Quoted from Mitch:
I have a spare demo man launch ramp I might try on my seawitch. Only different is on the Beatles the cab is a modern cab where the glass sits higher so the ball can launch over the ball guide where it might hit the glass on on the standard seawitch cab.
I thought that maybe there could be a nice shallow sloping ramp but there is not enough room for a long ramp without fouling up the skill shot area of the shooter lane. So, the ramp will look like a ski slope which will most likely send the ball into the glass as you have noted; That long piece of metal that is standing up real high at the ramp launch point suggests the ball realy goes airborne. So, a wire form ramp as your demo man ramp might be an option. Or an acrylic tube like Xenon might work.
I can think of two other options but they are radical. The first option would be to lower the four Z-brackets the play field sits on. I think there is enough room in the cab that the play field could be dropped an inch. The problem with doing this is you would have to lower your shooter rod by one inch which would require one to drill a new shooter rod hole in the cab. It would be easy to do but no one is going to want to drill extra holes in their cabinet.
The other option would be to just drop the two back Z-brackets and lower the back of the play field only which would give you sort of a deep cabinet. But you would need 5 inch long leg levelers which would not be practical, however, you could get some longer legs (PBR sells 31" legs) and elevate the back with longer legs. This would work; I elevate my Big Game with 31" inch legs in the back and make my slope adjustments with the front levelers. This would leave you looking for a solution to alter the angle of how your shooter rod sits in the cabinet so it will match the new angle that your play field is now sitting at. Turning the beehive over 180 degrees might give you the new angle you would need. Or you could modify the beehive.
I'm going to try and make some sort of ramp when I get back home and see what might work.
But in the end, I think with Seawitch being an old school pin we are gong to be looking for an old school solution for a better gate. And I keep going back to Frunch's ball guide offering. He has the "rigid" part worked out. Forming a ball guide wire or a piece of sheet metal as a gate is the easy part. Figuring out the pivot point and return spring is the challenge. And I think I might have something.
Just pretend Frunch's gate is a flipper with a small shaft that extends below the play field. You could get a nylon flipper bushing and make a nylon reducer bushing for a smaller shaft and then bolt a bellcrank to the shaft under the play field and attach a return spring. This could be done with a common, easy-to-obtain drop target spring. It would take very little to make a spring tension adjuster.
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