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(Topic ID: 278117)

Mystery: Do Some Pinballs Weigh More than Others?


By AlonzoMoselyFBI

26 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 29 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 18 days ago by AlonzoMoselyFBI
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 26 days ago

I recently restored a Black Hole that I'm about 90% sure had the original balls in it. Naturally I replaced them with new ones, the "1-1/16 in standard" pinballs from MarcoSpec.

I understand the game might play a bit faster with a clean playfield and balls, but it seems like they are significantly lighter than the originals. The balls are constantly going airborne and THRACKING against the glass, either after one-timer shots, or just bouncing around the pops to the upper slings, etc.

What really convinces me they are significantly lighter is that when the balls are returned from the lower playfield, and the "re-entry" gate is open, without fail, each ball hits the gate and (say you have 2-ball multiball going), go CRACK!.....CRACK! against the glass. It is very loud and distracting, and I'm worried the glass will eventually end up swept into a dustpan in pieces.

I also decided to replace the balls in my High Speed, and immediately put the old ones back in because the game suddenly played WAY too fast, and again, I thought something would end up broken. It was almost unplayable.

Does anyone have any insight? Are the old balls more dense? Is anyone selling slightly heavier balls?

Thanks folks -

Paul

#2 26 days ago

nice, new clean balls would inherently make the game faster. They would probably also create less wear on the playfield and such. Old balls that have imperfections or bad spots will eventually damage the game, wear out rubber, scratch plastic and such. If there is that much difference in the play, the old balls are probably worn out. Cleaning the playing surface or waxing it, will probably have a similar effect.

#4 26 days ago

I realize you have reasons to believe it is due to lighter weight balls but I suspect that they are just fine. Cleaning the playfield and new balls can really make a difference. I wouldn't worry too much about the glass cracking. Does anyone have any actual experience of that happening? WH20 does it on every game.

#5 26 days ago

Get a good scale and let us know!

#6 26 days ago
Quoted from Silverballer:

I realize you have reasons to believe it is due to lighter weight balls but I suspect that they are just fine. Cleaning the playfield and new balls can really make a difference. I wouldn't worry too much about the glass cracking. Does anyone have any actual experience of that happening? WH20 does it on every game.

Tempered glass is very strong (except the edges). You could whallop the pf glass with balls hitting it all day long and the glass will be fine

#7 26 days ago
Quoted from Dent00:

nice, new clean balls would inherently make the game faster. They would probably also create less wear on the playfield and such. Old balls that have imperfections or bad spots will eventually damage the game, wear out rubber, scratch plastic and such. If there is that much difference in the play, the old balls are probably worn out. Cleaning the playing surface or waxing it, will probably have a similar effect.

I dig all that but the balls in High Speed were new when I bought it (5 years ago), and I'm the only one who plays the machine. They weren't in terrible shape. The new balls flew around so fast that the ramps and guides could barely corrall the damn thing. It was no longer fun to play with all the glass strikes, the ball jumping over the inlane guide and draining and rolling around on TOP of the f*cking plastics I immediately put the slow balls back!

#8 26 days ago
Quoted from dsuperbee:

Tempered glass is very strong (except the edges). You could whallop the pf glass with balls hitting it all day long and the glass will be fine

I guess I'm not all that worried about the glass breaking -- I just don't like that supersonic crack. Very distracting/unnerving when it's happening so often. But it seems like that's just how new balls play?? I need to find a good scale to prove it to myself one way or the other.

#9 26 days ago
Quoted from AlonzoMoselyFBI:

I dig all that but the balls in High Speed were new when I bought it (5 years ago), and I'm the only one who plays the machine. They weren't in terrible shape. The new balls flew around so fast that the ramps and guides could barely corrall the damn thing. It was no longer fun to play with all the glass strikes, the ball jumping over the inlane guide and draining and rolling around on TOP of the f*cking plastics I immediately put the slow balls back!

I wonder if your line voltage is on the higher end of the spectrum?

If I remember correctly, most electronics prior to about 1990 were designed for a 115v line voltage. In most regions, the nominal line voltage has crept up over 120v (as high as 125-128v in some cases) in the past couple of decades. If this is the case where you live, then the coils in these older games could conceivably fire a little harder than originally intended; this, plus the effect of cleaning everything could potentially explain the increased airballs and loss of control on the ramps.

As to the glass, the sound of the ball hitting it is disconcerting, but it almost certainly won’t break. I once fumbled and accidentally dropped a PAR-38 flood light bulb squarely on the center of a pin glass from a height of about 7ft; the bulb bounced right off and didn’t even leave a scratch (though it did inflict a small ding in the cabinet of an adjacent machine ).

#10 26 days ago

Alonzo Mosley FBI...best Pinside name (besides Gryszzz) ever!

#11 26 days ago

Maybe, balls absorb moisture out of the air and become heavier with time

#12 26 days ago

The Metals Market is fraught with bad steel. It is indeed possible to get balls that contain a higher percentage of alloy, thus making them lighter.
That said, I properly Shopped a Full House and it was miraculous how out of control the ball was during play for the first 40 games. Thought something was wrong until it settled into good play.
Properly applied wax makes amazing things happen on an EM, for awhile.

#13 26 days ago

Yes. The POWERBALL!

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#14 26 days ago
Quoted from Gryszzz:

Alonzo Mosley FBI...best Pinside name (besides Gryszzz) ever!

That son of a bitch stole my cigarettes.

#15 26 days ago

The weight difference between grades of steel would be so small that you'd need an extremely accurate scale to even begin to see a difference. I'm going with clean, new balls and wax making the game play faster.

#16 26 days ago

There is absolutely a difference in density. I found some to differ by 2g

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ball-weight#post-836732

-1
#17 25 days ago
Quoted from Luckydogg420:

There is absolutely a difference in density

It’s not necessarily the density that’s different. There is also a size tolerance and a difference in materials (a.k.a. density).
Ball Baron gives 2.8 oz and 2.9 oz for two different balls mentioned on this page: https://ballbaron.com/product/pinball-carbon/

Density of carbon steel ranges from 4.534 to 4.544 oz/in^3

https://amesweb.info/Materials/Density_of_Steel.aspx

The volume of a sphere is 4/3*πr^3.
If the tolerance is 0.001” that means a ball on the low end of the density and size scale would weigh 4/3 *3.14159*(0.53075“^3)*4.534oz= 2.839 oz or 80.49g
On the high end I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader.

#18 25 days ago

I always wondered if you could find rubber coated balls from old mice how that would play in a game. Unfortunately the size is different

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#19 24 days ago
Quoted from metallik:

Get a good scale and let us know!

Welp, I got myself a scale... and there is no discernible difference. BH balls? ~80g each. High Speed balls? ~80g each. Brand new balls? ~80g each.

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#20 24 days ago
Quoted from AlonzoMoselyFBI:

What really convinces me they are significantly lighter is that when the balls are returned from the lower playfield, and the "re-entry" gate is open, without fail, each ball hits the gate and (say you have 2-ball multiball going), go CRACK!.....CRACK! against the glass. It is very loud and distracting, and I'm worried the glass will eventually end up swept into a dustpan in pieces.

Are you missing the gate at the top of the eject tube? That's there to kind of prevent what you're describing.

There can be a lot of difference in speed based on the roundness of the balls they are all made with differing tolerances, but sometimes a lower (less-round) tolerance might still have better quality ones in it.

It's a contributing factor to "the ball is wild".

#21 24 days ago
Quoted from Silverballer:

I wouldn't worry too much about the glass cracking. Does anyone have any actual experience of that happening?

Yes -- My Ice Fever had the glass break by getting hit by a ball.
.
.
.
.
but the ball was a cue ball.

#22 24 days ago
Quoted from AlonzoMoselyFBI:

Welp, I got myself a scale... and there is no discernible difference. BH balls? ~80g each. High Speed balls? ~80g each. Brand new balls? ~80g each.

[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Is 1g enough for me to use this at an excuse for missing my shots from one game to the next? I hope it is

#23 24 days ago

Hey a bunch of us have that scale lol.

#24 23 days ago
Quoted from Gryszzz:

Hey a bunch of us have that scale lol.

Funny. I Amazon Primed it up

#25 23 days ago
Quoted from EJS:

Is 1g enough for me to use this at an excuse for missing my shots from one game to the next? I hope it is

These balls are an ounce low F this game

#26 23 days ago

I am guessing that a difference of 1 gram of ball weight on a 160 gram ball will have little or no effect on play.
However, if there are scratches or rust on a ball and new clean balls are used to replace those old balls, that would make a big difference.
Just my thoughts...

#27 18 days ago
Quoted from slochar:

Are you missing the gate at the top of the eject tube? That's there to kind of prevent what you're describing.
There can be a lot of difference in speed based on the roundness of the balls they are all made with differing tolerances, but sometimes a lower (less-round) tolerance might still have better quality ones in it.
It's a contributing factor to "the ball is wild".

Interesting idea -- the gate at the top of the eject tube seems to be designed only to prevent the ball from rolling back down the tube -- at least on my machine, it doesn't govern the ball in the least when in is coming in the direction of the player, only if it's rolling in reverse. Is it supposed to? It seems like it could be bent such that it would direct some energy downward.

#28 18 days ago
Quoted from AlonzoMoselyFBI:

Interesting idea -- the gate at the top of the eject tube seems to be designed only to prevent the ball from rolling back down the tube -- at least on my machine, it doesn't govern the ball in the least when in is coming in the direction of the player, only if it's rolling in reverse. Is it supposed to? It seems like it could be bent such that it would direct some energy downward.

When mine shoots the ball out of the bottom it flies through the wire part of the gate which slows it enough to not just over the return flag, and also so it doesn't hit the glass. I don't think a reverse shot would actually go up my tube, it's a little above the playfield - maybe your tube is a little shorter or mounted lower?

I don't think I've ever adjusted it or changed it - and the PF's were fully stripped off for clear so it would have had to have been out of the game at some point.

#29 18 days ago
Quoted from slochar:

When mine shoots the ball out of the bottom it flies through the wire part of the gate which slows it enough to not just over the return flag, and also so it doesn't hit the glass. I don't think a reverse shot would actually go up my tube, it's a little above the playfield - maybe your tube is a little shorter or mounted lower?
I don't think I've ever adjusted it or changed it - and the PF's were fully stripped off for clear so it would have had to have been out of the game at some point.

I agree -- it doesn't seem like the ball could roll down the tube the way it's situated, but the gate allows it to fly out, SLAM the flag gate, and into the glass. Maybe it's the flag gate that need adjustment?? Here's a video of it -

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0yMK0jAAwv_fID0D7-cLgJaZw#Lynn_-_Pine__Hill

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