(Topic ID: 322044)

Trident Pinball - DIY Homebrew Kits

By Octomodz

13 days ago


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  • 30 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 28 minutes ago by Tyler_Durden
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Would you be interested in a DIY Homebrew Kit?”

    • Yes! 4 votes
      29%
    • Hell No! 3 votes
      21%
    • Maybe! 7 votes
      50%

    (14 votes)

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    #1 13 days ago

    So I am currently in the process of setting a new company/side gig. I posted the other day about toying with the idea of doing a boutique type custom pinball company doing one offs for customers as requested. The issue with the one offs is licensing, etc. I don't want to have to deal with all that or the headache. After discussing with another on pinside, I have another plan that I believe will be great for the community.

    I plan to offer DIY Hombrew kits for individuals that want to create their own pinball, theme, etc but are afraid that they don't have the knowledge to get started. The current plan is to offer the following:

    - Cobrapin Pinball Controller: Pre-programmed with all the basic coils, switches. Can be customized if requested and will come with a premade wiring diagram for easy wiring. Idea is to have different options for preprogrammed screens but may come with a basic DMD preconfigured and then support with customizing if needed

    - Pre-Cut playfield: Whitewood with flipper, slings, lower lane switches, shooter lane already cut

    - Mechanics: Flippers, Slings, Pops, Switches would all come with a basic package which can be customized to fit the users needs

    - 3D printed Jigs: Printed jigs for different size inserts, pops, etc. Used to mark areas for user to cut out or mark spots.

    - Additional offerings such as cabinet, cutting new playfields from provided eps files, etc.

    I plan to create a store on pinside (may make my own website) once I have some more details ironed out and pricing setup. I have already spoke to a few different outlets and am very confident on being able to acquire all the parts and have turn around time for shipping fairly quick (2-3 weeks). I have an idea on a price for the basic package but want to make sure I am considering everything. I would also plan to setup either a slack group, forum or discord for building a community for helping users with issues. As with my custom build, I am always open to suggestions, ideas, feedback, and criticism.

    Trident pinball will be name for now, as I love greek mythology and figured a cheesy tag line "Putting the power of the Pinball Gods in your hands"

    **Kit is available now**

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1431-trident-pinball-homebrew/07233-diy-homebrew-kit

    #2 13 days ago

    Cool idea, I’m sure basic homebrew heads will be interested

    I own a stern trident pin, I thought this was a thread for that machine, could be a cool name though

    #3 13 days ago
    Quoted from Chosen_S:

    Cool idea, I’m sure basic homebrew heads will be interested
    I own a stern trident pin, I thought this was a thread for that machine, could be a cool name though

    I was going to name it Pantheon Pinball but thought Trident might be better and more catchy.

    #4 13 days ago

    Great idea. I’ve been toying with doing a homebrew for a while, and I think this would be a cool service. Following.

    #5 13 days ago
    Quoted from Mudflaps:

    Great idea. I’ve been toying with doing a homebrew for a while, and I think this would be a cool service. Following.

    It's def a very rewarding thing to do. I've had a blast doing mine and have multiples planned to do. I haven't touched one of my real pins hardly since I started (unless to play to troubleshoot or something). I hope to have pricing up sometime this week. I will start off with a pinside shop but will eventually do a website.

    #6 13 days ago

    I would most likely be interested in a white wood starter Playfield and templates/jigs - preferably router jigs for most/all standard inserts.

    I've got a lot of parts already for a build, got the basics designed in Virtual Pinball, have a a p3-roc and most boards I'd need, etc, but I've stalled out on taking the next step.

    I've been debating learning CAD and getting a Bob's CNC setup capable of cutting a playfield and convert my VP table into something usable to do the playfield - but that has a number of challenges and $$ outlay too. My initial plan had been to do it manually and make my own router jigs for inserts - a starter kit in that direction seems ideal...

    #7 13 days ago
    Quoted from PinKopf:

    I would most likely be interested in a white wood starter Playfield and templates/jigs - preferably router jigs for most/all standard inserts.
    I've got a lot of parts already for a build, got the basics designed in Virtual Pinball, have a a p3-roc and most boards I'd need, etc, but I've stalled out on taking the next step.
    I've been debating learning CAD and getting a Bob's CNC setup capable of cutting a playfield and convert my VP table into something usable to do the playfield - but that has a number of challenges and $$ outlay too. My initial plan had been to do it manually and make my own router jigs for inserts - a starter kit in that direction seems ideal...

    Sending you a pm

    #8 12 days ago

    I'm pretty skeptical of the economics. I think the one thing that you could offer that people would be mildly interested in are blank playfields with an Italian bottom, shooter lane, trough, etc.. already cut in. Some routing jigs are a good addon too. But even that I think you'd be limited in how many youd actually sell.

    The rest is mostly you being a personal shopper for the basic easy to get stuff? Don't see much value there

    I think you're opening a can of worms by offering pre-configuration and wiring guides.

    Anyhow, start slow...I don't think anyone provides ready to go blank playfields. That is a niche within a niche within a niche, but at least one you could fulfill where there is no competition.

    As a homebrewer, that's the only thing that would interest me.

    #9 12 days ago

    I would offer a blank AFM playfield

    Perfect shooter, all the mechs and ramps are available, any possible patents expired a decade ago

    #10 12 days ago

    FAST pinball has talked for at least a few years of offering something similar, don't think they ever got it of the ground but they seem to be pushing more stuff lately so ???

    Neat idea but like everything else I'm sure it would depend on price point.

    #11 12 days ago
    Quoted from BorgDog:

    FAST pinball has talked for at least a few years of offering something similar, don't think they ever got it of the ground but they seem to be pushing more stuff lately so ???
    Neat idea but like everything else I'm sure it would depend on price point.

    We have been inching our way there. The customer support is the most expensive part that gets overlooked in endeavors like these, both time and $.

    We have been focusing on the needs of our commercial partners and expect that those efforts will trickle down in the form of more complete and sustainable pinball build starter kits.

    If anyone with Trident would like some free insights, PM me and let's jump on a call. We all want more people making pinball!

    Aaron
    FAST Pinball

    #12 12 days ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    I'm pretty skeptical of the economics. I think the one thing that you could offer that people would be mildly interested in are blank playfields with an Italian bottom, shooter lane, trough, etc.. already cut in. Some routing jigs are a good addon too. But even that I think you'd be limited in how many youd actually sell.
    The rest is mostly you being a personal shopper for the basic easy to get stuff? Don't see much value there
    I think you're opening a can of worms by offering pre-configuration and wiring guides.
    Anyhow, start slow...I don't think anyone provides ready to go blank playfields. That is a niche within a niche within a niche, but at least one you could fulfill where there is no competition.
    As a homebrewer, that's the only thing that would interest me.

    From what I've noticed, most of the people that are scared or hesitant to start is due to the programming aspect. My plans to have a full setup SBC with MPF config made for all the standard mechanics and switches. Of course, its stuff that anyone could acquire and get. However, there's a block at that point that most people are scared to jump into.

    I get what you're saying. I plan to do the blank playfield / jigs as a minimum package. then have other packages

    #13 12 days ago
    Quoted from fastpinball:

    We have been inching our way there. The customer support is the most expensive part that gets overlooked in endeavors like these, both time and $.
    We have been focusing on the needs of our commercial partners and expect that those efforts will trickle down in the form of more complete and sustainable pinball build starter kits.
    If anyone with Trident would like some free insights, PM me and let's jump on a call. We all want more people making pinball!
    Aaron
    FAST Pinball

    Sent a PM!

    #14 12 days ago
    Quoted from Octomodz:

    most of the people that are scared or hesitant to start is due to the programming aspect.

    Yeah and I don't think you want to jump into providing customer support for that, yet you're venturing out into a giant land mine field.

    Most of the work will be providing customer support to people who can't correctly wire things or know how to troubleshoot errors in their code. Think long and hard about what sort of support you'd need to provide to people.

    Programming is a major hurdle, but you'd have to make a very compelling argument that you're providing something of value in terms of pre defined code coming with the bundle. (Also maybe just contribute to MPF's cookbooks and examples?)

    #15 6 days ago

    Octomodz Very interested in this and would be a customer. It’s a daunting amount of information to process to get started and having a kit to jumpstart the process would get me building and learning so much faster. I think you’re right in the fact that the desire is there for people to build a machine but knowing where to start I’d what keeps them/me from pursuing it. I would be all over this.

    If you have more details or are close to a starting point to demo a few customers, reach out to me please.

    #16 3 days ago

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1431-trident-pinball-homebrew/07233-diy-homebrew-kit

    I did add a listing to my pinside store. Will only be doing 5-10 for the first run (have it listed at 5 available currrently). This pricing won't cater to all but with cost of parts, time to produce, and support this is what I felt comfortable offering at.

    #17 3 days ago
    Quoted from Octomodz:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1431-trident-pinball-homebrew/07233-diy-homebrew-kit
    I did add a listing to my pinside store. Will only be doing 5-10 for the first run (have it listed at 5 available currrently). This pricing won't cater to all but with cost of parts, time to produce, and support this is what I felt comfortable offering at.

    Can you post a picture of everything?

    #18 3 days ago
    Quoted from Mudflaps:

    Can you post a picture of everything?

    I just dropped a PM asking for the same.

    I'm excited to start this process of building a homebrew. Planned on beginning this year, and I think this will just help me jump forward 6 months in that process.

    #19 3 days ago
    Quoted from Mudflaps:

    Can you post a picture of everything?

    I am working on pictures, I have examples of blank playfields and assemblies from my own home brews. All assemblies will be purchased from Pinball life.

    #20 3 days ago
    Quoted from Octomodz:

    I am working on pictures, I have examples of blank playfields and assemblies from my own home brews. All assemblies will be purchased from Pinball life.

    Do you know what SBC you will be using? asking for a friend

    #21 3 days ago
    Quoted from BorgDog:

    Do you know what SBC you will be using? asking for a friend

    This is the one I am more than likely going to use. I ordered this one and two others to test in my own machine. I like this because ease of mounting, I just want to make sure cpu is good (i expect it to be fine running Linux and mpf). The other one I got is a dual core i5 and one is a quad core

    Kingdel Windows 11 pro Industrial PC, Fanless Mini Desktop Computer with Intel Celeron Dual Core CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 2xNICs, 4xCOM RS232, HD Port, Full Metal Body

    https://a.co/d/9DgNXka

    #22 2 days ago
    Quoted from paulbaptise:

    I just dropped a PM asking for the same.
    I'm excited to start this process of building a homebrew. Planned on beginning this year, and I think this will just help me jump forward 6 months in that process.

    Blank playfield will be similar to this minus the large hole in the middle and will have shooter lane cut in. The trough cut will also be setup for type of trough spooky uses from pinball life instead of the stern cut below.

    Inlane guides for bottom are included and will be DE/Stern style guides with whatever color you want.

    https://www.pinballlife.com/data-eastsegastern-return-lane-guide.html

    All assemblies will be new and purchased directly from Pinball life. Pops will be DE style (unless user wants something different), Flippers will be stern style (two lugs), Slings will be DE style as well. These are all items I've used in my own personal homebrew.

    Once I get the first orders, I will get better pictures of everything un-assembled and assembled. As of now everything will come un-assembled with everything included to mount and wire (minus drill, handtools, etc). I will be adding an option for pre-assembly to store. First couple orders will come with being assembled for free so that I can get pictures and videos of everything.

    429414071f2c2040b2684589c733846ff2d661c2 (resized).jpegStern_playfield-3d (resized).pngc6a49d32ea1208cf7281d47194ad0b15595c0f38 (resized).jpeg
    #23 2 days ago

    Should hook up with Jon Norris and offer one of his designs as a kit!

    Thanks for doing this, a cool idea.

    #24 1 day ago

    I think the best way to get a playfield done is to have a cabinet shop do the CNC work from your file. Maybe 150$ of work.

    You can easily create the CAD file in a simple program like Corel draw or Ai, it does not need to be an advanced cad program or complex. All of the inserts are stock files available on there own, you just really need to move them around as you like.

    With just a little knowledge you could do your layout file pretty quickly then the shop will take care of generating the tooling paths for the cnc, might even be automatic now.

    You could so it with a router but there really is so much involved that I don't think it's worth the small savings and the outcome will be so difficult to achieve anything close to a CNCs perfect tollerances.

    First thing you want to do is create a small test file with your inserts to make sure they will fit the cut perfectly, then adjust as needed.

    #25 1 day ago

    Doe's anyone have a list of which brands basic components are preferred or best for their specific use, like Stern vs Bally/Midway parts.

    Bally, Stern, or?
    Lower Playfield-
    Bumpers-
    Drop Targets-
    Flipper assembly-
    slingshots-
    Ball trough-
    Eject-
    Etc.

    #26 23 hours ago

    Most use Williams designed because all those patents expired a while ago and can be gotten new now.

    A few minor exceptions would be most use the Stern slingshot design (simpler and easier design than Williams) and then Data East pop bumpers (easier to install, though some use the Williams design because it has a smaller footprint. It’s just a trickier cut if you were routing by hand vs cutting one 3 inch hole and they don’t drop in and out of place like the other design)

    #27 23 hours ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    Most use Williams designed because all those patents expired a while ago and can be gotten new now.
    A few minor exceptions would be most use the Stern slingshot design (simpler and easier design than Williams) and then Data East pop bumpers (easier to install, though some use the Williams design because it has a smaller footprint. It’s just a trickier cut if you were routing by hand vs cutting one 3 inch hole and they don’t drop in and out of place like the other design)

    Thanks that's is what I'm looking for, basically which is preferred and why.

    I do prefer Williams only because I like Williams, but I do not know enough to know if Stern has better flippers of something like that.

    #28 22 hours ago
    Quoted from Tyler_Durden:

    Thanks that's is what I'm looking for, basically which is preferred and why.
    I do prefer Williams only because I like Williams, but I do not know enough to know if Stern has better flippers of something like that.

    The flipper mounting hardware is pretty similar, the main difference is Stern uses single wound coils vs dual wound coils (much more common). The technical differences and pro/cons to each method could go on for a while…

    The hardware stuff really isn’t even that noticeable to a player. How the developer tunes their software and power will be more apparent to the player. And of course how sensitive switches are, if any parts are binding, etc

    #29 19 hours ago
    Quoted from Tyler_Durden:

    Thanks that's is what I'm looking for, basically which is preferred and why.
    I do prefer Williams only because I like Williams, but I do not know enough to know if Stern has better flippers of something like that.

    I mostly go with the Data East / Stern stuff because they’re all in one units. Pops and slings are one bracket vs 3 on the Williams.

    Flippers I have went with Stern single wound so that it takes up less coils on the cobrapin.

    Pretty much what Trey said, there’s not a huge difference to player as long as everything is setup correctly for the game.

    #30 28 minutes ago
    Quoted from Octomodz:

    I mostly go with the Data East / Stern stuff because they’re all in one units. Pops and slings are one bracket vs 3 on the Williams.
    Flippers I have went with Stern single wound so that it takes up less coils on the cobrapin.
    Pretty much what Trey said, there’s not a huge difference to player as long as everything is setup correctly for the game.

    Thanks makes sense. I was thinking for doing a play field layout video to show how quickly one could layout a field in Coreldraw and save to a cad file.

    So I'm guessing then that sterns playfield is preferred or are there any Williams items preferred, It could always be hybrid.

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