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Nano Controller: FAST Serial Protocol Overview

FAST Serial Protocol: Overview & First Steps

This documentation section is about the FAST Serial Protocol (FSP) commands, which are the low-level commands a host computer sends to a FAST board. Most FAST Pinball makers do not need to know about these details, since the pinball game framework (such as the Mission Pinball Framework) handles this communication for you.

If you're writing your own game framework, read the overview of how FSP works and how to connect first.

When you connect to a FAST Nano Controller via USB, you will see four virtual serial ports appear. The exact port names and numbers will vary depending on your computer, but they will always be in the same relative order.

So we talk about the "first port" or "third port", and that could be:


Or it could be:

/dev/tty.usbmodem1101, /dev/tty.usbmodem1102, /dev/tty.usbmodem1103, /dev/tty.usbmodem1104

Regardless of the actual port names, the relative ports on a Nano Controller connect to the following processors:

  • First Port: DSP (for DMD or Segment displays)
  • Second Port: NET
  • Third Port: RGB
  • Fourth Port: EXP

Note that the DSP and EXP ports require the expansion "hat" to add the physical RJ-45 jacks to the Nano. The RGB port is used to control RGB LEDs connected directly to the Nano.

Documentation Feedback? Requests? Confused?

Hi! I'm Brian, and I'm responsible for the documentation at FAST Pinball. If you have any feedback, requests, corrections, ideas, or any other thoughts about this documentation, please let me know! You can email me at Thanks!

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