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All posts by Andrew Burch

A new week is kicking off, which hopefully means lots of exciting changes to come for PINBOT 2.0 over the next seven days. I’ve decided to start putting together a small “developer diary” of the progress for people to read and follow along with. Sometimes there will be images or videos to share. While at other times it will just be text. I don’t have any planned format for what I share – only that it will be broken down into the days of the week, where I document progress for each day. Ideally I’d love to be able to put up a post each week, but there will be periods where little to no work on the project is done. This means some posts may span several weeks – I’ll just see how it goes.

Monday 16/11/2020

First thing to look at today was adding flashers to the lamp shows in both the high score and bonus modes. I’ve opted to go with a simple top to bottom sequence for the high score mode. This repeats every 5 seconds. The bonus mode sequence will work in reverse, with the flashers activating from the bottom of the playfield to the top and sync with the insert light show that plays.

A somewhat boring task today was creating a script that packages together the “pinbot-recoded” folder for deployment to the production machine. Up until now, it’s been a manual process of deleting the old folder from a USB stick and copying the required folders across. It would be so much easier to just run a single command line (like “packagepb” for example), which did everything and removed all manual steps. I’m often using either LUA or PHP for my scripting since those are what I’m most familiar with. I decided to go with PHP in this case. The script didn’t take long to create and has a reasonable amount of logging and error handling for when things fail. I expect this will evolve as the project goes on.

Pinbot 2.0 Homebrew
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Once again I’m well overdue for an update on my PINBOT 2.0 project. Huge steps have been made since my last post in July, so let’s get started. With the display panel completed in the last update, it’s time to get the boards installed to actually drive this 2.0 project. PINBOT has an MPU board that consists of both a CPU section and driver section for the coils. Before removing anything, all connectors were labelled.

Pinbot 2.0 Homebrew
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I’m long overdue for an update on my PINBOT 2.0 project. It’s been moving slower than I had hoped, but there’s no real rush here. Also, for a 2.0 project like this, a lot of time gets spent on code and it’s not easy to translate that into interesting posts for people to read. But there are some interesting things to cover 🙂 Thanks to a mate of mine, I’ve been able to source a P-ROC board on loan which will allow me to move the project from my desktop PC into the physical machine to actually test! This is very exciting to say the least! I’m on the look out to buy my own though as I’ll eventually need one – but for now this will do.

Pinbot 2.0 Homebrew

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Fixing never ends when it comes to pinball and it’s just an accepted part of being an owner. Due to working from home until COVID-19 is behind us, I’m spending more time with my games during break periods. I switched my SWEP1 machine on last week for a few games as it had been sitting idle for awhile and noticed that the sound was not right. Specifically, some sound effects were quieter than others. I put the game into test mode and ran the audio diagnostics. I found that there ware no sounds coming from from the left speaker. Only the right speaker and sub were working. My thoughts were that it’s either the PRISM card, sound amp board, or the speaker. I did the standard cable reseat at the back of the PC first, but the problem remained. I then opened up the PC and reseated the cable running from the sound board to the PRISM card. Again, the problem remained.

Star Wars Episode One
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When I set out on my journey to develop a 2.0 project with PINBOT, I hadn’t expected there to be an 8 month gap between my initial post and this one. I found myself busy with many projects last year (in and outside of pinball) which ended up seeing virtually no progress made. I had started to recreate the rule set of PINBOT in MPF, but that didn’t get much further than setting up some files. I may still do this once the project progresses far enough along as I’d love to set this up like Bride of Pinbot 2.0 from Dutch Pinball and let the player select between old and new rule sets. Two games in one is a big win when you consider how much space our machines take up. At the end of last year I was getting the urge to give this project more attention over the Christmas break and into 2020. In December, work was tossing out a lot of old hardware. I will need a PC to run my game on when hooked up to my Pinbot machine, so a freebie sounded like a good starting point.

Pinbot 2.0 Extended Project
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