(Topic ID: 172723)

Homepin OFFICIAL Thread - Pinball Parts & Machine Progress


By Homepin

2 years ago



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#351 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

Works for me and I'm in China where Youtube is blocked? (I'm using a VPN of course).

Giving network error 400 which I've not seen before. Maybe local CDN hasn't cached that video or something.

#352 2 years ago

Works here Mike! Love the way Brains mouth moves very retro! But the text appears to be moving to fast it's almost blurry/hard to read, maybe an upward typewriter kind of scroll or still blocks of the text being shown? just a little feedback as I realise you stated your animators are only playing around.

#353 2 years ago

Working now. Looks like you're intending to keep the hammy spirit of the show, which is good.

Though I second the typewriter type comment.

Have you decided what type of display yet?

I was quite surprised that Stern have started using full colour LED screens in their 'home edition' Spiderman, and it looked good ... such a shame they didn't do it years ago in all their machines. I'd still favour 192*64 colour LED for Thunderbirds.

#354 2 years ago

The video is working fine for me.

They did a great job with Brains. It captures his likeness very well. I can't wait to see more.

#355 2 years ago

Great animation... dmd red or color ?

#356 2 years ago
Quoted from IBARAKURO:

Great animation... dmd red or color ?

Already been said it'll be colour dots. Last time I asked about exactly what it would be in terms of resolution / density etc Mike hadn't made a decision.

#357 2 years ago

Cool animation!

#358 2 years ago
Quoted from J85M:

Works here Mike! Love the way Brains mouth moves very retro! But the text appears to be moving to fast it's almost blurry/hard to read, maybe an upward typewriter kind of scroll or still blocks of the text being shown? just a little feedback as I realise you stated your animators are only playing around.

The blurriness would be from displaying it on an LCD screen

#359 2 years ago

Yeah that's why I suggested a type writer style delivery for the text or present the text in block segments one screen at a time. Either way I love the retro feel/look to Brains.

#360 2 years ago

The real machine will have an rgb dot matrix screen, not an lcd monitor like your computer

#361 2 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Yep, a FAST-brained/Homepin-fitted kit? I'm drooling!

I am drooling over all these metal parts myself.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

20
#362 2 years ago

I have been asked recently, in several messages, about our cabinets. Some have asked if we are having them built by outside contractors. I will be clear here and say that Homepin is building our Hankin table and pinball cabinets 100% 'in-house'.

For pinball, we purchase the plywood sheets directly from the plywood factory manufactured to 'A0' standards and we ensure that the sheets are supplied with a test certificate (CARB is the equivalent rating for the USA). After cutting the cabinet parts we send some smaller sample pieces from the batch away for testing at an independent testing centre to make certain that the product we are using meets regulatory requirements for some of the countries we intend to ship finished goods to.

The sheets are then selected carefully so as to work around any minor blemishes or damage in delivery and the various parts required cut to shape on our CNC and table saw, depending on the part. These parts are then hand routed, spindle routed and drilled to take the glass rails, flipper and start buttons and many other holes for various parts.

The separate parts are then checked and matched together to make up a cabinet set - no matter how carefully you cut pieces, there is always some minor difference. Cabinet sets are then assembled together. We "glue and screw" all joints and then clamp the cabinet overnight to ensure the glue sets and the cabinet is square. (you can see I have ringed the three screws we put in the corner joints and then fill in one of the pics below).

After the cabinet carcass glue is dry, we add some of the reinforcing structure such as the 'triangles' in the corners of the cabinet that will support the corner leg plate and a few other wood parts.

Then the partly assembled cabinets are undercoated with a water based wood sealer/primer and left again overnight. The next day they are lightly hand sanded and any imperfections repaired with wood filler and hand finished as required.

They then go into our new spray booth and get a coat of black paint on the areas that require it. Not every panel is painted simply because the cost of the water based paint we use is unbelievably high. It is several times more expensive than an equivalent I can buy at Bunnings in Australia and we are buying it in bulk, directly from the paint manufacturer in Dongguan! Again, we make sure every batch of paint supplied comes with the correct "green" certificate to ensure it is lead and heavy metal free.

After painting, the surfaces that will have decals applied are lightly sanded again and any imperfections corrected before applying the decals (we apply them wet).

One thing we are more aware of than any other manufacturer is that Homepin is "Made in China". We are all well aware of the negative connotations sometimes attached to those words by a few. There is no way that I will allow it to be used negatively against anything we manufacture. China is perfectly capable of manufacturing very high quality goods.

It all comes down to the supervision and instruction on exactly what is expected. You cannot ever get that by simply buying a product from a Chinese factory - it rarely happens. Homepin operates on an entirely different level from many other Chinese factories. We are not driven solely by price as many are. For Homepin, quality comes first and price is a secondary consideration. If we are unable to make a quality product at a price that will sell then we just don't make it! I have canned a few projects because we would have had to make them 'down to a price' and I won't do that.

More on machine assembly at another time.

PS: Before the "negative nellies" jump in and comment, I am well aware that a couple of the inside pictures below of one of our factory test cabinets shows no earth braid installed. We most certainly ARE fitting earth braid - it just wasn't fitted to this test cabinet when these pictures were taken.

cab5 (resized).jpg

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cab1 (resized).jpg

cab2 (resized).jpg

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cab4 (resized).jpg

#363 2 years ago

ohhhh. i see a cabinet fitted with decals and a backbox with the EL panel fitted

how many test cabinet have you built Mike?

15
#364 2 years ago
Quoted from PopBumperPete:

ohhhh. i see a cabinet fitted with decals and a backbox with the EL panel fitted
how many test cabinet have you built Mike?

I have lost count actually as many of the earlier ones have been broken down as we improved things. Probably over 20 at this stage?

We have seven test machines that are about to hit the streets - well, very shortly anyway for field testing. One of those might actually stay in the factory so maybe only 6 will go out. I have numerous expat bars, most within an hours drive from the factory, screaming at me to be test sites. These machines are 95% finished as they will be when we start production. Some minor PCB changes and a few other tweaks. We are very VERY close now.

Waiting on some final art and approvals right at the moment. We will also very likely change some of the audio a bit for the production machines but again, that will take more approvals and so more time.

#365 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

One thing we are more aware of than any other manufacturer is that Homepin is "Made in China". We are all well aware of the negative connotations sometimes attached to those words by a few. There is no way that I will allow it to be used negatively against anything we manufacture. China is perfectly capable of manufacturing very high quality goods.

Amen! It's all about management..Gary Stern needs to send his team over for a training session with you Mike.

#366 2 years ago

It good to see a glimpse of some lighting strikes on the cabinet art. Hopefully that will carry through to the final cabinet art, as it will complement the lighting strikes on the EL panel on the backbox.

All great news Mike. As always, thanks for sharing.

#367 2 years ago

Is there a playing whitewood created at this point and
now parts production is just what is left being developed?

#368 2 years ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

Is there a playing whitewood created at this point and
now parts production is just what is left being developed?

We play our test games daily but I have said right from the outset that I will not be publicly releasing anything until we are ready to ship.

Too many things change and practically on a daily basis.

#369 2 years ago

What joint are you using?

#370 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

We play our test games daily but I have said right from the outset that I will not be publicly releasing anything until we are ready to ship.
Too many things change and practically on a daily basis.

Fair enough.
Art is important,
Game working fully is important,
Game release date in relation
to presentation of the final product
is very important as well.

11
#371 2 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

What joint are you using?

None of us here in the factory smoke

#372 2 years ago

I figured as much.

No, what corner wood joint?

#373 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

We have seven test machines that are about to hit the streets - well, very shortly anyway for field testing. One of those might actually stay in the factory so maybe only 6 will go out. I have numerous expat bars, most within an hours drive from the factory, screaming at me to be test sites.

Any Pinside members live near Shenzhen?

#374 2 years ago
Quoted from solarvalue:

Any Pinside members live near Shenzhen?

I do...oh, you mean any OTHERS - LOL

#375 2 years ago
Quoted from solarvalue:

Any Pinside members live near Shenzhen?

Live? No, but some of us have visited Mike... I'm well overdue for another...

#376 2 years ago
Quoted from pocketscience:

Live? No, but some of us have visited Mike... I'm well overdue for another...

at least we know what bar to go to

#377 2 years ago

A busy week here this week. We loaded and shipped out another 20' container of Hankin arcade tables - this one headed for Perth Australia.

We load the containers at our factory door and employ a local forklift owner to come and load for us as it isn't worthwhile owning a forklift ourselves. Sometimes the guy comes and other times (like yesterday) he sends his wife. She is much more careful than he is so we always prefer her doing the job.

After loading the shipping seal is affixed and remains intact until the container is delivered to Homepins customer so that nobody can tamper with the contents.

Final picture shows the truck driver handing the authorization sheet to the factory gate guards that proves Homepin has allowed this container of goods to leave our secure compound.

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#378 2 years ago

Hi Mike,

After all the time you have spent in China, do you still think it was better than starting to manufacture in Australia? I know labour costs are way cheaper in China, but there seems to be a lot of headaches in China that wouldn't occur in Australia.

Not having a dig just curious on your opinion.

#379 2 years ago
Quoted from PinPatch:

Hi Mike,
After all the time you have spent in China, do you still think it was better than starting to manufacture in Australia? I know labour costs are way cheaper in China, but there seems to be a lot of headaches in China that wouldn't occur in Australia.
Not having a dig just curious on your opinion.

There certainly are a lot of headaches doing things here - even living here! The simple fact is though, most things to do with manufacturing are just so inexpensive here it would not have been remotely possible to do it in Australia.

I would never have considered doing this for one minute in Australia - just not possible.

Now if the Australian Govt wakes up to itself and starts offering incentives, like cheap rent, subsidised employees and tax breaks (like I get by being based in Hong Kong SAR) then I would consider moving the lot to Australia and just making the parts here. Then I would be assembling in Australia, much like American manufacturers do at the moment in the USA using a LOT of imported parts, mainly from China.

#381 2 years ago

As a guesstimate how far would you say you are from shipping games ?

#382 2 years ago
Quoted from stoptap:

As a guesstimate how far would you say you are from shipping games ?

We plan to exhibit TAG at the upcoming Pinfest, Newcastle Australia in September this year and I would hope to have machines in customers hands before that.

#383 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

We plan to exhibit TAG at the upcoming Pinfest, Newcastle Australia in September this year and I would hope to have machines in customers hands before that.

Any plans to sell in the UK?

#384 2 years ago
Quoted from stoptap:

Any plans to sell in the UK?

Part of our licence agreement stipulates that we have to provide one machine to ITV (London) so we plan to send a small shipment there to make it worthwhile. We are also in talks with an agent in the UK and the Homepin marketing manager is visiting London for a meeting with ITV and our possible agent in the next couple of months.

The chances are very high that Homepin machines will be available in the UK.

#385 2 years ago

We have started painting the cabinets for our first pinball machine - Thunderbirds. It has been a LONG road but we are finally near the end of it!

#386 2 years ago

Hi Mike, Can you explain the waterfall inside the spray booth? I've never seen that before. Exciting stuff.

#387 2 years ago
Quoted from PinSinner:

Hi Mike, Can you explain the waterfall inside the spray booth? I've never seen that before.

There are two huge extraction fans drawing air from the open door where I am standing taking this video UNDER the waterfall and up through air filters. The waterfall traps the over spray and it falls into the trough in the bottom and is filtered by the action of the water pump drawing the pool through a second set of filters.

#388 2 years ago

Very neat. Thanks for explaining.

#389 2 years ago

Mike thanks for the reply. I have a history in manufacturing in Melbourne, so I appreciate your views.

#390 2 years ago

Are you planning in going bigger with a spray booth?

#391 2 years ago

I love this thread and am continually impressed by Homepin's commitment to quality. Can't wait to see these in the wild.

Quoted from o-din:

What joint are you using?

Here's a comparison of Homepin and Stern joints (pictures borrowed from above and the Stern Cabinet thread, click on the image to see my added lines which highlight the edges of the different pieces of plywood).
CabinetJoints-Stern,Homepin (resized).jpg

In theory and if only using glue the locking rabbet joint (stern) is stronger due to increased surface area for glue; however, with the added screws to the rabbet joint (homepin) I believe this will be far superior. Also, the thickness of wood with the rabbet joint seems like a potential advantage.

#392 2 years ago
Quoted from tiesmasc:

I love this thread and am continually impressed by Homepin's commitment to quality. Can't wait to see these in the wild.

Here's a comparison of Homepin and Stern joints (pictures borrowed from above and the Stern Cabinet thread, click on the image to see my added lines which highlight the edges of the different pieces of plywood).

In theory and if only using glue the locking rabbet joint (stern) is stronger due to increased surface area for glue; however, with the added screws to the rabbet joint (homepin) I believe this will be far superior. Also, the thickness of wood with the rabbet joint seems like a potential advantage.

The ply also looks like a much, much more expensive grade on the Homepin cabinet. The wood itself in the new Stern stuff isn't very dense - hence the lightness - and the layers don't seem to be sandwiched together very tightly.

#393 2 years ago

Seems like Stern never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

25
#394 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

The ply also looks like a much, much more expensive grade on the Homepin cabinet. The wood itself in the new Stern stuff isn't very dense - hence the lightness - and the layers don't seem to be sandwiched together very tightly.

Our ply is 11 laminates and is exceptionally high grade and expensive - BUT - I believe worth the small extra expense per machine.

#395 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

Our ply is 11 laminates and is exceptionally high grade and expensive - BUT - I believe worth the small extra expense per machine.

#396 2 years ago
Quoted from swinks:

Are you planning in going bigger with a spray booth?

We built this booth to the size we need for painting pinball cabinets. I can't think of any reason why we would want a larger one?

#397 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

Our ply is 11 laminates and is exceptionally high grade and expensive - BUT - I believe worth the small extra expense per machine.

My experience in life tells me spending a little more to do something right the first time with the best materials possible, costs you less money, time, and headache in the long run.

#398 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

We built this booth to the size we need for painting pinball cabinets. I can't think of any reason why we would want a larger one?

to spray 6-12 cabinets at once instead of one at a time?

#399 2 years ago
Quoted from wiredoug:

to spray 6-12 cabinets at once instead of one at a time?

have to agree a car sized booth would allow 1st coats to 6 cabinets and then wait a short time then followed by a 2nd coat etc - each to their own.

#400 2 years ago
Quoted from Homepin:

We built this booth to the size we need for painting pinball cabinets. I can't think of any reason why we would want a larger one?

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