(Topic ID: 286949)

WPC: How to remove light-board spacers?

By DakotaMike

10 months ago


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  • 15 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by QuietEarp
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#1 10 months ago

Hi, so I'm working on my Congo today, and I came across this light board under the lower pf. One of the Congo letters won't light. The traces appear fine from the bottom, so I suspect it might be a bad diode. I wanted to pull the board, but I can't figure out how to pull the board out. It's attached with these spacers, and I can't figure out how to get them to loosen.

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They look like the same kind of thing that holds a pin-vice bit in. But normally you would tighten them down from the other direction compared to this light board.

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Anyone have any ideas how to remove this board? I can't really get a needle-nose pliers easily between the board and lower-pf, and from the reachable side, I can't get enough grip on what little bit of the space is sticking through to actually pinch it down.

#2 10 months ago

Before you go through all of that... have you cleaned and bent the tabs on the bulb holder? You sure the bulb is good?

#3 10 months ago
Quoted from DakotaMike:

The traces appear fine from the bottom, so I suspect it might be a bad diode.

This can be tested without removing the board, just put your meter on diode test and measure the diode in both direction. If you don't know what the meter should read, just compare it to how the other diodes on the board measure.

#4 10 months ago
Quoted from drsfmd:Before you go through all of that... have you cleaned and bent the tabs on the bulb holder? You sure the bulb is good?

Oh yeah, I swapped it with one right next to it, and it lit up, so it's not the bulb or socket.

Quoted from Pin_Guy:

This can be tested without removing the board, just put your meter on diode test and measure the diode in both direction. If you don't know what the meter should read, just compare it to how the other diodes on the board measure.

Yeah, I just tend to like to lift a leg on the diode when I'm testing them, as sometimes I get funny reading if they're in circuit. Although if I remove the socket from the board, I guess it would sorta be equivalent to desoldering a leg.

As it happens, I figured out it's a flakey connection at the IDC connector that's the problem. Not sure if it's a wire at the connector, or the pins on the board. Unfortunately, almost all of the wires are looped through, so that makes it a bit more of a pain to swap out the connector. Not impossible or anything, just more of a pain.

Still, it would nice to actually be able to remove the board if necessary to work on it.

#5 10 months ago
Quoted from DakotaMike:

Still, it would nice to actually be able to remove the board if necessary to work on it.

You need to find a correct sized tube and push it on while lifting on the board. A lot of the time a pen casing works, if you find the right one.

#6 10 months ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

You need to find a correct sized tube and push it on while lifting on the board. A lot of the time a pen casing works, if you find the right one.

Hmm. I wonder if there's a purpose-built tool out there somewhere?

#8 10 months ago
Quoted from DakotaMike:

Hmm. I wonder if there's a purpose-built tool out there somewhere?

Like brass tube from a hardware store or hobby shop ?

LTG : )

#10 10 months ago
Quoted from DakotaMike:

Hmm, that looks good. Trouble is it's $15. Damn, I hate spending that and then never needing the tool again. Hmm.

Maybe you will need it again?

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#11 10 months ago
Quoted from no-extra-balls:

Maybe you will need it again?
[quoted image]

Ha, well maybe. I don't think those spacers are used on very many games though. Probably just 90's WMS games with lower pf's. Since the light board is underneath the lower pf, I guess they couldn't mount it the normal way with screws. How many WMS games actually have lower playfields? Just Congo maybe?

#12 10 months ago

If you can salvage a telescoping antenna from an old radio or whatnot, those tube sections can be used for this type of stuff. Also works (semi-ok) for removing sockets from connector housings.

#13 10 months ago
Quoted from DakotaMike:

Hmm, that looks good. Trouble is it's $15. Damn

I don't know if that one will fit! I just gave you an example! DO NOT buy this.

#14 10 months ago

Best tool is a BIC pen. Pull out the ink cartridge. Try it for size, don't work, open it up with a drill bit until it works. When done label it with use and toss it in the tool box. Next time you need it you wont find it and you have to make a new one.

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#15 10 months ago

My perfectly sized tube with brightly colored electrical tape wrapped around it so I don't lose it is one of the tools I am most happy to own. Before I had that I would swear a lot more trying to remove boards etc.

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