myPinballs Early Bally Digital Sound Board in Development


By applejuice

2 years ago


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  • Latest reply 1 month ago by applejuice
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#1 2 years ago

Hi,

Following on from the success of my Squawk & Talk Sound board redesign and improvement (See thread here - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/mypinballs-squawk-talk-sound-board-gordons-alive) I am now developing a new sound board for the earlier set of electronic bally pinball games. These are the games which used a digital cpu controlled sound board before the s&t board was introduced. Namely:

• Xenon
• Future Spa
• Nitro Groundshaker
• Silverball Mania
• Space Invaders
Rolling Stones
• Mystic
• Hot Doggin
• Viking
• Skateball
• Frontier
• Speakeasy
• BMX
• Gold Ball
• Grand Slam

As before this will be a complete 100% original redesign of the original using all the knowledge and design from my s&t board. It will be compatible with Xenon as well as the full set of earlier digital sound games. It will have my larger sound output connector so that it can also make use of the effects daughter board i am also developing for the s&t board. (Xenon with reverb? :))

It will feature a more powerful amp in the same way that the s&t board does and all the other enhancements the s&t board had.

Stay tuned for more info, pics and posts as i get it developed and tested. I will be offering the same 50% pre-order processing in the future for this board.

Cheers Jim

#2 2 years ago

Ok, so first pass at the layout is done. See the pics below. I need to tweak the hole positions a little but its looking good so far.

bally sound board component layout v0.3.png
bally sound board top layout v0.3.png
bally sound board bottom layout v0.3.png

Improvements over the original are:

• Improved and simplified reset section with reset button
• Test Led and button - Possible future modding functionality to add led flashes to roms
• Power leds for common voltages
• Improved 5v generation using dedicated voltage regular on board
• Improved pre-amp section
• More powerful main amp
• Effects processing daughter card compatibility
• Fully compatible with 'sounds plus' version for Xenon
• Optional population with speech adjustment and filtering for 'sounds plus' Xenon
• Sounds Plus 40 pin ribbon speech board connector
• Full dip switch board settings for all games and options. No soldering needed

#3 2 years ago

#4 2 years ago

Subscribing.

#5 2 years ago

You should add two connectors so people can use the MP3 Triggers:

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11029

#6 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You should add two connectors so people can use the MP3 Triggers:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11029

I have an external audio input option present on the 40 pin aux/speech board connector that can be used to connect up alternative boards like external sound/music generators. This input would be mixed with the onboard sound creation and outputted through the onboard amp to the games speaker. I could tap this out to a seperate aux input connector to maybe.

1 week later
#7 2 years ago

Update: latest revision with the board mountings correctly placed. Need to test in a xenon in case of differences on the sounds plus board mountings, then off the pcb house to get some protos made up

bally sound board component layout v0.3.png

2 weeks later
#8 2 years ago

Subscribed.

#9 2 years ago

Update: Protos have been ordered today. Here's some pics of the final layout with the additional holes for the sounds plus /xenon mounting. Should have th blanks boac in a few weeks, then can assemble and test them Once the boards are working and any changes made for v1.0 i will open up the pre-ordering for people interested in being in for batch 1.

bally sound board component layout v0.3.pngbally sound board top layout v0.3.pngbally sound board bottom layout v0.3.png

#10 2 years ago

Id be in for Xenon.

#11 2 years ago

doing a re-theme of a skateball and would love custom ability linking existing switches to new sounds somehow if possible

1 week later
#12 2 years ago

Board blanks for have arrived. Now to start the prototype assembly and testing:

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#13 2 years ago

Assembly started for the first prototype. Hoping to get some tests going later today/tomorrow. Have a space invaders and future spa (high voltage) sound roms burnt ready.

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Also going to do some experimentation to see if this era board can be used on the earlier games with pre-computer sound boards, like star trek, kiss, paragon, harlem globetrotters etc. The main connectors are compatible as are the data lines form the cpu board. May be an option for better sounds on those earlier games to.

#14 2 years ago

More pics of assembly:

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#15 2 years ago

gotta love PCB porn..

#16 2 years ago

Quick video of some sound testing:

» YouTube video

Also, here's another pic of the fully assembled board with the speech section for xenon installed

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1 week later
#17 2 years ago

Adding Echo Effects to this board is just as easy as with the s&t board

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Testing the mounting holes for use in xenon. Bally changed the mount positions when they made the 'plus' board, so my board has 2 sets! Fits perfectly

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#18 2 years ago

Quick update. I have borrowed a speech board from a friend to test the xenon functionality and have it working on the bench nicely. Also i hooked up an effects board to it and shot a quick video of me testing a couple of sounds using my board tester program. Wanna hear what the sexy girl in Xenon sounds like with echo?

» YouTube video

Pre-ordering for the board will available on my website shortly in the usual 50% way. Full cost of it is £90 plus shipping

1 month later
#19 2 years ago

Update: pre-ordering for the new computer sound board is available on my website here: http://mypinballs.co.uk/electronics/store.jsp. I've been working on tweaking the gain levels on the sound board amp side for the sound section. I like to go through everything during the redesign and set the levels directly based on testing in real games. Everything is 100% redone.

The video below show real game play in my friends xenon with the added echo board on Xenon. We were trying out some gain settings. This one has a little bit of distortion which we were adjusting etc but you can here the echo effects nicely

» YouTube video

3 weeks later
#20 2 years ago

Update: New video testing improved sound levels and using the effects board with space invaders roms. You can get some really cool war of the worlds like effects with the echo board plugged in I've been scaring the kids all evening with it

» YouTube video

#21 2 years ago

Update: Couple of boards being tested before going to new owners. This one is heading to a Space Invaders. I have a small stock of the first batch and am taking orders on my website for the next batch, or please contact me if interested in one. They are fully compatible with my effects board to if you want to add some cool effects to these early games as well

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5 months later
#22 1 year ago

Batch 2 boards being assembled and tested before going to new owners. Batch 2 blank boards are now in stock and available for order via my website store http://mypinballs.co.uk/electronics/store.jsp

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1 month later
#23 1 year ago

Xenon Spec Boards nearing completing and ready for testing with speech board. Also thinking about a possible redesign to the speech board to use 1 rom instead of what seems like 'all of them in the world' Will add this to my list of future projects

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#24 1 year ago

More pics from testing Xenon spec boards

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#25 1 year ago

So, later this year I'll be starting work on assembling a new project I'm designating the "Multi-Bally." It's an advanced wide-body cabinet that will accept any of the early Bally s/s games. (And probably some of the Sterns as well.) With the Alltek all-in-one MPU it will be easy to switch the software appropriately. What I need is a sound board that works the same, with all the sound roms on a single chip where I could simply switch the micro-switches to get the right game sounds out of the game to match whatever play field happens to be in it. This seems like a good platform. Do you think that's possible?

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

So, later this year I'll be starting work on assembling a new project I'm designating the "Multi-Bally." It's an advanced wide-body cabinet that will accept any of the early Bally s/s games. (And probably some of the Sterns as well.) With the Alltek all-in-one MPU it will be easy to switch the software appropriately. What I need is a sound board that works the same, with all the sound roms on a single chip where I could simply switch the micro-switches to get the right game sounds out of the game to match whatever play field happens to be in it. This seems like a good platform. Do you think that's possible?

What era of games are you talking about for ballys? This board will work on a wide era of games (1979 - 1983 ish - See the linked games above) and i believe it could also work on the Paragon/Star Trek earlier electronic games to (pre 1979 - Looking for people to test this). My S&T board fills the gap for the early 80s bally games which are the most advanced sounding ballys of the era with quality speech and sounds.

The boards require different roms per game and some dip switch changes potentially.

#27 1 year ago

Basically I am looking at the entire line of games that used the -17 and -35 MPUs. (A number of the earliest games used chimes.) Everything in them is the same, with the same plugs. (MPU, SDB, light card, etc.) From my limited research I see the same as you, that the plug-ins for the early sound cards are the same. The cards just got more sophisticated.

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

Basically I am looking at the entire line of games that used the -17 and -35 MPUs. (A number of the earliest games used chimes.) Everything in them is the same, with the same plugs. (MPU, SDB, light card, etc.) From my limited research I see the same as you, that the plug-ins for the early sound cards are the same. The cards just got more sophisticated.

A great idea

2 months later
#29 1 year ago

That is brilliant - the Ultimate Sound Board.
I'm sure there will plenty of takers.

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

Basically I am looking at the entire line of games that used the -17 and -35 MPUs. (A number of the earliest games used chimes.) Everything in them is the same, with the same plugs. (MPU, SDB, light card, etc.) From my limited research I see the same as you, that the plug-ins for the early sound cards are the same. The cards just got more sophisticated.

. At least two more things to consider:. Aux lamp driver boards,. 7 digit scoring. Mixing software with different era head wiring doesn't play nice together.

#31 1 year ago

A small update on the use of my computer sound board in early Bally chime based games (star trek, paragon etc). I have worked out now with minimal connectors changes how to use these boards in the chime based games. You just need to attach a single 12v feed supply which will be provided on a separate connector to plug onto the sound board J1. The existing sound board connectors plug on directly as before.

If anyone would like to assist in testing a board out in an early chime game then please get in touch.

2 weeks later
#32 1 year ago

Do you still need the original vocalizer board to go with your sound board in a Xenon? Or, does it replace both?

#33 1 year ago

Now that I have my Skateball up and running, mostly, I am a little disappointed with the sound. How difficult is it to develop some new call outs and other enhanced sounds? and how are the various sounds prompted?

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from Decimal:

Do you still need the original vocalizer board to go with your sound board in a Xenon? Or, does it replace both?

You still need the vocaliser board

#35 1 year ago

Would this board be able to be used in the older Bally games that used the -32 or -50 sound boards? Specifically, I have a Lost World in need of sound, and the cost of a used/rebuilt original board versus this board sure makes this one tempting, if it would work...

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from RocketFromTombs:

Would this board be able to be used in the older Bally games that used the -32 or -50 sound boards? Specifically, I have a Lost World in need of sound, and the cost of a used/rebuilt original board versus this board sure makes this one tempting, if it would work...

Hi, I was talking about this a little further up (post 31), as i believe my computer sound board will work on these earlier chime sound games to. There's a small extra cable to attach for power in, but the original sound board connectors will plug straight on. I've been looking for some people to try the board out in their games and see how it works. Its a little bit of an experiment. I'm not 100% certain if the board will add extra sounds to your game or not or just recreate the chime sounds, albeit in a much better and reliable fashion. There is also the question of which sound rom from the later games will work best to.

#37 1 year ago
Quoted from applejuice:

You still need the vocaliser board

I own one Xenon already. I had a line on another cheap Xenon, but it had no boards. I hesitated because I thought it might be hard to find the Sounds Plus and Vocalizer boards. If both boards were available as reproductions it would be reassuring.

Your doing some great great work here by the way. I will stay tuned.

#38 1 year ago

I would try the board out in my Lost World, but it's a project that I'm in the middle of completing, and I don't think it will be anywhere close to ready for another 4 months or so...
I haven't been able to find much information about the interchangeability of these older -32 and -50 boards with the newer sound boards, aside from a lot of people wondering if it's possible. I know that these older games used a different PROM, but there are ROM files available for using 2716 chips, so I am looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
Like decimal said above, you're doing some great work here! I will also stay tuned.

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from Decimal:

I own one Xenon already. I had a line on another cheap Xenon, but it had no boards. I hesitated because I thought it might be hard to find the Sounds Plus and Vocalizer boards. If both boards were available as reproductions it would be reassuring.
Your doing some great great work here by the way. I will stay tuned.

Thanks for you kind words. It does make a difference to hear that these projects are worth all the effort and hours I get great comments from people on all my products which spurs me on to keep coming up with more :), yes the reason why you need the vocaliser still is because the sound board is for a large range of games and this is the best way to offer reproductions for these older games. The extra parts for 1 game (xenon) on the sound board itself isn't too bad to add into the main design, but the vocaliser side needs to remain separate. Having said that i am looking at redesigning this board to as a separate project and one that will only use 1 speech rom instead of 8! It is a shame though that Bally didn't jump straight to the awesome S&T design for xenon to!!

1 year later
#40 33 days ago

Did this board ever get produced. Sorry to resurrect the dead but I've been waiting for a custom sound board for a Silverball retheme for about 6 years

#41 33 days ago
Quoted from DonW:

Did this board ever get produced. Sorry to resurrect the dead but I've been waiting for a custom sound board for a Silverball retheme for about 6 years

Yes i've been making them for over a year now and saving more dead/quiet games You can order from my site http://mypinballs.co.uk/electronics/store.jsp or contact me directly.

I don't always have time to post on pinside but everything i make is listed on my site and my instagram/facebook feeds show what i'm usually doing day to day -> @mypinballs

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