How I got into Pinball

How I got into Pinball

By JawsCrusher

September 07, 2017


74 days ago

It all started back when I was 16 years old in 1996. A friend took me to this game store where they sold pool tables and arcade games. I had never been to such a place before in my life. When we walked in the door I saw my first ever pinball machine. It was a 1993 Jurassic park. This thing was the coolest thing I have ever seen. I played a few games on it and fell in love with the game of pinball. The price tag was something like $3000 and being a 16 year old kid I knew I would never be able to afford the machine. It was 10 years later before I would ever see a pinball machine again. I went to a cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin with my wife and her family and discovered at this little bar 200 yards from the cabin was a Gottlieb BIG HURT pinball machine. I played and played that machine as much as I could while I was there for 4 days. I would only get to play that machine once a year for the next  9 years.  In 2014 I was honored to be able to afford my first pinball machine Bally Aladdins Castle for $600. I don't have a lot of money so this was a big purchase for my family. I convinced my wife into letting me get it. I still did not know anything about the machines themselves and how they even worked but I thought what the heck I will take a chance and learn a new hobby. A year later I got a deal on a William's Dealer's choice for $175. I learned how to really fix EM's after getting that mess of a machine. Everything works great now. My brother in-law had a broken Bally EM pin that he wanted me to get running. I spent about 40 hours on that machine fixing it and cleaning it up to look brand new again. In may of 2017 I came across a Gottlieb TOTEM pin for $450 so I picked it up. This was my very first SS machine and now a whole new type of machine to learn how to work on. I had no clue how to solder circuit board chips and all that kind of stuff. I researched on how to fix this type of machine for about 50 hours. After a huge mess up and learning experience I was able to get the machine up and running in no time. I ended up almost blowing up the whole machine. I was installing the fuse blocks on the transformer and I forgot to unplug the machine when the wire I was trying to solder on touched the main power inlet and blew up the power supply and the 16 pin chips on the displays. BIG BOOM  when this happened and scared the crap out of me. Costly mistake but a good learning lesson. In August of 2017 I had finally found the machine of my dreams. The Big Hurt at the bar was now gone and they replaced it with fishtails so I could not play Big Hurt anymore. Frank Thomas was one of my favorite baseball player when I was a kid and I have most of his card as well. He was one of my idols growing up as a kid and I looked up to him as a person. I had been looking for that machine for the last 3 year but I had only seen 1 in that 3 years and it was too far away and too much money for me to afford. Finally I found one on craigslist and I told my wife that this was my life long dream to own a DMD with multi ball and I would not ever get this chance again to buy this game because they only made 1985 of them. I talked my wife into letting me get a loan for the $1600 machine because I got the guy to come down from 1700. I could not thank Eric enough for giving me this machine for that price since we don't have a lot of money to spend on stuff like this. Please pay it forward whenever you get a chance to. So thanks to my understanding wife and Eric I am now living my dream playing pinball and fixing machines. When you have a dream as a kid you can make it come true sometime in the future if you put your mind to it. I do not believe in selling any of my games and I will never sell them so please do not ask me to. I will die with whatever machines I collected for the rest of my life. I believe in playing pinball all the time and I would not want to do any other hobby in the world. This is just me but I think that all pinball machines are the best things ever invented and should always be a 10 rating. No such thing as a bad pinball machine. I will enjoy playing and fixing these machines for the rest of my life and hope to keep them alive with the younger generation coming into this world. One more thing I think there should be no nudging allowed at all on pinball and it should be all skill knowing exactly where the ball is going to go for every shot. A pinball game can last forever if you hit every shot perfectly. You should only ever need 1 ball. Until next time keep the game alive and happy flipping. Bryan Jaworski 

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