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BALLY / STERN Solid State Custom Playfields


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Utilisation of the latest Bally Stern Multi CPU gave @slevbro and I an idea:blink:

 

for those unfamiliar with the MPU they can dipswitch set to over 30 different games...

http://www.allteksystems.com/alltek-products-ultimate-mpu-board.html

We want to redo them

The building of new and existing Playfields using the *rulesets of existing games.

These playfields will be plug and play into a standard Bally / Stern cabinet.

 

A custom late model style Super Solid State Cabinet is to be made to allow longer playfields ( Mata Hari V2 is awesome) to incorperate ramps , toys , Multiball ,LCD etc...onto

a standard head.This cab could also allow the drop in of a standard Bally / Stern playfield.

 

Why? Space for one thing... :rolleyes more so the ability to add more unique games to your existing hardware.

 

Process

**Backglass - existing / new design playfield - set dipswitches - shazzam new game!

 

 

* Simple modification of rulesets would be done under each playfield effectively interrupting some switch hits to extend gameplay , Lighting etc.

** Super cabinet will use a video image.

 

A Playfield which has be designed around the rules for PARAGON

 

 

The theme is VOYAGER 1 (subject to change without notice)

 

 

 

Edited by kress
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Cool idea. I’ve thought about the same sort of concept for games like firepower where there’s enough features and rules onboard to support different playfield designs - not unlike what the factory’s were doing back then anyway with bonus x and changing upper rollovers etc. appearing over and over.

 

 

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Pretty much the same board set I intend on using...Bally 35 mainly I'm looking at and you make the game around the original game rule set and make swap over playfields to suit utilizing the original game rule set.

Not really interested in prior 7 digit games though but that still leaves many Bally SS games to choose game rulesets from.

 

More time making the machine rather than spending time doing the electronics using known good working boards and rule sets that work.

 

Highly reliable board sets as well.

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4 Days into this project

 

Switches in , Mecs in , Insert locations in and Rules

finalised.

Slevbro will be wiring switches and Mecs during the week to the Bally standards.

The playfield will be tested on a Paragon head.

 

Beyond that the Inserts and lighting will be installed.

 

IMG_20190107_071431701.thumb.jpg.065b6a02b1e9fbff6c6939d133897b3d.jpg

 

IMG_20190107_073414153.thumb.jpg.48e8f8dcb220729b3a154e239bc8f207.jpg

 

IMG_20190107_073422776.thumb.jpg.5b752895c18335a8fdcc0d9b9bc924b5.jpg

IMG_20190107_071435596.thumb.jpg.69756f9ad0851620bf7686a194dac302.jpg

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cool ideas, this could actually be a good little business model for someone wanting to do a startup "custom playfield routing" service. This would open up the possibilities for anyone to redesign a PF the way they imagine. Obviously the designs may be a little hit and miss at times but that is part of the process/fun.

 

Interesting to see how far the interest goes back to more simple rulesets and game layouts vs the Starwars style deeper rules style. Of course it will be different for all and this is just one other option to some to "give it a go" and get involved in another aspect of this awesome hobby.

 

Keep up the great work, will be following to see where this goes.

 

Out of interest what are you going to do with the dead space top left area, left side of pop bumper?

 

cheers

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cool ideas, this could actually be a good little business model for someone wanting to do a startup "custom playfield routing" service. This would open up the possibilities for anyone to redesign a PF the way they imagine. Obviously the designs may be a little hit and miss at times but that is part of the process/fun.

 

Interesting to see how far the interest goes back to more simple rulesets and game layouts vs the Starwars style deeper rules style. Of course it will be different for all and this is just one other option to some to "give it a go" and get involved in another aspect of this awesome hobby.

 

Keep up the great work, will be following to see where this goes.

 

Out of interest what are you going to do with the dead space top left area, left side of pop bumper?

 

cheers

 

In true solid state fashion that area left and right will be wasted.

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I think there is a big future in these style of custom pinballs. One day I would like to see a big community with a collection of pinball playfields both owner designed and factory made that the owner can source different games from on a trade or outright buy option, the only thing that remains the same is the cabinet itself that is common to all.

 

The cabinet is also available to buy but the main idea is to change playfields rather than a complete machine which much lowers the purchase price and allows the owner to buy the parts that make up a totally different playing machine.

This allows the owner to buy the parts as finances allow rather than the one fixed price for a complete pinball and the owner can easierly source a totally different set of playfields, switch the dip switches to suit that game and they have totally transformed that game to another. (Console Style Pinball Machines).

 

You may find this idea suitable for your setup regarding the wiring. Rather than the conventional wiring harness used for playfields, I was thinking this is a far better, cheaper solution and something a lot more people are far more comfortable using. For my multi playfield design there will be 4 of these, all wired in parallel one for each playfield.

 

https://www.gearbest.com/cables-connectors/pp_628071.html?wid=1433363&currency=AUD&vip=14534570&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvdqCoqLa3wIVCK6WCh10gwHHEAkYEiABEgKfLfD_BwE

 

And each playfield has connectors like these that are wired to the playfield's wiring...

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/i/152648577944?chn=ps

 

One of these plugs should handle all the switch matrix inputs, another plug does all the switched illumination, (one wire per light because Bally only need one and a common unlike Williams that need a full matrix and the main reason I went with the Bally multi board over the Williams equivalent.

 

This style connectors for the power to each playfield...

 

fc1a9a84d66c9a9fddb0f6664329bfe1366e1bbb.JPG

 

Doing the playfield wiring in this fashion means the playfield can ship without a long harness on it and the cable that can be damaged is now an easy part to source but it is common to all machines anyway. It also reduces the wiring costs using ready made dependable interconnection cables.

 

Interestingly, on my multi playfield cabinet I intend on building, I will incorporate a 4 pole relay on the playfield that makes or breaks all 4 wires coming from the 4 wire power connector and this is to kill that playfield completely when not in use.

 

I think we are both pretty much running similar ideas and sharing of ideas should make for more certainty that this revolutionary design of pinball manufacture succeeds.

 

Who knows, one day you might be making playfields to suit my machines and I making playfields for yours but it is my intention to have owners and others try creating there own and all adding to the pool of adding games that can be easierly swapped over for other owners to use in there machines.

 

Another big driver for this style pinball for me is cost. Every part of design is about less reliance on pinball only parts and more reliance on common cheap parts designed for much larger markets which will much lower costs of production.

 

My price range is around $2-3 thousand for a cabinet, that certainly isn't set in stone yet and playfields at around $500-1000 depending on size and complexity making it well within reach of the average hobbyist that can buy parts as finances allow.

 

To lower costs even more, the owner should be able to make there own playfields using the data that would be freely available all designed to aid in the job including the wiring and once done they should be able to easierly plug in there own playfield ready to play and making there machine a total custom should they wish or trade the playfield and swap for another either factory made or another owner's design.

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Cant argue with anything there @Autosteve except maybe the price point of the playfields.

Whilst this particular playfield so far only owes us around the $200 mark due to the used parts - :021:

Costings for new parts would result in a price point of closer to $2000 ( 13 x $50USD just for Mecs ).

Seems expensive but not if you want a Playboy , Kiss , Matahari , Powerplay in your collection - all which now have Lexan artwork stickdown overlays available.Add to that a few playfields that are custom and its a no brainer.

The big plus for me is a lot of people dont have the room for 5 machines but do have room for 1 pin and a rack of 4 playfields.

 

SUPER CABINET PROTOTYPE..............................Standard

 

236990055_BALLYSUPERCAB.thumb.jpg.154af5e9b2ca2668f77352fb871c4683.jpg414921743_ballystock.thumb.jpg.860ab869d66d793ffc7d08815e8c1f9d.jpg

Edited by kress
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Great to see the ideas floating,

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of these plugs should handle all the switch matrix inputs, another plug does all the switched illumination, (one wire per light because Bally only need one and a common unlike Williams that need a full matrix and the main reason I went with the Bally multi board over the Williams equivalent.

With simple games this is true, eg for 15 lamps "direct wiring" you can have 64 on a Matrix. Also if not using leds make sure the cables can carry the current, a lot of the computer style cables are made very cheaply and may not like that much current or drop the voltage too much.

This style connectors for the power to each playfield...

 

fc1a9a84d66c9a9fddb0f6664329bfe1366e1bbb.JPG

these are not great with high current or voltage unless you parallel some of them up.

 

Doing the playfield wiring in this fashion means the playfield can ship without a long harness on it and the cable that can be damaged is now an easy part to source but it is common to all machines anyway. It also reduces the wiring costs using ready made dependable interconnection cables.

 

Interestingly, on my multi playfield cabinet I intend on building, I will incorporate a 4 pole relay on the playfield that makes or breaks all 4 wires coming from the 4 wire power connector and this is to kill that playfield completely when not in use.

not sure why the relays, what powers the relay when disconnected from the supply, just make sure power is off before changing playfields? High current/high DC voltage can be tricky with relays, unless you go very high spec.

 

 

I really like the idea of a community of builders adhering to some sort of standardized specs. Commercial building of classics might get you in trouble from the license holders but for "own" use that you build or get built on the QT I am guessing you will be fine.

 

Simple games are heaps of fun and with the prices skyrocketing for even the rough ones it may be a way for people to get a machine in their home and have a fun project to work on along the way.

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Great to see the ideas floating,

 

 

 

 

With simple games this is true, eg for 15 lamps "direct wiring" you can have 64 on a Matrix. Also if not using leds make sure the cables can carry the current, a lot of the computer style cables are made very cheaply and may not like that much current or drop the voltage too much.

 

Well this idea comes from my machines designed to have multiple playfields and not all driven bulbs are ever going to be all on the one playfield and all lighting will be LED pulling 10-20mA a piece and these cables even though they are designed for data transfer would easierly handle over 20 LEDs through each of the cables. I wouldn't see this to be a problem. If more bulbs are required than the board can handle output wise, then you would start introducing "Auxiliary Lamp Driver Boards" exactly like Bally did or using A and B drives to multiplex like Williams did in System 9-11 board sets.

these are not great with high current or voltage unless you parallel some of them up.

 

It depends on the current wire installed and I figure the red wire would be used for the 12volt DC supply. 12volt because it can be dropped to 5vDC, is easy to drop if required and doubling the voltage means half the current. Should be good for around 6-8 amps I would have thought. More than enough for 12 or 5volt parts on a playfield I would have thought.

 

Yellow wire is for the 28vDC for the coils. Not being a multiball machine I would expect nothing more than around 3amps would ever be pulled through the yellow wire.

 

The black wires are both ground. Doesn't really matter here because all ground wires on Bally SS are all tied together anyway although one of these may be switched and possibly the coil return ground only.

 

Doing it this way with one switched would allow the coil driver transistors to be mounted on a board on the playfield the coils are on. The transistors are all connected via there grounds to this switching ground wire.

You switch off the ground wire and it kills all the coils on that playfield. Moving the driver transistors to a "transistor board" means there is no need for those on the "Bally Solenoid Driver Board" any longer. The display voltage regulator part of the of the Bally Solenoid board is already not required because I intend on using LED displays so doing it this way should allow removal of the Bally Solenoid Driver board from the board set and replaced with just a 5vDC power supply which is all that the original board would still be doing.

 

The transistor drive wires come directly from the original board plug and drive the transistors on that playfield's transistor board directly so no need for multiple high current coil wires per coil leading back into the head. They can all be driven using VGA cable as it now only carries data signals to the transistor. The coil power + is all "daisy chained" to each playfield coil and the transistors on the transistor board now switch the ground returning it to the ground return switched wire in the playfield power cable.

 

 

not sure why the relays, what powers the relay when disconnected from the supply, just make sure power is off before changing playfields? High current/high DC voltage can be tricky with relays, unless you go very high spec.

 

My use of these relays is to isolate the coils and lamps to each playfield unless required by the ball actually being on that playfield. Pretty much like Bally does for the coils using a flipper enable relay only this kills the GI lighting and switched illumination as well.

 

 

I really like the idea of a community of builders adhering to some sort of standardized specs. Commercial building of classics might get you in trouble from the license holders but for "own" use that you build or get built on the QT I am guessing you will be fine.

 

Simple games are heaps of fun and with the prices skyrocketing for even the rough ones it may be a way for people to get a machine in their home and have a fun project to work on along the way.

 

Standards I have to come up with because it is in design stage and unless you have standards, we could end up with what happened in the video market prior to Jamma wiring standards. A massive fuk up where everyone went there own way requiring interconnector harnesses and this project is all about ease of use for the owner.

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nice work kress

 

am doing a custom similar to this using altek boards and Skateballs rules

 

Question 1 - what are going to do re a power supply, use original or a modern alternative that is then linked up to the power boards etc?

Question 2 - are you using flipper mechs of the era or 90's ones as in theory should be more efficient, but then adapt the coils etc?

 

interested in your thoughts

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nice work kress

 

am doing a custom similar to this using altek boards and Skateballs rules

 

Question 1 - what are going to do re a power supply, use original or a modern alternative that is then linked up to the power boards etc?

Question 2 - are you using flipper mechs of the era or 90's ones as in theory should be more efficient, but then adapt the coils etc?

 

interested in your thoughts

 

Q1 Tricky as you have probably guessed the multitap transformers are a rare bird indeed .

The way forward is as follows.

a, *40v toroidal transformer solenoid drive.

b, 12/5v switchmode cpu and GI

c, *7v toroidal transformer for switched illumination and GI.

d,no 180v instead 5volt led displays

These can be hooked directly to the original rectifier board.

 

*If the original scr driver boards are to be used a 'zero crossing' is required.

 

 

Q2 Yes williams 50 volt flippers , these have to be toned down with series resistance ( way to powerfull for street level ).

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thanks for that kress, much appreciate, the electronics side is not my strength

 

- I am using a full set of altek so the "zero crossing" should not be a issue? and what does that mean?

 

- as for the flippers, you saying that the 50vdc bally / williams flipper assembly hooked up to the altek boards becomes too powerful?

 

thanks for your help

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@swinks

Too much power is way better than not enough and resistors are cheap!

2.2ohms @10watts in series with the coil power of each flipper.

 

Silicon controlled rectifiers are used for switched illumination in a Bally.

SCRs once turned on require their supply power to be removed before they can turn off.

Zero crossing refers to the point in an AC waveform where it crosses thru zero volts - this allows the SRCs to turn off.

This also appears necessary in the solenoid darlington driver board to allow those transistors to turn off fully

( the large resistors on the rectifier board help with this ).

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thanks for your time explaining this @kress

 

can you post a picture of the flipper setup that you are running just confirm what I think you are doing

 

I am still puzzled / surprised that the altek boards coupled with the rectifier board deliver 40vdc to 50vdc coil flippers resulting in stronger flippers - I thought they may have become weaker due to less voltage going to a 50vdc coil..

 

love your work on all the custom builds, man you pump them out - very inspiring.....

Edited by swinks
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thanks for your time explaining this @kress

 

can you post a picture of the flipper setup that you are running just confirm what I think you are doing

 

I am still puzzled / surprised that the altek boards coupled with the rectifier board deliver 40vdc to 50vdc coil flippers resulting in stronger flippers - I thought they may have become weaker due to less voltage going to a 50vdc coil..

 

love your work on all the custom builds, man you pump them out - very inspiring.....

 

Try this video with the view that the 43vDC on a Bally solenoid rail is an average voltage measured by your meter

and not a capacitor filtered / peak voltage.

eg 43v x 1.4 = 60.2volts would be the filtered/peak dc volts (if you put a capacitor across the bridge rectifier as you would find on a DMD power supply).

That peak voltage is still present just not measured by your meter when set to DC.

 

On other builds of mine I generally go for 57VDC filtered supply for ramp power (derived from a 40voltAC transformer) on a street level game this is

just not required.

 

Edited by kress
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Have you guys considered not using 43vDC like Bally did?. I'll be using 24-28vDC myself because Williams coils are just so much easier and cheaper to get hold of but it can be any DC voltage providing you don't go over the TIP 120 transistor's rating and nothing stops you from using multiple voltages when you consider all the transistors on the SDB do is simply ground the coil or whatever, not supply it's voltage.

 

You could have 12vDC devices, 28volt devices, 43v devices or what ever all being controlled by the transistors just as long as the different power supplies powering the devices all share the same ground and that ground is connected to the appropriate voltage power supply.

 

It just means the power wire going to the coil or what ever will need to be the voltage of the part you are going to drive instead of the one "daisy chained" 43vDC supply wire Bally used. The transistor is turned on and this supplys the return for the part and you just turned on your 12, 28, 43 or what ever voltage part.

 

The machine knows no difference. It is just grounding the part, not supplying it's voltage. That is determined by the wire connected to the other side of the part.;)

 

As for the flippers, exactly the same except instead of a transistor doing the switching, it is a relay. You want to run Williams 50volt flipper coils, just have the flipper coil supply wire at 50v instead of the normal Bally 43vDC and the relay will switch the 50volts back to the flipper buttons and the other side of the flipper button goes on to ground as seen here.

 

http://stevekulpa.net/pinball/bfrelay.jpg

 

If like me you decide you want to use William's 28vDC flipper coils, where the diagram says +43VDC at the coils, you supply only 28vDC.

 

If you want to use Williams late model flipper assemblies but want to use original short Bally or other brand short flipper coils and voltages, simply remove the long coils from the Williams late model assembly leaving the backstop in place, position your short coil on the backstop, relocate the coil retaining bracket, mark where the holes now have to go and drill and tap new holes. Here is a picture showing this mod done on a "short flipper coil machine"...

 

hDa48OA.jpg

 

Don't change any other part including the plungers and you now have late model Williams flipper assemblies using your original short flipper coils. Something people should consider when doing flipper work on any machine because not only are these Williams assemblies by far the best to work on, they are also the cheapest parts.

 

As for the Bally lamp driver, you may like to consider using 12vDC rather than the normal Bally voltage to drive the switched illumination after all, you will probably be using LEDs, not GE44 bulbs and 12v is just a much easier voltage to work with. 12vDC is well within specs of the SCRs. You just need to locate the switched illumination supply wire going to the lamp driver board and change it to a 12vDC supply. Just don't filter it with a cap or the SCRs won't turn off. It needs to be just rectified, not filtered by a cap.

 

You guys were also talking about transformers or what the hell you want to power the machine with. Old school halogen down light transformers is my choice. They come in 12vAC, 24vAC and if you look around 36 and 48vAC. They are virtually being thrown away these days, come in different amperage ratings and any lighting place has them, cheap.:D Personally I am thinking two 12vAC 105 watt units wired in series for my needs. Tap onto the first transformer to supply the 12vAC for converting to the 5vDC you are going to need for the electronics and tap onto the second transformer for the 12vDC you are likely to want.

 

Go from the input of the first transformer and the output of the second transformer, (these are wired in series as well remember), and there is your 24vAC just needing to be rectified for your coils. Put a big cap on this rectified voltage like Williams did and there is you coil voltage should you want 24-28vDC or put 4 of these trannys in series for 48vAC that you can convert to either 43vDC or higher for the Williams 50vDC coils.

 

One thing I am trying to do with HomeBrew is designing in cheap.:)

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You guys were also talking about transformers or what the hell you want to power the machine with. Old school halogen down light transformers is my choice. They come in 12vAC, 24vAC and if you look around 36 and 48vAC. They are virtually being thrown away these days, come in different amperage ratings and any lighting place has them, cheap.:D Personally I am thinking two 12vAC 105 watt units wired in series for my needs. Tap onto the first transformer to supply the 12vAC for converting to the 5vDC you are going to need for the electronics and tap onto the second transformer for the 12vDC you are likely to want.

 

Go from the input of the first transformer and the output of the second transformer, (these are wired in series as well remember), and there is your 24vAC just needing to be rectified for your coils. Put a big cap on this rectified voltage like Williams did and there is you coil voltage should you want 24-28vDC or put 4 of these trannys in series for 48vAC that you can convert to either 43vDC or higher for the Williams 50vDC coils.

 

 

 

One thing I am trying to do with HomeBrew is designing in cheap.:)

 

I get where you coming from but for the purposes of this build every effort is being made to keep within the original specs of the game.

Im not that interested in a minor cost saving if it pushes the game outside spec.

Someone looking at the schematics down the track hopefully wont need anything other than the Bally part number.

We aren't trying to reinvent the wheel... just change the tyre.

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