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(Topic ID: 273759)

First pin to learn the maintenance aspect?


By Chet_Hardbody

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by 29REO
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 3 months ago

    Hi all,

    I've always had an interest in pinball, but mostly just hitting the ball around without much strategy. I've been doing research on my first pin and I was hoping to get some advice. The one thing I was thinking about is from what I've seen around the forums something WILL stop working, no matter what. I don't want to have to call someone every time this happens, so I would love to learn to do it myself. However, I have no mechanical skills and I am really bad with DIY projects.

    I have a budget of $3,500 for a used pin. I'm looking for one that is on the easy side of learning to fix and replace parts, but still fun/deep. Any suggestions?

    Some pins I've been looking at are Judge Dredd Johnny Mnemonic Tales from the Crypt Last Action Hero

    edit: was also looking at NBA Fastbreak

    Thanks in advance!

    #2 3 months ago

    JD and JM are both on the advanced side, mechanisms wise with the deadworld and glove. I'd probably avoid them.

    #3 3 months ago

    Tales from the Crypt has the most conservative mechs on your list. Maybe that means it would be the easiest to trouble shoot. Someone who has worked with Data East machines would need to confirm that.

    #4 3 months ago

    You say you have no mechanical skills. That is okay. But are you willing to learn some? If so, getting a pinball machine will give you ample opportunity. If not, owning pinball is not for you. It would be like forcing me to do yard work which would make me a sad miserable person.

    #5 3 months ago

    I say TFTC, that was my first modern game and I learned a lot with it, learned to solder use a multimeter etc. Plus it’s a cool theme and great game. But if you can get a good deal on any of those I would go for it they are all fun.

    #6 3 months ago

    As long as you are willing to learn you will get the hang of things. Everyone says not to pick up a nonworking machine for a first pin, but that is exactly what I did. I was always mechanically inclined and enjoy learning how things work. If you have no mechanical skills, pick something up that is working. Everytime something breaks, post a thread and learn a skill. Eventually you will know how it all works.
    I suggest getting someone who is into the hobby to go with you on your first purchase. Many helpful people right here on pinside who would be willing to help someone new get their feet wet.

    #7 3 months ago

    Thanks all for the advice so far, appreciate it

    #8 3 months ago
    Quoted from Chet_Hardbody:

    I have a budget of $3,500 for a used pin. I'm looking for one that is on the easy side of learning to fix and replace parts, but still fun/deep. Any suggestions?

    I wouldn;t limit what you enjoy becasue of the technical aspect of fixery, in any way.
    Shit is going to break, you're going to learn how to fix it. The most complicated machine could never give you 0 problems and a friendly one could end up a pain in the ass.
    Don't worry aboot it, just get the one you like and I can find....that's working at the time
    EDIT NBA Fastbreak is lame though

    #9 3 months ago

    I cut my teeth on 90s Williams machines and I would highly recommend them for learning the inner mechanics. There are a lot of resources for them, and readily available parts.

    You could practice doing a flipper rebuild, replacing rubbers and replacing bulbs with LEDs. That's generally pretty easy, it only gets difficult when there are electrical problems. And there will be electrical problems.

    Fortunately you have pinside

    #10 3 months ago

    If you are serious about learning I am happy to help you learn. I am (somewhat) local to you. I would be happy to help you inspect your first purchase if that is what you want or need. You would get a better idea of what you are getting yourself into.

    I only have one (not fixed but preferable) condition ... you can ask any question once and even twice but if you ask the same question three times the deal is off. This indicates to me that you are not learning and just want someone to "fix my sh*t". I have met quite a few people who want me to "fix my sh*t for free". I will help you to learn to fix your own sh*t for free.

    #11 3 months ago
    Quoted from DumbAss:

    If you are serious about learning I am happy to help you learn. I am (somewhat) local to you. I would be happy to help you inspect your first purchase if that is what you want or need. You would get a better idea of what you are getting yourself into.
    I only have one (not fixed but preferable) condition ... you can ask any question once and even twice but if you ask the same question three times the deal is off. This indicates to me that you are not learning and just want someone to "fix my sh*t". I have met quite a few people who want me to "fix my sh*t for free". I will help you to learn to fix your own sh*t for free.

    Thanks for the offer! I'll definitely keep this in mind when I'm closer to purchasing. Much appreciated.

    #12 3 months ago

    I just shopped a game for my first time over the last cpl days. Since I got my first pin last Aug I have learned a ton, even how to solder. If you're willing to learn there is a ton of info available. I also had no mechanical skills going into this hobby. Now I feel I am pretty self sufficient.

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    #13 3 months ago
    Quoted from Antron77:

    I just shopped a game for my first time over the last cpl days. Since I got my first pin last Aug I have learned a ton, even how to solder. If you're willing to learn there is a ton of info available. I also had no mechanical skills going into this hobby. Now I feel I am pretty self sufficient.

    That is terrifying to me, but nice job!

    #14 3 months ago

    You tube has lots of short videos to help with learning stuff.

    I'd spend $500 or $1,000 on a Craigslist beater solid state that just needs a fuse.

    That should teach you everything you'll ever need to know about fixing pins.

    LTG : )

    #15 3 months ago

    I would avoid Data East if you are wanting to learn to maintain a machine. Go with the JM. You should be able to find a decent one for $3500.

    #16 3 months ago

    Maybe not the most popular choice, but I would just spend a couple hundred and pick up an EM game if you want to learn. Very simple electronics you can easily learn to read schematics and trace back and isolate issues. It would be a bit less of a learning curve not having to deal with integrated circuits and the possibility of board repair if you are new to soldering. None of the basic playfield mechs have changed a ton over the past 50 years, so all of that will still apply to modern games.

    Use the money you saved and just buy whatever game really interests you and that you like playing. I would not let any hesitation about possible future repairs stop you from buying any machine that you liked.

    #17 3 months ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    I would avoid Data East if you are wanting to learn to maintain a machine. Go with the JM. You should be able to find a decent one for $3500.

    I actually kind of hate JM, and wouldn't wish it on anybody! It has a lot of good things going for it for sure, but it can be so unfair/unfun with side drains and very clunky shots. Plus, the hand is a PITA. Even when it's working all right, it's still a finicky bastard. I love the video mode though. I owned a JM for about 6 weeks and couldn't sell it fast enough.

    But some people love JM, so to each their own!

    #18 3 months ago
    Quoted from DakotaMike:

    I actually kind of hate JM, and wouldn't wish it on anybody...

    Agreed.

    #19 3 months ago

    A couple of good suggestions here by ltg (solid state) and liftmagnet (EM) to work on. My first repairs were learned on both of these. You also got a nice offer from dumbass to help, which in my experience is typical of the pinball community. I would take advantage of that and dive right in!

    #20 3 months ago

    The Getaway is a good one in that price range. It’s great for someone starting out because there isn’t a lot that can break, and the gameplay is easy to understand and just difficult enough to make you want to play again and again.

    #21 3 months ago

    Find yourself an early ss project, dismantle it and restore it. It’ll be just like taking up a tech course at the community college except you’ll be utilizing Pinside, Pinwiki, YouTube, etc...
    If this is what you want then you’ll be better for it.

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