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PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC combo cabinet!

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PC Vertical / Portrait Games



There are some PC games out there that actually do support a vertical / portrait layout.


Some are basically arcade ports and some are original. they are either Steam games or normal PC Games such as:


-Crimson Clover



-Raiden III

-Raiden IV Overkill

-Ice Cold Beer

-Zeke's Peak


Ice Cold Beer / Zeke's Peak required me using Pinnacle Game Profiler for my P1 joystick and XPadder for my P2 Joystick... but it works perfect together. the others just worked normally and gave you rotate options for your screen.




Then there are the Windows 10 Store Games. These are originally tablet / phone type games that work with keyboard / mouse or gamepad controls. I basically had my P2 joystick and buttons act like a mouse for these games in case it was needed.


Since these don't have a normal .EXE file to reference, in order to get these to run with Pinnacle Game Profiler for mapped controls....  I had to run this command:


%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{4234d49b-0245-4df3-b780-3893943456e1}


Then create a shorcut for the games from the window that opens. 

Create a .BAT file that "Starts" the Pinnacle Game Profile (persistent) manually for your game via command line... then it opens the *.lnk shorcut you created for your game.

Use this .BAT file with Rocketlauncher via Pinball X  (I open all my PC games with Pinball X using RocketLauncher)

Have your "Launch After" run another .BAT file that "Stops" your Pinnacle Game Profiler manually.


These games look and play great when setup correctly. Games such as:


Crossy Road

Despicable Me

Sonic Dash



Like MAME, I added control panel pics in the middle screen where possible.



Here's a video showing some of these games in action in Pinball X.





Since I have arcade sticks and many buttons, its not a problem for me to get alot of these games to run. I know I can also run Android games through Blue Stacks and other programs (I have done so on my normal PC), but that may come at a later time.
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So I've been making great progress so far.... got all my parts except for beacons. One of my solenoids is broken, so it's 9 only for now. (I don't know when a shaker or gear motor will happen.)

Even got it all working in the cab with a mock-up via DOF which is working great. Most of the wiring is good to go. I even setup a kill switch for the 12v going to the sainsmart relay board and anything mechanical for a "night mode", while still allowing for 12v for anything else light related.

Here's the board before it's put into the cabinet. It may not be the prettiest, but it allows me access to everything while having all outputs of the led-wiz fused, and having the led / strobe output closer to where they will be to accommodate the limited rgb wiring I have. The Teensy for addressable leds will be on my PC board. I'll still have plenty of room for future stuff, even if I need to stack boards.


Here's my mockup with everything except for solenoids connected (no beacons, and a small test fan in the pic)....but I can still see the relays working to confirm they will work. I have the left and outer-left flashers in my left speaker hole, and the right flashers in the right speaker hole, and the center on the led strip for now.

I also have my FIRE button working on the arcade control panel, and I have it combined with the launch button in DOF, since you need to use the launch button to "FIRE" in VP anyways.


DOF is pretty damn impressive! Some amazing work done by swisslizard and arngrim! 

Since I don't have 10 solenoids, I can just combine the rear center and the middle center for now. It also frees up an LED-Wiz port.

I also have an atwood 3000 blower fan. Man it works great, but sure is loud! Very cool the way different tables make use of it. The noise is going to be better when used with a hose....  which gets me wondering on where to mount it!

I'm definitely considering mounting it inside (like randr did), as it fits perfectly in that spot before my coin door. (I removed my coin door mech as I don't use it and I have only one coin slot)  I was going to have it blow out through the coin eject hole with some kind of upward scoop).     Or maybe I might still mount it on top of the cabinet....or behind the cabinet blowing up through a hose / vent at the top of the cabinet with a finished topper...  

I also would like a simple way to adjust the voltage going to the fan...12V is pretty loud...5V is too slow...so maybe just a simple way to get in between with some kind of pot / switch. I don't have an H-bridge or anything else that would allow me to use PWM right now....maybe if I get a shaker down the line.

Any suggestions would be great..

Also....we just found out that we have bed bugs in the house.....AAAAAAAH! We think my son brought them back from his grade 8 school graduation trip! So now my progress is slowed down considerably, cause we have to purge the house and live in hell for a month or so (and its going to cost alot)

 ....and it was going so well too!



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So now I finally have the solenoids all working. Unfortunately 1 of them was broken in shipping, so I had to settle for 9 instead of 10. Luckily DOF lets you easily combine cabinet toy functions through software, so I just combined middle center and rear center.


I decided to mount them on cross pieces since I was running out of room on the sides of the cabinet. This also allowed me to position them closer to where they would typically be in a real pinball cabinet. I also didn't like the very loud "metal smacking wood" sound the solenoids give when fully engaging (they would also sometimes get stuck open for 2 seconds).  So I used some "plexiglass / plastic" L-bracket looking pieces I had lying around for the solenoids to strike. This kept them from getting stuck and it sounded much better. I also used cable clamps for the slingshot solenoids which works really well to replicate that type of sound.


Sadly, I ran out of terminal strips, so I settled on using solder and electrical tape for the diodes connected to each solenoid. (to snuff out any EMI that could damage the Sainsmart relay board) That's why my wiring looks so wierd for some of this....and the lack of sleep from cleaning my house for 4 days straight didn't help either.



Here's a quick video showing them working:



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Even more progress...let there be light!


Now my 5 flasher LED strips, strobes, start, launch, FIRE button lights are all working with both VP and FP. My beacons are wired and ready…just waiting for them to arrive in the mail!


Since I'll be installing addressable LEDs all around the playfield screen, there will be no room for a traditional RGB 5 flasher bar at the back of the playfield. I still want that function though because Future Pinball cannot use the addessable LEDS as they will be driven by DOF. (Future Pinball only works through legacy Led-Wiz, so far)


So I made use of the LED strips I already installed into my speaker holes. The left speaker has two seperate strips for the left side flashers, and the same goes for the right side. I just had to put a single LED strip at the back of the cabinet to act as the center flasher for now. It works suprisingly well...at least for me:




Here’s a quick video demo of my current 5 flasher layout and lights:






Now its on to getting my blower fan working. My blower fan (attwood 3000) works, but I gotta figure out where its going to go! Gotta find a way to convert a 3 inch hose to the coin door hole opening (similar to what randr did). Otherwise it will have to go on top of the backbox.


Once the fan is done and the beacons arrive…. then I’ll make a topper to finish it off!

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Hey man this is awesome.....I'm about a week away from completing my arcade cab and I'm planning a pinball cab build for the fall....I noticed at the first of the thread you said you acquired pinball legs here in Canada, you wouldn't mind sharing where you got those from would you?

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Hey man this is awesome.....I'm about a week away from completing my arcade cab and I'm planning a pinball cab build for the fall....I noticed at the first of the thread you said you acquired pinball legs here in Canada, you wouldn't mind sharing where you got those from would you?


This is where I got mine from, but they have only one set left...



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Thar she blows!

After seeing blower fans on other pinball cabinets, I knew I was going to have one in my cabinet. 

Visual Pinball currently supports up to almost 30 tables that utilize a blower fan. It can be long gusts of wind like in Twister and Whirlwind, or a quick burst of air during certain events... other examples are:

Attack from Mars - saucer exploding
Medieval Madness - catapult launch, castle exploding
Dirty Harry - shooting your gun
Twilight Zone - Rocket Launch
The Getaway - quick burst of air for each loop
Grand Prix and Nascar - quick burst of air for each lap
Jurassic Park - ?

...and many more.

Some people have a simple fan on top of their cabinet. Others use an inline blower fan. Since alot of the events are quick bursts of air, you need something that can push alot of air very quickly to get the right effect. I used an Attwood 3000 inline blower fan. Since I'm just using this with my relay board for simple on/off function, this works nicely.

Its very effective but also very loud when not used with a hose. When I tried it on top of my backglass, I found it to be too loud, and the air was being spread to wide and alot of the effect was lost for those quick bursts (an Attwood 4000 would work better on top).

So I decided to try randr's unique method....


....by installing it inside the cabinet and blowing air out through the coin eject hole and up to your face. This worked well for the space that I had. I just mounted it in front of the coin door (I don't use the coin mechanism) and connected with a bathroom vent hose. The only problem is coming up with some sort of upward facing scoop to use at the coin door eject hole. I haven't been able to find anything I can get to hack / work that was effective and could be installed with the mounting options that I had. So I just made my own hack job...


I really hope I can find something that will work better....   any suggestions? 

Here's a quick video demonstration:







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Well here it finally is....  addressable LEDS!

After seeing randr showing off addressable leds in action in his cabinet, I knew I would eventually want it!  Well here we go!

The idea is that addressable leds can be controlled individually throughout a strip instead having the entire strip turn on / off / change colour, etc.  As a result you can create cool animation and effects that can be used on the sides and back of your playfield in a pinball cabinet. They are 3 pin strips that run on 5V with a 5V, DATA, and GND line. The controller I'm using is a Teensy, and the software that controls it is DOF (Direct Output Framework)

For my cabinet, my playfield TV lays down on rails, so I couldn't just stick the led strips on the inside of the cabinet, as they may get in the way if I ever need to remove the TV. So I needed to have them mounted on something.  You can buy proper aluminum channels, but to order them online was quite costly with crappy CDN dollar and shipping.

So I decided to use these shelf rail things I found. They are normally mounted on a wall with the opening facing the wall so you can install shelf supports in the slots. They were cheap and they were black so they matched my cabinet inside perfectly. I just had to put in some long strips of backboard for the leds to stick on, or they would be in too deep and it would be hard to see them while playing.


The led strips I purchased are 144 per meter. I have over 700 leds installed. Thats alot of leds! As a result I had to use a dedicated 5V power supply rated at 60A! No matter what length of 144 / meter strip you buy, they all come with 0.5 meter strips soldered together. So if you want a seamless looking strip, you'll need to cut off an led or two and solder it back together. Since my work's soldering station just died, I was stuck with my crappy 21 year soldering iron. For the side led strips I wasn't worried about cutting them to make them look seamless.


Here is the matrix I made for the back of the playfield. This will look like a low-res led screen. It can be made up of how ever many led strips you want as the DOF software will just scale to whatever you have. I used my 2 meter strips and their middle 0.5 meter sections for the back matrix, as they were the perfect size without me having to cut any strips and resolder them to size.  I did however have to solder the 5V, data and gnd pins to and from each strip.


...and here it is in the back of the cabinet.


The connections start at the Teensy controller which is plugged into the computer via usb. Then the Teensy has a cat5 cable output that uses 2 of its wires for the GND and DATA line going to the first strip...which is the right playfield strip. The DATA line then gets connected to and from each strip / matrix, for a continuos connection. 5V and GND also needs to be tapped in at the begginning of each strip and the matrix, as there are alot of leds that need power.


These LEDS are REALLY bright on max brightness. To cut down on that and also to make it so you can't even see the led strips when they are off.... I had a custom piece of tinted plex-glass (5mm) made for the back matrix. That alone wasn't enough, so I needed to add window tint to the front of the plex-glass. I put on 20% tint. This combined with the plex-glass tint was perfect and hid the leds completely until they light up. Now I want to do the same for the sides, but I don't know if I can get plexi-glass cut that small and long.


Success! After setting up the DOF software, the leds strips look amazing!   It's hard to describe all the effects they do while playing, but here is a picture showing the back matrix displaying animations while browsing in Pinball X.



....and here is a video describing what the setup is, and showing what is looks like in Pinball X!





I'll make another video that will show some gameplay that shows off the cool effects while playing!


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While I certainly intended to get another video that showed off the addressable led matrix in action..... I got distracted by a couple of things.


First...I updated to the newest VPX, and the newest UltraDMD.


Then I realised that I had been missing out on a bunch of VPX tables that came out in the last few months!




....but then as I'm about to make a video, my eye caught a great new little program that's a little bit of a game changer....


Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade now have DOF feedback for flipper solenoids (NOT slingshots or bumpers!), RGB lighting and more thanks to a new program called DOFFX2. 


It basically maps keyboard keys to trigger Led-Wiz or sainsmart outputs! It also has some other cool features like RGB lighting control, flipper solenoid timers, and more.




Here are videos that demo both Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade on my cabinet running with DOFFX2 (1.3 beta).


I have the program set to be always on and active the whole time, and you can see it doesn't interfere with Pinball X running the DOF plug-in.


I have the flipper buttons triggering my solenoids.


I have the center RGB led strip "flasher" set to random flipper triggered RGB lighting.


I have the flippers set to turn on a left flasher as green, and a right flasher as blue.


I have the beacon, blower fan, and strobes set to go off during certain moments.... including an appearance from Scotty of Star trek!  ;)


...and other things too.


It's a simple demo of the kind of thing that can be done so far...



Here's a video demo of Pinball FX2:





Here's a video demo of The Pinball Arcade:




No more octo coupler circuits needed! This can be used for MAME, PC Games, etc...



Here's a link to the program's thread:


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For the control panel, the insides of the playfield walls, backglass walls, and DMD bezel, I decided to use carbon fibre vinyl wrap. I had some left over from the simpit, and liked to way it looked with chrome trim. I'm a sucker for chrome and shiny car stuff. (I used to have a 1971 Chevelle with a custom 415 horsepower engine, but that was another life!) This is one of the few things I could buy around here. (at Walmart or Canadian Tire)




Really likin' the carbon fibre wrap on cp....  very nice job!


Is the backing adhesive?



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Really likin' the carbon fibre wrap on cp....  very nice job!


Is the backing adhesive?





Yes. this is the cheap version...not the nicer 3M version,but basically the same.

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AAAAAAH! Disaster has struck.


My center "DMD" / Marquee / extra display" monitor has died on me. I can't complain, it was 10 years old after all....

However, that means I have to replace it with a new monitor / TV.


The bad news, is:


I have to figure out how to mount this new screen. Old one was a 5:4 monitor with no vesa mount at all, new one is a 16:9 TV.

I have to make a new bezel to fit this new screen.

I have to re-do all my media to fit the new bezel.

New bezel will be a tad bit shorter on the 4th display

Future Pinball tables all have to be re-edited to fit the new bezel's 4th display area.


Good news:


The screen quality and colours will look much nicer. (You guys can't tell how dim and faded it was looking by my pics or videos)

I may re-do the speakers into 4 holes to better accommodate my RGB "flashers".

I'll have a monitor that will be much easier to remove.


I can hear you guys screaming.... "Dude, get a real DMD!"


If I put a real DMD into the back of my cabinet, there would be ALOT of unused space left as I can't fit another screen and a DMD into there. It really would look odd, and I'd hate it. Also, I really like having that extra "display area". Especially for MAME and Future Pinball.


Also, the cost of a DMD even with DIY would cost alot more than this new screen which was real cheap and looks great.


Alot of work to do now....but once its installed I WILL show some gameplay footage of VP with the addressable LEDS and matrix, before re-doing all the other stuff.

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Disaster strikes.... a new look emerges!

Dead middle screen:

OK....so my middle "dual" screen which was a 5:4 monitor died on me (after 10 years of service). I now needed to get a new middle screen, and I had to re-build my bezel and speaker arrangement to accommodate it.

I didn't want to bother with another 5:4 monitor, because they are all old now, and I wanted to have something that could easily be replaced in the future. I really wanted to keep the "dual" screen function and I didn't have anough room for both a real DMD and a small screen (of decent size) in the space I had. (and it would look silly with only a DMD in there with lots of unused space)

I decided to go with a 19 inch 16:9 TV. It fit nicely and was the widest I could go....the colours were really nice....it was only $80 CDN new...and unlike the previous monitor which was a ---smurfette--- mount, this had a standard vesa mount. It also had 1:1 pixel mapping which made for a perfect crisp image.

After a bit of work, I was able to get to get it mounted in a way that could easily be adjusted in the future if I had to replaced this one. I now had a little bit of space above and below the TV since this is a widescreen monitor.

New Bezel, new function:

For the bezel, I now had a wider screen space, but that also meant that my speakers would have to be mounted to the farthest sides of the backbox. My "dual" screens would be closer together, and the top half a little bit smaller.

Since I had my RGB "flashers" inside my two speaker holes before and really liked how it worked, I wanted to still have that.... but I didn't like having 2 "flashers" within the same speaker hole. It would end up blending colours and not be distinctive enough. I wanted 4 separate "flashers".

I figured, since my left and right speakers each have 2 smaller speakers...then why not have 4 speaker holes in the bezel!

The RGB speaker holes!

Below is a 2 inch PVC coupler fitting (I think). I got one for each speaker. I cut a notch out at the bottom and put in a strip of RGB LEDs all around then inside....


....then I cut the bezel out of thin backboard, and hot-glued a RGB LED speaker spacer at each hole (after putting on carbon fibre vinyl wrap and automotive car trim in each hole).


....then I put speaker cloth on the back of each hole with an elastic band...


....and voila! Let there be discrete 4 RGB "flasher" lights! 


Each speaker hole is now the Outer Left, Left, Right, Outer Right RGB flasher (center flasher is backbox backlighting).  You'll notice that the LED matrix below has 5 shapes. These are actually the equivalent of the 5 RGB flashers that is displayed for this table. (the shapes can be anything, I was just testing) Notice they are matching in colour with the speaker holes.   

Tables and media need to be re-done:

You'll have to excuse the squished Visual Pinball logo. Since all of my Pinball X "dual middle screen" media (which is one single picture or video) was created with a 5:4 ratio, it now all has to be re-done to look proper with a 16:9 ratio.

If Pinball X had a separate "default DMD video / picture" for each system, this would make my job much easier...

Future Pinball:

Future Pinball tables will all have to be re-edited again, to have all the elements (movie clips, scores, gadgets, etc) to fit the top of the middle screen. What you have seen in my Future Pinball videos in Pinball X for that section is not looping videos. Its all bits from actual gameplay within Future Pinball.

Here are some picture examples of Future Pinball with the new bezel:




At first, I thought the 4 holes looked a little weird, but after seeing the lights in use, I love it! The only thing I hate is the fact that I couldn't get the chrome trim to make a perfect circle.

....and it sounds better too!


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I registered just to say how in awe I am of this build of yours. Truly excellent, sir. I've just gotten MAME to work on my own cabinet today (very much chuffed about it) and one day I hope to have something similar to yours. Again, really awesome work! Subscribed!

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Of course you would have to live in Canada!! I would've bought you countless beers and fed you well to have you here in little ol Omaha to help me with my Pinball machine!! I'm definitely envious or your cabinet!! I think I will just stick to making it without all the bells and whistles  (knockers, tilt, plunger, etc) It will pale in comparison but I'll still enjoy it!! Thanks for making me hate you!!  LOL

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Of course you would have to live in Canada!! I would've bought you countless beers and fed you well to have you here in little ol Omaha to help me with my Pinball machine!! I'm definitely envious or your cabinet!! I think I will just stick to making it without all the bells and whistles  (knockers, tilt, plunger, etc) It will pale in comparison but I'll still enjoy it!! Thanks for making me hate you!!  LOL


You're welcome...lol!  :)


Just start with the small essential stuff, with the ability to add in the toys later.  I honestly had no intention of adding in feedback and all the toys at first.... but over time I added in bit by bit when I could afford it.

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After I finished my new middle "dual" screen and bezel setup, I wanted to setup just a few DMD screen media videos so I would have something that looked better than the squished images from my old setup.....and I wanted it for doing a video of gameplay for VP and the LED matrix.


It also occurred to me that alot of people don't actually understand what my setup is really like and how the media and middle screen setup actually works. Also, alot of people think Future Pinball just plays looped videos from Pinball X for example, which it doesn't.


I get alot of people asking me how I get the media for my middle screen, and how I got the "videos" from Future Pinball showing on FutureDMD (which it isn't), etc



So while making a quick video to show the new bezel and flashers, I thought I would show how I make my media for my middle screen, also how I setup Future Pinball to work with that.



So to answer a bunch of questions, here is a video demonstration of Part 1 of my NEW dual screen / Bezel setup, and media creation This one focuses on Visual Pinball:






...and Part 2 focuses on Pinball FX2 and how to setup Future Pinball for a "dual" middle screen:





....now with that out of the way.... on to getting some VP LED Matrix gameplay videos!.... unless something ELSE happens...  :(

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Visual Pinball Addressable LED Matrix Gameplay Videos!



Well, after a few distractions:  my middle screen dying, creating a new bezel, getting VPX running in exclusive fullscreen issues, etc....



They are finally here! I said a while back I would get around to showing some videos of VP gameplay and effects from addressable leds through DOF....so here they are!



Unlike the rolling effects while browsing in Pinball X, these are different things that occur from various tiggers throughout gameplay. Explosions, looping effects, rocket trails, sparkles, symbols, shapes....all sorts of things. 


Please note: this was the best angle I could get that would still show all 3 sections of the addressable LEDS. The brightness of the LEDs can also be adjusted...so you don't need to worry about being blinded while playing!


I apologize if I seem to repeat myself a few times....the damn power kept going out while I was recording, so I lost track of what I said in earlier videos.



This first video shows Bride of Pinbot and Attack From Mars. Lots of different types of effects shown.... I continued to make other videos, even after the power goes out at the end of this video!




This second video shows off some explosion effects, trail effects, and more. Tables shown are Medieval Madness, and Monster Bash.




This third video shows some cool looping effects from The Getaway, as well as the neat effects in Star Trek and Circus Voltaire!




This last video show ALOT more tables, and demonstrates how the various lighting toys in a pinball cabinet can be replicated by the back matrix! Also shows some other effects. Tables shown are NBA Fastbreak, Jurassic Park, Scared Stiff, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Transformers, Twilight Zone, and Star Wars.





I hope these videos do justice in showing off the hard work from everyone involved in making these effects possible!


If there is something specific you want to see, let me know and maybe I can put up more videos!

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Well how about that...


SLAMT1LT, better known for creating some of the best Future Pinball tables out there (original, recreation, modded, etc) has mentioned my pinball cabinet (saying "this is how his games should be played, etc...") on his website's main page, and linked one of my videos at the bottom where you see the featured videos.


Link to his website is here. Keep in mind that the main page changes all the time, so you may not see "the mention" anymore depending on how long its been. Either way, it's worth checking his page out, as its where you will see the newest versions of his fantastic tables.



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Hey mate, how do you automatically turn on the LCD tv when your system turns on? Do u use a smart strip or do you need an IR signal?

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My TVs turn on automatically when power is applied. Not all TVs have this feature though.


Thanks for the reply Terry, is there a list somewhere that you might be aware of that people keep track of various brands / models that have the auto on feature?

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To top it all off:

Well, I never really liked the way the strobes and beacon looked on top, just all plain looking. So I decided to make some sort of topper for them that would match the style of the rest of the cabinet. Nothing fancy...but I like it much better than the plain look... and the black & chrome really helps to isolate the strobes from the wall behind and makes their light much more concentrated and bright. Here's some pics:






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