5/3/2016 – Kickstarter successful

Just a very quick update.  The Kickstarter was successful, and so most of my time for the next couple of months will be focused on getting those boards out.  I’m not going to be accepting any more “orders” until all the Kickstarter is done, shipped, and those supporters are happy.

The Kickstarter ended up with 23 supporters wanting to get a set of boards, and some have requested extra boards, so the board count is over 600 at this point.  That is far more boards than I ever expected.  Using my back of the napkin calculations, it means that it is approximately 30 pinball machines.

I have been wildly inaccurate in predicting the “normal” mix of boards.  Well, about 50% of the people want the “normal” mix.  Many other supporters want something a little different.  Some have tons of coils, some have tons of switches, some want tons of lights, …  The combinations are mind blowing but luckily spreadsheetable.  (I started with writing stuff in my pinball notebook, and after the first day, switched over to a spreadsheet as a better way to track the info.  Anyway, who wants their pinball “idea” and design notebook filled up with the monotony of orders?

I’ve been working with jab (don’t know if I’m allowed to use his first name, so I’m using his MPF user name) from Mission Pinball Framework.  He has taken the task of moving the platform interface for OPP from MPF 0.21 to 0.30.  His detailed questions about certain aspects of the OPP serial interface insures that others can use the work that the MPF team has already completed, and will not need to talk to the low level interface.  Jab has already pointed out a bug in the version of platform interface that I wrote.  (it did not handle reading the configuration of multiple cards properly.)  We’ve also discussed some enhancements to be added to the firmware so it better supports dual wound coils (flippers)  (They were supported at drive strength of 93.75%, but he would like it to be 100%).  This level of collaboration encourages me because that is the goal of open source projects.  Both collaboration, and enabling others to use your work.

Brian’s interview on Boom Go Podcast is also exceptional.  He explains many aspects of MPF and how they should be used.    There were definitely aspects that I didn’t understand as clearly before versus after hearing the discussion.  One difficulty is there are many different ways that things can be implemented.  Use logic blocks, use shots…they are somewhat interchangeable.  As I get more into MPF, and converting the SS3 code over, I will try to point out what things that I have learned.  The conversion to MPF is on the slow simmer burner as I’m working on the Kickstarter stuff.

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