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The basics

PAX

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Good idea if someone goes through the basics then :
Cabinets
Set up
Pins available to download
Software and hardware requirements
Costs
Etc.

You can see that I know nothing
 

Paul

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I was going to ask the same! And I know the same :D
I have been thinking for a while about building a 1/2 or 3/4 size Virtual Pin... I refuse to pay £4k for a Vpin when i have the skills etc to build one myself.

As much info we can get on here the better :)

Interesting Video here :
Anyone know Mario??? :)
 
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ChrisH

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PC Wise
You will need at least an i5, 8GB of RAM, a GTX970, and a 256GB SSD

You'll need buttons, switches and a way to interface them into the PC - I used an IPAC, and I've used Joy2Key to translate the button inputs into keyboard inputs which makes configuring the inputs a bit easier

You'll want a tilt bob and a KL25Z microcontroller for nudging

Software wise and this is my own opinion - Stick with VPX, and don't bother with anything else.
There is a 'super' installer these days which does the lot for you, but essentially it will install
VPX itself (the bit the does the tables)
VPinMAME (which runs the ROMS)
The B2S server (which does the backglasses)

In a nutshell - tables + backglasses in the tables directory and the names must be the same for both and ROM in the \VPinMAME\Roms directory - lauch the table and if everything is lined up you should get a playable table.

Frontend - PinballX is the best in my opinion.

You have to do some configuring of the screens so the right stuff shows on the right screen (there is a config file where you specify which element (backglass, DMD and playfield) goes on which screen and at what resolution.

Cabinet Building is sort of up to you - just make sure it fits your screens!
If you're not going down a normal sized route then you might need to get inventive when it comes to lockdown bars

When I built mine I used the standard WMS width, but shortened the cab by about 15cms to fit my 39" screen.
I built the cabinet from scratch out of 15mm ply, but used a standard WMS backbox.
As the body width was standard I could use a normal lockdown, receiver, coin door etc.
Where I did have to make things up a bit was covering the screen - I went with a sheet of perspex rather than messing about with glass and channels of a non-standard length.

Very happy to answer any questions, and I could write a much more in depth guide when I have a bit more time
 
OP
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PAX

PAX

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^Be good to see some pics of your set up / Vpin
 

Steve Hawley

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Hi Guys,

Stream of consciousness:

+1000 to MJR's Pinscape Build Guide.
Nailbuster's Baller Installer to get the main elements of the software going, including PinUp Popper front end. (IMHO PinballX is outdated now - but each to their own)
The tables are getting more detailed, so a decent GFX card is wise now - I've put a 2060 in, but ran with at 1070 for a long time just fine.
VP Nation on Facebook (I'm a moderator on there) - probably the most 'sensible' of the groups.

I am happy to chat with anyone who is thinking about starting down the VPin route, and also happy to welcome anyone to come and try mine out (J30 M1, just north of Chesterfield) - pictures and videos don't really do it justice.

Gateway drug to the purchase of Wonka & JP :)

Just one point - PLEASE don't use the 'packs' that are out there - paid or unpaid for. They are poor quality, and will leave you disappointed. These aren't MAME cabinets. You need to learn how to feed and water them a bit, and installing a table at a time gives you the skills to get the best out of the VPin hobby. Hope that doesn't sound patronising - but they really are the curse of the community. VPUniverse / VPForums are the main places to get tables, but there are others I can point you to.

Some pictures / videos here of my main cab, and a smaller one I made for my brother - feel free to PM me or find me on FB if you'd like more info :)

Oh - and the VRVPX is getting really good now - so if you don't have space, then a 'Pin Stubby' is an alternative (see prototype pic below)

Steve

20200619_103441 (1).jpg20201216_175432.jpg20210129_143446.jpg20210219_124711.jpg20210704_101800.jpg20191209_173711.jpg
20200727_165334 (1).jpg


 

ChrisH

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ChrisH

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Thats mine - camera doesn't do the PF justice though, looks better in person.
Only 1080p though, and I've screwed myself as I built the cab to fit this screen so swapping it is going to be pretty tricky
 

Paul

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$1,000,000 question is - Build the pin around the screen size, or build the Screen size up to the pin??
 

Pick Holder

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I can not do the VR thing, makes me kinda wanna hurl. I do have an eye issue as well and the strobing doesnt do it good.

Once you use 4K, 1080 is so hard to go back to unless you use a 32 inch or lower main screen.

I alsways use actual pinball cabinets, if you build a cab from scratch unless you use a standard size you wont get a lockdown bar. Every home made lockdown bar looks awful too.

These days you need an 8GB GTX1070 MINIMUM for 4K, and the settings will have to be lowered. I also use Philips monitors - the 40 inch once fits into a standard cab, and the 43 inch fits into a wdebody cab without decasing.

If you decase the screen then you are handing something very delicate everytime you take it out the cab.

Also do not mount the PF monitor against the PF glass. You need to set it down to allow airflow. Otherwise it simply wont last.

Use 12v starter solenoids for feedback, contactors were an absolute letdown when I have used them.

Do not forget COOLING in the main cab. It needs fans and circulation.

Use a pinscape board for digitial plunger/buttons etc. KL25Zs are hard to get but they are due in soon.

Having probably built more than 20 cabs now, quite a few owned by people on this group (a couple admit to it - most do not.......)
Yes - I do build for profit !! ! ! Shame on me! I agree, you can make them yourself, but it will take time.

Setting up the cab with software I do in a few hours, as I have hard drives ready to go with the files. You try downloading loads of games, PUP packs and backglasses. Plus all the roms....


My advice also would be to go for an actual PC monitor for the DMD and not a pin2dmd. These are more valuable for real pins - and in the near future when Spike 2 emulation gets releasted, you will need an LCD screen...... Plus Pin2dmds look rubbish when playing say a baywatch which uses a larger DMD. It does compress it but it is not great.

The things I would not skimp on is:
Graphic card - GTX2070 8gb or better ideally for 4K, 1080 a 1050TI 4gb is useable. i5/i7 processor. 8gb min RAM (I now use 16gb on 4K builds).
PC power supply - use a high wattage! Your graphic card again needs decent power.
Use extrernal PSU for all the solenoids, amps, other screens. Nowadays I use a 12v 30a PSU.

I also wire everything 230v thru an solid state relay so everything gets turned on and off with the power button. When windows shuts down - the power to the screens/PSU etc also gets killed.

Most people run PUP PACKS which makes DMD games look like a JJP game. Got a few examples on my youtube channel.....
I use Pinball X selection but the standard is now PINUP I just dont like it and I would have to spend ages converting my config files.

ALTSOUND packages emulate PINSOUND.
ALTCOLOUR packages emulate pin2dmd colourisation.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-Cr_fynyuqlKth856wROcA/videos - this is my youtube channel - full of rubbish but you may find something useful.
 

Paul

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@Pick Holder That TAB Vpin you had looked awesome... sad i muissed out on that one :D

Know who to ask when i get stuck building mine... :D
 

Pick Holder

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@Pick Holder That TAB Vpin you had looked awesome... sad i muissed out on that one :D

Know who to ask when i get stuck building mine... :D
it has changed hands a couple of times since I sold it. For more money each time.

To do a build properly does take a hell of a lot of hours. Even if you know what you are doing. Each machine is different. I tend to keep to using the same controller boards and as I siad the same monitors at least for the playfield.
I also do not get lost by putting on addressable LEDs whilzzing around the screen, it looks a bit cheap and tacky to me. In the past I have done speaker lights and under cab lights but left them out my last two builds and I do not miss them.
The fact is you do not really throw tons of addressable LEDs in a real pinball so why on a virtual. If anything they cause nightmare reflections on playfield glass.
But hey - what do I know?


Having my 'hard drive' loaded full of files saves me hours. Every game has to be set up otherwise using the buttons in a real pin. If you dont have back up, you have to go thru every game - set how many balls etc. It is like when your batteries run out ina a bally williams. Everything goes back to factory defaults.
Some people do use download packs, these are good for the eprom files but ones for the tables are a waste of time.
I do not think its a particularly good idea putting vpins HEAVILY on Pinballinfo, as so many resources already exist.
vpinforums / vpuniverse etc......

I do see some people that sell some real substandard stuff. Cabinets made from very thin MDF (maybe 8 or 12mm.
This company is my pet dislike:

They used to use wooden lockdown bar and the thin MDF (they do say on the site they have made improvements in 2020 but I have not seen any improved machines as thankfully I do not know anyone who has ordered from them).

The aspect ratio of Kase EO games also look wrong. For goodness sake - use a proper cab OR build to the online plans.
 

Paul

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Do we know anyone that manufacturers new cabs to custom sizes nowadays?? I know Manny did his thing back forever ago.... but no more...

Assembly is fine... and you know what, i could build the entire thing myself (and can assemble), however dont need to re-invent the wheel here...

Looking to do things in dribs and drabs, and keep costs down... This isnt a big thing for me... Just something to give me visability of a bunch of tables i wouldnt really get visability of :)
Saying that, Wouldnt want to be low end.. Needs to be 4k just because... :D
 

jack burton

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Great read lads.

Picked up a TNT cab last week. Going to start getting a few parts together to turn it into a VPin

I have some stuff already from arcade builds. The cab will fit a 39inch TV and I think a 24 in the BB.Screenshot_20220725-114707.png
 

DaddyGadget

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I got a 27” 4K playfield but for me i want the machine to look authentic with side and lockdown bars, problem with custom sizes is getting these parts, i love my mini cab but am now looking to advance to a full size to make it easier to get authentic parts, problem there is i can go back on 4K so a 43” 4K 144hz screen is going to cost a pretty penny.

if i could just buy the arcade 1up cab with no internals that would be perfect as you Can put a 30” screen it that but so expensive to but to just strip the innards out, another route which seems to be popular and currently has a good Mod video series by Major Frenchy on Youtube is an Atgames Legends pinball.
 

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