Friday, January 2, 2015

Misery loves company!

While waiting for the parts to arrive I figured I could continue working on the ruleset. 
But as it turns out, I've been spending my time trying to figure out why half the lights suddenly doesn't work anymore. After tinkering with the lightboard (Satans lightboard, remember...) I managed to get almost all of the lights running. After re-setting one loose lamp, there were seven still not functioning, but I managed to salvage and free new connections for them by grouping together GI light chains. A minor sacrifice, since most GI is on or off at the same time.

I found two faults, probably caused by me pulling the playfield out during the "Fiery fumes of Hell"-episode of yesterdays': One being a resistors legs touching a leg of the 10'th shift register. It was simply too long and got bent by a cable. The other was a loose ground connector on the 2'nd shifter register. It seems that I must have missed soldering it completely or it somehow has heated up enough to melt the soldering at that point. I'm still leaning towards manufacturing a PCB for the lightboard...

I'm also almost positive the sound boards run better when the whole light update-function is disabled. It's really disturbing me since the sound effects are erratic and quite unreliable at the moment. Maybe not for a casual player perhaps, but as the designer I notice right away when effects are missing. Gotta investigate this more closely.

1) Mr Bubbles, Mr Bubbles, does whatever a Bubble-man does!
Mr Bubbles had a little reconstructive surgery as well. I decided to go for function over form and drilled and screwed his arm in place. Hot glue just wasn't kicking it, but this solution - however ugly - works perfect.

The plan was to get a nicer screw that fits better, but that's a future thing to worry about.

I'll end this post with a nice reminder of the "dark side" of the playfield. 

2) This is starting to become impossible to troubleshoot. Not enough documentation, wires that has been redirected
all over the place and no real logical grouping of cables. 

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