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MCtrickyD

12v power tap solution for WhiteStar Sega/Data East/Stern Evo install

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Hello everyone,

I am trying to workout how best to power a Pin2DMD Evo on a WhiteStar platform pinball. Clearly the best place to grab 12v is off the power/driver board at J16/19 as shown on the Pin2DMD site, its what a lot of modes use.  Their are a few tap solution to pre-made that could work like Pinsounds for $25+S/H, MEZEL MODS for $14+S/H both of which are just a pair of  female crimp and stuff connectors with 2 wires stuff into a single connector to split out  a z connector on them and two wires stuff into the 12v lead.  The best solution seems to be ColorDMDs board based tap which breaks out to a 3 pin Molex, lot cleaner and less likely to fail but $15 + crazy S/H seems like a stretch and you still need to build a cable to connect the Evo. What are people people doing? Are folks just punching an extra set of wires into the existing 15 position IDC connector? Using an external power supply? Any suggestion are really appropriated. 

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Another option and the most promising so far seem to be this tap from Pinball Life better shipping than ColorDMD and has a nice blade fuse in it. They also sell 3 pin Molex connectors so you could make a cable to run or just cut the ends of one of their mod extension cables. Any other suggestions would be really valued.  

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I would just splice a 2 conductor wire right into the connector on J16 as shown below.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VPoabBfFbQz7MSRDZGvy6BYo63lo1Sn7

Once you have a color display, no owner of the game will ever want to go back to monochrome.    However if you are concerned about modifying the game,  the tap from pinball life seems like a good option as well.

 

 

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Ya I figure you could just punch it down into the IDC connector, likely the best choice. Another idea would be take power off the last pin of the existing plasma displays (8) and ground it to 4. Pin 8, Vsp is the 60V DC anode supply that the Display Power Supply Board generates. There are lots of step down buck boards on ebay that will take down 30-100vDC to 5v or 12v they are only $4 or so like this or this. They are simple, inexpensive designs putting out regulated power.  If the EVO board swapped the XL4015 DC-DC converter for a step down design the board could just directly connect to the existing Plasma DMD cable. Since the plasma DMDs all are made to the same specs across all the makers (Cherry, Babcock and Vishay) you would have a universal plug and play solution across all makes of plasma DMD games. Seems in the spirit of what the EVO board is trying to do.

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I tried to avoid the high voltages on the pin2dmd evo design on purpose having in mind that these circuits make problems in many WPC machines. I installed a pin2dmd once in a T3 and used the free 12V power plug in the front of the main cabinet. Unfortunately I forgot to make a picture of that plug but I think the pinball life extension cables are made for that.
 

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Thanks @lucky1 For Whitestar/SAM machines 1999 and newer you can use the 12v loop that goes to the right of the coin door. That loop uses a 3 pin Molex cable, pinball life sells a 2 way Y slitter or 8 way board which when paired with an extension cable would work great for that, its actually what ColorDMD does.  But if you have a 1990-1998 Sega/Data East they dont have that loop. You would need to use a power tap + cable to get a ideal 12v connection. Maybe a simple cheap enhancement to the EVO board would just be to put a 3 pin Molex connector on it to accept the 12v. That way people who do not want to or are not comfortable with finding a 12v source can just use a power tap and pre-made cable or the Y slitter and cable on newer machines.

I am fine with just punching down another set of wires onto the IDC connector but I will say in a 25+ year old machine those connectors can get really brittle from long exposure to heat in the backbox. I have had them break when just trying to re-terminate a bad connection and then your have to replace the connector which takes as much time as installing the display in the first place. 

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23 hours ago, MCtrickyD said:

Maybe a simple cheap enhancement to the EVO board would just be to put a 3 pin Molex connector on it to accept the 12v.

There is a 4pin connector accepting 12V, why add another connecter then ?
These connectors are very cheap https://de.aliexpress.com/item/33011777867.html and you can assemble a cable yourself easily.

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I found the COLORDMD version a very good idea, but I did not like the  3 pins connector they chose.

I've designed my own breakout board wich can be plugged on the powerdriver board of DE version 3/Sega version 3 & whitestar/Stern whitestar & s.a.m. and you could use a 4 pins molex found in any pinball machine or the WPC wireharness from COLORDMD.

Data East converter v8.png

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14 hours ago, Rene368 said:

I found the COLORDMD version a very good idea, but I did not like the  3 pins connector they chose.

I've designed my own breakout board wich can be plugged on the powerdriver board of DE version 3/Sega version 3 & whitestar/Stern whitestar & s.a.m. and you could use a 4 pins molex found in any pinball machine or the WPC wireharness from COLORDMD.

Data East converter v8.png

Nice ! Do you share the PCB design anywhere ?

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On 2/17/2020 at 7:03 AM, lucky1 said:

Nice ! Do you share the PCB design anywhere ?

I just picked up my pinball hobby with the led displays again and I realised it's been a long time.
Then I saw I never responded to this topic.
So my apologies.
I'm happy to share the PCB design (Eagle) for the breakout board and give something to the community :).
If @lucky1 wants to put the design in the hardware folder on Github, I would have no trouble with it.

Data East converter.brd Data East converter.dru Data East converter.sch

Connectors BOM.xlsx

Edited by Rene368
Added BOM

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