My parents had a couple of rental properties, so I was always the handyman's helper growing up. I learned basic electrical work, plumbing and sweating pipes, carpentry, tile work etc. So I've always been pretty handy around my own house. But I never would have fixed this one without pinball repair experience!
We had a pretty expensive commercial style range go out this weekend (about the cost of a premium machine). No display, no oven controls. I researched the issue online and everyone ended up replacing the expensive computer controls, anywhere from $300-800+ depending on the issue. So I bit the bullet and called a repairman, as I wanted confirmation before ordering expensive parts.
Well I had 2 separate techs poke around for a bit and then say they didn't know what was wrong and would have to tear it apart to figure it out, requiring several hours of diagnosis before (probably) having to track down a computer that is NLA anyway. So I sent them away to decide what to do, neither of them asked for payment thank goodness.
So while I was stewing over it I started searching online for more info, fixes, part manuals, and lo and behold I ran across a Wiring Schematic. Hey, I know how to read those! Look, there are actually 2 thermal fuses that control the power (I had only tested the oven fuse in the back).
Grabbed my DMM and got the front panel off in 5 minutes. It tested bad. I jumpered it and everything came to life. So a $50 part and 30 minutes of my time, I'm back up and running. But I never would have figured it out without reading those schematics.
Now if I was a true Pinball nerd, I would have just left the jumpers on and let the next owner post it in a worst hack thread on some appliance blog.
I fix pinball machines
I fixed my expensive oven because I had to learn to read wiring schematics
I wanted to brag about it
What new things have you been able to do because of pinball?