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Lane Development In Progress - Introduction

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  • Lane Development In Progress - Introduction

    Hey folks,

    I've been lurking here for a while and some of you may have already heard from me between here and youtube. I am in the process of developing the pindeck/pit section. I have 21 feet of space, so the lane will be shorter in that sense, but I am designing it in sections so the length can be increased when it is moved. (My next home will have an unfinished basement with hopefully 30 feet when the time comes).

    Scoring: I am a software engineer by day, so I decided to write my own application for scoring that uses a standard webcam with some image manipulation so I can count the white "blobs" on the pindeck to determine the pins left standing on the deck. Obviously this will require some tolerance to account for off-spots. Currently this project is going well and I hope to have a video up soon. Note that if I get this working reliably, I will release any source code on github so you guys can set up a scoring system for your lane based on commodity hardware!

    Lane Hardware/Surface: None of the centers in the area have resurfaced recently/do not have any lane surface left over so I will most likely be using laminate flooring as I've seen it work pretty well on several of you guys' projects.

    The bedding I am thinking of placing on 2x12s. If any of you have building suggestions on making it sectioned or just lots of pictures from your building process that turned out well, I encourage replies to this thread! I am all for avoiding reinventing the wheel.
    Pinspotters? Eventually: I like the ability to run the deck sweep off of one motor in all positions... theultimateandy has been beyond helpful with this and I will be replicating his AMF 8270 sweep design, I love it and its quite elegant (as a kid, I never knew why they had so many joints in one arm assembly, when brunswick seemed to be doing it simpler at the time... or so I thought). Now I *do* like the turret assembly on the top of the deck as seen on A-2's, so I am using the small scale A-2 video as well as my past experience with these units to pick apart the details.

    Control: The control will be done by a computer. I took several robotics courses in my undergrad, so I may be able to apply some of the knowledge here. An arduino will be the direct hardware interface to the system. It will drive several servos and relays to higher power motors that perform the machine's critical functions. I imagine motors will be required for pindeck elevation, pindeck grab/release (scissor deck), turret rotation, turret release (I could make this mechanical), pinwheel operation and sweep assembly. I have been paying close attention to the QBowling pinsetters. Very cool things, they are!

    Anywho, thankfully I know a carpenter who happens to also be a bowler, but if you guys have any media/pics/videos on the development of your lane (or even documentation), please feel free to post it here! Otherwise you could see some new fresh and wonky designs.

    Question: For those of you with the Linds mini pins, have any of you experimented with clear coating the pins? This could be a dumb question, but I am curious as I've seen videos where the paint seems to flake off over time... its a shame they cost about $90 shipped now. Mine just came in and are at the house unopened, so hopefully they'll last a bit longer.

    Major thanks to Steve, Andy, Dave and everyone else who has posted media on your half scale lanes, its been quite helpful!

    More updates as progress continues.

    Jimmy

  • #2
    Hey Jimmy,
    Here is a link to my photobuckt page showing some of my construction pics, not sure if I sent these to you yet or not, I did send them to someone a couple months back.....
    I'd be interested in your scoring options, but for now, could you e-mail me a Microsoft Excel attachment of auto scoring where you just put in the bowlers and pinfall and it will compute the scores if you know how to program excel? For entering a strike, it would have to read the X as a pinfall of 10, and / for the spare. Do you think you could program something like that?
    --- SteveJT66

    82/70's,kickers,Kegel Kustodian

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    • #3
      I'm sure I could get that rolling without much fuss. It may require a little bit of VBA, but nothing major. For your sides, are those 2x12? Are the cross sections 2x10s? Just curious. Thanks! When I get that excel scoring going I shall post it here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Actually Steve, it doesn't look like I have to go to much trouble. Looks like there's a working template in excel

        http://exceltemplate.net/sports/bowling-score-sheet/

        Note that you may have to disable the '/' menu key in excel as its a shortcut. This can be in File/Orb -> Excel Options -> Advanced and just blank out the text box for the menu shortcut key.

        Originally posted by Stevejt66 View Post
        Hey Jimmy,
        Here is a link to my photobuckt page showing some of my construction pics, not sure if I sent these to you yet or not, I did send them to someone a couple months back.....
        I'd be interested in your scoring options, but for now, could you e-mail me a Microsoft Excel attachment of auto scoring where you just put in the bowlers and pinfall and it will compute the scores if you know how to program excel? For entering a strike, it would have to read the X as a pinfall of 10, and / for the spare. Do you think you could program something like that?

        Comment


        • #5
          This sounds awesome....can't wait to see the end result.

          Comment


          • #6
            Exciting project Jimmy! I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.

            Scoring: I have always wondered about your scoring idea, using a webcam or some other type of video camera. Can't wait to see how that comes out and I'm very interested in hearing more about it.

            Lane Hardware/Surface: I may eventually upgrade to a 'real' synthetic lane surface, or I may put in maple/pine strips, but for now the laminate I used looks as good as it did when we started bowling on it 4 years ago. The only reason I would change it would be to make it more authentic.

            Bedding: I used 2x10 bedding with flat 2x4s on top of that and it is way beyond adequate. I am 6'4" and almost 220 and can walk on the surface with no problems. There are a few pics on my BasementBowling.com site or I can send you some more if you want.

            Control: I am wanting to learn more about robotics, control boards, servos ,etc. Right now I am just taking things apart at home (old vacuum cleaners, etc.) but my wife is probably getting tired of that. LOL! Any good websites or books or any other tools out there that you can recommend for learning these things?

            Linds pins: I haven't had any paint issue with the pins after 4 years. My issue has been with the QC of the pins because I have 2 or 3 that are fatter (by 2-3 mm) than the others and I have had to modify my spotting cups a bit to allow for the extra tolerance.

            Can't wait to hear more about your project, please keep us updated and let us know any questions you may have.

            -Chad
            www.BasementBowling.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ctcohn View Post
              Exciting project Jimmy! I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.
              Scoring: I have always wondered about your scoring idea, using a webcam or some other type of video camera. Can't wait to see how that comes out and I'm very interested in hearing more about it.
              Sweet, well we will see how it works. Got all the scoring programmed, now just to finish up the image recognition sequences to feed the values to the scorer. Shouldn't be too hard. When I get it done, I'll post a video and a link to the source and/or an EXE to run it on your system. I know most people may just want to use the score sheet itself, so I'll try to have an option for that too!

              Originally posted by ctcohn View Post
              Lane Hardware/Surface: I may eventually upgrade to a 'real' synthetic lane surface, or I may put in maple/pine strips, but for now the laminate I used looks as good as it did when we started bowling on it 4 years ago. The only reason I would change it would be to make it more authentic.
              Yeah that is my concern... authenticity! Either way your design is what inspired me to use laminate because of its availability and durability. If anything else comes about that gives an authentic appearance and play would be considered.

              Originally posted by ctcohn View Post
              Bedding: I used 2x10 bedding with flat 2x4s on top of that and it is way beyond adequate. I am 6'4" and almost 220 and can walk on the surface with no problems. There are a few pics on my BasementBowling.com site or I can send you some more if you want.
              I saw thats what you used and thats the design I plan to follow. For the side boards that extend down the length of the lane and are mounted vertically to the 2x10s on end, it almost looks like you stacked 2x8s onto it, or maybe I am completely wrong. What are those? I love your design and it looks extremely well built (as you've demonstrated). The only difference is I'll be hacking your design into sections :P I'm curious as to whether or not I could use 2x12s down the sides and have enough of a lip for the gutter. Not sure. This is where your advice is extremely helpful!

              Originally posted by ctcohn View Post
              Control: I am wanting to learn more about robotics, control boards, servos ,etc. Right now I am just taking things apart at home (old vacuum cleaners, etc.) but my wife is probably getting tired of that. LOL! Any good websites or books or any other tools out there that you can recommend for learning these things?
              Well most of my learning was done in a class room, BUT I have had great experience with the Arduino microcontroller. You can get a good one for about $40 and I think you can get a full-blown starter kit (no servos, but has the arduino, buttons, potentiometers and the bread boards and several other goodies for about $65) You can check that out at http://www.newark.com/jsp/search/pro...77&Ntt=13T9277 if you so desire.

              The first major step is learning about Arduinos code structure. At its core, its basically like 'C' If you've never programmed, I'd write some simple programs and take a look at the tons of examples that the arduino software ships with (start with blinking an onboard light, it requires no connections since there's an LED onboard). Then get into other things like external LED/motor control and input. The arduino software and documentation are located at arduino.cc

              I will be making code and specs available as they develop, but if you have any questions about my intended path, just ask!

              Originally posted by ctcohn View Post
              Linds pins: I haven't had any paint issue with the pins after 4 years. My issue has been with the QC of the pins because I have 2 or 3 that are fatter (by 2-3 mm) than the others and I have had to modify my spotting cups a bit to allow for the extra tolerance.
              Mine look pretty good. I may order another case, but I definitely need to order some of the small scale bowling balls from EPCO. I got a price quote from them for a 4.5" diameter ball, so I guess we'll see about that as things develop.


              Can't wait to hear more about your project, please keep us updated and let us know any questions you may have.

              -Chad[/QUOTE]

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Compy View Post
                I saw thats what you used and thats the design I plan to follow. For the side boards that extend down the length of the lane and are mounted vertically to the 2x10s on end, it almost looks like you stacked 2x8s onto it, or maybe I am completely wrong. What are those? I love your design and it looks extremely well built (as you've demonstrated). The only difference is I'll be hacking your design into sections :P I'm curious as to whether or not I could use 2x12s down the sides and have enough of a lip for the gutter. Not sure. This is where your advice is extremely helpful!
                -------------------
                Mine look pretty good. I may order another case, but I definitely need to order some of the small scale bowling balls from EPCO. I got a price quote from them for a 4.5" diameter ball, so I guess we'll see about that as things develop.
                Trying to remember off the top off my head (I'm at work) but I think I put 2x8s high and 2x6s low on the sides. I wanted the lane surface around 12" high for a comfortable rolling height. Just remember that lumber dimensions are smaller than stated. a 2x8 is 7 1/4" wide a 2x10 is 9 1/4" wide and a 2x12 is 11 1/4" wide, etc. I would think you would want the gutters to be around 4" deep (from surface to the top of the outside wall) since we are using balls in the 4.3" to 4.5" range and the lane surface is higher that the gutter surface.

                I thought the Linds ball was too light, did some calculations to scale and they worked out to around 11 pounds. I found that I like the lighter candlepin balls performance/reaction-wise. A 2lb. 4 oz. candlepin ball scales out to around 15 pounds or so. What is the weight of the Epco balls you are looking at?

                Thanks,
                -Chad
                www.BasementBowling.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Awesome, thanks for the info! If you find something different when you see it in person, just give me a shout! Yeah 4" deep is right now that I remember.

                  Yeah I agree that the Linds ball might be a bit light. I spec'd out a ball to be 2lbs, but if you're saying 2lb4oz might perform better and more to scale then I'm all for it. I just remember hearing that the candlepin balls are a bit wider than half scale, so I'll just custom order from EPCO at 2lb 4oz and 4.3" diameter and that should work out fairly well. (I misspoke in my last post, I had the quote done for 4.3", not 4.5)

                  Originally posted by ctcohn View Post
                  Trying to remember off the top off my head (I'm at work) but I think I put 2x8s high and 2x6s low on the sides. I wanted the lane surface around 12" high for a comfortable rolling height. Just remember that lumber dimensions are smaller than stated. a 2x8 is 7 1/4" wide a 2x10 is 9 1/4" wide and a 2x12 is 11 1/4" wide, etc. I would think you would want the gutters to be around 4" deep (from surface to the top of the outside wall) since we are using balls in the 4.3" to 4.5" range and the lane surface is higher that the gutter surface.

                  I thought the Linds ball was too light, did some calculations to scale and they worked out to around 11 pounds. I found that I like the lighter candlepin balls performance/reaction-wise. A 2lb. 4 oz. candlepin ball scales out to around 15 pounds or so. What is the weight of the Epco balls you are looking at?

                  Thanks,
                  -Chad

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I really am impressed with the various approaches that people are taking to the scaled down bowling games. It seems like everyone has their own niche. It's quite interesting. I finished building my vacuum form machine. It works great. So, the next step is to build the model for my pin release mechanism. Once I get that done and create another prototype, I should be able to make a set of 10 of these units. I can then mount them to the table. If all goes well, drop the pins into the holders, lower the table, the pins get set on the lane, raise it up, and repeat. I'll post videos and/or pictures when things are ready.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Jimmy, good to hear that you are making progress on your lane. I can't wait to see what you come up with. Dhudach, I am looking forward to seeing what you have planned on your vacuum forming. I just checked out youtube on the different home made machines, and it doesn't look too difficult at all. I might be implimenting some vacuum formed parts into my pinsetter. Thanks.
                      If it can't be fixed with a hammer, try a bowling pin! They're heavier and more surface area for whacking!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Jimmy,
                        I did see that program about a year ago, and I had some sort of compatibility issues with it. It would not let me enter any more info after say the 5th frame, nor would it let me enter bowlers past the third slot. I can give it another try though......Also for the lane construction I used 2x6's on the bottom of the sides and 2x8's on the top of those, and for the underlane construction cross pieces, I used 2x10's, then 2x4's going length wise down the sides of the lanes to form the gutters. I then put MDF over that then the laminate. Chad sent me pics of his and we e-mailed each other for a few months before I started mine. He was a great help and inspiration and I want to say "Thanks again to Chad" for making a life long dream come true! As of tonight I have 4,074 games on the lane and it's not even it's second anniversary yet. That will be May 15th, just over two more weeks. My laminate looks brand new still, and I used the cheapest stuff on sale....LOL. I would only change out to laminate for authenticity in the future if I get extra money, but I'd have a height difference and would have to make adjustments, so that is not a priority. Plus at $795 for a 12 foot section of that! My pins are peeling some, the clear coat that contains the labels and stripes, some of the markings are peeling off....LOL I do have some cracks in a few of them. But that is normal wear and tear...They still have a lot of life left in them though.... I still have 8 to 10 more cases though. Well, If you could send me whatever you are working on for excell, It may be a better one than the one that's already out there. Thanks!!!! Any more questions, feel free to let me know!! Be sure to keep us all updated ....
                        --- SteveJT66

                        82/70's,kickers,Kegel Kustodian

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Steve,

                          Before I go into it and get cracking, what version of Office/Excel are you using? I'll need to make sure its compatible there. Macro security settings or something of the sort could be playing into the issue a bit there.

                          Anywho, I am almost done constructing the pindeck using 2x6s and 2x8s stacked with 2x10 bedding. Its come together nicely and I sincerely appreciate the dimensions Steve! What thickness MDF did you use? I'm looking into 3/4. I am going to buy some more wood to line the bottom of the gutters tomorrow and my test fixture should be complete. Then I can mount the camera and work out the programming to the scorer. After that I'll install the sweep assembly and on and on.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Compy, Post photos please.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I saw on ebay a guy that sells formica sheets that people can buy to recover their puck or ball bowler lane. I think this would work well for our mini lane and the look of the lane (wood marks) would be to closer to scale. He says in his listing that he does custom work so might be something to look at. The price is not cheap I think it was $400 or higher.

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