(Topic ID: 165583)

Replacing / Fabricating Jones Plugs


By bdPinball

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by EMsInKC
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 2 years ago

For my honey re-theme project, I'm going to replace the table and leave the rest of the game intact - Well, the backglass is really a window at this point with all the flaking , so I'm going to need some way to jack into the Jones Plugs. I thought about using something like bananna plugs, but Maybe something simpler like, a block of wood with some pins - Nails? Screws with the threads ground off? Some sort of posts?

I also thought about maybe using some sort of plastic, UHMV/Duraglide, Top off VCR Cassette tape, or some piece of plastic that will hold these pins that I fabricate in place. Wood seems about the closest substance, besides maybe the plastic idea. The positive I see in Wood are that it's easily workable, doesn't conduct electricity, and I could use Glue, or something to hold the pins in holes that I drill in the block at the prescribed locations.

I didn't see any after market replacement plugs for Jones like there are for Molex. I mean, I found some Jones Plugs online, but not ones that were specifically pinball Jones plugs replacements. Anyway looks like I'm going to be fabricating some plugs!

-Brian

#2 2 years ago

I mean if they're not going to be original anyways, might as well go with Molex for large connectors. We use them all the time in the arcade hobby and of course newer pinball and they work great. I'm surprised they're not a more common replacement, although not "original".

#3 2 years ago

certainly a viable replacement. However...
it requires new tools, time, attention to detail, and with any old wire, the cut off ends may be tarnished, and need to be cleaned with a wire brush to ensure a solid contact with the crimped on end. IMHO.
All that, to a strong, reliable overhaul.
On the other side of the coin, there are still jones plugs floatin around.
They can be reused.
So... six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Rock on!

#4 2 years ago

You may want to try this method I have come up with.

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#5 2 years ago

I just get a competent used jones plug connector and desolder the wires from the old/broken/missing one into the replacement plug.

If the female jones plug end will remain with the respective relay boards you are over thinking it in my opinion.

#6 2 years ago
Quoted from oldpins:

You may want to try this method I have come up with.

Yup, that will work too.

#7 2 years ago

You guys are reading my mind.. I measured the pins, there .125, I got a 3' rod of the stuff. I'm going to make the plugs out of wood, I'm worried about the positioning of the pins within he plug, one is easy, two, not so bad, but 22 pins are going to have to line up pretty darn closely. I thought about designing the piece in CAD and then pit it on the top of the plug either transfer or Carbon paper on the plug or On a sticker, some way to get the holes laid out in the plug exactly. Should be fun!! I'm hoping wire solders onto the rod without any problems. Think I'll check that first before I go all out with this. I was going to use nails, but this rod is the exact size I needed.

#8 2 years ago

pin alignment tip.
if you can, drape the socket with plastic wrapping, then plug the plug into the socket.
then insert new pins. fill void with epoxy, or glue, let dry, unplug and cleanup.
nice neat construction, and all pins aligned up.

#9 2 years ago

Yeah, I know perfect alignment would be necessary, and nearly impossible without either a Cnc, or a lot of extra wiggle room to get them to mate. I had planned to do some sort of a reverse
Cast of the pins, this making place to plug pins other than the original socket which doesn't need any More action. I was thinking play dough mold, but there are other options, and after I made the first plug I have one!

Actually since I'm only starting with flippers, and out hole /eject hardware - I won't need all the pins to start.

Here is where I got to tonight with it:
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#10 2 years ago

I usually just replace the plug, I have a bin full of old harnesses, easy enough to come up with a replacement. a plumbers torch set on low makes an idea desoldering/resoldering tool.

ken

#11 2 years ago

Yes, spare jones plugs aren't that hard to find. I'm sort of under the impression though that the OP is having fun re-engineering one though. I guess there is nothing wrong with that if you're enjoying the process. It sort of feels like that freeplay doorbell button mod that you come across on some games. There was an easier and more discreet way but someone had fun figuring it out and it does actually work.

#12 2 years ago

Alex has hit the rivet on the head. I guess I've always been sort of a closet engineer. I'm a computer person by trade, but at night I create all sorts of things in my workshop!

One of my reasons I don't want to use the original Jones plug is how flimsy those plugs are. If I had a jig, say the metal template with the holes in it, that would make things a LOT easier. I'm not sure how apparent it is from the pic, but trying to get the tolerance very tight on the pin holes is problematic, because if the holes are tight to the pins, the holes have to be precise to get the whole thing to line up. If I make the tolerance on the holes a little sloppy, to allow the pins to float a little, and line up any imprecise pin holes, then they don't grab in the block!. I was going to epoxy the top of the block to lock the pins in place anyway, but a reverse mold like was discussed earlier is probably the only solution to get them to line up properly without trying to use the original female side of the sockets somehow. I'm just afraid that if I put the new block into the old female plug, I'll get the new plug locked into the old socket and I'll really be screwed.

I work at a place that has all sorts of CNC equipment, and things. I think I could get them to make a steel template for me, with the holes punched at the proper places, for maybe $25. It might only be $10, or $35, but after that I could make as many jones plugs as I wanted! That, or maybe just have them make me say a dozen of the 22 Pin plugs out of Duraglide or UMHW or something, and melt the pins into place. If I get the Jig, maybe I could have it formed with some lips on the edge to hold it to the top of the new block to line up the holes precicely.

I was sort of thinking why not take the Jones plug off the original table and re-solder the ends like Ken says, (thanks for the desoldering tips BTW Ken) But for some reason I sort of wanted to leave as much of the original table in place for wiring reference, and well, being able to plug the old one in and play. I guess once I take the flippers and outhole ball trough assy out, the old table is rather un-usable at that point- which was why originally I sort of thought I'll keep the original table intact, and just fabricate a replacement table, and populate the new table with objects I remove from another game- Flippers, Kickout, Spinners, Pop Bumpers. I guess there could be a mis-match between parts, Maybe the TO game has 3 kickout holes, but the donor game only has one. My thoughts are, even if the whole project goes south and I get sick of looking at it, I only have $75 and my tinkering involved, it'd be easy to get it out of my sight.

This might seem a little silly (maybe useless?), but has anyone ever come up with anything like a breakout box for these plugs? Say so I could plug my Amigo Table into my Old Chicago? Wait, bad idea.. How about The Amigo table into the Gay 90s? - Well, you get the idea. After perusing some of the layouts I was able to find, none of the layouts are the same. Who knows what'd happen. However, if you could map plug to plug, for the devices that matched on a table, the one table could conceivably be controlled by another's base?

As far as that goes- This must be documented somehow- But physically, and logically, on the older EM games anyway, It seems like there is the "Computer," for lack of a better name, CPU? Then the Table, or they physical area, and finally the Scoring systems. It seems like, And I think I proved this the other day, that once an EM game is started, It will play without it's head - that is scoring seems to be a discrete part from the rest of the game. Obviously aspects of the parts interact with each other, but, to a certain extent the pieces are autonomous, or at least it seems easy to draw these lines. The reason I bring it up, and I know I'm super OT, but Couldn't one have the CPU, and Playfield working, and then maybe do the scoring electronically. For instance, I was surprised to see that the switch to activate a pop bumper was completely discrete from the scoring switch! I don't know why, but I assumed they would somehow use the same switch. Maybe that's the conservative computer engineer less is more in me.

I'll post more pics of my Frankenstein as I get it to work. Or, wait I think it might be called "Blood Suckers" (Mosquito reference), or possibly "Taarna!" from the movie Heavy Metal.

#13 2 years ago

The first block the pins were off just a little bit. I'm fashioning a jig for my drill saw they'"" be spot in next plug!

Oh here is the negative alignment pin checker. Hell, I could stick some pins through one of these!! I'm not sure it would have worked As. A drill guide. Here it is. Out of clay, the. Baked. Thanks to hobby lobby, Michaels, and harbor freight -- a pinheads favorite retail outlets.. If you want to work on pinballs with jt, and Marco and the others don't have it, you can make it, or get it at these places!!

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#14 2 years ago

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#15 2 years ago

I think you need to make this a bit harder on yourself.

Perhaps, grow the tree to make the plug? Mine the iron ore and make your own steel? Make your own bakelite?

Surely there is no sense in just getting the right part.

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from newmantjn:

I think you need to make this a bit harder on yourself.
Perhaps, grow the tree to make the plug? Mine the iron ore and make your own steel? Make your own bakelite?
Surely there is no sense in just getting the right part.

+1

#17 2 years ago

Hi
1) I probably would look through my "wonder boxes / spare parts boxes" to find some Jones Plugs from a parted-out machine - if "No Luck" I then would contact the 4 to 6 persons / places I know to ask "can I buy".

2) It is a hobby - I enjoy reading about and looking at "bdPinball can / could make replacement Jones Plugs - and they work". I also would like "reading about / looking at": "bdPinball does re-theme the Williams-Honey".

3) bdpinball did a good job --- I once tried (and did not succeed): I wanted to make a wooden replacement tooth on the armature on a Williams Mini-Stepper (Space Mission) to actuate a switch to activate an "Alternate-Relay" (and the axis too). I did it "just for the fun trying" - I did NOT succeed - grumble, so I have taken my LAST spare part (of these precious, hard to find parts). Greetings Rolf

#18 2 years ago

Any reason this wouldn't be a 3D-print candidate? Tried googling for one and really surprised I couldn't find anything premade.

#19 2 years ago

I think it would be a good candidate for 3d, or maybe a CNC out of a plastic like UHMV or Duraglide or something. Thing is though, most people have a box of those spare pins laying around. If I had one, I would have probably used it. Since I didn't, and I always hate it when my Jones plugs break, so I decided to fashion some new ones.

As for whether or not I used the easiest way of creating a plug, most definitely not. Really, the're going to be pluged and plugs what? MAYBE 30 times over it's life? Unless a machine is moved why would you goof with the things at all? And even then, if someone is moving a couple miles, they might not de-tach the head anyway.

I've had so many things in my life break because of poor design, the Bracket should have been thicker, or, they tried to save money by not using a bearing, but just resting the plastic on a pin. Stuff like that, and so like I discussed earlier in this, or maybe another thread, I like to over-engineer things. You should see the pinball skates I made to roll my pins around - I think the'd hold a car. Only because the ones I was using that I got from Harbor Freight were so flimsy. I've since gotten a hydraulic table.

So that's the reason I spent a night and a half making a Jones plug. And, I have that template if I want to make another one for some reason- Like maybe another one breaks.

Rolph- Thanks for the encouragement. I'm sorry your fix didn't work. I patched a broken Chicago Coin Blue Max by gluing a plastic card (like a credit card, or a players card at a casino - 1/16" plastic) and glued it to the broken bakelite board on the score reel reset relay. I sliced littles holes in the card to let the switch blades through, so they could all be moved together. Getting the slots big enough to accept all the blades, without being TOO big, so that there is slop between the blades- It was almost a situation like I had with the pins- a Row of pins, or blades or whatever, fitting into a set of receiving holes, and the multiple problems that seem to arise from that situation.

Since I've created the Plugs, and the work, I'll close the thread and move along. I think I'll fabricate some wire-forms for the "Italian Bottom" I'm installing!

-Brian

4 months later
#20 2 years ago

They can't be that easy to find, I keep selling out of original Jones stuff. Have some on hand at the moment if anyone is looking send me a message.

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#21 2 years ago
Quoted from newmantjn:

I think you need to make this a bit harder on yourself.
Perhaps, grow the tree to make the plug? Mine the iron ore and make your own steel? Make your own bakelite?
Surely there is no sense in just getting the right part.

This thread makes me think of what a German car design meeting must be like. You know, where they dream up special fasteners to use and specials tools to use the special fasteners, when a simple screw will accomplish the same exact goal.

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