New Buttons – New idea

The old pinball-buttons did not work so good anymore, so I had do replace them. I installed 2 red buttons and used Leafswitch-Champs instead of the microswitches to save the “Pinball-feeling”.

Because of the plunger and the LCD it was quite difficult to get the “Leafswitches” placed correctly, but I found out that at one specal angle everything is working fine.

Well, well, my work is almost done – not! Why? Because the design of the pinball is much too boring! I am thinking of a cool steampunk design.

Finally a short video including “Topper-Action”

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This is the police speaking!

One part of the topper is already mounted to the backbox – the emergency light.
The most difficult thing about this was to get a good emergency light – the USB lights were much too dim, the 230V light with 60 rpm too slow.
Finally I found a good working one at an Asia-Markted at the border to the czech republic….

First I removed the magnet , sawed off a part of the socket, lowered the motor, connected it to the LEDWiz (because its a 12V light), tested it and – nothing happened. Nada.

Why? The H7 bulb of the emergency light seems to need too much power, so the emergency light is now switched on my a 12V solenoid – case closed.

I am trying to find the best way to trigger the Topper. For now it seems that assigning the Gear-motor,and Shaker, Beacon and Fan to the topper output is quite fine.

Holy Alzheimer Batman! Finally an update!

SORRY! I simply forgot to translate my german posts. Thank god nobody reads my blg, so nobody cares about that ;-).

Now the playfield is now covered by an acrylic glasspanel, but now a new problem occured:
The notches I cut into the body of the cab for the 42“ LCD caused the plate to sag a little bit. So I formed 2 little colums  of the Playfield-Speaker-Cover with a wire cutter and some sandpaper and sticked them on the bezel and voila! The plate does not sag anymore!
I also installed 2 more flashers (the same stripes like the strobe but colored) at not so common positions: One on each side on the sidewalls.
Why? Now the „Light-Show“ is not only on the top of the playfield:

2do: A Topper
First I did´nt want to install a topper. Because of my cats (They think its quite funny jumping from the acrylic glassplate on the backbox and back) I have to put something on the backbox to avoid the plate becoming scratched. Maybe I get rid of the Cat fur on the plate too (shame on you, electrostatic charge!)
The Topper will be a emergency light with illuminated acrylic glass on each side – theoretically….
The emergency light will be illuminated on several events like, the Gear-Motor (thanks to Konsolenhalde for the tip), Multiball, the „explosion“ of the UFOS at AFM, …
Someday I´ll replace the one-color flasher with RGB ones – but first I need a new LEDWiz, because I´m out of outputs (There are only 24 working outputs on my LEDWiz, because I destroyed the 4th controller on my LEDWiz by short-circuiting it..)

PinballX and PinballFX 2

I chose PinballX as frontend for my Cab.

It looks similar to Hyperpin (You can use HP Media Packs), but it is much easier to set up and is faster than Hyperpin.
(Also there is a great community and helpful dev behind PinballX).

With Playfield and Backglass Videos PinballX looks great!. I Also added a new App to my Cab: PinballFX2.

PinballFX 2 is no Emulator, but rather a simulator. All tables are complete new creations with some unrealistic elements. There are various versions of PinballFX 2 available. Beside the Humble Bundle and the Steam Version (both are OK) there is a Win8 Version, which is available in the Appstore.

DO NOT BUY THE APPSTORE VERSION!!  There are some tables and an important option missing: You can´t rotate the playfield 270 Degrees!

The Win-Win-Win Situation

The big question: Which OS is the Best for my Cab?

Windows 8? Windows 7? Or maybe Windows XP?

I started with Windows XP – small, fast booting and it needs less ressources than the other OS.

First everything fas quite fine (except of some graphical issues when using VP), but at this time I wanted Head-Tracking support with Kinect, which does not run with Windows XP, so I upgraded to Win 8.1

Well, no head-tracking anymore, but Win 8.1 is still installed.

My Windows 8.1 experiences so far:

Boot time including PinballX frontend: 20 Seconds – great!

Compatibility:

No big problems occured with VP, FP, BAM or the frontend. Only the KeyWiz Uploader didn´t work properly (It only uploaded the Keycodes when on focus).
So I dumped the Uploader and rewired the KeyWiz so the uploader wasn´t needed anymore.

VP worked fine, except of some Tables. Some tables were unplayable because of heavy ball stutter!
After hours of tial and error i unchecked “Region Updates” and “Region Optimization” in the VP settings and voila: No ball stutter anymore!

I really recommend Windows 8: fast booting, great compatibility and future proof becaude DirectX 11 (Who knows which great Apps are released in the future)

BAM!

“Better Arcade Machine für Future Pinball” is a FP Mod, with some nice visual enhancements.The table is centered and scaled to fullscreen and changes the rendering so the tables look more realistic.

Another main-feature of BAM is head-tracking which is done with 2 PS3 Cams, Kinect oder Wiimotes.

I decided to try the Kinect-Version, because wearing an IR-LED seems to be quite uncomfortable. So I bought a used Kinect for EUR 28,– , shipping included (nice bargain!).

First i installed the Microsoft Kinect SDK and – found out that I need at least Win7 for this…
So I bought a Win8 license, installed it (FP and VP work flawlessly with Win8) and the head-tracking works great!

Too bad the LedWiz-Support of FP is really bad, so I gave up head-tracking (the joy of my children, because they now play with the Kinect on our Xbox)

To be honest: Head-tracking is fine, but kinda unnecessary

Why? I dont know wild you are playing, but I am standing relatively still in front of the pinball…

Almost done – at least the hardware-part….
The bezel for the flashers and playfield LCD are moutned . I cut out a piece of the big launch-button of my last cab for the glass of the launch-light.
Also the original stainless-steel sidebars are on its place anc cover the sides of the playfield-LCD perfectly.

Now only the playfield-glass and backbox-bezel are missing.

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Clicking Cabinet

Well, 7 of the 8 Solenoids are installed (The last one will be installed today after I bought it).
I used small 12V Solenoids (the same as in my last cab) which are also used in cars, because they give a good feedback and they are not too loud

A switch will allow “silent mode” so I can´t bother my family when playing (The cab is in the living room). For easier mounting of the solenoids I mounted a panel right under the LCD.I also used 2 brackets for chaning the angle of the playfield.

A Second soundcard and 2 speakers under the playfield will allow Visual Pinball to play all mechanical Sounds like bumpers, Ball rolling using the “internal” speakers, and Speeck, Music, SFX using the speakers of the backbox. Now the tables (especially old ones) are more authentic.

The cover for the “DMD” is placed right on the 3rd screen, the flashers and strobe installed (they will be placed elsewhere than seen in the picture)

I recycled the Car-Strobes of my last table (They are cheaper than thr CREE LEDs) and used them as flashers, the strobes are 2 ultra-bright LED-stripes.

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It´s alive, ALIVE!

Great, all 3 Screens are working and the CPU and graphics adapter don´t overheat. Kinect arrived a couple of days ago for BAM head tracking.

But there was a problem with the back glass in Future Pinball: It was out of center.
The solution for this issue was as strange as the issue itself: I simply changed the Screen order in my windows display settings to 1-3-2 and all was OK.

The first tests with Visual Pinball were successfully:
Its fun to play with Visual Pinball thanks to the new db2s backglasses and great LedWiz-support!
I think I´ll stick with Visual Pinball, even it has no head tracking and 3D graphics. Why? Because feedback is VERY important and the LedWiz support is very crappy in Future Pinball.

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With the toe bone connected to the foot bone…

There will be 2 Screens in the Backbox: A 21″ 16:9 Samsung as Backglass, and a 19″ 4:3 HP for the score.

First of all I “unclothed” the LCDs. This was quite easy to do….at least with the HP Screen…
The Samsung was a pain in my next, because

1) The panel and the LCD are not one “unit”. Uncasing it would let it fall apart…
2) The wall mounting is built in the casing. No case – no wall mount.

Well… The screens are finally mounted to the Backbox ant the Backbox is connected to the Pinball

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Lets do the wiring:

I installed the Led-, and Keywiz in the Cab (near the Coindoor for easier access). I shortened the anchor of the plunger, because it would collide to the LCD, installed a micro switch and – voila, its done!
My graphics adapter (GTX 650ti Boost) and SSD (Kingston 120GB) arrived too and are waiting to be installed.

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