Looking forward to it!
The games are back home from the show and set up. It was a rough year: I spent most of the weekend working on my games rather than helping people, attending panels or socializing. It seemed like every time I'd fix one, another would be down.
F-14 Tomcat : 259 games counted, 500 estimated.
It melted a coil, blew the transistor and the pre-driver, and finally the fuse. Many thanks to borygard for the board repair and NVRAM installation (which reset the game counter mid-Saturday).
Star Trek: The Next Generation : 163 games played.
STTNG is pretty new to me, and I'd only recently gotten it up and running before the show; I haven't fully "shaken it down" yet. It had lots of stuck balls on the Alpha Quadrant ramp, and now has a coil under the playfield that's not firing, which leads to balls getting "lost" under the right cannon. I'm beginning to see why operators consider this game a maintenance nightmare.
Lord of the Rings : 293 games played.
The Gandalf switch got stiff, which led to lots of stuck balls. Balls were also not releasing quickly enough from the Sword Lock. This is an issue I've seen mentioned here on Pinside, but never thought I'd see personally. It's caused by the balls getting magnetized in the Ring, so they stick to the metal of the Sword Lock and don't roll out quickly as usual. Fixing that is easy once you realize the cause, but those two issues kept the machine down for longer than I would have liked.
Doctor Who : 98 plays
The Time Expander (mini-playfield) came out of alignment during transport. When the game tried to raise it, it hung up and the motor stripped the teeth off of a gear, rendering the game unplayable Friday and Saturday. I replaced the part on Saturday night and put the game out on the floor Sunday. I wish I'd tested it on Thursday, and also wish I'd realized it has a mode that compensates for a dead Time Expander.
Last year (my first year with games at the show) lulled me into a false sense of security: All three games sailed through with no major issues and each racked up about 600 plays. This year left me feeling a bit demoralized. I've had multiple people (nwpinball among them) tell me that taking games to the show is a great way to shake them down, catch the failures and help harden them. I may come around to that point of view, but I'm not there yet. On the upside, my girlfriend and two daughters all made it out this year, and I enjoyed getting to show them around and see things through their eyes.
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