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scottpe

STAR WARS: Pinball Unleashed - 46"/32"/DMD Widebody Build

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Hello All,

I have been watching the Arcade and Pinball emulation scene for about 9-10 years now, and in 2009-2010 I built my first arcade cabinet. I knew at the time that I wanted to build a pincab as well, but I needed some time to recover from the arcade build (both mentally and financially), so the whole pinball idea pretty much sat on the back burner for quite sometime. So then last year I stumbled upon a pinball build on one of the popular arcade forums that was unlike anything I had seen. I was totally shocked at how far the hobby had come! Force feedback? REAL DMD? Interactive lighting? These were all just dreams before. As soon as I saw that all of these things were now possible, and that VP had seemingly improved so dramatically, I knew it was time. I HAD to have one of these cabs...

So for the past few months, I've been lurking and soaking in as much knowledge as possible, all the while strategically purchasing and stashing parts as the opportunities presented themselves. Well my parts stash has now reached critical mass, and it's time to get this show on the road!

I struggled for quite a while deciding what theme I wanted to use for the cab. I bounced between a WWII theme, Indiana Jones, among others. Then I saw the video announcement for Zen Studios' forthcoming Star Wars Pinball tables, and it hit me that I had not really seen any well done Star Wars themed cabs. So I'll thank Zen for the inspiration, and Disney for giving me 'A New Hope' for the Star Wars franchise with their purchase of its rights from Lucas. I've been a huge fan of the original trilogy since childhood anyway, so Star Wars really is a natural choice.

Incidentally, I put a bug in Zen's ear begging them to add dual monitor support to their future PC release of the game to make the game pincab friendly. I even pointed them to Russ' great PinDMD and urged them to support that as well (knowing that it would probably be a long shot). Their company line is 'Pinball Everywhere'. My assertion was that it's not 'everywhere' if it's not on the cabinets purpose built for the job, and that there would be no more impressive way to show off their game than on such a machine...especially one that's Star Wars themed. wink.png They wrote me back and said that they were discussing my request, so we'll see what happens. I would love to be able to showcase their game on my cabinet. But I digress...

So without further ado, presenting...

StarWarsPinballUnleashedSmall_zps0bb8e444.png

Here are the specs:

- Cabinet

  • Widebody based on the popular Williams plans by Mameman. Backbox widened to properly fit 32" TV
  • Two 4x8 sheets of cabinet grade oak plywood
  • 1x2" boards for playfield TV rails, and various braces/supports throughout the cabinet

- Screens

  • 46" Playfield: Samsung UN46ES6003 Super Thin LED LCD 1080P
  • 32" Backglass: Samsung UN32EH4003 LED LCD 720P (1366x768 resolution)
  • Vishay LEE-128G032-1 Orange LED DMD (single pixel array...no segments)

- PC Setup

  • Windows XP 32 bit Optimized Nlite Version
  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Quad Core 3.4Ghz CPU
  • Cooler Master Hyper-212 CPU Cooler
  • Asus M4A785TD-M EVO Motherboard
  • 4GB G.SKILL DDR3 1600 RAM (2x 2GB sticks)
  • Asus GTX560 OC Video Card
  • Samsung 840 series 120GB SSD
  • Corsair CX600M 600W Modular Power Supply

- Sound System

  • Infinity 5022i 5.25" Reference Speakers
  • Infinity 8" 860W Reference Subwoofer
  • Pioneer GM800 4 channel amplifier for 5.25"s
  • Subwoofer Amplifier (TBD)

- Force Feeback (no pun intended)

  • Zebulon's Shaker/Gear motor assembly
  • 8 Siemens 3RT1016-1BB41 Contactors (feedback for flippers, bumpers and slings)
  • Real Pinball Knocker

- Lighting

  • Zebulon's Cree LED light bar (5 flashers)
  • Two 21-LED Strobes
  • LEDwholesalers RGB Color Changing Lighting Kit for under cabinet

- Electronics/Controller Boards

  • Zebulon's new booster boards for powering the toys, flashers and strobes (this board simplifies the wiring of all the toys big-time)
  • RussDX's PinDMD2 to control the Vishay DMD
  • Groovy Game Gear LEDWiz for force feedback and lighting
  • Ultimarc IPAC2 USB interface for buttons

- Cooling

  • 4x Enermax T.B. Silence 120mm Ultra Quiet Twister Bearing Fans
  • 4x 120mm chrome fan grills

- Buttons

  • GGG Chromalite buttons for Start, Coin and Exit
  • Bally Yellow Launch Ball Button
  • Green Happ Arcade Pushbutton (for power button)
  • IL Translucent Buttons (flippers)

- Miscellaneous

  • Belkin Conserve Power Strip
  • ATX power supply to power Zebulon's booster boards
  • Microsoft Sidewinder Freestyle Pro (for tilt/nudge)
  • Data East Coin Door

EDIT: Here's some pics of the final product:

IMG_3308_zpsa86566e6.jpg

IMG_3327_zps84519095.jpg

IMG_3240_zpsd5e23d8d.jpg

IMG_3267_zps04b04308.jpg

IMG_2928_zps062a2acc.jpg

IMG_2903_zps4ba46378.jpg

IMG_2927_zpsa1f4ebd8.jpg

IMG_2916_zps120387b3.jpg

IMG_2915_zps74bbb5d0.jpg

Video:

http://youtu.be/NS4BOkwInPo]http://youtu.be/NS4BOkwInPo

Here's pics of some of the goodies:

IMG_2478_zps423e4b5b.jpg

IMG_2481_zps971738db.jpg

Vishay DMD...

IMG_2482_zps6a6d512f.jpg

Light Bar, under-cab lighting and Strobes...

IMG_2487_zps094662f5.jpg

Siemens contactors...

IMG_2492_zpsb750d442.jpg

Zebulon's new booster boards to power all the toys...

IMG_2493_zps88687f8e.jpg

Zebulon's shaker/gear motor assembly...

IMG_2494_zps2a709e7d.jpg

Ear candy...

IMG_2498_zps4122c378.jpg

More ear candy... (sub)

IMG_2499_zps5002d9ff.jpg

Cooling...

IMG_2501_zps8d4b2a6d.jpg

Currently in the process of configuring the PC/Windows, and then will start loading VP, HyperPin, etc. and try to get at least a couple tables going.

Well, that's all for now...

Edited by scottpe

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Just a note, I have the 555 which I unlocked to 4 cores. You will want to overclock to at least 4ghz to get enough power for everything you want to do.

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Hi Zablon,

Thanks for the reply. I was indeed a little skeptical about the CPU. The only reason I went with the AMD was because I already had a brand new socket AM2 motherboard which was given to me for free, and since the X4 965 can be had for under $100, it was about a third of the cost of going with an Intel solution. I spoke with another forum member that has this exact CPU and toys, and he indicated that it does everything just fine.

Based on what I've read, a big factor in the performance is a) whether you use UVP and B) what OS you run. I'm planning to only use B2S backglasses, which I understand are much less demanding, and I'm running an Nlite stripped version of XP, which should be very efficient. I'm also only using one video card since I have the PinDMD2. I've heard some complaints of multiple video cards causing performance issues.

Anyway, all that to say I'm hopeful. But time will tell. The good thing is, I can easily sell this motherboard and CPU and get back more than I've spent, and then upgrade to an i5 or i7 solution if it's needed.

Take care.

Edited by scottpe

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I like your choice of audio components! One question: are you planning to enclose the sub or just mount it free air?

Looking forward to following another build as I prepare for my own.

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I like your choice of audio components! One question: are you planning to enclose the sub or just mount it free air?

RoccoC, that's a great question, and the answer is, I haven't decided yet. :) I've seen it done both ways around here, and I'm not sure that there is any consensus on which way is better. I think the biggest argument for just using the cabinet itself as the acoustic enclosure is that it uses much less room than putting a box in there. With all the toys and their supporting hardware, I think space is going to be at a premium inside.

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RoccoC, that's a great question, and the answer is, I haven't decided yet. :) I've seen it done both ways around here, and I'm not sure that there is any consensus on which way is better. I think the biggest argument for just using the cabinet itself as the acoustic enclosure is that it uses much less room than putting a box in there. With all the toys and their supporting hardware, I think space is going to be at a premium inside.

Yeah, that makes sense. Just curious how a sub normally intended for a small sealed enclosure will perform mounted in a large/free-air type installation. I'll make sure and keep an eye on your project to see what you decide, and either way I'm sure it will turn out awesome! ;)

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looking at your parts list, this is by no means a budget build. As such, wouldn't a 30" 16:10 backglass monitor make more sense, thats what i would get, if i had the cash. The size and more importantly aspect ratio work better for emulating a real backglass.

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wowter, thanks for your reply.

I do agree that 16:10 would be closer to ideal, but those monitors are typically incredibly expensive (often $1000+). There are some brands I've never heard of that can be ordered from overseas in the $600-700 range (still very expensive). I've seen a couple forum members use the old NEC LCD3000, but that's a beast of a monitor that's not easy to come by anymore, and even then they are almost always used (read unknown condition).

I just don't think 16:10 aspect ratio is a significant enough improvement over 16:9 to warrant spending 2-3x what I did for my Samsung (~$300), or spending the same on an old used monitor that I have no idea how long will last.

I chose to put the extra money toward buying my top-of-the-line DMD instead. :)

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You can get a Hannspree 28" 1920x1200 for around $200 and they look great for backglasses. It's what I use in mine and I believe many people here use them. Just an idea if you want to save some money.

Edited by Zablon

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scottpe...you got some nice goodies gathered there. Giving me some ideas of more stuff I need to get. Yeah I didn't know much yet but I ordered a 28" 16:10 Viewsonic from Ebay because I noticed they used that size on the Virtuapin cabinets. Those booster boards and gear assembly look really nice. I couldn't find anywhere that shows them for sale and when I searched for Zeblon I found nothing. It looked like the user Zebulon might have designed them so is the only way to get them by privately contacting him?

Thanks,

Gil

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D'oh! Gilrock, you are right. It is Zebulon. I corrected my original post. My apologies to Zebulon on that! I was tired when I wrote my post... :)

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You can get a Hannspree 28" 1920x1200 for around $200 and they look great for backglasses. It's what I use in mine and I believe many people here use them. Just an idea if you want to save some money.

Thanks Zablon. I will probably explore that option a bit more. I just have to decide if the minor improvement in aspect ratio is worth the reduction in overall screen size and the extra cost, since unfortunately, I can't return the Samsung. But I'm sure I could find another use for it. The Hanspree is getting a bit hard to find as well. There are some used ones out there, but I'd prefer to buy new if I can...

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Thanks Zablon. I will probably explore that option a bit more. I just have to decide if the minor improvement in aspect ratio is worth the reduction in overall screen size and the extra cost, since unfortunately, I can't return the Samsung. But I'm sure I could find another use for it. The Hanspree is getting a bit hard to find as well. There are some used ones out there, but I'd prefer to buy new if I can...

You know Sunday morning I had that same Hanspree monitor up on my screen to purchase from TigerDirect but I waited till I did some more reading on what I would need. Later in the evening I logged in from another computer and it was showing Out of Stock. I went back to my other PC and it was still showing as In Stock until I refreshed the page. I bet one of you guys bought the last one. :) I searched and searched and it seemed like that was the last new one in existence. None of the ones on Ebay looked inviting so I ended up buying a refurbished Viewsonic that was the same size and ratio.

Gil

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When I made the first 2 cabs I used the Hanspree monitors. Cheap and nice looking. I bought mine at Walmart. Maybe check their website as they ship to a store near you (provided there IS a store near you).

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@Pinball999, that's a real compliment, and I appreciate it. I'm glad my previous project was some inspiration, and that's exactly why I tried to be so meticulous with building and documenting it. My philosophy is that anything I can contribute to help draw attention to the hobby and help it thrive is time well invested. I hope the same can be said of this pin project when I'm finished.

@luvthatapex, thanks for the tip.

Take care,

--Scott

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Incidentally, I put a bug in Zen's ear begging them to add dual monitor support to their future PC release of the game to make the game pincab friendly. I even pointed them to Russ' great PinDMD and urged them to support that as well (knowing that it would probably be a long shot).

You don't want to also contact Farsight by any chance? ;)

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You don't want to also contact Farsight by any chance? ;)

Well, I saw a post over on the vpforums indicating that Farsight has already advertised that Cabinet support is in their release plans for this year. Now what their definition of 'cabinet support' is remains to be seen, I guess...

But I agree, I'd love to see their tables running in full blown cabinet mode.

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Computer is built and now the first signs of a pinball machine are starting to emerge. ;) Just a little screen test here. Next step is to get the real DMD working...

IMG_2528_zps11066ca8.jpg

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looking good.. but the thing we are all waiting to see is your cardboard control box mockup..

you know is not a real machine until you have made on of those :laugh:

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I have a 32" 1080p TV for my backglass. I have zero issues with the 16:9 aspect ratio, I wouldn't trade down in size just to get 16:10, or spend 3x the money. It's really not a huge difference. Since you'll have a real DMD it's gonna look great, be different if you were trying to cram a grill and DMD onto your backglass too. :)

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looking good.. but the thing we are all waiting to see is your cardboard control box mockup..

you know is not a real machine until you have made on of those :laugh:

LOL, I haven't built one yet, but don't think I haven't thought about it! But I have been setting up a lot of tables, and you know there's always 'quality control' involved with that process to ensure things are working right. Pretty darn fun even on a keyboard. ;)

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I have a 32" 1080p TV for my backglass. I have zero issues with the 16:9 aspect ratio, I wouldn't trade down in size just to get 16:10, or spend 3x the money. It's really not a huge difference. Since you'll have a real DMD it's gonna look great, be different if you were trying to cram a grill and DMD onto your backglass too. :)

Aurich, I completely agree with you. I set up quite a few tables in both VP and FP over the weekend, and I had zero concern about the aspect ratio after getting everything adjusted. The look is completely acceptable to me. Yeah, it's not 'perfect' but, like you, I would rather have the extra screen real estate than a slight improvement in aspect ratio.

Edited by scottpe

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Finally, a little DMD goodness...

The Vishay is great because it has a molex connector built in which allows for easy connection to a PC power supply...

IMG_2539_zps5b8e89c4.jpg

To connect the DMD to the power supply, I took a molex 'Y' splitter and removed the 12v (yellow) wire on both ends, leaving only the 5v (red) wire and the two grounds. Then extended it to about 4 feet long to give me plenty of room to move it around. Here's a pic with the yellow wire removed...

IMG_2544_zps5fa0f945.jpg

Then I just took the PinDMD2...

IMG_2543_zpsaa929932.jpg

...and plugged it right into the DMD ribbon cable connector.

IMG_2542_zps3f1f08af.jpg

After I got the driver installed for the PindDMD2 and put the modified DLLs in place for PinMAME and Future Pinball, I took on the formidable task of downloading a number of tables and tweaking them to work properly with the 2-screen+DMD configuration.

Once I got all of the tables right (many hours of tweaking), and finally saw them running with the real DMD, all I can say is WOW. It looks absolutely AMAZING. I am giddy as a schoolgirl. This thing was worth every penny!

Here's a little sampler. These videos do NOT do it justice. It is way brighter and more impressive in person. As nice as my LCDs are, this thing absolutely is the centerpiece visually...

Future Pinball:

Edited by scottpe

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