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
Lightguns Arcade1Up --- Bug Reports --- Site News

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

  

Author Topic: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter  (Read 51665 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

zestyphresh

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 55
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 10:09:49 am
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #400 on: July 27, 2020, 07:04:46 pm »
I didn't even realise the pedals and monitor were motorised until I saw the video, absolutely bonkers!

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #401 on: August 07, 2020, 11:39:24 pm »
I didn't even realise the pedals and monitor were motorised until I saw the video, absolutely bonkers!

Heh, thanks!

Technically, the pedals stay put, they are mounted to the back wall.
The control panel moves (which also moves the seat out), and the monitor rotates.

I've made some progress toward the side skirts. 

First, I tapped the holes in the ends of the counterweight adjustment rail. 



I was very careful when I mounted this rail, such that it is well centered and straight underneath the monitor... which of course makes it crooked on most of the rotating assembly it attaches to, due to all the 3' angles.  But, the important thing here is that each end of the rail is about 0.060" short of being flush with the sides of the playfield display.

This means that when I make 0.060" thick aluminum plates that pick up these two screws on each side and mount them,



the outside faces of the aluminum are precisely flush with the outside edges of the playfield display.  These will form half of my mounting brackets for the cosmetic side skirts.  The skirts will carry the pinball flipper buttons and some of the force feedback elements. 

There will be 4 mounting screws per bracket, going out from the inside, through holes in these brackets into thread inserts into the 7/16" plywood skirts.  You can see centerpunch marks in the bracket where these screws will land.

Here's the initial layout for the side skirts.



You can see all the nudging around and remeasuring I did for the flipper button location prior to drilling it out.  These skirts are 4 3/4" high, about 41" long, and form a 6' parallelogram, with the incline of the table going to vertical ends to clear the front and back cabinet during rotation.  I've found the machinist angle blocks you can see by the pencil to be extremely handy for doing this kind of layout, that's a 4' and 2' stacked to make a reference 6' wedge.

I drilled the bracket holes, cut the skirts out, then carefully held the skirts exactly where I want them to land and transferred the four mount holes.  Took the brackets off, and transferred the center holes as well, because I don't have the ability to countersink these bracket screws completely, so there's going to be relief cuts in the skirts to clear the screwheads you saw holding the brackets on above.

Shapeshifter shouldn't have hardware showing on the outside of the skirts.  I am adamant about this.  The mounting screws are going to have the heads inside under the playfield, and be blind, into thread inserts that are also blind.  So, I drilled blind holes with the depth stop on my drill press.  Here's the side skirt, held up to a bright light behind it.



Thin, but it'll hold primer and paint.   :D

I ended up having to go to 6-32 hardware to get the thread inserts to be short enough not to blow through 7/16 plywood.



They are pretty small, but there will be 8 of them holding each skirt, and any impact loading from whacking the flipper buttons is going into the brackets, not out or side-loading.  I am confident these will be fine.

I sunk the thread inserts VERY CAREFULLY from the back side, got them just slightly below flush, and didn't have any protrusion on the user facing side.  Success!

Here's the mockup of what the skirts look like, installed.  The 1" aluminum angle set on top is just sitting there to give an idea of what this is going to look like, it still needs to be trimmed to angle and length.  Imagine that this bare plywood was the same bright red as the front and rear cabinets; that's going to be my last big painting job. 



Currently, the skirts are only held on by the four screws in the rear brackets - I still have some fabrication to do to make the front brackets and anchors.

Next up, though, is force feedback.  I specifically want the flipper buttons to feel lively when the flippers move, and I have an unorthodox approach in mind for this.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 11:41:34 pm by Laythe »

J_K_M_A_N

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 934
  • Last login:Today at 06:45:37 am
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #402 on: August 08, 2020, 08:44:05 am »

Next up, though, is force feedback.  I specifically want the flipper buttons to feel lively when the flippers move, and I have an unorthodox approach in mind for this.

Just when I think it couldn't get any better... I can't believe you are going to give the buttons a little feedback just to get a better feel. That is amazing. So many things I would/could never think of, let alone, execute.   :dizzy: :cheers:

J_K_M_A_N

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #403 on: August 08, 2020, 09:17:32 pm »
Like many vpins, I'm using various electrical contactors to provide some haptic touch feedback when the various events on the table occur. 

The contactors I'm going to use for the flippers have a groove in the base for standard DIN rail base.  This groove expects edges that are 35mm apart, and the hooks will grab something at most 0.050" thick. 

I have a ton of .060" aluminum, but it won't quite fit in that base.  I dug around some more and found the side panels of an old Lian-Li brushed aluminum PC case I'd scavenged because, hey, that's good aluminum.  It measured 0.045" thick, which is just about perfect.


I cut some bracket flats on my bandsaw.



My plan is to mount these contactors directly to the flipper buttons, clamped under the button nuts.  So, I drilled a hole for a screw and nut to serve as a stop on the end, and a big 1 1/8" hole for the button to pass through.  Cleaned up the edges and rounded the corners while I was at it - that's easier while it's flat.



Then I used my finger brake to fold up a bracket.

This is the basic idea, mocked up in a scrap of plywood of the same thickness as the sideskirts.



I figured this would carry the impact from the contactor opening and closing into the area surrounding the button as much as possible.  There's still room to connect the terminals to the microswitch and to wire the terminals for the contactor. 

Then I tested this setup to see how well it would work, and I discovered... these contactors are different than every single other one I've ever played with.

Most contactors operate towards and away from the DIN rail.  I assumed this one did too.  IT DOESN'T.  This is a -side- firing contactor, the coil moves the contacts parallel to the DIN rail mount, not perpendicular.  To quote Q-Bert, "!$#%$@!"

So I took it all apart and put one more bend on the DIN tab, making it a Z-bend, to reorient the contactor to the correct axis.  That made a big difference.

Here's the result, under the skirt, looking up at the playfield monitor. 



There's about 1/32" of clearance between the monitor and the bracket+contactor assembly below it, but they don't touch.  When the contactor fires, the contacts move toward the button, impact together, and that shock bounces down the bracket and makes a very tacticle "thunk" on the flipper button, you can feel it through the plunger.  It's not a huge thing, but it makes the machine feel far more alive under your hands.  Because it's tied to the software via DOF, and not the microswitch directly, they do nothing if you hit the button while the flipper can't move, such as before coining up and starting, or after game over.  Additionally, if something like Addams Family snaps the flippers for you, the contactors fire too. 

The extra purple and yellow wires you can see here in this shot will route about a third of the way further up along the skirt, and attach to the slingshot contactor up there.  I'm holding off on mounting those slingshot contactors until I get the front skirt axle bracket built, so that I can set all of the remaining 6-32 thread inserts in one batch.

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #404 on: August 26, 2020, 03:14:55 pm »
Got the front bracket built.

Here's the blank straight off the waterjet. 




The slot on this clamp looks short, but that's because I plan to cut it apart entirely.  The other two brackets somewhat like this that form the TV vesa mount tray, are semipermanently attached to the axle - they slide on from the ends, so getting them on or off requires breaking the front and rear cabinets apart.  This fellow, however, gets installed while the machine is together, so it is going to become a two part clamp.

I didn't have the waterjet part it yet, because I want the clamp screw holes in both pieces to be lined up, and that's easier done while it's one piece.



Here's the minor diameter holes drilled all the way through.  After doing this, I used the bandsaw to cut the clamping block free of the main bar, tapped the holes in the clamping block, and drilled out the holes in the bar to the clearance diameter for 1/4-20 hardware.

Bolted up around a scrap offcut of the axle, to verify the fit and clamping action:



This bar exists to support the front of the side skirts, up near the flipper buttons.  I've gotten to the point in this project where I no longer precisely trust the CAD plans, and I want the skirts to fit closely against the sides of the playfield display even though they are not directly attached to it at all.  At this point, the cabinet itself is the one definitive set of plans, so I intentionally cut this bracket about an inch long on both ends. 

I mounted it up to the machine, sticking out past the playfield display on both sides, then used a square to trace lines off the sides of the display housing perpendicular to the bezel.  Traced those lines onto the bar, then took the bar back off the machine. 



Also pictured is the .060 aluminum I'll be making the... bracket brackets?...  no, let's call them anchor plates, of.  The anchor plates allow the plywood skirts to have hidden hardware. 

I cut the bar down to .060 shorter than the traced lines, drilled and tapped the ends of the bars for two screws, and made up some simple bar bracket anchor plates.  Here they are, near the flipper button region.  The outside face of this plate is in a plane flush with the side of the monitor above.



These match the anchor plates I already made on the ends of the counterweight rail, so now I've got two well-separated mounts for the skirts.  The plates are a little different between the left and right side, because this monitor has a speaker box only on the "bottom" - now right - that I have to dodge. 

(Also, I have some paint touch up work to do on the red, where I've chipped it with my temporary kludge pinball flipper button mockup mounts many months ago.)


Now that all four anchor plates are present, it's time to set all the rest of the 24 count of 6-32 small thread inserts into the insides of the skirts.  Positioning matters here, minimal room for error - you can't exactly drift or nudge a thread insert, or at least, not without a whole lot of work.  So, I mounted the skirts again by only the rear anchor plates, then traced through to transfer the perimeters and hole locations while holding the skirts parallel with the display where I want them to land.



Here we are with brass inserts for all the 6-32 screws, and the slingshot contactors attached.  The forstner-cut relief carvings here are to clear the button heads that attach the anchor plates down; since the anchor plates are only sixty thou thick, I couldn't easily do countersunk hardware there. 

Last up, verify these new anchor plates can in fact be screwed down...



I, uh, may have had to egg out a few of these holes in the aluminum plates to make that work.  (cough)  Nothing to see here, move along. 

(All these sharpie layout scribbles will of course be hidden under the two to three layers of primer, and three to six layers of paint, eventually.)


This gets me to another playable point on the machine; now I can play fake pinball with flipper, slingshot and bumper force feedback working, and these parts being correctly mounted and with improved wiring routing means the machine is again transformable for a while.

I have a slight interference rub with the bottom front corner of the left skirt against the front cabinet in the pinball rotation, and with the bottom front corner of the right skirt at the very end of cockpit rotation.  Also, amusingly, the clearances have turned out to be so tight that the aft bearing truck on the left side of the control panel's linear rail actually clicks the right flipper button once in passing as it goes by - it's tight enough clearance to push and release the button on the way past, but it doesn't quite bind.  Phew. 

I've got some more work to do before the last big hardware push, which will be fixing the skirt rubs, smoothing the edges, inletting the fake side rails into the plywood side skirts, then putting a good smooth polished red paintjob on the plywood, touch up paint in a few other places, and... man, it's getting close to just being Done.  Two years in, that's a weird feeling, for it to be approaching Done.

stinkyrob

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 18
  • Last login:November 12, 2020, 02:55:29 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #405 on: August 26, 2020, 04:20:50 pm »
I've been following this for a long time, and am still in awe.  Your skills and attention to detail rock my socks.  I look forward to more updates!

Arroyo

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 1438
  • Last login:Today at 11:02:51 am
  • Budgets are boring
    • newforum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,156267.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #406 on: August 26, 2020, 04:37:32 pm »
Looking good as usual Laythe, keep it comin.

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #407 on: September 21, 2020, 02:15:40 am »
I've made some more progress.

Spent a while working on one of the virtual pinball toys.  There is traditionally a loud knocker that fires when you win a free game.  This is often a solenoid whacking the inside of the plywood cabinet directly, using the whole cabinet as a giant sounding box - but I don't exactly have a solid box cabinet like a traditional pinball machine does, so I improvised a bit.

I found a relatively powerful 120vac solenoid, and mounted it to a small wooden subframe.  Cut a chunk of thick-wall stainless steel rectangular tube, bored a hole in one side of it for the solenoid striker to reach through the tube and strike the far side wall of.  Drilled it, tapped it, and screwed it tight to the face of the solenoid.  Mounted a very light spring to a cross pin on the moving plunger in tension to reset it.

Here's the result.


When the coil is charged from a very brief (10 millisecond) shot of 120v across a relay, the |-|> shape at the right of the solenoid tries to become ||>, but just slightly before the plates touch, the plunger inside strikes the far end of the stainless tubing with a good loud crack.  Then the spring pulls it back into this resting configuration.

This lives on the midshelf up near the rear cabinet.  Of course, when I went to test it, I then couldn't win a free game to save my life.   ::)

(Eventually managed to.  It works great.)

Current working pinball toy count:
  • 5 RGB flashers between backbox monitors
  • 4 white LED strobes, two behind backbox, two under front cabinet
  • Left and right flipper contactors mounted directly to the flipper buttons
  • Left and right slingshot contactors, mounted against the side skirts further ahead
  • Bumper solenoid mounted well up the midshelf, mapped to "Center" and "Back" bumper events
  • Replay knocker mounted at the back end of the midshelf

Next work is on a minor ergonomic problem that has plagued the design.  When it's in pinball mode, if you put your thumbs up past the lockdown bar on the tops of what would be the side rails of a real pinball machine, you can flex the table back and forth a bit.  You're actually flexing the spring rod that cushions the television against the abrupt start and stop of the actuator that rotates it - that is all, by design, not a rigid structure on purpose. 

I wasn't sure how bad it would be in practice, given most of your palms weight is on the lockdown bar, not the side rails, and the centerline of the flipper buttons goes right about exactly through the axle.

It was flexible enough to be annoying, it didn't feel right. 

So, I've made a fix for that.

First up, a block of steel.  Mild steel this time, not stainless.  I hate having anything on Shapeshifter that can rust, so this is a steel block under about four layers of rustoleum flat black.  Four countersunk screw holes in the corners for mounting.



This gets screwed down to the top of the midshelf, right behind the front cabinet.  This is the view looking down just behind the lockdown bar, from the pinball player position, with the playfield monitor up in vertical driving mode.  Four screws clamp this block down.



This block will be one side of a strong magnetic latch.  I can only do this on the left side, where the playfield rotates away from it, because the right side has to swing through anything below it.  This is going to catch the giant aluminum bracket you see on the right, which also mounts the fronts of the skirts.  I've drawn a dot on this bracket where the magnet should mount to hit the middle of this steel block.

I'm doing all work from here on without disassembling the machine, so setting the magnet end requires drilling aluminum in situ.

I took some now-no-longer-needed engineering drawings from making other parts of the machine, and masking taped them up to form a dam to keep aluminum shavings out of the rest of the electronics.



Used a hand drill with a number 36 bit in it, to laboriously peck drill a 1.25" deep hole into the bracket.



This took me a long time.  If you're playing the home game and building along, you should measure this out and do it in a drill press before you mount the whole thing together.  Me, I did it over the course of about 45 minutes wishing I could be using my drill press. 

Once it's drilled to depth, then I tapped it 6-32. 



Pro tip:  Don't break off a tap in the assembled machine.

Wisely, I didn't break off a tap in the assembled machine.

This gets a 95-pound-rated cup magnet on a countersunk 6-32 screw with a lock washer and a nut to pin the magnet hard against the countersink, then a reversed nylock nut to act as a jam nut up against the aluminum threaded bracket, then about an inch of 6-32 threads to be nice and strong in the bracket.

Here's the magnet assembly just started into the threads:



This acts like a leg leveller foot on an arcade machine, only the end of it is a strong magnet.  (It screws in until the nut touches the bracket.)


This is tunable in a lot of ways.  You can space whatever amount of nonferrous material between the steel and the magnet to adjust the strength of the latch, you can screw the magnet in and out of the bracket to tune the exact stop angle to make the pinball table land EXACTLY flat to the backbox... and you can make the spacer material hard or resilient to compromise shock absorption versus residual flexibility of the pinball table.

The winning compromise ended up being one layer of a black silicone placemat, which I trimmed to fit overlength and screwed down over the steel block. 
 

End result:  You can't tip the pinball table left at all, because to do that you'd be shoving the magnet through the steel block.  That side is very strong.  You can't tip the pinball table right until you push hard enough to pop the magnet up off the steel block - which is a lot of force, not something you do at all by accident. 

When the actuator shoves the monitor into driving mode, it's strong enough to pop it right off the block, it's got about 20lb of force behind it.  The twisting load to pop it loose is all between the actuator rod to the TV tray brackets, to the thick axle tube, to the front skirt bracket - none of that goes through the monitor. 

I'm happy with how it works, and now pinball mode feels decently solid even if you get a little excited playing.  Not quite as rock solid as a full box would be, but, there's some compromises to the crazy thing I'm doing here and it's no longer distressingly flexible.  It's pretty good now, I consider the problem solved.

Still to do: 
  • Limit switches, so the software can be aware of the status of the moving parts, which I'm going to do before I set the software to full automatic transformation, to guard against anything going wrong mid-transform.
  • Disassemble the side skirts again, cut relief for the angle aluminum to inlet them into the corner, bodywork, prime, paint very very red, polish, glue aluminum fake siderails on, reassemble everything
  • Software tweaking and tuning, to include full automatic transformation
  • Throw a party to let my friends come over and see it and play it

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #408 on: October 04, 2020, 04:05:57 pm »
I got that magnet latch tuned just right, the pinball table now rests dead level.  Here's where it really lives, so you can see how deep the threads go.



There's a lot of threads into the aluminum, so I trust that. 

Here's the machine parked on the latch, in pinball mode...



Sadly, the last time it is to be together and playable for a while, because Progress Must Be Made.

You can see the side skirts that bear the pinball flipper buttons are bare plywood.  They are going to be the next thing on the list.

Upon seeing the machine together, and that the side skirts run pretty much flush with the sides of the front and rear cabinet, I've decided that the aluminum angle fake side rails I'm going to make should be flush, not lapped over - this should both look better, and improve their clearance when the table rotates, because those corners get mighty close to the control panel rails and the tail of the control panel as they go by. 

First up, disassembly. 

The side skirts come off. 



The slingshot contactors mount to the side skirts between the front and rear mounts, so they come off too.

To do the inletting for the aluminum angle to sink it flush, I know most of you all would use a router.  As shown by this project so far though, I'm not much of a router guy - this says tablesaw to me.



Before disassembly, I traced a line onto the skirts at where the aluminum, set against the playfield monitor bezel, ends on the side skirts.

I made a sequence of shallow passes, adjusting the fence about 3/4ths of a kerf at a time, to approach that line...



The bottom of the cut is of course ribbed because of the saw's tooth profile, but it's going to get filled with construction adhesive when I glue the fake side rails into it, so that's no bad thing.

I got to the line on both pieces - here are the skirts ready for the first pass of filler.



Skim filled, sanded, skim filled, sanded, and they shape up like this -



Then the first coat of primer goes on them.



That brings us up to the present; I'll certainly be doing at least one more coat of primer, possibly two, depending on how much building up and sanding down it takes for me to be happy with the surface.

This is, I think, the last body work that has to happen on the whole of Shapeshifter.  It's less of a chore when it's the home stretch.  I'll want to get a really thick coat of red on these, because the area around the pinball flipper buttons will be the first place it wears through from use, that's the heaviest contact area.

I'm trying to see that as an okay outcome - I think actual pinball machines tend to show the same kind of wear, so it will just be a touch of authenticity.

javeryh

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6908
  • Last login:Today at 09:15:26 am
    • Bella's Arcade
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #409 on: October 04, 2020, 04:43:41 pm »
I just can't get over the level of detail in this project.  I am truly in awe every time you update this thread.   :cheers:

I've never even messed around with virtual pinball before - where would be a good place to start?  Is there one program like MAME that you can play all the tables on?

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #410 on: October 04, 2020, 04:53:09 pm »
I just can't get over the level of detail in this project.  I am truly in awe every time you update this thread.   :cheers:

I've never even messed around with virtual pinball before - where would be a good place to start?  Is there one program like MAME that you can play all the tables on?

Hehe, thanks!

A good place to start, in my opinion, is VPX.  There's a stack of software to get running - the backglass is one program, the vpinmame instance running the rom (if it's an emulated table) is another program, vpx is the physics simulator for the table itself... but a VPX install generally gets you all the pieces you need.  I'd use something like https://vpinball.com/VPBdownloads/vpx-installer-10-6-0/  as a starting point.

You can get it running and play it with a keyboard and see if you like it enough to want to get involved.  I got to play Malenko's "Gingerballs" at zapcon, and that got me hooked. 

You can tinker with it a lot.  It's much less "run the emulator and go" than Mame is - which is both good and bad.  Good, in that you can physically go in and tinker on the table if there's something you think isn't right about it - I didn't like how the top of the Countdown table I got didn't act like I remember them acting, so I hacked on my version of it in the editor and made it work right - that's cool!.   Bad, in that, you might well have to go in and tinker on stuff.  :)

javeryh

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6908
  • Last login:Today at 09:15:26 am
    • Bella's Arcade
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #411 on: October 05, 2020, 02:14:08 pm »
Thanks.  Looks like I'll be headed down the rabbit hole.  These things have always intrigued me even though I never really played pinball as a kid.

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #412 on: October 05, 2020, 06:13:24 pm »
Have fun in the vpin rabbit hole!  There's a learning curve, but it's interesting.  Several forums will be very useful to you - vpforums.org, vpuniverse.com, etc.

I am in the same situation as far as personal history goes.  As a kid I was a take-it-or-leave-it player of real pinball machines, I messed around a little, but they didn't grab me like arcade video games did.  I think vpin cabinets might be more convincing for casuals like you and I as a result of that... if I'd had a burning passion for it back then, I can imagine where only a very high fidelity reproduction might scratch that nostalgia.  As I am, I think fake pinball is really cool.  I'm discovering a lot about the real machines while down in this particular rabbit hole.

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #413 on: October 06, 2020, 04:09:45 pm »
The side skirts begin to become red.

Here's an early coat going in.



The aluminum rails will be gluing to the grooved section, so I'm leaving them bare wood - at least, as much as I can, they caught a little stray primer and paint, oops.


I have a ton of orange peel, of course - this needs a lot of sanding, a couple more coats of paint, a lot of sanding, then a polish, to match the rest.  But, I couldn't resist dropping a flipper button into it and holding the fake side rail in place.  It'll look something like this:




Looks a bit pinball-like.

Current status:  Chuffed.


« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 05:23:31 pm by Laythe »

LTC

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 131
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 06:57:11 pm
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #414 on: October 06, 2020, 08:07:08 pm »
Looking good. Love seeing the progress.

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #415 on: October 20, 2020, 01:13:56 am »
We're getting into the home stretch now.  I got the red paint on the side skirts to a point where I'm content with it. 

Then, I marked up that aluminum angle that I'm making fake side rails out of, and got the exact dimensions transferred from the side skirt onto it.  Trimmed it roughly to length with the bandsaw, then milled the exact 6' matching face that makes up for my inclined playfield.

I set up a stack of angle blocks on the vise to equal 6', then just pushed the aluminum angle against that when I grabbed it in the machining vise, like so:



The side skirts are basically a parallelogram, mostly, less some clipped corners to make room for rotation.  The 6' angles align nicely, here's the resulting fit:



I put a little carbide burr in my dremel and just went to town roughing up the inside surfaces of the angle.  (For those of you who get the Joy Division reference in my resulting pattern, bravo!)



This, I figure, should give the construction adhesive something to hang on to. 

I filled it with glue, and clamped it together.

While the glue was setting, I applied some clear mylar pinball flipper button protectors under the buttons.  They show a little, when the light is just right, but I figure they'll slow down me wearing through the paint in this area over the years to come.  Here's as much as I can make them show in reflected light.



Finally, when the glue dried, it was time to reassemble everything. 

It now looks done.  It isn't done, but it looks done. 



Now you can see my starting design idea.  I wanted the BRIGHT BRIGHT RED to trick the eye into visually completing the shape of a pinball cabinet over all the weird stuff that lives tucked in underneath that.  I think it works - you wouldn't ever mistake it for a real pinball table, but it clearly indicates what I was going for with all of this.  The illusion would work better if the skirts could be taller, but this is the absolute upper limit that still clears the internals when it rotates. 

It may not be authentic, but I think it's cool - and that's the next best thing. 


Still to do:  Build limit switch brackets and wire them, so that the machine can tell what configuration it's in, and so that I can script the full transform sequence safely.  I'm going to program it with both timeouts and expected results - it'll try to push the table out for, say, 4 seconds, and if it does NOT see the limit switch trip indicating that the control panel is fully extended, then it'll halt and throw an error on the DMD, instead of blindly spinning the table into a physical crash.

I'm going to wire these up in a neat way.  I'm using keystrokes on the Ultimate I/O board, and obviously holding keys for the limit switches ALL THE TIME would raise all kinds of trouble while booting the machine with "stuck keys" and in all other games and so on.  How to work around that?  Well, the UI/O detects switch inputs based on the input pin going to ground.  All your switches normally have a common ground, and when the switch is on, that's grounding the corresponding input.  The UI/O lighting controller works on a common +5v rail and switches grounds to light the LEDs.  This means if you wire the limit switches to a lighting controller pin and the input signal pin, instead of common ground and the input signal pin, then the switches are effectively enabled by turning that light on.    Light off = lighting pin floating = closing switch contacts leaves the input signal pins floating.   Light on = lighting pin grounded = closing switch contacts grounds the input signal pins.  So that one lighting controller pin becomes "Switches Active Enable", I can do that in my front end software whenever I need to know what their status is, and I can leave it off during boot, while playing games, or any other time that those keys being depressed continuously would cause problems.  Cute, eh?

Additional funny detail:  It turns out that if the throttle is all the way forward, it leans forward toward the screen enough that it could crash the rotating playfield as it swings by.  But, I can read the throttle's position in my software!  So I'm just going to write another check there, such that when you select the other game mode, if the throttle is too far forward, it prompts you with a big flashing "THROTTLE DOWN TO INITIATE TRANSFORMATION" message, and then delays until you comply into the safe area of throttle travel.

I'll have fun with the graphics for that.  I also thought of another randomly selected transform noise it should make - the Robotech/Macross VF-1 Valkyrie transform noise should be in the pool as well.  (grin)

bobbyb13

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 259
  • Last login:Today at 02:41:06 am
  • I'm TRYing to build arcade controls!
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #416 on: October 20, 2020, 05:05:27 am »
You are absolutely right on your thought with the screaming RED.
It pulls your eye into thinking pinball before you consider what else is going on.

I would argue that since what you have created is a hybrid that didn't previously exist it is authentic in its own right.

Sheer awesomeness of this build continues-

And yes! ...it speaks of Unknown Pleasures
Why'd you kick me?
Where's your brain?

ditchdoc68

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
  • Last login:December 12, 2020, 11:02:13 am
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #417 on: October 20, 2020, 08:16:21 am »
I just started following this project a couple of weeks ago and all i can say is "WOW!"   :applaud:  :notworthy:
I'm working on my first ever arcade project (from a prebuilt cab  :-\) and it's threads like this that give me inspiration to build my own from scratch someday. Keep up the amazing work!
You can never truly begin to live until you are ready to die.

J_K_M_A_N

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 934
  • Last login:Today at 06:45:37 am
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #418 on: October 20, 2020, 01:37:32 pm »
It now looks done.  It isn't done, but it looks done. 

 :laugh2:

Looks awesome as hell! I love all the cool little ideas you have to cover possible problems. Very creative.

J_K_M_A_N

bperkins01

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 834
  • Last login:Yesterday at 09:57:32 pm
  • Plenty of skills.. gaining experience..
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #419 on: October 20, 2020, 01:47:54 pm »
Great work on this - if you are REALLY concerned about physical switches..  take a look at hall effect sensors.
trigger of magnetism and may be more reliable.  If you are using Arduino for some of the movement - you can use it as a positioning sensor.
Not sure if it's a fit - but figured I'd mention it since you are using 'seconds' as a timeout and obviously concerned.
 :applaud:
My Arcade Cabinet Build and other projects here:
Centipede, Joust, Joust Cocktail, Asteroids, Galaga, Ms. Pacman Cabaret, Defender, Space Invaders Cocktail
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

Arroyo

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 1438
  • Last login:Today at 11:02:51 am
  • Budgets are boring
    • newforum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,156267.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #420 on: October 23, 2020, 04:20:22 pm »
Very professional craftsmanship sir.  Looks like you might beat meet to the finish line, well done!  ;D

Richie_jones

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 298
  • Last login:January 18, 2021, 05:09:20 pm
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #421 on: October 24, 2020, 10:02:35 am »
Awesome work..

Laythe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 685
  • Last login:January 20, 2021, 04:45:29 pm
  • "-smurfing- delivers." - Yots
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,149109.0.html
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #422 on: January 02, 2021, 07:22:54 am »
Limit switch brackets:  Built. 
4 limit switches:  Installed.

(Well, I guess it's wrong to call them "limit" switches... they're really just positional feedback switches, the actual limit switches are integral within the linear actuators themselves.)

Wiring:  Routed and secured through the labyrinth of whirling guillotines for stray wires that the inside of this machine amounts to.

Software hacking: 
In progress.

When this round of software is done, the whole transformation process will be faster... and fully automatic.

javeryh

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6908
  • Last login:Today at 09:15:26 am
    • Bella's Arcade
Re: Mimic's Sister - Shapeshifter
« Reply #423 on: January 02, 2021, 11:44:09 am »
Limit switch brackets:  Built. 
4 limit switches:  Installed.

(Well, I guess it's wrong to call them "limit" switches... they're really just positional feedback switches, the actual limit switches are integral within the linear actuators themselves.)

Wiring:  Routed and secured through the labyrinth of whirling guillotines for stray wires that the inside of this machine amounts to.

Software hacking: 
In progress.

When this round of software is done, the whole transformation process will be faster... and fully automatic.

I am picturing you with frizzled hair and goggles over your head in a white coat with black gloves.  Mad scientist indeed.  Can't wait to see it!