I am very limited on funds, but needed a way to play pinball. I came up with this design that uses my gaming laptop as the backglass and brains, and a 19 inch tv that I got for free for the playfield. I built a box to house everything using leftover 1/2 inch plywood from my arcade control panel. I made an angled bracket to mount the tv at an 11 degree pitch with room for the laptop keyboard to fit underneath. The laptop is then propped up on hinged support to raise the monitor above the playfield. All of the buttons were salvaged from an old arcade machine that has since been converted to MAME. Buttons are wired to an Ipac 2 that I’ve had for years and have used in several other projects. The buttons will eventually all be wired to my Arduino Pro Micro that I’m using for the plunger, but I haven’t gotten to that yet. As soon as I need the Ipac for something else, I’ll jump on that.
The whole system sets up and breaks down very quickly and easily, so this could be a good option for smaller spaces. I use my main laptop for this, so I didn’t need to buy another PC.
This is a tabletop system, but I like playing while sitting on the sofa, so I built a 16 inch tall stand for it using scrap wood.
I also developed a new plunger for this build that emulates a USB mouse. For information, links to parts, and FREE files for the plunger, visit https://bit.ly/diy_pinball_shooter.