Controlling a custom “home brew” machine with MPF

Details for how to build custom machine hardware are covered on the PinballMakers.com Wiki. We cover some general areas here and suggest that you investigate those on your own. Contributions to the guide (and the rest of the documentation are welcome).

Control System

If you are “just” retheaming a machine have a look at the Controlling an existing machine with MPF section. If you want to use MPF to power a new custom pinball machine that you build yourself, you should buy new custom driver boards. There are a few common choices:

P3-Roc and FAST are both commercial systems at a similar price point but features vary slightly so compare them wisely. OPP is an open source/open hardware project and much cheaper but expect to invest some more time into the hardware itself.

You might also want to some more control boards for servos, steppers and light. Common choices are:

See the Hardware Section for all hardware supported by MPF.

Power and Wireing

You should invest some time into at the beginning of your custom pinball journey into your power supply and wiring.

Parts and Assemblies

MPF supports a varity of pinball mechs. You can have a look at manuals of existing machines to find numbers of mechs. For homebrew machines it is wise to buy assemblies of mechs. Mostly, because mechs consist of a lot of parts and you will likely fail to order all of them at once. Additionally, assemblies are often cheaper.

There are a few shops such as Pinballlife which offer assemblies. They also got a homebrew section which is worth checking out. Other shops such as Marcos Specialities offer more parts but are less focused on homebrew.