INSPIRING PINBALL STORY ABOUT HELPING A HANDICAPPED PERSON PLAY PINBALL.
This story was written by my friend Julius who has a friend that bought his dream themed pinball machine, a 1979 Bally Kiss. Shortly after buying the game, Julius’s friend had a biking accident leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. In order for him to continue playing pinball, Julius built him a contraption that would allow his friend to roll up to the game and play the pinball machine. Below is the story Julius wrote for the blog also along with some pics of the contraption that he built for his friend.
Shortly after getting his dream kiss pin (to go in his kiss themed room), my buddy broke his neck in a bicycle accident. Paralyzed from the chest down. Limited use of his arms.
I started thinking about making a flipper box for him after he was allowed home after months in the hospital. I made a proto box using a big Tupperware container. The buttons and all the wires were from a junky arkanoid panel/harness I had laying around. The proto had a start button, but after testing at his house, we realized he could still hit the start button on the machine with his knuckles. We also learned that he could drop his fingers over the shooter rod while having enough strength to get the ball into play.
The idea of the box was that the flipper buttons can be anywhere they’re wired to. Say you had only one arm, well then you could move the flipper buttons to one side of the machine and use the fingers from 1 hand to control both flippers. While making the proto, I saw pinball resource had a special on these huge oversized buttons. I thought they’d be perfect. I bought a wooden box from A.C. Moore or Michael’s and painted it using elements of the kiss machine art. I drilled a hole through the front of the box and the wires go from inside the box into a hole I drilled under the cab of the pin. The wires of the box go directly to the existing flipper button wiring.
He can roll up to the machine, grab the box off the playfield glass with the sides of his hands and put it on his lap, launch the ball into play and flip away using his hands (because he can’t move his fingers).
I also zip tied a power strip to the leg of the machine so he power up the game without needing help. Since the original flippers are still functional, we can still compete. I just take the box off his lap when it’s my go and set it off to the side.
Pics Of The Flipper Box :