(Topic ID: 211448)

A Pecos Diary - My Journey to Pinball Operator


By Pecos

2 years ago



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  • 419 posts
  • 86 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 29 days ago by Dono
  • Topic is favorited by 105 Pinsiders

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“Is this thread still worthwhile?”

  • This thread is past it's prime and is now boring me to tears! It no longer provides useful information. It's time to call it a day and close this thread down! 0 votes
  • While it may not be exciting or fun as other threads on Pinside, I still read this thread and am glad it is still being updated. There is still good information here and I pick up some helpful tips along the way. Keep it going! 40 votes
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  • Beats Me! (Insert Scooby Doo "HUH?" sound here) 2 votes
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(42 votes)

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There are 419 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 9.
#251 1 year ago

Awesome story and such perseverance! Keep on grinding Pescos!! Welcome to the business!

#252 1 year ago
Quoted from Coz:

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

Congratulations @coz! It is smart to start small and grow slowly. I'll let you in on a little secret. When I decided to begin my business as a pinball operator, one of the key deciding factors was that I was going to share my experience on Pinside so others would one day consider the same. That was the plan, but after all of the not so great experiences, I wonder if this thread will, instead, discourage some from becoming a pinball operator. I'm glad that you have decided to take the plunge, even after reading about all of my ups and downs at Pecos Pinball. I will say this. Yesterday a gave a free game of #mr-and-mrs-pac-man to a young man at Hot Rods. He had never played pinball before. He came running back and skipping up a storm to mom and dad to get more quarters. He told me that he loved the game. THAT and all of the smiles I see make all of the hard work worth it!

Quoted from zene10:

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

I had a wonderful time chatting with you and your wife. It was a real pleasure meeting her.. She was a sport to have to listen to us talk pinball all evening! But it was Baxter who was the highlight of the evening. He is so cute! He brought his John Deere tractor along, green, of course and not full size. He is only one and a half years old but kept saying 'ball' and pointing to the pinball machines! After a nice meal we went out to play some pinball. He chose #mr-and-mrs-pac-man. We pulled up a chair for him to stand on. Mom and dad took turns helping him play. What a pleasure to have such a young pinball enthusiast play one of my games! You have raised him right.

Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

Awesome story and such perseverance! Keep on grinding Pescos!! Welcome to the business!

Thanks @cjmjmm2006!

#253 1 year ago

I enjoy checking in on you adventure as pinball operator. 1 If it was easy more people would still be doing it to start. Do i think the battles you have had scare off some I guess it's possible. But your not sugar coating it so others that do decide to go this route understand it's not just buy some games dump at some place and presto your making money. Doing what you are is using skill,time,talent and understanding the business something some current operators need to learn quick.
I wish you luck in this and spreading pinball to more people. When you get it right then we (pinside) get to buy your future book Pecos Pinball successful formula to vending pinball.

11
#254 1 year ago

Walk into Hotrods Old Vail and what do you see?
Three classic Ballys all in a row! Three!!
Bring your quarters and bring your friends!
The fun you find here never seemingly ends!

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#255 1 year ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Walk into Hotrods Old Vail and what do you see?
Three classic Ballys all in a row! Three!!
Bring your quarters and bring your friends!
The fun you find here never seemingly ends!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

And then there were 7!

#256 1 year ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

And then there were 7!

Eight actually, but who's counting?

Someone tried to break into Super-Flite last night at Hotrods. I had five heavy duty locks I had gotten from my San Tan Valley Project Pin guy on five of my pins and a cheap lock I got on the Internet on Super-Flite. Guess which one they broke into? I could pull the door open. The thief didn't even have the common courtesy to put the lock back in the 'closed' position.

They didn't get anything. The coin box has a lid and a padlock on it.

My concerns about quality locks is justified. I replaced the lock with a lock intended for the back door as a temporary fix. I will be putting a heavy duty lock on soon.

#257 1 year ago

Have you posted any earnings (per machine) from your games on route yet?
Or at least tell us if you have broken even
from your expenses (initial investments) in getting this operation going.

Years ago I had about 5 or 6 "classic" pins at a couple of bars in town (Bakersfield CA)
I was lucky to pull in about $50 a month.
Finding the right location is key for sure.
Eventually was not worth the trouble for me,
pulled them all and put them into storage
when I moved to Scotland for a couple years.

#258 1 year ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Eight actually, but who's counting?
Someone tried to break into Super-Flite last night at Hotrods. I had five heavy duty locks I had gotten from my San Tan Valley Project Pin guy on five of my pins and a cheap lock I got on the Internet on Super-Flite. Guess which one they broke into? I could pull the door open. The thief didn't even have the common courtesy to put the lock back in the 'closed' position.
They didn't get anything. The coin box has a lid and a padlock on it.
My concerns about quality locks is justified. I replaced the lock with a lock intended for the back door as a temporary fix. I will be putting a heavy duty lock on soon.

WTH....was this after hours? Did they break into the establishment as well ?
Video cameras ?

1 month later
#259 1 year ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

Have you posted any earnings (per machine) from your games on route yet?
Or at least tell us if you have broken even
from your expenses (initial investments) in getting this operation going.

I lost approximately $1500 in 2018. And that doesn't even include the gas, wear and tear on my truck and the cost of my time. The cost of gas and mileage are not trivial. I drove 1,500 miles last year in travel related to my business.

Quoted from golfingdad1:

WTH....was this after hours? Did they break into the establishment as well ?
Video cameras ?

No break-ins except for the pin. I still don't know what happened, but no money was lost.

It is not unusual for a business to lose money their first year. I drug my feet getting clients and that hurt the earnings. I expect to break even or even make a profit in 2019.

It's been a busy end of year and beginning of new year at Pecos Pinball. I have paid my fees for the new year:

TPT - Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax, $20
Tucson Business License, $50
Tucson Vending Distributor license, $150
License tags, $6 each, total $108

The new license tags are on all of the games, and for the moment, all are working.

Got a The Six Million Dollar Man from my San Tan Valley Project Pin Guy. It has cleaned up nicely and is now working 100% less a solenoid that is needed for the right sling shot. I made some custom drop target decals for it.

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After reflowing the solder on the displays, all seven are working, which is a relief. Working original displays are getting harder to come by.

It is fast! Super fast and fun!

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I also have Aztec 1 almost ready to go. I spent hours trying to get the PITA mini-match unit working - finally decided to filch one off of Aztec 3.

Working pinball inventory is a problem. I only have four games ready to go on location.

It's been the usual small problems getting the six pins at Hotrods Old Vail working 100%. Firepower at D&D Pinball lost it's sound. It turned out to be the bridge rectifier and is now working again.

It is time to thank those who have been so much help making Pecos Pinball a success:

San Tan Valley Project Pin Guy: Provided the heavy duty locks I am using on the coin doors. Sold Super-Flite 1, Harlem Globetrotters On Tour , and The Six Million Dollar Man all of which are or soon will be routed.

atari_daze for the station 3 plastic which looks awesome on Hardbody.

grnrzr for the displays that made Harlem Globetrotters On Tour look so nice.

kbliznick at Firebird Pinball for the MPU for Harlem Globetrotters On Tour.

forceflow for the backdoor locks that I am using on all of my games.

geeteoh at Geeteoh Electronics who supplied the LED Pac-Maze lamp board for Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man. It will save me time and money replacing the Pac-Maze incandescent lamps which are a buck a piece! http://geeteoh.com/geeteoh/default.shtml

borygard and barakandl for their NVRAMs - no messing with batteries, ever!

vid1900 and cfh for their wonderful pin repair guides. I wouldn't be repairing boards without their help.

All of the Pinsiders who have answered tech questions over the years. Their answers are still being helpful after all of these years.

All of the vendors who have kept me in parts https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/thank-you-pinball-part-vendors

My clients, Hotel McCoy, D&D Pinball and Hotrods Old Vail.

Robert and Constance at D&D for helping out when things were at their lowest.

David, the video arcade guy here in Tucson, for selling Travel Time and Aztec to me.

Marty, in Phoenix, for the nice job he did on touching-up the playfield on Super-Flite 1.

Marty, in Benson, for selling Wizard! 1 to me.

Marty, in Sahuarita, for selling Wizard! 2 to me.

Yes, that is right. Three different pinball people named Marty and two who sold a Wizard! to me. If that's not freaky, I don't know what is!

Dave, my best friend, who helps me move pins when I need the help.

Finally, thanks to all the people who play my game and support Pecos Pinball. Without them, there would be no Pecos Pinball!

I am sure that I have missed someone. My apologies. The point is that it takes a lot of help to put working games on location and I couldn't have done it without your help! THANK YOU!

#260 1 year ago

Great, honest, post, Pecos. Love your positive attitude! Just wish I could give your games a spin. You know I'll make it a point when I'm next in Tucson. Until then, I wish you health and prosperity in the new year!

Sincerely,
Ryan

1 month later
#261 1 year ago

Hey pecos. Wanted you to know I really enjoyed this thread. I've played pinball for 30 years, but it has pretty much been me and a couple of buddies. I've had a Funhouse at home for 18 years and pretty much have been living in my own pinball world. Recently discovered pinside and found there is a whole community out there that I had no idea about. Found this thread by accident. It was fun to see the passion for pinball in Tucson. BTW, I also lived in Apache dorm (85-86) and my first real pin I played was Cyclone over at the Bayhorse on Grant Ave. Been hooked ever since. It was weird reading this because I just played your pin over at D&D yesterday! Also desertt1 I've dropped a few quarters into Whirlwind, Taxi, and Diner over the last month. I just may have to show up to one of your tournament nights one of these days!

Thanks guys. It was a fun read. Hope to run into you one of these days.
Del

#262 1 year ago
Quoted from Sanctionman:

Hey pecos. Wanted you to know I really enjoyed this thread. I've played pinball for 30 years, but it has pretty much been me and a couple of buddies. I've had a Funhouse at home for 18 years and pretty much have been living in my own pinball world. Recently discovered pinside and found there is a whole community out there that I had no idea about. Found this thread by accident. It was fun to see the passion for pinball in Tucson. BTW, I also lived in Apache dorm (85-86) and my first real pin I played was Cyclone over at the Bayhorse on Grant Ave. Been hooked ever since. It was weird reading this because I just played your pin over at D&D yesterday! Also desertt1 I've dropped a few quarters into Whirlwind, Taxi, and Diner over the last month. I just may have to show up to one of your tournament nights one of these days!
Thanks guys. It was a fun read. Hope to run into you one of these days.
Del

Hey Del, thanks for the support towards all of the local location pinball places. Come check out a tournament when you can. It's a really cool group of players.

I'm hoping to get back over to Hotrods this weekend for some games.

#263 1 year ago
Quoted from Sanctionman:

Hey pecos. Wanted you to know I really enjoyed this thread.

Thanks!

Quoted from Sanctionman:

It was weird reading this because I just played your pin over at D&D yesterday!

Great to hear! I have three games there. I sold Fan-Tas-Tic and Spanish Eyes to D&D Pinball and still own Firepower.

Quoted from desertT1:

Hey Del, thanks for the support towards all of the local location pinball places.

I second that motion. Without customers, there would be no games on route. I hope to have more games out later this year. More games on route means more pinball lovers and more interest.

desertt1, I would like to make it over to play your games at Blackrock Brewers sometime soon.

Quoted from Sanctionman:

Thanks guys. It was a fun read. Hope to run into you one of these days.

Quoted from desertT1:

I'm hoping to get back over to Hotrods this weekend for some games.

Why don't we all meet up at Hotrods Old Vail for lunch some weekend? The pinball is on me. I would like to meet you and talk some pinball! We might even be able to get upstairs and play Hardbody and Aztec. The invitation is for any Pinsider who can make it. PM me, please, if you are interested.

2 weeks later
10
#265 1 year ago

Yeah, it's about time I let a few more Pecos Pinball secrets out of the bag. Some of it is rather mundane, but that is the life of a pinball operator. I hope it doesn't bore you to tears.

I think we left off at the end of 2018 so that is where I will pick up the story.

I mentioned in another thread but not here that we had a free pinball day, Hotrods Old Vail and Pecos Pinball's way to give something back, a Christmas gift. The cook and assistant manager helped me move Super-Flite, Aztec and Hardbody down from the second floor to the first so we had a nice six game line-up in the lobby.

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Free Pinball Line-Up (resized).png

It was a big success! At least once, all six games were being played. You can read more about it here if you feel so inclined.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pecos-pinball-wishes-all-a-merry-christmas

The managers were kind enough to leave Super-Flite downstairs where it is getting a lot more play.

I have been going out there about once a week to fix the typical 'pin on route' issues - broken sling-shot rubber rings, twice on the same Super-Flite sling shot, reflowed all Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man displays, broken drop target on MMPM, replaced all eight 'ghost' drop targets with new, broken flipper inlane wire guide on MMPM, sluggish spinner on Harlem, broken fliper EOS switch, etc., etc.

One of the displays on Harlem Globetrotters is missing a digit, probably a bad resistor, but more ominous is the two digits developing burn marks. I have been looking around for LED displays that I can afford. That's an oxymoron. I can't afford any of them! You can read more about my quest to find the best LED displays here, but only if you want to read more boring stuff!

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/questions-about-early-bally-ss-displays-plasma-vs-led

Pinitech's Retro Kits would be best for me but acebathound will only sell them as a five group kit. I will probably order one from Wolffpac Technologies. I would really like to keep these old games with the original displays, but that is no longer possible. The displays are at the end of their life and I will keep the original for home use only.

I'll stop now. This is the boring stuff!

Horods Old Vail is like the Space Shuttle sitting on launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, poised to explode into space, not literally, mind you. The word is slowly getting out about the excellent food, thanks to the new executive chef, Carlos. Both managers go out of their way to welcome customers and treat them to the best dining experience possible and they support me 100% which makes my job so much easier. Revenue has be increasing steadily month over month.

The managers tell me that people are coming just to play pinball. That is great news! Come for the pinball but stay for the food. The smoked chicken wings, french fries and salads are especially yummy!

I plan another free pinball event, this time in coordination with a future event they have planned. It hasn't been confirmed yet but will let you know the date and times after I have approval.

Firepower at D&D Pinball has been getting a lot of attention. Like my games at Hotrods, the revenues have been going up each month and are becoming 'significant.' Special thanks to Robert and Constance at D&D Pinball for allowing Firepower to be part of their line-up.

Firepower has had only a few problems. The left coin mech has been causing me problems. The sound board died - it turned out to be the 2A bridge rectifier. I knew that the sound board had it's own power supply and bridge rectifier but I couldn't find it! I was looking for one of those big square rectifiers and it turned out to be a small rectangular bridge rectifier. I have read that the original rectifiers were undersized. I replaced it with a 4A bridge rectifier and should never have another problem with it. Now, there is a problem with the speech. It works in test but not when the game is playing. I'll stop now. It's getting boring again!

Travel Time at Hotel McCoy is doing surprisingly well money-wise and has been very reliable. A couple of weeks ago the time unit was sluggish. It turned out to be a broken coil (solenoid) stop on the time unit stepper. I showed the manager some pics of the Op-Pop-Pop I am restoring and she fell in love with it. You have to understand that Hotel McCoy can best be described as an art boutique hotel. Op-Pop-Pop's theme is 60's psychedelic art. It was manufactured in 1969, a perfect fit for the fully refurbished Hotel McCoy that was built in 1970. And it has Pointy People! Travel Time will probably be coming out and Op-Pop-Pop in.

I have been very pleased with the performance of these old pins. The only issues I am seeing are the typical problems of any pinball machine on route. If you want to become a pinball operator, take heed, and make your pins as bullet-proofed as possible before putting them on route. Thanks to vid1900 and cfh, I have reliable machines. Their repair guides have been invaluable to me and I'm not sure I would have pins on route without their help.

And finally for now, only because this is all I can remember at this time, I have been a tad concerned about my pins sitting in the lobby at Hotrods Old Vail, only a few feet from the front door. Two guys could pick up a game, move it to their car and speed away in less than two minutes. I have made a small investment in some anti-theft insurance.

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The chain is just over 12 inches long, is hardened steel and came from Ace Hardware, $4.99/foot. The leg bolts are slightly longer than the original, are called 'extended leg bolts' and can be purchased from Pinball Life, and probably elsewhere. A washer and leg bolt are inserted into the end link of the chain and put into the back leg bolt hole. Importantly, a nut is added to the bolt on the inside of the cabinet. This keeps someone from simply removing the bolt. The same is done for the other end of the chain. It is put on the game next to the first game, tying the two games together. Two thieves can move one pin easily enough, but they can't move two! It's cheap insurance and I sleep better at night.

https://www.pinballlife.com/williamsbally-extended-chrome-leg-bolt-2-34.html

#266 1 year ago

Glad to see an update. Yes some may fuss about the details. But this what most want to be operators/new guys in the business didn't know about. So i see this as is good stuff so keep it up as you have the time and ability.

#267 1 year ago
Quoted from Pecos:

One of the displays on Harlem Globetrotters is missing a digit, probably a bad resistor, but more ominous is the two digits developing burn marks. I have been looking around for LED displays that I can afford. That's an oxymoron. I can't afford any of them! You can read more about my quest to find the best LED displays here, but only if you want to read more boring stuff!
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/questions-about-early-bally-ss-displays-plasma-vs-led
Pinitech's Retro Kits would be best for me but acebathound will only sell them as a five group kit.

How many single RETROFIT display kits would you need? I should be able to carve out some time later this coming week to gather a single kit or two together. Not something I'm trying to make a habit due to thin profit margins on the RETROFIT kits even as a full set, but I can make an exception this one time

Only caveat on those as I already mentioned is they'll ship with the digit style shown on the product page @ https://www.pinitech.com/products/ballystern_display_retrofit.php


On that note, send me a PM if interested in a single display for the newer style Pinitech UNO / TRADITIONAL sets. It seems you want to just replace a single display or two in a game and those would be your best bet in terms of an LED display matching a plasma display look.

---
http://www.pinitech.com - "Pinball Inspired Technology"
NVRAM, Bally/Stern LED Displays & Mods for pinball machines

#268 1 year ago

Looking at your orange chain to deter theft, do you have your pins insured?

#269 1 year ago

Good stuff Pecos. I read your thread when you first started it last year and am just revisiting it now. Great to see the progress over the year, congrats.

#270 1 year ago
Quoted from cp1610:

Glad to see an update. Yes some may fuss about the details. But this what most want to be operators/new guys in the business didn't know about. So i see this as is good stuff so keep it up as you have the time and ability.

That's good to know cp1610. A lot of the pinball operator's work isn't glamorous but it is critical to keep your games playing well. There are a couple issues that I forgot to mention. First, Wizard's left flippy got 'sticky.' I was working on it when Buck, Hotrods manager, noticed a bur at the end of the flipper plunger. The plunger was being 'mushroomed', not typically something you typically see on a game in a home, but something I will be looking for with my pins on route. I scraped off the bur with a pair of scissors, all I had at the time, but will be bringing my angle grinder to remove the mushroomed plunger bits. Buck, you can be on Team Pecos Pinball anytime!

Also, I mentioned that I had multiple issues with sling shot rubber rings, but didn't mention what I am trying to do about it. The first thing I check when I work on a machine is look at the flipper rubber rings. They are usually dirty. I remove them, clean them with Isopropyl alcohol and rotate them before putting them back on. The end of the flipper gets the most wear and by rotating the rubber rings, you can make them last longer. I am going to be doing the same 'clean and rotate' with the sling shot rubber rings in the hope that will solve my breakage problem.

Quoted from acebathound:

How many single RETROFIT display kits would you need? I should be able to carve out some time later this coming week to gather a single kit or two together.

Thanks Wayne. I just don't have the money right now to buy kits of five. I was hoping to buy one RETROFIT display, not a full set, to see if I could put it together and to see what it looked like in a mix with plasma displays. I also would like to order one UNO or TRADITIONAL display, not a full set, for the same reasons. I would then decide which I liked best and begin replacing the displays on all routed games later in the year when I have the money.

Quoted from acebathound:

Not something I'm trying to make a habit due to thin profit margins on the RETROFIT kits even as a full set, but I can make an exception this one time

Thanks for the offer and extra effort! Much appreciated, but I am not looking for special treatment. It wouldn't be fair to the other Pinsiders. If you don't want to break up a set, for whatever reason, that's fine. I might be willing to wait to try out a full set. New LED displays aren't a super critical problem now.

Quoted from BrianBannon:

Looking at your orange chain to deter theft, do you have your pins insured?

I am paying about $600 a year for liability insurance only for sales $5,000 or less per year. If a machine is damaged or stolen, I have to eat it.

Quoted from hawknole:

Good stuff Pecos. I read your thread when you first started it last year and am just revisiting it now. Great to see the progress over the year, congrats.

Thanks hawknole. I just finished collecting for the month of March and there is progress. The March revenues were more than all of 2018. Of course, I was just getting started last year, but I am almost ecstatic by the progress this year. Each month is better than the last. The hard work is paying off!!

I want to relate my first-time annual tax and fee renewal experiences, but that will have to wait 'til a later time.

#271 1 year ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Thanks for the offer and extra effort! Much appreciated, but I am not looking for special treatment. It wouldn't be fair to the other Pinsiders. If you don't want to break up a set, for whatever reason, that's fine. I might be willing to wait to try out a full set. New LED displays aren't a super critical problem now.

Apologies if I came across hardheaded, I was looking at tax spreadsheets yesterday for a solid 8 hours so eyes look like this..

Not a problem to work with you on getting a single RETROFIT kit and single display for one of the full kits. I'd like for you to be able to check them out, you're a good candidate to report on what you think of them matching the plasma displays and basically compare a generic style digit versus the custom digits.

I'll shoot you a PM

#272 1 year ago

At the end of the year I had to pay my Tucson and Arizona state sales taxes. I also had to pay for my licenses and fees. It was a fair chunk of money, especially with my property taxes due. I'll bet you didn't know that every time you put a quarter in one of my pins, I collect sales tax? Well, I didn't know either, but that is how it works. It's called the 'Transaction Privilege Use and Severance Tax', or something like that. I call it sales tax.

AZ/County Tax Rate: 6.1%
City Tax Rate: 2.6%
Tucson Amusement Tax Rate: 2.5%
Total 'Sales' Taxes: 11.2% (!)

That amount comes off the top of your gross revenues. They don't care that I lost $2300 in 2018. This is where it gets fun. Because you collect it when the sale is made, someone puts a quarter in your game, it has to be 'backed out' of the gross revenue. After this amount is removed, you take the net revenue and multiply by each of the tax rates. This is the number you report and pay. 11.2% right off it top hurts!

All fees, license costs and sales taxes paid at the end of the year - $355.60.

I just finished my federal taxes yesterday. I have been dreading doing my taxes this year. This is the first year that I had to do taxes for my business. I had a pretty good idea when I started my business that I needed to track all of my business miles traveled, and all income and expenses. I did this, making my tax preparation something slightly less than horrible. But my spreadsheet tracking expenses was not organized best for easy tax preparation. All of the expenses were tracked in one column. To simplify doing my taxes next year, I made separate columns for:

Taxes and Fees
Insurance
Travel
Dinner Expenses
Supplies

I also added a column at the end, Capital Expenses, for tracking large cost investments.

Before:

Income, Expenses and Travel Old (resized).png

After:

Income, Expenses, Travel New Form (resized).png

It is such a wonderful feeling having my taxes done for another year!

I pulled Firepower from D&D Pinball today. It wouldn't start a game. It is acting like the 5101 NVRAM has gone bad. There were a few other small issues so I thought it best to take it home where I could give it a thorough going through. Firepower might be replaced by another classic Williams game from that era.

1 week later
#273 1 year ago

I removed Firepower from D&D due to some issues with it. What do you replace one of the best classic Williams SS games of all time with? Why another classic Williams SS pin, of course! Thanks to Robert and Constance for allowing one of my pins to join their awesome line-up.

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The first customer.

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Come on down to D&D Pinball and play some Black Knight!

#274 1 year ago
Quoted from Pecos:

I removed Firepower from D&D due to some issues with it. What do you replace one of the best classic Williams SS games of all time with? Why another classic Williams SS pin, of course! Thanks to Robert and Constance for allowing one of my pins to join there awesome line-up.
[quoted image]
The first customer.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
Come on down to D&D Pinball and play some Black Knight!

How does your Stars do? I've got mine out in a bar alongside ten other machines and it's consistently one of the most commented on and played titles there. People love that game (self included)!

#275 1 year ago

So glad you're keeping up this operator diary, Pecos! Keep up the great work and I'm glad to hear that after so much time and effort on your part...

Quoted from Pecos:

March revenues were more than all of 2018.

Also, I owe you a PM!!! It's been too long. In the meantime, keep up the great work in Tucson!

#276 1 year ago
Quoted from stumptown:

How does your Stars do? I've got mine out in a bar alongside ten other machines and it's consistently one of the most commented on and played titles there. People love that game (self included)!

The Stars belongs to D&D. Robert says it does pretty well because it’s newer to them, but casual players don’t tend to revere the games that we do. My Stars at my 9 game location gets played by tournament players more than casuals. Casuals will plays it, get destroyed, and move to a game with a ball save or a more familiar theme even if it costs more.

1 week later
#277 1 year ago

New arrival zooms into Hotrods Old Vail!

first_day_grand_prix (resized).jpg

Buck, the manager, playing Grand Prix.

DSCF4250 (resized).JPG

Special thanks to Robert and Constance at D&D Pinball for selling this pin to me. It is the perfect theme for Hotrods. It is in very good condition and only took me a week instead of the usual 3-4 weeks to do the restoration and I couldn't be happier with it.

#278 1 year ago

My stars and meteor have not been performing well at all. It's a non-pinhead location but those are two of my favorites so it breaks my heart. I thought a few older, less expensive games would be good to have in the mix but I think I'd be better off with all DMDs set to a dollar.

#279 1 year ago

yep

#280 1 year ago
Quoted from Pecos:

New arrival zooms into Hotrods Old Vail!
took me a week instead of the usual 3-4 weeks to do the restoration and I couldn't be happier with it.

What are the things that break that are specific to an EM?
At this one arcade I was at, they had like 7 of em and 6 were broken.... That's always turned me off from trying one.
I've been contemplating putting one out, but the idea of trying another era of machine and learning new pitfalls, keeping more spare parts kind of puts me out of that bubble. Probably just need to do it and see what happens.

#281 1 year ago
Quoted from hocuslocus:

What are the things that break that are specific to an EM?
At this one arcade I was at, they had like 7 of em and 6 were broken.... That's always turned me off from trying one.
I've been contemplating putting one out, but the idea of trying another era of machine and learning new pitfalls, keeping more spare parts kind of puts me out of that bubble. Probably just need to do it and see what happens.

I’d love to hear the Pecos response to this as he is way more experienced with them than anyone locally.

This specific Grand Prix has never scored right so if he got that sorted out it’s time for some spinner nirvana.

#282 1 year ago

Keep grinding Pecos, the world needs more operators!

#283 1 year ago
Quoted from hocuslocus:

What are the things that break that are specific to an EM?
At this one arcade I was at, they had like 7 of em and 6 were broken.... That's always turned me off from trying one.
I've been contemplating putting one out, but the idea of trying another era of machine and learning new pitfalls, keeping more spare parts kind of puts me out of that bubble. Probably just need to do it and see what happens.

Quoted from desertT1:

I’d love to hear the Pecos response to this as he is way more experienced with them than anyone locally.

Well, you're going to get it.

I wouldn't dream of putting an EM on location without doing a full restoration. These games are just old and almost always need a lot of cleaning and adjustments to put back in a 'reliable' condition. I would guess that it is 80% cleaning and 20% fixing, replacing parts and adjustments. That usually takes me about three weeks, four weeks if I have to do some playfield touch-ups. When done, an EM can perform as reliably, maybe even more so than an early SS pin. The Fan-Tas-Tic that I sold to Robert at D&D pinball has been working without major problems for about a year and a half now. It is a testament to the designers, engineers and builders of these wonderful machines that they can be brought back to life after all of these years.

If an operator puts an EM on route without doing a full restoration, it's just a matter of time before something is going to break that he doesn't want to or have the time to diagnose and fix. A restoration, done right, requires all stepper units, score reels, solenoids and score motor to be taken apart and cleaned. The switch stack screws should be tightened and every contact cleaned and adjusted. The playfield needs the same attention - fully shopped with new lamps and rubber rings. It's fairly straightforward work, but time consuming, which is why I am so pleased that the Grand Prix only required a week to restore.

Once and EM has been restored, it is just the usual mechanical culprits that break. I have an inventory of rubber rings, pinballs, flippers, switches and contacts that are used for pins on location. I use my horde of project pins for parts that break infrequently, like coil stops, and then order replacements. Most of my parts inventory is used for restorations.

Quoted from desertT1:

This specific Grand Prix has never scored right so if he got that sorted out it’s time for some spinner nirvana.

It seems to be scoring correctly. The mech board, under the playfield and topside playfield got the full restoration treatment. I left the backbox alone except for one score reel switch that needed adjustment. The left flipper is a little bit weak, perhaps because it has a FL-21-375/28-400 solenoid instead of a FL-20-300/28-400 solenoid so you will have to settle for only left 'spinner nirvana' until I can get it replaced. Other than that, it is playing well and looks great. Like I said, I couldn't be happier with it.

Quoted from guymontag451:

Keep grinding Pecos, the world needs more operators!

Thanks guymontag451! I often wonder if there will be others that follow in my footsteps or are we operators a dying breed? There has to be a certain amount of love of pinball for any operator to be 'successful' - it's just not a big money making venture.

#284 1 year ago

I wish you all the best with your vision. I love that lineup.

#285 1 year ago
Quoted from Pecos:Thanks guymontag451! I often wonder if there will be others that follow in my footsteps or are we operators a dying breed? There has to be a certain amount of love of pinball for any operator to be 'successful' - it's just not a big money making venture.

That's the truth! It's a passion project for sure. Eventually you dial a route to make a little money, but you won't get rich doing it.

#286 1 year ago
Quoted from guymontag451:

That's the truth! It's a passion project for sure. Eventually you dial a route to make a little money, but you won't get rich doing it.

The goal is not riches. The goal is to buy MORE machines!

#287 1 year ago
Quoted from Pecos:

A restoration, done right, requires all stepper units, score reels, solenoids and score motor to be taken apart and cleaned. The switch stack screws should be tightened and every contact cleaned and adjusted.

Gonna be a buttload of work then . Seems like a lot of people say these older games break a lot, but what I've found is exactly what you describe. Just put the time in before hand and they are usually rock solid games. Adjusting/cleaning switches is my least favorite part of it all... that's why when looking at EM's I cry a little on the inside.

#288 1 year ago

Stellar Wars cruised into Hotrods Old Vail at Chevy S10 speed and with the help of Pinsider zene10 and the manager, Buck, and the server, Daniel, we added it to the lineup! Thanks zene10, Buck and Daniel! It is so much easier moving these heavy machines with two or more people to help you.

stellar_wars_hotrods (resized).png

DSCF4255 (resized).JPG

Super-Flite was moved upstairs and Hardbody has rejoined the thoroughbreds at Pecos Palatial Pinball Parlour. The swap wasn't without incident. I had to remove Hardbody's playfield glass to get the leg bolts to go into the leg bolt tee. As I was about to set the playfield glass down, it exploded in my hands. There I was holding air and no longer a sheet of glass.

DSCF4257 (resized).JPG

I have handled hundreds, maybe thousands of playfield glasses and never broken one. My luck ran out today. I believe that the sun heated up the playfield and glass and that is what caused it to shatter into a thousand pieces. No pinball machines were hurt in the death of the playfield glass.

I can test a pin thoroughly at Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour and then when I move it to a location, it will inevitably have at least one problem. The Grand Prix I moved yesterday is giving too many balls. Both of Stellar War's flippers were sticking!? I believe that this too was caused by the heating of the game during the move, but may now be fixed after the game cooled down. Alas, another trip to Hotrods is required to make sure that all problems are fixed.

The lineup downstairs at Hotrods Old Vail is now Grand Prix, Wizard!, Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man, Harlem Globetrotters On Tour and Stellar Wars. Come on down, eat a delicious lunch or dinner, play some pinball and support pinball in Tucson!

#289 1 year ago

In Canada I get $2 million CDN liability insurance for $500 US. Need it for parts production for PPS & Gottlieb LLC, both require $1 million US.

#290 1 year ago
Quoted from Pecos:

There I was holding air and no longer a sheet of glass.

Funny feeling isn't it. Reminds me of the old rhyme: "No other feeling can quite compare, with stepping on a step that isn't there."

#291 1 year ago
Quoted from desertT1:

so if he got that sorted out it’s time for some spinner nirvana.

The FL-20 solenoid solved the weak left flipper problem. Grand Prix is playing !00%. Spinner nirvana awaits you!

Don't forget to try Stellar Wars while you are there.

1 month later
#292 1 year ago

Lots going on at Pecos Pinball this past week so I thought it was a good time to do an update.

Hotrods Old Vail has asked me to remove the two pins in the upstairs lounge. They only are available for play 10 hours a week and for private parties and don't earn much. Of course, when Buck, the manager, asked me to remove them, they were being played! He wanted to keep #aztec, so it was moved downstairs. #super-flite will be moved out, possibly directly to a new client. #harlem-globetrotters-on-tour needed some work, so I pulled it. Robert at D&D was interested in having it in his lineup, so it has been moved there - right up front where it will be seen first by any customers. Thanks Constance and Robert! It really looks nice and plays great. And if I do say so myself, it has to be the nicest Harlem Globetrotters on Tour West of the Pecos!

Current Line-Ups:
Hotel McCoy - #travel-time-williams
D&D Pinball - #black-knight and #harlem-globetrotters-on-tour
Hotrods Old Vail - #grand-prix-williams, #six-million-dollar-man, #mr-and-mrs-pac-man, #aztec and #stellar-wars

#firepower is at home waiting to be repaired. I was hoping that the board problems were going to be a simple fix. But it looks like I am going to have to learn how to use Leon's test chip. TP2, which is supposed to be 5 VDC is 3.92 VDC. The MPU will never boot with voltages like that!

I have been working on #op-pop-pop for Hotel McCoy on and off for three months now! That's just crazy. I have never had to put so much time into a Project Pin. It started off bad, 40 to 50 wires had been chewed on by mice. The cabinet needed a thorough cleaning and repaint. And it hasn't been much better since then. The Start and Game Over relays are a real PITA and they are critical to the proper operation of the game. I am down to two issues left to fix. I will be using one dime mech and one quarter mech. Hotel McCoy is a retro 1970 hotel and I wanted to bring back the use of dimes in Op-Pop-Pop. The pricing will be a little bit goofy, 1 game 3 balls for a dime and 2 games 3 balls for a quarter. Not ideal, but would rather have the dime slot available instead of pricing that made more sense. Bet you didn't know that Op-Pop-Pop had a 7 balls per game option! Way cool! I wanted to have 1 quarter, 7 balls pricing, but would rather have the machine take dimes.

I have just placed an order with Pinitech for one each of their displays to do some experimenting with. I will be posting the results on Pinside. Wayne has been really great to work with and I am looking forward to getting the DIY kit displays so I can try them out. #harlem-globetrotters-on-tour has a display that needs to be replaced to make it 100% - another reason I am excited to be getting these displays. I also ordered a full DIY RETROFIT kit. I have a box full of old displays with bad glass that can be used as donors. My goal is to get all of my plasma displays off the games on route and replaced with the LED displays. I am thinking that the RETROFIT displays will be perfect for this. They don't bust my budget and I enjoy soldering/desoldering boards.

I try to give my customers as close to a true 1970s pinball experience as possible. For that reason, I have ordered the amber LEDs. I would love to go with the blue LEDs, they are so beautiful, but gotta go with the original look. I would love to keep the plasma displays on the pins on route, but they are simply at the end of their life. At least this way, I can save a few plasma displays for the future for collectors to appreciate.

What I have learned:

Repetitious Problem: #wizard and #harlem-globetrotters-on-tour both had sticky flippers. Both had mushroomed flipper plungers and coil stops. I had never seen this before. My games never got much play sitting all alone in my house. But now they are out on route, this is apparently becoming a 'thing' to watch out for. I brought the coil stop and plunger home and ground off the burred edges. I also beveled the edges so any more mushrooming shouldn't lock up the movement of the plunger.

On-site Repairs: When I first started, I had a hard time focusing when doing repairs on route. I am much better now, but I have found that if it is a problem that can't be fixed in an hour or needs more diagnosis, it is easier for me to pull the machine and work on it at home. This has many benefits.

  • Less chance of an accident. Customers love to come and see what's going on when I am working on a pin and they like to get a closer look at all of those parts. I am nervous about a kid putting a hand in and getting shocked or, worse, knocking the prop rod down and getting hurt. I have to do some soldering and a hot solder iron is a disaster waiting to happen. On-site, I have to consciously baby-sit the iron until it cools off.
  • I get to bring in a 'new' game. New games stimulate sales and keeps the line-up fresh.
  • I don't have to haul all of my tools to the broken pin.
  • I concentrate better at home without interruptions and can do the fixes when I want, meaning I can get the fix done quicker and better.
  • I get a workout moving the machines. My doctor likes to hear that!
  • If I find a broken part, I then have to make repeat visits. Moving the game home eliminates this

Free Games: I like to give free games to the customers that are interested in the pins. It's good business and it's good for pinball. Many of the people who I give free games to say that they haven't played pinball in years. I do this for several reasons. Firstly, I always liked to hang around the pinball fix-it guy when I was a teenager playing pinball. They always left a few free games on the machine and I want to keep this tradition alive. Secondly, I often, much too often, find a problem when the customer plays. I also like to put free games on the machines next to the one I am working on and then keep an eye on the game. I just found a weak flipper, broken wire, on Grand Prix by doing this. Thirdly: I have to test the games anyway and I would rather have the customer do the testing. The customer will often find some problem that I might miss. Bottom line: Pay attention to your other games when fixing a pin!

As I mentioned, I am constantly interrupted by curious customer who want to see what I am doing. It is definitely frustrating, and my first reaction is, "Leave me alone! Can't you see that I busy here!" But I really like showing off the clean innards of my EM pins and explaining what some of the parts do. And I like wowing them with all of those relays and wires! And this is likely the only chance they will ever get to see and appreciate the hidden magic behind these marvelous machines. It's not about pins, people! It's about people, people! People will always come first when I am busy fixing a pin.

I am just about ready to recommend that you use always use NEW NVRAMs in all routed games. I may have had one of my used 5101 NVRAMs die. I replaced it and that has seemed to fix the restarts and instability that I was seeing on #stellar-wars. Don't bother messing with batteries or capacitors. The old 5101 chips in these games are very problematic, to be blunt. A new NVRAM means your bookeeping should always be there, important for taxes and to lots of bookkeeping to report to the client. One less problem to worry about and fix when things go south.

#293 1 year ago

Your a pro now! Congrats on making this entire enterpirse run. I wish I was close enough to play your games.

Curious, I may have forgotten this, are still working through games you owned before you started routing games or have you now transitioned to purchasing games specifically to route them? I dont recall specifically your initial collection but it somehow seems your trully growing now!

#294 1 year ago
Quoted from rufessor:

Your a pro now! Congrats on making this entire enterpirse run. I wish I was close enough to play your games.
Curious, I may have forgotten this, are still working through games you owned before you started routing games or have you now transitioned to purchasing games specifically to route them? I dont recall specifically your initial collection but it somehow seems your trully growing now!

Pecos is working through games he previously owned and picks up an occasional project pin to put on route.

#295 12 months ago
Quoted from rufessor:

Your a pro now! Congrats on making this entire enterpirse run.

Thanks, but not sure I would call myself a pro! When I first started my biz, I did it with no small amount of trepidation when it came to fixing broken pins. As an owner/operator you lose credibility fast if you can't fix your machines and they sit at the client's location idle, silent and dark. I guess I know enough to 'get by' because I have been able to keep the games running, even the SS pins which I know little about.

Quoted from rufessor:

I wish I was close enough to play your games.

I wish you were close enough to play my games too! Give me a PM if your headed down Tucson way and I will make sure to set aside some time so we can go play my games together.

Quoted from rufessor:

Curious, I may have forgotten this, are still working through games you owned before you started routing games or have you now transitioned to purchasing games specifically to route them? I dont recall specifically your initial collection but it somehow seems your trully growing now!

Quoted from zene10:

Pecos is working through games he previously owned and picks up an occasional project pin to put on route.

zene10 has the answer. When I started my business I knew that it would be easier and quicker to put SS pins on route. I asked my San Tan Valley Project Pin guy to look out for some SS pins for me. He came through with Harlem Globetrotters On Tour and The Six Million Dollar Man. Eventually I would like to get into more expensive games like Williams System 11 pinball machines, but the prices have gotten so crazy that I am shut out of that market.

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!

I wanted to say something special about this post because I have found it to be so true and accurate. Thanks for posting it whysnow! The only points I have a problem with are numbers 7 and 8, not because I disagree but because I can't afford to take your advice! I totally agree that adding more diversity with newer machines would be ideal, but it is not to be for the moment, and maybe never if sales don't pick up!

I have picked up an old Rowe International bill changer that I would like to get working. Again, I agree 100% with this "(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)." The change machine would be perfect for Hotrods Old Vail.

More news:

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.

Sadly, Spotted Bull closed last month for good. If I had my pins in there, who knows what would have happened during the closure, though the owners, Michael and Julie are the kind of kind people who would have made sure that I had a chance to move my games out before they closed. I do feel bad that Michael wasn't able to make his dream come true and wish them both the best.

#296 12 months ago

Wow, big bummer about the Spotted Bull. Did you know they were headed towards closing when you pulled your games? If so that was nice of them to let you know. If not, you got a little lucky.

Honestly though, that isn’t the best spot for a restaurant. I live in Vail and had only gone once when it was the previous business. There isn’t a ton out here, but that’s far enough away that it’s out of sight out of mind. If it was on the corner of the frontage road instead of a few hundred yards down it might be the busiest place out here.

#297 12 months ago

I knew they were having a tough go at it. The bar manager wasn't a fan of pinball. Knowing that and the fact that the games weren't getting played meant that it wasn't a gut-wrenching experience for me to have to pull the pins, even though Spotted Bull was one of my first clients. It is sad though because Michael and Julie were good to me and they put everything they had into making Spotted Bull work.

I had three games in the bar area. I had heard that to be successful in the pinball biz, you had to serve booze. That may be true elsewhere, but bar goers in Southeast Tucson do not play pinball. They just don't. It was a Friday night when I moved out my last game, Super-Flite, and, it always works out this way, there were some kids playing it; they were the children of one of the waitresses. They almost had a full-house that night and that was enough for me to be hopeful that they could make Spotted Bull a success. I always wondered what would have happened if we moved the pins out of the bar and into one of their other rooms.

The trend continues at Hotrods Old Vail. It is rare if someone in the bar plays pinball. My best customers are kids 4-10 years old and their dads, sometimes their moms. I really enjoy watching dad showing son how to start a game of pinball, then showing him where the flipper buttons are and finally coaching him how to wait for the pinball to get down to the flippers before pressing the flipper buttons.

#298 12 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

I can't afford to take your advice! I totally agree that adding more diversity with newer machines would be ideal, but it is not to be for the moment, and maybe never if sales don't pick up!

cheers and stick with it.

It takes guys like us to keep banging at it for pinball to grow in our cities.
I think if you keep looking then you will eventually find that right location and start making a little extra so you can afford a newer game.

#299 12 months ago

Finishing up Op-Pop-Pop. I have never had to change the coin inserts on an old Bally. It is a lot more work than the newer EMs.

DSCF4297 (resized).JPG

I thought this label was interesting. Thanks Mr. Mc Swain for inspecting the Op-Pop-Pop that would one day make it to Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour.

DSCF4298 (resized).JPG

DSCF4302 (resized).JPG

It's a good thing that I am a patient and persistent person. I have NEVER had so much trouble restoring a Project Pin before. I was doing final testing when another problem showed up. It's been more than three months and every time I see light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out to be another train! I'm getting leery about putting this out on route.

Quoted from Pecos:

I have just placed an order with Pinitech for one each of their displays to do some experimenting with. I will be posting the results on Pinside. Wayne has been really great to work with and I am looking forward to getting the DIY kit displays so I can try them out. #harlem-globetrotters-on-tour has a display that needs to be replaced to make it 100% - another reason I am excited to be getting these displays. I also ordered a full DIY RETROFIT kit. I have a box full of old displays with bad glass that can be used as donors. My goal is to get all of my plasma displays off the games on route and replaced with the LED displays. I am thinking that the RETROFIT displays will be perfect for this. They don't bust my budget and I enjoy soldering/desoldering boards.

Lookee! Goodies! These were shipped quickly and well packaged. Thanks Pinitech!

DSCF4299 (resized).JPG

DSCF4300 (resized).JPG

DSCF4301 (resized).JPG

I have one each of Pinitech's displays to experiment with and compare. I also bought a full set of the RETROFIT kit displays. I'm looking forward to putting them together and testing them out - if I can ever get this Op-Pop-Pop working!!

Edit: Op-Pop-Pop is now working 100%! I can't tell you how good it feels to get this working! The last problem turned out to be a weak spring on the Game Over relay.

#300 12 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Finishing up Op-Pop-Pop. I have never had to change the coin inserts on an old Bally. It is a lot more work than the newer EMs.
[quoted image]
I thought this label was interesting. Thanks Mr. Mc Swain for inspecting the Op-Pop-Pop that would one day make it to Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
It's a good thing that I am a patient and persistent person. I have NEVER had so much trouble restoring a Project Pin before. I was doing final testing when another problem showed up. It's been more than three months and every time I see light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out to be another train! I'm getting leery about putting this out on route.

Lookee! Goodies! These were shipped quickly and well packaged. Thanks Pinitech!
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
I have one each of Pinitech's displays to experiment with and compare. I also bought a full set of the RETROFIT kit displays. I'm looking forward to putting them together and testing them out - if I can ever get this Op-Pop-Pop working!!
Edit: Op-Pop-Pop is now working 100%! I can't tell you how good it feels to get this working! The last problem turned out to be a weak spring on the Game Over relay.

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