Monday, January 26, 2015

Kill me now...

I've been sick with influenza the last two weeks.
That means nothing has been done on the machine and I'm still waiting for life to return to me.

To be continued.


  1. Get well soon and don't worry about the pinball machine, your health is more important!

  2. Here's hoping you are all OK now, have you had a chance to do anything more on the machine?

  3. Since you're putting me through Poor Man's Pinball update withdrawal symptoms, I've got a couple of questions for you about your Lightboard design. Please remember I know nothing about electronics or circuit board design, I'm just bouncing some ideas.
    - How come you aren't using all your matrix outputs? It looks like you could fit the full 12x8 matrix on that board. Even if you won't use the extra outputs you will have a few spare columns for troubleshooting or after blowing something up :)
    - Do you really need so many diodes? I kind of understand the diodes on the outputs but are the separate diodes for the Shift Registers really required? Would one diode on your ground point to prevent reverse polarity suffice?
    - Have you considered using an LED Driver with the Shift Register built-in? It might save you some soldering depending on your current requirements.

  4. Sorry, I'm well and all, but haven't had time to do anything on the machine. Got my second child a few weeks ago! So it busy busy. :D
    On top of that, my band is releasing a new album within a week.

    But hopefully I'll be able to do some work on the pinball machine, at least replace the soundboard and quite possibly solder the lightboard. :)

    For the questions:
    1) I'm not using all matrix outputs simply because I won't need them. At most I used 96 "channels", but after various problems in the past and redesigns, many of them has been consolidated to a single channel. This means I have already a lot of extra channels in case something breaks, but if needed the board will be relatively easy to repair so I'm not overdoing things at the moment. The LED-modules were also bigger than I expected so they're already sticking out from the board… :)

    2) I don't actually know… But I figure since current is running like water basically, it should at least try the different paths in it's way. Putting a diode would prevent the other components from having to block the current. This is especially important (I think) since the current will be quite high, much higher than a standard LED-lamp at 5mA etc.

    3) The LED-drivers I've seen has not been able to provide enough current. I'm using real pinball bulbs rather than LED's, so the current is pretty large and I need to supply a hefty amount of it across the playfield. The old design worked well, until something didn't… And I'm guessing either a short circuit somewhere or lack of surge/spike protection that fried components.

    Hopefully (my favourite word) the new lightboard, and soundboard, will be a lot more stable than the old! :)

    1. Thanks for the reply and congratulations! Good luck with the new album too.

  5. Glad to know that you have fully recovered and is back to work again. Getting sick can be very frustrating. I'll look forward to your updates on your pinball machine projects,