it is great that you can still get parts for pinball machines that are decades old

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$20 worth of parts restore a machine to working status

Pinball machines are actually machines that wear over time and parts wear out. A big bummer on many machines are that very specific parts are hard to come by. Often you have to rely on message boards or ebay to get specific to a machine parts, but the normal wear parts are abundant and produced still. There are some small pinball machine manufacturer that use the tech and replacement parts from older manufactures to produce new pins.

It is darn meat that I can get brand new switches, coils, flipper parts, and bits today. My favorite source is Pinball Life out of Chicago. They always do me up right and I have never had a problem. They have tours of their place yearly during the biggest pinball expo. It is insane that I can buy 13 of one rubber ring and 11 switches of some sort and know that they roam their warehouse to make up my order and ship it out the same day. Over the years I have ordered enough parts to purchase a very decent pin, and yet I am not sad at all. they continue to keep my pins functioning as best as they can.

Terminator 2 had a strange issue crop up over two weekends of severely heavy use. The left flipper went weak. I tried a bunch of things… even took and emory board to the End Of Stroke switch, which turned out to be the problem. Unfortunately the emory board fix destroyed the tungsten coating on the switch. Picked up a few new EOS switches for $2.50 a piece along with some other bits. And that is what it is like to keep these very old and expensive machines running. Just a few dollars part can shut them down, but at least there is an industry that caters to keeping these amazing pieces of functional art alive. LOVE PINBALL

made a wooden pinball box with a makey makey

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The long awaited makey makey showed up Friday. I played around with it some and then got an idea to build a wooden box to be a controller for the virtual pinball I play on my PC. Got some scraps from the garage and built it. I have a launch, credit, start, and the flipper buttons alligator clipped to the makey makey which is connected via USB to my computer. Before I was playing on the keyboard and this feels so much better. They sell cards to hook arcade buttons to a computer that have more options, but for a test run the makey makey got the job done.

Mario neon is cool

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$99 shipped
I have the Super Mario Bros game torn down right now to fix the monitor. Hoped to get it done before it arrived, but it got here in 9 days when I was told 3 weeks.
Not the biggest, but darn cool.

19 in 1 jamma board in the BorKade

I picked up a 19-in-1 jamma card for my Escape from the planet of the robot monsters machine. Jamma is a standard for arcade machines so you can swap boards out easily with a connector. I had to do some major rewiring, new buttons, and new joysticks. This board uses the real ROMs of the games, so they are not recreations. Defender and Stargate do not have hyperspace and thrust is done with the joystick though. Some of the games are hella lame and I turned them off, but having Robotron on there made the choice insanely easy. I got it from newegg for $99, when they used to run $250. I have been having a blast and look to get another arcade cabinet and install a 60-in-1 vertical card in the future.

Games:
Defender
Stargate
Bubbles
Joust
Robotron: 2084
Blaster
Splat
Rally-X
Battle City
Mario Bros
New Rally-X
Ghost’n Goblins
Solomon’s Key
Gradius
Sky Kid
Ice Climber
Super Mario Bros
Do! RunRun
Kick Rider

glowing orbs of awesome

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I wanted to replace the buttons on Defender with some illuminated ones. I ordered them before I even picked the game up. Then I noticed that there is no room under the control panel for anything besides the leaf switches it currently used. Sitting there all sad I stared at the wall and then Escape from the planet of the robot monsters did its attract sounds and I got an idea.

Well it was kind of a bunch of ideas. I have been slacking on turning the EFTPOTRM machine into a MAME. I looked into a multi game board a while back. There is a cool one with 19 games on it made for the horizontal screen, but it runs about $250. I decided to look it up again and now they are just $100 and even newegg sells them.

Defender
Stargate
Bubbles
Joust
Robotron: 2084
Blaster
Splat
Rally-X
Battle City
Mario Bros
New Rally-X
Ghost’n Goblins
Solomon’s Key
Gradius
Sky Kid
Ice Climber
Super Mario Bros
Do! RunRun
Kick Rider

The EFTPOTRM cabinet used to be a Robotron, so that will be cool. I will order up the board Wednesday, but I can get the machine ready before it shows up. The 19 in 1 board only needs 2 joy sticks and 6 buttons total. I will hook up the ones on the edge as 1 player start and player 2 start. I will also add another button for credits. In super Mario Bros you need credits to be able to continue.

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The old buttons were leaf switches. They are pretty cool with the springy feel and sound, but micro switches have the click and they light up.

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It took extra wires to power the LED lights in the buttons. I was able to hook them right to the power supply, so it was easy. Also went with connectors instead of soldering. When I powered it up for the first time only one button was glowing, but flipping the LED bulbs fixed that. They glow really bright.