System Overview

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The pinHeck system is a microcontroller-based pinball machine control system developed by Benjamin J Heckendorn and Parker Dillmann.

The system contains (2) microcontrollers:

Microchip® PIC32MX795F512 processor, 32 bit, operating at 80MHz

PIC32 for short. This is the heart of the system. It runs your game code and drives everything except for DMD and audio. A fully programmed pinball kernel will operate at approximately 10,000Hz (or 10,000 cycles per second)

Parallax Propeller P8X32A, 32 bit, operating at 104MHz

Prop for short. The Propeller has 8 cores that operate in true parallel fashion (no interrupts) and this makes it ideal for the audio-visual portions of the pinball machine. It is connected to the PIC32 via a SPI-like bus. The PIC32 sends it commands such as "Play Music" "Run DMD animation" and "Update Score" and the Prop executes. On occasion the Prop can send back data too, such as Sprite Collision and EEPROM contents.

A/V Control Commands