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title: FAST Serial Protocol Segment Display Support 1

Using Segment Displays via the FAST Serial Protocol

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, we have a series of programming guides. Also, be sure to read the overview of how FSP works and how to connect first.

The FAST drivers that support segment displays work with most original pinball hardware as well as LED replacements. Because of the various displays, the driver must be set up with a specific display and FAST platform to provide the correct drive signals. This is accomplished by the using the configure hardware command CH:

The segment displays are supported using two methods: ASCII mode and segment mode (if the original pinball hardware supports individual segments).


In ASCII Mode, a character set is already part of the driver so simply sending ASCII text characters will put that character on the display. Each time a character is received the driver will advance to the next display position. This makes sending strings and numeric scores extremely easy to send or update.

Segment Mode

In Segment mode each segment of the display can be individually turned on and off. This makes it possible to do special effects like simple animations or custom characters.

Both ASCII mode and segment mode can be used together to help create what needs to be displayed. One of the fields in the segment display commands is the position of where to start writing. This allows random position access so the entire display does not have to be updated by a single command.

The commands to control segment displays are:

  • PA: ASCII mode (Write ASCII data to the segment display)

  • PD: Segment mode binary format (Write full display segment data in binary)

  • PS: Segment mode ASCII nibble format (Write segment data to the display)

  • PI: Set segment display intensity

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