(Topic ID: 199162)

The Siegecraft Beta Testing Thread (Now Expanded to Gottlieb!)


By HHaase

1 year ago



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  • 93 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by HHaase
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    There are 93 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 1 year ago

    Back from a business trip, and looking into the System 9 issues again. I'm totally perplex, Jim, by the results you're showing in that video. Everything appears to be connected properly.

    Only thing I can potentially see that's incorrect is that on 1J3-9 in your photo it looks like the crimp pin is popping out of the housing. But that should theoretically only cause half of the numbers to be correct if driven by that BCD. Not all of them like I'm seeing.

    From the research I've seen, timing between system 7 and 9 should also be identical for the strobes. And again, even if wrong, SOME of the signals should still be correct. Digits driven by Strobe 1 should still be solid.

    -Hans

    #52 1 year ago

    Can anyone else repeat those results on another sys9?

    #53 1 year ago

    Ok, I'll have to admit, these two projects have been a huge thing for me, in a good way. We're talking ground-shaking changes for the business. I'm sitting here with a big smile as I type out this post. You all have been very patient with it all, so let me give some updates here on both of them with the current status, and how it's affecting me here, and how it affects you guys.

    1. Bench displays:

    I am still looking into the code for what might be causing that system-9 issue, and whatever it takes to rectify that for customers who need that feature, I'll make sure it gets done. In the meantime, full production will be starting in today and ramping up over the next few days. All the parts are here, boards are here with a proper paste stencil, and I'm just cleaning up the programmer to make it more user friendly. First unit is built and in testing now. I'll be updating the website in the next day or so, once they're ready for general sales.

    This is part 1 off a huge shift for my business, going to a micro-controller based product. It opens up a lot of doors.
    I've needed to develop methods and tooling for handling the code. Rather than kludge it together I've worked to make it efficient for the current scale.
    Just slapping the boards together and kicking them out the door I could have done already. But I wanted to streamline it as much as I could.
    Better production methods make better product, and I didn't want to dig myself into too deep a customer service hole right from the start.
    I'll have some photos tonight or tomorrow showing some of the behind-the-scenes work I've been doing.

    Either way, they'll be ready to place orders in a day or two, and shipping very soon afterward.

    2. Gameplan LDU boards.

    Haven't posted much here, mostly handing the infrastructure for producing this and similar boards. I'm going to be harassing my beta tester to see what's up, and getting more beta boards built here soon. I'll be honest, getting these boards to work will be the easy part. The tough part is going to be production and logistics. There's an exponential increase in parts count here. I cannot build these in-house at production levels with the equipment I currently have. So that's where I've been putting my effort the past couple of months.

    Next week, though, I WILL have that needed equipment. I just ordered a brand-new pick and place machine. This should be a lot quicker and easier to bring on-line than doing the AVR programming. I've been programming, maintaining, and operating placement machines for the past 5 years as my career. So we're right in my wheelhouse with this equipment upgrade. Again, HUGE deal for the business. It may be an entry level machine, only a few grand, but it's still a quantum shift in how I'll be building boards. Lots of thru-put improvement, which I badly need right now. Keeping up has been a big struggle the past year or so.

    So maybe end of the year I'll be ready for production on these, assuming not much design work is needed other than dimensional changes.

    #54 1 year ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Can anyone else repeat those results on another sys9?

    Similar results when hooked up to a Rottendog 3-7 combo board. Question marks when in audit mode, and not the expected numbers when in attract mode for Flash. It should alternate between 000000 on P1 and the high score of 500000 or 550000 (I can't recall the default HSTD ATM).

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/EsOHMvYE8JJIXoFx2

    I'm going to try this with a stock WMS power supply, if I get the chance this weekend. This is on the bench with an AT power supply.

    I'll also comment regarding the crimp connections on the display outputs of any of the boards tested. The tangs on these crimp connectors tend to exit the .156" 9-pin housing. Not certain what brand they are, but judging by the look of them, they are not Molex brand.

    The 2 pin .100" housing likes to pull off of the header for the power of the OLED a lot. I would try a different connector there. A 3-pin or 4-pin .156" friction lock header with a complimentary ramped housing would work well.

    Jim

    #55 1 year ago

    The housings were among the LAST Keltron brand stock that I had on hand. I ran out of those about 2-3 weeks ago, and everything going forward is both Molex brand housings and Molex brand crimps now.

    The latest version of the boards has moved to a .156 sized power header as well. I haven't been using locking tabs though. Easy enough to change if it proves to be an issue with the .156's, but I'd prefer to keep without the locking ramp as I have a lot of leftovers from the aux LED adapters as I build those.

    If you look at the data on the attract mode, the 550,000 does show up there, but it blinks so stinking fast you can't see it. Looking at things more closely, it looks like I ended up with an incorrect resonator. Should have a 16mhz part and I've been building with an 8mhz. I'm going to follow up with my programmer to see what may be causing the issue with the bad data, should be possible to do a simple code update if that's the issue. Hopefully I don't have to start swapping resonators but I will if I have to.

    Step 1 here is going to be making sure I have the problem fixed properly, step 2 will be to get it out to you guys.

    Edit:
    Here's an oddball question. Since Rottendog doesn't publish a schematic for their board, I assume it's still using a 6808/6802 processor? Is the crystal marked for what speed it is?

    #56 1 year ago

    The rotten dog board is simply a three through seven board clone. The only differences is the CPU and driver board are combined into a single board. Also the driver transistors are fets opposed to tips. So that limits some of the components there. But the overall structure of a 6802 with a 6264 ram ( instead of a 5101) and pia chips is all the same

    #57 1 year ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    The rotten dog board is simply a three through seven board clone. The only differences is the CPU and driver board are combined into a single board. Also the driver transistors are fets opposed to tips. So that limits some of the components there. But the overall structure of a 6802 with a 6264 ram ( instead of a 5101) and pia chips is all the same

    Makes perfect sense, and that's what I figured. Looking at the System 9 schematics they moved to a 4mhz oscillator in place of the earlier 3.58mhz crystal. This would potentially alter the interrupt timing enough that my display would be out of sync, and I wonder if Rottendog did the same.

    #58 1 year ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    Makes perfect sense, and that's what I figured. Looking at the System 9 schematics they moved to a 4mhz oscillator in place of the earlier 3.58mhz crystal. This would potentially alter the interrupt timing enough that my display would be out of sync, and I wonder if Rottendog did the same.

    I looked at the crystal yesterday, and could not discern what speed it was set to run at (it is a little square, 4-legged unit). I'll have to look up the part number to see what it is.

    Jim

    #59 1 year ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    The housings were among the LAST Keltron brand stock that I had on hand. I ran out of those about 2-3 weeks ago, and everything going forward is both Molex brand housings and Molex brand crimps now.
    The latest version of the boards has moved to a .156 sized power header as well. I haven't been using locking tabs though. Easy enough to change if it proves to be an issue with the .156's, but I'd prefer to keep without the locking ramp as I have a lot of leftovers from the aux LED adapters as I build those.
    If you look at the data on the attract mode, the 550,000 does show up there, but it blinks so stinking fast you can't see it. Looking at things more closely, it looks like I ended up with an incorrect resonator. Should have a 16mhz part and I've been building with an 8mhz. I'm going to follow up with my programmer to see what may be causing the issue with the bad data, should be possible to do a simple code update if that's the issue. Hopefully I don't have to start swapping resonators but I will if I have to.
    Step 1 here is going to be making sure I have the problem fixed properly, step 2 will be to get it out to you guys.
    Edit:
    Here's an oddball question. Since Rottendog doesn't publish a schematic for their board, I assume it's still using a 6808/6802 processor? Is the crystal marked for what speed it is?

    It's actually displaying 555000, which is incorrect. Also, it lags on the time that it shows the HSTD. IT shows it really fast, then shows nothing but zeros for about 3-5 seconds with no sign of the HSTD. The HSTD does eventually come back. In other words, it's wonky, and not as a typical plasma or LED set up would display.

    Jim

    #60 1 year ago

    I agree, it's very wonky, and needs to be rectified. Something runs different on System 9 and aftermarket boards that I didn't predict properly. Watching more closely sometimes it's 555000 and sometimes its 500000. The audit mode data, when it's not question marks, looks like the right audit mode data, kinda. The digits for the Credit/BIP appear to be migrating, similar to how attract mode numbers are drifting.

    I've contacted my software guy already to start work on the Bally/Stern code, and also about what can be done with the issues you guys are seeing. If I can get it all handled in a single code update that would definitely make it easier for me.

    I'd be really curious to know what the logic signal on strobe 1 looks like on those two boardsets. This was all timed with the expectation of strobe 1 going low every 15ms and remaining low for 1ms

    Once I get all this sorted out I'll just replace the units for whomever has a -021 revision board. Between needing a code update and having incorrect resonators on them I'd say its justified. I also need to get some correct resonators ordered today as I was JUST about to start shipping the updated versions.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #61 1 year ago

    Ok, I believe the causes for all the issues have been identified. I'm working through resolution for it all.
    Here's the problem/update list for you.

    1. Wrong speed resonators installed.
    2. Internal fusing wasn't set to use external resonators anyway.

    Basically, they were running at approximately half speed, but the internal resonator has a 15% tolerance. So really screwy timing can cause a lot of issues.
    All stock that's waiting to ship has both of these problems resolved.

    3. Code improperly handling 'blank spaces'

    This is your system 7-9 coded 7-digit games (not alien poker or algar which still use 0's for padding).
    Purely a software issue, and it's being resolved. Latest code I have almost fixes it, just leaves a single ? in the ball in play display.
    Once I get a good code revision, I'll be shipping everything I have sitting here that people are waiting for.
    Hoping I can have that on the way quite soon. It's so stinking close.

    4. Random weirdness, fading screens, oddball static.

    Ok, this one is completely unexpected. Apparently the BCD's and strobes coming from the CPU board can actually power up and run the tester, even without the power clips connected. But since it's logic signals, and not a true power signal, it makes the tester run very unstable and causes odd performance. So if it's just going batshit crazy, check the power connectors.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #62 1 year ago

    Everything good and stable now, as best I can test for, and I've been shipping the bench displays again.
    With the new pick and place here I've also been starting to build ahead a bit more than usual, since it's a lot easier than it had been previously.

    So next week or so I'm going to dig back into the purchase history on these and anybody who bought one of the early version will be getting an updated one in the mail.

    Then I'll start moving back into dealing with the Gameplan board and getting that ready for more testing.

    1 week later
    #63 1 year ago

    Sent out an e-mail today to everybody that bought an early version, to get the process underway to get the code and crystal updated on their display testers.

    This would be any of them with a part number on the board ending in -021

    If you didn't get an e-mail, and this applies to you, let me know.

    1 month later
    #64 1 year ago

    Any updates on this? I haven't heard boo since I received the email.

    Thanks,

    Jim

    #65 1 year ago

    i managed to kill one of the new system3-9 testers. it's dead. only had it two weeks...

    #66 1 year ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    This is the first in potentially full lineup of Gameplan boards

    Excited to hear that Gameplan could be getting some love!

    #67 1 year ago
    Quoted from Gott_Lieb:

    Any updates on this? I haven't heard boo since I received the email.
    Thanks,
    Jim

    Shoot me a pm so I can get you a return label. Need your address and phone number.

    #68 1 year ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    i managed to kill one of the new system3-9 testers. it's dead. only had it two weeks...

    PM inbound.

    #69 1 year ago

    Just a quick update on all this. The past couple months have been kicking my ass. Been buried under orders and non-pinball and non-work things that needed attention.

    If you have an early version tester here for the upgrade, i'll be trying to get all of them back on the way home by Monday.
    If you have an early version tester that needs the upgrade, I'll need your address and phone number to generate a return label for it.

    Going to try and get back at the gameplan LDU's as soon as I get an opportunity here.
    Need to order a solder stencil, too many parts to individually paste the pads.

    -Hans

    #70 1 year ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    Shoot me a pm so I can get you a return label. Need your address and phone number.

    PM sent

    Thanks,

    Jim

    2 weeks later
    #71 1 year ago

    Waiting on a new stencil to arrive here so I can populate the other proto boards for the Gameplan LDU.
    Should have been here a few days ago.

    -Hans

    #72 1 year ago

    I assume you got my broken system 3-9 tester back. Waiting to hear back from you....

    #73 1 year ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    I assume you got my broken system 3-9 tester back. Waiting to hear back from you....

    I’ll check the tracking number, mailed a replacement out a day or two after I got it.

    Edit:
    Tracking info says it's in your mailbox as of today.

    #74 1 year ago

    yes it came thank you! i will immediately try and break it. did you figure out what i did to the first one? also my email is still cfh@provide.net it has not changed (for 25 years.)

    #75 1 year ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    yes it came thank you! i will immediately try and break it. did you figure out what i did to the first one? also my email is still cfh@provide.net it has not changed (for 25 years.)

    I honestly haven't had any time to even look at it yet. I had my programmer torn apart to handle the returns on the initial batch. (had an error in the programming header in that first dozen units). Next run though I plan on adding a poly fuse somewhere in the circuit. But that'll be a while, have a good number of the current design on-hand.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #76 1 year ago

    Holy Moly, I'm definitely not doing FedEx Ground return labels again. Dear god those things ended up being expensive.

    -Hans

    #77 1 year ago

    Try DHL...very suprising last time I used them

    1 week later
    #78 1 year ago

    Well, good news. I need to troll back through this thread and see who I promised beta-test Gameplan boards.

    I've got two that just need connectors, and I'm hoping to have those done this weekend.

    -Hans

    1 month later
    #79 1 year ago

    I have two more Gameplan boards still un-claimed for beta testing. I'll be bringing them to MGC with me this weekend coming up.
    Feel free to stop by the booth and say hi, and if you're interested in doing the testing work, I'll be giving them away.

    -Hans

    1 week later
    #80 1 year ago

    FWIW, here are some vids of the LCD hooked up to a Sys11 board with bowler ROMs installed. Until Sys11 games are supported, this may be a dirty alternative to testing Sys11 MPUs.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/jeXg9yhkwMCI1XoE3

    Jim

    3 weeks later
    #81 11 months ago

    One more gameplan board ready to out for testing over here. Getting some initial reports of occasional 'strange' things on a couple LED's, but can't quite narrow down what's happening. Occasional LED's not lighting, and occasional flicker.

    -Hans

    1 month later
    #82 10 months ago

    Resurrecting this thread for a few new products either ready to head out, or will be soon.
    New items will get individual posts to introduce them, going to get photos and such taken care of momentarily.

    Status updates:
    1: Moving the Williams bench display to 'finished'. Been a regular product for some time. Will move it back to 'active' once I have bally code.
    2: Moving the Gameplan board to 'inactive' till I have time to sort out some of the reported problems I'm having. Not cancelled, just not top priority.
    3: Adding new item - Gottlieb System 3 tournament board.
    4: Adding new item - Gottlieb System 3 5v power supply.
    5: Adding new item - Gottlieb System 3 Solenoid Output Tester.
    6: Adding new item - Williams system system 3-6 reed switch drop target boards.
    7: Adding new item - Bally 6803 trough opto boards.

    #83 10 months ago

    First new item: Gottlieb System 3 Tournament Board.

    Essentially a new production version of the original, with identical fit and function, but with new parts. Biggest benefit is going to be a new manufacture volume potentiometer, which will cure the scratchy and spotty volume adjustment. That and of course if you don't have one and need one.

    Looking for 3-4 beta testers on this one.

    GB003-001 (resized).JPG
    #84 10 months ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    First new item: Gottlieb System 3 Tournament Board.
    Essentially a new production version of the original, with identical fit and function, but with new parts. Biggest benefit is going to be a new manufacture volume potentiometer, which will cure the scratchy and spotty volume adjustment. That and of course if you don't have one and need one.
    Looking for 3-4 beta testers on this one.

    Be happy to put this on my Stargate

    #85 10 months ago

    I can suggest some improvements of your system3 tourney board.
    first, you failed to correct all the things wrong with the original! you just copied it, including the flaws.

    1. make the volume pot BIGGER. the one you used is for freaking aliens.
    2. make the test button BIGGER. the one you used is for freaking aliens.
    3. make the tourney button BIGGER. the one you used is for freaking aliens.

    i think you get the point....

    #86 10 months ago

    Oh good been waiting on the system 3-6 drop targets. I have a Gorgar that resets just fine but the scoring has never been right.

    #87 10 months ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    I can suggest some improvements of your system3 tourney board.
    first, you failed to correct all the things wrong with the original! you just copied it, including the flaws.
    1. make the volume pot BIGGER. the one you used is for freaking aliens.
    2. make the test button BIGGER. the one you used is for freaking aliens.
    3. make the tourney button BIGGER. the one you used is for freaking aliens.
    i think you get the point....

    what are you talking about? this thing is easy to reach and feel based on its location. You are a small dude so I am not sure why this presents any issue to you... unless you are just longing for bigger things in your life.

    #88 10 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    what are you talking about? this thing is easy to reach and feel based on its location. You are a small dude so I am not sure why this presents any issue to you... unless you are just longing for bigger things in your life.

    He does have a valid concern regarding the volume control though.
    At least on the ones I've seen, it was a recessed knob that needed a screwdriver to adjust.
    The one I used on this run is about the same size body as original but is easily adjusted with bare hands, and you can add a knob if you want.

    #89 10 months ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    He does have a valid concern regarding the volume control though.
    At least on the ones I've seen, it was a recessed knob that needed a screwdriver to adjust.
    The one I used on this run is about the same size body as original but is easily adjusted with bare hands, and you can add a knob if you want.

    yes, you fixed the issue on this updated board as this one is plenty big to do by hand.

    2 months later
    #90 8 months ago

    Ok, been super crazy summer time for me.

    Anyway, didn't have any time at all to get testing done on stuff lately. So if anybody is interested, PM me for a sample of the tourney board. I have a few sitting here ready to go.

    -Hans

    3 months later
    #91 4 months ago

    Just got your Black Friday email... I didn't realize you'd come so far on the universal display tester! That's AWESOME, I'll snap on up as soon as Bally & System 11 is supported. Unless you think that will come with a firmware/software update, in which case I'll order one ASAP.

    Nice work, LOVE your stuff!

    #92 4 months ago

    Hoping to get bally in with firmware but no timeline and it’s not guaranteed. Alphanumeric will need more I/O’s so that’ll have to be a different design completely. (Which is why I’m in the market for both a sys11 and Bally/stern machine I’d i can get a good trade).

    #93 4 months ago

    I've finally had the breathing space to get some testing and documentation done on my end.
    The Sys-3 power supply is now doing burn-in testing on my Big-Hurt.
    Though I've already identified some changes that need to be made for production pieces.

    However, now that the game is back to the original layout I was able to finally test out the 'Tournament Board' properly.
    I've now made them available for sale as a regular item, and moving them into the product lineup.

    See the link for pricing, wholesale terms also are available.

    http://www.siegecraft.us/presta/index.php?id_product=72&controller=product&id_lang=1

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