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FAST Friends Newsletter: August 2022

Hello FAST Friends! Wow! Can you believe it's the end of August already? Actually, can you believe it's almost the end of summer?

We've been busier than ever this summer, getting ready for some major product launches and the fall pinball shows, as well as welcoming new members into the FAST family who are taking their first steps to building their own pinball machines!

The end of summer is a great time to start thinking about the dream theme homebrew pinball machine you can start building this upcoming indoor season. Happy pinballing!

Aaron, Dave, Eli, & Brian

P.S. Thanks to Jamie Boyd for the close up photo of the power distribution wiring from his Mindcrime homebrew machine!

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This is the web version of an edition of our FAST Friends newsletter, our monthly-ish email newsletter sharing the latest in the FAST Pinball world and from our extended family of pinball makers and builders.

New Modern Installers for the Mission Pinball Framework

Building a pinball machine is about sharing, helping each other, and creating communities. (This is why our informal tagline is "Making Pinball. Making Friends.") The Mission Pinball Framework (MPF) is a great example of a community-built project. MPF is the free & open source software platform that powers the majority of homebrew machines (as well as an increasing number of commercial machines).

Most FAST Pinball community members use MPF to power their machines too, so we spent about three weeks earlier this month modernizing and updating the installers to make MPF as easy as possible to install and get running.

So if you've been holding off upgrading, or been hesitating getting started, take a look again. MPF now supports current versions of Python, as well as Windows 10 and Windows 11, and Macs from OSX all the way through the latest macOS Monterey, including Intel and Apple Silicon (M1/M2) processors! And of course, MPF continues to support Linux and Raspberry Pi as well which is what commercial machines use.

Check out the latest instructions and new installers on the MPF docs site at

Join us at Chicago Pinball Expo 2022

FAST Pinball will be at the Chicago Pinball Expo this year! We're excited since we haven't been since the Before Times, and we have so many FAST Pinball friends and makers in the midwest we haven't seen in awhile.

We'll be driving out from the Pacific Northwest (our home!) with a trailer full of games to let you experience the cool things we've been working on, including classic Bally/Williams machines running our FAST Retro Controllers playing the original game code, classic machines modernized with conversion kits, new commercial machines (including Fathom Revisited from Haggis Pinball), and several homebrew machines and projects.

If you have a project you'd like to show off in our booth, let's talk! (Email Brian, to start the conversation.)

We're also looking for potential volunteers who can lend us a machine to share in our booth. If you have a classic Bally/Williams System 11, WPC-89, WPC-S, or WPC-95 machine that you're considering bringing to Expo, we'd be happy to send you one of our Retro Controllers ahead of time that you can install and then bring to the show. Again, email Brian if you're interested. Pinball maker videos on YouTube

Last month we shared links to The Pinball Room (from Steve Kondris) on YouTube. Steve has been making "How To" videos for custom and homebrew pinball for the past year or so. We told you that you should subscribe, (and you should!), because check out a few of the videos Steve published since our last newsletter:

Drop Targets & Banks

The proper way to wire and connect a Stern 4-bank drop target assembly with opto board to your homebrew machine, and how configure it to work with the MPF.

Seeing Invisible IR Opto Lights

In this video, Steve shows a way to view the invisible IR light from an opto emitter LED board, then gets the staircase installed with all the optos wired up and connected.

Rules & Game Modes (Livestream Replay)

From Steve: "Awesome discussion with a bunch of you all . . . Super helpful to talk through my ideas with other people and get your insight and ideas to improve things."

Documentation Feedback? Requests? Confused?

Hi! I'm Brian, and I'm responsible for the documentation at FAST Pinball. If you have any feedback, requests, corrections, ideas, or any other thoughts about the docs, please let me know!

You can email me at I maintain this site in my spare time, so there might be a week or so delay if you email me.

If you have a more pressing need, reach out to us via Slack, or email Aaron Davis.


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