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Author Topic: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread  (Read 3119 times)

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LTC

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My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« on: August 26, 2019, 12:17:15 pm »
Hey everyone

This is my first attempt to build anything from scratch.
Earlier this year I put together a bartop from a cheap E-Bay MDF kit and a raspberry pi I had laying around. It came out ok, but I am not happy with the screen size for the vertical games and my plan was to build or convert a full size vertical cab with a 60-1 Jamma. Also since I built the bartop, we bought a slightly bigger house with a dedicated game room. Anyway, about 2 months ago, I was at a bar that had a couple of pinball machines, and I caught the bug and decided to build a Virtual Pin first (Something I always wanted to do but never had the room, or the confidence in my skill level).

First thing I did was get the PC side sorted, so I got a Dell with an i7 CPU, GTX1050ti Graphics Card, an SSD Drive and a 40' TV, and started playing with the software and adding tables. Once I got that mostly working, it was time to move on to the dreaded part of the cabinet construction. I did not like working with MDF, so went to Home Depot and got the smoothest 3/4" plywood they had, some saw blades, saw guide and a Kreg jig, also some saw horses, clamps and a sander from Harbor Freight. Got it all home and started cutting. It has been slow going as it is way too hot outside and the free time I have is limited. At least the rain has stayed away for the last week.

Day one, side panels. They came out ok and with a little sanding they were are exactly the same.



Went ahead and ordered some parts from Twisted Quarter. Stuff got here a couple of days later and cutting resumed
Front panel



Pretty happy with the way it turned out. I may change the "Launch" button to a little larger diameter one.

Trying out the Kreg jig.

 :cheers: This thing is awsome

Assembly


This is where I am now.

My plan is to get everything assembled and then loosen up the screws a bit and get some wood glue between the joints and tighten it all back together. Does that sound like a good idea?

My 4 1/2 inch holesaw got here yesterday, so I will be getting the fan holes drilled soon. I am thinking of going with a 1/2" plywood for the cabinet floor to save a little bit of weight.
I still need to get the backglass monitor before I start building the top box. I have been testing with a 24" i had laying around, but it is way too small, so going with 27" or 32" (may be overkill?).

Zeosstud

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 12:57:59 pm »
Looks to me like your off to a GREAT start.. Enjoy the process.. :-)


Mike A

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2019, 01:15:50 pm »
Looks like a good start.

javeryh

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 02:57:15 pm »
Great start.  I love these types of builds.

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2019, 12:30:18 am »
Take it apart and glue it up right, the screws are just place holders while the glue cures.  That's where your strenght and stability will come from.

Also you might consider cutting some small notches where you leg bolts are gonna go, befor you put it back together, otherwise good luck putting a drillbit through those corners.

Have fun you got a long way to go brother, it's like a classic car, theres always something to improve and add.
   

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LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 09:21:04 am »
Take it apart and glue it up right, the screws are just place holders while the glue cures.  That's where your strenght and stability will come from.

Yup, definitely going to glue it.

Also you might consider cutting some small notches where you leg bolts are gonna go, befor you put it back together, otherwise good luck putting a drillbit through those corners.

Didn't think of that. I'll have to practice my notch cutting jig saw skills on some scrap first.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2019, 02:41:14 pm »
Not much done this week, but I did get the fan holes cut in.

Also picked up my backglass monitor, so I can start work on the back box.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 02:43:07 pm by LTC »

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2019, 02:30:21 pm »
Lovely craftsmanship!!

Curious about the 3 fan holes - I see a lot of cabinets (pin and arcade) with multiple fans.  My sense is that, as long as you have "a" fan at the top, and at least some sort of vent toward the bottom to let in air to replace the warm air, you should be ok?  Is there some sort of math involved?

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2019, 03:04:11 pm »
Is that a Ford Probe?

Nice cuts so far, would love to build one of these down the line.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2019, 03:24:01 pm »
Lovely craftsmanship!!

Curious about the 3 fan holes - I see a lot of cabinets (pin and arcade) with multiple fans.  My sense is that, as long as you have "a" fan at the top, and at least some sort of vent toward the bottom to let in air to replace the warm air, you should be ok?  Is there some sort of math involved?

Honestly, I just went with 3 because that's what I see on most VPin builds out there. The PC will be putting out a bunch of heat, not to mention 3 monitors (40", 27", 19"), so want to move all of that hot air out.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2019, 03:24:45 pm »
Is that a Ford Probe?

No, it's a 93 Firebird Formula

markiej

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2019, 03:42:57 pm »
Honestly, I just went with 3 because that's what I see on most VPin builds out there. The PC will be putting out a bunch of heat, not to mention 3 monitors (40", 27", 19"), so want to move all of that hot air out.
Ah ok...  I was picturing the the backglass box as a mostly separate enclosure, requiring its own fan(s)...  is there also going to be a vent of somekind on the bottom?  Thanks for answering!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 03:44:30 pm by markiej »

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2019, 08:10:36 pm »
I dig it.  :cheers:


LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2019, 08:20:00 am »
Honestly, I just went with 3 because that's what I see on most VPin builds out there. The PC will be putting out a bunch of heat, not to mention 3 monitors (40", 27", 19"), so want to move all of that hot air out.
Ah ok...  I was picturing the the backglass box as a mostly separate enclosure, requiring its own fan(s)...  is there also going to be a vent of somekind on the bottom?  Thanks for answering!

They are separate, but there will be an opening with the third monitor descending in to the main cabinet. Yes, I will vent the cab from the buttom. Not sure if I am doing intake fans, or just cut in an opening with a filter to keep the dust out.

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2019, 01:33:15 pm »
Heat rises, Draw from bottom and blow out the top, fans that size are going to be quite noticeable in terms of noise.

meltman

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2019, 08:56:23 am »
Nah, bigger fans can turn slower and move plenty of air.

Those look like 120mm holes probably? You can get very, very quiet 120mm fans that will keep all the hot air from accumulating in that cabinet.


LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2019, 09:34:22 pm »
Yes, they are 120mm fans. I have had no issues with noise with them in PC builds. I can always add a fan controller to regulate the speed.

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2019, 10:43:31 pm »
^yup, big fans rule. Slower rpm while big blades push more air.

Also a great idea to control the fan speed. Might have to install a simple thermometer to check the internal heating after a while of playing and adjust the speed/noise ratio accordingly.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2019, 11:15:52 am »
So the first screw up I caught so far.
Cut the power block in too low. Didn't catch it until I started lining up the legs to mark where to notch the panels.
Oh well. Cut out a patch piece and glued it in. Once it's all patched up and with the leg in place, it should just fine.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2019, 12:40:09 am »
This week's progress:
A lot of attempts at making notches for the leg bolts (on scrap plywood). Finally settled on my Milwaukee M12 "ripsaw" and finished off with the Dremel to smooth things out.
Now it stands all on it's own, like a newborn fawn on it's unsteady legs (finger tightened the bolts, they will be coming off again very soon)


« Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 12:47:07 am by LTC »

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2019, 05:20:13 pm »
Had some free time in the last couple of days. Made a monitor mount and installed support brackets. I think the position works. The back of the mount will be on a "hinge" to allow the monitor to swing up for cabinet access, like a real pinball playfield (hopefully)


LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2019, 08:42:07 pm »
Finished up the playfield monitor mount this weekend. A bit of redneck engineering on the rear pivot. A bit of scrap 1/2" EMT pipe and 3 EMT straps. A pair of $4 flanged bearings and $3 closet rod brackets from Ace hardware. Just need to get a pair of lid support hinges to keep the monitor in position when needed.



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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2019, 02:40:44 am »
Nice!  Clever work on the hinge.

I dig it.  You are going to be done way before I am.   :applaud:

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2019, 01:07:58 pm »
Nice!  Clever work on the hinge.

I dig it.  You are going to be done way before I am.   :applaud:

That may happen, but what you're building is way cooler and miles ahead of my skill level.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2019, 10:51:15 pm »
I've been working a lot the last three weeks so not much time to work on this. The overtime does help to fund the project   ;D
I ordered the Zebsboards Plunger V3 Kit and a 14" 1280x390 monitor for the DMD display.

I did find a couple of hours today to get some work done. Back to a double shift tomorrow.
Installed one of the lift supports for the playfield monitor. Was not paying any attention to the packaging when I grabbed the supports and didn't see that they are handed  :banghead:. I'll have to swap one out for a left hand one and get the other side done.


Also started on the backbox.



Not bad for a couple of hours of work. Speaker/DMD panel and backbox monitor mount next.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2019, 11:34:09 am »
Got more work done on the back box.

Back panel with fan holes drilled out

Monitor mount



Bolted back together



I was hoping to have the lower monitor/speaker panel done as well, but I ran out of wood.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2019, 02:47:56 pm »
Got the 3rd monitor mounted. Getting close now.


Still need to cut out the speaker holes.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2019, 09:02:33 pm »
Not much done lately, but had some time over the weekend.
Finally speakers in the speaker panel


Built the frame for the floor panel and got the sub and fans mounted



I'm close to getting started on patching and painting. Good time for it now that the humidity and heat are gone. Just need to figure out a mount for the lockdown bar and drill the flipper button holes.

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2019, 10:47:39 pm »
Right on.

Your backbox is proportional to itself - that looks right to me.  Working around the limits of a 16:9 backglass monitor, this is in my opinion the best result.   :applaud:

If you're looking for suggestions... the backbox looks right to me by itself, but when you put it on the main cabinet here, I think the backbox looks a little short and the body looks a little tall.  A thing that I found helped the visual proportions of the backbox against the table when I ran into something similar was to put the backbox up on a little bit of a neck like a mid-80s Williams had - like a Road Kings or a Pin-Bot.  If you haven't permanently attached the backbox to the body, I'd suggest maybe try mocking up a 2" riser or so that is a little wider than your big cord passthrough via, but narrower than the table and the backbox, and see if it looks more right - on mine, the neck kind of hides the backbox being a little short.

I can photoshop up what I mean if you can't picture it.  It doesn't look bad to me as is - you might not like the change, or it might not be worth the hassle. 

In any case, I like your project.   :cheers:  It's gonna look great painted.

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2019, 12:22:13 am »
Right on.

Your backbox is proportional to itself - that looks right to me.  Working around the limits of a 16:9 backglass monitor, this is in my opinion the best result.   :applaud:

If you're looking for suggestions... the backbox looks right to me by itself, but when you put it on the main cabinet here, I think the backbox looks a little short and the body looks a little tall.  A thing that I found helped the visual proportions of the backbox against the table when I ran into something similar was to put the backbox up on a little bit of a neck like a mid-80s Williams had - like a Road Kings or a Pin-Bot.  If you haven't permanently attached the backbox to the body, I'd suggest maybe try mocking up a 2" riser or so that is a little wider than your big cord passthrough via, but narrower than the table and the backbox, and see if it looks more right - on mine, the neck kind of hides the backbox being a little short.


  Good eye man...You are not wrong 8)

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2019, 08:40:40 am »
Very nice - looking forward to seeing it done :)   :applaud:

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2019, 09:14:40 am »
Right on.

Your backbox is proportional to itself - that looks right to me.  Working around the limits of a 16:9 backglass monitor, this is in my opinion the best result.   :applaud:

If you're looking for suggestions... the backbox looks right to me by itself, but when you put it on the main cabinet here, I think the backbox looks a little short and the body looks a little tall.  A thing that I found helped the visual proportions of the backbox against the table when I ran into something similar was to put the backbox up on a little bit of a neck like a mid-80s Williams had - like a Road Kings or a Pin-Bot.  If you haven't permanently attached the backbox to the body, I'd suggest maybe try mocking up a 2" riser or so that is a little wider than your big cord passthrough via, but narrower than the table and the backbox, and see if it looks more right - on mine, the neck kind of hides the backbox being a little short.

I can photoshop up what I mean if you can't picture it.  It doesn't look bad to me as is - you might not like the change, or it might not be worth the hassle. 

In any case, I like your project.   :cheers:  It's gonna look great painted.

Thank you for the input. I was actually thinking the same thing. I know the cabinet style you're referencing and can definitely mock up a riser. Currently, the backbox is mounted with 2 wing bolts threaded in to inserts from inside the cabinet, so easy to remove. It's built that way for easy transport to the second floor for it's final destination.

My only concern is the ceiling height, as the room has the ceilings that slope down from the center.

Another option to to shave an inch off the bottom of the lower box?

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2019, 02:54:59 pm »
Putting a new floor in the lower box seems like way too much work to me just to shorten the body a little - I don't think it's that bad.  I mean, you *could*, but it looks like more rework than seems justified to me.  (You can tweak that perceived shape somewhat with your side art, too.)

I'm getting my sense of proportion by comparing it back and forth to photos of real pins at similar angles - but if it's not going to be sitting next to one upstairs then that side-by-side comparison won't be available when it's done, and it won't be as much of an issue.  (Mine would also look more incorrect sitting next to a real pin.)

I'd say you could lower the main cabinet to make neck room by mounting the legs slightly higher, to clear your headroom issue - but the ergonomics of your palms on the lockdown bar and the playfield table height matter much more than a subtle aesthetic tweak does, so it's better to get those at what feel right and to make the rest work.

The sloping ceiling might alter how it looks in situ, too.  If it goes all the way up to the roof, it might have a harder time looking short once installed there.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2019, 08:16:42 pm »
Putting a new floor in the lower box seems like way too much work to me just to shorten the body a little - I don't think it's that bad.  I mean, you *could*, but it looks like more rework than seems justified to me.  (You can tweak that perceived shape somewhat with your side art, too.)

I'm getting my sense of proportion by comparing it back and forth to photos of real pins at similar angles - but if it's not going to be sitting next to one upstairs then that side-by-side comparison won't be available when it's done, and it won't be as much of an issue.  (Mine would also look more incorrect sitting next to a real pin.)

I'd say you could lower the main cabinet to make neck room by mounting the legs slightly higher, to clear your headroom issue - but the ergonomics of your palms on the lockdown bar and the playfield table height matter much more than a subtle aesthetic tweak does, so it's better to get those at what feel right and to make the rest work.

The sloping ceiling might alter how it looks in situ, too.  If it goes all the way up to the roof, it might have a harder time looking short once installed there.

For reference, this is what the room ceiling looks like. The dart board is mounted on the only piece of wall that would support the regulation height. There is a closet door on the other side of the door and the opposite wall has a window with built-in cabinets on each side.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2019, 08:27:21 pm »
Ended up having some free time after work, so used it to work on the pin.

First time working with a trim router that I purchased a couple of weeks ago. Mortised in some notches for the lockdown bar mount

Glued and clamped the back side of the mount

Test fit in the cab. Used a couple of 8-32 screws to secure the bar to the mount. Will be using winged bolts and threaded inserts for easier removal.


Also drilled and routed the flipper and magna-save button holes. I'm making quick friends with my new trim router  :cheers:

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2019, 11:35:33 pm »
Your lockdown bar mounting is SO much better and simpler than mine.

I'm an idiot.   :laugh:

Well done!

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2019, 07:37:14 pm »
You are certainly not. Your work proves that over and over

Quick update.
No fab work, bur I do have a lot of company coming over starting tomorrow and all through Thanksgiving, so instead of answering a ton of questions on how things will look when I'm done, I just put everything together.




Still to do before filler and primer;
Cut rear doors and figure out what to do for the hinges
Make a filler panel for the space between the backbox and main monitor
Route a notch in the side panels where the glass is going to lay
Make a riser for the backbox??
« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 09:56:00 pm by LTC »

jennifer

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2019, 04:37:48 am »
I would think a spacer more than a riser given your space requirement, a chunk of 2x6 on its side would only give you 1 1/2" but enough to separate the two and give the aesthetically finished look (IMHO) 8)...And you could just use longer bolts still using your existing T/nuts.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 04:42:22 am by jennifer »

Laythe

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2019, 02:06:33 am »
Yes.  What Jennifer said.  Slice a 2x6 off a few inches shorter than the playfield cabinet is wide, slip it underneath the backbox, prop it all up carefully, snap a photo and see if it looks better or not.  Run a tape measure from the top of the backbox to the ground and see if that still fits in your upstairs room.   That'll tell you (and us) if it's even worth contemplating further.

LTC

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Re: My very slow Virtual Pin build thread
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2019, 12:58:02 pm »
So here's a mock-up with 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood. Is that a bit better? I think I can make it fit.