(Topic ID: 172723)

Homepin OFFICIAL Thread - Pinball Parts & Machine Progress


By Homepin

2 years ago



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#151 2 years ago

I'm glad to see the pictures of all the playfield mechanisms. That's showing real progress!

Have you been able to get the plastic playfield inserts made yet? It seems that now you're almost ready to make playfields!

#152 2 years ago
Quoted from PopBumperPete:

Yeah, but that small number of fully paid preorders get their games first

As a pre order buyer, Mike has stuck to his word and kept us informed along the way. I've had my money in for almost three years, so getting pin(with topper) first is great and appreciated. It would suck if others who didn't support Mike for this time, got their pins or new orders ship first.

Keep the updates coming.....great to see light at the end of the tunnel!

13
#153 2 years ago

It's been a busy week with a lot of things starting to come together all at the same time.

Flipper button parts arrived and are being cleaned up and assembled with the springs made a few months ago and circlips and PAL nuts sourced locally. One issue is the factory that made the mould for us has adjusted it for a slightly better fit BUT that has brought with it a jamming situation. About 50% of the buttons are marked where they have been cleaned up to make them fit so we will return those and they can chip them (run them through the shredder) and re-mould. There are so many small things like this that we have to keep on top of and every little issue like this brings another delay.

However the first batch of flipper assemblies are coming together, now that all the parts are here for them and we have wound the first 300 flipper coils.

Also the first small run of six fully finished cabinets is coming together nicely with a few of the smaller details coming to light and being carefully documented so that future runs will be correctly and completely assembled.

I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and for once it ISN'T the train coming towards me!!!

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#154 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

It's been a busy week with a lot of things starting to come together all at the same time.
Flipper button parts arrived and are being cleaned up and assembled with the springs made a few months ago and circlips and PAL nuts sourced locally. One issue is the factory that made the mould for us has adjusted it for a slightly better fit BUT that has brought with it a jamming situation. About 50% of the buttons are marked where they have been cleaned up to make them fit so we will return those and they can chip them (run them through the shredder) and re-mould. There are so many small things like this that we have to keep on top of and every little issue like this brings another delay.
However the first batch of flipper assemblies are coming together, now that all the parts are here for them and we have wound the first 300 flipper coils.
Also the first small run of six fully finished cabinets is coming together nicely with a few of the smaller details coming to light and being carefully documented so that future runs will be correctly and completely assembled.
I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and for once it ISN'T the train coming towards me!!!

That's some good looking ply and a decent finish. Cabinet wise, this would put you in a similar position quality wise to DP. Better than JJP and miles ahead of the rest of the pack.

Just hope the actual game layout, code, art, sound, DMD etc will live up to the build quality. If they do, could be exciting times.

On that note, any plans to announce the designer yet?

#155 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

That's some good looking ply and a decent finish. Cabinet wise, this would put you in a similar position quality wise to DP. Better than JJP and miles ahead of the rest of the pack.

Thanks, we have gone to great extremes to get this quality as it also must comply with "CARB" (for the USA) and "A0" (for Europe). I'm very pleased with just how nice it is actually but, like I say, it took a very long time and a lot of hunting to track it down.

Our cabinets are also made 100% with this ply - no chipboard, MDF or Masonite anywhere to be seen!

#156 2 years ago

What an effort I would love to know what the "feel" of these games is going to be? There is a noticeable difference between a Williams/Bally's and the modern Sterns!
Hope it's old school !

#157 2 years ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

What an effort I would love to know what the "feel" of these games is going to be? There is a noticeable difference between a Williams/Bally's and the modern Sterns!
Hope it's old school !

I am expecting the game to feel as solid as a rock.
Mike has a reputation to over engineer everything he does

#158 2 years ago

Great thread!

#159 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

Flipper button parts arrived and are being cleaned up and assembled with the springs made a few months ago and circlips and PAL nuts sourced locally. One issue is the factory that made the mould for us has adjusted it for a slightly better fit BUT that has brought with it a jamming situation. About 50% of the buttons are marked where they have been cleaned up to make them fit so we will return those and they can chip them (run them through the shredder) and re-mould. There are so many small things like this that we have to keep on top of and every little issue like this brings another delay.

It is interesting (and rare) to see this kind of information posted by a pinball manufacturer. It's a just a small example of the many little things that can go wrong and delay production.

#160 2 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

It is interesting (and rare) to see this kind of information posted by a pinball manufacturer. It's a just a small example of the many little things that can go wrong and delay production.

Thanks for your understanding. I can't recount the number of "small things" that continuously go wrong and need correcting in some way or another. It's an ongoing thing really. I like to point out some of them, even if they seem trivial or ridiculous as every single hick-up causes delays and extra costs (usually).

I guess most would never even realise the finer points of making a part that, on first glance, seems insignificant.

#161 2 years ago

Hi Mike,
Another week is upon us !! Great to see and read your open discussion of your daily trials and tribulations as a start-up business.Thanks alot for the great pictures and explanations as you get this Thunderbirds machine together and soooo close to becoming a reality !!! keep up the good fight !!

#162 2 years ago

Some have asked me why we have a small coin door on our prototypes. Well, we have been experimenting with various different setups and here are a couple of pictures of what we are currently favoring. A single coin slot on a small door and a note acceptor alongside (we will be including an electronic, programmable coin mech with EVERY pinball machine).

The note acceptor is obviously expensive and for HUO would not be required so we are looking at different ways of dealing with the option.

This setup is not final yet but it looks OK and leaves easy options down the track for different owners.

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#163 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

Some have asked me why we have a small coin door on our prototypes. Well, we have been experimenting with various different setups and here are a couple of pictures of what we are currently favoring. A single coin slot on a small door and a note acceptor alongside (we will be including an electronic, programmable coin mech with EVERY pinball machine).
The note acceptor is obviously expensive and for HUO would not be required so we are looking at different ways of dealing with the option.
This setup is not final yet but it looks OK and leaves easy options down the track for different owners.

I like it. It'll set you apart from the competition and make more room for cabinet art. Maybe you can incorporate a decal of some kind on the coin acceptor cover plate.

Thanks for sharing.

#164 2 years ago
Quoted from PinSinner:

I like it. It'll set you apart from the competition and make more room for cabinet art. Maybe you can incorporate a decal of some kind on the coin acceptor cover plate.
Thanks for sharing.

Maybe a decal that matches the background cabinet art.
So it blends right in.

#165 2 years ago

decal will wear and look rubbish .. i reckon just stamp your logo on the metal plate

#166 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I appreciate you trying something new, but I don't like the look.

The asymmetric layout isn't pleasing to the eye, and the plate looks like a cheap patch. It's just not clean.

Also, won't the validator be harder to access there? How can I empty the stacker without opening the playfield?

Given all the grief that there was about coin mechs on MMR, I'm sure this will create similar 'discussions.'

#167 2 years ago

I like the look. It'll look even better once the graphics are on. I'd rather have more graphics than 2 coin slots.

#168 2 years ago

My favorite thing about your work Mike is you are building an infrastructure to continue to build affordable quality pinball machines for decades. Cheers to you sir. Keep up the great work!

#169 2 years ago
Quoted from wiredoug:

decal will wear and look rubbish .. i reckon just stamp your logo on the metal plate

The logo is a good idea. Perhaps you can also stamp the pinball machine number and/or I.d serial number. Kind of like its own certificate of authenticity for each machine.

#170 2 years ago

I agree on the decal thing (or have some artwork printed on the metal plate, but I don't know how hard/expensive that is to do).
The front being asymmetric is no problem once there's artwork on the cabinet imo.

#171 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

Some have asked me why we have a small coin door on our prototypes. Well, we have been experimenting with various different setups and here are a couple of pictures of what we are currently favoring. A single coin slot on a small door and a note acceptor alongside (we will be including an electronic, programmable coin mech with EVERY pinball machine).
The note acceptor is obviously expensive and for HUO would not be required so we are looking at different ways of dealing with the option.
This setup is not final yet but it looks OK and leaves easy options down the track for different owners.

Now you just need to incorporate NFC (and I assume an internet connection) so the machine can accept Apple/Android/Samsung Pay

I've been following your progress for a while. Thanks for sharing all you have been doing! It has been very interesting to follow along.

#172 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

Some have asked me why we have a small coin door on our prototypes. Well, we have been experimenting with various different setups and here are a couple of pictures of what we are currently favoring. A single coin slot on a small door and a note acceptor alongside (we will be including an electronic, programmable coin mech with EVERY pinball machine).
The note acceptor is obviously expensive and for HUO would not be required so we are looking at different ways of dealing with the option.
This setup is not final yet but it looks OK and leaves easy options down the track for different owners.

For location use in the US, I always prefer to have two coin slots. If one jams (which is a frequent occurrence), it doesn't stop the game from earning if the other slot still works.

Plus, the narrow door is a pain, and usually means a smaller coinbox. If you've encountered any Gottlieb 80A games with the narrow (but 2-slot) coin door, there's probably a few reasons why it didn't catch on.

But granted, for foreign locations, it might be different, I'm not sure.

The bill acceptor is a good idea. However, would there be any easy way to remove it for servicing it if it malfunctions? Is it difficult to remove/install with the narrow coin door in place?

#173 2 years ago
Quoted from wiredoug:

decal will wear and look rubbish .. i reckon just stamp your logo on the metal plate

How the heck would a decal wear on an area that won't typically be touched by anybody? Stern puts a decal on their coin doors and it works just fine and doesn't wear.

#174 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

Our cabinets are also made 100% with this ply - no chipboard, MDF

What is a negative for MDF? Strength? Requires nuts and washers for all fasteners?

In my cabinet door job MDF is very good for door panels because it doesn't warp and is good for basements where it's damp.

15
#175 2 years ago

In the USA and on location, TWO coin slots are a requirement. Happ Controls makes a great two coin slot with bill validator cutout coin/bill door which Stern Pinball uses. The bill acceptor cutout comes with a cover plate installed which you remove if you install a bill aceptor.

There is a very good reason a bill acceptor is mounted on the coin door: you must be able to see the bottom/lower rear area of it in order to see the diagnostic LEDs mounted on it. Also when a bill jams, you need to easiest and quickest access to the bill aceptor to clear the jam (very important when on location).

Narrow coin doors are a real pain when you need to reach in to either adjust something (like tilt bob or volume control) or to grab the manual/schematics.

In the USA, a bill acceptor mounted into the wooden front gives the machine an appearance of a gambling device.

#176 2 years ago

MDF is for cheap furniture and is compressed wood dust and carcinogenic glues so starting to be banned in various countries. You also can't screw well into it and once scratched / damaged and gets wet in to it, it will blow out to double the size. Since pinballs move around more chances of damage and blow out is much higher than a door on a cupboard at home. Only benefits is great to machine on a cnc and like you said is fairly stable if supported and sealed.

As for the coin door I reckon a regular size so you can get access to the coin / note mechs, the coin box, lockbar release etc, manual - so a small hole might mean cramped access. Small door is ideal for certain arcade machines but not a pinball...

#177 2 years ago

Merry Christmas Mike

#178 2 years ago

Narrow coin door seems like an awful idea.

Have an issue with your bill validator? Raise the PF!
Coin slot jams? No more coins!
Want to take a peek inside the machine? Good luck seeing squat through that narrow door!

#179 2 years ago

Everywhere else but the USA it is a single coin slot with an electronic mech that will take any coin and are MUCH less prone to jamming. They work just fine on location. On location I have had more problems with mechanical coin mechs than the electronic ones and am quite happy with the single mech approach.

#180 2 years ago

Narrow door doesn't worry me ... but aesthetically it needs to be centered, and the plate looks bad.

Remember ... pinballers always say they want something different. But really, they don't.

rd

#181 2 years ago
Quoted from clg:

Everywhere else but the USA it is a single coin slot with an electronic mech that will take any coin and are MUCH less prone to jamming. They work just fine on location. On location I have had more problems with mechanical coin mechs than the electronic ones and am quite happy with the single mech approach.

I'd have to agree with that. The electronic US ones on newer arcade games are less prone to jam than pure mechanical ones from what I've seen. However, they can still jam, thanks to patrons jamming all sorts of unacceptable coinage in the slots. The games with electronic mechs still also have two coin slots to avoid this situation.

[edit]: I take some of that back. A few games I was thinking of only have 1 electronic coin slot, but the game is paired/linked so two players can play. So if one game unit jams, the other unit is still available.

#182 2 years ago
Quoted from PopBumperPete:

Merry Christmas Mike

Thanks mate.

Merry Christmas to you.

#183 2 years ago

What do these electronic mechs looks like?

#184 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

Some have asked me why we have a small coin door on our prototypes. Well, we have been experimenting with various different setups and here are a couple of pictures of what we are currently favoring. A single coin slot on a small door and a note acceptor alongside (we will be including an electronic, programmable coin mech with EVERY pinball machine).
The note acceptor is obviously expensive and for HUO would not be required so we are looking at different ways of dealing with the option.
This setup is not final yet but it looks OK and leaves easy options down the track for different owners.

As it is still in experimental stage, will say that aesthetically it just doesn't look very good. Sometimes if it ain't broke....

I do like the care and attention to detail re QC of all the parts shown.

#185 2 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Narrow door doesn't worry me ... but aesthetically it needs to be centered, and the plate looks bad.
Remember ... pinballers always say they want something different. But really, they don't.
rd

Maybe OK fer you but my big 'merican hands don't fit inside that tiny little coin door when makin a cash grab.

They're HUGE!!

#186 2 years ago
Quoted from desertT1:

What do these electronic mechs looks like?

Imonex v92 series with EM board and optical switch:

http://www.imonex.com/Category_Amusements/v92_series.aspx

These units require +12 VDC to operate. Price per play, numbers of coins per credit, and length of pulse is set via dip switches under those black covers. However, the coins accepted are programmed into it at the factory. So if you want it to accept different coins, then you must ship the acceptor to the factory for re-programming.

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#187 2 years ago

Is there going to be an option for audio out for headphones? Some current solutions use the slot for the bill acceptor to give you headphone jack plus audio control. Are you going to implement anything like that?

#188 2 years ago

Thanks for all of the excellent comments and replies. We are likely to print something to the blanking panel - we will have to see exactly what - it must fit with the other parts of course. I take on board about two coin slots for the USA.

I can't find a pic of the coin mechs we intend to use right now but will post it when I find the pics. Our mechs are "learning" and you put it into learn mode and feed sample coins through. It can remember up to three different coins or tokens. We purchase these and strip and modify them for our purpose.

Here is a sample mounting plate for our linear power supply. It's likely to be powder coated. Certainly a long way from final but we are playing with different things to get it just right.

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#189 2 years ago

Bravo to you Mike for all of the updates & insight into what it takes to start a pinball factory from the ground up.
Keep it coming, can't wait to see / play the finished product!

#190 2 years ago
Quoted from PinBallMagician:

Is there going to be an option for audio out for headphones? Some current solutions use the slot for the bill acceptor to give you headphone jack plus audio control. Are you going to implement anything like that?

All I will say is that (at this stage) an audio output SOCKET will not be required

#191 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

All I will say is that (at this stage) an audio output SOCKET will not be required

Going the Apple route, eh?

Just don't tell us flipper buttons won't be required either....

#192 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

All I will say is that (at this stage) an audio output SOCKET will not be required

Wireless audio? That would be interesting.

#193 2 years ago

Cannot wait to see some reveals of the toys and mechs, thunderbird 1 or thunderbird 2 launch scenes involving pinballs oh hell yeah!

#194 2 years ago

I usually park my truck (a Nissan dual cab UTE as we would call it in Australia) in a parking lot at the front of my apartment. One morning I found that, overnight, some arsehole had crashed into the rear door and made a mess of it (picture below).

Naturally I couldn't find a note left by the arsehole as hard as I looked (severe sarcasm intended!)

Checking around I discovered that there was a security camera focused directly on the area where I was parked so I made enquiries and eventually found the camera was owned by the local police as they had previously had a few "issues" in the area recently and decided to install a camera. (I was later told they were trying to stamp out a growing problem with prostitutes in the area). Investigations revealed that yes, a policeman said he had reviewed the footage and yes, he knew the licence plate of the car that had caused the damage.

GREAT - I thought. Problem was the next step was for me to personally present at the police station and wait my turn to check the video - present all paperwork to prove it was my car and my drivers licence along with a letter from my landlord saying I was entitled to park where my car was when it was damaged.

Long story short, it just wasn't worth me wasting a day of my time along with that of one of my staff so I just had my regular mechanical workshop (who also do panel work) repair the door.

Total including paint was 520rmb (about AU$100). I estimate the same repair in Australia would cost about AU$500~800

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#195 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

I usually park my truck (a Nissan dual cab UTE as we would call it in Australia) in a parking lot at the front of my apartment. One morning I found that, overnight, some arsehole had crashed into the rear door and made a mess of it (picture below).
Naturally I couldn't find a note left by the arsehole as hard as I looked (severe sarcasm intended!)
Checking around I discovered that there was a security camera focused directly on the area where I was parked so I made enquiries and eventually found the camera was owned by the local police as they had previously had a few "issues" in the area recently and decided to install a camera. (I was later told they were trying to stamp out a growing problem with prostitutes in the area). Investigations revealed that yes, a policeman said he had reviewed the footage and yes, he knew the licence plate of the car that had caused the damage.
GREAT - I thought. Problem was the next step was for me to personally present at the police station and wait my turn to check the video - present all paperwork to prove it was my car and my drivers licence along with a letter from my landlord saying I was entitled to park where my car was when it was damaged.
Long story short, it just wasn't worth me wasting a day of my time along with that of one of my staff so I just had my regular mechanical workshop (who also do panel work) repair the door.
Total including paint was 520rmb (about AU$100). I estimate the same repair in Australia would cost about AU$500~800

You did well with that repair. $100AU. What a bargain!

#196 2 years ago

Hmmmm - tasty fresh rubber for Christmas.......:

NOTE: these are pre-run samples - our standard production round rubber rings will be white (with black posts, shooter tips and flipper rubbers).

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#197 2 years ago

Are these rubber or synthetic?

It would be nice if you were able to do something similar to Titan Competition Silicone, both in terms of durability and feel (not a fan at all of SuperBands), if synthetic is an option.

#198 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Are these rubber or synthetic?
It would be nice if you were able to do something similar to Titan Competition Silicone, both in terms of durability and feel (not a fan at all of SuperBands), if synthetic is an option.

I will cutNpaste here from AA regarding my answer to this question over there about silicon:

Q: "Have you considered silicon rings instead of rubber?"

A: Yes and we have played with silicon. If you nick silicon, even the slightest of nicks, the ring will split in seconds - it isn't long enough lasting for a "manufacturer" to use I'm afraid.

For after market use - no problem because it won't reflect on the manufacturer of the machine if/when they split.

Not worth the risk for us with so many other "unknown factors" already to contend with - at this early stage we sure don't need any more than we already have believe me!!!

#199 2 years ago

White rubber samples turned up yesterday.

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#200 2 years ago

Excellent thread. Following!

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