Main Restorations Software Audio/Jukebox/MP3 Everything Else Buy/Sell/Trade
Project Announcements Monitor/Video GroovyMAME Merit/JVL Touchscreen Meet Up Retail Vendors
Driving & Racing Woodworking Software Support Forums Consoles Project Arcade Reviews
Automated Projects Artwork Frontend Support Forums Pinball Forum Discussion Old Boards
Raspberry Pi & Dev Board controls.dat Linux Miscellaneous Arcade Wiki Discussion Old Archives
Site News

Unread posts | New Replies | Recent posts | Rules | Chatroom | Wiki | File Repository | RSS | Submit news


  

Author Topic: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter  (Read 3289 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2255
  • Buy a Multimeter
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2018, 04:33:49 pm »
Progress. Nice. :cheers:

n3wt0n

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2255
  • Buy a Multimeter
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2018, 04:40:01 am »
Great work so far.  :cheers:

Ian

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 928
  • "A day without Laughter is a day wasted"
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1527
  • build something
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 928
  • "A day without Laughter is a day wasted"
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

  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4708
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

  • Trade Count: (+21)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17984
  • 2014 UCA Winner, 2014, 2015, 2016 ZapCon Winner
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137636.msg1420628.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
  • Budgets are boring
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #56 on: August 26, 2018, 12:48:00 pm »
Very intriguing, watching with great interest.

Nephasth

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 904
  • Bitches love Centipede
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #57 on: August 26, 2018, 01:00:45 pm »
Very cool watching this come together! :applaud:
%Bartop

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2255
  • Buy a Multimeter
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

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 284
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
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.

  
 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31