Pin Stadium - first impressions

Spadge

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Here’s my first impressions of Pin Stadium pinball lighting system.

The system is a set of 2 strips that attach to the cabinet (or blades if you have them) via magnetic strips, so that they can be removed easily if need be, such as lifting the play field.

Along with an app, these lights can be controlled to any colour RGB and also UV light when attached to a flasher.

Before on my LOTR in a dark room lit by various neons:

F8E8D6D1-52DF-4DE7-8565-65C5EC520532.jpeg

And here in the same lighting conditions with Pin Stadium on, although I think it’s a little bright and needs faffing with.

D5F3C85A-2748-47AC-8789-06BC0B8DBD5D.jpeg

Good:

Playfield really pops and is super bright, this can be toned down or you can use a colour of your own selection, you can have it fade etc and affect brightness and how much white it gives out.

This is done via an app which is pretty easy to set up and get going.

Installation was relatively simple as long as you can identify the right connector and use the z connector to reattach any mods also using that connector.

Bad:

I have mirror blades on my lotr and with the magnetic strips attached it’s slightly too thick when raising the playfield. I managed to lift off the strip and also tear it once so be very careful and go slow.

Ugly:

I ordered two but one of mine was faulty with blocks of leds not working. They have been offered to exchange which is nice and help fixing it if I fancy myself.

The strips connect to their board on the end of 2 ribbon cables which go over/round the back board and sit in the cabinet. These are grey and show so I’d probably colour/paint them black so you don’t see them.

Overall pretty pleased with the product, some aspects a little fiddly (Magnetic strips and ribbon cables) but backed up by excellent, personable support.

They make a big difference but I’m not sure yet if ALL my machines need it. Which actually I’m pleased about! I’ll put my other on TOM as it’s got a super glossy new playfield.
 
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Spadge

Spadge

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Yeah playfield looks well, I was never unhappy with my LOTR, looked good before, but better now. Good that you can mess with everything to get the level of lighting right.
 

PBrookfield

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With respect to the manufacturers, you're paying markup on the cost of the actual lighting strip compared to doing a similar modification yourself with the raw materials.

If you aren't looking for the UV lighting, the pre-fitted connections, magnetic strip attachment, and are OK with one of those generic flat remote controls instead of a Bluetooth app, then you get identical results if you provide your own elbow grease and use something like this:

https://www.lightingever.co.uk/rgb-...SVay6wqk3M_t370IwxMAWW14hk3wOim8aAimqEALw_wcB

Of course, it is a case of bringing your own soldering iron and tinkering ability saving your cash in the long run... and if your time is worth more than that cost, then the Pinstadium setup is more than fair. And to be completely fair, they add enough of their own special sauce to the lighting...


With that aside having done this on my own cabinet, I consider this mod arguably the most essential pinball mod going.
 
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Spadge

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Yeah fair point, I just don't have the time and it's a fair installation. Looks good too.
 

PBrookfield

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What is that thing even there in the first place for...? I can't see how it's an airball deflector in any capacity...
 

stoptap

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The additional rail only cost something like $20 delivered from the US.
 
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Spadge

Spadge

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You got a link to it? Am not seeing any issues :)

Mate of mine who knows Pinball’s, had a look at the lotr earlier tonight and said “yeah looks good” and then I said “it’s not on” so I put it on and he says “wow”.

I’m ordering 3 more, it’s a good mod. It’s expensive but it makes the playfield art really pop in dark rooms.

I just struggle with what to put it on, have some great pins. When you have one with it on, it’s difficult not to want it on all.
 
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Spadge

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Looks better now I replaced the 8 purple passions in the backboard with comet crimsons... The purples made everything blue tinged especially on camera.
 

stoptap

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You got a link to it? Am not seeing any issues :)

Mate of mine who knows Pinball’s, had a look at the lotr earlier tonight and said “yeah looks good” and then I said “it’s not on” so I put it on and he says “wow”.

I’m ordering 3 more, it’s a good mod. It’s expensive but it makes the playfield art really pop in dark rooms.

I just struggle with what to put it on, have some great pins. When you have one with it on, it’s difficult not to want it on all.
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/lotr-habitrail-mod
 
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Spadge

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Just a follow up after owning for a while now.

I currently have it on LOTR and MB.

I have 4 coming in the post, for AFM, TWD, TAF, TOTAN. I just placed an order for 3 more (without GI control and UV flash)

Negatives:

- The magnetic strips you fit are too thick IMO in combination with mirror blades, can lead to niggles lifting the playfield
- Expensive, not a necessity unless you're a little OCD like myself
- Not for everyone, but then I am bonkers

Positives:

- They look GREAT
- Allow play in a very dark environment
- Lighting doesn't over compensate for LED bulbs and flashers (if anything, it makes it easier on the eyes)


Pic of LOTR and short video of MB attached.

No point doing before and after, it's quite a stark difference, everyone thinks you've mocked up the "previous" until they see it action.

IMG_0420.JPG
 

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Neil McRae

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not sure, but its weird. I needed the machine to work reliable as its at work and was causing chaos when the volume went mental so I pulled it out. Will have a go at re-installing it after xmas and see if I can debug it.
 
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Spadge

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I’ve got one coming for my TWD LE, but it’ll be after Xmas now. Will let you know if I have issues but I can’t for the life of me think why that would occur. Hope you get it sorted.
 
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Neil McRae

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I’ve got one coming for my TWD LE, but it’ll be after Xmas now. Will let you know if I have issues but I can’t for the live of me think why that would occur. Hope you get it sorted.

Yeah I was convinced it was the code update but I downgraded the code and it still did it - so I thought I’ll take that out and see what happens - when I reinstall it I’ll ensure there is no chance of short or anything. For the pro it’s a welcome upgrade as the atmosphere in the pro is a bit flat compared to the LE.

Neil


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Colywobbles

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I was on the fence with the Pin stadium lights so knocked up a quick fix to see what difference it would make. so I ordered a 3m RGB 5050 led strip with remote for £7.99 and used some left over tile strip I had sitting in the garage and WoW I’m blown away! Oh and BTW I had the strip run across the back too which made a world of difference on a TZ as it’s quite dark back there and now you can actually see the decals I knocked up.
I have got to add it’s by far the best mod I have installed to date and that includes my colourDMD (led ver)

I will improve on my 1st attempt once I get my FH back up and running as I have sourced some slightly better L angle strip.

It may not do the colour select from your mobile and the flashing effects but TBH I prefer it just lighting the table in either plain white or blue depending in time of day. It will strobe and do a few effects but they are just distracting IMO

I am sure the pinstadium stuff is great as the SDTM guys rave it which got me interested in the first place, but I’m now glad I tried my own fix before committing as I am more than happy even with my quick fix

I can now play my TZ in the complete dark if I wish which eliminates all reflections bar the obvious DMD which I will sort with a shade or the polerising film.
I should have actually shown a pic with my CoLights (pun intended) out as it really is chalk an cheese and a world apart in the flesh. I have shown a side view to show how I mounted the strip but this can’t be seen when playing.
My next attempt may include my backbox with another LED strip so I can leave the pin sw off and use the pin as a room feature lamp. How cool would that be? Not very said the wife lol
 

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Spadge

Spadge

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It’s a good non interactive solution, the parts to wire up 12v strips mean it’s cost effective but the control with pin stadium is nice
 

Neil McRae

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I thought pinstadium was a great idea but the more I played games with it the more it made me realise that it terrible. Also could never pin-point the sound problem it caused on my TWD. If you have a game that needs light, better to add a couple of well placed spots.


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Sako-TRG

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A bit of a shame when you add more than 1 set of lights in the Pin Stadium cart it doubles the shipping cost - add 3 sets it trebles shipping cost......and so on.....must be flying business class
 

Kelauce

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We used to have our WoZ in a windowless games room (well we had some ceiling lights but they were naff so we played in the dark), having Pinstadium on the machine not only made it playable as it is quite a dark looking PF anyway but it also looked truly incredible. Now we have our machines in better lit places I would not consider Pinstadiums.

One of the problems I had with them is while it is great to get the PF all lit up it does detract from the actual lights on the machine since everything is so bright anyway.
 

Neil McRae

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I think that's key. We're running out and spending £100 on pin stadiums whilst spending some decent money on the ambient light/environment will make a lot more difference. Its something I spend a lot of time considering when building my pinball shed, and then being able to control the ambient light by individual source just means I don't need pinstadium