Pinball Related Progress

Earlier in the week I ordered a few parts that I needed for the switch matrix of the machine. To give you a little sneak peak of what’s to come, I’ll let you know that it involves 10 CD4021BE chips and a lot of buttons. I just recieved them Saturday afternoon so it’s a bit early to say for sure how awesome they are (I’m pretty sure they will be super awesome). I’m hoping to connect at least 16 buttons/switches using 2 CD4021BE chips and 3 pins on the propeller chip.

I’ve also decided that I want to get a real machine. Not to salvage, but to get dimensions and an idea of how things are positioned on the playfield. I want to get a better understanding on how the flipper system and the ball kickers work. If you have or know where I can get a cheap machine, please let me know.

As far as the machine design I’ve made a few changes and ‘maybe’ changes. The biggest change is that I’m tossing around the idea about nixing the 7″ LCD on the head. I’m not sure of what it can add to the head that a nice back glass can’t. We’ll see what I can work out. I figured the design part was going to be the most difficult task. So far I’m proving myself right 🙂

I haven’t forgotten about open sourcing pinball. I picked out the wiki software and got it all setup. I’m struggling getting through the documention on how to customize it now. I swear there has to be a million sperate options to customize. On top of that I’m working on getting information in the system before it goes public. If you’d like to help contribute to the wiki before it goes public send me an email ( or leave a comment and let me know that you’re interested. I’ll give you access and help you get started.

So there you have it, quite a few things going on this past week, and a lot more to come. As long as everything goes to plan, I should have schematics and code up for the switch matrix and a few more sketches up this week. If I get lucky I’ll have another update on the open source community project.

Author: Jeremy

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3 comments until now

  • Hey good to see someone is working on something similar… I’m the capitol lounge pinball guy and from my website it probaby looks like I’ve given up on the project. The answer is anything but. Some how my webserver is corrupted and I’ve asked by server company to strip the site and files so I can fix that crap.

    Here is where I’m at with my project right now. I have the cabinet all painted and ready to go. I decided at the end of the year my project would be built on an existing playfield rather then cobbling it all together from scratch. I purchased a rollergames playfield that was populated (couple things missing, but almost complete). I put the hinges into the cabinet last weekend and I have all of the solenoids in place to be wired. I’m pushing forward with two different ways to wire them. I’m hardwiring (no computer interface) all of the solenoids I need to be fast acting. This set would include slings, pops, and flippers. The other solenoids (kickers and such) that need to be triggered by the computer will be ran through several relays. Opto22 Ocd5. I haven’t tested this hypothisis but it should work.

    Since you are starting out, I have two pieces of advice. laying out your own playfied is more difficult then I thought it would be. Stupid things like the routing of all the switch slits can go wrong and the whole thing if farked then.

    I have also changed my theme. I’m somewhat like you. I’m going with my university now because I’m going to have it in my mancave themed the university so it’ll fit in. Please keep in touch.

    By kendall van pool January 30, 2009 @ 7:53 AM
  • oh and also. I will post my code when I’m finished. Open source it baby. However, on the programming side I have to admit I usually don’t play by the commenting rules that much.

    By kendall van pool January 30, 2009 @ 10:17 AM
    • It’s really great to see that you’re still making progress. I look forward to seeing the details and the finished product.

      I agree that the a custom playfield is going to be the hardest part about the machine. But I’m looking at it as an opportunity to provide ideas, pitfalls and advice to others that want to venture down this path.

      By Jeremy February 1, 2009 @ 11:43 AM

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