(Topic ID: 294220)

Project Haunted House - building a pinball from scratch

By Mach1

4 months ago


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  • 58 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 13 days ago by radium
  • Topic is favorited by 26 Pinsiders

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There are 58 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
16
#1 4 months ago

Years ago I bought the upper playfield from a Gottlieb Haunted House from eBay. It has been just in storage until the end of the last year when I was unpacking and sorting stuff and found this piece and I got this crazy idea that I should build a Haunted House pinball from scratch, at least I got the upper playfield, how hard can it be?

My background is repairing pinball machines so I'm not entirely unfamiliar with how it works. So I started to look for game specific parts and what I can't find I will make my self, so far I found most of the critical parts.

So, what I will write about here is how the project is moving forward, my plan is to try and finish before the end of the year, yes it's an optimistic plan but hey, you need to have goal.

So here we go, from the start:

Starting to get parts in march 2021, not the easiest bit since I want it to be as much as the original as possible.
Trying to imagine what the end result will look like.
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I tried to find a five target drop target assembly for the lower playfield but it seemed impossible so the closest one was a ten target drop target assy. 3BD5418D-D5D8-4663-A532-537A16464832 (resized).jpeg

Well, take it apart and cut it in half, buy the five target reset arm and trigger shaft and the put it all back together, and tada, a five drop target assembly.
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Most mechanical parts were old, dirty and needed a lot of love but after some cleaning and fixing they startet to look nice and ready to be put on the wireboard.

The vertical upkicker before cleaning
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Clean and shiny
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I thought it would be a good idea to start with the lower playfield to practise on before the main playfield. Since I didn’t have the measurements of the playfield I printed the layout from the manual and compared it with the plastics for size.
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Once the measurements where okay I cut the a plywood board and glued the printout on to it and cut out wholes for lamps and mechanics.
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Then placing all the parts on to the wireboard and screws/nails to guide the wires.
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To keep the game as close as possible to the original and also to be able to trace the wires I make the wires the same colors as the original following the manual, only one problem, you can’t buy wires in the original color. So after searching the internet and stumbled upon pinballmakers.com I made a wire coloring device.
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So now I’m ready to start making wires, I will tell you more about the progress in the next post.

#2 4 months ago

Following.
This will be a fun project

#3 4 months ago

This is a crazy idea. And I love crazy! Look forward to seeing how this progresses.

#4 4 months ago

Before starting I searched the internet for any photo of a Haunted House pinball to use as reference, there is a lot of problem solving done by watching photos.

Okay, so starting with the wires. Using the schematics from the manual I started making the wires for the strobes to the diode boards. Using a label maker to label every wire until it is attached to the connector or switch.
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Working my way bit by bit, wire by wire, measure, coloring and attaching it to the wireboard.
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After the strobes were done I continued with the switches/returns, solenoids and lamps and finally finished with the ground wires. All wires done and ready to clean up and start strapping the wires together.
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Starting to look pretty good I think, all wires strapped together.
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The connectors are added and the wires and the mechanics are ready to be transferred to the new playfield from Mirco Playfields , which hopefully arrives soon. Highclasspinball

One set of wires done, now moving on to the main playfield.
Here’s a little preview of that part.
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#5 4 months ago

Don't say "Mirco playfield" too loudly, the guys in the GnR thread will arrive with pitchforks!

Great build, following.

#6 4 months ago

Have you managed to get ahold of the custom mechs like the vanishing target and trap door?

#7 4 months ago

Yes, I got all those parts zacaj

#8 4 months ago
Quoted from GLSP3022:

Don't say "Mirco playfield" too loudly, the guys in the GnR thread will arrive with pitchforks!
Great build, following.

So true! I have been watching that drama ... some angry folks on there. BTW, I have a Wonka (Mirco playfield), and it is totally fine and looks great, no issues.

This project is amazing!

#9 4 months ago

I am following along on this build. I did something similar a few years ago and scratch built a Robo War playfield and hand wired it. I think I bought like 4 wiring harnesses total and used a Black Hole harness as the base for it. The Gottlieb harness comes apart in sections and the A3J3 harness is nearly identical on most system 80 machines so it only needed a couple wires swapped around to make it work the rest was not nearly as simple though.
I never even thought about coloring the wires myself, I broke all the harnesses down to primary colors so I have boxes and bags full of wires in my garage now.
If you need anything let me know, I have a set of populated playfields for HH.

#10 4 months ago

Thanks for all the positive feedback guys, I’ll let you know 20eyes if I need anything.

Quoted from GLSP3022:

Don't say "Mirco playfield" too loudly, the guys in the GnR thread will arrive with pitchforks!
Great build, following.

The reason I order it from Mirco is that I wont have to pay extra custom fees or VAT.

1 week later
#11 4 months ago

Just a small update, made some upgrades to the pop bumper driver board. New pin connectors, capacitors and LED to indicate +5V and when the board is firing.
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1 week later
#12 3 months ago

So the main playfield starts with putting sheets of paper together.
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When it’s done check the scale with the plastics and apron to make sure it is as near as possible to the original.
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I’ve cut all the holes just to make it more easy to see where everything fits.
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And like on the lower playfield I place all the parts out to get an overview and where to place the wires.
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Now the fun begins, making wires!

As before I start with the strobes.
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A closeup of the pop bumper driver boards.
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This is pretty much where the project is at the moment, working on the wires.
Redecorating at home at the moment steals time from the project but I’ll keep you updated as it moves on.
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I’ve started to build the insert behind the backglass and here is some pictures of that, lot’s of trial and error so when I’m happy with this I will make one that goes into the game. I’m testing it in the old Mars God of War top but I will build a new one for this game.
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Testing the lightning effect against the backglass.

I must send a big thanks to Mrfabulouss for the great job he made making the backglass, it looks amazing!

Using the backglass I measure out where the displays goes.
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Yesterday I tested the lights behind the backglass, it looks so good!
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Now I need to make the paper cutouts around the house to stop light from bleeding.

Finally a little video of the backglass with the lights.

Thanks to everyone who reads and follows this thread, I will keep you updated on how the project moves on.

#13 3 months ago

Nice progress. If you need boards https://www.flippp.fr/boards.php if you want new. Not that the gottlieb boards are a issue once and fix up right.

#14 3 months ago

Today was an early X-mas, a parcel arrived
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Containing the playfields from Mirco, great job Highclasspinball they look great, super finish.

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Soon the job to move things from the wire boards to the new playfields begins.

#15 3 months ago

Good god this is an amazing project. Wow. Appreciate the updates, loving watching this progress!

#16 3 months ago

Fun read, will follow the progress.

3 weeks later
#17 88 days ago

So here’s a little update on the project.
Vacation and a rainy day, what better way to spend that day then to work on the pinball?
I’ve decided that it was time to move the lower playfield from the wireboard to the real playfield.
So here is what it looked before I started.
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Carefully moving everything at once, I wont be able to do that on the main playfield, and placing everything where it is going to be.
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Screwing everything in place, still have the coil and mount for the kicker to solve.
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And last fixing the cables in place.
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Now the fun begins to apply all the parts on the upper side of the playfield. The post screws need to be polished before I attach them properly and the face of the stand up target needs to be change.
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Still have some metal parts that I need to manufacture or, if I’m lucky, be able to buy.
It starts to look pretty neat, don’t you think?
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#18 86 days ago
Quoted from Mach1:

So here’s a little update on the project.
Vacation and a rainy day, what better way to spend that day then to work on the pinball?
I’ve decided that it was time to move the lower playfield from the wireboard to the real playfield.
So here is what it looked before I started.
[quoted image]
Carefully moving everything at once, I wont be able to do that on the main playfield, and placing everything where it is going to be.
[quoted image]
Screwing everything in place, still have the coil and mount for the kicker to solve.
[quoted image]
And last fixing the cables in place.
[quoted image]
Now the fun begins to apply all the parts on the upper side of the playfield. The post screws need to be polished before I attach them properly and the face of the stand up target needs to be change.
[quoted image]
Still have some metal parts that I need to manufacture or, if I’m lucky, be able to buy.
It starts to look pretty neat, don’t you think?
[quoted image]

Absolutely amazing, thanks for the update, love following this project!

#19 81 days ago

I'm intrigued and now following.

#20 80 days ago

Awesomeness! Following

#21 80 days ago
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#22 80 days ago

So here’s an update on the project.
Since it was a hot weekend and the garage is nice and cool it was a perfect weekend to do some job on the cabinet.
My donor game, Mars God of War, cabinet had seen better days, the back part of the lower cabinet was rotten and had to be removed.
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Since the bottom part are different between Mars and the HH it had to be replaced too.
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If anyone with a HH game would like to help out I would need the measurements of the hight of the supports between the sides of the cabinet. I guess the ones in MGoW are higher then the ones in HH.
Also I would need the hight of where the metal supports for the lower playfield are mounted.
All help would be much appreciated!

So what needs to be done is to get some plywood to cut into shape for the back part and to cut the bottom bit out from a piece of chipboard.

I also spent the weekend to move all the parts from the upper playfield on to the new playfield.
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And trying it on for fit on the main playfield.
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So that’s whats going on right now. Still need to make more wires but it’s nice to see those other parts come together.

Thank you all who follows this thread, your support helps me continue.

#23 79 days ago
Quoted from Mach1:

So here’s an update on the project.
Since it was a hot weekend and the garage is nice and cool it was a perfect weekend to do some job on the cabinet.
My donor game, Mars God of War, cabinet had seen better days, the back part of the lower cabinet was rotten and had to be removed.
[quoted image]
Since the bottom part are different between Mars and the HH it had to be replaced too.
[quoted image]
If anyone with a HH game would like to help out I would need the measurements of the hight of the supports between the sides of the cabinet. I guess the ones in MGoW are higher then the ones in HH.
Also I would need the hight of where the metal supports for the lower playfield are mounted.
All help would be much appreciated!
So what needs to be done is to get some plywood to cut into shape for the back part and to cut the bottom bit out from a piece of chipboard.
I also spent the weekend to move all the parts from the upper playfield on to the new playfield.
[quoted image]
And trying it on for fit on the main playfield.
[quoted image]
So that’s whats going on right now. Still need to make more wires but it’s nice to see those other parts come together.
Thank you all who follows this thread, your support helps me continue.

Wow, I continued to be amazed. I am travelling for the next two weeks but if nobody else chimes in I can snag any measurement you need when I am reunited with my machine

#24 79 days ago

Thanks naf_llabnip , happy traveling!

#25 79 days ago

Cool project! Following

#26 79 days ago

Following

#27 77 days ago

Looks good only issue is now i want one to and anyone follow this thread.

#28 77 days ago
Quoted from cp1610:

Looks good only issue is now i want one to and anyone follow this thread.

Maybe he can build you one next.

#29 77 days ago

Pretty amazing work. Really love the wire color coding rig. So simple but so effective. Keep up the good work.

#30 77 days ago
Quoted from radium:

Maybe he can build you one next.

The hardest thing is to find the game specifik parts

When this project is done and if I got the time I might make complete wire sets if anyone is interested.

#31 76 days ago
Quoted from Mach1:

If anyone with a HH game would like to help out I would need the measurements of the hight of the supports between the sides of the cabinet. I guess the ones in MGoW are higher then the ones in HH.
Also I would need the hight of where the metal supports for the lower playfield are mounted.
All help would be much appreciated!

Following. Very cool thread and project.

Just came into the gameroom, so I’ll pop mine up and see what I can measure for you.

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#32 76 days ago

I don’t have time to totally remove the PF’s right now, but these should give you an idea to get you started.

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#33 76 days ago

Thank you Colsond3 it’s a good start.

#34 76 days ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

Following. Very cool thread and project.
Just came into the gameroom, so I’ll pop mine up and see what I can measure for you.
[quoted image]

Very nice machines

#35 75 days ago

New update.
Last day of vacation and I’ve been working on the power supply today. Since the MGoW power supply is different compared to the Haunted House it needs some modifications.
For example on the HH it has one transformer board and one power board and on the MGoW it has one with all the goodies on.
So I started to cut some new pieces of wood to mount the transformers on and started to unscrew all the bits and pieces from the old board, trying to figure out what I can save and what has to be made new.
Labeling all the wires before cutting them so it will be easier to know what is going where when attaching them again.

Old board.
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I also had to order a bridge rectifier and a capacitor since the MGoW power board doesn’t have the 38 volt on it. Every day you learn something new about these games.

Anyway, this is as far as I have come on the new transformer board.
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Planning the work on the power board next but I’ll get back to you when it’s on its way.

#36 74 days ago

Hmmm… interesting mess

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#37 72 days ago

Still working on the power board and the transformer board.

Some order to the chaos
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My new favourite tool

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#38 68 days ago

After hours of making new wires, adding connectors, figuring out where all the wires are connecting, almost done and I could do the first testing of the rebuilt power supply.
Kinda cool to hear the soundboard play the attract sounds.

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#39 67 days ago

Nice to see its it alive thats a big step. Now to finish it all up.

#40 65 days ago

Great job !! I'm impressed !!!

#41 65 days ago

Done some work with the relays the last days, making wires for the power.

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My plan is to be able to connect the relays to the control board and test them. I’ll keep you updated on the work.

#42 65 days ago

Thank you Mrfabulouss

#43 62 days ago

Today I made some progress on the project. Lately I’ve been focusing on making wires for the power to the playfields and connecting the wires that I made to the MPU.
The result is in the videos below, I hope you like it.
Thank you all for following this thread.

Start up, yes it’s alive!!!

Testing targets on playfileds

#44 61 days ago

You must feel good to see your almost there. Your proving it is possible to build one with a lot of time and effort. Now this will make me feel like a slacker.

#45 61 days ago

It feels very good to see that it works the way it should cp1610
Now I can test bit by bit as I build and make sure it works instead of waiting until everything is done. Troubleshooting is much easier this way

#46 60 days ago

This thread is really inspiring to me. Thinking I might need to do this to finally get myself a Spirit if it weren't for all the unique ramps and brackets.

#47 60 days ago

Yes, finding all the unique parts is the tricky bit radial_head .
Start looking for the parts is a good way to see if it’s even possible.

#48 58 days ago

Lately I’ve been adjusting switches on the lower playfield, changed one transistor on the driver board for the drop target bank, mounted the solenoid for the kicking rubber.
Testing that everything works before moving on making more wires for the main playfield.

This is what the lower playfield looks like at the moment

1 month later
#49 27 days ago

So it’s been awhile since my last post.
I hit some snags, MPU board stopped working, working on what’s failed. I bought a Rottendog MPU so I can continue building and testing.
Got some weird voltaged for the displays, first suspected the small transformer but it seems okay so still looking for a solution.

Good new are the switch matrix is done!
AF16A6C3-E5D9-45F4-BD29-0A07010626E6 (resized).jpeg

So now I’m making wired for the controlled lamps.
All solenoids are wired accept the flipper solenoids from the buttons.
Up coming is making wires for the bonus display.

E72B8DEE-C179-4CC9-ABF3-A56694E4E059 (resized).jpeg

My plan is to start with some wood work soon, building the top box and adjusting the cabinet.
If anyone are interested in buying a flat pack topbox I might be able to produce more then one when I’m at it.

I’ve been delayed because I’ve installed a chimney in my house and redecorating the laundry room but all those side projects are almost done so my full attention will be at the pinball projet.

BF2C798A-AFC1-4C9B-B0EB-231A1ABA2329 (resized).jpeg

Why I’m working hard to finish this project before my deadline in November is because I will be a dad so I bet my pinball projects will be second or third in priority.

So hopefully there will be a daughter born in November and a pinball will also be born.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

#50 27 days ago

Congratulations on the upcoming family addition! Before you know it they will be joining you on the pinball machines. Keep us posted both on the project but also how everything goes with the little one!

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