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  • #16
    Thank you everybody for all the insights.

    Yes, exMech, the machine still ran like it was supposed to even when the light was "out".

    Decided to go in and pull some lights down that were running T8 bulbs just to see what ballasts we had on them. I did find a few that were obviously changed due to wire configuration (meaning newer wire) and some that looked like original ballasts.

    After all that, I pulled a T12 bulb from lane 6, stuck it into lane 8 and threw a game. Not once did it flicker, go out or show any of the previous problems I had with a T8 bulb. Stuck the T8 bulb into lane 6, turned it on from the front desk, it lit up, and ran as you'd expect it to do so when I was cycling machines.

    Two observations from doing this: First, no where on the new ballast did it say rapid start as it does on the other lanes. Second, no where on the ballast does it say T8. All it says was single bulb, Voltage 120. I got it from Home Depot and assumed (yes, I know what you get when you do that... ) and obviously that's not the case.

    I don't know if we've got it solved, but we're further along than we were yesterday.

    Again, thank you to everyone who has given suggestions as to what to look at and check.

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    • #17
      Our pit lights run off the same voltage as the mains 240. Circuits completely independent from machine, no relays, no control circuit. Four switches in workshop allow you to switch from blue to white pit lights in banks of 10.

      I'm thinking about running LED strip lighting and doing away with tubes completely. Tubes are old technology and a PITA. Two blue green red controllers will allow me have a wave of slow moving transition of colours casading along the machines during cosmic bowling. My only hesitation is how the scoring camera's will adapt to the constant morphing of colour change?

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      • #18
        Yes, unfortunately you have to change the ballast when you change from T12 to T8. It has to do with the current draw of the new lamps. There are a few manufactures that make ballasts that support both tubes so if you have to replace a ballast you can and later switch to T8's but I guess at that point, with the new T8's being brighter, grab a couple bulbs and make the swap when the ballast is done.

        Can you provide the model number of the ballast you bought.

        If you have to buy ballasts in the future, I would probably consider switching to LED bulbs with bypass wiring. They are about twice the cost of direct replacement LED but are more efficient and will probably cost less than the ballast alone would. Also, your done with ballast at that point.

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        • #19
          Mike: I've never really disagreed with you but I think we just disagree on how bad a design it is. I don't think it's all that horrible just not preferred. When they designed these machines 60+ years ago, technology was different and I don't think they ever dreamed they would be around this long. Probably time for a face lift. I see people talking about box rebuilds but I think most of the time they just go back in with the same equipment and the same basic design. I wonder what the interest would be in a redesign and some modern technology. Hmmmmm?????? Maybe we should move this to a new thread a see what peoples interest is.

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          • #20
            HP: So are your pin lights on all the time or do the individual lights still come on with each machine?

            With the black lights, I suspect you are doing something similar as what we did with relays, just using switches instead. Probably not exactly but similar. Are your black lights housed in the same fixture as the white lights or are they different fixtures?

            We had a lot of trouble using black lights with the scoring. It was to the point I just disconnected the transformer so the machines were always using white lights. I messed with it quite a bit and even tried infrared but found out the cameras had and infrared filter so that option was out.

            I guess you just need to try the led's on a machine or two and see how it goes. I imagine if they are changing colors though, there will be times the color is to dark to give sufficient light for the camera. I don't know if your building your own controllers or not, but if you are you could make them so the LED switched to white when the camera was ready to read and then resume the color pattern. This would be easy enough to do with an Arduino. Plenty of people to help you with that and I'd be willing to help as well although from a distance because well you know, I'm not in Australia. I think James even plays around with them although I'm not sure your relative location to him. I think the Arduino is much underused in this industry and would like to see more people talking an interest and creating more projects for the centers.

            I think the first thing to do though is to make sure the lights provide sufficient white light to replace what you have. Not all LED strips are created equal so you'd need to find something to fit your needs. I have a bunch that I used to make an LED sign with. I'll have to drag the extras out and do a comparison to a tube and see what it looks like. They are quite bright but I've never really done a comparison to a tube before.

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            • #21
              Thanks exM, very true, this was 50's technology and if you remember, the original machines had all "High Voltage - 208 -220" components. Pin light ballasts, Motor Contactor, Cycle Solenoid, and Selenium Rectifier were ALL 208 -220, (there wasn't 230 or 240 around then). The Rectifier had a large resister in series to lower the input voltage to achieve the 90 V DC output. When they removed the Resister, according to my 8/1958 schematic, and then center tapped the transformer for the 104 -110 voltage, (TS1-G), the transformer was supposed to be switched out according to the bulletin. I don't think many were, at least I know the 40 + machines I worked on were not. My transformers had a 3-wire secondary, Not a 4-wire. They did NOT even put the 1 Amp fuse in between H2 & H3 !! I retrofitted these after I came back from pinsetter school in 1974. Also the Pin Light Ballast magically moved to TS1-F with No mention that it was now 110 Volts, ( I don't believe it was a dual voltage ballast, 110 -220), and I don't remember any verbiage about switching it out.

              HP - I hope your cameras aren't "Color Blind" LOL
              Everything has to be Somewhere !!

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              • #22
                Here are the two "Old" Schematics that I have. First one is 1956, second, the Big revision.

                Schematic 1A 208 220 1956.jpgSchematic 2A 208 220 1958 12-900900.jpg
                Everything has to be Somewhere !!

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                • #23
                  Both tubes housed in the same fixture. Lights are on all the time when centre is open. Power drawn from circuit located on curtain wall. We have red blue green yellow lights for cosmic bowling, we don't have any issues with our qubica scoring, however I have experienced problems with low light with other scoring systems.



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