TV Decased and fit into machine

Posted by Frank | Posted in Pinball, Research, Work | Posted on 05-04-2012-05-2008

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Well I got a bug up my ass and decided to decase the tv today and test fit it into the machine. I have been holding off on order the rest of the parts till I did this. My thought was if I didn’t have to move the plunger that I would, but if I didn’t move the plunger I would have to get slightly more expensive buttons. It would have cost me around $30 for the four flipper buttons rather than $12. I wasn’t liking that. So Upon test fitting the television I felt that the tv was dangerously close to the plunger. If I was to put flashers in the back of the playfield then the plunger would have¬†definitely¬†been in the way. Because of this I decided to move the plunger and order the cheaper buttons. I should also state that this was possibly one of the scariest things I have ever done. I mean if I broke something it was my fault, I had to eat the cost of the tv. I am pleased to say though that it was really quite simple and after around 30 minutes it was decased and sitting in the machine.

More rust removal

Posted by Frank | Posted in Pinball, Research, Work | Posted on 02-04-2012-05-2008

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This weekend I worked on rust removal again. This time I figured I would tackle the nails on the side rail and the lockdown bar mechanism. I neglected to take pictures of the mechanism before and I appologize. I did remember to snap pics of the nail heads. I taped around the nail heads to keep the naval jelly from getting on the side rails. I find that this stuff is great at removing rust but tends to stain metal. Well it didn’t remove the rust this time. I let it sit for 30 minutes and nothing. I ended up lightly sanding with 200 grit paper and the nails cleaned up pretty good.

For the lockdown bar mechanism I used naval jelly and it took the rust right off. Lightly sanded it with the 200 then 800 grit to remove the grime. I assume that some beer or pop was spilled on this machine at some point. Unfortunately I only snapped one picture. And that is of how I taped off the nail. I still have work to do on this stuff. I will be sure to snap a picture or two of that once it is done.

Nudging and analog plunger on a budget

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

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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.