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Author Topic: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers  (Read 13669 times)

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milhouse

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Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« on: February 03, 2011, 03:30:19 pm »
I am thinking of surprising my wife by getting her favorite game fully functional in Mame - Q*Bert.  

Fist, I have been trying to gather information on putting together a system that has working knockers but all the information I can find seems a bit out of date or no longer exists.  For instance, QMAME used to have the ability, apparently, to trigger the knockers.   But it looks like that is dead.  I am hoping that its dead because Mame now includes this ability, or that maybe there is a diff to enable it. So question 1 is, does Mame support knockers?

Second, I found something called PowermiteDD which mentions that it can power a Q-Bert Knocker.  But apart from that, the site is bereft of any other information.  Anyone have experience with this?

Finally, I need the Q-Bert knockers.  Is anyone making them, or something similar, or do I need to find originals?  Edit: Just found this: http://store.pacmandotcom.com/knocker-parts/503-qbert-knocker-assemby-complete.html :  So thats is a start.

Sorry if this is somewhere else, but I haven't seen it anywhere.

Any thoughts?

« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 03:34:04 pm by milhouse »

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 04:07:04 pm »

RandyT

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 04:15:25 pm »
Finally, I need the Q-Bert knockers.  Is anyone making them, or something similar, or do I need to find originals?

You can use just about any solenoid with a spring return, as long as you have the ability to drive it.  Just mount it someplace close to a side wall so it raps on the panel when activated.


milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 04:28:07 pm »
Thanks for the quick replies.  Mame Hooker + Led-Wiz + Solenoid should do it, it looks like

Rando

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 04:47:49 pm »
I am thinking of surprising my wife by getting her favorite game fully functional in Mame - Q*Bert.  

Interesting.  Q*Bert is one of my wife's favorite games as well.  I could take it or leave it.

Finally, I need the Q-Bert knockers.  Is anyone making them, or something similar, or do I need to find originals?

Wow, I'm really embarassed to ask this, but I'm hoping I'm not the only one, sooo... What's a knocker?

Hey... nice knockers!
Rando - My build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=107741.msg1142843#msg1142843 (work slowed but still progressing!

bkenobi

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 06:24:10 pm »
Many pinball tables have them too AFAIK.  It basically is a device that literally makes a knocking sound.  As RandyT said, it's just a solenoid that is activated to make the knock.  Should be pretty straight forward.

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=675&parent=0

wp34

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 06:48:52 pm »
Thanks for the quick replies.  Mame Hooker + Led-Wiz + Solenoid should do it, it looks like

+1

I need to do the same thing soon.  Great thread.   :cheers:

RandyT

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 07:33:44 pm »
Many pinball tables have them too AFAIK.

Yep.  When I bought my "High Speed" table, it annoyed the hell out of me that the knocker was making a dull thud.  No satisfaction in that when you start rocking the table!  Turns out someone had put a nylon cap on the end of the shaft to dull the sound.   :angry:  At least it was an easy fix.

I also wanted to mention that if one is worried about eventually denting the wood, a fairly thin metal strike plate screwed to the panel should still let it make a pretty good knock.

garwil

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2011, 05:26:19 am »
I read knockers and thought this was gonna be about boobs.  :(

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2011, 05:11:10 pm »
Many pinball tables have them too AFAIK.  It basically is a device that literally makes a knocking sound. 
Actualy, the qbert devs were trying to find a way to make qbert unique.  They came up with the idea to use a pinball solenoid for the knock.  So any pinball solenoid you can find is technically the correct hardware for the job.

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2011, 05:45:02 pm »
Oddly enough I saw the word "knockers" and thought hmmm, nice.
Then I saw it was about pinaball knockers and I became even more interested.

I once repaired a T2 Pinball where the ball shooter solenoid was bad. I wasn't able to get one right away and the customer also had an Adams Family Pinball.
It turns out the free game knocker on the Adams Family was the exact same as the shooter for the T2.

milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2011, 08:34:24 am »
I ordered a complete Q*Bert Knocker Assemblyand a 30V Power Supply so I think I need a relay to actually trigger the knocker.  Since I plan to use the LedWiz to trigger it, can anyone tell me what kind of relay I need?  I understand the concept and everything, and I assume its a relay that handles a 30V high current and a 5V low current, but I am having trouble figuring out how to what voltages specific relays work on.   I think this relay (Relay, 5v, DPDT, PCB Mount, Sealed, 2A 30V DC, 0.6A 125V AC, 0.6A 110V DC) would work, but can anyone more versed in electronics confirm?

Thanks

MonMotha

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2011, 09:33:43 am »
A relay would wear out pretty fast in this application.  Assuming the thing is DC powered, a largeish power transistor (probably a darlington) is a good way to drive it.  Since the LED-Wiz has sink-only outputs, you have to drive it high-side using a PNP type (a P channel MOSFET would also work).  This should be reliable and pretty easy to assemble (it's 2 resistors plus the transistor).  Wire it up as in the below image.

Q1 is a TIP107; you can get that at Digi-Key.  Other PNP darlingtons can also be used and may be available at Radio Shack or Fry's.  A non darlington PNP can be used but will require adjusting R1 and R2 and may end up requiring the LED-Wiz or optoisolator to sink too much current.  A heatsink is recommended on the transistor.
R1 should be about 500 ohms.
R2 should be about 5-10kohm (make it about 1k when using a the MOSFET identified below) and can probably be omitted as the TIP107 has it built in (but you do need it when using a MOSFET, and it doesn't hurt in any case).

A P-channel MOSFET might not get as hot and can be substituted for Q1 with the changes identified above.  A STP12PF06 looks like a decent choice.  The terminals maps as Gate=Base, Source=Emitter, Drain=Collector.  The darlington PNP may be a bit more tolerant of current surges and won't be static sensitive like a MOSFET would, though.  Take your pick or try both.

This circuit assumes the LED-Wiz can handle a 30V collector voltage.  I *think* it can, but the website isn't clear.  Ask Randy.  If it can't the circuit gets a little more complicated.

It also assumes that you're OK with tying your PC's ground to your solenoid 30V power supply's ground.  This should generally be OK if you're powering nothing but the solenoid from that supply.  Tie the two grounds together as shown.

Both problems can be solved with the addition of an optoisolator, forming the second circuit.

The +5V in this circuit is from the LED-Wiz.
R3 is about 1k.
U1 is an LTV-816 (in stock at Digi-Key).

There are other ways to build this if you can't get the parts I've identified, but the above should work.  It'll drive just about any high current (up to ~8A) DC load.  I don't know what the Q-Bert knocker draws, but I hope it's not more than that!  8A @ 30V is 240W!

Even though the TIP107 and STP12PF06 have one built in, I'd still recommend that you install the freewheeling diode across the knocker as per any inductive load to protect the transistor.  1N4002 or similar should be sufficient.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 09:43:56 am by MonMotha »

milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2011, 03:07:24 pm »
Wow. That seems like a lot more trouble, or maybe just work (I am good with low-level electronics, aka buttons and leds, but beyond that I have some trouble).  Are you sure a relay would wear out that fast?  Its not a dedicated Q*Bert cab.  I figure at the absolute most, the solenoid is going to fire about 10 times a day.

But thanks for the extremely in-depth post.  Its what makes this place great.

MonMotha

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2011, 03:51:28 pm »
Most relays are good for a few thousand cycles when switching an inductive DC load like a solenoid before they start to give.  It varies, of course.  Some of the new stuff is pretty good.  Sometimes you get lucky.  Sometimes you get unlucky.  Usage of a freewheeling diode across the knocker coil will help by keeping internal arcing to a minimum and is recommended with any drive method.

If you want to use a relay, you certainly can.  It hooks up as shown below. I generally try to avoid mechanical relays unless absolutely necessary as anything mechanical tends to become a reliability issue in the long term, but then I'm usually looking to build at least a few hundred of something.

If you hook up the "bank select voltage" line on the LED-Wiz properly, you shouldn't need a freewheeling diode across the coil of the relay, but it doesn't hurt to install one.  1N4001 or 1N4148 type should be fine.

You'll have to find a 5V relay capable of switching your load if you want to use the 5V that comes off the LED-Wiz.  They exist, but I doubt Radio Shack sells them.  You could use a 12V relay powered from the PC supply, instead.  How to do so is in the LED-Wiz documentation.  Radio Shack carried a decent assortment of 12V relays last time I checked (years ago, and they've pulled back a lot on that since).  The 2A@30V relay you've identified in your post is probably a bare minimum, especially in an inductive application such as this.  The more you overspec, the longer they'll last.  I'd recommend a larger relay.

Do you have any ratings for the solenoid?  It's 30V, but what kind of current does it pull?  The rating on that fuse would be a good start if you've got nothing else to go by.  I've been operating on the assumption that it's "a few amps".

milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2011, 10:39:40 am »
The relay method definitely seems more manageable.  I don't know the specs of the solenoid yet as its in transit.  It appears to be a Gottlieb A-5195 but I'm not having any luck on the specs.  Luckily my father and father-in-law are engineers, so they can probably put your first idea together.  If not, I am capable of doing the second, assuming I figure out the right specs for the relay.

Thanks again.

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2011, 04:30:17 am »
How is this going to work?  Unless I'm mistaken, QMame was and still is the only version that has the ability to trigger the knocker.  A regular version of MAME isn't going to do you any good.

Am I wrong?

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2011, 06:46:47 am »
Did anyone actually test that Mamehooker captures the output for the Q'bert knocker?

Could anyone tell in what situation Q*bert use the knocker during gameplay, since I have never played it in real life?

BTW - Personally I would go for a solid state relay, which can be found for a few dollars at ebay.
Building, collecting and playing arcade machines :)

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2011, 07:44:43 am »
Actually, I was going to ask the same thing. Wouldn't an SSR (Solid state relay) work for this type of application?

milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2011, 07:59:07 am »
I've tested it and Mame Hooker does catch the output.  I currently have it set up to flash a button when the knocker is triggered. The knocker is triggered whenever a character falls off-screen.

milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2011, 11:20:56 am »
Since I haven't worked with relays before, can anyone confirm that this relay should work?

http://www.lightobject.com/40A-Solid-State-Relay-SSR-DC-In-DC-Out-P315.aspx

Specification
Input: 3V-32V DC
Control: 5V~60V DC
Current: 40A

On ebay I am having trouble finding DC-in and DC-out relays. Most seem to be AC-out.

I plan on using the 5V from the PC with the LED-Wiz for control, and the knocker is 30V DC.  I also have a 30V DC power supply from an old laptop power adapter.  Unfortunately I still don't know the amperage of the knocker as it hasn't arrived.

MonMotha

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2011, 01:35:38 pm »
The circuit I posted above with the optoisolator basically IS an SSR :)  It'll handle more current (and larger surges) than most "monolithic" PCB mount solid state relays, though.

http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=CC1613-ND should work, assuming your solenoid is comfortably under 3A.
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=CC1128-ND is a monster if you're not sure of the current draw on your solenoid.  This one's good up to 7A, which is about what the circuit I posted above is good to.

The one you posted should also work.

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2011, 03:37:23 pm »
Thanks for the clarification about the usage of the knocker, which of course makes sense.

I do agree that your (MonMotha) solution is as good as a bought SSR. As you say, that is in fact a SSR :) I would probably have done that, but my impression was that milhouse was looking for something more "out of the box" solution here.
One advantage with the SSR's has to be their wide range of input voltage. Mechanincal relays usually are more picky about the voltage range, which can be limiting in some applications and of course the contact wear etc as already mentionend.

I just did a random run with mamehooker to find outputs from different games... there are so many cool projects you could do know with this. I think I need to build another MAME project. Sea wolf would be cool with all thoose light flashing... :)

Building, collecting and playing arcade machines :)

MonMotha

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2011, 04:03:46 pm »
Yeah, I was suggesting the other solution as it's very likely to be less costly, and my experience on here has been that people would rather do a little DIY and wire up a few parts rather than spend money, but hey, whatever is appropriate for your project.  A monolithic SSR is a good choice in this application if you want ease of assembly and don't mind paying the premium.

milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2011, 04:20:29 pm »
Generally I don't mind building my own stuff, but after two years of barely hanging on in engineering school I know my limitations.  The $30 spent in this case far outweighs the headaches I would get trying to build this myself.

milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2011, 11:22:29 pm »
Thanks to everyone, particularly MonMotha, for their help. Sorry the video is so dark.



And a photo:


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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2011, 01:52:03 am »
Awesome!

Couple of questions...

1. Does this work with any version of MAME or only the latest?

2. Can you put another one of these together and sell it to me as a "kit"?

Thanks!


milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2011, 11:00:00 am »
I'm not really looking to build and sell, but putting it together is pretty trivial.

Requirements:
  • Q*Bert Knocker Assembly, available here, or build your own out of a pinball solenoid.
  • 30V DC Power Supply (I used one I had lying around from an old unused cable modem)
  • Solid State Relay (I used this one)
  • LedWiz or PacDrive or any output device supported by Mame Hooker
  • Mame Hooker

Run a wire off the 12V (yellow) wire from a standard PC hard drive power connector to the Input (+) connection on the Relay.  This wire should also have a 500mA fuse installed in-line.
Run a wire from the Input (-) connector to any available port on the LedWiz.
Cut the DC power supply plug off and, after checking the polarity, connect it to the Relay (+) and (-) connections.
Install Mame Hooker and run Q*Bert, jumping off the board so the knocker, in theory, triggers.
Edit the qbert.ini file generated by Mame Hooker (Knocker0 is the output) and add the appropriate code (will post later as I don't have it in front of me).

That should be it.

As for Mame, I'm not sure which version first enabled outputs.  I am running standard Mame 141.




ids

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2011, 11:26:21 am »
I can't see the video at work, but from the pic, and the link to that relay, it seems you are missing a heat sink.  Or are you not worried about heat due to limited use?

milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2011, 11:52:52 am »
I can't see the video at work, but from the pic, and the link to that relay, it seems you are missing a heat sink.  Or are you not worried about heat due to limited use?

Yeah, on a good day, it gets used every 30 seconds for 10 minutes. 

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2011, 01:45:12 pm »
He's also running it vastly below its rated capabilities, and the output is only energized for a short amount of time even when it is being used.  Conduction losses should be very low, and it's not switching fast, so switching losses are probably a non-issue, too.  It might be barely warm to the touch...  The heatsink wouldn't really do anything in that situation.

huygens

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2011, 04:03:06 pm »
Looking online it's hard to find a 30v supply with more than 1A current output. The coil resistance for the A-3195 is around 12ohms. so at 30v it would have a 2.5A current draw. Since this is a very intermittent-duty use would a 1A rated supply be acceptable?

milhouse

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2011, 04:51:21 pm »
Looking online it's hard to find a 30v supply with more than 1A current output. The coil resistance for the A-3195 is around 12ohms. so at 30v it would have a 2.5A current draw. Since this is a very intermittent-duty use would a 1A rated supply be acceptable?

I was having some issues setting this up and I emailed the company that sold me the relay.  Their response:
Even as low as 10mA should be good enough to trigger the SSR.

MonMotha

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2011, 09:46:49 pm »
30V is a somewhat odd number.  28V is a standard output that's close enough to work.

Do not attempt to draw more than the rated capabilities of the supply even under short-term conditions.  Most switch mode supplies will just shut off.  On a linear supply, you'll probably blow a fuse.  Some supplies are specifically designed for low duty cycle operation, but they should indicate so.

Of course, you can probably find solenoids for this application with more "common" ratings e.g. 24V or maybe even 12V.

whammoed

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2011, 12:55:58 am »
That coil will work on 12volts, it will just be a tad bit softer.  There is a kit out there for original Q-Bert machines that switches the audio amp and knocker from 30v to 12v.

MonMotha

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2011, 04:41:37 am »
That coil will work on 12volts, it will just be a tad bit softer.  There is a kit out there for original Q-Bert machines that switches the audio amp and knocker from 30v to 12v.

In that case, 24V is a very common voltage and probably provides plenty of "kick" if 12V isn't enough for you,

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2011, 05:36:57 am »
does mamehooker hook up to the keyboard leds?  you might be able to do it on the cheap.  I have most of the parts, but qbert isnt' my game.


ids

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2011, 09:41:57 am »
MonMotha - you are quite right about paying a premium for a SSR vs DIY.  I have 4 each of the Darlington, MOSFET, diode and opto-isolator you have spec'd in my DigiKey cart, and combined they are less than half the price of the cheaper SSR you have linked eaerlier.  At this rate, I could build 8+ SSRs for the price of one, with plenty of spare parts to boot.

Now I have a question.

I ordered the pinball knocker linked earlier: http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=675&parent=0  (and knocker plate)
All my googling so far point to this thing being fed 50V

I'm all set to build MonMotha circuit 2 (w/ opto-isolator and Darlington)

What I don't know is how much current is required to drive the knocker.  It sounds like I could possibly feed it a lower voltage.  Either way, what sort of power supply would be optimal, what would be acceptable?  (I would prefer a loud knocking)

Also - any recommendations for a heat-sink?  Or can I leave it, since this is not going to see a lot of usage?

Thanks everyone for all the great info!

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2011, 10:05:35 am »
Original Q-Bert machine uses a 1amp slo blo fuse for the solenoid.  Runs on 30 volts but there are mods to lower the voltage to 28v or even 12v.  (The audio amp is pushed too hard at 30volts, hence the mods)  Original Q-Bert board does not have a heat sink on the driver transistor.  No need for 50v here.  That is a more typical voltage in a pinball machine where the solenoids need to move heavy metal ball bearings (pinballs) around.

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Re: Q*Bert + MAME + Knockers
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2011, 06:37:16 am »
I'm not really looking to build and sell, but putting it together is pretty trivial.

Requirements:
  • Q*Bert Knocker Assembly, available here, or build your own out of a pinball solenoid.
  • 30V DC Power Supply (I used one I had lying around from an old unused cable modem)
  • Solid State Relay (I used this one)
  • LedWiz or PacDrive or any output device supported by Mame Hooker
  • Mame Hooker

Run a wire off the 12V (yellow) wire from a standard PC hard drive power connector to the Input (+) connection on the Relay.  This wire should also have a 500mA fuse installed in-line.
Run a wire from the Input (-) connector to any available port on the LedWiz.
Cut the DC power supply plug off and, after checking the polarity, connect it to the Relay (+) and (-) connections.
Install Mame Hooker and run Q*Bert, jumping off the board so the knocker, in theory, triggers.
Edit the qbert.ini file generated by Mame Hooker (Knocker0 is the output) and add the appropriate code (will post later as I don't have it in front of me).

Am I blind or did you leave out where to hook up the solenoid? Sorry, it's 4am.