HomeIoTThe Greatest Pinball Machine Espresso Desk Conversion We have Ever Seen

The Greatest Pinball Machine Espresso Desk Conversion We have Ever Seen



Pinball machines are wonders of electromechanical engineering, however they’re additionally too cumbersome for most individuals’s houses. Even after the transfer to stable state electronics within the late ’70s, pinball machines did not get far more compact — they only gained extra options. Adrian Atwood needed a pinball machine in his lounge, however needed it to look good with out taking on an excessive amount of area. As you possibly can learn in his construct log, he selected to transform a classic pinball machine right into a espresso desk and the outcomes are excellent.

In principle, this does not sound like a fancy endeavor. Minimize off the legs, lay the machine down in entrance of your sofa, after which name it a day, proper? Not so quick there, junior! Even with the legs eliminated, most pinball machines do not match the shape issue of a espresso desk — and also you’d nonetheless have the backboard to deal with both means. Then you could contemplate that pinball machines function by design at a shallow angle (normally 5-7 levels from flat). That angle is not excessive, however it’s nonetheless sufficient to make a floor unusable as a desk. However Atwood could be very intelligent and had a wholesome finances for this undertaking, resulting in some modern options.

Atwood began with {a partially} restored Centaur pinball machine from 1981. Centaur had stable state electronics, together with a TI TMS5100 speech synthesis IC — the identical chip discovered within the well-known Converse & Spell and the TI-99/4a speech add-on. However lots of its electronics resided within the again board, which Atwood needed to take away. To compensate, he used each a Teensy 4.1 microcontroller growth board and a Tiny FPGA BX board. The FPGA reads the assorted indicators coming from the Centaur’s circuitry, whereas the Teensy outputs the rating, drives the sound board, controls the solenoids, and toggles the lights.

The Teensy has one different vital job: to manage a pair of linear actuators. These raise one finish of the machine up when somebody needs to play the machine. An accelerometer tracks the angle and likewise detects when a participant tilts the desk, so the machine can reply because it ought to. Settings, such because the desk play angle, are configurable via a rotary encoder and an OLED display screen. The display screen additionally reveals the participant’s present rating. After constructing a brand new cupboard, Atwood’s laborious work paid off and the completed product is wonderful.

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