(Topic ID: 246231)

Arduino pinball project

By Prospekteur

4 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 48 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 hours ago by Iwasthebruce
  • Topic is favorited by 21 Pinsiders


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#1 4 months ago

Im new here and this is my first post. I have bought a old devil riders playfield. I want to build my own homebrew pinball with some Arduinos and a homemade driverboard. I have a lot experience in building electric circuits (etching pcb, soldering). I had done some arduino projects before, but Im not very good in programming. So would be nice to change some ideas. My plan is to post the progress of my pinball machine here

.....yesterday Ive tested the solenoids, and luckily they all work fine.

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#2 4 months ago

Today Ive worked on the cabinet.....Ive also created a sketch of all the changes on the playfield. I will add some ramps around the upper playfield and will only use one of the mechanical ramps to the upper playfield. The other mechanical ramp will o an other way at the end and will activate a special mechanism. Im in the very beginning and have a lot of ideas. The devil riders playfield will look very different at the end, thats for sure. Also the theme will be whole different......

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#3 4 months ago

First signs of life.......

#4 4 months ago

Sounds like a fun project! Did you have a look at the Arduino Pinball Controller (https://github.com/AmokSolderer/APC)? You can also use it with the Mission Pinball Framework (https://missionpinball.org) if you want a full software framework with tooling.


#5 4 months ago

Jabdoa: Thanks for this great link. Im definitely interested. Im reading about the APC at the moment. Looks like it is a great tool. Im not sure if I will build this board or if I will buy it. Seems like you cant buy this board. I have no experience with SMD solderung for now. Just to be honest.......Im scared of SMD and I love the old school parts. But eventually I five it a try

#6 4 months ago

Building it should not be that bad. Have a look here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/arduino-pinball-controller/

1 week later
#7 4 months ago

First signs oft life of the DMD......

#8 4 months ago

Well done.

#9 4 months ago

Worked further on my project. Ive built two prototype driverboards. The first driverboard that ive built, could control 6 solenoids. But I wasnt happy with it. My actual prototype has 14 channels to control 14 solenoids and other mechanisms. I cant wait to connect all channels to my pinball. Will post a video from the first tests soon
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1 week later
#10 3 months ago

New actions are available now. Slingshots are activated and a solenoid shoots the ball to the plunger when falling down......

1 month later
#11 86 days ago

Now all mechanical parts are working great. Im wiring everything complete new at the moment and try to programming my software to activate 6 different flippers with 2 buttons. Thats a really hard task at the moment, but I will find a solution........

Will post a video soon.....

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#12 83 days ago

.......inside the pinball Maschine (hardly under construction

#13 83 days ago

Now the machine has an plunger. All the mechanics is controlled by the arduino now. Next I will change the playfield. It will be a whole other pinball machine at the end. The upper playfield is missing too at the moment.

Some new gameplay.......

#14 83 days ago

I changed the rules to pull the ramp down. You have to hit all 3 targets in front of the ramp and then hit the middle target at the upper playfield after that. In my opinion it was too easy in the original rules to pull the ramp down. You only had to hit the 3 targets in Front of the ramp to activate the ramp........and this is very easy.......too easy.

Heres an example.....

#15 83 days ago

Startup after ball is out.......

#16 77 days ago

Great job! I sent you a private message...

#17 75 days ago

@Paolux: You have some messages in your box. You can also asking here......so we can learn all a bit from this thematic, and eventually other people here can give us some ideas for our projects

#18 75 days ago

Update.....: -Upper playfield was built from scratch. The old glass layer was broken, so I had to rebuilt the glass it. Next step is to activate the upper playfield flippers. The outlane flippers now working perfect......if the ball rolls over the rollover contact at the left or right outlane, the player have one shot with the outlane flipper to saving the ball.....

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#19 72 days ago

was trying to build a housing for my kicker. Im working mostly with wood and 3d printing. Metal is not my primary material to work. And since today it is really fun to work with metal. I will definitely do it more in the future. I think the metallic look of ramps for example does has a lot more character than plastic 3d printed ramps. My first attempt is not the best. But if I sanding and polish the metal a bit, I think it will look not that bad. Will buy a bit better tools for metal working in the future

My main steps today.....

-cutting out the main shape
-bend everything in wanted the wanted form
-soldering the edges together
-fixing the kicker into the housing
-making some more bended metal blade to cover the open site of the housing
-installing the activation contact on the housing (no image)

....tomorrow I will implement this into my playfield. The kicker will activate the ramps after all drop targets in front of the ramps are shot down
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#20 71 days ago

Today I built a New scoop. The one Ive posted yesterday I was not satisfied anymore today. So today Ive built 3 different ones. One oft it you can see in the post. Today Ive ordered a table scroll saw. I will definitely getting more in building things from metal
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#21 69 days ago

The top scoop and side scoop is now implemented. If the ball roll in the top scoop, it will make its way beneath the playfield through a pipe and gets kicked out from the side scoop. This process will also activate the ramps (ramps down) if all drop targets in front of the ramp are hit.

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1 week later
#22 60 days ago

Great thread! Thanks for sharing every step, documenting and inspiring others to do the same.

#23 57 days ago

Did the first part of a ramp yesterday, that I want to implement on my pinball.......
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#24 54 days ago

.......added an magnet yesterday. Ive printed a housing for it. The housing also will light when activated......
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2 weeks later
#25 40 days ago

Ive tested my middle playfield magnet yesterday. It works for about 15 seconds, after that the relay wich is driving the magnet began to smoke. Ive pulsed the magnet with an 500ms intervall. Does someone have a few ideas or tips about wiring the magnet to the relay. The relay gets activating by a arduino 3v signal. After that the relay make the way free for 48v from the power adapter to the magnet. Relay only connects the GND from the power adapter to the magnet. Plus is connected directly from the power adapter to the magnet. Do I have to connect some diodes as it is with the solenoids? Here is a little sketch and a video of the working magnet (for about 20 seconds).

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#26 40 days ago

Ive changed the relay with an mosfet and added an diode between Vcc and Gnd. Now it seems to work. But I have the feeling that the magnet isnt that strong as before???

#27 40 days ago

Ok now the Mosfet is smoked up too. After I increased the pulsrate to 300ms it gets damaged

#28 40 days ago

Usually I would expect to PWM a magnet much faster. 30-50% duty at 1kHz. For instance 1ms on and then 2ms off or 1ms on and then 1ms off. Otherwise the current will be much too high because the magnetic field has been already established.

#29 40 days ago

Now Ive modified my magnet and added an homemade iron core. Now everything works fine. I can pulse the magnet to 100ms without damaging the mosfet. The effect of ball-distortion is even a lot stronger now and is a lot of fun to play

Here a video and a picture of the modified magnet.......

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1 week later
#30 30 days ago

hello and congratulations for the project, I'm also building a pinball similar to yours, always starting from a Zaccaria pinball machine, I wanted to ask you if the flippers coil depend on arduino or have direct power, and what scheme you used. I also wanted to ask you if you had used a snubber circuit to prevent inductive kick solenoid

#31 30 days ago

For now I didnt use snubber circuits for now....but I definitely will build this into my system. I smoked up, three Mosfets till now. But all my coils are connected to diodes to prevent that the current which is coming back from the coils dont damage your arduino for example. My coils are original Zaccharia coils. The arduino only gives the signal HIGH/LOW with 5v to a Transistor or a relay which activating the 48v to the coils. So you need a 48v Power supply for your coils. I dont know what coils you have......in my Zaccharias there are 48v driven coils. You can find everything you need to know, from the following links




#32 26 days ago

Sanded the playfield yesterday. The Zaccharia colours are for real the best qualitiy. Its really hard to sand this colour down. I filled all the scratches and uneven areas on the playfield and began sanding.

paolinux : If you build the snubber circuit, please let me know how you connected it. When I finished the colouring of the playfield, i will work further some electronic stuff. So one point will be this snubber circuit

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1 week later
#33 19 days ago

I smoked too many mosfets, at least a dozen I think. And then it stopped.

I'm embarrased to say it was mostly a simple (10 ohm) gate resistor. I figured I wouldn't need one because the mosfet isn't directly conneced to the MCU. Wrong...

I had another misconception. My PSU only provided 5A at 48 volts (~240 watts), so I figured the power through the mosfet couldn't exceed 5A. Wrong again, the PSU provided 48V to the 1ohm coil for long enough to blow the mosfet (48 * 1 = 48A)... That was cured by switching to a much more sensible 24V supply (24 * 1 = 24A). Basic math, if you think about it

Been rock solid since, especially since I added fuses to the mosfet boards to protect both the mosfets and the coils from software errors. Works fine, if I block a flipper with one hand and press the flipper button, the fuse blows.

#34 17 days ago

oxowhiz : Thats some great advices. Definetely will check the 10 ohm gate resistor method. The idea to use this fuses to prevent blowing the Mosfet and coils is great. I want to add this to my circuit too. Can you explain a bit more detailed how you connected the fuses to the mosfet boards?

#35 14 days ago

In my system's architecture the mosfets boards are driven exclusively by the 24V power supply. The fuse is connected between the positive power supply and the board. The solenoids receive their power from the mosfet boards so they are also protected. It's important to use fuses because mosfets have the unfortunate property to short circuit when they blow which will sure kill the attached coil. (unless it's designed to be permanently activated, most aren't)
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#36 14 days ago

Wow!!! Your boards looking very professional Great work! Thank you very much for the shematics

#37 14 days ago

Thanks! That's nice to hear. (took me 6 months for just that board

#38 14 days ago

The irl540 is only rated at 28A with 77mohm. There are lots of mosfets that have higher drive capability and lower resistance. In my circuit I use the IRF3710ZS. This is a 54A with 18mohm version. Never blown one up at 48v.

Nice PCB, and very sturdy connectors.

#39 13 days ago

Very interesting project, I will follow this topic

#40 13 days ago

I actually used the IRL540NBPF which goes up to 36A, but even 54A would probably blow because a 0.8 ohm (AC flipper) coil draws 60A at 48V! Later I switched to non-logic level IRF540xx & IRF530xx (for the lighter score counter coils).

I made a short video of the underside of the playfield where you can see the opto/mosfet boards in action:

The pluggable screw connectors are great. Sadly, I never got along with crimping tools

#41 10 days ago

Im doing the painting right now. Had do sand down my first try. The old clear coat that ive used was crap. So now Im on layer 5 of pure white. To get a nice plane playfield without scratches is a lot harder than I thought. Especially with this old zaccaria plafield. It had a lot of scrapes and uneven areas. When I finished the paintings I will go further on with the electronics.
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1 week later
#42 1 day ago

Changed all inserts with new ones now.............will post more pictures when ive sanded everything down .....
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#43 12 hours ago

Impressive, but shouldn't you have taken all these devices out? Surely makes sanding easier I'd think.

#44 11 hours ago

Hello - I just discovered this thread / project, and really like what you have done so far, and that you are sharing the different electronic considerations and so on. I dar from understand everything of it, but i still enjoy it.

Looking forward to seeing where it all ends.

Any hints about the Theme of the machine?

#45 6 hours ago

oxowhiz : you are completely right. I was a bit lazy and only taken out parts that absolutely have to go to be able to sanding this playfield. Tomorrow I will sand all down with the maschine. After that I will polish everything again and do the clearcoating after that. But you motivated me now to take out the remaining parts for the further steps

phantasize: Thanks for your interest and nice words about this project. For now I dont give too much hints about the theme. But soon I couldnt
keep it secret anymore, because I will add some graphics to the playfield. I dont know how much my theme is known in the USA or in denmark. Here in germany that were the funniest movies in my youth for me(Im 41 years old). I think it should be known in denmark too. Soon we will see........

#46 5 hours ago

........some first sketches for my new pcb Layouts. They are not finished yet. But my plan is to etch them next week .

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#47 5 hours ago

Just following along. Great thread, keep up the good work and posts.

#48 4 hours ago

Following along as well, what a cool project!

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