monthly rec.games.pinball FAQ, one of two

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Andy Oakland, rec.games.pinball FAQ editor

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Feb 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/2/99
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Archive-name: games/pinball/part1

Reading this FAQ from an archive somewhere? There may be a more recent
version at the official web site, " http://cascade.mit.edu/pinball.html "

------------------------
Most recent update: January 18, 1999
Removed "Pinhead Classified" from list of periodicals. Sorry to see it go, pinchick! :^(
Added info about buying last issue of Pinhead Classified.
------------------------

This is the first half of the collectors' FAQ for rec.games.pinball, giving
pointers (both on-line and on paper) for more information about the world
of pinball, and explaining how to buy your own pinball machine!

The second half of the collector's FAQ includes helpful techniques and parts
suppliers for keeping home pinball machines up and running.

=========================================================================
==================== On-Line information sources ======================
=========================================================================

How much is that pinball machine worth? Don Shoemaker's "Auction Results"
at " http://www.xmission.com/~daina/auctions/index.html " indexes two thousand
recent sales, with price, condition, location, date of sale, and notes about
the individual machines!

The "Flipper Cowboy" pages, " http://www.xenosgroup.com/folks/terryc/ ",
contains a list of pinball historians and a variety of historical
essays about pinball machines. Maintained by Terry Cumming.

Randy Fromm's Amusement International Magazine is a web-based magazine
for the coin-op industry. Reviews of the latest machines, tons of
technical tips, and "Yellow Pages" and "Classified" listings. Heavy on
the graphics, but very worthwhile! " http://randyfromm.com/ "

There's the "Pinball Pasture" Web site, maintained by David Byers.
It's located at " http://www.lysator.liu.se/pinball/ ".

The URL for the "Pin-Wizard" Archive, covering league and tournament
info, is " http://www.glue.umd/edu/~dstewart/pinball/ "

Daina Pettit maintains a major pinball page at
" http://www.xmission.com/~daina/pinball.html ", including photos,
pinball classifieds, repair tips, and a registry of collectors.

Two Bit Score Amusements, a pinball repair shop, has a Web page at
" http://www.twobit.com/ "

Steven Craig maintains an up-to-date list of
pinball machines and their owners (the PAPS list), so that other net'ers
can find people who have a specific game.
" http://www.visi.com/~scraig/PAPS/PAPS.html "

Federico "Wiz" Croci maintains a "FlipperPage" in Italy, at: http://tilt.it/

Star Tech Journal ("The Technical & Informational Monthly for the
Coin-Operated Entertainment Industry") keeps a detailed web page at
" http://www.cyberenet.net/~startech "

Harold Balde maintains a slick web page at
" http://tilt.largo.fl.us/hbalde/ "

Marco Specialties provides an auction calendar and a section for "for sale"
and "wanted" ads, as well as selling parts, books, and supplies.
" http://magenta.com/marco "

Russ Jensen wonderful articles online, mainly on the history of pinball,
including topics such as the evolution of the thumper-bumper and The Year
That Could Have Ended Pinball! " http://members.aol.com/rusjensen ".

John's Jukes offers pins for sale and a random collection of technical
tips. " http://www.flippers.com "

The Pinball Owners Association in Cambridge (the _real_ Cambridge, not the
upstart one I live in!) keeps their page at " http://ds.dial.pipex.com/poa/ ".

Coin-Op Classics magazine has gone out of business, but their web
page is still worth a visit. " http://www.coin-opclassics.com/ ".

The Pinball Heaven specialises in selling 1990 and later Bally and
Williams machines. " http://www.PinballHeaven.co.uk "

Also, the FAQ editor (that's me!) has finally joined the Web! You can find
my personal web page at " http://www.mit.edu/people/sao/home.html ",
or tour my pinball machines at " http://cascade.mit.edu/pinball.html ".

=========================================================================
=============== How do I buy my own pinball machine? ===================
=========================================================================

Frequently Asked Question number one: "How do I buy a machine?"

Buying a pinball for home use has a lot in common with buying a car: It is
a big investment, the item requires proper care, and the business is filled
both with honest, decent people and sleazeballs.

=========================================================================
=============== Decide what sort of machine you want ==================
=========================================================================

Games available for home purchase fall into three categories: Used electro-
mechanical, used solid-state, and new (all new games are solid-state). Which
is right for you depends on what you want, how much you're willing to spend,
and whether you ever intend to sell or trade the game.

Think a bit about why you want a game. If you want it to play, chances
are that you want a solid-state game. They play faster, and the software
has features that could take you some time to uncover.

If you're looking for something to tear apart, down to the bare wood, and
build back up again (only better), buy an electro-mechanical. Doing the
fix-up on a solid-state game wouldn't be as fruitful--At some point,
you'd be staring at an IC-laden circuit board, and that's way beyond
cleaning contacts and tightening springs.

Aside from knowing why you want a game, you should zero in on which game you
want. The market is fat with choices, and there is a fair chance that,
if you look in the right places, you can eventually find what you want. But
you can't go into the market saying, "Oh, just find me something you think
I'll like." It goes deeper than issues of color and whitewalls or no: You
will fare best if you have a wish list of games you are interested in.

How much will it cost? It depends on the popularity and rarity of the
game, the condition of this particular machine, and whether or not you live
in California. (Not a joke ... Prices run higher in The Golden State!)

A semi-functional older solid-state machine can be had for as little as
$100, while a new game fresh from the factory runs about $3500. Typical
price for a game that's seen a couple years of use would be $400-$1000.

An electro-mechanical game can run anywhere from $150 to $750, with
real collector's items (like Humpty Dumpty) significantly more.

If this is your first machine, it's highly recommended that you get a working
one! Picking up a cheap junker may be tempting, but you'll never get it
going without experience, specialized equipment, and a stock of spare parts.
Try to buy from someone who'll deliver it in working condition, and stand
behind it for a while. Ask for references!

=========================================================================
======================= Go looking for one =========================
=========================================================================

The path a pinball machine travels typically looks like this:

Manufacturer--->Distributor--->Operator--->Collector or junkyard

Unless you have very deep pockets, you won't be buying your machine
from the manufacturer or distributor. Operators are the ones who
put machines out in the field and maintain them...They're usually
willing to sell used machines once they stop pulling in the quarters.

Go to your favorite machine in the field, and ask who owns it. If the
location doesn't, there's probably a sticker on the machine pointing you
to the operator. Another way to find operators is to hit the Yellow Pages,
and call up the companies listed under "Amusement Devices." First ask
them if they sell machines for home use, then ask for the specific machines
you're looking for.

Part II of this faq also includes pointers to several sources for
used pinball machines. These are typically large operators.

You can also buy machines from collectors. In fact, this is pretty much
the only way to go to find an Electro-mechanical. You probably aren't
going to find an EM in the field, or with an operator.

For both EM's and solid-state machines, the little ads in periodicals like
Game Room are an excellent source of leads. (See list of periodicals
below) Also, you can try to find something locally. Buy every newspaper
you can, including the little "nickel ads" type, and check the classifieds.
Keep doing this for months. Takes time, but good deals occasionally pop up.

You can also find a "broker," a sort of super-collector in business
to buy up old used games, fix them up, and resell them. Again, you can
reach these people through the publications listed below.

Also, believe it or not, check with a dart supply store! I know of two
in my area (Boston) which sell used pins, and at least one Norwegian
store does.

<a name="auctions"> </a>
=========================================================================
================== Buying pinball machines at auctions ================
=========================================================================

Another source for machines is the gaming auctions. This isn't the
best place to buy your first machine, but with a little knowledge it
can be a good deal and a lot of fun!

Auctions pop up all over the US. The collector's magazines, like
"pinGame journal" or "Game Room", list upcoming auctions, and you
can also find listings at web sites such as:

http://www.GameRoomAntiques.com/show.htm
http://www.empireamusement.com/supplies.html
http://magenta.com/marco/auctions.htm
http://www.usamusement.com/schedule.html

You can also download a list of recent auction results from:

http://straylight.cso.niu.edu/pinball/auction-results.html

These auctions can include video games, change machines, slot machines,
juke boxes, crane machines, skee-ball, beer lights, pool tables, etc.,
as well as the pinball machines...Just about everything from the
arcade or amusement arena!

Machines available at auctions tend to be those that have stopped generating
enough revenue for an operator to keep them on location. However, they can
range from New-In-Box (NIB) to 30+ year old EMs. The biggest thing to note is
that all items are AS IS, and the only guarantee you get with an auction
machine is the guarantee that SOMETHING will be wrong with it!

If you find a machine that you are interested in, you should examine and play
it to determine if everything works. Examine the playfield, backglass, and
cabinet to determine if the amount is wear is excessive for the age of the
machine. Check to see if the manual/schematic is included. For a solid-state,
try to run the machine through the self diagnostic tests. Look inside the
machine and under the playfield for suspicious items such as cut/spliced wires,
burnt components, missing components, etc.

When you find one (or more) machines, determine what your maximum price will
be. It's easy to get caught up in the bidding and go higher than you want.
Realize that you may be bidding against the owner of the machine, who's
trying to drive up the price of the machine. (The issue of buybacks appears
as semi-regular topic in r.g.p.)

There are several things that you should take to the auction. These include:

1) 100 foot, heavy-duty, three prong extension cord. There will probably
be several outlets available, but all are not accessible from every machine.

2) Tools - This should include sockets and/or wrenches to use to remove the
leg and head bolts for transport.

3) Blanket, towels, cardboard, rope - Used for transport, or to place the
playfield glass on during inspection.

4) Food and drinks - The auctions can be quite long. Snack bar food is the
other option.

5) The afore-mentioned list of past auction results. This will give you
an idea of what the machines have sold for in the past. Although each
machine's unique, having a baseline like this will help you be a more
informed buyer.

=========================================================================
======================= Publications =========================
=========================================================================

There are many periodicals good for getting background information
on the pinball world and for contacting other collectors.
pinGame journal is probably the best one for home pinball collecting.
Game Room Magazine covers general home gamerooms (soda fountains,
jukeboxes, etc) with a healthy dose of pinball included.

Other magazines are largely "for the trade"; i.e., arcade operators
and their ilk, though it's fun to have a look from the other side
of the backglass!


------------------
Pinhead Classified
------------------
Pinhead Classified has gone out of business (Jan 1999), but the
100-page final issue (No. 29) is available for purchase.

"There's only 7 pages of display ads, and we've left out
the classified ads this time cuz I didn't feel like typin'
'em in--they woulda been stale anyway. This issue
is packed with stuff written by subscribers, the way a
fanzine should be. There's even less white space than usual.
It's always been just for the fun of vintage pins, so, as usual,
there's nothin' about any new games."

Rates: Thru Jan 22, '99 -- $31/US; $36/Can; $38 Holes.
Issues No. 1-28 are available for $7/US; $9/Can; $10/Holes.
First class mail included. Checks must be made out to Atomic Groove.

Atomic Groove
Attn: PC Back Issues
1945 "N" Street, Hole 111
Newman, CA 95360

--------------
pinGame journal
--------------
31937 Olde Franklin Drive, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Phone: (810) 626-5203 message/fax
URL: http://www.pingamejournal.com
Written by pinball collectors. Includes info about new games in
development, as well as articles on finding, reconditioning, and playing
older games. Subscription includes one free classified ad per month.
Often includes cool plastics and flyers.
12 issues--$34 (add $20 for First Class). Canada $38, Europe Air: $67,
Pacific Rim $77, $40.00 (all overseas surface--very slow and unreliable.)
Sample issue: $4.00, Information: Free.

-----------------
GameRoom Magazine
-----------------
PO Box 41
Keyport, NJ 07735-0041
Phone: (732) 739-1955 (Fax 24 hr): (732) 739-2834
Email: coi...@gameroommagazine.com
A monthly hobbyist publication, covering pinballs, slots, jukeboxes,
Coke machines, arcade videos, etc. Equipment and parts advertising.
Steady supply of pinball articles. Successor to the defunct "Pinball
Trader." $30/year for US, $50 first class; $35/year Canadian (surface),
$55/year Canadian (air); $53/year European(surface), $87/year
European(air); $57/year Pacific Basin (surface), $93/year Pacific
Basin(air). Accepts credit cards. Sample issue $5.25.
URL: http://www.gameroommagazine.com

----------
Play Meter
----------
PO Box 24970, New Orleans, LA 70184
Thick, slick trade journal, mostly aimed at arcade owners and operators.
Provides uniformly glowing reviews of the latest games. Covers crane
games, kiddie rides, etc., as well as video and pinball.
$60/year US & Canada, $150/year overseas. Sample issue $5 USA, $10 foreign.
URL: " http://w3.thegroup.net/~aim/pmhome.html "

--------------------------------------------------
Distributors Research Associates (DRA) Price Guide
--------------------------------------------------
11522 State Road 84, Suite 223, Davie FL, 33325
Voice: (954) 423-4000 FAX: (954)423-4005
$85/year, 8 issues (quarterly with mid-quarter updates], USA check/MC/VISA
Price listings for conversions, pins, bowlers-shuffles-misc., video games,
jukes, pool tables, other vending equipment currently in active trading,
although phonographs [jukeboxes] and vending go back as far as 1975.

------
RePlay
------
P.O. Box 2550, Woodland Hills, CA 91365
Another monthly trade magazine with the same content as Play Meter.
$65/year US, $85/year Canada & Mexico, Foreign $220 (air) $80 (boat)
sample issue $6.

---------
Coin Slot
---------
4401 Zephyr St., Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-3299
A quarterly covering all collectible coin-op machines. $40/year.
URL: " http://www.hoflin.com/Coin%20Slot.html "

-----------------
Canadian Coin Box
-----------------
NCC Publishing, 222 Argyle Ave., Delhi, Ontario N4B 2Y2 Canada.
$38/year, sample issue $3.50.

------------------
Coin-Op Newsletter
------------------
P.O. Box 2426, Rockville, MD 20852
A bimonthly hobbiest publication. Covers antiques and coin-op collectables.
$24/ten issues.

-----------------------
Coin Drop International
-----------------------
5815 West 52nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80212
a large-format newsprint magazine (11x17) covering electromechanical coin-op
amusements. The most likely place to see old horse race machines, strength
testers, etc. Pinball articles are just as likely to cover bingos or pre-
flipper machines as they are the more conventional EMs with flippers.
$15/year for US, $21/year for Canada, $40/year foreign. Sample issue $3.
All funds must be paid in US dollars!
Visa/MasterCard accepted. Fax subscriptions: (303) 431-6978


=========================================================================
======================= Manufacturers =========================
=========================================================================

Alive and flipping:

Sega Pinball Inc. (Includes Data East)
1990 Janice Avenue
Melrose Park, IL 60160
tel: 708-345-7700
fax: 708-345-7718
toll free: 800-KICKERS
URL: " http://www.sega.com/central/history/history.html "

Williams Electronic Games Inc. (Includes Bally and Midway)
3401 North California Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
tel: 312-961-1000
URL: " http://www.pinball.wms.com "


Now sadly out of business:

Premier Technology (Includes Gottlieb and Mylstar)
759 Industrial Drive
Bensenville, IL 60106
tel: 708-350-0400
fax: 708-350-1097
toll free 800-444-0761

Capcom Coin-Op
3311 N. Kennicott
Arlington Hts, IL 60004
tel: 708-797-6100
URL: " http://capcom.ms.wwa.com/ "

Andy Oakland, rec.games.pinball FAQ editor

unread,
Feb 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/2/99
to
Archive-name: games/pinball/part2

Reading this FAQ from an archive somewhere? There may be a more recent
version at the official web site, " http://cascade.mit.edu/pinball.html "

------------------------
Most recent update: March 19, 1998. Pinball upkeep doesn't change much!
------------------------

This is the second half of the collector's FAQ for rec.games.pinball,
covering techniques and parts suppliers for keeping home pinball machines
up and running.

The first half of the FAQ provides pointers (both on-line and paper) for
more information about the world of pinball, and explains how to buy your
very own pinball machine!


=========================================================================
======================= Playfields =========================
=========================================================================

Playfields come in three flavors: Mylared, non-Mylared, and Williams'
"DiamondPlated" fields. Mylar is a sheet of clear plastic laid over
the playfield to protect it. Mylar can get grubby, and slows down play...
Some pinball purists remove the Mylar and keep their fields well waxed.

For Mylared playfields, you can use "Endust" or something similar. If
your game is already in good condition, it does just what you want, and
without that annoying waxy buildup!

Williams field service suggests cleaning DiamondPlate playfields with
Novus Plastic Polishes #'s 1 and 2. #1 to clean and repel dust, #2 to
remove fine scratches. Or you can simply wipe the field clean with a rag
and some glass cleaner. KIT carnauba wax is also reputed to be good.
Call Novus at (800) 548-6872 for a distributor in your area. Brady
Distributors (see bottom of FAQ) and some plastics supply houses carry Novus.

By the way, Williams does not recommend "Wildcat" wax on DiamondPlate
playfields, as it can seep under any mylar pieces and dissolve their
adhesive. It can also cloud clear ramps, with repeated use.

Maintaining your non-Mylar playfield is more complicated. There are special
waxes made for this, such as "Mills" and "Wildcat," which are available
at distributors or via mail-order. (See list of suppliers below) Wax
protects the playfield's paint, and provides a smooth, fast, surface for
the ball to roll on.

A dirty playfield should be "dry wiped" with a soft rag before the first
cleaner/wax application -- that much less dirt to get trapped in the wax.
Do NOT clean playfields with water! Lemon Pledge is reputed to be an
excellent general-purpose cleaner; you can also clean up the playfield
plastics with it, and use it to freshen up a game that's alread got a
good coat of wax.

If you want get ambitious and remove your Mylar, Brian Millham
offers the following advice:

"It turned out to be a BIG, MESSY job, but it was worth it!
The best method that I found was HEAT. I simply took a hair dryer
and heated up a portion of the Mylar, starting from an easy to get
to edge, and peeled it up. Once you get it started, the job is fairly
easy, but slow. Let the heat do its work. Don't overheat the
playfield, but also don't pull the Mylar up too fast. You don't want
to pull up any paint with it!

"Once you have removed the old Mylar, you are probably only half done
with the job. You now will need to remove the glue that was left
behind. This is the fun part :-) I ended up using Milwax and
lots of elbow grease. Once you start cleaning off
the glue, you will find that it looks like you are making a bigger
mess than you had. Don't worry, it will start coming clean.
Oh, did I mention to have LOTS of cloths to do this part?

"It played like a whole different machine! And it looked better too.
The Mylar leaves a dull finish. A waxed playfield looks nice and
bright.

Also, there are solvents available to dissolve the glue...I've seen these
work with magnificent results. Michael Knudsen reports:

"I just heard from a serious pin restorer that that Blue Stuff
(called CP-100 by Gemini Inc in Michigan) really dissolves that
gunky glue that holds down Mylar sheets. Not only cleans it up
in short order, but will even soak under the edge of a Mylar sheet
(like around a bumper or ramp) and loosen it right off the playfield!
So now The Blue Stuff has its special niche in pin work.

If you want to do playfield touchup, you can use Testor's paint. You'll
find this in the plastic model section of your local toy store. There
are some new Testor's paint pens on the market, too, which work well.

Lettering can be either retouched by hand, if there's enough to salvage, or
completely redone with rub-on letters. Art supply stores have the latter.
Before retouching the playfield, be certain to clean well and remove all
the old wax! Brian Casper has used grain alcohol with good results.

You can build up height in worn or chipped spots by using multiple coats
of paint. Be sure to allow plenty of time for each coat to dry, and finish
up with coats of polyurethane spray.

Deeper gouges and holes in your playfield can be patched with "Bondo," a
product typically used for repairing car bodies. Bondo should be applied
to the bare wood; beware of getting it on playfield plastics, as its
solvents may attack them. It is very hard after it cures, so you should do
as much shaping of the area as possible while it is still malleable. Once
it dries, you need to use a power sander to smooth it out.

To fill in stripped screw holes and the like, you can use "Plastic Wood"
to provide a new surface for the screws to grip. Another trick is to poke
a toothpick or two into the hole.


=========================================================================
======================= Flippers =========================
=========================================================================

If your flippers seem feeble, have a look at the contacts on the buttons
and the coils themselves.

The flipper coils are actually two coils in one. One is the relatively
high-current one to initially fire a flipper, and the other is the lower-
current one for holding a flipper up. The high-current coil is supposed
to cut out at the end of a stroke, leaving the lower-current coil to hold
the flipper up. If the high-current coil isn't firing, the flipper will
move very feebly. Conversely, if the high-power coil is constantly
energized, you're likely to fry the coil or blow a fuse.

How this is done depends on the age of the machine. On older machines,
(Pre-Dr. Dude, 1990) it's done in hardware with a normally closed end-of-
stroke ("EOS") switch which opens at the top of the stroke and puts the
low-power coil in series with the high-power one, reducing the total
current and protecting the high-power coil. If the contacts on this switch
are bad, the high-power coil won't get full power, and the flipper will be
feeble. If the switch opens too soon, the flipper will be deenergized
too early. But if it doesn't open at all, you risk burning out the coil.

Cleaning and adjusting these contacts, as well as the contacts in the
flipper buttons, will fix many flipper problems. See the directions for
contact cleaning under "General Cleaning Tips" below.

Most modern machines use "solid state" flippers, which use software to control
the strength of the flip. The most important difference is the fact that the
end of stroke switches are normally open, and close when the flipper reaches
the end of stroke. When the player presses a flipper button, the flipper
controller board energizes both the high-power (50-volt) and low-power (25
volt) coils. When the flipper closes the EOS switch, the controller board
shuts off the 50 volts, leaving the 25-volt coil to keep the flipper up.
The practical upshot of all this is that the switches, being low current, do
not need as much care. Also, the flipper buttons may be replaced by optical
switches, again reducing the necessary maintance.

A sluggish flip may also be caused by a dirty flipper sleeve. Remove
the sleeve and clean it and the plunger. DO NOT USE LUBRICANTS on
the flipper sleeve; they will pick up gunk and eventually clog things
back up again. Replace the sleeve if it looks really worn.

A melted sleeve should warn you to check the EOS switch and make sure
the high-current coil is cutting out on cue.

You may also have a worn coil stop or plunger, causing the flipper
to pull in too far. And eventually, the end of the plunger will
"mushroom" from hitting the coil stop thousands of times, making the
end fatter and causing friction as it moves through the sleeve.
Best bet here is to replace the plunger.

If you need new contacts, sleeves, plungers, or whole coils, you can order
replacements from the sources listed below.

Flippers in many electromechanical (EM) machines are driven by AC, so there
tends to be some buzzing associated with them. This is normal.

=========================================================================
======================= Drop Targets =========================
=========================================================================

To clean drop targets, hold the target up by hand, or remove it entirely,
and use a moist soapy rag or Q-tip. Anything nastier than soap may harm
the paint or plastic. Again, test on an inconspicious place first.

If your drop targets aren't resetting properly, check to see if the
lip the target sits on is rounded off. If so, file the plastic lip (on
the target) flat again or replace the target. Also, check that the reset
solenoid is pulling in all the way so that the targets are coming up to
the correct height.

If the targets don't register when they drop, try cleaning the contacts
as described below.

=========================================================================
======================= General Cleaning Tips =========================
=========================================================================

If this is a machine you've just bought, by all means clean out all the
insides, carefully. Don't throw out any stray screws, small springs, or
other objects...They might be useful! Watch out for the various service
instruction sheets stapled around the insides. If you find any mouse
droppings, check carefully for wires and cables gnawed thru so neatly
that you can't see the gaps!

Intermittently flickering bulbs may be helped by bending the socket
slightly out of round with needlenose pliers (with the bulb out!) to make
the grounded shell fit tighter. A bit of burnishing to remove corrosion
can also help.

You can use a business card to clean switch contacts. Slip it between
the contacts, press them together, and saw gently back and forth. If
necessary, use Freon, rubbing alcohol or some such solvent on the card to
soften the crud, and use a dry card again afterwards. High-current contacts,
such as the ones on flipper buttons, may require harsher measures. Look
for a "contact burnisher" at your electronics shop or hardware store.
Never use these on the gold-plated low-current contacts, though, as
they'll destroy the plating and lead to corrosion.

If some switches aren't firing, or are firing sporadically, check the
spacing between the contacts ("Dwell and Gap"). Bally recommends
1/16th of an inch. You can adjust the spacing by bending the stiff blade
that's between the two conductive ones.

=========================================================================
======================= General Books ===========================
=========================================================================

The following books are recommended for pinball fanatics:

"Pinball--The Lure of the Silver Ball," Gary Flower and Bill Kurtz,
Chartwell Books. General overview of pinball history, from EM's to solid
states. Color hardcover, great pictures. ISBN 1-55521-322-7.

"Pinball 1," Richard Bueschel. History of early games, guide to rating
condition of games, descriptions and photos of many pre-1960 machines.
Emphasis on EM or pre-electric machines. B/W softcover. ISBN 0-86667-047-5.

"Pinball Art," Keith Temple, H.C. Blossom Publishers. History of pinball,
focussing on backglass art. Absolutely gorgeous pictures. Includes a list
of pinball artists and their machines, and a "notoriously inaccurate"
(according to David Marston) list of pinball milestones. ISBN 1-872532-10-1.

"Pinball," Paul Zsolnay Verlag, 1992, originally published in German by V.I.P.
Reprinted in the US by Chartwell Books and in the UK by Tiger Books.
General (though not completely accurate) overview of pinball
history, from 1930's to present. Hardcover, 80 pages, mostly pictures
without explanation. Includes German games from the 30's and woodrails
from the 40's to 50's. ISBN 0-7858-0071-9.

Most of the books listed above are out-of-print and can't be found at your
local bookstore. However, the following people sell them by mail:

AMR Publishing, though they specialize in jukeboxes, sell schematics
and service manuals for an odd collection of older pinball machines,
as well as many of the "coffee table" pinball books listed above.
Box 3007, Arlington, WA, 98223. (206) 659-6434.

Harold Balde (kin...@astral.magic.ca) has a stock of "Pinball," (US $20)
"Pinball Art," (US $50) and "Lure of the Silver Ball" (US 12.95 for second
edition and $50 for first edition) for sale, as well as other books and
videos on jukeboxes and slot machines.

Mayfair Amusements (see listing below, under parts sources) sells
some manuals and books.

Also, Rick Botts of Jukebox Collector Magazine, is rumored to carry
some books. (515) 265-8324.

Larry Bieza puts out an annual "Pinball Price Guide," listing price ranges
and guidelines for estimating value for Gottlieb, Williams and Bally machines
from Humpty Dumpty up to the early 1980's. $18.00 from 1446 Albany Ave,
St Paul MN, 55108. Email: lar...@aol.com.

Bridging the worlds of print and electonic media comes "Coin-Op on CD,"
a multi-media CD-ROM stuffed full of articles, pictures, and three dozen
AVI movies of vintage arcade machines in action. $39.95 (+ $5 Shipping)
" http://members.aol.com/vintslots/index.html ",
Vintage Slots of Colorado, Inc. Box 1121, Broomfield CO 80020

=========================================================================
==================== Manuals and references ====================
=========================================================================

For guides to maintaining machines, you can try the following:

"The Pinball Lizard" sells a series of reprinted technical magazine
articles which are the best reference I've seen for fixing solid-state
home pinball machines! It's the "Joy of Cooking" for pinball owners.
Can be ordered from pb...@azstarnet.com.

Pinball Troubleshooting Guide, Russ Jensen. For upkeep of electro-
mechanicals. Can be ordered directly from author; $20 to
1652 Euclid Av, Camarillo, CA, 93010.

"Pinball Machines: How they work & troubleshooting," Norbert Snicer
ISBN 0-646-11126-4. Available from the author for $40 Australian.
Norbert Snicer, PO Box 622, Randwick NSW 2031, AUSTRALIA.


=========================================================================
============== Sources for parts, machines, etc. ==================
=========================================================================

The following sources have been used and recommended by a variety of people
on the net. (I've used several of them myself) For many more sources,
read the ads in the periodicals recommended in part one of the FAQ.
Most of these sources sell parts and do board repair by mail; my
division by location below is mostly for convenience.

US, Nationwide:
---------------
Betson is a major Williams/Bally distributor, and sells parts for most
current arcade games and vending machines. Reputed to be a little expensive.
Also sells machines to home owners. Branches all over: Pittsburgh, PA;
Los Angeles, CA [(800) 824-6596]; Milford, CT [(203) 878-6966];
New Hyde Park, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; Phoenix, AZ;
Main office, Carlstadt, NJ: (800) 524-2343.
URL: " http://www.betson.com/ "

After going out of business for a few months in 1996, and being bought
(inventory and all) by a new owner, WICO is back in business again.
WICO is a reliable source of parts for all sorts of coin-op machines,
but a little expensive. (800) 367-9426.

US, West of the Mississippi:
----------------------------
Two-Bit Score Amusements provides circuit board repairs for Bally, Stern,
Williams, Sega, and Data East pins after 1977. Can supply and install
game and sound ROMs; sells reprinted shop manuals with schematics as well
as specialized testing chips and text fixtures.
Austin, Texas. (512) 447-8888 (voice), (512) 447-8895 (FAX)
URL: " HTTP://www.twobit.com/ "

Eldorado Products sells copies of manuals and old video game parts.
Long Beach, California. (714) 535-3300 (voice)

Joel Cook and Vickie Huisenga (aka The Pinball Lizard) do board repairs for
all brands of solid state pinballs, and provide tech assistance for EMs.
They also sell parts and basic pinball supplies, and a wonderful series
of reprinted magazine articles on pinball repair.
Tucson, AZ. (520) 323-7496 (voice) [9:00AM - 9:00PM MST],

Colorado Game Exchange sells whole machines (both pinball and video,
we'll forgive them for the latter), though their quality can vary.
(800) 999-3555.

The "Pinball Paradise" specializes in 60's and 70's electromechanical
machines. They can provide parts, schematics, manuals, and advice.
701-C Escobar St. Martinez, CA 94553
(510) 229-9688 (voice), (510) 229-9106 (fax)
URL: " http://nlcomp.com/pp.htm "

US, East of the Mississippi:
----------------------------
A.M.A. Distributors, Inc., is a distributor and parts supplier for Sega,
Capcom, and Premier/Gottlieb. Has a solid inventory of Premier parts.
1525 Airline Hwy.
Metairie, LA 70001 (Just barely east of the Mississippi!)
(504) 835-3232 (voice), (504) 835-9594 (fax)
URL: " http://www.concentric.net/~jmp "

Donal Murphy runs EWI, an inexpensive source for coils and some plastic parts
He manufactures new bumper caps and drop targets using the original molds.
Chicago, Illinois. (312) 235-3360.

Steve Young at The Pinball Resource has a good supply of miscellaneous EM
parts (wiper/stepping units, motors, flippers, pop bumper skirts, springs,
score reels, etc.) He also stocks parts for recent machines, and can order
obscure items directly from Williams.
8 Commerce St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603.
(914) 473-7114 (voice), (914) 473-7116 (fax)

Nick Cochis at Pintronics specializes in Bally and Stern solid state
machines. He repairs and sells circuit boards (CPUs, driver boards,
displays, sound boards, etc.) He also sells copies of manuals for
Bally and Stern machines.
Canton, MA. (617) 961-3012 (voice), (617) 828-5255 (fax)

Steve Engel at Mayfair Amusement Company carries staples like coils, rubbers
and light bulbs. They also do board repairs, have parts and documentation
for older machines, and carry a mammoth (6K+) selection of backglasses.
Ridgewood, NY. (718) 417-5050 (voice)

Brady Distributing Company sells machines and supplies to home owners.
Charlotte, N.C. (704) 357-6284 (voice) and (704) 357-1243 (fax)

Fun 'n' Games sells used pins, parts, and does repairs.
Atlanta, Georgia. (404) 434-9111 (voice)

James Industries sells new and used pins, jukeboxes, and various pub and
redemption games. Contact person is Donna Christensen.
Chicago, Illinois. (708) 358-8000 (voice), (800) FON-JAMES (voice),
(708) 358-8005 (fax)
URL: " http://www.phantasy.com/jamesind/james.html "

Marco Specialties sells pinball collector and tech books, as well as the usual
generic and specific machine parts--bulbs, rubber rings, circuit boards, etc.
Lexington, South Carolina. (803) 957-5500 (voice), (803) 957-6974 (fax)
URL: " http://magenta.com/marco "


Canada:
-------
John's Jukes, Ltd, services Gottlieb boards, as well as Bally, Stern,
Williams, and many other types. They can burn PROMS to order, and can
supply parts, advice, and copies of manuals. Does work on video games and
jukeboxes as well as pins. Vancouver, BC, Canada. (604) 872-5757 (voice)
(604) 872-2010 (fax),
URL: " http://www.flippers.com "

United Kingdom:
---------------
The Pinball Owner's Association has a new address:
POA, PO BOX 122, Cambridge, CB1 4AH, England. You can contact David Blake,
the Treasurer, by email: D.B...@BAS.AC.UK They have revived
their magazine, and provide spare parts.

An authorised Williams distributor is Deith Leisure, who will deal with
orders of £10 and above.

DEITH LEISURE LTD.
Unit 2, Industrial Estate, Leigh Close
New Malden, Surrey, KT3 3NL, England
0181 336 1222 (voice)
0181 336 1487 (fax)

SUZO, 182C Park Avenue, London, NW10 7XH, England. Telephone 081 961 2661.
They sell through a catalogue with minimum orders of £25. Credit cards
accepted.

'Pinball Paradise' is especially good for getting parts for old games, etc.
Unit 1, Greysmere Mews
Beacon Hill Road
Hindhead
Surrey GU26 6NR
01428 606116 (voice)
01428 606106 (fax)

UDC is a source of parts for all manner of pinballs, and also sells
new machines.
United Distribution Group
UDC House
181/182 Park Avenue
London NW10 7XH
0181 965 7071 (voice)

The Pinball Heaven specializes in 1990 and later Bally and Williams
machines. They sell whole machines as well as parts and accessories.
302b Liverpool Rd, Birkdale, Southport, PR8 4PW, UK
+44 (0)1704 551717 (voice)
+44 (0)1704 551713 (fax>
URL: http://www.PinballHeaven.co.uk


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