(Topic ID: 34215)

Star Trek: Mirror Universe Pinball

By Zitt

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 603 posts
  • 121 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by CaptainNeo
  • Topic is favorited by 55 Pinsiders


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There are 603 posts in this topic. You are on page 7 of 13.
#301 5 years ago

Keep up the good work -- Amazing stuff! Can't wait to see it / play it at TPF!

#302 5 years ago

Need help:
Can someone with a 7digit Bally machine measure the clear opening in the artwork over the displays?

I need this measurement to adjust the Mirror Universe BG openings by the proper amount to allow for the 7digit Nixies.


#303 5 years ago

bringing this to Dallas for the pin fest ?

#305 5 years ago

I measure 3 x 14 cm on Xenon

#306 5 years ago

I have a dead display I can give you if you need one for testing before your Nixies arrive. I can lend you a live one if needed actually.

#307 5 years ago

Thanks - My Nixies are already here. 3 of the five have already been built and tested.
I just wanted to be sure my "display borders" in the art were correct before I send it off to be made.

#308 5 years ago

I'm now prepping to fire up the Playfield using my ATX PSU -> All but solenoid power board. IE replacing the rectifier/psu board which normally attaches to the big transformer in the game.

On this ATX board; I have a 12VDC -> GI zener/FET regulator ( example: http://www.ti.com/lit/an/slva119/slva119.pdf ) to drive the GI voltages.
Right now; I'm using a 9.3V Zener which brings the GI output voltage to 9VDC (with no load); which gave me pause. My initial reaction was that was way to high... now though I've talked myself into thinking it might be ok.

If I were using a normal Bally system with transformer and AC GI; I'd expect a 6.3VAC winding. After dusting my college lectures off from 20 years ago... This usually means 6.3Vrms IIRC. Given that most non-polarized LED bases contain a Bridge rectifier; wouldn't that mean the Vdc inside the LED is 6.3Vrms * sqrt(2) = Vpeak - diode drops*2.. IE by my calculation; the DC in a typical LED (prior to any resistors/leds) would be ~= 7.51 V w/ a standard diode... or 8.31V with a schottky type bridge. If you factor in GI voltage tolerances which should be build into the LED designs; am I really that far off?!

Of course; I can drop the zener diode in the regulator from a 9.3V zener to a 7.0v zener... and avoid this whole concern about possibly shortening the life of the GI LEDs via them being over driven... however, If I want the plastics on the the PF to be lit very well... scrubbing every ounce of voltage from the GI regulator might be a worth while endeavor.

Anyone have any knowledge they'd like to share?

#309 5 years ago

Wow - between this and acrylic pinball - I am amazed at both of them. Kudos for all your amazing work!

#310 5 years ago

I slept on the Vreg thing... and came to the realization that I hadn't considered the "peak" voltage != constant voltage of DC.

IE in the rectified AC situation; the LED is subject to periodic high voltages for the 120Hz cycles.
It's one thing to drive the LEDs at peak voltage for what... 50-70% of the wave... it's something completely different to subject the LED to the same DC voltage for 100% of the time.

I've ordered a couple of zener diodes to bring the voltage down to a more reasonable level.

#311 5 years ago

Good job Sherlock Ohms

#312 5 years ago

ROFL Sherlock Ohms

#313 5 years ago

it would be cool if your Score counters stared at 9999999 and each point was reduced from that number, heading towards 0000000, and could eventually roll-over backwards ("mirror"). Can't say (from memory) i've seen a pin do that before.

#314 5 years ago

I'm about 95% complete with the underside of the PF.
Everything has been wired up except the lane LED boards and the rollover LED boards. I'm waiting on a delivery from Mouser which should be here on Tuesday.

The drop target assembly was disassembled and cleaned. New drop targets installed and the coil was moved to the opposite side so it fits correctly.

Would anyone happen to have some detailed pictures of the outlane hole?
I need to figure out what outlane rollover switch was used. I'm hopeful PBR or PBL carries it...

I'd use a microswitch assembly from PBL if it's be easier:


#315 5 years ago

you really are making such an awesome pin!

#316 5 years ago

Just covered this from start to finish. Somehow missed it, but then I am pretty self-centered! Holy Cow, dude. If my name in chinese is Lo-tek yours must be Hi-tek. You've pretty much covered every problem I anticipate having on my next project. Including the Nixie tube displays. (I had considered having ONE as a ball number display.) I look forward to meeting you and seeing this awesome machine at TPF. We're in the 80s through next week so I am sure you'll be enjoying some nice fall/spring type weather. You have some sweet resources in Austin you just can't get in little back-wood hick towns like Corpus. Austin is a nice place, just a bit too... liberal? Anyways, looking forward to playing this in a few weeks. Awesome work.

#317 5 years ago

We're in TX ... even the liberal are conservative

#318 5 years ago

Tonight I put the near finishing touches on the underside of the Playfield. I ran out of Butane for my cordless soldering iron; so I couldn't solder in the new fuse block for the solenoids. I tried in vane this weekend to source some butane from both Lowes (was out) and Walmart (doesn't carry?!)... so; meh.

Anyway; the red star posts from the donor playfield are already in the ultrasonic cleaner... so hopefully; I can start assembling the top of the PF tomorrow night.

Here's detail pictures of the 99.9% PF all wired up:


#319 5 years ago

Wow! Those insert LED boards really help neaten things up. Makes for a nice minimalization on the wiring. Same amount of wires, just less wire and very organized. Sweet!

#320 5 years ago

Tonight I finished soldering in the Fuse holder for the Solenoids and began installing the Posts. I wanted to do something a little different for the upper PF... matching the Posts to the Art where possible. As a result I decided to put Blue transparent Lane guides instead of the red Bally opaque lane guides. Since guides and the posts were blue; I figured I'd need some blue LEDs to accent the guides from a GI perspective.

Here's a Day/Flash shot showing the installation:

I worked with Art @ www.CometPinball.com to get a sampling of his LEDs. I went thru several iterations focusing on the blue variety to see what lit the area the best. I wasn't very scientific about the installation; kinda moving them somewhat systematically to see what popped.

Yeap; Even tried white LEDs. Didn't like that I could see the white bulb thru the lane guides.

And finally settling on the 1st & 2nd blue LEDs I liked (no ambient light, no flash):

If I were to grade the Blue Comet LEDs for this application (according to my minds-eye):
2) Optix Maximus Blue
3) 4+1 SMD Tower Blue

I really like the pattern the Faceted Lens puts out; especially the Warm White. If I were an LED designer; I might try combining the Optix Maximus lens with a facetted ring; so as to combine the "flood" in the vertical direction and the pattern spread in the horizontal direction.

The Pop Bumpers contain Comet's 6 crystal FAN LEDs; which I think fits the pop bumpers perfectly.

Phase 2 of the LED tests will comprise of the White versions of Comet Pinball's against the Star Trek: Mirror Universe plastics... but I need to get them printed first.

#321 5 years ago

While I have you guys' attn....
Where can I get a slingshot arm top?

The nylon /white piece?
The Mirror universe donor had one missing... and the other is very dirty.

#323 5 years ago

Received the Star Trek: Mirror Universe translite from GameOnGrafix.com today... Overall I think it looks pretty damn sweet.


This weekend I hope to start cutting out the windows for the nixie tube displays and begin mounting it to the Acrylic I hope to get tomorrow from RegalPlastics.

#324 5 years ago

i'm surprised you didn't have it printed on glass. I know 2 people that could have done that for you.

#325 5 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

i'm surprised you didn't have it printed on glass. I know 2 people that could have done that for you.

oooooo..... get it on glass, so i can have the separate translite

#326 5 years ago

Neo - I will; AFTER I get the final artwork from the comic artist. (or should I say IF)

#327 5 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Received the Star Trek: Mirror Universe translite from GameOnGrafix.com today... Overall I think it looks pretty damn sweet.

Curious to see how you like it lit up, I have to admit I wasn't happy with my GoG translite experiment, it washed out really badly once you backlit it.

#328 5 years ago

I'm planning on making a lite block on the vinyl cutter at techshop... but I need a scan of the backglass which I can no longer do. Sigh.

#329 5 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

I'm planning on making a lite block on the vinyl cutter at techshop... but I need a scan of the backglass which I can no longer do. Sigh.

if you need the original backglass to scan, pinballz has the original on the floor. bet he'd let you do it.

#330 5 years ago

I have an original but no scanner as it broke
Regardless I have taken the ipdb pic and adjusted it to give me approx. Locations for hidden text

#331 5 years ago

^ Hidden text? What are you going to hide?...Or is that a stupid question? (aka - "I'm not going to tell you what is hidden...DUH!")

#332 5 years ago

It's mirror universe... maybe something like.... "kert rats"

#333 5 years ago

No...I'll post later but high score, match, shoot again, tilt are hidden texts

#334 5 years ago

Ah, gotcha...

#335 5 years ago

Right now; the artwork is a translite - as a result; I want to make sure the lamps behind it don't wash out the colors and I need to provide a mechanism to enable the hidden text which is illuminated by said lamps. So I used a black layer to create a "lite blocker" layer which if successful will be sent to the vinyl cutter at Techshop where it can be use to create the dark silver layer necessary to "block" said lamp light.

I took the ipdb.org picture, straighten and scaled it in photoshop then used it as a template to enable the custom "silver layer" for the mirror universe:

I wanted:
1) the yellow part of the sky to "glow" and contrast the dark planet side features.
2) the pants of the crew to be dark (unlike the original).
3) Artists signatures to glow.
4) Hidden text is an Original Series font.
5) Gold parts of logo glow... as does some shading on the red part of earth.
6) Primitive ruins glow.

Here's a rendering of what it should look like if the lite block comes out like I hope:
The hardest part is going to be getting the dark to register closely to the translite.

Now it's time to turn back to the backbox ... namely to install the ATX powersupply and PSU board to enable the LED test Phase2.
SteveC came to the rescue and 3d-Printed a set of ATX psu brackets I designed a couple of months ago. The design is based on a 3dprinter psu bracket I downloaded off thingaverse IIRC.

Once I had the brackets mounted; the PSU just slides right in an attaches via the atx mounting screws:

Now to figure how where to mount the PSU board... I could have mounted it above the ATX PSU... but I thought the original wiring harness may have trouble reaching up there; so I decided to mount the PSU on top of the PSU fan... that way the airflow cools the linear regulator used for the GI lamps. I center promptly voided the warranty of the PSU; but drilling #6-32 holes for the nylon standoffs. With the standoffs in place; the board was mounted to the psu:

After mounting everything; I notices the psu may be a little high... to high and it'll smack the credit/ball display. To low and it'll smack the player 3 display. I'm working on the light board right now... so should have an idea if I need to make an adjustment early this week.

That's about all there is to report from this weekend... got a lot of irons in the fire... controlled chaos keeping them all in check. Stay tuned.

BTW: Is anyone else having issues with Flickr uploads? I Keep getting "reconnect" messages on uploading batches of pictures.

#336 5 years ago

Phase 2 of the LED test begins now that I have the PSU board installed.

Here's the Orbit with a donor plastic from the donor PF. Bullet style:

Post edited by Zitt : HTML / image inlining

#337 5 years ago


Truth be told; I'm just not "feeling" any color other than Warm White. Yeah; my sample size was heavily weighted to WW to begin with; but that was on purpose given I feel Warm White is closer to the incandescent light bulbs of the era. None of the LEDs were "ideal". Some washed out the plastics with bright spots. Most can seen in the orbits... making the "look" of the bulb somewhat important.

I think once again; the Facetted lens style appealed to me most. I really like the light pattern it throws on the surface of the wood.

#338 5 years ago

The Orbits aren't the only "important" areas on the PF; so I wanted to try the Warm White Facetted bulbs in the other areas of the PF.

Check - Lights up the slings without issue.

500 target:
Check - Good illumination and the bulb isn't horrible either.

ALWAYS a problem in this game. Not enough light bulbs in this area to keep the plastics well lit.

Let's try one of Comet's 3LED strips in combo with the Facetted:
Yes; I know the strip doesn't match the bulb in color tone. I'm not sure Comet Carries the strips in Warm White. Art sent me this as a sample to play with.

But; it had the intended effect of lighting the plastic more uniformly. Need to ponder on the situation to see what can be done. Maybe CometPinball.com has these in WarmWhite... or maybe I'll have to make my own.

With most of the items "Checked" off; I think I'll go with mainly Warm White Facetted. Blue Facetted for the TE lanes... and some strips to help in the darker areas.

#339 5 years ago

Looking good John. Did you find a sling arm?


#340 5 years ago

I havent' looked for an arm yet.

#341 5 years ago

Again, amazing work.


#342 5 years ago
Quoted from MrSanRamon:

Again, amazing work.

local hero

#343 5 years ago

Let's not go overboard there... I'm not fighting crime/fires/Russians... but thanks for the feedback anyway.
Time for a quick update... Lots going on behind the scenes getting the machine to a point where I can power up. I've been working on little bits and pieces almost non-stop after work. Wed and Thursday night last week; I began assembling the new Lamp Matrix board. It's about 1/3rd the size of the original and uses MOSFETs instead of SCRs. Here's the board getting "skillet reflowed" with all the SMT parts.

While assembling the head; I noticed that all the display brackets were rusted pretty good. So I needed to take them to techshop and sandblast the rust off. I figured it was time to make a day of it at techshop on Sunday... so I queued up a bunch of work.

I attempted to mount the 48V transformer for the solenoids but quickly realized I didn't have the right hardware. I didn't want it mounted in the Backbox; instead I opted to mount it on the wood rail on the bottom of the cabinet. It was time to create a bracket for the transformer; so I decided to use the stainless steel leftovers I used for the inlane mechanism. Some CAD work Saturday night yielded the following watercut bracket:

Put it in the Techshop break and:

A M8x1.25 tap for the center hole and some wood screws; and we have the bracket installed ready for use:

Here's a test fit of the transformer:
:thumbs up:

I decided I was going to powdercoat the parts with a Nickel color since I had a bunch of it in the garage. I took a whole bunch of parts to get sandblasted. Coindoor parts & hinges, and the bottom metal sheet metal on the underside of the cabinet.

Bottom Metal sheet before:

After Sandblasting and powdercoat:
Just missing two old fashioned "t"nails to complete the installation.

Also did the display trays; but no pictures yet. Will post them later when I have them installed.

That's about it for tonight's update.
It's suppose to be very cold here in Austin tomorrow... so unsure how much time I'm going to spend it the garage. If I feel up-to-it; I'm going to try and wire the transformer to the PSU board. Maybe do some work on the topside of the PF.

I hope to power up the machine sometime this week. :Fingers crossed:

#344 5 years ago

Ok. Home stretch is approaching and I know I'm not going to get around to designing a set of custom apron cards for the machine. Who wants to take on that project; keeping in mind I need to be done with the machine in time for TPF at the end of march.

#345 5 years ago

I just stumbled upon this and wanted to add what everyone else has already said to you: Great work and this is a really unique idea for a table. Well done!

#347 5 years ago

Work continues on the Transformer and power situation. I began by sleeving the transformer connections to make them less of a mess inside the cabinet and then began wiring the ATX powersupply cable. I thought... hey; I'll just wired the ATX PSU into the existing wiring harness going into the machine. Keep in mind I designed the ATX PSU board to always power the ATX PSU when AC is supplied. So in effect right now; the Machine will always be powered.

The switch in the machine is AFTER where I tied in the ATX PSU - as the Noise Suppressor is only rated for 5Amps as is the cable feeding the main power switch. The switch goes after the noise suppressor. The existing switch is only rated for 5A... and ATXs can demand 15A on a fully loaded machine. So it's not as simple as just wiring the ATX psu after the switch. Gonna have to replace the switch and probably run a wire back to the ATX power cable.

So I took a trip to Lowes to get some 14gauge black wire to wire the hot side from the switch to the ATX power cable. I also stopped by Fry's Electronics to get a suitable switch which could handle the current. I ended up selecting a DPDT 20A / 125V... not because I needed 20A... but because they didn't have anything on the shelf > 10A.

I desoldered the old switch and replace it with the new... putting in a red and a black wire to tie in the ATX PSU. In effect; I've bypassed the noise suppressor on the hot rail. But alas; can't be helped right now as I'm out of time for TPF.

Here's the transformer wired up with sleeved power connections going into the backbox.


He is Stinker... and He approves this message!

#348 5 years ago

Just after work Tonight - ClayD, Bess, and I worked on vinyl cutting the light blocker from Black vinyl on Techshop's Cutter. Here's the bottom of the LiteBlocker, Weeded on transfer tape; ready to move to the backside of the glass:

And after some work getting it aligned right:

Then We cut the top lite blocker and after about 1.5hrs working on the top; This is what I can show you:

Here's a picture with it backlit by the overhead fluorescent lights in my garage. Best I can do right now as I'm waiting on USPS to deliver my CometPinball LED order.

Some slight registration issues in a couple of spots; Due to workflow issues between photoshop (raster -> path) ... then to CorelDraw. I think at some point one of the conversions grew the mask by a 1/4" causing registration issues in some areas. If I have time I'll try to trim it up a bit more with an xacto knife before TPF.

Anyway; overall really happy with the results.

#349 5 years ago

Looking real good there. And if kitty approves, who are we to argue... You have a Frys there too? Aah, big city living. I get what you're saying about the PSU. I probably would not have realized it until I plugged it in the first time.

Looks like decent weather for the weekend. Breakers will be invading so no leaving the house here.

#350 5 years ago

Did you already say where you were getting these pcbs made?

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