(Topic ID: 155578)

Hobbit Owners Thread

By Eryeal

3 years ago

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  • 521 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 hours ago by LTG
  • Topic is favorited by 192 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)

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#256 3 years ago

Ordered my TH LE today, will ship tomorrow!

Hopefully I won't have any problems with the balls being stuck at the trolls.

Really looking forward to it.

#273 3 years ago

Just got my shipping notice! The Hobbit is on its way to my house.

Has anyone installed mirror blades, or even black mirror blades on this machine yet? If so, any pics? Seems like the perfect candidate for some mirrors.

#299 3 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

It is mind blowing to see how much stuff is crammed on the underside of the Hobbit playfield!

It's crazy! Anyone have any comments on doing repairs or work on it? I'm pretty handy working on Stern's, but this one looks pretty intimidating. Hoping I won't need to mess with anything when mine arrives next week. I know Lloyd really would love to assist me if I need any help at least

#301 3 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Similar to WOZ. It's basically a Williams pin and they snuck a motherboard and hard drive in there.
If you can do basic repairs. You'll be fine. And so far there haven't been many issues with the number of Hobbits going out.
And I would love to assist you, should the need arrive.
LTG : )

Thanks Lloyd. With WOZ the only thing that intimidated me were the upper playfields, so with Hobbit not having them, I think I should be ok.

#303 3 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

I assume this looks right?
If so, what else could be causing the resets?

Looks like memory error checking is disabled (EC)

I'm willing to bet it's bad memory, or even a bad solid state drive. Wouldn't rule out a bad power supply either. It's basically like troubleshooting a PC.

#306 3 years ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

I did this yesterday so hopefully it won't happen again. I will keep everyone posted.

I just skimmed through this thread, and it seems that 3 people have claimed to have resets since updating to the 1.10 code.

Sounds more like a bug in the software and not any hardware problems... what do you think, LTG?

#310 3 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

I think you shouldn't have give me a thumbs down in the STNG GI thread.

I thought you shouldn't have given me a bunch of thumbs down in other threads either.. I'm a believer of tough love Lloyd.

#312 3 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

What, two or three. I give them when deserved, not for correct advise.

Thank you Lloyd, much appreciated. We truly value your services around here.

#327 3 years ago
Quoted from kapsreiter:

Yeah mirror blades

Looks great!

Is this standard mirror or black mirror blades?

Also, any issues when lifting the playfield with it touching the mirrors or scratching them?

#331 3 years ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

I went with these that also go on LOTR.

Looks awesome! Was going to mirror blade it, but I ordered these instead- thanks for the pics!

#339 3 years ago

Well it looks like I'll avoid updating to 1.10 when I get my machine next week. I'll wait for JJP to address the reset issues with it, disappointing as I really want to try the latest code.

#348 3 years ago

Another reason I love JJP's operating system- so many adjustments can be made for almost every mechanical part on the playfield so you can dial in everything perfectly, to what works best for you. That is one thing I loved about WOZ.. The interface is very customizable, yet easy to figure out.

Looking forward to seeing how the reset issue is resolved.

#369 3 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Either, just so you have 8 GB total. My preference was for two 4's.
LTG : )

You need to have a matching pair, two sticks- this allows for Dual Channel memory operation and better performance- just an FYI

#384 3 years ago

Corsair, Crucial, and Kingston are the best manufacturers of memory out there.

#389 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Anybody post a pic of ram installed? Trying to imagine where it plugs in.

Here's a better pic- the motherboard in TH is a dual channel memory board- so when using memory modules, make sure to install them in separate channels so they can operate in Dual Channel mode

Example, with two sticks- make sure they are both installed in the same channel - the slots should be color coordinated like shown in this pic. Do not put one stick in a channel 1 slot, and another in channel 2. Both should be in the same channel to operate as a pair.


#396 3 years ago
Quoted from Dale1953:

Mine shipped Monday. Should have it for the weekend.

You and I both! Mine should be here Friday

#397 3 years ago

Ok, awesome news! My TH LE arrived at the terminal today, but they said due to my location they could deliver until late next week.. I said F-that and I drove an hour each way and just picked it up!!

The great news- fresh out of the box, theres zero damage, flaws, or defects from shipping or manufacturing. The cabinet, decals, backbox, armor, decals, invisiglass, etc are all immaculate. Put everything together, put balls in the machine, snipped the zip ties for the beast popups, and fired her up. Changed ball save to 10 seconds, flippers to 25, and started playing. Everything worked perfectly, played about 7-8 games no problem. I'll do a full switch test tomorrow, but everything seems to be completely perfect out of the box and I'm happy about that.

One problem - which i'll find out the extent of it though, is I had a reset on it while my wife was having a kick ass game. The code out of the box is 1.01 and I didn't have a chance to update it, but I don't remember reading about anyone have reset issues with that code version. The game wasn't running long enough to get hot, and my area was nice and chilly so that shouldn't be the problem. I guess i'll have to reach out to JJP and join the queue of people with reset issues unfortunately. Besides that, everything else is fine. Just not cool knowing I could be having a bad ass game and it can reset spontaneously.


#399 3 years ago
Quoted from Jvspin:

Mine arrived DOA due to an intermittent fuse. Reseated the fuse and the game started up. I think it reset once in the first couple of hours of play. Reseated the fuse again and checked to see if there was a loose wire or something inside the power box. Didn't find anything and haven't had a reset since. It's been almost two months now with play on all versions of code.

Interesting, thanks- the fuses are in the computer/server case correct? I believe that's where they were in my old WOZ. I'll try and reseat them tomorrow. I'm sure it's nothing serious.

#405 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Oh, I wanted to mention this very cool mod for the game from user "Dkammer" on the JJP Google Group. The lighting behind the The Hobbit's backglass is bright white and tends to wash out the display. For about $10 shipped you can give the backglass a warm lighting effect and not permanently alter the game. All you need is one of the gel sheet filters below, cut two strips of it, stack them on top of each other and apply over the LED strip behind the back glass. I just ordered a sheet earlier this week for my game.
amazon.com link »
Thanks again to DKammer (I don't think I've seen him post on here) for this awesome mod.

Thanks for this! Just ordered because I also thought the backglass looked like shit and washed out. They put hyper white LEDs in the backbox, they should have went 2700K or even 3000K warm LED vs 6000K that they used.

#414 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Looks like a RAM timing problem, could be from the chaotic nature of all the solenoids upsetting the wall power. I dunno!
Ive seen similar behavior on highly overclocked computers without line conditioners or UPS to help reduce DC ripple due to unregulated AC wall power.
If the RAM is in dimm slots 1 and 3, try putting them in dimm slot 2 and 4. this might get you a couple pico-seconds to stabilize some issues in data flow. Or its just weak springs in the sockets...(the bane of Sony for years)?
If the problem persists, try a more agressive faster responding (overclocker/gaming) RAM like crucial vengeance or ballistix RAM. These tend to be a little thicker modules also.
This may well be a coding problem, but I think its a combination of coding/environment/vibration.
Since not all games exhibit this behavior.
DDR3 1600 CL-9 is the RAM speed of the computer.

Ok what I did was update the machine to 1.10, swapped memory sticks around (only two DIMM slots, and uses Kingston memory), re-seated all the fuses in the main computer box, and re-seated the fuse in the power supply at the front of the machine.

So far I've played about 5 games or so and no resets! I love this game!

I've also had crazy airballs- even ones that hit the DWARF drop targets and flew over so far to the drain! Crazy. I have superbands on order.. I also waxed the playfield and set pitch to 7* and the game is fast and plays amazing.

#423 3 years ago
Quoted from WakiMiko:

Actually, it differs from mainboard to mainboard. The color coding is not standardized. Sometimes different colors indicate different channels, sometimes different colors indicate the same channel. It sucks but that's how it is.
You definitely want your DIMMs in different channels to take advantage of the dual channel architecture. (In your post you first say to put them in different channels, then you say to put them into the same channel?!)
I don't know if the POST screen is visible when TH is booting, but it usually tells you whether your RAM is running in dual channel mode. Might be hard to read without a pause key though.

Now that I have my TH LE, I realized the mainboard only has two DIMM slots, but you must use 2x DIMMs to get full DDR performance. It's not a 4 slot config so my picture I posted isn't really relevant w/ this motherboard.

#424 3 years ago

Played a lot of games on the machine today, and thankfully no resets! Reseating memory, fuses, etc must have solved the problem.. using 1.10 as well.

I added the Tilt Graphics pin blades, and also installed a little post thing by the left ramp as a ball got stuck there once (none at the beasts/trolls FYI):


Also, for anyone with a lockbar that has play in it and moves around- which I can't stand- heres a simple thing you can do to make it nice and solid- I put some rubber bumpers on the cabinet- one on both corners:


#429 3 years ago
Quoted from WackyBrakke:

So, I went to HQ Beercade in Chicago tonight, specifically to play The Hobbit. Here are my thoughts and experience. First off the game is very beautiful. Nice graphics, nice trim, pretty play field, nice LCD screen. So thats nice. I put 5 bucks in, it's $1 per game. First game went well, i fact I got a replay! fun. I started to realize just like WoZ the giant screen in a big distraction. I don't have enough time to absorb what it's trying to tell me cause I am focused on the game. Then a ball gets stuck, ugh, off the left ramp where it should drop into the exit lane "arrows". Annoying. The operator comes and unsticks the ball and give me 3 credits. Nice. I start to realize the dragon is really weird. It's a head on a round spinny thing.....its weird. The ball is all over the place, too many roll overs and troll popups, the ball is a mess. Then wham! stuck ball in the same place again.....!@#$%^&$ how did this not get found during the prototype. Same story, operator comes and opens the machine and give me 3 more credits. turning into a free night of pinball. Then wham, stuck ball again, this time on top of the right spinner....Ugh. Unstuck again....then wham, wham, wham, over and over again, stuck on the left ramp before it should fall into arrows. Bleh, I'm over this one....Went and played Medieval Madness, Tron, Kiss, Metallica, Twilight Zone, Addams Family.....those were fun. Not sure i'll bother with The Hobbit again. Sorry to all of you who got one, ordered one or want one.....Not sure it's gonna be a good one at all. It was yawn when the ball wasn't stuck, and annoying when the ball continuously got stuck. I hope Stern does not do a giant LCD screen, too much going on.

Sorry about your bad luck.

Since yesterday, between my wife, me, kids, and a buddy of mine- we've racked up over 100 games. All flawless, except a reset issue on the 7th game that is now resolved, and one time stuck ball where you mentioned that a little post I installed fixed. No other issues, just having a blast playing this pin. The operator should just take the 5 mins I spent adjusting mine out of the box and he wouldn't have to deal with refunds and pulling off glass for a player. Not sure what's up.

EDIT: I just realized you are that guy in the Ghostbuster's thread who claimed to have went to Stern HQ, spied with binoculars, and said you saw GB LE's being shipped a little while ago. I'll take your comment with a grain of salt here.

#441 3 years ago

Anyone else's LED spotlights (there's 4 of them on the playfield I think) act funky at times? When in attract mode or just sitting there in a game without a mode, they are on all the time. When in modes or and also sometimes out of them, it seems all the spotlights randomly turn on or off or even flash at times. It's not a wiring issue or problem with them itself from what I can tell.. It's almost as if it's a bug in the code since they sometimes are supposed to turn on and off. Just wondering if it's a unique thing with my game, but it's kind of annoying.

By the way, finally had a ball get stuck in one of the trolls- ball search released it, no big deal- but ball search put it right in drain- Keith needs to program a small ball save in there with a ball search, but it was a total non issue.

#463 3 years ago

Has anyone had issues with hitting the right orbit, then it exiting the left orbit and going SDTM? This was happening a lot- smooth/quick orbit shot, then right down the middle. I slightly bent back the edge of the metal guide at the end of the left orbit exit, and put a tiny piece of felt on the edge, now the left orbit feeds the right flipper on exit or hits the right sling. I like that better then a drain

#477 3 years ago
Quoted from Jvspin:

No problem with orbit shots going down the middle on mine. The right orbit feeds the left flipper well enough to hit the orbit again on the fly.

Thanks- I ended up taking off the felt and bending the metal wall guide back a bit, now the right orbit goes to the left flipper.

#478 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

I think it only takes about 1/64th to 1/32" more clearance to be safe, on my game the ball barely grazes it. You can tell it hits though as it bumps along twice on the way to the kickback and looks as though it may drop off.

What if you trimmed down a post rubber, and put it on the end of the wireform hole?

#482 3 years ago
Quoted from bdaily1983:

Well, that didn't fix the issue. It's definitely the rollovers. If I change the coil strength I have weak flippers and air balls. I guess I'll try adjusting the switches tomorrow. I can make a ramp shot maybe 60 percent of the time. All other times it hits hard and rolls back.

Dude - definitely something not right there, my rollovers do not stop any shots at all. They are low enough it would be tough to measure for u. Can you take a very low pic and post showing how high your petrudes from the playfield?

#498 3 years ago
Quoted from Peppers:

My Hobbit SE #960 has finally left Jersey Jack and heading to my lonely mountain. I hope to get it in a week. Pic is Smaug's new home as seen from our bedroom. I think I am one of the last of day one orders. But at one point I asked mine to be delayed as we were moving to our new place. I am beyond excited!!!!! A huge thanks to Everyone at JJ and especially LTG for taking care of us.

Awesome view !! Beats mine.. Here's looking out from my gameroom where TH resides


#501 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Thanks for the tip! Will do.
I ended up ordering a "purple" rated plunger spring for the game. I think that will help with a full plunge not being able to hit the dwarf targets on my game. Also ordered some green Perfect Play flipper bands that I think will look pretty slick on the game.

How are you liking the machine at 6.5* pitch? I still think you need to set into 7* for the best effect. Just install a little post at the left wire ramp, and also bend the end of the hole up a bit, so it sticks up higher so the ball doesnt jump over it. Crank the flippers power up and have at it !

#505 3 years ago

Ok guys!!! I have perfectly dialed in my Hobbit LE. Today, the changes I made turned this game into a blazing fast pin. I had to actually turn the flipper power down 3-4 notches because of the airballs this caused.

I did the following:

1) Waxed playfield with a different wax this time, Mill Wax playfield wax & cleaner- let it dry and then buffed it out
2) Pinball Life Oh Shiny balls
3) Super band rubbers
4) Flippers at 24 left, 27 right power

I cannot believe the difference after those 3 things. Everything moves so quickly, theres little to no floatiness, and power must be turned down on flippers! This should be a mandatory thing to do after pulling it out of the box.

This, with 7* pitch - wireform post on left side, and bending loop on left wireform upwards to prevent hop overs, has made this thing awesome. Anyone with speed complaints must try this pin with those fixes/changes/upgrades because its a world of a difference.

Also, for the plunger- I did use some silicone spray on the shaft and its much smoother and plunges the ball way better- no spring change necessary.

#513 3 years ago
Quoted from metahugh:

Did you know Millwax isn't wax? You unfortunately just put silicone all over your playfield.

I honestly don't care what its made from, it works great on the playfield and I doubt it will hurt anything - its designed to wax pinball machines. I'm happy with it..

#515 3 years ago
Quoted from Jvspin:

Wizards Mist and Shine is what JJP recommended for WOZ. I expect it would be the same with the Hobbit. Not sure how it compares to other stuff people are using.
amazon.com link »

Better then that would be Meguiar's ultimate quik wax - I use it on my machines in between liquid wax - works awesome..

amazon.com link »

#516 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Thanks Kpg for all the tips! I'll be trying some of those out and will give a 7 degree pitch another shot.

Definitely man, just make the tweaks necessary at that pitch to make it work. I no longer have the ball hopping the rail on the left ramp/windlance area, by simply bending the end up a bit more, so it catches the ball better.

#520 3 years ago
Quoted from metahugh:

If that's what you like go for it. I wouldn't buy a game knowing that someone used Millwax to maintain it. The name itself is misleading. Why put wax in the name if it doesn't contain wax?

What is wrong with it and what are the reasons you wouldn't want a game thats had it on there? I guess I don't understand what the big deal is. Enlighten me please, I'm listening

#528 3 years ago

What if you used a good quality carnauba, then put some Millwax on top for the speed benefits?

#531 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Nice, I've had that happen a few times on my game as well. Did you bend the end of the far left habit rail while it was still in the game or remove it?

Yeah- I bent it while still on the game- just put pressure on the rear part of the hole, while bending the front of it up a bit.

#548 3 years ago

Hooked it up to my Polk external sub and the sound is awesome vs without.

Loving the game, 114 total plays on it now. I just had my second reset on it today though, that's 2 out of 114 and in my opinion, two too many. Ive reseated everything and it seems it's software related.

Anyone else having reset issues? If so, let's post the error messages here- here's mine from today

Also, I had emailed JJP technical
Support about the issue last week, about 4 days ago, and no response. My history with WOZ support has been that email and opening tickets is worthless, but phone support is good so I'll try that avenue next.


#552 3 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

Last message I had from Lloyd was it was software related. None of the "fixes" I have seen out there have worked for me.

Decided to buy that Crucial Ballistix memory that Lloyd/LTG recommended, in hopes of solving the reset issue.

First game with new memory and it reset, and about 5-6 after with no issues.

So, if anyone is planning on buying that memory, save your cash. It's definitely software related, and hopefully JJP will chime in on here and let us know they are working on a code fix. I was heading for a new GC score and the reset killed the game for me.. Not happy about it as you can imagine.. Hope they're working on it...

#565 3 years ago

I have a big scratch on my Invisiglass too! That must have been how it happened- I'll look, because it seems it lines right up with that ring button thing too. Man that's BS. Gonna have to figure something out about that..

Also, my reset yesterday happened right when the ball entered the pops. In fact, each reset (3 total out of 120 games) has happened when the ball was in the poppers.

For power issues, I have my pins hooked up to an APC surge protector that is hooked into an APC AVR line conditioner, and have never had any problems with resets or voltage issues to any other pin I've owned so it's not that.

#566 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

So I've manged to eliminate 90% of pop outs from the far left habit rail. Someone else posted this either here or on the JJP Google group.
Bending the end of the far left habit rail up (the circular ball exit area) helps to elimate pop outs. I covered the metal on the rail (to prevent scratches) and then used a pair of needle nose pliers to bend the end of the rail slighlty upwards. I may try bending it a little more.
I did remove the screw on the end of the rail before I attempted to bend the bracket. On my game I also bent it up and slightly to the right as the rail seemed to lean left a little bit.

Glad that worked for you! That's exactly what I did and I no longer have bounce outs. I also lowered the pitch to 6.8* and the game still plays great but it's a lot less wild.

#567 3 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Since I've solved my resets and air balls I solved another annoyance this weekend. My left habitrail that goes to the outlane wasn't 100% consistent on catching and holding the ball. I added a 1/4" tall spacer under the bottom screw and it made it 100% reliable (so far) with a pretty good amount of plays on it today. No traps, no bounce outs. Perfect.
Now I have just one more minor annoyance to figure out and it will be perfect. One in maybe 100 right habitrail returns will drop the ball and spin it up and out the right outlane. It is FRUSTRATING when it happens and screws us enough to need to find a way to fix it. Anybody else experience this one?

I had this annoying issue as well, right ramp the ball would drop then pop up and over into the right outlane drain! Such BS.

I took a small post rubber, cut it, and put it on the metal inlane wire guide. It has not happened since. But it does work. Also, I removed the washer from the post that the ramp bolts to in order to lower it some more, so it doesn't drop as hard to the playfield and bounce out. Doing both of those things worked for me.

Here's a pic


#569 3 years ago
Quoted from Hjbondar:

Hi there - I did a search but could not find what JJP is charging for direct shipping. Can someone post that cost? thanks

It's going to be around $400-450. I suggest calling Automated/Pinballs.com as they might still have them in stock, and offer free shipping.

#572 3 years ago
Quoted from Hjbondar:

Thanks KPG. I am looking for what someone was actually charged as I was quoted $500 by JJP - and it seemed high - Harvey

I was originally going to buy my TH LE from JJP directly, and just looked back in my email and was quoted from JJP to me here in SoCal, it was $466.

#574 3 years ago

Just got off the phone w/ Frank @ JJP regarding the reset issue. He said it is software related, and that the developers may have already solved it, and are working on a patch to fix it.

Those who have not had reset issues simply have not hit the required combination of things that must start/end at the right time to cause a reset in the bumpers. It may take dozens of games, maybe a hundred or more to finally hit that criteria of things that lead to the glitch/reset- but alas, JJP is fixing it!

#576 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Thats good news that they are on it, thanks for finding out. Keith and the guys have been averaging one good sized update a month (just like WOZ initially) so we may see another software update in the middle of June. 1.10 was released on 5/12, 1.01 on 4/6.

I love the coding support from JJP, not only with WOZ, but with TH. That actually was a big deciding factor on purchasing TH for me.

I know there is much more to come, a lot of modes do not have special lighting effects or even music and sound effects when playing them. I know they are unfinished, along with the wizard modes. So watching the game mature and worked towards being finished is going to be awesome, and I am confident any bugs that pop up will be quickly handled.

#584 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Has anyone else noticed that the magnet at the drop off for Smaug ball locks doesnt always activate? At times instead of a ball stopping at the magnet and then slowly dropping into the subway it will just go straight through.
I'm concerned that over time that this could cause wear on the playfield around the area where the ball drops into. Maybe one of the balls is magnetized?

Yes this is normal - mine does it too, I don't think it's supposed to activate each time, or maybe the ball does so fast it doesn't have a chance to capture it sometimes.

I keep my flipper power up very high though, as I like to hit the ramps from any flipper. I think my settings are 25 for left flipper, 28 right flipper- this way I can hit left ramp w/ left flipper and right ramp w/ right flipper no problem. But I do get air balls, hoping the game will settle down because I love the flippers cranked up on this game

#587 3 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Mine is hit or miss. I think the ball just goes too fast sometimes. It's doesn't effect anything.

I think it may be by design- maybe it depends on which call out/saying Smaug will say- it could need to hold the ball a little longer to complete the call out, and if its a short one the magnet doesn't hold the ball. I've noticed the magnet not holding the ball as often in the 1st lock, but more on the 2nd lock and also into multiball - just an idea.

#595 3 years ago
Quoted from metahugh:

I can confirm this is true. Here is some video evidence:
» YouTube video
Of course once I start posting it's not happening to my game it starts happening. This is the first game I fired up tonight and it missed 50% of the time.
I do think the ball is going too fast for the magnet to catch the ball as it is currently programmed. I would imagine there is a set delay when the ramp entrance opto is tripped when the magnet is fired and it is calibrated for a slower moving ball. I also imagine the pulse is short to avoid leaving the magnet on for too long. The length of time the magnet is engaged could be changed. I agree it isn't causing a real problem. Actually, I think it may be better to go straight in versus the magnet catching it, at least until I can get some mylar installed in the drop area
I think the reason why I haven't noticed it much is because I prefer hitting the right ramp with a backhand when trying to lock a ball. I feel that I am more accurate with a backhand than a shot from the left flipper. I bet if I go back into the numerous videos I have posted on YouTube I will find more than a few times this has happened in the past and I just didn't notice it.

Seems to happen more often in the first lock then the 2nd and 3rd on my machine ive noticed. I truly think it is a software issue of the timing between the opto trigger and firing of the magnet - i'm sure it will be resolved at some point. I hope they are adding more things Smaug says though! The ones now get old quick

#616 3 years ago

I love this game. Running some unreleased code that fixes the reset issue, and adds a lot more to the game including callouts directing you to "shoot the left ramp" "hit the spider" "bash the goblin" and "Multiball!" Callouts when Smaug MB and Beast Frenzy MB start. More music and refined lighting in certain modes. Still have a long ways to go, but the coding team at JJP simply amazes me, especially seeing how Stern handles code and how simple GB's code seems in comparison.

Also, my wife hit the Into the Fire Arkenstone mode today- definitely in its baby stage as there was very little music and no callouts or anything special other then a bad ass 5 ball multiball and the LEDs on the drop targets were blinking in an Orange/Red flame mimicking light show, and fire on the small LCD. I absolutely love this machine and where it's heading.


#637 3 years ago
Quoted from Bartzenegger:

Yes I too and dying for some pf mods! Seems just nothing still.
I hope there is another multiball added. Those two over and over are fun but ...........
Amazing amazing game though !

The into the fire Arkenstone 5 ball MB is awesome.. Plenty of Mb action with the wizard modes now, although the Feast Frenzy really seems like it should also be a multiball mode...

#661 3 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Agree. The color of the button should be different for each "award"/action.

Agreed as well - the Ring button function changes all the time and needs to be represented with a different color, like TWD's lockdown bar button. If its RGB it wouldn't be hard to program different colors in it. Point awards should be a flashing color, maybe blue, and mode change should be solid red. Backstab could be yellow. Something like that..

#665 3 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Sorry guys, they are posted here:
Unlike the other protectors, they're clear in the middle so wont green color bomb your plastics. Only glow green around the edges.
And our dark room brightening kit is posted here:
While maybe not as needed as the WoZ kit was, it still provides decent improvement through center playfield and flipper area.

Finally, the flipper rubbers are green superbands from pinballlife. http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=3172

Thanks for this !! I ordered the plastic protectors as well.

#668 3 years ago

Epic game on TH today !! New 1.73M grand champ score, and killed Smaug, along with also hitting Into the Fire Arkenstone mode.

When you kill Smaug (without spoiling too much) machine pauses to play an awesome video clip, then proceeds into another killer multiball.


#670 3 years ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

KPG are you loving the pin? Can you compare to anything else you've had in your collection or played before?

I absolutely love it. Hadn't played it in a bit due to a hand surgery (still recovering from it though) and this was one of a few games I played on it today.

I love my other machines (TWD and MET) but they feel so much different then TH- not only from a build quality standpoint, as TH is clearly the "Bentley" of pinball machines, but just the overall package from sound, lighting, LCD, and gameplay. TH truly feels like what an $8K+ machine should feel like. The code is going to make it even more of a winner over time.

I still can't believe I almost skipped over it completely after reading all the negative BS on Pinside- I realize all the time the people here favor old school Bally/Williams machines (just look at the Pinside rankings!) and Stern's, and for some reason there's a JJP hater bandwagon who loves to trash anything they do. It's a huge winner in my opinion, and it's almost guaranteed I buy whatever their game #3 is after this. This is coming from someone who sold a WOZ pretty quickly after buying it too.. TH is so much better..

#673 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballer0415:

KPG do you know when the new code is going to be released to the public? Also, thoughts on the new code? My machine was delivered today and I get back in town on Thursday, so was hoping it would be out by then!

I am not sure when it will be released- but I think it needs some more polish before releasing to the public. There have been a couple glitches that were not in 1.10, namely Smaug MB starting on its own one time, and another when hitting the right hole for an extra ball it just terminated my ball and started the next one which was weird. Also, sometimes there is a blinking MAN light that won't go away. All of those either happened once or a couple times, nothing serious. Also, the In The Fire Arkenstone mode is very bare with no callouts, special sound effects, music, etc- so lots to do there as well. I don't even know if there are other Arkenstone modes you can get to besides In The Fire at this point.

Either way, there is definitely a nice amount of changes from 1.10 -> 1.20, and i've had zero restarts since using it.

#679 3 years ago
Quoted from spandol:

Do you guys feel like the shots are satisfying to make? I realize it was earlier code i was playing, but I had the make the right ramp many times and it got a little old to me. I was actually trying to find one to play with newer code, but couldn't. I sold my spot, but I'm certainly interested in possibly purchasing again at some point. Want to wait until the issues are worked out. The Hobbit as well as Smaug, is a theme I love.

I personally find both ramps to feel satisfying to hit when the flippers have the right power settings on them. Also, the beast popups always feel good to hit. The orbits are difficult to hit so when you finally do nail a clean orbit shot it feels great. The left hole is easy to hit when back handing from the left flipper, but hard to hit off the right one. I still haven't found a trick to hit the right hole, and it's a very difficult shot- my least favorite on the entire playfield. Also it's tough to hit the lower Elf and Man drop targets, but hitting the Dwarf drops are great.

#703 3 years ago
Quoted from Damonator:

4) An external sub is a requirement on this game...but figuring out how to do it is not easy. I'm using a miniplug to RCA cable plugged into the headphone jack. I hope this isn't the final solution, but it works for now. It is SO worth it though - it is incredible when Smaug is talking. And yes, the music overall is hands down the best ever created for a pinball machine...absolutely amazing.
6) Still no fix on the left habittrail - I had two ball hangups which were easily remedied with a gentle bump on the cabinet. I'll try raising the habittrail a bit and see if that helps.
9) The white light behind the backlgass is a bit blue. I will apply the orange filter fix and report back on how it looks.

1) External sub is definitely a must!! I just got 2 RCA splitters (1 into 2) and plugged one into the single RCA out that is on the back of the computer case- I then plugged the RCA -> Subwoofer into one end, another RCA splitter into the other, and ran RCA -> 3.5mm jack to the Polk sub I have if that makes sense. Sounds awesome.

2) Install a small post on the left ramp screw and the ball wont be able to get stuck there anymore

3) Definitely use the orange filters - looks nicer with a warm LED color then the super white LED's that come in there

#707 3 years ago
Quoted from FalconPunch:

Any chance you can post a picture of all the stuff you have and where to plug it in so I can buy it now and its ready to go when the Hobbit comes in?

Bought these from Amazon for $5, comes with 2x of them


1) You can see a splitter plug in the top RCA output on the computer case (this is where the factory sub normally plugs in)

2) Plug the factory sub in one end

3) Plug the other splitter in the other end

4) Plug a RCA -> 3.5mm cable into the other splitter and run it to your sub. This is one I recommend:



#712 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Beat me to it.
I don't understand why people are trying to reinvent the wheel here? There are two speaker terminals on the sub, just like there are on any other pin. We've always just attached our external sub to the two speaker terminals in the cabinet. Why would Hobbit be any different?

I've personally never liked doing that because the terminals can come loose over time nudging the machine- happened on my MET actually. I didn't want to solder anything either. I figured why not since the RCA splitters were $5, and it was very simple to plug in that way, just as simple as connecting to the terminals

On my Stern's I use Pinnovators Pinsub cards for direct audio output which is a lot better then tying into the subs directly

#713 3 years ago
Quoted from fnosm:

Thanks for the picture.
How did you run the wires out of your cabinet to your sub? Or should I say, which hole did you use?
Also can you show a picture of your input to your sub?

I ran the wire out the back mesh vent screens, had to take a few screws out to move the mesh out a bit - then screwed them back in

#728 3 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

After I adjusted the amp, the stock one does this also. The whole floor vibrates in my feet when Smaug talks on ball locks.

Where's the adjustment at ?? I'd love to do that. Also, I cranked up the slings to max power like u suggested and I like how they work much better.

#733 3 years ago
Quoted from VT8man:

Is anyone having an issue with the mini monitor? Mine has pretty much stopped working. I removed it from the game and checked the connections, and is seems when I bend the wiring up behind the monitor it gets a signal, but once I put it back on the game it's lost. When the pops fire it occasionally displays, but then nothing. I checked the connections and it almost seems like it's something with the ribbon cable inside. Anyone else have this problem?

Did you check for loose connections inside the computer case of the machine? There's a video component cable in there that was a little loose out of the box from the shipping process I assume - just make sure everything in there is fully seated.

#752 3 years ago

I heard Lance Armstrong was playing TH at a local barcade and was trying real hard to get an Extra Ball, but he had a difficult time and just gave up. In fact when he started Smaug multiball, only one ball came out

#804 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Tried to update and nothing. Like it doesn't recognize the thumb drive, even though the thumb drive lights up.

When it asks for the USB drive, unplug it and plug it back in.

#810 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Tried that.

The only thing that should be on the USB drive is the unzipped folder called "hobbit_update"

Make sure the USB drive is formatted by a Windows computer in FAT or FAT32.. Not a Mac formatted file system

#814 3 years ago
Quoted from metahugh:

How big is your thumb drive? I tried a 64gb and 32gb one and they weren't recognized. I use an 8gb one and it works perfectly. Same issue with my Sterns too.
Only insert it after the game tells you to, don't leave it plugged in. It lights up because the drive is getting voltage but that doesn't mean it's recognized.

I use a 120GB solid state drive in a USB caddy for the update no problem- I think he might be a Mac user and the drive is formatted in Apple's HFS+ file system instead of FAT

#818 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I am using a 32gb drive.

Nope. Definitely formatted in FAT.

Weird man- maybe trace back your USB cable and see if it's plugged in correctly to the computer, or even try another freshly formatted USB drive.

#821 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Thanks Hugh!
This did the trick. I actually just did a copy and paste from my 32gb drive to an 8gb card with adapter so it was the exact same file....but putting it on the 8gb card instead of the 32gb worked like a charm!
The chime just went off telling me code update complete.

It was on there 100% correctly. The fact that it was on a 32gb card was the problem.

So strange.. I use a 120GB drive no problem.

#829 3 years ago
Quoted from Vyzer2:

I love the game, truly do....but, I am finding it draining balls on the cheap way too much. The roll overs and the lids to the pop ups change the direction of the ball significantly, and for my game, drains down the middle way too many times. I'm set up at 6.7, wondering if I should go to 7.

Definitely go more towards 7.

2 weeks later
#1083 3 years ago

I just installed the 3D printed troll fix things that Pinball Bulbs sells http://www.pinballbulbs.com/products/hobbit-troll-ball-catch-fixes

--they work great, no more balls getting stuck and needing to wait for the ball searches. Wasn't a big problem, but for $20 and about 45mins of installation time, they work as expected.

#1117 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

What do you guys have your trough coil setting at?
I am having a terrible time getting the trough to put a ball in play with any consistency at all. Sometimes it can take 3-4 attempts before the ball is put in the shooter lane. Super annoying, especially when you start multiball.

Hey man ! I had this same issue out of the box. Only thing I did was up the coil power on the ball eject and I've never had a problem since.

#1139 3 years ago
Quoted from fnosm:

I also have this exact same issue. My assuption is that the groove for the plastic rail was cut too far out. I figure it is at least 1/8" to wide on each side.
Please share any fix that you and Lloyd come up with.

Mine does the same thing, its not a big deal to me though, when putting the glass back on I just slightly press down on the plastic lip on the top and it goes right in.

#1197 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I'm really starting to get pissed off with my trough. Made the adjustment to the metal tab by bending it back a bit. That didn't help too much, because the ball started hitting the metal apron. If I backed the power off, it wasn't strong enough to put the ball in play. Took the apron off again, and bent the metal tab back to closer to how it was. That seemed to help initially, but when I am in multi-ball, the coil struggles big time to put a ball in play. You can here the machine repeatedly trying to put the additional balls in play during MB with very little success. I've tried numerous settings in the menu without and kind of real success.
This is really leaving a bad impression not only on others who come to play the pin, but me as well.

Man I'm really sorry to hear about this! I know out of the box I had this issue and bumping the coil power up a couple settings fixed it and it's always worked perfectly since.

Sounds like your coil might be bad and not powerful enough to serve the ball- have you called Frank @ JJP and told him everything you have done? I think you may need a new coil..

#1221 3 years ago
Quoted from Charliew65:

is that a hot tub behind your hobbit? Is that safe?

Looks pretty safe, the power cord is only right where people who are soaking wet would be stepping

#1223 3 years ago

Just got back from hitting the hot tub while playing The Hobbit at whthrs166's house today! Quite a shocking combo


#1239 3 years ago

Someone please PM me a link to 1.30 !!! I dont want to wait for the webmaster to roll out of bed and take a shower or whatever he needs to do before he updates the website.. Thanks in advance!!

#1275 3 years ago

The 1.30 code is a HUGE improvement - adding ball locks before mode starts essentially gave the game 31 extra multiballs! It's insane !! So much more frantic and fun. Keith really turned a simple layout into a great game. It's a keeper for a long time. Very happy with my purchase and code support from JJP.

#1380 3 years ago

I added my own post to my original wireform, bent it up a bit, and filed down the small horizontal bar in front of the hoop so the ball doesn't 'jump' off it. Easy fixes. My wireform works perfect each time, and I'd never think of changing it out. I suggest just getting the post they are offering and doing what I did. Pretty hard to screw it up to be honest.

#1381 3 years ago

Major respect for Jack making a video himself. I get the cost for the wireform.

I challenge Gary Stern to post a video on YouTube addressing the defective playfield ghosting issue. He definitely responded the same day regarding his death hoax, but sure is quiet about Stern's quality problems. Your move, Gary.

#1394 3 years ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

JJP is really distancing themselves from Stern right now. I love pinball period, but while Stern seems to be cutting corners and doing everything they can to make their pins cheaper and faster, Jack is making tanks that are gorgeous, fun to play, and their support is fantastic.

Agreed. Stern is coming off as the cookie cutter pinball manufacturer, with Made in China build quality- and JJP is representing what a real American handcrafted product should be. Jack, please don't change what you are doing. It's working.

#1493 3 years ago
Quoted from paynemic:

Mine comes tomorrow!!! How would I recognize the upgraded ramp flaps? It's my biggest worry.

The ramp flaps are fine, I have no idea why anyone even complains about them? The ramps are silky smooth when hitting them. Don't worry about it.

#1498 3 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

The ramps are smooth and nice when the flaps aren't curling up by 1/2" and slowing the ball or causing it to jump. Sounds like you got lucky and don't have that issue. Others like me do.

Can you take a pic of them? My ramp flaps don't sit flush on the playfield either, they worked themselves back up a bit from when it was new, but still works fine. Sorry u are having an issue with yours.

1 week later
#1686 3 years ago
Quoted from WackyBrakke:

We're having a blast with ours too now that it's all dialed in and working well! Even the audio static has mysteriously disappeared for now. This game is fun!

I noticed they cleaned a lot of the audio clipping issues with the latest code.

#1717 3 years ago
Quoted from WackyBrakke:

Automated Services!!!

+1 for Automated. They were awesome to work with when purchasing my Hobbit LE

#1726 3 years ago
Quoted from ikrananka:

I noticed a similar thing when I was looking at my beast mechs, all of them had at least one screw missing and no sign of the wood ever having been threaded. I'm waiting on my Hobbit Update kit (due any day now) before I go under the playfield again. When I do I'll check out the locations you highlighted and will report back here what I find.

My beast mechs are all missing a screw too.

I have a suspicion that they decided only 3 were needed as the ones not threaded in would make servicing them very difficult if they were all screwed in. The ones that were chosen to not be screwed in were the ones that would be extremely hard to remove and put back in. I found this out when installing the beast / stuck ball fixes.

2 months later
#2347 3 years ago
Quoted from FlippyD:

So my Goblin pop-up just stopped working. Worked fine last game, about 30 mins later played another and it won't raise up.
Entered the pop-up tests and it will attempt to lift but seems either stuck or not getting enough power. After a few tries it reports back that the mech is broken.
Examined the mech underneath and didn't see any loose wires or anything that looked wrong.
The ball-stuck preventers are installed on these.
Any ideas where to start? I'm going back to examine closely to see if anything is out of allignment causing the mech to get stuck.
Thanks for any help!

Sometimes certain beasts will bend forward a bit, due to the ball hitting them in the back (backstab) and working them forward a bit. Since the game is at a 6.5-7* pitch, the beasts will also have their weight shifted forward as well. When they get a bit bent out of shape, they get hung up a little. Simple two second fix.. raise them up by hand or using the menu, and just bend/push them back a bit toward the rear of the playfield. They'll work perfect after that.. don't even need to lift the playfield.

4 weeks later
#2562 3 years ago

Screw that! For only $30K more (or the price of two BM66 SLE pinball machines!) you can get a KILLER WHALE submarine you can actually pilot! I am asking for this for Christmas


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