Open-source plunger, nudge, feedback device, and button input controller
The Pinscape Controller is a free, open-source software project for the KL25Z microcontroller board. It turns this inexpensive ($15) device into a full-featured I/O controller for your virtual pinball cabinet. The project came about because I couldn't find a commercial plunger device that worked well enough for my tastes. In time it grew into a comprehensive I/O controller that can handle just about all cabinet I/O needs: plunger input, accelerometer nudging, button inputs, and output device control. It's cheaper than the commercial alternatives, does more, and offers the unlimited customization potential of an open-source system.
An all-in-one control system for virtual pin cabinets
This is a companion project to the Pinscape Controller. It's a modular set of circuit boards that provides an expandable array of PWM-controlled, MOSFET-driven outputs to control your feedback devices without any extra booster boards, relays, or amplifiers. Together with the Controller, it's a complete, all-in-one input/output system that can run pretty much everything in your pin cab. Like the Controller, it's an open-source, DIY project that you can build yourself and customize to fit your exact needs.
An open-source pin cab "front end" program
A front end is a program that lets you browse and launch tables on your pin cab with a media-rich, button-operated, arcade-like user interface. This is the first thing you see when you walk up to the cab, so it's an essential part of making your cab feel truly finished. The options available up until now were closed-source, which I found limiting. So I created this 100% open-source alternative.
Volume control software for pin cabs
This is a little program I wrote to make it easier to control the audio volume in a virtual pin cab.
CPU affinity optimizer for virtual pin cabs
An easy-to-use tool that lets you control which programs are assigned to which CPU cores. CPU affinity is a powerful way to optimize performance on a pin cab and is especially good for eliminating "stutter".
A comprehensive guide to building a virtual pin cab, and the Pinscape Controller projects
The new Build Guide is designed to be a full How-To manual for building a virtual pin cab, covering everything from building the physical cabinet to setting up the PC to installing lights and solenoids. And of course, it includes documentation for building the Pinscape Controller, the expansion boards, and the several plunger sensors it can work with. This is my attempt to take the huge amount of information that I had to gather in building my cab, and assemble it into a single, comprehensive guide.
A visual map of the electronic systems and components comprising a virtual pinball machine
As part of the new Pinscape v2 Build Guide, I've prepared this detailed map of everything that goes into a virtual pinball machine and how it all connects together. If you're new to the virtual pinball world and you're starting to plan your own machine, this is designed to help you get a concrete idea of what you'll need. And if you're not familiar with all of the great possibilities for features, this can be a source of ideas.
Pinscape-compatible updates of important system files
If you're using the Pinscape v2 software, you should install these updated versions of the DirectOutput Framework (DOF) library and the LEDWIZ.DLL interface file.
New! The LedWiz DLL now gives legacy LedWiz software full access to all Pinscape Controller ports, even if you have more than 32, by creating additional "virtual" LedWiz interfaces. The DLL download also includes has a spiffy new test tool, NewLedTester, that makes it easier to test your output wiring.
I couldn't find an accurate template anywhere for drilling the mounting hole for a plunger, so I measured some real machines. I'm sharing it here for others looking for the same information.
A SketchUp design for a mounting bracket for the optical plunger sensors (TSL1410R and TSL1412S)
An EAGLE design for a small printed circuit board that makes it easier to attach the plunger optical sensor to the expansion board
This is a simple command-line program for testing your DOF installation.