(Topic ID: 198877)

Slow motion pinball footage


By arolden

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by arolden
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

Hi all.

My wife just got a new iPhone 8 which has a nice camera and the ability to capture slow motion video. I've always wanted to see how various pinball mechanisms work in real life as opposed to just looking at schematics, but up until now I haven't had the equipment to film how they actually work. These types of videos are surprisingly rare on YouTube, too. There are a few slow motion videos of flipper skills but nothing showing the playfield mechanisms. So I spent a few hours getting some pinball action on camera in slow motion from my Getaway. I thought it looked pretty cool, so I thought I would post and see if anyone else had any cool slow motion pinball footage that they shot themselves.

Also, if you really want to get tripped out, listen to the sound as well!


Pop bumpers. This shows clearly how movement of the wafer triggers the bumper and brings the ring and rod assembly down onto the ball.


Slingshots. It's hard to capture the movement of the individual switch leaves but it's interesting to see how the rubber moves.


Lock ball release (down post) mechanism. This is a handy way to check that the timing of the lock release is just right.

I was really impressed by how the above videos turned out. So I started filming a few other things just to see what was actually happening in certain parts of the playfield. I am amazed at how useful this is as a tool for troubleshooting. I know of plenty of playfield issues on my games but rarely can I actually see what is causing these issues during normal gameplay. This is where slow motion videos come in really handy.

Problem 1: one of the screws that secures the left inlane ball return guides to the playfield had snapped. I have sometimes seen the upper screw snap due to balls impacting it, but the lower one was the damaged one on my machine. I had no idea how this could happen as there was no way balls would be coming into contact with this screw.


Turns out, balls were actually impacting it a lot - from above. Balls dropping from the wireform were coming straight down onto it.

Problem 2: the supercharger entry plastic on my Getaway was broken. I bought a metal backing bracket from Homepin as extra support. At some point in time, the metal bracket had been hit by a ball and bent forwards. What the hell? So I set up the camera and flipped a ball towards the area to see what could have happened.



Yep, airballs from the standup targets were impacting the ramp entry. Now I need to adjust the metal plate behind the leaf switch so it directs balls downwards.

Problem 3: ball hang ups in the right freeway orbit. Occasionally, a ball shot from the left freeway orbit would hang up on something on its way down the right side. I though this was caused by the switch and adjusted it a hundred times to no avail. The video helped show exactly what was happening.


The ball was actually hitting the screw that fastens the ball guide to the cabinet. Removing the screw fixed the issue.

Problem 4: balls being ejected from the supercharger early. Very occasionally a ball would get pushed out of the supercharger too early. I knew that this was due to the diverter not closing quickly enough, but it is interesting to actually see this on camera. The video also confirmed that the balls were not being struck by the screws on the diverter, which is another common problem. There are up to 3 balls in the supercharger in these videos.


That's all for now. Hopefully that was interesting to some of you guys. If you have any other slow motion pinball videos, please share!

#2 1 year ago

These are nice videos, thanks for sharing.
-Mike

#3 1 year ago

Great vids of the mechanicals however.... Even in slow motion those leds are driving me crazy....

#4 1 year ago

I always kinda knew slingshots were ruthless mechanisms. This video shows that they truly are. Ruthless.

I really dig the idea of troubleshooting stuff with a slow motion camera. That's very clever and I'm certainly gonna give that a try too. For example, I want to see where all those balls in Ghostbusters are flying off to after hitting the standups near the left ramp.

Thanks for posting this!

#5 1 year ago

Man, you were reading my mind. A couple weeks ago, I filmed some stuff, but never shared it.

Here’s my Firepower attract mode. I always thought it looked cool. I’ve got incandescents in the game, but you can see how it looks pulsed, since Williams strobed a higher voltage through them in an effort to improve bulb life.

#6 1 year ago

That slingshot reminds me of a steam hammer from the industrial age
Very impressive footage!

#7 1 year ago

I've found using slow-mo video to be pretty handy when troubleshooting as well. On my Stargate, the autoplunger would often not be able to kick the ball all the way up the skillshot ramp. When I recorded it in slow motion, I noticed the ball was rolling to the left side of the ramp, which often caused it to rub up against a foam pad near the top of the ramp and lose its momentum. So to fix it, I put a washer under the left screw and the bottom of the ramp, which made it lean a bit more to the right and I haven't had nearly as much trouble!

#8 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing, really cool vids!

#9 1 year ago

A while back, I troubleshooted a solenoid fuse that would blow after a reset cycle. The coils fired so quickly it was hard to tell which was the last one to fire. So, slowing down a recording helped identify which was the last one in the sequence to fire and blow the fuse.

There was someone else to used slow-motion video to troubleshoot the ball jumping off a habitrail on MM. It was bumping against a plastic along side the wire rails that wasn't obvious in real time.

#10 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing!

#11 1 year ago

Such a cool thread.

#12 1 year ago

I used slow mo cam to look at LEDs very interesting.
I have also used it to troubleshoot different mechs, great tool for troubleshooting.

#13 1 year ago

I've used my iPhone to film a rejecting kick out hole on Firepower recently. It was amazing to see how shots were hitting the shield, the teeth on the hole, and the front rim of the saucer. It really lets you see the action and what is wrong.

#14 1 year ago

I would like to see slo-mo vids of crazy ball/flipper action, like during successful slap saves.

#15 1 year ago

Hi guys,

Thanks for the nice comments.

Spent some more time yesterday getting footage of some problems as well as some footage of playfield mechanisms.


I have been having some issues properly aligning the kickback so it hits the ball squarely. The plunger is a bit fast even for this slow motion capture but you can just see that it hits the ball slightly on the right side. This is impossible to gauge with the naked eye so now I have it nicely aligned to the centre.


I've always had problems hitting the loop shot in the Getaway for some reason. So I decided to use some slow motion footage to determine exactly where on the flipper you need to hit the ball in order to make a clean loop shot. Turns out you need to hit it toward the tip of the flipper rather than the centre. Sure, you can also figure this out by playing the game a bunch of times, but that's not very scientific, is it?!


Fish Tales! You can sometimes have issues in the shooter lane where the ball is kicked out of the trough and bounces back in. This is a good video of why that happens - the flange at the end of the ball trough is wide open. This needs to be bent inwards to make a smaller opening for the balls to bounce back in through. As you can see, the balls actually bounce around in the shooter lane a lot. No wonder they sometimes sneak back in.


One problem I have had with Fish Tales is that balls kicked out of the reel don't like to return to the left flipper consistently. I've tried fiddling with the ramp and adjusting the reel to no effect. It turns out that all of my efforts to fix the issue were being foiled by the fact that balls were striking the underside of the crossover wireform, making them go astray. I have no idea how to fix this so they don't hit the wireform... so I'll take that another time.

Below are some short videos of playfield mechanisms on Fish Tales in action. It always surprises me just how much movement there is in these assemblies even though we don't see it. I love the visual effect of the spinner decal, too. You hardly ever see it this clearly with the naked eye!




2 months later
#16 1 year ago

No issues with my Johnny Mnemonic but I thought there could be some cool opportunities to get some slow mo video from it today. Really interesting to see how the balls get released from the matrix for multiball.

1 week later
#17 1 year ago
Quoted from arolden:

No issues with my Johnny Mnemonic but I thought there could be some cool opportunities to get some slow mo video from it today. Really interesting to see how the balls get released from the matrix for multiball.
» YouTube video
» YouTube video
» YouTube video
» YouTube video
» YouTube video

Loved it!

3 months later
#18 1 year ago

Spent some time today taking some slow motion video of various assemblies in action.

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