Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Big D vs Big S

Hi ya'll. 

Been moving my programming environment from Windows XP and an old laptop to OS X and a modern computer, and that sh#t turned out to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated. Moving from MPIDE 0023 to Arduino 1.6.13 sure didn't help either and even basic serial communication and switches stopped working...
Anyhow - after a hefty troubleshooting session that lasted a week or two; I'm back in business.

And despite some issues, I can now work a lot more easily on the programming for both boards and the newer computer allows for more optimized compiling and thus faster code. This means the display and servos run more smoothly.

So during the coming months I'll get started in the code refactoring and game mode creation. But for now; here's a short snippet of Mr B in action. (very much beta, obviously). :) 

Oh, almost forgot -
I've got myself a Big Sister that stands nicely next to the "evil" little sister and the vent, just above the "SISTERS FOREVER" mode light. She will probably not be animated or lit, but a LED-eye would probably be possible in the future... 

1) Big Sister. Had her on the cover, would be rather weird not to have her on the playfield as well. I have temporarily fixed her to the VUK-habitrail without the backpack, but I'm thinking about making the backpack "wrap around" the habitrail, making the ball go through it. That would probably mean I have to break the toy though, which I refrain somewhat from... 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Are we there yet?

Not quite, but at least the machine is done enough to be moved into the living room. :)

1) Close, but no cigar. But at least the scotch is cooling, awaiting the cigar!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Double polarity LED's... who knew?

Oh boi. I'll just say it.
Shame on me - I missed a couple of diodes.

The bumpers and flashers were still "unprotected" and on top of that, the LED's I had installed were double polarity meaning they worked in both directions....  Who could have known, right?

The good news are that lights are now working somewhat properly (we'll get to that) and I've updated the main board with the correct lights and what not. This means I'm kinda back where I was before recreating the light board. And that's a good thing! I've also fixed sound and music, which had a few bugs that has stayed uncorrected since moving to the new system and board. Tried a couple of quick games too. 8-)

The bad news is that there is a slight flickering when a couple of lights are active at the same time. This flickering occurs on the light board itself as well, so it may be due to lack of power in the board or shift registers. I'm currently using a row/col based approach, which lights up to 12 lights per channel. I will try converting to col/row so that each row only ever power a single light at once. Hopefully that solves things.
I've also noticed that the servo handling the target bank was dead.
So I replaced it, only to find out that that servo too died after a few on/off's. The servos are beefy ones and are moving up to 5kgs, which is more than enough for the purpose, but somehow they die anyway. This last one has frozen in place, unable to turn, but it sounds like it's working. I'll have to investigate this further.

On top of that, the captive ball lane captures balls despite having no ball lock. The irony...

Code revision on the game will have to wait until the servo is corrected, as well as the captive lane.

But yeah, progress! \m/