Finally the TNA shooter meter is ready and the first kits have shipped this weekend. It may have taken longer than expected but the results are well worth the wait. The idea began after hundreds of games while staring at the empty meter cutouts wanting something there. Eventually I cracked and something needed to be done. Most early ideas were too bulky since they used a more traditional gate system. It wasn't until I saw a line following array and ordered one for experimentation, it worked well enough for proof of concept. The design layout of the line followers gave way to the non-invasive board that you see today. Over the past few months of development mistakes were made, lessons learned, and new skills added. The link below displays the final result and exceeds my own expectations. Be sure to check out the video.
As more kits become available I will continue to PM the first batch working down the list in order. The second batch is filling up with fewer than 10 slots left with a hopeful eta of year end. A short break and time to restock components will be needed.
-Each switch adjustment will require a board reset to activate.
-Auto plunger and ball ready on/off switches.
-2 switches allow 4 levels brightness. Base brightness is 25% and the addition of each switch percentage totals up to 100%
-Sensor sensitivity is applied to meter only operation. Circuit simplifications removed auto launch and ball ready functions at lower sensitivity levels, full sensitivity is required for complete effects. Reducing sensitivity will display the meter only and has the benefit of a lower operating temperature.
-After initial power on a slow green pattern appears. This is the calibration routine and the shooter should not be moved until the display blanks.
-Meter should be operational at this point. The board appears to benefit from a short warmup period and becomes more stable, a power cycle can redo the calibration for increased performance.
-DC 5.5mm extension cable
-A/C splitter cable "figure 8"
-Shooter tip sleeve
-Envelope containing black reflective tape
-See pictures for correct locations and positions of bracket, board, and led bar.
-Connect one outlet end of figure 8 splitter to provided 5v power supply. Unplug amplifier power supply and splice remaining 2 connections of the figure 8 splitter.
-Remove tape backing from led bar and carefully align bar to meter cutouts, tape will face up and wires routed towards the board. Lightly secure the forward edge before securing the main tape pad, this will ensure accurate alignment length wise.
-Insert meter board into bracket. Minor printing cleanup may be required along the slot opening. Place board and bracket assembly into the all wood flat area under the apron. Bracket placement should be tight and against the adjacent metal playfield support bracket.
-Connect led bar to board via 3 pin connector, secure and hide wires with tape or a twisted loop to take up slack. Connect DC extension cable to board. Route/ziptie cable safely to backside of the playfield and down towards opposite end following existing pathways. Connect extension end to new power supply output cable.
-Tape can be applied directly to tip or to sleeve provided. Sleeve is for easy removal and reinstallation for tip replacement. Two rows of tape are required for either method, sleeve can be used as a template for placement of tape. Cut provided tape in half and apply to plastic black sleeve covering completely and smoothly. Remove rubber tip and slide sleeve over rubber tip, reinstall both together at once and fully seat each on shooter. Sensor #3 is always looking for this ring and should have a clear view of the tape.
-Turn on auto plunger and ball ready switches, sensor sensitivity to max clockwise.
-Ensure board is slid all the way towards the front of machine, no gap on left of board.
-Lower playfield carefully avoiding the tape on the shooter tip. Apply power and wait for the calibration to complete and place ball in lane to verify green ball ready status. Slide board if needed for better response.
-Optionally secure board to bracket using super glue, hot glue, rtv.... once location of best response is found.
-Trigger auto launch and verify white flash. This effect should work reliably without adjustment.
-Pull the shooter and verify the meter is responding correctly. The display should follow the plunger 1 for 1 if the meter is operating correctly. Shiny rods, springs, and new balls will greatly improve performance.
-The yellow resistors get warm. Nothing to the point of burning skin but 5-10 seconds can get uncomfortable.
-Be careful with the black reflective tape, it is extremely fragile. I recommend purchasing a 25ft roll on ebay for $10 and continued reliability, https://ebay.us/dMRvfd
-Everything the board is looking at needs to be spotless for optimal performance. Polish the shooter and drop in a new set of balls. As the reflection increases so does the quality of the meter effects.
-The bracket supplied provides a safe clearance at a reduction in performance. Bumping the bracket out towards the rod will improve performance but place the front sensor close to hits from the ball. 1/8"-1/4" of extra spacing makes for a nice display, I used 4 layers of foam tape. An extended bracket may be on the way.
-The ball ready sensor is angled for better view of the ball.
-Usage of the tip sleeve is optional. The intent was for it to be removable if the tip is damaged. Tape directly around the tip has proven to work well if not better.