(Topic ID: 168831)

Suggestions to Improve Tech or Tagging Advice

By SteveinTexas

3 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 46 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by VacFink
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders


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    #1 3 years ago

    We need to find a way that great Pinside advice can rise again, because it it is literally drowning in Pinside's success...

    I like EM's so I frequent the EM section here and sometimes the RGP archives to research techniques and tips how to do the best restorations I can. However the searching for great info I have seen is getting harder and harder to locate. It is being drowned in a volume of 'so so' info.

    With so many people joining Pinside (which is great) many questions are being currently being asked that frankly have been answered better previously. I see people asking questions every day that they need answers for that I have asked in the past and received great answers. I try to answer but can never find the great bloody thread to link as the proof so actually don't end up giving the great answer.

    This is not a rant, people that know me are aware that I try to help everybody but how can we fix this other than say go to pin wiki.

    Steve J.

    #5 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Agree, but I also feel like it's a bit rude to reply to a beginner's first EM help post with "read all these guides completely"

    Don't think we are saying that so far. There is a great amount of information that is scattered in responses to topics that actually were started to get a different answer. Its just hard to find them as the search feature cannot hope to sort it out.

    Maybe I am asking that we discuss how snips of gold advice can be raised from the rest and saved some where. Think about this existing Mr.Pinball Repair Tips goldmine that has been around for years http://user.xmission.com/~daina/tips/pub/tip0290.html

    The answer is somewhere close just got to find it.

    #7 3 years ago

    Yes of course exactly this is a must read. However there are snippets buried in threads that I would love to see get captured. People like Dirt flipper (where is he???) Newmantjn, Boilerman etc etc responses are great. So how do we save the gold nuggets?

    I might have time this evening to grab examples for consideration. Pinside is more that a talking place.

    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from Dr_of_Style:

    .....it would be nice to have a tried and proven quick answer guide for experienced techs, "and those few with bright shiny, like new machines" that only need a one switch answer.

    I think this is where I am going.. Never want to shut down questions as Pinside is very dynamic possibly we could have our own Pinside 'Quick Answer Guide'.

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Even if we collected all the info in a searchable manner, we'd still end up directing beginners to that instead of just answering their question

    Possibly but if the consensus is that it is the correct answer.....

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

    The only way to achieve your goal, IMO, is to send a message to Robin, or as addressing here on the possibility of a tech thread icon, say a wrench. Answers that people feel meet this can click on it.
    Its a "thumbs up", But a technical one.
    If in a post flagged with a game, then the search you do could be narrowed by game title, year, or manufacturer, in addition to sort words, and be sorted by most wrenches.
    A volunteer or flagging method to remove erroneous thumbs up is the safe gaurd.
    A self generated Advice Wiki within pinside.
    Of course, its its own link, and Vids work, Lloyds responses, would start the sticky.
    Would this work?

    This is moving fast. err yes please...

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Oh, I agree. It probably is the correct answer. But as a first time poster if you come in and give a nice post with the specific problem on your game and the stuff you've tried, and then someone links you a 'one size fits all' link (that's correct) it still feels a bit impersonal/etc. I don't think there's a good way to solve that, but

    Since I have joined Pinside people have been most gracious on the EM section to new people. I honestly rarely post outside in any forum including the Restoration thread here as a lot of EM people don't even look there for EM restorations.

    It so far is part of the EM section charm that it is a warm usually non-confront-able place.

    Steve J.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from orangestorm87:

    I've noticed with my calls for help, that after a few responses your post gets overlooked. And at that point, it usually better to start a new thread then trying to get people invested in one that has already had a few responses. Also, rarely does posting in an already active thread (by another user about the same problem) get responses as well.
    Basically I am trying to say, it seems a difficult task on cutting down the number of threads, and overlap of issues.
    With my posts, I like the ability to throw ideas back and forth, not necessarily immediate solutions. Pinside has been more of a place I can brainstorm with people into the hobby, just to make sure I am on the right path.

    Have to agree. Pinside can move on too quickly even in the EM section for some topics. Best to bump the topic I believe so all the experience can get online and see it.

    Steve J.

    #17 3 years ago

    Here are some topics worth saving in my view;


    Not saying that all the responses are needed unless they improve the overall answers. So they could be edited but we would need help with the Pinside leadership for that. What is much harder to mine is the gold nugget answers to questions that are just so right, much harder to find with the search fields. I need to scroll for them this weekend (if this topic is find-able then).

    #18 3 years ago

    I had some spare time this morning so I looked for what I thought may qualify as possibly ‘gold nuggets’ from the first two pages of the EM section today. I preface as a Parts, Restoration or Tech nugget. I hope everybody understands that I copied and pasted the nuggets from the topic but linked the topic so you could access all the comments. Hope I didn’t break rules by doing this but I am trying to engage the group in discussing whether a separate EM help area may be warranted and then we could take to Robin and see what he thinks. I looked for some real nuggets that I have seen in the last 6 months but I cannot locate them anymore. Also I honestly don't care to favorite the whole thread as most is chat and i would end up with hundreds.

    PARTS QUESTION By ARCANE https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/where-can-i-find-these-small-hairpins#post-3311270
    Where can I find these small hairpins?

    Hairpin (resized).JPG

    http://www.pbresource.com/tools.html (About half-way down the page.)

    RESPONSE by Newmantjn; One thing to consider, is that if you want it to look original - the 3/32 loop and phosphate coating, you need to get them from an old machine, PBR or Marco (maybe other PINBALL suppliers). The hardware store ones work but aren't right and really don't cost any less anyway. Actually, paper clips work and ARE cheaper, so there you go.
    RESTORATION QUESTION By PAFASA https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-do-you-recreate-the-splatter-when-reprinting-a-cabinet#post-3291067
    How do you recreate the splatter when reprinting a cabinet?
    RESPONSE By SteveFury; Get a can of flat black paint, a cheap 1$ inch and a half wide brush type paint brush (not foam) and a block of wood. An old 2x4x12 ripped in half for a 2x2x12 works great.
    Capture (resized).JPG
    Be sure you're in a place like outdoors where splattering paint won't matter and wear old clothes and eye protection. Dip the first 1/4" or so of the brush tips into paint and wipe some of the excess from the brush onto the rim of the can so it’s not drippy.

    Smack the wood of the brush just above the bristles against the wood block above the cabinet you're painting. I highly suggest making your first tests on some old newspaper to get used to where the bulk of the droplets are going so you can aim better, and find what level of paint is required in the brush to get the density and coverage you desire.

    I ruined a decent pair of pants the first time I did this and ended up tossing them in the trash before the wife'ee had a chance to see them.
    RESPONSE By Boilerman; this is the best tool you can use hands down for the splatter but for webbing you need an air compressor.
    SPlatter Brush (resized).JPG
    RESPONSE By Pinball-Muggle; this way is really cheap, stupid easy and works so great it feels like cheating.
    - dip in one of those cheapo 2" bristle paint brushes into thin paint
    - bend back the bristles with a pencil and let the paint fly
    - practice on something (cardboard etc.) until you get desired results
    - you can go back and add dots with the head of a pin or small nail.
    RESPONSE By vid1900; if you use an air gun, you can turn the material flow up, while reducing the air flow - makes nice looking spatter, very even. If you do a lot of spatter work, the pros take a HF HVLP air gun and drill some extra holes in the nozzle. Of course you can buy a $150 spatter gun, but it's only a gun with extra holes in the nozzle...
    TECH QUESTION BY SEVENHORSES https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/measuring-switch-gap
    Measuring a Switch Contact Gap
    RESPONSE By LTG; http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1518 Leaf adjuster. I use a thin flat nosed Klein pliers. I don't believe there is a correct gap. Some need more, some less.
    RESPONSE By Forceflow; I usually put my multimeter on the solder tabs of the switch and then test the switch as it would normally be used.
    RESPONSE By TimMe; in most cases the open switch gap should be around 1/16", maybe a little closer. You don't want the open gap to be too close or you will get arcing, which will burn out the switch contacts quickly. As a special case, the cup switches actuated by bumper skirts should be 1/32" or even a little closer.

    If you want to be a pro about it, you'll check to see that all the blades in a switch stack are lined up so that there is a maximum amount of face-to-face contact area between the contact points on each blade. If the blades aren't lined up, slightly loosen the screws holding down the switch stack, and move the blades into alignment. Then, re-tighten the screws.

    Even if you don't need to align the switch blades on a switch stack, it's always good to make sure the switch stack screws are down good and tight before making any adjustments to the switch blades.

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from VacFink:

    ...... I'd suggest alternatively that if poster's took time to re-link key resources they use or may have created, it better serves making connections. I do think that too few people attempt to search for detail and the site doesn't return results in a way that makes it easy to review. However I've been part of forums that are very unwelcoming and lash out at users for 'not searching first' and I don't frequent them often as a community. Great resource, the data is there, but the community isn't.

    Thank you for understanding what I think is possibly a technical issue. I want to list a thread to assist but can never find the one with the golden nugget. Good thoughts.

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from VacFink:

    I think I'm gathering now after reading a bit more. This brings to mind the 'Vid's Guide To:' collection. What makes that work is the clear correlation to subject/problem statement in the title of each......Like the Vid's guide sticky ,that came from a user who pulled them all together and updates, almost like a currator. The mods made it sticky making it easier to find. I've made them in other forums, usually when pulling together 'golden nuggets' hidden in hard to find threads need the missing clarification made:
    Category: Cabinet Restoration/Repair
    Q: How do I re-create original style cabinet paint webbing?
    A: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/webbing-of-the-day#post-3346200
    It makes for a great resource as long as someone is willing to create/maintain/hand-off should they loose interest.
    Usually if you start one, lots of people will mention other hard to find nuggest they saved, some on same ideas, others new.
    Maybe start a EM Repair and Restoration Guide collection thread, and if not entirely interested in owning, maybe some one who is can chime in and help.

    Yes, you have picked up what I am thinking. It matters not that you are a newbie we all do I suspect waste time looking for the appropiate link we know is the forum bowels that we want to reread or pass on.

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from boilerman:

    I like to be able to tag a comment/response so I could pull it up at any time. For example if someone responded to a question about webbing, I could tag that one comment with "webbing how to" so a year from now I could search my tags and find it. Not sure how to code that, but I am sure someone could write a script that would work.......

    Interesting, didn't think about that but it would be easier to find and possibly link to assist posters. Still thinking about a good advice directory but this idea may suffice as a dynamic solution that doesn't alienate new posters.

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

    ....nuggets can come from any post, in any thread. So managing this should not involve time.
    Better search controls can help, but if it's not posted in the correct thread, or the answer is great, but is a response to a previous post,
    it often answers the question, but doesn't contain a repeat of the key words to come up in any search.

    ....any other way, than like the thumbs up, another symbol indicating a tech answer, either stand alone, or voted up or down. These could then be filtered, sorted, searched,and even allow tags.

    .....Have you emailed Robin, on this? Moving forward isn't this the next step?....

    Good post Art I like your thoughts. Not quite ready to contact Robin yet. i want to focus this topic and get some more input.

    Quoted from VacFink:

    .......people who answer tech questions well, like VID can get a larger 'wrench rating' and so you can weigh various different responses to the same issue' That way if a newb with 'no wrenches or Tech helped thumbs up' answers, you know to be careful and maybe look for confirmation or better advice.

    Quoted from VacFink:

    Steven, as OP maybe if you were to change the subject here to 'Suggestions to improve tech advice' it might garner more input and the attention of Robin and team.

    You have some nice ideas I feel you are going some where that its the pinside community that should decide. This seems more dynamic and will be accepted.

    Are you an engineer or a teacher or my mum? Yes I will change the title if you think it will help.

    Moving forward;

    We are coalescing some good ideas now. I think we are getting closer to talking to Robin but I think we need to be clear why this can improve the Pinside experience without alienating anybody. Below is thoughts expressed in the threads so far.

    1. Find a way that great Pinside advice can be found and passed on.
    2. There are snippets buried in threads that could be captured.
    3. How do we save the gold nuggets?
    4. How can we visually identify measure quantify the experience of a poster, in their post. This would help qualify a response or question.
    5. How can we get some consistency and detail in tech threads, threads than can enable organization

    1. The search engine cannot currently find community agreed golden advice.
    2. There is a great amount of information that is scattered in responses to topics that actually were started to get a different answer.
    3. Ensure this is still seen as a place that people can discuss and brainstorm with people in the hobby just to sure they are on the right path.

    Path forward recommendations I have seen so far are;

    a. Be able to tag a comment/response so I could pull it up at any time.
    b. Make the tags publicly visible, with maybe an option to give a title too.
    c. Any other way, than like the thumbs up, another symbol indicating a tech answer, either stand alone, or voted up or down. These could then be filtered, sorted, searched,and even allow tags.

    Advice Tips;
    a. Nice to have a tried and proven quick answer guide for experienced techs and newbies.
    b. Members prepare golden Nuggets of advice from topics per thread #18 and send to approval volunteers for addition to an Advice section.
    Any other ideas out there we should consider?

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

    (funny - as long as the title of the topic was "drowning, ..." I did not look it up).......
    I refer to post-32 and -33 ("Why, Constraints etc.") ..... The "not having such an subforum" is the biggest disadvantage of pinside (my personal opinion).....

    Hi Rolf,
    Good input as always.

    I mentioned constraints because that is the feedback I received so far. in the threads. Feedback so far I believe is to be aware not to inhibit members from posting and keep the forum open to all levels of questions. We can do that.

    Pinside is very successful and the forums are full of chat. What i am trying to do might be a back step if not managed properly. That is why the tagging idea from 'boilerman' seems possibly the way to explore.

    #38 3 years ago


    Wow great ideas, I need to think through your ideas.

    I am about to eat Mexican food and drink some beer so tomorrow i will answer.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from VacFink:

    ......connecting #4 in why to c. above. If, for example, we had an icon, separate from tags, that could identify a measure of the advice. If it were a 'wrench' icon, it might have its own count of thumbs up. That overall thumbs up from all posts could carry over into a total 'wrench' value, showing that user comments frequently on technical issues, and other users agree with and recognize those posts with a positive response. This can help a reader qualify differing opinions for similar problems....

    I added the 4 and 5 comments you made to the why 'path forward' list.

    Your comments on the technical wrench icon is an interesting concept. However, its not just technical tips we want to save its also perhaps restoration and parts tips too. you should push your ideas further here its not my topic now.

    Quoted from zacaj:

    Another note: we have a way to ask users what machine they're playing about, and to find other posts about that machine, but not bosrdsets. Often the questions, even if they have a specific machine in mind, aren't specific to just that machine. An option to select generation, or board version, etc (which could be auto filled from the machine, if selected) would help searching

    Yes i fully agree. Some posters may find this a chore and may decide to not post so there is a balance.

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from rolf_martin_062:

    ........Things like "wrench icon", "thumps-up's gained through technical advice", "tags", "golden nuggets" ? I hope You can accept my (very personal) opinion: Does confuse - does not help - too complicated - will not work.
    I would like "a good title on an new topic" - and the "OP ends the topic when the specific (ONE) problem is solved - he writes a final post with a summary - he THEN may start a new topic with the next problem (((Yes there are topics of "How to test for a blown fuse" and in the end it turned out to be a topic about an complete restoration))).
    I refer to my post-36 and ask You (SteveinTexas) and You (fellow readers) - What do You think of an new subforum "Typical, Standard Problems and Solutions" - if one of us feels like writing an "article" for this new subforum: He writes the article and sends the article to "robin" or another "pinside-official" - article is judged .......

    Hi Rolf,
    I respect your opinion. You have a good idea with a new subforum, it's one I could work with.

    I am surprised that the majority of people have no comment on the ideas so far. There is definitely a problem finding information that you have not favorited. Even if you recall the poster I bet you still cannot find it.

    I have contacted Robin last week so they are aware of this topic. I think I am going to use boilermans solution, copy info to my pc and store there. It's too difficult to make a compendium for tagged items currently.

    Maybe others may the needs for the suggestions here in the future, I still enjoy pinside but think it could be more. Just my opinion.

    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from robin:

    Hi all! I'm currently swamped with work but I do like the ideas in this thread and will be spending more time on this as soon as I can...... Finally, on the topic of "gold nugget posts". We could maybe allow people to bookmark posts and have a screen where you would keep track of your saved bookmarks.....

    Thanks Robin,

    The golden nuggets being tagged with a bookmark seems to fit my needs. Looking forward to more information on this subject.

    Thank you

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