Pinball Mod: a possibility.

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AArdvark
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Pinball Mod: a possibility.

Post by AArdvark » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:47 pm

So when I get the Bon Voyage machine back from my brother, probably in a year, I'm thinking maybe I'll do some kind of table mod. The machine is not rare or very desirable by collectors. In fact, it's kind of boring as far as pinball machines go.

The table wood is cracked due to improper storage so I'd need to work on that. Some of the broken plastic pieces have already been glued together a couple of times. Some of the parts could be custom made but there's very little that can be simply purchased ready made. Mechanically it's in pretty good condition but still needs a little tlc.

So I put forth here a poll:

A] Don't touch it! Too many retro things die every day and it would be a shame to let this go the way of the dodo.

B] As long you don't waste something that can ever be replaced or repaired, go for it!

C] Well, since it's no great shakes as a pinball machine, anything you do would make it better. Especially an AArdvark theme or something.

D] What-eva.....

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Post by Flack » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:09 am

I spent too much time in that hobby worrying about what other people thought. I say make it into whatever you will enjoy. An Aardvark-themed table sounds pretty rad to me!
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Casual Observer » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:15 am

Go for the Aardvark theme!

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:10 pm

Well, I'll be the asshole, then....


Vark, you have to restore it. That thing needs to be as close to when it left the factory as possible. In fact, it would be a crime against humanity if you didn't.

There aren't many of them left. You have a responsibility to invest YOUR money and YOUR time into a pinball machine you only have a loose association with. Surely, the corporation that made it did enough by simply creating it. It's now all on you.

I see so many people try to get entertainment out of these machines by tweaking them, modifying them, or improving them. This must stop! The only way to have fun with arcade and pinball games is the 100% commitment to factory specs.

Change so much as a dot of paint on that thing, unless it is for restoration, and I will find you and hunt you down like a dog.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:12 pm

Anyway, now that the arcade nazis are satisfied...

Make that thing a beautiful Aardvark pinball machine. I will make sure I come to Rochester to play it. Your inventive mind and creativity turned into a pinball game would be AWESOME.

Let me know if I can help! (With the thing have a micro controller? Will you need software?)
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Post by AArdvark » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:54 pm

Micro-controller........

The machine is vintage 1974. It's 100% electro-mechanical. That's the only reason I'd attempt something like this.

More later...

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Post by AArdvark » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:52 pm

Image

What a nice playfield!

Image

Whatever.........
Last edited by AArdvark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by AArdvark » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:08 pm

OK, I have about a year to ponder this.

The only challenges on the table are to light up the BON VOYAGE lamps using the rollovers and the bump targets. When you finally do it the special lamp goes on. You hit the 'messenger ball' and it hits the special target and you get a free game. That's all there is as far as things to do.

I propose to buy a piece of wood in order to make my own custom table. This will mean I have to remove every piece of hardware on the original, cracked table and move it to the new custom aardvark table.
This will involve woodworking skills and tools that I do not possess....yet. I would also need to re-make several of the existing plastic pieces. I can do that out of polycarbonate on one of the lasers at work. There will also be about two dozen problems that are unforeseen at this point so I can't prepare for them. I will have to take a zillion pictures of the machine as I take it apart in order to put everything back together properly. Then there's the art/paint factor....
My biggest fear is taking a working machine apart and getting about a third into the project and just losing interest and having it lurk at me in the basement when I go for a beer.

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Post by Flack » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:57 am

I think you're on the right track. Document (photo and video) everything as you dissect it for future reference. Then tweak the shit out of it. Do not twerk the shit out of it, that's a stupid fad.

You know, the Raspberry Pi can be hooked to all kinds of sensors and motors and lights and play sounds... just sayin'.
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Post by RetroRomper » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:04 pm

I'd like to see a "Olly Knows" pinball cabinet come out of this.

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Post by AArdvark » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:49 pm

!!!!!!!!

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Post by RetroRomper » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:35 am

Giving it a little thought, you already have an image for the marquee and creating the game around the symbol will let you create and flesh out the mythology around it. I'd imagine it could be the Pinball equivalent to Robb's Polybius cabinet.

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Post by AArdvark » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:58 pm

Hmmm, not a bad idea.
Speaking of teh Polybius, wouldn't it be cool if there was a small metal plaque on the back of RobB's cabinet saying that it was Property of the U.S. Government, Portland Pych-ops Dept. Cabinet No: 0013


THE
OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT
AARDVARK

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:03 pm

AArdvark wrote:Hmmm, not a bad idea.
Speaking of teh Polybius, wouldn't it be cool if there was a small metal plaque on the back of RobB's cabinet saying that it was Property of the U.S. Government, Portland Pych-ops Dept. Cabinet No: 0013
Ahhh hahaha.

I must confess that that would be AWESOME. The font is Bius Titel and I can get you a copy of it. (It's linked somewhere on The Polybius Homepage.)

I have sort of come around on the Polybius thing. It is nice, when people come over, to be able to say, "Yeah I've got that" with the multigame. And I tried the joystick recently for some Frogger. It is the tightest joystick in the home arcade.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:04 pm

By the way, how IS this project going, Vark?

Are you considering some LEDs for the lights?
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Post by AArdvark » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:08 am

Not doing anything other than planning at this stage of the game. We're working on moving to a new house sometime in the next year and I don't want to shlep a pinball machine that's in various stages of disrepair. Plus I really don't have the room here to work on it properly. It can wait until I'm ready.


THE
VARK TIME
AARDVARK

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Post by AArdvark » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:02 pm

OK, I'm thinking of a goal. The goal is to have the machine say things to you when things happen. You launch the ball and the machine says something witty. Or the ball drains and the machine says something insulting. How to make this happen?
I imagine some kind of soundboard software installed on one O them pi computers and the audio is sent out to a set of desktop speakers or something. The part I can't envision is how to make, say, ten or fifteen discreet switches trigger the software.
All the switches in the machine are 24V leaf springs. Actually, they may be 40V but it's been a while since I was under the hood and I disremember. So I can either add micro switches to the existing switches somehow or figure out a way to utilize the original switches. Either way I haven't the faintest idea as how to make the signal go into the computer to trigger the software.

Any ideas?


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80% FINISHED
IN MY HEAD
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Post by Flack » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:46 pm

My initial thought is to hack a USB keyboard. That would give you 101 switches to play with. I'm guessing Robb could hack together a quick program that would play a sample depending on which button was pushed. In fact you could probably play a random sample from a pool -- in other words, whenever the ball goes down the drain that would trigger the A key, which would play either A1.wav, A2.wav, or A3.wav, all of which would insult the player. In fact you could even build in some minor logic, like if less than 5 other switches had been triggered since the last time A* went off, play Ax.wav which says "Man, you suck!" vs. if it's more than 5 then play "You're better than you look!" or something. Just brainstorming here.

There's also the Pi's default GPIO (general purpose in/out) connector that I think you can control 15-20 microswitches with.
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Post by Flack » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:46 pm

This page will mean more to you all than it does to me:

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/projects/raspbe ... e/two.html
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:04 pm

I will absolutely come up with either a Pi program to do what you want, or a breadboard and some software in C or Assembler to do it. Not a problem. There are probably off-the-shelf solutions for this but thi--

This is OUR table.
This is OUR year.
This is OUR story.
This is OUR mod.


Well, it's yours for most of that, but it sounds more decisive if I put it that way.

I've been itching for a project like this, and the proof is my earlier post in this thread. I'll get started. I assume that my inputs will be a completed circuit for a rollover microswitch?
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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