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  • #90896
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    I like the double entendre but its just a working title: i don’t think it’s going to be any kind of Pinocchio theme visually or anything ;)

    :wacko:

    Anyway, I’ll post my progress reports here!

    Build specs:

    Frame – Virtuapin.eu Widebody cab + Trimmings

    Main gaming Rig – https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/RpT/saved/GtpxYJ

    Playfield – 43″ Acer ET430K 4K UHD Monitor

    Backglass – HP LP3065 30″

    Speakers – Creative A250 (2.1) Speaker System with Down-firing Ported Subwoofer

    DMD – NEC LCD 1501 (mounted upside down)

    Pinball mainboard : Pincontrol2

    Other Controller boards : Ultimarc Ultimate I/O controller (extra Lights, button lights and arcade controls). TEENSY32 + OCTO adapter (addressable LEDs)

    DOF POWER Supplies –

    Corsair HX1000 1000W 80+ Platinum Fully Modular Power Supply Unit – Goes to breakout board and to modified molex connectors for 12v/5v supplies.

    DC 5v universal regulated switching power supply, 5v 60A 300W – for addressable LED Matrix only!

    DV 24V 75W power supply.

     

    DOF Toys – 

    Flippers and slings (per flipper) – Siemens Sirius (small) x2 + 12v open frame push type solenoid (Chinese)

    Bumpers – Siemens Sirius (Large) 3x sets of 2x for combo bumpers (both mid and back bumper triggers on cab if either the mid or back bumper is hit in game)

    Strobe flasher – 4x 22 LED “flasher” LED (white). 2x up top, 2x inside the backbox (it’s a nice effect).

    5 bar flasher – created in the backbox using 12v LED strips

    Buttons – Ultimarc GoldLeaf RGB (they can be lit RGB by DOF from the ultimate i/o board using LEDBlinky)

    Blower Fan – 24v  4″ 235CFM Compact In Line Blower (bilge blower for a boat).

    Beacon – LTE-1081 12v LED rotate beacon (Red)

    Undercab – 12v LED strips x2 (for DOF). Will also add extra mood lighting in various places around the cab (not DOF linked) that can instead be controlled per application by the ultimate I/O board using LEDBlinky. For non-DOF things and extra light in menu. Also for a maintenance light inside the cab!

    Addressable LED matrix – Custom widebody matrix. 144/m LED, Alitove Ws2812b.  7 rows x 77 column LED matrix + Side rails (single 144/m strip each).

    Bell – Used a 12v open frame solenoid + Standard hotel call bell, Comsmart 3.9inch diameter. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XCS4QMY/ref=pe_3187911_185740111_TE_item

    Chime unit – McCullough’s Chime Unit. 24V coils x3.

    STERN Shaker Motor – shaker motor kit 502-5027-00 – SPIKE variant. There is a bespoke plug for this on the pincontrol 2 board which includes a diode so no need to even add one! Very handy!  :good:

    OTHER BITS (non DOF) – 

    Tilt Weight + Fixings – https://pinparts.co.uk/products/tilt-weight-with-fixings

    IL Euro Arcade Joystick With Cherry Microswitches

    Breakaway Audio enhancer (as per every machine I own since around 2001). Seriously, i love this software.

    LAOMAO Desktop Computer Case Switch With Dual USB Ports (power + reset button + front USB hub).

    …. about 6 miles of Gorilla tape handy roll – best tape ever!

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  -RpT. Reason: updated specs to include new toys and PSU!
    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  -RpT.
    • This topic was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  -RpT. Reason: updated parts
    • This topic was modified 1 week ago by  -RpT. Reason: toys update
    #90910
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    Excuse the candor here, it’s half past 2 in the morning and i can’t sleep,

    Future posts will not contain as much storytelling and may actually pose a threat of being helpful to someone. That being said, i do hope you enjoy it…  :whistle:

    <span style=”font-size: 18pt; font-family: helvetica, arial, sans-serif;”>IT BEGINS</span>

    Vital first step in achieving anything full size pinball table related where i live is the persuasion offensive. I named this approach “Operation Pin-get”. This is required so that my housemates believe that i’m serious about building a pinball… and that this is a viable undertaking and a result of years worth of careful thought…

    I have lived here many years and have been saying that I want to put a pinball table somewhere for many years so it has, in the end, become a very prolonged campaign. The repetition of harping on about pinball maybe helps here i feel, for those with a spouse or significant other however i believe there is certainly a tilt present in that game. Luckily I never found out where that tilt point was with any of my housemates!

    outline

    This is the final hammer strike. It came at the precise timing (once the opportunity occurred), goal being to make the leap from “wishy thinking” into cold firm “reality“. Now we can all visualize the space and how much a virtual pinball really shall enrich all of our lives once completed.

    To my pleasant surprise this has worked successfully;  Hannah (formally known as “sewing girl”; as present by the visible mess in the photo) has agreed to forfeit the space for now to allow the build to happen. Eventually this will be half games room and half sewing room and the pinball can be enjoyed by all (she does like pinball which helps). She’s actually taken really well to the idea and has now adopted the term “pin wench” as a daily moniker (her invention, not mine just to be clear)!

    Joking aside, it helps her too; she doesn’t use the room these days as it’s become too overwhelming so she really needed the reset!

    “Operation Pin-Get” is therefore a success.

    I quickly set about expunging all the dressmaking sh*t, at least into the living room and wherever else i can stack it (to be re-added at a later date, once the pin is built) so i can finally clean the room after several years of chaos. It now looks habitable again and i no longer need to go get tetanus shots after walking in there without shoes (sewing needles were everywhere)! niceroom

    delivery

    Flatpack cabinet arrived. Enjoying the woody smell of the maple when i go near it! Should be setting her up fairly soon (maybe tomorrow). Depends on when someone is free to give me a hand. Everyone is at the beach as it’s a heatwave right now! I’ll assume no-one wants to see unboxing photos of a cabinet flatpack but i have unboxed it all and very happy with the quality. Especially stoked to be holding the lockdown bar in my hands.

    gotwood

    Next – “Ebonizing” wood test.

    :RpT

    Attachments:
    #90954
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    “Ebonizing” wood test.

    Got this idea from a lot of searching online and thinking about it, does make sense… apparently a secret from the piano makers is to use a very particular black ink to “ebonize” the wood (i still don’t know if that’s a real word or not)! Made a quick video of the first testing. Currently have another drying and i will try the spray on sealant that i picked up today.

     

    Would be interested in anyone has any thoughts about this method of making wood black! Results of the 2nd test to follow in the next 24-48 hours (very interested to see how the inking looks once completely dried after a few coats and then protected…

     

    In the meantime starting on the windows install as my GPU showed up (completely forgot that Ryzen doesn’t have onboard graphics for a while there as I usually build from an Intel CPU)! Should be able to get all the legwork done on there this afternoon in terms of baseline software and pinball fx3 as a test (and to request cabinet mode from zen). Hooray for the steam sale as i got a pretty good discount  B-)

     

    #90963
     bord 
    Participant
    MembervipContributor

    Cool project. Keep us updated.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #90979
     BorgDog 
    Participant
    MemberContributorvip

    Looks like a cool way to make it black, I used black spray paint  :unsure:     I’m following along, always enjoy watching builds.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #90983
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Interesting using die like that…I knew the term and think I knew pianos were done that way too. But I just used black spray paint as well but this will be a very interesting project and I really like the way you did video  :good:

    looking forward to the next one

    ********************************************************
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    So if you haven't downloaded app yet what are you waiting for!?
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    #90986
     HauntFreaks 
    Moderator
    vipContributorMember

    Interesting using die like that…I knew the term and think I knew pianos were done that way too. But I just used black spray paint as well but this will be a very interesting project and I really like the way you did video :good:

    looking forward to the next one

    I rollered my cab, then sanded with a DA, then rollered again… then DA…. came out glass smooth…
    I also sealed the wood before with a thinned white glue… so the paint laid on without being sucked into the wood…

    #90987
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    Thanks all, glad it’s interesting :) Spray paint will be my fallback if this doesn’t work but i’m holding out hope based on results thus far. Did notice that i was getting brushmark on the sanded piece so in the end had to smooth that over with a cloth for the purpose of the test. Drying overnight then i will see how it looks with a coat of the spray on defense stuff i picked up earlier. Only really worried about the sides by the playfield – everything else will look fine i think as its out of sight, even if it is a little on the light side as long as it’s smooth and not weird looking!

    In the meantime i got the PC basically sorted in terms of windows 10, finally made the classic screens on the dining room table setup :D IMG-20180707-WA0015

    IMG-20180707-WA0013

    Chilling while i wait for a response from Zen on my cabinet mode key  B-)

    IMG-20180707-WA0023

    Very happy to have this stage all powered up! Will be getting started on installing some other software shortly (maybe tonight as i badly want to see how the playfield screen looks in game).  Also using a cheap 2.1 setup (about £30 creative labs – A250 ) which i’m hoping will actually serve the purpose. The secret sauce is a software called Breakaway Audio Enhancer.

    http://www.claessonedwards.com/home-audio/breakaway-audio-enhancer

    Really cleans up the sound and allows you to boost the bass to crazy levels if you like, uses the same kind of processing tricks that many radio stations adopt to account for music at different volumes etc. This probably warrants a topic of it’s own some day or a video but I have been swearing by this software for PC audio since i can remember.

    I’d eventually splash out on a better system if it turns out it’s needed when the cab is actually built but I’m really not expecting that to be necessary given the software. There’s an old expression in sound engineering (i was a live sound guy for 10+ years) – they say “you can’t polish a turd”. While i’ll agree that’s true this thing actually comes pretty close so on an average or good system you can really make it sing without a bunch of money spent or technical know-how.

    Here’s to hopefully saving 100-200 to spend elsewhere!  :good:

    breakaway_RpT_desktop

    Attachments:
    #91015
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Looks great actually! You going with pinup system for frontend?

    ********************************************************
    Messing with the VPinball app and push notifications.
    So if you haven't downloaded app yet what are you waiting for!?
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    #91034
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    @randr – definitely going the pinup route unless someone can give me a good reason not to!  From what i have seen so far it looks better and easier than pinballx (correct me if i’m wrong but those are the only 2 real contenders).

     

    #91037
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Pinup system is the way to go for sure. Pinballx might be a bit easier to setup initially But pinupsystem( popper ) is so much nicer to maintain and wow is it fast. I say try them both and decide for yourself! No reason not too :good:

    ********************************************************
    Messing with the VPinball app and push notifications.
    So if you haven't downloaded app yet what are you waiting for!?
    *******************************************************

    #91042
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    Its a good shout although knowing me i will get popper set up and then the tinkering begins… (as you can see i’m already making excuses not to try X)!

    Very interesting that you say PinballX is an easier setup as from what i could tell popper seemed more intuitive… and looks much quicker to work with once the basics are done :heart:

    Hobby before this was/is getting emulators working with Launchbox so i have that as reference… from what i see popper takes a different approach to LB and i was very intrigued to see that it uses SQL. I don’t know how to script in SQL currently, i know a few basics but am potentially going to be looking at it further (for work related reasons) over the coming years so could be some beautiful synergy there :)

    Thanks to TerryRed btw for the video tutorial!

    #91050
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    Reference to the best source i could find on the india ink debate if anyone’s interested. Ink method starts at around 21.00 but i watched the whole thing as i find it interesting and the presenter is great. I had seen some other bits before this but after watching this video i ordered the ink.

    Update on that from me coming soon with results from the test piece – it’s looking extremely promising thus far :)

    Thanks to the Woodturners of Southwest Missouri!

    #91080
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    Ink part 2. TLDR (video is a bit on the long side) = its looking really nice, i have a couple more tests to run but essentially it looks like i will be taking this option for the parts i need plain black. Testing a worse case scenario at the moment to see how bad it would be and another piece with some additional coat to see if i can go even darker still (not that I think it’s needed)… and just in case this is a lucky first attempt!

    Photo from head on

    IMG-20180708-WA0007

    Head on with flash

    IMG-20180708-WA0010

    Side View

    IMG-20180708-WA0014

    Attachments:
    #91314
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    IMG_20180710_202957
    Finally 3 screens work correctly after some kerfuffle, an adapter and a new DP cable. Pinball FX3 running in cab mode so finally got to play something! Playfield screen looks great in action so it’s been a good day.

     

    Immediate problems now are monitor mounting related. In terms of the backbox monitors; Adjustments will be needed to the case as the 32 inch monitor is too wide (this was expected), it’s looking like either decase + dado or leave it cased and cut slots but this will fill the area nicely once installed. Also then need to determine the best place for the small dmd monitor.

    As for the playfield it’s the other issue as it’s narrower than a widebody by a couple of centimeters each side. Although this is the one major compromise i’m making with the build, I’m not so worried about this in terms of the playing experience as it’s a great screen and very responsive however i do need to figure out how best to mount the thing, decide if said mount should be adjustable or not and how to deal with the side bars (to best work with the addressable LED’s which i will definitely be attempting and use the space).

    Getting away with having the PC out on the dining room table for a while so it’s nice to be able to work on the hardware and software simultaneously… I’ll be chipping away at it every day (hopefully not literally).

    Attachments:
    #92378
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    IMG-20180716-WA0006

    IMG-20180716-WA0004

    Backbox (mostly) constructed, filled and sanded now with the first coat of ink. Went for application with a lint-free cloth (as recommended in my local hardware shop here in Brighton) which has made it a lot easier as it’s just dumping ink on the wood and spreading it with the cloth. Shall see how it looks tonight as will be fully dry and give it a 2nd coat or if it’s looking fine still the spray on clear matt finish that i tested previously. Probably everyone i know both online and off wishes i would STFU about the india ink already! ;-)

     

    Further decisions made and after much soul-searching (and a lucky find) I’m repurposing the 32″ monitor for console gaming upstairs (so not cutting slots into the back-cab as likely would have been a disaster). I have found a 30″ monitor on ebay which should be a perfect fit so all being well i can start to plan out the internal monitor layout later in the week (fingers crossed). :good:

    These things seem to be hard to find nowdays as everyone has given up on making new 4:3 monitors for the most part… will be a good shape for a backglass i think though! Next challange will be mounting the screens securely in the backbox which likely will be some kind of shelf type deal as the clearence is pretty tight…

     

    We have a house inspection coming soon which is going to put a halt on things during next week but following that i’m on holiday so planning to get things moving again… Still need a 2nd pair of hands to construct the cab so hoping to get a friend involved soon (a bribe might be in order). I’ll be a lot happier once that’s constructed!

    #93026
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    Hit a bit of a snag as I was prepping the main cabinet. Only one of the sides got the grove cut for the glass trim!  :cry:

    IMG_20180719_210835

    IMG_20180719_210856

    Pretty unacceptable mistake given the huge premium paid to not have to worry about this kind of thing but sometimes these things happen i suppose… Virtuapin have responded and are apparently buying me a router and bit for me to make the cut myself… this is the least they can do in my opinion but to look on the bright side that might come in handy later in the build too once i learn how to use it (i’m thinking for fitting the LEDs)!!!

    I’ll reserve full judgement on Virtaupin until the matter is resolved… let’s just say at this point I can’t recommend them – there were other discrepancies with the kit, just so happens this is the only one I care about! On the flipside and to be fair the parts that WERE as advertised are of good quality and i think it’s all going to be fine in the end.

    A lot of extra stress and hassle however and this has delayed the progress I was intending to make by a week or two given other circumstances in the house that I need to work around. Can’t believe i didn’t spot this a week earlier but have been focused on the backbox.

    EDIT – VirtuaPin have fully resolved the problems I had and speaking to Paul (the main operator there) I believe this was a one-off mistake. Regarding the other problems I believe this was down to the EU people that handled the order dropping the ball in terms of sending all the information, leading to setting incorrect expectations. They have received blunt feedback so i would expect the issues to be resolved going forwards and can therefore recommend the kit overall.

    Now to counter the problems – here’s pinwench testing out FX3 for me – main playfield screen looking great (this is filmed from the worst possible angle in the daytime) – it looks way better in person of course!

     

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/NgubtBNP8cw

     

    Next post, mounting monitors in the backbox  :good:

    #93029
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    Backbox screens are fitting perfectly (the replacement to the oversized 32″ arrived in all its 30″ glory and they are snug as you like)! My approach here is to use the spacers and bits that came with the virtuapin kit to build layer at a time as they need to be stacked on top of each other. *seems* strong enough but if anyone can spot any problems with my approach please let me know!

    Pics:

    IMG_20180721_172329

    ^^ Checking it all fits

     

    IMG_20180721_185557

    ^^ Cut some spare trim my housemate had and sanded it to make a space for the DMD monitor to wedge. Monitor is mounted upside down so its nice and flat to the bottom of the casewhich I’m pretty sure wont be a problem for the frontend (or even windows for that matter). Not all of it will be visable, in fact i’ll likely mount LEDs for the middle flasher over the bottom part of the screen (thinking a little way ahead).

    IMG_20180721_203700

    The lighter color part is going to be holding the weight of the top monitor essentially. Three 1+1/4″ screws a piece and a dab of wood glue on the ends for good measure. Seems pretty strong (hope it holds up), I might even doubly re-enforce in some way before all’s said and done but it was holding the weight without issue on testing…

    IMG_20180721_235219

    ^^ Top piece from the kit a good size to keep the monitor held in place without covering the screen. Will need something else to keep it securely in place i think like latch (still deciding on that). Could ink this stuff aswell but don’t really have to it’s all going to be covered with some kind of bezel in the end (i probably still will do it to protect and seal the wood)!

    IMG_20180721_235239

    ^^ Not the intended use for these “spacer” pieces from the kit but they make absolute certainty the DMD can’t unseat. Also good for airflow and to ensure that the cables don’t get trapped between the two screens (the buttons for the lower panel are in an exposed position given the upside-down mounting). Just glued there for now but will follow up with some panel pins tomorrow as they look too thin for screws.

     

    Will do what I can tomorrow then need to sideline the build until next weekend due to landlord visits etc… Some kind of shelf for the speakers is probably the next thing but with room to swap them out should i need to upgrade in the future. And also need to design something to lock/unlock the backglass monitor where needed.

    #93032
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Looking good! Sorry about the quality of the flat pack but sounds like they are going to make that part right at least

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    Messing with the VPinball app and push notifications.
    So if you haven't downloaded app yet what are you waiting for!?
    *******************************************************

    #93102
     -RpT 
    Participant
    Member

    I should probably expand on the flatpack comments in the interest of fairness:

     

    It does sound like they are going to straighten things out which I’m happy to give them the opportunity to do so… it’s really in their best interests anyway as i’m covered by Paypal here and would be shocked if I didn’t get at least a partial refund if I have to go that route.  I don’t enjoy the conflict and don’t intend to make a big drama out of any negative feedback I may have…  At the same I’m not about to be taken advantage of so it can be a delicate situation to balance!

    Most importantly, as I have chosen to document the build on these fine forums I feel it’s very important to show the warts and all outcome – mistakes I have made (like picking up an incorrect monitor, derp) and also if there are problems along the way with any products! Certainly wouldn’t want to sugar-coat something if there’s a chance another first time builder is reading this and making choices about where to spend on a build. Consumers should be able to make an informed choice, important these days more than ever IMO and I know my own behavior prior to starting this was to go and find every build log i possibly could as reference.

    I will re-itterate here for anyone reading, Virtuapin have been communicative and I’m happy in theory with their proposal to provide the tools needed to complete the kit (still need clarification on logistics). Given the nature of the product it’s understandable that returns/replacements are extremely difficult and this was probably just an oversight in the first place. That being said there are a few places where they can easily improve their QA to avoid problems like this in the future so once resolved I will be giving them several friendly suggestions along those lines.

    I’ll likely be doing an over-view build video when the machine is fully complete and I still have strong hopes that I will be able to ultimately recommend the Virtuapin flatpack to others once the dust has settled!

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