It is getting to a point were some people are starting to ask me about getting OPP boards. Most of them will probably simply disappear into the ether, but one or two of them might actually want to build their own homebrew pinball machine. That’s pretty exciting because I think that the cards have the possibility of breathing life into many an old machine that would otherwise be destined for the big pinball machine in the sky.
Let’s say that you want to retheme a pinball machine that you got for cheap because it a) doesn’t work, b) has a playfield that is worn down to the wood, c) has a really crappy theme that there will be no tears shed when it disappears.
Here is the standard disclaimer that I tell everybody that wants to build their own machine. (To the guy that I just sent this list, sorry, but I feel it is clever enough to reprint here, and I have given this same information to multiple people who want to start building their own pinball machine.) Here it is, the standard OPP disclaimer on reasons not to start building/retheming your own pinball machine:
- Creating your own pinball machine from scratch takes multiple years.
- You will gain no bonus points from your wife/significant other. (actually you will probably lose them).
- Retheming a pinball machine can be done in about a year, but it is a lot of work. (again, at the end of it, people will only be amazed at how much time you wasted on something that really is only significantly meaningful to you.)
- Building your own pinball machine isn’t cheap. (it is death by 1000 paper cuts).
- You are not going to create a Medievel Madness for $4000. (You can do it, but when taking into account your time, regardless of how much you make, you should just go out and buy one.)
- Building your own pinball machine is personally rewarding.
I’m actually feeling confident enough that the boards will work. I just got the shipment notice that they were sent from China, but since I chose National Express Line for shipping, I’m hoping that it takes approximately the same amount of time as Hong Kong Post. We shall see.
A bunch of people have discussed building their own boards. Tonight I’m going to do a video which displays how long it takes to solder a solenoid wing card. My prediction is that it should take less than 5 minutes for the wing card. We will see how much time it actually takes. I keep telling people that it is all through hole soldering, so hopefully the video will show just how easy these boards are to make yourself.
It looks like it took me about 7 minutes to build the board. Of course I was trying to do a video at the same time.