(Topic ID: 223115)

Williams Magic City - rotating backglass lamp feature.-

By Classicpinballs

3 years ago


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  • 16 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by NicoVolta
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 3 years ago

I have read about the original idea of fitting a rotating disk unit to the head of MC/Town and that it was cancelled due to the cost.

Are there any more details on this feature or was a prototype actually built that survived?

I'm curious because I'd like to make one for my own machine so any pointers would be useful!

#2 3 years ago
Quoted from Classicpinballs:

I have read about the original idea of fitting a rotating disk unit to the head of MC/Town and that it was cancelled due to the cost.
Are there any more details on this feature or was a prototype actually built that survived?
I'm curious because I'd like to make one for my own machine so any pointers would be useful!

That's an ambitious undertaking, and although it's not quite the same thing, I've seen color-changing LEDs installed behind the fountain on the backglass which give a very nice effect.

#3 3 years ago

Ah! That might be a decent alternative. I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to using led lamps in older machines but, if it does the job then it's worth a look. Thanks for the suggestion

#4 3 years ago
Quoted from Classicpinballs:

I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to using led lamps in older machines but, if it does the job then it's worth a look.

I feel the exact same way but think this would be my exception to the rule.

#5 3 years ago

@nicovolta mentioned the rotating color wheel on Magic City/Town recently (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/nics-american-pinball-tour-aka-im-coming-to-fix-your-games/page/43#post-4366609).

While color changing LEDs would be a good approximation, the colors would mostly change in place. It wouldn't be hard to use addressable RGB LEDs and a simple microcontroller to reproduce a rotating color wheel effect. While I think it would take me a while to warm up to the effect, it would be a fun little design project. How much interest might there be out there?

#6 3 years ago
Quoted from Classicpinballs:

I have read about the original idea of fitting a rotating disk unit to the head of MC/Town and that it was cancelled due to the cost.
Are there any more details on this feature or was a prototype actually built that survived?
I'm curious because I'd like to make one for my own machine so any pointers would be useful!

I had a Magic City for many years - one of the first EM's I acquired. In place of the rotating disk they settled on 455 flashers bulbs. Obviously you can get colored flashers or just go with different colored 44's. I am old school and like original equipment in old EM's (ie not LEDs). I know Clay went to LEDs but his machines can be on for many hours daily and he did it for power but more importantly maintenance as I recall (not having to change out bulbs). I don't turn mine on unless I'm playing them so don't worry about a few watts. They also won't burn out in my lifetime....

#7 3 years ago

Well heck, you know I’d be in favor of seeing a color wheel! But it would require a motor, more lights, and you’d probably have to build a whole new backbox lightboard and transfer everything to it.

Programming a custom RGB array with an add-on board would minimize the effort, but would that be substantially better than simply popping in four slow-fade RGB LED’s? So easy to do and creates a nice effect.

But don’t let that stop you! If you wanna build a real color wheel, the world would smile with you.

3 weeks later
#8 3 years ago
Quoted from MarkG:

It wouldn't be hard to use addressable RGB LEDs and a simple microcontroller to reproduce a rotating color wheel effect. While I think it would take me a while to warm up to the effect, it would be a fun little design project.

I gave it a whack:
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More info at: https://www.funwithpinball.com/resources/magic-city-color-wheel

#9 3 years ago

...and a glorious one indeed! EVERYONE GO CLICK THAT LINK NOW!

Does Mark do impressive detail-oriented work or what?!? I'm sure Norm Clark would be smiling were he able to see this today. The result is better and certainly more reliable than a wheel could have possibly been. Brilliant, man. I'm on board for at least two!

#10 3 years ago

Ace work, Mark.

9 months later
#11 2 years ago

And now... the color wheel prototype!

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Mark’s fabulous work arrived in an antistatic bag, with microcontroller and power supply.

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We could not wait to see the LED glory, so we plugged it in as fast as we could like eager kids at Christmas.

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...and we were not disappointed.

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The board was easy to mount. We used packing tape to find the optimal location, then secured with four screws. The pass-through cable travels below the credit unit into the backbox.

Check it out in motion here:

Looking good!

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Looks great with the backglass installed. Let’s see it in motion:

Oh yeah. That's how we like it.

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Gordon, one of our EM tech volunteers, delivers the verdict. Looks awesome! The color sweep is graceful and natural, with extra starbursts of light popping up randomly within the fountain. Nice touch, Mark.

Magic City is a special game for us at the Roanoke museum, because Roanoke was once named “Magic City” for being the fastest growing American city during the late 19th century. How about them apples?

We are thrilled to display Magic City for our visitors in the guise of Norm Clark’s original vision. Mark’s work is first-class all the way, and we hope the future will bring many more “fountain-tastic” versions to a neighborhood near you!

#12 2 years ago

Looks awesome guys! Really makes your 'fountain' ahem, pop!
Wish I had kept mine always a fun center pop game. Best I could muster were a few color-changing LEDs behind the fountain did kind of get the effect but not nearly as nice as this.

#13 2 years ago

One of the few EM I'd still like to get, missed out on a few over the years. Great job!

#14 2 years ago

BTW, it gets even better... the wheel has its own private WiFi connection which allows configuration changes on the fly with your phone.

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More sparkles? Different rotations? Warm vs. cool color schemes? The wheel is yours.

Too cool, Mark. Too darn cool.

#15 2 years ago

Thanks for all the gushing Nick. It's nice to read. For anyone who wants to geek out with some of the back story and build details I've put them in a few blog posts at the bottom of the page at: https://www.funwithpinball.com/resources

/Mark

#16 2 years ago

You may have created the first configurable EM with its own private WiFi network.

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