# Arcade 110v strobe flasher circuit help

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by wrkey, Sep 12, 2012.

1. ### wrkey

9
0
Sep 12, 2012
Problem: I recently acquired a Thunder Blade sit down arcade game that utilizes two 100v strobe lights on the back of the seat to randomly flash through green and red lenses. The original strobes include a circuit that creates the random flashes with just regular 110v input. I order the new version of the strobe since my were not working. Unfortunately, the new version doesn't have the flash circuit built it. It charges when powered and the flashes with the power is removed.

Need: I would like to have circuit that I could build and place into the machine that will flash the two stobes randomly and at different intervals. There is room in seat back to put a small circuit board. I really don't need anything fancy and the simplier the better as I'm just a novice at circuit building.

Functional Specification: Input is 110v. Output is randomly timed 1 second pulse of 110v to the each of the strobe devices independently of the other.

Parameters: While I do have access to 5v DC with in the cabinet I would prefer not to draw that power from the CPU. It should be robust enough for the flashes to occur for periods of 4 to 5 hours at a time. Flashes should not be fast as these lights are trying to emulate the strobes found on aircraft.

I am not at all adverse to using a flash circuit taken from some type of sign or decorative lighting.. if I could find one. There is a prebuilt circuit available on the net for those building RR lights or traffic lights in their man cave.. but these flashers are too consistant for the look I want and these will be my last resort.

2. ### CDRIVEHauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

4,960
651
May 8, 2012
Do you have a schematic of the original strobe circuit?

3. ### wrkey

9
0
Sep 12, 2012
There's really not much of circuit diagram... the sequencer is inside the old unit so basically.....

110v ------|-------------|----;
| Strobe | ;
------|_______|__ ;

Two 110v wires lead into a self contained xenon flasher unit.

I'm thinking I should bust apart the old strobe and see what is in there. I was reluctant to attempt this because they are sealed unit that were also used for outdoor usage on alarm systems and such. But... since I do have two of them... and they are not working anyway.... hmmmmm..... guess I need to break out the dremmel.

4. ### CDRIVEHauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

4,960
651
May 8, 2012
Post the part number of the strobes you bought. A link would be nice too.

5. ### wrkey

9
0
Sep 12, 2012
Well..the diagram I tried to piece together inthe previous turned out looking lilke crap.... sorry about that..

The part number on the old is CU25A-NI. After doing some searches I found what I thought was the same light on ebay and ordered them (described at CU25A - Flash Boy). But on the new the actual part number is CU25SA-NI. I don't have a link to a data sheet or vendor. You can search ebay for the 'Flash Boy' and see the strobes but unfotunately there's no real information there either.

4,960
651
May 8, 2012
7. ### wrkey

9
0
Sep 12, 2012
Good find Chris, but.....

This circuit is for driving a Xenon tube along with the ability to make random flashes. What I have already has the Xenon tube AND the driver circuit in it... thus I don't think this circuit would do the trick.

Let's simplify it a bit.. maybe I'm not explaining it well enough. Think of it like this. You have two 110v light bulbs that you want to come on for a 1 second interval at random times. 110v in... two random flashing 110v bulbs output.

Once this works... then just substitute the Flash Boy Xenon strobes for the 110v bulbs and you got it.

Thanks for trying!

Rusty

8. ### CDRIVEHauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

4,960
651
May 8, 2012
Uh, not quite that simple. The design requirements to flash two incandescent or LED lamps randomly wouldn't look anything like an Xenon circuit doing the same thing.

9. ### wrkey

9
0
Sep 12, 2012
Ah.. but there-in lies the problem. The Xenon flash unit I purchased to use is JUST LIKE a light bulb. The driver components to make the Xenon flash is contained in that unit.

There are two wires coming out of the Flash unit. If I wire those two wires through a 110v light switch and then directly to a 110v souce... I flip the switch on (Xenon charges) and then flip the switch off the Strobe then flashes once. Each time I flip the switch on and then off, the strobe flashes.

Thus.. the circuit just needs to "pulse' 110v ... with an 'on time' of about a sec and an 'off time' of some duration (same, randome, adjustable, etc.).

Hope this explaination helps... like I said earlier, I'm a novice at this I'm trying to explain the best I can. I do appreciate everyone's attention assistance!

Rusty

10. ### CDRIVEHauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

4,960
651
May 8, 2012
Good news! Yes it does. This is a totally different animal than I thought you had. I thought you bought a naked Xenon bulb!

Let me see what I can work up for you. Other members will probably chime in too.

Chris

11. ### CDRIVEHauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

4,960
651
May 8, 2012
I don't like pointing people to other forums but I found this while googling. Do you think you could handle building a tailored version of this? I don't want to spend the time redrawing it for your needs unless you're absolutely sure you can handle it.

By the way, a microcontroller solution would be soooooooooooo much simpler.

12. ### wrkey

9
0
Sep 12, 2012
I could do a circuit such as this. I've done a bit of board level repairs on some of my arcades and pinballs and I've fiddled around with an Arduino.

Thanks!

13. ### CDRIVEHauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

4,960
651
May 8, 2012
Check to see if the Arduino has a "Randomize" command, the Picaxe does and the code would look like this and the circuit is very basic.

Code:
```main: ' note random is repeatedly called within the loop

if pinC.1 =1 then  'strobe switched on
random w0
let pinsB = b1 ' put random byte value on output pins
pause 100 ' wait 0.1s
high 2
random w1 ' within the loop
let pinsB = b2
pause 100 ' wait 0.1s
high 4
end if

goto main
```

14. ### wrkey

9
0
Sep 12, 2012
The arduino and other micro-controllr options are a bitheavy handed for the task at hand I think. I don't necessarily need the circuits to be random, I just didn't want both fashers to be on at the same time on a regular basis. This would look too 'unnatural'.

If a circuit could be made that was simple components, well, that's what I'm looking for. I can easily give up the 'randomness' or the ability to adjust the delay period for a cheaper less elegant solution.

Thanks again for working so much on this!

Rusty

9
0
Sep 12, 2012
16. ### CocaCola

3,635
5
Apr 7, 2012
If you want cheap and pseudo random, I would take a simple 555 timer circuit and feed it into a few 4017 chips with the strobes attached to misc 4017 outputs...

The 555 will be a static speed but the multiple 4017 and 'randomized' outputs will mix up the pattern... Even more random if you have the 4017's reset at different counts so that the multiple 4017 drift apart...

Here it is in the most basic form... Cut and paste the link...

Code:
`http://www.falstad.com/circuit/#%24+1+5.0E-6+252.33264586975343+50+5.0+43%0A163+144+288+240+288+0+10+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+5.0%0A163+544+288+560+288+0+10+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+0.0+5.000000000000001%0AR+144+416+144+464+0+2+150.0+5.0+0.0+0.0+0.5%0Aw+144+416+144+320+0%0Aw+144+416+544+416+0%0Aw+544+416+544+320+0%0AR+464+368+496+368+0+0+40.0+5.0+0.0+0.0+0.5%0Aw+464+352+464+368+0%0AR+864+368+816+368+0+0+40.0+5.0+0.0+0.0+0.5%0Aw+864+352+864+368+0%0A162+656+96+592+96+1+2.1024259+0.0+1.0+0.0%0A162+448+96+384+96+1+2.1024259+1.0+0.0+0.0%0Ag+592+96+576+96+0%0Ag+384+96+368+96+0%0Aw+448+96+448+144+0%0Aw+656+96+656+144+0%0Ad+176+256+448+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+304+256+448+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+400+256+448+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+608+256+656+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+640+256+656+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+736+256+656+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+800+256+656+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+864+256+656+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+432+256+448+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+368+256+448+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+672+256+656+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+272+256+448+144+1+0.805904783%0Ad+240+256+448+144+1+0.805904783%0Ao+2+64+0+35+5.0+9.765625E-5+0+-1%0A`

Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
17. ### CDRIVEHauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

4,960
651
May 8, 2012
No it's not. The code I posted is for the Picaxe 08M2, which is an 8 pin DIP. The circuit to mate with that code is as simple as the code.

I would not have spent my time searching for a none uC solution to a random flasher if I had known that you'd cave at the prospect of a little work on your part. That said, yes, the kit you posted should give you a none random flasher.

Good luck

18. ### CDRIVEHauling 10' pipe on a Trek Shift3

4,960
651
May 8, 2012
If you decide that you really want simple random flashing, here you go.

File size:
65.7 KB
Views:
588
19. ### wrkey

9
0
Sep 12, 2012
My appologies CDrive if I came off as not wanting to do any work on my part. The problem here is more of a cost thing. Once I get this machine up and running as it should I will be putting it up for sale with a portion of the proceeds (ie profit) going to my church. Therefore, the more I spend on the solution the less the donation. Also, if this machine goes to someone else and it stops working, duplication of a fully hardwired solution would be much easier to replace. I am currently working on 8 different machines that I hope to have ready by the 'Pumpkin Fest' that our church holds the weekend before Halloween. Thus another 'parameter' - time to complete.

Anyway, I do appreciate your responses and I will certainly retain your drawings and advice as they will be valuable to me now and in the future. It maybe that the machine doesn't sell for the price I need and if so, I may very well implement your solution and possible add a bit more to it.

20. ### KrisBlueNZSadly passed away in 2015

8,393
1,271
Nov 28, 2011
Just in case anyone's interested, I designed and simulated a circuit to do this. It's a bit impractical - lots of discrete components. Mostly I did it to learn more about LTSpice.

The circuit uses two oscillators based on the two-transistor Schmitt trigger circuit that I like so much. C1 (the green trace) is used in a slow oscillator (period around 42 seconds here), and its voltage controls the charge rate of C2 (the blue trace), which is used in a somewhat faster oscillator. When the C2 voltage hits the low-going trigger point, C2 is discharged through R10, producing a pulse of around 1.2 seconds on the relay (which is represented by Rcoil).

Each cycle of the second oscillator has a semi-random duration because the two oscillators are not synchronised. Two of these controlling separate strobe lights would give a good random-looking display.

File size:
30.4 KB
Views:
1,069