I've joined the club. So very, very happy.
If the ball is getting kicked out when flippers, slings are activated, it is probably because they are vibrating the game and causing an opto to break connection and appear to be blocked by a ball. Everything you describe is pointing to a flaky opto in your ball trough. The trough opto boards are notorious for failing. The resistor wires can break, the solder joints everywhere can break (cause a cold joint), the header can be tarnished and the plug to opto boards can be toasted.
You can take the boards out, reflow solder on everything and look for broken legs on resistors, or just get a new set of boards (improved design):
I agree that power is cutting out to one/both of the opto boards. It could also be upstream in the 12V unregulated circuit coming from the power driver board. I had a similar problem and traced it to tarnished pins/plugs on J112. I replaced the header and the plug, and all has been good. The 12V unregulated circuit isn't too complicated to debug and it is at least easy to see if that is where the problem is by watching LED1 on the power driver board. If it is dims or periodically goes out when you get the whole set of optos being triggered, you know that is where the problem may likely be (or upstream in the transformer).
Quoted from Zitt:
It's not just me... everyone I've discussed this with tends to agree. The plastic tool just fails after a few connections.
But; it's possible my Neanderthal paws are making it worse.
Agreed -- the IDC "pusher" that pinball life sells does not last a long time. I bought one from digikey/mouser which has lasted a LONG time and then eventually upgraded to a gun style from AMP/TYCO because I was making a lot for the pinduino mod harnesses and wanted something that was MUCH faster to use.
I finally had a chance to put programmable (addressable) LEDs on the ramps of a STTNG using a Pinduino. Been wanting to do this for a long time and am very happy with how it turned out.
Get a pinduino and go nuts!
Quoted from bobukcat:
Nice work, not really my cup of tea but I can really appreciate the opportunities for customization. One thought I had during your video was when in a battle mode (Borg or Cardashians (sp?)) and no other shots recently hit it could pulse red for red alert. I know there's no call-out for it but it might be cool if not over-done. Thanks for sharing.
That is a great idea. I'll see if I can figure out a unique combination of flashers/motors that will let me detect one/both of those events (and then something to signal the canceling of them to return the LED ramp lights to "normal" behavior.)
Another idea I'd like to do is to use the pinduino to just drive LEDs in the Borg ship. It would be great to have it green (never understood why it has blue film in its cutouts) in normal play, and then flash red when hit in multiball.
Quoted from Zitt:
On my STNG RearGI project; I connected up to the lamp and Flasher matrix with an opto matrix. On that project; I made "blue" or "green" borg an option.
The Borg ship is blue because if you watch the episode; the "Type 3 ship" which is based on has blue "windows".
Thanks for the info on the episode -- I'll need to go look that one up and rewatch it. Also, thanks for the link to your thread. That is one hell of a board you made (and I love your Klingon warbird boards). Would be fun to talk shop at some point.
I finished creating an interactive lighting mod for the Borg ship using a Pinduino. I love how this came out!
Instructions for making and install: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QDoO863FE4dWp3FHEwc2Je9srSBjR-u140ANjziPrn4
And I can make plug and play kits for people who are interested: https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1025-professor-pinball/02169-pinduino-sttng-borg-ship-lighting
Of course, I like it when people make their own. If anyone goes that route, feel free to PM me if you have any questions (always happy to help). Also, let me know what you think of the code and if you have any suggestions.
Thanks! Both can be connected and have that setup in my game. Pinduinos are stackable and I use one to control the ramps and one for the Borg ship. For the video, I turned off the ramps just so the ramps wouldn't overshadow the shop. I'll get a video together of both running -- the effects are pretty amazing.
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