(Topic ID: 295208)

Using spike 2 USB port for LED strip

By Mutilatedlips

4 months ago


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  • 22 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Fubar
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    #1 4 months ago

    I picked up an LED strip that flashes to music and connects via a 5v USB port. I was thinking of plugging this into the stern spike 2 USB port in the CPU. It seems like a fun, simple idea, but am wondering why I don't see any modding using the USB port and this worries me. I don't want to risk a 6k machine with $15 in lighting.

    I've seen other led lighting plug into a 3 pin power source in the machine, but cannot seem to figure out what wiring changes the led 4 pin male to the female 3 pin. Hopefully I am using close to the correct terminology and this makes sense to somebody on here.

    #2 4 months ago

    I very much doubt the Stern engineers made design allowances that would allow people to randomly plug anything into the USB port.

    It is there for a reason and that reason ISN'T adding LEDs.

    #3 4 months ago

    Pinball Life sells the power supply CN6 to three-pin cable for $5. That would be the better approach to drive 12v mods or a simple converter to 5v

    https://www.pinballlife.com/spike-12-volt-backbox-power-adapter-cable.html?Category_Code=

    pbl-600-0046-00-1 (resized).jpg
    #4 4 months ago

    I've been using the USB port to drive the light strips for all my aftermarket toppers for a few years now and haven't had any problems.

    IMG_20210405_200942310 (resized).jpg
    #5 4 months ago
    Quoted from billsgto:

    I've been using the USB port to drive the light strips for all my aftermarket toppers for a few years now and haven't had any problems.
    [quoted image]

    Read post #2

    #6 4 months ago

    You shouldn’t plug anything into the USB ports unless you know how much power your mod draws and the capacity of the USB port. There are safer ways to draw power, including 5v at the coindoor node board.

    #7 4 months ago

    It’s not unreasonable to assume that you can pull 500mA from a usb port. I should hope that Stern stuck to the minimum standard.

    -3
    #8 4 months ago
    Quoted from slicknick13:

    It’s not unreasonable to assume that you can pull 500mA from a usb port. I should hope that Stern stuck to the minimum standard.

    I have no idea why you would "assume" this? Stern (and others) have designed a bespoke piece of electronic equipment and there is no reason whatsoever to assume they have stuck to any norms. All you can 'assume' is that their design works the way they intended it NOT for people to meddle and add additional loads to the USB when it is very possible that they have NOT allowed for standard 500ma at all.

    I can't imagine why anyone would risk damaging an expensive machine because 'they think' it will be OK - crazy stuff.

    #9 4 months ago

    Because you have to design to something.

    If you limit to something like 50mA for no good reason, you’re going to have usb sticks not work either.

    And your design is lousy, so the rest of your electronics are too

    #10 4 months ago

    According to the spike2 schematics the main MPU is a MCIMX6U5DVM10AC. The datasheet states the max current per USB port is 25mA.

    #11 4 months ago
    Quoted from slicknick13:

    Because you have to design to something.
    If you limit to something like 50mA for no good reason, you’re going to have usb sticks not work either.

    Correct; If you are going to use an industry standard USB port it has to be to minimum spec.

    That said I'd not risk powering from the board USB either, avoidable risk.

    #12 4 months ago
    Quoted from twhtalm:

    According to the spike2 shematics the main MPU is a MCIMX6U5DVM10AC. The datasheet states the max current per USB port is 25mA.

    That is barely anything. I’m surprised you could run more than a handful of leds off that.

    #13 4 months ago
    Quoted from Lermods:

    That is barely anything. I’m surprised you could run more than a handful of leds off that.

    The MPU supports 4 channels, I sincerely doubt it powers them as well.

    Its a generic multimedia MPU that is used for a wide variety of tablets and such so I doubt it is a limiting factor.

    #14 4 months ago

    I'd use CN6.

    #15 4 months ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    The MPU supports 4 channels, I sincerely doubt it powers them as well.
    Its a generic multimedia MPU that is used for a wide variety of tablets and such so I doubt it is a limiting factor.

    There are better and known safer places to pull 5v, I would not do it off the cpu. Of course, it won’t be as easy as plugging into a USB port. The power distribution board in the backbox has readily available 12v, stern uses it for many of their toppers. There is also open 5v and 12v headers at the coin door cabinet board that are made to run accessories like bill acceptors and ticket dispensers. You’ll have to know how to crimp and pin and identify and buy the connectors, the pinouts are in every manual, but it’s the way to do it properly. The connections are rated for 2a, though I still would not want to draw too much power off these boards.

    #16 4 months ago
    Quoted from Lermods:

    There are better and known safer places to pull 5v, I would not do it off the cpu. Of course, it won’t be as easy as plugging into a USB port.

    I don't disagree and stated as such.

    -1
    #17 4 months ago

    This is by far one of the dumbest suggestions that I've ever seen related to pinball...

    There is no way in hell I would be plugging in LEDs strips to a non-fused USB port on a computer motherboard that is rated at 25ma!
    LED strips are usually made of paper and twine and love to short out if you sneeze on them. Have you ever seen an LED strip overheat and combust into flames? Look it up, it's fun and neat!

    While we are thinking, we should probably utilize that AUX power connected in the lower cabinet of the game to run our incandescent Christmas light strands from the 1960's, blow dry our hair, and make some toast for breakfast while we play pinball. You don't even need to turn the game on to use it. Genius!

    #18 4 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:This is by far one of the dumbest suggestions that I've ever seen related to pinball...
    There is no way in hell I would be plugging in LEDs strips to a non-fused USB port on a computer motherboard that is rated at 25ma!
    LED strips are usually made of paper and twine and love to short out if you sneeze on them. Have you ever seen an LED strip overheat and combust into flames? Look it up, it's fun and neat!
    While we are thinking, we should probably utilize that AUX power connected in the lower cabinet of the game to run our incandescent Christmas light strands from the 1960's, blow dry our hair, and make some toast for breakfast while we play pinball. You don't even need to turn the game on to use it. Genius!

    Not sure if this is aimed at me, but it was a question, not a suggestion. I've only been on here a short time, but not really understanding the way I have seen people talk to each other on pinside and not sure I really want to keep returning to this community.

    Although it seems some are using it just fine, I'm not going to chance it and can easily use the power supply in the back box. I just needed the connector.

    Thanks for all the interesting information guys.

    Quoted from Markharris2000:

    Pinball Life sells the power supply CN6 to three-pin cable for $5. That would be the better approach to drive 12v mods or a simple converter to 5v
    https://www.pinballlife.com/spike-12-volt-backbox-power-adapter-cable.html?Category_Code=[quoted image]

    Thank you for the link.

    #19 4 months ago

    It was aimed at those posts suggesting that it would be a completely acceptable use of that USB port. It was only meant (in good humor) to dissuade those behaviors.

    #20 4 months ago

    One of the difficulties and awkwardness in these discussions is when we use common words very loosely, and in some cases can/must be re-interpreted. Example: Stern also uses the term "Ethernet" to describe the connections to the node boards, which as far as I can tell by looking at the schematics, is NOT Ethernet and instead is actually an RS485 connection, driven by SN65HVD485ED RS485 driver chips. Stern seems to be using the term "Ethernet" to incorrectly describe the connector and cables. The term "Ethernet" itself is technically supposed to describe the a totally different frame-oriented signalling standard setup by the IEEE802 committees. RS485 is a completely different 2-wire communications scheme that has been around for 50 years and is a great way to connect auxillary controller devices at a low cost... and can be used on any kind of cables, even those used by Stern!

    That's a long around answer to help set the stage that Stern can do anything they see fit on their machines, since they do not advertise or even support anything in an 'open' fashion.

    These are all good discussions...

    #21 4 months ago
    Quoted from Markharris2000:

    That's a long around answer to help set the stage that Stern can do anything they see fit on their machines, since they do not advertise or even support anything in an 'open' fashion.

    If you want a flash drive to function to do board updates then by definition the USB connector has to meet the minimum USB standard so the flash drives will operate.

    For a product developer, using USB requires the implementation of a complex protocol and implies an "intelligent" controller in the peripheral device. Developers of USB devices intended for public sale generally must obtain a USB ID, which requires that they pay a fee to the USB Implementers Forum. Developers of products that use the USB specification must sign an agreement with the Implementers Forum.

    Again, I'm not endorsing running anything off a pinball USB port. Just pointing out there are certain specs Stern is *supposed* to follow if utilizing USB.

    #22 3 months ago
    Quoted from twhtalm:

    According to the spike2 schematics the main MPU is a MCIMX6U5DVM10AC. The datasheet states the max current per USB port is 25mA.

    Sorry but that statement is factually wrong. If you read the schematics (did you?), you will see that the USB ports' VCC comes straight from the carrier's 5V reg, through a MIC2026 pair of MOSFETs.

    So it's possible to draw at least 500mA per port. I wouldn't recommend doing so for the reasons stated above - the 5V 3A regulator won't have much capacity left-over after taking into account all of the 5V and 3.3V logic it's powering.

    If your LED strip is only 100mA just go for it. On the other hand if you gang up the ports and draw 1A you're going to have a bad time...

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