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Interface from scoring system to old Gold Crown duel lane masking system

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  • Interface from scoring system to old Gold Crown duel lane masking system

    In our small, 4-lane parish bowling center, we have 2 Gold Crown, duel lane, masking units with ball and pin lights. The ball indicator lights work just fine. However, the electrical cable that runs from the masking unit to the A2 moving deck for the pin lights has been cut and removed. Additionally, the pin switches on the moving deck, the cables and the pulleys have all been completely or partially removed years ago. We do not wish to replace our masking units, nor do we wish to re-install new pin switches, wiring, and cables and pulleys on the moving deck. Since I am new to this, I was wondering if there is a kit to interface the AS-90 scoring system to the masking unit pin lights. If not, no big deal as we have been living with no pin lights in the masking units for many years I am told. I know the camera counts the standing pins after the first ball, but does it also detect which pins are standing and could that then control which pin lights are lit on the masking unit? Thanks for reading this and appreciate any comments/suggestions.

    Mike B.

  • #2
    As far as I'm aware there was never an interface as you describe for pin indication between the masking units and scoring. They went away from the masking unit and ball return pindicators (Starshield/System 2000) because the scoring was capable of displaying the pin indication without the additional cost and maintenance of the lights, switches and cabling. Pin indicators were also very problematic and tedious to maintain.

    If you're committed to having them, the cost of second hand switches and cabling will be cheaper and easier than commissioning someone to design a custom solution. Having said that, if you or someone you know is knowledgeable enough, a micro controller like an Arduino and some relays will be sufficient for controlling the lights. But you'd need to figure out if it's at all possible to get real time score data from the scoring server. Someone would need to analyse the file structure and write something to send that to the micro controller.

    Still want pin indicators.
    Factory & Converted A-2 (US, Ger, Jap)
    Comscore ECT, Matrix & DuoHD
    Walker B, Sanction Standard, Original K, Flex Walker & Ikon
    Kegel C.A.T.S

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    • #3
      Thanks, Kanga! Our old scoring system does not have overhead displays either. I am beginning to see why the old deck switches and cabling to the masking unit was removed. I think I will give this idea up and just continue to live without functioning pin indicator lights.

      Mike B.

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      • #4
        This could actually be done in a couple ways. I assume you are just wanting to do this for nostalgia purposes. If that's the case then it's a mater of time and money that you want to invest.

        The pindicator used a plate that was above the pin pad. When a pin was under the pad it lifted the plate and activated a switch. When the previous owner disconnected ours he just cut the cables and left the plates, switches and brackets in place. If your plates and switches are still in place then this would be simple to get back in working order with some modern upgrades as James has indicated. So the level of destruction would come in to play and you would need to take an inventory to see how many switches would need to be put back in place. Not really a big deal to reinstall them if the brackets are still in place. This wold probably be the simplest and most economical approach.

        The other method that quickly comes to mind would be the use of the small scale scoring that has been posted on this site. I haven't tried this system but if memory serves, one user asked for such a feature to be included. Whether it made it in or not they could tell you. But since this isn't being used for actual scoring, you could use this system just to run your indicator lights and the main scoring would be left to do the scoring. This would be more expensive than the first option though because you would need a small computer and camera for each pair of lanes at about $50 per pair. It would prevent you from needing to re-install the switches though but at a higher cost.

        I would probably start by reinstalling the switches if the other components are still in place. This would be the cheapest, quickest and easiest in my opinion and would add some of that old time nostalgia back into the game.

        Let us know if you want to look into this further.

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        • #5
          Thank you, exMech for your in-depth reply. Most of the brackets and switches and wiring has been cut and removed from all 4 lanes. Apparently, as deck chutes were replaced, the brackets were simply discarded. Acquiring the needed replacement parts and re-installing them is not a task we wish to undertake. That said, I would like to look further into the second option you mentioned. I will do some searching on this site for "small scale scoring." Purchasing 2 cameras at about $50 each, and acquiring a small computer is not a problem. If you have any additional info or some advice as to where I should be looking, I would be most appreciative. Thanks again for your time.

          Best regards, Mike B.

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          • #6
            There are at least two different projects going on. The first is Open Score by member Compy and the second is ScoreMore by member Minibowler. You can do a search of either of these program names and it will show you several results. These two have teamed up recently to combine the two projects into Scoremore. There have been several posts on each but the link below will get you to a starting point and video of the early stages of the system. This should allow you to get in touch with Minibowler to see if it looks like his system will do what you want. Like I said, I haven't really explored either of these very much so I'm not sure where they are at in the development or features process.

            The biggest hurdle I see is that with the scoring system it will expect user names and track each game. You don't really need all this as you already have a scoring system and it would be a pain to enter a user in this system and the actual scoring system. Plus when you add or subtract players it would become messy and a number of other problems. So you would need a stripped down version that doesn't really do any scoring but simply reports pin fall each time a ball is detected. Also you wouldn't need the ball trigger as you already have that.

            If Minibowler isn't able to help you out, let me know. I wrote several different versions a few years back in different programming languages that run on either an old windows pc or a raspberry pi (a small one board computer costing about $35). I could help you set up a stripped down version that does just pin detection but as I'm currently working on a couple other projects I can't say how quick this could happen. Also I wouldn't necessarily give up on the switch option yet either. There are other things you can do there.

            Whichever route you decide to take you would still need an interface board to control the lights. This can be done with either relays or electronic switching. You could use the original lights or modify them to use led's. You have a lot of options at hand.

            I'm glad to see you are willing to take on this project. I love when people want to do projects like this and am glad to help out where I can.

            Here is the link to one of the ScoreMore posts.

            https://www.bowltech.com/forum/small...el#post1100070

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            • #7
              Thanks, again, exMech. I will pursue this and update here when I have some additional info.

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              • #8
                Hi, I'm the creator of ScoreMore. MiniBowler showcases it on his YouTube channel since he likes the program.

                Regarding the first post here, ScoreMore supports Arduino Leonardo cards to connect ball lights and also pindication lights.

                ScoreMore is free so try it out! Also send me an email and we could make sure it will working for you.

                //ThinkClever

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