(Topic ID: 58764)

TECH: Brown out fried my Tron power


By frolic

6 years ago



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  • 19 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Betelgeuse
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tronpower2.jpg
tronpower.jpg

#1 6 years ago

I was in my home office and a "brown out" hit my house. The lights all dimmed and buzzed, my computer shut down. It was over in a handful of seconds. A couple hours later I went downstairs to play my Tron, turn it on, dead.

I opened up the coin door, and could smell smoke. I unplugged it, looked around, and could see the 8A fuse on the power box was blown. I replaced it, plugged it in, and immediately heard a sizzle and pop, then could smell more smoke.

I unscrewed the metal housing, and saw this!

Anyone ever deal with something like this? I'm guessing even though my Tron was not being played at the time of the brown out, the service outlet is on 24/7. My other games are not affected. All the games are plugged into power bars with surge protectors, but I guess it can't stop this from happening.

I don't even know the first thing of having to repair something like this. Anyone ever have to?

tronpower.jpg tronpower2.jpg

#2 6 years ago

If it were me I'd just grab a new power unit to get the game back up. Then work on fixing this one for a backup

#3 6 years ago

Do they sell replacement power units? I've never seen one. Does someone have a link?

11
#4 6 years ago

No no no, you just need a new varistor. It's a $1.00 part and it's that flat red, round component you can see that's scorched in your pics. That is designed to blow out during a power spike to prevent damage to the game. It will also also take out that line fuse you mentioned so you have to replace both at the same time. You can get these at radio shack. I have done this repair a handful of times and fortunately the games worked 100% after that.

Brian

#5 6 years ago

Replace the varistor and fuse and try again.

#6 6 years ago

thank you. are varistors rated differently? is there a particular type i should get?

#7 6 years ago

I have only seen one kind at Radio Shack and they were the right ones every time. That type seem to be common and widely used, but there may be other types out there. The only rating is for a 120VAC circuit.

1 week later
#8 6 years ago

We replaced the varistor. Radio shack sold 3 different colors, so we used a red one to replace the red one in the machine.

The game was able to run with the varistor removed completely, during our diagnosis. The new one was soldered in and everything is back to normal.

#9 6 years ago

Great to hear the game is back in line (pun intended). Thanks for reporting the fix.

#10 6 years ago

2-cents:

In places where brown outs and power loss is a common occurrence, I plug games into an an inexpensive UPS unit, example:
(http://www.staples.com/CyberPower-Standby-425VA-8-Outlet-UPS/product_660428)

No you won't be able to play the games if the power goes out (maybe finish a game) but it gives you a few minutes to turn them off properly so you can avoid damage. It's more of an insurance policy since a power outage/spike/brown out can happen anywhere at anytime. One thing is certain, I have never had an issue caused by power with a game plugged into a UPS.

You can spend more on an APC model or even a higher capacity unit and on some high end (high value) games I usually do but they can save you a lot of headaches if you live in an area where good clean (consistent) power is an issue.

Just my opinion...

#11 6 years ago

Do those small surge surpressors work? I have some, just never used them. It seem like most of the time my machines are powered off and I don't think that much bad things could happen with the switch off. However it sounds like I should be prepared to change some of those in the future so keep some around in my supplies.

#12 6 years ago

Not only did you have a brown out you also had a surge. Your varistor did exactly what it was supposed to do, eat the spike to protect your board set.

#13 6 years ago

Yes, the UPS units protect against surge and low voltage (brown outs). Your games will be fine if they are not powered on, it's for when they are turned on and something happens.

"barakandl" is correct, that varistor did it's job but I have worked on games that have had this bypassed.

Like I said, just my two cent's worth. All of my servers and network appliances (and even some system critical workstations) are on UPS units for this exact reason. Even though a lot of them have built in protection it's better to never have to rely on it, filter the power before it gets to the unit. It also makes sure you are getting the correct voltage to the game, not all electrical outlets put out the exact voltage. I have had issues with games where slightly lower or even higher voltage from the outlet cause issues.

#14 6 years ago

Make sure you thank the dead varistor for doing its job. Give that lil' fella a proper burial. If you have any teeny tiny guns you could fire off a small salute if you felt so inclined.

#15 6 years ago
Quoted from SteveP3:

Make sure you thank the dead varistor for doing its job. Give that lil' fella a proper burial. If you have any teeny tiny guns you could fire off a small salute if you felt so inclined.

LOL, nice....

1 week later
#16 6 years ago
Quoted from dbpbandit:

It also makes sure you are getting the correct voltage to the game, not all electrical outlets put out the exact voltage. I have had issues with games where slightly lower or even higher voltage from the outlet cause issues.

I'm curious about this. One of these devices could compensate to make an outlet that was dipping to say 114v - 116v to an even 120vac? I get some power draw issues in the summer from the neighborhood running the a/c and nobody has ever mentioned this as a solution in threads about this.

#17 6 years ago

If your house is grounded, and your electrical box has fuses that blow in his case, can this happen?

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from Betelgeuse:

I'm curious about this. One of these devices could compensate to make an outlet that was dipping to say 114v - 116v to an even 120vac? I get some power draw issues in the summer from the neighborhood running the a/c and nobody has ever mentioned this as a solution in threads about this.

If you get a unit that has "line conditioning" then yes, it will even out the voltage and keep it at the right level. These can cost a lot more but depending on the value of what you have plugged into it, it may be worth it.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from dbpbandit:

If you get a unit that has "line conditioning" then yes, it will even out the voltage and keep it at the right level.

Thanks! I'll have to look into that then. It would probably be worth it for my more finicky games.

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