Sunday August 4, 2013

Proper alignment equals optimal illumination.

Pinplay Photo #42
JJP’s The Wizard of Oz pinball uses an entirely new type of general illumination (GI) system. Specifically, there are 23 surface-mount LEDs positioned below the playfield, each installed on a small circuit board attached to a metal mounting bracket. Since LEDs are normally highly directional (think laser beams), JJP has come up with a system where the LEDs shine through the playfield via clear plastic tubes with a frosted exterior, which are intended to carry the light up to the playfield surface for dispersion in method more similar to traditional non-directional incandescent bulbs.

At least, that’s the theory. One of the current discussion points for WOZ is that the general illumination is a little on the dim side – at least for those who like to play in a darkened room (like yours truly). This is enough of an issue that some WOZ owners are already showing off their newly modded games with added spotlights. Still, it’s been explained by Jersey Jack personnel that the game’s GI is currently running at only 36.5% power, meaning there’s a lot of brightness yet to be had, and an eagerly awaited software release is supposed to unlock some of this potential brightness.

However, if you’re a WOZ owner looking forward to a brighter GI, then before this new software comes out you might want to first check something on your machine – because there could be a very good reason why your GI is not quite up to snuff, and it’s not something that a software upgrade will fix.

The other day I was looking at the GI elements on my game, and I noticed that one obvious one was not showing any light – just the faintest of glows, as you can see in the first photo (it’s the one directly to the left of the “O” lane in “OZ”). Apparently, the most likely cause of this is that the LED circuit board has become “rotated” (since there’s only one mounting screw for each), resulting in the LED no longer shining directly through the plastic tube like it should. A simple loosening of the screw and correction of its position should fix the issue.

Tonight, I lifted my playfield to make this adjustment... and was not prepared for what I found.

Posted by Daniel Tonks on 8/04 at 7:38 AM
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