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Author Topic: A build your own pinball idea.  (Read 4750 times)

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paigeoliver

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A build your own pinball idea.
« on: March 11, 2004, 07:32:58 am »
As of late I have been perusing photos of cocktail pinball machines, and I think I have come up with a fairly decent idea that will allow you to transform a beatup/halfway dead pinball machine into a nice playable game.

From what I have seen from my own pinball machines, flippers, pop bumpers and a few other assemlies are capable of operating fully independent of the actual pnball MPU. If you hold the game over relay open (or maybe it is closed), then they will work even if the machine has no boards in it at all.

So, lets say you pick up an absolutely trashed pinball machine that has board problems, and a garbage playfield, flaked up backglass, broken plastics, etc.

Are you with me so far? Good.

Now imagine a foosball table.

Remove all the little soccer guys from it.

Install the pinball transformer underneath the foosball playfield to power everything.

Install a set of flippers in front of each goal.

This alone will get you a decent little two player pinball pong.

Now, install the pop bumpers off the machine in some fun locations. Similarly install any slingshots or other mechanisms that are cpu independent (or that can be modified to be CPU independent) in more fun locations. Actually MOST pinball mechanisms can be modified to be CPU independent simply by rewiring them so that the leaf switch that normally tells the CPU to fire them, to simply close the connection to fire them without the CPU.

You can similarly install lots of lights (which can be always on, or can be blinked on or off when you hit targets or switches).

You MIGHT even be able to resuse some stuff like ramps.

Most pins should have enough stuff on them to make a fairly cool little two player game, which you could of course keep score on by using the old foosball scoring deally.

The only real issue would be laying out your stuff in such a manner that the ball won't get stuck on the flat playfield.
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Stingray

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Re:A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2004, 09:57:14 am »
This actually sounds like a pretty fun game!

Regarding:

Quote
The only real issue would be laying out your stuff in such a manner that the ball won't get stuck on the flat playfield.

A clever wood worker could always make the center say an inch or so higher than the goal ends and slope it downward toward the goals. This is beyond my wood working skills, but someone with some carpentry under his belt could probably do it no problem. That way the ball will automaticaly roll toward the flippers of whatever side of the playing field it's on, just how it does in a pin.

-S
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eli curtz

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Re:A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2004, 11:20:29 am »
Of course if you're going that far already you can run game logic for your homebrew pin on a machine that would make even the cheapest MAMEr blush. The only tricky bit is the interfacing, and that really isn't all that bad. I've though about a scheme for doing home pins which would involve an Ultimarc like encoder and simple circuitry for targets/etc. You'd buy a bunch of bumpers, rollovers, flippers, wire them up to the encoder and to a seperate 12V circuit, layout your board and scoring in a WYSIWYG computer editor and attach the whole thing to an old DOS box. Piece of cake!

Of course I do hobby GBA programming for fun, AND I haven't even built my first cabinet yet, so you might want to take that with a rather large "grain" of salt.

- eli
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Xiaou2

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Re:A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2004, 05:19:24 pm »

 hmm, after hearing you say GBA.. i wonder if something like that wouldnt be a better soluton for cpu?

 or another pc programable console... as they are cheaper,  pure hardware without the OS hiccups, small, ect...

 id like to make a 3/4 th scale instead of a fullsize pin.  this of course would mean having to make custom parts which may be tough..   but the size is much more managable.

 of course.. if you made the body the same size as a fullsize pinball with the 3/4 th scale parts... it would be like a pinball world! : )

 

GamingGreg

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Re:A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2004, 06:37:14 pm »
Sounds fun!

RetroJames

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Re: A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2005, 05:24:02 pm »
How about one made from the old vibrating football games?

RayB

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Re: A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2005, 05:58:05 pm »
Sigh..... I used to want to make my own too, when I was oh so creative but oh so poor (translation: My teens). Also lived in an apartment with single mom, so no access to a workspace or tools or anything. *sigh*

My plan was to interface it with my Commodore 64 and flash the score on a TV screen.

I also had another idea for a VERTICAL pinball machine using a ping-pong ball and forced air...

NO MORE!!

romperwomb

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Re: A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2005, 12:50:54 am »
I never miss a chance to play one of these Pinball Gumball Machines:



I think one of these could be converted to a Gator Granny/Baby Pac machine - Plop a monitor on top. 

I've been seeing these a lot in restaurant lobbies lately.  Saw KFC has their own custom one.  Looks like this is where pinball is headed.

Stingray

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Re: A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2005, 11:12:20 am »
I've never seen one of those, that's pretty neat. Do they have real pinball playfield stuff or just cheap plastic junk?

-S
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romperwomb

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Re: A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2005, 12:51:26 pm »
I've never seen one of those, that's pretty neat. Do they have real pinball playfield stuff or just cheap plastic junk?

-S

More on the cheap plastic junk side of things.  Usually just holes for the gumball or rubber super ball to drop down through and some type of special WIN!! goal...that is really just another hole for the ball to drop down.

Stingray

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Re: A build your own pinball idea.
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2005, 01:48:54 pm »
Hmm, that's too bad. Still I guess if one were determined enough, real pin parts could be added. It would be a neat project if you could pick one up cheaply enough.

I'm very intrigued about the possibility of using one to build a baby-pac type game.

-S
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