Work continues on Bill Paxton Pinball – the longest suffering Ben Heckendorn project of all time. The unit now has legs, a functioning input/output controller, tilt sensor, power supplies, fuses, front coin door panel, plunger assembly, start button, sound amplifier and some temporary targets.
Check out the video after the break!
At this point enough of the electronics are done to create a demo of basic play with music and sound. When I re-formatted my laptop last weekend I accidentally erased a lot of the sound files I had organized so this demo only has sound from Aliens, Clubb Dread and Weird Science. However you can definitely get a sense of the tone and rhythm I have in mind for this game.
Next up will be ramps and doing some playfields out of wood – the foam is easy to cut and mod for experimentation but it’s also somewhat flimsy and offers ball resistance. Also I need to get the soleniod control board working – demo unit fried out its shift register, but now I think I’m going to piggy-back it on the I/O board.
The I/O board is pretty useful, in the SPIN code (that runs the Propeller microprocessor) I have a method called “PollIO” that is your basic “run this all the time” routine to sense buttons and light up lights. There are (2) 32-bit output banks and (1) 32-bit input bank that are polled simultaneously to save time. The solenoid control will likely be added to this.
PollIO returns a 32-bit value called “Sense” which I then check bitwise to see the switches, such as ball drain, ball shot and targets hit.
Ironically, even with 4 gigs of SD storage space for music and sound, the operating program itself must fit within the 32k of EEPROM on the Propeller board. With all I/O functionality loaded as seen in the demo above I’m currently using about 50% of this. It may not sound like a lot, but it should be sufficient. All the “chunky” parts are already in there, the rest is “IF THENS”.