(Topic ID: 251086)

Re-Game: 1985 Tag Team Pinball


By cobra18t

8 days ago



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  • 12 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by cobra18t
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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#1 8 days ago

I have a few ideas for original pinball games, but decided it would be better to work my way into that instead of leaping headlong into the abyss. To that end, I bought a beat up Tag-Team Pinball playfield. It was mostly populated although a few things had been scavenged. This will be my test bed for learning to make a new game. Here is the plan:

1. Strip out all lighting. I plan on using addressable RGB LEDs, so the old GI and matrix has to go.
2. Rewire solenoids and associated direct switches to be controlled by a custom driver.
3. Make a custom controller/driver board based on OPP by openpinballproj.
4. Mount the playfield in a temporary cabinet.
5. Clean and repair the playfield and its parts to get it back to playable condition.
6. Create a new game using the Mission Pinball Framework from jabdoa. I am not trying to directly copy the original gameplay, but will use it for design cues.
7. Build a coffee table cabinet and mount a display in the instruction card spot since there will be no head.
8. Get this all done to show at the Golden State Pinball Festival in May. goldenstatepin

Stick to the plan, chums.

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#2 8 days ago

I got all the lighting stripped out.

I did some switch matrix tests using OPP and MPF and everything seemed to work although the switches seemed inverted (active low). Strange, but I just changed the MPF config so that the result was correct.

I also got some initial testing of solenoids using my hacked together power board. It has 24V and 5V supplies as well as a power filter capacitor board from OPP/Mezel Mods.

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#3 8 days ago

I’m following this one! I wish I had a better understanding of electronics so I could attempt something like this myself. Can’t wait to see the final result!

#4 8 days ago
Quoted from cobra18t:

It has 24V and 5V supplies as well as a power filter capacitor board from OPP/Mezel Mods.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Dumb question- I'm working through something similar now. Did you gang together the grounds, and if so are you having any voltage bleeding? I'd love some more pics of this setup.

#5 8 days ago
Quoted from drsfmd:

Dumb question- I'm working through something similar now. Did you gang together the grounds, and if so are you having any voltage bleeding? I'd love some more pics of this setup.

Always connect your grounds. Everything else can be very dangerous (unless you know exactly what you are doing). I recommend: http://docs.missionpinball.org/en/dev/hardware/voltages_and_power/voltages_and_power.html and http://docs.missionpinball.org/en/dev/hardware/voltages_and_power/wiring_and_connectors.html. For legal stuff about grounding: http://docs.missionpinball.org/en/dev/hardware/voltages_and_power/ground_and_appliance_classes.html

#6 8 days ago
Quoted from jabdoa:

Always connect your grounds.

Of course. That's not what I mean. I'm asking if 2 DC circuits, put together with separate power supplies like OP has done, each need their own DC ground, or if they can share a common ground. In other words, +6v out to one circuit, + 18V (in the project I'm working on) out to the other. Can the - side of those circuits be ganged together? Way off OPs topic, but I'm working on an early electromechanical with a failed transformer. I've got the idea to use two separate power supplies. The challenge is that in the original configuration, there's a single DC - supporting both.

#7 8 days ago

drsfmd, Yes, I connect the returns ("-" terminal) of the power supplies together at the supplies. The articles that jabdoa linked are great references.

#8 7 days ago

I got the boards in today. This was my first time ordering from JLCPCB. They are 2-layer boards and they took about a week from order to receipt with DHL shipping from China to California. I might have got them sooner if I had stuck with green soldermask. They claim 24 hour fab time with green and 3-4 days with any other color. But I wanted red...because I wanted red.

I got the minimum order of 5. They are 7.75 x 4.25 inches.

They look quite good. Via drill hits are spot on and soldermask alignment is barely short of perfect. The soldermask is clean even on nearly tented vias. The silkscreen is clear with no smears or spatters. I have been spoiled by ENIG and ENEPIG plating in the past, but the HASL on this looks very good. The only place where the solder plating is not level was a spot on each of the corner mounting holes. I can live with that.

The third picture shows the tiny surface mount FET portion of the solderpaste stencil that I lasercut cut today. The FETs are only about 3mm square. The stencil is made from a clear polyester sheet so it it kind of hard to see. I had to use the Digikey ruler to have something for my phone camera to focus on. Sprechen of Digikey, I also got my parts order today. Maybe tomorrow I can solder a board if I have time.

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#9 7 days ago

In terms of OPP functionality, this board is roughly equivalent to:

- 6x solenoid wings
- 2x switch wings
- power filter board
- 2x interface wings

Or to put it more absolutely:
- Power filtering/switching
- 24 solenoid outputs (trying some new surface mount FETs)
- Up to 48 direct switches (can also use an 8x8 switch matrix)
- Raspberry Pi hosting option
- I2C and servo output via Pi
- holds two processor boards
- OPP chain ports for expansion
- 4.25 x 7.75"
- Power connectors: 0.156"
- Switch connectors: 0.1"

Is this board ready for sale?
NO! It is a prototype. Let me do some testing and iteration. Besides, OPP is in the process of moving to a new processor: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/mpf-users/QVQsO6JjID8

#10 6 days ago

I soldered a board today. I got a little lazy and only soldered the connectors I need for this game. I can always add them later.

There was some interest in knowing more about how I soldered the surface mount parts, so I added some pictures for that too.

1. I line up the stencil I made and tape it in place along one edge.
2. I lay down a bead of solderpaste on one end of the surface mount area.
3. Using a razor blade or putty knife, I squeegee the paste over the stencil and confirm that all apertures were evenly filled with paste.
4. Using tweezers or a vacuum pick up tool, I place all 110 surface mount parts. Then I set it on a hot plate and wait for the parts to reflow.
5. Clean off the flux and inspect the joints because surface mount soldering is done!

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#11 1 day ago

When populating the surface mount portion of the board, I remove the footprints of all the through hole parts in the stencil. Otherwise the holes can get filled up with solder which makes it more difficult to solder the through hole parts. (Through hole parts seem to always extend below the bottom of the board, so the parts can't be placed and continue to have good contact with the surface of the hot plate.)

When soldering large parts with a big pad beneath them, the squeegee method can put too much paste for that pad. I have reduced the size of the hole in the stencil to reduce the amount of paste under the part. (It does seem like the stencil layer has broken those large areas into four smaller areas. The footprints I was working with didn't do that, which may be why I needed to modify my stencil layer).

Looks great. Only added the necessary connectors is not lazy, that is cost conscious. I don't believe that you mentioned the price that you paid for the 5 boards plus shipping. Mostly I like to know, to make sure there aren't cheaper alternatives to what I currently use for fabbing the PCBs I do. (ITeadstudio does 10 boards of 10 cm x 10 cm for $20, but, here is the kicker, they will allow you to score between multiple copies of the same board on the 10 cm x 10 cm panel.)

#12 1 day ago

I make the stencil from the F.Paste layer which should not have any through hole pads on it. That is a good clarification that the hotplate was only used for surface mount parts and needs to be done *before* through hole soldering.

Yes, "windowing" of the solder paste is generally recommended for large pads. The FET footprint from Nexperia specifies these windows and the KiCad footprint already had these.

I paid $20 total ($11 for boards, $9 for shipping) for 5 boards that were 7.75 x 4.25 inches from JLCPCB.com. I am not sure what their upcharge is for scoring. Their quoting system is pretty straightforward like most Chinese fabricators I have seen, so it should be simple to get an estimate.

I powered up the 5V section of the board and connected to it via MPF. The main lesson so far is that the yellow LED and 1kohm resistor to ground on the same pin as the onboard button is enough to force the processor into bootloader mode at power up. I removed the two resistors for COIL_0-3 and COIL_1-3 to allow the processors to boot. Everything seems to be talking and reacting well to my MPF configuration.

I have some wire crimping and playfield soldering to do before I connect the 24V supplies to the board.

FET footprint (resized).png
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