Turning on unused machines

(Topic ID: 230402)

Turning on unused machines


By ktownhero

55 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 37 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 days ago by mbwalker
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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#1 55 days ago

Hi there,

I have found what I believe is a good candidate for my first restoration. Someone local to me has a JOKERZ! that is in good shape but hasn't been played in years. I am going to stop by to see it and make an offer, but I'm thinking just turning it on might be a bad idea without getting in there and blowing dust out and checking for obvious faults?

Follow up question, if it's unsafe to turn on how should I handle that price wise? I want to give them a fair price but also have a nice buffer that I get some value out of it when it's done. Plus, I'd be buying on visual inspection alone. Pinside seems to price it in recently shopped working condition at $1500. Would $500 or $750 be reasonable offers?

Thanks so much for your help!!!

#2 55 days ago

I'd turn it on, you need to know what your dealing with if there are problems, and try to put a price tag on what you think it might cost to fix.
and then go from there on your offer.

#3 55 days ago

I suspect the seller will turn it on 15 minutes before you arrive anyway.

#4 55 days ago
Quoted from jeffc:

I suspect the seller will turn it on 15 minutes before you arrive anyway.

Maybe, maybe not. I don't get the sense this is someone who is really into pinball. Just a machine he got a long time ago and has sat. I believe it's indoors though which is good. I'm glad it's safe to turn on, would make me feel a lot better about making an offer.

Thanks for the input!

#5 55 days ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

I don't get the sense this is someone who is really into pinball. Just a machine he got a long time ago and has sat

Those are usually the types that do turn it on before you arrive in my experience. Went to look at a stellar wars one time and when I got there the transformer was already on fire. They didn't even know how to take off the backglass.

I doubt a system 11 is going to damage itself just from sitting unused.

#6 55 days ago

Turn the damn thing on unless you're trying to use it to your advantage.
$500 is low for a Jokerz, or any sys11, in good condition.
Games sit in storage for years without being turned on.

#7 55 days ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Turn the damn thing on unless you're trying to use it to your advantage.
$500 is low for a Jokerz, or any sys11, in good condition.
Games sit in storage for years without being turned on.

second this. take the bg off and maybe prop the field then turn it on. you will know pretty quick if something is gonna go.

#8 55 days ago

Maybe if its in a storage area, with no power (and portable generator is not feasible)... then $500 unknown, as-is, seems proper to me. (not sure I'd offer $750 on a Jokerz, without knowing board/display issues)

But if it can be plugged in... turn it on and go from there.

11
#9 54 days ago

$500 is safe for a totally unknown sys11 game (make sure all the boards are there, and they are not burned up)

Don't even try to turn it on. If you get it working, he may decide he wants to keep it or wants more money.

If he'll take $500, just buy it.

-

The most likely thing is that you open the backbox, and the batteries have eaten a very expensive MPU board.....

#10 54 days ago

I like to do some checks prior to power up. Look for anything obvious. Unplug everything and check things one at a time. Ex. Unplug the main transformer and power it up. Check voltages. My first machine was a Genie. Turned it on without checking it. Melted the main transformer. $100 newbie mistake. Got lucky and found a replacement sys 1 transformer on eBay.

#11 54 days ago
Quoted from jeffc:

I suspect the seller will turn it on 15 minutes before you arrive anyway.

Correct.

OP: here's a tip: turn off the game when you get there (if it's on) and then turn it back on. That way, you'll see if there is a factory reset issue.

I'm leary that if the pin is on when I get there, the seller has turned it on so I don't see the factory settings alarm.

#12 54 days ago

Have HIM turn it on before you hand over a penny. Not you. Then you are not liable if it burns down his house - it's still his and he flipped the switch. Act stupid like you don't know how to turn it on and let him show you.

At a minimum, you could check for any bulging power supply caps (i.e the big ones). If he doesn't want to turn it on, offer him less - then visit back here. Almost forgot, like Vid said - check for battery leakage if it is a SS. That could turn into your biggest issue.

Let us know how how it goes. Try to video it if it goes up in flames on him.

Like others have said, I'd just 'flip the switch' after checking the caps. Maybe check that the fuses are the right value.

11
#13 54 days ago

Don't even turn it on.

Let's say he says $500 as is. It's not like he is going to lower the price if only the GI lights come on.

You KNOW you are going to have to rebuild any old power supply.

You KNOW you are going to have to replace old IC sockets.

You probably KNOW the batteries have eaten the MPU board.

No sense turning it on and cooking a bunch of expensive coils.

Take it home and then turn on one board at a time in a methodical fashion.

#14 54 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Don't even turn it on.
Let's say he says $500 as is. It's not like he is going to lower the price if only the GI lights come on.
You KNOW you are going to have to rebuild any old power supply.
You KNOW you are going to have to replace old IC sockets.
You probably KNOW the batteries have eaten the MPU board.
No sense turning it on and cooking a bunch of expensive coils.
Take it home and then turn on one board at a time in a methodical fashion.

Yet again, Vid is the voice of wisdom.

$500 - don’t even ask any questions. Load it up and drive off quickly.

$700 - check if all the boards are there. Load it up and drive off quickly.

800-$1000 - look closer at the boards and see if anything is obvious. Look at the playfield a bit closer. Then load it up and drive off quickly.

$1500 - turn it on, give it the full run over and make your decision based on that.

There’s nothing on a Sys11 that can’t be repaired or replaced. Except playfields, BGs and plastics for some of them. So if they are good, you’re golden.

Jokerzzzzzz is one of the most underrated Sys11 games IMO. Good gameplay with fun rules.

rd

#15 54 days ago

As long as the cabinet and playfield look good, I'd go with it. If he turns it on and it lights up, that means it's working 100% in his eyes and he'll probably want more $$$$...

1 month later
#16 14 days ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Yet again, Vid is the voice of wisdom.
$500 - don’t even ask any questions. Load it up and drive off quickly.
$700 - check if all the boards are there. Load it up and drive off quickly.
800-$1000 - look closer at the boards and see if anything is obvious. Look at the playfield a bit closer. Then load it up and drive off quickly.
$1500 - turn it on, give it the full run over and make your decision based on that.
There’s nothing on a Sys11 that can’t be repaired or replaced. Except playfields, BGs and plastics for some of them. So if they are good, you’re golden.
Jokerzzzzzz is one of the most underrated Sys11 games IMO. Good gameplay with fun rules.
rd

I'm going to finally see this machine tonight. All I know so far is that this person has had it for "many years" and also hasn't played it in "many years". He said it is in good shape and that he turned it on but doesn't remember how to use it and the game won't start. Obviously that's because the batteries are dead and it's not on freeplay.

I haven't mentioned cost yet, do you think I should before I go there or should I just go with cash in my pocket and plan on negotiating in person?

EDIT: The more I think on it, it doesn't make sense to make a blind offer at this point. I'll show up with cash in hand and make an offer on the spot.

#17 13 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Don't even turn it on.
Let's say he says $500 as is. It's not like he is going to lower the price if only the GI lights come on.
You KNOW you are going to have to rebuild any old power supply.
You KNOW you are going to have to replace old IC sockets.
You probably KNOW the batteries have eaten the MPU board.
No sense turning it on and cooking a bunch of expensive coils.
Take it home and then turn on one board at a time in a methodical fashion.

I went to see it today and it has sat for 15 years. As such, it is dirty as you'd expect and sure enough the batteries are corroded... Though it didn't look like they caused any damage.

It turns on but just sort of buzzes and doesn't full come on. That said, the playfield appears to be in excellent condition except for some mylar peeling but that's expected. The cabinet art I would say is exceptional on the sides and the back box is in great shape but with some dings/cover up on the bottom sides.

I offered him $500, he asked for $800. I thought that seemed fairly reasonable but should I haggle further? It certainly appears to be a great restoration candidate.

#18 13 days ago

You can always meet in the middle at $650. Even at that, it'd be a decent grab for a system 11.

#19 13 days ago

Did you go there, offer $500, get countered at $800 and then just leave? Sounds like you were pretty close to an agreement.

#20 13 days ago
Quoted from QuietEarp:

Did you go there, offer $500, get countered at $800 and then just leave? Sounds like you were pretty close to an agreement.

...I think he’s still there, hitting refresh on the thread and waiting for a consensus from pinside, telling the seller to just hold on a little bit longer

#21 13 days ago
Quoted from QuietEarp:

Did you go there, offer $500, get countered at $800 and then just leave? Sounds like you were pretty close to an agreement.

We agreed to $800 I'm supposed to pick it up later this week but I am considering trying to haggle a little lower.

22
#22 13 days ago

$800 it is if you agreed to it already. Don’t be that guy.

#23 13 days ago
Quoted from Phat_Jay:

$800 it is if you agreed to it already. Don’t be that guy.

Ditto what he said^^ How would you feel if the guy decided to haggle a little higher?

#24 13 days ago
Quoted from Phat_Jay:

$800 it is if you agreed to it already. Don’t be that guy.

Learn it
Know it
Live it

#25 13 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Ditto what he said^^ How would you feel if the guy decided to haggle a little higher?

I'd say no and walk away from the deal.

This isn't a usual sale type of scenario. But I get what you are saying and my gut feeling is I wouldn't want to try to renegotiate. This is just my first project pin and I'm hoping that $800 is a fair price for a machine of this nature. I walked in with a hard cap of 1000 so 800 seemed like a mutually beneficial arrangement. Then I got home and realized I am buying a machine that doesn't even start up!

So yeah, I guess I was more just fishing for some validation/input.

#26 13 days ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

I'd say no and walk away from the deal.
This isn't a usual sale type of scenario. But I get what you are saying and my gut feeling is I wouldn't want to try to renegotiate. This is just my first project pin and I'm hoping that $800 is a fair price for a machine of this nature. I walked in with a hard cap of 1000 so 800 seemed like a mutually beneficial arrangement. Then I got home and realized I am buying a machine that doesn't even start up!
So yeah, I guess I was more just fishing for some validation/input.

I do admit I focused on the 'haggle' part, as in 'beat the price down for the sake of getting a better deal'. If you really think it's not worth it, then no harm in passing. I recently brought a pin that I thought would be running by nightfall. Still tinkering with it months later, so I understand your relucatance.

#27 13 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

I do admit I focused on the 'haggle' part, as in 'beat the price down for the sake of getting a better deal'. If you really think it's not worth it, then no harm in passing. I recently brought a pin that I thought would be running by nightfall. Still tinkering with it months later, so I understand your relucatance.

Ah, that makes sense. Yeah, haggle was probably the wrong word. What I meant is more like I've had time to think about it and learn a bit more and renegotiating based on that. But, I'm not going to do that unless I'm willing to walk away at $800. That's what I'm wondering now. I think it's gonna need a lot of work but at the same time the playfield and cab are super nice. I'm gonna have to go through the headache of pulling the mylar off though .

#28 12 days ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

What I meant is more like I've had time to think about it and learn a bit more and renegotiating based on that.

Quoted from Phat_Jay:

$800 it is if you agreed to it already. Don’t be that guy.

Phat_Jay is 100% correct. Don't be a dick.

#29 12 days ago

The way I would look at it is that you got the machine for $800. As long as the playfield and cab are decent you will have about ~$700 to get it working and not really loose any money when it comes time to mix up your home game. The best part is that you get to fix up the machine, learn restoration techniques, get it the way you like and learn a lot about pin repair. The only downside, once you have one there will be others.

#30 12 days ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

... I'm gonna have to go through the headache of pulling the mylar off though .

Sometimes pins are just meant to be played. They all can't be museum pieces, despite as much as you want them to be pristine. Removing mylar can lead to a really big commitment to time and money on your end. Some guys wish they never did it cause now they have more headaches to fix. I can fix the electronics...but boy, when it comes to playfield touchups - all thumbs and might as well be color blind. So I've learned my limits on buying project pins. At least until I have more free time.

I guess if you do get it, get it going and actually see if it has some staying power in your house. Or does it just turn into a blah game after a month or two? If you think it's the best thing since sliced bread, then go for it! My wife constantly reminds me that she likes to PLAY them...not look at parts strewn around the garage and basement while I work on them! LOL. And she's right!

#31 12 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Sometimes pins are just meant to be played. They all can't be museum pieces, despite as much as you want them to be pristine. Removing mylar can lead to a really big commitment to time and money on your end. Some guys wish they never did it cause now they have more headaches to fix. I can fix the electronics...but boy, when it comes to playfield touchups - all thumbs and might as well be color blind. So I've learned my limits on buying project pins. At least until I have more free time.
I guess if you do get it, get it going and actually see if it has some staying power in your house. Or does it just turn into a blah game after a month or two? If you think it's the best thing since sliced bread, then go for it! My wife constantly reminds me that she likes to PLAY them...not look at parts strewn around the garage and basement while I work on them! LOL. And she's right!

I am buying specifically as a restoration project and plan to resell it.

#32 12 days ago

Well, I did as much of the stand-up thing as I could given the circumstance. I decided I would walk away if the price stayed at $800 and called the guy. I was straight-forward and explained my reasons, and told him I was calling because I didn't want to put him on the spot when I show up to pick it up. I asked him to meet me in the middle at $650 and he agreed.

#33 11 days ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

Well, I did as much of the stand-up thing as I could given the circumstance. I decided I would walk away if the price stayed at $800 and called the guy. I was straight-forward and explained my reasons, and told him I was calling because I didn't want to put him on the spot when I show up to pick it up. I asked him to meet me in the middle at $650 and he agreed.

I think that was very fair the way you handled it. You gave him a good reason, and also an opportunity for him to pass if he wanted too. And you did it ahead of time as not to make it high pressure. Kudos.

#34 11 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

I think that was very fair the way you handled it. You gave him a good reason, and also an opportunity for him to pass if he wanted too. And you did it ahead of time as not to make it high pressure. Kudos.

Thanks. Now I have an incredibly dirty JOKERZ! sitting in my garage, but I can tell under all that gunk she'll clean up beautifully. It doesn't start up, but the CPU lights are correct and I can get it into attract mode using the CPU test button 2. The screen doesn't work at all, I'm guessing it is gassed out... but I'll do some testing. Haven't done any "real" work on it yet, just wanted to see where it was. I'm sure I'll be asking a ton of questions in this and the technical forums!

#35 11 days ago

Cool, congrats
Eager to see pics and progress!

#36 10 days ago

I'll give you $500.00 for it. lol

#37 10 days ago

Time for some pics! Before and after. We want to see what you got for $650.

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