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Thread: Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Pinball

  1. #61
    I needed to work on the eject mechanism. I carefully measured the standoffs on the original part and engineered an alternate plan since I didn't have the time to replicate the part exactly. Instead I opted to buy some off the shel threaded inserts with nylon sleeves.

    For the base which holds the eject bracket; I got a 7/8" threaded #8-32 standoff from Master-Carr.com #91125A210. This piece would be mounted to the top with an #8-32 screw and would provide the rotation point for the eject bracket. To space the arm off the base I went with a 3/8" nylon spacer with 1/4" I.D. and 1/2" O.D #94639A141.

    Then goes the bracket arm. For the top of the bracket; I went with a PRess-Fit Drill bushing, 0.25" ID, 0.5" OD @ 3/8" length or #9491A252. I topped it off with two flat washers (think they were 1/4") and star washer and another #8-32 machine screw.

    For the plunger arm which goes into the solenoid; I went with a 0.25" tall round spacer with a 1/4" OD and and 8-32 screw thread, #91125A140. The nylon spacer on top was a 1/8" long with 0.25" ID and 0.5" OD.

    Here's a picture of the original eject mechanism vs the new one:


    Here's the mechanism with the coil and other hardware transferred:


    And mounted in the PF:


    My only concern is vibration loosening the #8-32 screws holding the threaded inserts in place. As a result; I may end up locktite-ing the screws in place later.

  2. #62
    With the eject mechanism squared away; time to move on to the Proximity sensors. For those who don't recall; I didn't want switch holes taking away from the art of the playfield. As a result; I wanted to use a Proximity sensor to sense the ball instead of a mechanical switch. I went thru several designs ... none really worked. Settling on the tried and true TDA0161 designed used in modern Williams designs. Mixed in a little of my own circuitry and out came a custom layout which was 80% SMT except the "owner replaceable parts" Basically the diodes and the output transistor remained thru-hole... along with the TDA0161 which remained socketed.

    I stenciled on some solder paste and went to work hand assembling 8 PCBs for use on the Playfield switches. All the SMTs were mounted and they went into the skillet for reflow:


    I then hand soldered the thru hole components and ran thru a bench test and calibration to make sure they worked prior to install.

    I was trying to figure out how to mount the sensing coils in the Playfield slots (underside); when it dawned on me that I could just mount the PCB over the slots and run the sensing coil on the bottom side of the PCB... pushing the leads down so the coil touched the bottom of the slot. Luckily I had incorporated 3 mounting screw holes in the design so mounting ... so the PCB became the coil mount.

    I marked the mount holes with a center punch; and proceeded to drill and tap each mount hole for a #6-32 nylon standoff as the light boards were mounted. Here's the PF with the proximity sensors mounted:


    And a close up showing a set of PCBs mounted with the coil leads going into the slots:


    With the PCBs mounted; I could then transfer the wiring harness from the donor PF to the Mirror Universe. Ofcourse it too had to be mirrored but that was easily accomplished by flipping the harness:


    Now the fun of crimping connectors and re-soldering coil/switch terminals begins.
    I also need to re-assembly the GI circuits/lamps. The cheapskate in me wants to try an re-use the old GI lamp sockets. However, the do-it-right guy in me; want to order new GI lamps so I won't have to deal with the damn flickering due to warn-out GI lamp sockets. Yes; I know you can solder/hack an old GI Lamp to work... but my experiences has been it doesn't work on every lamp.

  3. #63
    I learned last weekend that my Comic book artist continues to have life-getting in the way issues; and probably won't make delivery of the backglass art in time for me to get it on the machine for TPF. I asked him to be done several times... but family / deaths / real-work deadlines keep getting in the way.

    So; On Thursday - I decided I was going to scan my existing CPR repro Prototype backglass and create my own. Well; the same HP Scanjet 4670 I used to scan the PF is now giving me a interference pattern on the scans.

    As a result; I decided to use an existing scan of the production backglass and "mirror-ize" it to have some of the features of the ProtoType Backglass.

    First; here an example of the original Production BG:


    And here's My current revision of the BG I've modified:


    I'm not sure about the nasa render of earth replacing the planetoid... I like it... but it may be too much for the BG.
    Comments? Suggestions?

  4. #64
    It's was an awesomely mild weekend here in Austin; so I spent quite a bit of time in the garage working on the underside of the Playfield.
    Thru the cold snap earlier in the week; I sent an internal goal of wiring the GI circuits/Lamps with color coded wire - A color a night. Rather than wiring each lamp with a bare stapled wire - I point-to-pointed each in it's specific color. IE Green, orange, red, and white. With the GI squared away during the week; I spend this weekend tackling the Hot common of the switch illumination (Blue). I also crimped my fingers swore; as I completed the Inserts wiring.

    For the top GI connection; the original harness had two blue wires which were soldered to the "Common" of the lamp matrix. Instead I made a custom harness out of some 22gauge blue wire. Each one of these lamp boards had to be wired into that common.

    I tinned a piece of raw copper clad (blank circuit board material) and used it as a common tie point for the upper playfield's common hot. Each board was crimped to a length of blue wire and it was soldered to this tie point. The inserts were then crimped and installed on the connectors. Each LED board has a header so it can be uninstalled and fixed if necessary. For the upper playfield; A chain of 22awg blue wire moves between each led board in a circle; so in effect - each board has two 22AWG paths to hot. This should help with redundancy and supply more than enough current flow to lite the leds on the board. In the case of the upper two boards; they have 4pin connectors ... with 2 Anodes and the 2 signal wires.

    For the middle of the PF; I tapped into the blue wire harness and used a rounded barrel terminal to house the common hot. This common point feed the Klingon LED board as well as the center Enterprise inserts.


    2 qty 22AWG blue wires feed the center inserts common point:

    I had to cut the tie wraps for the middle of the harness and feed some of the shorter wires between the drop target inserts and the led nacelle boards. With this new route; I had enough slack to make it to the large center insert connector for all signals.

    Finally; I added another common hot tie point for the center Xk's inserts:

    I'm not real happy with the way this turned out... the wiring harness and connector are in the way of each other. Can't really be helped at this point; but you can still disconnect the board with minimal effort so it's still a win.

    At this point; I'm about 80ish-% complete on the bottom side of the PF:


    What's left to do on the bottom side?
    1) Still need to wire in proximity sensors.
    2) Flippers
    3) Slingshot switches
    4) Drop target assembly
    5) Wire GI to nacelle boards; need to double confirm PSU board outputs the polarity I think it does for the GI so I don't hook it backwards.
    6) Mount outhole switch and inlane switches.

    My only question for you guys; is there typically a suggested method to refurbing the drop target assembly? I already have some new drop targets; but I'm wondering if I should try to source some new springs for assembly. Thoughts?

  5. #65
    Nice .. Even if you don't think it's perfect, the wiring looks dang well done and it's serviceable

    the NASA earth doesn't look right to me, it seems out of character compared to the other figures/illustrations

    did you already say what the sound effects were going to be? (I'm sorry, I didn't go back to check) .. using TOS sounds like phasers and photon torpedoes would just put it over the top! ... not that it isn't so already
    Awesome work!

  6. #66
    DB. Soundeffects and musical score via a RazPi is planned; part of the Soundcard Redesign.
    At the rate I'm going; I think it's going to be a phase2 intercept.... IE after TPF'2014 at the end of March.

  7. #67
    Tonight I put the near finishing touches on the underside of the Playfield. I ran out of Butane for my cordless soldering iron; so I couldn't solder in the new fuse block for the solenoids. I tried in vane this weekend to source some butane from both Lowes (was out) and Walmart (doesn't carry?!)... so; meh.

    Anyway; the red star posts from the donor playfield are already in the ultrasonic cleaner... so hopefully; I can start assembling the top of the PF tomorrow night.

    Here's detail pictures of the 99.9% PF all wired up:






  8. #68
    Tonight I finished soldering in the Fuse holder for the Solenoids and began installing the Posts. I wanted to do something a little different for the upper PF... matching the Posts to the Art where possible. As a result I decided to put Blue transparent Lane guides instead of the red Bally opaque lane guides. Since guides and the posts were blue; I figured I'd need some blue LEDs to accent the guides from a GI perspective.

    Here's a Day/Flash shot showing the installation:


    I worked with Art @ CometPinball.com to get a sampling of his LEDs. I went thru several iterations focusing on the blue variety to see what lit the area the best. I wasn't very scientific about the installation; kinda moving them somewhat systematically to see what popped.


    Yeap; Even tried white LEDs. Didn't like that I could see the white bulb thru the lane guides.



    And finally settling on the 1st & 2nd blue LEDs I liked (no ambient light, no flash):


    If I were to grade the Blue Comet LEDs for this application (according to my minds-eye):
    1) 2 SMD 6.3V AC/DC SUPREME BRIGHTNESS with FACETED LENS
    2) Optix Maximus Blue
    3) 4+1 SMD Tower Blue

    I really like the pattern the Faceted Lens puts out; especially the Warm White. If I were an LED designer; I might try combining the Optix Maximus lens with a facetted ring; so as to combine the "flood" in the vertical direction and the pattern spread in the horiztonal direction.

    The PopBumpers contain Comet's 6 crystal FAN LEDs; which I think fits the pop bumpers perfectly.

    Phase 2 of the LED tests will comprise of the White versions of Comet Pinball's against the Star Trek: Mirror Universe plastics... but I need to get them printed first.
    Last edited by Zitt; 02-19-2014 at 11:15 PM.

  9. #69
    Received the Star Trek: Mirror Universe translite from GameOnGrafix.com today... Overall I think it looks pretty damn sweet.

    This weekend I hope to start cutting out the windows for the nixie tube displays and begin mounting it to the Acrylic I hope to get tomorrow from RegalPlastics.

  10. #70
    I like it

    heh .. didn't notice it before in the artwork , but ... Lt Uhura is ... um , quite fetching
    Last edited by DB; 02-21-2014 at 07:20 AM.

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