Virtual Pinball

I’m a huge fan of retro consoles and games (or basically any old electronics, radios, cameras, tapes…). A Pinball table is one of those magic inventions, the electronics were pretty advanced for the time… So I’d love to own my own pinball table. However, after googling, I came pretty fast to a conclusion. 7000$+ for a ‘single game’ is way out of my budget. After some more googling I came across a modern version of these tables while still maintaining the original cabinet look. Virtual Pinball Cabinets! However again it’s great to have multiple tables but still the 10000$! (excl. shipping) is way out of the budget. Then adding DIY to my search words, I finally found a suitable solution within the budget (initially thought that was). This is basically building a ‘copy’ of a real existing cabinet, put in a few screens, computer and some special effects and play windows pinball games with the real controls. The best part of DIY is that you can use old screens, computer parts… you may have laying around or you could buy them second hand for much cheaper. This will… depending on your choice, drastically lower the cost (I’ve seen tables as cheap as 250$) however sky is the limit or better budget is the limit :).

During the build of my cabinet, I will log every step in guides to help anyone looking into the building their own and actually as a personal backup in case my hard drive crashes I can set it up exactly as I had it running by just following my own guides ;). Plus isn’t it cool to have a complete build log with images of your cabinet :p. The cabinet I’m building will be about 2500$ but will have most available options installed. A 46″ 3D LED screen. A real DMD screen, digital plunger, addressable led strip… You can lower your own builds cost by skipping some steps you find obsolete for your build. I split up the complete build in 8 parts:

  1. Introduction & Design
    This part will cover all the decisions you need to make before starting your build.
  2. Building the cabinet
  3. Wiring electronics and installing computer
  4. Wiring Ledwiz & Virtuapin Controller
  5. Wiring Addressable MX WS2812B Led Strips
  6. Setup cabinet effects with LEDWiz and Saintsmart
  7. Software and finishing up

So get started (Links are added when the parts are done) est. July 2018

Special Thanks

Special thanks go to the following for providing great guides and help during my build:

  • Stuzza for creating free/paid high-quality cabinet artwork (Link)
  • The developers of all the software
  • (Link)
  • MAME In The Box Video’s (Link)
  • (Link)
  • NoEx for creating Free Camera Mod for Pinball Arcade (Link)
  • Gameex forums (Link)
  • NaMsam for his detailed build log (Link)
Pinball Facts
  • Pinball machines were illegal in America for over 30 years
  • The first pinball machine was built in 1931
  • Between 1955-1979 pinball made more money than the entire American Movie Industry