(Topic ID: 15922)

Who makes the white ceramic TZ balls?


By badbilly27

7 years ago



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  • 66 posts
  • 37 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by pinballsmith
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#51 6 years ago

The powerball is not affected by magnets

#52 6 years ago

FYI: White Powerball...SOLD!

#53 6 years ago
Quoted from badbilly27:

Sure it would - Gandalf the white. I think it's still magnetic. TZ still has magnets.

Nope, the powerball doesn't respond to the magnets in TZ. That's why it's special and scores differently when in play (and why there is only one).

#55 6 years ago

Hey,

Just gonna float out there that if you have a TZ, and you also happen to have a parts tumbler, walnut media cleaned mine up really well. If you don't have the tumbler already, well, the new ball is cheaper.

Luke

#56 6 years ago
Quoted from badbilly27:

I think it's still magnetic. TZ still has magnets.

TZ's powerball is not magnetic at all.

1 year later
#57 5 years ago

Did anyone ever figure out who manufactures them, though? That was the original question, and I think it'd be interesting to know...

#58 5 years ago
Quoted from boagman:

Did anyone ever figure out who manufactures them, though? That was the original question, and I think it'd be interesting to know...

Spheric Trafalgar.

http://www.ballbiz.com/uk-prod-ceramic.php

#59 5 years ago

For the PAPA gameplay video for Ready Aim Fire, they used a white Powerball. For that game, it seems like it works better than the stock steel ball.

#60 5 years ago

I have one in my Warlok and everyone [yes, EVERYONE] says it just plays and looks fantastic.

#61 5 years ago

Thank you for the answer! That was very good/specific of you!

#62 5 years ago

I looked at those custom balls - the swirl would be neat in CV, but I guess you'd only really see it when you "catch and hold"

2 months later
#63 4 years ago
Quoted from Garrettw:

The powerball is just a standard 1 1/16" ceramic ball used for industrial bearings. According to an interview with Ted Estes the manufacturing process for whatever chemistry they chose prohibited coloring other than white or blue. So that means its probably Zirconia or Alumina Oxide although I could be wrong. I would love to try a Silicon Nitride ball which is crazy light and is a high gloss black. It's not as hard as other ceramics though (still 10x harder than steel).

So, to revive this thread once again, I performed this very experiment this past weekend. I couldn't get a SiN ball in 1 1/6" size, so I settled for 1". Just about all of the game mechanicals seemed to work just fine with the different size. About the only thing that didn't was the rocket kicker.

As compares to the regular PB, this thing has about a third of the mass. It was faaaaaast. So fast that it would blast past the gumball diverter on occasion before it had a chance to open fully. This obviously required a straight, true, and fast hit to the right orbit. It also had a tendency to blow right past the right ramp optos so quickly, they wouldn't detect the balls passage. As I mentioned before, the rocket also had trouble with it, since the ball didn't weight enough to activate the switch for the kicker.

The lighter weight also meant that I was operating in air-ball city. Solid hits to the right ramp also had a tendency to fly off the 270 degree turn and land in the left ramp next to it. One early hit with the upper left flipper sent the ball bouncing off of the rubber post next to the left ramp and over into the gumball machine exit lane.

All of that said, it was still very fun to play with it in there, and oddly enough I seemed to play better with the lighter ball than the regular PB. For instance, I was able to collect the PB jackpot with a shot to the piano during multi-ball which I've very rarely been able to pull off. The black gloss of the SiN ball did make it harder to track, especially since my machine has a GLM door light board with LED flashers going off to contend with. The SiN ball seemed to fare well in the experience as well, with it acquiring no divots, marks, or scratches.

Fun, but I wouldn't leave it in there for regular play, even if I could've found one the right size. SiN balls are also a little over twice the going rate for a OEM power ball as well.

#64 4 years ago
Quoted from ckochan:

So, to revive this thread once again, I performed this very experiment this past weekend. I couldn't get a SiN ball in 1 1/6" size, so I settled for 1". Just about all of the game mechanicals seemed to work just fine with the different size. About the only thing that didn't was the rocket kicker.
As compares to the regular PB, this thing has about a third of the mass. It was faaaaaast. So fast that it would blast past the gumball diverter on occasion before it had a chance to open fully. This obviously required a straight, true, and fast hit to the right orbit. It also had a tendency to blow right past the right ramp optos so quickly, they wouldn't detect the balls passage. As I mentioned before, the rocket also had trouble with it, since the ball didn't weight enough to activate the switch for the kicker.
The lighter weight also meant that I was operating in air-ball city. Solid hits to the right ramp also had a tendency to fly off the 270 degree turn and land in the left ramp next to it. One early hit with the upper left flipper sent the ball bouncing off of the rubber post next to the left ramp and over into the gumball machine exit lane.
All of that said, it was still very fun to play with it in there, and oddly enough I seemed to play better with the lighter ball than the regular PB. For instance, I was able to collect the PB jackpot with a shot to the piano during multi-ball which I've very rarely been able to pull off. The black gloss of the SiN ball did make it harder to track, especially since my machine has a GLM door light board with LED flashers going off to contend with. The SiN ball seemed to fare well in the experience as well, with it acquiring no divots, marks, or scratches.
Fun, but I wouldn't leave it in there for regular play, even if I could've found one the right size. SiN balls are also a little over twice the going rate for a OEM power ball as well.

uhh are you saying the ball is somehow faster than light, or that it just does not block light? neither can be the case. At best its getting air going past the optos and is not actually breaking the whole beam. It happens in MM at times with normal balls to the gate after the drawbridge is down. A hard shot can get some air off the drawbridge lip, and go just slightly too high to trip the gate opto.

#65 4 years ago
Quoted from calvin12:

uhh are you saying the ball is somehow faster than light, or that it just does not block light? neither can be the case. At best its getting air going past the optos and is not actually breaking the whole beam. It happens in MM at times with normal balls to the gate after the drawbridge is down. A hard shot can get some air off the drawbridge lip, and go just slightly too high to trip the gate opto.

That could be, but I was figuring was that the ball would go through the beam so fast, that the game would not register the passage because the total time of passage wouldn't exceed a timer value.

It's fairly standard practice to debounce switches when working with hardware, at least when it comes to physical switches but it's conceivable one would do the same with an opto switch. What I figure is that the game code doesn't consider an opto to be tripped when the beam is first interrupted, but rather waits for a small amount of time (some amount of milliseconds) before it changes state. Were that the case, the ball going fast enough might enter and exit the beam before that period expires.

That's all supposition though, since I am not TFE.

#66 4 years ago
Quoted from boagman:

Did anyone ever figure out who manufactures them, though? That was the original question, and I think it'd be interesting to know...

They're Zirconium Oxide Ball Bearings. There are a few places that do color these bearing types, but I'm not sure if it would be rated for pinball.

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