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Creating a Matrix?


Sillypins
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I collect, restore, and work on pinballs as another hobby other than animated lighting and I can't quit thinking about the similarities between LOR controllers and how a pinball controls lamps/switches.  Pinball uses 8 columns and 8 rows to generate 64 channels to control the lamps in a game.  I cant help but rack my brain to use channels 1-8 to drive the rows and 9-16 to drive the columns.  Has anyone else had this thought?  I surely can't be the only one.  Progamming might become overwhelming.  Thoughts?

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The issue is that the 8x8 matrix you describe requires DC power and different polarity transistors to switch the positive (column) and negative (row). That type of matrix won't work with 120VAC. Also, the LOR controllers don't support the scanning necessary. Even if you did wire it up somehow with diodes and half of the channels switching the neutral, each light would only get 1/16 of its 100% power.

 

The direction you need to go for this type of display is towards pixels.

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Actually, (hate to say it, but it CAN be done...) BUT, (there's always a BUT). But, it's NOT as simple as you would think....

 

IN a nutshell, Triacs are driven THROUGH their load, the neutral is on the board for board electronics, and the other side of the load NOT the drive side, rather, the "driven" side.

 

generally a "Diac" or opto-coupled Diac, gets it's drive source from the same "Line side" (black) the break-over voltage causes the gate to conduct, this in-turn allows T1 and T2 (terminal 1 & 2 of the triac) to join for one cycle of AC, IF the gate is still active in the next cycle, they (T1 & 2), continue to conduct, if the gate is thrown low (off) then the finish of the current AC cycle as it crosses the "0 point" will open the connection of T1 & 2.

 

Dimming is done by tuning the gate on later in the AC cycle (eg: at the top of the sine or on the trailing edge this will (to our eyes) make the lamp look dimmer (by virtue of only being on for 1/120 of a second instead of 1/60. (or even 1/180 and so on).

 

It would require a re-work of the driven board (triacs on the neutral side of things) the potential of crossover and backward wired cords would most-likely pop triacs like crazy, BUT... it can be done.

 

you would have to cut traces on the board, and the dongles would have to be custom wired (64 of them, no less) AND you would have to remember one thing...... the TOTAL amperage on any one channel  (X or Y) would be the SUM of ALL 8 "driven" (example, X1 and Y1-8 sumed to only 8 amps,that is only 1 amp per channel in the matrix,.

 

you would be better off to use some custom boards, with higher amperage triacs on the hot side (drive side) 

 

The drawback on this is that the complexity almost out weighs the low cost of the DIY LOR boards, in the first place.

 

Greg

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