Just Two Days

I have accomplished more in the past two evenings after work than I have in the last several months. Monday night I crimped and soldered Molex connectors to the solenoids of the parts that just came in. I belatedly realized I’d also need to put connectors on the switches on those devices and to save confusion ordered a different type of connector to use for the switches, they’ll be here in a few days and I’ll add them on when they get here.

Last night I created the GCODE files necessary to cut out my basic playfield. There was one hack involved to make the sloped V-groove the ball rests in when waiting to be shot onto the playfield. In my CAD program I told it to cut a straight line (the center line of the shooting lane) 0.500″ deep. I then generated the following GCODE:

(DATE – TUE. 04/24/2018 ,TIME – 07:55PM)
(POST – Baileigh Router )
G90 G17 G21
M06 T3
G00 X484.206 Y105.791 Z25.4 F762.
G00 Z5.08
G00 Z2.54
G01 Z-6.35 F254.
G01 X484.206 Y308.991 F762.
G00 Z5.08
G00 Z25.4

Changing the fourth-to-last line to

G01 X484.206 Y308.991 Z0.0 F762.

Changed the vector of the cut to ascend to a zero-depth at the end. There may be a way to do this in the CAD program but this change was way easier than figuring that out. And yes, I’m running the spindle at 10k RPM. The router has 7.5 horsepower, it’s a monster!

All in all, the actual cutting time was about 15 minutes. Prep, tool changes, and some extra hold-down screws took up another 15 minutes. So it’s not terribly complicated or time-consuming to cut this out.

Short CNC video


All Day Wait

I waited all day for these dang parts. FedEx said they were out for delivery today as of 6:04am. I figured I’d wait for them to show up, then head to the makerspace and get to work. Well, I ended up waiting for them all day, my parts were finally delivered at quarter past 5. So I got nothing else done today. I hope next week to add connectors to the parts (flippers, slingshots, and 3 pop bumpers) and hopefully get a playfield cut out to put in my cabinet. Some of the solenoids don’t have diodes on them, so I’ll solder some in too.

New Parts

My parts delivery updated from next Tuesday to this Saturday. Perfect timing for me to get cracking on cleaning up the cabinet so I can dig in and work on pinball all day Saturday!

No news is…no news

Well I’ve been in a holding pattern long enough, it’s time to take matters into my own hands. I have no idea what the status is of the starter kit is, I thought it would have been a long time ago. I purchased some new parts to play around with, namely some flipper mechanisms, slingshots, pop bumpers, and a few smaller parts. I’m going to get started retrofitting the cabinet and prepare to have something to take to the expo in June. Once I get the parts in I’ll double-check the playfield DXF file I have to make sure the holes are correctly sized and positioned. I’ll add connectors to the mechanical parts and build something to organize the power supplies and cables. The cabinet will get sanded and repainted. I hope to have a basic machine ready to go before the show.

The Cabinet

So everything came together to save me about 1.5 hours of driving last night after work. I still had a 3 hour trip to make, but it could have been much longer. But here is the cabinet, it all its 47-year old glory. It definitely needs a lot of TLC but everything seems to be usable. Cleanup to begin immediately, starting with the base cabinet. I’ll probably start with sanding and then patching dings and scratches, then move on to coin door maintenance (or maybe replacement), etc.


Cabinet Time

I just got back from Portland and I’m going on another (shorter) road trip: Lewiston. I found a pinball repair guy on Craigslist, and sent him an email on the off chance he had a cabinet to sell, and turns out he did! I’m going to pick it up tonight.

Speaking of road trips, I just booked my hotel for the Chicago Pinball Expo in October. I’m going to hitch a ride with the FastPinball guys, as they drive right by me on their way to Chicago. Plus they’ll have room to bring my game.