Sujet: [TUTO] How to build a pincab Jeu 14 Mar 2019 - 9:15
~ Plan of the tuto ~
CAUTION: For those who read this from their mobile phone or tablet, you may have difficulties to read some clear texts as this tuto is written from the computer version of this forum which is completely different. There is a solution for the mobile device users. For example, with Chrome you may display the computer version doing as described here https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-request-desktop-version-of-a-web-site-in-chrome-for-android/.
(As the pictures take time to download, if you click on the links below, you may not be sent at the right place. Try to wait for the pictures to be downloaded before clicking.)
So, young Padawan, you want to craft your pincab, but you don't have a clue on how to do that ??? At school, you were playing chess and petanque. To you, computing is for antisocial foureyes and electronics for wackadoodle geniuses ? Anyway, you'd like to posess the pincab you saw on Youtube while wandering around. No problemo, you are at the right spot, Pincab Passion is gonna take you by the hand and lead you to the end of the adventure ! By the way : pincab means « pinball cabinet »
Let me introduce myself: I am zedrummer (aka zed) on Pincab Passion. I am not working in electronics nor computing, but I have been coding since I was 8 (I am 45). I have already crafted a MAMEcab, a first pincab for my father and at the time of writing this tutorial (october 2018) I am on another one…
I'm gonna be helped by the whole staff of Pincab Passion, to try to cover the whole subject from different points of view. Anyway, I won't be fully comprehensive, but you will surely find the other answers around here on PP
Let me first thank @peskopat for his excellent advice on formatting this text to be the easiest to read !
Warning : the choices we made in this tutorial are perhaps different than yours, but in the DIY world (aka « Do It Yourself », aka the world of people wanting to craft their own objects rather than buying them), there is no "I am right", your choices, even aesthetic, will always be the good ones as far as they fit to your gusts (and your budget). Even if, sometimes, there are... nonstandard choices, let's say.
Now, there is a lot to read, but this tuto was written so as to be read chronologically as your crafting progress, so it is not mandatory to wholly read it now. But the big part about equipment choices is necessary. In return, as it is the most comprehensive possible, you're gonna save the time you won't spend in looking for other tutorials. This is long as the DIY interest is to fully know how to craft and repair, so you really need to understand what you do.
Colors explained : -a yellow text is a warning as you already know -a blue text is a existancial question -a green text presents a general knowledge about pincab, electronics, computing, etc... -a dark blue text is less important, you may ignore it -I try to draw your attention on the subject of the paragraph by writing it red
Warning : Crafting a pincab is time-consuming, really, once you have started, your 100% focused on that. How to make it more convenient? How to make it more beautiful? How to make it cheaper? How to organize these fu... cables so that the inner pincab is not like a huge spaghetti pot? (How to convince your wife to accept such a huge and expensive piece of furniture in your little flat?) All these questions will torture you even more that the crafting itself! And the crafting is longer than you can guess at first, it's like in a house, what takes you most of your time, it's the finishes. Assembling the cabinet and fixing the screens and the PC, it's only a matter of 2 or 3 hours, but adding toys (you'll see later what it is about) and buttons, it is a pain in the ass when it comes to connecting and organizing. So don't even think about showing your pincab to your mates at the aperitif you organized for next friday!
Existential question : Is it exactly as a real pinball? No! The pincab experts will tell you that there is a huge gap between them, the feeling has nothing to do with real pinball and it is quite true (even if we always try to get closer thanks to the toys), but it is still very fun and, above all, you have as many pinball as you want in a single cabinet!
Existential question : What does it cost? Money being the crux of everything, you got to know that it is quite expensive. Apart from some recycling geniuses, you'd better expect to spend at least 1200€/1300$/1000£/90000₽. And it will depend on a lot of hardware and software choices. We are going to focus on that on the first part of this text. Being reasonable (and apart from the time, food and beverage you and your friends will spend on it), if you buy everything, it may cost up to 2500€/2800$/2100£/190000₽.
In the beginning of this tuto, I will give you advice on what you must (should) buy, and there will be a lot of links throughout the text, so you may miss some equipment later on. Don't worry, when all the equipment explanation is over, I will recap in a comprehensive shopping list. It will be purple as this text
So let's start about the hardware choices.
I/ Screen choices :
1/ The major choice (because it will have implications on all the other choices) is called the playfield screen./div>
Playfield (PF) : In a real pinball, this is part of the cabinet where the ball rolls among a lot of mecanical elements and you try not to let it reach the bottom
Here is the main difference with a real flipper: in your pincab, you will replace it by a TV screen.
As it is a crucial choice, let's see precisely the selection criteria.
First of all, you got to know that a 16:9 screen is not exactly at the right proportion of a real pinball playfield, to be closed to reality (http://pinballmakers.com/wiki/index.php/Playfield_Sizes), we should choose a 2:1 (ie 18:9). We now see 21:9 screens that are way too long (and way too expensive), but nothing in between, so let's stick to our 16:9.
So let's see the criteria one by one (click on the title for details): [/color][/color]
When you watch your playfield, you are never sat on the couch right in front of the TV, so you really got to take care that your TV can be watched under great angle of incidence. If you don't, your 8-year-old girl, when she'll be playing, even on a stool, seh won't see anything her head just above the edge of the screen. Now, we see more and more TV screens that can be watched under an angle of 178°, it looks perfect, but you'd better go and check by yourself at the local vendor. OK OK, I know we all buy on internet , so the best place to check if a screen may comply with a pincab is the Pincab Passion forum, the WIP (https://www.pincabpassion.net/f45-pincab-des-membres) and this post from @grenouillorhttps://www.pincabpassion.net/t9941-info-liste-d-ecrans-adaptes-et-compatibles-pincab. Just a little hint: when the technology of the screen is IPS, it is often a good direction, but the info is not easy to find.
Your screen needs to refresh the image often enough for the action to be fluent. 60Hz is a minimum. Be careful: some screens may announce 60Hz or more but not on the maximum definition. For exemple, a 4K screen that refresh at 60Hz at 1080p and drop to 30Hz at 2160p and then you are in trouble to play. Once again, the info is often hard to find, but with new screens, I think it is quite rare to find low vertical retrace frequency. Once again, you may check the same links that were given before.
One of the first question we ask: what is the best screen size? It depends on you and what you expect from your pincab: A real pinball cabinet or an easy to move/store object. If you want to be close to the real pinball, a diagonal between 39 inches and 43 inches is the right choice, but for a storable object, you may craft a 24" pincab (or even smaller). But try not to go above 46" as playing with the arms outspread may not bring the "cool" feeling of the original pinball game.
This is an existential question : 4K or Full HD (less would be a shame) ? Clearly, the higher the better, 4K brings an outstanding visual quality, for example, you can read the instruction card in the lower part of the playfield: It is not the cas in full HD. 4K is outstanding and it is hard to come back to full HD after! But for someone who've never tried, full HD is nice and, above all, it is still very fun. So choose according your budget as 4K has a drawback: a 4K screen is more expensive and it needs a stronger PC!
This is not critical for the choice of the screen, but to be practical, if you don't need to push a button from a remote controller to switch on the TV each time you launch your pincab, it is much more comfortable. To explain what it is: the pincab should be launched easily with 1 electric power switch and 1 button to start the PC. With a computer monitor, you can control the state with the general power switch, as soon as the monitor is supplied with power, it is on, with a TV, often, when you switch on the electric power, the screen remains in standby mode until you push the button on the remote controller. But some TV have the option in the parameters (sometimes called "restore state") so that if you don't set it in standby mode, even if you switch off the power, it won't go in standby mode when power supply is back on. It is another option that it is hard to know if you'll have it with your TV. Anyway, you can use a delayed relay to trigger the TV on automatically, there is a french tuto on that here https://www.pincabpassion.net/t4173-tuto-carte-a-relais-temporise
To fix your screen to the cabinet, the easy way is to use the VESA mounting system: if available, there are 4 screw threads behind the monitor with a multiple of ten centimeters distance between them.
For the playfield, you should buy a HDMI <-> HDMI cable, as sound is transfered via HDMI cables and you may need that for the mecanical sounds of your pincab. If you chose a 4K TV, be careful to buy a high-end cable to be able to transfer the high quantity of data without any loss. For instance, I bought this cable https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B00Z9X0USK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
Warning : I will give a lot of links to webpages where I bought all the stuff needed. They may be available only in France so you'll need to find the equivalent in your country.
2/ Now that we know for the playfield screen, let's choose the backglass screen.
Backglass (BG) : In a pinball, the high part of the cabinet contains a rectangular Plexiglas with an image behind which some LEDs are flashing according to the action in the playfield, this is the backglass.
We use a screen for that too, as this image is different for every pinball game. For the definition, there is a difference of opinion, some says full HD is needed, I argue that this is only for a still image with flashes, you can easily buy a second hand 720p (or 1080i), it is perfect and you won't see the difference. You can find that for 50€/55$/40£/3500₽. It is easier if there is a VESA mounting on the BG too. And for the cable, you may choose between a HDMI <-> HDMI or HDMI <-> DVI ou DVI <-> DVI cable according to what is available on your screen and the video card.
Existential question : New or used? All along this tuto, I will talk about used stuff, because it is an easy way to save money on devices when it deserves to take the risk. We may think that everything may be used , but there is always a risk of being cheated. When you buy used devices, you'd better see them and check they work before buying, but if you buy through internet, be sure to check that you may be refunded in case of a failure.
So let's get back to our BG. There's no table of correspondence between the size of the PF and that of the BG, but looking at these pinball machines:
we can see that we want the upper part of the cabinet to be larger that the lower part. Using Pythagorean theorem and the fact that the screen ratio is 16:9, we can fill a table like this (with all values in inches):
If you want to compute these dimensions for different diagonal measurements, the 2 formulas are height = 9 x diagonal / 18.358 and width = 16 x diagonal / 18.358
So now, if your PF is 40 inches, as we turn it in portrait orientation, it's its height that set the PF width, i.e. 19.610 inches. Then our BG width should be greater than that, for example a 27-inch screen with its 23.533-inch width should fit.
3/ Now, let's see how to display the score. For that, real pinball machines have a DMD, and we have several choices to copy it.
DMD : For « Dot Matrix Display », this is the way to display the score, but several animations and even some mini-games. The different choices are here shown in increasing order of awesomeness: [/color][/color]
In this case, we display what should be on the DMD on the BG. The program managing the BG display can be set to that choice.
It means having a third screen (often 15, 17 or 19") to display the score.
2-screens + pin2DMD configuration:
This is the best choice, we use a real dot matrix display to clone the original machines display.
We can easily find old 15/17/19-inch screens as second hand for almost nothing or even for free at a waste collection sites (if the agent is kind enough to let you go with it). If the screen has a VESA mounting, it is better. For the Pin2DMD configuration, you'll have to buy a controller card, the dot matrix panels, it's about 80€/90$/60£/5900₽ if you are OK to spend some time on extra wiring and setting. But it deserves it: with a Pin2DMD, you reduce the size of the upper cabinet as it just fits to the BG and Pin2DMD size. In 3-screen config, there is just a layer of the DMD screen that is used, so the remainig of the screen is unused space that extend the height of the upper cabinet. And once again, the Pin2DMD is cloning the real pinball machine display, so...
If you go for a 3-screen config, don't forget to buy a cable to connect the DMD to the PC, a simple VGA <-> VGA cable should be enough.
You now have chosen the displays, there is just a last choice to make to perfectly determine what PC configuration you need: what pinball emulators/simulators you will install.
II/ Choosing the simulators
There are several simulators available for PC and they require different configurations. The 3 main ones are Visual Pinball, Future Pinball and Pinball FX. How do these emulators work? They are just pinball table editors where we can set bumpers, flippers, ramps, textures, sounds, lights, reactions when the player do something, EVEN WHEN HE/SHE NUDGES (crazy, no?). Anybody can make a table, it is just a tedious work, then the program make it work following more or less the laws of physics.
Dernière édition par zedrummer le Sam 5 Oct 2019 - 14:36, édité 4 fois
Messages : 2459 Département : 68
Sujet: Re: [TUTO] How to build a pincab Ven 5 Avr 2019 - 9:48
III/ Choosing your PC hardware
Now we can focus on this crucial question of the PC configuration requirement to run our pincab :
Windows 7 is now mandatory, but as it is getting old and to make your pincab "sustainable" you'd better bet on Windows 10. Today you may find genuine licence for less than 30€ (I won't convert the prices anymore, there are so many converters all around the web), for example on kinguin.net or g2deal.com, scdkey.com, etc... Retail versions are more reliable than OEM ones and for 2/3€ more you switch from home to pro version. You then need to download the ISO from Microsoft website here https://www.microsoft.com/fr-fr/software-download/windows10 and enter the code you obtained. It is mandatory to download the first updates after downloading (see 7/ on USB WIFI stick)
This is the heart of the system, the GPU or video card. This is the device not to save money on as far as it will ensure the smooth functioning of the pincab (OK, the CPU too, but to a lesser extent). I suggest you to consider the second-hand market for this device as for the same price you have a previous-generation card that is much more powerfull (GTX 1050 -> GTX 970 for example). For a low end PC, I mean for a full-HD PF without VPX, you can consider an old nVidia GTX 450 or AMD HD 6770. But if you want VPX, you'll need a GTX 960, a GTX 1050 or a R9 380X. With a GTX 970, you get a comfortable margin with what you can increase the video settings of VPX and cope with any further upgrades. If you want to go for a 4K PF, you'll need a GTX 1060 (6Go, as the 3Go seems to be too weak). Again, you may consider buying a second hand GTX 1070 as they are getting quite cheap (around 250€ at the time I write this tuto) to make it sustainable.
The CPU is gonna determine the proper functionning of the machine, to a lesser extent. For the low end pincab , a 1.6GHz CPU is required, for VPX in full HD, a 3.2GHz is better. The Intel Pentium G4XXX (or more recent) are of great value and they work perfectly! On a 4K PF, you'd better switch to a 4th generation i5 (i.e. i5 4XXX) or more recent to make it run smoothly.
You can take whatever motherboard you find, even the cheapest as far as it fits to your CPU, i.e. according to the socket (e.g. "1151" for i5 7500).
You need 4Go of whatever the RAM you find if you don't use VPX, 8Go is better if you use VPX. Just check in your motherboard details if you must buy DDR3 or DDR4. For Intel CPU, up to the 5th generation, it is DDR3, for the 7th generation on this is DDR4, for the 6th it depends on the motherboard.
Choosing between HDD or SSD for stocking data is crucial. What is the difference? Speed: even a low end SSD will be much faster than any HDD.
For your pincab (like for a MAMEcab), it is highly recommended to install Windows on a SSD for the machine to start quickly. Why? Often, you launch a 10-minute-maximum pincab session between cleaning the vomit of the dog on the carpet, setting the table, watching with your wife her preferred series and explaining Pythagora's theorem to these idiot kids, so if the pincab needs more that 2 minutes to get started... "Daaaaaaad?... Shit!" So having a SSD and starting to play within 20 seconds, it's priceless! To install Windows, a 128Go-less-than-20€ SSD is enough.
Existential question: "full SSD" or "SSD for Windows + HDD for the tables" ? Today you may find a 480Go SSD that should be way enough for everyhting you need on your pincab for less than 60€. It is unnecessary to install 1000 tables on your pincab, you will need to browse among them at the beginning to launch the one you want, so installing the 100 that really worth it (for you) is way better. How do we choose the table? With the "frontend", but wait, we'll see that later on). You may prefer a SSD only for Windows and a cheap HDD for the tables, but I would really recommend to spend some few more € as SSD are getting really cheap today.
For the SSD brands, you may bet on Samsung, Crucial, SanDisk (great after sale service from my own experience) or Kingston. For the HDD, if it only contains tables, you may take the cheapest you find.
WIFI USB stick:
This is not mandatory that your pincab is connected, but it is much more comfortable. Everything you install on it must be downloaded first, each time you want to install a new table, each time you want to update your system (Windows and emulators and frontend), if it's connected, you 'll do it from the cab itself. You don't need an antivirus nor a firewall, there's no hacking fear, your pincab doesn't hide any sensitive data, no "artistic" pictures of your wife nude, no backup of the emails with your mistress where you explain your sexual preferences, no tracks of your company restructuring plan and even no illegally downloaded programs. So, it's not worth hacking the PC, any hacker will stop soon. Buy a 7€ WIFI USB stick, it will be good enough for our use (if you are within the range of your box). And you need your Windows to get the initial updates after installing it, the ISO file available on Microsoft website is often outdated.
A keyboard and a mouse:
It may sound idiot, but we'd better think about the fact that we need wireless devices as the cab is a closed box and you'll frequently add a table or change the configuration, etc... A priori, from the outside, you have no USB port available (except if you decide to put a Neutrik plug on the cab. So you'd better go wireless for the mouse and the keyboard. I prefer the Logitech MKxxxx (mouse+keybord), so I have only 1 receiver to plug, but any brand should be OK.
So it is now over for the equipment that will determine the size of the pincab.
We now enter unknown territories for the newbies. Pinball simulators work as soon as you have them installed on your PC linked to screens. If you did it and put it in the cab, you already have a working pinball machine (well, you need to connect a gamepad or use the keyboard, as the buttons are still not there). But...
As a good pincaber, you want to get close to the real pinball machine, to have big sensations, to feel your pixel ball as if it was a genuine chrome steel one, to have the most realistic sound, to see natural and punchy lights, etc... to that end, you add toys!
We will only introduce the toys here, for links to commercial websites, we will fill our basket on the next chapter and yo install them even later on.
Warning: The first time we want to craft a pincab, we are in a hurry to make it run and sometime, we neglect to add toys as it is much more time to install and connect them. DON'T! You don't need to install them right now, but, as it is quite space consuming, you must spare space for them, so you'd better know before starting which toys you could add. A toyless pincab is not immersive like the 3D videogames we have today, to make it outstanding (and so to keep you addicted), you have to add toys!
Let's list these wonderful devices that will lead you to the pincab 2.0.
But first, let's digress as it will be useful:
You don't know what flippers and slingshots are? OK, let's get green to learn some vocabulary and speak the same language. For that, we need a picture :
(Not sure that the numbers are easy to read, but it's numbered from bottom to top)
1 are the instruction card, where you can learn what missions you should accomplish to earn many points and be the champion.
2 is the plunger to launch the ball
3 are the flippers controlled with the side buttons
4 are the slingshots, the two evil devices that make the game get crazy
5 are the targets
6 are the bumpers
7 are the lanes, they may be in plastic or metal.
So now let's get back to the point: the toys.
Contacters and solenoids:
They are the inevitable toys if you want to feel the bumps of the ball into the flippers, the slingshots and the bumpers. These are devices that produces a force feedback and a noise that imitates what it would be with a real ball. And unfortunately, they needs quite a lot of space and installation time. We try to put one contacter or Solenoid for one mecanical device. The software switches it on and immediately switches it off, just the time the device produces the sound and the force feedback.
2 configurations are available in the DirectOutput Framework (DOF, we will see that later on), either with 8 devices or with 10. You may mix contacters and solenoids, this is a personnal choice. Solenoids seems to have a brighter sound and contacters produces more force feedback... Both configuration expect 2 for the flippers, 2 for the slingshots. The remaining ones are for targets and bumpers. In the 8-device configuration, you should put 1 at the rear and the 3 others in line a little closer to the player. In the 10-device configuration, you have 2 lines of 3.
Here is the scheme for the 10-device configuration:
2/ The backboard with either LEDs or LED-strips brings brightness and a lot of punch
You can see a LED-bar in this video behind the reflection of the DMD in the PF glass. As shown here, it is between this glass and the PF at the rear.
2 configurations are available in the DOF: Either 3 RGB LEDs or 5 RGB LEDs. Often, people add the 2 strobes here on both sides of the LEDs.
A strobe is nothing but a device producing a fast and powerful white flash. A RGB LED is a LED composed of 3 tiny LEDs (1 Red, 1 Green and 1 Blue). Once you have mixed the coloured light of these little LEDs at different powers, you may generate the colours of the full specter (well not really, but...)
A strobe is either on or off. For the RGB LEDs, it is a little different: As we said before, to reproduce all the colours, the software must dim or brighten each R, G or B tiny LED separately. We use special sports of our KL25Z, LedWiz or Arduino boards (don't be afraid, this is well explained later) called PWM.
For those interested to know everything, let me explain what is a PWM port. The boards I listed just before have OUT-ports to command your toys and these ports have only HIGH (or ON) or LOW (or OFF) tensions, nothing in between. But for our RGB LEDs, we need to dim or brighten the LED components (R, G or B, so), so to do that the board cheats with the persistence of vision. On PWM ports, the tension is always blinking from HIGH to LOW at a very high and constant frequency so that is is undetectable for our eyes. Now if you want to brighten your LED, you make the HIGH state longer than the LOW state, so modulating the ratio "length of the HIGH state/length of the LOW state" for every blinking you can modulate the light. The persistence of vision is going to make a mean value of the light and you will feel as if the LEDs were at different powers.
There is no mandatory shopping list in the DIY world, original ideas are always welcome. But as a Padawan, you ask for guiding, that is why we are here.
For the strobes, some buy car strobes like
They need a 12V power supply.
But you can use simple white LEDs with a star base like
Thay need 5V power supply.
The star shaped LEDs for RGB are the most common
They need 5V power supply too.
For the LEDs with star base (strobe or RGB), we use to hide them below a plastic dome like
For some, LEDs are a little dazzling.
Now, if you want your pincab to be stunning, you'll opt for LED-strips. On the tutorial to install them, we see this video
As you see, you can stick them not only on the backboard, but on the side of the PF and even under the cabinet.
You will need either a TEENSY controller board
at around 40€ or a WEMOS D1 mini PRO controller board
which is cheaper, only 10€ In both case, you will need WS2811 or WS2812 compatible addressable LED-strips
Thay work on a 5V power supply.
The knocker is useful for a very special situation but players of real pinball machines can not miss them. This device notify with a slam that you obtained a free game reaching a high score or triggering a special (Copyright @grozby88 ). It looks like this
It is really easy to install, the only good reason not to get one is the price. As the contacters and solenoids, they are switched on and immediately switched off. They work on a 24V or 48V power supply, but even the 48V seem to sound well with a 24V power supply.
The shaker creates a vibration. There are different ways to craft one, for example getting this device from a XBOX gamepad.
The beacon is a rotating emergency light that you often put on top of the cabinet. I personnaly like the police-type beacons
It needs a 12V power supply, as it is designed to be used in a car.
Let's have another explaination for the following:
In a real pinball machine, there are sounds and musics from the speakers and sounds from the cabinet itself when the ball rolls and bumps into the different elements. Our recent simulators can separate these sounds, once again to get closer to the real machine, in this case, we'll have speakers in the top cabinet for music and speakers in the playfield cabinet for the mecanical sounds.
Surround Sound Feedback:
The SSF is half way from a toy and a PC device.
With it, you can increase realism as it spacializes the mecanical sounds in the lower cabinet (with a depth effect). We use special devices that are not speakers: exciters. They need a surface as a sounding board to be stick on to produce sound and it brings more than that with vibrations in the cabinet. Here is what it looks like
The plunger is used to launch the ball, it may be replaced with a button, it is optionnal.
We use a real plunger and some electronics behind to detect the movement.
This is a personnal idea: some LEDs blinking according to the sound from the music scpeakers. If you put these LEDs behind a cover that have an stylish-shaped hole to let the sound out, it is just getting elegant. You can find a tuto about that here https://www.pincabpassion.net/t10010-tuto-audio-leds with a video.
There are a lot of other toys, any electronic device may be driven with DOF.
Now, let's try to understand how electronics work to fill our shopping list accordingly.
Dernière édition par zedrummer le Mer 3 Juil 2019 - 20:01, édité 1 fois
Messages : 2459 Département : 68
Sujet: Re: [TUTO] How to build a pincab Mar 16 Avr 2019 - 17:52
V/ Basics of electricity in pincabs and filling the shoping basket accordingly
Let's list here the mandatory equipment to buy. We won't deal with carpentry, as it needs you to have made sketches of the cabinet and so to already have your playfield, backglass and DMD screens.
Important warning:The ESD (for « Electro Static Discharge ») is not something to be taken lightly when it comes to practicing electricity, all the more if you are going to handle electronic boards like KL25Z, TEENSY, WEMOS, STM32, electronic components like resistors, transistors, and diodes, or PC components like graphics card, memory modules, motherboard, SSD and HDD.
Every friction between your clothes and any other fabric moves electrons. These electrons may create an electric charge on your body that can be instantly transfered to the next thing you touch. If it happens with your mother-in-law, you may argue that there is too much (electric) tension between you and her and you prefer not to see her again, but if it happens with one of the electronic components listed before, it may make it faulty (unfortunately, it doesn't work with your mother-in-law), it is fairly regular. When you feel the electric shock, this high voltage, several thousand volts (but with a very low current, reason why it is not a big pain).
It happens mainly when the weather is dry (so on winter) and with synthetic fabric (it is unlikely to happen with cotton and wool).
Don't be paranoid, you don't get charged instantly, but you really need to get discharged every time you handle an electronic component. This is easy: either touch the ground connector of an electric plug (the male connector in the EU plug as shown in the next picure) or metal parts of a radiator connected to central heating.
The easiest way is to have an anti static wrist strap always connected to a ground connector like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/R-glable-Anti-Statique-Bracelet-lectrostatique-ESD-D-charge-C-ble-R-utilisable-Bracelet-Dragonne-Avec/32920716838.html, but it is quite uncomfortable.
Once again, don't get paranoid, but be aware of this common problem.
1/ The mandatory tools
If you start in electricity, you need to get equipped a little bit and, unfortunately, it is a little expensive.
A soldering iron or, better, a soldering station:
You will solder and you'd better get used to do it before starting your pincab. If you don't, your welding may be faulty, not maintaining a proper connection between the 2 elements to solder. This is a problem not really easy to detect, so you'd better be sure of what you do. You may leave the iron tip too long on the component and then make it burnt. There are several tutos on youtube on how to do it. Don't forget the tinning as it may save you a lot of time.
A basic soldering iron is enough, but honestly, a little soldering station, it is like night and day. And it is not that expensive, I bought for less than 20€ the Yihua 936 here https://hobbyking.com/en_us/soldering-station-with-adjustable-heat-range-us-warehouse.html and it is perfect (you can see some reviews on internet). What is the difference between an iron and a station? You may adjust the temperature (useful according the solder you use) and, ABOVE ALL, the machine reach the target temperature much faster. It is useful if you switch off your station between each soldering to avoid consuming power.
Just take the one you find at your local retailer, just don't get short of that.
A desoldering pump or braid:
You will need to desolder at one point and you have to choose between them (I personnaly have both, even if I prefer the pump). You can look on youtube to see the difference. You need to train to do it easily.
Heat shrink tubes:
This is used to protect wires electrically where they are cut and soldered from any other electric component that it shouldn't be connected to. Buy a kit like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/328Pcs-Assorted-Heat-Shrink-Tubing-Car-Electrical-Cable-Tube-kits-Wrap-Sleeve-8-Sizes-Mixed-Color/32789316380.html. To shrink them, just use a lighter, it is fairly easy.
[OPTIONAL] A third hand:
To handle the 2 components you need to solder, you regret not to be a Hinduism god with its 6 hands! The solution... or not... is to buy a third hand like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Third-Hand-Soldering-Iron-Stand-Helping-Clamp-Vise-Clip-Tool-Magnifying-Glass-wholesale/32579115195.html, but don't expect it to be like magic!
Little electrician pliers:
You will use it often, when you work in a narrow space, you can't be accurate with your big fingers. This kind of plier is OK https://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-Quality-6-inch-Electronic-Pliers-Long-Nose-Pliers-Needle-Nose-Pliers-with-Spring-Pointed-Pliers/32773895926.html, there are ESD tweezers like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/6-Models-Flexsteel-ESD-Tweezers-Non-magnetic-Forceps-Anti-static-Fine-Curved-Tip-Black-Maintenance-Tools/32818083097.html.
Any multimeter you find will be OK, but you need one! You will use it often to test your solderings and connections between 2 points of the circuit. To this end, I suggest you to have one with a buzzer (it beeps when the 2 tips of the multimeter are connected to 2 points of a close circuit). This option is available even in cheap models like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/DT832-Num-rique-Multim-tre-AC-DC-Voltm-tre-Amp-rem-tre-Ohm-Auto-Polarit-Testeur/32917953291.html.
[OPTIONAL] A variable DC power supply:
This is optional and quite expensive (at least 45€), but it saves you a lot of time. I wouldn't recommend that to anyone who will never do electricity after his pincab, but for the others... It is a power supply that can provide a range of different voltages and currents so you only need one to test everything you will do. A range between 0 and 30V and between 0 and 5A should be OK like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Hot-KPS303D-Adjustable-High-precision-double-LED-display-switch-DC-Power-Supply-protection-function30V3A-110V-230V/32654678193.html. Warning: I killed 1 or 2 LEDs with this device, because I switched it on at a too high voltage. The blue component of a RGB LED which expects 3.4V and get 12V sees red. Unluckily, we wanted blue and it will display black forever.
[OPTIONAL]A glue gun:
You don't have a glue gun? How can it be? It is like magic, it sticks/fixes anything and it insulates. OK, it doesn't look clean so some may use it as a last resort. But you can use it to stick your cables to the cabinet to control where they pass. Buy the one you found at your local retailer and don't forget to buy the glue sticks needed with it.
A drill and [OPTIONAL] an electric screwdriver:
The drill is mandatory, each hole for a screw must be pre-drilled, but you will use it with large bit for cable holes or even with a hole saw for your speakers. If you can adjust the speed, you may use it as a screwdriver. Wireless is better, but not obligatory. Having both a drill and a screwdriver is comfortable as you will certainly pre-drill and screw a lot of screws in a row.
A flat-head one and a cross-head one for terminal blocks, etc...
You'll need a lot, to assemble the furniture, to fix the elements (PC, electronic boards, ...) to the cabinet, etc... To buy a screw, you will need 2 values, the diameter (a) and the length under the head (b). It will be written this way on the boxes: "5x25" where 5 is a and 25 is b.
Even if you expect to use stickers on the cabinet, some faces won't be covered, so you'll need to paint them. I would recommend to paint all your wood panels: 1/ under the sticker, it will fill the wood pores so that the sticker will have a better contact surface. 2/ inside the cabinet, some surfaces may be visible from the outside (as the PF may not cover the whole hole), it is better to paint with a matt black paint.
2/ General elements for the pincab
Those are the elements needed but not linked to any special device (PC, toys, screens). Let's take them in a logical order from the wall plug to the devices.
A wall plug to C13 cable and an external C14 plug:
C13/C14 are just official names for the main connectors you use for computers , screens, etc... C13 is the female plug and C14 the male. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/CEI_60320 So the wall plug to C13 cable is (for EU):
Go to any waste/recycling site and get one there, but please DON'T BUY ONE, there are tons of them thrown away every day, it is a nonsense to waste 10€ for that. And while you are there, take some, you'll need them for your power supplies.
For the external C14 plug, you have no choice but to buy one, for example https://www.cdiscount.com/bricolage/electricite/10a-250v-3-pin-iec320-c14-ac-prise-d-alimentation/f-16614-auc7664350760873.html, you need one with a switch, this is how you are going to switch off/on every electronic device in the pincab. Wait before ordering, read the b/ first !!!
Any kind of pushbutton switch:
Let's explain how the pincab works concerning the power supply. There are numerous devices connected to the main power (~230V) we will list them juste after. Most of them will switch on as soon as you will activate the switch on the C14 external plug. But at least the PC should need you to puish the power button to start. We are going to connect any kind of push button to the power switch connector. There is another device that may need to be manually switched on: the PF TV. PC monitors automatically switch on when they get power supply, but generally for a TV, you need to use the remote controller and for our pincab, that's uncomfortable. Some TV have the "restore state" option in their settings and this is a great value in our case: when you switch on the power supply to the pincab, the TV keep the state it had before switching off.
For this button, you may buy any momentary push button like https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/Red-Universal-Car-Illuminated-Push-Button-Engine-Start-Starter-Switch-Racing-Voltage-12V-DC-Fits-in/32811411510.html or https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/1-pc-M-tal-tanche-Auto-verrouillage-12mm-LED-On-Off-Bouton-Poussoir-12-v-4PIN/32844721391.html. But for the little remark at the end of the a/, there is a way to get a 2-in-1 switch-and-button with https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/Professionnel-Universel-12-v-Commutateur-D-allumage-Panneau-De-Voiture-D-marrage-Du-Moteur-Bouton-Poussoir/32922134635.html. In this panel, the switch is for 12V so you need to change it (it is really easy to change, just a nut to unscrew) for a 230V/15A one like https://m.reichelt.com/fr/fr/interrupteur-levier-s-rie-3500-2-x-marche-arr-t-hs-3541-02-p105656.html (it is a little expensive but I tried a AliExpress one that was dead after 2 switches). So do as you like, buy a C14+switch and a momentary button or buy a C14 and a panel like this one with switch+button. More: In the panel I give you as an example, there is also a LED that can be directly connected to the front panel connector "Power LED" so that you may monitor the PC state to avoid to switch off the pincab before the PC is off.
A good multiple socket:
In your pincab, you will connect up to 3 screens, 1 PC, up to 2 computer speakers kits, up to 3 switch-mode power supplies (5V, 12V and perhaps 24V). In short, up to 8 or 9 devices may need 230V power supply. You'd better plan larger, so a 8-socket block 15A is a good start, I bought this model https://www.amazon.fr/Brennenstuhl-1153344318-Super-Solid-H05VV-F-parasurtenseur/dp/B00471BDOK/ , the 2 holes where you can put screws help to fix it to the cabinet.
Cables & wires:
You'll need that, a lot! The thickness is chosen according the current that goes through it? As you will wire mainly your toys with electronic boards, you can choose between 0.5mm² and 0.75mm² sections (or in american wire gauge between AWG24 and AWG21. It's like sugars in the box, the higher the number the smaller the section. Americans are weird!)
And you need colors. Generally, you take black for the ground and red or white for +5V/12V/24V. As you will perhaps have to wire RGB LEDs, it may be wise to keep red for the red components. It's a matter of taste. For the length, you'll need at least 10m like https://www.ebay.fr/itm/0-33-m-10M-FLEXIBLE-GALON-0-50mm-Fil-toronne-cable-toron-en-cuivre/382488590331, but even 50m may be needed for the black and the colour used for the + https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/50-M-1-LOT-18AWG-20AWG-22AWG-24AWG-26AWG-UL1007-multicolor-Environnement-lectronique-Fil-c-ble/32837020356.html. You'll need male<->female Dupont cables like https://www.amazon.fr/Ganvol-Flexible-Breadboard-Raspberry-Ordinateur/dp/B01LVVIOUO/ref=sr_1_8 , female <-> female like https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B01GI3X1XK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00 and/or male <-> male like https://www.amazon.fr/Aihasd-Dupont-Cavalier-Arduino-Breadboard/dp/B071FZTMW9/ref=sr_1_9 according the way you will connect toys to the boards. These cables are always very short, so you may expect to extend them with soldered cable (solders protected with heat shrink tubes). DON'T TAKE DUPONT PINS TO CRIMP! It sucks.
To secure your circuits. You first have to buy fuse holders, this kind https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10pcs-5-20mm-glass-fuse-transparent-holder-with-transparent-cover-fuse-blocks-5X20mm-insurance-header-Free/32693969111.html. Take enough as you will protect each line going to a toy. Then you'll need fast-blow fuses according the current that goes through them. According this message https://www.pincabpassion.net/t1459-tuto-carte-de-protection-ledwiz, we will prefer reliable fuses from Europe like http://m.ebay.fr/itm/251857448100?nav=SEARCH&varId=550755603098.
For the next sections, you will have choices according your taste.
The way you connect electronic (or interface) boards to the toys:
We are going to use microcontroller boards to translate PC orders to electrical impulses understood by the toys. That's the way the boards are generally delivered:
This is a KL25Z. The PC communicate to this board via the mini USB port to the right and the little holes at the top and bottom are the ports, ie the place where you are going to connect the cables to the toys. There are certainly other ways, but the 3 main ways I see are:
either solder the wire to the port, this is not a good idea as you it will be difficult to modify if you need it later on (you will need to unsolder)
either, the most common way, solder male <-> female Dupont connectors like https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/connecteurs-254mm-standard/connecteur-barrette-droit-femelle-male-2x20-pins-55mm-pas-254mm-p-12046.html , you cut it at the right size (losing a row) and you use male<->female/male Dupont cables.
either, the way I did it as I find that Dupont cables don't stay in their slot, I use 2.54mm terminal blocks to solder (be carefull not to buy more common 5mm blocks) like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2-54mm-PCB-Vis-Bornier-0-1-PCB-Fil-Terminal-Connecteur-5-p-6-p-7/32897866427.html (pay attention to the length as it seems not easy to cut). Then you block the wire with the screw and it doesn't move anymore. The counterpart is that you will only use one of the 2 rows of ports. According the number of ports you need, it may increase the number of boards needed.
Ways to organize cables:
You are going to organize the cables, if you don't, the inside of the cabinet will be a big mess that, then, will be the source for malfunctions and will make them really hard to be traced and fixed. The whole system is also more fragile when you operate in the pincab. There are several methods too. Try to gather the cables together and make them follow the cabinet in straight lines. Any way to do that is good: nylon cable ties like https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=SB_20190415095641&SearchText=nylon+cable+ties, wire duct like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/PVC-Wire-Duct-100-80mm/32828927224.html, spiral wrapping tubes like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/6mm-Outside-Dia-17M-PE-Sheath-Tube-Spiral-Range-Cache-Cable-Cord-Wire-Organizer-PC-TV/32880080046.html... And don't hesitate to draw your glue gun!
Ways to control the toys:
We now start to do electronics, we saw in the f/ how electronic boards are functioning. In my chapter initial diagram, there is something missing: interface boards like KL25Z are not connected directly to the toys as they can not supply the current or voltage needed by our toys. In short, they are here to command, not to provide power supply, that's the reason why we have external power supply. So the question is "how to control with our interface board when we want to supply power to the toy?". We need an electrical component that opens/closes a circuit according a low current sent by the interface board. If we would draw a diagram with the mystery component in the middle it would look like this:
We have 2 different components to perform that: electromagnetic relay and transistor. The first one is mecanical: according the message sent inbound, the relay activate/deactivate an electromagnet that closes/opens a real switch. The second one is chemical: according the message sent inbound, the transistor let the electrons shift their position with their neighbours and then creating a current through it. In our case, our choice go mainly to certain kind of transistors: MOSFET and arrays of Darlington transistors called ULN2003 (array of 7) or ULN2803 (array of . The relays have 3 disadvantages: they produce an audible "tick" every time they are activated, and as it is mecanical, it wears as time goes by and it is not fast enough to reproduce a PWM signal so never use relays for RGB LEDs (and I wouldn't use them with strobes neither).
Anyway, relays work well for the contacters, solenoïd and knocker as they have a sound much louder. Choose 4 or 8 relays modules with SRD-05VDC-SL-C relays like https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HCFJC0Y, one advantage of the relays modules is that you can have different voltage for each relay (that is not possible for multiple MOSFET modules).
The multiple MOSFET modules work for everything but for our RGB LEDs that need a lot of transistors (3 for each LED) we will prefer the ULN2x08. For the MOSFET, you will buy the modules with 1, 2, 4 or 8 IRF540 transistor like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Four-Channel-4-Channel-Way-Route-MOSFET-Button-IRF540-V4-0-MOSFET-Switch-Module-For-Arduino/32859443480.html and any kind of ULN2x03 like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10-pcs-ULN2803APG-ULN2803-ULN2803A-ULN2803AP-DIP-18-ULN2803AN-Darlington-Transistors-new-original/32881616806.html. There are 2 configurations expected for RGB LEDs: 3 LEDs or 5 LEDs. You are going to add 2 (or more, but the standard configuration is with 2) white LEDs for the strobes (if you use LEDs). As you need 3 transistors for each RGB and 1 for the strobes, you'll need 9+2 transistors for 3 RGB LEDs and 2 strobes, so 2 ULN2003 or 2 ULN2803, and 15+2 transistors for 5 RGB LEDs and 2 white LEDs, so 3 ULN2003 or 3 ULN2803 (only 2 ULN2803 without white LEDs). Don't forget to buy 1 DIP16 socket for each ULN2003 and 1 DIP18 socket for each ULN2803. You may choose them for example here: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10PCS-IC-Sockets-DIP6-DIP8-DIP14-DIP16-DIP18-DIP20-DIP28-DIP40-pins-Connector-DIP-Socket-6/32866573215.html And these sockets will be soldered on prototype boards. I prefer stripboards that you cut to the right size like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5-pcs-6-5x14-5-cm-Stripboard-Veroboard-Prototype-de-Circuit-Imprim-Non-PCB-Platine-Unique/32851727414.html. The interest is to have adjacent holes connected in rows, it makes it easier in our case.
Ways to supply power to the toys:
A toy always need 5V, 12V or 24V power supply. Here are some different ways to do that:
Easily, you can buy another PC power supply, with 350/400W you should be OK to power all the toys. You got to know that on SATA plugs, you have pins that supply 12V, 5V and 3.3V. You have the pin configuration here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#Standard_connector. In case you decided to go for a 2 screens+Pin2DMD configuration, be sure to check the "Caution 2" in the next section.
You can buy switch-mode power supplies, one for each voltage. It takes some space, but if one fails, the others continue to work. You have for example https://www.aliexpress.com/item/DC12V-13-8-v-15-v-18-v-24-v-27-v-28-v-30-v/32905696401.html. You will need at least a 5V/20A and a 12V/20A, but you can add a 24V/10A for the knocker and the contacters (except if you prefer a step up power module, see just after). Caution: These supplies are sold without a cable, that's the reason why I told you in the V/2/a/ to find more than one wall plug to C13 cables. Caution 2: If you decided to have a 2 screens+pin2DMD configuration, you will need 5V extra power for the DMD. I suggest to have a specific (I mean a second) 5V power supply for that as you will need to adjust the voltage a bit (around 4.2V). To that end, for the Pin2DMD be sure to check that the power supply has a screw to adjust its tension (often named "V ADJ") as you can see here:
The 24V for the contacters and the knocker may be obtained from the 12V power supply if you buy a step up power module like https://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-DC-Boost-Step-up-Converter-5-32V-to-5V-55V-9V-12V-24V-48V-Power-Supply-Module/191992009687
Sujet: Re: [TUTO] How to build a pincab Jeu 18 Avr 2019 - 11:32
VI/ The pincab specific components
Let's have a general view of how the pincab works before describing element by element.
Warning: You will fill your basket every time there is a new element described, be careful to read everything about your configuration. If you see 3 pink stars between quotation marks !***!, there is something to buy in the paragraph.
Here is a general diagram of your pincab:
Caption of the wires:
Black wire -> vidéo cable (HDMI, VGA, DVI)
Green wire -> USB cable
Red wire -> electrical wiring
Purple rectangles are electronic interface boards, either KL25Z or LedWiz or Arduino for the toys and buttons, and the STM32 for the Pin2DMD.
1/ Software general operation
Let's see what software is operating along the gaming experience of the pincab.
a/ The frontend You've seen this word before, now let's see what it is. This software is launched at Windows startup as the frontend is like the waiter in the restaurant, it is the software that shows you the menu with all the tables available and it will come back everytime you have finished with one table and want to switch to another one. Once it is launched, we use the left and right flipper buttons to scroll through the tables and choose the one you want then use the "Start" button to launch the emulator with the right table. If you then use the "Exit" button, you'll come back to the frontend to choose another table.
Here are the 3 main pincab specific frontend (there are others for arcade machines):
This is the historical frontend, a lot of people are still using it as it is easy to install (regardless of the problem with the configuration of the screens). Here is what it looks like:
Recently available, it is founded on PinballX (if it is installed with PinballX, it may adapt its configuration with the one of PinballX) and it brings some new ideas. It seems easier to setup and lighter, so it starts faster. It is so new that I didn't find any video on youtube.
Quite recent too, it gives a lot of new elements and is the most modular, but you'll need to spend more time to set it up. You can see here that you can even use it with MAME to launch arcade games:
If you don't want to spend too much time to set the frontend up, try 1 of the 2 firsts, if you want to have more freedom for configuration, don't hesistate, take Pinup Popper!
b/ The pinball simulator
Once you have choose your table and push the "Start" button the simulator is run (so one of Visual Pinball 9/10, Pinball FX2/3, Pinball Arcade or Future Pinball) according the table you chose. Each table is made for 1 simulator, you set it in the frontend. Even worse, VPX(=VP10) can't run tables for VP9, if you want tables only available for VP9, you'll have to install it too (we'll see later that there are package to install every version at once).
So what happens between the PC, the screens and the toys once playing:
PC to the screens:
With a recent computer, every motherboard has its VGA plug (even HDMI/DVI sometimes) at the back. When you got it, this gives access to the onboard video adapter which is always far less powerful than the dedicated graphic card. For a 3-screens configuration, one of these motherboard plugs will be used for the DMD as it doesn't need extreme performance. On this picture:
the motherboard has a VGA port and a DVI port. The old 15, 17 or 19 inch screens we use for the DMD will be connected to the VGA port.
With the PF and the BG, however, you will always need a high performance dedicated graphic card (AMD or NVidia).
PC to Pin2DMD:
If you choose a 2-screens+Pin2DMD configuration (do that, really, you won't regret it!), you won't need to connect a screen to the motherboard, but you will need something able to convert the signal of the PC into electronical impulses understandable by the LED matrices. We will use a STM32 (model "STM32F4xxx"). For the first time, you may now be unfaithful to my tuto by learning the basics on installing a Pin2DMD with the page of the creator of the Pin2DMD, Lucky1, here https://pin2dmd.com/. The original link on Pincab Passion (in french) is the tuto of @Antho.Breizh here https://www.pincabpassion.net/t4630-tuto-installer-un-dmd-rgb-ou-grb-sur-votre-pincab-mise-a-jour-v2. You don't need to read the full explanations, for the moment, just continue filling your basket with the hardware needed. For a cheap Pin2DMD, take 2 matrices from AliExpress like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/160-80mm-64-32pixels-1-16-Scan-Indoor-SMD2121-3in1-RGB-full-color-P2-5-LED/32707934982.html and a 5A or 10A 5V power supply WITH A SCREW TO ADJST THE VOLTAGE found on AliExpress too. Take the cheapest STM32F4xxx Discovery you find. Warning: it is not said in the tuto, but the STM32 needs a USB<->mini USB cable that is not often sold with the card With our mobile phones, we have lots of USB<->micro USB at home, but no mini-USB, so buy this cable, here is what the mini-USB plug looks like
PC to toys:
For the same reason as just before, the PC needs interface boards to convert its signal into electronical impulses understandable by the toys. There are mainly 3 choices: - A LedWiz is the historical board used in our pincabs, it is designed for our needs with 32 outbound ports, each able to produce a PWM signal. You can buy it here https://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=239 - An Arduino 2560 or a clone with the code to act as a LedWiz. It has 32 outbound ports with PWM ability. This one is perfect https://www.ebay.fr/itm/SainSmart-Arduino-Compatible-Mega-2560-R3-ATMEGA2560-ATMEGA-16U2/301046653195 - A KL25Z has 53 ports, but some of them are inbound ports (for the buttons) and only 10 of the outbound ports are PWM-able (so, as said before, for 5 RGB LEDs, you'll need 2 of them). Why you heard a lot about this board before is because it presents a number of benefits: it has inbound ports for the button (the 2 others don't, so we'll need an extra device for the buttons, see just after). More, KL25Z has an integrated accelerator that will be used to detect when you nudge the cabinet and make the ball react accordingly (crazy, no?). Take any KL25Z you found, even the cheapest, but you've got to know that there are updates to perform with it and sometimes, it is easier to buy one with all the updates done. Some sell this card with Dupont connectors like https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-2-54mm-2X20-40Pin-Double-Row-Female-Straight-Header-Pitch-Socket-Pin-Strip-/171314396007 already soldered, so it makes it easier. You can have 2 different boards in the same pincab, it's up to you.
For each board you buy, you will have to check that you have the USB cable needed sold with it, if not, you'll have to buy one. For the 6 different KL25Z I bought (different retailers), only 2 of them had a cable in the box. The KL25Z needs, like for the STM32, a USB<->mini-USB cable, not the common USB<->micro-USB.
Finally, you've got to know that the pinball emulators communicate to the toys via the DOF (for DirectOutput Framework), you can get some basic information via the official site here https://directoutput.github.io/DirectOutput/index.html.
I would strongly recommend that you buy 1 or 2 KL25Z (even if you don't have the need of 2, because you have enough ports with 1, having 2 may help to keep your cabinet tidy). Then you don't need extra board for the nudge and the buttons.
Just to be accurate on the difference between an inboud and an outbound port: An inbound port is a port where the board is checking the value (=voltage) sent by the device connected, an outbound port is a port where the board is sending a value (=voltage) to another device. So, inbound, the board is checking if the button is pushed or not, outbound, the board is sending commands to the relay or transistor to control the toy.
Buttons to PC:
As seen before, to use buttons, the PC needs a board that owns inbound ports. So for the KL25Z, no problem, there are some, but for the LedWiz or the Arduino (the Arduino may be configured to have inbound ports), you'll need an extra board. There are several solutions, here are 2 broadly used: - the hacking of a USB keyboard, here is a video on how to do that
- Or buy a "zero delay USB encoder" like https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR3.TRC1.A0.H0.Xzero+delay+usb+encoder.TRS1&_nkw=zero+delay+usb+encoder&_sacat=0 that will be recognized as a gamepad with buttons by the PC. You will test these buttons following the procedure here tu pourras d'ailleurs tester tes boutons une fois connectés en suivant la procédure décrite ici https://www.howtogeek.com/241421/how-to-calibrate-your-gaming-controller-in-windows-10/. With the "Test" tab at the top, you may see if the buttons are detected: if when you push them a red circle doesn't light up, there is a problem:
PC to audio:
As we've seen before, in Visual Pinball, you may separate the original voices and musique from the cabinet mecanical sound. The first time I heard that, I was amazed. The sound of the ball in a metalic ramp from the lower cabinet, it is so realistic! Do it, if you use Virtual Pinball, separate the sounds, it deserves it. For the music or for the mecanical sounds, you may take: - an audio kit for PC with (2.0) or without (2.1) subwoofer. Choose it according your taste and you budget. - a cheap car amplifier (the Lepy brand is available on AliExpress for nothing like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Amplifiers-Lepy-Lepai-LP-2024A-20W-Hi-Fi-AMP-Class-T-Digital-Stereo-Amplifier-Audio-Dac/32804040639.html) and speakers to go with it. Take 8Ohm speakers (not 4Ohm) and 20W is more than enough, like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2-Pcs-Ultra-Haute-Performance-3-pouces-haut-parleur-m-dium-8ohm-20-W-armure-pots/32888780822.html. Even if you don't expect to install SSF on your pincab, you should prefer exciters to speakers (no hole to dig in the lower cabinet and the cabinet vibrating with the ball), in this case, I strongly suggest the excellent ElecAudio EXC-70. As you are going to get the sound from your PC, you should buy a male Jack<->male RCA cable like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/OOTDTY-3-5mm-Audio-Jack-2-RCA-Adaptateur-C-ble-Cordon-5ft/32841276587.html.
You will change the volume often according the activity and the hour at home, so you'll need to have easy access to the volume control either putting the amplifiers just behind the front door or having a wired or wireless remote controller placed, for example, below the cabinet.
For the mecanical sounds, as we've seen, you may add a depth effect via the SSF, have a look on the webpage in vpforums.com here https://vpinball.com/forums/topic/welcome-to-the-new-ssf-surround-sound-feedback-forum-2/
2/ Buying the toys
Let's close the chapter with the optional but so necessary toys! Here are some links, but you may take any other device you find:
For the LedBar: - star-shaped RGB LEDs on Ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-100pcs-x-3W-RGB-Color-6pin-LED-Chip-LED-Light-Lamp-Part-With-20mm-Star-Base/221836171927 - des car LED strobes https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1-Pair-Universal-Car-22-Led-Flashing-Strobe-Lights-Free-Shipping/1963770871.html or 2 white LEDs https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-pcs-New-1W-White-High-Power-Led-Lamp-with-20mm-Star-PCB-1-Watt-US-seller/252277934214
For the contacters, you need 24VDC ones, there is a lot of them , but the Siemens 3RTxxxx and 3RHxxxx should do, anyway, before buying, you should ask on the forum, there are certainly cheaper brands. They are available on Ebay and in the ads of this forum.
For the solenoids, it is not easy to find links, you should see the WIPs (in French) in this forum.
For the knocker too, it is not easy to say this one is OK and this one no. A priori, they should be used with 48V but even in 24V, they seem to knock loudly enough. @peskopat gives us a video of his Williams knocker with 24V here
You can find a bunch of them on Ebay with "Knocker Bally" for example (the one I took for my cab) https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=knocker+bally (often the shipping is the same price as the object itself).
For the beacons, just find one or two car beacons (12V) that you like. I loved the police-like ones here https://www.ltt-versand.de/en/product_info.php?language=en&products_id=41995 for the blue and https://www.ltt-versand.de/en/product_info.php?language=en&products_id=41997 for the red. Caution, the plastic cover is quite fragile!
You should have 2 for each side, 1 for the flipper and 1 for the magnasave or the volume.
In front , you need 1 "Credit" to add money, 1 "Start" to laucnh the table from the frontend and launch the game in the emulator, 1 "Pause" to... pause (optional and I find it really useless), 1 "Exit" to come back to the frontend and 1 "Launch" to launch the ball if you don't have a ball launcher. I strongly recommend to add a "Fire" button used in tables like "AC/DC" and others when you have to launch the ball to targets during a game.
To choose which buttons to buy, you got to know how it works: buttons are just momentary switches so the way buttons are acting on the circuit is the same for all. The difference is on the mecanical device that ensure the contact when you push the button or release it. Either the simple microswitches with many more choice but a click when you push or silent leafswitches with less choice. It is strongly recommended to use leafswitches for the flippers. You may do as you wish for the other buttons. If you take microswitch buttons, don't forget to check that they are sold with it, if not, you'll have to buy them. @nussss shows you how to create your own leafswitch to replace the microswitch of any button here https://www.pincabpassion.net/t8101-tuto-fabriquez-vos-propres-contacts-a-lamelles.
There are different sizes for the buttons, I love to have big buttons for the "Credit" and the "Launcher" (My "Fire" is a big one, too). Sometimes size matters... There are 6cm ones here https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1-PCS-60MM-LED-Light-Lamp-Big-Round-Arcade-Video-Game-Player-Push-Button-Switch-Promotion/32811788126.html. To put captions in them, just print on transparent paper and disassemble the button. For the other buttons, take generic 32mm ones. You also have the choice of buttons with or without integrated LED. These LEDs are always in 12V, some may be controlled by the DOF to blink when they are useful.
4/ The stickers
A raw pinball cabinet, this is much less cool, with stickers, you create a story around your pincab. Generally, you put a sticker on each side of the upper cabinet, on each side of the lower cabinet and on the front face of this lower cabinet (where the door is).
If, like me, you have no artistic skill, you will have to find a third party and as the surface of the cabinet is so big, you'll need high resolution images. Stuzza on vpforums.org is known to share some of his creations for free on this page https://www.vpforums.org/index.php?showtopic=26497 (The high def images are at the end of the post). He can, against payment, do something personal. On Pincab Passion, we have artists too: @benoit33, @lavache599 and @magnum1976 (and certainly others).
There are devices that can get hot in the cabinet, so you need to ventilate with fans, often with PC fans (12V). For the upper cabinet, only 1 or 2 fans at the top to extract hot air should be enough. For the playfield cabinet, you'll need more than that, mainly for the PC. Ideally, they should be placed at opposite sides of the cabinet. 2 12cm (or more) fans below near the front that suck cool air inside and 2 others at the back on top to blow out hot air should be perfect.This kind of fan https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Computer-Case-Cooler-12V-12CM-120MM-PC-CPU-Cooling-Cooler-Fan/32714745978.html should do. If you have a PC power supply for the toys, you can directly connect them to a MOLEX, if not, cut the plug and connect the black wire to the ground and the red to a 12V supply. Here is how I set my fans on the first pincab I made:
The red arrows show the sucking-cool-air fans and the green the blowing-hot-air ones. To decide if the same fan suck in or blow out, just fix it the reverse face out. There are some fans with coloured LED built in like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Double-Head-Large-3P-4Pin-Wired-120x120x25mm-1200RPM-Computer-Case-Fans-12-V-12cm-DC-Fans/32796434321.html. You will need a core drill adapted to the size of the fan. You can put covers like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5-PCS-Lot-4-5-6-7-8-9-12-cm-fan-Wholesale-New-Metal-Steel/32628950236.html to make it a little more aesthetic.
Make a hole for cables between the upper and the lower cabinet:
They have to be facing one another. They are made in the shape you want here:
How to fix your Pin2DMD:
The 2 matrices are fixed with screws at their back. There are different ways to do it, I decided to embed them in a 15mm-thick (as it is the thickness of the matrices) wood plank that will be used to fix the speakers too. Here is an exploded view of the upper cabinet:
The raw plank is the one I am taking about:
It is easily fixed on the sides planks. To connect the matrices on it, I bought a 1m-long metal bar, I cut it into 2 36cm-long bars (the matrices total length is 32cm, I let 2cm on each side to fix in the wood). You drill the bars at the position of the matrix screws and you assemble the 2 matrices together:
The holes at the extremities are to fix the system into the wood from the back.
To make the cabinet sketches, I suggest you read my other big tuto on Sketchup here https://www.pincabpassion.net/t8286-tuto-creer-les-plans-de-son-pincab. It is in French, but perhaps I will translate it one day. Don't hesitate, Sketchup is quite easy to understand, at least for the basic functions. In the tuto, you will find the sketches of my own pincab that you can modifiy and use for your own purpose at discretion.
You can saw the cabinet wood by yourself if you have the tools, but if you don't have them, in France, we have associations all around the country where you pay a low yearly fee (between 30€ and 150€) and you have access to professional tools (and often almost-professional advice). The last choice is to have it cut by a professional, a carpenter or someone in the place where you bought your wood. With Sketchup, you can export 2D views (via Parallel Projection in the Camera menu) to give to the professional. On the second page of my WIP here https://www.pincabpassion.net/t9063p25-wip-2-pincab-43-4k-27-fhd-pin2dmd-ssf, I posted the mail I gave to the carpenter to saw my wood.
Here is what you can easily draw with Sketchup:
2/ Metal parts
Here, the best is to know someone who has skills in ironwork, he will make custom-made metal parts (so adapted to the siez of your pincab) if not, it may be quite expensive to buy from professionals. If you don't know anybody, you'll have to search on internet, sometimes on the second hand market. Anyway, the shipping is often quite expensive and you will have to adapt the pincab size to these standard parts. On Pincab Passion, you may send a personnal message to @razorbaxx and see with him if he can send to your country.
What are these parts?
a/ The pinball legs You can find new legs on Ebay like https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sega-Stern-Pinball-Legs-Set-30-3-4-1-2-30-75-30-5-inch-Williams-Bally-Gottlieb/123701754038, this is way too expensive for what it is and the shipping is huge! You can find sketches of legs on one of the picture here https://mag.forumactif.com/d10000832-pieds-de-flipper-artisanaux. You can change the total size according the height you want for the pincab. As you see, there are 8mm holes at the bottom. These are tapped holes (i.e. with a screw thread) as under the legs there are leg levelers with rubber pads that you must buy like https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Leg-Levelers-4-Black-Rubber-Feet-Cup-Pads-Stern-Bally-Williams-Pinball/254176337333.
b/ The lockbar This is a rounded metal bar that is under your hands when you play:
That is the part that can be a thorn in the side as the ones you buy on internet are standard size, so it imposes to adapt the width of the pincab to it, whatever the PF you have. So just for it, knowing someone who can make you a custom one is a great value.
c/ The side rails As we lay a glass on the lower cabinet to protext the PF, the lockbar and the side rails hold it. It is really easy to do by yourself as it is just 2 angle irons cut at the right size. For my pincab I used 20mm x 30mm ones.
d/ The Playfield stand To fix your playfiled, you should have a VESA mount at the back of the screen. You should measure the positions of the screws to craft your stand. You really should create a rotary stand to remove easily the screen to access below. Nobody can sketch this stand for you as it depends on your PF. Here are some examples, but adapt it to your screen. Here is a picture from the WIP of @razorbaxx here www.pincabpassion.net/t2506-termine-pincab-de-razorbaxx-tarantino-xx-pinball
f/ A pincab front door If you want to stick to the real pinball spirit, you will have to buy a coin door like https://www.smallcab.net/porte-monnayeur-flipper-pincab-p-1835.html or, a little cheaper, this one for arcade machines https://www.smallcab.net/porte-monnayeur-pour-borne-p-618.html I didn't care about the pro style, so I bought a cheap simple door https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/Arcade-Game-Cash-Access-Iron-Coin-Door-Jamma-MAME-Pinball-Systems-for-Arcade-Game-Machines-Cabinets/32813073700.html
3/ Protecting the screens
a/ A glass for the PF The only choice is the laminated glass as, if it breaks, it will remain in one piece, and won't fall on your PF. For the thickness, the 33.2 is perfect. Any other choice like plexiglas (that easily gets scratched), the tempered glass (that breaks into a thousand pieces but with no risk of cut) is not appropriate. You order that at a glazier's and prices may be from 35€ to much higher! To measure the size of this glass, just know that the glass will be layed above the playfield cabinet.
b/ A protection for the upper cabinet front face This protection has less risk to be hit or scratched. It will hide everything except the BG screen and the DMD, and you will certainly make holes in it for the speakers (you can make it in the sides of the upper cabinet wood too). You will paint it (for example with a paint spray) or stick a opaque tape on it for the hidden part. The blue highlited here is what we aretalking about:
You may take wood, plexiglass or glass. The wood needs you to make holes for the screens. Plexiglass is perfect here as the holes for the speakers are easily made with a cylinder saw. To fix my plexiglass, I made grooves in the 4 wood planks around it and extend a little bit the size of the plexiglas to perfectly fit.
Now that the basket is full, let me sum up the whole list of components to buy
Everything is already listed before. Now you should have: - 1 PF screen
- 1 BG screen
- 1 DMD screen or LEds matrices with a STM32 board and the neede cables - 1 complete PC with motherboard, processor, memory, graphic card, power supply, SSD and/or HDD, WIFI USB stick, keyboard, mouse and all the video cables for the screens - Everything for the sound, PC kits and/or amplifiers with speakers and/or exciters - Everything for the power supply, wall plug to C13 an external C14 plug and a momentary button, a multi-socket, 5V, 12V and [optional] 24V power supplies or PC power supply - Interface boards (KL25Z, LedWiz, Arduino MEGA 2560) ewith enough ports for the toys/buttons
- Some ULN2x03 (with their DIP socket and stripboards) and/or MOSFET modules and/or relay modules - The toys
- Momentary buttons with their microswitch or leafswitch
- Cable/wires and Dupont connectors and/or terminal blocks - Wood pannels - Fans for the cabinet
- A front [coin] door - Metal elements: 4 legs with levelers and pads, 2 side rails and a lockbar, and a stand for each screen - A laminated glass (33.2 is fine) to cover the playfield
- Glass or plexiglass or wood for the front of the upper cabinet
Sujet: Re: [TUTO] How to build a pincab Ven 3 Mai 2019 - 21:10
VIII/ Here we go for the assembly: electronics
This is the biggest part mainly for the theory, but the most interesting for me.
We are going to cover the wiring of any electronic device.
First are some electronics reminders. The 4 firsts are not mandatory and the only interest is to know which resistor value we have to buy for a series circuit. It is mainly used with RGB LEDs and white LEDs for the backboard, but with any low current device whose voltage is not strictly the one of the power supply in the series circuit of diagram of the V/2/h/:
So if your toy voltage is not the same as one of the power supplies (24V, 12V or 5V, but the toy voltage must be below, anyway), you may use it adding a resistor to the circuit like this:
(It may be wherever you want in the circuit, between the toy and the power supply or between the relay/MOSFET and the power supply would do too) So if you have only toys that strictly have the power supply voltages, you may disregard 1/a/ to 1/d/ .
1/ Electronics reminders
a/ Ohm law Easy and you should have heard it before: U=r*I or r=U/I
No you didn't? OK U, is voltage in V(olts), r the resistor value in Ω(Ohms) and I is the current in A(mpers). Nothing to do with it right now, we'll put everything together in d/, just keep it in mind.
b/ Current is the same all along a series circuit
No formula, just this sentence "current is the same all along a series circuit":
On this diagram I took on a wiki, we just know that the current I2 is equal to the current I1 and the current going through the devices "A"s and "X" is the same, whatever "A"s and "X" are (OK they are Ampermeters and a light, but we could put LEDs or what we focus on, a resistor). With the diagram at the beginning of the chapter, we write: I(Toy)=I(Resistor)
c/ Kirchhoff's voltage law For a series circuit, the voltage given by the power supplies is equal to the sum of all the voltages of the passive elements (it means the non power supplying elements).
On this diagram, the circle is a power supply and all the rectangles are the passive elements like our toys or our resistor. The Kirchhoff's law states that Uad=Ucd+Ubc+Uab. With the diagram given at the beginning of the chapter, we write: U(Power Supply)=U(Toy)+U(Resistor).
d/... and it gives us the value of the resistor we need for our LEDs
If you buy a star-shaped RGB LED, each color (red, green or blue) is a separate LED and needs its own voltage. The one I gave you a link in the shopping list, you can read in the description:
So the red component needs a voltage of around 2.4V, the green and the blue need 3.6V. And all the colors needs a current of around 350mA=0.35A (for a total of around 3x350=1050~1000mA). Let's take the red LED and let's assume that you use a 5V power supply (the closest value above the ones off the LEDs):
From b/, we know that I(Resistor for Red or Green or Blue LED)=I(Red or Blue or Green LED)=0.35A.
We know that U(Power Supply)=5V and U(Red LED)=2.4V and U(Power Supply)=U(Red LED)+U(Resistor for Red LED), so, from c/, we know that U(Resistor for Red LED)=5-2.4=2.6V. With the same calculations, we get U(Resistor for Green Led)=U(Resistor for Blue Led)=1.4V.
And from a/ we know that r(Resistor for Red LED)=U(Resistor for Red LED)/I(Resistor for Red LED)=2.6/0.35~7.4Ω. With the same calculations, we have r(Resistor for Green LED)=r(Resistor for Blue LED)=4Ω.
As you quite everytime don't find the exact value you need, always take the value just above (never below). There are normalized values for the resistor called standard E3, E6, E12, E24, E48 resistor values that you can have explanations on here https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/electronic_components/resistors/standard-resistor-values-e-series-e3-e6-e12-e24-e48-e96.php. We easily find E12 values, but E24 is quite common too. So in our case, for the red you may take the E24 7,5Ω, but in case you just find E12, 8,2Ω will be OK too. For the green and blue, either 4.3Ω or 4.7Ω will do.
And now we are over for the electronics lesson!
e/ The common ground This is more a principle than a rule. Try to respect it as much as you can! You got to know that you may connect all the grounds of the different devices together. Be it direct current or alternating current in a 3.3V or a 230V circuit, always try to connect the grounds and the tip-top-notch way is to connect all these grounds to the earth pin of the wall plug! Why? For safety reason, of course! The electron is as idiot as a lemmings (yes, it is that extreme!): it sees a way to the earth, it rounded up its mates and they dash towards it straight (as a lemmings I told you), it is even its first objective in its life! Then in a circuit, when you connect the ground to the earth, you give a way to all the lost and clueless electrons which arrived there inadvertently (when you touch it when you've accumulated static charge, or when a wire contact another one that it shouldn't be) to the earth to avoid them to mess around elsewhere they could create big troubles.
f/ Understanding voltage (of a power supply) When you buy a power supply, the voltage given (e.g. 5V) is a difference in electric potential between its terminal - and its terminal +. It means that there is no absolute value 0V at its - and +5V at its +. By convention, we say that the earth is at the absolute value 0V, so if you connect the - of your power supply at this earth, you can say that the + will be at the absolute value +5V, BUT if you connect the + at the earth (you can do it without any problem) so the + will be at 0V and the - at -5V. More, if you connect the + at the earth and you take a 12V power supply where you connect the - at the earth too (so it will be connected at the + of the 5V supply), you will have a 5+12=17V power supply between the - of the 5V and the + of the 12V. You understand now why we are only interested in a difference in electric potential and not in absolute value.
Let's list all the electrical/electronical devices and the way to use/wire them.
2/ Power supplies
Not a lot of things to say, just some practical remarks.
a/ Using a PC power supply
With a PC Power Supply, we will use the 24-pin ATX, SATA or MOLEX connectors.
The ATX connector looks like this
The easiest is to buy this kind of adapter https://www.amazon.com/Electronics-Salon-20-pin-Supply-Breakout-Module/dp/B01NBU2C64/ref=sr_1_13 so you will have direct access to ground, 3.3V, 5V and 12V power with terminal blocks.
Another way is to cut the plug and get the power at the wires. Here is a diagram of the plug with the color of the cables:
For the SATA plug, black is ground, red is 5V, orange is 3.3V and yellow is 12V:
For the MOLEX plug, black is ground, red is 5V and yellow 12V.:
b/ The switch-mode power supply You need one per voltage (5 and 12V at least, for the 24V of the contacters and knocker, you may prefer a step up booster, see below). Take the cables wall plug <-> C13 I told you to take earlier, cut the C13 plug, you'll have 3 wires. Here is how to connect them to you supplies:
(OK, the blue should be connected to the N and the brown - red sometimes - should be connected to the L, I switched them, it's a mistake, the signal will be 180° phased, but it's not a problem... so do it the right way, this is the convention. But never switch the green and yellow with the others!) Then use your glue gun to cover the connections to avoid them to be touched while you operate inside. Now you have the ground at -V and the 5V/12V/24V at +V. There may be a little screw at "+V ADJ" to adjust accurately the +V voltage. It won't change a thing for your toys, but may be useful for the Pin2DMD as if the voltage is too high, the colors may be blurred.
c/ The the step up power module
It can't be simpler: You connect your 12V according the + and the - to the IN (red arrow), the LCD screen displays a voltage you can adjust with the screw (green arrow) and you get that voltage at the OUT (blue arrow). That's all!
3/ An interface pannel
What I call a "interface pannel" is (from my WIP):
With all the toys, your inner cabinet will look like a hideous spaghetti dish and everytime you add a new wire, it will pull the one next to it and, if you decided to go for Dupont connectors, you are quite sure that it will disconnect it. Using such a pannel takes more time, but it is much more stable.
Nothing special to say on how to do it: you got to the local waste site, take a thin wood piece and cut out of it a rectangle, the smallest you can according what you want to put on it not to lose too much space inside the pincab. On my version, the wires pass under the pannel to make it even more resistant. The boards have been screwed directly to the wood, but you can use PCB legs like https://www.amazon.com/Dashtop-Mounting-Arcade-Windows-Raspberry/dp/B01HNUSKRY/ref=sr_1_1. The ULN stripboards have been glued to the wood.
Now let's talk about electronic wiring.
4/ Interface boards
I used only KL25Z, so I will give links to tutos (in French) for the other boards.
c/ KL25Z Even if I'm a in familiar territory, here is the tuto you should follow to install your KL25Zs. It is @peskopat 's one here https://www.pincabpassion.net/t5250-tuto-installation-kl25z-v2-w10-w7. Warning: I bought KL25Z on AliExpress that were not updated at all, I tried everything listed on the tuto to update them with Windows 10 but it didn't work. I have no choice but to install Windows 7 on a little partition just to update them!
In the first sheet, I put pictures of the needed infos. The left one is from the KL25Z official website and the second one from PinscapeConfigTool. These infos are available on the @fcdrik picture:
where there are infos about the inbound ports (for buttons).
Then there are 1 sheet per KL25Z where I can fill in the "Correspondances sorties" which toy will be affected to which KL25Z port "Sorties":
You then know that the back center contacter will be connected to the #3 port and the back right contacter to the #12 port...
and then you can fill the DOF configtool accordingly.
Now, how do we wire the KL25Z? From the first picture above, you see to the right column "Entrées" that there are 2 GND (ground), one of them should be connected to the common ground (above all, if you want your toys to work, to the relay/MOSFET/ULN-module grounds). The "5V" will be connected to the relay/MOSFET-module "VCC" and to the ULN "COM".
The outbound ports used for a toy will be connected to the relay modules "IN1", "IN2",... "IN16" or the MOSFET/ULN modules inbound ports (we'll see that in toy wiring section). The inbound ports used for a button will be connected to any of the 2 pins of the button (we'll see that more accurately in the button wiring section).
5/ The ULN, MOSFET and relais (or "alimentation modules")
I give you explanations here, but you'll find wiring examples in the next section, the one for the toys.
a/ The ULN The diagram of the ULNs is:
The little notch at the top will give you a reference to know how to turn your chip. The "GND" to the bottom left must be connected to the common ground (or at list to the interface board ground). The "COM" to its right must be connected to the + of the 5V power supply. The other pins to the left are inbound ports so they should be connected to outbound ports of your interface board. The ones to the right are their corresponding outbound ports, so they should be connected to the LEDs. The outbound ports must be connected to the "-" of the LEDs, and you connect the "+" of the LEDs together and then to the "+" of the 5V power supply. Each ULN2803 gives us 8 ports and each ULN2003 only 7. Each ULN outbound port can provide up to 500mA to a LED, but if you want more, you can use 2 (or more) ports for the same LED. In this case, the corresponding inbound ports must be connected to the same interface board outbound port. To make easy to change the chip in case it breaks, you must use a DIP socket and solder it to a stripboard:
I cut them at the right size and I scratch the copper at the center so that the left side is not connected to the right side.
I then solder the DIP socket on it (the socket is on the other side of the stripboard, where there is no copper, as you solder the copper to the pins where the socket IS NOT). This is easy to solder wires or, like me, terminal blocks to the stripboard for each pin of the socket and you can glue the stripboard to your interface panel:
The inbound ports are to the right. This is a 4-MOSFET module. For each, you have (from top to bottom) a "-" to connect to the common ground, a "+" to connect to the "+5V" of the interface board and the pin to connect to the outbound port of the interface board. BUT, all the "-" are already connected in the module and all the "+" are connected too, so you only need to connect one of each. You need female Dupont for these pins. To the top left, you have the "POWER": connect the "+" to the "+" of your power supply and the "-" to the common ground. Below are the outbound ports to connect to the toys like if it was a power supply. The MOSFET, like an ULN, commands via the "-" so if you prefer, you can directly connect the "+" of your toy to the + of the power supply.
c/ The relay modules As we said before, the relay is very different from the 2 previous devices as it is mecanical, it uses a coil that will create a magnetic field that will close the circuit.
The inbound ports are to the right. The black "GND" goes to the common ground, the white "VCC" goes to the interface board's "+5V" and all the green "INx" goes to an outbound port of the interface board. The upper right jumper must be set so as to connect "VCC" and "JD-VCC". On the left terminal blocks, you have 3 screws per outbound port. It is a mistake to connect, like I did, all the red wires as you may use different voltage for each outbound so each red wire could be connected to its own power supply. The red wire goes to the "+" of any power supply, and you connect the "+"of your toy to the blue wire. We don't use the bottom screw as it is to reverse the way the relay functions: the circuit is always closed except when there is a HIGH voltage in the corresponding "INx". We use the top one as the circuit is always opened except when there is a HIGH voltage in the "INx". The "-" of your toy can be connected to the "-" of the power supply (or to the common ground if you connect, like you should, all the grounds together).
6/ The toys
a/ The RGB LEDs
As you see on the picture, the ULN and MOSFET that you'll use for your LEDS (as they can reproduce a PWM signal) commands through their "-", so you will connect all the "+" of the LED together and to the "-"of the power supply. The ULN will connect/disconnect the LED from the ground. So each "-" wire (red, green and blue) will be connected to a different outbount port of an ULN, that's the reason why we need 3 PWM-ports of the interface board for each RGB LED. But not directly, as we seen before, the voltage of the 5V power supply is not the one we need so we need to put our resistor here:
b/ The strobes - If you use 12V car strobes, you are going to use a MOSFET or a relay. On the one I proposed you through a link, there is a black box that you won't need. Cut the cable between the strobes and the box, you'll have 2 wires, a red one and a black one. With a MOSFET, connect the red to the power supply's "+12V" and the black to the outbound port of the MOSFET, for a relay, connect the black to the power supply's "-" and the red to the outbound port of the relay. They blink together, so you only need 1 interface board and relay/MOSFET port for both. - If you use white LEDs, as they blink together, you still need only one port of the interface board, but you will need more than 1 outbound port of the ULN as it only supports 0,5A. See how much current, and so how many ULN ports are needed for both the LEDs (I saw some that need 0.65A for each, so you'll need 1.3A and so 3 ULN ports) and connect 1 outbound port of the interface board to that number of inbound ports of the ULN. Then connect the the corresponding outbound ports of the ULN to the "-" of the white LEDs.
Once again, if you use a relay, connect the black wire to the common ground and the red one to the outbound port of the relay supplying 24V. If you use a MOSFET, connect the red wire to the "+" of your 24V power supply and the black one to your MOSFET.
e/ The solenoïds I didn't use them, but there is no pole, so connect only according you use a MOSFET or a relay but regardless of which solenoïd's pin you use. It seems that you need a diode for that too (according the 12V supply poles).
f/ The knocker Proceed exactly as you did for the solenoids, except that you need a 24V power supply.
h/ The beacon/s Once again, proceed exactly as you did for the solenoids (12V). According to the pin you connect to the power supply + or -, the beacon will rotate in either direction, it's up to you. I have 2 beacons and like to make them turn in opposite direction.
To connect your buttons is easy: there is no power supply and the button is just a switch. Just be careful that the button must open or close the circuit between the inbound port of the interface board and the GROUND of the interface board (or the common ground if your interface board's ground is connected to it, as suggested), but not the +5V. There are several types of switch in the buttons: The microswitch with 2 pins like
Easy, 1 pin to the ground, 1 to the inbound port! It's the same for leafswitches
You can use any of them for the ground or the inbound port. But when you have 3 pins like in this microswitch
Don't use the upper right one as it is a reverse mode pin: the circuit is closed everytime except when you push the button.
Lastly, if your button as a LED, there are 2 extra pins on the side:
The problem is that the LED is a diode, it has a + and a - and you may mount it in either direction on this socket so you'll have to test when you plug the 12V power supply to it to know which one is the + and which one is the -. If it lights up, it's ok, if not, disconnect quickly and change (it shouldn't burn in 2 seconds, but avoid to let it 10 seconds).
8/ Test your connections of the toys (KL25Z only)
For the users of the KL25Z, there is a nice program to test your connections, you should already have installed it while updating the cards: PinscapeConfigTool. So when everything is connected, PC to the KL25Z and KL25Z to the toys, launch PinscapeConfigTool. If things are well configured you should have something like that on the screen (for each KL25Z):
Click on "Outputs" and a new window opens where you can test each outbound port of this KL25Z:
The PWM ports are adjustable with a cursor and the others just with a button ON/OFF.
9/ Complete diagrams of toys
Let me close this chapter with these diagrams between toys and a KL25Z (I don't have any other, sorry). I wrote in french so be advise that: - "terre" is "earth" as I connected the common ground to the earth - "alim" is "power supply"
A RGB LED with an ULN2003A:
A contacter with a relay:
You see that the contacter is upside down, so the + is to lower left screw and the - is the upper left one. The board with only 1 relay is not exactly as the multi relay ones: on a multi, the black would go to the "GND", the orange to the "VCC" and the red to the "INx".
A lot of people want to install an emulator to see it working before even crafting the cabinet, all the more when you have the PC, the screens and you wait the parts in their looooong way from China, so perhaps it is too late for you, but...
which is far more comprehensive. Anyway, I think I give here some basic explanations about how it all works that may help.
You should install the simulators before the frontend as the latter needs to know where they are installed.
a/ Visual Pinball So, as I said before, the different versions of Visual Pinball are not compatible, you must install all of them to have access to all the tables. For that there is the All-In-One (AIO) Installer. Thanks to @peskopat 's tuto, it will be a piece of cake. Look here https://www.pincabpassion.net/t4481-tuto-installation-visual-pinball-allinone-v4. It will be much easier if you install it at the C disk root directory. You will certainly use these 3 versions of Visual Pinball:VP9, VP9+Physmod5 (=an improved physics engine) and VPX.
For Visual Pinball, the functioning is quite unusual. For the recreations of existing real pinballs, VP needs the ROMs of the real pinball , this is a file that contains the missions, the reactions according where the ball is going, all the animations for the DMD, all the things specific to that table. We install a program called VPinMAME that can decode the content of the ROMs for them to be used by VP. VPinMAME is installed with the AIO, BUT VPinMAME does not decode Stern's recent tables. So there is a modified version of VPinMAME called SAMBuild that you should install above VPinMAME to play to these tables. Look at the tuto from @Shadow_SHD here https://www.pincabpassion.net/t5352-tuto-etre-a-jour-et-faire-tourner-toutes-les-tables.
Each table needs its file (.VPT for VP9 and .VPX for VPX) that should be uncompressed in the "Tables" directory of "Visual Pinball" along with its .db2s file for the backglass (this latter must have the exact same name to be used). If the table is a recreation, you should have a ROM file to put as a .zip (so DON'T UNCOMPRESS IT) in the directory "VPinMAME\roms" of Visual Pinball.
Now let's have a look at the common mistakes of the beginner: - don't forget to put the rom expected by the table in the directory vpinmame\roms uncompressed (still in .zip format). To know which one is expected, open the table script clicking on the "Script" button in the top left and look for the line "cGameName=xxxxx". The expected rom is "xxxxx.zip", you can directly search the name on internet. If the expected rom is not at the right place or not the right one, you'll have a mistake "terminated before initialized"
or if there are mistakes in the rom file, a "Game info" window should open
- If you have "Force exclusive fullscreen mode" checked in the video options, you won't see your mouse cursor on the playfield screen. It can boost the rendering, but it is quite annoying while configuring your pincab
c/ Pinball Arcade Pinball Arcade is a Windows game from FarSight Studios downloadable on Steam here https://store.steampowered.com/app/238260/Pinball_Arcade/. The game is free, but you must buy table packs to get them. There are mods to make it work in cabinet mode here https://www.pincabpassion.net/f64-tutos-pinball-arcade.
d/ Pinball FX2 VR et FX3 The Pinball FX are free games from Zen Studios downloadable here https://store.steampowered.com/search/?term=pinball+fx. You then buy a table or a pack. There is a cabinet mode only available in the steam version. You can find tutos on how to make it work with your pincab here https://www.pincabpassion.net/f31-tutos-pinball-fx2-3.
Your pincab as it works now is a big video game, to make it mecanical like real pinball machines, you must give life to the toys. The emulators don't give orders to the toys, we use DirectOutput Framework to monitor them and send orders to the toys accordingly.
c/ If you use relays to command your toys, here is a specific remark. When you use a relays board this board is command via the ground signal and not via the +5V of the interface board. If you have a KL25Z board to command them, here is how you change the way the board signal is sent. Go in PinscapeConfigTool and for the board that command the relays, click on Settings:
Then head to the very bottom of the page, you'll have:
According if this is a relay or if this is a MOSFET/ULN, check or uncheck the ground sign you can see in the above picture framed in red.
Now this tuto is over, I hope it will help you take the great leap forwards and start to craft your pincab. Pincab Passion is still a very active community so don't hesistate to ask for more precisions on the forum.