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(Topic ID: 215045)

Experience Counts! How long do you have your hands inside a Game?


2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 32 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Buzz
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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    Topic poll

    “How long have you been working with Pinball?”

    • 0-7 years 54 votes
    • 7-14 years 23 votes
    • 14-21 years 15 votes
    • 21-30 years 10 votes
    • 30-40 years 9 votes
    • 40-50 years 2 votes
    • 50 60 years 2 votes
    • 60 years plus! 1 vote

    (116 votes)

    #1 2 years ago

    Well, we get ideas over time how old some of us are, and how long on pinside, or even playing.

    But in honor of O-din, LTG, Vid, and many others with tenure, how many years have you had messing around inside?
    (50 and over for Hall of Fame!)

    Anything above and beyond a lightbulb!

    Ive watched the membership count on Pinside rise continually, and we get new and old.....

    Please DO comment with your tenure, or early tech stories!!

    #2 2 years ago

    Old? Who you calling old, Art?

    21 years in the hobby..... Still remember the first order from Bob Roberts and the first belly laugh from Steve Young when I tried to order without a part number..

    #3 2 years ago

    Probably around 25 years. I remember hauling the cabinets of machines around in an 88 Dodge Daytona.

    #4 2 years ago

    My earliest recollection is standing on a stool scrubbing a playfield when I was 4 years old. So I'm right at the 60 year mark.

    I'll never forgive my parents for not being rich.

    LTG : )
    Disclaimer : No matter how many years. You are never done learning.

    #5 2 years ago

    I break 50 years in May. Freaking 8 years old with pliers and a flashlight helping or "destroying" my cousins pin.
    Had to start somewhere!

    #6 2 years ago

    3-4 years? Pinside claims I bought my first game in 2015.... Time flies!

    #7 2 years ago

    I think I bought my first machine in 1996, if I recall correctly. TX Sector....Didn't know what I was doing, but I knew it was a long term commitment!

    #8 2 years ago

    I've been in the hobby about 5 years. Before that, I knew pretty much nothing practical about the inner workings of a pinball machine.

    But, I learned quickly by reading, researching, and just by doing. I've always had a knack for this kind of stuff, so that was a big help.

    The first game I bought was cheap and non-working, and I learned a lot from repairing it.

    Now I bring dead games back to life, help others with repairs when I can, contribute repair info to pinwiki frequently, and started a small pinball show in the northeast (

    It's a fun hobby with a lot of interesting people in it

    #9 2 years ago

    Mid 90s but wasn't doing any board type work. Standard coil sleeve, soldering, type stuff though.

    #10 2 years ago

    Acquired my first machine 3 years ago.
    Picked up my little bit o knowledge from here, pinwiki and

    #11 2 years ago

    Until I get shocked.

    Seriously though, I had never seen inside a pinball machine until about six years ago. But have been fixing just about anything else since I was about old enough to walk.

    #13 2 years ago

    1st job in 1974 at age 14 was cleaning, replacing rubbers and removing coins from the 6 machines at a swim club snack bar my neighbor owned. Didn't buy my 1st till 1999.

    #14 2 years ago

    Bought my 1st pin in 1985 but didn't start tinkering under the hood until 2010 when I brought her out of storage to revive her.

    #15 2 years ago

    2 years in sept. Your poll is going to be skewed heavy for 0-7 I feel.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Mid 90s but wasn't doing any board type work. Standard coil sleeve, soldering, type stuff though.

    Me too (mid 80's). I started doing board level work about 20 years ago.

    #17 2 years ago

    First machine I ever worked on and shopped out was a Data East Simpsons back in the early '90s. I guess that's when I officially got my start, when I was about 12 years old. So 25+ years, but really only very, very actively the last 15 years.

    #18 2 years ago

    bought my first game 37 years ago

    #19 2 years ago

    First year in the hobby. We had a personal computer when I was a kid so I didn't go to arcades. Been messing around with custom cars the last 25 years. Played a pinny in a bar (g.b. and taf) and got hooked. This hobby reminds me a bit of my car hobby, but different enough to be a change.
    Bought a project J. P. Fixed it up and sold it. Bought a J. D. And cleaned it up and playing it as much as i can. Fixing up a project f.t. at mo.
    I do enjoy fixing these things up.
    Got a nib MET coming soon aswell \m/
    Been to 1 tournament and I enjoyed that

    #20 2 years ago

    First machine in 1994(SS). First EM in 2015. Big lull in between. I had a Career to finish out.
    I shopped that first machine as well as replaced a power supply. First playfield touchups and complete bulb renewal.
    Just now learning SS board repair. Very confident about my EM repair skills.

    #21 2 years ago

    Amazing to read the progression of others. I've been doing my own repairs for two years and hope one day to be more than just a novice in this hobby once I retire hopefully in 10 years. Funny to think I didn't even know you could buy a pinball machine. Boy did my life change once I discovered you could. One board repair under my belt and hoping to get to full restoration skill one day.

    #22 2 years ago

    Im really shocked at the poll so far....there really are less old farts on pinside than I thought!

    #23 2 years ago

    I’m 34 and been in the hobby about 4 years. First game was a $1000 T2 that needed board work and gi connectors. Got a quick education from the Pinside folks and haven’t looked back. About half way through a Pinbot restore now. Learned all about not dicking with lamps with the power on, and how to repair the two transistors I exploded

    #24 2 years ago

    In 1993 I got a job at an arcade in town, and learned a lot about both video games and pinball machines. I also started doing tech work for a local operator, and that turned into me troubleshooting old pins he had stashed in a warehouse and getting them up and running so he could sell them. It was here I started doing board level work.

    In 1995 I got my chance to run my own small arcade at a Mexican market in Fresno. I ran it for three years and it helped pay my room and board through college. I sold it in 1998 and took a break from videos and pinball machines until 2014. So I guess my total time is just about 9 years.

    #25 2 years ago

    Bought my first game a little over 12 years ago and was learning to fix it the first week of ownership. Good ole container game, missing parts and hacked boards. First repair was replacing a flipper transistor, second repair was fixing a whole lot of other shit when I wired a flipper coil incorrectly.

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

    Im really shocked at the poll so far....there really are less old farts on pinside than I thought!

    Age doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how long you have been working on pinball machines.

    But if you want to ask about playing pinball machines, the first one I remember was around 1967 or 68.

    #27 2 years ago

    I’ve been in this hobby less than a year and I’ve owned 13 pins. In that time I’ve learned a lot and met a bunch of great guys. I’m still just a rookie here and still have a lot to learn. My wife is now getting in on the hobby and we play a few games together most nights.

    #28 2 years ago

    might want to start a poll "how old are you"

    #29 2 years ago

    Right on the cusp of 7 years. (June 17th will be 7 years). Was a 500 buck Space Shuttle that I'd knew I was going to be wanting a CPR playfield for..I'd done research on what parts were available, because I'm smart like that. I'd never even touched a soldering iron before. Now it's just like..whatever. I installed a battery eliminator RAM chip replacement last night in about 30 minutes.

    #30 2 years ago

    Owning my first pin in 1982, that is 36 years ago. Tinkered with some problems myself. Once it went into a constant reset, borrowed a friends van took the pin across the city for service. A week later, and a whopping $70.00 repair, and it has been going good so far, knock on wood.

    #31 2 years ago

    I've been tinkering with pinball machines since the summer of 2004. I was in 8th grade going into high school. My mom got an EM game at a yard sale for my dad that summer since he's the kind of guy who likes to fix things.

    He didn't have time to look at it, but me being a bit of an outcast, never playing sports, and school being out, I had all the time in the world. Took me a couple months to figure out it was a single score reel switch stuck closed, but with the help of Clay's guides, I got it working. What a rush it was to go from pile o' junk to working game! It was that summer I truly found a passion for something.

    I think I spent most of my time on RGP back then. For the hell of it, I dug up some old posts I made all those years ago. For those who put up with me asking really dumb questions an 8th grader would ask (lookin' you, LTG!), I sincerely thank you all. You all really bolstered my confidence and made me feel like not the outcast I always felt like in school.

    #32 2 years ago

    Cool story but man I feel old now.

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