Under Playfield Assembly: Custom PCBs

A project log for Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Pinball

A custom / unique pinball machine. This is a 1978 Bally Star Trek table “mirrored” and re-worked into a Star Trek Mirror Universe Theme.

zittwarezittware 04/07/2014 at 07:260 Comments

I marked the mount holes with a center punch; and proceeded to drill and tap each mount hole for a #6-32 nylon standoff as the light boards were mounted. Here's the PF with the proximity sensors mounted:And a close up showing a set of PCBs mounted with the coil leads going into the slots:With the PCBs mounted; I could then transfer the wiring harness from the donor PF to the Mirror Universe. Ofcourse it too had to be mirrored but that was easily accomplished by flipping the harness:
Now the fun of crimping connectors and re-soldering coil/switch terminals begins.
I also need to re-assembly the GI circuits/lamps. The cheapskate in me wants to try an re-use the old GI lamp sockets. However, the do-it-right guy in me; want to order new GI lamps so I won't have to deal with the damn flickering due to warn-out GI lamp sockets. Yes; I know you can solder/hack an old GI Lamp to work... but my experiences has been it doesn't work on every lamp.

2/10/2014: It's was an awesomely mild weekend here in Austin; so I spent quite a bit of time in the garage working on the underside of the Playfield.
Thru the cold snap earlier in the week; I sent an internal goal of wiring the GI circuits/Lamps with color coded wire - A color a night. Rather than wiring each lamp with a bare stapled wire - I point-to-pointed each in it's specific color. IE Green, orange, red, and white. With the GI squared away during the week; I spend this weekend tackling the Hot common of the switch illumination (Blue). I also crimped my fingers swore; as I completed the Inserts wiring.

For the top GI connection; the original harness had two blue wires which were soldered to the "Common" of the lamp matrix. Instead I made a custom harness out of some 22gauge blue wire. Each one of these lamp boards had to be wired into that common.
I tinned a piece of raw copper clad (blank circuit board material) and used it as a common tie point for the upper playfield's common hot. Each board was crimped to a length of blue wire and it was soldered to this tie point. The inserts were then crimped and installed on the connectors. Each LED board has a header so it can be uninstalled and fixed if necessary. For the upper playfield; A chain of 22awg blue wire moves between each led board in a circle; so in effect - each board has two 22AWG paths to hot. This should help with redundancy and supply more than enough current flow to lite the leds on the board.  In the case of the upper two boards; they have 4pin connectors ... with 2 Anodes and the 2 signal wires.

For the middle of the PF; I tapped into the blue wire harness and used a rounded barrel terminal to house the common hot. This common point feed the Klingon LED board as well as the center Enterprise inserts. 2 qty 22AWG blue wires feed the center inserts common point:
I had to cut the tie wraps for the middle of the harness and feed some of the shorter wires between the drop target inserts and the led nacelle boards. With this new route; I had enough slack to make it to the large center insert connector for all signals.

Finally; I added another common hot tie point for the center Xk's  inserts:
I'm not real happy with the way this turned out... the wiring harness and connector are in the way of each other. Can't really be helped at this point; but you can still disconnect the board with minimal effort so it's still a win.

At this point; I'm about 80ish-% complete on the bottom side of the PF:
What's left to do on the bottom side?
1) Still need to wire in proximity sensors.
2) Flippers
3) Slingshot switches
4) Drop target assembly
5) Wire GI to nacelle boards; need to double confirm PSU board outputs the polarity I think it does for the GI so I don't hook it backwards.
6) Mount outhole switch and inlane switches.

2/19/2014: Tonight I put the near finishing touches on the underside of the Playfield. I ran out of Butane for my cordless soldering iron; so I couldn't solder in the new fuse block for the solenoids. I tried in vane this weekend to source some butane from both Lowes (was out) and Walmart (doesn't carry?!)... so; meh.

Anyway; the red star posts from the donor playfield are already in the ultrasonic cleaner... so hopefully; I can start assembling the top of the PF tomorrow night.

Here's detail pictures of the 99.9% PF all wired up: