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(Topic ID: 219820)

Williams Coil Naming for SA and SG coils


By cmack750

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by AlonzoMoselyFBI
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 2 years ago

    Was hoping someone could help me out with a better understanding of how Williams went about naming their SA and SG Coils used back in their early solid state days.

    For my example, I'll use the machine I'm working on: a Williams Scorpion.

    This machine, flippers aside, uses 4 coil part numbers exclusively:

    SA-23-850-DC
    SA2-23-850-DC
    SA3-23-850-DC
    SG-23-850-DC

    I've read a ton of sites, pinball medic's coil reference, etc and I can honestly say that nowhere have I found anyone that actually directly explains what the first portion of the part number actually means. 23 is the AWG and 850 is the number of turns of the coil wire and DC is self explanatory. But what is the actual difference between SA, SA2, SA3 and SG?

    From trying to piece together random bits of information I've gathered from many sites (and the fact that when I ordered some SA3-23-850-DC's from Marco, they sent me SA-23-850-DC's instead, with a specific coil sleeve), I believe that these might actually all be the EXACT same coil (with a different wrapper), but that the true differences are:

    1. SA and SG are the same, but the A or G denote the direction the sleeve is supposed to be inserted into the coil.
    2. The "2" or "3" (or the lack of a number) simply denotes the length and type of sleeve that should be used. For example, and SA3 would used a flanged 2 11/16" sleeve (per the kit Marco sent me), and would be exactly the same as an SG3, but with the sleeve reversed. This would make sense, since the old manuals for the machines that used these coils didn't have info about the coil sleeves that should be used, so maybe this was how they did it..... By "writing" it on the coil and in the manual in this cryptic way.

    Can anyone who knows the actual answer here either validate my assumptions or set me straight on exactly what the prefix truly does mean for these type of coils?

    #2 2 years ago

    Steve Young at Pinball Resource??

    #3 2 years ago

    Maybe something about the used diode on the coil?
    You should have the (old original) coils side by side to see the difference...

    #4 2 years ago

    The coils are really the same. The differences are the way the sleeve installs (Front or rear) and the flanges (or not) on the sleeves.

    #5 2 years ago

    Thanks Travish. That's what I suspected. Seems diode orientation (front or rear mounted), as well as diode polarity orientation may be part of this as well, since and SG-23 and SA-23 have the diode on opposite sides of the bobbin and with polarity reversed. Good way to blow a transistor if not paying attention.

    #6 2 years ago

    Coils don't really have "polarity". As long as you have your hot wire and the diode band facing the correct way it doesn't matter. You can even have the coil mounted "backwards" meaning you can turn the coil around so the vibration is lessened on the soldered lug connections.

    I have been down the same way as you. When I restore a game I usually change the coils even though the originals are fine. Same reason I change all the IDC connectors with molex. Just because.

    1 year later
    #7 4 months ago
    Quoted from cmack750:

    Thanks Travish. That's what I suspected. Seems diode orientation (front or rear mounted), as well as diode polarity orientation may be part of this as well, since and SG-23 and SA-23 have the diode on opposite sides of the bobbin and with polarity reversed. Good way to blow a transistor if not paying attention.

    I just learned this lesson the hard way. These fuckers are IDENTICAL apart from the diode direction. I feel a little dumb, but why would the description on Marco be "reverse sleeve insertion"? It's not the sleeve that's reversed. It's the DIODE. You can put the sleeve in either way.

    Now I have some MPU work to do (after the smoke clears)

    IMG_0013 (resized).jpg
    #8 4 months ago
    Quoted from AlonzoMoselyFBI:

    I just learned this lesson the hard way. These fuckers are IDENTICAL apart from the diode direction. I feel a little dumb, but why would the description on Marco be "reverse sleeve insertion"? It's not the sleeve that's reversed. It's the DIODE. You can put the sleeve in either way.
    Now I have some MPU work to do (after the smoke clears)
    [quoted image]

    Think about it like this.

    The coil sleeve on a pop bumper has the flanged end going towards the coil stop. You want the diode on the coil to face the mechanics view. If you flip the coil, you will still need the flanged end of the coil sleeve facing the coil stop. But, by flipping the coil, essentially what you have done is reversed the sleeves insertion in the coil.

    Same coil wire gauge, same windings, but you would want the diode to be flipped to the other side, so the mechanic can still visually see and service the diode and the coil lugs/wiring.

    Some playfield mech's are meant to be assembled with the coil a certain way by design, therefore diode orientation get's it's place in the part number.

    #9 4 months ago
    Quoted from Jigs:

    Think about it like this.
    The coil sleeve on a pop bumper has the flanged end going towards the coil stop. You want the diode on the coil to face the mechanics view. If you flip the coil, you will still need the flanged end of the coil sleeve facing the coil stop. But, by flipping the coil, essentially what you have done is reversed the sleeves insertion in the coil.
    Same coil wire gauge, same windings, but you would want the diode to be flipped to the other side, so the mechanic can still visually see and service the diode and the coil lugs/wiring.
    Some playfield mech's are meant to be assembled with the coil a certain way by design, therefore diode orientation get's it's place in the part number.

    Thanks, I have calmed down a bit now — I can see the logic in what you’re saying. I won’t take for granted two coils are the same again!

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