(Topic ID: 99326)

RFM RGB Saucer Mod - Batch 5 in progress


By applejuice

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 318 posts
  • 74 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Mancave
  • Topic is favorited by 39 Pinsiders

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There are 318 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 7.
19
#1 5 years ago

So i've been thinking about an RFM super mod for awhile now and it all came together on the bench a few days ago...

The idea is that the rfm saucers will generate full rgb patterns and then tie in to the correct mode colours during each scene. See below for a quick testing video. It will take lamp inputs to
change the colour patterns for the scenes. (I am simulating that in the vid with wire inputs)

Here is a picture of the pcb that fits into the existing saucers with no modifications needed.

IMG_2824.jpg

The kit will contain 2 assembled pcbs for the saucers and a controller board, which is driven from an arduino controller. I am thinking about setting up a github/code source area to release the controller code as open source so that others who buy the system can start to improve and modify the code, add new patterns, take it in new directions etc.

The whole kit will be 'a neat installation affair'. I am passionate about making super mods that look factory. There will be NO crocodile clips, NO loose wires to solder on. It WILL be all professional williams spec connections where it interfaces to the original lamp boards, or driver boards etc. (I am still experimenting with the best place to install the controller board and the cabling designs. More info on that later.)

Regarding the pricing. I am hoping to offer it for under £100 all in. This is not confirmed yet, but i don't want it to be massively expensive. We do live in reality though so i will see how we go.

The cabling coming out from each saucer pcb will be 3 wires. This is a serial design similar to how the AFM mothership led lamps worked and the helmet lamps on BoP. Recent advances in RGB LED technology (driven by LED TV's and advertising sign developments) have enabled simplification of the designs. Note the pcb in the pic has lots of unpopulated parts as i've managed to simplify it somewhat! I think 3 wires is the least number possible.

Please let me know if you would be interested in one of these kits for your RFM and what you think about an open source framework for people to use.

Here's another video of the proto installed in my RFM during boot up and attract. Note the pattern changes as the game goes into attract

More info and and updates will also be post to my blog here -> http://blog.mypinballs.com

#2 5 years ago

LOOKS AWESOME! I am on the hunt for a RFM and would definitely want this.

#3 5 years ago

really cool!!! Looking forward to development.

#4 5 years ago

Very cool!

#6 5 years ago

I'd be interested.

#7 5 years ago

Looks awesome, count me in.

#8 5 years ago

I'm interested.

#9 5 years ago

Looks really cool. Also looks really expensive. Just guessing that I would be out, based on the cost I imagine it might be.
On the bright side for me, I might be able to pick up an older style LED mod that someone else is swapping out for this.

#10 5 years ago

I would be in!!!!

#11 5 years ago

Not sure I like the SMTs in this example.
This is one of the only cases a regular thru-hole LED looks better IMHO.

#12 5 years ago

Like it, put me in.

#14 5 years ago

I don't even have an RFM and I want this mod... Hopefully you can design one for AFM also.

1 week later
#15 5 years ago

Pm me when thats ready to go

#16 5 years ago

Take my money please!

#17 5 years ago

I'd be in too, sounds very promising

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Not sure I like the SMTs in this example.
This is one of the only cases a regular thru-hole LED looks better IMHO.

I agree. You need something like the frosted plastic "pins" that JJP uses on the GI in WOZ to bring the light from the surface mount light source up through the holes in the saucers to look more like lights on the saucers themselves. If you had something like that I would be a buyer of the mod.

#19 5 years ago

I like it. Count me in

#20 5 years ago

I am interested as well!

#21 5 years ago

PM me when available!

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Not sure I like the SMTs in this example.
This is one of the only cases a regular thru-hole LED looks better IMHO.

Great work but I'm with Zitt on this one. It just doesn't look right with the empty holes.

#23 5 years ago

Massive thanks to everyone who has expressed an interest in my saucers I really appreciate it.

Quick Update on Progress:

I've been working out the best place and how to connect up the control board and creating the pcb layout for that. I hope to have new pics of the layout for the control board soon. It has an 11 pin WMS spec connector that daisy chains off one of the lamp matrix connectors. I am also working on improvements to the software framework for the saucer control itself and hope to have another video of action from within the game soon to

Thanks again

#24 5 years ago

Put me on the list. I wasn't one. PM sent.

#25 5 years ago

Some pics of the first pass at the controller board. I think it should mount nicely as a piggyback onto the large lamp board under the playfield. The board will connect to the lamp boards 12 pin connector and then there will be a 12v power connector and the 2 saucer cables to it.

rgb saucer controller v1 top layout.pngrgb saucer controller v1 layout.pngrgb saucer controller v1 bottom layout.png

3 weeks later
#26 5 years ago

Its big update time

Been working on getting the interaction with the lamp matrix to function nice and smoothly over the last 3 weeks and have finally got it all working well. The controller board is now monitoring all 9 feature mode lamps and setting the saucer patterns accordingly. One of the more tricky things was to get the system to be able to detect a flashing lamp and a solid lit one. The system is now monitoring the lamp matrix every 0.5ms and basing its decisions on 1000 polls. It can determine between lots of different scenarios including the in game lamp shows and main mode features. The saucers are set to the corresponding mode colours. The saucers also react to lamp shows and all the feature lamps being off.

Just adding some in game play videos now, then i'll update again and discuss some pre-ordering options.

Finally just to also mention i've been playing my game a lot today testing various scenarios and it really feels like a factory item. I'm really happy with how it's turned out and i hope everyone here will be to when you get one

The source code for the system will be a living thing aswell, updates will be released to purchasers for free adding new patterns, interactions etc as we go forward. This is one of the benefits of having micro controller control built in. Buyers will also have direct contact to me and be able to discuss ideas or 'wants' for added features etc.

#27 5 years ago

Here's a quick video of me playing my game. I've taken the video aimed at the lower playfield to show the saucers lamp interaction in most detail. The camera doesn't always show red and yellow that differently, but i hope you can see the interaction ok.

A few good places to watch are at 6.45 and 8.10. You can see the system change to the green colour for the middle modes there. Also look out for the game lamp shows between modes. The saucers will change patterns during those points with random selections so its pretty organic and then back to the correct colour once the mode lamp is enabled again. Also, i have the saucers doing a full colour sweep when all lamps are off, which currently includes the hypnobeam mode.

Regarding pre-ordering. I am offering the full kit at £100 plus shipping. This works out currently at $160 plus shipping. I would like to offer a 50% upfront and 50% once ready to ship payment approach as with the 80b cpu board project. Shipping will be added to the final amount.

I will contact everyone above who expressed an interest and give them first opportunity. If anyone else want to be included now then you can be added to. Once i know how many people are in i will place the first order for the boards. As a recap the full kit will include 2 assembled saucers (including the plastic parts) and the assembled controller board plus cabling and instructions. Plus you will have access to any software updates released after the initial production and i may even get some t-shirts made!

#28 5 years ago

Just a comment, is there a way to have lights on one saucer sequence clockwise and the other counter clockwise?

#29 5 years ago

Ok can anyone 3d print new saucers so that there aren't any holes? Or Potentially one with a martian in it? This mod looks amazing but it does look a little off with the old holes still there

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from Toucanf16:

Just a comment, is there a way to have lights on one saucer sequence clockwise and the other counter clockwise?

Yes i will be looking at that within the code. I was chatting to a friend of mine who i was showing this to and we were discussing options for the sequences. Possibly the left saucer should rotate the opposite to what it does currently.

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from jamieflowers:

Ok can anyone 3d print new saucers so that there aren't any holes? Or Potentially one with a martian in it? This mod looks amazing but it does look a little off with the old holes still there

The kit will come with 2 original saucers and domes. There is a potential to alter the dome colour perhaps, or keep it original green. The lamps on the pcb line up with the holes. You are welcome to alter them as you want to though, as the pcb is easily removable.

I personally like the idea of the game still looking factory with the original parts etc

#32 5 years ago

Will they go out with martian hypno beam?
I would think that would be distracting to have them be the only lights on.

Very cool mod. Depending on price, I'm in.

#33 5 years ago

Does this use just red, green,orange? Interesting and quite likely in for one, pending questions asked above.

#34 5 years ago
Quoted from dgoett:

Will they go out with martian hypno beam?
I would think that would be distracting to have them be the only lights on.
Very cool mod. Depending on price, I'm in.

Currently i have the code set to cycle the full colour sequence (like a hypnotic trance!) during the times when all the playfield mode lamps are off. This could be altered to just turn blank the saucers instead if people prefer that. Alternatively i'm thinking maybe some dip switches on the controller board might be in order to set various features. Kind of like the old bally cpu days

Great to get feedback and excitement from others. Please keep it coming, it really spurs me on

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from wxforecaster:

Does this use just red, green,orange? Interesting and quite likely in for one, pending questions asked above.

The saucer lamps are matched to the mode insert lamps during the times each mode lamp is active, so they change to red, green or orange, but the saucers also do some full colour sequences (13 different colours) when the mode lamps are off. The saucer leds themselves can do any colour as they are RGB. Maybe in the future we can add some other patterns and colours for other points in the game, but this is what v1 of the code will ship with.

#36 5 years ago

How will updates be applied? Will it have a USB dongle to plug into a PC or chip swap or MicroSD card or??

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from dgoett:

How will updates be applied? Will it have a USB dongle to plug into a PC or chip swap or MicroSD card or??

Updates would be computer (pc/mac) based using the arduino software ide and a standard micro usb lead between the controller board and computer.

#38 5 years ago

Coming along nicely. I like the idea of the lights spinning left and right on each saucer.

Maybe when all the 9 saucer lights are lit for attack mars they could change to red to signal make the shot and then go into full rgb cycling mode during the wizard mode, multiball modes etc?

Will there be a way to control the brightness in the software at a default level?

1 week later
#39 5 years ago

Update: I got my first full set of proto boards in to test assembly, cabling and connection from controller board up to the game lamp board.
Some pics attached. I may even have a sample set ready for play expo over here in the uk

IMG_3025.JPG
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IMG_3026.JPG

#40 5 years ago

Keep us posted of price

#41 5 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

Keep us posted of price

Quoted from applejuice:

Regarding pre-ordering. I am offering the full kit at £100 plus shipping. This works out currently at $160 plus shipping. I would like to offer a 50% upfront and 50% once ready to ship payment approach as with the 80b cpu board project.

#42 5 years ago

I do like how clean the custom PCBs are for easy installation in the two saucers and I like the color-changing effect. However, I like the way the LEDs protrude through the six holes on each saucer in the Bill Ung kit and the various lighting patterns in the Ung kit better than this new design. Either kit would be a good addition to someone's RFM.

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from littlecammi:

I do like how clean the custom PCBs are for easy installation in the two saucers and I like the color-changing effect. However, I like the way the LEDs protrude through the six holes on each saucer in the Bill Ung kit and the various lighting patterns in the Ung kit better than this new design. Either kit would be a good addition to someone's RFM.

Does anyone know the diameter of the holes in the saucers? I am thinking of experimenting with some acrylic rod to cut some pins to try and bring the light up through the holes. I think if I can sand the surface of the rods I can make something like what JJP uses in WOZ for GI.

#44 5 years ago

Very interesting mod but as others have said LEDs through the holes would be preferable.

#45 5 years ago

Some pics of the latest saucer board assembly

IMG_3030.JPG
IMG_3029.JPG
IMG_3031.jpg

If you are going to the play expo show here in the uk then i will have a set of the assembled board prototypes with me. We may even be able to install in an rfm during the weekend.

#46 5 years ago

Pics of the first proto controller board assembly. Waiting for some arudinos to arrive so can plug onto my lamp board. I love those molex connectors. Will upload some pics of how it fits to the underside of the playfield once the arduinos arrive

IMG_3034.JPG
IMG_3035.JPG

#47 5 years ago

Pic of the controller board installed in my rfm. working lovely. The board plugs on to the existing lamp board connector and also mounts to one of the lamp board screw positions. I'm very pleased with how its turned out

IMG_3042.JPGIMG_3045.JPG

1 week later
#48 5 years ago

Saw this in person at the play expo/NLP in Manchester this past weekend, a very nice bit of kit.

1 week later
#49 4 years ago

Saucers Plastics and flasher domes are inbound. More pics soon.

#50 4 years ago

Great! Will they be ready for the Christmas holiday?

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