Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:03 pm

Raspberry Pi Pinball Cabnet

Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:22 pm

Hello, I am posting this to get some feedback and advice on my new idea for a Raspberry Pi pinball machine. Here is what I am thinking: Build a pinball cabinet complete with flipper buttons, launch plunger (maybe), tilt switch, maybe another set of buttons for additional features. And instead of having the actual ramp, however...it will be a screen with a video pinball board on it. There will be another screen as the back glass to display other messages, graphics, and scores. This section will also hold the speakers for the game sound.

Cool Features and what sets this apart from traditional pinball games:
NO MOVING PARTS! Well, no electromechanical parts such as solenoids...there will be mechanical switches.

This kind of system has the ability for multiple "tables" in one box! THE MORE CHUTES THE BETTER :-). Also, I would like the system to be easily updatable as I build the new video pinball tables.

Foreseen issues / roadblocks:
Finding a monitor / screen long enough to display an entire table just as a real pinball table would look.

Two monitors connected to one pi; I don't even know if this is possible. If it is not, I can put another pi connected to the second monitor in the back glass section, but I see issues communicating between the Pi's without delay.

Interfacing with the ball launcher plunger: this might have to turn the plunger into another button and the user will hold it down for more power...just like on the console pinball games.

GRAPHICS: I am no artist...and I am a noob when it comes to pygame. This will definitely take some time. Can anyone direct me to a good book on pygame?

PHYSICS: Is pygame capable of the physics calculations that are going to be required for something like this? I would like the ball to slow down as it goes up the ramp, speed up if it hits a knocker, get random activity so patterns don't emerge...things like that. Is the pi capable of interfacing into a physics card / processor?

I am not sure how I am going to tackle this one yet. I am probably going to have to put in a good amplifier inside the cabinet because I want it to be LOUD (plenty of room) and mount some speakers above the back glass section. I'm thinking some of the "tables" will be music band themed (AC/DC anyone?). Or possibly an R-Rated slasher flick table...I guess the possibilities are endless.

Anyway, that is my idea. It seems like a monumental task and I will surely need help and advice from the community. I appreciate any advice and feedback that the community can give.


Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:03 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Pinball Cabnet

Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:37 pm

Will the Raspberry Pi work with mekanimo?!?!?!?!? I think it uses some aspects of pygame...



Posts: 1667
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:07 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Pinball Cabnet

Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:29 pm

There are existing programs such as Future Pinball which can be used on a PC for emulation OR recreate the real experience with a 'Mock' table.

See Here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_nPdfhR33c

From the detail you described that would be the way to go, unfortunately something far more powerful than a RPi would be required!
"The list of things I have heard now contains everything!"

Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:46 pm
Location: Oviedo, Florida U.S.A.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Pinball Cabnet

Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:14 pm

Mac Rutan

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