(Topic ID: 197386)

Weak flipper after installing ColorDMD, 12V unregulated

By Genetic2000

6 years ago

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#1 6 years ago

So after installing a ColorDMD on my WPC Indiana Jones I noticed the right flipper was frequently weaker. After some research on pinside I focused on the flipper opto board. After replacing it with new spare, -- full strength again. I've also noticed the game sometimes now has some confusion with the Idol counting balls, again I believe optos are involved.
Not satisfied with the new loss of reliability I looked into the 12V unregulated path.

TP1 no load = 15.5V
TP1 w/colordmd and playfield = 11.3V (no motors running, not good for a opto/motor heavy game like IJ right?)

This is a big drop IMO. Reseated a;; 12V connectors, no improvement, I have no mods beyond Pinsound and colorDMD.

**Question I have is 15.5V solid to begin with?
**Should I expect a better, stronger 12V path if I rebuild the Cap and bridge?
**Will newer optos draw less?

Other notes: motors were rebuilt and cleaned out about a year ago, all optos are original except trough opto broads are new (and now a flipper)

#2 6 years ago

Because the supply is unregulated, it is normal for the voltage to drop as the current load is increased due to resistive losses through the bridge rectifier and increased rate of discharge from the holding capacitor.

However, 11.3V seems low. A normal stock game powering the optos will be over 13V. Addition of the ColorDMD generally drops the voltage by around 0.5V. I'm not sure about the drop pulled by Pinsound, but you can unplug Pinsound and check the readings with J116-119 plugged in, with/without the ColorDMD.

If the voltage is lower than 12.5 V with Pinsound unplugged, you may have a failing unregulated 12V power supply. Could be a failing bridge, cap, cold solder joint, or failing trace on the power driver board.

To see if it's the supply, you can try swapping the power driver board with one from another WPC game and recheck the voltages.

#3 6 years ago

I'll take some more readings with different 12V loads attached and post.
I don't mind rebuilding the 12V-u supply I've done a few of them, but want to rule out all other anomalies first and was hoping to hear some things to try to further isolate the drop since 15.5V seems fairly healthy as a start.....love the ColorDMD BTW, no way I'm going back so cleaning up the power is my goal now.

#4 6 years ago

I've made new readings (TP1/gnd braid) while disconnecting individual 12v unreg loads:

System ON under idle load, no motors running: 11.52v (little better)
Full load with motors "homing": 9.9v - 11.1v (variable)
Disconnecting J116 (coin door): 11.62v (0.1v gain)
Disconnecting J117 (display, including colordmd): 12.59v (1.07v gain)
Disconnecting ColorDMD only: 12.65v (1.13v gain) (ColorDMD = 0.06v basically negligible)
Disconnecting J118 (playfield boards): 13.26v (1.64v gain)
Disconnecting J116, J117, J118 (include cdmd): 15.72v (no load reading)

Individual readings do not sum up to the 4.2v total drop seen between full load/no load, not sure why that would be.
J118 playfield boards draw the most, followed by J117 (display w/cDMD)

Guess I'll trace the under playfield +12v-unreg next and verify connections are solid. After that I'll have to start pulling boards or swap with another game to confirm the 4+ voltage drop.

#5 6 years ago

Voltage drop is very significant when the motors start pulling current. That's a good sign of a failing supply.

It's unlikely there are any problems under the playfield. I'd swap driver boards to see if voltages look better.

If so, next step would be to check traces and reflow any cold solder joints on the unregulated supply. Then if still not resolved, swap out the cap and/or bridge.

#6 6 years ago

Last update, I hope.
I replaced the Cap and Bridge today, they were original, under full load TP1 now reads 13.4v as compared to 11.3V prior to replacing.
Played a few games and loaded the idol a few times. The game kept track of all balls as it should and no other issues that I noticed.
thanks Dmod!

#7 6 years ago

Great! Glad I could help.

Thanks for the update.

4 years later
#8 2 years ago
Quoted from Dmod:

Great! Glad I could help.
Thanks for the update.

Hello all! I just fixed a weak right flipper issue on my Flintstones pinball so i thought i would share how. Note: Randy from colordmd just helped me get my colordmd board working again and as soon as the display was working my right flipper was super weak. I couldn't even get the ball up any ramps with it! I started researching and came across several threads (including this one) so i thought there was a correlation with the colordmd BUT I WAS WRONG!

Believe it or not, simply cleaning the flipper optos completely fixed the issue! I used isopropyl alcohol and q-tips to clean the optos and the flipper is now very strong. For my Williams Flintstones pinball, the optos are located next to the flippers. With the unit powered off, simply hold down the flipper and clean the opto sensor area with the qtip. repeat for other flipper. Please see pic for the area i cleaned.



flipper-opto (resized).jpgflipper-opto (resized).jpg
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