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FAST Nano Controller

Part Number: FP-CPU-003-x

The FAST Nano Controller is the interface between your newly-built pinball machine powered by the FAST Modern Platform and the controlling host computer which runs your game software.

FAST Nano Controller

The FAST Nano Controller connects to FAST I/O boards using RJ-45 cables in a loop which form the FAST Loop Network. It also drives up to 256 RGB LEDs. A 7-pin power connector feeds the controller 5 volts, 12 volts, and universal ground.

Features

  • Drives 4 strands of up to 64 serial RGB LEDs each (for 256 RGB LEDs total)
  • Interfaces with FAST I/O driver boards to control devices and read switches
  • You can connect up to 9 I/0 Boards with a maximum of 120 switches and 120 drivers
  • Automatically distributes 12v power to connected I/O boards
  • Sends 5V power to the serial LEDs.
  • USB interface connects to a controlling host computer and presents virtual serial ports. (No drivers or software libraries are needed. Details below.)

Serial Interface

The FAST Nano Controller contains multiple microprocessors. One processor controls the FAST Loop Network of FAST I/O boards used to read switches, fire coils, and much more. Another processor controls up to 256 serial RGB LEDs.

A controlling computer connects to the FAST Nano Controller using a USB mini cable. When you connect to the controller via USB, four new virtual COM ports appear. (This is automatic, no drivers are needed.)

The four serial ports function as follows:

Port Processor Description Baud
Port 1 Not Used
Port 2 NET FAST I/O Loop Network Processor 921600
Port 3 RGB RGB LED Control 921600
Port 4 Not Used

Note that the port numbers in the chart above indicate the relative order of the virtual ports that appear when you connect the Nano to your computer. The exact names / numbers will depend on your specific computer. (For example, on Windows they are typically named COM3 - COM7. On Mac they will be like usbserial41xxx.)

The controlling PC communicates with each processor by making a virtual COM port connection and then using the FAST Serial Protocol to send and receive commands and status messages. (Most of these as ASCII, meaning you can interact with your pinball machine via a terminal emulator!)

Firmware Updates

Both the NET and RGB processors on the Nano have updatable firmware. Check our firmware page to see the latest versions and learn how to update your Nano if needed.

Tutorials & Learning

Block Diagram

Mechanical Diagram

All dimensions are in inches.

Wiring Diagram

Wiring Guides

Refer to our series of guides on pinball machine wiring for details on how to wire the FAST Nano controller to the various LEDs and I/O boards in your machine.

Connector Housings Needed

  • 7 Pin .156" Female Connector for power input
  • 3 Pin .100" Female Connector (4) for serial RBG LED strands
  • RJ-45 jacks (2) for FAST Loop Network connection to driver boards

Header & Connector Pinouts

J1 PIN RGB LED Channel 1 – LEDs 0-63 3-Pin .100″
GND Ground OUTPUT
DO Data Out OUTPUT
5v Fused 5 Volts OUTPUT
J2 PIN RGB LED Channel 2 – LEDs 64-127 3-Pin .100″
GND Ground OUTPUT
DO Data Out OUTPUT
5v Fused 5 Volts OUTPUT
J3 PROGRAMMING 2×3-Pin .100″
Device Programming INPUT/OUTPUT
J4 PIN RGB LED Channel 3 – LEDs 128-191 3-Pin .100″
GND Ground OUTPUT
DO Data Out OUTPUT
5v Fused 5 Volts OUTPUT
J5 PIN RGB LED Channel 4 – LEDs 192-255 3-Pin .100″
GND Ground OUTPUT
DO Data Out OUTPUT
5v Fused 5 Volts OUTPUT
J6 PROGRAMMING 2×5-Pin .100″
Device Programming INPUT/OUTPUT
J7 PIN POWER INPUT 7-Pin .156″
12v 12 Volts INPUT
12v 12 Volts INPUT
5v 5 Volts INPUT
5v 5 Volts INPUT
GND Ground INPUT
\/ KEY N/A
GND Ground INPUT
J8 PIN SERIAL COMM 01 3-Pin .100″
TX Transmit Data OUTPUT
RX Receive Data INPUT
GND Ground GROUND
J9 PIN SERIAL COMM 04 3-Pin .100″
TX Transmit Data OUTPUT
RX Receive Data INPUT
GND Ground GROUND
J10 LOOP NETWORK OUT RJ45 – CAT5e/CAT6
1 COM ENABLE OUTPUT
2 GROUND GROUND
3 Fused 12v OUTPUT
4 COM- OUTPUT
5 COM+ OUTPUT
6 Fused 12v OUTPUT
7 GROUND GROUND
8 GROUND GROUND
J11 WIRE LOOP NETWORK IN RJ45 – CAT5e/CAT6
1 COM ENABLE INPUT
2 GROUND GROUND
3 Fused 12v OUTPUT
4 COM- INPUT
5 COM+ INPUT
6 Fused 12v OUTPUT
7 GROUND GROUND
8 GROUND GROUND
J12 PROGRAMMING 2×5-Pin .100″
Device Programming INPUT/OUTPUT
J13 HOST USB MINI USB
Connection to the Controlling PC INPUT/OUTPUT

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 brian@fastpinball.com. Thanks!

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