SmartDmd : DMD interface with colors, upscaling, network and more !

(Topic ID: 72365)

SmartDmd : DMD interface with colors, upscaling, network and more !


By oga83

5 years ago



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  • Latest reply 13 days ago by oga83
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29
#1 5 years ago

SmartDmd is a software that runs on a Rapsberry Pi. It displays DMD images on a screen. But it also does much more
Pinball Browser can be used to colorize images, receive and display DMD images througth the network, configure the system, and more...

Installation
- You can download a ready-to-use SmartDmd image here (v2015-06-28) and flash a 4Gb SD card with DiskImager. You can update this image with the latest SmartDmd executable : v2015-11-04 (beta version) (just replace the executable on your SD card).

The previous version (without the "side-channel" feature, for Raspberries that don't support the turbo overclocking) is here : v2014-10-06.

Display features :
- Display DMD images on any screen (HDMI or video composite)
- Several display modes are available (Raw, Upscaling 2x, Upscaling 16x, Anti-aliasing) ! See examples here
- Display colorized images (16 colors per image, and a different palette can be specified for each image).
- Pinball Browser now has an embedded editor to colorize images. When you select a SmartDmd palette for a specific image, it will also generate a macro so that your can share your mods
- Define as many color palettes as you want with Pinball Browser (15 for side-channel mode); choose the default one for images that are not colorized with Pinball Browser
- In-Frame and Side-Channel color modes (see here)
- Display background bitmaps
- Adjust the DMD dot and shape with Pinball Browser (many models provided or design your own with the integrated editor)
- Choose your screen resolution, orientation, borders, ...

Network features : (wired network or wifi)
- Broadcast your pinball Dmd over your network : any computer running Pinball Browser can display it
- Post DMD snapshots on your Facebook wall
- Change the SmartDmd configuration througth the network with Pinball Browser (and a samba share on the Rapsberry) while SmartDmd is running. The following video show this feature :

Pinball compatibility
- 'SAM' Stern
- Data East (thanks to pinsider Winteriscoming)
- Williams/Bally (thanks to Tatanka1961)
SmartDmd should be compatible with other pinballs in the future

What you need :
- The last version of Pinball Browser and the SmartDmd executable (see above)
- a compatible pinball (see above)
- a Raspberry Pi (model A, B, or B+; not v2 !) with a SD card
- a SmartDmd adaptor or a "DMD Extender" board or a custom cable (described below)
- a SmartDmd license (actually not needed for tests)
and optionaly :
- a screen :-;
- a "side-channel" cable
- a network cable if you want to broadcast your DMD over your network to see it remotely with Pinball Browser, and configure SmartDmd without having to remove the Raspberry SD card.

Ready-to-use kits
PinballMikeD provides a nice kit : See here
This kit includes everything (LCD panel, Raspberry, SmartDmd adaptor, Software, ...).

SmartDmd adaptor
The SmartDmd adaptor is a small PCB that can be plugged on the Raspberry.
It has 2 connectors : 1 for the pinball and 1 for the DMD.
If you want to order one, see here

SmartDmdAdaptor-579.jpg
















The adaptor also works with the Raspberry B+ :
Raspberry B+.png

Custom cable
If you don't use a pre-build adaptor (SmartDmd adaptor or DMD Extender), you can build your own cable. You will need the following components :
- a 14-pin HE10 connector that will be crimped on the SAM-DMD cable (example). For those who don't want to crimp anything on the orginal ribbon, there is a solution with male connectors (but hard to find)
- some resistors and 2 HE10 headers (examples : Resistors and Header)
- a ribbon cable (like the one you have in old PC to connect a floppy : example here)
- No PCB or breadboard, just some welding skills...
- The pinout can be seen on the photos below. The connections are as follow (some of them are optional but might be used in future versions of SmartDmd) :

<br />
Pinball Header => RPI Pin / Through resistor<br />
1 => Not connected<br />
3 => 23<br />
5 => 21 (optional)<br />
7 => 19 (optional)<br />
9 => 15<br />
11 => 13<br />
13 => 11 (optional)</p>
<p>For the ground, it is pin 14 and 20 on the Rpi, and all even pins (2,4,...14) on the pinball<br />
I have used the following ones to keep the connector simple :<br />
8 => 20<br />
14 => 14</p>
<p>

How it works :
The DMD signals are taken from the SAM board.
Resistors (along with Raspberry embedded clamping diodes) are used to adjust the SAM signal level (5v) for the Raspberry (3v). Purist won't like it, but many commercial products are doing the same :-; Also note that it will work without these resistors (Raspberry also have them) but it's safer to have them :-;
SmartDmd app is running on linux in real time mode to sample and decode the DMD signals; this app is fully written in C.
It displays the DMD on the screen and deals with network operations.
It works on a linux Raspbian distro, so you also have all the convenient tools that go with it (ssh, samba, ...)
You can stop the app with Ctrl-C, change the config througth network and restart the app (no need to remove your backglass to change the config)

Miscellaneous :
- Only "rom" images can be colorized; images that are dynamically build by the firmware will use the default palette
- I'm currently merging this with another project : Scores on PC
It will be possible to display the current player score above the emulated DMD (in fact, anywhere on the screen as an overlay); usefull for an apron isn't it ?
- When you use both the pinball DMD and a screen, images with specific color palettes might show some corrupted pixels (on the original DMD only); I'm trying to make a firmware patch to hide this
- The upscaling alogorithm I use is not the best one : it's a tradeoff between quality and available cpu time; it will be improved in the future

What do you think about it ?

Without Upscaling :
NoUpscaling.jpg
With Upscaling :
WithUpscaling.jpg

Installation :
Install1.jpg
Install2.jpg
Install3.jpg
Connectors.png

Configuration :
Config.png
with a custom dot :
ConfigCustomDot.png

Image edition in Pinball Browser :
EditImage.png

Network display :
NetworkDisplay.png

Facebook post :
facebook.png

#2 5 years ago

Now that is really cool! Congrats.

#4 5 years ago

That is dope. In before anything weird happens.

#6 5 years ago

Unreal. Very interested, despite current lack of Stern game.

#7 5 years ago

holy sh1t that's cool.
Stern Star Trek would be awesome.

#8 5 years ago

This is WAY too cool! Well done!

Quoted from maddog14:

In before anything weird happens.

Seems like that "something should have already happened in that other thread. But I know what you mean. How does this NOT tread on others' patents? Maybe because it's international? Limited color palate?

#9 5 years ago

Just checking what all this really means. It seems like this is describing running this to an additional, external monitor. However, can this be used to power an LCD in place of the DMD, ala ColorDMD? If so, that would be really cool. As Zitt said, STLE anyone?

How easily can the color config files be shared? I know I would never have the time or patience to manually colorize my own game, but I would gladly belly up to something someone else was willing to share?

#10 5 years ago

Brilliant!

What size, make, and/or model of LCD screens are you looking at for use as DMD replacements in the pinball machine?

#11 5 years ago

i cant wait to start coloring!!where are my crayons!! amazing work!!

#12 5 years ago

Fantastic work!!!

#13 5 years ago

Wow. Amazing stuff!!

13
#14 5 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

This is WAY too cool! Well done!

Seems like that "something should have already happened in that other thread. But I know what you mean. How does this NOT tread on others' patents? Maybe because it's international? Limited color palate?

Maybe someday we can have a thread about cool technology without a bunch of crying about copyright and patents

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

can this be used to power an LCD in place of the DMD

Yes, in place or in parallel, as long as it has a HDMI or Composite input

Quoted from Cheeks:

How easily can the color config files be shared?

Very easy :
- Config file : share the file "smartdmd.txt"
- Color infos : share the Pinball Browser macro file that is generated when you select a palette for a frame; run the macro to apply all the changes on a stock firmware. See the "Macro" section here

#16 5 years ago

great idea, better than colordmd !!

the problem with colordmd, software is the property and this is not possible to change colors
i have send already emails to Randy but he don't reply
with color dmd you need to use only in english , for other languages, you don't have colors, that's a big problem for international market.

hope your work will be materialize on the market
good luck

#17 5 years ago

Thank you oga83 for all the cool things you are doing for pinheads!

#18 5 years ago

You're not going to make me switch from DMD Extender are you!? This project is exciting. I say go for it! I'd be willing to test it out on a DE Jurassic Park.

By the way, you should check out the DMD Extender project by Dr Pinball. He's developed a daughter-board that allows the DMD signal cable to pass-through a Raspberry Pi. I wonder if your software could utilize his hardware.

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from pinballM:

great idea, better than colordmd !!

I'm not sure it's better : ColorDmd can colorize all frames
SmartDmd cannot do this for computed frames (full-screen scores for example) where the default color palette (that you can choose) will be used instead.

Quoted from pinballM:

hope your work will be materialize on the market

Already the case for Pinball Browser with all the SmardDmd stuff (here, v3.00 is online)
SmartDmd app for Raspberry Pi should be online soon (for free).

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

You're not going to make me switch from DMD Extender are you!? This project is exciting. I say go for it! I'd be willing to test it out on a DE Jurassic Park.
By the way, you should check out the DMD Extender project by Dr Pinball. He's developed a daughter-board that allows the DMD signal cable to pass-through a Raspberry Pi. I wonder if your software could utilize his hardware.

I saw DMD Extender a few weeks ago (but it was not working for SAM boards).

I first started with this
My goal was to interface a screen with the most reduced hardware to get a very low cost.
I also wanted to integrate it with Pinball Browser (colorization, score display, broadcasting, ...)

The total cost for this project is less than 50$ (40$ for Raspberry and SD card; less than 10$ for connectors).
I could design a PCB (I did a lot of them) but that would cost more money and I don't think it's worth it as the cable is easy to build (correct me if I'm wrong).

The SmartDmd software could easily be adjusted to use the same board (to use the same IO), but I don't have it yet; [EDIT] It is now compatible

#21 5 years ago

Add a LCD screen and it's probably cheaper that a new DMD. Can't wait to start messing with the colors when SmartDMD is released. VERY nice work!

#22 5 years ago

Could I use smartDMD to add multiply colours to a ColourDMD? So if I bought a ColourDMD and used it in a game that is not multicolour supported like Xmen I could use smartDMD to add multiply colours to Xmen on my ColourDMD? Or is it only for external computer monitors?

#23 5 years ago

Damn, magnificient. Should try this out on my Acdc, anyone know LCD displays which can replace the dmd?

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from Rensh:

Damn, magnificient. Should try this out on my Acdc, anyone know LCD displays which can replace the dmd?

ColourDMD is an LCD.

#25 5 years ago

This is very cool! nice work.

#26 5 years ago

This is very cool oga! Thanks for continuing to develop this great tool.

I fired up the new version, created a default palette, loaded a rom and hit edit on one of the images.
I changed the colors on it and tried to export the image. The image exported in grayscale. Is there anyway to export the colorized image?

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

This is very cool oga! Thanks for continuing to develop this great tool.
I fired up the new version, created a default palette, loaded a rom and hit edit on one of the images.
I changed the colors on it and tried to export the image. The image exported in grayscale. Is there anyway to export the colorized image?

Pinball Browser always uses grayscale images (so that they can be used by the internal DMD); it only stores additional palette information so that SmartDmd knows how to display it.
I could add a color export, but, imo, it would be useless (re-importing it would change the colors).
Alternatively, you can do a 'PrintScreen' followed by a 'Paste' in your prefered image editor software.

#28 5 years ago
Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

Could I use smartDMD to add multiply colours to a ColourDMD? So if I bought a ColourDMD and used it in a game that is not multicolour supported like Xmen I could use smartDMD to add multiply colours to Xmen on my ColourDMD? Or is it only for external computer monitors?

Unfortunately, No (at least with the current version)

#29 5 years ago

So where can you buy an lcd that is similar in size to the dmd

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from magnoliarichj:

So where can you buy an lcd that is similar in size to the dmd

IMO, you can use a flat lcd monitor that you slip behind the backglass so that its lower part is aligned with the dmd hole (the upper part would stand between the electronic boards and the backglass).
Then you can adjust the position of the emulated dmd on the screen so that it correctly fits.

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from oga83:

SmartDmd cannot do this for computed frames (full-screen scores for example) where the default color palette (that you can choose) will be used instead.

Does that also include the screens that have countdown timers?

#32 5 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

Does that also include the screens that have countdown timers?

The first pixels (top left) of a colorized image will contain the palette info.
As long as these pixels are not hidden by something else, it will work.
If they are hidden (full-screen score for example), the default palette will be used.

#33 5 years ago

This sounds like my next pinball mod - I'll buy the goodies once I hear of the actual release. Thanks for sharing all your work

#34 5 years ago

IDK about you guys... but I think Randy at Color DMD needs to hire oga to write his software colorizing stack. Think about it... PinBrowser extracts the images... ColorDMD tools "colorize" the images... and Pinbrowser Plugin "stitches" new FW for the machine and the ColorDMD files at the same time.

I'd be in heaven at that point.

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

IDK about you guys... but I think Randy at Color DMD needs to hire oga to write his software colorizing stack. Think about it... PinBrowser extracts the images... ColorDMD tools "colorize" the images... and Pinbrowser Plugin "stitches" new FW for the machine and the ColorDMD files at the same time.
I'd be in heaven at that point.

True but currently pinball browser works on stern sam games only. Not that he couldn't figure out the other systems Im sure!

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

True but currently pinball browser works on stern sam games only. Not that he couldn't figure out the other systems Im sure!

IMHo; most Stern buyers have cash reserves for the next NIB machine... so I'm thinking many would likely drop 400 for a colordmd if they get color pixels.

Maybe it's just me and my hopefulness...

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from oga83:

IMO, you can use a flat lcd monitor that you slip behind the backglass so that its lower part is aligned with the dmd hole (the upper part would stand between the electronic boards and the backglass).
Then you can adjust the position of the emulated dmd on the screen so that it correctly fits.

yes I want to avoid the larger screen sticking behind the back glass as much as possible..

#38 5 years ago

For anyone asking about using this in conjunction with ColorDMD, in general I don't see how that would be desirable... It seems to me like you could just not have a ColorDMD and replace the DMD with the LCD that gets its image from the Raspberry Pi, similar to how DMD Extender does it.

However, if you had a game with a ColorDMD, I'd bet that while SmartDMD would not be able to affect the colors displayed on a ColorDMD, it could probably still take the same signal from the game that the ColorDMD takes, and put it on an external monitor and have the same functions on the external monitor that it would have if the original DMD was present. You're just not going to get to a point where the external monitor would be showing the ColorDMD colorization, since it would be getting colorized through a different process and have to have its own colorization.

#39 5 years ago

Great stuff!

It is alarming and kinda sad at the same time Stern has not come up with anything like this, yet you have been able to homebrew it in presumably your spare time.

I don't know what else to say, good luck with this. I only wish Stern was not too proud / stupid / arrogant to bring you on to get something like this going in their production games before the year 2020.

#40 5 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

For anyone asking about using this in conjunction with ColorDMD, in general I don't see how that would be desirable... It seems to me like you could just not have a ColorDMD and replace the DMD with the LCD that gets its image from the Raspberry Pi, similar to how DMD Extender does it.

My point wasn't that DMD extender and ColorDMD should display the same colors.
My point was that it'd be awesome if Pinbrowser worked with all color display technologies to help mitigate the colorization process to the point where "we" being the modders could quickly color ?all? the stern titles in the matter of months.

I obviously have a pre-disposition to ColorDMD... but DrPinball and OGAs technologies look to be coming up to speed closer.

I have a ColorDMD on the way for my ST LE... but I'm expecting it may take more than a few weeks for me to have it installed in my LE. At the rate I'm going; MAYBE after TPF'14.

#42 5 years ago

that is a 15.6 inch wide screen what is the ratio of the original dmd?

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from magnoliarichj:

that is a 15.6 inch wide screen what is the ratio of the original dmd?

That's the only option. Even ColorDMD uses a screen that is much taller than the original DMD. There aren't LCDs in the exact size.

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from magnoliarichj:

that is a 15.6 inch wide screen what is the ratio of the original dmd?

The width is an exact match. No LCD exists with a height that short.

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from magnoliarichj:

that is a 15.6 inch wide screen what is the ratio of the original dmd?

The original screen is 128 : 32 or 4 : 1.

#46 5 years ago
Quoted from DoctorPinball:

The original screen is 128 : 32 or 4 : 1.

#48 5 years ago

What model screen does color dmd use ?

2 weeks later
#49 4 years ago

SmartDmd is now compatible with the DMD Extender board
Many thanks to David from Dr Pinball who allowed this possibility.

Also, many thanks to Winteriscoming who helped a lot in getting SmartDmd to work on Data East

#50 4 years ago

Great work! Really looking forward on testing this!
Any idea when it will be released?
Could you also post some more detailed info on how the 'custom' cable is wired to the RasPi?

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