An I/O controller for virtual pinball machines: accelerometer nudge sensing, analog plunger input, button input encoding, LedWiz compatible output controls, and more.

Dependencies:   mbed FastIO FastPWM USBDevice

Fork of Pinscape_Controller by Mike R

/media/uploads/mjr/pinscape_no_background_small_L7Miwr6.jpg

This is Version 2 of the Pinscape Controller, an I/O controller for virtual pinball machines. (You can find the old version 1 software here.) Pinscape is software for the KL25Z that turns the board into a full-featured I/O controller for virtual pinball, with support for accelerometer-based nudging, a real plunger, button inputs, and feedback device control.

In case you haven't heard of the concept before, a "virtual pinball machine" is basically a video pinball simulator that's built into a real pinball machine body. A TV monitor goes in place of the pinball playfield, and a second TV goes in the backbox to serve as the "backglass" display. A third smaller monitor can serve as the "DMD" (the Dot Matrix Display used for scoring on newer machines), or you can even install a real pinball plasma DMD. A computer is hidden inside the cabinet, running pinball emulation software that displays a life-sized playfield on the main TV. The cabinet has all of the usual buttons, too, so it not only looks like the real thing, but plays like it too. That's a picture of my own machine to the right. On the outside, it's built exactly like a real arcade pinball machine, with the same overall dimensions and all of the standard pinball cabinet hardware.

A few small companies build and sell complete, finished virtual pinball machines, but I think it's more fun as a DIY project. If you have some basic wood-working skills and know your way around PCs, you can build one from scratch. The computer part is just an ordinary Windows PC, and all of the pinball emulation can be built out of free, open-source software. In that spirit, the Pinscape Controller is an open-source software/hardware project that offers a no-compromises, all-in-one control center for all of the unique input/output needs of a virtual pinball cabinet. If you've been thinking about building one of these, but you're not sure how to connect a plunger, flipper buttons, lights, nudge sensor, and whatever else you can think of, this project might be just what you're looking for.

You can find much more information about DIY Pin Cab building in general in the Virtual Cabinet Forum on vpforums.org. Also visit my Pinscape Resources page for more about this project and other virtual pinball projects I'm working on.

Downloads

  • Pinscape Release Builds: This page has download links for all of the Pinscape software. To get started, install and run the Pinscape Config Tool on your Windows computer. It will lead you through the steps for installing the Pinscape firmware on the KL25Z.
  • Config Tool Source Code. The complete C# source code for the config tool. You don't need this to run the tool, but it's available if you want to customize anything or see how it works inside.

Documentation

The new Version 2 Build Guide is now complete! This new version aims to be a complete guide to building a virtual pinball machine, including not only the Pinscape elements but all of the basics, from sourcing parts to building all of the hardware.

You can also refer to the original Hardware Build Guide (PDF), but that's out of date now, since it refers to the old version 1 software, which was rather different (especially when it comes to configuration).

System Requirements

The new config tool requires a fairly up-to-date Microsoft .NET installation. If you use Windows Update to keep your system current, you should be fine. A modern version of Internet Explorer (IE) is required, even if you don't use it as your main browser, because the config tool uses some system components that Microsoft packages into the IE install set. I test with IE11, so that's known to work. IE8 doesn't work. IE9 and 10 are unknown at this point.

The Windows requirements are only for the config tool. The firmware doesn't care about anything on the Windows side, so if you can make do without the config tool, you can use almost any Windows setup.

Main Features

Plunger: The Pinscape Controller started out as a "mechanical plunger" controller: a device for attaching a real pinball plunger to the video game software so that you could launch the ball the natural way. This is still, of course, a central feature of the project. The software supports several types of sensors: a high-resolution optical sensor (which works by essentially taking pictures of the plunger as it moves); a slide potentionmeter (which determines the position via the changing electrical resistance in the pot); a quadrature sensor (which counts bars printed on a special guide rail that it moves along); and an IR distance sensor (which determines the position by sending pulses of light at the plunger and measuring the round-trip travel time). The Build Guide explains how to set up each type of sensor.

Nudging: The KL25Z (the little microcontroller that the software runs on) has a built-in accelerometer. The Pinscape software uses it to sense when you nudge the cabinet, and feeds the acceleration data to the pinball software on the PC. This turns physical nudges into virtual English on the ball. The accelerometer is quite sensitive and accurate, so we can measure the difference between little bumps and hard shoves, and everything in between. The result is natural and immersive.

Buttons: You can wire real pinball buttons to the KL25Z, and the software will translate the buttons into PC input. You have the option to map each button to a keyboard key or joystick button. You can wire up your flipper buttons, Magna Save buttons, Start button, coin slots, operator buttons, and whatever else you need.

Feedback devices: You can also attach "feedback devices" to the KL25Z. Feedback devices are things that create tactile, sound, and lighting effects in sync with the game action. The most popular PC pinball emulators know how to address a wide variety of these devices, and know how to match them to on-screen action in each virtual table. You just need an I/O controller that translates commands from the PC into electrical signals that turn the devices on and off. The Pinscape Controller can do that for you.

Expansion Boards

There are two main ways to run the Pinscape Controller: standalone, or using the "expansion boards".

In the basic standalone setup, you just need the KL25Z, plus whatever buttons, sensors, and feedback devices you want to attach to it. This mode lets you take advantage of everything the software can do, but for some features, you'll have to build some ad hoc external circuitry to interface external devices with the KL25Z. The Build Guide has detailed plans for exactly what you need to build.

The other option is the Pinscape Expansion Boards. The expansion boards are a companion project, which is also totally free and open-source, that provides Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layouts that are designed specifically to work with the Pinscape software. The PCB designs are in the widely used EAGLE format, which many PCB manufacturers can turn directly into physical boards for you. The expansion boards organize all of the external connections more neatly than on the standalone KL25Z, and they add all of the interface circuitry needed for all of the advanced software functions. The big thing they bring to the table is lots of high-power outputs. The boards provide a modular system that lets you add boards to add more outputs. If you opt for the basic core setup, you'll have enough outputs for all of the toys in a really well-equipped cabinet. If your ambitions go beyond merely well-equipped and run to the ridiculously extravagant, just add an extra board or two. The modular design also means that you can add to the system over time.

Expansion Board project page

Update notes

If you have a Pinscape V1 setup already installed, you should be able to switch to the new version pretty seamlessly. There are just a couple of things to be aware of.

First, the "configuration" procedure is completely different in the new version. Way better and way easier, but it's not what you're used to from V1. In V1, you had to edit the project source code and compile your own custom version of the program. No more! With V2, you simply install the standard, pre-compiled .bin file, and select options using the Pinscape Config Tool on Windows.

Second, if you're using the TSL1410R optical sensor for your plunger, there's a chance you'll need to boost your light source's brightness a little bit. The "shutter speed" is faster in this version, which means that it doesn't spend as much time collecting light per frame as before. The software actually does "auto exposure" adaptation on every frame, so the increased shutter speed really shouldn't bother it, but it does require a certain minimum level of contrast, which requires a certain minimal level of lighting. Check the plunger viewer in the setup tool if you have any problems; if the image looks totally dark, try increasing the light level to see if that helps.

New Features

V2 has numerous new features. Here are some of the highlights...

Dynamic configuration: as explained above, configuration is now handled through the Config Tool on Windows. It's no longer necessary to edit the source code or compile your own modified binary.

Improved plunger sensing: the software now reads the TSL1410R optical sensor about 15x faster than it did before. This allows reading the sensor at full resolution (400dpi), about 400 times per second. The faster frame rate makes a big difference in how accurately we can read the plunger position during the fast motion of a release, which allows for more precise position sensing and faster response. The differences aren't dramatic, since the sensing was already pretty good even with the slower V1 scan rate, but you might notice a little better precision in tricky skill shots.

Keyboard keys: button inputs can now be mapped to keyboard keys. The joystick button option is still available as well, of course. Keyboard keys have the advantage of being closer to universal for PC pinball software: some pinball software can be set up to take joystick input, but nearly all PC pinball emulators can take keyboard input, and nearly all of them use the same key mappings.

Local shift button: one physical button can be designed as the local shift button. This works like a Shift button on a keyboard, but with cabinet buttons. It allows each physical button on the cabinet to have two PC keys assigned, one normal and one shifted. Hold down the local shift button, then press another key, and the other key's shifted key mapping is sent to the PC. The shift button can have a regular key mapping of its own as well, so it can do double duty. The shift feature lets you access more functions without cluttering your cabinet with extra buttons. It's especially nice for less frequently used functions like adjusting the volume or activating night mode.

Night mode: the output controller has a new "night mode" option, which lets you turn off all of your noisy devices with a single button, switch, or PC command. You can designate individual ports as noisy or not. Night mode only disables the noisemakers, so you still get the benefit of your flashers, button lights, and other quiet devices. This lets you play late into the night without disturbing your housemates or neighbors.

Gamma correction: you can designate individual output ports for gamma correction. This adjusts the intensity level of an output to make it match the way the human eye perceives brightness, so that fades and color mixes look more natural in lighting devices. You can apply this to individual ports, so that it only affects ports that actually have lights of some kind attached.

IR Remote Control: the controller software can transmit and/or receive IR remote control commands if you attach appropriate parts (an IR LED to send, an IR sensor chip to receive). This can be used to turn on your TV(s) when the system powers on, if they don't turn on automatically, and for any other functions you can think of requiring IR send/receive capabilities. You can assign IR commands to cabinet buttons, so that pressing a button on your cabinet sends a remote control command from the attached IR LED, and you can have the controller generate virtual key presses on your PC in response to received IR commands. If you have the IR sensor attached, the system can use it to learn commands from your existing remotes.

Yet more USB fixes: I've been gradually finding and fixing USB bugs in the mbed library for months now. This version has all of the fixes of the last couple of releases, of course, plus some new ones. It also has a new "last resort" feature, since there always seems to be "just one more" USB bug. The last resort is that you can tell the device to automatically reboot itself if it loses the USB connection and can't restore it within a given time limit.

More Downloads

  • Custom VP builds: I created modified versions of Visual Pinball 9.9 and Physmod5 that you might want to use in combination with this controller. The modified versions have special handling for plunger calibration specific to the Pinscape Controller, as well as some enhancements to the nudge physics. If you're not using the plunger, you might still want it for the nudge improvements. The modified version also works with any other input controller, so you can get the enhanced nudging effects even if you're using a different plunger/nudge kit. The big change in the modified versions is a "filter" for accelerometer input that's designed to make the response to cabinet nudges more realistic. It also makes the response more subdued than in the standard VP, so it's not to everyone's taste. The downloads include both the updated executables and the source code changes, in case you want to merge the changes into your own custom version(s).

    Note! These features are now standard in the official VP releases, so you don't need my custom builds if you're using 9.9.1 or later and/or VP 10. I don't think there's any reason to use my versions instead of the latest official ones, and in fact I'd encourage you to use the official releases since they're more up to date, but I'm leaving my builds available just in case. In the official versions, look for the checkbox "Enable Nudge Filter" in the Keys preferences dialog. My custom versions don't include that checkbox; they just enable the filter unconditionally.
  • Output circuit shopping list: This is a saved shopping cart at mouser.com with the parts needed to build one copy of the high-power output circuit for the LedWiz emulator feature, for use with the standalone KL25Z (that is, without the expansion boards). The quantities in the cart are for one output channel, so if you want N outputs, simply multiply the quantities by the N, with one exception: you only need one ULN2803 transistor array chip for each eight output circuits. If you're using the expansion boards, you won't need any of this, since the boards provide their own high-power outputs.
  • Cary Owens' optical sensor housing: A 3D-printable design for a housing/mounting bracket for the optical plunger sensor, designed by Cary Owens. This makes it easy to mount the sensor.
  • Lemming77's potentiometer mounting bracket and shooter rod connecter: Sketchup designs for 3D-printable parts for mounting a slide potentiometer as the plunger sensor. These were designed for a particular slide potentiometer that used to be available from an Aliexpress.com seller but is no longer listed. You can probably use this design as a starting point for other similar devices; just check the dimensions before committing the design to plastic.

Copyright and License

The Pinscape firmware is copyright 2014, 2021 by Michael J Roberts. It's released under an MIT open-source license. See License.

Warning to VirtuaPin Kit Owners

This software isn't designed as a replacement for the VirtuaPin plunger kit's firmware. If you bought the VirtuaPin kit, I recommend that you don't install this software. The VirtuaPin kit uses the same KL25Z microcontroller that Pinscape uses, but the rest of its hardware is different and incompatible. In particular, the Pinscape firmware doesn't include support for the IR proximity sensor used in the VirtuaPin plunger kit, so you won't be able to use your plunger device with the Pinscape firmware. In addition, the VirtuaPin setup uses a different set of GPIO pins for the button inputs from the Pinscape defaults, so if you do install the Pinscape firmware, you'll have to go into the Config Tool and reassign all of the buttons to match the VirtuaPin wiring.

Revision:
38:091e511ce8a0
Parent:
37:ed52738445fc
Child:
39:b3815a1c3802
--- a/main.cpp	Thu Dec 24 01:37:40 2015 +0000
+++ b/main.cpp	Tue Jan 05 05:23:07 2016 +0000
@@ -20,40 +20,41 @@
 // The Pinscape Controller
 // A comprehensive input/output controller for virtual pinball machines
 //
-// This project implements an I/O controller designed for use in custom-built virtual
-// pinball cabinets.  It can handle nearly all of the functions involved in connecting 
-// pinball simulation software on a Windows PC with devices in the cabinet, including
-// input devices such as buttons and sensors, and output devices that generate visual
-// or mechanical feedback during play, like lights, solenoids, and shaker motors.
-// You can use one, some, or all of the functions, in any combination.  You can select
-// options and configure the controller using a setup tool that runs on Windows.
+// This project implements an I/O controller for virtual pinball cabinets.  Its
+// function is to connect Windows pinball software, such as Visual Pinball, with
+// physical devices in the cabinet: buttons, sensors, and feedback devices that
+// create visual or mechanical effects during play.  
+//
+// The software can perform several different functions, which can be used 
+// individually or in any combination:
 //
-// The main functions are:
+//  - Nudge sensing.  This uses the KL25Z's on-board accelerometer to sense the
+//    motion of the cabinet when you nudge it.  Visual Pinball and other pinball 
+//    emulators on the PC have native handling for this type of input, so that 
+//    physical nudges on the cabinet turn into simulated effects on the virtual 
+//    ball.  The KL25Z measures accelerations as analog readings and is quite 
+//    sensitive, so the effect of a nudge on the simulation is proportional
+//    to the strength of the nudge.  Accelerations are reported to the PC via a 
+//    simulated joystick (using the X and Y axes); you just have to set some 
+//    preferences in your  pinball software to tell it that an accelerometer 
+//    is attached.
 //
-//  - Nudge sensing, via the KL25Z's on-board accelerometer.  Nudging the cabinet
-//    causes small accelerations that the accelerometer can detect; these are sent to
-//    Visual Pinball (or other pinball emulator software) on the PC via the joystick
-//    interface, using the X and Y axes.  VP and most other PC pinball emulators have 
-//    native handling for this type of nudge input, so all you have to do is set some 
-//    preferences in VP to let it know that an accelerometer is attached.
-//
-//  - Plunger position sensing, via a number of sensor options.  To use this feature,
+//  - Plunger position sensing, with mulitple sensor options.  To use this feature,
 //    you need to choose a sensor and set it up, connect the sensor electrically to 
 //    the KL25Z, and configure the Pinscape software on the KL25Z to let it know how 
 //    the sensor is hooked up.  The Pinscape software monitors the sensor and sends
 //    readings to Visual Pinball via the joystick Z axis.  VP and other PC software
-//    has native support for this type of input as well; as with the nudge setup,
-//    you just have to set some options in VP to activate the plunger.
+//    have native support for this type of input; as with the nudge setup, you just 
+//    have to set some options in VP to activate the plunger.
 //
 //    The Pinscape software supports optical sensors (the TAOS TSL1410R and TSL1412R 
 //    linear sensor arrays) as well as slide potentiometers.  The specific equipment
 //    that's supported, along with physical mounting and wiring details, can be found
 //    in the Build Guide.
 //
-//    Note that while VP has its own built-in support for plunger devices like this
-//    one, many existing VP tables will ignore it, because they use custom scripting 
-//    that's only designed for keyboard plunger input.  The Build Guide has advice on
-//    adjusting tables to add plunger support when necessary.
+//    Note VP has built-in support for plunger devices like this one, but some VP
+//    tables can't use it without some additional scripting work.  The Build Guide has 
+//    advice on adjusting tables to add plunger support when necessary.
 //
 //    For best results, the plunger sensor should be calibrated.  The calibration
 //    is stored in non-volatile memory on board the KL25Z, so it's only necessary
@@ -75,14 +76,11 @@
 //    position to the fully retracted position only.)
 //
 //  - Button input wiring.  24 of the KL25Z's GPIO ports are mapped as digital inputs
-//    for buttons and switches.  The software reports these as joystick buttons when
-//    it sends reports to the PC.  These can be used to wire physical pinball-style
-//    buttons in the cabinet (e.g., flipper buttons, the Start button) and miscellaneous 
-//    switches (such as a tilt bob) to the PC.  Visual Pinball can use joystick buttons
-//    for input - you just have to assign a VP function to each button using VP's
-//    keyboard options dialog.  To wire a button physically, connect one terminal of
-//    the button switch to the KL25Z ground, and connect the other terminal to the
-//    the GPIO port you wish to assign to the button.
+//    for buttons and switches.  You can wire each input to a physical pinball-style
+//    button or switch, such as flipper buttons, Start buttons, coin chute switches,
+//    tilt bobs, and service buttons.  Each button can be configured to be reported
+//    to the PC as a joystick button or as a keyboard key (you can select which key
+//    is used for each button).
 //
 //  - LedWiz emulation.  The KL25Z can appear to the PC as an LedWiz device, and will
 //    accept and process LedWiz commands from the host.  The software can turn digital
@@ -134,6 +132,20 @@
 //    higher numbered ports for the less common devices that older software can't
 //    use anyway, you'll get maximum functionality out of software new and old.
 //
+//  - Night Mode control for output devices.  You can connect a switch or button
+//    to the controller to activate "Night Mode", which disables feedback devices
+//    that you designate as noisy.  You can designate outputs individually as being 
+//    included in this set or not.  This is useful if you want to play a game on 
+//    your cabinet late at night without waking the kids and annoying the neighbors.
+//
+//  - TV ON switch.  The controller can pulse a relay to turn on your TVs after
+//    power to the cabinet comes on, with a configurable delay timer.  This feature
+//    is for TVs that don't turn themselves on automatically when first plugged in.
+//    To use this feature, you have to build some external circuitry to allow the
+//    software to sense the power supply status, and you have to run wires to your
+//    TV's on/off button, which requires opening the case on your TV.  The Build
+//    Guide has details on the necessary circuitry and connections to the TV.
+//
 //
 //
 // STATUS LIGHTS:  The on-board LED on the KL25Z flashes to indicate the current 
@@ -146,16 +158,20 @@
 //
 //    short red flash = the host computer is in sleep/suspend mode
 //
+//    long red/yellow = USB connection problem.  The device still has a USB
+//        connection to the host, but data transmissions are failing.  This
+//        condition shouldn't ever occur; if it does, it probably indicates
+//        a bug in the device's USB software.  This display is provided to
+//        flag any occurrences for investigation.  You'll probably need to
+//        manually reset the device if this occurs.
+//
 //    long yellow/green = everything's working, but the plunger hasn't
-//        been calibrated; follow the calibration procedure described above.
-//        This flash mode won't appear if the CCD has been disabled.  Note
-//        that the device can't tell whether a CCD is physically attached;
-//        if you don't have a CCD attached, you can set the appropriate option 
-//        in config.h or use the  Windows config tool to disable the CCD 
-//        software features.
+//        been calibrated.  Follow the calibration procedure described in
+//        the project documentation.  This flash mode won't appear if there's
+//        no plunger sensor configured.
 //
-//    alternating blue/green = everything's working, and the plunger has
-//        been calibrated
+//    alternating blue/green = everything's working normally, and plunger
+//        calibration has been completed (or there's no plunger attached)
 //
 //
 // USB PROTOCOL:  please refer to USBProtocol.h for details on the USB
@@ -182,6 +198,13 @@
 
 
 // ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
+//
+// Forward declarations
+//
+void setNightMode(bool on);
+void toggleNightMode();
+
+// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 // utilities
 
 // number of elements in an array
@@ -209,20 +232,6 @@
 
 // ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 //
-// On-board RGB LED elements - we use these for diagnostic displays.
-//
-// Note that LED3 (the blue segment) is hard-wired on the KL25Z to PTD1,
-// so PTD1 shouldn't be used for any other purpose (e.g., as a keyboard
-// input or a device output).  (This is kind of unfortunate in that it's 
-// one of only two ports exposed on the jumper pins that can be muxed to 
-// SPI0 SCLK.  This effectively limits us to PTC5 if we want to use the 
-// SPI capability.)
-//
-DigitalOut ledR(LED1), ledG(LED2), ledB(LED3);
-
-
-// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-//
 // Wire protocol value translations.  These translate byte values from
 // the USB protocol to local native format.
 //
@@ -251,12 +260,12 @@
 inline PinName wirePinName(int c)
 {
     static const PinName p[] =  {
-        NC,    PTA1,  PTA2,  PTA4,  PTA5,  PTA12, PTA13, PTA16, PTA17, PTB0,   // 0-9
-        PTB1,  PTB2,  PTB3,  PTB8,  PTB9,  PTB10, PTB11, PTC0,  PTC1,  PTC2,   // 10-19
-        PTC3,  PTC4,  PTC5,  PTC6,  PTC7,  PTC8,  PTC9,  PTC10, PTC11, PTC12,  // 20-29
-        PTC13, PTC16, PTC17, PTD0,  PTD1,  PTD2,  PTD3,  PTD4,  PTD5,  PTD6,   // 30-39
-        PTD7,  PTE0,  PTE1,  PTE2,  PTE3,  PTE4,  PTE5,  PTE20, PTE21, PTE22,  // 40-49 
-        PTE23, PTE29, PTE30, PTE31                                             // 50-53
+        NC,    PTA1,  PTA2,  PTA4,  PTA5,  PTA12, PTA13, PTA16, PTA17, PTB0,    // 0-9
+        PTB1,  PTB2,  PTB3,  PTB8,  PTB9,  PTB10, PTB11, PTB18, PTB19, PTC0,    // 10-19
+        PTC1,  PTC2,  PTC3,  PTC4,  PTC5,  PTC6,  PTC7,  PTC8,  PTC9,  PTC10,   // 20-29
+        PTC11, PTC12, PTC13, PTC16, PTC17, PTD0,  PTD1,  PTD2,  PTD3,  PTD4,    // 30-39
+        PTD5,  PTD6,  PTD7,  PTE0,  PTE1,  PTE2,  PTE3,  PTE4,  PTE5,  PTE20,   // 40-49
+        PTE21, PTE22, PTE23, PTE29, PTE30, PTE31                                // 50-55
     };
     return (c < countof(p) ? p[c] : NC);
 }
@@ -264,6 +273,81 @@
 
 // ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 //
+// On-board RGB LED elements - we use these for diagnostic displays.
+//
+// Note that LED3 (the blue segment) is hard-wired on the KL25Z to PTD1,
+// so PTD1 shouldn't be used for any other purpose (e.g., as a keyboard
+// input or a device output).  This is kind of unfortunate in that it's 
+// one of only two ports exposed on the jumper pins that can be muxed to 
+// SPI0 SCLK.  This effectively limits us to PTC5 if we want to use the 
+// SPI capability.
+//
+DigitalOut *ledR, *ledG, *ledB;
+
+// Show the indicated pattern on the diagnostic LEDs.  0 is off, 1 is
+// on, and -1 is no change (leaves the current setting intact).
+void diagLED(int r, int g, int b)
+{
+    if (ledR != 0 && r != -1) ledR->write(!r);
+    if (ledG != 0 && g != -1) ledG->write(!g);
+    if (ledB != 0 && b != -1) ledB->write(!b);
+}
+
+// check an output port assignment to see if it conflicts with
+// an on-board LED segment
+struct LedSeg 
+{ 
+    bool r, g, b; 
+    LedSeg() { r = g = b = false; } 
+
+    void check(LedWizPortCfg &pc)
+    {
+        // if it's a GPIO, check to see if it's assigned to one of
+        // our on-board LED segments
+        int t = pc.typ;
+        if (t == PortTypeGPIOPWM || t == PortTypeGPIODig)
+        {
+            // it's a GPIO port - check for a matching pin assignment
+            PinName pin = wirePinName(pc.pin);
+            if (pin == LED1)
+                r = true;
+            else if (pin == LED2)
+                g = true;
+            else if (pin == LED3)
+                b = true;
+        }
+    }
+};
+
+// Initialize the diagnostic LEDs.  By default, we use the on-board
+// RGB LED to display the microcontroller status.  However, we allow
+// the user to commandeer the on-board LED as an LedWiz output device,
+// which can be useful for testing a new installation.  So we'll check
+// for LedWiz outputs assigned to the on-board LED segments, and turn
+// off the diagnostic use for any so assigned.
+void initDiagLEDs(Config &cfg)
+{
+    // run through the configuration list and cross off any of the
+    // LED segments assigned to LedWiz ports
+    LedSeg l;
+    for (int i = 0 ; i < MAX_OUT_PORTS && cfg.outPort[i].typ != PortTypeDisabled ; ++i)
+        l.check(cfg.outPort[i]);
+    
+    // check the special ports
+    for (int i = 0 ; i < countof(cfg.specialPort) ; ++i)
+        l.check(cfg.specialPort[i]);
+    
+    // We now know which segments are taken for LedWiz use and which
+    // are free.  Create diagnostic ports for the ones not claimed for
+    // LedWiz use.
+    if (!l.r) ledR = new DigitalOut(LED1, 1);
+    if (!l.g) ledG = new DigitalOut(LED2, 1);
+    if (!l.b) ledB = new DigitalOut(LED3, 1);
+}
+
+
+// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
+//
 // LedWiz emulation, and enhanced TLC5940 output controller
 //
 // There are two modes for this feature.  The default mode uses the on-board
@@ -354,7 +438,7 @@
     virtual void set(float val)
     {
         if (val != prv)
-           tlc5940->set(idx, (int)((prv = val) * 4095));
+           tlc5940->set(idx, (int)((prv = val) * 4095.0f));
     }
     int idx;
     float prv;
@@ -443,6 +527,13 @@
 static int numOutputs;
 static LwOut **lwPin;
 
+// Special output ports:
+//
+//    [0] = Night Mode indicator light
+//
+static LwOut *specialPin[1];
+
+
 // Number of LedWiz emulation outputs.  This is the number of ports
 // accessible through the standard (non-extended) LedWiz protocol
 // messages.  The protocol has a fixed set of 32 outputs, but we
@@ -451,13 +542,79 @@
 static int numLwOutputs;
 
 // Current absolute brightness level for an output.  This is a float
-// value from 0.0 for fully off to 1.0 for fully on.  This is the final
-// derived value for the port.  For outputs set by LedWiz messages, 
-// this is derived from the LedWiz state, and is updated on each pulse 
-// timer interrupt for lights in flashing states.  For outputs set by 
-// extended protocol messages, this is simply the brightness last set.
+// value from 0.0 for fully off to 1.0 for fully on.  This is used
+// for all extended ports (33 and above), and for any LedWiz port
+// with wizVal == 255.
 static float *outLevel;
 
+// Day/night mode override for an output.  For each output, this is
+// set to 1 if the output is enabled and 0 if the output is disabled
+// by a global mode control, such as Night Mode (currently Night Mode
+// is the only such global mode, but the idea could be extended to
+// other similar controls if other needs emerge).  To get the final
+// output level for each output, we simply multiply the outLevel value
+// for the port by this override vlaue.
+static uint8_t *modeLevel;
+
+// create a single output pin
+LwOut *createLwPin(LedWizPortCfg &pc, Config &cfg)
+{
+    // get this item's values
+    int typ = pc.typ;
+    int pin = pc.pin;
+    int flags = pc.flags;
+    int activeLow = flags & PortFlagActiveLow;
+
+    // create the pin interface object according to the port type        
+    LwOut *lwp;
+    switch (typ)
+    {
+    case PortTypeGPIOPWM:
+        // PWM GPIO port
+        lwp = new LwPwmOut(wirePinName(pin));
+        break;
+    
+    case PortTypeGPIODig:
+        // Digital GPIO port
+        lwp = new LwDigOut(wirePinName(pin));
+        break;
+    
+    case PortTypeTLC5940:
+        // TLC5940 port (if we don't have a TLC controller object, or it's not a valid
+        // output port number on the chips we have, create a virtual port)
+        if (tlc5940 != 0 && pin < cfg.tlc5940.nchips*16)
+            lwp = new Lw5940Out(pin);
+        else
+            lwp = new LwVirtualOut();
+        break;
+    
+    case PortType74HC595:
+        // 74HC595 port (if we don't have an HC595 controller object, or it's not a valid
+        // output number, create a virtual port)
+        if (hc595 != 0 && pin < cfg.hc595.nchips*8)
+            lwp = new Lw595Out(pin);
+        else
+            lwp = new LwVirtualOut();
+        break;
+
+    case PortTypeVirtual:
+    default:
+        // virtual or unknown
+        lwp = new LwVirtualOut();
+        break;
+    }
+    
+    // if it's Active Low, layer on an inverter
+    if (activeLow)
+        lwp = new LwInvertedOut(lwp);
+
+    // turn it off initially      
+    lwp->set(0);
+    
+    // return the pin
+    return lwp;
+}
+
 // initialize the output pin array
 void initLwOut(Config &cfg)
 {
@@ -481,55 +638,26 @@
     // allocate the pin array
     lwPin = new LwOut*[numOutputs];    
     
-    // Allocate the current brightness array.
-    outLevel = new float[numOutputs < 32 ? 32 : numOutputs];
+    // Allocate the current brightness array.  For these, allocate at
+    // least 32, so that we have enough for all LedWiz messages, but
+    // allocate the full set of actual ports if we have more than the
+    // LedWiz complement.
+    int minOuts = numOutputs < 32 ? 32 : numOutputs;
+    outLevel = new float[minOuts];
+    
+    // Allocate the mode override array
+    modeLevel = new uint8_t[minOuts];
+    
+    // start with all modeLevel values set to ON
+    memset(modeLevel, 1, minOuts);
     
     // create the pin interface object for each port
     for (i = 0 ; i < numOutputs ; ++i)
-    {
-        // get this item's values
-        int typ = cfg.outPort[i].typ;
-        int pin = cfg.outPort[i].pin;
-        int flags = cfg.outPort[i].flags;
-        int activeLow = flags & PortFlagActiveLow;
-
-        // create the pin interface object according to the port type        
-        switch (typ)
-        {
-        case PortTypeGPIOPWM:
-            // PWM GPIO port
-            lwPin[i] = new LwPwmOut(wirePinName(pin));
-            break;
-        
-        case PortTypeGPIODig:
-            // Digital GPIO port
-            lwPin[i] = new LwDigOut(wirePinName(pin));
-            break;
+        lwPin[i] = createLwPin(cfg.outPort[i], cfg);
         
-        case PortTypeTLC5940:
-            // TLC5940 port
-            lwPin[i] = new Lw5940Out(pin);
-            break;
-        
-        case PortType74HC595:
-            // 74HC595 port
-            lwPin[i] = new Lw595Out(pin);
-            break;
-
-        case PortTypeVirtual:
-        default:
-            // virtual or unknown
-            lwPin[i] = new LwVirtualOut();
-            break;
-        }
-        
-        // if it's Active Low, layer an inverter
-        if (activeLow)
-            lwPin[i] = new LwInvertedOut(lwPin[i]);
-
-        // turn it off initially      
-        lwPin[i]->set(0);
-    }
+    // create the pin interface for each special port
+    for (i = 0 ; i < countof(cfg.specialPort) ; ++i)
+        specialPin[i] = createLwPin(cfg.specialPort[i], cfg);
 }
 
 // LedWiz output states.
@@ -612,7 +740,7 @@
         // makes us work properly with software that's expecting the
         // documented LedWiz behavior and therefore uses level 48 to
         // turn a contactor or relay fully on.
-        return val/48.0;
+        return val/48.0f;
     }
     else if (val == 49)
     {
@@ -623,29 +751,29 @@
         // the PC side (notably DOF) is aware of this and uses level 49
         // to mean "100% on".  To ensure compatibility with existing 
         // PC-side software, we need to recognize level 49.
-        return 1.0;
+        return 1.0f;
     }
     else if (val == 129)
     {
         //   129 = ramp up / ramp down
         return wizFlashCounter < 128 
-            ? wizFlashCounter/128.0 
-            : (256 - wizFlashCounter)/128.0;
+            ? wizFlashCounter/128.0f 
+            : (256 - wizFlashCounter)/128.0f;
     }
     else if (val == 130)
     {
         //   130 = flash on / off
-        return wizFlashCounter < 128 ? 1.0 : 0.0;
+        return wizFlashCounter < 128 ? 1.0f : 0.0f;
     }
     else if (val == 131)
     {
         //   131 = on / ramp down
-        return wizFlashCounter < 128 ? 1.0 : (255 - wizFlashCounter)/128.0;
+        return wizFlashCounter < 128 ? 1.0f : (255 - wizFlashCounter)/128.0f;
     }
     else if (val == 132)
     {
         //   132 = ramp up / on
-        return wizFlashCounter < 128 ? wizFlashCounter/128.0 : 1.0;
+        return wizFlashCounter < 128 ? wizFlashCounter/128.0f : 1.0f;
     }
     else
     {
@@ -654,7 +782,7 @@
         // LedWiz unit exhibits in response is accidental and could change
         // in a future version.  We'll treat all undefined values as equivalent 
         // to 48 (fully on).
-        return 1.0;
+        return 1.0f;
     }
 }
 
@@ -668,7 +796,7 @@
 // larger steps through the cycle on each interrupt.  Running
 // every 1/127 of a second = 8ms seems to be a pretty light load.
 Timeout wizPulseTimer;
-#define WIZ_PULSE_TIME_BASE  (1.0/127.0)
+#define WIZ_PULSE_TIME_BASE  (1.0f/127.0f)
 static void wizPulse()
 {
     // increase the counter by the speed increment, and wrap at 256
@@ -684,7 +812,7 @@
             uint8_t s = wizVal[i];
             if (s >= 129 && s <= 132)
             {
-                lwPin[i]->set(wizState(i));
+                lwPin[i]->set(wizState(i) * modeLevel[i]);
                 ena = true;
             }
         }
@@ -709,7 +837,7 @@
     for (int i = 0 ; i < numLwOutputs ; ++i)
     {
         pulse |= (wizVal[i] >= 129 && wizVal[i] <= 132);
-        lwPin[i]->set(wizState(i));
+        lwPin[i]->set(wizState(i) * modeLevel[i]);
     }
     
     // if any outputs are set to flashing mode, and the pulse timer
@@ -721,7 +849,24 @@
     if (hc595 != 0)
         hc595->update();
 }
+
+// Update all physical outputs.  This is called after a change to a global
+// setting that affects all outputs, such as engaging or canceling Night Mode.
+static void updateAllOuts()
+{
+    // uddate each LedWiz output
+    for (int i = 0 ; i < numLwOutputs ; ++i)
+        lwPin[i]->set(wizState(i) * modeLevel[i]);
         
+    // update each extended output
+    for (int i = 33 ; i < numOutputs ; ++i)
+        lwPin[i]->set(outLevel[i] * modeLevel[i]);
+        
+    // flush 74HC595 changes, if necessary
+    if (hc595 != 0)
+        hc595->update();
+}
+
 // ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 //
 // Button input
@@ -730,19 +875,39 @@
 // button state
 struct ButtonState
 {
-    ButtonState() : di(NULL), pressed(0), t(0), js(0), keymod(0), keycode(0) { }
+    ButtonState()
+    {
+        di = NULL;
+        on = 0;
+        pressed = prev = 0;
+        dbstate = 0;
+        js = 0;
+        keymod = 0;
+        keycode = 0;
+        special = 0;
+        pulseState = 0;
+        pulseTime = 0.0f;
+    }
     
     // DigitalIn for the button
     DigitalIn *di;
-
-    // current on/off state
-    int pressed;
+    
+    // current PHYSICAL on/off state, after debouncing
+    uint8_t on;
     
-    // Sticky time remaining for current state.  When a
-    // state transition occurs, we set this to a debounce
-    // period.  Future state transitions will be ignored
-    // until the debounce time elapses.
-    float t;
+    // current LOGICAL on/off state as reported to the host.
+    uint8_t pressed;
+
+    // previous logical on/off state, when keys were last processed for USB 
+    // reports and local effects
+    uint8_t prev;
+    
+    // Debounce history.  On each scan, we shift in a 1 bit to the lsb if
+    // the physical key is reporting ON, and shift in a 0 bit if the physical
+    // key is reporting OFF.  We consider the key to have a new stable state
+    // if we have N consecutive 0's or 1's in the low N bits (where N is
+    // a parameter that determines how long we wait for transients to settle).
+    uint8_t dbstate;
     
     // joystick button mask for the button, if mapped as a joystick button
     uint32_t js;
@@ -754,11 +919,103 @@
     // media control key code
     uint8_t mediakey;
     
-
+    // special key code
+    uint8_t special;
+    
+    // Pulse mode: a button in pulse mode transmits a brief logical button press and
+    // release each time the attached physical switch changes state.  This is useful
+    // for cases where the host expects a key press for each change in the state of
+    // the physical switch.  The canonical example is the Coin Door switch in VPinMAME, 
+    // which requires pressing the END key to toggle the open/closed state.  This
+    // software design isn't easily implemented in a physical coin door, though -
+    // the easiest way to sense a physical coin door's state is with a simple on/off
+    // switch.  Pulse mode bridges that divide by converting a physical switch state
+    // to on/off toggle key reports to the host.
+    //
+    // Pulse state:
+    //   0 -> not a pulse switch - logical key state equals physical switch state
+    //   1 -> off
+    //   2 -> transitioning off-on
+    //   3 -> on
+    //   4 -> transitioning on-off
+    //
+    // Each state change sticks for a minimum period; when the timer expires,
+    // if the underlying physical switch is in a different state, we switch
+    // to the next state and restart the timer.  pulseTime is the amount of
+    // time remaining before we can make another state transition.  The state
+    // transitions require a complete cycle, 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> 4 -> 1...; this
+    // guarantees that the parity of the pulse count always matches the 
+    // current physical switch state when the latter is stable, which makes
+    // it impossible to "trick" the host by rapidly toggling the switch state.
+    // (On my original Pinscape cabinet, I had a hardware pulse generator
+    // for coin door, and that *was* possible to trick by rapid toggling.
+    // This software system can't be fooled that way.)
+    uint8_t pulseState;
+    float pulseTime;
+    
 } buttonState[MAX_BUTTONS];
 
-// timer for button reports
-static Timer buttonTimer;
+
+// Button data
+uint32_t jsButtons = 0;
+
+// Keyboard report state.  This tracks the USB keyboard state.  We can
+// report at most 6 simultaneous non-modifier keys here, plus the 8
+// modifier keys.
+struct
+{
+    bool changed;       // flag: changed since last report sent
+    int nkeys;          // number of active keys in the list
+    uint8_t data[8];    // key state, in USB report format: byte 0 is the modifier key mask,
+                        // byte 1 is reserved, and bytes 2-7 are the currently pressed key codes
+} kbState = { false, 0, { 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 } };
+
+// Media key state
+struct
+{
+    bool changed;       // flag: changed since last report sent
+    uint8_t data;       // key state byte for USB reports
+} mediaState = { false, 0 };
+
+// button scan interrupt ticker
+Ticker buttonTicker;
+
+// Button scan interrupt handler.  We call this periodically via
+// a timer interrupt to scan the physical button states.  
+void scanButtons()
+{
+    // scan all button input pins
+    ButtonState *bs = buttonState;
+    for (int i = 0 ; i < MAX_BUTTONS ; ++i, ++bs)
+    {
+        // if it's connected, check its physical state
+        if (bs->di != NULL)
+        {
+            // Shift the new state into the debounce history.  Note that
+            // the physical pin inputs are active low (0V/GND = ON), so invert 
+            // the reading by XOR'ing the low bit with 1.  And of course we
+            // only want the low bit (since the history is effectively a bit
+            // vector), so mask the whole thing with 0x01 as well.
+            uint8_t db = bs->dbstate;
+            db <<= 1;
+            db |= (bs->di->read() & 0x01) ^ 0x01;
+            bs->dbstate = db;
+            
+            // if we have all 0's or 1's in the history for the required
+            // debounce period, the key state is stable - check for a change
+            // to the last stable state
+            const uint8_t stable = 0x1F;   // 00011111b -> 5 stable readings
+            db &= stable;
+            if (db == 0 || db == stable)
+                bs->on = db;
+        }
+    }
+}
+
+// Button state transition timer.  This is used for pulse buttons, to
+// control the timing of the logical key presses generated by transitions
+// in the physical button state.
+Timer buttonTimer;
 
 // initialize the button inputs
 void initButtons(Config &cfg, bool &kbKeys)
@@ -776,6 +1033,10 @@
             // set up the GPIO input pin for this button
             bs->di = new DigitalIn(pin);
             
+            // if it's a pulse mode button, set the initial pulse state to Off
+            if (cfg.button[i].flags & BtnFlagPulse)
+                bs->pulseState = 1;
+            
             // note if it's a keyboard key of some kind (including media keys)
             uint8_t val = cfg.button[i].val;
             switch (cfg.button[i].typ)
@@ -806,37 +1067,19 @@
         }
     }
     
-    // start the button timer
-    buttonTimer.reset();
+    // start the button scan thread
+    buttonTicker.attach_us(scanButtons, 1000);
+
+    // start the button state transition timer
     buttonTimer.start();
 }
 
-// Button data
-uint32_t jsButtons = 0;
-
-// Keyboard state
-struct
+// Process the button state.  This sets up the joystick, keyboard, and
+// media control descriptors with the current state of keys mapped to
+// those HID interfaces, and executes the local effects for any keys 
+// mapped to special device functions (e.g., Night Mode).
+void processButtons()
 {
-    bool changed;       // flag: changed since last report sent
-    int nkeys;          // number of active keys in the list
-    uint8_t data[8];    // key state, in USB report format: byte 0 is the modifier key mask,
-                        // byte 1 is reserved, and bytes 2-7 are the currently pressed key codes
-} kbState = { false, 0, { 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 } };
-
-// Media key state
-struct
-{
-    bool changed;       // flag: changed since last report sent
-    uint8_t data;       // key state byte for USB reports
-} mediaState = { false, 0 };
-
-// read the button input state; returns true if there are any button
-// state changes to report, false if not
-bool readButtons(Config &cfg)
-{
-    // no changes detected yet
-    bool changes = false;
-    
     // start with an empty list of USB key codes
     uint8_t modkeys = 0;
     uint8_t keys[7] = { 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 };
@@ -847,70 +1090,112 @@
     
     // start with no media keys pressed
     uint8_t mediakeys = 0;
-
-    // figure the time elapsed since the last scan
+    
+    // calculate the time since the last run
     float dt = buttonTimer.read();
-    
-    // reset the time for the next scan
     buttonTimer.reset();
-    
+
     // scan the button list
     ButtonState *bs = buttonState;
     for (int i = 0 ; i < MAX_BUTTONS ; ++i, ++bs)
     {
-        // read this button
-        if (bs->di != 0)
+        // if it's a pulse-mode switch, get the virtual pressed state
+        if (bs->pulseState != 0)
         {
-            // deduct the elapsed time since the last update
-            // from the button's remaining sticky time
-            bs->t -= dt;
-            if (bs->t < 0)
-                bs->t = 0;
-            
-            // If the sticky time has elapsed, note the new physical
-            // state of the button.  If we still have sticky time
-            // remaining, ignore the physical state; the last state
-            // change persists until the sticky time elapses so that
-            // we smooth out any "bounce" (electrical transients that
-            // occur when the switch contact is opened or closed).
-            if (bs->t == 0)
+            // deduct the time to the next state change
+            bs->pulseTime -= dt;
+            if (bs->pulseTime < 0)
+                bs->pulseTime = 0;
+                
+            // if the timer has expired, check for state changes
+            if (bs->pulseTime == 0)
             {
-                // get the new physical state
-                int pressed = !bs->di->read();
-                
-                // update the button's logical state if this is a change
-                if (pressed != bs->pressed)
+                const float pulseLength = 0.2;
+                switch (bs->pulseState)
                 {
-                    // store the new state
-                    bs->pressed = pressed;
+                case 1:
+                    // off - if the physical switch is now on, start a button pulse
+                    if (bs->on) {
+                        bs->pulseTime = pulseLength;
+                        bs->pulseState = 2;
+                        bs->pressed = 1;
+                    }
+                    break;
                     
-                    // start a new sticky period for debouncing this
-                    // state change
-                    bs->t = 0.075;
+                case 2:
+                    // transitioning off to on - end the pulse, and start a gap
+                    // equal to the pulse time so that the host can observe the
+                    // change in state in the logical button
+                    bs->pulseState = 3;
+                    bs->pulseTime = pulseLength;
+                    bs->pressed = 0;
+                    break;
+                    
+                case 3:
+                    // on - if the physical switch is now off, start a button pulse
+                    if (!bs->on) {
+                        bs->pulseTime = pulseLength;
+                        bs->pulseState = 4;
+                        bs->pressed = 1;
+                    }
+                    break;
+                    
+                case 4:
+                    // transitioning on to off - end the pulse, and start a gap
+                    bs->pulseState = 1;
+                    bs->pulseTime = pulseLength;
+                    bs->pressed = 0;
+                    break;
                 }
             }
+        }
+        else
+        {
+            // not a pulse switch - the logical state is the same as the physical state
+            bs->pressed = bs->on;
+        }
 
-            // if it's pressed, add it to the appropriate key state list
-            if (bs->pressed)
+        // carry out any edge effects from buttons changing states
+        if (bs->pressed != bs->prev)
+        {
+            // check for special key transitions
+            switch (bs->special)
             {
-                // OR in the joystick button bit, mod key bits, and media key bits
-                newjs |= bs->js;
-                modkeys |= bs->keymod;
-                mediakeys |= bs->mediakey;
+            case 1:
+                // night mode momentary switch - when the button transitions from
+                // OFF to ON, invert night mode
+                if (bs->pressed)
+                    toggleNightMode();
+                break;
                 
-                // if it has a keyboard key, add the scan code to the active list
-                if (bs->keycode != 0 && nkeys < 7)
-                    keys[nkeys++] = bs->keycode;
+            case 2:
+                // night mode toggle switch - when the button changes state, change
+                // night mode to match the new state
+                setNightMode(bs->pressed);
+                break;
             }
+            
+            // remember the new state for comparison on the next run
+            bs->prev = bs->pressed;
+        }
+
+        // if it's pressed, add it to the appropriate key state list
+        if (bs->pressed)
+        {
+            // OR in the joystick button bit, mod key bits, and media key bits
+            newjs |= bs->js;
+            modkeys |= bs->keymod;
+            mediakeys |= bs->mediakey;
+            
+            // if it has a keyboard key, add the scan code to the active list
+            if (bs->keycode != 0 && nkeys < 7)
+                keys[nkeys++] = bs->keycode;
         }
     }
 
     // check for joystick button changes
     if (jsButtons != newjs)
-    {
-        changes = true;
         jsButtons = newjs;
-    }
     
     // Check for changes to the keyboard keys
     if (kbState.data[0] != modkeys
@@ -919,7 +1204,6 @@
     {
         // we have changes - set the change flag and store the new key data
         kbState.changed = true;
-        changes = true;
         kbState.data[0] = modkeys;
         if (nkeys <= 6) {
             // 6 or fewer simultaneous keys - report the key codes
@@ -938,11 +1222,7 @@
     {
         mediaState.changed = true;
         mediaState.data = mediakeys;
-        changes = true;
     }
-    
-    // return the change indicator
-    return changes;
 }
 
 // ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
@@ -1106,7 +1386,7 @@
          vx_ = vy_ = 0;
 
          // get the time since the last get() sample
-         float dt = tGet_.read_us()/1.0e6;
+         float dt = tGet_.read_us()/1.0e6f;
          tGet_.reset();
          
          // done manipulating the shared data
@@ -1277,7 +1557,7 @@
 //
 void clear_i2c()
 {
-    // assume a general-purpose output pin to the I2C clock
+    // set up general-purpose output pins to the I2C lines
     DigitalOut scl(MMA8451_SCL_PIN);
     DigitalIn sda(MMA8451_SDA_PIN);
     
@@ -1652,6 +1932,48 @@
 
 // ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 //
+// NIGHT MODE flag.  When night mode is on, we disable all outputs
+// marked as "noisemakers" in the output configuration flags.
+int nightMode;
+
+// Update the global output mode settings
+static void globalOutputModeChange()
+{
+    // set the global modeLevel[] 
+    for (int i = 0 ; i < numOutputs ; ++i)
+    {
+        // assume the port will be on
+        uint8_t f = 1;
+        
+        // if night mode is in effect, and this is a noisemaker, disable it
+        if (nightMode && (cfg.outPort[i].flags & PortFlagNoisemaker) != 0)
+            f = 0;
+            
+        // set the final output port override value
+        modeLevel[i] = f;
+    }
+    
+    // update all outputs for the mode change
+    updateAllOuts();
+}
+
+// Turn night mode on or off
+static void setNightMode(bool on)
+{
+    nightMode = on;
+    globalOutputModeChange();
+    specialPin[0]->set(on ? 255.0 : 0.0);
+}
+
+// Toggle night mode
+static void toggleNightMode()
+{
+    setNightMode(!nightMode);
+}
+
+
+// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
+//
 // Plunger Sensor
 //
 
@@ -1883,6 +2205,7 @@
                 cfg.button[idx].pin = data[3];
                 cfg.button[idx].typ = data[4];
                 cfg.button[idx].val = data[5];
+                cfg.button[idx].flags = data[6];
             }
         }
         break;
@@ -1904,8 +2227,21 @@
                 cfg.outPort[idx].pin = data[4];
                 cfg.outPort[idx].flags = data[5];
             }
+            else if (idx == 254)
+            {
+                // special ports
+                idx -= 254;
+                cfg.specialPort[idx].typ = data[3];
+                cfg.specialPort[idx].pin = data[4];
+                cfg.specialPort[idx].flags = data[5];
+            }
         }
         break;
+
+    case 14:
+        // engage/cancel Night Mode
+        setNightMode(data[2]);
+        break;
     }
 }
 
@@ -1914,256 +2250,261 @@
 // Handle an input report from the USB host.  Input reports use our extended
 // LedWiz protocol.
 //
-void handleInputMsg(HID_REPORT &report, USBJoystick &js, int &z)
+void handleInputMsg(uint8_t data[8], USBJoystick &js, int &z)
 {
-    // all Led-Wiz reports are exactly 8 bytes
-    if (report.length == 8)
+    // LedWiz commands come in two varieties:  SBA and PBA.  An
+    // SBA is marked by the first byte having value 64 (0x40).  In
+    // the real LedWiz protocol, any other value in the first byte
+    // means it's a PBA message.  However, *valid* PBA messages
+    // always have a first byte (and in fact all 8 bytes) in the
+    // range 0-49 or 129-132.  Anything else is invalid.  We take
+    // advantage of this to implement private protocol extensions.
+    // So our full protocol is as follows:
+    //
+    // first byte =
+    //   0-48     -> LWZ-PBA
+    //   64       -> LWZ SBA 
+    //   65       -> private control message; second byte specifies subtype
+    //   129-132  -> LWZ-PBA
+    //   200-228  -> extended bank brightness set for outputs N to N+6, where
+    //               N is (first byte - 200)*7
+    //   other    -> reserved for future use
+    //
+    if (data[0] == 64) 
     {
-        // LedWiz commands come in two varieties:  SBA and PBA.  An
-        // SBA is marked by the first byte having value 64 (0x40).  In
-        // the real LedWiz protocol, any other value in the first byte
-        // means it's a PBA message.  However, *valid* PBA messages
-        // always have a first byte (and in fact all 8 bytes) in the
-        // range 0-49 or 129-132.  Anything else is invalid.  We take
-        // advantage of this to implement private protocol extensions.
-        // So our full protocol is as follows:
-        //
-        // first byte =
-        //   0-48     -> LWZ-PBA
-        //   64       -> LWZ SBA 
-        //   65       -> private control message; second byte specifies subtype
-        //   129-132  -> LWZ-PBA
-        //   200-228  -> extended bank brightness set for outputs N to N+6, where
-        //               N is (first byte - 200)*7
-        //   other    -> reserved for future use
-        //
-        uint8_t *data = report.data;
-        if (data[0] == 64) 
+        // LWZ-SBA - first four bytes are bit-packed on/off flags
+        // for the outputs; 5th byte is the pulse speed (1-7)
+        //printf("LWZ-SBA %02x %02x %02x %02x ; %02x\r\n",
+        //       data[1], data[2], data[3], data[4], data[5]);
+
+        // update all on/off states
+        for (int i = 0, bit = 1, ri = 1 ; i < numLwOutputs ; ++i, bit <<= 1)
         {
-            // LWZ-SBA - first four bytes are bit-packed on/off flags
-            // for the outputs; 5th byte is the pulse speed (1-7)
-            //printf("LWZ-SBA %02x %02x %02x %02x ; %02x\r\n",
-            //       data[1], data[2], data[3], data[4], data[5]);
-
-            // update all on/off states
-            for (int i = 0, bit = 1, ri = 1 ; i < numLwOutputs ; ++i, bit <<= 1)
-            {
-                // figure the on/off state bit for this output
-                if (bit == 0x100) {
-                    bit = 1;
-                    ++ri;
-                }
-                
-                // set the on/off state
-                wizOn[i] = ((data[ri] & bit) != 0);
-                
-                // If the wizVal setting is 255, it means that this
-                // output was last set to a brightness value with the
-                // extended protocol.  Return it to LedWiz control by
-                // rescaling the brightness setting to the LedWiz range
-                // and updating wizVal with the result.  If it's any
-                // other value, it was previously set by a PBA message,
-                // so simply retain the last setting - in the normal
-                // LedWiz protocol, the "profile" (brightness) and on/off
-                // states are independent, so an SBA just turns an output
-                // on or off but retains its last brightness level.
-                if (wizVal[i] == 255)
-                    wizVal[i] = (uint8_t)round(outLevel[i]*48);
+            // figure the on/off state bit for this output
+            if (bit == 0x100) {
+                bit = 1;
+                ++ri;
             }
             
-            // set the flash speed - enforce the value range 1-7
-            wizSpeed = data[5];
-            if (wizSpeed < 1)
-                wizSpeed = 1;
-            else if (wizSpeed > 7)
-                wizSpeed = 7;
+            // set the on/off state
+            wizOn[i] = ((data[ri] & bit) != 0);
+            
+            // If the wizVal setting is 255, it means that this
+            // output was last set to a brightness value with the
+            // extended protocol.  Return it to LedWiz control by
+            // rescaling the brightness setting to the LedWiz range
+            // and updating wizVal with the result.  If it's any
+            // other value, it was previously set by a PBA message,
+            // so simply retain the last setting - in the normal
+            // LedWiz protocol, the "profile" (brightness) and on/off
+            // states are independent, so an SBA just turns an output
+            // on or off but retains its last brightness level.
+            if (wizVal[i] == 255)
+                wizVal[i] = (uint8_t)round(outLevel[i]*48);
+        }
+        
+        // set the flash speed - enforce the value range 1-7
+        wizSpeed = data[5];
+        if (wizSpeed < 1)
+            wizSpeed = 1;
+        else if (wizSpeed > 7)
+            wizSpeed = 7;
+
+        // update the physical outputs
+        updateWizOuts();
+        if (hc595 != 0)
+            hc595->update();
+        
+        // reset the PBA counter
+        pbaIdx = 0;
+    }
+    else if (data[0] == 65)
+    {
+        // Private control message.  This isn't an LedWiz message - it's
+        // an extension for this device.  65 is an invalid PBA setting,
+        // and isn't used for any other LedWiz message, so we appropriate
+        // it for our own private use.  The first byte specifies the 
+        // message type.
+        if (data[1] == 1)
+        {
+            // 1 = Old Set Configuration:
+            //     data[2] = LedWiz unit number (0x00 to 0x0f)
+            //     data[3] = feature enable bit mask:
+            //               0x01 = enable plunger sensor
+
+            // get the new LedWiz unit number - this is 0-15, whereas we
+            // we save the *nominal* unit number 1-16 in the config                
+            uint8_t newUnitNo = (data[2] & 0x0f) + 1;
 
-            // update the physical outputs
+            // we'll need a reset if the LedWiz unit number is changing
+            bool needReset = (newUnitNo != cfg.psUnitNo);
+            
+            // set the configuration parameters from the message
+            cfg.psUnitNo = newUnitNo;
+            cfg.plunger.enabled = data[3] & 0x01;
+            
+            // update the status flags
+            statusFlags = (statusFlags & ~0x01) | (data[3] & 0x01);
+            
+            // if the plunger is no longer enabled, use 0 for z reports
+            if (!cfg.plunger.enabled)
+                z = 0;
+            
+            // save the configuration
+            saveConfigToFlash();
+            
+            // reboot if necessary
+            if (needReset)
+                reboot(js);
+        }
+        else if (data[1] == 2)
+        {
+            // 2 = Calibrate plunger
+            // (No parameters)
+            
+            // enter calibration mode
+            calBtnState = 3;
+            calBtnTimer.reset();
+            cfg.plunger.cal.reset(plungerSensor->npix);
+        }
+        else if (data[1] == 3)
+        {
+            // 3 = pixel dump
+            // (No parameters)
+            reportPix = true;
+            
+            // show purple until we finish sending the report
+            diagLED(1, 0, 1);
+        }
+        else if (data[1] == 4)
+        {
+            // 4 = hardware configuration query
+            // (No parameters)
+            wait_ms(1);
+            js.reportConfig(
+                numOutputs, 
+                cfg.psUnitNo - 1,   // report 0-15 range for unit number (we store 1-16 internally)
+                cfg.plunger.cal.zero, cfg.plunger.cal.max);
+        }
+        else if (data[1] == 5)
+        {
+            // 5 = all outputs off, reset to LedWiz defaults
+            allOutputsOff();
+        }
+        else if (data[1] == 6)
+        {
+            // 6 = Save configuration to flash.
+            saveConfigToFlash();
+            
+            // Reboot the microcontroller.  Nearly all config changes
+            // require a reset, and a reset only takes a few seconds, 
+            // so we don't bother tracking whether or not a reboot is
+            // really needed.
+            reboot(js);
+        }
+    }
+    else if (data[0] == 66)
+    {
+        // Extended protocol - Set configuration variable.
+        // The second byte of the message is the ID of the variable
+        // to update, and the remaining bytes give the new value,
+        // in a variable-dependent format.
+        configVarMsg(data);
+    }
+    else if (data[0] >= 200 && data[0] <= 228)
+    {
+        // Extended protocol - Extended output port brightness update.  
+        // data[0]-200 gives us the bank of 7 outputs we're setting:
+        // 200 is outputs 0-6, 201 is outputs 7-13, 202 is 14-20, etc.
+        // The remaining bytes are brightness levels, 0-255, for the
+        // seven outputs in the selected bank.  The LedWiz flashing 
+        // modes aren't accessible in this message type; we can only 
+        // set a fixed brightness, but in exchange we get 8-bit 
+        // resolution rather than the paltry 0-48 scale that the real
+        // LedWiz uses.  There's no separate on/off status for outputs
+        // adjusted with this message type, either, as there would be
+        // for a PBA message - setting a non-zero value immediately
+        // turns the output, overriding the last SBA setting.
+        //
+        // For outputs 0-31, this overrides any previous PBA/SBA
+        // settings for the port.  Any subsequent PBA/SBA message will
+        // in turn override the setting made here.  It's simple - the
+        // most recent message of either type takes precedence.  For
+        // outputs above the LedWiz range, PBA/SBA messages can't
+        // address those ports anyway.
+        int i0 = (data[0] - 200)*7;
+        int i1 = i0 + 7 < numOutputs ? i0 + 7 : numOutputs; 
+        for (int i = i0 ; i < i1 ; ++i)
+        {
+            // set the brightness level for the output
+            float b = data[i-i0+1]/255.0;
+            outLevel[i] = b;
+            
+            // if it's in the basic LedWiz output set, set the LedWiz
+            // profile value to 255, which means "use outLevel"
+            if (i < 32) 
+                wizVal[i] = 255;
+                
+            // set the output
+            lwPin[i]->set(b * modeLevel[i]);
+        }
+        
+        // update 74HC595 outputs, if attached
+        if (hc595 != 0)
+            hc595->update();
+    }
+    else 
+    {
+        // Everything else is LWZ-PBA.  This is a full "profile"
+        // dump from the host for one bank of 8 outputs.  Each
+        // byte sets one output in the current bank.  The current
+        // bank is implied; the bank starts at 0 and is reset to 0
+        // by any LWZ-SBA message, and is incremented to the next
+        // bank by each LWZ-PBA message.  Our variable pbaIdx keeps
+        // track of our notion of the current bank.  There's no direct
+        // way for the host to select the bank; it just has to count
+        // on us staying in sync.  In practice, the host will always
+        // send a full set of 4 PBA messages in a row to set all 32
+        // outputs.
+        //
+        // Note that a PBA implicitly overrides our extended profile
+        // messages (message prefix 200-219), because this sets the
+        // wizVal[] entry for each output, and that takes precedence
+        // over the extended protocol settings.
+        //
+        //printf("LWZ-PBA[%d] %02x %02x %02x %02x %02x %02x %02x %02x\r\n",
+        //       pbaIdx, data[0], data[1], data[2], data[3], data[4], data[5], data[6], data[7]);
+
+        // Update all output profile settings
+        for (int i = 0 ; i < 8 ; ++i)
+            wizVal[pbaIdx + i] = data[i];
+
+        // Update the physical LED state if this is the last bank.
+        // Note that hosts always send a full set of four PBA
+        // messages, so there's no need to do a physical update
+        // until we've received the last bank's PBA message.
+        if (pbaIdx == 24)
+        {
             updateWizOuts();
             if (hc595 != 0)
                 hc595->update();
-            
-            // reset the PBA counter
             pbaIdx = 0;
         }
-        else if (data[0] == 65)
-        {
-            // Private control message.  This isn't an LedWiz message - it's
-            // an extension for this device.  65 is an invalid PBA setting,
-            // and isn't used for any other LedWiz message, so we appropriate
-            // it for our own private use.  The first byte specifies the 
-            // message type.
-            if (data[1] == 1)
-            {
-                // 1 = Old Set Configuration:
-                //     data[2] = LedWiz unit number (0x00 to 0x0f)
-                //     data[3] = feature enable bit mask:
-                //               0x01 = enable plunger sensor
+        else
+            pbaIdx += 8;
+    }
+}
 
-                // get the new LedWiz unit number - this is 0-15, whereas we
-                // we save the *nominal* unit number 1-16 in the config                
-                uint8_t newUnitNo = (data[2] & 0x0f) + 1;
 
-                // we'll need a reset if the LedWiz unit number is changing
-                bool needReset = (newUnitNo != cfg.psUnitNo);
-                
-                // set the configuration parameters from the message
-                cfg.psUnitNo = newUnitNo;
-                cfg.plunger.enabled = data[3] & 0x01;
-                
-                // update the status flags
-                statusFlags = (statusFlags & ~0x01) | (data[3] & 0x01);
-                
-                // if the plunger is no longer enabled, use 0 for z reports
-                if (!cfg.plunger.enabled)
-                    z = 0;
-                
-                // save the configuration
-                saveConfigToFlash();
-                
-                // reboot if necessary
-                if (needReset)
-                    reboot(js);
-            }
-            else if (data[1] == 2)
-            {
-                // 2 = Calibrate plunger
-                // (No parameters)
-                
-                // enter calibration mode
-                calBtnState = 3;
-                calBtnTimer.reset();
-                cfg.plunger.cal.reset(plungerSensor->npix);
-            }
-            else if (data[1] == 3)
-            {
-                // 3 = pixel dump
-                // (No parameters)
-                reportPix = true;
-                
-                // show purple until we finish sending the report
-                ledR = 0;
-                ledB = 0;
-                ledG = 1;
-            }
-            else if (data[1] == 4)
-            {
-                // 4 = hardware configuration query
-                // (No parameters)
-                wait_ms(1);
-                js.reportConfig(
-                    numOutputs, 
-                    cfg.psUnitNo - 1,   // report 0-15 range for unit number (we store 1-16 internally)
-                    cfg.plunger.cal.zero, cfg.plunger.cal.max);
-            }
-            else if (data[1] == 5)
-            {
-                // 5 = all outputs off, reset to LedWiz defaults
-                allOutputsOff();
-            }
-            else if (data[1] == 6)
-            {
-                // 6 = Save configuration to flash.
-                saveConfigToFlash();
-                
-                // Reboot the microcontroller.  Nearly all config changes
-                // require a reset, and a reset only takes a few seconds, 
-                // so we don't bother tracking whether or not a reboot is
-                // really needed.
-                reboot(js);
-            }
-        }
-        else if (data[0] == 66)
-        {
-            // Extended protocol - Set configuration variable.
-            // The second byte of the message is the ID of the variable
-            // to update, and the remaining bytes give the new value,
-            // in a variable-dependent format.
-            configVarMsg(data);
-        }
-        else if (data[0] >= 200 && data[0] <= 228)
-        {
-            // Extended protocol - Extended output port brightness update.  
-            // data[0]-200 gives us the bank of 7 outputs we're setting:
-            // 200 is outputs 0-6, 201 is outputs 7-13, 202 is 14-20, etc.
-            // The remaining bytes are brightness levels, 0-255, for the
-            // seven outputs in the selected bank.  The LedWiz flashing 
-            // modes aren't accessible in this message type; we can only 
-            // set a fixed brightness, but in exchange we get 8-bit 
-            // resolution rather than the paltry 0-48 scale that the real
-            // LedWiz uses.  There's no separate on/off status for outputs
-            // adjusted with this message type, either, as there would be
-            // for a PBA message - setting a non-zero value immediately
-            // turns the output, overriding the last SBA setting.
-            //
-            // For outputs 0-31, this overrides any previous PBA/SBA
-            // settings for the port.  Any subsequent PBA/SBA message will
-            // in turn override the setting made here.  It's simple - the
-            // most recent message of either type takes precedence.  For
-            // outputs above the LedWiz range, PBA/SBA messages can't
-            // address those ports anyway.
-            int i0 = (data[0] - 200)*7;
-            int i1 = i0 + 7 < numOutputs ? i0 + 7 : numOutputs; 
-            for (int i = i0 ; i < i1 ; ++i)
-            {
-                // set the brightness level for the output
-                float b = data[i-i0+1]/255.0;
-                outLevel[i] = b;
-                
-                // if it's in the basic LedWiz output set, set the LedWiz
-                // profile value to 255, which means "use outLevel"
-                if (i < 32) 
-                    wizVal[i] = 255;
-                    
-                // set the output
-                lwPin[i]->set(b);
-            }
-            
-            // update 74HC595 outputs, if attached
-            if (hc595 != 0)
-                hc595->update();
-        }
-        else 
-        {
-            // Everything else is LWZ-PBA.  This is a full "profile"
-            // dump from the host for one bank of 8 outputs.  Each
-            // byte sets one output in the current bank.  The current
-            // bank is implied; the bank starts at 0 and is reset to 0
-            // by any LWZ-SBA message, and is incremented to the next
-            // bank by each LWZ-PBA message.  Our variable pbaIdx keeps
-            // track of our notion of the current bank.  There's no direct
-            // way for the host to select the bank; it just has to count
-            // on us staying in sync.  In practice, the host will always
-            // send a full set of 4 PBA messages in a row to set all 32
-            // outputs.
-            //
-            // Note that a PBA implicitly overrides our extended profile
-            // messages (message prefix 200-219), because this sets the
-            // wizVal[] entry for each output, and that takes precedence
-            // over the extended protocol settings.
-            //
-            //printf("LWZ-PBA[%d] %02x %02x %02x %02x %02x %02x %02x %02x\r\n",
-            //       pbaIdx, data[0], data[1], data[2], data[3], data[4], data[5], data[6], data[7]);
-
-            // Update all output profile settings
-            for (int i = 0 ; i < 8 ; ++i)
-                wizVal[pbaIdx + i] = data[i];
-
-            // Update the physical LED state if this is the last bank.
-            // Note that hosts always send a full set of four PBA
-            // messages, so there's no need to do a physical update
-            // until we've received the last bank's PBA message.
-            if (pbaIdx == 24)
-            {
-                updateWizOuts();
-                if (hc595 != 0)
-                    hc595->update();
-                pbaIdx = 0;
-            }
-            else
-                pbaIdx += 8;
-        }
-    }
+// ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
+//
+// Pre-connection diagnostic flasher
+//
+void preConnectFlasher()
+{
+    diagLED(1, 0, 0);
+    wait(0.05);
+    diagLED(0, 0, 0);
 }
 
 // ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
@@ -2177,17 +2518,21 @@
 //
 int main(void)
 {
-    // turn off our on-board indicator LED
-    ledR = 1;
-    ledG = 1;
-    ledB = 1;
+    printf("\r\nPinscape Controller starting\r\n"); // $$$ debug
     
     // clear the I2C bus for the accelerometer
     clear_i2c();
-    
+
     // load the saved configuration
     loadConfigFromFlash();
     
+    // initialize the diagnostic LEDs
+    initDiagLEDs(cfg);
+
+    // set up the pre-connected ticker
+    Ticker preConnectTicker;
+    preConnectTicker.attach(preConnectFlasher, 3);
+
     // start the TV timer, if applicable
     startTVTimer(cfg);
     
@@ -2204,7 +2549,11 @@
     // enable the 74HC595 chips, if present
     init_hc595(cfg);
     
-    // initialize the LedWiz ports
+    // Initialize the LedWiz ports.  Note that it's important to wait until
+    // after initializing the various off-board output port controller chip
+    // sybsystems (TLC5940, 74HC595), since pins attached to peripheral
+    // controllers will need to address their respective controller objects,
+    // which don't exit until we initialize those subsystems.
     initLwOut(cfg);
     
     // start the TLC5940 clock
@@ -2214,15 +2563,26 @@
     // initialize the button input ports
     bool kbKeys = false;
     initButtons(cfg, kbKeys);
-
+    
     // Create the joystick USB client.  Note that we use the LedWiz unit
     // number from the saved configuration.
     MyUSBJoystick js(cfg.usbVendorID, cfg.usbProductID, USB_VERSION_NO, true, cfg.joystickEnabled, kbKeys);
+    
+    // we're now connected - kill the pre-connect ticker
+    preConnectTicker.detach();
         
-    // last report timer - we use this to throttle reports, since VP
-    // doesn't want to hear from us more than about every 10ms
-    Timer reportTimer;
-    reportTimer.start();
+    // Last report timer for the joytick interface.  We use the joystick timer 
+    // to throttle the report rate, because VP doesn't benefit from reports any 
+    // faster than about every 10ms.
+    Timer jsReportTimer;
+    jsReportTimer.start();
+    
+    // Time since we successfully sent a USB report.  This is a hacky workaround
+    // for sporadic problems in the USB stack that I haven't been able to figure
+    // out.  If we go too long without successfully sending a USB report, we'll
+    // try resetting the connection.
+    Timer jsOKTimer;
+    jsOKTimer.start();
     
     // set the initial status flags
     statusFlags = (cfg.plunger.enabled ? 0x01 : 0x00);
@@ -2355,18 +2715,12 @@
     // host requests
     for (;;)
     {
-        // Look for an incoming report.  Process a few input reports in
-        // a row, but stop after a few so that a barrage of inputs won't
-        // starve our output event processing.  Also, pause briefly between
-        // reads; allowing reads to occur back-to-back seems to occasionally 
-        // stall the USB pipeline (for reasons unknown; I'd fix the underlying 
-        // problem if I knew what it was).
-        HID_REPORT report;
-        for (int rr = 0 ; rr < 4 && js.readNB(&report) ; ++rr, wait_ms(1))
-        {
-            handleInputMsg(report, js, z);
-        }
+        // Process incoming reports
+        LedWizMsg lwmsg;
+        for (int rr = 0 ; rr < 64 && js.readLedWizMsg(lwmsg) ; ++rr) 
+            handleInputMsg(lwmsg.data, js, z);
        
+
         // check for plunger calibration
         if (calBtn != 0 && !calBtn->read())
         {
@@ -2460,19 +2814,15 @@
             if (calBtnLit) {
                 if (calBtnLed != 0)
                     calBtnLed->write(1);
-                ledR = 1;
-                ledG = 1;
-                ledB = 0;
+                diagLED(0, 0, 1);       // blue
             }
             else {
                 if (calBtnLed != 0)
                     calBtnLed->write(0);
-                ledR = 1;
-                ledG = 1;
-                ledB = 1;
+                diagLED(0, 0, 0);       // off
             }
         }
-        
+ 
         // If the plunger is enabled, and we're not already in a firing event,
         // and the last plunger reading had the plunger pulled back at least
         // a bit, watch for plunger release events until it's time for our next
@@ -2480,7 +2830,7 @@
         if (!firing && cfg.plunger.enabled && z >= JOYMAX/6)
         {
             // monitor the plunger until it's time for our next report
-            while (reportTimer.read_ms() < 15)
+            while (jsReportTimer.read_ms() < 15)
             {
                 // do a fast low-res scan; if it's at or past the zero point,
                 // start a firing event
@@ -2817,22 +3167,27 @@
             z0 = znew;
         }
 
-        // update the buttons
-        bool buttonsChanged = readButtons(cfg);
+        // process button updates
+        processButtons();
         
-        // send a keyboard report if we have new data to report
+        // send a keyboard report if we have new data
         if (kbState.changed)
         {
+            // send a keyboard report
             js.kbUpdate(kbState.data);
             kbState.changed = false;
         }
-
-        // send the media control report, if applicable
+        
+        // likewise for the media controller
         if (mediaState.changed)
         {
+            // send a media report
             js.mediaUpdate(mediaState.data);
             mediaState.changed = false;
         }
+        
+        // flag:  did we successfully send a joystick report on this round?
+        bool jsOK = false;
 
         // If it's been long enough since our last USB status report,
         // send the new report.  We throttle the report rate because
@@ -2840,7 +3195,7 @@
         // VP only wants to sync with the real world in 10ms intervals,
         // so reporting more frequently creates I/O overhead without 
         // doing anything to improve the simulation.
-        if (cfg.joystickEnabled && reportTimer.read_ms() > 10)
+        if (cfg.joystickEnabled && jsReportTimer.read_ms() > 10)
         {
             // read the accelerometer
             int xa, ya;
@@ -2867,10 +3222,10 @@
             accelRotate(x, y);
 
             // send the joystick report
-            js.update(x, y, zrep, jsButtons | simButtons, statusFlags);
+            jsOK = js.update(x, y, zrep, jsButtons | simButtons, statusFlags);
             
             // we've just started a new report interval, so reset the timer
-            reportTimer.reset();
+            jsReportTimer.reset();
         }
 
         // If we're in pixel dump mode, report all pixel exposure values
@@ -2885,9 +3240,17 @@
         
         // If joystick reports are turned off, send a generic status report
         // periodically for the sake of the Windows config tool.
-        if (!cfg.joystickEnabled && reportTimer.read_ms() > 200)
+        if (!cfg.joystickEnabled && jsReportTimer.read_ms() > 200)
         {
-            js.updateStatus(0);
+            jsOK = js.updateStatus(0);
+            jsReportTimer.reset();
+        }
+
+        // if we successfully sent a joystick report, reset the watchdog timer
+        if (jsOK) 
+        {
+            jsOKTimer.reset();
+            jsOKTimer.start();
         }
 
 #ifdef DEBUG_PRINTF
@@ -2912,45 +3275,60 @@
                     allOutputsOff();
             }
         }
-
+        
         // provide a visual status indication on the on-board LED
         if (calBtnState < 2 && hbTimer.read_ms() > 1000) 
         {
             if (!newConnected)
             {
                 // suspended - turn off the LED
-                ledR = 1;
-                ledG = 1;
-                ledB = 1;
+                diagLED(0, 0, 0);
 
                 // show a status flash every so often                
                 if (hbcnt % 3 == 0)
                 {
-                    // disconnected = red/red flash; suspended = red
+                    // disconnected = short red/red flash
+                    // suspended = short red flash
                     for (int n = js.isConnected() ? 1 : 2 ; n > 0 ; --n)
                     {
-                        ledR = 0;
+                        diagLED(1, 0, 0);
                         wait(0.05);
-                        ledR = 1;
+                        diagLED(0, 0, 0);
                         wait(0.25);
                     }
                 }
             }
+            else if (jsOKTimer.read() > 5)
+            {
+                // too long without a USB report - show red/yellow
+                static bool dumped;
+                if (!dumped) {
+                    extern void USBDeviceStatusDump(void);
+                    USBDeviceStatusDump();
+                    dumped = true;
+                }
+                extern bool USB_DMAERR;
+                if (USB_DMAERR) {
+                    printf("USB DMAERR DETECTED!\r\n");
+                    //   js.disconnect();
+                    //   js.connect();
+                    //   USB_DMAERR = false;
+                }
+                jsOKTimer.stop();
+                hb = !hb;
+                diagLED(1, hb, 0);
+            }
             else if (cfg.plunger.enabled && !cfg.plunger.cal.calibrated)
             {
                 // connected, plunger calibration needed - flash yellow/green
                 hb = !hb;
-                ledR = (hb ? 0 : 1);
-                ledG = 0;
-                ledB = 1;
+                diagLED(hb, 1, 0);
             }
             else
             {
                 // connected - flash blue/green
                 hb = !hb;
-                ledR = 1;
-                ledG = (hb ? 0 : 1);
-                ledB = (hb ? 1 : 0);
+                diagLED(0, hb, !hb);
             }
             
             // reset the heartbeat timer