Thirty Year old Pachinko Machine meets an Arduino

When [Jim's] thirty year old Pachinko machine started to freeze up and shorted out his computer’s graphics card he decided it was time to replace the old electronics with an Arduino. Originally the Pachinko machine ran off a 48 volt supply and control was achieved using about 20 relays, the random numbers were generated using some complex mechanical reels which we hope will find their way into a new project in the future.

All of this and the daunting amount of wire inside the machine have been replaced with an Arduino and an MP3 Shield for the sound effects, powered from a much safer 12 volts. The new machine runs just as you would expect a thirty year old machine to run, with all the grinding sounds and flickering lights. Check out the video after the break to see an overview of the project.

Comments

  1. jentulman says:

    +1 for including Jonathan Coulton :)

  2. Beat707 says:

    Go Arduino Go! :-)

  3. Ryan Blace says:

    This is amazing. I’m very impressed. Great project. I’d love to see some high res photos of what the inside.

  4. Funger says:

    JC FTW!

  5. CRJEEA says:

    Hope you kept the origanal guts of this machine. I love old electronics like this (: often intricate yet simple almost like a work or art. Nice to be able to see what’s going on and be able to use higher currents and voltages something that is becoming far harder with the ever srinking world of integrated circuits. Like an electric rube goldberg (:

  6. K!P says:

    shame that the coin payout mechanism is removed..noting says win as a stream of penny’s ratlling down. For the rest: nice work!

  7. Agent420 says:

    As an owner of both EM and 1st gen SS pinballs, I have to say there is something endearing about the mechanical heart of these types of machines. And an mp3 is no complete substitute for the physical “thunk” of moving parts ;-)

    While I believe salvaging the game with a uc is preferrable to trashing it altogether (and perhaps cheaper than replacement coils and such), I personally would have attempted to repair it…

    Nonetheless, good job.

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