WPC DCS Sound and CPU FPGA Project (Page 3)

See here for Page 2

Using an FPGA to replicate no longer available components on the Sound and CPU Boards in a WPC-DCS Pinball Machine.
These include the two ASICs and PAL.

The first prototype board
In partnership with PinScore (later renamed to XPIN), the first prototype board was constructed in May 2009.  It replicates the WPC DMD Driver board, and has a Xilinx XC3S200 FPGA, and is capable of VGA output, RS-232 interface, and has several expansion possibilities for the future.  Of course it handles the standard plasma DMD display also.  This board marks an exciting new phase of this project: from the lab to the factory floor.  Note that its layout matches that of a standard WPC DMD driver board.

This first board replaces the standard WPC DMD board.  It also has
VGA output, and several future expansion options.

I have a nice clean test set up on my home office desktop.
This shows the new board DMD14039 board working.
As you can see a new feature is being able to change the color
of the DMD display by using DIP switches.

First test in my IJ shows the high voltage and the FPGA code working.  Also,
the simultaneous VGA output was tested.

One useful tool is an upcoming product from XPin/PinScore, which is an LED DMD.
I modified this one to run on 5V only, avoiding the issues and hassles with
high voltage on a test bed.

April 2012, the built-in logo screen for the DMD board is shown above.  Unlike the Williams
DMD board, this version has a built-in clock, so it can run without a working CPU board.

In April 2012, Brett Davis (founder of XPIN) showed our DMD board and its logo screen to the organizer of the World Pinball Championships, held by the Professional & Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA).  They asked if I could change and sequence the logo screen with a series of screens.  The idea was to make the DMD board a part of the 2012 championship trophies.  The DMD screen would be mounted in a custom reduced-sized backbox with a custom backglass.  The idea was very interesting to us, and promised to create a completely new type of pinball trophy.

PAPA 2012 backglass
Artwork for the backglass used in the PAPA 2012 trophies.  The rectangular white
area is reserved for the DMD display.  The glass will be mounted in a custom

I had always intended the logo screen be ASCII-editable, so changing them was quite easy, but sequencing multiple screens was not anticipated.  Nevertheless, I was able to have the DMD board sequence 8 different screens, and add a fade-in transition between each one.  I then shipped the programmed boards out to the tournament organizers, and looked forward to seeing the trophies at PAPA 2012.

Video of the trophies at PAPA 2012.  They were arranged together next
to the audience viewing the Division A (top division) players.

View of trophy next to 2012 tournament entrants
Wide photo of one of the trophies with the Division A players in the background.
During the tournament, large hi-definition screens showed a closed circuit camera
view of the playfield of the entrants.  It allowed the crowd a close view of how the player was doing.  You can see one of the screens near the top of the image.
(click for large view).

In construction

The following have contributed to this project.  I am very grateful for their assistance.
John Kent - For his CPU VHDL core and his patient answering of many e-mails.
Martin Reynolds - For his constant assistance with ideas and his knowledge of PinMAMED.
Brent Butler - Who provided the PAL equations and assisted with the Security PIC.
Martin Adrian (aka WPCmame) - for the IO map of the CPU ASIC & Security PIC algorithm.
John Wart Jr. - Who loaned me a WPC-DCS board.
Jim Knight - Who loaned me a WPC-95 A/V board.

If you are interested in assisting with this project, please send me e-mail
I am looking for an IP core for the A/V DSP.

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(c) 2012 Edward Cheung, all rights reserved.