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Upgrade/Project Modifying the play field of a real machine?

bowman9

Inserted Coin
Hello all,

I have seen a couple customized pinball machines around the web where the owner has rearranged the play field targets and added some toys to improve the game play (these are mostly older SS pins). Most of it seems pretty straight forward, but what if you wanted to change the type of target?

For example it would seem pretty easy to swap a standard stand up target for a roll over target because they are just simple contact switches, right?

But what it you wanted to add a kick out saucer in place of a stand up target? Could this be done easily or would it require actually changing the programming on the board?

Any thoughts?
 

m4paws

Inserted Coin
I'd say that the newsgroup rec.games.pinball would be your best bet. (If you don't have a newsreader, try Google's.) People here tend to have more experience with pinball simulators and emulators rather than real machines. Not to say that there aren't people here who can help, but there's probably not a lot of them and they probably don't log in every day.
 

spalmer

Pinball Troubleshooter
For example it would seem pretty easy to swap a standard stand up target for a roll over target because they are just simple contact switches, right?

But what it you wanted to add a kick out saucer in place of a stand up target? Could this be done easily or would it require actually changing the programming on the board?

Any thoughts?

Swapping a standup target for a rollover would not be a hard task, You might have to cut a bigger hole for the rollover.

As for a kickout in place of a target, that would be more complicated than it would be worth. The kickout would not only require programming but would also require solonoid driver board modification as well. I am not ever sure you could make such a modification. If you could I think it would be a bigger pain in the neck than it would ever be worth.
 

bowman9

Inserted Coin
Thanks Guys

Thanks for both your input.

My plan (at least in my head) is to find an old SS machine bring it back to life and re-theme it.

So once I find a decent machine to start with I will definitively be back here looking for ideas on swapping the playing field targets and lights around to make the old pin more fun to play. You know cool stuff that can be experimented with first in VP.

Thanks again,
Bowman9
 

bowman9

Inserted Coin
Update:

I have picked up a 1978 Williams Phoenix that needs some repair before it can become playable, the backglass is almost nonexistent, but most of the pin is intact.

So if anyone has any ideas about rearranging the playing field targets and bumpers to give it a different feel when played I'm all ears. You can feel free to add ramps and bridges/cat walks (what every you want to call them) because I will most likely re-build the cabinet to accept taller components. Also if your idea involves swapping out a stand up target in place of a rollover target (or vice a verse) I am all for that too. Just remember the original code/programming must stay intact.

This will most likely be a long project, but should be a fun one.

Later,
Bowman9
 

m4paws

Inserted Coin
You might want to check out this article on Pinball News about reviving old SS machines, though it's more about upgrading their software than physical playfield modification.

Teaser:
There's no denying the excellence of some of the solid state games of the '80s. Despite having relatively simplistic rules, the design and innovative playfield features made them ground breaking games which defined the way pinball was to develop in the years to come.

In some ways, pinball's basics haven't changed that much since those times, but while flippers still flip using a solenoid plunger linked to a flipper bat, the electronics inside the cabinet have come a long way.

So how would it be if the programmable microcontrollers of today we retro-fitted to solid state machines? What improvements could be made to these classic games if the control system was completely rewritten and opened up for anyone to develop?

That's what Chris Eddy has been finding out since he built and programmed his new Pinball Operating System for his Williams System 6 Firepower game. A consultant with a BSEE from the University of Pittsburgh, commercial quality design is his stock in trade, but this personal project allowed him to combine those skills with his passion for pinball, as he told Pinball News."

Full story: http://www.pinballnews.com/learn/pbos.html
 

andrewhannay

Inserted Coin
I've wanted to do something similar for ages but never got round to doing it. If the pinball game already has another kickout then you could parallel up the switches and parallel up the solenoids. You will get a score from the other kickout but it is a way of doing it without trying to hack the software. Or if the game had, say, two drop targets that autamatically reset when you hit both of them down, then you could remove one of the drop targets and place a kickhout behind the other drop target and wire up the removed drop target switch and drop target reset to the kickout hole (do you understand what I am trying to say here?), so you have to hit the first drop target to drop it out the way to reveal the kickout hole, and then hit the ball into the kickout hole to register as the second drop target switch which then resets and kicks the ball out. Does that all makes sense?
 

bowman9

Inserted Coin
still in the works

Andrew,

Thanks for the idea but unfortunately the game does not have kickout holes to begin with, it does have have drop targets that reset with a lane rollover switch so I might be able to work with that.

The layout I have in my head (at the moment) does not have kickout holes but will have to ramps, the one is from an Austin Powers machine (right side ramp) the other will need to be customized unless I can find a Monster Bash left hand ramp cheap.

But right now I need to build a new cabinet that is taller to except these parts.

Later,
Bowman9
 
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