(Topic ID: 216450)

Weyland Yutani - Dedicated to Keeping 3 Alien Specimens Alive


By knockerlover

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 544 posts
  • 94 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 days ago by megaladon
  • Topic is favorited by 88 Pinsiders

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Linked Games

  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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#501 5 months ago
Quoted from pyramidschemebar:

Sorry if this has already been covered. I was never sure why my Alien doesn't have the screen in the back box. Someone just directed me to a podcast that said the very early ones shipped like this. Is that your understanding? Has anyone added a screen to to one of these?
[quoted image]

It was my understanding that none of the standard editions came with backbox LCDs by default - it was an additional price. That being said, most people ordered them with LCDs.

#502 5 months ago
Quoted from pyramidschemebar:

Sorry if this has already been covered. I was never sure why my Alien doesn't have the screen in the back box. Someone just directed me to a podcast that said the very early ones shipped like this. Is that your understanding? Has anyone added a screen to to one of these?
[quoted image]

Probably the most rare of all the alien types.

#503 5 months ago

I bought a very late LE and it was told in the beginning that the LE come also with the translite (as a sparepart // extra !!) ... but I have only the monitor. Its okay ...

#504 5 months ago
Quoted from pyramidschemebar:

Sorry if this has already been covered. I was never sure why my Alien doesn't have the screen in the back box. Someone just directed me to a podcast that said the very early ones shipped like this. Is that your understanding? Has anyone added a screen to to one of these?
[quoted image]

I have an "unofficial prototype" translite (the logo is in the wrong spot) that has the window for a monitor if you want to attempt the swap. The monitor panel and needed display hardware is available, knockerlover and I could point you to parts that should work. You'd have to fabricate the monitor panel mounting (factory design was a metal box that holds the monitor by the edge with small screws), and you'd have to get the right cables and probably wire up the power. ferret should know if your computer software will support the third monitor. I'm assuming your game has the Zotac PC? .. of course you could upgrade that too, depending on how deep your want to dive...

1 month later
#505 3 months ago

On this long journey, the last piece to upgrading machines B and C to the latest computers, and Xeno head design, is obtaining/reproducing the newer versions of the tongue and jaw boards as they had an old design (not compatible with the newer architecture?). There's also some speculation of differences in the rear most light board, one thing we can pretty much confirm is the power (yellow/black) to one of the boards is reversed in the revised design. Along with the boards, we're also manually making the wiring harnesses to mate them. We're making solid progress, and this post documents the jaw board programming and we've confirmed our boards working in an Alien LE.

This assumes you know a bit about Atmel programming, have a USB programmer, and have some blank (re)production jaw boards; we learned, we have, and we obtained. The below is kinda a brain dump with not great instructions, but it's better when I don't instruct on things I don't know well!

Used MacOS and downloaded the CrossPack AVR toolkit:
https://www.obdev.at/products/crosspack/download.html

alien_flash.hex code:
https://pastebin.com/3Yc2QiYD

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dump flash from working jaw board:

$ sudo avrdude -c usbasp -p atmega328p -U flash:r:/Users/username/alienfw/alien_flash.hex:i

(flash:r: command reads flash)

It should respond like:

avrdude: warning: cannot set sck period. please check for usbasp firmware update.
avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.00s

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e950f
avrdude: reading flash memory:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 20.54s

avrdude: writing output file "/Users/username/alienfw/alien_flash.hex"

avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK (H:07, E:D9, L:E2)

Note the Fuse settings of the working jaw board are:

High fuse bytes: 07
Extended fuse bytes: D9
Low fuse bytes: E2

The important change here is the low fuse bytes, which control the clock speed the code we're going to flash expects. The others were defaulted to 07 and D9 respectively on our run of boards, and didn't need to be changed.

$ sudo avrdude -c usbasp -p atmega328p -e -U flash:w:/Users/username/alienfw/alien_flash.hex:i

(-e erases ROM and EEPROM before programming and the flash:w: command writes the code to flash)

$ sudo avrdude -c usbasp -p atmega328p -U lfuse:w:0xE2:m

(write the bytes E2 to lfuse)

After these two commands, the jaw board should be programmed.

Other options to read/write are the eeprom, hfuse, and efuse but we found they didn't need to be changed; though we dumped them anyway.

So piecing it all together, it looks like this when writing a fresh board:

$ sudo avrdude -c usbasp -p atmega328p -e -U flash:w:/Users/username/alienfw/alien_flash.hex:i
Password:

avrdude: warning: cannot set sck period. please check for usbasp firmware update.
avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.01s

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e950f
avrdude: erasing chip
avrdude: warning: cannot set sck period. please check for usbasp firmware update.
avrdude: reading input file "/Users/username/alienfw/alien_flash.hex"
avrdude: writing flash (1322 bytes):

Writing | ################################################## | 100% 0.86s

avrdude: 1322 bytes of flash written
avrdude: verifying flash memory against /Users/username/alienfw/alien_flash.hex:
avrdude: load data flash data from input file /Users/username/alienfw/alien_flash.hex:
avrdude: input file /Users/username/alienfw/alien_flash.hex contains 1322 bytes
avrdude: reading on-chip flash data:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.82s

avrdude: verifying ...
avrdude: 1322 bytes of flash verified

avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK (H:07, E:D9, L:62)

avrdude done. Thank you.

$ sudo avrdude -c usbasp -p atmega328p -U lfuse:w:0xE2:m

avrdude: warning: cannot set sck period. please check for usbasp firmware update.
avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.00s

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e950f
avrdude: reading input file "0xE2"
avrdude: writing lfuse (1 bytes):

Writing | ################################################## | 100% 0.01s

avrdude: 1 bytes of lfuse written
avrdude: verifying lfuse memory against 0xE2:
avrdude: load data lfuse data from input file 0xE2:
avrdude: input file 0xE2 contains 1 bytes
avrdude: reading on-chip lfuse data:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.00s

avrdude: verifying ...
avrdude: 1 bytes of lfuse verified

avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK (H:07, E:D9, L:E2)

avrdude done. Thank you.

#506 3 months ago

mavantix you forgot to share the part about one of the boards blowing up on you.

#507 3 months ago
Quoted from PinBackpacker:

mavantix you forgot to share the part about one of the boards blowing up on you.

oh yeah.. we ordered 5 boards from our friend in China.. one of them had a short and literally the capacitor melted in mavantix's hand.. another one the AMTEL chip was soldered in upside down.. the other three seemed OK..

smoke pouring out of the back of an Alien LE.. I had some brown in my jeans..

#508 3 months ago

knockerlover you were hitting the bathroom pretty hard that day... I think that board that blew up can be fixed. I bet the capacitor was wired backwards, hence the instant explosion... and yeah, that was, uhh, I though I smoked pinbackpacker's Alien LE. Thankfully, was just one of our jaw boards.

14
#509 3 months ago

9 months ago this journey started.. today, The “cointaker” prototype, that traveled to all the shows.. is finally a completely working game, just like the production versions.

Zotac PC replaced with “China PC” with correct mounting hardware and lexan cover

O/S and game code cloned to PC (v1.2)

5SMD tower GI bulbs replaced with Time bandits single LED GI bulbs

Later run Xeno head installed

Xeno Wiring harness duplicated and created

Jaw board code duplicated

Tongue board added with stepstik controller

USB and HDMI cables upgraded to low interference with ferrite chokes

I/O boards upgraded to 0.9 and “hacked” to bypass the circuit protection

Airlock Cliffy added

Metal jaw servo sourced and added

Thanks to everyone who helped us get to this point, I am confident that this community can fix ANY alien problem that may come to pass! Special thanks to TimeBandit for making his awesome LED products, Cliffy, Ulmpharmd, Ferret, Aurich, Joe Szabo, Daniel (Mats), and Matt at Backalley Creations. Hopefully I didn’t forget anyone..

Other accomplishments:

Beacons duplicated and installed

Translite duplicated and printed for both LE and SE

Playfield and Backbox displays sourced and installed

Replacement Facehuggers sourced and installed

Pop bumper alien eggs sourced

Xeno tongue board duplicated (but wasn’t needed)

#510 3 months ago

I couldn’t have done it all without your help knockerlover and all of you awesome people in the Alien owners community! I’m honored to own the game, and will forever cherish owning one of the earliest build Alien prototypes. It even has a Full Throttle serial number, something I don’t think too many Alien’s in existence have. This one is mine, off comes the Cointaker sticker!!!

Now get yours working with that wiring harness I fixed!

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#511 3 months ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

9 months ago this journey started.. today, The “cointaker” prototype, that traveled to all the shows.. is finally a completely working game, just like the production versions.
Zotac PC replaced with “China PC” with correct mounting hardware and lexan cover
O/S and game code cloned to PC (v1.2)
5SMD tower GI bulbs replaced with Time bandits single LED GI bulbs
Later run Xeno head installed
Xeno Wiring harness duplicated and created
Jaw board code duplicated
Tongue board added with stepstik controller
USB and HDMI cables upgraded to low interference with ferrite chokes
I/O boards upgraded to 0.9 and “hacked” to bypass the circuit protection
Airlock Cliffy added
Metal jaw servo sourced and added
Thanks to everyone who helped us get to this point, I am confident that this community can fix ANY alien problem that may come to pass! Special thanks to TimeBandit for making his awesome LED products, Cliffy, Ulmpharmd, Ferret, Aurich, Joe Szabo, Daniel (Mats), and Matt at Backalley Creations. Hopefully I didn’t forget anyone..
Other accomplishments:
Beacons duplicated and installed
Translite duplicated and printed for both LE and SE
Playfield and Backbox displays sourced and installed
Replacement Facehuggers sourced and installed
Pop bumper alien eggs sourced
Xeno tongue board duplicated (but wasn’t needed)

It’s been amazing to watch your constantly applied passion for this game. There is certainly something special about it and I’m sure everyone working on them feels just a little chuffed to have the opportunity to be involved.

#512 3 months ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

9 months ago this journey started.. today, The “cointaker” prototype, that traveled to all the shows.. is finally a completely working game, just like the production versions.

This deserves a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so happy that the game I originally purchased at TPF back in 2017, and eventually swapped for a true production game, found its way into your hands. There, it received the attention and love it needed to bring it up to it's full potential (and able to run the most recent code). Reading that list of upgrades/improvements is impressive! This is truly a HUGE accomplishment, and you guys should be very proud.

#513 3 months ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

9 months ago this journey started.. today, The “cointaker” prototype, that traveled to all the shows.. is finally a completely working game, just like the production versions.
Zotac PC replaced with “China PC” with correct mounting hardware and lexan cover
O/S and game code cloned to PC (v1.2)
5SMD tower GI bulbs replaced with Time bandits single LED GI bulbs
Later run Xeno head installed
Xeno Wiring harness duplicated and created
Jaw board code duplicated
Tongue board added with stepstik controller
USB and HDMI cables upgraded to low interference with ferrite chokes
I/O boards upgraded to 0.9 and “hacked” to bypass the circuit protection
Airlock Cliffy added
Metal jaw servo sourced and added
Thanks to everyone who helped us get to this point, I am confident that this community can fix ANY alien problem that may come to pass! Special thanks to TimeBandit for making his awesome LED products, Cliffy, Ulmpharmd, Ferret, Aurich, Joe Szabo, Daniel (Mats), and Matt at Backalley Creations. Hopefully I didn’t forget anyone..
Other accomplishments:
Beacons duplicated and installed
Translite duplicated and printed for both LE and SE
Playfield and Backbox displays sourced and installed
Replacement Facehuggers sourced and installed
Pop bumper alien eggs sourced
Xeno tongue board duplicated (but wasn’t needed)

None of us with games would feel the confidence that we do now with ownership of this fantastic title without you and your crew and all others that have chipped in and still continue to do so. Feels like a small family from different parts of the world!

#514 3 months ago

Lucky bastards

#515 3 months ago

This is a grail pin for me. Someday...

#516 3 months ago

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/alien-pinball-mircoplayfields-remaining-playfields-sale

Saw this post and wanted to make sure Alien owners/potential owners saw it too, new playfields and rad cals from mirco

#517 3 months ago
Quoted from Coz:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/alien-pinball-mircoplayfields-remaining-playfields-sale
Saw this post and wanted to make sure Alien owners/potential owners saw it too, new playfields and rad cals from mirco

Thanks just grabbed one!

#518 3 months ago

Fyo

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#519 3 months ago

Placing an order for Alien, CV and ToM PFs and three radcal sets.

#520 3 months ago

Ahh, well, I may have celebrated the success a tad too early. It seems that getting the Xeno head to work has also brought about all the issues Heighway had with these IO boards, and since my game has old IO boards, it’s a problem...

The IO boards have a protection circuit in them that was hacked and disabled at the (Heighway?) factory. A bank of 4 “030” resistors were changed to “000” shorts, and even that apparently wasn’t enough, they then soldered a wire across the resistors both on the top and bottom of the boards. Then and ES3D chip at D28 was also apparently reversed so it’s cathode goes the other way? Of course all of these boards are labeled v1.4B but the ones hacked at the factory seem to have also had the top of a capacitor colored with red sharpie marker.

Now, there’s runs of new IO boards out there, we have a bunch, but they don’t have these hacks. So with firmware 0.6 that they ship with, the center magnet doesn’t work. With firmware 0.9 they overload and protect themselves, so the coils on that board go dead during play (magnet, upper right flipper, drop target reset, and left hole) and can only be reset by power cycling the IO board (whole game). With 0.9 firmware and the hacks I’ve documented above replicated, the board is eventually popping fuse Area 2, D11 which is the 70v to these same coils (we’ve confirmed this with 2 modified boards to eliminate our soldering skills?). Also worth noting, that fuse has to do with the Xeno tongue too. There’s got to be another modification to these boards I haven’t yet discovered... with a factory hacked IO board running firmware 0.9, everything works fine.

So all that to say, has anyone tried one of these unhacked new IO boards in their middle PCB to see if they have the issues I described? timebandit do you have one to test?

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#521 3 months ago
Quoted from mavantix:

So all that to say, has anyone tried one of these unhacked new IO boards in their middle PCB to see if they have the issues I described? timebandit do you have one to test?

I do indeed. I’ll check over the next day or so and report back.

#522 3 months ago

I had to short that row of resistors to keep it from locking out the upper right flipper.

http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=File:Heighwayiodetail.jpg

#523 3 months ago

Thanks kneissl, you didn't need to modify anything else?

... we've done that on two boards and still get the fuse blowing, and our solder job has been DMM tested good. We have have very early production models, so perhaps that is part of the issue, maybe a difference in some other way.

Is everyone's fuse for "Area 2, D11" a 4A fast blow? Maybe our games have different fuses...

#524 3 months ago
Quoted from mavantix:

Thanks kneissl, you didn't need to modify anything else?
... we've done that on two boards and still get the fuse blowing, and our solder job has been DMM tested good. We have have very early production models, so perhaps that is part of the issue, maybe a difference in some other way.
Is everyone's fuse for "Area 2, D11" a 4A fast blow? Maybe our games have different fuses...

fast blow sounds wrong for any coil fuse.

#525 3 months ago

our IO boards have the links soldered and work fine in that location

so not sure

#526 3 months ago
Quoted from mavantix:

Then and ES3D chip at D28 was also apparently reversed so it’s cathode goes the other way?

The reversed diode D28 is not a hack, it is almost certainly a placement mistake!
In my I/O board documentation (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/heighway-pinball-support-full-throttle-and-alien/page/18#post-4810082) you can see those diodes: They protect the FETs against back currents from the coils they switch on and off. If you reverse the diode, the +70V is more or less shortened to the ground, as soon as the FET is switched on. This will kill the diode and/or the FET if the involved 70V fuse is not fast enough. So you need to turn the diode, but be sure to check/replace the diode and FET if the board was already used.
The 0 Ohm resistors with additional wires are a proven "update".

Coil Switch (resized).jpg

#527 3 months ago

Hey guys, I wanted to post here in this thread about a project I was helping out with that is Alien related. I recently met Brian Allen, one of the artists that did some work on Alien during the fiasco at Heighway. Like Aurich, Brian is a super nice guy and had some really cool looking art that never really made it to production or not in the form that was intended from what I understand. I had reached out to Brian because I liked one of the pieces that he had drawn for the game that was at some point an option for the back-glass on games without monitors. At first I just wanted to create some art for my wall that might be able to go into a light box, but now that I have it, Brian is fine with me helping him offer it to the community. Instead of just creating a translite, I have had the art reverse printed on acrylic for a much higher end look than a translite. (think of how Cirqus Voltaire back-glass is made...its acrylic or some type of plastic) These are available for order through Brian's website (https://www.flylanddesigns.com) as well as directly through me. I am planning on bringing a set amount of these to the Texas Pinball Festival for those that would like to cash and carry and save on shipping, but I am trying to get a rough idea on those that would like one. These are about 26" x26" and look amazing in a light box. I am going to attach a few pics as well as a sample video I did for Brian of mine in a light box I built. Feel free to reach out via pm if you would like one to pick up or would like one shipped. The price point on these is $200.00 picked up or 235.00 shipped due to size and packing costs. Let me know what ya'll think!

#528 3 months ago
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#529 3 months ago

Here is a link to a video on Brian's site as I can't get my video to link due to size I guess...

https://www.flylanddesigns.com/product/alien-backglass/

#530 3 months ago
Quoted from ulmpharmd:

Here is a link to a video on Brian's site as I can't get my video to link due to size I guess...
https://www.flylanddesigns.com/product/alien-backglass/

Are you offering a package with the light box included as well?

#531 3 months ago

I don’t have plans to make them as of now, but might could in the future.

11
#532 3 months ago

Thank you to all of you who have joined us on this journey. sunking’s original game is now just like a production game, working 100%.

Here is a video of the first time the Xeno fully worked.. what a journey.

#533 3 months ago

WoooHooo!! ...I had a huge smile on my face as I watched that video - and had a laugh too. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

3 weeks later
#534 85 days ago

Cliffy and I have been working on a solution to protect and in many cases repair cracked left return inlane plastics, whether you have an early or later run design in your game.. they are both fragile lexan, and with the poor design they are prone to damage and will eventually break! These are $18 each and can be ordered from cliffy directly at crinear@comcast.net

Check out the details with install instructions below.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/alien-pinball-official-game-thread/page/480#post-4901703

Here are a few pictures of both the early and later run version.

Early run without front post, thin front plastic, and full "comet tail" ball opening.
dCH8JYKNQ5e2hSHaiTNLOg (resized).jpg

Later run, with front post, thicker front plastic, circular ball opening. (This cliffy is still cut in a comet tail shape to match the artwork..)
O9HY42W4SZqCTpDCVWuYRA (resized).jpg

Installed on my game (I have earlier run middle and top plastics, and a replacement "later run..")
4qG+0t1UT%CDgWsWRYvRlA (resized).jpg

#535 85 days ago

Nice! Does this also stop the ball from jumping out and over? I remember that being another thing that happens when being returned from this left inlane

#536 85 days ago
Quoted from delt31:

Nice! Does this also stop the ball from jumping out and over? I remember that being another thing that happens when being returned from this left inlane

I haven’t seen that happen once with this installed, I think the vertical metal tab causes enough metal on metal energy transfer and reduces the hole size slightly to make it a much more reliable drop into the inlane.

2 weeks later
#537 65 days ago

Some spare Alien parts and extras left over, open to offers!

Archived after 45 days
189 views
Sold (amount undisclosed)
Parts - For Sale
Used, good condition “I have these left over from Alien upgrade: 38 USED prototype 5 LED towers, will only work with old v0.9x code or other project $20+ship”
2019-04-14
Gainesville, VA
1 (OBO)

1 month later
#538 24 days ago

Just picked up an alien today. Early build .94 software, original computer I suspect. The airlock LCD turns on but doesn’t show any graphics for the game. Also is there a cheat sheet list somewhere that explains everything you need to purchase to upgrade to the latest software? Lastly, a ton of lights are out, mostly inserts, I know they are serial but where to start, a few appear to be stuck on and led d11 isn’t on but fuse is good?

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#539 24 days ago

Read through the whole thread, you guys are awesome.

1 week later
#540 16 days ago

I posted on another thread but thought I try here. Getting no boot to game. See pic. Tried bios settings nothing, trying weir install but doesn’t run usb at startup? Any help getting this alien running? Early full Throttle .92v zoltac pc.

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#541 11 days ago
Quoted from megaladon:

I posted on another thread but thought I try here. Getting no boot to game. See pic. Tried bios settings nothing, trying weir install but doesn’t run usb at startup? Any help getting this alien running? Early full Throttle .92v zoltac pc.[quoted image]

How did you get to this point? What was done just prior to this issue occurring?

#542 11 days ago
Quoted from megaladon:

I posted on another thread but thought I try here. Getting no boot to game. See pic. Tried bios settings nothing, trying weir install but doesn’t run usb at startup? Any help getting this alien running? Early full Throttle .92v zoltac pc.[quoted image]

Why not just reinstall from scratch? Took me maybe 20 mins.

#543 11 days ago

His game can’t run new code without hardware modifications. Staying on v0.9x is the only way to keep lighting functionality with 5 LED towers.

#544 10 days ago
Quoted from dung:

Why not just reinstall from scratch? Took me maybe 20 mins.

Got it up. Somehow the original computer wasn’t reading the usb drive but got it to work finally. Now running 1.02 on Zoltac but now need to upgrade all lighting.

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