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Laser War Pinball - Some Flashers Stuck On


SNESNESCUBE64

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This was a quick fix as I've seen this issue before. So I was working on a Data East Laser war pinball machine, and some of the flashers were stuck on. This pinball machine just had all of its bulbs replaced with LEDs, so realistically there shouldn't have been a problem. There were also several stuck on so it was more than just a bad socket or a wiring issue. I identified the bulbs as the following:

image.png.a403a2f8120aa8b07ab8eef453deb3e4.png

 

Flashers are driven by the solenoid circuits, so it seemed odd that the flashers were for solenoid drivers 6, 7, and 8. Looking at the schematic, I could see that the ones in question all had a warming resistor. What a warming resistor does is that it provides a current to a bulb that is less than what is necessary for it to glow. The idea is that it makes it a little bit quicker to warm up and flash than it would be from a cold start. This can be represented by the highlighted resistors below:

image.png.57a556c43c98e87285de7b36da5ded51.png

LED bulbs do not need these warming resistors as they require not only a lower amount of current to flash but because they are LED they turn on much faster. Not even all the flashers have these warming resistors as I pointed out. 

The solution here was literally to just remove the 660 ohm resistors from circuit. After removing them, they turned off as they should and even flashed as they should.

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Recently got my first pin, a Data East TMNT. I've thought about replacing all bulbs with LEDs, but I'm leery of running into issues just as you've described here. I'd REALLY like to at least replace the bulbs for the 4 target banks with LEDs that correspond to the appropriate turtle's color.

I broke out the owners manual and started looking at the wiring schematics and was unpleasantly surprised to find that Data East screwed up their own manuals by including the schematics for "Checkpoint" instead of TMNT. Apparently Checkpoint machines were used to make early TMNT protos. Funny bit of history, but it doesn't help me with knowing the wiring on my machine...

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1 hour ago, Br81zad said:

Recently got my first pin, a Data East TMNT. I've thought about replacing all bulbs with LEDs, but I'm leery of running into issues just as you've described here. I'd REALLY like to at least replace the bulbs for the 4 target banks with LEDs that correspond to the appropriate turtle's color.

I broke out the owners manual and started looking at the wiring schematics and was unpleasantly surprised to find that Data East screwed up their own manuals by including the schematics for "Checkpoint" instead of TMNT. Apparently Checkpoint machines were used to make early TMNT protos. Funny bit of history, but it doesn't help me with knowing the wiring on my machine...

The conversion to LED is SOOOO worth it. If you color it out correctly, it really makes everything pop, plus the added benefit of not having to change bulbs. Congrats on the first machine, they are a lot of work but once you get everything taken care of, they are so much fun. Data east games are some of my favorites, I hope to have a Data East Jurassic Park one day.

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47 minutes ago, SNESNESCUBE64 said:

The conversion to LED is SOOOO worth it. If you color it out correctly, it really makes everything pop, plus the added benefit of not having to change bulbs. Congrats on the first machine, they are a lot of work but once you get everything taken care of, they are so much fun. Data east games are some of my favorites, I hope to have a Data East Jurassic Park one day.

I'm really enjoying it, and learning all of its quirks. It'll randomly drop a ramp switch (yellow or green) and I don't really know what could be causing it. Sometimes it will happen right from start up, sometimes it'll happen mid game after a few plays. Cycling the power on/off seems to fix it for awhile. I've also noticed that the game likes to warm up a bit before being played. If I start it cold and immediately jump into a game, the DMD will scramble and eventually drop out. Again, cycle power and it's fine. 🤷‍♂️

I've got a new ramp for it and a full plastic kit to replace some broken bits. I'm not planning on tearing it down until I can secure all of the ramp decals. Currently they're out of stock at Macro, and I haven't seen anywhere else that carries them.

A Data East JP would be sweet! I also really like their themes through the 90's. Hook, Back to the Future, Star Wars, Batman all hit me in the nostalgia.

Edited by Br81zad
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21 minutes ago, Br81zad said:

I'm really enjoying it, and learning all of its quirks. It'll randomly drop a ramp switch (yellow or green) and I don't really know what could be causing it. Sometimes it will happen right from start up, sometimes it'll happen mid game after a few plays. Cycling the power on/off seems to fix it for awhile. I've also noticed that the game likes to warm up a bit before being played. If I start it cold and immediately jump into a game, the DMD will scramble and eventually drop out. Again, cycle power and it's fine. 🤷‍♂️

Check your connections in the backbox, those connectors get dirty after a while, these data east games also are known to have power board problems. I know some of the fuse holders are paper thin and the holders should be replaced. Some of those connections also get super burnt due to bad connections and cold solder joints, I would make sure they are all in good shape. That might solve some of your "warm up" problems. I've also had to replace caps on a couple of those...

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1 hour ago, SNESNESCUBE64 said:

Check your connections in the backbox, those connectors get dirty after a while, these data east games also are known to have power board problems. I know some of the fuse holders are paper thin and the holders should be replaced. Some of those connections also get super burnt due to bad connections and cold solder joints, I would make sure they are all in good shape. That might solve some of your "warm up" problems. I've also had to replace caps on a couple of those...

Oh I'm sure some solder reflow and connector cleaning could do wonders to make it more consistent. But quirks and all I've still put up a score of 32 million on it. 

That damn plunger kicker is probably the most annoying thing about the whole machine. Lol

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