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Author Topic: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)  (Read 185761 times)

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redcardkid7

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #360 on: December 07, 2015, 01:49:34 pm »
Wow, fantastic work!  I really wish I would have discovered this thread 6 months ago, would have saved me a lot of time and headaches with my own skeeball build.  Your software and games are also incredible.  Have you released the software yet?  Right now my machine just plays original skeeball and I would love to be able to play your games.  Again awesome job! :applaud:

kjkam

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #361 on: December 16, 2016, 02:14:20 pm »
Amazing read, just purchased a used skeeball machine only on reassembly to find the control board has failed :angry: (worked before i moved it)  Really interested to know if there are still plans to release freeskee and if anyone has modified an existing machine to run on freeskee.  Your programing really brings skeeball to life. 
Thanks

Swillie

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #362 on: December 23, 2016, 02:29:58 pm »
Amazing read, just purchased a used skeeball machine only on reassembly to find the control board has failed :angry: (worked before i moved it)  Really interested to know if there are still plans to release freeskee and if anyone has modified an existing machine to run on freeskee.  Your programing really brings skeeball to life. 
Thanks

I agree the software looks fantastic. Wish I could program, in the end I had to move my skeeball on. Good luck with your wait.

nickels

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #363 on: September 18, 2017, 02:10:04 pm »
Wow, my project began in 2013 and here I am still working on it 4 years later. I went from having a few LED's under my holes to currently installing full LED rope lights surrounding the entire scoring areas:



I am still creating new games and my current selection of Flash based Skee ball games is now at 5 full games, 1 stalled playable beta, and 2 more games currently in development. Once those are done I am not making any more games for a long, long time. Glad to see people are still making these machines.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 02:13:05 pm by nickels »
D'oh!

HitTheShowers99

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #364 on: April 23, 2020, 12:45:34 am »
Hello, in regards to your free hoops software ( much thanks for, btw). I have a gutted b ball machine that I'm running this program with. The cabinet has a motor driven arm attached to the net that I'm guessing would move the net back and forth in the original pcb. Is there a way to modify the program to send a start command to the motor for the last say 15-20 sec of free hoops game play? If so, how?  Much thanks and appreciation.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #365 on: June 28, 2020, 01:57:39 am »
Soooooo..... not sure if anyone even remembers this build since it's been so long haha.  I just looked and the first post was 2009!

11+ years later and my Skeeball machine has kinda sorta been buried under a car cover in the garage for the last 5 years in a state of disrepair.  I took it apart because I wanted to upgrade the monitor to run a widescreen version of my software and between life stuff and kids being born, it just fell off my list of things to work on.  The other day my 6 year old daughter asked about it, so I let her roll a few balls up the dead machine and she was totally into it (she's seen me working on the Free Skee software, but she was finally able to make the connection that the software is supposed to run on the Skeeball machine).  That was enough to light a fire, and somehow I've convinced the wife that this gigantic broken machine needs to come into the house (!) and I've got a whole bunch of upgrades that I plan on making. 



This is reboot number 3(?) I think, so obviously I've got issues with follow-through on this one but I swear this time is different.  Or is it?  I think it is, or my wife may divorce me.

So the bad news first, this thing is in rough shape right now.  It gets HOT in the summer and our garage gets absolutely scorching (we're talking a sustained roughly 110+ degrees daily in the unfinished garage).  I knew this wasn't good for the machine to be in that heat over the years, but I didn't realize quite how bad until I uncovered it and gave everything a once-over.



My bumper solution that I was very proud of is all cracked and in need of replacement, and the wiring and flexible LED lights on the ramp are absolutely CRISPY.  I started taking them off to see if they were salvageable and they literally started cracking in half as soon as they were removed.







The vinyl flooring that I used on the ramp and scoring area went from its original grey color to a gross looking orangish grey.  I've tried cleaning it and it is just discolored and nasty.  Honestly I was never fully in love with it so it gives me a chance to finally dial it in how I want it.  I'm assuming the computer is toast as well, and frankly it chugged a bit on the last version of my software and I've only added to it since then.

Here are my goals, both to give myself a checklist and hold myself accountable... I really want to get this thing done right so I don't regret any shortcuts later on.

Planned Upgrades / Things to finish:
Optical switches (mostly done, but need wire the gutter and confirm that nothing got fried)
Redo marquee screen area to accomodate much larger 16:9 screen
New computer
Speakers moved to the front of the machine
Neon LED ramp lights controlled by software (rather than manual control with remote)
A wood textured lane and scoring area
A viewport on the ball side of the ramp that allows you to peek in and confirm that all balls are in the machine.
Leg covers to hide 4x4s
Repaint yellow parts

Optional:
Explore plexiglass to replace net
Redo scoring rings, possibly cap them with a black edge if I can figure something out
Sound dampening on the entire machine to make it a bit quieter

Here's a sim of my vision for the machine.  Picked up the vinyl flooring today and already have the ramp section cut out, going to mess with the scoring area tomorrow... will update more soon!



So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

leapinlew

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #366 on: June 28, 2020, 08:45:40 am »
Always a big fan of this build!

How much work do you think would be involved with retrofitting an existing skee ball machine or buying a 9ft machine like this: https://www.amazon.com/Loeads-Arcade-Skee-Ball-Electronic-Effects/dp/B07KM5QS12

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #367 on: July 01, 2020, 01:53:43 am »
Always a big fan of this build!

How much work do you think would be involved with retrofitting an existing skee ball machine or buying a 9ft machine like this: https://www.amazon.com/Loeads-Arcade-Skee-Ball-Electronic-Effects/dp/B07KM5QS12

Thanks!  Retrofitting an old machine would just require changing the way that it registers scores... on original Skeeball machines, the middle rings are all worth 10 and the ball rolls down and hits each switch on the way down.  When you roll a 50, you're actually getting 10 from the 50 ring, 10 from the 40 ring, 10 from the 30 ring, etc to equal 50.  The way mine functions is that each hole has an optical switch that is identified as a unique hole, so it allows for games that require you to hit specific holes.  It wouldn't be easy, but absolutely doable.

The machine you linked from Amazon would need 100 rings added, and I'm not sure how it scores but I'd imagine they use each unique holes rather than the older counting method.  If not, you'd need to sort that out as well.

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #368 on: July 01, 2020, 02:12:59 am »
So some quick updates... first, here's a pic of the ramp with the new material installed.  I really love it compared to the old material, even when the old material was new haha.  I also removed the bumpers (and some black paint along with them) in order to get the new material on and figure out how I was going to repair them.



I also went ahead and cut a peephole in the ball return so that you can look in to make sure all of the balls are accounted for.  It still needs some rounding off, some paint, and some plexi but the idea is there!



And finally something I'm really excited about, I've decided to completely redo my rings with some slightly better hardware and also give them a black edge that will hopefully give the scoring area a little more wow factor from a distance.  I've ordered some white pop rivets and mounting hardware that are still in the mail, but below are some pictures of my vision for the rings (keep in mind this picture is testing on an old ring).



I initially bought some 1/4" "poly tubing" from Lowes and it was a total failure... too small and also not enough flexibility to follow the shape of the rings.  Then I found the stuff above on Amazon, 3/8" vinyl tubing and it seems perfect.  Below is a picture of a very quick test install.



My initial thoughts besides "holy $@# this ring idea might actually work!" is that there are a few adjustments I can make to get a better fit.  The first is that I can cut the tubing in a slight spiral to make sure it doesn't bunch at all, and the second is that the only spot that looks a bit awkward is where the flooring layers are tripled up and riveted... if I can reduce or remove the areas that are tripled then this thing will be a home run.  I will continue experimenting as I wait for the other stuff to arrive!

Also, either my phone or this forum doesn't seem to like horizontal images so I'll just take vertical going forward.

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #369 on: July 03, 2020, 03:55:42 am »
Got a big shipment of L brackets, pop rivets, washers, etc that I ordered to make new rings but I bought the wrong size L brackets.  I didn't make any build progress, but I am trying to flesh out ideas as to how to make a new net... I really dislike my net as it currently is (note, this is a very old picture I am linking just to show the net):


First, the string net just doesn't seem to fit quite right so it has always looked a bit awkward.... the cut ends of string aren't tidy so it all looks very unfinished.  It's also loose, so errant balls actually hit the frame pretty hard because the net doesn't have enough tension to bounce the ball back into the scoring area.  Finally, since I'm going to try to make the scoring area nicer looking I've been thinking about a way to have a "net" that doesn't obstruct as much.

Here's a quick mockup of what I was thinking... it would be .25" thick clear plexi suspended within the net frame with grommets and paracord or something.  The plexi would definitely take some abuse and scuffs, but I'm hopeful that it would structurally be able to handle the impacts of the skeeballs (particularly since nearly all hits would be grazing as opposed to direct shots).  I would also cover less area, as the very front of the net is unnecessary and I originally it put there to stop anyone from thinking of cheating haha... after thinking about it I realized it really isn't necessary.


Any input regarding this idea would be sincerely appreciated, particularly if anyone sees a reason why this would not work.  Is .25" plexi too thick?  Too thin?  A sheet of plexi this size and thickness will run about $220, so unlike other parts of the build where trial and error is part of the fun, this would be painful.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 12:48:30 pm by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #370 on: July 07, 2020, 06:51:26 pm »
Started trying some ideas for the new rings... I wanted to come up with a way to have the finished side of the wall base on both sides so that it is easier to clean.  The back sides of the wall base on my original rings collect quite a bit of dirt and dust and they are very difficult to clean due to the textured side that the adhesive is supposed to stick to.  You can see that not only is it a matte textured finish, it also has little ridges that run along the length of it to help it stick to walls.



So... I messed around with some test pieces to try to actually have the finished side on the inside and outside.  Not only did I discover that my riveter no longer pops rivets correctly, I also determined that all of my ideas were garbage.  I'll save you the details, but I bought a new riveter and here's a picture of my test Frankenring below.



The self-stick adhesive on this new wall base was way stickier than I anticipated, and actually made working with it pretty difficult because as soon as it touched another part of the ring it was STUCK until I ended up pulling it so hard that the adhesive just came off............ and that, after hours of trying to come up with ideas to have a clean finish on both sides of the ring, is when I realized that underneath the self-stick adhesive is a smooth finish!  The back of the wall base feels just as smooth as the front!



I spent hours rolling little glue turds off of the back of the wall base, and this is absolutely going to work perfectly if I just use the same wrapping technique that I did on the initial rings.  I also noticed that this new base is just slightly thinner, so instead of doubling up the vinyl to achieve the required 1/4" ring thickness I actually had to wrap it 3x.  This ends up being great, because although it uses more vinyl and is therefore more expensive, it also seems to give a bit more stability to the ring shape while at the same time giving me a nice little gap to fit the black tubing into.  The black tubing is pretty secure just from the ring pinching it in place, but I think a bit of adhesive will make sure that it doesn't move at all.  See below!



This is still just a test ring and I haven't cut a black piece to fit it exactly, but it definitely works to show the look I am going for on the rest of the rings.  I love the white rivets and the black tops should really help the rings pop against the playfield.

I also blew up a dimmer switch trying to wire up some new LED lights that shine down on the playfield... I'll definitely need some advice getting those working when I get to that point.  More later!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 12:39:33 am by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #371 on: July 18, 2020, 08:32:34 pm »
Some quick updates... got some parts painted and drying and got the plug-in dimmer setup working.

Speaker grills


Speaker frames


Light frames


After frying up my first dimmer switch by being an idiot, I have finally gotten the LED lights dimming and ready to install in the machine (just waiting for the paint to set on the frames).  These new lights are fantastic for a few reasons... their profile is significantly smaller than the old incandescent lights, the range of brightness is much wider, and the lights themselves actually have 3 toggle settings for warm white, neutral white, and cool white.  These are meant to be hardwired into a house but I've wired them to the dimmer and configured it to plug into an outlet... I tried snapping a few pictures but my phone didn't do the various brightness levels justice, so I'm just showing them off and on.





I've also given up on using the NEON RGB LED strip for the ramp... although not advertised as such, I believe it is an individually addressable strip which will not play well with how I am wiring them up.  I've fried a section of it (noticing a pattern here?) while testing by being an idiot (notice another pattern?) and letting one of the leads graze our metal dishwasher handle.  Sparks and angry wife followed.  I loved the look of the "NEON" LED strip but I'll have to save it the non-fried section for another project.

I cut open the NEON strip to look at the individual LEDs


I fried a section and zapped a divot out of my dishwasher  :o


I went ahead and purchased a standard 5050 RGB LED strip and RGB amplifier and had some successful tests running them with the LEDwiz, so the ramp lighting will now be controlled via my software as opposed to manually with the RGB remote (this gives me a lot of fun ideas to incorporate lane color in each game).  Waiting for the LED diffuser channels to arrive in the mail before I begin prepping the strips for final installation.  I've also decided to use small 4" long segments of the LED strip to light up the individual holes as opposed to having single RGBdrive LEDs... should be a brighter and cheaper solution as long as I figured out a way to mount them that will avoid impact from Skeeballs.

Diffuser channel


I'm purposely working to wrap up this machine in small bites and not getting anything playable until it is 100% done... I've found that the "as soon as it is playable, all progress stops" rule that applies to arcade cabinets also applies to Skeeball machines.  Will post more later!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 08:34:53 pm by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #372 on: August 08, 2020, 05:27:09 pm »
First off, I'm embarrassed to post how much time and money I wasted on an absolute disaster of a bumper solution.  I was going to post pics but it's too heartbreaking... spent over $100 on wood and 1/8" rubber strips and without going into details, let's just say that it smelled like old cigarettes, it was lumpy, and it was falling apart before I even mounted it (insert joke about ex-wives or something here).  It was seriously a slow motion week-long disaster.

Good news is I've settled on a much better and actually cheaper solution... it's this vinyl bumper below but in black.  It ended up being almost exactly $100 after shipping.


https://wallguard.com/wallguards-crash-rails/cart-wall-and-equipment-protection/vinyl-bumper-2257.html

REALLY wish I had found this premade solution from the get-go.  Just got it in the mail yesterday and it's exactly what I was hoping for... once I figure out the best way to mount it I'll snap some pictures.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 05:31:42 pm by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #373 on: August 08, 2020, 05:44:30 pm »
I NEED SOME HELPFUL IDEAS!!

So I've never been happy with my net solution... technically it mostly works but it looks very amateurish and it just doesn't match with the look I'm going for.  My idea as of a few weeks ago was to have clear plexi suspended in the frame, but as I've thought about it I really want it to look like a net.  What I've decided on is to use plexi but have it be edge lit with a net pattern etched into it, so I can use my software to have the net be as subtle or as colorful as I want (and maybe integrate the colors with different game modes, who knows?)

A super rough mockup is below... excuse the hideous pink I just grabbed a random color to show that it would be illuminated:


Any thoughts on the best way to do this?  The plexi I plan on using is 1/4", the LED strip I plan on using for the edge lighting is 3/8".  I am not set on any specific material for the frame, but all I can think of is just 3/4" wood to build the frame and then route a 3/8" channel for the LEDs and plexi to rest in.  Then I could use some type of weather stripping or something to make up the difference to close that gap back to 1/4" so that the plexi isn't rattling around?  Seems a bit janky but so far I'm not coming up with any more elegant solutions.

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

samej71

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #374 on: August 08, 2020, 06:42:03 pm »
I'd be concerned that the plexi will get scuffed by errant balls and very quickly not look nice. Have you done any tests?

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #375 on: August 09, 2020, 03:38:01 am »
I'd be concerned about stability. Putting that plexi loosely into a flimsy wood frame will make that thing wobbly as hell. I would add a piece of clear plexi to the front. I would also use clear glue to glue all the plexi pieces together. That should give it stability. You can then simply glue strips of wood containing the LED-strip on the outside and strips of wood to the inside to mask the LED-strip.



For the frame, I would use strips of wood, into which I would route a channel the width of the LED-strip and the depth of the LED-strip + the thickness of the plexi. I would cut strips of plexi the width of the LED-strip and glue those at a right angle to the plexi panels, so that I can put the LED-strip into the channel and then put the plexi panels on top.



Afther that, I would glue thin strips of wood on the outside and on the inside to the plexi to mask the channel.





                  

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #376 on: August 09, 2020, 02:21:37 pm »
I'd be concerned that the plexi will get scuffed by errant balls and very quickly not look nice. Have you done any tests?

I had the same concerns, and granted I haven't done a TON of testing, but I did grab a 1/8" piece of plexi and bounced/threw/rubbed skeeballs against it from a bunch of different speeds and angles (and with and without a rigid surface behind it to simulate a thicker piece of plexi) and I wasn't able to create any visible scuffs.  I'd be very surprised if it didn't show some wear over the years, but I was honestly surprised at how durable it was against skeeballs.

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #377 on: August 09, 2020, 03:26:11 pm »
I'd be concerned about stability. Putting that plexi loosely into a flimsy wood frame will make that thing wobbly as hell. I would add a piece of clear plexi to the front. I would also use clear glue to glue all the plexi pieces together. That should give it stability. You can then simply glue strips of wood containing the LED-strip on the outside and strips of wood to the inside to mask the LED-strip.



For the frame, I would use strips of wood, into which I would route a channel the width of the LED-strip and the depth of the LED-strip + the thickness of the plexi. I would cut strips of plexi the width of the LED-strip and glue those at a right angle to the plexi panels, so that I can put the LED-strip into the channel and then put the plexi panels on top.



Afther that, I would glue thin strips of wood on the outside and on the inside to the plexi to mask the channel.



Love the idea of the front plexi, both visually and the structural benefit it would add.  As I dig deeper into this plexiglass frame idea I found that there is actually an official "Skeeball Glow" build that uses this concept.  Definitely might steal some design ideas here.



That is a very interesting channel idea, had not considered using an extra piece of plexi strip to go between the edge lit plexi and the LED strip.  Will have to explore this further!

Probably just need to experiment, but does anyone have experience with edge lit plexi?  Do I need to have it lit from multiple edges or would a single lit edge per side suffice in this instance?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2020, 03:28:17 pm by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

yamatetsu

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #378 on: August 09, 2020, 05:34:41 pm »
Probably just need to experiment, but does anyone have experience with edge lit plexi?  Do I need to have it lit from multiple edges or would a single lit edge per side suffice in this instance?

The side panels seem to have a rather large surface area, I'd be very surprised if a single lit edge was sufficient to light it up evenly. You will probably end up having to light all edges.

While on the subject, I would ditch the top panel net and do a simple clear panel. If you want to do the top net, there will be a problem doing the wooden frame. You will have to make wooden strips that have both a channel in the bottom to light the side panel and a channel in the side to light the top where the top panel and the side panels meet.

Final suggestion: I would try doing the net etching on both inside and outside of the panels, because edge lighting looks very well against a dark background, on clear plexi it won't be that visible. Etching both sides will hopefully make it stand out a bit more.
                  

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #379 on: August 17, 2020, 12:22:16 am »
Sooo, no progress on the new net, but I'm going to start mocking some stuff up in Sketchup soon.  Made some progress over the weekend, all ramp related.  First, attached bumpers and cleaned up the areas that had missing paint from the old LED adhesive.

Cut some angles on the aluminum mounting brackets, drilled holes too but forgot to take pics.


Here's a pic with the LEDs inside their aluminum channel diffusers, as you can see the paint is pretty haggard.


LED strips removed to get a look at the damage.


I used a sharpie to color in the MDF, might go over it with paint if I see anything but honestly it looks great to me.  Here's the bumper installed with LED channel below the bumper.  I intentionally mounted the LEDs higher up than last time, as the higher they are the better they illuminate the ramp.



I could not be happier with these new bumpers, and it pisses me off knowing how much time and money I spent trying to make them from scratch when a turnkey solution like this was out there.  I can't recommend them enough.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 01:31:14 am by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #380 on: August 17, 2020, 12:43:44 am »
This is an upgrade I'm really excited about.  The first iteration of my machine had the ramp and holes illuminated with RGB LEDs.  Once I'm done with this beast, it will have the ramp, holes, net area, and ball return area all illuminated with RGB LEDs.  These can all be controlled individually with my software, so it really introduces some great options regarding lighting the balls up with the current players color, etc.  While it may seem like LED overload, I hope I'm making design choices that will make this look great by not blinding anyone with visible LEDs... most if not all LED color will be visible because it is shining on to something, not because you can see the LEDs themselves.

I started playing with some ideas after I cut the hole viewing hole out of the side panel.  With black skeeballs, it was very difficult to glance in the hole and see if there was a ball there or not, so I figured I would need to illuminate it somehow.  After a few different attempts at lighting it from above, this is what I settled on.

I was feeling lazy, was going to remove the bottom wood and route it at my router table, but figured I could probably get away with routing it in-place with my dremel.


It worked, but I seriously should have just taken it out and used a router as it took forever and wasn't quite as clean as it would have been.  I don't think I saved any time.


Sanded some plexi to give it a bit of a frost.


Loving the look of this.  Will look unreal with the ramp lit up as well (and again, the colors are independent of each other so the ramp and ball return can be different colors).








The hole I cut out as viewed from above, still needs to be sanded and repainted.




The goal is to not be able to see any LEDs directly... so the rings, ramp, net, ball return will all have a glow but you won't see any hot spots when standing in front of the machine in a "resting" position.  The hot spots in the last pic aren't nearly as bright as they appear in the pic, you can definitely see the individual LED locations but it's not nearly as hot looking (and frankly, they are only exposed for a second when a ball is pulled).  I'll see how I like this, and once everything is done I'll decide if this works for me or if I want to make it edge lit instead.  I gotta say, though, that right now I am very happy with how it looks!

More updates later!
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 01:27:40 am by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #381 on: August 17, 2020, 01:20:06 am »
Hello, in regards to your free hoops software ( much thanks for, btw). I have a gutted b ball machine that I'm running this program with. The cabinet has a motor driven arm attached to the net that I'm guessing would move the net back and forth in the original pcb. Is there a way to modify the program to send a start command to the motor for the last say 15-20 sec of free hoops game play? If so, how?  Much thanks and appreciation.

My apologies, I somehow missed this post until just now!  The best I can do is make the Free Hoops software copy a specific command to the clipboard at a given time (it's how I operate the LEDs for Skeeball).  Basically I use AutoHotKey to monitor the clipboard, then execute a command when it detects a specific string copied to the clipboard.  I believe you could use the same concept to send a command to the motor using an LEDwiz or something once the software sends the appropriate command via the clipboard.  Let me know if you're still interested and I can look into adding some code that you can use to trigger the motor!

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

Mike A

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #382 on: August 17, 2020, 04:29:34 am »
That LED lighting looks good. It was smart to go with "less is more".

Too many people use direct LED lighting everywhere. I fear for their retinas. ;D

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #383 on: August 17, 2020, 11:08:21 am »
Those round LEDS are perfect.. do you have any info on those?  I need a low profile solution like that for mine— there’s no clearance once the TV is in there.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #384 on: August 17, 2020, 12:12:51 pm »
Mike A- Thanks!  I'm really looking forward to seeing how all of the lighting works together... so far all of it looks great independently, but I haven't done any coding to get it all running at the same time yet.  Like a standard cab, I'm being very mindful to keep this thing in pieces and unplayable until I'm done with everything, otherwise as soon as balls start rolling all progress seems to stop.

nipsmg- I'm not 100% sure that I understand, but I think you're referring to the new lights in the ball return?  Here's a better pic, it's just a standard LED strip.  The "frost" that I applied to the plexi using sandpaper definitely softens/rounds the LEDs a bit.



Below is a link to the exact LED strip
https://www.amazon.com/Govee-Waterproof-Bedroom-Changing-Adhesive/dp/B07PCR7LPS/
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 12:15:03 pm by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #385 on: August 18, 2020, 12:42:37 am »
Very tiny update... I haven't OFFICIALLY hooked the ramp lighting up yet, but I was dying to see what they look like together.  I attached some dupont connectors to the strips so I could test it out with the prefab LED controller before I create the custom controls.  Love what I'm seeing so far!

Red/red


White/red


Blue/red


Red/blue


Light blue/light blue


Purple/green (pics not doing it justice, the purple is purple and the LEDs are very green but appear teal-ish in the pics)




When both colors are the same it creates a cool bleed over effect into the ball return.  When they are different, they really pop and look awesome with certain color combos.  More updates later!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2020, 12:50:12 am by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #386 on: October 05, 2020, 09:57:10 pm »
The ball return lighting looks great with those black balls.  I think your net looks good, better than a fake plexiglass netting.  I made mine out of EMT conduit, bent to follow the wood frame, and I'm really happy with the way it looks (http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,116309.msg1325158.html#msg1325158), but that's also pretty much how yours looks now and you said you don't like it, so I guess to each his own.  I just need a better string for holding the net on.  The yarn I'm using is garbage and is fraying badly but I haven't bothered to redo it.  My net is really tight and the balls come off of it pretty well.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #387 on: October 06, 2020, 09:15:59 am »
The lighting looks great.  This whole project is really neat.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #388 on: October 08, 2020, 06:01:59 pm »
Looking real good. I agree with everyone else about the LED's. Great ideas going on there. :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #389 on: October 27, 2020, 11:57:43 am »
Hello thatpurplestuff!

I'm a long time lurker of this thread. Can you believe you started it over 10 years ago?

My wife and I have our own personal game room, and about 5 years ago I decided to build myself some skeeball tables. I have been on a journey very similar to what you have been doing. In fact your post was one of my inspirations to believe that I COULD write my own code for my skeeball tables. I'm now 14,000 lines of code deep, and have software that (in my opinion) runs quite well. 

I'm not going to hijack your thread with pictures of my own machines, for now I just wanted to introduce myself and encourage you to keep going! I would like to talk with you more soon, and would like to be a resource for you if I am able to be.  I'm seriously super pumped that you started posting in this thread again.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #390 on: October 27, 2020, 08:42:35 pm »
14,000 lines of code deep?  What are you writing?  What language? Any examples?

This is my software:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,156300.0.html

I’d love to collaborate with someone!

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #391 on: October 27, 2020, 10:48:31 pm »
Your software looks awesome! 

I wrote my code in python, using Tkinter as the front facing GUI. 

I would LOVE to go into more detail, I am not sure exactly where to start - trying to explain everything at once would be quite literally a novel.  (I actually have grown accustomed to warning people at the beginning of these converstations that i LOVE talking about skeeball, so you need to stop me if i'm going overboard).

I have built two tables.  Each tables rings are made out of stacked layers of polycarbonate that have red and blue LEDs built into each ring. (there is also a piece of rubber clamped to the top of these rings so that they play properly).  This allows for direct feedback from the playfield, which opens up a TON of game design options.  Additionally, my two tables communicate with each other in real time, allowing for the creation of head to head and co-op games that are time based.  As a simple example, I also have a game called "whack a hole".  In this vs. game, two players would each be standing at their own skeeball table.  Random holes will light up on both boards.  So for example, the 10 hole would light up both on player 1 and player 2's tables.  Whoever hits the hole first gets the points, and a different hole lights up.  This game is 60 seconds long, and there are actually 2 holes lit at an given time, but you get the idea.

The biggest difference between my tables and other skeeball tables are the lights embedded into the playfield that give feedback as to the status of the game.  I will try to get some pictures up soon.

As to the amount of code, Ive written about 40 different games.  Some of them seemed great in theory but turned out to be clunkers.  Some of them on the other hand are great, and have extremely addicting replay value.  Additionally, each one of my tables has a built in camera.  If you get a high score for any given game (top 4 high scores), it takes your picture, overlays the score on it, and displays these scores/pictures in the menu for that game.

It should be noted that I am NOT a computer programmer, or really someone who normally writes code.  The way that I have the two tables communicating with eachother would probably give a legitimate programmer a stroke.   But, it works for me, and I am able to achieve roughly a 20hz communication refresh rate between the machines (this is with Pi 3s, and I am in the process of switching over to Pi 4s which i'm hoping will improve that number by about 20%).

I'll get pictures soon.  You have no idea how giddy I am that there are other people out there that are nerding it up as hard as I am over skeeball.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #392 on: October 27, 2020, 11:25:10 pm »
I'll post more soon, but for now heres a picture of my playfield so you can get at least a rough Idea:

https://imgur.com/a/7XVExUX

I apologize, because these pictures are actually about 4 years old now.  This is table 1 and 2 of mine.  I'm currently in the process of building tables 3 and 4, which I plan to have "in the wild", starting with the game room at my church.  Either way, I'll get better pictures soon.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #393 on: October 27, 2020, 11:28:30 pm »
Didn't realize I could attach pictures to my post directly.  Heres a few.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #394 on: October 28, 2020, 01:36:25 am »
The ball return lighting looks great with those black balls.  I think your net looks good, better than a fake plexiglass netting.  I made mine out of EMT conduit, bent to follow the wood frame, and I'm really happy with the way it looks (http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,116309.msg1325158.html#msg1325158), but that's also pretty much how yours looks now and you said you don't like it, so I guess to each his own.  I just need a better string for holding the net on.  The yarn I'm using is garbage and is fraying badly but I haven't bothered to redo it.  My net is really tight and the balls come off of it pretty well.

Thanks, but your netting turned out a LOT nicer than mine haha.  Mine is droopy in sections and just doesn't do a great job of keeping the balls in the playfield (they don't bounce out, but they usually have to whack against the pvc frame before they head back to the scoring area).  I've tried multiple times trying to thread the frame through the net to tighten things up, but it just looks funky.  It's funny because when I was looking up net ideas I did a google image search and your net came up, I love it and somehow I didn't see it when you posted it here.  I'm not dead set on the plexi net, but I'm excited about the idea of the led/plexi net and at least want to see a proof of concept before I decide one way or the other.

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #395 on: October 28, 2020, 01:49:55 am »
I was going to reply to everyone individually, but it's probably easier to read as one post haha.

javeryh and DaOldMan: Thanks guys!  I'm feeling really good about the direction I'm going... slow and steady!

netlohcs- oh man, you can't just tease us with a few random pics, you've gotta get a build thread going here!  Those look awesome, I would love to see build details on the individual features!  I love that I at least partly inspired you to write your own software... it's great to see so many weekend warriors getting the job done.  Like yours, my code sure as hell isn't pretty but it works and I love it... going into this project years ago I really didn't think I'd be able to create what I've got so far.  That's one really fun thing about this build is that I didn't know how to do half the stuff I ended up doing until I actually did it haha

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #396 on: October 28, 2020, 02:07:18 am »
Like I said earlier, very SLOW and sorta steady.  I finally moved my speakers down from the marquee area all the way down to the front of the machine.  The cutting was pretty nerve wracking, as that curved part of the machine was one of the most difficult to build and my heart was in my throat as I tore into them with my hole saw.  I literally put it off for weeks because I was so nervous about goofing it up, and the actual cutting really only took minutes.  I ended up cutting twice, as my first hole was to fit some cheap 2" logitech desktop speakers and then once I heard them I realized I needed to get better speakers.  I wish I had given them a good listen BEFORE I hacked them up, rewired, and soldered them all together.  They sucked.

I ended up getting significantly nicer speakers that needed a 2.5" hole, so I had to recut to fit but I couldn't be happier with them.  They've got a surprising amount of bass for their size, and can actually shake the front panels if they are cranked up.  Pics below!  Lots of scuffing and peeling on the yellow paint both from age and overtightening of screws, but I plan on doing a final breakdown and repaint of all yellow parts once I've got everything else completed.



need to touch up the chipped and scuffed paint


also need to paint the screw heads


installed and ready for action!  not really, still need to run the speaker wire once I decide where the amp will live


Links to speakers in case anyone is interested -> https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-nd65-4-2-1-2-aluminum-cone-full-range-neo-driver-4-ohm--290-204
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 02:15:50 am by thatpurplestuff »

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.