(Topic ID: 269190)

Stars 2020 - new code for Stern Stars (1978)

By DickHamill

2 years ago


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  • 487 posts
  • 68 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 days ago by sethbenjamin
  • Topic is favorited by 82 Pinsiders

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  • Stars Stern Electronics, 1978

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#9 2 years ago

Will this work with an nvram.weebly replacement board?

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Will this work with an nvram.weebly replacement board?

I have no idea! I glanced at that board and it looks like it's the same architecture, but I don't have any experience with it. The approach for a stock MPU100 is to pull the M6800 and plug into J5. This approach doesn't use any of the RAM/ROM chips on the MPU (just uses the internal memory of the Arduino), so you would lose access to all those images on the weebly while this was plugged in.

So... not sure, but maybe? Perhaps someone more experienced could answer this better.

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

No worries. I have an original board as well but I was just curious.

It might work on the weebly but the timing might be slightly different. Andrew would know for sure.

Tom if you have a Stars you can try out my requires-a-weebly version of it that I wrote as proof of concept for a hybrid OS I made combining elements of Stern pigs and Williams' system 7, although there's definitely a bug in the special lighting routine I haven't been able to track down. (Sometimes the special lights when it shouldn't.... not a problem for home use, but for tournaments..... errrr.....) Either that or I have a lamp out and just don't realize it.... but sometimes at the start of a new ball it's lit, so can't be something simple like that.

I took it to 2 tournaments and no one noticed it wasn't custom software even though it has an attract mode that's completely different, although the person trying to set the dip switches was very confused as all the settings are done through the door.

I suppose it could be called "stars 2018"? I'll have to update my website that keeps track of all the custom versions out there with these new ones.

#52 2 years ago
Quoted from DickHamill:

I have no idea! I glanced at that board and it looks like it's the same architecture, but I don't have any experience with it. The approach for a stock MPU100 is to pull the M6800 and plug into J5. This approach doesn't use any of the RAM/ROM chips on the MPU (just uses the internal memory of the Arduino), so you would lose access to all those images on the weebly while this was plugged in.
So... not sure, but maybe? Perhaps someone more experienced could answer this better.

Can't say for sure but will probably work. If the nano will drive A12 on the MPU through J5 then two jumpers need changed if they exist (MPU newer than a couple years old) otherwise there could be contention with a 74hct32. Above J5 two solder pad jumpers 'J-(A8-A12)' removed and 'J-A12 added. That puts J5's A12 pin right on the CPU address bus. If those jumpers do not exist then its already connected with A12 to J5 and no modification needed.

Plugging a leaded wire into the CPU socket for the IRQ may damage the IC socket used if you ever want to go back to the normal processor. Attaching a wire to a socket mating header pin or perhaps a cut off chip leg may be better. Use at your own risk on the nvram.weebly replacement.

#63 2 years ago
Quoted from DickHamill:

barakandl I'm only using A0, A1, A3, A4, and A7. Currently, I'm leaving A2, A5, A6, A8, and A13 floating, and grounding A9, A10, A11, and A12. Here's a table:
A0 - hooked to Arduino A0
A1 - hooked to Arduino A1
A2 - not connected
A3 - hooked to Arduino A2
A4 - hooked to Arduino A3
A5 - not connected on mine, but on roygbev 's board, (for MPU200) this will be hooked to Arduino D13
A6 - not connected
A7 - hooked to Arduino A4
A8 - not connected
A9 - connected to ground
A10 - connected to ground
A11 - connected to ground
A12 - connected to ground
A13 - not connected
A14 - doesn't exist on mine, but on MPU200 & -35, this will be not connected
Will grounding those pins cause the contention you're talking about?
I hear what you're saying about plugging a wire into U9. So far, I haven't had problems but I will put a note on my documentation as a warning. That's a fair point.

If a12 is grounded through the j5 connector then the 'j-(a8-a15)' jumper out and 'j-a12' in in case the 74HCT32 output used to keep the sb300/SB100 out of the expanded nvram space has contention trying to drive the forced to ground a12 on the nvram.weebly replacement. Might damage the chip.

2 weeks later
#243 2 years ago

I don't see how your demo of 4 switch hits in a row would actually happen in real life though, that's shorter than a ball from a standup to the pop. The actual chime queues would be incorrect in the original software because they don't operate on a schedule like the later games do - so there's that. Anytime you're adding the score into the queue instead of using a chime tune though it wouldn't bother the switch response (I'm not actually sure why they did it that way anyway originally, since the chime will end up being the 'same', regardless of if it's in the score queue processing or played as a 'tune').

The likely answer is that since Stern copied Bally's software byte for byte for Pinball and Stingray, and were likely still copying it slightly and just modifying it for later games (this info is straight from Alan McNeil) - it's not like we don't have the hindsight of 40 intervening years for our wisdom.

I would say you'd have to strike a balance between counting "every" switch hit, and ones where the switch might still be bouncing. Even with various schemes to prevent this over the years, you still sometimes get a double hit.

I've probably never noticed the 7k/10k score thing on mine since it's a completely different codebase anyway that requires the weebly board to run (extra ram and romspace used). It was a prototype for the OS I was going to replace flight 2000's with but I ended up being able to whittle down that codebase instead for the changes.

2 weeks later
#355 2 years 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.....)

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