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Troubleshooting FAST

FAST Pinball provides customer support via their Slack channel. That's the recommended way to get help with FAST Pinball hardware nowadays.

Here's some legacy information about FAST Pinball hardware troubleshooting:

If you have problems with your hardware platform we first recommend to read our troubleshooting guide. Here are some hardware platform specific steps:

Run Hardware Scan

Using mpf hardware scan you can find out if your Nano is talking properly to MPF using USB. Additionally, it will show you which node boards are connected:

$ mpf hardware scan

NET CPU: NET FP-CPU-002-1 01.03
RGB CPU: RGB FP-CPU-002-1 00.89
DMD CPU: DMD FP-CPU-002-1 00.88

Board 0 - Model: FP-I/O-3208-2    Firmware: 01.00 Switches: 32 Drivers: 8
Board 1 - Model: FP-I/O-0804-1    Firmware: 01.00 Switches: 8 Drivers: 4
Board 2 - Model: FP-I/O-1616-2    Firmware: 01.00 Switches: 16 Drivers: 16
Board 3 - Model: FP-I/O-1616-2    Firmware: 01.00 Switches: 16 Drivers: 16

If you are missing boards here check your wiring. Also verify that firmware versions match. In the example above the NET CPU has firmware 1.03 but the nodes still run on 1.00 which indicates an issue. See mpf hardware (command-line utility) for details about the command.

Stuck on Drivers

See the section about Replacing FETs on FAST Driver Boards if you suspect burned FETs.

Permission Denied on Linux

If you see an error such as:

serial.serialutil.SerialException: [Errno 13] could not open port /dev/ttyUSB1: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/dev/ttyUSB1'

Your user does not have sufficient permissions to access that port. You could run MPF as root but we do not recommend that. Alternatively, you can create a udev rule or add your user to the dialout group:

sudo usermod -a -G dialout $USER

After a restart of your PC MPF should be able to access that serial port.

Enable Debugging

If you got problems with your platform try to enable debug first. As described in the general debugging section of our troubleshooting guide this is done by adding debug: true to your fast config section:

  debug: true

This will add a lot more debugging and might slow down MPF a bit. We recommend to disable/remove it after finishing debugging.

Firmware Upgrade

MPF generally works with the latest firmware for FAST. There have been some protocol changes between firmware and we do not usually test our software with older firmware version. Consider upgrading to the latest firmware. You can find out your current firmware version using mpf hardware scan (see above).

Coils Are Not Firing

What to do if your coils are not working?

title: Coils Are Not Firing

Coils Are Not Firing

What to do if your coils are not working?

Check if Your Hardware is Working at all

Sounds stupid but this is a good start: Is the hardware working at all? Do you see switch hits in the logs? If not, check our section Your hardware is not working at all.

Check the Watchdog

If switches (or other features of the platform) are working but coils are not we have to dig deeper. Most hardware platforms have some kind of watchdog. Often there is some LED which indicates if the watchdog is received. The MPF log might also contain clues (especially if you have enabled debug and run MPF with verbose flags -v -V). If the watchdog is not received by your platform it will not enable coils.

In most cases watchdog related problems indicate wiring problems. Check if your boards are properly wired.

Test Your Coil Numbers using MPF Service CLI

Hardware is connected and generally working, watchdog is good but still your coils are not working? Maybe something with the numbering is odd. Lets tests that using the MPF Service CLI. Alternatively, you can also use service mode if you have already configured it. Both ways work similarly.

To use service cli:

  1. Open two consoles
  2. Start your game (e.g. using mpf both)
  3. Start the service cli from within your game folder using mpf service.
  4. Type list_coils and press ENTER to see a list of coils.
  5. Type coil_pulse your_coil and press ENTER to pulse it.

Does it work? If not check the log and try verify the coil number. If you do not specify default_pulse_ms MPF will use 10ms which might not be enough for some mechs. Try to increase that gently (maybe 20ms or 30ms).

Reducing light update rate

If you got a lot of lights you might run into bus contention issues. You can reduce the light update rate in MPF:

  default_light_hw_update_hz: 30   # defaults to 50

If you set this too low fades will be less smooth but otherwise it should not affect your game.

Your hardware is not working at all

If your hardware is not working at all make sure that you removed the options -X, -x and --vpx from your mpf both or mpf game command line. Those options will overwrite the settings in your hardware section and MPF will not even try to connect to your hardware. If you got config errors we suggest you add -X to figure things out without interfacing real hardware all the time. Just keep that option in mind.

Another stupid thing to check: Is your hardware connected to your PC? We know it is stupid but a loose USB connector has happened to most of us.

On Linux you might want to run the command lsusb which should show both of your micro controllers connected. You should see two lines similar to

Bus 002 Device 014: ID 0483:5740 STMicroelectronics Virtual COM Port
Bus 002 Device 015: ID 0483:5740 STMicroelectronics Virtual COM Port

If you are unsure about the output, run the command once with your controllers connected and once without. If there is no difference, then for sure the USB device is not properly connected.

If you got problems with some switches also add debug: true to those as it will give to more insights into the intentions of those devices. Same will work for flippers, coils, lights, servos, steppers and more. See general debugging section for details.

Run MPF with verbose flag

See general debugging section for details. TLDR: run mpf both -t -v -V.

Report Your Issue and Ask For Help

If you cannot find the issue yourself please prepare some information about your issue according to our troubleshooting guide and ask in our forum.

Consider Improving the Documentation

Did you solve your issue but found that some relevant information in the documentation is missing or should be linked/located elsewhere? Either tell us in the forum or consider improving the documentation yourself to save future users some troubles the same way others saved you some troubles by writing this documentation.

Something missing or wrong? You can fix it!

This website is edited by people like you! Is something wrong or missing? Is something out of date, or can you explain it better?

Please help us! You can fix it yourself and be an official "open source" contributor!

It's easy! See our Beginner's guide to editing the docs.

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