(Topic ID: 240507)

How fast is the ball?


By supersonicpin

67 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 25 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 63 days ago by trumpy
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 67 days ago

    Ever wondered how fast that silver ball is actually travelling? I did, so I measured it! I set up a strobe light to flash every 0.1 second and took a long exposure picture. I see up to about 3 miles per hour on my Super Sonic.

    Ball_Speed (resized).JPG
    #2 67 days ago

    I have heard they go up to 20mph

    #3 66 days ago

    3mph is roughly walking speed. Wondering if there are times when it significantly exceeds that? Cool experiment

    #4 66 days ago

    My assumption is that an EM game would be significantly slower then a modern game with ramps, upper playfields and coil kickbacks.

    #5 66 days ago

    I've always kind of wondered that too, cool post.

    I've also wondered when the ball is moving that fast, is it rolling or sliding?

    #6 66 days ago

    this would be really cool to do on multiple games of different eras and manufacturers!

    also compare pre and post wax

    #7 66 days ago
    Quoted from MT45:

    3mph is roughly walking speed. Wondering if there are times when it significantly exceeds that? Cool experiment

    You can't make direct comparisons between the speed of a human body and a 1 1/8" ball -- you'd have to scale the speed to something more comparable. "Walking speed" sounds slow, but your leg traveling 3 feet is much different than that tiny ball traveling 3 feet. Speaking in terms of perception, of course. That's why RC cars and what not often have their speed calculated as relative, so you get a sense of what the actual speed is relative to the size of the vehicle it is replicating.

    tl;dr: 3mph sounds slow, but appears fast with a tiny ball traveling within a tiny space.

    #8 66 days ago
    Quoted from ktownhero:

    3mph sounds slow, but appears fast with a tiny ball traveling within a tiny space.

    Perhaps it would sound more impressive to use a different set of units. That ball's speed is clocked at over eight thousand furlongs per fortnight, for instance.

    #9 66 days ago

    that’s probably somewhat slow compared to other games. Like to see for example the speed of ball shot out of War Machine on IM.

    #10 66 days ago

    Didn't Checkpoint kinda have this when making the left ramp shot. Not exactly MPH ...

    #12 66 days ago

    Vector has told me around 763 or so.

    #13 66 days ago
    Quoted from supersonicpin:

    Ever wondered how fast that silver ball is actually travelling?

    Depends on how much I've been drinking.

    #14 66 days ago

    *Puts on nerd hat*

    Ball speed will be a function of many things, including but not limited to era, coil/flipper strength, flipper linkage design, pitch of PF, wax...etc.

    Let's say Stern has the "snappiest" (strongest) flippers, in theory the fastest a ball could go would be at the very end of a flip, just as the ball leaves contact with the flipper rubber, on a low pitched game, freshly waxed, and probably was screaming down the inlane to carry as much momentum as possible into the flip. As soon as it leaves the flipper tip, it's a ball rolling up hill and will instantly start to lose speed, even if not observable by the naked eye.

    Another issue with calculating up to MPH is that if we wanted to measure the speed at this point off the flipper tip, any error in measurement over these few inches gets multiplied up to miles. Same thing with milliseconds being blown up to hours.

    Lastly, a single point of reference (i.e. a camera) over a grid of lines can introduce error based on distance from said grid and resulting angles. The closer the camera, and the wider the distance being measured, the more of an angle exists between the camera, start, and finish. This means you may not log the exact moment something crosses a plane, as the camera is not aligned to that plane. This is why the Mythbusters always bring the highspeed camera far away from the grid when calculating speed. Perhaps photogates would be a good way to measure something this fast in a modern Stern?

    TLDR: It's a super cool test, and I'd estimate newer games are producing speeds far in excess of 3MPH... but with the potential equipment, measurement, and calculation errors involved, to button down exact speeds would require a fair amount of work and control to ensure accuracy.

    #15 66 days ago

    Probably a better unit would be to use inches per second. 3 MPH relates to 52.8 inches per second which when you think about it is moving pretty fast. I’m sure the speed is significantly higher for some of the newer games. I’ve heard that the force of the ball hitting the targets is roughly like holding the ball 3 feet up and dropping it. Try this on your bare foot and see how the stand-up targets must feel.

    #16 66 days ago

    Or Paper Th

    Quoted from GSones:

    I’ve heard that the force of the ball hitting the targets is roughly like holding the ball 3 feet up and dropping it. Try this on your bare foot and see how the stand-up targets must feel.

    Or Paperthin plastics on Whitewater, Airbals on Space Shuttle Ramps or other cheaply constructed pinball parts. Think that speed analogy of inches per second is a good one or add metric fun here.

    #17 66 days ago

    The RIPPER on my LAH has got to be sending the ball much faster than 3mph, regardless of size differential!

    #18 66 days ago
    Quoted from ktownhero:

    you'd have to scale the speed to something more comparable

    Big toe speed?

    #19 66 days ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    and probably was screaming down the inlane to carry as much momentum as possible into the flip.

    My theory is the maximum speed off a flipper would be attained by energizing the flipper at the precise moment that the ball's inertia was redirected forward off the flipper's static, at rest, position. (The ball would be beginning a dead-flip bounce). The ball would also have to be at the end of the flipper bat.

    #20 66 days ago
    Quoted from GSones:

    Try this on your bare foot and see how the stand-up targets must feel.

    Just had a target snap of on my Gottlieb panthera, and I thought of you. I think it will be my new pinball term "Agony of defeet!"

    #21 66 days ago
    Quoted from CNKay:

    Just had a target snap of on my Gottlieb panthera, and I thought of you. I think it will be my new pinball term "Agony of defeet!"

    Sorry, didn't mean to jinx you. Nice game and a beautiful art package on that one.

    #22 66 days ago

    3 miles per hour = 52.8 inches per second.

    Considering the length of a standard playfield is approximately 43 inches (even less so, since I just used the size of playfield glass) it would take a ball 0.814 seconds to travel from the very base of the playfield, (where the hangers are) to reach the very back of the playfield, where the backboard is.

    Seems pretty quick to me. And that's just on the OPs game.

    #23 66 days ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    3 miles per hour = 52.8 inches per second.
    Considering the length of a standard playfield is approximately 43 inches (even less so, since I just used the size of playfield glass) it would take a ball 0.814 seconds to travel from the very base of the playfield, (where the hangers are) to reach the very back of the playfield, where the backboard is.
    Seems pretty quick to me. And that's just on the OPs game.

    This seems like a plausible and realistic number for this older EM game. I bet there are games that are WAY faster though. F-14 tomcat comes to mind, I bet you could flip a ball the length of the playfield in 0.5 of a second, even faster if you snapped just right off the momentum of the kickback.

    #24 66 days ago
    Quoted from Luckydogg420:

    This seems like a plausible and realistic number for this older EM game. I bet there are games that are WAY faster though. F-14 tomcat comes to mind, I bet you could flip a ball the length of the playfield in 0.5 of a second, even faster if you snapped just right off the momentum of the kickback.

    Yep, just putting into perspective for those that think 3 mph is a slow speed for a pinball.

    #25 63 days ago

    just got my johnny mnemonic going for the first time . WOW ITS FAST!!!

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