Brand new member here, hello everybody!, and am enjoying all the great tech info on the forum. With a little bit of searching I can find answers to just about all the questions I have come up with. What a treasure trove of info. Thank you Pinside!
I am an old guy, never played pinball as a kid 'cause I was a nerd and only the bad kids played pinball. But I am heavily into all things EM. My wife saw a free pinball machine on buy nothing facebook and mentioned it to me. Cool! Sure! Why not another un-needed project. I went to pick it up, a 1967 Williams Touchdown, SN 96300, that didn't work, and come to find out I had previously gotten a free Toro leaf blower from the guy and fixed it and am still using it. The guy was super-enthused about that and was happy that the machine was going to somebody who could probably fix it. He and his brother-in-law helped me load it into my truck and I took it home. It weighs a ton (no news to you guys) and what a freebie find.
Got it home and into my shop. Texted the guy that it was safe and sound and asked him about the history of the machine. Interesting family story.... more later.
Please remember, this is my first time inside a pinball machine. I opened the machine up and was amazed at the collection of wires and mechanisms and solenoids and switches. This wonderful thing, over 50 years old, looking like it should have broken down after a week, was still in mostly good shape. Holy crap! I was drooling all over the place. I plugged it in and DOA. Put a volt meter on the transformer and nothing. How about a cold solder joint where someone had replace the power cord with a piece of low voltage outdoor lighting cord, LOL. I put a new cord on it and bingo! Lights and action! Fifteen minutes of effort!
With that tiny bit of effort, and now knowing the history of the machine, I was seriously considering giving the machine back, because honestly, I'd play it a little, but already have too many hobbies, and why just let it collect dust. But since then, it has stopped working, then fixed it, broken again, repeat, repeat. Now, after many hours of fiddling and learning (thank you pinsiders) it is fairly stable, I have put new rubber on it, and is mostly working ok, as far as I can tell. At least it always starts up and plays.
Now here is the question. Am I a fool to give it back? Should I charge him for the repairs? The history of the machine is why I wanted to give it back, but something might be amiss there. Still, I really don't "NEED" the machine, and if he and his in-laws are going to use it, they should have it.
Help, I need some objective thoughts on this dilemma????