"Nic's North American Pinball Tour" (aka I'm coming to fix your games!)


By NicoVolta

10 months ago


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  • Latest reply 1 day ago by NicoVolta
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    Topic index (key posts)

    87 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

    Post #1 NNAPT - Nic's North American Pinball Tour - The big plan Posted by NicoVolta (10 months ago)

    Post #90 Nic's background and how he got into the pinball hobby w/photos Posted by NicoVolta (10 months ago)

    Post #117 Posted by NicoVolta (10 months ago)

    Post #152 The map of the cross-country pinball tour is posted Posted by NicoVolta (9 months ago)

    Post #208 And so, the 15,000 mile, nearly 4-month trip begins! Posted by NicoVolta (8 months ago)

    Post #215 Visit #1 - Tony Macevicius (Tmacev1) in Lindale, TX (Atlantis) Posted by NicoVolta (8 months ago)

    Post #218 Visit #2 - David Yopp at The Retro in Millington, TN (Grand Prix) Posted by NicoVolta (8 months ago)

    Post #234 REGION 1 (Southeast bound) tour map - March 28 - April 17, 2017 Posted by NicoVolta (8 months ago)

    Post #344 REGION 2 (East/Northeast coast) tour map - April 17 - May 12, 2017 Posted by NicoVolta (8 months ago)


    Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

    There are 1523 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 31.
    56
    #1 10 months ago

    Attention Pinsiders! I will soon be traveling across the USA (and Canada!) on a shoestring budget to fix YOUR EM pinball machines, teach YOU how to maintain them, and talk about your hobby. The result will be livestreamed/Facebooked/Pinsided along the way or possibly published in an upcoming book.

    If you'd like to be part of "Nic's North American Pinball Tour" (NNAPT), reply here with your location and thoughts. I figure it will work like this: In exchange for putting me up for the night and contributing to the trip, I will spend an entire 8-hour day (or perhaps two sequential evenings if that works better)... fixing, teaching, anything you like. I will have sample mechs and replacement parts with me just in case.

    I could also do a group class along the way if enough people are interested.

    Start date will be after the Texas Pinball Festival, March 28th.

    Sound like fun? LET'S DO THIS!

    BTW just created a FB page to track this as well... https://www.facebook.com/pinballtour

    For those who cannot get involved directly but would like to support the tour, I have created a Gofundme link below. No "goal" set... I'll just use whatever I get to extend the tour as far as possible. Thx!

    https://www.gofundme.com/nics-american-pinball-tour

    pinball tour signs (resized).jpg

    And hey! Our own Ryan Claytor is currently offering pre-orders for tour tees! If you want one, be sure to get it before the tour starts!

    http://www.elephanteater.com/12440/nics-north-american-pinball-tour

    #2 10 months ago

    BTW check out my page at the Dallas Makerspace to see more behind the scenes action of what I've been up to over the past couple of years... https://www.facebook.com/groups/DMS.VECTOR/

    If you do not have a Pinside account (ya lurker!), feel free to send me a friend invite via Facebook if you'd like to keep in touch...

    https://www.facebook.com/nicholas.schell

    10
    #3 10 months ago

    I'd love to get you out to Pin-a-Go-Go in Dixon CA May 19-21.

    #4 10 months ago

    Will you be offering on-site Clear Coating and Stealth LED service?

    A bold Endeavour, to say the least. Best of Luck with your travels.

    #5 10 months ago

    Thanks Reinster... heck, maybe so! Well, not clear coat, but I will bring the "stealth recipe!".

    I think this will be a lot of fun. Great opportunity to meet people and teach the skills.

    #6 10 months ago

    Why am I hearing Neal Diamond singing "Coming to America" ?

    #7 10 months ago

    If you make it near Evansville, IN I have plenty we can work on and a foldout couch.

    23
    #8 10 months ago

    Here he comes!

    nick (resized).jpg

    #9 10 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Here he comes!

    If he shows up with anything more now, I'll be disappointed...

    #10 10 months ago

    My EM's are running fine but if you're rolling through Cincinnati, you're welcome to play at my house.

    #11 10 months ago

    If Florida is in your plans, you are welcome to come and play. I am getting pretty good with fixing and restoring EMs, but I always have a project to work on and a lot to play! I live right near Kennedy Space Center, which is pretty cool to visit.

    Edit: I kind of implied just a visit to play. I should have been more specific that my offer includes putting you up for a night and contributing toward the trip.

    #12 10 months ago

    I figure most Pinsiders will have a leg up compared to casual pinball owners when it comes to EM pinball maintenance and repair... but even so, it'll be fun to stop by and visit just the same.

    Keep in mind that I'm good with working on your games even if you'd simply like to "buy time". A good number of "working" EM's I've encountered have needed some love in terms of score reel accuracy, coil tuning, intermittent issues, weak flippers, or just polishing contacts & replacing lamp sockets. Feel free to farm out some of this stuff if you like.

    #13 10 months ago

    I'm decent at EMs but I have so many it's kind of overwhelming. I have about 6 that I got now that won't reset, that's the hardest for me to figure out.

    #14 10 months ago

    If you make it up to Pa; I would take you up on your offer; I'm Northwest of Phila.

    I have been able to learn to fix as I go along with my EM's but I'm sure there is still plenty to go over and fine tune; just like an old car there is always somwthing that needs attention.

    #15 10 months ago

    I am game if you find Madison in your travels. I recently bought my first EM, a wizard.

    I don't know shit about EMs but am a pretty quick study.

    #16 10 months ago

    I don't have any EM's but if your passing through stop by my place to play some pinball for a bit.

    #17 10 months ago

    Yes please if anyone doesn't need my help but would like to be a waypoint on the trip, reply here. Will stop and visit with as many as I can.

    #18 10 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    A good number of "working" EM's I've encountered have needed some love in terms of score reel accuracy, coil tuning, intermittent issues, weak flippers, or just polishing contacts & replacing lamp sockets. Feel free to farm out some of this stuff if you like.

    Yes. Please stop in You Bet. I have a bunch of coils you can tune. I want to see what the fudge this means.

    #19 10 months ago

    Do you work on older juke's? I'd contribute! And I'm a HUGE cowboys fan!! (Michigan)

    #20 10 months ago

    Nico if you need a rest-stop in Southern CO your welcome here, my sad lone EM is a donor for a re-theme project that I hope to keep EM. the playfield's shot but the rest is worth keeping EM at heart. I'm about 15 min west of I-25 on the north end of Pueblo, CO. I'm not on FB so feel free to PM if your in need of a stop.

    #21 10 months ago

    If you are traveling to Florida you are welcome to stop by , I am about an hour north of Tampa and I have a number of projects that I am working on, I live close to the replay museum https://www.facebook.com/replaymuseum/ and if you hook-up with someone on the east coast you could visit to Silverball museum.http://silverballmuseum.com/delray-beach/
    Lee

    #22 10 months ago

    Nick, I always have a couple of projects going on. You are welcome in New Jersey

    #23 10 months ago

    Come hang out with us at Monterey Flipper Pinball in beautiful Monterey, CA! Our crew has 3 EMs at our League's warehouse, 6 at a member's house, 1 at mine.

    I'd love to set up a group event for League members to learn some more of the craft, and there definitely a couple things we could improve on the EMs we have.

    cary@mfpinball.org.

    I love the idea, and we will definitely contribute to keep your journey moving!

    Thanks!

    #24 10 months ago

    I think its great what your doing! Come check out the great white north!

    #25 10 months ago

    Nic, we would love to hire you for a day and we have a guest apartment for you in our building! We have a few pinballs to play and work on, and our 1887 First National Bank building and 1904 warehouse (attached pic) are both huge photo-ops. We've also got video games and a freight elevator that could use attention.
    We are about halfway between PAPA Headquarters and Washington DC, in Piedmont, WV. Stop over for a day or two if you are out this way.
    PM for more details and to let us know how to get $$$ to you.
    Regards,
    Denny

    CastleForGarageDoor (resized).jpg

    #26 10 months ago

    Jukebox work needed here too.

    #27 10 months ago

    Jukes, Freight Elevators....

    Can't wait to see the next "request"!

    #28 10 months ago
    Quoted from jahbarron:

    Yes. Please stop in You Bet. I have a bunch of coils you can tune. I want to see what the fudge this means.

    It's just a term I use to describe either installing a tension washer on buzzy/noisy coil brackets or modding the coil itself by adding/removing lengths of wire. It all depends upon the game... the factory didn't always get the recipe right in my opinion.

    Quoted from Lefman:

    Do you work on older juke's? I'd contribute! And I'm a HUGE cowboys fan!! (Michigan)

    What a nail-biter this year was... augh! So close. So very close. Lost the Divisional round to the Packers... AGAIN. Depressing to realize they haven't won the Divisional round since the mid-90's. Ah, but there's always next season.

    I don't have any experience with jukeboxes, unfortunately.

    Quoted from VacFink:

    Nico if you need a rest-stop in Southern CO your welcome here, my sad lone EM is a donor for a re-theme project that I hope to keep EM. the playfield's shot but the rest is worth keeping EM at heart. I'm about 15 min west of I-25 on the north end of Pueblo, CO. I'm not on FB so feel free to PM if your in need of a stop.

    Thanks! Will add you to my (now very quickly growing) travel spreadsheet.

    Quoted from Svendtube:

    If you are traveling to Florida you are welcome to stop by , I am about an hour north of Tampa and I have a number of projects that I am working on, I live close to the replay museum https://www.facebook.com/replaymuseum/ and if you hook-up with someone on the east coast you could visit to Silverball museum.http://silverballmuseum.com/delray-beach/
    Lee

    Sounds good! Definitely would like to visit the Silverball Museum... will likely swing by the NJ location as well.

    Quoted from Iamneo:

    Nick, I always have a couple of projects going on. You are welcome in New Jersey

    Yep, lots of pinball action in NJ. I always see tempting Craigslist offerings up there.

    Quoted from CaryCarmichael:

    Come hang out with us at Monterey Flipper Pinball in beautiful Monterey, CA! Our crew has 3 EMs at our League's warehouse, 6 at a member's house, 1 at mine.
    I'd love to set up a group event for League members to learn some more of the craft, and there definitely a couple things we could improve on the EMs we have.
    cary@mfpinball.org.
    I love the idea, and we will definitely contribute to keep your journey moving!
    Thanks!

    You don't have to twist my arm to get me back to Monterey! Did the aquarium and Point Lobos in 2011... it was fantastic. I'll definitely put you on the roadmap.

    Quoted from NinJaBooT:

    I think its great what your doing! Come check out the great white north!

    Would love to! I need to get more folks on the route up there... looks like fun. Last time I was in Banff in 2004 for a ski trip. Too long!

    Quoted from futurepinhead:

    Jukebox work needed here too.

    Ack! No jukebox experience yet, but if we're doing EM's already I'll be glad to take a look.

    #29 10 months ago
    Quoted from DCP:

    Nic, we would love to hire you for a day and we have a guest apartment for you in our building! We have a few pinballs to play and work on, and our 1887 First National Bank building and 1904 warehouse (attached pic) are both huge photo-ops. We've also got video games and a freight elevator that could use attention.
    We are about halfway between PAPA Headquarters and Washington DC, in Piedmont, WV. Stop over for a day or two if you are out this way.
    PM for more details and to let us know how to get $$$ to you.
    Regards,
    Denny

    Hi Denny. I'll be happy to work on your EM pins. I don't do video games (yet) and it'll likely be a bit longer before I add freight elevators to my skill tree.

    Quoted from CactusJack:

    Jukes, Freight Elevators....
    Can't wait to see the next "request"!

    First time for everything! Carousels? Orchestrions? :p Actually those are pretty cool...

    #30 10 months ago

    If you decide to stop off for a tour of Central KY bourbon country on your way through, look me up! Got a few distilleries nearby that are always worth checking out. I only have one EM but I've debugged a couple issues myself and always welcome pointers, and you're welcome to enjoy our other games and crash on the couch if you need to.

    Sounds like you have an awesome roadtrip coming together any way you go!

    #31 10 months ago

    Wow, so far you are connected to New England, Florida, Minnesta, and various points in the Midwest and on the West Coast, that's pretty much covering the entire US of A! I'm not sure what your plan is, but that could easily be a road trip of several months.

    At any rate, if you work your way to Southern California, I would try to fit you in if the timing is OK for my work schedule (I have to travel a lot for that). I could use some help on my Bally Monte Carlo. I am in Orange County (Huntington Beach).

    #32 10 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Ack! No jukebox experience yet, but if we're doing EM's already I'll be glad to take a look.

    It's 5 feet from the EMs so if there's time we can try and figure it out together.

    #33 10 months ago

    If your coming to ontario let me know.

    #34 10 months ago

    If you end up near me, you're more than welcome to the spare room for a night or two.
    And you could work out a couple of operational kinks that my one lonely EM has.
    If you want to take a stab at some SS work, there's always plenty of that.

    (Not sure of your schedule, but maybe think about coming for Pinball at the Zoo. Easy one hour drive from me.)

    #35 10 months ago

    This is gonna be a fun thread to watch let alone the videos.

    #36 10 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Hi Denny. I'll be happy to work on your EM pins. I don't do video games (yet) and it'll likely be a bit longer before I add freight elevators to my skill tree.

    First time for everything! Carousels? Orchestrions? :p Actually those are pretty cool...

    You can help us tune up Capt. Fantastic and Jungle Queen. You might get interested in the freight elevator after you see it! It is currently working, just needs "fine tuning"...;-)

    #37 10 months ago

    I just gotta say...for anyone needing help with jukes... if you have an old Rock-Ola, contact John's Jukes and see if you can get the full manual and schematic. My 470 came with one, but it's BY FAR the most brilliant piece of electronics documentation I've *ever* seen. Literally, they give you the whole schematic, and then STEP BY STEP schematics explaining how the whole process works, with an ACTIVE CIRCUIT schematic for each said step that shows what's active and where the signals are going. It's brilliant, and makes pinball documentation look like a total joke.

    I have no idea if other manufacturers were as thorough as Rock-Ola, but I fixed my juke in 2 days flat having had ZERO experience with them. The pre 80's ones aren't that scary IMO, and I even had to get in there and pull out the AC motor that drives the pin selector...I'd never even seen an AC motor before.

    #38 10 months ago

    Are you planning on blogging the trip or maybe live streaming from time to time?

    I'm imagining the pinball version of Kung Fu, where you're like Kane, walking the earth and helping people along the way.

    #39 10 months ago

    Yes most definitely I'll keep this thread rolling as well as the FB "adventure group" page. I'm excited... this is looking like quite a trip!

    #40 10 months ago

    I'm happy to have you in Chicago. It would be a pleasure and a good chance to dial in the machines and learn something.

    #41 10 months ago

    Any chance you will be near western NC?

    #42 10 months ago

    Is it possible for you to hit all 48 continental states? As someone else mentioned, are you only working with a specific time frame? If not, add Delaware to the list as a place to host you for a night. I don't have any EM's(yet) to go along with my 4 SS machines, but have no problems with you crashing at my place.

    #43 10 months ago

    I'm excited to see such enthusiasm for this project. It will probably take 2-3 months to complete all the stops at this point already... wow.

    As fun as this may seem, it isn't going to be a vacation. I'll have to hustle from city to city with a busy itinerary to make the suggested donation/hosting model work. Most people will want all day Saturday and/or Sunday which could really put the squeeze on paid stays, eats, and driving if it gets sparse between weekends.

    Regardless, the goal is to keep it cheap, meet as many people as possible, and get the games running and knowledge flowing. Viva la EM!

    #44 10 months ago

    Need some 80's jams for your road trip Nico? I've got plenty!

    IMG_5027 (resized).JPG

    IMG_5029 (resized).JPG

    IMG_5031 (resized).JPG

    #45 10 months ago
    Quoted from CactusJack:

    Jukes, Freight Elevators....
    Can't wait to see the next "request"!

    I could use some help gettin' ole betsy back on the road.

    2918313340_68465265f1_z (resized).jpg

    #46 10 months ago
    Quoted from NimblePin:

    Need some 80's jams for your road trip Nico? I've got plenty!

    Hiya NP... good ones indeed. Was just listening to Joe Jackson as a matter of fact.

    Quoted from o-din:

    I could use some help gettin' ole betsy back on the road.

    "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" :p

    #47 10 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Most people will want all day Saturday and/or Sunday which could really put the squeeze on paid stays, eats, and driving if it gets sparse between weekends.

    maybe charge 250 for Fri/ Sat to help offset.

    I am guessing for this to work you will need a few multiple day stops in larger city areas and then do the smaller/ single day stops in the tweener cities.

    Also, could you hypothetically twitch tv it to get some subscribers/ added income?

    #48 10 months ago

    Twitch is an interesting option, though it will be difficult to coordinate everything as well as be my own streaming video host on the go. Facebook live, in particular, has been very disappointing and often loses entire sections and/or doesn't save a local copy.

    I'll take lots of pics and videos and post them during the breaks between visits.

    #49 10 months ago

    What a great idea! I'm in the San Francisco - Bay Area, right between the previously mentioned Monterey and Pin-a-go-go / Dixon stops. Plenty of games to wrench on. If you're driving this way, put me on the list!

    #50 10 months ago

    If you are driving I-44 through St Louis, stop by for a meal and play a game or two . Any advance notice and I'll throw something on the smoker!

    Sounds like a great trip, I'll be following along on Facebook.

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