Nudging and analog plunger on a budget

Posted by Frank | Posted in Controls, Pinball, Research | Posted on 28-03-2012-05-2008


While building a virtual pinball machine you need to consider how you would like to control it. There are many many options out there. For me a requirement was nudging (not with buttons but with actually hitting the machine) and a real plunger for launching the ball. Sure some machines use a launch button (tales from the crypt comes to mind) but many many more used a standard mechanical plunger. Apparently you can use different game controllers for the analog plunger. At first I tried using an xbox controller that I soldered a usb connection to but for some reason this wouldn’t work. Not sure why, still want to get to the bottom of this. At the same time that I bought the xbox controller I also purchased a Sidewinder Freestyle Pro from ebay. This would allow the nudging. Little did I know that visualpinball can only use one controller so there went that idea. Even still the xbox controller didn’t work. After many nights of frustration (and plenty of help from a guy known as blur) I decided to try a ps2 controller. Low and behold the plunger worked! It was after I had this working that the talks of nudging came in. Apparently people will flip over the controller and glue a length of lead pipe about 11 inches long to the left thumb stick. This provides the nudging. Great, was all ready to do that until another member koadic mentioned that the ps3 sixaxis controller could support nudge as well as mechanical plunger. I set out to test this and found it to work satisfactory so I ordered a broken one from ebay and am now waiting for it to come in. Will report more on this once I have the controller in hand.

First order in to Bob Roberts

Posted by Frank | Posted in Arcade, Orders, Pinball, Tools | Posted on 27-03-2012-05-2008



I have placed my first Bob Roberts order. Did this some time last night. The check is written and will be in the mail at some point today (I hope). Excited to finally order from this legend. Got a few tools and some other parts. Unfortunately he was sold out of the leaf switch adjustment tools. Oh well, next time. Here is what I ordered.

2 – .093 Plug & receptacle 6 position w pins & sockets
2 – .093 Plug & receptacle 9 position w pins & sockets
1 – All-in-one HT-1921 crimpers
1 – Molex manual pin/socket extractors .093 – Occasional Use
1 – Pcb mounting feet (4)
1 – Video Game Leg Levelers (4)

Before and after shots of legs

Posted by Frank | Posted in Pinball, Restoration, Work | Posted on 27-03-2012-05-2008


So one of my friends wanted a before and after shot. Here it is. The legs went right back in the same position after I polished them with aluminum foil and water. Amazing eh?

Would you check out those sexy legs!

Posted by Frank | Posted in Pinball, Restoration, Work | Posted on 21-03-2012-05-2008


I am not going to lie. When I got my cabinet the legs were horrible. They were covered in rust and where the chrome was still showing through, they were not very shiny. Enter the aluminum foil and water trick. You read that right, aluminum foil and water. To do this I took the foil, loosely wadded it up, dipped it in water, then started scrubbing. Every thing I read online said that I should start rubbing lightly but that didn’t work fast enough for me, so I started applying some pressure. The results were amazing! After about 20 seconds the legs started to get covered in blackish water and I could feel the legs were getting smoother. After I washed away the black mess I was amazed at what I saw. Apparently this works because (this is what the inter says, so take it with a grain of salt) aluminum oxide is easier to form than the iron oxide. Rubbing it against the legs transfers the oxygen from the metal onto the aluminum. As a side product of this you get the black water which apparently works great as a polish too. If you enlarge the picture you can see that there is still some pitting in the metal and a little rust left. I have no doubt that I can get this buffed out completely. I only spent about 5 minutes total on this leg. One thing to watch out for is my hand was stained blackish blue for the rest of the night and into today. Next leg I do I will try to remember to take a before and after shot.

List of must have tables

Posted by Frank | Posted in Pinball | Posted on 19-03-2012-05-2008


I have been thinking of tables that I must have. Have the start of a nice list. I am sure it will grow as time goes by. So here it is (in no particular order).

  • Theatre of Magic
  • Cirqus Voltaire
  • Black Knight
  • Addams Family
  • White Water
  • Cyclone
  • Tales From the Crypt
  • Twilight Zone
  • Xenon
  • Dracula
  • Big Bang Bar
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Cohort’s New Pinbody

Posted by Frank | Posted in Pinball, Story | Posted on 18-03-2012-05-2008


Well, I picked up another empty pinball body today. This one is for Pierce (he loves his arcade machine btw). It is an old unknown William and the head doesn’t match. Doesn’t matter either way. I really like the art on the body but unfortunately didn’t take any pics of it yet. Going to deliver it to him on Sunday I think.

Playfield tv has been purchased.

Posted by Frank | Posted in Orders, Pinball | Posted on 11-03-2012-05-2008


I purchased the tv for the playfield today. It was a smooth transaction. The tv was found on craigslist. It is a 37 inch LG IPS panel television. I bought it for $360 and it was delivered to my apartment. Can’t complain there. Now to decase it, that scares me.

Pinball Machine Progress Update #1

Posted by Frank | Posted in Pinball, Work | Posted on 09-03-2012-05-2008


I have been working on the machine when I find the time. Most of my work so far has been on the head. I have removed the bulb holders and all the metal brackets; I think I will leave the flashing inside though. The glass has been removed from the body, wrapped in cardboard and stashed behind the arcade machine for now. I have not really bought any parts for the cabinet yet but I may actually be picking up a brand new LG IPS screen for the play field soon.

I have decided that one of the previous owners has destroyed the art to the point of it needing redone. I intend to buy some tracing paper and make a stencil and repaint the entire thing. We will see how that goes. Someone at work was nice enough to give me a quart of yellow, red, and blue. All of them look pretty close (if not dead on) to what I will need paint wise. We shall see how this goes. Because of the refinishing I am going to have to remove the side raids and coin door as well. Probably will get that taken care of this weekend, still trying to find the tracing paper.

New Project Emerging

Posted by Frank | Posted in Pinball, Work | Posted on 05-03-2012-05-2008


This blog has fallen stagnant simply because this was never meant to be an ongoing thing. It was simply to show how I set up my arcade machine, which it mostly did. I have done things that I didn’t put on here. I still intend on restoring the cabinet entirely. At any rate, I have started a new project. It is a pinball machine. Restoration is in the planning stages. Hopefully it moves swiftly. Full detailed pickup story to come.