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First-time installation

If you have your KL25Z in hand, the easiest way to get started is with the Pinscape Config Tool:

  1. Download the latest Config Tool here
  2. Unpack the ZIP file into a folder on your hard disk
  3. Run the PinscapeConfigTool.exe application by double-clicking on the file
  4. Click the "Set up a new KL25Z" button. This will lead you through the process of preparing your KL25Z and installing the Pinscape firmware.

If you don't have a KL25Z yet, you can learn about the Pinscape project at the mbed project page.

Updates - Latest Release

The Pinscape Config Tool on Windows normally checks for updates and downloads them for you automatically, but you can also manually download the latest versions here.

Changes in this version

  • The Config Tool's plunger sensor viewer has a new visualization for quadrature sensors, showing the current "A" and "B" channel readings, and the inferred location along the bar code scale. This requires the latest firmware, which adds reporting on the raw "A" and "B" channel readings.

Source Code

The source code for the firmware and config tool are available in online version control systems. You can build the firmware via the mbed online compiler, and you can build the config tool with the free Community Edition of Visual Studio on Windows.

Should I update to the latest?

I'm often asked whether or not it's a good idea to update your system when a new version comes out. There's the obvious trade-off with any new software release: "ooh, shiny and new!" versus "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

My usual advice is yes, get the latest, unless you have an unusual situation that makes upgrading difficult or impossible. There are several reasons:

  • Bug fixes. Each new release usually includes several fixes for minor bugs that you might not have run into, but might at some point. So updates usually make older features more stable and reliable. It might not always seem like that, because I sometimes inadvertently add new bugs when trying to fix old ones. But even when that happens, there are usually more more improvements than new problems.
  • Future updates. Even if you don't need any features in this release, there might be a future release with something you do really want. It'll be easier to upgrade then if you've been keeping your system up-to-date all along, since you won't have to suddenly jump ahead by several versions. If there are any problems on your system with changes along the way, you'll catch them sooner, which means I'll be able to fix them sooner, so hopefully that future update with the features you want will be problem-free for you.
  • Testing. Selfishly, I'd really prefer everyone to update for the sake of testing, so that any new bugs that are there get found more quickly, which lets me fix them more quickly.
  • Support. Also selfishly, it's easier for me to help you out with any bugs you find if you're working with the latest, so that I don't have to dig back into old versions of the source code.
  • Bugs aren't forever (hopefully). Even if you do run into a problem in a new release, hopefully it won't be there long, because I'll try to fix it if you let me know about it. If you need a fix immediately, you can always revert to an older version. Pinscape isn't like the usual big Windows apps where it's a huge headache to change versions; you usually just have to download and unpack a new Zip file. Archived old versions are listed below to make it easy to revert to stable past releases if you ever really need to.

Archived Release Builds

This section lists past releases of the firmware and config tool. If you run into a bug in a new update, you can revert to an older version below. But please let me know if you do this, because I might not otherwise hear about the bug!

It's better to use matching versions of the firmware and config tool if possible (that is, both from the same release date). I try to maintain compatibility across versions between the config tool and firmware, so it should be okay to mix versions if you have a good reason, but it's still better to use a matching set when possible to ensure that both pieces of software are working with the same feature set.

How to install old versions

Config tool: Unpack the .zip file into a folder on your PC's hard disk. Open the folder. Double-click the "PinscapeSetupTool.exe" application file.

Firmware: Run the Config Tool. Click the "Update" button in the device list entry for the controller you'd like to update. Select the downloaded file when the tool asks which .bin file to install.

List of archived versions

January 22, 2020
  • Added support in the Config Tool for Oak Micros's Pinscape All-In-One board.
  • The firmware's analog voltage sensing procedure for the potentiometer has been greatly improved, which should make for more precise readings with less jitter and noise. If you've been using the "Jitter Filter" to reduce visible instability in the position readings, you should try readjusting the filter to see if the changes let you use a smaller filter window. You might even be able to turn the filtering off entirely. (The firmware now uses a more accurate sampling mode in the ADC hardware, along with continuous sampling and a rolling average over several milliseconds. The earlier scheme used instantaneous samples only, which tend to be much noisier. The sampling interval is still shorter than the USB update interval, so there's no downside to this in terms of performance or latency. The old instantaneous sampling approach was basically just discarding a lot of data that it could have been collecting to improve the accuracy, which is what we do now.)
  • Added support in the Config Tool and in the Pinscape firmware for two new plunger sensor types (TCD1103, AEAT-6012). These sensors are both still under development, so we haven't added any plans for them to the Build Guide yet, but the software support for them is now in place for if and when we can finalize the designs.
  • Fixed a bug in the firmware that made the "Reverse orientation" option not work quite right for the AEDR-8300 sensor.
March 5, 2019
  • Added "Chime Logic", which lets you set minimum and maximum ON times for the port. Setting a minimum time can be useful for devices need a certain minimum activation time to reach full strength. The maximum time can be used for devices like chimes that only produce the right effect when triggered with a very fast ON/OFF cycle, as well as for coils that can overheat if left on for too long. The time settings available for Chime Logic provide fairly fine gradations of short time spans (single milliseconds to tends of milliseconds).
  • Flipper Logic is now enabled for digital (non-PWM) ports. (In the past, it was only offered on PWM ports.) For a digital port, the "hold" power is fixed at 0% (fully off), since intermediate power levels between 0% and 100% aren't possible without PWM support on the port (and that's precisely what a "digital" port is: one without PWM capabilities). The effect is that Flipper Logic acts like a simple time limiter on the port.
  • Fixed a firmware bug that prevented assigning the same physical button to both the Shift and Night Mode Toggle functions. (In the past, the Night Mode part of it didn't work if you did this.)
  • Config Tool windows should now adapt properly to monitor "zoom" settings in the Windows desktop layout. In past versions, Config Tool windows sometimes changed sizes unexpectedly on redraws if a monitor was set to a zoom factor other than 100%.
January 30, 2018
  • When setting up a new KL25Z, the Config Tool now automatically checks the boot loader version that's currently installed on the device, and advises as to whether or not it needs to be updated before Pinscape can be installed. This saves unnecessary updates for newer KL25Z's that have compatible firmware pre-installed.
January 28, 2018
  • Changed PWM frequency for feedback device ports to 2 kHz
  • Fix accelerometer rotation bug introduced in stuttered joystick report update (2017-12-13)
December 13, 2017
  • Adjustable timing for joystick and accelerometer reports, for optimizing VP nudge performance (WARNING: this version also has a bug that makes accelerometer readings erratic; the bug is fixed in the Jan 12 2018 version [20180128])
October 20, 2017
  • Plunger "reversed orientation" option
  • Option for joystick reporting on Rx/Ry/Rz axes instead of X/Y/Z (can be used in case of conflicts with other joystick devices)
May 12, 2017
  • "Flipper Logic": set individual output ports to fire at full power and then reduce power after a specified interval, to help protect coils and solenoids that might overheat if left at full power for long periods
  • New command-line tool for controlling Pinscape from command scripts
May 10, 2017
  • Support for AEDR-8300 and VL6180X plunger sensors
May 8, 2017
  • Bug fixes
March 25, 2017
  • IR remote control features
  • New accelerometer options
    • Select the dynamic range
    • Enable/disable auto-centering
    • Set custom auto-centering time
  • New Shift Button option: "Shift AND Key" mode makes the shift button send its own keystroke immediately whether or not you press another key
February 25, 2017
  • Output tester
  • Button tester
  • TV ON tester
February 3, 2017
  • USB protocol extensions for multiple virtual LedWiz support (requires using the special Pinscape version of LEDWIZ.DLL on PC)
January 17, 2017
  • Bug fixes
January 4, 2017
  • Updated firmware workaround instructions for Win 8/10