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The PIG (ModPS) Pinball Interface Gadget - Integrate Your Electric Mods!

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By dkpinball

3 years ago


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  • Started 3 years ago
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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by tekhmaster

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#1 3 years ago

DK Pinball’s New Product: The PIG

The Pinball Interface Gadget, put simply, simplifies control of your electric pinball mods.

There are many mods on the market, from under cabinet lighting, to lit signs, to beautiful LED lit toppers, to toys lit up with LEDs to… well you get the point. They all look better when integrated into your game. But there are so many challenges. General Illumination is 6v AC, Inserts are 6.3v DC, flashers are 20 volts, switches are 5v logic, and on and on. You can’t directly connect a mod to any one of those if you want the mod integrated into game play.

This is where the PIG comes in. You can very easily use almost any electric signal from your game to control any 5v or 12v mod.

See this video for more details:
» YouTube video

I'm taking orders now at:
http://www.dkpinball.com/DKWP/?page_id=181


#2 3 years ago

Great job Mike! You've explained this unit perfectly. I'm seriously considering this very useful board of yours for my soon to be modded TRON Pro.

BTW, I think I saw Wayne Gretzky spying on you at one point in your vid!


#3 3 years ago

Thanks!


#4 3 years ago

The PIG is perfect for all you TRON Pro owners who are doing EL wire modding for your ramps. Think of all the possibilities that the PIG can do to help you tie your EL wire into the game whether it's GI, insert lights, flashers, or switches. The beauty of it is that you can easily experiment by just moving around a set of alligator clips until your find the perfect combination. You can even invert the on/off if you like with those switches on the PIG.


#5 3 years ago

This is really cool!


#6 3 years ago

EEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I so want like 300 of them


#7 3 years ago

This is great especially for newbs like me! Let the modding begin


#8 3 years ago

Whats the max current rating of mod inputs? Y'know for things like industrial fan units on Whirlwind, 3mega watt lasers for tron, that sort of stuff....:D


#9 3 years ago
ChadH said:

The PIG is perfect for all you TRON Pro owners who are doing EL wire modding for your ramps. Think of all the possibilities that the PIG can do to help you tie your EL wire into the game whether it's GI, insert lights, flashers, or switches. The beauty of it is that you can easily experiment by just moving around a set of alligator clips until your find the perfect combination. You can even invert the on/off if you like with those switches on the PIG.

Yeah, I'm waiting for my Tron to arrive and I've already placed an order with Mike. The EL wire switching is my biggest question here. Cant wait to play around with it. It was hard to tell from his video, but it didn't seem like all of the outputs could be switched from off to on. It looked like just the 4th output offered this switching. Am I wrong? For the two EL wire ramps mods it would be very cool to have two outputs that could be set up this way so each ramp could be set to have it's own triggers.
Maybe Mike can elaborate or simplify how this could be done for this specific application? There are a ton of Tron pro ownwers out there just waiting for anything that will make their EL wire mods more "interactive"... for both ramps.


#10 3 years ago

Wonder how well the arduino integrates in. If full control, you could connect the tron EL wire up to change colors.


#11 3 years ago

"It was hard to tell from his video, but it didn't seem like all of the outputs could be switched from off to on. It looked like just the 4th output offered this switching."

Thanks for the question. It's so hard to explain everything in one video. All 4 channels can do switching. They are identical with the exception of channel 1. Channel 1 has a dimmable "side channel". Think of it as channel 1a.

"Wonder how well the arduino integrates in. If full control, you could connect the tron EL wire up to change colors."

I'm not going to say the Arduino part is an afterthought, but I haven't really used it yet. I have a mod that was briefly mentioned on the Spooky Pinball Podcast which is Arduino controlled. I'll be using the PIG for that mod.

There are two parts of this circuit. The first is to convert the games signals (inserts, GI, switches, flashers, etc) into a usable 5v logic signal.

The second part is to use that logic signal to turn things on and off. There's a little more to it, but that's really the basic explanation. What I did was put a detour between the logic out and logic in on the board. It's closed with jumpers so if it's never used, there is no harm in its being there.

If you remove the jumpers, you can insert an Arduino between the 5v in and 5v out in order to enhance the logic.

I hate to keep using TRON as an example, but it's just so easy. Imagine the "Quorra Multiball" light is on, and you put the ball into the scoop which also turns the switch on. You could use that "AND" logic with the Arduino to make a lit Quorra figurine start to pulse or flash or connect a servo and make her dance, who knows, the sky's the limit.

Here's the disclaimer: I have done no work with the Arduino and this board. It was just a thought that "if I had this board, I'd want to be able to insert an arduino right there to play around with it." So I built the interface but I have yet to play with it. I just wanted it to be easy to hack without having to hurt the board.

Thanks for the questions. Please keep them coming, I'll put it into a FAQ.


#12 3 years ago

Hmm.. this may be just the thing to bring me one step closer... to having my cymbal-banging monkey clap for me when the knocker goes off on my TZ. Not even kidding.


#13 3 years ago
ChadH said:

The PIG is perfect for all you TRON Pro owners who are doing EL wire modding for your ramps. Think of all the possibilities that the PIG can do to help you tie your EL wire into the game whether it's GI, insert lights, flashers, or switches.

Only concern might be Coasterguy kept getting interference with the EL wire running off the Stern 12V harness and it kept registering disc hits. It wasn't until he plugged the EL wire directly into the service outlet the interference went away. However Markmon was able to use EL wire from a different manufacture hooked up to the Stern 12V harness without interference.


#14 3 years ago
BoJo said:

Only concern might be Coasterguy kept getting interference with the EL wire running off the Stern 12V harness and it kept registering disc hits. It wasn't until he plugged the EL wire directly into the service outlet the interference went away. However Markmon was able to use EL wire from a different manufacture hooked up to the Stern 12V harness without interference.

There are only a few limitations on the input power:
Pin 1 has to be ground
Pin 2 has to be 5 volts
Pin 3 probably shouldn't exceed 12v. I say probably because I haven't tested it for more, but it may handle 24v OK.

Notice I didn't say it had to come from the game power. The signal (alligator clip inputs) have to come from the game, obviously, but with relatively little effort, you can have power supplied by a wall wart (or PC power supply, or whatever) if you need to do that.

In time, I should have a decent collection of adapters for sale for different sources of input power.


#15 3 years ago

I would have bought quite a few of these. Then i noticed the price.

By the time i paid shipping and import duty (my countries fault, not yours obviously) this unit would end up costing over £120!!! ($190)

I know its a cool board and that it can do some cool things, but if all i was to use it for was on my TRon pro to simply flash some lighted EL ramps (and thats all i would use it for) it just seems a little excessive to spend that much for such a 'simple' task.

So, with that in mind would you possibly offer a 'cut down' version of the PIG in the future with limited functionality at a better price for us foreigners?


#16 3 years ago

Russo121 - Check out the new thread:
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pig-announcement-early-adopter-price

Russo121 said:

I would have bought quite a few of these. Then i noticed the price.

By the time i paid shipping and import duty (my countries fault, not yours obviously) this unit would end up costing over £120!!! ($190)

I know its a cool board and that it can do some cool things, but if all i was to use it for was on my TRon pro to simply flash some lighted EL ramps (and thats all i would use it for) it just seems a little excessive to spend that much for such a 'simple' task.

So, with that in mind would you possibly offer a 'cut down' version of the PIG in the future with limited functionality at a better price for us foreigners?


#17 3 years ago

So, this thing will NOT be able to handle 50 volt coils or 120 VAC devices (such as fan motors)?


#18 3 years ago
KenLayton said:

So, this thing will NOT be able to handle 50 volt coils or 120 VAC devices (such as fan motors)?

I'd be happy if the trigger signals can go up 24vdc (inserts, flashers, some motors, and what I need 5 volt signal logic).

Then it controls the +5 and +12 vdc current used to power certain mods.


#19 3 years ago
louisurfer said:

KenLayton said:So, this thing will NOT be able to handle 50 volt coils or 120 VAC devices (such as fan motors)?
I'd be happy if the trigger signals can go up 24vdc (inserts, flashers, some motors, and what I need 5 volt signal logic).
Then it controls the +5 and +12 vdc current used to power certain mods.

I'm eager to see how you hook these up to some EL wire!


#20 3 years ago

"So, this thing will NOT be able to handle 50 volt coils or 120 VAC devices (such as fan motors)? "

The board alone, no. There are electronic limitations that would really complicate the board. Basically, the weakest signal is the switch matrix. Making something sensitive enough for the switch matrix makes it difficult to take the full punch of coil voltage.

I was introduced to a component that will make it possible, but it's going to have to be an add-on at this time. Part of the goal with this board is to make blowing up your machine with a mod very difficult.

Now, if your asking if it can make a coil fire or trigger a 120v fan or something. Maybe, but I think again that it would have to be an add on. You use an output on the PIG to trigger a relay that then routes the 120v or grounds the coil.

The problem is, I can only test so many different inputs and outputs before releasing it. I figured that powering 12v and 5v devices with input signals from switches, lights, GI, and flashers were enough for the PIG to stand on. That doesn't mean that other things aren't possible, they just aren't tested and I'm not willing to go out on a limb and say something will work unless it's tested.

That's where the Hall of Mods or something similarly named will appear on my web site. I might do a monthly contest for the PIG mod of the month so we can show new ways it can be used.

Thanks,
Mike


#21 3 years ago

As an Early, EARLY purchaser of the PIG (when it was only 1 input), I urge my fellow pinheads to show your appreciation for Mike's hard work and extra efforts to develop this cool mod and take it way beyond what it was originally envisioned as. Mike is a nice guy and holding true to his original pricing for those of us who've been with him since the start of this project, but as a fellow mod-maker I understand the amount of labor that goes into making new and exciting parts for our beloved games.

I urge those of us who got in at the original price (you know what it is) to top your payment up to the $99.. because frankly it's a small price to pay for all the extra features Mike has been jam-packing in there for us. Of course, he'll likely be modest and tell us all it's ok and he wishes to stand by his original pricing.. but that's not how we roll.

Without the efforts of guys like Mike and DK Pinball, our passion for modding our games wouldn't be the same.

Thanks Mike

- Brock


#22 3 years ago

About the only thing missing from this is a way to have the output stay on for a delay then go off... or flash x number of times at x rate. But you did add the header to hook up a Arduino and have that do the other stuff. Still a great little product that allows great flexibility in modding.


#23 3 years ago

BUMP - great product.


#24 3 years ago

I have a Tron on the way. Im looking to do some mods. Im a newbie when it comes to this. How many outputs does this have and at what volts?


#25 3 years ago

I just ordered a pig for my Tron. Mike thanks for making this product.


#26 3 years ago

Nice work DK. Great product!

Todd


#27 3 years ago

So, is this designed to work with just Stern pins? Or will it work as-is for 90's WMS/Bally pins as well?


#28 3 years ago
kmoore88 said:

So, is this designed to work with just Stern pins? Or will it work as-is for 90's WMS/Bally pins as well?

So far it has worked with:
Williams System 9
Williams System 11
WPC
Data East
Stern

The only difference is how you power the PIG. It is built to take power from the STERN pinball machines natively, however, you only need G, +5, +12 to power the PIG. That can come off your game's power supply, an external power supply, or anywhere else in the game you can get G, +5, +12.

Soon I will document many different ways to get power to the PIG and your mods.

Mike


#29 3 years ago

I am very excited as well!
I really like that I'll also eventually be able to plug it into the game's service outlet to avoid any EL wire interference on my TRON!

I've already contacted coolwire.com and I'm working on having them send me a modified hook-up for my existing EL wire.
I bought the same setup CoasterGuy used on his "TRON EL" (one inverter splitting out to two wires). Now I'm getting an individual inverter for each wire so that they can each be controlled seperately by the PIG; and I'm having each inverter's power input wired to a 3-pin molex so it can just plug+play right into this board.

Then, you can do all sorts of other stuff with mods the FLYNN sign, recognizer mod etc...

Can't wait!


#30 3 years ago
Drano said:

having each inverter's power input wired to a 3-pin molex so it can just plug+play right into this board.

So no need for the ac adapter right?


#31 3 years ago
6S3NC3 said:

Drano said:having each inverter's power input wired to a 3-pin molex so it can just plug+play right into this board.
So no need for the ac adapter right?

No, the only difference is that the AC adapter goes to the PIG first. Then your wire and inverter are connected to the PIG.

The board sort of gets isnerted bewteen your power supply and the wire if that makes sense. Then it controls how the power is fed out to your mods. At least that's how I understand it.

EDIT:
If you're not using EL wire though, there is no need for an AC adapter. You can use the game's 12V power supply ditrectly. But, if you read CG's post on trying to power EL wire this way, there was way too much intereference due to that power supply not be very "clean". It seems to produce unregulated voltages.
If you plan to use the PIG with an EL wire mod, your best bet is still to power the board via the service outlet using an AC wall-wart style adapter.
I'm sure Mike can elaborate.


#32 3 years ago
dkpinball said:

Soon I will document many different ways to get power to the PIG and your mods.

That would be great. Any ETA on when that might be?

So, the four or five 2-prong connectors on the board are for mod connections, correct? Would the GLM SPL's work with this; i.e., will they function like the GI? For example, if the game shuts off the GI will the SPL also shut off if connected to the PIG?

And does WPC include WPC-95?


#33 3 years ago
kmoore88 said:

Would the GLM SPL's work with this;

I'm acronym challenged here. What are GLM SPLs?

Yes, it includes WPC-95.


#34 3 years ago

OK, yes, Great Lakes Modular Star Post Lamps.

I'm assuming the LED's run on 5v or 12v. Then, yes, this can very easily tie their star post lamps to GI, flashers, insert lights, and switches.

If the SPL's are running at a different voltage, then the 12v line will have to be modified.


#35 3 years ago
dkpinball said:

OK, yes, Great Lakes Modular Star Post Lamps.
I'm assuming the LED's run on 5v or 12v. Then, yes, this can very easily tie their star post lamps to GI, flashers, insert lights, and switches.
If the SPL's are running at a different voltage, then the 12v line will have to be modified.

Yeah, they're 12V.


#36 3 years ago

Any Idea when this will be available for ordering again?


#37 3 years ago
tekhmaster said:

Any Idea when this will be available for ordering again?

I'll bet Mike is waiting for feedback from those who he has already shipped to. I have one and know what I'm going to do with it but there are two other projects in the way before I tear down a working machine to install this. I need to make sure there are more working machines in the house than projects otherwise the wife gets upset...

I'd love to see what others have done with their PIGs.

viperrwk


#38 3 years ago

I'll be opening ordering up this evening. There won't be the big delay in delivery anymore either. Unless of course I get 30 orders tonight, but I doubt that

Thanks,

Mike


#39 3 years ago

Could this be used for a shaker motor to be triggered off a switch on a game that doesn't support a shaker otherwise?


#40 3 years ago
dkpinball said:

I'll be opening ordering up this evening. There won't be the big delay in delivery anymore either. Unless of course I get 30 orders tonight, but I doubt that

I don't see where to order on your website yet??????


#41 3 years ago

Just ordered one. Thanks.


#42 3 years ago
dnhayden said:

I don't see where to order on your website yet??????

Works now... Thanks.


#43 3 years ago
markmon said:

Could this be used for a shaker motor to be triggered off a switch on a game that doesn't support a shaker otherwise?

Well, yes, but it would need some help. Now that I'm caught up, I'll be working on some mods I had planned, one of which was a shaker motor mod.

There are two things that need to be done. First, you can only drive .75 amps per channel and an aggregated 2 amps for all of the mods connected to it. The shaker motors I've seen are all fused at 2.5 amps, so a direct connection would fry the PIG.

Also, you'd probably want a little delay logic on firing the motor. With an expansion board it could do what you described.


#44 3 years ago
dkpinball said:

Well, yes, but it would need some help. Now that I'm caught up, I'll be working on some mods I had planned, one of which was a shaker motor mod.
There are two things that need to be done. First, you can only drive .75 amps per channel and an aggregated 2 amps for all of the mods connected to it. The shaker motors I've seen are all fused at 2.5 amps, so a direct connection would fry the PIG.
Also, you'd probably want a little delay logic on firing the motor. With an expansion board it could do what you described.

Let me know when you got that worked out. I want a couple.


#45 3 years ago

So if I'm understanding this correctly... What this does is, it's like a breakout power supply (getting power from the CPU), then you mount that under the playfield somewhere, and then you grab a switch from the playfield (whatever you want to do an action), and that feeds power to lights, or anything within reasonable voltage. This is instead of trying to power off of the playfield wiring (which is rated for what's already populated there, and adding something would strain the circuit. Is it JUST running off of 12v supply?

I can see lots of potential for this. There are strong 12v motors that could do some neat motion


#46 3 years ago

I was on the fence, but after watching the vids a few more times and reading the manual I decided to order one. Thanks.


#47 3 years ago

Just wanted to say thanks to Mike for this product. Finally got around to installing one of them in SM to use with biglaw's doc ock mod. I wanted the mod to key off of the flasher. The doc ock mod needs 5v, but the flasher is driven at 20v, which is too high to tie directly into the mod. So the PIG uses the flasher as an input signal and sends 5v to the doc ock mod. Brilliant! Next up is light cycles, arcade mod and flynn sign on my TRON LE.


#48 3 years ago

Hi Mike . A while back I contacted you about a topper mod I was doing for my LOTR .

I wanted to trigger the lighting of the topper with the Destroy the Ring flasher insert ( either 12v or 5v as both bulbs are there ) .

I think you mentioned using something along the lines of a schmitt trigger ?? . The reason was that during gameplay and attract mode the insert globes are switched on and off rapidly ( flashing ) but I wanted a constant signal ( ON or OFF ) to the topper while the DTR was lit or flashing .

Would the PIG suit this situation or does it simply just copy the input signal .


#49 3 years ago

Here is my PIG in Tron

» YouTube video


#50 3 years ago

Man, I'm pretty proud of all my mods, but your Tron looks sick. Great job with that EL wire. I've been putting off getting that PIG but will order one today. Sick of messing with my light cycles and how they are currently tied into the inserts. Only want the 5v too (not 6.3v or whatever i currently got)



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