Gotta get new front end software :-(

In case I wasn’t clear in the previous post.  I’m still a month or two away from building the full size cabinet.  This mini-project is my test run.  I want to use this to finalize all the software configurations and the lights.  In order to properly configure the buttons and lights I needed to make a prototype box.   Once I have all the kinks worked out then I will label all the parts for the final installation which will use word that isn’t warped.

Lessons learned so far:

Spinner

The spinner needs to be moved off to the left side.  First, because the spinner is only used when players take seperate turns.  Therefore, it’d not needed to be in the center.  Plus, if people are playing a popular golfing game, their fingers would smash into the spinner.  (thanks for the collaboration Adam)

Front-End software doesn’t work well with the lights

So the lights were going exactly as planned until I started getting this error message.  I then researched and found out that it is a known issue with the front-end software and apparently the software is a dead product.  So, I’m going to have to use a new front-end for my system.

I’m extremely happy that I decided to do this prototype now.  If I would have gotten the machine fully built I would have been so upset at the extra work needed to fix these major issues.

I was extremely surprised though.  I didn’t have one problem hooking everything up.  All the wiring worked 100% as planned with one small exception.  When I was running the USB I pulled the ground wire from it’s solder point.  Luckily my friend Adam was able to help me solder it back on.

In any case, more pictures to document my efforts!

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The underside before any switches and LED’s were installed.

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Switches and LED’s are in!  So begins the wire party!

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The I/O board is installed and the switches are connected.  Yes, it’s starting to look like a rat’s nest, but wire management will be part of the final install.

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All the LED’s have been terminated and connected to the I/O board.

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Instead of wiring the joysticks, trackball, and spinner to the I/O board, I decided to pay a little extra and get the USB adapters.  I figure it would take a little bit of the load off of the I/O controller to have them be their own devices.  I then decided I wanted to minimize the amount of wires coming out of the back of the control panel, so I installed a 7-port USB powered hub to the right side of this picture.  Luckily I’ve only used 5 ports so far.  That way, there will be two-ports available when I had the light guns for games like Area-51 and Operation Wolf  😀

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Programming the RGB LEDs has begun.  Also, making animated light sequences is time consuming – which is also why I’m glad I’m starting on it now 🙂   Unfortunately, it was at this point I discovered the issue with the current front-end software.  But, I have a path forward which I’m now installing in order to test 🙂  I’m excited because it looks like a better option anyways!!!

 

Stay tuned!

 

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