(Topic ID: 112137)

The Lord of the Rings LOTR Journey begins here members club

By skywalker

5 years ago

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  • 5,415 posts
  • 488 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 13 minutes ago by pipes
  • Topic is favorited by 254 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

4 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #1907 Service bulletin noting lock down bar change Posted by Jarbyjibbo (2 years ago)

Post #4404 The Valinor Strategy Video Posted by CLEllison (5 months ago)

Post #5383 LOTR documentation for silicone rings and LEDs Posted by Daditude (7 days ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#1702 2 years ago

I'm in the market for a LOTR, figured I'd ask if anybody's selling

#1704 2 years ago
Quoted from Mfsrc791:

I'll sell it to you when I reach valinor

Haha ok you got a deal!

1 week later
#1733 2 years ago

My goodness wool, you have knocked me out - very impressive!

3 months later
#2079 2 years ago

Just joined the club a week or so ago. Bought from another pinsider close by. The game is a beater - much more "used" than I realized, but when you drive 3+ hours you don't want to go back empty handed. a significant number of important plastics were destroyed (flasher by the shooter lane, some pops were "DIY Harry" fixed. ) Price was fair, I'm not complaining, just sort of stings when you get it home.

Anyway, I am enjoying the game but... damn, it's not "clicking" with me yet. I think it doesn't help too much that I have it right next to my MB, which has VERY similar shots. Didn't realize that before!

So the game just seems sort of ... clunky to me. I haven't gone through and tightened everything down yet but are there any specific adjustments one should make? this has been on my wishlist for a LONG time and i would really like to get it roaring.

Also, is the shaker motor still a possibility? I would love to add that.

#2081 2 years ago
Quoted from Neal_W:

Welcome! What specific parts/shots feel clunky? Maybe something can be adjusted.
You can purchase complete plastics sets.
Marco sells the plastic support posts for the flasher by the shooter.
There is a thread on the parts and work needed to install a shaker on a standard LotR -

Wow! Thanks Neal. I love Pinside.

Mostly the whole game kind of feels clunky - I am going to tighten everything up and see f that makes a difference. I know the game wasn’t maintained the way I prefer to maintain them. Looks like original coils and sleeves (!!) for example.

I read the shaker thread - curious if all that stuff is still available? I’d love to make that a project.

Already bought the new plastics set from PBL, will install when they arrive; I will look at Marco if I still need the supports. Thanks a lot!!

#2082 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Wow! Thanks Neal. I love Pinside.
Mostly the whole game kind of feels clunky - I am going to tighten everything up and see f that makes a difference. I know the game wasn’t maintained the way I prefer to maintain them. Looks like original coils and sleeves (!!) for example.
I read the shaker thread - curious if all that stuff is still available? I’d love to make that a project.
Already bought the new plastics set from PBL, will install when they arrive; I will look at Marco if I still need the supports. Thanks a lot!!

I should also point out that this is my first Stern, having only owned JJP and B/W DMD games in the past, so maybe that had something to do with it, just a different “feel”

#2090 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

But if I don't fix the whitestar board I can't take the pinsound board with me when I sell. I guess the solution is never sell. Haha, thanks guys
I also ordered a new balrog wiring harness from pinball heaven. It was reasonably prices even with shipping in case anyone's having balrog issues

This may help:
Just got another Pinsound today...

#2093 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Wow that does sounds amazing! Just when I thought I was done modding this game...it just never ends, lol

Day one mod for me on any game now; most of the games I’ve installed it in already have KILLer updates (TZ, CFTBL, DW) but basically any game sounds better; your mileage may vary depending on the game, but even just doing stereo adds a whole new dimension. Missed out on a TFTC this weekend which came stock with stereo sound, and even THAT sounds better with pinsound...

#2122 2 years ago

Just joined the club about 2 weeks ago.. just did a complete plastic replacement (easily half were broken or completely missing ... I kept pulling stuff out going ‘there isn’t one on the play field that looks like this...’)

Fully shop, disassembled almost everything - still need to install a new Gimli cliffy and figure out how to mount Gandalf and I am done.

Also considering a replacement set of cab decals since it looks like someone threw acid on these or something! Think it’s worth it?

#2125 2 years ago

The play field now looks stunning, so I guess I really should get the rest of the cab in good shape too... wish the decals were a bit cheaper!

#2127 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Was this the one for sale in PA? That side art did look rough if it's the same one. I was gonna buy that one and replace the decals along with the playfield

Yep - took me 2 days to shop it (I removed everything) and replace all the plastics. I still need to replace flasher caps, but it looks amazing now. I Will be Bondoing the backbox (super chopped up) along with another game I'm restoring. I'll come out ahead in the deal .. but only JUST barely. It's going to look outstanding when I'm done, though. I am considering getting bronzed hardware too.

I'm still astounded at how similar it is to Monster Bash - it's a little more complex, but it's totally the same shots. Very interesting to play both of them next to one another

#2130 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Good job. Good to know it went to a good home. Are the reds faded on the playfield or was it just crappy photos? I saw bay area amusements had a playfield if you're looking for one. What was the deal with it, how did it get so rough?

Play field was in great shape - there was one tiny wear spot near the “rings” LEDs in between the flippers. I touched it up a bit and Covered with Mylar and it’s all good. no other spots other than like I mentioned, the shire mostly, and the ball entry to the shooter lane, which I covered with a cliff. The shire I may address eventually but it looks ok.

Inserts look really good - I wish they were more like B/W inserts; these are harder to read because the insert plastic is a little more “busy” but it’s a minor thing.

I AM concerned about the plastics - it is really clear why so many were broken, this game has a million unprotected edges and plastics just out everywhere. This game also came with a paper-printed Arwen image in between 2 clear plastics.. I assume this is because the original broke.

Not sure why it was a little rough - have no idea why the cab was so trashed on one side. Doesn’t look like sun fade, it looks like somebody spilled some sort of caustic on the game. The original decals always looked kind of dingy anyway, so I guess I don’t mind.

Next is to figure out how to get the wire forms replated, OR buy the whitestar adapter so I can pinsound the game..

#2133 2 years ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Buy the Pinbits Plastic Protectors, those will protect those edges from here on. As for the Arwen plastic, also extremely common, with several different protectors and diverters for it out there to protect from the drop from the Path of the Dead. I recommend the protector made by Redshift in Australia, outstanding design that also protects the Shire Hole. Your best bet is to go thru this whole thread, you will find at least 3 other things you'll want to do to yours to improve it....I know I did!

thanks for the tips! I am ordering the Pinbits protectors, and I've seen the Redshift protector - I'll see about that; seems pricey, and since I don't have a 'real' plastic down there right now, I may wait on that. Although since it also protects the shire... hm...

This thread is LONG! started going through it the other day... also of concern are my coils... not sure where I stand there yet

#2135 2 years ago
Quoted from latenite04:

Retro Refurbs has a repro arwen plastic. Little shop of games used to sell one as well but it's out of stock, maybe if you email them they will be getting them back in.

There must be a scan of it somewhere - I’m already in for $250 for cab decals.. $45 seems like a lot of money for a single plastic...

#2137 2 years ago

I've been meaning to ask: on the left "sword" ramp; is the balls supposed to smash against the cabinet wall when it goes up the ramp? Mine knocks against the side loudly every time I hit that shot. Am I missing something in this area? A rubber or a post of some sort?

#2143 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Good question, I have the same thing too. It seems like there should be something there to keep it from hitting the side of the cab. There is no sign that something is missing however. Is this just the way it is?

I was thinking about adding one of these, both at the right ramp and at the Shire...

OK one more question - I am not sure if I have the original or upgraded coils (I need to check but think they are the way-too-powerful upgraded ones), but I've read about changing some coil settings in the menu. Where are these settings? I don't see them in the service portal. This is an original later-run LOTR (2004 I think?) ,not VE and not Gold LE.

#2148 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Pretty sure that setting is only to adjust the upkickers. I tried lowering the power on mine and noticed that the ball would not make it up to the POTD and even had trouble kicking up from the trough to the shooter lane. You're going to have to swap to the original coils or get the medium power ones from APB which I just installed in my game. Shoot an email over to Andrew @ APB and he'll hook you up.

Thanks pipes -
Edit: holy crap! The redshift protector is $65 including shipping! Does anybody sell this stateside?

I was going to place a PBL order; they have medium-strength coils specifically for LOTR, which I assume are roughly the same thing? Anybody know ?


#2150 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

No, those are the high powered coils that you probably have in your game already. That's what I had, they're brutal. These are the original one's...
If you want a little more power while being able to keep the ball on the ramps, I recommend the APB.

Gotcha - thanks for keeping me from making a mistake. Damn this game is getting expensive !!!

#2157 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

It's expensive but you're making it bulletproof and it should play great for years. Plus you got it for a good price. I feel like I'm dumping in a lot of money on the one I picked up too, but it will look great, play great, and sound great so it's worth it to me. Now if I had picked it up at the going rate of 6000...probably wouldn't be so happy

All good points ... I was being a little bit facetious but I still have to add a PinSound, which was originally for This game but I added it to another game as I didn’t have the Whitestar adapter... and decals.. but first I want to protect the dang thing!

#2164 2 years ago
Quoted from MightyGrave:

and how can I reduce the strength a bit? Cause the upgradecoils are a bit heavy sometimes

I think the answer for both of us is to order the “medium” strength coils from APB

#2167 2 years ago

All right.. next question.

I have balls that are getting stuck on the switches on the right (sword) ramp.
It’s so frustrating! How do those “ball detect” switches have to be set up? The balls are hitting the switches and getting trapped; even a second/third ball doesn’t carry enough force
To bounce them down. The balls are not touching the white plastic post so it’s definjtely the switch. Help! Lol

#2181 2 years ago

Looks like my problem is that the switches are actually -bent- I have sort of fixed one but they are too hard to get to, to be able to fix it easily and get it dialed in perfectly. I’ll remember that about the magnetized balls! I just replaced them about 4 days ago, maybe 2 plays on them, so I think that’s unlikely the issue. Plus I can see the switch physically impeding the ball.

#2182 2 years ago

Anybody install the new PinSound mix? I would love to hear that thundering soundtrack in Technicolor Stereo!!

#2187 2 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

The balls get magnetized as soon as they go into the ring one time.

What! Wtf this seems like a fairly bad design flaw

#2188 2 years ago
Quoted from Vyzer2:

I purchased one last night. It will get here however long it takes. I'm going to use thewool's mix as can't imagine the original mix can be better. But would like to know, so post how you like it when you get it loaded.

Thewool’s mix is better, but really they are both pretty good

#2192 2 years ago
Quoted from Vyzer2:

Thanks. Is there someplace I can listen to it? (the original)

I think (not 100%) that this is what people were referring to as “the original”

#2193 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

I have a few other issued as well. I have a loud hum from the speakers, almost like the sound is turned way up. Tech support told me to turn the sound down on pinsound but up on the machine and it still seems to be there. Anyone else have this issue with lotr or pinsound on a white star?
The sounds also seemed to be delayed and certain ones missing, but I’m going to load the original mix and try again

This could be 2 things -
1) double-amplified sound, in which case turning down either the PinSound board or the game volume itself would help, or

2) you have a ground hum, in which case this is an issue related to the
Power coming into your house and you’ll need to buy and add a ground loop isolator from Amazon or wherever

#2212 2 years ago

Thanks Andrew, I just put in my order! I have to say the Pinside Shops were a genius move.

#2214 2 years ago

Looking forward to more APB stuff on the shops!

Just put in a Pinbits order as well, for the figure mounting plastics (good to have as a backup! Right now I don't have a plastic to mount Saruman or Gandalf, so that will come in handy), and the magnetizing plastic thing for the sword ramp, the wood rail protector, some foam for the cabinet, and the extra ring ramp plastics. Eventually I need to fix the cabinet and order the decals too!

Once I get this game working 100% again it's back the Monster Bash restore...

#2219 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

So if someone has the powerful coils, all they need to do is remove windings until they are happy with the strength.

Certainly this is correct - but I’m happy paying the $20 for the coil which have been tested and measured already

#2232 1 year ago
Quoted from APB_Enterprises:

Remove wire for a stronger coil. Decrease gauge for a stronger coil (IE 30 awg to 28 awg, 28 will be stronger.) There is a point of diminishing returns though, be careful.
The medium ones in specific we are selling now were tested in a few machines for months before we started selling them. LOTR is one of my favorites, so I enjoyed making something for it and testing them. I think we made 8 or so varieties before we found a happy medium. Different gauges and turns. I think the last set we made that we ended up using we were tweaking by around 25 turns or so.
Flipper power is a bit subjective to the user, and obviously the game as well... pitch and PWM settings. Not for everyone, but we have had a fair amount of positive feedback on this specific coil vs. the high power ones (which we also make.) I want people to like them, and welcome all feedback with the caveat about machine variables in mind.
Happy flipping!

See, this is what I’m talking about! It’s worth the cost for all the testing alone!

#2238 1 year ago
Quoted from pipes:

I went from High to Mid. It still has good "kick" for sure, but not so much that you literally feel as though you're trying to demolish everything on the playfield. The ball rarely skips off the left ramp anymore. That was a huge problem for me.

That is exactly how my game feels. And it came with a million broken plastics to prove it!

#2241 1 year ago
Quoted from APB_Enterprises:

They also have a ramp post upgrade kit. This will help protect the ramp from being damaged when the existing post on a screw that is installed in the game gets bent back allowing the left front edge of the ramp to get smashed. It will also prevent damage to the playfield as the post gets bent back, jamming the existing post sleeve into the playfield. It's cheap, and a worthwhile upgrade to protect your ramp and your game.
Also, here is a link to the ramp mentioned in the post above: http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4723

I just bought this kit, only to find out it had already been installed!! Only $4 and an hour of trying to get it off without damaging the PF! It is a seriously needed upgrade.

It astounds me that this pin, as great as it is, needs SO much to be a long-term, good player. The thing with the coils getting too hot still stumps me. It’s like Stern did no playtesting before they shipped. Good thing the code and rules are so good!

#2243 1 year ago
Quoted from RGAires:

If someone needs to fix the ring on this machine, send me a message, im doing another run of the ring decal.

I was thinking this was the decal around the ring at the back of the game, which is peeling off a bit on mine. Does this ring area also wear easily?

#2244 1 year ago

Since I’m asking - has anyone had to repair or repaint the ring at the back of the game? Mine has gold worn off, and I’d like to re spray it. Anything I need to know?

#2246 1 year ago
Quoted from RGAires:

You can repaint it with a airbrus easy pm me if you need some help

Thanks man, I have been looking for an excuse to get one. I might take you up on that!

#2250 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

I used to think Lotr was to easy, but something about my game or the way I have it set up is kicking my butt. I think I'm going to check the angle. Enjoying the butt kicking though and can't wait to put up a big score. I'm waiting on a fork switch right now before I get to try again

Funny you should say that - the very second game I played before an extensive shop job when the game came into the house, i got Destroy the Ring! Have not even come close since then; I can’t even start 2 of the multiballs half the time! Kicking my butt indeed

#2278 1 year ago

I’ve found a lot of fuses I needed in a pinch at the local mom & pop hardware store. HD doesn’t have jack

#2282 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Has anyone experienced and fixed an issue in their game where the ring return wireform pops out of the sword ramp? I'm thinking about getting one of if those lock washers with the teeth that only allow movement one direction. The right bit pops out of the hole and wont let the balls freely roll down the sword

You can adjust it at the other end of the wire form - maybe it’s binding on something on the other end

#2295 1 year ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

I got around to installing these this afternoon....
Verdict: Perfect! Just the right amount of strength, does not overpower the flippers as other suggested LOTR coils will do. Best of all was when I got to Destroy the Ring there was no noticeable loss in power like you have with the factory stock coil. Seriously a must have for any LOTR owner!

Thank you for posting this. I previously had the “upgraded” (read: more powerful) coils, and every time I flipped, the ball would rocket around the playfield!! The game came
With a plethora of broken plastics.. now I know why.

The APB coils are indeed perfect - they are smooth and just the right about of power. Fully FULLY recommend them. And it’s not even like they are expensive! You can make it to destroy the ring, and you minimise broken plastics. What’s not to love?

#2305 1 year ago
Quoted from MATY86:

If I buy the Color DMD, do I have to buy a an eprom burner to make the rom software work correctly? Is there a place for me to buy an eprom already programmed?

It is really really simple. Download the file from the website, put it on a USB drive, turn on game, press 1 button on the colordmd, wait about 1 minute, play game in color!

#2316 1 year ago
Quoted from Jappie:

Ok, I guess my love for this game is getting a bit crazy. I just bought a NOS playfield for my LOTR. Purely because I got excited for the fact that I saw one available. Complete impulse purchase. First NOS playfield I ever bought. Not cheap, and I'm not a millionaire. And the playfield in my LOTR isn't even bad.
I think I might need help...

You’re definitely gonna need help once you realize how much work a PF swap is!

#2326 1 year ago
Quoted from Jappie:

You´re right though. I will definitely get a ColorDMD for the game at some point. Not completely sold on Pinsound yet.

You haven’t heard one in person, then. That’s the only explanation

#2328 1 year ago
Quoted from pipes:

I have this spotlight (which I assume is from the factory) under the plastic/flasher by the right in-lane/out-lane....what is it meant to be pointed at exactly? I never understood why it's even there to begin with. When I bought the game it was pointed towards the drain so I just left it like that.

It should be pointed at the figures on your slings

1 week later
#2351 1 year ago
Quoted from drummermike:

LOTR is my favorite pin and I love the shaker I added. Some pins do not benefit from it but I think LOTR is one to have it. My Stern ST and LAH have shakers also.

How did you add it? Do you have an LE or was this the special PAL ROM setup? I’ve heard both sides - it’sa must-have, and it’s a dog and barely turns on...

#2355 1 year ago
Quoted from drummermike:

I have the standard version. I got the shaker motor from Pinball Life, PBL-100-0019-00, 10.02 PAL chip from Pinbits, That Pinball Place had the 10.02 ROM and the 10.0 display ROM. After installing you must reset the pin to factory reset to get it to recognize the shaker. Check the post "How to install shaker motor in LOTR standard edition" by Markmon.

Yeah I’ve read that post, just having trouble finding a resource for the ROM. Pinbits sold out, pinball place gives a 404. I’ll keep looking

1 week later
#2374 1 year ago

What's the story with Gandalf on the horse? I am fairly certain my game is a Standard, but I have the Surfing Gandalf. I thought he was supposed to be on Shadowfax?

#2378 1 year ago
Quoted from Neal_W:

Sounds like yours is standard. The LE version from 2009 does not have any figures.
It was posted above - 'In 2005 mid production they ran out of Gandoff figures and he changed to Gandoff the grey with no horse.'

Gotcha, thx! I think mine must be a standard from 2009 as noted.

3 weeks later
#2480 1 year ago
Quoted from yzfguy:

Mine came in the game. On a related note. Mine is hooked up to the g.i., doesn't anyone have a link to instructions on how to hook them up to activate with the ball entering the potd?

I’m not a Stern expert, but isn’t the GI run on a different voltage than the play field lights? You may have to be careful about which bulbs are being used in the figures. Then you hook things up to the 4 lamps behind the POTD backboard. Seems like you could just alligator clip them. Make sure you use 6.3v bulbs

1 week later
#2487 1 year ago
Quoted from talking_goat:

Hey all, just bought my first machine and I'm proud to say it's a factory-stock LotR with less than 1,000 plays, in-home only!
I am petrified that I will not be able to properly care for and maintain this beauty, especially since I plan to play every day until I reach Valinor. Any tips for this?
Also, I have been reading up and if I'm not mistaken these would be good to order in order to avoid magnetization: https://ballbaron.com/product/pinball-carbon/ am I correct in that?

Get the Pinbits plastic that offsets the balls from the sword ramp. Cheaper and way more reliable, plus you can use any balls you want.

Also get the specially made coils, NOT the “upgraded” ones from PBL If you value your plastics at all...

#2492 1 year ago
Quoted from talking_goat:

Which specially made ones are these? All I can find is the pinball life ones...
I did see a mod where someone hooked up PC fans to the underside of the table to cool them down once

APB Enterprises, yes. AMAZING difference. Thy have a Pinside shop too

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