(Topic ID: 326692)

Sorta surprising we haven't reinvented the pop bumper yet

By Doctor6

1 year ago


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  • 121 posts
  • 43 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by ForceFlow
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    There are 121 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 1 year ago

    Why are we still using a fairly antiquated skirt to detect the ball on pop bumpers? Getting these just right can sometimes be a pain. I'm sorta surprised we havent circumvented the skirt and the switch/cup under the playfield for a circular magnetic switch instead.

    Think about where the skirt goes: remove that all together and place a magnetic metal detector switch around the circumference of the pop (probably below the playfield so it's not such an eyesore). Less moving parts, more efficient, less money, less prone to need to be tweaked.

    I know, "if it ain't broke, dont fix it," but this seems to be something that m&m creations would really be into.

    #2 1 year ago

    It has been reinvented to where it is now.

    Dead - Big Spring Thing - to todays version.

    LTG : )

    #3 1 year ago

    Less monies huh

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from Doctor6:

    less prone to need to be tweaked.

    Magnetic switches can be really finicky. Get them dialed in, and they're fine. But they need a lot of fine-tuning. And they can be limited in terms of application, because of potential for interference with other nearby parts.

    I feel like the current pop bumper design actually works really well. There are still lots of places mechanical switches show up on pinball machines, and they are fine. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" seems perfectly applicable in the case of the pop bumpers. Pinball machines are expensive enough these days, without having to pay for all the extra R&D plus manufacturing costs that fancier switches would entail.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from pete_d:

    Magnetic switches can be really finicky. Get them dialed in, and they're fine. But they need a lot of fine-tuning. And they can be limited in terms of application, because of potential for interference with other nearby parts.

    I imagine it would be even less accurate and more finnicky mounted under the playfield, since it's detecting the position of the ball.

    #6 1 year ago

    This is a terrible idea.

    Pop bumpers have worked fine about 100 years with the current system.

    If you are "having trouble" dialing them in, you either aren't very good at pinball tech, or you need to replace some of your 25-50 year old pop bumper parts.

    #7 1 year ago

    Who invented the original anyway - Harry Williams? I mean the whole skirt + switch thing, whether on a pop bumper or a passive bumper. Supposed to be around '47 or '48? If it was ol' Harry, no way am I gonna bag on one of his ideas. Whoever it was it was a great idea, still is.

    Dialing them in? Cleaning and lubing the cup and cleaning/gapping the switch if needed, big deal. Once in a blue moon the switch position is honked up because somebody phutzed with it or replaced parts without resetting the position of the cup.

    #8 1 year ago

    The old skirt + switch got a nice improvement with the change to solid state too, gaining sensitivity to the ball with the more lightly sprung, gold-flashed switches, and instant reaction vs. having to go thru a pop relay first.

    #9 1 year ago

    Jpop had a cool pop bumper, where the stick broke a pair of opto beams instead of pushing a spoon.

    12
    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Pop bumpers have worked fine about 100 years with the current system.

    They are my least favorite thing to rebuild, though.

    I prefer games where the entire assembly can be removed (like on DE games), rather than having to take it all apart on the playfield itself (like WPC games).

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    They are my least favorite thing to rebuild, though.
    I prefer games where the entire assembly can be removed (like on DE games), rather than having to take it all apart on the playfield itself (like WPC games).

    Let's be realistic: how often do you need to rebuild these things? And how will redesigning pops to use magnets affect this? (it won't, unless you are worried about rebuilding pops on used games in 25 years).

    Nobody likes rebuilding shit but that's part of pinball. And I'll stick with the devil we know - I don't want to be 70 years old trying to figure why some obsolete magnet-based pop bumper isn't working any more or why I can't adjust it to my liking as easily as bending a leaf switch.

    #12 1 year ago

    ... and speaking of the magnetic sensor ring being affected by other devices, how about the great big old pop coil that would be sitting right underneath it?

    #13 1 year ago

    Talk about your first world problems

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    They are my least favorite thing to rebuild, though.
    I prefer games where the entire assembly can be removed (like on DE games), rather than having to take it all apart on the playfield itself (like WPC games).

    Exactly. I agree with OP. A newer design would be a great thing.

    If you've ever replaced one or have done pf work, you know the pain it is.

    #15 1 year ago

    How about a ring of optos instead?

    Allied leisure games actually have a cool design that doesn't use a spoon so there's no dead zone but it never caught on for some reason

    I'd rather a pop design that doesn't involve soldering to replace the top half

    #16 1 year ago

    I will admit that when I notice a pop skirt is chipped I go 'ugh' with the thought of replacing it. Other than that they always seem to work fine.

    #17 1 year ago

    I think one of those old Gottlieb 'On Target' newsletter history blurbs mentioned an earlier Gottlieb design where the pop bumper stem was metal and it contacted a carbon ring that surrounded it but it was not as reliable. Sort of like how a tilt bob works.

    #18 1 year ago

    You have to understand that if you suggest something that involves change the old men of Pinside will be quick to explain how they were popping their bumpers uphill both ways while you were still a gleam in your father's eye, and you should never try and make something different, because change is the devil, and will lead to hairy palms.

    And to a certain extent there's some healthiness in holding onto tradition. It's part of the charm of the hobby after all, being anachronistic and physical in a digital world.

    But I think making spinners use optical sensors to provide less resistance is a nice idea, and I'm glad we're seeing more of it.

    Maybe 'smart' drop targets could be done better with servos instead of two separate coils, who knows? And maybe every idea this guy had wasn't always bad:

    Quoted from benheck:

    Jpop had a cool pop bumper, where the stick broke a pair of opto beams instead of pushing a spoon.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from frenchmarky:

    ... and speaking of the magnetic sensor ring being affected by other devices, how about the great big old pop coil that would be sitting right underneath it?

    Well, obviously, we need to redesign the coil part of the pop bumper too because it's fairly antiquated. Maybe something with servos?

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Allied leisure games actually have a cool design that doesn't use a spoon so there's no dead zone but it never caught on for some reason

    How did it work? Tried finding a pic but couldn't find one where I could make anything out.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Let's be realistic: how often do you need to rebuild these things?

    Since I mostly buy projects, just about every game I buy.

    Quoted from zacaj:

    Allied leisure games actually have a cool design that doesn't use a spoon so there's no dead zone but it never caught on for some reason

    Are you sure? The Allied Leisure games I've worked on have a spoon, but everything except the switch contacts is plastic.

    Quoted from benheck:

    Jpop had a cool pop bumper, where the stick broke a pair of opto beams instead of pushing a spoon.

    That sounds nice. I'm tired of fiddly spoons and switches working in one direction but not another.

    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Nobody likes rebuilding shit but that's part of pinball.

    I'm fine with rebuilding pretty much every other kind of mech execept pop bumpers. Disassemble the top side, desolder the lamp leads, then remove the top side parts, then remove the bottom side parts. IMHO, it's a design that is not maintenance friendly. The DE (and Allied Leisure design before that) is a complete assembly that just drops out of the playfield. I like that approach much better. Less work, and less annoying to work on.

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Since I mostly buy projects, just about every game I buy.

    Great. So how is an expensive and time consuming redesign of pop bumpers over the course of the next few years going to help you out there?

    I guess in a couple of decades when you pick up that beater Jaws Premium….

    23
    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from radium:

    Talk about your first world problems

    Brother, you're on a website about collecting pinball machines. Nobody is in their mud hut typing on their keyboard to reach this forum.

    #24 1 year ago

    Pros. It’s an elegant, simple, inexpensive design that is standardized, well-understood, and with an abundance of parts for in the world. Cons. A couple of people once complained it’s difficult to adjust while others disagreed about that. ?

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from Doctor6:

    Nobody is in their mud hut typing on their keyboard to reach this forum.

    I bet someone is

    #26 1 year ago

    I like they way they are ... just those metal arms for the lights are such a pain to change a skirt ...

    #27 1 year ago

    I gotta admit every time I’ve ever stripped a playfield I have had this thought!

    #28 1 year ago

    If Levi ran Pinside we'd all be banned.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Are you sure? The Allied Leisure games I've worked on have a spoon, but everything except the switch contacts is plastic.

    Here's the best pic of one I found. It sorta looks like *maybe* no spoon and the stem is thicker and not tapered at the tip. So I'm thinking... did the entire skirt move straight up & down instead of only tilting, and the stem simply pushed down on the switch? But would seem like there would be more friction problems if the ball was intended to do that only pushing down on one end especially when dirt and wear set in even with all nylon parts? Maybe not. If that's how it worked it must've used a lighter skirt spring.

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    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from frenchmarky:

    Here's the best pic of one I found. It sorta looks like *maybe* no spoon and the stem is thicker and not tapered at the tip. So I'm thinking... did the entire skirt move straight up & down instead of only tilting, and the stem simply pushed down on the switch? But would seem like there would be more friction problems if the ball was intended to do that only pushing down on one end especially when dirt and wear set in even with all nylon parts? Maybe not. If that's how it worked it must've used a lighter skirt spring.
    [quoted image]

    Oh, you're right--its been a minute since I had my hands on one.

    The skirt stem sits inside a spacer, which hits a switch leaf directly. There is no spoon.

    However...the skirt stem is a bit different than standard. The cone shape support around the base is shaved down. So a standard skirt won't fit (without modification).

    [edit]: The stem is chopped off, then placed on top of the cone spacer.

    #31 1 year ago

    People should check out this thread

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/mech-ideas-a-free-for-all

    Four direction detecting opto sensor for a pop

    #32 1 year ago

    Time to summon Sonic to the thread to see if something can be created to replace the skirt as being the sensor!

    #33 1 year ago

    Two words… The Shadow

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I guess in a couple of decades when you pick up that beater Jaws Premium….

    You heard it here first… next Stern pin.

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    This is a terrible idea.
    Pop bumpers have worked fine about 100 years with the current system.
    If you are "having trouble" dialing them in, you either aren't very good at pinball tech, or you need to replace some of your 25-50 year old pop bumper parts.

    You're one of those, "100MB DRIVE! We'll NEVER need anything bigger than that" guys aren't you. Are you still using a rotary phone or did you never move beyond the telegraph?

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from frenchmarky:

    Who invented the original anyway - Harry Williams? I mean the whole skirt + switch thing, whether on a pop bumper or a passive bumper. Supposed to be around '47 or '48? If it was ol' Harry, no way am I gonna bag on one of his ideas. Whoever it was it was a great idea, still is.
    Dialing them in? Cleaning and lubing the cup and cleaning/gapping the switch if needed, big deal. Once in a blue moon the switch position is honked up because somebody phutzed with it or replaced parts without resetting the position of the cup.

    This is from 1949, it’s pretty much the same as current design. Inventor Wayne Newens, patent filed by David Gottlieb.

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US2487979

    All I can say is the dang things work, I love to see them in action. A great design that holds up after 73+ years.

    #37 1 year ago

    Wasn't there a game in the last 10 years that had magnetic slings? I'm drawing a blank as to what game it was. But if magnetic pops were ever going to be viable, I'm sure whoever did those slings probably looked into it and said, "nah", for more than a few reasons.

    I'm not a huge fan of the B/W design and their intertwining and stapling of the strap for the light. Plus, it seems like most pop bumper designs are basically a device that is trying to self destruct slowly(which has happened to a couple of mine).

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    Pros. It’s an elegant, simple, inexpensive design that is standardized, well-understood, and with an abundance of parts for in the world. Cons. A couple of people once complained it’s difficult to adjust while others disagreed about that. ?

    This.

    The pop out DE/Stern module design is nice but aside from initial assembly generally will never be used again. Great for speed on the assembly line but limited outside of that. I put Molex connectors on Seawitch when I built it but aside from the initial assembly has not been apart since.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from Zablon:

    You're one of those, "100MB DRIVE! We'll NEVER need anything bigger than that" guys aren't you. Are you still using a rotary phone or did you never move beyond the telegraph?

    Before you know it, he'll be saying that crypto is a terrible idea too.

    #40 1 year ago

    I’m waiting for someone to reinvent a new version of the zipper flipper.

    #41 1 year ago
    Quoted from goingincirclez:

    If Levi ran Pinside we'd all be banned.

    Nah just all the threads would be locked for redundancy…

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from Zablon:

    You're one of those, "100MB DRIVE! We'll NEVER need anything bigger than that" guys aren't you. Are you still using a rotary phone or did you never move beyond the telegraph?

    I'm sure Levi has a modern motorola razor like the rest of us.

    #43 1 year ago

    It fits great in cargo shorts...

    #44 1 year ago

    Sega EM pinball machines had a much different pop bumper (and sling shot) design. It was all a single piece.

    785AC2E3-B959-427D-A026-8284B145A359 (resized).jpeg785AC2E3-B959-427D-A026-8284B145A359 (resized).jpegDCEE060B-9996-4A0B-9391-97161EAC1232 (resized).jpegDCEE060B-9996-4A0B-9391-97161EAC1232 (resized).jpeg839CC34D-220C-4DF0-A2C2-4ED24AB4DF92 (resized).jpeg839CC34D-220C-4DF0-A2C2-4ED24AB4DF92 (resized).jpeg

    It doesn’t look like it would be effective at all, but it works surprisingly well:

    I’d love to get my hands on a few of these games for my collection. They seem super unique.

    #45 1 year ago
    Quoted from Zablon:

    You're one of those, "100MB DRIVE! We'll NEVER need anything bigger than that" guys aren't you. Are you still using a rotary phone or did you never move beyond the telegraph?

    Phones/computer tech changes every 4 weeks. Because there’s always room for improvement and the tech is always getting better and that’s what it does.

    Pop bumper tech changes never in 80 years. Because it’s perfect.

    Your comparison is dumb!

    (Ok, I’ll admit that I couldn’t believe it when Apple shipped their first iMacs without a floppy drive)

    #46 1 year ago

    Rebuilding pops sucks. I try to avoid it at all costs. I know poor Jorant here has just done a pf swap on a game, and took possession of a whirlwind with 6 pops on it. I'm sure hes all pop bumpered out.

    #47 1 year ago

    What we need is a better version of the Data East pop assembly with:

    1) Smaller footprint
    2) No spoon
    3) No skirt
    4) Stronger material

    #48 1 year ago
    Quoted from frenchmarky:

    Here's the best pic of one I found. It sorta looks like *maybe* no spoon and the stem is thicker and not tapered at the tip. So I'm thinking... did the entire skirt move straight up & down instead of only tilting, and the stem simply pushed down on the switch? But would seem like there would be more friction problems if the ball was intended to do that only pushing down on one end especially when dirt and wear set in even with all nylon parts? Maybe not. If that's how it worked it must've used a lighter skirt spring.
    [quoted image]

    On these the stem is a separate part. The skirt is just a flat disk, which can tilt like normal, and the stem can slide up and down only, and is about 3/8" wide at the top. As the skirt tilts, it makes contact with only one side of the top edge of the stem, pushing it straight down, closing the switch. No need to worry about dirty spoons or centering them properly on the stem, etc.

    #49 1 year ago

    Data East has the best ones the whole assembly comes off the playfield from the bottom,

    #50 1 year ago
    Quoted from wisefwumyogwave:

    Data East has the best ones the whole assembly comes off the playfield from the bottom,

    They are also consistently the worst and most difficult to adjust pops I’ve ever had to deal with. No idea why, they just seem to suck.

    But I guess they are easier to rebuild every few months so they don’t suck?

    DE pops just always seem kind of dead no matter how you adjust them.

    There are 121 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.

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