The Arcade Club (Bury) guy

Jagspete

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May 27, 2019
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It’s good to hear that someone’s on repair duty now. I visited in May and of the 17 ish machines 4/5 were off or non starting,(sttng , mario) and another 4/5 (taf , elvira) had unplayable faults like stuck or loose flippers or restart mid game. I’d kinda written the place off ! Oh yeah and I’m 40 plus... a
 
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Truggy

Truggy

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Yea... I wasnt doing repairs in May. It's much better now. I left everything playable today :D

I don't wanna talk business here, bc it's not fair on the business owners. But... one thing I will say about pinball business.... any accountant would tell you to get rid of the pins! "Not economically viable."

I've my own (tiny) business that I do Monday to Thursday. Then the weekends is for pinball! When the place is closed I can strip a machine right down and rebuild - get it near mint. But when the place is open, and the public is knocking around, it's just rolling repairs.
 

JAG555

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Jul 23, 2017
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Just wondering if the Arcade Club pins are still being serviced regularly?

I was up there yesterday and although there has been some improvement in the condition of most (i.e. most were running) they were still really dirty and most of the flippers could do with some work / rebuild. Good to see more titles added, but the lighting is so poor in the pinball area that the back of the older games are too really dark to see anything.

With a little bit more regular servicing / cleaning and some better lighting, this would be a great place for pinball!

The Arcades are amazing!
 
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Truggy

Truggy

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Yes. I'm there every Saturday doing rolling repairs.

They let kids play the machine now, so it's mainly flipper repairs. It's painful to watch kids abusing them, but.... nothing I can do about it, besides handing out some thick ears when I see it happening.

23 machines now, and I clean them as I'm repairing them, but the filth is relentless.
 

JAG555

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Sounds like you might be fighting a losing battle.

It was great to see more machines.
 

Pooman2084

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There is no real easy path to cleaning a game once rubber crud and coil dust gets everywhere.

You’ve got to clean every place that a ball can contact otherwise you’ll just spread it around again.Especially important are subways, kickers and rubbers.
 
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Truggy

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I'm losing the battle with the filth, but not with repairs. The Arcade Club are very generous at providing spare parts, so I always have what I need to get the machines working.

Glad you like the new machines. I'm particularly chuffed with how well South Park has turned out, after I spent months rebuilding it.

FYI.... other new additions are Shaq Attack and SF2
 
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jake52

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Feb 9, 2019
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I'm losing the battle with the filth, but not with repairs. The Arcade Club are very generous at providing spare parts, so I always have what I need to get the machines working.

Glad you like the new machines. I'm particularly chuffed with how well South Park has turned out, after I spent months rebuilding it.

FYI.... other new additions are Shaq Attack and SF2
Are you using an anti-static foam cleaner or equivalent and a wax? When we go the dirt is so impacted, especially on Metallica I would be surprised that whatever you are cleaning with is actually doing much. My OCD is desperate to get the glass off.
You're doing a great job, maybe I'm just too fussy.
If you can see if you can convince Andy about lighting. As said before some games are unplayable simply because the ball heads off into a dark abyss and you can't see a thing. See if he will shell out for LEDs, not everyone's cup of tea but at least it would make the games more visible.
 

PBrookfield

Resident Uneconomical Repair Representative
Mar 23, 2017
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I would genuinely have a thunk about replacing for silicone or urethane rubbers where possible - as much as some people absolutely cannot stand the feel of those things (Superbands are urethane, Titan are silicone, others exist.)

It might be worth putting a few of those in just to remove at least a few sources of rubber grit being spread everywhere.
 

Judderman

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Are you using an anti-static foam cleaner or equivalent and a wax? When we go the dirt is so impacted, especially on Metallica I would be surprised that whatever you are cleaning with is actually doing much. My OCD is desperate to get the glass off.
You're doing a great job, maybe I'm just too fussy.
If you can see if you can convince Andy about lighting. As said before some games are unplayable simply because the ball heads off into a dark abyss and you can't see a thing. See if he will shell out for LEDs, not everyone's cup of tea but at least it would make the games more visible.
Or try some of Wayne J's portable pinstadium replacements - mine's in the conservatory & isn't easy to light, with those I can play anytime.
 
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Truggy

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We use a cleaning & waxing liquid, made for Pinballs. Cant remember the name. Table wax? Pin wax? Ball wax? 😅 It's in a black bottle, and smells like T-cut.

We have LEDs, but we prefer old-fashioned bulbs. Most of the dark playfield areas will just have broken bulbs, and will be rebuilt eventually, with LEDs if they're too dark. For example... X-files was too dark in the middle - inserted a couple of LED in place of the 906 lamps pointing at the file cabinet - looks great now!

I havent heard about urethane or silocone rubber, but I'll investigate, thank you.
 

Paul R Owen

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Nov 15, 2011
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We use a cleaning & waxing liquid, made for Pinballs. Cant remember the name. Table wax? Pin wax? Ball wax? 😅 It's in a black bottle, and smells like T-cut.

We have LEDs, but we prefer old-fashioned bulbs. Most of the dark playfield areas will just have broken bulbs, and will be rebuilt eventually, with LEDs if they're too dark. For example... X-files was too dark in the middle - inserted a couple of LED in place of the 906 lamps pointing at the file cabinet - looks great now!

I havent heard about urethane or silocone rubber, but I'll investigate, thank you.
Millwax.
 

PBrookfield

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Mar 23, 2017
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I havent heard about urethane or silocone rubber, but I'll investigate, thank you.
Knowing the footfall of Arcade Club (at both venues!) I would recommend just going full-blast and getting a big ol' box of various sizes/colors of SuperBands delivered in and applying them en masse. The subtle difference in 'feel' will **** off the people that live and breathe pinball, but frankly, compared to the reduced costs in elbow grease and the improvement for the general public of seeing a lot more clean and not blackened playfields - the purists can sod off.

The two downsides are 1. you almost certainly will need to import them from overseas, direct-from-supplier is Marco Specialities. Reason 2 - you'll have a miserable time applying a big batch of them. They hate being applied to a machine as much as all the other bands do, but these ones are polyurethane and as such, will have the strength to really be metaphorically kicking you hard in the dick the entire time you're struggling with them, unless you literally boil them first.

Still worth it. I'm willing to bet the difference in dirt accumulation rate will be immediately noticable.
 
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Truggy

Truggy

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Millwax! That's the fella.

I have a boss Ill discuss it with. But... with the vast stock of rubber we have already... that switch wont be happening for a while yet.
 
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Truggy

Truggy

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When i have time midweek, I can call in and do a deep dive. Remove everything from the playfield, clean thoroughly and rebuild with entirely fresh rubber and bulbs. You can tell which machine have been done so far, and which havent! There's 22 of them, so it's taken a while. But... progress is going in the correct direction.
 

PBrookfield

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I have a boss Ill discuss it with. But... with the vast stock of rubber we have already... that switch wont be happening for a while yet.
Damned Arcade Club people, being a thoroughly sensible and pro-active group of folks and having spare parts supplies, like that.

It's just not right on these shores, where it's only a proper arcade if it's 85% fruities, and only has a Sega Rally with a dying Model 2A board, one side not working, a DDR Euromix with pads that have maybe two good sensors across all eight floor panels and a random WPC pinball with two working GI bulbs left that isn't taking any coins. And about two hundred pristine ticket-dispensing redemption games that always get new faults repaired in two minutes.
 
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Wayne J

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The two downsides are 1. you almost certainly will need to import them from overseas, direct-from-supplier is Marco Specialities. Reason 2 - you'll have a miserable time applying a big batch of them. They hate being applied to a machine as much as all the other bands do, but these ones are polyurethane and as such, will have the strength to really be metaphorically kicking you hard in the dick the entire time you're struggling with them, unless you literally boil them first.
1. I get all of mine from pinballcenter.de, no need to go to the States, and have bought bulk in all sizes.
2. True they don't stretch as much as traditional rubber, but there's no real issue in fitting them, other than the size you require is not necessarily the same size as you would with rubber - due to the lack of stretch. No need to warm them at all. Due to the difference in stretch - and thus thickness when applied the switch gaps may need adjusting as well.

The only real difference in 'feel' is at the flippers. Personally I much prefer the additional control and consistency of bounce you get with them over traditional rubber.
 
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Truggy

Truggy

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Sounds like the stuff we had fit on SS 's flippers. Illuminous green! It didnt last that much longer than regular rubber here :p
 
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Truggy

Truggy

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As for shore side arcades. I haven't seen a pinball in the wild since the 90s! Outside USA.

And I've seen plenty of places that are 100% gamblers, no games! It's very sad.
 

PBrookfield

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other than the size you require is not necessarily the same size as you would with rubber - due to the lack of stretch
That's the pitfall - fall in it and if you're unlucky you'll agree with me.

As for feel, there's three kinds of people out there...
  1. Pinheads that know what they are, and don't mind or prefer them where possible
  2. Pinheads that know what they are, and absolutely loathe them on everything
  3. Literally everyone else, who couldn't tell you what the difference was and couldn't give a toss either
Wayne and I are in that first-camp.

Truggy said:
Sounds like the stuff we had fit on SS 's flippers. Illuminous green! It didnt last that much longer than regular rubber here :p
Wearing Superbands takes serious effort, even with constant abuse. Maybe they were silicone ones instead, which do better than plain rubber but still wear down and dirt up fast? Silicones do exist in acid/vomit green colours.

As for shore side arcades. I haven't seen a pinball in the wild since the 90s! Outside USA.

And I've seen plenty of places that are 100% gamblers, no games! It's very sad.
I actually found a few in Blackpool's Central Pier two years ago. Flintstones, RCT , Hook, Gladiators, Stargate, and Popeye.

Authentic British Arcade quality.
  • Popeye was unplayable, too many dead switches.
  • Hook and Stargate weren't taking money.
  • Gladiators had a right flipper that took longer than most men to, er, raise up. Turns out you can play surprisingly long on Gladiators with only a left flipper.
  • The only two playable ones were Flintstones and RCT.
  • RCT had no music and was playing a bit limper than usual for RCT, and for some reason the sound effects were deafeningly loud.
  • Flintstones the first time was actually in good order but dirty as hell, and was playable. The replay score was however so low that my wife and brother who I was with were getting ****ed off with me still being on the same quid an hour later. I eventually just left it with two credits left over...
And over the course of the year RCT and Flintstones just collected further faults, dirt and stopped taking coins. Then they went away.

Blackpool quite seriously depresses me - just with the arcades alone, ignore everything else.
 

steve brum

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In 1994 coral island and mr bs had 10 pins each lined up by the main doors. Public taste changes so soon there were none and now its wall to wall crap. Now l walk through coral island to avoid the rain. Nothing for me here

Arcade club blackpool will bring back the retro but the average day tripper wants to win tickets and pump 2ps into pushers
 
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Truggy

Truggy

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The one I remember fondly (in Blackpool) was Coin Castle. TAF , STTNG , HS2 , Fishy Tales. There were more too, and they always worked.

Probably talking mid-90s there.
 

MartinY

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Nov 18, 2017
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Knowing the footfall of Arcade Club (at both venues!) I would recommend just going full-blast and getting a big ol' box of various sizes/colors of SuperBands delivered in and applying them en masse. The subtle difference in 'feel' will **** off the people that live and breathe pinball, but frankly, compared to the reduced costs in elbow grease and the improvement for the general public of seeing a lot more clean and not blackened playfields - the purists can sod off.

The two downsides are 1. you almost certainly will need to import them from overseas, direct-from-supplier is Marco Specialities. Reason 2 - you'll have a miserable time applying a big batch of them. They hate being applied to a machine as much as all the other bands do, but these ones are polyurethane and as such, will have the strength to really be metaphorically kicking you hard in the dick the entire time you're struggling with them, unless you literally boil them first.

Still worth it. I'm willing to bet the difference in dirt accumulation rate will be immediately noticable.
Titans over superbands. Superbands just feel of and change the game. Titans are much better IMHO
 

PBrookfield

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Titans over superbands. Superbands just feel of and change the game. Titans are much better IMHO
In terms of feel the holy war will never end as it comes down to a lot of personal preference and playstyle; but polyurethane is 100% the harder-wearing to physical abuse of the materials. With the amount of play the arcade club machines see that's a serious consideration.
...Well, it will be when they need to restock on rubbers!
 

Dex-Jay

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Metallica was at least playing fine when I was there a few weeks ago. The dirt on that poor thing was a bit of a shocker. I too was going to ask for the keys to clean the poor thing, but in that environment the things were being put through hell. 1/3 were down - including Elvira, SS and Addams which was a shame.

You've certainly got your work cut out for you with them on free play. South Park and Mario Bros. were more fun to play than I thought actually!
 
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Truggy

Truggy

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Metallica was at least playing fine when I was there a few weeks ago. The dirt on that poor thing was a bit of a shocker. I too was going to ask for the keys to clean the poor thing, but in that environment the things were being put through hell. 1/3 were down - including Elvira, SS and Addams which was a shame.

You've certainly got your work cut out for you with them on free play. South Park and Mario Bros. were more fun to play than I thought actually!
With the kids being allowed on the machine, yea... they go down a lot now. But out of 23 machines, we usually only have 1 or 2 down at a time.
 
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Truggy

Truggy

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PZ is being rebuilt, so that it is down until I can finish it this week. And STTNG needs a mobo repair. So it's been switched off for weeks. Dunno about the ETA on that one.

Everything else should be playable. There's a few divertors broken, waiting to be welded (HS2 & Black Rose). As for MET ... yea, it's ****ing filthy! Ill clean it next time I'm there.