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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Pinball Mods and LED's

 
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Pinball Mods - Read Me First
The purpose of this article is to help prevent the all too common problems caused by pinball mods that require a power source (typically 5 volts or 12 volts). While a few manufacturers of mods may test the mod to ensure it doesn't overload a pinball circuit and provide accurate installation instructions, the majority don't. In fact the majority of powered mods leave it up to the installer to decide where to connect the power inputs. Just to be clear, problems caused by mods are frequently posted on pinside.com. They are not a...
 
 
Custom Game Cards
One of the easiest, and nicest looking, mods you can make on your pinball is to install custom pricing and instruction cards. The good news is that you don't even need to be artistic since there are a wide variety of custom game cards available on the Internet. Following are a couple of good sites to check out (also Google the name of your pinball and "game cards" or "instruction cards" or "pricing cards." All are free except the Pinball Center illuminated cards (see this article for more info). Pinball Rebel...
 
 
Addams Family Cloud Topper Lighting
The cloud topper light kit from Lee's Parts is a must have for your Addams Family. I have seen other cloud kits but recommend this one since the LED's mount to the top of the cabinet and the light is directed up giving a very cool blue glow. Although the LED string comes with alligator clips for connecting to the 12V and ground test points on the Driver Board, I think that is an exceptionally bad idea. With the amount of vibration a pinball takes it is very likely a clip will eventually come loose...
 
 
Uncle Fester Mod on Addams Family
I'm not a huge fan of mods, other than lighting, but if you have an Addams Family pinball the Uncle Lester mod from Pinball Pro is a must have. Firstly the electric chair looks pretty empty. Plus if you're familiar with the show Uncle Fester with a lit bulb in his mouth is iconic. The mod is well made and has a LED light that can be connected to either the red or yellow light on the electric chair. It comes with directions that should be sufficient for most pinballers. Although the directions include...
 
 
LED Reference Guide
The dizzying array of LED choices can get a little confusing. Through trial and error I've come up with the following general suggestions for LED selection. Of course every game is different and tastes are different, so feel free to buy a batch of LED's and experiment. Note: Warm LED's are available only in white. Note: Cool colors are purple, blue and green, warm colors are yellow, red and orange (see Image 7). Note: If you're in Europe, pinballcenter.eu has equivalent choices for all of the bulbs mentioned. General...
 
 
LED Selection and Usage Part 2
This is part 2 in a two part series on LED selection and usage. In this part we will take the lessons we learned in Part 1 and upgrade a Sega Baywatch to LED's. Since the video pretty well covers the subject I'll just touch on a couple of quick topics. After testing LED flashers I would not waste the money on upgrading them. There was really no improvement and they're fairly expensive. I usually do not upgrade the backbox lighting since it seldom looks much better and often looks worse. ...
 
 
LED Selection and Usage Part 1
While installing LED's on you pinball game can provide outstanding results the dizzying variety of options can be rather confusing. This article and video covers the brands and types of LED's available, brightness comparisons, the difference between classic LED's and SMD LED's and the differences between incandescent bulbs and LED's. NOTE: You will get the most out of this information if you read the article and view the video. Types of LED's All LED's (as in the actual LED, not the bulb, which can include multiple LED's) are not the same. ...
 
 
Flintstones Custom Translite
I almost died laughing when I saw this custom translite in a Flintstones pinball game.  If you don't catch it at first, ask yourself where the women are.  Also note that Fred and Barnie are doing a little wife swapping and the little alien is "happy." The translite was done by Wrong Crowd Productions, which is no longer in business.
 
 
Anti-Ghosting LED Comparison
Before we get to our LED comparison let's talk a little bit about the problem. Ghosting is used to describe the behavior of an LED glowing dimly when it should be off. This will occur on a controlled lamp when another lamp or LED in the same matrix row or column is turned on. The cause is a combination of timing in the lamp matrix driver software and an issue with the WPC ASIC. The ghosting problem appears to be limited to Williams/Bally WPC era games, including some Data East games since they use...
 
 
Custom Game Cards and NoFlix Pinball Card
I recently came across some custom transparent instruction and pricing cards at pinballcenter.eu for my Bram Stoker's Dracula Pinball. While the cards by themselves are very nice, what really sets them off is the addition of the electroluminescent NoFlix Pinball Card (see Image 1). The NoFlix Pinball Card illuminates the game cards from behind and provides a very nice red glow on the lower game area that goes well with the game's theme. Note: Each card draws almost 1/2 amp (400mA to be exact) so be extremely careful you don't overload a circuit. ...
 
 
 
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