(Topic ID: 223125)

Alien - launching into the pops!


By SunKing

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by spfxted
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

Topic Gallery

There have been 13 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

IMG_4932 (resized).JPG
IMG_4931 (resized).JPG
IMG_4928 (resized).JPG
IMG_4927 (resized).JPG
IMG_4926 (resized).JPG
IMG_4912 (resized).JPG
IMG_4908 (resized).JPG
IMG_4906 (resized).JPG
IMG_4903 (resized).JPG
IMG_4902 (resized).JPG
IMG_4901 (resized).JPG
IMG_4896 (resized).JPG
IMG_4893 (resized).JPG

#1 9 months ago

I've always wondered why the Alien launch ramp was designed the way it was. Why does it launch directly into a dead-end, abruptly stopping and dropping into the right in-lane? Despite several tweaks, I still get the occasional launch failure where it will hit the dead-end and bounce back to the shooter lane.

So I decided to try a little experiment. I wanted to see if I could build a ramp that would let the ball continue on it's launched path - right up into the pops. Of course, this had to be completely reversible, as I don't want to damage my game in any way. When I mentioned this on the main thread, I did get some folks raising some concerns, like it would impact the skill shot. I also got confirmation that one of the original designs of Alien DID have the ball shooting to the top of the playfield, but for the life of me I can't find that now....

Anyway, my experiment was a SUCCESS! I'll post a few pictures, and have video if anyone is interested.

First, I had to remove the stock ramp. This is simple - four nuts and two screws.

IMG_4893 (resized).JPGIMG_4896 (resized).JPGIMG_4901 (resized).JPG

Now the tricky part - building a new ramp from scratch. I went to e-bay and found the longest ramp section I could. There was one from a Fish Tales that I was able to snag. I took a dremel to it, and started to cut a length I needed to replicate the original ramp.

IMG_4902 (resized).JPGIMG_4903 (resized).JPGIMG_4906 (resized).JPG

In order to make the mod completely reversible, I didn't want to do anything to the stock machine - so I had to figure out a way to mount the new ramp without drilling any new holes or anything like that. Obviously, I will need to use the existing screw holes...so I lined 'em up the best I could, and proceeded to replicate the existing launch ramp...

IMG_4908 (resized).JPGIMG_4926 (resized).JPG

Hmmm, got some clearance issues here....

IMG_4912 (resized).JPG

..better..

IMG_4927 (resized).JPG

It ain't pretty, but it works!! In fact, it works 100%. I've played several games, and have yet to have one failed launch. Not one. There's still some tweaking to do. In my first tests the ball was hitting the glass. That was a pretty easy fix, and now it's just fine tuning. As it stands, the ball will either (1) not make it to the pops, and roll back down the right loop to the flipper, or (2) make it to the pops, where it will either go into the L or V lane, or (3) it will make it past the pops, and returns out the 'lane 3' mini-loop. With options (1) and (2) I still have the ability to hit a skill shot.

I'm not sure if I'll keep it this way, but for now I am really enjoying the new gameplay - especially in multi-ball - good to get some free pop hits.
IMG_4928 (resized).JPGIMG_4931 (resized).JPGIMG_4932 (resized).JPG

...and yes, I put some mylar down where the ball drops.

#3 9 months ago

Existing ball launch design was never fully baked. While it would be better to fix it (opening at entrance end and wire supports need to be cut, repositioned and welded prior to replating in chrome or nickel), this is a nice alternate solution.

It does alter the normally 100% safe plunge to the the lower right flipper and ot puts the ball into play quickly. Probably doesn't have much impact on scoring so willing to give it a try.

#4 9 months ago

very nice ,would be interested if you produce a few , no need to chrome as I would most likely powder coat

#5 9 months ago

I like this. The dead end plunge is my least favorite feature of Alien.

#6 9 months ago
Quoted from Agent_Hero:

I like this. The dead end plunge is my least favorite feature of Alien.

Doesn't bother me as I like the options available to the right flipper at the start of the ball. Not sure what's different on my game, but I seldom get a bounce back.

#7 9 months ago

It's just a very tepid way to start a game. For all of the thrashing and banging around that it does from the trough to the launch point, it's quite a buzzkill to just place it on the flipper.

#8 9 months ago

I played some more games last night, and realized the new ramp was changing my strategies somewhat. Now, when I get a mode started that needs the pops (like Queens Nest or Derelict Ship), if I'm close to multi-ball I'll shoot for that. I get plenty of pop hits when they all get launched up there. ….and yes, it is a much quieter launch.

Still not sure if I'll keep this on long term, but for now I am really enjoying it.

#9 9 months ago

Fantastic work!

#11 9 months ago

Anything for you Ted!

Here's a quick video - this link should work: http://www.bradberryman.com/IMG_4946.mp4

-1
#12 9 months ago
Quoted from SunKing:

Anything for you Ted!
Here's a quick video - this link should work: http://www.bradberryman.com/IMG_4946.mp4

broken link

#13 9 months ago

You can't download that file?

#14 9 months ago
Quoted from SunKing:

You can't download that file?

I just clicked it and it worked fine for me

1 week later
#15 8 months ago
Quoted from SunKing:

Despite several tweaks, I still get the occasional launch failure where it will hit the dead-end and bounce back to the shooter lane.

I see on your picture that your launch ramp is different then mine.
I also had problems, but only 1 simple tweak made it almost perfect.
let's say that now mine works 95% prefect and 5% needs a second try...

#16 8 months ago

Thanks! That is pretty darn cool!!

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
From: $ 40.00
Cabinet - Other
Rock Custom Pinball
9,850 (Firm)
Machine - For Sale
Goteborg
$ 50.00
From: $ 20.00
Cabinet - Other
Rock Custom Pinball

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside