(Topic ID: 71027)

DMD Extender Update...


By DoctorPinball

5 years ago



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There are 109 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
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#1 5 years ago

Hi

It's been a while since I started a thread on Pinside. I've got to a good point in the development of the DMD Extender and thought I'd let people know what's happening.

As a reminder, the DMD Extender allows you to connect an HDMI/DVI/Composite screen or projector to a DMD pinball machine and mirror the dots on the connected screen. You have full control over the colour of the dot shades that apply across all frames, addition of bespoke background images (still and animated), there are a couple of dot effects that can be used, and the types of application include...
Big screen dots for tournaments.
Adding a small screen into the playfield or apron area.
Replacing the plasma screen with a laptop LCD panel.

Machine Support
We now support all of the following machines:
Bally / Williams
Data East / Sega
Sega 192 X 64
Stern / Sega White Star
Stern SAM

Application Notes
The website, http://www.drpinball.co.uk, now includes an Application Notes section under Documentation. At the moment there are 2 documents describing how to replace plasma screens with LCD panels for Sega 192X64 and Bally/Williams.
Coming soon will be another Application Note concerning the replacement of screens in Stern SAM systems.

Future Direction
The DMD Extender has always appealed to do-it-yourself types who don't mind a bit of effort to get good results at a reasonable price. The Application Notes have been created to support this group of people, although the Extender itself is very easy to install and includes a Windows application to make setup extremely simple.

The Extender lends itself well to be used for building replacement screen systems. I have considered pursuing a product along this line but have decided not to embark on this.
I would, however, be very pleased to support anybody who feels inclined to put together a product for sale in the USA. I can't imagine shipping LCD panels from the UK to the States without a lot of breakages occurring - perhaps an enterprise or an individual in the USA could manage a product like this with a small amount of design and effort.
Certainly the appeal is strong for a product to support the Sega large screen formats.
I'm happy to supply the Extender boards and software, and make any changes requested by people e.g. supporting other pinball manufacturers (Capcom, Gottlieb, P-ROC), adding an upscaling feature etc, etc.

As always, the Facebook page has loads of pictures, videos and links, please drop by:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Pinball/516962141672693

Cheers

David.

#2 5 years ago

Keep at it, David! You've got a great product and we're getting the word out. You should post some pictures and videos on here, too.

For anyone interested, I've got a thread here showing the DMD Extender in JP, including a solution for a DMD LCD and an apron screen simultaneously!
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/de-jurassic-park-with-lcd-dmd-replacement

The cost is comparable to a new plasma and I don't imagine I'd ever go back to one of those for any game I can fit an LCD into. It's also a great product for tinkerers, DIYers and those who like flexibility. Don't let someone else decide which colors are good together in your game, make your own choices!

One enhancement that I think would make configuring the DMD Extender a lot easier would be real-time adjustments to colors, screen position, and screen size. I envision plugging a USB keyboard or mouse into the RPi and being able to make changes on-the-fly. It would alleviate a lot of the guess and check to getting the screen positioned correctly and getting colors to look right on the LCD.

Again, great product! Thanks for making it!

#3 5 years ago

I just uploaded an Application Note for replacing Stern SAM system screens with an LCD panel - have a look at the document...
http://www.drpinball.co.uk/docs/ApplicationNote3.pdf

...and a quick video of it in action with a white palette - sorry about the video quality...

The total price is less than £160 GBP, or $260.

#4 5 years ago

excellent....thank you!

#5 5 years ago

Considering the Pi uses a micro USB port and the program is already there, a better option would be to support connectivity over USB for adjusting. I probably had to remove the SD card at least 10 times to get everything dialed in. A couple of times the Pi didn't boot, and reseating the SD card solved it. So these boards may have weak SD slots as well.

#6 5 years ago

This looks like a cool kit, but you still need 4-5 other items from other vendors like the screen, dvi converter,raspberry pi, cables and board. It would be much better if the kit had everything you need for an install. I understand thats difficult and you'd have to stock these things, but shipping individual components will really add up for us USA customers and we won't be able to install it without all of the pieces. Plus the cost is variable where you get the additional items. $260 US is the base cost without the 5 items mentioned which would add another $150 US.

You've made great progress!

Quoted from DoctorPinball:

I just uploaded an Application Note for replacing Stern SAM system screens with an LCD panel - have a look at the document...http://www.drpinball.co.uk/docs/ApplicationNote3.pdf
...and a quick video of it in action with a white palette - sorry about the video quality...» YouTube video
The total price is less than £160 GBP, or $260.

#7 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Considering the Pi uses a micro USB port and the program is already there, a better option would be to support connectivity over USB for adjusting. I probably had to remove the SD card at least 10 times to get everything dialed in. A couple of times the Pi didn't boot, and reseating the SD card solved it. So these boards may have weak SD slots as well.

I considered adding an on-screen component under the control of a USB keyboard. However, the code running on the Pi for the Extender isn't sitting on top of Linux, it's an operating system in its own right. Adding the keyboard is prone to many difficulties - only certain keyboards will be compatible. I agree that the initial set up can take a few attempts to get it right, but once it's sorted you won't need to touch the config again, unless you want to change the colours, which is a fairly simple task.

#8 5 years ago

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I was talking about interacting with a PC and pushing updates live, updating the SD card's config files in real time when you save in the program.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

This looks like a cool kit, but you still need 4-5 other items from other vendors like the screen, dvi converter,raspberry pi, cables and board. It would be much better if the kit had everything you need for an install. I understand thats difficult and you'd have to stock these things, but shipping individual components will really add up for us USA customers and we won't be able to install it without all of the pieces. Plus the cost is variable where you get the additional items. $260 US is the base cost without the 5 items mentioned which would add another $150 US.
You've made great progress!

Thanks!

I think the cost will be pretty close to $260 in the States for all of the necessary components. I'm sure you can source screens, controllers and Pis at similar prices to the UK. As for a product, I agree this would be great - I've offered any help or assistance to anyone who fancies taking this on in the States. I have someone interested in the UK but there seems little point in shipping components over the Atlantic when they can be just as easily found in the US.

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I was talking about interacting with a PC and pushing updates live, updating the SD card's config files in real time when you save in the program.

Oh, sorry! I'll have a think about it, but there are still the same issues with driving a USB port on the Pi...

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

This looks like a cool kit, but you still need 4-5 other items from other vendors like the screen, dvi converter,raspberry pi, cables and board. It would be much better if the kit had everything you need for an install. I understand thats difficult and you'd have to stock these things, but shipping individual components will really add up for us USA customers and we won't be able to install it without all of the pieces. Plus the cost is variable where you get the additional items. $260 US is the base cost without the 5 items mentioned which would add another $150 US.
You've made great progress!

The price of $260 David gives is the total cost. The DMD Extender costs about $100 USD, so if you add your estimated $150 of other components, you come to $250.

#12 5 years ago

does it work with DE 64x16 dmd?

#13 5 years ago

Thanks for the correction $260 is reasonable for such a mod. I hope to see some pics in the 4 color mode on a stern game. Great stuff.

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from northvibe:

does it work with DE 64x16 dmd?

I don't think there is a 64 X 16 screen?? It works with DE 128 X 32 but not with the DE 128 X 16 as this is a bespoke board and screen.

#15 5 years ago

What's the size of the checkpoint, tmnt dmd? That size is what I need to extend or replace.

#16 5 years ago
Quoted from northvibe:

What's the size of the checkpoint, tmnt dmd? That size is what I need to extend or replace.

128x16 dots.

#17 5 years ago

Get these from PINLED. As far as I know they are the only ones carrying replacements.

http://www.pinled.de/shop/product_info.php?cPath=7_38&products_id=30

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Get these from PINLED. As far as I know they are the only ones carrying replacements.
http://www.pinled.de/shop/product_info.php?cPath=7_38&products_id=30

My dmd isn't bad yet. But I was curious if the extender could be a good way to get a new screen in case it went. I was also liking the extender to the apron. It does suck to have a limited supply of this odd size dmd and have it cost so much :/

#19 5 years ago

A 128x16 replacement screen wouldn't work for 2 reasons. One, the controller circuit is on the same board as the display itself and two, size would be a big problem.

#20 5 years ago

Human ingenuity could totally resolve that there's go. To be a way

#21 5 years ago

David, thanks for your work on this solution! I have been following it for several months now.

Have you completed what is necessary to put a personal DMD in the apron of a newer Stern machine yet? If so, have you developed the needed documentation for this and/or has anyone done this in their Stern machine yet who can give some additional advice?

#22 5 years ago

I'm playing with a LOTR and POTC to see which one looks better using the DMDExtender for an LCD replacement of the DMD...was able to connect an LCD to both machines (one at at time) using the instructions on David's website. Here are some pictures of the LOTR with a brownish/yellow over dark blue color scheme. Looks pretty good but want to experiment with other color schemes.
Screenshot 2013-11-29 14.21.16.png Screenshot 2013-11-29 14.19.04.pngScreenshot 2013-11-29 14.23.05.pngScreenshot 2013-11-29 14.28.46.pngScreenshot 2013-11-29 14.29.07.pngScreenshot 2013-11-29 15.45.53.png

More later...........

#23 5 years ago

Nice!

#24 5 years ago

Looks very good!! Question, why is there no washed out gray background characteristic of backlit LCD displays? Camera exposure when you recorded that video?

#25 5 years ago

Hmmmm.....might sound stupid, but I was recording in a dark room. I'll pay more attention when I work on/record it more.

#26 5 years ago
Quoted from PC-Pin-NC:

David, thanks for your work on this solution! I have been following it for several months now.
Have you completed what is necessary to put a personal DMD in the apron of a newer Stern machine yet? If so, have you developed the needed documentation for this and/or has anyone done this in their Stern machine yet who can give some additional advice?

My friend who owns an AC/DC wants to put a screen into the apron. There isn't a lot of space between apron and glass so sitting a screen on top of the apron isn't going to be an option.

I suggested to him that he buys another apron and we can cut a hole on it to mount a screen underneath. It may even be possible to mount the screen in the middle section, rather than in the instruction card areas.

I don't know when this will be done. If you're practical minded then you should have a go yourself. I've tried the mini screens in the Stern and they seem fine to run straight from the pinball 12V feed.

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from softwaretroll:

Hmmmm.....might sound stupid, but I was recording in a dark room. I'll pay more attention when I work on/record it more.

The pictures look fantastic! I found that setting the screen resolution to Medium gave a better dot effect. I put a screen in a friend's Spiderman and it looked so much better than the original LED screen which had very uneven dot segments.
Another friend wants me to put one in his Tron so that he can have a blue dot screen in there instead of the orange dot which looks really out of character on that machine.

#28 5 years ago

Softwaretroll can you post a screenshot of the config window? I want to use that color palette in Frankenstein.

#29 5 years ago

Yes, sir, later tonight or tomorrow....will be off-line most of the day.

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from DoctorPinball:

My friend who owns an AC/DC wants to put a screen into the apron. There isn't a lot of space between apron and glass so sitting a screen on top of the apron isn't going to be an option.
I suggested to him that he buys another apron and we can cut a hole on it to mount a screen underneath. It may even be possible to mount the screen in the middle section, rather than in the instruction card areas.
I don't know when this will be done. If you're practical minded then you should have a go yourself. I've tried the mini screens in the Stern and they seem fine to run straight from the pinball 12V feed.

what does he want to display on the screen?

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from magnoliarichj:

what does he want to display on the screen?

Using a DMD Extender he can display the DMD on a small screen, plus add custom static or animated graphics on the unused portion of the screen...

#32 5 years ago

is that a 4.3 screen with a bezel?

#33 5 years ago
Quoted from magnoliarichj:

is that a 4.3 screen with a bezel?

Using 16:9 4.3" car reversing camera screens, I created a bespoke bezel with magnetic mounts to attach to the apron. It worked well for a few machines, but not all aprons are suited to the installation. Have a look on eBay for the screens as they're pretty cheap and you can use the Extender to drive one on the apron or as part of the playfield...

#34 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Softwaretroll can you post a screenshot of the config window? I want to use that color palette in Frankenstein.

This is the configuration for the LOTR screen shots I attached previously in this thread.

lotrconfig1.JPG lotrconfig2.JPG

I'd like to see screen shots of other people's favorite color schemes regardless of game (Williams, Sega, Stern).

Crash, Please show us how your Frankenstein turns out!

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from DoctorPinball:

I created a bespoke bezel with magnetic mounts...

I love the differences in terminologies and wordings from English to American. I watch a fair bit of British TV so I'm used to a lot of them. For those that don't know...

"Bespoke" is the English for the more American term: Custom.

Keep up the great work guys! I truly enjoy reading all the updates and advances you all are making!

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

"Bespoke" is the English for the more American term: Custom.

Funny, I actually had to look it up to figure out it was British colloquialism and what it meant! I came up up with definitions about tailored clothes. I've watched a number of British shows, too, and guess I never picked up on this one.

And just so that I have something to say that's on-topic, that LOTR color palette looks awesome! Try getting that scheme on another DMD replacement product. Flexibility and precise user choice is where it's at!

#37 5 years ago

Spent some time yesterday on a buddies BSD to see what color scheme we can come up with.....The first few screen shots are using the "ZX Speccy", low resolution setting focusing on a blood red color scheme. Speccy gives a more solid, blended graphics look. The second group of screens is the same color scheme but with the high resolution, "normal dot" setting to show the difference. We like the speccy look because it seems more fitting to the "eerie" theme of the game. (Our personal preference.)

Screenshot 2013-12-02 18.39.13.pngScreenshot 2013-12-02 18.43.27.pngScreenshot 2013-12-02 18.46.23.pngScreenshot 2013-12-02 18.41.00.png

Screenshot 2013-12-02 18.50.52.pngScreenshot 2013-12-02 18.51.20.pngScreenshot 2013-12-02 18.50.39.png

#38 5 years ago

Great work - a very sympathetic scheme.

I also noticed a DOHO in the first image!

#39 5 years ago

I was thinking that maybe an import/export feature for the config tool would allow people to share the settings - what do you think? It would only apply to a few of the settings e.g. DMD Effect, Resolution and Dot Colours, everything else is specific to each person's installation.

#40 5 years ago
Quoted from softwaretroll:

Spent some time yesterday on a buddies BSD to see what color scheme we can come up with.....The first few screen shots are using the "ZX Speccy", low resolution setting focusing on a blood red color scheme. Speccy gives a more solid, blended graphics look. The second group of screens is the same color scheme but with the high resolution, "normal dot" setting to show the difference. We like the speccy look because it seems more fitting to the "eerie" theme of the game. (Our personal preference.)

Wow... dude it seems every palette you make comes out perfect. Colors please??

#41 5 years ago

LOL....Not true. I didn't have much success on my POTC. Yet!

Quoted from DoctorPinball:

Great work - a very sympathetic scheme.
I also noticed a DOHO in the first image!

winteriscoming.....I need a British translation...."sympathetic" scheme for a Dracula????? I never noticed the DOHO before. I wonder what that is.

Here are the settings for the first BSD screen shots above.

redonblackspeccy1.JPGredonblackspeccy2.JPG

Now we have to figure it how we can mount the LCDs in these pins, and buy some more!!!!

#42 5 years ago
Quoted from DoctorPinball:

I was thinking that maybe an import/export feature for the config tool would allow people to share the settings - what do you think? It would only apply to a few of the settings e.g. DMD Effect, Resolution and Dot Colours, everything else is specific to each person's installation.

Can you give some more details on this because aren't these settings just in a text file? I've never tried it but couldn't I send the text file to some one, and it would be read by the config tool?

Thanks

#43 5 years ago

To see how we mounted the one in Addams Family:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/diy-addams-family-poor-mans-color-dmd/page/2#post-1234507

What other WPC games does your friend have besides BSD? You have quite the knack for colorizing!

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from softwaretroll:

LOL....Not true. I didn't have much success on my POTC. Yet!

winteriscoming.....I need a British translation...."sympathetic" scheme for a Dracula????? I never noticed the DOHO before. I wonder what that is.
Here are the settings for the first BSD screen shots above.

Now we have to figure it how we can mount the LCDs in these pins, and buy some more!!!!

redonblackspeccy1.JPG 29 KB

redonblackspeccy2.JPG 15 KB

I have to admit, I don't know those either.

How does the DMD mount in these games? In my JP there are posts around the outside and a bracket behind. The LCD fit between the posts and it was possible to tighten the bracket down to secure the the LCD in place. The worst I had to do was cut the speaker panel a bit so the LCD could stick out above it. An alternative would be a custom speaker panel. There's someone who posted in Crash's thread showing a couple of custom panels.

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

What other WPC games does your friend have besides BSD? You have quite the knack for colorizing!

I have to admit. It is fun doing that. But, sadly, I'm out of games to colorize.

Thank you guys for the suggestions on mounting.

#46 5 years ago
Quoted from softwaretroll:

Can you give some more details on this because aren't these settings just in a text file? I've never tried it but couldn't I send the text file to some one, and it would be read by the config tool?
Thanks

The problem is that the text file, pinball.txt, also contains your product key. If someone copies your file completely then their system will stop working. If you just ignore entries 9001-9004 then, yes, you can copy the file, but the recipient has to copy their 9001-9004 onto the new file - this is asking for issues to arise! An import/export file would just save and load the specific items between people's configurations.

#47 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

To see how we mounted the one in Addams Family:
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/diy-addams-family-poor-mans-color-dmd/page/2#post-1234507
What other WPC games does your friend have besides BSD? You have quite the knack for colorizing!

I have written three documents on how to mount LCD screens into Sega 192X64, Bally/Williams and Stern systems...
http://www.drpinball.co.uk/documentation_applicationnotes.htm

#48 5 years ago
Quoted from softwaretroll:

I never noticed the DOHO before. I wonder what that is.

DOHO is an easter egg put into the grpahics just like the cows, see this link...
http://www.maddes.net/pinball/doho_solved_200401.htm

#49 5 years ago
Quoted from softwaretroll:

Can you give some more details on this because aren't these settings just in a text file? I've never tried it but couldn't I send the text file to some one, and it would be read by the config tool?
Thanks

Love that idea, and the naming of that config.file should prpbably be the name of the game that it was first
created for.

#50 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

I probably had to remove the SD card at least 10 times to get everything dialed in. A couple of times the Pi didn't boot, and reseating the SD card solved it. So these boards may have weak SD slots as well.

I'm going to try adding an SD Extension cable. I hate getting everything back together, decide I want to change something, and then I have to take the backglass out, fold down the speaker panel, and open the backbox to get to the SD card every time. I'm hoping with the cable, I'll be able to have the SD card sticking out just above the LCD panel, so only the glass has to be removed to make changes.

It's pretty expensive for what it is, but I'm going for it. I'd say once you had your configuration down, you could remove the extension and use it in another game.

amazon.com link »

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