Let's figure out the minimum parts to build a whitewood


By Aurich

2 years ago


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    There are 1817 posts in topic. You are on page 20 of 37.
    #951 2 years ago

    For what it's worth, here are my thoughts on P3/Lexi Lightspeed after playing it at SFGE a couple of weeks ago.

    I only played 1 game, so I did not get to experience much of the gameplay. What I did see of the gameplay was pretty neat. Seeing things like smoke trails from the ball on the LCD screen was a new experience. I wasn't playing it to see what Lexi Lightspeed was like though, I was playing it to check out the concept of having a ball tracking LCD as part of the playfield.

    The platform wants to be a pinball machine, but is definitely not a video game. I think it might have more success as something entirely new. A lot of this is off the cuff, so some (or all) may not stand up to scrutiny.

    The LCD concept feels like it is being held back by the need to hang onto things like slings, outlanes and inlanes. Come up with a new experience down on the bottom of the playfield as well, other than just the LCD. Why not eliminate outlanes in the traditional sense and redesign the apron so the flippers become part of the apron area versus a very industrial feeling linkage apparatus.

    Make it more than about the traditional pinball game. Go on a bender and play Mario Party for 2 days straight then write some mini-games on the platform. Make it a competitive thing. 4 player mini-games somehow tied to pinball skill.

    Again, just brainstorming, so you may have already thought of this stuff and I'm thinking I discovered the gas engine.

    tl;dr - The P3 has a lot of potential, but I think it's limited by the desire to make it a "real" pinball machine. What is a real pinball machine anyway.

    #952 2 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    May I recommend the main pinball vendors?

    The worry here is so much is out of stock and game specific. If I'm going to pirate parts used is cheaper, maybe. However am I depleting finite stock that could be preserving vintage games? My thinking here is to maybe ID in this forum parts that are new stock that's not robbing Peter to pay Paul. If I want a single drop target assembly I don't want to take the 'Space Shuttle' specific ones if I can find new (not NOS). I'm not sure how to tell which is which. I also might not feel bad taking the last used space shuttle or Centaur drop target assemblies off eBay if I know new replacement parts are available.

    On my list to-do would be contacting Marco/BAM/PBL to ask which parts are currently manufactured vs NOS.

    #953 2 years ago
    Quoted from VacFink:

    The worry here is so much is out of stock and game specific. If I'm going to pirate parts used is cheaper, maybe

    I've already been down this road. I started with a gutted Stern Memory Lane. Only parts I really ended up using off of it was the ball trough / apron. The flippers were weak, and the sling mechs were a pain to get lined up (because it's multiple pieces) and turned my playfield into swiss cheese. I ended up just buying modern sling and flipper assemblies from pinball life for $40 each. The one VUK I have is a used SEGA (since nobody really makes them). If you intend to do multiball, you pretty much have to buy the $129 Stern trough (supposedly PBL is working on an aftermarket of their own). I'm really surprised Stern hasn't redesigned the trough as a single injection molded piece (glass filled nylon is as tough or tougher than aluminum). I could see building a trough for less than $30 in parts with less labor if someone were willing to invest in a mold.

    #954 2 years ago
    Quoted from VacFink:

    The worry here is so much is out of stock and game specific. If I'm going to pirate parts used is cheaper, maybe. However am I depleting finite stock that could be preserving vintage games? My thinking here is to maybe ID in this forum parts that are new stock that's not robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    Stick with brand new Williams stuff because it's cheap and bulletproof.

    Flipper mechs, pop mechs, slingshots, ball trough......

    Not only are you not killing a classic game, but you are letting people know who buy your stuff that they can get parts cheaply in the future.

    #955 2 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    I could see building a trough for less than $30 in parts with less labor if someone were willing to invest in a mold.

    Casting in fiber glass, injection molding, or vacuum forming?

    #956 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Stick with brand new Williams stuff because it's cheap and bulletproof.

    Flipper mechs, pop mechs, slingshots, ball trough......

    Not only are you not killing a classic game, but you are letting people know who buy your stuff that they can get parts cheaply in the future.

    Thanks Vid. That is good to know and if I had a preference that is where I was headed used or new without better options. It sounds like for the common parts at least its the way to go.

    I don't have any desire to manufacture machines, however if I go through the process of designing a game and making my own art for a playfield, I would love to share it, so screening a few extra playfields and selling them so others can make their own seems viable as long as the parts are available.

    #957 2 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    The platform wants to be a pinball machine, but is definitely not a video game. I think it might have more success as something entirely new. A lot of this is off the cuff, so some (or all) may not stand up to scrutiny.

    I appreciate your comments. One of the biggest advantages of the modularity is that we can experiment with different things and go down paths similar to some that you're suggesting. Gotta start somewhere though. We'll certainly have some future games that push the boundaries in all directions, and hopefully some 3rd party developers will do the same. (Not all though, we still want a nice selection of traditional-style pinball games and variations thereof. After all, pinball is loved for particular reasons.) The risk of experimenting is significantly less for a P3 game kit than for a full stand-alone machine. So we're all excited to see what ideas get implemented and which ones succeed.

    - Gerry
    http://www.multimorphic.com

    #958 2 years ago
    Quoted from VacFink:

    It sounds like for the common parts at least its the way to go.

    Sure.

    The patents have long ran out on that Williams stuff, so they reproduce it by the truckload.

    #959 2 years ago
    Quoted from VacFink:

    Casting in fiber glass, injection molding, or vacuum forming?

    Vacuum forming "might" hold up so long as the balls don't drop in the trough, but the solenoid firing thousands of times might cause cracking because of the limited material choices. Injection molding would be the way to go, you could rib the hell out of it, and add all the switch mounts, holes, solenoid mount. A mold could pop out easily 100,000 parts (with some maintenance on the injection gate).

    I built a shield for 2 levels of a product for work, one is aluminum and one is glass filled. surprisingly, during life testing the aluminum one formed a crack and bent, the plastic one didn't even crack and actually broke a cinder block.

    #960 2 years ago
    Quoted from VacFink:

    The worry here is so much is out of stock and game specific. If I'm going to pirate parts used is cheaper, maybe. However am I depleting finite stock that could be preserving vintage games? My thinking here is to maybe ID in this forum parts that are new stock that's not robbing Peter to pay Paul. If I want a single drop target assembly I don't want to take the 'Space Shuttle' specific ones if I can find new (not NOS). I'm not sure how to tell which is which. I also might not feel bad taking the last used Space Shuttle or Centaur drop target assemblies off eBay if I know new replacement parts are available.
    On my list to-do would be contacting Marco/BAM/PBL to ask which parts are currently manufactured vs NOS.

    The flippers/slings/pop bumpers are all new stuff and were the bulk of what I inferred you wanted so I would go ahead and not worry about that stuff. Most items "in stock" and not listed as NOS should be reasonably available for anyone.

    The only stuff that I would say is tough to implement are drop targets. The only drops presently in manufacture (to my knowledge) are the various Stern mechs on modern games and they are neither cheap nor readily available as an off-the shelf purchase.

    At the end of the day, if your primary concern is not taking up parts that a restorer needs, you need to build your own stuff which means $$$ and wasted time building stuff that doesn't work trying to replicate mechs that do work.

    The hobby is small to start with and the number of people wanting custom drop target mechs is even smaller. The only way a hobbyist is going to build a one-off machine for a reasonable price (IMO at least) is by using existing junk.

    My two cents

    #961 2 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    The only stuff that I would say is tough to implement are drop targets.

    Back in the old days if you wanted to make a drop target cage, you would need to make a set of dies and stamp them out.

    Now you can just laser, plasma or waterjet and have them bent.

    The patents have long ago run out, so anyone could make a bunch for experimenting, and a bunch to sell for replacement parts.

    The custom bling guys would love to have their drop cages cut from mirror stainless.

    » YouTube video

    #962 2 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    The only way a hobbyist is going to build a one-off machine for a reasonable price (IMO at least) is by using existing junk.

    I agree and intend too, I'm not looking to re-invent pinball. I'm an artist and custom guy, so I find it hard to leave anything stock. My goal is to make a few machines over time that I want for myself. I'll leave it open source and maybe sell a few silk screened play fields so others can have their own should they want to put in the time, presuming there's any interest. Keeping the parts simple helps make that reasonable and plays in to my skill set.

    My goal is to make a simple 80's style SS, no toys, or complex ramps, or DMD. A starter home brew using the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) approach. Put in the things that I like on a playfield, try to make it feel fresh as I can make it, and get over the hump of programing a basic rule set, lights, and sound. Then take on more complex parts in future builds when I have a strong base.

    #963 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Back in the old days if you wanted to make a drop target cage, you would need to make a set of dies and stamp them out.
    Now you can just laser, plasma or waterjet and have them bent.
    The patents have long ago run out, so anyone could make a bunch for experimenting, and a bunch to sell for replacement parts.
    The custom bling guys would love to have their drop cages cut from mirror stainless.
    » YouTube video

    Agreed, but imo it still comes down to the questions: do you want to build a pinball machine, and/or do you want to build mechanisms? Neither are wrong, but building a reliably working drop mechanism (or flipper mech, pop mech, etc...) will be a (probably fun) project in it's own right that will add to the unknowns and time to the end 'pinball machine' project.

    I have had this discussion regarding pinball electronics as well: if you 'simply' want to build a pinball machine use P-ROC and/or FAST with MPF or pyprocgame, etc.... but if you also want to design electronics then by all means start from scratch, but realize "pinball electronic hardware" will be a project on its own and ultimately will result in you reaching the 'working pinball machine' goal later rather than sooner.

    Ultimately, you have to determine what the goals are in your project - there are no wrong methods or ideas unless you aren't personally enjoying the work. I for one have messed around enough with "good" drop target assemblies in old and new machines to know that I (a mechanical design engineer) don't really want to design one from scratch in my free time during my pinball machine project - my goal in a custom machine at this point is a working playable game with a great theme and ruleset, but that's not necessarily everyones goal or path (see Jpop custom cabinet glass/hinges/airvents/etc...)

    #964 2 years ago

    This has been an interesting read! I'm out of the loop and not working much on my project lately because we're expecting a baby and tearing our garage down / rebuilding while the weather is nice. Last winter put quite a beating on the old structure. Bonus : 125A service in the new one, so I'll essentially have a 750 sq foot 'workshop' with piles of power to play with.

    Keep it up dudes, I enjoy reading this thread when I have the time!

    #965 2 years ago

    I would like to see a more economic approach to the droptarget assembly, now it's way to big!

    #966 2 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    Agreed, but imo it still comes down to the questions: do you want to build a pinball machine, and/or do you want to build mechanisms?

    Both of course!

    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    building a reliably working drop mechanism (or flipper mech, pop mech, etc...) will be a (probably fun) project in it's own right that will add to the unknowns and time to the end 'pinball machine' project.

    Since the patents are expired, just copy the classic Bally Drop mechs.

    Totally bomb proof, no U-contacts, plenty of blank targets made for them - the best there ever was.

    #967 2 years ago

    Stern Star Trek memory drop target runs $182. If someone made a few they could rake in some $$$, add a design for a scoop VUK (front and front/rear designs would be nice) since just the bracket alone runs around $80+.

    #968 2 years ago
    Quoted from Cappi:

    Stern Star Trek memory drop target runs $182

    it's crazy what stuff sells for, that's what happens when stuff isn't regularly available. Heck, even a 5-bank from capcom is $150
    http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/A-00154

    #969 2 years ago

    So here's my question: do you really need a coil for a drop target? If you wanted individually controllable drops what about using a servo? Too slow? Not strong enough?

    #970 2 years ago

    Servos are plenty strong, but probably too complex for the task.

    The old Bally and Stern had a small coil for each drop to make them individually controllable.

    #971 2 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    do you really need a coil for a drop target? If you wanted individually controllable drops what about using a servo? Too slow? Not strong enough?

    Servos have gotten much better since the 90's, and CHEAP. The servos that Chuck is using at spooky for the door is a hobbyking (famous remote control hobby website that imports parts from china), mostly known for the very powerful turnigy brushless motors. Servos last a long time because they're sealed, and they dont' get dirty like a coil can. Servos also run on much lower voltage (I believe 6v).

    Servos won't replace coils for flippers, slings, or a ball troughs because they don't have enough kick, but resetting targets should be fine (you're just moving it back up to the notch that the spring popped it out from)

    #972 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Both of course!

    You crazy man

    Since the patents are expired, just copy the classic Bally Drop mechs.

    Which would require a bally mech to copy, which means you already have the mech (or one close to working) to use in your homebrew game If we're talking about mass producing things, that's a different argument and debate altogether (imo). If someone wants to start building cheap drop target mechs for us to buy, please be my guest.

    What's fun about homebrew pinball is theres something for everyone, no matter where their 'tinkering' passions lie. Layout, artwork, programming, mechanisms, electrical, animations... you can do all of them, one of them, or any combination thereof.

    #973 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Servos are plenty strong, but probably too complex for the task.
    The old Bally and Stern had a small coil for each drop to make them individually controllable.

    Yeah, that just seems like overkill, surely there's a way to do it all with a servo. Maybe instead of a spring the target has a switch, more like a standup, and the servo modulates the up and down position.

    #974 2 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Yeah, that just seems like overkill, surely there's a way to do it all with a servo. Maybe instead of a spring the target has a switch, more like a standup, and the servo modulates the up and down position.

    That would be easy to do.

    The blinds on Tommy are servos, and are always broken. We would have to make sure that all the gears on our servos were metal, lol.

    #975 2 years ago

    You could almost certainly build a two-axis servo mechanism to individually control targets within a bank of drop targets for a whopping fifteen or twenty bucks (retail cost). Those individual small solenoids are what, 10 bucks each?

    I'd put in a position that reset the whole bank while I was at it, but you could do any combination of linked targets with some offset contact brackets or whatever the appropriate term for those would be. You'd have to consider how to account for failure modes where things bind up, the plates get bent or fatigue, or the servo is misaligned. I feel like it'd take up more space as well compared to the older mini-solenoids. Also requires more control logic. Hmm.

    #976 2 years ago

    I just can't help but think there's a better way every time I boot Fathom, and watch the drops do their little ridiculous dance to be set properly.

    #977 2 years ago

    I'm sure there are many better ways, but will any better way survive millions of activation cycles?

    mikhail-Kalashnikov.jpg

    #978 2 years ago

    The Bally drop target mechs are just a few pieces of stamped steel (much like the AK-47), 2 rods and some springs.

    Probably a $12 BOM including the coil at production volumes.

    #979 2 years ago

    damnit vid, now you have me drafting up drop target assemblies...

    #980 2 years ago

    I believe the plans for the Bally drops are online - no need to own the mech to duplicate it, you just need to digitize the drawings.

    #982 2 years ago

    Winding your own coils would certainly be cheaper than sourcing servos. Just saying, is all.

    #983 2 years ago
    Quoted from Mocean:

    Winding your own coils would certainly be cheaper than sourcing servos. Just saying, is all.

    That's true.

    High speed servos with metal gears are $6

    ebay.com link » Mg996r Metal Gear High Speed Torque Digital Servo Futaba Jr Rc Helicopter Jhxg

    #984 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    http://www.google.com/patents/US4257604

    A centaur style inline set is exactly what I had in mind. Thanks Vid

    #985 2 years ago
    Quoted from Mocean:

    Winding your own coils would certainly be cheaper than sourcing servos. Just saying, is all.

    I'm personally not interested in designing anything that can't be potentially mass produced should I decide to. So hand winding coils is outside my interest sphere. Rather focus on solutions that can scale.

    #986 2 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I'm personally not interested in designing anything that can't be potentially mass produced should I decide to. So hand winding coils is outside my interest sphere. Rather focus on solutions that can scale.

    Huh? I meant if cost was your first priority you could wind coils instead of using servos. How would it be not possible to source coils if you wanted to go to scale and stop winding coils?

    Certainly if we are talking about scale, coil based assemblies are tried and true --any servo based approach to drops is untested.

    #987 2 years ago

    Hand winding doesn't scale. That's my only point really.

    #988 2 years ago

    i do have a rough design of a 3d printed ball trough, needs a little more work before printing + testing tho. I think you could 3d print balltrough, pop bumpers and have them work ok with the stresses/forces applied on them. (I have an even rougher design for a pop bumper). I dont know if slings would hold up tho.

    1 week later
    #989 2 years ago

    If I want to do foamcore ramps to test, what's the best way to do the transition between the whitewood and the ramp?

    I was thinking about just using a bead from the hot glue gun to provide the smooth transition, but wanted to ask opinions here.

    #990 2 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    If I want to do foamcore ramps to test, what's the best way to do the transition between the whitewood and the ramp?
    I was thinking about just using a bead from the hot glue gun to provide the smooth transition, but wanted to ask opinions here.

    I intend to use heavy weight cardstock (ie - business card or stiffer) like a ramp flap... no clue on how that will turn out. Failing that, I will probably 3D print some semi-flexible ramp entrance parts from ABS that can clip or glue onto the foamcore or PF. If that doesn't work, ill use sheet metal and be done with it.

    #991 2 years ago

    Here is a guide to building your own stainless steel ball guides from scratch, including forming the curves.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/making-new-ball-guides-from-scratch-vids-guide

    #992 2 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    I intend to use heavy weight cardstock (business card) like a ramp flap... no clue on how that will turn out

    Hmm, interesting thought.

    I was thinking maybe I just use an x-acto and try to trim the foamcore parallel to the surface of the whitewood where it needs to lay, but I think a ball would chew that up past 1 or two shots up it.

    #993 2 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    Hmm, interesting thought.
    I was thinking maybe I just use an x-acto and try to trim the foamcore parallel to the surface of the whitewood where it needs to lay, but I think a ball would chew that up past 1 or two shots up it.

    The issue I forsee is loss of ball speed and/or airballs. The 'delta angle' a ball will travel up with minimal speed loss and/or bouncing is actually pretty low in my experience, even with a proper edge. Even a shallow ramp has a fairly abrupt change in angle without a proper ramp flap.

    I too doubt the longevity of a cardboard solution, but its easy to tear off some tape and fire another one on every few plays if its an issue. Once it's nailed down better, 3d printing a ramp entrance with some backing/mounting features on it for the foamcore would be trivial. (well as trivial as 3d printing is lol...)

    #994 2 years ago

    The thin aluminum coil used for roofing/siding is super cheap and would be easy to make temporary ramp flaps and ball guides.

    $10 at home depot

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Amerimax-Home-Products-10-x-10-ft-Aluminum-White-Trim-Coil-69410/100013808

    2c33e679-c61b-4d6f-86b0-3af838ace3a7_400.jpg

    #995 2 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    Once it's nailed down better, 3d printing a ramp entrance with some backing/mounting features on it for the foamcore would be trivial. (well as trivial as 3d printing is lol...

    I have no idea why I didn't think of it, but you are right. I'll model something I can print that serves as a ramp entry for foamcore.

    Vid's idea is probably the most viable, especially at the low price point. You could make hundreds of flaps from that roll.

    I'm gonna do the 3D printed one just to mess with because you peaked my curiosity.

    #996 2 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    I intend to use heavy weight cardstock (ie - business card or stiffer) like a ramp flap... no clue on how that will turn out

    I've cut up manilla folders for my project (we bought like 200 from costco 10 years ago), the thickness works great. Keeping in mind if you move your ramp around a lot, even masking tape may tear the cardboard, but hey.. not hard to make (pair of scissors makes a new one in 5 seconds)

    #997 2 years ago

    you probably saw it on the proto type timeshock pinball but the ramp entrances on that looked to be 3D printed - probably at shapeways or imaterialise. I will be trying this when the time comes. Also could be a good way that once a design is proven to make a reverse design so you can vacuum form a final ramp.

    to get a better look head to "silver castle pinball" on Facebook as they do a look around the playfield and probably get a look at it from different angles

    3d_printed_ramps.png
    3d_printed_ramps_2.png

    #998 2 years ago

    Hi guys,
    ill post here soon regarding buying assemblies for a custom flipper, but if you want to chime in my post regarding P3-ROC or FAST pinball, please check it here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/custom-game-p3-roc-or-fast

    #999 2 years ago
    Quoted from Edenecho:

    Hi guys,
    ill post here soon regarding buying assemblies for a custom flipper, but if you want to chime in my post regarding P3-ROC or FAST pinball,

    The Fast boards, if you buy outside of the package allows the builder to scale up as they develop, buying the minimum components and adding daughter or other boards based on needs as the layout/design matures. Both can use MFP which is what I plan to use. Its almost a Ford/Chevy comparo. I'm going with Fast. I saw their demo/discussion at CAX and the NW show on youtube and like their approach and want to support more options than Proc.

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