Thursday, 5 February 2015

MyPinballs: Day 3

Placement/Work Experience
26 - 28 January 

Read day two here.

The last day - we were pretty motivated to get the Twilight Zone lower playfield restoration complete so I could see it through - but although there was a bit of work required to get it finished, we still managed to fit in the conversion of NBA Fastbreak to P-ROC control. The P-ROC controller is how I found out about Jim online through his software rewrites, so great to see his next game get prepared!

myPinballs Arduino pinball controller prototyping
One upcoming project I managed to get a bit of a sneak glimpse at was the myPinballs Arduino Pinball Controller. This controller will be perfect for the games I make - and much simpler than P-ROC. Custom hardware by myPinballs.

 Whirlwind - Software rewrite with P-ROC
When continuing work on the Twilight Zone, as Jim was fixing up some replacement rivets for a new Twilight Zone proximity sensor - I got a chance to play the Whirlwind which is another software rewrite Jim has done using P-ROC. As it is alpha numeric display, it is in a way simpler, but by no means that simple from what I can see! It's a great game to play - and surprisingly for me, amongst one of the top games I have played. Custom software by myPinballs.

After playing Whirlwind Jim showed me some of the reproduction plastics in his stock of spare parts. These are for Monster Bash. They are screenprinted and lasercut into acrylic. Ideas ideas.
NBA Fastbreak - Converting to custom control for software rewrite with P-ROC
This felt like a bonus round - I really wasn't expecting to see this happening. We had a bit of time to spare after finishing up on the Twilight Zone restore so we squeezed this in. I got to see how a pinball machine is converted to custom control ready for a software rewrite. Jim even managed to quickly get the game up and running with some flipper function so I could see the P-ROC physically control the machine via the board and laptop. 

Replacing the Williams board with the P-ROC (mounted on a plate so it fits into Williams machines). Custom software by myPinballs.

After sorting a few driver issues, Jim got the laptop, P-ROC and game talking to one another very quickly!

Hello P-ROC!

Board Swapping in action
Spare parts for the NBA Fastbreak game

Twilight Zone playfield restore - completed
Further understanding of flippers and using the manual to identify the correct coils again. Restoration by myPinballs.

Was just interested in some of the mechanisms. Restoration by myPinballs.

Time to flip over and begin adding the flipper plastic parts. Restoration by myPinballs.

And that's our job done. Jim will help the client replace the rest of the top of the playfield parts and instal into the cabinet again to make sure everything is in good working order. This needs to be done on location at the clients house. Restoration by myPinballs.

And finally the lower playfield completed! Sense of achievement... want to see Jim's picture from before for comparison? Restoration by myPinballs.

All work shown here courtesy of myPinballs.

Follow Jim's Adventure in Pinball via myPinballs blog at
Give him a tweet @mypinballs.