A Pecos Diary - My Journey to Pinball Operator

(Topic ID: 211448)

A Pecos Diary - My Journey to Pinball Operator


By Pecos

1 year ago



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  • 263 posts
  • 63 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 days ago by Pecos
  • Topic is favorited by 85 Pinsiders

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There are 263 posts in this topic. You are on page 5 of 6.
#201 5 months ago

It’s 40+ years old, it’s ok if it’s not perfect.

#202 5 months ago

Have you considered any signage about the games Pecos? Alot of non-pinball people don't know where the start button is and I think a small sign with some directions or background about you and your games may help. ? Just thoughts.

#203 5 months ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Actually, the old GE 1847 bulbs are best for pop bumpers....

Super-Flite keeps blowing the #44 lamps that I put in it's pop bumpers. I put an old GE in and that seems to be holding up. But now that I have some LEDs, I will be using those. The pop bumpers on OXO and Super-Flite are really powerful. The owner of the Spotted Bull was playing Super-Flite when the ball got into the three pop bumpers. All he could say is "wow!" OXO is one of only a few pins that I have had to replace the pop bumper rod and ring because it was broken - just awesome DC powered pop bumpers on that era of Williams pinball machines.

Quoted from BrianBannon:

Be sure to use the tin plated phosphor bronze trifurcon male contacts for the GI connectors, I use them for all the connectors because phosphor bronze handles the heat better than the tin plated brass and the cost is just nominally higher.

For the Bally Harlem Globetrotters On Tour rectifier board I used these:

DSCF3956 (resized).JPG

Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Recycle old bulbs, every dollar saved goes to your bottom line.

I do, but once they start to go black, even the slightest bit, they are out of here. Most of the old #44 and #47 lamps I pull are going bad. I save these too. I get requests for old lamps that are going bad for different projects.

Quoted from pinheadpierre:

I'm curious how you have selected the initial titles to put on location. I ask because it seems like you have either run into a bit of bad luck with immediate breakdowns or maybe haven't chosen the most reliable examples from your herd? Maybe there are other machines in your collection that are mechanically more route ready? Or maybe the ones you're really focused on sharing with the public just need more private testing before putting them on route?

I have sold two of my Project Pins to D&D Pinball. Fan-Tas-Tic has had no issues for more than six months, maybe as many as twelve months. Spanish Eyes had no problems for six months. This is one of the important bits of information that I used to decide to start my own operating business. There are a special group of pins that will never go out on route like Double-Up, Black Knight and OXO. Pinball machines like Super-Flite are simple but fast and fun. These kind of games are good for pinball newbies. Harlem Globetrotters On Tour is nostalgic for many and loads of fun. Aztec is the fastest EMs I have played and that is why I chose it.

Bottom line, I have enough confidence, finally, in my restoration, diagnosing and fixing skills to be comfortable putting my games out of route.

Quoted from pinheadpierre:

I would have the game set up at home EXACTLY like it would be on route (needs coins for credits, special/ match features set at appropriate values, etc) and play the crap out of it. I would even set myself a high semi-arbitrary threshold of test games (100? 200?) that the machine would have to pass before being deemed ready. Any breakdowns during the testing period would reset the clock and the testing process to zero. Ideally, I would like the machine to have proven itself trouble free for months on end with regular use before becoming a route candidate.

I am notorious for getting a pin restored 95%, enough to be played at home and then moving onto the next restoration. That last 5% takes a lot of time and I have a lot of pins in my queue waiting to be restored. I just don't have time to play hundreds of test games. I do testing, but not that thorough.

Quoted from pinheadpierre:

I've been following along since the beginning of this thread and hope to see many future posts in which you cannot keep up with your overflowing cash boxes!

Thanks pinheadpierre!

Quoted from clg:

Having said that, moving the game can create issues. I have found problems normally pop up very quickly or when a game is out out or after a month or so of heavy play. I also found maintaining older games is much harder.

Fortunately, I have had no problems show up after moving the pins. But I have a very small sample set. I am hopeful that once I get through the first round of problems the machines will stabilize. At this point, I am having more luck with restored EMs. I go through them very thoroughly and if you get them set up right, they can run for many months before problems begin to appear. Taking the time up front to clean and adjust ALL switches pays off big time.

Quoted from desertT1:

Put it on route and the power supply fails 2 days later. Doh! It happens.

I am still debating with myself how best to test early SS pins. Putting hundreds of test games on it might do nothing more than reduce the life of an electronic part by hundreds of games.

Quoted from cudabee:

I think the cabinet of the Superflite is too far damaged to put on location, now the first impression does not reflect the energy and love you put in this endeavor.
Personally i would make it look better from at least an onlookers distance, that must be not too hard to do.

Super-Flite was delivered to Spotted Bull while Harlem Globetrotters On Tour was being fixed. If you will note, I moved it to the far right where the sides of the cabinet were not visible. As a general rule, I don't do cabinet or backglass artwork restoration. I only have so much time and, until now, I have drawn the line at not restoring cabinet and backglass artwork.

However, I did do some retouching on Travel Time because I knew that a professional photographer was coming in to The Hotel McCoy and I wanted it to look nice. First impressions are important. I learned tonight that Super-Flite will be staying, at least for a little while at the Spotted Bull. You are right, the cabinet is in sad shape. Since it will be staying, I will be going in to do some cabinet touch-up on it if only to please the owner of the Spotted Bull. A cabinet repaint, done correctly, takes a lot more time than you might think. Most of the cabinet touch-ups I have seen were horribly color-matched. I would rather have a unretouched game than a game with poorly done cabinet touch-ups.

Quoted from desertT1:

It’s 40+ years old, it’s ok if it’s not perfect.

A lot of these games are just plain worn out. I am seriously considering putting a Jack In The Box out on route as-is with some of the areas on the playfield worn to the wood. I normally focus on a playfield that looks and plays like new. Someone said once that you don't play the cabinet. I doubt if I will ever hear "You need to paint that ugly cabinet" from a customer. I could be wrong.

Quoted from Tomahawkjim:

Have you considered any signage about the games Pecos? Alot of non-pinball people don't know where the start button is and I think a small sign with some directions or background about you and your games may help. ? Just thoughts.

I have, actually. I am going to be bringing some of my 'special' pinballs to special events and it would be nice to have a sign explaining the year, manufacturer, game name and some history. I remember those big metal signs about four feet high with a rectangular space for the sign and a big base, but those are unwieldy and expensive.

I made my first service call yesterday. I got an email on Friday from the manager at Hotel McCoy that the ball was stuck on Travel Time. I put some credits on the machine and pressed the start button and everything worked. Great, an intermittent problem. In the meantime I did some preventative maintenance on the right flipper. There were two holes through to the playfield where it looked like two fin shank screws belonged - holding down the flipper bushing. But on the underside, there had been screws. I say, had been, because two had fallen out. to confuse matters, there was no third hole. I put two new fin shank screws in the holes and left the other screw on. The flipper is solid and should stay that way for a long time.

I removed the mech board bolts and lifted it to look for some parts that I had dropped. All of the missing parts, two screws and one washer, were under the mech board. I have dealt with this so many times that you would think that I would have a fix by now. I will try to remember to bring a bed sheet with me whenever removing parts from under the playfield. Putting this sheet over the mechs on the mech board should be a catch-all for the parts I drop. I just have to remember to REMOVE the sheet BEFORE turning the machine on!

After screwing the mech board down, the machine would start and then immediately go dark! Here are a few words of wisdom for future operators. When fixing a pin be extremely careful that you don't create any more problems than you started with! I looked at the schematic and noticed that the kickoff slam switch was in circuit to the lock relay. The instruction manual package had slid under the mech board and apparently closed the kickoff switch. I removed it and all was well.

I let some guests play and the intermittent problem appeared! The ball WAS stuck! The outhole switch was the culprit and quickly fixed. I always like to give free games to people in the area. It is a good way to test the machine and I used to get free games after the pinball repairman was done. I always liked that. Now, I am the repairman! Now it is time to pass those good vibes on to others.

I have done no Project Pin restoration for - I can't even remember the last time I worked on the Jack In The Box I am restoring. I knew this is the trade-off I would be making once some of the machines in my collection were put on location. I'm hoping that the pins will stabilize soon and I can get back to restoring the many Project Pins waiting in queue.

#204 5 months ago
Quoted from Tomahawkjim:

Have you considered any signage about the games Pecos?

I did this on Main St outside the business where my 2 pins are located. The venue owner is nice enough to put it out & take it in every day (he forgets sometimes). It advertises Medieval Madness (Remake - Standard) on one side and Star Wars (Premium/LE) on the other.

Since there are lots of tourists on Main St I'm sure it brings in some of them. As I have said before the pins don't make much money. I was going to do whatever I could to get the machines played.

The banner material is very nice vinyl with killer printing I got online from Costco Printing Services. Inexpensive for how nice it is. Ask me for more details if you care about banners.

I'm amazed how well some pins are hidden. I found a Tee'd Off hidden in a Holiday Inn in Silverthorn, CO this week while exploring. Played good for what it is.

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#205 5 months ago

I've heard people say that you can take a cardboard box, write "STAR WARS" on it and people will put money in it.

But Medieval Madness is holding its own. People like that game too.

#206 5 months ago

Got my Bally power supply/rectifier/transformer board AS-2518-18, AS-2518-49, TA-100 today from barakandl at https://nvram.weebly.com/new-pcbs.html

From the Website:

"New replacement Rectifier Boards. Extra wide and thick traces. All connector pins have a bottom side trace connection. 35A bridge rectifiers. Good quality and properly rated fuse clips (unique clip set for the 20a fuse). Littlefuse or Bussman brand fuses. Molex brand headers. Available in three options. Fully assembled, as a DIY Kit with all the parts needed to assemble, or just the blank circuit board.

*** 03/08/18 *** Assembled Rectifier Boards and DIY Kits now include four nylon standoffs and four 1.5" machine screw with nuts. These are optional and to be used to mount the board to the transformer panel if your original stand offs are broken. Head of the machine screw is intended to be on the top side of the rectifier board."

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Okay, it is a box. Or more accurately, a picture of a box. But it is always exciting to be getting boxes with pinball parts!

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Thanks barakandl for helping Pecos Pinball bring one more pin to Tucson!

This board will be going in Harlem Globetrotters On Tour if the original board does not hold up. More likely, it will go into Future Spa that has the older style -49 rectifier board. Regardless, I am not looking forward to soldering all of those transformer wires to the back of this board.

#207 5 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

I am not looking forward to soldering all of those transformer wires to the back of this board.

It's easy but tedious. Make sure to do one wire at a time.

#208 5 months ago

Travel Time and pinball make the news in Tucson.

Click on the video and skip to 1:20 to see local news reporter Bud Foster smiling while playing the 45 year old Travel Time at the Hotel McCoy.

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/2018/09/18/old-hotels-give-new-life-downtown/

#209 5 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Travel Time and pinball makes the news in Tucson.
Click on the video and skip to 1:20 to see local news reporter Bud Foster smiling while playing the 45 year old Travel Time at the Hotel McCoy.
http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/2018/09/18/old-hotels-give-new-life-downtown/

They did a great job 'remodeling' that motel!

Love the 50's look!

Great spot for vintage pins!

#210 5 months ago

Very cool! Did you know Bud was going to be doing that story? Not trying to steal any spotlight or anything, but Bud came to an event earlier this year, was there for two hours chatting and observing. He talked about playing pinball in high school and that there were at least 2 in the student union when he was in college. There are a few details that get mixed in the video, but all in all I was happy with how this story went. Bud is a legit pinball enthusiast and an all in all nice dude.

Side note. It is way harder to answer interview questions while playing a game. Between not sounding like a stammering idiot AND keeping the ball alive, it's quite tough.

1 week later
#211 5 months ago
Quoted from nascarrey:

Love the 50's look!

Great spot for vintage pins!

It's the perfect spot for Travel Time. The hotel was built in 1970 and Travel Time was manufactured in 1973.

Quoted from desertT1:

Very cool! Did you know Bud was going to be doing that story?

I didn't even know the story had been done until my friend told me about it and he didn't mention anything about Travel Time being in the video. The smile on Bud Foster's face makes all the work worthwhile. That is what Pecos Pinball's vintage pins are all about.

Quoted from desertT1:

Not trying to steal any spotlight or anything, but Bud came to an event earlier this year, was there for two hours chatting and observing.

Not stealing the spotlight at all. The more videos, the merrier. The more pins in Tucson, the pinnier! That's a great video. You did fine. So, how did you get so much time and Travel Time only got five seconds of air time??

I got a call this afternoon that Travel Time wasn't spitting out balls, again. When I got to the Hotel McCoy, the barkeep told me that there was no problem and that the customer didn't know how to start a game. The public has to be trained how to work these games. We often forget that the pin-savvy players of the last century are the only ones who have played much pinball. The younger crowd have likely never seen, let alone played, any pinball machines.

I had a few problems to fix so the trip wasn't wasted. One of the lamps was flickering. Fixed that. I put the playfield rod through the playfield, again. Apparently, Gorilla Glue isn't meant as a strong filler. I filled the area with wood filler and put a temporary piece of masking tape over it.

The pop bumper skirt point was coming out of the spoon switch. I adjusted the spoon switch stack so the skirt point was centered in the spoon switch. Problem solved; I think. I am still concerned about the pop bumper. The skirt switch rides up on the switch stack and sticks, closing the switch, when moved manually. I couldn't repeat the problem when playing so I am hoping that the solenoid, when activated, is releasing the skirt point. If not, I will have a burned up 750DC solenoid.

#212 5 months ago

Our coverage was specifically for the City Championship, so it was all about the pinball.

#213 5 months ago

I have added three new forms to the plethora of forms already extant. For the first time in my life, I am trying to be organized. I am a lot of things but organized is not one of them!

Income and Expenses (resized).png

All income and expenses will be summarized on this form, including purchase of supplies. I am pretty certain that travel for business can be deducted so that is kept here also. This is a first attempt at this form and I expect it to change. I will be going back through my paperwork to include insurance, license costs and other costs not listed.

Refund (resized).png

A form to keep track of refunds.

Out of Order (resized).png

A form that I hope never gets used!

Today's haul:

From PBR: Jack in the Box Drop Targets, manuals and parts
From eBay: Coin door inserts. Looking for more 2 Quarters - 1 Play inserts. They are harder to find than snow in Tucson.
From colsond3: A very special package containing a back door for Double-Up! Thanks Colson!

Pinball Goodies (resized).png

#214 5 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

From eBay: Coin door inserts. Looking for more 2 Quarters - 1 Play inserts. They are harder to find than snow in Tucson.

I often take the ones that say X - Quarter(s) - Z - Play(s) and sand off everything but the "quarter(s)" part, then mask off and paint black on the backside.
Turns out OK

2 weeks later
#215 4 months ago

I just wanted to say thank you all the way from Atlanta for the effort and dedication to bringing pinball back to potentially thousands of people who have never played a real pinball machine before! GL

#216 4 months ago

It is with a heavy heart that Pecos Pinball must report that all three of their pinball machines have been removed from the Spotted Bull. The machines did not bring much enthusiasm from the customers and the income was far below my expectations. I also expected that many of the 50 and 60 year-old clientele would be excited to play the type of pinball machines that they grew up with. Instead, most customers were children whose parents watched on as many of them played pinball for the first time in their life.

I want to thank Michael and Julie, the owners, for the opportunity to put some of my vintage machines in their restaurant and bar. They are a pleasure to do business with and I appreciate their support. I sincerely hope our paths will cross again.

I want to share a couple of stories with you. During a visit to collect quarters I met two older couples just finishing their lunch. I asked them if they wanted to play some pinball for free and we began talking about pinball. I like to offer free pinball for games that need to be tested. I can watch and look for any issues and the customers enjoy the chance to play for free. Anyway, two of them played and came back to the table with big grins. They hadn't played pinball in forty year and they really had a lot of fun reliving their pinball youth. I opened up the game to show them all of the wires and parts in Aztec and wowed them with just how much it takes to make a pinball work. On the way out, they put two $5.00 bills in my shirt pocket. I tried to refuse, but they insisted. Seeing their smiles was enough to make my day and that is what Pecos Pinball is all about.

I was at the Spotted Bull on Friday to remove Aztec and one of the waitresses and her husband were standing behind two chairs as their two sons were playing Aztec and Super-Flite. It was the first time they ever played pinball. It sure was nice to see the young'uns playing and enjoying the same games that I played and enjoyed 45 years ago. I felt like the Grinch who stole Christmas because I had to take their fun away from them. I let them finish and leave before I sadly began to disassemble Aztec. Pecos Pinball is also all about bring pinball joy to a new generation who have never played pinball before.

On Saturday I went to pick up Harlem Globetrotters On Tour and there were two boys playing Super-Flite. I gave their parents some quarters and after the first batch of quarters was gone, I got the cutest puppy-dog look from one of the boys. I knew what that look was all about! I gave mom and dad another batch of quarters. Bringing happiness to others rewards you with more than you give.

Although it was an unhappy event to remove the games, there were plenty of happy moments. And now I will begin the not-so-fun task of finding some more clients where I can, once again, bring a little bit of joy to a world that surely needs it.

#217 4 months ago

Sorry to hear about the loss of your location. I really appreciate your generous attitude.

#218 4 months ago

Well, that sucks. Sorry Pecos, but I'm sure you will find the perfect spot for your pins.

#219 4 months ago

Is it legal in Tucson to give away a beer for attaining a certain score? The redemption/gambling aspect is always a huge motivator.

#220 4 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

It is with a heavy heart that Pecos Pinball must report that all three of their pinball machines have been removed from the Spotted Bull.

I can't make heads or tails of who decided it was time for the machines to go; you or the establishment?

#221 4 months ago

are you going to find another location for them?

sorry to hear you had to pull out form the first.

#222 4 months ago

Sorry to hear the news Pecos .
Did you try that location, Rot Rod Shop and Grill out by you I mentioned ?

#223 4 months ago
Quoted from Mrtattooz:

I just wanted to say thank you all the way from Atlanta for the effort and dedication to bringing pinball back to potentially thousands of people who have never played a real pinball machine before! GL

Thank you for the good wishes. It's a real kick to watch kids play pinball for the first time!

Sometimes reality smacks you up side the head:

This is going to be a lot harder than I thought.

Quoted from pinheadpierre:

Sorry to hear about the loss of your location. I really appreciate your generous attitude.

I appreciate that pinheadpierre. When I started this business, I promised myself not to get stressed out. There is nothing good that comes from having a bad attitude. I will pick up and move on. I will be honest and tell you that I am getting tired of playing musical pinballs!

Quoted from dasvis:

Well, that sucks. Sorry Pecos, but I'm sure you will find the perfect spot for your pins.

I'm not terribly bummed out - not really at all. I have a better idea of which locations would do better than others so I will be changing a few tactics in the search for a new location.

Quoted from NicoVolta:

Is it legal in Tucson to give away a beer for attaining a certain score? The redemption/gambling aspect is always a huge motivator.

Nic, I think you are missing the lesson to be learned here. I had three pins in the bar portion of a restaurant/bar. The bar goers voted with their quarters and the vote was "We aren't interested in your pinball machines." It couldn't have been the prices. The EMs were priced at one quarter per game and the SS, Harlem Globetrotters On Tour was priced at two quarters per game. The only customers that I saw playing the pins were kids and kids and bars don't mix. If kids, with their parents in tow, are my customers, then I am glad to pull the pins from the bar.

Quoted from steviechs:

I can't make heads or tails of who decided it was time for the machines to go; you or the establishment?

Yeah, I noticed that after I wrote it and that is the way I am going to keep it. The problem with sharing my experiences online is that I can only speak for myself, but the parties I interact with cannot speak for themselves. The games weren't making money so it doesn't really matter who made the decision that it was time for them to go.

Quoted from Whysnow:

are you going to find another location for them?

sorry to hear you had to pull out form the first.

Technically, it is my second location. I am going to find another location, and hopefully, locations. It's at times like this that I wish I had the money to open my own arcade. But I am concerned about the interest from the 21 and up crowd. I thought for sure that boomers would flock to play the games they played in their youth. Sometimes reality smacks me upside the head and I realize, as impossible as it seems, I might actually be wrong about that one!

#224 4 months ago

My best advice for finding locations when people take on this task is:
1. Find something close to you (servicing games is easier if it is near you or near a path you take each day)
2. Find something where the owner or staff really want pinball (owners/staff that like the games are better to partner with and will always let you know when issues happen)
3. Find a place with the highest foot traffic possible. (more people = better chance they drop a quarter)
4. Put 4 games at minimum in your location (that is enough for people to travel to play and the bar will notice that and that is where they really make money... on the beer and food)
5. Start up a monthly gathering/ competition. (pinheads like to meet other pinheads)
6. It will take many months for any location to really bloom (people take time to come out and it takes at least 3 meet ups for people to start making friends; once they make friends they will come more often and help tell you when games have issues)
7. Diversity is good. I know your niche is EMs, but having 1 EM, 1 Early SS, 1 DMD, and 1 Other is a good place to start.
8. Have a change machine on site and near the games (you would be amazed how many people dont want to bother staff to make change and if you have a changer then it is easy to play)

Good luck and looking forward to the next chapter!

I really love the thread and your sharing!

#225 4 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

My best advice for finding locations when people take on this task is:
1. Find something close to you (servicing games is easier if it is near you or near a path you take each day)
2. Find something where the owner or staff really want pinball (owners/staff that like the games are better to partner with and will always let you know when issues happen)
3. Find a place with the highest foot traffic possible. (more people = better chance they drop a quarter)
4. Put 4 games at minimum in your location (that is enough for people to travel to play and the bar will notice that and that is where they really make money... on the beer and food)
5. Start up a monthly gathering/ competition. (pinheads like to meet other pinheads)
6. It will take many months for any location to really bloom (people take time to come out and it takes at least 3 meet ups for people to start making friends; once they make friends they will come more often and help tell you when games have issues)
7. Diversity is good. I know your niche is EMs, but having 1 EM, 1 Early SS, 1 DMD, and 1 Other is a good place to start.
8. Have a change machine on site and near the games (you would be amazed how many people dont want to bother staff to make change and if you have a changer then it is easy to play)
Good luck and looking forward to the next chapter!
I really love the thread and your sharing!

Good points I agree with all of these particularly #6. The sites I know well all had to build up over time. Kids are good customers so don't overlook them. Parents are happy to give them some money so they can entertain themselves and leave the parents alone. The best earning site I know earns really well and 90% of that is kids throwing money into games not really knowing what to do. They will learn though. 90s games and newer themed games are good at drawing people in. Once people are playing they will try other, older, games but you have to get them to drop that first quarter first.

Good luck!

#226 4 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

It is with a heavy heart that Pecos Pinball must report that all three of their pinball machines have been removed from the Spotted Bull. The machines did not bring much enthusiasm from the customers and the income was far below my expectations. I also expected that many of the 50 and 60 year-old clientele would be excited to play the type of pinball machines that they grew up with. Instead, most customers were children whose parents watched on as many of them played pinball for the first time in their life.
I want to thank Michael and Julie, the owners, for the opportunity to put some of my vintage machines in their restaurant and bar. They are a pleasure to do business with and I appreciate their support. I sincerely hope our paths will cross again.
I want to share a couple of stories with you. During a visit to collect quarters I met two older couples just finishing their lunch. I asked them if they wanted to play some pinball for free and we began talking about pinball. I like to offer free pinball for games that need to be tested. I can watch and look for any issues and the customers enjoy the chance to play for free. Anyway, two of them played and came back to the table with big grins. They hadn't played pinball in forty year and they really had a lot of fun reliving their pinball youth. I opened up the game to show them all of the wires and parts in Aztec and wowed them with just how much it takes to make a pinball work. On the way out, they put two $5.00 bills in my shirt pocket. I tried to refuse, but they insisted. Seeing their smiles was enough to make my day and that is what Pecos Pinball is all about.
I was at the Spotted Bull on Friday to remove Aztec and one of the waitresses and her husband were standing behind two chairs as their two sons were playing Aztec and Super-Flite. It was the first time they ever played pinball. It sure was nice to see the young'uns playing and enjoying the same games that I played and enjoyed 45 years ago. I felt like the Grinch who stole Christmas because I had to take their fun away from them. I let them finish and leave before I sadly began to disassemble Aztec. Pecos Pinball is also all about bring pinball joy to a new generation who have never played pinball before.
On Saturday I went to pick up Harlem Globetrotters On Tour and there were two boys playing Super-Flite. I gave their parents some quarters and after the first batch of quarters was gone, I got the cutest puppy-dog look from one of the boys. I knew what that look was all about! I gave mom and dad another batch of quarters. Bringing happiness to others rewards you with more than you give.
Although it was an unhappy event to remove the games, there were plenty of happy moments. And now I will begin the not-so-fun task of finding some more clients where I can, once again, bring a little bit of joy to a world that surely needs it.

Sorry to hear that Pecos.

That was awesome of you to let the kids play for free and introduce them to pinball!

Hope you find a new location soon.

#227 4 months ago

It’s not the price, it’s the draw. What glory can be achieved for winning? Three of our most popular pins are Fan-Tas-Tic, Klondike, and Wheel of Fortune.

What do they all have in common? Gambling awards. That’s what Pat Lawlor correctly predicted with Safe Cracker... and why it still gets huge lines at TPF when loaded with custom tokens.

Leagues and tournaments are primarily based upon winning and prizes. I have a friend who has an 8-Ball in a bar near Austin. He gives away a free beer for hitting a certain score. The game is hugely popular for that reason.

I’m not saying redemption is the only important thing, but we pinballers (particularly operators) are missing a HUGE piece of the pie by not incorporating awards into the game. We need to get creative again while pinball is making a comeback... it’ll hook many more players if done right.

#228 4 months ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

It’s not the price, it’s the draw. What glory can be achieved for winning? Three of our most popular pins are Fan-Tas-Tic, Klondike, and Wheel of Fortune.
What do they all have in common? Gambling awards. That’s what Pat Lawlor correctly predicted with Safe Cracker... and why it still gets huge lines at TPF when loaded with custom tokens.
Leagues and tournaments are primarily based upon winning and prizes. I have a friend who has an 8-Ball in a bar near Austin. He gives away a free beer for hitting a certain score. The game is hugely popular for that reason.
I’m not saying redemption is the only important thing, but we pinballers (particularly operators) are missing a HUGE piece of the pie by not incorporating awards into the game. We need to get creative again while pinball is making a comeback... it’ll hook many more players if done right.

I freaking love Fan-tas-tic. Hitting “spin” is such a joy.

#229 4 months ago

Norm Clark was a pinball design genius. So many cool wacky inventions.

1 week later
#230 4 months ago

Pecos Pinball is ecstatic to announce that Firepower has left Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour and has landed at D & D Pinball!

DSCF4051 (resized).JPG

DSCF4054 (resized).JPG

A place of honor! If you look closely you will notice the high score set by Robert. That torqued me off a little, mostly kidding, but I was hoping that my high score of 787,000 would last at least a week. The very first game he played broke my high score. He got multiball and must have played one ball for four or five minutes. Reminder to Pecos, don't enter a tournament with Robert!

Firepower will remain owned and operated by Pecos Pinball. I want to thank Robert and Constance at D & D Pinball for helping me out in really low point in my business. I was seriously considering closing Pecos Pinball down at the end of the year. Now, I plan to give Pecos Pinball another year to try to bring vintage pinball to Tucson. It takes time to get a business going and I'm not a quitter. I continue to look for new clients and have three 'possibles.'

If you are anywhere near downtown Tucson or the University of Arizona, take an extra hour to stop by D & D Pinball and give Firepower a workout! It is only 50 cents per game and it is playing really well. It's worth the trip just to play Firepower, but while you are there you can play my other two games Fan-Tas-Tic and Spanish Eyes for only a quarter for a five ball game. They do have about 30 other reasons to go. Their games are always the best maintained games in these here parts. Tell 'em Pecos sent you!

Oh, and before anyone mentions it, I plan to touch up the cabinet the next time I get down there.

#231 4 months ago

Great to see Pecos !

I have played this particular machine and it's nice.

1 week later
#232 3 months ago

Pecos Pinball is super excited to announce their affiliation with Hot Rods Old Vail Restaurant and Bar. Pecos Pinball is pleased to bring their third vintage pinball machine to the Tucson area.

day_1_aztec (resized).jpg

day_1_aztec_with_buck (resized).jpg

That is the General Manager, Buck in the picture. It is a pleasure working with so many people at Hot Rods who love vintage pinball!

Hot Rods Old Vail Restaurant and Bar is a unique venue where you can watch vintage cars being restored while you eat. You can't go far without seeing a reference to NASCAR, restored cars for sale, old signs and all things related to the 50s and 60s love affair with the automobile. If you are driving through Tucson, access is easy right off the Houghton Road exit, about a quarter mile north of the interstate.

Hot Rods restores old cars like I restore old pinball machines so there is a certain kindred spirit as we try to save a bit of Americana.

The first machine at Hot Rods Old Vail Restaurant and Bar is Aztec, Williams 1976. As with all Pecos Pinball EMs, it is 25 cents and five balls per game. It is upstairs and available for play on the weekend evenings. Not to worry though, there are plans for pinball machines on the first floor in the lobby and available whenever the restaurant is open. Stay tuned!

#233 3 months ago

Throw a Grand Prix in there ASAP, lol.

#234 3 months ago

Pecos Pinball is cheering the fact that Harlem Globetrotters On Tour has bounced right out of Pecos’ Palatial Pinball Parlour and scored, landing in the lobby of Hot Rods Restaurant. Pics to follow.

This game has LEDs, a reproduction playfield and a perfect backglass. Support pinball In Tucson and come play this beauty!

#235 3 months ago

Super-Flite zoomed right out of Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour and touched down on the second floor of Hot Rods, but not after a short in-flight stop at Ace Hardware. These old war horses need a lot of spare parts!

DSCF4101 (resized).JPG

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The view is awesome from the second floor. It's a great place to watch the trains go by.

DSCF4103 (resized).JPG

And here is the pic I promised of Harlem Globetrotters On Tour:

DSCF4100 (resized).JPG

The two EMs are available on weekend evenings only. Harlem Globetrotters On Tour is available when the restaurant is open, Wednesday through Sunday. Please stop by if you are in the area and support pinball in Tucson.

#236 3 months ago

Ah, sure is great seeing machines go into locations!
Congrats Pecos!

#237 3 months ago

How quickly could direct sunlight exposure begin to cause issues?

-3
#238 3 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Super-Flite zoomed right out of Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour and touched down on the second floor of Hot Rods, but not after a short in-flight stop at Ace Hardware. These old war horses need a lot of spare parts!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
The view is awesome from the second floor. It's a great place to watch the trains go by.
[quoted image]
And here is the pic I promised of Harlem Globetrotters On Tour:
[quoted image]
The two EMs are available on weekend evenings only. Harlem Globetrotters On Tour is available when the restaurant is open, Wednesday through Sunday. Please stop by if you are in the area and support pinball in Tucson.

Paint that super-flite ..it looks terrible..

#239 3 months ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Paint that super-flite ..it looks terrible..

Nah, but switch it to the window side to take the "heat"

#240 3 months ago

Hardbody has muscled its way out of Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour and is now working out at Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour South, the name I have given to the pinball portion of Hot Rods. Rachel McLish, Ms. Olympia on the translite, offered no help getting out of PPPP. I had to provide all the muscle, and, believe me, it was a real workout getting this pinball out of my collection. Of course, it was buried in the corner. I had to move four games and my computer desk to get her out.

DSCF4104 (resized).JPG

In this pic you can see the junk pile of used pinball parts. What a mess. I might go through it and clean it up. Naw, I'll put it off as long as I possibly can.

DSCF4105 (resized).JPG

DSCF4106 (resized).JPG

This is the first time moving a game with the head attached and it was a real struggle. I had to raise the backside to get enough leverage just to get it lifted onto the hand truck. Then when I set it down, it tipped right over. Fortunately, the garbage can broke the fall a bit and there was no serious damage. If you look at the metal guide rails for the playfield glass you will see two indentations where the backbox fell. I was lucky that both the playfield glass and backglass remained intact.

Here she is in all of her glory on location. Hardbody is in my top 10 list of most under-rated pins. It really is a fun game.

DSCF4109 (resized).JPG

She is on the second floor of Hot Rods, priced at 50 cents per game and five balls per game. Hardbody will only be available for play on Friday through Sunday beginning at five PM. If you are in the area at these times, please stop by and support vintage pinball in Tucson!

#241 3 months ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Paint that super-flite ..it looks terrible..

Heya Das,

Bad day, man? I'd imagine Pecos knows of which you speak, but c'mon, there are more diplomatic ways of broaching this subject. Especially with a guy as passionate about the hobby, giving of his time here on Pinside, and nary a negative comment have I ever seen from him. So, I'm gonna do my best to give you the benefit of the doubt on this one, but dude, maybe a little more tact next time.

Hope you're doin' alright,
-Ryan

#242 3 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Hardbody has muscled its way out of Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour and is now working out at Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour South

Nice work, Pecos! How many pins on location does this make now? 5? Regardless, congrats on the expanding route! Also...

Quoted from Pecos:

Hardbody is in my top 10 list of most under-rated pins. It really is a fun game.

You're not supposed to say that until I get one in my collection!

Keep up the good work!

#243 3 months ago

I plan on getting there soon. Will have to be when both levels are open since I want to play games on top and bottom.

#244 3 months ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

Ah, sure is great seeing machines go into locations!
Congrats Pecos!

Thanks atari_daze! If you are ever in these here parts, look me up and we will go play some pinball. I really like Hot Rods and the people there. The building is awesome and the people love pinball. What more can you ask for?

Quoted from NicoVolta:

How quickly could direct sunlight exposure begin to cause issues?

Good point, especially now that we are entering the winter months and there will be direct sunlight on the games. Not sure what we could do other than move them. Maybe a screen?

Quoted from dasvis:

Paint that super-flite ..it looks terrible..

Funny, Ha Ha, that you should mention this and you aren't the first. The owner and I discussed repainting Super-Flite. I told him that I like the original paint. He told me that he likes the nostalgia. Super-Flite's cabinet is bad enough that it would need a full repaint and I neither have the desire, time nor money to repaint it. It is dirty and I will be cleaning that up, but there will be no repainting.

Quoted from DNO:

Nah, but switch it to the window side to take the "heat"

Great idea! Unfortunately, the playfield has been touched-up and clear coated and I don't want to see it slowly fade away. I will move it, but will also be looking for a way to screen that playfield from the sun.

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Nice work, Pecos! How many pins on location does this make now? 5? Regardless, congrats on the expanding route!

Thanks Ryan! I have six machines on route:

Travel Time at Hotel McCoy
Firepower at D & D Pinball
Harlem Globetrotters On Tour at Hot Rods
Aztec at Hot Rods
Super-Flite at Hot Rods
Hardbody at Hot Rods

All are top-notch locations. I couldn't be happier with them.

Quoted from desertT1:

I plan on getting there soon. Will have to be when both levels are open since I want to play games on top and bottom.

I plan to be there Friday the 30th, 'opening night', from 5 PM to 8 PM. I want to babysit the machines just in case there is a problem. Introduce yourself to me and I will treat you to some free pinball. And that offer is open to all Pinsiders who can make it. Introduce yourself as a Pinsider and give me your Pinside name and I will personally treat you to some vintage pinball.

#245 3 months ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Heya Das,
Bad day, man? I'd imagine Pecos knows of which you speak, but c'mon, there are more diplomatic ways of broaching this subject. Especially with a guy as passionate about the hobby, giving of his time here on Pinside, and nary a negative comment have I ever seen from him. So, I'm gonna do my best to give you the benefit of the doubt on this one, but dude, maybe a little more tact next time.
Hope you're doin' alright,
-Ryan

Sorry, did not mean to come across so sharply, but I was on my tablet at the time & it's a pain to type long messages on.
It 's just that it would look so much better & would likely draw in more business with a nice fresh paint job. I'm all for a bit of patina wear, but the cab on that pin is too far gone.
Nothing but admiration to Pecos for getting his pins out there in the wild for more to enjoy.

#246 3 months ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Sorry, did not mean to come across so sharply, but I was on my tablet at the time & it's a pain to type long messages on.
It 's just that it would look so much better & would likely draw in more business with a nice fresh paint job. I'm all for a bit of patina wear, but the cab on that pin is too far gone.
Nothing but admiration to Pecos for getting his pins out there in the wild for more to enjoy.

Oddly, one doesn't play the cabinet and mostly you cant see the cabinet in a row.

If the game plays solid and fast, it will make money.

#247 3 months ago

I’ve enjoyed reading your posts- I’ve now got my first machine on location. Super Mario Bros pinball. I’d love to have my own arcade, but unfortunately time and money won’t allow that at this time. Having a pin on location is my first step

#248 3 months ago

I love seeing pinball on location- more to come!

#249 3 months ago

Attention ryanclaytor!

Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man WAKA, WAKA, WAKAed its way out of Pecos Palatial Pinball Parlour and is now eating the evil red ghost 'Blinky' at Hot Rods!

In the little time that I have observed which games are being played, Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man is far and away the most popular. Kids love it and anyone who has ever played Pac-Man are drawn to the theme.

DSCF4110 (resized).JPG

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It is located in the lobby of Hot Rods and is 50 cents per game and five balls per game. It is playing great so please come by and relive your Pac-Man fantasies and play a game or two!

#250 3 months ago

Had a good time tonight at Hot Rods. The machines play great - very well restored.

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