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Author Topic: General Help Information for the New Collector / Restorer.  (Read 2139 times)
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Mr_Rampage
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« on: July 12, 2014, 08:24:34 AM »

This thread is being made with the intent to act as a Frequently Asked Questions thread. Known as a FAQ for the new collectors to this hobby and the old collectors who need ideas. I will be updating it much like my "johns helpful tip videos" thread {found here http://www.johnsarcade.com/forum/index.php?topic=432.0}

Restoration Tips:

Q: Do your buttons stick and haven't been cleaned since the 80's?

A:You may not need to throw them away. You can clean them with a simple cleaning solution. This may not restore the color to the button so if thats an issue to you might just buy a new button. If your cheap like me this is perfect since you can save a little money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2vWsx5wsnk <- I did a video on how to disassemble a button


What To look for when buying:

Arcade Machines -


When your buying ask questions. Is the machine working? If the machine is working can you see it turned on? Is the seller willing to turn the machine on to show it working and willing to let you play it? What is the general overall condition of the machine?

If the machine is working that generally means theres less wrong with it. Even a working machine is going to need maintenance work on it eventually thats the nature of these machines. If the buyer is advertising it as working but wont turn it on to let you see the machine in action this should probably be a red flag that something is definitely wrong with the machine. If the condition is bad you can use that to help talk them down. If you can see the machine working check all the buttons and make sure the monitor doesn't have burn in on it.

Pinball Machines -

Pinball Machines by all accounts are a pain in the ass to keep working. There is litterally hundreds of parts and if one part breaks the whole machine stops working. Add in the fact you have a ball rolling around at 20 mph on the play field and damage is increased exponentially. Thats not even counting in the fact that everyone who thinks there an electrician trys to add in extra crap and mods to machines without knowing what there doing and generally ends up damaging the machine in the process. That said heres what to look for when buying a broken machine.

-Older Pins- {EM and Solid State Pre dot matrix} These machines are going to generally be in rougher condition. As the balls decay they get pitting on them and this pitting flying at 20 mph {or faster because operators/people who dont know what there doing replaced them with higher powered coils} acts as sand paper on the artwork. The solder is going to be possibly 40 - 60 years old and be a typical cause of failure for these machines as well. The score reels are typically going to be gummed up because operators do not typically know how to properly maintain machines or i should say "didn't" some did but the vast majority didn't and they didnt care to because it was nothing more than a money making device to them. "It breaks throw it away buy a new one." Check for damage to the back glass. Incandescent bulbs create heat and this damages the back glass. It might look fine under normal light but when turned on there might be a large chip out of the back glass. Also battery damage, Old pins have the battery pack mounted right onto the board and if the batterys leaked you might end up trying to find a used board that might be difficult or next to impossible to find.

So the bullet points on older pins - check for play field damage, broken bumpers/missing bumper tops, damaged plastic ramps, especially check around plastic play field inserts as they decay they shrink and become a U shape inside the play field and more often than not the rusty balls hitting that chips the art around them and can be difficult to in some cases impossible to restore. IMO this is a cosmetic issue not a game play issue so don't pass on a perfectly good game because of this, but i would suggest with massive ware damage to get the price lowered on it. Do not pay top dollar for damage.

Even if the balls look fine, replace them anyways. There cheap and its better to have brand new ones in it. Another point of failure on these machines is the coils themselves. Sometimes they lock on and burn up. Replacing the coil is not going to fix that, you have a short somewhere you'll need to figure out whats causing them to blow up. If your game has fuses you need to check those as well make sure there not burnt up and that the fuses ARE CORRECT. There's lots of times when a operator just threw whatever fuse was handy into the machine or as i call it "stabbing it with fuses till it """works""" ".

Newer Pinball Machines - Your going to find less wrong with these just check the machine is working properly. look for ware on the play field, check the balls aren't rusty/pitted if there suspect replace them, check for damage in the plastics. there can still be problems with newer games just give them a good look over before buying.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS look at the machine before plugging it in. Otherwise you end up plugging something like this in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgE5U1pBZTg Picture if you will a frakenwired transformer being plugged in. Only bad things can follow.

Moving your games around:


Further Study via Youtube

Names to look into on youtube.

Arcadeuk , for all of the people in the UK  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIuQhBUK4eHSLO72-qXqlYg

Johns Arcade , Your here already but he also has a youtube channel go look him up.

Arcade Impossible , Greg and his friends find games and restore them. https://www.youtube.com/user/arcadeimpossible

Arcade Repair Tips - https://www.youtube.com/user/varcadegames

Pinball Help - Has a youtube and website


Game Room Collectables - Ray & Mike do "Rays Tech Tips" An absolutely Invaluable series to watch if you ever wanted to know how the guts of a machine work and general tip information on getting your game operational. Direct Link to them, full disclosure there friends of mine https://www.youtube.com/user/GameroomCollectibles

Sands Museum - https://www.youtube.com/user/sandsmuseum If you can't tell by now im a classic Arcade enthusiest before even video games. I love it all.

The Torrence Collection - Not so much arcade "restoration" but its a Incredible collection to see.
No seriously go check this guy out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZQQs0p6G8-qRiDcWQq8CHA

Tighe Lory - https://www.youtube.com/user/tigheklory I've seen some of his work in his videos. Solid advice I believe.


This thread is a post in progress and will be updated over a period of time. New sections may rise, old sections my be removed or updated without notice. So make sure to bookmark information you need to keep.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 07:54:09 PM by Mr_Rampage » Logged

True restoration is an art form. Like any good artist you have to know what your doing. Painting a single line on a canvas and calling it a masterpiece does not fly in restoring a arcade machine. Do it right
TimeRunner
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2014, 11:24:54 AM »

I'd like to highly recommend this excellent video John made about how to fix a dead arcade game. It has tips for social engineering strategies you can use to make sure you get a great deal from the seller (e.g. don't let them plug in the game) as well as a great diagnosis and ultimate resolution of a "dead" machine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reRgbVrt8JA
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Mr_Rampage
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2014, 12:27:27 PM »

if i recall it was don't fix the game there. Honestly if its the one im thinking of. yes the link is right there im lazy right now. Its a good video to watch. Oh and if you want to recommend youtube channels that'd be good to watch please do so in the comments. I'll review there videos and then add them.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 11:48:05 PM by Mr_Rampage » Logged

True restoration is an art form. Like any good artist you have to know what your doing. Painting a single line on a canvas and calling it a masterpiece does not fly in restoring a arcade machine. Do it right
Antman
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 12:25:29 AM »

I'd like to highly recommend this excellent video John made about how to fix a dead arcade game. It has tips for social engineering strategies you can use to make sure you get a great deal from the seller (e.g. don't let them plug in the game) as well as a great diagnosis and ultimate resolution of a "dead" machine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reRgbVrt8JA


GREAT VIDEO!    Thanks John.   You inspired me and now I have 4 machines and possibly another tomorrow


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