(Topic ID: 183206)

American Pinball Houdini thread

By lllvjr

2 years ago

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Topic index (key posts)

33 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #145 Houdini Pinball initial flyer Posted by HighProtein (2 years ago)

Post #184 Initial reveal at TPF Posted by SilverballNut (2 years ago)

Post #190 Introductory Price of Houdini Posted by 1iblind (2 years ago)

Post #198 Initial Pictures of Machine Posted by lllvjr (2 years ago)

Post #229 Playfield Close-Up Pics Posted by bigd1979 (2 years ago)

Post #284 Machine feature details Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #312 More feature details Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #385 Double switch lane picture Posted by pinballrockstar (2 years ago)

Post #420 Pinball show appearance schedule for Houdini Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #434 Houdini pics from Allentown show Posted by PinballSTAR (1 year ago)

Post #533 Official Houdini Flyer with features listed Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (1 year ago)

Post #535 Ball Counter graphic for game Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #609 More mode and feature details from programmer Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #639 More game system details from programmer Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #978 Photos of the updated game for expo Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #1000 Photos of the cabinet interior side art Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #1287 Josh Kugler Interview Posted by konjurer (1 year ago)

Post #1357 Houdini Gameplay video Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #2290 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by BarryJ (1 year ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#6725 5 months ago

Hiya everyone!

First time post, and it's a big one! I'm about ready to buy a Houdini, (my first pin ever, and hopefully one of many!) from Hemispheres Amusements, and was wondering if Rosh, BarryJ or anyone with any direct info, knows whether current production is including the newer power supply? Just wanting to know before officially getting my feet wet!

Oh, and are there any protectors or anything I should order and install before play?

#6740 5 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Welcome to Pinside!
Congratulations on your Houdini purchase.
My guess is no on power supply if distributor already has it in stock. Talk to distro and have them hook you up.
Protectors are at Little shop of games.
And I make a cool Planchette and Header.

Those are really nice, and thanks for the advice on the protectors. I'll definitely consider the planchette down the road a bit!

Are the protectors pretty self explanatory for installation? Definitely a must for a new table?

Quoted from pinballinreno:

Get the game now as production is ending on it.

Yeah, I kind of figured now was a better time than down the road. It was between this and the Hobbit for my first table, and from what I'm hearing, that will be around a bit longer than this, and maybe had a larger production.

Quoted from rosh:

I don't know, have not been spending any time in production. I know most recently they have beed doing games headed outside the US, and I think those might have the new ones. But talking with your distributor would make sense.

Thanks for the direct info, and all of your hard work on this table! He mentioned to me that only if I had a lot of tables and bad wattage, that this might be an issue. I might just order the power supply for down the road, and grab that sweet topper with the credit!

#6744 5 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

It will come up, is all I’m saying. And then the seller is the guy who “well, I never had any issues...” and the buyer gets it home and his power Situation is different, and...

Thanks for the tip! I wanted to get the topper anyway, so that can be bought using the credit, plus extra.

Are these plastic protectors useful if I'm getting the basic, non catapult, Cliffy set?


I'm so new to this game, I'm just not really sure what the best preventative measures are.

Oh, and I did this Houdini painting twenty years ago in art school. Figured it appropriate to post for today, of all days!

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#6747 5 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

I bought the entire Cliffy set and can see the benefits of the catapult protectors. Lots of dropping into place. Im thinking the protectors address different aspects of the game’s vulnerabilities.
However, a couple of must have items in my opinion that do absolutely nothing to protect the game are the Modfather drink holder and the ball launcher/plunger from Mods for Your Pinball. Both really well made and they look great.
If you don’t have the shaker motor, that’s very nice. I’ve played with and without, and it’s really a good addition. Another good use of your credit. In for a penny...
Really cool painting by the way. Thanks for sharing.

I know I saw a pretty cool drink holder when I was window shopping the Hobbit! Thanks for the headsup, I'll definitely look into those two suggestions!

I do have a shaker motor installed, I was told from the factory, there's an installation fee for that, and the art blades, pre-installed. Is that accurate info?

And thanks for the kind words, figured Houdini deserves all the send-ups on Halloween no less!

#6749 5 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

Mine came with the shaker, art blades, and magic glass. As I recall, I was charged an additional $300 for the three items, there were no additional charges for installation. I’ve heard that installing the art blades is pretty difficult, so I was happy to have them do it.
All in all I’m very happy with the purchase. Game looks awesome - especially with the cupholder

I've heard that too, that a wet installation is best, and I'm not too keen on that myself. I'm getting charged $7450, payment in full/via check for blades and motor pre-installed from AP, (No magic glass) and shipping with full coverage insurance, and being switched to a larger shipping pallet. Does that sound pretty normal?

Now I really have to check out that cup holder!

#6755 5 months ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

I highly encourage you to buy or make a set of art blade protectors BEFORE you lift the playfield the first time. The playfield is very tight to the sides on Houdini and the metal piece at the end of the wireform that drops the ball in the lower catapult (trunk launch) is kinda pointy and can easily scrape or tear those blades. Pinball Life and possibly others sell them, it seems like a lot for what they are but cheap insurance to prevent a hard to repair / remedy accident. If you have or acquire other games with blades they can easily be used to protect those too when you have to lift the playfield.
My thanks to the others that pointed out this need to me before I installed mine!

Oh neat!

You mean these?


So they're basically used when doing work on the playfield, and then removed when you place it back down again, yes?

For anyone that bought the Cliffy catapult set, is it difficult to install them? Do a lot of parts need removed for the installation, and is it a must for a new table's protection?

Many thanks for all the tips, by the way! It's my first pin, and getting everything lined up before delivery is what I'm placing high importance on at this stage.

Quoted from zahner:

With shipping, that sounds about right.

Awesome! I always worry about these things, and it's not quite like heading into Best Buy and leaving with a TV you can bring back if need be. Most of all, Hemisphere Amusements has been really communicative with me. I contacted another distributor and got minimal contact, and eventually didn't even get a followup return phone call. In the battle for sales, reliable communication seems most important to me.

#6791 5 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

They might have different overseas numbering, or this particular Houdini may have been from older dealer stock, but it's definitely indicating less than 500.

How can you tell how many they've made from the 1490/490 as of August?

I should be getting mine next week, I'll chime in then! I've heard anywhere from 500-1000 from distributors. And gauging by owners here, and how many are noted at location, it definitely seems sub 1000. Which with the high level of quality this pin seems to have, comparable to a Jersey Jack, that's pretty special!

#6830 5 months ago
Quoted from PhantomO:

I observed the dimpling, like on a golf ball, right away. this being my first new game, I assumed it was normal. Also much harder to see under nonglare glass than regular. But I dont see any dimpling on my other machines, so it is a little concerning. I would have considered getting a playfiled protector from Germany if I knew this would happen. See at edge of the reflected spot light. Houdini's hair looks pretty bad with all the contiguous dimples.
[quoted image]

Do you mean this protector?


I was going to ask if it's necessary. I do remember a post way earlier in the thread from Rosh where he stated if they switched playfields, it would be for the better.

My invoice is signed and payment sent, and the sale will be going through tomorrow. Is this something I should be concerned about, and maybe shift to another brand like Jersey Jack?

I definitely agree with Ritchie, but also people's concerns when they buy for home use versus an arcade. If newer wood is more composite based, maybe dimpling does occur more frequently, but also wouldn't mylar on the table during production protect even better than older types used 20-30 years ago?

This thread from five years ago discusses things at length too, regarding older playfields getting dimpling as well.


#6838 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

You are overthinking all of this.
Dimples appear and then disappear. It's absolutely normal.
Cratering on the other hand happens when soft wood is accidentally allowed in the mix of thousands of playfields.
You will know cratering when or if you see it. They are huge deep dents that deflect the ball in play.
Manufacturers will replace these if they show up.
But for 99.9% of the playfields out there you wont have a problem.
There is no newer wood or older wood. It all comes from the maple sugar trees as a by product from used up maple trees.
That said, as an organic product, there will be variations. This is what warranties are for.
This has been going on from before pinball existed.

I was really kind of reading along with the prior concerns. I've never owned a table, but before tomorrow hits, when over $7K flutters away, I feel it's pretty reasonable to wonder and worry what might occur, given I have yet to go down this path.

That said, this is no different than buying a car, it has purpose, and in using it for that purpose, it will definitely damage it in the process, and that's okay. Most days I wonder if I cared about damaging my body, as much as a material item, I'd be looking and feeling much better than I do most days, haha!

And I can't imagine those entire playfield protectors would impact the gameplay in a good fashion, or be easy to apply. At that point, that's like 15% of the cost of a new playfield anyway, or 1/70 of a new game.

#6841 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Enjoy your new game and play the heck out of it. They are durable and designed to take a beating, and not only survive but thrive and ask for more.

Yeah, I'm pretty psyched about home ownership, the differences between getting to know a machine more so than just walking into an arcade or brewery and tossing money at it, and walking away. This will be an entirely new experience, that's for sure!

I've seen some recommendations for Novus#2 as well as Carnuba Wax. Is there a preference amongst folks, or different uses for each? Should that be applied before I even start playing? Do the balls need wiped/polished before use?

And a couple more questions, do people usually plug their pins into decent quality power adapters/strips? And do you turn them off always after play? (I assume you would.)

#6844 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Plug the game directly into the wall.
Extension cords have to be the heavy type like outdoor ones. The heavier the better.
Use the shortest extension you can, if using one.
Skinny home cords limit the current to the game, so do multi outlet strips. They are never recommended.
Turn the game off if left unattended for an extended amount of time.
You can leave it plugged in though unless there is a lightening storm.
Buy a can of P21S pure carnauba in the silver can, or Blitz 1000 pure carnauba.
These are the correct waxes.
The game should be waxed before playing. Or at least before the 1st 150 plays.
Apply a very thin coat (think of what fingerprints on glass looks like), yes that thin.
You can wax ramps, plastics or pretty much anything you want. Just use it very sparingly.
And wipe it all off. Then vacuum everything with a small cheap shopvac.
Buy a small bottle of Ronson regular lighter fluid (not the aerosol butane) (get the blue and yellow plastic bottle). It's pure naphtha. Use it for wax removal as needed. You don't need a gallon can from home depot.
Generally re-waxing removes old dirty wax from new games, but if the wax is gray and dirty looking after waxing it's time to strip with naphtha and apply fresh wax.
You only have to wax areas that the ball will roll on.
Use novus 2 to remove ball tracks that are ground into the wax, if naphtha wont remove them.
Put a small amount on a damp rag and rub until clean.
Wax over any area that was de-waxed.
So you need some microfiber cloths, naphtha, wax, wax applicators and novus 2.
Amazon has cheap kits of supplies as well as the proper waxes.
I use wooden spoon handles wrapped with microfiber towels to reach difficult areas.
Cut off pieces of 1/4" or 3/8" wooden dowels rounded off also work well, they can also be soaked and bent to fit in small areas.
I use sparkle glass cleaner and kirkland paper towels on glass and rails, coin doors etc.
I use mist n shine to clean the playfield and plastics between waxings.
I wax and change balls out every 350-500 plays.

Rdoyle1978 and pinballinreno, thanks so much for the recommendations, and time you both spent in replying to me! It's genuinely really appreciated, as I'm just learning the ropes for sure!

Amazon doesn't carry Blitz 1000 currently, for some reason, but Pinball Life does, so I think I'll pick this up from them!


Would these sponges work well for picking up the wax after applying?


Are these good for general ramp and metal cleanup?


I think I'll hold off on Novus2 for a month or so, until I get to that point.

My Houdini is arriving hopefully this Friday, so I'm finally lining all of these things up, and actually getting excited for once, rather than just stressed, haha!

Thanks again so much for the extensive recommendations!

Oh, and I don't own a handtruck/dolly. It's supposed to be arriving via a truck with a liftgate. Would you recommend picking one up prior to delivery, just in case the delivery folks don't have one?

#6846 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Those are for cleaning switch contacts, you shouldn't need those yet.
Paper towels and old Terry cloth rags as well as some micro fiber cloths is all you need.

Will those sponges be good?

So I found this Sparkle cleaner.

amazon.com link »

And these kirkland microfiber wipes.

amazon.com link »

Thanks again for the tips!

#6848 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Those towels look great.
Sparkle glass cleaner is sold at ace hardware and other places. You might call around
These should do for wiping off dried wax after application:
amazon.com link »
And this for buffing after waxings:
amazon.com link »
I like the sponge applicators;
amazon.com link »
Used toothbrushes for getting wax bits out of star posts.
Terry shop towels for dirty coil jobs or polishing metal, general grime etc :
amazon.com link »

Excellent! I'll grab all four of the links you posted! Thank you for taking the time to research and link me!

So those Polyte Microfiber clothes are good rather than the more expensive Kirkland ones?

Is this wax cruddy?


If so, I'll just grab the Blitz One Grand from Pinball Life, which everyone seems to love.


#6851 5 months ago

Yeah, PBL seems pretty cool. They sent my order for art blade protectors really quick!

Definitely going to order that Blitz 1000! Looks like the preferred wax for sure.

Thanks again everyone!

#6852 5 months ago

Yeah, I'm definitely going to order again from PBL. They shipped my art blade protectors really quickly!

Gonna grab some of that Blitz 1000 for sure. Definitely seems the preferred brand by a good margin.

Thanks again everyone for the helpful tips!

#6866 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

I have zero issues with the game as far as power. It works as designed.
I do have issues with my wall power. It rarely works as advertised.
Since power, food, transportation and housing are considered luxuries in the state of Nevada, they can be sketchy.
My power can range from 114v to 123v in a single 4 hour period. Up down and all around...
This affects all my games. I have them on variacs now and its been wonderful.
Houdini could use a little more internal power especially during seance multiball with the magnets firing all the time.
This power supply upgrade looks like it is perfect for my needs.

Sorry to necro this post, but I'm planning on picking up the new power supply pretty soon, and had a question.

Is largely an issue with having many machines in one room, or just fluctuating power in your home in general? What voltage do I want, and do I use a multimeter to test somewhere? I have basically zero experience in this aspect of home ownership, so any tips would be appreciated.

Is the catapult/trunk shot now largely 100% consistent for those that have installed this?

#6893 5 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

anything that can make the voltage coming from your outlet not be consistent. So that can be many machines on at the same time, on the same circuit. I can get mine to miss by running a dehumidifier from the same outlet. You can also have power coming into your house that fluctuates - typically this is if you live far away from a major urban area (e.g. I live 2 miles from Washington DC so my power is pretty stable).
Anyway the power upgrade basically eliminated it. My catapult has not missed once since I installed it. And really it didn't miss all that much before, but when I turned on that dehumidifier OR I had my other games being played (or both), it would consistently under-throw. It usually didn't miss left or right; that's a different issue.

Thanks for the input everyone! I'm definitely grabbing the power supply as soon as I register my game tomorrow or the next day!

Curious, what's the EOS kit do?

And I've got two cats, albeit older, and wanted to cover the playfield with a material when I'm not using it, just in case one of them hops onto the glass. Are there any recommendations for non scratch material or while I'm at UV proof? Would fleece work okay?

#6900 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Get the EOS kit as well as the power supply, you need it.
Anything will work as a cover. Fleece blankets work great.
There are a couple services that print them custom with your images. Quite cool actually
also you can get cheap covers off Ebay, but they are a hassle to use unless for long term.

Thanks again for the advice! I had no clue what EOS was about, and watched a few videos elaborating on them. I guess that explains the hot coils one user mentioned earlier? Were these not installed on Houdini at some point? Are these a fairly easy installation?

Quoted from GSones:

My cat always liked to lay on the glass. Bally's were his favorite since there wasn't too much slope but I think Houdini would be a bit too steep for proper cat sleeping. Unfortunately, he's not around anymore for me to ask.
[quoted image]

Seems like a pretty cool kitty. Glad he enjoyed his time chilling in a pretty cool spot.

#6906 5 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

The EOS switches are simple to install, but you will have to solder in two of the wires. Two others slip/click into the back end of a connector. Instructions are simple and well done. If you want a look at the instructions, they are here: http://s4.american-pinball.com/img/support/2018-10/End-Of-Stroke-Switch.pdf

Hmm. Steps 4-7 seem a bit daunting, but I havent soddered in many years, and I don't have the parts in front of me. The instructions are clear, and the images good quality though!

So basically these wires go under the solenoid flipper bracket to give it more steady current?

#6914 5 months ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Go grab some old wire and have at it for some practice.
An important sidebar about soldering. Don't use solder or flux for pipes, it has acid in it. Get some 60-40 solder w/a rosin core and maybe a some rosin flux from Amazon or the like. 60-40 will have lead in it, but it has a lower melting point than lead free, but it is easier to work with. Won't cost much ($7), and you barely need any. But it will be safe for electronics/electricals.
Might be handy to get some rosin solder wick. It's flat, thin, braided wire that is used to wick excess solder. Works great. About $6 for a spool.
If your worried about it, I bet some pinhead out your way would help you out.
These work good, I've used both:
[quoted image][quoted image]

Oh, thanks so much for those recommendations! So I'd just need those, and a soldering gun too? Do I need a specific type/brand? Considering I don't own one, I'm always up for recommendations, versus just going cheapie.

#6946 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

If you don't know how to solder, Youtube is littered with short how to videos. Practice with some wire at a atable, and when you heat the joint and flow the solder, then move onto your game.
A few minutes practice and you'll do fine.
LTG : )

Thanks for the tips! I definitely will practice a bit! It's all babysteps at this point.

My friend, and a couple of neighbors helped load it up four front steps today, and man, I'll tell you..next game..I'm buying a high quality dolly/hand cart. The $40 one we picked up, had air tires that made pushing the pin about as hard, or more so, than just moving it by hand.

Otherwise, our shipper, R&L was great! No discernible outer damage, just strap marks. I tipped the driver, and he was nice enough to push it off the pallet with me, and get it onto the curb. Hemispheres Amusements was so fantastic to buy from, such great communication, and so many helpful insights!

The packing, with the straps over the plastic clear grips, from API, was impeccably done, and I couldn't have imagined a smoother experience!

The bugger slid right out, onto the floor, keeping the box entact, and allowing the legs to be put on fairly effortlessly. No way in hell, could someone hold the backend up on a knee, and put the legs in solo, as depicted by the API guide, but otherwise everything flowed really so well!

I'd never opened a machine before, so replacing the front apron, was a bit confusing, as the yellow pull-out bar disappeared once it was removed. I kept pushing downward, softly, to no avail, assuming the metal tabs would slip in. Luckily I looked inside with my phone flashlight, and found the bar tucked upwards, from being released prior. I'd accidentally pulled on the yellow playfield leg, thinking it was the pulldown bar!

Heading back home in a bit, to firmware update, and power on. My wax and plastic inserts arrive maybe tomorrow, and Cliffy's a week or two from now. I imagine a maiden voyage and play, isn't the worst idea in the meantime, until I get my Cliffy's, plastic protectors, wax, and new power supply/EOS. Am I truly crazy, to dare play the thing nekkid?

It's been a really exhilarating, and exhausting day, but one I've never had before, or shared with my closest friend who's also grown to love pinball as much as I do in the last year or so. And I'm thankful to API rosh, Nirm, and so many kind folks on this board for providing insight, info, and helpful tips and encouraging advice! It's really been a fantastic trip, and I'm so thankful so many on this board have been so helpful, and so gracious, so thank you all!

#6980 5 months ago

Oh man, I didn't realize that leveling was so integral to proper functioning. I played my first four games late last night with my friend, and had 2 airballs, and four out of four missed trunk shots. I think my leveling is waaaaaay off.

I've read about it on here, but assumed after seeing this happen so consistently, that must be the issue. Eek!

Quoted from pinballinreno:

Congrats on your new game! It a beauty that's for sure.
Feel free to ask for tips on setup as you get into it, if needed.
My game plays like a dream, after some very minor adjustments.
I love this game its not going anywhere soon.

Oh I forgot to ask folks here, are there tweaks to be made, in the menu system regarding flipper strength, and any other settings to get optimal/safe play?

#6986 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

First level the game side to side and then think about the playfield pitch.
I have had my pitch from 5.9 degrees to 6.7 degrees. I think it plays best at about 6.2 to 6.3.
Use a digital torpedo level for the best results. The cell phone app is ok but tends to be different and even way off depending on the app.
Measure the pitch on the playfield not on the glass.
After levelling, turn on the game and drop a ball into the lower catapult. adjust in the settings until it makes the trunk consistantly.
The manual has all of the setup instructions in it.
Flippers are pretty good at around 23 or 24 right flipper, 24 or 25 for the left flipper. You might go slightly higher or lower depending on taste. Its not abnormal to get air-balls off the stand-ups, once in awhile. They are pretty close to the flippers and you need power to go up the ramp, so its a trade-off.
You should be able to make the ramp from a solid hit from the left flipper, on a weak hit the ball should roll back down.
If the ball races around the ramp easily you can turn down the flipper strength until it makes the ramp gracefully. This will get rid of a lot of air-balls.
Adjust the scoop until the ball barely makes it out of the hole. If it takes 2 tries a lot then maybe go up one notch.
The slings are pretty good on default, if they seem too active, and side drain too much, go down one notch.
I raised my pop bumpers up to get more action, close to the max, you might either do this or not.
Just go through the coil settings as you put a few test games on it and adjust as needed.
Other tweaks I have posted here are really a matter of taste. I felt the game could play more smoothly with a few adjustments, so I made them.
The default game play settings are pretty good. Set it to easy for a few games and then adjust harder as you understand the game.
Somewhere around the mid difficulty seems to be fun and not impossible.

Thanks so much again for the assistance!

I tried to hunt down a digital torpedo leveler at Harbor Freight, a local hardware chain, and other department stores, and no luck. Figure I might grab one from Amazon.

Problem is, I got home, saw I was, with my phone app, over 7.1 on the pitch, and off to the right, which might explain trunk shot misses. Problem being, I tried to discover how to level the legs, and it seems pretty impossible solo. How do you usually do it, with a proper heighted stool to rest on? Then you just loosen the top washer and spin the leg lower? I tried finding videos, and could only find a quick Stern release. (Still missed 2/2 trunk shots).

A bit more pressing, my flippers seem really lop sided. I can see the boring hole on the left, where it should rest, and that left flipper is way, way high.

20181110_214125 (resized).jpg20181110_214148 (resized).jpg
#6989 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Assuming the flipper spring isn't broken. Loosen pawl nut a tiny bit, move flipper where it should be. Tighten pawl nut a LOT.
LTG : )

Weird. I took this two days ago when I unpacked it, before powering it on, and it's higher on the left as well, but not as high as it is currently.

20181108_150154 (resized).jpg
#6991 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Not weird. Could have been ever so slightly not wrenched down real tight and slipped in shipping.
LTG : )

So I'm looking for something like this? What kind of tool do I use to loosen it?

At the very least, I adjusted the lower catapult power from 27 at default, to 25, and it's worked for the first time, and four times in a row!!! That was fun!

ph_199x300 (resized).jpg
#6994 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Yes. I'd use a wrench. Just loosen a tiny bit so you can barely turn the flipper, get it in place, then retighten. If you loosen it up too much, then you have to allow for up and down play too.
LTG : )

I'm guessing popping up the playfield is the way to do this?

#6995 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Use a tool like this. Use the end marked 3/8
If you screw it up, this video may help :
LTG : )
[quoted image]

Man, that guy's a pro! I really admire people who can do this sans any nerves.

Here's the sad little ikea branded wrench I have.

20181110_234238 (resized).jpg
#6999 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

You blow enough sh*t up, you won't have any nerves to slow you down either. They burn out right after the first layer of skin.
LTG : )

I was really gentle pulling forward, and waited for the lock sound which was really abrupt. It went back and down somewhat hard. Not sure if anything is screwed up here. The playfield is a bit locked down currently.
20181110_235116 (resized).jpg20181110_235122 (resized).jpg

20181110_235425 (resized).jpg
#7000 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

You blow enough sh*t up, you won't have any nerves to slow you down either. They burn out right after the first layer of skin.
LTG : )

It feels like it's locked in, won't budge much.

Did this jump off the rails? I didn't push hard very back at all.
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#7002 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Looks like. I don't think you should have pushed back. Just lift up a little, pull forward, and then lift up and lean back.
I would grab the playfield, lift up, and hopefully get it back on the rails along the inside of the cabinet.
LTG : )

Jesus.... Does this shit happen ever? I didn't even push that hard.

#7006 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Looks like. I don't think you should have pushed back. Just lift up a little, pull forward, and then lift up and lean back.
I would grab the playfield, lift up, and hopefully get it back on the rails along the inside of the cabinet.
LTG : )

Man, this was a horrific nightmare. I got it back down and on.

It had come down hard initially. Should I be careful powering it on?

20181111_002429 (resized).jpg20181111_002634 (resized).jpg
#7007 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

See the knob the red arrow is pointing to ? It should be resting or sliding along the bar below the green line.
LTG : )
[quoted image]

I mean pushing upward, to try and lock it in, then it came down hard.

I have no idea how it jumped the rails. I figured it did, that didn't look healthy.

#7010 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Just guessing, but in your pushing upward you may have slid it back more.
To do this. I would grab the apron in the area the balls drain. Lift up a foot or so, pull forward and let the yellow rails rest on the front of the cabinet. Then lift up and lean back, so those pegs stay on the rail they slide on.
LTG : )

I tried watching several videos, and I have been for weeks. I know the art blade protectors were sticking on the one side, and I wonder if that created friction while I pushed.

Is it safe to power on?

#7011 5 months ago

Powered on. Seems okay. I don't think my heart is. It was jammed in, I had to pull from the pack, and lift underneath to pull forward. Was heavy as a mofo.

#7012 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Just guessing, but in your pushing upward you may have slid it back more.
To do this. I would grab the apron in the area the balls drain. Lift up a foot or so, pull forward and let the yellow rails rest on the front of the cabinet. Then lift up and lean back, so those pegs stay on the rail they slide on.
LTG : )

I had lifted the way you wrote, and what I'd seen before. And even now as I tried to pull it all the way forward on the rails, and then when going upward, it seemed like when pushing back on the rails, it was about to collapse again. I know I had it forward on the rails, and then when walking it upward, it just collapsed on the power supply and off the rails, and I took things incredibly slowly, then BAM.

#7015 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Grab onto those yellow rails hard and don't let it slide back. Go up, and lean on back box.
I'm thinking you are new to this. Please get a local pinhead to come over and assist you. A little hands on help can go a long way toards learning about your game and enjoying it more.
LTG : )

Yeah, I think I'm done with this experiment. I've tried to ease it out and up, and it feels like it's going to crash down again. So now I'm just trying to place it back it, and it's sticking rather than allowing the yellow bars to ease back in.

#7018 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

It's okay. You live in an area with a lot of pinheads. Hopefully some will come forward and help you.
Please, someone help this nice man.
LTG : )

Thanks man. I'm just trying to get this back in, and the back of the playfield is finding friction, and the yellow bars can't settle back down.

#7019 5 months ago

It finally went back in. This was pretty upsetting. I guess I don't understand why there aren't locks above and behind, to entirely lock a playfield and allow it to roll smoothly, unless you want it to detach.

This has really freaked me out. I really watched several people's videos, and was incredibly cautious, but still.

Thank you for your kindness.

#7021 5 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

It will be fine. Did this to my Houdini first month I had it. I pulled to hard, then slid back and it came off rails and slammed to bottom.
Lesson learned, go slow at low pitch when lowered, then slide table back in just above lock bar.

It was exactly like what happened to you. I haven't been that freaked out, outside of car crashes, in awhile.

Crazy thing is, I did go slow. I've seen everyone in videos go even faster than the speed it did. I don't know if I just lifted up, and the friction of the art blade protectors locked it in. As soon as I started pushing towards and up, they were bunching up. I know you said you have searched art blades, but I don't know if these protectors do anything except obstruct the playfield movement.

#7023 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

When you grab the apron and lift, you have keep the playfield straight and level.
If you pull to the left or right, the blade protectors will bunch up.
You only have 1/8" sideways clearance, so you have to have everything straight.
As you have seen it can come off the rails.
If it goes crooked, lower, and straighten the entire playfield, yes it actually moves sideways a little. It's not locked in or on rollers or anything like that.
Then lift again, pull towards you.
Its heavy, dont pull at an angle.
Dont tip it left or right.
Lift it up so that the yellow metal rails will clear the front edge.
Pull it out forwards past the front of the game and set it down on the yellow rails.
Pull it out very straight inline with the cabinet.
The yellow rails have feet bent into them that fit into the silver metal channel along the front edge.
Do this and post a picture.

I think that was the issue. The left protector was tight, and jammed, so I had to force it more than I'd imagine without the protectors on. The left plastic inset and maybe another piece, make that a tight fit on the left side.

When I then pulled forward, it got stuck, and wedged in. That was nightmare part one. Then when I got it freed, I felt I was home free, minus possible protection on the sides. Then I raised it, and it clunked down. So I imagine interference with the protector helped jam and shift things.

I guess I just don't understand why there aren't locks above, below, and behind the rails, to keep them in, akin to a rollercoaster.

I can try again tomorrow, and post. Trying to coax it back in and up, and then hitting some interference, and not being able to slide it back down, the yellow rails, freaked me out again.

I've been cautious in this process, and not rushed it, and yet still somehow it went fubar. This being my first owned game, it's pretty alarming. But u guess that's life.

I'll see if I can get on tomorrow when people like yourself see around, before dipping my toes in again. Everything seems functional, same as before, but this damn left flipper is still flipping me off, which isn't really acceptable for me. It entirely hinders gameplay and "easy" successful shots on the right side of the field. I wonder if there's a mechanical defect involved.

Thanks again to everyone that read or replied. This was a genuinely pretty horrific experience, after years of playing, and then finally jumping into a dream, after never fahtoming I'd own one.

#7079 5 months ago
Quoted from PhantomO:

My machine was built in May 2018 with the Bader playfield.

Is Mirco far more experienced?

#7086 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Bader and Churchill have worked on pinball and assorted games forever. Yeah they are old school.

That makes sense. I swear I remember Josh or Barry saying if changes were made production wise, they'd be improvements, and not lesser. Thanks for that info, definitely news to me!

#7096 5 months ago

I'm sure most everyone saw this, or it was posted prior, back in June, but just in case any one hasn't, it's a nice interview and gives a good bit of insight from rosh about programming and approaching the Houdini game. Nice work Josh!


#7098 5 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

TWO AND A HALF HOURS?! Just, no. I guess it'll be download and skip method.
Would it kill them to make a transcript? Listening to most amateur podcasts is like pulling teeth.
Non-crappy non-stitcher link that easily lets you download without an account:

Not sure if there's a timestamp, but there's more to the episode. They jump right in with Josh, and I paused at nearly 40 minutes in.

Here's the description of the episode.

"How Josh got the Job Old Houdini Vs New Houdini Working with Joe Balcer Houdini code status Chatty Houdini American Pinball growth Future release schedule American Pinball game 2 How to do humour in Pinball Limited Edition AP Pinball? Sandra Bullock pinball drama Todd Tuckey 10 book deal 6000 pinball machine madness Super Dooper Pinball Podcast…Read more Episode 48 – Josh Kugler from American Pinball"

#7107 5 months ago

Stupid question, what size wrench is easiest for leg leveling? So far I still have mine leveled via furniture pads. I'd like to get a Stool somewhere online, a torpedo leveler, and do this proper in the future.

#7117 5 months ago

When I had my playfield drop last weekend, and then got it upright and set back in, I had this come out from somewhere.

I imagine it was from the warehouse, like a chip from somewhere there? I didn't notice any damage at all to my playfield, and really the backboard hit, so I'd have no idea how anything could have flaked or chipped on top at all.

Any theories/ideas guys?

(Going to fine tooth comb this thing this weekend, just to make sure nothing occurred anywhere. I mean, I'd imagine it only took an inch or few drop from being raised and coming down straight to the plastic protector over the power intake.)
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#7131 5 months ago

Well, I think I'm done with things until I get my Cliffies.

I raised the playfield, successfully. Took photos of underneath, and all seemed well after it had fallen last week.

Seems pulling the playfield all the way out on the rails, was definitely the issue prior. I hit the first bump, and stopped. At the second ridge, I pulled forward today, and lifted a bit up at the back, and it slid forward to where I could get the yellow rails up on the apron.

I then loosened the nut, really tough to get it to move, and the flipper let go and dropped to where it should be, within an 1/8 of an inch or so. I tightened it, and moved on from there.

Then I used a microfiber cloth to dust for loose shavings and such from the shipping. I then waxed with Blitz Grand, let it sit for a half hour, then buffed the wax.

Decided to play a game, and the flipper immediately raised, and went further than it was before. So I'm guessing it wasn't tight enough?

Either way I'm done for the night. Had some issues even sliding the glass back in at the end. Just kind of tired, and frustrated, and waiting for the footloose, fancy free game playing fun to kick in. But.....another night.

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#7134 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Is that flipper loose?
It has to be way tighter than you would think is necessary.
Or is the return spring not connected?

I loosened it up via the nut, and it immediately relaxed and went down. Then I tightened the bolt, and it seemed to be okay. Then I powered it on, and it rose again to where it was at, and even higher.

#7135 5 months ago

My friend just told me, she said the spring was connected.

#7138 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Are you tightening the 3/8" nut on the flipper pawl?
Does it go down when you power off the game?
Does it go up without pressing the button?
Can you push it back down with the glass off, power on, and does it stay down?
If its loose, it will pretty much go anywhere.
Try moving into position and tightening more. If it keeps moving tighten it even more.
Ultimately it will stay in place.
The flipper should not move without pressing its button.

It's weird. I thought I had tightened it enough, and locked it into the lower postition, but as soon as I started the game it rose again, and even higher than before.

It doesn't have much play, pressing downward as it is, unless I'd loosen the nut again. I'm going to have to loosen it, reposition, then tighten even more than it was. When I loosened the nut initially, the flipper relaxed and went just a bit past the guide hole, a little lower than the other flipper.

Quoted from Yelobird:

This is Only a suggestion!!! I would strongly advise you Hold Off on doing a Cliffy install until you enjoy the game and get a bit more comfortable with working on basic things. If raising the playfield was upsetting Trust that there are several items that need to be removed from the playfield and Correctly reinstalled to install Cliffy's. You will NOT do any major damage playing without them for some time if not forever. Know that games were in bars/arcades being played Thousands of times and never used protective devices like that. I highly doubt you will work this game harder then a 24/7 location pin but it is likely you will incurr more grief or possible damage trying to attempt further service/modifications until you get more comfortable with it. Play it and have fun. Don't let people scare you into thinking this game is made of delicate glass. It a game, play it and enjoy!!

That's genuinely reassuring to hear! I'm literally at 47 plays, as I've been worried about when to wax, and when to put on Cliffies once I get them. I've heard the catapults are tough to get on, and I bought all of them, but I figured I'd place the scoops and shooter rails when I get them. At this point, with the flipper being out of whack, I'm just laying off until I head back in and fix that.

My biggest issue with raising the playfield, was not having it pulled all the way back, then going vertical. Which I assume screwed up the pivot point and messed up the playfield balance. Raising to the yellow bars all the way into the apron this time, and servcing the flipper from underneath, at least felt more secure, and raised my confidence.

It's like a step by step situation. I've never worked on my car, or my home, this much. So this is knee deep in a way I haven't experienced yet. I am grateful for all that have given advice, and posted prior on subjects like this. It's a really weird, firsthand, kind of hobby, and without other people sharing experience, I'd come much more ill equipped, so thank you for that!

#7140 5 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

If it moved that easy in one play you do Not need to loosen it any further to adjust it! Simply (and slowly) with your hand adjust the flipper down to the correct position. It will be snug but you will not do any harm as its clearly loose. Make certain there is up and down play say 1/32" is don't need to be scientific just so it has up and down play. When positioned simply (carefully) raise the playfield and tighten the flipper pawl nut again only tighter then before.

That makes sense. I figured it wasn't tight enough, hence the massive level of shifting once powered on. I assumed/hoped it was locked in, but once I hit start, that sucker powered up, and reared back really high.

I guess what was weird, was once I tightened the nut, the flipper seemed fiaroy tight and in place. And now, it seems in place, but only much, much, higher. It has massive give, upwards, but not much, downwards.

#7143 5 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Ok for clarity, the (massive upwards, nothing down) I think we are talking about something else. Yes, the flipper will rotate up towards the theater and not down but I was talking about the literal up and down meaning you hold the flipper (finger tips on rubber) and lift up towards the sky and down to the playfield. It should have a very slight amount of up and down play. To much and things wear out or playfield damage. To tight and the flipper binds and will not function properly. Last advise. Consider seeing if there is Anyone in your pinball area or mechanical friend you can reach out to to give you a hand. We all have to learn sometimes and theres no shame in asking for support. Also, Please look past all the playfield protectors, Cliffy's, wax, cleaners, torpedo levels, etc. That game is perfect from the start from API and you won't even need to dust it for a year let alone worry about wear. Many simply like to fiddle and tinker more than play. This game was Built to be played and in home use you will not do Any major damage just playing it. Download the Free Pinguy app for a simple level and your done. Play it and learn later as you build confidence. At the rate you are going I would hate for you to dislike the game or Pinball in general out of frustration. Tighten that flipper and just Play Pinball!

I'd say if this doesn't work out, after another adjustment, I just might do that. I also am fortunate enough to have some really solid game areas around me, so I might head there and ask specific questions.

I'm definitely anxious regarding home ownership. I never was when simply placing half a dollar or a dollar in a machine, but now everything seems much more serious, than simple fun. Hopefully in time, that shifts. I really do appreciate your advice, and concern.

I was pretty anxious just seeing scuff marks on the playfield, and assuming/hoping that's normal for regular play.

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#7153 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Maybe this video will help - Different game, same principle.
Don't be afraid to crank on that nut with a wrench. In over 40 years I've only snapped one bolt. I've also only seen one pawl that was thick and couldn't be tightened. I doubt that is your issue.
LTG : )

I watched this video a few times since you posted it a week ago.

I just realized, is this you? I showed it to my friend when we were working on it yesterday, and told her people like this are invaluable. All of these skillsets learned in the industry, over decades, and such a relaxed nature in dealing with these issues. I genuinely admire that ability.

#7160 5 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Yes, that is me.

You'll do fine. You'll learn as you go. And the day will come when you can help others. That really makes pinball great.
LTG : )

Thanks again to everyone over the past page or so that's offered insight and information from what they've experienced over the years.

I really appreciate it, and it helps take the nerves away, and most importantly, increase the fun!!! And knowing that people in this community take time to listen, read, and react in helpful ways, makes it all the better!

Thanks again everyone!

#7172 5 months ago

Does anybody have a clue what these are supposed to do? I ordered these when gathering supplies before getting my game. They arrived two weeks ago, and I really don't know what purpose they serve. Are they actually supposed to cover the plastics, and obscure them???


Also, the extra plastics in the goody bag from API seem rough around the edges, and a bit beaten up. Are these meant to replace plastics in case of future damage?

One last question. Are all of the legs interchangable? When I tried to look for markings on them, I found none, and assumed they were all the same.

#7176 5 months ago

Ooooh! Thanks everyone for the answers!

So it's a pretty simple, remove screws, place underneath, and screw back into place kind of affair? Is there enough thread in the screws to hold in both pieces?

(I'd been watching some unboxing videos, to see how Stern and JJP send their machines, and wondered about legs, and if there were differences!) It's amazing how many people slice into their boxes, versus slide them out, in case they'd need to ship them out again. Most in videos cut, and cut really quickly. I'd be wary of cutting into the machine. Eek!

#7192 5 months ago
Quoted from Jgaltr56:

Careful not to overtighten the fastener holding your plastics. Just enough to engage the locknut. I think too tight will cause more breakage when the ball hits. Also, its too early to tell, but there's always one or two plastics that take a beating and become the few unobtainable plastics 20 years from now. I like to use a washer too if there's enough thead.

Did you put these in your game? So I just unscrew the existing plastics, place these down, then the existing ones on top? These are all for protecting the bottoms? I figured they protected the top.

#7210 4 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Wow, I never noticed!
I'll take a look.

Can someone post a photo if they find this?

#7246 4 months ago
Quoted from dannunz:

Been playing my Houdini a lot lately. I'm finding the shots are getting much more makable and it's a lot of fun. I'm getting games that are 15 to 20 min long now. Love stacking multiball modes!

Nice work!

I'm lucky to get three minute games.....

#7256 4 months ago

Has anyone here bought the API Houdini topper? Just wondering how neato of a purchase it would be.

#7261 4 months ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

Update: when in Trunk MB I had 2 balls left. I shot one off right flipper and it went into the magic hole, I used the left flipper to shoot the seance scoop because seance was lit and I wanted to bring that in. I suppose due to the subway it didn’t count and 2 balls were shot out of the scoop and play continued without seance. Not sure if any way to fix that so it notices or if it was just such perfect timing it didn’t count. Anyways, wanted to put it out there for you rosh.
I’ll try to log more stuff when I can. I’ve had a ball or too end prematurely due to a ball being released from the left post during play or after a trunk mb shot. Don’t have more specifics than that. Sorry!
Protip. Set up seance and trunk mb. Then use alleyway to start straight jacket mode with inverted for 4x jackpots and try to bring in both mb.... my score went
I truly love this game. If you think about what you’re doing and set things up you can really blow up your score. I am sure rosh has some more tips. Doing 2x Indian needles and bringing in the MB is also awesome. Back hand alleyway and inner loop lock shots. It’s way easier once you learn where it is.
UPDATE 2: 10:19pm
Alright, so it seems that I broke the game again lol. So when you set up multiballs together, different logic or code issues seems to come up. I had trunk mb, and then got into seance. After both were stacked I hit a magic hole and it gave me 20 second ball save time. Shortly after I drained out.... it didn’t shoot back the 2 balls I had, it only shot back 1. However, the seance mb kept going even though trunk didn’t. The ghost was continually on the screen and letters were flashing. At this point the stage opened back up and I could start modes. I finally drained after starting a mode in seance and then it ended seance and the ball. Lol.
I have my door open and I don’t see a usb extension or anything of the sort. I wanna send some logs over because little oddities like this seem to occur during stacking of different things and ending of others simultaneously. Here is a photo of the inside of the coin door box. rosh or others please help locate it so I can log it for all of us. I’d like to go back to playing soon.
[quoted image]

Trying to do the test update, and I can't find mine either. Should it be attached to the white power plug on the right in his/my photo?

20181124_034452 (resized).jpg
#7265 4 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

You mean the firmware update? If yes, there is a plug for your flash drive inside the door and off to the right. It kind of floats off on the inside right, under the right flipper switch/button. It’s a black plug.

So it's not literally behind the coin door? It's actually under the flipper/playfield?

Do I need to lift the playfield to access it?

#7273 4 months ago

Quoted from LTG:No, that is for a bill validator.
LTG : )

Oh, I didn't know that's what that was for!

Hmm....I should buy one of those, and start charging the dope that plays this thing so often, and make some quick cash!!!

Oops, wait....I think that dope would be me!

#7298 4 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Use as a bank. To save for repairs, parts, or your next American Pinball, Octoberfest !

Not if you save enough for repairs, parts, and your new Octoberfest.
LTG : )

Haha, great idea! Oh man, that game looks really fun, but I also want the first three JJP games too....

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions regarding the plug. It was back behind the coin box. Did the update last night easy peasy!

#7299 4 months ago
Quoted from wesman:

Haha, great idea! Oh man, that game looks really fun, but I also want the first three JJP games too....
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions regarding the plug. It was back behind the coin box. Did the update last night easy peasy!

#7326 4 months ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

I believe a fair amount time, the colors actually convey information (but I'm not good enough to realize what unless obvious - like what to shoot at). But I do agree w/your comment regarding toning it down a bit if not needed. Not directed solely at Houdini, but pins in general.
One area I would like to see changed is Houdini's eyes. Not a big fan of them being different colors at times.

I agree with the off color eyes. That's often stood out to me.

I really enjoy the artwork package as a whole for Houdini! The only gripe I have rosh is often the type in scoring and bonuses on the LCD could use more contrast, as in maybe a white stroke around the fonts, and then a black drop shadow to give better conrast. I also find the somewhat florescent type colors, often complimentary based, a bit too garish, almost neon. The entire art package otherwise is so subdued in a lovely way that fits the tone of the period, but those bright colors always pop in a bad way for me.

#7342 4 months ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

I couldn't disagree much more with those that think the RGB light show is too much, in fact I asked it be ramped up a bit back in the early code days as I didn't think it popped enough in attract mode. Mine is sitting pretty close to WOZ and compared to that it's still a bit toned-down (IMO JJP lighting effects > everyone else still). I'll accept an argument that the rainbow effect it more appropriate for WOZ but in attract mode I think Houdini still needs to draw people in, especially on location and pretty flashy-lights are a good way to do that. Once in game-play I think the lights are very well done and help you understand what to shoot for even if you can't hear the game which is key. As for the eyes being different colors during attract mode it's never bothered me in the slightest and it usually just happens during the "spinning wheel" of lights, which makes sense to me.

Noooo...... I like the lights, I'm referring to the type font usage, color, lack of stroke and stop shadows ON the LCD backglass. The playfield is top notch!

1 week later
#7452 4 months ago

I think I'm going to give it a go and install my Cliffy's today, and the plastic protectors set from Little Shop!


So aside from the catapults, these are just simple screw in installations? Do the Switch slots just pop in? I watched a Cliffy installation on a pin, and they used a vice to tighten down the shooter lane piece. Is that necessary?

Thanks again everyone for all the help!

#7475 4 months ago
Quoted from PhantomO:

For the shooter lane protector, you do have to loosen the wood rails on too on both sides, and below you need to move or remove the plunger vuk bracket to access the screws you need. Do the scoop and shoootsr lane at the same time and save effort on the wood raiks, which must be loosened for both jobs. A Cliffy tip is to keep the screwss just barely still in the playfield. That way, you dont have to gouge new spirals in the wood when screwing them back in.

Oh man, glad I held off on attempting this. Sounds a bit above my paygrade. Are other cliffy installs easier on this machine, sans the catapults, which I've heard are difficult?

#7486 4 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

The scoop is pretty easy. takes about 15 mins to install.
The shooter lane is easier and you can install the right edge of it during the scoop install.
Use a quick clamp and a paint stirring stick to clamp down the siderail, its pretty easy.

Hmm. I don't own a clamp. If I install it without that, will I chip up balls or damage anything? My level of mechanical inclination and tool ownership is incredibly basic....

#7502 4 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Tool use is only a matter of experience.
If you can feed yourself with knife and fork, those are tools.
That being said, if you are alive and fed, you can use tools.
Go slow at first and be careful.
Get a set of quick clamps from harbor freight or home depot.
They are very handy.
Get paint stirring sticks for free form a paint store or home depot.
They are also very handy and you can break them up or cut them to size. They work good as shims under furnature etc.
And they are free.

Quoted from pinballinreno:

I have a couple clamped and a couple unclamped.
in a non-routed environment they haven't moved, for what its worth.

Would this work?


So does the clamp allow it to be pressed into the wood of the shooter rail more firmly? Does not clamping it allow it to jostle?

And I assume the Cliffy protects from the ball chipping away at the wood over time?

#7506 4 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

Not much precision required. I use one like this since it's quick on and quick off.

Oh that looks great!! Thanks for the tip!

Quoted from rosh:

The 18.12.12 release is now available for all to enjoy.
A ton of improvements and fixes in this release. If you were on one of the test releases you will want to update to this. Below are the release notes, possible I missed a few items along the way.
New — adjustment for right lock if it is having trouble releasing the ball to the scoop or if two balls are being released. The double release can occur if the machine is set very steep. This adjustment can also be used if you find that sometimes the ball does not feed to the scoop from the subway every time. If you need guidance on adjusting this, contact support.
New — high score will automatically exit after 30 seconds of no activity
Modified — The “Encore bonus”, awarded for performing all stage modes, now requires a shot to the stage, after the last stage mode ends, to collect the bonus. Added lights and sounds to the sequence.
Modified — adding a player now shows a score of 0 vs score being blank
Modified — elephant animations
Modified — pricing schemes
Modified — light show improvements throughout
Modified — pressing start during match sequence will start a new game, assuming credits or free play
Modified — bonus sequence wraps up faster on flipper escape
Modified — hit both flippers in attract will go to last scores screen
Modified — playfield lights turn on quicker after a trunk throw
Modified — various animation tweaks
Modified — Jail escapes will award at least 5K if completed
Modified — Trunk MB will now re-light jackpots once the ball reaches the VUK when super jackpot is lit, vs waiting until the super was awarded
Modified — the timer will no longer pause when the ball is going through catapult sequence if a multiball is active
Modified — Trunk Multiball super jackpot will be awarded even if ball misses both trunk and upper catapult
Modified — sequence of reporting a mission completion, extra ball and Houdini letter being earned when all three occur at the same time
Modified — Houdini letter voice calls
Modified — handling of Houdini letter for stage modes that end by draining
Fixed — In secret missions, behavior of lamps when it would show the next shot, when the previous shot was not fully completed.
Fixed — bug in Master Magician that could result in a reboot
Fixed — bug in master magician where it would both prompt for initials and continue on in game play for the last player, in certain multiplayer scenarios.
Fixed — Bullet catch not properly diverting the ball to trunk in some scenarios
Fixed — issue where the scoop would sometimes fire extra hard when doing things in service mode
Fixed — Elephant mode would score extra points on a ball drain
Fixed — issue with match not firing knocker for each match and in some cases not awarding more than one credit on multiple matches.
Fixed — issues with starting a new game by holding start button for a few seconds while a one player game is in progress. Also a setting added, that must be set to On for this feature to work, defaults to ‘Off’
Fixed — bug where count of multiplayer game in audits was being updated incorrectly, this change will correct existing data, but historical data may still not be 100% accurate
Fixed — after selecting an illusion during magicians choice, the displayed illusion would change if a flipper button was hit, the player would still get the selected illusion.
Fixed — Trunk MB sometimes being a four ball multiball when it should not be
Fixed — a trunk miss on Trunk MB super jackpot shot would put another ball into play
Fixed — bug that would crash system if king of cards timed out and no flipper was hit
Fixed — bug on Haldane where a spinner switch hit before the intro completed would cause a crash
Fixed — film master mystery was not awarding 10,000 points for starting it
Fixed —the ‘you have earned a Houdini letter’ would play more than once
Fixed — stage alley arrow being lit during séance MB for no reason
Fixed — fourth ball being put into play at start of séance if a ball was not ejecting cleanly from the scoop
Fixed — if a multiball was running and séance letters were hit the display would not properly show that, and if the spelling of séance was completed, any letters hit during the MB would not be displayed when the display would show séance multiball as being ready
Fixed — voice calls on ball save won’t repeat if the ball fails to make it to the shooter lane and falls back into the trough
Fixed — issues were master magician would start when other modes or items were still running. The player must finish any modes, escapes or multiballs that are in progress
Fixed — when earning a Houdini letter, sometimes only the letter would be seen, not the whole status screen
Fixed — return from beyond and escape death were allowing magic standup targets to still assist a paused stage or movie mode
Fixed — bug where visit to Escape Death would resume from where any previously failed attempt failed vs properly resetting things.
Fixed — bug where a left orbit shot was not awarding a hurry up when jail escapes set to easy
Fixed — lock 2 insert would not always turning off after MB runs
Fixed — bug where when in séance MB, shooting a ball to the trunk to start trunk MB, while also draining the other ball still in play, could result in the ball ending, not getting the trunk MB and not being able to get that MB for the rest of the game.
Fixed — bug where shots to the magic shop hole, depending on various game states and behavior of the subway switches, would put more than one ball back into play.
Fixed — bug on Master Mystery when using a flipper escape with halt sounds on flipper escape set to off, that could sometimes result in the mode not fully starting.

Nice work Josh! Definitely looking forward to the changes. Thanks for all your hard work!

#7511 4 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

I'd try a 9/32nds nut driver.
LTG : )

Oh shit! Would you need one of these for installing plastic protectors, I'm guessing? (I haven't looked at how the plastics are installed yet....)

#7518 4 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

I'm sorry, I don't have a game to check.
I suggested the 9/32nds nut driver because it is between a 1/4 that the poster said was too small and the 5/16ths that the poster said was too large.
Locknuts you usually run into are 5/16ths ( smaller ) or 11/32nds ( larger like on a lot of later Williams pins ).
I don't know if the poster is correct, if American Pinball used that size, or if an odd locknut got mixed into what American Pinball normally uses.
LTG : )

No worries! I just meant in general, when using plastic protectors.

My experience level with all of this stuff, is quarter inserting.

1 week later
#7649 3 months ago
Quoted from Platypus:

What do you use to protect the side art? I worry about damaging it when I open things up.

I got those, and the left side bunched up on me, was a real mess. That's just me obviously. Haven't used them since...

1 month later
#7835 82 days ago

After dragging my feet, I'm finally going to apply my Cliffy Protectors and my plastic protectors set. I've noticed after watching videos, and looking at the pin itself, that I'll need to take out a good mount of nuts. Is there a preferred tool for this? I know I asked before, but I was wondering if there's a specific brand of tool, or magnetic even, that I should grab from Harbor Freight or Amazon.

Thanks as always for recommendations!

#7839 82 days ago
Quoted from triggur:

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure Cliffy's most recent Houdini scoop protector has a little notch on the right side so you don't have to lift the wood rail anymore.

I swear by these babies: https://www.pinballlife.com/hilmor-7-piece-magnetic-tip-hollow-shaft-nut-driver-set.html

Thanks everyone for the quick and informative replies!

Those hilmors look sooooo nice, but are maybe a bit pricy for me currently. Thank you though, and I'll definitely note them for a future purchase!

Would these work okay?


And is this the notch on the right of the scoop protector you guys are referring to?

20190127_002500 (resized).jpg
#7843 81 days ago
Quoted from triggur:

It's the oblique narrowing of the frame along the middle segment of your pinky finger.

Ah, so that helps stabilize/hook it into place, under the playfield? I didn't even notice it!

Quoted from Platypus:

As an electrician I have always used Klien tools I like the handles on their nut drivers. Most any brand should work but do look for magnetic tips and hollow shafts. A full set can be helpful but the sizes you'll use the most are 1/4" and 11/32" also maybe 5/16". I have magnetized my Philips driver as well

These would work then?

Klein Tools 647M Magnetic Nut Driver Set, 6-Inch Shafts, 7-Piece amazon.com link »

How does the hollow shaft help?

Thanks again everyone for your help!

#7845 81 days ago
Quoted from PhantomO:

When putting in the shooter lane protectors, you will need to raise wood rail. Search this forum for CLAMP to read an important tip o. that installation.

The leaving the two screws in, just a bit tip, or something else? I have a clamp ready to go from Harbor Freight. Is it used at the end, when you're turning the screws back in?

#7850 81 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

You need the hollow shafts every so often.
You need magnetized all the time.
You can magnetize nut drivers by sticking them on a speaker magnet for a couple days.
vid1900 found a good set here:
The 9mm is the 11/32 one you need.

The 9mm...and...the 11/32 are the only ones really needed? I was wondering what are the common nuts. Are the plastics all held in using one specific nut?

I warched a video that mentioned using a magnetic parts tray too. I could probably use one of these anyway!

So the magnetic charge holds for quite awhile? Do the nuts and screws become magnetized in this process, or are they an alloy and less prone to being magnetized?

Quoted from Platypus:

6 inch shafts can be a bit unwieldy. 3" shafts (7" overall) are more common
Full hollow shafts (except 3/16-Inch [5 mm]) facilitate work on long bolt applications

Oh, that's a good point! I cancelled, well tried to cancel my order for the longer ones, and will pickup either these Sears or the Harbor Freight ones.

#7852 81 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

The craftsman kit is standard and metric in one kit.
A couple popular sizes are missing from the standard side.
5mm is equivalent to 3/16" and 9mm is equivalent to 11/32".

Ah, okay! That makes sense now.

I'd be okay with either that Craftsman set or the Harbor Freight?

#7854 81 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Yeah, 3" shafts are good for most stuff, longer 6" shafts are also really handy.
But in most cases you want the hollow shafts.

Definitely picking those up tomorrow! Thanks again.

Looking at some Cliffy Installation photos, and for the rail guard, do I need to drill into the side rail for that installation? Do I need a specific bit to do so?

#7856 79 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

No drilling required at all.

Oh cool! So do the screws just go into the soft wood? I noticed there were two in the rail side guard.

Is Sparkle okay for cleaning wax away before installing?

#7903 74 days ago

To anyone that has installed the plastic protectors, those go on top of the plastics, correct? I swear I'd read someone say they went under, to prevent balls cracking up from underneath, but all of these seem fit for on top of the factory plastics.

And to anyone that's installed the Cliffy Side Rail protector, do you simply screw those two screws into the soft wood of the black side rail? That's what I've seen in a few videos. And does that line up with the protector installed just below it, the one that goes under the rail?

One more question too.... Do you pull off the adhesive backing for the rollover protectors? The one video I watched, the guy didn't, then later one's, he did.

#7906 74 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

Don't know which ones you got, but generally speaking, they go under.

I got the Little Shop ones, seen here.


I figured double set where the spotlights are, would go on top of that, there's two sets of plastics there. And I assumed the plastics, the long ones, near the side rails, would be on top as well, as there's no way a ball could hit underneath those plastics.....

Thanks for the advice! Definitely going to have to fiddle around some more.

#7908 74 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

Under. It's not so much about the ball getting underneath as impacting the edges of the printed plastics and cracking/chipping/breaking them.

I'd read that, but oddly these are the exact same size as the original plastics, there's no overlap for them...

#7911 74 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

Even at the same size it shores up the resistance to force flexing. I prefer the colored ones that stick out 1/8" or so, but both are way better than nothing.

These are one of the few videos I've found, and they definitely stick out. The one's I got from Little Shop don't. Plus the plastics for Houdini, the lane returns, have double layers, so I'm not even sure which one is supposed to be protected.

No one on here has used these....or Cliffy's?

#7918 73 days ago
Quoted from Platypus:

the LSOG protectors are slightly larger but not consistantly. The oversize mounting holes does allow for some positioning

I figured the oversized holes were allowing the screws to be mounted on the top side of the inlanes. That's why I mounted those two on top. I figured they'd be there for airballs, considering there's two plastics, one above, one below.

Those two were the only ones I did so far, so I can't say yet if the other plastics extend a bit more.

I can take and post some photos late, late tonight, like after 11EST.

#7922 73 days ago
Quoted from konjurer:

I got a set of the LSOG protectors and the work great. They are slightly larger and mount under the plastic. My plastic under the planchette broke immediately. Barry sent a new set and I haven’t had a problem since.

On the return lanes, did you put them under the lower plastic, as seen here?
Screenshot_20190204-174553_Chrome (resized).jpg

Quoted from kdecgp:

I waxed my shooter rod (heh). Before, it was kind of creaky. The "C" target for my game is a guaranteed 95% power plunge. Can't reliably hit the E/S targets. Maybe E is a little easier. I only take C when I really want that reward (5X bonus, milkcan multiplier, extra ball). Otherwise I go for the super skill shot. Hitting it off the plunge is very tricky 'cause often you just don't get enough power to activate the target even when yer on th' money. When it's super close I nudge the target into the ball. Otherwise I try for a soft plunge and hope I can trap it clean on the right flipper without accidentally hitting an inlane or something.
I've found that the default flipper strength just seemed to be getting more powerful than it used to be. I had to crank it down 2 notches 'cause I was getting tons of airballs. The plastic with the stage and keylane stuff was taking a real beating. Had a ball stuck on top of the left pop near the wireform. Scoop has way less rejects now too. I have the power supply upgrade but still am intimidated by the installation and don't really wanna mess with my game when it doesn't really seem like I have major issues. Don't want to let any of that magic smoke out. Like, I've never had flipper weakness during multiballs. I've had my left flipper get knocked down by super fast bricks off the seance targets. That has to do with the EOS switch stuff right? I have that upgrade as well but really don't know what the hell I'm doing regarding that area. My major problems are things coming loose (trunk spotlight, ribbon cable on mini monitor). When I first got it I needed to bend that little switch in the catapult by a c-hair. Could someone do a video on the power supply upgrade?

Yeah, I'd be up for a power supply upgrade video too! Seems simple enough, but I'm worried about incorrect wire placement, and drilling into the baseboard.

#7926 73 days ago
Quoted from Platypus:

The power supply upgrade is pretty simple, but I do stuff like this as a day job. The AP instructions are very good and clear. wiring is simple color to color and double or triple check. The holes you drill are very tiny and only part way through. noticing the fans in the power supply and seeing another comment or two about additional noise I chose to install some rubber grommets under the 4 attachments, for some vibration isolation. This also adds some more air space for cooling, probably not needed. I hate those spring action acorn connectors so I fashioned a molex connector set for the 48volt side.

I have not done a video before but could at least take pictures next week when I am in hooking up my sub woofer which I started building today.

I did think the instructions were really well written. Just...the more info and firsthand knowledge, always the better. Especially with folks much less experienced.

Did you drill holes with a specific drill bit size?

#7929 73 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Here's a good start of what's involved (From AP's web site): http://s4.american-pinball.com/img/support/2018-10/Power-Supply-Kit-Installation.pdf
It's not hard. Wires are color coded. 2 things gave me some grief tho.
1) My new supply wouldn't sit flush on the wood due to the small wood brace at the edge of the cabinet, so I took the brackets on the right side off for now (which helped), and just screwed it in on the left side. Someday (if I remember) I'll just make or buy a bracket the comes out the front and secure the right side. It's home use, so it's not like it's getting much of a work out.
2) The included screws weren't wood screws. Someone posted the correct wood screw and I just made a trip to the hardware store and bought a bag of them. Here's a tip: Before drilling, place a small piece of painters tape on the drill bit, the length of the screw threads (don't include the screw head). That way, you know when to stop before going thru the cabinet. Recheck the tape before drilling the next hole in case it moved. Easy peasy.[quoted image]

Oh man, that's a really smart idea with the drill bit! I definitely need to install mine, as the VUK takes a few fires to pump the ball up. And I'd imagine that's a sign I need this power supply.

So does the old power supply entirely sit there unused afterwards or does it work in tandem with the new? I'm assuming the former, from what I read of the instructions.

Did you install Cliffy's too?

#7931 73 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

They still use the remaining original power supply's outputs, just not the 48V. The 48V is only what moved over to the new, regulated supply.
I almost think I could have swung the new supply around 180 degrees, and mounted flush. But I just installed 'by the book'.
If you also want to check that you got the right screw length - just check at the switch opening - there's the cabinet thickness.
I guess I should also add it was somewhat of a PIA reaching into the back of the cabinet...and I'm +6'!

Oh thanks for the tips! Yeah, I'm 6'1", so I imagine that'll be a hard swing for me too. I'm not sure what you mean, by mounting it flush...

#7934 73 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Flat, on the cabinet floor. Right side barely sits on wood brace, raising it just a hair. Lousy picture below. It would be way up if the brackets were on. You can see what the bracket looks like on the left side. Original supply way over on the left.
Also get some blade protectors so you don't scratch the upper PF sides!! Not much clearance between the PF and cabinet sides.[quoted image]

Thanks for the shot! Yeah, that's really close to the side of the cabinet... So you'd have rather placed it where, in relation to the existing one?

I've got some blade protectors, left side scrunched up on me first time I tried tj use them.....then the playfield fell off the rails. That was a wicked day.... Has the left one ever scrunched on you? It doesn't seem to sit will into the cabinet.

#7936 73 days ago

Total side question, will Sparkle be fine to use to remove wax, before applying Cliffy's?

Or would these wipes be more effective?


Ingredients: Water, isopropyl alcohol, proprietary detergents and preservatives

Ammonia free.

#7939 73 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

For the metal ones? I didn't do anything. It was freshly waxed. Or are you referring to the ones w/tape (I didn't install those yet)? The ones that look like graphite... I just don't see that they would protect much, so I left them off. If anything, I'd do the static cling Mylar.

Oh I meant to the playfield, I already waxed it.

I don't think I'll approach the catapult ones yet....

Are you going to use the adhesive for the metal ones?

Did the scoop one just slide in basically? Did you have to remove any parts to access it?

#7941 73 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Ah...so you're the one that posted about the PF falling. I forgot about that, but no doubt more than one person cringed reading that. LOL! One of my worst nightmares! After reading some of the posts, I waited until I had the protectors. Better safe than sorry. No issues w/mine.
I did tie a strap around the PF and backbox when I installed the new PS, just in case I did something stupid.

That was a pretty horrific night. Thing weighs a ton when it's in a weird vertical position, and man it got wedged in like a mutha. I can imagine using a tie strap would be a good idea. If there's one thing I don't like mechanically about this game, it's that unhinged playfield. I really hope they shift design on Octoberfest.

Speaking of, are there any updates as of late....?

Back to what we were discussing, did you screw in the two screws for the Cliffy side rail protector?

#7944 73 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

I'd use straight up rubbing alcohol, 90% plus variety (stores sell 70% version, too). Stick it on a cotton ball and rub away.

Just got home from work.

Rats. I don't have any, but these are the wipes Cliffy included, and I think he mentioned they wipe away wax too.

15493400447467221797894650116081 (resized).jpg
#7951 72 days ago

I wanted to thank everyone on this thread who's been such a great help for the past few months!

Last year this time, I'd never even seen a playfield lifted or a pinball table with the glass off, so to go from that "museum" like idea of what a pinball table is to actually getting nuts and pieces of the game off and protected, and holding a wireform ramp in my hand as I do, is a pretty transformative and reflective experience.

Thanks again to everyone here, for being so open and sharing with knowledge, and of course American Pinball and Josh, Barry and Nirmal for being so immediate and helpful with contact and information!

#7955 72 days ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

What is everyone using on there playfields for wax? Ive got a little ball swirls going on and just want to be proactive.

I've been using Blitz also.

#7979 70 days ago
Quoted from BarryJ:

Just to clarify... Wizards Mist N Shine is a wax free product... I just call it wax, for those who care.

So it's more an overall cleaner/polish? Hmm....so does that Gemini Polish contain any wax?

Could the same results happen using Sparkle?

#7982 70 days ago

So I've been curious about that too... What balls do you recommend, and what balls come with Houdini, and how long do those usually hold up, like play wise?

I keep hearing about these a lot.


#7986 70 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Dont get those, they magnetize way fast and aren't worth the money.
If you spend too much on balls you wont throw them away as often as you need because they cost too much.
Get these:
They work in all cases and you get volume discounts. So buy 5 packs.
However, The price is way up everywhere on pinballs? WTF? Twice the price from a year ago? Cmon...
or just get them from the actual source like one of these guys:
They have them by the box of 100 for 95 cents each

Oh sweet! This looks like the 100 pack, correct?


Funny that of all things, pinball isn't listed as a use, haha!

Would you say you change out your balls every "______" plays, as an overall rule?

Quoted from LTG:

Wizards High Gloss Car Detailing, Surface Cleaner Spray, non static.
LTG : )

Yesssss! I picked that up yesterday via your link Lloyd! Do I need to clean existing wax off prior, or just use a microfiber and give everything a light wipe down?

Thanks again everyone for the fantastic tips! I'm always impressed with how knowledgeable and immediate everyone can be in this medium.

1 week later
#8075 62 days ago
Quoted from GCS2000:

Joining the club on Sunday, can't wait.
Does anyone have the topper from American Pinball directly if so I would love to see some additional pics.
Also can anyone share some good quality pics of of the mod couples water tank mod? Sadly their pics are small.

I've got it. Just haven't installed it....yet. Still waiting on getting my last few Cliffys installed first.

#8077 62 days ago
Quoted from GCS2000:

How do you like it and I assume you got it from AP direct right?

I did. With the credit from the power supply, and some extra money. I haven't put it together yet, but I'll post when I do.

#8083 61 days ago
Quoted from GCS2000:

Very smart I should do the same. The one I am getting tomorrow doesn’t have the power fix and spending the credit on the topper would be great idea as I would like it as well. Thanks for the idea!

You're welcome! I'll at least take and post some photos this weekend of it as it came shipped. I know it has to be assembled, as looking in the box, so I'll at least show you what you're getting in that regard. Nirmal was really great to work with in handling the discount!

#8091 60 days ago

Does anyone know how to raise this rail to place this scoop protector?

20190217_020108 (resized).jpg
#8092 60 days ago

I hope I don't need to raise this black side rail.....again.

#8098 60 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Ditto on Zahner's comments above. I took the screws out that hold the VUK to the PF, and secured it so it wouldn't just be hanging. Even with loosening up screws on the metal rail, it was still a tight fit. When I installed the Cliffy's by the wooden rails, the wood would flex a bit, making it easier to install. Can't do that very much w/the metal rail.
Wes - Does your scoop protector have the side cut so it doesn't have to slip under the wooden rail? The early Cliffy's didn't have that.

Unfortunately it didn't...Cliffy told me I got his first designed set. So yeah, I had to reloosen five screws this time, and that was my last resort after going in, and removing the metal rails....the one against the black side rail, as well as the actual guide rail.

I ending up having the VUK dangle, did you secure yours? I wanted to try and remove the power coupling white clasp, but that wasn't popping out to well. Is there an easy way to do that?

Man....the nuts supporting the VUK are a hassle to remove, but far worse to get back in with standard size non magnetic nut drivers. I spent an hour dancing with two that would fall, then my hunt for them, drop them again, etc.

I found the source of my chipped playfield, I'd hoped it was just a loose flake from manufacturing, as I found it just after I raised the game for the first time months back, and with less than 50 plays. Is there anyway to repair this or should I put mylar over it to prevent more damage?

20190217_034904 (resized).jpg20190217_123544 (resized).jpg20190217_123550 (resized).jpg
#8099 60 days ago

Also... are these types of cracks normal for when nuts or screws were placed from manufacturing? When I removed these parts, first time I had, I was surprised to see marks like this on the playfield.

Thanks again for everyone's tips up above! This took me from before midnight till near five to get everything back together as it was, but at least I'm near the finish line, and feel comfortable playing now with the major Cliffy protectors and plastic protectors installed! Just wish this was all done when all games are made.

20190217_013109 (resized).jpg20190217_013138 (resized).jpg20190217_013145 (resized).jpg
#8101 60 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Homedepot sells a rubber coated 'hanger' (not the clothes kind). It's like a bendable wire, but soft on the outside - great for hanging/holding things temporarily w/o scratching them.
Look up vid1900 here about the playfield, he seems to be one of the PF restoration gurus.

Oh that sounds like an awesome product! I'll definitely check that out!

Edit. Just found this. Would this work?


Curiously, that Seance VUK is half firing. I really don't recall if it was before loosening it, and reattaching it. I do know the VUK to the right of the chest often takes two fires to hit it up into the wire form. Are these both most likely due to the issues where the new power supply came into play?

I'll definitely go consult that user regarding the playfield chip! What can create a situation like that?

Thanks again for all of your help and suggestions! As you'd said about your own experiences installing this, I had minimal idea what to remove, until I did, and then removed more...and more, until it was able to slide into place.

#8105 60 days ago
Quoted from Platypus:

You will get more proficient over time, mostly you are only dealing with screws and nuts. just be observant where parts came from and go back. I would let heavy things dangle by their wires, support it somehow by string, scrap wire or something. The switch on that VUK has fragile connections. Eventually you may need to adjust switches, replace mosfets and coils, hopefully not for a while.
I believe you were advised to get magnetic nut drivers. I have multiple sets of non mag drivers ( use them for my work) and still bought magnetic ones just for pin work. I also have a magnitizer for my Philips drivers, That is a savior at times. I hate loosing a screw in the under playfield mechanics /switches and such. I have resorted to taping a screw to a driver is certain instances but then you have to contend with the tape if it doesn't release right once the screw is started.
Where did that chip come from? what might of caused it? did it happen with your playfield accedent? I doubt it was a ball. I would't be that concerned about those micro cracks under fasteners, you can't see them. be careful about over tightening

All very sound advice!

I definitely wasn't comfortable letting the VUK dangle, and I think I only let that happen once, during the constant raise, lower, raise lowering of the playfield. I am paranoid if that maybe created an issue with the VUK firing half of the time now, but as I mentioned, I'm not sure if that was already occuring, and I just didn't notice....

The chip, I really have no clue. I know the piece slid out when I raised the playfield that first night, and I certainly didn't have any equipment fall on or scratch the table. I've forgotten to eject the balls a few times, but other than that, nothing else entirely boneheaded. Raising and lowering the playfield is definitely far, far more comfortable, as I now understand how the cabinet rails work. I really had zero prior experience with a pinball table mechanically prior to this.

That said, I returned the Klein magnetic nut drivers, due to reading some reviews where they said the bits turned into power and crumbled, and as well as the price, and I really figured I'd use them just once or twice for a few minutes. Weeks later, I now find myself removing multiple table parts, placing them on a sheet of paper with notes for screw and nut placement, all just to get one tiny protector in. I truly never imagined delving this deep. It's been an experience, that is for sure!

#8113 60 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Looks like what I got (but mine are a lot shorter). You can probably buy at any hardware store or Wallymart for a few bucks. Various sizes I just toss a couple of them in my 'tool bucket' so I always have them. Comes in handy for holding a lot of things. I originally used them to hang the flood lights off the gutter while I was installing the wires...and they've come in handy under the PF. The inside 'wire' holds the shape you bend, soft silicone (maybe) on the outside.
Your VUK - have you adjusted the coil strength in the menu? [quoted image]

Do you have any idea what that wire might he called?

Oh no....I haven't! Did you adjust your VUK strength? I hadn't even thought of that!

Quoted from pinballinreno:

Sticking nut drivers on a big magnet for a few days, like a car speaker will magnetize them efficiently.
On my games that have a cabinet speaker, I stuck my non magnetized tools to it for a week and now they are perfect.
My magneitc Klein nut drivers have never given me any problems, other than a magnet came out one day. I glued it in with red locktite and it's been good for years.

I bought one of these to magnetize them...left them on for at least a week, and they didn't get magnetized. Would having multiple on there together effect polarity?


I might need to get those Klein's just for the sake of future efforts!

#8121 60 days ago
Quoted from Platypus:

That little tray won't do much. That is for your screws and nuts when you remove them. I have one of these for magging my tools:
lots of other brands out there

Saw one of those in a video! I guess the underside of that tray wasn't strong enough... Thank you, just ordered one!

Quoted from pinballinreno:

Needs to be a very big magnet like on a big speaker.
Or get the tool magnetizer from harbor freight
Magnetic hollow nut drivers are life changing lol
If you haven't already, get one of these:
V8 Tools 3826 Mighty Worm 26" Flexible Magnetic Pickup Tool amazon.com link »
Super strong magnet, fits in very small places. Bendable to go in odd crevices.
I use it to fish for lost parts, it always finds them even in blind out of reach places

I actually got this the other day. Definitely helped snag and search for parts last night! That worm looks fantastic!


Tom, did you adjust your VUK settings at all?

Quoted from mbwalker:

I think it's a Gear Tie (I had to google it.) Link: https://www.homedepot.com/s/gear%2520tie?NCNI-5 There's probably cheaper knockoff's by now, but these are built really well and were only a few bucks.
I adjusted the VUK settings just so it barely makes it out. Didn't want want it blasting out.

Sweet. Grabbed some of those too! Thank you! The one with the carabineer looks nifty also.

So you felt your VUK was a bit weak?

#8124 60 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Vuk has to be adjusted so that the ball just makes it out most of the time.
If it takes 2 or more tries, go up 1 unit at a time until it makes it out consistantly.
If it fails once in awhile during multiball with shaker running that's ok.
The power supply upgrade helps this a bit.

It seems to go up about half of the time on the wireform one in the back, and the seance one. It often kicks, fails, then kicks once more effectively.

I figure my next project, after drilling in the side rail protector, will be that.

#8131 60 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Oops, to clarify...I'm talking about the one on the scoop, not the one in the back. I could go up a notch on the settings, but it pops out almost always, at least to the point I don't really notice if it takes two tries. I adjusted once the new PS was installed just for the sake of doing it.

No worries. I have issues with both taking two efforts. I swear the right rail side scoop didn't have issues prior, but then again, I was just over 60 games played. There's no way anything I could have done during scoop installation that would have affected it? I assume it's either getting power or not.

#8134 59 days ago

I found a photo from before I lifted the playfield for the first time two days after I unboxed Houdini. Seems the chip existed then, and when I lifted it minutes later, that's when it fell out.

I wonder if this damage was from shipping or left manufacturing like that? The box was in pretty good shape, and it wasn't tilted.

20190218_023822 (resized).jpg
#8137 59 days ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

THAT. SUCKS. One the other hand, at least it didnt' come from playing the game. I just had a piece chip out of my MB, and I just had to glue it back in.

I guess I'm "happy" anything I did in getting familiar with this machine, didn't create it. But damage is damage..

What happened in your situation? I thought the clearcoat was supposed to make these rock hard and secure?

Quoted from pinballinreno:

Looks like maybe shipping or from assembly.
See what API says. It's not from ball damage.
It my be possible to carefully glue the chip back into place with high quality CA glue and wax paper or teflon sheet to press it down.

I'm going to contact Barry on friday directly, seems he's the guy who handles most issues like this. Hopefully he points me in a direction that works the best here?

I finally got this up and running, with most of my protectors in too! I hadn't played it for weeks, on that account. And doing the scoop protector finally had me notice it. I had the flake for so long, didn't see anything, and just hoped it was some random paint from the factory....

Will I risk further damage by playing it?

#8141 59 days ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Well first, the MB is an original, new playfield though, and I had it cleared by Ron Kruzman about 2 years ago. The damage is 100% mine - I had one of those stupid wire ball guides pop out, and I was jamming it back in and... ugh. I guess I should have drilled it again? So not comparable to what you have - I just thought it was an interesting coincidence.
Hoping to get protectors on Houdini as soon as I get them from Cliff...

Ugh. I'm really sorry to hear that...

When you get them, let me know, I can definitely tell you what to do and not do, haha!

#8168 58 days ago
Quoted from zahner:

See? Get the drink holder.
And - I like this game so much I don’t even mind be reminded that I could have done better with the purchase price!
I made up for it with a great buy on a Tommy last month....

Games will definitely rise and fall price wise, but buying and supporting them at any price really, prior owner or not, and especially at full price from a distributor, helps keep these great game makers making more and more games!

It's not just matter of our own personal enjoyment, but any quarter, up to paying the full price of a machine, keeps pinball alive....and for that we are all definitely grateful!

#8174 58 days ago
Quoted from LTG:

See picture. The leaf blade switch below the flipper return spring, that is your EOS.
LTG : )
[quoted image]

Is it the part with two screws on it, to the right?

#8184 57 days ago
Quoted from rosh:

seems like several dozen posts since the last time I checked in. Been pretty busy with Oktoberfest, and really happy with how it is coming together, but don't worry, Houdini is still getting some love and I'll have an update about it at our presentation at TPF.
Doubt that chip damage happened in shipping, possible something hit down on the that flat rail and chipped it, or possible it was over tightened and broke loose in game play. Marco playfield's are very hard, but can chip like that. Considering how long it took you to figure out where it was, shows it is not in a noticeable spot. You can talk to Barry about it. No reason not to play the machine, that is clearly an isolated issue.
EOS only come into play on flipper knockdowns, where it will refire the 'main power' on the flipper to raise it back up. I do not have them installed on either my machine in the office or at home and have never had an issue, but some have. If you find it happens, then get the kit, easy to install. Those who think it makes the flippers snappier or other such things are suffering from a placebo effect. The kit has the switches with wires attached and the molex pin already on the wire that needs it. https://store.american-pinball.com/products/houdini-end-of-stroke-switch
If I missed any other items that I need to answer, re-post, and I'll check in again in the next day or so.

I'll give him a call on Friday. I have that side against my wall, and didn't really see that area to that degree until I was installing the Cliffy scoop protector. I stopped playing it just weeks after getting it in November, to avoid any damage sans Cliffys and plastic protectors, and finally made the push forward, as I was really intimated getting in there and working on things. Definitely a learning experience.

#8189 57 days ago

I just installed the Little Shop one's also.

#8196 56 days ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Just a Possible cause not accusation but Way back in post 6999 was when you had your catastrophic dropping of the playfield then later along in post #7117 you noticed that chip piece in the cabinet? It is very possible a good blow to any of the bolted down ball guides would for certain chip the clear coat like that. Again just a possibility. A dot of gel super glue, compress in position, then top it with a 1" square of mylar and I doubt you will have any further issues.

Lemme preface this by saying, I like you Yelobird. I actually like everyone on this forum. I think everyone often has an opinion, and is very upfront and vocal about that, and I appreciate that more than dancing around in circles. Hell, less than a year ago I started lurking this board, a year ago I hadn't seen a pinball table with the glass taken off. Yet here I am now, not even a year later, fiddling around with my very own game, and chatting firsthand with many people, with many more years of experience than myself in this hobby/field.

And for that, I am in awe. It's truly an incredible hobby where someone as new as myself, to home ownership, has the ability to chat, ask questions, and give and command respect back and forth with not just fans of this hobby, decades in the making, but also the creators of these tables themselves. For that opportunity, I am truly grateful, and humbled.

That said, you did jump at me a bit in the Munsters hype thread, for owning just one game, and questioning how I felt the hierarchy of the value and construction of games manufactured by Stern and JJP could be weighed accurately, by one that owns solely one game. Then tonight, I saw in the POTC owner's thread, you question a user about which game they owned, having stated you knew the owner of that numbered game, yet it ended up being an LE versus a CE. And now this questioning of me noticing a specific chip after I'd raised the playfield, in less than glorious fashion.

To that fact, I went back to the photos I'd taken that night, and prior as well, as I'd taken so many.... first proud pin owner and all. And frankly, that entire experience, as I noted that night, was terrifying. I was quite literally in shock, and afraid of what had happened, after such a long journey of research, watching multiple videos of playfields being raised, games being unboxed, etc.

My wish isn't to be accusatory of anyone. It's to discover what happened. Understand why it did, and improve my skillset in relating with pinball tables, ideally for years to come. That experience, and several after it, could have scared me away from this hobby, but rather than that occur, my fascination with it, it's history, it's fans like yourself, and it's creators, has only deepened and become more fervent.

Saying that, I didn't share what I did months ago when my playfield plopped into my cabinet unexpectedly, or the other day when I discovered the chip location due to getting more hands on with a game I decided not to play for two months until said protectors were on, to be accusatory or blaming, but rather follow-up on a situation that I shared publicly to gain support, not descent. And I did quite a bit, from multiple users on here. And again, I am grateful for those kind people, and even with their knowledge, decades greater than my own, I never once felt foolish for my mistakes, or felt like my hard lessons learned, were to be blamed on myself for rash ignorance or total carelessness.

Anyway, apologies for the long message, but I do feel intent and attitude, is as valuable as aid and information. I'm not sure what you wanted to infer here, but I do want to tell you I wouldn't disclose any information ony end, if I didn't feel it was well intentioned, and most of all, informed and accurate.

Thank you, by the way, for the tips on repairing this unfortunate situation.

#8202 56 days ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Ok? Not sure what all that was I was simply saying it was Possible that the playfield drop may have caused a chip as you showed. I know this as I To have had this happen under different circumstances. Nothing more just providing an observation not a blame......

So yes, saying that me dropping the playfield may have caused the chip I found...is blaming me for it, but the point of me writing posts earlier was to say I saw evidence of the chip minutes prior to the drop. You went out of your way to reference specific posts I made, to infer that. That's a lot of effort regardless of direct blame or not.

Quoted from hollywood:

Hey Wes.
I don’t know Yelobird but I have read every thread in this post.
I never sensed he was implying anything against you. What I read, he was trying to maybe explain what happened to warrant that chip. This forum sometimes is kind of like texting...hard to infer intentions and meanings.
Wes, Very well thought out post though!! I was once in your shoes with my first pin JP. I too dropped it in the cabinet and panicked like crazy - and it was only 2k! Lol.
If there is anything I can ever help you out with, feel free to pm me as well. I am not great like some of these guys, but I have been in this hobby off and on for a while.

Thanks hollywood! I appreciate you reading over the situation, and expressing your views. Ultimately we only know our own intentions, and I do definitely agree, much gets lost in text.

I really didn't want to discuss the chip publicly, but I felt since I shit my pants publicly months back on here, that adding more details from when I installed the Cliffy scoop protector was pretty relevant. I didn't want to put info out there that seemed like blame in any direction, really just elaborate. If anything, I've been pretty surprised, and impressed, that I haven't had major blunders since that situation.

Do you still have that JP? Did any damage occur from your drop? What did you think of the unboxing video from the other week?

And thanks again for your outreach, I've had a lot of people extend efforts out on this forum, from fans to creators, and it's been quite a fantastic experience!

#8229 50 days ago
Quoted from GCS2000:

Thought I would add these pics so others can see the API topper. Once again thanks to Barry for the help[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Oops! I'm sorry I didn't post any for you the other weekend. I still haven't taken mine from the box, still getting the protectors on and such. How do you like it so far? It looks pretty groovy!

Hmm. Yeah...CUJO has a good eye there!

#8235 50 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Ok. I've had 4 drinks in 2 hours, so I'm slightly inebriated.
rosh, thinking about bar games and such, I would drink 4 drinks in 2 hours and play Houdini of Oktoberfest. Then make an assessment.
Playing while drunk? Afmr ROCKS!
I played my games in sequence and afmr was the winner!
So, As I've always maintained.
It's not how well you play, it's how well you play after a few drinks in a lot of cases.
My advice:
Play a few games drunk during development. Its an an eye opener.
Drunk dialing pinside Lol

4 drinks in two hours..is the start!

Enjoy, and hydrate. And....drunk post some more, haha! And yes, hydrate.

#8252 49 days ago
Quoted from zahner:

There is ample clearance for the blades and the side protectors.

Mine often snags a good bit on the left hand side in the back, when I try to raise the playfield. On the right it can sometimes as well, but not as much. When the protectors snag, they buckle.

#8281 49 days ago
Quoted from imagamejunky:

Has there been a game manufactured date where American Pinball started shipping games that already had the upgraded PS or EOS switches?

Should be that way right out of the gate for Oktoberfest! I don't think Houdini ever had that become standard.

Pretty sure Oktoberfest also comes with a shaker motor and art blades standard at $7400 now.

#8312 47 days ago
Quoted from John_I:

Put in the full set of Cliffy protectors and LSOG plastic protectors. A lot of stuff needs to be removed to get to install these, but I found the game surprisingly easy to work on and the install went smoothly. Everything fit snug. The LSOG plastic protectors are really nice too. Its not often I install a set of plastic protectors and don't have to modify something on them or enlarge a hole or two. These went in trouble free. Not to mention they are clear. I really don't like the fluorescent colored protectors that seem to be popping up on some machines.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Nice work on these! I was just about to finally install my side rail protector. Did you pre-drill holes in, drill them in while placed in the protector or just screw them in?

#8314 47 days ago
Quoted from John_I:

I just screwed them in carefully. The wood is fairly soft so just make sure you hold the protector tightly in place and try to get the screw right in the center and straight up and down. If you are not sure, you can always use a really small drill bit to start the holes one at a time.

Oh thank you! Yeah, I'd read the wood was fairly soft, so a drill almost seems overkill.

Looks like you lined it up with the shooter eject and under the rail protectors also, hence it extending the furthest, versus installing it all the way back at the beginning of the rail, correct?

#8339 47 days ago

Finally got my last Cliffy in, aside from the catapults! Used a clamp, and just screwed them in.

Game on!

20190302_232027 (resized).jpg20190302_232119 (resized).jpg20190302_232503 (resized).jpg
#8348 46 days ago
Quoted from John_I:

I just screwed them in carefully. The wood is fairly soft so just make sure you hold the protector tightly in place and try to get the screw right in the center and straight up and down. If you are not sure, you can always use a really small drill bit to start the holes one at a time.
Edit: To do the catapult protectors is a little tricky at first but just follow these basic steps and when in doubt keep removing parts until you can wiggle the protector in place and have it sit flat without bending or stressing it. You need to remove parts until you can lay the protector in place without much trouble and have it lay flat and line up with any holes and rail notches that are cut in the protector. Once you have the way cleared to easily get the catapult protector in place and out again, its time to make the final install. To do this, I like to peal back a little bit of the backing paper exposing a small area of the glue at one end of the protector or the other. Make sure you fold the paper under to leave small tabs that you can grab a hold of. At that point you can put the protector carefully in place and get it lined up just right, then push down so the exposed glue area can grab a little bit to hold it in place. Then carefully pull/slide out the rest of the backing material to completely expose the glue area and press the protector in place. Then rub the protector all the way around with your finger to push it permanently in place.
For the scoop protector, shooter lane and the left catapult I had to remove or lift the wood rails by loosening the rails from below. Only go as far as you need. For instance on the left side I loosened all of the wood screws from under the playfield to let me flex the rail upward about a quarter inch so I could slip the catapult protector in place, then tightened it back down. For the shooter lane ejector plate, I had to completely remove the small wood rail on the left side of the shooter lanes so I could easily line up the hole in the protector with the hole in the playfield for the wood rail mounting.

I bookmarked your post for if I ever summon the nerve to go deeper and do the catapults! Thanks again for this in-depth look, and taking the time to detail your process. All of these types of posts are great down the road, for anyone searching for advise on matters like this without firsthand knowledge!

Quoted from pinballinreno:

Looks great. The ball just has to ride the metal instead of the wood.

Thank you sir! Without your patience and skilled advice, I'd have ran my head into so many walls in the dark.

I'll often repeat, the people on this forum, and most definitely this thread, are always so quick to help, incredibly informed, and very, very patient. From all of the many various corners of the net, this is always such a delight to be a part of, so thank you all for that!

#8405 43 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Yeah it was a great game! Although was a second place score
I was trying for the 7th Houdini letter then I could have been number one! Lol
Lost my 2 extra balls going for it !
I've been working on movie modes and jail escapes.
Houdini is AMAZING!
And will only get better with refined code.
This game is going to be WORLD CLASS!
Josh, quit getting distracted by fine Bavarian beers and pretty German girls! Lol
Get on a few more code updates!
Houdini us where its at!
(Yes I'm into the rum again...)

Here's to rum, Bavarian beer, German girls, AND pinball! Oh, and Houdini too!

1 week later
#8479 36 days ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

I'm at 1154 since I got it on March 31st last year.

Finally got my 100th game in last night...since early November.

#8483 34 days ago

Finally picked up the Klein magnetic nut drivers, and does the 3/16 on the left look funky? Looks like the shaft is filled in.

And on the 1/4 and 5/16 there's white material around the inner shaft.

Are these damaged?

20190315_030253 (resized).jpg
#8484 34 days ago

The larger sizes look fine.

20190315_030211 (resized).jpg
#8489 34 days ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

They look good. Red and yellow will be the ones most used, green every once in a while.

I tried to take some better photos of the 3/16, and it just doesn't appear good to me.

20190315_155922 (resized).jpg
#8494 34 days ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Hummm, if package is unopened, could it be debris?
If amazon, send it back.
But, once opened will that debris just pop out?

There appears to be a white circle of plastic around each of the inner magnetic heads, and looking at it sealed, it looks like this was jarred loose or filled in way too much. Definitely going to try an Amazon exchange, just figured I'd check here first, given one or two people might own these.

Thanks for the input Eric!

#8496 34 days ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

I own 2 sets of these Kline tools, one short, one long. Use them contantantly. The trick, unscrew all the way until it's on the last thread, then pull nut driver off, then remove nut by hand. It sucks when they get stuck up in there and you can't get them out.

Ooooh, because of the magnetism?

#8521 30 days ago
Quoted from GCS2000:

Joined the club today. Still have to get it unloaded[quoted image]

What happened......? Saw your game listed for sale.

#8532 25 days ago

Interesting read here, but still really no more data than what's been presented prior.


#8539 24 days ago

Damn, now I just feel outright awkward for writing the exact same message earlier to Josh.

Lloyd, you're the best man. Truly the best!

1 week later
#8663 12 days ago
Quoted from imagamejunky:

No update. I would be surprised if API released an update on a Saturday anyway.

That was kind of their hint though. His alleged and actual birthday, beta and release. From what I recall.

#8665 12 days ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Houdini code update today:
Happy Birthday Harry!
Thanks, Josh


#8702 11 days ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

OK in fairness I said my Family did not find the game fun and sold it. I have never been Nasty to Any company making pinball for everyone. I Do have the right to not love every game I buy no? I also don't tell anyone what They should like or buy. If the animations for October improve I am on the list to get that game also. I will reframe from saying if we like it to not offend anyone....

I kind of wondered that when he echoed those comments a few weeks back, given his support of the game with mods, but his explanation felt fair and rational to me, and I can also agree with the points he made about the game.

Nothing is black and white in life, and there are no absolutes.

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