I talked about how I keep savings going... I really only spend about $20 frivolously per month on things like games or whatnot, so it leaves a lot left over to save up for awesome things. It just takes a lot of patience and a lot of not buying cheaper things I wouldn't mind having. I was actually ready to buy a machine five months ago but I still wasn't completely sure how Patreon support would pan out so I waited until my savings saw a significant boost from all the extra support before deciding the time was right. This even leads into why I don't collect stuff I don't intend to use, since I could save that money and spend it on better stuff I would use. If there's something really expensive you want all it takes to get it is to reduce your spending and be content with what you already have for a time. Besides which, pinball machines kept in good condition don't depreciate all that much unless the game itself is new and terrible. Seeing as this one is 28 years old, so long as I keep it in good working order I can always sell it if I ever need to and get back most (probably not all) of the money I spent on it. :B
I've actually done a few more maintenance tasks besides just lights and stickers. I've adjusted the switches on the slingshots to make them more sensitive, I've cleaned gunk out of a few unseen parts of the playfield (such as the ball trough), I've added in a plastic post that was missing, I've replaced the cover which goes over the plunger, and the next thing I want to do is apply some super-strong double-sided tape to the displays since they're falling off the display board. (Which is why they look a little low.) I know what the problems could be with that extra ball light and the slingshot, but lack the knowhow and tools to test/fix it myself for the moment. (I will eventually learn!)
The reason the grounding prong is removed from many of these old games is because they were put into locations that lacked modern outlets with three holes, so the only way to plug them in was to defeat the grounding prong in some way. Doing this does not actually harm the game, so long as it's working properly, but it creates a situation where ambient or shorted electrical current has no path to ground. What this means is that the person playing may feel a bit of a tingle or a small shock if he touches something else made of metal at the same time as a metal part of the machine, like the side rails where the flipper buttons are. Worse though, if something electrical comes loose in the game and shorts while someone is playing, without a proper ground in place the player may themselves act as a ground and thus will get a jolt of potentially lethal current. This is an extraordinarily unlikely circumstance, but not impossible! Thus it's always a good idea to properly ground any device that's had its grounding defeated and old pinball machines are prime candidates. Really old electromechanical pins don't even have grounding wiring applied inside and are thus an even bigger mess to ground properly. x_x;
I find it crazy how well the mechanical sounds are picked up compared to what was coming out of the speakers. I even had the game volume set pretty loud! I once again blame the acoustics in this house.
I'm well aware of some of the other things going on with this pin, such as the two-way door switch for the centre lane not always registering and the white light for the lower drop target bank fading in and out. I'll be fixing these things next time I open the game up to work on it. As for the worn inserts on the playfield... that's not something that's easy to fix since you essentially have to repaint them by hand and then seal your painting job with the right products, plus the playfield needs to be stripped of parts before you attempt any of this. As such, it requires a lot of time, effort and experience, so it may be a long while before I attempt to do it.
I have the settings on this thing set a little harder too so that the drop target values reset after every ball. The reason for this is because with the default settings it's way too easy to advance the drop target values and get extra balls. I'd rather the game reach a natural end with extra balls enabled, rather than having it come down to how many balls in a row I can get extra balls from. :P
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