This topic contains 38 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  LynnInDenver 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #91591
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    So, a few years ago, when we moved into our house, we got a free non-working Solar Ride from a friend to put in our basement. All it took to get it running was repinning the connectors (5V from power supply to MPU was intermittent at the connector).

    One repeating quirk that we’ve had is that the machine would go bonkers, most often with phantom adding of bonus (you could hit no switches and watch the bonus ladder increase on its own). The MPU had suffered a serious battery leak in the past, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t properly mitigated at the time. I’ve done the following that always was just a temporary fix:

    Replaced the power supply with a new unit.

    Replaced the rightmost switch matrix chip. Legs broke off the chip, it was so badly corroded. Lifted one pad.

    Replaced the rest of the switch matrix chips and the two capacitors. Lifted one pad in the process.

    Now, the last repair, I hadn’t yet seen the problem recur, but prior experience was telling me we’d be seeing it again. Plus, all that alkaline damage. In addition, the board would practically eat a trio of rechargeable AA batteries in about a month, probably related. I fitted a Pinitech NVRAM module, which helped in that regard, even if it had a 30-60 second quirk period on startup before settling down.

    Last night, a LISY1 went in. The sound is a bit… off (original sound board, I let Ralf know the difference and he’s looking into it), and I submitted a revised definition for the lamps, but I’m pretty happy with what we’ve got going. Plus, I’ll get to play with Mission Pinball Framework now.

    #91592
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Very cool. thats raspberry pi based right?

    Currently playing around with FP to VP conversions. Nothing serious just trying to have fun.

    #91707
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    Yes, it is indeed the Pi-based system 1 replacement board. We’re actually running an original Zero in it, with a plug-in wifi dongle, and it’s working fine.

    I’m still working on dialing in the emulation speed, at which point I’ll be letting Ralf know so he can update the parameters for the download.

    #92030
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    So, I think what’s going on with the sound is that it’s holding the solenoid signal 2-3 times longer than the original board. It’s still the same tones and sequences, but tones sequence slower. Since I want some flexibility for Mission Pinball (and I already installed the optional sound volume parts), I’ll be picking up a sound PHat this weekend and installing that and seeing if using PinMAME instead of the tone board gets me closer to making it seem right.

    #92032
     BorgDog 
    Participant
    MemberContributorvip

    Following along, have my lisy but haven’t assembled yet. It will either go in my project Sinbad or my Cleo to do some mpf mods. I have 3 or 4 Pascal all in one that are great in other machines

    #92055
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Very interesting stuff. Get us updated.

    Currently playing around with FP to VP conversions. Nothing serious just trying to have fun.

    #92068
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    So, bought one of these: http://www.microcenter.com/product/486598/Speaker_pHAT

    Installation went very well. I even crimped on connectors so reversing the change to the machine is easy as unplugging and replugging the speaker connector.

    Note: The system will welcome you to LISY1 and announce the version using voice synthesis when you start it up using a sound pHAT. It will also announce when you enter LISYControl.

    PinMAME sound was even worse than through the tone board. Basically static.

    Running sound files works a bit better. I’ve found that they need to be sampled as low as can be. Sounds kinda get piled up when you hit a lot of things with the ball very quickly. There is some clipping static that occurs as well. To be fair, I’ve found the PC can exhibit the same sorts of clipping if I repeatedly and rapidly replay one of the sounds. When we do MPF, I’ll probably build “event tone sequence” sounds, like the triple 1000 for things like the bonus stars and the six tone sequence for Start Game. The only other option we might have is to replace the speaker; I don’t remember what the impedence of the cabinet speaker is, but the pHAT wants 4 or 8 ohm impedence.

    BorgDog, I’d be really curious as to your results with the chime boards in Sinbad or Cleopatra using PinMAME. We’re talking about MPF here, and what we can do; Solar Ride has a pretty simplistic playfield and ruleset, so I’m not sure how much we can really squeeze out of it.

    BTW, interesting quirk to the playfield: The two “reset drop target” lights on the kickouts are individually addressable in the software, I hadn’t actually realized that until I could directly operate the light matrix in LISYControl. From the standpoint of the original rules, they don’t really need to be, although it might be a “just in case the light driver fails on one” engineering choice; it’s not like there aren’t spots in the light matrix left.

    #92241
     BorgDog 
    Participant
    MemberContributorvip

    I had a Pascal all in one board in Cleo, which worked great, and in anticipation of doing the lisy install swapped in a ni-wumph mpu and rottendog power and driver boards that were in my joker poker. The ni-wumph actually runs the chimes too fast, they can’t keep up especially when doing the bonus, the Pascal did them nicely. I like how the Pascal runs in joker poker better as well. My cleo came with the stock boards that were somewhat flakey,  but I don’t remember how they ran the chimes in comparison. I’ll update whenever I get around to trying the lisy.

     

    #92521
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    Yeah, it does turn out to be something with Ralf’s implementation of the coils. LISY was too fast at first for the coils like the outhole and kickers, so he implemented a “minimum pulse time” on them. He’s going to speed it up on the sound “coils”, and will probably need to implement a parameter in the config CSV for those who use chimes and have issues with the faster speed. The other sound issues I noticed are going to require some work before he can release the fixes for them.

    I’ve also started really fiddling around with MPF. I already have some questions I’ve asked in the Google Group for configuration, but I’ve so far got the basic scoring going, can reset the drop targets when complete, and don’t have them firing on startup, and have the attract mode built. I can even use both the tone board and the Sound pHAT at the same time, I scrounged up a spare 8ohm speaker for testing. My biggest issues right now are trying to string together multiple firings of the same tone on an event, and getting the score displays to go “right justified”.

    #92523
     BorgDog 
    Participant
    MemberContributorvip

    Cool, sounds like you are making great progress.  You have ideas for what you would like to change about game play on Solar Ride?  I sold my solar ride a while back sadly, I needed the room and it was low man on the totem pole at the time, had a minty beautiful backglass.

    #92551
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    I’ve been toying with a few thoughts; part of the issue is that, as you know, there isn’t a lot available to actually play with. Most of what I might toy with is different handling of the upper rollovers as a skill shot like a Ni-Wumpf/Pascal would, what might come off the special instead of game credits or extra balls, whether or not to add any sort of complication in terms of lighting one of the kickers and causing one to have a chance of resetting an incomplete drop target setup. I know my husband wants a little better ball save; I’ll probably have to base it on “first switch hit, then start the timer”, since there’s no trough switch. I think there’s technically room in the switch matrix to add one, but that would involve drilling a slot into a reasonably good condition playfield, plus I’m not sure what the original ROM logic would make of it. And being able to easily switch to running the original ROM was actually a selling point for me. Plus, we want to be able to sell the machine later (we only have room for maybe three tables), and it would be better if we could sell it in a condition that one could reinstall a set of original boards.

    Once I get things to the point I can run the first config on the Pi directly, I may do an experiment… since it doesn’t need the ROM, and it’s all basically arbitrary at that point, I might see if I can drop the config into the number of another Sys1 and find out if I can use the game select DIPs to effectively select between 3 and 5 ball configurations. >:) I’ve run Solar Ride both ways, and I’ve actually found the scores to be more or less comparable for me.

    #92956
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    So, I had a really insane idea hit me in bed this morning.

    I’d been toying of doing a retrofit of System80 pop boards to ensure consistent pop bumper action – I’ve been trying to tune the pop bumpers since I rebuilt the tops, and I’ve never been able to really eliminate weak zones.

    LISY1 should support sound through the Sound pHAT I installed. Depending on how things go, I should be able to eliminate the tone board, although my current testing has involved sending commands to it as I rebuild the original ruleset. Tones are fired through the driver board, and it supports the earlier chime coils.

    BorgDog, this is a question for you, since you’re more familiar with System1 than I am; do you think it’s possible to reuse the solenoid outputs on the driver to fire the pop bumpers through MPF? It would mean I could put the three pop bumpers under true computer control, and have full control over pop bumper power.

    I obviously still need to do some thought as to whether to go through with such a plan; it would involve making significant enough changes to the wiring that I’d have to document it, and it wouldn’t be something that could be easily reversed if a future owner decided they wanted to put in original boards again. But it would involve parts we already have on hand, rather than ordering $80 worth of add-on components, and technically still making significant changes to the wiring of the pops.

    #92968
     BorgDog 
    Participant
    MemberContributorvip

    hmmm, sounds like a lot of work for not a lot of gain, to be honest when adjusted right I haven’t had any issues with my pops.  I think I might be possible with mpf and lisy to use the system 1 drivers if there are any/enough available.  I only have one system 80, but have already had issues with that pop board so I’m not sure it’s more bullet proof but I haven’t spent a lot of time looking at it.

    #93041
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    I’ll probably make another effort at tuning, then. Trying to computer control the pops would involve rewiring the sound harness into the pop solenoids, and moving one of the two back pop switches (they’re tied together) into an unoccupied part of the switch matrix (which is NOT a trivial thing to consider), as well as rewiring the pop activation switches to the switch matrix instead of connecting power to those coils.

    Someone in the MPF group mentioned that there might also be unacceptably high lag (5-50ms) trying to use the driver that way, since LISY wasn’t designed with computer controlled pops in mind. I figure I can “small scale test” the possibility with a kickout and a playfield switch tied together to basically “direct fire” the kickout when I press the switch and see if I can get an idea of what the delay might be.

    #93233
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    Huh. I ran into a bug tonight fiddling with MPF regarding the segmented displays, either in MPF in general, or somewhere in the LISY implementation. I can position/type format any variable applied to the four main displays, like player scores. Anything I route to the credit/ball in play display, the same formatting commands that work on the main displays basically make MPF quit to prompt when I start a game. I already reported it to the MPF group. It’s not a killer for my plans for setting up the machine, but it’s interesting that I seem to be the first actually doing something significant with LISY and finding some rough edges.

    Got the hardware_sound working. I think I blew up the speaker up that I’d scrounged up, so I’ve switched it back to LISY driving the sound internally and disconnected the tone board.

    #93576
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    Ralf sent me a fix to the LISY Server that changes the displays to default to right justified. So it’s technically fixed from that standpoint.

    Jan’s working it over on their end. First fix doesn’t seem to work to allow formatting, I get the same crash.

    I got some new headers in and soldered up, and all but the 10-position plugs to go on those headers. As of tonight, the driver connection to the MPU is no longer using the Molex connector. I’ll be swapping out the others as time and inclination permits. I’m going to make efforts to never use those Molex edge connectors on ANY custom pinball builds I might do, they’re not worth it versus a good header pin and a screw-terminal plug.

    BorgDog, I’m attaching the BOM for the headers and plugs via DigiKey, in case you have any interest.

    Attachments:
    #93579
     BorgDog 
    Participant
    MemberContributorvip

    Cool, thanks, dropped in my LISY folder for future reference.

    #93867
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    OK, got the formatting issue with the Credit/BIP display licked… I had to move where it was writing that into the “player added” part of the config, where it would actually have a variable to work with instead of a null. Now it’s just trying to figure out how to get high score to work the way I want it to, which is without inputting a set of initials. It seems like it won’t write new high scores without something being actually entered… which is really clunky to set up even on a System 1 cab with a credit add button installed (most of the friends who will play it happen to have last initials in the after L part of the alphabet, and my husband uses DNA for initials), so I’d prefer to basically have it done “blind”, either by feeding a parameter in that tells it I don’t do initials, or feeding it a set of initials as a default.

    #96752
     LynnInDenver 
    Participant

    Yeah, definitely running into issues with the documentation… or rather, that some of it’s still pretty spotty, and it’s very sparse on examples. And the Google Group tends towards “we’d prefer SPECIFIC questions, otherwise just read the documentation.” Just trying to configure the upper rollover lanes is turning into a huge hassle. I can either get the lights to basically all come on when complete, or I don’t get any more than the left light, and maybe the second light. And it doesn’t help that I haven’t had a lot of bandwidth lately to even dedicate to it.

    I’ll definitely be avoiding doing an all weekend thing with it, though. I can only tolerate so much beating my head on it.

    #96755
     BorgDog 
    Participant
    MemberContributorvip

    I find the mpf documentation a lot like I kept asking as a little kid, “how can I look up how to spell it in the dictionary if I don’t know how to spell it” and the ever popular “I don’t know what I don’t know”.  There is a lot of stuff out there and so many different ways to get the same things done, it’s rather daunting.  I’m not sure how I would do the upper rollovers, a series of achievements dependent on the prior one maybe?  don’t listen to me though, it’s been several months since I’ve touched anything on my homebrew project, let alone my LISY project I want to do, really should get back to it one of these days.

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