Display driver boards came in yesterday. Here is a picture of two of the five showing both sides. The Gerbers were sent to ITeadStudio on 12/5/2013, so it was about a one month turn. That speed was choosing the slowest/cheapest shipping method. Unfortunately, we haven’t ordered the chips yet. That order will go in tomorrow and will end up taking another week to get the chips. I’ve identified slightly less expensive displays which might bring the price of the build down slightly. I’m looking forward to getting this built up, and then doing the testing on the firmware. I should have gotten ITeadStudio to do the cutouts for the connectors, but originally I thought I could toss another project on the extra space, but there just wasn’t enough room.
Distaster info: Lately I’ve started the Java framework for running the pinball controller. I tossed CodeDownload into the repository (actually that will happen tomorrow) so the solenoid driver and input driver firmware can be updated without a debugger. It is a windows application, but could easily be modified to work on a Linux box by changing some small things with serial port naming conventions.
I’m planning on making a parallel port bit banged fake SPI interface so that I can test the LED driver. That should be very simple and should give me enough pieces to make the first “fake” pinball machine. Basically a pinball machine with my boards giving the inputs states to a PC, and the PC showing how the pinball machine would react. I’ll attach LEDs to the solenoid drivers to show when the solenoids are on. That is probably going to take a good bit of coding to make that happen but it is a good next step.
I finished my design for a boost converter to try and get 50V from a 12V source, so I will be trying to “bread-board” that and see how it works. That was an extra piece of work that I wasn’t expecting, so I might put that off for a little bit. It seems like it is a much cleaner solution than my original solution of bridge rectifier to buck converter.