Allentown, here we come, 4/23/2014

One of the goals was to make Allentown this year.  I think there is going to be a great big check mark for that one.  John and I will be attending Allentown on Saturday morning 5/3/2014.  We are planning on being there around opening, and will probably leave in the mid-afternoon.  Just for jokes, I’m going to run a contest which I doubt anyone will win.  Both John and I will be wearing OPP T-shirts.  (They have both both OPP and Open Pinball Project on the front of them).  The contest is that the first person to stop us in Allentown and say, “hey, give me a free T-shirt”, you get a brand spankin’ new shirt out of my backpack.  (They only come in large or extra large so there you are…those are your choices.)  I fully expect that no-one will read this, so it just means that I have 6 more T-shirts that aren’t spoken for yet.  The T-shirts are supposed to arrive by Thursday of next week, so it is even questionable if they are going to get here on time.  Joe (the most prolific pinball contributor) did the concept and the artwork.  I’ll post a picture…when I receive the shirts which I’m really hoping is on Thursday or Friday of next week.  Enough with the free giveaways, and back to the open pinball project.

This week a ton more python code has been written, and I’m hoping to be able to run a simulated pinball game next weekend.  The debug interface in the previous blog post can be used to simulate inputs, and so a complete game should be able to be “played” and rules verified.  It is based on the simplerules.txt which was originally going to be compiled into Java, but has been hand compiled into Python.  (I will go back and write a python converter eventually, which will simply be translating the Java I’ve written into Python.)

The nice part is that the architecture has held up nicely.  I originally was going to simply rewrite simplerules.txt into straight Python without using the architecture.  I quickly found out, that it was even easier to use the existing architecture that I had set up (processing chains, standard function calls, etc).  That made it super easy and rather quick to translate.  I got most of that translated last weekend, and then wrote a lot of the standard functions this week.

So what is the new goal for the short term?  I’m going back to finishing the mini 12″ x 24″ pinball machine.  The new goal is to have it up and running by the York pinball show which is happily in October this year.  I don’t feel like dragging a whole machine down to York, so why not a full featured mini-pinball machine?  The pinball machine should be small enough that I can throw it in my backpack and pull it out and show some people if they are interested.  The “backglass” will be a 17 inch LCD monitor, but the image on the back will probably be a static image with scores overlaid on top of the image.  The machine will be made on my drill press, because I just don’t have enough time to get a CNC up and running.  The monitor will be driven with the Raspberry Pi will contain one solenoid, one input, and one LED driver board.

Next entry should be about getting the processing engine working.

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2 responses to “Allentown, here we come, 4/23/2014

  1. pinball in a backpack, I’d like to see that 🙂

    • It is only going to be 12″ x 24″ so hopefully it will be small enough. Maybe I should call it a luggable. Remember the old Compaq computers that were the first portable computers. I think they weighed in around 50 pounds. (Yeah, you could carry it…you didn’t really want to.)

      The monitor is 6 lbs, the two power supplies are going to be another 5 lbs, the playfield is another 5 lbs, 8 solenoids are probably another 5 lbs…I’m hoping I can get it under 40 lbs. I’m too old to carry much more than that.

      And besides, who doesn’t want a mini-pinball machine. Most of Allentown will be looking for components, oh yeah, and playing pinball.

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