New! Dark mode!

Browsing Pinside at night? Getting tired of all the white? Switch to dark mode using the button in the top right (or CTRL-B)!

(Topic ID: 76576)

Looking to jump in... some questions though!


By gern

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 50 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Pafasa
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 3 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    image.jpeg
    image2.jpeg
    image3.jpeg

    #1 6 years ago

    You can tell by my profile that I am a newb. I've been thinking about getting into pinball for a long time. I've frequently lurked this forum and others over the last few years. I'm starting to get the itch and really want to jump in to the hobby. I'm fairly comfortable working with electronics and built a MAME machine several years ago and really enjoyed it.

    I've been looking for a pinball machine off and on for the last year or so. I've come across a Lethal Weapon 3 that isn't too far from where I live. I'm am thinking about going to check it out over the weekend. But I am wary about what I may be getting myself into! Here is what I know about the machine from the seller.

    *$650 for the machine
    *Needs a new DMD (I didn't ask what was wrong with the current one)
    *Has one broken plastic (not sure which one)
    *Game powers up (not sure if playable)
    *Switches work
    *Needs some soldering work (He says that on the coils some of the wires have come off and others are just kind of poorly done. He also says, I'd assume they still work, but they look kind of bad.)

    I've gone through the forums and looked at a lot of old threads about this machine. Is there anything else that I should ask before going to look at the machine? Any advice in general? Thank you for any help!

    #2 6 years ago

    I started to type, "this might be too much for you on a first pin unless you're comfortable with electronics", but then again, if you ask people on this forum to come over and help out, I bet you get some takers.
    Maybe ask the seller to come down a bit so you can get the new DMD and coil parts you need.
    The big question is, "why doesn't the DMD work?".
    How's the playfield? If its in good condition, that's a huge plus.
    Look at the boards in the head. Look for burnt connectors. Look at the bottom of the cabinet under the playfield. Again, look for burnt wires and hacks.

    Shoot, why not make the appointment then ask a local pinsider to come along!
    The more people in this hobby the better for us all, I hope you enjoy it!

    Cheers!
    -Brian

    #3 6 years ago

    Hi Gern,
    I was very similar to you, built a MAME machine, found my way into Pinball, and wanted one. My answer would be it depends on how technically proficient you are. My MAME machine was built using a cabinet kit, the PC works fine, but I've never put the finishing touches on it once it became playable. It's nice, but not perfect.

    For me, I'm glad I got a working pin with no issues as my first. This let the pin bug bite me without frustration setting in. A few months after that I got one that needed help, and worked on it, but always had a working pin next to it which was a nice motivation. It was also a nice reference tool to have.

    If your MAME machine is done and complex and slick, you're probably fine with the Lethal Weapon. If you're like me though and it works but is technically unfinished, you might want to keep looking.

    Luck!

    #4 6 years ago

    We learn by doing. And lots of great help here.

    Best wishes when you get your first pin.

    LTG : )

    #5 6 years ago

    Thank you for all the advice so far everyone!

    For those wondering I am pretty good with electronics. I wired up my MAME machine from scratch, not that it means much in my eyes. My Dad is also an electrician and when I was younger we had an old pinball machine called Butterfly. I remember it had a rotary score area on the backglass and you could play up to four players on it. I wish my folks still had it!

    #6 6 years ago

    Here are some pics the seller sent me. Not sure if they'd help anyone identify any potential issues.

    image.jpeg image2.jpeg image3.jpeg
    #7 6 years ago

    none of the playfield lights appear to be working, could be a fuse, could be a connector, who knows.

    This looks like a big project, and who knows how much money you will have to put in. Time to ask yourself are you more excited to play a machine right away, or more excited to learn how to fix one right away? In my opinion I would not buy this as a first game, better to get a working game ready to play, or with minor issues that you could fix quickly to get it up and running, like replacing all of the bands, cleaning it etc..

    #8 6 years ago
    Quoted from practicalsteve:

    none of the playfield lights appear to be working, could be a fuse, could be a connector, who knows.
    This looks like a big project, and who knows how much money you will have to put in. Time to ask yourself are you more excited to play a machine right away, or more excited to learn how to fix one right away? In my opinion I would not buy this as a first game, better to get a working game ready to play, or with minor issues that you could fix quickly to get it up and running, like replacing all of the bands, cleaning it etc..

    Thank you for the reply. I'm not in a hurry to play a machine right away. I am more interested in learning how to fix a pinball machine. I love working on projects. I think I had more fun building my MAME machine then I do now actually playing it! My issue is I have no idea how much it will cost to fix. I looked up DMDs and see that I can expect to pay $150-$200 for one.

    Could the playfield lights not working is be a bigger issue than a fuse or connector?

    #9 6 years ago

    I see wire nuts. That could be really scary! --edit--There are two types of lights on the playfield, General Illumination (GI) and Feature Lights (inserts, flashers, specials, etc). It doesn't appear that either are lit. I do see some lights in the lane guides at the top of the playfield though or is that just the reflection?
    I would also be very cautious on this as your first pinball. If you have a solid idea on your budget and you have cash, you should be able to get something that won't be so extensive with repairs.

    That said, lots of help here on Pinside and in this hobby! Whatever you decide!
    Good luck!

    #10 6 years ago

    I started similar to you, except that after I built my MAME, I got into vids and collected those for a while before moving to pins. I will warn that wiring a MAME is electronically not similar at all to a PIN. A MAME is typically going to be simple wiring using your typical PC, cheap crimp quick disconnects and store bought cables. Soldering and PCBs are a whole new ball game. (Not saying you don't know what your doing, just making sure you are going in with your eyes open)

    As for the specific game. LW3 is already typically an inexpensive game, and with all the problems this one seems to have, that price seems a little high. I am not sure where you are located, but I paid $700 for mine, and it had no major issues, and I am located in what is considered one of the more expensive pin markets.

    Quoted from gern:

    Could the playfield lights not working is be a bigger issue than a fuse or connector?

    Yup, could be a larger board issue. Which can get complicated and costly.

    By the way, the DMD, looks like it is outgassing. Which means it is not something that can be fixed. You would either leave it as is and just play it like that, or you would need to buy a new DMD.

    #11 6 years ago
    Quoted from Aladdin:

    I see wire nuts. That could be really scary!

    I didn't even notice that until you said something, and now it is staring me in the face. Yea, that definitely is not a good sign.

    #12 6 years ago

    If you do buy the game, make sure it has manuals and schematics. If not, source those first to determine cost.

    DMD will need replaced based on the pic shown.

    The center/right of the CPU board looks smoked. Looks as if something around the Ceramic resistor bank fried and you can see the trails of soot running up the board. Could just be a bad pic, but looks suspicious to me.

    Cant see what plastic is broken but nothing looks too bad on the playfield.

    Playfield lights out sure could be related to the smoke on the board.

    Batteries are still installed in original battery holder but it looks clean. No corrosion in the pic.

    #13 6 years ago

    i'd buy it.
    i see broken drop targets, cheap.
    g.i on the playfield is probably a plug/wires, that's nothing.
    almost every lw3 have the same broken plastic, easy to replicate.

    unfortunately, it's gonna cost you a dmd, $150-$180.
    after a good shop job and touch up on the cabinet the game's gonna look great.

    the game is a bang for the buck, fast pinball, sounds great, dmd, multiballs, and with leds the game just look amazing. much better than a lot of games from the same period.
    a nice one cost about $1100-$1500, i said nice.

    $650 is a good price.

    #14 6 years ago

    go grab it and jump in. LW isn't one of my favorite pins, but it's better than a lot of them.
    working on them and learning is half the fun.
    if you want a DMD with 1 vertical line out [rest works great] you can have it free if you just pay shipping.

    #15 6 years ago
    Quoted from dgoett:

    if you want a DMD with 1 vertical line out [rest works great] you can have it free if you just pay shipping.

    Dude! That's awesome! Way to welcome and encourage a future pinhead. Kudos to you!

    #16 6 years ago

    Another good question is, are you buying from someone with other pins or is this just some dude that had it sitting in his basement unused for years.

    If it's the last one, odds are good that it might be an easy fix. If the guy has other pins, odds are he knows how to re-attach a loose cable or replace a fuse, which would have been done before attempting to sell it.

    #17 6 years ago

    /\/\/\/\that's the deal!/\/\/\/\/\/ Take dgoett up on that offer! Before you plug in that DMD, get some good measurements on the power levels, you don't want to fry it in case there is something wrong with the driver board.

    Gotta love pinside!!!!!!! Nice one dgoett

    #18 6 years ago

    Gern, welcome to the hobby and GET OUT before you get too addicted

    Am I the only one that thinks $650 might be too high for this game in this condition? This machine sells on an average of 952$ (http://bostonpinball.biz/ebay0513.htm) so the fact that you're looking at having to get a new DMD right of the gate and that none of the lights are working, board appears to be smoked and obviously it has been rewired to some point I would think $500 is more in line?!?!?

    At 650 and a 150-200 for a DMD you're at 800-850 for a machine that is still not in working order by any means. Hypothetically a fuse is blown and that fixes the lighting issue you still don't know if it works and you're also looking at new rubbers, pinball, possibly coils etc. We all know how quick parts add up.

    Of course Gern it all comes down to whether you think its a good deal. If the seller is close and is willing to let you look at the machine then do so. When there lift the playfield up and see if the plunger in the coil moves freely. A lot of times when a wire is not connected to a coil it's due to the owner disconnecting once the coil has fried!

    As others have stated on this post, this is a great tool for fixing up pins!!!

    Buy and enjoy !!!!

    Remember, it always starts with one machine (one after another)!!!

    #19 6 years ago
    Quoted from dgoett:

    go grab it and jump in. LW isn't one of my favorite pins, but it's better than a lot of them.
    working on them and learning is half the fun.
    if you want a DMD with 1 vertical line out [rest works great] you can have it free if you just pay shipping.

    Wow! I cannot believe all the great advice in here already. Thank you everyone for the advice so far.

    dgoett, thank you so much for the offer on the DMD! I am floored! I really appreciate the offer... wow. I think I am going to go and check it out this weekend. I will let you all know how it goes. If anyone has any other advice please feel free to post!

    I am concerned about the board that looks smoked. Would that require a replacement board or is that something that can be sent out and fixed, or something that I can fix? Does anyone now of average cost on that? Of course it could be a bad pic. I think I want to check out the machine or see if the owner can send me some more pics.

    Thanks again for the advice everyone. And please keep it coming!

    #20 6 years ago

    The image with the wire nuts and possible smoked area appear to be right above the DMD, correct?

    #21 6 years ago

    those data east boards have resistors that get very warm and heat attracts dust [black pinball dust]. A lot of boards look like that and work perfectly fine. It looks like they smoked, but just pinball soot.

    #22 6 years ago

    You are not at all. figure it needs $150, PLUS the DMD, you are at $950 minimum IMO without any of the labor etc involved. It's not a terrible first game, but it's not a great and only game either.

    Maybe try and get it for $400? The biggest problem with this game, you won't be playing pinball for a while, especially if you are new. This is a much better second game (at $400) than first game IMO.

    Quoted from meSz:

    Am I the only one that thinks $650 might be too high for this game in this condition?

    #23 6 years ago

    The gi issue is a common one. Where do you live that would help. And the parts of the board that look smoked are by the sand block resistors, the board should look smoked but not Burt.

    #24 6 years ago

    If you pay 650, you would have to put at least another few hundred and maybe much more to get it working properly. It could be a nightmare for you. Not to mention that lw3 is a hard sell down the road. I would pass and spend your money on something that is in fully working condition and a better title. You will be able to learn to work on pins eventually because they always issues at some point.

    #25 6 years ago

    $500 would be the no brainer price here. Probably a decent amount of hacks to undo. But I seriously doubt you won't get your money back out of it. cleaned up and playing you could get $1000+ on it. So go get it, and ask questions. I was the n00best of n00bs before pinsiders helped me out. I still don't know much, but I'm getting there!

    #26 6 years ago

    I am definitely not a Mr. Fix-it, but I think $650 is a little high for this game. I would probably offer him $400 at first, then be willing to go up some, like $500 or so. Good luck with everything and welcome to the hobby.

    #27 6 years ago

    Actually, tell me where the game is, I'll go look at it for you. I promise not to buy it.

    #28 6 years ago

    See if you can talk the guy down, $650 is a little high considering what is known. Whatever you do, don't try to fix it there. Make an assessment, and if you're comfortable, make the deal. Lots of great knowledge and help here, as you've already seen. Good luck, welcome to the hobby!!!

    #29 6 years ago

    imo don't buy a project game unless you enjoy working on them. Otherwise you're always better off waiting for a nicer example

    #30 6 years ago

    Don't go at this alone. That would be your first mistake. Tell us where you live and my guess is that you will have at least 2 or 3 offers from fellow pinsiders to go along and help you out with the inspection. Ask the forum here for references once the offers come in. Without any help, I would not buy this pin as my first. No matter how good I am at electronics. There is more to it than just having the ability. I wish I had done this myself when I was a newb. I would be $1200 richer and not so frustrated. At least I have learned from my mistakes and can teach others from them without it costing them as well.
    If you are close by to me, I'll give you your first offer of assistance! Let us know!

    #31 6 years ago

    Yes, $650 is high not knowing what's wrong. Is there a Pinsider nearby you can take with you? If you DO get it....start a Thread so we all can watch! ...We Like To Watch....

    #32 6 years ago

    You'll get all sorts of opinions but personally I'd start with a solid working pin. Things will go wrong. You'll learn to fix things. You'll have to. There are real good value titles under 2K to target. Hard to look for a "bargain" on your first pin, when you don't know what to look for.

    #33 6 years ago

    Thanks again for all the comments and advice. I'm still debating about going to look at it over the weekend.

    #34 6 years ago
    Quoted from gern:

    Thanks again for all the comments and advice. I'm still debating about going to look at it over the weekend.

    gern, go look at it and see what you think. I have done this and there has been times where the machine is not as bad as initially thought but most of the time its worse than the seller has described. Just go with the notion that you don't have to buy it just because you went to look at it and you'll be good! Also, who knows, the seller might be willing to take less for it. Only way to find out and worst case scenario you wasted some time!!!

    Lastly, not sure where you're located but as someone else posted there are several people on here that would be willing to help you out if they're are close by.

    #35 6 years ago

    If I lived closer to his machine it would be gone. Looks like a good project. Hope you snatch it up before someone else. It's been listed for a few days and I'm surprised it's not gone. Good luck with purchase, try to get the price down a hair without making them too mad.

    #36 6 years ago

    This is meaningful.

    Quoted from Notbychance:

    It's been listed for a few days and I'm surprised it's not gone.

    #37 6 years ago
    Quoted from jalpert:

    This is meaningful.

    Jalpert, is it meaningful because there may be more wrong with the machine than advertised?

    I am planning to go and check it out tomorrow sometime.

    #38 6 years ago
    Quoted from gern:

    because there may be more wrong with the machine than advertised

    Or the advertised price may not seem like such a good deal to other possibly interested parties.

    #39 6 years ago

    I did end up buying Lethal Weapon 3. The playfield has 2 broken targets, the seller gave me 4 replacement targets. The playfield looks good. There is one broken plastic piece in the upper left area. The score seems accurate when I tested different parts. The cabinet will need some paint but it is in good shape. We got home very late last night so I haven't gotten it moved into the house yet. Once I get it moved in, if anyone is interested I'll post some more pics. I ended up paying $525 for the machine. I'm really excited to start digging in.

    #40 6 years ago

    You're in it to win it now. Welcome to the addiction lol

    #41 6 years ago

    Nice!!!! Great job!

    #42 6 years ago

    Sweet! Have fun, nothing familiarizes you with a pin better that fixing it, and the satisfaction once it works the first time is awesome.

    #43 6 years ago

    keep us posted, i want to see the progression of this project. Congrats and welcome to the addiction !

    #44 6 years ago

    Very cool! Start a tech/progress type thread so we can follow along!

    #46 6 years ago

    Welcome to this crazy little thing called pinball. Congrats on your first game!

    #47 6 years ago

    Say goodbye to your money and free time! Once you get started, there's no going back.

    But it's al worth it. Welcome to the madness!!

    #48 6 years ago

    Thanks all for the well wishes! I've started a thread with some questions about the machine. The thread isn't getting much action though. Did I post it in the wrong spot or am I doing something wrong?

    http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/lethal-weapon-3-flipper-and-plunger-issues

    #49 6 years ago

    That sounds like an ok deal to me. I would have bought it. Pinside tech folks are kind of slow to respond but I'm going to head over there to see if I can offer any help.

    #50 6 years ago

    I threw my .02 in. I'm not nearly as capable with DMD/SS repair as I am with EM but some things are pretty basic. Good luck with your repairs. There are a lot of helpful folks here. Keep bumping your thread until you get some attention.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    From: $ 33.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Rocket City Pinball
    $ 33.50
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lermods
    From: $ 6,750.00
    $ 76.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 29.50
    Playfield - Plastics
    Pinball Haus
    $ 5,999.00
    Pinball Machine
    Great American Pinball
    $ 20.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Flashinstinct
    $ 100.00
    Lighting - Interactive
    Professor Pinball
    From: $ 7.00
    Playfield - Protection
    Pinball Haus
    $ 4.49
    Electronics
    Yorktown Arcade Supply
    $ 89.99
    $ 7.00
    $ 59.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Hookedonpinball.com
    $ 10.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Metal-Mods
    From: $ 22.00
    $ 7.95
    Various Novelties
    PIC
    $ 149.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    From: € 0.39
    Rubber/Silicone
    Scandinavian Pinball
    From: $ 20.00
    Various Novelties
    Pinball Photos LLC
    $ 20.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Flashinstinct
    From: $ 40.00
    Lighting - Interactive
    Professor Pinball
    $ 25.00
    Cabinet - Other
    Pin Monk
    $ 28.75
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 4.49
    Electronics
    Yorktown Arcade Supply
    $ 42.00
    $ 48.00
    Playfield - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 99.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Hookedonpinball.com
    $ 14.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside