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  • Pinball controller

    Does anyone know if there are any (perhaps USB) pinball controllers? Something that would have the feel of a real pinball table. I love Zen pinball on the my 27 inch iMac. But is using the keyboard as good as it gets? Thanks.

  • #2
    I looked earlier this year and there really isn't anything out there available commercially that's even close to what you're looking for. I ended up first printing up a controller on my 3D printer, converting a keyboard tray to a controller, and then ultimately decided to bite the bullet and built myself a wooden controller cabinet that's the same width/height as a proper pinball cabinet.

    There are a few commercially available controllers that show up when you search, but they're either really old products that don't appear to be around any more, or they're really expensive and OOS.

    Not sure how hard you've looked, but the main fly in the ointment is usually finding a controller with side "flipper" buttons. There are some relatively wide controllers out there, but they don't have side buttons.

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    • #3
      There are several keyboard emulators on the market. I use the Keywiz from Groovy Game Gear. I also use in conjunction a VirtuaPin controller to get a physical plunger and an accelerometer for nudge. These are good for US market. I have seen several similar boards available in UK and AU. The Keywiz is around $40 or if you like to solder under $30. The Virtuapin is a little more pricy but if you want a good start on a cabinet build it's worth it. Then there's the even more pricy option. I have not used Zebsboards but I hear they are the bomb with more extensive cabinet builds. If you want all the shakers and solenoids and lights then definitely give Zebsboards a look! Looks like a near complete setup is around $700 but man it has everything for haptic feedback when a ball hits a bumper or flippin a flipper. Plunger control is $155 more.

      I am just a pinball enthusiast. I get no compensation from any of these companies. I have built a cabinet and used the cheaper route and am happy with what I have. I could have more but for me I don't need the solenoids. My 80 watt subwoofer gets me some of that feedback.

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      • #4
        I built my own using the IPAC2 controller, without really knowing what I was doing. Turned out way better than expected. Build video here:
        https://youtu.be/7iEzhqcMZvg

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