MAKE YOUR OWN SLOT MACHINE
SOUND/ VIDEO AND COMPUTERS
Boom boxes (CD player,
amp and speakers) cost about £20. There is a delay of about 6 seconds between
power on and it playing, but it is possible to record the first track blank so
the machine just has to skip to the next track when a coin is inserted. You
obviously need some sound software on your computer, and a CD burner to master
Video keeps getting cheaper and easier to incorporate. At first, I ran the video animation for my simulator rides from set top DVD players. Starting the DVD playing at the same time as the main controller, they keep perfectly in sync as their internal timing circuits are both quartz controlled.
Solid state video players, running from compact flash card memory are more reliable. I run most of them with a player called a Brightsign HD 120, about £200 + £14 for a switch keyboard for accessing 8 different tracks). As the name suggests, it will also play HD movies.
HD TV is good for arcade machines because people are watching the screen close up. However the video compression often degrades the image between the camera and the final edited film so try everything because the finished result is often not much better than ordinary 640x480.
I often need to convert between HDMI and VGA and composite video to connect camera and monitors and players. I used to have enormous trouble with this - particularly cheap converters on Ebay. But I've found that HD videos exported at 720p work much more readily than ones made at 1080p.
is not completely straightforward to get an ordinary TV set to switch on and find the
right channel automatically. Most TVs switch on to standby mode, so I add a
delayed pulse timer (RS 365-6993), giving it an initial pulse contact to the channel+
button. Most TVs switch on the channel that
was on when the set was last switched off.
I have used PCs to control machines in the past but they are really much too complicated for the simple things I do. When they go wrong its often very hard to find the fault. If you do need to use a PC, the most important thing to keep it stable is to turn off updates and never connect it to the internet. I still have two PC based machines for my photobooth and for the printer on The Fulfilment center. These are PCs running Python scripts, written by a friend. The usual problem is that they occasionally just decide not to switch themselves on in the morning.