I'm a pinball fan from way back, but pinball machines are so expensive, and need a lot of maintenance. With the creation of software such as Visual Pinball, Future Pinball and Hyperpin, Digital pinball cabinets are a reality, and can be made quite cheaply. the advantage of digital pinball is that it's cheap to maintain, relatively cheap to build and you can have as many tables as have been created. A number of people have built cabinets, and the Hyperpin Forums
are a great place to get all the information. Here's a step by step on how to configure the software, build the cabinet and wire it all together.
you will need:
- A computer. 1 Gig of Ram is OK, but 2 is ideal. you'll need a pretty decent graphics card with dual monitor capabilities and a pretty decent processor - a fast dual core is better than a not as fast quad core, as the software only uses 2 cores anyway. Most people say Windows XP is best.
- the software: Visual Pinball
is the emulation software, and the front end that dresses it up and makes it playable on the cabinet is hyperpin
- A monitor for your playfield - I wanted to keep costs down, so I went with a smaller option - a 24" Asus monitor. If you want to replicate the size of a real pinball machine, a 37" LCD TV is your best bet.
- A monitor for the backglass - I went with a 19".
- timber - I used 19mm MDF.
- A keyboard encoder. the i-pac is your best bet, available here
in Australia, and here
in the USA.
- arcade buttons and wire. I used 6 buttons, each coming with it's own microswitch. wiring kits save a lot of hassle crimping connectors on wires. they're available at the above links.
these are the key components, but there are plenty of smaller things I use along the way.