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Any Pinball Hobbiest Out There?
Old 02-11-2014, 09:32 PM   #1
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Any Pinball Hobbiest Out There?

I have enjoyed pinball machines for quite sometime. However, ER has really given me more time to study, search for, and work on them.

Currently enjoying The Shadow, Judge Dredd, and my crown jewel....Twilight Zone in my small collection.
Anyone else got the pin bug?
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:47 AM   #2
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I used to spend hours and hours at the arcades in the 80's. While video games ate up the bulk of my quarters, there were a few pinballs that I was addicted to.

Some that come to mind that I really liked:

Gorgar
Firepower
Paragon
Centaur

But the two best ones were Black Knight, and Black Knight 2000. I loved those.

One of these days, I wouldn't mind putting a couple pins and video games in my house. The hard part for me is I have no electronics background, so would find it very hard to work on them if they needed repairs.

A few years ago, I stumbled across a Virtual Pinball emulator, and some of the tables for it were quite good. I imagine it's still around. Nothing beats the real thing, of course, but for a quick fix, it was pretty darn good.

Something else I stumbled across not long ago...Arcade Ambience: Welcome to the Arcade Ambience Project Page

They have some downloads of ambient sounds from an arcade. Mostly video games, I'm sure, but when I loaded one of those up, it took me right back to visions of the Aladdin's Castle I used to hang out at

Good luck with the pin hobby! Sounds like fun!
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:05 AM   #3
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Please forgive me for not answering your private message last summer. I never check that part of forum and just saw it last week. I have mostly solid state pins from the 70s and 80s. I have Flash, black knight, centaur, eight ball deluxe, fathom, sinbad.

They have overwhelmed me with maintenance issues. New ones have got very expensive in the last few years. Now I just go to the bigger arcades when I travel, 1up in Denver, Eric's in Breckenridge, bowling alley in leadville, Co, pinballz in Austin, Tx. $20 and two hours satisfies me for 3 or 4 months.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:15 AM   #4
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But the two best ones were Black Knight, and Black Knight 2000. I loved those.

One of these days, I wouldn't mind putting a couple pins and video games in my house. !
You can get a working Black Knight for $1100-1200. You can send the boards out for repair.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:49 PM   #5
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LoneAspen, try not to let the electronics stop you if you are interested. In my case anyway, learning how to work on pins has been as much or more rewarding than playing them. There are some great sites with helpful people that are willing to assist those of us who are learning. Pinside.com is a great one. A few on that forum helped me through my first circuit board repair. There is an extremely helpful pinwiki document there that is also a great reference.

Jaycee, no worries about the PM. Glad to hear from you on this thread. Apparently not many of us pinheads on this site.....or anywhere else for that matter. We have a small arcade in my town with lots of the old video game and about 6 pins. They have Medieval Madness on site for a limited time. That was fun to play again after about 12 years of not seeing one.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:28 PM   #6
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Anything with upper and lower flippers is my weakness.

Been checking craigslist for orphaned machines. seems $300 will buy one. No word on what work they need.
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Any Pinball Hobbiest Out There?
Old 02-12-2014, 02:32 PM   #7
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Any Pinball Hobbiest Out There?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan View Post
Anything with upper and lower flippers is my weakness.

Been checking craigslist for orphaned machines. seems $300 will buy one. No word on what work they need.
Have played many, including some with no flippers, just bumpers, that were used for likely illegal gambling. Won my lunch money many times.

Older machines are electro-mechanical, with lots of solenoids and such. Newer ones use computer circuitry for scorekeeping and such, but still use solenoid actuators. Parts may or may not be hard to come by, and without a schematic, those miles of wire, all bundled together, can be a nightmare to troubleshoot, though not impossible.

Worked on old pinballs and bowling machines as a part-time job in college. Actually, it mostly involved lugging the damned things to/from customers...
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:40 PM   #8
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Count me as another RE Pinballer. Though I don't know how much of a hardcore "hobbiest" I am. I've never done total teardowns/rebuilds or such. I've had four 90's DMD machines (2-Williams, 2-Data East) downstairs for around 10 years.
I second the opinion about not being intimidated by lack of electronics background for maintenance. Boards can be sent out for repair if needed. I've only had to do that once. Rudimentary soldering has gotten me by for other stuff. And of course nominal mechanical tweaks here and there.
The Machines themselves have become crazy expensive lately though from what I've seen. I'm guessing $300 (from post above) would be quite a rehab project.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:24 PM   #9
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Reminds me of my neighbor at the lake ... his son grabbed a curb-side video game from a bar. Found someone who could test the SW ... it was ok. Then rebuild the joystick and replaced the buttons (moving parts break).

Gave it to his father to put at the lake. Now he has 20 vintage video games on one box: Astriods (my favorite), space invaders, centepeed, pacman,tetris...
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:36 PM   #10
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I like to play and thought I'd own one by now (could afford it although I don't like the prices), but for now it just isn't a priority. Maybe when the kids are a bit bigger and I get some room in the basement. I like the games from the 90s (T2, Addams Fam, Indy, TZ) and forward.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:52 PM   #11
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Prices have been out of control for the last couple of years. Hope they come back into line. Luckily got my TZ about 8 years ago when they were "cheap".
Addams Family is on my wish list too. Simpsons Pinball Party, Lord of The Rings, and too many others. Good thing I am a tightwad with limited space.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:18 PM   #12
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DW is the pinballer. She has Indiana Jones and Medieval Madness. And shooters Police 911 (2?) and House of the Dead. I got pretty good on MM until my wrists couldn't take it anymore.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:55 AM   #13
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DW is the pinballer. She has Indiana Jones and Medieval Madness. And shooters Police 911 (2?) and House of the Dead. I got pretty good on MM until my wrists couldn't take it anymore.
Medieval Madness is ranked number one on most top ten lists. It is on my wish list. A company recently bought the license from Williams to make 1000 of these this summer. They were sold out in a few days and decided to make more for the demand.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:57 PM   #14
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Yup. I've got 10 1/2 (room for 9).

Oldest is circa 1990, all dot matrix except for Pinball 2000 (which I'm counting as 1 1/2, read on). For P2K I have a Star Wars Ep 1 and a Revenge From Mars "kit". For those not in the know, that means two different machine options but can only be set up to play 1 at a time, requiring 30 minutes or so of work to swap out. Fortunately I acquired most in the early 2000s before prices shot up. Aside from P2K, I've got Medieval Madness, Attack From Mars, Monster Bash, Addams Family, Twilight Zone, Scared Stiff, Big Bang Bar (reproduction by Gene Cunningham), No Good Gophers, and Lord of the Rings. All work 100%, and have made some mods to suit my tastes. I'm the original owner of 3 of them (BBB, SWEP1, LOTR). Most of the others typically spent a year or two on route before I got them, so they look mahvelous! Only one required some play field attention due to wear (NGG). None would be restoration candidates (okay, maybe somebody with waaaay too much money and/or time who waaaay too picky). I'm at the point where it's tough to play in an arcade (with a few exceptions, particularly Lyons Pinball which is a great place, though I've only been a couple of times), because something isn't working right. Until you've played a pristine, freshly cleaned pin that is 100% working, in a room with nothing else on except your pin (with upgraded speakers! )you don't know what you're missing.

I agree with the other posters about not being scared by electronics, you can always send them out. I've done that a couple of times, but have also done repairs based on symptoms, for example replacing capacitors on driver boards. It just makes sense, they go with age, and when they start resetting you've got a great chance of being right.

Sadly, I haven't been playing as much the last few years. I've gotten so spoiled by having them around it seems routine. I've wondered at times about selling some, given the price increase they're worth some $$$, but it's still small relative to my stash and I would never replace them, thinking I may cut back on w$rk or RE in the next few years and will have more time for them.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:04 PM   #15
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Medieval Madness is ranked number one on most top ten lists. It is on my wish list. A company recently bought the license from Williams to make 1000 of these this summer. They were sold out in a few days and decided to make more for the demand.
Just to add my $.02 reproduction is difficult. It took Gene Cunningham years to make about 200 BBBs. Wayne in Australia took orders with deposits for MM and never produced. Even Jersey Jack with Wizard of Oz took years and is running way behind. This is a difficult undertaking. IMHO it will take years for these to be produced, if at all. Even if successful, there is debate about how they will do, since they are making changes to cut cost.
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