(Topic ID: 149707)

Easy to repair non-electromechanical pin for a newbie?


By Boateye

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Slim64
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    #1 3 years ago

    Hey all,

    I'm looking to learn how to repair/restore pinball machines as a hobby. I'm looking for a cheap ( around $1k or less) machine, preferably broken, non-electromechanical pin that I can learn on. It would be a plus if parts for the pin are easily attainable.

    What pin would you kind folks recommend?

    Details about me:

    I am a 23 year old gamer who works in tech and has considerable experience building and repairing computers, and some experience working on cars. I have soldered before, and I'm pretty good at diagnosing issues, and finding solutions.

    I have only recently become interested in pins because I was exposed to the magic that is Medieval Madness! Once I found out that that pin is way out of my price range, I wanted to find a machine within my price range that I can learn on and not get too mad about destroying, if I totally botch the repair job.

    Eventually, I want to find a broken Twilight Zone/The Addams Family machine to restore and give to my mother as a surprise birthday/mother's day gift as she is the one who first exposed me to pinball when I was young.

    ---

    Thanks for the advice do far, everyone one bonus question I forgot to ask:

    What tools do you all recommend I pick up as they are universally used in repairs?

    I already have Phillips, flat head and torx head screw drivers, needlenose pliers, soldering iron and lots of sxrews of various sizes I've gathered over the years from building computers.

    #2 3 years ago

    Oops, accidentally replied to my post by accident. Please ignore>.> <.<

    #3 3 years ago

    For 1k or less you probably looking at a 1980 to 1990 non dmd. Repairing machines can be fun if you have the time and patience plus pinside members can be alot of help.
    As far as a cheap "A" title like tz or adams family they are getting alot harder to come by as many people enjoy Repairing games and the hobby is becoming more popular.
    Good luck in your search and welcome to the hobby, careful it can be very additive

    #4 3 years ago

    For me, the easiest machines to learn repair and diag on were the early bally ss machines.

    The built in boot diag is very handy for beginners, and parts are plentiful.

    Also (for me) the system design is pretty straightforward, and less complicated than other companies early SS designs.

    You can find plenty of stern/bally early SS machines working or projects for under 1k.

    #5 3 years ago

    My 1st game (as well as many others) was an F-14 tomcat. Their fairly cheap, easy to diagnose and fix. There's a lot of info on repairing them. There's like 14000 made so it's easy to come by.

    #6 3 years ago

    I'd look for a project Cyclone or taxi. Probably going to be at the top of your range but both are a lot of fun after you get them working.
    I think half the battle is going to be finding the games. Keep an open mind to many titles. You can always sell them after. Just don't overpay.

    #7 3 years ago

    What a good way to pay for your collection and get that pin for your mom. Buy a project, fix and sell, and work your way up. Your time and passion could fund the hobby!

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from Slim64:

    For me, the easiest machines to learn repair and diag on were the early bally ss machines.
    The built in boot diag is very handy for beginners, and parts are plentiful.
    Also (for me) the system design is pretty straightforward, and less complicated than other companies early SS designs.
    You can find plenty of stern/bally early SS machines working or projects for under 1k.

    I agree with this but would caveat it that the need to re-pin connectors and boards in those games can be a real PITA. My suggestion would be for an late 80s B/W System 11 or 11A game like HS, F14, Pin-Bot, etc. The electronics in those are generally pretty robust unless there is acid damage or the P/S burnt to a crisp. There are also a whole lot of them out there so its not unusual to see these in need of repair but mostly working <$1K. Good luck and welcome to the madness!

    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from bobukcat:

    I agree with this but would caveat it that the need to re-pin connectors and boards in those games can be a real PITA. My suggestion would be for an late 80s B/W System 11 or 11A game like HS, F14, Pin-Bot, etc. The electronics in those are generally pretty robust unless there is acid damage or the P/S burnt to a crisp. There are also a whole lot of them out there so its not unusual to see these in need of repair but mostly working <$1K. Good luck and welcome to the madness!

    True, I just repinned a bunch on my xenon....what a tedious job.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from Slim64:

    True, I just repinned a bunch on my xenon....what a tedious job.

    I need to do a bunch on my Xenon and I keep putting it off because it is so tedious.

    #11 3 years ago

    System 11s may be good, but you could even make it simpler, like a system 4-9. Flash, gorgar, black knight and comet come to mind.

    #12 3 years ago

    Probably the cheapest, funnest game is Comet.

    You can always find one for less than $1000.

    Lot's of shots and ramps.

    They made 8000 of them so it was super popular and made tons of cash back in the day.

    #13 3 years ago

    Thanks for the advice so far everyone

    A couple questions:

    1) some of this jargon doesn't make immediate sense to me. What's an "HS", "SS", "DMD" (dot-matrix display?), "P/S", and "repinning"?

    2)I should have put this in the OP, but what tools do you all recommend I pick up as they are universally used in repairs? I already have Phillips, flat head and torx head screw drivers, needlenose pliers, soldering iron and lots of screws of various sizes I've gathered over the years from building computers.

    #14 3 years ago

    You'll find we love our acronyms in the Pinball world!

    HS = High Speed, everything you need to know about it can be found at the Internet Pinball Machine Database: http://www.ipdb.org/search.pl
    SS (as used here) = Solid State, which means it is not Electro-Mechanical (EM) (SS is also short for Scared Stiff, an awesome game from the 90s featuring Elvira).
    DMD = Dot Matrix Display, the alternatives are Numeric or AlphaNumeric (or LCD in a much newer game).
    P/S is Power Supply (I should have left the slash out)
    Re-pinning refers to replacing worn out, burnt, etc. connectors in the backbox. There are LOTS of connectors in a backbox and in the old Bally SS machines there are a whole bunch of IDC (insulation displacement connectors) and others that need to be re-pinned / replaced. It is a Pain in the Ass (PITA).

    #15 3 years ago

    <blockquote cite="#2917567"
    2)I should have put this in the OP, but what tools do you all recommend I pick up as they are universally used in repairs? I already have Phillips, flat head and torx head screw drivers, needlenose pliers, soldering iron and lots of sxrews of various sizes I've gathered over the years from building computers.

    A good DMM (digital multi-meter) if you don't already have one.
    Allen Wrenches / drivers.
    1/4 inch drive sockets / ratchet.
    Cleaning supplies, lots of cleaning supplies (there are many threads on here about cleaning / waxing pinball machines, it's like a religion in that it seems nobody agrees on the best methods / products to use.).

    #16 3 years ago

    Biggest recommendation, a good quality digital multimeter. Pretty much any electronic diag/repair will require its use

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from Boateye:

    what tools do you all recommend I pick up as they are universally used in repairs?

    Take a moment to read through the restoration documentation that Bryan Kelly posted https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ij-restoration-started This post has tons of good advice and recommendations for tools, supplies, etc. You will also want to build a rotisserie for doing the tear down and assembly of the play field; you can build a simple one very cheap, there was a recent topic on this very subject.

    #18 3 years ago

    I would look at Bally -35 boardset games.

    Games like:

    Eight Ball Deluxe
    Flash Gordon
    Embryon
    Frontier
    Future Spa
    Playboy
    Paragon
    Nitro Groundshaker
    Xenon

    etc.

    #19 3 years ago

    Don't forget CL! That's where you'll find all the machines in need of repair

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from bobukcat:

    You'll find we love our acronyms in the Pinball world!
    HS = High Speed, everything you need to know about it can be found at the Internet Pinball Machine Database:
    SS (as used here) = Solid State, which means it is not Electro-Mechanical (EM) (SS is also short for Scared Stiff, an awesome game from the 90s featuring Elvira).
    DMD = Dot Matrix Display, the alternatives are Numeric or AlphaNumeric (or LCD in a much newer game).
    P/S is Power Supply (I should have left the slash out)
    Re-pinning refers to replacing worn out, burnt, etc. connectors in the backbox. There are LOTS of connectors in a backbox and in the old Bally SS machines there are a whole bunch of IDC (insulation displacement connectors) and others that need to be re-pinned / replaced. It is a Pain in the Ass (PITA).

    Quoted from Pin_Guy:

    Take a moment to read through the restoration documentation that Bryan Kelly posted. This post has tons of good advice and recommendations for tools, supplies, etc. You will also want to build a rotisserie for doing the tear down and assembly of the play field; you can build a simple one very cheap, there was a recent topic on this very subject.

    Thanks for the resources! I'll be sure to read through them next chance I get.

    Quoted from Robotoes:

    I would look at Bally -35 boardset games.
    Games like:
    Eight Ball Deluxe
    Flash Gordon
    Embryon
    Frontier
    Future Spa
    Playboy
    Paragon
    Nitro Groundshaker
    Xenon
    etc.

    Thanks for the partial list, but what do you mean by "Bally -35 board set"? IS that a model number or something? Googling that phrase didn't help me much :X

    Quoted from bobukcat:

    A good DMM (digital multi-meter) if you don't already have one.
    Allen Wrenches / drivers.
    1/4 inch drive sockets / ratchet.
    Cleaning supplies, lots of cleaning supplies (there are many threads on here about cleaning / waxing pinball machines, it's like a religion in that it seems nobody agrees on the best methods / products to use.).

    I have a couple allen wrenches, but the other stuff (especailly a DMM) i certainly do not have! I'll see what i can steal from my dad's toolbox w/o him knowing What should i look for in a DMM and what are they used for? What's the risk of buying a cheap one, and what should I be looking to spend on a respectable one?

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from Boateye:

    Thanks for the partial list, but what do you mean by "Bally -35 board set"? IS that a model number or something? Googling that phrase didn't help me much :X

    http://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?searchtype=advanced&mpu=18

    #23 3 years ago

    I'd suggest to start with an EM, actually - it's like Latin. You learn the basics then move to solid state. Moving backwards later on will give you brain hurt. And you will likely want to move backwards later into collecting. Lots of super interesting and involved EM games with fantastic artwork.

    As far as working on an EM, remember that it's all binary anyway - is a switch open or closed? You still have those challenges with solid state as well, but with a computer thrown on top! You still have to troubleshoot the mechanical aspect and rebuild stuff, it's just that the boardset for everything complicates matters.

    As far as they type of machine, I would further others' suggestions for a nice early solid state Bally or Stern. They are fairly simple to understand. Original System 80 or System 1 by Gottlieb is also fairly simple. But remember my advice: everything builds on the EM tech.

    Good luck in your search!

    -Nick

    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from bobukcat:

    I need to do a bunch on my Xenon and I keep putting it off because it is so tedious.

    Bring it up, I'll take care of repinning and you can play your jurassic park while you wait.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 45.00
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    LightAndTimeArt
    $ 44.99
    Lighting - Interactive
    Lee's Parts
    From: $ 175.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Pinball Photos
    $ 39.99
    Lighting - Interactive
    Lee's Parts
    $ 39.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 30.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Metal-Mods
    $ 89.99
    $ 28.95
    $ 89.99
    $ 3.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Doc's Pinball Shop
    $ 14.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore
    $ 90.00
    Lighting - Led
    Geeteoh Electronics
    $ 79.99
    Cabinet - Armor And Blades
    PinGraffix Pinside Shop
    $ 7,899.00
    Pinball Machine
    Operation Pinball
    $ 999.00
    Flipper Parts
    Mircoplayfields
    $ 154.00
    Cabinet - Toppers
    Id Rather Play Pinball
    From: $ 42.00
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 22.00
    Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 74.00
    Cabinet - Armor And Blades
    Id Rather Play Pinball
    $ 120.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    G-Money Mods
    $ 23.00
    Electronics
    Yorktown Parts and Equip
    $ 11.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore
    $ 68.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside