Data East Pinball Power Supply Problems Solved

Data East pinball power supplies have two weaknesses that can cause erratic operation in addition to keeping your game from working at all.

The first is weak link is the fuse clips. Sometimes they just break on their own and one side of the fuse may come loose. Other times you have to push on each clip to see if its bad. You also need to check the fuse clips on the PPB board as well as the flipper board below the playfield. You may only have to replace one or sometimes all of them. It’s a crap shoot really.

Capacitors are the next weak link. For some reason the caps that Data East used were a very poor quality considering how frequently they leaked compared to caps other manufacturers used of the same era.

If your game logic board won’t boot up or is acting weird, check your power supply. 99% of the time failed or weak power supply problems are caused by bad capacitors. The bridge rectifier could be another culprit. You can check it by measuring across each diode. I’ll make a video on how to do that if anyone is interested.

This Back to the Future power supply had an interesting fix for the broken fuse clip. I can’t say I’ve ever seen this before. I really can’t understand what was going through this guys head as he’s wedging a broken pencil between the fuses to “fix” the problem.

A Data East pinball power supply with a pencil jammed between fuse clips to “repair” a broken fuse clip.

I get a call for a Back to the Future pinball that won’t power up. When the problems were described to me over the phone by the customer, I decided to bring a rebuilt power supply. I use the William’s style since so many Data East power supplies have alkaline damage from leaking capacitors that’s it’s usually not worth rebuilding them.

To simplify installation I made an adapter pigtail for the GI power plug for a clean installation. It’s reversible and no hacks were done to the wiring in the event the power supply needs to be changed again.

William’s power supply installed in a Data East Back to the Future with a GI power adapter pigtail.

So the long and short of it when servicing your Data East power supplies is to replace all caps, clean and neutralize alkaline damage and check the fuse clips. Finish up by reheating all the pins and replace the GI power pins if they are burned.

Doing those few things will ensure many years of trouble free service from your power supply. Thanks for reading. If you found this helpful or informative please share it!

Till next time, Frank

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