Single Ball Play

Pinball Guides

Quick cheat sheets for pinball machines you may never have seen before. Hopefully a good enough paragraph describing what a quick strategy might be. Deeper strategies can be found on pintips, PAPA rulesheets, and other pinball message boards.

Acknowledgements to PAPA, and Bob Matthews for the EM guide which will likely get incorporated or heavily referenced for EMs.

Submissions and suggestions can be sent to the singleballplay gmail address.

Streaming Info

Singleballplay Twitch Channel
Singleballplay YouTube Channel

I use Logitech webcams connected to a Raspberry Pi 3B+ and run a Python script that uses GStreamer to create RTSP feeds for the cameras and make them available over the network. It's still a work in progress but is available on Gitlab here: Picam Software.

For stream production I currently use OBS with a PC running Ubuntu. I have the OBS GStreamer Plugin installed to access the RTSP streams from the Pi. The VLC Input should also work but I recommend the GStreamer plugin. I also have the Linux Browser Plugin installed for some custom overlays.

Common Components

  • Logitech Brio/4K Pro Webcam Amazon
    Used as the playfield camera at 720p60. If connected to a USB 3.0 port you could do 1080p60 as well. Recommended over the C922 since its clarity and quality is significantly better. Typically goes on sale every few weeks for at least $20 off.

  • Logitech C920 Webcam Amazon
    If 30fps is enough this camera is sufficient. It also supports h.264 encoding on board to save network bandwidth. I use these for backglass and player cameras.

  • Raspberry Pi 3B+ Amazon
    An RPi3 or ZeroW could also be used but I suggest the better WiFi and ports on the 3B+.

  • Raspberry Pi Case
    Pick your favorite, you'll want a case.

  • Anker 10,000mAh Battery Amazon
    Anker 20,000mAh Battery Amazon
    The RPi3B+ with a Brio and two C920s draws about 1.5A so ~8W. This drops to about 0.5A when the cameras aren't being viewed since they turn off if nothing is accessing the RTSP feed. Depending on the situation you might be able to get by with the 10000mAh battery but size the battery for how long you think you need to go. Each C920 draws ~250mA and the Brio seems to draw about 500mA. The Pi is limited to 1.2A shared across the USB ports so three cameras will work but pushes it a bit.

Overhead Setup

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  • 15mm Dual Rod Clamp Amazon
    The counter weight below works as a back clamp so you only need one of these but they're a bit cheaper to buy in pairs if you're going to run multiple rigs. Any of the 15mm dual rod clamps should work from other vendors, like SmallRig.
  • Counter Weight Amazon
    These go on the back of the rails and I put some cork on them to project the cabinet and keep the rig from falling forward with hard shakes. Using cork is better than felt pads since they provide much better grip.
  • 15mm Z-Offset Bracket Amazon
    This is used to move the camera for the playfield a bit more towards the center of the playfield. It's not strictly necessary but it's handy, especially for machines with toppers in the center.
  • 16" 15mm Rods Amazon
    I use 3x16" threaded rods per rig. Two on top of the backbox and one more for the z-offset playfield camera. Then 2x12" extensions off one of them for the backglass camera to get it far enough back to see about 90% of the backglass. These could be fixed length but the threaded rods allow for convenient travel options like a simple backpack.
  • 15mm Ball Head Adapters Amazon
    These connect the webcams to the 15mm rods.
  • Front Clamp
    I don't have a product for this one really so you need to get a bit creative. I used the bolt from a table clamp (a c-clamp might also work) and a piece of flat bar from Home Depot with a hole drilled in it to bolt to the 15mm Rod Clamp (1/4" 20 bolt) and another one threaded to match the bolt from the table clamp (determined by whatever size you have). I put a cork pad on the front to protect the cabinet.

Mic Stand Setup

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  • Portastand Website
    Any mic stand will do but these collapse down and can fit in a small suitcase so you could pack a few of them in much less space than other mic stands. But choose whatever works.
  • Extension Arm Amazon
    Great for attaching to the mic stand and throwing a camera on for the backglass or player view.
  • Mic Adapter Amazon
    These are great to attach the webcams to the mic stands. They offer full movement for adjusting the webcams for just the right angle.
  • Boom Arm Amazon
    These are a bit more compact than full boom arms and reach far enough over the machine.