(Topic ID: 15309)

TRON (un)limited edition WIP


By ecurtz

7 years ago



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There are 1706 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 35.
#1 7 years ago

Does anyone have a TRON Pro within a reasonable distance of Olympia, WA? I'm looking for one to experiment on. I'd trade one of the LCD arcade screens and you'd be first in line for getting any potential mod at cost.

The picture is 3W LEDs at about 1/2 power on 5 feet of cable. I think they might be enough for the ramp length when driven at full power, but worst case we could switch to retina destroying 9W LEDs. I won't be able to do a complete test for at least a week, probably two, because we don't make anything in this country and I'm waiting on parts. (Sorry the photo is so bad, it was a chewing gum and bailing wire sort of situation.)

green.jpg

Post edited by ecurtz : Changed title

#2 7 years ago

Looks like you're on the same track I had been planning, a 3w RGB LED using side-emitting fiber. 5mm? or 6mm?

#3 7 years ago

5mm

I don't actually have a TRON (I know, but I'm really "frugal") so if other people are willing to do it I'd be happy to just kibitz. As with the screen, I'm not really looking to get into the mod business, I was just thinking of getting information out there, and possibly doing a group buy for the parts where there is a significant savings.

My criminally neglected homebrew machine uses color changing inserts so I couldn't resist getting some stuff to play with when I saw the TRON ramps.

#4 7 years ago

I too don't have a Tron...at least not yet. I've just been researching the various side-glow cables around and made a few purchases to see what works best. Nothing solid yet.

#5 7 years ago

Nice, I'd happily trade out EL wire for this. Any ideas as to how you could do light color changing on this while only running one strand of fiber? Do the color changing inserts rotate electronically?

Troz, you're more than welcome to come down and experiment on mine and we can share ideas.

-L

#6 7 years ago

It is already color controlled, it has a RGB LED at each end, and you can turn those on and off very quickly to control the color balance, sort of like how a lamp matrix works, but faster. These pics are just solid colors, but you can mix them just like the LE ramps.

http://www.nuprometheus.com/pinball/tronhouse/red.jpg
http://www.nuprometheus.com/pinball/tronhouse/blue.jpg

#7 7 years ago

Are you controlling your RGB LED's "manually"? In other words did you make your own illuminator? Or is there a device out there!?

I'm already itching to pull the EL wire out of my Tron - lol. It won't go to waste though. I'm thinking of lighting up my FH using the leftover EL wire.

BTW, for reference:

Each Tron Ramp Requires no more than 12 ft. (more like 10 to 11)
For a single strand running both ramps, is of course twice that.

#8 7 years ago

Very cool idea keep us posted on this project! Please PM me when this is available I will be interested in purchasing it. This type of mod could look great on other pins as well.

#9 7 years ago

Those pictures are using a driver that has PWM (pulse width modulation, the way it turns them on and off quickly to control color) built in, but it only goes to 150mA and the LEDs will handle 350mA. The more powerful drivers need a separate PWM controller, but it's easy to do on anything like an Arduino (a $25 programmable board that's super popular with hobbiests) Just that would be enough to cycle colors, but you'd need to add current sensors or something like a PIG to read the lights or switches if you wanted it to react to the game.

You can by light sources premade, but they have a bunch of features we don't need which really up the cost.

#10 7 years ago

12 feet of cable (seems like a lot, the ramps can't actually be that long) 3W LEDs at 150mA.

#11 7 years ago

Hey man, pretty bad-ass!
I just ordered the PIG and can't wait to play around with my EL wire... but this is potentially so much better.
Are you gearing up to offer a ready made kit if you're successful, or at least post what you did so those of us less "skilled" can figure it out?

#12 7 years ago

I haven't figured everything out yet, but I will post all the information. I'll probably also do some sort of kit, or at least a bulk buy, because there are parts from 5 or 6 different sources to deal with. I just found the data sheet and it turns out that the driver I'm using can combine channels, so I can probably test it at full power this weekend rather than waiting for alternate parts to arrive from China.

#13 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

I haven't figured everything out yet, but I will post all the information. I'll probably also do some sort of kit, or at least a bulk buy, because there are parts from 5 or 6 different sources to deal with. I just found the data sheet and it turns out that the driver I'm using can combine channels, so I can probably test it at full power this weekend rather than waiting for alternate parts to arrive from China.

That looks great! Combined with the PIG that could really be a cool mod for many different pins and integrate well with gameplay.

1 week later
#14 7 years ago

Sorry for the lack of updates, there have been various delays due to both ordering parts and extreme stupidity on my part (I managed to fry BOTH the microcontrollers I had on hand because I knew for sure how a board was wired when in fact it was done differently.)

Just wanted to let everyone know the project isn't dead, and there should be some full brightness pics later this week when my replacement stuff arrives.

#15 7 years ago

I figured out I could just plug and unplug each channel manually until I get some new microcontrollers to adjust them in real time. The photos are a bit brighter than it looks in person, but it's definitely better now that they are at full power. I think that when the cable is more carefully aligned and cut down the correct length they'll be nearly as nice as the LE ones.

350mA_2.jpg 350mA_3.jpg 350mA_4.jpg

#16 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

I think that when the cable is more carefully aligned and cut down the correct length they'll be nearly as nice as the LE ones.

Wow!
Should I even bother installing the EL wire I just got for my tron?

#17 7 years ago

That is looking good. What products are you using?
I just installed my EL wire but I am very interested in this.

#18 7 years ago

Looks like you're on the right track. Was never that enthused about EL wire. This is the stuff that will compose the definitive Tron lighted ramp mod...

#19 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

12 feet of cable (seems like a lot, the ramps can't actually be that long) 3W LEDs at 150mA.

One ramp uses 10 feet and the other uses 11 feet. Seems like alot but thats what it is. 5mm looks good, thats what I have in mine. The le has 7mm though.

#20 7 years ago

Thanks for the measurements ChadNC. The LE owner who measured for me said 5mm but it's probably hard to get exact without calipers. The 5mm already looks big to me, I think it will be fine.

pinballlooking, most of the stuff is listed. Things are still in the design phase so I haven't finalized the parts list, but 5mm "side glow" fiber optic cable, 3W RGB LEDs, and 330mA per channel drivers in those last pictures. Then you need a microcontroller, I'm using (well, burning out) Arduinos right now, but that will probably change, heat sinks, cable glands, molex connectors, some kind of case and some high side current sense amplifier circuits (not tested yet) if you want to react to switches or lights. I'll do a mod and/or a bulk parts buy when everything is done.

#21 7 years ago

I just did 5 3W RGB flashers on my Virtual pin. The setup sounds close on that part anyway.
This is a great project I will be watching closely.
Thanks for sharing.

#22 7 years ago

Keep up the great work!!

#23 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

I'll do a mod and/or a bulk parts buy when everything is done.

That is awesome. Hope the project goes as smoothly as possible for you!

#24 7 years ago

This sounds like a much better solution than EL wire so i would most certainly go for this mod. Count me in for sure.

#25 7 years ago

Yup, I'd be in for this mod!

#26 7 years ago

Hell yea. This mod is going to rock hard core. Cant wait for it to be done. GL brother.

#27 7 years ago

Replacement Arduinos arrived so a new video with some color fades.

And a photo of the prototype LED housing and controller.

Prototype_2.jpg

I have a spool of fiber optics arriving this week, and ordered a batch of LEDs (which will be weeks), so I'm committed to producing something at this point. Hopefully I'll have time this weekend to work on the circuit boards so I can get those prototyped ASAP.

#28 7 years ago

Thanks for the update ecurtz. I'm really looking forward to this project!

#29 7 years ago

I love your progress and updates!! I check this post every day anticipating completion. I NEED this in my Tron. What is cost looking like?

#30 7 years ago

Looks great is the demo for one ramp? Four led’s to run both ramps?

#31 7 years ago

Yes, 2 LEDs for each ramp, and they are separately controlled so the ramps can be out of sync if we want.

I'm trying to get an idea on cost, unfortunately the component parts aren't cheap. If I have to guess I'd say in the range of $300 - $400. I'll have a much better idea in a week or two. (Yeah, edited that after 5 minutes - I forgot PCB cost, like I said, it's just a guess...)

#32 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

Yes, 2 LEDs for each ramp, and they are separately controlled so the ramps can be out of sync if we want.
I'm trying to get an idea on cost, unfortunately the component parts aren't cheap. If I have to guess I'd say in the range of $300 - $400. I'll have a much better idea in a week or two. (Yeah, edited that after 5 minutes - I forgot PCB cost, like I said, it's just a guess...)

Will you be offering everything minus the fiber optic cable (which I'm assuming would be cut to size for the Tron ramps in a kit) for sale? I'd love to pick up the complete kit minus the cable for use on another pin and cut the cable to size my self.

#33 7 years ago

I'd be happy to make you a kit with just a section of uncut cable when we get to that point. There will basically be a master and a slave version of the LED housing thing as well, so you could just get a master one if you wanted do a single ramp (I'm thinking of doing the top arch for my WIP homebrew machine.)

#34 7 years ago

What a cool project!! Thanks for taking this on ecurtz it could really be a great mod for many machines.

#35 7 years ago

This is crazy exciting. My Tron is gong to feel so empty until i get one of these

#36 7 years ago

Im with u Drano. I can't wait to get this.

#37 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

I'd be happy to make you a kit with just a section of uncut cable when we get to that point. There will basically be a master and a slave version of the LED housing thing as well, so you could just get a master one if you wanted do a single ramp (I'm thinking of doing the top arch for my WIP homebrew machine.)

I'd like one without cable too. While you are currently working with two seperate ramps and independent control. Sterns version relies on one cable and single control. Would it make more sence to move in that direction?

#38 7 years ago

I have no real objection to people getting them without cable, but you'd be paying a premium buying your own in short lengths. I'm curious why you'd want one with no cable.

Doing a single source would be a bit less expensive (maybe $40?) You'd need the same amount of cable and much beefier LEDs and drivers. IMO being able to have the two ramps different colors will help make up for lacking the full integration on the LE. What do other people think?

#39 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

I have no real objection to people getting them without cable, but you'd be paying a premium buying your own in short lengths. I'm curious why you'd want one with no cable.
Doing a single source would be a bit less expensive (maybe $40?) You'd need the same amount of cable and much beefier LEDs and drivers. IMO being able to have the two ramps different colors will help make up for lacking the full integration on the LE. What do other people think?

I agree having two different colors such as the Orange and Blue to match back glass.

#40 7 years ago

Two different colors integrated with the modes to change colors.

#41 7 years ago

One of the things I really like about the EL wire is the ability to have that orange and blue combination that is so much a part of the theme. I would actually prefer it if there was a way to have the wire like this most of the time and possibly switch it up to white or other colors for a few different modes as suggested.
I've seen color changing fiber optic lighting before and the color is usually random. Will you be able to actually program what colors to have at a particular point or is it random? I'm also curious how many switch/flasher inputs can be linked to really make it as interactive as possible?

That's my two cents.

#42 7 years ago

I am in on this kit for sure, Bought Kims light up ramps but color changing would be off the hook!

#43 7 years ago
Quoted from Profgrif:

I am in on this kit for sure, Bought Kims light up ramps but color changing would be off the hook!

I actually like Kim's mod too, but when I went to buy some other stuff off his site, it wasn't there any longer. Did he stop offering it?

#44 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

I have no real objection to people getting them without cable, but you'd be paying a premium buying your own in short lengths. I'm curious why you'd want one with no cable.
Doing a single source would be a bit less expensive (maybe $40?) You'd need the same amount of cable and much beefier LEDs and drivers. IMO being able to have the two ramps different colors will help make up for lacking the full integration on the LE. What do other people think?

Agree 100%. I can see this mod being much better than the LE's lightshow. I'm in for sure.

#45 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

I have no real objection to people getting them without cable, but you'd be paying a premium buying your own in short lengths. I'm curious why you'd want one with no cable.
Doing a single source would be a bit less expensive (maybe $40?) You'd need the same amount of cable and much beefier LEDs and drivers. IMO being able to have the two ramps different colors will help make up for lacking the full integration on the LE. What do other people think?

If color changing was tied to modes they would be the synchronized anyways. If they are both random changing colors working independently, then that is distracting and a single color at a time would be best. I have a FH with color changing shooter rods and wish they were integrated. It starts to compete when they are changing and both different. If someone intended to set each to a static color, then agree two is better than one.

We don't know enough about your intent to judge which way is best.

#46 7 years ago

Im with jeff. Random non synchronized colors is ng. I would rather blue on one orange on the other. And if they can both go red on Disk multiball that would rock. All blue fade from light to dark on sea of simulation. Just throwing stuff out there. Let me know the limitations and I can give ideas if u want them.

#47 7 years ago
Quoted from 6S3NC3:

Im with jeff. Random non synchronized colors is ng. I would rather blue on one orange on the other. And if they can both go red on Disk multiball that would rock. All blue fade from light to dark on sea of simulation. Just throwing stuff out there. Let me know the limitations and I can give ideas if u want them.

If these color changing LED lights are software or input driven and this is possible, I think these are great suggestions!

#48 7 years ago

They are controlled by software, so it's trivial to keep them in sync. I think there would be times they matched and times they went to yellow and blue, but they won't "randomly" change individually. I'm getting some microcontrollers with built in USB this week, those would be pretty easy to update if people wanted to tweak their own light shows.

Reacting to game modes is more complicated. I'm planning on adding PIG support, but I'd really like it to know what the current mode is on its own. I started reading up on "high side current sense amplifiers" or I might need to do something as cheesy as stick photo resistors next to the bulbs to read their states, I haven't gotten to that point yet. Immediate goal is to get the circuit board done ASAP so I can get that tested, I just started that tonight.

#49 7 years ago

I would like to see on cycle MB have left ramp orange right ramp be blue.
On disc MB have both ramps slowly fade in and out red maybe if you hit the shot go bright red.
I know this is getting ahead of the project but I would like to hear what other think on the colors. (no pink)

#50 7 years ago

Unrelated but somewhat interesting. I added an LE apron with flashers underneath to my pro and have them pysically wired to 2x insert. Big improvement as it is hard know when 2x is going otherwise.

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