(Topic ID: 183206)

American Pinball Houdini thread


By lllvjr

3 years ago



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#3751 2 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Can you make another one and send it to Barry and Josh?

I would definitely do that but I don’t have any more ball guides that long. I look around some more but basically all the need to do is extend the guide to the front of the shooter. And make a proper smooth transition bend

#3752 2 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

I see what you did there:
You narrowed the lane so that the ball would have less lateral inertia to rebound off the sides thus keeping its forward motion along the guide.
You the eased the curvature to allow for a direct transition to the playfield, thus eliminating any bounce off the end of the lane guide.
Now a simple change in velocity can allow one to hit the skill targets, as it should have been all along.
A very simple and elegant solution that can be easily adapted on the factory floor with existing inventory.
Nice Job!
Can you make another one and send it to Barry and Josh or set up and photograph accurate measurements in millimeters on your existing set up? (lay a rule down from the wooden siderail from various sections of your guide and take pictures)
This would be necessary to reproduce the result.

Now my question is:

What modifications can be made to the existing lane guide in order to reproduce your result?

Does the guide have to be extended or can it be moved forward slightly or is it a matter of adjustment?

The ball will follow a predetermined path if there is no lateral movement even if the guide runs short.
Its a matter which path is chosen via the narrowed lane guide.

Does narrowing the lane and altering the curvature of the existing lane guide have a similar effect?

The existing guide can be removed, reformed and re-positioned pretty easily.

Others will want to do this.

#3753 2 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Now my question is:
What modifications are necessary to the existing lane guide in order to reproduce your result?
The existing guide can be removed, reformed and re-positioned pretty easily.
Others will want to do this.

The factory guide can be removed or just kept in place and pushed all the way like Barry suggested

As for the new or replacement guide. If you extend your guide all the way down to the shooter and allow for an adjustable oblong mount holes in the existing place this should be enough

I am really anal about altering my games from factory

I actually did not drill the top center mount ( I can do that any time if nothing else is produced by AP ) just the rear one by the shooter which you will never see if someone removes I just used very thin strong 3m double sided tape, rear screw at the shooter and front flange to the post to hold.

The center screw head is just super glued to the guide for looks right now Incase a factory approved rail is made

It should be an easy inexpensive design change.

#3754 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

The initial guide can be removed or just kept in place and pushed all the way like Barry suggested
As for the guide. If you extend your guide all the way down to the shooter and allow for an adjustable oblong mount holes in the existing place this should be enough
I am really anal about altering my games from factory
I actually did not drill the top center mount ( I can do that any time if nothing else is produced by AP ) just the rear one by the shooter which you will never see if someone removes I just used very thin strong 3m double sided tape, rear screw at the shooter and front flange to the post to hold.
The center screw head is just super glued to the guide for looks right now Incase a factory approved rail is made
It should be an easy nonexpensive design change.

Im certain that if you want to modify your existing lane guide in a way that is documented and reproducible for other owners.
By either dremeling out the mounting holes or by bending a smoother curve, API can get you another one for your troubles.

#3755 2 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Im certain that if you want to modify your existing lane guide in a way that is documented and reproducible for other owners.
By either dremeling out the mounting holes or by bending a smoother curve, API can get you another one for your troubles.

I would need a factory one with extended length that runs completely down the rail. That and oblong holes on the top mounting bracket

I really thin that would suffice

#3756 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

I would need a factory one with extended length that runs completely down the rail. That and oblong holes on the top mounting bracket
I really thin that would suffice

rosh, barryj , Any thoughts on this? Or do you have a fix already on the floor?

#3757 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

I would need a factory one with extended length that runs completely down the rail. That and oblong holes on the top mounting bracket
I really thin that would suffice

In the meantime making ball guides is pretty easy:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/making-new-ball-guides-from-scratch-vids-guide

Maybe you can enlist a pinsider to help out.

#3758 2 years ago
Quoted from Jamaster10:

Few Pics from My Allentown Booth & Tournament Diamond Sponsor

I will have games available in the next few weeks!!!

Pincades
Jesse T.

Nice display. Doing a show is hard work. And your extra effort to make a cool looking display is great !

LTG : )

#3759 2 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

rosh, barryj , Any thoughts on this? Or do you have a fix already on the floor?

My game has never had a problem hitting any of the three targets, especially the third one.

#3760 2 years ago
Quoted from RebelGuitars:

My game has never had a problem hitting any of the three targets, especially the third one.

I think its a matter of lane guide adjustment.
Ive spent hours getting all of my games lane guides tweaked, bent, ground off, drilled out etc to get them running smoothly.
With patience and a little thought, most games can be made to perform perfectly.

#3761 2 years ago

I have about 200 plays on now. Houdini is playing very good now that I have done some tweaking. I am able to make all the shots regularly. The milk can is still hard to make though! A couple of times the ball fell off the right trail after the upper catapult fired. I lowered the setting but it came off again. Will lower setting more. Shaker coming Monday. Still waiting to get Magic glass.

#3762 2 years ago
Quoted from RebelGuitars:

My game has never had a problem hitting any of the three targets, especially the third one.

I also hit all 3. I needed to get my shooter rod centered with the ball and it became more consistent.

#3763 2 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

I think its a matter of lane guide adjustment.
Ive spent hours getting all of my games lane guides tweaked, bent, ground off, drilled out etc to get them running smoothly.
With patience and a little thought, most games can be made to perform perfectly.

Ive spent hours...... Its funny I had the same problem with AFMr skill shot. I spent literally 10 hours finding a fix thats perfect 100%, I had 3 friends say they did CGCs fix and theirs works fantastic, all three friend played mine with my fix and were blown away and now all three had me do my fix as it appears it wasnt as good as people make it out to be.

I do this for a living, Im not saying I the expert but all games are NOT the same. The ball is around 1/8 to 3/16 away when leaving the shooter lane when it impacts the guide causing a deflection. On a pull thats hard enough to hit the top target Im no where near it as im only hitting the E. If I make the gap smaller the angle is too steep and deflects more.

I think the guys with games that hit 100% with a pull from hard to soft hitting the top target first, then with softer pulls hitting each skill shot after should chime in with the set up and angle's they are using.

My game pitch is .037 degree side to side and 6.73 degree back to front at the moment. Shooter centered, full white superbands, and over 15 hours tweaking in the rest of the game so all shots are butter smooth.

Every single pull from the shooter can accurately hit each target with what i have done now.

#3764 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Ive spent hours....

Im wondering if from factory you had this inset for the guide? , notch in the wood rail?
I also have no problems hitting all 3 skill shot targets.

20180512_102729 (resized).jpg

#3765 2 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Im wondering if from factory you had this inset for the guide? , notch in the wood rail?
I also have no problems hitting all 3 skill shot targets.

I do.... just like yours.

#3766 2 years ago

Now my ball completly rides the guide up the shooter. As seen in the pic 3 inches higher than the ball there was no way for me to make 3/16 inch up with no deflection on my game

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#3767 2 years ago

One thing I just noticed on my game. The wooden ball guide / rail is mounted about 1/8 inch to the right over hang which would cause the same thing. Any of you guys that have great working shooters have a pic of this

D9C4F9D1-C96E-4486-AAF6-EE094A7102CE (resized).jpeg

#3768 2 years ago

Just installed the shaker motor. Very cool! On a couple games, I noticed it while in the pops, when the trunk shuts, the elephant walking, and the jail door slamming.

#3769 2 years ago

Just got my shaker today very cool addition well worth it.

#3770 2 years ago

Installed shaker last night! I agree well worth it and in the pop bumpers it gets really going

#3771 2 years ago

Im a few days behind. Cant wait to get my shaker this week.

#3772 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

One thing I just noticed on my game. The wooden ball guide / rail is mounted about 1/8 inch to the right over hang which would cause the same thing. Any of you guys that have great working shooters have a pic of this

It does look like it should be square to the edge of the playfield.

I also would like to know how other playfields look.

It would definitely explain why the 1/8" changes everything.

#3773 2 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Im wondering if from factory you had this inset for the guide? , notch in the wood rail?
I also have no problems hitting all 3 skill shot targets.

Art blade already torn?

#3774 2 years ago
Quoted from vireland:

Art blade already torn?

Yup- There all beat up. What happens when your modding your game, demo parts. Playfield been pulled out and up more than most I'm sure.
I don't like to use the word torn, I call them character marks to match the Steampunk feel. Have them on both sides.
I can't blame design or cabinet. Besides, they were to new and shiny anyway.
Figured when I'm done customizing in a year I'd get new one's.

#3775 2 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Yup- There all beat up. What happens when your modding your game, demo parts. Playfield been pulled out and up more than most I'm sure.
I don't like to use the word torn, I call them character marks to match the Steampunk feel. Have them on both sides.
I can't blame design or cabinet. Besides, they were to new and shiny anyway.
Figured when I'm done customizing in a year I'd get new one's.

The decals for these AP Houdini art blades are WAY more paper-like and therefore fragile than the Stern art blades, which are closer to arcade console overlays. The only reason I noticed your tear is ours was also torn within a couple days of getting it since we had the PF up and down a lot more than usual the first few weeks we had it.

I really hope AP moves to material more like what Stern's using for their art blades before too long. If they transitioned to better material, I'd actually buy the Houdini ones all over again just to get better quality art blades that are more durable.

#3776 2 years ago

So when are the Australian games looking like getting shipped? Game looks awesome and with $$ ready for a pin I’d love to get this one

#3777 2 years ago

SO,now we have to redo the shooter lane guide!!! And try to set the catapult at the right power! And this is ok with all of you?? No,sorry.I'm not up to rebuild a brand new pin any more! After GB node board failure,B66LE broke in box,I'm looking for a pin that works right at least new in box!! I guess pinball manufactors don't give a shit how there product is presented! Gonna have to rethink if I want a pin to work on,or,just play!!!!This isn't it

#3778 2 years ago
Quoted from hawkmoon:

SO,now we have to redo the shooter lane guide!!! And try to set the catapult at the right power! And this is ok with all of you?? No,sorry.I'm not up to rebuild a brand new pin any more! After GB node board failure,B66LE broke in box,I'm looking for a pin that works right at least new in box!! I guess pinball manufactors don't give a shit how there product is presented! Gonna have to rethink if I want a pin to work on,or,just play!!!!This isn't it

Ok man take a deep breath... most of us do not have this issue; I do not, for example. Barry posted a fix up above if you REALLY need to make an adjustment. Setting the catapult to the right power is a matter of hitting 2 buttons about 10 times. It’s literally less work than typing that exasperated post you just made.

#3779 2 years ago

Well,exasperated is exactly how this is all hitting me!! After paying 7500.for this I don,t feel inclined to have to adjust anything!! The catapult does ONE THING,and it shouldn't Have to be adjusted AT ALL!!Shooter lane guide rebuild?? design flaw,why lay this on the buyer! I know I'm ranting,but I was hopping for a pin that worked

#3780 2 years ago
Quoted from RebelGuitars:

Just installed the shaker motor. Very cool! On a couple games, I noticed it while in the pops, when the trunk shuts, the elephant walking, and the jail door slamming.

Put my shaker in last night. Same results as yours. May be coincidence but I scored my first 1+ million game with the shaker! Sorry Matt. Scored big points with bullet catch and trunk multiball.

#3781 2 years ago
Quoted from hawkmoon:

Well,exasperated is exactly how this is all hitting me!! After paying 7500.for this I don,t feel inclined to have to adjust anything!! The catapult does ONE THING,and it shouldn't Have to be adjusted AT ALL!!Shooter lane guide rebuild?? design flaw,why lay this on the buyer! I know I'm ranting,but I was hopping for a pin that worked

Mine worked great out of the box, but I get what you mean. They’re finicky things! Even if it’s set up perfectly at the factory, shipping just does things to a game..

#3782 2 years ago
Quoted from hawkmoon:

SO,now we have to redo the shooter lane guide!!! And try to set the catapult at the right power! And this is ok with all of you?? No,sorry.I'm not up to rebuild a brand new pin any more! After GB node board failure,B66LE broke in box,I'm looking for a pin that works right at least new in box!! I guess pinball manufactors don't give a shit how there product is presented! Gonna have to rethink if I want a pin to work on,or,just play!!!!This isn't it

Hawkmoon- I get what your saying but its not like what you describe.
The catapult is just part of set up. Between your floor, leg levelers, pitch, in-line power stenght...there is a lot of physics going on to throw that ball into trunk. Each coil is adjustable on this pin. Much like the JJP design its to our benefit to control coil strength.
Sure, I've had a few switches get loose. But every problem Ive come across has been minor. Easy fixes.
The shooter lane topic. If you read back what you see with that modification that person is in the minority. Most everyone can hit the 3 targets from shooter lane. He took his idea and was convinced that was the fix.
This is no stern..., period, mic drop, etc..
AP has churned out a quality product that is very impressive.
Also reading back I see mostly satisfied customers. These are mechanical devices, things will break.
My post reflects that I have been an early beta tester to tell the factory minor tweaks. I given Barry several ideas to say, hey do this, do that. He has been very receptive and its only to make your unboxing a pleasant experience. I think you will be happy with your game.
You have my number, call me with any questions when you get your game.

#3783 2 years ago
Quoted from hawkmoon:

Well,exasperated is exactly how this is all hitting me!! After paying 7500.for this I don,t feel inclined to have to adjust anything!! The catapult does ONE THING,and it shouldn't Have to be adjusted AT ALL!!Shooter lane guide rebuild?? design flaw,why lay this on the buyer! I know I'm ranting,but I was hopping for a pin that worked

I've played three or four different Houdinis, and none of them felt like they needed any adjustment to the shooter lane. As far as the trunk capture goes, it all comes down to differences in power in different locations, it will need to get adjusted that is just the nature of pinball.

Any pinball machine is going to need some type of adjustment they are mechanical, and things are going to break.

#3784 2 years ago
Quoted from hawkmoon:

No,sorry.I'm not up to rebuild a brand new pin any more!

The vast majority of people are having no problems. Someone came up with a minor tweak to give them more control over the skill shot. That is NOT rebuilding the pin. The adjustability of the coils is a feature, not a defect.

Saying that the manufacturer doesn’t give a shit is absurd. I’m sure if you asked the families of the design team at American Pinball whether or not they give a shit I’m sure they would tell you about how they didn’t give a shit as they worked nights and weekends for a year plus to get you your Houdini.

Isn’t it clear by now that manufacturing a pinball machine is a unique and difficult venture for a tiny niche market. Has every product you bought been defect free? Seems like with a product as complex as a pinball machine you’d expect there might be some adjustments for a small percentage of the customers.

#3785 2 years ago
Quoted from hawkmoon:

Well,exasperated is exactly how this is all hitting me!! After paying 7500.for this I don,t feel inclined to have to adjust anything!! The catapult does ONE THING,and it shouldn't Have to be adjusted AT ALL!!Shooter lane guide rebuild?? design flaw,why lay this on the buyer! I know I'm ranting,but I was hopping for a pin that worked

I just got mine Friday. Catapult was over shooting the trunk. Adjusted the coil power down. Problem solved.
I did have to adjust the shooter lane. Yes it is an inconvenience but it was literally easy to do.

#3786 2 years ago
Quoted from TomGWI:

I just got mine Friday.

So even though he said “the greatest escape I ever made was when I left Appleton Wisconsin” — he is now back there.

#3787 2 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

So even though he said “the greatest escape I ever made was when I left Appleton Wisconsin” — he is now back there.

Yes. I should maybe bring this to the Houdini Museum in town.

#3788 2 years ago
Quoted from BladeFury:

Installed shaker last night! I agree well worth it and in the pop bumpers it gets really going

Machine does not scream Shaker motor, but I tried to find ways to use it that enhance the playing experience without feeling over done or forced. I’m sure I’ll be making some tweaks.

Quoted from Audioenslaved:

So when are the Australian games looking like getting shipped? Game looks awesome and with $$ ready for a pin I’d love to get this one

We are working with on it, hopefully soon, but not as soon as any of us would like

As far as the shooter lane, I’ve not investigated it but I’m sure Barry will talk further with engineering on why some machines are having this issue.

I think overall, considering how much is in the machine, there have been minimal issues out of the box. I’m sure if you read some threads about other new games this would ring true. I think compared to when other new companies shipped their first game we are doing a pretty good job.

#3789 2 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

I think compared to when other new companies shipped their first game we are doing a pretty good job.

Anyone who thinks different has not bought many NIB games or don't know what their talking about . GREAT JOB !!!

#3790 2 years ago

Regarding side art:

Torn beat up art?

Paper art blades are what I would expect from the aftermarket, not a manufacturer, not API.

I want to pay more for higher quality scuff resistant ones.
Is that possible?

Do I have to copy them and make my own at my local sign shop from durable materials?

Please advise.

#3791 2 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Machine does not scream Shaker motor, but I tried to find ways to use it that enhance the playing experience without feeling over done or forced. I’m sure I’ll be making some tweaks.

We are working with on it, hopefully soon, but not as soon as any of us would like
As far as the shooter lane, I’ve not investigated it but I’m sure Barry will talk further with engineering on why some machines are having this issue.
I think overall, considering how much is in the machine, there have been minimal issues out of the box. I’m sure if you read some threads about other new games this would ring true. I think compared to when other new companies shipped their first game we are doing a pretty good job.

I got a Dialed In a few weeks before Houdini arrived. I love DI dearly, and it’s (still) my sons favourite game. I had to do FAR more adjustment to DI than I’ve done with Houdini. The wait is warranted. No question you guys are doing a stellar job.

#3792 2 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Regarding side art:
Torn beat up art?
Paper art blades are what I would expect from the aftermarket, not a manufacturer, not API.
I want to pay more for higher quality scuff resistant ones.
Is that possible?
Do I have to copy them and make my own at my local sign shop from durable materials?
Please advise.

They’re not paper, but they are also not the Uber durable airplane vinyl some other games are using. It’s a a trade off - the thinner blades are less likely to catch the play field when it’s lifted. But you still have to be careful. I have yet to install any sort of blades which don’t have some risk of an issue

#3793 2 years ago

Don't understand the thinking? This is a game with many working parts, minor tweaks and adjustments are normal... No big deal!
The most outstanding thing to mention is the support from AP...
Constant updates, quick reply to issues .. Listening to customers!
If you think that this company builds poor product , perhaps you should buy from a company that thinks ghosting is normal , cabinets that fall apart, waiting a year for clearly defective play field replacement.. And so much more!
Thanks AP keep up the good work!

#3794 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

They’re not paper, but they are also not the Uber durable airplane vinyl some other games are using. It’s a a trade off - the thinner blades are less likely to catch the play field when it’s lifted. But you still have to be careful. I have yet to install any sort of blades which don’t have some risk of an issue

Good to know, thanks.
Still I might be inclined to have them remade on durable scuff resistant material.
My sign guy needs the work lol.

#3795 2 years ago
Quoted from hawkmoon:

I guess pinball manufactors don't give a shit how there product is presented!

Have you reached out to them ? Part of tech support is making the customer happy. Sometimes just talking to a live body that cares can really go a long way to ending your frustration.

And the way any game gets bounced about in shipping. You only have two problems. While neither are shipper related. Maybe AP can help you. They are there. Let them make your new game experience better.

I know it's frustrating for you. And I'm sorry for that. But give them a chance to make you happy so you can enjoy your game. It sure is pretty. Plays great. And will give you years of enjoyment after a couple tweaks.

LTG : )

#3796 2 years ago

I am still loving this game!

Playing it so much right now.... but found a small bug.

Two balls locked for trunk multiball

API theater is open, ready to start a mode.

Drained the ball

Next ball loads up with one skill shot option being a ball lock

Hit the ball lock skill shot, then immediately nail the API theater before the game recognizes the trunk multiball

Curtain door closes up and trunk multiball plays out until i drain all the balls.

On the next ball the curtain opens back up and the ball i placed in the theater is still there. So technically i now am on ball three with two balls on the playfield. The ball in the API doesnt recognize with the game.

I let the ball drain, and then the game realizes that something is off. So a ball hunt is started and everything returns to normal as it clears the API scoop.

#3797 2 years ago
Quoted from Genjuro:

Hit the ball lock skill shot, then immediately nail the API theater before the game recognizes the trunk multiball

Thanks for reporting, modes won’t start if MB running, so a bit of a timing issue I’ll have to look at.

#3798 2 years ago

For those worried about the art blades - pick up a set of these...I have two sets I use all the time.
https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4575

IMG_7055 (resized).JPG

#3799 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

They’re not paper, but they are also not the Uber durable airplane vinyl some other games are using. It’s a a trade off - the thinner blades are less likely to catch the play field when it’s lifted. But you still have to be careful. I have yet to install any sort of blades which don’t have some risk of an issue

We have Stern art blades installed in numerous routed Sterns. Some have been on for multiple years. Zero have torn from the playfield being raised and lowered on location. They're made from very durable material. The AP blades for Houdini were torn within a week. I knew they were not long for the world even before I installed them because they're so paper-like compared to the Stern material. You can see and feel the difference.

#3800 2 years ago
Quoted from vireland:

We have Stern art blades installed in numerous routed Sterns. Some have been on for multiple years. Zero have torn from the playfield being raised and lowered on location. They're made from very durable material. The AP blades for Houdini were torn within a week. I knew they were not long for the world even before I installed them because they're so paper-like and not durable as a result.

I'm pretty sure Stern hasn't been in the artblade buisiness for years. Didn't they just start selling accessories?

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