Acrylic print & test-holes

Finally got around to testing the acrylic printed material. I was afraid it would crack/chip or that the print would start to fall off in the area where the hole was made. Everything worked out fine, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of cracking an expensive large printed sheet. I will make more tests, and hopefully I can stick with acrylics; this would be better than going with polycarbonate (polycarbonate has very compelling advantages – but also some rather bad disadvantages)



Modification of drop targets

This drop target bank was just donated to one of my many on-life-support pinball projects. Thanks to the legendary Fonzy from

As I have stated many times, I hate leaf switches with a passion. Thus, I have dug out some microswitches and I will attempt to modify the drop target bank with them. This should make a good prototype for the possible implementation of drop targets to a pinball machine.


The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking

Arduino microcontroller update. Well, the Arduino is amazingly popular, and for good reason. While I have only done minimal stuff, the applications that you will be able to engage are limitless. Regarding using pins as inputs, my Arduino 2560 does not seem to have on-board pull-up resistors…and that is a real problem for me. This means my pins were floating and doing all sorts of weird stuff, like hitting random HIGHs and LOWs. I should try to get a different brand of Arduino to make sure that the 2560 in general does not have this problem. Of course I can add an external resistor to +5V to pull the pin up, and I will do this. However, in a completed circuit/unit this will look messy and my AVON driver board does not have them (since it is made for the U-HID, mainly). However, I did design the AVON with pull-DOWN resistors (also to avoid floating pins), so maybe I can reverse it in code. See the AVON here:
Otherwise I would a need in-between board with resistors. See picture for adding a pull-up resistor external to a microcontroller.

For my next project (after Gravity_Kills!), I think I will use the U-HID on the AVON. The idea is doing a hybrid game using mechanical and video. The U-HID outputs will suffice, otherwise I can stack two or more.

Were I to make a self-contained mechanical game, that would not need video graphics or stuff like that, the Arduino would be perfect. Such a project could be wonderfully clean and neat; no Windows PC, no monitor etc. Just an Arduino, an LCD numeric display for score, and having the Arduino controlling inputs/outputs/sounds. This is something I will look into in the future. I like the IDE a lot, and the programming is pretty straightforward.


Modified joystick installed!

Just installed the joystick, will get to the other one soon. It looks a lot better, and also feel better than the Happ Competition joystick I had installed before. That was created for 8-way fighting games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat.


Blinking lights – smoke and mirrors!

Arduino 2560, first impressions. With the small program below I tested all types of pins, PWMs, analog etc. All 54 pins can be set to digital outputs. This is far better than the Ultimarc U-HID, which has about 19 outputs. Programming the Arduino is done by a set of C++ commands, where the U-HID uses a sort of visual interface. Both are great micro controllers, but the U-HID is at least twice as expensive. The U-HID has 50 pins, with a maximum of 19 outputs, the Arduino 2560 has 54 pins, with a maximum of 54 outputs. Off the bat, it seems more agile, but I need to look into how easy it is to control the Arduino through other software, with something like a .dll file. I hope the sketch window can be set with a black background, the white is making me snowblind.