Pin2k CPU Fan Replacement

When I first got my Revenge From Mars from a local Pinhead; the fan was clogged with dust and grime. At the time; I simply cleaned the fan, removed the sticker, and added some oil to the bearings. This lasted about 3months before the fan began to make some horrible noises because the bearings were shot. I “lived with it”; but it remained on my todo list.

For years; I had watched threads about Pin2k in Pinside… always feeling a little guilty I had not eliminated the risk that my CPU fan would die… overheat the cpu… and put my RFM in jeopardy of force converting to NuCore or Pinbox. Today was the day I vowed to resolve that noisy fan.

First; I did not want to buy NOS (new old stock) of some 50mm fan made back in 2000 or some china knockoff that wouldn’t last another 18 years. I wanted a high quality fan with very little noise; but a good performer. I’ve grown to like the Noctura brand of fans because they aren’t cookie cut china knock offs. Noctura does not sell a drop-in-replacement for 50mm fans. Going smaller usually means less air flow with a higher “whine” because the fan blades have to go much faster to move more air. So I decided that I was going to try and use the NF-A6x25 FLX 60mm fan:

and build an adapter to fit the larger fan over the existing heatsink. This blog entry documents my solution, provides a TAPR/NCLed DXF for my adapter, and links to a Shapeways implementation of my adapter my fellow pinball enthusiasts to use.

First, I removed the CPU box from my RFM and pulled out the existing CPU heatsink:

Stock Pin2k CPU Fan/Heatsink

Once I had the CPU heatsink free; I unscrewed the old FAN from the heatsink. This was done for two reasons;

  1. I need the heatsink to take caliper measurements in order design a 60mm to 50mm bracket.
  2. Eventually; I’d toss the worthless 50mm fan – but wanted to keep it incase I couldn’t find a working solution.

Obviously; the 60mm fan wouldn’t fit within the 50mm cavity of the heatsink; so I knew I wanted to use some 1/4inch clear Acrylic as an “adapter”. I went into qCAD resulting in a DXF file which I could then send to my laser cutter. I wanted to reuse the 50mm fan/heatsink screws and the 4 qty Vibration-Compensators provided in the Noctura kit. My second proto resulted in success and looked like this:

60 to 50mm Fan Adapter

Reusing the 4 qty 50mm countersunk heatsink screws; I attached the clear acrylic bracket to the top of the heatsink. Then I put the 4 qty Vibration-Compensators provided in the Noctura kit thru the acrylic bracket and into the NF-A6x25 fan. The whole assembly fit together quiet nicely.

60mm Fan Adapter – Test Fit

I carefully; reinstalled the fan-sink combo back onto the cpu and socket. This was a little tricky because the 60mm fan is bigger; but as you can see the whole contraption fits well:

60mm Fan Adapter – Motherboard Install

Conveniently; my Pinball 2000 motherboard had a FAN header right next to the cpu socket; so I simply attached the CPU fan’s 3pin PWM connector to that unused mobo connection:

60mm Fan Adapter – Fan Header

I powered up the Pin2k system on my bench with both the original and the new fan connected. !That old fan really needed to be replaced! This new fan is ultra quiet; I don’t think you can hear the fan over the PSU fan even when the box is open. You won’t be able to hear the fan at all when its in the backbox behind the backglass. Success!

I’ve decided release this 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; a DXF Drawing is posted here under TAPR/NCL license:
60mm to 50mm Fan Adapter Package

If you don’t have access to a laser cutter; you can 3D print this adapter from Shapeways:

Stern Star Trek: Custom Shooter Knob & Housing

A customer of mine graciously agreed to sell me his Shooter housing decal from aurich‘s Alternate decal set; as a result, I was able to finally finish my custom shooter housing and knob.

custom Star Trek Knob
custom 50th Anniversary Shooter Knob – Stern Star Trek

I had a shooter housing custom powder coated LE blue and installed the Decal. The knob is 3D printed at Shapeways from my custom design:

in polished Nickel and I powder coated it LE blue to match the housing.

A Star Trek 50th Anniversary Pin was then JB welded to the knob and it was encased in EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy to give it a smooth surface for the palm of your hand.

Overall; I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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)

Custom Buttons & Housings (Early Bally, Gottlieb, Stern, Chicago Coin)

My Shapeway’s store should be open to purchase early SS or late EM buttons and housings. You can visit the store at:

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/Pinball-Mods

You can buy in single button / housing configurations or in pairs allowing you to configure the colors as you want. The buttons work interchangeably with the original housings and vice-versa. At the moment; I have 13 color and/or materials available:

Blue nylon
Purple Nylon
Pink Nylon
Yellow Nylon
Green Nylon
Orange Nylon
Matte Black Nylon
Smooth Black
Polished Metallic Plastic
Grey Nylon /w metallic sparkle
Translucent clear
Matte Translucent clear
Matte Frosted Translucent Clear

I do not offer White or Red Opaque buttons in the store as they come much cheaper from PBR or Marco. I understand the prices are high; it’s what Shapeways’ charges for the material. I guess it’s the cost of customization.

At this point; I offer the following part numbers at the shop:

  • 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
    • Gottlieb BUSHING FOR DOUBLE PUSHBUTTON¬†#B-21018

Here’s some pictures I took of the housing in polished metallic plastic and the button in frosted detail: