91. Electronic Parts List

This section lists all of the electronics needed for each Pinscape Controller subsystem.
The ID column lists the "reference designator" for each component as it appears in the schematics. That's just an arbitrary ID assigned for cross-referencing between the schematic and the parts list. Each ID is unique within its board, but has no meaning outside of that. These same IDs are also printed on the circuit boards next to the parts, so that you can match up the physical components on the boards to schematics and the parts list.
Note that the parts lists don't include any of the custom PCBs (printed circuit boards), such as the expansion boards. These have to be custom fabricated, which is of course a different process than ordering off-the-shelf parts. We explain how to do get these made in Fabricating the Expansion Boards.

Optional elements

The parts lists below reflect the "default" configurations for the expansion boards. There are some variations possible in how you build the boards, though, including some things you can just leave out if you don't need them. The list itself has a lot of footnotes that describe alternate parts or mention when something is optional, so you pay attention to the notes while building out your shopping cart.
In addition, you might want to read through "Optional elements" in Building the Expansion Boards. That section explains how you can omit some of the features entirely, which for the most part is a simple matter of not installing the parts involved in the feature. That can save you a little time and effort for functions you don't need, and you can save on the parts cost by omitting the unnecessary items from your shopping cart.

Warning on TLC5940NT

The TLC5940NT chip, which is central to the design of the Main Board and Power Board, is no longer in production. That means that you can't buy it from mainstream electronics suppliers like Mouser and DigiKey. However, the chip is still available from sellers on eBay and Aliexpress. There seems to be an ongoing bottomless supply of the chip on those venues, which is both good news and bad news. The good news is that it means we can still build these boards, and apparently will be able to do so for the foreseeable future. The bad news is that the only way these chips can still be coming to market after being discontinued for so long is that someone is making unauthorized gray-market knockoffs. Chip counterfeiters aren't known for holding themselves to the highest quality standards. Indeed, reports on the forums suggest that the Dead-On-Arrival rate for these chips is quite high lately. There's not much you can do about it other than take your chances and hope you get a good batch. The only consolation is that the chips are pretty cheap, so the financial loss isn't huge if you do get a bad batch. But the cost in your time for the soldering and desoldering could be huge if you don't use sockets - please do use sockets for these chips so that it's easy to swap them out if necessary.
If you use the Shopping List tool below to generate an order list to upload to Mouser, the tool will show a warning that the list doesn't include the TLC5940NT, to remind you that you'll have to order those separately.
I would have redesigned the boards around an in-production substitute chip a long time ago if such a thing existed, but alas, there simply are no similar chips available. Every similar chip that's currently in production is in what's known as SMD (surface-mount device) packaging, which is designed for robotic assembly and is difficult to solder by hand. I deliberately designed entirely around parts that can be soldered by hand, since one of the main goals of these boards is that you can build them yourself. So we're stuck with the gray-market TLC5940NT.


The lists below provide specific manufacturer part numbers for all components, with Mouser.com links to the parts.
These are reference parts only, not requirements. It's perfectly fine to buy the exact parts listed, but it's also perfectly fine to substitute equivalent parts wherever you wish. The main reason we list specific parts is to save you time shopping. There are so many options available for some of the parts that it can take quite a while to narrow the selection based on the specs alone.
If you have any trouble finding the specific part numbers listed, or they're out of stock at your preferred vendor, you should be able to find substitutes for most of the parts. And if you're in a shopping mood, you might be able to find cheaper alternatives. We've tried to select the cheapest suitable option in each case, but prices of course vary over time and at different vendors.
Here are some guidelines for selecting substitutions:
  • In all cases, make sure that the physical package is compatible. Make sure the pin or lead wire layout matches, and check the size to make sure the replacement isn't too big to fit the space on the board. Physically smaller parts are usually okay; bigger parts might not fit.
  • Resistors with the same resistance (Ohms) value are usually interchangeable. However, if there's also a wattage rating listed, you must use a part with the specified wattage rating or higher. If no wattage is listed in the table, you can assume a default of 1/4W. (Most through-hole resistors are 1/4W or higher anyway, which is why we don't bother mentioning the wattage in those cases.)
  • Capacitors with the same capacitance (µF or nF) value and the same type ("electrolytic" or "ceramic") are usually interchangeable. "Ceramic" and "disc" capacitors are the same type. Tantalum capacitors are not interchangeable with ceramic/disk, even if they have the same capacitance value.
  • The NPN and PNP transistors we use can be replaced with most other "small signal switching" transistors. The polarity (NPN or PNP) must always match. Pay attention to the ordering of the "legs", since that can be different even if the physical package looks identical.
  • IC chips usually need to be the exact parts listed. In some cases, though, several manufacturers make compatible equivalents. These will generally have the same number with a different letter prefix. For example, there are equivalent xx847 optocoupler chips from several manufacturers, with names like PC847, K847, LTV-847.
More detailed advice on selecting substitute parts can be found in the chapters on the individual component types in our electronics overview section, A Crash Course in Electronics. Start at Field Guide to Components and follow the links to the chapters on the various components.

Ribbon cables

Some of the connections to and between the expansion boards are most easily handled with "ribbon cables". These are the type of flat, multi-conductor cables that you see inside PCs to connect some of the internal components together.
The places I recommend ribbon cables are:
  • The connection between the main board and power board (main board "PWM OUT" to power board "PWM IN")
  • The connection between the main board and the chime board ("Chime Out" to "Chime In")
  • The connection between the main board and the plunger sensor
  • The connection from the main board to your flasher LEDs
Ribbon cabling isn't an absolute requirement for any of these, but I'd recommended it over other options (especially crimp housings), because it's cheaper and easier, and it makes cleaner data connections.
You can buy pre-assembled ribbon cables, but it's hard to find them for anything other than the most common sizes used in PCs. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to build your own. That's cheaper than buying pre-made cables, and it lets you build the exact length you need and with the number of conductors you need.
The parts list assumes that you're going to be building your own custom ribbon cables where needed. As such, it lists the connectors needed at the end of each required ribbon cable. However, it doesn't list the wire. The wire is a generic part that you can find anywhere, and you'll want to figure out what length you need, so we leave it up to you to select the wire.
See Ribbon Cables for details on buying the wire and attaching the connectors to the cables.

Shopping list builder

The list below is formatted for printing. Click the button for a more interactive view that will let you select parts, fill in quantities, and create an ordering list that you can upload to different vendor sites to fill in your shopping cart without having to find everything manually.
Create shopping list

Create a shopping list

To save you some time, this page can partially automate the process of ordering components from some of the popular vendors.
Step 1. Start by selecting the subsystems you want to include in your order. Check the box next to each subsystem you want to include, and adjust the quantities as necessary. You can adjust individual line item quantities as well if desired.
Please take note of items marked as "Alternate" in the Notes column. These components have multiple options, so you'll want to review these and choose the option(s) you want. There are notes for each of these explaining the options and how to choose.
After you've selected parts and quantities, click a button below for instructions on ordering from your preferred vendor.
Step 2. We're now going to create a BOM (Bill of Materials) at Mouser based on the parts you've selected. A BOM is basically a saved shopping cart, and the nice part is that we can create it by uploading the data in the text box below rather than finding each part by hand.
  • Go to mouser.com/bomtool
  • Click Import a new BOM
  • Log in. If you don't already have a Mouser account, create one now.
  • You should now be on the BOM import page. Look for the "Copy/Paste Import" option. Click the "click here" button in that section. That should display a big text entry box.
  • Copy all of the text in the box below and paste it into text box on the Mouser page.
  • Click the Import BOM button on the Mouser page
  • Mouser will now lead you through several steps. You can use the defaults on each step - just keep clicking Continue. The last step takes a couple of minutes because this is where the server looks up all of the parts in its database.
After you get through all of the steps, Mouser should show you the complete BOM as a list of parts with descriptions, quantities, and prices. You can now place your order by clicking the Order All button at the bottom. This will copy everything in the BOM to the regular shopping cart. Go through the checkout process to complete the purchase.
Step 2. The list below shows the parts you'll need. You can use equivalent parts from other manufacturers if you prefer; the manufacturer part numbers are just shown for reference purposes, to make it easier to look up the specs on each part.
Step 3. The following parts aren't available from Mouser or the other major vendors. You'll have to order them separately.
KL25Z Microcontroller (Standalone)
Main Board (KL25Z Interface)
Power Board
Chime Board
Plunger Sensor (TSL1410R linear photo sensor array)

Note: The TSL1410/12 sensors were discontinued by the manufacturer in 2016 and are no longer available anywhere that I'm aware of. This section is therefore of historical interest only. I'm keeping it in the guide for the sake of completeness, and on the off chance that someone discovers a dusty old carton full of unsold TSL1410's buried at the back of a shelf in a warehouse somewhere, and puts them up for sale on eBay, or the even more remote chance that the manufacturer does another run at some point. But for now, I'm sorry to say that these devices can't be bought at any price, so new cabinet builders will have to look to the other plunger sensor options instead.

Plunger Sensor (Potentiometer)
Plunger Sensor (AEDR-8300 optical encoder)
Plunger Sensor (TCD1103 linear image sensor)
Plunger Calibration Button (Standalone)
Plunger Calibration Button (Expansion Boards)
Williams Coin Door 13-pin Connector Board - version 2
Williams Coin Door 13-pin Connector Board - version 1