Announce: Star Trek – The Next Generation VUK/Bracket Dress Kit

Pinball-Mods.com is pleased to announce we have reached an agreement with Nycon to distribute his laser etched decals for the Star Trek: The Next Generation Pinball machine by Williams in time for the 30th Anniversary and exclusively for the North American Market (USA & Canada). This 18 decal set will provide a much needed face lift for the two VUKs, several brackets, and the three flipper bats in this game. Each decal set is laser etched by Nycon in Germany out of high-quality brushed aluminum decal material to reveal the black plastic underneath.

The decal set dresses up the Left and Right Vertical UpKickers (VUK):
STNG: Left VUK
STNG: Right VUK

Decals for all three brackets and the spinner:
STNG: Alpha Bracket/spinner
STNG: Beta Bracket
STNG: Delta Bracket

Flipper-Bat Toppers are also included for all three flippers:
STNG: Flipper Toppers

For more information; please see Nycon’s thread on Pinside.

These decals are simple to install and are readily available @:
http://pinball-mods.com/oscom/game-specific-products-star-trek-the-next-generation-stng-vukbracket-dressing-p-25.html

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Announce: Star Rollover LED boards

We are pleased to make a delayed announcement of a product which we’ve had in stock for almost a year. This Star Rollover LED board fits on the underside of your Playfield under a Star rollover assembly and will bathe the Star Insert is lower power LED light. With this product you can replace the inefficient horizontal lamp socket and incandescent light bulb with this board:
Star Rollover
Each board provides 4 natural white LEDs in a non-polarized light from either a 6.3V source. Because the board has a built-in rectifier bridge; you can supply power from both a 6.3VAC GI circuit or ~6.3VDC controlled insert. You can even control the brightness via a microcontroller PWM signal or from one of the new DIY control systems such as the PROC or its PD-LED driver board.

The design also features a brightness resistor at R5 to allow you to dial the brightness to your desired level. A hole in the center of our PCB allows the actuator to work from the insert to a standard Leaf switch typically under the insert.

A typical installation may require a set of #6-32 x 0.25 inch wood screws so you can bolt it to the back of the playfield under the star rollover insert. Electrical installation is super simple; simply solder the GI connection from the old horizontal lamp socket to the JGI connection, or jump to the nearest GI socket as we did in our machine below. Here is an example installation we did on our Star Trek: The Mirror Universe custom pinball machine.


Source: My Star Trek: The Mirror Universe custom machine

This populated PCB is available for immediate shipping in Our Online store @ http://pinball-mods.com/oscom/modifications-do-it-yourself-star-rollover-led-p-17.html

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M.2 60mm to 80mm bracket for Udoo X86 maker board

I recently received my Kickstarted Udoo X86 maker board but did not actually end up ordering any of their Accessories. They offer a Transcend MTS600 SSD (M.2 60mm) with somewhat small capacity. I decided I wanted a Transcend MTS800 256GB SSD from Amazon.com for the SSD and a Intel Dual Band AC 8260 WIFI NGFF card. Additonally; I ordered a set of Wifi Antenna’s to connect to the AC 8260 card.

Armed with this new equipment I set about figuring out how to install them on the Udoo X86 board. The board is only setup to support 60mm M.2 drives; so I opened up SCAD and created a quick 3D printed bracket to bridge the gap between the 60mm mounting hole and 80mm M.2 drive’s mounting hole. I 3D printed this using my M3D printer, drilled out the 3D printed #4-40 holes and taped it so I could run some #4-40 polycarbonate screws I had in my modding bins. Any 4-40 screw should work. The bracket I created also has pockets for a #4-40 nut incase you want to drill out the bracket and use a nut. Printing took about 45minutes on my M3D using clear PLA.

I’ve decided release this bracket design to the public under the TAPR Non-Commercial Open Hardware License which indicates:

You may make products based upon this design, provided you do not make more than ten units in any twelve month period for your personal use.

If you agree with the license terms; OpenSCAD and .STL files are posted here under TAPR/NCL license:
M.2 60mm to 80mm Bracket

For those that do not have a 3D printer; I’ve made the bracket available at my Shapeways shop:

Here are some OpenSCAD renderings of the bracket:

M.2 60mm to 80mm Bracket Render Top

M.2 60mm to 80mm Render Top

M.2 60mm to 80mm Render Bot

M.2 60mm to 80mm Render Bot

Actual 3D printed bracket (In use):

M.2 60mm to 80mm Bracket

M.2 60mm to 80mm in use

The Fluorescent Green Zip Tie is used to stabilize the WIFI antennas so they do not come loose from the AC 8260 connectors.

M.2 60mm to 80mm SSD Bracket

M.2 60mm to 80mm Bracket (SSD side)

Finally here’s a side view of the stack of both cards:

M.2 60mm to 80mm SSD Bracket

M.2 60mm to 80mm Bracket (side)

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Announce: Stern Star Trek Nebula Mod

We are pleased to announce the official launch and immediate availability of our Nebula Backbox lighting kit for the Stern Star Trek Pinball Machines. While the product has been available on our site for almost a month; we just completed our detailed step-by-step instructions to aid you in installing it in any Stern Star Trek Pinball machine – enabling us to make the product official with this announcement.

This kit comes with a set of three Printed circuit Board Assemblies (PBAs) which you snap apart and install behind the stock nebula plastics on a Pro, Premium, or Limited Edition pinball machine’s Back board. Like our Kelvin product; it is 100% compatible with the PWM circuitry on our GI Dimmer so the customer can dim or control the Nebula lighting for both Normal and Klingon MultiBall modes.

This kit is a Do-It-Yourself mod requiring assembly using the attached step-by-step instructions:
Stern Star Trek: Nebula Backboard Upgrade
and may take a couple of hours to complete.

Here’s the stock, unlit Nebula backboard on the Author’s machine:

Here’s the Nebula backboard with our DIY Nebula kit installed:
New Star Trek Nebula mod

For More information; please visit our online store’s product page for more detail and an order link:
http://pinball-mods.com/oscom/game-specific-products-stern-star-trek-star-trek-nebula-p-15.html

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Announce: USS Kelvin StadiumLEDs for Stern Star Trek Pinball

I am pleased to announce the immediate availability of our USS Kelvin mod for the Hallmark USS Kelvin. This pair of PBAs will bathe your USS Kelvin in a natural white glow provided by 3 LEDs in the base PBA while providing proper power regulation to the interior ship’s LEDs provided by Hallmark. The base PBA includes a variable resistor to allow the user to adjust the Stadium LEDs to their desired setting. The kit includes a translucent custom-made 3D Printed bracket which is also available at our ShapeWays shop.

Additionally, this assembly is 100% compatible with the PWM circuitry on our GI Dimmer so the customer can dim or control the Ship for both Normal and Klingon MultiBall modes.

This is a Do-It-Yourself mod requiring assembly using the attached step-by-step instructions:
USS Kelvin StadiumLEDs Install
and should only take a couple of hours to complete.

Here’s an installed example of this mod on the Author’s Machine:

For more information; please visit our online store at:
http://pinball-mods.com/oscom/game-specific-products-stern-star-trek-uss-kelvin-stadiumleds-p-8.html

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Announce: Stern Star Trek Laser Upgrade Kit

Pinball-Mods.com is pleased to announce the immediate availability of a Laser upgrade kit for your Stern Star Trek Premium or Limited Edition pinball machine. We offer a higher power Red laser module if you wish to remain “stock” but have just a little more “punch” so it can be seen. We also have a green laser module similar to other offerings. However, what sets us apart from the competition is we are the first to offer a blue laser module for these machines. Why blue; well I think it’s a better match to the LE machines and the Playfield graphics.

Our kits come with the laser module, a custom cable harness with bolts into the stock harness – no alligator clips, no fuss,┬áno mess. Our harness has a built-in Voltage Regulator Modules to power our custom-designed modules.

Detailed Step-By-Step Instructions are available here or on our product page.

Not sure which color you want? Check out our Youtube videos comparing the three colors against the stock red laser pointer.
Please note: These videos were taken without our Stern GI Dimmer installed; so the General Illumination is at 100% as it came from Stern. These videos are 1920×1080 HD; so feel free to click thru to Youtube and/or go full screen.

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Announce: Translucent Early Solid State Pinball Buttons/Housings

I’m excited to announce the immediate availability of the C904 Housings and C905 buttons in 10 different pinball friendly translucent colors. The Colors are intended to closely match the colors of many pinball plastics such as lane guides, star posts, and switched inserts and are intended to be back-lit with LEDs. These new buttons are replacement parts for the following manufacturers / Part numbers:

  • Buttons:
    • Bally C-905 button
    • Gottlieb B-16680 button
    • Stern / Chicago Coin Machine 4B-200 button
  • Housings:
    • Bally C-904 housing
    • Gottlieb C-13900 bushing
    • Stern / Chicago Coin Machine 4B-199 housing

The Gottlieb BUSHING FOR DOUBLE PUSHBUTTON #B-21018 is not currently available; however, it should be possible to modify our buttons easily to replicate them. I’ll try to spend some time in the future to publish a how-to-modify here in this blog if there is interest.

These buttons are available in the following translucent colors:

  • Yellow,
  • Amber,
  • Orange,
  • Red,
  • Blue,
  • Green,
  • and Purple.

Additionally we’ve created some unique custom colors which should be of interest to the pinball community:

  • Clear
  • Teal,
  • and Smoke Black.

We also have some limited stock of:

  • Lime Green,
  • Smoke-Blue,
  • and Light Purple.

Colors are show below and should represent the colors available. Please Note:Keep in mind your monitor and my camera’s color balance will throw the colors off a bit from the actual product you receive so use these as an approximation of what will be shipped to you.

Pinball Button

C905 Translucent Pinball Buttons

The Housings:

Pinball Button Housing

C904 Pinball Housing

C904 Translucent Pinball Button Housings

Both the Housings and Buttons are made out of PMMA (Acrylic) so they can be easily laser etched and paint filled like I did on my Original Bally Star Trek Restoration.

Please let us know if there is a color not represented here… or if you’d like to see some opaque colors made.

To buy a set for you Pinball Machine; please see the following product page:
http://pinball-mods.com/oscom/index.php/cPath/28

Bally Flipper Button Mod

I’d also like to call Attention to a product we’ve had on the website for a couple of months… The Bally Flipper Mod was designed by myself several years ago for the Bally Star Trek Restoration. Each PCB features 12 LEDs in either Red or Green and rotated the LEDs to simulate a rotating pattern. I’ve held off announcing them here because I wanted to get the companion buttons on the website so fellow Pinheads would have the option of buying them with the colored button of their choice – IE one stop shopping.

This Flipper button mod is available as a 2 PCB set and looks like this in Green:

Here are a couple of videos of the Red in action:

Green LEDs:

Please take a gander at our product page:
http://pinball-mods.com/oscom/product_info.php/products_id/5
for more information or to purchase this modification.

Posted in Arcade, Black Hole, Design, DIY, Gottlieb, Pinball, System 80 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intel Edison: USB Storage Sled

I’ve been spending the last year or so playing with the Intel Arduino products – Namely the Intel Galileo and the Intel Edison. One of my projects the last few months has been Making a LinuxFromScratch Linux Kernel with full build tools, Xwindows, and QEMU running WinXP SP3. Included in this build is a XWindows software FrameBuffer w/ VNC capability; that way I can run a networked gui and do some GUI type work.

Chrome x86 running on Edison under XWindows

Chrome x86 running on Edison under XWindows

The Edison is cool because it’s just powerful enough to run WinXP under QEMU without any software emulation. While I wouldn’t call the Edision a speed demon – it should be good enough to allow printer drivers to function. The onboard storage for the Edison isn’t really big enough to run WinXP from the eMMC flash; so I opted to run a SSD attached to the USB2.0 port of the Edison. Edison runs as the “master”. The end goal of providing “always on” scanner and printer driver capabilities for my old HP all-in-one color laser and the ULS-25E laser cutter.

Windows XP SP3 running on Intel Edison

Windows XP SP3 running on Intel Edison

I also wanted to run a rotational drive .. to act as a swap space for both Linux and for the Winblows PageTable. To do this; I built a Microdrive FLEX to 44pin 2.5″ IDE adapter board and attached it to the Edison via a usb->ATA adapter. I verified all of this works with a usb hub.

With the concept proven; I set about generating a Intel Edison USB Storage Sled. This PCB provides power to the Edision and then connects up a 4port USB hub. This hub then serves the USB->SATA->mPCIe->Intel SSD, a USB->PATA->flexIDE Microdrive, and an extra device port. I set about putting the Sled in a SparkFun Edison Block compatible form factor early in the design phase. Clearly this much stuff on one board prevents me from adhering to the tiny formfactor; so I grew it in the X direction to 4.5″ wide and about 2.1″ tall. This board provides all the power to run the SSD and PATA interfaces. The board is 4 layers; due to USB2.0 routing requirements / impedance matching.

Why the Sparkfun Edison Block formfactor? Well simply put; I wanted to be able to expand the “system” with more features I don’t forsee at the moment. Example: I do not currently need an SDIO card on my Sled – honestly; I’m lazy and don’t want to route the pins. But; if later I need it – I can just buy Sparkfun’s Block and add it to the system.

I’m requesting comments / suggestions / peer reviews for the design; as a result I’m posting it here. The first 3pages of schematics are Licensed to you as Derivative works of Intel and Sparkfun. The last 3 pages and the PCB Layout are currently ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Copyright 2015 by John Zitterkopf. ATM; I’m thinking I’d release the final design under a TAPR/NCL license… but I haven’t committed to that yet.
Prototype Schematics / PCB Layout

In addition to the features above; I’ve designed in some USB Muxes to aid switching the Edison into Device or Host mode (similar to the Intel Edison Arduino board). I’ve also included the Lipo Battery charging circuit to provide a limited UPS type capability to the design incase of small power outages due to lightning or what not. Lastly; I added an I2C eeprom which can be programmed by the Edison for the USB to SATA bridge chip.

Update 8/28/2015:

Here are some pictures of the finished prototype:
Secondary/Edison Side

Primary/mSATA side

Feel free to leave a comment here (which will be reviewed by a human prior to posting) or provide comments in the various threads / project logs below:

Posted in "Intel Edison", Arduino, Design, DIY, Gadgets, Linux, PCB | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Rest In Piece, Mr Nimoy!

The passing of Leonard Nimoy @ 83 on Feb 27, 2015 made me want to do something special in honor of the legendary actor. I decided to give everyone ordered between his passing and 3/6 a 10% discount at my web store with matching 10% donation in memory of Mr Nimoy to the COPD Foundation. His family has asked us to do this instead of sending flowers.

This discount was site-wide; so applied to whatever I happened to have in stock. Items included:

With the sale over; I crunched the numbers and determined that the donation would have been $68.44; but I wanted to give a little more from my personal pocket book – adding another $20 to make it $88.44.

A PDF of the donation receipt is here:
Nimoy COPD DonationNimoy COPD Donation

Thanks to all my fellow #Pinball enthusiasts on Pinside for making this donation possible.

#RIP #LeonardNimoy

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Stern Star Trek: Warp Ramp LED Mod

One of the items that somewhat bugged me about my new Stern Star Trek LE Pinball machine, was the LED in the warp ramp popup insignia. Specifically; I always thought the two SMD red LED didn’t quite fit where it was placed in the machine.

Photo Credit: Kawydud@Pinside

Original LED in Popup. Photo Credit: Kawydud@Pinside

The plan was to “replace” the LED round lens with a laser cut lense which duplicated the artwork on the insignia’s plastic. To this I disassembled the plastic by removing the four screws… and took the plastic to my HP scanner where I scanned the art into my computer. Then using Corel Draw, I traced the Red Arrow from the plastic art:

Portions (c)2013 Stern Pinball

Scanned Plastic with New Arrow Art


I recreated the arrow using red; then added the black border around the plastic to block light and give a round area to mount the new LED. Once I had the recreated arrow; I broke it into two laser cut pieces. One would be cut out of the matte/diffused Red acrylic which was used on the Stern Star Trek Pop Undercaps. The second would be cut out of 1/8″ opaque black acrylic – this piece serving as an outline for the red piece and support from the LED.

I took these files to Techshop.ws where I laser cut several of each piece for experimentation later at home. Once the laser cutting was complete; I used the black cad files to laser etch some 1/4″ plywood to act as an assembling aid/surface. When I got home; I used the plywood and some wooden toothpicks to clamp the two pieces together:

Acrylic Clamping

Acrylic Pieces Clamped for Bonding


With the pieces together; I used some acrylic bonding solvent to glue the two pieces together. I let the acrylic bond overnight.

The next afternoon; My Comet Pinball Red LEDs had not come in the mail – so I decided to go ahead and use the original LED for experimentation. I cut the round lens off the original LED using a new XACTO knife and then using some two part 5minute epoxy; I glued the lamp to the new lense:

LED Clamping

LED Clamped to new LENS w/ 5minute Epoxy

I allowed the epoxy to cure for about an hour. I then reinstalled the plastics and the new LED assembly:

LED Clamping

Warp Arrow LED Installed

I’m really quite happy with the way this turned out. It defiantly spruces up the warp assembly.

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