Quoted from Mr_Tantrum:
The PinSound Motion Control board may very well have some logic in it, and be required for the shaker to function properly and w/o damaging your PinSound board (the control board must be wired into the PinSound board itself). Even if the shaker motor were to be compatible (which it may very well be), without the Motion Control board, you are probably dead in the water. To my knowledge, these cannot be purchased apart from the shaker itself.
From a simple perspective, the PinSound board is where the firmware resides and the commands for the various shaker actions occur when sounds are fired. These actions are then sent to the motion control which in turn fires the shaker. I don't know how other shakers work, but with Pinsound there are 9 pre-defined actions, and 3 custom ones (the custom ones can be changed for different orchestrations and pins, thus not really limiting you to just 3 total actions across all orchestrations). Each action has a starting intensity, a duration, and an ending intensity. It is much more complicated than just turning the shaker on for x milliseconds then shutting it off. The Motion Control board also has a relay that you can plug any device into and control its turning on and off with number of repeats and duration. This is great for external accessories such a fog machines, topper lighting, etc.
Well to clarify, I don't intend to replace the Pinsound shaker control board with the Stern shaker control board, my goal is just to keep the already installed shaker, and control it with the Pinsound shaker board. In the end, the shaker itself is a motor with a 12V and Ground connection, nothing else (as can clearly be seen on the installation diagram). The control scheme is a PWM control system (or maybe voltage controlled, but I doubt it, too complicated to manage for high amperage devices such as a shaker).
So bottom line: if the Pinsound shaker is 12V as well, then I can buy the Pinsound shaker kit, mount the Pinsound shaker control board, and drive by the virtue of a custom wire harness drive the Stern shaker with the Pinsound control board.
This has the benefit that I don't need to drill other holes in my Pinball machine to mount the Pinsound shaker itself which does not have the same mechanical footprint. I can even leave the Stern control board installed, although not used at all. And later on, if I decide to sell my LOTR I can easily remove the Pinsound boards, and just reconnect the Stern shaker.
At least that's the rationale.
Quoted from Mr_Tantrum:
Any current shaker routines that are included in the firmware were written by avid PinSound users like me (I think I have 5 or 6 of my routines built into the software). So, I can confidently say that the default routines are indeed "good enough". I spent numerous hours on each routine with custom shaker events and finely tuning everything to work within the natural flow of the game - these weren't just slapped together mindlessly. FYI, none of us to my knowledge were paid for developing these routines or our orchestrations. We just love the products, what they bring to the pinball community, and we want to openly share our work with others. Therefore, everything I make/do is to the level that I personally would want in my own pins, and I trust that this is the same for the majority of other contributors.
Even so, the great news is that if you don't like the default routine then you can change it in literally minutes with the free PinSound Studio Pro software. You can either tweak the existing routine with free software, or blow caution to the wind and start from scratch with your own. While you can literally apply shaker action to an orchestration and be playing it in about 10 minutes start to finish, to do an original shaker routine well will take at least a couple of hours as you try different things, test on a game, make changes, then repeat the process until you are satisfied.
On that point, I must admit that I have a rather negative opinion on the communication and attitude by Pinsound on this topic. When reading their website, they state "Official package", which implies it's done by them. At no point on their website do they highlight that it's actually community done. They don't give any credit, at least none that I could see. Maybe I missed it, but it's not really apparent then.
Curious though, so when loading an orchestration in Pinsound Studio for a supported machine, will the default implemented shaker routine appear at all ? Or will they only be in the firmware, so you don't see in the Pinstudio application what is already implemented (but any change you make on a specific sound command will override what's in the firmware) ?