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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  • 599 posts
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  • Latest reply 17 days ago by oga83
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There are 599 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 12.
#101 4 years ago

Ugh..I hate that.
The ColorDMD stuff has terrible blacks. I'm not even sure you can consider it 'black' the background looks so washed out

Quoted from Mocean:

The LP is supposed to be just as nice with respect to contrast. Supposedly the B has a slightly wider color gamut but I doubt you'd ever notice in this application.
I'm using DVI not HDMI, but it's a PC/P-ROC project, not Pi controlled. The T2 is VGA to garbage 15.4" monitor, making it look even worse. The biggest problem on that monitor is it's totally terrible black levels. Black looks like gray at best.

#102 4 years ago

So to be clear, if I buy the Raspberry Pi and DMD extender I dont need to make any type of cables? It will be just plug and play?

#103 4 years ago

I 'think' the extender only takes the place of the 'resistor adapter.'

You really don't need to make any cables.

You need a total of 3 components to make the connection...

You use the machine's dmd cable
You need a PC style IDE cable (or floppy cable) to connect to the Pi
You can make the 'resistor adapter' for about $2 in parts and about 15 minutes

Quoted from jamieflowers:

So to be clear, if I buy the Raspberry Pi and DMD extender I dont need to make any type of cables? It will be just plug and play?

#104 4 years ago

Jamie,

I used the DMD extender, didn't have to build a cable (though I plan on building my own cables for future machines).
A possible advantage of the DMD extender is the included fuse. I blew one already (though I did have extra power / devices connected to the PI). Not sure what would have happened without the fuse protection.

Was able to test updating the palette through a wifi connection successfully. Though will probably end up moving the wifi adaptor and powered usb hub to the back of the machine, starting to get crowded inside it.

#105 4 years ago

Thanks for the replies! And thanks to the OP for sharing this with everyone

#106 4 years ago
Quoted from Monster_Bash:

Ugh..I hate that.
The ColorDMD stuff has terrible blacks. I'm not even sure you can consider it 'black' the background looks so washed out

I don't know anything about that. Every ColorDMD I've seen looks great, and I know that they use both of these panels (LP156 and B156). Maybe you saw a bad or early model? Anyway, I'd be all over a ColorDMD if they allowed me to color my frames myself or if it were cheaper. That said, I don't think they're making much profit between hardware, labor (colorizing) cost, and licensing.

I'm just thankful that SmartDMD provides an alternative.

#107 4 years ago

The ColorDMD I have was purchased in December..there is a noticeable grey look to the background. Nothing like the monitor I'm messing with the SmartDMD stuff.....the blacks are black. And I'm using VGA on a monitor my wife had before I met her...so 7+ years ago.

Probably impossible to capture in a picture...but there's a noticeable difference. It's the main reason why SmartDMD was so intriguing. Having a better control over the hardware and of course..about 1/3 the price. Not to mention way more product support

Quoted from Mocean:

I don't know anything about that. Every ColorDMD I've seen looks great, and I know that they use both of these panels (LP156 and B156). Maybe you saw a bad or early model? Anyway, I'd be all over a ColorDMD if they allowed me to color my frames myself or if it were cheaper. That said, I don't think they're making much profit between hardware, labor (colorizing) cost, and licensing.
I'm just thankful that SmartDMD provides an alternative.

#108 4 years ago
Quoted from Monster_Bash:

The ColorDMD I have was purchased in December..there is a noticeable grey look to the background. Nothing like the monitor I'm messing with the SmartDMD stuff.....the blacks are black. And I'm using VGA on a monitor my wife had before I met her...so 7+ years ago.
Probably impossible to capture in a picture...but there's a noticeable difference. It's the main reason why SmartDMD was so intriguing.

Black level is purely a function of the LCD panel technology, and has nothing to do with the controller you're using. Desktop monitors have better blacks than small notebook displays.

The panels used by ColorDMD are all higher-cost ultra-HD (1920x1080) panels chosen specifically to get the best contrast and field-of-view possible in a form-factor that would fit behind a speaker panel.

#109 4 years ago

So I'll have the same grey look when my 15.6 'laptop' LCDs screen come in? Seem weird that a 7 year old (probably older) 15" LCD monitor would have better blacks that a brand new modern 'laptop' screen.

I guess I'll find out in a couple of weeks when they come in. I was really liking the true blacks on the monitor I've been testing with

Quoted from Dmod:

Black level is purely a function of the LCD panel technology, and has nothing to do with the controller you're using. Desktop monitors have better blacks than small notebook displays.
The panels used by ColorDMD are all higher-cost ultra-HD (1920x1080) panels chosen specifically to get the best contrast and field-of-view possible in a form-factor that can fit behind a speaker panel.

#110 4 years ago
Quoted from Monster_Bash:

So I'll have the same grey look when my 15.6 'laptop' LCDs screen come in? Seem weird that a 7 year old (probably older) 15" LCD monitor would have better blacks that a brand new modern 'laptop' screen.
I guess I'll find out in a couple of weeks when they come in. I was really liking the true blacks on the monitor I've been testing with

The LP156WH4 panels you purchased have a more restricted field-of-view than the panels we use, especially when viewed from above. Head on it will be about the same as our panel, but from an angle it will be worse.

#111 4 years ago

Holy crap, i've not seen this thread before.

This is so cool!

Do you have a job? Do you want one?

#112 4 years ago

This looks fantastic. Anyone interested in selling premade resistor connectors like oga83 shows?

#113 4 years ago

Ok, sorry guys, but most of you are way over my head, but I am intrigued.

Ok, I have a Sega Frank, with the orange DMD, please explain ( in dumbassish) what I can do with all this ?

I am sort of getting that I can color the dmd ?

Or, do I replace my existing dmd with an lcd...oy, sorry guys

#114 4 years ago

Hi all here is a pic of the resistor adaptor i made, I am ordering a dmd extender to compare both, one issue for me is the boot time, it is taking over 10 seconds for the pi to load.
Boot time as per videos with the dmd extender almost seem to be instant.
2014-04-23 13.15.19 (Medium).jpg

#115 4 years ago

I'm working a a small PCB to handle the connections. It'll be a while before I get it done though....

Quoted from Erik:

This looks fantastic. Anyone interested in selling premade resistor connectors like oga83 shows?

#116 4 years ago

I'll definitely report back when I get them installed

Quoted from Dmod:

The LP156WH4 panels you purchased have a more restricted field-of-view than the panels we use, especially when viewed from above. Head on it will be about the same as our panel, but from an angle it will be worse.

#117 4 years ago
Quoted from Monster_Bash:

I'm working a a small PCB to handle the connections. It'll be a while before I get it done though....

I've already made one. Not tested yet.
It fits on top of the Rpi (same width - no overhang outside of the rpi).
I will have somebody in the US to provide them it when it's ready.

This is the prototype (made on a breadboard) :
SmartDmdPcb.png

#118 4 years ago
Quoted from 1452spunky:

do I replace my existing dmd with an lcd...oy, sorry guys

Yes. You replace your DMD with an LCD and a bit of hardware.

1 week later
#119 4 years ago

Anyone else have this setup?

#120 4 years ago

Really excited for this, if it becomes a plug and play set up it will change everything!

#121 4 years ago
Quoted from oga83:

I've already made one. Not tested yet.
It fits on top of the Rpi (same width - no overhang outside of the rpi).
I will have somebody in the US to provide them it when it's ready.
This is the prototype (made on a breadboard) :

SmartDmdPcb.png 125 KB

How is this coming along? Also available for us European's This as you mention production US

#122 4 years ago
Quoted from Rensh:

How is this coming along? Also available for us European's This as you mention production US

I'm waiting for the final prototype. Yes, available in Europe

1 week later
#123 4 years ago

So I guess my question is how the colorization compares with the DMD Extender? Do they both do the same thing or are the different? Since they both use the PI do they both just use their own software to do the same thing?

#124 4 years ago

Ok, here is a question.

Could I replace the translate with a larger LCD and place in a new background image like you had displayed on the remote monitor. And still have the DMD functionality under the background. I could just then remove the old DMD and fill the space with something else.

#125 4 years ago
Quoted from harbngr:

Ok, here is a question.
Could I replace the translate with a larger LCD and place in a new background image like you had displayed on the remote monitor. And still have the DMD functionality under the background. I could just then remove the old DMD and fill the space with something else.

I guess you could do something like that. Supposing you found an LCD that was the right size and shape for what you want, I would think the DMD image would end up being as wide as the LCD, so if you have a huge LCD, then the DMD will be huge. If I'm recalling correctly, there aren't options for sizing the DMD image independently of the background image.

#126 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

If I'm recalling correctly, there aren't options for sizing the DMD image independently of the background image.

Actually, you can do this by adjusting the DMD dot size : only the DMD area will be resized.
The whole image can be adjusted with the overscan parameters.

#127 4 years ago
Quoted from oga83:

Actually, you can do this by adjusting the DMD dot size : only the DMD area will be resized.
The whole image can be adjusted with the overscan parameters.

Well, you would know!

I'd be curious to see a setup like that.

#128 4 years ago

I can confirm that the size of the 'dmd' output image can be changed passed just setting the resolution. Something I found strange is I needed to use negative numbers to make the image bigger. If I used positive numbers the image got smaller. Using 1024x768 I think I was at like -320 for all 4 values to get it to fill the view able area through the speaker panel.

When I was messing with it I was pressed for time so I did look into it much further

Quoted from winteriscoming:

Well, you would know!
I'd be curious to see a setup like that.

#129 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

Well, you would know!
I'd be curious to see a setup like that.

1- Use the overscan parameters to adjust your whole screen,
2- Then reduce the dmd size by adjusting the dmd dot. To do this, use the "Dot shape and size" section of the SmartDmd config screen to remove some right and/or bottom lines (an unused right or bottom line will reduce the size of the dot). In the above example, the dot size is reduced by a half :
dot.png

-8
#130 4 years ago

You know what I love about the ColorDMD? I do not need to learn training and read over and over on how to use the product that looks pretty amazing. Plus, I do not need to e-mail or PM anyone over and over to figure it out. Nice and easy and back to playing pinball.

#131 4 years ago
Quoted from wdpvideo:

You know what I love about the ColorDMD? I do not need to learn training and read over and over on how to use the product that looks pretty amazing. Plus, I do not need to e-mail or PM anyone over and over to figure it out. Nice and easy and back to playing pinball.

So get out of this thread... Why even bother posting in it?

-1
#132 4 years ago
Quoted from wdpvideo:

You know what I love about the ColorDMD? I do not need to learn training and read over and over on how to use the product that looks pretty amazing. Plus, I do not need to e-mail or PM anyone over and over to figure it out. Nice and easy and back to playing pinball.

Its nice to buy a finished product but way more enjoyable to create something yourself. Different strokes I guess.

#133 4 years ago
Quoted from wdpvideo:

You know what I love about the ColorDMD? I do not need to learn training and read over and over on how to use the product that looks pretty amazing. Plus, I do not need to e-mail or PM anyone over and over to figure it out. Nice and easy and back to playing pinball.

To me one of the great things about pinball is you get to tinker with things. Anyone who can fix a pinball needed to train and read at some point. All part of the enjoyment of having a pinball

#134 4 years ago

The problem is ColorDMD don't exist for Stern unless you just want s single color. The ColorDMD guys got some great stuff...but they don't have this

WhiteStar support is just around the corner too...hello Simpsons and LOTR!

Quoted from wdpvideo:

You know what I love about the ColorDMD? I do not need to learn training and read over and over on how to use the product that looks pretty amazing. Plus, I do not need to e-mail or PM anyone over and over to figure it out. Nice and easy and back to playing pinball.

#135 4 years ago

I wish someone would put together a nice kit and sell them

#136 4 years ago
Quoted from Monster_Bash:

The problem is ColorDMD don't exist for Stern unless you just want s single color. The ColorDMD guys got some great stuff...but they don't have this
WhiteStar support is just around the corner too...hello Simpsons and LOTR!
ยป YouTube video

Is full on colorization with SmartDMD coming for Whitestar? I could see the 4 color palettes like with DE working, but full on colorization? It would be awesome, but can it work similar to how the SAM stuff is being handled?

#137 4 years ago

Not sure what Oga has in store for Whitestar...I really hope he can add full support like SAM.

Maybe he'll chime in..

Quoted from winteriscoming:

Is full on colorization with SmartDMD coming for Whitestar? I could see the 4 color palettes like with DE working, but full on colorization? It would be awesome, but can it work similar to how the SAM stuff is being handled?

3 weeks later
#138 4 years ago

The SmartDmd adaptor is now available

It 's a small PCB that can be plugged on the Raspberry.
It has 2 connectors : 1 for the pinball and 1 for the DMD.
SmartDmdAdaptor-541.jpg

The price of this adaptor is 69 USD + 10 USD for shipment; it includes the PCB, a 11" flat ribbon cable and a license for SmartDmd (but no Raspberry or SD card !).

If you are interested in the license only, the price is 35 USD.

(for European users, the adaptor with license is 50 euros + 7 euros for shipment, and the license only is 25 euros).

If you want one, just PM me.

Alternatively, you can use a "DMD Extender" board or build your own cable (see OP for more details).

#139 4 years ago

i am confused!?!?!?

FG Looks like a real individual "COLORDMD ROM"

is that true?

or ist i just a multiple.color Setup like the UK dmd extender?!?

if i can Color my own game i would buy it

#140 4 years ago
Quoted from kapsreiter:

FG Looks like a real individual "COLORDMD ROM"
is that true?
or ist i just a multiple.color Setup like the UK dmd extender?!?
if i can Color my own game i would buy it

Pinball Browser allows you to colorize each frame (with a 16-color palette).
You can also select a different palette for each frame (with some drawbacks/limitations - see OP)
Pinball Browser has some tools that simplify the colorization process : "FloodFill" with a specific color and "ReplaceColor" to change all the pixels that have the same color in a frame.

#141 4 years ago

Is the 16 colors only available for certain boards or all supported boards (DE etc)?

#142 4 years ago

The board that oag is offering is very well made and works perfectly. Nice for the guys that don't wanna MacGyver their own adapter

Quoted from oga83:

The SmartDmd adaptor is now available
It 's a small PCB that can be plugged on the Raspberry.
It has 2 connectors : 1 for the pinball and 1 for the DMD.

The price of this adaptor is 59 USD + 14 USD for shipment; it includes the PCB, a 11" flat ribbon cable and a license for both SmartDmd and Pinball Browser (but no Raspberry or SD card !).
If you are interested in the license only, the price is 25 USD.
Just PM me.
Alternatively, you can use a "DMD Extender" board or build your own cable (see OP for more details).

SmartDmdAdaptor-541.jpg 21 KB

I

#143 4 years ago

Technically it is a color ROM. All the changes that Oag's program does changes the actual ROM. FGY looks awesome colorized

Quoted from kapsreiter:

i am confused!?!?!?
FG Looks like a real individual "COLORDMD ROM"
is that true?
or ist i just a multiple.color Setup like the UK dmd extender?!?
if i can Color my own game i would buy it

1 week later
#144 4 years ago

oga83,
After Whitestar support, any chance of something random like jollypark?
http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=4618

I suspect it would be possibly the most colourful possibility out there - i mean the machine is colourful enough!!
Admittedly probably only 300 out there, however i'd be more than happy to colour it

Did try to load the roms, however no go

Congrats to you and DrPinball for much needed alternatives to ColorDMD that they currently dont support... I have both ColorDMD and DMDextender - all great products

#145 4 years ago
Quoted from toibs:

oga83,
After Whitestar support, any chance of something random like jollypark?
http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=4618
I suspect it would be possibly the most colourful possibility out there - i mean the machine is colourful enough!!
Admittedly probably only 300 out there, however i'd be more than happy to colour it
Did try to load the roms, however no go
Congrats to you and DrPinball for much needed alternatives to ColorDMD that they currently dont support... I have both ColorDMD and DMDextender - all great products

Whitestar is not supported (yet); It's currently being tested and I'm still working on it.
It is very unlikely that Pinball Browser will support jollypark It really takes a lot of time and I'm concentrating on what's the most demanded !

#146 4 years ago

I have followed the instructions and finally have smart dmd working, it took me a while to get my usb wifi to work and i have mapped the drive, the question i have is when using pinball browser i selected the smartdmd file from the mapped drive. When i make changes it says access is denied, I also noticed when i tried to copy files to the mapped drive it would not allow me, it seems to be read only, is this a setting in the network configuration on the pi.

#147 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinhunter:

when using pinball browser i selected the smartdmd file from the mapped drive. When i make changes it says access is denied, I also noticed when i tried to copy files to the mapped drive it would not allow me, it seems to be read only, is this a setting in the network configuration on the pi.

Did you install the pre-configured distrib or did you follow the tutorial to configure yours ?
Check that your /etc/samba/smb.conf has the following lines :
[smartdmd]
comment = SmartDmd
path = /boot/smartdmd
read only = no
public = yes

#148 4 years ago

Yes those lines are there.

#149 4 years ago

it also has underneath
[update]
comment = update
path = /boot
read only = no
public = yes

#150 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinhunter:

Yes those lines are there.

1- Did you install the pre-configured distrib or did you follow the tutorial to configure yours ?
2- Can you write into /boot/smartdmd when you logged in ?

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