Warning

This is the dev documentation for an unreleased version of MPF!

This is the documentation for MPF 0.54+, which is the “dev” (next) release of MPF that is a work-in-progress. Unless you’re specifically looking for this version, you probably want to use the version of documentation called “latest” which is for the latest released version of MPF. That documentation is at docs.missionpinball.org/en/latest.

Flippers

Related Config File Sections
flippers:

Warning

Please ensure that you have established common ground between logic and coil power before turning on high voltage on your coils (especially on homebrew machines). Ignoring this might lock on your coils, overheat them, burn down your house or kill you. We are serious, floating grounds are dangerous. If you are not an electrical engineer read the guide about voltages and power.

In a nutshell: You need to connect your logic ground (5V/12V) and your high voltage ground (48V or 80V). A power entry or power filter board is a convenient solution to solve this (and more) issues.

Always turn all PSUs off when connecting power or you might fry all boards at once. This is generally a good idea but even more important when connecting more than one power supply to a board.

IF YOU DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS WARNING MEANS STOP NOW AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT. OTHERWISE YOU HARDWARE WILL LIKELY BURST INTO FLAMES AND YOU NEED TO WAIT A FEW DAYS FOR A REPLACEMENT OR EVEN WORSE IT MIGHT KILL YOU. IGNORING THIS IS THE MOST COMMON CAUSE FOR BROKEN DRIVER BOARDS.

Flippers are probably the first thing you think of when you think about building your own pinball machine. In fact when most people get their own hardware and start drilling holes in a piece of plywood, the first visible thing they do is to get their flippers flipping.

Pinball flippers

MPF has support for lots of different kinds of flippers (as there are many different ways they’ve been wired over the years), as well as a lot of different options for how flippers are fine tuned.

MPF also has support for various “novelty” flipper modes (no-hold flippers, reversed flipper buttons, weak flippers, etc.)

We recommend you read the Dual-Wound versus Single-Wound coils guide to understand the difference between “dual wound” and “single wound” coils, as flippers in pinball machines can be either type.

You should also probably read the EOS Switches guide if your machine has flipper EOS switches. (In general EOS switches are not needed for flippers with MPF.)

See coil hardware for more details about the current, resistance, number of windings and the strength of coils.

Debounce and Recycle on Flipper Coils

In MPF you can configure debounce for each switch and recycle for each coil. However, both will be overwritten when you enable flippers. Debounce will be set to quick and recycle will be disabled. In some platforms MPF might reconfigure your switch debounce settings when activating the hardware rules (if the platform does not allow separate settings) which might lead to more switch events when flippers are active.

Generally, this is how flipper work in most machines and this is how players will expect flippers to behave. If you want to change this let us know in the forum (or you could change it in by overloading the flipper device class).

Default Events

MPF contains built-in support for the flipper cancel combo. If you add the tag left_flipper to your left flipper switch, and right_flipper to your right flipper switch, then whenever the player hits both flippers at the same time, an MPF event called flipper_cancel will be posted. This is implemented as combo switch.

Additionally, MPF contains a default timed switch for flipper cradle. It will post flipper_cradle when a player cradles a ball for 3s. Later it will post flipper_cradle_release when the player releases the ball.

Monitorable Properties

For dynamic values and conditional events, the prefix for flippers is device.flippers.<name>.

enabled
Boolean (true/false) which shows whether this ball hold is enabled.