Sep 16, 2020
This week I focused on the ball return system and working out the layout of the new playfield. Additionally I stumbled across the reason the relays had been acting incorrectly, the last person to work on this project used 12v relays on a 36v system and while the current of a 12v 30amp system is the same as a 36v 10amp system there is an issue with the internal resistance of the two in the coil windings. So much so that I am not sure how good of an idea it would be to reuse the current relays in the new build as this seems to be asking to cause problems, but that is something that will be assessed at a later point.
Circling back to the ball retrieval system I came up with uses gravity to feed the balls into a trough and then uses a solenoid to push the balls up through a choot and into the launching lane. This piece may have to be printed in two parts due to its length but that should be pretty easy to do with a planar split.
Below you can see What I accomplished on the field design for this week I was fortunate enough that someone on Grab cad by the name of Beebert posted designs for a similar flipper and bumper system to the ones that are being used in this build so instead of wasting valuable time modeling those I just used his files in my assembly as stand ins since my main goal was just making sure the play field parts don't interfere with one another. This turned out to be very handy as I had to shift the ball recovery system slightly so there would be enough room for the flipper solenoids. Then there was a slight ripple effect that caused me to have to change a few other parts but that took a couple hours to fix it all in cad as opposed to what could have taken a couple work days.
Circling back to the voltage issue I did some research and testing this week and it would seem that the wrong voltage is being used across the board. In doing some research I found that in a hobby level pinball machine the voltages are generally 24V across the board with a 12 v line powering the smaller like the leds and some of the smaller coils and occasionally there is a 50v line powering up some of the bigger coils. Although I could use some modules to step down the 36v power supply to 24v it might just be easier, cheaper and safer to swap the 36v power supply for a 24v power supply for the number of parts that it has to power. My initial testing shows that the coils function about the same at 24v and they produce less heat at 24v as well. Swapping to a 24v supply would also make it much easier to just grab a bank of relays and have those going as 36v relays are much more difficult to come by let alone a bank of 36v relays.