Tag Archives: mcu

Run your pinball DMD with a Parallax Propeller

No better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! John Popaduik gave me one of his spare LED Vishay displays so I thought it would be fun to hook it up to a microcontroller (MCU)

Because it has 8 simultaneous cores and does not require interrupts, the Parallax Propeller seemed like a good bet. The code still had to be written in machine language to be fast enough.

You can download the resulting code here. Wire your DMD to your MCU by cross-referencing your machine’s pinout to the commented code (you need 6 signal wires + ground) or by looking at the Vishay docs.

A single COG is launched in SPIN and will continuously spit out data to your display. The variable array “displayX” holds your screen memory and requires 2 bits per pixel.

This gives you 4 shades of color: 0ff (00), dim (01), medium (10) and bright (11). Check the code comments for more information.

Hopefully this may be of use to anyone modding or doing homebrew pinball – have fun!