Not an Allwin but...

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franklin
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Not an Allwin but...

Post by franklin »

I've been getting bored in retirement and for some reason I've decided to allocate a few hours (days? weeks? !PUZZLED! ) of shed time to building a Penny Arcade style machine taking inspiration from the Allwin line of games.

I'm a hobby woodworker first rather than a games aficionado and see the making of a cabinet just as much a part of the project as a mechanism build. Not having access to any old machines, when it came to starting a plan I found I'm flying a bit blind on dimensions. After some thought I decided to dummy up a play field first then build a cabinet around that.

The play field is proving to be a learning exercise in its own right and a good time waster to start. :D

Rather than trying to find and bend track my first thought was "how hard can it be to just route a spiral in some plywood"? It all started well, until it didn't. I thought I had figured out a good way to cut the spiral but a minor layout mistake had the spiral being cut right to the edge of the board on one side and then when I got near the end of the first pass my bit broke off in the cut.

No great damage aside from a touch of injured pride and the cost of a 6mm upcut router bit. I continued on doing two more passes with progressively larger diameter standard bits until I got a track that looked like it might be something I could work with.

A ball bearing runs around easily in the spiral.

I think the next step will be to create a row of cups.
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field2 - Copy.jpg
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field1 - Copy.jpg
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tallstory
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by tallstory »

What a brilliant idea. However the typical allwin has some gaps in the tracks. The ball is launched into the spiral and gaps allow it to spin repeatedly on an inner path until it loses speed and falls into a cup or returns to the start.

I've attached a photo to help explain but I've no idea how you could do this in wood. :!?!:
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Allwin track.jpg
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pennymachines
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by pennymachines »

Edit to add - tallstory beat me to it!

Hi franklin,

Interesting project. Thanks for sharing!

Your design has something in common with the very first known allwin, New Polyphon Supply Co.'s Heureka (Circa 1900) and allwins that followed it, like the early French Dedale below. These had a closed spiral which meant the ball makes one pass over the track before ending in a win or lose receptacle.
Dedale.jpg
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Some years later, an open spiral design was adopted, like the New Century Fivewin, and this became the standard. Here the ball escapes through the upper right hand gap in the track and continues to do so until its centrifugal force is sufficiently diminished, whereupon it falls to the gallery or through the lower gap in the track for another shot. The two advantages of this are prolonged game play (roughly equivalent to the time it takes three reels on a bandit to halt) and occasional repeat play.
NewCentury5Win.jpg
NewCentury5Win.jpg (145.27 KiB) Viewed 2111 times

I'm curious to know how the ball will get from the spiral channel to the row of cups in your scheme.
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franklin
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by franklin »

Thanks for the info guys. The New Century looks like the style of cabinet I will be trying for.

I haven't finished the groove yet. The spiral is more or less complete but what I was thinking of doing next is to continue the current endpoint into a circle. That will open up the track to allow the inner path to circulate. Unfortunately I have to fixup my routing jig to be able to complete the circle. I messed up the initial layout for the pivot points for the spiral and I have ended up with a too many holes near where I need to pivot and the jig has become a bit dangerously sloppy to continue just now. :dammit:

My current plan for the targets is a row of holes across the top of the inner circle. You can just see on the board where I have begun marking out locations. I'm thinking I'll drill a row of holes there and then excavate the board above the holes down to the background level.

Cheers, Franklin
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badpenny
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by badpenny »

Welcome to the forum.
For a newcomer you have a good eye and have quickly got to grips with the terminology.

"a bit dangerously sloppy" Is a an advanced expression not usually learnt until the second trimester, academically speaking.

BP :cool:
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gameswat
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by gameswat »

I appreciate your method here, but back in the day they used a much easier way which was to fret cut the spiral from a board, then attach that to a solid backboard.
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franklin
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by franklin »

gameswat wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 12:14 am I appreciate your method here, but back in the day they used a much easier way which was to fret cut the spiral from a board, then attach that to a solid backboard.
Good points. I actually have much more of a hand tools bent myself. The noise and dust from using the router is horrendous. Not to mention the brown pants moments.

[edit+]
I was looking at treefrog's recent post Re: Scratch built football catcher and appreciate how much hand skill went into that build, probably very few electrons harmed making it. Something to aspire to for an all timber build!
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franklin
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by franklin »

A bit more work on the play field.
field3.jpg
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I tried a couple of different options for the target row, the first attempt of a simple row of holes in plywood was never going to work. For the current iteration I have cut short sections of 16mm curtain rod to fit through the backing board. The current bodgie launcher is just for proof of concept testing.
Last edited by franklin on Sat Sep 23, 2023 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
geofflove
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by geofflove »

It’s coming together! An interesting project. Keep us posted!
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franklin
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by franklin »

I haven't given up ..... yet, although it's not far off. As a prototype I've made progress but I've also come to the realization building a passable imitation of an Allwin is a far more difficult task than I can undertake with my limited equipment and metal working skills. :!?!:

I did manage to get this to a just workable play field having learnt along the way a number of things I never considered before starting. I made several attempts at targets and eventually got a workable one by soldering the small bits of metal curtain rod together to form a 7 target row. I had a few more attempts at a launcher, none of which I'm happy with but this last one at least gets the ball reliable off to a start. The launch path is obviously also way too flat to start for a reliable ball return.

It is what it is. It's unfortunately not worth building a cabinet for, which really was the more readily achievable part of my idea.

https://imgur.com/TPMs6ZE

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brigham
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by brigham »

Have you thought of building an allwin to your own design, using salvageable parts from old Nostalgic Machines?
I have two donors waiting for such re-use.
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badpenny
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by badpenny »

I can't see your picture/video.
Tell us where you live and we'll send food parcels, I'm worried you're spending too much time and burning out.

BP !!UHOH!!
pennymachines
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by pennymachines »

badpenny wrote: Fri Oct 06, 2023 11:45 am I can't see your picture/video.
I've embedded it, as imgur.com doesn't play so good here:


A commendable effort. !THUMBS!
I think it demonstrates that trigger/hammer ball propulsion is better suited to an allwin than a pinball plunger, and maybe easier to construct too.
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badpenny
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by badpenny »

I like that!
You've put some thought into that, and now the inner gubbins?

BP !THUMBS!
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franklin
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by franklin »

pennymachines wrote: Fri Oct 06, 2023 1:01 pm I've embedded it, as imgur.com doesn't play so good here:
Thanks PM! I couldn't see how to attach a video. The attachments option only seemed to allow uploading of images for me.
brigham wrote: Fri Oct 06, 2023 7:42 am Have you thought of building an allwin to your own design, using salvageable parts from old Nostalgic Machines?
I have two donors waiting for such re-use.
That would be a good project, if I could find a donor machine. It's probably the only way I'd ever be able to build a keeper. Unfortunately I suspect prospective donor machines are thin on the ground around where I live in Australia (Gold Coast).
badpenny wrote: Fri Oct 06, 2023 9:10 pm I like that!
You've put some thought into that, and now the inner gubbins?
Thanks! Ball return is probably as fancy as this one's inners is going to get. However I will keep trying to work out a usable trigger launcher. My first try using a passage door knob became way to cumbersome.
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brigham
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Re: Not an Allwin but .....

Post by brigham »

Ah! The distance may interfere with that notion.
I imagine not many Nostalgic Machines were sold in Australia!
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