(Topic ID: 118029)

Replacing the 8-track player in Midway Haunted House with a sound card


By HisboyElroy

4 years ago



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  • 107 posts
  • 38 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by pinhead52
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    There are 107 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
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    #1 4 years ago

    For the past few months I’ve been tinkering with my Midway Haunted House gun game. One of the items on my project list is game sound; the tape player ate my 8-track tape at some point & the belt that drives the tape player is broken. Pinball Pal used to sell replacement tapes and belts, but from what I’ve read that site is no longer operational.

    So I found this sound card made by Robertsonics and sold by Sparkfun, the “Wav Trigger”. The card has 16 triggers that can be engaged by a physical switch. Switches can be configured to play .wav files from a Micro SD card, increase or decrease volume, or stop all sound playback. Multiple .wav files (up to 14) can play at the same time and each trigger can be configured to play multiple sounds (random or sequential) if desired. In my case, Haunted House sounds can be downloaded in .mp3 format. I converted them to .wav files and split into individual tracks. I used Audacity (free download) to do the conversion and clean-up some of the static in the .mp3 file sounds…

    The sound card comes with software to program each trigger. Basically I have the first switch configured to play the background sound, the second switch randomly plays one of the three cat sounds, the third switch randomly plays one of the 34 monster sounds, the fourth switch randomly plays one of the 42 witch sounds, the fifth switch stops all sound, and the 6th and 7th switch are volume controls. I have 9 switches left! I could use another switch to add gunshot sounds and coin-up sounds but right now I am only working with stock sounds from the original game 8-track.

    At this point I’ve added two leaf switches to the game over relay. One triggers the background music when a the game over relay is off, and the other stops all sounds when the game over relay is engaged. I am planning to add leaf switches to the ‘witch hit’, ‘cat hit’, and ‘monster hit’ relays to play those sounds respectively, but my game still isn’t working so I cannot test that yet…

    I just wanted to post this so that others could benefit from it. You could use the card to add sounds to any EM game… You need to provide your own power source (6-12vDC), a Micro SD card to hold the sounds, and I soldered some header pins to the board so that I could make a plug for my wiring harness from the card to my leaf switches. The card costs $50. Here’s a link:

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12897

    and here’s a video I made, bench testing my card with Haunted House sounds:

    So far the only limitation I have found is that you cannot loop sounds. So in my case, if a game lasts longer than the background music (162 seconds) the sound would stop. You could overcome this by creating a large .wav file that loops the background sound… All of my .wav files combined are only 27mb and my Micro SD card is 16gb, so I could afford to loop it many times but I don’t think it’s an issue for me since games probably won’t last that long.

    I’m not affiliated with Robertsonics or Sparkfun, just passing along info.

    #2 4 years ago

    Absolute Genius!!!!!!!

    You have opened the doors to any EM having sounds including Pinball.

    Sound effects, Call outs, Music, etc. This is the Color DMD for EMs!!!!!!!!!!

    Now any switch can have a sound including score reel switches and Tilt mechs.

    The possibilities for EM sounds are limitless with this.

    You can even add sounds to a Gameroom itself this is really clever your the man.

    #3 4 years ago

    Yea, my Abra Cadabra will get a sound track very neat!

    Or imagine an interactive door bell

    #4 4 years ago

    Brilliant! Awesome idea HisboyElroy....I have a few even older (60's) EM rifle games that had no or very primitive sounds. Was thinking of doing something like this to add some life to them...

    That sound board seems more than adequate to do the job

    #5 4 years ago

    Super smart!

    #6 4 years ago

    Looking at the schematic you should be able to use the existing 8 track harness to trigger the sounds.

    hh.png
    #7 4 years ago

    Thanks for posting that schematic!! I wasn't sure whether the 8-track harness passed voltage through those wires... I actually posted on Sparkfun's forum asking whether it was OK to pass voltage through the trigger switches and the reply I got said that normal operation for the board was just contact closure to ground. They warned against passing more than 5v to a trigger input. Maybe I'll coin-up a game and measure with a DMM? It would be much simpler than rigging-up leaf switches.

    #8 4 years ago

    Am I correct in assuming you can only trigger 14 different sounds with this device? Or is that 14 simultaneously from a palette of many more sounds?

    #9 4 years ago

    It's up to 14 simultaneous sounds with a total of 16 switches from a palette of up to 999 different sound (wav) files. In my case, the witch switch has 42 different sounds assigned to it, it will play any one of those 42 sounds randomly each time I close the switch.

    If one of the switches plays background music then you'll want to assign one of the other switches to stop all sounds when the game ends, so that would leave you with 15 sound triggers. But you could wire a single sound trigger to multiple switches if they will have like sounds assigned to them (like drop targets or pops).

    #10 4 years ago


    Awesome! Thanks for posting!

    #11 4 years ago

    That is awesome! Nice job thinking outside the "8 track box"!

    #12 4 years ago

    Wow. Good work! Will save a lot of games.

    #13 4 years ago

    Really cool project here.

    #14 4 years ago

    I can see this working for many games. I wanted to do custom sounds on Miss World, and this is probably the way i'm going to be able to do it.

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from HisboyElroy:

    Thanks for posting that schematic!! I wasn't sure whether the 8-track harness passed voltage through those wires... I actually posted on Sparkfun's forum asking whether it was OK to pass voltage through the trigger switches and the reply I got said that normal operation for the board was just contact closure to ground. They warned against passing more than 5v to a trigger input. Maybe I'll coin-up a game and measure with a DMM? It would be much simpler than rigging-up leaf switches.

    yes you would want to measure the voltage to see what is on that line.

    #16 4 years ago

    Bump because this is so cool.

    #17 4 years ago

    Robertsonics here. The trigger inputs can be configured for contact closures - basically a switch or button to ground, or for logic level activation, which means 3.3V or 5V signals. Anything over 5V will likely damage the GPIO pin of the processor.

    Tracks can be looped using the serial control port, and I'm testing new firmware that supports looping from a trigger input. Keep an eye on my website (robertsonics.com) because I'm regularly pushing out new firmware.

    Let me know if you have questions about the WAV Trigger and I'll do my best to answer.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from robertsonics:

    Robertsonics here. The trigger inputs can be configured for contact closures - basically a switch or button to ground, or for logic level activation, which means 3.3V or 5V signals. Anything over 5V will likely damage the GPIO pin of the processor.
    Tracks can be looped using the serial control port, and I'm testing new firmware that supports looping from a trigger input. Keep an eye on my website (robertsonics.com) because I'm regularly pushing out new firmware.
    Let me know if you have questions about the WAV Trigger and I'll do my best to answer.

    based upon the above schematic for the old 8 track player what do you think would be the best way to wire in the wav trigger. I believe the voltage line for each sound on the old 8 tracker player is either 12v or 24v. Don't have easy access to the game at the moment so hopefully the thread author can post the actual voltage.

    I can send the complete schematic if necessary.

    #19 4 years ago

    Well, once you know the voltage, you could use a voltage divider to convert to 3.3V. Or you could use a relay to create a contact-closure. Try googling "12V to 5V input" or similar.

    #20 4 years ago

    If you're ordering the sound board from Sparkfun you can just grab a level converter at the same time for an extra $3. https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12009

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from robertsonics:

    Robertsonics here. The trigger inputs can be configured for contact closures - basically a switch or button to ground, or for logic level activation, which means 3.3V or 5V signals. Anything over 5V will likely damage the GPIO pin of the processor.
    Tracks can be looped using the serial control port, and I'm testing new firmware that supports looping from a trigger input. Keep an eye on my website (robertsonics.com) because I'm regularly pushing out new firmware.
    Let me know if you have questions about the WAV Trigger and I'll do my best to answer.

    Thanks for the info Robertsonics. I didn’t know you were a Pinsider. I’m really happy with your card… Glad to hear that you’re developing the ability to loop sound from a trigger input, I’ll keep checking your site.

    If that comes to fruition I was thinking about putting one of your cards into an EM pinball and disconnecting the chime unit & taking it to Pinball Expo this year for the exhibit hall. May I humbly suggest that you also consider the ability to “loop” through a series of .wav files while a trigger is engaged? That would open up a lot of possibilities for background sounds/themes during a pinball game.

    As for my Haunted House project, my game has been banished to our storage room for my daughter’s slumber party. You may have noticed in the bench test video that my game was in the kitchen. For some reason, not everyone in my family thinks it’s a good idea to have a project shooting gallery in the kitchen when guests are over. Go figure… I hope to pull the game out Saturday and resume work on it. I can measure voltage on that 8-track harness, if there is enough voltage to drive a coil then I have several relays with small coils laying around from past pinball projects. I’ll post some pics of my existing setup with the leaf switches that drive the background sound, and if I am ever able to sort-out my score motor/reel issue I will get the rest of the relays hooked-up and post back here with pics.

    #22 4 years ago

    Keep in mind that if you set a trigger to "level" type, instead of the default "edge" type, then a track will loop as long as the trigger is held active. This works in the existing firmware. If you also set the trigger function to "Next", then holding the trigger active should continuously cycle through the selected track range, which I believe is what you are asking for.

    #23 4 years ago

    Cool thread. Would be great if you could make kits that are ready to drop
    In.

    #24 4 years ago

    you know, an awesome product for someone to produce would be a little self contained switch that can just piggy back on regular leaf switches and make this board easy to implement on any pinball machine. So EM's and Early SS games can easily be customized for sounds.

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    you know, an awesome product for someone to produce would be a little self contained switch that can just piggy back on regular leaf switches and make this board easy to implement on any pinball machine. So EM's and Early SS games can easily be customized for sounds.

    yes, that would be rather cool...

    it would be cool to make "royal guard" (for example) play a few bars of "god save the queen" when you hit a special...

    and so on... i can think of lots of things to do with something like this that will really annoy my em brethren...

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    it would be cool to make "royal guard" (for example) play a few bars of "god save the queen" when you hit a special...

    Sounds good to me!

    Ken

    #27 4 years ago

    you know me altogether TOO well...

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    yes, that would be rather cool...
    it would be cool to make "royal guard" (for example) play a few bars of "god save the queen" when you hit a special...
    and so on... i can think of lots of things to do with something like this that will really annoy my em brethren...

    Damn - I gotta find the guts for the head of my Royal guard!

    4 months later
    #29 4 years ago

    Hello. Is this something that can be purchased? My HH is running perfect except sound gets cutoff, like most machines.

    #30 4 years ago

    great idea. Most HH gun games sounds are missing. Would be great to add sounds to a lot of EM machines or even to newer DMD games. The possibilities are endless.

    #31 4 years ago

    We are currently programming a raspberry pi for my Captain Kidd. We are programming switches on the game like if you hit a pirate he says"argghh" and a parrot says "squak". This game did not come with sounds. I will keep you posted. For more info. email zapdbf.com.

    #32 4 years ago

    If I can find a cheap, counter-top pre-flipper this might be a cool little art project. I could wire basic switches into the scoring holes. I was thinking I could take some music that matches the theme and era and then split it out into its individual parts (drums, bass, horns, etc). Then you create a unique song every time you play.

    4 months later
    #33 3 years ago

    Elroy,

    Any progress with this? I have a Haunted House coming to me soon and even though it's fully working, I am always on the lookout for solutions when one day it *isn't*.

    -1
    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    yes, that would be rather cool...
    it would be cool to make "royal guard" (for example) play a few bars of "god save the queen" when you hit a special...
    and so on... i can think of lots of things to do with something like this that will really annoy my em brethren...

    I understand why purists dislike meddling with original pins because the vast majority of custom mods, painted cabs, goofy rainbow LED's, etc. just look like ass. It's depressing to see a piece of classic art fall victim to a poorly executed plan.

    However, that being said, I'm a huge proponent of upgrades "done in the spirit of the original vision". Color DMD's, mirror blades, stealth LED's, even some custom rethemes improve upon the original formula. Always exciting to see that happen. The creative spirit is what gave us pinball in the first place, yanno?

    I like the "God Save The Queen" idea. The key is to make it a short ditty and use a vintage instrument for the sound samples. Or, if you are really serious, install a small xylophone or mariamba to play the notes!

    2 months later
    #35 3 years ago

    I am working on a plug and play solution designed for haunted house but should work for others which use same pinout.

    Stayed tuned for details

    Thanks to HisboyElroy for sending me the converted audio files!

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from thepita007:

    I am working on a plug and play solution designed for haunted house but should work for others which use same pinout.
    Stayed tuned for details
    Thanks to HisboyElroy for sending me the converted audio files!

    Got a friend that will be happy to see this. mp3 triggered?

    #37 3 years ago

    mp3 trigger is not polyphonic (multiple tracks at same time) so likely wav trigger.

    1 month later
    #38 3 years ago

    AWESOME!!! would love to install something like this in my haunted house or wild kingdom.. mabey add some real animal sounds instead of electronic noises...

    Has anyone already install this and have it running???

    2 weeks later
    #39 3 years ago

    Any updates on this project yet?

    #40 3 years ago

    soon still putting my game back together had issues with the horizontal witch motor but got that sorted now.

    #41 3 years ago

    Sounds good thanks!

    3 weeks later
    #42 3 years ago

    Finally a update for everyone!

    Please check out the following thread.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/midway-em-rifle-modern-audio-replacement

    1 month later
    #43 3 years ago

    Hello everyone- sorry to highjack a thread but I really need some help to get my Haunted House gun game up and running. I think I've located all the parts I was missing except for a part of the witch target assembly. It is listed in the parts list and diagram as part #538-160 washer-drive. Its just a plastic washer the sits atop part #538-723 drive wheel. Any help I can get would be greatly appreciated!

    IMG_5001_(resized).JPG

    IMG_5004_(resized).JPG

    1 year later
    #44 2 years ago

    Has anyone replaced the 8-track unit and installed a solid state sound board in these midway games? I have a Gangbusters I would like to replace the 8-track unit.

    #45 2 years ago

    have you checked with William Stillwell? he has made a plug and play like you inquired, for the HH rifle and also i believe, could be used for other games. He has put me on the list for one, if interested i can get you his email address?

    #46 2 years ago

    I did the WAV Trigger in my 1956 Williams Crossfire.
    It was a lot of work.
    I had to add a relay bank to interface with the 50 volt signals to each target.
    I was very pleased with the results though I was never able to completely eliminate the ghost trips.

    I set up my game to run either the bells that it came with or digital sound via the WAV-Trigger.
    It is cool that you can choose your own sounds when you set it up.

    #47 2 years ago
    Quoted from whip:

    have you checked with William Stillwell? he has made a plug and play like you inquired, for the HH rifle and also i believe, could be used for other games. He has put me on the list for one, if interested i can get you his email address?

    Sure, I'll take it. Thanks

    1 week later
    #48 2 years ago

    If possible can you provide me with William Stillwells email as well? I also have a Gangbusters with no 8 track. Does anyone know if the 8 track went into the front of the machine where the coin box is? I have an unused wiring harness there. I also appear to have a piece missing from the back below where the robber slide cutout is, but I have no idea what may have gone there. There are 2 screws attaching nothing and a metal plate with what appears to be a wear mark...any ideas or does anyone have a picture of the machine with the back bottom panel off?

    #49 2 years ago
    Quoted from FilthyMcNasty:

    If possible can you provide me with William Stillwells email as well? I also have a Gangbusters with no 8 track. Does anyone know if the 8 track went into the front of the machine where the coin box is?

    ki4swy@gmail.com

    2 months later
    #50 1 year ago
    Quoted from FilthyMcNasty:

    If possible can you provide me with William Stillwells email as well? I also have a Gangbusters with no 8 track. Does anyone know if the 8 track went into the front of the machine where the coin box is? I have an unused wiring harness there. I also appear to have a piece missing from the back below where the robber slide cutout is, but I have no idea what may have gone there. There are 2 screws attaching nothing and a metal plate with what appears to be a wear mark...any ideas or does anyone have a picture of the machine with the back bottom panel off?

    Yes on mine the 8 Track player sits just behind the coin box , I can take a pic of the inside of mine if you need one , and here's a link on the game ... http://www.pinrepair.com/arcade/gangbus.htm

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