(Topic ID: 302593)

First Pinball Machine Club

By ZMeny

3 months ago


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  • 22 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by horseflesh
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    #1 3 months ago

    The First Pinball Machine Club is a thread dedicated to tips/strategies/discussion about the purchase of your first pinball machine. Congratulations and welcome to the pinball family!

    #2 3 months ago

    Here’s a guide on how to unbox and setup a new pinball machine.

    Please share with friends that may benefit.

    #3 3 months ago

    assuming it's a modern game w coil settings... turn down that trough kicker strength!!

    #4 3 months ago

    Tools of the trade:

    Drill with brand new bits to drill out locks

    Socket wrench or drill attachment for 5/8 and 9/16 sockets

    1/4 nut driver (might need to take off the backbox latch on the back of a WPC game)

    Dolly or cart (something good with stairs or trucking through yards)

    Ratchet straps

    Pipe insulation or pool noodles for between the head and game

    Zip lock bags for ball and bolts and other game bits

    Shrink wrap and moving blankets to wrap the game if desired.

    #5 3 months ago
    Quoted from bigehrl:

    assuming it's a modern game w coil settings... turn down that trough kicker strength!!

    Amen! I included that in the video. That’ll save a couple of hundred dollars when going to resell in the future.

    #6 3 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Tools of the trade:
    Drill with brand new bits to drill out locks
    Socket wrench or drill attachment for 5/8 and 9/16 sockets
    1/4 nut driver (might need to take off the backbox latch on the back of a WPC game)
    Dolly or cart (something good with stairs or trucking through yards)
    Ratchet straps
    Pipe insulation or pool noodles for between the head and game
    Zip lock bags for ball and bolts and other game bits
    Shrink wrap and moving blankets to wrap the game if desired.

    I knew you’d be here to help people. You’re a damn fine pinball member Chuck and great tips

    #7 3 months ago

    In addition to above: Eyes and nose. Eyes for warps, playfield wear, battery acid damage. Nose for smells of smoke, moisture, mold, and general funk.

    #8 3 months ago

    So I just got my first pin and I'm enjoying it but I'm starting to get a little stressed about all of the inconsistencies/things that could go wrong. Almost makes me not want to turn it on sometimes just because I'm anxious something won't work right.

    Is this just the life of a pinball owner? Constant tweaking and adjusting, cleaning etc or am I being oversensitive because it's all so new?

    It's an Iron Maiden Pro which is a relatively simple table but little things like the ball coming out of the wireform ramp or making some crazy jumps at times has me wondering how often I'll be adjusting things and how much it will affect how the table plays over time.

    Also any advice for which parts I should buy spares of to have on hand now?

    #9 3 months ago

    Here’s when I joined the club. Still have it. That’s an old phone number so no need to cover that up

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    #10 3 months ago

    Thank you for the setup video! I'm finally joining the club with Godzilla but I've been kinda nervous for receiving delivery and setup.

    #11 3 months ago
    Quoted from Anony:

    So I just got my first pin and I'm enjoying it but I'm starting to get a little stressed about all of the inconsistencies/things that could go wrong. Almost makes me not want to turn it on sometimes just because I'm anxious something won't work right.
    Is this just the life of a pinball owner? Constant tweaking and adjusting, cleaning etc or am I being oversensitive because it's all so new?
    It's an Iron Maiden Pro which is a relatively simple table but little things like the ball coming out of the wireform ramp or making some crazy jumps at times has me wondering how often I'll be adjusting things and how much it will affect how the table plays over time.
    Also any advice for which parts I should buy spares of to have on hand now?

    Mu first reaction to your post was an eyeroll, but I'm in a good mood tonight so I'll try to be helpful for once.

    1. Shed your stress. These are commercial machines built to last tens of thousands of plays. Most homeowners never hit 1000 plays and are needlessly concerned due to simply not knowing better/being new. Perform basic maintenance as described below and you'll be fine.
    2. For you, no need to buy any replacement parts.Waste of money unless something breaks. I keep some replacements for wear and tear items on hand, but I have 12 pins, including several much older than yours, and also used to operate 8-9 pins.
    3. Replace the balls every 1000-2000 plays as they will get dinged up.
    4. Rebuild the flippers every 5000-10000 plays, or as needed.
    5. Clean the playfield every 300-500 plays. All you need is Simple Green and a microfiber rag. If you want to add some protection apply some (a little goes a long way) carbuba paste wax after you clean the playfield, but be ready for the game to play much faster, for better or worse, due to rediced friction. You can polish out fine acratches in your playfield with Novis 2 and a microfiber cloth. Do not do this every cleaning. Once a year is plenty for a home use pin.
    6. If something breaks you can email Stern tech support for help basically forever, or get tech help on pinside, but try Stern first since it's free. There are also pinball techs in most areas that can take the fixing side of the hobby off your plate for a few bucks.
    7. When you go to sell someday nobody will care whether your pin has 500 plays or 5000 plays, so play the hell out of it.

    P.s. Don't use Simple Green on a pre-clearcoat era playfield (basically playfields over 30 years old). It's a water-based cleaner and you don't want your playfield absorbing water. Use Naptha instead.

    #12 3 months ago
    Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

    Mu first reaction to your post was an eyeroll, but I'm in a good mood tonight so I'll try to be helpful for once.
    1. Shed your stress. These are commercial machines built to last tens of thousands of plays. Most homeowners never hit 1000 plays and are needlessly concerned due to simply not knowing better/being new. Perform basic maintenance as described below and you'll be fine.
    2. For you, no need to buy any replacement parts.Waste of money unless something breaks. I keep some replacements for wear and tear items on hand, but I have 12 pins, including several much older than yours, and also used to operate 8-9 pins.
    3. Replace the balls every 1000-2000 plays as they will get dinged up.
    4. Rebuild the flippers every 5000-10000 plays, or as needed.
    5. Clean the playfield every 300-500 plays. All you need is Simple Green and a microfiber rag. If you want to add some protection apply some (a little goes a long way) carbuba paste wax after you clean the playfield, but be ready for the game to play much faster, for better or worse, due to rediced friction. You can polish out fine acratches in your playfield with Novis 2 and a microfiber cloth. Do not do this every cleaning. Once a year is plenty for a home use pin.
    6. If something breaks you can email Stern tech support for help basically forever, or get tech help on pinside, but try Stern first since it's free. There are also pinball techs in most areas that can take the fixing side of the hobby off your plate for a few bucks.
    7. When you go to sell someday nobody will care whether your pin has 500 plays or 5000 plays, so play the hell out of it.

    Thanks, I appreciate it! Like anything I'm sure I'll get used to it. I know it's just switches and wires like every other machine I've worked on but the whole thing still seems a little like magic to me.

    The reminder that they're made for public use is a good one... I have a DDR machine and sometimes I forget that it's literally designed to be stomped on by children all day long. I need to relax and enjoy it more!

    #13 3 months ago

    I joined in February 1979. First new machine I bought.

    LTG : )

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    #14 3 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    I joined in February 1979. First new machine I bought.
    LTG : )
    [quoted image]

    Looks amazing Lloyd! Now that’s some TLC.

    #15 3 months ago
    Quoted from chewiec:

    Looks amazing Lloyd! Now that’s some TLC.

    Thank you. Was here for about 11 years. Then back for my 30th Anniversary party. And brought back in again about 7 years ago. I keep one quarter pin for the kiddies.

    LTG : )

    #16 3 months ago
    Quoted from Anony:

    So I just got my first pin and I'm enjoying it but I'm starting to get a little stressed about all of the inconsistencies/things that could go wrong. Almost makes me not want to turn it on sometimes just because I'm anxious something won't work right.
    Is this just the life of a pinball owner? Constant tweaking and adjusting, cleaning etc or am I being oversensitive because it's all so new?
    It's an Iron Maiden Pro which is a relatively simple table but little things like the ball coming out of the wireform ramp or making some crazy jumps at times has me wondering how often I'll be adjusting things and how much it will affect how the table plays over time.
    Also any advice for which parts I should buy spares of to have on hand now?

    We’ve all been there and we are all still here. Good choice for first game, newer stuff is typically less prone to issues that prevent you from having a functioning machine. Here’s the best news though. Anything that may go wrong with your game can be fixed and can be identified. Things can break, things will break, but all of it can be fixed.

    Enjoy the hell out of it and worry about issues when they occur.

    #17 3 months ago
    Quoted from horse_cop:

    Thank you for the setup video! I'm finally joining the club with Godzilla but I've been kinda nervous for receiving delivery and setup.

    You’re gonna love it and hopefully the video will help ya get it going without too much stress.

    #18 3 months ago

    Reading the club thread for a game you just bought, is an excellent way to learn about your new game. Whatever game you pick, there's probably some minor problem that is common to most of the games produced. And every club thread I've read, always has some helpful members post how they fixed a problem you might be experiencing with your new game.
    I never did any kind of soldering so I bought an electronic kit on Amazon. It's great for someone who never soldered before. The kit I bought,I assembled a siren,and when I was done it actually worked.
    I still need a ton of practice,but at least I can fix a wire that comes loose on my machine. Just make sure your kit comes with a soldering iron,and throw out the lead free solder that comes with the kit ,and get the old fashion stuff with lead in it.

    #19 3 months ago
    Quoted from bigehrl:

    assuming it's a modern game w coil settings... turn down that trough kicker strength!!

    I am embarrassed to say that despite having had games for almost 20 years now, I do not understand this advice.

    My Stern games might have this setting, I don't think I have seen it in Bally/Williams. All my games are 90s or newer.

    Where is the setting, and how does this change help?

    #20 3 months ago
    Quoted from horseflesh:

    Where is the setting, and how does this change help?

    It’s for modern sterns. Most of the spike 2 games have it. It helps keep the clearcoat in the shooter lane from chipping.

    #21 3 months ago
    Quoted from horseflesh:

    I am embarrassed to say that despite having had games for almost 20 years now, I do not understand this advice.
    My Stern games might have this setting, I don't think I have seen it in Bally/Williams. All my games are 90s or newer.
    Where is the setting, and how does this change help?

    Like Chuck said, the default on sterns is way too strong for the typical homeowner. Reducing the power of that kickout reduces the wear and tear of that shooter lane substantially

    #22 3 months ago

    Thanks guys! I have 2 Whitestar games so that is probably why this was Greek to me.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

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