myPinballs Custom Bally Pinball Controller in Development

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myPinballs

myPinballs

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Update: I've been working on a few new items in the framework and game code. Firstly the bonus count up sequences that you get in nearly all early Bally/Stern games. I've added some extra code to the bonus 'mode' game file and the game will now count up the triangles on hv that you have collected at the end of the ball along with multiplying each count by the games multiplier level. The game will also remember when 'panels' of triangles are complete and count them up to after the current 'panel' is finished.

Here's a quick video with some voice over by me explaining how it works so far:


Also, I've done some more work on the display controller and shot a quick video to show the response between switch events and display updates by using the spinner in game. Interestingly i had some debug statements in the update method previously that were causing a slight flicker on the displays as they were updated. I now have debug turned off and the display are smooth and solid during a score update. (Any flickering/pulsing in the video is due to the speed of the camera lens)



Cheers :)
 
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myPinballs

myPinballs

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Video of a 4 player game and the new feature of flashing the active players score at ball start, just like on original bally games. :)


The multiplayer logic is now working really nicely. I've almost sorted out the bally match feature to, so will take a video of that aswell.
 
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myPinballs

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At NERG today talking to people about projects and stuff, but found a little time just now to rough in the first pass at ball save logic for this system, so all early ballys and sterns can now be ball save friendly, and in true John Popaduik style yes you can disable it to ;)
 
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myPinballs

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Update: First run of final boards are with the manufacturer
pinside.com_img_smilies_icon_smile.gif
Some pics here. Looking forward to seeing what people make with them
pinside.com_img_smilies_icon_smile.gif


Bally Pinball Controller v1.1 component layout.png Bally Pinball Controller v1.1 top layout.png Bally Pinball Controller v1.1 bottom layout.png Bally Pinball Driver v1.0 compnent layout.pngBally Pinball Driver v1.0 top layout.png Bally Pinball Driver v1.0 bottom layout.png
 
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myPinballs

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Update: First pass at the documentation is done. Came in at 15 pages.
pinside.com_img_smilies_icon_smile.gif
Will be being shared with all pre-order folks. Also have a github area for maintaining the code and a dropbox resource area for pre-order folk to, so they can get to grips with all the code etc whilst waiting for the hardware.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 19.11.03.png
 
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myPinballs

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Update: Final V1 board blanks are back from the manufacturer. :)

IMG_4196.jpg

IMG_4197.jpg

I have now started the assembly and testing of the first run of boards. Here are some pics of the first V1 controller board being assembled for testing.

IMG_4212.jpg IMG_4213.jpg IMG_4216.jpg
IMG_4220.jpg

Here's one of the board being tested in my High Voltage game.

IMG_4222.jpg

I am working through my BOM files and assembly of the first run of driver boards will also start soon. On the software side there is an update to the frameworks and examples that will be uploaded in the next day or so, so keep checking for updates on the dropbox link.

I am also thinking about adding a 'lane change' mode for High Voltage on the top 4 rollovers so hope to work on that this week to. :)
 
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Some pics of peoples projects starting to take shape over in the states over on pinside with more to come. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/t...ller-for-ballystern-games/page/3#post-2725458

Harlem Globetrotters rewrite, Seawitch rewrite and also Flight 2015 by our very own uk member @Snux

My High Voltage game will be running a code rewrite using the board set over the weekend at NLP/Play Expo. Feel free to stop by and see how the boards install or how the software frameworks go together. :)
 
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Going to be working on some new rewrites for old Bally games in the coming months

Bally Fireball (Classic)
Bally Star Trek
Bally Nitro Groundshaker
Bally Xenon

Along with the second batch of board sets which are with the pcb manufacturer

Also looking at upgrading my hv rectifier transformer panel from the early backboc version to the better cabinet panel version. I have a full panel from an old pac man game which I'm going to mount and adjust the wiring accordingly.

image.jpeg

Currently writing a doc with a conversion chart for the connector pinouts
 

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On that PAC-PAN PSU is the smaller transformer and starter factory fitted? Did M&MPM have a fluorescent tube for the backglass?
 
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On that PAC-PAN PSU is the smaller transformer and starter factory fitted? Did M&MPM have a fluorescent tube for the backglass?

That's a ballast for a flourescent tube. yes pacman had one to light up the back glass instead of individual bulbs. Of course i won't be using this, but it does mean i have an extra 120v tap from the transformer in case!

Also this spec panel has an scr mounted for switching the playfield gi on and off which is driven from a lamp driver, so i'll be utilising this in my hv game to :)
 
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Interesting, thanks Jim. I might be getting a M&MPM so good to know...

I have a pair of those TRIACs on GOLD BALL as it can flash the playfield and backbox lighting. Don't break it - those things are like ruddy hen's teeth.
 
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Interesting, thanks Jim. I might be getting a M&MPM so good to know...

I have a pair of those TRIACs on GOLD BALL as it can flash the playfield and backbox lighting. Don't break it - those things are like ruddy hen's teeth.

I reckon any old triac would work as its just 6.3vac regular lamp voltage. I reckon you could use the one from wpc driver boards ok for example
 
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Pretty chuffed to get this transformer assembly panel as it happens to have the connector plugs still on it, which will make the conversion much easier. Interestingly enough the wiring and voltage outputs are the same on the 2 designs so conversion isn't going to be too tricky.
 
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Nedreud

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I reckon any old triac would work as its just 6.3vac regular lamp voltage. I reckon you could use the one from wpc driver boards ok for example
I can't remember the exact specs but seem to recall they're pretty beefy. Main issue is a suitable alternative is very unlikely to be a similar package so would need to be mounted differently. Not the end of the world, I admit. A bit like replacing the tranny in the regulator board with a BUX84.
 
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I have been doing some investigations recently on how to convert an early bally game to a late one in terms of rectifier and power. The early bally games used a transformer and rectifier assembly which was a bit low on umph and was mounted in the backbox. It was upgraded with later games and moved to the cabinet. The attached diagram are my notes on how to convert your wiring if you want to retro fit an upgraded assembly. This is what i'm doing in my HV game

IMG_7047.jpg
 

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Nedreud

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Nice one, Jim! Thanks for the info. This is something I could do to my PARAGON as it has the backbox-mounted power supply, but I put rather a lot of effort into rebuilding the original! I realise the later PSUs have generally higher power output but could you elaborate on why this conversion/upgrade is better? Is the design of the later PSUs superior? Just curious...



The addition of a line-side fuse is at the minimum a nice bonus!
 
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Nice one, Jim! Thanks for the info. This is something I could do to my PARAGON as it has the backbox-mounted power supply, but I put rather a lot of effort into rebuilding the original! I realise the later PSUs have generally higher power output but could you elaborate on why this conversion/upgrade is better? Is the design of the later PSUs superior? Just curious...

The addition of a line-side fuse is at the minimum a nice bonus!

Yes, pretty much beefed up in every area power wise and with better molex connectors. The transformer itself is much bigger to and with line fuse as you say. There are also GI control triacs as options and the 12v feed is separate diodes. The problem i had with my HV game was the GI connector pins were constantly burning out. I may have been a little over zealous with the spec when i first did the design.

Also i always hated the fact the transformer was in the backbox with a nasty grill around it. Yours does look nice though, nice job. Did you change all the fuse holders though?
 
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Pics of the AS-2518-54 rectifier panel and assembly (AS-2877-9) after i cleaned it up a little. Not super polished up like @Nedreud but nice and clean now

IMG_7035.JPG IMG_7037.jpg IMG_7038.JPG

I'm working on getting the cabinet and backbox cabling converted over and then will be looking at the playfield one. Should be testing it out later today hopefully.
 
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I didn't replace the fuse holders as they appear to be gold-plated so totally corrosion free. I re-flowed the solder on them. Actually I re-flowed the solder on everything because I stripped the entire board to rebuild it ;) I had to replace the naff bridge rectifiers (hence why they're now on top with heatsinks) but also replaced the browned ceramic power resistors, discrete diodes and Molex header pins. I also put in some recommended ground rail improvements. This was the first repair/restoration I did when I got my first pin (the infamous PARAGON project) as this board needed to fixed to get anything working!

I did respray the grill though :D

 
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I didn't replace the fuse holders as they appear to be gold-plated so totally corrosion free. I re-flowed the solder on them. Actually I re-flowed the solder on everything because I stripped the entire board to rebuild it ;) I had to replace the naff bridge rectifiers (hence why they're now on top with heatsinks) but also replaced the browned ceramic power resistors, discrete diodes and Molex header pins. I also put in some recommended ground rail improvements. This was the first repair/restoration I did when I got my first pin (the infamous PARAGON project) as this board needed to fixed to get anything working!

I did respray the grill though :D


I think you've done the best you can with that transformer assembly and the better bridge rectifiers may help. The issue you have is you can't do anything about the size of the transformer in it, so its stuck at the level that thing want to produce power at, hence the move to the cabinet and the beef up of all items later. Earlier games were simpler though so may be a moot point here. Later games had more stuff on them and needed more umph. As my HV is a full rewrite and original design i want to have the max power at my disposal. !!
 
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Sharing an update to this project. Over the years my custom board designs have evolved and improved as seen with the indy jones stern rewrite and also the whirlwind dmd rewrite. Both of these projects now run on my own hardware that has been years in the making. So, now the hardware is getting alittle more refined and stable, i am rolling the things learnt into other board sets that i have developed to improve and upgrade.

So here is the v2.2 of the bally/stern early solid state controller board. We are now just creating a swap out cpu board that allows a lot of upgrades and changes aswell as allowing integration with all other original boards in the game

Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 18.55.03.png

Main features are:

Full Colour DMD colour support using our colour dmd panel technology and image tools
On board stereo amp with custom speech, music, sound capabilities
Full RGB WS2812B rgb insert lamp support, or regular 16x4 addressed insert lamps
Original Solenoids, Display, Lamps, Sound support through original connectors and protocols
Reliable switch matrix for accurate detection and strong protection against usual short faults, using wpc technology refined over decades
Expansion connector for adding additional driver boards and more solenoids/flashers etc
Option to self assemble board for electronic and home-brew fans
Rich development tools and base game code image card for making your own games (python coding abilities required)
Possible MPF future support


So colour dmd additions to old bally games is possible. I think some of the later '82 onwards ballys with the separate displays below the backboxes could be perfect for a dmd addition! (8 ball deluxe le, pacman, centaur 2 etc). Also you can just keep the original setup to with this board but make up your own game. or imagine a fireball 2 with a colour dmd!
 

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Sharing an update to this project. Over the years my custom board designs have evolved and improved as seen with the indy jones stern rewrite and also the whirlwind dmd rewrite. Both of these projects now run on my own hardware that has been years in the making. So, now the hardware is getting alittle more refined and stable, i am rolling the things learnt into other board sets that i have developed to improve and upgrade.

So here is the v2.2 of the bally/stern early solid state controller board. We are now just creating a swap out cpu board that allows a lot of upgrades and changes aswell as allowing integration with all other original boards in the game

View attachment 143148

Main features are:

Full Colour DMD colour support using our colour dmd panel technology and image tools
On board stereo amp with custom speech, music, sound capabilities
Full RGB WS2812B rgb insert lamp support, or regular 16x4 addressed insert lamps
Original Solenoids, Display, Lamps, Sound support through original connectors and protocols
Reliable switch matrix for accurate detection and strong protection against usual short faults, using wpc technology refined over decades
Expansion connector for adding additional driver boards and more solenoids/flashers etc
Option to self assemble board for electronic and home-brew fans
Rich development tools and base game code image card for making your own games (python coding abilities required)
Possible MPF future support


So colour dmd additions to old bally games is possible. I think some of the later '82 onwards ballys with the separate displays below the backboxes could be perfect for a dmd addition! (8 ball deluxe le, pacman, centaur 2 etc). Also you can just keep the original setup to with this board but make up your own game. or imagine a fireball 2 with a colour dmd!
Nice Jim, hope this sees the light if day, sounds cool.
Like ya say , would work well on the so called deluxe cabs, that I hate.
Would love an 8balldlx with a dmd
 
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