(Topic ID: 15309)

TRON (un)limited edition WIP

By ecurtz

8 years ago

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  • 1,706 posts
  • 274 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by SuperPinball
  • Topic is favorited by 105 Pinsiders


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#11 8 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?

1 week later
#16 8 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.

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

#35 8 years ago

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

#41 8 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.

#43 8 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?

#47 8 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!

#52 8 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

I'm going to have to put you on the game grid...

Attachments TRON.png (62.3 KB, 0 downloads) 2 hours old

I love that this mod will be somewhat intelligent. Sounds complicated.... and expensive

Can't wait!!!

#63 8 years ago
Quoted from pinballlooking:

ecurtz said:EDIT: It would be optional, it's only to try and improve the interaction with the game,
Two independent colors controlled by game play. Wow this is going to be very cool.
The possibilities are just endless.

And I'm sure you can get more than just two colors.... without going pink
Someone had mentioned before that, in addition to a more dedicated orange left and blue right configuration, it would be super cool to have everything go red during disc mutli-ball, just as an example.
If that "option" was added in, I really wonder what this whole mod would cost?

#71 8 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

EDIT: S*** just got real...

So.... when you taking pre-orders?

1 week later
#82 7 years ago
Quoted from DrStarkweather:

pinballlooking said:Just hey this mode would be cool if we used these colors.
We could watch for this etc mode light and this event would say it was done.
It would be great to start kicking around ideas.
Light Cycle Multiball should have one ramp blue and one ramp orange, to match the lightcycles.
I think for Ring Multiball you should go all red, like the light under the ring. That would be cool.
Maybe the lights could mimic the color of the 'completed modes' down the middle of the playfield otherwise.
-yellow for clue
-green for qourra
-light blue for Gem, maybe teal?
-White for Zeus
Then...it can cycle during Portal or Sea of Simution.
These are just ideas, and I have no idea what colors you can achieve with your system. Just a start off point.

That color scheme would make it even cooler than the LE IMO!

#88 7 years ago

I HATE waiting for parts.
I made the mistake of sending a bunch of recent orders to a buddy in Rochester to save on shipping/taxes. Now he's had to postpone his drive up to Toronto twice and all my projects are in limbo

Glad you got stuff coming in. I'm super excited to see how this turns out.

#91 7 years ago

Much respect dude. I'm still amazed I know how to turn on a computer

#94 7 years ago

Does anyone else feel really dumb???

#96 7 years ago

I was just kidding... well, sort of
But, thanks for the deeper explanation anyway.

Why is changing the code dangerous if you're doing it on a chip that is not tied into the game's existing boards... or is it?

#109 7 years ago

I just got me a set of LE ramps to swap out so I'm super excited to try this out.
I guess I'll hold tight with EL wire for now.

1 week later
#136 7 years ago

Nice work Eli!
Can't wait.

#155 7 years ago
Quoted from pinballlooking:

I did not capture all the color sequences. But I have to say it very nice playing with the color changing.

Thanks for posting Mark!
I hope it's not too much work to make it somewhat game interactive down the road because this looks fantastic!

I had two different EL wire setups ready to test out and, although they'll look great, they're not even coming out of the box! One is even sound activated and works with the game's audio... but this is just too good to pass up.

1 week later
#164 7 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

I also took measurements and notes in order to help the install for the next guy.

Looks like I'm the next guy
Just waiting for Eli's other beta unit to arrive but, being in Canada, I probably won't see it until this coming week.

If you have any tips on any tricky bits, feel free to shoot me a PM

Thanks for posting!

#166 7 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Tron is easily the most modded game in all of pinball...even blowing past AFM. So many awesome things you can do to bling out your machine. Unreal actually.

I think TZ still holds that title. There's got to be sometting like a dozen major mods for that pin plus another couple of dozen more minor ones.
Still, nothing as cool as what we're seeing in Tron for sure.

#172 7 years ago
Quoted from DrStarkweather:

and these activate when the mode activates? Or just rotate for now?

For now the beta units just cycle through each mode in sequence and are not linked to the game yet.
I believe Eli is working on this part next.

For now, we are able to go into the code and customize the colors for each mode and even add a completely different mode. Not sure how that last part works exactly? maybe you can program a custom color combo when you hit a 3 way combo or collect a super jackpot?

When will my Beta unit arrive???
Damn international mail

#177 7 years ago
Quoted from ecurtz:

I did get a PIG, which will let the basic version at least react to ramps or flashers (or whatever you want to hook the PIG to)

Thanks for the tracking update. Might be here today!

My PIG is flying in as we speak. I had originally purchased it to play around with the other mods and maybe some EL wire before this mod showed up.
One quick question though. I have a 4-way splitter to my 12v supply and eventualy wont be plugging your unit into the PIG once it's "smart". Are there any issues with your device sharing the 12v power output via a splitter with the PIG and other mods?

I know the PIG is also supposed to offer Arduino support, but I have no clue how this works to be honest or if it applies to these boards?

#179 7 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

There are some limitations with power. The "AUX" power from the connector at the coin door is fused for 2 amps. I know 2 amps seems like a lot, but all of those milliamps add up.

Thanks Mike,
I'm sure it's impossible for you to answer definitively, but if I was using the 12v source to power the PIG as well as Eli's mod, what's the worst that could happen?

I'll post some results as soon as I get mine, but I just want to make sure I'm not going to be blowing anything up.

Quoted from ecurtz:

Tracking says it is at your post office as of 10AM...

It's Heeeeeeeeeeeere!

The beta unit has arrived and I just got my hardware from Home Depot and I'll be installing it this week!

My XM LE just showed up as well! What to do first????

#182 7 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

ok, as promised here is another video of the ramp lighting

Awesome dude!

I just installed the tubing on my LE ramps last night and I'm swapping them in this afternoon.
Can't wait to see this live!
I'll be picking your brain soon for sure on working with the colors.


My PIG just arrived this morning as well. Eli was thinking ahead and the 12v plug on this fiber optic mod's harness has it's own splitter built in. I'll run the PIG from that and hope for the best. So many mods and so little time

1 week later
#189 7 years ago

Better late than never.
Finally got the 3rd beta unit installed today. Looks great Eli!

IMG_0987.JPG IMG_1012.JPG IMG_1020.JPG IMG_1027.JPG

#193 7 years ago
Quoted from DrStarkweather:

Is that under playfield bracket attaching the whole thing to the PF coming with the mod? Or did you do that yourself?

I was just copying the first installation that Mark did. It does not come with the mod but it's $5 from Home Depot and 15 minutes of your time.
The only thing that would be a major improvement (if using this mount) would be to have the heatsink on the right board rotated 90 degrees so the installation would be identical for both units.
I like this mount as well because it uses exisitng hardware to attach and it gives great clearance and a lot of freedom to work.

2 weeks later
#205 7 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Eli has a newly designed advanced board that is going out to the beta testers this week or next week. I also understand Eli has a new mount for each unit, so you won't need the DIY bracket.

You mean I'll have to throw away my beautiful aluminium bar?
Can't wait to test it out. I'm still very curious how this new board interfaces with the game. Should be cool!

#220 7 years ago
Quoted from Profgrif:

I have Kimballs kit, was actually the beta tester for him and put the video together for him on my machine, but this kit looks amazing, if reasonable I want this

Hey Chris,
This is slightly off topic, but I'm curious. I had Kim's kit as well and never installed it. I sold it to a friend and he is now experiencing tons of interference with his disc optos when the kit is running.
Anything like that happen to you?

4 weeks later
#227 7 years ago

Can't wait Eli!

#244 7 years ago

So, how dangerous is it to drill the ramps for zip ties? I don't really want to spend another 200 plus on LE ramps.

I went this route and did buy the LE ramps. You can definitely drill or melt the holes easily enough... but for me, once I determine a game is a keeper, I like to have some backup parts for the long term. And, if I do sell it one day, the ramps will be sold as well.

Here's a pic of Eli's kit installed on the LE ramps I got from Terry at PBL. The zip-ties should give you a good sense of where the holes are. Note that one ramp is upside down.

And another shot of the final product.

IMG_0969.JPG IMG_1012.JPG

1 week later
#249 7 years ago

No new board here yet. But Mark will likely be the first to see it.

1 week later
#268 7 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Just adding the EL wire was a big improvement to my Tron... Looking forward to seeing how this shakes out.

Come by my shop if you want to see the 1st generation. It's super-cool!
Hopefully I'll have the updated one from Eli soon and we can play-test it

#272 7 years ago
Quoted from Benaar:

You have the EL wire w/ just solid colors? What are you using to light them? Just curious.

Power right from the service outlet is the usual method.

#278 7 years ago
Quoted from Benaar:

Oh, silly me… I read "EL Wire" and my brain for some reason thought "Fiber Optic". I'm kind of interested in doing this mod with fiber but using just single colors instead of the color changing. Don't get me wrong, the changing color ramps are COOL, but I do kind of like the single colors (orange & blue) that correspond with the Hallmark Light Cycles.

Eli's kit is fully programmable and customizable by the user.

Currently we have programming that allows each mode to have it's own color scheme. I also love the orange/blue combo during the lightcycle multi-ball mode, but it is so cool to have the ramps go all white during ZUSE or all yellow during CLU. Frank has even tried to create an attract mode that mimics the LE.

Once this is done and functioning properly, I think it will work better and likely be more integrated with gameplay than the ramps on the LE.

#287 7 years ago

It's been posted before, but here is a pic of the 1st generation kit.
The 2nd generation will have a 2nd board that mounts in the backbox and connects to this kit.
This is most definitley not at all comparable to EL wire

Check out the last pic with the individual colors on each ramp. I know the colors are flipped, that was corrected in the code, but there's no way that even the LE, with only one color possible at each time, can do this.

IMG_0987.JPG IMG_1019.JPG

2 weeks later
#335 7 years ago
Quoted from jeffgoldstein2:

Whats the latest with this mod?

The latest boards are being tested as we speak. There is a lot of programming that needs to be figured out, but it is looking very promising.
Frank and Eli are more technical and can probably elaborate.

3 weeks later
#397 7 years ago
Quoted from 6S3NC3:

you just have to be strategic with it. Buy it for the wife and tell her how much she loves it and then say "I thought you love Tron!"

Not a bad strategy. I have one of the beta units installed and my wife, who is not really into pinball at all, stepped up to the game last night and got sucked into playing maybe 20 games straight.
I had to kick her off.
This might make the next pin purchase go a little easier!

Thanks Eli

#421 7 years ago

If it can support separate ramps, I think it would be better to show it off, rather than emulating the "lesser" LE style .

It can most definitley do seperate colours which is the major strength of this mod. And I also agree that we don't need to emulate the LE truthfully when we have the ability to go beyond it. Ultimately, you will be able to program the board to do whatever you like once you get it.

Frank and Eli have done a fantastic job with programming the test sketches and the previous version where we were primarily testing solenoids showed off the two-ramp colour very well.
I know this picture has been posted before, but I never get sick of it. I know the ramp colurs are reversed (I had the wires crossed).

You won't see this on an LE


#426 7 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Can you expand on this? What is the programming environment?

The unit is run via an arduino and the sketches have all been compiled in Teensyduino.
I'm sure Frank and Eli can elaborate... I'm definitely the "junior" member here

#434 7 years ago
Quoted from Cursed:

Eli and crew, this looks awesome and the fact it will be programable is amazing!
All this talk about seperate lighting for the ramps, while good i also would not want it overdone. I think single colour has it's place as well.
Is the goal to have it fully programmed for every mode/instance prior to sales or the 'majority' done then we can tinker?

I would not worry.
When we tried out the very first sketch that Eli compiled (the one that was not reading gameplay and was merely cycling through effects) the effects were mostly one colour and the two-tone was pretty limited to light cycle multi-ball. Also, the transitions that he tried out ranged from soft slow fades to pulsing to quick cuts from colour to colour. I have no doubt that the production units will be full featured. Effects are all software driven anyway.

I plugged in Franks latest code last night and it is reading mode starts and completions very well. He's also worked all night on an update which I'm sure we're all eager to try out.

I imagine the units will ship with a really good and complete sketch that anyone can add onto or alter afterwards.

#440 7 years ago
Quoted from Cursed:

So is everyone that Eli has given a set to test doing thier own 'thing/programing' so to speak? Or is everyone working together sharing the 'sketches' as they go?

We all have the ability to modify the code by creating our own sketches... and we are all sharing code to verify findings. That being said, my programming skills are virtually non-existent compared to guys like Eli and Frank so I'm just happy to verify that things work and maybe tinker with a few colors here and there

1 week later
#475 7 years ago
Quoted from rai:

How difficult is this be to install?

It's not difficult at all.
We have detailed pictures of how each of us installed the beta units. I won't post them yet until Eli is ready to go, but all we had to do was make a bracket to hold the two emitter boards under the playfield. We used flat aluminum bar from Home Depot and there were existing mounting points under the playfield that made it very easy. Pictures were posted very early in this thread.

With the cradle/bracket bult, it was simply a matter of running the fiber optic cable around the ramps and into the existing holes in the playfield (luckily both pro and LE pfs are the same) and the cabled plug into the two emitters. You will have to probably drill the ramps to zip-tie the cables to them, or use some sort of DS tape, but I was lazy and ordered LE ramps from PBL.

A master board gets inserted into the head cabinet that interupts one of the ribbon cables and reads signals from the game. It is wired down to the two emitter boards under th eplayfield. Power is from the aux supply for the emitters and in the back box for the main board.

I would imagine Eli might package a kit or detailed instructions once the time comes so you won't have to build connectors and brackets like we did

It's a thing of beauty for sure!

#482 7 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I've had my Tron for months, so I'm happy I got the EL Wire in the meantime, but can't wait to replace it with this .
Have we seen a video of the ramps doing different colors? I know it's been said that it is possible, I just don't think I've seen an example yet.

I posted pics earlier in the thread but no video yet.
The current attract mode starts with left ramp orange and right ramp blue. I believe that is also an optional effect for light cycle MB, but the default color for that mode is yellow for now. The code seems to be getting updated almost daily now so I would imagine there will be more detailed video very soon.

3 weeks later
#536 7 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

I think that was a shot at the pro not having an extra ball. All subtle like.

I went 6 months without seeing one... Then two in the same day!

3 weeks later
#563 7 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Playing the PRO with ramp lighting has totally spoiled me.

I cannot imagine my Tron without this mod. It makes a great game that much better.
As Frank points out, the bugs are minor and it is very stable in its current state. I'm really looking forward to the day Eli announces these for sale. It'll be bigger than a new pin relase

Big congratulations to Eli and Frank for getting this where it needed to be.

1 month later
#619 7 years ago
Quoted from Propaganda:

Anybody getting tired of waiting and using other alternatives? Love to hear these.
It is time for these guys to DELIVER. People might move on to other solutions...
One of the reasons I passed on Tron Pro was because I would not put my experience and enjoyment in the hands of a third party who's product might not perform or be delivered as expected.
Glad I didn't do it. I am genuinely sorry for the rest of you who have been waiting.

I'm sorry your enjoyment of the game relies solely on this mod.

This "third party" you refer to are hobbyists, not Stern or any other business. Even if it were never to get delivered, no promises have been made and no money has been taken. It is, as has always been stated, a work in progress with many bugs that had to be sorted and hardware issues to be addressed before it is stable enough to ask people to pay good money for.

1 month later
#924 7 years ago

Wow nice job. It never occurred to me to install them that way and with the heat shrink tubing to eliminate the light Escape on the inserts. Excellent idea.

I did the heat shrink on my beta kit too.
Sorry, I thought I showed you that


#925 7 years ago

I also have a whack of installation photos. If anyone needs help.
I did the bar method just like the other two beta testers.

This may help some of you trying this:


1 week later
#941 7 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

What is a good way ro bend the light bar? It is 24 inches long but straight.

Sorry Jeff,
Been a bit occupied these days.

I used a vice for a nice clean bend. Use a mallet for the final few taps. It gives it a nice factory look.

1 week later
#961 7 years ago

I've had one of the first beta units installed for months, but my game is folded up awaiting a move.
I'll have to play some catch-up and update code (re-assign pins too?) along with the rest of you once I get Tron into the new house.

I'm happy to see most everyone is up and running and enjoying this mod. Eli has done a fantastic job bringing this to life and big respect to Frank for all the additional work put into the code.

7 months later
#1686 6 years ago

Thank you Eli!!!

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