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Replacing the gearbox on a Chexx Bubble Hockey

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The brand new gearbox I got to replaced my stripped one

If you’ve owned a Chexx Bubble Hockey for any length of time, eventually what happens is one of the gear boxes gets stripped.  It doesn’t happen very often luckily, but when it does it helps to know how to fix it without calling an expensive repairman.  All you really need to do this repair is a small hex tool to remove the collar that hooks the rod to the gearbox.

I made a video below to show how to replace the gearbox.  I had to do it one handed so it’s not the greatest, but hopefully it will show you how it’s done.  I actually ran into problems the first time I did it because I pushed the rod in too far into the collar, which didn’t all the collar to clamp down on the gearbox properly.  Once I backed it off a little, it all worked fine.  I must also say, I didn’t realize how bad some of my gearboxes had gotten, the new one is much smoother than the old one.

Removing the ice on a Chexx Bubble Hockey

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What the game looks like before removing the ice

I made a video tonight on how to remove the ice from a Chexx bubble hockey game.  It’s pretty easy but if you’ve never done it before it can be a little daunting.  The one difference that might happen on your game vs the video is that the goalies on some games are held in by a little pin that you have to remove first and don’t just pull out like mine.

 

Pinball High Score App Review: Pindigo

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Pindigo main screen

One of the problems with pinball machines is that the technology that drives them is largely derived from 80’s and 90’s, meaning that things like internet access just aren’t a thing in pinball.  Comparing scores is difficult as a result, and in home use it’s unlikely that a guest would ever have a chance to put up a top 5 score on that machine.  Enter Pindigo, the pinball high score app.

Written to take advantage of modern technology, finally people have a way to share high scores with an easy to use app.  To test out the functionality of everything, I played a quick game of NBA Fastbreak.  When I finished my game with a paltry score of 54, I clicked the ‘+’ at the bottom and found NBA Fastbreak.  I entered my score, took a quick photo, and it immediately gave me my world ranking.  See picture below:

Pindigo App Screen after NBA Fastbreak score was entered

I’m very impressed with the functionality of the app and how well it all works together.  The author obviously spent a lot of time testing and perfecting everything.

One cool thing that the app also features is a ‘friends’ list.  Here is where you can compete against your friends without having to compete against everyone in the world, which can be a little too much to take on.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any friends using the app currently to test out this feature.

So how much does this awesome app cost?  Amazingly, it’s free.  A labor of love by Michael Szabo and Brendan Turner, it was built purely to help out fellow pinheads.  I’m really impressed with all the worked they’ve done on it, they should be proud of their efforts.

If you’ve dominated your household competition and are looking for bigger challenges, go install the app and take on some heavyweights.  You can find their home page here:

http://pindigoapp.com/

Good luck!

Versacourt Home Gym

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    Versacourt basketball court

    Something a little different than the normal home game room stuff I post, I wanted to show what you can do if you have an outdoor building.  When I built it originally, it had no insulation and a concrete floor.  Problem was, it would get extremely cold during the winter and very damp in the spring due to condensation, which would cause the concrete to become slippery sometimes.

    After a couple years, I decided to get the inside insulated and have some electric heaters installed.  I went back and forth between gas and electric heating but eventually went with electric for air quality reasons.  I figured that if I was going to play basketball in there with the heater going, air quality was probably slightly more important than if I was just working on cars out there.  I’m sure some gas heaters are less smelly than the ones I’m used to, but it was just easier to go electric and not fool with it.

    Once I got the inside finished, the flooring was next.  I looked at a lot of sport court flooring manufacturers but eventually went with Versacourt because they had a nice product, were responsive to emails, and would allow me to install it myself.  I think Sport Court is usually the most popular brand of sport tile flooring but they don’t allow you to install it yourself, making it not an option for me.  Plus it was going to more expensive, and when you’re on a budget like I am then I needed to save on installation costs.

    Closeup of the versacourt tiles
    Intersecting 3 point lines. My shed isn’t long enough

    Unfortunately my shed at 44 x 36 was just a little too short to have the 3 point lines not intersect.  I think if I had to do it again I would have built the shed a little longer but I was also constrained by lot space.

    When I got the floor installed, my father found a good deal on an old scoreboard from a school that had upgraded.  It doesn’t get used a huge amount but there’s no denying the cool factor it brings.

    Goalsetter basketball goal

    The basketball goal and mount are from Goalsetter.  I originally bought the goal off Amazon right after I built the shed.  The goal is very heavy and hard to mount, I had to get a truck bed with a couple of guys to get it mounted.  It’s adjustable up and down but frankly it’s kind of hard to raise so I wouldn’t plan on doing it much unless you get some kind of motorized option with it.

     

    How much room do you need for a Foosball table?

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    Standard Tornado Foosball Table
    How much room do you need for a Foosball table?  Foosball tables are one of those irregular game room tables that don’t have a well defined measurement.  Using my Tornado Foosball table though, I can try and give you a good estimate of how much space you’ll need.  When the rods are pushed in to make it as narrow as possible, a Foosball table still takes up 50 inches wide, making it somewhat difficult to transport (see picture below):
    Width of a foosball table
    The length of a Tornado Foosball table like the one I have is 55 1/2″.  See picture below:
    Length of the foosball table
    I found this out when I bought one and tried to haul it in my minivan, most minivans are setup to haul 4 x 8 sheets of plywood but the extra width of the Foosball table meant that I had to angle it some to actually get it in the back.  The rods are also constantly sliding back and forth when moving.  I’d recommend shrink wrapping the rods to prevent them from sliding around much.
    When it’s finally set up in your game room, at their greatest width the rods will take up 84″ + two people widths = ~108 inches.  The length of the foosball table though stays constant at 4 foot though, which can help in some spaces.  One thing I’d recommend if you’re tight for space, get one that has the ball return right where you serve the ball and not directly underneath the goals.  If it’s underneath the goals, you won’t be able to put it against a wall due to needing to get the ball out.  With the side return, you can compact the space it needs if necessary.
    The height of the table is 36.  See picture below:
    Height of a Tornado Foosball Table
    One thing to note if you have young children, other children like to slam the rods across the table into each other sometimes.  If that’s the case, I would recommend this Foosball table from Garlando through my Amazon affiliate link:
    The rods on this one don’t stick out the other side, making it a lot safer for younger children.  It doesn’t really help with the space needed though, since the rods still pull out about the same distance width wise.  It will be narrower to transport though since it’s the long rod with two men near the goal that’s the widest one.
    If you want more information regarding Tornado Foosball Tables, check out my guide below: