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    Mini Pinball Kit
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    I want to gather all the ideas you all post for the build. If I missed something, let me know in the comments.

    You guys are great. Keep the ideas coming!

     

    Parts Needed: (so far)

    • Microcontroller Requirements:
      • Able to process game logic at a fast pace (10,000Hz+)
      • Ability to stream 2 channels of WAV audio from an SD card (sound FX/music)
      • Can drive a display of some sort, such as an LCD or LED.
      • Enough I/O for buttons and game sensors.
    • System Mechanical Requirements:
      • Drive at least 2 solenoids (flippers) up to 6 would be nice.
      • I/R or switch sensor control to detect what the ball is doing.
      • Servo control for additional game features.
    • Interface Requirements:
      • 2 flipper buttons, 1 start button
      • Ball plunger
      • On/Off switch
      • USB programming port and SD card slot
    • Display Requirements:
      • Cheap! Which means small, but not so small that a player can't read it.
      • Alphanumeric to display rules, goals, and which player is up.
      • Hitachi 44780 might work, if we can find them cheap enough (<$5)
    • Sound Requirements
      • Maybe just one speaker which we mix stereo audio into.
      • Maybe the flipper buttons in attract mode act as volume controls (saves us from using a knob)
      • Headphone jack near the back of the unit on the main board? Keep everything on the main board if possible.
      • Quick mute option?

     

    Other Design Factors

    • Target audience:
      • People who want to design their own games.
      • Fun project for kids.
      • How does this compare to the cardboard pinball kit which costs $50?
    • Cost:
      • No more than $250, meaning we have to get our price under $80.
      • What are the most expensive parts? Can we exclude things (like batteries) to make it cheaper?
      • Need a wall wart for power.
    • Overall size:
      • Slightly longer than original mini pinball, otherwise mostly the same.

     

    Project Progress

     

    • Designed symmetrical flipper assembly that can be made for left or right based off how the metal is bent.
    • Designed everything to use a single size of solenoid, which is smaller (cheaper) than before.
    • Successful test with Teensy 3.6 MCU.
    • Started worked on code libraries including game state machine loop.

     

     

    Project To-Do

     

    • Design more parts to be in the game, such as small pop bumpers, targets or slings. How many will be included in the kit?
    • Try to avoid injection molding as much as possible.
    • How will the case be made?
    • How do we make this kit as customizable as possible?
    • Sourcing parts.
    • Designing all-in-one PCB.
    • Best thing to use for switches? Experimenting with IR modules but they might be too expensive.