9/10/2016 – “Quit your whining”

After months and months of complaining about having to rewire the SharpeShooter 3 playfield, and desperately trying to do anything but the actual rewire, it is finally done.  At this point I have the thank Nick for finally pushing me to do it.

I was emailing back and forth with Nick, just basically congratulating him on the work that he has already done on his multi-bingo.  At one point, he mentioned that he also disliked rewiring things, and he convinced me to just power through it.

The rewire really didn’t take that long, but I’m glad that it is over.  I think I spent a total of another 5 or 6 hours to complete it.  One thing that made it take a lot less time was that I gave up on trying not to cut any wires.  Since many of the cards moved positions, if the wire wasn’t the right length I just cut it.  Then I took all of the cut wires, and used the already crimped ends in other locations.  It ended up working out really well.

The other big change was that instead of using 4 wires (between solenoid and input cards) or 6 wires (between incandescent cards), all the connections between the cards is a ribbon cable.  That saved a whole bunch of wire under the playfield, and makes the wiring that much cleaner.  Most of the wires are now less than 6 inches in length, and it is really easy to follow since there is so little wire.

So when I bought the Sharp Shooter 2 playfield, it was a populated with its wiring harness.  I cut that harness off and reused it to rewire the playfield with the Gen1 boards.  Now I’ve cut about 1/2 of that wire off and used it to rewire the playfield a second time with the Gen2 boards.  It is nice to know that each generation of the cards require less wires and make the wiring that much simpler.

I’m going to spend a couple of hours to make sure all of the ground returns are hooked up properly before trying to power the playfield. Unfortunately this weekend, I lost power for about 5 hours, and that was the time that I was going to test the rewire.  Seems like that will have to wait until next week.

I’ve also decided to update the incandescent bulb voltage.  Previously I was using 5V from the first PC power supply to power the bulbs.  Even with LED bulbs, the inserts are a little weak.  I spent some time looking up information for the Pinball Makers website on how to get 6.3V which is the proper bulb voltage from a 12V source from the PC power supply.  For $4 shipped you can buy a 12V to 6.3V buck converter step down that supports up to 12A.  Search on Ebay for “buck converter step down 12A” if the link doesn’t work anymore.  That should be plenty of power for the bulbs.

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