By now you should be familiar with MAME arcade cabinets and their ability to emulate any classic arcade machine from the days of yore. PinMAME is a similar setup to reconstruct classic pinball machines on computer monitors, but its popularity is nothing compared to the machines that play everything from Galaga to The Simpson’s arcade game. We won’t speculate on the reasons for that, but we do know how to make pinball emulation awesome – you need to emulate the buzzing and 60 Hz hum of solenoids found in the original machines.
This project comes from [Brendan Schrader] of the Hive76 hackerspace in Philly. It gives emulated pinball machines the tactile and haptic feedback required for a proper PinMAME setup. Inside [Brendan]’s box are two monitors, one for the backglass and one for the playfield, and a small computer to run the PinMAME software.
Also in the box are a few transducers usually used to turn any flat solid surface into a speaker. [Brendan] sent the audio output from the pinball emulation to a set of speakers and the ‘mechanical sounds’ audio to the transducer mounted to the chassis. The difference between haptic feedback and no haptic feedback is amazing, and something every PinMAME setup desperately needs.
Unfortunately, [Brendan] says he lives a decade in the past and doesn’t do the whole interwebs and email thing. He tells us he’ll send in a build log in a week or so, and we’ll put that up when it comes in.
8 thoughts on “How To Make PinMAME Awesome”
Oh, I’m totally gonna build one.
If you don’t do email, you’re more like 2 decades in the past at this point.
Here is a build log for a digital pinball machine (in swedish, but lots of images)
so he’s building a dualscreen computer in a custom case emulating the look and feel of a pinball machine… but he doesn’t do intarwebz? :o
I have been building a combination pinMAME/MAME cabinet for about the past 18months, with about 10 of those months off the project because it gets so hot here in AZ. It’s cooling off now finally (at least it’s under 100 most days), and I occasionally need to look at a project like this to inspire me to get back to working on it! My design is fairly massive in size but saves on the size of two cabinets. Thanks HaD!
I’ve been working on a four player cocktail cabinet for a while now, with flipper buttons on the end stations… and I get where you’re at. Only, it isn’t 100 degree weather for me, it’s the birth of my first kid suddenly keeping me from getting down to the basement to work on the project as much as I’d like. But seeing posts like this does reignite the fire in the belly…
Be nice to see in a few years when no-glasses 3D TV gets cheap. If 3D TV hasn’t gone down the drain by then, the other possible fate.
I wonder about 3D printing, too. A few scans of the various ramps and bumpers might bring another level to this. Dunno how difficult the frictional factors on the ball might be, using plastic. Perhaps just do the scans and use existing CAD / CAM stuff to mill the parts out of wood and metal like they originally are. I wonder how exactly right you have to get it to give the game the same feel and play.
I think you are a bit confused. The whole point of pinMAME is to have one cabinet that’ll play multiple tables via emulation/simulation. If you start adding physical objects then you are building a regular old pinball table, which totally misses the point.
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