(Topic ID: 253456)

TNA shooter meter info and install instructions / PREORDERS FULL


By twhtalm

4 months ago



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  • Latest reply 35 days ago by Aniraf
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There are 68 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 4 months ago

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.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/nh15TjevN89wyNWr6

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.

Usage
-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.

Kit contents
-Meter board
-LED bar
-Power supply
-DC 5.5mm extension cable
-A/C splitter cable "figure 8"
-Board mount
-Shooter tip sleeve
-Envelope containing black reflective tape

Installation
-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.

Setup
-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.

Tips
-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.
20191013_122115 (resized).jpg

#2 4 months ago

This looks fantastic, Do you have a link to another thread, etc to find out cost, getting on the list, etc...?

Thank you.

#3 4 months ago

If you send him a PM, he should get back to you on it. It's been discussed on the TNA club thread as well if you wanted to post there.

I'm hoping to see mine in my mailbox this afternoon!

#4 4 months ago
Quoted from FatPanda:

If you send him a PM, he should get back to you on it. It's been discussed on the TNA club thread as well if you wanted to post there.
I'm hoping to see mine in my mailbox this afternoon!

Thank you.

#5 4 months ago

Anyone interested please reach out. There are only 7 slots left in the second batch waiting list and probably will be all full by the weekend. Each kit is $45 out the door for US shipments and includes everything needed for installation except zipties.

#6 4 months ago

In for 1 (pm sent)

#7 4 months ago

Following

#8 4 months ago

Just got my kit today! Everything was packed well and the components seem to be high grade. I'm going to work on installing it tonight. Hopefully it isnt too bad!

20191015_153508 (resized).jpg
#9 4 months ago

I just finished installing the mod and it's awesome! Super easy to install even for a bonehead like me. Jump in on this mod! You won't be disappointed.

#10 4 months ago

After Fatpanda's posts last night all of the first and second batch preorder slots are full! Several kits are planned to ship again today and many more starting Friday. Stay close to your inbox.

Thanks
Tom

#11 4 months ago

The creativity and persistence here is admirable! Thanks Tom, for designing these - order placed!

#12 4 months ago

sent PM

#13 4 months ago

Just installed mine!! Looks awesome! The only issue I have is it does not detect a ball in the shooter lane, cannot seem to adjust it properly to recognize that. I also need to clean my shooter rod as the lights can be a little glitchy since it is dirty and not reflecting.

Super happy with it!
--Scott

#14 4 months ago

I can’t believe I missed this. If you end up making more I’d love to purchase one!

#15 4 months ago

The meter can be a bit tricky to get aligned perfect and seeing the ball 100%. On mine I fine tuned the angle of the first sensor by reflowing the first sensor and adjusting the angle. Also mounting the board as close as you can to the shooter rod will produce best results, playing with a new bracket this week.

#16 4 months ago

I found slipping the PCB in the bracket towards the back of the machine made it better at detecting the ball in the shooter lane. There is definitely a sweet spot. Amazing mod and amazing value for sure.

#17 4 months ago

I got mine installed tonight, but it has a weird problem. It seems to work as I would expect until a ball enters the shooter lane. It does its cool thing with the green, but then it stops doing its cool thing with the pinkish purple.

Here is a video of what I am seeing. Ignore the kids screaming in the background .

#18 4 months ago

Try moving the board forward a hair, you're right on the edge. One option is to add a thicker washer to the outside shooter spring, just enough so the ball rests on the launcher and not the tip. This gives the ball a more repeatable resting point when it enters the lane. Another option is to adjust the first sensor to the angle your machine needs. Heat the two long exposed leads with an iron and slightly pivot with pliers.

#19 4 months ago

Would it be possible to 3D print a collar with a little flag on the side for the reflective tape? I think that might greatly improve the accuracy of the plunger.

#20 4 months ago

So the black part of the tape is not sticky... But the silver part is, and the silver part is supposed to be showing right?

Also having a hell of a time getting the tip back on with the plastic collar

3 weeks later
#21 3 months ago

Just a quick update for batch #2. Tracking shows the final components finally arriving this week. This weekend will be a production weekend and I will begin to contact the remaining people on the waiting list. Stay tuned and another 25 meters should be out the door soon.

1 week later
#22 89 days ago

I finally got around to installing mine this morning. My kit didn't come with any tape but I have silver reflective duct tape that should work I think.

Just wonder exactly where the tape needs to be on the shooter rod? Is it the full width of the plastic spacer, starting from the end of the rubber shooter tip closest to the player? Is it supposed to be one solid strip of tape or two with a gap?

Also seems like the shooter rod itself needs to be reflective for this to work, the tape isn't enough?

I guess I need some close up pictures of what a correctly installed shooter rod looks like.

#23 89 days ago
Quoted from Fytr:

I finally got around to installing mine this morning. My kit didn't come with any tape but I have silver reflective duct tape that should work I think.
Just wonder exactly where the tape needs to be on the shooter rod? Is it the full width of the plastic spacer, starting from the end of the rubber shooter tip closest to the player? Is it supposed to be one solid strip of tape or two with a gap?
Also seems like the shooter rod itself needs to be reflective for this to work, the tape isn't enough?
I guess I need some close up pictures of what a correctly installed shooter rod looks like.

There are some photos here, I got one of these kits too, but haven't gotten around to installing it yet.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/nh15TjevN89wyNWr6

#24 88 days ago
Quoted from Fytr:

I finally got around to installing mine this morning. My kit didn't come with any tape but I have silver reflective duct tape that should work I think.
Just wonder exactly where the tape needs to be on the shooter rod? Is it the full width of the plastic spacer, starting from the end of the rubber shooter tip closest to the player? Is it supposed to be one solid strip of tape or two with a gap?
Also seems like the shooter rod itself needs to be reflective for this to work, the tape isn't enough?
I guess I need some close up pictures of what a correctly installed shooter rod looks like.

One workaround the tape is to slide the shooter tip forward until the meter response is correct and trim to fit. Once the spot is found the amount that the tip has moved forward will determine how much to trim from the tip, should be somewhere near 1/4". This can also be used the same way to place the tape if desired.

Wasn't able to get much done last week due to the holiday and yard cleanup, plan to get moving again this week.

#25 86 days ago

I am happy to report that I have successfully installed this mod and it is working great!

What I did was to cut a piece of silver foil tape (https://r8r.org/xE) the same width as the width of the plastic spacer ring provided in the kit. Then I simply attached the tape around the "bottom" of the shooter rod tip rubber such that it was snug up against the e-clip that holds the shooter rod spring in place. This turned out to be the ideal size and placement for the "shiny" tape and basically extends the shiny shooter rod slightly over the tip area.

IMG_7193 (resized).JPG

I made sure to install the LED board snug against the front of the PF against the apron.

IMG_7196 (resized).JPG

I also needed to adjust the board bracket so that the bracket was approx. 1/4" away from the edge of the PF.

IMG_7199 (resized).JPG

Loving this mod it's really cool! Many thanks to twhtalm for inventing it!

#26 86 days ago

Thanks alot for those pics, I've been holding out installing mine, looks like you got it dialed in nicely!

#27 83 days ago

The second batch of meter kits are being assembled and tested this weekend. Be on the lookout for pm's from me regarding the next step. Invoices have started to be sent out for the first handful completed, stay tuned next week. Thanks everyone again and especially to those who are helping with pictures and tips.

Tom

1 week later
#28 70 days ago

Another 14 kits just made it to the post office and are on the way. The remaining 6 for batch 2 are ready to ship but I'm still waiting for responses. Come Monday morning I may have to move down the list and contact the standbys on the waiting list. I'll follow up on Monday and confirm any changes to the remaining kits.

Tom

#29 66 days ago

I got mine installed today, and I'm working on adjustments.

The first thing I found was not to use a white shooter tip. I had swapped mine out so I could see it easier, and it was reflective enough to be seen by the optos. I didn't receive reflective tape, but that's easy enough.

Now, I need to figure out why it's not seeing the ball. The sensor is sitting close to the ball, but not touching.

#30 66 days ago
Quoted from herg:

I got mine installed today, and I'm working on adjustments.
The first thing I found was not to use a white shooter tip. I had swapped mine out so I could see it easier, and it was reflective enough to be seen by the optos. I didn't receive reflective tape, but that's easy enough.
Now, I need to figure out why it's not seeing the ball. The sensor is sitting close to the ball, but not touching.

By not seeing the ball you mean it doesn't do the white LED sweep when the ball is launched?

#31 66 days ago

The only thing I'm getting is the purple lights when I pull the shooter. I don't see the periodic green sweeps when a ball is sitting in the lane, and I don't see the white when autolaunch fires.

#32 66 days ago

same here, herg I have been messing with it for a couple weeks, but really struggle (have to push/pull the plunger), to get the "green sweep".

#33 65 days ago

OK, I got it to work, but I'm going to have to figure out how to adjust the board to have it work normally. I went into the operator menu to disable the autolaunch coil, then stuck a ball on a magnet stick and waved it around. With the ball about 1/16" above the shooter lane, I'm able to get the green sweeps. Looking at the sensor with the ball in it's normal position, it is definitely sitting above the center of the ball.

#34 65 days ago

Out of town so limited access right now. The sensor that is looking for the ball in the shooter lane can be tricky to get a reliable read. A trick I did was to trim the fin sticking up on the sensor looking for the ball, mine is flush to the top of the 2 elements. This increases the viewing angle directly in front.

#35 60 days ago

I got it installed, but man it’s super finicky. The only way I can trigger the auto plunge white flash is if I pull out the manual plunger so the ball rests on the auto plunger, so I guess I have put a washer somewhere on the shooter rod to make it sit further towards the player. Getting the pink colour to reliably follow the manual pull is also difficult. Does it matter if my shooter tip is white? I searched my rubber stash and only have white spares. I’ve had the play field up and down like 40 times now, I’m tapping out for tonight. I’ve moved the board forward, back, in and out and can’t reliably get it to function 100% yet.

#36 59 days ago

How far out do you have the board from the edge of the playfield? The first batch of meters had a bracket that set the board back away from the rod farther than it needed to be. I recommended in the instructions to add additional spacing between the bracket and playfield. The updated bracket shifted the board closer to the rod by about 1/8". I'd be happy to provide the stl for anyone with a 3d printer or mail out another.

#37 59 days ago

One suggestion that I have is to use a different reflective tape if you're not reliably getting the purple/pink meter to turn off when at resting position and to detect the pull. Though the black tape provided blends in well with a black shooter rod tape, I had some extra white/silver reflective tape from my Nintendo Labo kit that I had put together. I probably covered about 60% of the base of the shooter tip , still leaving the normal gap between the shooter tip and the washer, and now the purple/pink function reliably operates.

Also, try to change out your balls, for a higher reflective surface for the sensor when the ball is sitting in the shooter lane to do the green sweep and white sweep for the auto-plunge.

I have the first run kit that Tom sent.

#38 59 days ago

Thanks Quy. Plans are for a V2 that will address all of these issues. The revised board will be offered as a board only upgrade that will be a drop in replacement. Original kits+upgrade will be cost equivalent to a full V2 kit. No eta yet on the new board.

V2 will have no tape. It will also tie into the beacon and have an under apron light bar between the flippers. I also am working on an idea for a reactor fan mod that will adjust based on the reactor load %.

#39 59 days ago
Quoted from twhtalm:

Thanks Qin. Plans are for a V2 that will address all of these issues. The revised board will be offered as a board only upgrade that will be a drop in replacement. Original kits+upgrade will be cost equivalent to a full V2 kit. No eta yet on the new board.
V2 will have no tape. It will also tie into the beacon and have an under apron light bar between the flippers. I also am working on an idea for a reactor fan mod that will adjust based on the reactor load %.

Oh man. That sounds cool. Looking forward on seeing what this looks like!

#40 59 days ago

I am using silver reflective tape already and have tried moving the bracket closer to the shooter rod, farther away and also the board slid towards the player and towards the machine so many times that I got frustrated. I literally had the playfield up and down 30times easily

#41 59 days ago

I can get the green sweep, no problem. But getting the white sweep on autoplunge only works if I manually pull out the shooter handle allowing the ball to directly sit on the auto plunger.

Getting the pink to line up with the pull has been tricky too. Depending where I have the board exactly it won't start soon enough, or jumps to the end to quick, or doesn't get to the end at all depending on where I've placed the bracket/board exactly.

This V2 sounds enticing after messing with this for so long. Thanks guys, it does look very cool, it's just very finicky for me to get it right.

#42 59 days ago
Quoted from tomdotcom:

autoplunge only works if I manually pull out the shooter handle

The tape may be too far forward and overlaps with the auto plunger sensor.

#43 59 days ago
Quoted from tomdotcom:

I can get the green sweep, no problem. But getting the white sweep on autoplunge only works if I manually pull out the shooter handle allowing the ball to directly sit on the auto plunger.
Getting the pink to line up with the pull has been tricky too. Depending where I have the board exactly it won't start soon enough, or jumps to the end to quick, or doesn't get to the end at all depending on where I've placed the bracket/board exactly.
This V2 sounds enticing after messing with this for so long. Thanks guys, it does look very cool, it's just very finicky for me to get it right.

Sounds like the sensor for the ball isn't lined up correctly? It might be pointed too perpendicular instead of at an angle to sense the ball in the shooter lane. Hate to say it, but you might have to keep playing around with the position of the board, and if/when you find a good place where everything works reliably, then tape it place so that it doesn't move.

#44 59 days ago

A few details and tips for others from my PM with the other Tom:

"If you look at all of the sensors you will notice that there is a slightly larger gap between two of the sensors. This is where the most forward edge of the tape should be in the resting position, the remaining tape should completely cover the #3/first rod sensor. The rubber does not reflect back to the meter and will cause a dead spot and an unreliable meter display. Thresholds are calculated during the power on calibration for activating each meter segment and disabling when not needed. If the meter sees rubber it sets the threshold to 0 and will not activate. Pull the board and do two power ups, one with nothing in front of the sensors and the second time with all sensors covered. You will be able to see the difference that the calibration does each time. Be sure to cover the autoplunger sensor or else it will constantly flash the white pattern.

Don't be afraid to fine tune the angle of the first sensor if it is causing you trouble, had to do it on mine. A quick reheat with a soldering iron and the angle can be adjusted to match your setup. The sensors are basically leds in a plastic housing so they are nothing you are going to damage when done carefully.

Here is a picture of my rod for example, it's fuzzy but you can see how I applied the tape. Think of the center line of the two rows of tape as the center line for the 3rd sensor. Notice no rubber from the c-clip until after the tape.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/t1zLhvoWhUzKm8rZ6

Here is the final position of my board. The autoplunge sensor will be completely covered when not active and fully exposed with the claw kicked forward.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/rkAD8o45A4PehiLv6"

Tom

#45 59 days ago

Once I realized first sensor is ball, second sensor is autoplunge kicker, and third is shooter at rest, I was able to get everything except the green sweeps to work. I then tried to adjust the first sensor, and I actually did damage it somehow. The emitter side stopped lighting, and I measured a bigger voltage drop across it than the others. I have more sensors on order, and I'm going to try an extension to move the first sensor closer to the top end of the playfield.

#46 59 days ago
Quoted from herg:

Once I realized first sensor is ball, second sensor is autoplunge kicker, and third is shooter at rest, I was able to get everything except the green sweeps to work. I then tried to adjust the first sensor, and I actually did damage it somehow. The emitter side stopped lighting, and I measured a bigger voltage drop across it than the others. I have more sensors on order, and I'm going to try an extension to move the first sensor closer to the top end of the playfield.

You should have let me know. I have more sensors than I know what to do with now and could have sent a few out.

#47 59 days ago

Thanks, but it wasn't a big deal. I figured I chose to mess with it, so it was my fault/ responsibility.

#48 59 days ago

Once this mod is refined, it would be awesome on R&M !

#49 59 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Once this mod is refined, it would be awesome on R&M !

Unfortunately the only shooter mod for R&M will likely be a custom launch button, no shooter on that game.

#50 59 days ago
Quoted from twhtalm:

Unfortunately the only shooter mod for R&M will likely be a custom launch button, no shooter on that game.

Darn.. lol

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