Homemade Virtual Pinball Cabinet

Bild: Westimage Photo- & WebsolutionsDuring the construction of my MAME Retro Arcade Video Game cabinet I came across the pinball emulators Future Pinball and Visual Pinball. These programs are able to emulate most of the old pinball tables and selfmade pinball tables on the PC. By now the tables offer a very high degree of realism and good ball physics. Through the use of multiple monitors and a dot-matrix display, installed in a standard pinball housing, you get real pinball feeling. This feeling is further supported by the use of software-controlled Flasher LEDs and special shooters who simulate the clicking of pinball fingers, slingshots and bumpers. This is what I want! Therefore, this construction project started in early 2014 with the purchase of an old, broken pinball from Bally with the name "Little Joe", which I'm going to rebuild into a virtual pinball cabinet (short: vpin).

I hope you enjoy reading and tracking my project "selfmade virtual pinball - vpin". Questions, comments or suggestions are always welcome via the comment function!


A 40 inch Samsung LED TV UE40D5000 serves as playfield, it provides a crystal clear image and a good viewing angle. In addition, the dismounted TV panel fits in the pinball housing with minor adjustments. 

So today I removed the TV panel from the chassis, took the speakers away and set it onto the Cab as a test. It was a bit strange to dismantle this nice piece of technics.

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Samsung LED TV UE40D5000 mit demontierter Rückwand

Panel ausgebaut

...und lose auf das Cab gelegt.

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Here we go! Earlier this year I bought the pinball "Little Joe" (manufacturer Bally) from the year 1972 on eBay. It is beyond repair and different components like the playfield were already partially removed from the previous owner - therefore ideal for my purposes. Initially I planned to build the housing by myself, but with all the accessories needed (such as pinball legs, lockbar, side trims etc.) it would become much more expensive. With "Little Joe" I only have to invest some time to the preparation of the cabinet - and I like the idea, that the 42 year old pinball is going to be kept alive :)

In addition to the cabinet more components like switch wire 0.5 mm² in different colors, ferrules, 12 and 24 volt power supplies, PC power supply, IEC connector, relay, 24 volt contactors and protection diodes have arrived. For the playfield I'm going to use a Samsung UE40D5000 LED TV, which I bought at eBay - unfortunately the seller is a little bit slow with the shipping. I will remove the housing from the TV, so the display should fit upright with a few adjustments into the pinball cabinet - if I haven't miscalculated the size ;)

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Bally Little Joe

power supplies, switch wires, ferrules, protection diodes

relay e.g. for switching the stroboscope

contactors for the feedback from the slingshots and bumpers

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