldered in a few places. I think I would like to transport the backboxes myself, if the movers break the playfield glass it can be replaced, if they break the backbox glass, very difficult if not impossible to replace even if insured as it will be!

#20 5 years ago

Some of the wiring stays in the head for removal. If it hasn't been hacked all wiring will come loose with connector disconnects. You will have to unscrew and open the white plastic retainers to get the harness free from the head. You're only concerned with the wires coming up into the head through the neck. Everything else stays.

Don't unplug everything. Loosen the harness and follow the wires to their destination and pull those connectors. Then drop them into the lower cabinet. Don't forget about the ground braid under the screw or wingnut.

#21 5 years ago
Quoted from RCA1:

There SHOULD be connectors at the wire ends that push onto the circuit board connectors. Someone may have removed the connectors from the wires and soldered the wires directly to the boards. If that's been done, removing the head is a different degree of difficulty.

Not the case with this era rectifier board. It uses the square Molex plugs which are more robust than the earlier header strips. That said, this power supply put more stress on the GI bulbs and Ops often added a hack to drop the voltage a bit, common with Centaur, but not Xenon. This won't prevent removing the head, but does prevent removing the playfield, just fyi.

Quoted from cody_chunn:

Some of the wiring stays in the head for removal. If it hasn't been hacked all wiring will come loose with connector disconnects. You will have to unscrew and open the white plastic retainers to get the harness free from the head. You're only concerned with the wires coming up into the head through the neck. Everything else stays.
Don't unplug everything. Loosen the harness and follow the wires to their destination and pull those connectors. Then drop them into the lower cabinet. Don't forget about the ground braid under the screw or wingnut.

Agreed. There will be two connectors on the rectifier board that need to be unplugged and one or two inline connectors that need to be disconnected and all that wiring comes up into the head. Then just follow all the rest of the wiring that comes up into the head and unplug those and drop them into the cabinet.

Quoted from dasvis:

+1, they are keyed & only go in one way. That & common sense. No big deal

The sound board connectors may not be keyed so pay special attention to those.

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