Finished all diodes (I think) today, and got plenty of work done on the machine. For starters I moved the entire light board to the playfield for easier access and debugging/status checking. Unfortunately I realized that there appears to be some kind of error with the 12V line, as these are always active when one of the 5V LED's in the same column is active. I believe this to be a software issue as I cannot reproduce the error by powering rows/cols manually. Had there been any kind of short circuit that would have shown, I think.
The downside is that my programming environment is a very old laptop and for some reason I cannot compile code for Arduino anymore, so I'll have to use my desktop computer. It's quite cumbersome to setup so I'll put that to side for now.
Actually, the row-MOSFET's are active when held low, so it's not entire impossible for the 12V MOSFET to be wrongfully and constantly grounded and therefor constantly active. In the schematics all rows circuits are the same and only the voltage differs. But maybe I connected something to ground "just in case" and since I've previously only connected the 5V line while testing the board, the problem could have been there from the start. I will investigate this.
Nope, that's not it. The board follows the schematic (who knew?!) and they're all connected identically. I cannot measure any differences between the functional rows and the erroneous either, so it's gotta be something in the code. Probably a clock pulse in the wrong place or something like that. Let's dive into manuals, yeay!
|1) Cluttered cable mess and the installed lightboard. The board sits on rubber pads and has extra support on the edges to prevent it from falling down, should it ever vibrate loose (not visible here).|
Then I finished the one-way gate with double switching, meaning that it blocks shots from the front but registers hits, while letting balls from the bumper area pass through and still register hits. This allows for a greater range of options for game rules etc. I'm quite happy with how it turned out, even if the final form of the switchblade had to be reshaped ad-hoc since the nut was placed differently than in my "test rig".
|5) Switch close-up. Took a bit of fiddling to get right, but it works great. Hope it keeps running smoothly in the future too.|
Lastly, I've begun work with the ball-lock / up-post thingy.
At the moment all I've done is removing the old captive ball and modifying the plastic overlay slightly to better show the locked ball.
Next I plan to construct the actual ball lock device itself, where the problem today is two fold;
Firstly there's the issue of attaching the holder solenoid to the main solenoid. I need to find a good material that I can process without heavy machinery. I'm thinking a thin(isch) sheet of aluminum should work. Plan B is to construct a plastic placeholder while I think of something else. I'm refraining quite severely from purchasing new parts at this stage, but if I have to; well, I have to.
Secondly, the "fork" I was planning to use to hold the ball was of a wood screw type and is unfit for mechanical use, so I'll have to find an alternative for that. I don't think I can use an official Stern (or similar) ball lock as the space is very limited where I'm installing it. At least in the blueprints I've looked at it looks too big.
Well, that's all for now. Hopefully I'll have functioning lights and a ball lock next time! :)