Tilt bob discussion

In the tournaments that I run at Cactus Jacks, there will be certain machines that numerous players repeatedly accuse of having the tilt set too tight. On the contrary, these machines have the tilt bob set quite low and loose. Rather, these tilt bobs have a very high inertia and will swing freely for minutes after the last shove until the next poor unsuspecting player touches the machine and receives a tilt. How, if at all, are these pesky tilt bobs dealt with? Is it better to just raise/tighten it to let the ring kill its momentum or is there a way to dampen its inertia some other way?

Mount the bob upside down to reduce inertia


Simple, yet brilliant. Thanks!

In Sweden while setting up for IFPA12 we ran into a bunch of games where there was this aluminum foil sort of stuffed/wrapped around the top hook where the plumb bob hangs.

We were first like “what the fuckkkkk is that thing?”

The host explained how it helps the bob settle almost immediately … And after he showed us, he wasn’t lying. The foil still allows the continuity for the switch to register appropriately.

It definitely looked crazy ghetto but in a pinch I wouldn’t rule it out in an emergency situation.


i want to see a pic of that

Again, place for innovation. New device which replaces whole tilt assembly, based on motion sensors (like in modern phones). This way it would be easy to control these things and all games could be a like in tourney. All different axis could be handled and all these issues that randomize games could be solved.

I know many of current players would not accept this and uses argument something like “it’s game knowledge to know wheres the limit or how long the tilt bob swings after hard push” but this device also would have some excellent features like no “after tilt for next player” or something else which really are quite pita in tournaments.



I dub thee, the Tilt Blunt


No wonder he wanted Session #4 to start at 4:20!


Nice one, INK.

However - the tilt on this picture is heavily off center. Which is usually trouble.

I do not like turning the tilt upside down. I cannot see that it solves much problems people may experience with a game being unfair.

Besides adjusting the tilt mech properly, I believe adding friction to the movement of the rod is the right thing. Or a similar effect of a wider pivot like the one in the picture. You will still tilt/warning on greater movements of the game (which can still be balanced by the position of the bob on the rod). But it will settle quickly allowing you to continue playing with a lesser risk of spurious tilt, tilt through etc.

I’ve found when a machine has been restored tilt is way too touchy. My theory has been that after tumble polishing the Bob and ring the smoothness allows for excellent contact leading to a faster than normal closure of the circuit.

I have a few machines that after I’ve polished I have to set the Bob at the bottom and still feel it’s touchy which has led me down this path, not sure if anyone else feels the same way.

After a restoration the tilt ring should be installed once the game is set to the proper pitch. If the ring is set while the cab is in a cart it will make a game more prone to tilting.
I speak from experience. :slight_smile:

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Yes, I’ve had new games need the ring adjusted. Major difference!

I would definitely advocate replacing tilt bobs in manufacturing with accelerometers entirely. It would function differently, of course, but innovation means change, and anyone who can’t accept change will be left behind by those who can.

There are… complications to that, though. We actually had the idea very early in our company’s life to do that (like Feb. 2011) but didn’t get around to it. Now both Stern and Multimorphic are trying to claim patents on the idea, which is somewhat silly. Fortunately, both companies have been absolutely blasted at the patent office on this issue multiple times (each of them may have already fought back from a final rejection as well).

Just like williams’ flipper opto buttons was the future. It’s simple and it works why over complicate it.

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Are you allowed to tell why the patent office rejected those ideas? Is it because there is no real innovation going on–just an existing technology put to a previously unused application?

Touch-based buttons will never truly replace normal buttons because people count on the tactile feedback buttons have, especially buttons you’re not looking at while using. It’s why successful smartphone games are aways considerably simpler than traditional video games: They only have the touch screen to work on, and thus they control well only if the game is optimized towards large, sweeping motions or touching general areas. Smartphones themselves, however, are an example of a simple device becoming very complicated and becoming popular because of it.

Generally speaking, it’s because of prior art. You can look up all patent correspondence yourself at http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair (warning: extreme doses of lawyerese; may be lethal).

If you’re truly interested, you can search application # 13933590 (Multimorphic) and # 13796261 (Stern). The ultimate irony is that Stern’s now getting rejected because of Multimorphic.

I decided to do my own research on “prior art,” and I think I get the idea now. If I understand what I’m reading properly, the patents were basicaly rejected because, well, it’s been done. By whom, I’m not entirely sure. Whatever the case, I hope that the situation is such that the technology isn’t put at a standstill simply because someone decided to be a patent troll.

I’ll agree with Elwin here, don’t over complicate it.