How pinball stuff works

This is going to be a series of articles about how the parts of pinball work, hopefully you find them entertaining, and more importantly useful!

There are three main types of non-static objects that are on a pinball playfield:

  1. Lamps. These attract players, light up the playfield, and indicate what targets or objects need to be hit.
  2. Solenoids. These move flippers, pop bumpers, kickers, etc. Without these the pinball machine would be a glorified (and crappy) pachinko machine. Also without flippers they may also be considered gambling devices and therefore illegal, more on that here.
  3. The last objects are switches, these could be simple targets, drop targets, or even the buttons on the side of the machine that control the flippers. These objects are the guys that give you points, change game objectives, and cause the other two objects (solenoids, or lamps) to change.

There are a few other special objects like plungers and stepper motors that we will talk about too!

Over the next bit we will be releasing an in depth view of how, and why these objects work, there may be some math involved but well also include pictures, diagrams and videos of everything too!

Over the coming weeks things we are going to discuss will include:

  • The Playfield and the names of its components
  • Flippers
  • Pop Bumpers
  • Drop Targets
  • Switches
  • Lamps
  • Stepper motors
  • Kickers
  • Plungers
  • Solenoids
  • And More!

-Mike

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