Visit #28 -> Nick Barker (Barkz), Jason Heiser (leckmeck), and a few more Pinsiders in Blaine, MN
The subjects: Captain Card, Jungle Princess, Centigrade 37
I always thought of the word “supper” as an expression of the Deep South (or the Old West), but nearly everyone says it that way north of Chicago. “Time for supper, Nic!”… hee hee. Quite unlike the word “pop” which I did (and do) expect to hear up yonder. No one calls Coke a “soft drink” around here, it's all "pop".
(I call it "liquid birthday cake")
WHO ARE THESE CRAZY PEOPLE? Why, they would be people having a damn good time at Jason’s swanky EM-pinball speakeasy!
From left to right we have Jason (leckmeck), Mike (fanuminski), a tiny sliver of the elusive Rod (DirtFlipper), Nick Barker (Barkz), and yours truly.
If you guessed we’d be in Add-A-Ball pinball country, you’d be right! On the left we can see at least two Add-A-Ball games in the lineup: Pop-A-Card and Blast Off. The rest are King Pin, Jumping Jack, Spin A Card, and a multicade video cabinet.
Many more Add-A-Balls in the right row: Gold Strike, Lucky Hand, Neptune, Pin-Up, and Mini Pool. Along with the EM version of Joker Poker and Bally’s original Fireball w/those trademark zipper-flippers.
A nearby table offered vintage Atari thrills with vintage tube television to match. Looks like it came right out of the Sears catalog yesterday, doesn't it? It's all about the knobs.
We see some serious man-cave finesse near the bow of the pinball submarine. Frankly, there's no better thing in the universe than enjoying snacks, drinks, and pinball among friends like this.
Jason has a well-outfitted workshop upstairs for restoring his games and building new contraptions. A disassembled motor test station sits on this bench, ready to deliver fresh clicks with the press of a button.
We departed for Nick’s place and got to work. Actually, I put Nick and father Dave to work cleaning a few mechs. Polish those plungers, fellas!
And now, at last, we shall cover in painstaking detail the “tip solder fix”.
As you can see, the circuit is capable of delivering six volts to a good bulb. However, when the bulb is inside the lamp socket, it doesn't light up. We will now remedy this situation.
First, install the bulb. This will make the tip of the lamp socket pop out.
Then, grab thy Magic Brush and…
…polish the tip until you see smooth, clean metal.
Next, polish a portion of the side of the barrel where it meets the bracket. We want a clean, smooth junction where the two meet at the seam.
With our hot soldering iron (at least 40w), heat the barrel/bracket seam (the area we just polished) and melt some solder in there. Ensure both sides of the seam receive lots of heat before applying the solder.
Never dribble hot solder onto cold metal. The receiving areas must also be hot!
Next, we will desolder the wire from the tab, tin the polished tip with fresh solder, and solder the wire directly to the tip.
The barrel of the lamp socket should not rotate after the fix. Check if it does. If so, re-solder it.
Give the wire a tug after soldering. It should remain in place. If not, re-solder it. Try giving more heat to the tip next time.
Electricity flows again! Most of your lamp sockets will need this to be fully bright and reliable again.
When finished, clip off the old solder tab as a final farewell to flaky sockets.
I was proud to be present for Nick’s first-ever soldering job.
I think he’s totally got this. Soldering EM-pinballs is nothing to be afraid of. Super easy.
We took a detour and dropped in on Steve’s (MnHotRod) annual pinball shindig to benefit veterans… a good cause by any measure. With a little creativity, we could all use our pinball machines for some kind of community fundraising.
More pics and info from the event here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinball-bbq-2017-veterans-charity-event-minnesota
I remarked to Steve that I liked Minnesota but was wary of the extreme chill of winter. He said, “Yeah… that’s true… but Texas sure gets hellishly HOT in the summer!”
To which I replied, “Yeah, but you don’t have to shovel sunshine!”
*oooo* snap – a good laugh for all
Believe it or not, this was Nick’s first time to play Demolition Man in person. A travesty! We’ve got to do something to help the Millennials know and play all the pinballs!
We returned to Nick's place for more fixes. After diagnosing and repairing a light circuit and a reel brake, we discovered a previous… “fix”… inside one of the score reels.
Confucius say, “He who sand circuit boards should take up cabinet work instead”
Time for an EM Home Challenge update! Alas… the curse continues. I earned a whopping 10 points with my first ball on Centigrade 37. Balls two and three? No more than 8300 points, total.
Next we played Jungle Princess. Rather, Nick played Jungle Princess. I watched four out of five balls go straight down the toilet. AAARGH! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?
As a gesture of goodwill, Nick said he’d give me the win if I topped his 320k-ish record on Captain Card. I accepted the challenge and nearly rolled the score twice. Not quite enough to unseat his record, but nevertheless he was genuinely panicked for a little while. The room got dead quiet after the ball count increased to 8... haha.
The Captain was given the stealth LED recipe before I made my farewell. Nick wasn't sure at first, then was like "dude... ALL IN!". Especially after seeing the improvement with red frosted 1SMD's under the star rollovers.
Seeing is (usually) believing!
Next stop -> Walker, MN