We wore an onion on our belts…

A couple decades ago the ICE Games Cyclone came out. It’s this big round “stop the light” arcade game still produced to this day and installed in almost ALL arcades that have redemption games, as it makes decently good earnings and has no moving parts (other than cooling fans) – nothing to really go wrong other than some little kid running it out of tickets. It uses incandescent lamps, but best I can tell it’s running 12 volt bulbs at 9 volts DC at a very short duty cycle… I’ve never seen one with bulbs out.

Out of curiosity I looked in its manual and found this, the schematic for the lamp driver boards:



I immediately grimaced and was like “wait, what IS all that?”. Well, 1990. That’s what it is.

The left set of chips are 74HCT164 shift registers. The right set are 74HC273 D latches, used to “mute” the lamp outputs while the shift registers are busy being spun around to advance the selected light position, then latch the selected lamp outputs in to the lamp drivers which are ANOTHER layer of parts – oldschool TIP120 bipolar junction transistors.

Nowadays I’d just use a pair of TPIC6595 series chips from Texas Instruments. The TPIC6595, TPIC6B595, and TPIC6C595 are all shift registers with a builtin set of output latches and high current low-side DMOS drivers – the B/C variants have different characteristics to the drivers and are less expensive but lower current. All of them would cheerfully drive an incandescent bulb like they used there, or better yet, LED.

This just proves I’m spoiled rotten.

But we had to say dickety because the Kaiser had stolen our word “twenty”—-

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