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Thread: Cabinet Builds

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    Senior Member ND3G's Avatar
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    TPA Cabinet/Controller Builds

    I am interested in building a custom pinball controller for the PC/Console version of TPA. At some point down the road I want to build a dedicated cabinet but that will probably have to wait a few years.

    Anyways, at first I was thinking about getting the Nanotech Mot-Ion adapter (nudge, bump) and digital plunger kit. This would be a PC only solution. Note: There is no way to ensure that it will be compatible with TPA at present.

    Nanotech



    But I have heard that some people are less than thrilled with the results using it for Visual Pinball.
    After a bit more searching I came across two solutions that I think might do the trick.

    For nudging and bumping people seem to have had a lot of success using TILT plum bobs (the same devices in a real pinball table). I assume the three screws would be wired to the left, right, and up-axis of the left analog thumb stick on a gamepad PCB board and the screws would be threaded in or out to adjust sensitivity.


    You can get one from Pinball Life.

    For the plunger, I found a few interesting designs but this one seemed the most straight forward and issue free. It uses the right thumb stick of a Microsoft Sidewinder.



    For the flipper and magna save buttons, I plan on using:



    and Leaf Switches



    Leaf Switches are very important for pinball because they have very fast activation/deactivation and they offer much less resistance than regular joystick buttons. The absence of micro switches also means your controller will not click like a typewriter when you are playing.

    The buttons and Switches can be found at Virtuapin. Make sure you get the nylon nuts as well to secure them. They also build video pinball cabinets if anyone is interested.

    What are your thoughts/suggestions?
    Last edited by ND3G; 03-01-2012 at 03:25 PM.

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    I made my own cab, although it was a donor (sorry Radical). I used all the original parts from the cab, even the plunger, so may be easier and quicker to use a donor. For nudging I used mercury switches, so you can actually nudge the table, instead of using buttons. Your best bet for advise is to head over to http://www.hyperspin-fe.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=38. There's many a folk making cabs and give great advise also.

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    Senior Member ND3G's Avatar
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    Mercury switches would work but in the end they just emulate the plum bob. How do you calibrate the switches? If it has to be done using software it would probably be a PC only solution.

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    Senior Member ND3G's Avatar
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    Thanks to Craigs suggestion I went to hyperspin and found a genius idea from a member called blur. Instead of mercury switches, plumb bobs, mot-Ion, etc you can simply turn a controller upsidedown, attach a weight to the left thumb pad (which controls nudging). Then when you nudge the table the weight moves the thumb pad.

    The best part is that it is analog, not digital so the strength of your nudge can be translated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ND3G View Post
    Thanks to Craigs suggestion I went to hyperspin and found a genius idea from a member called blur. Instead of mercury switches, plumb bobs, mot-Ion, etc you can simply turn a controller upsidedown, attach a weight to the left thumb pad (which controls nudging). Then when you nudge the table the weight moves the thumb pad.

    The best part is that it is analog, not digital so the strength of your nudge can be translated!
    That is indeed genius. The problem I had with mercury switches, it that when nudging the table the mercury would move back and forth a little too much, causing the game to tilt more than required.

    If you have a link for the controller method, that would be appreciated.

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    Senior Member ND3G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Booth View Post
    That is indeed genius. The problem I had with mercury switches, it that when nudging the table the mercury would move back and forth a little too much, causing the game to tilt more than required.

    If you have a link for the controller method, that would be appreciated.
    Here is a link. Post #10 blur. After this post a number of people started looking into it, so read through the entire thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ND3G View Post
    Here is a link. Post #10 blur. After this post a number of people started looking into it, so read through the entire thread.
    Cheers dude.

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    Senior Member ND3G's Avatar
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    A user over at Visual Pinball recently produced a usb dot matrix driver board so those of us with cabinets can use a real DMD!

    It would be amazing if Farsight included an option to use this method in the PC version of Pinball Arcade.

    pindmd.com

    Here is a link to the original thread

    vpforums.org

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    For it to work you would need the emulation code.
    Or if the pinball arcade has a hard coded pinmame they could simply port the pinmame
    code for the real dmd to it.
    They work really nice.
    A good friend of mine is working on the pinmame code and testing it.
    It makes the world of difference to have a real dmd in a cabinet

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