MM Dragon LED Mod

56 views

John

Jun 29, 2006, 4:39:35â€¯PM6/29/06
to
Somehow the *da HOUSE!!!* thread has split into two discussions, what it
means to score, and Tim Hanian's dragon LED mod.

I'm interested in the mod. Could someone with this mod post the
resistor values, either the actual ohms or the color of the bands on the
resistors? Many thanks.

John

JohnBuzzz

Jun 29, 2006, 5:41:42â€¯PM6/29/06
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I would think that you could throw in whatever LEDs you want for the
eyes. Then figure out the supply voltage (where you are tapping for
the power off the pinball) VS the LED voltage. Then use a resistor to
decrease the volts from the pinball to the LED. There are tons of
calculators on-line to figure out which resistor would work. Otherwise
you could do it on paper yourself.
http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/components/led.htm

harrrrrrr

Jun 29, 2006, 10:17:04â€¯PM6/29/06
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uh oh... another mm mod thread... just another opportunity for a Bryan
Kelly sexology class ;)

I did post a bit more on the dragon mod on the other thread...

john

harrrrrrr

Jun 29, 2006, 10:21:31â€¯PM6/29/06
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John... I have Tim's mod but really hesitate to pull it out of the body
to check it out. That is until an led goes. Shouldn't happen for a
long time though. The mod is pretty tightly jammed in the body and
uses fine wiring... not something you want to be removing and
replacing. I have enough stuff to fix right now. Hope you understand.

john

Kansas Pinball

Jun 29, 2006, 11:10:47â€¯PM6/29/06
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John,
Totally understandable and not necessary at all. I would hate to see
you damaage your dragon. We can figure this out.

Based on the formula R=(Vs-VL)/I we can make some educated guessed.

Vs=13v (flasher voltage)
VL=2.5v (voltage for a green LED)
I=25Ma (Current for a green LED)

Therefore, R=(13-2.5)/.025
R=420 ohms.

This would be per Green LED and it is not advised to put LED's in
parallel. To do it correctly, we would have to look at the stats of the
LED that is purchased to get the correct voltages and currents.

Putting them in series I think would simply cause you to have to
combine the LED voltages and substitute that value for VL. So, for the
eyes, I would think we would simply use 5v and the resistor value would
become 320 ohms. More voltage drop would mean less resistance needed.

I am going to have to do this mod now that I have dug in this deep. I
guess I better buy a spare dragon body off of Marco or Bay Area. If we
can figure this out, a nice write-up will need to be done for others to
follow since there seems to be an interest in one.

Doug

JohnBuzzz

Jun 29, 2006, 11:15:48â€¯PM6/29/06
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I'll be doing this as well. I'll take pics.

martin

Jun 29, 2006, 11:37:54â€¯PM6/29/06
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The flasher voltage is actually closer to 20, and I would stick the LED
at 15mA. 3mm LEDs are a lot less forgving than 5mm LEDs. You'll have
plenty of light at 15mA. And putting the LEDs in series will save a
resistors.

Kansas Pinball

Jun 29, 2006, 11:39:48â€¯PM6/29/06
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JohnBuzzz wrote:
> I'll be doing this as well. I'll take pics.
>

Ok, just finished buying a dragon body from BAA along with a bunch of
other things since I was window shopping. 115 bucks added on. Also
bought a new castle gate and bought a Kerry protector set and I don't
even have it torn all apart yet. SIGH!!

Doug

John

Jun 30, 2006, 11:53:40â€¯PM6/30/06
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Ok, I got all the parts together for this (had a spare flex dragon).

Hate re-inventing the wheel, but I don't think there's a How-To guide
from Tim. The Big Question for me, at this point, is did he mount the
LEDs by fishing them up through the neck from the inside, or did he do
it from the outside? The problem doing it from the outside is that
drilling a hole big enough to fit the LED flange through is going to
leave a lot of slop around the barrel, and from the google pix I have
seen, the barrels look like they are press fit into the holes. If he
did it from the inside, man, that's one long skinny neck to fish stuff
through up into the head. Don't want to start drilling holes till I
have a better idea which method he used.

John

Kansas Pinball

Jun 30, 2006, 11:55:35â€¯PM6/30/06
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John wrote:
> Ok, I got all the parts together for this (had a spare flex dragon).
>
> Hate re-inventing the wheel, but I don't think there's a How-To guide
> from Tim. The Big Question for me, at this point, is did he mount the
> LEDs by fishing them up through the neck from the inside, or did he do
> it from the outside? The problem doing it from the outside is that
> drilling a hole big enough to fit the LED flange through is going to
> leave a lot of slop around the barrel, and from the google pix I have
> seen, the barrels look like they are press fit into the holes. If he
> did it from the inside, man, that's one long skinny neck to fish stuff
> through up into the head. Don't want to start drilling holes till I
> have a better idea which method he used.

Here is some information tat Gary sent me concerning this:

"I think we inserted the lead wires attached to each led through the
holes in
the face first then fished them out the bottom. Once we had the wires
through we pushed the leds into the holes which need to be slightly
smaller
than the led's diameter so they fit in snugly. Then we joined the wires
at
the bottom, attached the resistor and hooked it up to the dragon
flasher.

I seem to remember the red mouth led being a 5mm but the eyes were less
than
3mm. We did experiment with other colors but felt green eyes and red
mouth
were the best."

This should fill in the missing pieces for now. :)

Doug

Ceegary

Jul 1, 2006, 1:24:35â€¯AM7/1/06
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To add to that, it is necessary to use thin wire so your eye holes are less
than the led diameter but enough to push the thin wire through.

GRY

"Kansas Pinball" <olds...@gmail.com> wrote in message

John

Jul 2, 2006, 4:02:44â€¯PM7/2/06
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I just finished and installed the dragon LED mod. Here's how I did it,
and some pix. If anyone's interested, I can provide more detailed info.

I used two 3mm green led's for the eyes, and a 5mm red led (with clear
lens) for the mouth. I tested two versions of the red led for the
mouth, a wide-angle 800mcd, and a regular-angle 3000mcd. I decided to
go with the brighter one, since the brighter light makes it more visible
than the wide-angle one. This red one is a Radio Shack 276-307, 1.7v,
20mA. The green ones I had in my junk box, but any 3mm greens should do.

Using a fine flat file, I filed the flanges on each led flush with the
barrels. This makes it much easier to push them into the holes we will
be drilling in the dragon head later. You could purchase flange-less
led's from a supply house to save this step, but since I already had the
led's, I just filed the the flanges off and that worked fine.

Get some fine, stranded hookup wire. I used an old computer hard-drive
ribbon cable, and peeled off three pairs of wires, about 7" long. Trim
wires. I used mini shrink tubing to insulate the leads, but you have
to make sure the leads and shrink tubing are no larger in diameter than
the barrel of the led, or it won't fit into the holes you will be
drilling in the dragon head. This requires some care and patience with
the 3mm ones.

I had a spare NOS dragon, so this next part wasn't as scary as it would
have been if I was modifying my only dragon. The NOS dragon material is
fairly flexable, which makes the job relatively easy. I have read that
the repro dragons are hard plastic, and I'm doubtful they would work as
well. You could always get a repro one for a spare in case you botch up
your soft one, but I think the job would be much more difficult with
hard plastic. Using a Dremel tool and a very fine drill bit (#60),
drill pilot holes in the eyes and mouth. The final holes for the eye
led's should be no larger than 2mm, because you want the led's to
press-fit tightly. A #48 drill seemed about right, and I used it to
enlarge the pilot holes.

Use a slightly larger drill to enlarge the mouth hole. Again, it's
better to keep it small, because the plastic will stretch easily to
accommodate the 5mm barrel.

I inserted the red led first. Fish the wires down into the neck, and
gently press the led into the mouth hole. Once you get it started, push
it in about half way. Repeat the process for the eyes. A bit more than
half way gives a nice look. If you didn't go overboard on the hole
diameters, they will fit tightly and require no glue.

With the wires fished out of the base, hook the three led's in series,
using shrink tubing to insulate the connections. Trim the leads from a
680 ohm, 1/8 watt resistor, and solder it in series with the plus lead
from your led string. I made a 4" solid copper pigtail pair to connect
to the other end of the resistor and to the minus lead of the led
string, using shrink tubing to make a tidy job if it. Hook the pigtail
up to the dragon flasher (the red-orange lead is positive) and bolt the
dragon back onto its bracket.

Let me beg forgiveness in advance from the no-mods faction. I generally
don't believe in mods either, except for those that were designed into
proto games but left off of production ones (like the lighted SS skull
pile), but this one really gives the formally boring dragon some life!
Here's what the mod looks like. It's tough to photograph it actually
flashing, but it does look pretty cool.

John

JohnBuzzz

Jul 2, 2006, 4:09:24â€¯PM7/2/06
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Couldn't wait for my week off, could you :)

Very Nice job. Look forward to drilling my dragon now.

JohnBuzzz

Jul 2, 2006, 4:11:14â€¯PM7/2/06
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I think it would be cool to get a hold of a plastic for the mouth flame
- sort of like the tail flame from the rocket mod on TZ.
Of course I'd probably have a troll head drive it right into the
dragon's head and break it off...

beaver

Jul 2, 2006, 4:54:20â€¯PM7/2/06
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I think mods are fine if reversible. If permanent change/damage is
done to the parts, I am inclined to not implement them.

Edward Cheung CARGPB26

Ceegary

Jul 2, 2006, 4:56:15â€¯PM7/2/06
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Good job John. The only difference between how Tim applied it was to use
smaller than 3mm for the eyes, but I don't know where he got those.

GRY

martin

Jul 2, 2006, 5:10:35â€¯PM7/2/06
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Well, you convinced me.

I'll have to try this. I wonder if grinding the LEDs flat might be
useful? I normally use clear LEDs, and a flat surface creates a nice
diffused look. The clear LEDs have a lot of light output.

I may even be able to make the flange-less LEDs. I'll have to play at
it.

Kansas Pinball

Jul 2, 2006, 9:19:09â€¯PM7/2/06
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JohnBuzzz wrote:
> Couldn't wait for my week off, could you :)
>
> Very Nice job. Look forward to drilling my dragon now.
>
> John wrote:

LOL! Funny thing is that when I first started reading it, I thought it
was YOU who wrote it! You and I were kinda throwing info back and forth
and I figured you had "got er did!" Well, we can only benefit from
everyone jumping in and showing their techniques.

I have yet to look at the pictures but I do welcome the write-up and I
am also eager to start this mod on my dragon. Of course, I am going to
be diving into modding the repro dragon. Figures, my luck usually
doesn't allow me anything but difficult situations. :)

Doug

harrrrrrr

Jul 2, 2006, 9:42:20â€¯PM7/2/06
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Great job John... nice to have a write-up on this.

john

JohnBuzzz

Jul 2, 2006, 9:44:48â€¯PM7/2/06
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So how many Johns do we have in this thread. It's getting confusing...
John

John

Jul 3, 2006, 12:20:10â€¯AM7/3/06
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Thanks, John and John ;-)

John

JohnBuzzz

Jul 21, 2006, 11:20:05â€¯PM7/21/06
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Finished my Dragon a couple weeks ago. Finally got the pictures
uploaded. I used the micro LEDs instead of the 3mm ones. The micros
are pretty finicky to use. On the first micro LED that I destroyed, I
end up bending the wire one too many times and it broke off flush. And
I only thought that I would need just two...So the next day and a 40
minute car ride later I had bought 4 more. The micros have a square
base which is difficult to push through a round hole.The next one I
sanded the edges off of the base so that it would slide into the eye
hole easier. Unfortunately the corners are what keeps the top attached
to the bottom and they became separated. Finally, with just one LED
left, I got the suckers in there and working.

Plus I just touched up and clearcoated my first playfield. Just a
couple fisheyes. I might sand them down and put one more coat on it.

http://usergallery.myhomegameroom.com/gallery/johnbuzzz

Cheers,
John