Life Under The Playfield RSS

competitive pinball, irish pinball league, league play, metallica pro, ruleset.

By Dermot Tynan, Monday, August 12, 2019

There are those who never play in pinball tournaments. They're happy to just play at home or in arcades, but never in competition. For most, it's because they're just happy to play pinball and don't feel the need to be competitive. For others, it's because they're terrified of how they'll rank.

I have to admit to being in the second category, up until recently. I know from sailboat racing though, that absolutely nothing improves your sailing abilities as much as trying to squeeze that last fraction of a knot from the slowest form of transport in the world.

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flippers, gottlieb, humpty dumpty, oblivion, pinball.

By Oscar Scheinhauser, Wednesday, August 7, 2019

There’s a peculiar gap in the early history of pinball. Sources tend to agree that it was in the early 1930s that the first actual pinball machine was invented – as in, the coin-activated ball on a playing field that people would come to know and love.

Amazingly enough, the device grew popular, and that’s amazing because it wasn’t until more than 15 years later that flippers were finally invented.

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coil burnout, end of stroke switch, flipper coils.

By Dermot Tynan, Thursday, August 1, 2019

The mysteries of the End of Stroke Switch. Set it wrong and your flippers will seem lifeless. Or your flipper coil will burn up. Seems pretty important, doesn't it? So how does it work, and why is it so important? Let's dig in, starting with the flipper coil design...

 

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em, hardware, jones plug, pinball, pinball repair, silver ball, smart set.

By Dermot Tynan, Friday, July 19, 2019

So, a couple of years ago, I came across a Williams Smart Set on a for-sale web site. As you can expect, the machine wasn't working. The machine is an Electro-Mechanical monster, which means it operates on relays and score motors. (Check out my earlier post on the subject of EM pinballs). Fun, fun, fun! Anyway, the machine had originally lived in an architects office where they turned on the General Illumination each day, and there it sat, unplayed and unloved. The previous owner had rescued it and had hoped to restore the game to her former glory. Alas, the moving...

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bally bongo, boolean algebra, em, hardware, pinball, pinball repair, silver ball.

By Dermot Tynan, Friday, June 21, 2019

My father liked fixing things. When he wasn't teaching others how to fix television sets (something I myself have never mastered), he would spend evenings and weekends fixing the problem children of manufacturers like Bush and Telefunken. The local TV shop would set aside the really nasty problems, just for him. Often, he would fix weird and wonderful pieces of equipment as a favour, and in return he would be rewarded with some sort of bartered payment. So it was, he arrived home one day in the mid seventies with a Bally Bongo EM. In the style of Professor Caractacus...

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