3/20/2017 – Interface board wiring complete

Finally finished up the Bally interface board wiring.  It is one of those things where you think that it will be easier to just solder the wires into the board instead of putting connectors on both ends, and then, about half way through it, you wonder if you made the correct decision.  The good part is that I should now be able to plug the boards into the Dolly retheme.  The bad part is that both the firmware isn’t quite done to support the switch matrix, and the backbox has moved to the garage for painting.  (Still hasn’t gotten warm enough to start painting, so it is just sitting there waiting for the weather to turn.)  Now that all the annoyance of wiring the interface board is completed, I’m getting pretty excited to do some initial tests.

Bally Interface Finished

Finished wiring for Bally interface board

I’m not bothering to create a test fixture to test switch matrices, so that will be implemented and tested on the Dolly playfield itself.  The processors are supplying the voltage for strobing the columns, and all of the grounds are tied together so as long as I can get 5v to the processors, I should be able to test that functionality.  A new firmware command will be needed to read the switch matrix inputs.  Similar to the other read inputs command, read matrix will send back eight bytes of data or an 8×8 matrix.  The firmware is going to automatically debounce the inputs for convenience.

At this point, the firmware is complete for re-running all of the SharpeShooter3 code.  I’m still running into small bugs here and there where I haven’t moved from first generation code to Gen2 code fully, but the bugs seem to get easier and easier.  I’ll throw up a video of the current game play.  I have to slowly work on going through each of the modes to make sure that they are working.  When I brought it to Pintastic in 2015, it didn’t have a ball search algorithm.  This meant that if you jostled the cabinet a lot when the ball was being kicked out of the kickout hole, it would never try to kick out the ball again.  That must be fixed.

Another issue is that the flippers are very under powered.  It could be because I set the initial kick without using a pinball.  I can increase the initial kick, or increase the voltage of the SMPS, but I’m just not sure what is the best way.  The other thing I’m noticing is that previous I was running everything at 48V and everything was really snappy and fun.  Now everything seems dead. Bah!  Seems like more time has to be spent getting it back to where I am happy.  Here is the video.

2 responses to “3/20/2017 – Interface board wiring complete

  1. Switch matrix with hardware debouncing…
    Very cool. My problem early on with switch matrix was with drop down targets with proper debouncing and getting the logic correct.
    Had some problems with spinners and bumpers too for debounce.
    In the end I used software rather than hardware debounce routines.
    The bally interface board is a great idea to allow direct plugin for existing cables. Many of the cables are usually keyed to insure the cable is plugged into the correct connecter.

    • The interface board does have the keyed connectors to make sure the the cables are plugged in properly. (It is even marked on the silkscreen to make it really easy to see). We will see if I did the pinout properly and the direct plug ins work. After I test the board and make sure it works, I will give the rest of the interface boards away for free.

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