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(Topic ID: 272729)

CFTBL Alternative Hologram (Background, Review & Upgrade)


By swinks

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by maglar
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders

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#1 3 months ago

Well I have had my #CFTBL for the last 9 years and it never came with a holo so I modded it many years ago to complete the feature and tried a universal monsters translucent green Universal Monsters figurine hanging with fishing line that I backlit in green. It looked cool and did the job for the brief light up moments over the years.

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then about 8 years ago Joe from Laseriffic created a etched acrylic panel which you could edge light and it looked great but sadly never evolved which I heard was stopped due our friend Rick from PPS.

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then about 1 year ago I believe a non pinhead did a similar laser etched acrylic panel for a pinball friend ???, anyway the result was an affordable acrylic panel which I purchased one of the early made ones and stashed away until I was going to do a full restore. But decided to do a basic shop out as selling the game soon but wanted to test it out as always liked Joe's concept / approach.

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#2 3 months ago

Now for the review and add-ons.

overall this is a great alternative to trying to find a real hologram as it only brief flashes on and then is on a little longer in the multiball. That said this is not perfect and has a few small minor issues but still very useable and love the finished result.

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Firstly you need to remove your hologram bracket which is 4 - 8 screws - mine had 5 screws of the optional 8 holes being used

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It is larger than the hologram holder which at first was a head scratcher but in the end was beneficial as it over shoots the bottom edge but this does allow for better edge lighting and fills the window nicely once lit in the game.

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That said it also over shoots one of the sides, which was honestly could of been avoided and a shame. Maybe this was fixed as I did buy one of the early ones or there were variations in the hologram holder. I did not modify as once in the game is fine and did not want to risk cracking / wrecking this as after postage was close to $90AUD to Aus from the US.

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#3 3 months ago

Now for some of the slight upgrades as the sales site does not give much info on installing and using except it offers for another $60 the light up add on.

So firstly I wanted to hide some of the holes so purchased some black cardboard and cut out the shape to cleanup the area a little and installed and it does help.

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Then I re-installed the acrylic panel and identified a few minor issues. You have to force the etched panel under the 2 small spring clips on the top edge and rely on these to hold it in place. I gave the bracket and panel a shake and it does start to drop due to the gaps which are needed to be able to push the panel up under the top groove.

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#4 3 months ago

Solution was to design and 3d print some panel holder uppers if that is a word

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These just slide in the bottom groove and under the panel and perfect - not dropping now.

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#5 3 months ago

Now for the edge lighting kit which I decided to also 3d print myself to house basic 10mm wide LED strip and this unit slides on to the bottom of the acrylic panel nicely.

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Now I have a lead patched in from the lamp in the cabinet up to the panel so which it activates I can enjoy the feature but remember the power and light source is 12vdc and my LED strip is 5vdc so I need a step down. I went to the local electronic store and found these little beauties for $8 AUD - stoked. It allows 4.5 to 35vdc in and can be pot adjusted down to 3 to 34vdc so easily adjust 12vdc to 5vdc.
https://www.jaycar.com.au/arduino-compatible-dc-voltage-regulator/p/XC4514

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the results as great and so a few dollars for make your own edge lighting kit and power super is a great alternative as the website for the guys version is vague. It the next post I will give you a link for the 3d printed parts which you can buy if you don't have a 3d printer or if you become a Shapeways member you can download the files for free - please do not sell these parts but basically for you to use these for your personal project.

Here it is lit up, very nice.

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now put the unit back in the game and connect everything up and looks great and a great affordable option to an original hologram - would look better with a new window but very happy.

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#6 3 months ago

here is a link to 3d printed parts - to buy or to download and print your own (not to be sold)

https://www.shapeways.com/marketplace?type=product&q=swinksholo

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#7 3 months ago

Nice..that is a very nice alternative that keeps the dark “black lagoon” feeling of the original...something that the video mods have yet to capture.

#8 3 months ago

Great set of posts Jady - thanks for sharing. I really like the look as well - having not had a working hologram in my machine, when does the holo get activated and for how long? Any thoughts on how you could incorporate some movement or pulsing the LEDs to create an artificial affect?

#9 3 months ago
Quoted from Manny65:

Great set of posts Jady - thanks for sharing. I really like the look as well - having not had a working hologram in my machine, when does the holo get activated and for how long? Any thoughts on how you could incorporate some movement or pulsing the LEDs to create an artificial affect?

It all honesty when you achieve a single letter of FILM it literally flashes for 1-2 seconds. It's only in multiball does the light / holo come on when you reach a certain stage until you achieve a task - BUT when the game is in play you don't really have time to enjoy it.

I am selling my machine, but if I were to do this as a mod - I would either
- cut the plastic out of 3mm and then have one of the motors flex the plastic for a little creature movement.
or
- hinge the plastic off the side to get better movement with the action of a motor
or
- of have 3 x 2mm plastic with slight graphic variations so the light pulses through the 3 different bits of plastic to give the effect of motion.

apart from the holo I think this is the best option for the time that it lights up.

#10 3 months ago

Great review. Does the acrylic still oscillate back and forth in the holder? How sharp is the image? I've seen some good and bad engraving in acrylic.

Oh, and do you think painting the engraving and then edge lighting it would give it a more realistic effect?

#11 3 months ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Great review. Does the acrylic still oscillate back and forth in the holder? How sharp is the image? I've seen some good and bad engraving in acrylic.
Oh, and do you think painting the engraving and then edge lighting it would give it a more realistic effect?

thanks

- no the acrylic is fixed as approx 4mm thick (a fraction over) and a tight fit in the top grove - needs to be thinner material

- the image is pretty good and sharp though could benefit a little more details if desired but overall pretty good. It's more the lighting and camera that blends the details together.

- no - leave the engraved acrylic as the light coming through the side and hitting the engravings adds the right effect

at the end of the day is an affordable alternative to a real hologram

#12 3 months ago
Quoted from Manny65:

Great set of posts Jady - thanks for sharing. I really like the look as well - having not had a working hologram in my machine, when does the holo get activated and for how long? Any thoughts on how you could incorporate some movement or pulsing the LEDs to create an artificial affect?

We've been looking at another option for creating 'movement' for these acrylics, which is to create a water ripple effect using a second LED strip that circles the window (the first strip being the one that lights the acrylic). Both strips are controlled by a custom made PCB running an Arduino, which replaces the original Triac board underneath the playfield - the one that everyone disconnects because why would you want to bend your irreplaceable hologram!

Build log for the board is here if anyone is interested is seeing our progress.
https://www.pinballinfo.com/community/threads/cftbl-the-rippler-a-replacement-ripple-effect-for-the-hologram-push-motor.46391/

One of the other options as swinks mentions is having multiple acrylics with slightly different images on each, lit at different times to create the appearance of movement. I think this sounds like a really interesting option and we'll probably have a look at doing that after we've done with this revision. The shapeways stuff looks great too, we'll definitely be incorporating that.

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#13 3 months ago

please post videos once done and when this is available as could be a great add on for the engraved acrylic option

#14 3 months ago

Will do Jady

1 week later
#15 3 months ago
Quoted from stumblor:

We've been looking at another option for creating 'movement' for these acrylics, which is to create a water ripple effect using a second LED strip that circles the window (the first strip being the one that lights the acrylic). Both strips are controlled by a custom made PCB running an Arduino, which replaces the original Triac board underneath the playfield - the one that everyone disconnects because why would you want to bend your irreplaceable hologram!
Build log for the board is here if anyone is interested is seeing our progress.
https://www.pinballinfo.com/community/threads/cftbl-the-rippler-a-replacement-ripple-effect-for-the-hologram-push-motor.46391/
One of the other options as swinks mentions is having multiple acrylics with slightly different images on each, lit at different times to create the appearance of movement. I think this sounds like a really interesting option and we'll probably have a look at doing that after we've done with this revision. The shapeways stuff looks great too, we'll definitely be incorporating that.
[quoted image]

Fantastic name. Looking forward to seeing it in action and to seeing the "movement" acrylics if they happen.

#16 3 months ago

Cheers fifty. Here's a video of our latest tests. We're still playing around with how green the lighting of the acrylic is, as it seems to fade a bit toward the top. Most likely a bleed from the window strip. We're going to try a green acrylic next to see what effect that has on it. Creech wanna be green!

#17 3 months ago
Quoted from stumblor:

Cheers fifty. Here's a video of our latest tests. We're still playing around with how green the lighting of the acrylic is, as it seems to fade a bit toward the top. Most likely a bleed from the window strip. We're going to try a green acrylic next to see what effect that has on it. Creech wanna be green!

looking great, nice progress

#18 3 months ago

Hey Jady swinks you missing your CFTBL yet??

#19 3 months ago

nah, all good

#20 3 months ago
Quoted from stumblor:

Cheers fifty. Here's a video of our latest tests. We're still playing around with how green the lighting of the acrylic is, as it seems to fade a bit toward the top. Most likely a bleed from the window strip. We're going to try a green acrylic next to see what effect that has on it. Creech wanna be green!

Looking pretty slick so far! Looking forward to any updates!

#21 3 months ago

Well done
It looks great.

#22 3 months ago

Looking good! I will absolutely be s purchaser when these are available.

#23 3 months ago

Oops a purchaser.

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