Arcade Collecting > Restorations & repair

Super Scooper claw / crane game restoration advice


Hello! I'm in the process of restoring a Super Scooper claw / crane game and I'm hoping to get some insight before I forge ahead any further. Also, I'll share any insight I gain during the process which will hopefully help others. I was lucky enough to get a manual with the machine, which I scanned and is attached. I was contemplating reviving the old Help with vintage Super Scooper crane topic, but figured it was probably better to start a new one.

After burning out several 5V and 12V bulbs then watching this "The Old School 80's Crane Machines Used Relay Logic To Work, Check it Out! Plush Claw Game Repair" YouTube video

where the guy mentions at 1:09:55 that his similar machine uses 28V bulbs that I didn't even know existed, I wised up and took some readings. Sure enough I have 21V going to the button lights and 22.9V going to the coin insert lights. No voltage drop here!

I was initially deliberating whether to get cheap old school bulbs or put in a little more money and use LEDs with 24v to 12v step down converters.

If I go the incandescent bulb route not sure which one of these to pick:

CEC Industries #655 Bulbs, 28 V, 5.6 W, W2.1x9.5d Base, T-3.25 shape (Box of 10)

CEC Industries #657 Bulbs, 28 V, 2.24 W, W2.1x9.5d Base, T-3.25 Shape (Box of 10)

CEC Industries #656 Bulbs, 28 V, 1.68 W, W2.1x9.5d Base, T-3.25 Shape (Box of 10)

I'm leaning towards using #657s which will put out a little more light than the 1.575w #555s I'm familiar with from working on pinball machines. I'm just not sure if any of the bulbs above would burn too hot for the push buttons.

I had purchased this 24v to 12v Step Down Converter Voltage Regulator to experiment with for the coin insert lights since I already have red 12v LEDS (I had assumed that the push buttons had reduced voltage and could handle standard 12v bulbs - nope!), but haven't done anything with it yet. This one has a 5A output, but I'm seeing similar ones with other outputs ranging from 3A to 30A so I'm not sure whether it would even work. And since I posted this I discovered the automotive LEDs that can handle 24v so this option seems somewhat silly at this point if I decide to go LED.

Any advice would be appreciated. The incandescent bulbs would be the cheap and easy solution, but I've gotten so used to using LEDs in my pinballs it's hard to go back to them! :D

I didn't realize LEDs that could handle voltages higher than 12v existed until I found this LED bulb cross reference and compatibility guide after my first post. It seems like using 194 automotive LED bulbs might be another viable option. These 194 (T10/168/158) WEDGE bulbs say "Operating Voltage: 12 - 24v DC" and I'm seeing many on Amazon with the same range. Too bright though? Anyone have experience with these?


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