need advice if Arduino will work for me

Greetings,

Im hoping to be clued in if Arduino is an option for my Dilemma,
I learned of arduino from my halloween projects people use them to control ghosts etc,
What i need them for are to control old antique arcade machines,
The machine im restoring at the moment is a 70s coin operated pachinko, the brain board in it is pretty much dead and an issue is even if i could find a electronics wizard to fix it with no schematics the ic chips are obsolete,
Ill run down what the machine does and you guys can clue me in on is the ardurino the right path,

You pay a quarter for one credit red out in led, when the credit button is pressed the machine has a solenoid that dumps 4 balls 4 times for a total of 16 balls,
As balls are played if they land in a pocket you get 16 more balls and another solenoid opens the win pockets wider to make it easier to score, a 3rd solenoid dumps the ball you hit the score pocket with back into your play bin,

Each ball in a pocket wins 10 points shown by led above the credits led,
At 100 points you get a free game, there is also a light that lights up if you score a pocket and a different light and bell if you win a free credit by hitting 100,
There is also a "tilt" light that if the machine is tilted it comes on and kills that game until another quarter is paid or if you had any credits won you use one of them to start a new game,

With its currect board there is one switch when you pay your quarter, a button for credit the tilt switch and one other switch controls the 3 solenoids for pay out, ooening pockers and returning a scoring ball, balls that do not score are spent from that game,

Just typing that it sounds complicated, i guess the first big question will arduino do this job? If so about how much and can i find a person who is savvy will make it for me for a fee where i just install it hook up the wires and im good to go,

In the picture the center theme piece is removed for restoring.

Many thanks
cheers
bats


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Short answer. Yes.

You’ll probably need additional components to power the solenoids.

wait… Is that fuse next to the transformer blown?

Images from Original Post so we don't have to download them. See this Simple Image Posting Guide

20200621_004250_copy_640x360.jpg

...R

the13bats:
Just typing that it sounds complicated,

I don't know if "complicated" is the correct word.

It is certainly confusing for someone who is not familiar with the machine and it lacks the specific detail that will be needed to develop a solution or to decide whether or what Arduino is suitable.

It looks as if there are several sensors on the board that need to be detected - how do they work and how many are there?

How, exactly, does the mechanism dispense the balls?

My guess is that it can be done with an Arduino - but the detail matters.

Interesting project ...

...R

You'll find assistance in the "Gigs and Collaborations" forum section. But I think that you should get local help for EMV and other electrical issues.

Thanks all,
No, the fuse isnt blown, im not that gone, i have been in the grmear head, rc and other hobbies all my life for example i can build a pc from scratch or do a frame off on my 69 vette and wire it from scratch, but on something like this im not ego hurt to say i dont know much of anything about arduino.
I have 4 of these machines in total and the one has brain damage, it does power up and does do a couple things just not correcly, i figure in time all will suffer brain damage,

While putzing with it tonight my poor eyesite cost me a solenoid, cooked it but it also got me thinking about perhaps a simpler way to get this thing working correctly,

Details, a player puts in a quarter and the credits led lights "1" or up to "9" credits,
You press the credit button and i was incorrect about ball count so lets just say you get the play balls, ( 14 ) is normal,
You play the balls if you get in a scoring pocket the "score" led gives 10 points for each pocket hit and if you score 10 times for 100 points you win a free game and the credit led will show "1" or however many free games you earned.

On the inside there is a seesaw that any ball that went into a scoring pocket will roll into and it tweeters from the balls weight and the balls is returned to the player,
That was all mechanical, now the see saw is in the down position it activates a micro switch which one solenoid kicks the seesaw back to position to catch another scoring ball, the wsy the seesaw is made if you score several povkets in a row the balls will line up and wait for the seesaw,

The other thing that happens when you score is another solenoid opens the pockets which are called tulips, so you can svore easier, when a ball goes into an open pocket it closees back to harder position,

And a 3rd solenoid dumps the jackpot you win each time you get in a pocket, normal its one dump 14 balls but the jackpot seesaw van be adjusted to dump less if we want it harder to won,

That one micro switch controls all 3 solenoids,
So after i cooked a solenoid tonight i was thinking i can think up a schematic to just use relays and that micro switch do do everything except show points scored and credits on the led readout, perhaps thats where the arduino could come in,
For example you pay your quarter to play that the only other switch that could send that signal to the ardurino which could control the led score and credits, press the credits button would give you your play balls, and when a balls hits a score pocket a signal could tell ardurino and trigger the relay to do those tasks,

On the right path or confused it all up?

Many thanks

How do you detect a ball in a scoring pocket? Another microswitch? How many are there?

the13bats:
On the right path or confused it all up?

I'm not at all familiar with those machines so your description, while much better, still leaves a lot that I can't envisage.

More specifically, it's not clear to me what aspect of the control system do you want the Arduino to deal with?

Eventually it has to come down to stuff I do understand such as "the arduino detects the closure of switch X and must then cause Y to happen"

...R

If you happen to cook a solenoid, I wonder how you achieved that. Confusing mains and internal power supply?

Those look like 7400 series chips. Probably a state machine. Easy to do in Arduino.

Have you verified the power supply? There should e 5VDC between pins 7 and 14 of any 7400-series chip.
Before you start cutting any wires, map the microswitch connections in the card edge connector. Also map the lights and solenoids.

How the heck did you fry a solenoid?

You could try replacing the 7400 series with 74HC parts.
Digikey.com carries many families.
Make a list of what's on your board, see what's replaceable.
7400 are old, slow, power hungry.
74HC is newer, very low power, can be fast if the clocks are fast.

Yeah, i was very crest fallen and felt rather stupid killing that solenoid.

So leading up to that one solenoid would still work from the main board, so i placed a volt meter to its contacts and made it fire, it spiked to between 15-16 vdc

I had unplugged the wiring from the main board to not do further damage to the board, and was using ac power supplies to fire the solenoids to both test the other 2 and to adjust and restore the mechanical parts they move, i had decades of dust to carefully clean.

You likely know how those black cube power supplies will have written on them the input ( 110 usa in my case ) and output in VDC, i have acquired so many i use them for all kinds of projects where i need say 6 vdc or 12vdc or ? you get it idea,

The big transformer on the board was 6 vdc, so even thought that one solenoid spiked to 15vdc i tried 6vdc and they all three worked but sluggish,
So i tried 12vdc and they all worked great didnt seem to be overpowered and basically mimicked the way the board ran the one, they have no data or specs written on them just "regdon corp".

So i have had a lifetime of nervous ptsd panic type issues, OCD ADD, and i will get very overtired as i almost never feel sleepy, if i am not told to rack out i might be up 20 hours or more,
I had been up a long time and not feeling well and should have stopped but my pal OCD keep me going

i wanted to try 9vdc and reached for that black cube power supply, between my poorer vision and not taking due care being tired i missed it was 9 VAC not direct current, rut row....
I connected it hit my button and smoke bellowed up and a little glass diode? Between the solenoids contacts got red hot, all that happened quickly but now testing with 12vdc the solenoid does nothing, so i expect its fired, a volt meter connected to the power supply showed me my epic fail,
I dont recall running into a VAC black cube before, i will be more careful, i havent a clue how to try to find a close replacement on ebay, it seems to be a generic metal frame solenoid, i am hoping one in my junk stash will work.
I was pretty darn upset at my blunder.

To try to wing the other questions...

"You could try replacing the 7400 series with 74HC parts."

While i believe you are speaking of the little black ic chips that was my extent of knowledge about them besides when i looked up the number on one they are obsolete.

"How do you detect a ball in a scoring pocket? Another microswitch? How many are there?"

There are 9 scoring pockets on this machine, while some are harder to hit when the ball goes into any pocket it goes to the same place,
think like old pay pool tables remember how you get any pocket the balls goes back to the holder rack inside the machine.

In my games case the ball goes to what i call a seesaw when a ball rolls into it the ball weight makes it tilt and drops the ball into a chute to send it back out to the player, it rests then in dump position, the chute is made that if you were hitting several pockets in a row the balls line up waiting for the seesaw to tilt back for their turn to be returned to player.

when this seesaw tilts it also hits the micro switch that does a few things it makes a solenoid reset this seesaw and tells the brain board a score pocket was hit, this causes the board to add 10 points to the led score readout and to trigger a different solenoid to dump a different seesaw, one that holds the 14 balls you win for hitting a pocket the other thing that happens is a 3rd solenoid triggers and opens all the pockets wider, so all that is triggered from that one micro switch but controlled by the brain board, during fast play all 3 solenoids might seemingly be firing at once, i assumed since there were 3 relays on the board each relay goes to a solenoid but oddly even those that one relay will work from board controll i do not feel any relay clicking.

In addition there is a light in the center that lights for a moment if you score a pocket and if you win a free credit a very loud electric bell goes nuts a few moments and an upper corner light comes on, i believe as long as there is a credit that upper cornor lamp is on.

The only other switches are the one on the coin mechanism when you pay for a game it adds one credit to the credit led, and ticks a electric counter inside the machine that kept track of how many games were paid for, oddly it still works if you add a coin but the led credit is stuck on 1 no matter how much you hit credit button or add coins its push button to use for credit,
The "tilt" is also a switch its a wire hanging in a metal ring, if they touch that turns on a tilt light and locks up machine until another credit is used or paid for and used.

"Before you start cutting any wires, map the microswitch connections in the card edge connector. Also map the lights and solenoids"

I love i mean really love old stuff like this, ive restored old metal typers other pachinkos and old hand crank digger cranes my car was built in 69, i try to make as much orginal work as i can, i have 2 metal typers i restored inside they are clean work like new, almost, outside they are clean but wear the scars and patina of 80 plus yo machines.

i wont cut the wires, i will have to cut zip ties to even trace and map them and im not thrilled about that, its such a nice job, if i dont get its antique brain board working i would make a little board to plug into and solder new connections there, only in a very last resort would i remove the wires from the plug and i would unsolder not cut,

But yes, i do need to map it and after my chores tonight i very well may tackle that, i have to unsolder that solenoid i cooked, ugh.

im here because im looking for options to get it working i thought arduino might be an option, i would be thrilled just to repair the brain board there but its far beyond my security clearance and pay rate, the board is pretty much alien to me, to test or work on it, i will end up having to pay some wizard for their magic either way.

If you operate a flyback diode (on every solenoid) in forward direction, it certainly will release the magic smoke. Replace the diode, correct the polarity and try again.

Did you try to measure the DC supply voltages before vandalizing all your machines?

CrossRoads:
You could try replacing the 7400 series with 74HC parts.
Digikey.com carries many families.
Make a list of what's on your board, see what's replaceable.
7400 are old, slow, power hungry.
74HC is newer, very low power, can be fast if the clocks are fast.

And cheap. buy spares.

Old capacitors have a way of not working.

I have a friend from this forum who does repair/recondition Pachinko machines, he might give you tips/links.

He also has a Meta-Game that installs on top and lets up to four players compete. It's shown on the first one here:

the13bats:
Yeah, i was very crest fallen and felt rather stupid killing that solenoid.

But, how did you smoke it?

the13bats:
So leading up to that one solenoid would still work from the main board, so i placed a volt meter to its contacts and made it fire, it spiked to between 15-16 vdc

Is there anything written on the solenoid?

the13bats:
The big transformer on the board was 6 vdc, so even thought that one solenoid spiked to 15vdc i tried 6vdc and they all three worked but sluggish,
So i tried 12vdc and they all worked great didnt seem to be overpowered and basically mimicked the way the board ran the one, they have no data or specs written on them just "regdon corp".

OH!!! You mean the relays? Or are there solenoids not in the photos?

All transformers are AC. There's likely a full-wave rectifier on the PCB to power the solenoids with 12-15VDC. The large blue capacitor is likely a part of this same circuit. Power the board and measure the voltage on the capacitor.

the13bats:
i wanted to try 9vdc and reached for that black cube power supply, between my poorer vision and not taking due care being tired i missed it was 9 VAC not direct current, rut row....
I connected it hit my button and smoke bellowed up and a little glass diode? Between the solenoids contacts got red hot, all that happened quickly but now testing with 12vdc the solenoid does nothing, so i expect its fired, a volt meter connected to the power supply showed me my epic fail,
I dont recall running into a VAC black cube before, i will be more careful, i havent a clue how to try to find a close replacement on ebay, it seems to be a generic metal frame solenoid, i am hoping one in my junk stash will work.
I was pretty darn upset at my blunder.

Solenoid or relay? The diode can likely be replaced with a 1N4001 or equivalent.

the13bats:
"You could try replacing the 7400 series with 74HC parts."

While i believe you are speaking of the little black ic chips that was my extent of knowledge about them besides when i looked up the number on one they are obsolete.

And, those numbers are??? There's dozens of engineers here who between us have over a hundred years experience, one of us is likely to be able to ID the chips. Of course, if you are going to replace the control board with an arduino, that won't matter.

the13bats:
"How do you detect a ball in a scoring pocket? Another microswitch? How many are there?"
There are 9 scoring pockets on this machine, while some are harder to hit when the ball goes into any pocket it goes to the same place,
think like old pay pool tables remember how you get any pocket the balls goes back to the holder rack inside the machine.

In my games case the ball goes to what i call a seesaw when a ball rolls into it the ball weight makes it tilt and drops the ball into a chute to send it back out to the player, it rests then in dump position, the chute is made that if you were hitting several pockets in a row the balls line up waiting for the seesaw to tilt back for their turn to be returned to player.

when this seesaw tilts it also hits the micro switch that does a few things it makes a solenoid ...

solenoid or relay? I don't see any solenoids in the photos you presented.

the13bats:
--- reset this seesaw and tells the brain board a score pocket was hit, this causes the board to add 10 points to the led score readout and to trigger a different solenoid to dump a different seesaw, one that holds the 14 balls you win for hitting a pocket the other thing that happens is a 3rd solenoid triggers and opens all the pockets wider, so all that is triggered from that one micro switch but controlled by the brain board, during fast play all 3 solenoids might seemingly be firing at once, i assumed since there were 3 relays on the board each relay goes to a solenoid but oddly even those that one relay will work from board controll i do not feel any relay clicking.

In addition there is a light in the center that lights for a moment if you score a pocket and if you win a free credit a very loud electric bell goes nuts a few moments and an upper corner light comes on, i believe as long as there is a credit that upper cornor lamp is on.

The only other switches are the one on the coin mechanism when you pay for a game it adds one credit to the credit led, and ticks a electric counter inside the machine that kept track of how many games were paid for, oddly it still works if you add a coin but the led credit is stuck on 1 no matter how much you hit credit button or add coins its push button to use for credit,
The "tilt" is also a switch its a wire hanging in a metal ring, if they touch that turns on a tilt light and locks up machine until another credit is used or paid for and used.

"Before you start cutting any wires, map the microswitch connections in the card edge connector. Also map the lights and solenoids"

I love i mean really love old stuff like this, ive restored old metal typers other pachinkos and old hand crank digger cranes my car was built in 69, i try to make as much orginal work as i can, i have 2 metal typers i restored inside they are clean work like new, almost, outside they are clean but wear the scars and patina of 80 plus yo machines.

i wont cut the wires, i will have to cut zip ties to even trace and map them and im not thrilled about that, its such a nice job, if i dont get its antique brain board working i would make a little board to plug into and solder new connections there, only in a very last resort would i remove the wires from the plug and i would unsolder not cut,

You can get a PCB made for $5. Time to learn a new skill (I use Autodesk Eagle).

the13bats:
But yes, i do need to map it and after my chores tonight i very well may tackle that, i have to unsolder that solenoid i cooked, ugh.

im here because im looking for options to get it working i thought arduino might be an option, i would be thrilled just to repair the brain board there but its far beyond my security clearance and pay rate, the board is pretty much alien to me, to test or work on it, i will end up having to pay some wizard for their magic either way.

I will try to answer the questions best i can sounds like im confusing it up, i tend to do that.

I have also posted this on the pachinko board, i actually getting better and more replies here, as you can imagine not too many folks into these old machines, especially the more odd ones.

I didnt "vandalize" any machines, i cooked a solenoid, not a relay, the solenoids are not on the brain board they are down in the machine to work mechanical functions that i tried to explain,

I cooked one solenoid by placing 9VAC to it, if it might save it just placing a new diode across its terminals i sure will try that, but i will likely have one i can use in my parts stash or ebay as lots of imported ones that would work.

I only mentioned relays because the board has 3 on it, i removed the board from the machine tonight and took good pictures of both sides of the board, i also mapped out each wire on the board plug and what it goes it in the machine, i can list that if there is interest,

I would rather get the orginal board to work again but its not something i can do myself and no matter which way i go i will be paying for help,

I will go try to figure out posting the board pics in another reply, if i do it correctly im hoping the ic numbers will show, okay, ill go try to post some pics...

Again i really do thank you guys,

the13bats:
I would rather get the orginal board to work again but its not something i can do myself and no matter which way i go i will be paying for help,

If all the ICs are just logic chips and if none them needs to be specially programmed then it may be worth replacing every one of them. That's not likely to cost very much.

It would also be well to check that the power supply is providing the correct voltages (before replacing the chips :slight_smile: )

Switch contacts are another common source of failure and it should be easy to check them with a multimeter.

...R

Are these big enough?

I checked all 3 switches but will double check them later when i get up.

The power supply was putting out 6vdc.

I looked up one chip number, it was obsolete and people do sell them on ebay but i would be in the dark if new one chips were any good,

Back when i bought this one, i contacted the seller and made a deal, it was going to be a couple days before i could get it, he hits me like a day later saying its no longer for sale as now its not working,
He seemed upset not angry, i said well you just gonna keep it?
He said i cant sell it not working, i said well call it parts and how much do you want,
He practically gave it to me, so i tend to believe it just failed out of the blue,

Again thanks, if the pics too small ill try again

,

I looked up a couple of those chips, one is still available, the other is discontinued but there are equivalents available as Crossroads suggested. I'd guess you could swap them all out for relatively little. On the other hand, that stuff lasts forever unless there was another issue (power?).

I'd be more suspicious of the caps on a board that old.