When I set out on my journey to develop a 2.0 project with PINBOT, I hadn’t expected there to be an 8 month gap between my initial post and this one. I found myself busy with many projects last year (in and outside of pinball) which ended up seeing virtually no progress made. I had started to recreate the rule set of PINBOT in MPF, but that didn’t get much further than setting up some files. I may still do this once the project progresses far enough along as I’d love to set this up like Bride of Pinbot 2.0 from Dutch Pinball and let the player select between old and new rule sets. Two games in one is a big win when you consider how much space our machines take up. At the end of last year I was getting the urge to give this project more attention over the Christmas break and into 2020. In December, work was tossing out a lot of old hardware. I will need a PC to run my game on when hooked up to my Pinbot machine, so a freebie sounded like a good starting point.
For quite awhile now, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing my own home brew pinball project. The idea first crossed my mind around 4 years ago, but I didn’t give it much time. Thoughts about doing it came again and again since that time, each being stronger than the last. But again I had always pushed it off as building a machine from scratch is more work than I was willing to do. It was more work than I could even get my head around. What about extending something that already exists though? Now that was something I could start getting my head around. Enter Bride of Pinbot 2.0. Owning a BoP 2.0 allowed me to see just what was possible with extending an existing game and how it all hooked up hardware wise. I was impressed with what a platform like P-ROC could do and the fact it was all reversible, means the game can be switched back to stock configuration again. I don’t have a large collection of machines that I could choose from in order to do this project, but there was one in my line up that stood out the most. Pinbot.
There is rarely a dull moment in owning pinball machines as there’s always something that needs fixing or adjusting. A small fault was recently noticed in my Pinbot machine, where the left out lane switch would not register when the ball rolled over it. It was a quick and easy fix, but wanted to cover it for future readers anyway. First up, I put the game into test mode and activated the switch with my finger – as expected, the switch did not register. I then manually tested other switches around the playfield. Interestingly, the left in lane switch also did not register. Other switches were fine though. So two were switches (right beside each other) were misbehaving.
Since the playfield swap, Pinbot has been running really well and been a joy to play. Recently though, an error appeared when the machine was switched on. The game detected there were errors with 3 of the switches, and reported them during the start up sequence. They are reported as “switch adjust” errors and the knocker fires off 4 – 5 times for each one. It’s an obnoxious sound, and certainly gets your attention that there is an error. The game reported that there was an error with switches 35, 36 and 37.
Time to wrap up my work on Pinbot with a few small tasks. Recently I put together a small kit for my LAH machine which added back lit flipper buttons and thought I’d do the same for Pinbot. The whole space / robot theme should suit it nicely. I already had transparent red buttons on the machine, so I purchased a transparent blue flipper button for the left side (to go with the red / blue theme), some long neck LEDs and went through my spare parts to put together the rest of the kit to install.