(Topic ID: 138459)

How Long Does It Take To Swap A Heighway Pinball Game?


By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Vdrums
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34
#1 4 years ago

We are often asked how long it takes to change a Heighway Pinball game into an existing cabinet - and what is involved in making this change.

All is revealed in the following video...

#2 4 years ago

Cant wait to swap in an Alien.
How about the apron?

Thanks

#3 4 years ago

I asked Andrew to film this, I'd never seen it myself. I said "it takes what? 10-15 minutes or so?" He just laughed at me. Now I know why!

#4 4 years ago

Great video and 'fair', they weren't moving at warp speed or anything.

#5 4 years ago

a bit faster than swapping a pin2000 [less connectors] (not including the auto-plunge/shooter rod change out). very nice

with the exception of the guy "dragging" the playfield across the floor. oh, the horror!!

love the drop-in side art panels

#6 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Great video and 'fair', they weren't moving at warp speed or anything.

Now I want to see one sped up to Yakety Sax!

#7 4 years ago

Awesome

#8 4 years ago

You're cheating.
Assuming it were different backglass and set of side arts, it would have taken a good 5 extra seconds

#9 4 years ago
Quoted from j_m_:

with the exception of the guy "dragging" the playfield across the floor. oh, the horror!!

I liked that. Let's see them beat the shit out of their games. He wants pinball on location and ops doing this, so good to know they're engineered to not be babied.

#10 4 years ago

He only dragged it on the metal rails didn't seem touch the ground with anything else...

#11 4 years ago

Very cool! Will you need to upload the game software each time or will it be like Nucore where the system can auto-detect the playfield and loads the correct software at boot-up?

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

Very cool! Will you need to upload the game software each time or will it be like Nucore where the system can auto-detect the playfield and loads the correct software at boot-up?

I noticed we didn't show that. You just plug the new game's USB stick in - and let it boot from there

#13 4 years ago

That's pretty awesome

Glad to see heighway push the development on making games more modular. This a big step forward

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

Very cool! Will you need to upload the game software each time or will it be like Nucore where the system can auto-detect the playfield and loads the correct software at boot-up?

Maybe it's embedded in the playfied and the wires are only for the backbox display and lights. I don't think the backbox holds anything besides that.

#15 4 years ago

This video has to have a certain other Pinball Manufacturer a little nervous looking towards the future of the industry.

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from j_m_:

"dragging" the playfield across the floor

Quoted from homebrood:

He only dragged it on the metal rails

I'm assuming the rails are engineered so that this "playfield drag" can be done without components touching the ground (on a flat surface), right?

#17 4 years ago

Damn that's awesome !!....Just about as fast as this famous scene....
tumblr_m6nsbzoMJI1rv4c4zo1_400.gif

#18 4 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I'm assuming the rails are engineered so that this "playfield drag" can be done without components touching the ground (on a flat surface), right?

The rails are designed for the game to be put down on them, so yeah. What the video didn't show that Andrew told me is you just put the old playfield in the crate the new one came in, and it fits underneath your pin. So easy to store. I dunno how many you could stack at once. Andrew, and idea what the max is for storing under one game?

#19 4 years ago

Well, I was a buyer under 3 mins. But 3.5 mins.....who has that kind of time to spend on a PF swap??

Very impressive!

#20 4 years ago

I don't see wanting to swap pinball playfields like console discs, but I imagine I could rotate games once a month easily or something.

The real money here is for ops, having a spare playfield in their trunk and rotating games from location to location way more frequently.

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I don't see wanting to swap pinball playfields like console discs, but I imagine I could rotate games once a month easily or something.
The real money here is for ops, having a spare playfield in their trunk and rotating games from location to location way more frequently.

It's op friendly and home friendly for sure. But I agree, I wouldn't swap games like discs either. But I could totally see doing a weekend swap deal, where I rotate in a new game for the week. Or I've got people coming over that night and want to drop in a game that's good for groups. Or take out an adult themed one before a party and replace it with something more family safe.

21
#22 4 years ago

I couldn't resist making this too:

You know you wanted to see (and hear!) that.

#23 4 years ago
Quoted from Yipykya:

This video has to have a certain other Pinball Manufacturer a little nervous looking towards the future of the industry.

Let's just say, if they can make good titles, theme, rules, artwork, reliability (etc..) Stern will be in pig trouble.

FTH is probably a -1 on a scale of 1-10 for me, so while it looks nice I'd rather not buy it. But start making nice titles and the buyers will come.

#24 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

What the video didn't show that Andrew told me is you just put the old playfield in the crate the new one came in, and it fits underneath your pin.

Oh, sweet. Good design, Heighway.

Quoted from Aurich:

I dunno how many you could stack at once. Andrew, an[y] idea what the max is for storing under one game?

Depends on how tall you want that pin. My guess is one for us commoners. ...but maybe several for Todd McCullough.

#25 4 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Depends on how tall you want that pin. My guess is one

Yeah, that'd be my guess, too. What I really want to know is can you store the crated playfields standing up vertically? I assume so...that would help a a lot with storing them in a closet or something.

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from Roo:

What I really want to know is can you store the crated playfields standing up vertically?

Can't think why not...they will be shipped in that box and probably stacked all sorts of ways in transit.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

Can't think why not...they will be shipped in that box and probably stacked all sorts of ways in transit.

Yeah, if you can ship it in a box you can store it in a box however I would think.

#28 4 years ago

Very nice! Looks well thought out and built, much more sturdy seeming than say the "pro's" from the competition.

I hope to see one on location and give it a shot!

#29 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Let's just say, if they can make good titles, theme, rules, artwork, reliability (etc..) Stern will be in pig trouble.
FTH is probably a -1 on a scale of 1-10 for me, so while it looks nice I'd rather not buy it. But start making nice titles and the buyers will come.

Have you played it? Theme wise it does nothing for me. I'm a huge fan of Walking Dead. I'd buy Full Throttle way before TWD and I only played it for like 5 minutes. I'm not a Stern hater, most of my collection is Stern at this point. Give it a shot before you make that judgement. I didn't see anyone that played it that wasn't impressed.

#30 4 years ago
Quoted from Shredso:

Have you played it? Theme wise it does nothing for me. I'm a huge fan of Walking Dead. I'd buy Full Throttle way before TWD and I only played it for like 5 minutes. I'm not a Stern hater, most of my collection is Stern at this point. Give it a shot before you make that judgement. I didn't see anyone that played it that wasn't impressed.

It will be at Expo this year, and hopefully more than one, so if you're going you should get a chance for some proper game time.

#31 4 years ago

I can fit 3-4 games in my office but its a pain to get games in and out and i need someone to help me. Once I get a Heighway cabinet in my office it will be so much more convenient to just order playfield kits and swap them in and out as needed.

I'm hopeful when Alien ships that a "starter" bundle might be offered which includes a standard cabinet with both Alien & Full Throttle Playfields. If a local gets a Heighway cabinet and purchases the 3rd or 4th title I think it would be so easy to swap kits with them etc.

#32 4 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

If a local gets a Heighway cabinet and purchases the 3rd or 4th title I think it would be so easy to swap kits with them etc.

Word! Like swapin' NES titles with a grade-school buddy.

#33 4 years ago
Quoted from Yipykya:

This video has to have a certain other Pinball Manufacturer a little nervous looking towards the future of the industry.

This is very true. The pro models are not as good as this for around the same money ( less money in UK ) And that's without the game swops. Of course you have to have good titles but Alien is a very strong licence.

#34 4 years ago

As I'm currently looking for a machine to strip for a whitewood, this makes me think: How open are the electronics? With the playfield so modular, could be a great platform for home builders.

#35 4 years ago
Quoted from willbot:

As I'm currently looking for a machine to strip for a whitewood, this makes me think: How open are the electronics? With the playfield so modular, could be a great platform for home builders.

Do not have the source by hand at the moment, but Andrew mentioned that they made some of their assets available to a developer group. If they come up with a good concept, Heighway even takes it into consideration to make a production model out of it.

#36 4 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

Do not have the source by hand at the moment, but Andrew mentioned that they made some of their assets available to a developer group. If they come up with a good concept, Heighway even takes it into consideration to make a production model out of it.

Sweet! Any link or details on that?

#37 4 years ago
Quoted from willbot:

Sweet! Any link or details on that?

I am not sure where I have seen or read it. A good start might be watching the videos on Heighway's YouTube channel.

#38 4 years ago
Quoted from Shredso:

Have you played it? Theme wise it does nothing for me. I'm a huge fan of Walking Dead. I'd buy Full Throttle way before TWD and I only played it for like 5 minutes. I'm not a Stern hater, most of my collection is Stern at this point. Give it a shot before you make that judgement. I didn't see anyone that played it that wasn't impresse

This. And I am in the exact same situation. Would pick Full Throttle over TWD without hesitation after playing both games.

#40 4 years ago

I have not stopped it on my side, but it goes really fast.

A lot of people asked us to see how it works and we showed it during the APO 2015.

It is really a great feature for people which have not so much space or for operators

#41 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I don't see wanting to swap pinball playfields like console discs, but I imagine I could rotate games once a month easily or something.
The real money here is for ops, having a spare playfield in their trunk and rotating games from location to location way more frequently.

The main thing is really the lower cost to add new games and not being 'stuck' so to speak with a single game in a cabine.

The industry should have standardized something like this a long time ago. Would have opened pinball up to more people.

#42 4 years ago
Quoted from Sticky:

The industry should have standardized something like this a long time ago. Would have opened pinball up to more people.

They did, was called Pin2K, it's not a new idea. But obviously it never had a chance to take off, and no one (well Stern really) was willing to try it again afterwards.

#43 4 years ago

It is kind of surprising really given the popularity of arcade machines that did the same thing well before Pin2k came out. Swap out the game board, marquee, and (sometimes) control panel and boom — new game. Operators loved the flexibility of this so I'm sure it would have taken off in the pinball world too.

#44 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

They did, was called Pin2K, it's not a new idea. But obviously it never had a chance to take off, and no one (well Stern really) was willing to try it again afterwards.

I see but I assume Pin2k had some major differences? I'll have to read about it.

#45 4 years ago
Quoted from Sticky:

I see but I assume Pin2k had some major differences? I'll have to read about it.

Well they had swappable playfields. They didn't have swappable side art, those were decals, so it wasn't a "back and forth" kind of thing, more like "get a kit to upgrade your game to the latest". I've never done the swap, but my impression is that it's not nearly as easy as what Heighway has.

Anyone ever swapped over a Star Wars Ep 1 / Revenge from Mars? Should maybe start a new thread to ask.

Part of the problem is the Ep 1 game sucks, so no one wants to change over a RFM to it.

#46 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I've never done the swap, but my impression is that it's not nearly as easy as what Heighway has.

I, too, have heard the P2K swap is a bear, but also never tried. However, after seeing Heighway's video on their swap, I can't imagine a P2K swap being anywhere near that easy.

#47 4 years ago

I had a RFM and I can tell you the playfield was easy to pull almost completely out of the cabinet without disconnecting anything. You can slide it out and set the front edge on the ground, or just tip it up like a standard Williams/Bally/Stern. There were maybe 4 or 5 Molex connectors toward the back of the playfield to disconnect if you were going to swap it out with SWEP1. The playfield rails and cab mechs were all very solid and a dream to work on (not like some of the crappy designs you see on today's NIB pins). Its Achilles heel is the obsolete PC, proprietary video card (Prism). To make the swap you'd have to pull the PC chassis out of the head, pull out the Prism card, and swap something on that card. I never did it and I'm just going by what I remember reading about the process. I can't imagine doing it often and it's delicate work, not for anyone without prior PC building experience. Obviously Nucore would make the swap a lot easier. You could also build a dedicated PC for each playfield and just swap the whole chassis. I think it was a good idea but they chose the wrong hardware. Anytime you ask people to pull cards off a PC mobo and swap memory chips you are asking for trouble. Obviously Heighway's method is a hell of a lot better, but they have the advantage of better available technology too.

#48 4 years ago
Quoted from Jgaltr56:

Obviously Heighway's method is a hell of a lot better, but they have the advantage of better available technology too.

Yeah, Pin2K was weirdly timed in that regard. Big heavy CRT for one!

3 weeks later
#49 4 years ago

Cost involved ?

#50 4 years ago
Quoted from stretch2:

Cost involved ?

60% of the purchase price of an entire pin= roughly $3600

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