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Custom Pinball FX2 controller - eventually a cabinet ....


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I'm so taken with Pinball FX2, I've decided to build a cabinet for it. It won't be a traditional style but will embrace the fact this is video pinball. I hope for it to be 3D compatible. I'll be starting with the controller first. I'm also posting in this forum as it will be more of an arcade machine than anything else.

The basic, main design elements will be as follows:

-Based off a 360 wired controller (already hacked and soldered)

-Provide nudge capability

-Incorporate a touchpad for menu navigation

-Include a plunger

Just to give an idea as to what this will look like. Rough concept:


The sides and the nudge bar will be covered in black PlastiDip - a durable rubberised finish.

The remainder of the case will be covered in blackboard vinyl. It has this finish:


The artwork will have clear acrylic over the top

The plunger will be made from a modified balltop joystick

The touchpad I have bought for this project:


The nudge bars will be pushed forwards to activate. Tension will be applied using secateur springs (also purchased):


The mechanisms for the nudge bar and the plunger will be explained later. Hopefully my designs for these will work out :)

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No backglass display for this one Richie but I will make provision for a DMD via a small monitor. Zen say they are making the game mutiscreen compatible but that's still on the enhancements list at the moment. Still messing with the final design and going back and forth between horizontal and vertical position at the moment. Current thoughts are for vertical. I want to keep the size manageable, 3D compatible and cab-like so screen size is likely to be 27 inches. I'd love to go bigger but then I might as well make a full size table.

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It would be nice to use steams big picture mode as the opening software on startup but doubt if it can be run in the verticle plane for a pinball table, maybe on the back glass display for game selections via steam !!!!!

Look forward to seeing how this pans out..good luck.

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I though this would take a bit of engineering and it's proving to be the case. Still, I'm quite please with how it's turning out. I still need to shape and adjust things a little but it's giving me confidence that it's going to work.

Progress today:

Front piece cut and shaped:


Frame for the spring loaded mechanism:


Spring retaining hole (I'll probably make this deeper and glue a washer in it):


Secateur springs in place (I had to get someone to help me with this due to the strength on them):


View from the top:


It's a decent fit at the moment. The nudge bars will need to be adjusted to allow a small range of movement (about 5mm). Still, it's looking good.

Any expansion gaps will be filled in with expanding foam tape so it should look nicely finished when done.

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My touchpad arrived today. Looks like it's going to fit the bill perfectly. I'm not taken with the light coloured triangle in the corner so may cover the touch area in black vinyl. I tried it out to see whether it still functions and there are no issues with it.


Also ordered a shooter. The Balltop joystick idea wont work out as the shaft isn't a uniform width. I need to investigate hooking the pad up to a slide potentiometer as someone else has done. I can get away with soldering but electronics isn't my strong suit. If anyone can throw in some advice, I'd really appreciate it.


I only get to work on projects at the weekends unfortunately ...

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Started work on the frame. The basic shape has been cut out. Insets for the artwork and touchpad will need to be cut out. The sides will be heavily beveled to help integrate into the panel better. The buttons will be in clusters of 4 either side of the touchpad. It will be finished with black Plastidip ... eventually.



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Well this panel's taken most of the day to do but has turned out as well as I'd hoped:

Turns out that the trackpad is exactly the same depth as the MDF. It's always great when you get a break like that.





Close up of the beveling:


And the inset for the artwork:


I'll get some acrylic cut and do the artwork soon.

Edit: To give an idea what this will look like in place ...



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  • 9 months later...

Thanks for the interest in this. The project was put on hold waiting for plunger support for PinballFX (which hasn't happened yet unfortunately). I will be resurrecting this project anyway in the summer. It's neatly packed away at the moment ready to be progressed.

Not sure I ever posted this on here but this was a desk project I completed a while back designed to fit the look of all the other projects in my games room:



Excuse the mess in this one, my room always ends up chaotic during a build:


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For the desk, it was quite a painstaking process which probably took about 3 weeks to complete.

From recollection:

Fill the rough edges in with car body filler and sand back.

Seal with undercoat and sand back x2

Apply spray undercoat and sand back with a medium grit (320 or thereabouts)

Apply several more coats of black spray paint and use a finer grit between coats (800). Leave the spray to dry thoroughly between coats.

I didn't do anything with the final spay coat.

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