(Topic ID: 255161)

Tracking games on location

By C_Presley

1 year ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by tonedef131
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 1 year ago

    I have a few different locations that I hobby operate to but I’ve been having an annoying issue. Out of my four locations three of the owners are very thorough about letting me know the state of a game and if there’s any issues which I obviously appreciate. The other location of course my highest earner, could pull the plug the day after a service and will absolutely not notify me. That being said I find myself wanting to drive out there every week to make sure everything’s fine due to being burned on the game being down on several various weekends. Is there anything people do to monitor games on location? My fish tank sends me a text letting me know if the powers out, is there an option to plug into the service outlet that doesn’t require a fish tank computer? Wireless cameras in the cabinets? What do you do?

    #2 1 year ago

    Tip the staff at the location
    for looking after the pinball

    Tip them coins !!! It will be free

    #3 1 year ago

    Scorbit looks like it is a promising solution for this kind of problem. Check it out here: https://scorbit.io/scorbitron

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from C_Presley:

    That being said I find myself wanting to drive out there every week...

    Old-school operators know this is a hard problem to solve. The location needs to feel that it is worth their while to have the game running. Then again, old school operators visit every location every week, because one week is the traditional time period for an operator's cycle, as in the typical expression, "That game makes [number] bucks a week!"

    Are you open to the idea of putting a business card or "For service, call nnn-nnn-nnnn" sign on the lower apron, under the glass? That way, you could get reports from the players or any interested party.
    .................David Marston

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from C_Presley:

    I have a few different locations that I hobby operate to but I’ve been having an annoying issue. Out of my four locations three of the owners are very thorough about letting me know the state of a game and if there’s any issues which I obviously appreciate. The other location of course my highest earner, could pull the plug the day after a service and will absolutely not notify me. That being said I find myself wanting to drive out there every week to make sure everything’s fine due to being burned on the game being down on several various weekends. Is there anything people do to monitor games on location? My fish tank sends me a text letting me know if the powers out, is there an option to plug into the service outlet that doesn’t require a fish tank computer? Wireless cameras in the cabinets? What do you do?

    What is your maintenance schedule for this location? Maybe you should be out there every week, especially if the game has a history of being down on occasion. If I had a game that was going down on several occasions I would consider rotating in a different game with a better uptime history, or I would be out there every Friday to make sure it was up. Also, there is so much employee turnover with most bars that relying on the staff to help can be hit or miss depending on who is working.

    #6 1 year ago

    I’m currently going every two weeks, and also have a contact card in the apron. I just put a new game out with a DBA so I’m not expecting any issues with coin intake. The issues I’ve encountered are a stuck ball, nut that came off and a jammed coin mech. None of which required the game to be turned off and all on the old game. It just seems like this should be an easily solved issue. Why make a weekly round we don’t have to?

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from arolden:

    Scorbit looks like it is a promising solution for this kind of problem. Check it out here: https://scorbit.io/scorbitron

    That does sound promising but seems like way more than most would need. I know there’s the old operating ways of things but something like this seems like basic technology could rule this out. Maybe I’ll get in touch with some electrical engineering people I know to see what they come up with. Pretty sure a WiFi enabled camera in the cabinet would suffice but I’m gonna look into some more solid options.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from C_Presley:

    I’m currently going every two weeks, and also have a contact card in the apron. I just put a new game out with a DBA so I’m not expecting any issues with coin intake. The issues I’ve encountered are a stuck ball, nut that came off and a jammed coin mech. None of which required the game to be turned off and all on the old game. It just seems like this should be an easily solved issue. Why make a weekly round we don’t have to?

    Unless you cover the coin slots, you can get coin jams on any game whether or not it has a DBA installed. I have fixed plenty of coin jams in a pin with a DBA on it. People use whatever they have in their pocket. As far as your maintenance schedule, going more often will catch gameplay issues that some customers won't notice or even think to call about. It helps keep your games clean, too.

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from BrianBannon:

    Unless you cover the coin slots, you can get coin jams on any game whether or not it has a DBA installed. I have fixed plenty of coin jams in a pin with a DBA on it. People use whatever they have in their pocket. As far as your maintenance schedule, going more often will catch gameplay issues that some customers won't notice or even think to call about. It helps keep your games clean, too.

    Absolutely agree, although since switching to imonex mechs I haven’t had a single jam. Plus with the DBA coin count is way down to be expected. The good thing is my games are all at fairly high end bars so kids jamming junk into the mechs doesn’t happen.

    #10 1 year ago

    Sorry, you really can't expect anyone else to do your job for you. If you want it done right you have to do it yourself. Go in every week.

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinballmike217:

    Sorry, you really can't expect anyone else to do your job for you. If you want it done right you have to do it yourself. Go in every week.

    Or you know, come up with a technological way to tell me a game has been turned off?
    Even if I go in every Monday, who’s to say it doesn’t get shut off Tuesday? Maybe I’m the only one here that sees this as an issue I guess?

    #12 1 year ago

    This person used a Photon board and the IFTTT service to make a power loss detector to send emails when power is lost. You can probably set it up to let you know when it’s restored too.

    https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Simple-Power-Outage-Monitor/

    I believe the service outlet is always HOT as long as the machine is plugged in - so this wouldn’t catch the scenario of the location switching off the machine but leaving it plugged in, unless the outlet is rewired somehow.

    This would also be an issue with your WiFi camera idea if I understood that correctly.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from C_Presley:

    Or you know, come up with a technological way to tell me a game has been turned off?
    Even if I go in every Monday, who’s to say it doesn’t get shut off Tuesday? Maybe I’m the only one here that sees this as an issue I guess?

    The right thing to do is go in every Friday to make sure machines are error free for the weekend and then go again on Monday to check for problems. You could put nest cameras on all your machines but then you would waste as much time monitoring them as actually going there. Your post comes across as you simply don't want to put in the time. If you want your location to be 100% you have to maintain it.

    #14 1 year ago

    The arcades at Disney World had these QR codes on them where people could use their phones to report an issue on a website. Seemed like a good idea, just have to wait for a pin player to help out and report the issue.

    #15 1 year ago

    I know operators in my area visit their games on location weekly.

    #16 1 year ago

    a simple card or note on the apron saying "to report any issues, or if this game isn't on, please contact me at _____". create an email or facebook page just for your operating biz. any players who care about the upkeep will take the time to contact you. it won't solve all your problems, but it will certainly help. and even better, if you know a problem will require ordering parts you don't have on hand, you can get a head start on that.

    #17 1 year ago

    That customer is dumb. It's not making them money when it's off. I'd have one simple conversation with the customer/owner stating the obvious and express how you want this handled going forward.
    1.) Machine is to always remain powered on unless smoke is seen.
    2.) You are to immediately be notified by phone if someone reports a problem. Leaving a business card taped to the back glass. They are to put an out of order sign on the machine (leave on top of back box).
    3.) Let them know any further incidents will leave you no choice but to pull your services.

    While this is nothing short of the "normal" expectation by an OP, some people are just plain dumb and need things laid out in black and white. I'd also recommend a service log is kept in the machine. If your service is ever questioned you have a log file to prove your innocence.

    1 month later
    #18 1 year ago

    I have a great player base and staff at locations that let me know about 70% of the time when there is a problem. They usually tell me the symptom and ask if I want it turned off. Even still some players don't bother or the staff gets busy and it gets turned off and not reported. I installed a $30 webcam at each location pointing at the games, it's not super great quality but I can tell if it's turned off or stuck in a tilt or something. I also have wifi surge protection switches/timers for them all so they can be power cycled from my phone if necessary. Best money you'll spend as an operator after DBVs.

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