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Pinball Upgrades

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Pinball Upgrades:

This page has ideas for upgrading your stock pinball machine with better parts or custom modification (mods). Many of the ideas are just links to other pages where collectors or companies have already published cool mods.

Upgrade #1 - Replace the florescent tube in Stern pinball machines with a LED tube

Stern pinball machines use a florescent tube to light the backbox. The tube requires a ballast and starter which are both common failing parts on location machines that have been on 24x7. In addition, the ballast generates a lot of heat and is located right beside the boards in the headbox. Instead of replacing a failed tube, starter or ballast, consider replacing the light with a LED tube. This LED based replacement doesn't require a starter or ballast, produces more light, and uses less energy.

The replacement takes only about 10 minutes, requires only a minimum wiring change, and just a couple of tools (wire cutter and wire strippers).

You can find detailed instructions here and can buy 2' T8 LED tubes at http://www.earthled.com/. Prices are coming way down, and the latest tube that looks like it should work is here.

Upgrade #2 - Replace the backbox lights in your Williams/Bally WPC or WPC-95 machine with LEDs

The lights in the backbox on most Williams/Bally machines from the 1990s are on all the time, generate quite a bit of heat, and also contribute to issues with the general illumination (burnt connectors, etc). A quick upgrade is to replace the incandescent bulbs with LEDs. My current LED of choice for the backbox comes from Paradise Arcade - the 555 LED replacements. These are bright and have a reasonable color (just a little cool compared to standard bulbs). Have a suggestion for a better LED? Send me email.


Pinball Mods:

Tron: Legacy Mods:

Tron mod #1 - Upgrade the Recognizer with LED lights

Check out this mod on Kimball's Pinball's that adds LED lights to the Recognizer - I'll add some pictures from my Tron:LE soon, but I definitely recommend this product. It was easy to install, looks great, and makes the Recognizer much more visible.

Tron mod #2 - Upgrade the mini-Tron arcade game with an LCD screen

Add an LCD screen to the mini-Tron arcade game that plays the attract mode. Instructions for this mod can be found here (a kit is also available): http://pinhacks.com/showthread.php?tid=65




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