Not long ago, Starship Fantasy reproduced the large helmet plastic for Bride of Pinbot. When some became available through their distributor here in Australia, I didn’t hesitate to order one for my game. The box then sat on my shelf for a number of months, patiently awaiting the day I’d get around to actually installing it. Finally, that day had come. The original helmet in my game isn’t terrible, but it’s certainly showing signs of age along with some small sections broken where it attaches to the playfield. Since I had put so much effort into the rest of the game, it felt wrong not to grace the Bride with a new helmet.
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Who likes self punishment? I do, it seems. My BoP 2.0 machine came with a touched up and clear coated playfield when I purchased it 14 months ago and it’s a task I knew I would get to at some point. But when you’re having fun playing a game, it’s hard to take it offline for some major changes. Playfield swaps are a time consuming process, so it’s not something I’ve been looking forward to. I gained some excellent experience when I did my Pinbot CPR playfield a couple of years ago and I’ll be rolling that knowledge in to how I approach this one. The up side here is the replacement playfield is an existing playfield, so all screw holes (both sides) are already there. New playfields have (most) screw holes dimpled, but can be up to 1mm out in any direction (according to CPR – not sure if that also applies to other playfield makers). On my Pinbot playfield, I found many dimples missing on the underside. This can be a pain for assemblies under the playfield that are made up of 2 or 3 components, consisting of up to 12 screws, which all need to line up in order for it to operate smoothly. The current playfield in my game isn’t bad by any stretch as mylar across the central playfield and pop bumper areas has protected most of it. I actually think it would make a great drop in replacement for someone who has a trashed playfield or someone who wants to touch up and clear coat one for themselves. Time to begin the process.
When it comes to my Bride of Pinbot 2.0, I can’t help myself. I’m always looking to add upgrades and improvements as it’s my favorite game. With a four week break coming up, I have plans for a playfield swap and new decals over the Xmas holidays. Before I get to that however, there are a couple of smaller things I want to get done. The first is replacing the board that controls the lamps on the brides helmet with an upgraded version. When switching to LED’s, you lose the fade effect that would normally be present as part of the lamp sequence that plays out. As a result the different chase sequences that play out on the brides helmet are not smooth. Luckily, a pinside member created a new board to solve this. It can be used in a standard BoP and also a 2.0 machine.
Something that has been on my to do list for the last 8 months is take a backup (drive mirror) of the hard drive in my Bride of Pinbot 2.0 machine. At the very heart of the 2.0 upgrade kit is a mini PC running Windows on a solid state drive (SSD). Solid state drives are very reliable, but like any computer – it’s at risk of failure over time. If your BoP 2.0 hard drive becomes corrupt or the drive dies – there’s no install CD to run and get it up again. The mini PC hardware can be replaced – but what’s on that drive can’t. Small SSD’s are cheap now (the one I purchased for this backup here was $35AU) and because it is just a Windows computer, you can mirror the drive with a full backup should some disaster occur. I thought I would put together this post for any other BoP 2.0 owners wanting to mirror their drive so it’s easy to restore if a new HDD / computer is needed. There’s a good video tutorial for backing up your BoP 2.0 on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOLaBT30dpM&t=849s), which uses a different method to what I cover here. Both methods work though, so go with what you’re more comfortable with 🙂
Just before I was finishing up the previous Bride of Pinbot post, an important parcel arrived from the USA. It contained the BoP ramp entry protector set from Cliffy! Due to the issues with the heart beat ramp, I was in some ways forced to replace the ramp (or leave the various hacks that had been put in place for it). I had no intention of putting the new ramp in until the protectors arrived – so I was glad to see these.