Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eject! Eject! Eject!

I've finally completed the ball-through.

I really took a long ball on this one, since I started out using an old ball-through from an old Bally game called "Night Rider". What I didn't know was that this game was a single ball one. Bummer.
Once I got the parts I was thinking about different ways of getting it to work like a newer machine's ball through, thinking I'd get away cheaper than investing in a new ball through.

I had to precisely tweak the solenoid strength of the drain kicker so that the balls are shot just hard enough to reliably land on the other end of the "hill", without getting kicked back by Mr Newton on the other end. This turned out to be a bit tricky since it could work just fine, but then be too weak in case there's multiple balls waiting to "drain". This would simply block the shot and the ball would require a couple of shots. But I got it right in the end.

1) The fully loaded 4-ball through, including the roof which will further direct the balls.  
For the entire assembly to function I needed to put a kicker solenoid in an angle (visible in the previous post) so that the balls would be shot out correctly.

2) Shooter lane. Note the missing groove for the ball. This was because I didn't have all measurements at hand when it
was time to CNC the playfield. Better safe than sorry... but now I really wish I'd grooved it.

In the end, it works and functions reliably - but if it breaks I'll probably buy a new ball through instead.
To sum it up:

Cheaper, yes.
Easier, no.


  1. balltroughs are expensive :( I'm doing a custom, going to do a kind of VUK style with some switches for ball detect. Wont be as fancy as the real thing but should work just fine.

  2. Yes, they are! :)
    What you're describing is exactly the route I chose as well. However, I'm not completely satisfied with how the switches are arranged (due to some last minute changes...again) so that area is bound to be adjusted later on.

    From what I've heard, the VUK version may actually be more reliable than regular ballthroughs since they "often" jam or have failing/disconnected opto's.