Let’s Build: Pinball Playfield Light-Up Kit

Norm brings a new art piece to the office for today’s build: the playfield of a 1992 Data East Star Wars Pinball machine! Using a lighting kit that Jeremy helped design, we wire up the back of this playfield to bring this classic game back to life!

Comments (22)

22 thoughts on “Let’s Build: Pinball Playfield Light-Up Kit

  1. I was looking to do something somewhat similar for a project (in terms of layers of LEDs shining through holes in wood). I’m very curious if anyone has a suggestion for a mounting technique that would be low profile and might be more durable than tape so that I wouldn’t need to worry about them unmounting after I sell it to someone.

  2. It’s a shame this kit is no longer available. I had been considering building something like this but stopped after not finding a decent controller.

  3. It’s funny to me that you decided to use RJ-11 jacks and cables to light the LEDs. I did a DMX controlled RGB LED lighting project years ago, and chose RJ-11 because it conveniently had 4 wires per cable. Of course back then, I was able to pick up all the jacks and cables from Radio Shack…

  4. This is pretty cool, shame it didn’t do better from a sales point of view but probably easier to sell the finished boards then a DIY solution. One thing I might consider doing is 3D printing some LED holders to better direct the light and perhaps some diffusers (milk carton plastic is a classic option) on some of the bigger cutouts.

    Oh and Happy Christmas 🙂

  5. This is exactly the kind of thing I wish I could have come across years ago. But I guess it’s also a thing I could use to get the wheels turning and try an Arduino project with. I probably wouldn’t ever try to make it as pretty and polished as this solution, but at the very least it could be a theoretical project to encourage learning about this kind of circuitry. For that day when I have a house instead of a no-wall-hang-policy apartment.

  6. if you use either a white or silver backed tape to hold the leds over the holes, it will direct more of that led light forward out the front.

  7. I know my initial reaction to the color of Han’s Hoth jacket is that is was blue purely from the color of the action figure.

  8. Doctor Who started in 1963, though. So even if we only count the EON Bond films as the franchise, it beats it by a year as Dr. No came out in ’62. 🙂

  9. What’s that hidden frame at 1:31? Looks like a bunch of play fields…

    [edit] same thing on Jeremy’s screen at 4:46

  10. true, but given the direction of the conversation – how much material there is to integrate with each other, tone changes across the run, etc. – its much higher rate than the bond films’ 1 film/year at best should count for something i think. at the very least, it belongs in the conversation.

    not least because the norm’s star wars scenario of having a favourite sub-run of the whole is so intrinsical to dw, yet they didn’t even think of it.

  11. This really should have ended with a shot of the entire playfield running. The bottom of it is blocked by the desk.

  12. The lighting in this video looks great! I know Jeremy said they were in shadows, but it was a well composed shot IMO. Fun project! It’s a shame the kit is no longer available.

  13. WHAT?! This is a thing?! I can’t believe he made these kits. Maybe he could sell the idea to Adafruit and keep this pcb alive! I would totally get one to make this project in like a year from now.

  14. Jeremy have you thought of doing this with neopixels ? would make the board much simpler a bit more diy soldering the light ‘pixels’ in a bus line. but you could still use the software developed for the programming and only update the arduino.

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