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Best Pinball Part Suppliers

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Firepower Pinball Machine with LED's
Firepower Pinball Machine with LED's

Anyone that’s owned a pinball machine knows that eventually something is break.  Whether it be a flipper, a rubber, a ramp, etc, at some point a part fails while you’re playing.  Heck even the balls get pitted after a while, you even need to replace them even if nothing else breaks.  For a lot of people though, finding out where to order stuff is tough.

I’ve put together a list here of the best places to order parts from my past 13 years of experience.  It’s purely my opinion, some other people may have totally different lists or opinions. Unfortunately, not one place is a central hub for all parts, most likely you’re going to have to use a bunch of these places depending on what breaks.  It’s not unusual for me to order from 3 or 4 different places when completely fixing up a game.  Without further ado, here’s the list.

Common Pinball Part Vendors

  1. Pinball Life.  This is the number one place I order parts from.  Cheaper than almost everyone for common parts, their only downfall is that they lack a lot of game specific parts.  So as long as the parts you need are just like rubbers, flippers, etc they’ll be the best, but if you need like a ramp for a game you’re likely going to have to order somewhere else.
  2. Marco Specialties.  They typically have the biggest assortment of parts for games.  Usually if I need a game specific part I check here first, then check somewhere else to see if I can get it cheaper.  They’re a good company, but I find that typically their prices are higher than everyone else on everything including shipping.  Sometimes they’ll surprise me with a good deal though.  They ship fast, probably faster than almost everyone else to their credit.
  3. Bay Area Amusements.  Like Marco, only they don’t have as many parts and have a way worse website.  You’ll notice this with a lot of pinball parts vendors, their websites are from like the early 2000’s.  They have a lot of game specific parts that I order, but I rarely order any common part, in part because it’s a pain to find.

LED Pinball Vendors

  1. Comet.  I know some people will say Cointaker and originally I would have said them too, but as they got bigger some of their competitors undercut them to a degree.  Comet is the major player who took some of their market share.  I order pretty much all my LED’s from Comet these days, high quality product at discount prices.
  2. Cointaker.  The biggest LED vendor (or at least they were at one point) they’ve expanded out to new game sales, shaker motors, etc.  Still offer some great game specific LED packages that are handy if you want to color match.  I’ve used a couple of their game specific kits and they were mostly good, only a couple places where either I had the wrong LED or the machine I was working on had a different socket/color for some reason.

Game Specific Pinball Parts

  1. Marco Specialties.  They’ve got the best overall selection for game specific parts, although usually they’re most expensive for that part as well.
  2. Bay Area Amusements.  Like Marco they’ve got a lot of specific parts for Williams, Bally, Data East, Sega, and Stern games.
  3. Pinball Resource.  For Gottlieb parts, this is basically your only choice as they hold the license.  It’s also like traveling back in time when you order from them.  Credit cards?  Won’t accept them.  Online ordering?  Nope.  It all works through phone or email ordering and they bill you.  They insist on part numbers, however, the part numbers aren’t readily available because you need the manual which they won’t allow digital copies of online, lol.  So you get into this chicken/egg scenario where you need parts but don’t have a manual to look them up.

Pinball Mod Vendors

  1. Mezel Mods.  They’re the official mod vendor for Stern and have made quite a business selling them.  They’ve really expanded their selection.
  2. Modfather.  They’ve also exploded onto the scene with their big selection.
  3. ColorDMD.  While not a mod vendor like the others, they sell the most popular mod in pinball, the ColorDMD screen that colorizes old pinball machines.
  4. Pinball Pro.  They make the best sound system for pinball machines in my opinion.  Some people favor Flipper Fidelity though.

amFilm Nintendo Switch Screen Protector Review

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amPlus Nintendo Switch Screen Protector 2 pack
amPlus Nintendo Switch Screen Protector 2 pack

If you’ve used the Switch for very long, you know that occasionally it may take an unfortunate tumble.  Even when you’re being extra careful, it has a tendency to fall of your lap, get kicked off a bench, etc.  Originally I wasn’t planning on getting a screen protector, but after a couple close calls, I figured that the cheap price was worth the extra security.

The search for the best Nintendo Switch Screen Protector

So now that I know I need a protector, what’s next?  Go searching on all my favorite sites like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, etc.  I expected to find several equally good options, but honestly one of them just totally blew the others away in the number of reviews, the amFilm one.  Whereas the other had 1,000 or less reviews for the most part, the amFilm had over 11,000 reviews, which is a ridiculous total.  I’ve included my Amazon affiliate link below:

amFilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector for the Nintendo Switch

I decided to go ahead and order the favorite and see how it performed.  When it comes, it’s actually a 2-pack, so if the first one breaks you have a spare.  It also comes with some cleaning supplies which is a nice bonus.

Cleaning the Switch Screen
Cleaning the Switch Screen

After I cleaned off the screen, I went ahead and installed it.  The screen comes with film on both sides to help eliminate fingerprints when installing.  I actually put it on the wrong side to begin with, luckily since it didn’t stick it was easy to see I had screwed up.  When I turned it around, it easily applied with remarkably no air bubbles.  I was pretty certain I was going to have a bunch of those, but somehow I got lucky and the air bubbles stayed away.

Glass with protective film
Glass with protective film
amPlus Switch Screen Protector Installed
amPlus Switch Screen Protector Installed

How does the switch play now?  Honestly I like the touch of the screen better, it’s more glass like my phone than it was before.  It does have a little more glare but since don’t really play in the sun it doesn’t really matter to me.  Just something to keep in mind in case you play outside a lot.

Conclusion

Hopefully this review will help you make a decision on a screen protector.  Luckily they’re not very expensive so it’s pretty cheap insurance.

Intro to Pinball Class now online and other pinball learning

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udemy pinball
udemy pinball

I finally finished a project I’ve been working on for a while, I’ve got the initial version of my intro to pinball class up and running.  Took me quite a while to get all the filming, slides, and editing done but it’s finally available here on udemy:

Intro to Pinball Class on Udemy

As a bonus, if you use the coupon code GAMEROOMINFO, it will discount the class to $9.99.  I tried to make it lower but $9.99 is the lowest Udemy will go on a class.  There’s a 30 day money back guarantee in case you change your mind, so that helps too.

If there’s anything you would like to see in the class that isn’t there currently, please let me know.

Other Pinball Education

For those of you looking for additional pinball learn stuff, I’d recommend checking out the Pinball 101 DVD.  I bought that when it came out and learned a bunch from it.  It goes over playing tips which are pretty good but unfortunately also has a bunch of filler video of a toy car going through the pinball playfield which is kind of annoying.  It covers all the basic flipper skills plus nudging, slapping, and some game specific tips (though not too many).

Order the Pinball 101 DVD from my Amazon Affiliate here:

Pinball 101 DVD

The Pinball 102 DVD is out as well now, though not in wide distribution yet.  I’m not sure why, but it’s only available on this kunaki site that I’ve never heard of (evidently they are a DVD burning wholesaler.  In any case, I haven’t bought it yet, so I can’t really offer any review of it.  The link is below:

Pinball 102 DVD

Although not really a learning thing, I’d also recommend (for pure entertainment value) Things that go bump in the night – The Spooky Pinball Story.

I rented that when it came out on Amazon, it was pretty good.  Shows what some hard work can do.  You can find the movie through my Amazon Affiliate here:

Things that go bump in the night – The Spooky Pinball Story

Another documentary which came out a while back is Special when Lit.  Unfortunately I haven’t seen it yet, but the reviews are pretty good on it.  Roger Sharpe is in it, and for those who don’t know he’s basically been one of the most influential people in the hobby for the past 40 years.  It’s available through my Amazon Affiliate here:

Special When Lit:  A Pinball Documentary

Pinball Repair Videos

When it comes to pinball repair, there’s only one set of videos you should look into, the This Old Pinball series.  Done by Clay out in Michigan, they’re a tremendous value when repairing your own pinball machine.  I bought all the videos associated with the new 90’s games and all were a huge help.  They cost around $12 each, I’d highly recommend you buy the ones aligned with your interests.  I think I own 3, 4, and 7, which cover most games from the late 80’s to late 90’s.  The link is below:

This Old Pinball Videos

Best Shuffleboard Accessories

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Shuffleboard is a game loved by people of all ages and is suitable to be played both indoors and outdoors. It is usually played by elderly people because it involves a lot of the patience to witness the end results. However, youngsters are equally involved in playing this fun activity because of the suspense and thrill that the game holds. The shuffleboard comes with certain accessories that are necessary for playing the game with perfection. If either of the things is missing related to the particular game, then it becomes almost useless to play and the results are also not satisfying. Therefore, if you have a shuffleboard then make sure to own some of its important accessories that improve the game and its thrilling experience.

Review for Table Shuffleboard Bowling Brown Pins plus Ball – Pinsetter

The shuffleboard can also be played and combined with the bowling pins in which the player sets the pins and hits it with a ball or a punk, just like the bowling alley with the only difference being the board which doesn’t let the pins and the bowl get out of it.

Accessories:

  1. The game comes with a pinsetter.
  2. It has a set of 10 bowling pins.
  3. The package also contains booklet for guidance and a scoring chart.
  4. The chart comes with an erasable pen.
  5. You can buy the set with or without a ball.

Pros:

  1. It has an option of buying carrier bag separately for the bowling pins.
  2. The pinsetter allows the ball to be adjusted in the perfect sequence.
  3. The guidebook is quite helpful for the beginners.

Cons:

  1. The bowl that comes with the pins is slightly large for the shuffleboard.
  2. The pinsetter is lightweight which often results in falling of the bowling pins

You can buy the shuffleboard bowling set through my Amazon affiliate here:

Table Shuffleboard Bowling Brown Pins – Pinsetter – Booklet – Score Chart & Wood Ball

Review for the Shuffle Dice

The Shuffleboard Dice is used in the Shuffleboard Dice game. The rules for this game are almost same as the other Shuffleboard games with the only difference being that it can be played by multiple players at the same time. It is mostly played by kids aged around 8 or above. It is a fun activity for the kids to get involved in the game for a good 1-2 hours. The game engages the players so well that they do not like to get disturbed or move from their places until it is finished. Therefore, all in all, it is a good time-pass gaming activity for kids who are more into the indoor games than the outdoor ones.

Accessories:

  1. The game has the most necessary item i.e. the dice.
  2. It is accessible to be played with the regular shuffleboards.

Pros:

  1. The involvement of 2-4 players at a time makes it exciting for kids.
  2. The game engages thrill for the players to wait for the dice-throwing results.
  3. It is also suitable for adults who like to play similar games such as Ludo etc.
  4. The shuffleboard dice package has some colorful dice which attracts the players especially kids to remain involved in it.

Cons:

No specific cons have been reported in the past by the Shuffleboard dice buyers.

You can buy the shuffleboard dice set through my Amazon affiliate here:


Shuffle Dice at Amazon

Review for Hathaway Shuffleboard Brush, Dark Cherry Finish

Whether placed on a stand or on the floor, the Shuffleboard game is played on the wooden board which can be later diversified into numerous games such bowling or dice games. However, every like every other board game, the shuffleboard also has to be polished regularly by wax powder or spray which allows the punk or the bowl to slip easily with the correct speed. This way the game becomes more fun and convenient to be played without being disturbed b the inefficient punk/bowl/dice movements that happen due to the dry surface.

For this purpose, the player has to sprinkle the wax powder or use it in the form of the spray which further needs a brush which allows the powder to spread evenly without leaving its mark on the board.

Pros:

  1. The Hathaway Shuffleboard brush provides a fine finishing to the board.
  2. It does not let the surface get extra slippery or too dry which otherwise spoil the game.
  3. It makes it easier for the player to reach every corner and edge of the board without leaving any dry space.
  4. Made for all the standard sized Shuffleboard games.

Cons:

  1. Some buyers of the Hathaway Shuffleboard brush have found its size to be either too big or too small for the boards that they have. However, it all depends on the board’s size which should be considered before buying it.

You can buy the shuffleboard brush through my Amazon affiliate here:


Hathaway Shuffleboard Brush from Amazon

Review for Stained Wood Scoreboard

Just like all the other board games, the Shuffleboard game also requires being played with a manual scoreboard that keeps a valid record of the individual scores. Otherwise, it gets really difficult to manage scores of each person orally or by writing on a paper that is a hassle in itself. The stained wood scoreboard for the Shuffleboard game is the best option available at Amazon where you get to buy the ideal scoreboard for keeping a track of the scores made by each player.

Pros:

  1. The stained wood scoreboard is suitable for a handy use.
  2. It is lightweight which is a plus point considering the fact that it needs to be carried around with the game.
  3. The stained wood scoreboard is easy to use and does not require rocket science to make it work.
  4. It is the best option amongst the other scoreboard because of its high-quality and smart operation of holding the Shuffleboard game’s record.
  5. Amazon is selling this product at a discounted rate for its loyal customers.

Cons:

No cons have been reported yet by the buyers who have purchased this item for an effective application of the scoreboard maintenance.

You can buy the shuffleboard scoreboard through my Amazon affiliate here:


 Stained Wood Scoreboard at Amazon

The Shuffleboard accessories mentioned above are the some of the top selling products related to the game. The reviews are not just based on assumptions or internet study but first-hand experience.  Hence, make sure to consider these points before buying the Shuffleboard accessories from Amazon.

Fortnite Bush Camping, 7 Tips to Win

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Fortnite perfect hiding spot
Fortnite perfect hiding spot

Fortnite is huge right now.  I play it, my kids play it, people at work play it, it’s everywhere.  I even heard some mom’s talking about, lol, they were ignoring their son’s basketball games and were gossiping about their Fortnite strategies.  In all my life, I’ve never heard a bunch of mom’s talking about video games in a positive manner, so they must be onto something with this game.

Only one problem.  I’m old.  Slow to build, slow to aim, and generally just not that good in 1 on 1 combat.  Wouldn’t matter if I had the best weapon in the game, pretty sure that most players would destroy me instantly.  I play with my kids so they can carry the squad while I just tag along for the most part.

The one thing I can do way better than them?  Bush Camp.  When I originally started playing, I watched the kids playing, and I told them I bet I could get into the top 10.  They were like, it’s not easy, you’ll never do it.  Then I proceeded to slowly bush camp on the edges of the circle till there were like 5 people left, and of course I finally got discovered and died.  But the kids were impressed that I got 5th without ever shooting anyone or even firing a shot.  Here’s my strategy for staying alive in Fortnite:

When you get out of the Bus, go to the farthest corner you can find

Like way out towards the edge.  By the time you land, the circle may have already been formed.  That’s ok.  There won’t be anyone around, just grab all the loot you can as fast as you can and start slowly making your way to the circle.  It will likely be a long ways away.  You don’t have to bush camp at this point unless you see another player.  If you see another player, don’t shoot him, just hide in a bush or behind a tree and wait for him to go away.  Let someone else deal with him, your objective is to stay alive.

If you see someone landing in the same area, steer your glider off and go somewhere else, stay as far away from them as possible.  There’s no point in getting close to them yet.

Fortnite marking the far off spot
Fortnite marking the far off spot
Sailing to the far off spot
Sailing to the far off spot

When you come towards the circle, make sure you’re crouched

Don’t make yourself a big target.  A lot of times I only spot people because they’re running and jumping around like morons.  If they were more discrete I’d never see them.  Slowly come towards the circle but don’t go too far in, find the bush at the farthest edge.  Also don’t make a straight beeline to it, I try and come around the least obvious way.

Fortnite sometimes a hut will work too
Fortnite sometimes a hut will work too

When moving around, stay on the lowest ground as possible

Don’t be running on top of hills and other high elevation points, it just makes you an easy target.  Stay in the gullies and valleys where it’s hard to spot you from a distance.  Running on a hill is a good way to get sniped.  Bushes near cliffs work really well as people can usually only come from a couple directions so you’re able to see every coming.

Whatever you do, stay out of the middle

Don’t go into the middle of the circle.  Stay at the far edges as much as possible.  As soon as you’re in the middle, you’re a target for every person that’s left in the game.  That’s not the goal here, you want every single player to kill each other until there’s just a couple left.  Staying on the outside keeps you as far away from other players as possible.

Sometimes the storm can help

Even though the storm takes off health, if you’ve got medical supplies sometimes it’s not a terrible idea to be a little slow.  That way by the time the new circle is revealed, all the other players are running towards it, leaving you by yourself.

Fortnite almost at the end
Fortnite almost at the end

Sometimes the storm can hurt

Don’t take off right away when the new circle is indicated.  A lot of times there are people who got caught in the storm who will be running up behind you.  Wait a little bit and make sure that there’s nobody there first.  Also, by waiting, you’ll also have less of a chance of running into anyone else on the way.

Not all bushes are created equal

Only some of the bushes are appropriate for camping, don’t try and get by with one where you’re partially exposed.  If you find a good one, people will just walk on by you.  If you they walk right next to you, should you shoot them?  I would say no, UNLESS they have the default skin and act kind of slow (you can tell the good players pretty easily from their building speed).  With the good players, they’ll just throw up a wall before you can finish them, and then you’re hosed.

Fortnite bush camping
Fortnite bush camping

Hopefully all these tips have helped you compete a little more effectively at Fortnite.  Even though you may not be able to beat anyone 1 on 1, if you can let them run out of ammo and get down on health, you’ll have a decent shot at the end.  Good luck!