(Topic ID: 227559)

Pin-Bot 3 minor issues (2/3 fixed)


By Tanooki

6 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by zacaj
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 6 months ago

I've had this since 2015. It's home use only as the story goes I was given and I'm #3. The two previous owners were older guys (the seller was a moving retiree down south) and other than if something broke and needed someone coming in, it never was really cleaned or maintained internally. As it stands when I got it, there were some balancing issues with the game so to speak and I've addressed them in my limited capacity the best I could.

That said, I have 3 persistent annoyances that at times keeps me from using it months at a time which is a shame as it's all I have currently as I sold my other table. Perhaps someone here can help me with pictures or borderline idiot speak in detailing on what can be attempted to address it.

1) The motorized 5 target visor array will not sit flush. I can to a degree accept it's a design flaw, but I believe there to be more to it than that. When I first got it, it was less flush than it is now. If I remember right so far I have cleaned it, adjusted the 2 screws on the plate for distance, tore it apart off the table and cleaned it again, and remounted it to the playfield bottom with lesser tension that it had. That last one seemed I think to help it a little, but still, not enough to stop it getting caught on slow rollers and I'm at a loss.

*FIXED* 2) The vortex is not consistent enough. When I got it, mostly it would bang into the plastic and be lucky to get to 5k or so. I had to remount the thing to start, cleaned thoroughly the track from the plunger. The entire plunger housing plates, plunger, and the hole it travels in I cleaned the hell out of it as it was mucky. This got it up to like 80-85% consistency. I'm starting to wonder if it's a plunger problem. I'm thinking either it's slightly ever so bent to where I can't see it without using tools to spot it. It's wobbling a little carry within the hole it travels causing it, and if not that, I don't know as the tip is new rubber.

*FIXED* 3) The angle of the table. I can't figure out a good one to place it at because I've gone between 5 and 6.5(that is max or near it with my adjustable leg screw post casters) and the game is just cruel. It happens too often you shoot, it plays into the vortex and pop bumpers, and shoots straight down the left or right side drains without so much as ever being touched with a flipper. Or you could get one or two flips in, pops off something, and runs right down the same two places which is infuriating. I've used other Pin-Bots at locations here or there and if you can count TPA(and friends) sure it happens on them too, but not at that level of frequency. Would there be any suggested angle to put this at so a decent game can be had? As annoying as the first 2 problems are, this one keeps me angry enough not ot use the table for long stretches.

I'm to the point now I want to enjoy playing again, and if it means swapping it out for another I'd hate to do it but I would. A local has a Diner for trade which looks nice but I'm not familiar with, and I'd love a T2 but I think that's over my limit which is a shame as I loved that one in college. I just would like a nice experience again where a game can be fun once more and the losses are my fault, not something that's being pissy or finicky about the machine itself.

If images are needed I have a set of them from after I got it to where it was awhile back, but nothing close up, especially of the mechanical issue #1 up above. Thanks.

#2 6 months ago
Quoted from Tanooki:

3) The angle of the table. I can't figure out a good one to place it at because I've gone between 5 and 6.5(that is max or near it with my adjustable leg screw post casters) and the game is just cruel. It happens too often you shoot, it plays into the vortex and pop bumpers, and shoots straight down the left or right side drains without so much as ever being touched with a flipper. Or you could get one or two flips in, pops off something, and runs right down the same two places which is infuriating. I've used other Pin-Bots at locations here or there and if you can count TPA(and friends) sure it happens on them too, but not at that level of frequency. Would there be any suggested angle to put this at so a decent game can be had? As annoying as the first 2 problems are, this one keeps me angry enough not ot use the table for long stretches.

Sounds like Pinbot to me. Are your outlane posts all the way down? Angle won't really effect this much. Stop plunging for the vortex

#3 6 months ago
Quoted from Tanooki:

Would there be any suggested angle to put this at so a decent game can be had?

Have you tried just leveling the game from the bottom of the cabinet. With the cabinet level, it sets the game with the factory made playfield incline.

#4 6 months ago

Yeah I know PinBot isn't the most friendly. What do you mean by all the way down? Are you talking about positioning them differently? I think I recall under tehre a few spaces they can get screwed into. And why not go for the vortex, that is the 100k skill shot there. I'm more trying to figure out a decent angle to work with on it.

Darcy - I don't exactly know what the factory suggested level is. Currently it's around 5degrees elevation and 0.1~ off left/right on the actual playfield using the PinGuy app on iOS. I can't actually level it entirely as the space I'm in is a retired 1 car garage converted room so there's a slight slant to it by design for water to outflow in the old days when it was one. As it is I've had to tinker a lot screwing around with those caster posts to get it level. Depending where I rest it in the room the angle changes so I've left it the last couple years in the back corner away from the old entrance to the garage that's walled up as it's the least slanted there.

I've attached a few quick images I could take (I should be working right now) of the entire under side of the playfield, then a couple close ups showing the black guide tray isn't damaged, nor are the guide arms twisted either, and the white clamps holding the tray are not damaged as well. I suppose I could pull this thing off again later on, clean it thoroughly once more, but I wonder if some shim or something like a washer at some screw post would be needed when it's remounted to get the thing flush as I'm out of ideas which is why I'm asking.

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#5 6 months ago
Quoted from Tanooki:

Yeah I know PinBot isn't the most friendly. What do you mean by all the way down? Are you talking about positioning them differently? I think I recall under tehre a few spaces they can get screwed into.

Yes. there should be three positions you can mount the posts in to make the gap bigger or smaller.

Quoted from Tanooki:

And why not go for the vortex, that is the 100k skill shot there. I'm more trying to figure out a decent angle to work with on it.

Risk/reward. The vortex can be worth big points, but it dumps the ball into the pops, which can send the ball down the drain. If you short plunge you can avoid the pops and have a nice gentle feed towards the flippers. Some danger from the skill shot is part of the design

#6 6 months ago

Well if you check the images above you can see I did a pair to cover the range of the playfield underside. As it is now I think the gap as the smallest it can be for something to fly down those spaces.

And now I get what you mean. I really hadn't considered it that way before. It's not that hard to just dribble a shot up there enough it just rolls out instead of going for that shot. The game is persistent enough to have 2 skill shots with the instant opening for the 5 target motorized array in the center. It still would be nice if the vortex area was more fluid so it still would make sense to try and get the plunger area or whatever it is there right in the end.

#7 6 months ago

Vortex issue - Make sure you have the correct spring. Mine reaches the top about 1/4 shots.

#8 6 months ago
Quoted from CollinT:

Vortex issue - Make sure you have the correct spring. Mine reaches the top about 1/4 shots.

The vortex I can reach the top most the time pulling it back most/all the way which I think is the concept there on that one.

I got mad at it a bit earlier thinking about all this and re-evaluated the angle of the table, it was down just below 5degrees and when I got to moving it due to the slant of the room I couldn't get it over 5.5 which I found needs to be at 6 recommended by the factory. I remembered I had a long enough 2x4 in the garage and put that under the back two feet and took some time and got it at dead even 6degrees and 0 off angle left and right so it's square. It seems to be helping some of it so far, but only one test game isn't enough to really say. And I know that won't correct some of it, but it's traveling better as I feel it should.

#9 6 months ago

I've played with it a bit more since redoing the leveling on it. I'm guessing my floor is just uneven enough it was causing an issue being just a degree off. The vortex shot is closer to 100% especially given the comments how it is anyway as it'll hit the top even without pulling the plunger all the way. And the angle now set at 6degrees high and 0% level has improved it a lot. It's still a cruel table, but more by design now.

I'll see if I can do more with the gate but it seems to be sitting better at the moment, makes me wonder if it being off angle got it sticking too but not marking that as fixed yet.

#10 6 months ago

Make sure there no debris in the sliding guides. with the targets down set the top so that it is even with the back of the PF hole. It will likely be just under the front when you do this. This will keep balls from being trapped behind the targets. If the ball ever is trapped on top of the targets in this case it will move forward when the ball search happens. If you set the top of the gate even with the front of the hole you risk the ball being trapped and just getting pushed into the lock area on a ball search the getting re-stuck.

#11 6 months ago

I think I follow what you mean there about the level of it, I know it's not an entirely flat piece which is kind of strange too. You're right, if one part needs to be table level when down it is the back, because if it's in the front the back is higher and causes a tiny lip to get stuck by.

Either was I was about to trade it out locally, but then the other party (who is a member here) for some reason changed his mind. Maybe he saw this thread?

#12 6 months ago
Quoted from Tanooki:

I think I follow what you mean there about the level of it, I know it's not an entirely flat piece which is kind of strange too. You're right, if one part needs to be table level when down it is the back, because if it's in the front the back is higher and causes a tiny lip to get stuck by.
Either was I was about to trade it out locally, but then the other party (who is a member here) for some reason changed his mind. Maybe he saw this thread?

don't trade it out, its a great game. short, brutal, but very "gotta play one more" type of game.

#13 6 months ago
Quoted from Marvin:

don't trade it out, its a great game. short, brutal, but very "gotta play one more" type of game.

I understand that. I only have room for one table, had a 2nd but sold it and as it is my space has a neo-geo, modern cocktail and that. It gets the least use as it gets on my nerves most games. I don't want so much an easy table, but one that's more interesting and at the least has a ball saver so no instant no flipper touch death stuff going on where a game can easily last 1 minute or 15+ depending how it goes. I thought I was going to trade a local for Diner, but the he didn't bother communicating a couple days then waffled out a no who is a member here. Something along that tier of interest but still of quality I'd try for. DMD games are nice, but too much to fail there and over my spending level anyway or I'd snap a T2 as it was my college pin as Pinbot was one of a few from childhood.

As it is it stays there for now with light use but maintained at least unlike earlier years. I don't hate it, don't get me wrong, but I'm not in love with it either. If it had a ball saver I'd be less peeved at it. That and I feel it just needs more love than some other tables due to the testy balancing of the table for the vortex and drop gate in the center.

#14 6 months ago
Quoted from Tanooki:

I understand that. I only have room for one table, had a 2nd but sold it and as it is my space has a neo-geo, modern cocktail and that. It gets the least use as it gets on my nerves most games. I don't want so much an easy table, but one that's more interesting and at the least has a ball saver so no instant no flipper touch death stuff going on where a game can easily last 1 minute or 15+ depending how it goes. I thought I was going to trade a local for Diner, but the he didn't bother communicating a couple days then waffled out a no who is a member here. Something along that tier of interest but still of quality I'd try for. DMD games are nice, but too much to fail there and over my spending level anyway or I'd snap a T2 as it was my college pin as Pinbot was one of a few from childhood.
As it is it stays there for now with light use but maintained at least unlike earlier years. I don't hate it, don't get me wrong, but I'm not in love with it either. If it had a ball saver I'd be less peeved at it. That and I feel it just needs more love than some other tables due to the testy balancing of the table for the vortex and drop gate in the center.

soft plunge takes the danger out of the ball start. you lose the skill shot though so its a nice compromise. Its a demanding game, you need to nudge to really get it going well.

#15 6 months ago

Sadly you won't find a ball saver till you get to DMDs

#16 6 months ago

Pin*Bot may be the only pin that a player can play all 3 balls with out even having the ball hit the flippers. A frustratingly fun pin indeed. 3 balls launched, 3 balls going through the out lane. 69,000 might be my lowest score.

#17 6 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Sadly you won't find a ball saver till you get to DMDs

not all DMD's have it either.

#18 6 months ago
Quoted from Darcy:

Pin*Bot may be the only pin that a player can play all 3 balls with out even having the ball hit the flippers. A frustratingly fun pin indeed. 3 balls launched, 3 balls going through the out lane. 69,000 might be my lowest score.

yo don't play em's ever do you? you can go 5 balls and never flip.

#19 6 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Sadly you won't find a ball saver till you get to DMDs

That's not true. The Diner game I had mentioned has a ball save feature and it's a pre-DMD from 1990. It ranks an 8/10 rating on here and ipdb just like Pinbot does. I was disappointed it couldn't happen on the trade going quiet like that.

Marvin is right, sucks the fun out with the soft plunge, I never do it. If I'm going to lose the ball, I'd rather at least score a 100k off the vortex. I play a 5 ball game on my table as most back in that era were set that way so if it behaves well enough I'll get 300-400k guaranteed at least.

And Darcy you're right, it can be a real ass about things, which is why it kind of sucked it out of me, though I never had it near that bad. And Marvin is right, old EMs were notorious for that, but SS tables I'd think it more the exception than the rule. When I had 2 tables, the other I had was Bally's Gold Ball and it was rugged, simple like an EM but it was SS, never needed to be tweaked to be nice, but it also wasn't a ball sucking vampire. I usually had to lose it by my own screw ups.

I'll say this, I suck at nudging, I don't do it, never really have so I'm not good at it, and if Pinbot is demanding for that it puts me in a worse spot I guess as you would imagine. Total love hate thing here with the thing, makes me miss average old Gold Ball at times.

#20 6 months ago
Quoted from Tanooki:

That's not true. The Diner game I had mentioned has a ball save feature and it's a pre-DMD from 1990. It ranks an 8/10 rating on here and ipdb just like Pinbot does. I was disappointed it couldn't happen on the trade going quiet like that.

I hate to say it but, do you have a source for that? I've played many Diners and none had a ball saver, and there's no ball save adjustment listed in the manaul. Ball savers supposedly weren't invented until Terminator 2.

#21 6 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I hate to say it but, do you have a source for that? I've played many Diners and none had a ball saver, and there's no ball save adjustment listed in the manaul. Ball savers supposedly weren't invented until Terminator 2.

No. When the opportunity I thought poked up I started fishing around to see how the game handled in video and from there remembered I should have had it in TPA on Steam and it was there I caught glimpse of it and it did save one hell of an epic ball I had going that racked up most the score I got over the 3 that sim gave me. Maybe they were getting creative license? Either way that was a fun run and made me more interested in the trade until for whatever reason it didn't work out.

#22 6 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Sadly you won't find a ball saver till you get to DMDs

This is not necessarily true. There is a primitive type of ball save on System 11s. It is not based on time but is based on points. Score no points and drain the ball, ball pops back to the shooter lane for a do over.

#23 6 months ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

This is not necessarily true. There is a primitive type of ball save on System 11s. It is not based on time but is based on points. Score no points and drain the ball, ball pops back to the shooter lane for a do over.

Thats present in all solid state games, including pinbot (and most ems). Diner it's impossible because you have to plunge through a lane into the pops

#24 6 months ago

EM's had ball save also. no points scored, playfield isn't qualified ball was returned. For trough games only, not counting the ones where dead balls stay on top of the field.

#25 6 months ago
Quoted from Marvin:

EM's had ball save also. no points scored, playfield isn't qualified ball was returned. For trough games only, not counting the ones where dead balls stay on top of the field.

Not all of trough games have it. Many gottliebs don't.

But either way, that's not normally considered a 'ball save' in the same way that modern games have, and what the OP is looking for

#26 6 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Not all of trough games have it. Many gottliebs don't.
But either way, that's not normally considered a 'ball save' in the same way that modern games have, and what the OP is looking for

of course its not what he was referring to, but it still existed. and even after s/w ball saves became common, they were not in all games. White Water and TZ didn't have them by default.

#27 6 months ago
Quoted from Marvin:

of course its not what he was referring to, but it still existed. and even after s/w ball saves became common, they were not in all games. White Water and TZ didn't have them by default.

Yes, but prior to DMDs there are *no* ball savers (in the sense that we're talking about).

Quoted from zacaj:

Sadly you won't find a ball saver till you get to DMDs

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