(Topic ID: 60288)

Thinking about LEDS

By Fanatic

6 years ago

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  • 18 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Crash
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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#1 6 years ago

Hey all,
I thought I would drop this topic on the community and see what kind of feedback is available.

I'm very new to electronics. However, I've spent 22 years now in the electrical industry and I'm licensed for 90v-600v. I know how to properly size and construct high-voltage circuitry but I'm not familiar with the Printed Circuit Board world and its many specialized parts.

What I'm trying to do:
1984 Bally Spy Hunter - "S-H-0-T" Target area - lower playfield, right-hand side, under the Eiffel Tower plastic...
Using something similar to:

My guess:
Derive a 12vdc power supply large enough to power 5 of these "post light leds" wired in parallel.
(tek question: what is the load presented by One of these lights @ 12vdc?)

After proper sizing of the 12vdc power supply, the 12v output should be routed through a relay of some sort.
I'm hoping to use a PCB mounted relay capable of switching the projected load at 12vdc
And I would like to use a nearby playfield lamp circuit (which flashes with certain game functions) as the actuator or control circuit - In other words, I hope to control a relay with the 5vdc playfield lighting circuit.

So to recap:
I'm looking for a PCB mounted relay whose coil voltage is rated at 5v and capable of carrying a 12vdc load at the projected rating of 5 "post leds" - whatever that load turns out to be.

This should be a simple, tiny circuit to build. I just plan on grabbing 120vac on the load side of the on/off switch, run 120vac through a 120vac to 12vdc step-down transformer, switch the load using control voltage supplied by the playfield lamp circuit.
If I'm correct, the only new load I present to the game - and its fuses, circuits, etc. - is the load presented by coil operation. The extra load should just be the coil itself and present a very tiny addition to the overall circuit.

Has this been done? Am I re-inventing the wheel here?
If so, please enlighten me. I really appreciate any guidance you might have.

#2 6 years ago


www.greatlakesmodular.com Look at the product SPL-INT.

#3 6 years ago

I am definitely no expert but if the entire machine is switched to LEDs then adding 5 more LEDS tied into the circuit would be less draw then all the incandecents. If you are worried about the voltages 12 volt LEDs will run with much less voltage. I have a Spy Hunter. If you like I can test something out for you. If the GI circuit is 6.3 it may power those post lights.

Someone jump in here if I am wrong.

#4 6 years ago

LEDs run at 6.3V and draw about 40mA each. So if you're only running a few of them then you certainly don't need to worry about load limits.

#5 6 years ago

like others said if you LED'ed the machine you probably could double the light count and still have lower draw assuming you use normal LED's.

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from Xenon75:

http://www.greatlakesmodular.com Look at the product SPL-INT.

Looks like I was re-inventing the wheel. Thank you for the link. This should work fantastically for my purposes and is - exactly - what I had hoped to build. Also, the price for the item shipped appears a little cheaper than my learning curve. I tend to mess a few things up before I get them right.

Crash and BadBrad - Thanks for the info. I didn't know that a 12vdc light will operate at 6.6vdc....interesting. I suppose you can decrease the input voltage and anticipate a higher current draw?? I have some more studying to do.....
In high-voltage, a lamp rated at 120vac will operate anywhere from 115v to 130v. Lower or higher than that and you shorten the service life of the lamp dramatically. The lamp will not even illuminate if supplied only 50% of its required input voltage. This low-voltage stuff is crazy interesting.

Thanks again for all of your replies.

#7 6 years ago

I'm not sure if the post LEDs work on 12v or not (don't see why they would, normal LEDs have a resistor so they don't burn out at 6.3v).

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

I'm not sure if the post LEDs work on 12v or not (don't see why they would, normal LEDs have a resistor so they don't burn out at 6.3v).

The post LEDs are 12v and have a special connector for those

#9 6 years ago

The problem on Spy Hunter, is that there is no place to grab 20V (no flashers). There is 11.9VDC unregulated at the PS board (TP3).


But I'd try using a transistor switch -- Rc, is the load (the post LEDs), Rb would be about 10K ohm. Vcc would be connected to the power supply TP3, and the base resistor connected to the GI. The other problem, is that the GI is VAC, so you'll need a simple 4 diode rectifier, and a cap to keep the base of the transistor in saturation. You could probably build this circuit for a couple of bucks (not including the post LEDs).


#10 6 years ago

These Post LED's run at 6.3 vdc. No need for conversion. Just hook them up to the GI feed and done.


#11 6 years ago
Quoted from Xenon75:

These Post LED's run at 6.3 vdc.

Nice clean solution...unfortunately, a little more expensive.

#12 6 years ago

Just a suggestion, the GLM star post lights will work directly in the early solid state games with a 43V solenoid without any additional hardware or boards needed.

The trick is to wire two star post lights in series (each is designed for 20V operation). This allows for full operation, so you can have them lit plus trigger from two separate flashing sources.

Anyone who has seen my Stern Dracula at Allentown, Kzoo, or Chicago, it is wired up this way. I have 22 star post lights installed in it and all 11 groups are wired up to multiple flashing sources. It creates a great light show for what is otherwise a pretty dull game.

I can provide a wiring diagram to anyone wanting to put the GLM star post lights in their early solid state games.


#13 6 years ago
Quoted from Fanatic:

I'm looking for a PCB mounted relay whose coil voltage is rated at 5v and capable of carrying a 12vdc load at the projected rating of 5 "post leds" -

Consider a Solid State Relay. i.e: http://www.todaycomponents.com/cry-cmx200d3.html
More dependable than a coil driven relay.

#14 6 years ago
Quoted from KenH:

Nice clean solution...unfortunately, a little more expensive.

Looks like also get the whole post too. So, if anything you have a nice new post that is clean

#15 6 years ago

Thanks a bunch for all of the information.
I now have much to think about. Truth be told, you all may have overwhelmed me a little. I'm grateful for the info.

G.L.M. - I really like the circuit board and thanks for the series wiring tip. After I formulate a good plan, I'll put together a parts list. Will be in touch.

girloveswaffles - solid state relay = very cool!! Didn't know they existed. This thing is way better than a coil driven relay any day!!

Xenon75 - way thanks. I like the profile of the star posts you linked. These posts (IMO) appear "cleaner" than those which sandwich the led between the star-post and the board. Yes, a bit more expensive but my game is not all that intricate. It's easy to spot the details because the playfield is a little more sparse than other games. I can see where these might be worth the extra $$$. And really, we're not talking thousands here. I'm just burning a couple of bucks having some fun and learning a new hobby.
So after I get this game all modded, you guys can bust on me when I try to recover my money and list it up for $3K as "shopped". LOL

Overall, my plan is not to convert the entire playfield to LED. I like the nostalgic feel and warmth of the 555's. Just wanted to illuminate a couple of dead spots and give a little more pop and sparkle to the overall appearance.
Truth be told, this game was beat when I got it. There is more glazing putty on the field than I care to discuss. It really took a lot of body work just to get the thing playable. Shooter lanes were rutted into the wood, flipper mylars all over the field, inserts lifted/sunk/cracked, cracked plastics, holes drilled in the playfield, and then there were the p.c.b.'s. I'm sure that after my "restoration", it's so far off from original that I just couldn't part with it. The upper playfield was essentially destroyed. I free-handed all the art back in as best I could. The game must have spent some time outdoors because all the original paint is "crazed" beyond repair. This is my training tool for when I finally get the pin I really want.
But don't get me wrong.....Spy Hunter is a keeper of a pin!

#16 6 years ago

I've used larger Crydom SSR's to replace mechanical relays in motor driven devices with great results. They were used to replace them because the contacts in the mechanical ones would get burned and not make contact, or occasionally would fuse together and cause a motor to run continuously.

#17 6 years ago

Use them under inserts and NEVER under playfield plastics. Unless of course you like turning the multiple colors on the plastics into solid blobs of color, ruining the look of the game.

The plastics have a white backing in order to diffuse white light to display the multitude of colors. Somehow it became the "cool" thing to destroy this look with bright, solid, singular colors.

Imagine putting a single solid color behind a translight. Yuck.

#18 6 years ago

Totally agree! Plastics look beautiful with warm white frosteds!

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