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zebulon

Digital plunger released

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Kit Features:

Control unit controlling digital plunge functions, button input functions and realistic, stable analog nudging functions.

Plunger Features:

Smooth, repeatable action

Stable, consistent performance

Compatibility with VP, FP and Pinball FX2

Nudge Features:

Complete configuration compatibility with VP, FP and Pinball FX2 control settings

Automatic return to zero positioning

Realistic and stable performance

Input Features:

8 Hard Coded standard keyboard control inputs

4 User customiseable (within game control settings page) gamepad buttons

Fully debounced inputs for consistent, reliable function

User upgradeable firmware for future enhancement releases.

Each kit includes all necessary hardware including mounting plate and machine screws.

http://www.zebsboards.com/index.php/feedback-control-devices/plunger-detail

post-19625-142870646556_thumb.jpg

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OK, I'm interested! I plan to build a mini pincab one of these days, possibly next year, and have been keeping an eye on the Virtuapin plunger. It seems to have been having some teething problems, so I look forward to seeing what people make of your take on it.

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Very Nice!!

So this is a complete input setup? Flipper buttons, start, coin, plunger, nudge.

Can you explain the differences between the keyboard inputs (8 hard coded) and the User Assignable inputs? Does this give one enough inputs to run a pin-cab?

Thanks,

Ron

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I made my own... Steel, a spring and a switch works real good! All wired to my ipac. $190+ ...ouch

Nice!!! Is it velocity sensitive? If you only pull it half way back, does it still launch the ball as hard as if you pull it all the way back?

Thanks,

Ron

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No... It doesn't all analogue mate. Most games know how long you press a key for which equates to same idea . It's even possible to not releasing it long enough and the ball doesn't make it onto the table

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No... It doesn't all analogue mate. Most games know how long you press a key for which equates to same idea . It's even possible to not releasing it long enough and the ball doesn't make it onto the table

Ahhh.. So you close the switch when pulled back. Not when let go?

Nice!

Wonder how this new device works?

Thanks,

Ron

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Hi Ron,

The 8 keyboard commands are L_shift (left flipper), R_shift (right flipper), Enter (launch), 5 (coin), E (exit), L_Ctrl (left magna save), R_Ctrl (right magnasave) and 1 (Start)

The other 4 inputs are programmed to be gamepad buttons 1-4 which are easily assigned in The vp or fp control panel.

Thanks for the interest!!

-zeb-

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Hi Ron,

The 8 keyboard commands are L_shift (left flipper), R_shift (right flipper), Enter (launch), 5 (coin), E (exit), L_Ctrl (left magna save), R_Ctrl (right magnasave) and 1 (Start)

The other 4 inputs are programmed to be gamepad buttons 1-4 which are easily assigned in The vp or fp control panel.

Thanks for the interest!!

-zeb-

Zeb,

Thanks for your reply. What about the plunger? Are there any out there that do what is described in my earlier post above (#5)?

Thanks,

Ron

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Not sure what you're after there. It reads as though you want one that releases at full strength regardless of the amount that you draw it back...pretty sure that's not what you're after.....:)

By design, the plunger emulates a joystick. Mine takes positioning counts by using a linear encoder with a native resolution of over 1600 counts across the 65mm of travel that a plunger has. The number and speed of these counts are then mapped to a joystick axis range and then finally injected into the joystick axis in the joystick control panel. Basically, what that all boils down to is that the signal is completely digital rather than the traditional analog approach of measuring varying voltages.

Rate and distance of travel are both factored into the equation so yes, the velocity of the plunger tip over the distance traveled varies the strength with which the ball is launched.

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I made my own... Steel, a spring and a switch works real good! All wired to my ipac. $190+ ...ouch

Although it doesn't look as pretty, mine probably only cost me $10 not $190. How come these things are so expensive? I did look into them but was put off simply by the costings:-( guess everything has a price.

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It's a business.

After 2 years of R&D costs exceeding $5000 in material outlay, the actual cost of the unit to produce, the overhead for the shop, and the warranty and support that has to be offered there has to be something in it for me at the end if I'm building them for others (and whether you choose to believe it or not, there's not much in it for me at $175US but we go with what the market will bear).

I'm all for DIY and if you can make a functional unit for $10 (and certainly not disparaging your creation, but there is a huge difference in the tech between a switch and the sensor that I've designed) then more power to you. If you were to make them by hand in batches of 50 or so to supply demand, would you be selling them for the $10 it cost to build?

I'm sure this response sounds somewhat snarky, but that really isn't my intention. The bottom line is exactly that, the bottom line. If I can't get some minimal compensation for my effort why would I bother? I often wonder how many emails along this vein does NVidea get for asking $400 + for their video cards and if they even bother to respond to them.

Thanks,

-zeb-

As a side note, $175US is $105GBP when I checked yesterday, I'm not sure why it is coming up as $190 if you are in the UK. $190 is the CAN dollar equivalent.

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Not sure what you're after there. It reads as though you want one that releases at full strength regardless of the amount that you draw it back...pretty sure that's not what you're after.....:)

By design, the plunger emulates a joystick. Mine takes positioning counts by using a linear encoder with a native resolution of over 1600 counts across the 65mm of travel that a plunger has. The number and speed of these counts are then mapped to a joystick axis range and then finally injected into the joystick axis in the joystick control panel. Basically, what that all boils down to is that the signal is completely digital rather than the traditional analog approach of measuring varying voltages.

Rate and distance of travel are both factored into the equation so yes, the velocity of the plunger tip over the distance traveled varies the strength with which the ball is launched.

That is close enough. The further back you pull it, on a linear scale, the harder it hits the "ball". Doesn't matter to me if it's based on the velocity of the plunger or based on the distance it travels.

This looks like just the thing for a little bar-top or basic pin-cab.

Thank you for your informative answer.

Thanks,

Ron

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It's a business.

After 2 years of R&D costs exceeding $5000 in material outlay, the actual cost of the unit to produce, the overhead for the shop, and the warranty and support that has to be offered there has to be something in it for me at the end if I'm building them for others (and whether you choose to believe it or not, there's not much in it for me at $175US but we go with what the market will bear).

I'm all for DIY and if you can make a functional unit for $10 (and certainly not disparaging your creation, but there is a huge difference in the tech between a switch and the sensor that I've designed) then more power to you. If you were to make them by hand in batches of 50 or so to supply demand, would you be selling them for the $10 it cost to build?

I'm sure this response sounds somewhat snarky, but that really isn't my intention. The bottom line is exactly that, the bottom line. If I can't get some minimal compensation for my effort why would I bother? I often wonder how many emails along this vein does NVidea get for asking $400 + for their video cards and if they even bother to respond to them.

Thanks,

-zeb-

As a side note, $175US is $105GBP when I checked yesterday, I'm not sure why it is coming up as $190 if you are in the UK. $190 is the CAN dollar equivalent.

Zeb,

Not at all snarky, I fully understand the costs involved in R&D. I have a patent for a device I developed a few years ago. The entire process was almost $7000.00 from start to finish and that was before production. ;)

Thanks,

Ron

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No insult intended my end - and none taken. I'm sure yours is the bees knees. I've seen these digital plungers advertised before at a similar price. I'm sure if I built a standalone pinball machine I'd buy your design ;-)

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No worries guys, there was no offense taken here either, it's a valid question. Living in Ontario, Canada isn't getting me any breaks either as our gov't seems hell bent on putting everyone out of business with exorbitant taxes, user fees, special interest surcharges, etc, etc, etc...

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When I was planning my build I thought about buying a digital plunger, but then I decided to go the microswitch route because that was the cheapest option. But after a little while I got really fed up with this solution, it's hard to make any skill shots / controlled shots, so when I saw that zebulon was working on a new plunger kit I knew I had to have it :D the thing is you get a controller for buttons and a nudge device as well as a real plunger so I think its a fair price.

Edited by Blashyrk

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So would I still need an i-pac if I got this solution? Also is there a video if the nudging in action? Thanks!

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I've tried every plunger on the market and zebs plunger is the most reliable by far. I don't use the encoder as I already had a ipac2. Great product with a solid design.

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Awesome thanks so much. Of course I bought the ipac already. Hopefully in a months time I will be having a huge order for zebs!

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The ipac does have more inputs. And as randr has shown, it works without any conflicts with the ipac as well.

One of the future upgrades I'm looking at for it is incorporating a port expander to increase the keyboard/button inputs to somewhere around 26 or so. I don't forsee it being too much of a load for the system but won't know for sure until I try.

1st I want to get back to tweaking the code to allow for the plunger to double up as the launch ball button as well.

Edited by zebulon

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