Dialed In!

Introduction

September 2, 2019

Dialed In! is incredibly fun. I keep going back for another game. It’s a delight to play. I smile when I’m playing.

The “toys” are stellar --- even setting a new bar. Quantum Theater deserves a specific callout. I used to have a Pin2K Revenge from Mars. The Quantum Theater is like a Pin2K in a box. A screen is “magically” displayed over the playfield, just like Pin2K. It’s integrated perfectly into the game, providing functionality like: destroying a spider, virtual spinners, hurry up target, virtual drop targets. Yes, virtual drop targets. There is a magnet under the Quantum Theater so Dialed In! can display a virtual drop target and stop the ball when it is hit!

There a real camera. Physical ball locks. Drones with spinning propellers. This game has magnets galore under the playfield that really impact the ball during certain modes.

Dialed In! is a Lawlor game. I have several so when I say that Lawlor games don’t always have tons of flow, I know first-hand. Dialed In! is all about flow. The ball smoothly zips around the orbits, the two ramps, and there are various diverters and trap doors which cause the shots to always feel unique.

And… Dialed In! has a subway. I enjoy it when the ball disappears under the playfield and pops up somewhere else. Subways are sadly missing from many modern games, IMHO. Music is super catchy, sound effects are impressive. While I like the computer assistant MANDI, if I could change one thing… I would make a couple of her callouts be more energetic (such as jackpot). Lighting and artwork are first rate. Game is built like a tank. Did you know the 27” LCD display is mounted on an articulating arm?

Dim insert lights on playfield

September 6, 2019

Every light on Dialed In! supports full RGB colors. This is one of the reasons that the insert lighting is impressive. I noticed, however, that top half of the "laser" lights in the middle of the playfield were not as bright as the others. These top lights changed color and brightness, but were never as bright as the others. Its a little hard to see, but is shown in the picture below. Notice how the 2 inserts to the right of the "D" are not as bright (as well as the 2 inserts to their right).

These inserts are illuminated by a PCB below the playfield. With the playfield opened, I could see that the LEDs for these top inserts were pointed at the wood rather the the insert. Clearly the PCB had been mounted slightly offset. The bottom was lighted up correctly but the top had missed the mark. Shown below is the "DI Flipper Area RGB LED Board, D1 15-000053-01" PCB.

This PCB is held in place by 5 small screws. I loosened the bottom screw (where bottom means it is closest to the ball trough) and unscrewed the remaining 4 screws. Since the bottom screw was still attached, I was able to change the angle of the board without worrying about it completely losing alignment. After rotating it to the left a couple of degrees, the inserts looked perfect. I carefully screwed the PCB into the new location (creating new screw holes in the bottom of the playfield). The resulting bright inserts are shown below.

I don't know if anyone would have noticed it, but it's a big improvement IMHO.

Upgrade to Firmware 1.71

September 6, 2019

While Jersey Jack Pinball machine are very impressive, the firmware upgrade isn't for the faint of heart. Anyone who is computer savvy can handle it, I expect, but it could be a little much for the pinball owner that just wants to press start and hit the flippers.

Jersey Jack documents the process well so I'll only summarize it. There are both full and delta upgrades. Since my Dialed In! was running 1.57, in order to upgrade to 1.71 I first needed to do a full upgrade to 1.61 and then do a delta upgrade to 1.71. Both steps involve downloading the proper code from Jersey Jack's web site. For a delta upgrade you simply place the code into a folder on a USB stick and then use the diagnostic menus to select "upgrade". However, the full upgrade requires downloading a separate program (UNETBOOTIN) in order to create the image for the USB drive. This process has a warning that, more or less, says that if you do it wrong "there is a good chance you will overwrite your PC hard drive with game code". This is your actual PC, not the pinball machine. So follow the directions!

For the full update, the USB drive is inserted into the game while it is powered off. When the game is powered on, it effectively boots from the USB drive. There is a convenient USB connector just inside the coin door (which is normally used for the Bluetooth dongle).

Regardless of the complexity, it worked like a charm and only took 15 minutes from start of downloading to finish.

During the firmware upgrade you can see that Jersey Jack Pinballs are very much PC's at heart running Linux. Here is an image of the process.

Note that full upgrades cause all settings to be lost. There is functionality to backup settings to a USB drive and restore them later, which can be used if you don't want to go with the default settings.

Cabinet, Backglass and Apron

September 6, 2019

Here is a picture of the side cabinet artwork and the "backglass". I'm not sure what the appropriate word to use for Jersey Jack Pins to replace backglass because they really have a small translite and then a 27" display!

Followed by a picture of the Dialed In! apron.

Inside the Cabinet and Backbox

September 6, 2019

Let's start with a picture of the bottom of the playfield. No surprise, this game is loaded. (Yes, this picture was taken from inside my garage shortly after I brought home Dialed In!).

Now let's move to the backbox. The 27" display is mounted to a very sturdy articulating arm. I was very impressed to find this.

Because the display is so nicely mounted on the articulating arm, you can pull it out and then angle it while you are doing repairs. This is shown below (along with my Sthil weed wacker photo-bombing the picture!)

As mentioned previously, the core of Jersey Jack's pinball system is basically a PC. It certainly has lots of custom hardware to emit RGB lighting and control solenoids, but the main processing takes place on a PC running Ubuntu. You can see in the picture below that a 60GB solid state drive is used for storage! Below the SDD is one of the custom boards.

Any Comments?

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