(Topic ID: 96665)

Stern Star Trek Pinball (Premium and LE) *** Awesome LASER Upgrade ***

By lasermel

7 years ago


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  • 94 posts
  • 40 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by kapsreiter
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders

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There are 94 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 7 years ago

For those of you who are underwhelmed by the effect of the stock red laser star field in your Star Trek pin, you now have an easily installed alternative. I have created a mod to replace the stock red laser with a super bright green laser that really brings the effect to life. You can actually see the star field with the lights on in the room! Here's a short video that will give you an idea of what it is, but it's hard to capture the brilliance of the effect on a cell phone camera that you would see in person. The video is here:

If this is something that interests you, then drop me a line.

#2 7 years ago

Looks cool. Well done.

#4 7 years ago

Looks Nice! I worry about what it might do to the eyes? how safe is this mod?

#5 7 years ago

If you can add this to the Pro model somehow, you're my hero!

#6 7 years ago

Hmm. I mean, not to rain on your parade, but I can't say I'm stoked about the idea of shining a green laser onto reflective surfaces. You really don't want one of those shining in your eyes, they're no joke.

It looks cool (though I like the red just fine) but just makes me cautious.

#7 7 years ago

Yeah.... green will blind you. I remember making that mistake.... once.

#8 7 years ago

Like others have said,looks cool but err on the side of caution. Green lasers are usually much more powerful than red lasers and I am very cautious of the red one. It's not laser related but I think it still apply's.
One day at work a coworker was welding a gear shift knob on a truck shifter and he was not wearing a welding shield. I told him you better go get the welding shield or you are gonna go blind. He told me he wasn't looking directly at the ark, he would be fine. Later that night wile he was in the emergency room almost blind as a bat he keep hearing my voice over and over in his head,you better go get the welding shield or you are gonna go blind. Turns out he did not do any permanent damage to his eyes but I bet he will never try to weld without a shield again. With lasers you don't get a second chance. I hope you never have to hear that again.

#9 7 years ago

Never do this. If you hate the red laser turn it off, don't replace it with a DANGEROUS green one.
If you don't damage YOUR eyes, you can damage your GUESTS eyes.

#10 7 years ago

Play it with a welders mask and no worries

#11 7 years ago

I work in the field of fiber optics and have more to do with lasers and safety.

Very simple : dont do this. Just not worth the (small) risk

Yes, very likely you will never encounter a problem as you will not look direct into the lasers (I may hope so) and will only see reflections and yes, the stars do move so light will only be short time on your eyes. However, you have only 2 eyes so better safe than sorry.

#12 7 years ago

Don't get me wrong - awesome. looks cool. just too much risk ##for me##
BTW: most ?all? green lasers are actually un-seeable InfraRed laser diodes with a charge pumping cyrstal to green. so they emit both Green and IR radiation. The issue is the IR isn't viewable by your eyes.

It is his machine... given the RGB LEDs on this machine... maybe he always plays with sunglasses on.
Im seriously tempted to do something simular in my machine (one day).

#13 7 years ago
Quoted from lasermel:

For those of you who are underwhelmed by the effect of the stock red laser star field in your Star Trek pin, you now have an easily installed alternative. I have created a mod to replace the stock red laser with a super bright green laser that really brings the effect to life. You can actually see the star field with the lights on in the room! Here's a short video that will give you an idea of what it is, but it's hard to capture the brilliance of the effect on a cell phone camera that you would see in person. The video is here: » YouTube video
If this is something that interests you, then drop me a line.

What's the power rating on the laser? Is it under 5 milliwatts?

#14 7 years ago

I'm still surprised no one has attached one of these under the box to spread stars out all over the ground.....would be awesome during Klingon multi-ball!

#15 7 years ago

I can totally vouche for this mod, as I have a buddy who has an STLE, and he bought this from lasermel. The laser is bright and widespread, you feel absolutely safe when playing with it on. It by no means reflects back into your eyes, unless you have angled it incorrectly. It really adds alot to the gameplay, and feels as if it should have been this way from the factory. Playing the game in the dark with this kicking on really makes it look badass.

#16 7 years ago

Tempting, but I'd like to hear more about the safety issues, and power rating of new laser.

#17 7 years ago

Hey folks, I really appreciate the comments and can understand why there might be some concerns, so let me see if I can address some of them:

There is NO laser I would want to look directly into. The stock red laser is about 3mW and this green one is more powerful at around 100mW (no, it won't light a match or burn anything and you can't even feel it on your skin until you go over 200mW). It is absolutely more dangerous than the 3mW red one is when you're talking about the raw direct beam and direct reflections of that beam into your eyes, HOWEVER that's not how it's being used here. Heck, I wouldn't risk my eyes either!! When the laser is installed in the game, it is passing through a diffraction grating and dividing that raw beam into 100's of MUCH lower power beams. Not one of the emerging beams from the diffraction grating going out into the game even comes close to 5mW. In other words, if you shine a 100mW laser into a beam splitter and get 2 beams coming out, each one will be about 50mW (there are some losses in the beam splitter) but let's just say it's perfect and you get two 50mW beams. Here, we have a diffraction grating creating 100's of lower power beams, but the same reasoning applies. 100mW divided down by even 100 is only 1mW/beam and there are way more than 100 lines here. Not much different than the night clubs beaming the little lasers out into the crowd, and like RENSH said, the beams are moving. In addition, once a beam hits a surface in the machine (even a shiny one like the spinner), it's reflected and dispersed even further lowering the power.

So Red lasers VS green lasers: One is not more "powerful" than another - a 100mW red laser is just as powerful as a 100mW green laser. If Stern would have installed a 3mW green laser it would be much more visible than the red one is. The eye is more sensitive to green than red or blue, but power is power.

ZITT - You are correct. The green laser light is produced by a frequency doubling crystal and there may be some IR, however, it is a very small amount by comparison that is also divided down by the diffraction grating. I will test one of these lasers in a lab spectrometer and post the percentage of IR output. These are fairly expensive lasers and may have an IR filter built in, but I will verify. Even if they don't have the IR filter, I believe you get more IR from looking at a hot stove or an XBOX Kinect (which emits IR directly at you), but again I will verify. IR isn't the danger, it's the power of the beam that's the concern.

As for the welding incident... welding creates TREMENDOUS amounts of UV light and can cause retinal burns and future cataracts. Don't weld without a shield!

Guys, I have no desire to make myself liable for any laser accidents nor would I be offering such a mod if I thought there was any concern. I respect your thoughts and am happy to answer any questions you have. Star Trek is an absolutely beautiful game and I've enjoyed the enhanced laser effect so much that I thought I'd make it available to others as well. I just wish the new code would be released!

#18 7 years ago

Mel - Are you a laser expert in your Day job?

#19 7 years ago

Great update Lasermel. If I had an LE I would absolutely have to have your laser mod. It looks amazing.

#20 7 years ago

I like the amounts of dots here.....but not the color. Is it possible to do this in red?

#21 7 years ago

I have been a laser hobbyist for a LONG time and have many boxes of old helium neon, and a couple power hungry argon units laying around. I use some lasers in my day job, but they are mostly in the blue wavelengths and used in conjunction with phosphors to generate white light for general lighting purposes.

Thanks eabundy!

Captain_Kirk - It is absolutely possible to do this in red. Just have to order the higher power red laser. The rest of the kit is the same.

In response to my last post, I have measured the relative IR output from the lasers I'm using and it is about 25% of the green output. I have no safety concerns at this level once it passes through the diffraction grating into the game.

#22 7 years ago

It's really cool, and I'll defer to more knowledgeable others about the safety of it, but I'm still iffy on the both effects because, well, when I look at stars I see predominantly white, not red or green. Can't this kind of upgraded effect be achieved with some super hot white LED so that it actually looks like a star field?

#23 7 years ago
Quoted from navajas:

It's really cool, and I'll defer to more knowledgeable others about the safety of it, but I'm still iffy on the both effects because, well, when I look at stars I see predominantly white, not red or green. Can't this kind of upgraded effect be achieved with some super hot white LED so that it actually looks like a star field?

Even better.

#24 7 years ago

It might look cool with the blue/violet lasers they have, but I dunno if those are all that bright.

#25 7 years ago

You can get the effect with any color laser, but you get the best bang for the buck with green as you need less power to achieve the best perceived brightness and it doesn't get washed out by the lighting on the playfield as badly. Blue and red lasers will not appear as bright unless you go up in power, but certainly acceptable enough for this application. Blue lasers are actually more of an issue of safety than red or green due to a photochemical effect in the eye, but again we're not talking about power and exposure levels high enough to do damage when used as intended. Before I settled on green, I tried red and though it was better than the stock laser it just didn't make me go "wow" as much. That could just be personal preference. Haven't tried blue as I don't have one powerful enough for the effect, and yes, blue would be harder to see.

A white light source could be used to project a starfield, but a different method would have to be used. If you put a white light thru a diffraction grating, you get a prism effect and rainbow pattern, not dots. Lasers work because they are a single pure wavelength.

Keep em coming guys. This is fun and who knows, it could breed a new idea

#26 7 years ago

in the red vs green debate. not withstanding power and ill effects issues.

I like the green in the simple idea that it matches the lock and target lights for the Klingon multi-ball.

#27 7 years ago

I saw a multi-colored one of these for sale at a Florida flea market thing....

Multi-colored might looks cool....sense the playfield lights all can change color.

#28 7 years ago

I have this upgrade, well worth it stepping up the laser a level, the light is scattered nicely about the cabinet, you could probably experiment with a different refractor as well for other effects. Easy to install.

Remember what Scotty said... "Well it's um...GREEN!"

#29 7 years ago

If anyone wants to see how easily it's installed, click here: http://goo.gl/RYppo2

#30 7 years ago

Thanks Lasermel the one you installed on our STLE at Allentown is AMAZING! EVERYONE that plays it loves it and I can still see fine.. Guys it's not like this shines in your eyes.. The effect is awesome and the mass amounts of people that played our machine at Allentown complimented on it over and over.

Thanks again - we are very happy and appreciate your mod!

#31 7 years ago

What I tried was Unplug the yellow lead where it connect to the transformer, 6v line that drives the Gi's and playfield lamps, then played the machine and wow did the red shine like a dog in the moon light

All stern needs to do is disable some lights while in this mode, Blackout like AFM so to be.

#32 7 years ago

should be a easy mod

connect a relay to the laser

if laser on it switches off the GI !!

#33 7 years ago

I was thinking of the following mod. a red laser would hit the vengeance when you hit the fire button and "shoot" the vengeance. Think it should be easy to do and would add a nice effect.

#34 7 years ago
Quoted from Squizz:

What I tried was Unplug the yellow lead where it connect to the transformer, 6v line that drives the Gi's and playfield lamps, then played the machine and wow did the red shine like a dog in the Moon Light
All stern needs to do is disable some lights while in this mode, Blackout like AFM so to be.

That's a great idea I'd like to see the laser being abit more promanent.

#35 7 years ago

The green looks cool, but the color doesn't make any more sense in the current application than the red does.

Every time I hear the game say, "release the red matter" I think how the laser should be associated with that. I'm going to wait to see the new code before I upgrade anything (hoping they incorporate laser with red matter).

#36 7 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

The green looks cool, but the color doesn't make any more sense in the current application than the red does.

Agree, red again or white(if doable) is really all that makes some sense to me. Outside shot blue would work but guessing that is hard to see. I'd be in for one if somehow it could not be green.

I am so unthrilled with the laser effects on the game as is. Most of them just shine on my flipper, others have that problem, or is that just something I need to adjust the alignment?

#37 7 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

I am so unthrilled with the laser effects on the game as is. Most of them just shine on my flipper, others have that problem, or is that just something I need to adjust the alignment?

Think you have a mis aligned laser because mine is all over the playfield

#38 7 years ago

Working on an add-on that turns off some of the GI lamps during "laser mode". Not difficult to do, it's just that the cabling is a pain. It does make a nice difference, even with a brighter laser. Feel free to make one, I'll buy it to save the time

As far as the laser color goes, I've ordered some brighter red lasers as it may be a matter of preference (and they're not as expensive), but I tried this before I went with green because it just doesn't pop as much to me. I guess I wasn't going for what "made sense" from an astronomical perspective, as I've never seen a green star either, but there is so much blue on the game and blue absorbs red like a photonic sponge.

A white laser, even though a solid state one has been created, would end up looking like rainbows spinning all over the place. White light, no matter what creates it, is a mix of all colors (or at least RGB etc) and the diffraction grating would split them all up. As someone said in an episode of Star Trek, "you can not change the laws of physics". A different method of projection would have to be created... expensive!

#39 7 years ago

I had beams shining on my flippers as well. Not that bad, but I didn't like it so I put a piece of black tape across the bottom of the hole in the apron where the beams come out and it cleared that right up. It doesn't effect the beams out in the game, but it removed them from the flippers.

#40 7 years ago

how is the laser powered?

+12 V ?
+ 5 V?

use a relay
when power is on this relay opens the GI cable

#41 7 years ago

64838967vF.jpg a4278639944de.jpg

#42 7 years ago

As a former hobbyist in lasers I'd just like to add that these lasers aren't dangerous used in this way. Sure, on it's own you wouldn't want it do directly shine in your eyes, it might very well cause damage, but this laser is shined through a refraction glass, whatever comes out isn't harmful anymore at those distances.

*edit* It still does not give you a go to shine the little dots in your eye just because you can. It's a bad habit in general to look at bright lights!

#43 7 years ago

Has anyone combined this more powerful green laser with making the D shaped apron hole round so it shines up on the backglass also? That sounds like it would be even more impressive!

#44 7 years ago

Looks good-just a little concerned on long term effect. I want to boldly go-not blindly go

-Frickin Lasers

LS.jpg

#45 7 years ago

will receive my LE in 1 week

i hope its worth to

dr-evil-laser.png
#46 7 years ago
Quoted from lasermel:

I had beams shining on my flippers as well. Not that bad, but I didn't like it so I put a piece of black tape across the bottom of the hole in the apron where the beams come out and it cleared that right up. It doesn't effect the beams out in the game, but it removed them from the flippers.

Are you referring to your mod, or the stock Stern laser? Would be a great tip to document for all Premium/LE owners.

#47 7 years ago

Hi, is possible laser rgb?, Could change as the LED on the playfield?, regards.

#48 7 years ago
Quoted from lasermel:

White light, no matter what creates it, is a mix of all colors (or at least RGB etc) and the diffraction grating would split them all up

Am I the only one who thinks that would be cool? Kinda like the stars while the ship is in warp?

#49 7 years ago
Quoted from Captain_Kirk:

Are you referring to your mod, or the stock Stern laser? Would be a great tip to document for all Premium/LE owners.

The stock laser was so dim that I didn't really notice the beams on the flippers since I was focused on not being able to see them out in the game very well. Now that it's gone, I don't have the answer to that anymore. I suspect that since the diffraction grating is spitting up the beam the same way no matter what the color, that there were some red beams on the flippers too, just not very bright.

Capt_Kirk, I will post the "fix" on the general forum page. Thanks.

#50 7 years ago
Quoted from lasermel:

The stock laser was so dim that I didn't really notice the beams on the flippers since I was focused on not being able to see them out in the game very well. Now that it's gone, I don't have the answer to that anymore. I suspect that since the diffraction grating is spitting up the beam the same way no matter what the color, that there were some red beams on the flippers too, just not very bright.
Capt_Kirk, I will post the "fix" on the general forum page. Thanks.

The stock laser is very visible on the flipper. Noticed in person and any of the various videos on You Tube.

This fix would be a great assets methinks.

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