(Topic ID: 134153)

I'm in the Bulbaholic Anonymous Club...who else wants to admit it?


By MK6PIN

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 106 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Glarrownage
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    There are 106 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 4 years ago

    Cleaning through my assorted LED's ( again) this morning, and I'm prepared to admit I have a problem....its always " one more color" or "think I'll try this" which gets me into trouble every time. Who else cares to admit they have this problem? Should we form a support group? Best acronym?

    Time to admit this....I feel better already.....

    #2 4 years ago

    I have literally hundreds of LEDs sitting in bins, and yet every time I get a new machine, I order brand new LEDs for it. It's definitely a sickness.

    #3 4 years ago

    I have shit tons of led's sitting around! And yes they never seem to be the ones that I need or want when I'm redoing a pin...

    #4 4 years ago

    Having just redone eight machines with LEDs I don't think you have a problem. If you buy in bulk, you are bound to have some left over. It was difficult for me to know what colours would look best so I often erred on the side of buying extra especially given the costs of shipping. In fact, I need to buy some more 555s as I am about twenty short. Comet, here I come.

    #5 4 years ago

    Another way I " justify" this sickness.....it always seems the " new and improved versions" have better features ( better, non-ghosting, better color, better fit, etc.)...madness, I say.....

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from reynolds531:

    In fact, I need to buy some more 555s as I am about twenty short. Comet, here I come.

    And there you have it...denial... ........I'll be buying more today....

    #7 4 years ago

    I'm guilty your honor. I recently placed an order of just over 1,200 bulbs from Comet! Lol

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from Zampinator:

    I'm guilty your honor. I recently placed an order of just over 1,200 bulbs from Comet! Lol

    Yes, my friend, you suffer from the illness too.........

    With that many bulbs on an initial order, an intervention may be needed!!!.........

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from MK6PIN:

    Yes, my friend, you suffer from the illness too.........
    With that many bulbs on an initial order, an intervention may be needed!!!.........

    Lol. I can't imagine what they thought when they seen that order.

    #10 4 years ago

    I redid the LEDs in my BSD yesterday, and I was putting away the old LEDs that were in there (mostly CoinTakers), I couldn't help but notice that I probably have enough LEDs to cover several machines.

    It really is a sickness.

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    I have literally hundreds of LEDs sitting in bins, and yet every time I get a new machine, I order brand new LEDs for it. It's definitely a sickness.

    You have to have the right amount of "sample" bulbs to be able to test different combinations of type, color, etc....

    At least, that's what I tell myself.

    #12 4 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    You have to have the right amount of "sample" bulbs to be able to test different combinations of type, color, etc....
    At least, that's what I tell myself.

    Started " organizing" mine this morning in 2 damn storage bins I bought for just for this.....I refused to count how many I had ( much less organize them very well)....just shut the bins, was pissed I spent more money trying to sort them out, then came here to post .....decided it was just better to just take a nap...more productive.....

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from MK6PIN:

    Started " organizing" mine this morning in 2 damn storage bins I bought for just for this.....I refused to count how many I had ( much less organize them very well)....just shut the bins, was pissed I spent more money trying to sort them out, then came here to post .....decided it was just better to just take a nap...more productive.....

    At least they are relatively tiny.

    Every time I move a pinball machine I think "why couldn't I have liked stamps or baseball cards", lol.

    #14 4 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    At least they are relatively tiny.
    Every time I move a pinball machine I think "why couldn't I have liked stamps or baseball cards", lol.

    Totally agree..but hey, they always work perfectly, and are so easy to fix when they break....

    #15 4 years ago

    Did someone say "light kit"?

    2015-07-08_16.55.18.jpg

    #16 4 years ago

    Think I'd like to see a pic of Chris's or Art's warehouse....probably the only thing that would make me feel better....

    #17 4 years ago

    Wow, with all these "extra" LEDs just sitting around, send some my way .

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    Did someone say "light kit"?

    2015-07-08_16.55.18.jpg

    Where did you get that bin storage cart? I saw one on amazon that looks very similar that I was going to pick up. How do you like it?

    Edit: Yes, for storing LEDs

    #20 4 years ago

    Oh Shit, I am likely worse......I come home with a Suitcase of Harbor Freight Boxes, that have all our singles.

    One huge ass overstuffed suitcase, and I still run out!!!

    Obsession? Hell ya!

    We will be testing some new stuff, for release very soon.....Titled "Matrix"

    ....I cant have enough, so I just make more!!! HELP!!!

    #21 4 years ago

    This should have been a club thread.

    #22 4 years ago

    Nothing feels better than having the right bulbs for the situation. I like having a little of everything on hand. Even though I always look at each bulb and determine what style I want there when I order, I always end up needing spares.

    2015-07-26_18.23.07.jpg

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from DefaultGen:

    Nothing feels better than having the right bulbs for the situation. I like having a little of everything on hand. Even though I always look at each bulb and determine what style I want there when I order, I always end up needing spares.

    2015-07-26_18.23.07.jpg

    Yeah I'll join, I have a problem too. It's all Arts fault, if he would quit coming out with cool new stuff I'd have a lot more money in my pocket. I have 2 of those kinds of bins one for 44's and one for 555's. Anyone make their own bulb tester? I'm gonna make one because no matter how hard I try I keep getting bulbs mixed up, I have the parts so it's only gonna cost about $7. I gotta try Arts new purple bulbs and others so it looks like I'll be buying more.

    #24 4 years ago

    I have a package coming to you soon Paul.....It has Purples Put aside for you, if you can wait a few weeks...

    But dont blame me, cause you found all these cool ways to use the strips, I blame you, or CREDIT you, thank you, for motivating
    me to create..."whats next".. I hope it all works!

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    This should have been a club thread.

    Agreed...I'll have to change it....

    #26 4 years ago

    Every game I get I immediately start planning out the LEDs I want in it. i had quite a stash of extras going then I passed them along to a friend who was looking to start swapping his games out. I like to help spread the sickness. Haha

    #27 4 years ago

    This thread just made me Oder $1300.00 worth of bulbs from comet. Weekend projects for the next 3 months

    #28 4 years ago

    Thank you for that.....Some surprises inside your order!

    -2
    #29 4 years ago

    I'd say if you wanted a large selection to choose from, buying directly from the Chinese manufacturers is insanely cheaper. The markup is staggering from pinball supply shops like Cointaker and the such...

    #30 4 years ago

    Yeah I broke it up into two orders cause I prematurely hit buy, what can I say I was so excited.

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from Firebaall:

    I'd say if you wanted a large selection to choose from, buying directly from the Chinese manufacturers is insanely cheaper. The markup is staggering from pinball supply shops like Cointaker and the such...

    Have you done this? Do you have any recommendations on reputable manufacturers?

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from DefaultGen:

    Nothing feels better than having the right bulbs for the situation. I like having a little of everything on hand. Even though I always look at each bulb and determine what style I want there when I order, I always end up needing spares.

    2015-07-26_18.23.07.jpg

    Just bought those same boxes.....why don't my bulbs look as neat as yours....

    #33 4 years ago

    Fixed the thread title....we have our own Club now ( as shameful as it is).....have to jump on the web a bit and visit CHris AND Art...I buy from both...identified some holes.....

    #34 4 years ago

    Firebaall, is that your current strategy? How's that working out? Are you doing it all via mail order via something like Alibaba? Or do you have enough purchasing need to make it worth the trip to Shenzhen? How do you ensure the product is consistent brightness and quality, with consistent color accuracy?

    You're right, the dealers here are expensive.

    You know what you're overlooking? What they offer. These guys work with the community to deliver *desirable* LED products. Color tones we want - not just what is off the shelf. Better brightnesses. Better diffusion. Products with bridges and/or caps built in to minimize flicker. They deal with the manufacturers, ensuring the color is consistent for the product being sold to us (LED production is not an exact science; each batch varies). They recommend each other's products, getting along in the marketplace instead of causing drama.

    All of that costs money. If we want to have those headaches outsourced to people like Art, Chris, and others, then they have to charge enough to cover their costs, their salaries, and then some. I'm glad to have them do the dirty work, especially at my volume (roughly $2500 in LED costs this last year). If my collection was 10x, I'd consider chatting with them about discount opportunities; or consider the trip to China. I certainly wouldn't just leave it up to ordering via Alibaba and hoping for the best.

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from Firebaall:

    I'd say if you wanted a large selection to choose from, buying directly from the Chinese manufacturers is insanely cheaper. The markup is staggering from pinball supply shops like Cointaker and the such...

    Not me, Art has my business for life.

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    hese guys work with the community to deliver *desirable* LED products. Color tones we want - not just what is off the shelf. Better brightnesses. Better diffusion. Products with bridges and/or caps built in to minimize flicker. They deal with the manufacturers, ensuring the color is consistent for the product being sold to us (LED production is not an exact science; each batch varies). They recommend each other's products, getting along in the marketplace instead of causing drama.

    That is what I think I would have the hardest time with ordering direct from a manufacturer, especially over seas. I see the markup from retailers as a time saving fee. Sometimes the time is more valuable than the money. But, I'm still curious how you would find the bulbs you want in this fashion.

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    Firebaall, is that your current strategy? How's that working out? Are you doing it all via mail order via something like Alibaba? Or do you have enough purchasing need to make it worth the trip to Shenzhen? How do you ensure the product is consistent brightness and quality, with consistent color accuracy?
    You're right, the dealers here are expensive.
    You know what you're overlooking? What they offer. These guys work with the community to deliver *desirable* LED products. Color tones we want - not just what is off the shelf. Better brightnesses. Better diffusion. Products with bridges and/or caps built in to minimize flicker. They deal with the manufacturers, ensuring the color is consistent for the product being sold to us (LED production is not an exact science; each batch varies). They recommend each other's products, getting along in the marketplace instead of causing drama.
    All of that costs money. If we want to have those headaches outsourced to people like Art, Chris, and others, then they have to charge enough to cover their costs, their salaries, and then some. I'm glad to have them do the dirty work, especially at my volume (roughly $2500 in LED costs this last year). If my collection was 10x, I'd consider chatting with them about discount opportunities; or consider the trip to China. I certainly wouldn't just leave it up to ordering via Alibaba and hoping for the best.

    All that plus when was the last time a manufacturer took a suggestion for a different type of bulb from one of us? Never I'll bet. Art has taken my suggestions a few times and actually brought them out as products and you would not believe what he has to go through so we have the very latest and greatest bulbs on the market today. The man is a wizard I tell you. Here are a couple of my latest creations using Comets dual head flex leds. One led just didn't give me the brightness level I wanted, the duals fit the bill perfectly.

    IMGA0958.jpg
    IMGA0966.jpg
    IMGA0960.jpg
    IMGA0965.jpg
    IMGA0969.jpg

    #38 4 years ago

    Not quite staggering rich at a 24/7 job! But everyone can try.
    (Anyone need a job paying $10 or less an hour?)

    Just for the record, when searching China, Alibaba, avoid ADT...really bad stuff.
    The major factories, I use 9 factories in 3 countries, dont advertise on these trade boards.
    They have to protect the small industry this is, and respect volume.

    But yes, you can buy our $.26 bulbs for $.20, by the 500 or 1000 per color and base, so a 10,000 piece opening order.

    Samples sure...but when all is said and done maybe 20% or so is saved, but with a larger volume.
    A bit of limited Variety, service, etc...

    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    Firebaall, is that your current strategy? How's that working out? Are you doing it all via mail order via something like Alibaba? Or do you have enough purchasing need to make it worth the trip to Shenzhen? How do you ensure the product is consistent brightness and quality, with consistent color accuracy?
    You're right, the dealers here are expensive.
    You know what you're overlooking? What they offer. These guys work with the community to deliver *desirable* LED products. Color tones we want - not just what is off the shelf. Better brightnesses. Better diffusion. Products with bridges and/or caps built in to minimize flicker. They deal with the manufacturers, ensuring the color is consistent for the product being sold to us (LED production is not an exact science; each batch varies). They recommend each other's products, getting along in the marketplace instead of causing drama.
    All of that costs money. If we want to have those headaches outsourced to people like Art, Chris, and others, then they have to charge enough to cover their costs, their salaries, and then some. I'm glad to have them do the dirty work, especially at my volume (roughly $2500 in LED costs this last year). If my collection was 10x, I'd consider chatting with them about discount opportunities; or consider the trip to China. I certainly wouldn't just leave it up to ordering via Alibaba and hoping for the best.

    If I was buying $2500 worth of retail LEDs per year, I would be looking at direct. But that's just me. I don't have a problem sourcing or testing components. If that's something you would rather pass on to somebody else that's cool. I would agree Alibaba is not a place to buy from. Mounds of garbage.

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from Firebaall:

    I would agree Alibaba is not a place to buy from.

    So do you have a recommendation for a good manufacturer?

    #41 4 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    So do you have a recommendation for a good manufacturer?

    Nobody that I have tested from directly. I did bring some cointaker leds that I had purchased to a friend from school that we cracked open. His father's company manufactures LED components for the auto industry North West of Shenzhen. He said they make some just like them. I didn't talk how much but he said cheap. Again, quality I don't know. He also said that many companies make them over there. So I imagine the quality is all over the place.

    I was interested, because I've been toying with buying enough to finish my machines. Somebody we should ask, is the HomePins guy. I'm sure he could give us a few quality manufacturer leads.

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from Firebaall:

    Nobody that I have tested from directly. I did bring some cointaker leds that I had purchased to a friend from school that we cracked open. His father's company manufactures LED components for the auto industry North West of Shenzhen. He said they make some just like them. I didn't talk how much but he said cheap. Again, quality I don't know. He also said that many companies make them over there. So I imagine the quality is all over the place.
    I was interested, because I've been toying with buying enough to finish my machines. Somebody we should ask, is the HomePins guy. I'm sure he could give us a few quality manufacturer leads.

    I would be interested for two reasons. One being the ability to purchase a giant bulk supply of LEDs and the other just having the experience of dealing with over seas manufacturing. I've always been curious of how that whole process works. I can't imagine it will be fun but it certainly would be an experience!

    #44 4 years ago

    Just so much to consider. For example, on the orders we place we are paying $400 in shipping (huge orders so its heavy). Then there is worker time, building to house all the LEDs, carrying a selection of 9 colors per style in two base styles and two domes for us alone etc. Comes out to be stocking 100,000's+ of bulbs to meet demands. However, if you know precisely what you want you may save a few bucks for sure, especially if just want a select amount of colors.

    Although, markup isn't too insane in my opinion. For comparisons sake....

    The big 5050 SMD in a frosted/clear dome is a common bulb(called a super with no cap):

    $1.09 from Cointaker. I know they have a pinside code for ~15% off making them $.92 cents
    $1.09 from Nifty
    $.69 cents from CometPinball
    $.75 from us at PinballBulbs, but $.63 cents when using code '15off' and buying more than 100 bulbs of any type $.67 when using code 'pinside' and buying in any amount big or small. I'm also happy to discuss even further discounts when buying in larger bulk, for example.

    All these are also non-polarized so none of that cheap mess to worry with. When broken down and having the ability to order in a wide selection without having to order in the thousands of each, may be worth buying from US suppliers. I remember having to go through so much money in samples and time in the end to find exactly what I wanted. So much cheap crap out there that looked great in pictures, but arrived and was unusable.

    #45 4 years ago

    Like any product, you could potentially cut out the middle man and save some cash.

    In my opinion though, it's not worth the hassle. Pinball Bulbs, Comet, Cointaker, etc.... are all good people that aren't raking in millions of dollars. They aren't a faceless corporation peeling away employee benefits to save 2 cents per widget. I'm OK with them getting paid for the leg work to get the chinese product inside the US and make sure it's what I need to populate my game. If I spend even an hour extra dealing with someone in China vs. ordering from them, I've lost most of the financial savings anyway.

    This is a hobby that you are more than likely going to be in a for a long time, building relationships with vendors and good people will pay off in dividends down the road. It's short term vs long term.

    #46 4 years ago

    If you guys want to save some money on bulbs, I have been buying bulk from China from a few years and the bulbs are fantastic. Last year the seller went to Ali, and I no longer buy in bulk from him directly(I do it through Ali now). I was buying in bulk for myself, and passing the same savings on to the local collectors so we could share the costs, as I have no need for 1 million leds...LOL... To date, I have spent about 10k with this seller.

    So here are some links for tried and true excellent bulbs I can confirm work great and have pretty much have zero failures with.... The only caveat is stay away from Purple- they are super dim, the rest are excellent.

    Also note, shipping is indeed free, but if you want it faster, use DHL.... Order a minimum of four different bags, and the seller will send it to you via DHL for free (just ask him to).

    Capless-
    555- DC (directional, spin them 180 if they don't work- You can also get them in AC for a few cents more)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Led-Car-lighting-T10-1SMD-5050-LED-auto-bulb/343213755.html

    47- AC (work in any orientation)
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-shipping-BA9S-1-SMD-5050-LED-bulb-AC6-3v-For-pinball/1288736868.html

    Sellers Main Store with tons of other different options (including frosted, clear, etc.)-
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/104263

    Trust me guys, these are good quality bulbs that have low failure rates. I am not telling you to cut out the other guys, I use Comet for smaller specific purchases that I cant get in bulk, and there is a ton of variety out there.....

    BUT if you are buying in bulk in general, you may want to think twice about paying higher prices for the same bulbs.

    #47 4 years ago

    Hi Ralph,

    No problem in sharing.....but lets complete the information, because as much as this is about Quality, its also price.

    Customers should know first, there are at least 3 grades of diodes....Nothing wrong with an "A" or "B" grade, but "C" grade are rejects.
    I am not saying this is the case with this vendor/factory....it simply is nice for customers to know it exists.

    Second, when it comes to Price, as even James has shared, I wish to remind in this post, that all our Premium Bulbs, 1 SMD, 2 SMD Faceted, Fluted, and 4 SMD are $.59 each by the 100 or for almost all 12 packs assorted of 25 for the same $.59 and Free shipping Over $99.

    Now, with your links, the single un lensed 5050 is a good deal, so yes, even at $.40-$.42 for non polarized...not bad.

    Some of the others, like the Twin 3528, which are not the same as 2835, are more money, then US side.

    So yes, if one feels they are buying at least 100 of a color, isnt worried about polarization, and wants to save, why not?

    The answers are if you are buying in the 1000's, talk to Chris and Melissa, James, or myself...we do have, or at least can have larger volume discounts. (Speaking for myself) These are not posted because it most cases, like the thread on how to buy a New Stern the "cheapest", customers need support. This does take time and cost, and everyone wants the lowest price, fastest service, longest guarantee, etc. Business simply cant survive trying to be everything, and the Hobby and industry lose as a whole.

    It simply is a very hard thing for any US company today to do all of those and stay in business.
    The Internet levels the playing field, so consumers can search the Globe for the perceived answer.

    In the end result, IMO, if the bottom dollar is all that matters, other things will suffer.

    Lets say as an example, myself or any other vendor would "match that price"....we would see no innovation,
    we would likely see less vendors, no vendors at shows (Not enough profit), minimal customer service etc.

    Its not as though Vendors cant do it, it just doesnt make sense to do it.
    (We cant get labor for $.15-$1.50 an hour here)

    The Hobby needs the support, the innovation, etc.

    In conclusion, I am not suggesting that anyone doesnt buy as they see fit, from wherever they want, but to take a closer
    look at what an extra few dollars is getting you, when you need that service, other products, shows, etc.

    All LED vendors US side, work at levels I havent seen in other industries, (seriously) to support their customers needs, and as we chat
    amongst ourselves, we do this with the passion of the hobby. I cant share enough my respect for the work Cointaker does, or
    PinballBulbs, Nifty too, to help the hobby and be there.

    Id hate to think all my work was simply over a few dollars.....

    Art

    #48 4 years ago

    @ Ralph

    That's exactly the point. It can be fun sourcing/testing the components. You're not intending this to be a business, but a hobby experience. That's what it's about... Well that and getting your primary bulbs at a good price.

    The vendors on Ali..baba/express are still mostly just middle men (often not caring what they sell). But it's not impossible to find a good vendor and product. I've noticed a lot of those Chinese re-sellers are picking up on the pinball use for the product. The real challenge is to find an actual parts broker. I've used North American brokers to source parts factory direct before, and that's who you want to find for the real cost savings.

    Not to mention, most of us Canadians are tired dealing with the bullshit shipping charges from the states. Chinese packages are almost always cheaper to ship. Figure that one out. lol

    #49 4 years ago
    Quoted from Firebaall:

    I've noticed a lot of those Chinese re-sellers are picking up on the pinball use for the product. The real challenge is to find an actual parts broker. I've used North American brokers to source parts factory direct before, and that's who you want to find for the real cost savings.

    The guy I linked to at Ali was someone I contacted directly from a guy that gave me his info at a car show. I told him what I wanted to do and he started making all of these bulbs for me. It wasn't until the end of last year he put them on Ali.... The funny thing is that if you don't like his price, just tell him what you want to pay and he usually changes it. The double and triple SMDs on his store link he was offering me for the exact same price as the large singles. he just came down on the single SMDs quite a bit, they used to be a lot more.

    Again, this is a hobby for me, and as such, some of the fun for me is being resourceful.

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    Again, this is a hobby for me, and as such, some of the fun for me is being resourceful.

    Bingo. This is exactly what it's about.

    Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

    The Hobby needs the support, the innovation, etc.

    I agree with you 100%. Getting the best price on single bulbs doesn't have a lot of room for innovation at this point though. You know what would blow our minds? LED DMD replacement panels @ $45.

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