Buying a Rollercoaster Tycoon machine


By johnwest80

1 month ago


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  • Latest reply 1 week ago by Pinballlew
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There are 69 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 41 days ago

So I'm buying my first pinball machine ever (and I just found this site, so new to all of this). Super excited, but I have no idea what goes into transporting it. I'm buying it from a couple who bought it new. It's just been sitting in their basement, seldom played, so it's in immaculate condition afaict. It's only 5 miles away from me on back roads, so it's not a long commute. I want to keep it that way, so any pointers on transporting it in my pickup truck? Or maybe I should take our minivan? Anything specific I should check on the game itself that often breaks that I might not notice until it's too late?

Thx!

#rollercoaster-tycoon

#2 41 days ago

Take a friend that knows a bit about pinball with. Remove the balls.

LTG : )

#3 41 days ago

Fold the backbox onto a blanket over the playfield glass. Remove the legs. Tie it down in the truck. There are other threads about this -- try this one: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/transporting-a-machine

#4 41 days ago

Unfortunately, I don't know a single person who owns a pinball machine. I'm on my own on this one, plus whatever help I get from here :).

#5 41 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

Unfortunately, I don't know a single person who owns a pinball machine. I'm on my own on this one, plus whatever help I get from here :).

Post your city. You may have a friend or two you haven't met yet.

LTG : )

#6 41 days ago

Slide glass off and take all balls out. Glass back on, lock coin door. Put key and balls in baggie in pocket. Make sure backglass latch is locked. Undo head latch with large Allen wrench. Fold head down on glass, preferably with cardboard or blanket between. Strap head to body. Then undo back legs (preferably while propped safely on high stool or similar item). I always bring a wrench just in case for leg bolts. Then pull stool out and set back down carefully (so you don’t throw your back out). Tip up so front legs are off ground and horizontal. Remove legs and you’re good to hand truck (you brought one, right?) it to your vehicle. Tip and slide in bed horizontal. Close gate, toss in legs and bagged leg bolts. Good to go. Reverse process to set back up.

#7 41 days ago

Congrats. That was my first pin also.... Look out, I bet it won't be your last. Enjoy!

#8 41 days ago

I'm loving the advice. But seriously, I had no idea there were this many pinball fanatics out there. It's 1am here in Atlanta and yet already this many replies? Do you guys sleep ha!? I've never even played much pinball - why am I suddenly afraid I'm going to be hooked :)?

#9 41 days ago

So not trying to be lazy, just nervous... do I have to take the glass off and the balls out for this short commute? I'm glad to do the work, but with my lack of knowledge, if I don't have to take that apart, I'd rather not, so I don't become my own worst enemy and break it.

Quoted from Mbecker:

Slide glass off and take all balls out. Glass back on, lock coin door. Put key and balls in baggie in pocket. Make sure backglass latch is locked. Undo head latch with large Allen wrench. Fold head down on glass, preferably with cardboard or blanket between. Strap head to body. Then undo back legs (preferably while propped safely on high stool or similar item). I always bring a wrench just in case for leg bolts. Then pull stool out and set back down carefully (so you don’t throw your back out). Tip up so front legs are off ground and horizontal. Remove legs and you’re good to hand truck (you brought one, right?) it to your vehicle. Tip and slide in bed horizontal. Close gate, toss in legs and bagged leg bolts. Good to go. Reverse process to set back up.

#10 41 days ago

Someone in Atlanta help this guy out!

#11 41 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

So I'm buying my first pinball machine ever (and I just found this site, so new to all of this). Super excited, but I have no idea what goes into transporting it. I'm buying it from a couple who bought it new. It's just been sitting in their basement, seldom played, so it's in immaculate condition afaict. It's only 5 miles away from me on back roads, so it's not a long commute. I want to keep it that way, so any pointers on transporting it in my pickup truck? Or maybe I should take our minivan? Anything specific I should check on the game itself that often breaks that I might not notice until it's too late?
Thx!
RollerCoaster Tycoon

Fantastic first pin! I agree with LTG; post your city, you'll be shocked how many pinheads live near you! Take someone knowledgable with you. There is too much that can go wrong and quickly turn into a disaster!
Always take the legs off, don't be one of those guys who thinks "it's just down the road..." and end up dumping it when you turn in the driveway.
There's also a lot that goes into newer pins like that! Ask a lot of questions here.
There is tons of knowledge avaiable.

#12 41 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

So not trying to be lazy, just nervous... do I have to take the glass off and the balls out for this short commute? I'm glad to do the work, but with my lack of knowledge, if I don't have to take that apart, I'd rather not, so I don't become my own worst enemy and break it.

Yes. The head should be folded down, balls safely stored, legs off, this ensures that while driving the balls, which are just heavy steel bearings, don't fling around and destroy all the plastics and parts in the game. The motions while driving can send balls flying up into delicate things that they would normally never hit when it's set up for play.

Also, why sleep when you have pinball?

#13 41 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

So I'm buying my first pinball machine ever (and I just found this site, so new to all of this). Super excited, but I have no idea what goes into transporting it. I'm buying it from a couple who bought it new. It's just been sitting in their basement, seldom played, so it's in immaculate condition afaict. It's only 5 miles away from me on back roads, so it's not a long commute. I want to keep it that way, so any pointers on transporting it in my pickup truck? Or maybe I should take our minivan? Anything specific I should check on the game itself that often breaks that I might not notice until it's too late?
Thx!
RollerCoaster Tycoon

The right ramp gets cracked at the entrance where the upper flipper will shoot a ball into it, but cliffy makes a protector that will probably cover any damage. The EAT plastic also gets broken (above the bottom right scoop).

Both of these issues should not prevent you from purchasing. Mine has worked great and I have had little issues with mine besides changing a few bulbs and faulty switches.

#14 41 days ago
Quoted from LTG:

You may have a friend or two you haven't met yet.

Lloyd was dead on with this. Pinheads will surprise you. The first thing I did when I saw your first post was to look at your location. Because a lot of the things you will need to learn doing this are just easier to show you. If you can find someone that knows how to break down and transport a game, it just goes easier. And pinheads are (generally) a pretty helpful bunch.

#15 41 days ago

Take a friend - a pinhead is better but even an able body. Always helps to have some moving power, as you can't always rely on the seller to provide. They can help make sure you don't forget things as you take things apart - such as leg bolts and keys. Take plenty of tools, you'll never know what you need. Take a camera or cell phone - take pictures of things you disassemble. Take removable masking tape to write notes and lable cables you might disconnect. Take plenty of blankets to cover and protect things, even sheets of cardboard to separate and protect things or to provide sliding surfaces to maneuver parts into a vehicle.

There's no such thing as being over prepared when transporting pins.

#16 41 days ago

Welcome to the pin owning club. If you stay away from the frothy pinside topics you will find lots of people willing to help. Esp if you seem willing to listen, take time, advice and do things logically.
Im from a rural area and there are still several pinball peeps around that can help.

#17 41 days ago

If you have to go up stairs, that will be the hard part and you will need some help. The vehicle-loading and driving are the easy parts.

#18 41 days ago

Where are you in Atlanta? Which side? I'm in Dallas and may be able to help.

You have to take it "apart" to check it out. It's not as scary as you may think. You are going to want to know how to slide the glass out,lift the play field, take the back glass out, etc...Just for simple checks, maintenance, or repairs later on.

#19 41 days ago

Make sure the upper drop target at the top of the shooter lane ramp works.
Make sure the ghost target drops during boo back time.
Rt ramp entrance look for damage, cliffy and I made a fix if it is.

Other than that its a solid first game. I have had two looking for another.

#20 41 days ago

this was one of my first games.

Quoted from Pinballlew:

The right ramp gets cracked at the entrance where the upper flipper will shoot a ball into it, but cliffy makes a protector that will probably cover any damage.

Mine was broken and that was exactly how I fixed it and it is simple and cheap to do.

#21 41 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

But seriously, I had no idea there were this many pinball fanatics out there.

Dude... You have no idea... hahaha

But congrats on your first game! I hope someone local can help you out. Good luck!

#22 41 days ago

Just a few locals, lol:

https://pinside.com/pinball/map/pinsiders

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#23 41 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

So not trying to be lazy, just nervous... do I have to take the glass off and the balls out for this short commute? I'm glad to do the work, but with my lack of knowledge, if I don't have to take that apart, I'd rather not, so I don't become my own worst enemy and break it.

It’s way easier to move Pinball’s with legs off - they designed them to transport that way. Unless you’re just shuffling them around your game room or something.

If you take the legs off, absolutely take balls out first because they bang around otherwise or get lost in weird places. It’s really easy — again, they are designed for easy glass removal to service the game. Open coin door, open latch lever on right side, pop off lockdown bar, then glass slides out towards you. Be careful setting it down. Balls can be manually popped out of ball trough, or thru service menu.

Honestly, I’d take others advice and find someone to come with you. Very very helpful your first time, and either way you’ll want 2 people to move it. Pinball’s are 250-300lb beasts.

#24 41 days ago

Close door when taking glass off. Easy to scratch otherwise. Don't learn the hard way. Take balls out, the won't break plastics above the playfield that were never supposed to be hit.

#25 39 days ago

This animation is short and sweet but it gives you a good idea of how to prepare the machine for transport and it will make sense of the process some of the people already suggested. » YouTube video

12
#26 35 days ago

Thx all. The machine is alive and well in my basement now! I appreciate all the advice and help - everything works perfectly. It's a super fun game!

#27 35 days ago

thats great to hear. Its such a fun game!

#28 34 days ago

I wrote the rules in a thread if your interested.

#29 34 days ago

This game on normal seemed pretty easy to me, so you may want to do the Hard installs.

#30 34 days ago
Quoted from frolic:

This game on normal seemed pretty easy to me, so you may want to do the Hard installs.

Normally I agree. RCT needs extra hard settings to make it fun... most of the time. However, it is John’s first game. And that changes things. Just playing pinball in your house is the rush. No need to turn it into a tough game to keep interest. That all comes with time.

#31 34 days ago

Hard settings? Are these settings, or just things like angle of the table surface? For all I know, it may already be set on hard from the guy I purchased it from?

And yes, it's a super fun game so far!

I have the original manual, I guess I should read it :).

#32 34 days ago

Most games have settings to change how difficult it is. From old EMs there would be liberal and conservative holes where you could slightly move posts to make the ball drain easier.

SS games had those, plus electronic settings for things like extra balls being on or off.

Modern games added a ton of settings. For instance, on RCT, the Handyman target at the top right. Normally that is up at the beginning of a ball and you can plunge right behind it to start a mode. But on extra hard, it is down at the start. And to light it you have to hit targets, and to light fun, and then hit the ramp to raise it. So instead of an easy run to Park Tycoon through modes, it is a struggle to get through a few.

All modern games have these. On easy settings maybe you hit a target twice to do something, but on hard it needs 6 times. As you own games longer, easy ones tend to get boring quickly. They are fun at first, but beating it over and over gets old. So you start speaking out the challenge of tougher games.

But for now, I wouldn’t worry about that if I was you. I think you should do a factory reset on the game. That will get rid of any odd settings, it will remove any high scores, and you will be ready to rock on your first game. Then later, if you feel like you are just beating up the game, start making it tougher.

#33 34 days ago

Dave, this is awesome. So all of these difficulty settings are electronic? I do wonder if they guy I bought it from changed the difficulty, so I'll do a reset as soon as I get home and can find the option in the manual.

As an aside, SS games? What is SS? Stearns?

#34 34 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

As an aside, SS games? What is SS? Stearns?

Solid state electronics. Using transistors and integrated circuits in place of relays and other mechanical devices.

Also used for an abbreviation of Bally Midways "Scared Stiff" pinball machine title.

#35 34 days ago

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/rollercoaster-tycoon-rules#post-3316622

I should have included the link, this is the RCT rules thread. Sounds like you have a real nice machine! We love ours.

I don’t think it has been mentioned but check the batteries 3 AAA in the backbox and replace them. You will want to get an off the circuit board battery holder or a nvram soon. Hopefully the current ones did not leak.

#36 33 days ago

So I cracked open the manual (wow is it long!). I reset the machine to factory settings and changed the difficulty to easy (don't judge :)).

Questions: Is there a way to adjust the volume (wife suggestion)? Nvram/battery holder - not sure I understand? And one more... the ball falls into the abc section at the top sometimes, and the area before that sometimes, even though I pull the plunger all the way back every time. Is it an issue with the plunger, or is the board designed to randomly drop into either area (I do know there's a skillshot if you finesse the plunger, but i'm curious if the plunger is ok when using full force).

Thx all!

#37 33 days ago

If pulling full force it should always go to the abc lanes. I think it would be a plunger issue. It is probably not making full contact with the ball everytime. With the glass off pull the plunger and make sure it is not hitting the auto plunger. If it does you can move the playfield to the left or right. Mine will do this to after I lift the playfield if I don’t remember to check it. Batteries are behind the translite ton the circuit boards.

#38 33 days ago

Oh an on volume...open the coin door and you will see three buttons. While powered on hit the far left red one to access volume control...then hit the left to lower and middle to raise it.

#39 32 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

Nvram/battery holder - not sure I understand?

Rule of thumb....figure that any pinball machine you buy has batteries installed on the MPU board to power the RAM chip when the machine is off so high scores and settings are preserved. Many people don't know there's batteries in these games until it's too late. The batteries eventually leak (if they haven't already) and ruin boards that cost a few hundred dollars to replace.

There's a few options to get the batteries off the board.. remote battery packs are one, but any more NVRAM is your best bet since it's once-and-done and pretty inexpensive these days. NVRAM is a chip/adapter that replaces your RAM chip and saves high scores and settings for your game without the use of batteries. More info @ http://www.pinitech.com/products/6264_nvram.php

On Roller Coaster Tycoon upgrading to NVRAM is easy, but if you aren't comfortable pulling a chip out of an IC socket and replacing it with another chip, you may want to have someone do that for you.

#40 32 days ago

Argghhhh... this is the second time I've gone to post and had the post just go poof! I'm going to try again...

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#41 32 days ago

So the pics above are from the missing post... i posted that comment above about posts disappearing, and somehow it kept the pictures... bugs in this forum software...

So here goes my lost post again... first, thanks so much for everything so far. I got the volume adjusted, small wins (I'm an idiot for not seeing the word "volume" on the button!)... Second, hopefully it's not against etiquette to keep asking further questions...?

I can't find the battery. I've looked in the manual (paper manuals are for the birds) and no luck. Where is the (translite?)?

In the pic above, you can see one piece missing near the back on the playfield. Does anyone know what this should be, and is there a way to get a replacement?

I can't get the plunger to consistently send the ball to the abc area when pulled all the way back. I did see at first that the plunger was brushing the auto plunge, but i moved the playfield over as seen in the pic. The ball still doesn't make it. Any other ideas? And as for moving the playfield, is there some screw somewhere that will keep it where i move it? It seems like it would quickly move back...

One more question, really more advice. When looking closer, I see that several bulbs are out. I've converted my landscape lighting to led bulbs, have them in my house, and wonder if I should go ahead and buy one of the led bulb kits I see out there for this machine. Any advice on what to look for and a good set to buy? I want to do it right. Does this increase the value of the machine any at all?

Thx so much! I'm having a ton of fun learning about the machine, maybe even more than playing :). You guys make it even more enjoyable!

John

#42 32 days ago

So who's going to volunteer to stop over and give this fine fellow the pinball ownership 101 class?

The translite is the big "poster" above the score display with the art and game name. If you look inside the coin door above the buttons, you should find a hook holding a pair of keys. Those keys will open the lock at the top/center above the translite. Lift from the bottom and pull towards you to remove the translite, reveal the boards and batteries.

Your game looks like it was well loved but is now in need of some cleaning and maintenance. The issue with your plunger should be low priority for now. Looks like it's just not centered on the ball. You shouldn't be full plunging anyway, you want to plunge so the ball falls behind the drop target. That's a bit of advanced strategy for you.

The broken post in your pictures can be replaced. You'll be making a big parts order soon, so don't worry about that quite yet either.

#43 32 days ago

So where do you all order parts from? Is http://www.actionpinball.com/parts.php a good site for it?

#44 32 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

Second, hopefully it's not against etiquette to keep asking further questions...?

It isn’t against etiquette. Don’t worry about it at all. When you first start getting games there are tons of questions as you learn. Keep asking them, and people will keep answering them.

#45 32 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

So where do you all order parts from? Is http://www.actionpinball.com/parts.php a good site for it?

Lots of good sites.
Action pinball.
Pinball life.
http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/554

And congrats on your first pin.

And clean and wax the playfield once you replace that post. It will play even better cleaned up. The missing post part # should be in the playfield parts list in the manual. If not someone here will know what exact part goes there.

And you made need a new t-nut if that has/had one. Or replace the t-nut with a regular nut.
It's one of the first few posts in these 2 links.

http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=69&pg=1

http://www.actionpinball.com/hardware.php#posts

#46 32 days ago

More news to report. Plunger adjusted... works perfectly. I still need to learn skill shots, but at least when I *want* to hit the abc area, I can :).

Parts: so I'm on action pinball, getting ready to place my order for the post, washer and bulbs (not going to go led for now). Can someone tell me the nvram I need (I searched and wasn't sure), along with a good wax. And anything else I might as well order while I'm there?

Oh, and while lifting the playfield, I added a couple more scratches to the black sidewall. Can this be fixed, or is that just the nature of pinball machines to have these scratches?

#47 32 days ago

http://www.pinitech.com/products/6264_nvram.php

As far as the scratches... It happens. Just try to pull out the playfield straight and smoothly.

You can touch it up with black lacquer from home depot and a foam brush. It will let you blend it in so it doesn't look like it's been fixed.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/best-touch-up-paint-to-match-black-cabinet-and-black-sides-in-pins

Here is the location of the ram that needs switching out to nvram.

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#48 32 days ago
Quoted from johnwest80:

Oh, and while lifting the playfield, I added a couple more scratches to the black sidewall. Can this be fixed, or is that just the nature of pinball machines to have these scratches?

Check these out at PBL, I just bought them and they are great. I can move them from game to game when needed so I never have to worry about scratching my mirror blades of side art blades. http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4575

#49 32 days ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Check these out at PBL, I just bought them and they are great. I can move them from game to game when needed so I never have to worry about scratching my mirror blades of side art blades. http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4575

Can you explain how these work? How do they adhere? It sounds like they are easy to move from machine to machine or just 1 time install on one machine? I have tight clearance with my blades on a game.. pulled the felt off already but wondering if this is a possibility..

OP— clean with something easy going like simple green. Then wax with carnuba pure wax. Ideally you would partially strip Playfield top to get full access for cleaning, and remove subway ramps for cleaning and also install new rubbers at the same time and replace bulbs that are out. It’s a fair amount of work though for someone starting out so maybe hold off on all that and do a quick clean and have some fun first

#50 32 days ago

if you place a order, get some new pinballs as well.

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