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(Topic ID: 90613)

pinHeck Board System


By swinks

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 41 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Volte6
  • Topic is favorited by 20 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“vote if you are interested in a pinHeck Board System”

  • YES- as want to build a custom pin 26 votes
    52%
  • YES - as want to build a re-theme pin 15 votes
    30%
  • NO - but am interested to learn more 9 votes
    18%

(50 votes)

#1 6 years ago

I am really keen on one of these and am sure there are a few others are as well, so thought why not create a specific thread for others to easily locate the information as it is currently spread around a few different threads. Currently some of the info is specific to AMH as the board set is currently used in AMH and PZFBTG.

Hopefully Ben can keep us updated on when the pinHeck Board System is available and any info to teach us on how to use the system. In addition please fee free to post your interest in the system here as well, questions etc.
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below posted by Ben in amongst another thread
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post in relation to the below video
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/final-art-for-americas-most-haunted-pricing-info/page/10
BH stated:
"Shot this video demonstrating some more features of the pinHeck board, specifically command-line testing and Bluetooth"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/RVR6EllzsC8?autoplay=1&rel=0

also on the same page Ben stated this:
"I've started a page on my website for files / updates http://benheck.com/amh

I went through the Hospital Mode and fixed the audio overmodulation issues with the Dennis Nordman ghost. We'll have updates in the future like other games.

For those interested in the Pinheck board:

You can download the AMH source code(s) using the link above. If you strip out my game, you'll have a "shooting & flipping" kernel to start with. I'll make a bare-bones version at some point too.

The A/V part of it you shouldn't have to change, it already have pretty good support for video, 4 channel audio, simple sprites, numbers, persistent numbers (timers) and the like.

The fonts are bitmap fonts that the system loads off SD card on boot. Using our conversion program, you can make whatever font you like (as long as the dimensions fit the template)

The Pinheck board itself requires:

External audio amplifier (plugs into 3.5mm jack)
12 volt and 5 volt power supply (like http://na.suzohapp.com/all_catalogs/power_supplies/80-0064-00)
50 volt switching power supply (switching ones available from Jameco I believe)

We are thinking $400 for the PCB. I haven't had time to document it yet"

1 month later
#2 6 years ago

Yes, want & need.

Glad I haven't forked out on the other options after seeing this!

Anymore information about the api or anything like that about?

#3 6 years ago

The Pinheck board itself requires:
External audio amplifier (plugs into 3.5mm jack)
12 volt and 5 volt power supply (like http://na.suzohapp.com/all_catalogs/power_supplies/80-0064-00)
50 volt switching power supply (switching ones available from Jameco I believe)

Our amplifier would work great with this. Set up is exactly what's required

#4 6 years ago

I'm excited for this pinheck board (built by parker AKA longhorn engineer)
http://longhornengineer.com

I'm also excited for fast pinball (WPC architecture), formerly skillshots pinball
http://skillshotpinball.com

I'd also be curious if planetary pinball ever intends on selling their arduino based controller

1 month later
#5 6 years ago

Thanks for creating this tread. I am interested in this board as compared to p-roc and Fast too when all information is out.

2 months later
#6 6 years ago

Any idea when they will go on sale to the general public?

1 month later
#7 5 years ago

Impatient idle curiosity bump.

Anybody heard anything else?

#8 5 years ago

I sent a message to Longhorn Engineer last week, but haven't heard back yet unfortunately.

#9 5 years ago

Thanks.

I was just bored at work, and thinking about pinball (imagine that!) and this came to mind.

I'm not ready to buy, but this is sure on my radar.

#10 5 years ago

I've given up on this ever being released. There is no info anywhere about it. I sent a message to Ben and he didn't know, said to ask Chuck. He mentioned that the documentation isn't done, so maybe that's the sticking point, I dunno. I guess if you want one, you need to buy an AMH.

I'm still torn between the options. I have 2 projects I'd like to do. First is a EM conversion of Aztec, I thought this would be a good place to get my feet wet, The 2nd is BK2K 2.0.

P-ROC seems like a good choice, but the extra boards for system 11 makes it less appealing for the BK2K project, but I imagine with any of the choices you need to have some sort of interface board for your specific pin?

FAST seems to have some steam behind it, and is already in production games like TBL, MMr but I still have no idea what I need from them for either project

PinHeck - ??? - Used in AMH and possibly WOOLY, Unobtanium.

I still don't understand, and if someone knows, please tell me why it is we can't just develop for the current system 11 boards. Couldn't some sort of EEPROM interface be made so the board can be controlled directly? Obviously this doesn't apply to EM's.

It seems like I have a software issue that I'm buying hardware to overcome.

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from NextoPin:

FAST seems to have some steam behind it, and is already in production games like TBL, MMr but I still have no idea what I need from them for either project
PinHeck - ??? - Used in AMH and possibly WOOLY, Unobtanium.

The only thing accurate in this bit is that AMH runs a PinHeck board.

TBL and MMr are not FAST boards. The TBL protos and WOOLY run on P-ROCS, the MMR system is it's own thing.

What I heard in random chatter is that Ben isn't really interested in documenting or supporting the board he built for AMH for general public use. That may change, but it's what I heard.

#12 5 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

The only thing accurate in this bit is that AMH runs a PinHeck board.
TBL and MMr are not FAST boards. The TBL protos and WOOLY run on P-ROCS, the MMR system is it's own thing.
What I heard in random chatter is that Ben isn't really interested in documenting or supporting the board he built for AMH for general public use. That may change, but it's what I heard.

Apologies. I didn't mean to put incorrect info out there. I knew TBL was P-ROC but I got mixed up when I posted. It's possible the WOOLY could go over to PinHeck if being made by spooky, maybe?

Didn't know MMr was proprietary.

I know building a pin isn't simple, but I can't even get past what board to use.

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from NextoPin:

It's possible the WOOLY could go over to PinHeck if being made by Spooky, maybe?

Spooky would just be assembling, doesn't really matter to them what board gets used. And I'd say it's highly unlikely they'd switch to a different board now if it meant re-writing all the code (which the PinHeck board would).

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from NextoPin:

I still don't understand, and if someone knows, please tell me why it is we can't just develop for the current system 11 boards.

P-ROC (not sure what FAST have up their sleeve) will slot into Stern Whitestar, Stern SAM and Williams WPC and just replace the existing CPU board in there. It'll hook right up to the existing driver boards etc. Out of the box, on it's own, that's what it'll connect to without additional hardware. It can be used with other platforms, but then you'll need some other way of interfacing it with the rest of the pinball machine. A one-size-fits-all controller for the many variants of CPU/solenoid/lamp/switch controls just wouldn't be feasible.

So if you want to hook the P-ROC to something different, you will need some extra boards of some kind. I can speak to System 11 as I designed that interface board. The main problem with the System 11 is that the CPU, switch matrix, lamp matrix and all the solenoid drives are on the single board. You can't control the existing CPU by pretending to be an EPROM (at least nothing exists that will do that at the moment, cool idea but even if it were possible that would be really complicated and still need hardware). So you either need to bypass the CPU section of the board and hook into the various outputs, or replace the whole board. It is possible to do the former, but you end up pretty much destroying the existing board and hacking in a rats nest of wiring. There are some early threads over on pinballcontrollers where this was done.

The interface board that I designed should work fine with all Sys11 machines and Data East (as they copied the Sys11 design), so you take out the existing MPU and replace with a P-ROC and my interface board. That's what a bunch of projects are using at the moment. Not too cheap, but I don't make any profit on my board if you buy it as a kit.

I know FAST made reference to Sys11 2.0 in some old posts, but I have no idea what they're planning or when...

#15 5 years ago

Pinball Circus is currently using the Pinheck board and will likely do so on release. I have one of Snux Sys11 interface boards (and mypinballs Alphanumeric controller to go with it). Both boards are fantastic quality. Just wish I'd ordered the kit, still haven't made my Mouser order to populate the darned thing but it is a rock solid, high quality board.

#16 5 years ago

We are documenting the pinHeck board as we work with it on Python's Pinball Circus and also working on a more formal framework for it.

If Charlie/Ben decided to sell the boards to the general public, we'd more than likely share our documentation and framework with others using the board.

I have to commend Ben and Parker as the board was rock solid while we had Pinball Circus at expo and played 713 games without any issues.

#17 5 years ago

Cool. I didn't know Pinball Circus was going to be using the pinHeck board.

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from pkiefert:

We are documenting the pinHeck board as we work with it on Python's Pinball Circus and also working on a more formal framework for it

So it sounds like the boards are solid, you just want to make sure people understand how to use it (and perhaps some basic sample code to get a pinball flipping)? I don't blame them for holding off before releasing, I wouldn't want to deal with customers contacting me with incomplete instructions.

#19 5 years ago

What's the sound board being used in pinball circus?

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

What's the sound board being used in Pinball Circus?

Right now we are using the Lapai amp just like AMH uses. Can't remember the model number off the top of my head though.

#21 5 years ago
Quoted from pkiefert:

We are documenting the pinHeck board as we work with it on Python's Pinball Circus and also working on a more formal framework for it.
If Charlie/Ben decided to sell the boards to the general public, we'd more than likely share our documentation and framework with others using the board.
I have to commend Ben and Parker as the board was rock solid while we had Pinball Circus at expo and played 713 games without any issues.

It was funny when they first got it flipping and the attract mode for AMH was still on it. It was really amazing how fast they got it from barely flipping to whitewood playable in time for Expo. We're talking a few days. I must add that the programmer they are using is second to none. The board seems to be really awesome and self contained (meaning that no additional computers are required to control it).

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

What's the sound board being used in Pinball Circus?

It would be the pinHeck board.

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

What I heard in random chatter is that Ben isn't really interested in documenting or supporting the board he built for AMH for general public use. That may change, but it's what I heard.

I can't say I blame him. He's done the right thing; he's released basically open source copies of the source code, 3D printed parts, etc. That's way more than you'd get from any manufacturer. I know it sucks he isn't supporting this like a traditional manufacturer but I think the idea is he makes a new project, outlines how it works, releases it to the world, and moves on to something new.

It sucks you can't just 'buy one', but I don't think he intended people to 'buy one', though? From the video and what I could grok, he released the code and board plans so basically anyone could make their own. If you're looking for something more off-the-shelf I think P-ROC is more appropriate.

#24 5 years ago

Pinheck system started as an evolution of the system I had in "Bill Paxton Pinball"

The breadboard Pinheck system was used on that "Lost" game we tried making in 2011. We aborted that game because it played like crap and because you can't sell "fan fiction" games.

I started AMH using leftover "Lost" parts early 2012. Early 2013 I told Chuck he could use my boards on his new pinball venture. This year head start is partly how he made AMH so "quickly"

Summer 2013 Parker Dillman and I designed a revised version, pretty much what's in the game now. Next batch is going to have some revisions such as a port for Aaron Davis' serial RGB lighting (128 RGB on top of existing light matrix) improvements to the GI, port for add-on secondary A/V processor and more.

Selling them: Basically any that come off the line go right into an AMH, and after spending a shit ton of time coding I really wasn't in the mood to do too much documentation. But their IS some: http://www.benheck.com/pinHeck_wiki/index.php/Main_Page

But yes, there is NOTHING stopping you from grabbing the files off GitHub and spinning some boards from China. You'll just have a helluva time stuffing that PIC32.

https://github.com/LonghornEngineer/Pinheck_Pinball_System

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

So you either need to bypass the CPU section of the board and hook into the various outputs, or replace the whole board. It is possible to do the former, but you end up pretty much destroying the existing board and hacking in a rats nest of wiring. There are some early threads over on pinballcontrollers where this was done.

'a rats nest of wiring'.... nicely said....
It was fun though, and I don't think it's 'destroying' the existing board: I desoldered the IC's and can easily put them back in the sockets that are on the board now (the wiring are soldered to sockets that are mounted on the sockets on the board).

That said: please go with P-ROC and Marks pcb for system 11: it's definitely the best and cleanest option and has extra 'outputs' for i.e. an extra topper, shakermotor (some extra electronics required though), extra flashers, etc so you can expand the system11 game with new hardware-features! (you may not think you'll use them at first, but it's really fun to do.. I added a shaker and some flashers and plan on adding more... someday )

If I'd create a new custom game I'd look into the Pinheck system as well, IF it became available (though P-ROC would be simpler to me because of some experience, so I might just be 'lazy' and skip the option).

#26 5 years ago

Thank you all for the feedback. I look forward to someone making the PinHeck board. I assumed there was some secret sauce that would be required in order to have one made.

I'll look into the PROC and system 11 interface again, it appears that it's the way to go at the moment.

Thanks again.

#27 5 years ago

I looked at the schematics for the PinHeck and it's very basic, actually. It's a good, solid design.

The only complex portion is the PIC chip, which is probably beyond your average hobbyist to program. Also he uses a lot of SMCs which is difficult for hobbyists as well.

It would seem there's a demand for an all-in-one board that someone with basic soldering skills could assemble and use.

#28 5 years ago

Hmmm... I kinda want to build one, just for the hell of it...

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Also he uses a lot of SMCs which is difficult for hobbyists as well.

For us the most important stuff, the mosfets, are all through hole. We've toasted a couple of them while rushing to get Circus ready for Expo and they were easy to replace.

So most of the stuff you'd likely need to replace is still through hole.

#30 5 years ago

What type of lights are you using for pinball circus?

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

What type of lights are you using for Pinball Circus?

Right now we have mostly socketed Titan Pinball LEDs in it as he's close by and a friend of ours.

#32 5 years ago

SMD/SMT is EASIER to solder/assemble than through hole. You just need to use the right tools. Solder paste, oven, fine tip iron for fixups, and a hot air station for removing parts. Maybe if your vision isn't so great you'll want a magnifier for some things.

So the only thing you can really argue is that it might be a bit more expensive to get the right tools, but it's not harder.

Also, I'm a hobbyist when it comes to electronics/soldering/etc.

#33 5 years ago

PIC32 is programmed with C / Wiring so if you can program and Arduino, you're good. We also provide AMH source code so you can reverse engineer it. You don't need to worry about low-level stuff.

PIC32 is barely hand-solderable. I can do it... barely... after a few tries.

#34 5 years ago
Quoted from reltham:

SMD/SMT is EASIER to solder/assemble than through hole. You just need to use the right tools. Solder paste, oven, fine tip iron for fixups, and a hot air station for removing parts. Maybe if your vision isn't so great you'll want a magnifier for some things.
So the only thing you can really argue is that it might be a bit more expensive to get the right tools, but it's not harder.
Also, I'm a hobbyist when it comes to electronics/soldering/etc.

I agree with Roy. I had never done any surface mount soldering until about a year ago. With an oven, solder paste, a flux pen (especially with the lead free paste) and a fine iron tip I can get some boards built all right. A hot air station is a big help too. Glad Dave and Roy have one I can use. (but its on my Christmas list!)

I put together 3 more FAST Controllers last night, each with over 200 tiny parts. Takes me a little over an hour each to do them. Then maybe 30 mins of rework and cleanup.

A microscope if nice to have for looking for shorts on chips. (Also on my Chrismas list!)

Aaron
FAST Pinball

4 months later
#35 5 years ago

Why don't we use Kick starter to fund a production run for enthusiast? Longhorn is already making the boards. Maybe we can have one of the pledge rewards be, becoming Ben's secretary for a month and finish documentation. Haha. Ben you wont have to do anything except speak.

1 week later
#36 5 years ago

Pledge reward should be a Hot Pocket Dispenser for your pinball machine.

1 week later
#37 5 years ago

Are there any programming resources out there for this?

I love this solution as an all-in-one board. Unfortunately I don't see the sort of community support or any resources for a hobbyist to do something with it.

Something like the Mission Pinball Framework on this sounds really awesome, hopefully that will be a reality.

#38 5 years ago

I have an AMH and been doing code changes, I love this system. I am planning on buying a few spare boards to do some custom stuff with.

#39 5 years ago

Is there any way we can do a group buy or something with these? I really like the idea of an all in one solution and supporting Ben and Spooky.

2 months later
4 weeks later
#41 5 years ago

I bought the set listed in the marketplace... Ben, is there any chance of getting your latest "stripped down" code library for it without the AMH stuff? Maybe posted to github?

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