Feature examples from Attack from Mars
September 22, 2021:
As I have researched AFMr, I find that there are some differences with how things are connected in the backbox. There is also some variation on the backglass wiring layout.
For the power connector, I am using an open header located in the lower left corner of the Pinball Controller board. Sometimes there is something plugged in here, but other ports in the backbox are free. Please let me know if this header is already in use on your game.
There is a similar header on the Solenoid Board, toward the left side near the middle, marked "DISPLAY". Some games may have been assembled differently? I don't know why it would vary. If this connection is open, we can use it instead for power.
If both are in use, let me know as I'll have to send you a power splitter.
This is what the "light tub" wiring looks like for the Backbox General Illumination (GI) upgrades. There is one Purple General Illumination (GI) connection, and (surprise!) two Green GI connections. The main Green GI connection is closest to the Purple GI connection (middle of the pic). The other Green GI connection is usually nearby (approx 2 inches), but sometimes there are games where the second Green GI connection is further away. Again, I do not know why there are variations, but if your game has the two Green GI connections located further than 2 inches apart, send me the distance between the two connections, and I'll send you a proper cord.
Please send me an Email with the above information, so I can assemble the proper components for your kit(s).
Thank you again for all your patience, we're almost there!!
May 16, 2021:
That said, I am happy to say everything now works as expected!!
Looking forward, I am breaking down the functionality, as different people may want different things. Here's what I have planned:
Please send me an Email, and let me know which package you would like to order. Once I get a better idea of what our targets are, I can start working on ordering parts and building kits. Delivery is expected toward the latter half of summer. Fingers crossed!
Thank you again for all your patience, it is truly appreciated.
November 30, 2020:
Here are some rough milestones since the last update. Distribute healthy quantities of quarantine fatigue, at-home schooling, kids birthdays, etc.
At any rate, I wanted to post an update, so everyone knows where things are right now.
Some other notes: This is the "everything" kit setup. I do have additional plans to supply just the AFM-LED kit for those who need it, as well as a cut-down version of the expansion kit that supports turning off the mini-saucers for Video Mode and Strobe Multiball, as well as includes the Hallway LED functionality. Some of that depends on the final results of the Mothership LED detection circuit/software.
 There are *always* final tests, until all issues are officially resolved. Please take with a grain of salt!
March 31, 2020:
First, my apologies for the long delay. There were many (extended) family issues, and just life in general. A lot of that has been coming to a close, giving me more time to devote to items sorely in need of attention.
As I have been able to focus more on this project, I have made some good progress. Through the help of some local friends (Chuck Casey from the Museum of Pinball, and my friend Damon), I have been able to experiment on an actual AFMr, and scope out how things are going to fit together.
Shortly after release, I began to get comments about how the mini-saucers didn't go dark during things like Video Mode, or Strobe Multiball. I hadn't really thought about that, so I began to collect ideas of what else I wanted to include if I were to create an add-on board to support this particular feature. The AFM-Expansion Kit came out in 2010, and it supported new things like an Enhanced Super Jets animation, Enhanced Backglass Animation (including full blackout during Video Mode or Strobe Multiball), custom brackets and two rows of LEDs in the "Attack Hallway" under the AFM Mother Ship, as well as having the mini-saucer go dark during Video Mode and Strobe Multiball.
In my testing, I believe all of these features can be implemented on AFMr.
The more I looked at it, the more impressed I was that Chicago Coin (CC) had done such an amazing job with the AFMr, and specifically how tightly integrated the red/green LEDs were with the game and light show.
Sadly, this is not the sort of integration I could match or even come close to. My implementation is different, in that the mini-saucers seem to have more autonomy, and a life of their own. They are somewhat separate entities to be dealt with, in the spirit of the game, with less direct influence from the Mother Ship. As much as I love the way the AFMr LE uses the mini-saucer LEDs, I think there's definitely room for both perspectives.
Also, as much as I'd like to build an all-in-one sort of board, with the different AFMr models, it's probably still smarter to make the Mini-Saucer LED part of the kit separate, so that owners of various models can pick and choose at the different features they wish to add or enhance.
The likelihood is that we'll stick with the existing model, where one board handles the mini-saucers, and another board handles the rest. I don't think it's going to be cost effective to break it down any further than that. I'll do my best to make installation as simple (and hopefully solder free) as possible, as well as trying to keep the price point roughly the same as the original AFM versions.
Finally, send Email and let me know what you think!
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