Creature from the Black Lagoon
Reproduction Chase Lamp Board

(Click to enlarge)

About the repro CFTBL Chase Lamp board
(A-15541 Chase Light II PCB Assembly)

This board controls the animated chase lights on the "Creature Ramp" and the bowl located just above the right slingshot.

Controlling all those #86 lamps requires handling a lot of power, which generates a lot of heat. Over time, most of these chase lamp boards have become "cooked".

I remade this board because my original was not functioning properly, and the level of heat damage made repair work challenging. Every time I touched it with my soldering iron, the board seemed to disintegrate a little more. The state of the board and the frustrations with attempting to fix it led me to believe I was probably not alone, and that maybe building a whole new board wasn't such a crazy idea after all.   

Original & New Prototype Board
(Click to enlarge)

The new board is constructed with all new parts, and is a drop-in replacement for the old board. For home use, the board should last the lifetime of your game. If used on location, the new board should at least match the longevity of the original.

Features of the repro CFTBL Chase Lamp board

Final Production Board
(Click to enlarge)

Technically, there are no new "features" in the traditonal sense. It is not possible to do custom animations with the current circuit as the wiring arrangement does not allow for individual control of the #86 lamps.

I did upgrade to slightly beefier components where possible, which hopefully translates into fewer repairs. Also, all chips are now socketed, so troubleshooting will be less frustrating.

The main reason for purchasing the board would be if your board were damaged and not working properly, or if it had been repaired in the past and the chase effect is uneven because of the different components on the board. The advantage of a new board is that the components all match and have not been heat damaged over the years. The traces are solid and feed power evenly. The resulting chase effect is smooth and consistent ... different lamp circuits are not brighter/dimmer than the neighboring lights.

I was asked if this board would work with LEDs. It is designed as a drop-in replacement, so it will work as well as the original board ... which is to say, not very well. I will be working on a more LED-friendly board, but it will be a separate LED-specific model. There is no way (that I can see) to make a hybrid board that would work equally well for #86 lamps and the LED replacements.

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