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Welcome to Pinball Intrigue, where I indulge my fascination with the silver ball. Here you will find posts regarding my pinball experiences, pinball machine repairs and mods, a virtual pinball build, and links to other pinball sites.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

VP Update and Other News

It's been quite some time since I posted an update on the status of my visual pinball project. As sometimes happens, life can derail any project you think you've got a handle on. First it was discovering black mold and dry rot in my house. About $40,000 later, when added to the $2000 in medical bills from my broken wrist, I'm wiped out financially, which has delayed the project by leaving me unable to brass plate my lockdown bar and legs, and prevents acquisitions of other materials. The second setback was weather-related, as it became too cold to work out in the shop.

The cold weather also led to the third setback, which was temperature and moisture causing the veneer to delaminate. You can run your hand across the surface and see and feel the giant ripples throughout. I was close to scrapping the project, but when I got my hands on a crate from work with 1/4" mahogany panels, I started looking into seeing if the panels can be screwed right over the top of the ruined veneer, and it looks like they can, I just have to make sure the extra 1/2" thickness will still allow the lockdown bar to fit. With the weather warming up again, and my financials hopefully improving, it looks like things are picking up again.

In February I received an item I ordered last year prior to the budget hit - a Vishay LED DMD screen. This is about the size of a normal pinball DMD, which means I can eliminate the third monitor and all the issues that go with it. The DMD, which is used to display high scores, messages, and even play mini games, plugs in to the PC through the controller's USB, and the VP software recognizes it and utilizes it accordingly if you have the controller board (which I do). Since it is LED, it will last longer than the old plasma versions, and will also use less power. So that's one bit of good news.

Unfortunately the other casualty of my financials was the Junkyard machine, which was sold to pay bills. But that's okay, because when things improve I'll look at getting another machine to replace it - maybe Stargate or Jurassic Park.