This manual describes the interface needed for communication between a modified Bingo Cabinet and a computer running Bingo simulation programs, downloaded from bingo.joopriem.nl.
You’ll find no information here how to modify the Cabinet, that’s something you have to find out yourself. Some guys already went through the process and published a set of documents about the subject, including source for the microcontrollers.
Most likely you will start with an old Bingo Cabinet where you’ll have to strip all unnecessary cables, and rewire it in such a way that it fits to the microcontroller. Cables to and from Cabinet’s switches, buttons and liftmotor are led to the microcontroller I/O-pins (normally via an interfaceboard with buffers and amplifiers).
The microcontroller communicates with a computer running the Bingo games, to which a large screen is connected displaying the Backglass of the current game.
After all the work is done, the result will basically look like this:
To cover all possible Bingo simulations, the following buttons, switches and units are required on your Cabinet. They will all have to be wired to the microcontroller:
Communication between microcontroller and computer running the games is conducted through a serial connection. Even without a physical connection it is possible to watch communication between your future microcontroller and a Bingo game program. For this purpose a helper program called ‘Bingo Cabinet Simulator’ (BCS) is developed, for both Windows and OSX.Possible configurations are:
Configuration 1: Bingo game program and Cabinet Simulator running together on Windows PC or Mac. Game program and BCS communicate internally. Use it to watch communication between game program and controller. No hardware or Serial USB connection required.
Configuration 2: Bingo game program running on Computer 1 (Windows PC or Mac). Cabinet Simulator running on Computer 2 (Windows PC or Mac). Communication through Serial USB.
Configuration 3: BCS running on a computer. Controller, wired and programmed, maybe already mounted in Cabinet, receives Backglass-related commands directly from Cabinet Simulator through Serial USB connection.
Use this Configuration for quickly testing Cabinet hardware like ballift, shutterboard etc.
We will use Configuration 1 to watch the codes being transmitted and received without having any hardware attached. Watch the communication carefully because when your microcontroller is programmed and wired it should behave exactly like BCS.
For this connection some communication has already taken place automagically. Look at the bottom pane of BCS and you’ll see something like this:
The left of the list displays commands sent from Backglass (game program) to Playfield (microcontroller), on the right commands from Playfield to Backglass.
The part from BCS in the image above is a representation of buttonrail and frontside cabinet. Let’s start with pushing the 10 credits button. You’ll see that a
The rest of the codes are a repetition of
If you press the Red button a second or more times to advance Features and Scores, communication will be about the same, of course now without the ‘open shutterboard’ and ‘lift ball’ commands.
To bring a ball into play with Bingo Gameroom Simulator:
|Char||Ascii||Hex||Description||BG <-> PF*|
|)||41||29||Add 10 credits||<-|
|1||49||31||Single coin inserted||<-|
|4||52||34||Turn Red rollover light off||->|
|5||53||35||Turn Red rollover light on||->|
|6||54||36||Turn Yellow rollover light off||->|
|7||55||37||Turn Yellow rollover light on||->|
|8||56||38||Yellow rollover button is hit||<-|
|9||57||39||Red rollover button is hit||<-|
|<||60||3C||Turning knob left||<-|
|>||62||3E||Turning knob right||<-|
|?||63||3F||Remote side: identify yourself||<->|
|A ... Y||65 ... 89||41 ... 59||Ball in hole 1 to 25||<-|
|Z||90||5A||Ball in Ball Return||<-|
|[||91||5B||Open ballboard, keep Odd numbers||->|
|\||92||5C||Abort the connection||<->|
|]||93||5D||Open ballboard, keep Even numbers||->|
|a||97||61||Feature button A pressed||<-|
|b||98||62||Feature button B pressed||<-|
|c||99||63||Feature button C pressed||<-|
|d||100||64||Feature button D pressed||<-|
|e||101||65||Feature button E / button Left pressed||<-|
|f||102||66||Feature button F / button Right pressed||<-|
|g||103||67||Golden/orange button pressed||<-|
|l||108||6C||Lift a ball||->|
|n||110||6E||Red button pressed||<-|
|u||117||75||Green button pressed||<-|
|v||118||76||Blue button pressed||<-|
|w||119||77||White button pressed||<-|
|x||120||78||Yellow button pressed||<-|
|z||122||7A||Ball through Gate||<-|
|128 ... 136||B0 ... B8||Ball number identifier||->|
* -> = message from Backglass to microcontroller
<- = message from microcontroller to Backglass
<-> = message can come from both sides
Note: if you press key F1 in Bingo Cabinet Simulator you’ll see all codes as an overlay over the various buttons.
With the ASCII/Hex button you can toggle between Ascii / Hex notation.
Communication between microcontroller and computer running the games is conducted through a Serial USB connector:
SerialUSB connectors are for sale everywhere over the internet and cost only a few dollars. You need two of them. There are many compatible ones, but let’s assume you’ve managed to get a set similar to above image on Ebay.
Make a connection cable out of the two adapters by tying both GND wires together, leave VCC’s open and cross the TxD and RxD lines, like this:
To connect Bingo games with the microcontroller or Cabinet Simulator, you have to use Bingo Gameroom. The thought behind this is to prevent that every single game has to make this connection separately. So Bingo Gameroom is used to set up the initial connection and saves it as Global default. All new (suitable) games will use this setting.
You’ll need 2 computers (can be Windows or Mac, or mixed) with a free USB-slot. If you plug in your Serial USB connector in a USB-slot the very first time, appropriate drivers are loaded (on a Mac you may have to do that by hand).
To test the cable we’ll use Configuration 2. Start Gameroom on one, and Cabinet Simulator on the other. First we check if the correct drivers for the Serial USB connectors are loaded. Goto Bingo Gameroom >
Do the same in BCS. When both USB ports are set correctly, convince yourself that other settings like
There is a very basic test available by pressing the button
After all this testing it’s time to start building. So buy a big screen and try to find an old Bingo Cabinet to modify it so it can be controlled by a microcontroller.
And when you have your 25-hole Cabinet ready, why not go for a 20-holer, maybe just a replaceable playfield? The games are ready for it, they just wait for the first person to just do it...!
I wish you lots of success, and please keep me posted at email@example.com