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NET Processor: Initial Connection Process

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 a FAST Controller is first powered up, it will not accept commands until it’s fully booted up, typically between 1.5 and 6.5 seconds. During this time, the platform is running bootloaders and performing some integrity checks. During this startup period a few responses may be received from the FAST Platform indicating the bootloader progress.

If the host computer is ready to send commands before the FAST platform is fully up, a repeated ID: (Identification command) can be sent to check if the platform is ready. If no response is received, the platform is still busy. Once the command responds correctly, the platform is now ready for other commands.  Wait at least 100ms between sending the repeated ID: commands.

To bring the platform up, several steps need to happen:

  1. Send an ID: command to verify the controller is up and which processor you're connected to.

  2. Configure the platform using the CH: command (Does not apply to Nano Controllers)

  3. Configure the drivers via the DL: command. You need to send one command for each driver.

  4. Configure the switches via the SL: command. You need to send one per switch.

  5. Send a command to configure the watchdog via the WD: command

Once these steps are followed, the FAST platform will be active.

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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