Status 10/27/2013

Been busy the last couple of weeks.  All last week/this weekend was spent cleaning the Taxi playfield.  It isn’t sexy, but it was just using a large amount of elbow grease.  Lot’s of time you need to take off some mylars.  Maybe two layers of mylar.  This playfield had three layers of mylar.  The whole bottom of the playfield was completely covered.  Removing the mylar using freeze spray always goes really well.  Removing the adhesive stinks.  Especially the adhesive on inserts is very nasty.  I tried to use flour and IPA (isopropyl alcohol) to remove the adhesive.  I believe it worked better than using just goo gone.  I ended up getting blisters on my fingers from rubbing the adhesive off.  I finally finished it this morning at about noon.  As soon as that was done, did some major cleanup on the rest of the playfield with a magic eraser.  The game now looks better than it probably has for 15 years.  I’m hoping to have it back up and running by Halloween.

So two or three weeks ago, I bought an older populated playfield.  I didn’t even know what game it was, but it doesn’t really matter since I’m just going to use it to prove out the driver and input cards.  Turns out the playfield is an old Camelot EM.  I took a couple pictures of the bottom of the playfield swapping over to the new driver card.  After I finish rewiring it, I’m going do a couple before and after pictures.  It should demonstrate how many less wires a distributed design uses instead of a centralized old school design.  I don’t have enough cards to drive everything, but I should have enough to make it play.

Since it is an old EM, I have to add diodes to all the solenoids.  I’ve already run the high voltage line which is basically a 48V wire to the high side of all the solenoids.  That meant removing all the individually run wires and the relays that were controlling the pop bumpers/slingshots, etc.

I bought a pair of crimpers which should make crimping the wires a lot easier.  It can be done with one of the “universal” crimpers that are 30 or 40 dollars, but they stink and do a poor job.  The molex crimpers are about $250 which is too rich for my blood.  I found another , KF2510 Dupont crimper on ebay which costs about $26 total.  Since each input can take up to 32 crimps, and the solenoid cards can take another 16 crimps, it is well worth it.  (I plan to cut these in half by running a common ground wire so you only need a single signal crimp for each input.)  As soon as Taxi is back together, I will finish up the rewiring.  (Still waiting for my new soldering iron to show up.)

The Disaster Java application has been getting some major work.  Most of the code for the compiler has been removed, and now the application takes the rules file and is generating Java code that can be compiled.  This is about 70% done, and I’m getting very close to the first generating working.  It is currently not checked in, but that will hopefully in the next week or two.  I’m not going to talk to much about that since it isn’t checked in.  It was definitely the right decision as suggested by a couple of different people who commented on this site.  Thanks again for those suggestions.

This week I tried to get in touch with the one graphic designer that I know.  She has mentioned that she is still interested, but is currently moving.  Hopefully she will be able to do some graphic magic.

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