“We wanted the audio playback to be CD quality (44KHz 16bit stereo), and we wanted to be able to play a lot of different songs, so I chose an embedded Linux system to run the audio,” he explained. The other challenge? Pinball games are designed to be played roughly, and the team already had to deal with a shaking play field.
“I prototyped with a BeagleBoard, but moved to a Gumstix Overo Earth board for the final system because it is rated up to 90 C and is reported to have passed the 5 year MIL-STD-810F 514.5 military vibration test,” said Klyce.
Here comes the science. “Since the Gumstix Linux board does not use 5 volts on board, I used an Arduino Mega board to interface to the Williams System 11 CPU board. The Arduino Mega watches the sound command signals and translates them into serial commands that are sent to the Linux board over USB.”
What Linux-based game hardware projects have you seen and/or worked on?