Crowdsourced Tech Database

by Aaron Hoyland

No record was found.

In an effort to keep pinball alive and thriving, we are crowd sourcing pinball techs from all over the world to compile their contact information into an online database. This is version 0.1 of this resource. This database connects the pinball community with techs to keep pinball games alive, playable, and fun. Troubleshooting is now a click away!*

  • Are you a pinball technician? Would you like your business to be listed? Click here to submit your information to our database so customers can find your business easily. Be sure to include important information like zip code, phone number and any email addresses, social media or websites associated with your company – the more accurate and thorough your information the better. If you have a company logo, be sure to send a hi-res copy through our contact us email.  
  • When in doubt, reach out. If you have a modern game and the only result is a technician that specializes in older Electro-Mechanical games we still encourage you to reach out – They may know of someone to refer you to.
  • Did you have success with a tech from our database? Send feedback about your experience here so we may improve the information that we provide.
  • If you’re a tech who makes frequent orders with us, you may qualify for a commercial discount. The discount program begins at 2,000 USD spent in a year and goes up from there. Contact us to see about setting up an account. 

*Marco Specialties, Inc. is not affiliated with the referred individuals, so this database should be utilized at the customer’s discretion. Marco Specialties, Inc. accepts no responsibility or liability for any potential complications related to this information.

About Us: Everything Pinball

by Imoto Arcade

Marco Pinball has one mission: provide pinball machine owners one source for Everything Pinball.

Founded in 1985 and online since 1999, Marco has since grown to offer over 30,000 individual parts for thousands of pinball machines to customers around the world. With thousands of rare parts, large inventories of common parts, industry-leading fulfillment, and trusted customer service, Marco is the central pillar of the global pinball machine community. Customers ranging from first-time pinball machine owners to large pinball arcade operators find everything they need at Marco.

With direct relationships to hundreds of pinball component manufacturers worldwide, Marco parts come directly from the original factory whenever possible. Our dedicated team of purchasing professionals scour the globe for rare parts that are difficult to obtain.

As the pinball community grows around the world, Marco supports the pinball industry by sponsoring dozens of pinball shows, exhibitions, tournaments and other events every year.

MAY TECH OF THE MONTH: THE PHIL’S PINBALL

by Kim Martinez

Meet Phil Forrester Jr., located in Greenville, South Carolina. He, along with his dad (Phil Sr.) own and operate The Phil’s Pinball. We mainly refurb and rent pinball machines. We do some sales as well. We service mainly Upstate South Carolina and the surrounding areas.

Phil says: “I got my start in pinball 4.5 years ago refurbishing a Gottlieb Charlie’s Angels with my dad. We caught the bug and have been working on machines ever since! Now we enjoy not only repairing them but playing them.”

I dove head first into repair. The refurb, transformation, and bringing things back from the dead is what drew me into the hobby the most. The playing new machines and the community of people have been icing on the cake.

Q: How did you first get into the hobby? Did you jump right into repairing machines or did you learn under someone else?

“My dad and I were looking for a way to spend time together. Our first machine was a basket case Gottlieb Charlie’s Angels. Took us about 6 months to go through everything, boards and all, to get it going again. The rest was history. Over the years were have owned over 125 machines. Most were projects that we repaired. 

I dove head first into repair. The refurb, transformation, and bringing things back from the dead is what drew me into the hobby the most. The playing new machines and the community of people have been icing on the cake.”

Q: Follow up, Did you have a background in another field that made that transition easier?

“My dad was a computer programmer and analyst my whole life. We had computers before anyone else. That led me to always being around computers and I now work in the IT support industry as well. 

My favorite project was restoring our original Attack from Mars. We completely redid the cabinet with new Rad Cal decal art and a new repro playfield, LEDs, and all. It was a ton of work but it looks and plays great now.

Q: Some techs have a particular aspect they really enjoy working on or they have a specialized set of skills (ie: boards, EMs, new Sterns, restoring cabinet art, etc) — do you specialize in something? or what’s your favorite aspect to work on?

“My favorite part is getting the electronic and mechanical parts working again. I love troubleshooting problems and feel as though my brain was made for it. Solving problems makes me happy. My dad loves to clean the machines up, tear them down, fix plastics, etc. . All the stuff that makes them look good again. We make a great team! “

Q: What are you working on now and in the past, What has been your favorite project/game that you worked on?

“We are currently doing a hardtop on a Williams Space Shuttle and doing a refurb job on an Indianapolis 500 for Upstate Pinball and Arcade Museum. 

My favorite project was restoring our original Attack from Mars. We completely redid the cabinet with new Rad Cal decal art and a new repro playfield, LEDs, and all. It was a ton of work but it looks and plays great now.”

Q: What is the best way to contact you and what areas do you service? Do you also operate your own route? If so, would you like to shout out those locations?

thephilspinball.com
[email protected]
(864) 485-9388
Upstate South Carolina and surrounding areas

We currently have games at Upstate Pinball and Arcade Museum https://www.facebook.com/upstatepinball and one at Greenville Beer Exchange https://www.facebook.com/GBXbeer/ in their new taproom.”

Have someone you want to nominate to for the Tech of the Month? E-mail [email protected]!

Mother’s Day Deals are Here!

by Imoto Arcade
Get your pins ready for Mother’s Day! (Sunday May 8th)
There is no better way to spend Mother’s Day than playing pinball with your PIN-MOM!
Surprise her this year with cool gifts from Marco Pinball.


For Orders Over $99

Free Domestic Shipping &
$10 Off International Shipping

COUPON CODE: PIN-MOM22

Codes are CASE-SENSITIVE, use all caps to activate! Domestic orders receive USPS/FEDEX GROUND shipping. Make sure to click the “USPS Priority” option to get your shipment before Mother’s Day! For International orders, input code on International Checkout Page. Offer valid from Sunday 5/1/22 – Tuesday 5/3/22 at 11:59PM PT  
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APRIL LOCATION OF THE MONTH:

by Kim Martinez

FORT WAYNE PINABLL WIZARD’S WORLD ARCADE

This Month’s “Location of the Month” is Fort Wayne Pinball Wizard’s World Arcade. They are located at 14613 Lima Rd, Fort Wayne IN 46818 where they currently have 136 Pinball machines. And, their team is presently working toward expanding the collection to well over 200 pinball machines before their big Wizard’s World War tournament in June.  In 2021 Fort Wayne was excited to host 108 players, gave away a brand New Stern Pinball machine, along with loads of cash prizes. Mike is set out to build a World Class Championship Pinball Venue that host tournaments and also open to the public year round. Mike is back on track and certainly looking forward to another capstone tournament this summer.

Wizard’s World opens at noon 7 days a week with a very accommodating schedule. Monday they are open until 11pm (or whenever the weekly tourney is over), Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday they’re open until 9pm, Friday and Saturday open until 10pm and Sunday until 8pm.

Q: When did you get into the pinball business?

A: I’ve been playing pinball since the early 70’s when we only had EM (electromagnetic) machines to play.  Being the only employee at the original Wizard’s World in 1980 from the day it opened until the day it closed has always been special to me and definitely established our vision for today. Thinking back, I recall purchasing my first machine in 1986 and the rest is history in the making.

Q: When did you open this location?

A: Fort Wayne Pinball Wizard’s World Arcade opened December 15, 2017. Since that time, we’ve grown through three renovations with room to expand even more.

Q: Do you guys run any tournaments or leagues? If so can you give us more details?

A: We run 4 major tournaments a year:

·       $500 Silverball Spring Training in March;
·      $12,000 in Cash and Prizes Wizard’s World War tournament in June
·       WOW (Women of Wizard’s World) Tournament in August (this year our goal is to give away a brand new Stern Pinball machine);
·       $500 Wizard’s World Silverball Saturday Shootout in November.

Plus:

·       Every Monday at 7pm is our weekly 4 strike tournament (52 times a year), the third Sunday every month we host the Stern Army Boot Camp and only modern Stern Pinball machines are used (12 times per year).
·       The 2nd and 4th Friday’s are the Women’s 4 strike tournament (24 times per year).
·       The 2nd and 4th Friday’s are the Wiz Kids 3 strike Youth tournament (24 times per year).
·       Launch Party’s, Charity Events and special requests.

All the tournaments are registered on the IFPA website or you can check our event tab at www.facebook.com/fwapinball.

Q: Do you have a specific pinball night and what other events/specials do you run?

We host company parties, holiday gatherings, and birthday celebrations just to name a few special events throughout the year.

Q: Do you fix your own games or do you use a local operator/tech?

A: Matt Ogden of Ogdog’s Pinball Pleasures (OPP) and his staff maintain our games on the overnight shift. Matt is a great partner and teammate with total control of machine maintenance and performance.

Q: What’s the last game you brought in and how often do you rotate?

A: We try to stay out front when it comes to new offerings; for example, Ultraman arrived in early February and Rush Pro the week before that. Rotation is very important to enhancing the variety of play options and maintaining a fresh appearance to our players. Technically speaking, rotation is based on maintenance or refurbishment requirements and customer play count. For example, if play drops on a title we will reposition or rotate that machine out and replace it with a fresh one.

Q: What would be your holy grail of a machine?

A: This one may come back to haunt me but here goes – they’re like my children, I love them all the same.

Q: Do you partner with any other locations?

A: We look at partnering perhaps a little differently. It’s our culture to help out wherever we can to support the pinball industry and certainly promote the excitement of playing; however Wizard’s World is our only location for the time being. We do visit arcades when traveling. My wife and I visited Free Gold Watch in San Francisco last October and she visited The Electric Bat in Phoenix recently. It’s always fun to meet new friends and enjoy their hospitality.

Q: Do you go to any shows and IF SO which one is your favorite?

A: I’ve attended shows my entire career and appreciate the value of having vendors and customers all under one roof. Once again, the value of my upbringing in another industry has paved the way to attend as many conventions as possible. For the record, Expo is my favorite.

Q: And your closing thoughts and what you do for the pinball community or your local community?

A: We are honored to partner with our community and provide a great resource to help raise funds in a very unique way by orchestrating, running, and promoting charity pinball tournaments for various groups. One event we were particularly excited to help with last year was a local middle school’s science class built Pinball Machines as a project. To support the effort, we were able to provide technical guidance and prizes for the top vote getters plus a souvenir for each student. This innovative approach was reported to be a success and I understand they plan to make the contest an annual project.

Visit their website https://fortwaynepinball.com/ for more info!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/fwapinball

Show Game Deals are Here!

by Imoto Arcade

Show Game Deals are Here!! Bring home the game of your dreams from a pinball show at great new cost!

Email us at [email protected] or call 1-803-9570-5500 to speak to one of our Sales Reps, so you

Traveling to any one of these shows listed below? Contact us to reserve a Show Game and receive tons of show perks!

MIDWEST GAMING CLASSIC – MILWAUKEE, WI

GOLDEN STATE PINBALL FESTIVAL – LODI, CA

NORTHWEST PINBALL SHOW – TACOMA, WA

SOUTHERN FRIED GAMING EXPO – ATLANTA, GA

HOUSTON ARCADE EXPO – HOUSTON, TX

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APRIL TECH OF THE MONTH: RYAN MCNAMARA

by Kim Martinez

Meet Ryan McNamara, located in Burbank, Illinois working under Midnight Arcade Repair & Service who has been repairing and tech-ing for 15 years now.

Q: How did you first get into the hobby? Did you jump right into repairing machines or did you learn under someone else?

Not one to mince words, Ryan said:

“Worked for an old family friend and learned from others. “

Q: Some techs have a particular aspect they really enjoy working on or they have a specialized set of skills (ie: boards, EMs, new Sterns, restoring cabinet art, etc) — do you specialize in something? or what’s your favorite aspect to work on?

“I work on Electro-Mechanical pinball machines and Solid State pinball machines. I do board repair that ranges from the mpu, driver board, light board, power supply board and more.”

Q: What are you working on now and in the past, What has been your favorite project/game that you worked on?

“Current works in progress is: 1964 Monte Carlo (single player), Bally Wizard and a TMNT.

Q: What is the best way to contact you and what areas do you service? Do you also operate your own route? If so, would you like to shout out those locations?

“Phone number 1-708-551-4815
Midnight Arcade Repair & Service
8215 Mayfield Ave, Burbank, IL 60459
(708) 551-4815 https://g.co/kgs/MA1YRv

Have someone you want to nominate to for the Tech of the Month? E-mail [email protected]!

Texas Pinball Festival 2022 Recap

by Krystle Gemnich
The Texas Pinball Festival Recap Episode

For the first time in three years at the embassy suites in Frisco Texas with over 50 vendors, 25 events and  400 pinball machines, the Texas pinball festival was back…and is back. Stick with me and we’re going to relive the excitement of this terrific show.

I love the potential of an empty hall. The ability and the hard work it takes to fill a space with over 400 pinball machines, merch booths and humans is really admirable and astonishing. The Marco crew arrived to a very empty hall on Thursday, very early in the morning with an empty space for all our stuff and a lot of promise. By Friday we were all set for a really fast paced and quick going Texas pinball festival. We teamd up with  FUN! Billiards and Gameroom super store and Craig Hassel. We had a fun and exciting weekend ahead of ourselves. As we got started, we found our team growing. A lot of extended family of Marco Pinball joined us; the French streamers from RB Flip, home-brew builder Matt Benzik, and Jack Danger and Michael Grant from Stern pinball. Some of the fellas from Spooky came over and helped us build our booth as well! The support from these people is a testament to just how great the pinball community can be. 


The Show opened and we were all set. Some of our booth features included a RUSH selfie station, over 20 new Stern releases including RUSH, Godzilla and The Mandalorian. Each of these games was outfitted with an Insider Connected QR code reader which would allow show attending to scan their phones and record all of their scores, tracking their progress on each of the machines. Their progress was recorded and if they did well, the would make it on the leaderboard to enter the running to win a prize.


 We also had a learn to stream pinball set up with one RUSH premium and a mirror and camera stand which was put together by the streamers RB Flip.

 
Now I’d like to talk a bit about the rest of the show; some of the stuff outside of our own booth. There were lots of mech venders selling different t-shirts and stickers and all kinds of fun pinball related swag. This included Double Danger and Soft plunge as well as Brad Albright, the designer of our Pintech Logo with the futuristic pinball tech. This shirt also glows in the dark! You can get it on the website if you saw it at the show and loved it, you should definitely get one! Just type part number 59-PINTECH into the search bar and it’ll bring up all of the sizes!


Sylvester McCoy, one of the Dr. Whos had a booth on the show floor and there was a giant Tardis and Dalek. Sylvester McCoy also presented a TWIPY at the TWIPY’s ceremony. I heard that the Tardis was sold to a local Texan, so it might so up somewhere interesting!


One of my personal favorite parts of every TPF I attend is the “prewars” or the penny arcade bagatelles. It’s a special booth run by a very nice gentleman named Jeff Frick. He provides you with a little cup of pennies so you can go ahead and play these wood rails and these very special antiques. It’s kind of amazing that he’s able to keep them functioning and that we were even able to play them.


There were a few home-brew pinball machines. There was a billy Madison home-brew, which also won best Home-brew of TPF. There was an ELF home-brew which is based on the Will Ferrell Christmas movie.
At the front of the hall was a game called Philina which was Phil Grimaldi’s custom Wedding pinball machine. He spoke to us about this game on MarcoTV at Houston arcade and pinball expo. It was really cool to see it in person and to be able to step and play.

Next to that game was Cary Hardy’s own Getaway Project which he had worked hard on to restore and make look brand new. I believe he won a best in show award for that machine, so good going Cary!

Congratulations to Cary Hardy for winning the Best in Show Award at TPF2022


P3 also had 2 of their new Weird Al’s Museum of Natural Hilarity to play. As always, there was never not a line, just like anytime there is a new game release at a show. We didn’t get a chance to play due to time constraints, but hopefully we’ll get the chance soon, and we can talk about it next time!
Some other show favorites we saw; two linked NBA Fastbreaks, a Steve Zissou game based on the film The Life Aquatic, 4 or 5 Aliens from the pinball brothers in the Cointaker booth, Big Lebowski, Rudi’s Nightmare (or Funhouse 2.0) which was a fun new take on an old game.


We had a chance to attend a few seminars. My favorite seminar was the FAST seminar featuring Brian McFadden and Aaron Davis. (www.fastpinball.com) They talked a little bit about their board platforms. These guys cater to indie pinball developers and boutique builders. They really want to take care of the homebrewer community. They offer a lot of support and really make their architecture easy to “drop in” as they say. I’m really interested to see what these guys come up with and hopefully get to talk to them in the future.

The other seminar we caught was the Chicago Gaming seminar with Butch Peel, going over the new release of Cactus canyon remake. 

Seeing the behind the scenes aspects of building games is one of the things is one aspect of seminars that makes them interesting to attend.

Butch spoke a bit about some of the new updated components of the game: Some of the mechanics and the way they were incorporating RGB lighting and inductive ball sensors just to help with old issues from the original game. Lots of artwork and molded figures, and a new topper. He spoke on the show presence of Cactus canyon and how the games have played at different shows and how they were received and what they’ve learned from these show experiences to help improve the games.

Early Saturday morning (maybe a bit TOO early) me and Imoto and Serene, one of our graphics designers attended the Swap meet in the parking lot of the Embassy suites. Apparently a few people beat the crowd, getting up as early as 6 am to buy up some pinball machines. There were a few trucks filled with different pinball games and arcade cabs and goodies. Around the parking lot there were a lot of tables set up selling old parts, pieces, magazines and toys. At the entrance of the convention center, the Belles and Chimes from all over Texas were doing a meet and greet, serving donuts, coffee and mimosas for anyone coming to say hello. It was really cool to see Belles from not only Texas but Chicago and Florida all meeting up and exchanging swag and stories.

Saturday night was “party time.” The TWIPY’s were held at around 8pm and hosted by Jack Danger and Imoto. One fantastic highlight of the TWIPY’s was Todd Tuckey’s long overdue win for Best Youtube streamer, which everyone was so thrilled to see. If you were not able to catch the event live, the VOD is available at www.twipys.com.

The TWIPY’s after-party featured two dj sets; one from our own DJ m-Tort and another from Scott Danesi. 5 new pinball machines were set up next to the stage for everyone to play including a Godzilla, Hot Wheels, Valhalla, Cactus Canyon and Halloween.

Sunday is always tough, because the show seems to speed by. The first part of the day has a lot of catching up and cleaning up and the second part of the day requires breakdown, so the booth has to come down and everyone says their good byes.

It’s always a fast-going weekend and it’s so terrific to see everyone, meet customers and make new friends and experience the local community. Shows are really special so if you ever come out to visit our booth, thank you. If you dont, then do so next time!

You can find more info about the Texas Pinball Festival at texaspinball.com.

That is a wrap on the recap of the Texas pinball festival. Stop by next month for our recap of the Midwest Gaming classic which is taking place April 29th-May 1st. That’s in downtown Milwaukee at the Wisconsin Center. You can get more information on that show at www.midwestgamingclassic.com.

COMING SOON!

by Imoto Arcade

Live in Canada and coming to the Northwest Pinball Show? We’ll bring your order to you at the show to save on shipping! Contact us at [email protected] to place your order today.

We will be closed on Monday, May 30th for Memorial Day – we apologize for any delays in shipping!

Upcoming shows, come by our booth to say hello!

Northwest Pinball Show in Tacoma, WA on June 3-5th

Southern Fried Gaming Expo in Atlanta, GA on July 15-17th

California Extreme in San Jose, CA on July 30-31st

Now open 7 days a week!

Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM ET

Sat-Sun 9AM-5PM ET

Watch PinTech LIVE every Thursday at 3pm Eastern

You can catch the livestream at:

twitch.tv/marcopinball

facebook.com/marcospec

youtube.com/marcopinball

Happy Flipping!

Posted in Marco News | Comments Off on COMING SOON!

Location of the Month – March 2022

by Kim Martinez

March LOCATION OF THE MONTH:

Pinball Palace

This Month’s Location of the Month is Pinball Palace, truly looking like a castle in Brunswick, Georgia. Open 7 days a week with nearly 90 pinball machines available, plus arcades, air hockey, a bounce room and more!
Q: When did you get into the pinball business?

A: “We have been open just over 4 years and I have been an arcade, pinball, video game fan most my life! I started collecting pins in my home and when I ran out of room there, I opened the arcade.

Q: When did you open this location?

A: “I opened up March 12th of 2016, which happened to be the town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. (It definitely helped get noticed and people in the door!)”

Q: Do you guys run any tournaments or leagues? If so can you give us more details?

A: “At the time we do not host tournaments but hope to soon.”

Q: Do you fix your own games or do you use a local operator/tech?

A: “I do most the day-to-day repairs myself and every month or so, I bring in a more experienced technician to help.”

Q: What’s the last game you brought in and how often do you rotate?

A: “The last game I bought was Ultraman and Halloween by Spooky Pinball. Before that was Stern’s Godzilla LE.”

Q: Do you go to any shows and IF SO which one is your favorite?

A: “We do not get to many shows as I run the Pinball Palace with my wife and son and an equipment rental shop next door. I work very long hours but it is worth it to see the smiles on peoples faces when they flip the pins!  

Q: And your closing thoughts and what you do for the pinball community or your local community?

A: “We give people the chance to play the best of the newest pins as many on the floor are Limited Editions and unique. We also mix in many older classics and EM machines for a variety. We add to the mix a few arcade games and bounce houses for the total family fun experience. We serve beer and soft drinks but do not offer food . We strive to be the cleanest arcade ever! Many of our games have upgrades like color DMDs and several upgrades and mods.”

Have someone you want to nominate for the Location of the Month? E-mail [email protected]!

Technician of the Month – March 2022

by Kim Martinez

MARCH TECH OF THE MONTH: MATTHEW MANDARANO

Meet Matthew Mandarano, located in North Carolina working under Carolina Pinball Repair and a full time technician at Abari Game Bar located at in Charlotte, NC. He re-found this hobby in 2011 and began repairing machines in 2013.

I would seek them out and put some quarters in any pin I came across. While my contemporaries were playing TMNT, The Simpsons, X-Men, Mortal Kombat, etc. I was the weird kid in the corner playing the pinball machines.

Q: How did you first get into the hobby?

“My best friend’s dad was big into pinball when he was growing up in the 60s and 70s. He would always take us over to the pinball machines to play a few games whenever we were at a bowling alley, pizza joint, gas station, or arcade that had one and teach us techniques and how to play.

I immediately took to the game and loved it. I would seek them out and put some quarters in any pin I came across. While my contemporaries were playing TMNT, The Simpsons, X-Men, Mortal Kombat, etc. I was the weird kid in the corner playing the pinball machines. I remember my friend Alex and I would go up to the local video store in downtown Mocksville, and sink every quarter we had into a Data East Batman almost daily one summer. Other games I remember putting a lot of time on back in the day were Addams Family, Attack from Mars, Batman Forever, and Monopoly a little later. We had all the high scores. Since money was scarce for a couple of 11 year olds, we would alternate balls and put our initials up as a mixture of the two.

Time went on and pins all but dried up. Once in a blue moon I’d come across one somewhere and I would always put a few games on it, regardless of the condition. In late 2011 I was a few years into my career as a video production specialist, making a decent living, and was going to sell my condo and buy a house. The thought hit me one day, “I wonder if I could buy a pinball machine for my basement in the new house?”. I searched on Craigslist and was shocked to see that you indeed could!

I had no idea what a pinball machine would cost or anything about them. So, I opted to get one from a known retailer. I was a huge Doctor Who fan at the time (Ten is MY doctor) and when I found out Bally/Williams released a Doctor Who machine (I didn’t remember it from my youth), I knew that had to be the one. I ended up buying it from Brian at Retro Home Gamerooms and it still sits in my basement all these years later; a wildly underrated game, in my opinion. “

Q: Did you jump right into repairing machines or did you learn under someone else?

“Oddly enough, my career as a tech almost didn’t come to fruition. For the first 9 months I owned my home, I still had my condo and was paying double mortgage (do not recommend to anyone considering that). Anyway, because I was paying two mortgages, I didn’t have any money for other games. By the time the condo sold, I had had the Doctor Who for 9 months as my only game. 

I was a bit tired of playing the same title over and over, and it was a lot of money sitting there. I actually considered selling it! And, that for me, would have probably been the end of pinball — at least for owning. But, I looked on Craigslist and saw two project games for sale — a Gottlieb Count-Down and a Gottlieb Solar Ride. I think they were $350 for the both of them or something ridiculously low. I had a background in hobby electronics and the idea of fixing a machine sounded cool and exciting. So, I made an offer to the guy (who turned out to be Garry, Trident on Pinside) and we struck a deal! Through that deal I became aware of Pinside.com. 

I signed up, met others in the local community, and that Count-Down would be the first game I learned on. My mind works by becoming absolutely obsessed with learning everything about a particular topic once I become interested in it. Once pinball repair became an interest, all I did was eat, sleep, and breath pinball repair. I watched all of the This Old Pinball! DVDs, read and re-read Clay’s Repair Guides, bought multiple books on electronics and electronics repair in general, signed up for Clay’s PinballNinja series, read all the old repair procedures manuals-literally anything I could get my hands on and soak up. All the while, buying as many projects as I could to get hands on experience. 

So, there wasn’t a huge amount of time between entering the hobby and jumping into repairing them for me. Word slowly got around to other collectors that I had fixed this or that on xyz machine, so then they’d ask me to come look at stuff on their games. I wondered if there were people that weren’t sick like us with 5, 10, 15, 20 games in their basement, but maybe just one or two that could use some help. I started Carolina Pinball Repair and the tech journey began in full stead from there.”

Q: Follow up, Did you have a background in another field that made that transition easier?

“My undergraduate degree is in Media Studies with a concentration in Film and Video Production. I, primarily, worked as a Cinematographer and Editor in that field. Even though it is not directly related, the same type of problem solving and critical thinking skills are similarly needed for both. And, I did have an interest in hobby electronics when I was younger, so I didn’t come into electronics completely wet behind the ears, though there was lots of brushing up to do. “

I like board issues, logic failures, power supply rebuilds, troubleshooting misfirings in the switch or lamp matrix, solenoid issues, etc. The shop outs are the most time consuming and least challenging aspect of repair work, but sometimes they can be therapeutic as it is really like a big LEGO set to take apart and put back together

Q: Some techs have a particular aspect they really enjoy working on or they have a specialized set of skills (ie: boards, EMs, new Sterns, restoring cabinet art, etc) — do you specialize in something? or what’s your favorite aspect to work on?

“My specialty is solid state machines — 1977-present. There isn’t a manufacturer or generation that I won’t work on (though Gottlieb System 80 and Bally 6803 are probably my least favorites). 

I’m proficient at all of it, but the two systems which I seem to work on the most and know the most intricately are the Bally 17/35s and the Williams WPC games. 

For me, the actual repair work is my favorite part. I like board issues, logic failures, power supply rebuilds, troubleshooting misfirings in the switch or lamp matrix, solenoid issues, etc. The shop outs are the most time consuming and least challenging aspect of repair work, but sometimes they can be therapeutic as it is really like a big LEGO set to take apart and put back together.”

Q: What are you working on now and in the past, What has been your favorite project/game that you worked on?

“My shop stays full of projects with a sizable queue. I just finished up hardtops on a Xenon and a Taxi. NBA Fastbreak recently got wrapped up with a shop and repairs, as did a Pinbot, and I have a World Cup Soccer and rare Spooky Dominos waiting for attention. Someone talked me into taking on a Black Hole I’m sure I’ll regret, but I know it is hard to find a good tech and I’m happy to help. I also have a Banzai Run waiting for a playfield swap, and just picked up six new machines myself (mostly System 11s) which I’ll need to find some time to iron out little kinks. 

I enjoy most of all of the machines. I’ve had hands on 100s of different titles and over a 1000 machines over the years. Some I’m especially well acquainted with, like; Addam’s Family, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. Some of those titles I’ve worked on dozens of times. 

Q: What is the best way to contact you and what areas do you service? Do you also operate your own route? If so, would you like to shout out those locations?

“The best way to contact me is through my Web site at http://www.carolinapinballrepair.com or through my Carolina Pinball Facebook site. Some people call me and that is probably the worst way to get ahold of me. 

The amount of requests I receive is overwhelming and I am always backed up, many times for months. So, having some form of paper trail electronically is so helpful for me, even though I know stuff still slips off the radar. I’ll be the first to say it, don’t be afraid to bug me! I’ll eventually get to it, even if it takes some extended amount of time. 

I used to have some games on location for several years, but took them all off during Covid in 2020. I might one day get back to putting a few on route, but a lot depends on my time. Many of you know that I am also the primary tech for Abari Game Bar in Charlotte, NC. We’ve been down since March 2020, but lookout for Abari returning soon as Super Abari Game Bar in early 2022!”

Have someone you want to nominate to for the Tech of the Month? E-mail [email protected]!