(Topic ID: 285153)

The “New” Rottendog

By toddsvec

9 months ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 38 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by Pinball_Basement
  • Topic is favorited by 16 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    tumblr_4b78ceb26cfc660fdc64553555b06515_2c7bca.width-704 (resized).png
    a3fc7a7d32dfd0691312bd023e393d7f74ca1cfe (resized).jpg

    34
    #1 9 months ago

    Please read this in the tone it was intended, an informative update to what’s going on at Rottendog. Not upset, not angry, not bashing, simply facts.

    I’ve been waiting for more than a month for someone at Rottendog to make an announcement, but it hasn’t happened. In light of some recent events, I think the pinball community needs to know what’s going on. In late July of last year, Jim at Rottendog sent out an email that he was retiring, that there was no new owner, and he was selling off his remaining stock, both finished and unfinished goods. I bought a large amount of it to be stocked until I could find replacements.

    Exactly 2 months ago I got a call from Jim with another person that was “a long time friend” and who would be the new owner. Good news, pleasant conversation, talked about ramping up some out of stock product, and more. Was told an announcement would be made in 30 days so I kept quiet to allow them time to make that announcement. We exchanged phone numbers and I asked for a call later so we could discuss future business. Big Daddy Enterprises has been selling Rottendog products for the past 10 years so I thought I’d get a little attention especially since the other top sellers, K’s Arcade and Arcadeshop, have been removing product as they sold out.

    Looks like instead of that happening, the new owner has decided to become my competitor. I happened to notice on eBay, a lot more Rottendog product was showing up and undercutting me by pennies or a buck. I also noticed he copied my pictures and my wording:

    Here’s my listing of the last MPU327 I had: www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-MPU327-MPU-Driver-Board-for-Williams-System-3-4-6-pinball-machines/274614469253

    And his listing www.ebay.com/itm/MPU327-Pinball-MPU-DRIVER-COMBO-WILLIAMS-SYSTEM-3-4-6-New-Free-Shipping/114604445419

    The picture of the board in the pink bag is my picture, on my carpet. I added those stickers on there 2 years ago when System 7 games weren’t working right. Phrases I added to my listing that he just copied and pasted are “I do suggest you replace your power supply or rebuild it with new caps.” and “Please note, original Williams’s games use regular incandescent light bulbs and you may have to buy non ghosting LEDs or use regular light bulbs for switched lamps.”

    While Jim at RD had been overwhelmed with support calls and response has gotten worse in the last few years, he would often and usually replace boards that were reported defective; even if it was pretty obvious the board was not at fault. Many people think a board popping fuses are a fault of the board and often refuse to believe the game caused a problem, but Jim would refund or replace, seen it many times. Recently a customer of mine in Costa Rica was having some problems and contacted Rottendog. The “Rottendog Team” replied and basically replied that it was probably something NOT board related and also to contact the distributor for a replacement. That’s poor customer support, and if it’s not a board problem, why suggest a replacement? And it has never been policy that the Rottendog resellers replace under warranty items, that’s Rottendog’s job and has been for 10 years, and these are boards I purchased UNDER THIS CONDITION. But then again, what is the warranty? Well, it’s vaguely insinuated “manufacturer’s defects”. And in this case, after 2 replies from the “Rottendog Team” and 20+ between me and the customer, my customer was able to find a bad transistor on the driver board, not likely caused by the game, just a bad part. There has been no response from the “Rottendog Team”. That’s not the only lack of response. I have requested some replacement parts on December 3rd and have followed up a few times and no replies or parts. I have emailed the new owner through the eBay system on 12/31 telling them not to copy my listings and they needed to remove my pictures, and I’ve had another customer email them on 12/31 with an apparently bad board. No response. I have also called Jim’s number at least 10 times in the past 30 days with no answer or no calls back, I now just conclude that Jim has washed his hands of it.

    So, my customers are my income, and I will support the Rottendog boards I sell. I may not have the technical knowledge that is needed but I’ve had enough go through my hands that I can make some suggestions and I will do exchanges if needed. I will warranty any Rottendog boards for 6 months from date of purchase and will be clarifying this on my site and eBay listings. I actually do have faith in Rottendog boards for what they are, modern but a cheap replacement for 40 year old boards, but it’s obvious that improvements need to be made.

    If you don't know, I partnered with XPin Pinball back in August and 90% of the Rottendog boards are either available now, or will be soon as an XPin product, and they are better. Brett and I are passionate about pinball, talk nearly every day and have amped up production. Just look at what we have available or will be available soon:

    • Every power supply offered by Rottendog is available with an XPin product; including a new version of the XP-GTLB-SYS1 Gottlieb system 1 power supply has LED indicators for voltages and fuse protection from bad displays.

    • Every display offered by Rottendog is available, but more choices of colors and more displays for games like High Speed, 6803 games, Taxi, Police Force, Riverboat Gambler, Harley, Millionaire and more. We also offer custom colors.

    • The Solderless -18/-49/100 rectifier board has been a big hit.

    Brett at XPin is working on filling the gaps on the product offerings and adding new ones, and other boards under the Big Daddy name are in production. We have a LOT in the works.

    I’m glad to answer any questions regarding this, and like I said this is not about bashing anyone. The new owner will announce himself and his support policies when he has time. Meanwhile I want my customer to know I will support what I sell.

    Todd

    #2 9 months ago

    Thanks for sharing Todd and happy to hear BDE is expanding its offerings

    #3 9 months ago

    Good to know Todd, appreciate the transparency and heads up. I've always preferred the XPin boards and opted for them in a project last year, they worked out great! Real nice product.

    11
    #4 9 months ago

    Sounds to me that the new owner is living up to the company name.....rotten.
    Thanks for sharing.

    #5 9 months ago

    Definitely good to know! I haven't ordered anything from Big Daddy, but I have talked to Brett at XPin and he seems to be a straight shooter. I figure that if he is supporting Todd and working with him then they must be on top of this. I am just glad there is some great stuff to keep my pins going. Thanks Todd for the heads up!

    #6 9 months ago

    I was wondering who was selling the $500 system 11 boards. Its that sale that prompted me to expedite my versions of those boards.

    Sorry to hear that rottondog was rotton to you, but I think you'll be better suited with xpin who appears to be much higher quality.

    #7 9 months ago

    So I guess now we're going to see the aftermarket board wars like the NVRAM module wars from a few years back?

    #8 9 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    So I guess now we're going to see the aftermarket board wars like the NVRAM module wars from a few years back?

    I've been thinking about that. I think my business caught everyone off guard. People have their preferences, but I don't think it will be too big of a issue.

    K's arcade is also starting his own brand, but thats mainly for his buyers. He has amazing SEO optimization and gets premium prices for his products. He does about 1 WPC MPU a day, thats pretty good. $60k a year in just that board is amazing.

    My main advantage is that I am basically a boardhouse and will be able to get products done amazingly fast if I expand later this year. Rottondog's advantage is their multiple suppliers and the immense backlog of titles they can order and put out.

    #9 9 months ago

    Will be interesting to see how all of this works out. I had thought about going into that market a few times but opted not to. Just too heavy of a customer service focus for a side hustle. Hell, there's days I consider cashing out too.

    -Hans

    #10 9 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    So I guess now we're going to see the aftermarket board wars like the NVRAM module wars from a few years back?

    it's certainly interesting...

    We have 'OEM' style, we have updated, and fully modified versions.. many lines are crossing into all the major boardsets and not specializing in just one set

    I'd like to think the difference will be those that can support their product and ensure the best compatibility. With a crowded space, that becomes both hard for the vendors AND customers to keep on top of. Those that can build a brand with trust I think will go along way.

    There are certainly arguments for both strictly OEM style and updated designs.

    #11 9 months ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    Will be interesting to see how all of this works out. I had thought about going into that market a few times but opted not to. Just too heavy of a customer service focus for a side hustle. Hell, there's days I consider cashing out too.
    -Hans

    You'd have a buyer for your crimper

    #12 9 months ago

    I got 2 bad WPC89 power driver boards and a bad dmd from rottendog. They were first tested in 100% working games. Each time they had bad components and RD was awful to work with.
    The new basement board has been perfect. Hopefully they continue to produce as they are usually out of stock at PPS and marco sells them for a huge markup.
    These guys provide a hugely important service.

    #13 9 months ago
    Quoted from Pinball_Basement:

    I've been thinking about that. I think my business caught everyone off guard. People have their preferences, but I don't think it will be too big of a issue.
    K's arcade is also starting his own brand, but thats mainly for his buyers. He has amazing SEO optimization and gets premium prices for his products. He does about 1 WPC MPU a day, thats pretty good. $60k a year in just that board is amazing.
    My main advantage is that I am basically a boardhouse and will be able to get products done amazingly fast if I expand later this year. Rottondog's advantage is their multiple suppliers and the immense backlog of titles they can order and put out.

    Personally, I like to see (honest) competition and product options.

    SEO really isn't as difficult or mysterious as it seems. There's a short list of basic recommended practices to make your website more search-engine friendly, and several analysis tools you can use to help check your website with, but beyond that, there's diminishing returns on how deep into the dark SEO rabbit hole you can go, and it's at that point where things get complicated (but largely unnecessary).

    #14 9 months ago

    Thank you for posting Todd! I've purchased and worked with Todd for a few years now and I love the "kits" he and GPE sells for board work and when he teamed up with xpin, I didn't know what was going to happen but man the list of boards and how good they look with the updates to make them more reliable. AWESOME.

    based upon personal use and stereotypes of rottendogs boards being a little weak, I've stopped buying or even recommending them. I'd rather spend more for a board I won't have to go back and replace a transistor etc.

    #15 9 months ago
    Quoted from northvibe:

    based upon personal use and stereotypes of rottendogs boards being a little weak, I've stopped buying or even recommending them.

    My Monster Bash has a Rotten Power Driver board in it. I was not happy.
    One of these days; Maybe I'll find a spare orginal board somewhere and replace it.

    #16 9 months ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    Will be interesting to see how all of this works out. I had thought about going into that market a few times but opted not to. Just too heavy of a customer service focus for a side hustle. Hell, there's days I consider cashing out too.

    Hans, don't cash out. You have some awesome stuff. I wouldn't have been able to get a couple of my games up and running without your tools. If you ever do, make sure you pass on your designs to someone who will continue supporting the hobby. Seems like Todd isn't afraid to have stuff built.

    #17 9 months ago
    Quoted from Bugsy_D:

    Hans, don't cash out. You have some awesome stuff. I wouldn't have been able to get a couple of my games up and running without your tools. If you ever do, make sure you pass on your designs to someone who will continue supporting the hobby. Seems like Todd isn't afraid to have stuff built.

    Don’t worry. Product line ain’t disappearing. Just the musing of a guy who at times has trouble keeping up and stresses out occasionally. But that’s all a topic for another thread, I’d rather not hijack this one too much.

    #18 9 months ago

    A non-update update on this. I still have not received any replies, nor has some of my customers. I have been told from a rather reputable source that the new owner is just liquidating, but I do not know if that's true.

    #19 9 months ago
    Quoted from toddsvec:

    the new owner is just liquidating

    So if he is just liquidating, were the boards tested or is just putting them in bags and passing them on to those looking for a potentially painful experience?

    1 week later
    #20 9 months ago
    Quoted from Bugsy_D:

    So if he is just liquidating, were the boards tested or is just putting them in bags and passing them on to those looking for a potentially painful experience?

    I have no firm information but from the new owners actions so far, he isn't testing or supporting.

    2 weeks later
    #21 8 months ago

    Xpin is fantastic. Glad to hear they are expanding.

    #22 8 months ago

    I spent an hour on the phone with Brett, diagnosing problems with the rottendog board that I had. I called about a display issue and we got on the rottendog topic. I'm pretty sure he knew more about jim's boards than Jim did.

    #23 8 months ago
    Quoted from yaksplat:

    I spent an hour on the phone with Brett, diagnosing problems with the rottendog board that I had. I called about a display issue and we got on the rottendog topic. I'm pretty sure he knew more about jim's boards than Jim did.

    My experience as well with Brett. Jim was in the back of the room taking notes when Brett gave his presentation at Expo 2009 or 2008

    3 weeks later
    #24 7 months ago

    Thanks Todd for the nice resume.

    For the very little we discussed in the past I could understand you are a real passionate with deep experience, I'm sorry you had such experience, it's always like getting a knife in your back. (do you use this expression?)

    When I first discovered that the Dog was dismissing the business I got scared, it is the reference for budget/cheap replacements so there will be a rising demand and I confirm that US customers are increasing.
    Luckily the feedback is very positive.

    For the aftermarket war, I'm curious to see what the future will be, let's stay tuned

    #25 7 months ago

    Anyone else concerned/confused that PinballLife began carrying most of the Rotten boards?

    #26 7 months ago

    How does the Pascal Janin boards compare In quality to rottendog or other replacement boards?

    #27 7 months ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    Anyone else concerned/confused that PinballLife began carrying most of the Rotten boards?

    No concern here. I know to avoid rottendog.

    Quoted from kimbleseven:

    How does the Pascal Janin boards compare In quality to rottendog or other replacement boards?

    Every replacement board other than rottendog can be trusted imo. Pascals especially.

    #28 7 months ago
    Quoted from kimbleseven:

    How does the Pascal Janin boards compare In quality to rottendog or other replacement boards?

    I’ve had them in a handful of games and they’ve been great.

    #29 7 months ago
    Quoted from kimbleseven:

    How does the Pascal Janin boards compare In quality to rottendog or other replacement boards?

    I don't recall seeing any complaints. I've used several system 1 MPU boards and have been happy with them.

    #30 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    No concern here. I know to avoid rottendog.

    One has to use discernment.

    Displays? zero problems with RD. Have had a DE MPU that has been rock solid.

    Power supplies? Would not be my first or even second choice. 50/50 chance of problems. I prefer to rebuild stock boards. X-Pin is not without problems on DE pins, notorious for noise issues.

    #31 7 months ago

    Never had an issue on xpin PS. Probably because my data East games always hum no matter what. I’m just used to it.

    If it has RD on it, I’m not buying it. I have yet to see a board repro where they are the only option. Easy enough to avoid.

    #32 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    If it has RD on it, I’m not buying it.

    If you feel that way and the price is right just replace it when you purchase.

    Problem solved.

    Several people with X-Pin noise issue, check over on the "Data East noise" thread. I have one myself, can't say it is better or worse but is from a later run from X-Pin. The factory boards are very good once freshened up. 30+ year old caps and operator hacks are the biggest problems.

    #33 7 months ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    If you feel that way and the price is right just replace it when you purchase.
    Problem solved.

    Yeah I’ll still buy a game. I just meant when I’m shopping for a repro board, I’m just gonna scroll past RD.

    #34 7 months ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    If you feel that way and the price is right just replace it when you purchase.
    Problem solved.
    Several people with X-Pin noise issue, check over on the "Data East noise" thread. I have one myself, can't say it is better or worse but is from a later run from X-Pin. The factory boards are very good once freshened up. 30+ year old caps and operator hacks are the biggest problems.

    I’ve done both. Repaired an OG and replaced with Xpin. Hum is always there. Never bothered me.

    #35 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I’ve done both. Repaired an OG and replaced with Xpin. Hum is always there. Never bothered me.

    Most of the time its ok, I have a Playboy that was so loud I started installing buck booster filters.

    Went from being the most obnoxious pin I own to not knowing it was on.

    a3fc7a7d32dfd0691312bd023e393d7f74ca1cfe (resized).jpg
    #36 7 months ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    Most of the time its ok, I have a Playboy that was so loud I started installing buck booster filters.
    Went from being the most obnoxious pin I own to not knowing it was on.

    [quoted image]

    Do you have a link for that? I'd be interested to take a look at it.

    #37 7 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Do you have a link for that? I'd be interested to take a look at it.

    In the Data East Speaker Noise thread.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/data-east-speaker-noise-ideas-for-a-cure?tu=gdonovan

    The booster goes on the 12+ and ground lines going to the soundboard and cleans up the power going to the three amps.

    Its works in 95% of the cases in hum reduction. Only had one so far that claimed to have no impact.

    #38 7 months ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    Anyone else concerned/confused that PinballLife began carrying most of the Rotten boards?

    tumblr_4b78ceb26cfc660fdc64553555b06515_2c7bca.width-704 (resized).png

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside