(Topic ID: 251086)

Re-Game: 1985 Tag Team Pinball

By cobra18t

3 years ago

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  • 162 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 55 days ago by cobra18t
  • Topic is favorited by 33 Pinsiders


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There are 162 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 4.
#101 2 years ago

Great to hear from you.
I'm just soldering the wings and removing all EM stuff on mine.
That's great to see your project progressing

2 weeks later
#102 2 years ago

Here is some Tag Team gameplay. I will have another video soon going over the rules that have been added because I did not play well enough to show everything. I found three bugs during this game, so the play testing has been fruitful.

#103 2 years ago
Quoted from cobra18t:

Here is some Tag Team gameplay. I will have another video soon going over the rules that have been added because I did not play well enough to show everything. I found three bugs during this game, so the play testing has been fruitful.

Looks awesome! Much more fun to play than the original game. Sound is great. Guess the ball should not stay locked on the top, right?


#104 2 years ago


No, the ball is supposed to stay locked up top. That was building toward a 3-ball multiball that I did not achieve in this game. You lock the top and right holes, then you start the multiball by going in the left kicker.

I want the lock to persist across balls. I am also ok with it persisting across players. Barring head to head games, multiplayer pinball does not have as much interaction between players as it should. With this arrangement you can steal locks from another player.

Also, a virtual lock is not as useful without an autoshooter as the balls have to be staged properly in order to get a predictable multiball start.

#105 2 years ago
Quoted from cobra18t:

Here is some Tag Team gameplay. I will have another video soon going over the rules that have been added because I did not play well enough to show everything. I found three bugs during this game, so the play testing has been fruitful.

Been following this since the beginning. Very impressed. Incredibly cool. I have an Alien Star - I wish I had the acumen to do something like this.

#106 2 years ago

Oh yeah! - sorry, but somebody had to say it.

#107 2 years ago

Thanks @mistermoberg. It has been a fun project and it is starting to feel like a real game now.

SYS6, perfect. I have been waiting for someone to point that out. That callout is supposed to be a central element, but right now it is literally the only callout. I have to work on that.

#108 2 years ago

And here is my rules explanation. It is 10+ minutes, so don't watch unless you are really interested in pinball rules/features. There are still a few more features to add and bugs to squash.

#109 2 years ago

That rocks!!!

#110 2 years ago

I've enjoyed my Tag Team as is but this is awesome. Wow!

#111 2 years ago

Thanks everyone!

I got the Tag Team 3 ball multiball with the sequenced jackpots today. It was incredibly satisfying. The sweeping light shows created with the Show Creator linked in the MPF docs really add a lot to the game.

I also tried out a 7 inch 1024x600 LCD. I think it will work great and is a good size for being right between the flippers buttons as planned.

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#112 2 years ago

So awesome!

#113 2 years ago

Did you use the show creator in MPF for the sweeping lights when you get the jackpots?

#114 2 years ago

AD72, yes. I used it for the multiball jackpots, the capture "shockwaves," drain swipe down, and a few other places.

Personally, I like to set the Show Creator to black and white mode to force it to output two colors. I then edit the output of the show creator in Geany to automatically find and replace all the 'FFFFFF's with the token "front_color" and all the '000000's with "back_color." Then I can use show_tokens in the call of the show to define the colors. I can also play with the fade setting to get the feel I am looking for.

As an example here is a snippet from the generated show from Show Creator:

- time: '+1'
l_gi_11: '000000'
l_gi_12: '000000'

Using '000000' in the "Search For" and the following in "Replace With" (CTRL-H):
\n color: (back_color)\n fade: 500ms

You with have to play with the number of spaces after each '\n' to get the formatting correct. Pinside is stripping out my additional spaces in this post.

You end up with the same snippet being:

- time: '+1'
color: (back_color)
fade: 500ms
color: (back_color)
fade: 500ms

And here is a call to a show in the show_player:

front_color: tt_red
back_color: black
speed: 60
loops: 0

It sounds complicated at first, but once you get going, it is very easy. Geany does most of the work.

#115 2 years ago

Fantastic work on this. It really shows how someone who is talented can take an older pinball game and really breath a lot of life into the game. Every time that I play a game, and think it shoots great, but it is so shallow compared to newer games...here is an example of the possibilities for that older game.

In SS3, I have a bar fight mode where each pop bumper needs to be hit multiple times. Maybe a cage match mode? As the pops are hit, the LED blinks faster and faster until the pop bumper gets knocked out. At that point, I kill the pop bumper. It is insanely difficult to get that last pop bumper to complete the mode because the pops are meant to play off each other, and disabling one of them changes the interplay between them. (I just want somebody else to use the idea because I feel it is clever, and I never complete the mode because I suck at pinball).

Congratulations again on how this is coming together. Soon you'll fall into the trap of throwing a display into the backbox. Don't do it! It is just one more hole where you will suddenly want to add a video mode, changing backgrounds for each mode, etc. Suddenly you want short animated clips for the modes.

#116 2 years ago

Thanks openpinballproj. I agree, this is a whole new game.

I like the cage match idea. I am not sure I can stomach completely disabling the pop, because that may slow down the game too much. I might try it with a disappointingly short pulse once a pop is knocked out. I think it would be pretty noticeable because my pops are pretty hot right now.

I have the 7" display and animating text is all I plan to do. Animations are an artistic rabbit hole that I do not have time for right now.

#117 2 years ago

I did not like the original drop targets on Tag Team. They were boring plain letters in a plain font that did not match the theme. I plan to make decals for my plain yellow targets that are already installed. Here is my first iteration. The font is similar to the original font on the side cabinet and pop bumper caps. It is the same font that I have been using on my display. My test print was done on my BW laser printer that is running out of toner.

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#118 2 years ago

That's a real pleasure to see what you put in it.
Great work!!

1 week later
#119 2 years ago

I started hunting for a fadecandy issue I have been having. After a computer restart, the fadecandy does not handle fade commands correctly it ends up flickering or replacing a color altogether. Once I replug the fadecandy USB, everything is fine. Fearing a power noise issue, I tried adding silly amounts of capacitance (47x the original) to the USB voltage input to the fadecandy and the charge pump output to no avail. I think this is an underlying fadecandy firmware or server issue.

jabdoa pointed me to an issue he opened with fadecandy a while back. If you are having similar issues, please comment there:

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1 month later
#120 2 years ago

I got my drop target decals in and am happy with how they turned out. I have extras if you want to buy them on the pinside marketplace.

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#121 2 years ago

they are really nice, great job !

1 week later
#122 2 years ago

I have been working on a new revision of my control board. This version uses STM32 boards natively, adds fusing, flyback diodes, and two neopixel channels supporting somewhere between 460 and 510 LEDs total depending on if you use RGB or RGBW neopixels. I have abandoned Fadecandy (flickercandy) altogether since OPP fully supports neopixels now. I had a number of other small tweaks and also had all the surface mount components soldered at the factory this time.

I got the through hole soldering done on one and still have a lot of testing to do with it. As a sanity check I hooked up a panel of neopixels and ran a test pattern...success.

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#123 2 years ago

One failed led top right corner?

#124 2 years ago

No, I had it configured for 255 LEDs, so it is just not being commanded. OPP told me a way to do 256 after I posted this.

#125 2 years ago

I confirmed with testing today that, given the proper configuration, I can command the full 256 LED panel. That means 512 LEDs should be possible with my new board since there are two OPP-enabled STM32 boards present.

I actually have no plans to use the panel in an installation, it was just a convenient way to test 256 LEDs at once. Using an LED strip is fine, but you end up with quite a coil on the desk and you really should have multiple power taps along the way. The panel routes the power much more favorably so I am only using one tap. That being said, I probably should come up with a demo light show just to show off what MPF and OPP can do now.

#126 2 years ago

Great board

1 month later
#127 2 years ago

I finally got space on the floor to setup my Tag Team again (fairwell, Stargate and Cue Ball Wizard).

I installed the new driver board and had to do some minor rewiring of the connectors. openpinballproj and jabdoa did some amazing work on the OPP firmware and MPF support for the new board. This was the first test of the new MOSFETs as well. I only have one game on it, but it is working great!

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#128 2 years ago

That board looks pretty awesome! Glad it is finally fully functional.

#129 2 years ago


The LEDs driven by OPP have been looking great. No glitches or flickering after a few hours of heavy use. It is also kind of nice not to have to start the fadecandy server.

The FETs have been performing well, too. The kids have been playing a lot and their style is to hit both flippers repeatedly as fast as possible. It is a great way to stress test the system. Maybe this week I can get some infrared images to confirm nothing is heating up too much.

#130 2 years ago

Yeah. Hilarious way to test the code is to throw the kids at it. I was play testing VH and it was working perfectly. My kids came down to play it, and immediately caused a reset by double flipping multiple times. That is actually the origin story of the power supply filter board. There are other things too that pointed out issues such as holding the flippers as the game ended. (Who does that? I guess the answer would be my kids). Great that it is working well for you. My theory is that the fadecandy server is a relatively heavy task for at least one core of the host computer. This should reduce the load on the host computer a bit so maybe it will make a rasbpi even more possible for the host. Again, great work!

1 week later
#131 2 years ago

Really good way also to get true words feedback...
A good way to swipe off your 'it's-not-so-bad' feelings of tinkerer and be forced to get it really good.
congrats for your boards, happy to see it moving on

1 week later
#132 2 years ago

I eventually want to get pinball cabinets CNC routed. I also want interlocking parts to minimize the jigs required and any assembly issues. Rather than paying to have someone CNC route my prototypes, I decided to try pattern routing.

My first test was on a single interlocking joint. I laser cut a 1/4" MDF pattern for the interlocking parts. It turns out that not many tool brands make the 1/4" diameter pattern plunge bit that I needed for the inside relief cuts, but Amana makes some. The test piece was 3/4" MDF. On the first try, the parts fit great! I checked the critical dimensions and I was within 5 thou (0.127mm) of the target dimensions. Not too bad for some handheld routing. (Pictures below).

On my laser, I cannot quite cut a pattern large enough for my future cabinet in one cut. I can either split it into two interlocking pieces as was done here:

Or I can leverage the alignment features in Lightburn to cut one large template by using two separate setups/cuts as was done here:

Interlocking Joint Test:

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2 weeks later
#133 2 years ago

New plan for the cabinet making. I picked this up from the Exploratorium in San Francisco...

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#134 2 years ago

holy crap! that should do it. nice pick up.

#135 2 years ago

Yep. It was not part of the plan, but the deal was too good to pass up. It is HEAVY. We did not have a forklift to unload it, so it was a 3 hour dance with 3 cherry picker shop cranes and 2 floor jacks to get it off the trailer and into position. Who rented all the forklifts in the area and left me with nothing?

The vacuum pump and spindle are 3 phase, which I don't have, so I am learning how to use VFDs.

#136 2 years ago

Wow ! You man are just passionately crazy . I like that

3 months later
#137 2 years ago

Well I finally decided to do it after some nudging from friends. I am going to release my pinball controller out to the wild using a Kickstarter. Now I have some documentation to catch up on.

The planned launch date is January 15th and you can sign up to be notified of the launch here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1862357036/cobrapin-pinball-controller

And the obligatory Kickstarter video:

#138 2 years ago

Signed up & will look to spread the word to our friends & followers on social media

#139 2 years ago
Quoted from ausretrogamer:

Signed up & will look to spread the word to our friends & followers on social media

Thanks for the help!

It is pretty thin right now, but I started drafting a page on Pinball Makers for the CobraPin board: https://pinballmakers.com/wiki/index.php?title=CobraPin

I hope to get that page all dialed in and then use that info to update the OPP page as well. The OPP page is fairly stale since the move to the new STM32 processor.

#140 2 years ago

Oh wow, thank you cobra18t! That is great reference material. Hope to jump on this controller once the KS goes live (not sure of the time difference though lol).

#141 2 years ago

I did try and update the Pinball Makers OPP portion after cobra18t made his updates. It is hopefully now more clear what is related to STM32 versions, old PSOC versions, and information that is common to both of those versions. It is difficult for me to update certain aspects of the documentation, because I tend to add very detailed information (I like to explain why things happen while most homebrew pinball makers probably don't care). If somebody looks at the documentation and doesn't understand it, please send me a note and I can update it to clarify the information.

#143 2 years ago

The CobraPin Pinball Controller Kickstarter campaign is live and it has already reached the funding goal! This is going to happen! Check it out, get yourself a controller, and share with your friends:


tempSplash (resized).jpg
#144 2 years ago
Quoted from cobra18t:

The CobraPin Pinball Controller Kickstarter campaign is live and it has already reached the funding goal! This is going to happen! Check it out, get yourself a controller, and share with your friends:
[quoted image]

Thanks for getting this out there, look forward to getting mine and getting back into my homebrew.

#145 2 years ago

Good luck with your Kickstarter!

Quick question: Did you rewire your flipper solenoids or are they still high-side switched?

#146 2 years ago
Quoted from BorgDog:

Thanks for getting this out there, look forward to getting mine and getting back into my homebrew.

Thank you!

Quoted from RatShack:

Good luck with your Kickstarter!
Quick question: Did you rewire your flipper solenoids or are they still high-side switched?

I cut out the Gottlieb edge connectors and rewired for low side drive. That was a cake walk compared to stripping out the lights and rewiring for RGB LEDs. RGB is fantastic, though.

2 weeks later
#147 2 years ago

I am absolutely in awe what a great post or should i say posts. I am making great progress with my stuff Arduino version just ordered. a couple of black pill version of the stm320 discovered the blue pill version i had was a clone although it loaded it did not exactlly replicate my arduino version very interesting some things were really slow ie the digitalread. Done in hardware on a arduino faster than on a stm32 explain ! so gone for a proper black pill will see how we do. I know this is not the right thing to say but my arduino code is a tenth of the opp code and is a lot less complicated. I was a professional software designer in the 1970's when we had 32 k to play with. they landed a man on the moon with less !! how times have changed. Will order my cobraboard pretty soon, my solution works great so i will continue with restoring my Duotron in the mean time. Got my plastics back from a local laser cutting facilty really impressed and cheap. Keep up the good work and save these machines (sorry but i am talking EM here), great projects when we have time on our hands.

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#148 2 years ago

bjmclrn that is great! The Arduino implementation of the STM32 may not be as optimized as the Atmel version. The STM32 is certainly more capable than your standard Arduino.

#149 2 years ago

Sorted it out now a combination of things, should have read the STM site and every thing would have been ok. Run my performance test and it just a little faster than the arduino due. I can still read the registers directly if needed, but for em games no need for ultra high speed since the relays would have been a lot slower anyway and only 1 ball in play. Just a quick question is it possible to have high power psu's I have the flippers and chimes running at 17 volts and the pop bumpers at 12 volts. If it is not possible no problem as i can PWM the output but it does have a background buzz when i do it on my flipper hold coils.Looking at STM to replace my PC running the processing P3 graphics was thinking about a rasberry but i like the STM stuff. Will i be able to buy the board say in a couple of months time. Keep up the good (great) work. On the north american deliveries it was the uk side of customs that was the problem i think it was us leaving the eu and being a bit sort of customs people to sort things out. i loaded the wrong image it should have been this one showing the inside cabinet.

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2 weeks later
#150 2 years ago

I installed my new CobraPin controller prototype into Tag Team this evening. I had changed the location of the GND on the switch connector pinouts, so my switches did not work at first. Once I corrected that, everything worked great! The new transistors are behaving nicely and will be easier to replace if someone ever burns one out.

I tried a higher initial resistance thermistor for the power filter, but am not thrilled about it. The first 5-10 flips after powering on were a little on the weak side until the thermistor heated up. I am running at 25V, so it is much more noticeable that it would be in a 50V game, but I think I will revert to the previous thermistor. I need to do some testing at 50V to confirm I am not going to have different problems there.

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