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Old Game Reliability

SpiderPin

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Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
71
Location
London
Hi all - looking into purchasing my first pin and wanted to get a feel for reliability of the machines themselves - particularly looking at Data Easts and Bally Williams. Are there any particular manufacturers or machines to steer clear of and how much work should I expect to do for general upkeep?
Any insight is appreciated!
 

Davey D

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Joined
Aug 4, 2014
Messages
517
Location
Grimsby, UK
Parts availability is pretty good for DE, and B/W games. They are good for reliability. I think its just some of the Gottleib machines that are harder to get parts for?
 

Pooman2084

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Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
514
Location
High Wycombe
If the game is used often, expect to take the glass off for a quick clean every month or two. Incandescent bulbs will fail every now and again but most are easy to change

I change rubbers and balls every year or so.

Eventually a wire will come loose or a connector will fail, even on a brand new game, it’s just the nature of the things with all the vibrations and mechanical noise.

You will also get the odd component failure on PCBs but most parts are easily available and if you don’t feel confident, there are plenty of folk on here who’ll do it for you.

You’re in London, so plenty of people near you to help if needed.
 

paul h

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Mar 26, 2018
Messages
83
Location
Devon
In my limited experience (B/W only), you often get a small problem when they arrive due to being transported. Once they are back fully working, they are surprisingly reliable - a bit of a clean and the odd rubber change most of the while. If you get a problem, there are plenty of people on here willing to give good advice.
 

Neil McRae

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Jun 5, 2016
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13,032
Location
Surrey
Do you want to spend time playing or spend time fixing? Do you care that the game works 100% or not?

For me I want 100% working and spend time playing so on my old games I've put a lot of effort into to get them working tip top. Having old switches removed and replaced even though they still worked, replacing connectors, ensuring that everything is tip top.

I've often played a lot of games that don't work 100% and it gets my goat massively. Its so frustrating.

If I can't get the game to that stage then I usually get shot of it. I found it hard to get some games to work how I wanted (monster bash for example) but others to work almost perfectly (indy500 / ToM / The Shadow) and I ended up with a new MBR.

Neil.
 

Happypin

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Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
326
Location
London
Hi all - looking into purchasing my first pin and wanted to get a feel for reliability of the machines themselves - particularly looking at Data Easts and Bally Williams. Are there any particular manufacturers or machines to steer clear of and how much work should I expect to do for general upkeep?
Any insight is appreciated!
I’m a big fan of William machines 5 out of my little 7 collection is, most faults are nearly always loose connections or a wire off.
I’ve serviced all my power boards even though they had no faults, you have to remember these machines are nearly 30 years old and so are the capacitors, I have changed everyone and nearly all was low on the meter.
I’m based in London Forest Hill so your welcome to have a game or two.

Alan
 

andy

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Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
734
Location
Bristol
Hi all - looking into purchasing my first pin and wanted to get a feel for reliability of the machines themselves - particularly looking at Data Easts and Bally Williams. Are there any particular manufacturers or machines to steer clear of and how much work should I expect to do for general upkeep?
Any insight is appreciated!
My daily player is currently a Rocky and Bullwinkle, every so often I need to take the glass off for something but usually it’s fine.

You need to remember they are 30 year old games with 30 year old components and heavy metal balls bashing the playfield about, but having said that they were built for heavy play in public locations and will be getting much gentler handling in your home.

Try to find one that’s been well looked after and / or has had some preventative maintenance as mentioned above, but do bear in mind that any repairs or improvements you make yourself will give you a great feeling of achievement! :cool:
 
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