(Topic ID: 302563)

Hosting my first pinball night

By curban

8 months ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 59 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by xsonics2k2
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    C0B44BB7-E078-4584-B0C7-358591B4CC0C (resized).jpeg
    BBFA95E4-8679-48CA-9B22-342A0CDE0B67 (resized).jpeg
    24EA9689-D14B-4313-AAF3-BAF14E86159B (resized).jpeg
    2B209180-97AA-46C9-8CEF-D6BCEC0E3194 (resized).jpeg
    C9849D4B-ADBA-4B64-A4C4-3072B1ACE0BF (resized).jpeg
    pw.gif

    There are 59 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 8 months ago

    So, I’m hosting my first pinball night for friends Ive been introduced to in the hobby. It’ll be the first time I have more than 4-5 machines going at same time.

    Any pointers?

    I have about fifteen machines in the room…how loud should I set volume? Does ~10 for WPC’s sound right? Normally we keep the volume cranked, but it’s distracting when wife and I are playing adjacent machines. Not sure what room will sound like with 15 machines going.

    Difficulty settings? Factory?

    #2 8 months ago

    Try not to over think it. As you noted they are all new to pinball so I wouldn't worry much about settings. Just make sure the games work and try to be present so they understand some of the basic rules. If its to loud or quiet adjust as you go only takes a few seconds.

    #3 8 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    So, I’m hosting my first pinball night for friends Ive been introduced to in the hobby. It’ll be the first time I have more than 4-5 machines going at same time.
    Any pointers?
    I have about fifteen machines in the room…how loud should I set volume? Does ~10 for WPC’s sound right? Normally we keep the volume cranked, but it’s distracting when wife and I are playing adjacent machines. Not sure what room will sound like with 15 machines going.
    Difficulty settings? Factory?

    Don't bother changing the rules nobody cares. As far as sound I'd set everything around 8. WPC games seem to get louder the longer they are on.

    #4 8 months ago

    Turn on all the games for a full day before hand to stress test your electric, etc

    #5 8 months ago

    Have plenty of beer on hand and everything will be fine.

    As said above, don't overthink it.

    #6 8 months ago

    WRT machine volume... my experience with having friends over who are pinheads and just casual players. It's as much about the social interaction as it is about playing. Or that's the way it is with the crowds I hang out with anyway. So super loud machines can turn everything into a shouting match and in some cases that actually drives folks out of the game room. YMMV in that regard but we're typically involved in conversations about the game as well as catching up with each other while playing 2-4 up.

    Then again, that's the way we spent a lot of our childhood, meeting up at the arcade and playing games at the same time. You know, before everyone just texted and stayed home?!?

    #7 8 months ago

    Thanks for tips.
    Let me clarify…this is my first time hosting a group.

    However, the people that are coming have all been in the hobby for some time and are experienced. I’m the ‘new guy’.

    I guess the volume comments make sense; I’ll turn them down a little.

    #8 8 months ago

    When I hosted one i wrote extended rule cards and printed them out and put them next to the machines, basically detailed instructions on how to get the various multiballs, and my strategy to get a good score. was kind of fun to put together, but for 15 machines that might be a bit of a time investment.

    For example for pinbot, it's not obvious that you get more bonus for advancing planets and that carries across the whole game, so my strategy is to advance planets as much as possible in the first ball because that pays off across the other balls - and especially if you can get extra balls, but ignore that on later balls
    (unless I'm close to a special).

    For older games this is helpful, for most newer DMD or LCD games if you shoot at the flashing things you'll generally do ok.

    Be prepared for someone to take GC on one of your machines and you'll have to stare at their stupid initials for months until you finally take them down

    #9 8 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Turn on all the games for a full day before hand to stress test your electric, etc

    I am worried about tripping breakers. I do have ten pins currently on one 20-amp breaker (all modern and fully-LED’d). I could run an extension cord to put three of them on a separate breaker….but I’ve been cautioned about line drop. Would that be a concern for modern sterns?

    For what it’s worth, I invited the neighborhood families and children over a couple of weeks ago to test the power supply and didn’t trip a breaker…so im hoping for the best.

    #10 8 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    I am worried about tripping breakers. I do have ten pins currently on one 20-amp breaker (all modern and fully-LED’d). I could run an extension cord to put three of them on a separate breaker….but I’ve been cautioned about line drop. Would that be a concern for modern sterns?
    For what it’s worth, I invited the neighborhood families and children over a couple of weeks ago to test the power supply and didn’t trip a breaker…so im hoping for the best.

    That seems like too many games to run on one breaker. I would run the extension cord.

    #11 8 months ago
    Quoted from Bospins:

    When I hosted one i wrote extended rule cards and printed them out and put them next to the machines, basically detailed instructions on how to get the various multiballs, and my strategy to get a good score. was kind of fun to put together, but for 15 machines that might be a bit of a time investment.
    For example for pinbot, it's not obvious that you get more bonus for advancing planets and that carries across the whole game, so my strategy is to advance planets as much as possible in the first ball because that pays off across the other balls - and especially if you can get extra balls, but ignore that on later balls
    (unless I'm close to a special).
    For older games this is helpful, for most newer DMD or LCD games if you shoot at the flashing things you'll generally do ok.
    Be prepared for someone to take GC on one of your machines and you'll have to stare at their stupid initials for months until you finally take them down

    Haha. You’re assuming I know the rules better than my guests! I’ve lived life with the “Instruction?!…we don’t need no stinking instructions!” mentality.

    #12 8 months ago

    Set one game up really tough- real steep and wide open outlanes, no extra balls.
    Tell everyone it cost a dollar to play- high score at 10pm takes the pot-
    Host not allowed in competition. Throw in a $20 to start the pot. I pick a EM so anyone has a chance.

    #13 8 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    I am worried about tripping breakers. I do have ten pins currently on one 20-amp breaker (all modern and fully-LED’d). I could run an extension cord to put three of them on a separate breaker….but I’ve been cautioned about line drop. Would that be a concern for modern sterns?
    For what it’s worth, I invited the neighborhood families and children over a couple of weeks ago to test the power supply and didn’t trip a breaker…so im hoping for the best.

    Yeah, your breaker is going to be a bigger problem then your volume.... 10 games on a single breaker will likely not work. I would try to keep people grouped on 3-4 machines to avoid a trip. No bigger downer then having in process group games shutting off mid play. Could do the extension cord but not a fan of that idea. Be best to herd the group to less games being played. Games that are not played but on draw minimal amps.

    #15 8 months ago

    If it's the first time with that many games on or people, the room might get hot if you haven't already thought about climate control. My game room debut party just about roasted my guests with 8 pins and a couple other games, I had to install an air conditioner!

    #16 8 months ago
    Quoted from horseflesh:

    If it's the first time with that many games on or people, the room might get hot if you haven't already thought about climate control. My game room debut party just about roasted my guests with 8 pins and a couple other games, I had to install an air conditioner!

    Good point. Game room gets warm…but in my case it’s a walkout basement on a hillside with several windows in PA. Should have all the cool evening air that we need.

    #17 8 months ago

    Don't forget to list in this thread the time, date, address and type of beer that will be served.....

    #18 8 months ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    Yeah, your breaker is going to be a bigger problem then your volume.... 10 games on a single breaker will likely not work. I would try to keep people grouped on 3-4 machines to avoid a trip. No bigger downer then having in process group games shutting off mid play. Could do the extension cord but not a fan of that idea. Be best to herd the group to less games being played. Games that are not played but on draw minimal amps.

    I over did the electric in my basement for this reason .That being said I never did do the calculations on pins per breaker .What is the rule of thumb on modern games ?

    #19 8 months ago

    My bad YB I see you said 3-4.

    #20 8 months ago

    Don’t tell your machines, something will find a way to break. Don’t stress out. It will be a fun night!

    #21 8 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    That seems like too many games to run on one breaker. I would run the extension cord.

    Agreed. I have 2 20 amp circuits dedicated for games and 5 to 6 on each at a given time. 10 seems like alot to me.

    #22 8 months ago

    I have to look when home but I think I did 3 20 amps breakers with 4 outlets on each .Moms doesn’t know yet but there’s room for a dozen this far lol

    #23 8 months ago

    Post pics. Actually it would be cool to see a dedicated thread for people to post pics of hosting pinball nights at their place, similar to the gameroom thread.

    #24 8 months ago

    I’m close by so post the address and I’ll swing by ahead of time to test the pins and any of the beer.

    #25 8 months ago

    i think a 20 amp breaker will support 5 games.

    #26 8 months ago
    Quoted from Kkoss24:

    I over did the electric in my basement for this reason .That being said I never did do the calculations on pins per breaker .What is the rule of thumb on modern games ?

    Hmmmm says the guy that does side jobs wiring basements...... lol JK!! The thread below covers many of these questions in detail but it does depend on the type of games era. I stick with 4 games per circuit (being played) as a rule of thumb.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-many-amps-does-a-pinball-use

    #27 8 months ago

    Something might break. If it does you need to decide if you are going to keep enjoying the party or turn into a mechanic. With the number of games if something takes the machine down I’d just flip it off and keep having fun.

    #28 8 months ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    Post pics. Actually it would be cool to see a dedicated thread for people to post pics of hosting pinball nights at their place, similar to the gameroom thread.

    Great idea. I’ll see if everyone’s cool with it.

    Quoted from Jamesays:

    i think a 20 amp breaker will support 5 games.

    You guys really got me nervous now on the amps. I thought with all LEDs and limited magnets, I’d be good for 6-8. I’m going to test out tonight taking three sterns and putting them on a 12 gage extension cord. That leaves 7 on the 20-amp. I’ll leave the shuffle alley and arcades off.

    For what it’s worth, I often have all ten pins + shuffle + 3 arcades (including a racer with motorized steering) + TV and speaker system all on at same time. Never had a problem…but maybe only 4-5 games being played simultaneously…and by small children, so maybe not going too intense.

    #29 8 months ago
    Quoted from EJS:

    Something might break. If it does you need to decide if you are going to keep enjoying the party or turn into a mechanic. With the number of games if something takes the machine down I’d just flip it off and keep having fun.

    Agree with this. Fixing machines will be my fun for the next day (or, hopefully not, weeks).

    #30 8 months ago

    Plenty of pointers given during my last party from two years ago but not until about half way through this video. Enjoy.

    John

    #31 8 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    Great idea. I’ll see if everyone’s cool with it.

    You guys really got me nervous now on the amps. I thought with all LEDs and limited magnets, I’d be good for 6-8. I’m going to test out tonight taking three sterns and putting them on a 12 gage extension cord. That leaves 7 on the 20-amp. I’ll leave the shuffle alley and arcades off.
    For what it’s worth, I often have all ten pins + shuffle + 3 arcades (including a racer with motorized steering) + TV and speaker system all on at same time. Never had a problem…but maybe only 4-5 games being played simultaneously…and by small children, so maybe not going too intense.

    Again, having them on will only draw a few at best amps. Once however multiple games are firing mulitple 50v coils being played things change quickly and the amp draw goes up quickly.

    #32 8 months ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    Hmmmm says the guy that does side jobs wiring basements...... lol JK!! The thread below covers many of these questions in detail but it does depend on the type of games era. I stick with 4 games per circuit (being played) as a rule of thumb.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-many-amps-does-a-pinball-use

    Lmao.Thanks bud .I’m finally back on mine hopefully finishing up by turkey day

    #33 8 months ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    Hmmmm says the guy that does side jobs wiring basements...... lol JK!! The thread below covers many of these questions in detail but it does depend on the type of games era. I stick with 4 games per circuit (being played) as a rule of thumb.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-many-amps-does-a-pinball-use

    I did all the finishing and wiring in my basement. At the time, I had three pins and figured ‘who would ever need more than this? 2 20-amps is more than enough!’

    #34 8 months ago
    Quoted from Dayhuff:

    Plenty of pointers given during my last party from two years ago but not until about half way through this video. Enjoy.
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dayhuff2019+party
    John

    Looking at your Incredible collection I always wondered how many amps you had to run All of those games. Probably dims all of MI when you have an event lol.

    #35 8 months ago

    Just make sure all your flipper mechs are tidy and tight. I ran a huge party in my game room a few years ago. Every game was being played nonstop for hours.

    7/10 problems I had were flipper related. The rest of my issues were little things like stuck balls.

    Everything else is pretty much secondary. Enjoy your party!

    #36 8 months ago

    Run the extension cord if you want. But I was running 28 machines on 2 20 amp circuits and had no power issues on a mix of old and new games. Mine were all occupied at the same time sounds like yours won’t be.

    #37 8 months ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    Run the extension cord if you want. But I was running 28 machines on 2 20 amp circuits and had no power issues on a mix of old and new games. Mine were all occupied at the same time sounds like yours won’t be.

    Exactly, I have had 14 machines a single 20 amp breaker for years and never had a problem. Not once. The extension cord is more of a hazard.

    #38 8 months ago

    Don't stress, if they are cool people they will be happy to see and play a new collection.

    If a game breaks down turn if off and laugh about it.
    Cheers.

    #39 8 months ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    Looking at your Incredible collection I always wondered how many amps you had to run All of those games. Probably dims all of MI when you have an event lol.

    I'd have to count them but when I put the electrical in I really over did it with amps and circuits since the walls and ceiling were open at that time and that's the best time to do it. There is a separate 200 amp service just for the basement itself. I knew I'd have plenty of clocks, neons, signs and more game to come so 200+ outlets was the goal and that way I'd have plenty of power any place I needed it. Never had a problem.

    John

    #40 8 months ago

    I don’t understand the hate for extension cords. Supposedly a 12 gage 25’ cord is good for 16-20 amps. As long as I run it safely and no trip hazard and don’t insulate it…what else am I worrying about? Isn’t the 12 gage in the cord the same as the 12-gage in my walls?

    My EE101 courses were a LONG time ago.

    #41 8 months ago
    Quoted from Dayhuff:

    I'd have to count them but when I put the electrical in I really over did it with amps and circuits since the walls and ceiling were open at that time and that's the best time to do it. There is a separate 200 amp service just for the basement itself. I knew I'd have plenty of clocks, neons, signs and more game to come so 200+ outlets was the goal and that way I'd have plenty of power any place I needed it. Never had a problem.
    John

    WOW

    #42 8 months ago
    Quoted from Dayhuff:

    I'd have to count them but when I put the electrical in I really over did it with amps and circuits since the walls and ceiling were open at that time and that's the best time to do it. There is a separate 200 amp service just for the basement itself. I knew I'd have plenty of clocks, neons, signs and more game to come so 200+ outlets was the goal and that way I'd have plenty of power any place I needed it. Never had a problem.
    John

    Decades from now people will be scratching thier heads trying to figure out what you were doing in there!

    #43 8 months ago
    Quoted from Pinbub:

    Decades from now people will be scratching thier heads trying to figure out what you were doing in there!

    C9849D4B-ADBA-4B64-A4C4-3072B1ACE0BF (resized).jpeg
    #44 8 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    I don’t understand the hate for extension cords. Supposedly a 12 gage 25’ cord is good for 16-20 amps. As long as I run it safely and no trip hazard and don’t insulate it…what else am I worrying about? Isn’t the 12 gage in the cord the same as the 12-gage in my walls?
    My EE101 courses were a LONG time ago.

    I have a fridge and two pins running off a 12 gauge extension cord for about two years now, it's been fine. I also have about 10 pins per 20A breaker and it has also been fine, but that's kind of meaningless as I haven't hosted a group of 10+ yet so it hasn't been under real stress. I do plug all my pins into these (https://www.tripplite.com/isobar-4-outlet-surge-protector-6-ft-cord-3300-joules-diagnostic-leds~ISOBAR4ULTRA) to protect from surges, spikes, and line noise. They're 12A themselves so if there's too much demand, only one bank of 4 pins will go down instead of all the pins on the circuit. My general rule of thumb for LED pins is 0.5A idle, up to 3A in use.

    #45 8 months ago

    Serve walking tacos.

    #46 8 months ago
    Quoted from Pinbub:

    Decades from now people will be scratching thier heads trying to figure out what you were doing in there!

    Yeah I know, isn't it great?!

    John

    #47 8 months ago

    Just keep stepping up on power strips. The heat tells you it’s working!

    2B209180-97AA-46C9-8CEF-D6BCEC0E3194 (resized).jpeg
    #48 8 months ago

    I have a worthwhile piece of advice. Make sure everyone knows how comfortable you are with having your machines banged around. If you are a tightwad about it (I'm not saying you are) make sure people know that. Inevitably, someone will take a good swing at a lockdown bar or glass out of frustration. It happens. Be upfront about how you will respond to that so you don't look like a jerk when you call somebody out.

    If you're cool with a little rough play, let people know that too because it will ease up their anxiety about playing too hard. MOST people will be respectful and not abuse games when visiting, but they also shouldn't have to worry about playing with their fingertips (in my opinion).

    #49 8 months ago
    Quoted from Pahuffman:

    I have a worthwhile piece of advice. Make sure everyone knows how comfortable you are with having your machines banged around. If you are a tightwad about it (I'm not saying you are) make sure people know that. Inevitably, someone will take a good swing at a lockdown bar or glass out of frustration. It happens. Be upfront about how you will respond to that so you don't look like a jerk when you call somebody out.
    If you're cool with a little rough play, let people know that too because it will ease up their anxiety about playing too hard. MOST people will be respectful and not abuse games when visiting, but they also shouldn't have to worry about playing with their fingertips (in my opinion).

    I’ve never had a tilt warning the few times playing in other peoples homes .I even have a hard time nudging hard on location .I can only full throttle at home .

    #50 8 months ago

    I don’t see if anyone has mentioned this yet. Make sure that all games are set to 3 balls per game. People will want to try multiple games and especially if some players play a multiplayer game you want to avoid long game times so people can move around freely. And new players can loose interest in a long game. So no 5 balls per game works best.

    There are 59 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

    Reply

    Wanna join the discussion? Please sign in to reply to this topic.

    Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

    Donate to Pinside

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, become a Pinside+ member!