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Legtod2 build log


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A few months ago I purchased a pinball machine "Phoenix" with the intent of converting it into a virtual pin.

It was sold to me as a working machine but in reality it needed a solenoid driver board and 7 solenoids in the play field area. I am repairing this machine back to a working state then selling.

I deviated for my original plan and preserved a quote working machine.

Yesterday I picked up two 48 in by 96 in by 3/4 in thick good quality plywood.

Took measurement from my existing pinball machine, cut the wood and assembled it (pictures coming).

Damm it would have been a lot cheaper to take the existing machine and gut it. All the hardware parts alone will cost exceed what it cost me to buy the Phoenix pinball machine.

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I need some advice in the following areas.

1) glass table top mounting.

How are you mounting the glass to the table? On my existing machine you remove the lock bar and slide the glass out. So what type of hardware to secure the glass to table.

2) lockdown bar.

The lockdown bar has a lever under the table to lock the bar. I saw vendor stuff for lockdown bar but nothing for the lock itself. What are others using?

3) pinball legs.

I'm assuming people get them from eBay of pinball vendors. I like to find some that don't break my piggy bank in cost.

4) back glass.

The back box is going to hold my monitor and 2 speakers, the sub woofer will be in cabinet.should I place a fan in back box?

And how are people mounting Backglass or plexiglass to back box?

5) nudging

I want to have nudging and not use buttons to simulate it. What works for this component and is adjustable?

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Spend the day sanding and wood putty for wood screw holes.

The table is looking good, need to pick up some paint, not sure what to use yet but it's gonna be black and latter I'll plan what I want to do about graphics or artwork.

Shopped around for glass for table top and back glass. Don't know if I'm gonna go the temper glass route or not yet. Other challenge is what I'm gonna use for a slide rail.

Ordered my legs and lockdown bar yesterday.

Things are coming along, need to download my picture and update the log.

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Hey Legtod2,

I'm not sure if you already found your answers, but virtuapin.net sells a nice kit that comes with nearly all of the parts you will need to put a pin together. If you just need certain parts I would checkout pinballlife.com. Typically orders get sent out the same day if you order early enough.

The glass is held by side rail plastics that are fitted similar to T-Molding. You would simply use a slot cutting router bit and on the edges, then fit the plastics into the slots.

I ended up putting in three 220mm fans in my cabinet. 1 for the backglass and two for the playfield. Here's a link for the ones I used http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200055.

As far as nudging goes, there are a few ways people have gone about this. You can use normal pinball tilt bobs that are wired up to your keyboard encoder, you can purchase a nanotech unit that will also allow you to attach their digital pinball plunger, or you can grab one of the Microsoft sidewinder pro gamepads. I'm going the gamepad route myself. The cost of the gamepad was only $10 on eBay, and gStav swears by it, so I'm giving it a chance. I haven't reached that far into my own build to see how well it performs, but I'll be sure to comment once I do.

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Thanks Deegor, I picked up three fans, two will go in cab and one in back glass area.

Gonna give sidewinder a whirl for nudging my plan B will be nanotech .

Starting to consider mounting top glass inside cab on wooden lips above play field. Then corner bracket over edge of table and above glass.

Not sure if this is a good idea.

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Chris99 ? I can never remember things this early in the AM. But he has tilt bobs and mercury switches. I'm excited to see what he says about how they work. I think tilt bobs are for actual tilt? But I'm still new to all this so someone with some knowledge should chime in. I want the most realistic feel, so I'll do whatever. I shall continue reading....

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Painted the interior of cab and back box black. Test mounted play field tv and checked alignment.

Coming along fine. Tried to upload pictures but limitation on size and dimensions of pictures.

Since your a gold member you have access to your own image gallery here, you can uplaod pictures to your own galleries and you can get links from the gallery to post images in your post.

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Last couple of days spent painting exterior of cabinet and drilling the three fan holes.

Need to pick up some fan guards.

Gonna mount two fans on back wall of cab and one in Back box.

Here is the main box


And the back box


Side view


Front view notice access hole between cab and back box...


Here it is with paint and test fitting 26" tv.


Since this picture was taken I swapped out the 26" for a 37" tv. Beleive me the 37 is the ideal size and fits well filling the whole area well

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Received my custom cut glass. They screwed up my order by shipping two play field glasses and one back glass. Oh well see what trouble I need to go to return 2nd play field glass.

The glass is 3/16 inch thick or 5mm.

Mounted some quarter round wood inside the back box to act as a lip for the glass to rest on. The back glass is in some j-channel aluminum that is painted white. I will include some pictures tomorrow to show how the glass is mounted.

I have not found any fan guards for my three fans yet, may end up using wire mesh since they sit on the back of the machine.

Going to mount the fans in the bottom cab to blow air into the cab and the fan on the back box to exhaust the air. Presumably hot air will rise thru the machine and exit out the back. I plan on using an led monitor for the back box so it should be running pretty cool. Air will rise from the main cab into the 1ft x 3 inch connection hole between cab and back box and get sucked out the back.

Man building the wooden cabinet was easy all these little details takes a lot of time and thinking... I need another beer.

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Power notes:

I'm going to borrow the same technique from my arcade machine builds.

To turn on machine the coin door will need to be openned and a small service panel will have momentary switches that service the machine. One button actually leads to the power on/off button for the pc. The pc will be plugged into a switched relay power bar.

The relay bar has one outlet which is always on. When that outlet detects power on it turns on the power to the other outlets on the power bar. So when I turn on the pc from the service button it causes the play field monitor, back led monitor, speaker, etc to turn on.

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Play field notes:

When I built this cabinet, I ment for it to allow me to upgrade computer, play field screen components over time. Initially I am installing refurbished 26" LCD and 19 " led that I received for free. I replaced the power supply in the 26" tv for $50.00.

Over time I will upgrade to a 40 " Led or LCD when I can afford it and not disturb the delicate wife acceptance factor of spending too much money on a hobby.

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Cost notes:

Two sheets 4x8 3/4 thick maple plywood $104.00

Hardware nails, screws corner brackets $40.00

Play field and back glass $140.00

Paint $120.00

4 legs and lockdown bar and brackets $111.00

Coin door $66.05

Pacled64 and u-hid-g (led control and nudge control ) $116.00

Button kit $52.00

Power bar and relay bar $35.00

Dell optiplex pc $250.00

Zotac gts220 video card $78.00

26" hitachi LCD tv (free + $50 new power supply board)

19" led monitor free switched from wide to 4:3 $80.00

Wireless keyboard and mouse $40.00

Glass hardware for mounting $40.00

Nudging hardware ( no idea yet )

Updates may 25,2012

Purchased 37" fluid tv (thesource name brand for samsung tv 329.00)

Purchased usb acel $15.00 nudging attempt 2

Purchased custom artwork 150 + Shipping

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The pc truthfully is a re-purposed machine from a pvr project I got earlier this year, but I expect to purchase a 40" led or LCD later and all the other project extra peices yet to come.

I expect over the next year of use the nudging components, plunger, lights, and graphics, I will easily add another $500 plus the costs of the upgraded tv. To save cost I will pick up a broken tv and repair/replace the broken components ( bad power supply, inverter board, main board).

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Busy day adding legs glass, and lockdown bar

First time legs mounted, haven't ordered my coin door yet so front looks weird.

Also havent added buttons yet.


Nother angle of the legs



No glass on playfield


Looks good with slide rail, glass and lockdown bar


Back view you can see the fan holes


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What's next

I am contemplating adding a door on the back of the box and a rolling shelf for ease of computer maint. These rolling shelfs look expensive

Need to cut the coin door in the front of the cabinet.

Order buttons and install them

Mount computer and power bar in cabinet

Mount iPac and button wires.

Determine how to secure lockdown bar Velcro or make some sort of mech for it.

Complete back box glass forming

Secure speakers in back box and sub in cabinet

Determine artwork and theme for cabinet

Explore nudging

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Looking sweet there legtod2

I can help with item 1. :)

The rolling shelves that some of us have installed are only as expensive as the draw slides we use. I got mine from a kitchen cabinet maker locally and got 2 sets for 50$ Aus. Cheap!

Then a simple frame to hold it together and a couple of left over bits of board for the shelves and your done. Well worth it IMO.

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