Any PINLED power driver board updates?

Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

I don't know about you guys, but I getting more and more frustrated
with my flakey WPC power driver boards. I have 3 and they all seem to
be hacked up in some way or another. Just tonight I repaired a board
that had lifted traces under BR2 and a bad 5v regulator. I don't have
the experience to troubleshoot much more than a bad BR or 5v regulator
and I doubt any board repair person would touch these Frankenstein's
monsters.

The driver boards are, without a doubt, the weakest links in my pins.
Everytime a pin dies, it seems to be something on the driver board. So,
my question is: are there any updates on Pinleds spanky new driver
boards?

God, I hope they ship soon!
13 answers Last reply
More about pinled power driver board updates
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Clive, I dropped you an email from my other email account.

    -Jonathan
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Salty wrote:
    > I don't know about you guys, but I getting more and more frustrated
    > with my flakey WPC power driver boards. I have 3 and they all seem to
    > be hacked up in some way or another. Just tonight I repaired a board
    > that had lifted traces under BR2 and a bad 5v regulator. I don't have
    > the experience to troubleshoot much more than a bad BR or 5v regulator
    > and I doubt any board repair person would touch these Frankenstein's
    > monsters.
    >

    Youm might be surprised but we do repair and rebuild power driver boards
    that have been hacked and picked-over for parts all the time. :-)

    Clive
    ---
    Board repairs, EPROMs, servicing...

    The Coin-Op Cauldron
    405 Wild Wing Way
    Easley, SC 29642
    (864)238-1707
    http://www.coinopcauldron.com
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    UPDATE: I shot an email over to pinLED and they said it's going to be
    about 3 months.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    If you are careful (and have some skills) follow Clay's guide and your
    driver board will be solid. I just did my TZ board and it works great.
    BR, caps, and ALL the jumpers and it should be good to go. Take's some
    time but it's worth it.

    nomad
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Donnie Barnes wrote:
    >
    > A lot of folks have boards that they are limping with but are pretty
    > molested. Bad burns on the GI pins, bad repair jobs (repeatedly) that have
    > burnt traces completely away, etc. For those situations, these boards will
    > be welcomed. I'm sure I'll buy a couple per year just because they'll be
    > cheaper than what it would take to get some boards I see in usable shape.

    My point exactly. It's like having a car that has a beautiful body and
    paint; then you go look under the hood and shudder at the horror that
    is supposed to be a motor. I want my pins to be just a pretty on the
    inside as they are outside. Like I said, my power driver boards are the
    weak link. When these new boards come out, I know I'll buy at least two
    to start. In the meantime, I guess they'll be off to the shop.

    -Jonathan
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Those pinled boards leave a lot to be desired in my opinion. I
    wouldn't buy a machine with one in it unless it came with the original
    board too.

    Specifically, they are full of surface mount and unique programmable
    parts. They will be hard to service and may be unservicable in a few
    years if Pinled ever goes away. Say what you will about the old
    boards, but at least they can be repaired by the average Joe. I have
    brought a few back from the dead myself. The pinled boards are
    designed like most new boards - to be cheap to build and disposable...
    What's the lifespan of a pinball machine? These things may be around
    for another 50 years.

    Someone needs to build a board that is basically a re-spin of the old
    board with wider traces, discrete diode bridges and high heat headers.
    They may be more expensive, but 10 or 20 years from now when someone
    buys your old machine they will appreciate the fact that it doesn't
    have an unknown unique board in it that no one can repair or get parts
    for.

    Send your old boards to Clive and you will be happier in the long run.
    The old board with new BRs, caps and jumpers will be at least as
    reliable as the Pinled board.

    How much is the Pinled board going to be anyway?

    John
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    I totally understand where you are coming from and I plan to keep all
    of my original boards around. If I ever sell a machine you can be
    assured that the original board will go with it. I'm just saying that
    I'm stuck with 3 flakey boards that are keeping me from enjoying my
    hobby and everyday that a pin sits there unplayable is another day I
    fear I'm coming closer to having to convince my girlfriend they aren't
    just taking up space. At least with these boards AND my originals I
    could rotate them in and out as they die. If you know of somewhere I
    can buy a few OEM boards at a decent price, I'm all ears.

    -Jonathan

    Public Service Announment: Friends don't friends hack driver boards.
    Solder responsibly this holiday weekend.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Agree on all counts. Unless they are terribly
    cheap, an outstanding warranty, or have an
    "exchange" program that is reasonable, I'd
    view it as 'unservicable'.

    That pretty much applies to all current SMT
    design products IMO.

    Ditto on originality vs. value.

    --
    Fred
    TX
    CARGPB#8
    ******************


    "PT" <zeecarr1@earthlink.net> wrote

    > Those pinled boards leave a lot to be desired in my opinion. I
    > wouldn't buy a machine with one in it unless it came with the original
    > board too.
    >
    > Specifically, they are full of surface mount and unique programmable
    > parts. They will be hard to service and may be unservicable in a few
    > years if Pinled ever goes away. Say what you will about the old
    > boards, but at least they can be repaired by the average Joe. I have
    > brought a few back from the dead myself. The pinled boards are
    > designed like most new boards - to be cheap to build and disposable...
    > What's the lifespan of a pinball machine? These things may be around
    > for another 50 years.
    >
    > Someone needs to build a board that is basically a re-spin of the old
    > board with wider traces, discrete diode bridges and high heat headers.
    > They may be more expensive, but 10 or 20 years from now when someone
    > buys your old machine they will appreciate the fact that it doesn't
    > have an unknown unique board in it that no one can repair or get parts
    > for.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    On Tue, 28 Jun, nomad wrote:
    > If you are careful (and have some skills) follow Clay's guide and your
    > driver board will be solid. I just did my TZ board and it works great.
    > BR, caps, and ALL the jumpers and it should be good to go. Take's some
    > time but it's worth it.

    Even with "some skills" it can be tricky to get the caps and jumpers just
    right. But yeah, if the board is in decent shape to start with, that's
    fine.

    A lot of folks have boards that they are limping with but are pretty
    molested. Bad burns on the GI pins, bad repair jobs (repeatedly) that have
    burnt traces completely away, etc. For those situations, these boards will
    be welcomed. I'm sure I'll buy a couple per year just because they'll be
    cheaper than what it would take to get some boards I see in usable shape.


    --Donnie

    --
    Donnie Barnes http://www.donniebarnes.com 879. V.
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Still it's not bad to have one on hand as a spare while you fix/or get
    the dead board fixed.

    I'll probably pick one up.

    -c
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Surface mount is not unserviceable if you have the right tools. I
    would argue that I'd rather have a board made with modern components
    (the programmed logic is a bit of an issue though). Try buying a 4536
    CMOS logic chip these days....

    Anyway, I think it's just a matter of preference. I don't mind SMT if
    PinLED has good documentation, uses common programmable logic chips
    (and makes the JEDEC files available if he goes under) and use popcorn
    SMT devices. Quality of the board will determine how repairable it is.
    If he uses thin copper and undersizes the design to save money, it
    will not last. That is true of through hole as well. It would be nice
    if it's designed with more protection, so it won't need to be serviced
    at all. Through hole and lead-based components are going away like it
    or not. I design circuits for a living and know how hard it can be to
    get a new design out the door with the changing electronic industry,
    let alone try and do a new design with 20 year old parts.

    Just my opinion,
    K2
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    Newer parts go obsolete in much less time than the older stuff does.
    Its the nature of the industry. I'll bet ten years from now a TIP102
    is still readily available. I wouldn't make the same bet on those
    surface transistors...

    >From a collectors standpoint a more robust, re-spun board would be more
    desirable than a re-designed board. I wouldn't buy a '65 Corvette
    with a new Ford engine in it for the same reason.

    John
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.pinball (More info?)

    There sure are a lot of IF's in that perspective.

    Yes, some older chips are obsolete and difficult to find. But you can always
    find a source for *most* of them, even if it means robbing them off other boards
    that are damaged beyond repair. Not so for the programmable logic you
    mentioned; however you do admit that this can be a problem as well.

    Modern design board repair: IF you have relatively expensive soldering tools and
    better-than-average skills; IF you have access to schematics; IF you have access
    to programmable logic source (when used); IF you have access to equipment to
    program these devices (when used); IF you can easily source repair parts in
    small quantities!

    Old school board repair: IF you have decent basic soldering tools and average
    soldering skill; schematics are readily available; IF you can find the parts,
    which more often than not, you can. In my experience.

    You said: "Through hole and lead-based components are going away like it
    or not." - I agree, and understand, believe me! But let's face it -
    hobbyist-level board repair doesn't readily jibe with the new technology.

    Almost everybody that I see defend the so-called serviceability of the new
    technology, is somebody in a related industry! HMMMMM! : ) Yes, as things
    progress, we'll all need to either step up to the plate and learn new skills,
    buy new tools, etc. or send our boards out to people that hopefully can repair
    them at reasonable costs.

    Richard

    On 28 Jun 2005 07:59:15 -0700, kenny_iik@yahoo.com wrote:

    >Surface mount is not unserviceable if you have the right tools. I
    >would argue that I'd rather have a board made with modern components
    >(the programmed logic is a bit of an issue though). Try buying a 4536
    >CMOS logic chip these days....
    >
    >Anyway, I think it's just a matter of preference. I don't mind SMT if
    >PinLED has good documentation, uses common programmable logic chips
    >(and makes the JEDEC files available if he goes under) and use popcorn
    >SMT devices. Quality of the board will determine how repairable it is.
    > If he uses thin copper and undersizes the design to save money, it
    >will not last. That is true of through hole as well. It would be nice
    >if it's designed with more protection, so it won't need to be serviced
    >at all. Through hole and lead-based components are going away like it
    >or not. I design circuits for a living and know how hard it can be to
    >get a new design out the door with the changing electronic industry,
    >let alone try and do a new design with 20 year old parts.
    >
    >Just my opinion,
    >K2
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