I was asked to install additional lighting on a 1994 Data East Guns N’ Roses machine. The customer wanted the topper illuminated and wanted under-cabinet lighting. Pinball Life sells an under cabinet lighting kit for Stern machines. The question is, can I easily get this kit to work in a Data East machine? Time for some research.
Stern machines have an unused +12v connection at the the front right of the cabinet, above the power switch/fuse box. Pinball Life’s kit uses this connector to power their lights. It is the empty connector in the photo below.
I did some snooping around my Jurassic Park and found the following unused connector in the same area. Some more investigation showed that this connector is also present in Guns N’ Roses. I wonder if it has +12v available?
So, should I use this to try and power the lighting? I ordered the kit, hooked it up on my bench to my power supply, and measured the current draw. As can be seen in the first photo, it draws 620 milliamps. That seems very reasonable. The +12v is used for the game’s sound board. From it, the sound board’s amplifiers are powered and the +5v for the sound board’s logic is generated. If the +12v output is taxed and drops too low, we could have problems with the game’s sound. I hooked up the lights to my Jurassic Park for testing and everything worked and tested fine. So I will tap into this +12v line as well as the ground and use it to power the lights.
Next up was to figure out the lighting for the game’s topper. I decided to use three lamps similar to how my Jurassic Park’s topper is illuminated. The lamps run off the backbox’s general illumination. The same thing will work on Gun N’ Roses, and three bulbs seems reasonable based on the size of the game’s topper. I used Cointaker’s Warm White 2 LED bulbs to illuminate the topper. They draw very little current and are nice and bright.
Below you can see the lamps installed on the top of the backbox. The lamp holders need a 1/2″ hole, which I drilled with a spade bit.
Here it is with the deflector and topper installed. The deflector keeps you from seeing the bare bulbs and helps shine the light up on the topper.
I have to apologize for the quality of the last few photos. I didn’t want to lug my good camera around and I used my cheapo point and shoot. It doesn’t perform well in low light. I also forgot to take photos of the inside of the cabinet showing the installation of the cabinet lighting’s hookup.
The red glow under the machine isn’t as pronounced as seems in the photos. It actually blends in nicely and doesn’t look overdone or glaring. I was very happy with the end result.
The photos I took of the illuminated topper by itself are terrible. Here is the best photo I have showing the end result.
These additions look really nice. Guns N’ Roses has great sound, lighting, and overall is a fantastic looking machine. This was a great “icing on the cake” type of modification. This machine really stands out nicely and I’m considering adding the under cabinet lighting to a couple of my games.