Keep or Replace with TV

meklek

Pinball Nudger
I have a bit of a dilemma...
I just acquired a beautiful (but non-working) Fireball Pinball Home version I. These are "almost" full sized pinball machines that were simplified and sold as "Home" units. The electronics in the first run of these machines was considered a little flaky and this one just gives a click when turned on, so basically, its dead. Since the game is considered a little on the boring side in terms of play engagement, and it would likely be pretty expensive to retrofit new motherboard electronics (along with programming it) and power, I am considering ripping out the backglass and playfield and replacing them with TV/monitors and a computer. However, this is also a bit expensive. I am torn because I love the artwork, and the overall condition of this 1970's pinball machine is so great (my photos are washed out and do not do it justice). I know what is involved in converting it, since have built FP/VP cabinets from scratch. Thoughts???
fireball backglass.jpg
fireball side.jpg
fireball playfield.jpg
 

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
If you decide the table is is not work fixing up, there is a guy who takes old playfields and adds LEDs to them so they can be hung on the wall like art work. He sells kits so you might consider pulling your playfield to set up like he shows in the video. Then use the cabinet box for your virtual pinball cabinet. Check out this site:

 

meklek

Pinball Nudger
If you decide the table is is not work fixing up, there is a guy who takes old playfields and adds LEDs to them so they can be hung on the wall like art work. He sells kits so you might consider pulling your playfield to set up like he shows in the video. Then use the cabinet box for your virtual pinball cabinet. Check out this site:


Thanks George.
I took a look at the video. It was pretty cool. Unfortunately, the lighting kit is no longer made or sold. However, It did give me an idea :D. If I can't get the pinball machine working from original parts, I might try to program an Arduino and some other inexpensive boards to make it function as a real pinball machine again. If that fails (or gets too expensive), I am going to turn it into a Virtual Pin Cab, and hack the playfield and backglass into lighted wall art using the Arduino and addressable LEDs. Maybe I will end up selling the wall art to pay for the Virtual Pin Cab...
 

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
I think that would work. The guy in the video removed the objects on the playfield but I think I would try leaving the bumpers and slingshots.

I would see what the resale value of the original functional table would be before you take it apart just to be sure it is not some sort of collector's item that is worth a fortune.
 

pinballdaveh

Pinball Technician
Staff member
Site Supporters
I think that would work. The guy in the video removed the objects on the playfield but I think I would try leaving the bumpers and slingshots.

I would see what the resale value of the original functional table would be before you take it apart just to be sure it is not some sort of collector's item .that is worth a fortune.
I checked and the pinball database has that home use machine listed.
There is a download for standardized test procedures and schematics.
Sorry I don’t know how to link to it.
I hope it’s of some use.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
@pinballdaveh,
Btw, I just noticed that this home game is in fact solid state, i.e. not EM!

Seems pretty impressive to me (borderline incredible) that Bally was doing this kind of thing in 1976 for a non-arcade edition, considering that SS's only arrived... what, in the mid-70's was it?

For example, I would have thought all their electrical engineering talent would have been tied up on the SS challenges of arcade tables & machines, not for less-important stuff like these home tables.

Then again, considering that this same machine was re-skinned three more times for other home machines, maybe the effort was indeed worth it. Maybe that's the answer to my Q.

Hmm.
 

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
Pour me a dram, lad :D

I need to get me a pinball "cabinet" too. Damn wife factor... :D

If you can rotate the display (some monitors have stands that can swivel), you might try one of my mods of tables with the rotated display. It improves the gaming experience.
 

AnonTet

Pinball Wizard
Site Supporters
I actually can but short to pc doesn't allow me to. I can also use VR but, this means more cables, more space that I don't have in the living room and we're back to wife problem. I I wrote that I'm in line for a few of these -> :banghead:
 

Itchigo

Former Operator
Site Supporters
Very crude but this was my first cab. Old timers here will remember I wasn't even computer literate when I made this in 2008 (about the same time I joined here). That's vp8 on there lol.
 

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