(Topic ID: 326097)

Tron interactive topper pre-orders [Aurich mod]

By Aurich

14 days ago


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#1 14 days ago

All the cool kids are making video trailers for their mods these days, figured I'd try my hand at it.

So, you finally made a topper

I did! I've thought about it for years, but just never quite had an idea I liked enough to go all in until now. The topper market now is kinda overheated, but the high prices do have one upside: it means there's a market for ridiculously over-engineered things. And I do love me a project without limits.

I spent months designing something I didn't have to hold back on, this is easily the most complicated mod I've taken on so far. And it's been a blast, even if you don't buy one I hope you enjoy the overly dramatic trailer, or get to see one in person some day.

High prices huh? Give us the bad news

I'll skip right to the sticker shock and details: The topper is $1500 + shipping. That includes the topper, as well as a custom PCB to plug into your back box for the interactive features ( PCB designed by Hana9so ). It will not interfere with other back box installed mods like Eli's ramp kit, or Herg's LED OCD (both of which are installed on my personal game along side the topper I filmed for the trailer).

Installation will be easy, 15 minutes or less, with full instructions. Topper comes with feet and screws and all the wiring etc you'll need. You'll just need a screwdriver or a drill to mount PCB and topper.

How does the order process work? Is it limited?

I'm going to start a pre-order list, and I'll build them in the order people sign up. It's not artificially limited, I'll do my best to make one for everyone who wants one. But here's the catch: the reason these are so expensive is because they're *a lot* of work to make.

There's a lot of laser cutter baby-sitting, a lot of soldering and wiring, a lot of complicated and finicky assembly.

What that means is I can only make a few at a time, it's not going to be a fast process. So the incentive to sign up now isn't that you'll miss out on a limited run, but that you might have to wait a while.

I'm really going to try and make as many as people want, but I'll be totally honest, with how much work these are I may hit periods when I need a break if demand is high, or it just might take a while to get through them. I really have no idea what to expect, I've never charged this much for a mod. I had fun designing it and now we'll see.

You can message me privately, or just post in this thread if you want to be added. I'll do my best to add people in the order they ask. As I said, I haven't a clue what demand for such a thing looks like so see how it goes.

Can I share this elsewhere?

Please do share the trailer anywhere you like, that would be awesome. I'm not on Facebook, I don't keep up with the YouTube shows and podcasts, I'm just a simple Pinsider who putters in his workshop for fun. I put my email at the end of the trailer, you don't have to be on Pinside to get on the list. If any of said YouTube folks want a little free content for your show you definitely have my permission to use that video. Lemme know if you do so I can check it out.

--

I want to talk about the design process, how close I am to being ready to build everything etc, but I'll do that in some follow up posts so this opening message doesn't get stupidly long. Read my further posts for more details.

Also, it's really difficult to film light sources well, everything is much sharper and more color saturated in person, will try and get better still shots in the follow up posts.

--

Pre-order list
1. matlynch91
2. Eagle14
3. mummite
4. Jecco74
5. MK6PIN
6. ZEN
7. MGM2
8. Faust
9. PinBackpacker
10. kklank
11. roscoepinball
12. DonBrendano

#2 14 days ago

Pre-order list

1. matlynch91
2. Eagle14
3. mummite
4. Jecco74
5. MK6PIN

Added 13 days ago:

6. ulmpharmd

Added 13 days ago:

Editing this is getting awkward, gonna move the list to the first post, didn't realize the editing privileges were different.

#3 14 days ago

Now that I got the basics out of the way I wanted to talk about little bit about my topper philosophy.

There's been a recent trend to make toppers integrate with gameplay. Stern is even adding new modes to theirs. That's cool, but I feel a little differently about my approach.

The real truth is while you're playing pinball you simply cannot spend time looking up at the top of the backbox. You're watching the playfield. To me a topper is about adding ambience to your game room and just looking cool. And it should do that all the time, not just after you've put 20 minutes of time into starting a mode.

The goal of my Tron topper is to be as bad ass as I could make it as soon as you turn your game on. If you're hanging out with guests I want them to ask about the topper and get distracted looking at it before a single person hits start. I've spent a lot of time staring at it while developing it, it can be a bit hypnotic.

I'll talk in a bit about how the thing is physically put together, but first a quick note about the programming, and what interactive with the game means.

By default when your game is powered on the topper is in an attract mode. It has 8 different color palettes and 5 different animation modes at idle. It combines them in various ways, along with a certain amount of RNG, and changes things up every 10 seconds. So if you just chill out and watch for a bit it can take a while before it strictly repeats itself.

For the game interaction I kept it very simple. As I said, I really don't believe in anyone watching a topper during gameplay. I'm not tracking modes and trying to turn things green when Quorra is lit or anything that deep. Instead I'm simply watching some specific flashers and have a bit of logic to interact with them.

For instance, as highlighted in the trailer, when your arcade cabinet flashes to signal the scoop ejection the FLYNN'S sign on the topper will flash too. The Zen flasher triggers a flash of the ring in the center, but it will only go off once until another flasher has been triggered (the Zen flasher can sit there flashing over and over, and could quickly get annoying otherwise). I'm tracking how often certain flashers are triggered and if they go off enough in a small time window (like during a jackpot or the game over animation) they trigger a special animation.

Stuff like that. There are a couple other animations with variations. The goal is keep the topper feeling alive, not for players necessarily needing to care what it's doing at any particular moment. It's there if you look up, but it's for the benefit of the room too.

Hopefully that makes sense. For the nerds I'm programming all of this onto an Arduino Nano that will plug into the PCB that taps into the game flashers. You only have to unplug and pass through one connector to do this, it's easy. There was no reason to need to watch more than a single bank of flashers to get all the feedback I needed.

I'll write up more later with more photos, gotta do some chores, but here's a full shot of the playfield with the topper for a bit more context than the trailer allows:

topper-full-shot.jpg

#4 14 days ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Reserved for moar details to come!

The topper is awesome! I was hoping you were working on Shadow. You said previously the Metallica is next. I'll be in for that one for sure!
Amazing job!!!

#5 14 days ago
Quoted from Steve_d71:

You said previously the Metallica is next. I'll be in for that one for sure!

Yeah, now that I have one for Tron I can't leave my other games bare. I get how this topper addiction thing works now.

I'll be focussing on Tron for now, but pondering thoughts for Metallica. We can use the same PCB Hana9so designed for Tron to tap into it, so definitely a similar level of interaction planned, but other than that I'm just not sure yet. Have early thoughts, but going to just let it all simmer for a bit.

#6 14 days ago

Didn’t think to add this info, someone asked about the height:

Just a hair over 9” (231mm).

It’s not very deep, bit under an inch thick, the feet it sits on are about 3” wide (76mm).
FF90A2C4-6796-4D62-8149-348ACF571A18 (resized).jpeg

#7 13 days ago

Please count me in!

#8 13 days ago

F****ck ! You’re going to make me drag my Tron upstairs for topper clearance and take something downstairs. Ugh…..lol!! Very freak’n cool! I gotta think hard on this one.

#9 13 days ago
Quoted from Flash71:

F****ck ! You’re going to make me drag my Tron upstairs for topper clearance and take something downstairs. Ugh…..lol!! Very freak’n cool! I gotta think hard on this one.

Don't hurt your back!

My games are in my garage, definitely wasn't thinking about ceiling height until people started mentioning it. I'm guessing everyone with that issue is lucky enough to have basements for their games, just with low ceilings? Not a common thing here in SoCal.

Take your time, that's why I didn't make it limited. Worst case scenario the list fills up some and you gotta wait a bit. At this price I don't think it's going to be a feeding frenzy.

By the way, forgot to mention in the pre-order instructions: I won't take anyone's money until it's time to get yours built and shipped. And we're finalizing the PCB design right now, so be a few weeks at least before anything is ready to ship even if I start building out the toppers while we wait. It works fine, just getting it dialed in for being production ready and bulletproof. Any who knows Kyle knows how seriously he takes getting electronic work right.

#10 13 days ago

Screw a topper, I kinda just want that over the entry to the gameroom!

#11 13 days ago
Quoted from Zablon:

Screw a topper, I kinda just want that over the entry to the gameroom!

Technically you just need to get 5V to the Arduino Nano that runs it all, the LEDs take their power from it.

Actually though, most of the techniques I used to build this I learned from making wall signs. Separately lighting dual layers of acrylic to get a two color animation was something I "invented" for my arcade, a "No drinks on the cabs" sign. (I'm sure it's been done before, I haven't seen anything quite like my approach.)

The center ring animation is using a technique I figured out to animate a sign I recreated from the Loki TV series, an animated ramen bowl.

#12 13 days ago

I don't have a Tron, wish I did. Video trailer was great.

#13 13 days ago

Amazing!

#14 13 days ago

All the cool kids are making them! Looks awesome. Really nice work.

#15 13 days ago

Looks awesome!!!

#16 13 days ago

Please, please, please make a topper for ACNC

#17 13 days ago

I'll take one...

Jay

#18 13 days ago


Amazing Aurich, Nice work, well done.

#19 13 days ago
Quoted from gouveia:

All the cool kids are making them!

You'd better have a trailer for your next mod then!

The part I didn't mention is this is only the second time I've used Premiere and the first time using After Effects. Video editing genius I am not. You'd think all the decades of Adobe software experience I have would have helped, but these are like an alien interface comparatively. Definitely a bit of a learning curve.

I muddled through okay, I'm happy with the end result. And I'll admit it's more fun than just posting some pics. Also, I think it's helpful to point out some of the references. When I showed my partner who's making the PCBs an earlier draft with the Quorra DNA scene showing how it influenced the center design he admitted he'd totally forgotten about that part of the movie.

I bet plenty of people have forgotten about how the recognizers created that hex-shaped platform (I had until I rewatched it). Tried to get as many references in as I could. The flickering N is straight from the movie too.

#20 13 days ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Amazing Aurich, Nice work, well done.

Hey thanks Eric! We used to talk mods at League, feels like that was another lifetime ago now ...

#21 13 days ago

This is very cool ...
Great video as well ...

#22 13 days ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Please, please, please make a topper for ACNC

I thought Spooky did a great job with the presentation of that game, really showed how an indie company could do a better LCD than the big dogs. The comic book approach was so smart. But I have no experience with playing it outside of some pinball shows, and no access to one.

I only have 3 pins these days, rest of my garage is either workshop or candy cabs, I run a pretty serious fighting game arcade. So unless I sell one to swap for something new I can't see making a complicated mod for a game I don't have regular access to now. I need that to get it right.

#23 13 days ago

One of my goals when designing this topper was to make things very true to Tron Legacy (I used the trailer in part to help highlight some of the direct film references I made) but also tie it back to Tron 82 in some way, because I have a huge soft spot for the original movie. But I didn't want it too feel too retro or out of place with the pin.

The basic rough concept for the topper is you have the FLYNN'S sign up top, representing the real world and the gate to the computer, and then the data disc ring with the Quorra-style DNA sphere inside acting bit like a portal or transition to The Grid, with key scenes from the film showing the journey stretching out on either side. Being captured by the Recognizers, the disc battle, the light cycle battle, the city and Clu's fireworks.

So little bit of trivia: when Bally Midway made the original Tron arcade game they had two teams pitch ideas, and one team wanted to make it a vector graphic game, like Tempest, or the original Star Wars. Graphics all made from lines, in that bright glowing fashion so unique to that era.

tempest.gif

That team lost the internal pitch, they thought it would take too long, so we never saw that version of the game. But I thought as a homage to the idea and the feel of 1982 I'd give myself a challenge: render the entire topper as lines, no fills. It's an aesthetic that also ties into Tron 1982 itself:

Yes, they're playing Pac-Man inside the movie

It's a bit like doing a big drawing with a couple ball point pens, instead of markers. You can draw lines close to each other, you have two colors to work with, but you can't actually fill in anything on the paper.

Was a really fun technical challenge, I discovered a couple new tricks my laser I hadn't explored before, and I think the end result with the way the LEDs make the etched acrylic glow speaks perfectly to the idea I had in my head. It feels like Tron, it matches the pin well, but there's a bit of that 1982 flavor like I wanted.

Here's the design directly from my render in Illustrator:

tron-topper-render.jpg

And here's a more CAD-like view of all the various layers stacked up:

tron-topper-cad.jpg

I'll talk more about the physical construction of all the layers more later, I gotta get to work here on a Monday morning. But I'll wrap this all up with a video of the topper off so you can see how these drawings all look when it's not lit up.

topper-offjpg.jpg

#24 13 days ago

Is the topper controlled by the game at all, or does it just run through the various lightshows and lighting sequences at random or on a timer? Looks very nice. Out of my price range but it's still very interesting and a welcome addition! Nice work on the trailer and the direct movie references.

#25 13 days ago
Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

Is the topper controlled by the game at all, or does it just run through the various lightshows and lighting sequences at random or on a timer? Looks very nice. Out of my price range but it's still very interesting and a welcome addition! Nice work on the trailer and the direct movie references.

See this wall of text post for the detailed explanation: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tron-interactive-topper-pre-orders-aurich-mod#post-7249702

But short version is yes, it's game interactive. All of the more 'flashy' bits in the trailer are showing the game interaction animations. Otherwise it cycles through the idle states.

#26 13 days ago
Quoted from Aurich:

See this wall of text post for the detailed explanation: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tron-interactive-topper-pre-orders-aurich-mod#post-7249702
But short version is yes, it's game interactive. All of the more 'flashy' bits in the trailer are showing the game interaction animations. Otherwise it cycles through the idle states.

Hey buddy, is there a possibility to change the red palette on the topper to yellow/Orange? Personally, I think that’s more TRON theme appropriate unless there will be some technical issues that we are not aware of

#27 13 days ago

Just piling on the love here….incredible work!

#28 13 days ago

man that is a beauty!! as soon as I saw 'topper for Tron' and 'Aurich' in the same topic title I got week knees. I clicked right on the trailer and was left drooling on my keyboard. half way thru the video I clicked stop to get into the forum to see how to get on the list.....

then I saw the price. . I know all the effort has its price, but, well, Same reason I don't go to strip clubs.

AMAZING Topper Aurich!! Congrats!! the people that can afford it will be very happy with your talent and dedication to this hobby. me as a commoner, will just have to sit back and dream!

#29 13 days ago
Quoted from gprotein:

Hey buddy, is there a possibility to change the red palette on the topper to yellow/Orange? Personally, I think that’s more TRON theme appropriate unless there will be some technical issues that we are not aware of

There are lots of variations of yellow and oranges in the palettes to be clear, that's what the bulk of the different colors are. There are 8 different base color variations that it cycles through, mostly different pairings or yellow/orange and different blues.

There's also one that's a red/blue that's a reference to the 1982 Tron in the mix. So it's entirely intentional as Tron thing.

[email protected]@._V1_ (resized).jpg

#30 13 days ago
Quoted from toasterman04:

man that is a beauty!! as soon as I saw 'topper for Tron' and 'Aurich' in the same topic title I got week knees. I clicked right on the trailer and was left drooling on my keyboard. half way thru the video I clicked stop to get into the forum to see how to get on the list.....
then I saw the price. . I know all the effort has its price, but, well, Same reason I don't go to strip clubs.
AMAZING Topper Aurich!! Congrats!! the people that can afford it will be very happy with your talent and dedication to this hobby. me as a commoner, will just have to sit back and dream!

No worries, I know plenty of people don't want crazy expensive toppers regardless of how cool they look. I'll make however many there's demand for.

I don't mean to gatekeep anyone. I know if I made this half the price at $750 or whatever that I'd probably sell a lot more. But I'd be miserable trying to keep up with that, there's just no way to build these in a way that's not time and labor intensive, so it is what it is.

Maybe if I had the kind of resources Stern does with manufacturing and factory full or workers I could ... wait, charge $500 more?

#31 13 days ago

So are these just layers of edge-lit clear acrylic that’s engraved by laser? If so, how thick is the acrylic of each layer?

I don’t know if you’re familiar, but I’ve built a few four-tube Lixie clocks that use that technique and it’s hella cool. I’ve also considered some projects that did some pseudo-animation using layers lit up in sequences, including some side-by-side layers that were meshed together but painted on the edges so that they could be independently controlled and in the same plane. Looks like maybe you’re doing that?

Curious also what laser you have…I have a Glowforge, which has been great, just a tad limiting in terms of size. Anyway, I’m pretty tempted. I’m more tempted by reading the possibly of Metallica, too, though. I’ve got LE’s of both, and they’re likely my only “keeper” Sterns.

#33 13 days ago

PM sent....my LE is still one of the most enduring games in my lineup....love the freakin thing.....IN!!

Thank you for doing this!!!!

#34 13 days ago
Quoted from djb_rh:

So are these just layers of edge-lit clear acrylic that’s engraved by laser? If so, how thick is the acrylic of each layer?

Each acrylic layer is ¼" thick. The two layers are cut mirrored to each other so that they 'face' each other and you're not dealing with a big ¼" gap between them. But I am floating 1mm thick layer of black chipboard between them that acts as a light mask to prevent any bleed over between layers. Turns out that little 1mm gap creates a pleasing 3D parallax effect that created a little depth so I didn't try and go thinner.

I should take more pics during the build process, I'm doing a lot to isolate everything so I can independently control the lighting. The main acrylic area is really in 6 separate sections. Once you introduce light inside of acrylic it bounces around, and will even go completely around 180° turns. So if you want to turn a layer entirely off for effect you can't let any light bleed into it or it ruins it going dark.

The reason I'm using such thick acrylic is because the LED strips are embedded entirely inside each layer, which again lets me control the light bleed with masking in a stronger way.

Quoted from djb_rh:

I don’t know if you’re familiar, but I’ve built a few four-tube Lixie clocks that use that technique and it’s hella cool. I’ve also considered some projects that did some pseudo-animation using layers lit up in sequences, including some side-by-side layers that were meshed together but painted on the edges so that they could be independently controlled and in the same plane. Looks like maybe you’re doing that?

I am familiar with those acrylic Nixies! Those are neat, but do have that 'depth' issue when the layers are stacked so high. It's a cool effect in its own way though.

As for the animation technique with layered stacks, very familiar, I actually have an unfinished Metallica mod that uses it. I started it before Alien and then got derailed by that whole deal. It's the thing that first made me want a laser actually, it was frustrating to prototype it having to wait for laser cutting by services to ship to me. I finally got one in 2021, so I can do everything in house.

Quoted from djb_rh:

Curious also what laser you have…I have a Glowforge, which has been great, just a tad limiting in terms of size. Anyway, I’m pretty tempted. I’m more tempted by reading the possibly of Metallica, too, though. I’ve got LE’s of both, and they’re likely my only “keeper” Sterns.

I have a 50watt OmTech, with a 600x400mm cutting area (about 24"x16"). The Glowforge cutting area feels a bit cramped for me, it would be difficult to make this topper with it. And I'm just not wild about the cloud software stuff, I prefer offline, local control. It's a neat tool though. I love having a laser.

Metallica seems like a good idea to me, but I have nothing specific planned. So the timeline on that is just "I'd like to do it" right now.

#35 12 days ago

Yeah, my animation idea would be kept to maybe 4 layers and just loop it. It’s also just 1/8” thick acrylic which isn’t *that* bad. I’ve never looked, but for stuff like this some 1/16” thick would be better, just a little tougher to edge light and isolate properly.

My idea for having isolated sections on the same plane would be to just use something like black paint on the edges so the light can’t bleed through. On something like a pinball topper you might be far enough away that if done well you couldn’t see that black edge, but another idea would be to just use a vinyl cutter to do some vinyl artwork that covered the joints, too. Complicates things and I’m not sure it works in all situations, just something I’ve been contemplating experimenting with.

And I hear you on the Glowforge. I’ve had mine since the early days, though, and there just weren’t many options anywhere near that price point *then*. Many more options now, though. I was worried about the cloud software but I held my nose and did it and it’s been fine. Obviously it could brick my hardware if they go out of business, but at this point I’ve gotten my monies worth anyway so it wouldn’t kill me, just make me a little sad.

Anyway, I dig it. Would love to see some in-process pics when you get a chance.

#36 12 days ago
Quoted from djb_rh:

Yeah, my animation idea would be kept to maybe 4 layers and just loop it. It’s also just 1/8” thick acrylic which isn’t *that* bad. I’ve never looked, but for stuff like this some 1/16” thick would be better, just a little tougher to edge light and isolate properly.
My idea for having isolated sections on the same plane would be to just use something like black paint on the edges so the light can’t bleed through. On something like a pinball topper you might be far enough away that if done well you couldn’t see that black edge, but another idea would be to just use a vinyl cutter to do some vinyl artwork that covered the joints, too. Complicates things and I’m not sure it works in all situations, just something I’ve been contemplating experimenting with.

The narrower you go the more challenging it is to consistently light the edges of things close to each other. You run into problems like the width of the LED strips and just physically fitting things in the space.

As it is I'm already importing super narrow RGB strips since I couldn't find anything sold locally that would fit.

I built some tests for the lighting before I started on the full prototypes:

tron-test-sphere (resized).jpg

I'd already done the layer stuff before, I knew that would work, but these were test pieces of acrylic I had that were a little under ¼". It was a real pain to work with in the way I wanted and it cemented my decision to go a full ¼".

Really it's all about what the space around your acrylic is. I wanted everything fully encased. One of my pet peeves with laser etched toppers is the seeing the outline of the plastic glow, it takes away from the illusion. This is all fully encased, why you don't see glowing edges in the video from the side shots.

#37 12 days ago

Yeah, my Lixie clocks use a PCB with staggered LEDs to support the deep but tight stack. I hadn’t really thought about how you accomplish that when you aren’t stacking, but I can see how it would be annoying for the single layer.

I did some 3/8” thick acrylic (had someone else cut it for me) for a giant edge lit sign I did. But we had a cavity in the lighting space and didn’t even bother facing the LEDs to the edges and it worked fine. But that was a much bigger thing with airspace back there and internal surfaces it could bounce off of.

Anyway, love discussion and seeing this stuff happen.

One of my ideas was to do an edge lit set of layers that presented an R2-D2 in the proper colors (maybe 3-4 layers?). Then behind it a small LCD off ot the side of R2 that showed the Leila “you’re my only hope” video intermittently. Doing the layers right would give R2 a tad bit of 3D depth, maybe. At least if you kept it small and were viewing it up close. Not sure what it would be good for other than a piece of desk art, though.

#38 12 days ago
Quoted from djb_rh:

Anyway, love discussion and seeing this stuff happen.

If I can help problem solve anything lemme know. I built 4 complete designs for this topper as I prototyped it and learned a little extra something each time. And it's all built on the back of my hobby of sign making where I've learned a lot too.

I don't expect to make a ton of these, the price will keep interest low I suspect. Which is fine, it is what it is. But part of my design process was planning for success—if I wildly underestimated demand I didn't want to be caught with poorly planned designs that were harder to build than necessary. This is all complicated enough as it is.

Luckily for me I really enjoy the process of thinking how to optimize stuff. It's not hard to build a one-off, but there's something enjoyable to my brain about thinking through what would make it more efficient to make ten instead of just one.

It's really hard to take picture of this lit up stuff well, though it's easier now with my iPhone 13 Pro. This is the last sign I built and I had an iPhone X still then and it didn't fare as well. But this is the kind of stuff I've been doing:

vampire-sign-progress (resized).jpgvampire-sign-progress2 (resized).jpg

Getting a bit off topic here but it's been a long day, I'm on my second glass of wine, and I'll get into more Tron details later.

#39 12 days ago

This looks amazing Aurich. By chance does some of the interactivity tap into the same control as the ramp kit? I currently have my topper/disc/flipper buttons/mode start/apron/under cab lights all synced to it. It is a really neat effect to have all of them cycle off the same changes as the ramps.

#40 12 days ago
Quoted from jedimastermatt:

This looks amazing Aurich. By chance does some of the interactivity tap into the same control as the ramp kit? I currently have my topper/disc/flipper buttons/mode start/apron/under cab lights all synced to it. It is a really neat effect to have all of them cycle off the same changes as the ramps.

No, I'm tapping different things than the ramps.

I adore my Eli ramp kit, but it really serves a different purpose than my topper. The ramps are not just a great light show, they provide in-game feedback too. The ramps are off a lot until you light them for things.

My goal was basically "neat light show all the time". I feel like toppers that only do things sometimes are missing the point.

One of the best toppers ever made was White Water and it only did one thing, but it did it so well, constantly. It's fun to watch while the game is powered on. That's the vibe I wanted, but turned to up match Tron's lightshow potential. Just chilling in the room with the games on should feel good, like White Water.

The interactive game elements on my topper are fun, they keep things mixed up, but truthfully most players will hardly get a chance to see them while they're looking at the playfield, unless you're watching the animations during the end of game sequence after you've drained your last ball.

#41 12 days ago

Very cool thread going here. I look forward to the technical explanations on how it came together. Dammit I want one!! Lol!

#42 12 days ago
Quoted from Flash71:

Very cool thread going here. I look forward to the technical explanations on how it came together. Dammit I want one!! Lol!

I'll definitely keep updating it. Anyone who knows me and my process knows I love me some obsession with details.

I have some process pics from older builds, but they're out of date with the art and some of the way things assemble, so I think I just need to take new ones as I build the next one.

#43 12 days ago

Dammit, I'm in.

#44 12 days ago
Quoted from ZEN:

Dammit, I'm in.

25a (resized).jpg

I moved the pre-order list to the opening post. I didn't realize the edit rules were different for it, was about to get awkward to keep editing that other one with addendums. Live and learn.

#45 12 days ago

I’m in.

#47 12 days ago

Two things:

1) Progress is this: we're about to do a second test PCB, we'll get a few of them to make sure they all work. Assuming they're fine, we can use them to build the first few toppers while we order the rest of them.

This means nobody needs to do anything right now, and as soon as we're ready I'll contact the first few people on the list for the initial batch. When I have a more firm timeline I'll update again.

2) Speaking of PCBs, I forgot to mention something: I'll need to know if you have a Pro or LE when you order. There are some minor differences in how they're wired, and I'll need to adjust the programming for your game. Honestly it would work mostly the same for both with the same code, but I'd rather make sure I get you something dialed in.

The LE technically has a slightly less complex flasher show it seems because they stole coil inputs for the recognizer. Looks like they grouped a few together. Honestly doubt anyone has ever even noticed this before.

tron-manual-le-pro (resized).jpg

#48 12 days ago

Looking at this coil chart some more I may do a little testing to see if there's code that will just work with both. It's super no big deal to send you a custom version for your game, but if it was possible to unify them it would make it easier if you ever wanted to sell your topper say.

We'll see, I'll do whatever gives the best result, won't change anything unless I'm still happy with it.

But if you look the LE is grouping flashers into right and left pairs, while the Pro has them separate.

#49 11 days ago

Sounds like maybe it’s too late if you’re this far down the rabbit hole for the PCB, but maybe a jumper or a solder pad that could be cut/wired to select between LE/Pro, if you find you do need different code for each? Then you’d still have unified code and the ability to change it externally? Just throwing ideas out.

#50 11 days ago
Quoted from djb_rh:

Sounds like maybe it’s too late if you’re this far down the rabbit hole for the PCB, but maybe a jumper or a solder pad that could be cut/wired to select between LE/Pro, if you find you do need different code for each? Then you’d still have unified code and the ability to change it externally? Just throwing ideas out.

It's definitely possible, but it feels like a bit overkill. These PCBs are already a bit over-engineered already so one more thing wouldn't hurt, but just feels not worth it.

It's extremely easy to change the code, a couple lines and it will all work. And I'm making these in small batches, customizing them that way for people is not a problem.

But if I can solve this so they're unified from the start that feels like a better approach overall, just one less variable for anyone to think about.

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