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Pinball Electrical 101

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Still won't load up for me..

quick question... Have a power supply 12 volt dc 6.5 amps.. can that hook directly to ledwiz? and it just lowers it to 500ma?

also have a 24 volt dc.. cant that hook directly, at 12.5 amps...

This is kinda confusing me..

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The amperage rating of your power supplies is the maximum output like how much water can flow through a tap. Thats why your local water resivour doesnt end up in your sink when you turn the tap on. :D

The load you connect will determine the amount of amperage used from the power supply. i.e. 350 milliamps from each LED, 400 milliamps from each contactor etc.

To protect your LEDwiz drivers, its best to put a 500 milliamp fuse inline with each output. That way the maximum amperage that can be pulled through each LEDwiz driver is 500 milliamps.

Oh and jump onto the FTP server H4CK3R, under user downloads/maxxsinner there is a copy there. Dont know why it wont load your end. No probs here at all

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Hello,

I have read your documentation on and on and there are still some things that confuse me.

For example, your picture here:

P1000752.JPG

I would like to see an example, from end to end with a component that needs to use this "thing" :)

I don't really understand his role, if you have some PSU and a multiplug on the cab.

I have never mounted a cabinet, or touch anything related to electricity except pull the plugs, switch on and off switches and fuses :)

It would be very appreciated ;)

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Hrmm. There are actually a BUNCH int he guide, he just has the parts "open" in the pictures where he labels things. THe WHOLE big middle section of this is mostly just a terminal strip for connecting wires, to make it easier. The lower left is just relays to drive things like solenoids and gear motors. The top rigth is just a bank of resistors that LEDs will need, and the top right is the LEDwiz.

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THe WHOLE big middle section of this is mostly just a terminal strip for connecting wires, to make it easier.

Well it is specifically this part that confuses me.

If you can give me a simple example of component that uses the termina, and to what the terminal is connected to on the other hand?

Arngrim

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So, instead of simply running a wire from the LED-wiz to the resistor to the LED, you would run the wire to the terminal strip, then connect the other side of the terminal strip to the resistor, and then to the LED.

The idea is to make your wiring modular. You can wire up your whole setup without actually connecting a single LED or relay. You just wire every output from the LEDwiz to a numbered terminal, Here's mine:

6002544703_6ff6569793.jpg

Each of the yellow wires goes to a terminal. As I add stuff, I don't have to be messing with the LEDwiz board or anything. I just run a wire from the terminal to the relay/fuse/LED/etc. In my case I screw the resistors right into the terminals, and solder the other end of each resistor to the wire that makes the run to the LED.

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Gwrabbit is spot on there arngrim. There is no specific requirement for the terminals, it just makes things a lot easier to connect everything up and neater in the end. There is nothing stopping you from wiring straight from your ledwiz terminal, to a fuse, then to the contactor without using a terminal strip at all. Its up to you.

I have never mounted a cabinet, or touch anything related to electricity except pull the plugs, switch on and off switches and fuses :)

If you need help as you build with the electrical side of things, feel free to PM me with questions or post here and I will do my best to guide you through.

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Ok got it, a terminal strip is just a relay doing nothing then :)

Maxxsinner, thank you for your proposition, I won't build my cabinet for the moment, my wallet is not ready yet for it, but I'm gathering information to be prepared the D day.

So, I have another question, about the ledwiz.

If I go to the RGB lightened flipper, do I still need an ipac for them or everything goes through the ledwiz?

Regards

Arngrim

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The ledwiz is a PC controlled output unit so it is basically a low power set of relays, all controlled by your PC.

The Ipac is a keyboard encoder and is basically an input unit so you need both to do the job. The ledwiz controls the Red Green Blue LEDs and the Ipac accepts the flipper button press and sends it to the PC.

Hope that helps.

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What's that black thing screwed to the wall, and do I want one? :D

Those are $10 car starter solenoids. I have 6 of them. That one is at the "pop bumper" position.

Underneath it is are positive/negative power distribution strips, and then the 15AMP 12v power supply for everything.

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Hello chaps. Thanks for posting the 'modular' installation pics, am going down that road to simplify things... most of the bits can then be assembled outside of the cab minimising pin-down time :)

I would like some further advice on installing LEDs though from someone with electrical nounce. Hopefully someone can help with this idea...

I'm installing 5 CREE MC-Es on top of my backbox. I would also like to install 2 CREE T6s at the top of the playfield to act as a strobe. One other possibility is to install a separate strobe, and instead run some weaker RGB LEDs in parrallel at the top of the PF.

If I were to install the T6s, could I simply wire them in parrallel and power them with a coupler relay?

Also how do I wire weaker LEDs in parallel with the CREEs? The LEDwiz has a 500ma limit. If I were to install 2 LEDs, do I need to install a resistor before each LED to keep the total amps < 500 ?

Thanks for any offered help :)

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The relay is what is being powered by the LEDWiz. The CREEs connect to the relay, so the LEDWiz never actually sees them as a load - it only sees the relay's coil as a load - thus the 500ma limit on the LEDWiz isn't an issue, as long as the relay doesn't draw more than the 500ma.

As for connecting the CREEs in parallel, I would say that should work. You'll want appropriate resisters that match the CREE in question between the relay and each CREE, however.

As for what those resisters should be, that is partially dependent on what voltage you intend to drive the CREEs at. Most would use 12 volts, so the resister for the MC-E should be a 25 Ohm, 3.08 Watt, and the T6 should be 13 Ohm, 6.37 Watt.

The MC-E is 4 LEDs on one star, and I have no experience with that setup, but you may need 4 resisters for each one - though they do come as parallel or serial configuration on the star, so that might change things completely in terms of number of resisters and the resister's values. It's not clear from the website I'm looking at whether the resister they recommend is to drive each LED in parallel (thus 4 resisters) or all 4 in serial (thus 1 resister). Someone else with experience on that configuration (assuming a star is what you'll be using) is probably better able to give a solid answer for those.

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If I were to install the T6s, could I simply wire them in parrallel and power them with a coupler relay?

Wiring the LED's in parrallel would work fine. This site will help you work out the resistor size the you need - LED Calculator series/parallel

Often the calculator will recommend a small resistor for each LED rather than one large one.

My only concern would be the speed of switching the relay needed to act as a stobe. An opto-coupler may be your better option.

Also how do I wire weaker LEDs in parallel with the CREEs? The LEDwiz has a 500ma limit. If I were to install 2 LEDs, do I need to install a resistor before each LED to keep the total amps < 500 ?

The MC-E RGBW Crees that you are using for your backbox are rated at 700 mA. You can drive them at what ever amperage you like (but stick to 350 mA or above) and use this calculator to work out what resistor you need - Single LED Calculator

I used a 22 ohm resistor to limit mine to 450 mA but you could go lower mA and leave some head room for your low amperage RGB's, depending on what amperage your refering to.

i.e. Crees - 400mA

Small RGB - 30mA

Total - 430mA

Obviously driving the Crees at a lower mA will mean they are less bright.

The low amperage RGB's will also need thier own current limiting resistor.

Or if you want to do damage to your eyes, drive the Crees and low amp RGB's via a relay or opto and power the Cree's to thier full 700mA capacity.

RGB suntan.... :D

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Thanks you very much for your replies gentlemen, I'm am understanding more and more about the 'black art' :)

This really does help me. I think I'll stick to 450 mA for the CREEs as I value my epidermis :)

Now I need to tackle soldering the daisy chain neutrals on the CREEs (gulp...).

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Now I need to tackle soldering the daisy chain neutrals on the CREEs (gulp...).

If your using your ledwiz to drive the Crees, you need to daisy chain the 12 volt or + side as the led wiz switches the negative.

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Thanks for the reminder maxxsinner :beer:

I wouldn't mind wiring up the white on the CREEs to use as a 'blibnder' with the knocker as in the guide. Just to check I understand - all the white LED connections, after the resistor, are connected together, then to the relay as on page 24 of the guide?

Cheers again.

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No problems for the reminder. Just gald I caught you in time before you had started soldering :D

As for the blinder, you are correct. That way when the relay pulls in, each white led has still got it's own resistor to limit the current.

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Okay, so another set of complete noob questions.

From reading the 101 pdf (w00t thanx Max and the others who contributed to this - It's been a real asset so far)

Assertion #1) I plan on making a build with the toys that seem fairly typical. Solenoids or contactors or a mix of the two, shaker, knocker, wiper, Crees' strobe, illuminated flippers, what appears to be the typical machine front button layout, coin door, etc So my questions are framed from this context. I have ordered an LEDWiz 32, and will probably go with the Digital Plunger kit /w tilt from Nanotech.

Assertion #2) I want to do this in the best manner possible - I'm not interested in cutting corners, so help keep me honest. Ultimately I'd like to do this in a way that maximizes my learning and meets the most 'professional' build standards Seeing how professional these cabs are put together is awe inspiring and I don't want to be embarrassed by my build thread :)

Fuses - What components need fuses? Is it simply a matter of anything that gets power also gets a fuse? Can several components live on the same fuse (IE 3 Crees on a single fuse - assuming crees get a fuse). I've looked at fuse blocks and most of those that are readily available hold 4 or 6 fuses. Do I need only one of these, or multiples?

Relays - See fuses :) What gets relays? Do multiple items share a relay or is it a 1 to 1 relationship? I'm in the US and am having a devil of a time sourcing the finder relays in the guide - I've seen several different folks use other relays, but they seem to only be the middle part with the pins for mounting on a PCB, their relays lack the blue holder and associated diode (Does that even matter?).

Interconnects - I've seen a couple of different wire splicing and connecting methodologies. For instance heat shrink connectors, little plastic splicers blocks, various connector ends like screw down connectors etc. I would like to keep things easy to work on and as modular as possible - to that end are there any types of quick connects you would recommend? Or should I be doing all the connections at a terminal block?

I'm certain I will have more questions soon, so thanks in advance for your patience....Shutting up now - I don't want to TL:DR this post any more than it already is.

Xam

Edited by Xamfear
Stoopid spelling :) And trying not to sound like an ass.

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Fuses - What components need fuses? Is it simply a matter of anything that gets power also gets a fuse? Can several components live on the same fuse (IE 3 Crees on a single fuse - assuming crees get a fuse). I've looked at fuse blocks and most of those that are readily available hold 4 or 6 fuses. Do I need only one of these, or multiples?

Fuses are a matter of taste. Some people fuse everything (for example, a 500mA fuse between every LEDWiz output and it's controlled device - LED, relay, or whatever), plus fuses on every power lead to different things. Some people fuse just the power leads, and some people rely on fuses in the power supply.

Fuses protect things on both ends of the connection. If the target end draws too much power (a shorted connection at an LED, for example), the fuse will pop. If the source end suddenly surges power at your target end (say the LEDWiz suddenly feeds 12 volts to your 5 volt device), the fuse will pop then, too.

When I did mine, I ended up not using fuses and was just very careful about my wiring. My power supply does have a master fuse, so if I get a power surge from the wall, it should protect my devices from that - but I have no internal protection.

For a solid, professional build, you should have a few fuses internally - especially on the more expensive parts, like the CREEs.

Relays - See fuses :) What gets relays? Do multiple items share a relay or is it a 1 to 1 relationship? I'm in the US and am having a devil of a time sourcing the finder relays in the guide - I've seen several different folks use other relays, but they seem to only be the middle part with the pins for mounting on a PCB, their relays lack the blue holder and associated diode (Does that even matter?).

Relays are primarily for loads that draw more power than your controller board can handle. For example, a shaker motor draws far more power than the LEDWiz can deliver directly, so you put a relay on the LEDWiz's output, and the relay switches the larger power to the device. We're talking about the smaller relays here - not the larger contactors being used for force feedback uses (who typically aren't switching anything - they're just there to make a thump).

For the larger contactors (which are relays, but they're designed to switch high amperage loads, like big electric motors), these are about noise and vibration. In most cases, people aren't connecting anything to these on the switching end - they're just energizing the coil to make the relay close and make a thump to enhance the in game sounds and actions. The Siemens one most commonly mentioned isn't a North American part, so it's difficult to get here. There are lots of other contactors available, and most make enough noise - just make sure you don't get a solid state version, since those make no noise at all. You want an electromechanical contactor, so there's a moving part inside. Different ones make different levels of noise, so it's tricky to say "just go get a contactor and it'll sound like the Siemens". Some might, some might not. Everyone has their own preference on how noisy they want these things to be, too - trial and error, or the recommendation of someone else who's found one they like, is the best answer for that.

For the diode, yes. It's necessary. If you don't put a diode on a coil-driven device, it will unleash a return voltage when the coil is de-energized, which is generally disliked by controlling devices like the LEDWiz. The diode will only allow voltage to pass in one direction, so it allows power to get to the coil to energize it, but won't let any power to return when the coil releases. Not having the diodes can cause problems ranging from slowly killing your LEDWiz to causing the LEDWiz to freak out to blowing up your LEDWiz instantly. Diodes are dirty cheap (well under a buck). Make sure you get diodes with enough capacity to deal with the coils release voltage - for my contactors, I put 3 amp diodes on them, just to be safe. For my little relays that fire my contactors, I put little "signal diodes" on them, since they have tiny coils.

Interconnects - I've seen a couple of different wire splicing and connecting methodologies. For instance heat shrink connectors, little plastic splicers blocks, various connector ends like screw down connectors etc. I would like to keep things easy to work on and as modular as possible - to that end are there any types of quick connects you would recommend? Or should I be doing all the connections at a terminal block?

What I did with mine is have a DIN rail with a bunch of terminal block modules on it. I put all of my electronics on a board behind the DIN rail (LEDWiz, IPAC, PC, dedicated power for LEDs, relay boards, etc.) and ran all of their connections to the DIN rail. From the DIN rail, wires ran out to my "external" devices (buttons, CREEs, LEDs, contactors, etc.) My philisophy was that anything on that board must pass through my terminals to get to stuff in the rest of the cabinet. This allows me to label each terminal for clarity and easy diagnosis, and it keeps things neat - no guessing where wires head off to.

For stuff that needs to be disconnected from time to time (my backbox topper, for example), I put in-line connectors on it (molex plugs - only big ones. 24-pin, in the case of my topper). For my RGB flipper buttons, I ran wires to a 4-position screw terminal strip, then from there I sent wires to each of the buttons for red, green, blue, and common, since they were to all be the same color - one set of leads from the LEDWiz does the job, and I just split out to the buttons at the strip next to the nearest button.

Hopefully all that helps. You'll likely get other opinions, but most will be along the same lines - just in varying degrees on "anality" *laughs*. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I'm pretty anal. For those that are less worried about perfection, they just screw stuff wherever and run wires in a rats nest. Everyone picks a place in between that they're happy with.

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Darkfall has given some great advice there, but I always love to throw my two bobs worth in. :D

Okay, so another set of complete noob questions.

From reading the 101 pdf (w00t thanx Max and the others who contributed to this - It's been a real asset so far)

Noob questions are wanted and welcome. Glad my guide has helped :top:

Fuses - What components need fuses? Is it simply a matter of anything that gets power also gets a fuse? Can several components live on the same fuse (IE 3 Crees on a single fuse - assuming crees get a fuse). I've looked at fuse blocks and most of those that are readily available hold 4 or 6 fuses. Do I need only one of these, or multiples?

The way I have described to use fuses is to protect control components in the event of a device failure. One of the guys on here had a contactor fail and short circuit. Practically destroyed his LEDwiz and personally, I think they are too expensive to replace compared to a 20 cent fuse so a 500 milliamp fuses on each LEDwiz output is recommended. Other than that, you can fuse a much or as little as you like. I have a couple of larger fuses protecting my power supply.

Relays - See fuses :) What gets relays? Do multiple items share a relay or is it a 1 to 1 relationship? I'm in the US and am having a devil of a time sourcing the finder relays in the guide - I've seen several different folks use other relays, but they seem to only be the middle part with the pins for mounting on a PCB, their relays lack the blue holder and associated diode (Does that even matter?).

Basically any 12 volt dc relay will do the job, but make sure you put a diode reverse across the coil as shown in the guide or again, it will eventually kill your LEDwiz and a fuse will not protect it from this. The LEDwiz has a maximum output of 500 milliamps per channel, so anything that is rated over that 500 milliamps must have a relay to control it, or again, one dead LEDwiz. (bit of a pattern here :D)

Interconnects - I've seen a couple of different wire splicing and connecting methodologies. For instance heat shrink connectors, little plastic splicers blocks, various connector ends like screw down connectors etc. I would like to keep things easy to work on and as modular as possible - to that end are there any types of quick connects you would recommend? Or should I be doing all the connections at a terminal block?

Totally personal preference. Have a look at some of the builds on here a pick which one suits you the best.

I'm certain I will have more questions soon, so thanks in advance for your patience....Shutting up now - I don't want to TL:DR this post any more than it already is.

Xam

Dont hesistate to hit me either on here or via PM for any other questions. More than happy to help.

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Darkfall has given some great advice there, but I always love to throw my two bobs worth in. :D

Input from the master is always good!

The way I have described to use fuses is to protect control components in the event of a device failure. One of the guys on here had a contactor fail and short circuit. Practically destroyed his LEDwiz and personally, I think they are too expensive to replace compared to a 20 cent fuse so a 500 milliamp fuses on each LEDwiz output is recommended. Other than that, you can fuse a much or as little as you like. I have a couple of larger fuses protecting my power supply.

Totally agree. I plan to add fuses to all of my LEDWiz outputs when I get a chance - it's just smart practice.

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