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Star Trek: Mirror Universe Pinball

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By Zitt

2 years ago


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  • Latest reply 1 day ago by joelreeves

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#201 1 year ago

Just found this thread and poured over the whole thing. It is now a favorite and I look forward to staying up to date as you complete this creative and ambitious project.

Sincerely,
Ryan Claytor
Elephant Eater Comics
http://www.ElephantEater.com


#202 1 year ago

Thanks... While I'm having fun... The pressure of the deadline is taking a toll on my enjoyment


#203 1 year ago

Despite the current pressure you feel, deadlines are a bit of a neccesary evil. Creative projects see the light of day because of them. As an artist, I can attest to this.

I'm assuming the Texas Pinball Fest is the deadline to which you are referring. I wish you luck completing everything on your to do list by then. I'm sure it will be the belle of the ball. REALLY wish I could go to experience your labor of love in person.

In the meantime, thanks for documenting your creative journey and allowing us to come along on the ride.

Sincerely,
Ryan Claytor
Elephant Eater Comics
http://www.ElephantEater.com


#204 1 year ago

That clear-coat looks fantastic! Keep it up


#205 1 year ago
RyanClaytor said:

I'm assuming the Texas Pinball Fest is the deadline to which you are referring. I wish you luck completing everything on your to do list by then. I'm sure it will be the belle of the ball. REALLY wish I could go to experience your labor of love in person.

Yeap. The other source of concern is I'm still waiting on the backglass design.
I don't like it when things don't go to plan.

Regardless; another 7hrs at techshop planned for tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have some more to share then.


#206 1 year ago

wish this was coming to the detroit or MGC. Would love to see it in person when it's done.


#207 1 year ago

Amazing work zitt!


#208 1 year ago

Now for the interactive portion of our project.
Kudos points to the first poster who correctly identifies this 3D Carved Item... and speculates correctly as to it's function on the machine.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/11811431384/sizes/o/
11811431384_61a2407a8f[2].jpg11811431384_61a2407a8f[2].jpg

This took me the better part of 12hrs to make on the CNC mill... and I still need to figure out how to remove the items from the 0.5inch block of aluminum.


#209 1 year ago

Looks like a Terran dagger like you have for the shooter scale but not sure what you have in mind for it's use unless it's something to do with the shooter rod ?


#210 1 year ago
SaminVA said:

Looks like a Terran dagger like you have for the shooter scale but not sure what you have in mind for it's use unless it's something to do with the shooter rod ?

yep, i have to agree also.

MirrorDagger2-1.jpgMirrorDagger2-1.jpg

#211 1 year ago

you guys are close. Not the dagger; but the sword which goes thru the planet.
Sorry scale doesn't translate well. The blade is 16in long. So no; it's not a shooter rod - to big.

TerranEmpire[1].pngTerranEmpire[1].png


#212 1 year ago

Terran sword of conquest
That shape would make great pinball machine legs

http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs43/i/2009/080/b/7/Terran_Empire_1st_Flag_by_Camro_XXVII.jpg
Terran_Empire_1st_Flag_by_Camro_XXVII.jpgTerran_Empire_1st_Flag_by_Camro_XXVII.jpg


#213 1 year ago
Zitt said:

I've done some more work on the speaker wraps; basically divided them up into ~3 inch sections so they could be printed easier on the Makerbot build platforms. I wasn't sure that 5.9" tall would print on the Makerbot Techshop has. Since I divided the one wrap into two sections; I put little "snap" dowels into the pieces so they'd go together and could be glued in place.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/11127395676/sizes/o/

I'm thinking the best material would be ABS. The wrap in grey and the vanes in black. If only techshop had a makerbot 2X... then the wrap could be printed in dual colors (IE vents in charcoal and wrap in grey)
I'm kinda hoping someone with 3D printer at home will step up to own the print of these wraps. I feel like these buggers are gonna take several overnights to print... lots of trips to Techshop which could be used assembling other aspects of the machine.

11127395676_5f8918b3a3[1].jpg 16 KB

Not sure if you're printed this yet, but I'd suggest PLA for a part that big on the Makerbot.

Even with a heated platform, and anti-curling tricks like hairspray, ABS tends to contract upon itself at the base on larger prints.


#214 1 year ago

not pinball legs; although, I was already thinking about something like that.

Ben - we are using PLA. The problem right now is sketchup did a piss-poor job of creating printable shapes.
At the moment; the speaker wraps are on hold until I get time to figure out another 3D printer tool.


#215 1 year ago

If your doing it as legs. I don't know if you want the sword tip pointing in the floor. I can see that working its' way to the basement in no time.


#216 1 year ago

Amazing thread.


#217 1 year ago

Anyone interested in a trade?
This completed machine for this?
http://tinyurl.com/pbrbg3f


#218 1 year ago

Progress update: I am working on assembling the PF; mainly the bottom parts. Ran into a problem tho... Initially; I had hoped that I could just "flip" the outlane and ball trough parts with the left shooter. Turns out that it wasn't really possible. As a result; I'm currently importing the parts into CAD so they can be mirrored. The Plan is to cut the parts out on Techshop's WaterJet when it comes back online.


#219 1 year ago

Forgive me for asking, maybe this is obvious to everyone else, but how did the print shop apply the playfield? Is this vinyl, a silkscreen, a giant inkjet..? I'm curious if I wanted to have a playfield re-done, what process do I go in and inquire about?


#220 1 year ago
Zitt said:

Anyone interested in a trade?
This completed machine for this?
http://tinyurl.com/pbrbg3f

I'm sure those would store well in a AZ garage. Pretty awesome tho. I think they are a little high on the asking price tho.


#221 1 year ago
Renegade said:

Forgive me for asking, maybe this is obvious to everyone else, but how did the print shop apply the playfield? Is this vinyl, a silkscreen, a giant inkjet..?

Direct Printed = Direct paint on the playfield.
I'm unsure of the technology; but I think it's a solvent based paint (ink seems like an incorrect term) which is applied to the PF and a UV light in the head of the printer "Cures" the paint as it prints.

I'm not a sign shop; but that's my guess based upon what I saw during the walk thru.


#222 1 year ago

Need some advise.
Seen many a Bally ST playfield with paint damage on the LLY where the ball eject occurs. I've also seen damage near the Space Station.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/3374865542/sizes/o/
3374865542_2e7e4218ec[1].jpg3374865542_2e7e4218ec[1].jpg

I'm thinking I want to put some Mylar from the LLY area into the pops; and the two half moons near the slings. Currently I have nothing but clear in those areas.

At this point; I'm not sure the clearcoat is thick enough to protect these areas from the ball for a long period of time.
While the machine won't be in an arcade... it will be a TPF and other charitable events... I just don't want to risk long term damage of this PF.

What do you guys think?


#223 1 year ago

clear will be fine. You will never have wear again with clear on it. No need for protection beyond that. Not enough force on a game this old to break through clear, and you would need 10's of thousands of games to make it happen.


#224 1 year ago

Lots of work behind the scenes getting the gross-level assembly started on the PF. Basically; I went thru and assembled all the Turbo bummers; kickout; switches such from the bottom side. No real pictures of this due to the tedious work involved. Once I had the big parts on the bottom of the playfield it was time to start installing some lighting. As I stated earlier in the thread; I created some custom LED boards to replace the underside switched Lamps.

An example of these switch lamps is as follow:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12044776555/sizes/o/

This being the center Xk's ... an butt load of lamp sockets which I hate tending to on my Bally Star Trek. To this end; I created custom LED boards which would bolt to the underside of the PF and give me the needed light. Given these are LEDs; they should last a lifetime under normal use.

I started by carefully laying the Blank PCBs I designed out on the backside of the PF, drilling 0.24 of an inch into the wood, then Tapping said hole with a #6-32 tap. When the holes were tapped; I screwed in a 1/4" nylon standoff which the PCA (Printed Circuit Assembly) would mount to:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12045194794/sizes/o/
12045194794_e8d885cf18[1].jpg12045194794_e8d885cf18[1].jpg

Once I had the standoffs in place; I went ahead and assembled the PCBs using the Skillet method and some soldering paste. Here's a majority of the pcbs in the skillet during reflow:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12045646196/sizes/o/
12045646196_d95f522198[1].jpg12045646196_d95f522198[1].jpg

Once I had the SMT components done; I hand soldered the thru hole components. Which the PCBs assembled; the rest of the switch lamp matrix is assembled:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12045646196/sizes/o/
12044786685_be3b977f3c[1].jpg12044786685_be3b977f3c[1].jpg

I ran out of 5 red LEDs and 5 white LEDs; so I need to order some more to complete the rollover switches and the lane indicators.
More coming; stay tuned.


#225 1 year ago

Once I had the switched lamp matrix resolved; it was time to begin looking at the "inlane" mechanics - namely the ball eject mechanism and the shooter lane. Initially; I had hoped that I could just "flip" the inlane and ball trough parts with the left shooter. Turns out that it wasn't really possible. As a result; I'm currently importing the parts into CAD so they can be mirrored. The Plan is to cut the parts out on Techshop's WaterJet when it comes back online. Today was that day. I had to cut new eject brackets as well as the ball trough as mirrored images. I decided I wanted to cut all the pieces out of 16gauge stainless steel so I would never have to worry about rust on these parts.

Here's the "flattened" brackets coming off the waterjet machine. Took about 20minutes of machine time to cut these badboys:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12045356034/sizes/o/
12045356034_a2ee00d745[1].jpg12045356034_a2ee00d745[1].jpg

Then I spent some time on Techshop's JET finger break bending the brackets into their correct orientation. Here's the final product vs the original brackets:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12044950675/sizes/o/
12044950675_055d31129e[1].jpg12044950675_055d31129e[1].jpg

Once I got home; I assembled the ball trough giving us this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12045199974/sizes/o/
12045199974_0438885038[1].jpg12045199974_0438885038[1].jpg

I still have to assembled the eject solenoid and the eject bracket; need to order some parts from McMaster-carr to finish the eject assembly.


#226 1 year ago

If you recall; there was a interactive portion where I asked people to speculate on what this was...

...its now time to answer that question.

With the Eject lane in position; I was now able to install the shooter lane. This item above was carved out of 18x4inches of 1/2inch thick aluminum. When assembled it becomes the inside "guide" of the ball lane. Nobody guessed it's function; but that's ok. Now you get to see it in all it's splender.

The pieces make up my rendition of the "Terran Sword of Conquest" as correctly identified by SaminVA above. I carefully cut out the 3D pieces and assembled them into the sword. The sword is made up of the little nobby thing you club someone on the head with... the handle... the hilt... and the blade itself. Each one of these pieces are bolted together with two pieces of steel. One JBwelded in the the knobby thing with a set screw at the base of the handle.
The second steel rod is jb-welded to the sword blade. A set screw fastens the hilt to the rod, and the rod to the handle. No; it proably wouldn't make a good sword this way; but it's really just an ordimental piece. With the sword assembled; it's time to bolt it in it's place on the PF:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12045654706/sizes/o/
12045654706_890df07168[1].jpg12045654706_890df07168[1].jpg
Now I think you guys can see why I went with a "bladed" side rail... the two complement each other quite well.

Another angle with another surprise feature of the PF...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12044802325/sizes/o/
12044802325_63e336ca43[1].jpg12044802325_63e336ca43[1].jpg

Several months ago; I contacted Cliffy at
http://passionforpinball.com/protectors.htm
and asked him to do a custom inlane switch protector for this project. He graciously agreed. For inlane switch; he cut me a custom Enterprise switch protector which I cnced a place for it making it "level" with the PF wood/clear.

Here's the mandatory money shot for the kids at home:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12045653436/sizes/o/
12045653436_1777a4f60b[1].jpg12045653436_1777a4f60b[1].jpg

Starting to look like a Pinball machine now; isn't it?


#227 1 year ago

A couple of weeks ago; I did a pretty big PinballLife.com order... part of which was those awesome new Aluminum Flipper bats:
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=3145

Today; I executed the strategy for these bats. First went ahead and powdercoated them black... then a second clearcoat powder with the metal flake seen on the apron. Once I had the bat powdercoated; I laser etched a jig on the tormac laser cutter at techshop. This etch allowed me to position the bats in such a way that they ready to get their treatment:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12044945155/sizes/o/
12044945155_c4de284f97[1].jpg12044945155_c4de284f97[1].jpg

The Bats go into the Laser cutter to get their dagger etches:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12045345074/sizes/o/
12045345074_4139a9c291[1].jpg12045345074_4139a9c291[1].jpg

I hear the audience screaming for a money shot... who am I to argue?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12045661786/sizes/o/
12045661786_645bcb3f2a[1].jpg12045661786_645bcb3f2a[1].jpg

And that concludes my weekend update for you guys... Next up I'm thinking it's time to start the wiring harnesses for the boards, switches, Etc. I wanted to get the LED boards in place so I can figure out how to route the harnesses under the PF. Not sure how long this will take... so bear with me.


#228 1 year ago

I will try not to drool on this baby at the TPF! Can hardly wait to see it in person!


#229 1 year ago

I just checked in on this thread for the first time in a while. All I have to say is, holly *&%^$. I wish I had a tenth the ability to do what you are doing. This is just plain amazing. I especially love all the fine touches and details like the laser etched flipper bats and custom recessed cliffy. The playfield look amazing.

Looking forward to seeing the final product.


#230 1 year ago
daley said:

I just checked in on this thread for the first time in a while. All I have to say is, holly *&%^$. I wish I had a tenth the ability to do what you are doing. This is just plain amazing. I especially love all the fine touches and details like the laser etched flipper bats and custom recessed cliffy. The playfield look amazing.
Looking forward to seeing the final product.

Zitt is amazingly talented and very creative. The mods he's done on his other game were really cool too.


#231 1 year ago

Really making some great progress now and I love those flippers!


#232 1 year ago

From the angle. It looks like at the tip of the sword, that the metal wire guide kind of sticks out beyond the sword edge. Isn't the ball going to catch on that? Just curious. Looking fantastic all around. It's awesome you have access to great resources to make these custom parts possible.


#233 1 year ago

Honestly not sure. I may have to make adjustments once I actually begin playing it. At times; that seems far away.


#234 1 year ago
CaptainNeo said:

From the angle. It looks like at the tip of the sword, that the metal wire guide kind of sticks out beyond the sword edge. Isn't the ball going to catch on that? Just curious. Looking fantastic all around. It's awesome you have access to great resources to make these custom parts possible.

Looking closely at the image, it's not that the wire guide sticks out further than the sword edge (the sword edge and the wire guide both seem to be behind the yellow line), it's that there is a gap where the sword point tapers and the wire guide starts.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12044802325/sizes/o/

That could theoretically catch the ball, and might need something to bridge the gap if it happens at all, but I doubt it would happen often because the guide doesn't appear to be sticking out further than the major part of the blade.

Can't wait to see the game at TPF Zitt!


#235 1 year ago

I guess it's going to come down to how level the machine is. Should be a nice straight shot with no problems. If it runs along the sword side, then it might dribble the ball and head back down.


#236 1 year ago
Sjsilver said:

Looking closely at the image, it's not that the wire guide sticks out further than the sword edge (the sword edge and the wire guide both seem to be behind the yellow line), it's that there is a gap where the sword point tapers and the wire guide starts.

Right; my assumption is the ball will be fast coming off of the shooter tip and that gap wouldn't be big enough to matter.
It's a concern; but one I'm not going to worry about until I see an actual problem.


#237 1 year ago

Looking great! Look forward to playing it at TPF


#238 1 year ago

Sooo wish I could be at TPF to see your progress in person!

Ryan Claytor
Elephant Eater Comics
http://www.ElephantEater.com


#239 1 year ago

I needed to work on the eject mechanism. I carefully measured the standoffs on the original part and engineered an alternate plan since I didn't have the time to replicate the part exactly. Instead I opted to buy some off the shel threaded inserts with nylon sleeves.

For the base which holds the eject bracket; I got a 7/8" threaded #8-32 standoff from Master-Carr.com #91125A210. This piece would be mounted to the top with an #8-32 screw and would provide the rotation point for the eject bracket. To space the arm off the base I went with a 3/8" nylon spacer with 1/4" I.D. and 1/2" O.D #94639A141.

Then goes the bracket arm. For the top of the bracket; I went with a PRess-Fit Drill bushing, 0.25" ID, 0.5" OD @ 3/8" length or #9491A252. I topped it off with two flat washers (think they were 1/4") and star washer and another #8-32 machine screw.

For the plunger arm which goes into the solenoid; I went with a 0.25" tall round spacer with a 1/4" OD and and 8-32 screw thread, #91125A140. The nylon spacer on top was a 1/8" long with 0.25" ID and 0.5" OD.

Here's a picture of the original eject mechanism vs the new one:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12166664004/sizes/o/
12166664004_ceaa7441c4[1].jpg12166664004_ceaa7441c4[1].jpg

Here's the mechanism with the coil and other hardware transferred:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12167202626/sizes/o/
12167202626_af92d0de03[1].jpg12167202626_af92d0de03[1].jpg

And mounted in the PF:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12166787653/sizes/o/
12166787653_9d2e8b4ca2[1].jpg12166787653_9d2e8b4ca2[1].jpg

My only concern is vibration loosening the #8-32 screws holding the threaded inserts in place. As a result; I may end up locktite-ing the screws in place later.


#240 1 year ago

With the eject mechanism squared away; time to move on to the Proximity sensors. For those who don't recall; I didn't want switch holes taking away from the art of the playfield. As a result; I wanted to use a Proximity sensor to sense the ball instead of a mechanical switch. I went thru several designs ... none really worked. Settling on the tried and true TDA0161 design used in modern Williams designs. Mixed in a little of my own circuitry and out came a custom layout which was 80% SMT except the "owner replaceable parts" Basically the diodes and the output transistor remained thru-hole... along with the TDA0161 which remained socketed.

I stenciled on some solder paste and went to work hand assembling 8 PCBs for use on the Playfield switches. All the SMTs were mounted and they went into the skillet for reflow:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12166475763/sizes/o/
12166475763_4bf7925d18[1].jpg12166475763_4bf7925d18[1].jpg

I then hand soldered the thru hole components and ran thru a bench test and calibration to make sure they worked prior to install.

I was trying to figure out how to mount the sensing coils in the Playfield slots (underside); when it dawned on me that I could just mount the PCB over the slots and run the sensing coil on the bottom side of the PCB... pushing the leads down so the coil touched the bottom of the slot. Luckily I had incorporated 3 mounting screw holes in the design so mounting ... so the PCB became the coil mount.

I marked the mount holes with a center punch; and proceeded to drill and tap each mount hole for a #6-32 nylon standoff as the light boards were mounted. Here's the PF with the proximity sensors mounted:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12166670894/sizes/o/
12166670894_6cee1c2b46[1].jpg12166670894_6cee1c2b46[1].jpg

And a close up showing a set of PCBs mounted with the coil leads going into the slots:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12166480193/sizes/o/
12166480193_c148899e0c[1].jpg12166480193_c148899e0c[1].jpg

With the PCBs mounted; I could then transfer the wiring harness from the donor PF to the Mirror Universe. Of course it too had to be mirrored but that was easily accomplished by flipping the harness:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52968060@N00/12166974044/sizes/o/
12166974044_2b7a6e6fab[1].jpg12166974044_2b7a6e6fab[1].jpg

Now the fun of crimping connectors and re-soldering coil/switch terminals begins.
I also need to re-assembly the GI circuits/lamps. The cheapskate in me wants to try an re-use the old GI lamp sockets. However, the do-it-right guy in me; want to order new GI lamps so I won't have to deal with the damn flickering due to warn-out GI lamp sockets. Yes; I know you can solder/hack an old GI Lamp to work... but my experiences has been it doesn't work on every lamp.


#241 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing in so much detail. The proximity instead of mechanical actuated switch idea is great! Do you think there is a risk that phantom switch hits occur or are they pretty focused?


#242 1 year ago
btw75 said:

Do you think there is a risk that phantom switch hits occur or are they pretty focused?

Won't know for sure until the whole system is together and playing.
My gut says no; as the ball has to be within 12mm of the sensing coil to trigger it.

Post edited by Zitt : wrong unit. mm not cm


#243 1 year ago
Zitt said:

Won't know for sure until the whole system is together and playing.
My gut says no; as the ball has to be within 12cm of the sensing coil to trigger it.

12 cm seems like a long distance, but I suppose you can tune the sensor for different detection ranges based on what little I can read from the datasheet.


#244 1 year ago

Sorry - meant 12mm. IE less that 1/2 inch.
I think at best right now; I saw a little more than a 1/4 of an inch.


#245 1 year ago
Zitt said:

Sorry - meant 12mm. IE less that 1/2 inch.
I think at best right now; I saw a little more than a 1/4 of an inch.

Sounds MUCH better! I really hope the design works out, it sounds like a much better switch option than ones that need a physical tuning every so often.


#246 1 year ago

I'm frustrated. Learned last weekend that my Comic book artist continues to have life-getting in the way issues; and probably won't make delivery of the backglass art in time for me to get it on the machine for TPF. I asked him to be done several times... but family / deaths / real-work deadlines keep getting in the way.

So; Yesterday I decided I was going to scan my existing CPR repro backglass and create my own.
Well; the same HP Scanjet 4670 I used to scan the PF is not giving me a interference pattern on the scans.

Sigh. Not sure what I'm going to do now.


#247 1 year ago

that sucks, sure hope you can find a solution


#248 1 year ago
Zitt said:

Well; the same HP Scanjet 4670 I used to scan the PF is not giving me a interference pattern on the scans.

You ARE getting a morie pattern from the scanner?


#249 1 year ago
Zitt said:

the same HP Scanjet 4670 I used to scan the PF is not giving me a interference pattern on the scans.

I assume the not = now?



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