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(Topic ID: 257530)

Greek Gods Homebrew


By Cmartin1235

11 months ago



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  • 139 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 66 days ago by Cmartin1235
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    There are 139 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 11 months ago

    I'm a maker type with clearly too much time on his hands. I'm getting into home-brew pinball because it pushes all the right buttons for me: basic electronics, pc building, programming, robotics, wood working, 3d printing, LED lighting and of course gameplay. I am new to pinball, buying my first machine, Ironman about 2 years ago followed by Total Nuclear Annihilation, and most recently a P3. The other reason to to make a pin is to have a project to share with my ten year old daughter, a budding artist. We divide up the work. I do the building, and my daughter works out the theme, the art (with a bit of photoshop help) and some of the modes. And, if you haven't guessed, she is a huge Rick Riordan fan, hence, Greek Gods.

    I made it as far as a whitewood which I deconstructed and and now beginning work on the the next iteration. Here is what Greek Gods will have in it.

    Two playfields each with a full size ball, slings and flippers
    P3-ROC
    PD-16 x 3
    SW-16 x 4
    PD-LED x 4
    Driving 4 serial LED chains and about 100 RGB LEDs
    Multimorphic power entry board
    PC MOBO with 4 core celleron processor 8MB RAM and ATI graphics card.
    ATX power supply 600W
    Start up shutdown controller board
    Meanwell 48V 1000 watt power supply
    29" 4 K monitor for the back box
    800x1024 10" transparent LCD separating the main from the underworld's mini playfield (think Krull)
    Bifurcating ramp with diverter, left and right returns
    Subway feeding a scoop
    Laser cut steel ball guides with perforations for serial LED chains
    4 Drop targets
    3 Stand up targets
    5 Pops
    5 Magnets
    5 Slingshots
    3 Ball locks (one on each ramp return and one in the subway)
    2 Spinners
    Caged powerball
    Appearing post
    Knocker
    Seemingly countless optos, 3D printed parts and inserts and about a mile of wire.

    The machine is being developed on top of Ubuntu 18 and MPF. Digital design is in Fusion360, SketchUp and Adobe Creative Cloud.
    I'll post as I reach interesting milestones and share the journey and of course answer questions as I am able. 'Course take my advice with a grain of salt as I am just a newbie.

    #2 11 months ago

    Love these threads good luck. I’ll be following.

    #3 11 months ago

    show us your shots diagram!

    #4 11 months ago

    First some design considerations. I'm intrigued by these transparent LCDs I've seen on Alibaba. They work like a normal LCD and are primarily used in store displays. Putting one of these in a playfield would allow goals and animations to be easily communicated to the player and when the mode is unlocked a miniplayfield becoming visible under the main playfield. This fits with the theme of an underworld. But they have several drawbacks. 1. Ordering from Alibaba. 2. Cost. 3 Large bevel. 4. You can't mount any hardware through it, so all the shots will be in the upper playfield. 5. One has to put a ton of light behind them because transparent is really dark, like #7 welding glass. I tried taking apart an 11" monitor, removing the backlight and retaining the polarizing filter. This sort of worked but the image was washed out. So I ordered from Alibaba. 3 weeks later it came along with a SVGA interface board. I have the monitor glass pitched up about 5 degrees so you can see the flash light under it.

    Monitor (resized).jpg
    2 weeks later
    #5 11 months ago

    Since Greek Gods is going to be built around the 10" central transparent LCD monitor, I'd best start with the shot layout of the "Underworld." For this I'll be using a standard size ball and mini-flippers. There won't be a trough, just a slot to catch the ball when it drains and a coil to kick it to the mini-playfield. No in or out lanes either, just slingshots right above the flippers. The visible part of the playfield has 3 targets and 4 mouths representing the four rivers of the underworld. These connect to subways which run around mechs of the main playfield. Also hidden from the player is that the subways have magnets with opto switches allowing them to either pin a ball, reverse a ball's direction or accelerate a ball. These later maneuvers take a bit of special coding in MPF. If the ball exits a lower mouth at sufficient speed it should pass from one tunnel to another. The reason for the lack of inserts on the lower playfield is because texts and graphics can be superimposed onto the playfield using the monitor. Also the light required to see the lower playfield is so bright, any inserts would have to be lit with a VERY bright LED or halogen.

    Underworld2 (resized).png
    #6 10 months ago

    Now that I’ve settled on the basic shape of the “underworld “here is a test mock up of the mini-playfield layout including some of the multimorphic opto switches. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to put the holes for the infrared beams at the middle of the ball. It makes an annoying clicking sound as the ball rolls past. I still need to cut holes for the magnets but I’ll make sure the opto switches work as advertised first. I have some foam board to make a stand with LED lights which I’ll use suspend the monitor over the mini-playfield. This will give me a chance to test the viewing angle of the transparent LCD.

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    #7 10 months ago

    Now that I’ve settled on the basic shape of the “underworld “here is a test mock up of the mini-playfield layout including some of the multimorphic opto switches. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to put the holes for the infrared beams at the middle of the ball. It makes an annoying clicking sound as the ball rolls past. I still need to cut holes for the magnets but I’ll make sure the opto switches work as advertised first. I have some foam board to make a stand with LED lights which I’ll use suspend the monitor over the mini-playfield. This will give me a chance to test the viewing angle of the transparent LCD.

    5 months later
    #8 5 months ago

    Progress has been steady though documenting here has not. I will attempt to catch up. I drafted my play field layout in adobe illustrator and gave the files to the local Hammerspace. They cut this for me charging $100 which I felt was pretty reasonable. These small holes at the top are for magnets that feed two sets of mechanisms on the left a pop and two slingshots on the right three pops. Not sure what to do with the midsection yet but obviously the transparent LCD monitor goes in the center square.

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    #9 5 months ago

    reminds me of AC/DC mini playfield. Except exits in the center instead of on each side.

    #10 5 months ago

    I have really come to appreciate the documentation on the multimorphic boards that I am using to control my play field. The documentation really is excellent although it doesn’t reach across all skill levels, of course. I will attempt to describe a couple of the pitfalls I fell into when getting it all hooked up. Maybe it will save somebody from blowing a FET power transistor.

    It seems if people are going to have trouble, most likely it has to do with how they connect the power supplies to the different boards. I started off using a (capacitor) power filter board that I found through Pinball makers. After blowing it a PD-16 MOSFET I went ahead and ordered the more expensive power entry board sold by Multimorphic. Yes, I know, it seems expensive but it really has been worth it to make my how are stable.

    So here’s the main pitfall. All of the negatives (GND) of the DC power supplies Have to be tied together which the power entry board does for me. If they are not tied together there is a small float voltage between the low-voltage ground and the high-voltage ground. This confuses the control on the MOSFET chips Causing them to lock on, at best blowing a fuse and at worst blowing it themselves. Seriously, if you are using the Multimorphic ecosystem spend the extra $90 for the power entry board.

    #11 5 months ago

    You might be wondering about that large 4” round hole in the left side of the mid play field. My plan here is to have a whirl pool “controlled by Poseidon.” It will be a type of spinning cup that can trap a pinball and randomly fling it back out again. I haven’t seen something like this done before and I am anxious to try it out. I wonder what it will do to the ball path....

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    #12 5 months ago

    More on the P3-ROC boards. I found that making quick references for each of the boards showing the function of each header to be a big help. Feel free to use these, though don't blame me if I got something wrong, double check everything against the docs. First the power entry board. Those caps are worth about 3 coil actuations before they are drained. They let you use a smaller power supply, like a 600 W 48 V meanwell and still have plenty of charge to hit 2 or even 3 coils at the same time. The 15V circuit is interesting. It does not have to cary 15V. I will end up using it for a separate 5V loop to provide power to LED strips. This will keep me from browing out the logic boards or the lights on my PD-LED when I send 20 amps to about 1000 LEDs.

    PowerAnnotated3 (resized).png
    #13 5 months ago

    Here is the heart of the beast the P3-ROC. It has a bunch of headers used by the P3 pin that I won't be using, unless I need some kind of fancy long distance optos to detect balls in my whirl pool. Mostly I will be sticking to USB and the serial in plugs for the SW-16 boards and the serial out plugs for the PD-16 and PD-LED driver boards.

    P3ROCR2Annotated (resized).jpg
    #14 5 months ago

    I figure I will use 5 of these guys. They can detect from microswitches, leaf switches, optos and proximity sensors. The later two are driven by the 12V available on the headers. When connecting the SW16 to the P3-ROC controller its like jumper cables. + to + and - to -. The GND is not needed.

    I have a thing against pinning headers and prefer to solder. These plugs are just the thing. https://www.allelectronics.com/item/con-2410/10-pin-connector-w/header-0.1-spacing/1.html

    SW16R2Annotated (resized).jpg
    #15 5 months ago

    These driver boards will switch any DC current from 5 to 80V. You just have to be really careful to connect the negative on the high voltage power in to the negative on the digital control (5V) power which is done for you at the power entry board. The two sides of the boards are meant to run separate from one another. I think it is a bad idea to criss cross the banks hence I maintain separate loops for the two banks. Here is why. Power comes in to bank A via J5. On this side, power flows through (and is protected by) the fuse F1. Then J3 provides fused power which can connect either "octopus style" or in a loop to each of the coils connecting to bank A via J7. If you were to connect a coil powered by bank A via J3 to an output on bank B, I don't believe the Fuse F1 would protect that coil/FET combo which could result in a catastrophic reaction maybe blowing chips along the way. The two banks are intended to be isolated from one another. To keep is extra simple when starting off I only hooked coils to one bank. For newbies starting to test for the first time, set your default pulse to 3ms. It will be enough to twitch the coil. If you can use a bulb to see if the output works, all the better then you can allow a longer test pulse. If your HV supply has a potentiometer, dial down the voltage to its lowest setting (my Meanwell supply pots down to 38V). The PD-16 comes with 4A slow blow fuses. It sounds too weak but it is actually enough since the coils are only driven momentarily.

    PD16Annotated2a (resized).png
    #16 5 months ago

    Finally, I am using 4 PD-LEDs. I actually plan to use some serial LED's too which the PD-LEDs will allow me to program. I was surprised how quickly power draw adds up on these boards. Each RGB-LED can draw about 20ma when "white" x 26 RGB-LED that is nearly an amp and a half per board.

    LEDAnnotated1 (resized).png
    #17 5 months ago

    Another point about wiring which may be more of style than necessity. I'm wiring my game in small self contained "modules" for my PD-16 and SW-16 boards. So on the PD-16 Bank A goes to 8 coils, Bank B to 8. Coils controlled by outputs on B don't receive power from A or vice versa. On the playfield, there is no point where fused power out from J4 and fused power out from J3 make a connection. The loops for each of the 8 coils are entirely separate. When the card is unplugged from the playfield the A and B coils are isolated from each other. Of course its fine for the two HV power and HV GND wires from the power entry board to "Y" and supply J5 and J6. Wiring the PD-16 like this helps contain failures to a single bank and increases the chances of a single fuse saving my circuits. It also make is a lot easier to tone out a bad connection.

    Similarly, I try to do the same thing with the SW16. The header plugs for the SW16 have 12V power, digital GND and the 8 switch inputs. I only connect switches on bank A to the GND provided by bank A. Optos and proximity sensors which require 12V power I only power by the same header that that switch bank provides. While I should not hurt anything with violating this principle with the SW16 boards, it contains failures to a single board or bank and it makes trouble shooting a lot easier. I just pull off the meeter and tone it out. Also, should high voltage touch a switch, I am only going to lose one input, maybe one side or at most one board, not all my switch boards together.

    Here is something that surprised me. I rendered my meanwell 48V supply all but silent with a stealth fan (See TNA power supply mod). One day I forgot to turn off my meanwell and even though the rest of the 5 and 12V supplies were off when I went to solder a coil, the soldering iron sent some kind of signal down the line and activated the MOSFET and that fired the coil and locked on. It was not enough to smoke but the MOSFET never worked again. I brought it back by replacing the MOSFET.

    #18 5 months ago

    Really this diagram crystallized my thinking as to how it all wires up. Just like in the diagram I am using an ATX supply which also goes to my MOBO.

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    #19 5 months ago

    Did I mention about hooking up the common grounds? I must have by now. The green line represents the power entry board.

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    #20 5 months ago

    Here is a view of the basic white wood prototype. Playing the shots, There are a couple issues. First of all it’s really dull to have the drop targets on either side. I need to liven that up. Maybe replacing one of them with a pump bumper like total nuclear annihilation will help. Also the 90° angle orientation makes them difficult to hit with any semblance of precision. Indeed, a ball can even come to rest against one of the drop targets. That will have to be changed as well. I am sure there are plenty of more experienced players out there rolling their eyes right now thinking “You idiot, of course that won’t work. “ But this is the first time through the process for me and honestly I haven’t made a study of pinball before this year. Oh, and that whirlpool cup? It will trap a slow ball just fine and using an accessory switch I can eject the ball by making it spin. But I have two major problems. How do I detect when the ball comes to rest? Maybe those long beam Optos from multimorphic will work. They will detect the ball all the way across the playfield. Mission pinball framework supports them so why not? But maybe the bigger problem is a fast moving ball dips down into the cup and shoots out the other side leaving the playfield in a graceful parabola coming to rest somewhere along the west wall of my basement. The cup may have to go.

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    #21 5 months ago

    The ball guides I had water jet cut from 18G mirror finish stainless. I used a local shop and I think they need to dial in the machine since the edges were a bit rough. They also charged me about $300 including the metal. Next time I will go with https://www.oshcut.com Better pricing and precise edges.

    ballguide1e.pdf
    #22 5 months ago

    Here is a better early visual on how the layout works. The ramp bifurcates with a lock on each arm. Hmm. It looks disturbingly like something from AP anatomy.

    Stern07a.pdf
    #23 5 months ago

    OK, there is no saving that whirlpool cup or the current positions of the drop targets. The whirlpool cup is an easy fix. I just 3D printed an insert that fills the space and put a magnet in the middle of it. An opto switch triggers the magnet to give the ball a random fling as it crosses in and out of the left side triad of 2 slings and a pop. The drop targets are a bit more work. Consulting a friend, he recommended filling the slot with a piece of plywood and anchoring it in with Bondo. Then, a new hole can be cut for a different mech. I am keeping the right drop target bank but rotating it to about a 15 degree angle. Just for fun, I’m going to see if I can squeeze in some kind of slingshot behind that bank so that when the bank is fully down another active mech comes in to play. Shirley somebody has tried this before but I can’t think of any examples. I’m replacing the left drop target bank with a pop. Of course there is no getting this thing back on a CNC table at this point. I will have to make the cut by hand using a router and a 3-D printed jig.

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    #24 5 months ago

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have a subway to feed that scoop from the top of the orbit? Maybe I can even squeeze in another subway feed between the right sided pop bumpers.I really wish I had bought one of those scoops that has a feed from the back. Well, I should be able to cut door with an angle grinder.The Eastwood TIG welder I ordered came in. I think the subway is an excellent place to start to learn to weld. I am reminded of when I learned to solder as a kid and burnt myself seven times in the first hour. OK, it’s not high quality welding but I have to start somewhere.

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    #25 5 months ago

    Time to build a cabinet if for no other reason than to contain that crazy hopping ball. My play field is built on Stern measurements so I will just measure my Iron Man cab. My other pinball machine is a total nuclear annihilation. The playfield layout has been heavily influenced by both. In retrospect it’s also bares resemblance to the Multimorphic P3 Though I like to think that this was more convergent evolution around a play field screen then my imitating another master’s machine.

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    #26 5 months ago

    I am trying to build the cabinet such that my wife or daughter and I can load it and take it to a show. To distribute the weight better, I am putting everything I can in the back box which detaches. In there is going all of the power supplies, the audio amplifier, MOBO, P3 Roc, Power entry board, and maybe even the sub. Sliding into the back box is a 28” 4K display. I know, nobody needs a 4K display in a pinball machine. But, at this point the displays spending most of the time on my workbench and since I am doing all of the coding directly on the machine, having the 4K display is wonderful for using my web browser, terminal screens and multi tab editor, Atom. Below the display are the speakers. And, I am putting in a one way mirror with serial LED lights behind it that spell out “Greek Gods.” I swear, it wasn’t until after I got started on this configuration that I learned that Multimorphic has a display, speakers and logo in the same spots. Really, seriously, Stellenburg, seriously, I’m not trying to copy your ideas. It is just that, yet again, brighter people have beat me to it.

    #27 5 months ago

    Back box finished (monitor out for more coding). I think I am finally starting to get the hang of Mission pinball framework. It is distinctly unlike any type of programming I have done before. Some people wouldn’t call it programming but it reaches a point where the configuration files become sufficiently complex and interactive with one another that it becomes just Another language. Fortunately, it’s a gradual evolution and you don’t need a degree in computer science to write really rich rule sets. OK, someone’s going to flame me on this one.

    A834BA1A-C90A-495A-967C-08E6507F8FFF (resized).jpeg
    #28 5 months ago

    Definitely, there wasn’t room for a subwoofer. It would’ve sounded like crap anyway. Those speaker grills I marked up in illustrator and uploaded to OSH cuts. A week later I had them. So much better than the water cut ball guides from before. The ivy around the logo is 3-D printed And hand painted by my daughter the pins artist. The ivy I had to draft in fusion 360 which how I plan to draft the next iteration of the playfield.

    F0206C6E-602E-411A-82E0-2F3160E457B1 (resized).jpeg
    #29 5 months ago

    My scoop looks a little naked. Maybe Zeus’s his head? I just started playing guardians of the galaxy. Rather than having a hinged jaw on Zeus, I will just put a smart drop target in front of it. Maybe pinball life will come out with a white or translucent plastic for it.

    Welding the ramp took a lot of trial and error. The guide on pinball makers was invaluable. More than anything else it just took a bunch of practice to keep from turning the 1/8 inch steel rod into a puddle of slag.

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    #30 5 months ago

    Those sides that come down around the scoop are not going to work out. The ball is already splitting the one on the right. Well, it is good enough for now.

    #31 5 months ago

    More welding. Now the apron out of 14 gauge steel. This turned out to be easier than I expected. A metal blade and some oil cuts the steel nicely with a jigsaw. Thank you internet friends for guiding me on how to do it. Right angles weld easily. Much more forgiving than 1/8” rod. Wow, this stuff starts to corrode quickly. Eventually I will scrub it down and have it powder coated.

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    #32 5 months ago

    Here is a close-up on the speaker covers. The guys at OSH cuts were able to hit it with a low power to etch the logo on the rim. Maybe they should have used a higher wattage for the etch.

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    #33 5 months ago

    Finally, getting it all put together for some serious white wood testing.

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    #34 5 months ago

    Wow, so many problems but none of them are game killers. That spinner has to be moved because it will trap a ball. Also it’s pretty boring when the ball is in the upper left quadrant. It just bounces around forever without any player intervention. Maybe I can control the slingshots with the flipper buttons somehow. Here is one. The Lucite doesn’t stay in position when I raise the playfield. And another. The trapped Powerball is supposed to represent Sisyphus. But it sits in the way of where the ramp needs to be moved. Maybe I can make a larger horseshoe and bring it all the way to the other side of the field. Although, I’m not sure the player’s ball will hit the Newton ball with enough force to make the power ball go one side to the other. This might be real trouble. Lastly, the lanes on the right side are just a little too narrow to hit.

    #35 5 months ago

    People must be wondering by now what about the translucent LCD screen and the underworld? Well, that part is working really nicely. Because the screen is so dark, I have to light the slingshots with really bright 12 V flashers. They are from an automotive website. Each ear has a magnet and four optical switches that can either accelerate the ball, stop it or even reverse its direction. But the player can only see the central square area. Including the upper play field I’m up to five magnets in this beast is getting really heavy. In fact, my play field bows considerably when I lift it. I will need to reinforce that in the next iteration

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    #36 5 months ago

    This picture doesn’t do it justice. To the eye it’s not nearly as dark down there as the camera suggests. But, I think you get an idea about how graphics can superimpose on top of targets.

    B9B82C20-B7DC-4F8A-B0C7-C954C1DD8B51 (resized).jpeg
    #37 5 months ago

    Here is a view without superimposed graphics and the lights turned all the way up. To light it I used a 5 m RGBW strip controlled with MOSFETS via output from the PD-LED. That turned out to be a mistake because I can get any color I want from the screen itself. I would have been better off just using a high density white LED strip.

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    #38 5 months ago

    As far as Ubuntu is concerned, this is just an extension of my desktop. Being able to run two displays was one of my reasons for choosing MPF.

    image (resized).jpg

    #39 5 months ago

    I will have to do something like this to hold the lucite in place. Here I go, again imitating the best.

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    #40 5 months ago

    Speaking of imitation, my wife really likes that ball timer countdown on total nuclear annihilation. I wonder if I can make it using a RGB 7 segment display?

    #41 5 months ago

    This is going to require a custom board and some serious learning.

    #42 5 months ago

    Including learning the software, this took about 3 weeks to knock out. It takes 4 header plugs from the PD-LED and uses 2 seven segment RGB modules from adafruit.

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    #43 5 months ago

    Here is the module. Damn, I didn’t get a picture of the completed board before installing.

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    #44 5 months ago

    Here is a picture of the underside showing the lighting for the underworld. Yes, I know it looks like a spaghetti bowl. It’s just a white wood folks. Here is the FET interface.

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    #45 5 months ago

    Here is a close-up on the lighting of the lower play field. Around the edges are some flashers that light up the tunnels to give the player a hint where the ball will be coming from.

    Yes, I know. It looks like a bowl of spaghetti. It’s just a white wood prototype folks. I’m not gonna win any respect on the wiring!

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    #46 5 months ago

    Amazing stuff. Love the detailed updates! It almost makes me feel like I could do something like this (but that’s more wishful thinking).

    #47 5 months ago

    Wow, great work! This is seriously complex for a first effort.

    #48 5 months ago

    Looks Interesting, Way to Go!!

    #49 5 months ago

    Sweet job dude. Keep it going!

    #50 5 months ago

    Thanks! As you can see I am mounting all of the “daughter boards” vertically around the edge of the play field. I drafted the mounts in sketchup and printed them in either PTEG or ABS. Heat set nuts from McMaster and M3 screws hold them the boards in place. You can download the STL file on thingiverse search multimorphic. A set of left and right mounts will fit any SW-16, PD-16 or PD-LED.

    BA7721FE-C01A-46F0-9AF2-3A5426961913 (resized).jpeg
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