(Topic ID: 34215)

Star Trek: Mirror Universe Pinball

By Zitt

6 years ago

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  • 604 posts
  • 121 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 19 days ago by Zitt
  • Topic is favorited by 56 Pinsiders


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There are 604 posts in this topic. You are on page 8 of 13.
#351 5 years ago

OSHPark for the audio board.
http://smart-prototyping.com for most others. (China overseas)
OSHPark great. The other... well the price works

#352 5 years ago

I is magnetic

magnetic cat.jpg

#353 5 years ago

This weekend was all about lighting and plastics. First step was to replicate the plastic ball guides on the game.

I knew I couldn't replicate the metal standoffs in my home shop... nor could I really duplicate them easily / cheaply at Techshop. So I jumped in my appropriated Klingon Bird of Prey and slugshot around the Sun arriving in the year 1986... on a mission to procure some Transparent Aluminum so I could machine me some standoffs. Turns out that Transparent Aluminum hadn't been invented yet so I worked out a deal with a materials engineer to trade the formula for a suitable material with equivalent properties. The engineer and myself agree that Acrylic would have to do in a pinch. So I loaded up my Bird of Prey and came back to the present.

The idea would be to laser cut the acrylic... and some 1/8"wall acrylic tubing and bond them together with some acrylic solvent. Here's the test piece I created to test my theory:

Why Acrylic Tubing? Well; I feel that the metal standoffs used in the original pieces block a lot of the light from the lamps underneath said plastics. With the tubing; the light transmission should be at the best case conditions. With the test piece a success; I began the work of assembling these pieces. I needed to clamp the acrylic pieces to the tube standoffs while the solvent bonded the two pieces together. What better way than to use the alignment board used by the sign shop to print the playfield. Some screws and we have the ability to clamp:
I opted to recreate the grey standoffs as well; so they'd also be clear.

Here's a closeup shot of one of the ball guides being clamped:

The guide we left to finish bonding overnight... just to be safe.

#354 5 years ago

While those guides bonded; It was time to work on the guide behind the drop targets. This guide is created in sheet metal with riveted brackets on the original machine. I opted to recreate this bracket in 1/8" clear acrylic. Why; Again... I feel the sheet metal block all the lite from the bulb under the plastic; preventing it from lighting up the playfield. I have a concern than the acrylic won't hold up long-term to the ball abuse; but short term I think the experiment is worth the benefit. I layed out a new bracket in CAD and sent it to the laser cutter at techshop; then using the original as a guide; I used a heatgun and some clamps to bend the bracket into shape.




And checking the shape on the dummy PF:

Countersunk holes house the #6-32 counter sunk machine screws. Here's what it looks like; with it (sneak peak) plastics installed:

:Thumbs Up:
More tomorrow... time for bed.

#355 5 years ago

Ingenious to make them clear, John....

Light blockage and shadows be Gone!

#356 5 years ago

I like the clear better than metal. Looks more "space age".

#358 5 years ago

whale what-do-ya-know... acrylic worked

#359 5 years ago

Too tired to put a big post together tonight.
Signs of life from the mirror universe board set. Bench testing showed 7 flashes; but, in the machine I get the 7 flashes and the system hangs just after initial "squeal" before the star trek tones.

I swapped board sets with my "good" Bally Star Trek. Board acts the same in that system.
Leading me to believe the problem is on the CPU board. Given this board is an unknown; not sure what the deal is. Could be a bad EPROM flash (I did one 27c64 vs two 32s). TBH; I'd kill for a "verified working" CPU board right now... just so I didn't have to debug this problem. Yes; I realize I have a verified working; but The original Bally Board set is already commited in that machine for TPF. I don't want to go board swapping (more than I have) as I don't want to risk toasting both board sets.

#360 5 years ago

This is an amazing project. You said you're going to make 7? I imagine they will be worth a lot of money...

#361 5 years ago

Nope. Not making 7.
Making 1 as fan based art. Selling / giving away new copies would require licenses and such to avoid the legal entanglements.

#362 5 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Nope. Not making 7.
Making 1 as fan based art. Selling / giving away new copies would require licenses and such to avoid the legal entanglements.

Love the clear standoffs... not so crazy about seeing the threads on the screws. Takes away from the "space age" mystique and seems to create a more "primative" mystique. Aren't there screws that look more like smooth skinny posts that just have the threading towards the bottom of the screw?

Just a thought... been enjoying your thread btw.

#363 5 years ago

there probably are; but no time to source them at the moment.
I think most screws have threads all the way along the length. Only bolts themselves seem to have the "shoulder" area you are talking about. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

You really can't see the screws during normal play; but I'll check again.
Maybe after TPF I'll sandblast the inside of the tubes to hide the screw threads.

#364 5 years ago

Been spending the last few nights chasing the bugs out of the system. Got the MPU board to boot, but goes straight into diag mode instead of attract mode.
Had a Solenoid board with a bad 'LS154 decoder. The ChipSelect pin was shorted to ground; causing the coils to fire every time the soundboard was accessed. It was pretty funny to hear the star trek theme being beat out by coils on the PF.

Tonight I worked on some of the lamps and began reassembly of the coin door.

Since that's all I have to report; let's take a step back in time and continue updates from this past weekend.

The Plastics were installed given the ball guides were completed. One of the pet peeve areas of the original Bally is the darkness of the Enterprise plastic behind the drop targets. Given the entire machine is planned to be LED for it's entire life; I don't have to worry about lamp heat melting the posts. So; drilled a hole between the two posts:

I promptly voided the warranty of one of Comet Pinball's LEDs by removing the Bayonet Base and collar... then soldered a Green and Orange GI wire to the diodes.

I saved the 30ohm current limit resistor from the base and soldered inline under the PF:
Connecting the wires to the base of a GI lamp socket nearby.

The result:

#365 5 years ago

Today was a good day... in short; Star Trek: The Mirror Universe LIVES.

A design short-sight with the MOSFET LAMP board I designed rendered the LED switched inserts too dim. Basically; I had forgotten that the MPU scans each LAMP in sequence which in effect cause the LEDs to be on for only a short period of time. I can't fix the design (will require a board spin at a minimum) in time for TPF; so I had to go back to the original lamp board... along with shoehorn in a 6.3V Switch GI transformer from radioshack.

SchertzPinball loaned me a untested Lamp board which I debugged and was able to get the lamps functioning well enough for TPF. Thanks Jason!
All but one lamp is working... the outlier is the 10K bonus section on the primary hull of the ISS Enterprise. I'm planning on further debug after I get it buttoned together. I suspect a bad SCR; but will have to test.

MPU was going straight into Diagnostics... or resetting after the machine entered Attract mode. given it was going into Diag / test mode was a clue... turns out that the 6821 PIA at U10 had pin 40 bent under the package instead of into the socket. This caused the flakiness.

All solenoids are firing under test; ball ejects into the shooter lane.
All switches adjusted so switch test passes. Original soundcard passes tone test.
Proximity sensors tested and verified working.

3 of 5 displays are installed in Pl1,2, and the credit window. All pass the diagnostic digit count.

Coin door reassembled and attached to cabinet. Lockdown bar hardware is being cleaned and prepped for re-install tomorrow.
Hope to install side rails and misc cabinet hardware tomorrow.

Sunday I hope to finish the last two displays and install them. It's at this point I'll probably drill the hole for the left handed shooter.

So; What Do I have to report for the Picture gods? Let's finish up the picture bomb from last weekend's work. Rather than post a bunch of individual plastics images... I've created a panoramic stitch of several high resolution shots. Feel free to click the picture/link and look at the detailed original image: ( yeah... it's HUGE... so big it wouldn't load in IE11. Chrome or FireFox works)

Each plastic (except the orbits) has it's own protector. There is protective transfer tape over the backglass... which will stay on until TPF to reduce scratches.

#366 5 years ago

Dang dude,,, every detail of that thing from the flippers to the Enterprise engine inserts is simply awesome. Helluva job you're doing. Can't wait to see and play.

#367 5 years ago

That's just amazing.

Can't believe how good that turned out. You should be very proud.

#368 5 years ago

Very cool - looking forward to seeing it person at TPF - Barry

#369 5 years ago

Attention moves to the Lockdown bar mechanisms and coin door. I resurfaced the coindoor skin with some sandpaper and installed the new coin door inserts; pictures later when I take them. Installed the coin door and proceed to clean the lockdown bar assembly:

I disassembled it and cleaned the rust / grime off with some coarse sandpaper. Once I had the bracket rust free; I powdercoated it with some chrome powdercoat; keeping the metal on metal area free of powder coat. I reassembled the mechanism with stainless steel hardware to help prevent future rust:

Playfield hanger bracket got the same sanding/powdercoating treatment:

I have more to report; but it'll have to wait until tomorrow as it's late and I have work in the morning.

#370 5 years ago

TPF is at the end of march (27th to be exact)... so has to be done asap.
Plan is to play a game early tomorrow night.... I hope.

Time to finish the lockdown bar... but the lockdown bar and side rails kinda go together.
I had bought a new set of side rails from PBResource... but they don't fit right. Not sure if it was my error or theirs. I'll have to email them when I get a chance.

Since I couldn't use the NEW side rails; I really had no choice but to recycle the old ones since I had no time to really source and ship new ones. The old ones were bent by the backbox as some point... and there is a really nasty scratch on one side.

I tried resurfacing the rails with a belt sander... but it still looked like as$ to be honest. So... what to do?!?

Guess one must powdercoat them with black and the holographic clear coat as was done on the apron.
So at 7:30pm Sunday; I jumped in the truck and raced up north to Techshop where I could bake these huge as pieces...

Yeap; that's right... I made the lockdown bar match... would you expect any different? I thought maybe the black would be too much; but it's really kinda kick ass on the machine:

You likey?

#371 5 years ago

Black looks great, I think you turned that into a happy accident.

#372 5 years ago

Looks fantastic.

#373 5 years ago

Happy??? Dude, that doesn't even begin to cut it! This turned out fricking awesome!

#374 5 years ago

Necessity is the mother of AWESOME!

#375 5 years ago

Stunning. Very good work Zitt I have been following this thread since creation.

#376 5 years ago

Very Awesome Man! Great Job

#377 5 years ago

Looks shiny! I have one request: When you get it fully running with the glass on take a few videos so those of us that won't make TPF can get a piece of the action!

#378 5 years ago

Again, kudos!


#379 5 years ago

You've done something to be very proud of. My sincerest congratulations.

#380 5 years ago

I hope I get to see this at a show someday to be able to play it.

#381 5 years ago

Wow. Looking forward to seeing / playing it at TPF!

#382 5 years ago

I hope to be able to go to a future TPF to play this and another custom machine. They both look awesome and would be quite the experience.

#383 5 years ago

Last night (Monday) I finally got to a point where I could try to play a game.
Didn't get very far.

Turns out the Proximity Sensors are triggering the switch matrix; but at the wrong "locations". IE I thought they were working... IE they triggered a_ switch; but not the correct switch. Spent most of the evening (tonight) troubleshooting this and came to the conclusion that I can't hook a transistor directly to the switch matrix. As a result I ordered some relays and other components from Digikey so I can do some dead-bug rework to put the relays in place of the transistor.
Gotta be honest here guys... if it weren't for all the "excited"/"can't wait" proclamations here on the forums; I just would have just given up for this years TPF. The *ONLY* reason I'm trying my damn-ist to get something working for TPF is you guys.

I'm going to move along and try to test other aspects of the game. The other issue I have is a dead flipper. Firstly; the flippers are swapped. IE I swapped the wiring harness on the PF but not the cabinet. So the Right button is flipping the Left. The Left button is dead. Haven't troubleshot the dead flipper yet; I'm thinking I'll swap pins on the solenoid board connector... and start troubleshooting.

Once that is done; I'll begin assembling the last of the displays while I wait on the parts from Digikey.

#384 5 years ago

Yep, we must see this at TPF. Keep on truckin'

#385 5 years ago

Unlike those boutique pin manufacturers that you have to wait 3 years to play a game (and it's still not complete), you certainly look like you will have it done in time.

Keep up the good work.

#386 5 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

The *ONLY* reason I'm trying my damn-ist to get something working for TPF is you guys.

Best of luck! Even if you don't get it working 100% it still should be seen at TPF for the work of art it is.

#387 5 years ago
Quoted from gtown:

Best of luck! Even if you don't get it working 100% it still should be seen at TPF for the work of art it is.

Totally agree. And who at the show wouldn't lend you a hand fixing whatever it needs? I know I would. WILL...WILL...I know I WILL lend you a hand if you need it.

#388 5 years ago

Wow guys... thanks for the votes... but seems the universe is against me on this projects debut.

While troubleshooting a issue with the Nixie displays I’ve designed; I think I’ve uncovered a bug in the original Bally Star Trek code.
Well; maybe not a bug... but a difference in my interpretation of how the displays should work. IE reading the Theory of Operations manual.

The symptom is that with my Nixie tube displays; the 2nd player seems to “copy” the 1st player scores. The difference between my implementation of the displays is that I made a design choice to use the clock input of a CD4076D Latch to “latch” the BCD digits. This chip latches on the rising edge of the Display strobe.

The original display seems to latch anything with a high on the latch signal.

As a result; I think the bally software is sending two BCD values to both displays by leaving the strobes high for Player1 and Player2 at the same time. Maybe the coder strobes off player1 and strobes on player2 with one instruction to save space?
Seems that Player3 & 4 may be coded similarly; but they don’t appear to be “mirroring” the p1 or p2 data.

If I put a regular Bally display in Player2... it displays correctly.

So unless I can find someone who can debug the Bally code; I'm unsure what I'm gonna do.
Best case; IF someone were to lone me two regular working Bally displays... I might be able to put nixies in P1 and P3 and the credit display... and have normal displays in P2 and P4.

I just don't have any spare displays. The only ones I have are in the Bally Star Trek which will be on display next to the Mirror Universe.

Other than that; today I worked thru the flipper issue(s) and a problem with the center target switch. Then I got slammed by this new problem.
Digikey parts are in route. Expected Delivery Day: Friday, March 21, 2014

#389 5 years ago

Zitt, PM me if you need to borrow displays, I think I have 1 extra and can pull 1 from Xenon.

#390 5 years ago

Wonderfull work!!! Very inspiring. You have great talent.

Greetings from the netherlands,


#391 5 years ago

I have several 6-digit displays already pulled from my project Space Invaders. Will be bringing them anyways as spares for the 6M$M. You are welcome them for the length of the Festival.

#392 5 years ago

Let's all breath a collective sigh of relief.... things have been rough the last week; but I have burnt many hours to be able to report:

Star Trek: The Mirror Universe is 98% ready for TPF.
Displays done and installed.
Proximity Sensor issues resolved with some rework and a relay per board. Lanes now score!
Shooter Installed.

I actually play tested about 6-8 games tonight.

The 2%?

PopBumper Spoons are causing issues:
So bad that if the left upper bumper skirt wedges out of the spoon... and I hit a slingshot; the machine tilts.
I don't have replacement spoons here.

Display scoring is corrupted by the Nixie design / Bally code issue. Oliver (A Bally code expert) is looking into the software for me. I hope by the end of the weekend to have solution. Backup is still standard score displays.

Tomorrow I have to solder two more LEDs... and maybe some LED strips; and I'm done until TPF setup.

No pictures. Right now I need to break for STNG repair for TPF... and want to do some mods to my Stern ST LE for TPF. Worst case; maybe someone from TPF will post their feedback / pictures. And if there is time; I'll try to capture some game play videos from TPF.

#393 5 years ago

Austin is a big town, no one locally can give Zit a few spoons?????

(also make sure your wafer pins are not damaged)

#394 5 years ago

John, post something in Bat City Facebook group and DFW group to see if you can get some pop bumper spoons. (Sorry, I don't have any)

And.... on all the work!

#395 5 years ago

There is so much great info in this thread. that PF lit up looks REALLY sweet.

#396 5 years ago

And when can I order mine? Are you writing custom rules and sound as well or are you using the same code as the original game? Sorry if I missed the answer to this question somewhere.

#397 5 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

And when can I order mine? Are you writing custom rules and sound as well or are you using the same code as the original game? Sorry if I missed the answer to this question somewhere.

According to the creator, it's a one pin only "fan art." Otherwise, Star Trek legal wouldn't approve.

#398 5 years ago

So what happened with the code for the displays? What ended up being the problem?

#399 5 years ago

Sorry - was prepping STNG and Stern ST LE for TPF.

Oliver @ pinball4you.ch is now officially my super hero. He went into the Star Trek Code and added code to ensure the data was on the Display Data bus before transitioning from low to high on the Latch Enable (IE ensuring Setup time was valid). Then set the LE to Low and move to the next display. The Nixies work like they are suppose to ... and all 7 digits work to. This means I don't need to downgrade/borrow to original displays and can stick with the original design.

He's also looked into another issue I found in the project:

When the machine goes to eject the ball into the inlane; It seems to send the drop target reset at the ball ejector solenoid at the same exact time. On my system; it causes the power drain to be too much and leads to a limp
ball eject that doesn't always make it up the ramp to the inlane. This inturn causes another eject cycle complete with a simultaneous solenoid trigger.

To be honest; Bally probably should have checked for any drop targets down before "resetting" the assembly. This would also prevent the "sag" I'm seeing on the solenoid rail.

He just sent me a test rom to try; so I'll have to check it out tomorrow night after work.

Oliver is a great guy to have during crunch mode. I really appreciate what he's done for this project... and for the countless other people by providing patches and such for freeplay and 7digits.

#400 5 years ago

We are watching, and rooting for your success!, John,

Your Nixie tubes inspired me to get a clock as a gift...I never knew they existed!

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