It's a lot of fun to play virtual pinball on an iPad! My favorite game is Pinball Arcade which features excellent physics and a huge host of classic table reproductions, from "Aadams Family Pinball" to "Theatre of Magic" and more. But, playing with the virtual, screen-tapping controls isn't as satisfying as hitting real flipper buttons. Let's solve that!
This Mini Pinball Table is pretty straightforward to build, using slotted aluminum extrusion and hardware. And, the circuit to make it all go is really easy to make -- it requires no soldering, just plug wires and clip alligator clips to the buttons and a Gemma M0 microcontroller, which takes care of the rest!
You'll also need:
- iPad or iPhone and a copy of The Pinball Arcade or other iCade compatible game
- an adapter for the iOS device to connect USB to the Lightning port, such as the Apple USB to Lightning Camera Adapter. (If you have an older iPad or iPhone you will need the 30-pin dock connector version of the camera kit)
The only tools you'll need are the 2.5mm hex driver for the screws, and a hack saw and miter box or other tool (band saw, miter saw with metal cutting blade, Dremel, die grinder, etc.) to cut the lengths of aluminum extrusion.
Most cuts are at a 90 degree angle, but the four feet ends on the legs will be cut at an 87 degree angle to give the table it's signature tilt.
Next, let's program the Gemma M0 to turn button presses into keyboard commands!