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Pinball Electrical 101

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Link is working fine at my end tobebad??

Can anyone else confirm?

Link works fine for me, too. Maybe just a short term hiccup? Maybe no PDF reader installed?

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When testing contactors with a computer power supply should I be using 12v+ and 12v- or should I use 12v+ and ground? The reason I ask is because I have 24v contactors, but the 24v ps has not shown up yet, however I'd like to test them before the return window runs out. When using 12v+ and ground the click is very low. I'm thinking I should be using 12v+ and 12v-, but thought I'd better check here first.

Does anyone have any good general electronic resources they would recommend?

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Wow. Now this is going to test my electrical theory........

12+ and 12- should be in reference to ground, but before I hooked anything up, I would ensure that there is circuit between then + and - and that the circuit is definitely 24 VDC difference in potential.

Would personally recommend a 24 Volt power supply but very curious to see what results you come up with.

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Thanks, I'm planning to go pickup a multimeter and will check if there is a circuit there.

I will ultimately be using a 24v ps, but I want to hear that thump today :)

The searches I did pointed out that it should probably be 24v between the + and -, well see.

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You will be right with using it for just testing but from memory the -12 rail has a pretty low power rating so was a bit concerned that you were going to use it as a permanent supply.

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Hello,

What gauge(s) of wire should I use? I had originally purchased 18 gauge in black, but I'm going to order more colors.

Should 18 gauge be good throughout or overkill? I will be wiring up to 12v and 24v power supplies to run all of the toys. I will not be wiring up my own main, I'll be using a smart strip for that.

Thanks for the help.

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Hey Takedown,

I used 18 gauge in my cabinet, and it works just fine.

Going with multiple colors is a good idea, and makes the initial wiring a lot easier. I couldn't imagine having everything cabled up with the same color wire.

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Thank you DeeGor, I'll go with 18 gauge throughout.

I got the 24v power supply in the mail today and started to test the contactors. I'm a bit disappointed they really don't give much of a sound. I'm not sure if it's due to not being mounted, even if they are really old, or for some other reason. I even upped the power to roughly 28V and it didn't change much. The car solenoids I tested awhile ago definitely had a louder sound. Does anyone have any videos of their contactors being tested on the bench that I might be able to compare to?

Thank you.

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I made a recording of the different type of force feedback in my cabinet (Seimens contactor, pull-type solenoid and pinball knocker @ 24v). You can find it here at the end of the post.

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Cool DeeGor. I think I'm going to need to mount them in the cab to make up my mind. I might also purchase a new contactor and see if it makes much of a difference. Maybe once I get all the gear in and the sound going it will sound good.

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hey guys, maybe this will be a very stupid question, but do you use a 12VDC siemens contacor and switch it with 24VDC just to get a louder knock?

no worries for burning it???

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yes, you have to mount the contactors (via screws on wood) to hear and feel it right.

Ahhh! How much better that sounds. Now I'm happy with the contactors, thanks.

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hey guys, maybe this will be a very stupid question, but do you use a 12VDC siemens contacor and switch it with 24VDC just to get a louder knock?

no worries for burning it???

In all of the wiring diagrams I have seen people with 12v contactors are running them at 12v. They make a nice noise at 12v so I'm not sure you would want to run them higher for any period of time.

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hey guys, maybe this will be a very stupid question, but do you use a 12VDC siemens contacor and switch it with 24VDC just to get a louder knock?

no worries for burning it???

No such thing as a silly question IMO....

I think that you would burn out the coil pretty quick, or at least greatly reduced the life of the contactor doing this. While it might pull the contactor in a little faster (from memory, voltage to coil magnatizing strength is logarithmic not liniar meaning twice the voltage does not equal twice the coil power), I dont believe the sound would be that much different.

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Pinball knockers are normally rated to around 50 Volts DC. Driving them at 12 volts will give (from what a lot of people have said) a mild knock. At 24 volts it gives a fairly good knock. I have this in my setup and I am pretty happy with it. Numiah has gone to a 48 volt power supply for his knocker and apprently his neighbours hit the ground screaming "air raid" every time he gets a freed credit.

Basically, because the coil is rated at 50 volts, it can be driven any voltage up to 50 but not recommended to go over as stated before.

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ok thanks...

does anybody know the difference in 'knock' between the 12V and the 24V contactors?

or do both give the same sound more or less??

if sound is the same, I will be going for 12V all the way...

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One step ahead guru of the pinball :D

Got that link just below the relay pic on the parts list page.

Was going to copy your extensive list and paste it in the guide but figured I better try and keep it electrical based.

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Updated guide. http://tinyurl.com/pinballelectrical101

Would appreciate anyone who could post links to places where Ipac, Ledwiz, crees, etc can be purchased to add to the list. Have the obvious places but would like to create a decent list for the electronic side of our machines.

Website is not online from here ? (never mind, working now)

Maybe it is an idea to start a blogger site for this. You can get a nice overview of things and optional categorys for fast linking to specific info.

Keep up the good work !!

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I am going to check my house for secrect cameras cause I was only tinkering with a web page for it on the weekend Pixel! Wasn't think about a blogger site, but after checking out yours again, you have certainl planted the seed. :top:

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Hey Pixel,

I was checking out the updates to your site and see that you ordered 9 contactors. I ordered 9 as well, but only did so to have one as a spare. What are your plans for the 9th contactor? Thanks :)

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