Unoffical empeg BBS

Quick Links: Empeg FAQ | Software | RioCar.Org | Hijack | jEmplode | emphatic
Repairs: Repairs | Addons: Eutronix | Cases

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#232977 - 09/09/2004 09:50 Anyone Know Anything About Pinball Machines???
Cris
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/02/2002
Posts: 1896
Loc: Leeds, UK
I have just bought myself a new house! And as a house warming present to myself I am thinking about purchasing a second hand Pinball Machine.

It seems the going rate for a decent one is anything from £600 to £2500!!! I am looking at either Tales From The Crypt or Twilight Zone.

Does anyone have any advice on what to look for when testing these machines??? Or places to or not to buy from in the UK???

Cheers

Cris.

Top
#232978 - 09/09/2004 10:15 Re: Anyone Know Anything About Pinball Machines??? [Re: Cris]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Greetings!

I have not purchased a pinball machine, but I have done a bit of research into it when looking for my current arcade machines. I would strongly recommend a google search - there are a lot of very good FAQ lists for buying new, used and reconditioned pinball and arcade games. Twilight Zone Link

The price sounds a bit high, but the prices may be higher in the UK than the US. It is also varies widely with the title and condition of the game.

As for other advice, test everything possible. Test all lights, all bumpers, all mechanical and electronic devices in the playfield. Make sure that the field / fields are not damaged or warped. Any visible wear patterns should be fairly obvious on the machine, but watch that they do not interfere with game play. Find out if it is still coin operated, token (get the tokens with the game) or set to free play.

As for the place, watch to see about free delivery, on site testing and potentially repair. Will the conpany service and maintain the machine for you? Will you need to get parts and are they available. Given the titles that you mention sound fairly collectable, it should not be as hard to get parts for them as a more obscure machine might...

You might also want to check out some of the more common part vendors (like Happ for example), to see if they have any stock parts available for your machine.

Do not let the research and testing change your mind about the idea. Having a game in your new house is a lot of fun! It will take up space and require maintenance like anything else, but it is a great way to unwind after a long day or for parties.

EDIT: Link edited. I had a generic link there before for the TZ game, but a bit of tracking found a UK supplier that specializes in this title (#1 seller) and has a great FAQ for purchasing and maintaining games...

Top
#232979 - 09/09/2004 10:56 Re: Anyone Know Anything About Pinball Machines??? [Re: pgrzelak]
Cris
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/02/2002
Posts: 1896
Loc: Leeds, UK
Thanks for that Paul!!!

Pinball Heaven would be No.1 choice, but they are a tad expensive, so I'm looking for a good one that's cheap but only needs work that I can do my self doing to it.

I can't decide if I should be selfish and put it in my bedroom, or put in the living room so everyone can have a go!

I think it will make a good investment, I have been looking at them over the past few years and the prices seem to be rising steadily over time. I don't think I'll loose out if I look after it ok.

The down side of this is I won't be able to afford a propper sofa, but I figure people would rather stand at the pinball rather than sit talking to me anyway

Cheers

Cris.

Top
#232980 - 09/09/2004 10:59 Re: Anyone Know Anything About Pinball Machines??? [Re: Cris]
Cybjorg
addict

Registered: 23/12/2002
Posts: 652
Loc: Winston Salem, NC
I have a friend in Seattle who regularly purchased pinball machines off of eBay. He's had good success so far. The only caveat is that it is more economical to pick up the machine from the seller than to have it shipped.

Not sure how that would fly in the UK, though.

Top
#232981 - 09/09/2004 11:44 Re: Anyone Know Anything About Pinball Machines??? [Re: Cybjorg]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
I would think picking up the machine would be easiest there as well.

I think you might be better off in the living room instead of the bedroom. Although I can just imagine the potentially amusing jokes about going into the bedroom for a quick round of pinball...

The place (Pinball Heaven?) does look a bit high, but they have a lot of good maintenance and purchasing tips / FAQ pages that are useful.

One more thing - make sure you play the game a few times before purchasing it. If possible, spend 10-15 minutes actually trying the game before buying it. If you notice anything strange in the gameplay (misaligned ramps, weak bumpers, etc.) you should make note of it and take a closer look. Once you buy it, that minor annoyance will become a nagging problem until it is fixed.
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

Top
#232982 - 09/09/2004 12:58 Re: Anyone Know Anything About Pinball Machines??? [Re: Cris]
mschrag
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/09/2000
Posts: 2303
Loc: Richmond, VA
I bought a pinball machine early last year off of eBay ... For a good pinball, you're going to spend in that price range -- that's all there is to it. You can definitely FIND cheaper pinballs, but you are either looking at less popular or less quality machines. I paid about $1600 USD and another almost $300 to have the damn thing air shipped on a massive palette across the US. At least in the US, there are quite a few game shows that you can go to and get better deals and obviously not have to pay shipping. Twilight Zone is a pretty popular machine, so you are going to be looking at more $. The one I got was Demolition Man, which is a terrible movie, but a great machine ... Lots of things going on on the playfield and it's a 5-ball machine.

Something you need to be prepared for is that these things DO break -- there are just tons of moving parts and the ball hitting things over and over again combined with other shaking/collisions causes components to break off circuit boards over time. So I would very much recommend you try to get the manual for whatever machine you get -- it will include all the part numbers and circuit layouts. You will typically buy these separately, but you can pick them up on eBay -- I think I spent about $25 for mine. So what I'm getting at here is that you should either be comfortable doing small repairs (reattaching some mechanical elements, or replacing small components) or you should try to find a repair place that is near you. I've done both -- for the small things I've just fixed them myself (I ordered a replacement opto board for the ball chute and installed it myself), but I had a nastier problem that I took it in for (I have a repair place pretty close to me). They weight like 300 pounds, so fixing it yourself is a hell of a lot easier.

Overall though, they're a lot of fun, and even though they are a bit finicky, I'm glad I got mine. It's also really cool to see the admin screens on them. There's a huge amount of data that these machines collect that I never knew about (number of flips on each flipper, number of times the ball goes out on the left vs the right so you can adjust the leveling, etc).

Feel free to email me if you want any more info -- I'll be happy to help/recommend/etc if I can.

ms

Top
#232983 - 09/09/2004 14:23 Re: Anyone Know Anything About Pinball Machines??? [Re: Cris]
JrFaust
member

Registered: 07/02/2002
Posts: 193
Loc: New Richmond, WI
Get some plastic cleaner/polisher for the playfield. Take a good look at the balls if they are dented, rusted, or damaged in any way replace them the damaged balls will act like sandpaper on the playfield. Get used to soldering. Get a manual for the pin if it doesn't come with one. Find out what lights it uses and buy a box they tend to burn out. Umm thatís all I can think of off the top of my head.

Hope that helps
Later
Rob
_________________________
Drive fast, Play it loud!!!
20GB Original Blue Lens MKIIa Rio SN 030102760, Blue Buttons.
20GB Original Green Lens MKIIa Rio SN 040103268 Grey Buttons.

Top
#232984 - 09/09/2004 14:45 Your dream arcade? [Re: JrFaust]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31256
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thought exercise for everyone: If you could have a little mini-arcade in your house, but only had room for five machines, which five would it be?

Note: For this exercise, must list real machines, not a MAME cabinet.

Mine:
Hard Drivin' (sit-down cabinet)
Tempest
Marble Madness
Centipede (for my wife)
One really good pinball table, not sure which one.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#232985 - 09/09/2004 15:03 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3728
My top five:

1. Atari Star Wars
2. Atari Tempest
3. Atari Asteroids (maybe one of the later variants, but the original gets cool points)
4. Williams Joust
5. Dance Dance Revolution (had to put something vaguely modern in the mix...)

Of course, this is leaving out so many other good games, like Tron, Sinistar, or even Moon Patrol, but I've always been partial to the Atari vector games. (And, it's such a treat to find one that's still working. Those color vector screens didn't age very well.)

Top
#232986 - 09/09/2004 15:04 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Quote:
One really good pinball table, not sure which one.


Fireball
_________________________
Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

Top
#232987 - 09/09/2004 15:14 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12136
Loc: Sterling, VA
A while ago I looked into getting Area 51, but didn't have the $650 it was going for at the time.
_________________________
Matt

Top
#232988 - 09/09/2004 15:22 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: Dignan]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Hmmm... I seem to notice a lot of vector monitor games so far...

Tempest <grin, but sadly needs repair work in the high voltage cage>
Golden Tee <grin>
Spy Hunter
Star Wars
Pinball table of unknown version.
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

Top
#232989 - 09/09/2004 15:36 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Gauntlet 4-Player
X-Men: Children of the Atom
Paperboy
Spy Hunter
Kiss (Pinball)
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#232990 - 09/09/2004 15:37 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: pgrzelak]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31256
Loc: Seattle, WA
Damn, Spy Hunter. I'd forgotten about that one. Which one goes, then, Centipede or the Pinball table? Wife would never forgive me if I didn't have both of those. But I can't cut any of the others, that would just be wrong.

Star wars almost made the cut, but I realized that it got old real fast for me. The others don't.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#232991 - 09/09/2004 15:38 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: DWallach]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31256
Loc: Seattle, WA
Argh, Joust. That one is a hard one to leave off the list. The two-player cooperative mode is just the bee's knees.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#232992 - 09/09/2004 15:49 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12136
Loc: Sterling, VA
It's been a while since I've looked into this. Where do I go to find these cabinets? I remember finding a store in Virginia that had its stock online, but I haven't got a clue how to find it again. Does anyone know of a central website that has information on where to buy? I mean, I could get an Area 51 cabinet off of ebay for $1500, but that's insane considering just 3 years ago it was going for $650 everywhere I looked.
_________________________
Matt

Top
#232993 - 09/09/2004 15:58 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: Dignan]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
I am not familiar with Area 51 - do you have a good link?

Spy Hunter and Joust were fighting back and forth on my list for a while. I finally settled on Spy Hunter for the driving aggression release factor.
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

Top
#232994 - 09/09/2004 16:19 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: pgrzelak]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Quote:
I am not familiar with Area 51 - do you have a good link?


http://www.klov.com/A/Area_51.html
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

Top
#232995 - 09/09/2004 16:19 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: pgrzelak]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31256
Loc: Seattle, WA
Darn it, this conversation is making me want to build my MAME cabinet.

My idea for a MAME cabinet is not to go "big huge" with lots of buttons and such, but rather to go cocktail, with each side having just a small joystick, a small trackball, and a few buttons. Then only put games onto it which work well in cocktail mode. Of course, that precludes two-player Joust, two-player Marble Madness, two-player Gauntlet, most driving games, etc., but it's the only thing that would actually fit in my house and look half decent. And it could have a lot of great games on it that work fantastic in cocktail mode.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#232996 - 09/09/2004 16:22 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
What about retrofitting an old Joust cocktail or using it as a starting point in your design? The shell is great for two player games like that...

KLOV!!! Forgot about them. Thanks!
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

Top
#232997 - 09/09/2004 16:29 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: pgrzelak]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31256
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
What about retrofitting an old Joust cocktail or using it as a starting point in your design?

I was certainly thinking about retrofitting a genuine original cocktail cabinet, that was my plan. Just now I was looking online to find some, and was disappointed at how crappy most of the hand-built MAME coctail projects looked. They were all too big, too gaudy, the control panels were huge, etc., so I was even more inclined to find a nice original cocktail cabinet. But then I saw these guys. Now that's the sort of thing I'm talking about.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#232998 - 09/09/2004 16:50 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
andym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/01/2002
Posts: 3979
Loc: Manchester UK
My god, you guys must have a sh*tload of free time, and plenty of spare cash floating around. I can't see the point of owning a game, i'd play with it a couple of times and then lose interest. That's why I have an n64 and a playstation gathering dust in my study.

If I had to get a game/pinball machine it'd probably be Ridge Racer to remind me of my mis-spent youth in local Laser Quest, I never played Laser Quest, I just went on the games. Then again, it'd probably get a couple of days use before I get bored again.
_________________________
Cheers,

Andy M

Top
#232999 - 09/09/2004 16:54 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Very nice! I like the look - very simple, elegant design. Cool! The only reason I was thinking about the tempest cocktail is that it does not have the seating positions at either end, but facing the same screen at a slight angle, like this:



(image linked from KLOV)
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

Top
#233000 - 09/09/2004 17:04 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
Geoff
enthusiast

Registered: 21/08/1999
Posts: 381
Loc: Northern Ireland
I think mine would have to be:

1. Williams Defender
2. Pacman
3. Atari Battlezone
4. Atari TX1 (I think that was its name - sit down Pole Position style racer, with 3 monitors giving a wide field of view)
5. Galaxian

I would love to get a coin-op cabinet for my spare room, but can't justify the cash right now... maybe some day...
_________________________
Geoff
---- -------
Mk1 Blue - was 4GB, now 16GB
Mk2 Red - was 12GB, now 60GB

Top
#233001 - 09/09/2004 17:04 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: pgrzelak]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31256
Loc: Seattle, WA
Ah, cool, I'd never seen a Joust cocktail.

Naw, woudln't want that. I like the more traditional cocktail style, it would go better in the house.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#233002 - 09/09/2004 17:14 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
The issue there is screen flipping and cooperative play. Perhaps you could have the players side by side and a screen in front of them somehow... But I do like the narrower traditional table. And it is much easier to fit into a room. With a nice wooden verneer, that would like like a nice piece of furniture.
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

Top
#233003 - 09/09/2004 17:15 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: Geoff]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Oooh! I forgot Defender! Never was good at it, but great game! I would choose Stargate (Defender 2), though.
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

Top
#233004 - 09/09/2004 17:19 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: pgrzelak]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31256
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
The issue there is screen flipping and cooperative play.


Right, so you'd only play two-player games that work well with screen flipping. So games like Joust and Marble Madness, you'd only do single player.

I'd be OK with that, if it meant having a cabinet that looked nice enough for SWMBO to allow it in the living room.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#233005 - 09/09/2004 18:29 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
genixia
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/02/2002
Posts: 3411
Bom Bom Barnanom Bom Bom Barnom,
Bom Bom Barnanom Bom Bom Barnom,
Bom Bom Barnanom Bom Bom Barnom,
Bom Bom Barnanom Bom Bom Barnom,
Wowwwwwwwww-wahhh! Wowwwwwwwww wah wah-wah-wah-wowhhh!
Wowh-wowh-wowh wahh-wahh wahh-wahh-wahh wahh-wahh-wahh wahh-wahh-wowh wahh-wahhh!
_________________________
Mk2a 60GB Blue. Serial 030102962 sig.mp3: File Format not Valid.

Top
#233006 - 09/09/2004 18:42 Re: Your dream arcade? [Re: tfabris]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
My list:

Tempest
Missle Command
Centipede
Ms Pac Man (for the wife)
The Addams Family (pinball)

-Zeke

If the list were pinball only:
Addams Family
Funhouse
Whirlwind
Twighlight Zone

(extra credit if anyone can see the theme to these four games)


Edited by Ezekiel (09/09/2004 18:49)

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >