Hobbit setup, tweaks and adjustments

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By pinballinreno

10 months ago


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#1 10 months ago

I have been tweaking and adjusting my Hobbit™ for a couple weeks now in order to get it to play what I think is perfect or at least pretty good and consistent.

Feel free to chime in and let us know your settings and adjustments you did to make the game "just right".

Any "Mods" that improve game play will also be appreciated here.

Right now I have issues with the left wireform.

Getting the flippers set so that the ball can go up the right ramp from the right flipper and not having so much velocity that the ball flies off the track is tricky. Also a high inertia shot will sometimes fly out of the ramp and hit the back wall.

Some times when the lane change diverter fires, the ball will fall off the track back into play.

The biggest challenge has been getting the ball to drop into the windlance consistently. Mostly it would ride the wall on the left rail and hang on the loop, stuck above the screw there.

When not being stuck the ball would bounce over the end loop and fly over the stop peg and drain the ball.

I have bent the loop in a number of different angles with moderate to low success.

Looking at my wireform from the front it appears that it was at an angle relative the the playfield, down lower towards the wall. This would explain the ball riding the wall to get stuck on the loop.

I carefully bent the left track so that it was level to the playfield and bent the loop up a little. I also widened the loop a little at the bottom by spreading the track a little.

This seems to work a lot better.

I think that the left side of the left wireform needs a little better design. An actual ball stop at the end like the right side of it would make a much more consistent drop into the area.

My game had the flippers set at 22 as the default. They are currently at 24, I might go back to 25.

#2 10 months ago

I will let you knon my settings tonight as far a flipper power goes. I really have not had to many problems so far. Yes hitting the left ramp onto the right wire form does come off sometimes. But I do think flipper power causes this some. Spider sometimes acts up. I'm working on that. Some sound clips need to be reprogrammed. When Gandolf starts to talk sometimes his voice is cut off. But, I love the game. It's fantastic.

#3 10 months ago

I checked my playfield angle in 6 areas with my inclinometer and it ranges from 6.5 to 7 degrees.
I had it at 6 to 6.5 degrees but it played slightly slow (just slightly), contrary to nay-sayers out there, the game is anything but slow.

Reminds me of my TZ a little, you have to make the shots! Otherwise your just nowhere and probably drain. I'm beginning to love this game with its challenging to simple modes (gotta love spider bash!).

Left to right I have it pretty level checked it 3 areas from top to bottom with a torpedo level.

Though I like the way it plays at 7 degrees, I might lower it a tiny bit to allow for slightly weaker flippers and more consistent wireform travel, I'm on the fence about this as of now.

#4 10 months ago

In regards to the pop-up mechs rubbing on the wood:

I loosened the nuts on 2 of my mechs and twisted them around as much as possible to get them lined up.
The mechs are a little sloppy and loose internally so what works at level with the playfield in its service position might change a bit at 7 degrees.

They can also be "bent" or even squeezed a tiny bit to get them to just barely miss the wood. All they have to do is not rub at all when at an angle.

If they rub even the slightest amount it causes them to pop up and then go down as though they have been hit with the ball.

#5 10 months ago

I just finished a few games and have a lot of air-balls.

One just flipped over the dwarf drops and into smaugs area to be returned via the subway.

What can be done about air-balls?

#6 10 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

In regards to the pop-up mechs rubbing on the wood:
I loosened the nuts on 2 of my mechs and twisted them around as much as possible to get them lined up.
The mechs are a little sloppy and loose internally so what works at level with the playfield in its service position might change a bit at 7 degrees.
They can also be "bent" or even squeezed a tiny bit to get them to just barely miss the wood. All they have to do is not rub at all when at an angle.
If they rub even the slightest amount it causes them to pop up and then go down as though they have been hit with the ball.

Yes, this.
In fact, yesterday put two thin small washers on the two front most (closest to player) screw mounts, between the mech and the wood which really got a lot of consistency for my goblin.
I agree that the mechs need to be tweaked ever so slightly sometimes. Very doable. Very easy.

#7 9 months ago

Last night I lowered the playfield pitch to 6.8 degrees and am running the flippers at 24 both sides (default was 22 on my game).
WOW what a difference.
The game plays fast and super smooth. No problems on the wireforms after flattening out the left one.
Way fewer air-balls and on a solid ramp shot, the ball slows down a little and stays on track near 100% of the time on both left and right wireforms. No more jumping out of the left loop and always drops into the windlance area.

Still have the occasional ball stuck in the usual right side location as reported by others, as well as the "cradle" on the left at the wireform loop.

A solid thunk on the side of the cabinet usually clears these hangs but its annoying.

Has JJP released a fix for these 2 problematic ball hang areas?

#8 9 months ago

What about the drop targets gears -- SEEMS LOUD -- Any suggestions on that or is that something I have to live with?

#9 9 months ago

Yes the drops can be loud on some of the modes. There are a lot of coils running in the 3 banks. Especially loud in the mode that runs like a machine gun!

DynaMat would deaden the nose if applied to the walls and bottom of the cab near the drops.
I have some left over from my car project. If I get time this weekend I might throw some in and see if it does anything.

#10 9 months ago

Last night I changed the pitch to 6.5 degrees.

Flippers are set at 24. Higher flipper power results easier ramp shots but balls start flying off the wire-forms and out of the ramps themselves, also get a lot of air-balls.

Game plays better! Not really any slower just smoother and more predictable.

The balls have stopped flying off the wire-forms for the most part.
I can hit either ramp with either flipper from a cradled ball, the ball goes up the ramp at a good pace and slows a bit while going through the wire-forms.

While adjusting the pitch I noticed that the pop-ups are very sensitive to lift/right leveling. If the level is not dead on, one or 2 of them start to rub on the wood.
The device test for the pop-us is pretty good, you can kinda hear if they scrape.
I really like the idea of washers under the mechs to change the angles slightly to stop rubbing. Its a lot easier than removing the mech to rework the holes to allow for more adjustment (although I will probably rework all the holes anyway, I'm just that way I guess).

My playfield is not perfectly flat (this one is bowed upward a little but will probably settle down with all the mech weight on it), none of my games are. I always measure pitch and level in 6 places to get a "happy medium".

Since this game is all about the shots, I think it has to be consistent in the way it functions.

#11 9 months ago

I put black electrical tape with a little bit cloth (gauze) under tape on the left wall where wire form ends so it never gets stuck. Just a temp fix till they solve it. My coil flippers at 25 I'm not sure how steep but back legs up max and front legs as low as possible. I have some air balls but not bad.

#12 9 months ago

I really think the wire-forms need a redesign or at least more wire added the keep the balls from flying off or losing their way.

Maybe someone at JJP will keep us up to date on this.

I know we spent a lot on these games, but I would pay to fix it correctly if that would help.
I absolutely love the game, but want it as good as it can be.

I hope it doesnt lead to letting the modders fix it...I know they could!
And while I'm whining...My topper????

#13 9 months ago

Can a misaligned pop up mech cause it to stop working after a certain amount of gameplay?

My goblin mech works great for about 10 minutes and then stops working. After about 5 minutes it will work for another couple of minutes. It is rinse and repeat after that. The coil is not getting hot, I checked it. The coil does not seem to have a thermostat either, so that can't be malfunctioning. Anyone experiencing this or have any ideas?

My spider pop up mech only comes up for 1 second, then goes back down again. Seems like this is a about one third of the time the other pop up mechs stay up before going down. Is this normal or do I need to adjust the positioning of the mech as others have talked about?

Scott

#14 9 months ago

Loving the game though.

Have not had any issues with balls coming off the ramps like others have, thankfully. I have my game set at 6.1 degrees which seems more shallow than most others, so I am considering bumping that up a bit. I'll report back if this solves or creates any issues.

I do have some issues with the magnet not grabbing the ball before dropping into the Smaug area for ball lock, but this doesn't really seem to affect game play.

#15 9 months ago

This is what I think and did:

First off look at the side to side level of your game (I used a torpedo level), If its not level the pop-up mechs will hang at an angle and rub.
If they rub the game will register a failed mech, or a hit and the mech will drop immediately, or become inactive. You will see this in the test menu and get a false alert of a failed switch

These mechs are solidly built! You cant just bend them like the winkie target on the WOZ.

Check the pop-ups in the device test. I love this test as you can hear them scraping audibly.
If they scrape still after leveling, loosen the mech mounting screws of the one that rubs, and insert a thin stainless washer under a corner or 2 to angle it away from rubbing.

The mechs dont need huge clearance from the wood, 1/64th" or less (thickness of typing paper) is enough, just so they dont rub.

Or if you want to do some real work (not for the novice!), remove the rubbing mechs, elongate the mounting holes, and when you reinstall them adjust to get them perfect. Just make sure you have tweezers/hemostat(roach clip?) and a magnetic pick-up on the lid springs as they can go flying and get lost.

I dont think this is a design flaw, you want the mechs to be very close fitting so a ball doesnt hang in the slot around the mech when its open.

But since the mechs are hanging loosely in their housings (weldments?), to make for 6 way activation, they can rub.

I hope some of this helps.

Others, please chime in if you have a better/different approach please

2 months later
#16 7 months ago

I raised my pf pitch to 6.9 degrees and its about perfect for me.
left flipper set at 27 right at 28.

I also installed the 1/2 CTO gel in about a 4" strip over the lleds in the backbox to make the backglass more match the video display.

Still waiting for the new left wireform that fixes the ball hang before the loop, but my bends and tweaks have made the game playable enough for now.

the last annoyance is the ball spinning out of the inlanes and draining from the wireforms.

#17 7 months ago

I think I have solved the ball spin-out problem when it drops down thru the wireform loops. It actually happens on both the left and (mostly) the right. I have still had this happen even though I put a rubber on the wire guide.
I was watching the ball carefully (no beer in me at all) while it dropped out of the loop.
The ball doesnt always spin out of the lane, defying gravity all the way into the golum lane and drain, every time. Only once in awhile and at the worst possible time. A fast running ball can have a huge spin on it.
If everything goes well, on a regular shot, the ball rolls down the wireform and rolls down the loop, bounces a little and then goes down the lane.
However if the ball rapidly circumscribes the ring before dropping, this puts a spin/rotation on the ball that makes it roll up and out of the lane.
My wireform "double" loops were not parallell to the PF. In fact they were hanging a bit low in the downhill side by about 3 degrees.
This angle made it easier for the ball to spin out of the lane as it was more in line the the balls rotation.
In order to counter the spin on the ball one must convert it to a lateral spin instead of an uphill spin, you have to bend the loop up a bit.
The goal is to have the "double" loop bent upward on the downhill side in relation to the PF angle.
The problem was how to do it easily without applying too much pressure on the form and ripping out any mounting screws, as you have to bend it at least 1/4"to 5/16" especially if the bend was negative (like mine) when you started.
I ended up hooking a 3/8 (or bigger) nut driver inside the lower "double" loop with the handle over the wireform side, pressing carefully until the nut driver handle was basically resting in upper part of the wireform itself. The bending of the double loop didnt break the welds or harm it as far as I can see, as I was being careful.
I actually did this on both the left and the right sides.
The upper single loop can also be bent up so that it matches cosmetically but its not really neccessary. (I just wedged a big screwdriver in and bent it up a bit so it looked level).
Kpg has mentioned in this thread that you can put a rubber on the wireguide in the lane. This actually works as it will brake the spin of the ball when it hits it, but for me it blocks the lane a bit, and its hard to get a tiny rubber that fits properly.
If the loop is bent up enough the problem is solved forever, as the ball spin will be lateral now instead of uphill.
I hope this helps anyone else with this problem. As always your milage may vary, its pinball.

#18 7 months ago

Now Im waiting for the fix of plastic blocks to fill the mechs so that the ball will stop being gulped by the trapdoors, or whatever else they come up with.

So my game is getting more bullet-proof every day, Im very happy with it.

#19 7 months ago

I installed a playfield protector on my game and since then we have about a dozen plays. I have not seen any ball sticks in the beasts since the installation. Highly recommend ordering a Hobbit with the protector for numerous reasons including ball impact divots on the playfield.

#20 7 months ago
Quoted from whthrs166:

I installed a playfield protector on my game and since then we have about a dozen plays. I have not seen any ball sticks in the beasts since the installation. Highly recommend ordering a Hobbit with the protector for numerous reasons including ball impact divots on the playfield.

I have factory installed protector.
Initially occasional ball traps requiring very slight adjusting of mech mounts. Since v1.21, maybe two traps, resolved automatically in-game.

#21 7 months ago

Are these out yet?

VZM.IMG_20160525_140247_(resized).jpg

#22 7 months ago

Definitely wish ball blocks were factory installed. Hope they are available soon.

#23 7 months ago

I think they are getting them ASAP - they know they are needed. I would expect them to be available to the current owners and going on assemblies at JJP any time now.

#24 7 months ago

It would be great to see a documented list of adjustments/changes that have been made to the assembly process (and why). This would provide a list to owners that have already taken delivery of actions they may want to take. Understanding why it was done vs the difficulty of the change/adjustment, the owner can decide on the "cost of the benefit".

#25 7 months ago

Ok I broke down and went with the blue shooter rod spring. Definitely can hit the full spectrum of the Dwarf targets now. We are all going to have to readjust to the new tension!

#26 7 months ago

So how does the blue spring do on the softer skill shots and where did you order it? Also, has anyone installed plastic protector washers on slings? Jjp games don't include them and I wondered why not. Opinions?

#27 7 months ago

It (blue) does just fine. (7.5 adjusted final pitch here)
Just like with most games, it requires "skill" to make a good/difficult skill shot and Hobbit has this in spades. Once you get used to the new tension it will feel natural.
Shooter rod springs can be ordered at most pin part suppliers but if you need a link to make it easy for you...
http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/266-5001-05
You might as well try the green too if the blue still doesn't float your boat. Cheap enough to have all the spectrum (blue-red) tensions on hand if another pin you own doesn't feel "just right."
Boom!
Happy 4th!

Added 7 months ago: Here is another softer spring choice if the blue isn't to your liking.

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/10-148-7

#28 7 months ago

The stronger spring (blue in my case) makes it a bit more challenging for lite shots (roll overs, return lanes, and side targets). Also if you pull it back to far (too strong) it will miss the F and just tag the middle of DWARF drop bank.

1 week later
#29 7 months ago

Last night I increased the power of the lower slings by 2 from the factory settings on my game, and the upper sling by 1.
This has made a huge difference in game play.

#30 7 months ago

Okay so my Smaug just arrived! However the doorway to my theater room, even with the door taken off (which I just did) is too small to fit the box through. Am I going to have any problems moving this into the next room without the box? I have a set of pinball skates but I'm guessing they won't fit a widebody...anyone have any suggestions? Maybe cut away the sides of the box but leave the bottom piece on or something?

#31 7 months ago

Just take it out of box and slide it in the room. Should be easy enough

#32 7 months ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

Okay so my Smaug just arrived! However the doorway to my theater room, even with the door taken off (which I just did) is too small to fit the box through. Am I going to have any problems moving this into the next room without the box? I have a set of pinball skates but I'm guessing they won't fit a widebody...anyone have any suggestions? Maybe cut away the sides of the box but leave the bottom piece on or something?

Take the box off, slide the game off the pallet, hand truck it into the room or put sliders under it, if the floor will allow it.

I cant get any games into my house through the 36" wide front door without unboxing in my garage first.

#33 7 months ago
Quoted from konghusker:

Just take it out of box and slide it in the room. Should be easy enough

Agree.

#34 7 months ago

I just wanted to make sure the bottom wouldn't get jacked up if I slid it. Kept the bottom of the box only (cut off the rest) and it slid in fine.

#35 7 months ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

I just wanted to make sure the bottom wouldn't get jacked up if I slid it. Kept the bottom of the box only (cut off the rest) and it slid in fine.

Keep us posted! Hopefully you got the new left wireform at least.

#36 7 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Last night I increased the power of the lower slings by 2 from the factory settings on my game, and the upper sling by 1.
This has made a huge difference in game play.

I cranked my lower sling power to max.

#37 7 months ago
Quoted from markmon:

I cranked my lower sling power to max.

Im still at a 7 degree pitch, I will try going up a couple notches on the sling power and see how it plays.

#38 7 months ago

does anyone have a picture of what the leg will look like at the recommended 6.5 or 7 degree pitch?

#39 7 months ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

does anyone have a picture of what the leg will look like at the recommended 6.5 or 7 degree pitch?

Front levelers with nut on it screwed almost all the way down.
Rear levelers about half the way up. Leg bottom is maybe 1 1/4 to 1 5/8" off the floor.
Download a level app to your phone, try a few of them.

Set the game for slightly less than 7 degrees (6.9+). You can raise it later if you want. I know some of us are at 7.5, I had it that way but it doesnt play correctly in all modes for me.

You should be able to make both ramps from each flipper from a cradled position, this is important, adjust flipper power as needed.

check your horizontal level, it should be as level as you can get it.
Play the game and adjust in a couple days. The game is made of wood, it will settle a tiny bit.

This is a good place to start.

#40 7 months ago

My game is at max pitch and not only can I easily make both ramps either flipper from stopped ball, but I can make both ramps from either flipper on moving ball as well. I think hobbit really needs a high pitch.

#41 7 months ago

When you hit the right orbit, where is the ball meant to land? Right flipper? Left?

#42 7 months ago
Quoted from FalconPunch:

When you hit the right orbit, where is the ball meant to land? Right flipper? Left?

Left flipper. I think I had to tweak my ball guide on mine to do this.

#43 7 months ago

Is that easy to do? I remember looking at the distributor here (it lands on edge of right flipper or sdrm)

Does the ball guide have an adjustable rail? Didn't seem to be adjustable from what I saw.

#44 7 months ago

Well if you look at the left orbit there right before the spinner and after the slingshot is a ball guide. I bent mine back with pliers until the ball came to the left flipper consistently. You can now combo rough orbit shots in a row. Extremely minor bends have a significant result. So make small changes and test.

#45 7 months ago

After about 30 games, my ball has gotten caught where it is supposed to drop, to the left of Smaug and under that green building. Anyone else seeing this? Any fixes for it? Also can I assume the book should always be on? Seems mine is going out on a frequent basis.

#46 7 months ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

After about 30 games, my ball has gotten caught where it is supposed to drop, to the left of Smaug and under that green building. Anyone else seeing this? Any fixes for it? Also can I assume the book should always be on? Seems mine is going out on a frequent basis.

The ball should not stop in the green building.
The book is always on.

You have a loose connection or 2.
Look for broken, poorly soldered wires.
Go over all the affected areas and look for a loose wire or weak plug-in.

Start un-plugging and re-seating connectors under the PF, check the USB/video cable to the book at the computer and at the book.

Lloyd may have some insight into this, I think I have heard about this before.

#47 7 months ago

The book is a vga monitor connected with a vga video cable. It can be loose on both ends

#48 7 months ago

I know its not loose on the back of the book, but where does it plug into? Do i have to take the silver cover off the box below the playfield?

#49 7 months ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

I know its not loose on the back of the book, but where does it plug into? Do i have to take the silver cover off the box below the playfield?

Yes

#50 7 months ago
Quoted from cscmtp:

I know its not loose on the back of the book, but where does it plug into? Do i have to take the silver cover off the box below the playfield?

Gently trace the wire back to the big silver box. Open the box and check for anything loose, or just re-seat everything to freshen up contacts.
Shipping a game does amazing weird things to wiring and connectors.

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