XPin | About Us
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About Us

Evolution Evolved

XPin was founded in 2008 in Boise, ID by Brett Davis. Since then XPin has evolved an emphasis on research based product design, prototype products and the manufacturing of pinball electronics. In short we are an engineering, design and manufacturing facility focusing on creating or enhancing pinball electronics through product design, development, and completion.

 

Our method at XPin is to focus on the complex relational experiences people have as they interact with pinball products and their functional environments.

 

Located in the Phoenix metro area, XPin has an emphasis on “designing the experience” for our regional, national and international re-sellers. We author and use the latest technology research methods, modern CAD software for design, and produce prototypes for extensive testing prior to any release of new products.

XPin products are the next Evolution in after-market pinball boards. In 2006 we were so distraught with all the circuitry & old-school technology of these early designs that we decided to build better boards that are more efficient, run cooler, allow for more options, and utilize the latest technology available today. We recognized that the then current after-market replacement boards were only “copying” the original OEM circuits, which brought in the original circuit shortcomings. A true re-engineering attempt was required and a crucial step in developing new after-market boards. We then set out to develop a line of products that will last for years under strenuous conditions, and the results are what you have come to know as E2: EVOLUTION-EVOLVED.

 

Since 2006, Xpin Pinball has developed over 50 products for the pinball enthusiast wanting the best replacement circuit boards for their games. This development utilized the latest design methods, simulation tools, and manufacturing processes to make sure that our re-engineered products were power efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and reliable.

 

XPin is the next evolutionary step in new after-market circuit boards. Since the original re-engineer efforts, newer technologies have allowed us to Design & Develop our XPin products to become even more energy efficient. In some cases, testing showed that a measured power reduction of 18% was evident. New processes developed by the component manufacturers have opened the doors to a rainbow of colors that will allow the home user to customize their games like never before. With these technology changes, new methods for testing our finished products ensure that our XPin product lines will continue to reliably function for years to come.

 

In July of 2015, XPin was acquired by 21 Electronics. The folks at 21 Electronics bring a wealth of experience in business management, operations, finance, sales and marketing. The acquisition will allow XPin’s founder, Brett Davis, to focus on what he does best while the business continues to grow to new levels.

The Engineering team behind XPin is substantial. The design engineers have 30 years combined experience in circuit design, microcontroller and microprocessor design, power supply design, and general electronics. Not including XPin products, our design team has taken over 200 circuit board designs from concept to production.

 

Our technical support staff that assists in the proto-typing assembly and test of the designs has over 45 years of combined experience in test engineering and electronic assembly. Each has been certified to IPC standards in electronic assembly, with one certified as an IPC Certification Trainer.

 

The production facilities for XPin products are a state-of-the-art domestic assembly houses. This facility is staffed by individuals dedicated to quality. All operators are required to become IPC certified within 6 months, and the facility itself is ISO 9001 certified. The combined management staff has over 50 years of experience in the manufacturing of quality electronic assemblies.

Our Philosophy

Our first focus is establishing a need for specific pinball products. We become intimately knowledgeable with the nuances and quirks of the original manufacturer specs while our XPin products are exposed to innovative strategic methods that enhance our products and their performance.

 

Each new project entails front-line efforts to understand the original specs and how they were perceived. We implement this intelligence in our design efforts, which aid us in developing new technologies for the better enhancement, efficiency, and beauty of each new XPin product.

 

At XPin, we design for the complex interactions among multiple manufacturer titles. Working with pinheads, collectors, and beta testers we believe that XPin products truly are the best products available on the market.

Technology

FEATURES / BENEFITS:


A Debug Test Button has been integrated into all XPin LED Display models that replace original Williams displays. This Debug button, when pressed, will illuminate all segments of the display if a minimum amount of functionality is working on the MPU. This feature allows the end-user to determine with high confidence if there is a problem with the display or if there is a problem further upstream of the display, namely the MPU.

 

A Brightness feature has also been integrated into all XPin LED Displays. This Brightness Control allows the end user to set the brightness level to their own preference. A side benefit of this Brightness Control is that there is a direct relationship between how bright the displays are and how much power is consumed by the display.

 

POWER CONSUMPTION:


All XPin LED products utilize the latest components manufactured to higher component standards than existed 20-30 years ago. These new designs predominately use surface mount technology. The benefit of this technology is two-fold: Reliability and Reduced Power Consumptions.

 

Surface mount technology is considered to be the most reliable when it comes to manufacturing electronics today. Allowing for the smaller component size and packaging, surface mount devices are less likely to fail in the high vibration and rigorous environment of pinball machines. Along with the smaller component size, with the proper circuit design, these packages will dissipate less heat than the traditional components through devices and circuit designs. Less heat means less power required because the system as a whole is more efficient.

 

XPin LED products also only require 5V to operate. High voltage was required to power the original plasma displays. This HV power supply provided approximately 8 Watts of power to the display system. With this no longer needed, we recommend the removal of the games high voltage fuse(s) to prevent any risk of shock when servicing the game.

 

It still requires power though to run the XPin LED displays, but not as much as you would think. The XPin XP-WMS12232-O display, for instance, only requires 2.5 Watts of power from the 5V supply when the brightness is set to ~75%. The original 5V power budget for the display was about 3 Watts. The reduction in power required reduces the load on the 5V system, which in turn reduces the heat generated by the power supply, lowering the temperature in the head of the game.

The Finer Details

XPin LED Displays utilize a Flat Black Finish on our LED Blocks for appearance. Most LED manufacturers of segmented displays prefer to use a Grey color for the finish. Displays with Grey colored faces tend to look out of place and when the game is “on” and when the displays are lit they look awkward and are not as legible for the scores.

 

A black finish to the printed Circuit Board was a must as well. The standard green of most circuit boards allowed light from behind the PCB, typically GI light, to filter through the board, creating an undesired affect when the game was being played. In addition, all XPin LED Displays come with a Light Blocking Trim to keep any undesirable light from leaking into the display area. This trim has been designed to be Thick enough to keep light out, but also thin enough so as not to conflict with the older “lift-out” style Backglasses.

 

During the development of XPin LED Displays, we took into account what the end-user wanted, which is as close a match to the look of the original plasma displays as possibile. The original plasma displays utilized a FONT that was standard to the oil and gas industries at that time. As these displays were displaced by LED and LCD technology in those industries, the font was considered to be non-standard as it applies to LED segmented displays. Custom tooling was required to make the font as close to the original as possible, to give the impression of original displays.

 

With LED technology what it is today, a plethora of colors is now available. All XPin displays are offered in the standard Plasma Orange color and White. With our custom vinyl gels, you can purchase a white display and customize it to the color you want for your specific game. View samples of how some of our customers have customized their machines with Colored XPin Displays.

 

XPin truly is EVOLUTION-EVOLVED.

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