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Who's A Brave Centaur Owner?.

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One of the best attract features on a pinball I think would have to be Bally Centaur's where it spits out all the balls. The playfields bumpers, slingshots and all coils have power in this mode and work exactly like they do in gameplay so the machine appears to be playing itself drawing in people around the machine and potencially get them to put a coin in after they try to play but realise in this mode, the flippers buttons don't work. Once all the balls have drained, coil power turns back off and the machine goes back into normal attract mode ready to play.

Very cool feature for attracting potencial players that works really well and as far as I know, the only machine that ever did it. Correct me if I'm wrong please.

Always wondered why more machines with an auto launch didn't have this attract feature.

What if you could get the flippers working as well by themselves?

I come up with this idea to get the flippers to work themselves on a home brew as part of normal game play as a substitue for a slingshot kicker but figured maybe someone with a Centaur would like to try on a Centaur as it is a relatively easy mod that can be reversed quite easierly in comparison to a machine that has no such a feature.

I know exactly how I would do it as I have complete Bally SS flipper assembies here as well as Williams DMD assembles and Gottlieb SS assemblies. Williams are actually easier but this is about Centaur.

I also owned two Centaurs in my time.

There is simple electronics involved and an extra switch on each flipper assembly so if that isn't your piece of cake, this isn't for you.

This is the theory....

Put a switch on the flipper assembly to detect the flipper getting hit back slightly in the flipper down position. ( Replace the flipper down backstop bracket with a switch). This switch turns on a transistor that grounds the flipper coil's pullup winding for a one second pulse. When this pulse is triggered, it also open circuits the installed down position switch circuit for 2-4 seconds delay. This is to prevent the flipper from firing again when the flipper returns to it's unpowered position when this feature is engaged.

After the 2-4 seconds delay has expired, the activate circuit is ready to "autofire" the flipper again when the next ball hits it.

Thinking about it this idea may be of interest on the battle pinny? Only problem with head to head pinballs was you need a second player unless you go the Gottlieb flippers with the wire activator idea. I like this idea better as you see nothing above the playfield.

Like I said, Williams flipper assemblies are easier. Pull the backstop rubber out and replace it with a micro switch with it's activation arm through the rubber's hole. Get the activation pressure of the micro right and you've now got "rubbers" that won't wear out.

The actual electronics is fairly simple.

One "one shot" circuit driving a transistor and another "one shot" to made a timer circuit and of coarse, completely isolate this from the machine's electronics, (not as hard as it sounds but very important).

This original homebrew idea was going to use the flipper working on a factory bumper circuit with it's switch to activate it during game play using the bumpers coil as no holdup winding is even needed and no electroncs required when used this way. Machine just thinks it's driving a bumper but it is now a flipper. A bit like a Gottlieb series 3 "kicking target" only better especially if it had a Williams "banana" flipper bat just to mix things up a bit.😆





Edited by Autosteve
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AG Soccer-Ball has a self play demo mode. Because it has integrated switches on the flippers, it can self-play for a short time to demonstrate the head to head play. The switches on the flippers are used for player vs CPU singe player, or determining who is scoring in 2 player (you get all points gained from when your flipper last touches the ball). 


I think a major reason this sort of thing isn't popular is due to increased wear on machines - machines getting used while no "coin in play"

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2 hours ago, Pop Bumper Pete said:

why not mount a camera on the top of the backbox that can see the ball in the flipper zone?
I have seen it done on an Bally Star Trek

Dizzy Chicken the redemption machine works using camera detection of the ball as well. Interesting someone got it working on a pinball.

55 minutes ago, AskJacob said:

I think a major reason this sort of thing isn't popular is due to increased wear on machines - machines getting used while no "coin in play"

I don't think to many operators would mind if it got more paid play on a pinball.

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One thing I can say - if you forget to turn the feature off it certainly scares the crap out of you when testing/servicing/cleaning. So many times it just fires up, blares music and tries launching balls... even with the playfield up and no balls in the machine, They didn't bother with service interlocck on the AG. Nothing like a solenoid firing next to your head while trying to read a multimeter 😆

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Do you guys think the idea is sound as in a flipper that works by itself?.

The electronic theroy to make it work correct?

Replacement for a bumper or slingshot kicker on the playfield?



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