Best Visual Pinball/PinMame tutorial and monitors?

Andy B

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Started a restoration on a Stern Grand Prix but playfield and hardware are too far gone (water damage causing major rusting so everything is just snapping off as I am trying to remove it and a part of the playfield came off when I removed one post - see restoration log if you’re interested.

So have decided to sell off the boards and turn the cab in to a Visual Pinball project.

Anyone recommend the best tutorial/how to site?

Also, any recommendations for monitors/TVs for playfield and backbox for standard sized Stern?

If anyone has a pre-configured Visual Pinball/PinMame PC for sale even better!

Many thanks in advance.

Andy
 

BigIan

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39” (1080p or 4K) for playfield and 27” for backglass with a real dmd or a Pin2dmd .

decent pc with a good gfx card and a ssd drive as minimum, then add force feedback and lights etc as you see fit. Vpuniverse is probably still the best for info and downloads, can be a pain to get registered though
.
Pickholder probably the guru on here for vpin stuff.
 
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Andy B

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39” (1080p or 4K) for playfield and 27” for backglass with a real dmd or a Pin2dmd .

decent pc with a good gfx card and a ssd drive as minimum, then add force feedback and lights etc as you see fit. Vpuniverse is probably still the best for info and downloads, can be a pain to get registered though
.
Pickholder probably the guru on here for vpin stuff.

Thanks!
 

Pick Holder

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Not such a thing as a pre-loaded VPIN PC - every cabinet needs different configurations.

I am about to list one of my VPINs on here today or tomorrow - build 10 now I think.

There is other options for the display - personally I would use a stretched monitor.

Have a look at the for sale posts on here - I have sold a few. Happy to build with your parts to order as well.

This is the one @Marvello now owns and if it was sold now it would be quite a bit more I reckon.....

This latest build of mine is 4K - and I held off for the last 2 years doing a 4K build - Have to say, what a difference.

Watch the size of the screen - a 39.5 inch screen will fit - but you have to decase it or hack the cabinet. I have broken 2 screens doing this and lifting them in and out so I put in TV that does not need decasing. Also it needs to be a TV that powers up when you apply AC power.
 
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tyke

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Set a budget mate is all I can say. I've always gone for top end screens in my builds because you want to aim for the most vibrant best image possible, viewing angle is important with many cheap TVs looking awful. I've done a few 4k builds now and you will have to add more cash to get that running well at 60 or 120hz depending on what screen you end up with. Expect to rout your cabinet so get a wood router. A 2k resolution back glass monitor is a must for me and I always go for a dedicated DMD like a pin2DMD. To top if off a 14.9" topper for a 4th screen is becoming more popular and looks the dogs.

PC wise a decent gaming spec like a 6th gen Intel i5 upwards, SSD and 16gb ram. Graphics card wise if you are going for 4k I would go for a 1070 GTX or above.

Sound I would highly recommend a multi amp set up using a normal 2.1 i.e. standard backbox and sub running its own amp, then add 2 more amps with 4 x exciters for SSF (Surround Sound Feedback). It is something else in terms of feedback and immersion. You'll need a sound card or motherboard capable of surround sound with the right outputs.

Digital plunger, nudging etc can be achieved a few different ways, a few off the shelf solutions but again depending on your budget. RGB feedback Lights and matrix LEDs can be reasonably cheap to get working with some configuration.

Software wise expect to spend hundreds of hours configuring it. There is lots and lots to configure but worth it :D
 
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Andy B

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Not such a thing as a pre-loaded VPIN PC - every cabinet needs different configurations.

I am about to list one of my VPINs on here today or tomorrow - build 10 now I think.

There is other options for the display - personally I would use a stretched monitor.

Have a look at the for sale posts on here - I have sold a few. Happy to build with your parts to order as well.

This is the one @Marvello now owns and if it was sold now it would be quite a bit more I reckon.....

This latest build of mine is 4K - and I held off for the last 2 years doing a 4K build - Have to say, what a difference.

Watch the size of the screen - a 39.5 inch screen will fit - but you have to decase it or hack the cabinet. I have broken 2 screens doing this and lifting them in and out so I put in TV that does not need decasing. Also it needs to be a TV that powers up when you apply AC power.

Thanks.

Think I’m gonna have a crack at it myself - I know that, if it’s anything like MAME then the software will be a pain to configure properly but I love a challenge 😊

Gonna do the easy part and get the cabinet ready first and in the meantime do some shopping around for hardware based on the comments I’ve had so far.
 
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Andy B

Andy B

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Set a budget mate is all I can say. I've always gone for top end screens in my builds because you want to aim for the most vibrant best image possible, viewing angle is important with many cheap TVs looking awful. I've done a few 4k builds now and you will have to add more cash to get that running well at 60 or 120hz depending on what screen you end up with. Expect to rout your cabinet so get a wood router. A 2k resolution back glass monitor is a must for me and I always go for a dedicated DMD like a pin2DMD. To top if off a 14.9" topper for a 4th screen is becoming more popular and looks the dogs.

PC wise a decent gaming spec like a 6th gen Intel i5 upwards, SSD and 16gb ram. Graphics card wise if you are going for 4k I would go for a 1070 GTX or above.

Sound I would highly recommend a multi amp set up using a normal 2.1 i.e. standard backbox and sub running its own amp, then add 2 more amps with 4 x exciters for SSF (Surround Sound Feedback). It is something else in terms of feedback and immersion. You'll need a sound card or motherboard capable of surround sound with the right outputs.

Digital plunger, nudging etc can be achieved a few different ways, a few off the shelf solutions but again depending on your budget. RGB feedback Lights and matrix LEDs can be reasonably cheap to get working with some configuration.

Software wise expect to spend hundreds of hours configuring it. There is lots and lots to configure but worth it :D
Thanks for all the advice especially the spec on the PC .

I’ve started work on the cabinet today and will start to shop around for hardware based on your recommendations in the next couple of days.
 
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Andy B

Andy B

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Been having a mooch around at PC with in-built GTX and PC with separate GTX options - Ouch!

I remember when graphics cards were £20 and if you shelled out £50 you were getting top of the range :)

As this is my first go at a Vpin, I don't know if I'm going to like it and as I already shelled out a wedge on the donor machine (which is basically just the most expensive empty cabinet known to man!) I am wondering if I might just go HD rather than 4K?

What sort of cost difference you reckon we are talking about hardware wise if I went down the HD rather than 4K route?

The 4K tellies seem reasonable and I reckon I'd only save around £100 on TV cost if I went HD rather than 4K so that's not a deal breaker for me. On that TV resolution question - I presume HD in the back-box is fine?

How much would I shave off the overall build cost you reckon by getting a lower spec PC and graphics combo and just doing HD and do you think the performance trade off would be worth the saving?

May be pie in the sky stuff but I don't really want to spend more than £1,000 on the PC and the 2 x TVs (I'm not thinking about the cost of the other bits I'll need as it looks like they'll be pin money compared to the 3 big items I'm going to need). Is 4K doable at that price?

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Andy

P.S. Some of the gaming PCs I am looking at are being advertised with a regular HDD plus an SSD one. Presumably that's OK and I can just use the SSD for the pinball software and games and won't need to use the regular hard drive?
 
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tyke

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In reverse order

You'll see the SSD benefit mainly when you make it the primary boot drive with Windows on it. This will take the boot time of the machine down to a few seconds and allow all of the services to start quickly which makes the machine feel nice and fast. If its big enough to install your pinball software then even better :)

Personally I would go for the best you can afford, if that means buying some bits used then do that. A half cocked Vpin is never going to win you over and more likely to put you off. The difference in 4k vs HD is worth the extra investment and with any type of emulation speed is key as you need to minimise the lag as much as possible. If you want to shoot me your budget over I'm happy to have a go at finding you the right bits.
 
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Andy B

Andy B

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In reverse order

You'll see the SSD benefit mainly when you make it the primary boot drive with Windows on it. This will take the boot time of the machine down to a few seconds and allow all of the services to start quickly which makes the machine feel nice and fast. If its big enough to install your pinball software then even better :)

Personally I would go for the best you can afford, if that means buying some bits used then do that. A half cocked Vpin is never going to win you over and more likely to put you off. The difference in 4k vs HD is worth the extra investment and with any type of emulation speed is key as you need to minimise the lag as much as possible. If you want to shoot me your budget over I'm happy to have a go at finding you the right bits.
OK, I'm going to go 4K then - PayPal did me a "favour" and gave me some credit so that makes my budget a little bit more than originally intended now I know I can spread the cost but that means the bulk of stuff will need to be bought off Ebay. Thanks for the offer but don't want to put you to a lot of bother so I will have a look around on Ebay and price some stuff up and maybe ask you advice as to whether what I pick is suitable?

Cheers
 
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tyke

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OK, I'm going to go 4K then - PayPal did me a "favour" and gave me some credit so that makes my budget a little bit more than originally intended now I know I can spread the cost but that means the bulk of stuff will need to be bought off Ebay. Thanks for the offer but don't want to put you to a lot of bother so I will have a look around on Ebay and price some stuff up and maybe ask you advice as to whether what I pick is suitable?

Cheers
Sure mate no problem, just send me ebay links etc and I'll point you down the right path
 
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BigIan

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I’d say don’t buy a prebuilt pc (unless overly cheap) best to buy a motherboard,processor,memory and psu. Add a heat sink and a ssd and you are all set, don’t need a case really either Only something to hold your gfx card securely.

if you but a prebuilt pc you will end up replacing the parts you have compromised on...

even buying a bare bones setup and then add your choice of parts. Ssd is not only faster to boot/read from it’s also what’s needed in a pin if you are going to be nudging or having a shaker motor in your build.
 
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Andy B

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I’d say don’t buy a prebuilt pc (unless overly cheap) best to buy a motherboard,processor,memory and psu. Add a heat sink and a ssd and you are all set, don’t need a case really either Only something to hold your gfx card securely.

if you but a prebuilt pc you will end up replacing the parts you have compromised on...

even buying a bare bones setup and then add your choice of parts. Ssd is not only faster to boot/read from it’s also what’s needed in a pin if you are going to be nudging or having a shaker motor in your build.
Thanks. Been about 20 years since I built my own PC , back in the good old days of XP (IIRC) but sure it’s like riding a bike, only a lot more expensive.

After the disappointment of having to scrap the Grand Prix machine which has now become the donor cab for this project I am actually getting excited about it now.

Sad I know.
 

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I've built a few, all for myself and getting larger each time. - Bartop, then 1/2 size and now a fullsize
My most recent is a pretty much full-size cabinet (it's about 20cm shorter than a normal game) which the main body I built from scratch, the backbox was off an old Dr Who.
It's 1080p, not 4K though

I reckon you can do it on a grand.

CPU/Mainboard/RAM (Used) - £150
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Intel-i5...110077?hash=item4dac8885bd:g:wl0AAOSwuj1eymnT

Video Card - £150-£250
Look on eBay for a GTX 1070

Both the used bits on eBay I've not really dug into serious bargain hunting - BIN for 1070 seems to be ~£250, but I picked one up last year with some sneaky last minute bidding for £150 so it can be done, likewise you can probably find the motherboard/CPU/RAM for £50 less if you're willing to get eBaying with conviction.

PSU (New) - £65
Something worth buying new, and don't cheap out on the PSU
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-VS...ild=1&keywords=600w+psu&qid=1590394386&sr=8-3

SSD (New) - £35
I don't do used storage! Ever.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-CT...1&keywords=256+gb+bx500&qid=1590394419&sr=8-1

IPAC (New) - £30
Keyboard encoder to interface the button presses into keyboard inputs
https://www.arcadeworlduk.com/products/I-PAC-2-FS32-Keyboard-Encoder.html

KL25Z (New) - £13
For Pinscape - Acceleromoter for Nudging and can do a digital plunger if you want (I just went the launch button route myself)
https://uk.farnell.com/nxp/frdm-kl25z/arm-kinetis-kl25z-freedom-dev/dp/2191861

You're going to need an operating system - Win10 is ~£100 for Home as I recall.

Screens

27" Backglass - 720p is fine - £50ish if you look hard enough
I was quite lucky with my screen in that it fitted almost exactly into the backbox in terms of width
I handled the gaps by getting a translite plastic cut to size, then masking up and painting the area where there is a gap black and then using the standard translite surrounds/lock mechs.


DMD - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251894691576 - £86

So far I make that ~£700 giving you a decent budget for a playfield screen and other bits and bobs, monitor arm for the backbox, paint, bolts and whatnot (although you probably won't need much - I had to get a coin door, lockdown bar/receiver, figure something out for siderails, get buttons/switches - stuff you already have)
The decals were another issue I had that you don't - I just got really lucky in that someone on here had a set of misprinted HS2 decals which had been cut printed about 20cms short - no good to them, but almost perfect for me!

Playfield of your choice - 39-41" can fit, but it depends on the model - since GP isn't a widebody you are more restricted.
You're going to find a gap front and rear with a 39" in a standard cabinet, but the larger screens may end up too wide. I've seen people route the cabinets to get bigger ones in though.
I was more fortunate in some ways as I built the body from scratch to fit the panel, I didn't need to de-case it just make a couple of small modifications, cutting the Samsung logo and removing the IR receiver for the remote control which stuck out the bottom, in order to make it flush top and bottom with the cabinet sides.
So it looks good and there are no gaps, however the ONLY model of screen that will fit mine is the one that's in it, so if it fails I have a problem.... (maybe I should buy a spare! :hmm:)
Fully de-casing the more modern LCDs can be risky as they are so thin that the panels can crack without the structural support of the case.

I've not got involved in force-feedback systems so I can't comment on the costs of those.


Very happy to help if I can - ask away!

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Andy B

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Thanks for all the advice, particularly from tyke who I have been PM'ing.

I found this guide on the Pinscape site which, in addition to all the support on here, is helping me to move along slowly :

http://mjrnet.org/pinscape/BuildGuideV2/BuildGuide.php

I've ordered:

PC = i5-6500 @ 3.20GHZ, 240GB SSD, 16gb RAMA, Windows 10 Pro
Graphics card = MSI Geforce GTX 1650 OC 4GB
Playfield TV = Panasonic TX-40GX820B 40" UHD
Backbox monitor = Iiyama X2888HD-B2 28"
KL25Z

Both screens are (according to spec sheets) almost perfect fit, width wise, for cabinet and backbox.

I will post a build log elsewhere once all bits arrived and I've made a start.
 
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Pick Holder

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I’d go for i3 3.7/3.8ghz

Visual pinball is single thread !

You may struggle 4K from get 1650. You’ll have to reduce settings !

I paid £50 extra and got a 6bg gyx1660ti. Does 4K and pup videos without breaking into a sweat.
 

tyke

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I’d go for i3 3.7/3.8ghz

Visual pinball is single thread !

You may struggle 4K from get 1650. You’ll have to reduce settings !

I paid £50 extra and got a 6bg gyx1660ti. Does 4K and pup videos without breaking into a sweat.
That's not technically true, VPX is not single thread and does scale over multiple cores. Plus as you know, you will have loads of supporting programs including Windows (pinMAME, B2Sserver, ultraDMD, pinupplayer to name a few) all running in parallel that also benefit from more cores. My point is, for a visual pinball machine, VPX is just a small part of what the CPU needs to deal with.

I think the 1650 for the price will be fine to get Andy started. The trouble with this visual pinball game is there is always better tech if you are willing to chuck more and more money at it chasing the most perfect lag free experience :p
 
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Going by my experience. Having compared an i5 3.2 against an i3 3.5 the system worked better with the i3.
Was running pup packs as well as dmdext.

You don’t need an over poweful computer. Get the best graphic card possible.

It seems due to demand graphic card prices have risen!

The easiest tables to get running are pinballfx3. Just ask them for A cabinet code.

Kl52z are great. There is a ebayer who prints nice mountings

I have a hard drive full of my data and it takes only a few mins to configure it. You can also download a 60gb file online with a lot of stuff you need which is frowned upon by the community. Certainly easier than going to all the sites and downloading them all.
I prefer pinball x as a front end. Most now use pinupsystem but i just don’t like it. Personal opinion again.
Also worth looking for some of the altsound/pinsound files.
 
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