(Topic ID: 155074)

New guy entering the world of EM


By Zarklin

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Zarklin
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 3 years ago

    Please excuse the wall of text this ran on way more than intended

    Just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. As the title say I'm new to the world of EM and pins in general aside from the hours spent playing as a kid. I grew up in the 90s and arcades were on the decline, I only remember one or two and they were small little rooms off in the corner of the local malls. I would always beg to go when my folks would be going to that area, lucky for me, mom loved pins. I spend every quarter I could plead out of her playing Addams Family, Fun House, Terminator... and many more I can't remember along with some light gun games for good measure lol. Things got dry in my area for a long time, no arcades shy of 4-5 games at the bowling alley or movie theater. Once places like Dave-n-Busters and Jillian's started popping up I finally got my fix again but it cost so much to play a broke HS kid couldn't spend much time there. Aside from the fact my games went quick... keep the ball in play was the goal, I had no idea what the rules or objectives were.

    So why and how did I end up here? Well.... I would still get a bug to play now and then but never the opportunity. One of my hobbies is playing and collecting video games, ended up with a room in the basement dedicated to it. Lucky for me the whole family gets involved and has a great time. I've wanted to get some arcade games and a pin or two for the basement and I started remodeling to open the place up more so I started looking for pins. I could not believe some of prices 5k, 8k and up I gave up hope. Enter humble bundle they had a cheap package with a bunch of pinball fx2 tables (yes I know its computer but it tickled my itch) When I started looking into it I found the world of Virtual pins, in full size cabs with real buttons and launchers! My mind was blown how did I not know about this! I showed my wife and she got a childish smile and told me "new project, build one". That was a couple weeks ago. Off I went on my quest, finding cab plans, parts list etc. I starting hitting CL and EBay hard looking to catch a deal on a lock down bar, legs anything and one day up pops a Williams Fan-Tas-Tic in the next town over asking $487

    My first thought was ohh it's one of those old ones, I never played these are they any fun, how do they even work naw don't bother. But it kept nagging at me every time I did a search on CL there it was. So I watched a youtube video of it, looks kinda interesting. Showed my wife she was mixed too. But I kept thinking about it, wanting to give it a try. After a couple days we decided wth why not can't hurt to look at it, wouldn't mind having one it's a piece of history and those chimes are iconic. So I did a few google searches that let me first to ipdb. One look inside of the cab and I was terrified and also completely intrigued. How does all this work? Switches, relays, motors and coils, this is amazing. I wanted it even more, the next search lead me here. Specifically to the look what's on CL thread, someone had posted the link to the very ad that drew me in. I joined up made my first post asking about the machine mentioned I wanted to go check it out but was hesitant. I was instantly welcomed with advise, pointers and more info I knew existed on the topic, even a very nice PM from someone in my state.

    I've been lurking around for just over a week now and reading like crazy. There is so much info the soak in and I'll need it.

    I'm happy to say after walking away the first time the seller and I came to an agreement. Turns out he also had a Bally Op-Pop-Pop in the barn both of which will be coming home to me this weekend along with a late 70s Kenwood stereo (yea love the vintage audio too lol) for less than he was asking for the Fan-Tas-Tic alone.

    Seller didn't know much about them other than he was "told" they both worked. They came with the house pretty much. The Fan-Tas-Tic plays but has some problems, I'd say it's 90% on the mechanical side, one plastic was broke but lucky for me one was on ebay so I snagged it tonight. The play-field has some wear spots but for the game counter being at near 76k I understand BG is rough but mostly there. The Bally has a beautiful play-field aside from a small ball groove (25k plays on the counter) but the BG is pretty much shot imo. We plugged the Bally in tonight and nothing just the coin door lights came on. I noticed a wire was disconnected from the score motor and no ball in it. I hope it springs to life with that wire back on and a ball loaded. One of the zipper flippers is sagging a bit so I'm assuming a rebuild is in order or at least an adjustment. Both are missing the back box covers but it looks easy enough to make one. Time to order balls, new rubbers, novus, mill wax and I'm debating converting to leds. Have the manual and schematics for the Fan-Tas-Tic downloaded and ready to go. The Bally had all that inside the cab.

    I'll be taking a deep dive and posting pictures of each once I bring them home, then bust out the multi meter and get to work. I'm sure it wasn't near the deal of the century but I'm excited and truly have the bug now.

    #2 3 years ago

    Welcome aboard! Once you have the bug it's hard to shake! Pinside is a fantastic EM community where you can learn and enjoy EMs with other collectors. We try to help each other out as much as we can -- often helping with parts-needs or advice (no shortage of advice and opinions on here, haha!) -- and it's a great place to learn a ton.

    I HIGHLY recommend you read this from one end to the other: http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index.htm

    It's essentially the Bible of EM repair and you can't go wrong. Welcome to an addictive, fantastic hobby, and welcome to Pinside!

    Mark

    #3 3 years ago

    As a fellow EM owner, welcome

    #4 3 years ago

    Good luck and welcome. There is a ton of information on here. Lots of pinsiders will help you on the forum.

    #5 3 years ago
    Quoted from goldenboy232:

    Welcome aboard! Once you have the bug it's hard to shake! Pinside is a fantastic EM community where you can learn and enjoy EMs with other collectors. We try to help each other out as much as we can -- often helping with parts-needs or advice (no shortage of advice and opinions on here, haha!) -- and it's a great place to learn a ton.
    I HIGHLY recommend you read this from one end to the other: http://www.pinrepair.com/em/index.htm
    It's essentially the Bible of EM repair and you can't go wrong. Welcome to an addictive, fantastic hobby, and welcome to Pinside!
    Mark

    Thanks for the link, even more reading yay! lol What's funnier is I noticed they are in Michigan as well... I'm fast learning this state is full of pinheads lol

    #6 3 years ago

    congrats! and welcome to the addiction...

    #7 3 years ago

    (edited) Be sure to get to the Ann Arbor pinball show (owned/run by the pinrepair.com guy - http://vfwpinball.com/?p=128)

    #8 3 years ago

    Congratulations! A Williams and a Bally right out of the gate! I think you'll enjoy the differences between those two manufacturer's approaches as you start working on them.

    Have fun!

    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from jeffc:

    Where's the part where you say you went to the Ann Arbor pinball show this past weekend (owned/run by the pinrepair.com guy - http://vfwpinball.com/?p=128), saw all of his EMs (and solid states) and were blown away?

    There was one this last weekend? Huh.... Already working out plans for the 3 Michigan shows I found out about. Maybe even the Ohio show near my folks place. I'll have to take Mom out there too. I had no idea about these shows until I joined here, I've been missing out for so long.

    Mi Pinball Expo - TBD
    Ohio Pinball Show Mar31 - April 1
    Pinball at the Zoo April 21-23rd
    Ann Arbor May 13-15

    Going to be a fun few months

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    Congratulations! A Williams and a Bally right out of the gate! I think you'll enjoy the differences between those two manufacturer's approaches as you start working on them.
    Have fun!

    Really looking forward to getting into them. I noticed differences right away just looking them over. The play-field "hinges" on the Bally were really nice compared to the Williams just sitting on the wood supports. Plus one is a center pop and one zipper flipper. Two things I've never played before. Already thinking about what's next lol really want one with "normal" flippers and drop targets. That'll have to wait until I get these two going good.

    #11 3 years ago

    You can rebuild the zipper flippers, to a point, but the actual mechanism of the zipper flippers might be tough to come by. I don't think Steve Young has all the parts for it.

    As long as it's complete you can just do the standard rebuild of the flippers themselves. If you take the zipper flipper mech apart make sure you take lots of pictures so you can get it back together. The coil that works the mechanism is NLA as far as I know, so hopefully that's in good shape.

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from Zarklin:

    There was one this last weekend? Huh....

    I think he's mistaken, the VFW show (Ann Arbor) is in May, not March.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from polyacanthus:

    I think he's mistaken, the VFW show (Ann Arbor) is in May, not March.

    Yes, my bad!! Good news for you - it is in MAY, not March.

    #14 3 years ago

    Welcome to the world of Pinball, especially EMs. Get a schematic, flexstone, switch adjusting tool and a DMM (Digital Multi Meter) with continuity audio tone and dig in.

    #15 3 years ago

    Welcome!

    #16 3 years ago

    Welcome to Pinside.

    I see you have download a schematic and the manuals, good move.

    When you order a few bits and piece also purchase a “Full Sheet” schematic. The scans are fine, but nothing like having all the information in a readable format on that BIG single sheet, it’s worth the $20.

    Feel free to ask for all the help you need, lots of good tech help available right here.

    Great Open Post, you should submit that as your "Background" story. (See your Profile)

    #17 3 years ago

    Welcome and same as all above!

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from Chrisbee:

    When you order a few bits and piece also purchase a “Full Sheet” schematic. The scans are fine, but nothing like having all the information in a readable format on that BIG single sheet, it’s worth the $20.

    Luckily the scan I found was all one page and I have a plotter at work. So I can spend the $20 on a new rubber kit lol Print ended up being 4ft long I've worked off prints for buildings small than that hahaha

    #19 3 years ago

    Hi Zarklin,

    Just PM'ed you after seeing your post in the "What'd you bring home today?" thread and noticing you're only about 20-30 minutes away from me! So I figured I would add to the chorus of public "welcomes" you're receiving here but one-up the rest of these fabulous pinsiders by tossing an invite your way. If you find yourself up near Lansing, let me know. I'd be happy to chat about scheduling a time for you to come by and take a spin on my collection.

    You also mentioned...

    ...which I have some connections to, like...

    Quoted from Zarklin:

    Pinball at the Zoo April 21-23rd

    ...for which I've been the event artist 3 years running:

    patzColor_(resized).jpg

    ...and if you're going to...

    Quoted from Zarklin:

    Ann Arbor May 13-15

    ...I'll be there exhibiting my work there:

    http://www.elephanteater.com/11562

    ...so if for some reason we can't find the time to meet before next month, we'll have to be sure to connect at one of the shows. All the best with your new purchases and I look forward to following your thread documenting your two new machines as you bring them back to their former glory.

    Good luck,
    Ryan

    1 week later
    #20 3 years ago

    welcome,I too took the plunge into the world of EM's, I absolutely love them.

    #21 3 years ago

    Lucky you - and I see a fellow pinsider has posted he is within close distance to you also. Welcome to the EM world. Watch out - you may end end up with a bunch of games quickly -I didn't think I'd have as many as I have in less than a year. Have fun. Don't be afraid to seek out another running machine to go along with the two projects. The projects might get going easy or they might fight you some. Hopefully it goes pretty smooth. Don't be discouraged if there are a few hiccups when you start working on them. Good luck - and remember - make it fun. Keep your eyes peeled - I sense another EM in your future...

    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from SuperPinball:

    welcome,I too took the plunge into the world of EM's, I absolutely love them.

    I was hesitate like I mentioned but damn did I hit a vein. I'm hooked.

    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    Lucky you - and I see a fellow pinsider has posted he is within close distance to you also. Welcome to the EM world. Watch out - you may end end up with a bunch of games quickly -I didn't think I'd have as many as I have in less than a year. Have fun. Don't be afraid to seek out another running machine to go along with the two projects. The projects might get going easy or they might fight you some. Hopefully it goes pretty smooth. Don't be discouraged if there are a few hiccups when you start working on them. Good luck - and remember - make it fun. Keep your eyes peeled - I sense another EM in your future...

    Thank you! Everyone on here has been awesome and it's been great to meet folks from near by. Hopefully we'll get to meet face to face at one of the upcoming events. I'm really enjoying working on these more than I can express. I was worried starting out with a project but I have learned so much already I wouldn't hesitate again. I really hope to have more someday. I've been keeping my eyes peeled for another gem to pop up. Budget won't allow for a museum piece anytime soon but an old dusty in need of tlc can come my way anytime. The more EMs I look up the longer my wish list gets

    For everyone wanting to know how these babies are coming see the thread below. Definitely some hiccups, wait till you get to the coin door dilemma And with

    I didn't think to put it in the resto category but it turned into that quickly. Wonder if I should ask a mod to move it.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/first-pins-are-home-time-to-start-the-adventure

    20160320_220307_(resized).jpg

    #24 3 years ago

    Pics are good in any thread. Congrats on the pins, i see empty wall there waiting for number 3!

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from amkoepfer:

    Pics are good in any thread. Congrats on the pins, i see empty wall there waiting for number 3!

    The part of the basement you don't see is in the process of being gutted. A project started before the pins. Apparently I like burning the candle at both ends. But that said I'm trying to figure how to place my pool table for maximum pin space availability.
    vnwnc_(resized).jpg

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from Zarklin:

    I'm trying to figure how to place my pool table for maximum pin space availability.

    ...on craigslist, would be my suggestion.

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    ...on craigslist, would be my suggestion.

    Hahahaha!

    Im in the same boat, started building my basement, but i keep buying games that i have to store and cant play!!

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/yet-another-gameroom-build-thread/page/2#post-3066529

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from RyanClaytor:

    ...on craigslist, would be my suggestion.

    haha he's got jokes! Ryan I gotta admit it's crossed my mind a time or two but I'll try my hardest to make it work. If you had any idea how much "stuff" I had down here before the flooding I'm sure I'd get a in response. Way too many hobbies and not enough time or space lol

    Quoted from amkoepfer:

    Hahahaha!
    Im in the same boat, started building my basement, but i keep buying games that i have to store and cant play!!
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/yet-another-gameroom-build-thread/page/2#post-3066529

    That basement is huge! Good luck with the finishing looks like you're well on your way!

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