(Topic ID: 262644)

Could you build an EM?


By Mistermoberg

46 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 44 days ago by edednedy
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 46 days ago

I want a Gottlieb Gemini. I obviously can’t afford one. Would it be at all possible to make a poor man’s version affordably out of a couple parts games?

I imagine the biggest challenge might be the playfield. I could have a translite made for the backglass.

Would it be stupid to try?

#2 46 days ago

I am sure you could. I know Tim Arnold assembled a Gottlieb TKO pinball.

#3 46 days ago

Wow, that would be tuff. Lots of steppers to sync

#4 46 days ago

Easier to hook up a proc or something rather than doing all the wiring. Too much game specific wiring to easily use a parts machine as a base. Hardest part at that point is just getting a playfield, plastics, and drop mechs

#5 46 days ago

It would be “easier” to build a Strange World since the playfield is being reproduced by Wade. A project I wouldn’t be surprised happened.

#6 46 days ago

Challenges would be playfield, rewiring everything, building switch stacks, steppers and score motor cams.

But it definitely would be something to keep you busy for quite a while.

#7 46 days ago

I've got all I can do to fix the ones someone else built.

My answer is not only no, but hell no.

#8 46 days ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

I want a Gottlieb Gemini. I obviously can’t afford one. Would it be at all possible to make a poor man’s version affordably out of a couple parts games?
I imagine the biggest challenge might be the playfield. I could have a translite made for the backglass.
Would it be stupid to try?

I was VERY lucky to score one in the state. With that being said it would not be an endeavor I would even try to build. I do have some plastics and a blown out bg I’d donate if you were to even try though

#9 46 days ago

For me - the factor is cost, not time. I’ve got all the time in the world. This is something I’m going to seriously ponder.

#10 46 days ago

While it's certainly possible and potentially very rewarding I'd spend some quality time planning out how you'd go about this. Put together a list of everything you can think of to get an idea of what you'll need, where you're likely to find it and what it might cost. There will be plenty of elusive details that need to be sussed out. If you plan to build this out of donor EM games for example figure out if there are any parts (e.g. stepper contact discs and wipers, backbox panel, wide drop target banks) that were only used on this game or on just a few others. Also figure out what skills you'll need (reading schematics, programming, trouble shooting, woodworking, painting, etc.) and how much of that you can do.

It might be tempting to scoop up some donor games and get started but a little planning ahead of time is free and might save a bunch of heart ache later on.

/Mark

#11 46 days ago

It has been done twice, Typhoon and Firefly, and hopefully a third. I can not even imagine the time, thought process and time it took to build these machine, but I am grateful. Pinside mixed up picks, 1 and 4 go together.

http://backglass.org/williams/tlpdohw/expo2016/
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#12 46 days ago
Quoted from Mikala:

It has been done twice, Typhoon and Firefly, and hopefully a third.

http://backglass.org/williams/tlpdohw/expo2016/

Two down, 60-some-odd to go!

#13 46 days ago

You would need a Gemini playfield.

No one is doing a reproduction right now.

You would need to find a used playfield.

A used one cannot be found unless you find the machine.

The machine costs $7000.00.

Reality, Now your back to saving your money for one.

#14 46 days ago
Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

You would need a Gemini playfield.
No one is doing a reproduction right now.
You would need to find a used playfield.
A used one cannot be found unless you find the machine.
The machine costs $7000.00.
Reality, Now your back to saving your money for one.

I’d be cool with a white wood if I could replicate the holes. My Alien Star is “white wood.”

#15 46 days ago

With a playfield, backglass, and similar era donor cabinet, it's certainly possible.
That's how Tim Arnold made his TKO.

Making an EM totally from scratch is also possible but will take more time.
Dutch Henk De Jager made some em games in the past from scratch, see:
http://www.flippers.be/custom_pinballs.html
http://www.flippers.be/merlinsmagic.html
and these are not the only two he made, he's made about a dozen different em machines in the last 20 years..

If you'll be able to do it, depends on your skill and experience with em games.

#16 46 days ago
Quoted from Mistermoberg:

I’d be cool with a white wood if I could replicate the holes. My Alien Star is “white wood.”

Quoted from aeneas:

With a playfield, backglass, and similar era donor cabinet, it's certainly possible.
That's how Tim Arnold made his TKO.

Making an EM totally from scratch is also possible but will take more time.
Dutch Henk De Jager made some em games in the past from scratch, see:
http://www.flippers.be/custom_pinballs.html
http://www.flippers.be/merlinsmagic.html
and these are not the only two he made, he's made about a dozen different em machines in the last 20 years..

If you'll be able to do it, depends on your skill and experience with em games.

Well if your cool with a whitewood that is a start for sure. Your experience with logic would have to be up there with an electrical engineer when building from scratch, basically an Ed Krynsky. If you have that ability, then I would say go for it and have fun.

#17 46 days ago

Yes, definitely doable. I would suggest getting involved with the custom pinball community and learning how to fabricate your own playfields and parts. I've built an EM game from 'scratch' (ok, I reused mechs from existing games, converted to my use). That's essentially what you'd be doing, aside from the playfield and certain parts. But you've got a huge head start in that the paperwork for Gemini exists and you would not be creating it from whole cloth. Also the IPDB has lots of pics of the mechs in the backbox so you can see what you need, from a basic perspective.

You will spend a LOT of quality time with a schematic, and I would suggest that if you do not use the standard Gottlieb color scheme, you make sure you note your copy and redraw the schematic at the end. Some have done this by adding features to bingos. Now that's a challenge!

Playfield artwork and backglasses can be printed, but you'll need to supply the art. That's the hardest part (to me).

Good luck!

#18 45 days ago

Hi Mistermoberg
I would not make an EM-Gemini. (I know nothing about virtual pinball machines) - How about making an "Virtual-Pinball-Gemini" ?
frobozz , aeneas : Thanks for the links. Greetings Rolf

#19 45 days ago

It is possible.

I have seen the results of some built from scratch and custom EM's. This person doesn't spend time here.

Coincidentally, he was considering doing a Gemini and had accumulated the leftover playfield and backglass from me when I updated the Gemini I had with NOS playfield and backglass. This was 7-8 years ago. It will be harder to find the base parts now. Even when he would create from scratch his preference was to have an original to compare to when done.

#20 44 days ago
Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

Your experience with logic would have to be up there with an electrical engineer when building from scratch, basically an Ed Krynsky. If you have that ability, then I would say go for it and have fun.

As an Electrical Engineer, I see no high level of skill required (as far as the wiring), you would be working with an existing schematic, so it would really only be a paint by number level of skill needed. Maintain the color legend for all wiring and make sure you keep it neat (I can see this turning into a hopeless rats nest of wiring if you let it get away from you.

The artwork (playfield) is an entirely different kettle of fish. You will need a very accurate set of photos to be able to recreate the playfield layout (holes and correct placement of components).

Finding and refitting mechanical components will also not be easy (unless someone with a Gemini is willing to provide a LOT of details regarding the mechanical guts and possible donor sources)

#21 44 days ago

I don't think it's worth the effort because when you're all done you still won't have a 1978 Gottlieb Gemini. You'll have a 2020 (or 2021 or 2022...) homemade machine built to look like a Gottlieb Gemini, made from spare parts of other machines and reproduction parts.

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