Crawfish & Gators visit #1 -> James Haag (@JAHpinWizard) in Leesville, LA
The subjects: Blazer puck bowler, Space Odyssey
Well folks, as you might have heard, the days of NNAPT are coming to an end. It was bittersweet pulling the Pinwagon into James’s driveway knowing it would be the first stop along the last loop of the tour. Yet also exciting to be so close to the “Next Big Thing”! So let’s get rolling one last time and savor the memories…
As you can see, James is not only appropriately teed, but his last name shares the same acronym as the Houston Area Arcade Group… giving him instant cred.
His United Blazer puck bowler has a perfect backglass with a Chinese-meets-medieval Europe motif. I love how the old machines did things their own way.
A formidable wall of EM hardware greeted us. Fortunately, nearly all of it was in good shape and adjusted correctly.
James peered in the direction of trouble: One of the score reels wasn’t resetting correctly and another wasn’t rolling over the 10’s digit. Easy peasy! The reel switches just needed a little cleaning and adjusting.
I discovered an issue with the ball count and player lights. One of the wipers wasn’t making good contact on the rivet disc. Can you guess what was done to remedy the situation?
Mother’s Mag Polish to the rescue… followed by isopropyl alcohol and then a micro-thin layer of Finish Line Dry Bike Lube.
Update: It is not usually necessary to burnish this flat (Bally) style of rivets with the Dremel/443 Magic Brush UNLESS there is physical pitting/wear across the surface (which is uncommon). Most of the time these rivets stay flat and only need the Mother's treatment.
Gottlieb rivets, on the other hand… polish ‘em! Round rivets tend to take a bit more abuse (and have frequently been victimized by sanding).
James bought a small portable building and turned it into a cool game room out back. Just enough space for pinball, billiards, and a little personality.
Like me (and most of you), James was an arcade kid in the 80’s and his selection of pins reflects this. Coincidence? Not!
Projection-racers like this Chicago Coin Motorcycle might not offer the most depth of gameplay, but you gotta admit they are still really cool to see in person!
An Aladdin’s Castle backglass sits in a custom frame which mimics the shape of a pinball head. Nice touch!
Wha? Oh, that’s right… I am in Louisiana. Almost forgot.
After ironing out the puck bowler, we moved on to Space Odyssey which was suffering from a number of minor issues.
One thing most people miss when playing Space Odyssey (or Space Mission) is the alternating lights. The top lanes should always alternate on/off during play… but this function is commonly stuck on or off.
The match unit in the backbox is responsible for turning the lanes on/off as it spins around (look for an alternating on/off switch on the gear inside).
It is always a good idea to photograph both sides to see where the wipers should be before disassembly/reassembly.
Oh! Another misaligned bonus stepper. Time to whip out the polish and socket drivers again…
Pincaddy2 tray loaded up, ready for deployment. It’s been very handy for doing EM/soldering work!
Final step applying Finish Line Dry Bike Lube to the rivets.
Oh boy! Another opportunity to replace those cheap white plastic caps with some shiny nickel hex caps!
Spaceships look better with metal than plastic, just sayin’.
Yep. Time to cue DEVO’s “Space Junk”.
» YouTube video
And just like that… Space Odyssey was flipping again, lights alternating, ready for orbit. Note the presence of other period games in the background.
Good times & good games at the Haag Haus.
James is a frequent visitor to the Houston Arcade Expo, so say hello if you see him there. And what about TPF this year? Gonna be a blowout... don’t miss it!
Next stop -> The PinChurch in NOLA and Jamie Boyd (@kilmarnock1350) in Pensacola, FL