Welcome to my Creature from the Black Lagoon DMD panel mod page.

There is a lot of talk out there about the DMD panel on Creature from the Black Lagoon that is kinda plain looking. A collector named Paul (aka Hoopstar), came up with a great modification for the game. You can see his page here.

The original creator of the mod did a fantastic job of adding lights to the taillights of the cars. He mentioned that he would like to perhaps illuminate the flying saucer, Starlight sign, and the moon. Since I have the DMD taken apart and won't want to take this all apart again in the future to add mods, I am going to do as much as I can now.

I plan on doing the following:

* Add red LEDs to the taillights of the cars.
* Add a blue LED to illuminate the moon.
* Add a multi-colored cycling LED (RGB) to illuminate the flying saucer.
* Add an LED sequencer board that I built to sequence blue LEDs to light the letters of the Starlight and Drive-In sign.
* Add a yellowLED to illuminate the star in the STARLIGHT sign.
* Repaint the metal speaker mesh to freshen up the screened images.

You can go to Andy's page to see how he did his, or just continue reading as I also took pictures of my progress.

I took the DMD panel out of the game, removed all hardware and removed the plastic DMD panel.

To begin with, the double-sided black tape needs to be removed. I thought about using the freeze method to remove the tape but I didn't know what the cold would do to the plastic of the DMD panel. I have used my heat gun on many plastics to soften them and flatten them. I decided to try it to soften the glue on the tape. It worked very well and you could tell the tape was ready to be pulled off as the plastic of the panel started to soften. You simply heat an area of the tape then grabit and carefully pull. As the glue cools, the tape will become harder to pull off. Grab the heat gun and go again.

With the tape removed, the next step is to remove all the adhesive left behind. Going on a suggestion by a good friend and fellow pinball collector named Steve Corley, I tried using some Orange Power from Pinrestore.com, to remove the residual glue. You will find the Orange Power near the bottom of the page. I can tell you that this stuff is incredible!! I made a note in the picture stating that this section came completely clean and glossy in less than three minutes! You can see that to the left, there is still a lot of dirty glue residue remaining. No problem for Orange Power! I am including a pictures of the panel being cleaned, Orange Power, and the heat gun I used from Cumminstools.

 

In the next picture, I show the entire panel. You can still see that the majority of the panel is still covered in glue. You may also notice my dirty fingerprints in the glue from my attempts to remove the tape. I balled up some of the tape and placed it above the panel to show what it looked like after removal.

Here are a couple more pictures to show you the glue all over the DMD panel and the balled up tape that came off.

 

While spraying on the Orange Power and waiting only about 15 seconds, I was able to completely clean the glue off the DMD panel simply by wiping with a clean shop cloth while turning frequently. I then used Novus 2 to clean off any residual glue and Orange Power left behind. Below are a couple of pictures showing the completed DMD panel.

 

As I mentioned, there are several areas on the DMD panel that can be modified


Full panel showing many mod areas

Below are some pictures showing potential mod locations such as the flying saucer, moon, STARLIGHT sign, Drive-In sign, and taillights. All of these will be modded and I will document what I do to them in hopes of helping someone else take the plunge to mod their Creech.

   
     UFO to the upper left and moon       STARLIGHT and Drive-In signs       Automobile Taillights can glow


Lighting the STARLIGHT and Drive-In signs with sequencing LEDs.

The first stage I will begin with is the lighting of the STARLIGHT sign. At first, I was just going to light it with some electroluminescent wire. But, after looking at that option and also electroluminescent panels, I found that it was going not what I wanted because it would simply light everything at once. The panels can be cut to shape, but they need their own power supply and also a converter for power and frequency. In lieu of the electroluminescence, I decided to use LEDs.

While thinking about my options, I looked up and saw the lights on my router blinking. That is when I thought of cycling the LEDs across the sign! To do this, I had to find a circuit to build. I found the following schematic.

Basically, what we have here is a circuit based on the 4017 chip and a 555 timer chip. The 4017 is a CMOS decade counter with 10 decoded outputs. The 555 is used for timing. Every time the 555 pulses, the 4017 chip will sequence to the next output. This chip has 10 outputs. Therefore, we have the ability to drive 10 LEDs. This is how I will illuminate the letters of the STARLIGHT sign and the Drive-In sign. Why did I decide to build this from scratch and not find a pre-made circuit board from a toy or something? Because I like to build circuits and the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction is much for fulfilling when you see the circuit working for the first time.

Once I had the circuit and understood how it worked, I looked around for the parts. Luckily, I had all the parts in stock! Yes, I stockpile parts. Below is a picture of the initial organization of parts and the circuit diagram.

 

Once all the parts were acquired, it was time to start putting the circuit together. I initially started out with lofty goals and I was going to etch my own circuit board onto copper, traces and all. Initially, I had most of the circuit drawn in a free prototyping software package I found on the Internet. However, as I got to the section that held all the driver transistors, I couldn't finish the board unless I went to a double-sided methodology. I scrapped that idea and decided to build the circuit on a prototyping breadboard. This board is complete with copper traces. You just need to watch how you place your components because some traces are shorted together while others are not.

Below is the start of the prototype. I put in the 4017, the 555, and some of the support components that determine timing on the 555 chip. I also have in place, some of the transistors as I test-fit them.

 

Initially, I thought that creating this circuit on the proto-board would be easy. I should have known better. This board has many traces pre-designed to hopefully aid the hobbyist in laying out their components. It took me a while to figure out their design of the traces and how to keep components from shorting to others. The traces are very close to each other also. Thus, soldering is difficult. Below is a picture to better illustrate what I am talking about.

 

Once the components were placed, I could start on wiring the various connections needed. Finding a way to lay out the transistors was quite difficult. I ended up having one leg bent quite a bit backwards to tap into a line of copper that I could use as a, "power bus," of sorts. The pictures below illustrate more progress as I start to wire the connections. I used very fine solid wire simply because that is what I had laying around that was small.

I continued to add wires and components as illustrated below.

In the schematic, it illustrates that all the cathodes of the LEDs are attached to a common bus. I didn't want to expand the board further past the transistors. I am hoping to be able to cut the board with a cutting disk to make it as small as possible. What I noticed was a strip of connectors off to the side of the proto-board. From there, I jumpered a ground connection to that area and soldered a piece of resistor lead in. that allowed me to make a ground-bus out of those connections for the LEDs. Below is a picture of the new soldered section. Note that a lot of the solder flux will be cleaned once I am finished building the circuit.



Once all the connections were completed, I tried to power the circuit up and it worked! As a test, I simply pushed two red LEDs into the proto-board and wrapped the leads of the transistor around one end, and laid the other lead across the ground bus I created. When I gave the circuit power, the two LEDs started to cycle back and forth. In reality, the LEDs will be on long wires that will allow them to be placed into holes drilled into the panel at a later date. In this case, I just wanted to see if the circuit would work. Below is a picture snapped while the LEDs cycled. Keep in mind that with two LEDs, you will see just two flashing. This circuit will employ 10 LEDs (9 for the STARLIGHT sign and 1 for the Drive-In sign), when installed in the game.

I have included below, a short video to illustrate the test in action.


        Video showing LED test

 


Re-painting the speaker panel grills!

The speaker grills on Creature have a nice picture of the Drive-in sign and a speaker painted on them. The paint on mine seemed dull. I have all new airbrush equipment since I wanted to learn how to airbrush and eventually do quality touch-ups on my playfields if needed. Using a paint brush is one thing, but stepping up the quality and using an airbrush is another. I also felt that the black on the DMD panel had become bland looking also. Therefore, I am going to attempt to use my airbrush for the first time and re-paint them! Below are a few shots of the parts before painting.

I took a deep breath and went to the shelf and pulled down some airbrush equipment. I have a lot of brand new equipment but have never had the guts to try it. I have no idea how to use an airbrush but have since, read a bunch of books. I figured this project would be a good way to test things out. Below are a couple pictures depicting the airbrush and paints I used. I believe the airbrush is an Iwata.

  

After practicing on a large pieces of paper, I was set to go. I first took some black paint and airbrushed a new layer of paint onto the DMD panel. As you see below, it added a nice deep black color to the faded original panel.

The speaker grills are black. I believe the speakers grills were silk-screened with the pictures. On top of that, I later noticed that in the middle, there were either words or shapes in black. This is going to be difficult and required a lot of thought. I decided to first use Frisket paper. This would allow me to stick the paper onto the grill and then with an xacto knife, I would cut out the design portion only. I would then paint this with white. Below is the frisket paper.

I laid the frisket paper onto the panel. In the picture below, I pulled a corner up to show the difference.

 

Once the frisket paper was laid onto the grill, I then started the process of cutting out the white portion of the panel.

 

Now for the tough part. How was I going to protect the black letters in the center from getting sprayed by the paint? I thought of a bunch of things to try but each one had some sort of drawback. I recalled from reading my airbrush books that a common item they use is a liquid frisket or mask material. It is like rubber cement I believe. I didn't have any of that. I remembered putting Elmer's glue on my hand as a kid and peeling it off and screaming at my Mother that I ripped off my skin! I was a great kid as you can tell. I thought that perhaps, I could use the Elmer's glue and rub it off when finished. It was a good idea! Here is what I used.

I opened the cap to allow only a fraction of the glue to come out at a time. I carefully dropped glue on all black areas that I wanted protected from the white paint I was going to spray. I then sprayed the paint over the grill. The frisket protected the large areas from the white paint and the glue protected the small areas. Here is a picture to show the paint sprayed on with the glue still intact as well as the frisket paper.

I used my air compressor to blast the glue from the backside of the board. It blew out any glue that remained in the holes. From the front, I started to pull off the glue. Pictured below is an example of the grill during the process of pulling off the glue. You will see some black paint showing where I pulled the glue off and you will also see some of the white glue remaining in the holes and on top of the grill.

Below I include a picture showing the final outcome. The paint is much more vibrant and the black lettering survived the painting process without a hitch.

To illustrate why I wanted to re-paint these speaker grills, I put the newly painted grill next to the untouched original speaker panel. I think you can see in the picture the difference in brightness and color.

The next panel, as you can see above, was also rather difficult because of the many different shapes that I was going to have to cut around. Not only that, but there are fine black lines on the speaker picture that would most likely have to be hand-painted in later. However, I tried to maintain as much frisket as possible. The two pictures below will depict the frisket being applied and a great example of the glue being applied to areas that I wanted to ensure were protected from the paint.

 

The following picture will show the grill in the process of being painted.

 

These last two pictures will show the much more vibrant final outcome of the re-paint (left picture), along side the original picture. Sorry about the flash washing it out a bit. I should also note that I hand-pained a few black areas with a brush to better refine the picture. From the factory, there was overspray and a couple of areas that didn't match the lines of the picture, therefore I fixed them.

 

 


Preparing and Assembling DMD panel for LEDs

To again give credit where credit is due, much of the information I used for this mod came from the original designer here.
I am going to continue to show you the process I went through to hopefully impart a little more detail as to what I did.

I bought some tracing paper from Walmart. It was a bit hard to find since I figured it would be in the crafts section. It ended up being in the kids section!

I placed the tracing paper across the DMD panel and secured it with tape. The tracing paper will be used to trace the locations of where I will want light to shine and thus, where I will need to drill holes.

With the paper attached, I started tracing the locations on the panel. My panel is going to have illuminated, the car taillights, the flying saucer, the moon, all the letters of the STARLIGHT sign, and the Drive-In sign. As I was tracing the locations, I also started thinking that I might expand on this idea to include one more non-flashing LED. I decided to continually illuminate the star near the Drive-In sign with a yellow LED. Here are a few pictures illustrating the traced holes.

   

Below is a picture showing the entire traced panel.

Once I had the location of the holes traced, it was time to take the DMD panel apart so that I could start using the tracing paper to drill holes and modify the panel. Below are some photos showing the disassembly of the panel.

 

The tracing paper now needs to be attached to the front of the panel in order for me to find the locations of the holes to be drilled. Below are a couple pictures illustrating the placement of the paper in preparation for drilling.

 

Once the drilling was finished, I had holes ready to accept the LEDs. I did not drill all the way through, but I did drill down far enough to allow the LED to sit flush in the hole. Check out the finished drilling stage below.


OOOPS! Once I drilled the holes, I found that some of the holes ended up underneath one speaker! What I decided to do was to make an adapter to lift the speaker up high enough to allow me to put an LED underneath it. I am no fabricator so this is totally from scratch and frankly, it looks it! In the picture below, I traced the outside of the speaker onto some Lexan that I bought from Home Depot. Using some more of the tracing paper, I tried to trace the interior of the speaker assembly.

I then cut the center of the tracing paper out so that I could trace the circle onto the Lexan. I needed to trace the correct dimensions so that when the adapter is put in place, it won't interfere with the speaker. Below is the interior pattern.

I did a test-fit of the interior pattern onto the outer pattern of the speaker.

Everything lined up well enough and I drew the circle onto the original drawing on the Lexan.

Amazingly, I cut out the entire interior of this adapter using my Dremel! Strange I know, but when I cut a notch out to fit a saw in to cut it out, I found the Dremel cut it like butter! Not the nicest nor the smoothest job, but as I stated earlier, I am no fabricator.

With the interior removed, it was now time to cut out the exterior portion.

The following pictures illustrate the adapter and test-fit shots. I used the Dremel and some attachments to smooth out the plastic and make it a little more respectable. I also cut out some semi-circle areas to allow the placement of the LEDs. If you notice in the last picture, I also had to cut through the adapter to allow an LED to go in that location. The adapter is still in one piece and should work fine once the speaker is screwed down. I have included several pictures below to show you the various stages of the adaptor and it's test fit.


The next phase required me to start test-fitting LEDs and putting the proper colored LED in the proper hole. I am using blue LEDs to light the STARLIGHT sign. The star and the drive-in portion of that sign will be using yellow LEDs. All the car taillights will be red obviously. The UFO will have a multi-color red-green-blue LED, and the moon will have a blue LED also. Below is a picture illustrating the test-fit and the colors used.

Obviously I don't have all the LEDs test-fitted at this point but that will come along soon enough. Next, I had to deal with the circuit board. It is funny how what you imagine in your mind, doesn't exactly flesh out in real life. What I thought in my mind to be a nice wide-open DMD panel, was in reality a very cramped space when I got back to look at things. Time to see where to fit my board! I knew I was going to have to make the board smaller from the start but once I saw that the only space available was over on the left side, I was really going to have to shave some size down. Below is a picture of the re-sized board using a cutting disk on my Dremmel.

Once the board was cut down to the smallest size I could manage, I test-fit the board and found that I still needed just a tad more space as you can see below as it sits on the speaker.

I made some markings on the speaker plate and using the same cutting wheel attachment, cut off a sliver on the left side to give me a little more room as shown below in the series of pictures.

With a little cutting here and sanding there, the board now fit nicely as you can see below.

I needed something to use as stand-offs for the board. I didn't really have anything pre-made for this. Therefore, I took a stand-off from a Bride of Pinbot I had old parts from, cut it, and used it to make stand-offs for the board. Included are a series of photos below to show the stand-offs and the board mounted.

There were more LEDs to test-fit in the DMD panel and I moved onto that portion of the project. I decided to hot-glue the LEDs into the board to keep from having to use a ton of staples etc and to make it easier to remove the LEDs if any become defective. I also found that a couple of LEDs were actually UNDER a speaker! I had to hot-glue them in and bend their leads to be under the adaptor I made. I used a Sharpie to mark the negative legs for future hookup. See pictures below.

Out of curiosity, I decided to do a quick inventory and find out just how many LEDs I was putting into this project. :)

As seen on the list, I mentioned that I was going to put in a multi-colored LED that automatically cycles colors from Red-Green-Blue. As a test, I hooked up a current-limiting resistor and an LED to my bench power supply and here is the video of that test.

Ok, we have all the LEDs hot-glued into the panel. It is time to start the task of wiring everything together. I will start on the STARLIGHT sign. The circuit board has the ground plane on it that we want to have all the LEDs connect to. Therefore, I will start by wiring all the negative (short) legs together with hookup wire as seen below.

The positive leads of the LEDs will be connected to the outputs from the board. The outputs from the counter chip go to their own transistor to boost the power. I want these LEDs to light in sequence. Therefore, I had to figure out which output pin fires first, then second, etc. I looked at the output diagram for the chip, determined which pin fired first and marked it's position on the board. The outputs are in binary so we have to start the count at zero and go to 9 for the ten outputs. Pictures included below.

 

I knew there was going to be quite a few wires to deal with and I wanted to have the ability to disconnect the board in case something fails in the circuit. I decided to make a connector to go between the board and the LEDs. I decided to use some .100 connectors and pins that I had in stock. Seen below is a picture illustrating the beginning of the cable-making process.

I decided to put the female side on the circuit board half of the connectors. I cut 10 wires to a length I felt would be suitable and I stripped wire from both ends and crimped pins on one end of each wire as seen below.

Earlier, I determined which pin gave the correct sequenced output to make the LEDs light in order. I then labeled the connector with 0-9 so that I could keep all the connections from the LEDs in the correct order to match up with those pins illustrated below.

 

Next I had to solder in all the wires. I had my little stand (I think they are called Helping Hand), there to hold the board. I held the wire from below and soldered it from the other side. You can see the picture below illustrating the soldering in progress.

The next set of pictures shows all the wires soldered in and then inserted into the connector. I was careful to ensure that the correct output was connected to it's corresponding spot on the connector. The other side of the connector assembly will be labeled the same way to ensure the correct LEDs match up.

I attached a wire to the bottom side of the board at the row of solder I made to be the ground plane. I then bent the wire (old resistor lead), upward to be used at the attachment point for the common grounds of the LEDs. The picture below illustrates me soldering the nearest LED's negative lead to the ground lead on the board.

It was time to start working on the other half of the connector assembly that comes from the LEDs. In this step, I labeled the LEDs from 0-9 in the order I wanted them to light so that I would know which wire I would eventually solder the wires to. I also started building the connector which I also labeled with the corresponding numbers to keep everything straight. Pictures shown below.


MAJOR CHANGE HAPPENED LATER!

As with any custom project, there are bound to be Gremlins ready to bite you. I got bitten. I am putting this change here because I basically did everything the same, but I had to re-orient the boards. Once I had finished mounting all the boards and had wired everything together, I attempted to test fit the DMD panel in the game. Due to the small piece of wood on each side that the hooks on the DMD attach to, the boards were in the way! After thinking about it and seeing there was no room anywhere else, I decided to unscrew the boards and mount them vertically. I used the trusty hot glue gun again and I was surprised at how rock solid that stuff can be. Below are a couple of pictures to show you the new orientation.

 


Since everything else was basically the same, I will continue on to at least get all the information I accumulated out to those who want to see it. Continuing on from above, once the cable from the LEDs was finished, I did a test-fit between the circuit board connector and the LED connector. Pictured below shows the test fit. Note all the numbers are matching up from both sides to ensure the correct LEDs will light at the correct time.

As you may know, LEDs direct their light straight out. They have a very minimal dispersal pattern. Because of this, the LEDs tend to look like dots behind whatever they are illuminating. To cut down on this effect, I ground the LEDs down flat on the end. This causes the end to be marred and thus, reflects the light out the side. Not all the light goes out the sides but it does give it a wider dispersal pattern. The picture below shows an LED after I ground it flat using a grinding bit on the end of my Dremel.

After I saw that this was helping, I tore the hot glue off the STARLIGHT LEDs and proceeded to grind down all those LEDs. The picture below illustrates the entire string of lights after I ground them down with the Dremel. Notice the white plastic dust all over my hand after grinding the LEDs flat.

During my first test of the STARLIGHT circuit, I found that the timing of the circuit was very fast. The timing is controlled by the 555 chip, but more specifically, it is controlled by the value of the 1uf capacitor and 47K resistor. Initially, using the formula 1.44 / 2RC, I had a cycle rate of about 15hz. That was too fast. Below you will find a couple of pictures showing the bench power supply being connected and the first test being initiated. Also, please click the film reel below to see a video of the initial test.

 

After seeing how fast it was going, I didn't feel it looked like a blinking marquee sign. Using the formula above, I found that a cycle rate of 7hz could be achieved by adding in series, a 51K resistor for approximately 100K of resistance. See the picture below for the circuit and click the movie reel for a new video illustrating the more appealing cycle rate. The addition of the 51K resistor is by no means professional nor pretty. But, at this stage in the game, and the amount of space I had to work with on the board, it was going to have to do.

Once the STARLIGHT sign was functioning the way I wanted, I moved on to wiring up the taillight LEDs. I read how others had hooked their taillights to certain CPU controlled lamps on the game and wondered if I should do that also. However, I preferred to see all the lights on, all the time. I just felt it added more to the DMD panel and I didn't really want it to be an indicator of modes. Below, I show the LEDs on their way to having all their negative leads wired together.

Once the negative leads were all wired together in a ground-bus type configuration, I moved on to wiring the positive side. I bought some connecting wire from Ebay in multiple colors so my coloring standards are...well non-standard. See pictures below for an example of the taillights being wired as well as the constantly lit star in the STARLIGHT sign.

Considering how many LEDs I had to illuminate on this panel, I didn't think 6.3v A/C supply would work. I decided to go with sourcing the voltage off of the driver board and using 12 volts. Using my bench power supply for a test, I found that my lack of knowledge in regard to Ohm's law was biting me in the butt! It seems that with a single supply of 12v and 25 LEDs to be powered, there was not enough voltage for all the LEDs to light! Ooops! After reading a bit here and there, I decided to split the one string of LEDs into three strings. I then had to come up with a way to bring the one source of 12v power in, and distribute it to the three strings. I also wanted to source the 5v from the same location. I needed the separate 5v power for the circuit board and the multi-colored LED for the flying saucer. The pictures below show my tests with the bench power supply to see if one 12v source can be split as three individual sources.

As you can see, once I split the original source into three, the LEDs all lit fine. Now I had to come up with a power distribution idea. I looked in my parts bins and found some barrier strips I used on my Creature pop bumper mods. See picture below.

Using this barrier strip, I found that I could bring the source voltages in and separate them at the same time. I had several 12v requirements and because of that, I used two of the terminals for +12v. I jumpered two of the terminals together as seen in the photo below.

With this barrier strip, I wanted to create a way of easily disconnecting the DMD panel from the power source on the driver board. For this, I made up some connectors. The parts I used are seen in the photo below. The left picture illustrates the parts for the barrier strip and the parts on the right illustrate the connector that will be inside the backbox.

As with the Creature pop bumper mods, I decided to solder the wires to the connectors and use hot glue as both an insulator and a strain relief. Assembly of the connectors can be seen below.

Once the connectors were completed, I needed to start connecting the strings of LEDs, the circuit board, and the flying saucer multi-colored LED to the power distribution terminal strip. Below is a picture illustrating all strings soldered to the board. I'm not sure if you can see but the portion of the barrier strip pointing towards the top of the picture is where I brought in 5v (and it's associated ground connection), and the middle and bottom portions of the barrier strip were the points I used for 12v. You can see the multi-colored LED wires going to the top portion of the board while the taillight strings are seen connected at the bottom portion of the barrier strip. Separate grounds for 5v and 12v were also provided on the barrier strip and can be seen connected (purple striped wire). The white wire was used as +12 on the taillights. On the 5v side, purple was used for +5 and brown was used as ground. Yes, as admitted, it is non-standard but colorful!

When using LEDs to illuminate a project, you have to remember to have a current-limiting resistor in place. LEDs cannot tolerate high currents and that is why you have to use the resistor. In this project, I used 1 resistor per string. I used a 470 ohm, 1/2 watt resistor for each of the three LED strings using 12v and a 220 ohm, 1/4 watt resistor for the multi-colored LED using 5v. The STARLIGHT sign circuit board had a resistor built into the design. Therefore, power was simply connected to the board. I put a picture in below to show a good look at the resistor on one of the strings.

 

Once the power distribution terminal strip was finished and all strings were wired, I used multiple alligator clips to connect power from my bench supply to the barrier strip to test if the distribution would work. Pictured below is all the strings working, the multi-colored LED and the STARLIGHT sign also working on their separate 5v supply. Sorry about the blurry picture, I must have shook as I yelled out a YAHOOOO as it worked! Click on the film reel to see a video of the test.

Now that the panel is wired, it is time to search for a power source on the driver board. On my Medieval Madness mod, I found power for the circuit I built for the, "flickering tower mod," on an unused connector on the driver board. Unfortunately, that connector was not present on this revision of board. I searched the schematics and found a source for 12v, 5v and 14v. The best solution I could come up with was to piggyback my wires onto existing connectors for some voltages, and utilizing unused pins on others. I also decided, based on the free connections available, that I would use the unregulated 12v supply from the driver board. This actually reads as 14v on the board. I had plenty of resistance already utilized on the strings of LEDs. Therefore a little extra voltage (12v up to 14v), would simply help the brightness and not hurt the LEDs nor generate much more heat. Pictured below is my wiring onto J116 and J118. J116 (pin 2), was simply used for a ground connection since J118 had already been piggybacked by myself for a ground connection for the 14v. J118 pin 1 was used for 5v. Pin 2 was used for ground, pin 3 was used for 14v. Just as a reminder, ground for 14v was pulled from J116 pin 2.

With the power source locations located and wired, it was now time to tidy things up on the board using hot glue. The pictures below give a couple of examples of using hot glue to keep everything in place.

Now I was getting close to finishing the project! I brought the DMD panel into the game room and as I show in the pictures below, I wired it to the connector waiting in the backbox and powered the game on for a successful test. I have to admit I was VERY relieved to see that thing come to life using power from the game!

I thought I was home free once the panel worked. I decided to put the panel into the game just to test the fit with the new boards and wiring. I found, much to my disappointment, that the boards were in the way. I went over this earlier in this project but it bears repeating here. Make sure you design into your project a smaller board or different locations. On mine, I simply made the boards mount vertically and everything was great. I got lucky since there was not room to mount them flat! See the pictures below to get a reminder of how I had to change the boards orientation to vertical.

Pictured below is the final re-assembly stage. With the circuit boards now mounted correctly, and the panel re-assembled, I laid the DMD panel on the game for a quick test. Please click the film reel for the test.

With the panel back together and the plastic portion installed, I placed the DMD panel into the game for a final test. Click on the film reel to see everything put back together and the panel functioning.

One little tweak I had to do was to block off some of graphics with tape. I found that the LEDs inside the speaker panel do not have the benefit of wood around them like all the other LEDs have. Therefore, the light dispersal can be seen past the taillights. Covering up a couple of spots pretty much took care of the situation. The tape can be seen being applied on the picture below.

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That completes the extensive and exhausting documentation of how I did the multiple mods to my Creature from the Black Lagoon DMD panel. There are probably easier ways to do this but I like my mods to be as neat as possible with lots of built in safety such as the insulating hot glue, connectors, etc. Obviously, my perfectly measured and placed boards did not stay that way due to a goof on my part, but for the most part, I think the mod is very well laid out and as neat as possible. In closing, I am placing one more movie clip below. This clip shows the game being played and the DMD panel working. I also included a quick section showing my previous mod to the pop bumpers flashing in all their glory!

Until next mod.....

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