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TerryRed

PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC combo cabinet!

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Well here it finally is....  addressable LEDS!


After seeing randr showing off addressable leds in action in his cabinet, I knew I would eventually want it!  Well here we go!

The idea is that addressable leds can be controlled individually throughout a strip instead having the entire strip turn on / off / change colour, etc.  As a result you can create cool animation and effects that can be used on the sides and back of your playfield in a pinball cabinet. They are 3 pin strips that run on 5V with a 5V, DATA, and GND line. The controller I'm using is a Teensy, and the software that controls it is DOF (Direct Output Framework)

For my cabinet, my playfield TV lays down on rails, so I couldn't just stick the led strips on the inside of the cabinet, as they may get in the way if I ever need to remove the TV. So I needed to have them mounted on something.  You can buy proper aluminum channels, but to order them online was quite costly with crappy CDN dollar and shipping.

So I decided to use these shelf rail things I found. They are normally mounted on a wall with the opening facing the wall so you can install shelf supports in the slots. They were cheap and they were black so they matched my cabinet inside perfectly. I just had to put in some long strips of backboard for the leds to stick on, or they would be in too deep and it would be hard to see them while playing.

53dhkOT.jpg


The led strips I purchased are 144 per meter. I have over 700 leds installed. Thats alot of leds! As a result I had to use a dedicated 5V power supply rated at 60A! No matter what length of 144 / meter strip you buy, they all come with 0.5 meter strips soldered together. So if you want a seamless looking strip, you'll need to cut off an led or two and solder it back together. Since my work's soldering station just died, I was stuck with my crappy 21 year soldering iron. For the side led strips I wasn't worried about cutting them to make them look seamless.

Pj5whqM.jpg

Here is the matrix I made for the back of the playfield. This will look like a low-res led screen. It can be made up of how ever many led strips you want as the DOF software will just scale to whatever you have. I used my 2 meter strips and their middle 0.5 meter sections for the back matrix, as they were the perfect size without me having to cut any strips and resolder them to size.  I did however have to solder the 5V, data and gnd pins to and from each strip.

width=1024 height=576http://i.imgur.com/X8Y8Pw8.jpg[/img]

...and here it is in the back of the cabinet.

ni1MyWh.jpg

The connections start at the Teensy controller which is plugged into the computer via usb. Then the Teensy has a cat5 cable output that uses 2 of its wires for the GND and DATA line going to the first strip...which is the right playfield strip. The DATA line then gets connected to and from each strip / matrix, for a continuos connection. 5V and GND also needs to be tapped in at the begginning of each strip and the matrix, as there are alot of leds that need power.

9EJp1xu.jpg

These LEDS are REALLY bright on max brightness. To cut down on that and also to make it so you can't even see the led strips when they are off.... I had a custom piece of tinted plex-glass (5mm) made for the back matrix. That alone wasn't enough, so I needed to add window tint to the front of the plex-glass. I put on 20% tint. This combined with the plex-glass tint was perfect and hid the leds completely until they light up. Now I want to do the same for the sides, but I don't know if I can get plexi-glass cut that small and long.

PM1vPob.jpg

Success! After setting up the DOF software, the leds strips look amazing!   It's hard to describe all the effects they do while playing, but here is a picture showing the back matrix displaying animations while browsing in Pinball X.

ktW078z.jpg

....and here is a video describing what the setup is, and showing what is looks like in Pinball X!
 

 


I'll make another video that will show some gameplay that shows off the cool effects while playing!

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The Visual Pinball logo in the "marquee" looks pretty cool! ;)

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I thought the same thing when I saw randr demo'ing this.  Looks really great man!

 

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2 hours ago, Draco1962 said:

The Visual Pinball logo in the "marquee" looks pretty cool! ;)

Haha... of course it does!

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Did you see the ones I just released based upon table type?

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12 minutes ago, Draco1962 said:

Did you see the ones I just released based upon table type?

I did see those. 

However my DMD / Visual Pinball marquee display is not a still image. Its actually a video clip of the DMD and the marquee composited together that still plays when a table is launched.   pinmame displays on top of that video after launching. This is also the case for PFX2 and TPA 

Its a different video for each table, and a lot of work to update change for all tables, so I decided early on, to use just one logo. That way when I get a VPX version of a table I don't have to go back and recreate videos for all those tables again.

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Gotcha. Still looks smexy!

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While I certainly intended to get another video that showed off the addressable led matrix in action..... I got distracted by a couple of things.

First...I updated to the newest VPX, and the newest UltraDMD.

Then I realised that I had been missing out on a bunch of VPX tables that came out in the last few months!

....but then as I'm about to make a video, my eye caught a great new little program that's a little bit of a game changer....

Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade now have DOF feedback for flipper solenoids (NOT slingshots or bumpers!), RGB lighting and more thanks to a new program called DOFFX2. 

It basically maps keyboard keys to trigger Led-Wiz or sainsmart outputs! It also has some other cool features like RGB lighting control, flipper solenoid timers, and more.

Here are videos that demo both Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade on my cabinet running with DOFFX2 (1.3 beta).
 
I have the program set to be always on and active the whole time, and you can see it doesn't interfere with Pinball X running the DOF plug-in.
 
I have the flipper buttons triggering my solenoids.
 
I have the center RGB led strip "flasher" set to random flipper triggered RGB lighting.
 
I have the flippers set to turn on a left flasher as green, and a right flasher as blue.
 
I have the beacon, blower fan, and strobes set to go off during certain moments.... including an appearance from Scotty of Star trek! ;)

...and other things too.
 
It's a simple demo of the kind of thing that can be done so far...
 
 
Here's a video demo of Pinball FX2:

 

Here's a video demo of The Pinball Arcade:


No more octo coupler circuits needed! This can be used for MAME, PC Games, etc...


Here's a link to the program's thread:

http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?showtopic=35349

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AAAAAAH! Disaster has struck.

 

My center "DMD" / Marquee / extra display" monitor has died on me. I can't complain, it was 10 years old after all....

However, that means I have to replace it with a new monitor / TV.

 

The bad news, is:

I have to figure out how to mount this new screen. Old one was a 5:4 monitor with no vesa mount at all, new one is a 16:9 TV.

I have to make a new bezel to fit this new screen.

I have to re-do all my media to fit the new bezel.

New bezel will be a tad bit shorter on the 4th display

Future Pinball tables all have to be re-edited to fit the new bezel's 4th display area.

 

Good news:

The screen quality and colours will look much nicer. (You guys can't tell how dim and faded it was looking by my pics or videos)

I may re-do the speakers into 4 holes to better accommodate my RGB "flashers".

I'll have a monitor that will be much easier to remove.

 

I can hear you guys screaming.... "Dude, get a real DMD!"

If I put a real DMD into the back of my cabinet, there would be ALOT of unused space left as I can't fit another screen and a DMD into there. It really would look odd, and I'd hate it. Also, I really like having that extra "display area". Especially for MAME and Future Pinball.

Also, the cost of a DMD even with DIY would cost alot more than this new screen which was real cheap and looks great.

 

Alot of work to do now....but once its installed I WILL show some gameplay footage of VP with the addressable LEDS and matrix, before re-doing all the other stuff.

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43 minutes ago, tthurman said:

Bummer dude, but if anyone can do it, and do it in short order, you're the man!

Pricey, but 5:4

 

I bought this version for mine, and that's where my build to a back seat more pressing jobs.

Yah, after looking at my online options as well as local options....I actually settled for a 19 inch widescreen TV. It was the biggest I could go with the space I had, and it was only $80, and the picture and colour is excellent. It has 1:1 pixel mapping and a great viewing angle which were my priorities.

Any screen I would have purchased still required me to re-do my bezel no matter what.

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OK - so interested in the multi-monitor side of this. How are you splitting the middle display? Is the top an image and the bottom videos?

If so, couldn't you just stretch the image and video to your new display dimensions?

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On 8/8/2016 at 2:40 PM, stigzler said:

OK - so interested in the multi-monitor side of this. How are you splitting the middle display? Is the top an image and the bottom videos?

If so, couldn't you just stretch the image and video to your new display dimensions?

It's actually either all one image, or all one video with a bezel that "splits" the two.  When a pinball table is launched, that image / video remains and the DMD plays on top of the bottom half.  

The exception is Future Pinball. My backglass / translite extends beyond the second screen on to the top half of the third screen (This must be configured in the registry). You can see my previous monitor arrangement in windows here: 

qGcwhoI.jpg

 

The top half of the middle screen is elements of the backglass / translite (movie clips, extra menus, gadgets, scores,, etc) re-loacated to that top half, while the bottom half is FutureDMD. So what you see In Pinball X for Future Pinball for my cabinet is not just some looping video... its bits from actual gameplay that appear there.  I'll have to put up a video sometime to show how it looks.

 

If I had used a 16:9 screen to begin with for that middle screen, then my Pinball X media would fit no problem. Since all the images and video are 5:4, it won't stretch or fit correctly no matter what.

 

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Disaster strikes.... a new look emerges!

 

Dead middle screen:

OK....so my middle "dual" screen which was a 5:4 monitor died on me (after 10 years of service). I now needed to get a new middle screen, and I had to re-build my bezel and speaker arrangement to accommodate it.

I didn't want to bother with another 5:4 monitor, because they are all old now, and I wanted to have something that could easily be replaced in the future. I really wanted to keep the "dual" screen function and I didn't have anough room for both a real DMD and a small screen (of decent size) in the space I had. (and it would look silly with only a DMD in there with lots of unused space)

I decided to go with a 19 inch 16:9 TV. It fit nicely and was the widest I could go....the colours were really nice....it was only $80 CDN new...and unlike the previous monitor which was a ---smurfette--- mount, this had a standard vesa mount. It also had 1:1 pixel mapping which made for a perfect crisp image.

After a bit of work, I was able to get to get it mounted in a way that could easily be adjusted in the future if I had to replaced this one. I now had a little bit of space above and below the TV since this is a widescreen monitor.


New Bezel, new function:

For the bezel, I now had a wider screen space, but that also meant that my speakers would have to be mounted to the farthest sides of the backbox. My "dual" screens would be closer together, and the top half a little bit smaller.

Since I had my RGB "flashers" inside my two speaker holes before and really liked how it worked, I wanted to still have that.... but I didn't like having 2 "flashers" within the same speaker hole. It would end up blending colours and not be distinctive enough. I wanted 4 separate "flashers".

I figured, since my left and right speakers each have 2 smaller speakers...then why not have 4 speaker holes in the bezel!


The RGB speaker holes!

Below is a 2 inch PVC coupler fitting (I think). I got one for each speaker. I cut a notch out at the bottom and put in a strip of RGB LEDs all around then inside....

fXxIeiN.jpg


....then I cut the bezel out of thin backboard, and hot-glued a RGB LED speaker spacer at each hole (after putting on carbon fibre vinyl wrap and automotive car trim in each hole).

ylPWRZd.jpg


....then I put speaker cloth on the back of each hole with an elastic band...

O4W9CB7.jpg


....and voila! Let there be discrete 4 RGB "flasher" lights! 

1U8z2x7.jpg


Each speaker hole is now the Outer Left, Left, Right, Outer Right RGB flasher (center flasher is backbox backlighting).  You'll notice that the LED matrix below has 5 shapes. These are actually the equivalent of the 5 RGB flashers that is displayed for this table. (the shapes can be anything, I was just testing) Notice they are matching in colour with the speaker holes.   

Tables and media need to be re-done:

You'll have to excuse the squished Visual Pinball logo. Since all of my Pinball X "dual middle screen" media (which is one single picture or video) was created with a 5:4 ratio, it now all has to be re-done to look proper with a 16:9 ratio.

If Pinball X had a separate "default DMD video / picture" for each system, this would make my job much easier...

Future Pinball:

Future Pinball tables will all have to be re-edited again, to have all the elements (movie clips, scores, gadgets, etc) to fit the top of the middle screen. What you have seen in my Future Pinball videos in Pinball X for that section is not looping videos. Its all bits from actual gameplay within Future Pinball.

Here are some picture examples of Future Pinball with the new bezel:


5nXrtzb.jpg


A13jWWA.jpg


uvOCwJu.jpg


At first, I thought the 4 holes looked a little weird, but after seeing the lights in use, I love it! The only thing I hate is the fact that I couldn't get the chrome trim to make a perfect circle.

....and it sounds better too!

 

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Looks spiffing. 

Just in case it saves you a lot of hassle, CPWizBiz allows you to place 'stretched' images or videos via the Marquee function. This can happen dynamically (point it to a folder for a system and any images/videos matching the game or rom name are used) or you can do it manually per-game. Vid of a 'video marquee' in action below and one of how you set-up marquees below that (hopefully showing idea behind how to set-up marquees). 

If does look helpful for your task, maybe download to play around with, but I am nearly finished re-coding it, making it a lot more solid, responsive and faster. I'd wait for the new release for any 'final application' 

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After I finished my new middle "dual" screen and bezel setup, I wanted to setup just a few DMD screen media videos so I would have something that looked better than the squished images from my old setup.....and I wanted it for doing a video of gameplay for VP and the LED matrix.

It also occurred to me that alot of people don't actually understand what my setup is really like and how the media and middle screen setup actually works. Also, alot of people think Future Pinball just plays looped videos from Pinball X for example, which it doesn't.

I get alot of people asking me how I get the media for my middle screen, and how I got the "videos" from Future Pinball showing on FutureDMD (which it isn't), etc


So while making a quick video to show the new bezel and flashers, I thought I would show how I make my media for my middle screen, also how I setup Future Pinball to work with that.


So to answer a bunch of questions, here is a video demonstration of Part 1 of my NEW dual screen / Bezel setup, and media creation This one focuses on Visual Pinball:

 


...and Part 2 focuses on Pinball FX2 and how to setup Future Pinball for a "dual" middle screen:

 

 

....now with that out of the way.... on to getting some VP LED Matrix gameplay videos!.... unless something ELSE happens... :(

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Looks awesome TerryRed!

Thanks for the detailed explanation, and video demonstration!

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Visual Pinball Addressable LED Matrix Gameplay Videos!


Well, after a few distractions:  my middle screen dying, creating a new bezel, getting VPX running in exclusive fullscreen issues, etc....


They are finally here! I said a while back I would get around to showing some videos of VP gameplay and effects from addressable leds through DOF....so here they are!


Unlike the rolling effects while browsing in Pinball X, these are different things that occur from various tiggers throughout gameplay. Explosions, looping effects, rocket trails, sparkles, symbols, shapes....all sorts of things. 

Please note: this was the best angle I could get that would still show all 3 sections of the addressable LEDS. The brightness of the LEDs can also be adjusted...so you don't need to worry about being blinded while playing!

I apologize if I seem to repeat myself a few times....the damn power kept going out while I was recording, so I lost track of what I said in earlier videos.


This first video shows Bride of Pinbot and Attack From Mars. Lots of different types of effects shown.... I continued to make other videos, even after the power goes out at the end of this video!


This second video shows off some explosion effects, trail effects, and more. Tables shown are Medieval Madness, and Monster Bash.


This third video shows some cool looping effects from The Getaway, as well as the neat effects in Star Trek and Circus Voltaire!


This last video show ALOT more tables, and demonstrates how the various lighting toys in a pinball cabinet can be replicated by the back matrix! Also shows some other effects. Tables shown are NBA Fastbreak, Jurassic Park, Scared Stiff, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Transformers, Twilight Zone, and Star Wars.

 

I hope these videos do justice in showing off the hard work from everyone involved in making these effects possible!

If there is something specific you want to see, let me know and maybe I can put up more videos!

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That looks incredibly cool!

The explosion in Attack from Mars really showcases the new lighting.

:D

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Well how about that...

SLAMT1LT, better known for creating some of the best Future Pinball tables out there (original, recreation, modded, etc) has mentioned my pinball cabinet (saying "this is how his games should be played, etc...") on his website's main page, and linked one of my videos at the bottom where you see the featured videos.

Link to his website is here. Keep in mind that the main page changes all the time, so you may not see "the mention" anymore depending on how long its been. Either way, it's worth checking his page out, as its where you will see the newest versions of his fantastic tables.

http://speak1970.wixsite.com/slamspinballemporium

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To top it all off:


Well, I never really liked the way the strobes and beacon looked on top, just all plain looking. So I decided to make some sort of topper for them that would match the style of the rest of the cabinet. Nothing fancy...but I like it much better than the plain look... and the black & chrome really helps to isolate the strobes from the wall behind and makes their light much more concentrated and bright. Here's some pics:

yXsgjO5.jpg

zs2KuBp.jpg

tnRAl3f.jpg

icN83qH.jpg

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Nice work TerryRed, that really improves the aesthetics of your cab!

I appreciate you going out of your way to include us all on the journey of seeing your build come together, and being reinvented as well.  You thread is nearly as detailed as your cab, and it's been enjoyable watching it all as it has progressed.

Also congrats on getting kudos on SLAMT1LT's website.  Goes without saying that many in the community recognize the quality of work and effort that has gone into your build!  

:D

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Thanks guys.

I know I've always liked it when someone would give lots of details and pics while they build their projects.

I also like being able to have a record of how things progress for myself. It helps to answer alot of questions for others interested in doing their own project.

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