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Using a serial terminal emulator to connect to FAST Pinball hardware

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.

Since the FAST Serial Protocol is a standard RS-232 protocol running over a virtual serial port via USB, you can actually connect to a FAST board via a terminal emulator which you can use to send commands to turn on LEDs, fire drivers, and read switches, as well as reading the configuration and seeing and setting other parameters from your FAST Pinball hardware.

You can use just about any terminal emulator you want. Most people either use CoolTerm or Tera Term. Regardless of what terminal software you use, you'll need to configure the following settings:

  • Baud (NET, EXP, and RGB are 921600. AUD, EMU, and SEG are 230400. DMD varies based on framerate but can be up to 4000000.)
  • Port (many FAST boards have multiple ports, see the product pages for the list of each)
  • Data bits: 8
  • Parity: None
  • Stop Bits: 1
  • Flow control options should be off
  • Terminal Mode: raw
  • Enter key emulation: carriage return (or "CR"), not "LF" and not "CR+LF"
  • Local echo: enabled

Check out our "unboxing and first steps" tutorial for more details and a video walkthrough of the serial terminal connection process.

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