Upgrade your JJP coil strength

In January 2024 there was an interesting topic on the pinside forum. Someone asked if there was more technical information about the upgrades JJP had done to their new I/O board. There was a new version of the board for sale, and it was advertised to improve the flipper strength. On their latest games (The Godfather and Elton John) people noticed that the flippers had improved.

There was a lot of interest and curiosity about this. The feel of JJP flippers has always received a lot of comments. Some people use the term 'wet noodles' to describe them.. they feel soft and week, especially when you have a long game.

Soon people had compared the old and new version of the board. Apart from some minor thermal upgrades, the main change was that 2 capacitors on the 70v (coil) circuits had increased from 3300mfd to 6800mfd (100V).
These indeed have an impact on flipper and general coil power. The board has two 70v lines, each with their own bridge rectifier, fuse and a large capacitor. All coils are linked to one of the two circuits.

Some people bought a new board, others upgraded only the capacitors. Almost all reported positive results. Some people had etraordinary result and suddenly became grand champion on their first test games. Others had less impressive results, but did note a different (better) feel.
Overall, flippers feel snappier and more responsibe. They don't get weaker or unpredictable during longer games. Magnets also became a lot more powerful. The original board is just underpowered, the voltage drops a lot when coils get activated. This upgraded board provides a more consistent, uniform power distribution to all coils during gameplay.

As said above, The Godfather and Elton John already have the upgraded board. Owners of these games can relax and enjoy their games.
The new board is compatible with: The Hobbit, Dialed In, Pirates of the Caribbean, Willy Wonka, Guns 'N Roses, and Toy Story 4.
It's not compatible with JJPs first game, Wizard of Oz.

Possible upgrades

There are 3 possible ways to upgrade your JJP machine:
1. Buy a new replacement board. This is an easy solution, but the most expensive ($400). The old board isn't used anymore and can be used as spare.
2. Buy new 6800mfd 100V capacitors and replace them in yourself. This is the cheapest solution, only do this if you are experienced with soldering, or you can find someone to install it for you.
3. Buy and install a HerculEase upgrade kit. This is a plug and play kit.

If you own a Wizard of Oz machine, then 2 and 3 are still possible options.

Replacing capacitors yourself

Below is a description on how I replaced the capacitors on my Dialed In pinball machine.

Jersey Jack ¨Pinball coil upgrade
The parts to replace are on the large board in the backbox. Remove all connectors. Don't forget the usb cable.

Jersey Jack ¨Pinball coil upgrade
Don't remove the screws completely. Just loosen them enough and you can slide the board out.

Jersey Jack ¨Pinball coil upgrade
Carefully unsolder the 2 large capacitors in the top left on the board. Leave the 2 smaller bottom capacitors.

Jersey Jack ¨Pinball coil upgrade
These are the parts you need. 2 new 6800mfd 100v capacitors. Buy brand parts from a reputable dealer. The new capacitors are larger, so you need to buy or 3D print spacers to raise them high enough from the board.

Jersey Jack ¨Pinball coil upgrade
Install wire leads as the parts site much higher away from the board now.

Jersey Jack ¨Pinball coil upgrade
Upgrade finished. Measure all soldered parts for continuity.

On my Dialed In I didn't notice an impressive increase in flipper power. The flippers don't become as snappy as Stern flippers. I did get some new high scores, they seem to last better on longer games. I did notice an meaningful increase in how powerful the magnets became. That change alone does make it feel like it's a new machine and worth the upgrade.