(Topic ID: 289189)

Starting to lose interest in pinball

By Medic

3 years ago


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  • 117 posts
  • 85 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Medic
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    There are 117 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
    #101 3 years ago

    A couple of people mentioned peaks and valleys. I completely agree. You seem to have already put some wrench time in, but try not to be discouraged. As others have suggested, you may want to just hire a pin tech and put the issues behind you.

    Do NOT make any rash decisions like selling off games, because you will regret it.

    I notice that i get discouraged most when i have projects stacking up. It's not that i cant handle them, but i work full time and im a father of 3. My time is limited, and it simply makes me anxious. Staring at a non-working pin for long periods of time can be discouraging. Try to focus on playing and enjoying the working ones until a tech can make the trip to help you.

    #102 3 years ago

    I don't think manufacturers fully considered the implication of selling pinball to consumers when it comes to the tech skills, the service and maintenance coverage when you sell nationwide.

    That being said, my first issues were tedious to fix as I didn't know what I was doing, but in time it's becoming an additional skill and an actual part of the fun of owning pinballs. There's something very rewarding in fixing your own machines. In the end I don't think fixing is that hard, it just has a learning curve, but starting somewhere is the best way to get there.

    With the support we get from fellow pinsiders or from people like Lloyd, and the fairly consistent point of failures for the games, I'm not worried anymore when I need to lift the playfield and figure something out.

    #103 3 years ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    A couple of people mentioned peaks and valleys. I completely agree. You seem to have already put some wrench time in, but try not to be discouraged. As others have suggested, you may want to just hire a pin tech and put the issues behind you.
    Do NOT make any rash decisions like selling off games, because you will regret it.
    I notice that i get discouraged most when i have projects stacking up. It's not that i cant handle them, but i work full time and im a father of 3. My time is limited, and it simply makes me anxious. Staring at a non-working pin for long periods of time can be discouraging. Try to focus on playing and enjoying the working ones until a tech can make the trip to help you.

    yes its almost like buying a guitar and storing it under your bed,you probably wont play as often as if you had it on a stand in front of you.repairs are part of the deal and I find it part of the fun unless its like your woz a nightmare.

    #104 3 years ago
    Quoted from adol75:

    I don't think manufacturers fully considered the implication of selling pinball to consumers when it comes to the tech skills, the service and maintenance coverage when you sell nationwide.

    I think they did consider this, but had no choice but to disregard any concerns while the gravy train started rolling. I mean, you have a bunch of manufacturers who came into being solely BECAUSE of the growing home market. They all knew what they were getting into.

    It's a commercial product, and now, suddenly, it's being marketed to a new home consumer market. And until pinball machines are as reliable as a new toaster or TV (which, less face it, is impossible), this is always going to be an issue. The same thing would happen if suddenly fully automated bowling alleys became an affordable and popular home item.

    Not sure what they can do about it. A disclaimer that "these things break and if you are lazy or untalented you shouldn't buy one" isn't going to help sales. Really the only thing we've seen proposed so far in the industry is Deep Root's hilarious "luxury service plan" for an extra $1,000, and like all things Deep Root, they are a little vague about what service would be provided or how they expect to pull it off. If they ever ship any games of course.

    #105 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinballcorpse:

    An alternate strategy is to buy games from collectors who have done the leg work to get the games playing awesome. This can be with a new game or even a game that 10, 20, 30, 40+ years old. For example, a lot of the EMS seem to bullet proof once they are gone through and working correctly. It is amazing how much of a workhorse some EMs are.
    . . .
    Enjoy, and remember pinball IS fun!

    I agree that well-restored EMs are often extremely reliable in a home environment. Some EMs in my line-up have literally worked flawlessly for years (played weekly, which helps) requiring nothing more than an occasional playfield wipe-down and wax.

    Another advantage with EMs is that when they do require service, the repair does not require sending out a circuit board or playfield.

    Once an EM is dialed in, a novice can usually handle most repair issues that arise. Between Pinside, the EM Pinball Facebook group and other resources, newbies can find what's needed to fix their EMs.

    For $2K more or less, restored (bulletproofed) EMs (popular titles) are available. The investment is relatively low, the reliability is high, the resale value is high, the fun quotient is high. . .what's not to like?

    #106 3 years ago
    Quoted from Medic:

    So I got into the hobby about a year ago. Bought a bunch of machines but realized you are on your own if anything breaks. Had an issue with a NIB stern machine and had to email multiple times to get a response back. So after this experience I didn’t want to buy any more stern machines. So I bought a used JJP WOZ and had multiple problems with the upper playfield. Decided to drop the playfield at JJP a month and half ago and they still haven’t fixed my playfield. Whenever I check on them they just say they will try to get it done. Seeing one of my pinball machines with playfield all taken apart I don’t even want to go down to the basement and play my other games. I feel customer service is lacking in this hobby and frankly I’m losing interest in pinball. Maybe I’m just bummed that it’s taking a while for me to get my part back from JJP but experiences like this makes me want to leave the hobby.

    Just take a break. I hate that feeling when more than 1 of my machines is down (or even 1!), but it will pass. Eventually you'll get the motivation.

    Or sell one of your machines. Then you'll be on the hunt again and suddenly pinball will be REAL interesting! Things ebb and flow, especially in this hobby.

    #107 3 years ago

    If you buy nib games you either need to have deep pockets to maintain them or be willing to put the time in to learn. OP doesn't belong in the hobby if he is bummed his two games broke. Not everyone is cut out for this. Get out, move on to something less maintenance intensive and enjoy.

    Saying this after spending last night finally fixing the sound on the project Mousin Around that I was told worked fine minus the display when I bought it. (Didn't boot, mpu sound was bad, displays worked fine once repaired.) It is frustrating. It is maddening. It is not always fun. It is incredibly time intensive. It is not cheap if you add up the tools, spare parts, and space required.

    #108 3 years ago

    2020 fallacy is that you need to own games to be in the hobby...

    Unless you are in some desert.. go out and and play games on location. There is more pinball in the wild now than there has been in over 25 years.

    Spending 6-12k on games will buy you a TON of trips and coin drop

    #109 3 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I think they did consider this, but had no choice but to disregard any concerns while the gravy train started rolling. I mean, you have a bunch of manufacturers who came into being solely BECAUSE of the growing home market. They all knew what they were getting into...

    Now that you mention that, I'm sort of surprised there aren't service manuals for newer pins. Not like the Stern links to the schematics and the SPIKE overview, but real service manuals. Even if it's sold by itself, I could see that being something people would be interested in purchasing. Obviously wouldn't cover code and the more complex digital parts. But compared to the cinchy owners manuals, that could be useful to the first time pin buyer.

    Don't mean to derail the thread.

    #110 3 years ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    Now that you mention that, I'm sort of surprised there aren't service manuals for newer pins. Not like the Stern links to the schematics and the SPIKE overview, but real service manuals. Even if it's sold by itself, I could see that being something people would be interested in purchasing. Obviously wouldn't cover code and the more complex digital parts. But compared to the cinchy owners manuals, that could be useful to the first time pin buyer.
    Don't mean to derail the thread.

    I would 100% buy a manual for every single game. I have no clue why they dont sell them either.

    #111 3 years ago

    I love playing tournaments, I like playing in my basement, I'm okay with cleaning the machine - but I hat repairing so much.
    If there is something I can make worse if I do anything more than adjusting the flippers, I'll do 95% of the time.

    I am so happy I found somebody who can help me with this stuff, for a compensation I can live with.
    And that's my advice find somebody, make a list of your issues and then do a repair session once in a while.
    It's not helpful to fix everything at once, collect the issues - especially if you more than five machines, which is in general a blessing.

    Here is my experience... risking some downvotes

    JJP mostly out of the box issues, sometimes not so easy to fix. After the initial work rarely problems.
    Stern rarely out of the box issues, very rarely later
    WPC depending on what you have bought... perfect "out of the box" or a complete desaster. Issues can relatively easy handled since all spareparts are available for a reasonable price und there is a lot of expreience out there repairing these machines
    Early solid states (Bally only)... more or less same like WPC... maybe even more convenient
    EMs... you should be an expert by your own... repair jobs are often very time comsuming - the main reason I don't have them anymore even though I love playing a good EM

    In general switches, contact, coils, etc. were used a lot (million and million times) on pre 2000 machines, maybe even on whitestars oder sams so they will break one after another. Newer Sterns oder JJPs don't have this type of problem so once they are dialed in you are pretty safe.

    #112 3 years ago

    I can understand how people get into the hobby because they played pinball as
    a kid and now have the scratch to own one themselves. Thats cool. But like many
    other hobbies (arcade games, classic cars, airplanes, old radios) if you're not
    willing to learn how to fix your own stuff, be ready to pay others a LOT to
    do the work. As many here have discovered, learning these skills can be as
    much fun and rewarding in other ways as playing. Might even get you into
    (gasp) EM's and those evil bingos.

    All of this is a matter of exploring a hobby more deeply than just knocking
    balls around.

    #113 3 years ago
    Quoted from zarco:

    I can understand how people get into the hobby because they played pinball as
    a kid and now have the scratch to own one themselves. Thats cool. But like many
    other hobbies (arcade games, classic cars, airplanes, old radios) if you're not
    willing to learn how to fix your own stuff, be ready to pay others a LOT to
    do the work. As many here have discovered, learning these skills can be as
    much fun and rewarding in other ways as playing. Might even get you into
    (gasp) EM's and those evil bingos.
    All of this is a matter of exploring a hobby more deeply than just knocking
    balls around.

    I actually started with an EM and then worked into SS. The EM’s aren’t bad just different. The one bingo I had was very scary! Amazing mechanical machine.

    #114 3 years ago

    Sorry to see your frustrations. I had similar experiences the first year in the hobby and it takes a while to get over the hump.
    WOZ is the absolute worst game for someone uncomfortable with working on their own game. I’d ditch that and get something more reliable. Love the game, but ugh.

    #115 3 years ago
    Quoted from TaylorVA:

    Sorry to see your frustrations. I had similar experiences the first year in the hobby and it takes a while to get over the hump.
    WOZ is the absolute worst game for someone uncomfortable with working on their own game. I’d ditch that and get something more reliable. Love the game, but ugh.

    WOZ was my first. The ECLE with all the light board problems. Ugh? Yes. But with LTG's help, learning to fix that game is what really got me hooked into pinball.

    #116 3 years ago

    I definitely think you overwhelmed yourself by buying too many machines so quickly. I took baby steps when I got into this hobby and its served me well. If I bought a bunch of machines with little knowledge and they all developed issues that would certainly sour my interest. I still have only 2 machines and upkeep and repairs keep me busy in what little free time I have. Maybe downsize a bit and take on only what you can handle. Good luck!

    2 weeks later
    15
    #117 3 years ago

    An update. So I finally got my playfield back from JJP. Hooked it all up and problem was still there. I was able to find a tech that came out and after 2 hours he fixed the problem. He worked fast but the problem kept coming back on the doors. I guess it was best to fix the problem on site since he had to tweak it multiple times. No animosity against JJP. Fingers crossed and after multiple games everything is good. It has been a long 3 months in getting this game to work and lesson learned is to call a tech right away if the problem is over your head. I also met a few people after my initial post as they reached out to me offering their help. The community is very friendly and this experience and having working machines has given me a breath of fresh air. I know the machines will break in the future and I know there are a handful of people that I can call for help if it goes beyond my basic skills. Thank you all for the kind words and reaching out.

    There are 117 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.

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