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Digital Pinball Machine
by tbarklay on March 13, 2011 Table of Contents Digital Pinball Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intro: Digital Pinball Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 1: Setting up the monitors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 2: Setting up the software. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 3: Building the cabinet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 4: Putting it all together. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 5: Finishing everything up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 8

http://www.instructables.com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/

Most people say Windows XP is best. but 2 is ideal. and need a lot of maintenance. available here in Australia. the advantage of digital pinball is that it's cheap to maintain. relatively cheap to build and you can have as many tables as have been created. you will need: .A monitor for the backglass . . they're available at the above links. but pinball machines are so expensive.timber . a 37" LCD TV is your best bet.instructables. . . and here in the USA. If you want to replicate the size of a real pinball machine.arcade buttons and wire.a fast dual core is better than a not as fast quad core. these are the key components. as the software only uses 2 cores anyway.A computer.com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/ . .I used 19mm MDF. . A number of people have built cabinets. I used 6 buttons.A monitor for your playfield . http://www. 1 Gig of Ram is OK.the software: Visual Pinball is the emulation software.I wanted to keep costs down. the i-pac is your best bet. so I went with a smaller option . Future Pinball and Hyperpin.A keyboard encoder. but there are plenty of smaller things I use along the way. and the front end that dresses it up and makes it playable on the cabinet is hyperpin. With the creation of software such as Visual Pinball. and the Hyperpin Forums are a great place to get all the information.Intro: Digital Pinball Machine I'm a pinball fan from way back. Here's a step by step on how to configure the software. wiring kits save a lot of hassle crimping connectors on wires. you'll need a pretty decent graphics card with dual monitor capabilities and a pretty decent processor . each coming with it's own microswitch. Digital pinball cabinets are a reality.I went with a 19". and can be made quite cheaply.a 24" Asus monitor. build the cabinet and wire it all together. .

go to control panel/Appearance and Themes/Change the screen resolution. this is pretty easy.".com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/ . Click "identify" to make sure your playfieild monitor is 1 and Backglass monitor is 2.. On Windows XP. the first thing you need to do is configure the monitors. http://www. then set the resolution for both screens to the true resolution of monitor 1 (1280x1024 is a safe bet).instructables.. make sure monitor 2 is on the left of monitor one.Step 1: Setting up the monitors. then click on monitor 2 and check "extend my windows desktop.

there's a great thread in the vp forums that gives a good step by step on setting up Visual pinball with links to the relevant downloads. make sure they are full screen cabinet tables. it becomes pretty easy. restart the program. and if you need to troubleshoot. Find it here. usually games after 1978)</type> </game> once you get the hang of it.instructables. unfortunately. because the first time emulates a system restore for the table and needs to reboot. your screen resolution selected and 1024 selected in texture dimensions (see image below). next download some tables. your software configuration is complete. got to video option and make sure you have full screen checked. look in the 'ROM set name' box and it will tell you the name of the rom you need.Agents 777 and Airborne. alot of tables only have one ROM.. probably the trickiest part is editing the xml database that dictates what games show up. In the left tool bar. install Hyperpin. so its worth checking it out first..VPT FILE HERE"> <description>NAME OF MEDIA HERE</description> <manufacturer>MANUFACTURER</manufacturer> <year>YEAR</year> <type>EM(electromagnetic. then they won't work in hyperpin). once everything is set up. usually games before 1978) OR SS(solid state. download it and add it to. here is an example of a database: <menu> <game name="16-9 Agents 777"> <description>Agents 777 (Game Plan 1984)</description> <manufacturer>Game Plan</manufacturer> <year>1984</year> <type>SS</type> </game> <game name="16-9 Airborne"> <description>Airborne (Capcom 1996)</description> <manufacturer>Capcom</manufacturer> <year>1996</year> <type>SS</type> </game> </menu> this database would show two tables in hyperpin . READ IT! FOLLOW IT! setting up hyperpin can be a bit tricky. click yes and the game is ready to play. you could also download all the roms for the particular table. first download and install Visual pinball. note this is a very time consuming process. sometimes you need to open the game twice. try to play the game again. once hyperpin is installed navigate to the hyperpin folder and there is a really good help file there on setting everything up. if you don't open each table once in VP. quit to editor and then play the game again. add the tables to the tables folder in the Visual Pinball. once the rom is in the right spot. go to file/open and open a table. you'll get a legal agreement pop up.Step 2: Setting up the software. next. http://www. so it's important to follow the help file.visual pinball/vpinmame/roms. the hyperpin forum is the best place to go.com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/ . and you have opened each game at least once in visual pinball (this is very important. it will come up with a box telling you you need a rom to play the game. just press escape. this is the only way I know of to find the right rom set. select play. you can download it here (you'll need to create a free account). here is a database entry proforma: <game name="INSERT NAME OF . open Visual Pinball.

because I'm trying to design collapsable legs that will still be able to take the weight of the cabinet. fill in all the gaps and holes with spakling compound. i designed mine based on a NES controller coffee table I built. sand it back. you can move onto the next step . more on that in the next step. but it can be expensive.electronics. so when I attached the speakers behind. so I can take it to parties.getting professionally printed graphics is probably the most aesthetically pleasing method. even finish. smooth. this will create a nice. etc. If you want to paint it a solid colour.Step 3: Building the cabinet. screw everything together. apply another coat. I wanted spacers on my flipper buttons. finally. you can acheive a smooth finish by first spraying it with primer. http://www. the plans for my cab are in a picture below. for the button holes. i want to be able to pack it up and put it in the boot of a car in 15 minutes.I'd use even lengths of 4x4 bolted and braced on each inside corner.com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/ . and then a coat of satin black or whatever spray you want. and sand and paint another 2 or 3 times. you can decorate your cabinet any way you choose . so I used a 25 mm spade bit. all other holes were 28mm. I then drilled grill holes in the back and bottom panels for fans (1 on the back. once you have everything painted.instructables. I haven't yet attached legs to my cabinet. you may want to adjust button holes for your own hands. I used a drill and jigsaw to create a rectangular hole in the top panel for the cables of the backglass monitor to go through. the sound would travel through. I also wanted to put my small computer speakers in the cabinet.this is so I'd have access to my computer front panel. notice I left a 20cm gap at the back . if you don't need your cabinet to be portable. then sand it back nice and smooth. then build sturdy legs for it . two on the bottom: 120 mm fans with 4-pin connectors to plug into the computer's power supply). so I drilled a series of small holes in each of the side panels.

just insert and twist so the switch lines up with the button mechanism). keeping the computer and playfield monitor outside the cabinet. so I took the speakers themselves out of the case and attached them straight to the side of the cabinet. I just used usb powered speakers. once the wires were all in place. I used small angle brackets to lock it in. finish it all up. etc and all the power leads. keyboard encoder. I placed the playfield monitor into the cabinet. turning on the computer. it basically assigns the right keys to the right ports in the i-pac. I tested out visual vinball first and then hyperpin to make sure that all the buttons were working. placed the computer inside the cabinet and attached the fans and speakers to where they need to go. I put a surge protected powerboard into the cabinet. but I felt brackets were a slightly sturdier option. I inserted the buttons in the button holes and then attached the microswitches (this is super easy .instructables. once everything was connected. once the cabinet was painted. This is a really intuative program that's easy to follow. depending on what they are. should attach to each other and then the power supply in the computer.Step 4: Putting it all together. I recommend buying wiring kits from one of the arcade stores I mentioned in the intro. once the i-pac is configured. this will most likely come on a cd with the i-pac). http://www. do this for each button. once everything was in order I shut down. I used angle brackets to screw the backglass monitor to the top panel. then use a single wire to attach the NO (normally open) to an empty port on the i-pac. the fans. You could also attach the stand it came with. first you daisy chain the black wire to the 'com' ('common' or ground) on all the microswitches and finish at the 'ground' on the top of the i-pac keyboard encoder (see image below). I attached the monitors. next we. for wiring the microswitches to the keyboard encoder. I ran winiPac (software for configuring the ipac.com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/ . it makes life a heck of a lot easier.

and i've ordered some mercury switches so I can hopefully add nudge capabilities to the cabinet. Im still working on the legs. the last thing I did was build a bezel around the monitor using 2mm mdf. I used the little feet from the bottom of a bookshelf to attach the bezel to the cab and then painted them black. definately check out the visual pinball forums and the hyperpin forums.that's because Hyperpin is accesing visual pinball. here is a link to the video of the machine in action . If you are thinking about building a cabinet for yourself. as I mentioned before. finally I cut out trangles from an old mouse pad and glued them on the corners for palm rests. you'll notice the first game takes about 30 seconds to load up . http://www.I apologies for the average quality. and I hope you enjoyed the instructable.com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/ .instructables. each subsequent game only takes 5-7 seconds to load. feel free to ask any questions you may have.Step 5: Finishing everything up.

instructables. OK. Mar 17.] Have fun! cowtasticfilms says: I love this. 6:58 AM REPLY http://www.Related Instructables home made pinball machine by justindouthat Hacking simple unprotected Games by Radioedit420 windows pinball cheat by peach_fart Episode 12: The Arcade Coffee Table (video) by StupidInventions Episode 13: The Hidden Bookshelf Arcade (video) by StupidInventions Episode 35: The Arcade Lounge Chair (video) by StupidInventions Comments 18 comments Add Comment skrubol says: Wouldn't folding legs. Great work. similar to folding table legs be the simplest way to make it portable? Or you could go with removable legs held in by a set screw or a couple bolts. Enter. Windows home screen is disabled! . 10:36 AM REPLY Laybows says: Mar 17. 2011. I am inspired to make one.com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/ . 2011. Reboot. Autorun Services > No GUI start check. 8:42 AM REPLY Windows > Run: msconfig. 2011. Mar 17.

2:13 PM REPLY It is nice to see a more affordable virtual pinball build.howstuffworks. 9:38 PM REPLY badbradmx says: Mar 16. 5:11 PM REPLY tbarklay says: thanks! you have no idea how fun it is to play.. 2011. 5:33 PM REPLY BrianHanifin says: Mar 15. I'll let you know how it goes when I get them. 2011.no fuss. 9:55 PM REPLY i understand most pinball machines just use a simple weighted pendulum that swings inside a conductive ring.com/gif/pinball-machine-pendulum. 2011. would add some extra awesomeness to the already awesome setup SHIFT! says: SWEET Job! Please post a video of it in action! Mar 15. 9:10 PM REPLY http://www. 4:44 PM REPLY tbarklay says: there's a video here: http://www. and mercury switches are small. SimpleinSeattle says: Video is private. pretty simple to do too. tbarklay says: Mar 15. but at this stage the mercury switches seem the best option for my cabinet. so that didn't cost me anything. 2011. electronics: $140 hardware: $50 total: $455 apothus says: Mar 14. 10:17 PM REPLY Not necceserily.com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/ . Switch is they're cheap. here's a breakdown: playfield monitor $215 Backglass monitor: $50 second hand on ebay computer : I was using a recently replaced computer. Mar 14. apothus says: Possibly. Mar 14. 2011. He is building collapsable legs into his cabinet design.instructables. but gives you the general idea. My only concern is finding the balance between to sensitive and not sensitive enough. 2011. 6:08 PM REPLY why dont you hack the loading screens of windows? make it show something cool instead of the usual boring ones. similar in function to the "dont touch the wire" skill testers Surely that would be easier to setup than a mercury switch? tbarklay says: Mar 14. but a careful ebayer could pick up the components fairly cheaply. 10:35 PM REPLY this is the tilt system inside our road show machine we have at home. Mar 16. you can wire them straight into the keyboard encoder and the ones I bought mount straight onto the inside of the cabinet . 2011. I'm sure (or hit up all your friends . 12:28 AM REPLY I guess for me space is a big issue as well. the connections should be the same as the mercury switch. plenty of sites for them.. you should check out what Ben Heck is doing with his new custom pinball machine build. then yeah. To you give us a rough estimate on how much you spent on hardware and materials? As for folding legs.gif tbarklay says: Mar 15.TOCO says: This is the coolest instructable I have sceen in a while! Mar 16. I'll go for a tilt-bob. 2011. The advantage with a merc. 2011. 2011. http://static. If the suck.. 2:19 PM REPLY Yeah it was pretty cheap..youtube. 2011. 2011. i just have a thing for big heavy mechanical things.no doubt someone is about to replace their pc!). Id love to rebuild and older electro mechanical.com/watch?v=aX2ik8TjjB0 not the best quality. Mar 14. Mar 15. 2011. there's not much of it inside the cabinet. 8:59 PM REPLY tbarklay says: fixed.

2011.com/id/Digital-Pinball-Machine/ . 2:28 PM REPLY i Mentioned at the end that i've ordered some mercury switches that should do the job. but not enough to double nudge for a tilt. the trick will be to set them up so they are sensitive enough to register a nudge. 2011.laxap says: Awesome! What about a tilt sensor? Mar 14. http://www.instructables. 1:23 PM REPLY tbarklay says: Mar 14.

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