Swann Pinball Project

Yearly Report 2006

Another year has passed, the christmas presents has been handed out and recieved, all the food is either left overs or well stowed. All that is left now is to step into the new year, celebrate through the night and oh, yes I almost forgot, to read the Swann Pinball yearly report.

So how has the past year been doing, where has there been progress and where has there been unexpected development? Well let us start with the beginning of the year, the interfacing with coin opto-mechanics was a both a challenge in electronics and engineering, we wanted at the same time to improve the user-interface and it should be done without loosing the familiarity with the old well known classical UI. This was mentioned in the last years report, but at the time of the writing of that report there where actually only sketches and a draft ready, no actually prototype (as pictured below).

Coin and user-interface installed and fully functional.

Coin and user-interface installed and fully functional.

Interfacing with the main system was done according to our idea of a distributed system, where each unit can easily be replaced and is fully functional by itself, one reason for this is to be able to insure that hazard and fire safety is kept isolated and of cause also to be able to develop each parts individually with just one common interface, the Pinball-interface system.

Our mechanical department finalized all the material for the playfield mechanics and metal- parts, are true major breakthrough in the development process, finally we could have a truly playable playfield, be able to detailed adjust playability and see if our prototype has been beyond doubts accurate according to our beliefs.
During this the development-process of mechanics we realized that some items had to be redesigned to keep costs down for the prototypes, we did want some items made in plastics, but this was deemed too costly in low-production numbers.

As you can see on the Autocad-drawing below we also choose to make some ordinary mechanics to fit into the own constructions.

AutoCAD drawing side-view

AutoCAD drawing side-view

Due to that the mechanical design was made according to Swedish standards a major subproject that complicated the process was to translate standards, materials in all the drawings. This subproject was quite painstaking, and thru it we have now built up a translational-database to be able to more quickly for future parts, create a international mechanical-drawing.

All of the Autocad-drawings where sent away for manufacture, and nothing happened, after some research we found out the reason for this, our contact at the factory had died in stroke. So currently we haven’t gotten anywhere further on this, all the material is ready for making, but we’re now looking for another manufacture-factory to be able to make all the playfield-parts.

As one misfortune wasn’t enough, a close friend to the project-management got sick in leukaemia, naturally this was prioritized ahead of the projects development. The current status is still uncertain, cell-treatment is in progress and time/life passes by, day by day.

The art department expanded it’s resources and the new expanded team presented impressive material, both in form of animations for the in-game display and still material for plastics, playfield and cabinet-artwork.

The words speaks for themselves!

The words speaks for themselves!

All in all development in the project was slow this the third year into the project, several decisions where made in regards how to avoid getting into similar progress speed for the upcoming year, like looking into financially investments to insure that electronics and mechanics gets finalized to be able to spend time to fine-tune instead of like now making hard end choices on where to cut corners to speed up the development.

Well that was all for the past year, I do hope to see you here in one year, and yes until then I’m quite sure we’ll have some more material to present for you, like (who knows) maybe a finished cabinet with a populated whitewood playfield (!).
So once more, thank you all for supporting the Pinball community and making the world a truly Pinball-friendly place to be.

/Peter Ahremark

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