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mlevant1965

Pin cab very newbie hoping for some advice.

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Happy holidays, fellow pinball lovers! 

I've always wanted to own a full size pinball machine/virtual pinball machine, but unfortunately our townhome does not have the room for one. I decided to purchase a mini tabletop virtual pinball machine which I should hopefully be receiving very soon. It is running pinball x, visual pinball, future pinball, pinball FX2.

I'm pretty familiar with the PC versions of future pinball and visual pinball as I still play them on my computer. I understand the pinball cabs are computers so I'm guessing things are similar but I'm sure there's a lot of different things that I need to learn and not even sure where to begin. Hopefully I don't sound too stupid.

These forums seem to have a lot of information and it's kind of overwhelming to me as a newbie, so hopefully I can start by asking a few questions and ask for some advice.

Capabilities of a mini table.

 Where to begin? LOL So I was looking on YouTube for virtual pinball. I was extremely impressed what's a full-size machine that Terryred posted of a machine that had all kinds of lights and video. Video on the back glass with the DMD scoring, cool LED color changing on the back. I love LED and color lights. Is it something that could even be done on a mini cab?

 

 Downloading new tables 

There's a lot of tutorials out there. Is anyone know of one that shows how to add new tables to a machine? The machine I'm getting will have about 600. Just curious how easy it is to add new tables. I'm assuming I need different files for the back glass etc.

 

Analog plunger

so I'm going to have a plunger on this machine but it just like pushing a button. I'm told that an analog plunger acts like an actual plunger. Is that something that's not hard to do?

 

Well that's a start :)

 

. Thank you and great to be a part of the pinball community.

 

 

 

 

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It comes with Visual Pinball and tables for it already installed? Return it and ask for a refund, not only does Visual Pinball's license not allow that at all, but people who have made tables have left the community over the years because their work has been resold (by vultures at that!) that they provided for free.

To be fair, it's OK to purchase a pincab that's capable of running Visual Pinball, it just can't come with it already installed.

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Ouch. To be fair, it might be worth pointing out what they're doing to eBay, indicate that you bought it not knowing it wasn't actually a licensed product, that would possibly fall under "not as described". I'm betting the "all five stars" thing is that most people just happily used what he sold them and didn't look too closely on where everything came from. You might also report him to the folks over at VPForum.org and pinballx.com, so they can do a little messaging of their own.

There are a handful of reasons why buying a preloaded pincab is a bad idea, outside of the licensing issue:

Out of date software. Many are only just now stepping into installing "VPX" (version 10 of Visual Pinball) instead of running Visual Pinball 9, and even then, the software will likely be out of date; 10.6 is in open beta, and I'd bet the pincab you bought has at best 10.4.

Missing software. There are a couple of "extensions" outside of direct2BS (which is the typical backglass engine), such as UltraDMD and PinUpPlayer, which add useful functionality for "original" tables (original themes or concepts).

Outdated table builds. Either an earlier version of the current definitive build of a table, or a "third best" version of something that's been tackled by 3-4 people.

Licensing of the ROMs. This one is another biggie, and it involves the problem of including the programs written by the pinball companies for tables of the Solid State type (Early, Alphanumeric, DMD). Odds are very good that they didn't negotiate with those IP holders to acquire a license to distribute the code that enables those tables to run.

Hardware. Some preloaded pincab makers skimp on the computer inside the cabinet; this is WHY a number of them stuck with VP9 for so long, they didn't want to slash their profit margin making a computer that would run enough VPX tables well enough they could be gone by the time the buyer realized the pincab wasn't really up to spec.

Now, for dealing with adding tables, the odds are pretty good he used the same directory structure you've got, so it'll make finding the tables easier. I'd recommend going over to VPinball.com and getting yourself a copy of PinUpSystem, which will provide you with the PinUpPopper pincab front end that's easier to set up and maintain than PinballX, and it comes with PinUpPlayer for some of those original style tables. I'd also recommend that, once you figure out the specs of what the guy sold you (assuming you receive the pincab), basically nuke whatever he installed for Visual Pinball and start it over, or at least overwrite what he put on there with the latest version of VPX (assuming it'll run on the computer inside) and the latest versions of the tables you're interested in.

The only real difference between your desktop and the computer in the pincab is going to be the peripherals, which should be a button interface, an accelerometer (for nudging support), and depending on how it's set up, support for an analog plunger. Sometimes these will be several different pieces (there is software to set up a mouse as a plunger sensor, believe it or not) and sometimes it'll practically be an all-in-one (pinball controller that hooks to buttons, plunger sensor, and provides the accelerometer).

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