(Topic ID: 293725)

Ultimate Solenoid Board Issue

By bigguybbr

5 months ago


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  • 27 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by bigguybbr
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  • Meteor Stern Electronics, 1979

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rectifier board (resized).png
a3 (resized).png

#1 5 months ago

Today I received my Alltek ultimate solenoid board and installed it in my Stern Meteor. I start up the machine and start a game. Everything is working and playing fine then all of a sudden the displays start flashing, the game locks up and eventually resets. I power cycle the game and do a memory clear on the mpu board. I restart the game and go into the self test and run it through the tests a few times and again it locks up with the displays flickering. I tried reseating all the connectors and ran the tests again with the same results. Finally I put my old solenoid board back in, and now the runs without issue.

My question is whether the new solenoid board is bad, or is there something else I could be missing? Any insight is appreciated.

#2 5 months ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

Today I received my Alltek ultimate solenoid board and installed it in my Stern Meteor. I start up the machine and start a game. Everything is working and playing fine then all of a sudden the displays start flashing, the game locks up and eventually resets. I power cycle the game and do a memory clear on the mpu board. I restart the game and go into the self test and run it through the tests a few times and again it locks up with the displays flickering. I tried reseating all the connectors and ran the tests again with the same results. Finally I put my old solenoid board back in, and now the runs without issue.
My question is whether the new solenoid board is bad, or is there something else I could be missing? Any insight is appreciated.

I doubt the new board is bad. was this the issue before you put the solenoid board in? First place I would check is the power supply board/fuse holders/connectors in the bottom of the cabinet

#3 5 months ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

I doubt the new board is bad. was this the issue before you put the solenoid board in? First place I would check is the power supply board/fuse holders/connectors in the bottom of the cabinet

My existing solenoid board was actually working just fine before I put in the new board. I'm doing a resto, and was updating that since it already had a new APU and I was putting in the lighting board to allow for swapping to LEDs. After the swap, I was able to start a game or run tests, but it would eventually lock up, and never at what I could perceive was the same point to allow me to troubleshoot a single component.

Since I removed the ultimate solenoid driver and put the old original board back in, it hasn't had an issue. I can run it through all the tests, and it doesn't doesn't lock up.

Could the rectifier have an issue that would cause it to fail with the ultimate solenoid board, but still work with the old bally board?

#4 5 months ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

Could the rectifier have an issue that would cause it to fail with the ultimate solenoid board, but still work with the old bally board?

Yes.... probably low voltage on the rectifier end if it's an original tired one. Bad fuse clips, failing bridges, etc. Connectors.....

#5 5 months ago

A couple of those aftermarket parts don’t work with the competitions aftermarket parts. Is everything Alltek or OEM?

#6 5 months ago
Quoted from Mad_Dog_Coin_Op:

A couple of those aftermarket parts don’t work with the competitions aftermarket parts. Is everything Alltek or OEM?

All the new boards are alltek, except for the Bally solenoid board I had to swap back in.

#7 5 months ago

likely to be bad connector feeding the SDB? if that the only thing you changed/moved while replacing it. always good to rebuild the upper right connector of the SDB

#8 5 months ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

likely to be bad connector feeding the SDB? if that the only thing you changed/moved while replacing it. always good to rebuild the upper right connector of the SDB

I did notice when installing the new SDB that the connectors felt looser. I’ll have to grab the calipers and see if maybe the pins are a slightly different gauge. At this point I might swap out the rectifier board with the $55 one from Pinballlife and try to figure out what connectors and crimpers I need to redo the connections at the SDB

#9 5 months ago

I include these here only to inform people that there are other options, not only the one brand of replacements. In any case I always advocate that the original should be repaired FIRST over any replacement options.

https://www.pinballlife.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=AS-2518-16%2F22
a3 (resized).png

https://www.pinballlife.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=AS-2518-18

rectifier board (resized).png
#10 5 months ago
Quoted from pins4u:

In any case I always advocate that the original should be repaired FIRST over any replacement options.

I get that sentiment if the game is all original in good condition, but when the game cabinet gets repainted, plastics, playfield, and back glass and replaced with reproductions, I don’t see any point in striving for originality or authenticity over modern reliability.

#11 5 months ago

don't use decades old connectors on a brand new board...new pins/new connectors
I know it's a pain, but so many times it is some issue with them.

#12 5 months ago
Quoted from pins4u:

I include these here only to inform people that there are other options, not only the one brand of replacements. In any case I always advocate that the original should be repaired FIRST over any replacement options.
https://www.pinballlife.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=AS-2518-16%2F22
[quoted image]
https://www.pinballlife.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=AS-2518-18[quoted image]

I actually always use this model from PBL, not the homepin one and it comes with a connector replacement kit as well so you get a new board and connector all at once:

https://www.pinballlife.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=PBL-100-0070-00

I would still change at a minimum the upper right connector on your SDB too.

#13 5 months ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

I actually always use this model from PBL, not the homepin one and it comes with a connector replacement kit as well so you get a new board and connector all at once:
https://www.pinballlife.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=PBL-100-0070-00
I would still change at a minimum the upper right connector on your SDB too.

The Homepin one also has a complete connector kit with new housings and pins so probably not much difference although I notice the Homepin one has a pretty chunky heatsink fitted.

#14 5 months ago

Downside is the contacts are not Molex or AMP brand. I have found the Chinese/Taiwanese knockoffs to cost far, far less but are ALWAYS an inferior metal.

#15 4 months ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

Downside is the contacts are not Molex or AMP brand. I have found the Chinese/Taiwanese knockoffs to cost far, far less but are ALWAYS an inferior metal.

How would you know that the contacts supplied are not Molex or AMP? You don't I'm certain of that. These brands are sold all around the world by RS, Farnell, Mouser and MANY others.

Your constant bagging of ANYTHING that isn't made in the good 'OL USA gets very tiring. MANY countries OUTSIDE the USA made even higher quality stuff than is made in the USA - shock horror I can hear you say!

In case you weren't aware (and probably don't want to hear) Taiwan is one of the largest exporter of aviation fasteners in the word. That USA built Boeing you last flew on (maybe Boeing is a BAD example of US excellence! hahaha) most likely is held together with Taiwan made fasteners whether you like that or not.

Yes, there are plenty of cheapo and shoddy things that come from Asia, I agree with you on that, but certainly not EVERYTHING is crap like you continue to state as if it were beyond doubt and therefore fact.

A quick Google search revealed a lot of information that clearly shows Taiwanese fasteners are among the best in the world. Other countries are also right up there manufacturing goods that far exceed the quality found in some USA products.

https://www.taiwanexcellence.org/en/press/newsroom/983

"Taiwan is also moving toward high value-added applications such as aviation engine screws, medical purpose fasteners, and automotive engine screws."

#16 4 months ago
Quoted from pins4u:

How would you know that the contacts supplied are not Molex or AMP? You don't I'm certain of that. These brands are sold all around the world by RS, Farnell, Mouser and MANY others...
"

... and the rest of the temper tantrum snipped.

Wow, must have struck a nerve on that one!
Guaranteed that the contacts in the sales photo are neither Molex and AMP. How do I know? I have been doing this for decades.

The ones in the sales photo of this board are end strip mounted.
Molex is only available in either loose or side strips. AMP is available in end strips but the shape is completely wrong.
And not sure what the list of distributors has to do with any of this - they make nothing, they resell both the good and the cheap.
Nor am I sure about why you mentioned taiwanese fasteners which has nothing to do with any of this conversation.

I have received samples from many manufacturers in China & Taiwan as well as Japan and other countries.
The Chinese and usually Taiwanese brand contacts become brittle. They're fine for awhile but lose their tension after a short period of time. I have yet to find a reliable source over there for this size contact. But pricewise - it sure looks good when the cost per contact is less than 1 penny each (0.156" contacts were $6 per bag of 1000). I can see why some people resell them and rake in the profit. I have some of these contacts but refuse to sell them due to bad quality. But I will make an exception - do you want to buy a bag of 1000?

Contacts received from manufacturers from around the world have always been far better. This includes US, Mexico, Germany and Japan. Stuff from India has been spotty.

Funny you should mention aviation. Military and aviation grade connectors has been one of my specialties for 35 years. ITT Cannon, Glenair, Souriau, Amphenol, AMP (TE) and a few others are big guys in that field. I work in a field where one connector failure can cost $millions. No chinese brands allowed, can you guess why? And even Manufacturers such as Molex are also seldom found in my field.

All that and not once did I throw any insults about where you live.

#17 4 months ago
Quoted from Mad_Dog_Coin_Op:

A couple of those aftermarket parts don’t work with the competitions aftermarket parts. Is everything Alltek or OEM?

provide example? otherwise seems like FUD. As far as I can tell there is zero reason different aftermarket brands can't be mixed unless someone is doing something out of bounds of the original design. Its not like they are re-arranging connector pin outs.

Quoted from pins4u:

Your constant bagging of ANYTHING that isn't made in the good 'OL USA gets very tiring. MANY countries OUTSIDE the USA made even higher quality stuff than is made in the USA - shock horror I can hear you say!

I don't even like to post new things on pinside anymore because people will always come around and tell you about how they would have done it better. I am still burned up over a "test pads instead of posts, what else did he cheap out on" comment.

#18 4 months ago
Quoted from barakandl: I don't even like to post new things on pinside anymore because people will always come around and tell you about how they would have done it better. I am still burned up over a "test pads instead of posts, what else did he cheap out on" comment.

We have had consultants come in and perform number crunching to say we could have done better with less. Nothing like showing your employees thanks by having the consultants show up.

I totally get where you are coming from.

#19 4 months ago

What can ya say?
Some people like to use cheaper parts or completely omit parts that cost pennies and others care more about user accessibility, longevity and quality.
Some people are completely offended by constructive criticism and others use it to their advantage to improve their products.

#20 4 months ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

What can ya say?
Some people like to use cheaper parts or completely omit parts that cost pennies and others care more about user accessibility, longevity and quality.
Some people are completely offended by constructive criticism and others use it to their advantage to improve their products.

You are obviously very intelligent and respect the opinion but it comes across really snarky at times. To flip it around on you imagine someone saying crap like "GPE charges $1 for an IRL540, what else is he overcharging people on".

-1
#21 4 months ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

What can ya say?
Some people like to use cheaper parts or completely omit parts that cost pennies and others care more about user accessibility, longevity and quality.
Some people are completely offended by constructive criticism and others use it to their advantage to improve their products.

I admire your dedication to high quality and also your assistance to hobbyists.

However I think you forget that we are repairing pinball machines NOT space shuttles so the level of quality VS price certainly concerns many.

In most cases prime quality, military grade parts simply aren't needed or even warranted.

Consumer grade parts work just fine for practically every pinball machine repair.

#22 4 months ago

I was talking about buying parts that were at least on par with the OEM, you brought up aviation and I never said to use mil spec parts ... but, whatever.

#23 4 months ago
Quoted from pins4u:

I admire your dedication to high quality and also your assistance to hobbyists.
However I think you forget that we are repairing pinball machines NOT space shuttles so the level of quality VS price certainly concerns many.
In most cases prime quality, military grade parts simply aren't needed or even warranted.
Consumer grade parts work just fine for practically every pinball machine repair.

Are we complaining about price through GPE? This could be the most ridiculous complaint ever. Last time I ordered from Ed I think i got like 762 components for about 22 bucks. Obviously exaggerating but still...

#24 4 months ago

Well this got out of hand in a hurry. I have a new rectifier board on order and some pins to rebuild some of the connectors. I'll be a little while before I get to that step. My current status:

IMG_1971 (resized).JPGIMG_1972 (resized).JPGIMG_E1973 (resized).JPG
#25 4 months ago

yeah if you are going through so much trouble, you really want to replace that board (and the associated connectors)

#26 4 months ago

If you bought an Alltek Ultimate Solenoid Driver Board, Alltek has a lifetime warranty on the board. Go the the Alltek site: https://allteksystems.com/pages/warranty-information

Email or call them.

#27 4 months ago
Quoted from minnesota13:

If you bought an Alltek Ultimate Solenoid Driver Board, Alltek has a lifetime warranty on the board. Go the the Alltek site: https://allteksystems.com/pages/warranty-information
Email or call them.

Good to know. Once I put it all back together I’ll reach out if I’m still having troubles.

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