Telemetry and Telecommand for Modern Pinballs

I just sent a message to Stern Pinball asking about the possibility of adding some kind of WiFi support to their pins. Not for player-related things, but for maintenance and servicing.

For example, I think it would be a good idea for a connected pin to be able to asynchronously notify you if something goes wrong. It could emit a SNMP message each time a BIT fails or when it goes into ball-search mode, or even each time a game is started, when a game completes (including duration information). This kind of information could make a location more responsive to issues and help them with their periodic maintenance.

Even if they decided to use a proprietary protocol and their own monitoring app (but why do the extra work?) I think it would be useful.  Slot machines and video poker-type games have had server-based gaming for more than a decade now.  I think it is time the rest of the amusement industry catches up.

This seems like something that should be relatively easy to implement, and WiFI adapters are pretty cheap these days.

Lithium Battery Replacement for Williams and other CMOS Systems

So you have decided to reduce the risk of battery leakage damaging your precious Williams arcade or pinball board by replacing the existing AA batteries with a lithium (CR2032) replacement.  Great!  Lithium batteries like the CR2032 tend to leak much less than alkaline batteries so this is a good generally a good idea.

Note that I said much less than alkaline batteries – lithium batteries can still leak causing damage to your PCB!
You need to maintain them like any other battery system.

So now the question is, how long will the lithium battery last before it needs to be replaced?  I would suggest that you replace the battery as soon as it voltage-under-load drops to 2.8v.  Why 2.8?  Two good reasons.  First, here is a discharge graph pulled from the Energizer CR2032 datasheet: Continue reading “Lithium Battery Replacement for Williams and other CMOS Systems”

So-called Web “Developers”

So, I have been seeing this more and more.  I see the term “Web Developer” being applied to anybody that can do basic HTML5 and CSS scripting.  Even worse, I see the term being applied to people that do not know enough to understand how the back end works, or cannot even spell LAMP.

If you can do your job just using Notepad and Chrome (i.e. no compiler), with no back end services, you are just a “scripter.” Just make peace with that, and stop trivializing what real developers do.  And no, you are not writing a “web app,” you are scripting web pages (although maybe for someone else’s actual app).  Does PHP executing DB queries count?  Maybe – if you also (properly) designed the database it is working with.

Continue reading “So-called Web “Developers””

Sanyo 20EZ Video Inversion (Parts Kit) Searchable Page

On Bob Roberts site, there is (or was, if the link is broken by the time you read this) a scan of a page that details how to add the missing parts to the Sanyo 20-EZ monitor chassis to allow it to perform video inversion.  Since the page was scanned and not run through an OCR process, the text is not searchable.  As a service to the arcade collecting/repair community, I provide this HTML based, searchable version of the document.

(Note that I am not responsible for the use or misuse of this information, and I might have copied something incorrectly!  No warranties expressed or implied, and the risk of use lies with YOU!  YMMV.) Continue reading “Sanyo 20EZ Video Inversion (Parts Kit) Searchable Page”