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Author Topic: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)  (Read 147310 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.