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DIY pinball

By MarkInc

April 18, 2012

8 years ago

I was answering a question in the forums and it led me to this reminiscence:

I remember my first try at a pinball machine in the mid 70s. I was hooked. By the early 80s we had an arcade in town and I would play when I could. Caveman, Eight Ball Deluxe, Mr & Mrs Pacman.

I always had an interest in electronics and mechanical things so...

I started building my own pinball machine. I had an old calculator with equals key wired to the switches. Enter 10+ on the calculator and then every switch hit would add 10 points. I had spinning wooden discs with a rubber bands around them. Ramp to an upper playfield. I had set up a ladder circuit for the target card switches (Card theme - Royal Flush) Hit the 10 and the Jack would flash. Hit the Jack and the queen would flash, etc.
Didn't know about solenoids back then, so the flippers were mechanical. Didn't have access to pinballs either - just used large marbles. Plunger with a little spring. I had some rollover switches, an outlane diverter, a saucer shot and even lights cut out in the board. Unfortunately my neighbor got bored of helping and took back his tools and motors for the spinners (borrowed from his racecar!) And a bigger unfortunately - he got a Colecovison for xmas and the sucked up all our time. The project sat unfinished for years - I went away to university and my little brother ended up nailing the playfield (2'X4') to a wall as art? in the barn where his band practiced. Not sure where it is now. Will have to do some barn exploring next time I'm visiting.

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8 years ago

Amazing what the love of pinball playing will lead us to do to get our silverball fix!!!

8 years ago

whoa - coleco vision that brings back the years
had that tank battle game you hocked up to the TV
remember the box it came in was a lot better looking then the B&W game
cool story - HDC

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