(Topic ID: 36051)

pinball machine in garage during winter?


By Chochi_ca

6 years ago



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  • 51 posts
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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by PanzerFreak
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There are 51 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 6 years ago

Just wondering if its ok that I have my machine in the garage during the winter months? My garage is insulated and I live in south eastern ontrario. Temps drop below freezing.

#2 6 years ago

is it an attached garage?

#3 6 years ago

He there, I am not sure about those new fancy pinball/computers, I would say NO.
I do however keep several pinball machines ( EM's mind you ) in my garage over the winter, when it is not freezing, I even fire them up and give them a play. i will work on them in the winter too, as long as it is not to Cold.

I have done this for several years now, and have had no problems. Keep in mind that I don't keep my "A" list EM's out there, only my group of odd ball games, the fun little novelties.
If I owned anything with Circuit boards or anything of significant value, I would NOT keep it in the garage.

2c from a Dino

Brian Lenker
Madison Hts, MI
586-344-0721

#4 6 years ago

They'll be fine as long as it's dry in there, no damp in the air. Be careful with games that have actual painted glass. If you intend to play them, leave a heater in there to keep the temperature slightly higher and more constant.

#5 6 years ago

if its less than 55 in there, its not a good idea if you will be playing it. i still wouldnt keep anything outside the house

#6 6 years ago

I wouldn't risk it. If at all possible, I would take them inside.

#7 6 years ago

k great gonna have to talk the wife into letting me take my TFTC inside. Not exactly the best machine to match the decor or our home. lol. I do have a attatched garage. And I do have a heater but do not like the idea of leaving it on while im not at home.

#8 6 years ago

I keep games in my attached garage when I am full downstairs. Lowest it drops to is around 40 in there on super cold nights during the winter. I do not play them in there, just store them. If the game has a backglass I keep that inside, translight stays in.

#9 6 years ago

If it goes below freezing, you risk having the playfield develop planking.

I'd do what Chrizg says and bring any real backglasses inside, along with the playfield.

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from ebjimmyg:

if its less than 55 in there, its not a good idea if you will be playing it. i still wouldnt keep anything outside the house

Just out of curiosity, why 55 degrees?
I've been converting my garage to be my game room and am far enough along I have all my pins in the garage now. I keep mine at 50 degrees.
Just wondering if maybe I should crank the temperature up some more.

#11 6 years ago

I have stored a number of pins in my non temperature or climate controlled garage for at least five years now (and vids too) and never had an issue. The only thing I do suggest, pull the backbox glass out of them if they are painted, as you can lose those.

I have yet to have one machine develop planking. I have had a few tiny issues with boards or whatever, but it is equal to or less than what I have with the games in my climate controlled basement.

Then again, I have much more the mindset of an operator than the average collector, which comes from having managed an arcade for a time and seeing this stuff as "equipment", so I get where the paranoia comes from... but I have seen no reason for it so far.

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from Chochi_ca:

k great gonna have to talk the wife into letting me take my TFTC inside. Not exactly the best machine to match the decor or our home. lol. I do have a attatched garage. And I do have a heater but do not like the idea of leaving it on while im not at home.

Get a nice custom drop cloth for it and you might get away with bringing it inside. There are Pinsiders who make them up. Ask your wife what kind of material she would like, and you might get her buy-in.

#13 6 years ago

If you have any pins with real backglasses in your garage I would remove the glass and store it where the temperature is livable. When the temperatures return to the 60 then put them back in.

#14 6 years ago

not just pins, even video games, when you get them under 55, they wont work right. on video games the screens will start getting all scrambled, and pins shouldnt go under 55 as well. especially pins with backglasses. its too cold. if you leave anything like this in an area under 55 for an extended period of time they will take time to warm up too, things left in cold temps take hours to heat up to room temp even when you adjust the thermostat

#15 6 years ago
Quoted from Chochi_ca:

Not exactly the best machine to match the decor or our home.

That’s easy, redecorate.

#16 6 years ago

Well for most of the routed games in our collections, I am sure ops didn't worry about heating the storage spaces where they kept all their games (look at some pics of old warehouses that ops use). For people who worry about electronics, they are made to operate in a variety of conditions both hot and cold. I have been to more then one camp site that had video games and pins located in a covered but open on all sides game/amusement area, and stuff still worked fine. If you have a real painted back glass or something with a monitor (neck tubes can crack when extremely cold and then heat is applied) then I would keep them in a heated area as cold is not good for them. I agree keeping stuff inside is the best way to go if possible, but as long as the garage is dry then your pins should be fine. I have a SilverBall Mania that my boss was throwing away (yea he has more money then brains) in my detached garage now for the last 10 years, and I play it all the time when working on my Mustang, and it still play fine with no ill effects. One last word on people saying electronics will go bad in the cold, well if you have a car, they have a ton more electronics then any pin and they survive just fine stored outside in the cold.

#17 6 years ago

I have one goes down to 37.5f no problem...

#18 6 years ago

I have bought a number of machines that were in unheated but attached garages and every single one of them has playfield planking.Don't even consider leaving a silkscreened backglass out there.It's just a matter of heating and cooling cycles,heat up during the day...cool down at night...etc.Even just 5 or 10 degrees but with that happening every single day,not to mention even more extreme jumps during certain times of the year and you will have a ruined playfield.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from jukehero1:

I have bought a number of machines that were in unheated but attached garages and every single one of them has playfield planking.Don't even consider leaving a silkscreened backglass out there.It's just a matter of heating and cooling cycles,heat up during the day...cool down at night...etc.Even just 5 or 10 degrees but with that happening every single day,not to mention even more extreme jumps during certain times of the year and you will have a ruined playfield.

Well Im sure humidity in your area has a lot to do with that too.

#20 6 years ago

I just went to see a WW in NC and it has been in an unheated attached garage for 10 years. No planking at all and the playfield was as good as you will see on a WW. I have bought a lot of machines from Operators that don't have heat or air in their warehouse and none have planking. I have machines in my garage off and on and they are fine. Maybe it happens in the North where the winters are colder.

#21 6 years ago

It really is more about the conditions under which the games are stored, than how cold it gets. The biggest enemy is temperature fluctuations, rapid changes will cause way more damage than if it just gets cold. Due to necessity, I've had games stored in a large, 7000+sq ft, unheated warehouse for the past 8 years, have only lost one backglass and that was because of a leak that caused moisture to get into it, otherwise no problems. The key is that because of the size of the space, it doesn't rapidly heat up or cool down.

#22 6 years ago

I have 7 pins and an upright vid in my detached garage.
It is insulated including the door that is weatherstripped and sealed.
The outside temp right now is 19 degrees and a small electric heater keeps it at 60 on low.
When I go in there I turn it to high and in about 20 minutes it is at 70.

Ihatethesnow!_001.jpg

#23 6 years ago

What type of electric heater do you guys recommend?

#24 6 years ago

What type of electric heater do you guys recommend?

I see a lot of guys use a 20w reptile heating pad inside the machine.

It will last much longer than the always recommended 20w light bulb.

3874.jpg

#25 6 years ago

For a single garage a 3KW convector will work. Costs a damn fortune in electricity though depending on how much you get scammed for it in your country. In the UK it's ridiculous because idiots are scared of building nuclear stations, so we have to import much of our power. Really. I'd say running the heater costs me about $600 over the winter to early spring months.

Convectors are a good choice because they promote air movement, and that reduces damp clammy air.

#26 6 years ago

What type of electric heater do you guys recommend?

I'm using a 1500W baseboard heater from Menards with cheap mechanical thermostat mounted directly on heater's end. Cost for both was about $55. I keep it set low mostly to maintain around 55F, don't want to raise the bill too much. If I have people over I crank it up. If I go play in there alone, I just wear a hoodie and I'm good.

heater.jpg

#27 6 years ago
Quoted from ebjimmyg:

even video games, when you get them under 55, they wont work right.

This one made me chuckle a little

#28 6 years ago

Does anyone know if a pinball cover (like the one pictured) provides any protection against the cold?

$T2eC16R,!zcE9s4g3JJwBQQ9GiRBE!~~60_3[.jpg

#29 6 years ago
Quoted from Scuba_Steve:

Does anyone know if a pinball cover (like the one pictured) provides any protection against the cold?

It does nothing unless there is a heat source like the reptile rock posted or a small light bulb.

#30 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I see a lot of guys use a 20w reptile heating pad inside the machine.
It will last much longer than the always recommended 20w light bulb.

My outhouse has 2 machines in it. Temperature has fallen to a low of 33f.

I ordered 2 x 28w reptile heating mats.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/14-20-28-35-45W-PISCES-REPTILE-HEAT-MAT-LIZARD-SNAKE-TORTIOSE-VIVARIUM-TERRARIUM-/380441338989?pt=UK_Pet_Supplies_Reptiles_Spiders_Insects&var=&hash=item589412246d

Should keep the 75% humidity down and the temperature probably to around 50f or so.

Small price to pay to protect 2 pins. I was also going to buy 2 thermostats but that would be a waste as it will struggle to get 50f.

Where do you recommend to place them on the cabinet floor between the speaker and coin door?

Also should I put anything underneath to stop any possible scorch or burn marks?

Cheers Dave

#31 6 years ago

An Outhouse in my neck of the woods wouldn't normally be a place where I'd put my pins , however maybe you have a good idea... (Outhouse - a privy, outdoor toilet in an enclosed structure).

#32 6 years ago
Quoted from alchy999:

Where do you recommend to place them on the cabinet floor between the speaker and coin door?

Yep. Convention will allow the heat rise through the backbox.

Quoted from alchy999:

Also should I put anything underneath to stop any possible scorch or burn marks?

Those pads don't get that hot, or we would have a lot of scorched snakes in this world.

The pads have a gentle, maybe 37*C (100*F) heat output.

#33 6 years ago
Quoted from rad:

An Outhouse in my neck of the woods wouldn't normally be a place where I'd put my pins , however maybe you have a good idea... (Outhouse - a privy, outdoor toilet in an enclosed structure).

I would suggest a Royal Flush.

#34 6 years ago
Quoted from Scuba_Steve:

Does anyone know if a pinball cover (like the one pictured) provides any protection against the cold?

They should make these out of heated blankets. That would rock.

I've worked on electronics for 20 years and never seen low temps cause a problem. Refrigerators have boards in the fresh food section and sometimes in the freezer with no issues. It's temp fluctuations. Now the artwork is a different story. Humidity with temp flux will cause long term issues. Now on vids with tube monitors you need to be careful. Cold glass getting heated quickly is bad news.

3 years later
#35 3 years ago

Here's a question for you all. Today I picked up a pin in New York City and drove it back to Boston in a few other places so its been out and about 0 degree weather for 5 hours I'm going to put it back inside now I figure no damage was done what do you guys think? It's a terminator 2

#36 3 years ago

I should mention that it was in the back of my pickup truck

#37 3 years ago
Quoted from Vegas9:

Here's a question for you all. Today I picked up a pin in New York City and drove it back to Boston in a few other places so its been out and about 0 degree weather for 5 hours I'm going to put it back inside now I figure no damage was done what do you guys think? It's a terminator 2

If it is the t1000 Edition you are screwed. Those tend to freeze and possibly shatter when frozen

You are fine. Only possible issue is glass breaking from your warm hands touching it while the glass is super cold.

#38 3 years ago

I am from Canada Ontario and I wouldn't leave any pinball machine in the garage with out good heat ,it's not good for anything in the machine

#39 3 years ago

I'm just asking about me transporting my pinball machine in the back of my truck for about five or six hours

#40 3 years ago

I used a B/W pin last winter as ballast in my daily driver truck for 2-3 months. It had a cap but I didn't have a garage. No problems whatsoever. I was kind of surprised there were no negative effects.

#41 3 years ago

Well that is good to know my t2 should be fine then outside just five hours

#42 3 years ago

Yes 5 or 6 hours are just fine just make sure you let it heat up in the house first before you plug it in

#43 3 years ago
Quoted from Williampinball:

Yes 5 or 6 hours are just fine just make sure you let it heat up in the house first before you plug it in

Great advice yes thank you I will wait probably 12 to 24 hours anyways because I'll need a hand getting it set ip,

#44 3 years ago

Cool that's what I do and seems too work just fine ,enjoy

#45 3 years ago

Couldn't the cold temperatures cause cracked solder joints?

#46 3 years ago

Only cold solder joints

#47 3 years ago

Maybe if you start bending the pcb while wrestling with it in the snow.

1 week later
#48 3 years ago

Any risk leaving a mid 90's DMD in an uninsulated garage for a couple days? For the next couple days the low will be around 30 degrees here in southwest Michigan. My garage is attached, not heated, so it will probably be 35-40 degrees in there.

#49 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Any risk leaving a mid 90's DMD in an uninsulated garage for a couple days? For the next couple days the low will be around 30 degrees here in southwest Michigan. My garage is attached, not heated, so it will probably be 35-40 degrees in there.

Not a problem but I'd take the glass and backglass off to play it safe for when ya move it back in.

#50 3 years ago

I keep my extras pins in the garage and have had no problems, but I keep all glass translights in the house so the cold/heat doesn't cause flaking.

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