Ever since he was a young boy, [Tyler] has played the silver ball. And like us, he’s had a lifelong fascination with the intricate electromechanical beasts that surround them. In his recently-completed senior year of college, [Tyler] assembled a mechatronics dream team of [Kevin, Cody, and Omar] to help turn those visions into self-playing pinball reality.
You can indeed play the machine manually, and the Arduino Mega will keep track of your score just like a regular cabinet. If you need to scratch an itch, ignore a phone call, or just plain want to watch a pinball machine play itself, it can switch back and forth on the fly. The USB camera mounted over the playfield tracks the ball as it speeds around. Whenever it enters the flipper vectors, the appropriate flipper will engage automatically to bat the ball away.
Our favorite part of this build (aside from the fact that it can play itself) is the pachinko multi-ball feature that manages to squeeze in a second game and a second level. This project is wide open, and even if you’re not interested in replicating it, [Tyler] sprinkled a ton of good info and links to more throughout the build logs. Take a tour after the break while we have it set on free play.
[Tyler]’s machine uses actual pinball machine parts, which could quickly ramp up the cost. If you roll your own targets and get creative with solenoid sourcing, building a pinball machine doesn’t have to be a drain on your wallet.
Continue reading “Pinball Machine Needs No Wizard”
[SuperUnknown] aka [AvE], one of our favorite Canadian hackers is back at it with DRINKO, an adult beverage themed take on the classic PLINKO game from The Price Is Right. He’s built the game as a mancave warming gift for a friend. This isn’t a particularly complex build, but it’s always great to see all the little steps that go into a project, leading up to the finished job. [SuperUnknown] said that wood would be a great material for this project, but he is opposed to the senseless killing of peaceful trees, so he built the base from 1/8″ plate steel. The glasses were plain shot glasses masked and etched to spell out DRINKO.
The most tedious part of a fabricating a game like this is cutting and installing the tines. [SuperUnknown] used old welding rods, cut with a slitting saw on his Bridgeport. The rods were TIG welded into the metal plate forming the back panel of the game. To spice things up, [SuperUnknown] added an Arduino and some through hole WS2812 LEDs. While he didn’t have the flat surface mount WS2812’s on hand, that didn’t stop him. A quick trip through the bridgeport trimmed those frosted LED lenses down to size. The Arduino drives the LEDs through several patterns – much like the attract mode on a video game, or a Las Vegas sign. If you build your own DRINKO, we’d suggest adding some microswitches below each slot, so the drink to be consumed lights up.
Continue reading “AvE Builds DRINKO (not Affiliated With PLINKO)”