Honestly; I’ve been neglecting my Stern Star Trek Pinball machine. I got it new-in-box and didn’t do anything to protect the outlane hole which feeds the ball trough. My machine has seen some play at various conventions like Texas Pinball Festival since I purchased it back in 2016. The issue is that the steel balls tend to wreck havoc with the clearcoat and wood under the clear coat. I helped mitigate this problem shortly after unboxing by installing a set of Cliffy protectors. At the time; Cliffy did not offer an outhole protector so my ball return hole did get any love. A couple of weeks ago; I looked and noticed some wear on my outhole. 🙁
You can see definite wear on the front and left side edges. It’s not massive; but enough to warrant some protection. I debated getting a new Cliffy outlane protector; but it only protects the front side from wear. As a result; I decided to try my hand at designing my own protector which would be cut out of 2mil adhesive Mylar (polyethylene) using my new Vinyl cutter.
I began by tracing the area with tracing paper so I could get the basic layout easily into the computer. I didn’t have a lot of room to work with so I decided to bring the mylar up to the black keyline just above the out hole. This would give me a little extra grip and make it easy to hide within the art work. I also decided I would wrap the mylar around the outlane hole pinching it between the ball trough and the underside of the Playfield. Finally; I would protect all three sides of the outhole to the metal ball guide seen the foreground. Finally; I decided to protect the outside corners of the PF in a similar way to protect the edges leaving cutouts for the legs of the metal ball guides so they wouldn’t “wrinkle” when the guides were re-installed. This was my initial design – and remains the my property (read: copy protected):
My design choices were to add the round corners created by the endmill when the Playfield was created and then add rounded Vs on the lines were the mylar would roll onto another perpendicular surface. This should aid in preventing wrinkles from forming at those junction points.
With the design created; there wasn’t anything else to do but cut it on the vinyl cutter and install it. It’s going to be very hard to photograph this crystal clear mylar but hopefully you can see it if you click on the pictures to get a higher rez image. Here’s the top surface with the mylar installed:
You can barely make out the outline of the mylar along the black keyline as designed. Additionally you can see the mylar where it wraps around the outhole sides and the two sides of the PF. Hear’s a close-up of the mylar wrapping around the PF:
Finally; the underside of the pf; where the mylar wraps around to be pinched by the ball trough:
I reinstalled the ball trough, all the ball guides, and put it back together. No issues what-so-ever with the installation and the mylar has no noticeable impact to the ball. Additionally; this should help minimize any additional damage to the clearcoat near the outhole.
About 3 months ago; we announced on Pinside that we entered into a distorbution agreement with Pinball.Center to begin carrying their Frosted Clear drop targets for modern Stern, retro Williams, and old school Data East Pinball machines.
You can use these Drop targets anywhere you want to backlight them with LEDs but they have much better resiliency than the 3D varieties which were available a couple of years ago. Unlike the 3D printed varieties; these are injection molded out of Polycarbonate (Lexan) in Germany for maximum resilience until man can mass produce Transparent Aluminum.
To answer the question of ultimate resiliency; we sent a set of these drop targets to @vid1900 on Pinside to put them thru some checks. He reports that after 2 months of heavy commercial use, and over 900 games none of the sample drops have been damaged. You can read more about his honest review on Pinside.
We currently offer three styles of these “clear” drop targets in our store:
Already in Vid1900’s thread, several customers have begun to show how these drop targets enhance normally dark areas of their pinball machines: Fytr on Pinside outfitted his Iron Maiden with our Clear drops. See more on Pinside. roar on Pinside outfitted his The Walking Dead with our Clear drops but he went the added route of installing the stock decals over the drops. See more of Roar’s work on Pinside.
As expected; these drop targets are available for immediate shipment in our webstore: Pinball Drop Targets
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.
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, no mess. Our harness has a built-in Voltage Regulator Modules to power our custom-designed modules.
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.
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:
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:
Additionally we’ve created some unique custom colors which should be of interest to the pinball community:
and Smoke Black.
We also have some limited stock of:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
I allowed the epoxy to cure for about an hour. I then reinstalled the plastics and the new LED assembly:
I’m really quite happy with the way this turned out. It defiantly spruces up the warp assembly.
Where possible; Original Pinside thread / announcement should be included.
If the mod is specific to a particular flavor of machine; it must be noted.
Mods the cease manufacturing and are permanently out of stock may be removed from list without warning.
Mods must be accurate to the JJAbrams universe.
Additional rules or changes to the rules may be added as the community provides feedback.
Manufacturer’s are free to request addition, provide corrective input, or request to be removed from this comprehensive list. Suggestions to improve this list are welcome. Post here or by private IM.
For the moment; this list is a living shared spreadsheet on a google drive. Only I have editing rights; for the time being. Eventually I’d like to figure out a way to post this list here in the thread for easier first pass glance.
I’m happy to announce a New Product which is available in our Online store. Immediate availability of these custom CNCed aluminum Pop Bumper caps for your Stern Star Trek pinball machine. Fits the Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (LE) machines. Comes as a set of three different caps featuring the Science, Command, and Engineering Insignias from the JJAbrams Star Trek Universe. Each Cap is CNCed out of T6061 Aluminum, anodized black, and then etched for the raised silver Insignia.
Additionally, these caps come with a set of laser cut acrylic UnderCaps in a double-sided Matte finish to help diffuse the LED light. Several pre-configured options exist to help customize you installation of these caps.
*** This design is Copy Protected 2014 by John Zitterkopf and may not be duplicated for any reason. ALL RIGHT RESERVED! ***
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:
Matte Black Nylon
Polished Metallic Plastic
Grey Nylon /w metallic sparkle
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: