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 10 days ago by Pecos
  • Topic is favorited by 85 Pinsiders

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#169 6 months ago
Quoted from Brijam:

You won't be sorry. Customers love them. I have had very good luck with Comet LEDs. No matter who you buy LEDs from, buy the SMD type. Non SMD LEDs fade quickly on route, and I've had very high failure rates with them.
Sorry to hear about your power supply issues.
In my (limited) experience routing older games dating back to the late 70s, every 'new' old game you bring on route has a break-in period. By that I mean things will break for a while once you put it on route again. Once you fix the things that were gonna break, the machine tends to stabilize for a long period of time. Then most of your cost are parts that are designed to fail: balls, rubbers and coil stops/sleeves, etc.

I agree with all of this. LEDs for sure, they are easier on the games, if nothing else bulbs put out a lot of heat. Every time you put a game out you need to expect things will go wrong with it until it settles in. Between being left on a lot and, hopefully, getting a fair amount of play things will break no matter how much prep you do.

#196 5 months ago

It is really hard to test a game enough at home to simulate what it will get (hopefully) on location. At a minimum I always left them on for a couple days and would try to get some people around to play on a game a lot. 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. All of that dry solder likes to let go after a while. While the repair to a switch is easy it meant a trip to fix it. I had wire come off a solenoid once that shorted and did all kinds of board damage. Older games also use mechanical coin mecs which gave me more problems than anything else. Electronic coin mechs are 1000x better. While I love a lot of the old games I started focusing on newer games as they were much easier to maintain, particularly with an electronic coin mech.

1 month later
#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!

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