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(Topic ID: 257530)

Greek Gods Homebrew

By Cmartin1235

10 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 139 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 30 days ago by Cmartin1235
  • Topic is favorited by 18 Pinsiders


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    There are 139 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
    #101 4 months ago

    Here’s the proximity sensor you need if you ever want to try it. Be sure to get the PNP. To make it work, you have to hook up a 1K resistor between the sense wire and (if memory serves me) 12 V. This keeps the sensor voltage from floating away from it’s off state.

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    #102 4 months ago

    There is just enough room to cram in a serial RGB strip, folded over to illuminate both sides. This gives an additional 43 LEDs To play with. I wrote a little python script to make light shows so that whenever the flippers are activated a pulse of light chases the ball upwards. Eventually I will add more light shows to show the ball moving down in the outline. Still looks funny but now it looks funny in a way that was possibly on purpose.

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    #103 4 months ago

    Looking more like Las Vegas every day.

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    #104 4 months ago

    Some spring steel from Marco and a couple rivets and I have a ramp flap. If I ever make a version three, I will press the ramp into the playfield a little bit for a tighter fit.

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    #105 4 months ago

    A while back I mentioned that a guy was working on putting proximity sensors under inserts. Well he has some thing working and asked if I would help make a flasher board to go around the proximity sensor. This has some interesting potential. That means I can put a Sensor in the middle of the hydra and make a bottle Hydra mode down close to the flipper.We started emailing back-and-forth and I am happy to have a new Internet friend who is a great guy. Here is what we are coming up with.

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    #106 4 months ago

    We also came up with a extra bright slingshot flasher. It rocks. It can be configured to either draw power directly from the PD-LED or from 5V. If doing the former, it’s probably better not to use more than one or two per PD-LED or it might overload the 3.3 V voltage converter. But configured for 5 V, you could put 23 of these controlled by one PD-LED board. That would be almost 100 piranhas. Blinding! My friend and I are planning on posting the circuit board designs shortly on mission pinball framework so anybody can download the plans, get them fabricated in China for less than a dollar a board And a week later solder up their own.

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    #107 4 months ago

    Having the proximity sensor up against the underside of the insert does cast a shadow, however. The shadow is less with the inserts made of clear plastic with cut concentric circles. Not the ones I put in. I will hide the shadow with a decal in the middle of the hydra.

    #108 4 months ago

    One of the last jobs is getting the plastics right. I started with cardboard cut to the approximate desired shape. Then I scanned the shape and moved it over to fusion 360 where I printed a sample plastic.

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    #109 4 months ago

    After a lot of trial and error I was able to come up with this. Remember how the plastic hanging down over the side of the scoop was getting beaten up? That has been changed to a piece of steel with a blue nub of death bumper. Not ideal but it doesn’t brick the ball.

    The plastics that go over my G.I. lights were made in a similar way starting with cardboard, progressing to a 3-D printed shape and then the outline was exported to the CNC router and a cutting bit was used to make the plastic out of Lucite. Using the method outlined at pinball makers, my daughters art, hand drawn on tracing paper, was glued to the Lucite and everything put in place.

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    #110 4 months ago

    Another finishing touch: I can’t add more flipper buttons very easily with the metal side rails which I chose. So instead I am putting this giant switch at thigh level. Leaning into the machine activates a mode where are the upper slingshots become controlled by the flipper buttons and the flippers go dead. This makes a game of skill to keep the pinball in that zone containing two slingshots and the pop. Score enough hits in that zone and it opens up locking on the ramp just above the left upper slingshot. Just remember to take your thigh off the button when the ball comes zipping out past the whirl pool magnet at the real flippers.

    Yep, It is going on the coin door. I guess everybody plays for free.

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    #111 4 months ago

    After looking at it for over a year, I’ve concluded that Zeus his head sucks. I am putting in Medusa and a Minotaur.

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    #112 4 months ago

    Oh, and did you see that PBL came out with a translucent drop target replacement for the smart target? It’s meant as a mod on total nuclear annihilation. I lit up the drop with one of those flashers I mentioned above. Now I can invite a shot to the target or the scoop by flashing the mech.

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    #113 4 months ago

    I have been launching the ball with the auto kicker. I really would like a traditional plunger so I can reward the player with hitting one of the three upper entrances to the playfield. But, how do I get the plunger in the right spot? Maybe some archery?

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    #114 4 months ago
    Quoted from Cmartin1235:

    Another finishing touch: I can’t add more flipper buttons very easily with the metal side rails which I chose. So instead I am putting this giant switch at thigh level. Leaning into the machine activates a mode where are the upper slingshots become controlled by the flipper buttons and the flippers go dead. This makes a game of skill to keep the pinball in that zone containing two slingshots and the pop. Score enough hits in that zone and it opens up locking on the ramp just above the left upper slingshot. Just remember to take your thigh off the button when the ball comes zipping out past the whirl pool magnet at the real flippers.
    Yep, It is going on the coin door. I guess everybody plays for free.
    [quoted image]

    Very nice, a true Python-inspired design!
    The pinball circus originally and infamously had a snake between the flippers that you had to pelvic thrust the machine to active the snake save! Williams obviously cut this out...

    #115 4 months ago

    I put a drop of fingernail polish on the end of the rod. I thought it would do the trick but actually it landed a little low. This caused quite a bit of filing before the shooter right in the top centered on the ball. Guess I should have just measured that stern cabinet.

    #116 4 months ago

    I forgot to mention up above that I re-designed the ramp locks not to use those 12 V solenoids. Instead I used traditional coils below the playfield which pole down a rod to release the ball. Also I refined the Opto boards making custom ones that have a RGB LED built-in. This slims things down considerably.

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    #117 4 months ago

    Yeah, I had to weld up those disappearing posts myself. I never could find a suitable Mech.

    image (resized).jpg Added 124 days ago:

    Those disappearing post mechs required revision. Above are pictured 3D printed post guides that I screwed to the top surface of the playfield. These caused two problems. 1 the plastic snapped from balls crashing into the post on the ramp. 2 they allowed the post to flex making the balls bounce back down the ramp and between the flippers. I solved the problems by welding together a 3 inch long stack of #8 stainless steel nuts and then welding this “pipe” directly to top of the mech. Of course I had to drill a bigger hole but the space allowed it. After shining the stack up it looks cool too.

    #118 4 months ago

    Just a couple more pics...

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    #119 4 months ago

    And just like a person, much prettier on the outside.

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    #120 4 months ago

    Wow - great read to catch upon progress! Crazy to see you go from a white wood to a functioning machine with art!! I got to the angeleye pop lighting part and realized I actually discussed that with you a while back on slack. You’ve made so much progress in a short almost of time, I wish I could keep up with that!! I am currently painstakingly and crudely hand routing inserts On a white wood. Should have built a cnc I guess,ha! What did the end up costing roughly?

    Curious also about bits— I’ve been routing with a fluted bit. Is there an advantage to using ones like the couple you posted?

    I was going to take hand measurements to transfer my playfield to 360 but that scanner looks enticing if I can find one.. would you go that route again? It sounds like you just need to double check it after stiching by taking some measurements on what you import to fusion?

    Fantastic work! Can’t wait to see some gameplay and mode / shot coding !

    #121 4 months ago

    Thanks! I compressed about 3 years of work into a 3 day blog-fest while attempting to maintain the thought process as faithfully as a retroscope permits. I went with a 1/8" flute bit because a friend with a CNC suggested it. 1/8 is only needed for the roll over cut outs. 1/4 will work for the mech holes. I use a double flute for wood and a single flute for Lexan.

    I would indeed scan again rather than measure. I could have prevented my stitching problem had I taken a T-square and a heavy sharpie marker and made a 3" grid on the playfield just before scanning. Any artifacts would have easily been caught.

    That scanner is itself an artifact. If you go with it, better snatch it up now. It only runs on windows and on V10 you have to tell windows that it is a "legacy" driver or it won't install. A high res photo of your playfield might work if your camera is centered and you post process away the parallax artifact. You would have to experiment.

    #122 4 months ago

    I did not keep receipts on the Root3. But, I think it cost me about $700 all together. I should have plunked down another $100 and built it with drive screws instead of a belt on the Y axis.

    #123 4 months ago

    I am at the programming stage of development. Here is my image I use for programming light shows. I will use it here to describe gameplay. In short Greek Gods is a point game with multi-ball goals. The left upper quadrant is Poseidon's Realm, and right upper Olympus. The powerball controls the diverter. When it is on the left the diverter sends the ball to the left ramp. Right goes right.

    Hits to Poseidon's Realm charges up points on that area that when they reach a threshold qualify the Poseidon lock. Hit the scoop target to then activate the lock for one ball. This resets Poseidon points and the qualifying process repeats for a second ball. To release the balls for a 3 ball multi ball the scoop target drops to invite a shot to the scoop. Repeat shots to the orbit activate the Poseidon orbit magnet and will drop the ball in that area. This is handy because the whirlpool magnet will usually block balls shot from below. Remember the Poseidon slings are under manual control with flipper buttons increasing the skill/fun factor for that area. With good sling control the area can be qualified in 1 or 2 balls to that area. Oh, I forgot to mention that the points melt away in Poseidon's area so you have to keep on task or lose progress.

    The same process applies for the Olympus side pops but there is no manual control on them, of course. It takes 3 or 4 balls to that area to qualify the lock.

    Controlling the power ball is the tough part, though. If one of the locks is qualified but the power ball gets hit to the wrong side, you need to move it back again to get the ball to lock, otherwise it just goes down the wrong side of the ramp. But a clever player can get both locks qualified and filled up at the same time by shifting the power ball back and forth. Then a scoop shot can release a 5 ball multi ball.

    Hitting the spinners 100 x qualifies Super Spinner mode. This invites a scoop shot (again by dropping the smart target) to turn on the mode. Super spinner runs atop all the other modes and gives additional Poseidon Points and Olympus Points allowing qualifying to happen more quickly. Each hit to a spinner gives a gentle pulse to the knocker making a very satisfying tap along side the standard sound effect. When this mode is active, every 25 spin hits invites a timed ramp shot that collects a bonus. But if you don't make the collect bonus shot or drain a ball, Super Spinner mode ends.

    The 3 right side drop targets activate the hidden sling. This livens up game play. Hit the hidden sling 3 times and mystery award activates. This starts a light show on the serial orbit LEDs to invite a right orbit shot that when made activates the post at the top of the orbit up diverting the ball into the subway. Mystery award is meant to help the player progress in the game by a point award (meh), activating super spinner, switching the activated lock if the power ball ended up on the wrong side, activating a lock if nothing already started. It can also give an instant 3 ball scoop multi ball shooting balls from the shooter lane to the top of the orbit t the subway and ejecting all balls from the scoop 1,2,3. Also mystery can activate hydra battle.

    Hydra battle is normally qualified by repeated hits to the central insert activating the proximity sensor. Hits change the color of the hydra inserts and after 28 the battle is qualified. A scoop shot starts the battle. Every 3 hits to the insert launches another ball getting up to 6 balls in play. Lose a ball and hydra gets away and the player finishes out the multi ball with whatever was earned. But, if you keep all six ball in play long enough to reduce hydra health down to 0 there is a light show and point award.

    How about that underworld? If the player makes a point threshold after draining the last ball on the upper playfield the player's soul goes to the underworld. The game there is to make 3 shots to each of the 4 "rivers" (see page 1) meaning 12 loops total. On the first river shot (say left lower entrance) the magnet pins the ball and Hades laughs at you. The second shot is allowed to pass from lower left and out the upper left. The third shot and all subsequent shots are accelerated by the magnet. These rules apply to the other 3 "rivers." Complete all the rivers and you return from the dead and get an extra ball on the upper playfield. During underworld play bats fly across the screen, the light do weird things down there and it seeks to be creepy.

    I still have many more modes to program like locking on the subway, ball saves activated by repeated ramp hits etc. I expect to be programming and animating in my spare time for years.

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    #124 4 months ago

    So impressive! I admire your ability to overcome setbacks and to learn new skill sets as needed. Need a cnc machine? Build one! I also love that you had your daughter do the art. She did wonderful work.

    #125 4 months ago

    Here is a list of things I have learned in the last 3 years as I developed Greek Gods.

    Electronics. I had a bit of background here already which I expanded with a working knowledge of controlling MOSFETs, stepper motors, servo motors, coils, and a wide variety of LEDs and flashers. In the end I even understood Kirchhoff's Law.

    TIG Welding. This was a really neat thing to pick up. I won’t claim to be good at it but I can now make things out of metal and will use this skill for years to come.

    Adobe Illustrator: I still have only scratched the surface on this one but I can now work my way through the art, use it to make cutting paths and create elements for animations.

    Fusion360: This has perhaps been the most significant skill to have picked up. I left behind sketch-up for my 3D printing modeling a year ago and have not looked back. Fusion has a hobby license which is free but still capable. I used Fusion for drafting the playfield, making my sheet metal, making the countless 3D printed parts. It is a very capable program, well worth the time on YouTube to figure out how to use it. But be warned, the learning curve is not flat.

    The value of an online community. I have been participating on a near daily basis on Slack’s PinDev. It has scores of pinball makers who have been down this process before me. I could not have completed this project in twice the time without the encouragement and frequent advice. I only hope to give back as much as I have taken.

    For a one-off home brew, it is OK to copy successful design elements from other machines. Hell, even if you think you are doing something truly innovative, chances are somebody at some time has already tried it anyway.

    Success = effort x time. For me it meant getting up an hour and and a half before the rest of the family and trying to get in a couple hours a day for about 1000 days. Progress was in fits and starts but there was not a week I did not have something to show. Also, progress got much faster as I went.

    #126 4 months ago

    Things I wish I had known when I started:

    Tie together the electrical grounds.

    Servo motors catch fire if the diverter pinches a ball.

    You can’t rush a 10 year old into making quality art. It only happens on her terms.

    TIG gloves don’t insulate.

    Bondo causes a headache.

    TIG welding causes a headache (and without good ventilation argon can suffocate.)

    Kreg pocket holes go on the inside of the cab.

    Welding pot iron gas pipes to make a rotisserie is a bad idea. The welds can give way and send the playfield crashing to the floor.

    If scanning a playfield, put thick lines on it so Photoshop does not screw up the stitch.

    PTEG is a great material to 3D print with.

    Serial LED strips are vulnerable to all kinds of signal interference, magnets, coils, even being too close to the sound system amp.

    Williams/Bally pop assemblies are a pain in the butt. Should have gone DE/Sega.

    If there is a potential trap for a ball on top of a plastic or wireform it will find it.

    Reflective optical switches only work in a trough and are even worse with a power ball.

    Cut off the coil diodes if using the PD-16.

    Put a 1/4 of heat shrink tubing on the coil lug wires BEFORE soldering them up.

    Making custom circuit boards is not as hard as it would seem.

    There are some really nice people to collaborate with on the internet. Maybe some day I will even meet them at a show.

    #127 4 months ago

    Very impressive work, Coleman. It's been fun watching the progress and especially reliving it through your recent posts! Thanks for sharing all of the details and for your continued participation and guidance for others on the slack channel.

    - Gerry

    #128 4 months ago

    Thanks Gerry. I've learned a ton. Glad I went with the multimorphic platform. Now that Greek Gods is mostly done I can get back to playing your latest game Heist.

    3 weeks later
    #129 3 months ago

    A friend was asking about the back box and monitor. Since I am doing the code development on the same computer as the one that runs the machine, I wanted an easy way to move the back box monitor between my back box and my desk. I also wanted a monitor that would be nice to spend hundreds of hours coding. For me that means a 4K monitor so I can keep a bunch of windows and browsers simultaneously visible. I also wanted the largest monitor I could fit in my back box. That turned out to be a 28 inch monitor whose dimensions I constructed the back box around. I used a low profile wall mount for the monitor to hold it firmly in a minimal frame. When the frame is slid inside the back box, T nuts hold it in place for when the back box is folded down.

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    #130 3 months ago
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    #131 3 months ago
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    2 months later
    #132 31 days ago

    Finally, a tour and some gameplay of Greek Gods. Still plenty to do with programming modes, light shows, sounds, music and tuning of the ball guides but this machine is about 80% done and now getting some love from the artist.

    #133 31 days ago


    #134 31 days ago

    Fantastic work, Coleman. So many cool ideas implemented really well. Your daughter did great on the artwork too!

    Congrats on powering through... tens of thousands of hours of work for sure!

    - Gerry

    #135 31 days ago

    Looks great!

    #136 31 days ago

    You did a great job , also fantastic that your daughter was involved with the Project.

    #137 31 days ago

    Awesome!!! Thanks for posting the vid and walk thru! Love the captive ball tied to the diverter, and the middle PF semi transparent screen is SO cool!!!

    #138 31 days ago

    some really cool ideas, great job. Loved the reveal of the mini playfield under the screen

    #139 30 days ago

    Thanks everybody. Still so much to do with light shows, music, sound and more modes. I really look forward to taking it to a show.

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