i have recently restored a Soccer Kings, but it came with a dead soundcard. I decided to give it a crack over the last week to make my own soundcard (i have a history in electronics/programming).
The aim was a cheap and simple replacement of the existing sound using off the shelf components. with the main investment being on the coding time.
Luckily i have a fully working Pinball champ that i was able to attach to a logic analyser to understand what is going on in the databus between the MPU board. this made a lot of troubleshooting much easier. Also lucky that the schematics for these Gen2 systems are really good.
I have given this project the name of "ZaccSound" for lack of a more creative name.
What I'm showing here today is the second hardware prototype, which i am happy enough now to leave in my machine and consider it a decent replacement.
The system has 2 main components;
1. The micro controller - An Arduino Leonardo R3 (chosen at the time because it was cheap and available)
2. Arduino MP3 Player Shield - Accept commands from the Arduino microcontroller and plays MP3s from a Micro SD Card
The rest of the components are just to make interfacing with the existing Zaccaria system a plug and play experience.
How it works;
1. The Micro Controller reads the commands coming from the MPU,
2. Its plays the MP3 associated with the command and sends a signal back to the MPU to tell it that a sound is being played.
The SD card needs individual sound files as MP3 loaded on to it with there filenames being the number of the command of the sound/speech to be played from the MPU.
043.MP3 is the speech of "Game Time Bonus"
One of the fun benefits of a system like this is that you can make the sounds be anything, i replaced the background 'music' with the bally dungeons and dragons pinball music.
The limitation of this system is that it is not polyphonic, being that it can only play one sound at a time, however from my understanding of the Zaccaria sound cards this is the same. (can anyone confirm this?)
One thing i am chasing down now is a collection of sound files from the original Soccer Kings Game. I am trying to get a visual pinball version of the table working and am hoping that i will be able to get in to the service menu and record the sounds then split them up in to files.
For the moment my 6 year old son and i have recorded most of the speech files just as a fun exercise. for the sounds i just have files that is a computer generated voice saying the file name.
I know there are sound card replacement solutions for other systems but does anyone know of any for GEN2 Zacc Machines?IMG_1783 (resized).jpgIMG_1784 (resized).jpg
if there is any interest i could create a separate post with further details on the system, going forward i plan on keeping my rev2 hardware unchanged and just refining the code as i find opportunities/issues.