(Topic ID: 155578)

Hobbit Owners Thread

By Eryeal

3 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 8,090 posts
  • 527 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by pinballinreno
  • Topic is favorited by 191 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

16 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #14 First impressions by new owner. Posted by Eryeal (3 years ago)

Post #45 The source of the voice call-outs Posted by Troz (3 years ago)

Post #71 Detailed game review Posted by Vyzer2 (3 years ago)

Post #128 Cosmetic issues from factory and customer service response. Posted by RichieWrench (3 years ago)

Post #214 review with detail and good set of pictures. Posted by Pimp77 (3 years ago)

Post #402 Backglass LED diffuser (tones cold white to a more neutral amber color) Posted by PanzerFreak (3 years ago)

Post #714 Another BackBox light filter Posted by Damonator (3 years ago)

Post #769 Rulesheet Posted by tiesmasc (3 years ago)

Post #1064 Owner fixes and tweaks after 150 games. Posted by pinballinreno (3 years ago)

Post #1113 Noteworthy new owner issues and photos Posted by VolunteerPin (3 years ago)

Post #1358 JJP video on fix kit. Posted by tatapolus (3 years ago)

Post #1706 example of time marks order through delivery Posted by meSz (3 years ago)

Post #2007 Here's the code download link Posted by LTG (3 years ago)

Post #2220 How to install Hobbit Cliffy protectors Posted by mbelofsky (3 years ago)

Post #3613 Nice tip on locktite product for wood or metal screws. Posted by pinballinreno (2 years ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#6837 9 months ago

New to the game. New SE Gold, two weeks old.

Two questions:

1) The headphone jack seems to do nothing. I have tried it with the little toggle up and down. I plug in my iPhone (Shure buds) and nothing comes through the buds. I've tried pushing the three switches on the coin door module, no joy. The sound continues through the speaker. What am I doing wrong? Setting somewhere else?

2) Is there an "easy" way to figure out the flow of this game? I have the chart and have read the manual, it seems VERY confusing how to get from point A to B and beyond. Outside of Multiball, I would have no "decent" scores. I've managed to get 500K+, but only with 3 MB's. There has to be a better way to conquer this. I fly a 20MM jet and it's very electronic. I master this stuff well, but the difference I'm seeing is that my jet has just one function on 1,000's of systems. This thing seems to have 1,000's of forks in 1,000 roads...Anybody up for a tutor?

#6842 9 months ago

Headset problem fixed. The Ethernet black wire was plugged into the door just fine, but dead ended next to the cpu box. I took the cover off and saw that the cpu for sound had a pigtail that went to a through jack adjacent to the Ethernet cable. Pugged it into the jack and had instant sound from the buds. Thanks for the walk through on that.

Has anyone put the master sound control mod on the coin door? Is it major surgery?

I noted after fixing the headphone jack issue that even with the buds plugged in, the sound still comes from the main speaker. I assume that if you had a master volume control, you could turn down the volume of the pin, but still enjoy the buds???

Thanks again.

#6844 9 months ago


Thanks. Could you post a link to the mod you bought? Thanks.

#6858 9 months ago

I just bought a nib gold a few weeks ago. Been talking with JJP (Very nice people). They advise that there are just a few "mods" or "factory recalls"...

1) drop springs (11)
2) Beast plastic adds (4)
3) ramp flaps (2)
4) left ramp/rail (1) - I bought the rail in lieu of the post fix.

Is there anything else I need to make this 2016 a 2019?

As a side note. I've been having (see another post), issues with Smaug. There are times when he turns full left and vibrates and purrs. If it is continuous, you'll get a boot-up error. Most times I've noticed it and gone into the controls and manually exercised him right and left. I really hope that this isn't a long term problem that sets me back later for a warranty issue today.

#6873 9 months ago

Drew in Greenfield: I'll bet you bought our machine from Reedsburg? I just got mine too, just two weeks ago. It has been a fantastic experience. Yes, a bit of coin, but take care of it and I think losses will be very minimal. There seems to be a BIG demand for this pin...

I've asked this before and I guess my head is still spinning. I've read every page of the 347 pages of manual. I'm still VERY confused as to what the steps are for a methodical progression through the game? I'm really flummoxed as to how one picks and choses shots during the multiball segement? Holy cow, things are happening so fast, I'm not sure how you'd do anything but keep the balls alive. I wish there was a "Hobbit for Dummies" type book that you could practice step by step to get better. In twoi weeks, my wife and I each have been able to get 500,000 scores (just enough to make the Grand Champ). But in looking around here, 4 MM seems to be the number that makes you a man! 500K takes 20 minutes - 4MM has to be all day. I must be missing some very big payoffs in here somewhere?

#6875 9 months ago

WildBill: Where is there a "written" description on how to accomplish those "early" stages? The manual really doesn't speak to that?

#6881 9 months ago

Thank you all for the help. I've gone from a 1985 Williams Fire! to this. It is a huge learning curve. I'll get it! I operate a high-tech jet for a living. Just need to get the basics and I'll be off.

Appreciate it.

1 week later
#6942 8 months ago

Drew: Sorry to hear your having issues!

#6943 8 months ago


I watched a YouTube. The guys playing discussed draining through "Preciousss" and there being a way to avoid losing the ball, or getting a free ball for it. How do you do that?

Secondly in re: to "Preciousss", there is a non powered bumper adjacent to the drain ramp that is directly across from a switch, how to you trigger that switch, and what does it do for you. This may be the answer to the first question, but I've tried eight ways from Sunday to hit it and can't...

#6945 8 months ago


Is there any answer to the switch/bumper below "Preciouss"?

2 weeks later
#6995 8 months ago

Can one of the multi-million scorers comment on how to get the spinner shots down? I hit it periodically, I try to make the shot, but never even come close. I have the road map to success, but find what to do, in what order also very tough. Wish there was a "Hobbit for Dummies" book...

#6997 8 months ago

CL: Thanks. Do you shoot right from left flipper and vice, or right from right, left from left? Is there any place to go to see the best way to progress through this? My wife has a million, and neither of us can get much more than 500K regular. What the heck are we doing wrong?

#7003 8 months ago

Pineal: Thanks. Yes it is frustrating... The entire game so far is that way. We've had it (new) for a month. Between my wife and I, we have ~600 games played. For us it is just trying to keep the 3 balls alive. Lots of drains down the middle and of course, Precioussss. I moved the Precioussss post to tighter, but they still seem to be magnetized to that drain lane. I'm still not sure of all the modes to follow and wish that there was a better road map. That way we could accomplish one thing and get it reliable, then move on to the next. For us so far it is simply getting MultiBall, which I find simple. The right lane is very easy to hit consistently. I can't understand the Frenzy Modes, and not sure what the Mode Ball Locked does other than give me two balls somewhere down the road. My wife has been able to get 950K, my best is 550K. It is really sad because we just can't see to BIG picture. My best guess is that I need to get a "diamond-jewel" in each corner of each Mode??? I'll bash all four pop-ups, and there is no jewel, I've made it to Erebor, but get no jewel. Then look down at all the Main Modes above the flippers and NEVER get any of that. I can fly an 18MM jet for a living, but this pinball machine has me flummoxed.

I had a ton of "mod" work done this past weekend, i.e., left rail, ramp spring steel, pop-up guards, Cliffy's, and plastic protectors. In doing so, I set the playfield to ~7 degrees. I think it plays fast. Is that the correct angle?

Not sure what the previous post mean by not having MultiBall and Frenzy stacked and to make the correct setting in the menus. Could someone elaborate on it?

I'm serious when I say that someone should put out a "Dummies" book on this thing.

#7017 7 months ago

pineal: Oh it's my cup of tea. I love the game. I just never had a new machine and it is frustrating trying to figure it out. Just yesterday, I got to "in the fire". I have NO idea how I got there. That particular game lasted 15 minutes. I had only one Multiball. I got a whopping 273K points! I've had games where there were multiple Mutiballs and had 500K. Not sure how I got to "in the fire", and I feel like Multiball is more points. I know I'm goofed up in my thinking here.

#7021 7 months ago

Joel. I’ll call over the weekend.

#7029 7 months ago

Bought a new (unopened box) from climate controlled warehouse, Gold Smaug LE Hobbit 2 months ago. We played the heck out of it already, 500 plays. Here is what I did...

1) Just did my Beast mod and we put them in from underneath. Was simple. Put them in place, apply pressure fully seated and put the screws in. The screws JJP sent were wrong. I simply picked up wood screws from Ace and no issue. We immediately tested each Beast and there was no rubbing. I'd estimate the total time to install all four was less than a half hour. Have not had any jambed ball issues since.

2) Did the ramps at the same time. No issue doing the mod, getting the ramp out was about a half hour. Re-riveting was ten minutes. My ramps at 500 plays were starting to curl.

3) Bought the "new and improved" left rail for ~$100. Put it in in less than a half hour. Noted that I've had almost as many flying balls since as I had before with the old style.

4) I changed all the rubber in my machine, had a couple dried out flippers and the others looked good, but I thought as long as we were in this deep, why not? Glad I did. Put all blue and orange throughout. Matched the color to the playfield immediately in the area.

5) Put in a Lermods rear and ball trough orange LED. Made a big difference.

6) Installed a metal "Ring Button" plate in lieu of the cheesy decal. Installed gold Ring Button.

7) Changed the battery for good measure.

8)Installed 3.1

9) Installed Cliffy's.

10) Installed clear plastic protectors under all plastic.

11) Detail cleaned and waxed the playfield twice. There was a ton of dust in the machine after sitting in the box for three years.

I opted to not install the new drop springs. In 500 games I have not had any issues with them. JJP claims that eventually I will, and they will break. I've kept the new style and will monitor them as we go. They look very simple to install should I have to.

I feel like my game is probably now about 95% of what a new one from JJP would have been. Of course getting a Hobbit new was not a consideration as they have not made them for awhile. Finding a NIB was a gift. The guy I bought it from was an absolute angel. He delivered it and didn't leave until it was set up and everything was working. I read and vetted his feedback on Pinside prior to the deal. Every sale he made was given superb feedback just as I am with him now. Moral of the story is that there are great folks out there. There are great machines. A little bit of TLC and maintenance not only tweaks your machine, in my case educated me on my investment. Now if I can only master this "beast" called Hobbit. This truly is an excellent theme. For a basic player like my wife and I, it will take some time to get good at it.

#7035 7 months ago
Quoted from Goronic:

I ordered mine from JJP and it was assembled on July 14, 2016. It came with Pop up protectors and mylar, the correct wireforms on the left side, and proper ramp flaps. I guess any assembled after that has those changes.

I think you meant to say "any ordered before". I'm not sure of the change date, but mine was 3/2016 and none of the mods were done..

#7036 7 months ago
Quoted from joetechbob:

Have curling ramp flaps. Did you guys reach out to Jersey Jack to get replacements?

JJP was extremely helpful. They sent everything out free, except I opted for the new left wireform. They sent the post as well, but I wanted mine "like new". As I stated, the new wireform exits balls at about the same amount, not sure I'd have spent almost $100 had I known. Just call tech service and ask them for the parts. As far as the ramps go, they also offered that send my ramp back and they would (at no charge) repair it with the new black flaps. We simply drilled out the rivets and applied the new ones. Pretty simple if you have the rivet equipment.

#7037 7 months ago
Quoted from Boatshoe:

Oh and some new mylar was sent out to put around the beasts.

Are you talking about the ~ 1 1/2" square mylar on the playfield just in front of the pop-up?

#7046 7 months ago
Quoted from netman63129:

Ordered the Polk....thanks!
BTW - Best Buy has this subwoofer on sale for $99.95

So what do you have to order to get the sound like you guys are talking. I see this psw10, but what and how do I interface it? Is it really a better experience?

#7070 7 months ago

Gold ring button(s)…

I was looking for a gold ring button which up until last year were available through a single vendor. He apparently quit making them. I contacted him and he had four still on the shelf. He advised me that they were "seconds". I bought all four and installed one today. I see a little bit of a very small tip on the circumference of the gold ring. To me, and I'm picky, they are excellent. I had previously bought the "Ring Button" metal plate and now the lock bar is complete (see picture). That said, I will keep one as a spare and have two others which I'll share with others, if interested. PM me for details. Sorry, there are only two and first come, first serve.

rng1 (resized).jpgrng2 (resized).jpg
#7073 7 months ago

The "Gold Ring Buttons" are all gone. Last one is on its way to Scotland. Glad I could help out three folks.

#7093 7 months ago
Quoted from JonCrox:

Anyone know where I can get one of the lockdown bar plates to replace the decal? Can't find them here anymore?

Jon: When you order one, they come in two flavors. Mine (in picture) is solid. They also have one that is laser cut and allows the lockdown color through.

2 weeks later
#7169 6 months ago

I'm game for one. I have the Lermods - mod that lights the trough and back ramp. I used the free, extra outlet. How then will I tie another set into it?

1 month later
#7333 5 months ago

I've had this game now for 6 months! NIB. Mine has settled in and I think? that I've got the settings right. Did all the mods and Cliffy's. I've gotten a handful of 800-900 games, wife has 980 as the machine high. A normal game is ~100-150. Ours is set to three balls, is that correct? We have to be doing something wrong? I still don't understand all the "modes" and what is most important to do and when. For instance, I'll get to Erebor (no small feat), then will note that I'm back on a trail to Erebor again. We've found our best games are with "Mode Balls" locked, then get MultiBall. A game with 3 MB's will get me up close 700-900. You guys talk about killing Smaug. I've heard the call for "Load the Windlance", which I do via the "red" right ramp. I assume then that triggers some sort of shot to kill Smaug? Haven't figured that out yet either...

Wish there was a "Hobbit for Dummies" book. It's bad enough that I'm not the best pin shooter/aimer, but this theme is VERY hard to get down. If anyone could explain the way to success, my wife and I would be very appreciative.

#7343 5 months ago

So please explain how to get to the option of killing Smaug.

1 week later
#7406 5 months ago

Gold Smaug LE.

The pin is new out of box in April. Had an issue with Warg initially and now has come back, more on that in a minute. In addition, Orc now has a dedicated error (RED) and says switch is open. I did the following:

Tested lane switch of Orc and it shows switching on sw. test.
Tested Orc coil and it too does the same 1/2" popup that the others do.
Tested the Orc while up with my hand and watched the Orc Hit switch test and get no switch on/off.

Orc does NOT pop up when you trigger the Orc return lane (all others do with their respective return lane.
This is where the Warg issue has come back as well.

Warg will pop up with its return lane. If I pull it up manually and then test the Warg hit switch, I get intermittent switch contact until I press on his lower, almost chin. Then I get reliable and constant on/off.

What is going on? Is it simply both switches are bad? Is there a circuit board issue? Why does Orc not pop up? Is the code written that if the switch has not been used in so many games, the error comes up and then locks out the pop up?

If it is a switch replacement, it looks like a dog to get it out?

Thanks ahead of time.


#7408 5 months ago

Doesn't that just adjust the Orc up and down? This seems to be related to the "Orc Hit" value needed. The beast does NOT record any activity from being hit.

#7409 5 months ago

I (think) that from the troubleshooting I've done, it appears that the beast will NOT pop up due to the fact that the switch shows "Open" prior to the ball going through the Orc lane below. As stated the lane switch appears normal, the pop up coil tests like the other three, but it does not go up. I pull it up manually and try the bash and nothing. The Warg has been an issue since new and I see today that bashing the upper part will not record a hit, but hitting his chin is 100%.

Two issues,


#7412 5 months ago

Took apart sw. # 36 (Orc Hit) and shorted the plug. It then released the "open switch" error and allowed the Orc lane to pop up Orc. The "Hit" switch still does not record a hit (open/close). I guess it is the switch.

Does anyone know how tough it is to remove the pop up assembly and replace the switch? If I order a new switch from JJ, doe sit come with the plug or am I soldering?

On the Warg issue, is there a way to adjust the Warg so that a hit anywhere on his face will trigger the hit? Right now just pushing on the chin does it... A new switch here too? This is probably why I can never get to the Arken modes. No wonder I can't get a good score on this thing.

Anybody's insight on a switch replacement will be appreciated.

#7417 5 months ago

So if I take the assembly off, you think its a broken wire? If so, can it then be repaired on the bench? and screwed back in without adjustments? Do I have to do the upper thing in order to get the assembly down?

#7418 5 months ago

How about the Warg issue and not making the switch on the top part of the face?

#7422 5 months ago

I'll pull it tomorrow.

If there is any help on Warg adjustments, let me know and I'll do it then as well.

#7423 5 months ago

The leaf switch , as I said works fine and makes when I push on Warg's chin. If I just push the top, it does not make. I tried moving the head slightly, but it does not make a difference. No Warg is not a wire issue, it is the logistics of the head...

#7424 5 months ago

Yes I have a lot to learn. You guys have ton of experience. I'm not opposed to jumping in, but as with anything without some help through the minefield, I can make much more much worse and quickly.

#7438 5 months ago

So yes, it was abroken wire. Funny the picture posted looks 100% like my Beast. What a horse sh*t design. Re-soldered the broken white wire, looked at the green and knew that it had the same destiny without intervention. I then shrink wrapped both and instead of a tie-wrap, used fabric sting to re-tie it to the structure. Orc now scores hits. I looked at the other three Beasts and wonder how long before the dental floss sized wire breaks on them. As Goronic said, next time it wont be 15 minutes, it'll 1 - Ok, 2.

Yes, this was "easy". And thanks to a few who were kind enough to detail explain their trials, it made this "easy". Everyone should remember however that there is a first for every user, and this forum is for helping, not making them feel dumb for never having traveled down a road before. I think that I'm a very capable person with a lot of experience in many areas. I always find that someone who has been there a few times and can walk you through "the minefield" is always a better way to go than to bust in like a bull in the china shop and make the repair worse... CLEllison is a great example of a great teacher.

#7440 5 months ago

Lloyd: Don't take it personal. I am only here to learn and your posts were fine. JUst need initial help, then I can take the tools out.


#7482 5 months ago

nogoodnames222: Hearing that the seller made comments like he/she did before you even left the sale really burns me up. Have you confronted them as to ALL the issues you're having? They probably will not do anything to remedy it, but if it were me, I'd certainly let them know that YOU know what they said and that their "fully functional" machine is not that!

JJP was very helpful to me on a machine I bought NIB, but a few years after production. Mine was considered new and carried a warranty, where yours is used, but I'm sure they will be of help. I'm sorry for your experience. Hang in there, you'll get it all fixed. Shouldn't be this way...

1 week later
#7542 4 months ago

How the heck do you keep this game going with three balls. If I don't drain through Precioussss, I hit the spider and it fly's right straight through the post? Both my wife and I can't seem to get past the 900K score and as of late the scores are much worse than that. I know I'm not the most accurate shot, but I can't be this bad either... What incline degree angle should this be set to?

3 weeks later
#7622 3 months ago

Been getting a switch failure on boot. Says "LH & RH Flipper EOS" dedicated switch failure... The flippers work fine. What is my problem and how do I repair it?


#7624 3 months ago

I thought that was it. I get it all the time on the plumb, by that is easy, just move the plumb. How do I exercise the EOS?

#7625 3 months ago

For that matter. What do the EOS switches actually do? Seems the flippers are doing what their job is...

#7627 3 months ago

Thanks for the great video and link! I checked out both switches and they both are adjusted well and I dragged some emery through both. They were clean. (This machine is only 8 months old NIB). I then checked them both with a multi-meter and they both make/break correct at full swing. I was tempted to try and read voltage on the three posts connected to each, but was afraid I might short something out... I suspect that because both SW's are doing the same that we might be into a relay issue? Where should I go from here?


#7629 3 months ago

Both D01 and D02 both are red on the test page (stands to reason as simply making and breaking would extinguish the error). I close the door and activate both flippers and all that registers is the flipper itself. As far as emery goes I didn't honk on it, just a quck pull through. The switches make and break just fine (tested with multi-meter). Is there a relay associated with the switches? Again, now I'm stumped.

#7630 3 months ago

Broken Black/White wire on Lower Left flipper. Soldiered it and back to the game! Now if I could just break 1 Million.

This was the fourth broken wire in a NIB game. From the looks of the soldier job on many other spots, this won't be the last. Not sure if it's this game or JJP in general.

Thanks Lloyd for the service. Wish I knew 1% of what you do.

3 months later
#8057 14 days ago

In Wisconsin (mid way between Chicago & Milwaukee). Have a year old, Hobbit Gold edition that was NIB in February 2019. Only played by my wife and I, no kids, etc. Has 1500 plays. I did ALL the JJ mods, i.e., ramps, NEW left cage ramp, new spring steel ramp flaps, beast plastics. Has Lermod trough and back lighting. Latest firmware. Metal "Ring Button" plate, with gold button ring. Did the Cliffy's as well. The game is 100%. The cabinet is 100%. Playfield has been cleaned regular. It wants and needs nothing.

Question is... What do you all think is a fair listing price?

#8074 12 days ago
Quoted from gordonshumway:

In Wisconsin (mid way between Chicago & Milwaukee). Have a year old, Hobbit Gold edition that was NIB in February 2019. Only played by my wife and I, no kids, etc. Has 1500 plays. I did ALL the JJ mods, i.e., ramps, NEW left cage ramp, new spring steel ramp flaps, beast plastics. Has Lermod trough and back lighting. Latest firmware. Metal "Ring Button" plate, with gold button ring. Did the Cliffy's as well. The game is 100%. The cabinet is 100%. Playfield has been cleaned regular. It wants and needs nothing.
Question is... What do you all think is a fair listing price?

Can anyone give me some idea here? Thanks.

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