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Using existing pinball switch to fire external circuitry ...

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Wes, Jul 30, 2003.

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  1. Wes

    Wes Guest

    I would like to utilize the closure of an existing switch in my
    pinball machine (Bally KISS) to trigge
    r external circuitry. My initial
    idea is to have a spinner switch create a pulse that would serve as a
    clock for a decade counter (4017

    So I researched the fundamentals of the switch matrix and how it is
    scanned by U10 on a -35 MPU. The
    manual shows the 2 wires (poller/send + switched return) on the MPU J2
    connector to be at pins 4 and 14, respectively.

    So initially, I figured that I could simply tap off these 2 wires and
    feed them into an AND gate, usin
    g the AND output for the clock pulse into the 4017 counter. BUT, here
    is what I have found, and I'm h
    oping someone can help me accomplish the goal. I'm thinking a
    comparator or some sort of A/D converte
    r is needed, but I'm inexperienced in the application/use of linear

    When I measure the voltage of the strobe/send wire (J2 pin 4), I do
    get the expected pulse and I was a
    ble to clock a 4017 directly with this send. Obviously, this doesn't
    isolate the closure of the spinn
    er switch, though.

    The voltage at the RETURN (J2 pin 14) is where I start to lose it. I
    expected it to be near 0V when t
    he switch is open, and near +5V when the switch is closed. But what I
    find is that this pin seems to
    be strobing, and when I measure the voltage, I get around +3.2V when
    the switch is open, and around +3
    ..4V when closed. I WAS able to see that this .2V delta is consistent
    with other switches in the same
    column of the matrix, so ....

    I do seem to have almost what I need - I'm thinking I can determine
    (theoretically) that the switch mu
    st be closed if:
    1) the send wire is "high"
    2) the return wire is relatively "highER" (the .2V delta)

    So, I THINK if I could just translate the +.2V delta into a logic
    "high", then I could feed the AND ga
    te as I originally thought I could do. Any insight into how I could
    make this work would be greatly a

    I do realize that there are other (possibly better) ways to accomplish
    this end goal - i.e. an isolate
    d parallel switch, an opto-decoupler - BUT I'm intrigued by the idea
    of tapping directly into the swit
    ch matrix, and if I could get a handle on it, it would open up a world
    of ideas for modifications with
    easy installation (piggy back off the MPU J2 connector).

    Thanks! -Wes
  2. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    (Wes) wrote in message
    Well, you've figured out that it's strobed (or scanned) - this is a
    Good Thing. :) So what you want to do is sample that particular
    switch's return line _while_ it's being strobed. And since the
    spinner is so much slower than the scanner clock, you don't want
    to gate the clock pulses with the spinner switch - clock a D
    flip-flop with the strobe line, and get its input from the other
    side of the switch. (possibly conditioned). That should give you
    a reasonable approximation of a rectangular wave which shows
    the current state of the spinner switch.

    Good Luck!
  3. Wes

    Wes Guest

    Thanks Rich! This has helped me out tremendously, although I still
    can't get the desired result.

    Your mentioning that the switch contact is much slower than the strobe
    frequency made me see that I was on a horribly wrong track. Since
    closure of the switch will only "make a copy of" the strobe signal on
    the return line, by feeding an AND gate with these 2 lines, all I'll
    get is the same strobe at the out of the AND - not at all what I want
    to clock the 4017.

    But I just don't understand what I'm seeing - the return line is
    pulsing, whether or not the switch is closed. I would have thought
    that as long as no switch on that return line was closed, its voltage
    would be "low". And I would have thought that if ANY switch on the
    return line was closed, it would pulse at the rate of the send for the
    closed switch. Not the case - that return line just pulses away
    regardless of the switch's state...

    When I hooked up the D FF as you suggested (clock with send, use
    return line of switch for data), the Q output just pulses away whether
    or not the switch is closed (it's a nice steady pulse). That seems
    really weird to me - since we're tracking the return line ONLY when
    the send line is going high, it seems like a steady pulse wouldn't

    Here's one thing that occurred to me: since the FF will clock on the
    rising EDGE of the send pulse (thus transferring the D input to Q
    output), and the D input on the other side of the CLOSED switch is
    just a "copy of" the send/clock, won't the D input then be in sort of
    a transient state (going from low to high just as the clock is), thus
    making it a bit unpredictable as to what will get transferred to Q?

    Why would that return line be consistently pulsing? Could it be just
    be the effect of the pin being READ? I would have thought since it's
    an INPUT pin to the PIA, its being read wouldn't affect its voltage.

    See, this is how I understand the switch matrix works:

    There are 8 sends and 8 returns. Each send drives a column of 8
    switches, and each return "reads" a row of 8 switches. Then in a
    round robin fashion, this algorithm happens:

    make only first send high
    read each return, sequentially
    (1 closed switch on send line will cause
    high to appear on 1 return line)
    make only second send high
    read each return, sequentially
    (1 closed switch on send line will cause
    high to appear on 1 return line)

    Could it be the sequential READING of the return lines that makes it

    - Wes
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