PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cabinet
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Author:  TerryRed [ Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

Even more progress...let there be light!

Now my 5 flasher LED strips, strobes, start, launch, FIRE button lights are all working with both VP and FP. My beacons are wired and ready…just waiting for them to arrive in the mail!

Since I'll be installing addressable LEDs all around the playfield screen, there will be no room for a traditional RGB 5 flasher bar at the back of the playfield. I still want that function though because Future Pinball cannot use the addessable LEDS as they will be driven by DOF. (Future Pinball only works through legacy Led-Wiz, so far)

So I made use of the LED strips I already installed into my speaker holes. The left speaker has two seperate strips for the left side flashers, and the same goes for the right side. I just had to put a single LED strip at the back of the cabinet to act as the center flasher for now. It works suprisingly least for me:

Here’s a quick video demo of my current 5 flasher layout and lights: ... uscomments


Now its on to getting my blower fan working. My blower fan (attwood 3000) works, but I gotta figure out where its going to go! Gotta find a way to convert a 3 inch hose to the coin door hole opening (similar to what randr did). Otherwise it will have to go on top of the backbox.

Once the fan is done and the beacons arrive…. then I’ll make a topper to finish it off!

Author:  TerryRed [ Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

Thar she blows!

After seeing blower fans on other pinball cabinets, I knew I was going to have one in my cabinet.

Visual Pinball currently supports up to almost 30 tables that utilize a blower fan. It can be long gusts of wind like in Twister and Whirlwind, or a quick burst of air during certain events... other examples are:

Attack from Mars - saucer exploding
Medieval Madness - catapult launch, castle exploding
Dirty Harry - shooting your gun
Twilight Zone - Rocket Launch
The Getaway - quick burst of air for each loop
Grand Prix and Nascar - quick burst of air for each lap
Jurassic Park - ?

...and many more.

Some people have a simple fan on top of their cabinet. Others use an inline blower fan. Since alot of the events are quick bursts of air, you need something that can push alot of air very quickly to get the right effect. I used an Attwood 3000 inline blower fan. Since I'm just using this with my relay board for simple on/off function, this works nicely.

Its very effective but also very loud when not used with a hose. When I tried it on top of my backglass, I found it to be too loud, and the air was being spread to wide and alot of the effect was lost for those quick bursts (an Attwood 4000 would work better on top).

So I decided to try randr's unique method....

Image installing it inside the cabinet and blowing air out through the coin eject hole and up to your face. This worked well for the space that I had. I just mounted it in front of the coin door (I don't use the coin mechanism) and connected with a bathroom vent hose. The only problem is coming up with some sort of upward facing scoop to use at the coin door eject hole. I haven't been able to find anything I can get to hack / work that was effective and could be installed with the mounting options that I had. So I just made my own hack job...


I really hope I can find something that will work better.... any suggestions?

Here's a quick video demonstration:

Author:  TerryRed [ Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

Well here it finally is.... addressable LEDS!

After seeing randr showing off addressable leds in action in his cabinet, I knew I would eventually want it! Well here we go!

The idea is that addressable leds can be controlled individually throughout a strip instead having the entire strip turn on / off / change colour, etc. As a result you can create cool animation and effects that can be used on the sides and back of your playfield in a pinball cabinet. They are 3 pin strips that run on 5V with a 5V, DATA, and GND line. The controller I'm using is a Teensy, and the software that controls it is DOF (Direct Output Framework)

For my cabinet, my playfield TV lays down on rails, so I couldn't just stick the led strips on the inside of the cabinet, as they may get in the way if I ever need to remove the TV. So I needed to have them mounted on something. You can buy proper aluminum channels, but to order them online was quite costly with crappy CDN dollar and shipping.

So I decided to use these shelf rail things I found. They are normally mounted on a wall with the opening facing the wall so you can install shelf supports in the slots. They were cheap and they were black so they matched my cabinet inside perfectly. I just had to put in some long strips of backboard for the leds to stick on, or they would be in too deep and it would be hard to see them while playing.


The led strips I purchased are 144 per meter. I have over 700 leds installed. Thats alot of leds! As a result I had to use a dedicated 5V power supply rated at 60A! No matter what length of 144 / meter strip you buy, they all come with 0.5 meter strips soldered together. So if you want a seamless looking strip, you'll need to cut off an led or two and solder it back together. Since my work's soldering station just died, I was stuck with my crappy 21 year soldering iron. For the side led strips I wasn't worried about cutting them to make them look seamless.


Here is the matrix I made for the back of the playfield. This will look like a low-res led screen. It can be made up of how ever many led strips you want as the DOF software will just scale to whatever you have. I used my 2 meter strips and their middle 0.5 meter sections for the back matrix, as they were the perfect size without me having to cut any strips and resolder them to size. I did however have to solder the 5V, data and gnd pins to and from each strip.


...and here it is in the back of the cabinet.


The connections start at the Teensy controller which is plugged into the computer via usb. Then the Teensy has a cat5 cable output that uses 2 of its wires for the GND and DATA line going to the first strip...which is the right playfield strip. The DATA line then gets connected to and from each strip / matrix, for a continuos connection. 5V and GND also needs to be tapped in at the begginning of each strip and the matrix, as there are alot of leds that need power.


These LEDS are REALLY bright on max brightness. To cut down on that and also to make it so you can't even see the led strips when they are off.... I had a custom piece of tinted plex-glass (5mm) made for the back matrix. That alone wasn't enough, so I needed to add window tint to the front of the plex-glass. I put on 20% tint. This combined with the plex-glass tint was perfect and hid the leds completely until they light up. Now I want to do the same for the sides, but I don't know if I can get plexi-glass cut that small and long.


Success! After setting up the DOF software, the leds strips look amazing! It's hard to describe all the effects they do while playing, but here is a picture showing the back matrix displaying animations while browsing in Pinball X.


....and here is a video describing what the setup is, and showing what is looks like in Pinball X!


I'll make another video that will show some gameplay that shows off the cool effects while playing!

Author:  TerryRed [ Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

While I certainly intended to get another video that showed off the addressable led matrix in action..... I got distracted by a couple of things.

First...I updated to the newest VPX, and the newest UltraDMD.

Then I realised that I had been missing out on a bunch of VPX tables that came out in the last few months!

....but then as I'm about to make a video, my eye caught a great new little program that's a little bit of a game changer....

Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade now have DOF feedback for flipper solenoids (NOT slingshots or bumpers!), RGB lighting and more thanks to a new program called DOFFX2.

It basically maps keyboard keys to trigger Led-Wiz or sainsmart outputs! It also has some other cool features like RGB lighting control, flipper solenoid timers, and more.

Here are videos that demo both Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade on my cabinet running with DOFFX2 (1.3 beta).

I have the program set to be always on and active the whole time, and you can see it doesn't interfere with Pinball X running the DOF plug-in.

I have the flipper buttons triggering my solenoids.

I have the center RGB led strip "flasher" set to random flipper triggered RGB lighting.

I have the flippers set to turn on a left flasher as green, and a right flasher as blue.

I have the beacon, blower fan, and strobes set to go off during certain moments.... including an appearance from Scotty of Star trek! ;)

...and other things too.

It's a simple demo of the kind of thing that can be done so far...

Here's a video demo of Pinball FX2:

Here's a video demo of The Pinball Arcade:

No more octo coupler circuits needed! This can be used for MAME, PC Games, etc...

Here's a link to the program's thread:

Author:  GeorgeH [ Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

Pretty neat. It is cool add more programs to a cabinet. I didn't realize Pinball FX2 had a cabinet mode until this morning although it needs a special code to activate it. I just play it in landscape mode. Why would you need to access anything on the table other than the flippers and the ball launch? I presume to operate lights on your cabinet?


Author:  TerryRed [ Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

The slingshots and bumpers don't have any kind of feedback. Normally in a cabinet with full fedback (FP and VP), the bumpers and slingshots trigger solenoids, as well as some of the RGB lighting.

Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade do send out vibrations to the force feedback motor of a gamepad. I've seen someone use the output of the motor connected an arduino and relays to trigger solenoids.

If someone could figure out how to intercept force feedback calls of a gamepad by software, then that could be translated to some form of feedback for slingshots and bumpers that trigger solenoids and random RGB lighting in a cabinet.

Its so hard to go back to no feedback when you have it! Hence why one day, I will have to learn some scripting, so I can add full feedback to my favorite Future Pinball tables!

Author:  GeorgeH [ Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

Well at least the tables are functional. I can't help you much on scripting other than refer you to Step 27 of my guide which has several links to tutorials:


I seem to remember you were wanting a list of the best tables. Hopefully, you found this list:


Gimli and I have been working on a mod to the Genesis table. It will be cool with custom balls, custom physics, a rock music version, etc.


Author:  TerryRed [ Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

I saw the shaunroot site for Led-Wiz on Future Pinball....though it seems to not be available right now....Man I hope it comes back up, or I'll be lost for Led-Wiz for FP....

I did see that list....awesome!

I've been so busy adding upgrades that I haven't sat down and just "played" anything right now.

While waiting for my parts from China, I did add like 40 more Future Pinball tables on my cabinet. I have to edit EVERY Future Pinball table to make use of my "extra" screen, so it takes alot of time! I also have to add and create media for each table for Pinball X as well.

Author:  TerryRed [ Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

AAAAAAH! Disaster has struck.

My center "DMD" / Marquee / extra display" monitor has died on me. I can't complain, it was 10 years old after all....

However, that means I have to replace it with a new monitor / TV.

The bad news, is:

I have to figure out how to mount this new screen. Old one was a 5:4 monitor with no vesa mount at all, new one is a 16:9 TV.

I have to make a new bezel to fit this new screen.

I have to re-do all my media to fit the new bezel.

New bezel will be a tad bit shorter on the 4th display

Future Pinball tables all have to be re-edited to fit the new bezel's 4th display area.

Good news:

The screen quality and colours will look much nicer. (You guys can't tell how dim and faded it was looking by my pics or videos)

I may re-do the speakers into 4 holes to better accommodate my RGB "flashers".

I'll have a monitor that will be much easier to remove.

I can hear you guys screaming.... "Dude, get a real DMD!"

If I put a real DMD into the back of my cabinet, there would be ALOT of unused space left as I can't fit another screen and a DMD into there. It really would look odd, and I'd hate it. Also, I really like having that extra "display area". Especially for MAME and Future Pinball.

Also, the cost of a DMD even with DIY would cost alot more than this new screen which was real cheap and looks great.

Alot of work to do now....but once its installed I WILL show some gameplay footage of VP with the addressable LEDS and matrix, before re-doing all the other stuff.

Author:  GeorgeH [ Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: PinKadia! The Ultimate virtual Pinball / Arcade / PC cab

I did a search and I found that you can still buy 5:4 monitors. I saw some 17 and 19 inch diagonal LCDs anyway although I assume that is too big. I'm not sure what size you need.


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