UpGrade! – The Skeeball Machine Revisited!

Posted: May 30, 2011 in Hard Projects, Informative Information, Projects
Tags: , , ,

Welcome back, to another day! Got a new project that I’m planning: the SkeeBalled! Machine upgrade time! For those not familiar with the SkeeBalled! Machine, let’s take a quick look into the past.

This project was started back in summer of 2009. My Junior year of high school just finished. My class had several meetings that summer, to plan for our Senior Trip. One of these meetings we discussed what to do for the bazaar, an annual yard sale/vendor sale at the school. I saw this as perfect timing, and announced about having a Skeeball machine there. It wasn’t really needed, but I had already thought about this idea before, so I thought it was time to start making it.

After getting back home, I did some research on Skeeball machines. Possibly the biggest obstacle was the price, around $2,000! I knew by that point I had to make some compromises on the design. I then remembered seeing a DIY Skeeball machine before, but it didn’t have electronics. I first used this as a main design, but after skectching a few ideas, the only thing kept from this other DIY Skeeball was the ball-return (little did I know this would cause me trouble later on…)


Pre-Build of the SkeeBalled! Machine. Still needs paint and top scoreboard display.



 ORGINAL artwork design of the last revision to my drawings. As you will see, I didn’t follow this 100% because of time constraints.

     After a few months, and some ordering electronics later, I had a semi-functioning machine. I didn’t want to copy a brand name, so the new name became SkeeBalled! (The name also came from the tennis balls, where you can bounce them on the surface and score points. This is later fixed to prevent this from working).

The Bazaar came and went, and did well earning money (50 cents per game, this might take awhile to pay off). The total cost of the project came to $250, minus a few electronic parts still needing to be added. I played with it off and on, but it mostly it sat around till summer 2010.

With summer 2010 in full swing, I had the class of 2012 AND 2013 interested in using it for their fundraising. Disappointed that I never finished the electronics last time, I decided I would change that for the next bazaar! Revision 2 came and went – upgrades included, and safety cage (cause many balls would fly out previously), A zero-point scoring area, and WORKING ELECTRONICS!



The electronics are working! And yes it’s a horrible mess of wires, but it is organized and working!

     So now this brings us to today! I’m pretty sure another class will want to borrow it, so I think this time, I’m going to add what I wanted to do before, but didn’t have the skill or time in the past. This upgrade (revision 3) includes ALL NEW ELECTRONICS, and hopefully some lettering on the sides that say SKEEBALLED! .



Quick sketch of how much neater the electronics will be.

     The electronics upgrade is first, with a brand new software system! Also the scoreboard will finally be finished, and will be able to display words!



Rendering of what the scoreboard will be able to display.

     Well that’s it for the upgrade so far, the new design is done, and now the parts have to arrive! Hope you enjoyed the refresher, and let me know what you think about the new design! Also, as a side note, I will be uploading a video for one of the 5 videos for THE 5 WEEK ANIVERSERY of VIDEO EXPLOSION THURSDAY! Stay Tuned!

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