today I'm happy to announce support for Stern SPIKE and SPIKE 2 systems in the Mission Pinball Framework (MPF). This is exiting news for the homebrew community because it previously was not easily possible to retheme SPIKE machines (Stern Wrestlemania and newer) without rewiring all switches and buying a new control system. Starting from today you will be able to reuse the existing Stern SPIKE CPU board to drive the machine. All you need to add is a PC (such as a Raspberry PI 3) and connect it via serial to SPIKE (either using native serial or a < $10 USB-serial converter). Additionally, you need to add the mpf-spike-bridge binary to the SD card of the game.
The SPIKE system consists of a CPU board and separate node boards which are connected by RJ 45 cables to the CPU. Using MPF you can control all switches, LEDs (including GI and RGB) and coils on the nodes. Furthermore, you can configure hardware rules for pop bumpers, slings and flippers. Finally, we also support the backbox backlight and the local switches on the CPU board (service and country code DIP switches).
Currently, not supported (because of limited serial bandwidth) are audio and the local DMD. However, multiple approaches to overcome this in the future exist. For now you can use a LCD connected to your PC, any RGB LED DMD or any LCD/DMD already supported by MPF. For SPIKE 2, we need to have a look at the LCD. Controlling further node boards with steppers, motors, mini LCDs, servos is straightforward once we got hold of such a node board.
All documentation including installation instructions can be found here: http://docs.missionpinball.org/en/latest/hardware/spike/index.html. Spike support is available in the current 0.33 Release of MPF.