What is the new color changing feature in the SIGMA ROM?

Color changing is a new feature in the SIGMA ROM that allows an external RGB controller to select the displayed screen color. The RGB controller can set a static color or dynamically vary the color. In the demonstration video below, the display is connected to an RGB controller from a Pinball Toppers speaker light kit that randomly cycles between colors. In other applications, interactive controllers can set the dispay color based on playfield lamps or game inputs.

What can I do with it?

Our primary goal is to enable the display to become more interactive by integrating it with other lighting features, but it can also be used for simpler functions like using a wireless remote to change the display color without having to open the backbox.

What do you mean by interactive?

Interactive lighting controllers are already being used for backbox and undercabinet lighting. These kits create RGB control signals that are slaved to flasher or playfield lamps. More recent games incorporate RGB lighting for inserts and playfield lighting. Any of these RGB controls can also be used to dynamically control the display color during the game.

What do I need to try it?

To use the new feature, you'll need a ColorDMD with board revision 1.3 or 1.3A. This includes all systems manufactured since October 2012. You'll also need an RGB controller and an interface cable to connect the controller to the ColorDMD. The ColorDMD uses a four wire "+GRB" controller interface common to many SMD5050 and SMD3528 LED strips. Compatible controllers provide a positive DC voltage (typically 12V) on the + wire. The G, R, and B, wires are set to a lower voltage by the controller to light the LED (or in this case, set the color for the ColorDMD). By varying the G, R, and B signals, other colors can be generated.

The four control wires are connected to the left four pins on the LAMP_IN connector in the photo below.

In the demonstration video, a splitter was created to interface between the Pinball Toppers RGB controller and the ColorDMD. These splitters are available from many stores that sell LED lighting. One end of the splitter was cut and crimped to a standard 4-pin KK 0.156 Molex connector. The photo below shows the RGB controller (with remote control) and the splitter.

One output from the RGB controller is split and shared by a speaker light kit and the ColorDMD. The wireless sensor for the controller is tucked into the speaker light so the display color and lighting effect can be selected remotely.

What colors are supported?

The ColorDMD supports pulse-width-modulated (PWM) inputs from the controller and provides gamma correction to accurately represent primary, secondary, and intermediate colors.

What about fading/pulsing effects?

The ColorDMD performs automatic level control to maintain display brightness even when the controller is dimming or pulsing the RGB inputs.

When will it be available?

The ColorDMD RGB interface will be enabled in the SIGMA 2.5 ROM update targeted mid-April 2014. We are currently sampling early versions of the code to game and mod developers. For early access to the code, please contact us at