(Topic ID: 320823)

Changing the game.... or is it a game changer?

By MrBigg

44 days ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 76 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 hour ago by MrBigg
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“What was the hardest part in your homebrew build?”

  • Playfield layout, and cutting 5 votes
    25%
  • Cpu repurposing, and wiring 8 votes
    40%
  • Finding items for your build 2 votes
    10%
  • Theme, and design 0 votes
  • Graphics for you cabinet, playfield, and back glass 5 votes
    25%

(20 votes)

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There are 76 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
10
#1 44 days ago

So here we are August 20th 2022, and my story starts in an old abandoned arcade warehouse where I discovered some machines that sat for 25+ years with the roof caving in, and the dreams of the past sitting in limbo dying a horrible death. In this section of the building were sights that hurt me to see, and things a pin lover should never have to witness. I saw a coney island with wood, and shingles through the glass top, a Bally space invaders with so much fungus, and mold that the body was literally collapsing under its own weight, an eros one with garbage piled on it, and the list goes on. Keep in mind, this is the neglect of an 85 year old ex arcade owner, who became a hoarder. Great guy, long time friend, but will not part with his projects that he says " I will fix back up one day". So let's back up a few months, to when I contacted my friend to see if he still had a machines around that I could possibly buy to restore for my guitar building shop....every cool shop needs a pinball machine or two. I stop by, and he says yes, I have a few machines in the back warehouse, but I'm not sure I want to part with any, because I want to repair them, and sell them eventually. He can't walk good, he's very brittle, and has no time to mess with them among his 43,000 other "projects" he has going. The door raises up, and my heart sunk, roof collapsing, wood, and shingles everywhere, dozens of juke boxes covered in crap, and in the back I spot what I'm looking for... pinball machines. I climb through the debris, and make my way to what appears to be a game plan coney island. A bucket list game for me! Next to it, a wild fyre, a space invaders, and several cocktail machines stacked on each other. So I make my way back out, and begin the negotiations , or rather begging in this case, to get them out. Fast forward a couple weeks, my phone rings, and he's says come get a couple machines, and we'll work out a deal for a couple others later. I show up, and we begin the process of getting these monsters out from the rubble, over the juke boxes, and out onto the trailer. The coney island is shielded by most damage by all the debris piled on it, but it's very rough, the wild fire, is actually in decent shape still for the same reasons, and the eros one is surprisingly good as well. Then we get to the space invaders... as we try to shift it over to move, the body begins to crumble literally in our hands, the back box is trying to fall off, and the back left leg snaps off under its wide body weight. It's bad... really bad. We finally load up, trailer full, and we head to my shop to unload, and access the damage, and where to start first. So, I took the coney island on first. Spent months finding parts, boards, etc, and struggled with that as Game Plan has been gone a long time. My first pin will be a tough one, but after months, and months, it's a restored finished project thanks to Robert at robotworks, and his beautiful remake of the boards in gameplan games. (Pics below)
But!!! Let's move on to why you and I are here... the space invaders, or what was left of it, and my obsession to build a custom pin for my guitar shop. I'm 53, live in Alabama, and I own Bigg Deal Custom Guitars , I make hand built guitars, and have an electronics/electrical contractor background, so how hard could this be? Well reality, and and dreams often do not get along, so my journey begins 2 weeks ago, as I bring you up to speed on this journey. I'm in full swing, doing homework, watching video, asking questions, and I'm in terribly deep at this point, but I think I'm hooked! Went to SFGE in Atlanta, and now it has gotten worse. I'm building the box, the Blackbox, new door frame, new playfield, etc, with surround sound with digital backbox screen, new digital score keepers from rottendog, a new cpu ordered, rgb led runway lights, and yes I'm in deep as I said. The theme will be a repurpose from my logo, with a totally new playfield, ramps, and more than my brain can take all at once. So let's start here with photos before you lose interest in this long explanation, and then I'll move on from this point.

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#2 44 days ago

So let's continue with better news... I finished the coney island, and yes, it's a full restore nearly now, minus a bit of touch up on new wood installed in the back box. I'm knee deep into the Bigg Deal Cutoms build now, and I'll share some cabinet photos to keep this moving along, as well as a bluetooth custom sound generator, and music player that can be used for the machine sounds, as well as using it as a juke box when the game is not in play.

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#3 44 days ago

2 stroke or 4 stroke dirtbike?

#4 44 days ago

So I changed the depth of this cabinet to now not only be a wide body, but also to be able to accept ramps, or a multi level playfield. I have numerous goodies ordered, and several ideas on sound in play that the new controller will allow. I can install 2 full range speakers, and a subwoofer in the cabinet to delete the need for a shaker. It will be a nice addition the game, and allow a much fuller sound, as well as that thump to the cabinet itself. The remote Bluetooth Amp has a screen similar to what I'm swapping over to to put into back glass with scoring. It will boost output, and have a built in eq, with a sub output to put into the bottom of the cabinet. Going to add some thump to the game, and also be able to switch from in game sounds to a separate source for music when game isn't in play mode. Ordered purple flipper buttons, and bought new nuts and bolts for door, and other various needs today as well. Paint is going well, colors are dodge grabber green, and plum crazy purple. Looking at graffiti style font for the sides for the logo, and ordered new back glass yesterday to accept my artwork when I do that. Possibly today I'll go hunt down some 17/32" birch for the playfield, and poster paper so I can begin the daunting task of a playfield design. I have stuff, and enough knowledge to really get in trouble from this point, so here's where I start leaning on pinsiders for help. Please don't beat me up in this process, and be kind, as this is a new journey for me. I want it to stay fun, and creative like the guitars I build.
I've contacted a local machine shop about some custom laser cut legs with my logo in them, because apparently in the pinball world, custom means same old legs in different colors, or powder coat. If you're going custom, it's gotta be different to me.

#5 44 days ago
Quoted from mjg417:

2 stroke or 4 stroke dirtbike?

2 stroke, I race semi pro, competitively in a cross country enduro series.
Btw, I'm originally from a small town in Ohio myself called Sherrodsville. Small world

#6 44 days ago

I grew up with and on 2 strokes I rode f&s Suzukis from dayton ohio but lived in Cleveland then as got older started stunt riding sport bikes

#7 44 days ago

Today's progress was getting the "whitewood", prepping and painting parts, and doing some touch up on the cabinet.

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#8 43 days ago

Today was a relaxing day of putting bolts, nuts, and pieces in. Pretty simple stuff, but a required task to assemble a pin. Cut holes for my sub woofer, and mounted that, put all my cards back in that I have, still waiting on a master cpu to show up any day. Did some more touch up on paint, and clear coated the front back box door today. Pretty busy day, got a lot accomplished, and I think this week I'll cut my white board to the playfield size, and begin layout on that.
Any recommendations on playfield printing? Vinyl, or paint it, or do you custom order a playfield graphic kit? This one is a new one for me. Oh and paint for my sides... is there a particular place you would use for stencils, or overlay for my paint scheme?
Also adding grounding bonds to a couple areas on my machine. As you can see in one photo, I attached one to the power supply, and I will add another in the back box for all my new grounding to meet up.
Almost seems a shame to put such a pretty aluminum sub woofer inside where you'll never see it.

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#9 43 days ago

Coney Island! looks great. Great thread.

#10 43 days ago
Quoted from sixgill:

Coney Island! looks great. Great thread.

Thank you very much, was assuming I was just writing to myself, lol.
At least I'll have it recorded to look back on if no one gets involved in the thread.

#11 42 days ago
Quoted from MrBigg:

Thank you very much, was assuming I was just writing to myself, lol.
At least I'll have it recorded to look back on if no one gets involved in the thread.

It takes time for people to respond and there's not a ton unless there's drama or something that people havent seen.

Looking good so far! I suck at wood work or I would've built my own cabinet.

#12 42 days ago

I'm a bit confused. (line breaks would make reading your posts a lot easier)

You're reusing old Bally/Stern controllers, but making an all new playfield? Are you going to use the BallySternOS project to write new rules?

And you need to add to your poll an option of "software and coding" because that is the most difficult step, for me at least. (or is that what "repurposing cpu" is supposed to be? Wiring is easy)

#13 42 days ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

I'm a bit confused. (line breaks would make reading your posts a lot easier)
You're reusing old Bally/Stern controllers, but making an all new playfield? Are you going to use the BallySternOS project to write new rules?
And you need to add to your poll an option of "software and coding" because that is the most difficult step, for me at least. (or is that what "repurposing cpu" is supposed to be? Wiring is easy)

Sorry that it's confusing, and honestly I'm just doing my best to convey this wonky experience.

I'm taking a space invaders that basically died a horrible death, robbing what's still good in the playfield, then reuse the already written code for what's there.
I'll create a new playfield, all new graphics, and rearrange the items to go where I'd like them. I'll add a ramp, use ice cube relays to trigger off an existing rollover trigger, so no code needed to change. The only thing I want to change code wise is the sounds it makes.
Hope that helps clear it up a bit? I'm a tinkered, and saw an opportunity.

#14 42 days ago
Quoted from Octomodz:

It takes time for people to respond and there's not a ton unless there's drama or something that people havent seen.
Looking good so far! I suck at wood work or I would've built my own cabinet.

Definitely was not disrespecting your project, and ty for the compliment. Like you, I'm just trying to do something fun, and cool for my shop. Oh and drama is not my thing.

#15 42 days ago

Enjoying your thread!

That Coney backglass is about the nicest I've seen. Funny how some things get preserved in weird situations.

#16 42 days ago
Quoted from MrBigg:

Sorry that it's confusing, and honestly I'm just doing my best to convey this wonky experience.
I'm taking a space invaders that basically died a horrible death, robbing what's still good in the playfield, then reuse the already written code for what's there.
I'll create a new playfield, all new graphics, and rearrange the items to go where I'd like them. I'll add a ramp, use ice cube relays to trigger off an existing rollover trigger, so no code needed to change. The only thing I want to change code wise is the sounds it makes.
Hope that helps clear it up a bit? I'm a tinkered, and saw an opportunity.

Ok. That makes more sense. Best of luck trying to get the Space Invader ruleset to jive with your new playfield.

Seriously consider a more custom controller. With MPF you can recreate the old rules, modify and expand them (and do sound effects through that as well) without a lot of work if you’re a programming novice

#17 42 days ago
Quoted from jaytrem:

Enjoying your thread!
That Coney backglass is about the nicest I've seen. Funny how some things get preserved in weird situations.

I honestly was pretty surprised it cleaned up that well without flaking myself. Oh and ty for the kind words, I have no idea what I'm doing, just winging it.

#18 42 days ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

Ok. That makes more sense. Best of luck trying to get the Space Invader ruleset to jive with your new playfield.
Seriously consider a more custom controller. With MPF you can recreate the old rules, modify and expand them (and do sound effects through that as well) without a lot of work if you’re a programming novice

I'm not sure I have what it takes to code. I know some ladder logic, and enough dos to be dangerous. Thanks for the info also. Gonna just keep the train on the tracks as best I can.

#19 42 days ago
Quoted from MrBigg:

I'm not sure I have what it takes to code. I know some ladder logic, and enough dos to be dangerous. Thanks for the info also. Gonna just keep the train on the tracks as best I can.

You could get a nano module that plugs right in the board and write your own rules. Sounds too.

#20 42 days ago

Cool story and nice work. I'm envious of your woodworking abilities.

#21 42 days ago

Get a cobrapin and use a raspberry pi or something to write rules in mission pinball framework. It will save you a ton of time.

#22 42 days ago
Quoted from RonSwanson:

Cool story and nice work. I'm envious of your woodworking abilities.

I appreciate the compliment, and ty very much. I own a custom guitar shop, and do some odd furniture building, so wood is kind of my side thing. I see we aren't far apart distance wise.

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#23 42 days ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

You could get a nano module that plugs right in the board and write your own rules. Sounds too.

What would be the skill level of that?

#24 42 days ago
Quoted from ThatOneDude:

Get a cobrapin and use a raspberry pi or something to write rules in mission pinball framework. It will save you a ton of time.

I have no idea what you just told me, but it sounds really cool.

#25 42 days ago

I've really got to quit obsessing at work all day about what I can't wait to get home and do.
I could not stop thinking about cutting that Whitewood all day, so as soon as I parked my work van, straight into the shop and set to cutting.

I took a close up of some of the mold, and fungus damage on the original playfield. The glass was absolutely disgusting, and took quite a bit of time to even slide out to clean.

New back glass came in today, mp3/line amp controller came today, and my new cpu also came today. Superb mail day! Love goodies in my mailbox!

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#26 42 days ago
Quoted from MrBigg:

What would be the skill level of that?

Look up Bally/Stern OS, several pins are running it with modified code. I have one on my Flash Gordon.

I'll be looking to dabble with it myself in the future.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/meteor-2021-new-code-for-stern-meteor-1979

#27 42 days ago
Quoted from MrBigg:

I have no idea what you just told me, but it sounds really cool.

Cobrapin: https://pinballmakers.com/wiki/index.php?title=CobraPin
You can order them from a pinsider:
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1254-cobra-amusements

It's a controller for homebrew pinball games. Cheap and works great. You can then use a small computer, like a Raspberry Pi or something of that nature, to run rules to control this system using the python based Mission Pinball Framework.
https://missionpinball.org/

You will wire your lamps, coils and switches to the controller, then write a simple configuration to make the rules. This approach will save you months, if not years, of development time.

Read up on cobrapin projects here on pinside. I did a Middle Earth rebuild with the cobrapin hardware and Mission Pinball Framework.

There are other homebrew systems, like the P3-ROC, that you could look into as well that can also be driven by Mission Pinball Framework.

#28 42 days ago
Quoted from ThatOneDude:

Cobrapin: https://pinballmakers.com/wiki/index.php?title=CobraPin
You can order them from a pinsider:
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1254-cobra-amusements
It's a controller for homebrew pinball games. Cheap and works great. You can then use a small computer, like a Raspberry Pi or something of that nature, to run rules to control this system using the python based Mission Pinball Framework.
https://missionpinball.org/
You will wire your lamps, coils and switches to the controller, then write a simple configuration to make the rules. This approach will save you months, if not years, of development time.
Read up on cobrapin projects here on pinside. I did a Middle Earth rebuild with the cobrapin hardware and Mission Pinball Framework.
There are other homebrew systems, like the P3-ROC, that you could look into as well that can also be driven by Mission Pinball Framework.

You are so far over my head I had to sit down to finish reading that. I'll check it out, but I think until my skills progress, I'm going to stick with my easy version of this plan.

#30 41 days ago
Quoted from MrBigg:

You are so far over my head I had to sit down to finish reading that. I'll check it out, but I think until my skills progress, I'm going to stick with my easy version of this plan.

That's cool. Just suggesting an easier route.
It's funny that you mentioned your custom guitar business. I'm down to tear into pinball machines with wild abandonment, but I'm agonizing over rebuilding my old guitar from high school.

#31 41 days ago
Quoted from ThatOneDude:

That's cool. Just suggesting an easier route.
It's funny that you mentioned your custom guitar business. I'm down to tear into pinball machines with wild abandonment, but I'm agonizing over rebuilding my old guitar from high school.

I think it comes down to one thing... our comfort level. Everything you mentioned about new programming is so far out of my comfort zone, that I'm not prepared, nor get what's going on yet. However, I've built so many guitars, and repaired so many, that it is second nature to me. I just know how all the workings are, and I'm completely in my zone. I'd assume that it's the same for you with pinball?

#32 41 days ago
Quoted from MrBigg:

I think it comes down to one thing... our comfort level. Everything you mentioned about new programming is so far out of my comfort zone, that I'm not prepared, nor get what's going on yet. However, I've built so many guitars, and repaired so many, that it is second nature to me. I just know how all the workings are, and I'm completely in my zone. I'd assume that it's the same for you with pinball?

Pretty much. The idea of reusing the old controller hardware seems to me to be a bigger headache, since you will be dealing with bad connections, broken solder joints, missing or added mechs, switches and/or lamps, etc. I think that if you go with a different controller and rework the wiring harness, you will have an easier time, even with a learning curve on the programming side. That's my approach when rebuilding a game like this(look at my work on Middle Earth, for example).
But, I'm rooting for you either way, and will keep an this project!

#33 41 days ago
Quoted from MrBigg:

You are so far over my head I had to sit down to finish reading that. I'll check it out, but I think until my skills progress, I'm going to stick with my easy version of this plan.

The Bally/Stern platform is well known and more people are doing the updated code. You can run stock code or with a flip of the switch run your updated code.

The cost of entry is low, under $100 if not less.

Start out with stock boards and then dive into tinkering around with the Bally/Stern OS. You already have everything but the Nano.

https://pinside.com/pinball/biz/directory/1901-roygbev

#34 40 days ago
Quoted from ThatOneDude:

Pretty much. The idea of reusing the old controller hardware seems to me to be a bigger headache, since you will be dealing with bad connections, broken solder joints, missing or added mechs, switches and/or lamps, etc. I think that if you go with a different controller and rework the wiring harness, you will have an easier time, even with a learning curve on the programming side. That's my approach when rebuilding a game like this(look at my work on Middle Earth, for example).
But, I'm rooting for you either way, and will keep an this project!

I did not replace with a stock controller, I bought a wembley cpu to replace the missing factory one that had been robbed at some point. As far as wiring, and all that, I restore old EM machines already so that part is a breeze compared to some of those nightmares of clicks, and whirs, and gizmos.

#35 40 days ago

So today I took a break on the new build, and finished my last bit of restoration on my 1977 Williams Big Deal. Btw this was Williams first machine to put drop targets together in a group rather than one here, and there.
Lots of cleaning work on those old EMs but I sure do love them.

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#36 39 days ago

Today was a good mail day... new scoring led cards came in, raw side rails came, and got painted, and a bunch of colored plexiglass. New shooter rod parts, and a gaggle of other stuff like playfield posts, etc.

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#37 39 days ago

Where did you get the colored plexiglass and in what sizes? I'm looking into getting some for my basement arcade ceiling.

#38 39 days ago
Quoted from mjg417:

Where did you get the colored plexiglass and in what sizes? I'm looking into getting some for my basement arcade ceiling.

EPlastics, and any size up to 4'x8' sheets, any color, I got neon green, neon purple, neon pink, and clear. They will even cut to size for your needs.

#39 39 days ago

It seems if you want custom stuff, typically you can find a guy. But in this case since I have saws, welders, plasma cutter, etc, I'm going to start on my custom legs myself. Never dull around here.

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#40 39 days ago

Put a good automotive clear on those rails or the oils from your hands will wear through. I put like 8 coats of clear from a rattle can on mine and they wore through after a few months.

#41 38 days ago
Quoted from dudah:

Put a good automotive clear on those rails or the oils from your hands will wear through. I put like 8 coats of clear from a rattle can on mine and they wore through after a few months.

Agreed! Never use rattle can clear. I usually run 2k 2 part auto clear on all my guitar builds. Enaamel just won't hold up in anything that gets handled.

#42 38 days ago

Nice work, now tell me a little bit about that Husaberg. Always thought about getting one of them back in the day.

#43 38 days ago
Quoted from yfz450:

Nice work, now tell me a little bit about that Husaberg. Always thought about getting one of them back in the day.

It's actually a Husqvarna TE 2 stroke. I race endures, and had Cr250s for 25 years, rode this thing, and was hooked. Sold all my Hondas a couple months ago.

#44 38 days ago

My mistake, from the one partial picture of the bike, I thought it was a Husaberg.

#45 37 days ago

Today I started cutting on my legs, and they won't be blue, just checking the cuts, and for scratches. Got the feet tapped, and ready for levelers before I weld them in.

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#46 36 days ago

It's up under its own weight, and do I mean weight! Took a lawnmower jack to lift it up! Big pins need love too! Legs are finished, and it's starting to look like a pinball machine.

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#47 34 days ago

And we bid farewell to the donor, that got ruined by the rain. This is the game that was washed away. To the burn pile you go!

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#48 34 days ago
Quoted from MrBigg:

And we bid farewell to the donor, that got ruined by the rain. This is the game that was washed away. To the burn pile you go!
[quoted image]

Did you save all wiring and parts?

#49 33 days ago
Quoted from bluespin:

Did you save all wiring and parts?

There wasn't a whole lot salvageable. I saved what I could, but it had sat in a damp area for years. If you go back and look through the photos, you'll see how bad the ones i found were.

#50 32 days ago

Test fit the glass last night, got the mid/tweeters mounted, and a few small cuts in back scoring area to accommodate the mp3 player/Amp for speakers.

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