1 and 2 show how a tilt switch works. Its essentially a can, with a
drop of mercury in it, and two contacts. When the mercury shorts the
two contacts, the circuit is made, and you know its at the set angle.
- shows how you would set up two sensors so that you know the direction
of a tilt. When it is tilted left, the right hand switch will activate,
and vice versa. This can be tuned simply by adjusting the angle the
switches are at.
I’ve seen a couple of boards that use accelerometers to detect nudge,
and think this might be a better way to do it, especially if you already
have a microcontroller lying about for your plunger. We may be able to
make a board using v-usb (ATMega software USB) on an atmega8 in keyboard
mode, so we can completely skip the extra keyboard encoder!
I’ll have a dig around in my bits box, see what i can come up with
BobOn Fri, 2009-10-09 at 15:40 +0100, Scott Edwards wrote:
Wow thanks guys. I’ll bring my laptop along with the pinball machine
software then. Will try to get some research done into your
suggestions, it will also help when I get round to sorting a full cab
out as I will probably be putting the same pinball controls onto that
As for the mercury switches for tilting, is there some way to rig a
few of these to sense the direction of the nudge? The emulation just
maps nudges to a button so sensing the force of the shove isn’t
Forgive my ignorance, I’ll be doing some proper research in the
2009/10/9 Bob Clough email@example.com
For the actual pinball plunger, I've seen a machine that used
replacement plunger (which you can get for next to nothing on
connected to an optocoupler, an attiny for detecting how long
plunger has been pulled back (for release speed), and a relay
switching an input on an i-pac or similar interface.
As far as interfaces go, the main problem with using a PC
is that they use a matrix, and therefore you can get 'ghost
too many keys are pressed at once (i think the limit is 3 or 4
If you want, i can bring along some parts to the next meeting
for us to
prototype one, as i have a bunch of parts i bought years ago
arcade machine that i've still not built, including some
buttons and an
i-pac, and i'm sure i can dig out an optical sensor from
If someone fancies bringing along a laptop with some pinball
it, we might even be able to have a game or two :D
On Fri, 2009-10-09 at 06:42 -0700, Tallscreen wrote:
> > Does anybody have any experience building arcade machine
> > (Paul/Tallscreen has a cabinet if I am not mistaken)?
> Yup! :)
> > I am hoping to build a full arcade cabinet eventually but
> > meantime I fancy building a Pinball Controller. Should be
> > simple with just the plunger and a few buttons for the
> > nudging etc. (or perhaps even an accelerometer for the
> By nudging, do you mean like a 'tilt'? You can probably use
> mercury switch.
> > This is the sort of thing I have in mind
> The flipper buttons on that look like standard arcade
> I'm guessing the buttons just emulate a PC keyboard? You can
> a keyboard apart and wire up the buttons, but you can
> problems with interference (not so much on modern
> 'ghosting'. A more elegant solution, which is what I did, is
to buy a
> keyboard encoder (http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/
> Keyboard_Encoders). I used a (now obsolete) iPac.
> Not sure where you'd get a plunger though!