(Topic ID: 196879)

TRON Legacy: LCD Mod

By flynnsbit

2 years ago

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#1 2 years ago

SOLD OUT, not making more for now while I work on new code: https://flynns.online/collections/all
The 27inch LCD's I use went out of production so I will have to source a new one that fits in the backbox as good as the Acer did.

Latest update here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tron-legacy-play-field-lcd-mod/page/4#post-5042632

I'll update this thread as I make progress.

1/7/2018 UPDATE:
SAM Code integration updated to version 1.4:
v1.4. Changes to SAM version:
* Added new DiscMB Restart mode so that detection of the mode state is possible if you don't hit the DISCMB Restart shot.
* Added DiscMB Restart Video
* DiscMB Return detection
* Added Return to Grid Detection
* Zen mode added
* Find Flynn and Flynn found mode detection added
* Fixed Most Active modes to clear the video list and default to The Grid video when complete
* Added structure for re-setting states on Active Multiball mode completion
* Added wait times in between mode completions to allow for video updates
* Fixed Game over video
* Added placeholder videos for SOS and Portal
* Added Portal mode detection
* updated firmware version detection to 1.32
* better comms version detection code
* Turned off TRON mode for now, TRON was too busy and interrupting modes
* added debug output and log files to usb
* Prelim Ball drain detection (only in code/debug)
* Prelim Active Score per Player (only in code/debug)

BACKBOX LCD Progress: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tron-legacy-play-field-lcd-mod/page/2#post-4134152
Oh and this might be an option in the future:

PLAYFIELD LCD Progress: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/tron-legacy-play-field-lcd-mod/page/2#post-4134041
12/20/2017 Latest video:

1/29/2018 video: APRON LCD Instruction Card replacement:

Alight, I am going to let the cat out of the bag on a mod I have been working on for Tron. Before you get your hopes up, I am still working through some technical challenges with integration into modes so this could flop at some point with a technical road block or become so complex that it wouldn't be feasible for someone else to implement. I don't have a clue how long this is going to take me, but I wanted to document progress here in one place as I work through the different ideas. If everyone hates it, I'll just keep it to myself, no biggy.

Recognizer Idea:
Why not have a playfield LCD like Stern is doing on Star Wars? (see Picture attached)
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1. Start with a 5 inch LCD and show a video of a Recognizer animation
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2. What about showing video from scenes in the movie based on some interaction with the machine?

3. Integrate a PiZero into the LCD with GPIO interaction with the game. Most likely Python code...
This one requires a bit more work. My original plan was to use light sensors under each of the multi-ball modes and kick off an instructional image that the mode is ready and then play a movie clip during the multi-ball mode. Using light sensors is not clean and there needs to be a better solutions for sensing when you are in a mode or not.

4. Build all the media for Mode Starts, and Cut video for different multi-ball modes. (see attached pics)

Check List:

Mod LCD for 5v

integrate Pi Zero into LCD

Hide all OS outputs on Pi

Stern Boot Animation

Power LCD from Pi GPIO

Redo Advance Recognizer animation Arrows to match size of 3-bank target
Media for mutli-ball modes
Media for Video clips for each modes
Convert Static Mode start images to Animated videos
Attract Video
Code integration Option 1 -- In progress
Code integration Option 2
Code integration Option 3


Fix dirty 5v Power issues with LED lights
Better Power connectors

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#3 2 years ago

I do have Eli's kit installed. I'll look at that, I need it to communicate with the Pi for video but I know you can do that between an Arduino and a Pi, so I don't see why that wouldn't work for the teensy. Great Idea!

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

You may want to take a look at Eric lyon's Pinduino, it is partly doing what you want already, although with LEDs. I don't think the connection with the Pi would be dramatically different

Yup, I have one as of last week, and worked on integrating this weekend, but it only monitors J6 and J7 so getting mode status seemed to be more difficult. He and I discussed it and I think I could get status based on the Recognizer bank and the disc motor spinning which would at least allow for videos in those two modes. Once I started working on videos and intros to each mode, I really wanted to go ahead and get the full experience.

Right now I know I could do this.
On Start show recognizer bank animation
If recognizer bank is down or disk motor is spinning, show intro video of Sam entering the Grid and the Recognizer picking him up.
Then show Disc War Multiball Animation, If Disc War multiball starts, show video of Disc Wars
If Disc stops spinning, go back to Recognizer animation.

This could be version 1 and I know I could get that working, but there is a lot more potential here.

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

This looks super cool! Tron is my favorite. I have twenty years of experience doing After Effects stuff ... if you would like any help generating content PM me! No fee of course
But your stuff looks very nice already so you're probably all set!

Oh, I don't feel like I am good at the media side at all. I am using Paint.net and Hitfilm Express for all of the animations and to cut the video and re-size to the native resolution of the LCD. I might take you up on the offer at some point as I would like some better effects in some of the transitions. I worked on the Boot animation tonight so this will run during the Pi Startup.

I also got the 5v mod done on the LCD. This could technically run from either 12v or 5v so I could have both options.

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Looks cool! What if you build the media and I'll drive the signals for it. I already have a comms board sending RS232 signals back to the machine CPU for sound calling. I can trigger off any mode any time, from all lamps and switches. I also have native serial outputs on my main board. Just name the type of signal you need to drive your screen and I should be able to provide it.

Does your board sit where Eli's controller board currently sits? I have 2 boards there already and assume most probably do (Pinbits ColorDMD board is stacked on mine), but I would LOVE for that to work. Let me finish the LCD board integration this weekend so all of the hardware pieces are out of the way, and at least get different videos triggering from the GPIO, and I will hit you up about integrating.

#22 2 years ago

A little more work on the media last night. I plan to finish the LCD hardware this weekend and will post some pics of the process for those that want to see it.

Here is the Light Cycle Multiball screen. This is my least favorite so I need to go back and work on it again when I am not staring at it all day.

Here is the current flow, but I will need to see what is and isn't possible based on mode awareness.

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#23 2 years ago

I also have a 5 inch LCD coming in so I will see if that is too big as compared to the 4.3. It gets here tomorrow so this should keep me busy.

#26 2 years ago

No media updates today. I have been working on ideas for pulling the mode state from the machine. I am currently testing the serial connection on the S.A.M. board. So far so good, I can get process changes during modes so I am going to create a simply python program that reads what mode it thinks it's in and displays it on the screen. The commspatch from pinballbrowser seems to work well.

I would love to know what the zc command does over serial, it seems to do nothing.
zc: get information about zero cross. score list also doesn't work so I wonder if it was a difference in the commspatch and the version of firmware I am running in Tron.

I got the 5 inch LCD in and I'll be fully integrating it tomorrow and taking pictures.

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#29 2 years ago

4.3 inch display or 5 inch display?

4.3 INCH No Flash
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4.3 INCH Flash
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5 INCH No Flash
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5 INCH Flash
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#31 2 years ago
Quoted from Billy16:

Without the photos being marked, hard to tell which is which. If the cost difference is significant, I'd go with the 4.3.

The price between is negligible. Marked them, To me it looks like there is just less bezel on the 5 inch. It has a higher resolution, is easier to mod for 5v, but has a different bezel with a shield that can either be at the top or the bottom. The 5 inch has a bezel is not equal on all sides.

The 4.3 looks more like the Stern LCD to me.

#38 2 years ago

Some updates from this week. Worked mostly on the coding pieces to make sure I can detect modes and show content based on those modes. I have a couple of different options that could be used and should have a demo of something this weekend. It will probably just be Recognizer Bank Animation + Recognizer Landing Video + Disc Wars for now.

I love the little 5 inch display. It has a much better resolution in person and isn't too big for the spot where the recognizer goes, in my opinion. It is also really simple to mod and it can be completely powered by the Pi.

I worked on some more media items and re-did the recognizer animation this week to match the arrows above each target on the 3-bank. I worked on Clu, Gem, and an idea for quick shots like Super Spinner(needs an S), depending on how fast I can react to hits.

Media attached.

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#40 2 years ago

Switched from the Pi 3 to the Pi Zero today, got the 5 inch screen installed and tested the new animation. Hard to capture how good it looks with a phone, but you should get the idea. I don't have anything triggering yet, that is the very next thing. Hope everyone had a good weekend, GO COWBOYS!

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1 week later
#41 1 year ago

Small update today, still waiting on some code integration and hardware for the different options for pulling mode state from the game. I have a path forward on 2 of the 3 and hope to have a demo with real integration this week. I also got my first batch of 5 inch displays from China which took shorter than I thought it would. While I waited on stuff I started thinking through some fun options for the display and spun up the 3d printer. I also tested out an HDMI 5 inch display but I don't like the viewing angle and I don't think there is a big difference between the displays. Pictures attached.

Death Star for fun, as a temporary topper for my Star Wars Premium and to make sure my 3d printer was calibrated.

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#46 1 year ago
Quoted from parabol420:

Wow! Looks incredible. I will absolutely take one when they are available. I would also imagine you could make this same idea work pretty well in Spider-Man.

Yeah I could see this working with multiple stern machines. I went to my local Nickelrama as they have about 20 or so machines and took pictures of the playfields to get an idea where the LCD would and which type/size you could us. There were many that would work.

1 week later
#52 1 year ago

I had shoulder surgery yesterday so that has slowed me down a bit. I am REALLY close to having the demo ready and there are no road blocks. I just need to fix some small things and fix a delay.

everything is going to be one handed for me for a while.

#57 1 year ago

Here is the first run at mode integration to prove everything is working. Still have to add in more error logic and mode detection, especially when more than one mode is firing. Right now there is just a priority set but it would be nice to show or cycle through running/active modes. I've created a lot of placeholder videos in place just so that we can get through the bugs and coding logic. Anyway, here is version v0.01 This code is not optimized at all so I know I can speed up the switching between videos.

Attract video, Recognizer animation, recognizer hit video, disc wars instructions... Lots more to do with only one arm for the next 6 weeks.

3 weeks later
#59 1 year ago

Latest video is up. I've been working out some of the phantom modes being called and how to handle that, and working through priority of the modes and hurry-ups and if it needs to cycle through them during certain circumstances.

Anyway. I spent the weekend playing with videos / starts/lit, active, and complete. Folder structure will be easy for people to add their own videos. basically /media/qmb/active.mp4,lit.mp4. and complete.mp4

I am also working on a script to pull the right scenes from a digital version that you own. This should work for any concerns about C/W.

Anyway, latest video is here, still some bugs but I am happy with the transitions between modes/states. There is a lot going on here in the background to get this done.

#61 1 year ago
Quoted from BigPhil:

Wow. Just discovered this thread! Very interested. Any idea of costs once production starts?

I really don't know yet, I need to factor in time and materials still but once I make a few I will have an idea. I have enough hardware for 10 prototypes. There are still LOTS of bugs in the code so I would hate to sell someone hardware without it working as good as the DMD does. My biggest issue right now is modes showing on the screen that haven't started and then how to handle crashes with the code, right now I just cycle the machine (it doesn't happen very often) but that isn't good for anyone else.

I like to show progress here, but still feel like there is a lot ahead to make it work, especially to make it easy to introduce your own videos or easily run a script that can scenes from a video you own (DVD, blu-ray, itunes, ultra-violet, etc, some personal owned video)

I will tell you, if you want to have the fastest and best experience, you will need the Total Light Show board from redSHIFT. I will have limited mode abilities with the other integration points. If you haven't seen his board, it is amazing. Be thinking about this if you are a Earlier Adopter and don't want to wait for other mode integration options (those will never be as good as TLS.)

This does not mean that other mode options wont be there, but those will not give you the full experience.

#62 1 year ago

Okay so getting close on two versions of the LCD and I have a few questions for people. There will be two options which basically have the same hardware from my side.

1. TotalLightShow integrated. This will connect to the Serial Port of the TLS and receive mode stats from that board. If you already have the TLS all you need is to flash to a version that supports my LCD.

2. Direct Serial interface with the SAM CPU board. You will need to flash your ROM with support for the LCD states, which will be released in future versions of pinbrowser.

3. Eli Board Integration -- Not done yet.


I have all modes working and each plays a video for the active mode. As soon as a mode starts it interrupts the current video and plays the new mode. Each state also has a video so for QMB you have Lit, Active, and Complete. For modes like ZUSE and TRON you have Active and Complete. In my opinion, these can conflict with each other when multi modes start, especially when you stack Clu, Light Cycle, and Quorra. Right now the code just plays the last video of the mode that started because usually the mode videos are too long to stagger and play.


1. Shorten the Lit videos to something like 5 seconds, and just show a quick video/animation for that lit mode, could even be a static image like I was originally planning. This would allow for playing of the three different lit modes, in short succession, one after the other until a mode starts.

2. Keep them longer and play the last mode that is lit. Shorten ZUSE and TRON to short animations and have those play once, and then continue the mode video where it left off.

3. Leave it as is, Videos interrupt each other with a default one set for when no modes are running or lit.

The good news is I could see this being easily adapted to any other SAM game. I feel like 90% of the work has been done for this first version and could be adapted to those other games where an LCD could go. You could also technically get a Smaller Translite and put a large LCD in the backbox since you can supply 1080p videos for modes.

The last big bug is the rPI is locking up after about a day of playing and you have to bounce it. I suspect I have a memory leak somewhere that I need to track down. I can't ship any of these until I figure that out.

Long post but hopefully everyone interested can give me some input.

#65 1 year ago

a. I've got someone lined up to test on the LE, it should work but I will need to test the mode integration and make sure that all works with the roms. I also intend on doing something special with the Daft Punk Multi-ball but that will be later.

b. Yup, I have a Pro so I replace the plastic toy with the LCD and then default to this mode on start which gives you the Recognizer back

c. You could put the LCD anywhere you want (Including a 27 inch Backbox LCD But the default location I have is where the recognizer currently sits. You could put the LCD on the rotating arm and anytime it is moving show the Recognizer animation, or some other video of your choosing. I get the loss on the LE here, but I am sure someone more creative than me could come up with something. * ninja Edit -- I have the redShift blue apron in mine so I couldn't bring myself to cut out a spot for the LCD.

#67 1 year ago

Okay I think I am going to stick to this priority:

ZUSE and TRON play once and do not loop
Lit shots play once, and will stack but then the video falls back to base video (either recognizer or disc)
GEM plays while active and loops because Gem.
all lit shots play once
If Clu and Light Cycle are lit, Light Cycle Wins
If Clu, Light Cycle, and QMB are lit, Quorra wins
mode completion videos play once and then default video plays if no other mode is running

All active multi-ball videos loop until mode completion.

Recognizer animation loops unless Disc is "lit (bank is down) and then the Disc animation defaults to the base animation if no modes are running
if bank is up, Recognizer animation is default.

1 month later
#68 1 year ago

Big Long Update:
Finally feel like the code is finished enough to start getting into peoples hands. There are still bugs, but everything seems stable enough to get in the hands of the pinheads that really want something like this. This was a lot more work than I originally expected. Getting the delay between video modes and integration with each mode was very time consuming. The default version that ships integrates directly with the Stern CPU board. I have a version that works with the Total Light Show board as well. I have not finished the code beyond player 1 on the Stern integrated version. If you start more that 1 player the mode states will carry over and show the wrong video. I am working on that.

I've shipped some beta units to work out any kinks with different install options and machines. I can make about 10 of these a week and maybe more during the holidays based on interest. I had to move from the raspberry pi zero to the raspberry pi 3 due to a huge hardware issue on the zero that I took too much time trying to fix.

Here is the latest video of some game play. I need to change the overscan settings a bit on the LCD to get it to fit perfectly, but you get the idea.

Price is $350 + Shipping. Domestic Shipping is usually shipping has been $12-15. I am still working through the logistics of international orders so bare with me. Maybe this wont be popular and I wont have to worry about it.

Website: https://flynnsbit.com/products/5-inch-playfield-lcd-for-sam?variant=5388723519516

I have parts for 10 kits, but I still need to make the wiring harness for them. NOTE: If you have the LED version of the ColorDMD installed in your machine you will need an extra wiring harness (option in the store) so that the two mods do not share the same 12v source. They can conflict with each other and it will cause a subtle horizontal lines. LCD verison of ColorDMD is fine.

Code Updates and Instructions:
Future code updates can be downloaded and copied to the USB stick easily from any PC. Instructions on hardware install, pinball-browser firmware update for this mod, and anything else needed is coming. I am almost finished with that but need a few people to go through the install.

This will also ship with videos that do not contain any copy-write material, but you can easily change those on the USB stick. I've made versions of the videos that show the mode running and instructions. Examples of those are attached. I am also uploading all of my hitfilm project files so that anyone can download the free version of HitFilm Express and edit videos to their liking. I'll try and make a tutorial on how to download and use hitfilm. I hope to have a place for the community to share videos they create with each other.

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#69 1 year ago

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. For those with an LE that don't want to remove their recognizer, there could be another option in the future...


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#76 1 year ago
Quoted from PeterG:

Whooow....I really like the LE option. Definitely interested! It would be even more great if there would be a bit more adaption for the big screen. Some screens are a bit empty. But as a first version this is already great. How much would a kit like that cost?

Yeah the big LCD just came together this week. If you have some specific ideas you would want let me know or go ahead and create a video and I can test it.

The main cost is the 27 inch LCD. I have 5 different brands of 27 inch LCD's I purchased to test if anyone wants one that isn't compatible.
This one I am using fits perfectly between the two metal hooks on the speaker panel and auto powers on and off with the source.

I am thinking $699+Shipping for the big version with all the brackets, LED Strip for Top translite, mount, power adapter. You could technically get the smaller one and just go source your own big LCD. You will also need to source the translite as I can't sell that (based on a notification I received).

Video Edits:
Here are all of my non-copywrite video project files. The timings are in them that seem to work with modes, completes, hurry-ups, etc. Those can also be any length but will affect the flow. https://1drv.ms/f/s!AnreFtnjNkJZ8R4R30UimbD66y8s

Video editing was done using HitFilm Express (it's free): https://hitfilm.com/express

Font used is the Creative Commons version for TRON here: https://archive.org/details/CrrNtn
The L E G A C Y part of the logo is: Helvetica Neue Ultra Light


#79 1 year ago
Quoted from BigPhil:

You may as well just go the whole hog and do a back box LCD which incorporates everything

It's a fun idea... This would take some SERIOUS work to get all the details right and I don't think there is enough memory in the SAM systems to allow for all the code necessary to pull all states, scores, shot scores, etc. I would need the raw data and not a "clone" of the dmd which I know a few people have done with a Pi.

#82 1 year ago
Quoted from Mokthemagicman:

Question: When still instruction signs pop up on the screen like "Quorra Multiball - Shoot left inner for jackpot" is that a video playing on a loop or for a certain time or is that just a jpeg image of that sign that your code is referring to?
I do some 3D Maya, video editing and effects. I would love to do something really cool with this and take a stab at one of the pop up signs if they can be animated if you like.

It just a video on a loop so the overlay is built into the video clip. I can post those project files from Hitfilm if you want to see how that is done. As soon as I get a chance this weekend (after building and completing the orders outstanding) I plan to create a video tutorial of how I created each segment. It's REALLY simple once you figure out what is going on. The code for mode stacking, default video if nothing is running, short videos for the lit shots and complete shots, and then loops for the base videos was what took me 3 months to do. Also, any base video will be inturrupted with the mode video if that starts

Video Mode timings:

Attract is 10 seconds
Game Start is 50 seconds
Game Over: 7 seconds
Tron Active: 5 seconds
Most active modes are between 3-5 minutes
Complete modes: 10 seconds
Lit shots: 5 seconds (even if they don't look like videos, they are still an image in a mp4 file)
Shoot the Recognizer: 50 seconds (and this loops if the bank is up)
Disc Lit: 2:40 (loops if bank is down and no other mode is going)

You get the idea. The videos can be whatever length you need and the code will handle, but these are the length's that made since to me while playing.

Images in the overlays are pulled from here: http://tron.wikia.com/wiki/Special:Search?search=Codex&fulltext=Search&ns6=1

I would love to see what other people can do with the videos. I probably spent too much time on video editing, however, it was fun for me and I learned a lot.

#84 1 year ago

Getting caught up on orders, printed out 4 pi mounts today and took some pictures of everything that comes with it for the instructions. I still need to test each one on my machine before they go out. Everyone's order should go out USPS on Tuesday.

There is definitely a bug with the Discmb video sometimes not starting and GEM Hurry up conflicting with the base videos, but everything else seems pretty smooth.

rai you can order here: https://flynnsbit.com/products/5-inch-playfield-lcd-for-sam

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#90 1 year ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Just a heads up to anyone who already has a Total Lightshow kit, I have been working with Mr Flynnsbit on generating an enhanced set of instructions to extend the mode recognition capability of his awesome screen (as he has mentioned previously). Current Tron code for TLS supports the screen and you just need to grab the Sound Caller add-on to connect to it. We will be continuing to develop this part of the project together and I am fully on board at my end, so your code will continue to get support. Can't wait for my test kit to arrive and see it in person!

Totally agree here, the TLS kit integration is solid. Your's is in the box, I just had to work out Australia shipping!

#91 1 year ago

Some fun pics for today.

Lots of 3d printing and worked a bit on getting it more level once I moved it to the studio. I am trying to get it to the point where the auto bed level sensor doesn't require me to adjust it on every print.

Also, playing with apron ideas. The 4.3 inch LCD will fit perfectly in the instruction card spot but it will require a 3d printed custom case for the actual LCD instead of using the default so that it is completely flush and fills in the entire space. I don't think just shoving an LCD in there looks good with the case it comes with.

Merry Christmas all.

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#93 1 year ago
Quoted from Frax:

Where do I sign up for local playesting?

Anytime you want. Hit me up over DM and we can sync up this week when I don't have everything torn apart.

Everyone's units shipped today so I am caught up. I should have the creative commons videos out this week and a new code update this weekend.

#95 1 year ago

Spent my day off working to finish up some bugs in both the SAM integration and the Total Light Show code. I've got some work to do around recovery from modes not reporting in when complete. There is also a pretty big bug on the SAM side with DiscMB_Complete that keeps that mode running even when complete.

Today I figured I would go ahead and try dual displays at the same time. I really did this so that I could test both the SAM and TLS code without taking everything apart, and it ended up being something that I got excited about once it worked. I am getting close on the 27 inch mounting and how that will work but needed some hardware that isn't here yet. This is two kits, the TLS, power running from a secondary 5v source so I don't blow everything up, One plugged into the TLS board and one plugged into the SAM board.

The nice thing about running both the SAM integration AND the Total Light Show at the same time is you can show different videos/media on each display which should make for some interesting integration.

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#99 1 year ago
Quoted from neverahighscore:

Something like this? I agree with you after installing this. So easy to see and understand all the shots. Very cool looking also.

That's very cool! Does it have mode integration with the RZ cpu? I want to do something like this with my TNA when it gets here.

#103 1 year ago

Started working on the 3d design for the 4.3 LCD bezel tonight so that it fits snugly in the apron. Here is v4ish. Still working out the texture and paint, glossy is too glossy, satin is too flat.

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#104 1 year ago

1. Finished all the 27 inch mounting hardware today, 3d prints for brackets, and how to handle the light bleed as much as possible. I have enough parts for 3 of these kits and then I am tapped out for a while since my number for my TNA is coming up. I'll let everyone know when I get closer to having those 3 kits ready.

2.Finished a new version tonight for the SAM version. You will need the very latest pinball-browser and comms patch (132) for this to work.

Installation documentation updated and I sent instructions to everyone who has one on how to update. (for those of you that are using the SAM and not the TLS version) Just DM me if you didn't get it.

v1.4. Changes to SAM version:
* Added new DiscMB Restart mode so that detection of the mode state is possible if you don't hit the DISCMB Restart shot.
* Added DiscMB Restart Video
* DiscMB Return detection
* Added Return to Grid Detection
* Zen mode added
* Find Flynn and Flynn found mode detection added
* Fixed Most Active modes to clear the video list and default to The Grid video when complete
* Added structure for re-setting states on Active Multiball mode completion
* Added wait times in between mode completions to allow for video updates
* Fixed Game over video
* Added placeholder videos for SOS and Portal
* Added Portal mode detection
* updated firmware version detection to 1.32
* better comms version detection code
* Turned off TRON mode for now, TRON was too busy and interrupting modes
* added debug output and log files to usb
* Prelim Ball drain detection (only in code/debug)
* Prelim Active Score per Player (only in code/debug)

#105 1 year ago

Install Pictures for the 27 inch 1080p LCD.

Liiiiiiiike a glove....

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#106 1 year ago

And here is the two orange and blue discs that are going down each side of the monitor. Most people probably didn't even see them. Playing with implementing them into the mode. Still need a good clean light bleed solution.

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#109 1 year ago
Quoted from Frax:

Figures. I think my two Trons have been in the house of every collector in Dallas at this point. Stupid sluts.

Note to self, add an easter egg to the 27 inch LCD for when FRX is entered in as a high score it changes it to "STUPIDSLUT"

Every machine at Nicklerama would say that then though...

#111 1 year ago

After creating a parts list for the 27 inch monitor and making sure I had everything included in the kit, I went back through the install and everything is great. The small translite needs to be wider on both sides by about 5mm, and it needs a 5mm black boarder at the top so that the LCD doesn't cause a shadow on the translite art. Now I see why JJP created the boarders in the Translite/backglass for their LCD's.

The new code seems MUCH better at handling modes and clearing out back to a default video when no modes are running.
One small issue, or big issue for those select few. If you want the 27 inch backbox LCD, and you already have a ColorDMD LCD DMD installed, this isn't going to work due to that LCD sticking up above the speaker panel. You will either need your original DMD (Blue or whatever) or a ColorDMD LED DMD.

I'll hit people up that DM'ed me about the 27 inch kits this week. I should have 3 of them to start. Remember, you will need to source a Translite. DM me for details.

1 week later
#114 1 year ago

Devil is in the details, trying to make sure everything is super stable. I have the hardware done and just need to figure out how shipping is going to work. I'll try to get that done between today and tomorrow since I am off work tomorrow.

1. I had some weird edge cases where Stern doesn't actually report back anything when certain modes are lit or complete, so you can end up in an endless loop. That is all fixed now and there is so much more debug code to handle those situations.

2. I had to get 4 players working so that mode videos didn't carry over into other peoples games, and handle the dance between active players and what should be shown on the LCD. That is also done.

3. I still need to test what this code is going to do on an LE.

1 week later
#115 1 year ago

1-4 player game code is working really well. It's neat to see the base video mode that the player is running follow the player through their balls. That was more work than I thought.

Okay now that the Tron code feels complete I'm finishing the kits for the backbox and just tweaking some things I didn't like. I changed the threaded rods from 3" to 4" to give some extra room to get the LCD closer to the glass to remove the light bleed. I am happy with it. The Artwork when printed will need a black border to hide any shadows from the weather striping around the side. I created this border which should take care of the shadows.

Also, worked more on the texture for the 3d printed plastic bezel that goes around the Around the Apron LCD. That molded texture on the apron is REALLY hard to duplicate. This is as close as I am going to get and I feel like absolutely no one except me would be this picky. The good news is this is really easy to do, print, rattle can spray paint, and dry.

Happy Sunday.

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#117 1 year ago

I will have two backbox kits ready this week, PM me and I will add you to my list.
For those that like pictures, I spent my day messing with the Apron Mod. The 3d printed bezel snaps right into the instruction card slot and covers the angles. You do have to make a 1 inch hole for the ribbon cable in the bottom so it does require a small mod, but it just needs to be less than 1mm so even a hot x-acto knife would do it. I am printing a new one with notches cut out of the top for the Tron art that I didn't think through. Anyway, picture time.

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Added 19 months ago: 1mm = 1inch. I screwed up. a 1mm hole is stupid.

#120 1 year ago
Quoted from bjorg:

Doesn't the LE have the apron with the blue flashers below? Would this mod work on an LE?

It does, and it is metal. I am working on a version that sits above the metal one but that is going to take a bit longer because I had to order a metal apron to test on. Trying to finish the backboxes this week and then I will do the metal apron.

Everyone with LE's makes me crazy jealous.

#123 1 year ago
Quoted from Brazy:

Any idea of cost for this mod yet?

For the Apron? Probably be two versions:

You can obviously make these yourself and order the parts from Adafruit. I am just selling them to fund R&D into other pinball projects so I can keep doing this. If you have a 3d printer, a DIY pinball attitude, feel free to hit me up and I will share.

For those that want this done and plug and play:
Base version: I am hovering around $190 right now. LCD and a Pi with no integration, but you can put any video or set of images on the sdcard and it will cycle through them. These take me about an hour to make each one. If the displays panels I ordered from China work then that will lower the cost down by $20.

Deluxe: I can also do the deluxe version with the Tron Integration, but I haven't tested all of that yet as there is a resolution difference between the 4.3 and 5 inch displays. That could force me to re-edit all the videos into that resolution... That price is basically the base kit + this LCD only so you remove the cost of the extra pi PC, power, sdcard, etc.

Long short of it, I am getting there and trying not to gouge the pinball community. Availability will be after the backbox people start rolling. I've got to get that done first.

#127 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

I was referring to back box cost...

OH, THAT! $699 and I am not sure I am really making anything if you factor in hours of work. Look at it this way, JJP's 27 inch LCD is $569.99 and that doesn't come with a computer, backbox mounts, power, mode integration. I think $569 for an LCD is ridiculous, but these things add up.

#131 1 year ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

flynnsbit its really impressive all that you have accomplished in just 4 months.

Thanks, its been a lot of work but rewarding to do something interesting and different.

#133 1 year ago

Finished 3 Backbox kits and assembly today. I went ahead and built enough to do 5 kits but I still will need 2 more LCD's to complete those kits. Sending PM's to those at the top of the list. If are really interested in spending the money on this and can handle ordering a translite from somewhere, send me a PM so I can get an idea on how many of these I need to build. I am moving on to a Star Trek Backbox display after this one.

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#134 1 year ago
Quoted from Brazy:

So how do you feel about the apron screen? I mean it should run the same program as the recognizer lcd correct? I'm kinda torn between those 2 spots sand how they will interact while playing...

Just answering this question: Correct, the program should be exactly the same between the different LCD options. When I have time, I am going to do a demo of the three of them. My only concern is the difference in video resolution for the 4.3, but it might downscale just fine on it. I wont know until I get it all wired up. I personally still like the playfield version because of the 3 base video modes that all have to do with the Recognizer/Disc combo. Base Mode = Enter the grid, Bank has been hit but not down = Shoot the Recognizer, Bank Down and Disc Spinning = SHOOT THE DISC.

#135 1 year ago

Finished implementing the Apron LCD mod. It's one of the cleaner implementations because everything is under the apron and it just needs two cables, one goes to the com port on the stern cpu and the other connects to the accessory 5v molex port by the coin door. I also got the lcd ribbon cable to run through one of the cut outs on the apron so you don't have to mod or make a hole in the apron at all.

Pictures and video.

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And for fun, scanned in versions of the Stern cards being displayed on the LCD. You could cycle through different ones, show ads for your place, etc while in attract mode. Maybe I'll create a Nickelrama and Pinstacks version and take it up there.

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#137 1 year ago
Quoted from Stretch7:

Do you have any plans to do other titles?

Stern Star Trek is next and it is sitting right next to this Tron. I have the mode integration tested, I just need to learn the actual rules of the game so I can map out all the gotcha like mode stacking.

After that it will probably be Ghostbusters since it is a spike with a DMD and there isn't a ColorDMD out for it yet.

Then one of the Music games, maybe the new Lucy ACDC with a full backbox. Of course that one wouldn't work unless you could get an animator to cut up some videos for each mode.

Metallica would be easy because you could just show concerts or music videos for modes.

#141 1 year ago

I agree on the apron lcd. It is more for rotating instruction cards and maybe something interesting for attract. Without mode integration, it is a lot cheaper and can work with any Stern Pro machine out of the box.

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#145 1 year ago
Quoted from Redknight87:

Please bring this beauty to TPF! I would love to play this machine. : Great work, looks awesome!

I signed up to bring it, this will be my first TPF so it should be interesting all around. Maybe I can just put my machine in one of the vendor booths.

All that's left is to re-integrate the motorized wheelie light cycles and this thing should be done, and COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS with the amount of LCDs. That is fun for the show but I will probably take a few off for my personal collection. My LCD addiction is getting out of hand..

NINJA EDIT: -- added pic.

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#148 1 year ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Question for you: as someone who has a TRON on their wishlist and not presently in their possession, are you planning on doing this as a one time run or on-demand/purchase?

I should be able to do this on demand. Let me describe "this".

Playfield LCD: Easy, parts readily available. Can be on-demand

Apron LCD: Easy, most work is 3d printing for these which I can do now that it is designed very quickly. Can be on-demand

Backbox LCD: More complex, there is a VERY specific type of 27 inch HD LCD that works with the 3d printed mounts and slides perfectly in between the mounts on the speaker panel. I've spent too much money on different sizes, and not all 27 inch displays are the same. These displays allow for the maximum horizontal width, while having the absolute smallest height so that you actually have enough room for a decently sized Translate. The other LCD's I've tested are an inch taller (cutting into the translite location) and an inch shorter on the width (leaving more gaps on both sides of the LCD). The translite I have is 26 inches wide and 5.76 inches tall with this specific LCD. Point being, I am grabbing the supply of these as I can, but eventually those will run dry and I will have to find another display with the same characteristics or no one wants them and then I will move on.

#151 1 year ago

Lots of interest and questions on the Backbox LCD but no actual purchases of the 3 I have. I am going to try and disassemble my Tron back to stock and then record a video and take pictures of the full install. If you have installed the DIY LED backbox, Tron Arcade Mod, or any other power mod, you can install this.

If you are a capable modder, and are interested in being one of the first to have the 27 inch LCD in Tron, send me a private message and I will give you the link to purchase.

If I don't get them sold, I will use one for Star Trek and then just build these as people want them and open the order page to the public. Building the kits will have some lead (probably 2 weeks to source parts for each, then shipping) time since this is nights and weekend work for me.

Rough Steps for install:
1. Instructions, I have most of it documented and I am creating a word doc similar to this one that walks through the LCD install: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2331/6617/files/Tron_Installation_Document_v1.4.docx?1421047691252057755
It's really not hard in my opinion.
1. Remove the existing translite glass.
2. Remove the florescent tube and the two end power connectors for that (two phillips screws. ) (same as the backbox LED DIY Install)
2a. Attach the com port 9 pin adapter to the Stern CPU. This just screws in.
2b. Attach the power adapter for the LED strip to the accessory power adapter in the front of the cabinet by the coin door.
3. Screw in the 4" threaded rod and tighten a nut on it where the bolt clears the glass if it is installed, it is possible to install this where it sticks too far out and will hit/scratch your glass.
4. Put two more nuts on the threaded rod for the backbox wood to slide onto and verify the depth.
5. Put two wing nuts on the threaded rod securing the backbox panel.
6. Slide the speaker panel out and lay flat.
7. Find the two mounting screws that are built into the dmd holder and attach the 3d printed LCD mounts to it. Secure with 2 nuts.
8. Slide the Speaker panel back into place.
9. Slide the 27inch LCD display into the speaker panel brackets.
10. Fold down the top 3d printed mounts on the backbox securing the display.
11. Install the RaspberryPi into a location of your choice. Somewhere in the backbox is fine.
12. Plug in the usb adapter, HDMI display, and com adapter into the Pi.
13. Run the power adapter to the accessory power port at the front right of the coin door.
14. Plug in the 27 inch LCD display into the power accessory port in the front of the pinball machine close to the coin door.
15. Place the new printed Translite with the clear cutout for the LCD on the glass and slide into place. Make sure the LCD or the bolts for the backbox are far enough back to not tough the glass.
16. Power on the machine.

#153 1 year ago

I don't have a separate thread for Star Trek yet but I have started on the coding and video editing (it's my past time while I am riding on planes). I've verified that I can read all the states/modes for everything in Star Trek (thanks to pinball-browser code), I just have to actually find the time to play the dang thing (glass off) and map each mode, lit, active, and complete, and then figure out the stacking and which hurry ups are important to show.

You can save a bit of money by trying to source your own HDMI display and I can send you the dimensions of the one I am using if you want. That way we aren't shipping a 20 lb box all over the world... Up to you.

#157 1 year ago
Quoted from Brazy:

So I'm wanting the total light mod and the lcd recognizer you have... Will these work together with no power draw issues?

Yup, works with native stern CPU or the TLS, no power issues in my machine and I probably have more mods running on the 12v and 5v rails than anyone else.
Total Light Show Kit
Eli Ramps
Arcade Mod
Flynns sign
Lit cycles
2 Ardunio's with two 5v servos
4 Raspberry Pi's
1 27 inch LCD
1 5 inch LCD
2 4.3 inch LCD's
Lit Laserriffic Topper
LED strip for Translite
TRON LED insert lights
Backpanel UV light flasher kit
And a partridge in a pear tree...

#160 1 year ago

I am pretty happy with the code, I don't have the Daft Punk Multi-Ball mode programmed yet but it is on my list. I can make the 5" LCD kit on demand.

As far as the location. The best place is where the Recognizer is. That might be an issue for LE owners, but you COULD mount the LCD to the moving arm and show the Recognizer animation anytime it is moving.
Basically kick off this animation if moving:

I don't have an LE so I can't test that, but I don't see any reason why that wouldn't work. You could also put the LCD in the Instruction card. I am printing out the Metal Apron LCD prototype tonight so should have something to show off this weekend.

#162 1 year ago
Quoted from bjorg:

I have a recognizer with downlighting. It's not as cool as the LCD, but I do like it, and it seem closer to the original intent. The 5" screen is probably too large for the left ramp, but that is other not occupied. There was a mod a while back for a mini display that was simply looping some footage. Not sure the same location could be reused. Thoughts?

None of the screens I have will work for that spot. You have basically ruled out the Recognizer (on an LE I get it), and your backbox. You could do an apron LCD. I am done with the metal apron LCD and will take pictures of what that looks like. I agree with most people that having an apron LCD running the videos and program code isn't really that great because you are never looking down there. I personally like having Instruction cards that cycle there. *Shrug.

1 year later
#164 3 months ago

My life has calmed back down so I got the bug to revisit these mods. I've completely cleaned up my workshop and arcade so I now have a good place to work and code. I've gotten the modding bug again so this thread should update more frequently. I don't have a timeline on the new updates but here are the features I am working on. This is a labor of love and I probably have more than 1000 hours into this so I needed a break before. ADHD can be good and bad for projects like this. I am also not a Python developer so I am learning as I go and the overlay + CPU + framebuffers really was a big problem to solve. If people like more frequent updates I can try and post more frequently with progress on the list below.

1. Add overlay capabilities over the video clips for the modes. I can handle about 9 layers in the code using the current PC (RPi). I am not a developer by heart so this has taken me a while to get working. I am pretty happy with it now.
2. Collect Ball info and Player info and display as an overlay.
3. Collect current player score and show on an overlay.
4. Build out different base overlay options but my favorite one I am settling on is the Tron logo with the Blue and Orange Tron Discs around the outer edge.
5. Overlay for current active modes (Images for Clu, Zuse, Quora, Light Cycle, etc)
6. Build a separate display for the 5 inch screen that shows the current active modes and maybe states from modes that can't have a video (TRON, Flynn Found, Spinner Values) and a fall back default of the Recognizer video (This is similar to Star Wars mini LCD)
7. With the overlays now on top of the video layer, I now have to re-edit all the videos to fit in the overlay and change the Text overlays on those. If I can get the overlays that are embedded in the video files out to the main code, then people could easily replace video clips with whatever they want on the USB stick.

That's probably a pretty good list.

Examples for the people who like visuals. As always, I am open to suggestions.

Some quick videos and images attached:

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#168 3 months ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

YES!!!!! He’s back!!!!!

I can't wait until retirement where I can do this pinball thing full time. Just 14 more years

I am having fun again! I'll try to make some things more plug and play and also post a full parts list with sources so people can source their own materials if I disappear again.

#171 3 months ago
Quoted from delt31:

So can you buy this thing and if so how much? I might have to buy Tron for the 5th time bc this is SICK

It was $700 but after it was all said and done I think I was taking a hit on each one sold. There are about 10 people lurking that have the larger LCD but I don't think they want to be known. There are a lot more of the 5" Playfield LCDs out there before I got burned out.

and now for the BUT.... I can't get the displays like I used to so it's a moot point. I went through too many brands of 27 inch LCDs before I found the perfect one that fits in between the speakers. Anyone want a 1080p LCD that doesn't fit in a Stern cabinet, I'm your guy!

I could do a frameless display like JJP does but I would rather work on the code and graphics for now. Maybe someone else can take over the hardware side of this for the community. This is not a money making endeavor for me and more for the "wow, I didn't know that was possible" factor.

#174 3 months ago
Quoted from adamross:

You can't get the correct displays because they stopped production?

Correct, Acer doesn't make that model any longer. Edit: Though I am sure there is another one out there. I just need to bring a messuring tape with me to Fry's, Best Buy, Microcenter and find it. Again, worst case I have a 27inch with a board that I imported from China that would work, but it would need a mounting system that would require further modification to the Tron cabinet and I was trying to make it where the mod could be removed without a trace. If you open any JJP machine you will see how you could do it.

Code, overlays, new videos, scoring, all that first.

#177 3 months ago
Quoted from Agent_Hero:

I assume this process is possible for other titles like Game of Thrones or Transformers?

Transformers yes, Game of Thrones depends on if that Spike system has a Com port that a PC can communicate with and that allows for the com patch from PinballBrowser or something like a TotalLightShow that has the same thing. That would take a person or a team of people working on it full time to get to that level and you have to know the game inside and out and map the modes for each. That took me a better part of 4-6 months for Tron Pro and Tron LE. So, yes, it is possible but would require a time investment by someone besides me.

1 week later
#182 87 days ago

Okay, I finished the code for Scoring, Underlay/Overlay control, Ball Count, Player Count, and Current Player last night. I grabbed a quick video showing that code without the video underlay going. Sorry for the pinball skills and video quality. It's hard to capture with a cell phone on Tron. I can also speed up the data grab more so that it refreshes even quicker if I remove all my debug code.

Next will be adding this back into the main video code and re-doing all of the videos.

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#184 87 days ago
Quoted from delt31:

So help me understand how would someone actually get this from you? Like what's the end game here bc knowing me I'll own another Tron and I would definitely want this.
Are you just going to sell the software bc of the screen comment you made earlier?

I haven't really thought that far ahead. I'll probably build some more kits and re-do the entire backbox mounting system so that an open-frame 27 inch LCD can mount on it. This would allow for a single backbox board with the PC, serial connection, LCD, and LED strip for the top Marquee to be an "all in one" mount. with three connectors to run. Power for the LCD to the AUX, Power for the Marquee Strip and Pi, and the Serial interface to the Stern board. This would make it a bit more plug and play.

You would still need to source the printing of the backbox marquee as I can't sell those. I can share the 300dpi image with anyone as fair use since it is modified and could be used as a PC Desktop background. I have to be extremely careful with this title due to it's strong IP backing if you know what I mean.

This mod is NOT for people who are new to modding. It's also probably the most expensive mod out there so I know that scares people away.

With all those warnings, you'll see here when I get closer to another "kit".

#185 87 days ago
Quoted from flynnsbit:

I haven't really thought that far ahead. I'll probably build some more kits and re-do the entire backbox mounting system so that an open-frame 27 inch LCD can mount on it. This would allow for a single backbox board with the PC, serial connection, LCD, and LED strip for the top Marquee to be an "all in one" mount. with three connectors to run. Power for the LCD to the AUX, Power for the Marquee Strip and Pi, and the Serial interface to the Stern board. This would make it a bit more plug and play.
You would still need to source the printing of the backbox marquee as I can't sell those. I can share the 300dpi image with anyone as fair use since it is modified and could be used as a PC Desktop background. I have to be extremely careful with this title due to it's strong IP backing if you know what I mean.
This mod is NOT for people who are new to modding. It's also probably the most expensive mod out there so I know that scares people away.
With all those warnings, you'll see here when I get closer to another "kit".

edit: PS, the "game" here is that I enjoy modding. This is fun for me.

#186 87 days ago

PS, the "game" here is that I enjoy modding. This is fun for me.

#191 85 days ago

I am working through a bug that is causing a conflict between the overlay and the video and have most of it worked out. I took a break from that to look at an open frame LCD design for the backbox that would allow for a new kit. The Chinese display I got from Alibaba is really nice but shipping cost is pretty painful from China. I am also concerned that there could be added import costs from there in the future.

I am still hoping to source a 27 inch open-frame LCD from the US where that doesn't cost an arm and a leg (e.g., JJP: http://store.jerseyjackpinball.com/Parts/The-Hobbit-Parts/LCD-Panel-Open-Frame-27-inch.html $558 :O )

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3 weeks later
#192 58 days ago

Finally got some time today to work on Tron. Mounted the openframe 27" LCD and built a prototype hardware kit to mount it. It is a drop in replacement for the Acer I was using, though it sits a little higher so the Top translight will have to be modified and re-printed. The sides of the translite work better with this new display. They display seems to be nicer than the one I was using previously.

Reaper802 suggested that I look at the PupPack for Tron on the Vpin side. That pack is setup almost exactly like the video structure I was using so it's basically a copy and paste. I have a new code version that references his videos as long as you extract it to the USB stick with his folder structure.

Now that I have scoring, ball count, and player count working I will need to integrate that into the center section at the bottom of the overlay.

Video and pictures as always.

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#200 57 days ago
Quoted from Sijcolo:

Will those that bought the original hardware get an email with updated software?

Yeah, I'll send something out. If someone that already has the LCD wants to be a Guinea pig (meaning you will be testing code, new updates, and lots of things will break), feel free to DM me.

I have a work trip starting tomorrow for a week so I wont be working anything until next week. Thanks for all the kind words everyone!

#204 56 days ago
Quoted from BigPhil:

Great to see you back on this.
Have you upgraded to the pi4?

I have a version working on it, however, I blew up the only Pi4 I had (2 gb version) by running a 1080p video on loop overnight. The Pi4 needs a fan if you push the gpu at all. I would say people should use a fan no matter what on the Pi4. I have two more 4gb versions that just shipped so I will do some more stress testing this week. I have not tested dual displays yet with my code, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. That will be a fun part for me to see the screens do two different things. I had this setup before with TLS and Stern, two Pi3 and two LCDs but it was overly complex and I was probably the only one that could get that working. The Pi4 should simplify that whole thing.

#207 56 days ago
Quoted from koops:

When you talk about total light show are you just referring to the matrix interceptor to understand when modes are started/stopped?

Yes, using the serial interface off of his board. He outputs a JSON for me to read the current modes the machine is in. It was iteration 1 of this whole setup so the mode detection is simplistic but it works. I think his mode detection would work better for the secondary playfield LCD showing Active mode states (different from the main backbox LCD), animations, etc. I can't get some of the more advanced things from that board and have to pull it off of the stern CPU board.

#208 56 days ago

Playing with Scoring layout while I am travelling for work. I wish I could do something more fancy with the "text" part but I have to keep it as raw text fonts for speed.

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#211 55 days ago
Quoted from Robertstone0407:

Any plans for a new speaker panel that deletes the existing dmd

Big blocker to completely removing the speaker panel is the Service Menu and getting access to that. The idea would be that when you hit the Service menu in the coin door, it would trigger an event on the RasperryPi to switch from the Python code that is running to a DMD clone output similar to Dr Pinballs DMD Extender: http://drpinball.co.uk/dmdextender.htm. I have not looked into integration of his DMD extender code running on a Pi with my stuff. It looks like there is at least an extra board + 20 of the GPIO pins that would give this ability.

If My Pi setup could handle translating between the running python code, and then the DMD extender when the Service button was hit, and then also trigger back to the python code when you exit out of that menu, removing the existing DMD would be possible.

Steps to do that:

1. Coordinate with Dr Pinball on DMD emulation on the Pi and get that working on a 3+ or 4 verison of the Pi.
2. Have mode detection added by Pinball Browser for when the Service Menu is Called
3. Same Pinball Browser code for an event when the service menu exits (back to Attract)
4. Code Written to handle all that switching back and forth.


#212 55 days ago
Quoted from J85M:

Fonts look perfect to me! Amazing work!
Mounting this in the back box is sweet but could this be mounted above a game?

"YOU" can mount it where ever you want.

It's an HDMI monitor that can run at any resolution. I thought about a super wide that sits more like a topper, but didn't dive into that. Basically it would need video editing to change the ratio on the monitor to fit the extra wide resolution, everything else would just work...

Anyone want to create a business on topper LCD's that have mode integration?? You do the hardware kits and I will supply the code and videos...

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