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OogyBoogy

Building a PinballFX2 Cab

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So, after a long period of just thinking about building one, I finally got the ball rolling and bought a 40" (101.6 cm) LED for the playing field. It's a cheap one, and the viewing angle on it isn't the greatest (right now it's laying slanted on a small coffee table at about a 14 degree angle, and if I just sit in front of it I do notice the far side of the screen fades a bit).

 

I've drawn a crude sketch of the main cabinet, after measuring and double checking and triple checking I think it'll end up 23.75" (60 cm) wide and 41.7" (106 cm) long. The back box will stick out another 2" (5 cm) on both sides and the back. Not sure how tall the back box will be, as I've not decided yet on what monitor(s) to use.

 

I also don't know yet how deep to make the cabinet, I've estimated it at around 16" (40.6 cm) in the front to 26" (66 cm) in the back. But I'm not sure how high the box will stand on actual pinball legs since I haven't gotten those yet. As soon as they are delivered I'll be buying the wood to start building.

 

 

Things I already have:

 

- 40" LED television

- PC (Intel Core 2  Duo @ 2.4 Ghz, 8 GB Ram, ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro)

- Arcade buttons

- iPac

- 2nd Monitor for Backglass

- 3rd monitor for I don't know yet

- USB Speakers

 

Things I have on order:

 

- Pinball machine legs (+ levelers)

- Coin door + Mech

- Plunger

 

Post will be updated if any progress is being made.

 

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Why Pinball FX2, rather than Hyperspin?

 

Interested to see how it all goes, either way. I really fancy doing something similar, but until the kids leave home (so about 18 years time), its just a pipe dream. Best I can hope for is a dedicated Hyperspin machine with a portrait monitor.

 

When you say "cheap" for the telly, how cheap are we talking?

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I haven't checked into any other virtual pinball options yet, but I might once it all comes together. I picked FX2 because it runs well on the low specs I have available and I think my nieces and nephews will enjoy it more with all the marvel- and star wars themed tables available.

 

The television was $229.

 

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Sod PinballFX, get yourself Visual pinball/pinmame, read up on how to set it up with backglass etc and use PinballX as your frontend.

 

I have a pincab myself, play it more than my other cabs.

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Pinball FX2 is amazing the way you can tilt your head and go right up close to the ball, it's almost real in the Rift. Just wish it had more tables! Pinball Arcade was meant to be compatible with it on launch but I can't find anything about it on the website now the kits out.

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On 4/21/2016 at 9:41 AM, Lorfarius said:

Pinball FX2 is amazing the way you can tilt your head and go right up close to the ball, it's almost real in the Rift. Just wish it had more tables! Pinball Arcade was meant to be compatible with it on launch but I can't find anything about it on the website now the kits out.

 

I know you posted that a while ago, but for those not yet aware it's sub-branded now as Stern Pinball Arcade.  

Due out later this year http://www.sternpinballarcade.com/

 

OogyBoogy, your stuff looks good!  Bit late now, but you could have probably saved a bit of effort by using a real (gutted) pinball cabinet.  You sometimes see them popping up on ebay, or you can ask in the uk pinball forums at www.pinballinfo.com

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I've put in the flipper buttons, together with a special button on each side for advancing the text and to pause the table. I also secured the coin door and programmed the ipac. Next will be the wiring.

 

I bought some today at the hardware store (thinnest I could find), but it (still) might be too thick for the job (I don't know it that would matter or not). Might have to postpone until I get some suitable wire from the internet. Anyone know what would be best?

 

Sorry no pictures, but it looks pretty much the same as my previous post still.

 

edit: Went ahead and wired a few things with what I have, and it's working! Good times!

 

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Worked a bit here and there, the backside is partially closed now and there's a support where the back box will sit on. I added a powerstrip and the very important on/off switch to the back, and the computer is now inside the cabinet.

 

Installing the legs was a bit tricky, as I had to drill on the very corners inward, but I made it easier by filing a small section at a 90 degree angle from the desired direction, and re-drilling the hole using larger drill bits.

 

 

13465954_10154335152318804_3827536280018

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Rant looks great, I'd love to do this one day too.

i sceptic of how they would play but had a go on one last year (EGX) and after a quick readjustment they feel great.

good work sir

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Did this ever go any further? I'd love to see it.

 

I've got a spare 32" Sony Bravia doing nothing at the minute, and I've just discovered that the PC version of Pinball FX2 supports rotating the playfield. Did a quick proof-of-concept last night by standing my laptop on its side :D

 

Edit: forgot to include the picture earlier:

 

IMG_8548.thumb.JPG.57eec46df2e2ddeaa217539cdfd4a38d.JPG

 

So I think some time soon (ideally this weekend if I can fit it in) I will be having a go at setting up the Bravia as the main playfield, and maybe an old 19" LCD for the dot matrix.

 

Initially I think I'm just going to prop the screen up at an angle on the dining table and see how it plays. I'd love to take the plunge and make a cab of my own (or install a TV in a gutted cabinet, as someone suggested upthread) but that's a way off yet.

 

I found a post on the Zen forums about setting up multiple monitors and it's talking about using three. One for the playfield, one for the dot-matrix and one for the backglass. I'm not 100% sure what backglass actually does - is it necessary?

 

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Not much progress I'm afraid. The hard drive is going bad in the computer so I'm thinking of buying a cheap SSD instead.

 

I did purchase the top glass, and I'll have to put the television a bit higher in the cab to put it flush up against it.

 

But the biggest hurdle is not knowing what to do about the backglass (it's the part of the back box facing the player with the game's artwork / marquee, and the dot matrix display for the score is usually in or directly under it).

 

Oh, and @beenabadbunny, I did everything you did, put monitors sideways, trying a tv on a flat surface etc. You might not know it yet, but you've already started your descent into the rabbit hole. :D

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Here we go... 

 

 

Didn't bother with the backglass but I did move the dot matrix display on to the second monitor. My graphics card has just the two outputs, and I'm not sure if I could use the VGA port on the motherboard to drive a third monitor (for the backglass) or not. It seems relatively unimportant if I'm not building the thing into a cab. 

 

Plays brilliantly. I've been using a 360 controller (not pictured) as that's what I was used to. I love seeing the whole playfield stationary, top-down, with no scrolling. 

 

32" screen somehow seems small, which I wasn't quite expecting - but it's what I have. 

 

The immediate problem is I'm not going to be able to keep it set up like this, as we do use the dining table semi-regularly and it pretty much occupies the whole thing. 

 

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Found a pack of backglass images and set them up last night. I just overlaid the dot matrix over part of the backglass, which isn't ideal (it leaves a black rectangle when navigating the menus and selecting tables) but it's good enough.

 

Made a quick video of the thing in action.

 

I was filming with one hand and trying to play with the other, so ended up doing neither particularly well. It gets the point across, though, I think.

 

 

Sorry the video is the wrong way up. I hate people who film in portrait on their phones and NOW I AM THAT GUY :(

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On 5/2/2017 at 12:37, beenabadbunny said:

[...] I found a post on the Zen forums about setting up multiple monitors and it's talking about using three. One for the playfield, one for the dot-matrix and one for the backglass. I'm not 100% sure what backglass actually does - is it necessary?

 

 

I'm pretty sure for the Zen tables, backglass would not be necessary (though maybe someone knows different?)

 

If however you're thinking of extending this to eventually cover other tables, such as either the Pinball Arcade emulated tables, or PinMame tables, then some have interactive backboxes. I'm thinking there are games like Banzai Run where there is a whole other playfield in the backbox, or things like Terminator 3 where there are mini-games in there.

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1 hour ago, Wizcat said:

 

I'm pretty sure for the Zen tables, backglass would not be necessary (though maybe someone knows different?)

 

If however you're thinking of extending this to eventually cover other tables, such as either the Pinball Arcade emulated tables, or PinMame tables, then some have interactive backboxes. I'm thinking there are games like Banzai Run where there is a whole other playfield in the backbox, or things like Terminator 3 where there are mini-games in there.

 

That's good to keep in mind, thanks.

 

As you say, the backglass in FX2 seems to be just static images. Nicer to look at than a blank screen, but ultimately unnecessary.

 

I have installed Pinball Arcade but in its default configuration it doesn't appear to support multiple monitors at all. It has portrait support but the camera doesn't look straight down - instead it's got a bit of forced perspective in order to show the dot matrix at the top of the screen, as though adjacent to the top of the playfield glass.

 

I've only tried the two free tables, and then only briefly, so I haven't seen how it handles interactive backboxes like the ones you mention. I suspect it would just switch camera angles to display the active playfield on the single monitor.

 

I've read there's a fan patch to hack in support for three displays (playfield, DMD and backglass) but I haven't investigated that. I don't have a dedicated dot-matrix display, for a start.

 

On the subject of perspective, even Pinball FX2 doesn't have a 'straight down' angle on PC. Closest thing is the angle I'm using in my video above (view 2).

 

It's possibly a bit odd as the iOS and Android versions are straight down, but again, it's perfectly playable as it is and still miles better than playing in any of the landscape/widescreen views.

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Back glass isn't necessary, but it would make it look and feel like a real pinball machine. Which is kinda the point in building the cab to begin with. Which is why I choose to use a coin door, pinball machine legs and an actual plunger.

 

I probably won't go with the different images of the games for the back-glass. I'd rather print out a marquee of the Pinball FX2 logo and use it with some back light. Then the speakers will be positioned below that, with the DMD at the bottom.

 

 

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Tried finding a picture of the PFX2 logo that had a nice high resolution for printing, but came up empty. I ended up emailing Zen Studios, and they referred me to the press page here, where lots of images are available. Took the one I want to the local print store and that should be done in a day or two. Now to figure out how to do the back light and draw up some plans for the box.

 

 

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