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  • Writer's pictureJim From JINO0372

My Mini Virtual Pinball Machine

DISCLAIMER - This post was originally posted on my old Blogger site. I migrated it to my new site. So some of the information published here may no longer be relevant.

It's been a while....but I've been busy.  I do need to posted some updates on my medium size virtual pinball machine.  That machine now has a nice rich dark stain.  I also added some cabinet fans to cool it down and USB ports in the front.  I also decided it is too big to be used a table top planned.  So I am going to add some fixed controls...several arcade buttons and a joystick....and I am also building a base for it.  So it will soon be a floor model.  I'll post pictures when it's done!

It will be my primary virtual pin for now.  I am working on some plans for a full size cabinet model that will eventually replace this.  Maybe next year on that one.

This post is more about a new project I began a week or so ago.  This is my ultra-mini virtual pinball machine.  This machine so far has been a challenge but a lot of fun to make.  At the heart of this machine will be a Lenovo Thinkpad X220 Windows 8.1 Tablet PC.  This PC is both the main computer and the playfield display.  This display is a multi-touch 12.5 inch LCD.  So I will be able to control the PC via the touch screen or arcade buttons/joystick.  The backglass display will be a 11.6 inch display.  I had it laying around.  I was going to use it as a DMD display on my medium size VP.  But I changed my mind and went with a two display setup.

Here are the finished dimensions of the ultra-mini virtual pinball:

Width: 11 in (279.4 mm)

Length: 20 in (508 mm)

Height: 22 in (558.8 mm)

If you are interested in my plans that I created and used to build this can download them here:  Ultra-Mini Plans

They were drawn up using MS Powerpoint so don't expect cad drawings or them to be of accurate scale.  😀

Here is the shopping list of materials followed by where to buy:

- Lenovo X220 Tablet PC, eBay

- Neewer NW1116 11.6 inch LCD display, eBay or Amazon

- AC Infinity Airplate Series cabinet fans (Qty 2) (4.5" X 8.5"), Amazon

- Adjustable feet (Package of four), Home Depot or Lowe's

- Low profile display mounting bracket, Amazon

- Dual USB flush mount panel, Amazon

- 4 port USB hub, Amazon

- 3 plug power strip, Amazon

- 1/8" Clear Plexiglass (13.5" X 13.5"), Home Depot or Lowe's

- 54" of outside corner trim, Home Depot or Lowe's

- Arcade button (Qty 9), eBay or Amazon

- Sanwa joystick or similar, eBay or Amazon

- Zero Delay USB control board (or ipac), eBay or Amazon

- All lumber is 1" thick (3/4" actual) furniture grade pine, Home Depot or Lowe's

All my pieces and parts....ready to be assembled!

Here is the far....installed:

- Windows 8.1 Pro

- Visual Pinball, the latest VP installer from  I primarily use VP9 and VPX.

- Pinball X

- Pinball FX2 via Steam

- Pinball Arcade via Bluestacks my excitement to build this beauty...I did not take many "WIP" photo's.  I know.....I know.....I'm a terrible documenter!  Here are the few pics I did take:

This is the top plate for the cabinet and the drawing I followed.

Cabinet assembled. Left side.

Close up of the left side. I placed a scale next to the cabinet so you can see how small this machine is.

Close up of the scale.

Right side and back.

Adding some wood filler to smooth out the edges. I am not the best woodworker.

Back with the wood filler.

Sanding done...ready to paint.

First coat going on. Overall I did four coats.

The painting is done and it came out OK. I still need a lot of work on my woodworking skills. Also, I used canned spray paint...Rustoleum to be exacted. I should of used a quality wall paint such as Behr Premium and sprayed it on using an airless sprayer. I think I would have had been coverage, adhesion, and quality.

Assembly started. Backglass display, speaker, case fans, and USB ports installed.

Inside view of fans, USB ports, and power strip.

Inside view of wiring for arcade buttons and joystick.

Fully assembled. The playfield is too high and the plexiglass and trim is missing from the back box.

There were other issues but mostly minor and easily repairable.  The major issue I have is the playfield display/computer is too high in the cabinet.  This is repairable.....maybe....but will not be easy.  So the next post will either be pictures of a working ultra-mini virtual pinball machine or a pile on the basement floor with the headline of "Starting Over".



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