I always find the "noob" issue to be a bit of a conundrum.
After all - I was one here once, too.
I had loved pinball my whole life. Always dreamed of owning one. Got gifted $350 from my boss to purchase a Williams Space Odyssey that had been offered to me by a customer. I was in heaven. Didn't know f#%k all about repair. Hadn't ever lifted a playfield of looked inside a backbox. I was so green. Looking back and reading my first few posts (good suggestion chuckwurt) it is very clear that I sounded like... a noob. However, I would contend that I sounded like a polite one.
Most of my first few questions I would never have to ask today. Then again it is six years later, I own four pins and I have a NIB coming soon. I have learned so much.
If I could go back and talk to my noob self I would likely say:
"Calm down, bro. You are new to this. You can't hide that in good language. I know you think you can, but you can't. Just be calm and really take the time to listen to the advice these people are giving you. And remember...
Someday you will have taken apart enough score reels and cleaned them and put them back together.
And tensioned enough steppers.
And swapped out enough coil sleeves.
And rebuilt a lot of flippers.
And lost enough screws and e clips and nuts and bolts because you can't take the advice of veterans who told you nicely to PUT A TOWEL OVER THE THING BEFORE YOU START WORKING.
And learned about transistors on boards in SS games that can burn out and keep that pesky light you have changed out six times with no success from ever coming back on until it is replaced.
And noticed that if just one little nylon spacer is missing on a switch stack in a Wiliams EM score motor, you will never score that 3X Bonus when it is lit.
And over-adjusted the leaf switches on a kicker like an idiot to give yourself the maddening machine gun hammer that keeps on giving and then learned how to not do that.
And bought a Fish Tales at a great price ($1500!) from a really cool guy who is a tech for an operator and taken it home and gone through the multiple months process of tearing a ramp-laden modern table down to the playfield, and clean everything, and replace all the lights, and buff out the playfield so the Diamond Plate looks insane good again and fix the broken kicker on the lower left and replace the bad optos on the reel to enable correct multiball sequence and replace the battery acid compromised MPU and send the driver board out for a deep sprucing hand polish all the wireform ramps and replace the broken plastics and wax the playfield down and painstakingly put it all together and install that swanky new ColorDMD and be so happy AND THEN HAVE THE UPPER OUTHOLE KICKER ARM SNAP IN A FEW DAYS (hahahahaha)."
An other words, I would say to myself: shut up, be calm and become a sponge. Learn. Read all the forum posts you can that even vaguely relate to the issue you are presently tackling. Thank people for their time and their teaching. Be an asset to the hobby. Accept that things will always need fixing and tweaking here and there.
Learn about schematics. Here's a hint - one of the best thing they do is tell you SIMPLE THINGS like what colored wires you are looking for in the different parts of a circuit.
And lastly, when it comes to this hobby and money...
You will spend it. It WILL add up. All the bitching and posturing and redundant new forum posting in the world won't change where market prices are going. If it bothers you, get out of this hobby. Because you will need money to be in it. This isn't watercolor painting or paper airplanes. This stuff will take some money to obtain and maintain. There is NO WAY AROUND IT. I'm not trying to be mean or snobby or condescending. I'm being realistic.
And six years later, now that I am not a noob, I know more than ever before how much I still have to learn, but I am so happy to look back and see how far I have come. And when some fresh faced so and so struts in and starts complaining about the price of games or why he can't find a White Water for under $4000, I just let it roll off my back. I am a pinhead and I am content. This stuff will go on here forever.
And if you want me to be totally honest, I think people were way more patient with me six years ago as a noob than people on here often are with noobs today. Maybe it's just the ever changing way we use this wordless, faceless electronic communications technology to share experience and knowledge, but I feel like a lot of us are harsher than we used to be.
Tim in Motown