Just when I say I’m not doing anything extra to one of my machines, I decide on an additional something to fiddle with. I’ve been keen to add lighted flipper buttons on a machine for a little while and I’d really like to do it on Pinbot. I’m going to use LAH as the guinea pig and give it some flashy looking buttons. I’ve seen people discuss kits online, but it’s much more fun to try it yourself (and pretty cheap too). To start with the buttons need to be transparent – I have transparent red ones on LAH already, so will run with those.
I went through my various spare parts and came up with everything required. Two bright red LEDs with bendy arms, 2 #555 sockets, screws, molex connector and wiring. Add in a few zip ties and cable hooks to keep the wires out of the way and I was all set.
I got to work constructing my kit. I worked out a reasonable position for the sockets to sit on each side of the cabinet and then figured out the wiring requirements. Both sides come together at one side of a molex connector, where the coin door wiring joins with the cabinet. It took a few tweaks of the LED arms to make sure it was out of the way of the button and switch blades.
Power for the flippers is run from the right coin lamp. I like this as the coin lamps blink on and off at certain points of the game (with other GI lighting) and this will also give the flipper buttons the same blinking effect during the game. The wires from the coin lamp run to one side of a molex connector, like with the other coin door switches, allowing it to be removed from the cabinet. It also means the button lamps can be removed easily if required.
With the wiring in place, the LEDs were ready for testing. The machine was fired up and the flipper lighting came on, lighting the inside of the button nicely.
On the outer side of the cabinet, the light comes through nice and bright. I tested the button a few times to ensure there was no connection with the LED. All was good.
With a side by side comparison, the LED lights up the button very nicely. It makes me wonder if transparent yellow buttons (with yellow bendy LEDs) might look better than red on the machine.
Putting this little mod together was fun and didn’t take much effort at all. I had all the spare parts on hand and estimate the cost at around $8 all up. I’m keen to give it a go on Pinbot soon too and run with the red / blue theme. I still have plenty of spare parts to do it and will only need to purchase 2 LEDs.