(Topic ID: 108400)

Pinduino: IM interactive ramp lights


By Prof_Pinball

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 62 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 71 days ago by lyonsden
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 14 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

IMG_3598.JPG
IMG_3606.JPG
IMG_3607.JPG
IMG_3610.JPG
IMG_3631.JPG
IMG_3791.JPG
image-37.jpg
image-565.jpg
JST-3-pin.JPG
IMG_3685.JPG
IMG_3682.JPG
IMG_3681.JPG
IMG_3683.JPG
165126.jpg

There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 5 years ago

Hi All,

It is definitely an exciting time in pinball! Lots of new games and lots of new aftermarket products. We were very happy with how our IM LED ramp mod turned out, but it was only the first step. The first thing many people requested was for the LEDs to be integrated into gameplay. And while we figured that out pretty quickly, it took a while to develop an easy to use platform that would work in any game, let people modify the programs as they wish using a high level programming language, and run on a previously proven platform.

And we did it.

Best,
-Professor Pinball

#2 5 years ago

Not a fan of the constant chase sequence when idle (others might be), but the stuff that ties to gameplay looks great.

#3 5 years ago

Wow!!!! So as an owner of your ramp mod, wil mine do this or will it require something else from you first? I'll bet it looks very cool in person. Pretty excited.

#4 5 years ago
Quoted from Grinder901:

Wow!!!! So as an owner of your ramp mod, wil mine do this or will it require something else from you first? I'll bet it looks very cool in person. Pretty excited.

This will be a plug in replacement. The one that you have is driven by an Arduino Trinket (one of the smallest Arduino boards). Since it didn't tie into the flashers, it could be very small and hang out near your accessory plug. This one has a different harness that runs a cable to the backbox where the Arduino Mega is mounted (the shield for which is plugged into the J6 and J7). We made sure to source plugs for your LED strips that we will continue to use so that this new one will plug straight into the LEDs.

In other words, yes, your Current chase lights can do this, and it will be very easy to set up and install. Also, since you were one of the ones to help us as we were getting started, we'll definitely make sure you get first dibs on this as we get them made (also with a big discount -- we really appreciate you helping out!)

Let us know how mounting the lights goes for you (we'll keep updating our install instructions) and what your thoughts are on the lighting.

Thanks!

#5 5 years ago

I had a busy weekend so I have not installed mine yet. I hope to find time sometime this week.

Chris

#6 5 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

Not a fan of the constant chase sequence when idle (others might be), but the stuff that ties to gameplay looks great.

I'll turn them off and shoot another video. As people have discussed in other threads, it is easy to modify/customize code for these things (and Arduino is ridiculously easy to both program and update). Should have that up in an hour or so.

#7 5 years ago

I will def install them when they come in and I'll post pictures. Very excited .

#8 5 years ago

Here is a vid without the chase lights during game play. Let us know your thoughts. We can release code for both versions (depending on your preference.)

#9 5 years ago

Oh hell yea def option 2.

#10 5 years ago

Oh yeah, ready for my plug in replacement. This looks so cool!

#11 5 years ago

Yep, as expected, I like the second option. Feels less forced/overdone. Very cool.

#12 5 years ago

PM sent about my plug in replacement.

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from Grinder901:

PM sent about my plug in replacement.

Thanks! PM replied.

#14 5 years ago

Option 2 is way better. Looks Awesome. How much and where do you get this?

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from Jetzxi:

Oh yeah, ready for my plug in replacement. This looks so cool!

That will be awesome for your 20 plays you put on it the next 3 years!

Love the mod though, LIKE!

165126.jpg

#16 5 years ago

Does the board sense the switch matrix? Or just the flash lamps?

This could lead to some very cool modifications if it was able to read both...

#17 5 years ago

Option 2 definitely. Has more impact when the lights flash.

#18 5 years ago

How much and how do I order?

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from centerflank:

Love the mod though, LIKE!

165126.jpg 263 KB

Thanks for the, uh, big thumbs up!

#20 5 years ago

First, while we are happy to see other people doing similar kind of work, we want to keep our design process as open as possible, so here is what we have. This is built as an shield for Arduino Mega boards, which means it plugs right into an existing micro-control board that is well supported by the open source community. The shield has connections for J6 and J7 of any SAM system Stern and converts all the flasher signals (and some coils, depending on the game) into a format that the Arduino can understand. From there, we have developed a library of effects that is built on top of AdaFruit’s NeoPixel library (https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-neopixel-uberguide/arduino-library). AdaFruit is excellent in their open source philosophy and has a ton of resources to help other people get started.

Using our library, we then trigger various effects as events are during gameplay. Since nearly everything that happens in a pinball game causes flashers to go off, this makes it very easy to program the LED strips to interact as you hit different shots, start modes, etc.

In terms of our development process, we have handmade several boards using Arduino Mega prototype shields. While fully functional, each board takes a couple of hours to put together. We needed custom PCB boards designed to our specifications.

The first round of these boards was manufactured yesterday and will soon be in our hands. Once we get them, we are placing a few with some friends for testing. Testing should take a month or two, and we’ll probably have to modify the board’s design a couple of times. We are confident that we'll have these ready for a launch sale at ZapCon (March or April of next year) and have four to six games ready for people to play.

We want to emphasize that we will not accept any money until we have a product that is ready to ship. For the original chase lights, we took 10 pre-orders and worked through the list when we finished making them. Only then did we accept payment. Also, we were pretty spot on with our delivery date (stated Nov., but shipped most out in late Oct.), and feel that this timeline will be accurate. Of course, you never know what may happen, but we'll keep people posted about the process.

So, here is what this thing actually looks like:

An Arduino Mega Board mounted in Tron
Another shot of it mounted in Tron. It is attached using velcro. The power plug runs to the 12V accessory plug.
Underside of shield. Far too many wires to solder to produce these by hand. Also, this makes it prone to failure if one of the solder joints wasn't done well.
Shield mounted to Mega, with a splitter for wires coming from J6 and J7. Those wires are split with one set going to the shield (pins underneath the splitter); one set going to the backbox flashers. The extra sets can be used to drive undercab lighting, under backbox lighting, other LEDs on the playfield, or other coils for interactive toys. Note that only half the plugs from J7 are used. Due to the hand wiring, space the shield was limited to 12 inputs. For Tron, this worked perfectly, but as we've compiled a list of how J6 and J7 are used in various Sterns, there is nothing consistent. Different pins are used across J6 and J7 for flashers and coils. The boards that are being made have more usable space and will accommodate all 16 inputs from J6 and J7 so it will be plug and play for all SAM Sterns.

#21 5 years ago

3RD TIME..................how much ??????????????????????????????

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from modfather:

3RD TIME..................how much ??????????????????????????????

Price. . . we don't know yet. It comes down to three factors -- the cost of the manufacturing the boards, the BOM for components and harnesses, and the time it takes to put these together. For manufacturing the boards, we are currently making small quantities, which are expensive. The cost will go down drastically for large orders, so the more interest there is, the cheaper we can sell them. Same goes for the components. The time to assemble these is another place where we are optimizing, especially with the harnesses. For people that can make their own harnesses or want to buy their own LED strips, we will sell the boards separately. In fact, if you want to get you machine ready, here are the instructions for installing the LED strips in Ironman:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/16i6F-vvVusEL3yU3cgnitTPtHngfSI6L7_m0z1gHNzo/edit?usp=sharing

AdaFruit's NeoPixels (and related LED strips) is what were are testing our platform against. So if you like soldering, please start and feel free to post any questions you have.

#23 5 years ago

If you do make your own strips, here is the plug that we are using. It is smaller than the connector that comes with various addressable LED strips and fit more easily through the playfield holes under the slings.

JST 3 Pin Connector:

JST-3-pin.JPG

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from RobertWinter:

Does the board sense the switch matrix? Or just the flash lamps?

This could lead to some very cool modifications if it was able to read both...

Right now, it doesn't. This is beyond our meager abilities and adds additional complexity (which adds time, cost, etc). We are focused on getting the Shield PCB and the interaction with Arduino perfect, using only inputs coming from J6 and J7. Once we've cut our teeth on this, and we get additional feedback from the user community, we will almost certainly begin looking at the lamp and switch matrices as additional inputs.

I LOVE the idea of having all those inputs available, and having the ability to take those additional signals is one of the main reasons we moved over to an Arduino Mega. The concept behind the board is basically this: Take some inputs (for now J6/J7 Flashers), and then have libraries already built that can do super cool stuff with those input signals. This could be any number of things, from backbox, undercab, speaker lighting to the ramp lights you see here. There's even a possibility to control solenoids, RGB insert lights, and dozens of other things we haven't thought of yet. That's the beauty of the Arduino platform. We plan on making the sketches available, and we hope the user community will take advantage of the open architecture and build on top of what we do.

-Wes

#25 5 years ago

So, the entire vision for this project (using the Arduino), is that we would keep the code open and free and allow other folks to modify the code and make their revisions available to the community. Maybe this question is better asked on its own subject, but, are there people out there that are actually INTERESTED in developing on top of these libraries, or creating their own libraries (via the Arduino SDK) to expand the functionality?

FYI, right now the Prototype PCB is being manufactured with controlled PWM and Digital outputs ON the board, but the Arduino still has a TON of open Analog, digital, and PWM pins available for expansion.

-Wes

#26 5 years ago

I have this very badass under cabinet led kit that plugs into J6 and J7. It's a customized kit and it's great. Now that you mention this extra harness will be plugging into J6 and J7 too, will I have to decide which mod to plug or could I piggyback yours on top of his? Any idea? Has that been thought of by yall?

image-565.jpg
image-37.jpg

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from Grinder901:

I have this very badass under cabinet led kit that plugs into J6 and J7. It's a customized kit and it's great. Now that you mention this extra harness will be plugging into J6 and J7 too, will I have to decide which mod to plug or could I piggyback yours on top of his? Any idea? Has that been thought of by yall?

Yep, the wiring harness we've developed will piggy back right on to what you have. No worries. Unplug J6 and J7, plug them into our wiring harness, plug the wiring harness into your badass under cabinet led kit, and you are set!

-Wes

#28 5 years ago

Looks amazing!

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from copperpot:

Yep, the wiring harness we've developed will piggy back right on to what you have. No worries. Unplug J6 and J7, plug them into our wiring harness, plug the wiring harness into your badass under cabinet led kit, and you are set!
-Wes

Well then I'm doubly sold!! Who do I pay? Got my ramp lights today and should have them on by the weekend.

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from Grinder901:

Well then I'm doubly sold!! Who do I pay? Got my ramp lights today and should have them on by the weekend.

Send a message to Prof_Pinball, he can hook you up with the timing and all the other information you seek

-Wes

-1
#31 5 years ago

I'm glad u guys like the mod ,, 2 me it just lOOks to Busy !!! and that Piggy back incorporated w/ the other board ,, if something happen's and causes the Stern PDB to burn out in area's controlled by J6 / J7 ,, Ya think Stern's Warranty will cover /// No !!

#32 5 years ago
Quoted from BLACK_ROSE:

I'm glad u guys like the mod ,, 2 me it just lOOks to Busy !!! and that Piggy back / incorporated w/ the other board ,, if something happen's and causes the Stern PDB to burn out in area's controlled by J6 / J7 ,, Ya think Stern's Warranty will cover /// No !!

Just unplug it and they will

#33 5 years ago
Quoted from BLACK_ROSE:

if something happen's and causes the Stern PDB to burn out in area's controlled by J6 / J7

It's a good point, actually. We've spent a lot of time reviewing Stern's PDB schematics and designing our board to make sure that we AREN'T going to do that. The good news is J6 and J7 are relatively low power (Max +20V), and we are dealing with basically 20v and GND. We are also making sure those signals are NOT powering any of our mods, which helps keep all those Stern boards safe (even if someone creates magic smoke on our PCB or the Arduino....)

By the way, if ANYONE has any feedback on the safety or design of this, let me know. I'm happy to share what we have done and will definitely take any feedback seriously.

-Wes

Post edited by copperpot: punc.tuation is hard;

#34 5 years ago
Quoted from Grinder901:

Oh hell yea def option 2.

Yup! I'll buy an "Option 2" version!

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from BLACK_ROSE:

I'm glad u guys like the mod ,, 2 me it just lOOks to Busy !!! and that Piggy back incorporated w/ the other board ,, if something happen's and causes the Stern PDB to burn out in area's controlled by J6 / J7 ,, Ya think Stern's Warranty will cover /// No !!

The power for the LEDs comes from the 5v accessory plug and not J6 or J7. This is only to read their state and otherwise the harness acts as a pass-throught for the power to the voltages. Overall, interesting point and something we have considered, but not a real concern. While the production boards will have locking/tension fit plugs and headers to keep people from plugging in the harness backwards, it wouldn't matter if they did. The return for the flashers are already powered. Pinball machines, for whatever reason, control the grounding of the circuit to active flashers (as opposed to activating the current through the flashers.)

#36 5 years ago

Right now, we are code complete for Ironman and working on Tron, X-men, Avengers, Spiderman, and Star Trek.

If you have ideas or suggestions, let us know! These boards are being made by enthusiasts in the pinball community for the pinball community. As Copperpot mentioned, this version of the board won't be tied to the switch or lamp matices. Unfortunately, that takes board space and we want to keep within the form factor of the Arduino Mega, but those will make their way on there sometime in the futre. Also, there are a couple of other neat things we’ve added. Besides from control 2 sets of addressable LEDs, we also have will have one controller for the standard 12V RGB LED strips. This will let you lay out a set of these wherever you wish (backbox, under cab, under backbox, apron, etc.) and control the entire strip of colors to flash/fade/strobe/change colors based on gameplay.

#37 5 years ago

Here is a video (finally) of what we are up to with Tron. There is another thread, but figured someone watch this thread would enjoy it.

#38 5 years ago

Spent my Veteran's Day taking the ramps off, putting the ramp lights on, and then putting the ramps back on. LOVE this mod. Can't wait for the board to make it game interactive. The instructions they provide are top notch. Great pictures included.

Keep up the good work guys. Can't wait for what's next.

#39 5 years ago
Quoted from Grinder901:

Spent my Veteran's Day taking the ramps off, putting the ramp lights on, and then putting the ramps back on. LOVE this mod. Can't wait for the board to make it game interactive. The instructions they provide are top notch. Great pictures included.
Keep up the good work guys. Can't wait for what's next.

On behalf of the Professor Pinball team: thanks! (And glad to hear the install went well!)

2 weeks later
#41 5 years ago

Update: Our first set of manufactured boards are in for the interactive lighting: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/update-arduino-shield-propin-pinhead

1 week later
#42 5 years ago

Updated: We've posted instructions on how to build your own lighting strips: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-92hFK-thzwbwE26TGUZpPNOz5DplxB-WP3Eg98yD78/edit

I'll post the instructions here so people can find them, but the above google doc will be kept up to date for edits/improvements.

#43 5 years ago

Tools needed:

Soldering Iron and solder
Scissors
Wire cutters
Hot glue gun (optional)

#44 5 years ago

Parts needed:

3 meters of addressable LED strips. I recommend:
**WS2812B format
**IP67 waterproof tube
**60LEDs/M
**White or black FPCB -- up to you, this is the color of the strip
**There is a lot of variation from various manufactures -- I like the ones with large contact pads, which make soldering wires to them much easier
**If you want a source, Adafruit: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1138

22-24 gauge wire
**I like: ebay.com link » 5m 50m Rgb 4 Pin Extension Wire Connector Cable Cord For 3528 5050 Rgb Led Strip

3-pin JST plugs: ebay.com link » 5 Pairs Of 3 Pin Jst Sm Connectors For Ws2811 Ws2812b Led Strips

#45 5 years ago

Here are two different manufactures of WS2812B addressable LED strips. Note that the size of the contact pads are different (guess which one is easier to use) and that there is an arrow on the strips to indicate the direction that data flows. Also, the bottom strip has a waterproof tube that has been pulled back.

IMG_3791.JPG
#46 5 years ago

Layout:

Each side is made up of different length LED strips that are connected by wires. Note, when assembling these, there is a direction to the LED strips for the way that data flows through them. They have an arrow indicating the direction. LED strips MUST be connect in the same direction! Otherwise, they won’t work (or will just work partially).

Right ramp: Number indicates the number of LEDs from a 60LED/m strip; (long/continue/short describes their relative position and size in the strip
50-long (1x)
31-continue (1x)
15-short (1x)

Left Ramp:
52-long (1x)
16-continue (2x)
Total number of LEDs: 180 (3M)

#47 5 years ago

Note for soldering wires to LED strips:

1. Pull back waterproof tube
2. Put flux on LED pads
3. Put a solder bead on the LED pads
4. Tin the wires
5. Connect tinned wires to tinned LED pads
6. Replace waterproof tube
7. Recommended: You can stabilize the soldered wires and waterproof tube using hot glue.

#48 5 years ago

Connection:

Right ramp:
*Start: JST-plug -> 50-long -> wire->31-continue
*Splice in the 15-short at EXACTLY 15 LEDs from the end of the 31-continue strip (solder to pads on 31-continue located before the 15 LEDs to the end

Left Ramp
*Start: JST-plug -> 52-long -> wire -> 16-continuex2
**This will be a “Y” shaped set

#49 5 years ago

Here are the directions (with lots of photos) for installing the lights on the ramps: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16i6F-vvVusEL3yU3cgnitTPtHngfSI6L7_m0z1gHNzo/edit?usp=sharing

#50 5 years ago

Here are some pictures of the light strips attached to the ramps.

IMG_3610.JPG
IMG_3607.JPG
IMG_3606.JPG
IMG_3598.JPG

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 58.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lermods
From: $ 40.00
Lighting - Interactive
Professor Pinball
From: $ 129.10
Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
PinWoofer
Wanted
Machine - Wanted
Marengo, IL
There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside