Modification of drop targets

This drop target bank was just donated to one of my many on-life-support pinball projects. Thanks to the legendary Fonzy from

As I have stated many times, I hate leaf switches with a passion. Thus, I have dug out some microswitches and I will attempt to modify the drop target bank with them. This should make a good prototype for the possible implementation of drop targets to a pinball machine.


The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking

Arduino microcontroller update. Well, the Arduino is amazingly popular, and for good reason. While I have only done minimal stuff, the applications that you will be able to engage are limitless. Regarding using pins as inputs, my Arduino 2560 does not seem to have on-board pull-up resistors…and that is a real problem for me. This means my pins were floating and doing all sorts of weird stuff, like hitting random HIGHs and LOWs. I should try to get a different brand of Arduino to make sure that the 2560 in general does not have this problem. Of course I can add an external resistor to +5V to pull the pin up, and I will do this. However, in a completed circuit/unit this will look messy and my AVON driver board does not have them (since it is made for the U-HID, mainly). However, I did design the AVON with pull-DOWN resistors (also to avoid floating pins), so maybe I can reverse it in code. See the AVON here:
Otherwise I would a need in-between board with resistors. See picture for adding a pull-up resistor external to a microcontroller.

For my next project (after Gravity_Kills!), I think I will use the U-HID on the AVON. The idea is doing a hybrid game using mechanical and video. The U-HID outputs will suffice, otherwise I can stack two or more.

Were I to make a self-contained mechanical game, that would not need video graphics or stuff like that, the Arduino would be perfect. Such a project could be wonderfully clean and neat; no Windows PC, no monitor etc. Just an Arduino, an LCD numeric display for score, and having the Arduino controlling inputs/outputs/sounds. This is something I will look into in the future. I like the IDE a lot, and the programming is pretty straightforward.


Modified joystick installed!

Just installed the joystick, will get to the other one soon. It looks a lot better, and also feel better than the Happ Competition joystick I had installed before. That was created for 8-way fighting games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat.


Blinking lights – smoke and mirrors!

Arduino 2560, first impressions. With the small program below I tested all types of pins, PWMs, analog etc. All 54 pins can be set to digital outputs. This is far better than the Ultimarc U-HID, which has about 19 outputs. Programming the Arduino is done by a set of C++ commands, where the U-HID uses a sort of visual interface. Both are great micro controllers, but the U-HID is at least twice as expensive. The U-HID has 50 pins, with a maximum of 19 outputs, the Arduino 2560 has 54 pins, with a maximum of 54 outputs. Off the bat, it seems more agile, but I need to look into how easy it is to control the Arduino through other software, with something like a .dll file. I hope the sketch window can be set with a black background, the white is making me snowblind.