Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Pinball – Cabinet work (Part 3)

Previous work on this Cabinet: part 1 and 2

Now my attention turns to the stenciling of the side cabinet. First color… yellow:
Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

Once the yellow dried overnight; I pulled the stencil up:
Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

Yeap; that’s right… The use of the waterslide decal came back and bit me in the butt. The stencil pulled the toner right off label.
Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet


After many choice explicatives; I decided there wasn’t much I could do now… so I went ahead and continued stenciling the grey; opting to see what (if anything) the Enterprise would cover. Ofcourse; I designed the decal location to be where the Klingons were; so I knew it wouldn’t cover jack… but it made me feel better. I also figured if the next stencil pulled up more; I could fix it once and be done.

Down goes the Enterprise stencil..
Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

This time I left the protective backing on the section which went over the waterslide decal.
I sprayed the grey primer and let it dry overnight. The backing protect the label; so I proceeded to cover the paper areas with the black stain to match the color of the cabinet. I then re-airbrushed to blend the new black with the background image. I then re-sprayed the holographic flake and clear coat as best I could with airbrush.
Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet
Good as new? no. but, not too bad I guess.

Now for the orange stencil.
Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

The orange wasn’t Red enough for my Nacelles… so I sprayed them with cherry red.
Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

And finally; the blue phasers:
Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

Ofcourse; the blue phasers crossed over the nebula – I had to use some of the stencil to prevent paint bleed. At this point more toner came off; so I had to do some more repair.

The result:
Star Trek: Mirror Cabinet

I’m 100% happy with the blue phasers; they tend to not show up well on the black without a grey border. Not sure what if anything I’m going to do.

Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Pinball – Head work (Part 4)

Previous work on this Head: part 1, 2, and 3

A couple of days ago; my custom stencils came in from TwistedPins. I started with the head because it was still on the hydraulic table from the fan installation. I decided I wanted to use the same head stencils as the original bally; just change up the colors a bit.

I started by laying down the yellow stencil:

At this point; an improvement I’d suggest to these stencils is that for the first layer… the “red” covers should be removed. IE the planetoids shouldn’t have any masks “inside” the oval shapes. That way you lay down a solid color and the second color (red) goes over the yellow so there are no registration offsets. This is what I did; I went ahead and removed all the squiggly shapes from the planetoids.

With the stencil ready; I taped off the surround areas with newspaper and put down some grey primer. This was done mainly to get the “grey” which I had chosen for the enterprise. Yellow generally goes over light grey than black so I sprayed everything.

I waited overnight for the grey primer to cure then masked off the enterprise grey and sprayed down some “Gold yellow” spray paint. I decided to use spray paint as it is easier to clean up than trying to spray the sign lettering enamel I used for the Bally Star Trek playfield repair many years ago.

I let the yellow dry about an hour before carefully removing the masking. Here’s how the first stencil turned out:

Another night time cure to let the paint harden before I put down the red-orange stencil. I decided I wanted the planetoid to be the same colors as original. The difference was in the Enterprise as you’ll see in a moment. I sprayed the planets and then the Enterprise-shadows as “Driver blue”.

I let the orange/blue combo cure in the TX sun for a few hours; then removed the masking.
The Result:

There were some slight registration issues with the blue and grey; but really not that bad. Again; If it were me; I’d have created the stencils with the entire Enterprise in “yellow” and then have the “red” overlay cover the yellow to avoid the registration issues. I’m guessing TwistedPin did the stencils that way so someone could just do a single color… but really; the Red fades long before the yellow; so in my mind the yellow stencil should cover all the areas Red+yellow.

Anyway; I’m digging the custom Enterprise colors. Thoughts?

Bally (AS-2518) Audio Card tester

For the past week or so; I’ve been working on the Audio solution for the Star Trek: Mirror Universe project. I’ve decided I want to combine a Raspberry Pi with the guts of a Bally AS-2518-32 soundcard. These cards are not yet rare; but the PROMs and the 4bit counter on them are rare. As a result; I’m going to be trying my luck with the first Complex Programmable Logic Device (CPLD) project I’ve ever embarked on. More on that later tho.

Given I’ve designed a replacement sound card out of new components; I wanted the ability to test the card outside of the machine… because I don’t want to risk burning up a perfectly good Bally CPU board with a risky design.

I spent quiet a bit of time looking at the schematics of the AS-2518 Bally sound cards to understand it’s functionality so it can be duplicated. The result is that I decided to design simple micro-controller-based tester which would sequence my new design thru all 32 tones generated by the on-board logic.  Since I already had a Arduino Nano (purchased from FRYs) for the Pinball Nixie Display project – I re-purposed it for the Pinball Audio Tester.

I began by rewiring the cables for the Audio board as follows:


Nano (PAD)
































































I’ve decided to share the Source code so that other Pinball hackers can take advantage of my work. You can download the source code from here:

PinAudioTester.ino Rev 0.1

The source is simple and should be easy to understand – please consider sharing any improvements you decide to make.

To power the Arduino and the soundcard; I created a 4pin Power cable which plugs into my debug ATX powersupply with color-coded aligator clips. I attach the Red (+5V) to the TP1 test point, Yellow (+12V) to the ?TP3? testpoint, and Ground (Black) to the TP2 testpoint. The design does not currently test the 43V to 12V linear supply as ATX doesn’t output that high of a voltage.

I’ve tested the source on my original AS-2518-32 sound card and it outputs 30 tones and two silences as implemented in the pROM. I now await the new soundcard PCBs from OSHPark to do some final testing.