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Thread: building a virtual pinball cabinet?

  1. #1
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    Default building a virtual pinball cabinet?

    Hi everybody! brand new to the pinball world, more or less. Couldn't find the forums last night, so this is copied from steam discussions page.

    My recent trip to Wisconsin dells has sparked an interest in pinball, when we stumbled upon a newly opened pinball museum up there. It has me considering making a VP cabinet, from scratch, since machines are so expensive to buy and gut.

    Does anyone have any experience or advice on how to go about this? I figured if I make it myself, I can first choose the perfect TV for it, and build the cabinet to suit it, instead of the other way around. There are some good guides, I know, but I haven't found anything too detailed yet.

    I imagine I'll start with just the cabinet and 360 controller controls, and leave it in a condition that's easily modifiable, so I can add new controls and stuff later on. Adding the DMD to the back and stuff like that should be a separate project I think, so I'm not overwhelmed.

    I'm going to need to research materials and real tables, so I don't just end up with an ugly box. I'll also want to build a computer that's more than enough to run the game max, but not overkill(just for budgeting purposes). And does anyone know how to safely mount a computer to a wooden board? I feel like straight to it might not be the best method.

    If anyone has some insight, thanks much!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik View Post
    Hi everybody! brand new to the pinball world, more or less. Couldn't find the forums last night, so this is copied from steam discussions page.

    My recent trip to Wisconsin dells has sparked an interest in pinball, when we stumbled upon a newly opened pinball museum up there. It has me considering making a VP cabinet, from scratch, since machines are so expensive to buy and gut.

    Does anyone have any experience or advice on how to go about this? I figured if I make it myself, I can first choose the perfect TV for it, and build the cabinet to suit it, instead of the other way around. There are some good guides, I know, but I haven't found anything too detailed yet.

    I imagine I'll start with just the cabinet and 360 controller controls, and leave it in a condition that's easily modifiable, so I can add new controls and stuff later on. Adding the DMD to the back and stuff like that should be a separate project I think, so I'm not overwhelmed.

    I'm going to need to research materials and real tables, so I don't just end up with an ugly box. I'll also want to build a computer that's more than enough to run the game max, but not overkill(just for budgeting purposes). And does anyone know how to safely mount a computer to a wooden board? I feel like straight to it might not be the best method.

    If anyone has some insight, thanks much!
    I have found this forum to be fairly quiet for some unknown reason, and like yourself, had an interest in building my own cab. Im probably a few steps ahead of you know though as I have made a start on mine.

    I can only give you my thoughts and experience, as I only have limited knowledge of the VP world.

    I looked at a few videos on Youtube and never saw anything that took my fancy. Lots have people have built their own to their own sizes, and in my opinion, ended up with VP cabs that don't even look like pinball machines. To avoid this, I took measurements from a real pinball machine and bought a tv to suit. But best laid plans and all that, it didn't fit properly so I had to modify things a little.

    Ive been videoing the whole process so I can look back and see the progress I have been making and also as it may help inspire others, though Im certainly not saying I'm doing everything 100% right...far from it. Ive made tons of mistakes and Im learning all the time.

    Computer wise, I'm having issues with TPA games and VP games because my computer isn't very good, but Zen pinball games work really well. Ive managed to set up the 2nd monitor and it looks great. Im planning on replacing the computer once (hopefully) TPA provide cab support.

    TPA forums and VP forums are good sources of info. And if you don't want the hassle of building a cab or stripping one down, Virtuapin site seems to stock all the stuff.

    By all means take a look at my progress on Youtube; I'll place a link below. But remember that Im still making this up as I go along and it may not work in the long run...so please don't copy just in case

    Good luck with it all...its not easy, but having played a game or 2 in portrait mode with 'dmd', it does feel a much better game.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpAYBDp-TJ4

  3. #3

    Default

    image.jpg

    All done. This is the Zen setup. Plays really well and gameplay feels more 'realistic' now it's in portrait mode.
    Last edited by L33; 08-05-2015 at 10:57 AM.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mmik View Post
    Hi everybody! brand new to the pinball world, more or less. Couldn't find the forums last night, so this is copied from steam discussions page.

    My recent trip to Wisconsin dells has sparked an interest in pinball, when we stumbled upon a newly opened pinball museum up there. It has me considering making a VP cabinet, from scratch, since machines are so expensive to buy and gut.

    Does anyone have any experience or advice on how to go about this? I figured if I make it myself, I can first choose the perfect TV for it, and build the cabinet to suit it, instead of the other way around. There are some good guides, I know, but I haven't found anything too detailed yet.

    I imagine I'll start with just the cabinet and 360 controller controls, and leave it in a condition that's easily modifiable, so I can add new controls and stuff later on. Adding the DMD to the back and stuff like that should be a separate project I think, so I'm not overwhelmed.

    I'm going to need to research materials and real tables, so I don't just end up with an ugly box. I'll also want to build a computer that's more than enough to run the game max, but not overkill(just for budgeting purposes). And does anyone know how to safely mount a computer to a wooden board? I feel like straight to it might not be the best method.

    If anyone has some insight, thanks much!
    Hi mmik,

    I was in the same boat as you. Here were the steps I took to get mine in order:

    1 - What do I have access to at home or cheaply though friends / family
    2 - What else will I need to buy
    3 - What size do I want it to be

    I was pretty fortunate when it came to 1. I had an old 720p Samsung LCD collecting dust at home, and several old VGA monitors. A good friend was leaving the country so passed on an older PC for me (early i5, 4g ram, onboard video).

    Moving to 2, I had to pick up a video card (found a cheap 1g NVIDIA on Kijiji). This was about it for the necessary stuff.

    I was pretty happy when I got it all together so I decided not too make any changes to size (3).

    I picked up a piece of MDF board and made some simple cuts, then added a cheap USB encoder for some buttons on the front.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by L33 View Post
    image.jpg

    All done. This is the Zen setup. Plays really well and gameplay feels more 'realistic' now it's in portrait mode.
    Hey L33, this looks great! How are you running the back-gass images? Are they going strait through PFX2 or a front-end like PinballX?

    Thanks in advance.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTrain View Post
    Hey L33, this looks great! How are you running the back-gass images? Are they going strait through PFX2 or a front-end like PinballX?

    Thanks in advance.
    At the moment I'm simply putting up a JPEG image of the game that's in play on the TV via USB stick. Whilst not the best scenario, it's easy enough to do but hopefully I'll eventually try using one of the front ends and see if that works.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    1

    Default Nice

    Hi mmik,

    I was in the same boat as you. Here were the steps I took to get mine in order:

    1 - What do I have access to at home or cheaply though friends / family
    2 - What else will I need to buy
    3 - What size do I want it to be

    I was pretty fortunate when it came to 1. I had an old 720p Samsung LCD collecting dust at home, and several old VGA monitors. A good friend was leaving the country so passed on an older PC for me (early i5, 4g ram, onboard video).

    Moving to 2, I had to pick up a video card (found a cheap 1g NVIDIA on Kijiji). This was about it for the necessary stuff.

    I was pretty happy when I got it all together so I decided not too make any changes to size (3).

    I picked up a piece of MDF board and made some simple cuts, then added a cheap USB encoder for some buttons on the front.

    Thanks for sharing this topic.

  8. #8

    Default Virtual Pinball Guide

    We have created a virtual pinball guide and series on YouTube. The guide will be hosted on our website.
    We published our 1st guide on different Forums in 2017 and have gotten over 30 000 downloads.

    We decided to host it on the website to facilitate updates which was not possible with the PDF.


    I will update the sections as i am releasing them.



    - Pinball History: https://www.youtube....h?v=yvS6slWbBh4

    - Parts list: https://www.youtube....v=pPA0OhFuBBg

    - Cabinet restoration: https://www.youtube....h?v=ikYdxunVAE8

    - Cabinet Priming ,paint and repairing front coin door: https://www.youtube....v=KEiOHisq_Xk

    - Removing rust from Pinball Parts ( The easy way ) : https://www.youtube....h?v=m3NnLbISG5U

    - Self adhesive vinyl installation ( Decals ) : https://www.youtube....h?v=mnNZZ1BQM0A

    - Installing cross supports and contactors: https://www.youtube....h?v=EAT64hAlM-g

    - Installing components mounting board : https://www.youtube....h?v=8l3vYTZgX8U

    - Building the DMD with a CNC machine : https://www.youtube....v=TxMS4UInSm4

    - Setting up Addressable LED ring in speaker grill: https://www.youtube....h?v=-zvSngqQz24

    http://www.mameinabox.com
    https://www.youtube.com/mameinabox

    2.jpg

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