(Topic ID: 172723)

Homepin OFFICIAL Thread - Pinball Parts & Machine Progress

By Homepin

2 years ago

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  • 4,030 posts
  • 391 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by Ballypinball
  • Topic is favorited by 168 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

33 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #29 Images of flipper coils being assembled in the Homepin factory. Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #31 Images of prototype Thunderbirds mechs. Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #46 MPU Testing: Image and Video Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #47 Pinball Cab CNC Tests: Images and Video Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #61 Fliipper Coil pictorial Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #122 Delivery trucks being loaded in China Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #130 Factory tour video Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #131 Flipper links & other assembly parts Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #142 The plastic used for flipper links Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #153 Flipper buttons Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #162 Coin door Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #188 Power supply Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #196 Rubbers Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #607 Final Artwork approved and being applied in test sizes Posted by Homepin (2 years ago)

Post #1020 Thunderbirds official flyer Posted by musketd (1 year ago)

Post #1103 Thunderbirds: First look under the playfield Posted by solarvalue (1 year ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#1495 1 year ago

So Mike when are you going to give a attribution for using the AMH audio/video system for your game? (as Creative Commons requires)

It's so blatantly obvious, right down to the out-of-sync issues with the end of ball bonus numbers.

I know I'm just a "dumb litigious American" but my code was good enough to steal, right?

#1583 1 year ago

America's Most Haunted menu:

Thunderbirds menu:

But remember, Mike claims this "all comes included with microcontroller dev kits".

#1586 1 year ago


Photos: pinHeck prototype board, and then what Homepin cooked up.

How much more obvious can this get?

pinheck_proto (resized).jpg

homepin (resized).jpg

#1604 1 year ago
Quoted from Pmuis:

You didn't give permission? Are you going to take legal steps?

I just want an attribution for our team that made this boardset and code possible. Mike can either fess up now or after someone inevitably dumps the A/V I2C EEPROM and finds them near identical - his choice!

Mike used:

Board design and processor configuration (obvious from the board photos I posted above)
Audio/video kernel code (obvious from how scores and text is drawn)
Basic AMH framework and menu system code (obvious from how menu system is lifted from AMH)

Oh and there's also this:

email (resized).jpg

#1611 1 year ago

I actually agree with Mike's points, it's why we built our system the way we did and clearly why he liked it.

I'd like to get down to a single MCU / MPU at some point but that's difficult with everyone expecting HD graphics now. That's why people slap PC's in pins, it's the fastest way to get that kind of display.

#1624 1 year ago

The ability for color Spooky games to update themselves over SD card is purely software.

The Homepin clone would have this same ability if his programmers were clever enough to figure out how I did it (now that we are closed source)

Regarding swapping chips. The game code is embedded on flash INSIDE the PIC32, which is a surface mount IC with 100 tiny pins.


An end user would have to be a PCB rework technician to swap that.

#1634 1 year ago

A few years back Chuck got wind of someone (not Mike) trying to build an AMH from scratch (like when NBA Fastbreak gets turned into MM) so we took down all source code and started to only provide HEX for updates (pre-compiled)

I wrote the auto-update code after we went closed-source (for RZ) So the auto-updating trick has never been publicly available, which is why Mike's boards can't update themselves via SD.

Swapping out "boards", the best way to do that would be a MCU module like this but would be very expensive:

Shipping stuff (like replacement boards) out of China is cheap thanks to this loophole:

But customers sending boards back would be a nightmare.

Also, here's the Iron Man "Icing Problem?" moment! There's a bug in the AMH SD handling routine that can cause the display to lock up, and we fixed it AFTER we went closed source. Oops!

#1705 1 year ago

This argument first came up after I saw Thunderbirds DMD footage in this topic. Did some comparisons there too. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinball-designers-please-listen/page/3#post-3970293

That convinced me he copied / reworked out board set and AV kernel, and then seeing the video on this topic of the Thunderbirds game menu it became likely he copied the AMH game code framework as well.

You know why AMH has great code? Because I spent thousands of hours on it. Which means I know it better than the back of my hand, and can spot it a mile away.

#1717 1 year ago

pinHeck system was:

Ben Heckendorn (system design and kernels)
Parker Dillmann (board design and manufacture)
Chris Kraft (dot conversion tools)
Roy Eltham (audio subsystem programming)

At the very least there should be an acknowledgement that his system was based off our work.

#1755 1 year ago

I know (based off video evidence and photos of his PCB) that Mike copied our entire electronics system. Far beyond "inspiration".

But a partial admission + rage quit is enough for me.

#1791 1 year ago

The pinHeck board set is still freely available online: https://github.com/LonghornEngineer/Pinheck_Pinball_System/tree/master/Hardware/Pinheck%20Main%20Board

But it has the following license attached: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

If you're really bored, feel free to compare the Eagle files linked above to the Homepin board photo attached below. Granted it's half the PCB, but everything matches up to things on the pinHeck system so I assume the rest is a straight copy as well.

Take note of:

1) WS2801 RGB drivers and TIP102's on upper left (Spooky backbox / cabinet RGB)
2) The "PIC reset" and "PIC programmer" headers indicating same main MCU as well.
3) Same non-standard 6.5HMz crystal for the Propeller (we slightly overclock usually it's 5MHz another dead giveaway)
4) Banks of pull up resistors going to AND gates for MOSFETs coil control. (nobody else uses AND gates for this)
5) 74HC595 shift register and TIP's for cabinet GI (lower right corner)
6) DMD connector going to same pins on Propeller chip. (middle)

homepin (resized).jpg

#1869 1 year ago

For the record, I am not trying to stop Homepin from selling their game. I just want our team to be acknowledged for the work we did which allowed Mike to go from dead engineer to working prototype in less than a year.

I don't know how many of you are on AtariAge. There was a stink a while back when current owner of the Colecovision trademark was going after homebrew cart makers. People did some digging and discovered the trademark holders acquired the (then abandoned) mark by proving usage of the mark using photos of a prototype handheld Colecovision I made.

That pissed me off, and made my fuse incredibly short when it came to Thunderbirds.

#1893 1 year ago

I'm willing to bury the hatchet. I just wanted our work to be acknowledged, which it has been.

11 months later
#3061 9 months ago

The Chinese Pin Heck System would be perfectly capable of self-updating via an SD card (like Rob Zombie, Dominoes and Jetsons) if Mike had my custom firmware

1 week later
#3083 8 months ago
Quoted from scott_freeman:

- a video scan-line on the DMD kept scrolling up

Hahaha that's because it's using the AMH video code!

1 month later
#3331 7 months ago

I think what happens is these guys spend 90% of their time spooling up a company and just 10% on the game design.

And yes the belly button flipper buttons do feel weird.

1 month later
#3440 5 months ago

Hey it's the same high score entry screen as AMH!

So they stole our boards AND code. Wankers.

2 months later
#3700 3 months ago

Yeah they lifted the Spooky code before I made it self-updating over SD card.


1 month later
#3823 76 days ago

The flipper buttons are normal size but they have a pronounced indent inside them, much more concave than normal.

They really do feel weird.

#3852 75 days ago

What boggles my mind is Mike spent what 5 or 6 years setting up a company and making all these parts in China but clearly put very little effort into the actual game design itself. Hell that's the easy part!

It reminds when of when Kevin dragged that POS Predaturd around to every show to scam people out of money yet never made improvements to the game itself. If your ramps are in a bad place no amount of reworking them is going to magically change physics and help the ball up.

There's a decent amount of stuff in TBAG compared to a Stern Pro but the theme + weak PF kills it (weak PF is OK as long as word "Predator" is on cabinet) He even remade the WCS moving target a mech I don't think you can buy anywhere right now. What a waste.

2 months later
#4006 7 days ago

It's a total clone right down to using AMH's high score entry screen so yes, the RZ libraries could probably plunk right into it.

But yeah probably not worth it. Game isn't very good. Too bad as there's some cool stuff like the WCS swinging target they cloned, don't think there's a source for those other than Homepin.

The sound system is very robust that was probably the most impressive thing I saw. Heard, rather.

#4021 6 days ago

Mike's critical error was spending 95% of his time creating a factory and 5% of the time designing a pin.

This thing was announced in what, 2012, 2013? For "release in 2015" and was 3 years late. In all that time they couldn't improve the design? Back in 2013 there were still a lot of designers freelance before Stern and DeepPockets gobbled them up.

Granted I think the plan was to become a parts supplier and just use the pin as an example but practically any homebrewer could do better than this.

It kind of reminds me of Predaturd how they dragged that thing to shows for 2 years but never once tweaked any aspect of the design.

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