The New Pinscape Build Guide
by Michael Roberts
First edition, October 2019

Copyright and license

Copyright ©2016-2022 Michael J. Roberts.
This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. In brief, this means that you're free to use, share, and adapt this work for any purpose, without seeking further permission from the author, as long as you give appropriate credit and pass along the same permissions in your adapted material.
The Pinscape Controller firmware and the Expansion Board hardware designs have similar Open Source license terms. See their respective license files for details.

No Warranty

Just to be sure there's no misunderstanding, I want to spell out that this documentation and the related mechanical and electronic designs and computer software have NO WARRANTY of any kind. This entire enterprise is a hobby project, and I don't have a Quality Assurance department to independently test any of it, so the material undoubtedly contains numerous errors. I'm making all of this available at no charge in the hope that it's useful, but I can't guarantee that it'll work or that you'll be successful building any of it. Work involving electronic circuitry has the potential to damage other connected equipment, including expensive items such as computer motherboards. Proceed at your own risk.
THIS WORK IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE WORK.

Caution

Building a virtual pinball machine involves some inherently dangerous equipment and activities, like power tools and high voltages. Read the manufacturer's instruction manuals for your tools and follow their recommended safety precautions. Wear safety glasses and other appropriate safety gear. Don't attempt anything that you don't understand or don't feel comfortable with.
Be extremely careful when working with electrical circuits, especially high voltages. Anything above about 20V can pose a risk of electrocution, and even low voltages are capable of starting fires and damaging other equipment. Always turn the power off (better still, disconnect power supplies entirely) before doing work on anything electrical.

About the "section incomplete" warnings

If you find a box like the one below, and click the "more about" link, it'll bring you here, to this explanation of what those boxes are about.
This section is incomplete and will be expanded when time permits. Material to be added: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...
From October 2016, when I started working on this guide, to October 2019, when I declared the first edition finished, I posted material online as I wrote it, even though the overall guide was a work in progress for all of that time. I placed boxes like the one above throughout the material, in part as "to do" reminders to myself of what I planned to add, and in part as placeholders so that the omission wouldn't look accidental.
As of October 2019, there are exactly zero of those boxes left (apart from the example above). Even so, I'm leaving this explanation in place, just in case I missed any to-do boxes, and in case I add some new ones in the future. The virtual pinball community is an active and creative group of people who keep coming up with new ideas, so I expect I'll continue to find new things to add to this guide as time goes on. New "To Do" boxes might therefore pop up from time to time as I make notes about topics that should be revisited, expanded, or added to keep the guide current.