(Topic ID: 269190)

Stars 2020 - new code for Stern Stars (1978)


By DickHamill

51 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 384 posts
  • 49 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 days ago by CousinPookie
  • Topic is favorited by 60 Pinsiders

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  • Stars Stern Electronics, 1978

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There are 384 posts in this topic. You are on page 8 of 8.
#351 14 days ago

I haven’t installed yet, but plan to eventually when it seems it’s finished and won’t be changed anymore.

I also want mine setup to switch back and forth like clay did.

#352 14 days ago

What I did is bought a four pack of the Arduino‘s for $12 !! So me and the law each have one. I update two of them as new code revisions come out. And then we just flip the updated arduino into the board. If we don’t like the changes, we just put the old arduino back in. It’s really easy and code updates are quick and seamless

#353 14 days ago

Maybe add a poll so we can get an idea of how many people have this installed. Something like, installed, going to install, and would buy to install.

I still have some bugs in my game. Ball 1 repeats, music level 01 and higher wont light colored stars, hard to tell dim from normal lit stars, and #18 setting resets to 00. Would like to know if anybody else has something similar.

I when i first installed I played on 3 ball and completing objectives felt daunting. I have since changed to 5 ball and the games feel much better to me.

I do prefer the old way the roaming special worked, by staying in one spot and changing with hitting targets or spinner. It rewarded skillful shots and punished missed ones. The current setting of changing every second feels random to hit and luck based. I had my stock game special at 100,000 repeatable. I think that feature is the main draw of why people like Stars. Having the special light stay for 5-6 seconds and move randomly or at least out of order would have a similar feel. I think the skill shot behavior is good the way it is.

Settings I'd like to see: Being able to change the pop bumper amount to hit. Turn on/off match feature.

I got tired of removing the back glass every time I had to upload the code, so i ran the USB cable out of the top vent slot. Feels like updating a modern Stern now.

IMG_20200627_111237003_BURST001 (resized).jpg
#354 14 days ago

dickhamill I see your Stars has the mini post between the flippers replaced with a 1-1/16 post. Did you get it that way or did you change it? Certainly would make the game easier.

#355 14 days ago
Quoted from 8bitrobo:

dickhamill I see your Stars has the mini post between the flippers replaced with a 1-1/16 post. Did you get it that way or did you change it? Certainly would make the game easier.

WWWAYY easier. (And boo to the tournaments that mess with the minipost, either removing rubber or removing entirely - it's Stars. The Ball doesn't last for more than a minute or 2.)

Quoted from 8bitrobo:

I had my stock game special at 100,000 repeatable. I think that feature is the main draw of why people like Stars.

That's one of the features I don't like about Stars, and it's turned off on mine. It pretty much makes the only viable strategy=complete stars and shoot the special. (Of course, the alternate is 'shoot right spinner'. But I like hitting a spinner over hitting a standup. The original code has the drop banks as kind of a throwaway - the 7k center drop feature should probably be worth more because it's pretty hard to get it.)

As for the poll idea of installing, it's of my long list of things to do - I have 2 Arduinos here that I can use either one I just have to get around to installing it onto a weebly board so I can get that working following barakandl 's advice. Just have to carve out time to do it.

I think anything that's kit related, instead of using the J5 connector, put it onto the cpu socket itself, and put the cpu into the add in board - obviously this is going to require a custom board with headers, but in the future if the arudino gets used as a 6800 replacement, it's already mounted where it needs to be and you don't have to run the fly lead to the IRQ signal (was that the signal that needed it? I forget.....)

#356 14 days ago
Quoted from 8bitrobo:

I see your Stars has the mini post between the flippers replaced with a 1-1/16 post.

It was the wrong post until a week or so ago. I got the machine from an old man's basement earlier this year, and I didn't realize it had the wrong post until Kevin pointed it out. It's swapped now. I can actually do post transfers now, so that's convenient.

#357 14 days ago
Quoted from 8bitrobo:

Ball 1 repeats

I just messaged you about this - thanks for the video.

#358 14 days ago
Quoted from 8bitrobo:

Turn on/off match feature.

FYI - match feature still obeys the DIP switch setting, if that helps. Turning switch number 21 off will prevent it.

#359 14 days ago

I really like 8bitrobo's idea of leaving the USB plugged in. I'm gonna use that. I don't mind updating the code at all. It's nice having something added to my 42 year old pinball machine and testing it out. I was either the first person to build one of these boards or a very early adopter. I've been hesitant to build a new dual boot board because it's kind of a pain and the hardware has changed a bit. I'm waiting until I'm sure the hardware side is finalized before I break out the soldering iron again. That being said, everything so far is amazing. I installed the Wav Trigger board and it sounds incredible. I'd post a video, but since I changed the music every time I try I get a copyright strike.

#360 14 days ago
Quoted from DickHamill:

If we had a big enough install-base (and maybe we do already)

IMO the greatest aspect of Pinside is that it is a repository for information. What you do now will be picked up again and again over the years. I still get PMs every few months about my Jungle Lord home ROM I made 6 years ago. I have no doubt that your project will be greatly appreciated by lots of pinheads for a long time!

Quoted from DickHamill:

see if the modification is popular.

My personal opinion: Basing your game design on popular opinion runs similar risks as "design by committee". Community input is great, of course, but if you want consistency I think you should follow your own nose. What you are doing is a huge amount of work and I think that your most important goal should be to have the most enjoyable game the you can get for yourself. I think that this will make a strong game that other pinheads will appreciate. I, for one, would never have considered Stars for my (necessarily small) collection before. Now I do.

#361 14 days ago

Jungle Lord home roms? i've never even heard of that!

#362 14 days ago
Quoted from cfh:

Jungle Lord home roms? i've never even heard of that!

It's called "Jungle Lord (new tricks)" -- https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/announce-jungle-lord-new-tricks-home-rom.
I am also currently working on a patch for another game called "PEMBOT (no relation)" -- https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pembot-no-relation.

#363 13 days ago
Quoted from cfh:

Jungle Lord home roms? i've never even heard of that!

Semi updated list of known software mods

https://sites.google.com/site/allentownpinball/tournament-rom-mods

#364 13 days ago

Jungle Lord roms look good! but no links for download?

Dick if you're doing any Stars mods, tomorrow (monday) is the official "Stars testing night".... hint hint...

#365 13 days ago

It's on ipdb.

#366 12 days ago

I found a little time this weekend to add some older items from my list. Nothing big. All code/build-instructions on GitHub
https://github.com/MrEkted/BallySternOS

Stars2020 Change Log 6/28/2020
==============================

* Updated documentation about dual-boot switch
* Updated wiring diagram for 74LS125 tri-state buffer & dual boot
* Added parameter to control dim light duty cycle (#30)
* Added parameter for pop bumper hits to goal (#31)
* Updated range of Wizard Switch Reward values
* Updated documentation for new parameters

Stars2020 version 2020, minor version 3
BallySternOS version 1, minor version 2

#367 12 days ago

awesome thank you for the update!

i get confused on the GitHub stuff... just hit the 'clone' then 'download' button and move these files into the Arduino stars2020 directory right? The confusion is because after you download and unzip, the files aren't all together.

root:
BallySternOS.cpp
BallySternOS.h
SelfTestAndAudit.cpp
SelfTestAndAudit.h

Stars2020:
SternStarsDefinitions.h
Stars2020.ino

Also on the 'onesheet.pdf' document you talk about the slam switch to reboot. but it's unclear if setting are saved when that is done. also are settings saved as you advance through all the settings, or after a setting is entered?

#368 12 days ago

Dick this is a good update. i booted it and the revision number are all reflective of your post. Today is monday so tonight we will fully test this version. thank you!

next go around can you make an adjustment for super pops or super spinners? since you have the 'super' number selectable, it would be cool to have the option to choose between pops or spinners as the 'super' mode, to get to wizard mode... thanks!

#369 12 days ago
Quoted from cfh:just hit the 'clone' then 'download' button and move these files into the Arduino stars2020 directory right?

Yes, exactly.
I've put the common files (BallySternOS.* and SelfTestAndAudit.*) at the top level because they're shared with the different projects. I don't want the versions of those to diverge between Stars, Black Jack, and future games. The way GitHub is structured, I don't see a way to have those automatically copied into the subfolders when the project is cloned. If I figure out a way to do that, I will.

Quoted from cfh:

setting are saved

Yes, the settings are saved each time they change. You can reboot or power down and the setting should remain at whatever you last saw (although 8bitrobo is currently having an issue with parameter 18 not saving, but that's an undiagnosed issue).

Quoted from cfh:

super pops or super spinners?

Yes, this is on my list.

As always, please let me know of any issues you find and steps to reproduce with video are extremely helpful.

#370 11 days ago

OK playing the new version of stars 2020. The adjustment for the Light level, option number 30, is really cool. We have LEDs in our game and if you have it on “03” setting it flickers. on the “02” setting it doesn’t. That said, the Flicker can be used to your advantage! Because The difference in brightness between full and dim is really hard to see, with Either lightbulbs or LEDs.

That said though, on the bonus ladder you should never use dim lighting. Never. always use the bright mode!! It’s just too annoying if you have the Flickr set to on.

So why do you want Flickr sent to On? Because it’s really the best way to tell when a light is dim.

On the sPinner worth 1000 for the skill shot, need to modify the right spinner to allow One or two clicks. Because one click just isn’t enough. Also the two lamps in front of the left spinner need to be blinking (400 plus) when the spinner is worth 1000

Also in the manual, last page on the wizard mode, you refer to the insane lights. I think you mean the Inlane lights

#371 11 days ago

This probably explains the flicker vs dim lights (using LEDs) better;

#372 11 days ago

Great update and my machine liked this one. My colored stars never randomly went out this time and option 30 helped. I have the same problem telling dim from bright, but im running 47's not LED. #30 03 setting gives off more of a really dim flickering candle light look than the what the LED flicker looks like. I might put in some old 44's just to see what happens. Maybe dim level 2.5=40% to see what it does?

Can't say I really get the whole skill shot spinner. All that for just a couple 1000 points, as apposed to a full plunge that has better chance/reward of unlocking all stars or more points. Doesn't seem worth the players effort or the added coding.

Funny that Jungle Lord was brought up. I picked one up recently and I was so glad it already had the New Trick's rom installed. What a great game.

#373 10 days ago

We are live streaming Stars 2020 at Arkadium Retro Arcade. Enjoy!!!

https://twitch.tv/diehardpinball

#374 10 days ago
Quoted from bcrage88:

We are live streaming Stars 2020 at Arkadium Retro Arcade. Enjoy!!!
https://twitch.tv/diehardpinball

Very educational - thanks!
I'm not a fan of the way the "major switch" validation is playing out for your games (adjustment number 27).
I think that code needs to be tweaked.

#375 10 days ago

Major switch is silly

#376 10 days ago

Yes I agree, glad you got something out of it. Will be streaming again on Thursday for league not sure if Stars will be played but if it does we will include it on our stream. We also found if you tilt the game it resets it and you actually have to turn it off and on to reboot it, kinda weird and not sure if it was a consistent error. I didn’t get to play it much yesterday I was too busy serving drinks for the party lol...

Quoted from DickHamill:

Very educational - thanks!
I'm not a fan of the way the "major switch" validation is playing out for your games (adjustment number 27).
I think that code needs to be tweaked.

#377 8 days ago

We ran into an issue yesterday on Stars where when a player tilts it resets the machine and you have to turn it on and off in order to get it going again. Not sure if it is loose connectors or a problem with code. The second issue is that the roving star skill shot was not lit at start and only the roving special thought that was super weird. Starts at 23:00 & 56:00

https://www.twitch.tv/diehardpinball/video/668407808

#378 8 days ago

Looking again it looks like code for skill shot is a roving special for 25K, then a roving special again to get 100K. My recommendation would be to have a roving star shot for skill shot 25K, then a roving special 100K (adjustable) to make sure a player knows the difference. Sorry for the confusion still learning all of the rules on this code. The tilt is still a major issue but again if others aren't having this problem then it may be our installation.

Quoted from bcrage88:

We ran into an issue yesterday on Stars where when a player tilts it resets the machine and you have to turn it on and off in order to get it going again. Not sure if it is loose connectors or a problem with code. The second issue is that the roving star skill shot was not lit at start and only the roving special thought that was super weird. Starts at 23:00 & 56:00
https://www.twitch.tv/diehardpinball/video/668407808

#379 8 days ago

The rules are tough to learn because of lack of feedback. score displays cant really tell you anything, nor does the chime sounds. that's why i encouraged a cpu controlled light "swipe" (wipe) when you get some achievement. Or use of the knocker. or even installation of flash lamps...

#380 7 days ago

bcrage88 I tested the tilt on my game, it moves on to the next ball and I didn't have to reset.

#381 7 days ago

Interesting we will take a look at it this week and see maybe the connectors come loose or something when it is moved.

Quoted from 8bitrobo:

bcrage88 I tested the tilt on my game, it moves on to the next ball and I didn't have to reset.

#382 6 days ago

Monday is almost here Dick! just a gentle reminder we're Jonesin' for an update...
thank you in advance!!

#383 6 days ago

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to touch anything in a week (very busy with other things).
That's a good note about the "skill shot" looking identical to the "star level lock-in" shot. The roving red light sequence is identical.
I will give that some thought.

#384 6 days ago

dickhamill: I just got around to installing the latest code. I love #22 in the diagnostics. I have it set to every and you really know when you get a proper rip on the spinner with the Wav Trigger! I also like the concept of #27, but when I set it to 1 (allow right spinner) the right spinner validates the playfield anyway. The major switch setting works to that effect, but the allow spinner setting seems like it would work as a proper skill shot.

Thanks again for all the hard work!

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