(Topic ID: 125874)

Gate Mod for Jurassic Park (Now in stock)


By outcida

4 years ago



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  • 169 posts
  • 49 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by outcida
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#9 4 years ago

If I end up taking a stab at making my own gate (won't plan to sell), I was thinking of using a PIG2 since it can drive a servo and sense the game's switches.

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

I'm using a microcontroller that can do that as well. It's just not a PIG2. I can't wait for your T-Rex, Chad's code (hopefully) and a better gate. JP is going to be an awesome game!

I've done microcontroller projects from scratch, but am not sure how to tap into the switch or lamp matrix to sense existing switches. Have you figured something out for that? It could be a matter of sensing the gate switch to trigger whatever you need the servo to do and ignore further switch hits during that time.

#25 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

Honestly to this point I've been focused on the functionality and design of the gate. I haven't gotten to the trigger point integration yet. That's why it's nice to have the feedback of how people would like to see it operate. Not everything that's been suggested is possible and there are definitely limitations. The first thing that comes to mind is I could use a 6VDC relay that gets powered by one of the lamps. When triggered that would give me a dry contact to trigger my servo logic. Why is it that you would use a PIG2 in particular? I'm not familiar with that device.

PIG2 is the only product I've come across meant for driving pinball mods with integration into the lamp and switch matrix. I have no experience with one, but what I've read makes me think it would be well suited for driving the servo and torch lamps on a gate mod. Probably could go cheaper with a diy circuit if you could figure it all out. Basically, I think the microcontroller needs to be independently powered and just take inputs from a combination of switches and lamps. For example if the gate light from the lamp matrix is on and the ramp switch is hit, maybe the gate opens for 30 seconds and the flames flicker (though only as long as the lamp matrix indicates) and inputs are ignored during this time. From what I gather, a PIG2 could potentially be configured and programmed to do this.

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from aobrien5:

I'd agree. No reason to have them if you're not using them.
In fact... If the original lights are only on at certain times, maybe you can use that logic for the door opening!

Maybe this... keep lamps on and flickering, but when the lamp matrix would have lit the gate lamps, trigger the servo animation to open gates for a period, delay, check if still on, keep open if so and close when off. Maybe make it configurable with a dip switch? Lamps always flicker or only flicker when the lamp matrix would be lighting it...

#37 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

I looked at the PIG2. That's a nice piece of hardware but it's pricy for a mod. I'm not sure that people would be willing to pay as much as I would have to charge to incorporate that along with the parts and labor cost.

If you make the right mod that's well integrated, people will pay what it's worth.

In my opinion the gate should open outward. Doesn't it do that in the movie? Would it be to difficult to change now?

Are we seeing an early prototype? How flexible are you on aesthetic changes at this point? I have some feedback I can give (privately if desired). I found posting the stages of the t-rex mod to be beneficial so I could best gauge if I'm meeting expectations, but sometimes it can get overwhelming. Hang in there.

#40 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

Yea the one in the movie opens inward like I have it.

You're totally right! I don't know why I was remembering it differently... Ignore my comment about that. You're good to go there.

Quoted from outcida:

I'm definitely open to feedback. I'd say post it public so we can get others opinions on things as well unless you feel posting it private would be better.

Well the only thing I can think to mention is that the movie version of the gate seems to have a stepped structure. You can see in the still of the video you posted above. One of the steps ends right at the top of the wooden gate. The 2nd set of flames from the top are right above the divide. I think the original gate plastic captures this, though with the trees in the way of the one in the movie, it's hard to tell if it's 3 steps or just 2.

#43 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

it's hard to tell if it's 3 steps or just 2.

I watched the clip again, and when the camera is looking down on the gate, you can tell it's 3. It looks like the first step ends right above the lowest torch. It looks like the original gate plastic captures this, but I don't think the angles of the steps are accurate.

Is your gate 3D printed? I guess while I'm mentioning my wish list on what an ideal gate mod would contain, I'd also suggest adding more detail to the wood doors if possible. The movie version shows vertical planks as well.

#45 4 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Here is an example of the power of the PIG 2...
The problem with the lamps on the JP gate are that they are off all the time. The only time they ever come on is to flash with Bone Busting mode and with Victory mode. Other than that, they are off. Even in attract mode, they stay off.
Here's where the PIG 2 comes in. The PIG is highly customizable. One of the functions it can do is "invert" an output. This means that when something is on, it is inverted to be off... and when something is off, it is inverted to be on.
This is PERFECT for the JP gate lamps. Now, instead of the lamps always being off, they are on... and when the Bone Busting or Victory mode are played, they flash off and on (instead of on and off, but same result).
And this is just using one of the INs and one of the OUTs of the PIG 2. There are three more INs and three more OUTs plus two servo controllers (perfect for controlling the door) for other mods.
I'm very much looking forward to seeing this gate mod come to completion. Keep us updated.

Assuming the logic of the servo controls are pretty customizable based on inputs the PIG2 receives, and assuming the torches are inverted from what the torch lamps would be doing, maybe the gate should open when the lamp matrix indicates ON, ignoring inputs for the duration of opening, it checks for flashing and only once the lamp is enirely OFF does the gate close. So basically when the torch lamps would be flashing is when the gate is open to indicate that the ramp should be hit. However, maybe it could also trigger the gate with the red arrow insert lamp in front of the ramp, because do the torch lamps light during the beginning of tri-ball?

1 week later
#51 4 years ago

Is the issue getting usable singals from the lamps? Could an opto-isolator be used? I have never used one. I can imagine how the opto would be treated like a lamp to trigger an input on the microcontroller, but not sure if it's that simple. If you can tell the microcontroller when the lamp is on or off, it should then just come down to logic and timing on what you want your outputs to be.

As for reading from the switch matrix, I'm not sure if that could use an opto-isolator or not.

#54 4 years ago

Are you programing in a high level language or assembly? I would think your application could be done in a high level language and it would still be fast enough. I use Microchip PIC Basic a lot, but I think it's restricted to the Microchip line of microcontrollers. I would assume other microcontrollers have similar high level languages. Having said that, I'm no expert and someone much more experienced may step in and school me.

Here's something I made years ago that is driven by servos and accepts input from a button.

A few things to note:
1. If you're doing the opening in just 1 pulse and the closing in just one pulse, I would think you could get a better result by slowing it down slightly and sending the servo several incremented delayed pulses to get to the open position and the close position more gradually. So send first position pulse, wait 100 milliseconds, send the 2nd position pulse, etc.
2. Assuming we're in a high level language, loops and variables are going to be helpful. If we don't want it to be doing something, send it into a different loop until we do want something to be happening, like checking the input. If we want to know how many times something has happened, we increment a variable.

Let's do some pseudo code to work through the logic of it.

We need to first know if the gate lamp is in a flashing condition. That's going to determine everything. If it's flashing, the gate needs to be open, if not, the gate needs to be closed, right? So how do we know it's flashing and didn't just come on once randomly during attract mode? I would think it's a matter of timing and checking that it came on, went off, and came on again within a certain amount of time. That amount of time is the same amount of time we'd use to tell if the flashing has stopped. If the lamp goes off, we want to know that it's completely off for a certain amount of time before we close the gate or we risk closing it in the middle of a blinking sequence.

Timer_Variable as integer
Blink_Variable as integer

Initialize Loop: (initializes variables and sets gate to closed)
Timer_Variable = 0
Blink_Variable =0
Send Gate into Closed position (Pulse Out 1?)
Turn Torches On
Go to Blink Check Loop

Blink Check Loop: (Checks if lamp is blinking over the course of 1000 timer intervals and opens gate if so, if not it initializes variables and starts the check over - Adjust timer variable as needed )
If Input is high then Blink_Variable +1
Timer_Variable +1
If Timer_Variable = 1000 and Blink_Variable > 2 then go to Open Gate Loop.
If Timer_Variable > 1000 then Timer_Variable=0 and Blink_Variable=0
Go to Blink Check Loop

Open Gate Loop: (adjust accordingly for timing and whatever your final pulse position is)
Pulse Out 1.2
Pause 100
Pulse Out 1.4
Pause 100
Pulse Out 1.6
Pause 100
Pulse Out 1.8
Pause 100
Pulse Out 2.0
Blink_Variable=0
Go to Blink Stop Check Loop

Blink Stop Check Loop: (Checks if blinking has stopped over 1000 timer intervals. If so, the gate closes, if not the variables are initialized and the check starts over. Adjust timer as needed.)
If Input is high then Blink_Variable +1
Timer_Variable +1
If Timer_Variable = 1000 and Blink_Variable = 0 then go to Close Gate Loop.
If Timer_Variable > 1000 then Timer_Variable=0 and Blink_Variable=0
Go to Blink Stop Check Loop

Close Gate Loop: (closes gate and sets the program back into the initialize loop to start everything over)
Pulse Out 1.8
Pause 100
Pulse Out 1.6
Pause 100
Pulse Out 1.4
Pause 100
Pulse Out 1.2
Pause 100
Pulse Out 1.0
Go to Initialize Loop

#58 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

Old Gate
V4.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
New Gate
V7 2.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

That's looking much better!

Is the "Jurassic Park" lettering not printing well enough in the 3D print? Is it going to end up being 2d text that's applied later?

#62 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

Thanks to winteriscoming I finally have the code working properly without having to use the PIG2. The PIG2 is very nice (from the research I've done) for controlling multiple mods or a really complex mod but kind of cost prohibitive for integrating it into a less complicated mod. It would be nice if they could create a basic version that has only one in and one out for less money. Just my opinion.
Operation of the gate will be as follows:
- The flickering torches will be on all the time.
- The gates will open and stay open anytime the lamps on the current gate are flashing (Bone Busting and Victory Laps).
- The gates will close when the lamps stop flashing.

Glad it's working! Post a video when you get a chance.

1 week later
#68 4 years ago

Awesome! You've got me wanting one of yours instead of making my own.

I like the idea of the picture, but I'm thinking it might be better integrated into the game if the image is illustrated in a similar style to the image along the back of the playfield.

1 week later
#75 4 years ago

Congrats on getting to this point and good luck going forward. I'm sure you'll have many interested buyers at that price.

#85 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Yeah, light on the door is cool! Now you need the T-Rex mod....

I doubt that guy is ever going to get those t-rexes made...

Quoted from outcida:

Video with the spotlight that comes on when the gate opens and turns off when it closes.
» YouTube video

I like it. Do you think you'll make it user-configurable? Like have the option for the picture and bulb to illuminate it, or mount the bulb in the arch?

I look forward to getting one in my game.

#93 4 years ago

Congrats. Hope it gets some good attention there. Shows are good for stress testing, too.

2 weeks later
#108 4 years ago

Change the price if you have to. Don't give them them away for free.

What's taking the most time for you?

If you don't think the sale price is worth your time, then change something up. Maybe release it as a DIY kit that has to be assembled and painted by the user?

#110 4 years ago
Quoted from TxJay:

Be careful here. I don't think $250 is "giving them away for free" you don't want to price yourself out of market

I was referring more to giving his time away for free. There's no point being in the market if he's not compensated enough to want to make them...

#115 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

Finally finished building, testing and packing the beta test models. They will be shipping tomorrow. Feels good to get these things done and send them off into the world.
Yours is on top Chad H.
20150628_183525.jpg
Here's an updated photo of what you'll be getting.
20150628_162616.jpg

Congrats!

1 month later
#125 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

OK. So the beta test results are in…
Results:
- There will be a minor change in packaging.
- There will be some clarifications and additional information added to the installation instructions.
- Extensive testing by Chad H revealed some strange anomalies related to when the gate opens. These are due to how the existing gate lamps are controlled by the machine's original design (which is what I use to trigger the new gate) that I was not aware of prior to development and didn't even noticed until extensive testing was done.
During certain modes the game does a random flash sequence and it includes the Gate lamps.
The anomalies are:
1. The gate opens for a short time when 2 Ball Multi-ball is activated. Opens and stays open for 10 seconds.
2. Chad reported that the gate opens for a short time when System Failure is activated. I wasn’t able to replicate that but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen for some.
3. Whenever an Extra Ball is collected at the upper right kick out the gate momentarily opens for 2 seconds (which is not enough time for it to fully open) and then closes.
4. If you’ve earned an extra ball and you drain, the gate will momentarily open for 2 seconds right before the next ball kicks into the shooter lane.
5. During Victory Lap mode every time you make the ramp shot the Gate will fully close and then reopen again.
Scenarios 1 and 2 can't be avoided.
Scenarios 3 and 4 could potentially be resolved with a time delay in the code before the gate opens when falsely triggered but then the gate also has the same time delay when it should be opening. I personally like it to open right away when it's supposed to so you can watch it while you are waiting for the ball to kick out.
While I'd consider these minor issues that don't detract too much from the overall mod, I believe in full disclosure and you can make your own decision whether or not you still want to purchase the mod. It doesn’t do exactly what I wanted it to do but it’s not a flaw in the mod. Unfortunately that’s how the game was designed and to me it beats scrapping the project.
Thoughts and feedback appreciated.

Being that you had to retrofit the gate into the game based on a specific lamp flashing, I see no issue with it opening momentarily during the scenarios listed.

1 month later
#138 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

My suggestion to blondetall was to use the DK powertap. http://www.dkpinball.com/DKWP/?page_id=601
I never thought of those that had both the power supply and CPU boards replaced with aftermarket boards not having a place to tap into power for my mod. The DK power tap is inexpensive ($15.95), easy to install and requires no permanent modifications. It should work with any aftermarket board.

Would an external power supply that plugs into the service outlet be an option or are you tapping both 12v and 5v? Granted, the service outlet is always getting power, so it might be better to wire the external power supply into the game's main switched power wires so that it gets turned off with the game.

1 week later
#145 4 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

Hiya, ChadH forwarded this to me. I'll work with you to get this worked out. I can mail you out a connector and there are a few options you can try.
One is very easy and will make it easy to use the alligator clips.
The other one is moderately harder but will make a better long term connection.
You don't by chance have any .093 connector hardware do you? (Plastic connector or male crimp pins)
If you do, the simple solution would be to take two un-crimped pins and push them into pins 1 and 3 on the DK Pinball power tap. That will give you plenty of metal that you can use to attach the alligator clips.
The better solution would be to cut off the alligator clips and solder / crimp the wires on to the pins, then attach them to the proper .093 molex connector that you'd just plug in to the power tap. This would be a little more clean and stable but either would work.
If you don't have .093 pins or connectors on hand, let me know and I'll drop what you need in the mail.
I can send some pictures out later if this isn't making sense.

If you were going to send her a compatible plug with wires sticking out, maybe butt splice crimp connectors would be a more comfortable solution for her? She could cut the alligator clips off and splice to the connector. While not ideal, they could be crimped with needle nose pliers if she's lacking a crimper.

1 month later
#151 4 years ago
Quoted from outcida:

I got burned out on them for a while and took a break

Totally understandable. The same thing happens to me.

I still need to get mine installed!

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