I've got a Stern Nugent and even though it's a fun game, it's not a great game. I spent some time getting it playing and getting the sound to work and that was the nail in the coffin for me. The bleeps just weren't cutting it.
Before I could get it sold I got a deal on a set of MyPinballs Custom Pinball Controller boards for early Bally/Stern. I like to tinker around so I decided to rewrite the ruleset and add real music and sound effects. You can check these out here: https://mypinballs.com/electronics/store.jsp
The MyPinballs boards seem well suited to this as it comes with a Controller/Driver Board board combo that does everything but power supply.
The controller board does game rules, switches, displays (plasma or led) and sound via onboard amp or line out. There are 3 Arduinos that come on this board they handle the operation of the game.
Arduino 1 is a Mega that controls game rules and the switch matrix. This is where you'll spend 99% of the time if you try this yourself.
Arduino 2 is another Mega and this one is the sound processor. The system is setup to handle Wav files and can do 2 channels of audio. If you have the stones for it you can pull the Mega and put in a Teensy board. This upgrade will give you a lot more horsepower in the audio engine but is a lot more technically daunting.
Arduino 3 is a Nano that drives the displays. This tiny little board has plenty of juice to handle the 32 digits you'd need on a 7 digit machine. I can already see how you could use this nano to drive a Raspberry Pi or other type of computer to serve a full lcd screen via serial, bluetooth or wireless. That's way in the future if I try and tackle it at all.
The second board in the set is the driver board, This board controls the lamps, solenoids and flippers.
In addition there is support for an audio line out, rgb lamps, aux lamps, solenoid expander, flashers, and expansion pins.
One interesting feature is the ability to treat the flippers like fliptronic flippers. I'll cover this in a future post.
Here are the topics I'll post in the next couple days:
1. Installing the boards
2. Running the sample app
3. A switch tester application for mapping out the matrix (can't find one for Nugent so I have one on order)
4. Getting the flippers to work
I'll be at Arcade Expo this weekend so anything that doesn't get posted tomorrow will have to wait until next week. If you're going to AE4 please stop by and say hi.