(Topic ID: 266636)

Pinball Poker? Poker Time? Undecided poker themed homebrew...

By zacaj

1 year ago

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  • 266 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by Mbecker
  • Topic is favorited by 35 Pinsiders


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    There are 266 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 6.
    #251 39 days ago

    What a pita!! Hope it works well this time!

    #252 35 days ago

    One of the issues I kept running into with the plastic covers was the rollover buttons. My 'free floating' 3d printed ones had ended up working pretty well, but sometimes they'd cause hangups with slow moving balls if the button was also stuck at an angle. In my quest to solve all potential ball trap points, something needed to change. Then someone on the slack channel mentioned these inductive proximity sensors: pasted_image (resized).png

    Given their side and range, plus the fact that I don't have a wooden playfield in the way, these seemed like a good way to avoid having to deal with sticking the rollovers through the playfield at all. I ordered a few and my initial tests seemed positive. They were easy enough to power from my 12V supply, and just acted like a normal switch once I added a pulldown resistor. The one issue is that I'm using a switch matrix, so I needed some way to interface these 'constant' switches in. I designed yet another little board to go under my playfield which would basically just hook 4 proximity switches into the matrixpasted_image (resized).png

    I designed some simple 3D printed mounts, and replaced all my rollover buttonspasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    This wasn't quite as well thought out as I'd like, and I had issues fitting them into a few places. I was able to get around that by using some 12mm sensors in a few positions instead of the better range 18mm ones, but the detection of the 12s isn't quite as wide as a star rollover would be. The biggest problem is the rollover in the shooter lane. The 5 bank of drops doesn't leave much room between the rollover and the wall, and the area is just wide enough that the ball can sometimes worm its way past without triggering it. pasted_image (resized).png I may have to look into cutting my support rails a bit to make room if this doesn't work out, but I'll see how noticeable it is first. Since I eyeballed the entire cabinet without any planning I've been leaving about 5/8" room on both edges of the bottom of the playfield through the entire length so that nothing could possibly obstruct the support rails, but it could be that this area is far enough forwards that I don't need to worry about it.

    Overall these proximity sensors are really cool, and if I'd known about them before I started building my whole playfield might be completely different. I could see myself avoiding rollover lane switches entirely, and maybe some of my hanging gate switches on shots too. The one downside is how tall they are. Compared to the very compact sensors I've seen on the Alien pinball machine, they really obstruct stuff under the playfield, and there's a lot of stuff like mounting them sideways in ball guides and stuff that you could never do. Once I get another shipment of spares in I'm going to chop one open and see if all that size is really needed, or if it's just a big empty cylinder to fit some standard industrial form factor or something...

    #253 35 days ago

    Only issue with the alien ones is that they are way more expensive. That, and range is very limited. I think I saw bar form factors a while ago that you could hang above an area to detect a ball going by below. Might be an option for that one by the drops. Proxies are pretty sweet! Although I prefer reeds where they fit… also another option for that space, mounting above or even below. They are rectangular so a wider detection path - but also spendy.

    #254 34 days ago

    Some playtesting with the new protector has revealed one problem I didn't anticipate: the difference in height between the ball (on the plastic) and the posts (off the plastic). Almost every hanging gate has been getting the ball stuck now. The controlled gate on the orbit wasn't raising high enough when open to let the ball past. The one way gate on the mini playfield was only raising *just* high enough to let a ball through normally, so now with the added 0.06" balls would get stuck under it every time. The spinner isn't spinning well since the ball has to slightly force itself past it. I'm going through and shimming things like this with spare bits of PET-G to resolve the issue. Just surprised the tolerances were so close on so many things...

    1 week later
    #255 23 days ago

    Had a small get together at my place last weekend, and had the game set up and playable during that time, with a camera on it. I recorded about 12 hours of video, although some of that time it probably wasn't being played... Twice I had the solder break on the flipper wiring to the resistors. I'll need to think of a better way to mount those. Currently they're just hanging awkwardly from the coils from when I first attached them for testing, which obviously is bad. Once the flippers just died randomly, and came back next ball. Not sure if that was a tilt or something correct that the player didn't notice, or if something malfunctioned. Will have to track it down in the recording and see. One time the ramp switch didn't register, which has been a recurring issue. I've got it tweaked 'just right' so it's 99% good, but I need to figure out a better solution eventually. This wouldn't be too big of an issue, except the lock post in the ramp won't let the ball back down, since it doesn't know it's there. I had two other stuck balls, both times they were caught by the shooter lane diverter, pressed against the back of the drop target next to it. Both of these issues will at least be alleviated by a ball search, which I'd never gotten around to coding before. So the next day I added one in. Not too complicated... I shouldn't have put that off so long. Besides from that I had no reported issues, although I'm sure a lot of that was people just not knowing how the game is supposed to work.

    Another thing that's been on the todo list for a long time: adjustable GI. When I originally got the led strips, I got some super bright 12V ones since I was worried about how well they'd work. Although the center of the playfield is still a bit dark if you turn off all the other lights in the room, overall it's more playable than some games, but in a lit room they're a bit much. Usually more light would always be better, but they tend to make it harder to see some of the mini displays, especially the ones along the edges. I considered trying to hook them up to a solenoid driver, and manually PWM them to get them to dim, and also give me manual control of them in the code (although I don't really know when I'd use that), but that sounded like it could be a bit of a pain (and who knows if my mosfets can handle that much current), so instead I ordered a cheap 12V LED dimmer off eBay. pasted_image (resized).png
    It had these annoying bullet plugs that a lot of electronics have, but I've never had a good way to deal with. I was about to go about my usual process of cutting off the plugs, then buzzing out the wires to figure out which is which, and heat shrinking some new wires onto it, when I had a light-bulb moment: what if I just opened it up? Sure enough, two phillips screws on the back were all that was needed to open the case and see four nicely color coded wires soldered to spots on the board pasted_image (resized).png
    A little bit of soldering, and I now had my own wiring and connectors attached pasted_image (resized).png
    The dimmer works great, and I now have fine tuned control of the brightness of the GI (and can even turn it off if needed). Still need to find some way to mount this in the cab, but that'll be an issue for later on. At some point before the weather gets too cold I'd like to take the game apart, clean the inside of the cab and put in some final cable management for everything, then sand and stencil the cab with some playing cards.

    While I was in the game I also took the opportunity to wire up a few more inserts: 3 in the center of the playfield to show your progress towards a potential wizard mode, and two more in the mini playfield. I stopped using the star rollovers I had installed there to sense the ball a while ago when I made the new diverter, and luckily I was able to find some white inserts that were the same diameter as the star rollovers to replace them with, so now I finally removed the switches and wiring underneath too. pasted_image (resized).png

    #256 20 days ago

    One thing that didn't cause any issues during testing, much to my surprise, was the lack of plastics. I thought for sure some airball would end up sitting on top of the slings, or manage to fall into the apron area since there's no apron, but that didn't happen once. Nevertheless, it needed to get done. I started by just sticking some index cards on the posts, and hand cutting them roughly to fit the shapepasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    Once I had a few forms ready to test, I grabbed some scrap material from my last playfield cut to practice cutting with scissors and see how clean I could make them. Before I could actually get cutting though, I realized that one of the scraps I'd grabbed looks a lot like my slingshot.... Because it was! Not sure why I didn't think of it sooner, but obviously if you cut out a playfield protector, the left over 'negative' space will be sized to the unplayable areas, which is where the plastics need to go anyway. pasted_image (resized).png
    So I drilled a few holes for the posts, peeled off the protective layer, and then drew a border with dry erase marker so they'd show up, and: pasted_image (resized).png

    Not bad! The left sling went the same way, but I needed to manually cut out a bit to fit the gate inpasted_image (resized).png Most other plastics weren't so clear-cut, but I was able to eyeball it and get them to fit without major issues pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    Even the apron was almost ready-made once I chopped it out of the scrap border plastic, although it's not perfect as I had to leave a hole for the handle.pasted_image (resized).png

    I don't have any 'front' wall for the apron yet either, so I guess technically an airball could still get up there and end up stuck between the apron and the glass, but that's still much better than it falling in and potentially hitting the mechs or something

    One thing I hadn't really counted on was the actual mounting for the plastics. For the slings it wasn't too complicated as I just needed to swap the phillips screws for standard pinball ones with a 6-32 thread on top, but many places were made mostly out of mini-posts, which I used since they have the smallest diameter, allowing me to fit more stuff into some tight spaces. They worked great for that, but since they have a pointed top I can't use them to mount plastics, so I'll need to swap some of those out. Trouble is, no one makes a similar post with a wood screw on the bottom and a threaded top, so I may need to dig in deeper than I was hoping and start installing some t-nuts and machine screws. I didn't really plan the playfield with that in mind beyond a normal "well I can swap to machine screws later if the wood strips out", so a lot of those posts are above mechs and may need to have the t-nuts recessed or other annoying things.

    pasted_image (resized).png
    #257 14 days ago

    I scanned the plastics I had in with my printer and started mocking up some simple art using a CC vector playing card art pack I found online, then just printed them out on paper for a test
    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    The paper didn't really turn out that great. Colors were very muted compared to how they look on screen, and without being glued to the plastics it still sags a bit and looks a bit messy, but they still really help pull the playfield together. I'd like to try to make up a few more paper bits to put on the playfield itself, at least where my hand written rules currently are, but that'll have to wait until I take the plastic off again. I've basically given up on ever having full playfield art for this, but I think a splash of color here and there should be more than enough. Once I've got the rest of the plastics made/mounted and drawn up I'll get them printed professionally somewhere for some better colors.

    #258 14 days ago

    Liking the playing cards plastic art!

    #259 13 days ago

    Since things were looking pretty good as far as my pintastic target, I decided to make a questionable decision and try to get some cabinet art in too. First, I took out the playfield and neatened up the cabinet wiring some more. pasted_image (resized).png

    It still doesn't really look that neat, but everything is actually routed around and attached down, so I'm not really sure what more can be done on some fronts. Part of the mess is probably just the weird way everything is arranged and packed in, plus a lot of premade components that weren't meant to go together like this, like all the extra wiring on the transformer and power supply, or the USB, HDMI, and ethernet cables that I can't really chop down to their exact lengths easily.

    pasted_image (resized).png
    The playfield wiring also isn't as neat as I'd hoped. When I started this project my plan was to have just two connectors going from the cabinet to the playfield: one for power and one for data. The driver boards were all going to be mounted to the playfield like on a Spike game. Instead I have two big black hoses full of ~30 separate solenoid power lines snaking all the way to the driver boards in the cab. My single power connector became two since I separated out the low and high voltages. And instead of a single 'data' connector, I now have an ethernet cable, an hdmi cable, a switch matrix cable, and a led cable. Those last two probably could have been combined, but there isn't much I can do about the others since they're standardized. All of that winds up as a lot of connectors (14 at last count) that I need to unplug and remove from their routing to remove the playfield

    With the playfield out I was able to take the cab down to get it sanded. That also meant I finally got to clean it out a bit. A lot of random stuff accumulates at the bottom of a pinball cab when you're building a game in it!
    pasted_image (resized).png

    Now, time to sand it down:pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    Next stop, Home Depot to buy some paint. I've never done a cab 'restore' before, so this should be interesting

    #260 13 days ago

    If you’re doing decals, be aware that every little divot and/or hole becomes very apparent upon application of the decals. Usually you’d sand, bondo, sand down a few grits, paint, sand, clear, sand.. lotta sanding lol. Probably extreme for what you want, but on the other hand the bondo/sanding in the beginning could be worth it. Course if you go with stencils I guess that’s all pretty moot.

    #261 13 days ago

    Oh noo i love whirlwind!

    #262 13 days ago
    Quoted from Mbecker:

    If you’re doing decals, be aware that every little divot and/or hole becomes very apparent upon application of the decals. Usually you’d sand, bondo, sand down a few grits, paint, sand, clear, sand.. lotta sanding lol. Probably extreme for what you want, but on the other hand the bondo/sanding in the beginning could be worth it. Course if you go with stencils I guess that’s all pretty moot.

    I'm planning on just some simple em/ss style stencils for now. I don't really have the art chops needed to make some good art anyway, but I can draw some suits and geometric shapes. I think. Maybe the cab will just be white too, who knows. I've still gotta figure those steps out, but for now I wanted to get it stripped down while I could.

    Quoted from stefanmader:

    Oh noo i love whirlwind!

    Don't worry, whirlwind is safe and sound https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/whirlwind-back-from-the-depths-

    #263 13 days ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    I'm planning on just some simple em/ss style stencils for now. I don't really have the art chops needed to make some good art anyway, but I can draw some suits and geometric shapes. I think. Maybe the cab will just be white too, who knows. I've still gotta figure those steps out, but for now I wanted to get it stripped down while I could.

    Don't worry, whirlwind is safe and sound https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/whirlwind-back-from-the-depths-

    Thank god

    1 week later
    #264 5 days ago

    Usually people spray cabs to paint them, but I don't really have the space to do that, so I opted to try using a roller. I set up a tarp in the middle of my game room, put the cab down on it, and applied about 6 coats of paint, sanding between each few. The texture from the rollers sanded off pretty easily in most places, but I still had a lot of places where the sanding wasn't doing much. I think this was more to do with the wood than the painting though. If I was doing a proper restore I'd have used more filler and stuff to get everything flatter so that the sanding would hit evenly. Also I'd have a power sander instead of just a sanding block. Whoops. I'm not aiming for perfection though, as long as nothing doesn't look like an obvious mistake, I'm okay with it. pasted_image (resized).png

    After my quart of paint ran out, I decided to try to do some webbing like many EMs have. Both because it looks cool, and because it'll probably help hide more of the imperfections in the base coat and wood. I saw a few people recommending Montana 'marble effect' spray paint with good results, so I gave it a shot here. Originally I was going to bring the cab out in my yard to spray it, but because of the weird way that it works, even a tiny bit of wind messes it up, so I had to do the spraying in doors :/ Luckily with a bit of 'masking' around the sides I was able to do it without any mishaps. pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    With my black stern siderails, black painted lockdown bar, and some black legs and shooter rod housing I picked up, the white really pops; I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out overallpasted_image (resized).png pasted_image (resized).png

    I still need to figure out the stencils for the side art to go on top of this, so that'll be a task for another day. I figure I'll need to mask those anyway, so it doesn't hurt to have the rest of the game reassembled when that happens, and in the mean time this looks leagues better than the peeling whirlwind art that was on it before

    #265 5 days ago

    thats a really cool effect

    #266 1 day ago

    Love the marbling effect - looks sharp

    There are 266 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 6.

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