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dreamaholic

Steampunk Time Machine Cabinet 37"/28"/DMD

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This build may sound familiar to a few people who saw it on the VP Cabinet forum some time ago. I actually started it 2 years ago, but was forced to abandon it due to a series of health and financial issues (I was also forced to sell my Junk Yard pinball machine). As if that wasn't enough, I had a serious flaw with my cabinet that had me ready to quit. This summer I have been able to resume the project and now am very excited as I can see it starting to take shape. A lot has changed in 2 years - Zebulon's been particularly busy! For some reason no computer in my house will connect to the VP site - must be a router or firewall thing but I can't figure it out. Anyway, I thought I would post the build here since I've been a member here for some time and have no trouble connecting to the site. I currently own White Water, Scared Stiff, Creature From The Black Lagoon, and Popeye pinball machines. The VP cabinet allows me to play all the other games I love but can't afford nor have the space for.

Here's some background on the build. I'm not a woodworker, so I found a gutted Lethal Weapon 3 cabinet on Craigslist that included glass, coin door, lockdown bar, backbox hinges, legs and bolts, and gun plunger. I was originally going to design the theme around the gun plunger, but then I saw Doug Hafner's Monster Arcade steampunk mame cabinet and I was hooked. I love steampunk (I've attended a couple of Steamcons in Seattle) and wanted to take mine in a similar direction. I love mods and toys on my other machines, so adding steampunk items felt like a perfect fit. I sold the coin door on eBay (since I didn't need it), which pretty much paid for the cabinet. I still have the gun plunger but I won't be using it for this build. The build is happening in 3 stages. Stage 1 is design, cabinet prep, PC and screen installations; stage 2 is steampunk elements installation; stage 3 is force feedback elements installation. Here it is broken down into sections. Pics to follow...

Stage 1: cabinet prep, PC, and screens

PC components

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

MSI P67A-G43 Motherboard

Intel I5-2500K Quad-core Processor

GSKILL Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 SDRAM

GTX 460 !GB EVGA card

GE Force 8400 1GB EVGA card

Antec HCG-750 ATX 750W 12V Power Supply

Crucial M4 2.5" 64GB SATA3 SSD

HP Lightscribe SATA DVD burner

Netgear Wireless Adapter

USB Mouse

USB Keyboard

Smart Powerstrip

I-pac keyboard emulator

Screens

37" Panasonic TC-L37U3 IPS-Alpha LCD

28" Hann-g

Vishay Orange DMD + PinDmD board (was originally to be a 17" monitor)

Cabinet features

Cherry veneer side panels, front panel, and backbox side panels

Brass-plated legs/lockdown bar/side rails/backbox hinges

Front drawer glides allowing PC access through the front panel

DMD speaker panel with 4" Infinity speakers

Inifinity Subwoofer

Pioneer amplifier

4 cooling fans

Clear flipper buttons

Toggle switches, 12V lighted

Stage 2: Steampunk elements

Tesla Sphere

Model T Master Vibrator Buzz Coil

Edison Bulbs

Color changing LED bubblers

Vintage pressure gauges

Copper tubing

Vintage faucet handles

Clock gears

Vintage electrical gauges

Vintage knife switch

Victorian door knob plunger

Bristol cast iron counter with skeleton key

other items that may or may or may not make it into the build

Radio tubes

WWII Mark 14 torpedo gyroscope

Weeden steam engine

1905 6.5" altitude gauge

Stage 3: Force feedback (not purchased yet)

Zeb's booster boards

Zeb's shaker/gear motor

LEDwiz

7 Siemens 24V contactors

24V power supply

Extra 12V power supply

Zeb's LED light bar

The flaw in the cabinet that I mentioned above occurred when moisture got to it and my veneer bubbled up away from the cabinet. I was ready to quit, but decided to just roll with it. I explain it as "the effects of space-time travel on the exterior of the cabinet." Currently I have painted the inside of the cabinet and I'm creating scale drawings so that I can get all my "toys" fitted properly.

Many thanks to Zebulon, Rawd, mameman23, maxxsinner, DedRok_V, and Darkfall who provided initial guidance with my build over on the VP forum 2 years ago...

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Sorry I haven't updated this yet - I've caught a nasty cold I'm trying to shake, hopefully I will do so before I leave for Vegas on Thursday. Planning on visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame while I'm there...

Should have an update early next week...

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Pinball hall of fame is cool lots of machines but not what you would expect. Also beware of shady cab drivers and hooker on the way there I was there June 2012

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Pinball hall of fame is cool lots of machines but not what you would expect. Also beware of shady cab drivers and hooker on the way there I was there June 2012

Shady hooker???? Now I'm intrigued....:D

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I'm back from Vegas, no shady hooker stories (sorry Zeb) this time. Loved the Pinball Hall of Fame, especially The Pinball Circus, which I found to be an intriguing and inspiring design. After I finish my virtual pin, I'd like to try building my own real upright pinball cabinet. I know it can be done, I've been following a guy's blog on building a 12V Bioshock pinball machine...

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Here's a crude mockup image of the front panel using Photoshop. The end result might look slightly different but you get the idea. The gauges light up with green LEDs, the toggle switches light up blue and are my game function "buttons". The plunger is a vintage victorian doorknob. The knife switch is really a "handle" that allows the PC components to pull out through the front on drawer glides. I might have one of the radio knobs control volume, not sure about the other knob.

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I'm now working on a mockup of the backbox...

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Nice one. Love the old knife switch.

Edit: Had an idea about that second knob. My playfield LED's @700ma almost burn the eyes out of the back of my skull so I used a little breakout board to have the voltage controlled for all the playfield LEDs without having to put a variable resistor on each one.

Just one resistive pot varies the voltage via the breakout board on all my LED's so I can dim them or make them brighter.

Just a thought :)

Edited by maxxsinner

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Nice one. Love the old knife switch.

Edit: Had an idea about that second knob. My playfield LED's @700ma almost burn the eyes out of the back of my skull so I used a little breakout board to have the voltage controlled for all the playfield LEDs without having to put a variable resistor on each one.

Just one resistive pot varies the voltage via the breakout board on all my LED's so I can dim them or make them brighter.

Just a thought :)

Maxx, great idea! I was hoping to find a use for that knob as I like items to be functional and not just for show.

Is it something I can pick up pre-made, or did you have to make it yourself?

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It's something I had made up, but I am happy to share. It's more than likely overkill for the job but with all my testing so far, it works a treat.

Will send you a PM this weekend to discuss.

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It's something I had made up, but I am happy to share. It's more than likely overkill for the job but with all my testing so far, it works a treat.

Will send you a PM this weekend to discuss.

Looking forward to it, thanks!

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And here's another crude Photoshop mockup of the backbox. The bubblers change color, the Edison bulbs light, and the plasma sphere not only works, but is also sound sensitive. Vintage radio cloth is used to hide the speakers, and a Root Counter is placed under the DMD - the Counter is used to set the "date" that the time machine will travel to. Or I may use it to simply count games played. The water pressure gauges will not actually be functional. The upper box is the "generator" that makes time travel possible and features wire mesh backlit with LEDs...

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