A Small Taste of Pinball Obsession

Let me start this entry by apologizing. The machine is still in the back of my car, and I am still making space for it in my basement. Also, until I bought one, I didn't know that pinball machines weigh 200-400 pounds. I don't have the people and equipment necessary to move the machine right now. For now, you'll have to be satisfied with the manual:


Pinball machines are made to be serviceable by the owner, and many machines come with incredibly detailed manuals. As someone new to the hobby and who doesn't really know what he's looking at, I would classify my manual as excellent. It goes into the essentials on gameplay, settings, diagnosing and auditing the machine, part numbers for when things break, and incredibly detailed schematics. For example, below is a picture of two pages of the electronic schematics from my machine, next to a yard stick for scale.

Remember this is two pages of the twenty-six pages of detailed electronic schematics! All ninety-six pages of the manual are exceptional. If something breaks, and you have enough time and gumption, you can figure out what's broken, find parts, and fix it. (More on this below.)

A Community of Pinaddicts 

Pinball machines have been around for 70 years, and it's quite possible the manual has been lost over time. Well, the dedicated fans of the hobby have scanned and published many manuals online, and they are free to download. For example, here's the Internet Pinball Machine Database (IPMD) link to my  machine. Besides detailing the artists and engineers on my machine, the kind pinheads have scanned and published my user manual, uploaded the software that makes the machine run, and taken numerous pictures of the machine.

But, it doesn't stop there. Pinball enthusiasts have set up forums to discuss machines. If you have a problem, you can ask and get incredibly detailed responses from people who have probably debugged the same problem you're having. For example, here's a nice thread where someone had a problem with their Maverick resetting, and they got answers on how to fix it. The pinball community is great!

Which is part of the reason why I'm writing this blog. I feel like I want to give back to the community some information about my experience fixing a pinball machine. I think there's a story here, and my domain name was too awesome to pass up.

Hopefully in the next day or two I'll get the machine out of the car, and I can give you some pictures of what my problem looks like. Additionally, I hope to share the project plan I wrote for the what I know needs fixing on the machine. Stay tuned.


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