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Intro to FAST NET connection programming

We already mentioned that plugging a FAST Pinball controller into your computer's USB port will cause several virtual serial ports to appear. Each of those ports has a different name and serves a different purpose. We'll walk through the nuances and uses of each port one-by-one.

In this guide, we're going to look at the "NET" port (or NET connection), which is your host computer's connection to your pinball machine's drivers and switches.

In FAST Modern Platform controllers, such as the Neuron or Nano, the NET processor manages the FAST I/O Loop which connects all the I/O Boards (node boards). This is the connection you use to for switches and drivers.

For Retro Platform Controllers, the NET processor communicates with all the classic hardware in the machine. Working with switches and drivers is very similar to modern controllers, but in retro machines the NET connection also handles matrix lamps, aux boards, and GI.

You'll connect to this NET port at 921600 baud, and send commands to configure all of your drivers and switches. What's there to configure? For drivers, you'll set the defaults, like how long their pulse time should be, and at what power. For switches, you'll configure their debounce settings and how they report changes to your game software.

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