(Topic ID: 183206)

American Pinball Houdini thread

By lllvjr

2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 9,546 posts
  • 549 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by Rdoyle1978
  • Topic is favorited by 145 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

33 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #145 Houdini Pinball initial flyer Posted by HighProtein (2 years ago)

Post #184 Initial reveal at TPF Posted by SilverballNut (2 years ago)

Post #190 Introductory Price of Houdini Posted by 1iblind (2 years ago)

Post #198 Initial Pictures of Machine Posted by lllvjr (2 years ago)

Post #229 Playfield Close-Up Pics Posted by bigd1979 (2 years ago)

Post #284 Machine feature details Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #312 More feature details Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #385 Double switch lane picture Posted by pinballrockstar (2 years ago)

Post #420 Pinball show appearance schedule for Houdini Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #434 Houdini pics from Allentown show Posted by PinballSTAR (2 years ago)

Post #533 Official Houdini Flyer with features listed Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (2 years ago)

Post #535 Ball Counter graphic for game Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #609 More mode and feature details from programmer Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #639 More game system details from programmer Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #978 Photos of the updated game for expo Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #1000 Photos of the cabinet interior side art Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #1287 Josh Kugler Interview Posted by konjurer (1 year ago)

Post #1357 Houdini Gameplay video Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #2290 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by BarryJ (1 year ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#4246 1 year ago

I'm a semi-pro magician and I've just acquired a Houdini. Got it set up today and seems to be working great. But I do have a couple of questions.

1. There's a little bit of "play" in the front panel, even when it's locked into position. Is this normal?

2. I'm wondering about Attract mode. I have both Attract Sounds and Attract Music enabled, but I'm hearing almost nothing...no music, and a bit of speech maybe every 8-10 minutes or so. Is this normal?

I'm running the current version of the code -- v18.5.4.

Thanks for any information!


#4249 1 year ago


Thank you so much for the quick response!

The play in the panel doesn't bother me much, I wouldn't necessarily put in tabs unless it might be necessary to reduce wear-and-tear.

Good to know that things are operating normally WRT the attract mode. I did do the update -- as you said, it was certainly easy. Kind of a pleasure, really.

I watched Josh on an episode of SDTM when I was trying to figure out which pin to get (although Houdini was really kind of a no-brainer for me). It's great to know he's on the board and participating in the thread!

Best regards,

#4251 1 year ago


Ah, you must be the Barry on the receiving end of the support number. Glad to meet you and happy to see you're here.

I will adjust the screws as you suggest. Now that's the kind of fix a newbie like me can manage.

Best regards,

#4256 1 year ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Hi Josh,
Semi pro mage here as well (I occasionally do a paid mentalist gig). I stuck on a couple small felt sticky things like you place on the bottom of the chair legs. The lockdown bar does rub a bit and was scratching the power coat off the side rails. I would recommend doing this to yours.

Hiya, Konjurer, nice to meet you. I was full-time back in the early/mid '80s, these days I mostly perform for friends and family, and teach magic extracurriculars in local schools for pocket money.

I have added some foam pieces along the inner sides of the plate -- it's still not snug, but at least I know it's protecting the finish on the sides. I may add some more to make it snugger. I also haven't finished adjusting the screws yet, I think they still need a few more turns.

Loving this pin!


#4257 1 year ago

Okay, it's been fewer than 24 hours and already I need some technical help. Understand that I'm a real newbie (or is it "noobie") when it comes to pinball machines, and I'm a magician, not a technician, so please be patient, or just direct me to a more appropriate place on the forum if need be.

Yesterday, all was in the green. Today, when I powered on the machine and accessed the menu, I saw "Switch error -> go to Tests -> Switch. Going to the Switch Test screen revealed four switches in red: Left Lock 1, Left Lock 2, Left Lock 3, and Tilt.

At this point, I'm a little lost. Do I pull the playfield up and try to find what I'm looking for to make sure nothing got unplugged? (This would be a new experience for me.) Do I call a technician?

What's the procedure?

Thank you in advance for any guidance.


#4258 1 year ago

Okay, never mind. I figured out how to test and clear these errors.

#4261 1 year ago
Quoted from Audioenslaved:

From the sounds of things you haven’t hit those switches in a while. But I’m just guessing from what you’ve said in this post. Maybe pull the glass off and hit those switches.

Took me awhile to figure it out, but I did. Thank you so much!


#4265 1 year ago

THANK YOU, everyone, for the advice and knowledge. Having only owned one other pin in my life -- a Simpsons Pinball Party, which we had a very short time and never needed any adjustment -- it was unclear to me how much upkeep and technical know-how might be necessary. For instance, I was unaware that simply not using a switch (like the tilt or various locks) for a period could result in a failed test.

I'm printing out and storing all this good advice for later reference. For the moment, everything's working fine. I found the Left Lock switches and simply rolling the ball down that lane cleared the errors, as did moving the plumb bob so that it touched the ring. (I almost never nudge in pinball.)

I'll keep the lifting of the playfield to a minimum. I do have the art blades -- which are wonderful! -- and I wouldn't want anything to happen to them, or to any of the other components under there.

#4298 1 year ago

Would someone be able to explain to me the functioning of the magnets?

I understand that the magnets beneath Houdini's hands activate briefly when the "magic" switches are hit, but isn't there a third magnet? If so, where is it and what activates it?


#4357 1 year ago

Is it my imagination, or does the voice completely mispronounce the word "metamorphosis"? It sounds like he says "Metamorphis" to me.

1 week later
#4495 1 year ago

So I've had my Houdini for 2-3 weeks now, and I've noticed that the stand-up target that's the first E in "Escape" has started to get a little torqued. I suspect it's from the ball hitting it, at an angle, off the flippers.

So far, the switch is working just fine, but I wonder if this is something that needs to be corrected, or if it's just a cosmetic issue that I should learn to deal with. If it DOES need to be corrected, is it something that I can do easily from the top (with just the glass removed), or does it require something more involved?

Thanks for any know-how...


Stand-Up Target 01 (resized).jpgStand-Up Target 02 (resized).jpg
#4499 1 year ago
Quoted from LTG:

Turn game off. You might be able to bend/align it from on top. If not, lift playfield. Remove two screws and lower it. And straighten with a thin flat nosed pliers or something.
LTG : )

Thank you, LTG! I'm guessing I have to leave a hair's distance between the two switch nodes?

I can't help but wonder if I'm the only person with this issue.

#4501 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

This damage is indicitive of Flipper strenght to high. What are your flipper coils set at?

Left and right flippers are set to 23 and 22, respectively. I've not toyed with this setting since receiving the machine. What would you recommend?

#4505 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

At least 22 and 21, if not 21 and 20. 23 is too much.
Are you on current 18.5.4 software? What is your playfield angle set to?

I'll make those adjustments...and do my best to straighten the switch.

Yep, I'm on the 18.5.4 software, and I believe my angle is 6.5...the factory setting with all the levelers screwed all the way in (and a level floor).

Thank you for all your help!

1 month later
#5161 1 year ago

Adoring the update! The Custom Message feature is terrific and works perfectly.

2 weeks later
#5434 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Ok, I cant figure it out. Was just going through manual online.
How do I do a Custom Message? I have custom message on in settings.
Thanks in advance gang.

You will need to create a .png file (you can do this with Photoshop or similar programs). Your image needs to be set to 72 dpi (this may actually show up as 72.009) and the image itself needs to be 1360 pixels by 768 pixels. It's important that you follow these guidelines.

Once you have the .png file, put it on a USB stick (best not to have any othe rfiles on that stick!). With the game powered on, plug in the USB stick. Once the file is transferred, you will need to power cycle the game.

Good luck!


1 month later
#6029 11 months ago

So my Houdini has been making the trunk shot a good 90-95% of the time, for months. No problems, really.

Then, last night, five times in a row, it sent the ball careening wildly off to the right, missing the trunk shot by a mile.

Any ideas as to what might be causing this? I'm not a technician, so if it's something more complicated than loosening a few screws or adjusting something in the menu, I'll have to call a $90/hr technician.


#6038 11 months ago

I double-checked my machine today to see if a voltage variation last night had anything to do with the problem, but it didn't.

To my great relief, though, I was able to correct the error by turning down the coil a couple of notches, and now it makes the trunk shot reliably.

This is very odd because I haven't played with the coil settings for many weeks. I did update to the most recent code just a day ago, and I'm wondering if updating the code changed the coil setting for some reason. Regardless, color me relieved!

Thanks for everyone's help!

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