(Topic ID: 279349)

Just bought my first pin!

By kevster

3 years ago


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  • 47 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by kevster
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 3 years ago

Hey everyone!

I finally joined the ranks of pinball ownership. I've wanted one for years, and then a few days ago a Back to the Future: The Pinball machine showed up on my local Facebook Marketplace. I know this particular table isn't thought of too highly, but it's always been one that I've wanted due to the source material. Also, I think it's a great first table since it's relatively easy to learn. Anyway, I couldn't pass up one of my most wanted tables being sold 20 minutes from my house, so I pulled the trigger. And I'm so excited that I did!

A couple of questions for the community here:

1) What are some good resources (whether online or physical) for pinball machine maintenance and repair. I'm honestly starting from scratch here and really don't know anything about how to keep this table in good physical and working shape, and I want to make sure I do a great job taking care of it. I'm not electrical or circuitry savvy, but am willing to learn. Any suggestions?

2) As I knew would happen, I'm already excited about possibly adding more pins to my collection. Does anyone have a list of some machines that are on the lower end price-wise that are still fun to play?

Excited to be a part of this community. Thanks for any help.

(Also, is there a way to subscribe to threads in this forum so I can be notified when there are replies? Can't seem to find that option)

Edit: think I found the subscription option

#2 3 years ago

Congratulations. My grail pin for your first. Nice. I’ve been look for one in Australia for years.

#3 3 years ago

Welcome my friend to the wonderful world of pinball !

Pinside is a great source of help.

There is Pinwiki - https://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

And Pinball News has lots of good articles to help you get started - http://www.pinballnews.com/learn/index.html

You tube has lots of good short how to videos. And you can search the parts vendors if you need help with a part name you see, to see what it looks like.

LTG : )

#4 3 years ago
Quoted from Boof-Ed:

Congratulations. My grail pin for your first. Nice. I’ve been look for one in Australia for years.

Thanks. Hope you find one soon. It's a great machine IMO.

And thanks for the links LTG.

#5 3 years ago

Congrats. For maintenance just google what you are looking for and add "Vid". His guides are great.

#6 3 years ago

You will definitely want to reach out to other pinheads in your area and find a local tech to help if needed. There are lots of websites and guides available, as mentioned above.

If you ask for value pins, you will certainly get a lot of different answers. It will depend on what you consider as 'lower priced' and what kind of pins you like to play. Check out the pinside top 100 to get an idea of rankings and prices.

If you like EMs, you are in great shape because there are a lot of cheap/good ones out there. I also would recommend looking into classic sterns, classic ballys, and Williams system 11 pinballs.

#8 3 years ago

Welcome! Pins are great fun, just be warned....they tend to multiply

#9 3 years ago

Well done kevster.Back to the future is a good pick up for your first game.

#10 3 years ago

biggest tip for maintenance, take pictures, lots of pictures
that way you will be able to put it back together

#11 3 years ago

Welcome to the club!
The sites I use when I need info are mostly Pinside and Facebook (Pinball Enthusiasts group and the Pinball Repair Help!! group).
The Data East Pinball Club and the BTTF Club here on Pinside might be worth reading and following
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/data-east-pinball-club/page/39#post-5686704
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bttf-club-whoa-this-is-heavy/page/8#post-5321654

#12 3 years ago

My advice to you is replace all the GI lamps with LED at once and inspect the GI power connectors at PPB and power supply. Common failure items.

Other than that, toss NVRAM in which is easy and throw the batteries away.

Enjoy!

#13 3 years ago

Congrats, but never qualify a purchase with - I know it’s not the most popular pin or the only reason I got this was because... Buy what you like and never look back!! Pins are an individual choice. Enjoy!

#14 3 years ago

Welcome to your 1st Pin!.....not table. We all have said that on our 1st table. Lol, have fun!

#15 3 years ago

Welcome to your first table! Many tables to come.

Repair info- Guides here on Pinside by vid1900
Pinwiki
http://pinrepair.com
https://flippers.com
Williams/Bally parts books- http://www.planetarypinball.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=BOOK

#16 3 years ago

"What are some good resources (whether online or physical) for pinball machine maintenance and repair. I'm honestly starting from scratch here and really don't know anything about how to keep this table in good physical and working shape, and I want to make sure I do a great job taking care of it. I'm not electrical or circuitry savvy, but am willing to learn. Any suggestions?"

This is akin to pulling into a gas station (Pinside) and asking for directions to a place where you can get some gas.

#17 3 years ago

Congrats on your first pin!

#18 3 years ago

I think not using the term “table” is great advice. It does have four legs, but so do cats and dogs and they aren’t tables.

#19 3 years ago

Congratulations. My best advice - before you decide to install a McDonalds happy meal toy with an LED in the game that you *think* fits the theme well -- be advised that it does not look as good or cool as you think it will/does.

Otherwise, NVRAM is your friend and an easy upgrade to the game - never worry about batteries again.

The other advice - READ READ READ. After that the only way to learn is by doing. You will figure it out and we have a great community of people here to help. I'm amazed by the information on here. For example I was able to use playfield tear down photos over the weekend that someone else posted 4 years ago to identify what posts were incorrect/missing in my Funhouse. So much information here if you search or ask for it.

#20 3 years ago

you need to start prepping the wife now to ease the blow of spending your savings and taking up all the extra room in the house.

#21 3 years ago

Man, what an awesome community. Thank you to everyone for the suggestions. I'm excited for this new hobby! I have a buddy who is good with a soldering iron who is going to show me how to do it. There's a little loose pin behind the backglass that is causing a glitch in the digital display, so we're going to solder that back in place. Will be a good first job.

And the wife is already fully expecting our collection to grow. Probably not super quickly, but she knows it's coming haha

#22 3 years ago

My wife thought our collection wouldn't grow too fast as well. That was a year and a half ago and my fifth machine is now on order

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from kevster:

Man, what an awesome community. Thank you to everyone for the suggestions. I'm excited for this new hobby! I have a buddy who is good with a soldering iron who is going to show me how to do it. There's a little loose pin behind the backglass that is causing a glitch in the digital display, so we're going to solder that back in place. Will be a good first job.
And the wife is already fully expecting our collection to grow. Probably not super quickly, but she knows it's coming haha

Most of the pins in the backbox are held in by connectors... and you would typically rebuild a connector (not solder). You may want to show us a picture of that before you or your friend solders anything.

One skill almost as important as soldering is learning how to strip wire and crimp a connector onto a wire. Many of these games used an IDC connector (where the insertion of the wire caused the insulation to be displaced) and those connectors are now coming undone.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from brainmegaphone:

Most of the pins in the backbox are held in by connectors... and you would typically rebuild a connector (not solder). You may want to show us a picture of that before you or your friend solders anything.

Ok, will do. I was going off of what the previous owner said (he owns 10 or 12 pins and does a bunch of work on them so I figured he knew what he was talking about). I'll post a pic here later to see what you think.

#25 3 years ago

Here's a couple of pics. As you can see, the pin second from the right is loose. What would be the best way to reattach it?

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#26 3 years ago

And you'll probably find yourself becoming very familiar with the common parts suppliers: Marcospecialties.com, pinballlife.com, pbresource.com, and ebay. Be advised that parts prices can vary WIDELY from supplier to supplier so shop around. And then there is the shipping charges, so folks tend to batch their buys.

Lastly, clean all surfaces, rubber and plastic regularly! Swap the steel balls themselves (if not done recently).

#27 3 years ago

To fix broken contacts on displays - I've used silver conductive pens before.

Good luck and welcome to the hobby.

#28 3 years ago

Thank you that photo was very helpful and I can see now you are not talking about a connector but the display pins themselves. That is indeed a solder fix if it is not securely connected to the PCB.

Or do you mean it is breaking off from the display portion itself - if so it also looks like you can solder that.

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from kevster:

Here's a couple of pics. As you can see, the pin second from the right is loose. What would be the best way to reattach it?
[quoted image][quoted image]

If I am seeing this correctly, that looks like an easy solder fix. BUT use an electronics soldering iron, not a bigger general purpose type. These are delicate parts buit will be quite easy with the right tool. It does raise a question: How did ONE pin on a display become disconnected at the solder joint? Its a very odd repair issue unless many fingers and/or multimedia testers probes have been running along all those pins for awhile...

a (resized).jpga (resized).jpg
#30 3 years ago
Quoted from Markharris2000:

If I am seeing this correctly, that looks like an easy solder fix. BUT use an electronics soldering iron, not a bigger general purpose type. These are delicate parts buit will be quite easy with the right tool. It does raise a question: How did ONE pin on a display become disconnected at the solder joint? Its a very odd repair issue unless many fingers and/or multimedia testers probes have been running along all those pins for awhile...
[quoted image]

This I can't answer. I didn't know enough at the time of purchase to ask the previous owner. I appreciate him making me aware of it when I showed up to buy it, but he didn't mention how it happened.

I'm going to forward this message on to my buddy who will be helping with the solder to make sure he has the right tool. Thanks.

#31 3 years ago

Welcome to this crazy hobby. It won't take long and you'll be obsessed! At least that's what happened to me.
There's alot of good people into pinball. I've made many friends through the years that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise.
Very nice choice for your first pin.

#32 3 years ago
Quoted from Steve_d71:

Welcome to this crazy hobby. It won't take long and you'll be obsessed! At least that's what happened to me.
There's alot of good people into pinball. I've made many friends through the years that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise.
Very nice choice for your first pin.

Thank you. And yes, just by the reaction to my first ever thread here, I can tell how welcoming this community can be.

I'm already scoping out what my next pin might be. I'm thinking of sticking with Data East, and maybe going with a TMNT, Star Wars, Jurassic Park or Simpsons machine.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from kevster:

I'm already scoping out what my next pin might be. I'm thinking of sticking with Data East, and maybe going with a TMNT, Star Wars, Jurassic Park or Simpsons machine.

I have owned DE Star Wars and currently have DE JP and DE Simpsons. You can't go wrong with any of these titles.

#34 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I have owned DE Star Wars and currently have DE JP and DE Simpsons. You can't go wrong with any of these titles.

Very glad to hear this.

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from kevster:

Thank you. And yes, just by the reaction to my first ever thread here, I can tell how welcoming this community can be.
I'm already scoping out what my next pin might be. I'm thinking of sticking with Data East, and maybe going with a TMNT, Star Wars, Jurassic Park or Simpsons machine.

One advantage of sticking to the same system/build era is that the parts are "somewhat" universal and you learn one system at a time. One disadvantage is that you don't get experience with the diversity and "feel" of different games and their quality etc. Modern Stern games fell vastly different than old Williams games or even newer games from CGC or Jersey Jack. Some people hate that some people love it. There is no right answer just opinions.

I like the DE and Sega stuff as my first DMD game was Twister and I miss it. Personally I'd like to own a Southpark and a DE Jurassic Park one day.

The fun part about this hobby is if you buy a game at a reasonable price you usually won't lose much (if any) money when you resell it (IF you decide to resell it). I've been thinking about a Stern Stranger Things which I have never played and I'm starting to see them sell for $5k. I figure even if I hate the game I should be able to resell it for $4,700 to $5,000 making it a "cheap rental" at worst case.

That being said the disadvantage of this hobby is moving these games around. Heavy stuff!

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from brainmegaphone:

One advantage of sticking to the same system/build era is that the parts are "somewhat" universal and you learn one system at a time. One disadvantage is that you don't get experience with the diversity and "feel" of different games and their quality etc. Modern Stern games fell vastly different than old Williams games or even newer games from CGC or Jersey Jack. Some people hate that some people love it. There is no right answer just opinions.
I like the DE and Sega stuff as my first DMD game was Twister and I miss it. Personally I'd like to own a Southpark and a DE Jurassic Park one day.
The fun part about this hobby is if you buy a game at a reasonable price you usually won't lose much (if any) money when you resell it (IF you decide to resell it). I've been thinking about a Stern Stranger Things which I have never played and I'm starting to see them sell for $5k. I figure even if I hate the game I should be able to resell it for $4,700 to $5,000 making it a "cheap rental" at worst case.
That being said the disadvantage of this hobby is moving these games around. Heavy stuff!

Yes, the main reason for me wanting to stick with DE to start is that I'm already starting from scratch from a pinball maintenance/repair standpoint. Getting another machine or two from the same manufacturer should lessen the amount of "new stuff" I need to learn.

Also, that Stranger Things pin looks awesome!

#37 3 years ago

Congrats! BTTF was my first pin about 15 years ago! It’s a good starter game, for playing & working on, as it’s relatively simple in terms of design. It’s a very basic game, but the music & sound FX are incredible.

#38 3 years ago
Quoted from kevster:

Hey everyone!
I finally joined the ranks of pinball ownership. I've wanted one for years, and then a few days ago a Back to the Future: The Pinball machine showed up on my local Facebook Marketplace. I know this particular table isn't thought of too highly, but it's always been one that I've wanted due to the source material. Also, I think it's a great first table since it's relatively easy to learn. Anyway, I couldn't pass up one of my most wanted tables being sold 20 minutes from my house, so I pulled the trigger. And I'm so excited that I did!
A couple of questions for the community here:
1) What are some good resources (whether online or physical) for pinball machine maintenance and repair. I'm honestly starting from scratch here and really don't know anything about how to keep this table in good physical and working shape, and I want to make sure I do a great job taking care of it. I'm not electrical or circuitry savvy, but am willing to learn. Any suggestions?
2) As I knew would happen, I'm already excited about possibly adding more pins to my collection. Does anyone have a list of some machines that are on the lower end price-wise that are still fun to play?
Excited to be a part of this community. Thanks for any help.
(Also, is there a way to subscribe to threads in this forum so I can be notified when there are replies? Can't seem to find that option)
Edit: think I found the subscription option

Coming SOON:

"Just Bought My Second Pin!"

#39 3 years ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Coming SOON:
"Just Bought My Second Pin!"

Haha. I hope so!

#40 3 years ago

Welcome to the Club. Congrats on first Awesome Pin.

bttf2_3478174a (resized).jpgbttf2_3478174a (resized).jpg
#41 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Welcome to the Club. Congrats on first Awesome Pin.
[quoted image]

Thank you. I'm quite happy with it.

#42 3 years ago

So did you pick out the second one yet?

We all know you did.

#43 3 years ago
Quoted from brainmegaphone:

So did you pick out the second one yet?
We all know you did.

Ha. I have absolutely been thinking about it. Will probably stay in the $2-3k range. At the top of the list currently: World Cup Soccer, The Simpsons (DE), Whirlwind, Maverick, Street Fighter II

#44 3 years ago
Quoted from kevster:

The Simpsons (DE), Whirlwind, Maverick,

I like these choices.

#45 3 years ago

The correct answer! Feel the Power of the Wind! I think this is my favorite one I own right now

D2A0EE4C-E77F-4652-9AEE-5721490379FB (resized).jpegD2A0EE4C-E77F-4652-9AEE-5721490379FB (resized).jpeg
#46 3 years ago
Quoted from kevster:

Hey everyone!
I finally joined the ranks of pinball ownership. I've wanted one for years, and then a few days ago a Back to the Future: The Pinball machine showed up on my local Facebook Marketplace. I know this particular table isn't thought of too highly, but it's always been one that I've wanted due to the source material. Also, I think it's a great first table since it's relatively easy to learn. Anyway, I couldn't pass up one of my most wanted tables being sold 20 minutes from my house, so I pulled the trigger. And I'm so excited that I did!
A couple of questions for the community here:
1) What are some good resources (whether online or physical) for pinball machine maintenance and repair. I'm honestly starting from scratch here and really don't know anything about how to keep this table in good physical and working shape, and I want to make sure I do a great job taking care of it. I'm not electrical or circuitry savvy, but am willing to learn. Any suggestions?
2) As I knew would happen, I'm already excited about possibly adding more pins to my collection. Does anyone have a list of some machines that are on the lower end price-wise that are still fun to play?
Excited to be a part of this community. Thanks for any help.
(Also, is there a way to subscribe to threads in this forum so I can be notified when there are replies? Can't seem to find that option)
Edit: think I found the subscription option

Congrats on entering the most addictive hobby in the world... lets see how long until you have one in your bedroom

#47 3 years ago
Quoted from HEAD_boss_HOG:

Congrats on entering the most addictive hobby in the world... lets see how long until you have one in your bedroom

We're in the process of buying a new place with a killer basement. Moving in end of next month. Plenty of room for pinballs down there so there's no way I'll convince the wife to keep one in our room

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