WG 6100 Deflection Board Repro
Why do these Wells Gardner 6100 vector deflection boards burn up? 1980 was a long time ago–can’t we do better? Yes we can!
We have been busy developing and testing an improved version of the Wells Gardner 6100 deflection board. (With much appreciation to Jerry and Johnny for keeping our Atari Star Wars cockpit up and running 10 hours a day at Flynns Retrocade over the past 18 months.) Most of us have realized that there needed to be some improvements made to the original deflection board design because they always fail over time. Our theory is that the bottle cap transistors are the major weak point. In an arcade environment, they often get too hot, fail, and then take out various components in low voltage section of the WG6100 deflection board. (We’ve even seen the LV2000 blow multiple times this way.) Perhaps the root cause is somewhere on the deflection board, which then takes out the battle cap transistors. Who knows for sure?
I was at the Pinball Hall of Fame the other day in Las Vegas and to my absolute horror, I saw that they had taken out the vector monitor in their stand up Atari Star Wars and replaced it with an LCD! ARRRGH! This madness has got to end, I thought! We’ve got to come up with a real permanent solution once and for all that is as bullet proof as the deflection board that runs Asteroids.
Our team, lead by our extremely talented electrical engineer, who goes by the alias Bond-EE, have come up with a solution that no only improves the low voltage area stability, adds a feature to limit voltage that can cause unnecessary stress to components on the board (all-the-while not interfering with the output on the screen when properly XY configured), removes the bottle cap transistors from the case of the monitor and replaces them with an add-on daughter board that is surrounded by a huge heatsink and large cooling fan.
The design of the Alan-1 6100 deflection board is the exact same dimension of the WG6100 original. The connectors are in the same place, so it looks and feels like the board many of you have a love/hate relationship with. After testing now for nearly 3 months in an arcade environment, we are happy to report that this combo beast is ROCK SOLID!
The Alan-1 6100 deflection board can function with or without the Alan-1 6100 Transistor Add-on board. If the transistor board is not used, the bottle caps are used that are on the monitor case. (The 6100 Transistor add-on board can also be used with original WG6100 deflection boards–if desired). Our tests show that with the Alan-1 6100 deflection board, these case bottle cap transistors run about 10 degrees cooler than with the original WG board. Is this enough of a difference to keep these case transistors from failing? Maybe. Time will tell. We’re confident that with the 6100 Transistor add-on board, the answer to that question is Yes! You can even put your hand on the heatsink of the 6100 Transistor add-on board after being on all day and it’s warm to the touch. But, perhaps the 10 degree difference to the temperature of the bottle cap case transistors, when using those with the Alan-1 6100 deflection board, is enough to keep them from failing too. More testing is needed to know for sure.
We are looking for 3 arcades who would like to volunteer to test these two boards (the Alan-1 6100 deflection and 6100 transistor add-on board) in tempest, star wars, gravitar, or space duel, etc. We are looking for 2 others willing to test the Alan-1 6100 Deflection board WITHOUT the transistor add-on board for stability as well. We’ll give you the boards you test for free as a token of our appreciation. We’re already on rev 2.0 of the boards and want to test for at least 6 more months before we release these to the community.
If you are interested in testing, please tell us with a reply to this thread with a URL link to your arcade.
Please no one, for the love of Atari, replace any more Vector monitors in Atari games with that LCD replacement kit! Please! It just isn’t right! Have patience with us! Use this solution instead! There is nothing like playing an Atari Vector game in all of its phosphorus glowing glory in 2018.
(Our plan is to also re-engineer the G08 deflection board to keep Sega’s stuff from becoming LCD specials too. We should get to that in 2019.)
For more images, click here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jSqGAzbM2a9iRAiV6
This is a video of the reproduction deflection PCB. I am testing the different parts of the deflection PCB to determine the hot components with my FLIR temperature meter. I am a certified Level II Thermographer from FLIR and this meter is one of the tools I use for data analysis, troubleshooting failing components and PMCS maintenence checks on electrical equipment.
Here is short video of the the deflection transister daughter board using one of the prototype deflection PCB’s. Both boards are now being tested in Flynns Retrocade in Roy, Utah.
Incredible work on the repro WG6100. I would definitely like to pick up a couple of these when they are ultimately made available. The transistor option is a BIG plus as well.
From this thread, I’m sure that you are seeing a demand for a G08 solution as well. I also have a G08 that I would be looking to have a Deflection/Transistor repro option as well.
Are you planning to also offer repro HV’s for the WG6100 and hopefully a G08???
(Subscribed to thread)
YES! We are currently working on a neck board and HV for the WG6100. (See a partially completed pic or two attached). We’ve also made some progress on the G08 deflection board. There are a few custom chips that we are designing work-arounds for for that. We haven’t looked at the HV for the G08, but I need one to go into my Star Trek Cockpit–so absolutely we’re going to tackle it.
Johnny, can you post the video link of our Star Trek cockpit catching fire? Vintage G08 must watch TV.
Thanks! I’ve been working with James (mydentist) for a couple of months now on a few different projects. The biggest project so far with Alan-1 has definitely been the 6100 deflection board and I’m sure there’s going to be some even bigger projects in the future. I’ve always enjoyed working with electronics and built my self a clone tube amp (VOX AC-30) when I was 16 and from there I completed my bachelors degree in electrical engineering. I started off working on controls and automation but moved towards circuit design and embedded systems and have been consulting for almost a year now.
Attached is a sneak preview of the latest revision. Made a few layout changes, moved the transistors away from the current sense resistors which dissipate a fair amount of heat. Also upped the heatsink size, so now the heatsinks are the same height as the filtering capacitors on the input.
One of the major improvements over the original 6100 deflection board is the low voltage section. It is also an improvement over the LV2000 and the other variants that are out there. The original LV section and the LV2000 have no idea how much current is getting drawn by the circuit, all they are doing is driving the base of the pass transistors and the pass transistors are just doing what they are told. The Alan-1 LV section passes a fraction of the current through the lm317 and lm337 and the rest through the pass transistors. So instead of supplying a fixed amount of voltage and current the lm3x7’s in the Alan-1vary with the amount of current that is being drawn by the circuit when over a certain current threshold. This allows full utilization of the over current protection that the lm devices have. The board also incorporates the input protection from the Atari P327 deflection board.
As James mentioned before the transistor add-on board can be installed in any 6100 monitor. There is a wiring harness that needs to be replaced (the one that connects the deflection board to the high voltage board and neck board) this is to get power to the fan which is required. The board also replaces the TO-3 transistors with modern TO-264 which have greatly improved thermal specs.
Attached are a few photos of one of the 2nd revision boards.