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Author Topic: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter  (Read 6142 times)

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Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2018, 04:25:51 pm »
Ladies and gentlemen, I promised sawdust.  I said those words on the internet, and that's serious business.

By the obligations of honor and my forum title, I am bound - nay, compelled - to deliver.



Behold.  Sawdust.


Ahem, sorry. 

So, anyway, I started fabricating the front box of the pinball half of this thing.



Here's the first bit.  I used a jigsaw, dremel and orbital sander to inlet the coin door hole, I messed up one of the corners (top left, here) - but not worse than the coin door flange covers, so, enh.  Good enough.  The door fits quite well side to side and top to bottom, so the oversize corner isn't much of a problem.

Setting some stuff roughly where it belongs, here's the first mockup;



Actually, I'm lying.  This isn't the first mockup.  The first time I set this stuff together I realized I'd made a math error, the front panel was too wide.  (cough)
Luckily, cutting it down to the correct width gave me a chance to also adjust the centering on the coin door by about 1/16", so it's very centered now.    This is actually the second mockup.

The yellow Sanwa button at the bottom will be recessed behind the plywood, and will be the Exit button for pinball games.



Looking at the thing from a lower angle, you can see how thin the whole front box ends up being.



Considering how much of it is 3/4" plywood, once that's glued and screwed together and the legs are bolted in with 8x 1/2" bolts, I don't think torsional flexibility is going to be a major problem.  This thing should be pretty stiff.  (Heh, heh.  Heh.  Heh.)

There's going to have to be some shallow relief cuts in the inside of the back wall to accommodate the switch housings on the buttons, about 1/8" deep.  You can very much see why the coin door access hatch is necessary for servicing parts, reaching down that slot to the bottom to swap an exit button would be hellish otherwise.

A thing I think is cool about this design is that the legs are outset by their wall thickness both forward and out.  If everything works out as I've planned, you'll see their 1/8" wall thickness like they were traditional L-shaped pinball legs bolted onto the outside of a traditional pinball cabinet. 

I've gotten started on the wiring harness for the front box.



Another interesting detail from this angle is that aluminum plate the exit button is mounted to.  I wanted it removable for servicing without repeatedly moving a screw in wood.  The screw and washer at the bottom never needs removed.  The plate is notched top and bottom, and fits snugly between that screw and the bottom carriage bolt of the coin door.  Remove the nut from the carriage bolt at the top of that plate / bottom of the coin door, and the plate tilts out from under the washer.  That'll mean it can be loaded from the top via the coin door opening when everything's permanently together.

Near the bottom is a 4-button bracket of pinball service buttons I'll be mounting in the box behind the coin door.

(This wiring harness still needs a fair bit of work and looming, it won't be quite this ugly when I'm done.  The door does swing completely open, the wire lengths on the coin buttons are good.) 

But, from the outside -



Kind of starting to look a little like the front of a pinball machine, maybe!  I'm chuffed.

Mike A

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2018, 04:33:49 pm »
Progress. Nice. :cheers:

n3wt0n

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2018, 10:31:51 am »
Good luck on this one, Laythe. I enjoyed following the Mimic build and look forward to seeing how this one comes together.

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2018, 11:57:46 pm »
Thanks, guys!

Update without pictures:  I'm redesigning this slightly, after realizing that I am at least slightly an idiot.

See, there's an arm in the middle of this thing that carries the steering wheel, flightstick, throttle, shifter, and PC... and I figured in my scribblings that it had to clear the lower corner of the playfield/main screen TV when it rotates by.  So I found the point that just clears the corner, and decided that's where it'd deploy to, and then made that a design reference line and derived the length of the chair track and the position of the pedals and so on, off of that.

Except that's wrong.   :D

It does have to come out that far to clear that corner... while the TV is rotating.

After the TV has rotated, I could suck that arm back in about 8" closer to the upright TV.  If it locked in place there, instead of at full extension, then I could move the pedals about 8" back under the pinball frame, and shorten the chair rail track that sticks out into the room by about 8", too.  That'd make everything look better.

So, I'm gonna do that.  I've got some scribbling and re-engineering to do.  I may render up another animation illustrating the revised transform sequence.

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #44 on: August 19, 2018, 11:19:37 pm »
I spent some time in the shop this weekend. 

My external overall width on the main cabinet is going to be 25", which not coincidentally means I can use an unmodified widebody lockdown bar.  Since it's the main point of human contact, I figured that having that feel right is important, and I didn't really want to make one.  So I acquired this Williams part.



What I did not know, being a total rookie to pinball machine internals, is that the interface they present to the attachment mechanism is... Interesting.



The other factory parts that mate to this were out of budget, so I decided to adapt.  I took a 2x4 and started carving and inletting.



(In retrospect, I wish I'd been a bit more careful selecting a 2x4 from the piles of stuff in my shop - that knot is going to come back to bite me.) 

I slit in from the ends with a bandsaw so I could cut the pockets for the back tabs, nibbled the curf wider for the front tabs, and used a dremel burr to cut a slot for the front lip.  I was surprised to learn those tabs are all pretty much at 90' to the face - the maybe 6' slope-down that the top face of a lockdown bar has, is not compensated for there - the tabs aren't vertical.

After some sawdust and fiddling, the factory part was starting to talk to my lumber.  (If you know what I mean.  And I don't.)



That's sunk about halfway down; I'll be done when the beer foam gasket compresses against the wood on the back edge.

A lot more work will need done on this piece, but that's the beginnings of the top lid of my ludicrously short front box.  It'll be locked down with a pair of control panel overcenter clamps on the back wall that open through the opened coin door space... if everything goes according to plan.

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #45 on: August 19, 2018, 11:57:06 pm »
I started wiring up the other end of all these cables to the I-PAC Ultimate I/O I'll be using as an encoder, lighting controller, servo motor relay controller and general purpose robotics interface.



In the process, I discovered a problem. 

This yellow Start button - man, look at the light leakage from the white LED behind it!



The degree to which it does not match the yellow Launch Ball button next to it is absolutely untenable.   :cry:  What is this.  I can't even. 

I tore the button apart and swaddled the LED with yellow translucent tape.



Much better.  Now they match:



Crisis averted.  Project salvaged.  I can now proceed.

Though my front box is preposterously shallow - there's a whole 1 1/8 inch in there before you hit the back wall - I thought it would be fun to retain some small bit of simulation.  Since I've got a working coin door, the pinball service buttons should totally be inside it, like this:



To make that work, I had to saw off part of the factory bracket, then fabricate my own adapting bracket that fits inside and gives me four screws into plywood down below.



I've also been working on my wiring runs, it's less messy than it used to be.  I still have a long way to go, though - some of you people on this forum make gratuitously nice wiring harnesses that put me to shame.  This is at least less bad than it was, and I'll be doing a bit more to route it.

I'm also kind of tempted to put some art behind the coin door.  Maybe a photograph of the inside of a real pin.  Or just a wall of solid jumbled quarters. 


Anyway, once I had pinball service buttons, I had to play with them, so I lashed up another mock-up.  It was a chance to hack on the custom front-end software, too... and maybe a chance to sit down in a chair for a while, too.

Here's the custom front-end running in Pinball mode. 



(The white masking tape line on the DMD monitor is the depth mark I plan to sink it to inside the backbox.)

Tables are selected with flipper buttons, they fade in and scale from the sides, the center one is fully opaque and much larger.  The next two games in either direction are visible.

Fake DMD display shows a fake DMD-ified logo, and scrolls DMD-styled instructions along if you don't get the hint.  I'm going to randomize among many Shapeshifter logos every time you go back to the menu, because I think it's charming if a machine named Shapeshifter doesn't stick to one visual theme there.

Pick a table with Launch or Start, and it loads up like so.



I have been tinkering a lot with the backglass configuration.  I am discovering that I am really picky - most vpins seem willing to aspect ratio squish the backglass art, and that drives me up a wall.  I had to add code to my front-end so that it overwrites the B2S resolution settings per table before launching, to allow me to micromanage how every single table on the list works individually.

I'm not using a real DMD because I want to be able to use that space differently in different tables.  Here's where I'm going with it so far:



On tables like Scared Stiff, it's pretty easy - the art fits on the big backglass monitor, the DMD fits on the DMD monitor, that's the straightforward case.  About half the tables turn out like that.

Cirqus Voltaire had the DMD down in the playfield.  I'd like to keep that look.  So for it, and for games that just had no DMD, I've carefully aligned the software position of the DMD panel to be centered, portrait, and below the backglass desktop, and I'm stretching the backglass across it.  It's not perfect, you'll have the bezel lines cutting it, but I like the effect better than blanking the DMD panel out - and especially better than squishing the art.

Whirlwind is an example of a game where the backglass did a good job with 15-segment plasma lights.  They look really nice.  With a lot of careful finicky tinkering I've gotten the segment display to line up nice in the DMD section, and that again keeps the art above at the right aspect ratio.  I lose the status lights below the segment display, but I think I can live with that.

That's about where I am right now. 


(I made the mockup fully playable.  That means I'm doomed, right?)

Mike A

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2018, 04:40:01 am »
Great work so far.  :cheers:

Ian

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #47 on: August 21, 2018, 05:36:52 am »
I have become obsessed with Pinball this year. The real stuff is now near and dear to my heart. With that said, good luck and try not to sell the farm for mediocre pinball. I am excited about the racing setup, that should be pretty sweet!
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #48 on: August 21, 2018, 11:19:07 am »
Thanks, Mike!

Short update:

I knew that knot was gonna be trouble.



So I cut it back another 1/4" below flush so I can face the back of it - which is visible from behind when in racing mode - with 1/4" plywood.



Being profiled with that 6' taper angle, it now fits in place like so:



I have become obsessed with Pinball this year. The real stuff is now near and dear to my heart. With that said, good luck and try not to sell the farm for mediocre pinball. I am excited about the racing setup, that should be pretty sweet!

Ian - thanks!  I'd be worried about the overall viability of what I'm chasing, but when Gingerballs made it to Zapcon, I thought it was awesome.  My reaction to it was entirely "I have got to get me one of these", so I figure as long as what I build isn't worse, the result should work for me.  Thanks for speaking your mind, a build thread without commentary is a lonely place.  I'll be getting to the racing side of things soon - this for example will be the bank of view buttons for it:


Ond

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #49 on: August 21, 2018, 04:46:59 pm »
Watching with interest at what's going on here. We need more builders like you mister.
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #50 on: August 21, 2018, 11:47:06 pm »
Watching with interest at what's going on here. We need more builders like you mister.

Thank you.  It's good to see you around!  I'll try to make this worth your while.  Please call me out on anything that looks hinky or like a bad idea as I go.

It's kind of funny, but I do have to admit that I'm going to do a better job of priming and surface prep before painting, knowing Ond is watching.

Ian

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #51 on: August 22, 2018, 10:22:38 pm »
There is no doubt Laythe has some skill
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

opt2not

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #52 on: August 22, 2018, 10:46:37 pm »
There is no doubt Laythe has some skill

Just watch him play Hard Driviní, the guy is a master!

yotsuya

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #53 on: August 22, 2018, 10:59:08 pm »
There is no doubt Laythe has some skill

Just watch him play Hard Driviní, the guy is a master!

Yeah, I wish we could find him a dedicated one somehow.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #54 on: August 22, 2018, 11:45:22 pm »
There is no doubt Laythe has some skill

Just watch him play Hard Driviní, the guy is a master!

Yeah, I wish we could find him a dedicated one somehow.

Hehehe, thanks.  This thing is designed to run a 90+% accurate Hard Drivin' - that was one of my specifications.  With the clutch, and the 4-position shifter.  I'm not sure I can get force feedback working, but I am sure I can get the steering wheel range right, and I've played on plenty of real dedicated cabinets with busted FF motors before.


Since I've been away from the shop, I've been tinkering on a tiny software detail.

In pinball mode, in the menu to select a table, the pinball DMD panel shows the name of this machine, and a scrolling line of instructions below that.

It occurred to me that given the theme, it'd be kinda neat if every time you boot the machine or come back into that menu the logo were different - just as an easter egg for anyone paying attention.

I've got it working now.  Here's some of the possibilities it can randomly be.



(I see now why Malenko does DMD colorizations - pixel art on this scale is kind of addictively fun.)

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #55 on: August 26, 2018, 07:12:58 am »
Progress update.

First, I skinned 1/4" plywood over that knothole in the lockdown bar assembly.



With a little filler in the corners, at least one of my poor life choices should be relatively well hidden.


Meanwhile...

Ian mentioned an interest in the non-pinball side of this cabinet, so I'll talk about some of that.

A couple years back I got a good deal on a Logitech G25 and shifter because it had no pedals.  Recently, I managed to find a set of G25 pedals alone for sale cheap because they were missing the main base.  Perfect! I was planning on discarding the base anyway.  The G25/G27 pedals are cool for being three individual modular units once you pitch the plastic base.



They normally sit flat to the floor, but the pedal proper can be flipped over on the lever and the whole assembly can be mounted inverted as though hanging under a dash, which I like better.

I propped up a seat at the design height and worked out the angle I wanted them to run at, which turned out to be a 15' forward angle off vertical.  Some research on kit car design, and mocking up tests, got me thinking that 4.5" on centers is about the right spacing.  In my design, the pedals have got to nest under a 8.5" tall moving seat assembly, so I sketched out a frame to hold them that would be 8.25" tall at highest point.  I also wanted to protect the outermost potentiometer a bit - you can see they're kind of swinging in the breeze off the outside of the pedal brackets.

Here's the parts to my frame, and the first round of inletting they needed.



There's four proud screwheads on the back of each bracket, so the back wall needed clearance for those.  I wanted to snug the side panels against the brackets to keep my whole pedal box as compact and out of the way as possible, so there's a lot of inletting on one side to sink the potentiometer and wires, and on both sides to take the nuts and bolts that protrude from the brackets.  Would have been a lot simpler another inch and a half wider, but it also would have been less compact.

Next I mounted some brackets to the back wall, which I had to modify a taper into.  Predrilled for the screws, and put glue on the side walls.



Fun to assemble.  The bracket screws went in first, which have a little wiggle room, and let me square everything up while the glue was still wet.  Then I predrilled the minor diameter holes in the back wall, centered in the bottoms of the major diameter holes I'd predrilled in the sidewalls.  It's more work, but I've really become a fan of pre-drilling things twice, one piece at the major and the other at the minor - it guarantees the screws always do the right thing and get great clamping force instead of stripping the wrong half of the hole or stubbornly bridging a gap.



You can see from the back why the bracket modification was necessary.  Additionally, the cable via I made for the leftmost pedal with the buried pot, to get the wiring through. 

Test assembly showed my initial round of inletting wasn't enough, though.  I had to extend a few relief cuts in various directions once the whole wood frame was assembled.



Here's the end result:



Turned out pretty clean!  The bottom turned out nice and square, it doesn't rock at all on a flat surface.  The side panels try to follow the shape of the brackets along the front, and the brackets tuck tight into the corners.  The setup feels rock solid; it's got the brackets on the back and wood glue along the joints clamped together by 3" screws going into the sides of the backboard.

I'll have to tear it apart at least one more time to prime and paint it, but the pedals can be disassembled from the solid wooden frame despite the two sides of inletting - they rock in on the diagonal.  (As I had to do a few dozen times getting all the clearancing cuts right, heh.)

Here's all the main controls that will be on the Not Vpin side:



I tested the setup for a while in Hard Drivin', and Afterburner.  I'm chuffed!

Arroyo

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #56 on: August 26, 2018, 12:48:00 pm »
Very intriguing, watching with great interest.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #57 on: August 26, 2018, 01:00:45 pm »
Very cool watching this come together! :applaud:
%Bartop

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #58 on: September 04, 2018, 04:53:00 am »
Bit more progress to share.

Shapeshifter won't be clamping down the lockdown bar like a real pinball machine does, because the full assembly is 1) about $80 and 2) won't fit.  So, instead, I'm using a pair of overcenter control panel latches, like so:



The hooks mount on the lockdown assembly, the clamps mount on the back wall of the absurdly shallow 1 1/8" box. 

For a sense of how tight things get in here, have a look down into the top when the coin door is closed:



The overcenter latches and the coin buttons occupy the same vertical height.  That red line in the circle is showing the actual clearance between the right latch and coin button.  Good times, eh?  They don't touch though.

Man this thing is thin.


Speaking of tight clearances, I want one of the driving-game-mode speakers to be on the backside of the front box.  The speakers I'm using have a mounting depth of 2" under the flange, and I'm putting them into a box with 1 1/8" of interior space.

No problem.



Here's the result of a lot of Dremel work.  Reasonably happy with it, though the burr did get away from me once, I've got a scar in the wood to bondo up later as a result of that accident. 

If the fit looks a little rough, well... that's only a 4" speaker, man, this is a tight close up, the pic is larger than life size. 
And... also, the fit is a little rough.

It was important that the speaker drop sub flush -



because the playfield / windshield monitor assembly is going to be swinging by just above this surface.

So, how does sinking the speaker in like that that possibly work with the total dimensions?  Well, there's also a clearance carved out in the backside of the front panel.



And you can see on the left, the back side of the coin door, showing again how much clearance I tend to have in this thing - that's how much the speaker magnet doesn't hit the coin door frame by.


All this work has the front box frame getting moderately close to assembly.  I think I'm going to shift gears next and work on the back box frame for a while.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 03:07:00 am by Laythe »

Mike A

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #59 on: September 04, 2018, 04:58:47 am »
Nice progress.

You should take a pic of the inside of a regular pin through the coin door opening. Then mount it in yours.

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2018, 05:29:13 am »
Nice progress.

You should take a pic of the inside of a regular pin through the coin door opening. Then mount it in yours.

Thanks!

Heh, that'd be pretty cool.  I figure it's that, or a correctly scaled picture of a massive pile of quarters.

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #61 on: September 24, 2018, 02:31:39 am »
Mostly, I've been working on software configuration, which isn't really conducive to gratifying photos.  Making a lot of progress on that side.

I found that the pinball service buttons sometimes don't work, because the emulated pinball machine doesn't think the coin door is open, and there's safety interlocks there.  That got me to thinking, hey, I could map a key to a microswitch there, that'd be cool! 

Except, the software isn't straightforward for that, of course.  For the same reasons of computer-side convenience that lead to the old hi-lo shifter situation, they implemented it as a toggle, not a continuous input.

But I got to thinking.  I can still work with that.

So I made this:



That's an aluminum bracket that mounts a lever-type microswitch just under the L flange on the coin door.  I bent the lever, like so:



Hard to see, but it's kind of a carat shape, ^ - high in the middle, low on the ends.

I lined everything up such that the door flange isn't normally depressing it, but when swinging past, it rides up the ramp and clicks the switch then releases it, in either direction.

(If you ever do fall out of parity, it's easy enough to just open the door and click the switch one extra time.)

Works like a charm, and it's pretty cool to open the coin door with a pinball game running and have it flash the high voltage shutoff message and enable the service buttons.

Laythe

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #62 on: September 30, 2018, 02:00:25 pm »
Day [number a lot] of [oh gods]:  Fabrication continues.

Here's my take on making the VR view button panel, for the sim-pit side.



I used a file to square up the corners and to fit the buttons to their forward-most flange.  Yeah, I could have used round holes, but then the buttons sit further forward with an extra plastic collar on them... and I think that it looks a lot better like this:



I spent a while swapping LEDs from my bench into these to get the best colors when lit.  It's strange, but to get a really good yellow out of this view button, it looked best with a white LED behind it - where I previously had to fix a white LED behind the yellow start button because that looked terrible.  Go figure.  I guess it depends on how tinted the plastic lens is.

These are wired as five individual channels, so for Hard Drivin', I can light just the Start and the red as the 'Abort' button - whereas something like Daytona or Super GT can get all of them.


I've also been working on the back cabinet, which... well, it is going to be complicated.  This will be an undertaking.  Ambitious, as Neph observed.

But, one bit at a time.

The back cabinet requires inletting another speaker below flush, for the right side of sim-pit audio.  I figured I'd show how I cut these inlets, because it might be useful to someone. 

I'm using a big cylindrical burr in a dremel, freehand. 

Trace a pattern line onto the wood, and then the first step is just to believe you can do it - that this will eventually work.  Use the front corner of the burr to dig in around the edges of your pattern line.



You see now why the faith is necessary.  This is awful.  This is going to end in disaster.  There's no way this can work.



Keep digging.  The trick is, plywood contains layers of contrasting wood with opposite grain directions.  Dig until you hit a transition.

You can see at the upper left that I've just touched the next layer.  This is the key to making flat-bottom freehand inletting in plywood - you have a built in depth gauge. 

In this case, I needed to dig one layer deeper, but as long as you stop when you've exposed your target layer, it doesn't take too long to arrive at something like this:



Not half bad, eh?  (You can tell I've gone one layer deeper than the prior photo, because now we're just touching horizontal grain again instead of vertical.)

Speaker drops into it like so -



and now I've got both inward-firing speakers ready for the monitor to swing over the top of their faces during transformation.



Another part of the backbox cabinet worth looking at is the bottom wall.  This will contain 3x 80mm fans blowing upward to force air into the box; the top of the back will have 3x 80mm fans blowing out as exhaust.  Given there's eventually going to be a stereo amplifier, relays, and two monitors in there, and not a lot of free square inches of air passage around all of it, I wanted to encourage the flow on both ends.

I decided to get fancy and embed the 80mm fans in the center of the board.  Fans have a kind of H profile, with flanges on the corners.  I split the board down the center, so it slides together around the fans and holds them captive. 

Some inletting was necessary because the inter-flange distance isn't QUITE 3/4" - so I thin one side of the boards like this:



Eventually, after priming and painting and whatnot, these two pieces will grab the fans like so:



The end is a big cable passthrough, because almost all of the wiring in this monster will be going through there.



I have to remind myself around this point, that Mimic had a similar feeling curve of progress - endless little jobs that don't individually seem to substantially matter much, just a pile of parts with no end in sight, until some step of assembly abruptly changes the whole thing from "basically a pile of parts that'll never be done" to "basically a finished machine that just needs a few final tweaks". 

It'll all work out. 

Eventually.   :)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 02:23:03 pm by Laythe »

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #63 on: September 30, 2018, 02:22:15 pm »
In an effort to spot upcoming problems... and mostly to keep my spirits up in the endless "pile of parts" stage...  I mocked up some of the backbox.



(Orientation:  The backbox cabinet is facedown in this picture.  The fanboard half-panel at the top of the picture is the bottom of the back cabinet, the cheek with all the structure showing is even in height with the playfield, and none of the conventional "backbox" parts above that height are shown yet at all.)

Since Menace warned me of the possibility of backbox sway/nod, there's a lot of structure in this throughout the neck region.  The front wall, currently laying on the floor, is 3/4" thick plywood.  The back wall, not shown, is also one big 3/4" thick plywood access panel that bolts down to this in ten places, and I think that should stiffen things up a lot as well.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 02:25:36 pm by Laythe »

Mike A

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #64 on: September 30, 2018, 02:28:59 pm »
It can be tough to stay motivated until things start coming together.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #65 on: September 30, 2018, 03:42:27 pm »
Holy ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---, man!  Do you not own a router?  Some of the best money I ever spent in this hobby was buying my first router.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #66 on: September 30, 2018, 04:16:41 pm »
Holy ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---, man!  Do you not own a router?  Some of the best money I ever spent in this hobby was buying my first router.

I have a router, but I never use it except for cutting T-molding slots. 

It's just never my go-to.  For anything.  I tried buying a bearing-bit and using it once to do some template-duplication style work, and the wood exploded badly.  I shrugged and put it in the back of a disused cabinet.

People here say they are great and do marvelous stuff with them.  I don't get it.   :dunno

(Edit:  I also find it to work for trimming laminate.  So, correction, there's two things I can do with it.)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 04:38:12 pm by Laythe »

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #67 on: September 30, 2018, 05:29:35 pm »
Good progress here. All the best projects are ambitious, knowing what you're capable of, you've got this well in hand.  What I like about your projects is your approach to problem solving especially when there's a degree of complexity involved.  That VR view button panel, I can see the effort that went into it - the buttons sit perfectly and look great.

I can understand about the router; they can be daunting beasts on first use.  They need a fair bit practice to get comfortable with and be a "go to tool". With quality bits and the correct technique (and some respect for their power) they can be a real asset.  They are not the solution to every woodworking challenge though.  They are just handy.
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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #68 on: October 02, 2018, 02:28:11 am »
Thanks!

I probably do need to give my router another chance; I won't develop any skills with it by leaving it in my cabinet of disappointment. 

(It was discouraging - I was trying to transfer a complex pattern onto a 1x8, thinking that a 3/4" depth of cut through fir softwood should be easy, and about 80% through the job it just shattered the board straight down the grain.  Knocked it in half.  I'm not sure what I did wrong.  I should practice on some less complex stuff that I don't mind potentially destroying.)

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #69 on: October 02, 2018, 04:12:00 pm »
Unrelated to building a combination pincade/racing chair, please do yourself a favour and try to experience a racing game with a good VR helmet.
My racing rig is a Playseat SV and an old PS3 GT racing wheel.  Playing Project Cars 2 and Dirt:Rally in VR completely changed my appreciation of racing games.

It is so immersive that I simply can't play racing games like a flatlander anymore.
Driving the Infineon Raceway in PC2 was so similar to the real deal that I started having flashbacks to my time on the real track.

On the plus side, it would also remove the need for your screen to rotate down for play.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 04:51:53 pm by Zoomie »

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2018, 03:17:51 am »
Unrelated to building a combination pincade/racing chair, please do yourself a favour and try to experience a racing game with a good VR helmet.
My racing rig is a Playseat SV and an old PS3 GT racing wheel.  Playing Project Cars 2 and Dirt:Rally in VR completely changed my appreciation of racing games.

It is so immersive that I simply can't play racing games like a flatlander anymore.
Driving the Infineon Raceway in PC2 was so similar to the real deal that I started having flashbacks to my time on the real track.

On the plus side, it would also remove the need for your screen to rotate down for play.

Thanks for chiming in!

I run a VR lab as part of my day job.   :)   It's neat stuff, I totally agree.  I also agree that seated vehicle sims are probably the killer app for it as a gaming setup.

I thought about it for this machine, but it's a poor fit:

1) I want to be able to run arcade games like Hard Drivin' or Super GT, which are non-starters in VR.
2) I want to be able to run some games of nostalgic interest to me like Wing Commander 2 and Mechwarrior 2 Mercenaries, which are also non-starters in VR.
3) I'm already using all 3 outputs of the video card - playfield, DMD, backglass.  There's no good way to drive a headset left over.

As to removing the need to rotate the playfield - alas, that ship sailed a while back.  The die is cast, forward to death or glory, I already bought the $160 high speed linear actuator, we're doing this.  Save yourself lad, it's too late for me.   :laugh:

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #71 on: October 05, 2018, 01:47:59 pm »
Definitely ambitious. 
I realized the other day that I have a laptop, two tablets, a desktop, a media center, and yet I still put together a brand-new machine for my arcade machine.
I may have a problem.  At least I'm not buying linear actuators yet.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #72 on: October 07, 2018, 04:49:35 am »
Making sawdust.



Lots of sawdust.  Parts like this:



Which might reasonably be mistaken for airplane parts.

None of this is likely to make much sense, but:

The subassemblies go together like so...



The number of parts is now starting to get smaller as things get attached to things, rather than bigger as I make more parts, and that's awesome.

Here's where I'm at, figuring out where everything goes inside the lower back frame.  (This is the area of the machine below the backbox.)  It's facedown while I work on it. 



The monitor you see the back of is the DMD monitor, sticking up into the region that will be the backbox, and that closest, airplane-rib-looking board is the backbox floor, and the cutaways and holes are for ventilation.  Three intake fans at the bottom, three exhaust fans at the top, I'd like as much air to move through the neck area as possible.

I have a lot of gluing, screwing, filling and sanding to do, but it's coming together. 


What entertains me right now is, nobody would look at any of this and think "pinball machine".  Or even "game cabinet". 

I can't prove that I'm not building a turbo encabulator, here.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #73 on: October 08, 2018, 09:37:18 am »
How are you making those detailed cuts if you are not a router guy?   :dunno  Impressive.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #74 on: October 08, 2018, 11:05:27 am »
How are you making those detailed cuts if you are not a router guy?   :dunno  Impressive.

Jigsaw, bandsaw, drill press, forstner bits, a dremel, and sanding down to the line on a knife grinder style belt sander are my usual go-to methods.  That's how I did the front box, the pedal frame, and all of Mimic.

For this back cabinet I'm currently working on, my dad convinced me to let him try running a sheet of plywood through a big waterjet machine with my pattern.  It works; ends up a little damp, but not terribly so, and there's some minor delamination around some edges that you have to reglue and clamp back together - but the cut quality is nice.  It's convenient, but I had designed this all to be parts I was confident I could fabricate with a jigsaw, bandsaw, drill press and sander.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2018, 12:23:07 pm »

For this back cabinet I'm currently working on, my dad convinced me to let him try running a sheet of plywood through a big waterjet machine with my pattern.  It works; ends up a little damp, but not terribly so, and there's some minor delamination around some edges that you have to reglue and clamp back together - but the cut quality is

Huh, didnít even know that existed.  Looks pretty cool actually. 

Funny how we all gravitate to one tool or another.  I have a hard time remembering to use something besides my router.  Youíve inspired me to breakout the band saw.  Jigsaw however I just canít seem to get the results I want. 

Watching with interest. Those are some intricate parts youíve got there.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #76 on: October 09, 2018, 08:07:47 pm »
OK this is bananas.  Love the creativity - can't wait to see where this goes.

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #77 on: October 10, 2018, 12:04:43 am »
This might be my next project now. I thought I would do a dedicated driving machine , but the pinball hmmmm. It is looking great !
!!

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #78 on: October 14, 2018, 04:24:52 pm »
OK this is bananas.  Love the creativity - can't wait to see where this goes.
This might be my next project now. I thought I would do a dedicated driving machine , but the pinball hmmmm. It is looking great !
!!

Thanks! 


Small progress update. 

Here's the roof of the backbox, and the fan panel that forms the top of the back wall.



I'm trying to be careful in this build to be sure I can get at everything for service later if needed. 

These two piece fan panels slide together to encircle the fans.  To replace a 80mm fan when one inevitably dies, you've got to slide one half of the fanboard away from the other.  So, those are all attached with button head screws and washers, into T-nut inserts in wooden brackets.  The brackets stick out the bottom with one additional T-nut slot, because the back hatch attaches there. 

So, changing a fan will mean pulling the hatch off, then pulling the lower board's screws and sliding it down into the space the hatch occupied, then the fans can come out.


Another thing I have to be careful about is the order of assembly of the front box. 



I put the sides on the front panel, that was safe - but at this point I have to start my filling and sanding and priming and sanding and painting and sanding and painting, because there will be absolutely no way to do a decent job of painting the inside a 21" x 18" x 1.125" box otherwise.  The interior walls will need to be done before I can mount this front assembly onto the back wall and enclose it.

But, I have to have the spuds that go into the tops of the legs ready as well, and I want to blend and fill them into the exterior paint to make that look like one piece...  and I want to install the legs after the paint job, so there has to be enough clearance for them to slide into the top spuds counting paint...   :dizzy:

I also had to remember to locate and drill the leg attachment screw holes before mounting the side walls, it would have been harder to do after.  This thing is full of new and interesting Z-before-X-before-Y sequencing traps. 

Legs are going to be held on with six 3/8"-16 button head screws into PEM nuts, each.  Probably a lot of overkill.  Going to be tricky to get the nuts started halfway down a 34" long 2" square blind tube, but I think (hope) that I can do it. 


Meanwhile, on the backbox, this here is quite possibly the weirdest piece I've ever had to make.



That doesn't look like a part.  That looks like the sprue or scrap left over after you've cut your part.  Looking at it, I would never conclude that the person who made it had any idea what the heck they were doing.

It makes more sense in context, though.  This is the lower half of the fan intake board for the bottom of the backbox.

Here is a dry assembly for fitting of how the lower rear cabinet works.



I've got the PC-controlled power relay at the bottom right corner there, and a cord via passthrough for quite a lot of wires above it.  I'm still tuning the inletting, so pardon the right edge sitting high - it's still sitting on top of the power relay rather than the plywood floor.

The upper half of this fan board is again removable for servicing the fans.  It has to be somewhat strong, because it's the lower flange the back hatch rests on before screwing in 10x as the rigid spine to the whole back cabinet.

The legs will mount on either side in the L-shaped spaces between floor and wall, with three 3/8"-16 button head screws toward the centerline, and three offset going through the floor panel.  The three screws up through the floor will have to be countersunk for the heads, because the playfield monitor needs to skim by just on the other side of this "floor".  The legs go all the way up against where the cheeks flare out at the top, and the rectangle hole on the left wall will have the amplifier mounted through it, just above the height of the leg, and passing over the speaker.

(I did most of the packaging layout in CAD before cutting wood, so I know where most of the internals go, with some extra leftover "for stuff I forgot" spaces.)


Next up might be some metalwork on legs.  They do neat things with 1/8" stagger offsets so they look like L angle mounted onto the outside even though they're full square tube... if this all works according to plan.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 05:00:48 pm by Laythe »

Ond

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Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #79 on: October 15, 2018, 01:28:23 pm »
I'm enjoying watching this come together.  When you design in CAD or sketch up or similar you can explore complex solutions to design challenges before ever cutting any wood.  Heh, fabricating those parts you designed in 5 minutes is another matter!  I wouldnít approach a project any other way though.
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

  
 

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