Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

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Life of Brian
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by Life of Brian » Wed May 09, 2012 5:53 am

Wow this is really shaping up! Go go go!

I like it!
dragonhead wrote:sweet. ive spent a third of my life on benheck!
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ARTbyTROY
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Tue May 15, 2012 7:04 pm

I decided to change the design of the front panel, so the white, green, yellow and red LED pushbuttons are now out in favor of only using the blue LED jumbo and small pushbuttons. Another two small black SPST momentary pushbuttons will be recess mounted below the plunger to act as the pause and exit to main menu buttons.

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The build will now be themed totally in blue and black, why? Because I got a really cool idea that I couldn't shake about how to make the pinball machine really stand out visually without resorting to print vinyl graphics. Below shows one hundred dollars worth of blue 12v SMD LED strips in lengths from six to forty eight inches and flavors from chaser to flashing that I ordered from a seller in China, they will all be worked into the project.

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I had to test them all to be sure they survived shipping so I screwed ten of them into the Logisys power distribution box. I really like the Logisys unit, it is made for powering video surveillance cameras, but works perfectly for this type of application. Also, I feel that I got more than my moneys worth of SMD LED strips, these bad boys are wicked bright.

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If anyone is curious how the active LED strips look in action I made a video of the six inch chaser SMD LED strips and the twenty-four inch flashing SMD LED strips...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 6u8dAHnwRY

Back to working on the front... below shows the measuring tools, drill bits and hole saws that will be used to fabricate the two ply front panel.

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Here are the front panel pieces almost finished, I used the trusty Dremel flex shaft and a length of Alum-angle as a guide for the ripsaw blade to cut out the extra bits from the speaker holes.

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The front panel with the speakers, buttons and plunger test fit, I still need to cut some mesh and install it over where the speakers are going to sit.

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ARTbyTROY
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Sun May 20, 2012 5:15 pm

I got the mesh for the speaker holes cut and test fit, when it comes time for the mesh final install I will secure it in place with Weld-on 16.

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I took the front, table sides and back glass sides to my little brother to sandblast the back of the acrylic panels where the SMD LEDs will be located.

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I designed an old school looking graphic for the project, my brother has a vinyl cutter so while I was there I also had him cut me some decals...

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Weeding vinyl sucks, for those who don't know - weeding is the removal of scrap vinyl that will not be part of the final decal and it is a tedious process. I used clear contact paper over the weeded vinyl so that they can be lifted off the paper backing and installed onto the acrylic. Below are three of the decals I will be using as masks for the vinyl dye part of the project.

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Below shows placement of one of the vinyl decals, it also shows placement of the four 6" SMD chaser LEDs. The plexi-glass where the LEDs sit has a frosted look after sand blasting and should diffuse the blue glow a little when the LEDs are installed behind it.

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I needed something to install the 6" chaser LEDs onto so I copied my measurements onto a piece of aluminum flashing, then cut and rivet it onto the front brace piece of Alum-angle.

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The four 6" SMD chaser LEDs all had short bare leads, so I soldered them all together and added longer wires, then I sleeved and heat shrink the whole thing. Now it will only need a single power output from the Logisys power distribution box and even though sleeving was unnecessary because it will likely never be seen it does look nice.

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ARTbyTROY
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Wed May 30, 2012 5:44 pm

I assembled the router table that sat in my shed forever and loaded it with an 1/8" roundover bit in preparation for this next part.

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Wow, what a plastic dust making mess... note to self, next time do it outside. I rounded off the edges of the front and sides, it all feels nice and smooth now.

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I wasn't real happy with the lack of picture adjustment that the USB 16" monitor had and the viewing angle was terrible. Below is the VGA model, it is fully adjustable, VESA mountable and the viewing angle is acceptable.

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The two screens are almost exactly the same size, which is required for the project to turn out correctly.

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Below shows an Antec EarthWatts 750 PSU, a white lazer LED, two sound control modules and four super bright 24 white LED strips. They will be used to power and help light up the replacement parts that are coming from the pinball projects first official sponsor, drum roll please...

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I am happy to announce that Sapphire is on board as an official hardware sponsor for this build, I will be incorporating an illusion that showcases their hardware into the pinball table to thank them for being so awesome.

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Below shows most of the 600+ LEDs that will be used in the build all laid out one last time to determine final placement. I decided that the two 44" SMD LED strips and two of the 19" SMD LED strips would be better used to shine from the table bottom onto the floor beneath, and to connect two of the 19" SMD LEDs that go up the sides of the back glass to sound activation.

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Muniosi
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by Muniosi » Wed May 30, 2012 8:13 pm

Wow! Keep it up!

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ARTbyTROY
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:52 pm

I carefully measured and then drilled all of the necessary holes into both side panels, now the Alum-angle frame for the 40" LCD has mounting holes and there is an Alum-angle support piece for the back box. Last but not least I used a hole saw and cut out all four of the flipper button holes, below are a pair of buttons test fit.

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The bottom part of the table is almost ready for paint, next up are the side panels of the back box. Below is an opposite side view of both sides, I installed Alum-angle onto all of the side edges except the front.

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I found a great deal on four 120mm fans, they were seven bucks apiece with free shipping and come with a black fan grill, mounting screws and a fan controller, on top of that they look nice.

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I bought 8GB of DDR3 and a 120GB SSD that is supposed to be whip quick according to everything I've read about it.

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I am pleased to announce that AMD is officially on board as a hardware sponsor and want to thank them for supplying my digital pinball project with a sweet quad-core Zambezi processor.

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The 36" roll of light diffuser film I ordered arrived, I am going to put it between the acrylic and the LED strips to help spread the light out. The following picture shows the test fire and it gives a good view of how it looks live.

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ARTbyTROY
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:41 pm

I drilled a couple holes in the back sides of the alum-angle side braces to allow the wiring from a pair of SMD LED strips to poke through, then I soldered the wires together onto longer wires.

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Below are the finished products all wired and sleeved, both are now ready to be installed.

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Time to build and attach the back box... I used a couple C-clamps to hold the side panels in place and then marked and drilled the attachment holes.

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With the back box attached and the fresh cut top panel in place for a test fit, it is finally starting to look like a pinball machine.

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Here is a look at the attached top panel from behind the machine, below it is a length of alum-angle attached to the black plastic trim piece that will hold the playfield glass in place.

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thewizdawg
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by thewizdawg » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:33 pm

I have a question about the screen you are using for the playfield.

I've read it's best to have a 1080p 100hz 1:1 pixel mapping.

What's the pixel mapping for this screen? Also will you be using VGA or HDMI.

I was just wondering if you have setup and tested your screen to see how it looks and plays.

Also does it matter if it's LCD or LED? LED probably would be lighter, thinner, and run cooler.

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ARTbyTROY
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:53 pm

thewizdawg wrote:I have a question about the screen you are using for the playfield.

I've read it's best to have a 1080p 100hz 1:1 pixel mapping.

What's the pixel mapping for this screen? Also will you be using VGA or HDMI.

I was just wondering if you have setup and tested your screen to see how it looks and plays.

Also does it matter if it's LCD or LED? LED probably would be lighter, thinner, and run cooler.
All I know is that the screen is 1920 X 1080 @60hz, 8 ms, CCFL and was the least expensive 40" 1080P HDTV I could find locally ($310), I learned my lesson on letting UPS deliver a TV (2 times).

I had wanted to use an LED HDTV because they definitely run cooler and last longer, but I couldn't find one (even online) that was 40" and 1080P for anywhere near the price of the TV I got for $300. I haven't even looked at the picture quality of the Sceptre, I only powered it on to make sure it worked before I tore it apart, but that said when I had it open I noticed the screen manufacturer is actually Samsung... which is cool because all five of my monitors and both of my big screens are Samsung and I can't complain about the picture quality on any of them.

I am going to use HDMI for the display and when it is all finished up and running I'm sure everything will look just fine.
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ARTbyTROY
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:07 pm

The Sapphire sponsored hardware arrived, the PURE Black 990FX socket AM3+ motherboard is shown below. I have been building computers since the late 90's, so I didn't have to look at this motherboard for very long to know that it's top tier with a switchable dual bios, post code readout and built in power and reset buttons, good stuff.

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Sapphire also sent a pair of Radeon HD 6870 cards... any fears I had about the hardware being too underpowered to run Virtual Pinball, Future Pinball or HyperPin with every bell and whistle enabled are now history.

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Sapphire is awesome and it would be a crime to hide away the killer hardware powering my pinball table, so I am going to work a window into the side with their logo on the outline, I'll also be building a mirrored enclosure inside the table to showcase the hardware within an optical illusion.

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The parts needed to create the mirror illusion are shown below, clockwise from top right is a cut down Lian Li motherboard tray, black plastic mesh, white lazer LED, four 12v white LED strips, 12" x 24" sheet of 1/8" first surface mirror, Alum-angle, 3M heavy duty mounting tape, paper Sapphire template, 6" x 12" two-way mirror, 12" x 36" light diffuser film roll.

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Muniosi
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by Muniosi » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:53 pm

Hey, I have that video card! It's amazing. I think two would definitely be overkill for a pinball machine. But, I'd say put them in because you can. :lol:

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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:56 am

The motherboard tray was too large, so I measured things out and then used a Dremel to cut off the excess bit. Clamping down a piece of flat aluminum angle protects the surface and makes the cutting easier by allowing the cutting disk to butt against it, which keeps the edge cleaner and straighter.

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I needed to find the proper location for the motherboard and window, once that was figured out I taped down the window template.

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Below shows placement of the motherboard tray, having hardware in hand let me know that there are a few aspects of the mirror illusion design I still need to work out. They are small details and I will figure it out, but until then there is still work to be done on the back box.

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The SMD LED strips that I bought for the sides of the back box were just a bit too long, luckily they can be cut at every third LED (as shown below), so crisis averted.

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I installed two SMD LED strips onto the left and right side pieces of aluminum angle, I also rivet on support pieces for the 23" LCD monitor and cut 3 1/2" out of the bottoms of the angle to make room for the speakers.

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Below is the 23" LCD monitor test fit onto the side support braces, since this monitor isn't VESA mountable it will be held in place with 3M heavy duty mounting tape.

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It will also be held in place by an aluminum angle support brace on the bottom, the brace sits just beneath the edge mounted monitor control buttons, so they are all still fully accessible.

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The 16" LCD monitor is VESA compatible, but I almost wish it weren't because 3M mounting tape would have been a lot easier than the home brewed VESA rigging I built for it.

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This next picture shows how my Franken-VESA mount attaches to the back box, the four LCD attachment points are actually recycled bits from the 40" HDTV I tore down earlier.

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Both monitors are shown test mounted below, since the front of the back box has a tapered edge the important and difficult thing is keeping everything lined up straight and even to the front edge.

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To mount the speakers I cut a piece of aluminum angle slightly smaller than the height of the speaker and then cut a piece of 1/4" acrylic the same length as the alum-angle but slightly wider than the speaker and used two screws to hold it together, it is mounted onto the back box side aluminum angle with four rivets.

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I will either use 3M mounting tape or Weld-on 16 to attach the speakers to the acrylic mounts I made. By cutting the bases off of the speakers I can get more left/right, up/down movement to better center them, unmodified the speakers sit tight to the 16" LCD monitor and level to the front edge as shown below.

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ARTbyTROY
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:52 pm

I cut a piece of MDF pressboard to fit the back side of the back box, then I measured out placement for two 120mm fans near the top of the panel.

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I used a dtremel to cut the holes and then cleaned up the edges with a dremel sanding bit, below shows a fan test fit and the fan controller that still needs modification.

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I drilled an 1/4" hole in the pressboard under each of the 120mm fan holes to accommodate the fan control knob posts, the following picture shows the new improved mounting method.

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Time to get back working on the Sapphire illusion, the first thing I did was make a mock up to get a better idea of how things will work. I made a design in Sketchup, bought a piece of foam backboard, then measured, cut out and taped together the four panels.

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Next the panels are test fit to the motherboard, which looks sweet...

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Then the panels get test fit inside the pinball table, which fits sweet...

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And the panels get test fit to make sure the position of the window decal template is correct, it lines up sweet...

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I took my Sapphire window design to Agnew Graphics, a local sign company, the price was reasonable and they did a good job cutting my design fast... and they even gave me a second (mulligan) decal free.

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AMD came through as well, the sponsored FX4170 processor arrived via FedEx today and it came housed in a sweet little green case, so big thanks go out to them.

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Muniosi
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by Muniosi » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:56 am

Wow man, how'd you get all these suppliers to send you parts?

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ARTbyTROY
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Re: Troy's Pinball - Arcade Sequel Build

Post by ARTbyTROY » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:31 am

Muniosi wrote:Wow man, how'd you get all these suppliers to send you parts?
Well, ten years ago I made a website www.CaseModGod.com, I have many CRAZY custom PC builds and a lot of other content, with that in place sponsors have a lot of prior work to judge whether or not sending hardware makes sense.

This is the first build I've done where anything has been sponsored so I am no expert, but from what I gather it boils down to how much positive exposure you can give their product.
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