4/1/2016, Wasn’t this Kickstarter day?

Yeah, this was the original planned day for the Kickstarter start.  I got sick of holding off on it, so I started it about a week earlier.  The Kickstarter has been funded, so I’m already moving on to updating the solenoid and the interface boards.  I’ve already panellized the new versions of the boards, but I need to test the surface mount incandescent boards before I can send off the order.  I just wanted to take the time on my blog to thank all of the people who have supported the Kickstarter.  When starting the Kickstarter, I wasn’t sure that it was going to get three supporters who wanted cards.  We are past that at this point, which hopefully means that other people find it useful.

My idea behind an open source project was to make sure that others would have access to it and be able to make use of it.  There is no point to an open source project if others don’t use it.  Of course pinball is a niche hobby, and people building their own pinball machines is even a smaller niche of that niche.

There are a bunch of people who read the blog from Australia.  When I picked the shipping countries, the easiest was to pick US, Canada, and the EU.  If the person that reads the blog from Australia/New Zealand, etc,  want cards, send me a note and we’ll figure it out.  (My email address is on the bottom of the About page in this blog).   I’m pretty sure it is about $15 shipping to those places.

Got a chance to play the Hobbit, at Funworld in Nashua, NH on Thursday.  Sorry Joe, I didn’t get a high score, so your initials will not be on the leader board.  (I told you it was unlikely).  The game felt floaty as others have mentioned.  I also got a ball stuck in one of the pop ups.  Evidently the code doesn’t know how to clear that issue, because the glass had to be popped.  It is strange that there are already two Hobbits in southern NH.

I have just updated the firmware for the boards to version 0.1.1.  The biggest fix is it removes debug code that accidentally got left in the build.  It doesn’t affect anyone using MPF and the OPP boards (since they don’t use the non-volatile configuration), but others using the OPP boards in white wood only mode, should update their code.

3 responses to “4/1/2016, Wasn’t this Kickstarter day?

  1. Hi, before everything, i’m french and my english is not very good. Sorry about that.
    So, in France, specifically in Burgundy, where i live, there is a big community around FabLabs and DIY stuffs. Driving solenoids is very usefull to most projects we have.
    I’m the one who discover your aventure 6 month ago. And i’m pretty impressed by your courage. Some of my friend does not believe me when i tell them you’re going to write some free code (firmware) and create new free driver cards for pinballs. If you have any doubt about usefull your work is, then don’t.
    Personnaly, i’m in love with pinball since i was a child, but in a specific way. What il love in pinball, is trick’s, dexterity, ability to do combos in a minimum of flipping stuff. I love tabletop games, like strategy games also.
    My idea, very simple, is to make a simple playfield, with two flips (right an left), some bulbs, slingshots up the flips, but also under flips, only to improve tricks. Playfield will have some holes, where you can put by hand some elements (little ramps, bouncing bar etc) just to make the game more difficult. Then, players had to make a contract, like betting, if they are capable to do some tricks. the idea has to evoluate but this is the general purpose.

    And i think your hardware, mixed with MPF is right what i need to realise the project.
    Also, you’re kickstarter give me a lot af thinking. Since i know you, i planned to DIY all, with plans and infos you give in repository. I hesitate to pledge the DIY level, but i decided not. Just because you’re telling us what you want is to make your project live by ourself. The thing is, i had to tell you. Tell you how happy we are to find your work, tell you that it will live in france in some project. When, i don’t really know (i have to manage my wife points too ^^) but it will be.
    PS : “I’m very curious of what nick name you’re going to give to me”

    • Your English is significantly better than my French, so no worries there. (My French is simply remnants from two years of French in high school…let’s just say it didn’t take too well.)

      If you need a good number of boards, it definitely makes sense to order them yourself from ITeadStudio. In the next couple of weeks, I will be putting out the Gerber files for the panellized boards can easily be ordered. (That way you are paying to get boards shipped to me, and paying for boards to be shipped to you.) The only bummer about the panellized boards is that you get 80 of each board.

      Looking at your note, it seems that you would only need solenoid boards, and surface mount incandescent boards. For $50ish dollars American, you get 80 of the solenoid boards plus 80 of the incandescent boards. You don’t need the interface boards unless you are trying to hook stuff up to a host computer, but even if you need those, its only another $25 to get 80 of those boards.

      If you look in the repository, the Gerber files are in Kicad/Panel-20160212/Gerber.zip. That is for the surface mount incandescent boards. I am going to order an updated version of those cards because the Molex connector that I used (4.2mm spaced) has a less expensive version to save builders some money.

      If you take that Gerber file, order a 10 cm x 10 cm PCB, and send them that Gerber file, they will fabricate the boards and ship them to you. It is rather simple.

      Good luck. Yes, driving anything with largish currents (solenoids, etc) makes a lot of stuff really easy. For $30 ($10 in electronics, $10 for solenoid valve, and $10 in plumbing supplies), I can make a potato cannon, or a T-shirt cannon, or a confetti gun. (Yeah, they are all the same thing, but all of them are really fun to play with the kids). For $20, I can make a Halloween costume with dancing lights. The possibilities are really only limited by your imagination.

      Sorry, you only get a nickname if you order boards, and that’s just so I can keep the different projects separate for people reading the blog. Best of luck.

  2. I have just discovered this project. I am jumping on this train! I am making a mini-pin, open source with all the parts that can be printed with a 3D printer. I was looking for an opensource controllboard!! Great!

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