(Topic ID: 211448)

A Pecos Diary - My Journey to Pinball Operator

By Pecos

3 years ago


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  • 420 posts
  • 86 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Atari_Daze
  • Topic is favorited by 102 Pinsiders

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#16 3 years ago

Way to go Pecos! I'm really enjoying following your journey. Thanks for documenting it here.

1 week later
#35 3 years ago
Quoted from Pecos:

I have spent a week and a half gluing and clamping the cabinet of a Gottlieb Surf Champ. I also used 10 ounces of Elmer's wood filler to fix the back panel that looked like a Rottenweiler had chewed on it! I am doing this because I have worked a trade with my Phoenix Project Pin guy for a SS. I want to keep the Surf Champ; except for a painted cabinet, it looks great, but I'm looking for more SS pins to route. I will post pics on Friday of the 'mystery machine.'
I also spent time replacing the bad heating elements in my 853D and 936 Yihua solder station soldering irons. And it is the thermistor, not the heating elements that seem to be going bad. Since I was stuck with them, I went looking for replacement heating elements. I found some really cheap ones from China and I took the chance on them. Parts from China are a last option for me. I have been burned before from a Chinese eBay seller. But I needed them and at $1.55 each or $1.28 each when buying five and free shipping, it's hard to go wrong. I found them at Fasttech They are brand new and work. I'm passing this info on to anyone who has a Yihua 863D or 936 and is looking for a new heating element. YMMV, but I am really happy with these.

How long will they last? I have no idea. I now have three working soldering irons so even if one dies, I will have two backups. Now, I can get back to board work with soldering irons that heat to the right temperature.

I totally get the thing about money and tools. Occasionally I cheap it and usually regret it. After burning through a couple cheap irons I finally plunked down for a Hakko station. The difference is HUGE: less than 30 seconds to the temperature of your choice, reliable and waaaaay better tips which actually made my work better.

4 weeks later
#89 3 years ago

Seems like getting permission to put a pinball machine out in public takes longer and involves more hoops to jump through than getting a gun? Maybe we need a constitutional amendment to protect our God given right to enjoy pinball on location.

5 months later
#195 3 years ago

I really appreciate your perseverance in bringing older games back into the wild. It's a truly commendable effort.

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 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 know that breakdowns are inevitable with everything, but maybe having a more rigorous reliability testing procedure in place would help. Or maybe I'm just unrealistic about how often lightning strikes in the wild....(looks at sky and ducks head).

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!

1 month later
#217 2 years ago

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

7 months later
#304 2 years ago

Beautiful playfield. I can't believe you're only charging a dime to play. I have a hard time imagining this game will ever be more than a charity project at that price. If you owned the establishment, were there everyday anyway and didn't need to make any money on it I could see doing this as a perk for the hotel customers but not as an operator. Very generous of you!

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