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Author Topic: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed  (Read 655 times)

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buttersoft

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Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« on: December 17, 2022, 05:16:05 am »
Possibly not the best forum for this; feel free to move...

I'd love to add Race Leader lights to my side by side driving setups but i have no idea where to start. The few youtube tutorials i've seen appear to jump spectacularly into the middle and thus make no sense to me. I'd like to be able to use one of the five-dollar arduino micros i have to do the job. Surely i don't need something like an LED Blinky or LEDwiz, right?

Any good guides to starting from scratch? As in, i have a MAME cab, it has no outputs set up and i have bought no hardware related to that. I'm aware that Howard's awesome MAMEhooker exists, but that's it. I have no idea how to set up anything.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2022, 04:46:09 am by buttersoft »

Super-Becker

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2022, 11:26:41 am »
I'm glad someone brought this up here. I would love to rise to Reace Leader especially in San Francisco Rush. I also have no idea how to do it. Although there is a video explaining it, I didn't understand anything.

baritonomarchetto

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2022, 02:50:38 am »
I am not sure if this is what you are looking for, but I think it could be a good start for your arduinos.
I wrote years ago a guide on how to bring MAME outputs to the real world. Take a look eventually.
It's in my mother language: nothing a good online translator could not take care of.
Even if the guide is built around MAME, most concepts and methods apply to any other emulator with outputs support

buttersoft

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2022, 04:50:18 am »
Cheers, i'll take a look! Certainly can't set me back any further than i already am :D

PL1

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2022, 10:01:09 am »
Another possible approach for games like F1 Super Lap that don't have leader lamps, but do display the position number on the screen is to use a LUA plugin script to read the memory location(s) and send a lamp signal via the output system to MAMEHooker.



The details of how to make this approach work are far beyond my abilities, but someone like Jon (10yard) could probably pull it off.


Scott
« Last Edit: December 18, 2022, 10:09:49 am by PL1 »

buttersoft

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2022, 05:07:01 pm »
Thank you, Scott. I was really using race leader lights as an example, i'm not quite sure how far i'll go. I'm still confused though.

... send a lamp signal via the output system to MAMEHooker.

I know that you hook outputs using MAMEhooker (possibly adding Boomslang's output blaster if on TP). I might be able to figure that part out, but i'm confused by how MAMEhooker then sends those signals to an external physical device. Does it have a fixed list of LED controllers? Can it connect to an Arduino or any other microprocessor board?

Google doesn't seem to be helping me, here. As stated, i'd love a woe-to-go example, or at least one that assumes i have MAME or M2emu working, and just want to add lights. I'll give Baritonomarchetto's link a look soon. (I'm actually on hols right now, just thought i'd start the planning :)


Howard_Casto

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2022, 07:12:51 pm »
Go to my website and follow along with the tutorials.

PL1

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2022, 07:31:02 pm »
i'm confused by how MAMEhooker then sends those signals to an external physical device. Does it have a fixed list of LED controllers? Can it connect to an Arduino or any other microprocessor board?
The basic process works something like this for the leader lamps on the Daytona cab marquee:
(LMK if I get something wrong here, Howard.)



1. On the 2 Player cab, there are bulbs behind "Race Leader" on the P1 side and P2 side.
- You can see them in the schematic on page 65 (left side, middle) of the manual here.
- As you can see in this video of the cab in attract mode, the "Race Leader" lamps for each side are independently controlled by the PCB.



2. When MAME emulates Daytona on your PC, it sends status commands to particular variables/RAM addresses(?) via the MAME output system indicating whether the lamps are on or off.
- NOTE: Output system must be set to "windows" in mame.ini.

3. MAMEHooker monitors those variables/RAM addresses(?) to receive those lamp status commands and translate them into USB commands for a supported LED controller (or Arduino with a compatible firmware) to turn a particular channel on/off.

4. The LED controller (or Arduino with a compatible firmware) turns that channel on/off which either lights/extinguishes an LED or energizes/de-energizes a relay that lights/extinguishes a lamp or LED cluster that draws too much current for the controller to provide directly.


Scott

buttersoft

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2022, 05:18:36 am »
Much appreciated Scott, and thanks Howard as well, not to mention for the software ;)

I'll dive into this in more depth when i get back from holidays. Hope you guys have a good break too, and i hope you're doing well, Howard!

EDIT: ok, back from holidays, children happy, bank accounts drained, one ear infection recovered from!

I have tested now, and am able to fire the ardunio pins from MAMEhooker grabbing outputs from GroovyMAME 2.50. First hurdle overcome! I'll go on to other emulators and problems from here. Thanks to all, especially baritonomarchetto for that guide, that was great :)

Hope everyone else's holidays were more restful than mine, but just as much fun :)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2023, 05:15:22 am by buttersoft »

buttersoft

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2023, 07:24:46 pm »
Ok, things are moving, but i'm having a few issues. I can hook supermodel, but if i turn on "enable title bar hooking" it names the emulator but not the rom, and uses it's default ini (will MH always find that default.ini? I ask for reasons). With that unchecked, it names the rom just fine. Is that reversed? on another note, should TP ini files go under the last folder used? In this case the MAME folder? Also, i cannot for the life of me hook m2emu. The title bar for example only says "Daytona USA" with no emu name. I've tried adding it as a standalone game, and it finds the game, but there are no outputs listed. Is there a setting in the emu itself i've failed to change, like there is for supermodel outputs?

I might beg and pretty please ask someone with M2emu, Supermodel, and ideally some TP games, to please zip up working mamehooker ini and settings folders and link them? I'd love to check to see if i've missed anything :/

jorgenjl2

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2023, 03:51:39 pm »
Possibly not the best forum for this; feel free to move...

I'd love to add Race Leader lights to my side by side driving setups but i have no idea where to start. The few youtube tutorials i've seen appear to jump spectacularly into the middle and thus make no sense to me. I'd like to be able to use one of the five-dollar arduino micros i have to do the job. Surely i don't need something like an LED Blinky or LEDwiz, right?

Any good guides to starting from scratch? As in, i have a MAME cab, it has no outputs set up and i have bought no hardware related to that. I'm aware that Howard's awesome MAMEhooker exists, but that's it. I have no idea how to set up anything.

I have thought about doing this to my twin San Franciso Rush cab build so the race leader lights up for whoever is in first (or leader of the two racers if not a ton of code). What device are you using to light up though? Short of buying an old Rush light or a Daytona USA topper with race leader lights on it, are you seeing anything you can purchase that will light up like those? I am guessing this applies to people who have old racing cabinets and not modded from scratch ones?

PL1

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2023, 05:13:07 pm »
i have a MAME cab
What device are you using to light up though?
As mentioned earflier, he's using an Arduino.

Short of buying an old Rush light or a Daytona USA topper with race leader lights on it, are you seeing anything you can purchase that will light up like those? I am guessing this applies to people who have old racing cabinets and not modded from scratch ones?
This brings up the question of whether this can be done on original PCB systems.

For systems using emulation, the preferred approach is the one Buttersoft is using: emulator ==> outputs ==> MAMEhooker ==> Arduino/controller ==> lights.

Disclaimer:  I haven't looked at availability/pricing of original leaderboards or if repros are available, so you might want to check that before diving into the processes described below.   :dunno

If you want to create a leaderboard for original PCB systems from scratch, you would need to find the outputs from the original PCB.
- For example, see step 1 of reply 7 above where I link to the "race leader" lamps in the Daytona schematic.

Those outputs will likely work in one of four ways:
1. The output is designed to directly drive the lamp.
- No need for more power or logic handling, just connect the lamp.   ;D.
- According to the schematics, Daytona is like this.

2. The output is designed to directly control the lamp.
- Needs more power but no logic handling.
- Add a driver circuit (MOSFET? Relay?) and connect the lamp.

3. The output is designed to work with an external logic PCB to control the lamp.
- Probably needs more power and logic handling.
- You'll need to safely connect those PCB outputs to an Arduino.
- Write a sketch to translate those PCB outputs into light outputs.
- Use some sort of driver to power those light outputs since the lamps will almost certainly draw more current than the Arduino can provide.

4. The outputs are on a data bus.
- You're on your own, son. [/Blazing Saddles]   :lol


Scott

jorgenjl2

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2023, 10:03:57 pm »
What device are you using to light up though?
As mentioned earflier, he's using an Arduino.
I don't mean what is he using to process the code to light up the device, I mean what is the target device that is being lit up that looks nice and says "Leader".  IE a Dayton USA topper with race leader, an oem SF Rush "Leader" below marquee light, etc. I cannot find a single example of a pre-built aftermarket product that adds "Leader" type light boxes or even someone who custom built one. If I missed any please do let me know where you have seen them as this has a lot of potential. I may have to make a light box myself with a custom marquee type print I guess. I checked eBay real quick and I see nothing at all whether aftermarket or original arcade leaderboard lights.

jorgenjl2

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2023, 10:08:44 pm »
This just gave me an idea... I could have an extra green led bulb in the marquee of each cab and when that racer is in 1st, it turns on the green led bulb so the marquee turns green. I just have no clue if a green led bulb would look right and shine brightly on a regular marquee. Of course it would not say "Leader" either.

PL1

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2023, 11:08:26 pm »
I don't mean what is he using to process the code to light up the device, I mean what is the target device that is being lit up that looks nice and says "Leader".
I just have no clue if a green led bulb would look right and shine brightly on a regular marquee.
I have no idea what specific lamps/LEDs will work with whatever form of leaderboard anyone would want to use.   :dunno
- Start with the desired board design and test various lamps/LEDs/dividers to find what looks good.
- Whatever lamps/LEDs look good, choose a way to drive them.  Depending on the voltage/current requirements, you might be able to use a MOSFET or a relay.


Scott

buttersoft

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Re: Adding Race Leader lights - advice needed
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2023, 12:28:39 am »
Just to add it back again...

I'm struggling! Any chance someone with M2emu, Supermodel, and ideally some TP games, could please zip up working mamehooker ini and settings folders and link them? I'd love to check to see if i've missed anything :/