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Author Topic: Skee-Ball  (Read 48451 times)

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Ixliam

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Skee-Ball
« on: December 26, 2004, 12:04:34 am »
Anyone have any information on building your own skee-ball machine ?  I've seen a few off-brand ones with basic digital counters for scoring. Wondered if anyone had attempted this in any form.

Brad

Tritoch84

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2004, 01:35:25 am »
I was just about to start the same thread! I for one am highly interested in this!
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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2004, 04:19:55 am »
Someone else was looking into this on KLOV.com, and essentially it is MUCH more expensive to build one than it is to buy one.
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Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2004, 09:50:51 am »
I really wouldn't think it would be too difficult. I'm not talking about being an exact replica, but a basic model with a 10' track, and 50/40/30/20/10 scoring.

The curved part that throws the ball up could be built by curving thin plywood (old medieval technique). What you do is take  layers of thin plywood, soak with water (making it flexible). Using this heavy duty wood glue (used for boatbuilding) glue the two parts together and nail/screw to a form. For the form, build like some mini-steps out of 1x2's, 2x4, etc on another piece of plywood scrap. Nail one part of the plywood to the flat base, the other section to the steps to give it the curve. The wood will flex being wet, and the glue will set, keeping that curve.

The other option would be to build the steps/angled part from wood, and make the curve with bondo. Probably much easier and quicker. The ball return could be a simple piece of large cheap PVC cut in half right below the holes, then running down to the bottom where a small square box to hold the balls would be.

Scoring could be done with either some type of simple circuit or a custom program running on an old crappy machine, like a 286. You wouldn't need much horsepower to do it.

The rings where the balls hit could be made from a sheet of plastic or old juice/food barrels. Use a heatgun to shape.




Just a thought...

Brad
« Last Edit: December 26, 2004, 09:59:50 am by Ixliam »

missioncontrol

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2004, 05:11:33 pm »
someone posted a BYO skeet ball a while back...I don't know if they ever got done with it or not........

this might help:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,19796.0.html
« Last Edit: December 26, 2004, 05:13:59 pm by missioncontrol »

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2004, 09:19:27 am »
I have a Skeeball machine which I bought and fixed up for a total of $600.   Sometimes the local arcade auctions have these machines for even cheaper.

Check out all the pictures of my SkeeBall machine at my website.....

http://unclet.arcadecontrols.com

Here is one pic:


Pieman2004

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2004, 10:46:53 am »
I was just wanting to suggest metal to make the curved area. It seems like it would be a lot eaiser to do than the bondo or the plywood.

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2004, 01:34:34 pm »

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2004, 10:54:36 pm »
I've been digging around on this for a few days and I think I'm going to give it a shot. I have access to some interesting materials that end up as scrap at the office, and I have a circuit for the scoring mechanism.

The circuit will run a 7 segment LED. Looking at how they score on a 3 digit display, the first digit (right side) is always 0. You then use this circuit to display the tens and hundreds. Just attach another circuit for the hundreds and tie in the reset to a start button.

http://www.aaroncake.net/circuits/counter.htm

You could then have it trip some type of bell/whistle when you put a ball in the right hole, maybe a flashing light when you hit 450.

As far as making one, I have scrap thin white plastic that can be curved into the target rings, and I will probably do they same with the curved ramp. I haven't decided on how I want the ball return to work.

You could go with the original look, and have it spit the balls into the chute. Or you could decide that this is for home use, and just have it spit it to a collection box of some sort at the end of the ramp. Another option would be to run a tube under the right side, have it feed the balls from there.

Ball-wise, I found wooden 3" balls online from wood shops. I ordered 10 of them @ $35, so I will let you know how they work out.

Not sure who here might be interested in this and is in Georgia, but your welcome to contact me if you want to assist in anything, or stand around and laugh.

Brad

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2004, 12:30:45 am »
Has anyone taken measurements of one of these things yet?

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2004, 12:55:49 am »
Has anyone taken measurements of one of these things yet?

I've been waiting for this too!  Somebody please take a tape measure to one of these things :)

Also, does anyone know what the rings are made out of?  I have a funny feeling they are from a custom/expensive material.  They are pretty soft, almost a white rubber.  I'd expect a harder material to be rough on the balls/gameplay.

RandyT

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2004, 05:54:08 am »
want to save money? just use pipes as rings for the smaller ones!
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unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2004, 07:21:06 am »
The circular white tubes are actually made by GoodYear especially for SkeeBall Inc.   They are basically white walled tires ... except that the "white wall" completely surrounds the rubber.  The circle is held together by metal and screws.

The "brown-ish" or "tan-ish" carpet located on the rolling surface (and also behind the target holes) is actually a cork board which is made overseas and imported especially for SkeeBall Inc.    Last time I looked you could buy brand new cork "carpet" from SkeeBall Inc. for around $150.   You simply put your adhesive glue down (contact cement ... not sure??) and roll out the carpet and then use a roller with pressure for good adhesion.

If you are interested in seeing what the inside of a classic SkeeBall machine looks like, then you can check out the pictures of my machine at my site:

http://unclet.arcadecontrols.com

I still believe you would appreciate a real classic SkeeBall machine rather than building your own.  You can get them from between $400 and $800 if you call you local dealers and see what they have (assuming you pick it up yourself).   You can even find cheaper ones at auctions some times.....   Of course, if building one gives you a great sense of fullfillment, then I would be wrong   :)
I would just think the final feel, play and look would not compare to a real classic.  Just my two cents. 

If you are going to go through with this, then let me know if you need any help.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 07:25:05 am by unclet »

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2004, 08:23:52 am »
For those in New Hamshire, I saw this in a Yahoo Group. Too bad it is 1200 miles from me.

---- Quote ----
Hey Folks,  A friend of mine is selling some Skee-ball lanes. They are Skee-Ball Model H, which are the yellow and red lanes with the large digital numbers. All of them are complete and worked when removed form the Salem Willows Arcade last week. $400 each and must be picked up in Pelham NH. Anyone interested call Tom, (603) 635-7495
---- Quote ----

Before I get 100% started, I am going to try to locate one locally. If I managed to get one, I would replace the ticket dispenser with a LED counter so that instead of tickets, it would just run a digital counter. Least at this point I will have the parts for it.

Brad

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2004, 09:00:34 am »
I think you are a wise man .....
« Last Edit: March 23, 2009, 09:32:39 pm by unclet »

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2004, 12:23:50 pm »
Thanks for the dimensions, too bad I'm having better luck here than actually find a machine that's not around $2200. That's the only ones I have found nearby. Georgia seems to be empty when it comes to any sort of arcade goodies.

I have drawn up basic cad plans based on a sketch I did and the dimensions you have. Looks like for the basic frame it would take two sheets of wood. That would cover the sides and the ball box/ticket holder, along with the bottom support. That does not include the ramp. So guessing, 3 sheets of 4x8 would do it, along with the 1x2/2x4s for a support frame. Seems to me about as much there as for an arcade cabinet, there is just not anyone actually building these things as a hobbyists.

Course, I would still love to find one nearby in the SE US. The ones I've found fall into either the TOO FAR AWAY category, or TOO EXPENSIVE category.

If anyone has Autocad or access to it, or can view DXF files, I can send you what I have so far.

Brad

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2004, 12:28:15 pm »
Where are you located in Georgia (?)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 12:43:36 pm by unclet »

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2004, 12:37:33 pm »
I'm in Austell. If you like, contact me off-list at ixliam <$AT$> com**REMOVETHIS**cast }}dot{{ net.

Sorry for the crazy email format above, but you know how spammers are.

Brad

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2004, 12:43:16 pm »
Guess I could just send you a PM in this forum instead .......

Seems like there should be plenty of SkeeBall machines in a big city like Atlanta.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 12:58:38 pm by unclet »

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2004, 01:01:11 pm »
The plastic I have is pretty flexible, I can bend/twist it with one hand, and it takes a good beating. Plus, its free. I actually just walked back to where our shop is and they have more scrap back there, so I will probably at least try to make the target area so I can get those pieces cut out (they will cut them for me on nice pro equipment that we use to build tradeshow exhibits). I did see some cork flooring online but didn't go any further than google-ing it. It came in 2'x3' sheets, probably for tackboards. But something absorbant might not be a bad idea.

I don't have any kids so no need to worry about someone chunking a ball at it. This is mostly for me and my wife, and the occasional visit from parents/in-laws/brother. If I wanted to go the cheap way, Sears has a Harvard Roll-Ball thing that is on sale for $179. It looks like the picture I posted above of the Skee-Ball looking thing.

Brad

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2004, 01:04:20 pm »
Just be careful is you use real corkboard, since a big wooden ball will dent that as well ..... just would not want you to go through all the work of building and then discover your rolling surface is all dented up.


PS:  You have been outbid

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2004, 01:14:42 pm »
What is the height on the rubber targets ? I'm guessing 3.5-4" just looking at the pictures.

What am I outbid on, that empty display on e-bay ??

On that display, I know the older ones used lights behind a fake LED looking scoring unit. Any idea what kind of light holder fit in there. I'm really torn between getting an original display and putting incandescent lights in it, or going modern and using a large LED. Price-wise, its about the same. 3-5" LED for the main score, and 1-2.3" LED display for the balls rolled counter.

Brad


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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2004, 01:23:18 pm »
Rubber target height is 4"

Yes I saw you were outbid on the SkeeBall score display thing.

What do you mean light holder?  Do you mean light bulbs?

« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 01:50:51 pm by unclet »

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2004, 01:49:17 pm »
It looks like from the light holder that a bulb in some sort of fitting goes in with a twist type of connector, similar to how some cars bulbs go in tail lights (least on my Toyota Corolla they do since I access them from the trunk). I'd guess it has a plastic bulb holder with two plastic flanges coming off it with a rubber/foam gasket to act as a seal and to put pressure on the connection to keep it from wiggling loose.

Glad I was outbid on that thing. I saw where it has those grey scratches/chunks out of it. With the rate it is going at, I could go with an modern large LED display and not have to worry with the bulbs. Only addition to my circuit would be a darlington driver chip so that the output from the CMOS lines would switch the 9 volt supply to the LED segment, since the ones I am looking at pull more power since each segment had 4 LED's behind it according to the specs on the display. Even if I went with the bulbs and used small wattage 12 volt bulbs, it would still need the darlington to switch. Not sure what skee-balls had at one time in them to turn on the displays, but trying to use relays would be too slow, whereas transistor switching is much faster.

Brad

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2004, 09:36:38 pm »
Can you give me the dimensions from the top down to the ramp every 1' as I have below ? This is my estimate.



Here is my marque I did.



I picked up an 2'x8' roll of cork from a local hobby store. Once a ramp is made I will be able to test it out. From what I gathered online, there is cork flooring available, some as underlayers used. If the cork in that use can take people walking over it, I'm sure it could handle a 1lb ball rolling along..

Brad

Brad
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 10:04:31 pm by Ixliam »

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2004, 10:16:07 pm »
I will try to post something tomorrow for you .......

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2004, 10:42:35 am »
Here are some more measurements ...... hope this clarifies some stuff.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2004, 10:56:41 am by unclet »

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2004, 12:41:43 pm »
That really helps a great deal. I did find some skee balls in Indiana, but they want $1000 working as-is, or $1600 if the fellow cleans it up to like-new condition.

There are two in Texas on e-bay now, a 10' and a 13' model. The 10' is already up past $500. I cut out the ramp today, I am doing it with heavy lexan (more scrap from the office). I will have more support braces under the ramp, enough so you could walk across the ramp if you wanted to (but don't plan on it). I will be making it out of 3/4" MDF, which I have yet to purchase in the no-so-likely hope that someone will suddenly offer me one at a reasonable (aka cheap) price. I'm willing to drive to get it, but not 1100 miles one-way (which is where the cheapest one is so far). If you flew up there, rented a truck, then drove back, you are already pushing the price up to the $1000 mark, not counting blowing vacation time at home.

At this point I'm ready just to build one for not only the experience and gratification of saying "I built my own skeeball", but also since there is a good amount of interest I can document how it can be done. Your help in getting info and measurements has been invaluable, and I greatly appreciate it.

Brad


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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2004, 12:56:29 pm »
Good luck .... let me know whether you need anything else.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2004, 12:59:35 pm by unclet »

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2004, 01:19:57 pm »
I saw where that was coming and plan on being there, hopefully I can grab some of the cheapies, maybe even a skeeball.

We used to play skeeball when I was about 7-15 when we went to Panama City, FL. I guess that would be about 1975-1983. There was a skeeball place on the boardwalk that was 10 cents a game. My dad would save all his dimes and misc other change for a year, and we used that money to go down there at night and play. At the end of the vacation, we would play our last games on the night before we left, and my parents would divide the tickets between my brother and I. Then we would buy silly junk like rubber snakes, chinese finger cuffs, spider rings, and other silly prizes you got.

The machines we played on were a bit older than the one we are dimensioning, and didn't have the 100 rings. I'm not planning on putting them on mine at the present time. The marque was a bit simpler, and I did find a few pics of them on the net. The scorboard case wasn't as narrow as yours is where the net connects, the angle from the scoreboard just runs straght down to connect with the angle where the target sits, which for me seems much sturdier, so that is how I am going with it. They also just had a simple coin slot right below where the balls came out, and the ticket printer was another simple slot on the front of the left steel piece. There was an orange light on the top of those pieces indicating you had credits. Course this is all from memories and what I saw in the pictures.

Brad

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2004, 12:04:46 pm »
Hmm, this looks very interesting. and it looks fairly simple (easier than cutting out an entire arcade cab) also the electronics would be very simple.  The one problem is getting the ramp correct. not the straight part but the curve... I fear if it didn't have the right curve it would never feel right (or you'd get used to it and bomb on a 'real' machine)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 02:18:27 pm by Captain Rotundo »

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2004, 01:05:44 pm »
I would still worry about the type of material you chose for the target chutes since the wooden balls really smack into things when the come flying off the curved ramp.

PS: At  my arcade site you can see what the inside of the SkeeBall machine looks like (with the target area taken off.....)



Lilwolf

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2004, 01:14:50 pm »
btw, someones selling new ones on ebay for 300 bucks.  This seems WAY to low to me.  Are these crap?

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2004, 01:41:16 pm »
The $300 table you are referring to is the same model (white) as the one pictured near the beginning of this thread.   

To answer your question .... I would believe it depends on the person's taste I guess.    Personally, I would believe these games would not give a person the true SkeeBall experience as they get from the machines they use to play growing up in the arcades.

PS:  If you can fit a 13' SkeeBall table in your house, etc... then these size tables tend to be less money than the 10' ones, since they are an older model and also take up more room in an arcade than the 10' ones.   It seemed to me (when hunting for my SkeeBall machine) that the more room a vendor can save on the arcade floor the better, thus the lower price for the bigger ones.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 01:44:05 pm by unclet »

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2004, 02:10:45 pm »
I'm with Unclet on the skee-ball issue with the cheapo ones. The ramp is just a straight plastic board with probably a 30-45 degree part that launches the ball. It doesn't look like a skee-ball, even though you are still putting balls in the holes. Its just like with the arcades, you could play MAME with a gamepad, or you can build an arcade cabinet for the real 'feel' of the game. All depends on what you want to do.

I want my skeeball to look and feel like the real version, and I'm willing to probably be the first one to actually build one and document it for others to do as well.

I've thought about being able to take a mold of the curve somehow the digitize that with cad. If anyone wants to grab some playdough, clay and saran wrap, they could take a mold, let it harden, then trace the curve on a piece of paper, please do. Mail it to me and I will put the curve into cad.

For me, I'm not worried about going to an arcade somewhere and playing a skee-ball machine. The only place near me is Dave & Busters that has skeeball, and most of those are the new fancy ones which don't hold the same appeal as the old style ones. I don't play arcade games outside of my MAME machine at home unless they are something really interesting (like the gun/fishing/firefighting ones). I have no desire to collect tickets to earn some cheapo prize, so if my curve initially isn't exact, its ok. I think it will be close enough, and I will try to get some measurements on that as well.

Since the subject came up, Unclet could you take measurements of the curve every inch down to where it becomes the flat ramp ? That might help. I plan on trying to heat-form lexan to get the curve, but if that is not successful then I may have to build a mold and use bondo. Could even take a heavy board (like 1-2" thick) and cut multiple sections out of it, then glue together to form the 19" wide curved section. I think there are more ways to do this than people realize. The wood cut would be easier I believe, and can't believe I didn't think of it earlier. You woulc just cut out S shaped pieces out of wood then glue them all together, sand smooth and mount. A good scroll or bandsaw would make this easy.

I am starting on the project this weekend, so I will try to get a website up with some pics, or at least put it in the project announcement section.

Brad

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2004, 02:35:16 pm »
Well I am going to look at some of these skee ball mesurements and start thinking about it.  I will most likely have to wait and see how you handle the curve, but it sounds like it wont be much of a problem.  good luck to you.

Wade

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2004, 03:12:26 pm »
I really think you should think this through more.  I have seen these for sale working for $300 before.  A friend of mine bought one that is in NEAR mint condition (I really mean it!) for $600.  When these things are sold, they sell CHEAP because they are so large, not many people have the room for them even if they wanted one.

You would EASILY have that much in materials, and it still wouldn't look like a real one, and you wouldn't have the sounds and bells and whistles that a real one would have.  Building a MAME makes a lot of sense because it can play so many games and takes up little space, but building a Skee ball just doesn't make sense.

Just be patient, and you WILL find one locally for a decent price.  It sounds like you have to get one RIGHT NOW.  Well if you build one, it will probably take far longer than waiting until you find a real one, and that is assuming you finish (it would be easy not to finish a project this large).

I'm all about people being creative, building things for themselves, etc. but building a skeeball just doesn't make much sense if you are thinking logically.

Wade

unclet

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2004, 03:53:32 pm »
Wade: I have been trying to talk him out of it as well .... but I think he views it as a challenge, so it might just be fun to build for the hell of it.  I bought mind for $500 and then spent an additional $100 for renting a truck (plus gas) for hauling it home as well as cleaning supplies and some minor new parts, paint, etc....   Total is $600 and it looks great.

Ixliam: I was already out trying to figure how to take a measurement of the curve this morning...... give me some time to think on this one and I will try to come up with something.  My kid is sick, so bare with me .... :-[
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 03:55:50 pm by unclet »

Captain Rotundo

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2004, 04:09:03 pm »
First off I don't see it as that complicated a project, no more so than a full size arcade cab.  (depending on how the curve of the ramp is, of course) and sometime we want to build something simply for the joy of building it :)

Ixliam

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Re: Skee-Ball
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2004, 07:11:43 pm »
I actually want to build the thing and document it. The whole counting circuit to handle scoring/ball counting is only about $20 in parts. Not very much if you ask me. Sound effects, add in a computer or use something else, take your pick. The old ones I played on just had a bell that rang, nothing special.

It also helps to have access to the right tools and materials, and for instance, I cut the yellow plastic top to go over where the balls sit today at the office. Total cost - $0. Now that's me. My father is also runs a welding shop, so I have access to metal fabrication equipment to make the metal front. Stainless is pretty expensive to use there, aluminum is not, but you do have to watch bending aluminum too much. That overall curve is not bad. Try to crank it 90 degrees and it will likely shear on you.

I would almost bet the first person to build an arcade cabinet from scratch got responses about cost and time, but sometimes you just want what you want. Someone has to be that person to make that step, and since I already have the material, the electronics, and the plans already set out, the project is a go. I will make these drawings/plans available to anyone who wants them, should they chose to build one as well. But, I would also say that I do have access to things many people may not, and in their case certain corners may have to be cut. But like all things, even MAME cabinets, there are those who want an copy, and those who want to customize. I tend to fall more towards the "copy" side of it.

In any case, whenever you get those measurements would be fine Unclet. I hope your kid is gets to feeling better, and I do appreciate all the help you have been. The pics of the insides of it are very helpful.

Brad


  
 

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