Pinball Simulator Makes The Neighbors Happy

There are a lot of simulators out there if you want to try something out that would be otherwise impossible. Great examples are flight simulators for simulating the piloting of a fighter jet, or goat simulators for simulating the life of a goat who destroys a town. [Erland] wanted a pinball machine, but like planes and goats, found it was impractical to get a real one because it would probably upset his neighbors in his apartment. Instead, he set out to build a pinball simulator.

The cabinet is miniature-sized compared to a regular pinball machine so it can more easily fit in the apartment. It utilizes three monitors, a 24″ one in portrait mode for the main playing area, a 20″ one for the back screen, and a smaller one for the “dot matrix” style scoreboard. Once the woodwork was completed, a PC was put together to control everything and an Arduino was installed to handle the buttons and output USB commands to the PC.

Of course, we’ve featured many other pinball simulators before, but this one is no slouch when it comes to features either. It is very well crafted and the project is very well documented, and the miniature size sets it apart as well. However, if you want to go a step further with your pinball simulator, you might want to check out this augmented reality pinball system.

8 thoughts on “Pinball Simulator Makes The Neighbors Happy

    1. That game owned.

      I have an ancient CD lying around somewhere that I got well before XP came out. It had that table, one with a fantasy theme, and a pirate one. Believe it was called Full Tilt Pinball, and it came with some random other game.

      Wonder where that disc is…

    1. Thanks!

      I’ve actually bought a couple of cheap chinese solenoids for this reason, but not installed them yet. I need to figure out how the Visual Pinball / VPinMAME software handles the output signals, and how to get them to the Arduino. The sounds from the speakers are pretty good replacement. Getting some tactile feedback when using the flippers would be cool too.

      That’s for version two of the machine, together with a volume control and headphone output panel. But now I just want to relax and play pinball for a while.

  1. “Jan says:
    April 11, 2015 at 8:50 am

    You can use BAM (better arcade mode) today with head trackers like WiiMotes Cam, Dual PS3 eye cam or Microsoft Kinect face tracking, so you don’t even need 3D glasses . Maybe you want to have a look at this video:
    Unfortunately it’s only available for Future Pinball Emulation and not for Visual Pinball (which has better physics)”
    Here is the main website:

    To (mis)quote Dave, “It is an assault on your frickin’ senses!”

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