(Topic ID: 196781)

RANT: Where's the playfield prop rod?


By KenLayton

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Sarge
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 2 years ago

    Just finished working on a Hobbit. That's got to be the world's heaviest playfield ever made. Had it leaning against the headbox and I started to lower it. Almost broke my arm when that playfield came crashing down. It's way heavier than it looks. Lucky I jerked my arm out of the way quick enough. I could have been seriously injured today. With as expensive as the new machines are, why the hell don't they include a playfield prop rod? I'm talking all manufacturers today.

    Playfield prop rods are ESSENTIAL not optional in my book. Please, all you pinball manufacturers, include a prop rod and make it strong enough to support the weight of the playfield.

    #2 2 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    That's got to be the world's heaviest playfield ever made.

    Wishful thinking, but maybe with these fully featured, super heavy playfields, it's time we see gas springs to support the playfield when working underneath. Like the kind used in tailgates.

    2012-ford-cmax-us-spec-rear-tailgate-up (resized).jpg

    #3 2 years ago

    I liked the dual welded together prop rods Gottlieb used on the wide body system 80 games like Black Hole. Those were easy to use, kept the playfield straight (not twisted or saggy), kept the flippers at proper working eye level, and fully supported the entire weight of the playfield.

    #4 2 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    I liked the dual welded together prop rods Gottlieb used on the wide body system 80 games like Black Hole. Those were easy to use, kept the playfield straight (not twisted or saggy), kept the flippers at proper working eye level, and fully supported the entire weight of the playfield.

    I like the "H" prop bar approach best for the propping up the playfield as well. It's sturdy and stable.

    20150102170230536 (resized).jpg

    #5 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I like "H" prop bar approach best for the propping up the playfield as well. It's sturdy and stable.

    Time Line?

    #6 2 years ago

    Wha? My Black Hole doesn't have one of those.

    #8 2 years ago

    The only System 80 I've worked on (but I have worked on 80A's and 80B's). I couldn't imagine working on Black Hole or Haunted House without one of those supports especially as wide as the play fields are.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from girloveswaffles:

    I couldn't imagine working on Black Hole or Haunted House without one of those supports especially as wide as the play fields are.

    Did they come factory with these supports? Neither my BH or HH has one.

    Would anyone be interested in taking some measurements or even reproducing these, I's be interested in getting some made.

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from solarvalue:

    Did they come factory with these supports? Neither my BH or HH has one.

    Looking at some BH reference photos, I'm not seeing either a prop bar or a rod. I suspect because of the lower playfield, they are absent.

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I like the "H" prop bar approach best for the propping up the playfield as well. It's sturdy and stable.

    That's the prop rod I'm talking about. This would even work on standard width games.

    It might not have been Black Hole that had that prop rod. I've done so many system 80 games that I forget which ones I've done. I still like that design that Gottlieb used because it supports both edges of the playfield.

    #12 2 years ago

    I hate prop rods for the exact reason that they never seem sturdy to me at ALL. Like the playfield being half twisted in the cabinet and wobbly can't be good. Really like the idea of the H-bar though. I have really long arms, so I guess I've never really had issues raising or lowering playfields, but I suspect as I get older, it's not going to be pretty. I already have elbow and shoulder problems on the right side....manufacturers moving to something safer and easier to use would be appreciated.

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Looking at some BH reference photos, I'm not seeing either a prop bar or a rod. I suspect because of the lower playfield, they are absent.

    According to TNT, BH didn't have any means of propping up the playfield.

    #14 2 years ago

    I recently had a rod slip out and crash down on my head. To make matters worse the machine was on and I shocked myself when I reached up to lift it off my head.

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from dothedoo:

    According to TNT, BH didn't have any means of propping up the playfield.
    » YouTube video

    That's right. I had to use broom handles cut to length to hold up the BH and HH playfields.

    #16 2 years ago

    Id rather have it leaning on backbox as i dont trust the prop rod. Especially as much shit that is on the jjp playfields.

    #17 2 years ago

    Creating that H Bar wouldn't be all that difficult. I like that, heaps better than the single bar type.

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I like the "H" prop bar approach best for the propping up the playfield as well. It's sturdy and stable.

    A Haunted House I was working on had the "H-rod" and it was great! Makes service a whole lot easier

    #19 2 years ago

    All Gottlieb wide bodies besides HH and BH I've worked on have the H rod. It's great. Plus they've got the stands for setting the playfield on the front of the machine for when you need to reach the back. Working on bally wide bodies is a nightmare when they're 28" wide and still only have the single bar...

    I actually bought an H bar for my BH only to find that there was no where to stick it

    The lever systems on most 90s games are also really nice, can't believe how crappy every 2000s game I've worked with is by comparison.

    1 week later
    #22 2 years ago

    ??????
    Uh unless they forgot to put one in ours?

    #24 2 years ago

    A little blurry, but you get the idea.

    LTG : )

    DSC00336 (resized).JPG

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    A little blurry, but you get the idea.
    LTG : )

    So it's just one prop rod? Or is there a prop rod on each side? I don't see a bar going across the cabinet.

    #26 2 years ago

    Playfield upright or playfield pulled out and resting on the front. Those are the 2 service positions and are all that are necessary. Any use of a prop rod on anything made in the last 25 years is potentially dangerous to you or the machine and unneeded.

    #28 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    So it's just one prop rod?

    Yes. Just one.

    Quoted from spazzman90:

    Any use of a prop rod on anything made in the last 25 years is potentially dangerous to you or the machine and unneeded.

    Agreed. Prop rod on one side twists the playfield.

    If I need one, I use an automotive hood prop and center it to hold the playfield up at a height I want.

    LTG : )

    #29 2 years ago
    Quoted from spazzman90:

    Any use of a prop rod on anything made in the last 25 years is potentially dangerous to you or the machine and unneeded.

    I don't know, man... For me, when I'm rebuilding flippers, neither of those two positions work for me. If the game is propped up, I need a step ladder to reach the mechs. Pulled forward, and I can't reach the bottom of the mechs either. They're too low. It's not just about rebuilding flippers though. It's just general bulb replacing and other menial tasks. Prop rods make everything easier.

    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    Just finished working on a Hobbit. That's got to be the world's heaviest playfield ever made.

    I was also surprised the first time I worked on a Hobbit. That playfield weighs a lot! I'd never trust a prop rod on that game. Heck, I don't trust them on any games really.

    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    So it's just one prop rod? Or is there a prop rod on each side? I don't see a bar going across the cabinet.

    I guess they're trying to be as faithful to the original Bally/Williams of that era as possible.

    #32 2 years ago

    I hate those prop rods. Most every Bally Williams superpin (wide body) I have worked on had cracked playfield supports (the black wood rails on the sides) because they weigh a lot and the playfield would flex and end up breaking those wood rails. Next time you have the opportunity to look at a superpin wide body and the playfield is up, look for those rails to be cracked, especially IJ and STTNG.

    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    I don't know, man... For me, when I'm rebuilding flippers, neither of those two positions work for me. If the game is propped up, I need a step ladder to reach the mechs. Pulled forward, and I can't reach the bottom of the mechs either. They're too low. It's not just about rebuilding flippers though. It's just general bulb replacing and other menial tasks. Prop rods make everything easier.

    Same here. When I'm on location on a service call fixing a bad flipper, I need the playfield at *MY* working distance, not 12 feet up in the air. And I'm not packing a fucking step ladder around to stand on either (I have a tendency to lose my balance and fall off the ladder).

    As an example, I was working on a Hobbit which had *two* wires broken off the end of stroke switch on the lower right flipper. I had to lean the playfield against the headbox. Then I had to get the location's step ladder to get up high enough to get a good look at the flipper EOS switch. Lo and behold there was two broken wires which had come off slightly away from the terminals. The cord on my Weller soldering iron would not reach up to the EOS switch. It was 6 inches too short. If the playfield was in a conventional propped up position
    my cord would have reached perfectly fine.

    #34 2 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    A little blurry, but you get the idea.
    LTG : )

    Yes that's what I thought was in there.
    Thanks for clearing that up.
    I thought I was missing something (h style proprod)
    I'm sure CGC would have used it as a marketing tool if they had changed to a better design.

    What was the last Stern to have a prop rod?
    I really don't pay attention as I rarely use them.
    I find pulling the play field out and resting it on the apron is fine for doing coils / lugs / EOS stuff as I have a comfy chair that is just the right height.

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