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VirtuaPin™ Digital Plunger Kit v3 Nudge and Tilt Setup For Visual Pinball 10

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So I received a virtuapin digital plunger kit V3 as a gift, time to move away from using magna save buttons for nudging!. 

Here's a quick reference of how i configured the software for nudges & tilts with visual pinball 10 (VPX), as i struggled to find information on a lot of this. I don't cover the installation or much to do with the plunger setup as the document you receive with the kit pretty much covers that off. The goal for me was to get nudging working without having to bash the table and to tilt easily if it was hit hard. Note, in my setup i have 4 exciters fitted to the cabinet but no sub woofer and i also tend to play SS rather than EM tables, different setups may need drastically different final settings (especially if you're using DOF). There's probably other ways to do the setup, but this way worked for me.

Step 1 Install & Plunger

Install the virtuapin digital plunger kit V3 and controller software (https://www.virtuapincontroller.com/), and configure following instructions detailed in pdf https://virtuapin.net/docs/Manuals/Plunger Kit Guide v3.1.pdf

Note a couple of things in the pdf;
⦁    Screenshot is VP9 not VPX for button setup, so nudge gains are set higher.
⦁    Screenshot has incorrect Right Magna save button mapped, shown as 5 when it should be 3
⦁    Document doesn't tell you that if you push the plunger it can as act as a button (16) so can also be used to launch a ball on tables which use a launch button (so you don't need to have a dedicated launch button as well as the plunger).

Also note that you may need to edit individual VPX table plunger settings as recommended in the pdf.

Step 2 LED Nudge Threshold

Open VirtuaPin controller sofware , change to the Controller Settings View and lower the LED Nudge Threshold to 0. 

Open a table in visual pinball editor (AC/DC is a good one for this test). Select Table -> Sound Manager, scroll down to the flipper sounds and click play whilst viewing the controller board, the LED will probably be lit or will light when you click play. Raise the LED Nudge Threshold value until the LED does not light when the flipper sound is played. If the table you selected has 'loud' bumpers try the bumper sounds too, probably raising the LED NudgeThreshold further. For bumpers i raised the value until i got an occasional blink of the LED when the sound was played repeatedly, whilst flipper sounds did not light the LED, which i think is about right. I could still tap the table fairly lightly after the adjustment to simulate a 'soft' nudge and have it registered by the LED.

If you cannot see the boards LED indicator then you can alternatively monitor the Tilt X and Tilt Y values in the controller software to give an idea of the numbers to use.

Step 3 Nudge Threshold

When happy with the LED Threshold set the Nudge Threshold to match the LED Threshold in the controller software. This will stop a lot of noise being sent from the accelerometer on the board to Visual Pinball as false nudges.

Step 4 Visual Pinball Visual Nudge

To avoid a visible 'shake' on the screen when using anolgue nudging go into Visual Pinball -> Preferences -> Video / Graphic Options and set Visual Nudge Strength to 0. This is optional, if you decide to leave this on then it may assist with some of the steps that follow and you can always disable it later.

Step 5 Visual Pinball Core.vbs

I dabbled for some time trying to get the same settings to work across different tables but some seemed really hard to tilt. The reason for that is in the table scripts with vpmNudge.Sensitivity explicitly being set, others using a default value of 5 (can be 0-10 with 10 most senstive). Rather than test and update individual table scripts i wanted to set a global value (to an easy tilt setting) which luckily can be done in Visual Pinball\Scripts\Core.vbs... Open core.vbs in notepad and look for this line;

Public Property Let Sensitivity(aSens) : mSensitivity = (10-aSens)+1 : End property

Comment that line and replace like;

'Public Property Let Sensitivity(aSens) : mSensitivity = (10-aSens)+1 : End property
Public Property Let Sensitivity(aSens) : mSensitivity = 1 : End property

Note - I use mSensitivity = 1 which is the most sensitive value in this script (unlike in the table script where 1 would be insensitive), this change will force all tables to use the same sensitive tilt setting. Also note if you change core.vbs you'll need to remember to update this again if it's updated as part of future visual pinball releases.

Step 6 Visual Pinball Nudge Settings

So now all tables should have the same scripted sensitivity and virtuapin should be filtering out background vibrations. Go to Visual Pinball key preferences, default values are;
 

vpdefault.png.dd7eeca5ccbb0b5a1401596cabda8dfd.png

First thing to do here if not done already is check Enable Nudge Filter, Enable Analog Nudge & Tilit Sensitivity

Then start a Visual Pinball table, trap the ball on a flipper and try nudging the table. You should see an effect.

Raise the X-Gain and Y-Gain values to increase the sensitivity of the nudge as required. I.e how hard you want to tap the cabinet for the table to register a nudge. 

Note - close and re-open visual pinball after making changes to any of the nudge settings in order for them to take effect, otherwise you'll still be testing the old settings.

A side effect of increasing the Gain values does mean that although nudging is easier, that the affect on the ball is also greater - nudging the ball further. When happy with the impact required to register a nudge you then adjust the X & Y Max values, reducing them to limit the maximum affect on a ball nudging will have.

Dead Zone - leave this seting at 0. Changing it would only duplicate the controllers nudge threshold settings we've already done, but without having an LED to assist us in tuning the setting.
Nudging should now be setup

Step 7 Visual Pinball Tilt Settings

The final step is Tilting. As we have set a global sensitivity for all tables in core.vbs all we have to do now is set the Tilt Sensitivity in Visual Pinball Key Prefs, start with a value around 900 and run a table, can you tilt it with a few nudges? -if not raise the value to increase sensitivity, if the table bumpers set off a tilt warning then you probably want to lower this value to decrease sensitivity.
Note - if you want to nudge more for less tilts then try an increased hardcoded value for mSensitivity in core.vbs like = 6 instead of 1 (up to 11). But this'll likely require you to revisit the Tilt Sensitity Setting in Visual Pinball Key Prefs

My Final settings (for ref only, as stated previously settings required will vary as for different builds)

Controller

controller.thumb.png.15a1b9154ac456dd96d7a4e07afa3f1c.png

Visual Pinball

vpx.png.e5732644d159469c5b94938794f01bee.png

Note - i used the plunger pushed = button 16 as a buyin button for pinmame as i already had a launch button (1).
Which in my setup then map to PinballX as;
 

pbx.thumb.png.54077970d3852ceba8fe77e452bef349.png

And that's it... i now have a consistent nudge & tilt across VPX tables that don't need me to whack the table to get an effect.

The plunger kit is working great and has added a lot to the virtual pinball experience, more than i thought it would in fact, would recommend!

One final note for DOF users, if you're struggling with solenoid vibrations causing false nudges have a look at wrd1972's info here - https://www.vpforums.org/index.php?showtopic=38357

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@scutters - Thanks for this excellent tutorial! I have moved this over to the FAQ section and "stickied" it for reference. 

Thanks again for your contributions to thr community!

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