Friday, August 17, 2012

To baldly go where no one's gone before...

Did some pretty major stuff on the machine today.
Actually, not that major - but I got things done that needed to be done before I could continue assembling it.

I installed a couple of protectors for the ball drain, which hopefully will keep this area looking neat for a while.

I also restructured the "design" of the rail so that the balls are locked physically at the end of the rail instead of relying on a stopper to prevent the ball from escaping into the shooter lane. Now all I need is something that pushes the ball up and over the edge.

I've also installed the somewhat-final posts that will make the captive ball stay captive. I might cut and reshape the metal guides in case they don't flow well enough in-game. At the moment they don't align 100% which causes the ball to bounce slightly instead of having a Newton-effect.

I installed the final post arrangement for the Little Sister-vent plastic part. I'm still not perfectly happy with the plastic part, but it will have to do for now.

I did the holes needed in the background-piece so that I could properly test the upper playfield. It allowed me to decide where to put the screws, bolts and cutaways.

Next came The Dreaded area of The Dreaded!

The problem with designing a board without having the proper pieces is painfully obvious in this picture. I made the board too long so I had to pull the plunger everytime I needed to lift the playfield, and the plunger and autolauncher fork did not align.

But with a little luck and care, this...

...became this.

The autolauncher is now assembled and functioning. The plunger will require a couple of spacers before it aligns up perfectly with the autolauncher fork, but that can easily be fixed with a shorter plunger later on. This can be seen to the right where the plunger protrudes beyond the fork causing the ball to be off-center.

With the upper playfield "in place" I could also start planning the exit from the right VUK. 
The two pieces will need to be fixed together obviously, but I still haven't perfected my brazing-skills so this will have to wait (along with the lower right wireform). There's no real rush here anyway.

And finally, this is how it's looking at the moment.


  1. soooo awesome! I'm stuck on paper design right now still :/

  2. Thanks, mate!

    Hang in there! :)

  3. Looks really cool, great work.

  4. looks fantastic! im blown away by your progress. Just a thought on the ball trough. Would it not be easier to use an all in one ball trough that just bolts on? Something like this . Just means you wont have to mount all the switches individually. It also comes with the lift plunger.
    Just a thought! you've already far exceeded anything i could do!

  5. Thanks!
    Yeah, I did check for a modern ball-through assembly, but the costs of getting the assembly to Sweden (incl. customs, shipping etc) will push it closer to 200$. A bit pricey considering I got all the parts I need, except for the actual ball ejecting mechanism. :)
    If I recall correctly the opto's in that particular assembly often break as well, "my" version will have less risk of error.

    Btw, glad you keep checking the blog! :)

  6. Much appreciated! :)

    I noticed you're doing an RTS (Engine)?
    That's another of my long term projects that's been restarted over and over... Hopefully I'll jump that train as soon as the pinball machine is completed! :)

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  8. Thanks John!

    Majorly appreciated coming from someone of your caliber! :)

  9. I can't believe I'm this late to the party...what ever happened with this man??

  10. It's very much still happening, been busy raising kids and touring with my band so stuff's been going slow. :)

    I'm currently rewiring the lights since the light board got replaced and it's taking longer than I thought it would. But soon! :)