(Topic ID: 111905)

TSPP - my rant about the "couch"


By KeithinMI

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 45 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by labnip
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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20141210_215525.jpg
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#1 5 years ago

so in attempting to add the mirror blades, somehow I mangled the plastic couch. Normally I would just replace it, but I have a complaint about it (and what better to place to air my complaint then on a site full of complainers! )

1. Upon removing that couch, it is simply the cheapest worst piece of plastic I have ever seen. It is the thickness of a zip-lok baggie and so frail, it's mostly translucent. If it was any thinner, you could use it as a reverse osmosis membrane.

2. It's friggin' $40 to replace. I am reticent to drop $40 on a piece of plastic that must cost all of say $0.02 to make in material costs.

So... are there any third-party manufacturers of it? Does anyone manufacture thicker, more durable version of same?

#2 5 years ago

Oh dear.

#3 5 years ago

Material may be 2 cents, making the mold for a very limited run of something is where it gets expensive. Not to mention pay someone to sit there and wait for and then process the order, and then pack it and ship it.

I'm not happy about prices either, but no one here works for free or develops parts for free either.

Look at the cost as part of your tuition in learning about pinball repair.

LTG : )

#4 5 years ago

First post I've heard about a "cheap" couch in what 12 or 13 years the game has been out. YOU messed it up by trying to install mirror blades. Suck it up, quit crying, and pay the $40. Next time you'll be more careful with expensive toys.

#5 5 years ago

Find a Barbie couch about the same size and carve it up to fit.

#6 5 years ago

P77: Absolutely my fault. I'm not denying culpability. Just was quite taken aback about how thin and frail that thing is. It actually didn't even break when it got caught --it tore like paper would tear. And seeing the replacement cost for something that a 3mph breeze would carry off in the wind flipped me out.

It's definitely a tuition lesson, LTG. However I wasn't planning on the playfield actually coming off the rails in the game. I usually exercise extraordinary caution when working on games.

#7 5 years ago

You're lucky someone even stocks these for the 1 that gets sold a year.

#8 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Look at the cost as part of your tuition in learning about pinball repair.
LTG : )

Technically he wasn't making a repair when the problem happened. He was adding a mod.

The number of repair requests/reports due either directly or indirectly from mods has skyrocketed here. If you guys are going to keep adding mods, be aware that the potential for problems is much higher when adding mods. Routine maintenance is routine. Adding mods isn't.

Leave the game turned off when installing any new mod. If you're installing mirror blades, don't do it alone. It's a two person job. If something does go wrong, stop and ask for help. Don't guess. Many mods come with crappy instructions. And if problems pop up later, make sure to mention any mods you've installed when asking for help here, even if you're not sure if the mod could be related to the problem.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

The number of repair requests/reports due either directly or indirectly from mods has skyrocketed here. If you guys are going to keep adding mods, be aware that the potential for problems is much higher when adding mods. Routine maintenance is routine. Adding mods isn't.

Excellent.

Thank you !

LTG : )™

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

The number of repair requests/reports due either directly or indirectly from mods has skyrocketed here. If you guys are going to keep adding mods, be aware that the potential for problems is much higher when adding mods. Routine maintenance is routine. Adding mods isn't.

not to mention mods that require power (gi tap in, 12v tap in, etc). the machines were engineered for a specific level of power and now you are going to be asking it for more. most of the time it isn't too bad (adding a spot light to an area that is dark, especially if you have change the bulbs to LED), but when you start adding 5-8 lighted toys to a Twilight Zone, or a distribution board for 12v power, you are starting to approach "recommended electrical specifications".

#11 5 years ago

Just take one from a Lilliputian!?! Just watch your hair!

#12 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

If you're installing mirror blades, don't do it alone. It's a two person job.

OMFG dude. Once again you're the king of ridiculous statements and horrible advice. It does not take two people to install mirror blades. They go in easy with one person in under 5 minutes. The playfield rests on the support brackets while doing so. You might want to stay out of threads where you have no knowledge. But I know you won't.

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from KingPinGames:

not to mention mods that require power (gi tap in, 12v tap in, etc). the machines were engineered for a specific level of power and now you are going to be asking it for more. most of the time it isn't too bad (adding a spot light to an area that is dark, especially if you have change the bulbs to LED), but when you start adding 5-8 lighted toys to a Twilight Zone, or a distribution board for 12v power, you are starting to approach "recommended electrical specifications".

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I typically only install "mods" that require independent power in machines where I have reduced power consumption in other areas, such as changing the GI over to LED's. I also will run an ammeter on the GI circuit after mods to make sure current draw doesn't exceed the original spec. That's the safe way of doing things.

I think that if you either a 5v or 12 "distribution" board to the bill reader power, you would be within power specs. IIRC, I think the bill reader used 12v @ 2 or 2.5A.

#14 5 years ago

I see that the op is pissed that the part is so easily damaged and hoping that fellow pinheads could help him out on finding an alternative. He wasn't looking to be shit on about it and unless you personally made the part in question I don't think you should be too sensitive about it. Is it too much to ask if someone has made a better part with all the 3d printing going on these days. Speaking of...perhaps the OP could contact one of the mod guys here to see if they have a solution. It may cost more but the quality might be worth it.

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

OMFG dude. Once again you're the king of ridiculous statements and horrible advice. It does not take two people to install mirror blades. They go in easy with one person in under 5 minutes. The playfield rests on the support brackets while doing so. You might want to stay out of threads where you have no knowledge. But I know you won't.

/nod. On Stern's it's definitely a one-person job for the mirror blades. IF you have the right tools. On both a tspp and a lotr, I was able to do it alone, quite safely and cautiously (save the TSPP couch) using three c-clamps to hold the mirror blade in place after it was placed properly (and after I had to remove those silly wooden purposeless blocks on either side). Power unplugged, playfield up all the way and slid over to the opposite side of what I was doing. On the STLE to put in the sidewall art, it was a 2 person job, as I needed my son to balance the playfield upon the rails while I put the art on the sidewall. I would even call the sidewall art a 3 person job because having someone on the front AND back of the art would make it easier to get it installed correctly.

#16 5 years ago
Quoted from aalucero:

I see that the op is pissed that the part is so easily damaged and hoping that fellow pinheads could help him out on finding an alternative. He wasn't looking to be shit on about it and unless you personally made the part in question I don't think you should be too sensitive about it. Is it too much to ask if someone has made a better part with all the 3d printing going on these days. Speaking of...perhaps the OP could contact one of the mod guys here to see if they have a solution. It may cost more but the quality might be worth it.

Precisely. I'm not lamenting anything other than the fact that the couch plastic is so poorly/cheaply made and so thin. As I posted above, it got caught and basically tore, like a sheet of paper would tear.

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from aalucero:

I see that the op is pissed that the part is so easily damaged and hoping that fellow pinheads could help him out on finding an alternative. He wasn't looking to be shit on about it and unless you personally made the part in question I don't think you should be too sensitive about it. Is it too much to ask if someone has made a better part with all the 3d printing going on these days. Speaking of...perhaps the OP could contact one of the mod guys here to see if they have a solution. It may cost more but the quality might be worth it.

First useful post of the thread.

#18 5 years ago

I broke the couch plastic on my TSPP. It is super fragile, but I was careless raising or lowering the field and I busted it all up.

#19 5 years ago

This should be a rant against stupid, unnecessary mods rather than one aimed at the couch.

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

This should be a rant against stupid, unnecessary mods rather than one aimed at the couch.

at least he wasn't hot gluing any mods into the pin

#21 5 years ago

Completely unrelated, but my fourth grader wrote a paper this year about his favorite place in the whole world. His couch.

It was hilarious, and yes, I've kept it for future embarrassment.

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from KeithinMI:

/nod. On Stern's it's definitely a one-person job for the mirror blades. IF you have the right tools. On both a tspp and a lotr, I was able to do it alone, quite safely and cautiously (save the TSPP couch) using three c-clamps to hold the mirror blade in place after it was placed properly (and after I had to remove those silly wooden purposeless blocks on either side). Power unplugged, playfield up all the way and slid over to the opposite side of what I was doing. On the STLE to put in the sidewall art, it was a 2 person job, as I needed my son to balance the playfield upon the rails while I put the art on the sidewall. I would even call the sidewall art a 3 person job because having someone on the front AND back of the art would make it easier to get it installed correctly.

I actually cut out on both sides to account for the wooden blocks. What a pain that was!

#23 5 years ago

$40 for a pinball machine part??

Oh the horror!

#24 5 years ago

The couch is what it is. Mine had a small crack in it when purchased so I replaced it. If the couch were any thicker you would have more issues of it snagging on the sides. Not to mention, by design, it works well. The ball never comes in contact with the plastic. So if one is careful, then there shouldn't be any issues.

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from DocRotCod:

The couch is what it is. Mine had a small crack in it when purchased so I replaced it. If the couch were any thicker you would have more issues of it snagging on the sides. Not to mention, by design, it works well. The ball never comes in contact with the plastic. So if one is careful, then there shouldn't be any issues.

I thought about that as well. The ball never does come in contact and at least the advantage of it being thin and flexible is that if an errant ball does hit it, it's not going to crack as a thicker, less pliable one might.

Again, I own my mistake -- was just venting about how expensive it was for a piece of plastic so thin in the shape of a small couch, and actually only about 30% of a couch.

#26 5 years ago

The lesson used to be to order plastic sets, ramps, etc for your game at the time you bought it.

Now Stern's parts prices have escalated alongside the pin prices. And it *seems* like the older the parts get the higher the price.

When I bought Spidey NIB I was going to order a plastic set, ramps, other stuff. The sticker shock told me no way no how.

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

OMFG dude. Once again you're the king of ridiculous statements and horrible advice.

You're right. Just think of how many more parts the original poster would've broken if he would've had an extra pair of eyes and hands while installing his mirror blades. The horror.

Quoted from KeithinMI:

Again, I own my mistake -- was just venting about how expensive it was for a piece of plastic so thin in the shape of a small couch, and actually only about 30% of a couch.

How much do you think it costs for the raw materials for your mirror blades? You could argue this point for most all pinball parts. You're not just paying for the raw materials.

#28 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

If you're installing mirror blades, don't do it alone. It's a two person job.

Mirror blades are a one person job. Just installed a set in Frankenstein the other day and my wife thought I needed her help. With installing blade artwork, yes, but mirror blades? No.

1. Use three tension clamps to hold the mirror blade in place once it's lined up.
2. Use a screwdriver for the 3 self tapping screws.
3. Remove clamps.
3. Repeat on the other side.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

You're right. Just think of how many more parts the original poster would've broken if he would've had an extra pair of eyes and hands while installing his mirror blades. The horror.

How much do you think it costs for the raw materials for your mirror blades? You could argue this point for most all pinball parts. You're not just paying for the raw materials.

You can argue this point for near everything you purchase. There is R&D, raw material costs, inventory, manufacturing expenses, waste fees, computer fees, cost to buy the paper to print out the transaction, employees, workmans comp, OSHA, etc.

These are the "hidden" costs that very few factor in when purchasing anything.
Cigarettes, on the other hand, nobody thinks twice about dropping $10 plus dollars/day to satisfy the "nic fit".

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

Mirror blades are a one person job. Just installed a set in Frankenstein the other day and my wife thought I needed her help. With installing blade artwork, yes, but mirror blades? No.

If you read my entire post rather than just that one point, you'd see that my post was mostly directed at folks new to the hobby. The original poster appears to have installed blades in one or two games prior to this one and he still managed to dump the playfield into the lower cabinet.

With enough preparation and the right tools, most anything can be done on a pinball machine by a single person, including taking it out of the box and putting the legs on. That doesn't always make it a good idea. A second pair of hands and eyes never hurts. Especially if you're new to working on games.

#31 5 years ago

I read your entire post and felt I should clarify to new pin owners just how easy mirror blades are to install.

#32 5 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

I read your entire post and felt I should clarify to new pin owners just how easy mirror blades are to install.

Many new pin owners aren't mechanically inclined and don't have many tools. If a new owner was to look at your post above, he might not know what 'tension clamps' are. If he then went to google images and searched on tension clamps, he wouldn't find any pictures of tools that would help him install mirror blades. So you might want to edit your post. I know what you meant, but I'm not new to the hobby.

#33 5 years ago

Here's a photo of a clamp for anyone's reference. I prefer these spring/tension clamps instead of a C-clamp because there is protective rubber on the ends.

Steel-Spring-Clamp-lg.jpg
#34 5 years ago

any pix you can share of you TSPP with mirror blades ?

i was planning to install the toon-side-art instead.

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

The lesson used to be to order plastic sets, ramps, etc for your game at the time you bought it.
Now Stern's parts prices have escalated alongside the pin prices. And it *seems* like the older the parts get the higher the price.
When I bought Spidey NIB I was going to order a plastic set, ramps, other stuff. The sticker shock told me no way no how.

I agree. I had a couple of broken/cracked plastics when I got my "HUO" (that's a whole 'nother story for another thread), and thought I could simply order the broken ones... Wrong-O! I had to order the whole friggin' set and then the pirate ship was another expense, and as much as the entire plastic set!

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

Here's a photo of a clamp for anyone's reference. I prefer these spring/tension clamps instead of a C-clamp because there is protective rubber on the ends.

Steel-Spring-Clamp-lg.jpg 22 KB

I have and use those spring-loaded clamps for all sorts of things. The c-clamps I have actually have rubber pads on both sides. I think they were from Home Depot and I bought both large ones and small ones. I prefer the c-clamps because they let me control the tension. Those spring-loaded ones, you can not.

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from labnip:

any pix you can share of you TSPP with mirror blades ?
i was planning to install the toon-side-art instead.

I'll grab some photos of mine later tonight.

#38 5 years ago
Quoted from KeithinMI:

I use those clamps for all sorts of things. The c-clamps I have actually have rubber pads on both sides. I think they were from Home Depot and I bought both large ones and small ones. I prefer the c-clamps because they let me control the tension. Those spring-loaded ones, you can not.

The "spring type" do you let you quickly clamp things with just one hand.

I have quite a few different clamps, having the right tool for the job always make it is easier and less likely for bad things to happen.

#39 5 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

I read your entire post and felt I should clarify just how easy mirror blades are to install.

You also didn't mention where the playfield should be positioned while installing the blades. Many new buyers don't even know how to remove the lockdown bar, let alone remove the playfield glass and raise the playfield.

When you assume the installer is familiar with working on pins and has some technical/ mechanical aptitude, installing blades seems easy. You shouldn't make that assumption. It's a medium difficulty job, as the original poster has painfully shown.

#40 5 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

You also didn't mention where the playfield should be positioned while installing the blades. Many new buyers don't even know how to remove the lockdown bar, let alone remove the playfield glass and raise the playfield.
When you assume the installer is familiar with working on pins and has some technical/ mechanical aptitude, installing blades seems easy. You shouldn't make that assumption. It's a medium difficulty job, as the original poster has painfully shown.

On the Sterns, it is easiest to put the playfield fully "up" (balls out, power unplugged from the wall, and a towel over the head to keep the pf from marring it). If you slide the playfield all the way over to one side, it gives you about 5/8" or so of clearance you can easily slide the mirror blade in, clamp it and screw it in. Then slide the pf over to the other side, and install the mirror blade in the same way. When you lower the PF back down just make sure it's centered again and lower it SLOWLY back down making sure it doesn't rub.

#41 5 years ago

i hear wrapping paper over the side mirrors is an extra (thin) bonus of protection and alert when lowering the playfield back, to help prevent scratches. once playfield is down, just pull it up/off.

#42 5 years ago
Quoted from labnip:

any pix you can share of you TSPP with mirror blades ?
i was planning to install the toon-side-art instead.

here's a couple of somewhat crappy pics that I snapped in a hurry of the mirror blades installed. For some reason my S5 takes really lousy pictures and I'm not sure why. Anyone with an S5 want to chime in on that?
20141210_215525.jpg
20141210_215532.jpg

#43 5 years ago

As an addendum to my rant:

The new couch came today from Marco. The plastic on the new couch is significantly thicker then the one that was previously on my machine. Not sure what that's about, but no complaints here.

#44 5 years ago

The mirrors look great. Good to hear the new couch is made better.

#45 5 years ago

wow... looks so cool !!!

thanks for posting pix

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