(Topic ID: 98373)

Converting EMs to SSs (and creating replica machines)

By mfresh

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 309 posts
  • 39 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by swampfire
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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    #12 5 years ago
    Quoted from unigroove:

    Very interesting article. Actually I don't understand why no-one came up with a EM interface for P-Roc, or just a simple generic EM to SS boardset. That way you can leave out the bottom board of relais and just use the coils and switches on an EM playfield. You can easily improve the rules as well. Might as well be a stripped down version of P-Roc boards since less parts are involved. It could save a lot of EMs from the dumpster.

    This was already done by Kerry Imming with PinKit. The test bed was a Gottlieb Solar City (EM to SS). Then, the system was used to build additional Whoa Nellie Big Juicy Melons. http://www.planetimming.com/PinKit/

    In many ways, using a PROC (which requires some form of PC or Stand Alone Computer PCB) is overkill to repopulate an EM. Especially if you stick with the original score reels and even Bell Chimes. It would certainly be useful if you wanted to "upgrade" an EM playfield to DMD/LCD and Digital Sounds.

    #86 5 years ago
    Quoted from pinwiztom:

    ReinnieDidn't you essentially do it also with your Jack of Diamonds project with Herb Silvers?How hard would it be to adapt your board set to be used or reprogrammed for other E/Ms?


    The board was designed with a lot of flexibility in mind. However, the programming structure is not that of an open source environment and each game would need to be custom programmed. At one time, I had thought about the possibility of making available "Conversion kits" to convert popular titles over to SS reliability. However, with the current state of Retro Pinball, the parts would not be available to cost effectively put together such kits. And quite honestly, the market would be so small, and the cost so high, it would not be finacially viable to take the time to do the programming. And, I fear, that just like many Heath Kit products of the past, they would never get completed and like was mentioned, you would just end up destroying an otherwise workable EM game.

    And, in my current frame of mind, I would much rather keep any EM game original in every way possible (minus New Backglass, Playfield, or Playfield plastics). I prefer the sound and feel that is unique to an EM and actually enjoy, more than just about anything, working on EM games. And what I have found in the small time operating I am doing now, a properly serviced EM is probably just as reliable as any contemporary counterpart. If you keep most of what makes an EM look and sound like an EM (Score Reels, Bell Chimes etc.), there is very little point to gutting just the relay logic because someone doesn't have the knowledge or patience to figure it out. The way I look at it, not every game should be saved. Some of them are just too far gone to justify the work required to make them look and play well. And junking 1 EM game typically keeps several others alive or gives a number of warehouse orphans that have had parts completely cut from them another chance to live again. Most of these games were made in the 1000's and loosing a few here and there is not the World's biggest concern these days.

    There are basically two types of computer people out there. There are Hardware people, and there are Software people. You don't always find someone that possesses both tallents. I could see why a "software" person would think that removing the relay and setpper logic in an EM to be an improvement. But to me, it is NOT!

    #90 5 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Replacing all the mechanical relays, maybe (player won't tell difference unless he looks under the hood).

    Nope. You still lose the sound and vibrational "feel" that relays, trip bank resets, and score motor will make during reset and normal play. The physical playfield components aren't enough to make it sound and feel original.

    That is why WMS used the dummy score reel as a "sounder" inside their earliest SS game (Hot Tip):

    It was mounted down by the player's hands so they would still feel something happening during the otherwise vibration free digital scoring.

    There is a HUGE difference between playing an EM Mata Hari and the SS version. In the case of this game, I feel SS was an improvement since it scored faster and didn't rip you off for multiple drop target hits at the same time. As to game development, by then there was no looking back. SS was king!

    Oh, and I prefered RC as a kid. You got a bigger bottle for the same price as Coke or Pepsi!

    #95 5 years ago
    Quoted from AlexF:

    We have Faygo in Wi too. It's comparable to Shasta or Grafs. Inexpensive with lots of flavor options. Reminds me of being a kid and/or family reunions.

    Oh, you mean like the Springfield Brand from Safeway? LOL.

    #99 5 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Here's one for you Jack.Image (auto-loading disabled)

    cactus cooler old.jpg 20 KB

    Love it. Glad it is still around. Although I normally drink Diet, this is one I can guzzle down and it not taste like syrup to me. I buy one out of the Coke machine at Captains Auction house just about ever time I am there. Great pick-me-up when the auctions go late into the night.

    Here was another favorite back in the day:

    #106 5 years ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    If you don't yet have virtual diabetes from looking at photos of liquid birthday cake... here is a EM-to-SS project (Big Shot) being documented:
    BTW, please downvote this if you don't like it, regardless of whether it has anything to do with the topic originally presented. *hee*

    Okay, I read through the blog. Something tells me it didn't take "a weekend" to wire it up like they thought. And WTF is this:

    At some point I'm also going to clean up the playfield. The plan there is to strip it down (which will take about 5 minutes on this thing) and sand it with some fine-grit sandpaper to get the gunk off of it. Then I can touch up anything needed (not much, really), wax it, and put it back together

    Have these guys ever work on a pinball before? Sandpaper? Makes me wonder.........

    1 week later
    #222 5 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    When they first came out they were called "Klackers" and they were made of glass, right? Or is that something I made up?

    As I recall, they were called Klick Klacks out here in California. Outlawed? I actually recently saw them for sale in one of those small "toy" carts that sell a lot of cheap China toys. Maybe on Olvera Street in LA?

    I think they were made of the same material as those fake grapes that sat on many a coffee table in the 70's. Some kind of resin.

    #225 5 years ago

    I was partial to Sizzlers....... Still have my Fat Track and cars. See they still sell new batteries on Ebay for them.

    #276 5 years ago

    Reminded me of Wacky Packages. We just threw the gum away.....


    #283 5 years ago
    Quoted from TaTa:

    Bill 074.jpg 287 KB

    Looks like the Jersey Jack people eat at a cheap Italian restaurant based on the table cloth........

    #284 5 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Image (auto-loading disabled)

    DSCN2945.JPG 195 KB

    Tonight's menu just doesn't look as appetizing as that thick steak a couple of weeks ago.

    #290 5 years ago
    Quoted from SteveFury:

    I believe this is actually backward. The intellectual challenge would be converting an SS to EM. A person would need to figure out the relay logic circuits themselves instead of buying prefabricated boards which are just waiting preconfigured code. EM to SS sounds like the easier way, doesn't it?
    I have some electronic bench type programs and logic gate simulators. I tried to simulate one of my EM games on those programs by arranging inputs/outputs of various gates (and, or, nand, J-K etc) and the pointless project became so large that I abandoned it.

    EM logic design was certainly an art by its end in pinball. The even more amazing accomplishment is what they did with Bally Bingos by its end.

    It is certainly not impossible to make a primative SS game into an EM since many of them in the early days were available in both forms. But trying to re-create one from scratch, or trying to incorporate anything more than sequence banks and step up features could not reasonably be done.

    There was a somewhat "interesting" one-off EM game up at the Seatle show this year. It had a couple of more contemporary features added to it. The owner opened up the game and it was filled with extra banks of relays and steppers (far more than even an OXO). I was impressed to see it was even done in cloth wiring. He said it took him 5 years to complete it. I am not sure if he started completely from scratch or at least used a functional game as a starting point (which would make sense). But it was certainly a mix of both Gottlieb, Bally, and Williams technologies inside.

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