Pinball 101

This page can be considered as the Pinball Machine FAQ, or Pinball 101. Answers to all questions one has when you bought a new pinball machine for your home. Everyone was a beginner once. I also had to learn everything I know now about pinball

Pinball maintenance and repair. How to set it up its legs, how to make adjustments.
As I received a lot of emails with similar questions for basic information, I started to make these pages. They contain a lot of basic information. If you have remarks, questions about things that are not clear or missing, please let us know..

Unpacking a NIB Spooky pinball machine NEW
How to unpack and set up a new in box Spooky (Alice Cooper Nightmare Castle) pinball machine. Page 2 is here.

What do all these words mean ?

How to open a pinball machine
OK.. there's a glass above the playfield so you cannot work on it.. or can you ?

How to remove the backbox of a pinball machine
Or: move a pinball machine on your own.

Remove the backbox on Williams System11
How to remove the backbox of a Williams System 11 pinball machine.

Moving a pinball machine
It's big and heavy.. how do you get it into your house ??

Buying a pinball machine
Where and how to buy a pinball machine ? What to keep in mind ? Will it increase in value ?

Choosing a pinball machine
There are thousands of different models made. Which one to choose ?

Inspect a machine before buying it
What to look for when buying a pinball machine.

Testing a pinball machine
More detailed tests you can do to see if everything works.

Deep rules and easy games
What is a game with 'deep' rules ? Should you buy a difficult game or an easy one ?
What's the difference ? How good are Medieval Madness or Scared Stiff ??

Cleaning your pinball machine
Keep your pinball machine in great condition !

Adjust switches and contacts
People often say you have to do it, here's how.

Remove pop bumpers
How to remove pop bumpers from the playfield.

Repairing a pinball machine
Unfortunately a pinball machine may stop working or get a problem.
Some general information so you know what is possible, and what you can (not) repair yourself.

Coin mechanisms and free play
What are coin mechs, how do they work, what is free play ?

How to open a lock
OK so the machine you bought is closed and you do not have a key. What do you do now ?

Pinball machine price guide
How much can you expect to pay/get for a machine ?

Adjusting your pinball machine
Don't like the gameplay ? There are some things you can change..

Make a pinball machine more silent
A pinball machine makes a lot of noise.. what can you do to make it silent ?

Bingo machines
Like a pinball machine without flippers ? Not at all !
Bally bingo Miss America

Interlock circuit
What is this weird yellow metal part for ?

General Illumination
What is it and what should you know about it ?

Flipper shaft end play spacing gauge
How to adjust flippers and maintain the correct 'Williams' feel.

Pinball photography
Learn how to make great pictures of your pinball machine. Large article !

Everything about steel pinballs !

Midnight Madness
At midnight your pinball machine goes crazy..

Tools for sale
Overview of tools and parts for sale at that you can use when working on pinball machines.

Level a pinball machine
How to level your pinball machines and set the playfield at the correct slope. With free playfield angle adjustment tool !

What to do with the Factory Settings Restored warning message
Your game warns you about empty batteries. How to solve this warning message and make sure it doesn't become an expensive repair.

Identify and repair damage cause by leaked batteries
Find leaked battery damage and how to repair it yourself.

How the switch matrix operates
How do electronic pinball machines read switches, how does their switch matrix work ?

House fuse trips when switching on a pinball machine
Sometimes when you switch on your pinball machine, the main breaker of your house trips. How to solve this problem.

Introduction to the WPC boardset
Overview of all boards used by Williams and Bally WPC-89 and WPC-95 games.

WPC country settings
Change the country to which your pinball machine is set, and not only the language but many more things suddenly change.

History of pinball in the USA
History of the american pinball manufacturing companies and the people who ran them.

Price history of the Medieval Madness pinball machine
Medieval Madness is a pinball machine that always cost more than other similar machines. Many people do not undertand what makes MM so special. History and background information about Medieval Madness.

How pinball machines work
What are the different circuits that are involved in how a pinball machine works.

Pinball dimensions
All dimensions, length and width of a pinball machine, so you can check if you can move it in your car or where to place it in your home.

IC pin one
How are the pins numbered on chips and connectors ? How to identify pin 1 of a chip ?

Pinball eproms
What are eproms ? How to program an eprom ? Update the software of your pinball machine.

For basic information about how a pinball machine works, see the explanation at this site: How stuff works.
Some basic knowledge of electronics is necessary to understand how pinball machines work and especially when you want to start doing your own repairs. I advise this Electronics 101 book (amazon referral link).

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, .. about these pages, please email me. Also just email me if you like these pages and they have been helpful when looking for a pinball machine. It's feedback like that I need to make these pages better, and to be motivated to keep on updating them.