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(Topic ID: 279387)

Pin-Hylites - Customizable Pinball Lighting!


By nodyeliab

12 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 12 days ago by AUKraut
  • Topic is favorited by 13 Pinsiders

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    Screenshot_20200719-155338_NewPipe (resized).jpg
    Screenshot_20200719-151306_NewPipe (resized).jpg
    Screenshot_20200719-155452_NewPipe (resized).jpg

    #1 12 days ago

    Hello everyone! I would like to show you something I've been working on for over a year now, and I have finally gotten to a point where I can show it. This whole adventure started when I was looking at the DIY stadium lights thread and saw people buying strip lights, and building sets to put in their own personal machines. When looking at traditional lighting styles, I found some things that I thought would enhance how a machine looks when lit up. The first thing I noticed with all the lights I saw being built was the issue of only being able to select a single color for the whole machine. It didn't matter if you could choose from a 16 million color palette, it was still just one color for the whole length of the machine, on both sides. When looking at any machine, you'll notice that there are many different colors and there is artwork in different spots all around the playfield. So when using standard RGB LED strips to light my machine I had to settle on a single color that works best with all colors on the playfield. The issue I found with this is that you end up finding a color that looks great in one area but doesn't complement other areas as nicely. I'm also using lights that do not alternate between white LEDs and RGB LEDs like most RGB strips do. These have both RGB and white built in to each LED. This essentially doubles the brightness vs conventional LED strips.

    This led me to think, “Hey, what if I could light up my machine in multiple colors in different areas that best match my playfield?” So with that in mind, I set out to create a custom LED controller and came up with a solution that allowed me to define multiple areas in different colors. After creating a rough prototype, I put a set in my machine and saw how much better all the colors stood out! I was very happy with the results. Then I started thinking, “Hey, I'd like to have my machine flash different colors for events that happen during game play, like when flashers go off, or turn off with the GI, and also have these lights flash a specific color along with it.” This led me down another path to create definable triggers that are light activated. Now, if you'd like to only flash the upper left portion (with specific color) of your playfield you can, while also flashing an area in the lower part of the playfield (with specific color), as well as any other areas! When looking at making definable triggers, I wanted to make sure it wouldn't void my warranty on my new machine. This made me come up with a trigger that would activate based on sensing light and did not need to be physically connected to the machine's electronics. This allowed me to use this system without possibly voiding my warranty. But I also wanted an option to trigger off of switches for machines that are out of warranty. So I created triggers that work with switches as well. This works really well with spinners!

    With triggers enabled, I tested multiple triggers defined to different areas, with different colors and it looked great! At this point I was happy, but when looking at the triggers just turning on and off, I thought it would be kinda neat to give have an option to add a special effect to each one! So now, not only can you have multiple colored triggers, you can add any of these options to each one:

    Chase Up (LEDs chase up)
    Chase Down (LEDs chase down)
    Launch (This is used with the clippable trigger on the shooter lane, and will follow the ball when it's launched!)
    Sparkle (Random LEDs turning on and off to make a sparkling effect)
    Cycle Left to Right (Flashes the LEDs from the left side to the right side)
    Breathe (LEDs fade up and then down repeatedly)
    Pulse Fade (LEDs turn full on, then fade to off)
    Fade (Adds a fade when trigger turns off)
    Fire (looks like fire crackles, good for games like the Hobbit or Black Knight)

    I also saw people using magnetic tape to hang these in their machines. I have machines that have art work and mirror blades and decided to take a different approach to hanging them that doesn't need any tape stuck to the sides!

    I really liked how these turned out and have decided to hopefully make them for sale here in the near future.

    There are few other neat things that I will be showing later too!

    Below are some videos on how they work and what they can do. The lights are very very bright, and as a result of this, my camera keeps adjusting itself so it doesn't blow out, so I apologize for that.

    I'll be release more videos soon!

    Thanks for looking!

    #2 12 days ago

    Looks cool! Do you plan on manufacturing these for sale?

    #3 12 days ago

    Color puking to the extreme!

    Not my thing, but does look better then washing the whole playfield out in one color. Could be a great mod for those who like splashing color around the field.

    #4 12 days ago

    Yep same here, not my thing but looks like a cool product for those that enjoy this type of thing. All I ask is that you please don't try to ram them down everyone's throat with ads on inside, facebook, twitch, twitter, etc. If you do that I promise you have a far greater chance to win my business if the time comes I want to light a game up than that other company that is out there.

    #5 12 days ago

    Interesting, make a diffuser so the ramps don’t look like candy canes from the LED reflections. Competition is a good thing.

    #6 12 days ago

    .

    #7 12 days ago
    Quoted from Palmer:

    Looks cool! Do you plan on manufacturing these for sale?

    Thanks! Yes, if there's a large enough interest I'll be producing these.

    I currently have some local people testing them and to get feedback too.

    #8 12 days ago

    Wow, you've obviously put a lot of work into these. Curious how you are making the switch trigger work since these are matrixed switches. Great job.

    #9 12 days ago
    Quoted from bobukcat:

    Curious how you are making the switch trigger work since these are matrixed switches. Great job

    Thank you! This was not easy thing to do. I had to use a logic analyzer to see what the switch was doing. I then programmed a microcontroller to look at specific things in the signal that I could use as a key specifically for the switch it's connected to. I have tested these on Spike 1, Spike 2, SAM, JJP, System 11, WPC, WPC-S, CGC. I couldn't test it on every system that's out, so they might not work with some systems. These are also very high impedance so there's nothing feeding back to the pins electronics.

    #10 12 days ago

    Nice job! Definitely the way "interactive lighting" should be for those who want it. The board design and software integration look top notch. Absolutely love it, and my hats off

    Curious how you're dealing with Pin Stadium's "patent" (though I'm doubtful that they were ever able to get a grant given that I can think of 3 different forms of prior art that would have come up during any reasonable search).

    #11 12 days ago
    Quoted from nodyeliab:

    Thank you! This was not easy thing to do. I had to use a logic analyzer to see what the switch was doing. I then programmed a microcontroller to look at specific things in the signal that I could use as a key specifically for the switch it's connected to. I have tested these on Spike 1, Spike 2, SAM, JJP, System 11, WPC, WPC-S, CGC. I couldn't test it on every system that's out, so they might not work with some systems. These are also very high impedance so there's nothing feeding back to the pins electronics.

    I figured it would take something like that, very impressive work.

    #12 12 days ago
    Quoted from Tsskinne:

    Yep same here, not my thing but looks like a cool product for those that enjoy this type of thing. All I ask is that you please don't try to ram them down everyone's throat with ads on inside, facebook, twitch, twitter, etc. If you do that I promise you have a far greater chance to win my business if the time comes I want to light a game up than that other company that is out there.

    Pssh, come on, Tommy! Think of all that sweet sweet podcasting revenue you're missing out on

    (Agreed completely). Oddly enough not seeing an ad at the bottom of this post!

    #13 12 days ago
    Quoted from nodyeliab:

    Thanks! Yes, if there's a large enough interest I'll be producing these.
    I currently have some local people testing them and to get feedback too.

    Hi guys. I've known Noddy for 15+ years, and I happily volunteered to test this project. I bought two early prototype sets back in July, one for me and one for another pinball buddy (btrip). I get together with btrip every Thursday night to hang out, play pinball, work on mods and projects, etc. We always take turns hosting, so I feel as though I can speak to the Pin-Hylites on his DE Jurassic Park and AFMr, as well as on my own F14, Pin-bot, and LAH.

    First, I'd like to say that these things are such a game changer that whichever pinball they are installed in, it's the only one anybody is going to want to play. This has been my experience week after week of Thursday nights, and I am not kidding and not exaggerating at all. Once you take this thing off of pinball A and move it over to pinball B, pinball A just looks sad and pathetic. It's crazy how much of a difference we are talking.

    Next, I want to just emphasize how configurable these things are. I am 48 years old and had LASIK back in the early 2000's. I hate kids on my lawn, get halos driving at night, and when it comes to pinball, I don't like a lot of bright light. But since these are RGBW, you can turn them down to where they fill in the light "just enough." I *maybe* run mine at 5%-10% brightness at the most, and it's still an incredible game changer.

    One other thing, and this one is more of a disclaimer. This is the kind of project that you really have to see in person to fully appreciate it. It does photograph very well, but those photos are not always 100% color-accurate. For instance, when doing photos and videos of btrip's AFMr, the photos look absolutely incredible, and it also looks absolutely incredible in person. But it doesn't look the SAME.

    Example 1: Using green on both sides each time the upper left flasher is hit. This looks identical in game and in the pics.
    Screenshot_20200719-155452_NewPipe (resized).jpg

    Example 2: Using full brightness when the ship strobes. This looks exactly the same in person as in the photos (or at least it did when I was able to keep my eyes open).
    Screenshot_20200719-151306_NewPipe (resized).jpg

    Last Example: The normal in-game GI in AFMr. Ummmm.... the Pin-Hylites look absolutely stunning in person. But they DO NOT look predominantly purple.
    Screenshot_20200719-155338_NewPipe (resized).jpg

    I just wanted to point that out. It seems like some colors show up in the photos that do not show up in in real life. I think that is just the nature of the beast with lighting like this. If Noddy decides to sell them, you'll just have to try them for yourselves!

    More pics and videos soon.
    Dan

    #14 12 days ago

    Put me down for a set if you decide to sell them, they look great!

    Dan

    -1
    #15 12 days ago

    Couple more videos that I took during my testing. I always think that the "before and after" videos are the coolest.

    Pin-bot

    F14

    -1
    #16 12 days ago

    I consider myself extremely fortunate to be a tester for these. I knew from first hint about them that they would be amazing and they exceeded all of my expectations.

    I agree with Curbfeeler that pictures and videos don't really do these justice, but I created some before and after videos to give a sense of what is possible.

    I installed them on my AFMRSE. Installing is an absolute cinch and took all of 20-30 minutes. Absolutely NO permanent modifications to your machine are required, completely reversible, and NO STICKY STRIP!

    Once installed, I simply connected to the PinHylite's built in WiFi, navigated to the webapp, and what then proceeded was absolutely awesome. Tweaking the various colors and seeing how the playfield responded was stunning.

    For the basic GI, I was able to dial in this almost ultra violet color that really makes the UV reactive parts of the playfield pop. Immediately the game looked more amazing than it already did (thanks CGC!). I was then able to fine tune in some green highlights on the saucers which look fantastic.

    But that was just the beginning of this adventure. I hadn't even scratched the surface of what these things could do.

    I always loved strobe multiball on AFM, but it always felt kind of weak. These provided the solution. I placed one of the light sensors in the strobe light "chamber", and was able to run the sensor wire through to the back practically undetected. I set up a trigger in the app for when the strobe goes off, the PinHylites will strobe as well! Not even a ziptie was needed, although some were supplied.

    Next, curbfeeler noticed that the saucer above the SOL hole does some interesting things throughout the game, so he suggested that a light sensor go there as well. We set this trigger up to have the PinHylites do a green colored effect where the LEDs chase up the field whenever that saucer lights. This led to some interesting lightning effects during the start of Martian Multiball, SOL kickout, and when a saucer is destroyed.

    Still not enough though. There's also a sensor that can hook to switches, so of course we had to add a green sparkle effect whenever a ball is waiting to be launched.

    That same sensor can be used, believe it or not, on motors. So I hooked one up to the shield up/down motor and set the effect to alternate green left and right. This combined with the saucer sensor causes quite an amazing light show when a saucer is destroyed.

    Here is what everything looks like all together during Total Annihilation.

    And this is all just one machine. Imagine what these can do to other machines. The possibilities are truly endless.

    Thank you so much to nodyeliab and Curbfeeler for everything. You guys are the best.

    #17 12 days ago

    I’m getting ready to place an order for about 20 light sets from one of your biggest competitors! I may have an alternative here! Looking forward to mounting options and pricing.

    #18 12 days ago
    Quoted from Compy:

    Oddly enough not seeing an ad at the bottom of this post!

    its because this thread isn't linked to a machine, as soon as that happens you'll see them, so dont add a machine

    #19 12 days ago

    Very interesting and well done. If priced right I suspect you’ll sell a ton of these. Looking to be a customer.

    #20 12 days ago

    Ghastly.
    Glws.

    #21 12 days ago
    Quoted from Compy:

    Pin Stadium's "patent" (though I'm doubtful that they were ever able to get a grant given that I can think of 3 different forms of prior art that would have come up during any reasonable search).

    CERIOSULY?
    They got a "patent" for led strips?
    Please tell me; this is a FUD tactic ... I doubt that patent would even make it to court.

    #22 12 days ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    CERIOSULY?
    They got a "patent" for led strips?
    Please tell me; this is a FUD tactic ... I doubt that patent would even make it to court.

    They have pulled it before when someone offered a cheap version, which was being supplied well before they came to market.

    #23 12 days ago
    Quoted from titanpenguin:

    They have pulled it before when someone offered a cheap version, which was being supplied well before they came to market.

    You can search the US Patent database. I did, found nothing.....

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