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Thread: First pachinko "restomod" with modern novelties: ideas, pictures

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    Tokie Owens bitcraft's Avatar
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    Default First pachinko "restomod" with modern novelties: ideas, pictures

    So, I'm going to update this thread periodically with my first pachinko "restomod" restoration and modification. I purchased the lovely little unit for $10 and got a lot of mileage out of it with my young adopted brother, who is 2 1/2. Since he loves it so much, I'm going to deck it out a bit to make it more flashy and exciting.

    Here are my plans / ideas:


    • Speaker and music/sound device to play music or sounds for jackpots or pockets
    • New LED lights with a more interesting flash pattern
    • White LED lights for lighting the interior
    • Ball hopper on top
    • Standup cabinet with integrated prize dispenser
    • Complete cleaning of cosmetic and mechanical parts


    I'm debating between a parallax propeller microcontroller or a beagle bone black + usb audio. In any case, I the unit should have a quick boot and be easy to modify in the future. I'm not using an arduino since it is very limited in its ability to play music and sound.

    I also like the idea of incentivizing the game by adding a prize payout. The following link shows a similar game, with gumball payouts.
    Pachinko Bubble Gumball Machine | The WaterHobo

    Forum member CarlW mentioned on a previous thread that I should look up "gaku counters" for ball sensors. It seems that they use a photoreflector sensor for detecting a ball. This would work great for the pockets, but I also want to detect balls under the board, specifically under the spinners. These photoreflector sensors wont work for that.

    For now, I'm going to draft a cabinet to stick it in and work on a sound/music/light system. I'll use this thread to update that progress.

    And finally...I realize this is gaku counter re-invention territory, so if anyone has any experience with game or interface ideas, I'd be grateful for resources, videos, etc.

    original thread:
    http://www.pachitalk.com/forums/intr...n-illinois.htm

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    Kungishi CarlW's Avatar
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    Default Re: First pachinko "restomod" with modern novelties: ideas, pictures

    Sounds like a fun project to me.

    I'm not familiar with a lot of what you plan to use and don't have a lot of sources to point you towards.
    With that caveat mentioned; can I get up on the soap box?



    In the link to the gumball pachinko machine... that person could have used a low force, long lever, micro switch. Relatively inexpensive and reliable.

    For your project; to detect when a spinner spins... drill a small hole behind the spinner, paint the back of the spinner with light and dark lines and detect that change with the same type of photo transistor. I've seen them used in machining to sense linear or circular position. You probably will have clearance problems with the "real" pachinko mechanism... just throw it out and make a fully cyclic machine. You could even resurrect a machine with bad mechanics and bring new joy to a tired out pachinko. My greatest problems with micro controllers is everything generates feed back and I'm not sharp enough to figure that out ahead of time. So, make a full blown prototype and test it out with FULL speed pachinko balls before you go into final production. Don't be like me and get to the end; only to realize "it don't work" and have to start over.

    Have fun, it's a hobby.

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    Tokie Owens bitcraft's Avatar
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    Default Re: First pachinko "restomod" with modern novelties: ideas, pictures

    so i guess my last post to this thread is lost somewhere in the internet... i'll paraphrase:

    the gunball-pachinko machine was a guideline not a blueprint! i also see some issues with it: PVC is cheap, but looks cheap, too! acrylic would have looked much better and allowed you to see how much product is left in the hopper. i think the gumball dispenser is mounted way to low, and it is not obvious where they are dispensed. i'm also not even sure a full-blown arduino is needed for a simple project like this. i agree about the switch as well...no leafs!

    the pachi i'm working with is in great condition: its is a bit dingy, but all the mechanics work as they should. it would break my heart to redically change it by removing the mechanics, making it cyclic and drilling holes in the playfield for the sensors. if i had a broken and neglected pachi, i would have no reservations about completely changing it, even changing that artwork; that would be fun! when someday i find a pachi in dire straits, i'll exercise some cosmetic and racical changes on it.

    i like the idea of painting the spinners and using a photoresistor. i had the same idea, but i think that i'll just stick to putting sensors behind the buckets (or maybe just the bucket chute) for some added visual/audio feedback. i don't want to modify the playfield more than i have to. if i happen to find a cache of broken pinball machines, maybe i'll scavange it for under-the-playfield [eddy] sensors.

    i laughed quite a bit when i read your plea to prototype before production. as a programmer, i am painfully aware of the 'build then rebuild completely' method of engineering. i enjoy software and i am a novice in actual electrical engineering, but i find pleasure in failing as long as i learn something from it and along the way.

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    Kungishi CarlW's Avatar
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    Default Re: First pachinko "restomod" with modern novelties: ideas, pictures

    Not sure how far you are from Aurora... I can donate a "beater" to your project; but you'd have to pick it up.

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    Tokie Owens bitcraft's Avatar
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    Default Re: First pachinko "restomod" with modern novelties: ideas, pictures

    Just south of Rockford! I'll PM you some details.

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    Tokie Owens bitcraft's Avatar
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    Default Re: First pachinko "restomod" with modern novelties: ideas, pictures

    I just replaced the glass in my Sankyo machine and I am happy i decided to install both panes of glass. The second glass makes the front door appear flush and professional. I will do that again in the future as well.

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