I decided to jump head first into the hobby.
....in the deep end!
Up here where I live, pinball machines are not well maintained and rare to find. Those that you can find are often in terrible shape or don't work at all.
I bought one that didn't work at all from an operator that didn't have the slightest idea how to fix the problems it had.
Tonight, there's victory! I saved one from the scrap yard.
Some of the things I had to troubleshoot and repair:
1) replaced the missing autolaunch assembly
2) replaced the wrong value coil they intalled on the G ramp
3) rebuilt a portion of the power supply board
4) replaced a few transistors and a diode on the CPU board
5) fixed the enable clock signal for the sound board PIA
6) replaced the burnt GI pins and headers for the powersupply
7) replaced burnt low current connector for the backbox lighting
For the first time in years, it runs again. It's still dirty as heck, and needs a shop job in the worst way, but it's going to be a great machine. It's also kind of special to me since it's the very same machine I played on back in my schooldays in the student's lounge.
Who knew what I was going to school for was going to save it's life someday!