A few folks have seen some posts from me on the pinballcontrollers forum about my F14 custom development "Second Sortie". As I have hit a natural pause at the moment (waiting for the new F14 playfields to be released), I thought I'd start a thread here on pinside with some background, current status, ideas and other information for anyone who is interested to follow along.
I discovered that it was possible to write new software for your pinball machine using P-ROC for the very first time around 3 years ago. I'd bought a Bride of Pinbot and was searching for more information on Williams ROM versions when I discovered that the Dutch Pinball guys had started to experiment with a P-ROC and were thinking about extending the software. So I bought a P-ROC and a DMD display and followed along.
I soon decided though that I wanted to develop something myself. Although natively designed to work with WPC and Stern SAM, on the P-ROC forum Steven had come up with a way to interface the P-ROC to older System 11 machines. I replicated this design and got my F14 Tomcat under P-ROC control. Trying to spread the “P-ROC Sys11 love”, I then designed a driver board which can replace the existing Sys11 MPU and allow a much simpler P-ROC connection.
With the WPC and Stern setup, one of the great things is that Gerry and Eli did a lot of work with pinmame to allow it to control the P-ROC. That means that while you develop your custom code, you can still run the original Williams code via pinmame, meaning you don't need to be without a game when you want. So I picked up the pinmame source and extended it to also allow control of System 11 machines. That means I can play a regular game of Tomcat without needing to put the original MPU back in again. I did write some basic new code for Tomcat, but events in life overtook and it all went on the backburner. A couple of older videos here, showing pinmame control and then some basic custom code....